Bluebird Morning

My kids slept in. Then they got up and played nicely for two hours in their room. Then came breakfast. This was a first ever. It was so peaceful apart from the loud thumping and occasional scream. Bluebird in Silk and Gold benefited. Just the lower wing outline, feet, and branch to go.

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Shakespeare Meets Denim

Of course vacation meant not finishing one of the two stitching projects I brought with me, but rather starting another.  This had been a dream for some time, before chasing down Emma Congdon’s Literary Quotes, which happened to have not only the Tolkien quote, but also two more of my favorites from Shakespeare and Austen.  That matched up well with a sale, which netted me this 4T jean jacket for A to grow into.  This project has a finish by date that isn’t negotiable.  It will be done by fall so that when she fits a 4T, be it fall or spring, it will be ready for her.  I believe I’ve used waste canvas only once before and didn’t like removing it.  Hopefully, it will go better this time around.


The design area was cut along the thread lines and then matched to the seamline where the waistband was sewn on in theory that this would help in be straight.  Beyond that I tried to center it between the two seams of the center back and side back panels before basting extensively.  Only then did the masking tape come into play.  The jacket is a stretch denim with a terryclothesque reverse, which has proven excellent for holding the back threads and giving it a little something in the way of support against unraveling.


Here is the first quote, completely stitched and ironed with charms attached.  This was stitched on a scrap of fabric leftover from another project and I’ve yet to trim off the Velcro edge.  Finishing will determine how best to trim the piece, so for now it is waiting.

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OAL2017: Never So Often

This beginning of this skirt has been repeated 8 times now.  This is the first time I got to the end. Unfortunately, it won’t be the last.  This year’s OAL has been filled with (minor) frustrations for me, all of course of my own making.  I should have tried this on again ages ago, but just accepted my initial measurement (somehow forgetting how much knits expand once you get a few more rows on them) and kept going.  My clothes, my location or my company just weren’t ideal for try-ons and I didn’t want to stop working.  Well it is several inches t0o big at the waist.  Comments from others who’ve made this seemed to disproportionately include references to having added elastic to the waist, which it turns out may have been more than just a style preference.

I’m not giving up yet, but I am running out of time I can commit to this project, particularly since I haven’t settled on a top pattern or fabric yet.  Which is my second frustration.  The third frustrating thing tells me that maybe I should just laugh at myself and try again next year.  The BHL Kim dress wasn’t very interesting to me, until I saw some makes starting to appear.  Of course, now it’s a bit tempting, but of course it wouldn’t go well with a crocheted skirt.

At least my problems are good ones.  Are you participating in OAL2017?  How are your projects coming?  Any frustrations?  Any victories?  Good luck with whatever you are working on and have a lovely Solstice.

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OAL2017: Getting It Right

Progress so far on my Berry Ripple Skirt.  It’s turning out nicely and I’m glad I didn’t put it off until last.  Doing this while dealing with kids or watching TV has lead me to frogging many a row because I forget to do the repeats at some point.

This is my first Drops pattern and I’m getting used to it, but the format is fairly unpleasant.  Needlessly so, it seems.  Are all of their lovely patterns written in this convoluted format?  Some of them may get weeded out of my Ravelry cue if they are.


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This little guy didn’t get finished before vacation, but is just a few tailfeathers and feet short of done.  I ran out of white silk so the blue on his belly is starker than planned.  Late night work=crooked work. Grr!  On the other hand O and I discovered that stitched birds and coloring book birds like to chat, make good neighbors and are very polite to one another.  Thus begins summer break here in Pennsylvania.

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Me Made May 2017 Follow Up: Plans



One of my best take aways from The Curated Closet has been that it is all about the details.  This feels like peeling away a layer of wallpaper to discover a door underneath.  Grasping the cool handle. Tugging until the door budges and discovering a set of stairs behind it leading to an open sunlight room, which is a blank palette and open workspace in which my new wardrobe will begin to form.  Like maybe starting anew, again, this season is a gift, which will allow me to sprint forward guilt free skipping so many errors, I would have made along the way.  Really understanding why I like a piece or an outfit, should have been obvious, but maybe I’m just too distracted or still too used to settling for what was available.  It feels like being able to treat sewing as an art again.  Like a painter returning to color and canvas after spending the summer earning money by panting a dozen white houses.  Now let’s hope that summer allows time for sewing.

Because starting over again each season is an ongoing thing, Alterations are back at the top of the list, again.   Nightlife, my Sewaholic Hollyburn, and my first Rosari are all waiting to be altered along with two dresses from my box of dresses.  Finally two thrifted blazers will find a place in my closet as soon as they undergo some small changes.  The first a deep purple velvet has three lines of shirring to give it waist definition.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough room in the bust area.


I’ve changed the exposure on this to make the lines more visible.

Removing the front portion of the uppermost line of shirring to provide that room is the plan, which is already underway.  The side on the right has had the top line of shirring released most of the way across, while the side on the left remains shirred.  The fit is better, but we’ll see once the rest of the shirring in gone.  There probably isn’t anything to do about the lines from where the shirring was, but they’d be visible with the shirring in too. Perhaps some nicer buttons to distract from it will help.  If it doesn’t work out well enough I can still use it as a starting point for design ideas and fitting for future blazers.

The second a burgundy corduroy blazer (top) is too large through the shoulders and sides.  The interior seams are nicely finished, but it isn’t lined, which is a plus in this case as it should make it easier to fit and take in.   I’ve never taken in a fitted top through the shoulders before (unless it was part of the fitting and muslining process).  Even if it doesn’t work, I’ll learn more about altering shoulders before I tackle Nightlife.

While not me-made, these will help me test styles and look for fit issues to be aware of while expanding my selection of toppers until I have just the right ingredients to make some blazers of my own.  Already I get the impression that I like blazers a little longer, with waist definition, well fitted shoulders, interesting texture and details.

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Me Made May 2017 Follow Up: Lessons


It’s been a very interesting MMMay.  This might just be my favorite challenge/along.  This is my third year participating and every year in addition to being fun and inspiring, I get something completely different out of it.  Each year as my skills and my understanding of my style and needs evolve, what information I need and what information is missing differs.  Me Made May is there for me to answer the questions, I don’t even know to ask; to encourage me to take a holistic view of my wardrobe and sewing.  This year The Curated Closet became a part of my Me Made May.  It’s helping me streamline  and prioritize my wardrobe and sewing plans.


Toppers:  Diversify, Get more structure

Tops:  have almost none, start with white because I need more white/cream

Skirts:  So far, so good.  The addition of texture with Elsbeth and the return of 3 suede maxi skirts is great.  I really want a pastel a-line mini in suede.

Dresses:  More structured dresses, these are my style preferably in wovens


Absolutely must figure out how I want to structure a quasi-minimalist dress wardrobe so that my sewing really works toward this goal

My color palette is pretty solid, only minor changes of shade since last year with a stronger emphasis on  using more pastels in spring/summer and more berry tones in fall/winter.  A really big change to test out will be shifting away from black. While I love black I need to lean away from dark colors as they make me look too serious (having resting b@#$% face does that enough thanks) and less feminine.  Maybe a blue somewhere between middle blue and navy and charcoal grey as my darkest colors with more light grey, light blue, white added in to keep things bright then pops of my other colors.  This has already had a concrete effect.  The last Gutterman sale at Jo Anns  allowed me to stock my color palette, while ignoring the other tempting colors. They didn’t have the raspberry or teal and my neutrals are buried at the bottom.  Blues aren’t all there because I tend to stock those by default and have lots in my thread cabinet.

Making unexciting everyday things really pays off.  Every time my underwear drawer slides open it’s like greeting friends for a party, instead of rooting through the recycling to find something that will work.

I really want to learn to make jeans. Sometimes you need jeans and I have some that fit (sort of), but I’m worried that it isn’t the fit of jeans that is the issue.  The evidence strongly suggests that I simply hate pants.  All of that effort might be completely wasted, but I want the (possibly useless) skills.  Does that make me crazy?

I also really want to learn to make bras.  Underwear making has only reinforced this.  Patience here is very necessary and very hard.  Maybe this fall will be bra season.  This carries over to the Bombshell swimsuit too.

I’m still unclear how I feel about accessories.  I’m liking belts, which weren’t a thing in the past and am considering giving up jewelry entirely.  Has anyone seen any posts on a jewelry capsule?  Could I get by with say 5 items?

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