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 »

Silk and Cotton Artist’s Blouse

  Oh, fall. It’s the season of brightly colored leaves, trundling yellow buses, and the return of jeans to my wardrobe. From May to September, nothing so heavy as denim touches my skin, but the falling autumnal temperatures make me long for cozy jeans and blouses. Not that ours have exactly fallen yet, but a girl can dream, right?  I have yet to brave pants making, so this month I decided to make the perfect blouse for wearing with my RTW skinny jeans. A dress lover at heart, my most beloved casual blouses are loose, flowing and made from sumptuous […]

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The Greener Side of Summer Dress

Good morning, friends!  Lately, I’ve been in a sewing rut. Or, rather: a blissful, completely intentional bout of sewing the same pattern eight million times. McCall’s 6696 is my platonic shirtdress and I can’t stop making new versions! It has everything I’ve long searched for in a shirtdress, including a properly constructed collar, separate waistband, and full skirt. Even better, it’s explicitly designed to be made in light, embroidered fabrics like eyelet and Swiss dot. After perfecting the fit on two sturdy versions, I gave into the temptation of an ethereal late summer dress and perused the embroidered section of […]

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Marc Jacobs Silk Faille Pencil Skirt

Good afternoon, y’all! I don’t know about you, but my July absolutely flew by. In between houseguests and summer trips, this was one packed month. That’s especially true, when you factor in my favorite summer happening: the Romance Writers of America National Conference! Each July, 3000 genre fiction authors descend on one city and talk about our industry, books, and latest authorial gossip. With three days of business meetings and workshops, capped off by a fancy gala, it’s also a great excuse to dress up a bit. Originally, I had planned to make a formal gown for the awards gala, […]

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Striped Summer BBQ Dress

Good morning, Mood Fabrics! As you read this, I am probably in a blissful food stupor somewhere in eastern Georgia. My husband and I are staying on his uncle’s farm this weekend, celebrating that wonderful man’s sixtieth birthday with family, friends, and obscene amounts of barbeque. As this is a special occasion, I needed a party dress! Mood was, as ever, full of gorgeous fabrics up to the task. Once I saw this apple-and-ecru striped cotton from Marc Jacobs, I was in love. Does anything say summer quite as much as bold red stripes? A striped cotton dress is the […]

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Comfortable Summer Color-Blocking

Good afternoon, everyone! It’s officially summer down here in Texas — temperatures blazing above 90 degrees and heavy thunderstorms brewing across the state. Even better, school is out for a few months! Since most of my break will be spent putting the finishing touches on my dissertation, I opted for comfort with this month’s Mood Sewing Network piece. A comfortable, classic knit dress sounded heavenly! Luckily, Mood Fabrics has the most divine selection of cotton jerseys. Seeing as this dress was going to be a simple silhouette, I opted to mix things up with my fabric choice. Instead of going […]

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Welcoming Spring With Ikat and Yellow

  Y’all, it’s confession time: I am a sewing copycat. Last month, I bumped into a friend on campus and went absolutely nuts over her outfit–a simple cream sweater and utterly gorgeous navy-and-cream ikat pencil skirt. As with most clothes I covet, I started scheming up a version of my own. Isn’t that a fantastic perk of sewing? If we see something gorgeous, we’re not constrained by budget or retail trends. If you can think it, you can sew it! (Did anyone else just start humming “The Think System” ditty from The Music Man? No, only me?) Even better, the […]

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Orla Kiely Inspired Linen Dress

  Good morning, Mood Fabrics! This month, the Mood bloggers had a fun challenge to conquer: pick a Spring 2014 designer collection, then make an outfit inspired by our choices. For me, the field narrowed quickly. There are many designers I love, but there is only one whose clothes consistently make me squeal in fashion joy: Orla Kiely. The Irish designer tends toward pieces that combine retro styling with heavy doses of whimsy, and this season’s collection is no exception. These clothes are heavy on linen, novelty animal prints, and plenty of pastel colors. It’s, essentially, what would happen if […]

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Silk Faille Oscar de la Renta Sheath Dress

Good morning, Mood Fabrics! I’m thrilled to join the ranks of the Mood Sewing Network, which I’ve long been a fan and reader of. Thank you so much to Meg for inviting me on board! For my first Mood Sewing Network project, I was led by pure, unadulterated fabric lust. This gorgeous silk faille, designed by Oscar de la Renta and available in Mood’s online store, sent me swooning. Check out those flowers! Don’t they look straight out of a tropical garden? Considering the dreadful winter we’ve been having in Texas, a (sartorial) trip to the tropics was too tempting […]

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