Coming Down the Pike

I’m not a big fan of posts like this because I hardly ever stick to a plan. But, I thought I would share some projects percolating in my head.

 photo 2-2011-125 coat_zpszl8nmdqi.jpg

First, I want to make a spring coat. I love my red rain coat. But, I want something a little sleeker and more refined that works in rain and just plain cool but not cold weather. I’ve had my eye on this Burdastyle 2-2011-125 coat for years (not available for download). Now, I know with my full bust and short neck I’m not ‘supposed’ to wear double breasted. I. Don’t. Give. A. Fig. You can pry my military-inspired clothing off my cold, dead  G-cup body.  I think this will be a nice long project and hope to at least muslin by next weekend.

Second, I need a dress to wear to my dad’s May wedding. Something appropriately bright and cheerful that does not say, “I’m totally wigged out by all of this and I really just want my mom back. ” While it’s a little maternity on me, I really love this polka dot Burda top. I think I want to make the dress version, Burdstyle 5-2010-103 using another polka dot silk in my stash. But, the cream and polka dots might not photograph well and leave me looking like a mid 70s bride in photos.

 photo 5-2010-103 dotty_zpsheqbo4jr.jpg

I also like this similarly styled dress with a different waist treatment. So, I might make up this Burdastyle 6-2010-106 also in this red, cream, brown and black silk I bought in China dog years ago and take them both. I’m thinking the waist will be less maternity. And, there are darts which might make my FBA easier.

 photo 6-2010-106_zps5iscmw8s.jpg

I’ve also always had a thing for this chiffon wrap dress from Burdastyle 4-2011-134. I attempted it over a year ago but didn’t have enough fabric. I think it’s such a cool look and would be great for a late spring wedding. The main fabric is  cotton silk also from my first trip to China. Obviously, I’dd try to add a little bit of dart for some shaping.

 photo 4-2011-134_zpsrxkshtoi.jpg

When we go to the wedding, we’re going to go early and do some beach time. And, I will need a swimsuit. Not a single one I own still fits. Well, it fits, but it’s not pretty, So, I’d like to sew something up. And, probably a caftan too.

Right. That’s like five or six garments. In ten weeks. Obviously, I won’t get them all done. Which is why I hate posts like this and hardly ever stick to a plan 🙂 Feel free to weigh in on what is the most appropriate or maybe even switching up the print for a better pattern? Looking at these, I’m tempted to sew the wrap dress in the polka dot… #immobilizedbyindecision


  1. If it were me…I’d make the third pattern in the wrap style and buy a lands end bathing suit because the have a great variety of sizes and styles and are always sending coupons Then I’d make the bathing suit cover I have not been successful making a flattering b suit even when it fits right

  2. Ya know, I’m busty with a short neck and I find my military style coat very flattering, and I get compliments on it every time I wear it-I think you’ll be fine so long as you add adequate length and width to really fit around your bust without it pulling at the sleeves or looking six inches shorter on the front. I’m with you on the white polka dot, it’s going to “read” as white in photographs, so might be a bit iffy. However, the other two don’t really scream “wedding outfit” either, do they? I like the brown/orange/cream print in the wrap dress, to be honest-it’s a beautiful print, and that one doesn’t break it up as much as the other ones do.

  3. And I agree on breaking the rules for our figure types I m a rectangle and I love belts especially wide ones which are against those rules

    And I vote yes on adding fit details into whichever pattern you choose as you go Those styles are classics for a reasons

  4. Wow – some big lifestyle changes going on there! We had a similar situation in one branch of our family. An uncle married again less than a year after losing his (much loved) wife of 50 years. I think men are just different from women – they can go on loving the memory of the person they lost while simultaneously moving forward with their lives. I can imagine it’s a very difficult thing to feel your way through, but it is probably a better situation for your Dad than loneliness and isolation. The dresses – I like the third one the best, seems to have the most interesting and sophisticated lines. I love that coat – it’s a great Mod-ish kind of look.

  5. My dad remarried a year and a half after my mom died, so I think I know how you feel. Men who are happily married need to be married to be happy. So I just see it as proof of my mom’s importance to him that he needed to be married again so soon. Like his new marriage is a tribute to his first happy marriage. And I miss my mom every day.

    • Wonderful words of wisdom. I was thinking those thoughts, too. Nothing is ever easy, after the loss of your mom. I know.

  6. Re: wedding attire. I went through something similar…I finally went for something on the sophisticated-side that made me feel (or at least look) like I was an adult who could handle anything. The lace dress I settled on photographed well and sent the right message. Your floral fabric in a simple shift dress could be lovely.

  7. The polka dot fabric is the most “friendly” while the other two project a stand-off feeling. Why not wear a solid dress and some tropical fun jewelry that you can wear again later in the year. I’m afraid if you rush to make this dress it will hang in the closet as a reminder of being at an event that was less than joyous. I’m with Laurel, buy a standard bathing suit and maybe go creative with making a wild cover up/sarong type dress? I believe that wives that have passed have a hand in selecting a new mate for their husbands, so maybe think of this new woman as someone who will be a good mate for your dad as he travels through life. Most of all, wear clothes that reflect the love you share with your hubby and smile, you just have the best smile!

  8. I have no advice about the dress other than to make something that you think will be completely comfortable wearing and something that makes you feel confident that you look your best. It will affect your outlook, I think, during a stressful time. I would not set myself up for making a swimsuit unless I thought it would get a lot of wear. I have found over the years that swimsuits just don’t wear long, and any size that I buy often does not fit well the next year, even if I have not gained or lost weight. I think making a swimsuit is a journey, and I am not sure you have time for that in 10 weeks! I agree with those above who suggest you make a great pareo that you can wear with subsequent swimsuits. Make the coat you like to wear, regardless of style rules! And, I agree with Mrsmole. Your absolutely best outfit is your smile. It is an absolute knockout!

  9. Well – I’m partial to your middle choice, but that’s because: 1. I’m not keen on such gathers on grown women; those polka dots look a little twee (sorry!), so together, that pattern and the fabric would be Proust all over, “a la recherche du temps perdu de mon enfance”; and I love the 70’s pop art vibe of that fabric, because I just always love strong contrasts and a bold presentation. My second choice would be your third presentation. But, I do like the middle pattern you picked for the dress.

    BTW, I missed your green top post – another gorgeous result in a colour that’s smashing on you.

  10. I think the first Burda dress could be really cute, but I think I’d avoid such a pale color. I think there’s an unwritten rule about not wearing white, but really, any pale color seems like it would be awkward. Unless you know that the bride is choosing a certain color for her dress/suit/whatever she’s wearing. Or just fall back on one of your previous dresses (like that gorgeous purple/silver one that you made for someone else’s wedding).

    • I like that one too! But, it’s a Sunday day time wedding in Florida. So, it seems a little ‘much’ for then. I think you’re right. It’s pretty pale and could read bridal :-/

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 2:33 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  11. First combination looks great. I love colorful dots 🙂 I hope you can finish most of this list in time. Good luck!

  12. That chiffon wrap dress looks like it would be amazing in the fabric you have pegged for it – very sophisticated.
    Someone once told me that when people remarry quickly after widowing, it’s an indication that they had a very happy marriage. 😉

  13. First, I totally understand the feelings you must be having concerning the upcoming wedding. Watching my dad remarry after the death of our mother was one of the hardest things my sister and I ever went through. I agree with what others are saying, men are just wired differently, and I think your dad is missing the companionship he had with your mother.

    I would recommend the second or third dress selections. I think either would look great in a beach setting and would look beautiful in photographs. The colors are richer and I think would look wonderful on you.

    Good luck with your sewing projects and the upcoming nuptials!

  14. The first 2 patterns seem a bit little girl? The second fabric seems like fall colors….. so I’d go with #3, unless you have a nice solid linen type thing in one of those cool clear colors (recent blues and greens) that are so stunning on you……to use for pattern #3. And I agree with the pro-big smile contingent……


  15. None of them really say wedding to me, but maybe the UK wedding culture is a bit different. Solid pastel colours tend to be the thing here, yellow, pink, turquoise. I think the fabrics in options 2 and 3 are more you being bold and striking, I think you would be most flattered by something shaped at the waist to show off your gorgeous figure. I would also buy the swimsuit, and I would do it earlier rather than later before they sell out.

    • They are both Carribbean and it’s Florida. So, bright, colorful are de rigeur. It’s also a Sunday afternoon wedding with no band, booze or dancing. So, not really a party.

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 5:43 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  16. I’d take on the bathing suit and coverup first, then worry about the dress. Maybe you can buy a suit you and Jordan like, which would take off the pressure. You have some beautiful dresses in your wardrobe, so you needn’t be too bothered if you don’t find time to make one. I like pattern #2 best – no danger of the maternity look, and I’d shy away from the washed out polka dot. Florida sun seems to demand somewhat bolder colors.

  17. My aunt, who is an MSW, says when people remarry after widowhood it shows it was a happy marriage. which, intellectually is quite another thing from dealing with reality… why always burda patterns?

    • I usually sew Burda because I have ten year’s worth of patterns and know how they’ll fit me. I’ve never been good at knowing what is out with Big 4 and I find a lot of the independent designers to not be my style. So, 90 percent of what I sew comes from Burda. At some point, my ‘Want to Sew’ list from Burda was long enough that I could just stick with them. Plus, just about anything I want to sew I can find in my archive.

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 8:30 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  18. I like the second dress option. And I love the cost! I’m trying to work up the nerve to muslin a pea coat, but in addition to FBA, the whole thing will need to be made petite.
    Regarding the wigging out – honestly my initial reaction was “so soon?!” Then I realized it has been long enough for your dad to miss the companionship, but not nearly long enough for you to be ready for someone new in his life.
    Make the dress, buy the swimsuit, make a sarong. Then relax on the beach and smile. You can do this.

  19. I think that you should keep looking for a dress pattern. The one with the waistband is probably the best, but I have a personal dislike of bows in the back of dresses for anyone older than 6. I do like the coat though.

  20. I love the coat! You should definitely make it up but it will be hard pressed to be more beautiful than the red one. As far as the bathing suit, spend the money and go to a a high end department store where you can try on lots of styles, especially with the boobage issue. It’s like a bra. Spend the money…those girls are expensive sometimes.

  21. i agree with the comments about the marriage reflecting your dad’s love for your mom–not that it makes it any easier for you.There’s no way to fill a hole in your heart, but just as you’ve found solace in your companionship with Jordan, your dad knows that he needs companionship, too, lest he wither away. Make the sewing as easy as possible: order a ton of Land’s End suits to try on, make a coordinating pareo (i.e. hem some fabric), and make a dress you’ll be able to smile in. (Could the pattern for the green top be modified into dress length?) I imagine your mom would be happy to know that the people she loves best are trying to find joy.

  22. I read this post and just about died from laughter – so much like my life. In my case, I have two and a half weeks prior to leaving on my trip and all the time before is sucked up by unexpected overtime at work. That does not stop me from thinking all the crap you are thinking.
    On a great note, I just found out I will not need a new swimsuit at all, as all Japanese go to the baths/hot springs in their birthday suits. A load off my mind.

    • I just thought of something! I have become reobsessed with the Bunka colored pattern weights. I was going to ask if I could order them, have them shipped to you in Japan and then sent to me via FedEx using my office FedEx account. But, then I realized I have no idea how FedEx works in Japan or if that’s even an option ::shakes fist::

      Also, I don’t know that I could go full on birthday suit!! But, how much easier is that??

      On Wed, Feb 25, 2015 at 10:13 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  23. One, the coat is going to be great. The thing about no double breasted is really nonsense. The key – like everything else – is fit.

    Second, I don’t think that I can say anything particularly wise about grief, but your feelings about the sudden wedding are perfectly understandable. You are going to feel what you’re going to feel about that. Only one thing I thought I’d mention, as maybe one positive of the whole thing… My dad (long divorced) is not in the greatest health and has one of those chronic conditions that seems like an epidemic these days. I do not live nearby and I worry a lot about the future and if he should have an accident, forget his medication, or something like that. One of my greatest wishes is that he will get married again. I could worry a little bit less then. Of course, I don’t know about your family’s situation, but even though it seems so sudden, perhaps the years ahead are something to focus on.

    • Thanks, Jen. I think about this too. My great regret is that I wasn’t there the last few weeks with my mom. I’d planned on taking FMLA starting with Christmas. But, she passed away on December 2. My dad is 70 so it will be nice for someone younger to be around him since I can’t be.

      On Thu, Feb 26, 2015 at 12:03 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  24. The third swirly fabric is my favourite. I think it will complement your skin tone perfectly. It will also look gorgeous in a wrap dress. Perhaps not that particular pattern though. We curvy girls need more seams and darts to work with than that one.

    Re the wedding – I think I understand how you feel. This has happened in my family, when my uncle lost his wife, and in short order he remarried. The family never quite understood what happened, but I do know that my uncle was very happy in both his marriages, until the day he died. You will get through this. And in perfect style.

  25. Let’s see, I think my favorite dress pattern is the Burda 6-2010-106. I think that would look slammin’ on you! Truthfully, in my opinion, the polka dots feel a little bit off. And if you’re at all on the fence, I think you should find a fabric that you’re really excited about. It can’t hurt to go through this day really feeling good about the way you look. Also, I’m going to vote for you making your own swimsuit! As much as you enjoy sewing activewear, I think you’d really like making a swimsuit, and they don’t take very much time or fabric. Go for it!

    I can’t even imagine how hard thinking about the wedding is for you, and I’m so sorry. In a totally different circumstance, but in some ways similar, my sister married someone I really, really, really didn’t like a few years ago and I volunteered to make the bridesmaids’ dresses just to give myself a distraction. I could barely sew back then and it was kind of a nightmare, but it gave the desired effect- in the days leading up to the wedding, I had to deal with the immediate drama of “how will I get these done???” instead of angsting about the actual wedding. So maybe having a big list of stuff to sew will absorb more of your time and energy and give you a needed distraction? The postscript to this story is that the couple separated after being married about a year and I immediately threw my dress away (didn’t even Goodwill it… I didn’t want to spread any bad vibes!!!).

  26. I think the third dress, the chiffon wrap dress, in the red and white fabric would be very flattering. It also seems like a nice, special occasion dress to have in your closet. On another note, it is hard to see a parent with someone new particularly when you are still grieving the death of the other parent. I have had a similar experience, and even though it did not happen as soon, it was still deeply upsetting. It is hard to reconcile these feelings. Hopefully, he is marrying a good person who will fill his life with joy! You will not have to worry about him being lonely at this time in his life.

  27. Make the wrap dress in that gorgeous fabric, make a pair of full length wide-ish pants in the same white as the background and wear them together so the dress becomes a more groovy tunic/dress-over-pants outfit. You will look as fabulous as usual, but be perfectly Florida-ready.

  28. I vote for the second pattern, maybe with some additional fit details, and a fabric other than the polka-dots. Actually, I would suggest you wear something you know looks fabulous on, and makes you feel great. Even if that means you buy some new fabric (yes, I’m an enabler).

    Two months after my mother died, my father entered a long-term relationship. As Linda said, it is hard to see a parent with someone new, particularly while you are still grieving. But, my father was so much happier not being alone. I do believe he has lived a longer and healthier life than he would have otherwise. And, as a bonus, they look out for each other, so my brothers and I don’t have to worry so much.

  29. I REALLY think you should try the Lady Skater Dress. I know; I’ve mentioned it before. I feel strongly about this 😉
    I am just nearly positive it would be sooo flattering on you, and you’d feel great in it. but if not that, then I guess go with option 2, where it’s fitted around your ribs. And I think you should LOVE the print you pick to use 🙂 I love that you are trying to be careful about how you ‘project’ yourself ~ but don’t over-think it too much, k?

  30. I’d say make the coat and dress but skip the swimsuit and go with a Land’s End option – I even have a 30% code if you’d like it. You’ll most likely get more use out of the coat. Out of the dress options, I’d go with the wrap. Don’t discount a nice cotton dress as an option regardless of what your aunt says; I’m originally form Florida and cotton dresses are staples for a variety of events including weddings. Since moving to Maryland I’ve found that not everyone agrees with cotton dresses being appropriate for events but as long as it’s not a black tie event (and it doesn’t sound like it is) you should be fine.

    • I should have googled a code! I ordered a ton yesterday. Hopefull they come in next week and I can get that squared away. Thanks for the advice!

      On Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 2:52 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  31. The wrap dress looks a winner and I think you could do either a print or a solid color. Would that second fabric (big swirly red and brown print) be a good choice for a caftan or sarong with a matching red bathing suit (bought, not hand made)? the latest Burdastyle patterns have a whole hawaiian theme going on. Maybe one of those would be a good fit for your third fabric? and I would leave the fun polka dots for another dress/event that you know you and spouse will have a blast at, not this upcoming wedding. Good luck with your sewing.

  32. Wigged out, even in Switzerland. But, this is a tribute to your Mom. Men who had bad marriages steer clear of repeating disaster. And older men who stay alone don’t live as long. This new lady deserves a big welcome for so many reasons and is probably quaking in her booties that you won’t be able to accept her, no matter how much she tries. She won’t try to replace your Mom, and can’t. Nobody can and everybody knows that. And hey, maybe Dad was wigged out when you got married to Jordan early to get Mom to the wedding in time. He looks like such a gent, God bless his new union.
    I get you both just want the other to be happy and well, but both of you are making big, big additions to the old nuclear trio. Time will help. New traditions, jokes and shared family experiences will come but can’t be rushed.
    And you can bet your house that before she died, Mom told him to get on with it and not moon around alone. She was that kind of lady.
    I echo the comment above. Do buy a Land’s End or Victoria Secret bathing suit in the right size and concentrate on dresses.
    Big blessings!

  33. I know that it is hard to imagine your father with someone else, but just know your mom will always be your mother and your dad will always be your father. Try and be happy that he can find love again and be happy for the rest of his life. I think that a more Caribbean flare-simple but bright colored dress such as ocean blue, turquoise, bold yellow in a maxi or sheath would be more festive.

  34. Burdastyle 4-2011 #134 looks beautiful. It’s going to compliment your figure so well, and it has pockets!! I can’t wait to see how it turns out…assuming that you’re going to make all of them. ALL the dress. ALL!!! (

  35. Renee, I think you looked absolutely stunning in Vogue 1086 (Tracy Reese Dress) and should make that one using the red and white Cotton Silk (third fabric). That would make the perfect dress for a late spring wedding and you’ll look stunning in it too! You’ve already made the dress once, so it should be a little less stressful for you to recreate. I hope I get to connect with you while you’re in Florida too! (I’ll drive to you this time!) Good luck!

  36. Oy veh. I could see how you’d be a bit ruffled at all this :-(. But this isn’t the forum for psychotherapy :-), so maybe just getting a nice dress out of the wedding will compensate somewhat?

    I think the first fabric, the pale polka dots is probably lovely in person, but will photograph as you fear. Too close to white to be ‘proper’ wedding attire, especially as you’re sure to be included into most of the the special photos. And I think the second dress would look a bit more formal than the first, because of being slightly more tailored. Although you really should not fear putting extra fabric into gathers rather than formal darts, in fact it’s easier as the shape is likely to come out better without those unnatural poking out bits that can sometimes happen when you have a lot to add..

    Try to think of it as just ‘a nice summer dress’? Find a formal occasion scheduled not long afterwards and promise yourself you’ll wear it there too? Or just wear it to something else beforehand so it can feel more normal?

    I do like everyone’s advice about buying a suit and making the 3rd pattern as a smashing coverup. But you should order the suit lickety split so you can try it on and be satisfied with it before you get too close to the wire (says Ms Procrastinator) :-). I second the Lands’ End recommendation..

  37. I selfishly want you to make the wrap dress on the bottom. Because I’ve been wanting to try that pattern for years, but nobody else has ever made it (that I can find) and I don’t want to be the first to find out if it’s a disaster.

Comments are closed.