Cursed Fabric Makes Good

The "Palette" Ensemble

The Facts | Pantone Color Palette Challenge
Fabric | Black Stretch Cotton Twill $3.98 a yard and Silk Blend Cotton Lawn $9.98 a yard, from
Patterns | Butterick 3530 (Sorry, Vicki!!! She gave it up at the Sew Weekly NYC meet-up.) and Grainline’s Tiny Pocket Tank
Year | 1960s and 2011
Notions | Thread and a zipper.
Time to complete | About 4 or so. I spent much more time than that fretting over fabric choices and starting projects (a skirt, the bra top from B3530 and this dress that I cut out last week) that didn’t work out. I only took pics today (Monday) because it has been FREEZING in Brooklyn and inside my apartment!
Wear again? | Yes! I really want to make more pants, so these shorts were my wearable muslin to see if they would fit, and they do! I like the top, but it’s very delicate, so I’m not sure how well its exposed serged seams will hold up.
Total price | About $25 if you take into account the fact that I wasted the additional yardage of both fabrics on previous projects.

More Pics Here

OY! Last week’s sewing was a bitch!! I eagerly began working on the dress I cut out in a beautiful blue cotton sateen the previous week. After making one zillion darts (or 10, 6 of them in the front bodice alone) I realized that the width I added to the pattern was unecessary. In fact, I could have made the pattern smaller and had much better luck with the fit. Apparently, my back is much narrower than I thought. I’m beginning to think that I am cursed to never make a good project in navy blue cotton sateen!! This has to be the third time I’ve bought a ton on sale and ended up with nothing wearable to show for it.

I had also cut out a skirt in the only orange fabric I had on hand. This was before (you can see it in the background of my pre Frida pics) the Pantone challenge was rescheduled to make way for the St. Pat’s challenge. That worked out in my favor as I LOVE the dress I ended up with. The skirt probably would have fit, but I am not a huge fan of orange and the fabric was sort of thin-ish, so I knew that I might work on the skirt and never wear it. That seemed like a fairly pointless project. So, I used the pieces to cut out the lining for the bra top from Butterick 3530. I used the absolute last of that black twill for the outer. It is simple enough to construct, but unless I wanted pointy dart nipples, it was not going to work.


The "Palette" Ensemble

For all of my effort I eventually ended up with the two pieces you see here. There were problems with that silk/lawn fabric, too. I failed to make a Sorbetto with it before. Making darts, hems, applying bias tape. ALL of it was a nightmare in this fabric. I cut out this Tiny Pocket Tank months ago and it has sat in the closet since. This time, I didn’t bother trying to add the darts, or make french seams, or hems. I finished all the edges, serged that sucker together and called it a day.

The "Palette" Ensemble

The cotton twill was very nice to work with, it has just enough stretch to make fitting a bit easier but it’s also a substantial feeling fabric. I made another pair of shorts with the rest of the yardage. They were also a test fit for a pants pattern. But they did not work out. The fit was weird (I added width then, too) and then I lost weight so now they look really weird.

The "Palette" Ensemble

This pattern is some kind of miracle! (Sorry, again, Vicki!) The pant legs are cut in one flat piece, with side (my thumb is at the bottom), front and back darts of varying widths. I tried to judge the fit by laying store-bought skinnies over the pattern. I added a tiny bit of width to the upper part,

used a stretch fabric and held my breath. What a pay off! They could use some tweaking (the back gaps a teeny bit, there is some whiskering at the front) but it’s not too bad, I think. I always use another layer of stretchy fabric, rather than interfacing, when I sew with stretch fabric. Interfacing kills all of the give. Look! It’s the failed skirt’s orange, fabric. lol!

Anyway, all of the challenges can’t be a breeze. They would cease to be challenges, wouldn’t they? I managed to get my school work done, despite the time suck that was sewing, this week. I finally completed something with that silk/lawn. I feel confident about making pants from this pattern. I like the shorts. AND, they look great with the top I made for the button challenge!

The "Palette" Ensemble

I still feel like a success ;D

PS- I am barefoot in all of these pictures. I like these shoes.
The "Palette" Ensemble
But I’m not sure about them. My conscience wouldn’t let me wear them for the pics when I might take them back. My dusty, fabric scarp and thread covered sewing room floor had nothing at all to do with that decision….


Grandma’s Sewing Box

Grandma's Sewing Box

This was my paternal grandmother’s. She gave it to me on Saturday. Actually, she’d given it to me before then, but my dad took us (me and the kids) home Saturday so I didn’t have to lug it (and us) on the bus.

I’ve already put my thread inside. I would never have guessed I had this many. I just bought a spool of blue and had a new one in my thread tin already.
With my thread inside

She had a MESS of zippers inside.
A Mess of Zippers, Literally

Some buttons.


And some seriously COOL buttons!
Cool Ass Buttons!

Cool Ass Buttons!

Cool Ass Buttons!

I wish there were more. They might work for these jackets, though.

Simplicty 4799

Vogue 1128

Thanks for the anniversary wishes!!

We spent the day in with the kiddies, but we have a movie date to see the Hunger Games tomorrow ;o)

Magic Trick

Somehow, don’t ask me to explain it, I magically ended up with these new (and new to me) patterns. I couldn’t have purchased them, because I had given myself a firm lecture on how I had more than enough to get me through one sewist’s lifetime. I was very convincing and thus put aside all pattern wanty-ness for the greater good of my pocketbook.

Yet… they are.
Butterick 5601


Mcall's 6403


McCall's 6440


Vogue 1247


These three are for my aspiring fashion designer to work on her sewing skills over the course of the year.

McCall's 6159


Butterick 4722


Butterick 3233


Simplicity 6685


Simplicity 8916


Simplicity 5383

This one had a gem hiding inside.

Receipt 1964

The original receipt of purchase!!

1964 pattern, fabric and notions receipt
I found this undated one first and thought how nice it would be if had more information.

When I pulled the pattern all the way, the other one was inside!! The vintage ones are all from my favorite etsy seller, File Cutter. Tony, the owner, is always so nice and ships SO fast. Visiting the shop to get the link just now I spotted even more lovelies there. It’s dangerous browsing there.

You’ve been warned.

The “Petite Holloway” Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

It’s Mad Men Week over at the Sew Weekly. I think I’ve mentioned that I don’t watch Mad Men often enough to skip right over the reason (or more accurately, the lack of reason) why. It’s also safe to say that you’d have to be dead not to notice the buzz about the show’s wardrobe and style in general. I know that the characters are an indelible part of pop culture, now.

I also know that of every female on that show, Joan is the one most watch. I’ve seen enough sewing blog posts about Joan and her alter ego, Christina Hendricks, to know something of what made her style, her style. I still hit Google, Flickr and Pinterest looking for images. Two things were immediately obvious: Joan’s style is always about FIT and usually filled with SOLIDS. FIT & SOLIDS. ALL. CAPS. I was drawn to this look in particular.

It was also immediately obvious that there are women who are blessed to share Joan’s Cocoa Cola bottle shape, and that I was not one of them. The good thing is, you don’t need that shape to go with fit and solids. I thought I could do a look that was Joan-lite or…Petite Holloway (!) and be happy with that. I cut out a dress and there it sat. Then, I saw this image on a blog that I read. I wanted separates. So, at the last minute, I winged a top, cut out a skirt and drafted a high waistband for it. And then, they sat. My get up and go, had got up and gone.

Today (Monday), I forced myself to get to work. There are some things that are a bit misaligned and I made my waistband too big and did a quick fix rather than make another. Regardless, I am soooo pleased with the result!

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The "Petite Holloway" Ensemble

The Facts | Mad Men Challenge
Fabric | Teal Wool Crepe :: $9.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Navy Stretch Rayon Jersey :: $4.98 a yard :: less than one yard used. Bronze poly something or other for the lining. I think it was in the $1.95 a yard section. All fabrics were purchased from my beloved,
Patterns | Simplicity 9823 with a swayback adjustment, a true TNT pattern now. I cut the top without a pattern based on the line drawing of this top.
Year | Current, I think, despite the old pattern and style that I’m trying to emulate.
Notions | Thread, a zipper and interfacing for the waistband.
Time to complete | About 4 or 5 hours. This is the first time I added a lining to a skirt, there was a bit of a learning curve.
First worn | While snapping flicks in my living room.
Wear again? Yes! But not on a chocolate craving week, if you know what I mean ;o) That waistband is a bit uncomfy right at this moment.
Total price | About $20 or so with the percentage off the fabric. I’m pretty sure that pattern was $1 when I bought it about 7 or 8 years ago, when I first decided to sew my own clothes. I bought a ton and I couldn’t follow even one. What a long way I’ve come!

PS- I wasn’t ready in time for my photographer (hubby aka the Oracle) to take my pics this week :p

More pics here