Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy S'new'd Year! (Almost)

I made a snood from the free pattern that Karen made WORLD FAMOUS on her blog, Did You Make That?, a few months ago. Now she can add New York City to her world map of snoods!

I bought this Merino wool yarn from the Brooklyn General Store in early December and started knitting it up at a friend's apartment nearby. The wool came from upstate New York and was so fresh it still had some hay in it. Talk about organic! Does that happen?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas!

Wherever you may be in this great big world of ours, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by those you love. Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments this past year, or even for just quietly reading along!

To anyone who may have lost a loved one this year, I hope the spirit of the season and the comfort of friends and family help you through....or perhaps you'll come across touching, unexpected moments that make you smile, such as the one in the photo above (even if they did get cat hair all over your ironing board).

And, in closing, may Santa's journey not be as treacherous as the one from this Christmas classic, otherwise there may not be many sewing goodies awaiting us this year. Santa-proof that house, Griswold!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!  :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colette Oolong: The Sydney Harbour Dress

Here it is! My second Oolong dress, which I affectionately call the Sydney Harbour Dress, or "Hey Ma, I finally finished it!" Yep, after almost 2 months this dress is ready for the holidays. I've also included this in the Sew Weekly's "Free for All" challenge.

Hereby Proclaimed: The Sydney Harbour Dress
Pattern: Oolong Dress from Colette Patterns
Fabric: Slightly over 3 yards (3 meters) of navy Japanese cotton from Tessuti Fabrics in Sydney, Australia(!)
Pattern Level: Intermediate
Size: 4
Alterations: Raised the waistline 1 1/2"; shortened the hem to above knee length

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Sewdreaming" in NYC

Some last minute business called me away to New York this past week, leaving my almost-complete Oolong dress on the sewing table a bit longer. Argh!

I'm still in the city and just thought I'd share some photos of a new-to-me fabric and knitting store I visited in Brooklyn today. It's called the Brooklyn General Store and is located in Carroll Gardens. I used to live around here and never knew this existed, but then again I wasn't sewing in those days so...

pic name
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It looks like an old-fashioned general store (or it actually was one, not sure). I love the ladder on the track up against the shelves seen in the photo on the left. I wanted to climb on it and sail across the room like Belle in Beauty and the Beast! Behind the ladder is a box full of Colette Patterns. There are also a lot of cute Japanese fabrics.

Have you been here? I was good and didn't buy any fabric! I did pick up some yarn for a little knitting get-together a friend is having tomorrow. I'm going to attempt the snood pattern that Karen from Did You Make That? posted on her blog. She's inspired so many versions that when I was looking for a beginner level project for tomorrow that's what came to mind! I think we tend to call those cowls here in the States, but I like the sound of snood better (was anyone else addicted to the game "Snood" back in the day?!).

Oh, and I also attended the BurdaStyle launch party a month or so ago here in NYC! It was held in a neat old bookstore in SoHo, and I found out later that the red dress in the photo here was created by Casey of Elegant Musings. Really cool to see the projects in person, but boy was it toasty in there. I also said "hi" to Gertie real quick, I'm sure she got a lot of those that night!

And I'll leave you with a glimpse of the holiday shops and the glowing marble fountain in Bryant Park. I bought some earmuffs to warm myself up and just enjoyed walking around, listening to the Christmas music, and watching people ice skate. Such a festive time of year in the Big Apple.

So long for now, and I hope to be near my sewing machine sometime soon. I haven't forgotten you, Oolong II!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big Pattern Sale!

Howdy do!

Thought I'd share that the McCall website is having a huge pattern sale that lasts until tomorrow, November 30th! McCall's and Butterick patterns are $1.99 and Vogue patterns are $3.99 (including repro patterns)!

I took advantage and bought several patterns yesterday, so go forth and enjoyeth thyself! 

One more sentence makes for 5 exclamation points in a row!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lullaby Lamb Felt Doll

Wow, it's been too long since I last posted. Sheesh. Anyway, I am *this* close to completing a second Colette Oolong dress so hopefully I can include it in this week's Sew Weekly "Do Over" challenge!

I shared this Lullaby Lamb felt doll project over at the Crafty Christmas Club blog and have the all-clear to post here since I gave it to the little girl recipient on Thanksgiving (won't be able to see her on her birthday, which is around Christmas). She's turning 1 so I wanted to make her a doll for the special day! The pattern is a design from Gingermelon, an Etsy shop with a bunch of adorable doll patterns available (I want that owl doll. I mean, can you go wrong with an owl named Orlando complete with spiffy hat? Genius.). She's based in Canada, but her patterns are sent through e-mail and I received mine almost right away. Must give credit to Paunnet for featuring her as part of her Etsy shop series.

The lamb came together pretty easily and I'm very happy with how it turned out. Basic embroidery stitches are used to join the pieces. The original doll height is described as 3.5" (~9 cm) sitting down so I doubled the size of the pattern pieces to get a larger doll. Most pieces are whip stitched together and then stuffed with polyfil, including the wee snout.

Materials include:
  • High quality woolen cream felt for the body from Purl Soho in New York. It doesn't pill like cheaper felts and has a smooth feel (though I admit using cheaper felt for the flower at the head and the pillow.)
  • Leftover fabric from my first-ever skirt for the foot pads and inner ears.
  • Seed beads at the center of the flower.
  • Silk satin ribbon at the neck, also from Purl Soho.

I attached the pillow to the body of the lamb so it wouldn't get lost. My sister chimed in, "Yeah, you know she's going to rip that pillow right off." Little Riley definitely went right for the pillow, but - in round 1 at least - she was no match for my threading skills, aha! 

I'd love to make this again or try some of her other patterns. I know it'll go a lot faster now that I've done it once. I hope everyone celebrating had a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Crafty Christmas Club!

I've reached my first goal of the holiday season - joining the Crafty Christmas Club to help inspire and motivate me as I attempt to make some holiday goodies for friends and family. The CCC was started by the talented Tilly and I hope to make a good showing on the blog (I'm not always the most productive when it comes to making things for others, this being that I'm too slow of a stitcher when it comes to my own clothes to get to sewing things for anyone else, ahem!).

The CCC blog is also a great way to share projects with fellow sewers without having friends and family see your creations before the mad-dash-to-rip-off-the-carefully-taped-wrapping-paper moment arrives (unless they are gently-open-the-gift-tape-by-tape kind of people, which is sometimes the case). So, basically, if you think you might get a handmade gift from me this holiday season don't click through to the CCC blog! No fun in ruining the surprise, right? Or just look really, really excited and grateful when the time comes :)

Time to get working on those gifts before they bring out the holiday music, although in some cases it's too late for that. Anyone else a member of the CCC blog? I look forward to seeing you over there! I'm blown away by what everyone is making, such a creative bunch.

Happy November!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Autumn Harvest Table Runner

Made this autumn harvest table runner just in time for Mr. Darcy's dinner party.

(Cotton fabric from last weekend's clearance sale at Joann's. Grainy photo due to spur-of-the-moment point and shoot with my phone's camera - you can't miss a candid photo op like this, folks.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sewing Through the Decades: 1920s Tulip Kimono

Guy: So, what are you up to lately?
Me: Sewing.
Guy: What are you sewing?
Me: (cheery) A 1920s robe!
Guy: Ah .............why?

I guess that does come off kind of random.

But, hey, now I have a robe to stylishly drink mint juleps in on the front porch.......this winter. Though I have to say this keeps me quite warm, which for some reason surprised me but I'm not complaining!

Pattern: 1920s Tulip Kimono from Decades of Style
Fabric: "Van Gogh" rayon and chambray for the contrast, both from Sew L.A. Fabric
Size: Group A, 32" bust
Pattern Level: Beginner
Paired with: My favorite pair of blue suede shoes! (Sofft brand Mary Janes, sooo comfy)

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Trinkets and Fabrics

Our trip to Florida last week included a stop at the Japan Pavilion at Epcot in Disney World, and there I found some fun cotton fabrics to take home with me! They're not fat quarters but they're sold in small amounts. I had no idea you could buy fabric in Disney. 

I should say, the bottom 3 fabrics are from Epcot and the top brown one is from Sew L.A. Fabric. I said I wasn't going to buy more fabric until I completed 5 projects, which I haven't, but I can't actually make a garment from these so I'll give myself a pass (and I was on vacation!). 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sewing Through the Decades -- Joining In!

Better late than never! I've decided to join in on the Sewing Through the Decades fun, a challenge that Sarah from Rhinestones & Telephones and Debi from My Happy Sewing Place started way back in January. The idea is to pick patterns from a range of years (whether in consecutive order or across several decades) and sew each one at your own pace with no deadlines to worry about.

While late in the game, I thought it would be a fun project as I get myself back into sewing. And since scheduled sew-alongs don't seem to be my forté this will be a nice no-pressure way of joining in on a community challenge! 

...The Challenge...
So, for my Sewing Through the Decades challenge, I plan to sew the 7 patterns I own from the Decades of Style Pattern Company. I bought 5 of these at a trunk show in Los Angeles a couple of years ago (can't resist discounted prices!) and am looking forward to finally sewing them up. The 1930s-50s patterns were some of the first patterns I ever bought.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Dress So Pink and Shirred

Another dress completed, and just in time for my upcoming vacation! I'm going to be in Florida so the color combination still works even though we're now in the midst of fall here in Virginia. I'm on a wee bit of a roll here, 2 dresses in a week, very satisfying indeed. The dress color is a little washed out in these photos, but scroll to the end to find a detail shot for the true pink color.

...The Basics...
  • Fabric: 2 yards of pink and white striped seersucker from Joann's
  • Pattern: None! Self-drafted, but based on this dress photo from a class offered at Sew L.A.
  • Details: Straps forming an X in the back made from the fabric's selvege; handmade self-fabric belt
  • Time in Stash: (fabric) a little over 1 month; (pattern) in my imagination for about 4 or 5 months

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Music of the Night Dress

Hello! A busy and rainy week delayed me in finishing this dress, but it finally happened and I'm very happy with it! This is my Music of the Night Dress, which was made using the fantastic Lonsdale Dress from Sewaholic Patterns. I've loved all of Tasia's versions, and knew I wanted to make it when she first sent out the announcement in her e-newsletter. She loves fitted bodices and full skirts (like me!); I can't wait to see her future designs.

...The Basics...

  • Pattern: Lonsdale Dress from Sewaholic Patterns (2011)
  • Fabric: 3.5 yards of thrifted black and beige poly/silk (?); cotton underlining for the skirt
  • Notions: stay tape at the front bodice neckline; fusible woven interfacing at the waistband, black 16" zipper trimmed down to about 13"; black hem tape at inner hem.
  • **Time in Stash: only a few months for both pattern and fabric!

**I'm trying to use as much of my fabric/pattern stash as possible these next few months; I've even set a personal goal to make at least 5 items before I'm allowed to purchase more (unless it's fabric for a project for another person, though I have to admit I'd like to keep those to an absolute minimum!).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Work in Progress: Lonsdale Dress!

Hi everyone! Just wanted to say I am sewing these days - the Lonsdale Dress from Sewaholic Patterns, to be exact. I've cut out all the pieces and have sewn the bodice together. It feels so good to be sewing again! 2011 has been a really tough year personally, but I am all focused on happier things now (such as patterns and fabric in my stash just waiting to be tackled!).

Here's my dress preview. Please excuse the not-so-great photo taken with the flash late at night. Also visible is a cute mini dress form pincushion my aunt recently gave me! I love, love, love it!

And, yes, I'm very, very sad not to be able to attend the Sew Weekly extravaganza in NYC at the end of the month. Mena, Meg the Grand, Debi and Oonaballoona all in one day, how cool is that going to be!?!?!

Quel dommage, indeed!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Blog STINKS!

(I think I am the worst blogger ever.) But, hey, I'm so glad I actually made MPB Day! Yay!

I didn't take photos, but that's okay because Peter ran a quality day complete with photo documentation here! I was even excited to get a photo with Peter, the first blogebrity (is there an actual made-up word for blog celebs already out there?) I've met. I also managed to bring my sister and 2 cousins with me!

Basically, Peter did a great job wrapping up the day on his blog. I somehow missed the House of Spandex so consider that on the list for next time. I did pick up wool gabardine for a fall CP Rooibos dress and some polka-dot cotton for a bombshell dress. I can feel that I'm actually going to start sewing again! And how fun was it to mention Gertie's bombshell dress and The Sew Weekly and actually have people know what you're talking about? Very fun, indeed.

Thanks, Peter, for the great day! I know Cathy will enjoy those classy gloves.

So long from the Big Apple!

P.S. Writing a blog post on an iPhone is no fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Upcoming Sewing Events

Does anyone else have the opening music to Gertie's Sew Retro class stuck in their head? So snazzy! Wouldn't it be fun to make your own mini movie version in different dresses dancing around in place like that? Or hailing a cab in NYC?


Have you signed up for this class? I can't wait to make it, although I also have no idea where I'll wear it! Kind of a revealing neckline on me, but we shall see...

And, hey, if you're joining Peter for MPB Day in NYC perhaps I'll see you there! At this point, I'm planning on being there as I have family and friends to visit as well.

On a side note, I've been told the comments section on tis blog hasn't been working. I think someone mentioned on the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle forum that Blogger has been having a problem of late with this. Hopefully, it's been fixed, I'm not sure what else it could be??

Over and out, folks!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thrifty (and Not-So-Thrifty) Finds

Last weekend I visited a friend in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Little towns and villages popped up around the countryside, and every once in awhile we'd pass an abandoned century-old building that'd make me wonder just how long it had been sitting there vacant. We checked out a couple of main streets with brick buildings no more than a story or two high, a definite sleepy Southern town vibe to it.

...Thrifty Finds...
Ever since I started sewing I've loved visiting sewing-related stores when I travel. There was one antiques store we wandered into that had a bunch of different stalls. At the back of the store I spotted it -- a basket of sewing patterns! Jackpot, I thought to myself. I came away with two patterns, a knit wrap dress from 1972 (McCalls 3080) and a skirt from 1982 (Simplicity 5454). Unfortunately, the wrap dress is a few sizes too big for me, but I couldn't pass it up for $1. I also grabbed a bag filled with bias tape, piping, lace, etc.

1972 Wrap Dress (the styling on this one is so cute!); 1982 skirt

Friday, June 24, 2011

Self-Drafted "Larkspur" Skirt

I actually finished this skirt about a month ago in a class I took, but only got around to photographing it recently. It was lots of fun, but there are definitely things I need to jot down for next time so I remember what to do (can't rely on pattern instructions this time!).

...The Basics...

  • Pattern: Self-drafted Straight Skirt with slash pockets
  • Fabric: Alexander Henry "Larkspur" cotton; cotton lining (also used for pockets)
  • Other Goodies: grosgrain to stabilize the waistband, invisible zip at center back with tab hook & eye closure at waistband, lace at inside hem of skirt (from my never-ending thrifted ball of lace!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cat Got Your Sewing?

I was in the middle of working on a self-drafted A-line skirt when...

...Gizmo decided to nap on the lining.

I figured I could use the non-cat bed portion of the desk to pin together the fashion fabric when...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7 Colette Patterns Dresses in 7 Days!

Superwoman Mena at The Sew Weekly just announced her plan to make 7 dresses in 7 days from the Colette Patterns catalogue (I don't know why I spell that word the English way and not the "catalog" American way, same goes with dialogue).

I figured I'd spread the word because (A) it's a crazy idea, but if anyone can do it, it's Mena (B) to prove that she's making each dress on the day she says she is she's invited readers to vote for the fabric of each dress ahead of time. A little community fun as we watch the madness unfold! Oh, and (C) I may be the only one to notice, but ever since starting this blog in January I have blogged 3 posts each month, what the heck?? May is going to the month I post, dare I say it, 4 posts! Thanks Mena for getting me to post 2 - the countdown begins!

But Mena's countdown is far more interesting so head on over and vote ;-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Traveling Beignet (and a Hat!)

I did it! I successfully scared myself into finishing this skirt by today, Sunday! This is my second Beignet Skirt from Colette Patterns and I really loved how it turned out. I paired it with a hat to go with this week's "Hat Trick" challenge over at the Sew Weekly. Sorry for the poor-ish quality photos, I need to invest in a better camera (or steal my sister's!).

I call this the Traveling Beignet because the materials are from all over the place! The shell is from New York's Garment District, the bias trim and lining is from Sew L.A. in Los Angeles, the cotton facings are from a Joann's in Connecticut (leftover from a bag I made for my cousin), the buttons are from a Joann's in Burbank, CA, and the lace is from a thrift store here in Virginia. The hat and the (on its way out) top are from my old neighborhood in Brooklyn and the shoes are from Tip Top Shoes on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I can just hear my ol' co-worker in L.A. lecturing me on the high carbon footprint of this ensemble.

The Basics
  • Pattern: Beignet Skirt from Colette Patterns
  • Fabric: Cotton Blend Tweed (shell); cotton voile (lining); lightweight cotton (facings)
  • Other Goodies: Bias tape for the belt; 11 buttons; lace at the lining hem; twill tape at waist seam
  • Size: 4 at waist; 2 from hip to hem

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Self-Imposed Deadline - Or Else!

This is just a quick post to say there will be a completed Beignet Skirt blog post by Sunday...or else! It was going to be a skirt for Easter, but Easter came and went. My sewing time has been minimal of late because we've been lucky to have lots of family visitors these past few weeks, but now I need to get back in the game.

So I'm writing this post in an attempt to peer pressure myself (me pressure myself???) into finishing this skirt by this weekend. I bought this really beautiful cotton blend tweed on my last trip to New York, oooo Garment District goodness :) I guess I should consider myself lucky that I learned to sew after leaving NYC; where would I have fit all that fabric and sewing equipment in my tiny room? Methinks my roommate would've been none too pleased about everything spread out in the living room -- unless I made her a coat or two -- she has about 30, no joke!

On a side note, I happened to see last week that I was averaging 2.3 posts per week and couldn't believe it, sounded so productive! Yeah, that stat has since plummeted. I actually have a completed bag project I wanted to share and a few blogging awards I wanted to play along with, thanks to those who passed them on to me weeks ago, oops.

Okay, I'm now putting on the "me pressure" for skirt completion, which will be paired with a hat in honor of the Sew Weekly challenge! Ready, set, sew like the wind (but not like the torrential wind we had last night, please).

Do you have anything you'll be me pressuring this weekend? Good luck if so!

Monday, April 11, 2011

An Oolong in Strawberry Fields

It was such a beautiful day out today, really more of a summer's day warmth-wise, so I took the opportunity to take a few photos of my newly completed Oolong dress from Colette Patterns. The day was also quite windy, which you can see in some of these photos (cue big hair!). I bought this pattern last year, but only got around to it when I included it as one of my pieces for the CP Spring Palette challenge!

An Oolong in Dandelion Fields?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

1950s Rise & Shine Apron

Hello! It's been awhile (well, only a week). Anyway, thought I'd share this apron I made over a year ago that I included in this week's apron challenge at the Sew Weekly. Kind of cheating, but at least I admitted it was from last year!

Whoa, bright day / bright photo

Thursday, March 31, 2011

In the Navy: My 1940s "Seabee" Trousers

Oh, happy day, my high-waisted, wide-leg "Seabee" trousers are finally finished! It all started when I decided to join The Cupcake Goddess' Trouser Sew-Along back in January, which finished in February I believe (it's been awhile). I didn't do the official sew-along BurdaStyle pattern. Instead I went with a pattern I already had in my stash, the 1940s Empire Waist Trousers from the Decades of Style Pattern Company in Berkeley, CA. She updates vintage patterns from the 1910s to the 1950s, so this pattern is a style that would've been sewn up by home seamstresses of the early 1940s! These trousers are so incredibly comfy - I LOVE them! 

Please excuse the overcast day. It's the best we can get around
here lately. (And, I'm freezing!)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Future Patterns: Thinking Practical

Let's see, I've accumulated a good amount of patterns and fabric so far. Don't get me wrong, I don't have as many as some, but it's getting to the point where I'm accumulating faster than I can sew and I'm not a fan of this! It's starting to make me feel unproductive. I feel like I can't help it, and that it'll all work itself out because I'll eventually make stuff from them.

I've started to think about basics I'd like to have in my sewn wardrobe, and shorts and t-shirts are two of the things I thought of right away. During the summer, on a lazy day, I like wearing shorts as I lounge around the house. So then I happen to see this Kwik Sew pattern posted on Sew L.A.'s Facebook page, and I love it!  Sailor shorts with buttons, so cute :) I even like the tee she's wearing.

Kwik Sew 3854

Right now I just need to stay focused on a few projects and not be distracted by the possibilities of new ones :) Shorts weather isn't exactly around the corner, so there's time to wait. Um, I think...

Of course, that doesn't count skirt patterns because I just ordered the new Crescent Skirt from Sewaholic Patterns. Oh, those pre-sale deals! It counts as a practical buy in my opinion, and it works well with quilting fabric so there's an opportunity for me to start de-stashing! (Never mind the fact I just bought a retro print specifically for this pattern. It reminded me of a historic district of mid-century homes I worked on out in L.A. so I just couldn't resist!)

Modern Home Aqua by Michael Miller

Have a happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't get pinched, okay?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Throwing in the Towel (Kinda)

When I first put together my inspiration board and projects for the Colette Pattern Spring Palette Challenge I planned on making 5 items. Well, there's no way I will be done by the end of March, but I definitely plan to forge ahead and make them! It was great to have this to get me thinking about my next few projects, and I love seeing what everyone has come up with so far. I had a hunch that things would be really busy around here and sewing time would be minimal, but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things as spring arrives.

The good news is I have 2 of the planned dresses almost done (and a pair of pants/trousers almost done!).  We should be having sunny days this weekend, the perfect opportunity to take some photos. I also signed up for a fashion drawing and draping class this Sunday, which I'm really excited about! In April I'll be taking a pattern drafting 5-class course so yay! How many !!! can I fit into a paragraph?

I've gotten a few emails about the peacock feather sundress I plan to make, thank you!  That one is top of my list to make, and I can't wait to get working on it soon.  I haven't seen too many finished versions, but I'm banking on the fact it's going to be a very fun dress to wear.

To close, here's a pretty photo I took of all the buttons in my collection, mostly thrifted, some new.  I plan to use the Mickey Mouse ones found at center for little bags for kids in the family.  This photo (and the wee drawer) just makes me happy- oh the colors, designs and shapes!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The "What's Outside of Pleasantville?" Dress

I just couldn't pass up this week's theme challenge over at The Sew Weekly.  You choose a movie that has been nominated for an Academy Award in Costume Design as your inspiration and have the week to complete the look.  The first thing I did was look through the list of nominees and pick out ones I'd seen.  I love old movies, but in the end I settled on Pleasantville.  The idea of making a '50s style dress and doing the black & white/color photo was too fun to pass up!  Plus, I love Pleasantville.  I watched it again the other night and enjoyed the thought-provoking story line.

I based my inspiration on the dress Margaret Henderson wears when she and Bud go to Lovers Lane, the scene she changes from black & white to color.

Margaret at Lovers Lane

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Me Made March!

I just signed up for the Me Made March '11 challenge on Zoe's blog and am excited!  The idea is to wear at least 1 handmade garment a day for the entire month.  I say I'm excited, although I have to be honest...the idea of taking photos of myself for a month is a little terrifying!  That's partly why I'm doing the challenge, it's nice to step outside the box every now and then.  In my mind I just tell myself it's a great excuse to play dress up for a month :)  There is a chance I'll be away for a week in March for work so that could mess things up, but I will find a way to make it work!

Now if I can just get my sew-along trousers finished I will be feeling pretty pleased with myself.  Oh, and the muslin for Casey's sew-along.  Wait, did I just sign up for a month-long challenge and I'm still working on trousers and haven't made a muslin yet for the swing dress?  Oh boy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good Grief!

So busy with work and other things this past week I haven't really been able to work on anything sewing related.  Very sad times indeed!  I was hoping to cut out my fashion fabric (a sand wool crepe, feels so nice) for The Cupcake Goddess' Trouser Sew-Along, but I'm only just making corrections to my 2nd muslin.  At least those aren't too complex and I hope to be cutting out my fashion fabric by this weekend.  I saw this movie, Easy Virtue, a couple months ago and Jessica Biel's trousers have been good inspiration as I work on mine!  Sunni put this up on her blog as inspiration too.  Mine are from the '40s, but hey, a wide leg's a wide leg!

Jessica Biel in '20s wide-leg trousers in the movie, Easy Virtue (2008)

I'm also shortening the bodice on my 1940s Swing Dress as part of Casey's Sew-Along. Knowing how busy work and life was going to be over the next however many months I planned these sew-alongs to go with my color palette for the CP spring wardrobe challenge. Better to combine things than get discouraged and finish nothing at all, I say!

This post was not very exciting, but there you have it.  Maybe I felt the need to write it because every time I comment on someone else's blog the "Comment Luv" app keeps showing the same post title.  Needed to change that.  On another note, that app is really cool - you find so many cool posts that way!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge

Sarai at Colette Patterns is hosting a Spring Palette Challenge where you sew a mini wardrobe with specific colors in mind.  It's a 10-week challenge and the first step is to create an inspiration board, which was a lot of fun!  I chose to go with fabrics already in my stash -- hey, that just means more room for future fabric purchases!

My "Playground of the Pacific" Spring Palette
(dress patterns at lower center courtesy Wade Laboissonniere,
Blueprints of Fashion: Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940s)

The palette I chose -- gold, blues, reds, and what I'm calling "sand" -- are vibrant colors (well, except for sand, but I like having a neutral in there to balance the others) that contrast my current dreary winter surroundings.  Virginia has beautiful colors for most of the year, but in the winter everything seems so dull and grey, and not exactly inspiring.  I need a punch of color, or 2 or 3 or 4!  Really, just throw 'em all at me, I can take it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pendrell Blouse & Beignet Skirt!

Alrighty, a completed project for the blog! This thing's been lonely for awhile with just a couple of paragraphs to its credit so I'm glad I got something up before the end of the month. Phew.

The Beignet skirt from Colette Patterns was made last year when I was still in L.A. enjoying that mild winter. I used cotton canvas for the shell and a green voile for the lining, and with all the concentration in the world made 11 buttonholes for those brown buttons. I was very proud of my Janome, it worked through those with no problem! I love the color and feel of the skirt. Colette patterns are designed with very little ease so it's a good idea to go up a size if you're between sizes.

And now for the newest garment in my handmade wardrobe - the Pendrell blouse from Sewaholic Patterns!  I just happened to find Tasia's blog last fall and am very glad I did. She has excellent tutorials and such a great, feminine style. This is her very first pattern; she designs for pear-shaped women (which I'm not), so I just brought in the hips of my size and voila!  Tasia is hosting a sew-along if you're interested in making this blouse and need a little guidance.

The blouse is meant to be semi-fitted and tucked in. I went with View B since I don't have anything with ruffles and wouldn't have thought about them otherwise.  I figured I'd give them a go, even though my shoulders and hips are about the same width and I wasn't sure if they would look good on me.  Sewing's all about trying new things and if they don't work out, we move on, right? :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In the Beginning...

Hi!  This is just a quick post to say I've been sewing garments for awhile now and figured I'd finally start up a blog to post projects and such. Truth be told, I've been participating in sew-alongs and was getting all bummed that I had no where to post those pretty buttons/badges!  Silly, right?  I'm like a girl scout who can't wait to get her next patch.  Anyway...

In college, I took an historic costume course that later helped me date photos for my work as an architectural historian (I knew rick rack as a detail on mid-century Ranch houses before I knew of its sewing equivalent!).  For reasons I can't remember, I signed up for sewing classes one day at this great little store in Los Angeles called Sew LA, and that's all it took!  Yep, sewing's been on my mind ever since.

Okay, first things first -- back to the cutting table so I can get some projects posted here!