Wednesday, March 31, 2010

No, No, No!

I'm not sure if I mentioned it but I'm taking one class this semester. (It's going pretty well and there's only one month left. YAY!)

Well, because this class occurs at night, the students are of various ages. So there is this guy that usually sits in the aisle next to mine and last week I noticed something about him. Well, actually I couldn't possibly not notice this:


He was wearing those, in a jungle green "neutral" color, like that would help them blend in??!? I refuse to even provide a link for those shoes because, well, ugghhh.....

For the rest of the night, I had to avoid letting my eyes migrate over to that side. I consider those a fashion FAIL. What do YOU think?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

1. A-line Skirt - Built By Wendy (Sew U)

Pattern Description: A-line skirt from Sew U by Wendy Mullin, pattern was included in book.

Pattern Sizing: I made the Medium (sizes 6 & 8) straight from the pattern, no adjustments.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did look like the drawing in the book.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Extremely easy to follow.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked that the pattern fit without any adjustments.
Fabric Used: A thin wale black corduroy from my stash.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made no changes to the pattern or in the sewing of the skirt. However, I did use Seams Great on all the raw edges because this fabric started to unravel. It wasn't till later I found that it also comes in black which would have been perfect for this project. Oh, well.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will definitely make this skirt again. It is now my TNT A-line skirt pattern.

I was amazed how well this pattern fit me. I have quite a deep curve in my back below the waistline and this skirt fit it perfectly.

Worn with Simplicity 4077 and Simplicity 3835 (another Wendy Mullin pattern)

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Projects = Wardrobe Contest?

Okay, this past winter seemed to last so long that all this new warm weather is discombobulating. In my most recent wardrobe plan I still have a few cold weather garments to sew. I just hope there will be time left to get some wear out of them.

I know I said that I wasn't going to talk about my sewing projects until they were done, but since I've already made it halfway through this plan, I changed my mind.

It also happens that these four projects (two tops, one skirt, one dress) are being constructed at the same time as's most recent mini-wardrobe contest and they sort of fit the requirements in that one of the tops could be worn under the dress and make four outfits. So my goal* is to finish them before the deadline. Once done, I'll review them and see if I should go ahead and enter. Below are the patterns and fabric used for each item:

New Look 6838

Item: A short sleeve boat-neck t-shirt. I bought this pattern years ago to make the v-neck t-shirt. I am hoping to find a TNT basic top pattern and hopefully this will be it. Done

Fabric: Black medium-weight interlock knit that I found in my stash. I had just enough to make a short-sleeved version of the boat neck top.

Butterick 2564

Item: The short-sleeve top from a recent vintage purchase of mine. I love cut-on sleeve tops, so easy and elegant. I adore the matching pleats on the top and jacket so I hope to make the entire suit one day. Done.

Fabric: The same red cotton twill that I am using to make my Colette Patterns Oolong dress. The fabric feels wonderful and has great body and drape. It also takes to pressing well.

Vogue 7008

Item: A-line skirt. I did not make the skirt pictured above; however, that is exactly what it ended up looking like. (I also just love the striped skirt in the middle!) My skirt was actually made using the Wendy Mullin book, Sew U. I made the basic A-line skirt and it fit perfectly, even the curve of the back fit me, sway-back and all! Done.

Fabric: Some black 21-wale corduroy that I've had in my stash for I don't know how long. I happened to have two identical lengths that I think I purchased to make pants. The skirt was cut from only one of the lengths so I could still make a top or another skirt with the other piece.

Butterick 4948

Item: A cap-sleeved pullover jumper, to be worn without a belt. I love the smock-like shape of this dress and the handy pockets. Done.

Fabric: A gorgeous purple/blackberry 16-wale corduroy I bought at Jo-Anns. It is just light enough to make a flowing dress and the pattern image is made in corduroy. Yes, I know, no imagination. Well, I originally looked for the fabric in a red-orange too until this color and a fire-engine red showed up.

* I know, why do I do this to myself!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guess What I Brought Home...

Yup, the book that everyone is talking about (or actually writing about on their blogs.) When I first heard about it I was thinking I would love to get this book since I won't be able to afford that drafting class again this year but I felt guilty spending money that I didn't have.

Then I realized that I still had an gift certificate* from my last birthday. No, not the birthday just one month ago but from my birthday in early 2009!

So of course, I had to order it! The certificate also allowed me to get the most recent Imogen Heap album, even though her first one was still on my wish list.

*Thank you Cassidy family!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

There's More To Austen Than I Thought...

I thought I had read all the Jane Austen that was available. As it turns out there was one more novel that she had finished, Lady Susan, but it had not been edited or published. There were also two others that were not finished, The Watsons and Sanditon. I picked up a copy of this collection from Borders a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

That time spent dwelling in Austen-land made me eager for more, so I not only watched the new BBC adaptation of Emma, relished in last year's version of Persuasion, and watched Becoming Jane on NetFlix, but I also reread my copy of Emma. I am now in the process of rereading Persuasion even though the binding on my paperback volume is now in horribly bad shape. I don't know what it is, but each time I read one of her novels I find more to love and make new discoveries of passages that I did not remember from the last time I read it.

With this last purchase, I now have all that Austen wrote and I am sure these two (I wasn't as big a fan of Sanditon) will be as well read as the others.

In fact; in my opinion, The Watsons had the makings of an extremely satisfying novel with another fantastic heroine like Anne Elliot or Elinor Dashwood. Unfortunately, it was put aside when some of the subject matter (the death of a father) became too close to home for Jane to finish.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Me Lucky Charms!

Way back in 2006, I saw this article in a copy of Blueprint magazine and loved the idea of changing my beloved charm bracelet into a necklace. I bought this bracelet on a whim at The Limited one day because I loved the charms that came with it; a tiny Vogue magazine, a high-heeled shoe, sunglasses, purse, and a hand mirror. However, I rarely have time in the morning (sooo not a morning person!) to deal with the clasp on this thing so I never wore it. Even years later, after I acquired some sewing related charms at JoAnns to add to the others I still couldn't get in the habit. Now I don't have to, I just slip it over my head and head out the door. I can't believe it took me this long to finally make this a reality.

Blueprint version and reality

My version in use

I also have a link bracelet and a rhinestone necklace that could be configured like this one by Maegan. Go on and check out her DIY accessory tutorials while you're there!

Next up, I will be changing some of these butterfly clamp clips into something similar to this Samma Study in Balance necklace seen all over the Totokaelo blog:

+ creativity =

I've been playing around with some configurations.

I may or may not dip some of the clips or portions of them in acrylic paint for color. If I was spending any additional money on these projects I would definitely use some of this stuff on them.

And then, how simple can this one be?

Safety pin necklace, $24

I have a lot of little charms that won't go on my existing chains because they're too small to slip over the clasps at the ends, so this solution could work. Perhaps I could also find something less obvious than a safety clip though?

my loose charms

Images: Summer 2006 issue of Blueprint (RIP) magazine, unknown, Maegan,, Urban Outfitters

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Cat fight on fashion avenue!

The Fug Girls just loved something that Tom & Lorenzo didn't like. At all.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sewing Notions As DIY Jewelry

In the last few years, if you've shopped at Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters you will have noticed a trend toward jewelry that looks homemade, crafty, or chaotic (see at left). Not bad homemade but definitely DIY-able. Why? Because most of it is. I applaud these artists for the ideas but I can't pay money for something that I can figure out how it was created and actually have the supplies on hand at home.

Braided cording ending in tassels. On this one, the tassel is added to the cord, but you can actually find something like this, as is, at any JoAnn's Craft stores or go upscale and buy it from a high-end upholstery store. In addition, they come in luscious jewel tones and great color combinations too.

Opened zippers, simply rolled up like roses, stitching the ends, tack them to each other, and attached the chain using jump rings. I would like to see this made from recycled zippers in the garish colors from the 70s that you can still find at thrift shops.

This one I've had in my scrapbook for years, it's from the 80's! It's simply a length of ribbon (poly or silk, your call) run through D-rings. Both supplies available at JoAnn or Hancocks.

This simple knotted design can be recreated with silk cording, (see below) raffia, custom-made piping, or any flexible trimming. Update: Here's a very helpful tutorial for a similar necklace from Maegan.

Luscious colored silk cording, grouped together, and loosely knotted three times. This one is finished with professional jewelry findings but if you like the simple way you just need to tie off the ends.

Images: These are from seasons past and are no longer available.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Heraldic Angels Siren Song

Details from the final Alexander McQueen collection.

Reminds me of the Phoenix

"the" statement coat
exquisite neckline

Softly moulded shoulders

More images: Tom & Lorenzo

The luxury, fabric, embroidery, prints, creativity, and the craftsmanship.


Monday, March 08, 2010


I love corduroy. It is as simple as that.

I am totally crazy about all the cool colors that it comes in, I guess in part because a lot of children's clothing is made from it.

If I could, most of my winter wardrobe would be corduroy pants, jackets, and flannel-lined corduroy jumper dresses. The corduroy itself would come in both thin and wide wales, along with some no-wale cord, which closely resembles velvet. I love how corduroy is so warm in the winter, taking on your body heat, whereas jeans are cold to the touch immediately upon walking outside. In addition, corduroy feels so comfy and homey with its nubby, panelled texture.

I would, of course, then supplement my wardrobe with a few pants and dresses in velvet & wool, some dresses and shirts in flannel, and then some felted sweaters worn atop silk long-underwear tees.

red, brown

green, orange, yellow

purple & pumpkin

However, I would wear almost all of these colors and I plan to try.

Oh, and checkout this vintage gem I found when I searched for corduroy dresses...

(Image: Richard Rutledge, ca. 1951)

a pink corduroy halter dress. Oooh, lovely!

Images belong to: Small Earth Vintage, FleursDeLis, Angry Chicken, All Buttoned Up, academichic, the gleam of rose tea, doro k, and persephassa