Mary is a writer and women's health specialist, who has an unhealthy love of floral fabrics. She lives for vintage silhouettes, fancy dresses, and piping in every seam. See more from Idle Fancy »

A Red Wool Coat and Rayon Jersey Dress for the Holidays

Good afternoon, Mood Fabrics! Today, I’m sharing two pieces that have been on constant rotation in my wardrobe. Usually, I make a couple of dresses for the holiday season, bright, cheerful pieces that I can throw on for office parties and cookie exchanges. Not that I ever go to cookie exchanges, mind you, but a lady can dream. (Or eventually break down and host one herself, I suppose.) This year, however, winter hit us early in Central Texas. We’ve already had our first big freeze and there actual snowflakes in our forecast for next week. I’m not holding my breath [...]

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A Linen Dress for Late Summer

Good morning, lovelies!  While I would love to start in on fall sewing–warm sweaters, swirling skirts, and cozy coats, oh my!–it’s still dreadfully hot in Texas. As someone whose sewing is heavily tied to immediate wardrobe needs, that means summer clothes are skulking about my sewing room for a little longer. One of the pieces I’ve been plotting all season is a simple linen dress. I love linen on warm days, don’t you? It’s breathable, full of gorgeous movement, and often weighty enough to go unlined. Despite its notorious tendency to wrinkle, it’s also unquestionably elegant. Linen dresses bring to [...]

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Bright Italian Batiste Button-Front Shirt

It’s officially summer in Texas, y’all. The sun is blazing, our air-conditioner runs almost constantly, and I’m wishing that muumuus would make a dramatic fashion comeback. Barring such a phenomenal event, I’m instituting my summer wardrobe rules, once again. Light, natural fibers and flowing shapes are key to surviving triple-digit heat. All the better, if bright colors and summery prints are heavily involved. Mood Fabrics has a ton of cotton prints that hit this sweet spot, right now. One of my favorites is this Italian Floral Printed Cotton Batiste, which comes in three pretty colorways–Blue/Yellow/Orange, Fig/Pink/Blue, and Black/Orange/Yellow–and is covered [...]

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Bird Print Cotton Shirtdress

Hello, everyone! This spring, I’ve been totally consumed by an old love of mine: shirtdresses. Not only are they on trend this season, but there are a ton of new patterns out there.  Whether you’re into swishy, feminine designs or modern, deconstructed takes on the style, some company is offering your platonic button-down dress. Personally, I’m forever drawn to classic styling. Stand collars, tailored button bands, and cinched waists are my ideal details. While my TNT pattern (M6696) has all of these, I’ve been itching to try something new. McCall’s 7351 fits that bill perfectly. This is a slightly more [...]

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Emerald Cotton Riding Jacket

We all have a list. Whether you’ve collected it into a spreadsheet or Pinterest board, whether it’s posted above your sewing machine or lodges only in your mind, amorphous and ever-changing, every sewist has one. The list of dream projects. Mine is filled with all sorts of garments, from swirling velvet cloaks to exact replicas of every costume from Thoroughly Modern Millie. It’s rare that I actually sew something off this list, because how often do I need a floor length lavender silk gown with a bateau neckline? Sometimes, though, real world needs and dream projects collide. Such was the [...]

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Modern Floral Asymmetrical Skirt

Happy 2016, friends! I hope the new year is treating you well. Let’s ignore how tardy I am with this post’s salutation and instead talk about that classic January conundrum: Should I make a New Year’s Resolution? Usually, I fall firmly in the negative camp on that. Personally, I find that setting small, regular goals works better for my “Oh, a shiny thing!” brain. Until, this year. For 2016, I decided to make not one, but two, resolutions. Of course, my resolutions are both firmly sartorial. Instead of painful life fixes, they are fun goals I am excited to tackle. [...]

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An Animal Print Wrap Dress

Good evening, friends! If you’re in the States, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend. For those elsewhere, I hope you capped off November in style. My own week was filled with dozens of pies, too much turkey, and a house stuffed to the gills with family and friends. It was noisy and wonderful and, I’m going to be honest, I feel like sleeping for years. However, that can’t happen before I share my latest MSN project. Once again, this is an indulgence of my continuing obsession with knitwear. Thanks to changes in both lifestyle (working from home) and [...]

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A Geometric Skirt & Faux-Wrap Top for Fall

Good evening, friends! There is a trend in my MSN projects, I’ve noticed. Almost every month, my post discusses weather and its influence on my sewing. While I’d love to buck that trend, we’re out of luck. This outfit is a direct result of one thing: my longing for autumn. While elsewhere leaves are changing colors and the air dances with chills, Texas hasn’t gotten that memo. It’s been nothing but sunshine, oppressive heat, and weather better suited for swim season. I’m sick of it! Bring on the colder weather already. I’m tapped out with summer, y’all. And so, we [...]

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A Little Black Jersey Dress

Sewing motivation is a funny thing. I adore every aspect of this craft–the sensory joy of picking out fabric, the swish of the rotary cutter as it whisks around patterns pieces, and above all, watching thread and patience form a wearable, gorgeous garment. Yet, there are times when going into my sewing room is the last thing I want to do. For me, this always happens at the tail end of summer, when it’s too darn hot to wear anything comfortably and when I’d really just like to don a breezy, flowy nightgown and get on with my day. Pajama [...]

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