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Sep 292015

I just realized that it’s technically no longer summer, so I should probably post this dress before it gets too ridiculous.  A few months ago, I saw a woman on the train with a shoulder-tie blouse and all of a sudden a desperate need for a shoulder-tie garment hit me.  I mostly wear dresses, though, so I cooked up a scheme to make a dress with shoulder ties.  I recalled that I’d seen a shoulder-tie top on Handmade by Heather B‘s blog, so I scrolled madly through her archive until I found what I was looking for, which turned out to be the Maison Fleur Summer Blouse.  I decided to pair it with my trusty Belladone skirt, and this is the result.

I have this problem sometimes where I think I’m smiling but I’m actually grimacing horrifically.  I’m guessing that’s why people on the street don’t always smile back at me.  Anyway, I was having one of those days when I was trying to take these pictures, and it was really irritating me.  The more irritated I got, the less I was able to fake a smile.  So I just turned my head instead of trying to fight it.

Back to business:  Maison Fleur Summer Blouse.  Instead of actually sewing the blouse and attaching the Belladone skirt to it, I decided I’d just trace a version of the Belladone bodice with the neckline and tie extensions of the Summer Blouse.  I wanted this dress quick because summer was already waning, and I didn’t want to waste time fitting a whole new pattern.  I do believe it worked out well.


The fabric is from Miss Matatabi’s Etsy store, which I don’t recommend you visit.  It’s a very dangerous place.  I ordered some of the gorgeous Nani Iro Mountains fabric that was popping up everywhere this summer and decided to follow Miss Matatabi on Instagram.  A few days after my fabric arrived, she posted that some fabrics were on sale, and wouldn’t you know that one of them was a fabric I had agonized over adding to my order.  So I placed another order for that fabric, and while floating around the Etsy store I spied this Ellen Baker cranes fabric and couldn’t resist it.  Nor could I resist another fabric from the same Ellen Baker line.  So you can see how I would sternly warn you against perusing Miss Matatabi’s shop.


LOOK AT THAT PATTERN MATCHING.  I’m not a pattern matcher, folks.  I’m the sort who buys the absolute minimum amount of fabric necessary because I hate waste, and that sort of philosophy doesn’t really lend itself to pattern matching.  But I somehow managed to buy more than I needed with this fabric, and how many metallic paper crane print items does one girl need?  So I pattern matched those suckers, and I’m proud to say that when I put my mind to it, I am capable of matching a pattern.  Note that I did not put my mind to matching the waistband, therefore it does not match.  And I’m not just saying that; I really didn’t want the waistband to match.  I wanted it to be a little obvious that there was a waistband there to add some semblance of waist definition.  I find that a regular, all-over print is a great way to camouflage a body’s curves.  If that’s what you want, perfect.  That is not what I want at my waist.  My search for a coordinating solid was a failure, so I had to work with what was available, thus the not-matching waistband.

This fabric is a linen/cotton blend and it’s pretty heavy.  This made the ties quite difficult to manage; I had to get Ben to help me tie them.  I thought of trying to do a single knot and sewing it in place, but I’d like to wear this dress in the winter with a cardigan, and I don’t want strange lumps at my shoulders.  I’m hoping I can devise a plan to untie the knots and make some surreptitious fasteners of some kind so I can wear a cardigan without looking like I have a lumpy mutation at my shoulders.


I bought a crane necklace this summer, but as I told everyone who complimented me on this dress, I don’t want to wear them together lest I look like I have a crane fetish.  And of course, telling everyone, including the internet, this information makes me seem like I do indeed have a crane fetish but am anxious about it.

OMG, you guys.  I wanted to post this earlier, but I’ve just finished an intensive week of commenting on 88 papers because I planned poorly and had students from my composition classes at both schools turn in papers on the same day.  I never want to comment on another paper again.  Except I just got a batch of papers to grade last night.  *sob*