Tag Archives: dress




I’ve found myself reconsidering commercial patterns over the past few weeks. There are so many nice Muse Dresses, although it was Kristin from Very Prairie who finally inspired me to reintroduce that pink tissue paper into my life. Despite (or because of) its popularity Butterick 5130 is no longer in print, but I was able to find a copy on Etsy.

muse dress

As lovely as this dress truly is, it’s a little more romantic than my style. Although all the reviews mention how clever the pattern is for using the seam allowances as casing for the elastic, I threw that whole concept out the window and opted for highly visible exterior casings.

muse dress

I decided to use a bright color, and this red cotton jersey from Fabric Planet is perfect. Not too orange, not too pink. At first I was hesitant, because a red dress is very A Red Dress. Like, “I’m a fabulous WOman and I wear red dresses out for brunch with my gal pals!” I do not need to get my groove back, but apparently I have room for a singular red dress in my wardrobe anyway.

muse dress muse dress

I wanted the two colors to coordinate without matching. I was aiming for a slight clash of colors, and I think the purple/red combo is a perfect juxtaposition, rather than head-on collision. Obviously, aqua stitching was a must.

Like nearly everyone else, I added a waistband to make the dress less like a nightgown.

The pattern calls for a moderate-stretch knit fabric, but since the dress is made to be about three times the size of the wearer, I don’t really think the stretch is so necessary. I bet the dress would look nice in a woven silk/cotton blend, and I think it would totally work. I’m also considering a maxi length. Although I normally consider that style to be too much dress, I have an intriguing image in my mind. Maybe with shorter sleeves? And a printed skirt?

muse dressThe dress was very comfortable for a long day at work, although the lack of pockets was a problem. Of course I’m smart enough to add pockets, but the weight of my phone would make the dress pull and sag in a very strange way. This probably wouldn’t be a problem for a less-stretchy jersey. The pattern instructions were very easy to follow, although I didn’t really follow them. To allow for the gathering, the pieces are all insanely wide, so you can’t really skimp on the fabric requirement.

If I hadn’t done all those fancy casing and top stitching, the dress would probably take 3-4 hours to make. I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I would make this pattern again. Husband-in-training Jason likes the dress, but I don’t think I need more than one of this very distinctive design. And looking at these pictures, cute as they are, I’m not in love with the dress. I felt very aware of the dress all day, and I didn’t know how to accessorize it (if you consider shoes to be accessories). If I were to repeat the pattern, I think I’d feel compelled to give away this first dress. Doesn’t that sound promising to all you bloggerellas?




It’s been a while since I made anything for Jordan, and she’s been so good lately that I thought she deserved a new dress. The original plan was to make one for each of us, but the growing pile of sewing projects on my bedroom floor (plus the shrinking space in my closet) encouraged me to just sew one for her and wear it vicariously.

sweater dress sweater dress sweater dress

sweater dress

In retrospect, the weight of the skirt stretches out the bodice, so I wish I had made the top smaller.

This cozy dress is made out of a poly sweater knit from Fabric Planet; I think it’s $8/yd. The fabric is 100% synthetic: I put it in a purple dye bath and there was absolutely no color change. Ah well, the brown is a good color on Jordan, but it’s part of the reason I opted out of having one of my own.




Just in time for fall! My new sundress! But since I live in Los Angeles, I’ll be wearing this at the beach while y’all are freezing your butts off. And how about those new glasses, right?

indian summer dress indian summer dress indian summer dress

I’d been eying this cute floral cotton since we got it in at Fabric Planet months ago, and as we got down to the end of the bolt I finally figured out what I wanted to make. I made my own own pattern, and it was very easy. Starting out, I wasn’t sure if this shape would be flattering on me, but I think the careful waist placement keeps it from looking like an ill-fitting sack. It’s nice to have a breezy casual dress!

indian summer dress detail indian summer dress detail indian summer dress detail

The whole thing slips over my head, no zipper. The waist band is made up of two drawstrings in separate channels, which helps to define the waist and makes the dress look a lot more polished. The faux-placket is a silk-cotton blend, which has a nice subtle sheen. These adorable wooden heart buttons are also from Fabric Planet, and although they’re a little more saccharine than I normally like they were too cute to pass up. Lastly, the yellow trim is bias tape I cute from a light-weight cotton.

Thanks to my future husband Jason for taking some really great shots. And yes, that’s right, we’re getting married! Yay!

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