Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spring dresses

This past week it's been -28 oC in the morning and snow flurries in the forecast.  It's been a long, long winter with record low temps and snow amounts. However there are spring shadows shaping up when the sun does make an appearance and that's been putting me in the mood to make some spring dresses.

A dress pattern that appeared in Sew Beautiful magazine issue #80 way back in 2002 has been on my bucket list for, well, I guess the past 12 years. I like the bateau style neck, the non-puffy sleeves and the raised waistline. The dress is called Pascale and was designed by Laura Jenkins Thompson.

Since there's no time like the present, I found some mauve micro-check cotton in my stash and finally, at long last, made a Pascale dress.

The dress came together beautifully and easily.
Instead of white piping, I went with a greeny-yellow colour and made self covered buttons too.
There wasn't enough fabric to make a wide sash so the thin one will just have to do.

I made a decorative hairband too to go with the dress; grosgrain ribbon with a purple pansy.

I am more than pleased with the outcome of the dress as it fits well and it was so easy to make.

For the next two dresses, I used the "Tinny" pattern from Straightgrain.

I have to say that whenever I hear or see the word 'Tinny' I think of our aluminum fishing boat we fondly call The Tinny.

For the first Tinny, I used Aneela Hoey fabric called Walk in the Woods and used the pleated skirt style from the pattern.
I made two belt loops to hold the red leather belt I bought her from Nordstrom.

When I initially made the dress, I felt the hem wasn't long enough and overall it might be a tight fit.
Before I put in the sleeves, we had a 'fitting'.

Good news .. it fit!

So I put in the sleeves that I made a little longer than indicated on the pattern but simply created a thin rolled hem.

For a hairband decoration, I made a little fox face in felt and stitched it onto some grosgrain ribbon.

For the second Tinny dress, I used the circle skirt that's included in the pattern.

The collar was inspiration from the dress Rachel made made from the Belgian book Stof-voor-durf-het-zelvers.

In discussion with Rachel, she suggested using Oliver + S pattern Playdate dress, and using the bib section, play with it by folding into pleats.  So in other words, the collar flap piece was a deep U-shape and folded into pleats.
I cut mine out smaller than hers with fewer pleats and tried it on before adding the sleeves.

It fit and looked okay!!

I put in the sleeves but was annoyed at myself for not adding some length to the hem.  Using a 3mm rolled hem foot on my machine, I made the hem.

I didn't make matching decorative hairband much to Miss C's chagrin.

Duly noted and I'll get on that right away!


  1. Well, look at you go!! HILARIOUS .... I can't believe you slacked on the hair accessories. Sheesh, you better get right on that :). Sweet dresses....all three!

  2. Gorgeous Deb, three beautiful dresses.

  3. Love all three of these, Deb - you've inspired me to finally cut and paste my Tinny pattern :-)

  4. Beautiful sewing! Love the dresses. Funny you should think of your boat when you see the word Tinny- it's also Aussie slang for a can of beer :)

  5. Oh Deb, these dresses are beautiful! The headbands are amazing! She looks well on her way to spring weather. (I wish we were here too!)

  6. Great dresses! I just cut out a Tinny yesterday. ...and the headbands are great!

  7. All three dresses are charming! I particulary love the Pascale. I've had the magazines and even bought the pattern from SB but still have yet to make it. I'm glad that you think it was an easy to sew style. It sure has lovely lines! Love the Red Riding Hood fabric, too!

  8. Beautiful dresses. I really extra love the first dress. That is the kind of dress I would love to make for my daughter. I bought one copy of Sew Beautiful last summer but hadn't made anything for her from it yet.

  9. Falling down on your job, are you?lol;) All the dresses are beautiful, Deb!

  10. You did a fabulous job on all the dresses. Love everything about the first dress; really fits her well! That Little Red Riding Hood fabric is just the cutest. I've been wanting to get some of that designer's fabrics for ages now.

  11. These are all gorgeous. I love the belt with the second dress and your collar on the last one is divine. Love that origami vibe.
    Glad I'm not the only one who thinks of a aluminium boat when I hear tinny! I always laugh thinking of this TV show" Two Men In a Tinny" (it would have to be an upgraded pattern to fit two blokes in one dress!)

  12. They all look great! Love the matching hair accessories!

  13. Just discovered your blog :-). Your dresses look very nice and I also like your knitting posts! I recently also made a Tinny Dress (