An Easter Parade with Helena ‘Bonnet’ Carter


I love Easter, because you can get major amounts of chocolate in small pocket-sized quantities for discrete snacking. I’m still working on how to discretely nibble the ears of a 4 LB dark chocolate bunny while I work, but I will conquer that hurdle eventually. Perhaps a holster……hmm. I digress. I also love that Easter brings out the hats. Hats just aren’t worn enough anymore. So, I thought a little hat viewage would be a nice thing while we eat our peeps and such. The ‘Grievances proudly presents a post I like to think of as: Stuff on Helena Bonham Carters Head!!! Yay! Fanfair and confetti flair! Helena+Bonham+Carter+W+Magazine+Golden+Globe+qeUcod4qlJTx


Squeal- Look at that silly furry thing with ears! No, not him, on her head! Helena+Bonham+Carter+Tim+Burton+Helena+Bonham+GD-sF6VydqVx

While I was researching, it got to be sort of a ‘Where’s Waldo’ event. Sometimes I’d think there was something on her head, but it was really just her head. Helena+Bonham+Carter+QVC+Red+Carpet+Style+34j3CU5XYKBx

So tricky! I’m almost ashamed at how much I love a mini top hat. Helena+Bonham+Carter+Philips+British+Academy+GXa-_izWjQtx

No, Helena, don’t look regretful- I love this one! Helena+Bonham+Carter+Paloma+Faith+seen+attending+8KDzhwiGrNqx

I think this one dispenses little cinnamon bears!


I tease, but I truly do love her style- she is just amazing- when dressed up. Helena+Bonham+Carter+Jameson+Empire+Awards+KqTltch0pfdx

Top hat again! Oh, I burn with envy! Why can’t I wear these to work? Stupid rules! I could attach a headset phone to it and write it off! Helena+Bonham+Carter+Investitures+Buckingham+30Inke7tPfwx

Please tell me that an animatronic frog lives in this!!Helena+Bonham+Carter+Harry+Potter+Deathly+ggSuzvsRUQux

Your thoughts? Did she kill a flamenco dancer and claim this prize? Helena+Bonham+Carter+Eleventh+Annual+AFI+Awards+7RtV3qQOmZPx

-Feathers and velvet- I love you! I forgive you your foiblous footwear choices! Helena+Bonham+Carter+BAFTA+Britannia+Awards+OF1RskhEOyPx

I think this one is a drama in 2 parts! Helena+Bonham+Carter+83rd+Academy+Awards+Nominations+6IfiJmg0EK7x

Helena, you are so creative- you find the most attractive things to put on your head! My favorite attempts involve you trying to wear Colin Firth… Helena+Bonham+Carter+Weinstein+Company+DeLeon+EuxMZR9jEm4l

photo credits: zimbio, google images. All images remain the property of their original owners

A little Stymied.

Yah, that’s me. A little Stymied. I have all of this fabulous new fabric all pre-washed and waiting and I am feeling overwhelmed and underskilled. Yes, 2 emotional crises at once- at least I can say I am finally an overachiever!

When we last left our heroine, a week ago, I was so giddy to sew that I whipped up 2 of my fav ‘go to’ patterns- Vogue 1247 and Simplicity 2059. I love both because you can use any fabric and get a great result. Also, I have this strange vision that the aliens will arrive and make us their meat slaves and we will all have to wear a uniform. If we base it on something we all already have, Vogue 1247 is bound to be chosen! Hopefully not with Ugg boots.

But now onto my dilemma what to make next? Do I bend to the wise peer pressure and sew with a plan? Or continue sewing like I have a rich cultured event attending lifestyle and keep making patterns I’d just like to play with? Ok, let’s have some opinions:

I just came across the coolest version of Vogue 1225– go see Steppenpuppy’s Blog! She made this a little more fun, don’t you think? Is it wrong to copy Homage someone’s make an hour after they post it? Or is that just major flattery? I’m going with flattery! It made me look at this pattern again, too.  Maybe I could winterize this one and not make poor Steppenpuppy feel like I’m peeking into her windows! Ok, I’m off to visit the closet of egregious  textile hoarding for some fabric fondling and inspiration!

But before I do- let me share that Ms Velosewer has made an announcement about the Pattern Pyramid Pile!

photo credits: pattern review, google images, meadhawg

Style Envy….

Have you seen this??? Dita Von Teese has a collection coming out in October and it  is scrumptious!  Check Out the whole line:

Hey Instyle, I’m soo thankful that you are offering me 20% off, but that is still a wee bit high for the budget I have -based on my genteel poverty and high charity donation lifestyle! But I want this so bad (ly) !!Is it possible to make this- a pattern that I already have- Into Dita splendour? I want to wear it as a dress- I know this pattern has no waist seam, but maybe I could still use the top as a base?I’m totally on the look out for ideas and suggestions- I love how knowledgeable you all are and all ideas or contributions to the ‘Get Anne a Dita trench fund’ will be greatly appreciated!

photo credits:, pattern review

Summer Swap Reveal- you will be jealous!

Wow! I signed up for Kestrals Summer Swap and ooh-lala was I spoiled! I just know that my partner was secretly in kahoots with Candi Spelling! It was all so beautifully wrapped and thought out.   I feel sort of packaging-poor in comparison. Got to work on my details- I’m sure she thought my offering was parcelled with all the finesse of Laverne and Shirley on Supermarket Sweep!Check this out! I got paired with The Crafty Traveller – don’t you love that name? I picture Mcgyver with much better vacation slides! She must have some doozies- I think Bruce signed her cleavage! As a red-headed Jersey girl- I consider that to be very good! Ok, moving left to right-

-Fabulous Simplicity pattern to make me look like Gidget- got it!

-Amazingly gorgeous postcards of British couture gowns to dazzle my penpals…if they deserve them! – got ’em!

-Way cool birdy-bird iron ons- oh, yes! I gots em!

– Now this is very cool- little clothing labels by the yard with little nursery rhymes! I can’t wait to use these- I’ve been thinking about making labels and these are over-loading on cute! Now I must say- this young lady has seen into the depths of my shallow soul and really nailed this swap- I am so giddy about this haul!!! Thank you so much Kestral and my favorite Traveller!

photo credits: meadhawg,

White House Style Shennanigans

You know I love a pillbox hat, I do- but boucle suits are really not to my lifestyle. The First Lady Closet I totally covet is of course the Ambassador to Target herself, Mrs Obama.

Check out the Easter Egg Rollin’ ensemble….Tracey Reese…..

Maybe there is more to Easter than semi-stale peeks and spiral-cut ham…..

photo credits:, Getty Images

Yo- it’s my Sewing Room

This week has not been productive. I made a dress for the Sew Weekly accessory challenge and it ended up as a bin liner. Just a train wreck of bad pattern choice and 2 fabrics of conflicting natures. So I’m sort of missing the Sewjo right now. I’ve been in the sewing room alot but not productively. Mostly chasing cats and such. I’ve decided that since I’ve  been seeing a lot of Sewists show off their sewing space for the positive- they have great organization. The negative- they have fascinating clutter.That in my book thats not really a negative!  Well  turn about is fair play,right? So it’s my turn. Please sit back and enjoy the highly rated but for some reason never viewed :

MTV Cribs episode featuring….    The Sewer’s Bordello!

Anne: Hi MTV fans! Welcome to my Sewing Crib! Yes, this is where the magic happens! In this first picture you get a glance into the hyper-active child that dwells here- gathering bright, shiny objects like a showgirl-squirrel…   

I can’t possibly get rid of one thing in here- not the glue sticks, the 700 tiny jars of stray buttons, the old tins of embroidery floss, the American girl dress form! Yes, jealous viewers- you do see the notorious SideWinder bobbin winder! This is why security is tight here- I have valuables! The tv alone is an antique! It’s actually an amazing high-def plasma tv inserted into a 1983 box to keep a kitschy retro feel. Honestly!

After we see the whole room, I’ll show you the solid gold toilet I bought at Russells Simmon’s yard sale last year.

Bruder is also a feature of our tour- this sofa is a very foolish indulgence on my part, but we love it. Bru-boo is doing his ‘Paint me like one of your French girls, Jack!” pose for us today.

The classiness doesn’t stop folks, I tell you.  I have the wonkiest ironing board I could find- I get vertigo ironing with this- it sways so much.  Restrain your jealousy- that is a Hello Kitty cd player on top of an antique wig stand. Grandmonster would roll counter-clockwise if she saw that- shhh- don’t tell her!

Where do I cut out patterns you may be asking- well, on a good day, the coffee table in the den with an olfa mat. On a bad day (when Mr B is watching 14 hours of Totenham) I get 3 pieces of ham, wrap a sleeping pill in each one and wait for the dachshunds to collapse so I can use the floor in the sewing room!

 Now this next shot is the requisite Cribs shot of the open refrigerator but in a sewingroom format. This is where I hide the 600 manuals I have purchased to teach myself to knit and crochet. That still hasn’t happened, by the way, but the books looks very helpful, don’t they? My patterns are in the plastic bins with little seperators- no major organization yet- I like them visible so I can admire my hoarde.  I also have Slings & Arrows and the Firefly series on dvd for those extended sewing sessions. Nathan Fillion helps me feel creative, you know what I mean?

Oh, the sewing desk- look at all this foolishness and absolutely necessary clutter. This is where you find out I have a post-it note fixation- I think they are breeding when I dim the lights. Yes, thats a Mary Poppins potatohead and a postal scale. Hmm…. Normally on Cribs they would hide that postal scale, but I think it’s ok here!

Now last but not least, is the closet of over-purchase! Where I hide many things that dare not see the light of day and my fabric stash. Except for the fat quarters that are all in bins under Bruder. Sometimes a whole family of cats will be lounging in said bins- a gentle reminder to prewash.

photo credits: little me, google images

Caped Crusades!

Lately I’ve been hearing that this falls !BIG THING! Is the cape. Well, I am never good with trends. I was always picked last for dodgeball on the fashion scale. No Kardashian here.

  It pains me to find this Kardashian moment lovely. It’s like admitting to liking Sammy Hagar best in Van Halen. Just inexcusable.

There are of course advantages to the cape- you can make obscene gestures under it and still maintain a ladylike illusion.  You are ready to cover puddles if royalty appears in your hamlet. It’s very commanding and makes people want to let you go in front of them at the Jack in the Box. I’m sure there are more advantages- you can share any that you think of in the comments.

A con would be this outfit which borders on costumey and no one has ever said in a rational moment, ‘It’s ok, I saw Carrie Bradshaw wear it’ .

During a recent pattern buying spree I sent my Hubbie/minion  to the pattern vaults and he returned with this:

He also spent a few minutes bemoaning that capes were not standard dress anymore. Unfortunately, he meant for himself…..

So what do you think? Is it time to embrace the cape and  be on trend for 5 minutes?

Dear Mrs Darling

Dear Mrs Darling,

I have always cherished you as the Home Ec teacher who taught me that marking notches as the right thing to do and that if the pattern envelope said ‘not suitable for obvious diagnals, plaids or 1-way stretch’ that that was the law and no matter how cool a similiar outfit looked on that Debbie Harry person, it was not to be done.  Your torch of sewing guidance never flickers in the sewers bordello.

But, I have to say something. All these years I have lived in dread of Vogue patterns because you said they were too hard to follow  and looked like crazy Europeans were making them!

Well, I must confess, I have been hoarding Vogue patterns for years and never sewing them. Just following Pattern Review and marvelling at other peoples Vogue achievements and stroking the envelopes by the light of the moon.

This weekend I wanted a blouse. So after shuffling thru the bins, I thought..’Should I? Dare I? Is it ok?’ and grabbed Vogue 1247:

and Mrs Darling- I loved it! First I felt shameful- I wondered if somewhere out there in a central Jersey nursing home you were there- an elderly woman in a very proper house dress with bound button holes screaming in horror……maybe just a little. Now I’m hooked. I plan a dress, a coat and maybe a vintage Vogue dress! If the camera had been playing nice with me, I’d have a picture here to show you……well, if it makes you feel any better, I still pin left handed just like you do.


Anne B –  class of ’88.

Ms Middletons Red Dress

Back view!

Isn’t this lovely? It’s classic and summery and lovely. I love the pleated front panel being so simple, but adding so much to a basic concept. So why don’t I have one too? Well, I have thumbed thru all my patterns, just sure that a basic princess seamed bodice lurked in there. I found a contender.  Trolling thru the big4 I was a little surprised at how hard it was to find this classic design. Another lesson: Never throw out old patterns! Styles always come back.

Add a little cap sleeve and we are in Pippaland.

Now I just need  to find what looks like a nubby, cottony something. Anyone have any nubby cottony something sources?

I am sure that this dres is the only thing seperating me from being Pippa Middletons exact clone. Look out cricket matches!  

Inspiration Time!

Well, it’s happened as I knew it would. I’m down to the handsewing and little details on my fabulous apple green floral dress and now, like a regular at an all you can eat Chinese buffet- I am sniffing around other things- ready to grab new tongs and go!

So here is the divine Dita Von Teese at the Coachella festival- this dress keeps coming back to my mind- I think the print combination is too much fun. But will it’s sleek shirtdress styling turn Ethel Mertzy on my little caboose? Possibly. I consulted an expert on such things.

The husband. I approach brandishing the page from the New Yorker.

‘Sweetie,  what do you think of this dress that Dita Von Teese is wearing? Should I make something similiar?’

‘I will tell you this once, and please always remember: if Dita Von Teese is wearing it, not only do I approve, I demand that you enter the sewingroom forthwith.’

Yes, I married a man who says ‘forthwith’, didn’t you?  Poor guy, I know he is picturing more ‘Dita’s Opium Den Tour 2011’ than the music festival in a mud field, but hey, I will take to the sewingroom.

I’ll report back when this idea gets a little more formed. I’m thinking maybe 3 prints- possibly the M’Liss fabrics from Hancock Fabric. Appropriate I think- Dita is a dachsie loving gal and so is Ms Rawley. I think the three of us should get a cottage in the Hamptons this season. I’ll bring the magazines and twizzlers.

Perhaps this little number as  one:

What’cha think?

photo credits: UK Daily mail