Moving Over To Denver Sews Blog!

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Hello Everyone! At the start of the New Year I’m moving over to a fun new blog called Denver Sews. There are some amazing and talented seamstresses, writers and just all around lovely ladies who love to sew and blog about it. I hope you join us and follow along. I loved writing for my own little blog and loved meeting fantastic bloggers and seamstresses over the time I was here. I plan on taking all the fantastic blogs I found over to our new blog and will continue to learn and grow from you and this amazing blogosphere!

Happy New Year and Happy Sewing!

Jill (aka Jilly)

Tessuti Free Sewing Pattern –

I downloaded the free Tessuti knit top, this was my first downloaded pattern. And, a perfect choice too. The knit blouse/tunic pattern was easy to sew and I now know why all the raves for this top. I love it and can image myself making this in several versions. The only thing I added was about 3 inches to the sleeves. It sewed up very fast. I had enough fabric left over to make a knit skirt as well. The fabric came from JoAnn’s.  I want to get the Tessuti dress pattern as well. The download/sewing pattern had 15 pages and came with no directions, so if you are new to sewing or downloads you might need a bit of help but it seems pretty self-explanatory. I may just be a convert to download/patterns yet.  Here are some photos of my rendition. Continue reading

Vogue 7405 (OOP) Completed

Vogue OOP 7405

Vogue OOP 7405

However, this being my first wrap dress I’m not totally convinced these are the universal dress every fashion editor makes them out to be. This one is extremely hugging at every bump and curve.  It tends to droop, so I’m constantly futzing with it.  I tied it rather tight at work and it felt a bit restraining.   The fabric was very soft and it did feel like wearing pajamas which isn’t a bad thing. I don’t know I’ll need to wear it a few times to see if I want to make another one or maybe try a different knit that isn’t so  body conscious.  Do you like wrap dresses? Any suggestions?  See more of the pattern review and alterations.  Continue reading

Woven Maxi Skirt- McCalls 6654 for Knits

Maxi Skirt

Maxi Skirt

Here is a maxi skirt I’ve been working on almost all summer. I fell in love with the fabric I purchased a year ago at Denver Fabrics.  The color is a red/tangerine and I love the wave print, seems perfect for summer.  The skirt pattern is for a knit, McCalls 6654. Tish Gance of HISS Studio told me how to covert the pattern for a woven. I had a lot of problems with the invisible zipper so much so that I ended up putting in just a regular zipper.   And Janet White of JM Designs told me about transparent zippers that are perfect for sheers, chiffon and other light weight fabrics.  I love having friends that know their sewing stuff.  The only problem is I have NO SHOES to wear with this gem. Got to do some later summer shoe shopping!

To convert the knit pattern Continue reading

Miss Imperial by Patti Hallock

Patti Hallock Miss Imperial

Patti Hallock Miss Imperial – 

Please visit Patti Hallock’s website for more of her work.

http://www.pattihallock.com/

Inspiration from the SPUN Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

SPUN Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

SPUN Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum

Updating the wardrobe

Ya, I’ve been away for awhile.  I miss blogging.  I finally got a little free time and decided to update my wardrobe and whip off a little blog post to get back into the swing of things.  Maybe reading Advanced Style got me fired up.  Looking at all those grandma’s rockin’ their style made me look at my own wardrobe and how I can spice it up.  I am in a deep frumpy rut and need a forklift to get me out.   I love the A-line and have made many.   But, it’s all looking a little too dowdy.  Here is a before and after. What do you think?

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Before

After

After

All I did was take up the hem and taper it more at the hip to hem.  Do you have any  ideas for de-frumping the wardrobe?

New Look 6025

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New Look 6025

One of my favorite blogs is The Perfect Nose.  The Nose is responsible for my new addiction to tunics   She makes them in wonderful fabrics and always looks so chic and effortless while drinking Midori’s  that well, I had to try it.  Plus, they are a breeze to make.  This one has a few issues.  It is a bit expansive across the chest and falls off my shoulders in an annoying way.   Continue reading

Vintage Button Show

IMG_3676I had no idea there was this was going on; button collecting!  The Colorado State Button Society puts on a button show every year.  There are juried competitions and of course dealers and collectors go to buy. There are classes, lectures and workshops too. And, oh all the buttons. Beautiful buttons, everywhere.  Old ones,very old ones, Bake-lite, glass, buttons from Germany, China, Egypt.  The most expensive I saw was almost 2000.00.  The cheapest was a quarter.  That’s the bin I was in. Continue reading

Gotta have it! – Martin Bjornson’s Spool Chair

How would this be in your sewing studio?  You can sit on it and store stuff in it as well.  Pretty neat.  I’ll take 2!  From Designer Martin Bjornson.  

My Conversations With Edith Head

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Girl can pose!

Last night I had the opportunity to see Conversation With Edith Head a one woman show starring Susan Claassen.  This is a wonderful look into the world and mind of  Edith Head.  And, for a 90 minute play with no intermission time really flew.   Continue reading

Working 9 to 5!

Yes, this will never happen.

Yes, this will never happen.

I am so happy to announce that I am now the Web Editor for Sew News magazine. You can find out more here on the magazine and all its sister publications.  I am working on the web side of things, lots of social media, blogs, websites, maintenance, CMS etc.  I must admit I do feel a bit like the fox in the hen house.  I never imagined being surrounded by sewing, knitting and quilting people, books, machines etc and get paid for it.  Over the moon…

secretary at work

Remember when?! Me neither.

Search for better marking tools

Image from Sew True.com

Image from Sew True.com

It’s getting increasingly difficult to see my marks for darts and so forth. (I think the cause of my failing eyesight is this hideous grey font every web designer is so hot for.)   I found this product at the local fabric shop.  Mark-B-Gone is a fabric type paper similar to the  carbon or chalk papers but much thicker.   I used it on a dark linen.  The lines were fairly visible and came off easily on my swatch.  I did mark each side individually for better results.  Have you used this product?  If there is a white paper it would be even better on darker fabrics.  Is anyone finding the chalk paper harder to come by?

Do you have a favorite marking product that might be helpful for the visually impaired?  

MACKLEMORE and RYAN LEWIS – THRIFT SHOP – (Not the clean version)

Super Thrifter

Super Thrifter

I made a run to the local thrift shop and thought this vid pretty well summed it up.  

Probably should of washed this…..

What I got at the Sew Expo

Of course....

What else would I buy

Our region’s latest sewing expo was in town.  Yes, it was short on garment/fashion booths and yes, everything was over priced.  But, I still managed to find things I had to have including 3 rolls of Swedish tracing paper.  Thanks to Jane for directing me to it at the last minute.  Got to talk to a lot of awesome sewing ladies and met some new people who love garment sewing and fashion.  One group that was new to me was the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.  They have some amazing classes and meetings for the pros and not so professional as well.    Had a great time, don’t know how I couldn’t.  Here’s a few pics of the day. Continue reading

Wordy Wordless Wednesday

Wordy Wednesday

Surrounded by words at the Museum of Contemporary Art – Denver

Parov Stelar music to sew by

Parov Stelar

Parov Stelar

I just read SewVeraVenus’s latest post and thought how lucky she is to be going to White Mink.  Which got me jumping to Parov Stelar and thought you all might like a listen too.  What do you think?  Amazzzzing.  

Easy couture technique for waistbands – yes, easy!

New pencil skirt

New pencil skirt

Since I make a lot of  skirts I’ve decided to up the ante and start adding in couture techniques or different elements to keep my skills moving forward. On this pencil skirt from Burda 8155 I used a couture waistband technique from Susan Khalje which is featured in the latest issue of Threads magazine (March 2013). The short of it is to place petersham or grosgrain and sandwich in between the fabric and lining of the waistband.  It offers much more stability in the waist area.  

For the pertersham cut out the same length as your waistband pattern piece, which is usually your waist measurement plus 4 inches. Install the lining if there is one.  Next place the petersham on the right side of fabric, above the skirt’s waistband stitching line.  Here is where I added a step. Continue reading

Amy Butler’s new fashion line of fabrics

Amy Butler

Amy Butler

In Threads magazine March  2013 Threads announces Amy Butler’s new line of fashion fabrics.  And, I gotta say they are lovely.  This new line is really a breath of fresh air.  Some of her other fabrics were great for aprons or tote bags and pillows but for my clothing choices I found them to be too loud or something.   Just color combos I wouldn’t normally wear.  

Can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of yards of these beauties.  The fabric comes in voile, rayon challis, sateen, velveteen, cotton and linen.  What do you think? Click here for more pics Continue reading

Thank you Great Britain Readers

 

Go Great Britain

Keep Calm and Read On

Looking at my stats over the last few weeks  readers from Great Britain have doubled over my native Yanks.  So as a way of saying thank you I present an ear worm for your enjoyment –  the Sewing Machine Song!

Thanks so much for stopping by where ever you come from!

Body Mapping for better fit

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Here I am!

I’ve read about body mapping in the fitting book of Palmer and Alto’s Fit for Real People.  I’ve dismissed it as stupid and a waste of time. Sort of like the whole fitting shell thing.  Well.  Well.  I had Marni at our last meeting do me an outline of the old body.  Lo and behold it isn’t a waste of time!   Highly recommend this to not only see what you body might look like in a crime scene but to get a completely different look at your lovely body. You can’t see the  grid lines on this photo but they are quite helpful in getting a great look at your body and type.

Here is what I learned.

  1. My  right side is higher than the left.
  2. My left shoulder is sloping but not the right.
  3. I am  short waisted
  4. I have almost no visible waist.  
  5. I have a long crotch length
  6. My knees are average (Who knew!)
  7. I have a small frame and small bust. (I knew that!)
  8. I am either an hourglass or a rectangle.  My waist has little indentation but then my hips and shoulders are about the same width and my waist is 10″ less than my hips.  Unclear but I don’t think it really matters much.  Hourglass certainly has a better ring to it.  

My measurements are as follows

  1. Height 5’7
  2. My high bust is 31 (I’ve been measuring wrong, I thought it was 32 1/2)
  3. Bust 34
  4. Rib cage area 28 1/2
  5. Waist is 27
  6. Hips 37
  7. I’ve been sewing with a 12/14.  I refused to think my bodice size to be an 8. 

There are a lot more measurements to do if you decide to do a body map.  I chose the ones that I thought would be most helpful. I really care a less what my ankle or wrist measurements are.    

Fit for Real People goes into detail on how to do a body map and for a seamstress who is constantly looking for ways not to do something I thought this was really worth the time.  Goes without being said that you need a partner.  

Fitting Workshop!

At our sewing meetup we are doing a fitting shell workshop.  I have avoided doing this like the plague.  2013  I’m doing it and I’m bringing all my sewing friends kicking and screaming with me.  For our January meetup some came with fitting shells and gingham in hand and got to work.  

Well, not really.  This was as far as I got. And, Jamie…well, she got the paper out of the envelope and cut out.  The pattern that is, not the actual gingham   Hmmm.  Bad girls.  Kim and Becca were literally wrapped up in their Costume-Con project and didn’t get the fitting shell even out of the packet.    

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Not going to cut itself out.

Well, I was busy.  I chatted with the ladies.  We haven’t seen each in other in a month!  Met new members (Yea!) Helped a new sewer with her machine, tried to anyway.  Talked some more, snacked.  Looked at sewing books, watched a fitting video, took crappy photos.  Gabbed and snacked more.  Fiddle with material.  Drooled over some vintage linens Tiffany was using to make aprons with.  Went in search of my sushi.   Oh, but we did make a few resolutions.

  1. Make a gown for the Denver Film Society’s Oscar bash for 2014
  2. Go to the Edith Head show in March
  3. Go to the bar and do a Suds and Sew.  Can’t wait for that one!
  4. Volunteer for Costume-Con in May
  5. Go to Sewing Expo in February
  6. Go to Sewing Summit in October
  7. Sew more from independent pattern makers.
  8. Do more charitable creating for those in need.
  9. Sew 
  10. Do costume shop tours of local theater/opera companies.
  11. And, whatever else comes down the pike.

Current new member Tish of HISS Studio (so awesome that she came) has opened a sewing studio and offers a variety of classes for seamstresses of all levels.

You can see what she has to offer here and here.  If you are in the Denver area check out our latest and greatest addition to the Sewing Community!

I look forward to collaborating with Tish and HISS Studio more in the future.  Oh, and it was Miss Tish who came up with the idea of Sew and Suds.  Stay tuned for that one. 

You can check out our Facebook page or Flickr page to see that some actually did get quite a lot done.  Weekend is here so I’d best get busy.  

Advanced Style

Advanced-Style

Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style

Getting back to writing has been like getting back to working out after a bit of time off. Slowly and with much procrastination.  I’ve really enjoyed my time offline, A LOT.  Got a lot of reading, sewing done and just not being online was refreshing.   One lovely book that got the creative flow going was Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style. (Thanks, Santa)  I’m sure you are all familiar with his style blog Advanced Style, highly rated and well worth a peek if you haven’t visited it.  This blog showcases the women and men of a certain age who really know how to dress with style, fun and joy.  This book would make a great gift for any fashionista young or old, but great for that woman who might be celebrating a certain birthday with a little melancholy.  Sure to give them a lift and a good lift at that.  Below are a few of my favorite ladies and their inspiring quotes on aging, fashion and having fun with it all.   

Here is Alice Carey

Advanced Style

‘You don’t want to look crazy. The object is to look chic.’

Beatrix Ost

Advanced Style

‘In your body is a good place to be’

Linda

Linda

Linda – from Advanced Style

A great quote from Valerie and Jean sums it all up.  

‘Young woman you’re gonna be an old woman someday.  Don’t worry about it don’t sweat it. Don’t worry about getting older. Every era, it builds character.’ Amen!

For the new year whether we make it ourselves or buy off the hanger may we all do it with style and flair.

Dumbest mistake ever. At least for today.

Got a call today from the sewing fairy

Got a call today from the sewing fairy

After God knows how many hours spent on this ridiculous pant issue,  ripping out, re-doing, re-cutting, darting, crying,  buying more freaking fabric and on and on, turns out I was putting the damn waistband on upside down.   Can. Not. Believe. It. 

Do tell.  What has been your silliest mistake.  To date. 🙂    

Meggings a good thing or WTH?

As I crusade against  bagging pants I’m now faced with their direct opposite (Oh fashion you fickle beast).  Allow me to introduce Meggings.  Man Leggings.  Most famously worn by Mr. Conan here. 

Oh, what have you done

Oh, what have you done

And, now we have an actual full fledged trend of Meggings on our hands.  So weigh in do you think these are here to stay, a good thing our just terribly wrong.   And, you can read what male style editors think on the whole subject.  

Man Leggings. Hmmm.

Man Leggings. Hmmm.