Tag Archives: vintage


sunshine forever dress



The name for this dress comes from the colors and the amount of time it took me to complete! It was completely worth the work, especially when Jason and I went up to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. What an amazing place, perfect for an afternoon of flowers, photos, and a cool bottle of rosé.

sunshine forever dress sunshine forever dress monkey antics

sunshine forever dress sunshine forever dress sunshine forever dress back

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This dress has my favorite shades of yellow! It’s so much fun to wear, and of course very comfortable. The skirt is made out of a sheet that has an awesome floral paisley pattern with hidden hearts. I’ve had that fabric for about 3 years, never sure exactly what to make out of it. In February a friend’s tenant gave me the white fabric. It was also a vintage sheet that had been torn in half. It has yellow roses and curls and it couldn’t be softer. It’s an awesome juxtaposition with the first fabric, from the color balance to the formality of the design. I made bias tape in a silky marigold fabric, slightly darker than the yellows in the sheets, which gives the design some structure. It was the only material I bought for this dress, bringing to total cost to about $2.

sunshine forever dress sunshine forever dress sunshine forever dress

I was planning on lining the bodice because I was afraid the white would be too transparent. I spent hours getting the pink cotton to fit just perfectly, only to eventually realize that there was no way I would get the lining and the white fabric to line up perfectly. It turned out that the white fabric was thick enough that you can’t see through it, and I don’t even need the extra support of the lining to wear this dress without a bra. It’s also cooler without the extra layer of fabric, and this way I get to feel the soft white fabric against my skin. I’m sure this would have been easy to do if I’d used a pattern, but damnit, I didn’t want to use a pattern!

sunshine forever dress front detail sunshine forever dress invisible zipper

I’ve got front and back darts that make the bodice fit perfectly but still gives me room to move and wiggle. I put in an invisible zipper at the back (from my mom’s stash), and just about got the print to line up on either side.

sunshine forever dress pocket of wine sunshine forever dress pocket of wine sunshine forever dress at night

The pockets are made out of the same silky polyester as the bias tape. They are set into the side seams of the skirt, which are slightly forward. Like always, I made sure that they are deep enough to carry bottles–this time wine fit! They completely conceal cans, which is important since there are open container laws in California. Although I designed it as a sundress for riding my bicycle, it also works great at night with tights and a cardigan.

Check out this video I made cataloging our day in the flowers!



get your gear in order!


Talent and know-how play big roles in any project, but supplies are also important. At the very least, the appropriate tools make a project easier and more fun!

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My dad recently sent me a new foot pedal for my machine, and in the box there was also a pair of Gingher shears. I love these scissors! I thought the scissors I was using before were pretty nice, but since working with these shiny babies I’ve come to realize what crap I was cutting with before. Spring loaded, stainless steel, with a lovely gold snap to keep the shears closed…oooooh! I’ve developed a habit of whipping them out and snapping them open and shut to hear the sharp metal sound, and I swear I walk around with them like a gunslinger.

I also love my snap pliers. It’s quicker than sewing in snaps, but more than that, it gives the snaps such a nice touch. The grommet snaps are more expensive than their sew-in sisters, but totally worth it. Another fun resident of my sewing box is my extra-long needle set. Admittedly, I don’t use the 12-inch needle too often, but every once in a while the perfect project comes up, usually in the form of upholstery or pillow making. At the very least, whipping out one of these can be quite useful in impressing a point on someone.

sewing box

Speaking of sewing boxes, I love mine! I got it years ago at a garage sale and can’t imagine parting with it. Vintage sewing boxes are so much roomier and functional than the new ones I see at the fabric store. There’s space in the bottom for shears, stabilizer, patterns, notions, and so much more (I always keep hand creme with my sewing supplies). The top tray has so many little compartments that help me keep my space organized. Plus, I love the gold quilted exterior. They don’t make ’em like this anymore, too bad for the future generation of seam masters.

One last bit of wisdom! Every couple weeks I like to clean the lint out of my sewing machine. My machine always works much better when it’s lint free, and yes, I also like to clean things. I remove the bobbin plate and get in there with the little brush that came with my Singer, but today I grabbed Jason’s can of compressed air and with shining eyes blasted all the little linty bits out of the machinery. It was glorious! I even unscrewed the top of the arm cover and cleaned in there, which I usually do every few months. Now my machine is as clean as ever!

Happy making everybody!


white striped sundress


I made this dress a few months ago but am just getting around to posting, now that it’s too chilly to actually wear the thing… The fabric is from an awesome vintage sheet that I had sitting around my collection for about a year, and I based the pattern on a dress my mom made me many years back.

I love the fabric because it’s cool and breezy, but not so thin that it’s transparent. The fit is fabulous and I don’t feel the need to wear a bra with it (cha ching!)

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It’s pretty simple, no pockets or anything. I used an invisible zipper, so the stripes look really great from behind too.

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