August 2009

What else I made this summer

A burda sundress (8071):

This dress was kind of pain to make.  First I had to add 1.5″ to the top of all the bodice pieces to make it wearable.  Then I had to match the flower pattern across the princess seams and empire line.  Those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies (read: scientists) should NOT engage in pattern matching.  I also decided it needed some contrast at the top.  Nancy K helped me with this, answering my questions on patternreview.  I traced over the top of the pattern pieces, measuring down about an inch for the contrast, then added seam allowance to the top and bottom of this new pattern piece.  After cutting out the contrast fabric, I stitched along the bottom seam line, folded it under and topstitched the folded contrast to the bodice.  Then I basted the contrast and bodice tops together and finished the facings treating them as one piece of fabric.  I added topstitching along the top edge after the facings were in to stabilize the neckline and for symmetry.  I also bound the horizontal seams on the inside.  But I think it was worth it.  I’m very happy with this dress.  I’ve worn it as a skirt with a t-shirt over it to work and also as a dress to a wedding party.  And the fabric is a very lightweight quilting cotton so its been nice for the awful humid weather.

A pair of comfy linen pants:

This was my second attempt at a pair of summer pants.  The first was a pants disaster.  After making my jeans back in the spring I was sure I could whip up another pair of perfectly fitting pants using my TNT pattern.  I bought some drapey green-gray fabric (marked as rayon) thinking they would be good summer pants, and that I could continue wearing them into the fall.


The fabric didn’t breathe well at all.  And once assembled I could barely get them closed.  I lined up the pattern with the jeans (which still fit) and the back pattern piece was about 1/2″ narrower all the way down.  I’m still not sure what happened— whether I got wider, or perhaps I used the pattern piece as a press cloth (its muslin) and it shrank.  Anyway, that pair went in the trash and I cut this pair with an extra 5/8″ on the back side seam, and maybe 1/4″ extra on the front.  Then I spent the remained of the time taking them in.  I took about an inch out of the center back, then added two more 1/2″ darts in the back.  Then a little more off the sides.  So long as they don’t keep stretching I’m reasonably happy with them now, but I will never be so cocksure about pants again.  And I’m making another muslin before I start my next pair.

A colorful pencil skirt:

This was inspired by the pencil skirt challenge that appeared on a number of blogs.  I managed to match the pattern on one side.  The other not so much.  And, like the other challenge participants, I don’t seem to wear this all that much.  For one thing, it’s white, so its only a matter of time before I spill soy sauce and tomatoes on it.  But I don’t know that the concept works for me.  In the article that inspired the challenge this was billed as a “statement skirt.”  The truth is I don’t want my clothes to make a statement.  I just want them to be comfortable and look nice.

Still to be photographed: an ill-conceived knit dress and another korean knock-off.


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A couple weeks ago our friends Per and Beth invited us down to Woods Hole to go sailing.  It was a lovely time, complete with a swim, a picnic on the boat, and a stop afterwards for fried clams with bellies.  (Yum!)  Here are some photos from the trip:

Our skipper, Per:

His wife Beth:

Matt and Melissa:

Also in a serious mood:

David and I got to wear our vacation hats.  So you can tell it was a good time.


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