Tag Archives: Simplicity 2017

A rare planning post

While many plan with the seasons, I have decided to plan anyway in this season-less land. I do very much miss seasons, and someday I will spend more time back in a place that has them, but for now, this nonsense doesn’t really cut it. Funny story, talking to a shopkeeper the other day, I asked him how he was enjoying the comparatively cooler (that is, like 7 to 10 degrees Fariegnheit cooler) weather in Mumbai. Mumbai winters usually last a week or two, with low humidity, days in the 80’s, evenings in the high 60’s, a veritable winter wonderland. He told me he really couldn’t get used to this weather and it was making everyone sick. I do not understand people sometimes, I swear.

Someone recently asked me what is the most challenging thing I’ve ever made. I couldn’t really think of anything that I thought was so very impressive, although there are things I’ve made that were more complicated than others. I think more about the things I HAVEN’T tried, or don’t as well as I would like to yet. I have actually made two coats, although one I never blogged, but I wasn’t really that happy with either, and rarely wore them. So that is a goal for the future, although spending a lot of time in Mumbai makes that unappealing right now, not just because I would have no opportunities to wear it here and could only bust it out when I’m back in the US or traveling somewhere cool, but also because the idea of constructing it in this hot place makes me sweat just contemplating it. But that is on my sewing bucket list, someday, a really nice well made wool-cloth coat. Ah, winter dreams…

Coat cravings aside, there are a few things I do have planned for myself in the coming months. Some are old patterns I’m excited to revisit, and some are new ones I can’t wait to explore. So here are my 2017 crafting plans so far:




Ah, yes, that elusive beast the circle skirt. I want one of these, I actually want ten of these, but I want at least one or two. The circle skirt is the best, and while I attach them to dresses, I think I want one or two on their own. Solid colors, preferably grey, to go with everything and make me feel like I’m living all my 1950’s movie star dreams. What I need for this one is actually the fabric. I’m having a tough time finding that idea bottom-weight in a solid color I like here. But I continue to search!


A blazer! (And a pencil skirt to go with it in a cute little set. Which is patterned!) This one I DO have the fabric for:



So, do I NEED a suit like this? No. No I don’t. Shut up, you can’t tell me what to do! I have a vision of myself in a polka-dotted skirt-jacket combo and I cannot shake it. I have already cut this out, actually, using the Seamwork Delavan pattern for the jacket, and my skirt block for the skirt. I think a whimsical blazer is just the thing that’s going to take me from writer to whimsical-blazer-wearing-writer. Don’t you?



Blow blouses. I love these things! This is the year I finally find my perfect one. I do enjoy the Seamwork Addison blouse, which I’ve made twice now (both unblogged, ugh, gotta get on that…). But is there a bow blouse anyone else would recommend? I’m also a big fan of the True Bias Sutton blouse, again, made two, gotta blog at least ONE of them…. I have a very lightweight silk that might be nice…




Using an old favorite, Simplicity 2017 from the 1940’s which I’ve made one before, I want to make a few pairs of lightweight full-length and possibly culotte length trousers. How amazing do these wide-legged orange trousers look? I’m not sure if I could be so daring in color choice, but maybe burgundy? I’ve tried this out recently with strong results, again, gotta blog that. Sensing a theme?















I’ve cut out the Colette Rue dress in this floral fabric, which I’m excited to stitch up! And then maybe a plaid version….I know, I’m a copy cat but come on, it’s so cute!




















I have made a lot of Closet Case Carolyn Pajamas and never. blogged. a. single. one. Frankly, I have been nailing down a good fit, and I think my last one really did finally get there so I should probably photograph those, sigh. It’s like, what am I even doing with my time? But this cat fabric was just too fantastic and I’m excited to sleep with kitties.


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I totally missed the Ginghamalong, mostly because I couldn’t find any gingham, but of course since then I’ve seen it everywhere. I want a gingham dress! How cute are these? This is clearly a more vague idea because I have no pattern OR fabric for this, but I just love it. Thoughts?

Now, for some patterns that I don’t currently own, but might want to tackle this year:

Clearly a lot of love for Closet Case this year! But the Sophie swimsuit is so great. I am intimidated by the cups and the construction, but that just means I will have to try to figure it out, which is fun! And the Ebony is straightforward but I love it. Raglan sleeves, yes!

Now, a few quilts (baby gifts)
















I love the See Kate Sew Modern Ombre quilt. Wont it look amazing in these fabrics? Again, a tried and true here, I’ve made this more than once. That’s why I want to try something different, adapting this Purl Soho pattern to cottons:












Now, beyond the machine, there are a few other things I want to do this year:

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I love these coloring books for grown-ups, mostly because I want to use them as embroidery patterns! Isn’t that mouse amazing? Or the whale? I gotta get stitching on these.

And in knitting news:






















I’m currently two-thirds of the way through this sweater for my mom. I picked up some wool to make myself one too, but let’s see when I finally get through this one. For such a simple pattern, it’s taking me FOREVER….



Filed under Closet Case Patterns, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Planning, Purl Soho, Quilting, seamwork

The By The Sea Outfit

My father always says he bought our house in San Juan for the view. From the roof of our house, a green roof, just so you know, because my mom is amazing and she insisted, you can see San Juan Harbor, and you can sit and watch the giant cruise ships, floating cities of Disney tours and sunburnt tourists, slip in and out of the bay. At least, he can see that, and tall people can see that, but I am 5’2″ and I kind of have to peak over the wall if I want to see anything. Still, I love having a house by the sea. I love the ocean, I love the water, I always want to near it.

BTS 3Well, can you blame me? Especially when it looks like this?


Of course, wouldn’t you know it, I went to San Juan with someone who could care less about the ocean, so I spent some time on the beach alone, reading and floating and watching the October currents sweep in and out. The waters are really rough in Puerto Rico this time of year, it’s hurricane season, of course, and it rained every day I was there, but I am sort of an idiot about the water and I stayed in it anyway, letting it push and pull me around.

And if I can’t be in the ocean, I at least want to be around it. And of course, I’ve got to dress the part, now, don’t I?

BTS 2Of course, this is trying to be around in the 1940’s, I suppose. The top is a renfrew, to which I added a tie. I really just elongated the neckline binding and stitched it on, leaving the ends loose to be able to tie a bow. Spiffy, no?

BTS 5The shorts are a pattern from the 1940’s, Simplicity 2017. I’ve made these once before, in a tan linen, which I took to Israel. These I did in a linen cotton blend, which I like a bit better, it’s lighter weight, which is whatever, but it wrinkles slightly less, which I adore. Because let’s be real, I’m never ever going to iron a pair of shorts. Who the hell am I?

I made no changes to the pattern except to use a zipper instead of the snaps recommended because zippers are awesome and snaps are dumb. There. I said it.


The fabrics come from two places, the knit is an organic cotton from FabricMart.com which I got forever ago and have made so many things out of (I got four yards and boy does that stretch. Get it? Knit? Stretch? I crack myself up.) And the linen-cotton blend is from a wedding gift I made for a friend this summer and had a bit of left over yardage for me!

There isn’t much more to say about this sewing process, except that I originally made these to take to Cape Cod and what with one thing and another didn’t get photographs up there, and the the weather turned cooler and I figured, ah, well, wait for Puerto Rico. But both items were perfect for San Juan in October, and I have to say, I’m a huge fan of the high-waisted 40’s style shorts. Hipster as hell they might be, but I love them. It’s like wearing a skirt but you don’t worry about wind issues as much. Which, by the sea, is a good thing.

BTS 8A little back view for you. Isn’t the light lovely? It kind of back-lights me, which meant I had to light-correct the photos, but I kind of adore the effect. It gives me a halo, who can hate that?

BTS 6So there you go, a little sea-side ensemble for a house by the sea. The shorts I left in San Juan, they seemed quite happy there.

I know, I know, summer stitching in October? What is the world coming to? I promise, just one more tropically themed post and then I’m back to wools and flannels in a jiffy. Just bear with me, we’ll get there. Oh, we’ll get there. I’ve got big plans for cool weather, guys, stay tuned.


Filed under Clothing, knit, Sewaholic Patterns, Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Travel

The Meet Me In Masada Shorts

I have never been what you might call a typical young traveler. I’m not really interested in clubbing, the local bar scene, or feeling the vibe. I don’t do things spontaneously, I don’t just “see where the night will take me”, instead I plan, I scheme and I make little schedules and I honestly truly love doing that, I really enjoy it, I get so much pleasure out of anticipation. And I like museums, I seek them out, I reveal in dusty rooms of art and archaeology, in architectural tours and city walks, in churches, mosques and temples (depending on the country, of course).  And I like old stuff. Really old stuff. Take for example, Tel Aviv. What’s in Tel Aviv? Well, not much, really. It’s a fresh faced baby of a city, all done in poured concrete and Middle-East-Does-Bauhaus movement and it’s, frankly, rather boring. Well, I mean, it has night life, student life, and a huge population, but other then all that, it’s boring. Jaffa, the oldest part of the city, was a popular port for thousands of years, but now it’s in disarray, filled with crumbling buildings and falling arches. Surrounded by walls created by the Ottoman Empire in it’s once beneficent glory, Jaffa now sits sadly in the shadow of Tel Aviv, staring out onto the Medditeranian, reminiscing about when it once ruled the waves. So while the other people on my trip whined about how little time we got to spend in Tel Aviv, I was relieved to leave. New construction makes me face itch.

But old stuff? Old stuff floats my boat. And no where did my jaw drop as constantly and delightedly as Jerusalem, but I have to tell you, Masada came close.

Masada is a cliff, essentially, very near to the Dead Sea, South of Jerusalem. It’s located on the edge of the Eastern Desert, so the climate is less then merciful, and it’s the site of King Herod’s summer palace (for when the winters of Northern Israel are just too much to take). It was also the last stronghold of the Jewish rebels who fought the Romans in the first Jewish War (66-73 CE). Having lost Jerusalem and witnessed the destruction of the Second Temple (which is, incidently, were the Dome of the Rock sits today),  a handful of rebels under Eleazar ben Yair, also known as the Sicarii Rebels, held out against Roman troops led by Titus Flavius (son of Vespasian, who would eventually become emperor of Rome) for over a year until the Romans finally broke through the thick walls of the citadel. When they entered the little city they found 960 bodies. Only 7 of the people living in Masada chose not to commit suicide at the thought of becoming Roman slaves.  Isn’t history amazing? See, who needs clubs when you have ruins!

You can read about all this in observer/historian Josepheus’ account, The Jewish War, or you can just cheat and watch the movie, it’s your call.

Enough about the past. Check out my awesome shorts!

Spoiler Alert: This photo was actually taken in Tel Aviv

I made these using a pattern from the 40’s, which is actually rather appropriate because in the 40’s young people flocked to Masada as an inspirational site of Jewish heroism in the face of oppression. It wasn’t excavated properly until the 60’s. Thank goodness it never rains there, because how else would all those objects have survived?

Here I am at the Bethlehem Border

The pattern is Simplicity 2017 from the 1940’s. I bought it on Etsy from SewingWithMissDandy and I absolutely love the pattern. I plan on making it again, maybe in navy, but for my trip through the desert and back in time, I thought that a tan linen would be my best bet. They are extremely comfortable and I have to say, I love the high waist, I think it makes them look more formal and dressy. You have to be careful what you wear on top, though, because the fabric can bunch and make your stomach look more sizable then it is, a fate I don’t know if I entirely avoided. Sigh. The only change I made to the pattern was the addition of a zipper, rather then snap fasteners. Linen was an excellent choice for Israel. Of course,  the shorts winkled like hell, but I steamed them in the shower and that seemed to help, and I blended right in with the environment, don’t you think?

Of course, not a single one of these photos actually comes from Masada. Sigh. The best laid plans….


Filed under Sewing, Simplicity Patterns, Vintage