Hot! The “Life Gets in the Way of Sewing” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Plaid gingham, pink eyelet ~$2 thrifted
Pattern: Simplicity 4474
Notions: Vintage zipper – $.05
Year: c. early 1960s
Time to complete: About 8 hours
First worn: September 2012
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost – $2


While this plaid doesn’t exactly scream “Back to School,” it does scream “wedding in San Diego” — the actual purpose for this dress. Considering that San Francisco’s hottest days are around the corner, I figured that I could skip the heavy plaid for something a little more summery.

As with almost every challenge from the last six months, I started this dress at the eleventh hour. In this one’s case, the morning before I needed to catch my flight to San Diego. The only reason I was able to finish it was because my flight was delayed twice before I needed to leave the house. And even then, I had an unfinished bolero that needed more work in San Diego.

Now here is where I’m super proud of myself. Instead of giving up on the jacket, I used a $4 sewing kit to alter and hem the bolero. This includes the most tragic pair of scissors that were about three inches long.

I wish I had more to say about this week’s creation. Frankly, I just want to post something since I’ve been so absent lately. The truth is, while my life is really great right now, I have a ton on my plate. This includes selling my house, Penelope starting kindergarten, doing freelance projects and being in a relationship. Finding time to sew is kind of hard at this time in my life. But that’s okay! I’m not beating myself up because I know that I’m allow to take a break every once in a while.  That’s my lesson to all of you: sew because you love it, not because you have to.

The big challenge is whether I’ll have my dress finished (or even started!) for The Gatsby Summer Afternoon on Sunday. I don’t even know what I’m making yet! Stay tuned…


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.


Comments are closed.

  1. Out of all the plaids this is my favorite! I love it!

  2. Thanks Mena, that’s definitely something to keep in mind: sew because you want to, not because you have to.

  3. Good to hear from you! I’m kind of in the same boat – the “life gets in the way” one. I’ve been so busy designing new knitwear and knitting samples, I’ve not had time to finish my projects and post about them. It’s great to hear you and Penelope are doing well!

  4. P.S. You look great! And your outfit is super-cute and fresh.

  5. Fun! And loving this hair length on you.

  6. It’s good to see you pop up every once on a while and nice to know that smile comes from a happy place. I’m holding not to as much sun as I can get! That dress is perfect for that!

  7. That’s just adorable! And I really love pastel-y, summery versions of plaid. They look so cool and relaxed. And (of course) it’s wonderful to have you back – and to hear you have been away for the best possible reasons.

    Looking forward to your Gatsby outfit, whatever it is!

  8. This is super cute. I had to get my sewing mojo back for Gatsby because I have been feeling a bit burned out. But, it magically appeared. My dress is done and will be worn tomorrow at a creative black tie affair. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with next week!

  9. Gorgeous! Totally understand about life getting in the way of sewing, but it sounds like you have your priorities right. Sewing should compliment everything else, not take over your life. Great advice – sew because you want to…

  10. Love the summery plaid and the fact that you matched it with such a cute pink top and bolero. You look and sound happy with life and sewing. It’s great to see you in a post this week. I’ll miss meeting you at the gatsby picnic. I was looking forward to it, but plans have changed. Have a great time! I can’t wait to see pics.

  11. So light and airy – perfect for a wedding.

  12. You look so cute in this outfit! Love your haircut and it’s good to see you back. I like how you placed the plaid at the waistband so it reads as a continuation of the skirt plaid placement. I admire all that you do despite such a busy schedule!

  13. Beautiful! I like the “looks like separates but it’s not” illusion.

    Congratulations on so many exciting things happening in your life….now when are you going to start being able to turn TSW into a business and make yourself some $$!! ;)

  14. Glad to see you Mena! Your outfit is darling. I totally understand about life getting in the way of sewing. Taking a break is good for the soul.

  15. Lovely to see your smiling face and to hear that you have lots on the go, good luck with everything.
    Lovely lovely ensemble Mena. I hope you get your Gatsby dress done :)

  16. G O R G E O U S!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Lovely colour combination. Green and pink can read as boring preppy, but here they look pretty and delicate. Also, love your hair!

  18. You’re such a star being able to cope with the limitations of a mini sewing kit, and it’s scissors….you truly are the Sew Weekly McGuyver. The colours look ace on you. So sweet.

  19. So pretty… Love the pink and green together.. I also like the plaid around the bolera.. too cute. Happy sewing.