Monthly Archives: May 2011

Awesome Things You Ought To Know About 5/27/11

Mr. Malevolent makes himself comfortable on piles of fabric.

Despite my recent crippled status and busy life, I have actually been able to get some sewing done. Well, I say sewing, but the truth is, I never really noticed how much time you spend standing when you sew. Have you noticed this? The truth is, sewing is kind of a work out, you are up, down, standing to cut, standing to iron, sitting again, standing to put all the piece together, running back and forth between your dress form and layout and machine, guys, it’s a marathon, not a sprint! Luckily I had already cut the fabric for a project just before my little foot meets concrete incident, so I was able to finish that up (I’m actually wearing it right now! And should be able to take some photos of it soon), but I haven’t been able to start any new garment while I’m still on crutches. Luckily, I should be off my crutches this coming Tuesday! (Hold for applause) and hobbling about on my walking cast, ready to cut and assemble once again. In the meantime, I’ve kept my hands and mind busy with some other things. What other things, you might ask? Well, they are so awesome that I just have to give them to you in list and link form! So, without further ado, more awesome things you ought to know about!

1. While stitching up a piece of clothing requires a lot of movement, embroidery does NOT. Which is probably why it was a required activity for young ladies (and middle aged ladies. And older ladies. Man, women really get pigeonholed all the damn time, don’t they?) for about as long as the needle and thread have been in existence. Keeps women all in one place and busy so they don’t get crazy ideas like wearing pants and owning their own property. So in my state of immobilization, I have turned to the soothing art of embroidery to get me through the day. So if you like this sort of thing, or want to try it out, check out some free embroidery transfers, like the delightful French Knots, a whole site devoted to adorable FREE designs for you to back stitch and vine stitch and get your sampler on. Or explore the excellently twister work of Andrea Zuill on Badbird’s, where she releases a free and amazing embroidery pattern once a month! I’m currently working away on her Folk Art Fish for a pillow I’m envisioning, I promise I will post photos when I’m done! It’s going to get crazy!

2. You know what else doesn’t require a lot of movement? Online shopping. Seriously, someone needs to stop me. But I have come across some very excellent and diverting things to buy. Especially on le Etsy, which makes my bank account cry and my heart sing and the cynical twisted part of me (that is, most of me…) cringe at all the stupid cuteness. But since my amazing Sencha-like Butterick blouse pattern came in the mail, (thank you, Frangolina!) I have been trolling for an appropriate fabric to bring my blouse infused dreams to life. I already know that I will be making a test batch with some fabric I culled from my grandfather’s attic all those weeks ago, but I also wanted to buy something different to match the 40’s/50’s air of the pattern. I loved this print from Joann’s, but was even more taken by this amazing Etsy Shop all chalk full of 30’s, 40’s and 50’s fabric reproductions. They will even make you a custom order! Can you say precious? And amazing? And adorable? Oh, you can? Well, I’m glad to know you can speak.

3. And then we come to some patterns. Or more specifically, lots of patterns, in both the “many” sense and the “groups” sense. Because my new best friend (I’m kidding, we’ve never met, but she seems great!) who operates Etsy shop Kateandskippy is selling off a plethora of lots containing 3 to 4 patterns each for about 3.95. Plus shipping. That’s about 98 cents a pattern. That’s….probably the price the pattern actually was when first sold in 1967, right? Or 1976, or 1955, or whatever year, it’s like a pattern cocktail, so you can get things from all eras in one lot! And hey, you might not love them all, but at that price, you can afford to give away the 80’s halter top once you have the 50’s circle skirt, right? There are so many beatiful patterns, and the shop owner says she will be selling over 2000 patterns over the next few months, so keep checking! My personal favorites include this lot, and this one, oooooh, and thhiiiiis. And even some groovy options for guys, check this out! My most favorite I may or may not have bought before I wrote this post just in case anyone read this and tried to poach it. What can I say? I’m not a perfect person. And I now have four new patterns to adore….

4. But hey, maybe you don’t want to pay for patterns. I never want to pay for patterns, honestly, in fact, I would like everything in my entire life to be free. That would be awesome. I wonder who I can talk to about that? But until I figure that out, let me guide you to a FREE PATTERN that might be a balm to your spending wounds. And might I just say, this pattern not only delights me, but gives me clear evidence that the universe is in fact listening to what I say/write. No sooner do I adoringly complain that I don’t want to pay for Colette Patterns at Colette Pattern prices, but Sarai, heroine, sewer, statesman, released a FREE PATTERN on the Colette Patterns website blog. That’s right. And it’s just too sweet. And it’s called the Sorbetto Top. And I’ve already downloaded it, printed it, assembled it, and picked out a fabric and a bias top to make it happen. Did I mention that she released it yesterday? Sarai herself is modeling two versions of this delightful pseudo-60’s wonder, one in a luscious coral silk and one in a playful floral cotton lawn. It’s just a really cute summer top, it looks easy to make, and it requires only about a yard and a half of fabric.  Sigh. I want to go to there.

5. And, finally, I’m currently reading The Help, which makes me perhaps the last women in the United States to do so. Have you read it? It’s pretty wonderful, honestly, I’m very much enjoying it so far, and they are even making a movie of it coming out this summer, the trailer of which looks awesome, with the exception of Emma Stone. Don’t get me wrong, I love Emma Stone, and I think she’s adorable, but that’s kind of the problem, the character she is playing is supposed to be tall and awkward looking and not at all a bombshell, and Emma Stone is clearly gorgeous. It’s like how beautiful actresses always always always play Sonia in Uncle Vanya, it’s like, really? I’m supposed to believe you cry because you are so plain? Give me a break, honey. Have you read The Help? What are you reading right now? I like to tackle something big every summer. Last summer was Gogol’s Dead Souls. It’s the best. Any suggestions for this summer’s epic literary adventure?

The purple irises have faded, but the yellow irises are beginning to bloom!


Filed under Colette Patterns, Fabric, Inspiration

Scooby Doo and Scrappy too! Scrap Bird Tutorial

Oh, my, look at this, my very first tutorial! But it’s only fair, really, I have been following other people’s tutorials since I started sewing, scouring the interwebs for information on bound buttonholes, dyeing fabric, zipper application, slipstitching, and bias tape making, just to name a scant few, so I suppose it’s only right that I put something out there myself. I’m sorry if it’s in some way vague, please email me in you don’t understand something or need help! Or comment! Or send up a smoke signal! Whatever you do, I’ll get the message!

So I was asked by a very nice reader to give you a tutorial for the little fabric birds I made for the Nichole Canuso Dance Company Benefit Cabaret. I need to start this by saying a few things. One, this pattern was created for Spool Sewing by Michael Fulkerson. Two, this pattern is NOT she repeated NOT for commercial use. You can’t sell these, or sell the pattern, or sell a pattern that is clearly this pattern but you pretend you made it yourself (you hear me, Etsy? Also, side note, I love love love Etsy, but I also LOVE Regretsy. Check it out.) You can put photos of this little guy where you like, but please note that this pattern was created exclusively for Spool by Michael Fulkerson, it’s not mine, I didn’t make it, I’m just giving you some instructions and hints on how to make his design come alive. The pattern itself can be found here. There are instructions that come with the pattern, but I’m also going to go step by step to give you a tutorial because I think that can be often so much more helpful then written instructions. Right?

I love these birds, by the way. I’ve made a bunch of them, and I think they are an excellent use of scraps, and I mean little scraps, because they use a very small amount of fabric. I’ve been using cotton batting as a stuffer, which I hijacked from an old bed pillow I found that was worn out and unusable in it’s current form. Also, if you have cats and some dried catnip you can throw some of that in with the batting, they go nuts for it. I feel like if you have dogs they might also like these as toys, but you might not want to see your work completely destroyed by feline or canine teeth on either end, so you have my permission to keep these all to yourself, if you like. The reason I think this project is so fun is that it only takes an hour, tops, and sometimes you just need that, you need small easily accomplished projects that allow you to start and finish in one sitting. Especially if you are in midst of a difficult and time consuming project that makes you want to tear out your hair. These can really restore your faith in sewing, I have to say.

What you will need:

Fabric scraps, enough for the top and bottom of the bird. For the bottom you will need a scrap that is about 3″ wide by 7″ long, and for the top you will need a scrap that is about 3″wide by 9″ long.I have lots of scraps, because I can’t bear to waste things:


Cotton batting

buttons for eyes (optional)

1. Pick your fabric scraps with care. I personally have gotten into the habit the last 20 or so times I’ve made these birds (I make….a lot of birds) of making the top part of the bird in a printed fabric and the smaller bottom half of the bird in a solid color. However, I do think it can look great with prints on both sides, I’m just rather boring, I guess. So most of mine look like this:

And not like this:

Please excuse the cat hair , Tiny Tiger and Mr. Malevolent love them some birds....

But all things are acceptable here in fabric bird land! Go nuts! Do what works for you!

So you have your scraps. I am using a piece of scrap from that huge box of fabric I got from my grandfather’s attic and another piece left from a dress I made from a sheet I dyed. I will be showing the dress off to you soon, I promise.

And you have the pattern. Cut out the bird body diagrams on the pattern, and pin them to your scraps:

And then cut out the two pieces of the bird body:

Now, you are going to pin the two pieces, right sides together. Position the smaller piece right at the tail edge of the larger piece:

And start by pinning up one side. Only pin to where the end of the smaller piece meets the neck of the bird. This is marked on the pattern piece, but just to show you on another cut out:

So it looks like this:

And then pin the other side up, and the head:

Now we can start to sew! Start at one side of the bottom of the bird, and sew to the neck:

Use a 1/4" seam allowance.

And then sew up the other side, the finished product will look like this:

Then sew up the head. Once you’ve sewn it, clip around the beak so that when you turn it it forms a nice point:

Then turn the bird. I use a pencil or pen to help me, just be careful not to pierce anything in your enthusiasm.

Then stuff your new little friend. Just stuff the body, leaving the tail flat. You can, of course, stuff the tail, if you like, but it makes it harder to sew shut, so I usually don’t.

Then, enclose the unfinished seams at the tail, folding them inside and securing them with a pin. Sew along the end of the tail, I like to do a zig zag stitch, but straight across is fine. Of course, you could always slip stitch it closed as well, if you are a perfectionist, it’s up to you, but I tend to favor expediency over perfection….

And you can put buttons on for eyes, if you like:

Or not. And there you have it! A new little bird made from scraps. A friend for you, or if you have little ones for your little ones:

Or for your furry friends:

Tiny tiger loves his new avian companion.

And there you have it! My first ever tutorial using Spool Sewing’s amazing pattern created by Michael Fulkerson. I hope you enjoyed it! Just so you know, I took 88 photos and gave you 17, which makes me the Lee Friedlander of sewing tutorials. I’m okay with that. I hope you enjoy!


Filed under Fabric, Sewing, Spool Sewing, Tutorial

The Very Beneficial Dress

First off, I’m going to have to apologize to you because the photos for this and for my next series of projects are simply not going to be my best. I forced strangers to snap a few photos of this project at the Nichole Canuso Dance Company benefit, thinking I would be able to take more later. And I suppose I still could, but the simple fact is, dear readers, I’ve broken my foot! Yay!

I’m trying to be positive, but honestly, it’s a bitch. I literally put my foot on the ground and the thing fractured. I could go into more detail but I’ve already done so over at Embrace The Struggle, so you can read about my misadventures with injuries here.

So I have just taken some photos of this dress on a hanger to show you the bones of the dress,  and you can see some of the crazy party photos to see me actually having fun in the dress, foot undamaged, eyes bright with white wine and excitement, but that’s all you get, I’m sorry! And for the next four weeks or so I fear there will be some fairly staid all seated shots of yours truly in her various concoctions. On the bright side, I injured my left foot, not my sewing/driving foot, so I can still pump out frocks and tops and skirts etc, in fact, I’ve set up my swivel chair in such a way that I can just spin from machine to drafting table to ironing board and back again! How clever am I?

Onto the photos! First of all, check out the cool space, Underground Arts at the Wolf Building, all decorated and lit for the creepy-funhouse vibe we were attempting (succeeding?) :

Isn’t it cool?

Nichole Canuso herself is actually in this photo, she looks tiny, which is fair, because she's about my height...

I thought it looked great! In addition to the little dresses (which were auctioned off in a packet with an amazing Couture Cat made by the lovely and amazing Laura of Trash Planet), I also made 13 scrap birds (because it was Friday the 13th, get it? GET IT?) Here are a few of them:

I love making these. Apart from being an efficient use of scraps, it’s like a fun gallery of my past projects. But enough stalling, onto the dress!

This dress is one I made to wear to this benefit, and beyond, obviously, and I made it using New Look 6723. And it looks a little something like this:

Yeah, I look super shiny. Sigh. Flash can be the worst, guys.

Special thanks to the VERY nice people at the Benefit, Jen, Elizabeth and some other guy, who took these photos. My mother thinks this dress makes me look like a milkmaid. But you know, I’m actually okay with that!

Me and my creepy creepy cut out boyfriends.

I do so love the sweetheart neckline. It makes for a bit more décolletage then I usually show, but I’m actually quite comfortable with that. I think that might be because nothing else about this dress is in anyway revealing, it’s really quite cute, which I feel like compliments but doesn’t overwhelm. And besides, everyone once in a while you just have to let the neckline drop, if only for special occasions. Besides, I got SEVERAL compliments on my, um, mamilla, so I feel pretty good about the bodice cut.

No kiss?

And here is me bartending, which gives you a side view of the frock and let’s you see the way the fabric when cut into the skirt has a kind of chevron effect, which I do so enjoy:

And here is my tough bartender face, all, what, no tip? Or maybe I’m just mad because my bra strap is showing.

This dress is actually a snap to put together, even for a non-master like myself. The hardest part is the neckline, which I had to rip and re-do, everyone’s favorite sewing task. I hand picked the zipper, and the hook and eye I used was actually from the massive heap of sewing notions and thread etc. left by my grandmother. It currently occupies a great deal of space in the Target Brand plastic four tiered organizer I used in college for papers and use now for my stitching life. The hook and eye might be a trifle big for this dress, but I wanted to incorporate something from my stash of Isolda’s goodies, so it’s worth it for me.

Hand picking a zipper isn’t lovely on the inside, but it more then compensates with how nice it looks on the outside.

And one last photo to describe how much fun I had A. In this dress and B. at the benefit:

Thank you so much, everyone who came, or contributed, or even had happy thoughts about the event!


Filed under Fabric, Notions, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns

Would You Could You Copycat? #1

More Irises from my garden

I have to start this post with a question. How much would you pay for a pattern? Hell, how much would you pay for fabric? Because I’m actually curious about this. Everyone seems to have different standards on what is cheap and what is expensive in the world of sewing. Gertie, of Gertie’s Blog For Better Sewing, admits her “champagne tastes” and pays more for fabric then I’ve ever dreamed. However, Gertie is a master sewer, she’s even writing a book (which I am TOTALLY BUYING) and regularly works with silk and lace and drapes her own gorgeous patterns (like this and this, my lord!). The point is, she’s in a whole other league, her experience is vast and her skills innumerable, so if she wants to throw down for silk charmeuse , well, the woman knows what she’s about, as they say. I feel like there is an argument for waiting until you know you aren’t going to waste time and money on luxury fabric before buying it. That’s a major reason why I’m not delving into the box of fabric my Grandmother brought from Iran, because I don’t want anything to happen to these lovely pieces of cloth before I have complete confidence in my abilities to make something amazing with them. Karen of Did You Make That recently discussed buying cheap fabric in a post and I have to say, there is a woman after my own heart. There is such a freedom with lower priced fabrics, I feel like I’m more daring and more comfortable taking chances, drafting my own free form patterns, trying patterns I think might be too tough for me, just in general not feeling any pressure because hey, you fail, you fail, but you didn’t waste your savings doing so.

Moreover, Gertie lives in New York. I recently had a discussion with a lovely young woman who works at my precious Spool Sewing and I asked her where she gets fabric, and she was like, online, and I go to New York. And I was frankly flabbergasted, because while I know the garment district in New York is frankly amazing, you can find amazing things here in Philadelphia too, and for a fraction of the price. For example, at Jack B. Fabric’s you can find silk charmeuse in a huge variety of colors for 14 dollars a yard. Which I think is a lot, but it’s nothing compared to the prices charged at Mood or other New York stores, or even online, which you will see if you click that link above. The amazing deep purple 100% wool I used for my “who are you calling easy” dress? was 10 dollars a yard. And I almost didn’t buy it, because it seemed too pricey. And sure, sometimes you have to dig, but you have to dig in the huge shops in New York as well, and at least this way you can support local businesses. So if you are sewing in Philadelphia, seriously, wander over to fabric row and grab yourself some low priced fabric, because there really is a lot out there, if you look for it.

Anyway, my point is, obviously, that I clearly don’t enjoy spending very much on fabric. Or, for that matter, to get back to the original question, on patterns. I suppose BurdaStyle has spoiled me. After all, my first real clothing project was the Coffee Date Dress, a FREE PATTERN! and amazing one, which I made with the help of Grosgrain’s frock by friday series. Come me-made-June I might pull this first struggle of a dress out to wear so you can see it. Since then, most of the patterns I’ve bought have been from BurdaStyle, whose patterns top out at the exorbitant 5.40 a pop. I have bought some Vogue, Simplicity, Butterick and New Look, but all of them have been strategically purchased A. On Sale and B. In bulk to group the shipping charges. Now, if the nearest Joann’s Fabric wasn’t a full 40 minutes and two toll stops away, I might consider their addictive 1.99 pattern sales as my mecca, but sadly the tolls can sometimes cancel out the discount, so I have to plan said trips with care. And that brings us to Colette Patterns. First of all, I adore Colette Patterns. I love the design, I love the shapes and the website, I LOVE the photo shoots and I just adore the blog, I check it almost every day. I love what other people have done with the patterns too. I’ve already raved about Tilly’s Beignets (ironic, because in real life I hate beignets, they are just glorified funnel cake and I resent their French flavored pretension) but check out her Sencha blouse or her Ceylon Dress! Or Sunni’s (once the Cupcake Goddess, now A Fashionable Stitch, go with it) Ginger! Or Mina’s Crepe! Or Gertie’s Crepe! Or Sarah’s Macaroon! It’s all so delicious, don’t you think? Yes, I love Colette Patterns. But I’ve never bought or used a single one.

I know that’s going to give some people heart palpitations. But the truth is, the patterns are on the pricier side, and while I’ve seen discount codes come and go I just can seem to bite the bullet and do it. And I know that’s silly because I’m sure I would make some of these patterns over and over again, but I just can’t seem to justify spending the money. However, I was on the verge of breaking down and buying this precious pattern, the Sencha, to fulfill all of my 1940’s/50’s fantasies:

From Colette Patterns Website

When I found this, haunting the site of one of my favorite etsy sellers, Frangolina (seriously, check her out, she has amazing patterns and fabric, excellent finds!:

And while I know the cover art doesn’t look exactly like the model in the Colette version, check out the drawing. Doesn’t that look extremely similar, especially to the first view of the Colette pattern? Because I feel like what the Colette pattern is doing is trying to mimic vintage patterns, right? We all love Colette’s retro feel, everyone comments upon it. So I had a dilemma here, did I go for the imitation (Colette) or the real deal (the vintage). Of course, you could also switch those two in title, since I saw the Colette first and then went hunting for a cheaper choice. So which came first, the Colette or the Vintage Butterick? And which to buy?

I bought the vintage. Don’t boo. I know Colette patterns are amazing, and Violet, I’m coming for you, as soon as I work up the nerve. But I loved the vintage pattern, loved the zipper, as opposed to buttons (and I could totally alter this to make buttons happen, if I’m so inclined) loved the v-neck option and the long sleeves option and the side darts and the fact that even with shipping, this puppy was only 10 dollars. What can I say? At this point in my life, I’m all about the Benjamins.

Right, boys?



Filed under Butterick Patterns, Colette Patterns, Fabric, Inspiration, Sewing, Vintage

The Storm At Sea Jacket

So, a while ago you may recall that I wrote about my foray into the world of DIY shibori, and my plans for the fabric I had dyed. Well, the truth is, I completed a project with that fabric over a month ago, but I had wanted to do a very cool “photo shoot” in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, because they have an amazing Japanese Tea Room fully recreated on the top floor of the museum, and I thought that would be the perfect setting to photograph the kimono style jacket I  had made with my shibori flavored fabric and the BurdaStyle Naomi FREE PATTERN pattern. And it would have been, really, but I couldn’t get anyone to come with me and do the thing, and the one time I made it to the museum last month was for the Roberto Capucci show, and given that I was drugged up on cold medication and looking at something the cat wouldn’t even bother dragging in, I didn’t think that would be the optimal modeling opportunity. But I also didn’t want to wait and wait and drag it out and have you think that I couldn’t get it together to make this jacket when in fact I had already slaved over the beautifully silly completely useless thing for a full week! Can you see my quandry here?

So this morning I broke down and in the beautiful light of the rising sun I had my mother take some photos in our newly green and verdant garden, near our patch of irises. I thought, irises at least are fitting, right? Enough chit chat, you say, onto the photos! Well, without further ado, I present my Naomi jacket with my own hand dyed shibori style fabric. Look, ye mortals, and wonder:

Is what you are wondering, where the hell is she ever going to wear that? Well, so am I….but it sure is pretty….

When I told my friend Victoria that this style of shibori, arashi, is supposed to resemble storms, she said it looks more like a storm at sea. Hence the name.

I really do adore that it has pockets:

Honestly, this wasn’t that difficult of a project to sew, but it was a bit tricky to cut. There are so many pattern pieces and most of them you only cut one of, so I have no idea how you could cut this efficiently, but maybe that’s not the point, it is a rather decadent jacket, after all. Luckily I had dyed two full bedsheets, so I wasn’t worried about running out of material. I still have some left, come to think about it.

Of course, I made it extremely difficult for myself because the nature of this kind of dyeing is that the fabric doesn’t all dye evenly, there are different effects over the fabric and so I tried to cut so there was an omberized look, the bottom being darker then the top. That…KIND of worked…

Don’t you think?

I’ll be honest, I could have gone down a size, or 2. This isn’t exactly a fitted garment, and it’s a bit large on me, but that’s all part of it’s pseudo-kimono charm, I suppose. I do really like this design, it has some lovely details, like the aforementioned pockets:

And side ties:

And a lovely asymmetrical neckline:

I can’t help but adore this jacket. It’s just extremely gratifying to have envisioned the jacket, researched the dye process, dyed the cloth, cut the cloth, stitched up the pattern and then put it on. It just makes me feel like I have complete ownership of this garment, even though I have no idea where/when I could possibly wear it…

That being said, not a day goes by when I don’t get invited to a tea party in Feudal Japan, so maybe I can wear it there. Samurai sword is optional.


Filed under Buttrick Patterns, Clothing, Dye, Fabric, Sewing

Pattern Porn 5/4/11

The internet is a very dangerous place. Oh, I don’t mean for kids in chat rooms and people on dating websites and the Craigslist killer, though all of that is certainly true, but I mean for sewers (seamstresses? tailors? what’s the right word for this, anyone?). Because you might, say, be glancing at a project on Burda Style or checking out a blog or an ad and all of a sudden you think, pleated skirt from the 30’s,  it must be mine! And you find yourself trolling the internet for the skirt, or the perfect bolero, or hat making classes (I have….searched for all of these things, true story) at 2am on a Saturday when all normal people are either sleeping or partying, and because you are on your 5th glass of wine (or more, no judgment) you are like, of course I need a 1970’s parka, it’s all my wardrobe desires! And this is why I keep my wallet with all those nice credit cards FAR away from my computer. My philosophy is, if, in the light of day, you see that same item (or in this case, pretty pretty pattern) and you STILL want it, and if after some coffee and maybe another day or two you are STILL thinking about it, then you are allowed to buy it. If it’s on sale. And the shipping is low. Did I mention I’m cheap?

So, Sunni of the Cupcake Goddess did this amazing sew along with pencil skirts. One of my goals for this summer/year (did I mention that my one year sewversery is coming up? No? Well, it is! Which means, goal time!) is to sew some things that are more fitted. Right now I’m making a pair of capri pants (SCARY) from this burda pattern. I used a fabric I don’t mind burning because it could all go horribly awry, sigh. And I bit the bullet and got this pattern so I will, someday, make some trousers. DUH duh DUUUUUH (cue lightening):

So when I saw Sunni’s amazing photos in her lovely form-fitting make Joan Harris proud skirt, I thought, that’s it, this is the year for fitted garments. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love me some full skirts, and plan on making full skirts and full-skirted dresses, but I’m also going to delve into the scary world of close fits and tailoring. Wish me luck. And so, with much deliberation I bought this:

From Etsy Shop LisaAnne1960!

Don’t you adore it? The shop link is here, she has the cutest things. I initally got it through a google search of “1960’s wiggle dress” which drew some….odd responses. But as it turns out I love every single view, and can see myself making this baby over and over. Well worth the 8 dollars plus shipping, don’t you think? Here is the wiggle dress view:

I’m in love. And these are the other girls, I mean views, I mean mad men characters, I mean, what?

But that’s not all, gentle readers, that’s not all! You see, I have found myself hoarding, both fabric (which, in my defense, I didn’t really expect to get massive yardage from one trip to my grandfather’s house, but never look gift fabric in the mouth, right?) and patterns. I really didn’t mean to, guys, but it happened. It’s interesting because when you look around everyone has a different defination of “a lot of fabric” and “a lot of patterns”. However, when I tell my mother that I don’t have NEARLY as many patterns as all the other kids she looks at me with SUCH disapproval, I want to cry. So I need to make some of these things people, stat. Things like this:

I love this new Butterick I just bought (on sale!) Have any of you made it? Bow back! Precious! It's 5605 and it's currently on sale, go buy it!

And this:

A New "Vintage" Vogue pattern from 1946. Thoughts? It's 8728

And this charming pj set I got from Franolina, another great Etsy seller:

And then there is this vintage pattern I couldn’t help but pick up at Decades, a vintage store on Fabric Row:

And why did I buy this pattern? I would love to say just because it’s cute, because it is, but mostly because it says this:

Pounds thinner, eh? Not only can vintage patterns LOOK good, but they can help you lose WEIGHT! What’s not to love?

I don’t know how I feel about this next guy, but it came with the above pattern and I feel like it could either be cute, or hideous, like, you know, most things:

And finally the patterns I found in my grandfather’s attic. First up we have the very swinging 60’s:

Don't you just adore their hair?

And then, finally there is this puppy:

Which has the CUTEST little details:

Have you ever seen any of these vintage patterns? Or made them? Or the modern ones? And isn’t looking at patterns fun/destructive? Be strong, people, be strong.


Filed under Clothing, Inspiration, Simplicity Patterns, Vogue Patterns

Struggle Dives In/ Did someone say something about Fabric?

Holy. Hell. I’ve just done something kind of crazy. I’m not in any way a spontaneous person because I think it tends to masticate you in the glutials (every. damn. time.) But a favorite sewer/blogger/designer/superwoman of mine, Zoe, has been hosting these amazing events, month long marathons in which seamstresses and crafters pledge to wear a garment (or more) that they have created each day of a month. She created Self Stitched September and Me Made March and now, in complete disregard for alliteration, she’s added Me Made June, and I, poor sad novice sewer, have actually signed up. I’m going to do it. One month, 30 days, a minimum of one hand made self created piece of clothing per day.
‘I, Leah Franqui, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-June ’11. I endeavour to wear one home made garment each day for the duration of June 2011’

Scaryface. Would you like to join in this madness? You can sign up here.

In other news, I was recently having dinner at my grandfather’s house and we were exploring his enormous clutter filled attic (it’s bi-level. I might cry, there is so much stuff up there. Sigh.) We found not one but TWO vintage typewriters, a framed photo of Eleanor Roosevelt (I have no idea why I’m surprised by this) and a large box of fabric!

And three metal zippers! And two vintage patterns IN MY SIZE! And since I’m the only person in my whole family who sews, I took it all home with me. All of it. Would you like to see some of this amazing stuff? but of course!

A gorgeous 1960's upholstery fabric. Maybe I could make a skirt or pants? Or even be daring and make a dress? What do you think, a cute suit?

Next up we have:

Striped Shirting, of which I have over five yards...oh dear.

And this:

This is one of four funky curtains. Maybe a nice dress? What do you think?

Or this:

I adore this butterfly floral business, it must be late 60's/early 70's. It feels like upholstery or bottom weight, but I don't know what do with it.

This might be my favorite:

This is a linen, and I couldn't love it more. I have about 2 and a half yards. What to do,what to do...

I only have a wee little bit of this:

I'm seeing an apron, no?

And finally, (for now, guys, it’s SO MUCH FABRIC!):

One of a few white shirtings, I love the raised pattern! I have over three yards of this, I'm thinking a white JJ wouldn't go amiss and might be really helpful when I need basics come June...

Yay for vintage fabric, yay for Me Made June and Yay for MAY! Join in, guys, it’s going to be awesome!


Filed under Fabric