Category Archives: Fabric

Happy New Year!

There’s just nothing like a bright, shiny New Year full of hope and promise, is there? I have set a few sewing goals for 2011:

*12 jackets (this was so much fun that I want to do it again!)
*A couple of sundresses
*Solid knit tops
*Milly blouse (now that I have all the ingredients)
*Navy duffle coat
*Navy suede or Ultrasuede jacket for Bryan
*Master my collarette binding machine (the Kansai 8103-F)
*Use my Merrow purling machine more often (or sell it!)
*Get my industrial embroidery machine up and running again
*Have my Singer 143W refurbished and put into a stand

Of course, my household goal list is really, really long but tops on the list is finishing off the side yard. I am tired of trudging through dirt every time I take out the garbage! We’ll be clearing out the rest of the plants on Sunday so that’s a start.

Remember the horn toggles I bought for my black duffle coat? Well, I was so pleased with them that I bought more. They were so inexpensive I couldn’t pass them up! I bought a few more black ones and some interesting black/cream ones.



I plan on lining my navy duffle coat with this wonderfully soft Pendleton wool plaid from Gorgeous Fabrics. Since I’ll be wearing this to football games I was looking for the same plaid used in the school uniforms (Stewart Hunting) and this was pretty close. To make the coat easy to get on and off I’ll line the sleeves with a navy satin coat lining (also from GF). Ann has some wonderful coat linings on her site right now so if you’re planning on making any outerwear this year you’d better order now because they won’t be easy to find once it warms up.


This piece of deliciousness is also from Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s a reversible heavy cotton jacquard that I’ll be using for a jacket, pattern to be determined. It’s a very good weight for an unlined jacket. It’s labelled dry clean only but I am going to wash a swatch and see how it turns out.


I wish I had some sewing to show you but I don’t! I’ll get back on track next week, I promise.



Filed under Fabric, Notions, Year of the Jacket

Milly Blouse – Part I

A misnomer, really. I am actually still in the hunting and gathering phase of the Milly blouse. I knew I had some champagne silk charmeuse in the stash and I found it (with matching chiffon!) but, alas, not enough for the blouse. I found a ton of bronze silk charmeuse but it’s not my best color (someone gave it to me) so I had set it aside for nightwear (I wear a sleep mask so I don’t care what color my jammies are).


While I was hunting, I came across this beautiful leopard silk charmeuse still wrapped in tissue in the original bag from Cynthia’s. For shame! From the graphics on the shopping bag, Cynthia dated it at six years old, at least. Immediately, I thought “test garment” and that’s what I’m doing with it.


I’ve already come pretty far, the back fronts and sleeves have been joined in French seams and the armscyes have been sewn. I was going to serge them and then I thought, why not bind them with the champagne silk chiffon? I used a 1″ binder but cut my strips 1.5″ wide because silk chiffon narrows so much on the bias.


I think this gives the inside of the blouse a really nice look.


I did finally settle on a charmeuse for the Milly blouse, this silver grey which was purchased at Judy’s Fabrics a very, very long time ago.

The crystals were a bit more challenging. I did find the ones I really wanted at MJ Trimmings but, sigh , $$. I found these crystal beads locally. They cost me about $30 (about half of the ones at MJ) and they are big (12mm) and flat. I think they will work just fine. Cynthia has the perfect grey chiffon for the front ruffle which I’ll pick up on Monday night when I have my beginner’s class.


Filed under Aren't you glad you sew?, Butterick, Embellishments, Fabric, Vintage Patterns

Could you hear me squeal?

Oh, UPS man, how I have missed you! The Italian rayon jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics arrived today and it is even more beautiful in person. I’ll probably knock this dress out in the next week or two but no hurry since fall is nowhere in sight.


Also, this past week I have become obsessed with this Isabel Marant silver brocade baseball jacket ($745, gasp!) at Net-A-Porter:



I’ve been checking all my usual fabric sources for dark silver/black brocade and came up empty-handed. This morning I stopped at JoAnn’s to pick up a pattern and found this brocade – which is surprisingly nice – on sale for $9/yd! Let’s see, $27 for fabric and “free” zipper/lining from my stash for a savings of $718. I love sewing!


Thanks for the well-wishes, my surgery went great! I actually feel much better than I did last time and anticipate getting a lot of sewing done over the next few days.


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

Burda Style 02/2009 #119 – Finished!

All done but the hem, anyway! This is such a pretty style. It is simple but the sleeves make it different and special. I did have a couple of issues, though. First, the neckline was too high and made me look like I had a big, heaving bosom. It’s hard to tell from the photos but I actually took the neckline down by over an inch, ending about 5/8″ above the yoke seam tapering to nothing about 1″ in front of the shoulder. It’s a much more flattering look for me and I’m happy I took the time to “make it work”.

Here’s the before:


Phyllis suggested I use the pink section of the fabric for my neckline binding and, I have to say, she was so right. I like it much better!

The after:


The other issue I had was with the sleeve. For some odd reason (which I didn’t notice until after I had finished cutting), the inner sleeve is the same length as the outer sleeve. For it to bubble properly it really needs to be a little shorter than the outer sleeve so before I make my dress I will lengthen the outer sleeve .25″ and shorten the inner sleeve by the same amount. Also, the instructions have you understitching the seam allowances to the undersleeve. I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to stiffen the seam and lose some of the drape of the sleeve.

I can show you the fabric I am going to use for the dress now that my cut has been secured. It’s Italian Rayon Florida Knit – Jewel Tones from Gorgeous Fabrics. Hurry, it’s on sale and there are only a few yards left!


What’s next? Well, tomorrow is September 1st (how did that happen?) and I’m a little freaked out because I still have 5 jackets to complete by the end of the year. Aye! And then there’s the Big Bow Skirt and the dress from the September Burda Style and the Knip Mode skirt and, and, and. It’s official: there is never enough sewing time.


Filed under Burda WOF, Fabric

Burda Style 02/2009 #119 – Part I

Yeah, I know I’m supposed to be working on the Big Bow Skirt. I’m on the fence about my fabric choice, sigh. Instead, I decided to tidy up a bit (so that I’d quit obsessing over the skirt!) and I found this top/dress that I had traced off last summer. I have found the perfect fabric for the dress at Gorgeous Fabrics (no, I’m not going to show you lest you buy it all!) so I thought I’d do a quick test of the top to check the fit.



I am such a sucker for prints like this (as if you didn’t know)! I believe this came from Gorgeous Fabrics. I cut one section at a time, laying everything out on the floor as I went along. I cut the upper bodice a several times before deciding on this particular layout (I use my camera as 2nd set of eyes). The neckline will be bound with the green.



Filed under Burda WOF, Fabric

Burda Style 08/2010 #120 – Part I

The worst is over, I have finished all of the pintucks! Yay! I do love pintucks, just not making them. As you can see, I thread traced each fold line. Not the fastest method but it was the best and most accurate way this time.


This is an Italian silk crepe de chine that I bought at Maggi’s For Fine Fabrics in Boca Raton years ago. I had a coordinating linen jacquard that was made into a jacket back when big shoulder pads were still in. It went to Goodwill a long time ago! As much as I love to buy new fabric, it is actually fun to finally find just the right pattern for some of these old pieces.

Now to begin the boring and time-consuming task of pulling all of the threads to the back side (twenty-eight times!).

ETA: Thank you lin3arossa for reminding me about single-thread pintucks! The much-revered Kenneth King has an excellent tutorial up on the Threads website here. I haven’t sewn single-thread pintucks in many years and had completely forgotten about the technique. Doh!


Filed under Burda WOF, Fabric

Loose Ends – Part I

The day started out most irritatingly: I had my project planned, the fabric was pressed and laid out and then I took my TNT pattern out of it’s envelope and the upper bodice was missing. I know! I can’t believe it either. I have torn apart both sewing rooms and have not found it. I even checked the envelopes of patterns I made around the same time last summer (that’s where blogging really comes in handy!) with no luck, sigh. But, I did find a big zip bag with some batch-cut tees that I had forgotten about so I decided to work on those instead so that the day wouldn’t be a total loss. All fabrics are from Gorgeous Fabrics.

First up, a Kwik-Sew 3378 in a tissue-weight rayon/lycra (I wish I’d made this a smidgen longer). This fabric is very sheer so you’re seeing spots of light through it. :


A couple of Jalie Sweetheart Tops (these still need hemming) in purple rayon/lycra and


charcoal rayon/lycra.


There are three more in the bag and I think they are all Sweethearts so they’ll go together quickly. If I don’t locate my pattern piece by the weekend I guess I’ll have to alter a new one. But I won’t be happy about it.


Filed under Fabric, Jalie, Kwik-Sew