MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects

B&W Top + Denim Skirt = The Usual Suspects

MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects

Cardigan :: Halo Thrifted from the Salvation Army
Top :: Forever 21
Skirt :: Handmade from a vintage pattern
Tights :: ??
Shoes :: Mel by Melissa

MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects

What can I say, I like black and white and denim skirts!!
This is the first time I’ve worn this skirt, even though I made it months ago. It’s the same pattern as this one.
Advance 9916, 1960s

Isn’t it amazing how different they look? This denim has some stretch, so the skirt is comfy. But, I usually like much darker denim. And the a-line made it hard to work into my wardrobe, too. I’m a pencil/straight skirt kind of girl. Is it the youthfulness that an a-line skirt can convey?? I have a hard enough time coming across as an adult at times. I’m told, almost weekly, that I look like a teenager. I don’t need to help it along, lol.

Regardless, I’m glad it finally made it out of the house!

MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects

And I promise! I AM working on some more colorful pieces to add to my collection, lol

MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects

More than this cardi ;o)

MMM.D6 :: The Usual Suspects


MMM.D3 :: Live & IN Color

I’m sure I won’t keep up with posting daily. But I had to share my lack of B&W today, lol
MMM.D3 :: Live & IN Color

MMM.D3 :: Live & IN Color

I spent some time taking this dress in, last night. It’s still much looser than my average fit, but I was super comfy and I LOVE this fabric!!

Sweater :: Old Navy
Dress :: Handmade (from a vintage pattern)
Tights :: ??
Shoes :: H&M

MMM.D3 :: Live & IN Color
Wanna know something cool about today?? A reader recognized me!!
HI, if you’re reading this!!
You made my day!

MMM.D3 :: Live & IN Color

Something else cool and sewing related- a nearby(-ish) store is going out of business and I got 10 yards of horsehair braid for $4!

That price totally makes up for the cashier packing it like this.
Notions Shopping :: Horse hair Braid
I soon got it in order.
Notions Shopping :: Horse hair Braid

I also picked up some thread and hem tape.
Notions Shopping

And you can bet your ass that I’m going back for more!

A Lil’ Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

Sweater :: Handknit Coraline
Blouse :: Freecycled
Skirt :: Handmade Advance 9916
Tights :: F21
Boots :: Anne Klein

This is another of my cardigans from my former knitting life. That yoke nearly killed me! After battling with it, the end result was smaller than I wanted. It’s knit up in one of my favorite yarns, Silky Wool. The top was in a Freecycle haul. It’s from Express and it’s a size XS. I would never buy that size in the store, but I found the close (kind of shrunken) fit to be just the thing with certain outfits.

A Lil' Bit 60s

This is actually version two of Advance 9916. Version one, which is shorter and made from stretch denim, was finished before the new year and I still haven’t worn it. This longer version is also shorter than the full length of the pattern. I don’t know how tall this cover model is supposed to be, but it’s safe to say she is massively disproportionate if the skirt is this short on her, lol!

Advance 9916, 1960s

I got the pattern in the great Sew Weekly NY Meet-up and pattern swap. I’m almost positive it was Marina’s as most of the giveaway patterns were donated by her.

A Lil' Bit 60s

The only change I made to the pattern, besides the length, was to cut the waistband longer. I also lined it and finished that hem with pretty lace. I loved wearing this today! The lining prevented the dreaded static cling and it felt so slinky as I walked around. This fabric is the same one I used for my Meringue skirt. This was the last of it, some kind of poly/wool blend, I think. It’s perfect for skirts as I think it would be terribly hot worn on top. It doesn’t have much give either.

A Lil' Bit 60s

I tried to get some outdoor photos before work. I nearly froze my cheeks off! They’re not that red from just blush! I don’t know how some people take coat-less pics in the snow! Must be made of tougher stuff than me.

A Lil' Bit 60s

A Lil' Bit 60s

It was definitely hat weather, today. GEEZ was it cold! I re-twisted my hair last night so it could stay small enough to be hat wearing compatible ;0) It gets so frizzy, so fast but it was worth it as it was complimented by two very nice library patrons, lol. It has been over two years since I asked my sister to chop it (nearly) all off. This lady’s site was instrumental in helping me decide to embrace having hair that short for the first time. She has written a book about this massive shift in the way we (those of us who are naturally curly/kinky/coily/nappy) think about our hair. I think this is the most comfortable I’ve ever been with the way mine grows out of my head. I KNOW this is the most well equipped to handle it I’ve ever been.

Thanks, Nikki!

BetterThanGoodHair pb c

Sewing Buddy

So, Twitter Sewists strike again. There I was, minding my own tweets when I stumbled across a series, featuring some of my favorite ladies, discussing sewing buddies. Specifically, coat sewing buddies. Well, as this seems to be the year of joining in, I joined in. LOL

Sewing Buddies

Seriously, I think this smaller, more intimate sew-along might be better for me. Especially with a garment that I haven’t sewn and feel really intimidated by. This tweet fest also happened to occur at a time when I was expecting a really BOSS pattern from Ms. What Would Nancy Drew Wear. She practically paid me to take it off her hands, that’s how generous her price was. It’s all I can do to keep myself from going back for more.

Here’s the pattern
Simplicity 4110

Nice, right!

This one is also a contender
Simplicty 4799

Also, pretty awesome.

Both have the desired feature, for a first timer coat maker anyway, of being rather shapeless, by design. I don’t own a wool coat in this car coat style and Simplicity 4110 is perfect for the diagonal rib type wool coating I have, in that I won’t have to match up pieces as the front and back are cut in one.

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

This is the true color.

Wool Coating! Marled/Heathered Blue

I also have a ton of this flannel to underline the wool with, if I want to get fancy.
Cotton Flannel~ Black

I have a few yards of black crepe de chine that would be a killer lining, especially since I can longer see making a dress out of it.

Crepe de Chine

Simplicity 4110 also has the added benefit of buttonhole-less closures!! No bound buttonholes! Which don’t scare me quite as much as making the matching windows in the facings. View 1 closes with self loops and the view 2, the awesome hooded version, has that sweet toggle detail. AND no collar.

Now the second choice, Simplicity 4799 has only one button for view 1. I could handle one bound buttonhole and window. I have two really awesome black buttons from my grandma that would be perfect used here. I doubt I’m going to find a pattern that calls for only two buttons, so this is as good a use as any.

Cool Ass Buttons!

I feel like I should make an attempt at a muslin. The back of 4799 looks massive and the back of 4110 looks like it might have trouble fitting over my hips. But, I feel like that step is what kept me from jumping in with Anise. I just want to sew, you know?

What do you guys think?

Just a Little Bit Sixties

While bragging all over the interwebs sharing my pattern haul news with the sewing masses, Tanit-Isis realized that we had bought the SAME pattern on the SAME day!

Simplicity 8598

Sewing twinsies!! She knew that darling Sewing Scientist Vicki had the same pattern, too. She hatched a brilliant plan. We’d all sew it up…together! I feel like one of the cool kids being asked to take part!

Please don’t think that this is like one of those sew-alongs popping up all over the blogisphere. I really admire, and respect, the effort that goes into creating buttons, and taking all of those gorgeously detailed step-by-step photos, responding to questions and rounding everyone up for a virtual group photo at the end. It’s amazing. But, as Vicki pointed out when she sent a red alert email to Taran and I checking that this was not what we had in mind:


What we DO have time for:
Sewing with a great vintage pattern.
Doing it up in photos when we’re finished.
And a linky party for anyone who happens to sew-along with us.

Oh, and emailing each other to commiserate on the sudden popularity of the reprint of this pattern which was done fanbloomingtastically by Tempest Devyne only this week!

She, and approximately eleventy billion other seamstresses, beat us to the punch! And here we were feeling really smug about our “original” idea ;p Whatever! We are not deterred! I’m at the point where I feel like if I don’t make SOMETHING I will explode!

I’ve decided that the making of this dress will be a celebration! A celebration of making it through the longest semester of my life (this includes going to class while being pregnant with twins AND taking care of two other children). A celebration of making it to the close of another year, after all the hardships I’ve faced during this one. A celebration of doing a big part to raise funds for my daughter’s school. A celebration of keeping myself and my family happy and sane for another year.

I have a lot to celebrate and I plan to do it in style. And with two smoking hot, Canadian Sewing Scientists! Join us if you dare!

Because I’m so helpful I’ve done a very strenuous search on etsy for the original 60s pattern. These sellers all have copies! Go on and buy one! You know you want to!

And come back here soon for deadline details and to let us know that you want to sew-along with us!

Promaballoona Frock Party!!!

Oh, prom. That time that each girl looks forward to. That blissful, pre-wedding dress shopping experience of dropping fuckloads of cash on a one-time-wear garment. The makeup. The manicures. The salon appointments. Those were the days……just not for this girl. Like most things in my life, my prom going experience was not at all what I hoped it would be.

Read the rest over at my friend Oona’s!!

And check out the frocks below.

Barbie Pink and Sweet Cream frocks!

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

Barbie Pink

The Facts
Fabric | Sumptuous hot pink cotton sateen courtesy of Kollabora
Patterns | Vintage (1940s) Simplicity 2693 and my TNT skirt pattern, Simplicity 9823
Year | 1940s and current
Notions | Thread, a zipper and elastic. I did not interface the bodice, but it is doubled.
Time to complete | Made during an all night sewing marathon, so I’m not sure. It went together pretty effortlessly, I must say.
First worn | On a two part photo shoot with my big girl aka kick ass photographer!
Wear again? | HELL YEAH!! Try and stop me ;P
Total price | Nearly FREE!! I won the fabric, was given the elastic by my sister, the zipper from my granny, the bodice pattern is from a swap and the skirt pattern was probably .99cents.

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

Sweet Cream

The Facts
Fabric | 100% cotton paisley embroidered fabric from
Patterns |Vintage (1940s) Simplicity 2693 and Vivat Veritas’ scalloped waist skirt pattern
Year | 1940s and current
Notions | Thread and a zipper.
Time to complete | Made during an all night sewing marathon, so I’m not sure. It went together pretty effortlessly, I must say. The entire dress is doubled. The fabric was slightly sheer and very lightweight. I sewed the two skirt sections together at the bottom edge, turned it right side out and pressed it. Worked like a charm!
First worn | On a two part photo shoot with my big girl aka kick ass photographer!
Wear again? | HELL YEAH!!
Total price | I don’t remember what I paid for this fabric, but I can assure you it wasn’t much. The bodice pattern is from a swap and the scalloped skirt pattern is free online.

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

The "Sweet Cream" Prom Dress

I took some advice from the recently departed Nora Ephron. She said

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

The "Barbie Pink" Prom Dress

I saved my prom experience this time around. Snaps for me!

My co-hero, Missy, snapped this pics for me. Don’t they kick ass!!

More pics here.

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

Hat :: Street Vendor
Shirt :: Old Navy
Shorts :: Simplicity 3530 Handmade by me
Sandals :: Forever21
Purse :: Handmade

What I Wore :: 7.24.12

I’m still recovering from the busiest weekend I’ve had since the graduation and dance performance mania in June. On Sunday, I took the kids to a new student meet and greet picnic given by my oldest daughter’s future school. After much running around, playing catch and hula hoop games I dashed home to drop the kids with my hubby to run back out to go on a makeup consult with my sister.

She was referred by a fellow makeup artist friend who was unable to take the job. I think it went really well. The visit prompted me to revamp her blog a little.

Bellus K

I will be doing the same for my hubby, soon. Tomorrow he has his first important DJ gig. He’s had business cards made up, but his online presence needs some….presence ;o)

I’m excited for both of them!! I don’t know anyone who loves makeup more that her and music more than him. It’s only natural that they should find some success working with these passions. A couple of great things are coming my way, too. I’m preparing for Promaballoona and thinking of sitting out the Sew Weekly challenge. I made a, very late, look for last week that hasn’t been posted. We’ll see if I can fit in two looks, photos, my midterm, supporting hubby at his gig, a gma visit and more kid fun this week.

Stay tuned.

The “Three, Three, Three Trends in One!” Ensemble

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

Can you spot all three trends??

Pattern mixing? Check!

Cropped top?? Check!!

Bold prints??? CHECK!!!

Little ole me is all trendy!! The Sew Weekly works another miracle, lol!

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

The Facts | On Trend Sewing Challenge
Fabric | Printed stretch cotton sateen scraps (this is the last of it, I swear!) $8 for 2 yards that I’ve used every inch of! Origami Crane print cotton $4 a yard. (Both from, of course)
Patterns | Simplicity 2693 for the top. I cut it off at the full slip line and eliminated the center back piece. I started out making Tilly’s Picnic Blanket Skirt, but went off program once I realized I didn’t want to make buttons.
Year | The slip pattern is from the 1940s.
Notions | Elastic and a metal zip (from the grandma stash). Boy, can you feel those teeth! I still need to add a button to the side.
Time to complete | 2 or 3 hours?? The tip was a bit fiddly, but really simple. And I made the skirt harder than it needed to be because, apparently, the easier something should be the harder time I have with it.
First worn | Out and about with my oldest. Running party errands (her graduation party is Saturday) and grocery shopping.
Wear again? | Yes, definitely. I felt a bit shy without my sweater on, but I really like the way it looks in pictures so I think I’ll be a bit bolder next time around.
Total price | About $5. The elastic was free, I have a TON of it that my sister gave me.

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

I am so psyched that this top worked out!! The instructions are missing from the pattern, so I cut two of each piece, sewed the middle front seams and then sewed both pieces together and turned them right side out. If I had attached the straps differently, it would be reversible. I opted to put elastic sections as the closure because I didn’t have a short separating zipper. It requires a bit of contortion to get into, but it’s comfy once on.

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

I made that little elastic belt on Saturday. The dress I was wearing needed a little something. It slips right over, just like an elastic waist in a skirt, but the next one will open and shut like a traditional belt. The skirt was to be a Tilly skirt, as I said above, but I wasn’t feeling buttonholes and such, so I shifted gears. I wish I had made this one big piece so I could zip it up the back, rather than on the side, but it’s cool like it is.

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

My eleven year-old took all of these pics for me! Didn’t she do a great job?!?! She wants to be a fashion designer, so I told her this is good practice ;o) She’s also an artist, so she thought this graffiti (one of MANY spots in our hood) was very cool. She chose which sections to take pics in front of.

The "Three, Three, Three Trends in One!" Ensemble

You can check out the rest of her photos here. She wants to start her own blog, but I’m so nervous about photos of her being stolen or something worse. Do any of you have child bloggers in the family? What are your thoughts either way?

The “Shake it Like Anne” Romper

The "Shake it Like Anne" Romper

This project is named for hip-shaking sexbomb, Anne-Margret, who rocked both Elvis and the world, in Viva Las Vegas! When her gorgeous legs weren’t on display she rocked opaque tights for two entire dance sequences!! That’s MOXY!!

The Facts | Viva Las Vegas Challenge
Fabric | Stretch Rayon Blend Suiting :: $2.39 a yard. It’s awesome. It looks like brushed denim. I’m glad I bought so much!
Patterns | A combo of two vintage (Vogue 1128 & Butterick 3530) patterns from the swap that has contributed most to my sewing, the Sew Weekly NYC meet-up.
Year | Both patterns are from the 1960s, I believe.
Notions | Thread and a zip from a huge stash that my grandmother gave me.
Time to complete | It’s hard to say….I cut this and another project out one evening. Then started, and finished project one (a DISASTER of EPIC proportions) before I started the bodice of this one and got interrupted by the Insectpalooza being held in my apartment. I nearly called the whole thing off.
First worn | For silly apartment photos. This thing is way body conscious. I wasn’t up for outdoor photos.
Wear again? | Yes, but on a really hot day when I won’t care how revealing it feels.
Total price | About $5 bucks, I guess.

The "Shake it Like Anne" Romper

*sigh* This challenge was not without its….challenges. I am not a gambler. I am non competitive by nature (and nurture) and I have no stomach for losing money. But, we were supposed to be inspired by VEGAS, BABY!! So, I rolled the metaphorical dice, and cut out two risky projects.

I started and finished this dress before I realized what a bad choice it was. My body needs back waist darts on a garment and more hip room than this one afforded. And the upper back of sheath type fits are always terrible on me, this one was no exception. This thing looks so bad on, I won’t even put a photo of myself in it on the internet . In fact, I didn’t even take a photo. The fabric was dead cheap, but I feel like I lost a ton at the Blackjack table of sewing.

The "Shake it Like Anne" Romper

On to project two.

I’ve already had (MUCH!!) success with Butterick 3530. So I knew the shorts were a go. I added a bit more wiggle room this time by cutting slightly larger than the pattern piece. This is try two for Vogue 1128. I added extra width to the bodice last time and it was comically massive. Dolly Parton could have filled it out, lol. This time, I folded out the middle a bit. The darts aligned perfectly with my body, but the bodice was now a bit narrow and didn’t want to match up with the width of the shorts. I compensated by adding strips of fabric to the center back where I had relocated the zipper. I wish I had moved the shorts zip to the side instead, there is some puckering on the lower part of it as it sits now. I could do with a bit of sway back adjusting, too. But, in an effort to avoid any crotch shortness issues, I thought I should err on the side of too much lengthwise ease. If I make this again, which I am considering, I would lengthen the bodice and lower the waistline of the shorts, too.

The "Shake it Like Anne" Romper

Overall, I am pretty pleased with the result. My husband certainly liked it. :o) I’m glad I rolled the dice on bad project choices. And pattern mash-up experiments. And tricky fit. And loss of morale. I didn’t let the house win when bugs tried to take over my sewing room. The dealer spun the roulette wheel and my number came up! Cheers (with water, sorry Oona) to that!

The "Shake it Like Anne" Romper

PS- Sometimes, the house still sneaks in a jab. Check out this zipper job.

Ass Backward Zipper

Can’t see the problem?? Take a closer look.

Ass Backward Zipper


More pics here

Pinterest to the Rescue

Oh, Pinterest!! How I could wax poetic about thee! As I pointed out in this post, following people you love using multiple social networking platforms pays off! Meg the Grand, who could also be know as Meg the Babe just as easily, pinned this awesomeness earlier today.

Source: via Wanett on Pinterest

How could she have known that I was stressing over next week’s 1940s challenge??? Did she use her special red-headed powers???

I’ve been worrying over what to make since I noticed the challenge. Though I think 1940s styles look great on others, I was more skeptical of it looking well on me. Also, I was not particularly in the mood to sew anything quite so bold shouldered, lol.

Source: via Wanett on Pinterest


I know 40s style is more broad (PUN) than that. I’ve added quite a bit of inspiration to this pinboard.

Though I have found lots of lovely images of lovely ladies in fancy dresses and suits.


I’ve also found quite a lot of casually styled photos which have inspired me a lot more.

Source: via Wanett on Pinterest

Source: via Wanett on Pinterest

This slip made into a dress had its appeal at first, but I’ve been pretty set on making shorts for the challenge for a while. I was lucky enough to snag this pattern at the BurdaStyle sewing club meet-up.

Simplicity 3223

It’s from 1950, but the style of the shorts is keeping with 40s style.

I do have this 40s pattern, but I’m not in the mood for fiddling with collars and the pattern is also unprinted. I’m not in the right head space for that either. Steph’s T-shirt to the rescue!

Thanks Meg!