Chill Dress

Chill Dress | Catdoesit.

This is super chill dress that I can use whenever I feel chill. Good for chilly weather. And super chill to make.

I made it years ago based on Burda’s Chill Dress 11/2012 #136B. Which has two pattern pieces on a stretch fabric, so you fit at your own leisure.


Because it was going so well, I added sleeves by tracing a RTW knit sweater, which was a breeze. And it was looking a bit serious, on this very stable stretch burgundy fabric, so I added a ruffle in a matching organza tone that my Mum had lying around. Left that hem raw to make a more casual look.

Chill Dress | Catdoesit.

It is sooooo confortable to wear, any day of the week!

I have been wearing it all winter with tights, a belt and boots. I guess I am not completely used to the dolman sleeves without that cinched in waist.

Chill Dress | Catdoesit.


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 case of the hemstich with a mild shorts fever

Olá amigos!

This one goes to the book of zero cost: it is a fashion from *scrap* fabric, with a *refashion* thrown in just because.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

First, there was the shirt. A dear old white cotton tee, bought on sale some years ago (probably out of kindergarten by now). Still, it is a white and easy top, there is always room for those, right? Alas, a small but irrationally persistent stain got in the bottom of the shirt.

If the stain does not get out of the shirt, the shirt gets out of the shirt.

You can quote me on that! I started pulling some strings – literally -, by aprox. 5 mm. Just enough to pull out the stain – again, quite literally. This took 2 minutes. With white cotton string, I did a simple hemstitch along those bare vertical threads, and got it refreshed and refashioned!

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

Note: this was a first for me. My Grandma is the one with all the talent, hemstitch-wise, so I went to the master for the simplest of techniques. Well, she hasn’t done this on a shirt before, either.

One thing about hemstitching to keep in mind: the only way is straight forward. You can see that the tee has a slight round hem, but it is perfectly on grain, which meant that the line of stitching would not be parallel to the hemline. Gotta go with the flow, I’d say.

Then, there were the scraps. Perfectly good scraps, left over from a quilt my Mom made years ago, almost upholstery-weight black cotton twill. And Burda magazine for July was just in, with its shorts season virus. So, two and two together, the simplest simple sample of shorts came to life – from the Wrap Shorts 06/2014 #124, minus the wrap. I keep going with the literal style, here.


The pattern came together in an hour.The fit was spot on right out of the magazine, although I added 5 cm to the hem, and I am glad I did it! Besides thrashing the wrap, I also kept with a general purpose zip instead of an invisible zip – that will keep my shorts from any ripping open business, thank you very much. I kept the party going with the waistband lining: a wax cotton print from the decade-old scrap bin as well.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

The shorts were too bare to bear (!), so the hemstitch came back to the rescue. Just a simple line around the hem, to show the slightest slit of leg above legal hemline (sassy!). The hemstitching on the shorts was done in two hours, during a train ride, but I can tell a more advanced seamstress would whip up the stitch in less than half an hour. It is a great meditative soothing action, actually, I am getting into it.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

I have used these a little around the house and to the beach, so I can tell this is only a mild shorts fever. Anyhoo, the outfit came out pretty cute from old tee and scraps, no?

Well, pretty far from the original shorts pattern (here)…

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

What ever happened to hemstitching? I haven’t seen it around the sewing blogs… It is a cross-breed from trimming and lace, it should be pumping on the sewosphere! Curious.