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Showing posts from May, 2017

African Easter Dresses

Oh the dresses here in Africa, they're just so fun! Bright colors, bold patterns, and fun designs - I just love them!
My team arrived in West Africa, Cote d'Ivoire to be exact, the week before Easter. We saw the fabulous clothing, fell in love and wanted our own African dresses for Easter. Then we encountered a slight problem. You see here in Africa you don't just go to the store to buy a new outfit. Oh, no. You buy fabric, take it to the seamstress or tailor, and have your new outfit made. This knowledge left me with the desire to go fabric shopping, acquire a sewing machine, and make my entire team new dresses for Easter. Unfortunately that wasn't a practical idea. So, on the Friday before Easter one of our fantastic hosts, named Zebedee, took us to a stand in the market where we could buy slightly less fabulous, but still fun and colorful, pre-made dresses for Easter.

After much hemming and hawing we each picked out a pretty new Easter dress. Then Sunday morning we …

My Sister's Much Worn Pink Plaid 1890's Dress

Last August I was in the middle of planning my 1890's dress. I was re-watching Tales of Avonlea for some costuming inspiration, and my sister's birthday was coming up. Due to this combination of things, I really wanted to make my sister an 1890's dress. So, I paid special attention to the tween girls' dresses in Tales of Avonlea and started browsing Pinterest for 12 year old girls' dresses from the 1890's.

As I looked at dress after dress I began to see that while the materials and trimmings of the dresses varied from cotton, to wool, to silk, most of the dresses were very similar in cut. More gathers toward the back of the skirt, full sleeves, some pleating or gathering on the bodice, maybe a bodice yoke, and typically a high collar.

So, I pulled a few patterns out of my stash, mixed them together and adapted them until I had what I wanted, then I went fabric shopping in my stash.

 In my stash I found yards upon yards of pink plaid homespun that I'd picke…

A Split Skirt For Chasing Goats

Sewing my World Race wardrobe was fun! I used it as an excuse to make a few items outside of my normal style, such as a split skirt.

For some reason last fall, I'm not really sure why, I became rather fixated on the idea of making a split skirt to bring on the Race. I'd heard that in Africa women only wore skirts, no pants. So I thought maybe I could make a split skirt to wear in Africa on days I really didn't want to wear a skirt. Thus, I decided to make a split skirt of some sort.
I considered multiple different methods of making one, and looked at many different patterns, before finally picking Butterick 3836 up at an online pattern sale. Well, once the pattern was bought I knew the split skirt idea would actually have to happen so I picked up 3 yards of dark green poly suiting at the Mennonite fabric store and set to work.

I really liked the full A-line shape of the pattern and I absolutely loved the button-placket detail on the front waistband, but once I was ready to…

The Father of Creativity

Hello friends! Last month I was in Cote de Ivoire, with no wifi. So, that meant I couldn't post any blogs. Well, I am now in Ghana, and I have wifi! So I decided to share on here one of my World Race blogs to give you an  idea of what has been occupying my mind recently since I'm separated from my sewing machine for another 7(ish) months!
I’ve always had a creative mind. As a child I loved to use my imagination. I loved playing outside, building forts and making playhouses. Imagining how things could be, instead of how they were. Playing as if everything was how it was in my imagination. I loved drawing and painting. I loved playing with dolls, dress-up clothes, and my doll house. I loved coming up with stories for everything I was playing with. Starting in high school sewing and writing became my creative outlets. Now sewing is firmly my art form. I love the process of sewing. Coming up with an idea tweaking it until it’s just right in my mind, figuring out how to make that ide…