Sewing an Off The Shoulder Dress with The Confident Stitch

The Picasso Top from the Sewing Workshop

How blue you look today, I hear you cry! And yet, how joyful! How did you come to this combination?!

Kate's Swatch Experience Cards

Well, my friends, this usually warm-toned gal has gotten a makeover once again from the marvelous crew at The Confident Stitch. Last time, I covered my mane in little swatch butterflies-- this time I thought it might be fun to pick a pattern and yardage from Kate's Swatch Experience to make a full-on garment. 

Of course, I figured I'd end up in warm tones...but I was surprised to find how many bits of fabric goodness complimented my kisser on the "cool" card (pictured on right). The floral was calling my name, but that sweet rectangle of tie-dye caught my eye in my mirror test, and I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to add a little indigo into my handmade closet...

Sewing in Viscose Knit | Marcy Harriell

This is a viscose knit, always a favorite for me. It feels so wonderful on, like you're enveloped in crystal clear waters, on some island shore, where the water is always the perfect temperature. And I like having someone doing the tie-dyeing for me. I'm the kind of crafter who ends up with clown-colored hands and sludge-colored fabric when DIY-ing it. (Apparently pouring *every* color on your fabric does not necessarily produce technicolor results.)

New sew: Off the Shoulder Tunic Dress

Kate's cards paired the Picasso Top from The Sewing Workshop with a different swatch, but I was encouraged to mix and match to my liking. An 80s lightbulb went off in my head and I was sure this combo would give me an easy path to an off-the-shoulder throwback. 

Sewing the Picasso top as a dress

Adding a little length with a wide foldover hem band gave me another leg-baring sew. I swear, y'all. I am ALL IN on maxi dresses in the heat of summer, and hellbent on sewing shorties as soon as the temperature drops. I am definitely in denial. Winter is not my jam.

But our apartment is also Africa hot all year round, and this band gives me options. It's always good to have options. I've got an apartment loungey dress, and I can throw it on over leggings if I'm braving the elements sans leopard stilettos.

Another little pattern hack (which is not so much of a hack as a last-minute effort to save this project from my ham-handed print placement)...this top is worn back to front! I managed to give myself headlights, as I am wont to do. Whenever something's not going my way, I try flipping my sew around to kickstart a new path. All this fix needed was the flip, since I'd cut a roomy XL. Check out the "before" here 

Zig Zag Topstitching

Of course I couldn't keep my cool completely--I highlighted the sleeve pieces with my trusty "neutral" neon coral zigzag topstitching thread. The construction of this pattern is very cool--I went off the map with mine, but Kate has videos on how to sew this baby up here and here.

Marcy Harriell | Sewing the Picasso Top

I'm thrilled with this result, and I never would have considered adding this pattern to my stash, or this fabric to my closet, without seeing them in Kate's picks! I wore my new "dress" to our very intimate Thanksgiving dinner for four (we had thrice baked potatoes and NY strip steak. Because Steak.)

These cards are so thoughtfully curated, and chock full of information, it's like getting a mini-book of fabric in the mail. I honestly can't say enough good things about them. They'd make a great gift for a sewist of any level, cuz you know, 'tis the season...

Kate and Co will be packing up Winter 2021 Swatch card goodness to everyone who signs up by the end-of-day December 8 (tomorrow!). You can hone in on your sewing habit with two color-curated options: {gar}Meant For You or We Quilt This City

The wordplay. I MEAN. If I'm ever in Missoula Montana, I'm going to barge right into the Brick and Mortar and laugh for hours.

Wishing you a silly season full of swatches and sewing!đź’—

This is a sponsored post, but as always, I only holler about products and businesses I love, and I thank The Confident Stitch for supporting my own small business with these awesome adventures! 


  1. The gals at a Confident Stitch are very fun! Your dress and "save" are inspirational

  2. Saw you as Josette in Law&Order tonight! Thrilled to recognize you! ��

    1. aw blast from the past! It was such a joy to be in a room with Jerry Orbach. A true GOAT!


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!