You may recall, I made Mr. AFS a plaid flannel shirt a little over a year ago from Simplicity 1544. Since then I’ve gone on to make more versions of the shirt, perfecting fitting problems each time and so this iteration is pretty much near perfect for his body and build. Additionally, he wears that […]

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  • justine - That I’d really a great looking shirt. I’m loving this plaid,and impressed it’s from Joann. Great idea, the collar. I made my husband a plaid flannel Negroni last year and am planning to make another for him this Christmas from a McCall’s pattern.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - Wow! That is such a nice shirt! I looked up the pattern, Simplicity 1544. I can’t buy Simplicity patterns locally, so I’ll have to order it online. Your plaid matching is perfect! I have a hubby and three boys – two are teens. We live in a cold climate, so this may be something I will have to tackle in the new year (Christmas sewing is priority #1 now).ReplyCancel

  • Cecilia wilson - I love the way you give tips that take me to a threads article that I had not seen and the collar was not aware of,the seamless collar. Thank you for all your posts,your ideas and styles of writing are wonderful to read.ReplyCancel

  • Judi Short - Fabulous, Sunni! I love the collar tip! My sewing “wish I ever had time to sew this” list just got longer!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - Mmm, this looks proper snuggly, I should make my boyfriend one so I can cuddle him more. Thanks for the collar tip!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Oh, nice job on the plaid matching!!!! You know that sound that comes from fingernails on a blackboard? That is the feeling I get when I see those expensive flannel shirts in the stores and the plaids DON’T MATCH.

    Mr. AFS looks very handsome in his new shirt.ReplyCancel

  • raquel from jc - Love it! The fabric is perfect and it looks comfy but cool at the same time. I always have problems with the hem when sewing shirts, especially with narrow hems and the curve at the union between fronts and back. Do you have any tips?ReplyCancel

  • Sonja - This looks amazing! As always, your plaid matching is impeccable!ReplyCancel

  • Lacey - LOVE this, Sunni! Makes me want to do one up for my hubster. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ina - I love this! It’s so beautiful! I am yet to make a shirt for my better half but what an inspiration this shirt is!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Galante - Great plaid! Honestly, you have inspired me to sew a flannel shirt for the two men in my life. Gorgeous and he’s so brave to let you photograph him :).ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - Wonderful read. I like that you explained how to adjust the collar. I love working with plaids even though they can be a pain to line up some times. The shirt came out so nicely.ReplyCancel

  • Mertxe - Lovely flannel shirt, yesss! Very good plaid matching job, excellent idea about the neck, and cuffs are also lovely (and a very good way to avoid bulkiness. Regarding the pattern, after so many crucial modifications, and your own ability at drafting variations, I think you should be better off doing your whole patterns yourself, to stop walking around the bush, if you know what I mean, hehe…ReplyCancel

  • Claudia - This looks great! I used to work at a Joann’s and I loved when the Plaiditudes line came in, in the fall. It does have a really nice hand, beefier than our usual flannel, but mostly I love the name. PLAIDITUDES. hahaha!ReplyCancel

When this time of year comes around, I’m always at a loss about whether or not I should make something for gifts for family and friends. I have really good intentions and well, you know what they say about that. This year, I happened upon an idea – pillowcases and thought I should share. I […]

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  • Joy - Best gift idea EVER. I think this will be my first project for my new machine when I get it! And I’m going to be the recipient of the first set!ReplyCancel

    • theresa in tucson - I make pillowcases for gifts on a regular basis. Back when Disney’s “High School Musical” was the rage with the tween set, I made and sent several HSM pillowcase to the grand nieces. I made sure to add in extra since there were ocassionally visiting step children as well. In short, the girls could not have received anything better that year. Their mom said they had developed a rotation of who got what pillowcase.ReplyCancel

  • Julia Miller - I dearly love a project that looks great and gets done in a short amount of time!ReplyCancel

  • Donna Hensley - I love this idea!ReplyCancel

  • Stacie - This is such a great simple idea, and will be so well received, now off to dig through stash!ReplyCancel

  • Becky Thompson - Such a simple, yet great gift! My local quilt shop has the fabric in packages so you get coordinating fabrics for body and contrast which is what I did for my grandson’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pillowcase. It’s a bit more expensive to buy the kit but the fabric is ADORABLE and I didn’t have to think. 🙂 You’re right, these are a great gift and I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want a set. I’ve even made pillowcases from a top sheet that already has the top edge finished off with pretty satin trim and lacey stitching. Easy-peasy to cut and sew up the bottom and side. Secret: When I buy super expensive bed linen separates, I will make my own king pillow cases from a coordinating top sheet. $45 for a set of king pillowcases? HA! I don’t THINK so!ReplyCancel

  • Linda Galante - This is a great idea! I love your fabric and trim combinations and have a few fabrics in my stash that will work well with this project. Thanks so much for sharing this fun post!ReplyCancel

  • Stillsewing - Are these pillows hard to wash? It strikes me that with the regular washing I give my bed clothes these colours would fade very fast!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Beautiful! This is a great gift. My mother did this for all her kids and grandkids one year. It was very economical for her on a fixed income and we all got something special she made. She’s been gone for 5 years now 🙁 maybe everyone could use a new set from me this year…hmmm… better get busy!ReplyCancel

It’s been awhile since I did a Fabric Friday. I’ve decided to rotate my Friday posts out and I have some fun ideas for Fridays around here. But I do love talking about fabric, so I’ll be featuring a Fabric Friday every month. Today I thought we could take a closer look a woven rayon […]

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  • oonaballoona - i adore rayon! maybe it became unworthy when the need for an inexpensive replacement for silk went away, and the stigma stuck?

    unfortunately, after all this eye candy, i suddenly want to abandon my wool coat in-progress, and start a summer maxi dress…ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - That sounds so marvelous! I was thinking I could get away with a drapey button-up shirt to wear under a cardigan. Sigh… I love rayon!ReplyCancel

  • Sharon - Thank you so much for fabric Friday’s. I have enjoyed sewing for years, but never had such great tutorials on fabric. I am learning things that I should have known all along. Fabric Friday’s are greatly appreciated!ReplyCancel

  • Mickey Newman - How is rayon to sew with? Does it ravel? Maybe you could add sewing tips to yourfabric Friday. Thanks, I enjoyed your post.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you – this a great idea! I will most definitely try to do this in the future! I think rayon is fairly easy to sew with. It’s got some grip to it which helps it not to slide around too much. It does ravel, so french seams or a serger is nice.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Thankyou Sunni for such a wonderful tutorial about Rayon. I’ve always loved Rayons, but can never find nice patterns in our box stores. It is a wonderful fabric that breathes and looks great. Do you have any fabric source suggestions.
    I so miss your online fabric store. I still have stashes of gorgeous wool that I purchased from you. Have a great one, Sunni.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Oh thank you Amy! I just updated with some online places that I look for rayons. They are few, but as I go along I’ll update more. Thanks so much!ReplyCancel

  • patsijean - I too like rayon, and acetate and do not understand why we do not see more of those fabrics.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - It’s such a good question! These days they are good fabrics! It’s nice to see Gertie doing some in her fabric line at Joann – they are pretty cute!ReplyCancel

  • raquel from jc - As a polymer engineer and sewing enthusiast I can say Rayon is one of may favorite fabrics to wear. I find it soft, very drapey and color wise very exciting. I really like tencel garments and there is one brand of knitting yarn call Handmaiden Sea Silk made with lyocell and seaweed. Beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Oh thank you! And how awesome that you sew and you’re a polymer engineer – it’s just too cool!ReplyCancel

  • Hélène - Hurrah for rayon! Last summer, it was my go-to fabric for dresses after I had seen the Alder dress in rayon by Sew Busy Lizzy. The drape is incredible, but it creases a lot. Not a good choice for travels, but still one of my best fabrics. And those prints!ReplyCancel

  • LizJ - I love rayon as well! It is SO comfortable in the summer, even more so than cotton and silk, in my opinion. I don’t know why it fell out of favor either. Perhaps polyester was cheaper at the time?ReplyCancel

  • Helen - I LOVE rayon (or viscose, since I am a Brit!!). It’s fast becoming my favourite fabric to sew with and wear. Yes it’s not as easy to sew with as cotton, but it’s not that bad either, and it’s just divine to wear, particularly the Cotton+Steel stuff. I just wish it wear more widely available, particularly in solids!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Agreed! We need more rayon in our lives – hopefully a fabric manufacturer reads this!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Sunni – So happy you are back posting on a regular basis 🙂 – Really enjoy reading your informative posts. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Judi - Rayon is my favorite fabric, especially for skirts because it hangs beautifully. I have tons of rayon stash…beautiful prints that I had to have! Thank you for the info on rayon…most of which I didn’t know even after wearing it for years!ReplyCancel

  • Rory - I love rayon. Part of the reason that I believe people are turned off by this fabric is that back in the 90s when it seemed to be gaining some popularity it would shrink like a man in cold water. The texture was also so different from today. I have a small collection of sueded rayon, which someone told me no one is making anymore. It’s so soft and cool, with that brushed texture. Ahhhh….love.ReplyCancel

  • JenL - I generally like rayon fabrics, but I can tell you why customers would tend to be turned off – it used to be fairly awful stuff. Rayon fabrics have definitely improved over the years, for the most part. The stuff that used to be available in the early 80s for example, shrunk horribly, was often very ravelly, sometimes pilled, and was not durable. The earlier rayon, such as that from the 40s, has a tendency to absorb body odor that is unremovable. Some weaves can also have an odd kind of inflexibility at times, but I don’t know why.

    In my recent experience there seems to be vast differences in rayon quality. I suspect this is because it can be a fairly cheap material that lends itself to the low-end export market. I was disappointed by some rayon challis that I bought online awhile back – it seemed a lot like that old 80s stuff. Oh, well, you get what you pay for sometimes! On the other hand, modal, which I love, is often rather pricey, comparably.

    In (slight) defense of polyester, when woven to be breathable – like for exercise gear – it is superior (IMO) to natural fabrics because it dissipates moisture quickly. At least this is my experience, as someone with sensitive, rash-prone skin.

    Thanks for the fabric review!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you for this! I keep wondering about it actually and so it’s nice to hear some concrete info on why it fell out of favor! Thank you JenL!ReplyCancel

      • Sunni

        Sunni - And I was going to add that I do think polyester has a place – you are right, it does well in active wear with moisture wicking. And though I’ve been more of a snob in the past, I’ve been finding some cute polyester prints that would work as cute tops or even a fun lining. I like it woven with other fibers especially in ponte knits and I’m a fan of it in coatings too. It does have a place.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Rayon is my favorite fabric! I’m so glad it’s making a comeback. I actually have a couple of the prints you have pictured! Joann’s usually has some in not-terrible prints and I like that I am able to find dresses and pajamas made of rayon at target and gap now. I also have a small stash of vintage 40’s rayon. It’s so wonderful to work with. I have a royal blue piece with firework print I’m saving for a special occasion.ReplyCancel

  • robin - I’m being drawn to rayon and rayon blends lately because it sews beautifully. I love its drape. In the past, I avoided it, remembering the cheap renditions in rtw. But now, I have a different perspective and it’s at the top of my list and in great company with my natural wovens.ReplyCancel

  • Miss Bloomers - I would say I’ve been afraid to use rayons in my sewing because of the time, long ago, I bought a rayon top. The first time I washed it, and I had it set to cold, it shrank like nobody’s business! What are you tips for laundering rayon? Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I do believe that it’s a shrinker. I’ve always had it shrink for me, so I would say purchase extra yardage if you can. I have found though that the newer rayons don’t shrink as badly as some of the older ones in my stash.ReplyCancel

  • Juliana @ Urban Simplicity - I love rayon too! Challis is one of my faves. I will say, I don’t love rayon knits because they tend to be too thin and cling in weird ways, but woven rayon is da bomb. It really is a four-season fabric, and the feeling against the skin is just lovely. I just started sewing with it this summer because it sort of scared me, but now I’m feeling more confident (microtex stretch needles, that’s the ticket!!)

    I’ve not been super impressed with the challis I’ve gotten from Joann fabrics (it goes off grain if you look at it sideways) but other challis I’ve found is wonderful. It is kind of a unicorn fabric though–it is hard to find the right weight in challis with a good print at a decent price point.ReplyCancel

  • Pippa K - I LOVE rayon (Well viscose being another brit) it is def my go to fabric for tops etc and I can normally pick it out in the store by feel, it feels so much softer than cottons. I am finding a lot more RTW clothes are being produced in Viscose and im all for this.
    Do you have any good links for places to find it in the UK?ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I do like good-quality rayon – breathable, silky, and nice to work with. However, my experience has been that the quality varies WIDELY. It’s hard to know when I’m buying a piece of rayon challis (and I see this a LOT with rayon knits, as well) whether or not it will start to pill after just a few washings. A lot of the rayon clothing I buy I have to wash on delicate and hang dry because it doesn’t hold up as well as cotton (and I’ve started avoiding it altogether in clothing stores). I’ve started to shy away from it in the fabric store for the same reason – I have to baby it and I never know how long it is going to last. The exception to this is Bemberg, which I will always choose for lining and always holds up well. Maybe it’s because I already tend to “baby” my lined garments?ReplyCancel

  • Mary - I am not a big fan of rayon. It can shrink horribly and the quality is all over the charts. I am afraid I associate it with cheap clothing. I do appreciate a hefty quality rayon knit though and do use bemberg as a lining.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca Howard - Well I’m just adding to the love-in here. Rayon is the best. Just the best. I live in Sydney Australia which can be really humid for a lot of the year. Rayon copes with this perfectly. The woven stuff that is. I don’t think I’ve ever sewn with rayon knit. I wash it and put it in the dryer before I sew it though. I assume it shrinks because of my experiences with rtw in the 80s and 90s. I’ve made dozens of Scout tees as well of lots of other cool loose tops. It’s readily available in Spotlight at the moment. Also great for pjs.ReplyCancel

  • Hanne - I love rayon. It’s a pity it’s quite difficult to find in Belgium, however, suppliers are starting to stock up on lovely rayon wovens again, which is good for my budget, since silks are not!

    Thank you for sharing this great knowdledge! I also love the fact that you added wovens. Often people mistake the fibre for the fabric name, which can cause a lot of confusion, especially when buying fabrics online!ReplyCancel

  • Lusty - I just bought a pile of gorgeous rayons from Harts Fabric last friday. They had one called a peachskin, which is sort of brushed on one side, and I love the heavier weight of the twill.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Mulkey - I live in hot, humid Houston, TX and am very fond of rayon challis. I make all my nightgowns with it as well as tunic tops. Yes it shrinks but I always pre-wash my fabrics before sewing so it’s never a problem.ReplyCancel

  • Vicki - Hi from ‘Down Under’, Sunni! This post is so timely for me and I thank you so much for your generosity in sharing your knowledge with us. I have two pieces of rayon that were brought back from a vacation in Vietnam by the owner of my favorite local (very small) fabric store. I have hand laundered both pieces in cold water and line-dried them in the hot Aussie sun and they both had minimal (if any) shrinkage. The one piece that has a bright orange colored flower on it (laundered separately) did lose a tiny bit of color in the laundering water but unnoticeable in the actual dried fabric. I have had concerns about the fabric creasing, but then linen creases and linen is certainly not a cheap fabric. Tomorrow I will cut one piece of my rayon to make up Butterick B5997. Wish me luck as I embark on my very first experience with rayon!ReplyCancel

  • Ryan - I haven’t sew much with rayon since the 90s and I admit I’m kind of scared because so much of it shrank in the wash back then, even hand washing. I do have some rayon crepe which i haven’t used yet because it’s really springy and I’m not sure what it would be best for. Probably a dress or a pull over woven tee. I want to wear more rayon and if you all are saying that the shrinkage isn’t so bad anymore (and I can pre wash/dry) then I definitely need to try it again.ReplyCancel

  • Lady ID - I quite like rayon actually. I’ve found it breathable and comfortable when you can get your hands on a good batch.ReplyCancel

  • Cherie - Sunni, great post. I’m getting to know the more modern rayons, and like them a lot!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Sveta - yes, I have!%)) The dotted fabric from you post%)))ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Wrinkles! I made a lot of clothes in the 80’s and 90’s, and ended up giving them all away because they wrinkled so badly. But I just bought a piece of rayon that doesn’t seem to wrinkle. Has something changed?ReplyCancel

  • eimear - rayon is a lovely fabric, and for vegetarians, its a popular choice (no silk worms damaged here) as it is derived from mulberry so all natural. I think in the last number of years its being used more in fast fashion and its a lesser quality. personally, i prefer if something is a rayon/viscose mix as you can get fabulous results, although i find linen mix can shrink (but only as I dont dry clean!) – glad you are doing fabric posts again – I love themReplyCancel

  • Jewel Nelson - Love Rayon. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is hard to find a rayon instead of poly fabric. Lovely in summer heat (Rayon not poly).ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - What a great post! I love rayon & think it is my favourite fabric to sew & wear aT the moment! Here in Australia it is good for,our summers. I just picked up some dreamy printed rayon in Helsinki (what a great souvenir!) and the quality seems to be a lot better than our chain stores that we have- it really is a lot closer to the “imitation” silk. I just made a summer maxi (Southport) dress and it is beyond perfect!ReplyCancel

  • PsychicKathleen - I’m just making the Oslo (Tilly & the Buttons) out of a gorgeous batique rayon woven that I picked up as a remnant from our local fabric shop. It’s fabulous to work with and drapes like a heavy silk. Thank you for posting such a helpful blog!ReplyCancel

  • Haute Hippie - I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but the production of rayon is very environmentally damaging. A lot of nasty chemicals are used to process wood pulp into fabric. Other similar fabrics like modal or lyocell have many of the same desirable properties of rayon, but use less toxic chemicals and actually produce a more durable fabricReplyCancel

  • julie zammarchi - Hi,

    I have 4 yards of rayon from the 40’s I think. It’s navy blue ground with pink/red/green rosebuds printed on it. Small scale print. my husband got it for me at Brimfield Antiques market but it’s not my thing. Want it? Really, just send me your address and it’s yours.

    Julie ZReplyCancel

  • Amanda - 100% agree – rayon is the BOMB! I really like acetate and viscose too, but did not know that viscose was the same thing as rayon – you learn something new everyday! I’m a huge fan of rayon in the summer months particularly, as it is so cool and breathable, something that polyester definitely can NOT boast of 😛ReplyCancel

  • Peggy - I’ve always loved rayon and am happy to see it is back in favor but, being a life-long environmentalist did a little research on the environmental impact of this wonderful fabric. To beat that pulp into a fluid fabric uses a lot of water and chemicals, as well as the raw material – trees. This year alone, 70-100 million trees will be used to produce rayon. Some of those are old growth trees while some are beech and eucalyptus. Lyocell (aka Tencel) is considered the best choice in terms of environmental impact (less water, 98% recovered chemicals, plantation trees), followed by modal. Every fabric has its upside and downside, and I will still buy rayon, but now I look for these two types.ReplyCancel

  • Evie - Rayon challis may just be my favorite fabric ever. I have a handful of dresses I’ve made from it that get tons of wear, and several more pieces in my stash.ReplyCancel

  • ltinuviel - Thank you, Sunny, for this informative post!ReplyCancel

  • Couturette - I love rayon. I sew a lot of 40ies-style dresses and it is the perfect fabric for those. At the moment it seems like rayon is becoming more popular again as I seem to find more rayon prints in the fabric stores but for my taste it is still way to little variety. All the nice prints are jersey nowadays (unless you are specifically looking for a jersey with a nice print of course. In this case you will not find anything 🙂 ).

    Greetings from Germany

Last week, when I shared some tool tips for beginners, I thought it might be a good idea to talk about the arsenal of cutlery I’ve acquired over the years for various stages of the sewing process. I found that when it comes to the world of scissors, there is something that fits nearly every […]

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  • Sarah - How weird! In the UK “cutlery” means knives and forks – what people in the US would call “silverware” I think.
    I was expecting a completely different post from the title… 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Sewer - “Cutlery” means knives, forks, and spoons in the U.S. too. I was so surprised by the use of the word that I even checked to see if there was a definition of which I was unaware. There isn’t.ReplyCancel

    • A - In the US cutlery means knives and forks also. I also thought we were going to get a post on bringing something from the kitchen into the sewing room. After reading the article, I assume she is just extending the use of the word to metal ware in the sewing room.ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - Great post! I was wondering about the rotary cutter you have hanging on your pegboard. What brand is it? Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I have two rotary cutters. The grey one in the photo is the Gingher one and then I have a Kai rotary cutter too. I personally prefer the Kai, but I do admit, I don’t use them very often.ReplyCancel

  • melissapurls - Pinking shears on curves?!? Brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • SJ Kurtz - I misuse the duckbills/applique scissors at my house for everything fabric; they are that handy (and they hold a sharpening).

    I am still working with the first crummy rotary cutter I ever bought, I still hate it, but I find it’s handier than it used to be. I see you have the Gingher, and I have heard fine things about the Kai (both brands I’ve long experience with).


    • Sunni

      Sunni - I prefer the Kai – it just holds better and the cutting is easier.ReplyCancel

  • Lady ID - I love the rotary cutter. I use it most of the time now. I also love my Gingher applique scissors. I use them all the time. I ordered some Kai embroidery scissors since I ruined my Fiskars. And I’m also waiting for replacement Gingher pinking shears to replace my ten year old cheapies.ReplyCancel

  • Holly - Great post!

    After a hand injury a year ago I started using my rotary cutters almost exclusively, and I don’t know why I waited so long, I love them. Now I mostly only use scissors for trimming, snipping, etc.ReplyCancel

  • Sewer - [Are being comments being published? They don’t seem to be showing up. I’m reluctant to leave a longer comment.]

    I have many of the tools discussed. I would not hang my tools on peg board, especially a rotary cutter. I’ve read too many reports of accidents when they’ve fallen off tables.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Yes, I do try to make sure that all relevant comments are published. I get a lot of spam on my site, but I do double check all of them to make sure that all the real folks get their comments published. Sorry for the wait!

      The peg board is just a suggestion/idea and one that I’ve never had any trouble with. What do you do with your cutting tools?ReplyCancel

  • mike - What a great post and great collection of cutlery! Curious – where do you get them sharpened? A standard knife sharpening store? — mikeReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I do believe that a standard knife sharpening store will sharpen them for you. Your local fabric shop – if you have one – usually has an option or they might even know of a place where you can get them sharpened. Both Gingher (owned by Fiskars) and Kai offer scissor sharpening services where you send your scissors to them directly and have them sharpened. This is something to consider if you have serrated shears as I’ve not heard of a sharpener who can do that. I’ve yet to try the send off to Gingher or Kai so I’m not sure of the time frame, but it is a possibility.ReplyCancel

      • Mike - That was kind of a stupid question – didn’t stop to think of a fabric store. 😉 I have my knives hand sharpened and had him to my mother’s old fabric shears (just wasn’t sure if the process was the same). Thanks for the tip!ReplyCancel

  • Janet Sandberg - I do a lot of home dec sewing for work, and love my big Kai shears; very lightweight and with a nice long blade. For close-in work like snipping to a stitch line I use an amazingly sturdy and sharp pair of electrician’s snips from Klein Tools, model 2100-7, available at many hardware stores or online. They work well even on heavy fabrics and I would not want to do without them. A recent find is also from Kai/Omnigrid, a tiny delicate scissor with very pointed blades that is great for cleaning up buttonholes and whatnot.
    Love your blog!ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - Love the post and your board, now I don’t feel as guilty with all my different scissors. If I may, I would add paper scissors to the collection.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Oh good – so glad to hear that someone else has a plethora! I find them so useful in so many different situations. And yes, paper scissors!ReplyCancel

  • Becky Thompson - Great post! I too love my Kai shears for general fabric slicing. I picked up a pair of Kai curved snips for trimming inside the machine embroidery hoop. Like you, I keep snips next to my machine for when a seam needs a haircut. ? There are general purpose Fiskars for cutting anything paper but I always use my Olfa 45mm rotary cutter for patterns. I use large washers from the hardware store (low profile is a must) for pattern weights and now cutting out patterns is done in no time. Then I go back with my snips to mark the notches. Its a simple matter to move the pinned pattern along the cutting mat. This method is better for me because the fabric doesn’t lift during the cutting process and I’ve discovered I won’t cut slinky fabrics without the rotary cutter. I also use a smaller wheeled version for tight curves.ReplyCancel

  • Dinara - Great post, thank you.
    I love my nippers. I don’t know how I lived without them before.
    But I was wondering why people use pinkers, thanks for explanations, I will try your method in futureReplyCancel

  • PsychicKathleen - I’m gradually acquiring quite a selection of cutting instruments myself! When you start out you think you just need a couple of pairs but as you go along you realize that each specialized pair has that one use that makes the job so much easier, precise and faster. I love my KAI definitely. But I love my duck bills and snips as well.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Love that pegboard, I’ll be making one pronto! I must admit to a recent love affair with the rotary cutter but, horses for courses.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Emma - I’m slowly acquiring an arsenal of cutting tools as well, but as a left-hander it’s a bit of a struggle. When I got my first left-handed fabric shears I realized the huge difference it made. I have 3 pairs of 8″ shears – one for paper, one serrated Gingher, and one Kai. But I have yet to find any 5″ left-handed scissors! If anyone ever tracks some down please let me know, I would pay a pretty penny for a nice pair!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian - Your writing style is so efficient, great for blogging. I have been slowing building my collection of cutting tools, too. My favorites are the ones that I have from my Grandmother and her aunts.ReplyCancel

Fall has lasted forever here, but winter is just around the corner and with it holiday time! Is it just me or do the dresses that come out around this time of year shock you? What I’m talking about is the fact that there seems to be an awful lot of dresses that flood the […]

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  • Jane - This looks like the perfect office dress to me – that Linton Tweed is absolutely stunning and well worth the investment. I particularly like the neckline detail.ReplyCancel

  • Hester - I have cut the pieces for exactly this pattern, and it is waiting to be sewn up; mine is in a blue plaid, which I think will be cute; I love the tweed with the contrast sleeves though!
    I’m planning on lining mine as well, and was wondering how to handle the shaping at the neck, so I shall follow your example with the darts (I was wondering whether there was a way of moving the darts down into bust darts, but I think it’s probably more trouble than it’s worth!).

    I have some sleeveless winter dresses which I wear over a long-sleeved t-shirt (sometimes a thermal one), and/or under a cardigan. I’m in the UK now, and our winters are pretty mild, but I survived two winters in Southern Ontario, mainly by layering!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I thought about moving the darts too and I too thought it was more trouble that it’s worth. With the facing I find that the darts didn’t add too much bulk and it gave a little extra room in the section for the lining to move and not be pulled to tightly across the bust.ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Love the dress, Sunni! I too amy very cold natured and have also looked at the dresses this time of year wondering the same thing you do. Seriously, not me in that dress in winter!!! So where do you get your wool crepe now that you don’t have your online store? I kick myself for not ordering more wool crepe from you before you closed 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Helen - Gorgeous dress! Great job on the lining, it looks so perfect!ReplyCancel

  • Eileensews - What a pretty dress!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - This looks lovely – an absolutely ideal office/party dress!ReplyCancel

  • Manju - This is a beautiful dress. I too have bits of Linton tweed in my stash (I live about 20 minutes from there shop!) but I am too scared to do anything with them because I think they need underlining etc. But yours has inspired me! Love the pattern and combination of fabrics.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - You know I was afraid of the same thing!! I felt like mine was pretty loosely woven, so I decided to put my through a gentle wash and hang to dry. This tightened it up a good amount. When I cut everything out, I was surprised that it held together quite well. It actually did not unravel right before my eyes – so I think you pay for the high quality of the fabric. It’s lovely stuff to work with. Just lovely!ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - That’s the great thing about sewing – you can make your own winter dress even if there are none in the shops! This looks lovely Sunni, and I love the look of a contrast sleeve. I wear a lot of sleeveless dresses with a long sleeve top underneath in winter, a similar look.
    What a great idea to use up odds and ends of lining in the one garment – it looks rather cute!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Thank you Sherry! It’s so good to hear from you and I’ve been keeping up on your blog too. So glad that you are giving us some of your great knowledge and expertise again.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Gorgeous! I love the tweed!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Beautiful dress! For those who might be interested, I purchased this pattern last week at a big box fabric store so it may stilll be available in some locations. Seeing the pattern made up so beautifully inspires me to get busy on my own holiday dress.ReplyCancel

  • Christine - Snug and stylish, perfect. Thanks for the link to the lining information, must give it try.ReplyCancel

  • Linda Galante - Lovely dress. The fabric is stunning! I love that threads article too – – Honestly, I avoid RTW dresses at this time of year. It’s simply ridiculous to go out and about with a sleeveless dress, even to a party, and I just don’t get the obsession with them. Your dress looks cozy and warm and gorgeous too.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I have the same feelings! I just don’t get it! I love how they show gals in bare legs, bare arms and stiletto heels too! If it were snowing or even if there were snow on the ground, this would be absolutely silly – not to mention dangerous! Good grief!ReplyCancel

  • Aura Oriano - What a cheerful looking dress! As someone who lived in SLC, I can agree that wool is a great bet for the dry, utterly crispy cold nights. Going to look for the pattern on ebay. If I can do it in another warm fabric, I’m in. Can’t do wool in Seattle, sadly. Great make!ReplyCancel

  • Manouela - Love your dress! I have this pattern and it looks too appropriate for me but your version is really inspiring! I might give this pattern another try now 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - I just ranted in my mind last week about the same issue. I live in New England. Why are there sleeveless winter dresses in our stores?!!! I think last year I gave up on dresses except for one casual dress I made from Malden Mills fleece. I also spent a lot of time thinking about maxi skirts I could line or wear leggings under. I love your dress, and I definitely think it’s work and holiday appropriate and just beautiful. I really like your color sense.ReplyCancel

  • Margo - I was just thinking this very same thing about winter dresses! After I went and made a SLEEVELESS grey wool dress. dumb or what? I guess I’ll be wearing it with a cardigan! Love your dress, warm and festive!!!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - I can definitely see wearing a sleeveless dress with cardigan though! This a great thought! I was considering some of the same as I have several lovely cardigans this year that would do well over a dress. Great idea!ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday Weekly #14 | Helen's ClosetHelen's Closet - […] Sunni’s bright tweed dress is a perfect outfit for fall.  I love the texture, colour, and silhouette.  Not to mention those boots! […]ReplyCancel

  • justine - You did a beautiful job! Very cozy, yet still streamlined! I agree that New Look has some great styles that are overlooked by most sewing bloggers.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni

      Sunni - Totally agreed! I rarely see anyone make any Newlooks and they are pretty decent patterns and they come in a great price range. Yay!ReplyCancel

  • Tomasa - Your dress is gorgeous on the outside and inside. I love it. It fits you beautifully as well. I too have often wondered about those skimpy holiday dresses during cold weather…ReplyCancel

  • EmSewCrazy - Haha! YES!! I totally agree with you! Where do these people live that wear those skimpy things? I’ve got some heavy sweatshirt knit that I want to turn into dresses. I’ve got a Russian wool coat that I want to turn into a little jumper that I can wear with a turtleneck and wool leggings.
    Staying warm, professional and cute is a challenge that you have mastered well with this one!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - I love this! What a great use of a beautiful wool, I am going to tuck this idea away for when I am finally ready to cut into some of my beautiful wools! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Now that is classy sewing. Beautiful dress, a classic that will you will wear for years.ReplyCancel

  • Hanne - That looks great, Sunni!
    I love the lining. It also happens to me that I have just enough left to squeeze out a pair of sleeves or a body… It’s a sweet secret if you have such a colourful lining in a very stylish dress!ReplyCancel

  • Joen - Dress looks great! love your fabric choice, thanks for sharing the lining info, will definitely look into the book you referenced.ReplyCancel

  • Elinor Walpole - I just made this up too- it came free with Sew Magazine a couple of years back and my mum picked it up as a gift for me. It makes perfect workwear- wish I’d nailed the fitting on mine as slinkily as you have on yours! I’ll definitely think about lining my next one, the neckline is so flattering that I’m sure there’ll be another. Here’s my version:

  • Jillian - Excellent fabric choice. This would be a great dress to wear to the office. So glad I found your blog!ReplyCancel