I’m a WINNER… also, missing: half a dress; and guess what project’s next?

Greetings meerkats! How’re things at the ranch? Is the ancient war between the Clan of Meerkat and the House of the Prairie Dog still claiming the best young minds of each generation? Give peace a chance, small members of the mongoose family.

Guess what! Remember my post showing my entry in the mini wardrobe contest over at Pattern Review? Well voting is over meerkat friends and I WON!! Can you believe that? I can’t! That was my very first time entering a contest, and there were a lot of really excellent entries. I was particularly smitten with the Slapdash Sewist’s biking wardrobe! If any of you voted for my entry, thank you so much! The official announcement part isn’t posted on the site, but it’s confirmed!



I was a bit nervous about entering the contest. Before I even knew there was such a thing as sewing blogs (can you even imagine??) I went to the interwebs to find some info on a pattern I was working on (Vogue 8623) and ended up at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. I was so intrigued – all that sewing information! That was also how I found Gertie’s blog for better sewing! Gertie had interviewed Carolyn who made some some interesting points about the bias in the online sewing world against plus sized women winning these sorts of voting contests. I had found my first two sewing blogs (and such awesome ones!) but it took me over a year to enter my first sewing contest and part of the reason was that the interview was stuck in the back of my mind. Le sigh. Of course, most of the reason I didn’t manage to enter a contest before now was my inability to get anything done by a specific date! Nevertheless, let that be a lesson to all you meerkats! The lined jacket contest is running through April 30th…

Missing: one half of a blue polka dot dress

On to my next subject. I have a sewing/restyle puzzle. A friend of mine came over the other night – we wear the same size so we trade clothing occasionally. She brought a funny ebay mishap for me. She got this adorable dress for FOUR DOLLARS! I’d have modeled it, but I need to tack that plunging neckline…

You all know how much I love polka dots! And I like that color blue. Like I said, the neckline in low, but other than that I like the fit. So what’s the problem, you ask? Hmmmmm….

They appear to have forgotten to add the back of the dress. Here’s a shot with the ribbons tied into bows.

These photos don’t really show the shocking lack of a back. When I put the dress on, my ENTIRE BACK was exposed! A very cute look, if one is able to go without a bra, but that’s just not going to work out for me!

I took the dress – it’s free, cute and a challenge! If nothing else, I could use fabric from the skirt to convert the dress to a shirt, but I really like the dress from the front! So… group think… any suggestions for making this wearable? Right now my favorite idea is to make a slip dress to wear underneath (I’ve been meaning to tackle Colette’s Cinnamon) and then do something to make the back look less strange. If I just stuck a slip underneath, I’d look like I was wearing, well, a slip and half a dress. I thought perhaps doing a corset-style lace up the back could be cute. Other thoughts? Also – is this just a poorly conceived backless dress, or have we stumbled into a dark underground of minnie mouse fetish wear? I’ll leave you meerkittens to ponder that – suggestions are very, very welcome in the comments!

Guessing game!

I’m obsessing about my next quickie project! There’ll be two pieces, totally summer appropriate… here’s a hint…

That’s my six-year old self, rocking a completely handmade ensemble, courtesy gramma Pete. It was 1980 and I was sporting the latest in navy polyester and yellow acrylic yarn. Note my life-long reliance on the super hero pose! My grandmother was a triple threat – sewist, knitter and chainsmoker. I learned everything I know from her. I’ve managed to forget the whole smoking part.

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  • sew and so much more
    May 23, 2011

    Congrats on the win! I love the wardrobe and your style! As for the dress….when I just saw the pic…before reading….I thought has she got style or what? She makes her own really cute hospital gowns with ribbon ties in the back!! No looking shabby at the hospital for you! LOL!
    I can't believe there is so little back to the dress! As a girl who cant go braless either maybe a lace insert? I like the corset idea. A red would be beautiful with it and some fun red heels. I'm picturing retro bomb shell look…
    I'm just realizing this is an older post. Hafta go see if you found a solution.

  • Sue
    April 17, 2011

    Congrats on the win – your entry in the contest is how I found your blog and I have enjoyed following it since then. I don't have any great ideas for the blue dress but I wish you hadn't linked to the Cinnamon slip pattern as now I waaaniit!

  • Amy
    April 16, 2011

    Patty, I admire both your fashion sense and your impeccable sewing. Congratulations on winning the contest! I love all the pieces, but have to confess to putting a picture of your skirt's welt pocket on my inspiration board. That is a little work of art all by itself.

  • montanachic
    April 15, 2011

    I thought your entry was great. I think the fact that you are able to make such amazing clothing for your beautifully curvy plus size figure is amazing! Fitting curves is a hard thing to do and you do it wonderfully:) I discovered your blog through the wardrobe contest and I think it is great.

  • Jilliebeanie
    April 15, 2011

    How much fun are YOU!? Found you on Already Pretty. And you're in the great white (currently brown) North as well? Awesome! New follower!

  • Kjersti
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations on the win! And the picture of your six-year old self was marvelous. :-D It's funny but when I started reading sewing blogs I tripped over the same ones you mention, and now, you are among those blogs I enjoy the most. Thanks for taking the time to blog!

  • Izzie
    April 15, 2011

    Congrats! You deserve it! Your wardrobe and blog are an inspiration and I'm glad I found you out there in the blogosphere. BTW your review of V1027 finally goaded me into making my own version, and it was a success! Thanks!

  • RiAnge Creations. Ltd.
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations!!! I love your wardrobe. I'm still working on the deadline issue. :) But I will continue to persevere.

  • amelie
    April 15, 2011

    What if you took out the ties on the back of the dress and put contrast panels in the open back and to help the gaping in the front? Maybe in a creamy eyelet or lace, and then mirror it somewhere else with trim so that it doesn't look like a last minute add in? Would that be too cutesy? I think a nude panel in the back with the bows tied over it might also work, to keep the feel of the open back. I'm pretty sure open backs are a "thing."

    Also congrats! Your mini wardrobe is fantastic, I'm not surprised it won!

  • Liz
    April 15, 2011


    Would a lace/net insert work in the back of the dress?

  • Stacie Thinks
    April 15, 2011

    What fantastic news! Congratulations. You are an inspiration.

  • K.Line
    April 15, 2011

    That win is EXTREMELY well-deserved. Congrats!

  • Mama Violet
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations! Your work is amazing.

  • emcrorie
    April 15, 2011

    congrats! you did a beautiful job!

  • [patty the snug bug]
    April 15, 2011

    Thanks everyone!

    Debi gets a gold star! I've been intrigued by the sew weekly challenges, and couldn't resist this week's so I'm jumping in! Of course, now I feel like a hipster wannabe

    And keep the suggestions coming! I'll likely use a little big of everything!

  • Claire (aka Seemane)
    April 15, 2011

    Well done on winning the competition!
    Re: the dress could you sew 2 faux slip sections front 'n' back in a white/cream to match the white of the polka-dots maybe? you might need to stabilize the front and back neckline of those sections if you make them curved (as I can just imagine the slightly bias-cut edges stretching over time otherwise). Or maybe make the new white sections juts straight across (i.e. a "horizontal slip-neckline" beneath the blue-dress kind-of-look)? :)

  • Karen in VA
    April 15, 2011

    Congrats!!! Well deserved…..
    Cute dress…not ideas on what to do with it…..

  • Tanit-Isis
    April 15, 2011

    Conga Rats!!! I was trying to vote but for some reason couldnt find my way to the right page, arghhh. Glad it turned out anyway. Did I mention congratz?

  • monkeysocks
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations! Your wardrobe is so pretty and wearable!

    The polka dot dress is pretty, you should totally keep it as a dress, and I like the idea of the backlessness (though like you I really dont have the bony back/no need for bra that backless requires. sigh.)It would be nice to keep the spirit with a low back without looking like youve left half your dress in a lift door.. If you could find a similar satin to the blue you could add in two v shaped bits, one at the front to pull the neckline up a bit if its too low (youd prob have to take the existing neck trim off, and then have a tapered v shaped piece) and a matching but much larger piece for the back, that pulled it up into a v that ends just above your bra? If you did it on both the front and back it would look more like it was meant to be that way.
    (I know this image is a top and its at the front and its floppy rather than sewn in, but this sort of idea for the back http://resources.shopstyle.com/sim/31/79/31794010b00fe111328c35db4b9285d8/moschino-cheap-chic-bluefly-vneck-sweaters-moschino-cheap-and-chic-black-wool-with-satin-trim-sweater.jpg)

  • Janlynn
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations on winning the PR contest. Well deserved! I have just started to follow you. You are a great sewist with an even better sense of humour. Can't wait to see what you do with the polka dots.

  • Debi
    April 15, 2011

    Congrats and I voted!! :-) Your entry is totally fabulous! OMG. love the picture of you as a kid…did you know this week's theme at the Sew Weekly is 'kidding around' taking inspiration from a childhood photo! Perfect timing!

  • Miss P
    April 15, 2011

    Well done Patty! Thoroughly deserved!!

  • Heather
    April 15, 2011

    Congrats Patty! I forgot to go vote, sadly, but there were some great entries submitted. I really liked the overall look of your entry. Very springy! :)

    I like your idea of adding a slip to the backless dress, but if you did a corset-like back on it, wouldn't that conflict with the ties in the back of the dress? Might be better to keep it simple in the back and showcase the bows from the dress. *shrugs* You're a creative cookie, I'm sure you'd make it work regardless.

    Finally, look at that red red hair! The superhero pose is very familiar for some reason… :D

  • LAP
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations! All that careful thought and inspired sewing deserves to be recognized!

    I dig the blue polka-dots, and I do like the idea of layering it with a slip, what about putting straps across the open v-back (like the mini-belt on your coat) and little white buttons to echo the dots of polka? One could provide shelter for your bra strap..

    I hope you're making a romper!

  • The Hojnackes
    April 15, 2011

    Congratulations!! There were some great entries, so that says a lot about your wardrobe. I love how yours are feminine and could go dressy or a bit more casual. Definitely well rounded- and clothes that I could totally wear myself. LOVE IT!!

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