New Adventures!

Hi, guys! I hope you’re all doing well! Today I’m both excited and terrified to tell you about my new adventure! But first, a little background.


Some of you may know that I quit working in film and television about a year ago. I loved the business, but after nearly a decade of working nights, weekends, and everything in between, I was burnt out and looking for a 9-5 instead of the 80+hour weeks that are standard in the movie business. I started taking any non-production gigs that I could find and thinking long and hard about what my next step would be. I’d been taking evening classes at FIT here and there for a few years to learn new skills and industry techniques, but a program caught my eye several months ago and I started to take classes exclusively in the textile development & marketing program.

I think it’s logical for someone interested in the handmade movement to eventually start wondering where their materials come from, and that was something that had started to nag at the back of my mind. But I dismissed these thoughts for a while, thinking that most of the fabrics I bought in the Garment District were mill overruns or cast-offs from the fashion industry, so they can’t be too bad, right? However, as I started to take textile science classes and learn more about the processes and conditions in which textiles are made, wow, it really made me think about what I was consuming. There’s no way around it: the textile industry is a dirty, dirty business. Most of us are already aware that textiles are often manufactured in countries with lax labor laws and safety regulations, so many workers put their lives on the line to make our textiles. But did you further know that textile production was already moving overseas before many other industries since many of the common chemicals used are banned by OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the federal regulatory system for workplaces) in the United States? Or that cotton uses 3-5x the amount of pesticide that corn does– more than any other crop, actually? I learned that formaldehyde, the stuff you remember if you ever took a high school biology class, and a known carcinogen, is commonly used in textiles made in many parts of the world. It’s often used for wrinkle-resistant finishes, and in commercial leather production. Yuck!

This is certainly depressing, but the good news is that there are changes in the air when it comes to textile and clothing manufacturing. Incidents like the tragedy at Rana Plaza are drawing attention to the plight of garment workers, and growing consumer movements like Fashion Revolution are demanding accountability from brands. E-commerce sites like Zady and Helpsy offer ethically-made fashion to stylish consumers, and traditional brands are responding to environmental concerns by developing new, cleaner processes, like Levi’s Water, which reduce the amount of water used to manufacture a pair of jeans by as much as 96%. Incubators like Manufacture NY and the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator are bring clothing production back to the U.S. and making it easier for designers to create more sustainable fashion. On a personal level, I’m witnessing a huge amount of interest in healthier fashion from my classmates at FIT. It’s really inspiring to see that the next generation of the fashion industry is concerned with the health of workers and the environment! Plus, there are more and more ethical options for knitters concerned about the origins of their yarn– companies like O-Wool and Brooklyn Tweed produce beautiful wools spun in the U.S., and there are countless companies doing this in the U.K. and Europe.

All that said, I still struggled to see how a home sewer like myself or a beginning designer could access healthier textiles. I’ve dug up a handful of American mills, but working with mills usually requires purchasing gigantic quantities of fabric– 5000 yards of a single type in a single color is the norm! So when a classmate told me he could sell me smaller quantities of fabric from the Japanese mill he worked for, I was intrigued. When he told me they are focused on natural fibers and are expanding their line of organic cotton, I was hooked! I did some research into Japanese labor practices and found that factories in Japan are monitored much more carefully than competitors like China, Bangladesh, or Vietnam. And they regulate the use of chemicals like formaldehyde (which, by the way, is not regulated in the U.S.).

Even though I really loved the idea of being able to offer special fabrics to other sewers, I really resisted the idea of starting a sewing business. I haaaaaaaate selling stuff (like, I was the kid that blanched whenever a fundraiser was announced for little league or band or whatever) and I really didn’t want to have to self-promote! Ick!  I love interacting with my blog readers and really consider them friends, so I was super uncomfortable with the thought of turning my site into a used car lot where I’m constantly pitching products to an increasingly-exasperated audience! And I have never wanted to turn sewing into my career– I love that it’s such an inspirational hobby and don’t want it to become a chore. I really gave this serious thought (for months!) before deciding to launch a small online store. At the end of the day, I came to believe that I’m not the only one out there who’s interested in finding textiles that aren’t made in a sweatshop, and that maybe this will be helpful to those of you who want more responsible fabrics, but don’t have good access to secondhand shops.


I’m keeping my inspirational and fun day job, where I give old furniture new life and get to meet incredible designers and weavers (you guys, now I want to learn how to use a floor loom SO BADLY!!!), so I’m offering a small and manageable collection of special fabrics over at my new shop, Hell Gate Fabrics. I’ve worked directly with the Japanese mill to bring you fabrics that are manufactured responsibly, and I’m hoping to expand my offerings of organic  products as the mill expands theirs. I’ve also worked with a local fabric importer to purchase a limited quantity of overstock wax prints that he was selling to clear out room in his warehouse. These 100% cotton prints are made in his home village in Mali, where he sold them before moving to New York. I’m also having exciting conversations with some folks at the forefront of the ethical textile movement, so hopefully there will be some cool developments in the near future! I’m also hoping to grow and adapt the shop as I continue in my textile studies… I’m sure as I learn more, my vision for the shop will change a bit.

Finally, in case you’re worried, my blog isn’t going to become a place to hock my products. I’m just not interested in that, even if it makes more business sense to do so. I don’t want to lose the community and friendships I’ve made through sewing just to make a few bucks! So all business doings and new product announcements will happen on my new Instagram feed, @hellgatefabrics, and I won’t be at all offended if you don’t follow that account. Also, the cost of buying small quantities of fabric is quite high, and that’s multiplied by the fact that it’s just more expensive when it’s made in a place like Japan instead of China or Bangladesh. So, I won’t be doing blog tours or fabric giveaways because I don’t want to pass along that cost to customers. I’m keeping the margins as low as I can to keep fabric accessible to as many people as possible, and that’s just one of the ways that I’m doing that.

If you’re still reading at the end of this post, thank you for reading! I’m so proud to be part of a group of people that care so deeply about where things come from and the world that we’re leaving for the next generation. It’s so easy to become cynical about these issues or to feel like the baby steps that we’re taking just aren’t good enough, but your optimism and dedication to making the world a better place are a constant source of inspiration to me and are the reason I finally decided to take this plunge!

Named Tala Vest!

Hi, guys! Hope you’re all well! OK, I have a thesis for you: a fuzzy wool vest is the perfect transitional garment. Now, wait, don’t run away! Hear me out! They keep you warm in cool weather without limiting your mobility or leaving you with bulky sleeves that you need to roll up. They’re easy to toss on, over a tee, a sweater, or a jacket. You can wear them under a rain jacket or a windproof shell for an extra layer of warmth. And they give you an extra set of pockets to shove stuff into when you’re out walking the dogs or running errands. And how much nicer is soft, squishy wool than a static-y nylon vest? SO much nicer, dudes. Are you convinced?

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

So, for my latest Mood Sewing Network project*, I reached for this springy, fluffy wool knit. It was labeled as Rag & Bone, and it has plain knit stitches on the wrong side and a really woolly, brushed face on the other. My original plan was a moto jacket– wouldn’t that have looked cool?? But after some thought, I couldn’t justify another jacket- I have too many! And I have a sad, worn-out, cheap down vest that really needed replacing. So there it was! Now that I have a vest, I’m glad I do… I know I’ll be able to wear it more than yet ANOTHER jacket. :)

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

I decided to try out the Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest. While this isn’t exactly faux fur, it’s spongy and really thick, so I knew that this would work well with a pattern intended for faux fur. It doesn’t have a lot of seam lines or a notched collar, which is great for a fabric that gets bulky fast. The pattern comes together really quickly, like a jacket lite. It’s amazing how much faster it is to sew something that doesn’t have sleeves to set in and hem! Oh, and if you want to see what this pattern actually looks like in faux fur, check out Rachel’s cute version! (And if you’re scared to try faux fur, don’t be! Here are my tips for handling it). This was my first Named pattern, and it was a good experience. Well… let’s not count the Jamie Jeans pattern that I traced, but ran out of confidence before getting to the cutting part. Or the Vanamo dress, that I muslined at the very last minute before an event when there was absolutely zero chance of actually completely a garment in time, but I tried it anyway… OK, OK, obviously I need to visit my UFO bag! But it’s scary!!

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

Now, because this is a knit and the pattern is drafted for a woven, I was careful when handling and stitching. The pattern already called for the armholes, neckline, shoulder seams, and hem to be interfaced, but I would have done that anyway. The interfacing kept things from stretching out and really gave a nice substantial feel to the seamlines. Also, I was between sizes, and I decided to size down, which worked well.

I used a universal needle and a longer stitch length (since the fabric is quite thick, a longer stitch length gets you to a normal-looking stitch) and just sewed it with a regular straight stitch. This worked really well. Since this is a wool knit, it pressed beautifully and the seams stayed nice and flat, even though they were fairly bulky. I was quite aggressive with clipping and notching to make sure that the curved seams in the shawl collar were nice and smooth.

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

I lined the vest with a definitely-giraffe-print silk leftover from the plaid Coco jacket I made earlier this yea. It’s so nice using up odd bits from the stash, isn’t it? I also used a small piece of a different silk print, this one leftover from one of my final tailoring projects in the spring, to add pockets, which, in my opinion, are essential for a vest. I put them in 5″ below the armhole, which seemed like OK placement. I never know exactly where to put them when I add them myself! I do a lot of pinning and trying things on, but I still don’t feel confident when I stitch them in!

I’m so excited about this vest and I know I will wear it all the time (even though Man Friend opined that I look pregnant in this… OK, he may have a point there; the side view in particular is pretty unflattering, oops!)! I have this weird winter wardrobe that’s black, white, and grey (don’t ask me why, but I’m not excited to wear colors in the cold weather), so this will mix and match with nearly everything in my closet! Hooray! What do you guys think? Would you sew or wear a vest?

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

One last item of business: this is my last post for the Mood Sewing Network. I’ve absolutely loved being a part of the network and trying out so many fun and special fabrics! I have too many irons in the fire right now, and I had to let a few things go, which is sad, but I’m so grateful to Mood for giving me this opportunity. I know that I wouldn’t be half the seamstress that I am today if it wasn’t for joining the blogging network- I really had to push myself to keep up with the other amazing bloggers!

Named Clothing Tala Faux Fur Vest | Ginger Makes

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. :)

Autumn/Winter Daydreaming, 2015 Edition!

Hi, guys! I hope you are all well! I am in a particularly busy stretch right now, and what that usually means for me is that my brain is in overdrive, cramming sewing daydreams into every spare moment! So I thought it might be useful to type up my autumn/winter sewing plans to get them out of my head, and to hear what you guys are interested in sewing for the upcoming season change! (Note: all photos are the property of their respective pattern companies).

I am the first person to admit that I just don’t have any interest in wearing dresses once the weather turns cool. Tights just don’t feel that warm to me, plus, let’s be honest– I don’t prioritize shaving my legs on dark winter mornings and stubbly legs + tights = itchy city! But. BUT. For some reason I’m finding myself interested in shirtdresses these days, so I’m thinking I should try at least one! True to my style, these are loose and don’t really have a defined waist, so maybe I should just keep them short and sassy and just wear them over skinny jeans? Anyway, my #1 choice is the Named Clothing Wenona dress. I just love all the interesting details in this pattern- it’s so cool! I already have it in my stash as it was a Christmas gift from my brother, so it’s on the top of my list.

I’m also loving the lines of the Style Arc Italia dress! If the illustration doesn’t lie, it’s got a nice, body-skimming fit, and the lines are very flattering and fun.

I may also just try out a tunic version of the Grainline Archer. Also, I should really make myself a new Archer to usher in fall weather, yeah? It would be criminal not to! I loved Kendra’s silk Archer, and although my workplace is super casual, I’m tempted to try a dressier version like hers.

The Rèpublique du Chiffon Dominique jumpsuit is another thing that I’m super anxious to make! I’d planned to make it all summer long, but we had a particularly hot summer here in New York and it was just too sticky to wear pants! I really want to make this in the next couple of weeks so I can get some wear out of it before winter hits. But, I can always throw a blazer over it during cooler weather, so I guess it isn’t completely a summer garment, right? PS- anglophones, English RDC patterns are coming soon!!

Another transitional pattern that I may try is a pair of Style Arc Lola pants. I’ve had this pattern for nearly two years (!), but haven’t gotten around to making it yet (I’ll be honest… the instructions confused me every time I pulled the pattern out, so I kept shelving it). Are these even cool anymore?

This fall/winter, I’d also like to make real trousers. I found a cute pair at a sample sale in the Garment District that I’d like to copy, and I also like these Burda Satin Trousers 07/2015 #117A (uhhhhh… but not in satin).

If I can, I’d really love to join in the fun and sew a blazer alongside Gail and friends in October. Gail’s been making some AMAZING blazers lately, and I know it would be a great experience to learn from her! I like the cut of the Burda Essential Blazer and may try to give it a whirl. TRY TO IGNORE THE BIRD ON HER SHOULDER WHY BURDA WHY?!?!?!

This one is just a daydream… you guys, I REALLY WANNA SEW THIS JACKET, but I just can’t have any more casual jackets! I have way too many, and my coat closet is bursting at the seams as a result! But how cute is the Named Clothing Harriet Lumberjacket?!?! I looooooooove it! Can you guys please just sew lumberjackets so I can look at yours in a pervy, envious way?

Now let’s just disregard what I said about my poor, groaning closet because I am still hopeful that I can make the Grainline Cascade Duffle this year. I bought super awesome wool coating for it last year, but couldn’t get organized enough to sew it up before spring hit. I can always cram one more coat in the closet, yeah?

I’ve really enjoyed having a shiny new pair of jammies this summer, so I’d love to add a second pair of Carolyn pajamas, this time in flannel. What’s better than flannel for the winter months?! Nothin’!

I’m really, really getting excited about knitting this fall! I’m slowly but surely making my way through the Bradbury for Man Friend (both sleeves and the back are done; just the front left to go). I absolutely adore the Stonecutter pattern, and even though it terrifies me a little, I really want to give it a try. Survey: how many times do you think I’ll have to stop and rip back because I’ve screwed up a cable? My guess is 7 times…

I treated myself to a copy of Pom Pom Quarterly a couple weeks ago, and wow, it is serious eye candy! Now I basically want to knit EVERYTHING in it. But, I’m trying to be reasonable, so if I finish Stonecutter in a timely manner, I’d love to try the Magdalen scarf, featured on the cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I also adore the Karusellen hat… SO CUTE GUYS.

Last but not least, I spied this scarf on Instagram just this morning and instantly added it to my queue. It’s the murmuration scarf by Kate Davies and man, it’s so cool! Even if I don’t have time to knit it, I’ll enjoy just thinking about it!

Alright, how about you guys? What are you daydreaming about these days? Any fun sewing plans? Tempted to try any of these patterns?

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress!

Hellooooooooo! How are you guys doing? Everybody having a good day? I hope so! So, do you ever notice themes in your sewing? Lately my sewing has been all about fun fabric in a simple shape. Fussy sewing and fussy garments just aren’t very cool in the heat! So, for August’s Mood Sewing Network project*, I decided to stay the course and make one more fun print + simple silhouette dress. Why not keep the streak going? :) I chose this beautiful rayon print because I loved the abstract images… I mean, are these birds, or are they palm trees? My vote is for palm trees, but that might just be because I love them!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The fabric has a delicious crepe-y texture, and it’s ever so slightly sheer. I’m hoping that the voluminous shape counteracts the transparency of the fabric. I think it works- no sneaky peekies on display in these photos, anyway! However, I finished the seams with pinking sheers because I worried that serging or Hong Kong binding might show through or look lumpy on the right side. Instead of using fusible interfacing for the facings, I stitched in silk organza, because I’m a very fancy person and definitely not because I ran out of interfacing and accidentally ordered the wrong replacement. ;)

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

I really enjoyed working with this fabric. The texture of the fabric gave it some grip, so it wasn’t slippery to cut or sew, and it responds beautifully to steam. I was careful, though, not to press with the iron on the right side. In a crepe fabric, the texture comes from the twist and crimp in the fibers, which can easily be crushed with the iron. When that happens, you get gross shine marks… no good! So I pressed from the wrong side, steamed from the right, and used my fingers to mush the steam into the seams. Super technical stuff! :)

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The pattern is the Papercut Patterns Sway dress, the long variation with a tie belt. Katie sent me a copy to try along with the Guise Pants. Thanks, Katie! Now, I was really drawn towards the shorter, trapeze-ier version, but I figured I’d give this longer length a try just for kicks. It feels a little frumpy compared to the shorter dresses I’ve been wearing lately, but I may just need to wear this a few times to get comfortable with the length and the belted waist. The pattern is very easy to put together and the instructions are nice and clear. I generally avoid anything with bias seams as I hate leveling out the hem, but it was really pretty painless. I’ll definitely revisit this pattern!

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

The dress has center front and center back seams, and I was concentrating so hard on fitting all the pattern pieces on the fabric with the print all going the same direction that I didn’t even consider matching the print. Whoops! Hopefully it’s not too noticeable.

Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes


Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes
Why, it’s a reversible dress! Since it only needs to fit at the shoulders, it can be switched around and worn with either the v-neck or the round neckline facing the front! Tricky business!

Man Friend review: “The belt is nice”.


Papercut Patterns Sway Dress | Ginger Makes

Alright, now please tell me- what’s on your sewing table right now? Simple silhouettes with fun prints? All solids all of the time? Complicated tailoring projects? And, are you Team Palm Trees, or Team Birds? Do tell!

*Once a month I receive a fabric allowance from Mood to make something fun! I blog it first on the MSN blog, then over here. If I use stash materials or things purchased from another source, I’ll let you know in my post. :)

Marimekko + Xerea + giveaway!!!

Hi, guys! Happy Monday! Hope your day is off to a good start! OK, I am sooooo excited to show you this dress, so I’m just gonna dive right in!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

Erica from contacted me a while back to see if I was interested in choosing a Marimekko print for a project*. Um, yes, please! I’m a huge fan of Scandinavian design in general and Marimekko in particular… the prints are just so vibrant and unique! I agonized over the choice for ages, but in the end I went with this gorgeous print, “Siirtolapuutarha”. It’s the Finnish word for “allotment”, which is a nice aside– it was inspired by urban gardens! I like that. :)

As you can see, this is a really large-scale print! It’s probably intended to be used for things like curtains instead of clothing, hence the huge scale, but I’m not one to shy away from a big ol’ print! I almost chose something with a smaller scale, but I’m glad I didn’t- this one really makes a statement!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

For this ’60’s-esque print, a ’60’s-esque silhouette seemed like the right thing to do, so I decided to make another Pauline Alice Xerea dress. I’ve been wearing my first version so much that I was really eager to make another! I enjoy seeing the way that one pattern looks when it’s made up in different fabrics. Since this fabric is much heavier and crisper than the barkcloth I used before, it really holds the tent shape! I love it, actually, although I totally get that this look isn’t for everyone.

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

I thought quite a bit about print placement for this dress. I didn’t want to break up the print too much, but I also wanted to feature all the different colors in the repeat. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, although, really, I think I would have been happy no matter how I used the print! It’s just so cheerful! I’m especially fond of the little eyeball-shaped bits by the pink flower… they’re so Muppet-y! Get this: Man Friend likes this dress! I know… it’s shocking! That’s a pretty big win, in my book!

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

I *almost* managed to fit the entirety of this giant flower on the back… not quite! :) Let’s see, the only change I made in sewing up the dress from my first version was to do a 1/4″ narrow shoulder adjustment. It’s much more comfortable to wear now, although I think I could’ve taken out a smidge more. The dress was MUCH simpler and quicker to sew this go-round since I didn’t have any cutting mishaps like I did the first time! :D

Pauline Alice Xerea Dress + Marimekko | Ginger Makes

OK, now for the fun part! A giveaway! AlwaysMod is giving away two yards of the fabric of your choice, yay! Unlike most of the giveaways I do on the blog, they’re dealing with all the logistics, so you can head over here to enter for a chance to win! The only catch is that you need to sign up for their newsletter, but you can unsubscribe whenever you want to so you’re not locked into a marriage with them or anything like that. :) They’ll pick a winner on or around August 25th. Good luck, everyone! In the meantime, here’s a YouTube video that I stumbled across that shows the printing process in the Marimekko factory in Helsinki- I found it totally fascinating! Anyone else have a sudden urge to do some screenprinting?!

*Fabric was given to me by to review. I super love it. No affiliate links in the post.

Southport Dress!

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

Hello, all! Hope you’re well! Guys, I’m super excited about this dress! It’s the True Bias Southport Dress, aka, the perfect summer dress! Kelli sent me a copy of the pattern to try- thank you, lady! I can’t say I’m an unbiased (is this a pun? I hope not!) reviewer, though, as I have a total crush on Kelli’s style and seriously love every. single. thing. she makes and designs. Fun fact: the clothes Kelli makes for her daughter basically make up my ideal wardrobe. Plus her daughter’s like 5 years old, but she’s got a better closet and much better hair than me. Seriously, if there’s a better-dressed kid out there, I don’t wanna know about them… I can’t handle that kind of competition! Ooh, that reminds me! There’s a mini Southport dress pattern for kids sizes 4T-10! Check it out!

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

OK, so, I love this dress. It’s one of those magical patterns that pop up from time to time in the sewing blogosphere that just looks great on everyone who makes it. Don’t believe me? Check out: Meg, Heather, Katie, Jenny, Coco, Lorene, Amanda, and Andrea. How awesome do all these ladies look?!

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

The dress is sleeveless, with a button placket (but if you checked out the links above, you can see that some people chose to make a non-functional placket, and others to omit the placket altogether and just cut out the bodice on the fold). There’s a knee-length skirt, or a maxi variation with a front slit. I decided to do a maxi this time… go big or go home, right?

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

The dress was easy to sew, and the instructions are clear. I really like the way that the drawstring casing is formed- it’s very tidy and looks really professional. My only regret is that I used packaged bias tape instead of making my own. I had some in my stash that was the perfect color, so I was excited to use it, but it’s much stiffer than this rayon challis. Whoops! Speaking of rayon challis, this ridiculous Hawaiian print came from Fabrics for Less on 39th Street. My buddy Sam gave me a “special deal” on the fabric- the price marked on the sign, ha! It’s a pretty stupid print, but I love it!

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

To summarize: I love this dress. You should make one. Everyone should make one! I’ll just leave you guys with the Man Friend review:

“I don’t hate it. [pause] I hate parts of it. It looks like pants. Is that, like, a thing people do?”

True Bias Southport Dress | Ginger Makes

Whatever, Man Friend, I love it!


Hi, guys! I’m writing to you on a super sticky Saturday in New York– it’s a scorcher out there! Luckily, the sure-fire way to beat the heat, besides eating popsicles for every meal, is a new summer dress!

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

This is the Xerea dress pattern by Pauline Alice, view B. I keep telling myself that I will never buy another pattern, never ever. But somehow, despite my best efforts to stop myself, this one landed in my cart! 8 euros and 21 pages for the PDF wasn’t too prohibitive, so here we are.  Plus, a swingy, 60’s-inspired mini dress? Be still, my beating heart!

The design lines are really fun- front and back yokes, a deep inverted pleat, and cool curved pockets. Of course, these details are totally obscured by the print, but trust me, they’re there. :) And lucky for me, the crazy print also hides a terrible secret… I made a huge mistake when I was cutting this out! I was squeezing the dress out of 1.5 meters of narrow fabric, and for greater efficiency, I was cutting the pieces flat instead of on the fold. I trace one half of the pattern, flip it over, and line it up with notches on the fold line before tracing the other half. However, instead of lining up second half with the CF notch at the bottom, I accidentally lined it up to the pleat line notch, so my front piece was about 2″ too narrow and was tilted off grain. Noooooo! There wasn’t enough fabric to re-cut the piece, so I had to do a crazy patch job, basically filling in the gap with scraps of fabric. Not ideal, but the mistake isn’t noticeable unless you’re close up, and everything is back on grain and hanging correctly. I’m calling it a good save and not getting hung up on the mistake! YOLO, dudes!

That topstitched seam isn’t supposed to be there… ooooops!

The pattern is a very straightforward sew. There is a small error in the pattern that’s been addressed in a new version of the PDF, but basically, the pleat line isn’t marked in the correct place. I didn’t see Pauline’s post until I had already made the dress, and I assumed I had accidentally stretched out the yoke, so I just eased the seam to fit. Next time I make this, I think I’ll do a small narrow shoulder adjustment. I usually skip them, but I should get in the habit of doing them… they definitely improve the fit of my garments.

The wind wasn’t helping me in all the pics with the back view, so it doesn’t usually hang like this, but I wanted you to see the back neckline!

Let’s talk about the fabric! Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a cotton barkcloth from Miss Matatabi. It’s got this great texture and weight, but it’s still really drapey… perfect for apparel! There’s a pink/yellow/brown colorway on sale- you should totally buy it all so I’m not tempted to! Good work, team! You bought it all! :) The fabric was a gift from the lovely Gillian… I sent her some stretch denim and she surprised me with this beautiful print! Isn’t it perfectly my style? Orange, blue, and mint? I love it! Thanks, G! Also: why is it so hard to find nice denim in Canada? What gives, dudes? And, do Canadians use the term “Canadian tuxedo” for denim on denim, or is that just a rude Americanism?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes

I know this is a simple dress and it’s basically a muumuu, but I really, really like it. It turned out just how I’d hoped! Well, with a minor detour to fix my scissor mishap! :o Tell me– what’s your favorite sewing pattern this summer (or winter)? Any new favorites in your collection?

Pauline Alice Xerea dress | Ginger Makes


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