I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I sewed until 4 a.m. and calmed my nerves with the whir of my sewing machine. Now I have a lovely blue dress hanging on a wooden hanger taped to my chalkboard wall.
While this isn’t exactly the way I had planned to whip up a project from Lotta Jansdotter’s new “Everyday Style” book, it turned out to be the best thing for me to do while I awaited sad news about my Uncle Mark who battled cancer until his passing yesterday evening.
Sometimes making things is the best medicine for a heavy heart and Sunday night I was really glad to have the blue Sky Leaf print (37119-9) from Lotta’s “Mormor” fabric collection sent to me by the kind folks at Windham Fabrics. As a fan of loose-fitting dresses that allow plenty of room for me to do my thing without worrying about busting a seam, the Kiomi Dress on p.91 of Lotta’s book spoke to me. I had to make one.
As my daughters got ready for bed, I traced the mid-length dress pattern pieces (included in a pocket at the back of the book) onto freezer paper as I do with every pattern I sew. My cat, Justine, loves this part and planted herself right in the middle of the action as she often does. I shooed her off the pattern about a dozen times as I traced and cut out the pieces. I love that I can count on Justine’s cat shenanigans to make the boring prep work quite hilarious.
The great thing about the Kiomi Dress is that it goes together quickly. I made matching bias tape trim for the neckline and armholes, but you can use pre-made bias tape from the sewing store if you prefer.
Initially, I decided to skip the optional belt, but once I had the dress together I realized that I probably should have made one. So I whipped up a thin belt out of the left-over fabric. I also decided to add pockets because all my favorite dresses have pockets and I really wanted to enjoy this one.
So, after sewing my way through a restless night, I have something blue (my favorite color) and tangible that matches the sky and my uncle’s favorite football team (the Detroit Lions). When I wear this dress I will remember Mark listening to football games on the radio at Thanksgiving dinners and the easy way he made me laugh when I was a kid. He had an adventurous spirit that was not lost on me. I’m planning to take this dress on a few of my own in his memory. (Hug your mom and save me a seat, dude. I plan to be up there in about a hundred years.)
ENTER TO WIN: I believe in the healing power of handmade adventures to my core, so I want to invite you all to leave a comment below about how making stuff has helped you and enter to win a copy of Lotta’s awesome book. A winner will randomly selected. The deadline to enter is 11:59 Dec. 22, 2015. Good luck!!
LISTEN TO MY CONVERSATION WITH LOTTA! And if you missed my recent post and podcast featuring Lotta, the Brooklyn-based Swedish designer who unknowingly helped me out big time this week, you can have a listen below. (Thank you, Lotta.)
And check out the rest of the blog tour for more examples of sewing projects inspired by Lotta’s book and more chances to win a copy for yourself.
Here’s the full blog tour line-up:
Dec 1 – Lotta
Dec 2 – STC Craft
Dec 3 – Windham
Dec 4 – Noodlehead
Dec 5, 12 and 19 – Lotta’s studio will be open for signed books
Dec 7 – Modern Handcraft
Dec 8 – Sew Scatterbrained
Dec 9 – Crimson Tate
Dec 10 – Purl Soho appearance
Dec 11 – Groovy Baby & Mama
Dec 14 – City Stitching with Christine Haynes
Dec 15 – CraftSanity (That’s me!)
Dec 16 – Aesthetic Nest
Dec 17 – Sew Mama Sew
Dec 18 – Lish Dorset
Dec 19 – Fancy Tiger Crafts
Dec 21 – Generation Q
Dec 22 – Carolyn Friedlander
Dec 23 – Crafty Planner
Don’t forget to comment below, look at the sky often and keep making stuff because it really helps.