Friday, July 22, 2011


There comes a time in every woman's life where the shops just don't have what they are looking for. 

That's not the time to give in and take what they have to offer. It's the perfect time to get Sewfisticated!!
Here's the step by step process of me making my first handmade dress. 

Lambert’s Plaza
735 Morrissey Boulevard
Dorchester, MA 02122-3406
Phone: (617) 825-2949
Monday-Saturday 10AM – 8PM
Sunday 12Noon – 6PM

Sewfisticated has three locations in the Boston area. They have everything you need but you'll leave with so much more because it's so cheap. I had Good Twin on the phone helping me to choose the fabric. It was a hard choice. 

I bought this outrageously adorable 40's pattern from Midvale Cottage on Etsy. She had this one stocked alongside hundreds of equally stunning patterns. It was only minutes after I opened the carefully preserved  envelope and started to lay out the pieces that I had a problem. I found I was missing some pieces.
I expressed my total desperation with Midvale Cottage!

 Then I read the directions.

Sun Dress: cut parts 1,2, and 4 through preforations; discard upper half.

I put my tail between my legs and wrote an apology to Midvale. She was so sweet and supportive in her response telling me that older patterns sometimes assume that you are capable of making things like belts and facings and that it was a normal practice to have to cut out one pattern piece from another. 

 I vowed to follow all the directions after that. Following the directions were not so simple.  The general instructions held the key. They pretty much looked blank to me.

My copy of Vogue Sewing, an encyclopedia of sewing, and You Tube tutorials kept me from quitting before I even started. 

000 indicates fold. 
Had to try that one twice before I got it right. 

My first gathers. Now that I can make my own ruffles - watch out wardrobe - custom ruffles all around!

Basted the binding. 

Bound buttonholes are awesome. They are a great looking alternative to a sewn buttonhole and not actually that difficult. I depended on my hand sewing skills here. 
The buttonhole above was a test run.
The one below is finished. 
If you look closely you can see where I "stitched the ditch."
( you can also see sleepy Winnie the cat)

Pockets are key. 

Luckily I bought more than enough fabric so I didn't have to master the art of piecing my binding, I just cut a continuous strip. I took a practice shot at a mitered corner and then I reinforced the neck of my dress. 

Some handy work...I'm more confident stitching by hand and it made me really connect with the dress. 

The commitment cut! Is there a such thing as too short??


D  R  U  M     R  O  L  L     P  L  E  A  S  E

Get used to this look 'cause it ain't ever coming off.


oh! I forgot! I need some killer shoes to go with this...

help me choose! (click the pictures for links)
Jesse James Jake's Blonde Strappy Leather Platforms
Crazy Lace Vintage Cut out Booties

Sweet Clothes of Mine Lemon Espadrilles 

Jessica Stark Weather  Red Green and Gold cork sandals


  1. Sew cute! (Sorry, I had to.) Really--you did a fantastic job. I love the fabric you chose. Well done!

  2. oh my! Your dress is adorable!

    Nice work!

  3. Great dress. And it looks stunning.

  4. So proud of you! Congrats on this huge accomplishment! I am inspired to make my own dress now, though I would love to have a matching Maggie original, too!

    PS: Go for the last pair of shoes! LOVE!

  5. Squeal of delight!!! What a fabulous result - super cute, I am so impressed! I agree about the bound buttonholes, so classy. Your choice of fabric could not be more perfect. Congratulations on such a superb dress.

  6. Looks fabulous :) I really like shoes 1 and 4...