Category Archives: Burda Style

Me Made May Days 15-19 (All Over The Place)

Boy have the past 5 days been busy! I’m transitioning between jobs, I’ve been showing apartments (Yeah, I’m a real estate agent. It’s fun.) working for the theater company, running all over town, pretending to be a nice friendly person when really I’m fairly evil and dead inside, it’s been crazytown! But don’t worry, I’ve made the time to catch up on Revenge and Community, finish a project (more on that in the days to come), made catnip mice for all four cats in my life, and, of course, watch Law and Order C.I. streaming. Can we talk about Law and Order C.I? It’s 100% my favorite law and order. Mostly because there is almost no court time, just crimes, getting solved, but also because the crime doesn’t ever stop, it keeps going all through the episode, up until the end! It’s amazing. ALSO, all the best people have been on it. Liza Minnelli, Whoppi Goldberg (oh, she was EVIL!), Steven Colbert (also the villain), my friend Krista Apple (she was awesome), everyone! It’s the best. I’m not a huge fan of Chris Noth (though DAMN does he rock on The Good Wife) but Vince D’Onofiro? Yes. Solve all the crimes with eccentric methods and weird stares. I will watch that every day of the week.

ANYway, on to the outfits!

Day 15!

My Wildcard Clovers with a tunic I bought years ago in San Juan. Why am I barefoot? It POURED this day, and I padded about the office in my bare feet as my whole self dried. Biking in the rain. It’s a fun struggle.

Day 16!

Ah, yes. I failed a coerce someone  into taking my photo so I did it myself in the mirror. This skirt is a new one I made, but I haven’t had a chance to do a dedicated post to it. All in due time….

Day 17!

My denim clovers with a never-blogged Men’s shirt refashion! I used Colette Patterns Sorbetto pattern as the base. I actually really adore this blouse. I gots to make more of these. Thanks, Papi, for the shirt!
Day 18!

This was a great day! I had showings all day on Friday, but in the afternoon my showings took me near Spool, so of COURSE I had to go in. The owner,  Amy, graciously took my photo. Look how happy I am! Spool is the best. The dress is my dumb luck dress.

Day 19!

Ah, Saturday. I have other photos of this outfit from this day, but I decided to use this one because of the guy in the back. Thank you, stranger, for your incredibly creepy expression. Stay weird, Philadelphia! This is, of course, my Completely Uncreative Blouse with my Nautical Bias skirt, along with a vintage German souvenir scarf. I wore this showing apartments all day, and then into the afternoon when my mom and I biked to Fishtown and wandered around the Trenton Arts Festival. And what an event it was. From scores of hipsters to craft booths to the firetruck our friend Jeff bought to a mud pit to these organic local strawberries I’m holding, it was a blast. Oh, Fishtown, never change.

So that’s my last couple of days. Oh, and as a bonus, you should know that my pajamas have been me made this WHOLE TIME. I know, blowing your mind.

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Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, New Look Patterns, Sewing

Me Made May 11, 12 and 13 (skirting the issue)

After a long stretch of pants, the skirts are back!

In my mind, my closet is totally the site of gang warfare. When I close the door the pants and the skirts throw down against each other. They don’t really fight, though, they dance fight. The pants are the Jets and the Skirts are the Sharks and the blouses are like the Cowboys and the dresses are like the Farmers (that’s Oklahoma!, for those who got the obvious West Side Story thing but aren’t as into Rodgers and Hammerstein. Amateurs.)

ANYway, without further whimsical ado, my Me Made May outfits over the weekend:

Day 10!

The blouse is my Fecund by Thrifty Blouse, and I still get more compliments on this then almost anything else I’ve made. The skirt is my Nautical Bias skirt. Man, I have to make more of these, it’s simple and comfortable and goes with everything. And the earrings, which you can barely see, are vintage.  On this day I worked and then met my parents at synogogue and it was randomly a service honoring grandparents and grandchildren which was adorable, if odd to be attending. Then we went out to dinner, and you can see my leftovers in my hand and the glow of wine on my face. I loves wine.

Day 11!

Heh. The skirt is my My Lips Your Lips Tulips Skirt, which looks a little crazyface in this photo, but in real life is actually cute. The shirt is my Blank Canvas Top with the modified neckline. The guy wearing nothing I made is my friend Aubie. I went out to Malvern (and when I say out I mean OUT, it’s very far away) to see Aubie and my friend Emilie (who was also the photographer!) in a production of A Wrinkle In Time. I can honestly say I never really liked the book as a kid, but I did like the play, so maybe the character of Meg Murry gets more tolerable with age.

Day 12!

And for Mother’s Day I dressed up in my Too Hot for Tzaft skirt and made my mom dinner. Seared scallops and grilled fennel and asparagus, if you must know. I also made her a Fenfrew and a tote bag! With houses on it! Because she’s an architect! It was adorable! But I had to share with you another cat-centric shot because for the time being that’s the only mothering I’m prepared to do.

Goodness, we are almost at the halfway point for this month of me-made-moments. How is everyone doing? Anyone need a breather, or some water, or maybe a stiff drink? We’re going to make it, people. I know it.

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Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Simplicity Patterns

Me Made May 7 through 10 (playing catch up)

I realized today that because of my trip to Puerto Rico and my insistance on posting long diatribes for every new garment I make, I’m a bit behind! And I didn’t even get to do a dedicated post for my newest creation, which happens to be the fourth installment in my Spring Palette Challenge! So you are about to see a whirlwind of outfits, and don’t worry about that blouse in there, it’s going to make it’s debut soon, just consider this a preview. Okay, without further ado, Me Made May:

Day 7!

The blouse is a surprise which you shall see sometime in the future, but rest assured, I made it. The pants are my denim clovers. My smile is totally fake, I’m sad to have returned from paradise. Ah, well, all things must pass.

Day 8!

My Wildcard Clovers with an unblogged me-made knit top. My first, in fact, and a rather error ridden thing it is, too, but I still wear it all the time, so whatever. Morse may LOOK like he’s desperate to escape me but REALLY he’s thrilled to be a part of Me Made May.

Day 9!

My Sewing Is Not An Exact Science Clovers with Renfrew #2! I had to work that evening, so I made a co-worker snap a photo before the show.

Day 9!

This day was great because while I had to work and ended up at the gym at 10pm as Parks and Recreation concluded for the season, my new friend Shamus took these photos, and I couldn’t help including two because A. my legs look AMAZING and B. The second one is hilarious.

I made the top, it’s my “Happy Trails by Two Friends” blouse. The rest is purchased, sigh.

Am I growling? You bet I am. At this point Shamus was like “give me your best Melrose!”. Melrose was a character on America’s Next Top Model. Yeah. Kindred spirits, people.

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Filed under Burda Style, Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns

Knickers In A Twist

So, it’s that special time again, the time that single people and coupled up couples…also hate, I assume. Yes, that’s right, folks, it’s Valentines Time! The big day is just a scant 14 days away and already Etsy and CVS and Godiva have teamed up to make everyone feel bad about themselves at all times. It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime, of the YEAAAAAR.

Oh, that’s just the bitterness talking. Really, I don’t actually hate Valentine’s day, I think it’s sweet if it’s done in an understated way and HILARIOUS if it’s not. And I look awesome in red, so I don’t really mind the color-scheme. But given that as a single woman I’m entitled to, nay, SUPPOSED to, EXPECTED to hate this holiday, I figure I might as well act the part. Which is a shame, because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sewing my own unmentionables.

Which brings up two questions. One, as a single person, why am I expected to always be sad and bitter and especially angry about couples? I’m happy for people in relationships, if that’s what they want. I’m especially thrilled for people like my friend Jenny, who is getting married this summer, or my cousin Jessie, who is getting married this spring. Not only are they celebrating their love, but I get to make some new dresses! It’s win win!

And number two, what do you call your undergarments? Underwear? Panties? Knickers? Immortal Enemies? Best Friends? And, perhaps more importantly, would you make your own? Would you make your own slips, your own negligees? Would you, in fact, make your own Valentine’s day/Friday night/Tuesday morning (what? I don’t know your life or your, um, schedule) ensemble?

Now, I’ve made my own pajamas, and even a half-slip for an event, but I’ve been more and more interested in breaking into the world of what-to-wear-under-there. Luckily, BurdaStyle just released a couple of new patterns to that effect including this retro-charmer:

Cute, right? But they have a zipper which is just odd. Who has zip-up underwear? Burda has also released this business:

Which is not exactly my cup of tea but I could see many a woman or daring drag queen rocking it. They actually made 9 bedtime inspired patterns, and why any person needs a boudoir bolero escapes me. But apparently they do, and you can see all 9 patterns here.

I recently bought a few downloadable patterns off of Etsy, too, from the lovely Anna Depew, who blogs at A Few Threads Loose and offered a sew along based on these patterns:

Is it weird that I really want to make myself tap pants? Maybe I just like the NAME, tap pants? But really, I’m sure I would wear them with everything. All the time. Of course.

And there is a matching slip/camisole. But say you don’t want to spend any money? Personally, I never want to spend any money. Well, then you have this amazing slip pattern/sewalong from Sherry at Patterns Scissors Cloth (clearly I love this woman, I keep linking back to her, she’s just inspirational and helpful, why isn’t everything in my life like that?)

Behold, the Ruby slip. It’s a FREE PATTERN.  Actually, in these shades it looks spot on, as Sherry might say, (she lives in New Zealand, they say that there, right?)  for Valentine’s Day, but you could also go with classic cream or chartreuse or cerise, whatever. Life is about choices.

But really, if we want to get right down to it, there is also underwear. And I found a world of tutorials and patterns of how to make your own.

This one from Drumbellina has a host of cute illustrations. This FREE PATTERN from BurdaStyle is mighty cheeky. And this classic layout teaches you how make a hanty (panty from a hankerchef. If I didn’t hate the word panty so much I might find it cute.)

The question is, should I? Would you? Is it worth it? Honestly, it might be the most cost effective sewing possible, you can cut up old t-shirts, make cute undergarments out of mere 1/4 of a yard of nice knits and luxurious stretch silks and laces, and really be able to make your own outfit, from the foundations on up. So, what do you think? Would you get your knickers in a twist? Or make a slip? Or join me in tap pants adoration? Or do you leave that the professionals at Victoria’s Secret? Discuss.

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Inspiration, Refashion, Sewing

All Jacked Up

Something just happened to me that never happens to me. Let me just say that I am not a winner. Oh, I don’t mean I don’t achieve things, because I am a little achievement bunny and I live to achieve. But I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly lucky. Well, I live in the first world and have a loving family and my health and the ability to pay for my life, so yes, I’m very lucky, blah blah grateful blah. But I don’t win, like, contests. Or free prizes. Or quizzos. (That’s quiz night or quiz bowl, for those of you who don’t use the term quizzo. Which you should. Because it’s awesome.) The last two things I have won include a basket of Avon products I won last summer, and the one and only quizzo I’ve ever won last December, all because I guessed the best on the question “what is the population of Latvia”. It was at the Latvian Society. You don’t have one of those? Tough luck. Move to Philadelphia.

Anyway, the point of this is to set the scene, as it were, for my shock, surprise and delight when I was recently contacted by a lovely person from onlinefabricstore.net, and asked if I would make a spring jacket in one of their fabrics and post about it right here, on this very blog. It took me all of two seconds to respond with a resounding YES PLEASE THANK YOU. And then giggle to myself happily at my desk for the hour before it was time to go home.  What? Fabric makes me happy!

And even though I promised myself I would under no circumstances get any more fabric in any manner, I feel strongly that I can/will make an exception in this case.  Because, guys, this fabric is really nice. REALLY nice….

Oh, it’s linen. And it’s pretty. And it’s burlap. And it’s pretty. Did I mention it’s pretty? Fun fact about this fabric, I emailed several close friends and was like, which color should I go for? And then I completely ignored most of their suggestions and went for Black. Black goes with everything. I like black. What you gonna do about it?

Now the only question is, which jacket should I make with it?! And that’s where I need your help. I’ve never made a jacket before, but it’s very much a goal for 2012. Now, given that this is a linen fabric, which I will line with cotton, this is of course going to be a spring jacket. So I want something lightweight and stylish that provides a nice layer for spring in the Mid-Atlantic. And I want something that isn’t going to take me more then a month to make because A. I have no patience and B. I actually want to wear the damn thing in this spring. So here are some patterns I’ve come up with that I thought might be nice, and I would very much welcome your opinions on the subject.

This is Simplicity 4494, a pattern from 1943 that I recently purchased on Etsy from this lovely seller. I just adore the collarless version, what do you think? Pros, adorable pattern, cons, might be hard to fit being vintage and all. Thoughts?

BurdaStyle’s Stella Jacket. I’ve seen several BurdaStyle members make this and I’ve really liked their variations. Pros, lovely simple shape, shouldn’t be too hard to whip up. Cons, I might not really wear this all too often. It doesn’t really seem like an every day staple, now, does it?

BurdaStyle’s 3/2011 Peplum Jacket. No one seems to have made this pattern on BurdaStyle, which perturbs me, but it’s fairly adorable, don’t you think? I I love me a Peplum. This one seems pleated, which is interesting.

Not the long coat, but one of the short jackets, with the princess seams. It kind of reminds me of this BurdaStyle jacket:

The Steffi. Cute, no?

 

So what do you think? Any one of these strike your fancy? Any other suggestions? I would love to do something from an independent designer but I haven’t come across anything I straight up adored. Right now I’m leaning towards the vintage Simplicity or the modern Simplicity, but I’m open for suggestions! I really need your guidance on this one, so any comments would be highly appreciated!

Incidentally, the population of Latvia is, according to a highly scientific google search, 2,242,916. Just so you know, for quizzo.

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Filed under Burda Style, Fabric, Inspiration, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The I Don’t Do Casual Dress

I almost never spend New Years Eve in Philadelphia. I adore Philadelphia with all of my heart, but for whatever reason I just don’t seem to ring in the new year in my hometown. Last year I had an amazing time in New York with my friend Becca, and the year before I was in London with my friend Andrew and we did things with duck fat that can’t be even remotely considered healthy choices. But they were delicious ones….

Anyway, this year was no exception to my out-of-town rule, so when my friend Lee invited me up to Cape Cod for the holiday, how could I say no? And I’m so glad I went, because I had the most fantastic time. Highlights included but were not limited to impromptu dance parties, late night croquet, fireworks, making dinner for 17 people ( like I do), getting to spend time with Lee and my friend Lisa and a score of other old and new friends who were filled with awesomesauce, and drinking everything in the house. Everything. In. The. House. But for me, mostly wine. And then Makers Mark. In a wine glass. Because I like things fancy.

I really do like things fancy.  I would say that comes to me directly from my mother, who got it from her mother. I didn’t own a pair of jeans until I was about 15 years old. I can honestly say that I’m usually overdressed for things, or at the very least, the only person in a skirt. So when I called Lisa, who had been to Cape Cod before, and asked her about the dress code, and she was like, oh, it’s super causal, I was like, ….okay. Causal, you say? And that’s, what is that, exactly?  But I try to make an effort, and when in Rome, right?

And yet, I made a dress.

Don’t yell at me! It’s super casual! It’s made of knit! (Ooooooo!)

I bought this fabric last summer (as in, a year and a half ago) at PA Fabric Outlet. It was in the special clearance section and I got two yards at 2.98 a yard. I honestly had no plans for it for the longest time, after all, I’d never sewn with knits and I was a bit afraid of them, really. But I recently came across/fell in love with Dixie of Dixie DIY, mostly because she’s excellent and charming and wise, but also because she did a series called Never Fear Knits, teaching cowards like myself how to deal with non-woven fabric. And I actually read all her posts and made myself a shirt from Burda Style’s Lydia pattern. You will never get a post devoted to said shirt, which I’m actually wearing right now, because it’s a bit wonkey (first time, people, come on!) and I don’t want you to make fun of me. But I wear it all the time, so whatever.

And then, like manna from the heavens, Dixie released a pattern FOR FREE called The Ballet Dress Pattern. Now, this was a limited free download but it’s still for sale for a measly three bucks over here. AND she did a sewalong! Which I meant to follow but got very impatient/was on a deadline for my trip to Cape Cod so I went ahead! Oh, well.

 

What can you do. So I missed the instructions about the neckline binding and as such mine is a little loose and slightly gapes. But in every other respect, I really love this dress!

I used the zig-zag stitch on my machine and had no problems at all with my usual foot. Instead of stablizing the shoulder seams with clear elastic, I used seam binding, which worked just fine. I used regular elastic at the waist, and didn’t QUITE match my stripes, but I don’t honestly care. This dress is so so so comfortable, and never wrinkles, is warm and forgives me for a large meal. What more could you ask for?

No matching chevrons. Whatevs. You can’t have everything, and I in no way had enough fabric for that sort of thing.

I made a medium. When I make this again (oh, I will be making this again. Many times. Short sleeves, long sleeves, ruffles, embellishments, the works) I would take it in a bit at the waist. You can’t see, because it’s belted, but it’s just a bit loose. But it’s quick and fantastically clear and easy to make. Thank you, Dixie! You’ve made me a convert, I really like knits now!

I love the sleeves. Rather drapey and fun, no?

I did not, alas, take these photos in Cape Cod. I was too busy with the aforementioned fantastic time I was having. So I made my friend Ben shoot them after brunch at Farmacia when I got back home.

Thank you, Ben. You are the best. He even indulged my wanting to photos of odd things, like my cool belt/nailpolish:

I was like, people will want to know! Right? So the belt was my grandmothers, and the polish, which is grayer in real life, was a gift from Lisa. Thanks, Lisa!

The light was great this day, so I took some shots on my way home from brunch:

And one last one of happy knit-clad me:

And that’s about as causal as I get. At least, in public, anyway.

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Filed under Angela Kane, Burda Style, Clothing, Fabric, Sewing

Not Only Is It 2012, But It’s Also Almost My One Year Blogiversery!

Hmmmm, blogiversery is a word that doesn’t get tagged as being spelled wrong. That’s…..troubling, in it’s way.

Me on the knee of a delightful gentleman. Thanks, Joseph,you are a peach!

Anyway, HAPPY 2012! For those of us who haven’t raptured (remember THAT?) I would like to welcome you to this year and express my sincere hope that that Mayan calender is incorrect, because I have a lot to get done in my life and would prefer the Universe not to end any time soon.  That being said, 2011 was a pretty positive year for me, especially crafting wise! I started a sewing blog, I learned to knit, I learned about seam finishes, I made pants, I made my first (but in no way last) clothing from vintage patterns, I inserted visible and invisible zippers, I made buttonholes, I took on a me-made-month challenge, I got a lot done!

Let’s look at it numerically, shall we? This past year I made 38 garments, give or take a few that I didn’t blog about, including:

1 pair of pants (Clovers!)

1 vest (Franzi!)

1 Jacket (Naomi!)

2 pairs of shorts (Simplicity 7688 and Simplicity 2017!)

3 pairs of pajamas (Tara Top and Colette Bloomers, Jane and Simplicity !)

3 refashions

8 skirts (2 Maries (1 and2), Simplicity 3688 ,  1 self drafted, 1 more self drafted, Helena, Vivat Veritas, and McCalls 8161!)

9 Dresses ( New Look 6732, three incarnations of Burda Style Dress with Cap Sleeves and Gathered Skirt (one I’ve never blogged about, sorry)-1 and 2McCalls 7326, Vogue 8615,  BurdaStyle 10/2010 Full Dress with Cut Out Bustline, Tara, and the Angela Kane Pinafore!)

10 Blouses ( Butterick 8097, 2 Sorbettos (1 and 2) 2 JJs (1 and 2), 3 Utes (1 and 2 and 3), Alexander, and two Butterick 7490 (1 and 2)

Of course, this is all just the stuff I made for myself. I also made my mom 2 skirts, 1 dress and two sets of pajamas, I made my father a set of pajamas, and I made my brother 3 ties.

Which brings me to my New Years Sewing resolutions of 2012:

1. Concentrate more on the fitting process, and less on the instant gratification. I’m about to undergo a pencil-skirt project that hopefully should play into this nicely, as well as becoming a devotee of Sarai’s fitting chapter in my brand new Colette Patterns Sewing Handbook (thanks, Mamala!)

2. Add more variety to my sewing. Clearly I like certain patterns (JJ? Ute? Burda Style? Yeah, I’m talking to you people), but that doesn’t make for a super diverse wardrobe. I have enough patterns in my stash at this point to start branching out.

3. Sew with new fabrics. I actually made a knit top (a bit wonky, but wearable!) and completed Dixie DIY’s ballet dress pattern (it’s available for a mere 4 dollars to download! Do it!) for the New Year’s Bash I attended (it was amazing). I haven’t gotten a chance to take photos yet but once I do you will no doubt be delighted by A. this clever pattern and B. my mastery of knits. But I need to step it up on the silk front, people.

4. Conversely, bust my stash! Seriously. SERIOUSLY. FOR REALS. I cannot will not must not should not dare not buy any more fabric for the foreseeable future. We found another haul in my grandfather’s attic, photos to come, and this is getting a bit insane. No new fabric until my birthday in July. That’s my rule. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

5. Fill some of the gaps in my wardrobe. Try a jacket, or two. Make more pants. Tunics. Something different. Mix it up. It’s 2012!

What about you guys? Sewing resolutions? LIFE resolutions? I know you’ve got em, lay em on me!

Looking back on the year, some of my favorites include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Angela Kane, Burda Style, Butterick Patterns, Clothing, Colette Patterns, McCalls Patterns, Refashion, Sewing, Vogue Patterns

The South Philadelphia Sweetheart Skirt

Yesterday we had a reading at the theater company for which I work. It went well, if you were wondering, but it was not, actually, the most interesting thing that happened at work. The most interesting thing was this:

which we found graffitied on our wall. Way to stay classy, South Philadelphia.

You see, I work in South Philadelphia, bastion of stupid things. Now, let it be said that I do like this neighborhood. Great restaurants, lovely people, a veritable plethora of funeral homes (I do wonder why they call them homes, don’t you?). It’s a paradise of greasy hipsters, performing artists (there is a bit of crossover here, let’s be honest), excellent brunch places, ironic bikes, dogs,  large Italian families, cheap rents, large Mexican families, gardens, murals, and mummers. It’s a good time. But every once in a while something happens that makes me roll my eyes and sigh.

Of course this isn’t limited to this area, my own neighborhood, Northern Liberties, recently has faced a spate of murders which is…..fun. But I have a loyalty to the North which the South may never get from me. So it wasn’t that surprising to see that we had been graffitied over the weekend by someone whose name is presumably Kris. I suppose he wants to take over our organization. I see this as an act of war, really, it’s like his invasion of Poland. I called the anti-graffiti network, and they actually took care of it this very day, but it was still up yesterday when I had our lovely box office manager, Joe, take my photo in my new skirt. And so I figured, why not use the natural environment around me, right?

The pattern, Burda Style’s FREE PATTERN, the Marie skirt,  is one I’ve used before with my My Lips Your Lips Tulips Skirt. I like the pattern a lot, and I had some wool blend fabric left over from my Rear View Pants so I figured, why not?

This is a good pattern for leftovers, you can squeeze it out of small amounts of material, espeically if you don’t cut the pieces on the fold and just live with the seam lines. I cut the front on the fold and cut the back on the selvedge line, which is fun because then I didn’t have to finish that seam. (Internal high five). It’s also really fast, this pattern. It took me, like, 2 hours, which for me is a record low.

So sad. Kris is the worst.

This wool is more drapey then the poplin, so the pleats are softer. I don’t hate it, it’s just a different effect. But I’m glad there is some stretch in this wool, because otherwise the narrow hem-line can be a bit restrictive.

But it’s a great “young professional working in the non-profit sector in the arts” skirt. It’s a tall order, I know, but I think it pulls it off.

The one issue I have with this style is that it has a lot of excess fabric in the back, because of the pleats. I don’t really need a lot of help in the “junk in the trunk” department, so if I make this pattern again I will eliminate that.

Yep. Picturesque South Philly. It’s an upper.

But at least I look cute!

And I even did something with my hair:

Which is good, for that Nordic Princess look.

The graffiti may be gone, but it lives on, here, and in the hearts and minds of all who believe. Thanks, Kris.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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The Because of the Buttons Skirt

You know how something you loathe, even fear it, perhaps, and then, once you learn how to do it or more about, it becomes your absolute favorite thing? Well, I can’t honestly say that I adore making buttonholes, but with my new sewing machine and it’s glorious button hole foot and easy buttonholes, at the very least they are far less of a struggle these days. And though I’m not in love with making them, I do really feel like you need to practice the things you don’t like so you can improve and not live in fear of the buttons. Or the invisible zippers. Or the tailoring. Or whatever.

So when I approached BurdaStyle’s FREE PATTERN Helena Skirt, complete with it’s buttons down the center, I gritted my teeth, shored up my courage, and jumped right in. And the truth is, other then the buttonholes, this skirt is easy peasy. I literally made it in one evening, which is so not my style. I mean, I see these people who can make things in three hours or less and I think, dude, are you on speed? And can I have some? Because I could be so much more efficient on speed. Sigh. They never respond, those bastards, too busy making one hour outfits.

 

I started taking photos of this skirt more then a week ago, and then I got deathly ill. I’m talking completely useless, congested, delirious, and with a voice like a three pack a day smoker. It was insanely sexy, honestly. I’m sorry you missed it.

I took said photos outside on a bitterly cold day, and then got really sick. Cause and effect? Of course not, but it couldn’t have helped…

I love this skirt. It’s a little funky, I suppose, with the stripes, but I find it adorable and surprisingly easy to pair with things.I used a wool blend (I think?) that I bought for 3 dollars from a yard sale about 2 months ago. It has a tendency to wrinkle a bit, which makes me think it’s not pure wool, but it’s warm enough and perfect for fall.

And it has pockets! Which I added, they were not in the original pattern. But hey, what doesn’t improve with pockets? This fabric may be a touch too heavy for this pattern, I must say. I’ve seen a lot of versions of this skirt on Burda Style, and they seem to hang just a bit better then mine. So if I made it again I would use something else. But I do love this skirt, so I can’t be too hard on it.  And a lot of that love has to do with the buttons:

Aren’t they adorable? Wooden buttons from Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet. FTW.

Jump shot! I’m just going to always include a jump shot. I clearly look best when in motion.

 

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Fall Palette Challenge #1 and #2- The Screw Scallops Skirt and the Pro-Peter Pan Shirt

First of all, I want to thank my lovely and talented photographer for these shots, Brenna. Brenna is not only a theatrical rock star, she also is a wonderful designer and, as it turns out, a kick-ass photographer. So when I sheepishly asked her this morning at work if she would take some shots of my outfit for my sewing blog, she was like, where do I sign up? Which is awesome. (Speaking of work, check out this cool tumblr I made for our next show! And if you are around, come see the show! Buy tickets! It’s going to be amazing!)

And that brings me to another question, which is, how do you get people to take photos of you? Especially when, under normal circumstances, you don’t particularly like having your picture taken? And when most people are only acquainted with point-and-shoot cameras and assume that you want your face in the photo (which I don’t. Not when you are shooting my hem. Idiot), how do you explain that you really want them to shoot the yoke and the placket and the clever slip-stitching and all the other details that, if you are NOT obsessed with sewing, might as well be Greek? I know a lot of people have charming and lovely significant others who will patiently snap shot after shot of your cuffs and collars, but for those of us who don’t, who do you ask? Of late I have been asking friends because it causes both my mother and myself a great deal of tension when I ask her. So, Brenna, Emilie, Victoria, thank you. And be warned for the future, you’re on deck.

You when you think a lot about something, dream of it, even, only to have it turn out miserably, and you wonder where all of that hope and optimism went? Well, one of the two pieces of clothing I’m going to show you today was just like that. The other one was totally cool. No beef, no errors, no difficulties in construction. Why can’t they all be like that?

I don’t know why I look so distrustful in some of these photos. I totally trust Brenna.  The skirt is Vivat Veritas‘  FREE PATTERN Scallop waist skirt. Without the scallops. Hence the name, the “Screw Scallops” Skirt.

I love scallops. Love the food, love the look. And in making this skirt I was super excited for the scalloped waistband. How adorable, I thought, how chic! What a great detail. And it really is! Check out Casey’s version, or Adey’s, they are both too cute for words! But on my version, neatly cut out, interfaced and stitched, the things just would not scallop. The wool (which you may or may not recall from my Who Are You Calling Easy dress) just refused to stay in it’s shape, it kept dipping back into the seam, making a weird, squished, slightly spikey nightmare. And I’m not in love with my actual waist enough to just roll with that. So, with a heavy heart, I simply used my seam ripper to jack that thing out and sewed in a plain-Jane waistband. Sigh.

Look, maybe this is totally my fault. I mean, look, Chie is awesome. And gorgeous. And insanely talented. (And TINY. So tiny. This pattern really didn’t do much for my self esteem, true story.) And the woman recommended synthetic fabrics for this. And I just had to be all “whatever, I like natural fibers”. So I’m going to go ahead and blame myself. Whatever. It’s still super cute. But I belt it, out of shame.

Now to the top:

This blouse is yet another Ute Blouse from BurdaStyle. I’m very predictable. It’s also the first thing I’ve made with my new sewing machine that includes buttons! And as my new machine has a buttonhole foot, making them was the most fun I’ve had in a while. Man, I need to get out more.

I used a cotton shirting I got at fabric.com for 1.95 a yard, and buttons from Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet. I lengthened the sleeves by three inches. In retrospect, I should have lengthened them more. Oh, well. What can you do.

I just love the peter pan collar. And the puffy pleated sleeves. I can wear it to work, and then out to my friend’s show opening! And if you around Philadelphia, go see that too! See everything! See me jump:

Brenna and I agreed that jump shots were a must.

Don’t you agree?

You totally agree. Who wouldn’t?

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Sewing