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Showing posts from October, 2013

Simplicity 1796, Crossover Dress with Elastic Waist

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Why does Simplicity choose such heinous fabrics for their envelope pictures?  Case in point, Simplicity 1796.  They made two dresses for the envelope, and they are both out of some sort of horrible undrapeable poly blend broadcloth.  You can practically smell the artificial fiber fumes coming off the photo.  I paid no attention to this pattern whatsoever until I saw it reviewed, and suddenly noticed the nice details:  the shoulder yokes, the pleated bodice, the cinched waist.  I appreciate that solids are the best choice for an envelope, but how about some high quality fabrics?  Yuck.  On the plus side, this pattern comes in a huge range of sizes:  10-28W.  I graded down to an 8 at the shoulders and bust.

I used the silk/wool I got at Paron last November for the absolute steal of $6/yd using a Groupon and shopping in the 50% off section.  In the end, I'm glad I got a bargain because the pink ran in pre-treatment.  :(  The fabric is still useable, but it is slightly less awesome wit…

How to Make Basket Liner Grocery Bags for Your Wald Bike Baskets

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Given my focus on the bikeability of my skirts and dresses, it probably won't surprise you that I sew for my bike as well.  I am a commuter-, shopper-, and pleasure-biker, so weight is not an issue for me.  I'm not fast anyway, what's a couple extra pounds?  So for cargo, I looooooove my Wald baskets.*  They collapse when not in use and are easy to fold out when I'm doing a big grocery shop.

*Please note that I have no financial or other connection with any of the products or sources listed in this post.  I really do like the baskets that much as a plain ol' satisfied customer.

Baskets are more stable than panniers and a bajillion times easier to use.  I found detaching and reattaching panniers a real pain, they are enormous to carry into the grocery store (or heaven forbid a restaurant or bar where you don't want to leave your stuff sitting outside), and I had a pannier pop off my bike in Logan Circle once.  With the baskets, there's no detaching and reatta…

Time-saving Tip ...

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... that I really must share. Probably something you all know, and I am last on the boat, but I will share it anyway. In a recent issue of Dressmaking with Stitches, an Aussie sewing magazine ... ... there was this little tiny tip to help with keeping your sewing machine clean. Like all of you, I do the lint brushing thing, and de-fluff the bobbin etc. But when it comes to the sticky gunk that accumulates on the thread spool, well, it just seems to build up with each new spool of cotton. You know, that dreadful sticky label at the top of the thread spool, that when pushed onto the thread holder smears itself all over the stick!?! Here, let me share mine with you ...
... hard to see, but this is several layers of labels wrapped around each other. Totally YUK! Well, Stitches to the rescue ...
Light globe moment! And no joke, within one minute of doing this my faithful Janome was transformed to this ... ... all sparkling and sticky-free ready for a weekend of sewing! And the little thread hol…

Why am I ...

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... such a shocker when it comes to completing a garment? For the first 90% of making something I am dedicated, enthusiastic, committed, to the stage you could call me fanatical towards sewing. It's always full steam ahead planning, cutting and sewing. I am totally engaged in what I am doing. But then the nonchalant fairy waves her cool laid back wand over the room and before I know it, the next garment is being planned cut and 90% sewn. All this whilst the first one is removed from my mind, lazily hung up on a hanger awaiting the last few stitches to make it wearable ...

First up, I started (and nearly finished) Butterick 5917 - its a brilliant pattern! I love it! I'll be making more of this dress for summer. WOW! It was an absolute pleasure to fit and sew .... 

This is the one for my son's Valedictory in a few weeks - look at those beautifully finished front ruffles .....
Just look at this invisible zipper, fully inserted and working ...
But wait, is that the hemline not fin…

McCall 6744, Grecian Knit Dress

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I did a ton of sewing for trip to Greece (as I think you can tell by all my recent posts). So much so that I didn't end up taking everything with me! McCall 6744 didn't make it into the suitcase, though I do like it as a casual summer dress.  You might recognize this fabric from Vogue 1282--I made the top out of the leftovers after finishing the dress.  I was surprised how much I had left considering I did "stripe" matching, both vertical and horizontal, with the flower motifs.

Do you like how "ethereal" the photos are?  Yeah, I discovered a fingerprint smudge on the camera lens after my photographer had already taken all the pictures.  Oh well!



Many of the previous reviewers noted that the front bodice gapes; almost all of them had to wear a camisole underneath.  So I took a fairly aggressive amount out of the crossover on the front bodice to prevent that--you can see the three tucks I took in the photo at left.

While I don't have gaping and don't …