5 Inspirations from 2012


Thank you Gillian for giving us all a chance to praise some sewists that have inspired and pushed us this year! It’s often said, because it is so true- this community is so loving and supportive of eachother and I feel so honored and proud when my little dribblings get comments from all of you- I look forward to every wednesday because it feels like we’re all clustered around the same magazine making comments and passing it around. I love it! bj7

These are not in any particular order- I’m just not so orderly, you know!DGish07

Carolyn has taught me that once you get the right fit, then you can jazz it up. She has go-to patterns that look different everytime- except for the fit- that part is always spot on. Once you get the cupcake right, then you can frost it!

Coco has made me write down more patterns numbers for future makes this year, her style is so breezy and elegant, but everyday. Is that a thing? It is a good thing.  I want her Vogue 1177!!

Theresa has 35 different variations on the Anouk, all of them fabulous! 35- I swear!  She could dress every pup in one….definitely my blouse icon. She also has gorgeous pictures on her blog of weather I miss …I sigh and woof…..

Ruth has this classy, sassy Rosalyn Russell lady reporter in tweed thing going on and I love it! She is making a Chanel jacket. I barely line things. I wonder why she even speaks to the likes of little me!

Graca has inspired me to get a little more bold in my pattern choices- my Vogue fear is almost under control now with mild sedation and cookies. it seems like every pattern I want to try has a very detailed Graca post waiting for me to find. I predict that in the future references will be referred to as ‘Gracas’…..

Rhonda is like a sewist Power Ranger! She flies, she designs, she solves problems and she makes soup! If she doesn’t post for a few days, I assume that she is on a secret mission and that we have been unknowingly saved from a Godzilla attack or a Tsumani by her hands!

Beth sometimes I get a visual of Beth in a thrift store leading a charge- ‘Never leave a man behind’ and saving unattractive garments from a loveless fate. She has such amazing remakes and they never involve rickrack or pompom fringe. She is a refashion superstar!

Loran– I don’t know if this blogger knows it, but I think she is amazing! She does refashions, she does vintage styles, she has such cool pictures. Yeah, I’m a fangirl- I’d like a signed poster…..

Thats more than 5. It had to be. Everytime I would review my list the ‘But what about-‘s got me and I’d add another. If you aren’t on this list- it’s not a lack of love- I just knew I had to stop or it would be Anne’s Top 50 Favs before too long!

I’m not just trying to win a pattern pyramid when I say, this blogging universe is filled with amazing people! I look forward to meeting more in 2013.

Let go of disapproval and know that God will send people who celebrate your talents, your personality and your accomplishments- J Osteen

photo credits:  google images, style.com, meadhawg

Wearable Wednesday…..Chanel

ch1This is going to be a long one- I can’t stop looking at this sheepy fabulousness!ch2scratch, scratch-ch3 I want this jacket- I have sleeve envy. ch4Anyone know how to make a wooly Elizabethan ruff? I demand a tutorial! ch5hmm-ch6I love this one- ch7This is a big wooly collection- 79 looks- we must press on-ch8This makes my inner 80’s gal very giddy-ch9I want! I want! But where would I wear this? ch10I must start being more selective- I can’t show everything, but this one- oh….ch11Oh, it’s glittery AND wooly! Those are magical sheep! ch12Kazz– are you out there? This collar is for you!ch13Ding! We have a sheer bodice sighting! Our Wednesday is complete! ch14Ok, I think this was Florence Welchs prom dress…ch15The happiest model-the only one not scratchingch16photo credits: style.com

2013 Schemes, New Look 6148 and a Merry Christmas to All!


After reviewing 2012, and not being too upset about it- I’m pleased to see makes from 2011 still getting some love (they didn’t fall apart!) and a lot more 2012 makes getting worn to death!  Me thinks I might be getting the hang of this!

So in the spirit of Gillian’s Top 5 posts, I bring you

The glorious plans of 2013!!!

Fanfare, trumpets, cartoon bluebird circle overhead!MunchkinCoroner08f686cc-3224-4b53-bb05-003ed72fcbf2

1- I’m keeping this short.

This past year I have discovered that sewing for a life I don’t have is just wasting fabric. I don’t do corporate takeovers, I don’t need a suit. Altho, this would be acceptable:we should wory

I am a fancy top/tunic and fun shoes gal. So I need to sew for it. Since this doesn’t really advance my skills much, I will alternate my staple sewing with event sewing to push myself. Hopefully this simple little plan will eliminate the ‘What on Earth’ make museum feeling that my closet was  developing. I love fancier projects- after a hard day of my regimented job, a few hours working on a sleeve is really restful and calming- especially if it’s animal print, of course. But for everyday, I need washable, wearable basics- ok, basic for me still a little festive!

So I’ve taken a bold step in this direction  by making a top this weekend that fits me to a t. New Look 3148 is comfortable, vaguely stylish and has 16 variations to try.6148

I did the yoked version, it added a little shape to the bustal area, I knew you wouldn’t be able to see it, but we know it’s there, don’t we!

Extreme Bust closeup!!!IMG_3523

I skipped the pocket. Meh. You know, I have a real hate on for little square pockets on girly blouses- if you put anything in them  they just look like you decided one breast needed its own shield. it’s not that I am anti- useless things, I love the useless, I consider myself the patron saint of useless objects (look it up, you’ll see me in a cheetah print robe holding a pet rock and a flaming picture of Kim Kardashian) but those little pockets just annoy me.IMG_3522

I can see me making this one again and again- it fit well, right out of the envelope, it is easy to pair with things and it fooled my Motherinlaw- she thinks only poor people make their own clothes, donchaknow!IMG_3525


Lets discuss my shoes for a moment- I hate these functional laces- so droopy! Any support for grosgrain ties done in jaunty bows? suggestions will be thoughtfully regarded in the comments.

Psst- don’t forget- Jungle January draws nigh! Sew your own animal fiesta and be part of my fun  and frolics- the button is even available on  the side- so be one of the cool kids! jj1

photo credits: pattern review, meadhawg

Top 5 that fell flat in 2012

8253303909_0b1b916f1b_oThis is going to depress me- this will be about not embracing my hips or lifestyle, I’m sure. Arrgh. No, thats too negative. Lets blame it on the media, bad patterns and global warming. Ah, thats better. I knew it couldn’t be my fault.

Gillian‘s 2nd Top 5 list is Top 5 Fails. Here we go: IMG_6270This one is the cruelest of fails- even Liesl can’t bear to look at me in it! Vogue 8728. Everytime someone posts their fabulous version, I trot this out and see 400 different reasons why this just isn’t suited to me- bad fabric? Maybe. Bad shape? I think so. I am a large hipped hunchback with no waist in this. Just not a shape to repeat. Gorgeous dachshund seersucka’ tho. Sigh. tankEver hate something enough to hide behind a tank? Mccalls 6286 was a very nice make- I did everything right, except fabric selection. It is too heavy and hovers around me oddly at the shoulders. I constantly tug it down. I’ve considered drapery weights in the hem. It also requires SERIOUS ironing. Not so me.IMG_9670Burda Style Handbook Blouse- I really enjoyed making this, but an elastic gathered waist on these little hips? Just not flattering. If I had made it just a hair longer, it might blouse better, but it removes all hints of a waistline . I will probably try one of the lovely variations in the book- because I love it from the bust up. Is there a better term for that? IMG_100Burdastyle 7201- I don’t hate you, but you match absolutely nothing in my closet. I’d love to pair it with a sheath dress if I ever find a nice fabric to use. I take it out of the closet and sigh alot. Do you have those moments? I didn’t even get to keep the lego- Mr B demanded it back as soon as we finished filming.IMG_7691Simplicity 3964….my husband hates it. Ok, he’s never said anything, but when it appears, his lip curls like Mr Ed working a gob of peanut butter. I could ignore it, but he is so tolerant of all of my foolishness that I give him a few subtle vetoes now and again. I have added an elastic piece in the back to take some fullness out of it and give it a little shape, but no- the lip stays curled.

So what have we learned? Fabric selection is important. Experimenting is good, but not if my closet becomes an unworn object museum. So for 2013, I will consider my lifestyle, my needs and the fabric I choose. Then I will blatantly disregard these things 60% of the time as usual. to dress my inner demanding gaudy Princess. founstellaparish4

photo credits: google images, meadhawg

Wearable Wednesday Z Spoke by Zac Posen

I love Zac Posen, his collections are feminine, a little retro and bright. Also he is a dachshundist and of course that brings taste and culture to him naturally. Lets welcome him to Project Runway with a look at Z Spoke.I hate that this is a look book shoot and not runway, Ms Rocha looks like she is braced to be struck with pies, but you can see how gorgeous they are- Aargh- so much white on this non-existant background?! I will stick to the brighter designs, but there is heavy black and white in this collection.Coco in a high wind- she really needs to stop all this Norma Desmond foolishness…..Oh, cute dress- it even looks good with mild hip dysplasia…. Ah, to live without backfat….Thank goodness the wind machine cord got pulled!ooh- Coco, is it time for your annual meal? I understand if you need to rush off to eat that grape…..I am loving these sleeves! Does this purse pour out of both sides?We get it Zac, you sell handbags, too.oh-

photo credits: style.com

Top 5 wins for 2012


Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow has posted her Top 5’s for 2012 and I thought that I would play along and perhaps (oh dread)  learn something about my sewing. My  2012 New Years resolutions  showed me that I really don’t like dress pants and that sensible sewing is just not my forte. I’m afraid that this list will also out me as Foolish Sewist of the Year!

Gulp…here we go: Top 5 most worn makes of 2012!2.12radiationMy radiation batik top Simplicity 1978 – I have 2 makes in this challis, but the top is the one I wore out most- its comfortable, vaguely flattering and easy.IMG_0024I am the only one that I know of to make this- the cover featured a very off-putting shoelace tie at the front- ghastly! 17Mccalls 6604- the Don’t cry for me Argentinian Butterflies blouse. Again, it’s comfy, hip flattering and easy. Hmm- I sense a theme here….zebrabeltFloral Zebra Simplicity 3786- one more easy to wear one in under 17 pieces. sundressSimplicity 1800 – not so flattering, but so comfortable. It was the crocs of sundresses for me this year. IMG_1854Butterick 5791- I just made this last month,but it is sooo comfortable, but still stylish, I am wearing it to death!

Ok, I guess if I were a reasonable person I would acknowledge that my lifestyle demands comfy easy separates and not so many serious, formal sews. kimonoBut that doesn’t get me many new skills- tho I am now a whiz at french seams from playing with sheers this year. So I think I’d better alternate crazy and sane a bit more this year. What did your makes turn out this year?


photo credits: pattern review, meadhawg, google images

Generous Bloggers surround me-

This week has been rough in a lot of ways- personal and universal. I have enjoyed blogging and interacting with the wonderful sewing community for almost 2 years now and can’t say enough how much I have enjoyed and come to rely on the support and entertainment of this fine and giving group. I live in a rather beige town and don’t always feel like a lot of people get me. You all- possibly to your own detriment actually do! Bless you all! I have a place I can come to and not feel picked last in gym! My inner dorklet is smiling-

I got 3 awards! very-inspiring-blogger-award-2one-lovely-blog-awardIsn’t that sweet? I’ve been nominated by several folks who are also Lovely and Inspiring themselves:

Penny Librarian– did you see her tutorial on sorting fabric stashes by the Dewey Decimel system? It was quite stirring…check her out!

Claire Sews– her blog links to her amazing store with all these fabulous pattern making rulers and such. I plan to buy them all once I can say I have the skills to do something besides beating the cat with them!

The Overflowing Stash– her style and fabric choices- oh, purr.

Mercury- Handmade Fashion– she sews blouses that I would just love to have a million of- check out this post– one of her daughters prom dresses- just lovely!!

Velosewer- at How Good is That?– How good? Oh, she’s very good!

Tia Dia is a huge inspiration for me and a goddess at garden posing! She recently had a birthday too!

Ok, now just in case you- like Miss Nagy in 5th grade are questioning my math abilities- the 3rd award is this one:

premioprimaveraI got very excited about this one- I thought it was Italian and I’d be getting free gelatto….I am, right BeaJay? I love her blog- gives me such inspiration and encouragement! Ziegfeld Model - Non-Risque - 1920s - by Alfred Cheney Johnston.Now I am a rather rotten person and I may have forgotten someone- I plead holiday brain fry and hope that you forgive me.

Now, I’ve saluted the nominators, it’s time to tell you 7 things you didn’t know about me. Criminy, this will get boring. I have no dark secrets and I put myself to sleep just thinking about little me- I shall spare you, because these next people are far more interesting. du barryBy the power duly vested in me, I nominate:

Rosy ragpatch–  She quilts, she sews, she rehabilitates weasels in a room off of her sunporch.

Pattern Vault– I go here when I want to get my ‘ooh and ahh’ on and learn some design history

Jess at the Sometimes Sewist– was originally set the play all of the major leads in Suckerpunch, but chose to make pfeffernuesse instead that week. Their loss, our gain.

Jenny at Bobbins and Whimsy constantly shows me something pretty and singlehandedly defeated the Sloper monster!

I get a lot of great sartorial input from The Magical Effects of Thinking– now you must too- she’s on a meggings crusade currently and I can’t unsee what I have seen!

Cari Homemaker is a new find for me and I love her posts! I so need a blender lamp- I wonder if Mr B would notice ours missing…..

Tulle and Tweed recently got this honor from the also lovely Tia Dia, but I think she needs more harrassment- she is a fun read and always making something I am jealous of!

I’d like to keep going- I’d like to list every sweetie who has ever told me I looked nice, swore my hips didn’t look huge, told me it wasn’t so bad and encouraged me to keep trying- you are all so kind and so thoughtful, it makes my grinchy heart expand just thinking about you!

Thank you. Tomorrow I shall be back to complain and poke at some couture ponies, don’t you worry!

photo credits: meadhawg, google images

Butterick 5707- Cuz it’s a Jolly Holiday with Annie!

You may know this already- I am a Disney dork. or Dorklet, if you prefer. During our annual pilgrimages to the Mouse Mecca, we always love- ok, I always love to eat at the Brown Derby and cruise on the Great Movie Ride. It combines my loves of old hollywood lore and Disney perfectly. I coo at the sight of movie props in the queue- like this carousel horse used in a particular movie I love ….carousel and then of course he MAJOR squealing starts when we get to his part of the ride: maryHad enough hints? This year the touring company of Mary Poppins is coming to Greenville and Mr B got tickets! Isn’t he the ginchiest? I am really blessed, I know. So I needed the perfect outfit that says Mary Poppins Glamour, right? I decided to go 1964 premiere red carpet instead of full-on suffragette…I did end up a little disappointed at the lack of theatre goers who rose to the occasion- Lord, I is tired of cowboy boots and mini skirts together. Sigh. I carried my foolish torch of theme alone.

Butterick 5707:5707Surprise, surprise- I couldn’t leave well enough alone and just follow instructions- I did my first frankenpattern- I like a full skirt (whether or not it likes me is irrelevant, doncha know) I pulled a separate retro pattern for a full crinoline lovin’ skirt. My only other change was that bow thing on the bodice just didn’t work out- so I ended up with the little cleavage mail slot for really no reason- not even the most intrepid pervert with a telescope could catch much flesh thru that porthole. Not even a tiny Indiana Jones could slide thru that opening successfully. I may widen it, or close it. I haven’t had the coin toss yet this morning.pop5Arrgh! My full length shots are a bit limited- my photog and I failed to notice the puppy pad in the corner- now THAT is photo bombing at its most basic! Once I got this all together, it felt like an awful lot of unrelieved color- I was concerned that if I put a doily on each elbow and one on my head, an old lady would try to put me by her fireplace as a divan for company. So I thought a little corsagy business would help. What do you think? I made it a separate piece in case I did want to go as a Davenport next Halloween without it. pop4No photo shoot is complete with out a little dachsie action, right? I mean, really- it is THEIR chair. IMG_2936Then there were two.IMG_2938But three is really best, don’t you think? I must say I love this, but I did have some fitting issues, as you can see- the sleeve style sort of baffled me at fitting time. I did not do the front gathers, as I was adding the full skirt, so I darted the back, but I think I need to go back and pull out a good bit of fullness under the arms- hopefully without ruining the shape. IMG_2918I really should have posed with a refrigerator, I am feeling very Betty Furness here. I read somewhere that she liked to flash her underpinnings at sock monkeys too. IMG_2923

photo credits: pattern review, google images,  meadhawg, allears.net

Wearable Wednesday Anne Valerie Hash

You had me at shiny and pink….I think I’m more pleased about this collection than the models are. I love the shoulder seaming…Are they all made out of gossamer butterflies and unicorn belly hide? I can’t do the drapey crotch droop- an abdominal mouth is not for everyone. a5

How about some love for these shoes- they are so Busby Berkley. I’m loving how this manages to be tailored, ruffly and a little ‘don’t mess with me’. Gracious, her collarbones are distracting. They should be registered as weapons. I think that Catherine Daze could wear the heck out of these!! Why are they so glum? Didn’t they bring a big enough Birken to steal these from backstage? I have no idea how she is holding up this jacket, but I believe in her special powers. I think this is how Gwen Stefani thinks she looks when she leaves the house-

She is often mistaken.

photo credits: style.com

Jungle January- in praise of textile beasties!


I LOVE some animal print- realistic, plushy, foolish, whatevs! Some of my favorite makes of mine and other bloggers have been feline in nature- so I propose that in January we salute this never ceasing trend with a little extra love.

Do you sew wild prints? Do they terrify you? Is the wild kingdom outside of your comfort zone? Come on and push the feral envelope this month and stitch up some cuddly crazy or some sleek beast to be featured as part of this soon to an annual animal thang!

I propose a month of wild guest posts – either the guest or the garment can be wild- your choice! Tons of tiny giveaways and general feral blog mayhem!apemanThis is more festival parade than sewalong- the only requirements are your continued indulgence in my foolishness and a promise to walk on the animal print wild side with a make of your own in a sassy predator print.

Who wants to go on a style safari with me? Lets get the sartorial juices flowing with some celebs strutting in sabertoothed togs:Lady GaGa leaving kiis fm in laLacy prints count too, Dita! amfAR Inspiration Gala Los Angeles - ArrivalsPerhaps more subtle? subtleClassic menswear? isaPresidential? jackieOr, ill-advised? paris hilton 101009Oh, lets not let her ruin our fun! So are you with me? Want to play?

ann**As soon as I get my minions in gear, a lovely button of the Jungle January poster kitten will be yours for your very own blog- oh, feel the pride burning within as you display this idiocy!

photo credits: meadhawg, google images