Monthly Archives: September 2009

I Love Knippie!


I fell in love with this adorable skirt (view 16B) in the October, 2009 issue of Knip Mode and ordered a copy from Stoff Art on Ebay, with whom I’ve dealt countless times (she also sells Patrones and Diana – please note that she is currently on vacation).


I absolutely love Knip Mode! Nearly all the patterns come in my size and they are so much easier to trace than Burda WOF. I don’t read Dutch but it’s similar enough to German that I can figure out what’s what. Note that there are only two colors to trace on this particular sheet – black (zwart) or red (rood). Some of the other sheets also use green (groen). The lines are easy to see and the paper is white and glossy.


The sheets are also smaller so they are more manageable. I’m able to lay one sheet out on a 4′ table so I traced off the skirt while it was slow this afternoon.


I have always wanted a subscription to Knip Mode. Right now, it costs me about $20 per individual issue (with shipping). Yes, they are available each month from Stoff Art but that’s more than I can justify paying so I’m pretty particular about which ones I buy. If my grandmother were still alive I’d ask her to send them to me every month! How wonderful would it be to get Knip Mode and Burda WOF every month? I’d be in heaven! Speaking of Burda, I caved and resubscribed. I loved the last two issues so much and was lured back in. AND, I’ve actually traced a garment from each issue already!

I finished my silk blouse last week but decided that it’s just too risky to sew at the shop. Although I was very careful working on it (I constantly washed my hands and covered the tables with examining table paper) I still managed to get an oil stain on the front. I was going to bring my Marrakesh pants in anyway but once the Knip Mode arrived I decided that was a safer project. I may bring a denim skirt with me next week. There isn’t much that could happen to denim, right?

My friend is just starting to come back to the shop for a couple of hours each day. I’m guessing I’ll still be working overtime here for a few weeks. I absolutely can’t wait to get back to my normal schedule. I’ve been too tired to sew and am becoming very b*tchy!



Filed under Burda WOF, Hot Patterns, Knipmode

Dyeing MOP Buttons

When I wanted to try dyeing MOP buttons for my silk blouse the first person I called was my friend Sharon. Sharon is very experienced with dyes and paints and dyed a bunch of plastic buttons a couple of years ago – yes, you can dye some plastic buttons too! She recommended I use Rit dye and experiment first with one button to check the color and time.

I used one cup of water with four capfuls of liquid dye in a small Corningware dish. I prefer to use a glass dish because it’s non-reactive. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Thread the button(s) on a string (I used some topstitching thread) and put into the mixture. I looped the thread around one of the dish’s handles so it wouldn’t completely fall into the liquid. I checked my button every 5 minutes. After 20 minutes I realized that this was going to take a very long time! But, by then I could already see that the color was going to work, I just needed to simmer it for a long time to get the saturation I wanted. I strung up the rest of my buttons (make sure you dye a few spares!) and simmered them for three hours. I turned off the stove and left them overnight when I went to bed.

The next morning, I decided to try to get them a bit darker so I started with a fresh batch of undiluted dye. After a couple of hours they finally looked good to me so I rinsed and hung them to dry. I can’t imagine that they will fade but we’ll see. Due to all of the gathers on my blouse I will probably dry clean it so I’ll let you all know how they hold up to those chemicals. Hopefully, they’ll be fine because I have a ton of men’s MOP shirt buttons and plans to make a few more silk blouses.

Because MOP buttons require such a long cooking time, I really recommend you use a dish with a lid. Not only does this prevent all of your liquid from evaporating, it also prevents the dye from getting into the air. It’s not just a little stinky, it can’t be too good to breathe in either. If you are going to be standing over the pot a lot I’d recommend a mask of some sort too. Most of my dying consists of quick jobs like lingerie elastic (which dyes in mere minutes) so it’s not been a problem before. I just wanted to mention it to you so that you can be prepared.

PS: Don’t forget that anything you use for dyeing should never be used for food again. I’m you already knew that but it bears repeating.


Filed under This and that, Tutorials

Am I still working on this silk blouse?

Ugh, yes I am! I can’t believe how much trouble I’ve had sewing this blouse! Well, thankfully, it’s not just me. Last night, Ann, Phyllis, Pam and I decided that the planets must be misaligned or something. Anyway, the sleeves are finally done and I hope not to see my seam ripper for a day or two. Since I’m working six days right now (my friend had a knee replacement so I’m minding his shop on Saturdays) I’ve decided to blow off housework today and get this thing finished because I really want to move on to other projects.


I’m embarassed that my pressing board is so stained! I went to JoAnn’s – do you think they had any cotton drill? Uh, no.

I bought some new industrial hemmer feet this week. The one on the left is 3/8″ and the one on the right is 1/8″. I really like this style best. They are the same as the Bernina feet that I am used to.


Here are some other feet I already had. They are really nice but I just don’t like them as well as the other style. The one on the left is a spring hemmer. It has a little spring that opens as you go over a seam. The middle one is a ball hemmer and the one on the right is a wire hemmer. For some reason, I’ve just never made friends with any of them (I think it’s because of the lack of visibility) so I was really excited to find the others. They weren’t expensive so I’ll probably order some other sizes as well.


I almost forgot about the buttons! I finally picked up some Rit dye yesterday. I simmered the buttons on the stove (I have a dedicated Corningware dish for this task) for about 3 hours, left them in the dyebath overnight and then simmered them some more this morning in a fresh pot of undiluted dye. They are not quite dark enough but I’d rather have an “almost” MOP button than a perfect plastic one!



Filed under Attachments, Fabric, Vogue

New Look 6891

My honey’s first home game is this coming Friday and I am determined to wear comfortable footwear! Believe it or not (haha), I am not a sensible shoes type of girl and spent last football season on the sidelines in high heels. This year, I am planning ahead and making some cute outfits to wear with comfortable shoes, namely my Frye Campus 14Ls.


As much as I love chunky boots, they are a bit problematic, stylewise. I was thumbing through an old Anthropologie catalog the other night and immediately fell in love with this outfit (and how awesome is her hair!?!?!?). Yes, I detest skinny jeans (really, what woman wants to look like a lightbulb?) but they are perfect tucked into boots! Hopefully, I’ll be able to find a pair by Friday. Since it’s still quite warm here, I’ll be skipping the jacket for now. But I’d wear boots year-round if I could – Lord knows I’ve tried!


For the tunic, I decided on New Look 6891 in a beautiful rayon challis from the now-defunct Textile Studios fabric store. This fabric has been in my collection at least three years.


What I liked about this pattern was that it didn’t seem too full. Normally, I would never buy a pattern that starts at a 10 since I hate having to grade down the shoulder and upper chest but I liked this enough to deal with that. As usual, I started by tissue fitting and was pleasantly surprised that the shoulders fit very well and there was enough ease (39″ in the size 10) through the bust that I was able to skip the FBA. I did make my usual forward shoulder, sway back and sleeve length alterations but that’s it.


For such a simple top that’s very easy to put together, it is surprisingly flattering. The neckline binding/ties took more time than anything else. There are only a few gathers over the bustline – if you needed to make an FBA it would be so simple to move the additional fullness there.

This is definitely a keeper that I’ll be making again. And, for those of you who’ve inquired, yes, I am working on those HP pants! I have a few irons in the fire, so to speak, and trying to get the most pressing ones out first.


Filed under Fabric, New Look, Shoes

Another Sweetheart Top

This top’s been done except for the hems for more than a week so I wanted to finish it before moving on to the next project. I really, really dislike UFOs!


The more I make this pattern, the more I like it. I like having a lot of tees in my wardrobe and this one has now become a favorite. It’s pretty, flattering and quick to make. This fabric came from Bestonlinefabrics (link in the sidebar) on Ebay. I just can’t seem to resist anything that looks hand-painted! This will be the perfect thing to wear with jeans to a football game.


Filed under Fabric, Jalie

Vogue 8598

I expected to have this finished days ago but you know how that goes. I know it needs some touch-up pressing but didn’t feel like waiting for the regular iron to heat up. 🙂 I started with my usual size 8 and made the following alterations:

*1.25″ full bust adjustment
*.5″ broad back adjustment
*.625 forward shoulder adjustment

I also shortened the sleeve by 1″ as I always do. I don’t always make a broad back adjustment, it really depends on the pattern. This shirt is quite fitted so I really needed it – especially if I intended to drive a car while wearing it! During fitting, I ended up taking the front seams in about 1/2″ under the bust to the hem. And I took in the side seams at the 1/2″ on each side at the waist, tapering in to 1″ at the hip. This pattern has a beautifully flared hipline, unfortunately I don’t.


As you can see, the sleeves are much more gathered than they appear in the line drawing. To be honest, I think this particular sleeve would work much better in a lightweight, drapey fabric such as crepe de chine. While it’s very pretty, it’s a bit more billowy than I’d prefer for this fabric.


To give you an idea of how much gathering is in the sleeve here is a closeup of the cuff (the interfacing is Pro Sheer from Fashion Sewing Supply – great stuff!):


The MOP buttons are from my stash. While I don’t particularly love square buttons, these matched my voile perfectly, happened to be the right size and I had the required number (15!) on hand. It’s been a very long time since I shopped for buttons so I did have a quick look for alternatives when I was at JoAnn’s on Friday. All I can say is that I’m really happy to have such a large button collection!

That’s it for today – I’m heading back to my sewing room. Spaghetti sauce is cooking in the crockpot and I’ve vowed to ignore all housework until Tuesday. 🙂


Filed under Alterations, Vogue

Vogue 8196 – Planning stages

A couple of weeks ago, I remembered that I had about 5 yards of black wool gauze in my “collection”. I thought it would be perfect for this Vogue pattern:


I decided that I’d like to use Cluny lace (vs. a more delicate lace) to keep it from being too froufrou. Since I couldn’t find anything of good quality locally I decided to take a chance and order online. I found what looked to be some really pretty vintage laces at Deb’s Lace & Trims for a very good price. Well, the laces came today and I am very pleased! These are exactly what I had in mind – they weren’t sold as coordinates but I thought they went together very well.


Parting shot: The past few days, I’ve noticed that my old girl Kanga has been pushing the decorative pillow/sham off of the regular sleeping pillows for her daytime nap. She usually sleeps in the chair next to the bed but I guess she was ready for a change.



Filed under Fabric, Kitties, Notions, Vogue