Boysenberry Pastry Blouse with a Secret Ingredient

This is a blouse I made from a McCall’s 1980′s pattern. I really do love vintage patterns. Truly I do. But I’ve been having trouble finding vintage patterns for prices that aren’t, well….ridiculous. And to be brutally honest, I spent $47 for this pattern (I’m very very very upset with myself too) and it has been lost in the mail. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? Yeah, that is definitely not happening again. In fact, I’ve banned myself from buying patterns online for awhile because of this. (Peter brought up a very good point and so as not to give this seller a bad wrap, Sandra from the Selvedge Shop completely reimbursed me! She’s been excellent to work with. I feel terrible that we both missed out on this gorgeous dress pattern) So, I’m content to buy patterns that I can actually get my hands on. That would be patterns bought from my local thrift store. And those can be quite wonderful as they are usually only $0.50 – $1.00, however usually they are from the 70′s or 80′s eras. I bought this one for $0.50. I’m a real sucker for this kimono sleeve look. I just LOVE it. I’ve bought a few other patterns with this kimono style thing going on. Love them too.

I also had a thing for this dobby dot stuff when it came out. I love the colors these came in. And the voile fabric is just perfect for summery weather. I mean really, this pattern and this fabric = a match made in heaven.

This blouse is also special as its donning some handmade buttonholes (aka, the secret ingredient). There are six of these babies. And though they may not look like too much, they are. These were a major feat for me. I’ve done one handmade buttonhole on various garments, but never actually done a whole shirt front with them. These were….involved. They are very beautiful, albeit not perfect, but I am still an amateur. I read about and saw the photos of these. I can’t compete with those, and that’s fine because I’m not a professional tailor. I will say that getting all the materials together for these buttonholes was interesting. There is nowhere around my neck of the woods that sells buttonhole twist or buttonhole gimp. I found some buttonhole twist here, however you can’t pick and choose the weight. For gimp I ended up using the buttonhole thread from Coats and Clarks. I’ll give you more details on how I made these and how it went in another post. For now, I’m rather proud of myself for even trying. Thank you very much.

Since I wanted these buttonholes to have bit of pop and zing, because they were handmade, I made them in a contrasting buttonhole twist. Adding the mustard colored buttons was just a bit of Penelope-esque fun, you know. I got the idea of sewing the buttons with the “crow’s feet” threading from The Sewing Bible. I seriously can’t recommend this book enough. There are great handmade details like this scattered all over in it. Buy it, you won’t regret it.

And there you have it. Ta Da! Hip hip hooray! It’s a Boysenberry Pastry Day! Say that with a smile – and give your beau a wink from me. He he he.

  • SPECinMnYerTRUM - I’m Hungry! Delicious!
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  • peter - Love the top. Wait — the pattern was lost in the mail: has the seller offered to reimburse you at all, for even part of the cost? I think that would be appropriate though if you bought it on Etsy, you might ask what their policy is around that. That’s a lot of dough.
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  • karen - Absolutely gorgeous blouse. I love the colour and the detail. Well done on the button holes. I’m not sure I will ever pluck up the courage to do a button hole.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I should have written (which has been ammended now) that the seller did reimburse me. She was great to work with! I’m so mad that I couldn’t have the pattern though. I really, really wanted it. So bad. OH the FATES!!!!
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  • alisonwonderland - I love it! The fabric is amazing. I am sorry to hear about the lost pattern. I would have loved to have seen what you would have made with it.
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  • Tasia - Great blouse – the raspberry colour is fantastic on you! I can’t believe you made handmade buttonholes, how ambitious! Look forward to the detailed post :)
    So sad about the pattern, that was nice of the seller to reimburse you, though I know you’d rather have the pattern itself!
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  • Jennifer - That blouse is beautiful! I love the fabric!
    I made your ironing board cover a few weeks back, and I could not be happier! It is so much nicer than that junk that comes on the ironing board when you buy it! I am going to do a post on my blog about it this week sometime and I am going to link back to you. I just wanted to let you know! :)
    Have a great day!
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  • lsaspacey - Too bad about that pattern! It’s gorgeous, I wonder if the movie she wore it in was Summertime or Desk Set, the clothes were great in those films.(Check out the links!)
    If you ever decide to try internet pattern shopping again, please check out my shop. I’m not getting into the business of selling patterns, I just have these 135, mostly late 1980s and early 1990 ones. Mostly Vogue patterns.
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  • Rachel - Oooohhhh I love it! The colour is just perfect! And I love the green belt with it. You look absolutely stunning.
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  • Cherri Porter - I’m sorry you had such a bad experience. I’ve had a number of things go missing in the mail that I’ve ordered as a buyer and as a seller I’ve had buyers not get a few things I’ve sold. Of course, I always reimburse people. But, what I’ve started to do is use delivery confirmation for everything I ship. I imagine the cost of delivery confirmation on every package about averages the cost of the missing packages over the years. I think the post office is just more careful with the delivery confirmation items.
    Anyway, I’m glad you were reimbursed for your item. And, the shirt in the photo is AWESOME. Definitely worth the trouble.
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  • Angela - Gorgeous blouse! Sorry about your lost pattern!
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  • Jana @ Weekend Vintage - I do love the pink and green combination!
    jana
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  • Belly - Beautiful, and the color suits you so well. I love Anna Maria’s voiles. I have a half yard of the dobby in light blue and I’m debating what to do with it.
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  • Abby - I love it!!! You are always up to something! The buttonholes sound daunting, but I would be interested in trying some because my sewing machine doesn’t do buttonholes.
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  • Janey - Love the blouse and lovely fabric. If you like this shape check out Anda dress pattern on burdastyle, it is a pattern on line but when you pay you get to download the pdf straight away so no danger of losing in post!! I’ve just printed my copy and I’m checking the stash to work out what to use. The pattern is very simple so I think lots of people could use it and make it look quite different by their different fabrics etc!!
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  • Blair Yuen - Hi SUNNI!
    Beautiful raspberry shirt, just beautiful! Such a rich color and such a perky pattern! You need to open up a boutique… I’ll be a regular; you can count on that!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh I’m so glad! I have two of those ironing board covers now and they are so great! They last a lot longer too!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Thank you! I had a sale that went awry as well! I’ve never had a problem with the mail before, but this was such a bad pattern to get lost. I feel so bad for the seller too!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I kept having the same problem! It was such a sweet fabric that I didn’t want to cut into it. It was finally time to pluck up the courage and make something with it.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - They really aren’t bad or hard to do, they just take alot of time and patience.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh thank you Janey! I will definitely be checking out this pattern!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Hi Blair! I’m so glad you commented! You are such a sweetheart!
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  • Pattern Junkie - Gorgeous shirt! What a tragedy to have that pattern go missing in the mail — my heart’s breaking!
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  • Jodi - The buttonholes are beautiful. I love the colour of this blouse and the cut is great. I wish I had that pattern!
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  • Sandra - Oh my god, those buttonholes are TO DIE FOR! You should be very proud!
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  • Beth - The blouse is gorgeous! I love the fabric and the buttonholes.
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  • Tasha - Found this post looking for examples of garments done in this voile. Your blouse is absolutely fantastic! Did you need to interface the button placket or collar? I plan a button-down as well but the print I have is a much lighter color so I’m deciding the best way to go about it.
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  • EmilyKate - I must admit that though I’m a hound for sewing patterns whenever I go thrifting, I’ve been turning up my nose at anything eighties in disgust! You make me want to take a closer look at them next time and use my imagination. I love your blouse and now I want one. Back to the thrifts this weekend!
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Stitching Spotlights 6.11.2010

It’s that time of the week again. Isn’t Friday such a glorious day? I have a wedding to attend and take pictures of and I’ve gotten a head start on the glorious Beignet from Colette Patterns. I can’t think of anything better than true love and skirt stitching. Well, except for maybe…..

This DRESS! One look and I was completely in LOVE! Meet Jessica from Green Apples and her stunning Space Age Cocktail Dress. Hop on over to her blog for more pics. I completely agree with her. What happened to all the bygone days of dressing up, in a dress, to go have a cocktail with friends? Next on my sewing list, a cocktail dress. You know what Adele Margolis says about those right? “You need a lot more ease in sportswear than you do in a cocktail dress. After all, how much movement does it take to lift a martini?” ~ How to Make Clothes that Fit and Flatter

Just got some of these too sweet for words buttons in the mail. I don’t know what I’ll make with them, but having them in my possession was absolutely necessary. I do think they would look rather darling on a blouse, or perhaps a flowery pin or maybe adorning a cardigan. As they are made of polymer clay, they are a bit on the soft side. But as they are so sweet, how is there any resisting? Visit TessaAnn for more.

Speaking of Adele Margolis, I just received her Design Your Own Dress Patterns book. I also have this lady’s How to Make Clothes that Fit and Flatter. Both are used and both are indispensible. When I received the Design You Own Dress Patterns book it had been loved by someone previously. There are some brochures from fabric mail ordering companies and a few sweet sketches of future designs stashed away in some of the pages. Doesn’t that just make a book so much more fun to read? I love it when someone has added their special (non-destructive) touch to a book.

Happy Creative Weekend to you!

  • Tasia - Jessica’s dress is so glamorous – love it! Definitely worthy of the spotlight.
    Have a fantastic weekend as well!
    Tasia
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  • Seemane - Ahhh…..! I have the same book by Adele Margolis! But, the one I have is the new 2006 reprint in paperback of the 1985 edition, which they renamed as http://www.amazon.com/Make-Your-Own-Dress-Patterns/dp/0486452549/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276283986&sr=1-3 (“Make Your Own Dress Patterns”, ISBN-10: 0486452549 /ISBN-13: 978-0486452548). It’s a really simple & straight forward prowse to read for a novice such as myself – so far I’m up to Chapter 3, page 53… “A pair of shapely dart legs” LOL!
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  • Jessica - I’m so flattered to be in the spotlight! I’m glad you agree that there need to be more cocktail parties – can’t wait to see your cocktail dress!
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Dollars in the Details

I love being able to take a pattern and do something creative with the details. Especially the details you don’t see or at least the ones you don’t see right at first. I finished the pocket lining and the inside facing of my Bella Sweet Slacks with this Nicey Jane fabric . I love doing stuff like that as it makes the finished garment such a treat to wear. It’s such a delight to look in my closet and see that little sparkle that makes me want to wear a garment.

I also have to say that there have been times when I’ve tried to do these sorts of details and they just did not work. Sometimes when you go too crazy, your garment can end up looking just plain crazy. For example, I made a pair of pants a few years ago (these I have unfortunately, thrown out) out of a beautiful dark grey pinstripe wool. The fabric was stunning, but the fit was bad. Not only that, but I used a light pink silk for the pocket lining. Very bad choice as the pockets became sort of an eyesore as that was the first thing you saw rather than just a little surprise you saw if you looked closely. The light pink was blaring and much too light colored for the fabric I had picked. Ever done something like that?

So tell me this, what makes it work for some garments and not for others? What about my Naughty Secretary Dress and the peekaboo turquoise lining? I find it fun and flirty and for some reason it just works. Same here, with these Bella Sweet Slacks. It seems that since the lining isn’t right in your face, it works. A little surprise if you look closely. What do you think? Are the details you don’t necessarily see more exciting if done with something special? I have noticed that sometimes these details are present in rather expensive clothing, maybe as something of a couture touch. What are some of the details you like to include in your sewing projects?

  • Belly - You’re so right. I’d like to know the answer to that, too.
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  • Stacyverb - Maybe it has something to do with the placement of the details? A peek of colorful lining at the hem = sexy, but a peek of colorful lining at the pocket = meh?
    I keep thinking I want to make contrast facings on skirts, or finish the edges of those facings in a contrasting bias tape, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m a bit lazy when it comes to the insides of my garments.
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  • Angela - Hehehe.. I’m not sure either, but I do not the contrast here!
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  • Abby - I loved seeing these cute pants in person.(A rarity these days.) And I must say, I did notice the fabulous splash of color in the pockets. So cute!
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Bella Sweet Slacks

I know, I know, it’s been quite some time since I posted a finished creation. I’ve finished up a few loose threads and now its time for some show and tell. My dressmaking groove is finally back which couldn’t be better news for my Spring/Summer wardrobe, which is in serious  need of refreshment.

A nice pair of denim dress pants have been on my mind for quite some time. I’ve wanted, and needed, some to wear to work. I got this idea into my head that I needed I high waisted pair too. I wanted to go for that vintage vibe, you know, that “I’m innocent and sexy at the same time” look. The Bella trouser from Burda Style fit the bill. I was around the online sewing community when these pants first hit the Burda Style front page. I also remember that my reaction to them at the time was one of sheer horror as I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to wear, let alone make, a pair of these. Let’s just say that my fashion sensibilities have definitely been broadened since that time and I am fully ashamed to admit I had any hesitation in making these and seeing them as anything but simply darling. If you don’t like them, fine, but let me just say that Mr. S finds me to be quite the sizzling siren in them.

About the pattern: Hmmm….I love the style as you know now. Everything went OK with the construction however the instructions were poorly put together. I looked on the Burda Style site at some other guest creations and I couldn’t believe that some people attempted this pattern as their first pattern in sewing and were actually able to make pants from them. The written instructions seriously do not make sense at all, and the illustrations are so small you need a magnifying glass to see them. I would rate the instructions at a 2 on a scale of 1 – 10. Does anyone else have this problem with Burda Style patterns, or is it just me? I also went down 2 sizes in these. I am a size 40 according to the Burda Style size chart, but these were enormous. Not only did I go down 2 sizes I had to take in each side an extra 1/2″ to get a snug fit. Moral: these are running big.

And how about them red buttons? Giving your garment a bit of zing with buttons is never a bad thing right?

Last but certainly very not least is my favorite detail. The corset-like waist. I kept getting the “have you lost weight” comment while wearing these slacks at work. I’m actually quite surprised at how slimming these pants look. I had thought that perhaps, they would accentuate my not so flat tummy, however these make my waist looked cinched in. Love that!

I feel really girly in these slacks and I think that’s one of the most wonderful things about this look. I mean, pants have a sort of masculine vibe and that contrasted with the feminine details of these pants are quite a powerful match. Have a look here for more takes on these beauties. I’m off to primp that hair and give those lips an extra coat of something sparkly.

  • Liesl - They are fabulous – they look great on you. I love the red buttons too. Nice detail!
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  • RepurposedGirl - Hey Sunni,
    those are gorgeous! Thanks for the tips on instructions and sizing too. I have these on my radar – I, too, had issues with high-waisted trousers, but I bravely wore a pair a few weeks ago and I got loads of compliments. I’m wearing them today, actually. Hurrah!
    Glad to hear you found your sewing mojo again… mine’s been gone for a while but I can feel it re-emerging :)
    rgx
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  • mj - These are so cute! My husband really doesn’t like high waisted paints, so I don’t know if I could get away with telling him to think of them as a corset. Probably if I attached suspenders…
    How are they as far as comfort once you’ve been sitting for awhile? Do they dig into your ribcage?
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  • Tasia - Gorgeous!! You’re right, they are super feminine and make your waist look super slim! Isn’t it fantastic when people are asking if you’ve lost weight? That’s the sign of a flattering garment for sure. The red buttons are a perfect finishing touch!
    You look amazing! :)
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  • Emilie - Your pants look really great and so girly! And the denim fabric seems to be beautifull. The result looks very “finished”, which is for me the greatest compliment! Well done!!
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  • Kat - Stunning! I would love some highwaisted jeans. I have never made pants before though so I might start with something easier first.
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  • Nikole - I have the same prob with burda, it’s not until i made my first pants and was well on my way with the second that i realized (i think that was a sign to always make a toile). I tend to keep my instructions in adobe and zoom in and try to use the pictures as a guide… whoever wrote them should be shot or at least made aware that the instructions don’t make sense.
    Great fit though!
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  • Brumby - They do look fabulous. I had these on my to make list, but after attempting the Jorinde Jacket from Burda and nearly poking a pencil through my brain to stop the pain of frustration at their appauling instructions, I have vowed to avoid them for another month or so longer for the sake of my sanity.
    I have whipped up a wearable toile for a Burda Magazine pair which is similar, I just need to make a couple of modifications to the fit for my body shape, and personal preference but otherwise an almost perfect fit ‘straight from the packet’. Seeing yours though I am thinking of making one more change to the back, so thanks for posting!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - Oh I’m so glad I wasn’t the only with issues with high waisted trousers. I’m really surprised at how well these were received when I wore them to work. Everyone loved them, which in turn made me even more confidant. I’m definitely a convert now!
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I have to say that Mr. S thought, for certain, that I was making myself a pair of Mom Jeans. He didn’t even want me to wear them. Then when I tried them on for him, he completely changed his mind.
    They are quite comfy, and they haven’t dug into my ribcage either, which I was worried about. They are definitely so easy to wear.
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  • The Cupcake Goddess - I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, they tend to make the sewing of the project so confusing which is sort of a drag since the patterns are rather stylish. Hopefully they get better with more time.
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  • Nikole - I have a couple patterns from before they switched websites and the old ones (pictures) are so much clearer but the instructions remain the same :(
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  • Marybeth - They are so flattering, and you look like a model in the 1st picture!!
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  • Angela - You look wonderful in those pants! Great job!
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  • Just-chic.blogspot.com - These pants are also on my sewing list, I love the high waist.
    I experienced difficulties myself in understanding Burda Style instructions, and after some time I gave up and tried to figure everything on my own.
    You did a great job!
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  • ellen - I have almost finished making these pants – and I completely know what you mean about the instructions. They seem all muddled up! This is something I have come to associate with Burdastyle patterns, unfortunately…
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  • RepurposedGirl - Re: whether they dig in – I find that mine don’t, because they come up to my actual waist, and finish there. They look much higher-waisted because we’re all used to seeing trousers that sit in the hips (or near the hips) instead, but actually they don’t come up to your ribcage (at least, mine don’t).
    Also! I love wide-legged trousers, but because I’m a total pear shape, wide legs blossom out over my bum and hips, and bingo – I look like a need a warning bleep when I reverse… With high-waisted trousers, though, because they start higher up on your torso, so the widening for your bum/hips is less immediate and more flowing curves than ‘back-of-a-truck’. Yay!
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  • Angela - I agree with Mr. S. The trousers are fabu! HOTNESSSSSS!!!!!!
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  • Adin B - I think that it is beautiful and it looks good on you! :) Great job on that!
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Stitching Spotlights 5.28.2010

I’m wishing you all a very long and wonderful weekend with lots of sewing and new adventures in dressmaking. It will be a super long weekend for me as I’m taking Memorial Day off and the day after. Much sewing will be done. I’m almost finished with a simple blouse from a vintage 1980′s pattern and trousers are next up on the list. Happy, happy sewing.

This week’s spotlighted creation is from Threadsquare. I love the fabric she used for this Coffee Date Dress. I’ve liked this pattern, but haven’t seriously contemplated making anything from it yet. I love this rendition in swiss dot, but then again, I’m a serious swiss dot fan. Oh and those shoes are perfection, as is the belt. So so fabulous! I’m already thinking of my own swiss dot coffee date dress. Completely inspired… and jealous that it’s not mine.

I’ve been trolling around looking at tailored buttonholes and found this gent’s beautiful photos and posts of some of his gorgeous handmade tailored buttonholes. Oh my goodness! This is definitely love at first sight! Simply breathtaking and such an ornament for a coat or jacket, let alone any other garment. Definitely have a look at his video and have a read here for more on this art. Haven’t been able to find buttonhole gimp, but here is a site that sells some lovely buttonhole twist in superb colors.

I’ve been contemplating rompers lately. Found this sweet vintage pattern for $1.00 and am seriously considering giving it a go. Summer is just around the bend and I think it will be the perfect complement to warm weather.

And there you have it! That’s a wrap of a week. Some strawberry shortcake definitely in the forecast this weekend along with a nice long soon to be summer nap. Happy weekend.

  • Tasia - Oh, the featured dress is so lovely! I haven’t made the Coffee Date dress yet but I want to and this version is gorgeous!
    Rompers are so not my thing, I’m a skirt and dress girl for sure. I bet you could rock it though, that vintage pattern is pretty adorable.
    Have a fantastic long long weekend and happy sewing :)
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  • Alison - I love the short green version of the romper and would love to see what you do with it And those buttonholes are amazing! I love that when they are crafted so well like that they can completely take the garment to the next level.
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  • zoe - make the romper make the romper make the romper make the romper make the romper make the romper make the romper make the romper! You’ll look so awesome! xxx
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  • The cuckoo is a pretty bird - You make me feel like sewing! ALL DAY LONG! Only I can’t as my feral children prevent me by crawling all over me. I am going to have a stab at making the play dress you made a while ago. You look sensational in green. I saw you featured in SEW! magazine and I can’t remember if that’s how I found you or if I found you through a blogland link, but regardless you are in my fledging blogs side bar because I think you are just so bloomin’ brilliant x
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  • Alex - I have that romper pattern! The illustrations are so cute that I want to make one even though it would be a lot of work (especially because I’m very new to sewing) for a garment that I would almost never wear. I got it from my mom’s attic stash – she said she made two of them back in the day. Coincidentally, I just finished my first dress from a pattern–a coffee date dress. The dress itself isn’t totally my style but it was a very good project to learn with.
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  • Adventures in Dressmaking - Those are cute rompers. I see them everywhere this year! I’m not sure I can pull it off…
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