Saturday, September 26, 2009

Anthropologie vs. Trudy of Hot Patterns

Here's something I find pretty interesting -- Trudy at HotPatterns had these designs coming out before Anthropologie's Fall offerings were out.

This lady is definitely ahead of the game! I love in all the YouTube clips when she talks about major designers and letting us know what's coming up in fashion.

And how great is it to view this stuff at Anthopologie's website, love it, and then know you can make it yourself?

I do have to say -- personal opinion here -- but I love Hot Patterns tops a little better than the Anthropologie tops.

However -- here are a few more Anthropologie tops that would be simply divine if you could make them yourself --

And a couple of cool accessories that are totally DIYable --

If I try any of these things, I'll post photos. And if you try any of these things, please do comment and leave your link below!


Thursday, September 24, 2009


I hate doing tulle and crinolines.

But it was so worth it --

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What a Mess.

I didn't get much done last night. This is because of a well-known and widely detested fact:


I was trying to sew some net together, and the machine kept jamming. Simple fix: rethread. That fixed it pretty quickly -- but only after I took out the bobbin about 5 times, oiled the bobbin, removed the faceplate and blew out all the fuzz, replaced the faceplate, and tried again -- again -- again -- again -- again.

Very frustrating. Plus, the 2-hour premiere of House was on, so I gave up.

Here's what I was doing. Barbie chose a pattern for a dress, and I made it for her. Lots of changes to it, since the pattern is from 1954. Oh, oh, oh so cute, though!

One of Barbie's must-haves was a crinoline in order to pouf up the skirt. My solution? Sew some netting into the lining of the skirt (which the pattern did not require, but I thought it needed). Two rows oughtta do it, I thought.

So here's the pattern, Simplicity 4708, published 1954:

And here's the dress --

and here's the mess:

I also have a bit of trim to add to the jacket and skirt hem. That is, after I finish with all this netting and tulle on the underskirt. See that bunched up wad of white netting on the table? That's the second layer, under the blue. I cut long strips, and am attaching them to each other with strips of ribbon -- because my machine doesn't like trying to sew thread over what amounts to all the air between the spaces in the netting!

Wish me luck. It's gonna get worse before it gets better.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

And Also the Burda Autumn Review

Since I had a look at Vogue, I thought I'd probably better look at some other pattern designers' fall collections as well. What a nice surprise to see the new stuff at Burda! It's all very young, very fresh -- very refreshing for fall/winter.

Here are a few pieces that caught my eye:

This is Burda 7580, a little dress and jacket. If I had only seen the technical drawing:

I would have certainly passed it right by. It's shapeless! And yet the outfit on the model is so unbelieveably cute that I may have to go out and get a hip-slung belt and some boots and whip this thing right up. I LOVE this outfit. It looks comfy and classy at the same time.

Here's another fabulous outfit -- again, which I would have passed right by had I only seen the technical drawing --

First off -- I love grey and yellow, and that made this particular pattern pop and catch my eye, so kudos to the stylist. Secondly, while I am not a big fan of the actual shape of the jacket, it totally works here in this outfit. What's right about it: The grey top under the jacket is a darker shade than the skirt. That makes all the difference. The pattern is Burda 7585, and is only for the jacket:

The drawing makes me think "hospital scrubs." But that outfit above is far beyond this little kimono-styled jacket. I think it would also work in shades of blue with a longer skirt, or maybe a black cowl and slim pants. And if the cut of the jacket is a little too boxy (sorry, Designer who gave a nod to the 80's!) once you got it on and starting fitting, you could always give it a little shape down the sides by pulling it in a bit.

Now how cute is this outfit? Just your basic tunic -- Burda 7588 --

Can't get much more basic than this -- but how fabulous does it look with that wide belt over a little skirt and t-shirt? The top and the tights in the outfit match, and the belt is wide. An obi-style belt (maybe in leather or something like it?) that's tied in the front would look very cute with this also.

Lastly, I am in love with this little skirt, Burda 7610:

They've done it here in black, but you can still get the general shape of it.

I especially like how while the skirt is banded on the bottom, it doesn't loose the flare or pull in. I would probably lengthen it, but that's got more to do with my age than the style of the skirt. With a little t-shirt -- as they've shown here -- this is just fabulous.

I've read over and over again how much some of you love the Burda World of Fashion Magazine. I may just have to subscribe. What I see in their pattern collections isn't just a piece here or there, or a drawing. The way that they put together the outfit makes me think that I can use things I already have in my closet with these simple pieces to achieve the look.

Pretty genius, Burda. Also pretty genius that all of these patterns are very easy.

You can find all these patterns simply by clicking the photo, which will link you to their site, or simply go to Burda Fashion and have a look at everything. You'll be glad you did. There's lots more that I loved and didn't highlight here -- enjoy! I did!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Vogue Fall Review

OK, it's a little late. But I'm a Yankee living in North Carolina, and quite honestly summer doesn't really quit around here until about mid-October, no matter when the fall fashion lines release. Seriously.

So here are my favourites from the Vogue Fall collection:

Yep, that's it. I know. Slim pickins!

However, I do like this --

if only it had a more loose and drapey skirt. Sorry Michael Kors, this straight skirt just isn't doing it for me -- even if it does look like a million bucks on Mrs. Obama. This model just looks a bit thick in the middle and rather middle-aged to me. It doesn't flatter very nicely.

I also like this a lot, but again with changes --

Absolutely stunning dress from Badgley Mishka, (love those back pleats!) but who's got a bra to wear with that neckline? Are you kidding me?

Just one more, from Donna Karan --

How much do I adore this coat? Oh, if I could only say! The beautiful lines, the way that drape falls . . . How much would I actually WEAR this coat without strangling myself and freezing to death? Oh, again, if I could only put it into words!

And all that is to say nothing of the abominable color they've used on the model. What is that? Baby poop brown? One of the fabrics called for is lightweight woolens. I'm wondering exactly what kind of beautiful drape you're going to get with a lightweight woolen.

I suppose the clincher for me on this coat was this -- the actual sketch of it --

See how the coat kind of separates in the front, with that drape? Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to get it to drape right while standing in front of the mirror, running late?

Well, there you go. Just my opinions, but of course I'd love to know what you think as well! Will you be trying any of the new Vogue patterns for fall?


Monday, September 14, 2009

Absentee Posting

I wish I had more time. Time to sew, time to get a decent night's sleep.

Unfortunately, lately I have been drowning in the chemistry of biology. Ask me whatever you'd like about how atoms combine or what DNA is made up of -- I can tell you. Even tonight as I sat in the library studying with my friend Maxine, I noticed we were right next to books whose spines read "Flat Pattern Design" and the like.

I did get my two new patterns from Hot Patterns, which are the Three Graces tops and the Jeanius jeans. I will try them out as soon as I get some time.

The Babydoll needs a backpack for her laptop. I have toyed with the idea of ironing plastic shopping bags to fabric for this, but honestly -- backpacks aren't all that terribly expensive, and I'd rather make clothing. So as much as I like to recycle, we'll see how far I get on that project. Probably I'll just give up and buy her a backpack.

Rose also would like a laptop case. Same thing. We'll see.

In the meantime, I have a fall wardrobe that is sorely lacking. I have a class in study skills - one of those classes every freshman has to take -- and it has required me to answer several questions relating to personal success. I have actually had to write some goals and plans down, and one of them (duh!) was to take time each week for myself. I think sewing should be at the top of THAT list.

BY THE WAY . . . the Mac is here, and I LOVE IT. I have always been a Mac, just never knew it. This thing is fabulous. I use it for everything. I am bilingual now; I speak both Mac and PC! What a hoot!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where Is It?

Where is it? Where is my new Mac?

Because I have gone back to school and am now a full-time student (ahem! At 50, it's about time!), I got in on a great deal from Apple. I got a MacBook Pro, plus a free printer and a free iPod touch.

C'mon, FedEx! Get a move on!

I have finally laid down the law about removing the electronic signature sheets from the front door (everyone kept taking them off! What is THAT about?). The printer's already here, and hopefully the rest will arrive today or tomorrow.

I can't wait. Can you tell?

On the current sewing front, I have this going on: mostly nothing, because I have so much schoolwork to do. But . . . it was just Labor Day weekend, so I treated myself to just a little time in here last night:

1. Got Babydoll a new pair of cute purple jeans from Rue 21, shortened them, and made them from flares into skinny jeans.
2. Took a pair of jeans we got her at Goodwill, and removed the pockets. They were stitched completely over with gold thread and she felt like they screamed "here's my butt!" Replaced them with pockets cut from old jeans pieces I had in the stash.
3. Hemmed a pair of chinos for my friend Michelle. Tried to fix another pair, but I think I've screwed them up. Need her to try them on.
4. Filed all the patterns that were sitting around. This prompted looking at several I'd like to make. Gotta get on that.
5. Cut out a new purse I'll be making. I'll post photos as I do it.

Ok, back to the salt mines. Things to do, (schoolwork), places to go (class), things to do (homework). Jeesh, I've turned into one of my kids.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Trudy on Trudy

Now you all know that I had to post this -- It's a Trudy Q & A! I truly love this lady; she's taught me so much and I especially love that she "parents via shouting" and her mantra is "Get in the car!"

I think we may be related. My mantra is "Get over it!" Maybe her kids are younger than mine ; )

What does it matter that we've never met?

Anyway -- this was so interesting that I had to share it. I actually went over to the website and got two of the patterns -- the Three Graces tops and the Weekender Jeanius Jeans. I can't wait to try them out.



p.s. The Joseph coat is done, done, done thank GOD and I will post photos soon!