Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas
Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas
Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas



Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas

Hey Peeps! Happy to see you again! Things have been ticking along at an easy pace these past few weeks. I have been sewing, but I’ve been slow sewing. ‘What is, and why?’ you ask. Well, most textile arts are thoughtful, calming, even meditative. Machine sewing however, has always held for me, an urgent nature. It’s been all about the finished garment. Speed is impressive, yes? ‘You made that in two days? Impressive!’ said the masses a few of my friends each time I paraded out a new outfit. Gradually, over the last year or so, I’ve been intentionally slowing things down. I’m taking time to learn new techniques. I tweak patterns and work on improving my hand stitching. I don’t rush the fabric selection, or the design, or the finishing details. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy sewing before…I’ve always loved it. I just wanted to consciously enjoy each step {okay, maybe not taping together PDF patterns…} of the garment making process. And, I’m doing just that! It’s funny…if I were to be logical….the older I get, the faster I should sew, LOL {not getting any younger and all, blah, blah, blah}. Okay, there is no wrong way….fast sew, slow sew…it’s all good…I’d love to hear what works for you.

Today’s shirt dress, a bit of a hack on Simplicity 2339, keeps with my slow sew theme. The pattern is a classic fitted shirt with specific pattern pieces based not only on your bust size, but on your cup size too. Although I’ve been wanting a gingham shirt, I was antsy for a spring dress…I think my shirt dress is a happy compromise. I could have simplified my life by buying a shirt dress pattern, but I was up to the task for some minor pattern drafting. It wasn’t super difficult, but there was strategy involved. I cut out a size smaller than the pattern specs suggested {Simplicity tends to fit large on me}, and cut the shirt front and back pattern pieces to waist length. I added a waistband. I remembered {this is a big deal} to make the front band the full length of my dress, and I drafted front and back skirt pieces…well, I cut three rectangles {too easy to qualify as self drafted}. After gathering the skirt pieces at the waistline, and adding in-seam pockets, I attached the skirt pieces to the waistband/bodice pieces. I attached the skirt lining before sewing on the front band. I love my 99 Pink Balloons Dress; it’s definitely in the must do this pattern again category.

I’m attempting to keep my post short and sweet today, but one last thing…Michelle of Michelle, ma belle…tres bien ensemble posted her contribution to the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge very recently. It put a major smile on my face. I won’t say more; see for yourself…Crazy Dog Lady Sewing: Meet the Pack.

Joining Helena at Gray All Day for Sew It Chic In A Week


  • Reply amy mayen March 19, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Oh Sue, your dress is so sweet! How do you make such fun fabric look so sophisticated? I haven't yet mastered sophisticated sewing. I'm in a hurry to get things done; I just rush and rush until…lol. That song popped in my head. Very lovely post, I always love popping over to see what you're up too:)

  • Reply colesworth March 19, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    such a fun dress – great hack – and I love the accessories ;o)

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo March 19, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    What fun photos! To go along with the fun dress : ) You can the effort that goes into your photos.

    I just tried to slow down too. I tried “slow weights” for the first time in my life 2 days ago. I'm still recovering. Basically, you try to do the exercises as slowly as you can. It is TOUGH!!! I can see though where results are imminent…if I can manage to keep it up…and slow it down, if you know what I mean! LOL


  • Reply Hana March 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Beautiful photos and dress as always, Sue! Slow sewing process always get better result, I did that some months ago and I miss it 🙂

    Love your pattern hack and your whole dress done so perfectly inside outside <3<3

  • Reply Connie March 19, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    What a sweet and cheery Springtime dress! Beautiful fabric. The slow sewing is really working. To borrow from Dr. Seuss “Who sews slow clothes? SUE sews slow clothes!” Yet again this week you bring me sunshine. XXXoOO

  • Reply Vix March 20, 2015 at 1:21 am

    These photos are so fabulously cheery and Spring-like! I adore that dress on you! x

  • Reply dan March 20, 2015 at 2:02 am

    The fabric of your dress has a so cute print!!And the pattern is wonderful on you! Beautiful photos as well, a really nice idea those colourful baloons…
    Slowing things down is what I always try to do ! ( but not always able to do )
    I was very happy to read that a coming to Italy is in you wish list!!

  • Reply Ann&apos;s Fashion Studio March 20, 2015 at 3:38 am

    A lovely dress! I can't wait for the snow to go and for spring weather 🙂

  • Reply Lori March 20, 2015 at 4:32 am

    Beautiful dress and nice job on the slow sewing. I love the photo shoot

  • Reply Sewing Princess March 20, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Well done Sue! I am currently making my Cami dress and when I first saw yours I thought you made the same pattern. What you did is so clever! Recently I have been trying to hack patterns more so as to save time on fitting. I love the inside of your dress too. What kind of fabric is the pink one?

  • Reply Ann (SewBabyNews) March 20, 2015 at 6:59 am

    Such a happy dress Cute, cute photos too!

  • Reply M @ My Closet Catalogue March 20, 2015 at 7:39 am

    This just made my Friday! So happy! In the truest sense of the word. And pockets?! J'adore! You keep slow sewing, my friend! It totally agrees with you. 😀

  • Reply welovefur March 20, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Wooow! I love your blog. I hope you will like mine

  • Reply Michelle March 20, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Sue, this is fabulous! Speaking of putting smiles on faces, your photos did the same for me! So bright. So cheerful. So fun! And, you are beyond sweet to 'plug'my puppy pjs!!

    Currently, I'm trying to concentrate on having a closet full of clothes that I want to wear. It's taken me a while to get to this point, but I'm going to do a bit of assembly line sewing for the next few weeks. Then, I plan to slow down again and try something new. I'm thinking of it as interval training without the treadmill. 😀 I have a pile of fabric I'd like to turn into shirt dresses. At some point, I must make it my mission to find my TNT pattern for this classic silhouette!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion March 20, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I clicked through to Michelle too… hahaha. Funny.
    Now, your dress… so lovely !!! It makes me yearn for spring. I think it is a great dress. You have outdone yourself again. The photography with the balloons….. ace! 10 out of 10 for that.

  • Reply Carley Lee March 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I LOVE this dress, Sue, and you wear it like a champ! What a great style 🙂
    I'm loving that you're prioritizing slowing down, too. It's easy to go go go and forget to enjoy the process of things these days.
    Hope you're keeping well!

  • Reply Shirl March 20, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Love this print! You are now the modern Balloon Lady! (wasn't that the title of the Royal Doulton figurines from yesteryear?) Dog blog post is hilarious. Thanks

  • Reply Shybiker March 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    As amazed as I am at your pretty dress, I'm stunned by your professional-quality photos. The poses, the lighting are all wonderful. Really clever and effective. Great work.

  • Reply Kezzie March 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Oh how pretty it is!!!! Beautiful dress!!!!x

  • Reply Flo March 20, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    What a cute dress! Perfect for spring. I love the photos too, the whole thing just works so well. I was picturing an episode of Mr. Bean though with you and the balloons.

    I tend to be one of those people who starts a sewing project and won't stop until I'm finished. Sometimes it drives me bananas. Interestingly though, one of my all time favorite cross stitch pieces was an alphabet sampler, it was a project that you could work on a little at a time and still see progress, so it held your interest. Probably one of the few times I wasn't working on something constantly.

  • Reply Jessica Cangiano March 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Splendidly awesome dress, dear Sue. I've always been drawn to balloons and balloon imagery. After a few years of searching, I finally found a vintage (c. 1950s) balloon bunch brooch (it's metal and enamel) last year and by wonderful happenstance, it arrived just a few days before my birthday, so of course I wore it then and the following month for Tony's, too. I've never had a balloon print dress, but would love to one day as well.

    You really do look marvelous and so ready to greet spring in this delightfully charming novelty print dress.

    Big hugs & my very happiest start of springtime wishes!
    ♥ Jessica

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Hey Amy! Might be the pattern…shirt dresses tend towards conservative? And no wrong in being in a hurry to get things done…it's all good…besides you're extremely busy with the farm and family and all.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you so much!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks Suzanne…2 days ago and you're still recovering! I could only imagine doing that kind of slow workout with the help of a coach, or while in a class. No way, I'd have the determination to do it on my own!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks bunches Hana! It's a good point to mention that we are in the frame of mind for different methods of sewing at different times in our lives. Hope you can get back to slow sewing when it works out for you.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Gotta love Dr. Seuss…much better to sew slow clothes than sell sea shells, oui?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks Vix! I know you've got a cold spring in the UK right at the moment, but we've been blessed with some pretty stellar weather!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks Dan! I get the sense that Europeans have a better grasp on slowing things down and savoring the moments! Hope to experience that if/when I ever get to Italia!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks Ann….Oh, I so hope spring touches your part of the world SOON. Things are decidedly spring-like here with buds and bird song!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks Lori!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Thanks Silvia! You certainly have given me pause for thought. Thank you so much for your recent blog posts. You mentioned about using more patterns from your stash, and it really does make practical sense. It's certainly what I would have done years ago…re-used a single pattern in many different variations.

    The lining is a cotton/poly blended broadcloth. The garment is 100% cotton.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I love that…a happy dress! Thank you Ann!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Thanks Maricel! I think this silhouette is one that you wear very well!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you so much…well, I do like faux fur!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks Michelle! Gosh, just thinking of the three D'amigos makes me smile again!

    Okay, sounds like you've got a plan in place, and it makes perfect sense to hunker down and sit behind the machine for a mini marathon. I like the analogy…if only I could actually lose weight while sitting at my machine, LOL.

    I was reticent about making a shirt dress, but after seeing a few that are floating around blog-land, realized that I could do a version of a fit and flare {which I love} and make it into a shirt dress. Love the results. Hope you find your TNT soon!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Happy you got a chuckle Greetje! Thanks for your compliments on the dress and photo shoot!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks so much Carley! It's a classic, and you and classics are a perfect match! I think I need a sweet little cardigan to go with.


  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Thanks Shirl. Well one of us will have to look up Balloon Lady! Happy you liked Michelle's post.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Aw, thanks Ally! I may have to convince my husband to take some group photos when we all get together this summer!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Thanks so much Kezzie! I appreciate that you stopped by to say Hi! xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    hahaha….oh yes, this could have been a Mr. Bean scene….I had one dog barking away at my balloons.

    It's funny isn't it…how we sometimes do things that drive a part of ourselves crazy…but we can't stop. I know exactly how you feel. And yes, something like a sampler can fool us into thinking we've completed a project a letter at a time!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 20, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks so much Jessica! Spring has sprung here on the wet coast…I hope that things are beginning to heat up in Penticton also! What serendipity that balloon bunch brooch arrived just before your birthday!

  • Reply V March 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I've been intentionally sewing slower this year. I'm more focused on those little things, like perfecting my top stitching, seam finishes and hemlines rather than rushing to the finished line. By paying more attention to the process, I've found that I'm enjoying the art of sewing more and appreciating the finished project more than I ever have in the past. I'm prouder of what I'm producing because the final product is so much better!

  • Reply Heather March 20, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    What a lovely dress!! This is something I am working on – sewing slower. I always enjoy the process, but I'm getting to the point where I am more worried about quality than speed. I'm trying not to cut corners, and take me time. I saw Michelle's photos in the Flickr group today, and they made me smile too. Super cute!

  • Reply Melanie March 21, 2015 at 12:34 am

    Incredible photo shoot. On that basis alone I love this post. But your writing and what you made just add even more awesomeness. Spring is DEFINITELY coming!
    I like your concept of slow sewing. Why do I feel a need to rip through everything? Fast is better…? Where did that idea come from? I'm glad you are enjoying the process. I loved Michelle's post too – thanks for the tip.

  • Reply Louise Perry March 21, 2015 at 4:12 am

    Wow what awesome photos, one of those needs to be on your wall at home. Fabulous. Great dress and I am in awe of your determination to learn new techniques. It really does make you feel extra proud of your work doesn't it?

  • Reply sabine March 21, 2015 at 8:51 am

    Hello lovely Sue,
    It is wonderful to see you again so full of joy and in such a marvellous dress. I think wearing this dress bad mood has no chance.
    Even on weekend I also try to slow down, take time for whatever I do, whether it is cooking, cleaning and decorataing my flat or doing a walk in the hood. I feel the impressions are deeper and lasting longer.
    Have a fine weekend!
    Sabine xxx

  • Reply idaaidasewing March 21, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Sue, just found your blog through Burdastyle and find it really inspiring and joyful. Love this dress, the fabric you chose and these photos are simply amazing.
    I am a slow sewer but not because of choice, simply because i cant sew faster. Whenever i try third gear bad things happen in my garment so I've settled in lower speeds!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Ah, a kindred sewing spirit! I feel exactly the same way!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks Heather! I think it's too be expected that those relatively new to sewing {remember, I've been sewing for over forty years} are anticipating and excited about the finished make…I mean, producing a one of a kind garment is what initially draws most of us to sewing clothing in the first place. So, speedy in the beginning is probably pretty normal. Stage two…working on the techniques a little more etc. You're turning out awesome clothing, so whatever your speed, you're doing it right!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks Ms M! I think it's about the contrast….your creative expression is the yang to your yin. It's all good!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks Louise! I see so many bloggers with such expert skills and they are inspiring me for sure. And yes, I DO feel proud of my efforts, as you should too! Keep up the sewing!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Hi Sabine! Your blog is such a lovely representation of slowing down. Capturing vignettes with your camera lens, or moody scenes while out on your walks…always a pleasure! Thanks for stopping by! xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 21, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Ida! Thanks so much for taking the time to say Hi! I totally hear what you're saying. The slower you go, the faster you finish, yes? Who wants to spend time ripping out stitches and correcting 'bad' things…me neither.

  • Reply Nothy Lane March 21, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I love your dress- it looks fabulous on you. And i understand the lure of sewing with more techniques – I think that is something you graduate into with experience. I love finished seams so that look lovely on the inside, even though no one sees them but me. And I love the title of your post – it made me think of that song from the 80s

  • Reply Roisin Muldoon March 22, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Errr what?! Blogger hates me because I just left you a comment and it disappeared! Apologies if it randomly resurfaces at some point in the future. This dress is perfect and you look awesome, and I appreciate your dedication to the theme manifesting itself with balloons. You're one class act.

  • Reply Ruth Procter March 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I love it! Such a fun and colourful dress, and it looks great on you. You look like you were having a lot of fun taking the photos too!

  • Reply Annie Case Hanks March 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    What a fun dress! Its funny but I enjoy sewing slow. It seems the world around me is always dashing a a mad pace but creating a garment needs love and time!!

  • Reply Trina March 22, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Joy, Joy, Joy! This is how you made me feel when I spotted your post. The dress alone sparks pure joy but then to see you thought of purchasing balloons to go along with the photo shoot and you little fun kick as you were taking these, now that is pure joyful. But the very best part, reading how you have learned the art of joyfully creating. Simply taking the time to savor and enjoy your talent. Smart lady you are!

  • Reply Curtise March 23, 2015 at 8:29 am

    What a delightful dress, Sue – the fresh colours, the flirty skirt, the lovely fit, all just gorgeous! And you look as though you were having fun with those balloons! xxx

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Thanks for the sweet words! I can't tell you how many times I've started singing 99 Luft Balloons…it's tiring, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:19 am

    aw…just what you didn't need…re-typing a comment. I'm happy you did though…the previous one seems forever lost. I'll surely disprove the class act, should we ever share a pub table! 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:20 am

    Thank you Ruth! It was so great taking outdoor photos without freezing! Couldn't help but have fun!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Thanks Annie! Just the right sentiments…love and time…what you've said is so very true, the pace of the world is speeding up so fast. I think it's important we find something to consciously slow ourselves down.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Aw…thanks lovely Trina! Those balloons are still absolutely full on. I have them right here beside my computer, and I was sure they'd be completely deflated by now…they aren't helium filled…just my good 'ol hot air! In your posts, I see that you get lost in the moment, creating your heavenly party scenes! It's good, isn't it!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 23, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Thanks Curtise! We did have fun…we actually hoped to meet a small child as we left the beach, but nada…not a kid in sight…so I'm pretty much a kid at heart and I'm enjoying them at my desk!

  • Reply Margo B March 23, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Oh this is such a great hack Sue! It's perfect for spring, so pretty. Almost all of my sewing has been for spring and summer…I am soooo jealous of your weather!!! No snow???!! I can barely remember those days….

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Thanks Margo! No snow this year at all…nada. Even our local slopes were suffering.

  • Reply Rebecca March 24, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    A shirt dress is always a favorite of mine but you make it so much better by making it with this fabulous print! This dress is so perfect for spring and the pockets are a great feature!


  • Reply Jan Graham-McMillen March 26, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Awwwh! Cuter than anything, anybody, anywhere! What a charming post and a great job on that amazing dress! I'm quite sure there are more than 99 balloon, though.
    Love it. No one does spring time better than you, kid!

  • Reply Bianca S March 26, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    This is just delightful! I love your cheery dress and attitude!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 28, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Yeah, without the print…it wouldn't suit either of us…at all!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 28, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Ding, ding, ding! I was waiting for someone to comment on the actual number of balloons, LOL! You are the winner! Thanks for popping by!!!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas March 28, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Thanks Bianca! It was hard not to be cheery with the weather so lovely and warm!

  • Reply jen storer March 28, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Major smiles here, as always! You look adorable, balloon girl, and the coat (and pics) on the other post, to die for. xoox

  • Reply Glenda March 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    Your photos gave me the biggest smile. I even called my husband over to come take a look. So cheerful. I love it! And yes, the dress is so adorable and so very you.

  • Reply Dorothy DotDot March 31, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Very pretty colors! Love the dress and the balloons.

  • Reply Rachel April 1, 2015 at 12:59 am

    And of course you picked precisely the perfect prop! This is such a fun dress! I really like shirt-dress styles, though they tend to make me look rather boyish. This sounds like a very enjoyable sewing experience, too. Reading through your process makes me think wistfully of my sewing machine..which I no longer possess… 😛

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 3, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Thanks lovely Jen! Feeling a bit like a balloon girl…eating too many Girl Guide cookies LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Aw, thanks Glenda! {Me waving madly at your hubby.}

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Thanks Dorothy! I can't believe it, but those balloons are still inflated…they're right here at my desk.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 3, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Thanks Rachel…sigh…my balloons are nothin' compared to that epic balloon tree your photographed! 🙂 Thanks for popping by.

  • Reply everynightiscraftnight April 17, 2015 at 3:12 am

    Wow, I love this – it made me so happy to read! I think I have this dress pattern and can't wait to get making it. I hope to make it in time for my Birthday so I too can pose with balloons!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas April 17, 2015 at 10:18 am

    ….and I'm so happy that you are inspired to sew a similar dress! And have fun on your birthday posing with balloons!

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