Monthly Archives: July 2008

A consolation prize

Check out this wonderful pattern I scored today on Ebay – Simplicity 7805 and it’s my size! The seller called it a “vintage goddess dress” which made me smile. This is the sort of 1970s design that I fall for every time because it’s still so wearable today. I will definitely make this as a dress and a top.




Filed under Patterns, vintage

New Look 6648 again!

You may have noticed that I often make a pattern again right away. See, when I find a pattern I really like I find it helpful to go ahead and tweak it while everything is still fresh in my mind. Often I do this after wearing the initial garment because some needed changes are not apparent until then.


After wearing the first top last night I decided to bring the neckline in 1″ on each side and raise it 1/2″. I also decided to take the hip band in 1″. Notice that I once again omitted the ruching on the hip band – I want to look as trim there as I can to balance out the volume of the top. The fabric (now sold out) is from Gorgeous Fabrics, of course! I plan on wearing this out with my girls tonight – hopefully no other changes will be needed. I want it PERFECT when I cut out the silk jersey.

I’m still searching for the purse pattern I was working on, sigh. If you ever need something hidden in such a way that no one will find it, call me. In the meantime I’ll probably keep myself occupied by working on the pattern for the Stripe-A-Licious Top so it will be ready to go when the fabric arrives. Once I finish that it’s back to the poor neglected Riviera Tee. I had originally planned on using the Paint Splashes Jersey for it and now I can’t decide on a substitute.


Filed under Fabric, New Look

New Look 6648

It’s done and I LOVE it! I think this is a great way for a petite to wear volume because it’s not too overwhelming. I cut my usual size 8 but may go down to a 6 next time depending on the fabric that I use. You just want to make sure the band is not snug because it will continually want to ride up your midriff. Other than that this top is generously sized. I did not need an FBA or any other alterations – what a luxury!


As you can see, I made a few changes from the pattern. I lowered the neckline a little in the front and added an exposed facing to mimic the designer top. Beware, the neckline is even wider than it appears in the pattern photo. I’ll definitely bring it in a little next time. Also, lingerie guards are a must with a top like this because it will want to slide off one shoulder all the time without them.

I also added some wide bands at the sleeve like the original. I cut my bands 6″ wide which gave me a 2.75″ finished width. I wanted them 3″ wide but this is all the fabric I had left due to a very stupid cutting error! Thank goodness I always buy plenty of fabric otherwise the whole thing would have ended up in the trash. Anyway, I trimmed 2.5″ off the sleeve (2.75″ finished band width minus 1/4″ seam allowance) to retain the original length.

Because there is so much volume on the top I wanted the fit around my waist and hip to be as trim as possible so I needed to eliminate the ruching on the band. This is a super-easy fix here as only the outer band is ruched, the inner band is flat. Simply measure the width of the inner band from the cut edge to the foldline marked on the pattern. Then draw a new line at the same width on the ruched section and fold (or cut) away the unwanted tissue.

Note the fold line towards the bottom of the pattern piece:


I drew a 2nd line the same distance away on the ruched side of the foldline:


New pattern piece:


Hop on over to The Sewing Divas to see how I sewed the facing and sleeve bands.


Filed under Fabric, New Look, Tutorials

Working on…

Yes, I was quiet yesterday, no sewing. My Sunday started with breakfast in bed and was followed by the Washington Post crossword, a little reading (a sewing book, naturally), the British Open and napping before heading out to The Big Tomato for a mashed potato pizza and a couple of Martinis. Sometimes it’s rather nice to have a lazy day with no focus on accomplishing anything!

I’m back at it today, busy fashioning this:


and this:


Into something that resembles this:


I didn’t have any silk print in my stash that had a similar feeling but I did have this now-sold-out Paint Splashes Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics! I really like this New Look pattern even better than the See top because it is less voluminous which can be tough to carry off when you are 5’3″.

If I like this look on me I really want to make another one in this faboo silk jersey which I do not own *yet*. See what I mean about the fabric addiction?

silk jersey


Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Fabric, New Look

As if I need another project…

When you are a sewing fanatic it seems as if the wheels never stop turning. If I am not actually sewing I am thinking about it, reading about it or shopping for it. Sometimes I suffer from insomnia and I can’t help but wonder if I’d be able to get back to sleep if I weren’t thinking about my current project or planning out my next one. If only I had an Etch-A-Sketch mind so I could just shake my head and drift off to sleep!

Right now I have three, count ’em, THREE projects in the works: the vintage tie-top, the HP Riviera tee and a top inspired by the See by Chloe top I posted earlier in the week. I was also working on a bag pattern for The Sewing Divas! But, you see, when I did my little studio spiff-up I put the pieces somewhere “safe” and can’t find them now! As if that weren’t enough I am also working on a couple of home improvement projects.

So, I must be sick to even be dreaming of this:


as this BCBG top:


The fabric is Stripe-A-Licious Cotton Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics – even the name is adorable. I can’t help but think that the uneven stripes would make this top look even more fab! It would be so much fun to plan it all out! And it would look so cute with my white shorts! I was resisting pretty well but now it’s on sale so I won’t be able to resist much longer. Time to face the truth: 1. I am just a hopeless fabric collector and 2. (fabric) diets just don’t work.


Filed under Fabric

Button magnets

I’m not into crafts (rather be sewing!) but today I made magnets out of vintage Patrick Kelly buttons! You see, I bought a magnetic bulletin board at my friend Bonnie’s garage sale last year. I finally hung it next to my desk a couple of weeks ago but had no magnets for it. I was going to make these great magnets from Not Martha but they were just too involved for me. Then I came across a bag of these buttons that I’d purchased on Ebay a couple of years ago and voila! in less than 5 minutes I had some cute sewing-themed magnets. You can buy magnetic discs at Michael’s. I used the 1/2″ ones and some E-6000 glue to attach the buttons.


If you want to hang cards or larger photos I’d recommend the 3/4″ discs as they are stronger than the 1/2″ ones.


Filed under This and that

Binding Mini-Tutorial

As promised, the mini-tutorial is up on the Sewing Divas site.

Comments Off on Binding Mini-Tutorial

Filed under Tutorials

See by Chloe Blouse

I LOVE this top by See by Chloe! Wouldn’t my new vintage pattern be perfect for this? I actually like the pattern’s sleeves much better as I think the See top has way too much fabric for my small frame. Not to mention that it would make my chest look humongous! Adding a hip band would be easy. I’ll have to check my silk stash and see if I have any prints that are similar in feel.



If you’re interested, the See by Chloe top is available for $445 at

Edited to add:


Well, my wrap skirt pattern came today along with a lovely surprise from the Ebay seller – a beautiful vintage handkerchief! A nice reminder to me to do the little unexpected things that may brighten someone’s day. 🙂

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Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Patterns, vintage

HP Cosmo Top

I finally finished today! I just couldn’t make up my mind on the length. Finally, I just put on a pair of jeans and tried out different lengths. As is often the case with tops like this, the crease where my thigh and hip meet (just lift your leg to find it) turned out to be the best. On me, it just looked dowdy longer. I originally cut the lower part of the top 10″ long but shortened it 2.5″ and used a 1″ hem.


I’ve been wanting to try this pattern as a top for some time and I’m really glad I did. It’s a style that will work equally well with pants, skirts or shorts. Here’s a closeup of the neckline binding. As promised, I will post a mini-tutorial at The Sewing Divas sometime in the next few days. It’s very easy to do.



Filed under Hot Patterns

Vintage Fever

Darnit, I just lose my willpower when I start looking at vintage patterns! I couldn’t help but look a little after buying the vintage wrap skirt a couple of days ago. Check out my two other 1970s finds! Neither is in my size but close enough that I won’t have to do a lot of altering.

I just loved this top with the cut-on sleeve! I’ll probably have to lengthen it a little so I don’t expose my midriff. Man, I would have killed to have my stick-straight hair do that when I was in high school!


This one is just adorable! I will probably make it with the skirt for a dress look. It would be way too short to wear as a top as-is but I’ll see if the style lends itself well to lengthening.


No progress on my pink and brown top today (and yes, you super sewing sleuths, it is the HP Cosmopolitan Dress shortened to a top!). I always underestimate the time it will take for me to finish my weekly paperwork on Friday, ugh. If you noticed the binding on the neckline I will be posting a mini-tutorial (mini because it’s so easy!) at The Sewing Divas this weekend. I haven’t done this type of binding in a long time, who knows why. But it was so fast and easy that I’ll be stuck on it for awhile!


Filed under Patterns, vintage