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2012 March 26
by elizabeth_admin

My friends, I am sure you will all agree that if one has gone to the trouble of altering a TNT pattern, one must dutifully use said altered pattern more than once to justify the effort.  (Although one could argue that the fuchsia and orange colorblock dress was all the justification needed.)  I ask you, why stop at just one?

This weekend, I burned the midnight sewing machine oil.  So much so that I have a sewing hangover today.  I cut out my beloved floral linen purchased at Chic fabrics (I think) last summer and much petted since then.  As soon as I finished the colorblock dress I knew, just knew, I had to cut into my floral loveliness right away.  How did I know this?  Let’s just say that the fabric called to me from within the depths of my fabric closet.  It was quite insistent that it be accented with the green linen I used last year for my linen pants.  Who am I to argue with fabric?  Especially when the two paired together were a match made in fabric heaven. 

I don’t know what it is about this version of B5147, but it just screams Mad Men to me.  Maybe a little Betty Draper?  Is it the floral or the color palette?  Not sure, but I just love this dress. 

New stuff on this dress:

  • I lengthened the skirt part of the dress for the floral section and decreased the bottom hem band to match the width of the waistband.  I wanted to maximize the floral impact while still having some solid bands of accent color. 
  • I remembered to interface the zipper area.  It was definitely needed as this linen had a very soft hand.
  • I used Trena’s method of machine sewing the lining to the zipper tape.  Loved it!!!  Thanks Trena!
  • I didn’t have matching topstitching thread for the green linen, so I just doubled up on thread and used the topstitching needle.  It seemed to do the trick.
  • I tried to cut carefully and in one layer to avoid floral pasties on the bust points and to pattern match on the back.  I was mostly successful.  I still need to work on this skill though.

One thing I forgot to mention about making the colorblock dress and now this dress was that I did not look at the pattern instructions once.  Not once people!!!  I just sewed a dress.  I thought through my order of construction and just started sewing.  And both dresses worked.  They’re both wearable.  Not only wearable, but I love them!  Does this mean I have graduated to some new sewing level?  Seriously, I never thought I would ever get to the point where I wouldn’t need the instructions sitting right next to the machine at all times.  How awesome is this?  I know it’s just a sheath dress and that I have made it before, but I am still tickled by this fact.

Even though it was a tad chilly and windy today in NYC, I still wore my dress to work.  Hey, if I’m going to stay up late to finish a dress, I am sure as heck fire gonna wear it the next day.  You don’t leave a brand new cute dress hanging in the closet.  You just don’t! 

And now for some photographic evidence.  😉  

With careful cutting, I avoided a floral pastie situation


Some pattern matching on the back bodice with an invisible invisible zipper


Bee-yoo-tiful topstitching


Look ma, no bathroom pic!


And a bonus pic of my Singer Featherweight in action.  I love this machine!  I used it almost entirely on the last two projects.


Once again, thank you for all the great responses to my colorblock dress.  You gals/guys are the best.  🙂   And as a matter of fact, a woman stopped her car in the middle of traffic to tell me she loved the colorblock dress on my commute home from work last week.  Can you believe that?  An unsolicitation in traffic!!!

Hey, you know what I just realized?  I almost have enough B5147 versions to wear them to work all week (the silk twill border print, the black eyelet with turquoise underlining, the colorblock, and my new floral).  I just need one more.  Hmmmm…  Well, we’ll see.  I have to get through today’s sewing hangover first.

30 Responses leave one →
  1. Sara permalink
    March 26, 2012

    You look so awesome and I love following your sewing journey and sewing breakthroughs! Thanks for all the photos and lessons learned. Kudos!

  2. March 26, 2012

    Wow, Elizabeth. This one is really really lovely! (Not that the others aren’t).

  3. March 26, 2012


  4. March 26, 2012

    I like this even more than the color block dress, actually. It’s beautiful!

  5. March 26, 2012

    I’m with Peter, I like this one even better than the color blocked dress. Pretty! 🙂

  6. March 26, 2012

    I love that one too! Isn’t it amazing how much difference fabric selection makes?

    Since you’re entertaining the thought of another one, my brainstorming idea would be to use a sheer fabric with texture/color/sheen over a solid for the accent blocks…I’m sure you’ve got lots of ideas for another dress.

    Great work!

  7. March 26, 2012

    I love this! It is much more subtle than the other one, and the spring-y print gives it a totally different feel. I bet you could wear all of your B5147 dresses in the same week an no one would notice that they are the same dress because they all look so different. I totally understand the sewing hangover – after ripping out seams 3 times and needing to make another major re-adjustment I had a bit of a hangover and didn’t sew a single stitch yesterday. Today I am feeling refreshed and excited to work on my project.

  8. March 26, 2012

    Seriously you are rocking this dress and the sewing mojo! I like this version even better than the last!!! And if you are taking suggestions for your next version, how about a black ‘n white one…

  9. March 26, 2012

    Beautiful! I love both versions but this one especially. What a lovely print and the olive linen really sets it off. Congrats!

  10. Rosie permalink
    March 26, 2012

    I have to agree that while I love the fuschia/orange dress, this dress is more special. Keep working that TNT and the mojo!

  11. March 26, 2012

    Lovely dress!

  12. March 26, 2012

    Wow – beautiful dress! That pattern matching on the dress is mah-velous!

  13. March 26, 2012

    Lovely! I like the way the band of dark olive accents your waist.

  14. Karen Mulkey permalink
    March 26, 2012

    Another lovely dress made from gorgeous fabric, Elizabeth!

  15. March 26, 2012

    Yay for you! Two gorgeous dresses and no instructions!

  16. March 26, 2012

    Love… love the dress and like the use of the contrasting midriff band.

  17. Threadless permalink
    March 26, 2012

    Simply stunning!! Nuff Said x
    In the UK alot of sewists are currently taking part in a sewing challenge called one week one pattern (OWOP) including one you know…Karen of “did you make that?” Sounds like you’re all set to join in 🙂

  18. March 26, 2012

    I can’t keep up! I love both of your recent dresses in this pattern, the colour combinations are really lovely and different enough that most people will not be thinking you are wearing the same dress everyday. I think you should make one more and wear them all week!

  19. Sue K permalink
    March 26, 2012

    Love, love, love this version, this is truly fabulous.

  20. March 26, 2012

    Awesome dress, these look fantastic on you.

  21. March 27, 2012

    Those fabrics were made to be together. Lovely!

  22. March 27, 2012

    Beautiful dress – the contrast waist / bottom panel really makes it. Fabulous!

  23. Judi permalink
    March 27, 2012


  24. March 27, 2012

    Oh wow! I love this one too!

  25. Lisa permalink
    March 27, 2012

    To sound like an echo here – this is AMAZING!!!! Simply Gorgeous!!!! Congrats. 😀

  26. March 27, 2012

    I really like this dress! The fabric print is just stunning. The colours… and the design… lovely lovely dress!

  27. March 27, 2012

    This is just gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. And I love the bit about the sewing hangover. I hear that! 🙂

  28. March 28, 2012

    This is a gorgeous dress. I love the banding of colour and the topstitching.

  29. March 29, 2012

    Another stunning dress. Love the fabric. The contrast is stunning. You look amazing.

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