Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt

So, this is my official pattern review of the hot pattern Deco Vibe Flippy Skirt. I love the cut of this skirt. It is very slimming from the front. I would have preferred real pockets instead of the faux pocket that is offered in the pattern. I need real working pockets people. Need, need, need them. If you like a real working pocket like I do, I think it wouldn't be a huge deal to modify this one.

View from the front, so you can see for yourself what I'm talking about. I don't know how to describe it, it just drapes nicely.

View from the back.

I KNOW!! Or should I say; now I know. I was completely ready to go out in public! On the way out the door, D wondered if I meant to outline my bottom. He seriously asked me that. "Did you mean to outline your bottom?" What are you asking, who in their right mind would do that? So I got out the hand mirror - and backed up to the full length mirror to get a good look at my rear (something I try never to do) , and sure enough, bigger than Dallas I had outlined my butt. Before you ask me "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?" Let me just state for the record I made this skirt on a whim one evening after a big day. I may have been a little tired. When I held the dark brown rick-rack up to the skirt and it popped, I'm sure I was thinking, wow, contrast trim, this will really pop. I specifically do not remember thinking, contrast trim, now this will really accentuate my butt.

So my final thoughts on this subject are... I recommend this pattern, it has an unusual cut. The instructions are a little sketchy and like all hot patterns assumes that you have general sewing knowledge. Hot patterns do not offer pictures with the instructions if you are a visual seamstress. As you can see from the line drawing the curve on the back is actually higher than it is drawn. I do not recommend using a contrasting trim. Unless of course having a smiley posterior is your thing, then contrast away.

This is the outfit I would have been wearing.
So funny, my sister suggested that I flip the skirt around, and that might just be the solution. The trim is serged in and short of cutting it off, it is in to stay.

vintage beaded sweater

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Corduroy skirt and wool leg warmers

Another lesson in never say never. As in; "I would never wear leg warmers." Enter leg warmers in yummy wool tweed. Who, I ask you could resist? Don't judge... it's cold in Colorado. I used them as a second pair of socks and tucked them into my boots. Yea, leg warmers!!

The skirt is a self drafted simple a-line. I had a remnant of vintage curtain fabric, that I fussy cut and appliqued on. I left the edges raw for that faintly distressed look.

I took the time to do a lot of stitching detail. It doesn't really show unless you look real close. (Click on the photo)

I'm hanging out in the studio today, working on a fun Christmas gift - and yes, I'm wearing the legwarmers.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crafting Japanese

I have a huge fondness for Japanese Craft Books. I have collected a few, and have actually used them to make several items, all sewn.
I stumbled upon some crochet books - written of course- in Japanese. Just for one little second lets ignore the fact that I'm a fairly inexperienced crocheter, not to mention I cannot read a word of Japanese, not one word.

How could I resist? The cute factor is just to great.



So... I'm boldly forging ahead. The crochet patterns are all on schematic charts. Because this method is international, there are several sites online that offer information on how to follow this method of crochet. The information that I found even suggested that the system was invented by the Japanese in the 1960's. For many years it was referred to as the JIS (Japanese International Symbol) system.
The premise being, that if there is only one set of symbols - internationally recognized- language would not matter, as you would only need to know the symbols to "read" the pattern.
Now, I just need to know a few key phrases to get my needle size and yarn type/weight.

I purchased this pattern book here. You can also find this seller here. I have shopped this store before - numerous times - and have always been happy with the transactions.
The book is called 18 projects of Making Room Hats
Publisher Nihon Vogue Sha Nov.'06
I am unable at this time to find an isbn #

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fat Bottomed Bag

I found this vintage enamel pin and put it on my crochet bag. It occurred to me that I've never posted the fat bottomed bag finished. The project was from some time back.

I added my own lining, the pattern doesn't call for one. I just flattened the bag (before I added the band that gathers it all up) as much as I could. This became my lining pattern. I gathered the lining onto a velvet ribbon to hide the edge, and hand sewed it into place.

Some of the paint has chipped off, but I think it makes the pin even more charming.
I love the bag, but my kids say it looks like an old grandma bag. I'm off to run errands, rockin' the old grandma look.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Daryl,

In downtown Ridgeway there is a thrift store. Mom and I were passing by on our way to Grand Junction. I had her stop, just for a minute.

We went our separate ways, mom over to the kitchen stuff, me elbow deep in the fabric bin. This particular bin had several shelves, and there was already someone looking things over. Of course I'm hoping she hasn't already found the vintage fabric. I finally come up for air and notice my surroundings, checking out my competition for the vintage fabric, and it's none other than Daryl Hannah. yeah.

Trying my best to appear nonchalant and unaffected - only knocking a couple of things over on the way - I make my way back to mom in the kitchen section. So the following is the story as I remember it. Mom, feel free to add anything (or defend yourself) , I'm happy to edit.

"Mom, Daryl Hannah is in the store. She's over in the fabric section shopping." Mom very unruffled and matter of fact, hands me a random piece of handwork (see photo) that she's already found lying somewhere in the store and says, "Take this over and have her sign it." Now, I'm not going to bore you with the details/dialog of the argument that ensued. Suffice it to say that she won, she always does. Dragging my feet I go back over to ask Daryl for her autograph, something I would never have imagined doing, not in a million years.

"Excuse me Daryl, do you see that women over there in the kitchen section? That's my mother. She's a quilter. She sent me over with this fabric, hoping that you would autograph it for her. She plans on making a quilt around it. You know, with the dog image in the center the other blocks radiating out from that, blah, blah, blahbiddy, blah." Oh the agony. I'm sure she was wondering, will this never end. Then she signed it, she really signed it. I'm sure that it had something to do with shutting me up.

Back to mom in the kitchen section. She witnessed the entire interaction. She then hands me another piece of fabric. She is quite sure that once I've had time to think about it, I'm going to want an autograph of my own. "Don't even think about it, you can't have mine," she says. "Mom, why didn't you have me take them both over in the first place?" Now she's laughing, "I didn't think it was Daryl Hannah. I've been over here just crackin' up, thinking that you were asking a complete stranger for Daryl Hannahs autograph."

So you might be thinking that this is the punchline. Nope, not even close.

I went back over and asked for another autograph!!

Thank you Daryl Hannah, you're very gracious.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swirls Cap

I found this newsboy cap pattern - offered by Sophia Kessinger on ravelry. It was just screamin' to be made up. What a fun project. I now own two of these. The wool is vintage, and is a denim color with a cool under tone of brown.

The flower accessory is also offered in the pattern. I'm not wild about it on the cap. I'll probably put a pin on the back and wear it on a jacket. Not at the same time.
The fabric that I used as my backdrop in this photo is the lining for the handbag I'm working on.

you are totally messing with my sewing mojo.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I found myself in dire need of a petticoat. I knew I did not want to make one. I tried to order said undergarment from anthropologie. I was even willing to use a "get out of jail free" card from my wardrobe refashion challenge. When I checked online the yellow crinoline that I wanted was back-ordered. So this (not so) little project came about not out of desire, but necessity. About halfway I actually thought of an easier way to do this. Now I have to make another to test that idea. Just for the record this one was put together with a double row of basting thread gathering method. Yuck. I have so many rows because I wanted large volume. This would be overkill for everyday wear. I think for day-wear you could get by with two rows of ruffles.

The little mini me belongs to my daughter. When she saw mine she really wanted one. The design is much simpler. I found a vintage peignoir and cut off the bottom and gathered it onto a slip I found at the thrift. I just used the lace at the bottom as the hem. Petticoats are made from the bottom up. voila.
Madi is wearing hers as a skirt. In fact I had to rip it off her body to take this photo. She has had it on for two days straight. I would call that a wardrobe refashion success.

fyi: The crinoline at anthropologie seems a little short. I think the best length is one or two inches shorter than your skirt. The yellow crinoline is only 19" in length. I do really like the color.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kreativ Blogger award

Tina at glamspoon tagged me with this honor (you little minx), and while I shy away from these tags as a rule, I am going to suck it up and play along. It's just the pressure you understand. Generally the way they work is - you reveal things about yourself that you are assuming someone will find remotely interesting. Now, I actually enjoy reading these little tags, they are like tiny little glimpses of you. So here goes, be gentle.

Seven random things you may or may not want to know about me:

1. I love corny musicals. I know, I'm sorry, I didn't say this was going to be pretty. Grease 2 is still one of my secret all time favorite movies. If you haven't seen it I recommend donning a disguise and rushing right out to you local movie rental (preferably on a weekend when your family is not at home, or trust me you'll never hear the end of it) and picking this movie up. In my defense, in high school I was in Jazz Singers. I would liken this to glee. Although none of my classmates were near as funny. Good times. Good times.
2. Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of my favorite books as a child.
3. I make up (bad) rap songs and threaten to sing them in front of my children' s friends as a way to control their behavior. It works.
4. I drink waaay to much coffee.
5. I've been married more than once. gasp. Got it right this time.
6. I took tags off of brand name clothing when I was in high school, and added them to garments that I had created. I had a pair of knock off Levis that I copied (down to the pockets) and added a tag from a pair that didn't fit that I found at the thrift. Please don't tell.
7. I am currently into crochet that looks as if it came from my granny. Pillows, throws, the cute little banner thingys that I keep seeing everywhere.

The second part of this tag is to nominate seven blogs that I admire and challenge them to play along. As I am not sure who has done this one, and I can't narrow my favorites down to just seven, I'll respectfully pass on the second portion of the challenge. Do feel free to play along if you're inclined. There, I just tagged you.
I'm off to pick up my purple crayon, I never was very good at coloring within the lines.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello Ilene....

The answer of course - is so that I can wear my new crinoline under. What was the question? Oh; has it really been so long since my last post? Quick check, oops. If you had any thoughts about it at all, I'm sure you wondered if I've taken a hiatus.

I actually envisioned a photo shoot in the leaves, with the cottonwoods turning colors and radiant in the background. We had a snow storm and the leaves are brown and on the ground now.

I am a little uncertain about the neckline. The line drawing does not fully show the extent of the scoop on the bodice. Very scoopy. Seriously scoopy. Undergarments are going to be an issue here. The bodice is completely lined and I suppose you could just skip it (undergarments that is) if you were inclined. I am more inclined to manage with a supporting cast, if you get my drift. So.. not to sure what to do about that. No, I did not make a muslin first, you silly.

A little close-up of the fabric.

I ended up making my own crinoline. That however; is a whole other post.

disclaimer: I know that scoopy isn't a word it showed up on my spell check.
second disclaimer: I am a huge fan of making a muslin first, before you cut into your 1950's vintage fabric.

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Look 6910 / Simplicity 3592

What would happen if I combined the bodice of New Look 6910, view B with the skirt from vintage Simplicity 3592?

On closer inspection the skirts on both patterns are very similar. Why would she do that?
To be continued...

Monday, October 5, 2009

burda wof august edition

A fabulous slim cut dress, with a gathered neckline and short raglan sleeves.

I couldn't resist this issue when I saw these photos. Any anthro lovin' girl could have found herself in the same predicament.

Seriously, we have delicate chiffon meeting rustic tweed.

Another version of the pencil skirt, this time with a raised waist and tiny waist pleats. sigh...

A trench coat with a capelet and gentle hem flounce. According to the pattern book it lends this trench a feminine, fanciful flair. You had me at the flounce.
Oh burda, you so have my number.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

happy feet

Last fall I learned to crochet. My first project was a granny square pillow. The original plan was to add crochet detail to the knitted projects I planned on completing. Now it is fall again, and I've yet to complete one knitted project.
I did discover that I really like to crochet.
I expressed at one point how it is just too bad I can't make shoes - as the shoes I covet are usually way out of my budget.
That's right, now I make shoes. I tried two different versions. The black version has hemp on the bottom and can be worn to the mailbox. The yellow pair has wool on the bottom and I consider it more of a slipper.
I know, hippie shoes.
I found this pattern on ravalry. It is for sale on etsy here. The pattern is well written and has lots of high quality pictures.

If only I could make them look like these.
These shoes are from anthropologie - this season

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bound Buttonholes

Armed with only my Singer Sewing book copyright 1949 and high hopes I re-visited bound buttonholes. I love this detail when I find it on vintage clothing. I've done this before a couple of times. It is not like riding a bicycle - you know, some things come back to you naturally. Some things you just forget.

this bound buttonhole is welt style

So if it's looking a little shabby it might have something to do with the three times I picked it out before I was happy (enough) with the results. Oh go ahead, I know you want to - click on it to enlarge so that you can see the needle marks that are still in there. ;)
I plan to enter this dress into the Mad Men challenge. Can you guess which character?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The huge pencil skirt pattern review

The first pencil skirt pattern I tried was the hot patterns version. Let me just say for the record I really, really, wanted this to be the one. Not only that I love the idea of supporting these indie pattern companies, but Trudy and Jeremy have really gone the distance to make their patterns user friendly. If you haven't found them on You Tube you are missing out on some pretty creative stuff. I have had good luck with the hot patterns I've used. This one not so much. The pattern has some really great details, I just couldn't get the fit right. I found the shape very bulbous at the hip line. Then when I adjusted for that, I could never get the front darts quite right. I liked the curved waistband, the hem (deep bias cut facing) and the back kick pleat.

Skirt number two: New Look pattern 6758
I cut this out in my usual size. It's big. Never assume. You know the saying. So I have to re-size after it's almost done. Is this really going to happen? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Funny, after I made this, and while I was looking up the info, I found this post. My sentiments exactly.
note to self: check pattern review site first!!

So finally, in this case the third time being the charm, I've got it. This skirt is from a burda pattern. I first saw it made up here. I will make a this one again. I am going to borrow the elements I liked from the hot patterns skirt and make a few changes. The back slit is just the seam finished, and I don't think it will hold up well and I don't like the look. I'll add the vent. I'm also going to add the bias fabric hem.
So... as promised there you have it, maybe this will help someone looking for a go to pencil skirt pattern.

leave me a comment if you've made any of these patterns, I would like to hear about your experience

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I danced with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'...

and her knees kept a knockin'
while the band kept a rockin'
I danced with a dolly with a hole in her stockin'
we danced by the light of the moon

referenced in this post

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


All of these images are J.Crew. I am enjoying the use of unusual fabric. It reminds me of vintage sofas - in a good way. I have some of this unusual fabric in my stash. So I was on a quest for the perfect pencil skirt pattern. After several attempts I am happy to report I think I've found it!! So, in my next post I'll share the skirts that didn't make the cut, and then the one that did.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Birds in Flight

Another example of freezer paper stencil. Any simple image can become fabric art. The bird image is just clip art. There are tutorials all over if you've not tried this yet.
I listed a few of my favorites in this post.

photo by Tomoe Natori

Isn't there a nursery rhyme that refers to a hole in her stocking? Does anyone know it?
Maybe it was a little song? Maybe I dreamed it?

photo by Tomoe Natori

Anyway... I thought this was a good photo to end with.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mad for Plaid...More Print and Pattern

This plaid dress came from a junk shop. I found it in less than wearable condition. There were many issues. A lot of the seams had failed and had to be sewn up. I also re-sized it and took the hemline up.

I don't mind the issues when I am lucky enough to find vintage. A little mending/darning just gives it character. I added a little character with this fix of the hole in the skirt.

photo by Tomoe Natori

Rosie's off to market with a Stone Free Farm tote, made with vintage drapery fabric. I've lost track of the number of bags we've done, but it is somewhere in the upper thirties.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Sometimes... too much of a good thing, is just a good thing.

Small little side note: The bed cover is Waverly curtain panels. I purchased them from Target
online. The panels are lined. I thought that they were very reasonably priced, and the shipping was free.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's a wrap...

I finally put some print and pattern photos into flickr. These were taken at Stone Free Farm. If you want to see more you can also access my account using the button in the sidebar. The handbag is one that I thought I'd sold. Now it will make it's way back into the shop. The dress is vintage.

The only thing the dress is lacking, is this yellow crinoline from anthropologie. I know that I could make it. In fact I should. Instead I am using my get out of jail card from the wardrobe refashion challenge and buying it new. gasp...
Somehow I cannot wrap my brain around gathering all that tulle to save $38.00.
I will post more from the photo shoot. Right now there is a mellow yellow crinoline with my name on it.