Pool Table Southport Dress


When I told friends I was making a pool table dress, they thought I meant a dress for a pool table. Some fancy covering or other. Nope! Just a green shot cotton dress with some 8-ball buttons I picked up along the way. All I’m missing is a cue stick necklace.

In any case, another Southport Dress by True Bias! I finished it earlier this month and have worn it a few times already. It’s so easy to slip on and go about my day, which unfortunately doesn’t consist of shooting endless rounds of pool (I’m not so good at it anyway).

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Tropical Colette Chantilly


Hi, everyone! Here we go again, another summer zooming by and I haven’t gotten through all the projects I wanted to tackle this season. Still haven’t made the shift to fall sewing though, so you’ll probably be seeing a few more summer outfits before I finally face reality. :)

In any case, here’s my latest creation: a tropical Chantilly dress by Colette Patterns. These photos were actually taken a few weeks ago, the day after I left my job. Then I left town for a bit before starting my next super awesome gig this month. Things have been busy, but happiness abounds.

I realized this isn’t a hard blog post to write because I already reviewed the Chantilly in this post from 2014. So…no more delays – write that post, Amanda!

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I Found the Old McCall Building!

I spend a good amount of time in my day job as an architectural historian using old photos to help tell the stories of historic buildings and the people who lived, worked or otherwise spent time in them. So one day I took on a personal project and searched for sewing-related images.

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You know what first clued me in to searching for photos of the old McCall Building? I was about to head into Mood when I happened to spot faded “ghost signs” across 37th Street. See them in the photo above? Windows have since been punched into this side wall, but at one time the sign was very hard to miss. Scroll to the very end of this post to see what the building looked like over a century ago.

So, yep, at one time, McCall’s was right in the thick of things in the Garment District!

All photos and captions are from the Museum of the City of New York‘s digital collection. These were taken by the Byron Company in 1913.

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Gathered Butterfly Skirt

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I loved this silk chiffon fabric the second I spotted it at Mood here in the city. Maybe because it was back in cold and snowy January, and this looked happy and springy to me.

Even though I bought two yards (60″ wide), I could’ve easily gotten away with buying just one yard for this gathered skirt. And, honestly, I really only used two-thirds of a yard anyway. Kind of kicking myself now because the fabric was a bit pricey, but maybe I’ll turn the remainder into a dress…

I cut two pieces that were 24″ long and about 28″ wide (including seam allowances). I used the gathered skirt of the Sewaholic Cambie dress as a guide, but I ended up going with 1/2″ seam allowances instead of 5/8″. I feel like gathered skirts can be somewhat tricky for rectangular figures, at least on me. It’s a comfortable design for summer though, so why not?

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Simplicity 5554, The Newport Dress


My first attempt at a 1970s pattern, big collar and all! I was a little hesitant about that feature at first (and even traced a more standard-size collar), but I was swayed in the end. If I can be true to the original details of a vintage pattern, I will.

In all honesty though, the view I picked (view 3) is not over the top at all. I’m pretty sure I found this pattern – Simplicity 5554 from 1973 – at a thrift store in Virginia, a magical place full of patterns that only cost 25 cents a piece. The thrift store that is, but Virginia is pretty magical too.

There doesn’t seem to be a review of this pattern on the internet, so I’ll provide some more details. I’m also happy to be contributing my first project to the Vintage Pledge challenge run by Marie of A Stitching Odyssey!

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