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Wild Canoe Adventure and Vogue 8442

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Oh, believe me, we didn’t plan on this kind of an adventure: we were looking for slow and lazy, being tired from the latest furniture deliveries and the 2 days of driving with a 20′ trailer through the traffic in Atlanta.

We decided to Canoe the Sequatchie: ready for Gentle Thrills


Yup, that’s a cow standing in the water. Photo from

The Sequatchie Valley is one of only two Rift Valleys in the entire world, the other being Great Victoria Valley in Africa, and was formed by giant shears as the Cumberland Plateau was literally split apart. It’s a long deep narrow valley surrounded by sharp vertical ascents to the ridges above.

The outfitter had told us that if we had a storm, which was highly unlikely since we were in the middle of this deep valley, to stay in the water, that the lightening would hit the higher points of land rather than the river.

That outfitter’s advice proved true. Lightening hit all around us!

A huge thunderstorm hit, I mean massive thunder and lightening and 1″ of rain in about 1 hour, parked right over us, no time, not even a second, between the thunder and the brilliant lightening. We were at ground zero. Dog hid under my seat, poor Baby. I had to take off the glasses, couldn’t see through all the water on them.

I was thinking “I survived cancer to get struck by lightening? How weird!” I somehow felt that it just wasn’t my time yet, but I wasn’t so sure about my Dear HusPartner’s standing with the Lord and his Timing and all that so, yup, I paddled my heart out.

By the time we got to the take out point the rain had just stopped and the warm gentle sun was out. The boat was full of water!

Dog was probably thinking something like, “Why do you people insist on taking me on these trips?”

So we made the best of it, joking about being “one with the water, one with the river”

We went out for an adventure of the slow kind, right? but ended up having the kind we used to look for intentionally! Some things seem to follow me around…like that snake I found in the garden the next morning after writing that I love snakes. Imean, we’d lived in the house for 8 years and I’ve never seen a snake there (feeling kinda weird about that, too). Course, our garden snake is a 4′ black snake, checking for birds eggs in the bushes. I got a real close look and am pretty sure it’s not a copperhead in its “black phase”. Just a gentle copperhead hater….

Anyway back to sewing:

I had a few hours before the trip to make HusPartner some river pants, using those cool heavy duty zippers to keep his valuables in place in the boat. This is such cool fabric: it’s water repellant and quick drying. Ressy offered it in the Fabrics And Notions Coop Yahoo Group a few years ago. I sure wish I had bought more than 3 yards.


I had a pair of shorts of his at The Stitchery that were waiting for a repair job and used them for a pattern. Heheheheh, the joke was on me, though as he tried them on and they were tight! He grabbed up the ripped shorts and said, “I love this expandable waistband”, stretching that band another full 3 “! Oh, yeah, that, right! Fortunately I had taken deep french seams and could let the new ones out just enough for him to have a fine fit after all. He liked them and they are his “I can do anything I want in these” pants. Happy Pants.

So here’s another project finished last week


and because I’m in a hurry to get back to sewing (working on a full-legged version of the Sandra Betzina jeans, Vogue 1034) I’ve just copied in the review written for Pattern Review

But here’s the best part, I think, the funkiness at the hem:


Pattern Description: from the website: MISSES’/MISSES’ PETITE DRESS: Lined, fitted A-line dress, mid-knee length has front and back yoke, short or elbow length sleeves, cuffs with link buttons and back zipper.

Pattern Sizing: AA(6-8-10-12), EE(14-16-18-20) I had the EE sizing range.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except for my changes in fabric

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, even I had no trouble (that’s amazing! :O)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This is a Very Easy Vogue and I made it easier by not lining. I didn’t have to lower the bust darts and they’re conveniently marked on the pattern. I like the smooth flare of the skirt in front and in the back. It doesn’t swing forward like some 4 gore skirts.

The semi-kimono sleeves with the button-linked border are a nice and “different” detail if you’re getting bored with same ol’ sewing.

Fabric Used: Linen for the body and Japanese Cotton for the neckline and sleeve trims

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None except to cut a 14 through the neckline and sleeves and a 16 throughout the rest of the dress and shortening by 3 inches

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I willnot sew this again but it is a nice easy dress for a beginning sewist to practice corners on an inset sleeve or do a lining for the first time.


I laughed and laughed when I first made this dress: I made the length just below mid-knee as per the pattern and hadn’t added the embroidery and applique at the hemline. It was the epidemy of What to Wear When you’re going to lunch with a strident fashionista who always has to look better than you! It was so boring and plain and downright dowdy.

I shortened it and added embroidery and applique around the hemline and purposefully made it look funky and uneven to give some interest.

Hemline Detail

It is debatable whether I should be wearing a skirt this short since I’m beginning to look my age around the knees, but what the heck, let ’em just try and complain. I’ll just keep moving fast.

And my real conclusion is this: An A-line style does me no real favors. But it might just work for you, especially if you’re willing to play with the details.


About Mary Beth

I am fascinated by changing patterns and colored threads. I sew garments and am teaching myself to machine knit. Since selling the building that housed my workrooms, The Stitchery, I'm searching for a place to set up the knitting machines again. There must be room here somewhere!

8 responses »

  1. Mary Beth .- fabulous canoe trip ….. uhmmm. as they say in Spain: “many difficulties but arrived in port” … The very pretty and practical trousers and mini dress I love. especially the color of the fabric and its simple way. congratulations. A big hug. Paco

  2. Er, nice “relaxing” canoe trip! Glad you survived. I think the dress looks cute – something great to toss on when the temps and humidity rise. Great way to rescue a potential wadder!

  3. I like your dress and you still have good knees so enjoy wearing this linen dress in warm weather. The neckline and border sleeve fabric is a nice detail.

  4. Never far from an adventure! Your additions to the dress really make the dress unique. A-line doesn’t work for me either, but this dress looks like a winner for those hot summer days when you want to be cool and comfortable.

  5. Beautiful dress! You were really inspired with the hem.

  6. Nothing like a little adventure to really make you feel alive.
    I love the dress. The applique/embroidery hem absolutely make this dress!

  7. Some trip! Sounds like the kind you remember for a loooong time.
    I love that dress on you! I think the A-line silhouette gives it a youthful look and I absolutely love the embellishment. I admire your creativity.

  8. Well I’m loving the dress…especially the details! What a great idea to use the appliques and a stitch from your machine to make that wonderful border!

    And I’m with your dog…that was a little too adventurous for me, too! *LOL* Glad you made it to shore safe and sound!!!


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