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Monday, October 30, 2006

Ode to the Crop Jacket

It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing...

Project Details

Pattern: Simplicity 4082
Body - 100% wool herringbone tweed coating
Lining - 100% polyester Asian brocade
Notions: three 1 1/4" buttons

This is my version of the Burberry cropped a-line coat that retails for a whopping $850! I couldn't find an exact pattern to copy jacket, but with a little modifying of this pattern, I got a similar look.

  • used view C & F
  • reshaped the front bottom edge from rounded to square
  • added faux welt pockets on the front seam line
  • added a lining to the jacket
  • interfaced all of the front sections
  • mimicked the topstitching of the Burberry coat
  • shortened a few inches more than the pattern (I reallly like the length of all of the Balenciaga jackets for this Fall).
I'm quite pleased with the way this jacket turned out and moreso with the cost - $47.91!

Project Details:

Pattern: Vogue 2812 - alice + olivia
Fabric: 98% cotton/2% spandex denim
Notions: two jeans buttons; 7" brass zipper

Description: Close-fitting, straight, below-waist pants: floor length with fly zipper closure, non working front pockets, back patch pockets, carriers and stitched hems.

I used view B with the wide waistband. This pattern was rated Very Easy and it was. If you have ever done pants, this would be no problem. The only modification I did was lengthening. I added three inches to the adjustment line. I didn't really follow the directions, I just copied the way all of my jeans are topstitched and edgestitched. One thing I did notice about this pattern is that even though I cut my normal size 16, this jeans have a lot of ease which make for a very comfortable fit.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I usually don't do snarky type post, but I had to go there.
courtesy of the Fuggers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Chrystee Pharris, formerly of Passions. If you can explain to me what the hell she's wearing, that would be great. I promise you, this looks like a D.I.Y. craft project gone haywire! I'm willing to bet that's a bottle of Fabri-Tac in her left hand behind her back, just in case one of the strings pops loose.

BTW... pics will be back in a couple of days -- also to include new projects!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Black Purl Magazine

Black Purl Magazine is "an online magazine for needlecraft artists featuring ethnic-inspired stitches and stories". If you aren't reading it you should, especially since yours truly was interviewed by the fabulous editor-in-chief L'Tanya Durante for an article - The Well-Crafted Wardrobe. Check out the other articles too!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Don't get bent out of shape!

Singer 100/16

The joys of sewing denim!

The Look of Houndstooth

Love these looks!

Project Details

Pattern: New Look 6619
Body - 100% woven cotton houndstooth
Lining - 100% polyester dull satin
Notions: Five 1" buttons and one large snap

Description: Misses lined jacket with collar and sleeve variations; size 8 - 18. I did View A, with the asymmetrical shawl collar and full length sleeves in my normal size 16. This pattern was very well written which provided an easy to sew garment. Instead of side seams, the jacket has side panels. This is another pattern were the upper collar is slightly larger than the under collar ... again, it attached perfectly. The only problem I encountered was through my own lack of attention to detail. On the under collar, I applied the interfacing to the right side of the fabric instead of the wrong side. I ended up spending half an hour peeling that off. I didn't have to make any alterations or modifications, I sewed straight from the directions. I think I will enjoy wearing this jacket with skirts, pants or even jeans. I recommend this one to anyone that wants to add something with a little flair to their wardrobe. Will I sew this again? Probably not since this is such a trendy piece. Plus, I plan on doing a coat with a similar style collar.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I don't know about you...

but, I can't wait to see this movie!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Things I hate about sewing

Sewing can be such a wonderful and fulfilling craft. It's the art of taking a pattern or creating your own concept and combining it with the perfect fabric and making something magnificient. But what about everything that goes into the prep work? How do you even get to the point of turning on the machine? This whole process can be extremely daunting. I first have to (1) prepare the fabric by either preshrinking or steam pressing. Usually while this is going on, I'm probably looking for new project ideas, shopping for more fabric or finishing up a current project. Then comes the (2) laying out and pinning the pattern pieces and cutting. Don't you just love this part? Now that I got all of my pieces cut out, I have to (3) transfer all of the little symbols to the fabric, this part is call marking. My preferred method of doing this is with tailor's chalk or a dressmaker's pencil.

Usually, by the time I've gotten this far, I'm thanking the good Lord that I didn't have too many pattern alterations or modifications to do (that's a whole other post). Now, I'm ready to sew! Oops, forgot the interfacing! Now that I've cut that out and fused it to the pieces, I'm too damn tired to do any sewing! Maybe tomorrow I'll actually get a chance to turn the machine on.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday, the 13th Randomness

Today's obsession...

As I'm sure you've observed, I've fallen in love with this season's cropped jacket. I came across this little cutie at Net-a-Porter.com and remembered seeing a very similar pattern in the McCall's fall book. I want to make this, not sure if I'll wear it or my daughter, but I do want to make it.

On the cutting table...

New Look 6619, View A in black/white houndstooth.

Vogue 2812, View B in a dark indigo denim.

After that, I'll relax with this!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It's starting to feel a lot like Fall - Pt. 2

jacket belted

jacket unbelted

Project Details

Pattern: Butterick 4865
Description: Unlined raglan sleeve jacket has collar, sleeve and length variations.
Fabric: olive/black wool blend tweed
Notions: eight 1 3/8" buttons

As you see, I'm quite smittened with these cropped jackets. It really doesn't get "coat-cold" here until around January, so I'll get a lot of wear out of these jackets for the next couple of months. I sewed this jacket last week, I've just now found the time to photograph it. This jacket is a combination of views C & D. This is a Butterick Fast & Easy pattern and it was. I made this jacket before I did the previous one and it did not come with instructions for a lining and I didn't quite understand how to make it work so I just used a Hong Kong seam finish.

View C required six buttons, but I used eight (six on the outside and two inside). I couldn't really find buttons that accessorized the fabric well so I decided to cover plain black buttons with leftover fabric. I decided to use this tutorial to make fleurchon type of button cover a la Angela Keslar of PR. I went ahead and made the belt from view D to have the option of wearing it belted or not.

Monday, October 09, 2006

It's starting to feel a lot like Fall

Project Details:

Pattern: McCall's 5007 - View A
Description: Short, boxy jacket with princess seams, 3/4 length sleeves and collar variations.
black stretch corduroy
lining - blk/wht polka dot charmeuse
Notions: four 1 1/8" buttons, four sew-on snaps
Skirt: Zigzag Skirt

This little jacket is McCall's version of the Elie Tahari Elsa Jacket from his Spring 2005 Collection. This was a very easy pattern, the instructions were very well written and illustrated and the lining went in quite smoothly. I decided to use a corduroy and line it with a polka dot charmeuse that I found on the $2.00/yard table at Wal-Mart.

The collar on this jacket is amazingly well drafted. The upper collar is slightly larger than the lower collar, and it attached beautifully. I fused the entire front sections to give the jacket a more tailored look. I topstitched and added the buttons. The jacket sewed so beautifully that I couldn't bare cutting buttonholes, so I used four sew-on snaps, like the Tahari jacket instead.

I love the look of this jacket, the vintage styling. I plan on getting a lot of wear out of this jacket this Fall.

Friday, October 06, 2006


Project Details:


Pattern: Butterick 4738-View A
Description: Square neck pullover top with length and sleeve variations.
Fabric: Scallop edge lace
Accessory: Black leather Sash

I bought this pattern because I thought that it was a really cute top, but I had no idea of what fabric I was going to use so it just sat in my collection for a while. A few weeks ago while out window shopping, I stopped into Anthropologie and saw all of the beautiful lace wear they have in their Fall collection and was inspired to make something similar.

This pattern completely lives up to it's name -- "Fast & Easy"! I cut and sewed this top in like 2 hours! I modified View A, by omitting the bias tape that should have been sewn to the waistline of the top that would incase the lace ties. I wanted to be able to belt the top and have option on what type of belt to wear. Since the top is lace, I also omitted the facings and the fusible interface. I used the lace guide pattern piece to cut the scalloped edge from the fabric to use as the trim around the neckline and voila, it was done!


Pattern: Butterick 4861-View D
Description: Straight-legged, below mid-knee pants or wide-legged gaucho, below mid-calf or evening length have waistband and mock fly.
Fabric: light-weight black and white wool blend tweed
Notions: two 3/4" buttons; 7" zipper

Also while in Anthropologie, they had a great pair of wide-legged gauchos with wide cuff, so I was inspired to do a pair of those too. I never really saw an exact pattern for the style I wanted, and since this pattern was really quick and easy, I decided to just modify it. I used View D, which are the pants, cut off 3" inches on the legs. On the wrong side, I made a 4" wide hem and on the right side, I did a 3" cuff and tacked it down on the seam lines. Also, on the waistband, I added an inside button. Another great "Fast & Easy" pattern.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Go Pink!

If you're wondering what's the deal with the change, Pink for October dot org is banning together with other sites to promote National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Monday, October 02, 2006

** Warning: The following may cause Startitis! **

Start-itis n. Med. Condition suffered by handcrafters in which many new projects are begun, but older projects are left to languish unfinished, sometimes indefinitely. Common among knitters, crocheters, and spinners.
Cure: no known cure, but startitis can diminish after being allowed to run its course.

The October Magknits is up. Must give shout-out to Saun for the very cute Susy Tunic and honorable mention to Whitewater Wristwarmers.

Also, the Vogue Knitting holiday preview is up. These grabbed my attention:

This sweater could be cute, but I hate where the ribbing stops. Why would the designer stop it at nipple level?

Can you ever have to many twin sets? I'm thinking not... wear it now with the cardi and by itself for warm weather.

Who doesn't love cables?

Today's obsession...

I want this dress... bad! It's really simple, with a scoop neck and an a-line skirt.

Here is a similar style worn by Beyonce