Thursday, July 28, 2011

New "Love" Fabric

Okay, feast your eyes...this is the fabric that I hid on the bottom shelf of the 50% off table at High Fashion. In fact, I hid it so well it took me 10 minutes to find it again yesterday! The colors are divine in this 100% Rayon woven and the photo does not do it justice. I bought all they had...a scan 3-3/8 yards which is exactly what I need for V8620 with the long sleeves. It's a sign! Can't you picture it in this fabric with a wide belt? I love the collar on that dress but cannot remember what it is called? Portrait? I wish my mom was still here...she always knew those things...sniff...sniff... Anyway, the collar is cut on the bias which I think will set this print off very well like the corner I have turned down. It is so HOT here...I do get a little respite when I think of sewing some fab new clothes for the cooler weather ahead... Can anyone help me with the name of this type collar?

Vogue 8630...It says updated retro to me...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've been sewing so much lately my other hobbies have accused me of having an affair...I'm doing another version of Vogue 1250, I await the arrival of OOP Simplicity 3775 from a sewing friend in Canada and have fabulous fabric in mind for that, and will hit High Fashion with my friend Kandy today. When we were there earlier in the week I found a roll of the most gorgeous rayon print woven fabric on the 50% off table. I hid it under several rolls of ugly fabric so it would be there when I next returned! My other hobbies are right...I am cheating...

Frank Pittman, a very wise therapist in Atlanta, says in one of his books "If you question whether or not something that you do constitutes an infidelity...ask your spouse." I guess I need to speak to my other hobbies...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sewing Restriction

I've grounded myself from sewing until I get some other things done. I'm still looking at patterns online, however, so I'm not sure how effective this punishment is. There are 2, possibly 3, Vintage Vogue patterns I am coveting. Back to work so I can sew!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Redemption of Simplicity 2364

One of the perks of having a blog is that occassionally I can get on my soapbox and rant, which I'm not really predisposed to allow me a moment to talk about one of my pet peeves. When buying fabric at a megopolis like Joann's they many times have bad cutters...couple that with their fear of cutting an 8th of an inch over what you ask them for (I guess it comes out of their paycheck?) can easily end up with a wonky cut. More often than not by the time by the time  I lay it out and straighten the grain I am 3-4 inches short on one or both ends and in peril of not having enough fabric for my project. Exactly what happened  today on the above pattern. You will note from the pattern envelope shown that a sleeveless version of the shrug top is not featured. Inasmuch as I bought the fabric for this top at JOANN'S I did not have enough to cut sleeves! However, I think that making a silk purse out of a sow's ear (as my mom would have said) is called redemption. I really like this little sleeveless shrug that I ended up with! And so did everyone else at the Pinot's Palette painting party I attended tonight. However, it does not excuse a bad cut of fabric...just sayin'...

Also...a great marker for dark or black fabric is a white Conte' pastel pencil. It shows really well and brushes right off...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vogue 1250 DKNY Dress

This dress was so stupid simple (2 pattern pieces!) but it took some mental gymnastics to make it work for me. I usually don't go for a cowl neckline as they are more conducive to an Audrey Hepburn type figure...I'm no Anna Nicole Smith but I am a little on the Marilyn Monroe side. What I ended up doing is cutting a size larger than I normally would, left a little more room in the bust and then narrowing down to a taper that actually sits on my hips creating the little draping effect that the pattern envelope shows. (Pic below) This dress is getting rave reviews on site by the way, if you haven't seen it you must check it can find it in My Favorite Clicks...
And NOW...for the real fashion statement of this entry, check out the stockings and closed toe pumps ala Kate Middleton! I hope her fabulous fashion sense and style (even though it is mandated by the monarchy's protocol) starts a trend back to stockings! Enough of this bare-legged, smelly tanning treatment, lazy attitude towards a classic finishing touch to our wardrobe. Let's hear it ladies...does anyone agree with me?

5 Butterick 4789 Maggy London Dresses? Is This An Addiction?

Okay....I think this will be my last Maggy London twist top least for this Summer! I love, love, LOVE this pattern and have practically made a whole wardrobe of them. Check out my other 4 on an earlier post. One of the things I love about this dress is the V cut of the back. It's just fun and Summery! I first sew the back darts with a single needle and then construct the rest of the dress with a twin stretch needle including hems.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just made it up!

I have a favorite knit little black dress that I wanted to clone. I found this fabulous fabric at High Fashion that is just rows and rows of small ruffles with an overall animal print. I bought a little over a yard and used my favorite LBD as a pattern, simply leaving a seam allowance. I actually used both selvedge edges as part of the dress. One selvedge had little points all along it (see below) so I cut a strip of this to put around the neckline to add a little flounce. The other selvedge was nice and plain with quite a bit of stretch to it so I used it to bind the armholes. Voila! Instant fabulous little brown dress! The motto here is "don't be afraid to experiment! What's the worst that can happen?"

Butterick 4789 Maggy London Dress

Hands down this is my absolute favorite pattern of the moment. Can you tell? I've only made it 4 times for myself and once for a friend! It has it, comfort, flattering fit, easy to make, fun to wear and I get tons of compliments on it! And each one I've made looks completely different because of fabric choice. What's not to love? **Update** the black and white one is my 5th...I think I am least for this summer!


Butterick 5525

It is SO hot here in Houston that I am working on some clothes for Fall...I guess I think that will somehow make it cooler now! This is a knit top pattern that I lengthened into a dress. I added long darts to each side of the back to add some shaping at the waist. I felt like the design on this fabric needed a little softness so I put a lettuce leaf edge on the sleeves and hem as shown below. I like the square neckline and I don't see that design very often.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Butterick 5495

This is a cute pattern with a lot of possibilities. A friend of mine actually started this top and didn't like the way it fit so I inherited it and finished it. I typically don't wear tunic length tops but this one looks cute over leggings. I know it is some sort of animal print but, honestly, I feel like Cruella's sort of Dalmation-like to me! Below is the neck detail with topstitching of the front self facings and sewing together about 1-1/2" at the bottom of the V.

RL Knock-Off

What woman doesn't dream of having a beautiful dressing table to sit at while putting on her make-up? My sister saw this decadent vanity table idea in a Ralph Lauren catalog and we went about designing and creating our version of it. I must say that it is more beautiful than the one we copied. The most fun, however, was the shared sister time throughout the project.

The fabric is a nearly white heavy brocade. Here's a great tip for gathering a fabric that has some weight to it...zig zag over dental floss (non-waxed and flavorless) and use the floss as your gathering thread. It makes uniform gathers and there is no way the floss is going to break!

Friday, July 15, 2011

McCalls 5974 The Perfect Knit Dress?

Palmer/Pletsch touts this pattern as being the perfect knit dress. I might agree with that but the jury is still out on whether it is the perfect wrap dress. I really like the fabric I used on this pattern but from the picture it is hard to determine that it wraps. I think I will enjoy wearing this when the weather cools off in the fall.  Hmmmm...the perfect wrap? I think I am still in search of...anyone out there have a favorite you can recommend?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sewing All-nighter

Last night I pulled what I call a "mother". My mom was an accomplished seamstress and was obsessed with beautiful fabric and a love for sewing. I am so happy that I inherited that gene from her. I have 3 sisters and mom used to make a lot of our clothes, especially those for special occasions. I can remember waking up in the middle of the night and hearing mom's Singer humming while she worked in the wee hours of the morning. Looking back on it that was the only time that she didn't have 4 girls, all within 6 years of each other, tugging at her skirt for one thing or another. This picture is one of my favorites of Easter dresses that mom made. I am 3 and my sister is 5.  The skirts were red with a pussy willow design, the bodices were a soft grey and the moss green sash at the waist tied all of it together. So adorable...