Monthly Archives: February 2012

Round and round and round she goes…

Brace yourself for a whiny post. I’m resisting, but I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to come out.

I spent a good three or four hours in the sewing room over the weekend, not sewing a single stitch (actually that’s a lie, but anyway).

I was trying to organize my patterns.

Emphasis on trying.

In the last few months my pattern collection has gotten a bit, um, bloated. Bernie’s gift really put it over the top, but seriously, I was in trouble well before that. In particular, I’ve reached the point where I can no longer keep a reasonable mental catalogue of the patterns I have.

Now, in theory I’m prepared for that. I even have a pricey (if somewhat defective) little app on my iPhone for tracking patterns, stash, projects, etc, and I’ve made a half-ass attempt to enter at least the most important patterns into it. I have photos of most of my patterns, somewhere on the computer and somewhere on the blog, so I could potentially make a spreadsheet or database or *something*

The problem is, handy as all that electronic organization might be (and I do much better with electronic organization than with real-life organization), when I’m considering a project, what I really want to do is sit there and dive—through the fabric, of course, but through the patterns, too. Little pictures on a screen (especially a phone-size screen) just aren’t tactile enough. And since I can no longer think “hmm, I’d like to make a dress,” and bring to mind a reasonable list of the dress patterns I have, that means I need to actually sort my physical patterns.

I had started this back in the summer. I got a tall plastic set of drawers for the sewing room, which holds notions in the three top drawers and patterns in the three big bottom drawers. I sorted out the stash of kids’ patterns, too, into a large shoe-box (boot-box, really) and that worked fairly well since when the kids wanted to plan the next project I should make them (eyeroll). But I never made any pretext of sorting the patterns in those three drawers—two held patterns I’d made up, which I generally give a big manilla envelope and, if I’m really organized, print out a photo of the finished project to stick to. This works well because it gives me somewhere to store printed-out patterns, patterns that don’t come with an envelope (like Jalie’s), and holds whatever excess tracings I have, which don’t always fit in the original envelope. But it does take up a lot of space.

So on Saturday, I went through patterns, photographing and adding a whole bunch to my phone app, and beginning the rudiments of sorting. I’m most concerned to sort by type. But I don’t want to lose all my special independent patterns in with the regular ones (currently this is Colette, Sewaholic, and Folkwear. Not sure why I don’t include Jalie in this group…). And then there’s the really old vintage ones (fifties mostly) that I don’t want to get wrecked with too much pawing through. So they need their own place. And I’d really like to keep the jackets and sweaters separate from the other tops. And…

Well, you can see what’s happening. No way are all those categories happening in three drawers (even with dividers), nevermind that the patterns were already overflowing the drawers.

So I co-opted all the shoeboxes I could find, but now I have five shoeboxes kicking around the sewing room floor, which is considerably less than ideal. I can label them, which will help, but they’re still… floating. And in danger of getting stepped on, or buried by fabric.

Which brings me to another issue. The stash is out of control. Or at least, overflowing. I want to sew it down. But the projects in my head keep failing to line up with the fabrics on hand. What is necessary is letting the fabric lead. But how do I pick which fabric? There’s so many luscious and awesome ones to go with. Not to mention all the little bits that I’d like to use up—kids clothes, *something*. I made some of the last remnant of  the Where’s Waldo fabric into another bralette, which was going to be for Tyo but the elastic straps weren’t long enough, so it’s gone to Syo (who’s super happy about it even though I can’t figure out why she would even *want* a bralette), but Tyo still wants one of her own.

And at the crux of it, everything is too messy.

I’m not one of nature’s tidy people. I can generally work just fine surrounded by a complete disaster (and tend to generate such a disaster if one wasn’t present to start with). It’s a constant trial to my husband, whose neat-freak tendencies border on the obsessive. But right now, there isn’t even room to work. Or at least, to work on anything big—hence the bralettes and other mini-projects I’ve been coming out with lately. Add to that the general lack of mental energy to contribute and, well, the situation isn’t quite paralysis, but it’s not far off, either. Can’t clean, too much stuff, it just doesn’t fit in the space. Need to sew it up. Can’t decide what to sew—too much to choose from. Can’t sew anything large—not enough room. Need more room—got to clean up. And round and round I go…

One partial solution would be to buy more organizational stuff—another set of shelves for fabric or drawers for patterns. But with a move on the horizon, I really, really don’t want to add to the furniture in the house, either.

And, just to illustrate the extent of my problem, here’s last week’s thrift store aquisitions (the fabrics and patterns at the local Value Village have recently been reinvigorated after several stagnant months, and I’m relieved to report that the attempt to sell the patterns bagged seems to have lapsed—this last batch were even quite cheap!)

Sweater fabric.

Fabric. I’ve been trying to be good about the thrift store fabrics, only biting when it’s a fabric/colour/quality on “the list”. Both these pieces were. On the left is a very thick sweater-knit with an almost Persian-lamb type texture, in a rich red colour that would be AWESOME… whenever I figure out what kind of a style would work for it.  There’s 2m, so plenty to play with. On the right is a dull purple/grey fleece, also extra-thick. I suspect it will become a housecoat for Syo, although it’s so thick I’m tempted to just get some binding for the edges and call it a blanket.


The patterns are rather more whimsical. I couldn’t resist the Kwik Sew men’s dance wear on the left, even though my husband would probably disown me if I actually made him one (I don’t have a plain men’s tee pattern, though, and this one looks fine if you just lengthen it). I also don’t have any little boys to sew suits for, but cmon—a Vogue little boy’s suit, with single and double breasted options? For less than fifty cents—how could I resist?

The 70s tracksuit in the middle falls into that awkward sizing in between Syo and myself. I currently have sweaters, bunnyhugs, and hoodies on the brain, which may explain why I couldn’t just leave it. The late-70s vibe reminds me so much of things I wore as a small child (I was born in 1980, but grew up in hand-me-downs)… which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but, I dunno. I’m feeling nostalgic, I suppose.

Two-toned printing

It’s also uncut and comes in two sizes, each printed in a different colour. Nifty!

Yup, that was whiny. Sorry. Have a great week!



Filed under Sewing

Another Thank You


Ok, this one’s been a LONG time coming.

You see, way back before Christmas, Bernie, a friend of my mom’s (my mom is my blog pimp) stopped by the blog and left me a comment that her mother had  a bunch of patterns she no longer wanted, and would I be interested.


Hell yeah?

Of course, what with distances and things like that, it made the most sense for her to drop them off at my mom’s. I picked them up over Christmas, and got—well, a little more than I bargained for. 🙂


Aside from the patterns (we’ll get to those), there was a bag of fabric—an assortment of wool tartans, one partially assembled into a kilt) and a bunch of 80s sewing magazines—too new to really feel vintage, but too old to just chuck. Hmm.


The vast majority of the patterns were 80s, as well, and a fair number aren’t in my size range. But, in amidst the dross, there were gems, oh yes. (oh, and do click to see the full-size photo below)

The gems

Isn’t this a cute 50s shirtdress (top right)? Classic. It’s the right size, too—the only issue is that that blousy top and gathered skirt absolutely don’t work on my figure. /sigh. And yes, there’s several simple full-ish skirts in there (one of them twice, now that I look closer… *headdesk*) The Vogue wardrobe pattern (bottom right) I mostly like for the cap-sleeve blouse, by the way. Erm, yeah, basically identical to McCall’s 6288.

But the kicker, oh yes, the one that made my heart go pit-a-pat, was Simplicity 7376. Yeah, I’m a sucker for a sleek 70s suit jacket, but there’s a bit of extra back-story here. I found this exact same Simplicity pattern at Value Village back in the fall, and fell totally in love—and then was crushed to realize it was in a size 20. I nearly bought it anyway, just to look at. But this is so much better—it’s a size 14, a little larger than my usual 12, but much more manageable than the 20!

So thank you very much, Bernie—because that pattern alone totally made my day!


Filed under Sewing

Experimental design

A finished project for me!


… okay, now that we’ve got that out of our systems…



Vintage Patterns

So you may recall that I somewhat wantonly purchased a couple of 50s patterns from New Vintage Lady just before Christmas—a cute dress and a blouse that could’ve been Sencha’s grandmother. Both really adorable, and both a size or two too small.

Well, I was feeling experimental on the weekend (and in the mood for something quick that would use up scrap fabric), and somehow in the digging through of fabric and patterns I settled on this combo: Using the McCall’s 6288 (from 1945, the year my father was born) in combination with the scanty fabric remains from my Birthday Dress.

Despite the size 12 (30″ bust) of my copy of the pattern (I’m more a 14-16 in the old sizing), pattern-measurement suggested there would be enough ease in the bust and even in the waist, especially if I omitted the little tucks from the waist. So, feeling bold, I traced off the pattern and set to.

The best styling (click to see full size)

Careful pattern placement, and a certain amount of fudging, allowed me to fit both sides of the shirt on the .5m or so of actual full-width fabric I had left. I will confess, I did something I have not done, I think, EVER—I fudged the grain-line on the back piece so it would fit. I’m hoping that the fact that it’s a small blouse means the off-grain thing won’t be too noticeable—I certainly don’t notice it, but I’m sure the sewing gods are glaring down in disapproval. In hindsight, I could’ve pieced the fold-over portion of the rear button placket in from the huge LONG, THIN piece of the leftover fabric, but anyway. What’s done is done.

I opted not to be stingy with the interfacing, using it on the neck facings and the rear button placket. Not least because I think it’s a really nice way to finish facings. This is the trick that went ’round the blogosphere a while back, where you stitch interfacing and facings right sides together (right side of the interfacing being the non-fusible side) along the outside edge of the facing, and then flip and fuse them. The seam encloses and finishes the facing edge nicely. This is white Armo-weft, by the way, which is far and away my favourite interfacing—lightweight, fuses well, doesn’t shrink or bubble. I mean, there’s probably better out there, but it’s the best I’ve found from what I have available locally. You do need to use a press-cloth, even though I try to pretend you don’t.


Anyway, at this point I had to break for the night, and took the instructions upstairs to read over before bedtime. Erm. Me being me, they promptly evaporated, and I was left to wing the rest of the construction. A bit of a bummer since half the interest of making up a *really vintage* pattern like this is checking out the instructions. They have since resurfaced, actually just as I sat down to write this post, on the computer desk where they were hiding under my daughter’s laptop. Grr.

So, without benefit of instructions, I set to the next morning, starting with stitching the shoulders (french seam) and then the neck facings into place. I even remembered to stitch the ties in place! Of course, no sooner did I have  everything nicely understitched, but I flipped it around and discovered a) my neck-facing was showing on the outside of my back button placket rather than being sandwiched between the two folded layers (leaving an unsightly raw and flapping edge) and b) the neck was WAY too tight.

Which, I guess, was a good thing, because it motivated me to fix problem (a) before re-stitching.


I lowered the neckline by a good 1.5 cm all around, which has brought it to the point of being just-barely-wearable, although it also means that there’s not much left of my facing.

I then decided I would do french seams on the side-seams, which was also not my brightest moment ever, since they don’t play at all well with the way the sleeve is supposed to be finished. It doesn’t really show when wearing, since the fudge is all tucked in the armpit, but it’s definitely not smooth and sleek. You can see it clearly on the interior photo.


I made the buttonholes using my Greist buttonholer on the White, since I wanted to try the buttonholer on a machine with drop-able feed dogs. I must admit I feel a bit daft using a buttonholer on a zig-zag machine, but anyway. The White is really growing on me as a machine—I wasn’t initially thrilled, but it’s a sturdy workhorse. It took a few samples to get the tension and stitch-width right, but once I had that figured out it made my buttonholes quickly and fairly neatly. It’s the first time I’ve used the buttonholer on such a light-weight material, and it made for a rather different experience. They’re not all perfect, especially the fifth one which I added after and of course messed up, but they’re in and functional. Incidentally, the pattern calls for four buttonholes; the location of the fifth, now that I have the instructions in front of me, calls for a snap, presumably because that would be more comfortable than a button under a waistband.

The pattern also calls for small shoulder-pads. I don’t really mind skipping those. I think I look about as square-shouldered as the envelope girls without them, thanks.

More styling

So, verdict?

Well, it fits remarkably well. The bust is a wee bit tight (especially over a padded bra) but not as bad as I had feared—a pinch test suggests there’s just under 2″ of ease, which is pretty minimal for the bust. The waist fits well, although it would be more interesting with the tucks. The darts are a smidgeon high (like maybe 1 cm) but really not bad at all.

I really wasn’t sold when I first tried it on, but after throwing it together with over half my wardrobe in a shotgun approach to styling, I think it’s growing on me. I really like it with the shrug, I think because I like the brighter colour contrast near my face. The mix of colours in the blouse kinda blends into my skin tone from a distance. I also think it might be great in a more drapy fabric—crepe or rayon or (ulp) silk. For most of my wardrobe needs it’s also a bit short. You’ll notice one way you don’t see it styled here—tucked in. I tried, honestly—with my circle skirts and my Kasia skirt. It almost worked with the Kasia, but the colours are wrong. And, well. Blouses. I have Blouse Issues.

So, all in all, it was a fun experiment. Will I wear it? I’m not convinced—but I’m not quite as skeptical as I was a few days ago, so there may be hope. Especially with my cream capris and the vintage shrug.


Filed under Sewing

A Syo-lytic leotard

I asked for a dance pose.

So I’ve been trying to start sewing down stash. I’ve been positively stingy with the new fabric purchases the last little while (which seems to mostly be resulting in pattern-binging, but that’s another issue). I’ve been avoiding Fabricland like an (insert clever, really annoying thing to avoid here).

However, the other day Syo had a doctor’s appointment across town at a location I wasn’t familiar with, and so I had built in an excessive amount of traffic/getting lost time, and so we arrived in the area with rather more than an hour to kill before her appointment. And I may not know that area well, but I do know where the fabric store is, so in we tromped.

And Syo found the swimsuit fabrics.

And they were having a big 50% off nearly everything sale.

And I’m officially the biggest pushover ever to disgrace mommydom.

So Syo scored a metre of pink, grey, and white leopard- and heart-print spandex. For a new leotard for her dance class.

Now, she is in sore need of a new leotard—the ones she has are mostly two or three sizes too small. But there is a dress code for the class (however poorly enforced) and I’m pretty sure pink leopard print isn’t on it.


Kwik Sew 1670

Bring on Kwik Sew 1670, again. This pattern has previously been used (abused) to create the pattern for Tyo’s close-fitting shirt, and the leggings have been made before, but this is the first time I’ve made the leotard up as such. It’s the first time, frankly, that I’ve sewn with full-on spandex in all its slippery, stretchy glory.

That's more like it.

First off, I will say, a sleeveless leotard is an insanely easy project. Two pattern pieces, no facings, not even any binding. I started tracing the size 8 (a bit large on Syo but the smallest in my packet) at 8:00 and had the whole thing done before 10:00.

Hmm, swayback appears to run in the family

I followed the Kwik Sew instructions remarkably closely, although I don’t know if I’ll do the same next time. They have you measure out elastic lengths, stitch them into circles, and then stretch the circles to fit the various openings (leg, arms, neck). While the elastic lengths were good, I think I do just as well applying in the flat and eyeballing my stretch ratio. I’ll give it a try next time and let you know…

Triple-stitch zig-zag finish

Anyway, I stitched the entire thing on my Janome, as she has the best stretch-stitches—I’ve come to the conclusion (backed by a wee bit of actual research) that my 3-thread serger really isn’t intended for making seams, just finishing them. I’m not supremely in love with the overlock stitch on the Janome—the seams look a little wavy when you open them up—but it is very stretchy. For applying and then topstitching the elastic, I used the 3-step zig-zag. It’s a bit of a home-finished look, but not a bad once, I think.

Side view

Some of this may have been motivated by the fact that Syo got her costume for the year-end show the other day. Ah, 1992 called, it wants its clothing back. Black, neon, fishnet, paint-splatter print—an amazing blast from the past. All of which I paid $80 for. And it’s not exactly badly made, and I don’t begrudge the stitcher getting paid a living wage for her time, and she does have a coverstitch, which I don’t… but, frankly, I could’ve done just as well*. And maybe I needed to prove that to myself.

Gappy neckline

Syo is obscenely happy with her new leotard (not to mention how quickly it was made up). It is a smidge large on her, or at least the neck gapes a touch where I didn’t get the elastic pulled quite evenly, but I imagine that will lessen as she grows. As leotards go, it’s pretty modest, high-necked back and front—I’ll be really tempted to scoop out the back a bunch next time. The butt-coverage is decent, but I suspect it will become less so as her body takes up the excess length. The crotch between the legs seems a bit wide to me, but doesn’t appear to bother her. There’s no crotch-lining included, but I might try adding one next time.

The big question, of course, is what to do with the rest of the fabric, since I used approximately 30 cm off one side of the 150-cm wide, 1m length…

*I don’t think I have any ambitions to pursue a career stitching up dance costumes for local troupes, anyway. Well, at least not the kind of semi-mass-production this kind of costuming requires. Now, making someone a fabulous bellydance or flamenco costume… that could be fun.


Filed under Sewing

My Image Again

Young Image

A couple of weeks back, My Image magazine (the new European pattern magazine) sent me an email offer I couldn’t refuse—get the two summer issues FREE paying only shipping. Sold!

I picked up a couple of issues last spring. Now, I have to confess, I have a bit of an issue with pattern magazines. On the one hand, I LOVE them. I trace most of my patterns anyway, so that’s not an issue, and there’s something so exciting about having all those looks to flip through. However, (as with a lot of my pattern purchases, actually) I haven’t made up a whole lot from what I’ve already bought. I bought one issue of Burda, once, and made one pattern from it, which was basically a fail. From the previous two My Image magazines I bought last spring, I made one dress from the Young Image, for my niece (and modified it highly). My most-used pattern magazine is actually an old kids’ issue of Patrones that the Selfish Seamstress (reluctantly) gave me, back when I was blessed to bathe in the reflected light of her glory. I’ve made two patterns from it, and there are a couple more that are on the KIDS WANT list.

No, instead I tend to make variation after variation of TNTs.

One of the awesome things about My Image is that you can actually look at the entire magazine (except the patterns) on their website. The only issue I have there is that they tend to make things up in fabulous and crazy prints, which look great but can make it a touch hard to see what’s actually going on. Although the shots are more clothing-focused than a lot of Burda photos. You can also order the patterns in custom sizes, although the price of a single custom size is more than the entire magazine. Still, I’m tempted to give it a try, since one of the things that puts me off making up new patterns is the annoyance of fitting myself.

Anyway, the magazines arrived in really pretty good time shipping from Europe (about two weeks, which is faster than anything I ordered before Christmas arrived from the States). And, in an attempt to get myself out of my current stall, I resolved to make something. However, the dress I most would like to make from the women’s issue requires a stable knit of the sort I don’t have in stash (a doubleknit would be perfect). And I’m REALLY trying to work from stash right now. To the extent that I’m actually *doing* anything, of course, as opposed to just thinking about it.

A very simple pattern.

More importantly, being too lazy to worry about fitting myself, I selected arguably the most brain-dead easy pattern in the Young Image, Y1201, a racer-back tank tunic/dress with flounces on the bottom, cute ornamental tie-on things at the shoulders, and an odd little collar snugging in the racerback.

A very, very bad photo of the line drawing. Sorry, my scanner is being a pain today.

My children being not so much the flouncy types, I left these off. Being lazy, I left off the tie-thingies, too. I did motivate myself to make the little cuff. Go me!

On first  impressions, I traced off the 116. The chest measurement is the same as Syo’s (or at least, the one I recorded for Syo last summer—she’s probably grown a bit but she also likes her clothes more fitted than tunicky). The “dress length” isn’t very long (it’s supposed to have a flounce at the bottom) while the shirt length ended right at the waist. I thought about cutting mid way between the two lengths, but ended up just going with the longer length, which worked out in the end. My Image pattern sheets are a dream to trace—there’s only 16 patterns, four to each sheet, and each pattern is in its own colour. Easy. The hardest part was remembering to add seam allowance to the sides, shoulders, and hem, but not to the neckline and armscye where I would be binding the edge.

Wait—that’s not Syo!

For fabric, I dug through the stash (which despite being rather too big never has exactly what you’re looking for) and picked a cream rib-knit, originally purchased because it was on clearance and a good colour and cotton and I must’ve forgotten how much I don’t like rib-knits for general wear.

The instructions have you cut the binding for the neck and arm-holes on the bias, which I think is fairly silly for a knit, so I just cut mine on the cross-grain. However, this design has enough ease you could probably do it in a woven, in which case the bias binding would make sense.

I have to say, although I am overall quite charmed with the My Image product, the English-language translation remains pretty, um, amusing. What was actually worse than the odd word choices is that the language isn’t entirely consistent. The bindings are referred to in various places as “yokes” and “edging”. One or the other would be figure-out-able, but the inconsistency makes it tricky. Or as tricky as an insanely simple project like this can be. I can’t tell you anything more about the instructions because I abandoned them at that point.

My terrible binding. And my goofy daughter, who will probably never forgive me for posting this shot.

I used my dumbed-down version of Sherry’s excellent binding technique, which is to say that I do it like her except I make my bands extra-wide to start with, don’t overlock the edge, and just trim down the extra close to the stitching on the inside. You have to stretch rib-knit binding an awful lot to get it to end up smooth. I figured that out eventually.

Back “cuff”

They give you dimensions, rather than pattern-pieces, for the rectangular pieces like the little back cuff,   which I approve of thoroughly. That being said, I’m not entirely sure how the cuff was supposed to be put together. I settled for seaming the long edges, turning inside out, and then stitching the ends together and turning that to the inside of the loop before threading it into place and finishing the side-seams. My first attempt seemed a little too wide, so I narrowed it some mmore, and I’m now pretty happy with it although I think it could be a little shorter, too. I didn’t add any seam allowances to this piece, but then I did use 1cm seams, so if seam allowances were included, they may have been 1.5 cm. I dunno.

Full back

Anyway, once I was finished stitching it all up, I realized that the use of a rib-knit and the omission of all the frilly bits had moved it firmly into “wifebeater”*, or rather boybeater, territory. And the loose, tunic style of the original was not at all appropriate for a boybeater. I could tell from looking, however, that the size and length would be just about perfect for Tyo’s tastes.


I was a little concerned that the armscye would be too high, but Tyo assures me it’s perfectly comfortable. And she hasn’t taken it off since I gave it to her, so it seems to be a hit.

As for the puppy hat, I have no idea.

*It occurs to me that this is probably one of those regional word usage things. A wifebeater is a close-fitting, usually rib-knit men’s undershirt, evoking the stereotypical image of the white-trash male sitting his trailer drinking a beer while watching the game and yelling at his wife. By extension, when a girl wears one, it is called a boybeater. Manbeater might be more appropriate, arguably.


Filed under Sewing

I sewed silk!

Pretty dress

… In about the teensiest, most tentative way possible.

Last summer, we bought the girls a couple of shirred-top, recycled-sari-silk dresses at a stall at a street fair. They’re not exactly well-made, but they’re extremely pretty. The only problem was that they were strapless. However, a fortuitous accident illustrating the inadvisability of cycling in a long, frilly silk skirt provided a fair bit of mangled hem that needed to be sliced off. Fortunately there’s plenty left to frill around in—and now I had fabric to spare to make some spaghetti straps. Which didn’t stop me from putting the project off pretty much all winter, but finally last night I was bumming around the sewing room, poking dispiritedly at the mounts of *stuff* and not really feeling able to start anything major. Tyo pointedly suggested that perhaps I should GET THAT DONE.

Silk + Bike rear-wheel = BAD

Well, I got them started, anyway.

After sorting through the mangled mass to find a bit that wasn’t too shredded and melted, I very gently ironed a portion and cut out two strips, each about 3 cm wide. The ironing was very much NOT facilitated by the fact that I didn’t use a press-cloth when block-fusing Armoweft interfacing onto Osiris’s coat; Armoweft is the nicest interfacing I’ve found yet, but the glue does seep through when you’re fusing with it. So my iron’s foot was covered with gunk. I do terrible things to my iron, honoured readers, but this was unusually bad even for me.

But, back to the silk. My strips were cut on the bias, more because the portion of the skirt I I’d had to cut off had been cut on the bias than because I wanted skinny little spaghetti straps. I actually think these straps turned out a bit too skinny.

Anyway, once I finally got them pressed, I pulled out a brand-new, super-fine needle (65/9) and sat down with some scraps to play with my tension and stitch length. I was too lazy short of time to look up what kind of a stitch length is good for bias silk, (I know Sunni and Sherry have both weighed in on the topic), but eventually went with a short stitch, but pulling while I stitched. Which makes the fabric scooch all over the place, but anyway. When I was done, I had straps. When not being pulled on, the straight stiches actually look a bit zig-zagged. Interesting.

Spaghettie straplets. Also, never feel bad about your shirring again!

I used the bobby pin method for turning the straps. I love this method WAY over using a cord on the inside of the tube, but really for slippery silk I think anything would’ve worked. These were the easiest little tubes to turn, ever. And once I ironed and stretched them to maximal skinniness, they didn’t look half bad, despite my wonky stitching and general incompetence.

Some careful handwheeling got them nicely attached in the front, and now all I have to do is stuff a child into the dress long enough to measure the length to attach them in the back.

And who knows, maybe I’ll get some actual *real* sewing done one of these days…



Filed under Sewing

A Belated Sew Grateful


Just in case I got your hopes up, this is not a giveaway. I’m not that organized (I am mail-ophobic) and I’m definitely far too distracted with Kingdoms of Amalur thesis-writing to come up with a  pattern or decent tutorial to share. Also Sew Grateful week was last week. See what I mean about organized?

This is, instead, a simple thank-you*, to Sigrid of Analog Me, who in a fit of mental instability generosity last month decided to send me some patterns she had kicking around and didn’t need.

The only one that might actually fit me is McCall’s 9752, a miss’s size 10. It’s cute and hits a lot of my buttons—1970s, empire-waist, shaped midriff, no darts. And it does have me yearning for Spring, not that there’s a shortage of 70s dresses in what passes for my mental queue these days (which is feeling more like a sludge, frankly.)

The modern pattern, Simplicity 2266, is the large kids’ size-range, 10 to 14. OK, there’s actually a possibility the 14 would fit me. It might be a bit twee, though, no? I do think it’s cute, although more in a three-to-five-year-old way than a tween-to-teen way. Also, maybe not made up in quilting cotton, yes? That would actually be a kinda hilarious challenge…

What’s really amusing me is that the 50s pattern on the right, Simplicity 2829, which is a size 10 in the old pattern sizing, has the same bust (28″) as the kids size 10. Interesting. Although Tyo’s still a couple of inches off a 28″ bust, she says she likes the 50s pattern. Except for the ruffles.

You will note, perhaps, that three of the four styles are ruffly? Sigh. One of the tricks of sewing for tweens is telling the difference between patterns they really like and ones they only like because of the illustrations. Oh, and the ones they would like if the illustrations didn’t blow.

Anyway, thank you, Sigrid!  I don’t know when any will be made up, but it’s always nice to have the inspiration.

*Obviously Sigrid is not the only person I owe thank yous too, current and past. Some of them I’m still working on getting out there. Some of them I’ve sent privately. Some of them I’m too disorganized to pull together. But I promise, I AM GRATEFUL!


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