Monthly Archives: April 2007

Hot Patterns Cha Cha Cha Dress

You didn’t think I’d really leave you without posting a photo of my new dress, did you? This dress is just too adorable! Leave it to Trudy to give us something that’s not only different and fashionable but a snap to sew as well. The back skirt is a full wrap (two full skirt back pieces) that will not leave you feeling as if you are about to expose yourself – you know what I’m talking about. It will also eliminate the need for a slip in many fabrics. I know I don’t want to wear one when the temps and the humidity percentages are in the 90s!



I’ll share more of the construction with you when I return. One important thing to note is that the ties are quite long. I only wrapped them around the front and then to the back once – they are intended to come back around the front and tie at the side but that was too bulky for this fabric. I lengthened my dress 4″ (3″ would have sufficed) and the ties are still a little longer than the hemline. When I return I am going to shorten them about 4″. For now, they are a “design feature”. :-)

Here’s a lousy mirror picture of the bodice- I figured you’d rather see it than not. Adding the cups as described in my mini-tutorial at TheSewingDivas worked out great and gives me a nice shape.


The beautiful rayon/lycra fabric is from Fabric Mart. I really wish I’d bought more!


Filed under Fabric, Hot Patterns

Make it work!

Tim GUnn

I spent a relaxing evening last night reading Tim’s new book A Guide To Quality Taste & Style. I found it nothing less than delightful and full of practical style advice including how to carry oneself well. Tim has a way of being amusing without ever really trying to be. There were some passages in the book which made me laugh out loud! A couple of examples:

From the chapter entitled Diagnosing The Common Closet:

“Perhaps you like to torture yourself by trying on some jeans from a few years ago to see if you can button them. Clothes do not exist to humiliate their owners. Please do not force garments into performing psychological tasks for which they were not designed.”

and from Let’s Go Shopping At Last!:

“Because technology does a fine job of protecting us from the more extreme vagaries of our environment, you might ask, why not wear voile on Thanksgiving? Well, because then life is one long stretch of endless voile-wearing and, really, who wants that?”

Now, if only I could figure out how to have him sign my book, sigh.


Filed under Project Runway

Does it count if I used my sewing skills?

Sadly, there has been no sewing this weekend as I was bound and determined to get my backsplash tile installed. I’ve had the tile for about a month already and had promised my husband last week that I would hire someone to do the job. But, true to form, I dropped him and my son off at the airport yesterday morning (father/son ski trip) and headed right to Home Depot. This is my first real tile job and I was surprised at how easy it was. Of course, I think we sewers have an advantage because we are good at measuring and fitting things together. The wet saw made me a tiny bit nervous at first but I quickly got the hang of it. As you can see, I had a lot of cuts to make – I only made one error! I guess we sewers are so used to analyzing the pieces of the puzzle, so to speak, that this was a piece of cake.

Today, I will seal the tile and tomorrow I’ll grout (ugh). Then I just have to seal again and reinstall the crown moulding at the tops of the cabinets before having the hood installed (that’s the wiring you see in the photo). I’ll work on the Cha Cha Cha Dress this evening if I’m not too tired.


I really need to improve the view outside my kitchen window!



Filed under Miscellaneous

Thank goodness for JoAnn’s!

I already know what you’re thinking. You think I have lost my mind completely because everyone hates JoAnn’s. Why, it’s practically a requirement for all sewers! Their stores are disorganized, their fabric is yucky, their help isn’t knowledgeable, they sell too many garden ornaments, too much fleece, and so on, ad nauseum, right? Sewers all over the internet are always complaining about JoAnn’s. I wonder if the complainers have ever thought about how terribly inconvenient it would be if the stores closed altogether?

Let’s face it, fabric we can buy online. Sewing advice we can get online. But, what would you do if you couldn’t hop over to JoAnn’s and pick up a few patterns, some thread or notions? My closest independent store is 30 minutes away and doesn’t have several aisles of notions or a huge selection of patterns. So, today, I am going to be thankful for JoAnn’s because they:

1. carry Gutermann thread
2. have a great selection of notions
3. carry Woolly Nylon
4. carry MaxiLock
5. have a large pattern inventory
6. sell chocolate!
7. have pattern sales that our friends abroad are very jealous of
8. 50% off the notions wall sales!
9. have friendly help (at least the ones around here) even if they don’t know how to sew
10. spoil us rotten with coupons

Silver linings, people! So, when is the next Vogue sale? :-)


Filed under This and that

Hot Patterns Cha Cha Cha Dress

Yay! I managed to sneak away long enough today to trace off the Cha Cha Cha halter dress! I am going to use a rayon knit so I traced one size smaller than I would normally take. I also added four inches to the length. I am forty-*cough* and thought a short hemline would be a bit much considering how much skin I’ll be showing up top.

ChaChaCha pattern

I would love to whip this up tomorrow but darnit! I still haven’t finished my taxes so I will have to be chained to my desk until I do. :-(


Filed under Hot Patterns

Simplicity 4020

I’ve liked this knit kimono top ever since the pattern first came out. I received this rayon/lycra from Sawyer Brook last week and immediately thought of this pattern! As a bonus, I won’t have to add it to the stash. ;-) I made a straight 8 and it fits well but I think next time I’d add a tiny bit of width at the underbust seam to better fit my large rib cage. Sorry about the photo, I could not get this on my dressform to save my soul!

S4020 rayon/lycra

This is View D with the shorter kimono sleeve. I thought the longer one would be a little overwhelming on someone of my height. The pattern allows for a 1.25″ sleeve hem, I wanted a 1″ wide band (I see now that I should have made it the same width as the neckband – next time) so I cut 1″ off of the sleeves and cut a band the needed length (20.5″ in my case) by 2.5″ wide. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance to attach the band. I only wish I’d had more fabric so that I could have cut the band for the left sleeve from a pinker part of the fabric for more contrast.


This was just the quick and easy project I was looking for this morning. Since I’m still in dire need of more casual tops I think I’ll make it one more time before putting the pattern away and getting back to my other projects.


Filed under Fabric, Simplicity

Burnin’ Love

Imagine my sheer delight when the postman delivered my new Hot Patterns this afternoon! Along with the entire new line, I also ordered the Tango Blouse and the Floribunda Tops. I’ll be starting on the super-fantastic Cha-Cha Dress as soon as I finish my current project. I am planning on adding cups to the halter version so imagine my delight when I found D cups at JoAnn’s today!

Hot Patterns new


Filed under Hot Patterns