Sew Bossy


I’m excited. More than normal. For a little over a month, myself and this sewing blogger you know and love have been ‘getting bossy’. We’ve been sewing behind the scenes, in our various hemispheres and today we get to reveal our Sew Bossy outfits! So just who da what is Sew Bossy? Only the funnest, coolest idea ever to grace the blogosphere, by these two crazy ladies, Closet Case Files and Oonaballoona. You can read about it here. But basically how it works is you team up with another blogger who sews, from anywhere in the world and then exchange, via mail, all the components of a complete outfit. Pattern, fabric, notions, words of encouragement etc. It’s a risk, I mean, you could absolutely love what your Sew Bossy pal sends you…or you could not. But either way you HAVE to make it. That’s the bossy part! So you just have to trust and know that if you adore the hand-made style of your Sew Bossy counterpart ( see here and here) then it’s highly likely you’re going to love what they choose for you. And that’s how I waged that whatever Andrea from Four Square Walls came up with would be awesome sauce!

Okay, so this was unimaginably fun. Getting the package in the mail; better than Christmas. Opening it up to find seriously one of the most beautiful fabrics I’ve ever laid eyes on; I may have squealed. Andrea, you did good girl, real good. I would have chosen this fabric for myself, except that I have never come across anything like a multi-colored, splotchy silk print anywhere. When we were setting up the Sew Bossy exchange Andrea asked if there was anything in particular I needed in my closet or wanted to make. And I really wasn’t very helpful in saying ‘hmm I love dresses, but mmm I do need separates’. So, she’s not just a pretty face and paired up the wonder-fabric with La Sylphide, by PaperCut patterns. It’s a cute on-the-waist, button down, tie-front dress which happens to come with blouse / skirt options.

I was majorly tempted by the skirt but in keeping with the spirit of Sew Bossy (which translates to me sending Andrea a complicated looking dress + a tape-together pattern) I went the dress. And though I like the few full sleeved versions I’ve seen around, I knew I’d get more milage out of a sleeveless version. Then it could be paired with tights, boots and cardis in winter and be cool and floaty in summer. Now, something shocking happened during the making. I had a change of heart re- muslins. Yes, it’s rocked my world too that I maybe enjoyed the process of making muslins for the bodice here, just a little. Three in total. Why so many? First I cut an XS and it was too tight everywhere. I pre-judged the pattern to have lots of ease. It didn’t. And because I cut not traced (bad girl) I had to estimate where the next size up would be, hence muslin no.2, which pleasingly did meet in the middle, unlike the first.


To get a really good fit some things still needed tweaking. For instance, from somewhere I picked up that to make something sleeveless its not just a matter of chopping off the sleeves, the actual shape of the armhole needs to be changed. I inspected muslin no.2 in front of the mirror and could see a wedge of fabric between the front bodice armhole and the bust point that if I pinched out would give a really nice shape to the armhole / bust section. I also took a little width out of the shoulder. On the back bodice there was also excess fabric, from top to bottom (which is more to do with the shape of my back than anything) so I pinched out a wedge 1″ wide at the neckline, petering out to nothing at the bottom. I made the new adjustments to the actual pattern, which is a first, and busted out muslin no.3; a superb fit and the reason why I now will make muslins, happily. On special occasions.


In honor of the dreamboat fabric, I had to make La Slyphide as pretty on the inside as the outside and line the bodice. Going mostly on what I remembered from this dress and a refresher from this tutorial, it was not so hard and the finish is lovely. Oh but dramas! Now after wearing it, I can see the silk I chose for lining is so fragile its starting to split at the darts! Since lining the bodice eliminated a whole bunch of seams to finish, I decided to french seam those that were left, the skirt sides and the waistline. Apart from looking pretty, french seaming meant I didn’t need to buy purple over-locker thread. I didn’t really want the buttons to be a feature of the dress so I used tiny self-cover buttons, which are pretty invisible. Apart from fiddling around with the bodice the only other mods were adding 1″ to the skirt length. It’s pretty short and I could have even added more but the quarter circle skirt ate the fabric up. La Slyphide was such a pleasure to sew. Even when I sewed late at night, the ratio of sewing to unpicking was still considerably better than normal, which I’m putting down to a very nicely put together pattern.


The most surprising thing to come out of Sew Bossy for me, was how fun and refreshing it was NOT to be in control of what was going to arrive in that package! Complete and utter trust feels pretty good and I think I actually like having someone else dictate what I make / wear…so long as it not my mum (hi mum!). Now this is only half the story, the rest is over here at Andrea’s place. And if you are even half tempted to do your own Sew Bossy exchange… don’t think, just do! All the details here.

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  • becstitcheswrote:

    Ahhh I love it, that fabric is freaken gorgeous:) Nothing like that in Aus Hmmph..
    Wish I could be bothered making muslins, I can’t even manage one hah. Slack

  • Andrea Bwrote:

    This is so pretty and I hope you really love it. I know I probably didn’t send you enough fabric to make the long sleeves or add length to the hem, but the Etsy seller only had 2 yards left! I love that you used covered buttons and lined the bodice. It looks stellar on you!!! Thanks for choosing me for this — I couldn’t have asked for a better Sew Bossy pal!

  • Jenny Mouldenwrote:

    Inspired vision from Andrea and beautiful sewing from you! I love it (read: want one for myself) 🙂

  • mama*thayerwrote:

    Any ideas for how to get involved in the Sew Bossy initiative if you don’t blog anymore? I started Project Run&Play, realized after 2 seasons blogging isn’t for me, and handed it over to the fabulous ladies running it now. All that said, I love the idea of this project, but don’t know how/if it would work without the blog perspective.

    • zoelivanawrote:

      maybe try Flickr sewing groups. Not everyone who posts there has a blog.

    • zoelivanawrote:

      Maybe try some sewing Flickr groups. Not everyone who posts there has a blog.

    • Cirque Du Bebewrote:

      I guess it’s always something you could arrange with another sewing blogger or friend just for fun without blogging about it at the end. I’m sure there’d be plenty of people in the same boat. I think the above is a great idea about the sewing flickr groups, I know I found a lot of great sewing on Flickr by people without blogs. Sounds like there is a gap there at least, maybe you could start something up hehe!

  • thequirkypeachwrote:

    So beautiful! Love the fabric she sent you! And being bossed by Andrea – JEALOUS! Gorgeous dress on a gorgeous lady 🙂

  • Kirstywrote:

    Sophie, this is fab-o! I’m pretty tempted to get onto this sew bossy thing! I love what you picked for Andrea. It is just perfect for her!

  • Tillywrote:

    Ow wow, it’s so beautiful! Lovely pattern and an incredible fabric. Love what you sent Andrea too.

  • Crab and Beewrote:

    I agree, this is one of the most gorgeous pieces of fabric I’ve ever seen! You did it proud. Your muslins really paid off, the fit is perfection.

  • honigdesignwrote:

    That fabric is amazing and the fit perfect. Great job.

  • Elise Linwrote:

    Wow your dress is gorgeous! You girls are perfect for each other on the Sew Bossy Initiative.

  • sallie oleta barbeewrote:

    Oh I am DYING over that fabric!! Andrea did so good!! Loved your pick for her too – you guys really did a wonderful job of picking patterns and fabric that reflected each others styles, but still switched it up just a little. Gorgeous gorgeous dress. Love. I have such closet envy for you Sophie!!

  • House of Pinheirowrote:

    ohh finally I can see the dress ready.. its so lovely!

  • awfully-nice.comwrote:

    This looks AWESOME. I love the fabric and the dress. You scored big with this one, you are so lucky!

  • luvinthemommyhoodwrote:

    You look stunning! Such a gorgeous dress on you and what a fun idea!!!

  • zoelivanawrote:

    Both you and your Sew Bossy partner have fabulous new silk dresses! This fabric is to die for! Great idea using covered buttons to go with it.
    I am so scared to sew with silk that I generally avoid it, but I did pick some up to do a project with in the near future… Maybe I should order the La Sylphide pattern too.

  • lisa g.wrote:

    love the pattern choice, LOVE the fabric choice! you two were a great pairing. and nice job working through the muslins, oh how i hate that part! it does make the final dress sewing so much faster though. (p.s. instead of sewing darts into the lining, just fold the fabric at the dart legs into a pleat. keeps the strain off lighter fabrics.)

  • Kellywrote:

    Andrea did a great job picking this fabric and pattern! The fabric really makes it special. You did wonderful work on this dress, it’s a great one!

  • Jen Beemanwrote:

    I can’t even describe my love for this fabric, woah! Perfect pairing with the dress too, you look amazing. Way to go Andrea on a dream duo. Gonna go check out the second half of this bossy challenge!

  • Maewrote:

    It looks absolutely stunning. Three muslins is quite a bit of work but it definitely paid off& you have such an awesome piece.


  • Mariewrote:

    It’s beautiful Sophie and I love what you sent Andrea too! Your were a match made in heaven regarding Sew Bossy!

  • gingermakeswrote:

    This is freaking FABULOUS! It fits you so beautifully and you look amazing! This really, really suits you! I LOVE this dress! A total win!

  • thewallinnawrote:

    OK, I see that I am not the only one who wants this fabric 🙂 Beautifully executed dress! Also, thumbs up to whoever took the photos! *-)

  • Kimwrote:

    Gorgeous dress! The fabric is very beautiful 🙂 And I really like this pattern on you! It was a lot of fun to read both of your stories, very good match indeed!

  • rachelinred.comwrote:

    What a lovely dress! Gorgeous fabric and the colors are great for you! Thanks for the tips about adjusting the armholes for sleeveless versions. I had an issue with that last week when making a sleeveless dress. the armholes seemed to have too much fabric. Will adjust that more accurately next time!

  • ShanniLoveswrote:

    Beautiful dress but I wouldn’t expect anything less coming from Andrea!

  • Nat at Made in Homewrote:

    Great dress! Amazing sew bossy exchange!

  • Heather Louwrote:

    This is killing me. KILLING ME. You guys NAILED IT. I think this is my favourite Sew Bossy exchange so far! Gorgeous dress and I couldn’t love this fabric more if it was my own child. So jealous. Also happy that being bossed has led you to the bright shining light that is muslin making!!! HUGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE LADIES!

  • {jen} iCandyhandmadewrote:

    So so gorgeous. Love it so much.

  • Craft Sanctuarywrote:

    She did a good job! This fabric is perfect for the pattern, and the color looks lovely on you!

  • kristinwrote:

    YOU are a dreamboat, Sophie! Love this dress and Andrea picked the perfect fabric for you. I told her this but I’ll tell you too – you two are pretty much my favorite adult lady sewing bloggers and a clear power team! 🙂

  • Symonwrote:

    That fabric is gorgeous!! What a perfect match of pattern & fabric – you look amazing! 🙂

  • Janeywrote:

    Wow, I love this. The fabric is great!

  • Katwrote:

    This looks awesome! I’ve seen some amazing sylphide dresses. I think I definitely need this pattern. Andrea did a,axing. That fabric is to die! I need to get cracking on my sew bossy. My reveal is meant to be in 2 weeks. Better get cracking!

  • Ericawrote:

    I loved seeing the sewing challenges that you and Andrea created for each other! It must be exciting to not know exactly what project you’ll be doing next. Your dress is just simply beautiful!!! 🙂

  • Annawrote:

    divine divine! Gosh, it looks so amazing on you! I love your pictures always always. Oh and whenever I see pics of you it always makes me want to have bangs!

  • Erinwrote:

    you are stunning. amazing dress! And, I want your hair.

  • Tarawrote:

    gorgeous, lady! I love it. The fabric is definitely a huge winner too. SO PRETTY.

  • mokoshawrote:

    what a perfect little dress.. and the fabric is to die for

  • Laurawrote:

    Absolutely stunning! What a lucky lady you are to have that fabric chosen for you. The dress is gorgeous.

  • Amywrote:

    Oooh, La Sylphide indeed, down to the print! You pick the best backdrops for your photos–really captures the whole story. You got a lucky package!

  • crystalpleatswrote:

    Oooh, its just so lovely…both the fabric and the pattern. You look great.

  • sewplaysewwrote:


  • Roz Zwrote:

    Looks amazing! What a great matching of pattern and fabric, finished off by fabulous sewing. And such gorgeous photos too.


  • Elisabethwrote:

    Love the dress!

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