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Showing posts from November, 2011

Stashoholism Confessional: NYC November 2011

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I went to New York to speak at a conference a couple weeks ago. I was a tiny bit grumpy about going because I had been traveling so much the previous few weeks and had a cold coming on. But at least, among all the work, I found a little bit of time to visit the garment district.

The bulk of my purchases are pretty boring--lining and interfacing--but I did get a few pretties in fashion fabric. On the train up to New York I had actually been thinking that I need to let go of my snakeskin Burda 09-2009-123 wrap blouse. I really love the blouse and it is so different for me, but without a broad back adjustment it's just not wearable. I popped the underarm seam on first wear from the strain of, you know, reaching onto my desk to get a pen. I cannot move in it. So I had given myself permission to seek fabric to replace it. And lo and behold I found this piece in Chic Fabrics, a silk chiffon with a crepey texture for $10/yd. I don't like the print quite as much as the origin…

Lazy Summer "Brunch" by the Pool!!!

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Nothing suits the thoughts of summer in Brisbane better than a long, lazy brunch. Taking advantage of our brilliant weather and gorgeous summer mornings enjoying brunch outside. A meditative way to say "hello" to the day... 
So, naturally first thoughts are 'What to wear???' Since it is a time to relax, feelings tend to be towards a summer bathrobe. But what do you envisage when you hear the word 'bathrobe'? They do have a 'Granny' tendency behind them.
Boring!!! Not a great range of style options or colours. They are a little on the dated 'Grandma' side, or the 'don't look at me I'm married with kids' look. And we all try to avoid that rut in life. A little to 'housy' for my likings.
So, what is a sewer to do??? Quite naturally, make her own. Enter McCalls 5248 - an Easy Endless Options range of a robe and summer PJ's.

I fell in love with this summery fabric from Spotlight and could just picture starting my days off wi…

Pattern Review Meetup DC

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To celebrate the anniversary of PatternReview's founding, sewing meetups were held around the world last Saturday. We were lucky enough to have Nikki to organize us in DC, and we had a wonderful day together. While I got photos of some of our stops, I totally spaced on getting pictures of actual people so I've borrowed this one from SewandWrite.


We started our morning at The Textile Museum, a gem of a place near DuPont Circle. I admit that I don't come here as often as I should because I am spoiled by all the free museums available, but the Textile Museum asks only $8 as a donation and the exhibits are always top notch. The museum was very welcoming to us--they offered us coffee and tea and let us congregate in a conference room until everyone arrived.

The current exhibit on the ground floor focuses on the weaving and embroidery of central Africa, roughly in what is now the Congo. The textiles are created with threads processed from palm frond, which are fairly short. …

Burda 08-2008-108, Raglan Sleeved Mock Turtleneck Knit Top

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I was at G Street Fabrics on Saturday for the totally innocent purpose of attending Fashion Sewing Club and picking up my serviced machine (woohoo!  you cannot imagine how I missed it).  Well, the classroom for FSC is over by the $2.97/yd table so I was practically forced to look on it.  I had been quite unsatisfied with my top options for the Tweed Ride and then I saw this fabric which could not have been more what I was looking for than had I designed the textile myself.  I love, love the mustard color, and the sheer mesh with polka dots was just so appealing to me that I snapped it up.

I knew I wanted a high-necked top--it just seems part of the style--which is not something I normally go for.  I went through my back issues and settled on Burda 08-2008-108, a mock turtleneck knit tee with raglan cap sleeves. I was at first unconvinced about the raglan sleeves--with my narrow, sloping shoulders they are not always a great look for me--but in the end I just love the curved lines of t…

Dc Tweed Ride 2011: The Photos

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The Tweed Ride was a huge success! I would guess that around 250-300 people participated (it was hard to tell, exactly--bikes take up a lot of space so you can't really clump people close enough together to see them all at once).



As you can see, I went with the brown booties. At the last minute I was able to make a top, and I felt brown went best with the overall outfit. They ended up working well and I really do love the style of these crazy shoes.





Here's the whole outfit, on a fun set provided by BicycleSpace for our rest stop there. The yellow top was my very last minute addition to the outfit--I found the perfect fabric at G Street on the $2.97/yd table on Saturday and made the top late Saturday afternoon. I made the cape three years ago, but never wear it because it is so motion restrictive and impractical. I was glad to give it another wear for the event! My mom gave me the kilt, a sturdy Pendleton wool from her younger days. The hat came from my trip to Ecuador,…

How to Build a Tweed Ride

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The Tweed Ride is here! The Tweed Ride is here! I am so excited. Dandies & Quaintrelles will be hosting DC's Tweed Ride this Sunday, November 13. Registration for the ride is free; the party is $15 (may be sold out). You need to register for the ride in order to get route information.

Of course, the most important part of a tweed ride is the outfit. There is definitely no formal dress code, it's just vaguely vintagey/old timey. Check out this flickr pool for inspiration.

The hat is crucial, and I have several to choose from. I'm pretty sure I'm going with my new green bowler hat from my trip to Ecuador, but how cute is the purple cloche I picked up at the thrift store a couple months ago? But is it as cute as my Japanese pattern fedora? And then there is the fabulous black hat that I bought on my first trip to London at 17 years old (for 40 pounds--I didn't quite grasp the exchange rate, but it has lasted 20 years and still looks good so I suppose it w…

Burda 06-2011-111, Adventure Shorts

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I have not owned shorts for many years. I mean, I have the old denim shorts I use for painting and really dirty chores, but nothing I'd wear in public. Even my exercise shorts are years out of date and therefore worn only in extremely dire (90+ degrees) circumstances. But when I planned a hiking vacation, I figured it was finally time to bit the bullet.

I knew Burda had been publishing some cute shorts styles, so I went through back issues and found Burda 06-2011-111 in the Brigitte Bardot feature. While shorts are not the first thing that come to me when I think of Ms. Bardot, these are nice shorts. I like the side zip (no scary fly situation), back darts, and front released darts. Pleated pants are always a gamble, but in this case that front released dart is small and looks nice rather than Mom Jeans.

I cut the shorts straight off the pattern sheet in a 36 at the waist and a 38 at the hip with no alterations other than lengthening. The inseam is meant to be 4 inches; mine…

Back from Ecuador: Adventure Shorts, Jungle Pants, and Bowler Hats, Oh My!

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I am home safely from my wonderful trip to Ecuador. There was a lot of hiking, some ziplining, and even some horseback riding, which was truly comical. An equestrienne I am not (Betty Draper makes it look so easy...). You'll recognize the tops from my bike trip to the Netherlands. For hiking I figured I should break down and actually wear shorts and pants, rather than my usual skirts.

I took my machine in for service a few weeks before the trip but *needed* just a few new things for the suitcase. First up were my Adventure Shorts. I will review them eventually. Suffice it to say that the sewing machine that was graciously loaned to me did not enjoy sewing them and I actually busted out the treadle. They are not my most well-made item ever (the treadle has incredibly heavy pressure on the presser foot that caused pulling and wrinkling on the waistband topstitching) but they were Adventure Shorts in more ways than one! These got the seal of approval from my travel companion…