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Showing posts from December, 2011

Burda 09-2010-111 High-Neck Wrap Blouse

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I fell in love with the Burda 09-2010-111 wrap blouse as soon as I got the magazine.  It only took me a year and change to get to it, ahem.

I first did a wearable muslin out of this plaid silk dupioni from The Carol Collection (which somehow didn't make it into the photo of all the fabric, but I'm positive that's where it's from).  I had it in mind for a different pattern, but when I pre-washed it--and thank goodness I pre-wash silk by hand--the bleeding was more like hemorrhaging.  It used to be a very crisp plaid with no white parts, now it's more like tie-dyed into vaguely plaid shapes.  So glad I pre-washed!!!!




It's a fairly simple pattern, if a bit fussy.  You have to mark pleats at the neckline and a dart near the hemline.

After the first version, I considered whether I should sew the collar pleats after the center back seam was sewn.  I decided to follow directions, but as you can see my pleats are embarrassingly offset.  Well, I mean, not *that* embarrassi…

Shirt A Month! Is it possible SAM I AM???

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What have I gone and done now??? Signed myself up to make a Shirt a Month in the coming year. blue mooney from Unzipped has started everyone off on this challenge and lots are joining in quickly. Probably the popularity on this one is that blue mooney has stated:

I think we should be inclusive rather than restrictive. We have to be able to go wherever the shirt muse takes us!
So, when is a shirt not a shirt???? When it is a SAM, of course!!! Time for you to pop over to the Stitches Guild and sign up for this - don't wait until this time next year to discover you are short on shirts... This really will be a fun, tricky challenge. Imagine having this problem in 12 months time - which shirt will I choose today???
My first thoughts are to divide the shirt making up into seasons ... break the 12 down into smaller more manageable sized chunks of sewing. Give me the illusion that really, this is an achievable goal. Also, it will make me look at what is needed in my wardrobe that can be worn …

Butterick 5677, Joan Holloway Colorblock Dress

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Source: saksfifthavenue.com via Trena on Pinterest




I have a whole Pinterest board on colorblocking, but one of my favorites is this VPL Lichen Shift Dress ($525).  I really love those curved lines and the contrast print rather than using two solids.





Source: saksfifthavenue.com via Trena on Pinterest












I am also into the curves on this Helmut Lang ($485).  It makes great use of the colorblocking medium to enhance the figure.  While there is much to be said for fun geometric colorblocking like this one, for pure figure flattery, curves are where it's at.

So it was a no-brainer to pick up Butterick 5677 at the first available opportunity.  When I got the faille knit I used as the contrast here from Fabric Mart for $1.99/yd a couple months ago, my plan was hatched.



The first thing I did was the write the numbers of the pattern pieces on the back of envelope, as shown at left.  I highly recommend you do this, as it makes every subsequent thing easier.  The first thing is to choose your contra…

Scared to say...Cynthia Rowley 2250

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Well I am nearly too scared to say that I have finished hemming Cynthia Rowley 2250. Yes, it did make the Top 20 at PatternReview, amongst much controversy. But I did begin it long before it was elected into the Hall of Hallabaloo.

I have already blogged about ithere, but this is my final wrap-up on this dress. Daughter returned home and stood still long enough for me to hem and photograph the dress. and as a dressier look using black.
In hindsight (aahhh!!!) probably not the wisest fabric choice for her pale skin, but a well fitted dress never-the-less. Just soooo incredibly hard to find RTW dresses that are long enough to hide her never regions from public display. No wonder the poor girl prefers pants and shorts. 

Winter Work Tops: Tridux

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Yes, it's that time of year again.  The time of year to try to imagine separates for work that have sleeves.  I don't know why sleeved tops are so different from sleeveless ones.  I don't have too much trouble envisioning, creating, and wearing cute summer tops.  And yet, stick a sleeve in the picture and my mind goes blank and grumpy.

So I did some snoop shopping.

It appears that I am not alone.  The offerings are SAD.  After going through literally THOUSANDS of long and 3/4 sleeve tops on Saks, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale's I found a handful of interesting pieces.  There's nothing I want to copy outright, I don't think, but I identified some elements that I like.


Source: bloomingdales.com via Trena on Pinterest




The best of the bunch is this one (Velvet by Graham & Spencer, $174).  Sequins are having a moment and I do like them, but I think for day I'd go for something a little more matte, lol.

But I love the way this drapes from the shoulders and LOVE the …

Best Patterns 2011 - Can you pick them???

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PatternReviewhave just started their voting for Best Pattern of 2011.
Pop over and check out what patterns came in the Top 20 for 2011. A couple of surprises, and not everyone is happy. 
Out of the 20 choices I have 4 -  Number 3 - Vogue 2497 - have made this up twice and love it. Number 4 - Simplicity 2443 - cut out and waiting it's turn in line!!! Number 11 - Simplicity 2250 - hanging around waiting to be hemmed!!! Number 20 - Collete Patterns 3 Sorbetto - sitting around with pins holding her together!!!
Have a read of the comments flowing in - not one positive comment among them. Many are electing to not vote due to the obvious absence of pants and jackets. There are 14 dresses and 6 tops, with a few variations amongst this lot. 
Was 2011 the year of the dresses and tops for you??? I did tend to make up quite a few dresses and tops this past year, but equally so skirts and jackets. And no pants!!! Am I fitting the PatternReview trend of the distinct lack of pants (trousers, britches, s…

A Visit to the White House and a New Dress

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When we did the Tweed Ride, my friend Courtney mentioned that she was thinking of planning a White House holiday tour and asked if I'd like to join. I said of course, and asked her who her friend is. To see the White House (at least for people who live here--I don't know how out-of-towners do it) you have to have a friend who works there and can get you in. It turns out that her job is considered part of the White House and she *is* the friend. How wonderful! So yesterday morning we headed over to see the White House all dressed up for the holidays.

The decorations were somewhat modest for, well, the White House--a mansion of size and importance--in keeping with the economic times, but they were all clever, festive, and still tasteful. I just LOVED these felt trees in the entrance area. I don't decorate for the holidays because I'm not religious and because I always travel to Texas, but I could actually see having one of these adorable little trees. And check o…

Change of Pace!!!

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Just how easy is it to be influenced by others??? It doesn't take much at all...


For me, it all started by way ofDidYouMakeThatand herSnuggly Snood...


She made the mistake of linking to a free pattern over at The Guardian and that literally set the ball rolling in Snood-land...


ThenSuzySewingswapped her fabric for the knitting needles to whip up a winner to wear with her summer dresses...








Barbara from Sewing on the Edge used 5 needles at once to create a cardigan for her lucky son... And evenGertie (cheated) and sewed up a sweater... BUT,  the final killer (in the nicest way) -
How Knitting Can Improve Your Sewing from the cleverSewaholic Tasia...
She asks the almighty questions...Can it??? Can knitting improve your sewing??? Is it realllyyyyy that simple???
So call me crazy, or just one to try anything. But although it is the middle of an Aussie Summer I too have now pulled out and dusted of my old trusty needles and have started on a scarf. You know what the feeling is like in the fabric…