Monthly Archives: July 2012

Well, now that I’m officially on summer hiatus from my new job, somehow tons of sewing/blogging time has not materialized like I was anticipating. How is it possible that having more time has transmorgified into having even less time? Hmmm, maybe it’s that I keep putting projects off because, hey, I’ll have more time tomorrow, right? Sigh. So rather than a review of a dress I finished over two weeks ago and still have not blogged, or the bags I made for work over a month ago, here is a random post about what I’ve been up to besides, you know, tending to this blog in any way.

Despite the fact that the PR contest this month is the Pattern Stash contest, I have been buying new patterns like it’s going out of style. I took the plunge (and paid the transatlantic shipping costs – erg) and ordered a few StyleArc patterns from Australia a few weeks ago. They arrived amazingly quickly, and look really great. The instructions are definitely not the most descriptive, but they’re just dresses, so I should be okay. All the patterns I got are designs I’ve not seen anywhere else, and I really like them – they’re the Paula, the Milly, and the Lazy Daisy. I also got their free pattern for June (every month there’s a different free pattern you get with your order, apparently, which is awesome), which was the Tori pant, a capri designed for stretch wovens, one of their looks-like-real-pants-but-has-elastic-waist patterns. I’m actually interested in making these up for fall to see if they really pass for pants-with-zipper or not.


The fruits of my late night out-of-print pattern buying spree arrived the other day (less one that turned out to be out of stock, oh well). It’s a mix of patterns I’ve wanted for a while after seeing them on a blog/Pattern Review and patterns I just bought cause I liked them in that moment:

Of these, I think only M6109, the tank dress, will go right into the queue – the rest are for fall/winter/whenever I get around to them in several years. Also included in my order was a brochure for new McCall’s patterns, which, as Andrea pointed out the other day, have reached new heights of crazy:

I mean, what?! Okay, I know the one on the right is a just-far-enough-off-to-avoid-lawsuits Snow White costume pattern, but I think the poor little girl on the left is just the victim of the Craziest. Pattern styling. Ever. Really, what is with the gnomes this year? And there’s just so much crazy happening in the center panel that my brain can’t even process it all. Except I know what I’m making all my friends for Christmas this year – fur-lined spats. Oops, now I’ve spoiled the surprise! Don’t worry, family and friends, you’ll finally have something to go with your bi-color tights!

Um, yeah.

Finally, I wanted to share the (also crazy, actually) thing I spent this last weekend doing instead of sewing:

I rode the ominously (and fairly accurately) named Death Ride in the Sierras south of Tahoe. Here I am on top of Monitor pass, elevation 8314 feet. (To be fair, we started at 5700ish feet, so it’s not like I climbed that far from sea level or anything.) I passed this sign twice, once after climbing up the front of the pass, and again after descending the back then climbing back up. Oh, and then I went up another pass that was 8700 feet, down the back, and back up. And I didn’t even finish the whole thing! Like I said, crazy. But you know, it was actually fun! (Though had you asked me in the four or five hours after the ride, I would not have used that word. Ah, hindsight.) And I feel tremendously accomplished. Not accomplished at sewing, mind you, but ideally that will happen soon.

Which brings me to a peek at my current project:

I did say it wasn’t done, right? These are the scraps from the dress that’s on my sewing table now. I also had better get cracking on a dress to wear to my cousin’s wedding on the 27th… wow that’s soon. I’m thinking the Cambie, but I haven’t even muslined it yet. Well, I do love a deadline. Onward!





I happened to cruise by the McCall’s site earlier and noticed that all the OOP patterns in the whole BMV family are on sale for $1.99! Yeah, I may have just ordered a slew of old patterns… It only goes through today, so head on over quick if you’ve been dying to pick up any slightly older patterns at Jo Ann style sale prices!

Sometime in May I came across the T-shirt Project created by Elizabeth of ~E Made This, and I thought, awesome, I want to commit to making a tee a month too! You know I love a deadline to keep me motivated, and I want to make more simple everyday tops, so, perfect. Well, May was almost over, so that month was out, and then June came, and I sewed other things, and then it was over… but not before I eked out this tank tee! Yep, just under the wire, here’s my top for June – conceived and cut out on the 27th (while my machine was in for maintenance), mostly sewed on the 28th, finished and worn on the 29th. See, plenty of time. And you think I can’t meet deadlines. (Let’s all just look the other way while I blog this in July, okay?)

(I really like how it looks like the plant is eating me. I’m hiding from the sun to get a better picture… but ugh, camera in the sun with no hood means tons of lens flare! Ah well.)

This is, of course, the Sewaholic Renfrew top, sans sleeves. Lesson learned from my first version, this time I cut an 8 everywhere except the neckline and cut all the bands according to the grainlines, and I got a much better result. The neck band still doesn’t sit quite flat, but it’s close enough. And funnily enough, with the bottom band stretching like it should so I can pull it down over my hips all the way, I actually think the top is a little long for me as drafted (that has to be a first, I usually love long shirts). I’d prefer about an inch less length. On the plus side, it doesn’t ride up when I’m on the bike!

It’s been quite warm here lately (which I love, don’t get me wrong), so I wanted a sleeveless top this time. Inspired by Andrea’s cute Renfrew tank dress, I bound the armholes in the same manner as the neckline, but with slightly narrower 2 inch strips. This made about a 1/4 inch band, which was just right for me. Rather than try to do the math to figure out how long to make the strips, I cheated and bound the armholes before sewing up the side seams, just sort of stretching the bands as much as I thought would make them lay right. I did end up trimming about an inch off the bottom of the armscyes before binding them, though, and I probably could have done another half inch. I’m starting to think I have low armpits or something, since that’s often where my shirts are tight. It was necessary to trim them anyway since the binding added back a quarter inch, but even so it’s an adjustment I’ll probably make on the sleeved version in the future.

The fabric is a funny remnant piece from my favorite place. It was maybe a yard and a half total, but it had a wide white border on one edge, a weird cut out section, and was kind of trapezoidal on one end. I did get all the pieces to fit, luckily, but I don’t think I could have made the top with sleeves even if I wanted to. I have no idea what kind of fabric it is, though. It has the hand and stretch of a stable cotton jersey, but it’s, well, sticky. It sticks to itself like crazy in a way I’ve never encountered. It’s not static, and it doesn’t stick to my body or other fabric, just to itself. I’ve washed it, so it’s not starch or anything. Mysterious. On the plus side, I didn’t have to baste any of the bands or pin anything, so it was very easy to work with! Any idea what it might be, anyone? Modal or something maybe? I initially was going to make a skirt with this fabric, but I’m sure glad I didn’t – it would have been all bunchy. This turned out to be the perfect project for it. Love when that happens!