achievement unlocked: plaid autumn dress

it’s finally cool enough outside that i can wear a dress i sewed last month when it was like 103 degrees out!


this is another sewaholic renfrew paired with the skirt from mccall’s 6754, same as the indelible dress i posted about last month. but i did the three-quarter sleeve version & the cowl neck for the top. i also cut the bodice off in the right place so i didn’t have to sew in an extra panel of fabric to make it long enough.

i made my usual bodice adjustments (lengthen the front bodice, shorten the back bodice, grading both to nothing at the side seams), & i cut the sleeve bands & cowl on the bias for visual interest. i also added in-seam pockets which are kind of big & gaping. i didn’t want to try to press this fabric because i was pretty sure it would melt (i don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s a lot of poly). i think i just need to topstitch around the pockets to get them to lay flatter.

for some weird reason, my fabric wasn’t wide enough to accommodate the full half-circle of my skirt pieces…even though this is like the fourth time i’ve made this skirt & i’ve never had this problem before. ??? it was just a hair too narrow, but i was like, “whatever, the place where it’s short is just going to get folded into the hem anyway, that will address the problem.” but then it was just a tiny bit too short to go into my hem. & i was enclosing the hem in bias tape so i didn’t know what to do. i was really worried it would start to ravel & look awful if i just left it. & then someone was like, “why don’t you just fold the hem up one more time?”

duh! i’m an idiot. so i did & that solved the problem. i also hand-sewed the hem for an invisible finish on the outside. check it:

it had been a while since i did a lot of hand-stitching. it made me want to make a quilt, just so i could hand-bind it. (& also because it’s starting to be quilt weather again.) (which reminds me that i meant to grab my quilt out of the bedroom when i put ramona to bed, but i forgot & now i will have to spend all evening conning jared into giving me back rubs so i can steal his warmth.) not saying my hands weren’t gnarled claws by the time i was done, but i did enjoy the process.

i also sewed non-functional buttons to the sleeve bands, just for fun.


this is, like, the most normal-lady dress i have made so far. i really like it though. it’s super comfy& i wore it on a cloudy 55-degree day & it was the perfect level of warmth. though…it’s sunny in these photos. that’s weird. look at the sun shining on my hair & making it look straight up golden, like i’m in a “sweet valley high” book or something. kudos to jared for these photos. i guess we’ll have to do all future sewing project photos outdoors. just like all the blogs say you should.

not sure what’s next. i’ve been meaning to make a sweatshirt dress for a while but have yet to cut out the fabric. i went to a yard sale last weekend & got a couple yards of what seems to be wool, maybe? it’s purple with small white polka dots, & has a good stretch to it. i’m not much of a polka dot fan, but i love purple. & it was like $3 for two yards–score! (i also got an entire cigar box full of bias tape for $2.) i will probably make a regular renfrew shirt out of it–something i can wear with jeans. because i do gravitate toward pants in cold weather. i also really want to get going on a new quilt for ramona. she is starting to be really interested in naming the things she sees in pictures & i have the perfect fabric to make a kind of i-spy quilt for her, but that will also help teach her letters.  i went to the library yesterday to check out the book with the pattern (it’s a paper-piece project, so i actually need the template), but all their copies were checked out. soon! & i did promise to make jared a quilt too. i also still have one unblogged dress that i need to wear & photograph at some point.

& just for fun, here’s a photo of ramona with her hands in her pockets, slouching around the house like a surly teen:


Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: plaid autumn dress

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