Its a brave new world

I have a new computer! This is my first non-mobile blog post since September, and man, does it feel good. I’ve only been able to use a physical computer at the library and my kids were so crazy I only attempted it once. So here I am, typing on my very own computer. yay! This will mean a return to more regular posting, which I have so dearly missed these past six months (the past year, really!)

It seems only right to venture into this brave new world with a new outfit, so today I’m showing you my brand spanking new Michelle, My Belle dress made with a pretty print from Liberty’s latest collection, Alpine Symphony.

Its been a few years since I made my last My Belle, probably right after Wallace was born, so I felt it was time to return to that pattern which ignited in me this great love of garment sewing for myself. I received this fabric on Tuesday, and by Wednesday afternoon, I had a fully finished dress. I even hand sewed the lining in around the zipper and waistline, which I almost always procrastinate doing.

Being intentional in what I buy and use has been a prominent theme in my sewing for many years, but its become of even greater importance, I would go so far as to say its part of my crafting identity since last year. Moving three times in the course of a single year really brought about a lot of evaluation over what I have and can practically use. I’ve parted with more than two-thirds of what I had this time last year, and I can’t tell you how freeing it is. I think one thing that’s been especially helpful to me is the refusal to stash almost anything. With this fabric, I purchased with a vision that I planned to execute straight away rather than leaving the fabric to languish on the shelf and I have a garment that I’ll wear and love for years to come at my immediate disposal.I can honestly say I hardly, if ever, purchase a single piece of fabric without a prior plan, but truly it does feel good to use a fabric before it even makes it to a shelf. I prefer to see it on a hanger in my closet. :)

More about the dress- if you have followed me for long, you’ll know the intense love I have for the Michelle, My Belle dress which is found in the Liberty Love book by Alexia Marcelle Abegg (one of, if not the most used book in my small crafty library). I have altered the pattern slightly to better fit my figure, but I’ll admit to letting this one out a little bit to incorporate my curvier post-four-pregnancy bod. working on that, ahem. The skirt is slightly fuller since most of my weight is in my thighs. Gosh, I hate writing that.

This version does have pockets. I have decided that henceforth and possibly forevermore, all skirted garments must contain pockets or there is just no point. They really do make all the difference.

As I always do, I lined this dress with Free Spirit solid voile in Toast. And since I have had many people ask me already what I’m going to do now that Free Spirit has discontinued that, then were no more, and now are bought… I don’t know. Truly I hoped I would never be without the world’s best lining, and I just hope I can talk someone at the new company into producing it again. Its just unparalleled in quality and cost, and I don’t want to compromise. I never buy “cheap” lining because it affects everything. So to answer the question- I suppose I’ll try out Cotton + Steel’s lawn. They don’t have the right color, but the quality is good. I just hate it beyond anything that their garment fabrics don’t come in standard 54″+ garment width. le sigh.

I’m sorry for whining. And yes. I’m really audibly whining about that. If you’ve used it as your lining, I know you understand where I’m coming from.

I’ve been working on some more pieces for my wardrobe. I’m excited to show those to you. I got the privilege of working with a new, exclusive Liberty lawn, so I’m stoked to show you next week!

If you’ve made it to the end, can we do a head count? I feel like its been ages since I’ve had good communication on here, which is almost entirely on me since its my little corner of the internet and I haven’t been as present as I’d like. But there is sometimes talk on Instagram about people missing blogging, and I quite love it. So I’d like to know who I’m chatting to these days! Tell me what you are making these days or what is inspiring you. I need to add some new projects on here, so if there is a technique you are looking to learn or a project you would like to see, please speak up! I’d like to know what you would like to see. :)


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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

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