Hot! The “Is it 2012 Yet?” Dress

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Fabric: Thrifted wool, $.50, Novato Estate Sale 2011
Pattern: Simplicity 3397
Notions: embroidery floss
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: December 2011
Wear again? yes

Total Cost: ~$1

Is this year over yet? No, seriously. This weekend my daughter and I were bedridden with a flu that manifested itself in total lethagy, nausea and fever (me) and lethargy, fever and more than nausea for my daughter. Thankfully, I had finished my dress by last Thursday so I didn’t have to worry about sewing at all. But, when it came to take my photos for this week, today was pretty much the first day I was out of my sweats.

For the free-for-all I decided to do something a bit novel for me: make weather-appropriate garments. I actually began a jacket but lost interest. So good old Simplicity 3397 from the purple challenge stepped in. The fact that it was still on my dining room table helped win me over. The fabric is a thrifted wool that I bought at the Novato Estate sale in September. These last few dresses have been so ridiculously cheap to make, that I’m expecting to make money on the next one.

To spice this one up, I decided to do a little free-form embroidery at the neckline and at the sleeves. Next year I want to do far more emboirdery and learn more complicated stitches — I find it terribly relaxing.

You’re getting me post-flu so I’m going to keep this short.

Happy holidays to all! Only one more to go before the end of the year. And seriously, 2011 can’t ring out soon enough.

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Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. I love the dress – the embroidery is awesome! Great color, too. You look beautiful :-)

  2. This blue looks lovely on you – and you don’t look like you’re just recovering from a horrid flu! I love the embroidery detail.
    Thanks so much for all your energy, inspiration and enthusiasm throughout the year. Even though I faded out with the challenges I have been here every week following, learning … and most of all enjoying! Merry christmas to you and your lovely family.

  3. Incredible color on you – what a splendid dress! That embroidery really sets it off nicely. Well done!

  4. LOVE the embroidery and this style on you – the color is positively divine!! Fabulous work, and I’m glad to see you’re feeling a little bit better!

  5. You look utterly fabulous in that dress. The embroidery is just fantastic.

  6. Lovely dress – the colour really suits you. Happy holiday! Try not to wish your life away :)

  7. Beautiful dress. I’d never guess that you just recovered from the flu. You look radiant and I love the embroidery detail.

  8. Love the dress and the embroidery! Glad you’re feeling better! You look gorgeous – never would have known it was post-flu!

  9. Mena, your dress is beautiful.. Love the embroidery on it. and you look fantastic to have just got over flu. Pray you and Penelope feel much better soon..

  10. I love that embroidery! Very creative. :)

  11. margueritedesigns

    Lovely dress – just the thing to cheer you up after being ill – just think, you got it over with before Christmas!

  12. What a year – what a ride – have made more this year thank I have in the last 5 put together I think. Thanks so much for your service to the world’s online sewing community and blessings to you and yours at Christmas xxxxx

  13. Yay – you’ve got your glow back. Lovely dress and the embroidery really enhances.

  14. I really like the embroidery. I love embroidery and embroidered clothes. One day I shall master both sewing and hand embroidery!

  15. Such a cute dress! That is definitely one of your colors.
    Merry Christmas!

  16. Oh that is such a darling dress and the embroidery is adorable!

  17. I love the embroidery details. Get well soon!

  18. You look fantastic in a sheath. And the embroidery adds something exuberant and personalized to a classic dress. Plus the wool makes it really different than what you normally make. I like what you did with the free for all challenge – I hope you get to do more free for all in the future.

  19. Love that wool fabric. What a score!