Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cape-along-ing. Longing for a Cape?

Recently, I joined the Great Cape Along over at the Monthly Stitch. I'd been looking for something cool like that to do online, and I do love a cape.

Of course, I don't actually need one, having made one a couple of years ago from Burda Pattern 7619 in a beautiful blue plaid wool I scored from Mood Fabrics. A Carolina Herrara fabric and it's still there.

It has a beautiful navy blue satin lining (from either Mood or Fabric Mart) and some silver buttons that I may have lucked out on at Joann's, but probably came from a yarn store somewhere.

But, it occurs to me that I probably need a Sherlock cape coat. You know, the type that is a coat with a little shoulder cape.

Papercut patterns down under in New Zealand has something really cute and I have some cotton velveteen that I think will suit perfectly. It's supposed to be a chocolate brown, but is more of a mauve-y dark taupe. I made up a mood board over at Pinterest.

I really like the old Vogue pattern--so witchy!  I found the image just the other day. I found the image of the green plaid one a few years ago--it looks like it is made from the Vogue pattern doesn't it? I love these little instances of coming-together!

Right now my plan is to add a shoulder cape to a double-breasted jacket pattern I already have, dye (urp!) the cotton velveteen, find some lining and go from there. But, if I can get my hands on that Vogue cape pattern, plans will change!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Blog roll, please!

This is just a short, image-free post because I have added a blogroll of the sewing and style blogs I follow. I think I put a knitting blog in the mix as well.

It really bugs me when bloggers don't put up a blog roll of some sort. I won't follow a blog that doesn't try to promote others this way. I am Judgey McJudgepants about it.

I look for a few things in a blog; decent frequency, a style that I can get behind, authenticity, and lots of pics (which this post is definitely lacking). If it is a sewing blog, then some good information about the topic. Oh, and a world view that includes...the world. That goes beyond the blogger somehow.

So on the right hand side is a list of blogs I enjoy and admire for a variety of reasons. If you have any favorites, let's hear about 'em!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A few current Projects

I always have at least one sewing project going, oftentimes several. More if you don't count the ones that don't count anyway like the green Art Deco frumpola thing I started last summer. Or the corduroy corset I started, oh, three-ish years ago (no pics at the moment.)

   Last fall I bought a piece of very drapey blue knit from Mood Fabrics--I think. Could've been Fabric Mart. The color is great but it was thinner than I anticipated.

The variegated side is the right side but the white really washes away the blue which is a gorgeous cerulean color. And the edges roll up in an almost unmanageable way.

But I am clever! I get ideas! There is a madness to my method! (Of this I was informed last night.) And my mad, clever idea was spray starch. I love spray starch, so I dug it out of its cobwebby corner of the laundry and used it to flatten the raw edges of the fabric. It worked like a mad dream.

I found a pattern in one of my Burda magazines (I should organize those onto Pinterest somehow) with a draped cowl neckline. This fabric is just screaming to be made into something with a cowl neck.

Burda 10/2012 118B
We were in Boston in September and I picked up the October Burda at this kiosk in Harvard Square. It's in French. I do okay with my French and I do okay with figuring out how a 5-pattern-piece garment goes together, but I did not manage to figure out that there are supposed to be little tiny zippers in the sleeves until just now when I went searching for this image. Oh, well, the fabric is too light for that anyway.

It's almost finished, it just needs the sleeves attached and the hem (l'ourlet in French) stitched up.

But I put it aside along with the corset and green thing (and a few others that don't really count) because it has really been too hot to contemplate long sleeves.

I dug out a piece of black cotton jersey, medium-to-heavy weight, that I bought to make some t-shirts with. Of course, I already have about four black t-shirts, so I decided on something more fashionable: A maxi-dress.

The one pictured on the bottom of the envelope has a kind of cross-over halter top. I never wore halter tops until a couple of years ago when I discovered multi-way bras. Now I want some halter tops.

Unfortunately, I only have a yard and a half of this stuff. It's wide, but not that wide. Fortunately, I have a plan B.

Vogue 8379
I love a wrap dress, and I NEED a nice, plain, comfortable wrap dress. But a mere yard and a half won't cut it for this one either. 

Renfrew for T-shirts
Plan C is more t-shirts. I haven't tried this pattern out yet and I also have a Hot Patterns t-shirt pattern that I think would be a good one. But I really don't want to clutter up the dresser with more black shirts.

So I'm going onto Plan D; a maxi skirt. I am just going to use the skirt portion of the Simplicity maxi-dress pattern, add a waistband, maybe stick some elastic in there, maybe a nice high slit. We'll see. It's on the cutting table and I'm excited.

Well, that's all for now, dear readers. (I should say 'dear reader' because I am sure the only one is the friend who asked me to send her the link to my blog).

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Style and wardrobe rubric

I have decided that as I try and mange my wardrobe (see previous post's book recommendations) I am going to apply this simple rubric (that's a schmancy bit of jargon of the edumacation trade); Would I wear it in Paris? I did not make this up, I found it in my wanderings of the web and style blogs. But I don't remember where exactly.

Simple though this little test is, it has already proved problematic.  I don't really know what to do with this.

The fabric is so beautiful. It's this fine cotton voile with an interesting Art Deco print, and the lining is a soft, drapey ecru batiste. I just love the fabric, but...what was I thinking to make a shirt dress?  I was thinking that I was about 20 pounds thinner, I guess. As it is, I'm neither curvy enough nor thin enough for it, and it is both overly sweet and frumpy on me.

It is a McCall's pattern 4769 and I added a neat waist detail kind of on the fly because I think I am too good to read pattern directions these days. (I mean, I learned to sew when I was 9 and now I am 46 so that means---yikes! Never mind.)

It's sort of like a sans-a-belt that pants in the '70's had, except less '70's-ish. I dunno, maybe I will try it on again before I deem it a wadder.

Now, I live in a Very Cold Place which has reached about 80 degrees today. But in 6 short months, it could be well below zero, which means that my simple rubric gains an added layer of troublesomeness. I will have to ask myself, Would I wear this in Paris or outside in the snow? But that's 6 months from now, also known as Never.

Till next time, mes amis:

A little past the Beginning

This spring and summer has seen some cool changes for me. I went back to school with a serious intent twenty-some-odd years after receiving my BA. It is a Continuing Ed course at my local university and should end with me receiving certification to Teach English as a Foreign Language. ESL as it is commonly known. It's incredibly interesting and exciting. I have it in my head that we will live in Paris or Sicily and I will be just like Romy Schneider in "What's New Pussy Cat?" teaching English in Paris and being all stylish!

Well, not JUST like that. Her methods are a bit outdated and, unlike the clothes, they will hopefully not make a comeback.
Less earth shattering, but still interesting is a little book I read back in March or April or sometime called "Lessons from Madame Chic" by Jennifer Scott. I checked it out of my local library and I still owe a few bucks in overdue fines on it. (Honestly, my overdue fines keep that place afloat.) That book inspired me to spend a ton of money on some nice makeup, purge my closet of cami's and t-shirts with little tiny holes in them, and to stand up straight. So I think it was worth the read.
And of course, there have been some health changes around here. And by around here, I mean in my own body. I don't push this stuff on my sweetie pie, the Oaf. But I began to explore an anti-inflammatory diet--juicing, smoothie-ing, and bringing in a LOT more salads and veggies into my every day diet. It seems to be working. A lot of my aches and pains have diminished to almost nothing--not least a certain creaky knee. I mean, the knee is still there thankfully, but it seems to have a better attitude about stairs and long walks than before.
If you find that idea interesting, a couple of good books are Eat to Live and Crazy Sexy Kitchen.
Well, Friends, that's all for now. I wanted to touch on clothing and wardrobe, but in light of teaching and diet it seems so, well, shallow somehow. Next time.

My Little Addiction

Well, one of them anyway. I have lots of little, even tiny, addictions. Many come and go like the New England weather, some slowly build over the months and years. None are dangerous. Really. And altogether, I get to say that I don't have an Addictive Personality. (Really!)

This brings you to one of my boards

Mostly I use it to look at, and re-pin, nice images. I stay away from memes, thinsperation nonsense, and Disney princess stuff. But I do use it for some handy and organizational purposes. I have "Patterns I own" board where I pin the sewing patterns I, well, own.

Also, I just made a "FABLE" board. FABLE= Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy. I am not actually there yet, but I'm on my way. There are also SABLE and BABLE, but those are other blog posts. 

I will sometimes put comments to note what fabric I have used with one of my patterns or try to plan a sewing project. It would be handier to use this way if you could move and re-order the images on a board--maybe someday. There are other sites more useful for this and one day I may migrate some of my stuff. but for now, Pinterest. Ugh.