Category Archives: Work in Progress

Ms. Frizzle!

So one of my friends turned to me at the pub about two weeks ago and said, “If I wanted to be Ms. Frizzle from the space book for Halloween, could you help me with that?”

Ms. Frizzle’s Star Power!

Yes, yes I can.

Joann’s had the perfect fabric.


So then I had to find a shirtdress that would take a contrasting collar and the right look. Unfortunantly, we were in the transition between summer and fall pattern books and everything was short sleeve or sleeveless. That just won’t do for end of October in St. Louis. It may be warm, but it might be frozen solid. Butterick had one (1!) long sleeved shirtdress. One would think vintage is out again.

H came over on a Friday night and we worked to fit the bodice to her shape. Yep, needed adjusting, though Butterick tends to run shortwaisted, which is exactly what she needs.

The next morning, I turned my rough basting of the bodice into pleated and finished seams.

IMG_20131005_144044115 IMG_20131005_144058406

This particular pattern takes it’s bodice shaping from 4 sets of 3 pleats, 2 sets front and back. It doesn’t work so well with this large of a pattern: the breaks get really obvious up close. However…It’s a Halloween costume.


Adding the skirt makes the not-quite-eveness of the pattern show up more. Looking at my leftover fabric, I started cursing, because the grain of the print is at an angle to the grain of the fabric. Dang it. I don’t have quite enough at this point to recut the bodice so that it either doesn’t match at all or mirrors. ARGH. H says don’t worry about it, see: costume. Ok. At least that’s not another trip to the fabric store. I think adding a collar will help though.


Hey, that breaks up the pattern obviousness, and makes it a whole lot less dark! Score! Buttons and hem, and we’re done.


H has the yellow belt and the red shoes, and we should be done with the final costume sometime this coming week, which means I can finish up that other project with the star fabric that came in the mail a while back…

Draping in progress

Thursday’s mail held fabric. Shocking, I know.

I have a private commission for a dress due in late October. The way my process works is that I talk with a client, we discuss what they’re thinking of (occasion, colors, fabrics, styles), possibly we trade images from google back and forth, I make  a couple of sketches, get a down payment, and off we go!

This dress is primarily about the draping, so I spent a little time arranging it on Jane, my dress dummy, looking at fit and lines. And I remembered to take a progress photo!


This is a very rough approximation of the finished product, as I haven’t even cut the fabric yet. But I want it to have that one shouldered ease, the abbreviated open sleeve, ruched waistband, and a long skirt. The bare lines of this aren’t going to change a whole lot, just (hopefully) become more refined.