April 2012


When I was a kid I could never understand why grown-ups were always wishing they were younger.  Being young meant people telling you what to do and having to go to bed early.  What was there to miss?  But all the adults I knew would complain on their birthdays about getting older.  So I figured there must be an age at which you stop wishing you were older and start wishing you were younger.

I think I know what that age is.  It’s 34.

I know people older than me are going to roll their eyes at this but yeah, I’ve been feeling old recently.  Old as in achey.  Old as in my hands don’t do what I tell them to do.  Old as in I realize I am no longer the target demographic of most advertising campaigns.

So for my birthday I did a couple things to help me feel younger.  I got my hair cut (finally!)  And I finished up this cute chevron twist dress (B4789) that I’ve been working on for the past month:

Can you see where the CF seam is?  Yeah, I’m pretty pleased about that.

Actually it turned out to be a lovely birthday.  My lab bros surprised me with a cookie and makeshift candle (see above).  David and I went out for a fabulous dinner.  And he gave me these bee-ooootiful roo-ish colored gloves for which I will now have to sew an accompanying leather jacket.

Ok maybe it’s not so bad being older.  I do wish I could still go to bed early though.



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Do I look tired in this picture?  Maybe its because the past month has been crazy.  I took four different trips (3 for work, one for family), gave 2 talks, a lab meeting, and a poster, and squeezed in a little time to finish this dress.

I knew when I ordered this fabric that I wanted to make it into a wrap dress.  My first thought was V8379, but once the fabric arrived— somewhat sweater-y and soft— I thought it would never hold up with that full a skirt.  I checked with Faye, who had just made the Vogue dress, and she agreed.  So I went for the faux wrap , M6163 instead.

Since I am paranoid about knit dresses stretching out under their own weight, I did my best to reinforce the top.  For the long edges of the wrap I followed Cennetta’s lead and serged elastic onto the edge of the seam allowance.  I then rolled it under twice and topstitched it down so the elastic was completely hidden and the wrap had no chance of drooping.  I also interfaced the neckline and all of the raglan seams.

I spent a long time puzzling over the pattern pieces, gathering them and comparing them to my sloper to try to decide if and how I should alter the wrap.  I finally decided it was beyond me and cut the bodice as-is according to my measurements.  I ended up having to take it in quite a bit at the front, sides, and neckline to get a good fit.  I guess I should have made a muslin but I didn’t have a knit with similar stretch and weight that I was willing to sacrifice.  How do you guys fit knitted garments?

As with all printed fabrics, I also spent a long time laying out the pattern.  I wanted it to slope in by the same amount on both sides of the wrap and I think I pulled that off.  Despite my care, though, the hemline doesn’t line up with the pattern.  I hope it’s not too noticeable.  Here’s a slightly crummy full length shot so you can see the fit:

Once it was done my big worry was that it was too dressy. The fitted sides and skirt feel very formal to me.  But I wore it with a cardigan for a weekend day and that felt ok.  And I wore it for the first night’s seder this past weekend.  The second night we had to sit out due to a nasty stomach bug.  Then on Sunday night we had a dress code:


Yes, that’s four generations of David’s family.  At 10pm with a toddler who is only holding it together due to a hearty group rendition of “Six little ducks.”  Did I mention I was tired?


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