Tag Archives: joann fabrics

a new year’s eve dress (yet ANOTHER simplicity 1419!)

Well, well well…here we are, 2021.

As bizarre and terrible as 2020 was, I’m happy that I did more sewing than ever last year! Teaching remotely, quarantining, and feeling a desire to accomplish something every day really motivated me to work on more projects.

Which makes this a kind of odd post, because instead of sharing some of my newer creations, I am finally featuring something I made at the end of 2019.

My girl Sara (and pretty much anyone who is close to me) knows I am the queen of procrastinating, so it probably comes as no surprise that I only gave myself two days to make a new dress to ring in the 2020 new year.

With little time to experiment with a new pattern, it was safest to go with my trusty old favorite, Simplicity 1419.

I have used this pattern so many times that I think I need to purchase another on Etsy or eBay (it is out of print) so that if I ever change sizes I will still be able to sew her up! (And this time, I would make sure to trace off the pattern instead of cutting into it directly).

Although I didn’t leave myself much time to sew it before our NYE party, I did plan the project in advance. I knew I was going to redraft the neckline to be a sweetheart shape, swap the pleated skirt for a circle skirt, and I wanted sequined sleeves.

The main dress fabric was purchased at Sewfisticated Fabrics in Framingham. I’m not sure why, but I sent Dave to go select fabric for me. I guess I was busy or something? I told him I wanted a somewhat shiny woven fabric, and I made a switch from my original black to deep blue. He told me that he gave those parameters to one of the store employees, and she walked him over to a section with shiny bolts.

He mentioned that I was making a party dress, and the employee said “Definitely go with this one – she can spill her shrimp cocktail sauce all over it, and then wipe it up no problem!”

Haha! I love that she knew that I am clumsy enough to spill food all over myself (I’m not a fan of shrimp, so in my head I’ll substitute the cocktail sauce with onion dip, lol)

The sequined fabric was from Joann. I think I only bought 1/3 or 1/2 a yard, knowing that I didn’t need much for the sleeves.

Both fabrics were such a pain to work with!

The blue fabric shows literally every flaw. It was quite slippery and I have a bit of dragging at the seams – it’s especially noticeable at the side seams on the skirt. Let me know if you have any tips on working with fabric like this. I’m not even sure what type it is, since I wasn’t at the store to check the end of the bolt!

As I cut into the sequined fabric, little plastic shards went EVERYWHERE. I made sure not to use my nice fabric shears, so I used some craft scissors instead. I put down garbage bags to catch most of it while I was cutting, but I swear that to this day (a year later!) I still find these guys randomly around the house.

Even though it was annoying, it was so much fun to use the sequined fabric! It does that flippy color change thing, so if I’m not in the mood for colorful sleeves I can switch to silver. I set the sleeves by machine, without trimming the sequins away from the seamline first. This is a big no-no, but I couldn’t be bothered to do it the “proper” way. By this point in the sewing process I was only an hour away from the arrival of our guests!

After the quickest hemming ever to be done on a circle skirt, I was finished with like 15 minutes to spare. I could have used that time to relax, sweep up the last few sequin shards, and get a drink – but instead I made a belt! 😂

I just used a bit of silver elastic and a men’s bow tie clasp, but it did the job.

I then topped everything off with an adorable fascinator, and I was ready to party! Cheers to the new year!

diy nutcracker skirt

Every year, I try to sew a new Christmas outfit. As always, I started WAYYYY too late – I didn’t begin planning my look until Sunday, December 20th!

My original thought was to use an adorable holly ditsy print I got on a recent-ish outing for fabric. I wanted to create another Nora Shirtdress but was worried about how long it would take since I was hoping to wear my new holiday outfit at school on Tuesday.

Although the dress plans were obviously out, I knew I could easily bust out a skirt in one night. I gave myself a little bit of a head start by cutting out my pattern pieces Sunday. Straight waistbands never work out great on me, so I used the curved waistband pattern from Butterick 4686.

The rest of the skirt was simply gathered, so I just cut out a large rectangle for the front and two smaller rectangles to use in the back. I didn’t have a lot of fabric, so the skirt wasn’t as full as I had hoped, but it still worked out 🙂

I purchased the fabric a few years ago, either at Joann or Fabric Place Basement – it’s Nutcracker Sweet by Alexander Henry (haha, I love that name! It references Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite).

It was really quick and easy to sew, which I did all on Monday evening. However, as I was approaching bedtime, I knew I would only have time to create a matching mask OR add patch pockets. It was a tough call, but I ended up going with the matching mask (not pictured).

I wore it to school the following morning, and it was a huge hit with my students! I have been teaching them about The Nutcracker ballet all month, so it was the perfect thing to wear as I wrapped up the unit.

On Wednesday, I went ahead and added those patch pockets. It was a little pointless since I knew I wouldn’t be wearing the skirt again until next year, but at least now she’s all ready to go for Christmas 2021! (the pockets look a little uneven in the next pic, but I promise they are level! lol)

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year! See you in 2021!

pax east 2019 + simplicity1419


I feel like this whole blog has become me trying to catch up on posting old photos/outfits/sewing projects. But out of all of them, this one is by FAR the oldest!

Although the photos were just taken a little over a year ago (haha, just…), I made this dress many years prior (maybe 2014?). It was actually the first garment I ever sewed for myself that wasn’t a costume.

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down by the station



Back in August 2015 I took some photos at Depot Park in Bedford, MA.   I love this location at the end of the Minuteman Bike Trail mostly because of the vintage passenger car that’s parked there.  It was once part of an old Boston commuter line which ran for over 100 years from 1873-1977.

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