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Showing posts from January, 2015

Pamela's Patterns #114 the Pretty Peplum Top

Pamela's Patterns are the brainchild of sewing instructor and author, Pamela Leggett.  She has been teaching fitting for many years, and had the vision to develop a line of patterns that already included the most commonly needed alterations.  How many more people would be sewing if they could get a great fit right out of the envelope?  My guess- a lot! I've been wanting to try one of Pamela's patterns for a long time, and decided to start with this one:  the Pretty Peplum Top. The pretty peplum top has both long and cap sleeve options, and keyhole or scoop neckline versions.  I chose the scoop neckline with the long sleeves for this top.  The pattern calls for 2-1/4 yards of knit fabric, but I think if you are making one of the smaller sizes, and lay your pattern out efficiently, you can make it with quite a bit less. I used a double knit with a sculpted design from FabricMart fabrics.  They don't have it in stock anymore, but I've been seeing quite a

Plaid Toggle Coat- Burda 6861

I love, love, love making coats.  There is something about the smell of the wool when you press it, how messy it all looks before it's lined, and then how, magically, it turns into something completely polished once the lining is turned right side out, that just makes me so happy. I wanted to make my daughter, Serena, a long winter coat to cover her legs as much as possible while she waits for the train for her commute to work everyday.  She lives in Chicago, and the winter winds can be downright brutal there.   She picked out the fabric from my stash- a houndstooth plaid wool blend that I got for $4.99/yd from FabricMart years ago. I only had 3 yards of this fabric, and searched for a pattern that would allow me to both match the plaid, and make a full length coat out of that amount of fabric.  That meant that it had to be cut pretty straight, with a very small overlap at the center front.  This eliminated a lot of patterns- anything double breasted with a even moderately fl

Idyllwild T-shirt and Dress pattern

Last month, I participated as a pattern tester for Itch to Stitch Designs newest pattern- the Idyllwild Top and Dress.  This is a fitted T-shirt and dress PDF pattern with multiple sleeve, neckline and length options.   Today is the first day that you can buy the pattern, and get this- the price is $1.   Wow! Here's one of my dresses from the testing stage: I had made Itch to Stitch Designs Marbella dress in November and was pleased as punch at how well it fit me with no alterations.   So, I was excited when Kennis Wong, the designer, said that she wanted to do a basic knit pattern.  I've searched for such a pattern to teach my beginning sewing students, but I had never found one that didn't take a ton of alterations to fit most people nicely.  So, I was happy to help out with the testing of one that would fit that niche. I generally shy away from PDF patterns, but Kennis' patterns have a nice feature that makes using them a little easier.  You can select j

A Wintry Mix- McCall's 7057 Jacket and Ottobre Leggings 5/2014 #6

If you are from North America, you know how cold it was last week- temps dipping below 0 degrees Fahrenheit for several days.   It was so cold, that our furnace couldn't keep up, and all we could do was huddle together, eat hot soup, drink hot cocoa, and watch reruns of Gilligan's Island to trick ourselves into believing we're warm! No, honestly, I have to confess I haven't watched Gilligan for many years.  A much more sensible thing that we seasoned mid-Westerners do to stay warm is layering.  Two layers of just about everything is really helpful.  I will note that my husband was walking around in a short sleeve t-shirt today, but he's neither sensible nor a true midwesterner, so you can't go by what he does.  I find that there is nothing that compares to good old wool to keep in your body heat.  I luckily can wear it- I know that some people find it too itchy, but I will put up with a little itch, just to get that warmth.  I made this sweater jacket

Time Tunnel to January 1969 Burda

When I turned 50 a couple of years ago, I had it in my head that I wanted a copy of a Burda magazine from the month that I was born- February 1963.  I searched Ebay, to no avail.  At that time, I couldn't find anything from 1963.  But, I did find someone in Minnesota who was selling entire years of the magazine from the later years of the 60's and all of the 70's.  I ended up bidding on a couple of years, and I won 1969 and 1976! I absolutely love them, and I thought you might like to see a few pictures from the the magazines, so these are all from the January 1969 issue.   Can you imagine how exciting it must of been for this Minnesota seamstress to get this European fashion/sewing magazine in the mail back in 1969?   I can just imagine her waiting for the mail everyday, anticipating all those wonderful patterns and big gorgeous pictures.  I wish I could have met her and talked with her about it.  I would have been that annoying kid next door con

Are you a Clotheshorse?

When I was a teenager, my parents used to complain that I was a "clotheshorse" .  I always thought it was a funny word.  I mean, horses don't wear clothes, right?  Well, apparently some do, but probably not of their own choosing.  I haven't heard that term used in a while, so I decided to check it out.  Photo credit: According to Wikipedia: "Used figuratively, the single-word term " clotheshorse " describes men and women who are so passionate about clothes that they maintain unusually large wardrobes of the latest, most stylish clothes; will never willingly appear in public in unstylish or outdated clothes; and will often change into many different stylish outfits during a single day." After reading through my last post about goals for the New Year, I realized that I was "protesting too much" when it came to cleaning out my closet.  Kind of like "Who me?  I'm not a clotheshorse!" I was