Blue Cranes of Doom…..x2

meetjohndoe2So I’m still sort of in mourning for my local Hancock fabric store. They opened a new store just across the parking lot (seriously) from the old one and promised me BIGGER, BETTER! and then  I arrive on opening day and they reveal the INCREDIBLE SHRINKING FABRIC SECTION!!! They had redesignated it a crafts store and the gaudy Anne area was squeezed into a quarter of it and it was not pretty. I think my Hancock fabric shopping has dropped to strictly pattern sales and emergency zipper events. I have found online sources for thread, notions, fabric and if I need my ‘MUST TOUCH TEXTILES’ fix, I have quarterly trips to Mary Jo’s in another state with the fabulous’ Cleasby sisters of quiltdom’ to keep me going.  Well, where was this going? Ah, come on- you know if you are reading this you just need to strap on a helmet and follow me down the rabbit hole, right?  Right!  So one day my pattern slave – I swear, Mr B can work those drawers like a…..ok, never mind, that sounds like it’s headed downhill- let’s just say he is really great at retrieving patterns from large cabinets. Well, once more, Vogues new patterns came out 2 weeks earlier and Hancock STILL hasn’t put out the new ones- so we are circling toward the register with our meager zipper and bias tape purchases. I am of course racing thru the poly jungle when  I hear a throat clearing behind me. I turn to see Mr B waving the gaudiest thing I have seen in quite some time at me like he is using drag queen semaphore to clear the beaches. It is a very, very unnatural fiber, but it is so amazingly WTF that it gets a 1st, 2nd and 3rd stroke from me. Then it goes to the cutting table where the staff gives me the ‘huh, what will she do with that’ face as usual. I swear, the poor dears are so used to only dealing with ‘no sew fleece fringe tie’ monsters now, they are numb- they have forgotten to ask how many yards, they just greet you with a sigh and a ‘how large is the sofa that your fleece Nascar throw will be draped over?’ I feel for you ladies, I really do.

This fabric is very interesting- it’s a panel, with borders on each selvage that do not act as panels- they just sandwich the panels. So odd. I have no idea what the designer had in mind, but I needed a pattern that wouldn’t show all the breaks in the pattern. So I chose these victims:


The top shows so many variations for print placement, I’ve been saving it for just such an occasion. So did I pair it with the Burda skirt? Um, no. That would have made sense. I as you know prefer to create bodice orphans that match nothing but a pair of jeans?! So entereth Simplicity 1462! IMG_6173

Yes, those are my glasses and no, Mr B does not like them!  I’ve been looking for a pattern that will let me play with color blocking and this totally fits the bill and even makes me feel kind of thin-ish!


snakey 1

I had top call for a consult on the Burda instructions. I brought in the trusty husband and explained what I thought it wanted me to do. He squinted and huffed at the envelope and the instructions and concurred that regardless of what I was reading- oh Burda, we are like Mars and Venus, you and I- the end would look like the envelope. Cheers ensued as  I released him from the sewing room. Back to watching Tottenham.


I wasn’t sold on the desisns ties at the waist- you know my ‘ties are for little girls’ issue, so I have this belted- it stays bloused without it, but I liked the look of it. This belt is not my favorite choice, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet.  I also realized during fitting that the zipper was a superfluous event. It goes on just fine without it. These pictures were taken at our Farmers Market- it’s really too lovely to buy parsnips at, isn’t it? See the dandy faux wrap? I love a faux wrap! No worries, no maintenance! If I do this again I will shorten the waist a bit- its overly blousy! Also, I can hear my Mother telling me to stand up straight- that would fix my hem I hope!

crane 3

My new thing is to use up every bit of a fabric at once. I used to put the excess back in the closet, saving it for another make- I realized that I was avoiding parts of the closet to not look at already molested textiles. I was in an ex-boyfriend mode with fabric. Oh, we’ve already had our time together, now I’d prefer to move on and seeing you just reminds me that I’ve already been there, done that. So now, while a fabric and I are still in honeymoon mode, I will cut out everything possible and maintain our fascination with each other as long as possible.  Hence, the dress and top in blue cranes of doom.


But wait- I still have about a yard of this 60 inch charmer left! What to do, what to do? Would YOU  like it? Do you dare to brave the poly for this interesting print? Do you ever go against your better judgement to play with something pretty?   I believe that this may get me into a record book for hosting a fabric giveaway that NO ONE ENTERS!!! Feel the gaudy…… IMG_6203

But seriously, if any of you Gaudy Scouts want my left over yardage because the call to play with ‘blue cranes of doom panel poly’ is too much for you to sleep at night, I am here for you! Leave a comment about what you would do with it (and just hoarding is accepted, of course) how pretty I look, or how much you are disappointed by  your local fabric source and you can be the one with the gaudiest mail box filler ever!!!!








photo credits: pattern review, google images, meadhawg. All images remain the property of their original owners.

99 thoughts on “Blue Cranes of Doom…..x2

  1. Lauren says:

    I think both your top and dress are stunning and you’ve totally done the blue cranes justice. I would like to make a top similar to yours as the pattern suits the fabric. Well done!


  2. SewSavory says:

    Anne! I love those cranes. I will take those extra birdies off your hands and I will make something like a summery tank top or possibly the bodice of a sundress… oooh, maybe with a blue skirt… lots of decisions. It wouldn’t sit in the stash!

    I can offer a trade! I seem to remember that you received a blue and white toile pattern from FabricMart in a mystery bundle sometime last year. About the same time, I received a piece of that fabric, too. It’s still in the stash. I’d be happy to send it to you, if you’d like it. That offer stands whether I’m the lucky winner or not.

    And when it comes to fabric shopping in person – if you decide to travel a little bit west, I’d be happy to go shopping with you in the greater Atlanta area. I’m always looking for an excuse!


  3. ParisGrrl says:

    The Blue Cranes of Doom are awesome! You’ve outdone yourself with this one. I think I’d make a tank top or sheath dress out of the remainder, depending on what I could squeak out of the meter. (I love a challenge.)


  4. you are totally gorgeous in your top and dress!
    My Hancock is friggin amazing and I hate to consider stepping foot in JoAnn for example.
    But I am online shopper and have an ever expanding stash.
    I will however take your yardage off of your hands! 😀

    I’m thinking S2443 with that as the skirt and something solid for the bodice.


  5. Minime says:

    Stunned silence and then a wow and a good laugh.Love the two Blue Cranes of Death outfits! You know they probably protected you from the snakes – cranes and longevity n all!?


  6. T says:

    Show me the GAUDY! Girl, you always bring it and at the end of a testing week (in which I got beaten by a puppet) you have brightened my day. Your tops are lush and I love that you look at crazy prints and see only limitless potential where others see only craziness. (Perhaps we were twins separated at birth?!) 😉

    If I ended up with your excess yardage I would wrap myself in it and drape myself over a chaise, waiting patiently for the Gaudy to trust me, when it will quietly whisper in my ear what it wants to be when it grows up.


  7. Once again you have cracked it girl! I’d love that remnant but will pass this time for the brides leave me no time to be selfish and creative. We had a Hancocks’s in this rural town but when they filed Chapter 11 and went into bankruptcy, they packed up all their bolts into the back of a huge truck and bolted out of town leaving us with the same sad JoAnn’s filled with 3/4 craft crap.


  8. Two thumbs up to your mister for spotting that gem!! Amazing fabric, and you have done magic with it – you are looking so fabulous that even my oh-so conservative tastes are swooning! 🙂 I will pass on the giveaway, but only because my brain is already exploding trying to figure out what to do with a different piece of amazingly eye-popping yardage (way out of my comfort zone) I will soon be the recipient of LOL

    As for local fabric, it’s plentiful here… as long as you are into quilting cottons and polyester of all sorts. Suffice it to say I spend a LOT of time on Etsy. A LOT.


  9. Teeheeheehee… Ok, I’ll bite. And I promise not to hoard it — I have no more room for that anyways — but I would *have* to make a skirt. That’s the only item of clothing that I can tolerate in poly, otherwise I feel like I’m quite literally burning alive. It’s a lovely print and I can’t resist a good orange-and-blue combo… Both of your garments turned out fab!


  10. Love the cranes. I dont see it as gaudy at all, but…..I’m trying to limit my polyester intake.
    My localfabric store, a Joann’s is terrible. It’s all cheap craft cr-p, cheap fleece, cheap sparkly fairy netting, cheap leatherette…. The place would melt into a black blob of plastic if there was ever a fire. I dont think the ladies at the cutting table even know how to sew. The worst part is the checkout line with everyone and their coupons and half off this amd 10% off that. It takes forevah!


    • Oh mercy, we got in line between a lady shopping for her shih Tzus Easter dress- dog in cart- and a lady loaded down with the last weeks coupons!? It was a glimpse of help with rickrack trimming!


  11. Leigh Ann says:

    Your clothes are all kinds of awesome. If I win, I’ll put it in my (small but growing) fabric stash, and then feel REALLY guilty about putting it there until I can think of something to make with it. Which I will, eventually. I promise.

    I feel your pain about the “crafts” store. I still feel aggrieved when I walk into Joann’s (the only game in town, pretty much), and realize how much of the store is given over to non-functional decorative birdhouses and such, and poster frames of inferior quality. So depressing.

    My dream is a fabric store, really really big, with clothing fabrics! I’d allow thread and zippers and all the haberdashery stuff, but nothing else.


    As I read your post I – laughed out loud firstly (your writing is a joy to read) – but then I couldn’t help but keep thinking “This fabric isn’t gaudy, what’s she on about? It’s gorgeous. My Mister wouldn’t like it, but since when have I dressed for him?”
    And then I get to the end and you’re giving some away!!!!! Fabulous day!
    If I were lucky enough to win this, I’d make a skirt firstly, but hopefully there’d be enough to do the front panel of a t-shirt, as I could only die happily if a blue crane was nestled upon my bosom.


  13. Marsha says:

    I would make my 83-year-old aunt a muu-muu with it, adding solid fabric as necessary. She’s only got 27 muu-muus and one more would mean she’d only have to do laundry every 4 weeks.


  14. Kat says:

    Wow, that’s totally great. I love how you made a panel effect on the front by putting the turquoise fabric on the hem too – very creative. Both your pieces look so artsy…you should go to a gallery stat!!! Well done. Too bad about Hancocks…seems like fabric shops are dropping like flies here in Perth too – such a shame.


  15. Your color blocking is great, I have often wanted to give it a try but haven’t yet. Our local Hancock Fabric moved last year, and while the building is so much larger, they did not increase their fashion fabric, and they now how the largest wall of polar fleece that I have ever seen. How much polar fleece can one community need? Especially now that it is spring! But alas, they have gone from favorite to my least favorite.


  16. You look fabulous, as always! Love that Simplicity pattern, I am nearly convinced to give it a go. If I had this crane fabric, I’d probably make a skirt to twirl in and let them really take flight…


  17. Wow! I LOVE the dress- it’s seriously fantastic and looks soooooooooooooo cool! I hope you were packing your snake shooter somewhere in this outfit cause GIRL THEY’RE POISON! You’re looking ridiculously awesome and I’m excited to see you pass along the cranes of fun! Leave me out of the giveaway, though- I organized my stash today and I have so much fabric right now that I’m completely embarrassed of myself. 😦


  18. Janet says:

    I love the shirt and the dress. If you want to send the fabric to Toronto, Canada I will make a lovely top or sleeveless dress with panel in the sides. (steal your idea…)


  19. Are you mad?!?!?! Not gaudy at all! And your makes look Designery. Especially love the blocking on your top!

    Granted it is a bold print. And me love that vivid orange & teal motifs, as well as the border prints. It’s a bit Japanesey. So maybe a take on a kimono top? Or follow the leader (that’s you) and play with blocking (like you did)?

    Now let’s see you do some Kabuki poses to ward off those d**n snakes!


  20. OH my, I must admit I LOVE this fabric! I really like your pattern choices with it too. Especially the dress. I would probably make a long tunic/short mini dress with it to showcase as much as it’s awesomeness as I could!
    The big box fabric stores are super depressing……..


  21. That top looks FANTASTIC on you – you must make that again and again. Super great fit. I am not a fan of the flowy and you have been hiding your curves – this is your look. As to the fabric, the colors are great on you so congrats on the bold choice. it does look designery!
    on a different note these chain stores are getting worse and worse. the weirdo &%#$ they sell is appalling. plus they have the candy aisle right at the checkout to torture poor frazzled moms with kids. evil.


  22. You have made those cranes soar…. brilliant post – interesting, funny and what a supportive Mr B you have. Sewing with the same fabric for two or three items means you don’t have to rethread the machine either – win-win.


  23. After the prologue I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pretty certain it wasn’t going to be a success. Well, how wrong was I? Both of these are gorgeous! The colours are so suited to you (and the gates – good work!). I’d try and eek out a skirt, or maybe some cushions (sorry, that’s lame but the fabric is so lovely it deserves to be looked at often!). Rachel ☺


  24. jadesabre9 says:

    I. Love. This. Fabric. Both pieces you made came out very nice, though I like the dress better. Also, love the pic of you near the poisonous snake sign, LOL’d at the scene! 🙂 I’d probably attempt a tube dress or skirt with the blue cranes of doom (which makes them even more enticing, by the way; I do love doom …).


  25. Something similar happened to the Hancock’s in Tulsa. They didn’t move but since about decade ago or longer half the store has been home furnishings and decor, and nearly half of the fabric section is polar fleece. And it’s an hour away from me so I stopped going. The only places locally that I can get touchy-feely with fabric are Wal-mart and a little quilt shop that opened less than a year ago.

    Do not enter me in the fabric competition. It’s lovely but not quite my style.


  26. trumbelinasews says:

    I actually love this fabric and love what you did with it. My first thought is also to make a top that only goes with jeans. But since I almost always wear jeans, I’m cool with that. I’d make a tank or some sort of non-fitted slouchy woven t-shirt-tunic-thingy.


  27. triwoob says:

    Well clearly you have dipped into my brain and stolen my thoughts. Apart from drooling over those patterns I’ve been trawling through spoonflower for border fabrics (currently taken with tetris and alice in wonderlandy ype things – if they had snoopy I would be all over it). Haven’t yet decided what to make but I’m fully prepped to import from abroad as I can find any UK border print suppliers, that I like anyway. The search goes on. Love the clothes anyway


  28. Wow, i love this fabric and it is in some of my favorite colors. i would either make a drapey tee or a maxi skirt out of that gorgeousness. You should set Mr. B in a fabric store environment more often, he has a great eye! I would love to have this fabric add to my wardrobe.


  29. The dress is OK, but I really like the blouse!! It’s very flattering on you, and will be fantastic this fall (because if you can wear poly in the summer you’re a tougher woman than I am!) I don’t need the fabric though–the colors would be atrocious on me.

    This absolutely cracked me up–>they just greet you with a sigh and a ‘how large is the sofa that your fleece Nascar throw will be draped over?’ Between that and the “poisonous snakes” sign I have the hiccups from laughing so hard. And I’ll admit that I wouldn’t have been down that close to the water–you’re a ballsy woman, Anne!! 😉


  30. If blue cranes of doom look this good, I’d love some in my closet. I’m running out of appropriate adjectives to describe how much I love these two pieces… It’s the fabric, right? Love it. LOVE IT.


  31. I really like this combo. I think your outfit is stunning! I am trying to reduce my fabric stash, but that doesn’t mean I won’t toss my name into the hat for a wonderful piece of textile fabulosity!


  32. Piper Springs says:

    May I enter the “What do you mean, gaudy?” camp, please? I adore that fabric and what you’ve done with it. Your husband is a jewel. I would make a top with ruched panels on the side with the blue. I have really been wanting to sew with more knits. I recently visited Britex Fabrics in San Francisco, and when I saw the four floors with floor to ceiling displays I started tearing up. The lovely sales staff assured me my response was not that unusual.


  33. I couldn’t begin to compete with the brilliant pleas that have already been submitted, so I’ll just drool from afar. I love both of these blue crane dreams that you’ve created. Stunning times a million, and not remotely gaudy (but of course that’s coming from me). What an amazing fabric find, and utilized perfectly!!! And OMG I’m still choking over the Nascar throw line.


  34. That top is fantastic – I could never have turned that yardage into such a fabulous colorblocked beauty! You’ve subdued the cranes!
    And hey, at least you still have a Hancock. And, presumably, an equally horrible JoAnn. I live in a well known California tourist-attraction/city of about 200,000 people and we have literally no place to buy sewing supplies of any kind. We have one super-fancy fabric store with hundred-dollar-a-yard lace and one rack of zippers, but that’s it. I have to drive 40 miles to buy needles or interfacing. Seriously. I’d take a Nascar-fleece-filled Hancock any day! Even if the employees have never encountered a garment sewer in their entire careers.


  35. Wow – where do I start??? Love the top and dress. So much you – the top in particular is so flattering on you. Dress looks great too.

    I can answer all of the questions you posed to win the blue cranes – especially the dearth of loveliness at my local Spotties store… However as much as I love the look of the blue cranes I will save you the expense of having them fly over the other side of the world. Just wanted to leave a comment on your brilliance of teaming fabric with patterns


  36. Beth K. says:

    I adore that fabric. I think it is begging to become a pencil skirt . Or, maybe a sheath dress if there is enough of it. If I am lucky enough to win it, know that it will be well loved.


  37. I am always so amused by your blog that I really enjoy it! So I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine award…if you do awards please feel free to participate 🙂


  38. Cranes of doom? I think you mean cranes of awesomeness. Great work on your pattern selection. Both of them work well with the fabric and made beautiful garments. I love this fabric but you’d better leave me out of the drawing as the colors wouldn’t suit me. I want those birdies to fly to another lady who can wear them out and about.


  39. Ah-may-zink. You look fabulous and I LOVE the cranes! The colours and prints are great, and the shapes really work on you. Totally gawj, as they say.

    And you’ve trained your gent well – mine wouldn’t come within 100 metres of a fabric store, let alone come inside and spot fabric for me!

    DOn’t enter me in your luscious giveaway though, I’m drowning in fabric/yarn/paper/beads/thread/every craft supply the world has ever invented and I’m determined to avoid making it bigger (although we don’t have a Hancocks, it sounds like I have a replica in my spare room).


  40. Me Me! I just saw the ideal pieced dress to do justice to your flying cranes so please include me in your draw.
    p.s Did I say how lovely, talented and wonderful you are…..


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