A peplum swing dress (or When you frankenpattern because you can’t decide which you prefer)

Hello peeps,

This is my favorite frankenpattern dress ever!*

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit

* Some might call it a case of DIY-goggles, but it’s true!

** How do you like my ballet-smug-pose?

This is the bodice of the Swing Dress 08/2012 with a longer version of the peplum of the Peplum Top 08/2012. You may ask why I decided each alone were not perfectly adequate, but I couldn’t tell you. 


The bodice of the Swing Dress is fitted with separate pattern pieces instead of front darts, has short cap sleeves and a side zip. I draw a deeper scoop neckline, measuring very scientifically in the mirror between my collar bone and where I wanted it to be. I also decided to finish it with ivory satin bias tape, together with the sleeves – doesn’t it look nice? :)

The side invisible zip would not cut it – really, it opened after 10 min in the dress, where on Earth do these poor zippers come from? -, so I put in a general zip in its place. The skirt is a full circle skirt where the waist is off-center by aprox. 10 cm, making it a high-low. I added in-seam pockets by drawing a loopsided shape around my hand – again, highly scientific.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

The hem was trouble, though. For one, I did not want the wrong side of the fabric to show, and the high-low made that difficult. Second, to make a high hem with a circle skirt is kind of impossible, because of the deep curve. So, after much fiddling around, I draw full-on facings, about 10 cm wide, stitched them to the hem on one side by machine and blind-stitched them on the other side by hand. That is a looooong hem, folks.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

*** What is that on the floor? So interesting…

I ditched the lining, because my navy polka-dot (actually, tiny-polka-triangles) light cotton is sufficiently opaque and it worked just fine for the summer. I might have to consider making and wearing this with some kind of unmentionables, though, because the twirl on this baby lets the wind swirl and makes my head spin.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

**** Blurry twirl photo. How cliché.

I have worn it at least once a week since I have made it. It is perfect for summer, it is so easy and fresh!

And how does it hold up to the original(s)?

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

***** Don’t mind me, I am just skipping away, all blurry…

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

****** I am f-i-e-r-c-e. With crazy-eyes.

******* Are these too many asterisks?

******** Nevermind.

A fair review in a star of gardens

It is time for a *fair review*!

This one will appeal to every-crafty-one in or visiting Portugal. It is the Crafts & Design market happening the first weekend of every month in Jardim da Estrela*, in Lisbon. The word on the street was that this was not your run of the mill crafts fair… Here’s my take why:

Crafts & Design market | Catdoesit.

1) The setting is unique for a fair: children playing in the grass, couples lying under the sun, water fountains and a luxurious green background. Don’t trust my amateur pictures! Check out the Lisbon Diary photo gallery, you’ll get it.

2) The people on the stalls are not amateurs – you’ll find exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs. Everywhere you look you’ll find new colors and materials. I managed to strike a conversation with some of those who really caught my eye.

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. |PlayStopPlay

Play Stop Play – These guys were my favorite! I spent a good half an hour taking to Richard about his creations… He uses scraps from wherever he can find – vintage, leftovers, hand-me-downs – and selects the weight and color carefully to make these baskets, by tying knots together… it is hard to explain. They give classes and everything! A girl was spending the Saturday with them, weaving and knotting away in a garden bench. :) Best of all? Their slogan:

Working towards world domination by the very clever use of fabric. Since 2013.

Well guys, consider me on your side. Since 2014.


Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | De Trapo e Sonhos

De Trapo e Sonhos - Mrs. Gertrudes works cork like nobody’s business. Cork is an incredible material by itself, and with a little imagination she designs notebooks, purses and this clever bag, that zips out into a bigger bag:


So clever!


Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Mané Sousa

Mané Sousa – Finally, Mané: She works with ceramic using traditional Portuguese techniques for manufacturing tiles, in not so typical designs. She makes little handcrafted tiles to use as jewelry (including some teeny tiny ones to use as earrings!). I did not resist and bought a beautiful blue ring:

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Mané Sousa


As I was leaving, the scents coming for the last stall at the end of the fair caught up to me. Terra Viva had 101 – scented, handmade and 100% natural – soaps to choose from, and I took home a yummy lemon verbena bar (already took a bite):

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Terra Viva

All in all, highly recommend – be it for one of a kind items, inspiration or for a walk in the park. If you care for a visit, save the first weekend of every month, except for August and January. The entry is free!

What fairs and markets have you been recently?

*get it? Jardim da Estrela ~= Star of gardens! I am a pun-genius.