Friday, February 26, 2010

Back In the Saddle: Vogue 1153

I am back. My sewing machine has a new color thread on it, and my last project is far from my eye (actually, it is shoved in a bag at the bottom of my closet.)  I am on to greener pastures :) Navy pastures, to be exact. I have moved on to Vogue pattern 1153 to get my mind of my teal Dubarry mess, which I recently had to break-up with. I felt that I needed to go to a contemporary pattern to surround myself with the comfort of printed tissue and the coddling of the more precise directions of today's sewing patterns. But there is a challenge with this pattern.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hollywood Inspiration: Myrna Loy


Nora Charles: How many drinks have you had?
Nick Charles: This will make six Martinis.
Nora Charles: [to the waiter] All right. Will you bring me five more Martinis, Leo? Line them right up here.

After yesterday's break-up with my Dubarry dress, I needed some inspiration. I needed comfort. I needed some macaroni & cheese and The Thin Man. It (the movie, not the dish) is always good for a great look at 1930's fashion and, of course, a few laughs. The outfits that Myrna Loy floats through the screen in are to die for. From the scenes where she is lounging in gorgeous silk pajamas, or arriving in her fabulous fur trimmed coat, to hosting a dinner party in the jaw-dropping striped dress, Nora Charles is always stunning and stylish.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Dubarry Dress: A Great Personality, but...

When do you call it quits on a project? I think it is like breaking up with someone. You try to make it work as much as you can until, at one point, you realize no matter how hard you try, it is going nowhere. It is ugly and messy, and no one wants to do it, but it has to be done. This is what happened with my Dubarry Dress.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sewing Aspirations: Trench Coat Dreams

The Trench

I love Anthropologie. If you have never been in an Anthropologie store, it is kind of a cross-breed of classic styles with a distinct vintage feel mixed in. As I was perusing the website recently, I saw this trench coat (above). Check out the two tiers of fabric that create a little more feminine shape than your classic trench. That detail makes me want this coat. That feeling overcomes me a lot when I look through their website, and the urge to order everything is very hard to ignore, but I do. For as much as I love their clothes, I don't necessarily love their price tags (we cheesemongers aren't living in the lap of luxury, you know.) But, I am willing to spend the money to try to recreate it for myself. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Men's Figure Skating: Only for the Bold or Glittered

With the arrival of the Winter Olympics comes all the hype, television commercials (all the athletes eat chicken McNuggets, really?) and of course the rhinestones and glitter of men's figure skating.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Butterick Spring Patterns: Kinda Cute or Maybe Kinda Ugly?

The jury is still out. These were released last week, and even though I have had time to mull them over, I regret to say that I am still undecided. For example, the pattern above: I think I like it? The dress by itself is a no, but then throw on a bright flowered jacket and I am unsure. I feel like it is trying to eek out some kind of 1960's vibe, but isn't quite there yet. Or am I misreading a mother of the bride vibe? Maybe the jacket isn't enough to help the poor green dress? However, I do like the belt on the dress. Hmmm.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vintage Patterns: Conquering the Fear

I have started sewing my first vintage pattern. I have numerous vintage patterns in my stash, but I was always too afraid to make the jump. Why this one? Why now? Well, the now part is mostly obvious. Since I have a place (this blog) to hold me accountable for my sewing aspirations, I figured it was time to stop just gazing adoringly at those dresses and start making them! This one, as I have mentioned before, has pockets. Really, enough said.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Project #1: Drum Roll Please...

Simplicity #4047

Here it is! The first project that I set out to do. I assumed that I would finish it in a day or two, but that is not what happened. Life popped up, and between work, guests, and unexpected trips to the store for zippers, the amount of uninterrupted blocks of sewing were pretty rare. It took me about two weeks. Perhaps for the next project I will get more time. But nonetheless, it is finished! I had some issues with the fabric of the top and the fit of the skirt (which I will go into shortly) but I did my best, and I think it turned out pretty well. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Next Up: Vintage Territory

Isn't this adorable?  I was so excited a couple months ago when I first stumbled upon it on at this fabulous Etsy store. I was so enthralled with her store that I ended up purchasing three patterns. Shocking ;) I think that I am going to do the short sleeved version of this. I bought some fabric at Mood while visiting Los Angeles, and one piece was handpicked for this dress. But before I go hacking into that beautiful silk, I think I am going to make a test-run with some similar weight fabric. I was thinking of sewing it in a rich plum color. Or perhaps green? Or teal? I will see what I can lay my hands on. I have a gift card that I will be using for the fabric. Don't you love gift cards?! See Mom, no money!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

No head? What?!

Ah, there it is! Check out my new profile picture. Taken at the poker party last Saturday night, this was the one that made the cut. As you can see, my fabulous Retro Simplicity top is peeking out from my sweater. There were a couple of other pictures that were considered. In the one I really wanted to use, I had a crazy look on my face. Either I was confused or about to punch someone, I am not quite sure.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Simplicity Retro Top. Done.

Here is the picture I promised! I have been teasing for a week, and I finally got the shots taken on Sunday this afternoon and had to tweak them a little. I also apparently thought it was necessary to chop off my head. It was Superbowl Sunday and I had been at my parents' house baking. I was not ready for my close-up. Now that I am looking at this photo, it seems the top looks a little wrinkled. Clearly, nothing was ready for a close-up! I guess that will happen after an evening of poker and then a couple hours shoved into the bottom of a bag (speaking of the top, of course.) Since I am almost finished with the skirt, I will do another photo shoot with both pieces together. And I will do my hair. And iron my shirt.

Weekend Update: Test Drives and Early Birds

I used to be a late-night person. Ah, those were the days! Get home late, eat whatever was in the fridge, go to bed and wake up in the double digits the next morning feeling pretty good. Now a days, I am usually in bed around 10:30 at night or not too much later. It is a little early, but I work early and long, so I feel justified in my bedtime. This past weekend, I apparently thought I was back in my youth. Silly girl, I am.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Italian Lessons: I am wearing a suit, but no socks.

The countdown is about seven months. Then I will be on a plane flying to my husband in Rome. And to our *new* apartment! Very exciting, but a little scary. My husband will be teaching for a year in Italy at a study abroad program. And since we are married and all, I get to go too. Ah, the perks of those pesky vows ;) Technically, I won't be there for the whole year, but about eight months. Still, eight months in Rome? Yes, please! Because of this situation, my husband and I are *trying* to learn Italian. You know those obnoxious commercials that come on all the time for the Rosetta Stone? Apparently they sunk in, because we plunked down an obscene amount of money for the program. I mean, I could have at bought at least ten yards of nice fabric at Mood. Well, kinda nice fabric that is.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Slow and Steady: A New Approach

Usually when I would sew I would have a deadline, be it Halloween, a wedding, Christmas or a costume party. The pressure of these deadlines made me rush through certain steps of the sewing process, which almost always resulted in ripping out stitches or things turning out not as great as I imagined (and even sometimes having to abandon it all together and buying something, grrrr!). But this time around I have decided to take my time, and do things right. I am not kidding around here, I sewed the middle back panel of the top (see pattern pic) five times to get the center back seams to match! Now it looks great, but before I would have tried twice and then moved on, matched or not. Since these are clothes I want to be able to wear more than once, I am determined to take the time and enjoy the process. No more Ms. Impatient, although she does get things done fast, it is never done very well.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shhh...I have a secret.

"I am just going to pick up a zipper and some interfacing."

I should have told you sooner. It has been weighing me down since last Friday. I finally confessed today to my pattern-cohort. She didn't even know. I really did go to only buy a zipper and some interfacing. I swear! But...when I got to Joann's...they were still having that pattern sale...and...well, one thing lead to another. I bought another pattern. At least it was only a McCall's pattern for two dollars. And, I do eventually want to sew myself a trench coat. As I wrote that, even I wondered, "do I really want to sew a trench coat?" I might have a pattern problem.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Me, Caffeinated...

Is a scary site. For those that know me, you are aware that I don't drink caffeine. Occasionally I will have an iced tea at lunch, but only one. Nothing after four o'clock. I have trouble sleeping and so keeping off caffeine just makes sense. So, no coffee. Gasp! I don't actually like the taste of hot coffee. Coffee ice cream, on the other hand, I am all over. I don't know why this shocks people so much. I don't know if it is the fact I don't like coffee, or the fact that I go through most days without any caffeine. Regardless, this apparently this makes me non-human.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sewing Sunday: C+

I had big hopes for Sunday. Big hopes. And, there were signs of doom. I chose to simply ignore them, so it is my own fault. I spent about four and a half hours working on the top. I always underestimate how long it takes to cut out my fabric. There was also grocery shopping to do and a visit from an old friend, but those distractions at least kept me sane.