bryant park tova


i told you i had more tovas on the horizon…i was going to go sleeveless this time (and should have considering how blistering it was in both austin and new york), but this fabric is so fallish, i wanted it to be more of a cooler weather piece.  however, i couldn’t resist photographing as much as possible in gorgeous nyc.

i am noticing a definite gravitational pull toward plaids and checks this season.  i don’t know how much of this started with my favorite tova ever, to which i still aspire and have not yet achieved, but upon assessing my fabric purchases in full from this past week, i could now make a closet full of plaid tovas should i so desire.  this particular fabric is actually some kind of cotton poly blend from joann.  i had never noticed it before–it’s back by the flannels (though it isn’t flannel) and i was drawn to the cozy, country feel.  i love that it’s beige and not white, vs. a regular gingham.  i got a few variations of it in a big labor day sale, so you’ll be seeing more tablecloth clothing in the future.

picnic tova

the sewing was even easier this time.  i am really excited to report that i got the placket in on attempt #1!  i think a lot of the success is simply because i anticipated problems and proceeded with caution.  also, i did not cut all the way in to the reinforcement stitching.  i left maybe a cm intact, and that seemed to help a lot in preventing holes.  i think if you get it in on the first try, you’re golden.  but if you get a little hole, it’s almost impossible to fix.  it seems straight forward enough, but once you’re in there and everything is all backwards and upside down, it’s really hard (for me) to tell what i’m looking at or trying to do!  i was sewing this up late the night before we left, and in my sleepiness, i sewed the cuffs on backwards.  other than that and my serger finally becoming the fussy, high maintenance machine i always knew it would, this sewed up very quickly without trouble.


i used the same pattern i adjusted before for my linebacker shoulders, which is a small graded to a medium in the shoulders, and an xs in the waist.  remarkably, this one feels much more spacious than the first and i can easily lift my arms above my head without constricting circulation.  not sure if i messed up the seam allowance the first time, or this fabric is more forgiving?  as before, i extended the hem by 4″, then cut it into a shirt tail shape.  plenty long, very comfy.


i had envisioned photographing this dress in central park, but it just didn’t work out that way with our plans.  instead, we photographed it in bryant park, at 42nd and 6th, an oasis in bustling midtown.  i used to work at 45th and 6th, so i would scurry to bryant park every day at lunch to get my dose of fresh air and sunshine.  it’s a beautiful park, but holds a special place in my heart for that reason and is full of good memories.  it’s also conveniently located blocks from the garment district, so i deposited david here a few times to read and stroll while i hoofed it in and out of shop after shop.  now it’s his favorite park, too.


can you see eight days of couch surfing, lack of sleep, extreme heat and layers of sweat and filth accumulating on my face here?  fun trip, but it’s quite nice to be home.


next up is my final garment i’m posting for summer.  can’t believe fall is officially here in one week!

14 thoughts on “bryant park tova

    • thanks, irene! it has grown on me a ton in the past few months. i got this in dark blue, and a giant red and white check as well. i love it! now, if i could just figure out how to match the print (the more i try, the worse it gets).

  1. Tablecloth my foot! this is a great dress. I’m really loving this pattern between you and Froo&Boo’s versions.
    For what it’s worth. My best pattern/plaid/stripe matching comes from a devil may care attitude and a glass of red wine in one hand. Although that may not work for everyone (or me every time for that matter)

    • i think it’s a great dress too! i might be able to get away with it in nyc…in my current hometown i get the feeling more than one person will wonder why i slaughtered a perfectly good tablecloth. your advice on the pattern matching is the best i’ve ever gotten. it certainly seems the harder i try, the greater my failure. perhaps if i go the other way and involve some wine, things will go differently–at least more enjoyably!

  2. Wow, fab dress! I wish I could wear a dress like that in the Autumn here, but we seem to have skipped Autumn this year. Temperature has gone from 20 down to 10 in the space of a weekend. I’m not coping well!

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  6. I’m dying over your tova’s and the curved hem! Just completed my first yesterday and love it. I’m short from the shoulder to bust so the inset actually falls under my bust where the gathers are…but I just went with it! Starting my chambray version today…going to attempt this hem! Yours are my favorite tova’s and I’ve been looking at lots! Cheers!

    • hi kat,
      thank you! that’s very flattering–there are a lot of cute tovas out there. i do like the curved hem. helps a LOT if you run a basting stitch 0.5″ all the way around before you press in the hem to seam it, makes it much easier to navigate those curves!

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