Sewing room updates

I finally bit the bullet and invested in some storage for my sewing room (all be it Ikea so it could have been a lot worse). Tony valiantly helped me assemble it and we were nursing sore hands for the rest of the day. I am very happy with how it turned out and now I can see all my pretty fabric so no more forgetting what I have. I got the high gloss in a muted grey turquoise color. I think it will look good in the room when I finally get around to painting it.


I organized it by fabric type. From the top left: Denim, Patterns, Patterns, Summery Cottons, Interfacing (bin), Serger Thread and Embroidery Thread (drawers), Scissors/Rotary Cutters and Miscellaneous Notions (drawers), Bra Supplies (bin), Wools, Practice Fabrics, Silky Fabrics, Darker Cottons, Knits, 2 empties for uzzi to sleep in, and finally flannel cotton.  Seeing it all out like this my stash isn’t nearly as big as I thought it was so I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad that the Ikea trip also resulted in 2 more fabric purchases.

The first I am absolutely in love with.  It’s like this watercolor rorschach with some beautiful inky blues, greys and deep green hues. The camera does not do it justice.  The cotton is 60″ wide so the design is quite largeDSC_0944


Tony picked out this black and white graphic print. I’m not head over heals for it but it is so rare that he has an opinion on fabric that I thought I should at least appease him.


He has already picked out the pattern for this fabric.



The last new fabric addition came from ebay not Ikea but I thought I would show you anyway. It’s Irish Linen in a natural oatmeal color with some gridded see through bits. I read that repeated washings will soften it and relax some of the wrinkling linen is notorious for. This is after 2 washes. I might give it another 1 or 2 before I cut into it.


My plans for this are a midi  sleeveless shirtwaist dress a la Vogue 8577 view B. I’m thinking it will be a comfortable dress for outdoor parties…like a BBQ 🙂


New sewing plans for the new year

After traveling or 4 weeks straight for work i’ve let my sewing fall to the back burner. I did manage to make a few X-mas presents before I started the marathon cross country journey but unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of many of them. One that I did remember was a pillow for my dad. I used the most manly scraps I could find from my stash to make a pillow fit for his oversized brown leather lazyboy.


Tony seems very happy with his vest and has promised that I can have some worn pictures soon.

Another unfortunate side effect of all this traveling is that my  eating and diet regime was significantly impacted…lets just say 14 days of pasta was not kind to my waistline. I do have several dressed that I am chomping at the bit to start but I want to get my measurements back down to normal before spending the time to make custom fit clothing.  Speaking of custom fit Tony’s x-mas present to me was “perfect”!


Since all this traveling obviously means I will be having some income I felt a little easier about buying fabrics. Add to that some amazing deals at Jo-anns and I went a little crazy. On the flip side it means I have lots of material to make plans for 2017 sewing.

2017 Winter Sewing Plans

After the sucess of Tony’s vest I would like to sew a waistcoat to match my brown wool blazer. I don’t have a pattern but some quick perusal of the web lead me to several tutorials on how to copy a RTW garment so I plan on making a doup from a New York an Co vest thats wallowing in the back of my closet. I should have enough of the wool left over for the front and 2 welted pockets and I picked up a bit more of the red lining so that it will match the coat.


I also plan on making another blazer from this same pattern in this small grey check plaid. I purchased some black leather buttons and cream lining. I would love to do a contrasting pocket flap and upper collar in black leather/ suede but i’m not sure how much that would cost so I may try black velvet instead. I sat next to a gentleman on a plane that had a  grey boxy trench coat with black velvet contrast on the collar and I though it looked really cool.


I know my style leans towards the more full skirt dresses but I thought It might be fun to make a 50s wiggle dress for something different. I picked up a few yards of his cotton sateen in the color “blackberry”. The color doesn’t show up to well in pictures but its the most gorgeous deep aubergine color in person with just a hint of a sheen and 3% spandex to make the tight fitting dress a little more comfortable to wear. I also picked up some matching concord bemburg lining….this lining is addictive!

for this wiggle dress I wanted it to channel Joan from Mad Men. I found the perfect pattern, don’t you think?

The next dress I want to make is for a little warmer weather, though I think I could layer it with my tie next blouse underneath for the cooler months. This dress will be inspired by the Luck Be A Lady dress on Modcloth.


I fell in love with the look of this dress instantly but I am sure it would be much much too short for me to ever feel comfortable in it so I pinned it for a while until I found the perfect pattern.

You can see from the line drawing the similarities to the inspiration dress with the folds in the collar and pleated skirt. The pattern has directional pleats but it should be easy enough to turn those into box pleats. I purchased a linen/rayon blend in a sort of washed look navy for this dress along with Ivory linen for the hem.


In the same color-way  I picked up a navy knit with an ivory windowpane design. I have plans to turn this into a long pencil skirt with a high waist.  I would love to make a complete outfit with this pattern Im thinking scuba knit black skirt, heather charcoal jersey croptop, teal coat with black leather accents in the front…. first I want to see how the skirt sews up and if I like the silhouette before I commit to the whole outfit. Lets be honest I need to add more to the sewing list like I need a hole in the head.

I thought my sewing shouldn’t be all about me so I picked up a blue and grey buffalo check flannel to make another shirt for Tony….this one will have snaps per his request.


Plaidatudes collection was 60% off so I went wee bit crazy. I bought 3 yards of this Black Watch Plaid.


It can’t decide yet if it wants to be a blazer or a skirt.

If it does get made into a blazer then I have another plaid that I think would make and equally cute skirt.

And just in case that wasn’t enough…I bought a few more plaids for good measure.



UFO & Haul

I’ll be honest; I haven’t done much sewing lately. Life just got in the way. Besides sewing is a hobby, it’s supposed to be fun so I don’t want to force myself to do it if I don’t feel like it. Inevitably the next question is “Why don’t you feel like sewing?”. That  I am blaming on this weeks UFO or Unfinished Object.

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I fell in love with this “Birds on a Line” fabric but when it came in the mail I was skeptical that it had enough structure  for the dress I had in mind. It turns out that was the least of my problems. It has a very soft floaty drape that makes it impossibly shifty when cutting. I spent a day cutting out what should have only taken me 30 minutes at most!  Next, I had issues marking the fabric, for some reason the tailors chalk just wouldn’t show up.  Instead I had to mark everything with tailors tacks in red silk thread.  Since the fabric was so shifty I looked up some pointers on-line. I reduced the tension, I  hand basted every freaking seam before sewing and used a walking foot. The results aren’t pretty.

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For now this dress is going to start my UFO pile. I am hoping that after some more experience under my belt I may be able to come back to this project and fix it. I have a fair amount of this fabric left, easily enough to make a blouse or something but its going to the bottom of my stash for another day.

Like any good red blooded American, I drowned the sorrows of this project failure by buying more stuff.

First up, Tony asked for another shirt. This time in Lilac.  I know, I was shocked too. I had trouble finding buttons to match this fabric so I am toying with the idea of pearlized snaps ( which Tony loves) though I am worried that they might make it too causal for him to wear with his suit and such.

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The rest of the items were acquired at a fabric sale for the Denver chapter of the American Sewing Guild. I say acquired because Tony’s mom actually bought them (much to my chagrin). Barb, again you are way too generous! All the fabrics were $2.00 a yard the only catch being you had to buy the entire cut of fabric. It was actually fairly easy to limit myself since most of the fabrics seemed to have come from quilters (small yardage). It was easy to scope out the things that were big enough to make garments out of in the piles and piles of fabric. They also had a table of notions and trims. You could get as much as you could fit in a gallon size bag for another $2.00.

I stuffed my bag with lots of lace (with hopes of making an heirloom type camisole), several cards of vintage buttons, self covered button blanks, snaps, hooks and eyes, and zippers for muslins.

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Also in the not fabric area I snagged a thread rack for….$2. I ran out of room in my thread holder months ago and have been feverishly trying to finish off spools so that everything would fit. Turns out I didn’t need to, now I have lots of room

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Now onto the fabric! Tony has been wanting a vest for some time now. I thought I would give it a go. I bought this pattern thinking he would go for view A since thats what most vests in the store look like. Instead he chose view C, double breasted with lapels. Its fine, but I am going to have to practice doing a welted pocket. I found 2 yards of the thin wool in a nice charcoal grey which will be perfect for a vest.

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Along the same lines I found 3 yards of this Chocolate wool in a herringbone pattern. It was really hard to photograph but I love the look of it in person. Also, Wool for $2 people!

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Being the anglophile that I am I have my heart set on turning this into a english style hunting jacket.  I don’t hunt, I don’t even like the idea of hunting…but look how cool she looks!


The next fabric is 3 yards of cotton. I’m not sure if this is considered madras but it has that feel to me. No plans for this yet. I just wanted it.

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Finally I got 4 yards of this similar fabric in nice deep jewel tones. Its going to be a dress (obviously). Im thinking a pleated skirt to show of the linear lines?

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The grand total for the notions, thread rack, and 4 cuts of fabric was $28…good thing they only have this sale once a year!

Fabric Haul and Future Plans

I was desperate for more fabric and with a new job starting soon I thought I could splurge on a bit of a haul from .   Well the new job isn’t all I thought it would be and I’m back on the job hunt. I had a few promising phone interviews yesterday so I’m trying keep positive.   I regret ordering the fabric now and wish I had saved the money  but the it is already bought so I might as well use it.


First up is 3 yards of a medium weight (9.5oz) dark denim.


I am planning to do the top drawing on this pattern with the 3/4 rolled sleeves and A-line skirt with curved hem. I started on the bodice yesterday but I’m not loving the look of the classic gold thread topstitching so I may un-pick it and go for copper or black thread instead. I have used this pattern once already to do the circle skirt version but haven’t had the chance to take pictures of the finished dress yet.

After the sucess of my grape colored knit dress I and eager to do another. I bought 3 yards of this rose quartz rayon jersey.

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Right now I am not to sure if I want to use the same pattern but do long sleeves or opt for something else.  I wasn’t in love with how the waist was addressed on the McCalls pattern as the finished dress needs to be worn with a belt and not sufficient as is. I leaning towards a fit and flare wrap dress style, I just need to find the right pattern.

Next I fell in love with this crepe de chine with purple birds on a brown background. I bought 4 yards for a steal.

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The fabric is very lightweight and soft. Originally I was thinking of this Butterick  wiggle dress with side swag. After seeing the fabric in person I don’t know if the fabric has enough structure for this dress and may later decide on something more flowy…or maybe a pussy bow blouse. The dress pattern does recommend a crepe de chine so it may be alright. I will have to think about it for a bit.


I already knew I wanted to do a more cold weather version of this dress so I bought 5 yards of this evergreen cotton.

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This time around with will do the sleeves that the pattern came with. I have heard of some issues with arm mobility with this pattern so I may need to make some adjustments in the shoulders to account.  Only problem is this dress will need a darker petticoat since I think my ivory one would clash. I can cross that river when it comes. Fingers crossed I will have a steady income by then.

Last but not least I bought 6 yards of this navy Taffeta.

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I am auditioning the idea of making something to wear to a wedding next September (’17), obviously I have some time to figure it out.  So far I have 2 ideas either a full skirt worn with a store bought top or a dress with boat neck front and deep V-back with a box pleated skirt. Below are the inspiration pictures. Coming off my self drafting success I feel confidant that I could suss out these designs with some trial and error.