Category Archives: planning


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


I’ve been too busy to blog!

Oh dear friends, it’s been a busy sewing month of September! I’ve had a rough time trying to stop and blog what I’ve been up to! A lot of the projects I’ve been working on have been in muslin, rather than finished fabrics, so I guess I wasn’t as excited to show you the results ๐Ÿ™‚

All except this one…


I’ll be catching you up on all my projects over the next few days, but here’s a quickie preview!

During the month of September, I…

  • Visited a new sewing store in town, Common Thread
  • Dropped my vintage Bernina off at the store for a much-needed tune-up
  • Bought a bucketload of patterns, many from Colette!
  • Bit the bullet and bought my first silk charmeuse…and then washed it! A terrifying process that worked better than I could have dreamed!
  • Bought a new sewing machine… introductions will be made later
  • Learned how to grade a pattern
  • Learned how to modify a neckline
  • Started watching Project Runway… I’m not sure I’m happy about it, either. More on this to come.
  • Started working with voile for the first time
  • Made an adorable shirt out of lace + knit…on a whim! My first time working with either and it was so rewarding! (see above)
  • Modified my dress form so that it actually matches my own measurements…what a difference!

I’ll also confess that it’s been busy at work, and here at Maison du Chat… but October marks the beginning of fall here in Texas, and I’m so inspired by my successes that I can’t wait to finish some of my projects and share them with you!

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Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Field Trip, new skills, planning, Rookie Mistakes, shopping


Planning a Wardrobe

After seeing a post at the Coletterie about Sarai’s wardrobe, I was inspired to get organized with my own sewing projects.

So what do I actually *need* to be happy? Well, I feel like I’m not too far off right now. I’m a simple girl, and I like to have a trim wardrobe where everything plays nice with everything else.

Rather than try and photograph my dark closet, I prefer to sketch out what I’ve got… since I don’t own much, it’s pretty fast ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are my current tops (colors approximate and limited by my colored pencil selections)


And my current bottoms….


For someone who really, really likes green and purple, I’ve currently got neither of either! That makes me very sad. But that’s great! Because it means that I know where to focus the efforts of my next projects.

I’ve got the supplies on the way for a Colette Sencha Keyhole blouse (purple silk charmeuse) and that Tracy Reese knit dress from Vogue (in a crazy black and white animal print with jade green outlines). I still want more green in there, but didn’t like ANY of the green fabric I found so that will just have to wait for now.

Here’s my planning sketches:


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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in inspiration, planning


Plotting and scheming

I’ve been trying to decide which project I want to start on next. You’d think this would be easy, since I just got a bunch of new patterns, and a bunch of new fabric from various and sundry sources.

Unfortunately, when I try and match up the two, I keep coming up with goose eggs! Does this happen to all new sewists?

I’ve got that gorgeous cherry-red silk jersey, but since I haven’t sewed with Jersey yet, or silk, I figure I need to play with something else before cutting into the most expensive thing in my stash.

Then there’s that red silk I got from the garage sale, but I can’t decide which sheath dress I want to make out of it. Sheath dresses are good for Duponi, right?

Then there’s that pretty blue and white fabric with the lilacs… I’m almost 100% positive I want to do a retro pattern with a boatneck and wide skirt (very Audrey Hepburn), but I haven’t found a pattern I like yet.

Then there’s some odds and ends and a bunch of woolen plaids… but it’s 105 here and I just can’t make myself touch those wools!

So, what’s left? Well… there is that crazy zig zag fabric I got from Fabric Mart. I *could* sew something up with that. And it *is* a slinky knit, so I could get some practice that would help me out with my silk jersey project later. Hey, I could finally make something using one of those Burda magazines I paid an arm and a leg for. I did actually get tracing fabric so I could replicate things from that crazy insert…


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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in musings, planning


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