Category Archives: fashion


Girls, this is what I’m talking about!

Did you see this delicious creation over on Carolyn’s blog?


click the pic for more photos. It’s her fabulous interpretation of vogue 8764… A pattern I was pretty meh on, until I saw Carolyn’s version.

This lady looks seriously fine! She’s employing the fabulous Rule of Thirds here… You thought that was a photography term? Well, maybe so, but it also applies to clothes. This was an awesome lesson from Sewing for Plus Sizes… Never wear things that cut you in half. Either raise or lower your waistline… Your choice!

So classic Chanel jacket? Out!

Long riding coat? Definitely in.

Low rise anything? Ten foot pole territory!

High waisted skirts? Oh, it’s on, baby.

Carolyn’s dress does a much more elegant job of illustrating this phenomenon than my pencil skirt of last night, though. No fidgeting or adjusting to maintain your proportions throughout the day!

Keep rockin’ what your mama gave you, Miss C! You are an inspiration to us all!

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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in fashion, inspiration, planning, smokin hot


Isn’t that just like a man?*

Have I mentioned that I’m partners with the loveliest of men….a man who sews?


Tell me, dear readers, how many of you are blessed with this kind of partner?

It all started one cold winter day, eight years ago. Mister, my very tall thin fella, had another pair of cheap, too-short pajama bottoms fall apart on him. And he’d had enough.

He thought, “what if I made my own pajamas?” And, being newly armed with a vintage industrial sewing machine of German manufacture (oh, how he loves all things German and vintage, does my Mister), he got himself a pattern and some crazily patterned flannel (“I’m done with plaid I tell you… done!”) he got himself hence to the sewing machine.

After a few false starts (attaching the leg backwards, and then putting it on inside out…but we’ve all made the same mistake, haven’t we?) he proudly produced a pair of blue-upon-blue paisley pajama bottoms. They were voluminous, they were long enough, they were comfortable… he was hooked!

Over the years, my Mister has made many a pair of pajama bottoms — his favorite has just worn out over many years of faithful service…they were hot pink with baby pink & lime green crabs! — and he’s getting out the machine to make some new pairs. He’s ventured into robe territory, and made one of a vivid hot pink flannel which he is very proud of.

I think he’s even flirting with the idea of making shirts, as he bought himself a Colette Negroni the other day at Common Thread. He has a retired-Navy brother who knits, so perhaps it runs in the family?

Whereever it came from, I’m so proud of his sewing accomplishments!

And really, it’s only a man who sews who would ever dream of saying, “Honey, let’s go to the sewing machine store… it will be so romantic!”

Oh yes, I am a lucky girl.

*quote from Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery. I’m reliving my childhood by listening to all the Anne books on audiobook.


Posted by on October 2, 2011 in creations, fashion, feminism


40s movies

I adore old movies… pretty much any excuse to watch an old film is a good one. One of my favorite reasons to watch is to see all the beautiful clothes they wear. The movie can be awful — dreadful! — but if they’ve got good clothes, then it’s worthwhile.

Take these screen caps from an old Esther Williams film… I don’t think she swam at all in this movie, so it was probably a flop ๐Ÿ˜‰ — I certainly don’t remember much about it, but I do remember loving every single damn outfit in the entire film. Here are a few of my favorites:









See what I mean?

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in fashion, inspiration


Blousing around

I am so inspired by all the amazing blouse creations out there, y’all…I just don’t know where to start! I love how a little structure really flatters a wide variety of figures. I was so pleased by my polka dot top… I had no idea how nice a structured top could be!

I’m a little overwhelmed at all the options out there. ย Here are a few blouses that I hope to make this year…

I am in love with this wine coloured blouse… I am on the hunt for a pattern to modify to replicate this piece.

From Vintage Vivant: Two fabrics + same pattern = vastly different looks

reVamp Vintage is such an amazing place… None of their blouses seem to come in my size though. No matter, I’m going to sort out how to make their clothes myself! Like this delicious blouse… ooh!

This darling little number was from Anthropologie, but is no longer available… and was never available in my size, anyway! I love the chevrons created by the stripes… I’m really looking forward to creating something with this method!

Isn’t this a stunning combo? I actually think my little sis would look much better in this than I would ๐Ÿ˜‰

Vintage 1930s Dress and Bolero in Chevron Nautical Theme

And what about Simplicity 1555, a vintage pattern for blouses from the Vintage Pattern wiki? Oh, I’d love to make one of these… I really wonder if I could pull off one of these looks with that freebie batik in white and green…

I’m really intrigued by how this pattern goes together… the yoke detail that turns into sleeves is so interesting!

Isn’t this the sweetest blouse from Jitterbuggin? I adore it!

Check out the amazing wrap detail on this 1930s blouse from the Vintage Fashion Library shop…

Now I need to clear off my little kitchen table (which is still strewn with assorted mail and whatnot from our trip) and get stitching!

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Posted by on July 5, 2011 in fashion, musings, planning


I’m back!

We had a lovely time in New Orleans! We ate some of the best food, met some of the nicest people, and generally had a great time in NOLA. It was delicious! Those NOLA girls sure do know how to dress though… makes me feel more motivated to finish some new projects!

My black and white dress got a lot of wear in New Orleans, where the cotton was a cooling comfort, but it was dressy enough that I didn’t feel out of place in any of the chi-chi places we visited. Definitely more of the peplum top + skirt + sash in my future. I think when I sew it up in the burgundy linen, I might do some contrast binding in black on the edges, and maybe even an embellishment or two… haven’t decided what yet but I’m excited to try a few things out!


I’ve got so many things I want to try — I got my very first online fabric shipment in (some luxurious scarlet silk jersey… oh my!) and it came with 5 yards of freebies. Neither of the freebie patterns is something I would have purchased on my own, but now that I’ve got them, I’m excited by the challenge of coming up with something awesome from them (since I’m sewing on a budget, and anything I get out of them makes the cost of that silk a little less dear).

Here’s the silk… yummy, n’est-ce pas?

It’s a little closer to cherry than blood red (which is what I was really looking for), but I think it will be stunning when accessorized with black. It’s also more sheer than I expected, but I think I’ll have fun figuring out a creative way to underline it without compromising the delicious drape of it.

And here’s freebie number 1:

It’s pretty wild! Did I mention I don’t really do crazy patterns? However, I do have a few ideas up my sleeve for this one. I could just make it into a skirt and keep the top very neutral, but I’m thinking I might try this technique from Threads:

Maybe overlay it with a sheer black, to tone it down a bit? Hmmm… decisions, decisions….

And freebie number 2:

This fabric feels lovely, but batiks don’t really do much for me. However, I’m kind of excited about the challenge this presents — I’m thinking of ways to make it more sophisticated… make a tailored top and pair it with a white pencil skirt and gold accessories? I’ll have to find just the right pattern… I’m going to go for 1910s/20s bohemian chic.

So much fabric and so many patterns… I’m sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow and can’t start on my projects until then. Ah well, at least I have some lovely things to look forward to!

I’ll be spending this week plotting about how to use up some of my stash ๐Ÿ™‚

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in fashion, Frugal, musings, planning


Pattern Planning – McCall’s 6032

Here’s another dress pattern I have on hand that I’m looking forward to making. ย What is it with me and knit dresses? Talk about facing your fears! Although, I guess I can’t actually have faced them until I put scissors to fabric and sew it up. Maybe this weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰

I actually think I’m going to make the short sleeved dress, but use the twisted sash from the sleeveless version.

Fabric for this dress calls for 2.5 – 3 yards @ 60″ wide of stretch knits (cotton, jersey, interlock, matte jersey). There’s a zipper (again? in a knit?), hook and eyes, 1/2″ seam binding, and 1.5 yds of 1/4″ elastic.

For fabric I’m still thinking…but that delicious plummy bamboo knit would be gorgeous…

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Posted by on June 11, 2011 in creations, fashion, planning


Pattern Planning – Simplicity 2938

Here’s another pattern I bought this season (again, not on sale… groan!):

simplicity 2938

simplicity 2938

I really like the pleats at the neck, but I’m going to have to put at least a cap sleeve on it because sleeveless clothing is verboten in the Library.

It calls for 1 3/4 yards for a top and 2 7/8 yards for a dress (both include belts in that fabric).

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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in creations, fashion, planning