Where the Annes Are………Butterick 5782

Sundresses. They make me think of old Yvette Mimiuex movies. When I was younger, I watched ‘Where the Boys are’ with my Father and it started a love of early 60’s movies, music and big skirted girly dresses worn with cardigans over the shoulders.
My beach summers were early evenings down the shore in a flirty summer dress. I’m not a swimwear gal- my beachtime is on a boardwalk with my pumps dangling from a pinky.


When I saw Heather hosting a summer dress event I immediately burst into song- a Connie Francis song-

Where the boys are, someone waits for me A smilin’ face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly Where the boys are, my true love will be He’s walkin’ down some street in town and I know he’s lookin’ there for me

In the crowd of a million people I’ll find my valentine And then I’ll climb to the highest steeple and tell the world he’s mine

Till he holds me I wait impatiently Where the boys are, where the boys are Where the boys are, someone waits for me

Till he holds me I wait impatiently Where the boys are, where the boys are Where the boys are, someone waits for me

Ok, thanks for waiting while I lapsed into my personal reverie! If you haven’t seen the movie- you really must- it has it all. Paula Prentiss and Jim Hutton wooing eachother, Frank Gorshan pre-Riddler in a jazz combo. George Hamilton at his earliest level of bronzing. Oh, it’s a classic!

Oh, do you want a review of this pattern? Mmm, ok. I can do that too. But I insist on interspersing some “where the Boys are’ quotes into it for your edification and my amusement. Its Butterick 5782 and I had every intention of following this pattern and making a lovely fully-lined sundress but that bow.Floppy-ish, right? like it didn’t sit well and got rigged last minute during the shoot. This model is creating some fit issues, isn’t she? Stand up straight, Missy, Dolores Hart would!


But then I decided that I didn’t like that business at the v-neck, and that bow- still not warmed to it! It wasn’t fitting my Connie Francis imagery. So I made my own bow and scrapped that business. Other than that- I was most happy to follow these directions and all went well. I have pockets and a lovely shaped skirt that longs for a crinoline and a kitten heel. It did need a little pop- so my Mothers mouse pin saved the day.

Now, for you who are adjusting your monitors at home- this is not a solid color. I repeat, do not adjust your lighting- it is a green with black and pink specks giving it a very soft woven look. I’m still not able to cross over to solid colors, but this is very close. As close as I need to get!


‘Gentlemen, the city of Fort Lauderdale is once again under fire from the north. We’ve survived it before and I reckon we’re gonna survive it again. To you newly installed officers on the force, I’d to give you a little rundown on what to expect. Expect anything. Anything and everything cause that’s what you’re gonna get. Now, Fort Lauderdale is not the only city to be invaded at this time. In Palm Springs and in Newport, from the beaches of the Mid Atlantic to the snows of Colorado, the students of America are gathering to celebrate the rites of spring. And, if you pardon a pun, you’ve got that right. They’re our future voters, their citizens of our country, and they’re our responsibility. But how the hell to handle them, that’s a different manner. (laughter from officers) Now these kids didn’t come down here to break the law. They’ll break it for sure, but that’s not their main objective. And remember that they are our guests. So, I want every man on the force to try his best, his level best, to try to avoid arresting anyone. I know that this going to take great will power but try. And, above all preserve your scene of humor. Cause you’re gonna need it if you want to survive. And…God bless you all.’ water1

‘Experience! That’s what separates the girls from the Girl Scouts.’


‘Oh, I’ve seen the seamy side of life, my little one. It hasn’t all been beer and roses by a long shot’


‘What can be more interpersonal than Backseat Bingo?’


‘So how about I give you a bang on the pipes and we lift a few cans together?’


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



Wearable Wednesday Issa

Mother finally found a way to stop Prudence wiping her nose on her sleeve.


Thats it, Fiona! You can’t just accuse me of stealing your damn shower curtain without any proof! You are so the roommate from hell!


What do you mean I’m not wearing it right?


This makes me think of bacteria…


Ok! I like this one- fashion illusion at work- the bigger the rickrack the smaller the model looks.


No, seriously- it looks better like this- I think it’s inside out.



photo credits:Style.com. All images remain the property of the original owners.

Skirts- 2 Hits and a Miss!

Ever summer I pompously declare it the ‘SUMMER OF SKIRTS!’  I picture myself (you know I do that alot- like a shallow Wanda Mitty, am I) in a wheat field slowly meandering along, the wind whipping my long flowing hair and my very flattering long skirt. I don’t know where this wheat field is. It’s not in town- there is a really long aisle in the plant section at the Home Depot. Maybe I can improvise. Anyhoo- i never seem to get to these lovely ideas. So I’ve been collecting skirt patterns and last week I made 3! The stashbusting fervor has hit me too. Just simple, summery skirts- you know I like it plain.


I loved making Simplicity 1662 so much- it went together zip, zip- I chose View B in a strange gauzy business from Fabric.com. I didn’t change a thing.


Somehow in my urge to get a nice shot of the front crossover, I didn’t get any full-on shots. Enjoy my lower areas and special dachshund pin!


This fabric is very sheer- I’ve been wearing it with some footless tights, but it was as hot as stink outside today. Are those gams translucent or what?!


You know I like to strike people when the iron is hot……or something like that….so I made Simplicity 1812- View B. A very hypnotic print from Mary Jo’s in Gastonia. Psst- I have a tunicy business coming up soon with a red stripy contrast fabric- take your antacid before reading that post! No changes- this pattern earns no tutorial- just a hug from me. The models shoes look almost orthopaedic, don’t they?


I’m so one with nature- don’t I look like this is my native terrain? Its actually behind our recycling center!


With such loveliness flowing from the Vault of Textile Hoarding, do I go for 3? Do I risk it? Yes, I do. With less than adorable results. Enter Burda 7002- the Candy striped Pirate Wench.


So doesn’t View B look like it maybe even comes with its own wheat field? I was not seduced by a tiny waify model- I chose a plus pattern- I chose a lightweight fabric- I followed the rules. Lets talk about this fabric. It isn’t me. It’s oxford cloth. I bought this thinking I could use it as a neutral and just never warmed to it. I made a Vogue top with the rest and it looks like grandpa’s jammies- it will never see the light of day. Moral of the story may be that you can’t change a gaudy leopards spots. Whoo- you know you can’t spell ‘flattering’ without ‘F, A and T! rec3

But I  digress- lets look at a big girl in a balloon valance, shall we? I can’t decide what that waist business wants from me. Folded, unfolded, hiked up like a swimsuit cover, it’s just not so cool. Like I need more midsection attention? What can we do to save this? Does my housekeeper need new wash rags?   No, it’s too soon for that. How about if I just release the side business and hem it to my wheat field walking length? I’d appreciate any comments on saving this tormented textile. Here’s my 1890’s  girl workout wear shot- a perfect outfit for subtle, modest calisthenics! Stretch with dignity, girls! Always end on a flattering shot, right?


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

Wearable Wednesday Alice and Olivia

Wow. She literally has the matching handbag.


I’ve never met Alice and Olivia, but I assumed they were older until now….


Hmm. I think thats Venice. I also think if it were a hair shorter, we’d be seeing her canals.




Oh Mrs Martin- no one is going to tease Amanda- they won’t even know she’s wearing a state of he art back brace.


Well! I’m glad she kept her neck covered! I really do like this one.


They said buy a suit for your interview, but Wanda really needed more direction.


photo credits:Style.com. All images remain the property of the original owners.

Burda 7078 and I a swirling, whirling summer frock


This last week has been a torture- I don’t know why- just maybe the prospect of 3 days off was making it feel like a 14 day week. But anyhoo- I was rarin’ to hit the sewingroom and stashbust and frolic and watch bad tv. Yes, much bad tv.  I girded my gaudy loins and dove into the Textile Hoarders Annex and pulled out a swirly, sheeny challis of awesomeness from Fabricmart. I set it up on a blind date with Burda 7078 and I think they got on very well! 7078

Perhaps no one was drawn to this pattern because of its slightly eclesiastical priestess vibe. By the way- ring my doorbell and we’ll greet you like this:


But when I saw the cover I instantly thought of Coco her cool elegant lifestyle in the tropical loft. – I’m trying to get some summer Mickeywear going. My print is so swirly and fun it needed a pattern that didn’t break it up too much- I liked my Luckycat bias bit so much I tried it again to highlight the bodices fun lines.


This dress went together so easily it was the best way to start a weekend of textile frolicing! I wore it to the Indian buffet and it also hides curry spills well. I’m thinking that after it’s first outing that the shoulders may be too wide on me and I should skinny them in a bit. Don’t worry- I was able to reach the paneer without any issues, but I’m getting a little ripple on either side- I think 1 more adjustment should do it.


I liked it a bit loose and flowy- I like a summer hovercraft you know! I skipped the side zip- the waist is high enough that I didn’t need it. Oh- for the record- I have a dress almost finished that ACTUALLY HAS A ZIPPER!!!  Yes, friends, I can put in a zipper- but like changing my own oil, I choose not to.

Ok, quick test! Which picture is me and which is a frozen dessert treat:





ice cream

Ok, thats it- Mr B and I are going for ice cream!


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

Wearable Wednesday Hunter Original

Ok, this is a little different- it’s the classic outdoor boot company’s first runway show. I wonder what Rhianna wore to watch this one…….Lets see if they followed all the runway protocol:

Prominent angry cheekbones: check!


strangely crotched pants that flatter no one: check!


Poofy coat of immense proportion: check!


Classic basic with one ungainly twist: check!


Hostile elfin model boy that may actually be a girl: check!


Green and black penguin sweater you will regret buying/not buying until you see pics of Lindsay Lohan leaving a seedy hotel while wearing it


Trench you really kinda want: check!


photo credits:Style.com. All images remain the property of the original owners.

Mccalls 6739- what took me so long?!

I’m really embracing my inner tunic goddess lately. Its seems like everything I want to sew is darted and sheathy. Hey, ‘Darted and Sheathy’ sounds like a good crime duo from the 20’s, don’cha think?
‘All I see are crumbs and a few sequins- looks like the masterful work of Darted and sheathy!’

I’ve been eyeing Mccalls 6739 for a few months now. The husband is trying to get me to embrace sleeveless more. I’m not sure I’m buying it. It’s a lot of upper arm cutlet waving at the townspeople for me. So after much debate and staring at the envelope and the wonderfully petulant model posed on it, I wimped out and chose view D.


I’m glad I did- I like all the seaming and the sleeves are really interestingly placed. This fabric is sort of newish- it’s from 2 Mary Jo’s trips ago- an upholstery remnant that was bagged as an end cut- I was thinking fun skirt, but I did this instead- thinking I’d look a little Lily Pulitzer-esque. I got brave again and cut out view C. No sleeves. I should have used a waffle weave- cuz I sure did waffle on this one. Sleeves, no sleeves, sleeves, no sleeves. I was very close to using a scientific method and pulling daisy petals off until the right decision was made. SLEEVES!!!! Yes, I did sleeves.


Arrgh- I must beat the photo-slave. I have on fabulous canvas loafers with a spirling lime green motif- how could he miss that? I swear- volunteers…so hard to punish.  I wish the envelope had more photos of the different  views and I wish that I could have seen the sleeves better- the pattern had them about 4 inches longer than I cut out. I wanted a dainty caplet. Ok, honestly, I ran out of fabric by the time I’d decimated the local daisy population. So I cut the sleeves very short- as a design choice! Not because I was so close to not having enough fabric that the selvage was about to become a decorative motif! No, never.

The sleeves being shorter added an unexpected issue- you stitch the sleeve about halfway up, then spread it open horizontally to meet the horizontal underside of the armscye. I love how this looks, but being that I cut my sleeves very short, it didn’t leave much to hem. I ended up putting in a bias tape edge to finish it. I’m pleased with this length hemmed, I think I may make this again and plan it this way!

Once more I bring you the local color of our fair hamlet- this would be the backside of our local rent by the half hour motel that is nestled in the heart of our downtown. It is right next to a lovely hotel turned gentrified condos- I’m sure they appreciate the view from their balconies!

Extreme closeup: IMG_8339
My only other changes were to the shape- it’s quite a bell. I took a good bit out of the side panels and then I top-stitched them. I’m proud of my neckline- crazy, right? It’s just squared off, but I have been angling my upper bodice pattern pieces to narrow it in and stop that gappy business I used to have so often.


Ahem- big haired model of envelope fame- maybe you should try this- just saying, no meanness involved. You are looking  a little gappy!
Oh, the trend continues- the front panels end just at the marsupial zone and guess what kiddies- the inset pockets are right there! I’m working with a team of scientists to find a connection between marsupial pockets, cell phones and paunch cancer. I do this work for you all- no thanks needed. I have a calling. So I skipped the pockets- with the sides being panels, it just didn’t have a location I was happy with for alternate placement.


After an initial wear, I think I could take this in a bit more to be a bit more of a column. This is all part of my secret plan to eventually look like I shop with Judy Dench.
So on the whole I’m really liking this- yes, it’s boxy, but it’s also comfortable, cool to wear and the panels give a lot of ideas for print mixing next time. I do wish I’d had 1 more yard- to match my print- but I can live with this- tho I feel like I need to apologize for it looking so poorly planned.  Envelope pose recreation:


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

Wearable Wednesday Diesel

These are the models your mother begged you not to hang around with-


Oh golly Mrs Phillips- I hate that you drove all this way and we unexpectedly canceled career day- let me just walk you back to your car…..


Thats a lousy place for a door knocker.


What? The online babysitting service gave her a 4 rattle rating!


Ok, gees- I kind of like the jacket. Altho its heck on the upholstery.


I just want to grab the front and pull it to the right-


This what the inside of your car seat covers looks like-


Holy Audrey Hepburn- she’s being fed thru a tube!


and now- the big and unsettling floor show!



photo credits:style.com. All images remain the property of the original owners.

It’s Deja vu all over again-

Spring is here, spring is here- life is skittles and life is beer…….I’ve been very busy lately replenishing the wardrobe that grew dull as it sat in the off-season totes. Absence didn’t make the heart grow fonder for all my clothes, sadly. So I’ve whipped up a few new things. It’s another 2-fer! One for work and one for leisure. I finally got around to Mccalls 6333- a racer back top with side panels that you can’t see on my fabric.


I let both of these practically ferment in the to do bin! This one has been discontinued. But look how cute! Also, sunblock alert- this makes me feel practically naked! It’s usually fall before I’m feeling like this much skin is cool- by them I’m back to layering anyhoo! No real huge changes here- tho I changed the pockets. I will avoid a patch pocket at all costs. I didn’t want two of them and I moved it over to slide into the side seam. Can you find the pocket? Probably not. I’ll have to accent it somehow for you-


Look at those limbs! So pale and scratched up by tiny pups.  This photo shows you my dedication- it’s not my best angle, but the racer back with elastic is the high point of this pattern. Whoo! My photo slave should have manned the steamer for me!  I finished all my facings with burgundy bias tape- a hint of color to tease, don’cha know. Speaking of teasing- here’s Helmutt, our newest blog stealing dachshund.


Really I dress for 2 places- work and Disney. This will be perfect for the family trip in fall!


Now whats next? Ah- Vogue 1236. Pattern Review named this one of the best of 2011. See how timely I am? I have a hobble skirt almost done, too. This is similiar enough to sing the Sesame Street song, but I think you’ll see the differences!


Here we are- restyled and ready for take your cheetah to work day! Did you notice the bushes? The other side of the yard has 5 years less growth- I was trying to make an ironic statement about mans fallibility the sun shifted, so we moved. I am still in an anti-sash mode- so I belted her instead. All these bust pleats get mighty poofy, don’t they?


Two years ago I feared pleating- now I’m a chalk wielding pleatin’ beastie. It’s nice to be able to say you’ve improved a bit- ah! Thats it! Thats my shrubbery metaphor! MY growth. Oh, so deep. I’m getting woozy with my own cleverness. Admire the pup some more- he’s cute, but so rotten- he’s chewed so many things we are renaming him ‘What the Helmutt’…..


Ok, get ready for the glare- here I am without my cardy!


Yes, these 2 pieces were not complicated, no new ground was broken- but they are helping me on the road to sensible, useful sewing. Oh, dear God?!


Photo credits: pattern review, meadhawg, little me. All images remain the property of their original owners.