Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Domestic Life of a Polka Dot

If you’re having a sick day and need some reading, definitely read about the history of the polka-dot. I’m not promising sex appeal or anything like that. Revel in the technical language used to describe the mundane. Admit to yourself that you’re vaguely curious about how polka-dots came to be but could never justify taking the time to find out. Continue reading

T-shirt Turned Onsie

This project started with a bright green, long-sleeved t-shirt that had been sitting around for years. I bought it years ago because of the bright green and the silky tie gave this unisex style some feminine sass. Continue reading

How to Sew Buttonholes on a Mechanical Sewing Machine (Necchi 3537) With Pictures

I once overheard a woman in a fabric talk saying that she’d never buy one of those books for ‘complete idiots’ because that’s a horrible thing to say about yourself. Initially, I laughed (silently) at her sincerity about the perceived self-destructive nature of idiots guides. Now I think she may have had a point. I won’t call this ‘buttonholes for idiots or dummies, or any other derogatory name. I’m thinking ‘buttonholes for the sophisticated sewist who can’t quite figure them out.’ Continue reading

‘Blooper’ or The Curtain Dress

Who doesn’t love the idea of making a dress from a curtain? Julie Andrews and Elizabeth Taylor both did it so why can’t I?

No reason. So, I gave it a try. During that learning process of 2012, I thought it would be a great idea to buy a curtain or sheet from GoodWill and use it to make a dress. I figured that materials purchased from GoodWill would be cheaper than anything I could find at a regular fabric store. I also grew up on The Sound of Music and I had romantic notions about wearing something that used to hang by a window.

With ‘My Favorite Things’ ringing in my ears, I set out to GoodWill to find a quaint looking sheet or curtain that would become my handmade dress. Upon arrival, my idealistic vision began to falter. My handmade dress really couldn’t be a faded Mickey Mouse print, nor did I want it to be a plain pastel. Where were the velvety green drapes that could be worthy of a southern ballgown? Where was the bright green plaid that could make a perfectly cute summer dress? Then there was the issue of price. A discarded sheet from GoodWill was a little more expensive than anticipated in my idealistic vision.

Finally, I found a flowery curtain that was decently priced. It was fairly thin (I would definitely need to line it) and felt like it would drape well. I bought the curtain with subdued enthusiasm; this would not be the masterpiece of Julie Andrews or Elizabeth Taylor. I told myself it was a practice piece but who starts a project hoping that it will be mediocre?

This Simplicity 9778 pattern was stashed away in my pattern box: an adorable ‘junior’ pattern that didn’t end up being a good fit for my mature body. The pattern of the fabric and the style of the dress were definitely not a match: this style of dress needs a smaller design. After sewing in the zipper, I tried the dress on and I knew that I would never wear it.


All that said, my sewist’s soul was happy. I successfully cut out the pattern and got the right size, I made adjustments so that it fit my smallish waist and my larger hips, and the invisible zipper lived up to its name. I learned that a petite dress like this needs a petite fabric design. The time and money (all told, not more than $15) was well worth the experiential learning.