devil with the blue dress


Stop the presses, hold the phone, and all that jazz! You guys... I took these pictures in the morning. That's right. I'm packing my woolies for the afterlife,  because hell just froze over.

You see, I am not a morning person. Like, I've been known to breathe fire, speak in tongues, and spew green shit if I'm addressed directly before 8am. It should also be known that I'm not a night person either (person of the night? lady of the night?) rather, I think of myself as a day  person.  Between the hours of 9am and 9pm I'm golden, an utter joy to behold - anywhere beyond that and it's really a gamble.  But for some inexplicable reason, today I was literally champing at the bit to get out of bed! I made myself wait until 6am, for the sake of decency and so I wasn't blowing too many minds, but once 6 rolled around I was up and at 'em as they say.


So I made it my business to take some blog photos! Everyone knows that the best times to take photos outdoors is when the sun is at an oblique angle (late afternoon/early evening - or, as the case may be, morning).  So I did my morning routine, ate my breakfast, got myself gussied up and tramped out with camera in tote to pose in someone else's garden. And here I am! Home before 9am! Is this what it feels like to be an adult...?


This dress was one of those makes that sort of happened a bit unexpectedly.  Lately I've been trying to take care of some projects for other people, and as every selfish seamstress knows, there's only so much of this one can take before ohmygodihavtamakesomethingforMEEE happens. This also happens to be the time of year when I can often be found crawling on all fours, sweat pouring from my brow, my trembling hand reaching out for my sewing machine, gasping to no one in particular (but usually the cat) "need.... more.... summer... dresses...." And it was in this frenzied, heat stroke induced state that I made this dress.

This is V8810 that I purchased during one of the awesome $1.99 sales, not really all that sure what I'd do with it, but thinking it might make a nice basic summer dress. I haven't really seen this dress around on the sewing blogs, and while I know there are plenty of people out there that sew and don't choose to parade around on the internet for all the world to see, something about this dress' absence in blogland tells me that it's not particularly popular.  And I can kind of get why. It's a little meh. I mean, a drawstring waist dress...? It sort of says "potato sack". But I've also been known to be a sucker for a tie waist, and the gathered shoulders were definitely my thing, and I liked the skirt options, so I went for it! 


The fabric is some weird rayon that I think is trying to imitate a summer-weight wool.  It's slightly scratchy, but not uncomfortable, it has a nice drape and is lightweight but still opaque.  And I love the color. Like really really love it.  I used those Dritz fabric covered buttons, which I've had so-so luck with.  I actually think they look quite nice, and are surprisingly easy to make, but I've found that they don't last very well. The tops tend to pop off after a wear or two.  But since this is really such a plain dress I wanted to make sure the buttons were immaculate so this time I pulled out one of my favorite sewing tricks - some glue and a hammer! I glued the top and base together and then pounded the shit outta them with the hammer.  I'll let you know how they hold up...


After I finished the dress and put it on I felt a wee bit lackluster about it. I was kind of expecting this, but it was still a bummer to actually see it. Something was just off. I loved the color,  but I felt like the shoulders were just too wide, despite the gathering.  So I decided to make these shoulder tabs for it to pull up the excess fabric and make the sleeve sit at a more flattering place on me.  I could have just gathered the sleeve more, but after trying on the dress I felt that it had a sort of uniform-y feel to it (not quite sure what kind of uniform... waitress? airflight attendant? armed forces...?) so I decided to kind of play up whatever utilitarian vibes I was getting from it by adding the little shoulder tab touch. Now I feel like the whole bodice is more flattering.  


All in all, this dress has been a pleasant surprise! I don't feel like the pattern envelope or drawings do the collar justice - it really has a lovely, almost mandarin-type, stand to it which I find really elegant and becoming as a neckline (necks can just be so lovely, can't they?) It was quick and easy to make, and while it may not be the most amazing thing I've ever made - I think it will serve me well as a great casual dress for work during the long hot summers.

Have you ever gone into a project with low expectations, only to be pleasantly surprised? I love it when it happens!



and the bombshell goes to....

(I swear I'm actually trying to flex in this picture... my muscles just seem to be made of marshmallows)

Wow guys!! I am just totally blown away by the response to the bombshell giveaway! Of course it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise, because this is literally the swimsuit pattern to end all swimsuit patterns! I wish I could give you all bombshells, and then we could live out Heather's fantasy to have one, giant, beachy bombshell meetup! Imagine what a glamorous bunch we'd make!! But enough pussyfooting around! Let's make the announcement, shall we?

Ladies and Gentlemen (if you're out there) the moment you've all been waiting for has arrived!! Can I get a drumroll please?!

According to that friend of all blog giveaways - the random number generator - the bombshell pattern goes to...

LAURA!!! Congratulations Laura! Send me an email at sallie(dot)forrer(at)gmail and let's make this bombshell happen! 

If you didn't win, don't worry, you can still snag the pattern here, and I hope you will! And remember! Heather's about to start her bombshell sewalong - so those of you that are nervous, and I know there's some of you out there, have no fear! You, too, can rock the summer in your glamorous hand made swimsuit!

And! Because I know some of you are simply dying to know what sort of spirit animals we have in this here sewing/blogging community (no? no one? that's just me, eh?) I am happy to oblige you!  Turns out we have a lot of dolphins among us! Who would've thought?! Cats came in a close second, proving that cats really do rule the blogosphere (after dolphins, of course...) followed by a franticly nut-hoarding bunch of squirrels (!!) 

Honorable mentions go to: penguins, whales, sea otters, mermaids, chipmunks, Kate Bush, moose, bunnies, raccoons, owls, lemurs, sloths, unicorns and panthers! 

Apparently I'm alone in the reptile camp...

But what a fun menagerie we have!! Until next time, lovelies...



bam! i'm dropping bombshells...


You guys, I love the beach. Have I told you that before? Surely I must have. I love it so much, sometimes I go there straight after work. Hell, sometimes I go there during  work! (You know, to clear my head... don't hate...) I love thrashing about in the surf, I love the sun and the sand, and I love people watching... and I have this theory that a visit to the beach is an instant mood uplifter - good for the soul... something to do with clearing away the negative ions...

But here's the thing - for someone who loves the beach so much, and spends a great deal of her time in her swimsuit - for the past however-many years the state of said swimsuits have been utterly tragic! Tragic, I tell you! My swimwear has been mostly comprised of assorted mismatched bikini tops and bottoms that I've amassed over the years, probably discarding the matching half when it got too faded or the elastic gave way... or I just lost the other half... You see, as someone who loves the beach so much, I wasn't terribly concerned about what I wore to the beach... it was more about just getting my ass onto the beach and having a good time! A philosophy which I still stand by, but as my interest in owning well made, stylish clothes (made by my own two hands) grew, it only stands to reason that this desire would bleed into my swimwear attire as well.


So what exactly am I getting at here? I'm getting at this little purple number! Dudes!! I made a frigging swimsuit! And it's awesome and flattering and makes me feel like a million (dollar mermaid - cheers to those that get the reference)! 

This is Closet Case File's Bombshell Swimsuit, view A.  When Heather asked me if I would be a pattern tester for this I literally jumped at the opportunity. And maybe did a little chair dance too. You see, in my secret, self-centered brain I like to think that Heather made this pattern just for me because I once let slip in a comment on her blog the shameful state of my swimwear. I described how saggy my drawers were that every time I got hit by a wave I came up baring my ass to the entire beach! I like to think that it was this gruesome visual alone that drove her to literally work her ass off making this swimsuit pattern available to me all of us.

You can thank me later (wink).


I feel like I have so much to say about this beauty! First of all, it's ridiculously flattering - just ask any of the women who've tested it (so far I've seen Lauren's, Novita's, Carolyn's, and of course, Heather's - but I'm sure there are more out there that I've missed).  While I might be the type to roll up to the beach in the skimpiest, most ill-fitting bikini, and to hell with anyone that might give me even the slightest side eye - that doesn't mean that I'm without my own set of body issues - or that there aren't times that I wished I had arrived looking more covered and respectable (pool parties, anyone?) And this suit totally puts those anxieties to rest. I feel covered, supported, flattered, shapely, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum....  Basically, this suit has all the qualities of a good lover!

And, as a total swimsuit-sewing-newbie, I felt like it was really pretty painless to make. Heather's instructions are clear, well illustrated, and hand-holding.  I took everything one step at a time and didn't run into any mishaps.  I was nervous about inserting all that elastic, but it was actually a total breeze.  I'd say the pattern is best suited for intermediate sewers, but it would also be a great learning experience for a beginner.  Especially since Heather will be hosting a sewalong for the pattern and I think we can expect even more tips and tricks. 

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And, yes, it can totally get wet!

So here's the nitty-gritty! As I said, I made View A. I cut a size 8 for the bust and waist (because those matched my measurements) and then graded between an 8 and a 10 for the hips/butt area because I was in-between sizes. I may have been able to just rely on the stretchiness of the swim fabric to deal with that extra inch of butt, but since the whole point of this swimsuit is to flatter the curves, I decided to give myself the extra room. And I'm super happy with the fit - so it worked! And that's great news for those of you that might also be in-between sizes - this is an easy pattern to work with! 

I used a matte milliskin spandex from Spandex World (bonus: getting a phone call regarding shipping and being greeted with "Hi Sallie, this is so-and-so from Spandex World!" I don't know why I thought it was so funny... but I nearly guffawed into the phone!) and a nude swimwear lining (also from Spandex World... teehehee) I ordered rubber swimwear elastic and swim cups from SewSassy.  The swim cups are great - just enough to give light shaping without looking weird. All of these materials were super high quality and I'd recommend them to anyone nervous about buying swimwear supplies. 


And here's the exciting part! Think of it as your reward for getting all the way to the end of the post (truly, I always try to keep my words to a minimum... but I just can't help myself!) Heather has agreed to offer one Bombshell Swimsuit Pattern as a giveaway! I've never done a giveaway before, and somehow I think it's totally fitting that this pattern be my first one (after all, Heather made it for me... right... rright?!?) So this is what we'll do:

To enter just leave a comment on this post! You can tell me about how much you love the pattern, or the beach... or what your spirit animal is... you know, whatever you feel like!

The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere since the pattern is downloadable.

I'll close the giveaway next Sunday at 8pm US Central time, which gives you a nice little window of time to get it before the sewalong starts (and enough time for those of you that don't win the giveaway to still get your patterns)!

UPDATE! The giveaway is now closed - thank you to everyone who entered!!

So let's do this thing!! Oh! And in case you were wondering - my spirit animal is a smallish lizard (think chameleon or iguana)... don't ask... just trust...