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What’s on My Sewing Table: Polka Dots and Brocade

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Normally, I see a dress, a pair of pants, a top or a lingerie set I want to sew, and I set my mind to make it. I pick the pattern, purchase the fabric, sew a muslin and sew the final piece. That’s not the current case. I haven’t been my usual sewing self and have fabric that I’m not quite set on what I want to do with. The first is 3 yards of yellow, polka dot polyester. Polyester? I know, I know. But when it comes to this girl and her dots, I just can’t get enough. Whether on cotton or silk, big or small, I have to have it. I have a duster on my mind – think kimono – but I’m not in love with the idea. Then there’s a pale pink, cotton brocade. I have visions of a pant and coat ensemble that channels Celine and An Affair to Remember. For the past two years, I’ve worn this dress, made in 2011, but I’m craving something a little more masculine. Sexy masculine a la YSL’s Le Smoking Suit. Maybe I’d glitz it up with the vintage notions shown below, but I’m just not sure yet. I better get cracking as Santa’s coming soon.

What do you think? Have you started your holiday sewing yet?

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  1. Reply

    New Model Lamé

    I have all the ingredients for a winter coat ready but i need to properly psych myself up to start on a project that needs a bit more work than my average project. Other pretty, instant gratification things keep jumping ahead in the queue. It’s going to be a dusky pink wool/cashmere simple lines kind of affair.

    Your pink brocade and trims ore beautiful, I can’t wait to see the finished article.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I feel you on that sentiment! Before I get started on the brocade number, I’m quickly whipping something up with the polka dotted fabric.

  2. Reply

    Raphaelle (deuxsouriceaux)

    Oh, I think something slightly masculine would work really well with that brocade! The contrast between the feminity of the fabric and notions and the masculinity of the lines will be great.

    I have some royal blue and navy blue wool to make myself a dress. I really want to have it done by Christmas but I’m procrastinating. I have to start with a muslin (making Colette Peony) and I’m still debating what size to cut out…

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Always “cut big, sew small.” Good luck on the Peony. Royal blue is a great color for holiday. Unconventional.

  3. Reply


    Did you decide yet on the polka dot fabric? I think something like this image could work for inspiration


    I absolutely got the YSL reference as soon as you mentioned it. How about a modern take with tapered legs?

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I just started on the polka dot tonight, but I’m saving this image!

  4. Reply


    I wish I had your normal discipline to plan projects before buying fabric! I tend to get seduced easily in the fabric store, and therefore have a decent stash I’m trying to work my way through. I have a gold burn-out velvet that has vaguely taken shape in my head as some sort of holiday-appropriate tunic/dress, but we’ll see if it gets made in time.

    I love the idea of the pink brocade as a suit – that will be fabulous!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Please make a gold, burn-out velvet ensemble for holiday. I love a non green or red outfit for anything Christmas related. Why be cliche?

  5. Reply


    ooh, I love that masculine suit. I was thinking the yellow polka dot would be great as a lining for the brocade suit. It would be elegant and sophisticated and pop it open to reveal this fun youthful polka dot. I don’t know if the polka dot would make a good lining and I have never worked with brocade but i love them together for some reason. 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I never thought of combining the two! Hmm…

  6. Reply

    Charlotte Phillips

    I’m completely the opposite when it comes to planning my sewing – I’ll usually buy fabric because I like it and then think what I’ll do with it after. This has led to some fabric staying in my stash for a loooong time before being used…
    Having said that, I sometimes do plan the more conventional way, and I’m planning on making a skirt like the one in this picture. I thought it would be a good idea to crochet the lace layer, but I’m a long way off yet – I’ve done 20 flowers (ouch!).

    Love that brocade!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Oh my goodness! I hope you keep at it because that crochet skirt sounds divine!

  7. Reply


    i think i might *always* be holiday sewing 😉

    and i usually can’t plan worth a damn! i’m always distracted. or maybe i’m stubborn? either way, the best way to ensure i DON’T sew is a plan…i’ve had fabric for a kimono since that trend hit… it’s still waiting.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Who will cross the kimono finish line? We shall see… : )

  8. Reply

    emily marie

    Not always having a plan can be a really good thing and inspire a lot of creativity- embrace it! 🙂 Sometimes my best garments come from just shopping the stuff that’s already on my shelves.

    That shade of pink is going to look awesome on you no matter what you do with it!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I’m hoping you’re right and that not having a plan works out in this case.

  9. Reply


    Love your fabrics, especially the pink – I know you’ll turn it into something magical, especially with the trimmings ^__^

    I am actually doing well with my holiday sewing this year – I was smart and sewed up a sweet little LBD from a TNT pattern, in silk cotton with a lovely embroidered trim for Christmas parties, and am working on a more complicated (fitting-wise) project (a jumpsuit in navy silk duchesse) hopefully to be ready for New Year’s! (cross fingers!!) ^__^

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