For the love of handmade gifts

In June 2009, I posted about a Maid of Honor dress I made into a toddler dress and matching doll dress for my best friend’s daughter (it’s roughly a size 2T). I wore the original dress in her parents’ May 2000 wedding.

Well, my little friend will turn six on June 5th. Last month, I received a text message with this photo (the one on the left) and the message “it still fits!”
Brdiesmaid Dress Remake Collage1Skinny-minny is growing like a weed, but she hasn’t gotten any bigger around in almost four years!  The pics on the right are the original photos I took before gifting it to her in 2009.

That text message made my MONTH.


One Fish, Two Fish. Red Fish…

Green DRESS!!  ImageOkay, so it doesn’t rhyme, but Dr. Seuss would still be pleased.  This little sweetie had her Golden Birthday on June 5, 2012.  Her Mommy and I were college roomies, and have been best friends for decades.  She wanted a Dr. Seuss party.  Last year it was Hello Kitty, the year before that was a Princess party… she’s a little gal who knows what she likes and knows what she wants.  Image

Incidently, this little Miss has received more Doris-made gifts than any other individual.  The kitty in my blog banner?  Her’s.  She even received a baby quilt while she was still a baby!  She’s gotten one handmade gift from me for every year of her life!

The dress was inspired by this one, and made by grandma.  She played HARD in this dress all day long, girlfriend knows how to work an ensemble.  I started making this quilt from the dress scraps about seven hours before her party started.  ‘Cause, y’know, why start a project ahead of time?


The yellow solid came from my stash, the rest of it came from the scrap basket.  Even the back was a leftover from the dress:


I finished it about 45 minutes before the party… and snapped these photos (in full sunlight–sorry) along the road on the drive to the party.  I had fun weaving that rainbow stripe all the way around the quilt (note there is no binding, it was a sew-and-turn finish).  I got the impression she liked it:



A Saturday well spent.

Project Wardrobe, 1.0

When I visited Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul, MN last week, I picked up four yards of this Rayon fashion fabric at 50% off:It a soft, lush rayon, in gorgeous Amy Butler colors, and the print is Twilight Peony (that just happens to be my favorite flower!) from her Saffron colorway. It’s 56″ wide, and I happened to have this vintage 1958 Simplicity pattern at home that seemed a perfect fit:Can’t you just see Betty Draper on Mad Men wearing that blue dress to a cocktail party? If you’ve ever sewn with vintage clothing patterns, you know the sizing is much smaller than today. As in, that pattern cover says it is a size 16 Misses (I wear a few sizes smaller than that, so I thought “great, it should be just the right size for me!” Nope.). That size 16 Misses from 1958 is closer to a size 8 by today’s standards, If our sizes today were based on the same measurements as those from 1958, I would wear a 20 or 22! (If I put on a Size 20 ready made dress, it would probably fall off of me!). So, tip for using vintage patterns: MEASURE everything, more than once, and make adjustments to your pattern before cutting into your fabric.

So, I need a dress for Easter Mass. On Wednesday (yes, THIS Wednesday) I pulled out the fabric and the pattern and started cutting out a dress to make for Easter Sunday (yes, THIS Sunday). I made some good progress last night with the sewing, and I have a nearly complete bodice:and an already hemmed (love my Janome blind hem foot G!!!), ready-to-join-to-the-bodice-this-evening, skirt. The final step is putting in the zipper.
I made this my weekly goal here.Wish me luck. I did say I wanted to sew more for myself this year… This is officially the beginning of Project Wardrobe 2012.