“Dressing-Up” Free Shipping

Several weeks ago I had to place an order from Fabric.com for several drapery supplies to complete a client project. And, of course, as usually happens when placing an on-line order, the total dollar value of items in my cart fell just short of the $49 needed to receive free shipping. Isn’t it amazing how that free shipping carrot dangled in front of our faces works on our psyche.

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Instead of spending $4.99 for shipping, I was compelled to do a little personal shopping until I could find something to place in my cart that would make my order qualify for free shipping. The search began with some necessary notions; thread, interfacing, or even machine needles, but those things were just so practical and it was impossible to choose. So the most obvious way to spend your time while contemplating which of those items would make it into the cart is to stroll your mouse through the fabric section, right?!? Suddenly, without any struggle, I found $49 worth of stuff in my cart.

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This beautiful fuchsia knit jumped right into my cart….

Athletic Mesh Knit Fuschia

Fuchsia knit

…..and in the exact amount needed for this dress…..

New Look 6700

…..fabric miracles!

I have had this dress pattern for a long time and have used it often, even making several dresses to be worn in early pregnancy. It is designed for knit fabrics, removing a lot of fitting issues and goes together simply and quickly, making this pattern a “2-thumbs-up” for me.

The last three dresses made using this pattern have included embellishments in a variety of ways; an attached belt at the high waist seam, a band of vertical stripes running in the opposite direction of the horizontal striped fabric at the waist seam and neck edge, and the third dress included lace trim at the waist and neck edge.

For this dress, I again wanted to add some interest with additional construction details. That process began with looking at the color wheel for help with choosing what color to use with this fuchsia fabric. This color swatch caught my eye and, as a bonus, I already had some royal blue knit in my fabric stash.

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After deciding on the color for my dress details, the decision of how to use that extra color needed to be made. The fuchsia fabric appeared sort of “sporty” to me with it’s waffle texture. To continue on that athletic attitude, I decided to add a vertical stripe on the sleeve, a band at the waist, and, to avoid top-stitching at the neckline, a contrast binding on the neck edge.

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An invisible zipper was used to avoid top-stitching this textured knit.

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This picture makes the hem look weird, it is in fact straight, our very windy winter afternoon made a good photo next to impossible.

The best part of this dress is how comfortable it is to wear. The other stuff; figure flattering, up-lifting color,  and wrinkle-free qualities are all icing on the cake.

A great dress and free shipping too! What more could a good shopper ask for?

Becoming a “Great-“

Twenty-nine years ago I became an Aunt for the first time. It is easy for me to remember how long ago it was because that beautiful baby was born the same year that I was married. In my wedding photos that sweet little boy was wearing an adorable hand knit sweater given to him by his great-aunt(she may have been his great-great-aunt). And with his birth, my days of sewing gifts for babies began.

Nephew #1 was expected to arrive in January, so for my first hand made baby gift I chose to make a red corduroy snow suit. It was a super cute finished project, but not very practical for the next nephew who was born in July. So I began the search for a versatile handmade baby gift that could become my “go-to” gift.

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 In that search I found this McCall’s pattern that has become the pattern most used in my entire pattern collection.

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It has been sewn for gifts and for everyday items to be worn for my own two boys. I love the t-shirt design with the overlap shoulders making it easy to slip over the baby’s head and no snaps or buttons to wrestle closed. photo DSC02688_zps5aqe0lwe.jpg Another plus for diaper changes is the outfit being in two pieces, being able to remove the bottoms only means less stuff to wrestle and baby stays warm while the diaper is being changed. photo DSC02689_zps8hmxmmfm.jpg

Finally the most perfect part of this pattern is the attached feet. I mean come on, who doesn’t love attached footsies?!? They look super cute, the pattern design makes them easy to sew and, most of all, baby can’t slip them off to be lost like all those tiny annoying socks. photo DSC02690_zpsrwjsby1f.jpg photo DSC02691_zpssyt9ovui.jpg

The T-shirt portion of this pattern is designed for stretch knit fabrics, but the rest of the pieces can be made from woven or stretch fabric and the size range goes from the Newborn size for babies up to 14 lbs. to a Medium size for babies up to 26 lbs. photo DSC02692_zpstycglibl.jpg

These two newest outfits were made for my first Great nephew. WOW! I am soon to officially be a Great Aunt. Up until this point I have always tried to be a good aunt, knowing for sure there are times I could have done better, but now having an important title like “Great-” raises the bar. I am looking forward to meeting this first Great Nephew and praying that his blessings are many, and for now(and for the benefit of his parents sanity), may his smiles and sleep be plentiful.

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