McCall’s M7313 Part 1: Always a Grooms Maid, never a Groom.


Love the color. Never wore it again.

In late May I will be a “grooms maid” in an old friend’s wedding. He and his fiance are perfect for each other, especially in that they are both very thoughtful people. They decided that the wedding party dresses could be any black dress. Since I’ve bought my fair share of David’s Bridal “one-time wearables”, and then donated them, I think this is an extremely thoughtful move! No strapless, flouncy, or “bridesmaidsy” requirements! Plus, If you are a weekend sewist like me, a black dress will hide a lot of sewing sins! (Argh! Why didn’t I name this blog, “Sewing Sins?” What an amazing name!)

I looked for a pattern with a similar fit as some of my favorite RTW dresses and I finally settled on McCall’s M7313 flared, pull-over dress. Admittedly, I am not ready to face zippers. Instead, I am going to bank heavily on my black, neoprene “scuba” fabric and stretch lace to allow me to pull it on over my head. The pattern is really good for a knit beginner. There are only 4 simple pattern pieces and 6 pieces of fabric to put together the dress. If you want more shape you are going to have to add it. This should be a pretty easy-to-alter little pattern! My vision is a simple black lace overlay dress with the sleeves as sheer black lace only. I chose the D versions with a lower neckline and 3/4 sleeves. That should work for a May wedding in St. Louis!

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Book Review: May Martin’s Sewing Bible


While most of my novels have been converted to e-book in an effort to minimize “stuff”, I still have several shelves full of art and reference books that are no good to me in e-book form. I feel the same way about sewing reference books. Sewing is a tangible art and I need the diagrams and photos to be tangible too! The tagline for this book is, “40 years of tips and tricks.” As I have almost exactly 1 year of sewing experience, this tagline really appealed to me. I’ll also admit I am a sucker for books that have beautiful photo layouts like and ribbon book-marks like this.

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Made with Moxie’s Prefontaine Shorts

I thought I would be clever and start sewing shorts before “shorts season” but by April it was already 80 degrees in St. Louis. We had a mild winter and I judge it that way because I did not get one snow day! As an adult, snow days are even more precious because they are so rare. Plus, I just love snow! Now, back to the sweltering summers. Sigh.Madewithmoxie

But, wait. Look at these babies! Made with Moxie created a pattern for super cute Prefontaine Shorts for Women sizes 0-24! They are available in her Etsy store: That Moxie Girl. If you google image search “Prefontaine Shorts” you can find several bloggers who have made them as fun as they want or as reserved as they want. There are a lot of great ideas out there!

Shorts are not easy for me to find. I have finally figured out that I need a 5″ inseam on my shorts, no more, no less. With a 3″ inseam it look like my crotch is eating my shorts as they ride up my thighs. I also want fun shorts that really make my plain summer t-shirts into an outfit. Most plus-size retailers seem to think that the answer to this is bedazzling. Stop gluing plastic gems to my butt! PLEASE! 

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