It Ain’t Nothing but a Houndstooth

24 Nov It Ain’t Nothing but a Houndstooth

 It Ain’t Nothing but a Houndstooth 

Crying for accessories   🙂

I made the dress for football games since both of the college teams my family pulls for are black and something. I finished it Tuesday and their football seasons are almost over – something tells me it’s not going to make it to a game this year.

 So…….How about lunch with the girls

dinner with my hubby….

or the annual “Twas Two Nights” family holiday get together? 

I have seen houndstooth dresses  e v e r y w h e r e  this fall and couldn’t resist this Ralph Lauren wool from Mood Fabrics. It’s very soft with  z e r o  itch factor.

Several features of this McCall”s classic dress pattern appealed to me. With a separate bodice and skirt, I knew the alterations would be more precise than a one piece sheath, I really liked the pockets, and the pattern uses less than two yards of fabric. 

The dress is fully lined and heavy. Originally I made View E, but once I tried on my dress with the basted long sleeves I quickly knew it was only suitable for  subfreezing temperatures.


What had been my first ever perfect sewing project now had an issue.

 I managed to finish the now sleeveless dress by turning in the seam allowances and whip stitching the lining to the wool.It was one more learning experience, but hopefully I’m one step closer to that perfectly sewn garment……… and please don’t tell me it doesn’t exist!

So here I am in nothing but a houndstooth ready to take on most any accessory … except maybe some blue suede shoes ;)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends and best wishes to my international friends for a wonderful weekend!


  • maria
    Posted at 07:38h, 24 November Reply

    the perfect garment….mmm I truly have yet to find it 🙂 m. You look lovely and I like it sleeveless. m. 😀

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:25h, 24 November Reply

      Many thanks, Maria! …… the elusive perfect garment…………. I’ll wear this in the meantime 🙂

  • prttynpnk
    Posted at 07:39h, 24 November Reply

    Lovely fitted bodice and pockets that don’t gap- oh, this is lovely! So many fab ways to acessorize- I think I need to explore some checks….

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:24h, 24 November Reply

      Thank you, Anne! You’ll take checks to a new level!!

  • Becky
    Posted at 08:17h, 24 November Reply

    The perfect garment is one that is comfortable and looks fabulous on the wearer. I think this is probably perfect, or as perfect as anything gets. I love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:23h, 24 November Reply

      Oh how I like your attitude! Many thanks for writing, Becky 🙂

  • Myra
    Posted at 08:19h, 24 November Reply

    This is really pretty! Houndstooth….oh how I really like you! Should be a staple piece in every woman’s wardrobe! and you have created the perfect piece for yourself!

    • goodbyevalentinog
      Posted at 08:22h, 24 November Reply

      Thank you, Myra! I’m having to force myself not to wear it too much 🙂

  • Alethia
    Posted at 08:23h, 24 November Reply

    Very inspiring review! You have done a beautiful job with construction and fit, and also in sharing the different ways that this dress can be worn, thank you!
    I have this pattern, so it’s definitely a keeper. ;o)

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:26h, 24 November Reply

      Hi Alethia! Many thanks for your nice comment and I’m thinking about making the pattern again. It’s a good one for sure 🙂

      • Alethia
        Posted at 13:13h, 25 November Reply

        BTW, Do you have plans to recycle the sleeves into something else?

  • Laura
    Posted at 08:36h, 24 November Reply

    FABULOUS black and houndstooth….and think the sleeveless will be much more versatile. Black hose make the outfit! Hmmmmm perfect garment?…..well maybe but not by me. LAURA

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 08:51h, 24 November Reply

      Thank you, Laura! Yes, I strive for perfection and will quit sewing when I get there 😉 🙂

  • Carol S
    Posted at 08:51h, 24 November Reply

    If the blue suede shoes were a deep cobalt blue, they’d work

  • frammajoy
    Posted at 08:57h, 24 November Reply

    I love anything WITH POCKETS! I think I actually have a very small houndstooth print in my stash. I was amazed at all the choices of boots the other day when I was at the mall, so may make a dress and buy some black boots. ALSO, I didn’t know there was such a thing as wool that doesn’t ITCH. I never sew with it because of that. I have super-sensitive skin. Love the accessory shots. I know how much work that is from the few I put in my blog.
    Hugs, Joy

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:30h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Joy! I love these pockets because they lie flat. Can’t wait to see your houndstooth 🙂

  • Karen
    Posted at 09:15h, 24 November Reply

    Don’t you just love such a versatile dress?? It looks great however you accessorize it. I know you have a lot of “go to” dresses, but this one will surely join that group!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:32h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Karen! I have made a lot of dresses lately……. somehow I manage to justify every one 🙂

  • Mrs. K
    Posted at 09:19h, 24 November Reply

    I love your dress, but then I love anything in black and white 😉 You did a wonderful job on fit and, I agree, sleeveless is better, too. Have a good weekend.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:32h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, Mrs. K! By the way are you a Duke fan?

  • Tia Dia
    Posted at 09:25h, 24 November Reply

    The blue suede shoes would be stellar with this dress. I love a “blank slate” dress that you can dress up/down, and never thought houndstooth could be just that!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:34h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, Tia Dia! In the past I only wore black with b/w houndstooth but it truly goes with everything 🙂

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 10:16h, 24 November Reply

    I love it…looks perfect to me. I just ordered some brown/white houndstooth check and I’m thinking tunic time. You’ll get a lot of wear out of this little number…well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:35h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Dorcas! Brown/white houndstooth will be fabulous on you – can’t wait to see your tunic!

  • Pendle Stitches
    Posted at 10:45h, 24 November Reply

    Who know houndstooth could be so versatile? This is just lovely…and terribly chic whichever way you style it. Happy thanksgiving weekend.

  • Beth (SunnyGal Studio)
    Posted at 11:24h, 24 November Reply

    great dress, love houndstooth and your various styling versions. I have made that pattern and it is a winner.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:36h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Beth! I will have to look up your version of the dress as I love everything you make 🙂

  • cjgal
    Posted at 11:39h, 24 November Reply

    Very nice! That will be great for the holidays

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:37h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, cjgal! I know I’ll wear it non-stop through December. 🙂

  • Sarah Ioannides
    Posted at 12:17h, 24 November Reply

    Love it with the red!! How about considering a sew for conductors – you’d be great at it? Sarah – I’m heading up to Toronto soon and going to see another great designer and I look forward to connecting you too.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:38h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Sarah! Look forward to the new connection!

  • Ana Sullivan
    Posted at 12:42h, 24 November Reply

    I love this dress. I am loving houndstooth. I have pinned your dress to my Pinterest Houndstooth board. See it here:

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:38h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Ana! I just love your Houndstooth board 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Ana Sullivan
        Posted at 18:12h, 25 November Reply

        Thank you for subscribing to my Pinterest! So fun!

  • Marie
    Posted at 13:14h, 24 November Reply

    I like the dress and the different outfit.

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 13:59h, 24 November Reply

    Great dress, Sarah. So many different looks! I have made this pattern before and love it — although on me it ran a bit short-waisted. Love the pockets!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:40h, 25 November Reply

      Hi Cissie! I made this version slightly short-waisted myself……. got a little carried away about shortening the bodice…. I do however love this pattern. 🙂

  • Miriam
    Posted at 14:04h, 24 November Reply

    Love all your different looks! Looks great with each accessory, bet it would even look good with yellow accessories too. Wonderful dress on you.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:42h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Miriam! Right after publishing this post I discovered how good it looks with chartreuse. Many thanks for writing 🙂

  • Laura
    Posted at 14:10h, 24 November Reply

    I love this dress! What changes did you make to the muslin from the first picture to the second? I’ve had a similar fit issue and wasn’t sure how to fix it. I’m thinking I need to give this pattern a try.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:46h, 25 November Reply

      Hi Laura! I shortened the bodice at the designated pattern line and then I folded out another 3/4 inch of bulk in the back armscye to the center back. I tried to show this in the photos but it may not be clear. The first photo shows the muslin in the process of being altered. The second shows the finished alteration and the third shows the back.
      Thanks for writing!

      • Laura
        Posted at 16:33h, 25 November Reply

        Well now that I look at the pictures again I can see the alterations! It is a lot easier to see them when you know what you are looking for. Thanks! I have to shorten then bodice on everything, and it is nice to see the difference that it makes, as shown in your pictures. I think I just wasn’t shortening mine enough in the past.

  • Victoria
    Posted at 14:30h, 24 November Reply

    Lovely dress! To me this is the epitome of your style. So feminine and elegant:) I hadn’t realized how great of a canvas houndstooth is. That dress will definitely take you the distance.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:47h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you so much for this nice comment, Victoria! 🙂

  • Valerie
    Posted at 14:56h, 24 November Reply

    Love the dress. You’ve reminded me how versatile this pattern is..

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:48h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, Valerie! I’ve enjoyed your window treatment posts 🙂

  • Louella
    Posted at 15:35h, 24 November Reply

    You’re ain’t nothing but a rockin’ and stylin’ lady in this sleeveless houndstooth number!

  • Joy
    Posted at 16:48h, 24 November Reply

    Lovely dress! looks good on you and your styling options are cool!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:50h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, Joy! Actually, this dress is so versatile I could have added more looks 🙂

  • Sharon
    Posted at 17:11h, 24 November Reply

    I love houndstooth and your dress is perfect. I have a cream and olive small houndstooth and you have got me thinking 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:50h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Sharon! Your houndstooth sounds lovely 🙂

  • sewbusylizzy
    Posted at 17:12h, 24 November Reply

    This pattern has always appealed to me… and I’ve been trying so hard not to buy anymore… oh dear.
    I love the fabric and I especially love the dress paired with a belt. Thank you for showing how versatile this dress can be!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:52h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks, Lizzy! I’m not trying to encourage you to buy ……. but…….. this would look great on you!……and McCalls does run $1.99 pattern specials fairly often……. I think you’ve got to get it 🙂

  • Sally
    Posted at 17:32h, 24 November Reply

    Love this dress!!!! It looks perfect to me!!

  • Jacqui
    Posted at 17:40h, 24 November Reply

    Looking good Sarah – very on trend!!! I am always in search of that perfect garment; you know the one that raises the bust reduces the butt and openly stuns on first entrance 😉

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:53h, 25 November Reply

      LOL !! I’m not sure this pattern does all of the above but it’s a good one 🙂 Many thanks for writing!

  • Julie
    Posted at 20:33h, 24 November Reply

    Such a great dress, Sarah. I love each of your stylings, especially with the coral sweater. I’ve been wanting to get to this pattern for ages and after seeing yours I surely will.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:54h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Julie! I highly recommend the pattern 🙂

  • Sue K
    Posted at 21:27h, 24 November Reply

    I really love this dress on you, and especially love the way the houndstooth accentuates the darts/pleats. The black belts really make it pop, and I love the matching bracelet. It’s perfect.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:55h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you so much, Sue! The enamel bracelet and earrings were a gift from my hubby and they are as versatile as the dress 🙂

  • gingermakes
    Posted at 21:30h, 24 November Reply

    I commented on the MSN blog already, but GIRL, this is way cute! You look amazing in it (in all three stylings!)!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:56h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks for two comments! I know I’m going to love the dress 🙂

  • twotoast
    Posted at 22:00h, 24 November Reply

    Your dress looks lovely- very well fitted! I think that by having it sleeveless it will work much harder in your wardrobe as your photos show. I particularly like the bight colours with it such as your pink scarf. Very classy 🙂

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:57h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks! Taking the sleeves off was definitely the right decision 🙂

  • velosewer
    Posted at 02:44h, 25 November Reply

    Note to self: Get some houndstooth for winter or for anytime really.
    This is such a versatile and classy look on you.

  • Pauline Droy
    Posted at 03:35h, 25 November Reply

    Your dress look fabulous and from your pictures you can accessories it in so many different ways. Sure you will get to wear it lots of times before the next games start.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:59h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Pauline! I was slightly disappointed that I made it a little late into the game season….. now I hope it won’t be worn out before the next season starts 🙂

  • Ann-Britt Uhrbom
    Posted at 12:52h, 25 November Reply

    I like your houndstooth dress! I have used that McCall pattern for two dresses. However, I have made ​​mine with sleeves as Sweden is pretty cold this time of the year. I also have a houndtooths fabric lying in my stash, a little stretchy fabric so maybe there will be a third dress. I like your black cardigan with fur too – great! It would fit in the Swedish climate.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:22h, 25 November Reply

      Thank you, Ann-Britt! I’d love to see pics of your dresses 🙂

      • Ann-Britt Uhrbom
        Posted at 07:35h, 27 November Reply

        Yes you can. However, I have no blog where I can publish pictures, but I can send them. You can tell me on my e-mail address, ann-britt.uhrbom @, where I can send them.

  • Ann-Britt Uhrbom
    Posted at 13:03h, 25 November Reply

    Me again – have you made the black cardigan yourself. If so, which pattern did you use?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:23h, 25 November Reply

      The cardigan is RTW, but maybe one day I’ll make one 🙂 🙂

  • Calico Stretch
    Posted at 15:55h, 25 November Reply

    The perfect garment – my 6 years olds reckon they have found the key to perfection ….. pink or purple. How about a pink/purple houndstooth? Don’t worry, I am joking lol.

    Lovely dress and it works a treat without sleeves. When it gets colder (does it get colder where you are?) you can layer over it anyway should you need to keep the breeze from your arms, so perfect really.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 18:24h, 25 November Reply

      Many thanks! It does get cold but a sweater will do the trick. I actually think pink and purple houndstooth sounds very cute! 🙂

      • Calico Stretch
        Posted at 19:40h, 25 November Reply

        you’re probably right but with so much pink and purple in the house I am a little dazzled, shall we say!

  • carolinascallin
    Posted at 18:30h, 25 November Reply

    Love, love, love!!! Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns (Great title for your post, btw!) and this looks like it will be so incredibly versatile. I have this pattern, so it’s great to see it sewn up so well!

    Terrific fabric choice, and beautifully done, as usual! Maybe I’ll tackle that silky houndstooth I have in my stash….

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:37h, 27 November Reply

      Many thanks, Cheryl! A silky houndstooth sounds dreamy 🙂

  • Barbara
    Posted at 09:49h, 26 November Reply

    Oh, how I love Houndstooth! And this is no exception. Beautiful dress! Sewn beautifully! My coat (well, it’s actually my fabric as it has not yet been cut to be called a coat, but I’m hopeful) is houndstooth. I love your dress. Great work.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:37h, 27 November Reply

      Thank you, Barbara! Good luck with the coat….. I’d like to have a houndstooth coat too 🙂

  • Ernestine
    Posted at 13:56h, 26 November Reply

    Fabulous as always! Every girl should have something in houndstooth!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:40h, 27 November Reply

      Well put Ernestine! Every girl should have something in houndstooth indeed 🙂 Did you finish your leather cape?

  • CherryPix
    Posted at 15:48h, 26 November Reply

    I’d give my eye teeth for that houndstooth! A dress with bite!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 27 November Reply

      LOL! It’s too early for me to top that one CherryPix 🙂 Many thanks for writing!

  • lbrundage
    Posted at 11:36h, 27 November Reply

    It is a FABULOUS classic! And I do love when houndstooth is brightened with pink! It’s just lovely.

  • Javie
    Posted at 01:55h, 28 November Reply

    Very stylish! I love the mix of menswear with the feminine sheath dress. I also love how you accessorized it. I have some houndstooth fabric (also from Mood) and this gives me some inspiration!

  • Robin
    Posted at 10:56h, 04 December Reply

    what a smart dress – and it looks wonderful with all the different styling options!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:58h, 10 December Reply

      Thank you, Robin! I’ve already worn it enough to justify the project – just hope I don’t over wear it 🙂

  • Attagirl
    Posted at 16:43h, 10 December Reply

    You got the perfect fit! Wonderful dress

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 17:57h, 10 December Reply

      Many thanks! I plan to make it again now that I have the fit figured out 🙂

  • AncientElna
    Posted at 14:55h, 11 February Reply

    Thanks very much for sharing your trials and specifically, your fitting process. I was beginning to think that you were a perfect size for every pattern you worked on! When you decided to go sleeveless, did you change the armhole shape to a squared-off one, or is that an optical illusion? It looks very elegant.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 19:20h, 11 February Reply

      I am an imperfect size for every pattern with an exception here and there 🙂 After taking the sleeves out, I just made the armholes work the best I could. Now that I look at it, the armholes looked slightly more extended on my dress than on the sleeveless envelope version (which was sewn with a different technique to begin with). Many thanks for your nice comment!

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