Friday, April 28, 2017

A Sweet Little Blouse

Nothing I wear can be honestly described as "little" but that's how I'm thinking of this one - "a sweet little blouse."

I love this fabric with its little roses on a pale pink background. I used some half inch clear buttons that I had in my button stash. I used to only buy buttons as I needed them but I'm finding that having a button stash makes life so much easier.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 3511, which I have used several times. This time I cut a facing for the hem and that worked out so much better with this curved hem. I could never get it to look quite right before. The fit of this pattern isn't the greatest and I know I should try harder to fix it but it's okay and I'm lazy and not very good at fitting.

Anyway, I love this blouse and I'm going to wear the heck out of it this spring and summer.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Fabric Lust

Somehow I always end up desperately wanting fabrics from three different online retailers at the same time. And Denver Fabrics is having a sale so it might actually be four. Husbands don't understand these things. They don't understand how you can have seven medium size plastic bins full of fabric, plus almost as much stuffed into the closet in its original shipping packages, and still need more. Yes, need. I needs it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Does anyone out there have difficulty with making gathers? This is one of the many ways in which, after literally four decades of sewing experience, I am still incompetent. I long ago gave up on the method recommended in all pattern instructions of a double row of long machine stitches because the thread always breaks. If it's just a short piece to be gathered, like a sleeve, I just make gathers with pins. For longer things like skirts and ruffles I do it with a running stitch by hand.

The little dress in the previous post turned out to be too short. Since I had quite a bit of the skirt fabric left over, the simple solution was to add a ruffle. The piece seems ridiculously long for a ruffle on a small child's dress so, feeling a bit lazy, I started trying to think of alternatives to hand gathering. I came up with what I thought was the brilliant idea to use hand quilting thread which is considerably stronger. So, feeling quite proud of myself I filled a bobbin and threaded the machine with quilting thread and did the stitching. I started carefully gathering but in a very little time the thread broke, as usual. It seems impossible that this happened. I was going slowly and carefully, not pulling hard at all and this seemingly very strong thread just broke! How is it that other people can do this but I cannot?

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Quick Little Dress

Something I made yesterday for my granddaughter.

I added the patch at the last minute when I realized that it's very difficult to tell the front from the back.

This is the pattern.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Just a Few Shades of Grey

I am usually opposed to grey except in a strictly supporting role but this cute little floral print was simply irresistible. It sort of reminds me of old black and white movies.

I decided almost immediately that it had to be another Simplicity 1882, this time with white piping.

I like this pattern even though I have not yet been able to get the princess seams to come out right. It's like it was designed for someone with weirdly high and wide set boobs. I mean, I know mine are over fifty and not as perky as they used to be but come on! Nobody is shaped like that. [ahem] Anyway...

This was my first attempt at piping. I've always been a little afraid of it. I definitely need lots more practice but I'm willing to live with this. Overall, I like it well enough. I need some colorful accessories to go with it. I have to confess I don't put as much thought into accessorizing as I probably should.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Too Precious

In Felicia's blog post and in the comments there is mention of fabric that is "too precious" to use and finished garments that are too precious to wear. I rarely have the former but sometimes do have the latter. So I thought I would share a few of my "too precious" garments.

I don't think I ever blogged these first two. The color in these pictures is awful, especially the first one. It has been raining so I couldn't take pics outside. The ceiling light has CFLs that are supposed to mimic the color of incandescents and they ordinarily seem pretty close but in pictures they really throw off the color. But anyway...

This fabric features several of my favorite things: music, tea, and roses and the colors are fantastic - a sort of faded red-orange, peachy pink, ivory, with little touches of sea green. The complicated print has opera posters, fragments of musical scores, writing that I can't make out (possibly poetry? Or is it love letters?) roses, and the words "Tea for Two". I absolutely love it and I only wear it about once a year.

This next one is both beautiful and sentimental for me.

I bought this gorgeous fabric about six years ago and sewed it almost right away. I knew my mom would love it too and I was looking forward to showing it off to her but I didn't get the chance. Now? It doesn't really make me all that sad anymore but I still don't wear it except maybe once a year mainly because the fabric is just too gorgeous. I sort of wish I had used a different pattern. This one is okay. It used to be my favorite shirt pattern but not so much anymore.

Here's one that I made and blogged about last summer

Since it's still relatively new I'm not really sure if it's going to be "too precious" but I'm leaning that way. When it gets warmer though I am going to try to wear it and all of these too precious things more often. Here's one more in the category of "might be too precious," originally blogged about here.

What is it that makes something too precious to wear? It's love and fear. Really, really loving a garment and fearing that something terrible will happen to it. Besides just simply knowing that the more I wear them the sooner they will wear out, I have visions of clothing disasters involving barbecue sauce or blueberry pie filling. I worry that I will be in an accident and they will have to cut my clothes off of me, which is silly because in that case I would have a lot more to worry about than just my clothes but that's where my mind goes. But I have all these other clothes that I wear every week, that I have worn dozens of times without ever having anything at all happen to them so why worry? Why not enjoy the clothes I love the most. I'm going to try. I really am. I keep telling myself that but maybe this year...