Archive for August, 2012

August 20, 2012

Convertible Knit Dress

Pattern: Inspired by KnuckleSalad with a few changes to the waistband.

Fabric:  3 yards black rayon knit from Joann Fabrics

Time to Complete: Less than 3 hours


First, I want to thank you all for your support! Your comments on my last post meant so much to me. The encouragement gave me a much needed boost and I used the energy to put out a round of internship inquiries. There is a local dressmaker who creates custom wedding dresses and she’s interested in having me come in and help out in her studio. I’m meeting with her this week to talk about the details and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. I’m so excited to see where the opportunity takes me and I feel like I owe it all to you! Thank you!

Now, about this dress… last spring, a friend approached me about making her a dress for a wedding she was going to. I was really excited about the project and was all geared up to make her one of Gertie’s Bombshell Dresses. Well, you can guess what happened. With all the stress of the past two months the project came to a halt. With the wedding a week away I needed to create something that I could feel proud to give her but wouldn’t take a lot of time. I was browsing Pinterest one evening when a picture of a Henkaa convertible dress came up. I knew this was the dress!

Convertible, infinity, chameleon – whatever you want to call it, it’s a pretty neat design. This particular one is simply a circle skirt with a straight waistband and two long straps that are used to create the bodice. My friend, who has a tiny little waist, looks great in it but I’ll admit that it wouldn’t be my first choice. Many of the style options involve wrapping the straps around the waist to secure and that extra fabric doesn’t do my shape any justice. I have been experimenting with options that don’t do this and I love using the straps like a scarf (see the first large picture on the left). This might be enough to convince me to make another – this time in a bright color!

My friend is coming to pick it up in a few hours – I hope she likes it!

August 13, 2012

Mixed Metals Dress

Pattern: Self drafted

Fabric: Rayon/poly blend

Notions: Metal zipper

Time to Complete: ?


Wow! Did I drop off the face of the earth or what? Since late June, I’ve been pounding the pavement looking for a new job. Between resumes and cover letters, school work, and my current job I didn’t even think about my blog. Sad, I know. Do you know what’s even sadder? Job hunting. It is such a demoralizing experience. I had little success and, for the time being, will be staying put. While I realize that two months isn’t a lot of time when it comes to looking for a job, this was the last week for me to give notice for the fall season at school and at work. When I received my latest rejection email, I cried all afternoon and then woke up that night with the flu. I spent four days inches from the bathroom in a delirium that can only come from a fever. It was the lowest I’ve been in a long time.

But yesterday, I woke up with a little more energy and anxious to move forward. I finally updated the Independent Pattern Designers list to add several great sites. I had neglected the page this summer (sorry!) and hopefully I didn’t miss anything. Now, I’m slowly going through my latest projects to photograph them. The first up is this lovely little number that I made as a final project at school. It also happened to be my interview dress on a number of occasions.

A simple sleeveless shift, the dress features french darts, a boat neckline (with a very subtle cowl), and an exposed zipper in the back. The zipper is my favorite little touch as I’m enamored with mixed metals. The combination of the natural and industrial is so beautiful! I think the decorative teeth on the zipper really highlights the fabric’s unique color, too. The fabric is a blend that has a slight stretch to it making it comfortable to wear all day. I was stoked to find it at the discount fabric shop in Berkeley as I’ve never had much luck shopping there before.

Even though I won’t be wearing the dress to a new office, I’m thrilled to have it in my closet. It’s a great transition piece – I can see wearing it right through winter with the right amount of layering. Right now, it’s still in the mid 90’s so unless I’m meeting with potential employers, I’m not wearing it with anything else (although I’d love to pair it with a cream oversized envelope clutch)!

I hope everything is well and I can’t wait to catch up with you all! I still owe you a tutorial on neckline and armhole bindings with knits. I’ll get to work on it as soon as I get my house back in shape – it’s a total disaster after the month I’ve had! Until then, happy sewing!