Wednesday, October 19, 2016


I found this photo on the Vintage Fashion Archive Facebook page. I am especially interested in the dress on the left.

That looks like it would be easy to copy. I might already have a pattern or patterns that would work. Things I would change: 1. Eliminate the seam down the front. 2. The bodice is a little too blousy. I think those might not be actual princess seams, just trim, so I would make an actual princess seam bodice. (Are you starting to see what attracted me to this dress?) 3. A more fun color, likely a print - a tiny floral or geometric print or maybe pin dots.

Also, I'm not sure about the sleeves. I wear dresses mostly in the summer and tend to not wear anything with sleeves very often - in fact almost never. But I'm not sure how this would look without sleeves. I'm having difficulty picturing it. So maybe a winter dress with long sleeves. But, again, I mostly wear dresses in the summer, rarely in the winter, so I'm afraid it would end up being one of those dresses I only wear to funerals, unless I made it in a color or print that would be totally inappropriate, in which case I might never wear it, and both of those scenarios make me sad.

So anyway... those are just some early thoughts. What do you think?

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Little Western Shirt

Have you ever made something for a tiny person and it turned out so adorable you wish you could wear it yourself? I'm generally not a big fan of western style clothes for myself but this shirt that I made for my granddaughter is just so darn cute!

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3146. It includes two yoke styles, the western you see here and a standard yoke. It was pretty easy, just like a typical adult shirt pattern but in toddler size. The floral fabric was a scrap left over from a shirt I made for myself a couple of years ago. (I never blogged it and I'm not sure if I have a picture of it but it's one of my favorites.)

I haven't given it to her yet. I'm sure my daughter-in-law will love it. About 3-year-olds you never can tell.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Something for Warm Fall Days

Just a really quick showing-off of my latest:

This was a two-yard piece I bought at a local store. I used New Look 6078 and modified the neckline and used sleeves from a different pattern. I love the colors in the fabric. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but it has a lot of gold metallic in the print. I like this pattern a lot too. I've used it at least a dozen times.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Huh... That's Odd

A little background for those not familiar with Blogger: Blogger has a lame little stats thing that is more annoying than helpful. Mine usually shows that I have fewer than 10 pageviews on most days, often fewer than 5. On days when I actually post something that goes up to between 15 and 20, occasionally slightly higher. Well, today I sign in and see that yesterday I had 77 pageviews! Strangely, that is equally as disheartening as it is exciting.

I have an embarrassing little confession: I crave attention like a small child. Or a puppy. But I am afraid to do anything to actually attract attention because I'm afraid I will come off as needy (which I guess I am in a way) or as a creepy stalker. So, more than three times as as many pageviews as I normally get on a good day. (And pageviews don't really tell you much. That could be just 7 people viewing an average of 10 pages each (Yes, I know my math is wrong.) which is only one of the reasons the thing is annoying.) But anyway, the reasons it was a little disheartening to see are, 1, that I got no comments that day and 2, my last post was just complaining about not being able to find underwear that I like. (So the lack of comments might be a good thing?) I really hope someone scrolled down far enough to see the last dress I posted.

Oh well, I'd best move on before I start sounding any more needy. I'm also just really curious as to the reason for the sudden upsurge in pageviews. (and possibly actual visitors?) Who were those visitors and where did they come from?

* * *

It seems like ages since I posted pictures but I have been sewing. I made the orange trousers I mentioned before but they came out too large. I don't know how that happened since I used the same pattern that I have successfully used a dozen or more times. I can fix them but I really hate taking things apart.

I am currently working on an early fall blouse - fall colors but short sleeved for the warm early fall weather. It shouldn't be too long until I have that one finished.

I have mostly been working on a quilt that I really want to get done by Christmas so other sewing is coming along more slowly even though I have a dozen things I want to sew and get done right now. The change of seasons is always inspiring. Even though I didn't want summer to end, didn't want to stop sewing breezy summer dresses, I suddenly find myself interested in sewing fall things.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


This is going to be a little off topic but if you'll excuse me I'm going to talk about my underpants for a little bit. I have the worst time trying to find acceptable underwear. Currently my go-to, though still imperfect, choice is Bali's cotton Full Cut Fit. (if I remember the name correctly) They're what some of you like to call "granny panties". And can we talk about that for a minute? I hate that term. It's pejorative. It's age shaming and it's trying to make people feel embarrassed about their clothing choices. Can we just stop it?

But anyway... I don't necessarily want the high waist but if you get a lower waist you get stuck with a higher leg opening in the back and I can't stand that. I don't see how anyone can tolerate having the elastic or the edge of the leg opening going across the the butt cheek instead of underneath it where it belongs. On the other hand, aside from the too high waist I don't really like the Bali fabric. It's a cotton spandex - 10% spandex according to the label but it feels like it has hardly any at all. It also tends to pill or get fuzzy after a few washings. But they are wearable so they're what I generally settle for. I have also tried Bali's Skimp Skamp (TM) and in some ways they are better but the narrow leg elastic is extremely uncomfortable.

The "World's Best Fitting Panty" (TM) has the perfect fabric, a cotton spandex with a nice firm, but not too tight, stretch and the waist on the regular briefs version sits slightly below the natural waistline but they have the too high in the back leg openings which is totally unacceptable to me.

So I recently decided to try something totally different: the so-called "boy short". I had not considered these before because the term "boy short" is very off-putting. I am not a boy and I don't want to wear "boy" anything but, desperation. I tried two different brands so far and even with legs they somehow manage to be too high in the back. I know there are "boy shorts" with longer legs but I don't want longer legs. What I really want is some comfortable cotton spandex underpants with not too high a waistline that completely cover my butt, which is admittedly not small but neither is it huge. It shouldn't be this hard.

By the way, when you search for boy shorts on Amazon a whole lot of unmentionables that I really don't want to mention or ever see again come up in the results - items that are most definitely not boy shorts! Seriously Amazon? You need to fix your search function so that only the stuff we're actually searching for comes up.

I did once try sewing underwear but after three tries I was not able to end up with anything wearable. The main problem, I think was the inability to find the right fabric and elastic. But maybe I will try again someday when I get sufficiently desperate.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Summer's Last Fling?

I feel like I have been working on this dress for a month and that I should have been able to complete three or four dresses in the time it took me to sew just this one but sometimes that's just the way it goes. I'm not going to try to figure out when I started it because it might turn out that I really have been working on it for a month. I have been working on a couple of other projects as well so it's not like I've been lazy but when I take longer than I expect to finish something I can't help feeling like a bit of a slacker. Anyway, here is the tropical print dress, finally.

This is the bodice of Simplicity 1803 and the skirt of Vogue 8811 plus pockets. I eliminated the center front seam because it was totally unnecessary and would not have worked out well at all with this lovely, large floral. I spent most of the time I was working on this feeling angsty about getting the princess seams and the armholes to fit just right. They're not perfect but they're not too bad. I have this idea that I can't let go of that if I could just find the right bra the princess seams would fit perfectly.

I love this dress. The fabric is a lightweight cotton and it feels sort of light and floaty and of course the colors are amazing. Love it! I wish I had sewed it sooner so I would have more summer left in which to wear it. Fortunately, summer is not gone yet. The forecast for this week is for temps in the mid-90s F. So I will get to wear it at least once.

Since it's still so warm and likely to stay that way for another week or two I was tempted to squeeze in one more summer dress (actually still tempted) but, even though I'm not ready to let go of summer yet I am ever so slightly weary of sewing princess seams and bust darts and attaching skirts to bodices and sewing really long hems. (Of course the blouses I will be sewing for fall will have either darts or princess seams too but they're still something different.) I decided to start the orange trousers because they will be needed sooner than long sleeved shirts.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Two New Patterns

Bought these today.

I will almost certainly never make 8244 as shown. Narrow skirts are not my style at all. I bought it for that asymmetrical top detail. The other one, 8166... I'm thinking about fall tunics. I'll probably make changes to that one too. The collar looks uncomfortable. But anyway, there's a good chance I might be trying that one out soon.

Lazy Weeked, Nothing to Report, Sewists Guilt

I spent the entire weekend watching the Star Trek marathon on BBC America. Absolutely no sewing got done and not much of anything else either. I was thinking I would have have the tropical print dress done by last Thursday or Friday but I didn't. Last week I mostly worked on a couple of quilts - the one I have been working on for literally years and the new one I just started which I must get done by Christmas. But a new week has begun and I have all the time in the world. I'm determined to not waste quite so much of it, even though I think, once in a while, we need to just "waste" time and that such time is not really wasted at all. So, actually not all that much guilt.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Template Troubles

The template I was using previously was misbehaving this morning. It refused to load completely, so I'm going to try this one for a while. I like it but I'm afraid most people might consider the background "too busy" so I'm going to look around for more templates and maybe change to something else. Thoughts?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Brief Summer Review and Thinking About Fall

As I have said before, I don't like being tied to a sewing plan but I do find it useful to have a list of maybes, then if I don't have anything I'm especially excited about sewing next I can just pick something from the list. I had 20 fabrics on my list, as updated in June (I called it a plan at the time but it wasn't really a plan.) Of those, I have sewed 12. That would not be good if it had been a plan but okay for a list, and considering that I also sewed several things not on the list.

Of course, summer is not over yet and I might still get around to one or two more but I'm going to sew the tropical print next. I would have started it already but I decided to work on a quilt top and go ahead and get that done instead of piddling around with it for the next six months.

I'm a summer person and I hate to think about summer being over. And it's not over yet. We still have at least another month of warm weather here but I have, almost involuntarily, started thinking about fall sewing. Here are a few things that are on my mind.

These are two pairs of fabrics that go together. The pattern has contrasting collar cuffs and placket. The local quilt shop always has a bunch of two yard cuts of fabric. They're not really bargain priced and sometimes it's hard to think of what to do with just two yards but for some reason they're fun to buy. That's what the fabric on the top left in the photo was. It took me quite a while to decide on what I wanted to do with it. I was originally thinking something for summer but as soon as I started thinking about fall this completely clicked and I think this might be my first fall thing. The piece on the top right I've had for two or three years and was always going to use this pattern but I originally had a different purple fabric that I settled on and wasn't satisfied with to go with it. But then last week I found this tie-dye purple and it's almost exactly what I had in mind in the first place. So, yay! I'm ready to go on these and just need buttons.

This second photo is all cotton knits that I got at the Hancock Fabrics going out of business sale. At first I was thinking t-shirts but it seems a little too thick for t-shirts and I have enough of those anyway so now the plan is for cardigans. I already have an orange (RTW) cardigan so the orange might stay in the stash for a long, long time. I'm thinking I'll start with the green, which is more gorgeous than it looks in the picture. It's a really green green, almost like a John Deere green or the green crayon in a box of eight crayons only prettier. The pink is not a very useful color for fall so it can wait until late winter or early spring.

The last two are stretch twill, originally both destined to be trousers but the blue is not as stretchy as I like, in fact, it's hardly stretchy at all. How they can get away with calling this stuff a stretch fabric is beyond me. But it's still a nice, non-stretch fabric and I already have another idea for it, which I won't reveal yet. The orange is nicely stretchy though and I will go ahead with my original plan for it even though orange trousers in my size are a little scary.