Tag Archive | buttons

Dress = Done

Last week turned out a little differently than I had planned. After posting on Wednesday, my French class was canceled just as I was about to walk out the door. Too bad, but that did mean a whole day to sew that I hadn’t been banking on! I was able to finish my shirt dress and Granota’s Cuddle Muffin jumper that evening.

For my dress I used McCall’s 4769. Pretty basic style, not much that really stands out. It would probably be great in a novelty print, but for this incarnation I chose a pale blue cotton/linen blend. This way I’ve got a blank canvas that I can spruce up with accessories to change up the look. I don’t currently have much in the way of accessories, but I do have a couple of silk scarves and a couple belts that I can use. And, hopefully without the distraction of pattern or color or unique features on the dress itself, I can get a little more creative about the kinds of accessories I can add to my wardrobe in the future. Future being: when we manage to get Mr. Gren a better job than ringing up plants and patio bricks.

We can always hope.


The other side of the lapel went together with about the same amount of fiddling as the first side, but at least this time I knew that, as ugly as it is on the inside, it turns out well on the outside. Just as miraculously, my machine didn’t jam up a single time while doing the buttonholes. That may be a first! At the waistline, there is a hook and eye to keep things together so that belts or sashes won’t get hung up on a button.

Went with the blue leopard print scarf this time.

I like those McCall’s guys. These are funny guys. They told me to “hem skirt by hand.” Bwhahahahahaa! Yeah, right. I barely got through hand-tacking the collar and facing down without wanting to kick a puppy. Good thing we don’t have a puppy. Besides, why hand-sew a hem when you can blind stitch it! That’s what I’m talking about. My first attempt several years ago at using the blind stitch on my machine resulted in a less-than-blind hem. I get better with every one I do. I can’t claim that this one is perfect, but a person is going to have to get pretty close to my knees to see the few stitches that managed to peek out.

Konik’s about the right height to examine my hem. Fortunately, he has no idea what he’s looking for.

Oh! And did I mention pockets? That’s always fun in a dress. The fabric was light enough that I went ahead and used it for the pockets, too, instead of a lining fabric.

I ain’t afraid of no crease

A lot of people shy away from linen because of its notorious tendency to wrinkle. What can I say, I’m a sucker for punishment. No, not really; it’s just that I love natural fibers. Besides, anyone who hasn’t worn linen is missing out. I wore this dress to church today with a navy blue belt and navy blue crocheted-by-me beret. I looked pretty sassy if I do say so myself. You’ll just have to take my word for it because Mr. Gren had to work today and couldn’t take a picture to document it for posterity. The dress passed the wearability test — it was comfortable and, despite sitting in the car for 40 minutes round trip and sitting in the church pew for another 90 minutes, the dress wasn’t too horribly wrinkled. I changed out of it when I got home because I had to start a fire and I would have been oh-so-sad if I’d gotten soot on my new pale blue dress. Soot is an unfortunate accessory of life in a cabin, but I can at least try to limit it to jeans.

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You may have noticed that there was no French Friday last week (Hi, Mom). They used to be my most-viewed posts, but lately they were getting really low numbers. I have to admit that I was getting a little burnt out spending two or three hours on a post that only 12 people look at (Hi, Gma). So, do me a favor, peeps, if you like French Fridays, will you let me know? And if there are things you’d like to hear about my experiences in France, let me know that, too! Thanks. Carry on.

Mama said there’d be days like this

Today was supposed to have been a good day. After Mr. Gren was gone all day yesterday, I was looking forward to having him corral the kids so I could get some sewing done. Last week, a friend said she would pay me to make two baby dresses for her new granddaughter; I showed her my patterns, she chose the views that she liked and I bought the fabric and lace last Saturday. This morning, all I needed to do was attach one sleeve, hem the skirt and do the buttons and buttonholes; then I would be ready to move on to the second dress. Before I had even gotten out of bed, though, plans were already changing: Mr. Gren remembered that he was supposed to help mow the church lawn today at 10. {sigh}

At 11, Mr. Gren was done mowing and I escaped to my sewing room. The sleeve went on fine, the hem and lace looked great. And then it all started going downhill. While attempting to pry The World’s Tiniest Buttons off their little card, I stabbed myself with my seam ripper. Luckily, I didn’t bleed on anything important.

Scene of the tragedy

I ran downstairs to get a band-aid (oh, I mean a Kroger Sterile Adhesive Bandage) and then headed back up to sew on The World’s Tiniest Button. Funny, I had never noticed how much I use my left thumb — threading a needle, knotting the thread, holding on the dang button while I sewed — all this became much more difficult. I did prevail in the end, but that’s the end of my sewing for the day.

One finished dainty baby dress

I put away the pattern I was working from and went to get out the pattern for the second dress, thinking I could at least get the fabric cut before lunch. But I couldn’t find it! I had had it just two days ago, where the heck had it gone? Shuffling through my patterns, I was relieved to finally find it, right where it should have been. I dumped it out and thought to myself that those pattern pieces looked awfully familiar. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were the ones from the first dress. I studied the pattern envelope, thinking I must be losing my mind, and wondering which one of those dresses I had just made. After a minute, I realized that the envelope to match those pieces was stuck neatly on my message board — the place where I always stick the pattern I’m currently working on. I really did think I had gotten enough sleep last night…

The elusive pattern

Now, with the correct pattern pieces in hand, I began to search through them to find the 12 month size. 18 month front, 18 month sleeve, 18 month back… What’s going on here? My friend had asked me to make her dresses in approximately 6 month and 9 month sizes; I didn’t have a 9 month, but I figured the 12 month would be close enough. Why isn’t it here? I flipped over the pattern envelope and saw something I had never noticed before: It was solely an 18 month pattern. No additional sizes, despite the fabric requirement listings on the back. 9 and 12 month are pretty close; 9 and 18 month are nowhere close and I’m not comfortable enough sizing down patterns, especially when someone’s paying me for my work. What to do, what to do…

I flipped through my fabric store flyers to see if anyone had patterns on sale this week and it turns out that Hancock’s does have Simplicity for $1.99. Not a stellar deal, but it’s pretty good. I also found this weird image. Still trying to figure that one out. Before I waste my time heading down there, I decided to check the Simplicity website and see whether they’ve even got anything similar to this pattern anymore. I came downstairs to learn that the kids had had a free-for-all while Mr. Gren was washing the dishes. Konik had crawled up onto the secretary and found some highlighters. The girls were happy to relieve him of them and then proceeded to color all over one of my idea notebooks and Rana autographed her rainboots. After that, Konik dowsed the notebook with water, pulled my crochet hook out of another project I’ve been working on and dragged yarn out of the bag it was in. The notebook is drying out, but I still haven’t found my crochet hook. Simplicity does not carry a style like this, and, my band-aid is already peeling off. Is 4:30 too early to go back to bed?

ETA: Before I could even get this posted, Konik chewed up a mouthful of animal crackers and then spit them out all over the carpet. Nice.