Friday, February 24, 2012

Am I Mad?

While catching up on the Wardrobe Basics sewalong (despite my recent and hopefully shortlived non-participation Oh how I'm craving some time at the sewing machine!!) on Lori's Website, I stumbled across Julia Bobbin and her Mad Men Dress sewalong.  Oh LOVE!    I need a LBD for my Wardrobe Basics sewalong, and I LOVE the clothing on Mad Men, so it's a perfect fit for me.  I have a lot of patterns already, and could really use one I already have, but I also enjoy supporting our economy and will probably purchase a new one.  LOL

I'd have to say in this photo, Betty Draper's brocade dress is my favourite.

Overall though, I have to say my favourite clothes are worn by the character Joan Holloway.  Va-va-va-voom!  I particularly like the blue dress she is wearing in the photo above.

Here are a few possibilities I'm mulling over:

Vintage Vogue 8687 - love the seaming and neckline detail on the dress

Vintage Vogue 2787 - While I haven't seen a photograph or an episode with a character wearing something like this dress, I absolutely love it.


New Look 6968 - a classic, and one I could use as a starting point for many of Joan's dresses.

McCalls 6394 - I love the seaming on this one
McCalls 2401 - lots of options with this one, necklines, sleeves...
McCalls 5927 - I like the pocket and pleat detail on this one


Butterick 5602 - I love the contrasting colour detail

Butterick 5277 - particularly the view with the fantastic collar!


Some more inspiration - Michael Kors, Fall 2008 (I heart Michael's designs!)
Michael kors - fall 2008
Off to watch an episode while folding laundry!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I think I jinxed myself with my last post.  Planning...yes, while I love to plan, life just simply isn't letting me go the route I had planned to go.  Last week was a right off for me, both in my personal life and work life.  And take this week as another example.  Instead of being on vacation, enjoying the outdoors and skiing with my girls, I am playing nursemaid to my youngest daughter who is home for reading week.  After a dentist appointment on Tuesday (my first day with her), she was scheduled for emergency surgery to remove her wisdom teeth on Wednesday.  Kinda puts a kibosh on the skiing and everything else we had planned to do!  Le sigh.  Well, I guess it is better that she was home for this episode instead of being half a continent away.

I haven't done much in the way of sewing lately.  When I get home, I'm simply exhausted.  That and I skied ALL last weekend (Friday night, Saturday and Sunday).   Thankfully I've been on holidays this week.  I have done some knitting though (mostly waiting for appointments and surgery), but alas, no pictures.  I finished the Franken Circle Socks, now known as Plain Vanilla version X.0 (I have no idea how many vanilla socks I've made at this point!), and I've started Wendy Johnson's Mock Cable Socks for a friend.  I'm using Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Timber Tweed.  Rav'elled Here  I'm really enjoying these as a diversion, and I've taught myself how to cable without a cable needle (a little stressful at times, but once you get the hang of it, it works really well!).

Today, instead of skiing, I'll be shopping and hopefully making some jewelry when we get home!  I'm also hoping to catch up with the Wardrobe SAL, as I've been sadly neglecting the progress of my sewing friends too!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I am a Planner. With a Capital P.

I am a planner by nature.  I love lists.  I love setting goals for myself, working through the items and the satisfaction of striking the items off.  I noticed the other day while I was in my local Fabricland that there was a plethora of lovely linens in gorgeous spring colours. And NO, Mom and kids, I did not buy any!  The spring fabrics (and recent unseasonably warm weather) got me to thinking.  My spring and summer casual wardrobe is in a very sad state of affairs.

I was browsing through my collection of Loes Hinse's newsletters and online seminars earlier this week one night when I was WAY too tired to even think of sitting down at the sewing machine.  One in particular caught my eye - Possibilities, The Trip.  In this seminar, Loes outlines a travel wardrobe which includes the following items:

  • 4 pairs of pants
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 tunic
  • 1 cardigan/jacket
  • 6 tank tops
  • 1 top
  • a variety of accessories including scarves, wraps, necklaces, shoes and purses

I don't necessarily need 6 new tank tops (though they are SO quick to sew), so I am thinking of substituting a few tops instead.  My colours will be brown, tan, and cream with accents of olive green, nutmeg, coral and cinnamon.

My plan for my new spring/summer wardrobe is this:

  1. Brown linen Oxfords
  2. Tan linen Euros
  3. Cream linen Oxfords (maybe with a drawstring waist)
  4. Olive linen cropped Oxfords
  5. Tan linen sarong skirt, short version
  6. Cream linen Casablanca top
  7. Brown sweater knit Garbo Jacket, cardiganized
  8. Tan linen Biarritz Jacket
  9. Brown knit tank (sewn last summer)
  10. Cream lace tank (sewn last summer)
  11. Brown lace tank (sewn last summer)
  12. Cream linen Sicilian Tank
  13. Nutmeg print Perfect Tee (sewn last summer)
  14. Olive print Perfect Tee
  15. Brown print Perfect Tee
Of course, I'm going to need some new shoes - in particular espadrilles and wedged sandals.  I'm hoping to make some fun and funky jewelry, think chunks of coral, polished stone and wood.  And while I have plenty of scarves and wraps, most of them are more suited to cooler weather.  I think a few new scarves and wraps in lovely open weaves or lace are necessary as well.

The list looks a little daunting, but the majority of these patterns are TNT, and I can whip them together in no time.  My plan is to keep working away at the Wardrobe Basics sewalong items - because I need those now, but when the "will-this-winter-never-end" doldrums hit I have something to pull out and help me look forward to spring.
I have some actual sewing to report too - I finished this:

the top from Vogue 2989 (OOP). 
I made it out of the same camel ponte de roma that I used for the camel skirt from the same pattern. Note:  I previously reported the skirt was from Vogue 1020, which although I cut out a number of items from that pattern, is incorrect.  My apologies.  I'll have to go back and correct the previous post.    The collar is a little wonky and I think it has something to do with the interfacing I used, but I can live with it.  I like how the top and the skirt look together.  I particularly like the neckline - a perfect frame for a gorgeous necklace.  The colour camel by my face really isn't my favourite, but with the right jewelry and accessories, I can make it work.  I think this colour will transition nicely into my planned spring wardrobe too.

Anyone else thinking spring?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wardrobe Sewalong Update

Yes, I know it!  I am a MASTER with the words today <smiling>

It was a good weekend.  I visited our local Winterfest with my daughter on Saturday (though we are currently experiencing the "Winter that Wasn't."), after which we had lunch downtown with her BF at our favourite Irish pub.  And I also got to spend some time in the sewing room!

My first and unpublished and unphotographed project on Saturday was to draft and sew two long sleeved (with thumbholes) undershirts for my friend's daughters to wear during their ski lessons.  To do this, I used Jalie 2005, view A.  

*I just have to insert a little commercial here* I LOVE Jalie patterns.  They fit SO well, and they have about a ZILLION sizes in one pattern envelope.  I used the same pattern that I have sewed for myself in the past.  *end of commercial*   

I added length to the sleeves to make the finished length about an inch longer than they really should be.  I also "skewed" the sleeve seam towards the thumbhole.  I'll edit this post to add a picture of the redrafted sleeve pattern so you can see what I mean.  I would try to explain, but my words not not working out too well today.  Ahem...Anyways...I also raised the front neckline by about 1-1/2" and added a mock turtleneck with self fabric.  I hear the shirts fit great and the girls (ages 6 and 4) are really pleased with them.  I am waiting for a picture and will post it as soon as I can.

With that  project completed, I worked on this, my version of the White Button Shirt (#3 on the Basic Wardrobe Sewalong List).  I do have to say that despite my earlier reservations about the collar and handstitching, it turned out okay.  I'm still on the hunt for another method of doing this, but in the meantime, here's the shirt/blouse:

Butterick 5526, view B.


I believe the fabric is probably a polyester of some type, but it feels really silky, with a matte finish.  It is actually more of a winter white or cream colour, which makes me look MUCH better than pure white.  I cut as is from the pattern in a size 12.  Next time I may add a small FBA (I'm a C/D cup), but I do like my shirts quite fitted, and I think there was ample ease in this pattern to begin with.  I also added 2" to the length of the sleeves. I can't say it is completely finished, but I'm stopping at Fabricland tonight on my way home for buttons.

I then moved onto this, my camel skirt on the previously unnoticed "tilt-y" dressmakers dummy (#5 on aforementioned Basic Wardrobe Sewalong list) :

which was made using OOP Vogue 1020 Edited to Correct - OOP Vogue 2989 and camel medium weight ponte de roma.  While the pattern is OOP, you can still purchase it at

(*not this one, though you can purchase it at Vogue Patterns still too)V1020
It's this one - 
I really like the pleated detail in the skirt, which I think gives it a little pizzazz.  And EASY!!  Elastic waist, machine finished narrow hem, and side seams done with the serger!  I think it took me all of an hour of actual sewing time.  And it feels lovely!

During my marathon cutting session a few weekends ago I also cut out the dress, the top and the jacket in varying colours of ponte de roma, so you'll be seeing a few more of these pieces at some point in the near future.

Up next, #1 on the list - Slim Black Pants (aka Ponte Pants).  Believe it or not, I've located my black ponte de roma - sitting right on top of the to be sewn pile.  I *love* it when I'm organized <wink>

I've decided on the pants from Christine Jonson's Travel Trio One.
Travel Trio One - 1204

I like the seaming detail, as well as the waist treatment.  This is not a TNT pattern, actually, I've never used it before, but have had good success with Christine's patterns in the past so I'll take the plunge on this one.  I think I may actually have enough black ponte de roma in the event the first pair doesn't turn out quite like I want.  Now if only I was so organized that I could put my hands on the pattern easily...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Already??

I can not believe how quickly January flew by!

Before I get into the wardrobe sew along, I really should revisit my January goals:

1.  Cream Cardigan - Simplicity 2603 (already cut)  Finished!
2.  Fix orange/brown herringbone skirt Finished!
3.  Cut and sew one dress (so many to chose from I'm having a hard time narrowing it down!) Finished!
4.  Cut and sew a cream silky shirt or blouse  - In progress!  I've chosen Butterick 5226, view B.  The body is finished, with the exception of handstitching the undercollar band closed. Have I mentioned before how much I hate this method?  Anyway...

Hooray!  I am SO close to finishing the goals I set for myself for sewing!  Well done Me!

KNITTING: (um...yeah...again!)
1.  Finish Circle Socks
2.  Start Gap-Tastic Cowl #2 sewing certainly took precedence this month.  Though, last night I did rip back the Circle Socks and have decided to make them Plain Vanilla Socks.  If I'm too tired to sew, I am definitely too tired to knit a pattern, so Plain Vanilla they will be.  Besides, there is lots of interest in the yarn.  They really don't need pattern.  Yes, I'm justifying my decision to be lazy to myself.  LOL.

Ok...onto the good stuff!  The Wardrobe Basics Sew Along!


So...update on What I've Sewn so far:  NADA!  ZILCH!  ZERO!  NOTHING!  I've done absolutely no sewing in the past week.  But I've done a lot of thinking and a lot of researching.  Thank you, thank you to Lori for her post on the planning for the Faux Fur Vest, because it cued me to head over to to purchase this:

My faux fur for my vest!  Sometimes I hate shopping online.  I love being able to touch and see it in person before making my decision to purchase it.  I have had the unfortunate experience of being hit and miss with before.  Of course, I only have myself to blame, being sucked into chea pricing!  I only hope it isn't cheap (tawdry) looking, because it was *cheap* (inexpensive).  I bought enough to make myself a coat as well because it was cheap (inexpensive).  If it is cheap (tawdry) then I can always make a throw out of it (as opposed to throw it out LOL).  Cheep Cheep!  I digress...

The problem being in this case that I have been SCOURING my local fabric stores and the amount of faux fur in leopard print is ZERO!  So, I crossed my fingers and went ahead and hit the magic "Purchase" button.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

As far as patterns go, for the vest, I'm thinking of using the modification to the Loes Hinse Garbo Jacket that she had detailed in one of her recent newsletters. Sorry, I'm still at work and can't for the life of me figure out which newsletter it was in.  I'd have to say one of the ones in the past year??  I may raise the neckline a little.  But then again, maybe I won't.

Loes Hinse Garbo Jacket
For the coat, I may blatantly copy Erica Bunker's version seen here.  She used Vogue 1128.  I already have the pattern, and I love the way hers turned out.  Hope that's okay with you, Erica!  As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!  


As for February Goals, I have a few...


1.  Finish Cream Blouse
2.  Cut and sew black slim ponte pants
3.  Cut and sew faux fur vest (this all depends on how the shipping time goes, sometimes from the States to Canada can take a little longer than anticipated!)
4.  I have one rather large cushion cover to make for a friend, and I WANT to get it done!
5.  I also have two under-layer shirts to make for said friend's daughters, specifically with thumb holes for skiing.  I have started researching the best method for the thumb hole, and now just need to search through my patterns!


1.  Finish Circle socks.Plain Vanilla Socks.

There you have it.  Happy February!!