Category Archives: Fabric

New Look 6891

My honey’s first home game is this coming Friday and I am determined to wear comfortable footwear! Believe it or not (haha), I am not a sensible shoes type of girl and spent last football season on the sidelines in high heels. This year, I am planning ahead and making some cute outfits to wear with comfortable shoes, namely my Frye Campus 14Ls.


As much as I love chunky boots, they are a bit problematic, stylewise. I was thumbing through an old Anthropologie catalog the other night and immediately fell in love with this outfit (and how awesome is her hair!?!?!?). Yes, I detest skinny jeans (really, what woman wants to look like a lightbulb?) but they are perfect tucked into boots! Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a pair by Friday. Since it’s still quite warm here, I’ll be skipping the jacket for now. But I’d wear boots year-round if I could – Lord knows I’ve tried!


For the tunic, I decided on New Look 6891 in a beautiful rayon challis from the now-defunct Textile Studios fabric store. This fabric has been in my collection at least three years.


What I liked about this pattern was that it didn’t seem too full. Normally, I would never buy a pattern that starts at a 10 since I hate having to grade down the shoulder and upper chest but I liked this enough to deal with that. As usual, I started by tissue fitting and was pleasantly surprised that the shoulders fit very well and there was enough ease (39″ in the size 10) through the bust that I was able to skip the FBA. I did make my usual forward shoulder, sway back and sleeve length alterations but that’s it.


For such a simple top that’s very easy to put together, it is surprisingly flattering. The neckline binding/ties took more time than anything else. There are only a few gathers over the bustline – if you needed to make an FBA it would be so simple to move the additional fullness there.

This is definitely a keeper that I’ll be making again. And, for those of you who’ve inquired, yes, I am working on those HP pants! I have a few irons in the fire, so to speak, and trying to get the most pressing ones out first.


Filed under Fabric, New Look, Shoes

Another Sweetheart Top

This top’s been done except for the hems for more than a week so I wanted to finish it before moving on to the next project. I really, really dislike UFOs!


The more I make this pattern, the more I like it. I like having a lot of tees in my wardrobe and this one has now become a favorite. It’s pretty, flattering and quick to make. This fabric came from Bestonlinefabrics (link in the sidebar) on Ebay. I just can’t seem to resist anything that looks hand-painted! This will be the perfect thing to wear with jeans to a football game.


Filed under Fabric, Jalie

Vogue 8196 – Planning stages

A couple of weeks ago, I remembered that I had about 5 yards of black wool gauze in my “collection”. I thought it would be perfect for this Vogue pattern:


I decided that I’d like to use Cluny lace (vs. a more delicate lace) to keep it from being too froufrou. Since I couldn’t find anything of good quality locally I decided to take a chance and order online. I found what looked to be some really pretty vintage laces at Deb’s Lace & Trims for a very good price. Well, the laces came today and I am very pleased! These are exactly what I had in mind – they weren’t sold as coordinates but I thought they went together very well.


Parting shot: The past few days, I’ve noticed that my old girl Kanga has been pushing the decorative pillow/sham off of the regular sleeping pillows for her daytime nap. She usually sleeps in the chair next to the bed but I guess she was ready for a change.



Filed under Fabric, Kitties, Notions, Vogue

Dotted Swiss – Styled!

Phyllis asked how I was going to style my dotted Swiss blouse. I’m sure you’d rather see it on a body but I have never mastered the self-timer so this will have to suffice. 🙂


I’ll be wearing the blouse with my favorite Hudson jeans and my most beloved piece of Native American jewelry, my vintage Zuni belt. I love this belt so much that the leather strap has been replaced twice. It is not just an accessory, I plan entire outfits around it! As for shoes, it’ll depend on where I’m going.

I bought a second piece of dotted Swiss (in aqua) from Ann. Now I just need to decide what I want to make with it.


Filed under Accessories, Fabric, Simplicity

Sewing Room Organization – Part I

Brad expressed an interest in the pattern and fabric binders I mentioned in my last post so I thought I’d share them with you. Of course, this is not the only way to keep a large collection organized but I have found it is the best way for me. Initially, it took me one weekend to catalog the fabric and a day to do the patterns. Additionally, this system requires minimal effort to maintain and is very cost-effective. Here is my entire fabric, pattern and Burda WOF collection:


Yesterday morning – as I was trying to plan my next project – the growing mounds of patterns finally got to me. I’m usually pretty good about keeping things under control but I’ve been buying a lot of patterns lately and allowing them to pile up in Sewing Room #1,


Sewing Room #2 and


the dining room (I won’t show you my nightstand as Saturday is the one day I don’t make my bed!).


Since I had already planned to watch my honey’s game on ESPN at noon I decided that it was as good a time as any to file patterns. The sewing room gets cleaned up and I score major Girlfriend Points at the same time!

To get started, you’ll need 9×12 manila envelopes, sheet protectors and 4″ binders. I buy the least expensive envelopes and sheet protectors but it’s worth it to buy good-quality D-ring binders (at least for the pattern envelopes) because they, unlike their inexpensive counterparts, will last forever.

I remove the pattern and instructions from the envelope and place them in a manila envelope. On the upper left corner I write the first letter of the company (Burda is Bu and Kwik-Sew is KS) and the pattern number. The manila envelopes are then filed numerically. Patterns that have names instead of numbers are filed alphabetically in the first drawer. You can see that some envelopes have white labels on them – those have been reused. Believe it or not, I do occasionally purge my patterns!


The envelopes are then placed in sheet protectors and filed by pattern type (top, bottom, dress, etc.) in binders.


Since Hot Patterns are much thicker/bulkier, I make a photocopy of the front (or, more often than not, just print it out from the HP website) for my binder and then file the entire pattern in a separate file drawer.


I used to keep my vintage patterns separate but I have found that it’s easier to keep everything together. I do have some collectible vintage patterns (like my Lucy and Desi patterns) that I just enjoy owning – those I do keep separate in acid-free plastic envelopes.

Catalogueing my fabric is just as easy. I made up these forms on my computer and had a bunch of copies made at Office Depot. As I buy fabric I just snip a piece off and glue it onto the sheet and note the source, yardage, width and fiber content. Rarely, I’ll put something away without washing. If that’s the case, I note that as well to avoid any nasty surprises later. And, since I now have multiple fabric closets I also note where the fabric is stored. Fabrics are organized by type: blouseweights, midweights, suitings, denims, cottons, knits, etc. As fabrics are used, I remove the swatch and cross out the description.


As many of you know, my fabric closets are organized by color so it’s very easy for me to lay my hands on a particular piece. That’s it, my not very elaborate organizational system! What I really love about doing it this way is that I’m able to relax on the couch or in bed with my entire fabric and pattern collection. It’s nice to be able to see what I have without making a mess of my sewing room!


I finished tidying things up just in time for mail call and, you guessed it, more patterns! My new HPs arrived along with a few new dress patterns. The drawstring pant pattern is already laid out on my cutting table, ready for tracing. I also managed to cut out another Sweetheart Top and will finish that up today.


Did you all notice the title? Part I. I thought it might be fun to do a series because I know I’m not the only sewer who has a lot of stuff to keep track of.


Filed under Fabric, Hot Patterns, Patterns, Sewing Studio

Dotted Swiss – Part I

It’s 10:30 p.m. and I’ve accomplished quite a bit since I started work on the blouse about 3.5 hours ago. The bodice is complete so all I have to do tomorrow is construct and set the sleeves and finish the hem.


Although the dots line up across the bodice front pieces but they look funky because the tucks are pressed in opposite directions. An interesting problem but not problematic enough to make me want to cut another front. Sometimes I think that I am becoming so overly fussy that I’ll have to start cutting everything single layer!


Tomorrow I also need to plan and fit my next project so that I have something to work on during the week. I’m not really sure what it’ll be – there are so many choices!

I’m off to pour myself a nice glass of wine and grab the new stack of patterns I picked up today. Don’t you all just love reading patterns and sewing books in bed?


Filed under Fabric, Simplicity

Simplicity 3786

The dotted Swiss has been washed and pressed and the pattern has been altered. I had to make a full bust adjustment, my usual forward shoulder and sway back adjustments and (highly unusual!) I had to widen the upper sleeve by 1/2″. I’m so glad that Ann warned me about the slimness of the upper sleeve because that’s not something I ever need to do!


I’ve just finished my final tissue-fitting. With all of the alterations and the pinned front tucks I decided I’d feel much better if I use something other than my precious Swiss for the first version. Everything looks great but I just want to be 100% certain that the fit is perfect. I have several beautiful cotton voiles from Ascher in my collection, I chose this one because it’s so Provencal!

I’ll get this cut out now, then I really need to do a little bit of housework. If I work really fast I’ll get back to my sewing room later today. My thoughtful honey picked up some steaks and baking potatoes for dinner so I don’t even have to cook, yay! 🙂

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Filed under Alterations, Fabric, Simplicity

Weekend Sewing Plans

Happily, the pattern for my dotted Swiss blouse arrived yesterday. I am hoping that the fabric will arrive tomorrow because I really want to make this blouse over the weekend.

No more progress on the fitting of the McCall’s shirt. I’ve had something to do every night this week, unfortunately. I’ll be making view B with the single ruffle out of the white dotted cotton I bought from Gorgeous Fabrics last month.


I did manage to hem the red georgette blouse so I guess the week wasn’t a total loss, sewing-wise. 🙂 I’m also still working on a few things that I had intended to finish in time for my trip. I planned more sewing than I actually had time for – as usual!

I also have a new baby. She’s still at the shop but I hope to bring her home on Saturday so I’ll post a photo them. She’s a real beauty.


Filed under Fabric, McCall's, Sewing Machines, Simplicity

Tucked Blouse

Things were pretty hectic yesterday and today so I haven’t been able to finish fitting the shirt pattern I want to make next. I have plans tomorrow night and Thursday night so I probably won’t get back to it until Saturday.

I have almost finished my red rayon georgette blouse though. All I have left is the bottom hem which I may try to finish up real quick now. I made four 1/2″ deep tucks on each sleeve and four 1/4″ deep tucks on the bodice. I had planned on making more on the bodice but I discovered that a good 1/3 of my fabric was flawed so I ran short of fabric. Too bad because the fabric is absolutely beautiful. It has very slight variations in color making it look hand-dyed. (Please pardon the background – I’m in the process of relandscaping my backyard!)



Because I didn’t want the bulk of the tucks (especially on the sleeves) in the neckline casing, I made a separate casing with a crossgrain strip of fabric. Boy, that sure was a lot faster and easier than a 5/8″ double-turned casing!

I hadn’t planned on making yet another blouse with this pattern but when I saw the red georgette I had to do it. I hope it looks different enough from the others but, honestly, I don’t mind having multiples. Even in RTW, I am a repeat offender. 🙂


Filed under Fabric, New Look

Simplicity 3786

I’ve been thinking about dotted Swiss the past week or so. I mean REAL dotted Swiss not that stiff stuff from JoAnn’s with the glued on flocking. Then I saw this on Stitcher’s Guild:


This is from the Tessuti blog. Lots of great things there – do check it out!

When I saw that pattern in the Simplicity book it didn’t call to me at all but now, after seeing it made up I must have one of my own!


The pattern is on it’s way to me and I just placed an order for the perfect dotted Swiss from Gorgeous Fabrics. I can’t wait to get started on this!


Today I’m working on a red rayon georgette blouse and fitting a shirt pattern in between housework and laundry. I should have something to post tomorrow sometime!


Filed under Fabric, Simplicity