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Alder Shirtdress Hack

Since the last time I made the Alder Shirtdress (a whole year ago), I’ve been itching to make it again, with just a few changes!  That’s the beauty of a great pattern, it can be used as a perfect block to start with, and with a few small changes it can look completely different!

I knew that the bodice of the Alder Shirtdress was pretty fitted, but I was curious if it could work with a gathered skirt (without needing the buttons in the skirt to get the dress on and off).  I tried on my last alder without unbuttoning the waist and it worked!

Ready for my small list of changes?  I used the bodice from view B and lengthened it 1.5 inches and cut off the skirt portion.  I then grabbed the back skirt piece from view B and used that pattern piece for the front and the back.  I did use the shirt tail hem, but it’s not as deep as the pattern piece suggested.  I cut off 1.5 inches from the bottom of the skirt piece.  And that’s it!

For now, the waist does not have any elastic in it.  I knew I could belt the dress and I like the option to wear it loosely without the cinched in waist!  I may go back and change that, but for now, I like the way it is!

The fabric for the dress is from Indiesew.  Every few months, Allie releases a collection of patterns and fabrics that are so good!  It’s a lot of fun to watch what she is pulling together.  And you have to act fast on those fabrics because they sell out quickly and they aren’t restocked!  This is the crepe rayon that was from the fall/winter collection last month.  This crepe rayon has such a great drape to it!  I love how loose and flowy this fabric is!

Here’s a quick recap of this project:

Pattern: Alder Shirtdress

Fabric: Crepe Rayon from Indiesew (sold out)

Size: 4

Modifications: cut off pattern at bodice, lengthened bodice 1.5 inches, used back skirt piece from view B for front and back skirt, shortened skirt by 1.5 inches (removed length from bottom of skirt)

The pattern & fabric for the Cleo Skirt were provided to me as part of the Indiesew blogger team.  All opinions, as always, are my own…I love both the pattern and the fabric used in this project!


Manhattan Cotton Carolyn Pajamas


Hey there!  It’s been almost a year since I’ve shared anything I’ve sewn for my sweet girl and man has she grown up in that year.  She has crossed over into adult patterns which opens a world of options to sew (which I love) but it floors me that she’s so old!  Sweet Pea is now 13 and truly her nickname fits her…she is so very sweet!  Here she’s modeling her newest pajamas, the Carolyn Pajamas in Geo Pop Fabric.


I don’t have much to share about the pattern (as I’ve sewn it before).  It goes together great and produces such a great pair of pajamas!  This time, I sewed these pajamas 2 at a time.  I sewed a pair for Sweet Pea and a pair for myself (I haven’t snapped pics yet of my pair).  I like batch sewing and how I can get two products in just a little more time than it would take me to sew one!  I did finish the seams slightly different on this pair.  I did flat felled seams on all the side seams to add a little durability!


The fabric for these pajamas are by Emmie K for Robert Kaufman.  I’ve sewn a few things from Emmi’es fabric lines before (dog bed, skirt, bag), but this fabric is in a new substrate, stretch cotton poplin.  There’s also a few prints in the line by Carolyn Friedlander!  It was the perfect fabric for these pajamas!  It has just a slight amount of stretch to it!  It ships to stores this month (October 2017)!


Sweet Pea was eager to let me take pictures of her as long as she could hold our new puppy, Teddy!  Here’s Teddy (which always makes me smile…our last name is Behr….so meet Teddy Behr)!


Quick Details:

Pattern: Carolyn Pajamas

Fabric: Manhattan Cotton Stretch Poplin

Size: 0

Modifications: none, other than adding flat felled seams

Collins Top

Collins Top :: Dandelion Drift

Hey there! I am thrilled we are at a new week!  A new week means there is no hurricane headed my way, power is back on at our house (after almost 48 hours of no power), and all of that adds up to having the brainwaves to put towards sharing a top I sewed months ago!  This is the Collins top, but first let me give you a little central Florida update!

Hurricane Irma played it’s toll on us emotionally and physically for a couple of weeks!  We spent the whole week before Irma landed over Florida prepping the house and the yard to help prevent any debris from whirling around the neighborhood.  We also stocked our pantry with non perishable items (in case we lost power) and ate as much food as we could out of the fridge and freezer to help prevent waste.  And then Sunday night, we spent the night sleeping in the hallway while we anticipated Hurricane Irma to sweep far to the west of us.  Irma had a different plan though and decided at the last minute to bring it’s eye right over our house!  We had one kiddo who slept through the noisy wind, but one was up the whole night listening to the howling outside.  She also sat up around 2 am and said “it’s raining on me!”  We had two small leaks that sprung in the roof during Irma.  We were very fortunate that Irma did not cause too much damage to our small town.  Josh was able to fix our leaks right away Monday morning after the storm passed, and that was the extent of our damage!  We had neighbors missing roofs or tree limbs down, and our whole town was without power for almost 48 hours.  The counties to the south of us lost a bit more, and as I type this, they are still without power.

Irma has taught me that we are so very fortunate to have the luxuries we have.  We are blessed to live in a country where electricity is brought to each and every house.  In Central Florida, we all have air conditioners to alleviate the 90*F humid temps that are outside!  We also live in a community that comes together in times of need!  The week after Irma, the neighborhood was filled with people helping people, stranger helping stranger clean up the aftermath of the storm.  As we drove around town, we saw linemen from all over the United States and even Canada come down to help restore our electricity. Local restaurants were constantly reaching out to these linemen (who left their families at home to help us) feeding them!  It’s a beautiful sight to see communities come together.

I am so grateful to move forward after Irma swept over us and I pray that those that were more affected by the storm (like my husband’s coworker who lost his house to Irma) can begin to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding (which I know is so very hard)!

Collins Top :: Dandelion Drift

Alright, ready to hear a little bit about the Collins Top?  I sewed this top back at the beginning of the summer as a sample for the Indiesew shop. I loved a version I saw that Emily from In The Folds sewed. She used striped fabric and played with the placement of those stripes to highlight the different pattern pieces.  I did the exact same as Emily, using shirting fabric I grabbed from JoAnn’s.  I also used a tiny cork button at the back.

Collins Top :: Dandelion Drift

The CollinsTop has several different pattern pieces, and they all come together perfectly!  Emily is great at drafting her patterns, each piece fitting perfectly together.  And her instructions are so easy to follow!

Collins Top :: Dandelion Drift

There are two versions for the Collins Top, sleeveless and one with sleeves. I definitely want to sew up a sleeveless version too!

Collins Top :: Dandelion Drift

Here’s a quick recap:

Pattern: Collins Top

Size: C

Fabric: cotton shirting from JoAnn

Modifications: none, and I would sew it up exactly the same way next time


I also wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you who reached out to us, making sure we were okay during the storm!  What a sweet community we are surrounded by!

Mood Fabric Giveaweay

Silk Colfax Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Hey there and happy Mother’s Day Weekend!  I have a fun guest post over on the Mood Sewciety Blog this weekend sharing all the details of my new silk Colfax Dress!

Silk Colfax Dress :: Dandelion Drift

This is the first time I’ve sewn with silk and I was a little bit intimidated at first.  All of my worries were unwarranted though, and sewing with silk turned out to be a lot of fun!

Silk Colfax Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Hop on over to Mood Sewciety to read all of the details about this dress, but not before you enter the giveaway!

Silk Colfax Dress :: Dandelion Drift

If you’d like a chance to win $50 to shop at Mood (either on line or in store), here’s what you need to do:

  • leave a comment below telling me what fabric or sewing pattern has ever made you a little nervous to sew
  • giveaway will be open until next Saturday, May 14 at midnight EST
  • one winner will be chosen at random

Silk Colfax Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Happy Weekend Sewing Friends!


Laurelhurst Cardigan

So I guess this is the week where I show you all the gray things I’ve made out of knit fabric.  Yesterday it was a maxi skirt, today a cardigan.  Okay, so that’s it for the week!  But I could go on and on.  I love the color gray!  Especially this speckled heather gray!

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Today I’m sharing my Laurelhurst Cardigan for the Straight Stitch Designs one year anniversary blog tour!  The goal of this sew was to remix it…change it up a bit and add some personal touches.  I had grand plans for my remix, and then eventually landed on this not so very remixed version of the cardigan!  Here’s my little change….it’s two inches shorter, just two inches chopped off the bottom.

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Want to know my big plans?  I was going to add pockets.  Well, I actually did add pockets.  I have a very similar cardigan from Lands End with side seam pockets.  The pockets in the Lands End cardigan are sewn into the hem, giving them the support they need to stay in place.  Well, this store bought cardigan is made out of french terry, a much more stable knit than I chose.  When I sewed the same pockets in my cardigan, they dropped.  They dipped below the hem line and looked all kind of wonky.  I was so bummed.  I had made a pattern piece for you and everything, I knew it was going to turn out awesome.  Ha!  Oh well, pockets didn’t work so I just chopped the bottom of the cardigan off!  I’m loving this shorter version, though, because I can wear the cardigan with shorts.

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Enough about my failed remix.  Want to hear more about the cardigan?  It’s pretty great!  In fact, I sewed it up quickly (maybe 1 hour total) and wore it to work that evening.  And I received a compliment right away from a friend!  Yesterday I mentioned how I think maxi skirts make you look long and lean.  I think the same is true for these drapey cardigans.  They play an optical illusion on your eye making you look slim and tall!  I love it!

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Kimberly from Straight Stitch Designs has you leave all of the edges raw on the laurelhurst.  I was reluctant to do so at first, but this fabric curled so perfectly that it worked out great!

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Oh, and the fabric…it’s from Raspberry Creek fabrics on etsy.  This is my first time ordering from Raspberry Creek and I will definitely order again.  Ordering knit fabric online can be a bit scary, not knowing the quality or feel of the fabric.  This knit fabric, though, is amazing.  I ordered a bit more than I needed for the cardigan and I’m so glad I did.  I’ll be making a few t shirts and tank tops out of my extras!

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

While Kimberly is celebrating Straight Stitch Designs one year anniversary, all of her patterns are half off….that makes the pdf version of the laurelhurst only $5.  And she has paper patterns (half off also) and stitch kits (40% off) all until September 20th!

Laurelhurst Cardigan :: Dandelion Drift

Quick Glance Details:

Pattern:  Laurelhurst

Fabric:  Cotton Lycra Jersey

Size / Modifications:  size 4, shortened the hem by 2″

Also, you should pop around and look at the huge lineup of other bloggers Kimberly organized to showcase Straight Stitch Designs’ patterns!  And there’s a pretty big giveaway to help celebrate!

Tuesday, September 8th: Meg Cookin’ and Craftin’ | Jennifer Ginger Peach Studio

Wednesday, September 9th: Ajaire Call Ajaire | Heidi Handmade Frenzy | Stacey Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

Thursday, September 10th: Melissa Rebel & Malice | Annika Näh-Connection | Abby Sew Much Ado
Friday, September 11th: Katie It’s Hard to Hear Up Here | Jane Buzzmills | Lisa Mabey She Made It
Saturday, September 12th: Elena Randomly Happy | Allie Indiesew | Jess If Only They Would Nap
Monday, September 14th: Jaime Made By Jaime | Lauren BASTE + GATHER | Sara Made by Sara
Tuesday, September 15th: Audrey Skirt Fixationy | Teri Fa Sew La | Hayley Welcome to the Mouse House
Wednesday, September 16th: Emi Just Add Fabric | Rachael Imagine Gnats | Teresa Dandelion Drift
Thursday, September 17th: Kaysie | KZJO’STUDIO Rita Conversas de Hermanas | Stephanie Swoodson Says
Friday, September 18th: Andreia In a Manner of Sewing | Nienke Pienkel | Abbey Sew Charleston

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cultivate City Gym Shorts

When Bonnie Christine asked if I’d be interested in sewing with some of her new line of fabric, Cultivate, I didn’t even hesitate to say yes.  I’ve sewn with one of her previous lines of fabric before (you can see the projects here with this small poolside tote and Ella top) and loved the fabric so much. Bonnie’s lines are always a little feminine and each fabric coordinates without being matchy matchy.

City Gym Shorts :: Dandelion Drift

My girl, Sweet Pea, has been growing like a weed so was in need of new shorts.  I love to sew her things that will be reached for over and over, so I decided to sew her a new pair of city gym shorts.

City Gym Shorts :: Dandelion Drift I knew right away that row by row lit fabric would make the perfect binding with the stripes. I used flower field mist fabric for the front of the shorts, brown chambray for the back, and plotted farm autumn for the waistband.

City Gym Shorts :: Dandelion Drift

I love how these shorts turned out. So much so that I started cutting out a second pair for my girl! City Gym Shorts :: Dandelion Drift

Bonnie has a great lineup of bloggers showing off their cultivate fabric creations. Take a look at what Ryan made yesterday. And I can’t wait to see what Mary will share tomorrow!

Marianne Dress

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Hey there!  I advanced on to round two of the Super Online Sewing Match, which had me sewing the Marianne Dress by Christine Haynes.  I was so happy to get this pattern, this one has been on my radar for a while now!  In fact, when some local friends saw what the second challenge was for the match, they told me right away how the Marianne dress is my style!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I love the cover photos Christine did of the dress, and pretty much just copied her!  I knew I wanted a striped dress, so I called Harts fabric to make sure they had enough yardage of the fabric I wanted.  They were great and shipped it out right away.  The solid white fabric is Robert Kaufman laguna jersey that I grabbed from the Imagine Gnats shop.  And the buttons were from my stash.

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I sewed a quick muslin of the Marianne dress to check the fit and size 6 was perfect.  (My measurements are 34-27-37 if that helps you judge size.)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

One of the great things about sewing patterns is that they are like little mini sewing lessons.  You learn new techniques which can carry over into other patterns.  With the Marianne dress, I had never used clear elastic before.  It is perfect!  There is no pulling on my shoulder seams, leaving my dress looking pretty professional!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I grabbed a few techniques from other patterns to apply to this pattern.  I finished the neckline differently than Christine instructs.  The greenwood tank pattern (by Straight Stitch Designs) has you finish the neck leaving the binding pretty narrow.  I love the feminine look of this finishing technique and have been pretty much applying it to all of my knit tops!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I also added pockets to this pattern.  I love a dress with pockets, but knew that side pockets on a knit dress are not the best.  I have added side seam pockets to a lady skater dress before, and the pockets constantly bunch up and add bulk at my hips.  The pockets I used are from the Cabin pattern (by Blueprints for Sewing).  I love these pockets and thought they would look great with the Marianne dress.  They are called weltless pockets, and are pretty easy to sew up!  (I do have to confess, though, that I was crazy nervous cutting out my weltless pockets when I had to slice into my dress.  But it all worked out great!)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Here’s a quick peak at the inside.  I sewed it all on my serger, except the hem and the neck line, which were done on my regular sewing machine.  (Christine’s instructions are great and walk you through how to use either machine to sew your dress.)

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Oooh, last thing.  The stripes.  I was meticulous about matching these stripes, so I pinned, and pinned, and pinned some more.  I tried pinning two different ways and thought I’d share what I learned.  The first side I sewed, I pinned each and every single stripe, with my pins perpendicular to the seam (that was a lot of pins)!  The second side, I pinned with my pins parallel to the seam, with the tip of my pin going into one stripe, and out the second stripe.  Both sides worked great, neither one yielding a different result than the other.  From now on, I’ll be pinning the parallel way, using half as many pins as the other side!

Marianne Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Lace Sutton Blouse

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Did you know I was chosen as a contestant for the Super Online Sewing Match over at Sew Mama Sew?  I’ve been a little quiet about it, probably because I’m a little bit nervous (okay, a lot nervous) but I’m also super excited to compete and sew along!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Our first challenge was to sew the Sutton Blouse (pattern by Kelli over at True Bias). At first that calmed my nerves a bit since I’ve sewn this pattern before and then I started second guessing all of my decisions when I was fabric shopping. Should I choose fabric that can show off my stripe matching skills, or maybe pattern matching skills. And then Josh eventually chimed in with good advice (his advice usually is pretty good) and said “Teresa, you were chosen to compete, so stay true to your style. Sew what you would normally sew and if you are chosen to move on in the competition, then great! If not, you’ve sewn some things that you’ll wear and love.”  Good advice, huh?

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

So here’s my new top, sewn in black rayon challis from the imagine gnats shop. I used the same rayon for my last Sutton (just a different color). Ooh, I should mention, my last Sutton gets worn about once a week, so I knew this fabric would be great for another Sutton. Perfect drape, perfect weight, and it holds up to lots of washes!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

I love the contrast fabric options with the yoke, so i cut my yoke piece out of cotton / nylon / rayon lace fabric from Jo Ann (I liked that the lace wasn’t too flowery and it had great drape). This lace, rayon combo is nothing new. Caroline (from Blackbird Caroline Fabric) has sewn a similar Sutton and I love the look of her top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

My last Sutton I sewed in a size 4, where my measurements put me, and the fit is great! This time, though, I sized down the pattern and sewed a size 2. I knew there was enough ease in the pattern that it would still fit great, just a slimmer silhouette. The only other pattern change I made was when I finished the sleeves. I didn’t want to just fold my lace fabric over, so instead I cut two more one inch wide bias strips from my rayon and finished the sleeves just like the neck.

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift  I ironed the shirt, I promise.  Rayon Challis just wrinkles easily, and the light caught my wrinkles just right, agh!

I love how Kelli’s pattern instructions walk you through a beautiful finish inside and out. All of the seams (except the sides) are french seamed. And the sides of my blouse are surged and then turned under and stitched, leaving a clean finish! These pictures below give you a little peek at the insides…

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Phew, round one of the Super Online Sewing Match is done…I’ve never sewn something so meticulously, making sure each seam was perfect! And even better, I love my new top!

Lace Sutton Blouse :: Dandelion Drift

Shoreline Boatneck

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I have this thrifted shirt that is my absolute favorite shirt I own.  It’s a size XL boatneck shirt that I fell in love with because of the colors, and have continued to love because of it’s super slouchiness.  I looked at Melissa’s shoreline boatneck shirt pattern and thought I could recreate that favorite shirt (which now has a couple holes from wearing it so much)!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I grabbed a yard of sweater knit fabric from Michael Levine Fabrics and set to work.  I decided to size up this pattern so that I could get just the right amount of slouchiness.  My measurements put me into a size small, but I cut out the size medium.  I  cut the pattern exactly as instructed, except the sleeves and the facings.  I was running out of fabric for the sleeves (Melissa calls for more yardage than I had on hand), so I cut the sleeves an inch shorter than the 3/4 sleeve length.  I then cut cuffs to add to the ens of my sleeves, which ended up perfect so I could wear them scrunched!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

This shirt was entirely sewn on my serger, except for the neckband and the hem finish.  Those were done with my double needle.  I knew my loose sweater knit fabric wouldn’t hold the shape of the neck facing pattern pieces Melissa includes in the pattern.  Instead, I finished my neckline as described here, by Rachael, with a strip of Anna Maria Horner knit.  I love the little peek of flowers this shirt has on the inside while it is hanging up!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

I asked my husband, Josh, to snap a few pictures of me the other night, and a couple hours later he said “I didn’t even put it together, you must have made something you are wearing, but it all looks store bought!”  Woot….sweet compliment from a sweet man!  This slouchy sweater knit boatneck is quickly becoming a new favorite!

Shoreline Boatneck :: Dandelion Drift

Work in Progress :: Sewing with Rayon Challis

Allie over at Indiesew recently wrote an article on rayon challis, leaving me itching to buy some and sew with it.  When it comes to my own clothes, I usually prefer to sew with solid colors.  I know on this little computer screen prints are more fun, but really solid colors are more my thing, more what I reach for.  So I started my little hunt for solid colored rayon challis.  Rachael, over at imagine gnats, recently started stocking rayon challis, and in solid colors, so I snatched up three yards right away and was amazed when the fabric came in the mail.

Have you ever sewed with rayon challis?  Have you ever felt it?  It is so flowey and smooth.  The best description I could give you of rayon challis is that it’s like a liquid, but I know it’s a solid.  The three yards I purchased of this fabric was destined to become a southport dress, in the long maxi length (Kelli from True Bias just released this pattern).  I cut out the pattern a couple days ago, and finished sewing the bodice together this morning.

Sourthport Dress :: Dandelion Drift

Allie’s tips on sewing with rayon challis are perfect.  I sewed with a brand new needle, to make sure I didn’t cause any runs in the fabric.  There were times when I was sewing that I was worried that the rayon stretched out and lost it’s shape, but I quickly steamed the fabric with my iron, and the fabric snapped right back to where it should be!  I can’t wait to finish up this dress and share the results!  And I now want to have a whole closet full of clothes sewn out of rayon challis!  Dreamy stuff!