Vogue 8972


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‘Good morning Professor! I’m so glad you let me come along this morning!’

‘That’s grand Penny. I myself am bursting with excitement over your potential sighting of this rare and glorious creature! Did you bring everything I asked for?’

‘Oh yes, sir! It’s all in my junior explorers pack. Altho some of it confused me.’

‘oh Penny, sweet, foolish Penny- didn’t you do your homework? The red bellied cheetah beast is a rare and glorious thing- she must be trapped with particular items!’

‘Professor, I did my research! I know it’s genus is Vogue 8972, it comes in many shapes and it is sadly extinct.’

‘Oh, Penny! The light is setting in, we must hurry! Our quarry rises early-‘

‘I know- the book says ‘It rises early to sneak food before it’s mate begins it’s day.’  That’s weird….’

‘Alright Penny- lets bait our trap. What did you bring?’

‘I brought everything the book said: a pop culture look at the jazz era, some candy and a Betsey Johnson clutch bag. What are we going to do?’

‘Very easy Penny. First we set up a basic box trap lightly slathered with cream cheese icing and use our calls to get it to the area unaware of the trap.’

‘Ok, but whats the Colin Firth  dvd for?’

‘If the call whistle doesn’t work, we try a recording of Colin Firth doing the proposal speech from Pride and Prejudice- Penny- are you sure you read the manual? Alright, the rope is ready, sticking out just in sight of the tree line where I see the signs of her’

“What signs, Professor? Bent leaves? Depressed moss?’

‘No, Penny- those kitkat wrappers, Vanity Fair magazines and the spent Keureg cups.’

‘Oh, of course. I’ll start using the lure call.  ANNA SUI! ANNA SUI! ANNA SUI!

“No, Penny- that’s the long range call- use the close proximity lure!’

“ok……PATTERNSALEPATTERNSALEPATTERNSALE!’

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‘Do you see anything? I think I see a flash of red! Gees- she’s bigger than I imagined!’

‘Big-boned Penny- as a proud red-bellied cheetah would be! Look at her plummage! She is a thing of dreams, Penny and we saw her here. I swell with pride.’

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‘Oh, Professor, I think think she sees us, she’s not getting any closer.’

‘Alright Penny, we’ve come to far to give up- I can see her top stitching and well-pressed facings from here! Bring out the Colin Firth dvd- she can’t resist that!’

‘Ok, Professor, but I really prefer The Kings Speech- Oh,oh! I see her! ‘

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‘Wow Professor! Vogue 8972 has 5 skirt panels! She’s breathtaking!’

‘Yes, Penny- and extinct- I mean discontinued….She’s going for the trap!!!’

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‘Professor! Look she’s preening!’

“Yes, Penny- the red-bellied cheetah Vogue 8972 is a proud beastie!’

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“Professor- must we take her with us? She seems so happy here….’

‘You’re right Penny- she belongs here, with her friends and her wild pack of short-legged fur beasts. I can’t take her back to the observatory, much as I’d like to. I wonder if anyone will believe we actually saw her…..Come on, Penny. I’ll buy you a slushie’

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photo credits: wiki, google images, Pattern Review, meadhawg. All images remain the property of their original owners.

Wearable Wednesday Tia Cibani


My head hurts just looking at her hair. This reminds me of when poaching salmon in brown paper was cool.

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Hmm…yes, this top looks dangerous, but lovely. Like the model.

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Everyone told Alice that Anne Rice was not really a good prom theme….

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These pleats are intriguing- and probably filled with lint and cookie crumbs. Well, mine would be.

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Just nope.

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Are you seeing this, Vogue Patterns? It’s right up your alley.

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Damn. I forgot to secure my jacket lining and on such a windy day…..

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

Butterick 5949


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I love dachshunds, old Barbara Stanwyck movies, dark chocolate and bad ideas. In no particular order. A Saturday spent in the sewist bordello with all these elements makes my chubby heart sing.

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Sometimes I feel very evil scientist in my lab fusing two animals together- alligators and hippos- so I can get larger alligator bags, of course. Or a hybrid dachshund/aardvarks- for better crumb hovering under the kitchen island. All excellent ideas, as I’m sure you would agree. My ideas with fabric mixing are also way ahead of their time indeed!
This week I will show you another combo that you may think is MADNESS! MADNESS! But I have vision!

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Butterick 5949 has many wonderful ideas from the envelope, so of course, I ignored all that sanity and started playing. I skipped the waistband- I had a wide belt planned to breakup my 2 competing print fabrics. I basically did view C with the skirt and little sleeveys in the same fabric and the bodice in a crepe de chine stripey material. This stripe was seriously marked down at Fabric.com and I bought it thinking I’d get inspired later. It took a very long time- like in boyfriend terms- I’d have already given up trying to save it and moved on to another! I finally had an EPIPH-TACKY! Yes. That is a term. I know because I just made it up. But we’ve all had them- the moment when you are dressing or planning an outfit and suddenly something you never would have worn together just jumps out at you like Prints Charming!
Did you catch that? Print Charming! I’m a wit, oh so, so much. Back to Butterick 5949. I have a friend that I adore- she is the best human I know. For years she dated someone that was so not her equal. But the reflected glow of her amazingness kept the partner from being a dead bulb. It worked until it was eventually revealed that the bulb was not only burnt out, but a bit crazy. Anyhoo- my point is that you can make something work if you love one print and only feature the less loved print in limited doses.
Now, here we go: I was hesitant about this pattern because the envelope picture looks so bulky – like the fabric wasn’t ironed during the making process. PR had lots of reviews and they didn’t look so lumpen, so I kept going. My plan to make the sleeves in a contrast was worrying me tho. I was afeared that this could go very football pad looking if it didn’t work. So I cut out and prepped sleeves in both fabrics. Even the lining. Unfortunately with the construction process as it was, I reached a ‘do or not do, there is no try’ Yoda the sewcialist moment. I pinned it up on Ms Holloway with the contrast and worked on the skirt while I decided. It felt ok. Not amazing. Not EPIPH-TACKY, but ok. I seek stronger emotions from my gaudiness, so I broke down and hauled the husband into the sewing room under false pretenses.
‘Hey, Mr Barnes- have you seen this highly amusing State Farm ad?’ yes, we do address each other this way , we have a very Dickensian sense of intimacy. ‘it has a talking unicorn with questions about flood insurance!’
I then nonchalantly futzed about with the dress form, trying not to be too obvious. He watched the commercial and once more questioned my taste in entertainment. Loudly. But he didn’t have any comments on the dress. He usually does. He is my barometer. So when he didn’t politely tell me that it looked like a lukewarm mess, I knew I was ok.

Here we go folks- I’m about to unleash my messterpiece! On the hanger I love this. On me- not so much. It has 2 issues that I am unhappy about- first- the poofy bodice. The model above is smirking me- she had it too- why would I think I wouldn’t?

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Here’s an action shot to show how it’s an all-over issue- not just in the front near the tucks:

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Honestly- I’m not dunlapping over my belt (this time) it’s the poofitude! More bothersome is the limited range of motion from the sleeves. I spend all day transcribing the gospel-like thoughts of surgeons. I’m not sure I could type in this. I’d have a ‘She Hulk shred! She Hulk bust out of tacky dress’ moment by 11:00. Not so good. But a larger sleeve would have given it a little tiny airport hangar look.

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So the final short sleeve dress of the season is a clunker. But, I was ready for fall anyhoo. Now, don’t purge this pattern from your files- PR has some lovely versions-including Westy85 with 3 and   the sharp grey of MissyBelle.

A pattern just can’t be all things to all people, right? Oh, well, back to other bad ideas!

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

Wearable Wednesday Erdem


Erdem has been selected to create attire for the special interns that must unobtrusively follow Anna Wintour from place to place. Let’s see what they’ve come up with, shall we?  This one is designed To blend in with the Vogue wallpaper in the first floor powder room- Ms W must never get caught stealing all the little Karl Lagerfeld shaped guest soaps.

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Used to distract Choupette from clawing at Vivvy Westwood while Daddy is speaking about aliens and taffy pulls.

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Refilling her all licorice and Blueberry jellybelly carafes after she’s been inconference with Vicky and David…..

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In case she gets lost in Stella McCartney’s annual Soy and Kudzu Maze and needs to be rescued without embarrassment.

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Discretely hiding in the window dressings & ringing the bell during her monthly séance with Coco Chanel’s guiding spirit.

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disguised as a canopy bed in case her mink Teddy bear, Lee falls off the bed during one of her reoccurring night terrors involving Jodhpurs.

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

Mccalls 6395 Again~


As I have whined previously, I’ve fallen behind. It’s this weather. I make a new thing, I love it, I wear it to work, Fathers house, buffet time, whatever and then get home- the photohubs looks at it, and gamely says, ‘Do we need pictures of that?’ and I sigh and fall into a Camille-like swoon across the Davenport announcing that I am too wilted for the paparazzi!

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Then  weeks go by and I become bored with a previously loved garment and half-heartedly throw a review at PR. Sigh, I am a fickle lamb. So I’ve sort of given up on documenting my last summer makes- until November when I  torment you with daily pics from my Disney trip- in a feature I like to plagaristically refer to as MMM…….Me Made Mickey! 

So this last week I blasted the air conditioning, set the fan on high and focused on Fall. I have been unsure what to do with this knit from my very first Mary Jo’s visit 2 years ago. I finally decided to remake McCall’s 6395. I made it back in Oh, Mercy! 2011 !

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Ah….a gaudy times capsule. This time I did the skirted version- yay pockets- and skipped the zipper wrist business. I had other ideas. I’ve loved to see designers embellish with metal, but I have never liked my attempts- I have all the subtly and  craftsmanship of a macaroni necklace. I haven’
t given up yet- check this out:

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I started with the sleeves, then  added a bit more and a bit more. This print really hid the fun seamlines, so I felt a little detail couldn’t hurt. Also, it was a good day on TCM, so I didn’t mind the handwork! I used a bias tape for the neckline- no floppy facings to tuck in all day thank you. I thought it might help stabilize it after I sew all this decorative weight to it!

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Ok, Big girl reveal time! Here i go round the mulberry bush, don’cha know.

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ACTION SHOT! I have no idea what I am doing here- it looks like I’m about to start clogging. I’m not totally thrilled with the clingy nature of this fabric- what does one line stable knit with? All I see is my barrel-like qualities as it clings to my daintiness.

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Ok, without motion, it looks better I think. luckily I totally embrace a motionless lifestyle. It’s my forte. I’m sorry this pattern is out of print- I’m taunting you with calorie free chocolate here- what you just can’t get. But per Pattern Review, at least 6 more people have it. Want to start a convention, Ladies of 6395?

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You know in the fall ok, all seasons- I like a tunicy bit of business. This totally bits the bill for me. I can work it with leggings, I can scarf it up. I have very low-level Bollywood style aspirations. I go on pinterest and pin all these Afghani and Indian style outfits and I have come to a conclusion. I’m trying to create a form of gaudy Lagenlook. Less brown, more eye searing. Less natural fibers, more textural mayhem. If Judy Dench can do it, why not little me? This leads me to my Fall plotting. I’m just not little Miss fitted garment. I like some ease and draping. But I will look like a festooned barrel if I’m not careful, so I’m thinking columny. Even tho the weather isn’t dropping, I decided this weekend to rotate the lawn and voile out-of-the-way for more textural winter fabrics. I also reworked my swatch book and made a board of ideas and generally wasted time shredding an Instyle magazine in the name of planning. I came to several conclusions:

1- I need more fabric. Of course. So I can make this:
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2- I need to plan separates that work with each other. Without looking like a suit. I don’t have a suit lifestyle. Jackets, yay. Suits no. This doesn’t really exemplify my point, but I love it and as you know, I’m easily distracted!

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3- I need more fabric. Still. maybe for this Clover Canyon gorgeousness. Rip-offs ahead!

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So how about you? Do your wardrobe inspiring icons change seasonally? Are you Miley Cyrus in the summer and Ruth Beider Ginsberg in the winter?

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

Wearable Wednesday Rachel Comey


Today we will play “yes,Vogue’   ‘NOVOGUE!’ and try to hint to our pattern company which of these we’d prefer they hacked for us. Ok?

NO, VOGUE!!

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Yes, Vogue

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Yes, Vogue- come on, it’s interesting and  gives you a gut grin!

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No, Vogue- wait- does Vogue do window valances?

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No Vogue- but you won’t listen to us, will you?

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Yes, Vogue- come on, I want a new 80’s rock star duster!

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It’s too late, isn’t it? This is already on the next catalog cover, isn’t it?

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

Wearable Wednesday Paule Ka


Girly, perhaps a bit of edge. I like it. I find this all very Hayley Mills Trouble with Angels adorable. But, the model is distracting me. Her inner monologue is really hung over. pk1

‘Can they tell? I totally forgot the rest of the outfit- ‘

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“Yeah, it’s like career day, Phoebe-‘

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‘MM’kay- I like totally tied myself to this chair, can you like, call the attendant?’

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‘Whoa- like room shift, or just me, guys? ‘

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‘Sooooo spent from last nights tequila crawl- I hope this is on right-‘

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‘Ermegod- it is so bright in here….’

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‘Just hold onto the chair, Phoebe we can do this……soooo want to hurl….’

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