Tag Archives: Cation Designs

The Weirdly Sexy Shirt

Nota bene, I was not the person who thought this shirt was weirdly sexy. In fact, I didn’t think of it as sexy at all. I wore this to the costume shop at which I work about two weeks ago (I MADE THIS OVER A MONTH AGO WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? Finding time to SEW isn’t my problem, it’s taking flipping pictures of my flipping work! That’s why there’s been radio silence for a while, not because I am not sewing, but because I am no documenting what I sew. And I even have a tripod! What is my deal? That’s a question for therapy. Onwards!) and a girl with whom I work said, Leah, I like that shirt, it’s really weirdly sexy. And I said, thank you! I think?

WS 1The pattern is Cindy‘s amazing Dolman Sleeve shirt. I’ve been meaning to make this wonderful free think for ages, months! But for whatever reason I just didn’t get around to it. Then, finally, about a month ago, I took myself in hand and I said, self, make the damn shirt! And thus this creation was born.

This bizarre wonderful fabric is totally a velour, which makes me feel like a retiree in Florida off to shuffleboard, but what can you do. It’s from the Hoarder Stash, and I’m keeping with my stashbusting, so I think that’s all to the good!

WS 2I love this pattern. I want to make 10 more. I lengthened the sleeves on Cindy’s lovely design (and I would lengthen more next time, my wrists get chilly!) but otherwise I made no changes to the original design. I love the length, I love the fit, I love the mobility of the sleeves, and for whatever reason, whenever I wear this people compliment me!

WS 4Today at a play reading someone said I looked like a Modrian painting. Which I guess is only a nice thing if you like Modrian, but I’m going with it.

WS 3My lovely roommate Emily took these photos. We both loved this one, because I mean, look at my hair! It’s its own animal!

Speaking of animals:

WS 9I’ve been cutting out a lot of projects lately, from my Sewing for Victory patterns (I got so excited about the 1940’s that I’m making three, maybe four things! I haven’t decided whether or not to make number four, but I’ve finished one and two and am on three, so get excited. See, I told you SEWING isn’t the issue…). And of course, as he so often does, Cadfael is unbearably helpful in this process.

WS 8You want to cut? But, this is a bed…

WS 10It’s ALL beds. All the things are beds. Don’t you know that by now?

Seriously, though, if you haven’t tried Cindy’s amazing Dolman sleeve top, grab yourself a knit material and do it. I want to make longer sleeved ones and shorter sleeved ones and live in this daily.

Why, you ask? Well, if you can’t SEE for yourself, at least know this.  I can dance in it. And that’s always my gauge for all things. How much can I dance?

I can dance so much:

WS 6

WS 5WS 7So. Much. If you can’t dance in something, what’s the point of wearing it?

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Filed under Cation Designs, Clothing, knit, Sewing

The I Have A Problem Shirt

There are times when, having vocalized a desire, I find myself filled with the need to do that which is exactly the opposite. For example, having recently decided that I should be making new patterns, or at least ones I’m less familiar with, I then go ahead and make this nonsensical little shirt, which is the fourth iteration of a Dixie DIY pattern. Why am I like this? Could it be because I deeply fear change? (Yes, it could be that)

IHAP 1

Or it could be that for whatever reason, I really like this swingy sweet style. It’s so not my normal thing and yet I really like it! It’s comfortable, it’s breezy, I like the way it swings around…

IHAP 5After all, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.

IHAP 4Well, come on, I had to make that joke, I’m a human, aren’t I?

I couldn’t tell you why I keep making this pattern over and over again. It’s not the most flattering shape for me, and yet I like it. What is that about, some odd self-destructive tendency? But then, more than one person thought this was cute, unsolicited, so I guess it’s better than I ever thought…

I made very few changes to the pattern, I only lengthened the sleeves slightly. I would have lengthened them more but couldn’t due to a lack of fabric. This shirt only took a yard and a half, so yay for fabric efficiency!

IHAP 6And it does feel wonderful when I swing around… but god, the look on my face here is like I”m being tortured, isn’t it?

The colors actually match Puerto Rico neatly. Don’t you think?

IHAP 3IHAP 2Right? Don’t I fit right into the scenery?

IHAP 7

There is very little else to say about this shirt. Except that I really have to stop making the same thing over an over again. And yet last night I made ANOTHER repeat pattern. What. Is. My. Problem.

IHAP 8

I think maybe it’s comforting to make the same thing over and over again for me, I feel like by the second or third time through I have the pattern down pat and I really know how to make it, and while the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, my final version is usually better then my first (though, not always…isn’t THAT troubling?). But I also think it’s a bit of a laziness/fear thing, like, I know I like this pattern well enough, I don’t worry about the fitting, there are no surprises. But then when I have the finished object, I also have no surprises, and I think that’s starting to get to me. So note to self, after this dress I worked on last night (a cute little number but yet ANOTHER pattern I’ve made to death) I really have to get on the new-pattern thing.

How do you feel about tried and true versus new patterns? Do you get into a re-making rut like I do? Or are you all about new horizons?

In other news, I had vowed as a Sewalution for this year to for real for real get into my stash. And who should swoop in to help me but Cindy! (Side note, if ANY sewing blogger would be a superhero, wouldn’t it be her? I think so, with Walnut has her trusty sidekick…) So I’ve joined in her Stash Busting Sewalong, which is gloriously structured and filled with challenges and monthly themes. Here is my vow:

I, Leah, commit to using 15 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. Additional option: I also commit to not buying any new fabric/patterns/ notions except for needles and thread and zippers until July (my birthday month!).

This month is chock full of Itty Bits, so I will get into my scraps as soon as possible, as the month is almost over! Quick, to the scrap pile….

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Filed under Clothing, Dixie DIY, Planning, Sewing

Fall 2012 Sewing Plans

I sorted through all my patterns recently. It was….scary. There are so many of them. SO. MANY. PATTERNS. I don’t even know what to do with all of them. I found about 30 to give away, so, look out for more giveaways, I guess….

And yet, somehow, in all of the many of them (I couldn’t even count, it was too many) there were gaps. For example, I don’t have all that many skirt patterns. Or suit patterns (though god knows when I will ever wear a suit in my chosen profession of playwright, so whatever on that score). There are very few knit patterns, or, for that matter, modern patterns. There are a lot of dresses, mostly of the summer variety. There are some blouses, mostly of the button-up variety. There are a handful of coats and a scant number of jackets, and one swimsuit, that is actually a burdastyle download so that doesn’t even really count (because I couldn’t bear to deal with my downloaded and carefully assembled patterns, they aren’t really a part of this discussion because I don’t want my brain to explode). And there were dresses. Lots of dresses. Did I mention there were dresses?

And yet, though all this mess of paper and wonderful daydreams (like, I’m going to make all these shift dresses! Tomorrow! It’s going to be great!), I have carved out a Fall 2012 Wardrobe/plan/back-to-school (oh my god, I’m going back to school!) wish-list. Inspired by the wonderful Cindy of Cation designs, I shall now share my plans with you.

1. Another Jiffy 4977 dress.

I know. I KNOW. I was so “whatever” about this one but now it’s one of my favorite dresses and every time I wear it people love it. So I’m going to make another one, with slightly longer sleeves, for fall. Maybe in this cheerful stripe?

2. Sewaholic Thurlow Trousers (one, or maybe even two pairs…)

I bought this pattern the day Tasia released it, even BEFORE she released it, because I’m on her mailing list. I’m not really a pear shape, it’s true, but I do have a sizable bottom half (which, hopefully, is balanced out by my not-unsizable bosom) so I thought these might be a good fit for me. I want to make one straight from the pattern in a blue denim, dark, of course, and then fiddle about with the legs to make a slim-fitting black pair, perhaps a thurlow-clover hybrid? We shall see…

3. A mock wrap dress, Simplicity 4074:

In this lovely knit fabric from GirlCharlee

4. A Cation Designs (FREE PATTERN!) Dolman Top:

I couldn’t tell you what fabric, though. I’ve got some rather plain navy in my stash, and I’m trying not to buy any new fabric, but it seems rather dull for such a lovely pattern…

5. A coat, specifically McCalls 2979 from the 1970’s:

This is going to be a doozy, in fact, I would say this is a fall/winter 2012 project. I’ve never made a coat before, but I pre-ordered Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing (and I can hardly contain myself waiting for it!) so I hope her padstitching and tailoring advice is helpful (like it would be anything BUT). I have no idea what fabric I’m going to use, I’m sure I will buy something, and, sorry, New York, but I’m equally sure I will be picking it up here in Philadelphia. When it comes to prices for wool, we can’t be beat…

6. A men’s shirt (for mi hermano!) Colette Patterns Negroni, of course:

Tailor-made for the 27 year old hipster in my life. I feel strongly that there will be many muslins because A. Fit is tricky and B. my brother is picky  discerning. He wants a long-sleeved version with both pockets intact, and I will be using the hell out of Peter’s Men’s Shirt Sewalong from all those moons ago, so look out for updates.

7. A Pencil Skirt! What pattern, do you ask? I. DON’T. KNOW. As mentioned above, I don’t have many skirt patterns, and I’ve never made a pencil skirt that I really loved. I’ve made a lot that were just okay, but nothing wonderful.  I would love for it to look just like this, please:

Can anyone find me something that would resemble that? I’ll send you a pattern, if you do!

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as it were. I also plan to make a Peony Dress, a 1970’s pattern with tie-neck (delicious) and all sorts of other things, as they come to my busy mind. I mean, this doesn’t even cover knitting or quilting, which I find myself liking more and more each day. But I like starting with a plan. What are your fall sewing plans? Any perfect pencil skirt patterns you swear by in your own lives?

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Filed under Colette Patterns, Inspiration, McCalls Patterns, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage

The Best Award Ever (And it’s all mine!)

I was recently awarded what is, in my humble opinion, the best award ever. EVER. EEEEEVVVVEEEER. (Insert Sandlot flashback here). You all read Cation Designs, right? Yes, of  course you do, because Cindy Chan is an inspiration to us all. She got me reading the Hunger Games (um, sometime, in the future, after I finish every other book littering my tiny apartment. I swear it’s like 10% me, 35% sewing stuff, 5% Cadfael, 50% books.) She makes corsets. She makes dress after perfect fantastic dress. She embroiders Miyazaki characters and maps of Middle Earth. She’s posting a poem a day for National Poetry month AS WE SPEAK. She is a sewing rockstar, and everyone should be aware of that, and act accordingly.

Oh, and she has a cat named Walnut. Walnut is a majestic beast, long-haired, noble-eyed, bursting with grandeur and fur. And because Walnut, with his curiosity and claws, is all up in her sewing business, she has created an award, The Sewing With Cats Award:

It’s a tribute to all of us whose lives are made both better and worse by our feline companions, specifically when it comes to sewing. And I must say, Brother Cadfael has his good days and his bad days. Sometimes that pile of fluffy tissue (i.e. a pattern) holds his fascination and sometimes he couldn’t care less. Sometimes that neatly laid out fabric is OBVIOUSLY a cat bed and sometimes he disdains it, preferring my actual bed. He’s a wild card, that guy. For example, he recently became interested in my sewing machine:

And sometimes he wants to lie down on patterns:

Of course, he’s always happy to help with pattern drafting:

He’s an expert on the full bust adjustment. But mostly he just likes fabric:

Just try to be mad at me when I look this adorable. Just try.

Of course, special mention must be made of some other guys, specifically Falco and Morse, who absolutely had to join in the Passover Seder:

Hey! Is that Elijah?

Where is my wine?

Life with cats. It’s like living with tiny fluffy dictators.

Oh, PS: Just so you know, sewing is happening. I’ve made 5 garments in the last few weeks but of course the devil is in the photos! And the weather. I really gotta stop making sundresses in 50 degree weather. But I’ve completed my Truffle and Pastille Dresses, another renfrew, a t-shirt and a skirt. It’s all coming, people, I promise!

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So I guess my evil plans are working…

Because people out there actually seem to like me (or at least digital me). God help us all if you ever meet me in real life, I’m sure you will take it all back. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the commendations as they come, alone, in my evil lair, sipping on the blood of the innocent (i.e. wine).

So two amazing people, Ginger and Cindy, have nominated me for the Sunshine Award! Which I actually think is quite appropriate, because while I might be a little bit dead inside, I’m also a very cheerful sort of person! What can I say, I’m a mixture.

So thank you very much Ginger and Cindy, and if you haven’t been to their blogs I don’t know what you are doing with your life. Go over there right now.                   Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 dollars.

  1. Favorite color: Blue.
  2. Favorite animal: Hmmm, this one is hard. Obviously I adore cats, but I grew up with dogs. I’m going to have to say monkeys. I love me some monkeys. They are amazing.
  3. Favorite number: 42. It’s the answer to life, the universe and everything, of course.
  4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee. And for the record, as much as I might enjoy alcoholic drinks, I never make my coffee Irish. I think it’s a little weird, honestly. Don’t hate me.
  5. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook. Twitter baffles me.
  6. My passion: Writing, of course, cooking, sewing (as if you couldn’t guess) and my wonderful family. Oh, and theater.
  7. Getting or giving presents: Giving! I  hate surprises. But I LOVE surprising other people!
  8. Favorite day of the week: Friday. Shalom, Y’all!
  9. Favorite flower: Gerber Daisies. So bright!
  10. Favorite celebrity role model: Hmmm.Well I really love Jon Hamm, who in real life is nothing like Don Draper. Did anyone else marvel at his Jamaican accent on that one episode of 30 Rock? He’s amazing. But in terms of ladies, I have to say, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, the funny ladies who have their own shows and show the world that women can be funny and beautiful and keep their last names. All things to which I aspire.

Oh, man, now I gotta give this thing AWAY to OTHER people? Sigh. I’m going to go ahead and pass this over to Leah (wonderful name) at A Vintage Thread, Lavender at ThreadSquare, Sue at Sewin’ Steady, Lauren at LLadybird,  Cynthia at Dapperduds, and Kerry at Kestral Finds and Makes.

I don’t have any good cat photos of any cats I know personally to sign this off, so here, have some Maru.

You’re WELCOME.

PS: Cindy also awarded me the best blog award ever but I need to gather some evidence for that so more to come.

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