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Is this really the fifth time I've made a Sophisticute collection? How did that happen? It started in 2016 with one dress. I'd recently received my first package of retro style fabric from the Japanese boutique brand, Antique Fabric Pinks and couldn't wait to get sewing. Around that time, I'd also been adapting some 1960s people-size patterns to fit Blythe. The one I loved most had a darted bodice, ruffled sleeve and a uniquely shaped skirt that was perfectly rounded and longer in the front than the back. With this dress, Sophisticute was born (though it took a couple more months for me to name it that). Encouraged by the positive response, I set out to make a whole collection...

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This is what always happens: I find a piece of vintage fabric that I cannot resist using right now. The latest case involved a piece of white floral lace I scored at a thrift shop on my mini-break in late June. It's not the most showy fabric, and it's not one of those crazy, psychedelic prints I'm so fond of. What this bit of sixties' goodness did have was major potential. I knew straight away I could create a new, layered textile with it. And so, in between creating sets for my massive collection of separates (yes, it's still coming), I whipped up a few summery frocks. Here's how it went. The lace is dense, which when sewing miniature things,...

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I am insane, obviously.  Not so much clinically (not today at least), but more like the kind of insane you go when sewing with sequins. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I had just made a pattern for a sleeveless top with a halter neck. I added a little puff of Japanese pleated trim at the neckline and was happy with the result. Happy, that is, until I remembered the fringed sequined fabric I bought last year after discovering the trim I had used to construct the skirts of my mod Shimmy dresses was no longer available at the local trims emporium (I am not exaggerating here, this place is best described as such). An easy adjustment...

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