The cult


“Ooooh… modest!” was the first catcall this dress elicited from my man.

Can’t say that’s one I’d heard before. I imagine it might be the kind of thing one gets when out too late on the mean streets of Salt Lake City.

The high neck, the colour and texture do give the dress a kind of “burlap haute couture look” or “wartime factory elegance”. And I don’t suppose my prairie girl single braid helps.

Well, too bad boys. I keeps the goods under wraps.




I’ve worn this dress out with my new pair of Birkenstocks, a brand of sandal I used to wear a bunch but hadn’t owned in many years. What I had forgotten about Birks is that the profile of the sole mimics my high arches in such a way that they suction together as I walk.  In other words, my steps are punctuated by timid little fart noises.

“Pfft. Pfft. Pfft…” whisper my feet as I stroll.

So, yes, I’m the modestly dressed, perpetually gassy gal. That’s me.

  • Pattern: Vogue 8805
  • Size: 14, b cup
  • Fabric: Army green linen-viscose blend, same as piped pants
  • Notes: I somehow sewed one dart about an inch too deep, ending directly on the apex of the bust. I realized this as I sat at my desk at work. Like any sewing mistake I spot while out in the world (or any sartorial error for that matter – shirts inside out, mismatched socks), I was left feeling unreasonably embarrassed by the discovery. I took to carrying items in front of my chest and keeping my arms folded at all other times, lest someone notice my ever so slightly lopsided darts. No one did, of course, and the fact is no one ever would. But I knew the mistake was there. I could feel it burning a hole through my skin. I solved the matter later that night by extending the other dart as far. One mistake is an eyesore. Two symmetrical mistakes are a choice.




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Snowy Owl – Caped Crusader

Cape Full

Cape Back

Finally: Snow.

No more brown, drizzly, anemic winter. This is Montreal. And girls who sew moderately impractical wool capes are meant to frolic in clean, white, gentle snow.

We – of the double-pants clan- know that 100% Italian wool (0r 120%, if the salesman is to be believed) is best served at about -3°C with calm winds and cloudy skies. The bigger and stickier the snowflakes, the better.

Cape Lining

  • Pattern: Vogue 8776, view B
  • Fabric: Medium weight 100 % wool; green bemberg lining
  • Notions: Big snaps (instead of buttons); purchased bias tape
  • Size: M
  • Notes: Finished in 2015 sometime? Given the finishing techniques I used (handsewing a bunch, hiding seams with bias tape) and the material I chose, I would not rate this a “very easy” pattern. More of a “get frustrated and put it away for 7 – 8 months” pattern. But I highly recommend nonetheless, especially when sewn in expensive natural fibres. This may be the nicest thing I have ever sewn.

Cape Back DetailWinter Sledding Scene

Cape FrolicCape Front Detail

Also pictured:

Yellow shawl scarf

  • Pattern: Basic triangle shawl pattern with alternating stockinette and garter as stripes
  • Yarn: Handspun Polwarth, dyed with marigolds collected over one summer from my garden. Slight variations in colouring on lower half from iron bath after dyeing.

Workhorse Hat

  • Pattern: Who even remembers?
  • Yarn: Leftover Cascade Ecological Wool
  • Notes: Maybe not the cutest hat, but damn if it ain’t cozy.