Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How did she do that?

I have recieved lots and lots of emails asking questions about how I make patterns. They run the gammut from how do I knock off a dress to how do I make the actual digital pattern.

I have been answering these q's one at a time until I today when I recieved a super sweet email from a long time reader who sews with a group of Military wives. I am a SUCKER for military wives. I have sooooo been there and would honestly bend over backward for anything a military momma asked. Her group asked how to mimic a particular dress. Well I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to walk you lovely readers through my entire process AND let you pick the dress you want recreated in an "inspired by" dress!!

I figure I have one more BIG project like this in me before they pry my seing machine from my fingers to pack it. (Is it odd that I laid it in the suticase to see if I could just pack around it? ha!)

This would probably be a week long process with a post dedicated to measuring yourself correctly and where to measure, creating the pattern pieces with your measurements, making the dress and then making the digital pattern.

I now this sounds daunting (just typing it I feel a bit quesy) and it took me a long time to figure this out and work out kinks so don't worry if you're first crack at it leaves you with a dress that looks like a potato sack. I wanted to know how much interest there would be in this though? I don't want to bore ya'll. If you would like to see this happen leave me a comment and let me know which of the dress in this post you would like to see me "attempt" to recreate and I will get to work! And maybe there might even be a giveaway at the end!

Also just a brief side note:
1. While I like to think of myself as a pretty adept semstress, even after serging etc, in the end a dress you purchase from a retailer like Shabby Apple and Down East Outfitters is always going to be higher quality. They use professional grade machines, thread etc. So if you are looking for a dress that you will be able to hand down to your daughter you might want to make the splurge. I have yet to purchase a dress from Shabby Apple that I haven't been thrilled with. I am always a bit apprehensive due to the price tag but the minute I put it on I always feel it is totally worth it.
2. I wanted to reiterate that I am 100% fine with readers making and selling items created using my patterns on Etsy or other sites. More power to yah! I do however retain all rights to the patterns themselves and they can in no way be reproduced or sold.

112 comments:

  1. Yes please! i like the Overboard dress

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  2. Oh yes! I like the Overboard dress as well.

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  3. Pretty please! This would be amazing! I have wanted to learn to do this for so long!

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  4. Yes yes yes! Pretty please?!? All the dresses are cute, but I especially love Toe the Line :)

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  5. This sounds exciting (& you're right - daunting). I'm interested. All the dresses are cute, but I'm not pregnant nor will I be any time soon, so the Green with Envy is the only one I'm not interested in.

    I've never purchased anything from Shabby Apple or Down East Outfitters, but I beg to differ on the "hand-down-ness" of something hand made. I own a few vintage dresses & although they are not as tidy as something mass produced today, and only one is made by a relative, I believe these garments are quality goods & have a great deal of value, and I spend large amounts of time imagining the women who made them, what the process was for them, how many times their children interrupted them, etc. I can't imagine that any dress made by a mother passed down to a daughter (once said daughter was old enough to appriciate the work put in) wouldn't be quality. (I understand what you are trying to warn your readers, I just think you undervalue yourself. ;) )

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  6. I'm very new to the whole sewing world and would love to see how to do this. I think the Toe the Line one would be great! Thanks!

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  7. An emphatic YES! I have been wanting to learn how to make my own patterns for a while, and this would be so helpful.

    It seems Toe the Line and Overboard are very similar (possibly the same?) and either would be great; the Down East Basics dress is cute too.

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  8. Oh yes please! I would love Toe the Line. I almost bought that one as my Mothers Day gift :).

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  9. Yes! Interested! Also I'm loving the first dress, hope it is the winner! Seems like the second is a lot like one you've made before, just different dimensions... :)

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  10. Yes, please!
    I love the Toe the Line dress!

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  11. YES YES YES!!! That would be so amazingly wonderful! I am dying to learn how to do ALL that stuff. I would love it if you did that! I think my favorite would be the toe the line dress and the overboard dress (I can't see any difference?) so either of them would be great.

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  12. I love the toe the line dress... love it!

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  13. I am new to sewing and would LOVE to learn your tricks of the trade. PLEASE SHARE??? I am large and in-charge with baby #3 so the Green with Envy dress is my pick. Thanks!!!

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  14. Oh a tutorial on how to create your own pattern would be phenomenal! I am not a big dress wearer at the moment, but I will be as soon as I get over the fact that god blessed me huge feet for a reason and everyone is not staring at them and my thick ankles, haha. The overboard dress is uber cute, I would love to see you recreate it. It will probably look better than the original as everything you sew is amazing!

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  15. I am so excited! I vote for over board!

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  16. This is a wonderful idea!! I love the overboard dress! I don't really wear dresses much either... I have an insulin pump to hide and big legs. lol! But I may get brave!

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  17. That would be wonderful! I'd love to see Toe the Line. Thank you for doing this!

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  18. Yes!!! I've gotten so lazy and never make patterns for things anymore. Once my daughter got big enough that I couldn't fit each piece on a sheet of notebook paper I gave it up and now I just cut around her clothes and hope for the best. I would love to learn the right way to do this:)

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  19. I like toe the line and overboard. They look very similar, actually, in terms of style.

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  20. I'm interested!! I love the toe the line one best!

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  21. This would be so amazing! I love the overboard dress.

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  22. I LOVE this idea! I'm casting my vote for the toe the line dress :-)

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

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  23. Another vote for Toe the Line! PLEASE!

    Thanks, Kelly! I always love to see what you've come up with!

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  24. My vote is for the overboard dress. I was looking at that new line just the other day. If you would take the time to do this it would be SO appreciated. Your skills are amazing.

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  25. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea. PLEASE do it! I vote for any of the shabby apple dresses!

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  26. Definitely overboard or toe the line :) Either or both ;)

    What a fabulous idea!

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  27. I would LOVE to know how to do that! I like the overboard dress as well.
    THANKS for sharing your creative genius with all of us!
    bethtachick@yahoo.com

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  28. I would LOVE some details on how to draft a pattern. I don't care which dress you pick - all of them would look AWFUL on my very-not-svelte body, but I know I could use the same idea to copy some dresses that I DO love!

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  29. A resounding YES PLEASE from over here!!! I also adore the Overboard dress:) This would be so awesome!!!!!

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  30. I would love to see the Overboard one - this would be great!

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  31. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the overboard dress! please do that one! I make patterns for my daughters clothes all the time - but am terrified to do my own!

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  32. I am curious to see your process, so you can count me in. The Overboard and Toe the Line look like the same dress only in different fabric. They are me favorites.

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  33. Toe the Line! I am so interested! I think you are amazing!!

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  34. I am very interested and I like the Toe The Line dress by Shabby Apple. I was just wanted to make a dress for myself and didn't know where to start without buying a pattern...so this will be perfect!

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  35. I Really want to know about how to make patterns digital!!! I have a bunch I have drawn out and want to make them legit!!!!

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  36. Yes, yes, yes! I especially need to know how to measure myself. Commercial patterns never fit right when I follow the pattern for the measurements they provide. Based on what other folks say, I know it's not ALL me, but I'm sure I'm not measuring at all the right spots. Overboard dress, please!

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  37. I think it's so wonderful and generous that you'd be willing to walk us through the process! Thank you! I especially like the Toe the Line dress...I even have the perfect chambray fabric for it ready to go!!!

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  38. Yes! This sounds like an absolutely wonderful opportunity. Thanks for the offer and I look forward to following along.

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  39. I am de-lurking just to say thanks so much for writing such a fabulous blog and that either the overboard or toe the line dress would be fabulous! I've given up on sewing for me in favor of sewing for my three year old daughters but wow - I would love either of these dresses so I'm willing to sign up for the sewing/ripping/fitting experience:)

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  40. I love the Overboard dress or the Le Petite dress. I think it would be great to learn! :)

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  41. I love this idea! And the I like Overboard dress.

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  42. I very dislike dresses which are cinched all the way around the waist. My shape precludes me from wearing them! I would love to learn your method and Le Petit Linen is my favourite of those you pictured. Thanks so much for doing the work of it all.

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  43. i'm very interested! i understand the packing issue as well. i have two things that i would not allow onto the moving truck t hat came with me in the car. the first was my bosch mixer and the second was my sewing machine!

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  44. I would love to see Toe the Line!! :) I would be especially helpful to figure out how many yards you will need for a plus sized body! :)

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  45. I love the Toe the Line one and would love to see you work your magic on that dress.

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  46. heck yes! I'd love to see overboard!

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  47. thank you so much for doing this!!! Any dress will be great, I love 'em all :))

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  48. I love the Toe the line dress! thank you for the effort and your inspiration!

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  49. My favorite is TOE THE LINE. But they are all great. Thanks for everything!

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  50. Le Petit Linen dress is my favourite. Regarding learning how to draft your own patterns, there is a e-course starting in June at Whipstitch http://whipstitchfabrics.com/blog/e-courses/
    Personally I have been learning myself for a while and I enjoy drafting patterns much more than using a ready-made one.

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  51. Yes! Toe the Line is my top pick. But overboard is a close second. thanks!

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  52. I'd love to hear your advice! How to create a pattern always baffles me. And since I'm prego, I'd love the maternity dress, but I really love love love the Toe the Line dress!! :)

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  53. That would be awesome! I am a fan of the Le Petit dress, but any of them would be wonderful.

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  54. yes yes yes!!!! I can make my own skirts but have a difficult time figuring out how to measure for the bodice and how to translate that into darts! Even taking a store bought pattern and just modifying the fit is daunting. I tried it once and yah. not a happy sight. So any tips you gave would be sweet! None of the dresses shown are really my style (I like fitted, simple lines and boat necks) but I could for sure apply the same principles!

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  55. I love the over board dress, but the toe the line is a for sure second place lol. I have been looking at both of those dresses on Shabby Apple since they released the line and I would love to see a pattern for them!

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  56. I am very interested!!! Toe the Line and La Petite are my faves!!!

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  57. I vote overboard! Can't wait for the post :)

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  58. I like overboard and toe the line, could you also cover how we would make the length longer? Also how to either make a pattern bigger or smaller? I am given patterns all the time that are no longer sold in the stores, but are not in my size.
    Thanks!
    missysaprons@yahoo.com

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  59. I love the linen one from down east, but this is a great idea to help me figure out how to recreate some of these designs in my own way.
    Thanks!

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  60. I love the overboard! It would be amazing to learn how to make one for me!

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  61. Exciting! Love them all, have to say being prego I'm partial to the Green with Envy.

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  62. I'd love it. I'm working on creating a digital pattern right now, and I'm stuck. I can't figure out how to combine all of my jpeg files to a pdf without distorting the scale. I'd love to see a series on this.

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  63. Yes Please! The Overboard dress!

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  64. I'd love to see this. I love, love, love the Overboard dress.

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  65. This sounds like such a fun learning experience! My vote is for the Le Petit Linen dress. Thank you!

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  66. Kelly! You are so amazing! Yay for doing this! I wish I had a serger....well, let's be honest, I wish I was willing to take the time to use my dang sewing machine! Maybe I can start with your next pattern/tutorial. My fave is Overboard.

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  67. I triple double heart this idea. I think Le Petite is my favorite.

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  68. this sounds so fun! overboard or toe the line dress please.

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  69. This is just what I've been waiting for! Thanks so much for offer to explain it all to us. I like the Overboard dress best.

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  70. I would love to see toe the line!

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  71. Of course!! I would love to learn from you :) I love all of them but esp the Overboard. Love your blog & really enjoy your talent!

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  72. Yes, yes, yes! Overboard dress.

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  73. Uhhh, YES!!! I just tried doing exactly this last night!!! ANd let's just say it didn't quite turn out like I had hoped!!
    Something to fit over a growing belly would be appreciated here! So either the Green with Envy or the Toe the Line or Overboard would work probably work too... info on how to adapt a dress to maternity would be very appreciated too!!! Thanks!

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  74. YES please!!! You definitely will not bore us! Even though I am not pregnant, I still prefer the Green with Envy dress - I figure it can be changed up a bit to become a non-maternity dress, right? (and I bet you'll be able to show us how!) :) Looking forward to it!

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  75. I'd love to see toe the line re created

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  76. I'd love to see "Overboard" become a pattern.

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  77. I would love to see the process! Omg not boring at all! I like the overboard one.

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  78. GOSH.....I heart you to death!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am OK with anyone!!!!!!! I AM SOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  79. I would love this! I so what to learn how to draft my own patterns!! Since I'm preggo, I vote for the Green with Envy dress. But since that dress isn't getting too many votes, could you maybe include a little bit on how to accommodate a belly in your series?

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  80. Please, Please, Please!!!! This would be so amazing! I love the Toe the Line dress. I can't wait to learn from you. Amazing!

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  81. That's an excellent idea! I would like Le Petite Linen dress :)

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  82. I have been trying to make patterns on my own, but I would love to watch to see how you do it... it's overwhelming so far! I love the Overboard dress the most!

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  83. Yes, thank you! I like the Toe the Line dress!

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  84. I would love this just for the process - but I like Toe the Line.

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  85. Yes, let's do it!! I would love to learn, I've followed your blog for awhile but I've never commented that's how exciting it would be! Your so darling, and I vote for the overboard dress:)

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  86. that would be so wonderful! I really look forward to reading about how you do it and what tips you have!

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  87. Yes, please! I can't decide between the overboard dress and toe the line. Either would be awesome!

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  88. You are so generous to offer something like this. I really love the overboard dress. I hope you know how loved your blog is!

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  89. Wow. Yes, please do! The first two or last one, pretty please?

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  90. Kelly, I'm de-lurking to tell you that you're breaking my heart!!! ;) you said "While I like to think of myself as a pretty adept seamstress, even after serging etc, in the end a dress you purchase from a retailer like Shabby Apple and Down East Outfitters is always going to be higher quality. They use professional grade machines, thread etc."

    I have actually spent years trying to overturn the myth that hand sewn garments HAVE to have that "homemade" look. You honestly can use just a needle and thread and no sewing machine at all and still sew a couture garment with a better quality and fit than any item bought at a store!
    (I've done it many times!)

    I totally agree that while beginners may struggle to get a finished product that looks professional at first, once you have spent years perfecting your craft, with proper fitting and finishing there isn't a factory out there that can produce a finer garment than an adept sewer.

    I enjoy your inspirational joy in sewing tremendously! (and love your adventures with travel since I am an Air Force wife and travel a lot too) But just wanted to let you know how passionate I am about quality home sewing!

    Keep up the good work! (I hope I haven't offended you, I meant everything I said in good spirits!)

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  91. Le Petite Linen dress is definitely my favorite - as others have said, cinched waist dresses are not flattering in the least for most of us who have had children.

    Also, I would like to echo Sabrina and others regarding the hand-me-down-ability of handmade vs retail. I am nowhere near as skilled as you but I believe that many of the things I make are - or will be - cherished by my family, friends and children if only because of the time and thought put into their construction. I love my handmade bags and things more than anything I could buy (at least in my price range ;)). And my mom and MIL have said the same thing about what I make for them.

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  92. I would love to see your tips on dress design! Also, I have to say that homemade dresses (if done well) CAN stand up to being passed down for generations. If you serge the ends and pay attention to details, I often find it's better than what I can buy. I recently ordered my first shabby apple dress (cider). I was so excited about it. Then I received it- and was really bummed by the poor quality construction. I returned it!! ... I realized that for less cost and a few hours labor I could make something nicer, so I did.

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  93. I would totally love it too! My favorite is toe the line. :) But any are great!

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  94. Very pretty ... I think that the Le Petit Linen dress would be my pick ... I'd love to learn how to make something to fit my bust/waist/hips all at once!

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  95. I would LOVE to learn how to make a pattern!! You are a brilliant seamstress! Would love to glean any knowledge from you!

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  96. Let's do Overboard. It is great that you will impart some of your knowledge to us. It is always so useful to see how other people do things.
    Thanks

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  97. I am looking forward to coming posts! I would most like to see le petite linen dress, it has the most features I like on it. :)

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  98. I would be ALL OVER this! Love the Tow The Line dress and would LOVE to learn how to make patterns that fit me. :) Thank you for even considering to do this. I am way too excited.

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  99. Hello Kelly,

    I have to say that I LOVE your blog, it is so interesting, and you little one is soooo adorable. Being new at sewing, and so far I have some pretty bad luck with it, since I am only 5,1 and very curvy = I have a D cup....Needless to say it is impossible to fint patterns that fit me. So I would love to learn how to make them. I would like to see the Overboard dress or the Le Pettite Linen.

    Thanks,

    Nina

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  100. yes please! I like that checkered one that you first posted

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  101. Um yes!!! And I like the last one.

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  102. As another military wife, I appreciate your kind words. I absolutely love your creations, you are very talented! I would love to learn all that I can from you, I love the thought of an in depth week long tutorial. Thank you thank you thank you. Oh, and I like both Overboard and Toe the Line.

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  103. Toe the Line please! I love your work and would love to "get inside your head" with how in the world you create patterns!

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  104. I think it sounds like a fabulous idea! Even if i didn't make that dress, I would still LOVE to watch/read/learn your process, so please do!!!

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  105. To come out with a dress like these I would definitely go with the long process. I am amazed by your skill and actually came to check you out because of the red ruffle top (which my girl is totally getting in purple)
    I would love to see the overboard dress, J Peterman always has gorgeous ones like it, but they are so expensive.

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  106. Thank you for blessing us with your experiences and wisdom. I like the overboard dress, though all are sooo cute.

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  107. How exciting! This would be fantastic! Either Tow the line or overboard please, but whatever you do, I'll be thrilled!

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