Tag Archives: stretch




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?




Yippie ki-yay y’all, we’re off to the Glitter Rainbow Rodeo!

rainbow fringe leggings

rainbow fringe

Obviously it was hard to pick just a few photos! Jason is a great photographer! But I think the two above are my favorite.

rainbow fringe rainbow fringe leggings

rainbow fringe leggings rainbow fringe leggings

rainbow eyes I don’t think I need to even say it, but this is my most favorite outfit ever. If you’re coming to Lightning in a Bottle keep your eyes out for the rainbow mess that is me. Complete with rainbow eyelashes! Whenever Jason goes away on a business trip without me, he brings back fabulous makeup things.

rainbow fringe waist

These pants are perfect for dancing cowboys or Indians! They’re disco-tastic, super comfortable, and make me feel absolutely awesome. Seriously, you cannot stand still if you’re wearing these leggings.

Some people are afraid of tight metallic pants, but I’ve always felt like they glossed over parts of my body that I’m less comfortable with. From my experiences at Burning Man, I get more attention (from men and women, sexual and just plain awesome) with glittery fabric stretched over my body than when I’m completely nude. Which all adds up to say that you don’t have to have a perfect body to look perfect in metallic lycra.

I think this is my favorite waistband yet. It’s super comfortable and super sexy. Yeehaw!

rainbow fringe leggings

I used a very stretchy silver lycra for the pants. The fringe is made from 5/8″ strips of foldover elastic, which comes in a million bright colors and has a great flow to it. The ends are all seared to prevent the elastic from fraying at all. The gold strip isn’t really functional, but I think it gives a nice fly attitude to the leggings.

As usual, all the materials came from Fabric Planet. As for the inspiration, there’s no telling where I get this stuff from.

I’ll definitely be using this same technique to make different color schemes. In the meantime, go ahead and order a pair on Etsy!

Of course I made everything else in the outfit too (except the amazing pinwheel), but you’ll have to wait a couple weeks till I have all that posted as well.

rainbow eyes rainbow pinwheel disco ladybug




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.

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