Monday, November 21, 2011

it's moving day!

One thing led to another and I tinkered my way onto my own domain:

I am moving!  I hope you will come along - update your links and RSS feeds.  There will be pizza and beer for everyone who helps unpack.  Just kidding!  You know I wouldn't ask you to help.

Come on over!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


thanks to my best-cube-mate-ever Holly for taking pics of me :)
I made this scarf (and wear it so often I should be embarrassed), the knit top and the jacket.  The skirt was an unflattering mid-calf length that I corrected by chopping off the old waistband by several inches and making a new one.  The boots are my "I don't smell anything, do you?" in my car.
In fact, I do smell the sickly sweet smell from the steam wash & auto detailing, along with the curdled milk.
But when you are wearing great boots, it's not so bad.

Happy Gratuitous Pic of Yourself Wednesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

a blue sparkly jacket

Thank you all for the warm feedback on my "about me" page and my ideas for Sewing With A Plan.  I love hearing about your thoughts and I am delighted that many of us will sew along together for SWAP 2012.  Heck, even if we don't finish all eleven pieces, it is brilliant.

I started a jacket over the weekend using the sparkly blue fabric that came my way via Claudine of Adventures in Couture.  On a quick errand to get elastic for the mulching yoga pants (which came clean after 3 washings) I spied the perfect blue zipper with brassy metal teeth.   That zipper told me the time had come to sew up fabric that has twinkled at me for months.

I decided to sew a hoodie and remembered my cosy jacket pattern.  I used the hood pattern from the Jalie City Coat pattern and now the jacket is cut and ready to sew.

All I need is lining - and it was pretty exciting to find so many options in my stash:

Each of these fabrics looks wonderful with the blue sparkle (which resembles a quilted denim) and it makes me want to sew all of these prints into blouses or dresses to wear with my adorable hoodie jacket.

Wouldn't all these imaginery outfits look great with my new *Frye boots?  If only I could clone myself and sew them all at once.

Ultimately, I want the jacket to be versatile.  I love the fabric and I know I will wear it a lot, so that might mean a blue lining (same thing Claudine did!) that matches closely.

Does anyone you know where I can find well-matched lining?  I know folks used to send swatches up to stores in NYC and ask them to find matches, do people still do that in this day of the internet?  

*The Frye boots
Here is the story on the boots.  When I was 14, I saved babysitting money to buy a pair of Frye boots.  I didn't realize that my feet had not stopped growing.  
image via Etsy
A year later, they were too tight and those much-loved boots never got the wear they deserved.  That memory came to me when I was window-shopping on my lunch hour last week.  I had just picked up my car from the auto detailer and it still smelled like sour milk.  Yes, I dumped a pint of milk in my car and boy am I sorry now.  I think people should cry over spilled milk because it really stinks!  
HOWEVER, my impulse boot purchase made up for the ill-fated purchase in my teens AND gave me strength to live with the smell in my car-with-only-12,000-miles-on-it.

Seriously, those boots made everything alright again.  Now I smile when I get in the car - I just think about my boots.

So!  Do you have a preference on any of those fabrics as linings?  I am partial to the first one, and my husband likes the second one.  Or am I right, and I should get a matching blue for the lining?  
Decisions, decisions!  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sewing With A Plan - patterns

Given the nature of SWAP 2012, my starting point is to identify patterns that have been fitted to me and need to be sewn again.  I have some good ones!
I've sewn a sweater coat and a jacket using Jalie 2680 

I've sewn a blouse-type top and
 an unlined jacket from V8044
I have a good start on a coat using BWOF 11-2006-108

We are to select seven a la carte items from this menu:

Button-down shirt - TNT shirt pattern         
- TNT t-shirt pattern          
Overshirt - Jalie 2780              
Dress  - make a shirt-waist dress using 
my TNT shirt pattern         
Shorts or Capri Pants       

Skirt - my Versatile Skirt pattern
Jacket -  Vogue 8044 with added design details               
Coat -  BWOF 11-2006-108  

Overcoat or Raincoat     
Bathing Suit & Coverup

That seems like a good start.   I came up with seven patterns!  That is pretty amazing.  When I sewed a SWAP in 2008, I don't think any of my patterns were fitted yet.  When I look back, I got an enormous 
sewing boost from participating in SWAP 2008.  I still wear some of those garments regularly, too.

I wonder what it would be like to sew for a few months without tackling ANY new patterns.  That seems like a novel idea - what do you think?  

It seems like having 7 TNT patterns is not very many when I read blogs of people who might sew 30 different patterns in a year (and they all fit beautifully).  But for me, this is pretty special.  Yep, this is some gooood sheet, man.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011



This is a Gratuitous Photo Of Yourself Wednesday.
I am wearing McCalls 5974, blogged here.

I have changed the way I wrap the belt, so that the knot is in the back.  It feels a little better this way.
Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

About Me

All good blogs have an "About Me" page (I have been told) but I dragged my feet writing one.  Well, I finally did it, and added it to my side-bar. it's all about me, me, me!  Now I want to create a cute button.  That is a boring little link, if you ask me.

OK, enough about me.
What do you think about me?

ha ha

Sewing Mojo!! It is back!
I am going to participate in the 2012 SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) held on the Stitchers Guild sewing discussion forum.

The rules (taken directly from the website):
This year, our SWAP will focus on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns: testing and fitting paper patterns, muslins, and fashion garments that will help lower the overall sewing failure rates,  result in fabulous clothing to be proud of, and (hopefully) give every contestant a pattern or two that works every time it is used.

Choose any seven garments from this list:

Button-up Shirt w/Collar           
Shorts or Capri Pants       
Overcoat or Raincoat     
Bathing Suit & Coverup 
From those seven, choose four to make twice for a total of 11 garments that will work together.

I am all over this!  Can't wait to start planning.  The hardest part of sensible sewing is the boredom factor.  I will need to keep things interesting enough to beat the boredom.

Anyone else thinking about sewing some coordinating items?  Or does that just kill the buzz for you?  Sometimes, I really need to sew something frivolous, so I understand!

Monday, November 7, 2011

mulching yoga pants? yes

I would not know this term if not for Claudine who posted about it when she bought her sparkly blue fabric.

After sewing these pants, I washed my hands and the water turned gray.  That seemed a little weird.  Then I wore the pants.  Oh how soft is this fabric!  Oh how comfortable are these pants (made from a lengthened version of my pattern for exercise shorts)

This is before adding the waistband and hem.
You can see the gusset.  The fabric is a little lightweight for pants,
they are more like lounging pants to wear at home.
My goodness, I could not exclaim often enough how easy and comfy these pants were.  I couldn't wait to sew more.  And then I saw the effects of the mulching.  My whole lower body was gray - like a zombie or a vampire.

Oh my!  This was conversation-worthy with the husband.  Yes, I had pre-washed it.  Then I remembered Claudine's post and her experience with mulching.  I will wash the fabric and these pants several more times, with a white cloth in the load, until the water runs clear.  I have been thinking about that sparkly blue fabric, too (I won her giveaway!) and I want to sew a jacket just like Claudine's creation.  She won't mind blatant copying, will she?   I need to hunt down a separating zipper.

Happy November!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Vote for Miss Celie's Pants!

Baltimore blogger Renee (aka Cidell on patternreview) writes Miss Celie's Pants.  She is a world citizen who has travelled extensively.  Baltimore has been her home and her passion for a while now and she really knows the city and shows a fun side through her blog.   And she is a total sweetheart.

I am a part-time Baltimorean and I love this town.  My roots go back to the seventies when I studied violin at the Peabody Institute.   As soon as I got my driver's license, I was allowed to drive myself to lessons. My mom gave me parking money, which I used to buy greasy tacos at the Jack-in-the-Box on Orleans street, and I learned how to parallel park in Mt. Vernon.  Greasy tacos were an exotic novelty in the 1970's.

Click here to log on via Facebook and vote for our pal Renee.

Click here to vote for Cidell's blog ... early and often


Click here to vote for Cidell in @baltimoresun's #mobbies awards!

Vote early, vote often!!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE IN MARYLAND TO VOTE - in fact maybe that is a plus!  If Baltimore looks like a fun city via Miss Celie's Pants, that is all the more reason for a vote.