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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Stylearc Marilyn dress and another sewer

We are on our way home from a very nice family wedding in Washington DC. 

My son's brother-in-law got married and since we have become not just the outlaws, but friends, with my daughter-in-law's parents, we were invited.

The wedding was in the backyard of the house and really lovely. As an event it also gave us a chance to connect again with people and family we don't see often enough and that alone was worth any trip.

Here is my Marilyn dress by Stylearc in silk charmeuse in a sort of teal, and because I ran out of fabric, the sleeves are lined in navy. 

I wasn't crazy about sewing with this fabric, something that pressed better might have made nicer ties, and although I lined the body of the dress in Bemberg lining and the dress had enough structure, the hem should have been bound or something to add more weight. I did a far bit of fussing over this fabric until I finally realized that what was really bothering me was that I felt this was immoral yardage.

I had originally bought this fabric for my youngest son's former girlfriend to wear to a wedding, but when he broke up with her, I was left with the fabric. She's a very nice girl, clearly they didn't have enough in common, I get that, but she was a nice girl, and this fabric has been looking at me for a while now. So here, a couple of years later I decided to make use of it but it didn't feel entirely right to me. 

Maybe that made it hard to press. What do you think?

Anyway this ended up a two-toned project and I handled this with a navy necklace bag and shoes. Yes I know it is entirely inappropriate to go so matchy but since I had to pinch hit in the navy, this made me feel better about that:

Not the best picture again, taken in the hotel room, and it did crease when I sat down. I also cropped out my bare legs. I don't care what anyone says about never wearing stockings but I think my well travelled legs are not looking as smooth as they used to. From now on we are dressing up with stockings.

Back to the pattern. 

Really this is as easy a dress as you can whip up in a hurry for an event and easy to make. I am not sure I will ever wear it again, suspect the sleeves will date pretty quickly, but it was super comfortable for an in-house wedding.

Now onto the people.

My son from San Francisco was there of course with my nice daughter-in-law, and  also my DIL's grandmother who is nearly 97.

This lady lives on her own, always brings wonderful cooking with her when she visits, and pretty much is the life of the party.

She also sewed a lot in her life, ran a dress shop and did custom work in Philly for many years, and we always talk sewing. 

These days she doesn't use her machine much but she still does hand embroidery, particularly pillows of members of the family and their pets.

Here is an arrangement of some she made of the family on a bench at the front door:

Pretty cool eh?

Now the party is over I am anxious to get home to see Miss Daisy and the rest of the family and to start planning some Christmas sewing. There is some rumour going around I am making the grandchildren matching flannelette nightgowns and PJs for Christmas eve.

Some planning to do.


Anonymous said...

hmmm, immoral yardage seems harsh, maybe "disappointment yardage" . The final product is striking and fun with the necklace. Flannel nighties and PJs sound like a lot of fluff to be cleaned out of your machine in the new year!


Kay said...

I love those pillows! She sounds like a really fun woman. I almost said "fun grandma" but just because she's 97 doesn't mean she's more grandma than woman. :-)

Oh, and I love your dress. I think the blue sleeve lining brings it to the next level. It's not just another cold shoulderish dress, it's a fashion statement.Very pretty.

BarbaraShowell said...

I snickered at the "immoral yardage" but I agree disappointment yardage may be a better description. I loved the dress and the pillows as well.

SuzieB said...

This is the dress pattern I've been looking for forever! Made in a much more casual version for me-
Yours is lovely with the navy contrast. You must have pressed forever because the seams on the silk charmeuse look perfect.
Would this pattern work in a fairly stable knit? With changes to the sleeves to reduce bulk?
The pillow creator sounds like a fun lady!

valerie carisella said...

Stockings! I am with you on this one! I can't believe all the dress patterns I leave behind because of this issue. No more leaving the dresses behind, stockings it is! :)

You look fabulous in dress!


Scenic Route said...

This is lovely--and I sooo like the color combo. Well done! I hear you about the stockings. Once summer's tan leaves, I don't like to go bare legged. I have a rule about trying not to scare the grandchildren. Black tights are great in cooler weather, but what about in between? My 30-something daughters tell me pantyhose are out. However, some research revealed that Princess Kate has brought nude pantyhose for day wear back around. Off black only for evening. This said, I don't exactly have Kate's sort of duties, day or night. I am searching for a new "uniform" and hope to blog about one of these days.

Vancouver Barbara said...

You and your dress look great. I have no idea why silk would be so hard to press. It's maddening though when that happens. Good luck on the Christmas sewing. I imagine it will be fun.

Jane M said...

What a wonderful color combination and great wedding look. Yes, the fabric story might make you a little disappointed but now that you've given it a new life you can enjoy the transformation. I did notice that very sheer stockings were showing up in London last month which gave me the impetus to go on a mission since I too have a family wedding coming up this month.

Donna DeCourcy said...

I really like the navy/teal combination. And those pillows are beautifully done. Although family celebrations are wonderful to attend, getting home is always something to special, too--especially to be greeted by Miss Daisy. I notice a lot of my friends are wearing a casual dress with those cropped tights with ballet flats. That look is probably out, but I am now coming around to it--except for the fact my feet are always cold. But, I definitely like stockings with a dressier look. Is it my imagination that they have increased considerably in price lately?