Friday, November 22, 2013

Completed: A Thanksgiving Norah

Next week is Thanksgiving! In addition to making it acceptable to gorge on mashed potatoes and gravy, it means we get to see my family! It's been several months, so I think this occasion calls for a celebratory dress, don't you?

Here's Eliza's Thanksgiving dress.

It's Hayley's (Welcome to the Mouse House) first pattern, and it's precious. The Norah Dress and Tunic. I was thrilled when she sent me a copy to sew up. I'd been drooling over all the testers' versions popping up and couldn't wait to try my own for Eliza.

The neat thing about this pattern are the endless possible variations. It can be a dress or a tunic. It can be sleeveless, short sleeved, or long sleeved. It can have a collar with or without a tie, with or without a cinch, with or without piping. It can be collarless. It can be knit or woven. See what I mean? Endless possibilities.

For my first version, I decided to use my organic cotton from Birch Fabrics that I won last month. It was pure torture to have to choose one fabric from Fabricworm's stock. (Okay, not torture per se, but still. It's all divine. And I forgot how much I love fondling new fabric.)

I landed on this orangey, rusty print from Emily Isabella. It's fun and autumnal-ish, I thought. It's softer than standard quilting cotton, being organic and all.

Isn't it weird how the center pattern lined up, but the others didn't? Hmmm. It's on grain. No clue.

She was pretending to be a robot. It worked well. "Eliza, pretend to be a robot who walks toward me."

"Okay now pretend to be a robot who's looking at the camera."

This isn't the last you've seen of the Norah Dress. I'm participating in the pattern tour in a couple of weeks, and I've got a groovy upcycled version planned for that.

Also - this dress goes up to size 12, so my mother-in-law and I plan to collaborate on one for my niece. I'm really excited about sewing for a tween, especially since one of Hayley's testers was generous enough to share with me details of her own tween version.

I love the sewing community.

Pattern: Nora Dress by Mouse House Creations, view A with optional cincher on bow
Fabric & Notions: Emily Isabella for Birch Organics c/o Fabricworm. Pink gingham from my stash. Mauve button from Grandma's collection.
Size & Fit: 2t. It's a tad long in the arms and length, which is perfect for us. Eliza's on the small side anyway, and it just means she'll get to wear it straight through to Spring. (And she'll be able to wear it as a tunic next year!)
Modifications: I overlapped the shoulder seams at the neckline a bit because I thought it would make the collar lie perfectly flat, but it wasn't necessary. I did a blind hem on the bottom and sleeves -- not because I'm an overachiever but because I didn't have matching thread. In other news, I nailed the blind hem.
Thoughts: I really, really like this pattern. The a-line silhouette is my favorite, and this unique vintage-style collar is delightful. The bodice is lined, which is important to me, and the back closure is simple. No button holes. Score! Hayley's instructions were easy to follow and complete.

The only hiccup I had was with the set-in sleeves. They look okay; I simply need more practice with set-in sleeves. Next time I'll do more than one row of basting stitches for gathered ease.

Hayley's got another pattern coming out soon -- a woman's cardigan. I've been waiting for it since she first mentioned it months ago. It'll be a good one.

If I don't see you next week, Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers!


  1. Very cute .. Both tunic and th little one :) -Diya TheHobbyHarbor

  2. Gosh Eliza is such a beautiful little girl :) Look at her eyes! This pattern is so darling! Gotta love a pattern that has a lot of options. I have been looking at it as well... hm... Looking forward to seeing the dress you are planning for the tour! That's such bad English, oops!

    Robot! What a brilliant idea! We had an attempt at a photo-shoot today and failed miserably! Not even bribing LM with ice cream helped! Let's see if pretending to be a robot (or a car or a dino in our house) will help :)

    1. Thanks, Jenya! I saw your photo shoot with ice cream -- she looked perfectly happy! :)

  3. Cuteness!! Love, love, love the color combination - definitely an autumn tone to the outfit, but can easily carry into other seasons as well!

    Note to self: MUST remember the 'robot trick' for future photo shoots...

    1. Thanks! I'm hoping it will get lots and lots of wear!

  4. Darling! The dress is fantastic, but I just can't get over how cute your little girl is!

    1. Thanks, Maegen. I'm not going to lie - she rules the roost.

  5. Adorable! Cutest little robot ever! Can't wait to see your tour version :) I've got mine on the sewing table today!

    1. I can't wait to see it, Heidi! The pattern is so adorable!

  6. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! This is the first I've seen of this pattern (must have been binding under a rock...) and I love it. The fabric pairing you've chosen is perfect :)

  7. ADORABLE! Cute little dress and precious little girl!

  8. Just darling Michelle! See you on the pattern tour!

  9. I love the Norah dress!! Those pictures of your little girl turned out darling!!


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