Monthly Archives: July 2009

Anna Sui Silk Chiffons

The fabrics for my next project have been chosen! I know it will be another peasant blouse of some sort (are you getting the feeling that it’s unbearably hot and humid here???) and I thought these two Anna Sui coordinates would be perfect. I purchased the white/pink “puffball” chiffon some time ago and found the coordinating print later on. I’ll probably use bands of the coordinate to finish the sleeves and hope I have enough (I only bought a yard) for bias tubes and maybe some piping or bias trim. It says Dry Clean Only but you know I’m going to at least try to wash it. :-) DCO just isn’t practical in Florida in the summertime.


And yes, I know I’m using yellow again! Carolyn’s got me hooked…


Filed under Fabric

Serious Lust

My friend just refurbished and built this machine for a customer over the past week. It was to the testing point yesterday so guess who got to do the testing? ME!!!! And I am completely in love with this machine. It is a Consew 339RBL-1, double-needle walking foot machine. Do I need this? Of course not but that doesn’t make me stop wanting it. Imagine only needing to make one pass when flat-felling a jeans seam! Sigh…


I’ve been trying to plan my next sewing project but I’ve been so tired every night. The past two weeks have been hellish. I have taken over a new territory at work and there has been so much more to do! I am so happy that the weekend is nearing. I did remember yesterday that I have three pieces of wool gauze in my collection. Which is certainly something to think about…


Filed under Sewing Machines

Silk Georgette Peasant Blouse

Here it is, done but for the main hem and a few finishing touches. I meet my girlfriends for dinner on Thursday and really wanted to wear this so I completely blew off my housework and laundry on Sunday!


Not only is this blouse really pretty on, it also goes together so quickly! The most time-consuming part is making the neckline casing (it’s turned in twice so there are no raw edges visible). The rest goes fast, even if you make French seams.

I made very thin bias tubing for the neckline. Originally, I had made a wider cord (about 1/4″) but it wanted to twist and turn inside the casing so I removed it. To make the very thin tubing I used the edge of my straight-stitch foot as a guide and then left enough of a seam allowance to fill out the tube for a nice rounded effect. I’m glad I took the time to redo it because it looks much nicer.


Tomorrow I’ll finish the hem and then start planning my next project. Maybe something vintage! Definitely something cool – it’s getting hotter and stickier by the minute!


Filed under Fabric, New Look

New Look 6870

It has been hotter than Hades the past few weeks and I’ve been craving some loose, whispy tops instead of my usual body-conscious styles. I do love a peasant blouse and have quite a lot of patterns to choose from, both vintage and contemporary.

This one from New Look immediately caught my eye because it isn’t too voluminous. I made View B.



I started with a size 8 and tissue-fitted the pattern. I was really surprised that I didn’t appear to need a full-bust adjustment. The only alteration I needed was a sway-back tuck. Still, I wanted to make a trial garment before cutting into my beautiful silk georgette. I’ve had this black folk-art floral in my collection for quite a number of years. I bought it in Hialeah with my friend Elaine and my late friend Barbara – that’s how I know it must be at least 6 years old. It was sold as rayon but I had my doubts about that. A burn test revealed that it is indeed polyester but it did pass the breathability test, probably due to the open weave of the fabric. If you want to see if a synthetic will breathe simply blow through the fabric lightly.

The only change I made to the pattern was to eliminate the neckline elastic and button/loop closure. Instead, I used a self-fabric bias tube.


Here is the back. Next time, I will probably eliminate the ties.


This top goes together very quickly and will work well with both pants and shorts. I’m really happy with the fit: loose but not baggy.

I think I’ll give it the wearability test later today and then cut into this beautiful silk georgette that I purchased from Textile Studios a few summers ago.


I don’t know how much sewing time I’ll have this week as work has been so busy! Which is why I don’t feel too bad about neglecting my household chores and spending time in my sewing room this weekend. :-)

And, as an aside, if you were thinking about going to see the new Harry Potter movie, don’t bother. I was extremely disappointed!


Filed under Fabric, New Look

Yep, I’ve gone crazy!

Many of you know of my aversion to florals. Mmm, aversion might be too strong a word because I do actually like florals. I just think they are very tricky for mature women because they can either look too 17-ish or too matronly. When I do choose a floral it’s usually something very stylized. I don’t know what happened here, all I can say is that I loved this print the moment I saw it!

Because this would be a “whole lotta look” on a petite person, I thought it best to stick with a small garment. I also thought it would be a good idea to chop up the print a little so the Jalie Sweetheart Top was a good choice. I still need to stitch the hems which I’ll hopefully get to tonight after dinner.

You know I tried very hard not to have a big flower near the bust but I finally gave up! :-)


I moved my FBA to the yoke seam and I am very pleased with the fit this provides. I may also try moving it to the neckline. This is a really great basic pattern that I anticipate making many, many times.


Because I liked the fabric so much on the first version, I took it apart and recut a new front after I’d made the changes to my pattern. I am much happier with it.


I had hoped to get much more sewing done this weekend but my pool pump had other ideas. I was not happy about that *at all* but I do now know how to change the impeller in a pump!


Filed under Fabric, Jalie Patterns

1940s Beach Coat

I decided to see if I could find a beach coat pattern similar to the one in my previous post. Right now I can’t justify spending $50+ dollars on a pattern for a swimsuit coverup that I’ll wear a few times a year. I got lucky – look at what I found on Ebay:


I adore the square armholes (I honestly like them better than the cut-on sleeves in the other pattern) and I can easily modify the sleeves and collar. Of course, I’ll add the D-shaped pockets with a ginormous vintage-style monogram! With shipping, this set me back only $8.88.


Filed under Vintage Patterns


Well, Phyllis found this fantabulous beach coat that is almost identical to the one I found and lost and I really, really love it! Look at that collar! And the pockets! I was ready to click Add-To-Cart when I saw the price, sniff. Mind you, $55 isn’t a lot for this and I would have happily paid it a year ago but now, like most people, I’m pinching my Pesos! Still, I’ve bookmarked it. You never know what could happen some night when I’ve had one glass of wine too many…


If anyone has one that they wouldn’t mind loaning for a quick tracing I promise I’ll take really good care of it and send it back straightaway!

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Filed under Vintage Patterns

The Things We Forget to Sew

I had a major panic as I was packing my suitcase last week: No Swimsuit Coverup. Eek! I had intended to make one. Really, I had. Along with a colorful pillow case for my travelling down pillow (which I left at a hotel – again). I just can’t walk around the hotel in a swimsuit. I just feel so… Luckily, my closet produced a never-worn Betsey Johnson tunic/mini-dress thing that would work. I think I found it cheap someplace and intended to shorten it into a top (which, naturally, never happened) so at least I was saved this time…

Then, today, I had the most wonderful lunch with Phyllis before her return to Massachusetts tomorrow. Of course, we talked sewing! And more sewing! I told her about the fabulous vintage beach coverup pattern I’d missed on Etsy. It reminded me so much of the coverup Lucy wore when the Ricardos and the Mertzes were in California. The one with the giant “LR” monogram on it. I’d been distracted that day and it disappeared forever.

Sometimes, I can be like a Terrier with these things so I immediately came home this afternoon and started searching Etsy and Ebay. I didn’t find The Pattern – or anything remotely similar – but I did find this:


And I like it a lot! This will be so pretty in a nice gauzy cotton or crinkled silk; something really light for the hottest days of the year. I’ll look so chic in my giant Panama hat and movie-star sunglasses! Phyllis, I promise I will wear some pretty flats and not high-heeled mules and a cigarette holder (although that does sound pretty glam…)!


Filed under This and that, Vintage Patterns

It’s always something!

I’m back from my vacation and boy, am I pooped! I was barely back in town for an hour when the you-know-what hit the fan at work. Again. It seems like every week there’s something. Geez, my life was less stressful when I was self-employed!

I really have nothing sewing-related to share with you today except for a photo of this fantastic Adrian costume that I shot at Universal Studios. There were others but the glare on the glass made them difficult to photograph. I had intended to go back once it got dark but forgot about it.

I have no idea which movie this was worn in. If you do, please leave me a comment!


Isn’t this curious? They were growing Sea Island cotton in pots at the Fountain of Youth archeological site in St. Augustine. I never did find out why.


I’ll be back at my sewing machine on Monday. I absolutely have to get some housework done tomorrow and I’m planning on meeting up with Phyllis before she heads home on Monday.

First on my list is a new robe. I made this silk robe in 2003 (I believe the fabric is from Ellen Tracy) and it is shot. It’s been washed so many times that the silk is starting to tear in areas. It’s high time I had something new.



Filed under This and that

Fashion Sewing Supply

My friend Pam over at Fashion Sewing Supply is having a 4th of July sale through the 8th! If you haven’t tried her interfacings, you absolutely must. The quality is top-notch, better than anything you’ve tried before: no shrinkage, no bubbling, no boardy feeling. The sheer is a great all-purpose interfacing and the weft is wonderful for all of your tailoring projects. The low-temp interfacings are great for fabrics that are too sensitive for traditional fusibles.

Fashion Sewing Supply

Check out Pam’s notions while you are there – I’m crazy about the seam gauges I bought from her. Pam is an incredible sewer as well, do have a look at some of her inspiring projects. She just completed a vintage shirt for her husband that now has been combing Ebay and Etsy for men’s shirt patterns!

That’s it for me for the next week or so. I hope to be well-rested and raring to sew when I return. :-) TTFN!

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Filed under Notions