More button ups...the Deer & Doe Mélilot

First of all, thank you guys all so much for your kind words and support. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful friends that I've "met" through the internet. You all mean so much to me. I've been kind of hiding just how bad I was really feeling in my online presence, so it feels good to just get everything out there. When I first started sewing, I really had no idea, just how much it would impact my life. It's been such great therapy for me, but it's also been such a great tool for connecting with some really fantastic people. 

Secondly, now that you all know what's been happening with me, you'll be able to easily excuse my terrible bed head in the next few posts. LOL. My hair looks okay from the front, but it's kind of a mess everywhere else. Sometimes dry shampoo can be a blessing and a curse. LOL

Anyway, let's get on to one of my favourite makes of the summer: the Deer & Doe Patterns Mélilot blouse.

I bought this pattern just after it was released, because I loved the short sleeve version. I love a good button up shirt, and this version looked like it would be perfect for spring and summer. I've made a couple of short sleeve Archers in the past, but I found them kind of masculine, like I was wearing one of John's shirts, or almost uniform looking on me. I think the cuffed kimono sleeve of this pattern, keeps the shirt looking more feminine and modern, so that's what really drew me to it.

Anyway, I was super excited about it when it came, but then it just sat on my sewing table for months. I think the idea having to muslin a new shirt pattern was a bit daunting for some reason. Anyway, that was super silly because this pattern fit me really quite well straight out of the envelope. 

I haven't made a lot of Deer & Doe patterns (even though I own a ton of them, and have heard nothing but great things) so I wasn't 100% sure what size to start with. I ended up picking a size 42 based on the Finished Garment Measurements. I love when designers include the finished measurements! It helps so much! 

I traced the pattern and compared the pieces to my Archer pattern. By doing that I knew it would fit, so I cut into some gorgeous pinstriped hemp chambray I had in my stash, which (of course), came from Blackbird Fabrics. (Do I shop anywhere else? I promise I do, but I feel like when I'm typing up blog posts, I'm always mentioning Blackbird. LOL. I'm a Blackbird Fabrics addict!) Anyway, it feels almost like linen, but it was super soft right off the bat like chambray. Thumbs up for natural fibres. 

So this is a straight size 42 with no adjustments. As you can see, the fit is almost perfect, but it's pulling slightly across the bust and it's a little tight across my upper back. It's doesn't look too bad everywhere else, although I do find it is a little snug around my belly as well.

Also did you notice my huge mistake? I put the buttonholes on the wrong side!! Oops! Not really a big deal, but it should be the opposite. Anyway, once this shirt was finished, I wore it for 3 days in a row (including one day with a hilarious button up failure), so I knew I needed to make another one right away.

For my second Mélilot, I decided to make a straight size 44.

I think the size 44 fits really well, but it might be slightly too long. I almost feel like I need a size 43. Something right in between the two sizes I made.  Anyway, it is a bit long for me, but I really don't mind. I think it will tuck in nicely to skirts at this length, and if I'm having a day where I want to be super comfy,  I can throw on leggings with it, and not feel super self-conscious because my butt is covered. 😜

This fabric is a gorgeous striped chambray, that came to me all the way from Bangkok from the lovely Meg. She made her husband a shirt out of this fabric, and I ooooo'd and ahhhhh'd so much about it, that she offered to send me some. We ended up doing a fabric swap - sewing friends are the best - and you can see what she made with the fabric I sent her here.

Anyway, I feel like this shirt is extra special because the fabric was a gift, not to mention that now Meg's husband and I have matching shirts. LOL. I'm super happy with how it turned out, and I have been wearing it a ton as well. 

I should also mention that this shirt is a pretty simple make. The mandarin collar, the fold over plackets (which I believe are called french plackets) and kimono sleeves make for a super quick sew. I think the thing that takes the longest is making all those buttonholes (well and sewing on the buttons, but I always do that by machine because I'm lazy). The pockets are totally lined, which is a cool little detail and helps you to sew the curves at the bottom much neater.

I love the shape of this blouse. I think the curves make it very flattering, and I can't wait to make a bunch more of them. In fact, I've already made a third one, and I'm planing a couple long sleeve ones for fall and winter too.

So what do you think? Have I swayed you to buy yet another button up shirt pattern? Ha ha! I'm a pattern junkie too. Anyway, if I did, you'll notice that Deer & Doe are temporarily out of stock, but I did hear (from the lovely @shar_bozz) that you can buy it from Pattern Review, and I'm sure there are other stockists too.

Thanks again friends! Happy Sewing!

A little about what's been going on with me...

I feel like I've been writing this post in my head for quite a while but for some reason, I just haven't sat down at my computer to type it all out. I can't believe it's been a month since I last blogged! Honestly, it's been a bit of a tough summer for me. I really haven't felt very well since we lost Quincie at the end of June. The energy in my house is so much different without her, and I miss her more that words can say. I know that you fellow animal lovers, and pet people will understand. And I think that you all know just how important my little fur balls are to me. I love all my pugs, but Quincie was a very special, not to mention high-needs pug. She demanded a lot of my time, care and attention, but for every little bit that she took from me, she always gave back twofold. I was very connected to her, and while she couldn't talk to me, she always seemed to know when I needed a little extra love and comfort. She was like this little beacon of light, always by my side, and always there to love me completely and to make me smile. She never let her handicaps get her down, and she was a true example of how will power and determination could get you past anything (well almost anything). Anyway, our little grumble is starting to get used to her not being around, and we know that even though we can't see her, she's still here in our hearts, but it's been tough.

And then, I got that huge flare up of (what I now know is) psoriasis which wasn't fun, but I didn't realize just how much impact it would have on my life. I thought it was just a rash, and with some medicated cream, it would clear up. Well, the rash did clear up, but because psoriasis is actually an auto-immune disease, it pretty much sucks all energy out of you (well it did me anyway). I have spent a lot of days just lounging around watching TV and feeling like I was carrying a 20lb bag of concrete on my back. There have been days where I felt like I wouldn't be able to make it out of bed to feed the pugs, let alone do anything else. (I am happy to report though, that although I felt like I wouldn't be able to get up and take care of them, I always did, even if it meant going back to bed or to the couch straight after). My joints have been sore, especially my knees, and the fatigue has been like nothing I've ever felt before. It's so strange to feel so tired and run down, with really no other symptoms. I mean, that kind of tiredness usually accompanies a cold or the flu, or jetlag, so you know what's causing it. We went home to Calgary last week, and I saw my doctor and she ran a slew of blood tests, but I don't have the results back yet. She didn't seem overly concerned, so who knows if anything will show up. It's probably just down to my immune response and the inflammation it caused. I'm sure it will get better.

Now before you get too depressed, and feel too sorry for me, know that mixed in with those terrible days, I have had some good days too. Days where the tiredness isn't so bad, and days where I feel almost normal. So I have been able to get some sewing in, and even some cooking and jam making, but it seems like I have to really budget my energy, so blogging (and getting all prettied up and taking photos) is one of the things that really got put on the back burner. 

Anyway, I know that things could be much worse, and I also know that there are lots of people out there dealing with worse things, but I wanted to share what has been going on with me. I have been so grateful for my family (especially my super supportive husband), my view of the lake, my two remaining pugs to cuddle with, Netflix, Instagram (I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the sewing community is the best and all of you guys have been so kind and kept me going)  and sewing. Even when I only had the energy to sew for a few minutes, it always made me feel so much better (and still does). I am starting to feel a bit more like myself again, and I hope to get some more blog posts up soon. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

PS: I do have a post up on the Califabrics blog if you want to check it out. The post went live last week, but I made those pyjamas (and wrote the post) back in July, so it seems like a long time ago. The pyjamas have been getting lots of wear! Hooray for matching pyjamas!

Just a quick one....

Hey guys! This is just a quick note to tell you that I've posted somewhere else! I've sort of been keeping it on the down low until my post got published, but I have recently joined the Cali Fabrics blogging team. It's a really great group of bloggers, and the fabrics I've tried out so far have been fantastic too. Anyway, no pressure to, but if you want to go and check out my first post, it's there.

And if you don't want to go check it out, I'll just tell you quickly, that I made a beautiful (if I do say so myself) kimono for Katie (she just had a baby, so I wanted to make her something pretty), and here are some quick shots of it:

Oh also, in case you're wondering about the details, basically, I get an allowance (which doesn't include shipping - kind of a bummer for us Canadian bloggers because shipping costs so much) every 10 weeks, and then I get to choose whatever fabric I want, make whatever I want with it, and then write a blog post about it for the Cali Fabrics blog. As always, I promise to keep it real and tell you exactly how I feel about the fabrics, and if it ever gets to be more work than fun for me, I'll stop doing it. The owner of Cali Fabrics (which is actually a one-man show online fabric store), Ron, is a very down to earth guy, and he seems to be on the same page as me, which is why I agreed to join the team.

Anyway, I'd love to know what you think about this, so feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Happy Sunday!

Hot Patterns Weekender Boyfriend Jeans - The Quest Continues...

Hey Everybody!! How are you all? I'm doing alright. I'm still not feeling 100%, but I'm getting better. The dermatologist knew exactly what my skin issue was: psoriasis (I know right, yuck! And lucky me 😏 it's an autoimmune disease so when my skin flares up, I feel the inflammation all over my body with aches and pains). Anyway, it's kind of a relief to finally know what's going on, and the doc gave me the stuff to get on the mend, (and bonus: it seems to be working. Yay!). It's taking some time, but things are healing and I'm slowly getting back to normal. Phew!

So this post has been a long time coming.  John took these photos for me almost a month ago, but even worse, I made these jeans back in January! January people! Why haven't I posted them in the last 8 months??! I have no idea. Ha ha!

Anyway, these are the Hot Patterns Weekender Boyfriend Jeans, and I made them before the Morgan jeans were even released, and then once I made the Morgans, these kind of got cast aside. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I dug these out again, as I do like the fit. They need some minor adjustments that would make them even better, but really it's a very well drafted pattern.

These are a size 14 and they are made out of a 10oz stretch denim. I'm not entirely sure where it came from as I didn't mark it down in my notes, but it's leftover from a pair of jeans I made John. The only real adjustment I made to these was to shorten the legs by 2 inches, and I straightened out the front crotch curve slightly. As you can see, the front crotch is a little to long for me. I really love the rise though, it seems to hit a little higher than my Morgans, but still comfortable. Anyway, if I make these again, I'll just pinch that extra depth out. Lauren has a great photo of  that adjustment here (it's close to the bottom of the post), if you're interested.

I do see in my notes (yes I keep notes for every project I make, and I'm so glad I forced myself to make it a habit) it says that I tried these on without the waistband, and they were a little bit too baggy, so I increased the seam allowance at the side seam by 1 cm (3/8"). So I probably could have gotten away with making a size 12. 

The other thing I did, was distress them a little. This was the first pair of jeans I tried distressing on, and I didn't actually decide to do it until they were already assembled. So I just took the sandpaper to the legs, which gives them a bit of a worn in look and also softens up the denim. I think they came out well.

So there you have it. FINALLY! It's hard to say which of these boyfriend jeans I like better (these or the Morgans), because I like different things about each one. The Hot Patterns jeans, have very minimal instructions, but you could easily just follow along with the Ginger Jeans sew-a-long and your jeans would turn out just fine, so don't let that scare you. I think the Morgans are a bit more of modern cut, and I know that both of these are called "boyfriend jeans" but honestly, they're really just what they used to call a relaxed fit jean. Super comfy and super stylish. I've been wearing my Morgans pretty much non-stop (my second pair) and I'm in the process of making myself a white pair. So maybe that's your answer. I seem to be reaching for the Morgans more often. 😉

Also, I should mention that I'm wearing a Union St Tee here too (scooped neck, elbow length sleeves in size medium) made from more gorgeous cotton jersey knit (the exact colour seems to be sold out, but it's just like this one) from L'oiseau Fabrics

Anyway, do you like boyfriend jeans? Have you made a pair yet? Which one's your favourite?

Ogden Cami & Emerson Shorts: Pattern Testing for True Bias

Hi Everybody! (Does anyone else hear Dr. Nick's voice when they read that?) How's your week going? I gotta be honest, I've been better. I am fighting some kind of skin thing (yes like Grandpa Simpson in the previous clip, I have skin failure). I'm not entirely sure what's set it off, but it's some kind of allergic reaction or something, and I am finally going to see a dermatologist on Tuesday for it. Anyway, it's been really sucking the life out of me over the last couple days, hence all the references on Instagram to having a Stranger Things marathon. It's not just because that show is frighteningly addictive, it's because I just haven't had the energy for much else. Anyway, lucky for you it's not too noticeable in these photos (the camera has a way of smoothing out my skin somehow), so let's get on with talking about the TWO new patterns from True Bias.

Before we go too far, I need to let you know that Kelli did end up making a few adjustments to both these patterns before they were released, and the garments in these photos are made from the tester versions of the patterns. I believe Kelli added a tiny bit of length to the cami as well as a little bit of ease at the bust, and she added some length to the crotch curve of the shorts/crop pants. 

So let's start with the Ogden cami. I knew I would probably need an FBA, but I was hesitant as I didn't want to add a dart. In my experience, if I choose my size based on my Full Bust Measurement, then the garment always ends up being much to big in the shoulders for me.  I knew that with this pattern, the shoulder fit would be quite important so that the straps wouldn't be too far apart and constantly slipping off. Anyway, I wanted to keep this a nice and simple cami, so I looked up a couple of tutorials on how to do a dartless FBA, and it just looked like too much work for this lazy sewist. So I decided to try another cheater FBA (like what I did with my Sway Dress). Basically, I chose my size based on my upper bust measurement, a size 10, and then graded to my full bust measurement on both the front and back pieces, keeping the size 10 armhole height, and then back to the size 10 for the waist, hip and length. 

I'm really happy with how it turned out. The fit is pretty much perfect for me. I love the shape of the neckline, and I feel like I can wear this cami on it's own and not feel overexposed. With a lot of camis, I feel like I have too much cleavage and skin showing when I wear them on their own. This one is light and breezy to wear, but gives enough coverage that I don't feel like everything is hanging out. Apparently, I'm getting quite modest in my old age. Ha ha!

I should also mention that I realize you can see a lot of bra in these shots, but I think that might actually be because of this bra style. Currently the only bras with black straps I have in rotation, are my newest Marlborough bras. And I think I actually need to adjust that pattern a tad. The straps are quite far set for me, and as I wear them more and more, I am finding that I wish the straps were a little closer to the centre of my body. The straps actually dig in a bit right at the spot where my arm joins my body, so if I made a small adjustment, the straps would probably blend in a bit better with this cami (and be much more comfortable). Anyway, maybe I should do a bra making post one of these days, but I digress.  I can honestly say that the Ogden cami is a great pattern, and I see many more of these in my future. It's a quick sew, and doesn't require a ton of fabric, and it will be a great wardrobe staple for me year round. I'm also thinking it would make a great slip, if you lengthen it a bit, and I've also been thinking about what it would take to make it in a knit. Hmmmm....

Okay onto the Emerson Shorts. You wanted to see a close up of my bum right? I thought so. The photo above is a tester photo I sent to Kelli, but I included it so you could see a close up of the fabric. It's so lovely but I think the colours muddle a little in the distance and I wanted you to actually see the print. It's a gorgeous rayon voile from LA Finch Fabrics, and it sooooooo soft!! Perfect for the Emerson shorts, and I have a little bit leftover which may turn into a matching cami too. Hello summer pajamas! I should take a moment to give a shout out to LA Finch Fabrics. This fabric (along with a couple others) was my first purchase from them, and the service was great! The shipping was speedy, and all the fabrics I ordered were exactly as described (great quality and beautiful!!). So if you're looking for some lovely fabrics, go check them out!

Wow, I'm just blabbing all over the place today, aren't I? Anyway, I ended up making two pairs of Emerson shorts. The first pair, the rayon, are super soft and lovely, but as I've mentioned before, I am not a pro when it comes to sewing slippery fabrics, so while I was super happy with how my first pair of shorts turned out, I wanted to make a second pair in a slightly more stable fabric to make sure I was really giving this pattern a thorough testing. Plus I need shorts, so I knew it wouldn't hurt to make another pair.

Both pairs are the same size, a size 10. I chose my size based on my hip size, which is what I normally do with elastic waist bottoms. I really like how both of these fit, but I think a size 12 would have worked well too. I think one of the best parts about sewing, is you can play with fit and ease to get different looks. I do have plans to make another pair of these and I might make a size 12 just to compare. 

I scooped out the back crotch curve slightly, which is pretty much a standard alteration for me with any type of pants/shorts. And by the looks of that last photo, I really think I should try a Full Seat Adjustment one of these days too. I read this post by Anya after I finished these, and I was like, what? I need that. Lightbulb moment! Anyway, back to the shorts. I really love how the pleats turned out in this crisp, cotton seersucker. I think they look really sharp, and I've found that these shorts just get comfier and comfier as the day goes on. Hooray for cotton!

I've had this fabric in my stash for years now, and I don't know why I saved it for so long. It's super cute and perfect for summer shorts. It might be a bit hard to tell, but it has cute little pink skulls embroidered on it. It came from, and sadly, I don't think they have it in stock any more, but they do have some similar fabrics if you are interested. I really love these shorts and I have been wearing them a ton. I have plans to make the crop pants as well, but I'm still deciding on the right fabric. Anyway, the shorts (and the cami) are a quick and easy sew. You can easily whip them up in a day, and as always, True Bias pdfs go together like peas and carrots. 

This is quickly becoming my summer uniform. It's started to really warm up around these parts, and having light and flowy pieces to wear is perfect!  If you were to drop in on me, you'd probably find me wearing this outfit or one of my pairs of Carolyn pajamas. Yes, some days I stay in my pajamas all day! Hope you all are having a lovely week, and if you are looking for something to binge watch and get all nostalgic about the 80's and Winona Ryder with, watch Stranger Things! (But maybe do it in the daytime, while sewing, or cuddling pugs, if you're a big scaredy cat like me.)

Thurlow Shorts and An Archer Popover

Hey Everybody, how's your weekend been? I've spent the last week in Calgary, and it's actually been quite rainy, but there was a little sun mixed in, so not too bad. And to be honest, the rain has really suited my mood. We lost our sweet little Quincie about a week and a half ago, and while the pain is subsiding a little now, I miss her terribly, and I have not been feeling like my normal, happy and positive self. I have also really not felt like blogging (or doing any type of socializing for that matter). John took a bunch of photos of me in 3 different outfits, just before my last post, and I had every intention of writing two more posts for last week, but I just haven't had the energy. Plus it seemed wrong to post photos of me looking so happy, when in reality I feel the complete opposite. Anyway, I have thought a lot about writing more about Quinice, and maybe a tribute post to her, but I just don't know if I will. I sort of want to keep all the special things about her to myself. Not because I don't want you to know more about her, she was amazing, but because I want to keep her in my heart, and writing something like that feels like letting go. I'm just not ready to let go yet. Sometimes I pretend she's in her little bed next to me, because thinking about how I'll never see her little face again is just too hard. Anyway, I'm obviously getting a little emotional here, and it's not my intention to drag you down, so let's get onto the sewing stuff.

I thought I would hit two birds with one stone here and show you not only my new Thurlow Shorts, but also, an Archer popover I made a few months ago (and because of some poorly placed buttons, you also get a little peak of my me-made bra too). 

There isn't too much to say about this Archer, it's got all the same fitting changes as my regular Archers, and I didn't really have too much trouble with the placket. It's just like a sleeve tower placket, only bigger. My only regret is that I wasn't more careful with my button placement. Sometimes I just follow the template and that isn't always the perfect placement for me. It works out better if I put the shirt on and plan where the buttons should go. Oh well, it's not that big of a deal and it will definitely not keep me from wearing it. I should also mention that the fabric is a Liberty Tana Lawn that John bought me when we were in London about a year ago. Of course I couldn't find the print on the Liberty website to link to, but I think it's called Lotta A, and the designer is Lotta Niemenen. It's a really pretty print

Sorry for the wrinkles, but I had been wearing these for quite a while before we took the photos.

Okay, onto the shorts. You may not know this, but I've actually made 2 pairs of Thurlow trousers (last year), and I really like them both. One I made as is, and one I made with a skinny leg. I've never blogged either one, and I'm not entirely sure why because it's a great pattern and it fits me really well. Anyway, it was a natural choice when I was looking for a good shorts pattern to try.

I have never really been a shorts girl. I always want to wear them, but I never seem to be able to find a pair that fits right. They're either too long, or way to short, or too loose in the leg, or just right in the leg and too tight in the waist. Ugh!. I have never really been able to find a pair that's flattering on me. I can remember being on holidays somewhere and trying on a ton of shorts, and after coming out of the change room in several different pairs, even the boys (my 3 stepsons) were like, "hmmmm...maybe shorts aren't your thing". LOL.  Of course now that I sew my own clothes I was keen to give shorts another try. I've made some elastic waistband pairs before but I really wanted to make a "real" pair. And by real, I mean a pair with a proper fly and waistband, and pockets. Anyway, when I googled Thurlow shorts, I spotted this pair by Caroline and that sealed the deal for me.

I started with a size 8 (sidenote: this took some trial and error when I first made the Thurlow Trousers, as my measurements put me in a size 14 waist and a between a size 6 - 8 hip, so I recommend using the finished measurements to help you choose your size), and I scooped out the back crotch curve by 1/2". I probably should have shortened the legs a bit but I kept them longer but with a deep hem in case I want to cuff them later.  I also decided to leave off the back welt pockets. Part of that was due to laziness, but more so because I hate how fabric pocket bags get wrinkly and you have to continually iron them, and even then, they never seem to look right after a wash or too. I played with the idea of patch pockets, but with this fabric I didn't think they seemed right. 

Speaking of fabric, this is a lovely tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. This colourway is sold out, but there is still a really pretty plum, grey and black in stock. This fabric is super soft and lovely to wear but it does really up the dressy factor on these shorts (at least in my opinion). Especially paired with this Archer, I feel quite businessy. Do you now what I mean? I've actually been struggling with what to wear with these shorts as I would like them to be quite casual, but they don't really go with any of my tees. That really hasn't stopped me from wearing them though, as they are super comfy, but next time I might pick more of a cotton type fabric, or even a denim maybe.

The only other change I made, was to do a button at the front instead of the hook and eye closure. I like how the button looks, and again, I wanted these to be a bit more casual. Oh and one more thing worth noting: with this pattern the fly is actually on the right side, instead of the usual left. I actually think that's how women's trousers are supposed to be, but with jeans, most pairs have the fly on the left like men's. Anyway, it's not something that bothers me at all, but if it bothers you, and/or you need a little extra help with this type of fly, you should check out Lisa's post. Lisa is a fly master and her post is so helpful!

So there you have it. Thanks for reading, and I have to say it feels really good to have this post written, and it's helped me to feel a bit more normal again. I know that I sound a bit forlorn, but losing such a big presence in my life, and really, such a big unconditional love, has been really tough. And while I know life goes on, I am really trying to make sure that I take time to grieve, and to just be sad. Anyway, I promise I won't be depressed forever, and thank you to everyone who offered me a bit of love, and a kind word or two on Instagram and Facebook. Hope you've had a great weekend! (I'm very much looking forward to getting back to the lake tomorrow.)

Papercut Sway Dress

Hi Everybody!! I finally managed to get some pictures of my Papercut Patterns Sway Dress. I realize that it is crazy sunny in these shots, and I might blind you with the sun reflecting off my white skin, but when the mood strikes and your photographer is willing, you gotta go for it. And really I think the sun is making my skin look really nice, who knew the sun could actually hide flaws?

I made this dress to wear to my youngest stepson's grad back in May and my original plan was to get some photos of it when we were out in Nova Scotia, but it ended up being way too cold. It was quite crazy actually. It was raining, and windy, and super humid so there was no way I was taking off my jacket. LOL. Anyway, not a big deal as the grad went exactly as planned and we were thrilled to watch young Jack walk across the stage. Anyway, back to the dress.

I really hummed and hawed over whether to make a new dress or just wear one of many already in my closet. But of course at the last minute I decided: new dress! Then naturally, I couldn't decide what pattern to make. I thought maybe a Flora, or a Belladone, but neither of those seemed right. Then I spotted the seemingly perfect dress on Instagram. I couldn't believe that it was a Papercut Sway dress, which really, was nowhere on my radar. Rachel (of Boo Dog & Me) posted two beautiful versions on Instagram and I loved them both instantly (the other one is here). Doesn't she look gorgeous?!? I loved that she chose to make a wider fabric belt to really cinch the dress in at the waist, which gives this dress a completely different look than the pattern images online (at least that's what I think anyway).

Talk about a quick and easy sew! I think the part that took me the longest was the hem. I am not a big fan of hemming circle skirts, mostly because I'm really no good at it. I can never get the hem to be flat - it's always ripply. First I tried just pressing up the seam allowance and then stitching, but that looked horrible. So I unpicked it and used hem tape hoping that would work much like a bias tape hem (which I've had lots of luck with on other garments), but hoping the hem tape would be less stiff to match this fabric. Alas it didn't turn out much better, but I wasn't going to unpick it a second time and honestly, I didn't have time to redo it. And really who's going to notice anyway? Next time I will just do a rolled hem with my serger I think.

I haven't made very many Papercut patterns (even though I have several in my stash - Bad Heather! Make up those stash patterns!), but with the couple I have made, I have found that they fit quite big. So even though, my measurements indicate that I should make Medium, I went with a small, and I think the fit is quite good.

I knew that this dress is basically a giant triangle with a belt, so I really wasn't too worried about fit, but because it's important to have the bust fit and not hike the entire front of the dress up, I decided to do a bit of a cheater FBA and I graded to a medium at the bust. I didn't want to do a regular FBA because one of the great things about this dress is that it's reversible! You can wear it with the vee in the front, or the back. I really like it both ways, but right now, I am prefering the vee in the front. I also figured, that it would be super easy to slim down, if that ended up making the bust area to big. 

I really wanted to make a super wide self-fabric belt, but unfortunately, I didn't have enough fabric. I was able to make the belt a little wider than drafted though. I cut two pieces at 3 inches wide and the full length of fabric. This makes for a really long belt, but I wanted to be able to wrap it around my waist twice (if I wanted too - a girl needs options right?). While it wasn't exactly what I envisioned, I'm really happy with how it turned out. You can wrap it once, tie it in a bow, and leave the tails a bit long, or wrap it twice with short tails, like I have it here.

I really love this dress, and I feel fantastic in it. It's really comfy, and I think I look really pulled together (read: grown up) in it, plus it's so fun to go to an event in a dress that you made yourself. The other bonus: after a big fancy dinner (like the one we had the night of the grad - hello lobster!) you can just loosen the belt a little and still be super comfortable. Score! Have I mentioned the fabric yet? Did you notice the giraffes? Very Anthropologie-esque right? Well, it's from...I know you'll be shocked...Blackbird Fabrics! I've had it in my stash for a while, but I thought it would be perfect for this dress, and I was right! It's actually a poly crepe, and before you turn your nose up at the polyester part, you should know that Caroline really only picks the best fabrics, so if she's carrying a polyester in her shop, you can trust that it's great. It's not plastic-y at all, and did not even pretend to melt under my super hot iron. If you want to hear more about it, check out this post on the Blackbird Blog.

Okay polyester PSA over. Wanna see this dress without the belt and me doing some awesome action poses? No, you don't? Well too bad, it's my blog and I'll dance if I want to. LOL

So there you have it, my Sway dress. I love it, and if you're wondering whether or not you can jump on the sway/trapeze dress bandwagon, I say: yes you can! You may need a belt, like I do, but it really doesn't make it any less comfortable. Okay maybe a tiny bit, but remember you can always loosen the belt if you need to (it's like undoing your top button, but far less people will notice). 

I hope the sun is shining where you are, and making your skin glow too!