Monday, April 9, 2012


Back on March 24th & 25th, I spent the whole weekend at SquidWhale H.Q. learning how to sew a dress from a commercial pattern with Maggie, the Bad Twin, Lindsey, the little sis, Mom, a.k.a. Record Lady, and Beth, my SquidWhale buddy. This was my first attempt at making a garment. It took quite a long time, there was some frustrating moments, but it was an incredibly rewarding experience. I found that sewing doesn't require talent really, just time and lots of patience. And when you're done, you get to enjoy the unique satisfaction of wearing something you made. Here's the story of making my first dress at the inaugural DAMN SEWFISTICATED event... 

Our fuel:

{cheese & crackers, citrus & berries & apple cake}

{french press, a bit of the bubbly and sugar from a whale planter}

The girls: 

{The Bad Twin trouble shooting the bust of her 1940s dress}

{Lindsey pressing the skinny straps of her adorable patchwork plaid dress}

{The two faces of my beautiful mom, Cindy, at her very first sewing machine from the 70s}


{still-life with in-progress dress, my pattern directions and Enhabiten pincushion}

{admiring my seams, just before I realized I f*cked up and had to rip them all out}

{ripping seams; a frustrating end to day 1}

A little vintage mouse mascot Maggie brought me sat atop my sewing machine for luck. Here he is wishing us a good night as we left for the evening: 

We made our way on foot up Broad St. from South Philly to the Ritz-Carlton - classy! :)

{view from our hotel window, Chestnut St. 18 stores below} 

{exhausted mom on a cot in our room} 

{even though we were exhausted, we went down for one drink in the hotel lobby (above)}

To make a long story slightly shorter, day 2 of Damn Sewfisticated was kind of a bust. We barely got any sleep because we were buzzing on coffee and stayed up super late giggling in the hotel. We put in a pretty long day, but none of us were near finished. Beth and I came in for a third day and I got so close!:

But, it took a fourth day at my mom's working alongside Maggie to get to finish my dress. There I made my first button holes, put on the buttons and hand-sewed the hem. Here's the finished dress!:

As soon as Maggie finished, we did a little photoshoot in my mom's backyard in front of her beautiful forsythia bushes. Brian was an excellent photographer! It was nearly impossible to not smile with him behind the camera (iphone):

{dress by me, vtg linen blouse, bandana by Last Prize, tights & belt by J. Crew, vtg boots by Cole Haan} 

{we're in love with our dresses and each other!}

{See!? She's the bad one.}

Life after Damn Sewfisticated... Well, I pretty much wear my dress almost every day and planning on making a few more as soon as possible! This has pretty much been my view:


{With new fabric from Spool, my new favorite store! It's a dance party all the time there! (At least when we're there...)} 

{At a transfer fair at Delaware Community College} 

Now all I want to do is SEW! In addition to a few more dresses, I am working on these right now:

 {tank pattern, also from Spool}

{The fabric I bought from Spool to make tanks. I am so adventurous, non?}

{first tank pocket in progress}

{tank in progress with antique ticking fabric pockets & button placket}

{Some fabric I bought to make another dress, hilariously identical to the shirt I was wearing at the time} 

Stay tune tuned for more sewing posts. I expect my mom, Lindsey and Beth to finish their dresses soon! 

Happy Monday!

The Good Twin


  1. I love your story line! Great shots of our progress and frustration, especially mom, hehehe. Love the pics of our great snacks, our walk to the Ritz, and especially your "i wear the same thing everyday" shots! Good luck on your new projects! I'm about to start my Kentucky Derby dress (and Hat!!!) LOve you!

  2. What a fabulous blog Sarah!...Thanks for documenting our sewing weekend with such love, and so many great pictures...What a very satisfying weekend it was for me...Not only did I get to knock off work, I had a chance to sew...something I loved so much in my youth...and I got to share the rewards and challenges of sewing, with my three wonderful and artistic daughters, (and of course, the beautiful and talented Beth, as well)...And while I thought I'd be helping these relatively novice seamstresses, it so happened that they were turning to each other with questions...which was an interesting phenomenon for me...They liked having me there, but it was clear they could go on without me...and honestly, that's a pretty great place to be...Congratulations Sarah on finishing your gorgeous dress...I'm so happy you have added sewing to your long list of things that make you happy...I love you so much!!!...and I promise to finish my dress soon...<3 Ur Mom