Monthly Archives: April 2012

Knits from New York

I seem to just be accumulating fabric right now rather than accomplishing any actual sewing. Spring fever I think – should I garden or sew? (Notice “housework” is not one of my options! 😉 )

I desperately need some new Ts right now. The ones that I really love and wear over and over are getting more than a little threadbare. Yes, I do have some nice knit fabric in my stash, but I was just in NYC for heavens sake! Don’t you think this sparkly blue knit looks like it will be fun to wear with jeans or black slacks?

sparkly blue poly knit

I’ve got the 4th of July covered with this fabric. Theme dressing!

red white and blue cotton knit

This rayon knit  might be my favorite purchase – purple, blue, black – YUM!

purple blue blackand white rayon knit

I am trying not to buy much black and white, but I thought this mostly white knit looked spring-like and fresh so I gave myself a pass. Now if I can just avoid putting too much black trim on it….

Black and white cotton knit

Of course I will probably use my Christine Jonson Baseware Two pattern for most of these, because my simple Ts are the ones I reach for most days. But the Christine Jonson Cross Your Heart T might need to come into rotation too. What do you think, readers? Other ideas?


Happy sewing!


Filling out the dress form

Do you own a dress form? I have one from PGM that I love, love, love. As odd as it may sound, I do not use it for actual fitting. Since it  is a little, errr, smaller in the waist and hip, I use it primarily to design.

But I intend to change my ways! The folks at Fabulous Fit have their Fabulous Fit Dress Form System on sale  AND are offering free shipping right now. I’m in! Several of my ASG pals have used this system to customize their dress forms and swear by it. The way it works is you place their stretchy “sheath” over your dress form (most commercial brands can be used), and then add the pads where you have a little more body “padding” than the original dress form. Sounds easy, and for less than $100 it is definitely worth a try. Pictures will be forthcoming – assuming they will show my curves in only the most flattering light. 😉

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Eyelet dresses just scream spring

One of my favorite haunts in the NYC garment district is A.K. Fabric Inc, located at 257 W 39th St in NYC. They have a nice selection of fabrics, especially denims, and I seem completely unable to leave without a at least one new piece of denim every time I visit this store. My most recent trip in April was no exception, but this time I also spotted some UH-dora-belle cotton eyelet in a range of pretty colors. I am totally crushing on eyelet dresses for spring and summer right now, especially ones in fresh, bright colors. Look at this yummy blue cotton eyelet with the pretty scalloped edge on both selvedges. Could you have resisted it?

Blue cotton eyelet fabric

My dilemma now is which pattern to use. Choices! Since I only bought 2 3/4 yards, most of the full circle skirt, 50-ish styles are out. All of these patterns in my stash are possible options, tho. I LOVE the wide neckline and asymmetrical front on this vintage Vogue 1043.

Vintage Vogue pattern 1043

This sweet little vintage wedding dress has a darling jacket that buttons in the back. Maybe do the top of the dress in the solid lining fabric, and the jacket and skirt out of the eyelet?

Vintage McCalls wedding dress pattern

I made this dress up a few years ago and love, love, love it. Not sure I would love all those buttons in eyelet fabric, but this pattern is easy and so pretty.

Voguee shirtdress pattern 8383

I like the neckline on vintage Vogue 1137, and if I use it I will definitely add fullness to the skirt.

Vintage Vogue pattern 1137

This New Look 6723 might be my favorite. Make it up with the bateau neckline and change the skirt gathers to soft pleats?

New Look dress pattern 6723

What are your thoughts, dear readers? Any preferences?

Happy sewing!


Oona’s baptism day

Last Sunday was a day full of blessings, family time, and one little baby who wasn’t sure what to make of it all. Baby Oona was baptized at Trinity Episcopal Church on April 15th in Ambler, PA in front of many family members, friends, and the Trinity congregation. She was one of three babies baptized that morning, and of course, the only one who cried! As my DH said, she was the only one with a normal reaction to having water poured on her head. 🙂

It was hard to get decent pictures of a moving baby, but my DH did manage to snap a few that were decent. Hopefully we will get more from the other camera-hounds in attendance soon. Oona’s dad, Mat, held her throughout the ceremony, and I just love this shot of the two of them.


Too bad this one is so blurry, but it was the only one we got of the actual baptism.  We should have told Father Dave to hold still for a Kodak moment!


After the ceremony was over Oona was happy to be the center of attention. Especially as long as Mommy held her!



She wasn’t quite as happy when Nana hold her, but at least one of us was thrilled!


Oona is telling me a secret. I promised not to tell Mommy and Daddy!


 It was a wonderful day and celebration, and I was relieved my DD loved how Oona’s dress turned out. I think Oona loved it too, since there were no expulsions of any kind. Whew!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Japanese sewing supplies!

It’s official! I opened my little Etsy shop to offer you serious sewists the finest quality sewing notions and tools. If you have been a reader for a while, you know how addicted I am to good tools. And I think these products are among the best. The very best. So if you want to test them out for yourself, head on over to the newly minted Sew Maris Etsy shop and go crazy!

I love these Chakoner markers. They create a super fine chalk line that does NOT fall off as soon as you pick up the fabric!


I detest pins that have dull points and thick shafts. These are made from Japanese steel and slip into silk, wool, cotton like budd-ah. And they come in 2 sizes – 60 count and 200 count – sweet!


I will be adding more products soon, so check back often. Happy sewing!!

Maris Olsen


A special dress for a special day

Ta da! My DGD’s christening dress is done, and I even have a few “extras” to bring back to New York for the blessed event. I was definitely cutting it a little close on timing, but what else is new? I am really pleased with how the dress turned out – and I hope DGD’s momma is as happy with it as I am. Sometimes garments really DO turn out exactly as I picture them in my head!

Apologies for the picture quality. Photographing white is hard, and I am a lame photographer. Anyway, here is the “full frontal”.


Mitered lace insertion, hand embroidery on the bodice and the sleeves, adorable!


More embroidery near the hem edge, and the entredeux and hem lace. Pretty!


Momma says baby is a drooley-booley-spit-up-girl at the moment. Maybe a pretty bib will keep the dress clean until show time during the service.


Not sure if these will be the final effort, but a girl needs to have new shoes for a new dress, right?


I know, I’m a little nuts. But I had a wonderful time making this dress and accessories for Oona’s big day, and am still hoping to get a little sweater done and maybe a little fancier pair of shoes. Or maybe some hand-knit booties. Or maybe I will just lie down until my creative brain shuts off!

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

Time warp at SewMaris

Where did this week go?

  1. I have not quit blogging.
  2. I am not sick.
  3. No one in my family has died.
  4. I have not worn myself down to a nub gardening (thanks only to the PNW Rain God).
  5. I have been teaching (lots!).
  6. I have been sewing (lots!).
  7. And no, the christening dress is not *quite* done.

I have just been a little too busy around here! It certainly can’t be my diminishing ability to juggle the number of things I take on, now could it? Next week I should be back to my semi-regular blogging rhythm. Anyway, today is the real “finish the christening dress” day. Yesterday was the practice one. 😉

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen