Lots of Love

“Where do you plan to wear this?” were the first words my husband spoke upon seeing this dress.

I have no idea where I plan to wear this dress, but I’m sure something will come up.

Does it really matter? Don’t we find ways to wear the clothes we really like?

I wasn’t ready to put this Simplicity pattern away and had just enough of this tangerine and lavender fabric from Amy Butler’s L O V E  collection to make the dress. I’ve had the fabric for nearly two years just waiting for the right pattern to come along. After finishing the aqua polka dot dress last week, I knew what I wanted to do.

This fabric is so cheerful that matching the nearly 22” vertical repeat didn’t dampen my spirit. As a matter of fact the project happily possessed me from start to finish – I only left my sewing machine to come up for a little bread and water and catch a few hours of sleep.


Contrast facing can open for sporty look.


The pattern matches with the zipper inserted!

So… after a whirlwind of sewing, I find myself with two Simplicity 2584 dresses. The aqua polka dot dress may become a sleeveless tunic or go to my daughter.


I’m entering my 6th month of abstaining from RTW for a year with the belief that I’m on the right path. Several people have asked me about the difficulty of giving up buying clothes for a year. I’m not sure if they believe me when I say it’s been incredibly easy (not to shop) and fun (to sew), but it’s the absolute truth.

PS…… I believe I’ll wear this dress a lot!

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39 Responses to Lots of Love

  1. Louisa Coburn says:

    Just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your website and following your journey through your blogs. What a great idea! Sewing was my main creative outlet throughout my high school and college years, and I have missed it. You certainly have supplied some food for thought!


  2. JoanneM says:

    Another winner. Matching is perfect.
    Are there some RTW items you are NOT wiling to sew during your year of RTW abstinence?
    I absolutely refuse to sew jeans!

  3. Art Attack says:

    It’s adorable! Such happy fabric…you will wear the heck out of this

  4. AllisonC says:

    I love it, I’m sure you will find plenty of occasions to wear it in the summer, it looks great with the gold sandals.

  5. Peggy says:

    This is gorgeous–and I love the sleeves!

  6. kuby2u says:

    This dress is totally gorgeous on you. Your *perfect* center placed zipper has eluded me in more then 40 years of sewing although I still aspire to that kind of perfection.

  7. prttynpnk says:

    You look lovely and kudos on that zipper placement!!

  8. Barbara Segen Gould says:

    I have to echo everyone’s comments. Your choice of fabrics is inspired for this dress….tangerine and lavender! Really? It is beautiful. I have seen one or two of your reviews on Pattern Review over the last 6 months but this one truly intrigued me and so I have read every post in your blog today. Bravo on a brave and daring journey that has revealed some things about yourself that you never knew. I applaud your nerve..the patterns you have chosen to make are in no way Very Easy Vogues. I sewed all of my clothes in college and as a young business woman, but then when I could afford to buy RTW, I relegated my sewing machoine to mending. But when I took early retirement in 2004 I began to sew again and I too am rediscovering the creativity, challenge and sheer fun of making my own clothes. I am enjoying your journey as well.

    • Barbara,
      This is one of the nicest comments I have ever received! Thank you so much for your kind words.
      I am thoroughly enjoying chronicling my commitment to sew through a blog – I had no idea how warm and supportive the blogging world, especially the sewing blogging world is.
      I had not sewn for myself on a serious basis in many years and enjoy it so much more now – maybe I have a better understanding of what styles I can wear as well as a better eye for envisioning the end result. At any rate, garment sewing has changed for the better during the past 25 years and I love being a part of it again!

  9. Carolyn says:

    I’m really hoping that now that you’ve discovered this creative outlet that you will continue pass the one year mark that you’ve set for yourself. You have a gift for this and should definitely continue to explore it. The dress is very cute and will be wonderful during the summer! It was a good idea to make a second one.

    • Thank you Carolyn for the comment! I am so happy to be making clothes again – maybe I needed the 20 year break from making clothes to appreciate the whole sewing process again.
      I am very glad I made the Simplicity pattern again because now there are changes I want to go back and make to the first dress that I was unaware of the first time around. I might even make it a 3rd time!

  10. Dakota says:

    I love this dress Mrs. Gunn! It looks fabulous on you! This is such a fun blog! xo

  11. Dakota – So good to hear from you!! I never dreamed I would be blogging one day but it is great fun!

  12. Sharon says:

    Love your summer dress and the pattern matching is perfect. I agree with Carolyn, please continue with your creations they are wonderful to see.

    • Thank you, Sharon. I visit your blog for constant inspiration! Fitting can be a nightmare for people who are 5’2″ (1.524 meters?) like me, and your clothes fit you to a T. I’m truly impressed!

  13. Keri Jill says:

    I have to say very pretty. This dress says to me picnic on Sullivans Island with your husband, great cheese, bread, wine! Lovely afternoon! I’m a new reader from Charlotte and I’m really glad to find your blog, we come done every chance we get. Your work is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Keri Jill,
      Thanks so much for your comments! I’m always up for a picnic on Sullivan’s Island or anywhere near Charleston. We are in the Upstate of South Carolina and get to the coast as often as possible….. wish I was there now!

  14. SARAH!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I wish you lived here in Charlotte with me! We’d get in a bunch of trouble. Mimi and Patterson would think we should be roommates! I’m going to put your blog on Crush Party with some of your pics, is that ok??

  15. Hi Champagne,
    Thank you sooo much for writing! All I need is to get into a bunch of trouble :)
    I’m loving sewing again A N D blogging! Feel free to put my blog on Crush Party or share with anyone who might like it! Until soon I hope!! – S

  16. Mimi says:

    Make me one! :)

  17. Such a cute dress, Looks great on you.. Dont you just love making your own clothes.so fun.. I have not bought many RTW items either.. And I didnt make a challege to do it..it just kinda happened.Ha.
    Love sewing, and have finally started sewing for me. fun..
    Just found your blog and have really enjoyed it. Happy sewing.

  18. Suzi/FlFiFiLarue says:

    Oh my goodness that is such an adorable dress! The fabric is to die for! When I first glimpsed the picture I thought…a “Lilly Pulitizer” dress!! Here on the East Coast of Fla that is almost a “uniform of choice” to be seen in at the Beach shopping. As I type my “SeeSide Suzi” manniquin is wearing the exact dress pattern in a very beachy lobster, crab, flower power cotton fabric found somewhere. However the fabric is not forgiving to my body so it is relegated to being on show. Love your blog and you are just adorable!

    • Ahhhh…. this is the nicest comment – thank you so much! My girls and I love Lily clothes and have several hanging around in the closets. One day I may do a post just one these Lily dresses! Amy Butler’s “love” collection is one of my all time favorite fabric collections, and I’ve found works well for sewing clothes though most things should be lined. Many thanks for writing :)

  19. Hello, I came across your blog looking for a tunic to sew.. I too gave up clothes shopping for a year in 2011, I never make resolutions but this was something I’d been wanting to do. Now, I realize how much more satisfying and fun it is to craft one’s own things, even with the trials and tribulations, and I haven’t gone back to buying clothing in stores or online. How wonderful to know that others are having the same idea and following through. Since I used to cook professionally, I understand how burned out one can get on a hobby, but it’s great you picked it back up, your stuff looks fantastic!

    • Thank you so much for the nice comments, Anne! I thought I was all alone in this endeavor until I started a blog about it. Sewing has truly enriched my life this year and I haven’t missed shopping at all!

  20. Pingback: Tunic Time | Mood Sewing Network

  21. Pingback: Tunic Time! | Goodbye Valentino

  22. Velosewer says:

    This is a lovely piece. I’ve decided to make more lovely outfits because I have the basics but really enjoy making dresses and clothes that are pretty rather than functional. I try to get the fit right and this year I’ve been concentrating on detailing. You’ve made some great dresses/tops with lots of small but fitting details so I hope you continue, so I have a benchmark to reach.

  23. elise says:

    Hello! I love your tunic, it’s beautiful! Here’s America’s dumbest question…could I rent the pattern from you? I will pay shipping and pay you for letting me use the pattern. I want to make this but the pattern is nowhere on the internet! I’ve searched for hours. The last one I saw was on ebay and it went for $50!!! I will take good care of it, send you a deposit and postage, and mail it back to you. Think about it, OK! Anyway, happy holidays–please help my Christmas dream come true! Thanks for considering this request.

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