Dresses, dresses, dresses! After seeing the Columbus Museum of Art exhibit, Through Vincent’s Eyes, I’ve decided no matter what people think to keep doing what I love. Vincent Van Gogh only painted for one decade and made 2000 pieces of art. 2000 dresses?

Every year I take on a ton of big goals. Last year was my re-fabrication monthly challenges and trying to shop local. One year I only shopped independent fabric stores and another year I only made garments from indie patterns. This year I wanted to not be so hard on myself. I made a list of everything I do and realized it’s way too much to add anything else. I’m going to focus on what I love for 2022.
Here are the few things that I’ve made so far. Yes they are all for me and just for fun.

This was one of my very first vintage patterns from when I started collecting. I wanted to use up some of the vintage fabric I owned and what better way than an early 1960s shirt dress. After these photos I tapered the raglan sleeves. Isn’t it amazing how seeing your work in a photo can make you so critical?

I’ve been wanting to play with this rayon fabric that I got at one of our Dayton Garment Designer Meet Ups swaps. I originally thought I could make drapes for my sewing room when I took it. When I got it home I noticed it was rayon and best suited for a softly draped dress. It’s hard to tell due to the pretty print but this dress has various parts cut on the bias. I added piping to make sure the eyes can see the details of the construction.


I absolutely can not wait to wear this one! One of my favorite independent quilt shops, Little shop of Stitches was moving online and I wanted to go there one last time to see everyone and support. I bought this lovely polkadot fabric, which is actually a Christmas fabric, that day. I wanted to do something that looked a little Minnie Mouse classic.

And, of course, my red dress needed a little cute jacket. I sized the pattern down an inch and used some beautiful wool that was gifted to me by a friend. Coincidentally, the hat was a Christmas gift from another really good friend and all it lacked was the lining. The very next day another friend randomly dropped off a bag of fabric that was full of suitable linings. The universe is working with me!

Here is another one I just can’t wait to wear. I used a soft stretch knit that someone gave me for this dress and a beautiful late 1930s pattern. Isn’t it so dreamy? It reminds me of The Wizard of Oz.

Having more downtime I would love to study my vintage sewing book collection. I want to take some very simple master patterns and hack them into different looks. This was my first attempt and I quickly realized I could not use a one-piece pattern for this design. I altered the one-piece pattern into a two-piece pattern to support the bellbottom and two flounces. These pants get a lot of compliments at Zumba class.

I’m hopeful this year will bring all the fun and joy my way!

Behind the Scenes~

Besides making dresses I have been hiking with friends on the weekends. I did my first snow hike.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!


Tracy McElfresh
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