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I'm Nadine. Thanks for stopping by. The floors are creaky, the kids are loud, but the door's always open and the coffee's always on.

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Go Long: Planning for the Gabriola Skirt

[Illustration: Paper Fashion]

I finally made the gingham Lonsdale dress I blogged about here. Photos to come.

(Here's a shadowy Instagram pic. My handsome photographer was too busy working for a living to help me get a good shot.)

It was a bit of a lesson in "what not to do": DON'T leave your machine with your needle aligned to the left. You will make all of your seam allowances too large and end up spending too much time worrying that you're making a dress for a very tiny person.

Always check your settings, folks.

Sheesh. It was salvageable, thanks to super-slim seam allowances at the zipper and an (apparently) abnormally narrow ribcage.

If you sew — or are about to, as I know some of you are dreaming of doing — you'll encounter 101 different sizing charts. By Hand London, so far, seems to fit me well. No alterations needed for their size 8/12. Sewaholic's size 6, however, sort of fits me at the waist, but is way too huge at the hips*, something that wasn't an issue for the sundress, but might be for my next project: a long skirt.

*I'm more banana-shaped than pear-shaped. A broad-shouldered banana. Maybe a tall strawberry? Fun fact: All women are shaped like fruit.

If you use any of the commercial pattern companies — Simplicity, Butterick, Burda, Vogue — expect to wear a much larger size. Ignore numbers. They don't mean a thing. Besides, there's only a tag in the clothes if you add one, right?

Note to self: Order custom tags that say "I dressed myself!"

Anywho. I'm taking my sweet time figuring out how to fit this baby: The Gabriola Skirt.

So far, using this tutorial, I've traced the pattern pieces to grade from a side six waist to size 4 at the yoke and size 2 all the way down, hoping it will sit high on my waist. I could be in trouble.

I have plans for this lovely Gabriola: my brother-in-law's wedding. In THREE WEEKS.

I don't have fabric yet.

I'm the worst.

I first fell in love with the idea of wearing a long skirt to a formal event in 1997, when Claire Danes wore the most perfect sweater-skirt combo (by Narciso Rodriguez) at the Oscars.

I was 14. I wanted to be her.

Then, in 1999, Meg Ryan and Gwyneth Paltrow both rocked ball gown skirts the Golden Globes.

Then, more recently, these ladies reminded me that I should just get a long skirt already!

I want to go to there wear these. Now. endorsement from Ms. Kelly herself.

And if it were up to Matthew — and I'm not disagreeing with him here at all — I'd make a skirt that's essentially the bottom of this dress. Beacause wow.

With the exception of my very long wedding dress — I bought it off-the-rack and had to have a seamstress magically add six inches to the bottom — and one cheap cotton sundress from H&M, all my skirts and dresses are knee length and shorter. Time to mix it up.

Do you go long, friends?

Quinoa Chicken Salad in #Augtober

YouTube Tuesday: 'Baby Baby,' baby