Maravilloso Malvarosa

This one was a nail biter….
Would I like that chic drop waist look on me?

The smile says

HELL YES!!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaI really, really love this dress!!!! It’s so comfy I’m still wearing it while writing this. And I hate wearing outside clothes, inside my home! I’m so pleased with the fit. I tried sewing this shape before, using a vintage pattern in my stash. It was a disaster! I forced myself to size up from what I would have normally gravitated to, with the thought (from the last experience) that loose would definitely be better than tight. I traced size 36 and made it up exactly as is.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I did struggle with the facings, which I ALWAYS DO. SIGH. I was hesitant to switch to bias bindings, which I have more success with, as I was unsure of how it would work with the unique (and SOOOOO cool) sleeve shaping. Plus, I think the slight bulk of the facings gives the sleeves structure that binding wouldn’t. I did leave off the pockets. I never put things in dress pockets and I hate when they sit open.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Full disclosure: I also worried about things lining up properly with all that gathering. I really suck at even gathers. But I rocked it this time!! This is the perfect amount of fullness. I don’t feel swamped, just flow-y!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

I serged all of the seams and the edges of the facings and along the hem which I handstiched. I just couldn’t put any top stitching on this beautiful blank, linen canvas! I think this is the first time I’ve sewn with it and it most definitely won’t be the last.

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso MalvarosaWorking with it has been a real lesson in fabric selection. This is heavier than what I would have chosen if I saw it in person. It was gifted to me by the folks at Britex, so I only saw it online. It was also very stiff prior to pre washing it. That wrinkly, post wash texture was so pleasant, though. And, as you can see, it sewed up perfectly!

Great pattern. Great color. Great drape. Great dress!!

Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa

Obligatory swishy shot 😉
Sewing Indie Month: Maravilloso Malvarosa>

Feeling All Grateful

Hey, all!!

I experienced a bit of a setback on Wednesday when I woke up feeling ill. I only got worse once I arrived at work. Let’s just say….I’ve totally accomplished puking in front of my coworkers so I can keep one space cleared on the ole goals list. 😦

Anyway, I rallied and stayed the rest of the day and after a long nap and two pain killers for my headache when I got home, I felt good as new and able to get started on my fall feast dishes. We did things small, as I had to work on Friday, too. But, we ate well and all felt happy. That’s the whole point, right?

Annnndddd…to ensure that a good time was had, by me at least, I ordered some patterns!! Never mind that  I am  was on a diet.
Look at what I got!

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Coppélia

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& Bellatrix  Bellatrix2side_large  From

Robe et Blouse VIVIANE

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& Gilbert SONY DSCBut, I’m most excited about this one from

logo-1The Honeycrisp Mittens!!

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Dudes, I’m excited about all of my new patterns, but those mittens? I have THEE coldest hands in the world! I have yet to find gloves that keep them warm in winter. I am so stupid excited to make some that will do the job AND have the ability to use my phone without taking them off! Mari is a genius!! I’m just waiting on my conductive fabric. While I fight the urge to order 20% discounted fabric from Mood!

I hope all of you had a great, love filled weekend.

I’ll be spending these last moments of mine with my loves, some yummy Britex fabric and Built By Wendy.

Put a Turban on It

I just came across this cute little video over on the Britex blog.

I think the narrator has got the right idea. Spending money is DEAD easy! Lol

I’m trying to get into a groove with my last big spender purchase, my Singer 360 knitting machine, and I keep hitting a wall. It stalled my progress, and will to work with it, until one of the coolest ladies on the interwebs sent me a box of wool-y love.
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Which, of course, made me want to leap right back in the saddle!! And I did.

BUT the same damn thing happened again!! Whenever I swatch or just play around to get the feel of the machine, I’m fine. As soon as I approach the thing with calculations for a project DISASTER!!! It is so fucking frustrating!! As is realizing that more accessories are needed to really do the damn thing the right way. Namely a swift and ball winder. And a blocking board. And a table that is not my sewing table to mount the machine on.

That all will have to wait a while. As there are more class party and fall feast cakes to bake. I also promised my little son a turkey, his brother all the fried chicken he could eat and the girls dance classes. The life of a parent. I embrace it 😉 I’ll find my knitting groove in time.

Until then, I vow to get right back at it…

First thing tomorrow.

Now, I’m going to sleep off too much interaction with too many 1st graders and massive amounts of chocolate cake.

What are you doing this weekend?

The Hollywood Vest

For this, my second Britex project, I got to work with one of my FAVORITE fabrics (again!!):

WOOL!!!

The Hollywood Vest
After using that scrumptious plaid for my last project, The Woodland Stroll Cape, I wanted to KISS (keep it simple, Seamstress!!) the next effort. When keeping it simple, you need to start with the best quality materials. This incredibly soft, drape-y, lush crème colored wool more than answered. It’s highly textured on one side, smooth on the other and when combined with By Hand London’s Victoria Blazer pattern you have the main ingredients to create your own version of the perfect, Monroe inspired:

Hollywood Vest!
MarilynThere will never be another Marilyn. BUT! With a few (VERY few) pattern tweaks, you (WE!) can have her vest!
The Hollywood Vest

It took one muslin.

muslins(left: seam allowance turned under. right: an additional 5/8 inch turned under)

And two sets of pattern mods.

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And BOOM!! Here she is!
The Hollywood Vest

The Hollywood Vest

For deets on how I did it, visit Britex!!!

PS: Thanks to hubby for these pics (more here)!!

This was the project that had all the blurry photos. The second photo shoot was a tiny bit stressful because I was WRONG about my deadline (missed it) and unsure how the second crop of pics would. If any of you have the goods, please share your tips on maintaining image resolution when resizing pics!

The Hollywood Vest

Draping: The Complete Course

You all know the drill by now, right? The awesome people at Laurence King Publishing asked if I wanted to review Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel. Little ole me stumbled into their path when they hosted a pop-up event at Britex and they peeped at their blog. Check the amazing hair on the adorable Karolyn! And can you spot the beautiful Laura Mae?

Britex & Laurence King Pop-Up EventI took about .6 seconds to think it over and replied YES, of course I do!  It was the perfect time as I was already up to my eyeballs in draped projects. But those are cheater makes when it comes to the REAL Drape!

This amazing (HEAVY! Seriously. You could use it to weight train.) book comes with a DVD.

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I have to admit, for some unknowable reason, I was expecting a VHS tape! Can you believe it?!?! WHAT was I thinking! lol

I might have been a little tired when I arrived home from work and my hubby told me that a heavy package was waiting for me. This was, literally, 2 days after I got the email from the good peeps at LK, so I wasn’t hopeful that I’d find a book inside. But I DID!! So, excuse my Dumb & Dumber moment. K? Thanx!

Though I didn’t have to try a project from the book to sing its praises, I really, really wanted to. But, everything in my life conspired against finding the time to do so. It’s New York Archives Week and my duties as the Dir. of Communications for A.R.T. have kept me SUPER busy. Things have reached maintenance mode, so I could chill (only a bit!) for a minute. That meant that today was the day.

I didn’t even let this jam packed, suggested tool-kit page stop me.
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel
Seeing this page had the same effect as waving a red flag in front of a bull!!

BUY ALL THE SUPPLIES!!

But, that would have meant taking a trip and I wanted to dig in, NOW. I forged ahead with my minimalist tool-kit. And for good measure, skipped right over to:
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

My dress form (which used to reside in Kalkatroona with Ms. Oona) is lacking in the lower pear area. So I thought this swing-y dress was the perfect place to start.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I pulled out my iron, put on a movie and got to work.
Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

Sheared off bits!

This was after trim and pin session one.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I took Karolyn’s advice to heart when she states: “Check hem, armhole, and neckline shape for attitude.” I have been reading tons of Jane Austen and the “attitude” in which one stands, sits, dances, responds to a query is everything. So I was all over checking the attitude of my work!

Turns out, I didn’t like it. I gave the side seam a second trim. And found that I liked the look of it better.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

I grabbed some hem tape to stand for in for sticky tape and marked the neckline and armhole.

Draping: The Complete Course by Karolyn Kissel

And then marked up the muslin.

Draping:

Next stop, pattern pieces baby!!

Urban Stroll Cape

After I stopped squealing and jumping around when the good peeps at Britex asked me to join their team, I zoned in on the project I wanted to start with. Almost immediately the word

*CAPE!!

(yes, all caps with !!!!) came to mind.110Because cape wearing, to my way of thinking, is for women with a certain flair. A certain sense of style. A certain je ne sais quoi! Therefore, I did not feel like cape wearing was for me. But, through sewing for myself, and blogging all about it, I became a part of a super supportive community: The Sewing Blogisphere. With the help of these virtual (and real-life) friends my feelings about beauty and talent and style began to change. As those feelings changed, so did the way I viewed myself. I slowly came into my own style. Accepted, and appreciated, my own looks and figure. Got much better at choosing and making things the flatter me. And made the kind of friends that tell you, without hesitation, how great they think you are.

Amazing!!

Also amazing, this *Liesl + Co. pattern!!

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It appealed to me for many reasons. One: it looks amazing on Liesl!! Two: the equation {simple to make = fabulous result} is not always a given. With this pattern I thought I’d have the best of both worlds. Three: thing one + thing two = perfect intro into outerwear. Four: It’s perfect with both dressy and casual outfits. That’s a major one for this tee, jeans and sneakers lover.

IMG_9019You might have noticed that my version is a little different than the pattern image. I didn’t think those curved hems would work well with the curvy area of my body they’d line up with. I also left off the buttons. During one of my (many) try-on-and-twirl-in-the-mirror sessions I began to realize that I loved the look, as is. Simple. So, I swapped out buttons and buttonholes for covered, sew on snaps. I also went with the largest size. I wanted draaaaape!

This wool is PERFECT for drapey-ness.

And it is, easily, the most beautiful wool I’ve ever held in my hot little hands!!

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I had to leave the male side of the snap plain. Covering both sides made them sit too high.

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Isn’t the lining perfect! I loooove the color!

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And my new Chelsea Crew shoes!IMG_8962

Ahem, back to the cape….I also left off the side buttons, opting instead to add about one inch of stitches, straight through both layers, to hold the sides together.

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Now the front is as sleek as the back.

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Overall, this project was a JOY to work on!! It’s SO easy that I’ve promised my sister one. And I never sew for others. It’s so easy to wear and make but still makes a statement!! Even for novice cape wearers. Seriously, I’ve worn it everyday since I completed it. I SO need a plain black one. And a boldly colored one. And one for my little girl. And maybe the big girl, too

😉

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*Amanda guessed that I was making a cape and Lizzy guessed which pattern!! Maybe we’ll be a little mini army of cape wearers, soon!! Get a feel for how fierce they’ll look in this post.

HOT posing, ladies!

GIVEAWAY CLOSED: Guess That Pattern!!

Hello, again!!

I realized that I forgot the best part of a guessing game,

prizes!!!

So, I’ll be giving away two patterns, one to Amanda who guessed which type of oterwear correctly.

It’s a CAPE!!

The other pattern will go to the person (and if more than one, a randomly selected person from that pool) who can guess which pattern it is.

Here’s a photo I posted on instagram while I was tryng to decide on the final finishing.

Britex Fabrics Project #1

I’m so excited to show you the final product!!

EDITED TO ADD:

Lizzy got it right!