A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art
A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art
A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art
A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art
A Colourful Canvas, Simplicity 2444, Nomad Art

Oh my goodness….hello hello everyone…and eep…where to begin? Let’s see….we’ve got awesome views of Coal Harbour and the Vancouver city skyline! I’m modeling My Summer Solstice Dress! It’s the longest day of the year, and spectacularly good weather! And, I’m finally blogging about this gorgeous gifted fabric! GAH! Can you tell I’m overwhelmed!

We took these photos in Vancouver’s Stanley Park; along it’s famed seawall, looking across Coal Harbour towards downtown Vancouver. The City of Vancouver is almost entirely surrounded by water. Kinda hard not to get an awesome photo when there is a stunning city skyline, Pacific Ocean, and endless watercraft, no? The mister and I thoroughly enjoyed a long, leisurely stroll along much of the aforementioned seawall yesterday {jelly sandals are in my straw tote}. And, as if that’s not special enough, it’s that other most magical time of year…summer solstice…the longest day of the year. My photos were snapped around eight thirty in the evening, and the sky hasn’t even hinted at dusk yet.

Even though today is the first official day of summer, I’ve been mentally, and physically, in summer mode for most of June. There’s been lots of outdoor play, along with pleasant gardening tasks. That being said, I have managed to squeeze in some sewing time. I successfully sewed two Hawaiian shirts for the mister this week. Now, let’s see if I can get him to model them for the blog, shall I? I’ve also been sewing {yes more} summery dresses. If my fabric stash is any proof, {it is}, summer is my very favourite sewing season.

Speaking of dresses, I’m pretty over the moon with this one. This is the fabric that Barbara Jane gifted me back in October as a result of this giveaway. To briefly fill you in….it’s ever so lovely hand printed silk screen cotton titled Mud Ripples, from Nomad Art in Northern Australia. You may recall me writing about the good karma of this company in my blog post here. I received a generous 1.5m piece of 110cm wide fabric; just the right yardage {meterage?} for a skirt or top. But me? I saw a dress, and nothin’ but a dress. The fact that I actually eked one out, with sleeves no less, still has me a bit impressed. It was after careful consideration, that I laid the pattern out cross-wise on the fabric. The skirt is not as full as most of my fit and flare dresses…but I actually quite love the silhouette. I sewed this a few months ago, and I gotta tell ya….it’s fast becoming one of my favourites. It’s not so much that the dress is different from my gazillion other Simplicity 2444’s; it’s not. But it just feels right on me! Sometimes when I’m trying to squeeze out a garment from a smallish piece of fabric, there is compromise, but not so with my Summer Solstice Dress! That red trim down the centre back and along the sleeve edges? I utilized the plain red fabric that runs along the selvedges. Not much else to say…the skirt is lined, I used an invisible zipper {which actually is invisible, big whoop}, and I added a waistband and two tabs with decorative buttons {the pattern is Simplicity 2444, but I self-drafted the skirt and borrowed some design features from Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1873}. The sales clerk commented that the buttons I was buying were Target buttons, which had me momentarily flummoxed, until she pointed out that they look just like Target’s logo.

Thanks bunches for your comments on my childhood inspired matchywear. Not quite a dare, but my cousin {more on that soon} Curtise from The Secondhand Years put forth the suggestion that I sew a jumpsuit. Whee! Another fun plan hatched and in the making, thanks Curtise!

*All righty…a quick note for my email subscribers….my last post did not reach you via email. No clue as to why….hopefully it won’t happen again. If this post does not get sent via email…well, you likely won’t be reading this either, LOL. Suffice to say, I will attempt another method of delivery. **Yay! Looks like we’re back to normal delivery!


  • Reply Shybiker June 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Beautiful dress. Vibrant color and pretty design.

  • Reply Joni James June 21, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    That last photo of you looking over the harbor is beautiful. I love that area of Vancouver and your dress is gorgeous. So creative!

  • Reply Sheila June 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    I love the sharp red stripe down the back! This would look fabulous with turquoise accessories too. Gorgeous, Sue!

  • Reply Melanie June 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    I swear, Sue, the Vancouver Tourism Bureau should sign you up as its official ambassador. Your photos are always so perfect and people will think, I want to be as joyful as THAT woman. Gorgeous dress, I'm glad you figured out how to fit it on the fabric. At first I thought that was a zipper down the back, top to bottom, a BIG zipper, until I read it's an invisible zipper hiding in the faux zipper. I love that!

  • Reply amy mayen June 21, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I really love your dress…oh my I had to go back up and check out the photos again after reading. A. To see the harbor and B. to see yopur Selvedge trim! Very nice!! PS I sewed a mock up of the top that I'm using for my future-maybe jumpsuit…looks like the bodice will have to be lengthened a lot but it's going to work. I think!

  • Reply MIS PAPELICOS -Mis P June 21, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Nothing simple about this glorious dress.Happy summer, dear Sue

  • Reply Marianne June 21, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Such a lovely dress! And yes, we want to see the mister model his Hawaiian shirts!!!

  • Reply idaaidasewing June 22, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Beautiful Dress Sue made from a beautiful fabric, it is a classy summer dress.I too thought that there was an exposed zipper in the back, love this detail!

  • Reply barbarajanemade.com June 22, 2015 at 3:25 am

    I love it! And such beautiful photos, perfect blues to set off the red. Happy solstice!

  • Reply Hana Velvet Ribbon June 22, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Pretty dress and fabric! Thank for sharing your beautiful place with us 🙂 Love the dress detail xx

  • Reply Siri Andersen June 22, 2015 at 3:27 am

    You look so good! Nice dress, setting and photography 🙂
    You make people WANT to sew!

  • Reply Rebecca June 22, 2015 at 7:34 am

    First of all, the dress is stunning in one of my favorite color combinations for summer. Second of all, the joy on your face and the beautiful photos of Vancouver has made my day here in NYC!

  • Reply Sheila June 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Lovely dress.

  • Reply josep-maria badia June 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

    A wonderful dress, a great design and a pattern that falls. I love the look. Precious photos.

  • Reply Ruth Procter June 22, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Gorgeous fabric turned into a lovely dress! You can tell how good the dress makes you feel from the photos (which also look they were taken in a great setting). Simplicity 2444 is still on my to sew list – I really must get round to making one soon!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 22, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Wow. A whole dress out of that material, you must have puzzled quite a while with the pattern on the fabric. The red trimmings are great on this lovely dress. Looking very good Sue. As usual you have chosen the right shoes and accessories. Thanks for the views too. Looking forward to them.

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 22, 2015 at 9:37 am

    By the way, my compliments to your husband. Great photography! I hope he will be modelling his new shirts.

  • Reply Michelle June 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

    WOW! This is a great fabric. I love the red. And, your shoes, they are AMAZING! Great work squeezing a dress from your yardage. And, I especially love the little bits of detail you added, like the zipper, to take this dress over the top!

  • Reply Nicolene Richards June 22, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Working magic in the colour and style,great outfit!!!

  • Reply Judi Pinkham June 22, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Your dress with the beautiful fabric and red trim is awesome!

  • Reply Flo June 22, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Very pretty! I have to say that I noticed the red fabric around the zipper right off the bat and then when I read how you did it and why, I thought “how clever is that?!”

  • Reply Curtise June 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    The backdrop is certainly beautiful, but you are the star, cousin Sue! I LOVE this dress. I thought you had used red bias at the back – you are very clever to use the selvedge to make such a great feature. And to squeeeeeze a dress out the fabric!
    As always, your photos are a joy. And you took on the jumpsuit challenge – woohoo, can't wait to see it! xxx

  • Reply Petite Silver Vixen June 22, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Oh wow, that print is gorgeous and I love how you made the dress with such great details as the red stripe down the back and around the sleeves and the buttons on the waistband. Detaisl like that maybe small but my, do they add impact. And the wedges are fantastic with and where did you get those bangles???

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks Ally! Less than a month 'til we meet! 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks Joni! I'm not sure what it is, but the last photo seems just right to me too! You have an artistic eye, and I'm pleased that you like it!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks Sheila. That red stripe is an example of necessity becoming a design feature….the dress would have been too small if I didn't have it. And TURQUOISE accessories! They WILL be FABULOUS! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks M! I admittedly do make a few passersby smile when we take these public photos. Man, do I feel a range of feelings from self-conscious to flat out goofy, LOL. This time, there were surprisingly few peds passing when we snapped pics, thank goodness!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Woo Hoo! I can't wait to see how it turns out Amy! Drawstring or not, that is the question?

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Oh, happy glorious summer to you too Sacramento! I truly hope this summer is wonderful for you too! You, and your family, have had some big stresses!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you Marianne! I've got a few ideas brewing on where we might take photos locally. I haven't actually told him yet, though, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Ah ha! Thank you so much! It does feel classy, even when I have the denim jacket on and wearing flats, I feel a bit special!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks Barbara! And thanks again for your generosity! This fabric really does suit me to a T! And thanks for noticing the background colour palette. It was with intention that I chose this locale…I really wanted to set off the red!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks Hana! One of the things I enjoy about your blog, is seeing your surroundings! I think it's fun that we can share through our blogs this way.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Siri! One of the bestest compliments, thank you!!! To think that I might be inspiring someone to want to sew puts a big grin on my face!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you Rebecca! NYC!!! I am so looking forward to any and all photos! You are in your element, I'm certain! Lucky New York to have you!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you Sheila!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you Josep! The pattern is indeed very special. I was hesitant at first to use the pattern width-wise, but I think it works really beautifully!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks Ruth! I think you will like 2444. I wasn't able to buy the sewing magazine that has the lovely shirtdress pattern that you recently sewed. But, I will attempt altering one of my patterns to be similar. Yours is so lovely!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Yep. I did sit on this for a time. Then I laid out the fabric and moved my pieces back and forth several times before getting it right! I'm glad I wasn't impatient about the whole thing!

    Well now…you will probably see him modelling them for real, LOL. He'll be joining us for fireworks!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Thank Michelle! The sandals are actually surprisingly comfortable! At least for minimal walking, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thank you Nicolene! It feels a bit like magic when I put it on! 🙂

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks Judi!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks Flo! I've got some positive comments on the back view. I may consider doing this design feature on future dresses!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks Curtise! And thanks again for the challenge! It seems I quite enjoy the fun of it all! What that says about me, who knows, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 22, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Thank you, thank you! I'm happy that you like the details. I have a lot of fun with the small things, and to have them appreciated is so awesome! I buy my bangles at thrift stores, of all places. At my local thrift stores, the jewelry is 'conveniently' located near the check out, so I never miss a browse!

  • Reply Shirl June 22, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    gorgeous dress, and great shoes, in this post and the last with the turquoise outfit. Where are you finding all this beautiful shoes?


  • Reply Heather June 22, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Wow Sue – this is gorgeous! The print and colour of that fabric is beautiful! I love how you have utilized the selvedge as well! A perfect magical out fit for a magical solstice!

  • Reply Margo B June 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Gorgeous Sue! What a beautiful dress to wear to usher the summer in!

  • Reply dan June 23, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I love this period of thyear too! For many reasons, and one for all…because I can wear my beloved dresses without cardigan!!
    As I can see on your blog, Vancover must be a great city! Always on my wish list!! And take photos early in the morning allow to share a perfect skyline.
    I like that you celebrate the longest day of the year with another of your fantastic dresses. The detail of the red line well in sight at the back, gives a modern accent to to it! And of course it is perfectly sewed!!
    Beautiful badges as weell….

  • Reply Elsie Davies June 24, 2015 at 6:34 am

    The dress is simply gorgeous. Every time I visit your blog I tell myself I have to learn to sew. Thank you for visiting my blog too and my answer to your question is:

    Hi Sue, thank you so much for your beautiful comment and yes I hope I get to go to those places. I had this dress custom made in Ghana last year and I have received lots of lovely compliments anytime I wear it. The circles were on both ends of the fabric and the flowers in the middle. The seamstress did wonders in cutting and placing the circles to flow downwards. I wish I could bluff my way in saying that I did it myself. lol.

  • Reply Annie Case Hanks June 24, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Such a great color with wonderful details! I love the sipper myself! Simplicity 2444 is one of my favorite patterns — you can make it up so many varied ways.

  • Reply Suzanne Carillo June 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    What gorgeous photos to match your smile and dress!

    You could easily wear this whole outfit for Canada Day : )


  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Thanks Shirl. I bought a LOT of shoes from Zeller's Last Chance as they were preparing to close. Prices just kept going down…I had no choice, LOL.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks Heather! Hope you and the pugs are enjoying summer solstice too!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Thanks Margo…see, we's dress sisters!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Thanks for your sweet comment Dan! We actually took these photos at 20:30. I forget that Europeans use a 24 hour clock, whereas here in North America, most of us use a 12:00 hour clock.

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Thanks bunches Elsie! It is just so clever how your seamstress pattern blocked your dress! I am definitely looking forward to doing something similar! I'll let you know how it goes!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Thanks Annie! I agree, S 2444 just can't be beat for an all-round workable pattern!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Ooooh, that is a good idea! This is the only red and white dress that I have and it would indeed be perfect! Now! To make some Canada Day plans, LOL!

  • Reply Merche Martinez June 25, 2015 at 2:52 am

    Is there a colour that doesn't suit you? Oh, Sue, besides the dress being pretty and the fitting fabulous, I guess it is your gorgeous smile that brightens all your photos.
    A big round of applause to your photographer and your choice of background!
    I see we both have fun at photo-shooting: Last weekend my “photographer” took more than 400 pics!!
    As for the solstice: I spent the night at the beach, where there were a lot of bonfires, drinking wine and having a bath in the sea at midnight…a tradition, but the water was brrrrrr…cold!!

  • Reply Kat June 28, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    What a beautiful dress! So happy and colourful. I love it.

  • Reply dan June 30, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Ops…I haven't thought!!And, by the way… as I was reading back my comment I have found many mistakes!! Luckily you could understand it all the same…sorry!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Oh, I do the same thing. I think we try and type as fast as we think, LOL! xo

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Woo Hoo! You must have both had so much fun snapping photos around Paris. And your summer solstice tradition of bathing in the sea at midnight sounds magnificent!

  • Reply Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 30, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks Kat! It's lovely to meet you!

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion June 30, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Oh nice!

  • Reply Rachel July 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I think that red trim really takes the dress up a notch. It would have of course been pretty without it, but I love the visual interest the trim adds, particularly on the zipper!

  • Reply Cherie July 4, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Oh, my! The red trim! Love!

  • Reply Michelle Morris July 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    OMG I just want to come hang out with you for a day! Your style and attitude add a brightness…even is the fabric is not bright…. which almost always is! Oh yeah and the trim down the back of the dress I am sooooo stealing that ideal!

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