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March 30, 2015

Selfish Sewing, Part 1

Pattern:  The Marianne Dress Pattern by Christine Haynes

Notions:  Recycled buttons found in button tin

Fabric: Riley Blake jersey knit stripe (black and white) and a black recycled t-shirt


Pattern:  The Sidekick Sling Bag

Notions:  Curtain grommets, 1" grey, cotton webbing

Fabric: Coral linen/ gray and white stripe quilting fabric (both fabrics found in my stash)

As I mentioned last week, I have been drawn to my sewing room whenever I find myself with a few free moments. Something about spring just inspires me to sew.  Usually the Littles benefit from my sewing, but this spring I've done a bit of sewing for myself.  Inspired by Indiesew's  Selfish Sewing Week, I decided that my closet really could use a few springy items, and, although I did not actively participate in the contest, it was fun watching what others were making while working at my own pace on a few projects of my own.  I'm so excited to share with you what I have been creating. 

(Please, excuse my ugly, handmade-from-duck-tape, dress form.)

I love stripes.  I can't get enough of them, and when I saw this version of the Marianne Dress, I knew I needed to make one for myself.  The stripes are a Riley Blake jersey that I picked up at, and the cuffs and yoke were made from a black t-shirt that was on a pile going to Goodwill.  I made two alterations to the original pattern. I sewed two buttons on the cuffs, instead of three (because I only had four), and I sewed two darts in the back of the dress. I loved the simple, A-line, no-seams style of this dress, but when I tried it on, it just felt a bit frumpy, especially with the horizontal stripes.  Adding the darts to the back was simple, and it gave the dress just the bit of shaping I was looking for.  I am happy with the fit now, and it is so comfortable.  Because of the jersey fabric, it almost feels like wearing pajamas.  I am more than pleased with the way this dress turned out, and I'm sure it will be a staple in this spring's wardrobe.

The SideKick Sling bag was made using fabrics I already had on hand.  I've had this bright, coral linen in my stash for quite some time, waiting for just the right project. I thought it paired quite nicely with the soft, grey and white cotton.  It was the second bag I have sewn. (The first was a purse, and the outcome was, well, needless to say, I never used the purse.) I was quite pleased, however, with how simple this bag was to make.  It's casual style is perfect for a wallet, sunglasses, notebook, even knitting.  I think it will add a touch of spring to any outfit I choose to wear.  

This "selfish sewing" has been quite fun (and rather addicting). I have a few more items that I am looking forward to sharing with you (and a few more ideas brewing but only after the completion of this sweater. I stitched up the arms and sides this past weekend and have about 20 rows of the hood completed...still hoping to have it finished by the end of this week. A couple nights of BBC was a big help in encouraging me to pick up the needles again.  Do you have any spring sewing/knitting/crafting projects that you have been working on?  


  1. I wouldn't have noticed the duck tape form if you hadn't mentioned it. I was so busy oohing and aahing at your gorgeous dress and bag. Clever you. It's hard to stitch knitted fabric, you've done an amazing job. It's weird how we feel selfish when making things for ourself. What a great name for a project. I can't wait to see what you are going to make next.

    I've been working on more curtains and just picked up Ahmad's sweater again. But like you I have lots of plans for selfish projects to look forward to making as the spring evenings get longer.

    I hope that you get lots more happy time in your sewing room.

  2. So beautiful! I love stripes too ---- and the color of the bag is just right!!!! Hope spring comes your way very soon so you can use these!

  3. That coral color is so pretty. Great job on both projects. Happy Spring!

  4. What a lovely dress you have made yourself. I wouldn't call that selfish sewing at all!

  5. Wow, both the dress and the bag look fab! xx

  6. Really smart, the bag and the dress, I'm liking both a lot :)

  7. What a great dress, it does look comfortable but also very stylish! And I love the use of the T-shirt. I've got a couple of T-shirts sitting in my pile of things to sew for the girls that hopefully will be upcycled into dresses, but they have been there a while! And I've been seeing lots of amazing adult upcycles on Pinterest recently too, some T shirts but lots of men's shirts mainly, I think they might be something to dip into soon.

  8. Emily - Both are very impressive! I really, really LOVE that bag though!

  9. Oh isn't it stunning! I love the dress and the bag they both seem perfectly spring like!!


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