Sunday, February 23, 2014

Whatever You Say, Boss!

The ladies at The Monthly Stitch have a great challenge for March.  Miss Bossy Patterns is a stashbusting, control-freak-slamming extravaganza!  Have a pattern stash as tall as a sequoia?  Well, you're asked to grab three of them. . .three you'd like to sew up.  No problem, right?  But here's the kicker:  Other members will tell you which pattern you're to sew up in March.  That's right.  Once they vote, you'll have to do what they say.  They're the boss of you.  Totally.

Now, you look at your patterns a little differently, yes?  What if they vote for this one?  Then, I'll HAVE to make it.

I went back and forth many times, repeating those exact words in my mind, and I've finally settled on the three I'm eager - and willing - to tackle.  Here they are:

First, paired with a paisley print light knit fabric (that will probably have to be lined), I have chosen Simplicity 3775, which I think would make a nice spring/summer dress.  I would probably make View C.

Simplicity 3775
Next, I've chosen a jacket (which will be totally out-of-season by the time it's completed at the end of March and will probably remain unworn until next fall).  The pattern is 108 from Burda World of Fashion 10/2008.  I've paired it with a black and white woven fabric.

Burda 108 - 10/2008

Finally, I have an old, old, old Vogue pattern, V9945,  paired with a lovely woven print.  I've always loved this pattern, but never really felt svelte enough to sew it up.  Well, the heck with that.  If you vote for it, I'll sew it!

Vogue 9945

Looking over my fabric choices, I'm struck by how dark it all looks, especially when I remember that it'll be spring when I'm done.  Oh, well.  These are my choices.

Please vote at the poll on the sidebar.

Thanks, in advance, for visiting and voting!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

You know who never wore prints? Emma Peel, that's who.

So, I'm taking the March challenge at The Monthly Stitch, and I've chosen some print fabrics from my stash to be my guide in selecting my top three patterns.

Now, I don't usually gravitate to prints in my wardrobe, because I consider them somewhat limiting and hard to wear, and I've always tried to follow the "three things" rule when shopping for (or sewing) clothes.  The rule states that whatever you buy/sew/acquire for your wardrobe should go with at least three things already in your wardrobe.

Also, I've always considered solids more chic.  I'm a bit of a prints bigot, if you like.  It's so easy for prints to look dated, wrongly proportioned and sometimes, a little cheap, depending on how they're used.  Prints are for scarves, right?

None of my style icons are prints ladies.  Check out the fabulous Diana Rigg as the even more fabulous Emma Peel

Emma Peel and John Steed: Solid black and champagne!
I'm such a fan of her style that I even have a Pinterest board called What Would Mrs. Peel Do?

Still, I'm going the extra mile for this challenge.  Letting other people tell me what to sew is one thing.  Sewing it in fabric I may not be able to figure out how to wear chicly is a whole other thing.  But, who knows?  It may take me into wonderful new fashion territory!  



You're not the boss of me! No, wait. . ..

. . .you are!  I have found a wonderfully inspirational blog called The Monthly Stitch, and I am jumping in in March with the Miss Bossy Patterns challenge!

In this challenge, we choose 3 unused patterns from our stash, and then let the other members vote on which one we use!

I have gone through my fabric stash first, and I've chosen two prints - one a woven and one a knit.  This adds a little extra challenge for me, because, though I do love prints, I'm intimidated about sewing with them.

Here is the knit fabric:

This paisley knit will probably have to be lined.

The knit is thin and I'll either have to line it or make something that would always be worn with a slip (if I even still have one!) or a camisole.

Can't wait to get my patterns selected.  Thanks for stopping by.


p.s.  I've never had this much trouble with links and text before, so I'm putting in The Monthly Stitch links here:

Website  --
FB group --


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

Detail of the elaborate beading on my thrift find

Hello, again!  I hope your year is off to a good start!  This will be a very brief post, because. . .well, I want to organize the blog, not just post spontaneously according to whim.  I haven't yet figured out what the organized blog should look like, so today's post is a little random.

This. Jacket.

I found this amazing elaborately beaded and brocaded linen jacket in 2008 at a thrift store for $1.00.  Yes, that's 1 USD.

Is there anything better than scoring something exquisite for $1.00?  

Now, I have never worn this jacket, because, well,  the jacket is a Size 4 and I'm . . .not.   But, to me, this jacket is a work of art. and I've decided to keep it in my office studio as a source of inspiration for the creative year ahead.

Of course, I won't leave it hanging in the window, silly!

Until next time. . .


Monday, October 14, 2013

A Week Late And A Muslin Short

This little lady wants a Little French Jacket

UPDATE:  With the holiday rush, an ice-storm induced power outage and various and sundry illnesses and obstacles, mom's decided that the suit will be her birthday present in February.  Whew!

I wanted to show my mom my LFJ project this weekend, so I gathered all the goodies. . .fabric, patterns, tools, etc.  She ran her fingers along the boucle, shot through with gold.  She happily looked over the design elements in the patterns and told me which she preferred.  She adores the skirt in the Kwik Sew pattern. Then, she began trying to decide how long she would want the jacket to be. . .you know, if it were going to be hers.

Mom is 92, and has always had excellent taste.  When she was young she sewed most of her wardrobe. Even today, she relishes describing certain dresses she remembers making and wearing, and there's always a special detail.  . .a little embroidered embellishment, self-covered buttons, French seaming. . .that were especially satisfying to her.

As she continued looking over the elements of my dream jacket, she wondered aloud if her plum dress pants might look nice with it.  In case I wanted to borrow them.

Well, what could I do?  All my life, my parents did their best to make my dreams come true.  Can you think of a lovelier Christmas gift than a Little French Jacket?  With a matching skirt, maybe?  Ho, Ho, Ho! 


Monday, October 7, 2013

Ready, Set. . .Go! I Mean SEW!

It's Muslin Monday!  The Little French Jacket sewalong swings into action with Step 1:  Constructing the muslin.  I've selected a companion pattern to Kwik Sew 2577, which will be the foundation shape of the garment.  However, Vogue 7015 contains some shaping that I may want to include.  It just depends on how I think it will look on the fashion fabric, which has some elaborate metallic motifs that may not look right with darting.

Both patterns are, alas, out-of-print.  Both Vogue 7015 and Kwik Sew 3577 can be found online.  The book in the photo is the venerable Couture Sewing Techniques, by Clair Shaeffer.  Her new book - ideal for this sewalong - is, unfortunately, still not on my shelf.

If we follow the calendar for this sewalong, in just a few weeks, we'll each own a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, thrill-to-wear, honest-to-goodness COUTURE jacket!  We're off to the races. . .which, come to think of it, would be a smashing place to wear a couture jacket!


Friday, September 20, 2013

To Begin: Joining the Little French Jacket Sew-Along

Fabric and (possible) Pattern for the LFJ Sew-Along
This is my first post on this blog, and I know it should be an introduction to my point and purpose in starting it, but I don't have time to write that right now.

There's an exciting sew-along in the works!  I've been checking out a lot of sewing blogs recently, and I found an irresistible challenge:  The Little French Jacket Sew-Along!

I follow the blog My Sewcial World, where I found this enticing post.    I have devoured sewing books, patterns books and magazines for years.  (I used to sew quite a bit, and I always thought that someday, I would master some real couture techniques and create some timeless clothes that are truly satisfying to make and to wear.)

More recently, I have found inspirational treasure in blogs, such as Goodbye, ValentinoLa Petite JosetteRed Point Tailor and Sewaholic.  I also signed up for the Craftsy class, The Couture Dress!

Following the links at Annika's sew-along announcement post, I found the original challenge, including the schedule and suggested patterns.

Being a bit of a crank, I'm strongly tempted to use a pattern I already own and love, but that lacks some of the traditional elements of a couture piece, such as a two-piece set-in sleeve.  My fabric is also quite ornate, so many of the delicious details of a traditional Chanel-style jacket might be, uhmmm. . .de trop.

The Little French Jacket Sew-Along begins on October 6, 2013, and ends just before Christmas.  There is also a bonus Skirt Sew-Along in January.

All of this nicely coincides with what looks to be a can't-do-without new book by couture master Claire B. Schaeffer.  I may just have to make this book my birthday present to myself!

It's shaping up to be a very satisfying autumn!

N.B.  The Kwik Sew Pattern shown in the photo (K3577) is, apparently, SO out-of-print, it doesn't even show up on Kwik Sew's Out-Of-Print Patterns page.  I found one on eBay

/Cheryl Ann