Friday, April 30, 2010

Unsophisticated Use of WHAT?!?

T & LO considered this an unsophisticated use of color. WHAT?! I don't get it. If anything, it's a retro influenced palette from the 1940s. I'd wear it proudly.

I loved Emilio Sosa's use of color in his final Project Runway collection. Especially the splash of a new color revealed in the coat and jacket linings.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Had Liberty Once Dress - Style 2225 (OOP)


This picture was taken in the early 1990's when I was still in college (the first time). How I was able to afford this fabric, I really don't remember. I think it took three yards, so it must have been on sale. But I do remember that I bought it at G Street Fabrics in Rockville, Maryland. I hope one day to find that I still have a scrap of this left somewhere. This fabric was so gorgeous. It was a floral with white flowers outlined in black on a true red ground. I have searched the Liberty of London site and I thought it was no longer manufactured. **If anyone knows of a great resource to track down old Liberty prints, please let me know! I would love to know the name of this one and when it was designed.
I did find one similar, called Capel at Shaukat, the British seller of Liberty fabrics (they also carry Liberty oilcloth!) I believe my print was more densely populated with flowers, but then, this could just be a bad shot of the fabric.

Update: I found another picture of Capel and I think it actually is the same one!

I used Style 2225 (OOP), View 2 for this dress. It turned out wonderful, a real twirly, girly dress. I remember how crisp and light the fabric was and wearing it while riding my bike to class. I even made tiny covered buttons for it. Of course you can't see them in this picture, but you can see on the pattern front that they went down the center front from neckline to hem.

Style 2225 (OOP)

Unfortunately, my waistline eventually expanded and I could no longer wear this dress. I wish I had had the foresight to keep it as the skirt was full enough and the sash long and wide enough to make a blouse. However, this was before I embraced the concept of refashioning. For me, I made an item, usually only once and then let it go. I was so prolific with my sewing then that the items were not as precious as their memories are now.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thank you, Kyle!!

Last week, Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn emailed me to see if I would be interested in some fabric from her stash. I'm not dumb, so I said yes.

However, I was still surprised when I received the package on Monday. The fabric was gorgeous and there was a lot of it. About two and a quarter yards. (I used the old nose to wrist measuring system as soon as I pulled it from the package.) How very generous!

with hot pink shirt for color comparison

Kyle, I can't believe you couldn't find a use for this, but thank you for passing it along! It's a lovely Lycra blend in a dusky pink and cream dots on a chocolate brown ground (Hmm, makes me think of Good & Plenty candies...). I have a few knit patterns, including this blog favorite, that I might try from my pattern stash. Who knows when this will happen (you know what I mean if you've been reading this blog for awhile) but I do hope soon. Even though I'm not a big fan of pink, I will definitely wear this!

Now, enjoy a few pictures of me ridiculously play-acting as a Paris fitting model:

Are not blog friendships great?!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Give Me Liberty!

#1379 Umbrella in Brown; #1382

Last week, somebody was looking for Liberty of London prints on corduroy. Out of all the sewing blogs I read weekly (just check my blog list at right, that's not all of them either) I can't remember who it was, so this found via Sew Liberated is for everyone:

B & J Fabrics in New York carries Liberty of London prints (266 different ones) on tana lawn, jersey, twill, and my fave, corduroy!!! Also, they sell online store with free ground shipping!

#1548; #1400; #781

Okay, now I get it...

I Hate Cilantro.

And this article in the New York Times, explains why and how I'm not the only one who thinks that it tastes like soap. Why, even Julia Child couldn't stand the taste!

"Flavor chemists have found that cilantro aroma is created by a half-dozen or so substances, and most of these are modified fragments of fat molecules called aldehydes. The same or similar aldehydes are also found in soaps and lotions and the bug family of insects."

*Sorry, Shannon, I know you loved that tortilla soup you made me but the reason I didn't want seconds is explained in that article. It wasn't your cooking, I swear!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I went to Jo-Anns...

and came home with 155 patterns.


No, I did NOT steal them from Jo-Anns but received them out of the back seat of a local reader's car! This lovely woman; Pat, contacted me a few weeks ago after I posted about my recent pattern splurge. She had lucked out on purchasing six boxes of patterns at a yard sale (all for $10!) and now desperately wanted the rest of them out of her house in order to declutter. We've all been there, right?

She had a feeling I might want them or would know what to do with them, so we arranged to meet at Jo-Ann's (tempting fate, right?) to do the exchange and talk sewing.

After I got home that night, I went through them pretty quickly to pick the ones that I wanted, at first sight. I was amazed at how many Vogue patterns there were (59!) and how many of these patterns were untouched; about 95%.

Right now, I'm just letting it all absorb in. Obviously, I don't want to keep all of them either. I found 15 that I want to keep (including one I'll write about later). So, there may be some give-aways or they may all end up in my little, forgotten Etsy shop, DragonFly. All I have done up to this point is sort them out according to pattern brand:
  • Burda = 10
  • Butterick = 18
  • McCalls = 21
  • Simplicity = 12
  • Style = 2
  • Vogue = 59!

They also range in age from mid-1970s to the late 1990's. Believe me, I will definitely post the scary ones from the 1980s. More pictures are available on Flickr and if you see anything you must have, just let me know.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Yeah, It Didn't Happen...

but I did get more done on the dress and I even FINALLY took pictures of the most recent work I've done on the Colette Patterns Oolong dress*. So as long as there has been some kind of progress, I'm happy.

Good luck to everyone who made the deadline! I can't wait to see all of the entries and vote.

*If you get impatient to see these before I get around to writing posts on them the pictures are here and here in my Flickr sets.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mini-Wardrobe Contest Hitch or Salvation?

Okay, even though there were some adminstrative problems with the final date of's Mini-Wardrobe contest I still got it even more wrong. I thought the deadline was Midnight last night, Tuesday!

But it didn't matter because about 4PM on Sunday I decided to give up on making the deadline. And guess what? I then did the most work on it that I'd done all week. I started on piece #3, the pullover dress. But that didn't matter because I still didn't have enough time to finish it and the vintage top, did I?

Well, now the contest deadline has officially been announced as Midnight Thursday.

Do I dare? I still don't have a storyboard or whatever they're called. I'm not that graphics handy actually. So does anybody have any ideas on how to do a storyboard, a tutorial maybe?

So...we'll see. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marci Tilton & Vogue Patterns

I've been intrigued by this Vogue 8499 skirt and pants for a while but I really wanted them after I saw this version of the skirt on the noile dot net blog.

How fun, how useful!

Also, I found these images on the designer's site which show how cute those same pieces from the pattern cover look when styled.

Then there's Vogue 8430 that I could make out of fleece that I won't need to hem! Sounds like my kind of project!

This one, Vogue 8559 intrigues me too.

I've always loved inventive patterns. I actually had my mother make me many Issey Miyake patterns from Vogue when I was in junior high that she would not have attempted on her own.

Please check out the Marci Tilton website. weather you like her style or not, her site offers a wealth of information.

  • Her tutorials are worth it if you decide to construct one of her garments.
  • She lets you browse through her closet with her personal variations on her patterns, including her Paris Travel Wardrobe she constructed.
  • She offers great information on sewing with the fabrics that she prefers; like knits*, and sells on her site.
  • Her sister is now selling patterns through Vogue too!

Images are linked

Anna Sui wood grain wool coating $20; Shade Garden mesh knit $18;
Japanese Hemp & Tencel $25; Missoni sweater knit $15;
Art Deco Silk Charmeuse $18; Dappled Deep mesh knit $15

  • Yes, I said, she sells the most fabulous fabrics there; you must check out the mesh knits and the tulle laces.
  • For a while there she was even selling chocolate in the sewing notions section! How perfect was that?
*I love how she says the only knits she won't sew with are interlock. So how come they're the only knits we can find in abundance in Hancock's or Jo-Ann's?!?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

R.I.P. Dixie dear

Dixie Virginia Carter (May 25, 1939 – April 10, 2010)

Whenever I think of Dixie Carter I first think of her as Julia Sugarbaker in this scene from Designing Women: I embedded the video because you have to see her actual performance to get just how fabulous she was. She will be missed.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lookee what I got for $8.50!

Did you buy any $.99 patterns at Jo-Ann's or Hancock's this past weekend?

I did!

Which is amazing because I haven't been in the mood to buy patterns in a LONG time, even when they're only $.99. I just didn't feel I liked sewing enough or had enough motivation to justify the buying of more patterns that might just sit around unmade mocking me. So I guess I'm feeling better about sewing, huh?

I came home with 3 Butterick and 5 Simplicity. Oh, and two vintage ones sneaked in when my Dad and I did the circuit of thrift stores in Newport News this weekend. Here are my lovelies:

Butterick 5415, Butterick 5259, Butterick 5429

Simplicity 2404, Simplicity 2587, Simplicity 2560

Simplicity 2591, Simplicity 2406

Oldies but Goodies:

Simplicity 6034, McCall's 6786

I love how 1930s-40s that 1973 pattern looks and I actually owned the McCall's one when I was in college. I made that shirt in an aubergine rayon challis. I bought it this time ($.25) for the pants.

P.S. The links under the new patterns take you to their individual pages on

Monday, April 05, 2010

This is SO True, and it works!

I just came across this article, "No reply to your Resume? Here's why" on and it put things in perspective for me. I hope it helps someone else too. Sending it in via a friend who also recommends you, works too.

This article was also very helpful since my resume had two of the 10 "deadly" phrases in it. However, I really do have excellent communication skills!!!

Friday, April 02, 2010

2. Black Tee - New Look 6838

Pattern: New Look 6838 (reissued as New Look 6402)

Pattern Description: Knit tops with neckline and sleeve options.

Pattern Sizing: I originally cut a S (Bust=32.5-34, Waist=25-26.5) however, I tapered from the waist down to a M (Waist=28-30) .
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, after I made some alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very simple.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I don't think I look my best in scoop or crewneck tops so I was very excited about the boatneck and v-neck options of this pattern.

Fabric Used: A medium-weight black knit overlock.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I found the boatneck almost too wide to allow a regular bra with straps.

The back was extra wide, enough that I had to pinch out almost an inch and a half and the neckline still sits off from the back of my neck. As it turned out, the reason was the pattern and their addition of an inch of width on the back pattern piece only. Why did they do that? How many of you are an inch wider in your back measurement than your front?

Way too much fabric!

The sleeve cap also had to be reduced, there was far too much ease in the sleeve and my first try looked like they were gathered puff sleeves. The second try (see photo) with a quarter inch shaved off the top curve worked out fine. In addition, I hardly had enough fabric to make sleeves so I ended up cutting them on the selvage so I could get more length and forgo hemming the sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will probably move on to find another TNT shirt pattern even though I will try to alter this one. However, I would still recommend it to others because the neckline is lovely, but anyone trying this pattern should measure the neckline before they cut it out.

Conclusion: I may make this again after I use this book to correct and personalize the pattern with my measurements.

UPDATE: I took in the back even more, about 1/2 inch extra in the back seam from the neckline down and scooped the back out more. Will need to do a real sway-back adjustment next time though.