Simplicity 2339 – Plus, a blogoversary giveaway!

Yikes! It’s been forever since I’ve posted anything! I promise I have been sewing – I just have a hard time getting anyone to take pictures for me. I’ll try to be better about writing in the future, even if that means you get pics of garments on Matilda (my dress form).

I’m going home to Oregon to visit my mom this month, and it’s cold there. I have sort of a lack of casual clothes in my wardrobe as it is, and definitely not a lot of cold weather clothes. I decided to use some of the flannel I picked up on Black Friday to make a cozy shirt to combat the Oregon weather. I thought the Tiki print flannel was a fun and sort of ironic choice for a cold weather shirt 🙂

I chose Simplicity 2339, and used option A without the waist or back darts. I wanted a more casual look for this shirt, so didn’t think I needed the extra shaping.



Overall I’m happy with the shirt, although I think it’s a little loose. For a casual shirt that’s fine, but I want to make some work blouses from this pattern so will definitely need to add in the waist and back darts for those.

This was my first time making a button up blouse and feeling like it was a success – no pulling or gapping, and the buttons and buttonholes actually line up! I also got to use the buttonhole function on my new machine for the first time, and I LOVE that! You simply hold the button up the the screen, and turn the dial until the image on the screen matches the size of your button. Snap on the buttonhole foot, and voila! Perfectly sized buttonholes!

I messed up on the cuffs and had to shorten the sleeves at the last minute. Sort of a bummer since this is supposed to be cold weather gear, but I can always wear a long sleeve shirt underneath it. Overall this pattern went together really well, and I would definitely recommend it!


On another note, February 14 marks one year since I started this blog! Even though I didn’t become very active with it until later in the year, my blogoversary marks the point at which I became serious about sewing and I’d like to do something special. So, following the lead of many bloggers before me, I’m having a giveaway!


Up for grabs are McCalls 5277 in size 6-14 and 6097 in size 14-20 . To enter, comment below and let me know which pattern you like best. On 2/14 I’ll randomly draw winners and make an announcement here. Good luck!


BurdaStyle 2/2013

I just received my February 2013 Issue of BurdaStyle in the mail, and there are so many patterns in this issue I can’t wait to make!! And, even better, most of them are rated easy! Hooray! Here’s a quick look at the patterns I’m loving (all images from the Feb. issue, copyright Burda):

I really love the contrasting neck and sleeve bands on this blouse. Perfect for the office!


This top is made with pre-pleated fabric, and inspires me to try out some of those funky fabrics I see but never know what to do with.


I really like this easy rated knit dress, but I’m not sure the flounce would work on my body type:


I LOVE this top, and bonus – there’s also a longer, dress length version with short sleeves:


This simple halter style dress will be perfect for a vacation in Mexico we’re planning later this year:


I love the gathered effect on this mock wrap skirt (I think this is a candidate for the Giorgio Armani wool I received in a recent mystery bundle):


There are a few other patterns as well – a knit top in short and long sleeve lengths, a couple more dresses that will be perfect for vacation. This issue is going to keep me busy for a good long while!

Instant pencil skirt gratification


I’ve been busy tracing off a pattern for my first attempt at making something from the BurdaStyle magazine. The process is sort of slow-going and tedious, and I found myself starting to avoid the sewing room lately, dreading trying to find the correct pattern lines, trace them, and add in seam allowance. Dreading the sewing room is not a good sign, and I knew I needed something quick and easy to get back in sewing gear. Some of the ladies in the RTW Fasters group had recently mentioned being in a sewing slump, and Sarah suggested sewing up a quick pencil skirt to break through the slump and move forward.

I thought that was a great idea, and had the perfect 1 yard piece of tiger print knit for a skirt, but no pattern. A quick search of the web located this tutorial for making a knit pencil skirt using an existing skirt as a guide, and I was off to the machine to see what I could do!




Sorry for the dark photos – my camera is lost at the moment, so iPhone it is!

I really love this skirt! Quick, easy, and based off something you already own so you know it will fit great! I plan to make up at least two or three more in basic solids to help round out my wardrobe. I would definitely recommend trying this out! Great for that instant gratification we sometimes need!

A Very Burdastyle Christmas!

I mentioned to my mom a while back that I’d really like a subscription to Burdastyle, and she surprised me with one for Christmas! I received a copy of the December 2012 issue with a card notifying me of the subscription earlier this month, and just received the January 2013 issue earlier this week. Thumbing through the January issue, I immediately fell in love with this leather vest:

Burdastyle Jan 2013 Leather Vest

I love everything about this vest – the length, the zippers, the collar, the point in the front. It has a great shape and will work with my curves very nicely! Figuring it would be a good project for when I had advanced a bit in my skills, I penned it in to my sewing calendar for some time next year.

I received an email notification from FabricMart today advertising these gorgeous purple and metallic leather hides as Sue’s Daily Pick for only $17/hide. How could I resist grabbing some up for that lovely vest?? As an added bonus, they’re currently offering free shipping! Woohooo! I took the great deal on this leather as a sign – I need to jump right in and make this baby now! The only problem is, I’ve never worked with leather, and I’ve never worked with a Burdastyle magazine pattern either. Eep! Ah well, what’s life without some adventure, right?

I should receive the leather next week, and with the kids off to their dad’s for the holidays I’m planning on using my four day weekend over New Year’s to start working on this vest. I am a little intimidated by that leather, but I’m also excited to start my new year off with a new challenge! Does anyone else have plans to challenge themselves with something new in the new year?

Happy holidays!

The holiday season is upon us, and that means I haven’t had much time to sew for myself lately! It has become tradition for me to make pajama bottoms for family every year. They open them on Christmas Eve so they can sleep in them while we wait for Santa. This started as a way to introduce me to my partner’s family’s holiday traditions, and has become something I really enjoy and look forward to every year. It’s a lot of work, but this year I enlisted my holiday elf to help me out!


This was his first time sewing, and despite me being not the best teacher, I must say that he is picking it up very quickly. And he had MUCH more confidence with the serger than I did at first!

I hope you all have a happy, safe holiday season filled with friends and family!

A big box of joy…

…arrived from Fabric Mart today! 🙂

From left to right, back to front:

Silk/Cotton suiting, cream and metallic silver.  There is MUCH more silver in this fabric than I expected!  I had planned to use this for the jacket from Vogue 1132, but I’ll have to think on that a bit….

Marc Jacobs wool blend plaid, which doesn’t appear to be available on the site anymore.  I think I paid $3.99/yd for this.  It was such a good deal, I bought 6 yards.  I would like to make the Burda Tonia Shorts out of this.  The rest will probably be used for a jacket.

Marc Jacobs novelty embroidered cotton with stars.  This one is so fun, and doesn’t appear to be available any more.  The weave between the stars is somewhat loose and the fabric is very light.  It will probably end up as a summer dress.  Here’s a closeup:

Linen blend jersey knit in chili pepper

Linen blend jersey knit in aquamarine.

“Brushstrokes” ITY knit from Julie’s Picks.  I’ll make another McCall’s 5974 with this.

White ribbed knit for turtlenecks/tees for layering.

Purple/Gray/White striped silk shantung that is no longer available.  I have no idea what I’ll make with this, but it is BEAUTIFUL.  The stripes run selvage to selvage.  I’d like to try to avoid horizontal stripes, although maybe the broader stripes won’t be so bad.  I have about 2 yards.  Any suggestions?

Black Ponte knit from Julie’s Picks, which I’m hoping to make some pants from.

Not pictured is this lovely silk/cotton toile. I don’t know what this will be yet, but it is very lovely!

I also received a free 6 yard fabric bundle with my order.  I received 2 yards of a red knit, 1 5/8 yards of a black woven, and another 2.5 yards of the cream/silver silk/cotton suiting, so I guess I can make a skirt to go with my jacket!



Introducing….. Anise!

Anise is done!

I have to admit, this project was a challenge for me.  I had to add in a bust dart to a pattern that didn’t originally have one in order to accomodate an FBA.   I’ve never sewn a lined jacket before, and had never even attempted welt pockets or bound buttonholes.  The pattern was rated for intermediate, which intimidated me as I’m very much a beginner.  But I loved this pattern and was determined to push myself, and I think I did fairly well.

Welt pocket detail

I made more than a few mistakes with this project.  For starters, I chose a fabric that is heavier than recommended, which  added to my frustration level during construction.  My machine really had a difficult time with the fabric when contructing the finer details like the buttonholes and pockets.  But in the end, I really like the end result in the heavier wool.  I think it adds to the vintage feel of the coat, particularly when coupled with the faux Persian Lamb collar.

Collar detail

My type A personality really took hold with this project.  I am not a huge fan of hand sewing, and this pattern required a lot of it.  I got frustrated and sloppy with the lining hem, and had to unpick and redo the whole thing.  I had to remove and reattach three buttons to get them perfect aligned.  I had to unpick and reattach one of the sleeves to get it lined up with the other, and I still don’t think they’re perfect.  I spent so much time working on this jacket, and I found that as I neared the end of construction I was looking on my work with such a critical eye that all I could see were its flaws.  I had to walk away from the jacket for a few days, so that I could come back and look on it with fresh eyes to really appreciate what I’d accomplished.  This is something I really need to work on – I absolutely do not want my OCD perfectionism to interfere with my ability to enjoy sewing.  I think I’ll take the next week or so to whip up a few quick, easy projects to help me regain my sewing mojo.

Despite my frustrations, I really do love both the pattern and the jacket, and would definitely recommend it to others.  This was my first experience with Colette patterns, and I was very impressed with both the pattern and the instructions.  They were very clear and well written, and I really appreciate the step by step illustrations.  Having access to Sarai, the sew-alongs, and helpful tips in the Colette forums is also a HUGE bonus.  I am definitely a fan, and plan on picking up several more of the Colette patterns in the near future.

I think the jacket is a perfect compliment to my mini-tophat, don’t you?

(I really need a new camera – this one does not capture colors well at all!)

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