Pink is my favourite part!

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to buy hot pink fabric in adult prints? Particularly if you hate cotton jersey like I do. So after I gave away my only hot pink dress at a clothing swap this spring, I suddenly decided I NEED MORE PINK! Luckily Jamie offered to drive me to a Fabricland last weekend, and boom! I have two new pink dresses.

Pink Dresses

Hello stripes!!!! I bought just a metre of this stiff textured poly knit, thinking I would make a boxy top… but I got it home and realised I had just enough for a shift dress. Sometimes being short is handy!

Pink Dresses

The fabric has very little stretch, so I dug out the Cashmerette Montrose top which I’ve muslined but never made. It’s perfect for this fabric, because it definitely needs that bust dart to hang properly. I kinda fudged the back on the fly to eliminate a yoke and gathers. The armscye was a bit low (which is normal for a pattern designed to have sleeves) so I took the shoulder seam in 1″. I used scrap knit bindings at the neck and armscye, and voila! A bold strong dress that I adore!

Pink Dresses

Can we talk a minute about perfectionism? Friday Pattern Company said in an Instagram story recently that she thinks the quest for perfection stops us from just sewing, and that it’s particularly unhelpful for newer sewists who might think that everyone else is perfect every time and they are a failure if they aren’t too! This dress is not perfect and it still makes me REALLY happy. The stripes mostly match, the bindings sit a bit funny, and I could definitely take it in an inch. But none of that matters because this dress is all about the fabric and the way it makes me feel!

On to the next!

Pink Dresses

This dress is happiness incarnate. I don’t even like the print itself all that much (olive, lilac and hot pink?) but it was the only pink knit in stock at Fabricland. The whole thing as a package is great though, and I was so happy the whole day I wore this!

Pink Dresses

The dress itself is based on the Groove dress pattern, which I freehand cut to have some grown-on cap sleeves. I had just two metres of this fabric and was determined to have a ruffle hem, so I cut the dress part out of 1m and made the largest circle (aka. a donut shape) out of the remaining metre! If you are a smaller size than me this may not seem impressive, but trust me, I had barely any scraps at the end of both dresses!

(Shall I be more specific? To make the ruffle I measured the bottom hem of the dress, and googled a formula to figure out the radius of the circle I needed. I folded the fabric in quarters and used a ruler to mark a circle with a radius of 11″ as needed. I had made the dress 9″ shorter, so I made my ruffle 9″ deep. After I cut I realised that I’d rounded up the radius and forgotten seam allowance, so my ruffle was a bit long. I sewed it on without pinning and trimmed off the extra. The sleeves I free-hand cut as you can see below!)

The neckline and arms I finished with bands… and because I was low on fabric, I ended up cutting the neckband in particular a bit too short! That’s what gives the slight gathered effect… which someone admired when I posted this dress in my MMMay round-up, so who am I to argue? πŸ˜‰

Pink Dresses

I go through phases loving tent dresses and preferring some wait definition, and right now I’m Team Belt. I made this twisted belt by cutting a 6″x60″ long stripe across the width of the fabric and seaming it along the long edge. Then I tried it on, twisting the edges once at centre front and folding them back on themselves. Finally, I stitched the ends down. (This is why I don’t write tutorials! So many words, so little clarity. Basically, if you hook your two forefingers together, that’s what the belt looks like.) I tend to get annoyed by bow belts and hanging ties, so I like how clean this is.

Pink Dresses

Here’s what I love about sewing: I bought three metres of fabric and just a few days later I had two unique dresses that I love to wear!

Now, can I ask a question? There’s been discussion on disclosure online, and it’s making me wonder just what you’d like to know from me. Does it influence your feelings about this post if I tell you that I received the Montrose for free from Cashmerette last year?

I didn’t test it, but Jenny often offers her patterns on release to her testing pool. I *always* tell you when I pattern test, and often the second time I make a tester pattern too, but once I’ve had a pattern a year I just forget where it came from! If you read my blog often them you know I’ve got half a wardrobe of Cashmerette AND you won’t be surprised that I chose not to test the woven blouse pattern. In this case, because it’s the first time I sewn it, I do think it’s important to tell you that I got the pattern for free, which is why I’m mentioning it!

I’ve always figured that if you follow me then you trust me, and if you don’t trust me then don’t be influenced me… but I’d also like to be as open as you’d like me to be, within the limits of my own time and energy! For example, I’m not going to tag every item in MMMay which is sewn with a pattern/fabric that is payment in kind for testing or creating content for someone else’s blog. I do try to mention it clearly the first time something like that appears here though. Nothing here is sponsored, and I make zero money on anything I do online. I’m confident I’m well within the laws for disclosure here in Canada, so what I’m really asking for is your opinion as part of my community!

Thoughts on pink, ruffles, or stripes? Thoughts on transparency? I can’t wait to hear what you think!


44 thoughts on “Pink is my favourite part!

  1. Love the dresses. The pink is so breezy and can be really dressy. The stripe looks great. You do such a great job fitting your clothes.

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    1. Thank you! Fit is such a funny thing, isn’t it? I lean towards under fitting clothes because then they’ll fit me for years – whenever I make something snug I know it will be less forgiving! But it’s such a joy to get the proportions right for ones own body so that everything has a chance of looking great! πŸ™‚

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  2. That stripe dress makes me smile! I really feel like people only need to reveal they got the pattern for free on any review type post they might make, and maybe on that first IG hey look what I made post.

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    1. Thank you! I really love those stripes too. I might go buy more when they are one a better sale! And thanks for your thoughts on disclosure – I feel like it would be so boring for all of us if i mentioned testing every single time I make a TNT, but I also want to make sure people feel like I’m being open!

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  3. You look so cute in your dresses. Since you are “short” and I am round and “short” I need all the simple pattern changes I can get. Please keep making MMade. Thanks for helping sewist like me alter patterns in simple, easy to understand ways!

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    1. Sometimes i think that the sewing adjustments made vertically are more important than the horizontal! Something that is too long (or short!) in every part of the body will just never look good! One of the things I love about Cashmerette is that she drafts for a high waist and it works perfectly on my long-back/short leg body! πŸ˜‰

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  4. Those dresses are both fabulous! I especially like the stripe, and I don’t see any of the issues that you mention!
    I don’t mind at all you making garments from patterns you’ve received for free, especially since, as you said, you regularly have makes from Cashmerette patterns.

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    1. Thank you! πŸ™‚ My time is too precious to waste on sewing companies I don’t love, so thank goodness for Cashmerette, Closet Case Patterns, Jalie, and all my other favourites!

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  5. Those dresses are both fabulous! I especially like the stripe, and I don’t see any of the issues that you mention!
    I don’t mind at all you making garments from patterns you’ve received for free, especially since, as you said, you regularly have makes from Cashmerette patterns.

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    1. It is such a good one! i like how the side seams go straight for a few inches below the arm before flaring out. Give it more fit at the bust and then swing below that!

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  6. Another 2 winning dresses! I really am not that bothered about that level of disclosure because the evidence of a good /bad pattern / fabric is in the photo! If i like how it looks I will be positively influenced, if I don’t like how it looks I won’t consider buying it! I only want to know if bloggers are linking to products they get commission from or are sponsored by.

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    1. That’s a great perspective! And honestly, I do make things that don’t make it to the blog, because if they are boring/bad enough that I don’t want to wear them, why would I spend my time photographing and writing about them?

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  7. Thanks so much for the construction details- I did laugh when I realised the lovely gathers I admired were accidental:) Bookmarked and will copycat your dress this summer!

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    1. Your first comment made my day! Proof that no one else is seeing the negative quite like we are. Hope you make your own ruffley dress soon!

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  8. I don’t care if you mention getting a pattern for free on a personal level, but there are legal regulations requiring disclosure when you get something for free (at least in the US), so you should probably check out the laws about in Canada.

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    1. Thanks Carly! I’ve been doing research on Canadian laws, and I’m well within them. I understand that UK and EU laws have really tightened up lately, so we’ll see how things change here in time!

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  9. I follow you because your blog is a joy to read, we have similar body types, very similar taste in prints color and style and I honestly don’t care if you get a pattern for free or not. I understand that people want transparency with that because they feel if you get something for free your post/make is sponsored and it is biased towards positivity at the sponsors request. But to be honest, I don’t think there is that much shadiness going on in blogland. Maybe I am clueless but I just don’t think it is happening as much as people think. So it really does not matter to me.
    And as for the pink-joyous! You look comfortable, happy and it is a really flattering color on you.

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    1. Thank you! I really don’t feel like there is shadiness about disclosure in the parts of the sewing community that I follow! I hear that there are Facebook groups where everyone is trying to promote their affiliate codes, and where designers require testers/promoters to do certain social media posts… but I don’t know anyone who would be interested in that! I once tested for a company that insisted on a short testing pictures with final blogworthy pictures to be submitted days after. I said yes because I’d always been curious about the company, but then they went and pissed me off further by ignoring clear fit issues in the larger sizes during testing, and let’s just say I’ll never test for them again!

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  10. Most important line in you entire post
    [This dress is not perfect and] it still makes me REALLY happy.
    I made myself a pair of pink orange and silver pants (a lot worse than it sounds) …the fit isn’t great (it was actually a non wearable muslin) and yet-I feel insanely happy just putting them on (yes, I do wear my nonwearable muslin- at least around the house)
    I’ve been waiting for Sewcialists to do a theme – Imperfect and Really Happy

    It also reminded me of this post that has made Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic such a hero
    https://sewingfantaticdiary.blogspot.com/2014/09/can-we-talkabout-fit.html

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    1. Thank you for that link! I love Carolyn but I don’t think i was following her in 2014, because I don’t remember that post! It’s just perfect. And yes – Imperfect and Really Happy would be an AMAZING Sewcialists theme! (We’d probably drive the perfectionists insane though! πŸ˜‰

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  11. I love your blog and the information I get on the patterns that you sew. I couldn’t care less if you got it for free as long as I know where it came from so I can shamelessly copy you if I want to ! It’s all about trust and after reading your blog for some time anyone can see that you put your heart and soul into sharing the good and the bad with the sewing community around the world. Don’t stop:)

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    1. Thank you! That’s exactly how I hoped people would feel reading my blog, so i really appreciate it! Sometimes I wonder that too much disclosure will make people think things are shadier than they really are – I think of pattern testing as an act of charity, cause I spend my own money and time on fabric and sewing… I’d hate for people to think that I could be bought off for the price of a PDF! πŸ˜›

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  12. Personally I do not care a hoot if you found the pattern in a dumpster or paid for it in full. I appreciate your asking. I’m here for the inspo on makes and attitude. Which you offer in spades. So thanks

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    1. OMG, this made me giggle when it came through last night!!!! If anything could induce me to dumpster dive, it might just be sewing!!! The dumptster behind Mood? Let me at it! πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the vote of support!

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  13. Personally, I only think its relevant to disclose the source of the pattern if you’re writing a review. This is because you’re effectively paid for the post and as such your opinion may be more rosy than it would be if you’d paid full price for it. That’s to say if something is free, i’m always more forgiving of it than if I’ve paid a few $$. I can think of patterns that were a bit rough that were free and despite the extra work I’m happy with them, and others that are probably the same overall standard but cost me >$10 and I am really unhappy with those. So I want to know if the pattern was purchased or free if you’re reviewing.

    But if its just a, look at me in this dress then I really don’t care whether it was free or paid. There is no opinion given so that factor doesn’t exist.

    I think that makes sense…. oh and I love them both.

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    1. Thank you! That definitely makes sense! I’m trying to think if I’ve ever been sent a pattern for review where the pattern was free and I promised to post it. I don’t think so! I’ve definitely been sent free patterns a handful of times, and maybe half of them made it to the blog – and yes, I would ALWAYS disclose that. I totally agree that when I use a free pattern online, I’m more forgiving. But if I’ve done the work to test it and used my own fabric and time, then I don’t personally consider that pattern free… I mean, i could work minimum wage for an hour and buy it, or I could spend 5-8 hours on sewing and feedback and use my own fabric as a tester!
      The good news is that I think there is a lot of honestly around testing, at least amongst the companies I test for. I’ve never seen anyone I know was a tester post a make without mentioning testing!

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  14. I love this post Gillian! I just purged my fabric stash and my daughter decided to try her hand at some sewing…free fabric from mom and help anytime she needs it…why not!? I was super pleased but I warned her about perfectionism… it is not at all a goal!!! I reminded her of all the duds I have made, mistakes, wasted fabric etc and that it is okay and to expect it. Perfectionism robs us from the joy of making and creating! I have been sewing a looooongg time and still run into problems or am a lazy sewist, making imperfect garments.

    I love that you shared the fact that you “freehand cut” the sleeve on your dress! I totally do that kind of thing all the time!! Sometimes it works…sometimes it doesn’t. Who cares. That’s how I learn. That’s my style of pattern drafting. lol

    I love both of these dresses! Super cute! Great post.

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  15. And here I’m on a quest to avoid as much pink as I can while shopping for baby clothes, since I know the secondhand stuff I’ll be getting will be dripping with it! πŸ˜‚ I’ve softened my stance on corals and flamingo pink, but I’m mostly team ocean colors anyway. Your dresses look so happy and fun!

    And I don’t think it’s necessary to tell more than once when you got a pattern for free. We all know you’re a TNT hacking queen and so you use the same patterns often. πŸ˜‰ Also, I feel like saying it on repeat could make some people feel bad that they don’t have the audience to get some of the freebies themselves, since internet FOMO can be so real.

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  16. More hot pink please – I love this colour – it’s impossible not to be happy while wearing hot pink! On the free pattern disclosure question, yes, I prefer bloggers to mention it if they’re giving their opinion on the quality of something that they didn’t pay for – so I guess for me it depends if you’re commenting on the pattern, or just stating that you made it again.

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  17. I love both of these! The striped one, in particular, is exactly what I’ve been looking for to use for some scuba that I have. What made you decide to go with the Montrose, instead of say, the Springfield or Concord to hack? (I tried on a simple RTW doubleknit A-line shift and fell in love, and I want to replicate that look–so I want bust darts but mimimal seaming.)

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    1. I have to admit, there is absolutely no logic in my pattern choice! I used the first pattern I thought of. That said, I think it was the right choice because Concord dresses catch on my bum, and springfeild was never a pattern that I’ve lived wearing myself. I prefer a higher neckline, especially since I wanted this to be 60’s goodness! (Although as I pointed out to my mom, anything she wore in the 60’s would have had a MUCH higher hem!) πŸ˜‰

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  18. I don’t really care how the patterns you highlight are acquired. Your passion for sewing and the sewing community apparent in your writing. I trust that you are giving your readers your honest opinion.

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  19. I like both of the dresses on you – they really suit you.

    In terms of disclosure, I always appreciate when bloggers let their readers know if payment (cash or in-kind) was exchanged for a review.

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  20. Gorgeous! I particularly like the pink patterned one, but that’s because it’s the kind of dress I like to make and wear.

    I’m really pleased you brought up the issue of perfectionism. I often find blogs and Instagram posts intimidating because the finish on many garments looks so perfect and the photos so professional. Fortunately, because I belong to a sewing group, we are able to keep some perspective. There are always imperfections; that’s what makes each piece unique (and how we learn and improve with each make). I’m also beginning to realise that my issues are not immediately obvious to anyone else looking at my garment!

    As for referencing every pattern and fabric ‘gift’, I’m not bothered. I read blogs for inspiration and new ideas regardless of where they come from. Keep blogging!!

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  21. In would really like to know what size pattern you use and how tall you are. Some of your outfits look like the kind of outfit I would wear. They are cute on you, but how would they look on me? If you have already d0ne thus, give me a link.

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  22. This isn’t related to any of your prompts but would you be willing to show the inside finishing on some pieces at some point? I’m still a pretty beginner sewist and even when things come out well externally I feel like they just look terrible on the inside and my perfectionism gets all spun up. Some perspective would be great!

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    1. YES! What a great request. The insides of my makes are always a bit of a mess and I just don’t care. Everyone I sew for knows that they will have to trim threads themselves! πŸ˜‰ I’ll do a post about insides soon!

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  23. Bright pink and florals, yay! On the disclosure point, I think transparency is great so people don’t have the chance to feel misled. Also for pattern testing you know the final released version might be different from the tester version so for someone making the garment it can be useful. I always see pattern testing it as doing someone a favour though, given the work involved (rather than payment in kind via a pattern). But a year down the line I totally get if you are making something again and don’t remember where it came from!

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  24. Wow, two beautiful dresses! It always amazes me how quickly you make these. Even a ‘simple’ dress can take me a couple of weeks, haha! (Mostly just to get ON with it, but also I just sew slowly)
    Thanks for your honesty on the free stuff. I agree that most of your readers trust you, and that includes trusting that you would give a negative opinion even if you were given that pattern/fabric for free. While I’m sure that Jenny’s great social media strategy helped her company get a hold in the sewing world, I know most of the gushing is based on how truly great her patterns are. I think you’re fine not to mention free stuff every time you mention the final garment, but think the first mention is important as well.
    I know for me at least there are many considerations on whether a pattern a blogger recommends is right for me – most importantly, I know my body and style differ from bloggers, even those I love. But I definitely notice that I see more of certain pattern companies that have a wider blogger network than others, even though I love their design (thinking of the great dresses from How to do fashion, for example, which I rarely see and since they’re more complex, I’m wary of just trying them out; or thee German company Crafteln who focus on body affirming sewing for many sizes, but have apparently not mastered the media game). Sorry, long tangent, what I wanted to say is: I trust you, but these discussions are important because the influence of ‘influencers’ is more mediated than just ‘I like her, I’ll bit what she recommends’.
    Enjoy your pink dresses!

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