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Showing posts from May, 2015

Back in the Summer of '69

If you're looking for a little inspiration for your summer sewing, take a trip with me back to the summer of '69 with this June issue of Burda Moden pattern magazine!    I have the entire year of 1969 issues, and love to look through them once in a while.

To get you in the right frame of mind, here is what was happening in 1969-
-Richard Nixon became President of the US in January.
-Apollo 11 landed on the moon in July.
-The Woodstock festival in New York had over 500,000 attendees.
-The top song of the year was "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies.
-The Brady Bunch was the most popular TV show.  
-We were watching the Love Bug and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (both released in 1968), and also Midnight Cowboy and Easy Rider released later in 1969.
-The opposition to the Vietnam War increased and more and more people attended anti-war demonstrations.
This was what was going on in the US, but I have no idea what was happening in Germany.
It was innocence and innovation mixed with …

Finding Personal Style through Sewing Trial and Error

Do you remember the first thing that you ever made?

I do, and I still have it!  It was a gathered skirt, drawstring bag and scarf made out of a green ditsy floral cotton print.  It was 1971; I was 8 years old; and it was my first 4-H project.  As I go through my closet, sorting through what to give away and what to keep, it dawns on me that I think that I'm finally figuring out my own personal style, and that it was there even with my first sewing project.

See the green and the blue in that print- that's exactly what I gravitate to now.  I wonder how much of our style is either genetically or environmentally passed down.  My Dad's favorite color was green, and my Mom's favorite color was aqua, so this print blended them together.

I have never been able to choose a favorite color myself.  I love them all.  And I've never been able to narrow down my style preferences either- I enjoy making and looking at a tailored suit as much as I enjoy making and looking at pajama…

Two Tone Maxi Dress Vogue 9104

When the latest release of Vogue patterns was posted, I was immediately drawn to this one- Vogue 9104.   The two tone soft wave effect reminded me of an ice cream sundae, an ocean wave, a sand dune.  Ahh- just so organic and relaxing.  I just couldn't wait to make it- the only question was what fabric to use?
The pattern suggested crepe de chine, broadcloth or jersey.  I chose two rayon jerseys from Fabric Mart, and ordered 3 yards of each color.  The fabric shrunk quite a bit after the first washing, and I was left with 2-1/2 yards of each. That sounds like a lot of fabric, but the dress really took the entire length of it.  I do have some bits and pieces left that I'm hoping to piece together another top.





Rayon jerseys have many pluses- they drape beautifully, they are extremely soft and silky to the touch, and are breathable.  On the minus side- they tend to grow longer as the day goes on, so you have to do something to stabilize areas like necklines and armholes, and…

Graduation Day Dress! Butterick 5884

My baby girl graduated from college!  Making her graduation dress was bittersweet to say the least.  I have three daughters and she is the youngest, so this is our last daughter to go through this life stage.  I remember my college graduation dress very well, and I wanted to make her something special that she would remember as well.


She chose the pattern and the fabric.  The pattern is Butterick 5884, from the Suzy Chin/Maggy Boutique patterns.  I love all of the Maggy London patterns, but had not made this one, so I was pretty excited that she chose it.  The fabric is a beautiful sky blue tencel challis.  It has a vibrant color and beautiful drape.

What you can't see from the pattern illustration is that the lining of the bodice is actually fitted, and that brings the outer fabric in so that the neckline doesn't gape.  It's brilliantly drafted, and the front just hugs the chest perfectly.

The back on the other hand was perhaps not drafted as well, as when she first …

Standing Sewing Station

Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking?  Hmmmm...  It's easy for me not to smoke, but what do you do when most of your favorite things are traditionally done while sitting?
Let me introduce you to (drumroll...)  my Standing Sewing Station! 


For the past year or so, I've been having back pain that was exasperated by sitting.  If I would sit for even 30 minutes at my desk, I would stand up feeling really stiff with a sore back.   I didn't have a terrible case, but bad enough that I knew I needed to change something.   I tried so many chairs- I switched from a regular office chair, to a exercise ball, to an exercise ball on a pedestal, back to a different office chair.

Nothing helped!  Whatever chair I was using, I still had the problem.  I saw a spine specialist- she told me that I was getting old, and I just have to accept the reality that I will have aches and pains.  Really?  I'm 52, in relatively good shape, and you are telling me that I'm "old"…