In Sewing

it was the woodcutter

I’ve been on a Miss Fisher kick again and recently watched Season 1 Episode 12 (where Jane dresses as Little Red Riding Hood and Arthur talks of the woodcutter), hence the name of the blog post. I really should have called it How To Dress Inappropriately For The Weather though since it was about 30 degrees out, with scattered snow showers, when William and I took these photos. FREE-ZING!

The only warm coats I own are for snowboarding, and they don’t really go well with sewing projects (Shhhhhh, it’s a good excuse!), so when I got back home I immediately bought a new coat that will actually match non-winter-sports clothing. Fine, you caught me. It was a horrible excuse, I just wanted a new coat mwahahah! It’s my birthday this month, okay?


This is The Tank Dress by Sew Caroline that I made using a seriously cute Little Red Riding Hood cotton print. I love it!


I had to make a few changes to the pattern because nothing ever fits me at the armpit. After watching Joi’s Fast-Track to Fitting series I learned I have forward sloping shoulders and a meaty stick-y out-y tendon/muscle (I should remember the technical term from college anatomy but I don’t) right at the point where the shoulder, chest, and underarm meet. As a result of this, everything seems to cut into my skin and even cut off circulation under the arm.

Many fitting books tell you that arm holes are always cut too low, causing all sorts of fitting problems in bodices and sleeves. I’m sure they’re right, but in my case I don’t care about being technically correct as much as I just want to be comfortable. So I broke all the rules and lowered the armscye. #rebelsewing


I cut a size XS everywhere except the shoulder, which I lengthened to the size Medium line. This dropped the armscye down lower to accommodate my scrawny cavernous armpits, which I apparently have. I also scooped out a deeper curve from the front armscye, but straightened the shape of the upper back part to account for my forward sloping shoulders.

This fixed most of my problems but I still needed to add a tad more room in the bust. At first I attempted a FBA but quickly realized that was going to change the shape of my newly fixed armhole, as well as the shape of the side seams, which I didn’t want. So the simplest solution was to add 1/4″ to the center front (which is cut on the fold) and then ta-da! 1/2″ extra in the finished bust measurement. Perfect.

Yeah I could have added a dart for a better fit in the bust with no loss of shaping and blah blah blah but I picked this pattern specifically so I didn’t have to fuss with all that. No darts. No closures. No real fitting. No problems. (I already have enough of those in my wrists)


The last adjustment I made was to shorten the length so I could fit both pieces on just two yards of fabric. Whenever I can’t decide on how much fabric to buy I just get two yards, so probably 90% of my stash is two yard cuts. Which is slightly problematic since you can barely sew any garments with just two yards. Silly me!


Well, that’s about all I have to report on the Tank Dress by Sew Caroline! It’s a simple pattern (I even skipped the elastic in the back this time) but I’m really happy with the fit and the the shape of the neckline so it was worth the cost of the pattern to now have a basic block. I plan to make more variations of this dress in the future, for sure. It feels so good to get back to sewing again! It does not, however, feel so good to get poked in the backside with a mass of brambles…


I have not been back to knitting though (which is nearly killing me since I want to knit ALL THE HATS) so I had to resort to buying a new one from Target. GASP! I know! It’s cute though, right?


Who let me go outside without a coat?! Where’s my mother to tell me not to be such an idiot? Don’t worry mom, I bought a new coat and it’s en route as we speak. No mom, I do not have enough coats already, I neeeeedddeeedddd a new one, OKAY?! GAWD!



At least I had enough sense to dress my child for the frigid weather. Lucille had her coat on! Uhg I could smoosh those adorable neck rolls all day long…


I hope the rest of you are sewing things more seasonally appropriate than I am. Ha!

…Are you?


  • Oh my gods, I have the exact same problem with arm holes and have never managed to figure out how to fix it, THANK YOU!! As ever your fabric choice is inspired, I think I need me a top like this so I can wear it whilst walking the wolf (I already wear red wellies and hoodie for fun), although I doubt I’ll rock it quite as well as you

  • Oh my goodness – how cute is that?! I am really loving your simple-shaped garment-making fabric choices. So much so, that I have ordered some of this fabric, shipping to Scotland from the States! Crazy! (Wonderful!) Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

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  • This looks so cute! I love the fabric. My go to cut when I don’t know what I’m going to make is 2 metres too (only slightly more that 2 yards), and I’m short enough that I can squeeze lots of different things out of 2m, and when in doubt I just make it into an Archer. LOL Lucille is sooooo cute! Is there anything better than dog rolls?

  • Ooooh, your newly ordered coat is smashing! I love a great quilted, but not marshmallow level poofy, winter jacket like that. They have just the right mix of old money British aristocrat-esque sophistication and and Girl Guide/Scout approved rugged outdoorsy-ness.

    ♥ Jessica

  • I am in loooove with that fabric and of course your tunic!!!! :o)


  • That fabric is SO. awesome. I love that the simple shape of that tunicydress is perfect for outlandish fabrics. Do continue… 😉

  • Cynthia

    Hey Rochelle. Have you tried knitting on looms? I have arthritis in my hands but I really wanted to learn to knit. I bought some inexpensive knitting looms this weekend and I am having a great time. My arthritis hands are holding up well! I know this may be an abomination to the knitting purist but if you have physical limitations and want to knit the looms are the way to go.

  • I love the fabric that you used!

  • This is so cute! I love that fabric. I’ve found some similar vintage fabric before, but it’s always stiff and polyester, this looks much nicer!

  • 2 yards is my go-to as well! I’m a shortie so I can usually get a sleeveless dress out of it 🙂 Love this fabric, so perfect for a tunic!

  • Lol, I hear you with the 2 yards – I went through a phase a couple years ago of buying 1.5 yards of everything – I still have loads of fabric I can only make blouses with… Gorgeous tunic!!

  • The fabric is beautiful and it suits your style!

  • I love that fabric! It works perfectly for that dress. You look adorable.

  • Your dress is awesome! Phryne would approve! I have been disciplined and am sewing for seasonally appropriate weather. I am currently in love with cozy Renfrew tops, Meringue skirts, and skinny Audrey-esque pants.

  • Don’t worry about the armhole. I’m ridiculously tall, so my arms are proportionally bigger. I have to make the armholes bigger in nearly everything I make. If that’s what makes it fit, then do it 🙂

  • WHat a great print 🙂 I always tend to buy 3 yards when in doubt. Although I do rational expensive fabrics with the idea that 2 yards is perfect for a blouse 😉
    Lucille is so cute… I know I always say that, but I stroked 3 pitbulls in their coats yesterday and thought of her 😉

  • I love this dress, it’s super cute and I’m a big fan of the Red Ridding Hood!! Even with all the fitting, you did a great job 🙂