Spring 2015 Vogues

I would have posted earlier about the spring patterns, but I have been laid up for two weeks now with the never ending cold. I’ve had issues for over a year now with every cold developing into a roaring case of bronchitis and true to form, so did this one. Alas, I have done almost nothing sewing related because I’m never far from the bottle of Nyquil and lying on the sofa. So over January right now.

That means we should think of spring, and Vogue released some pretties that will be added to the hoard and only made up eons from now, if ever.

V1437 Ralph Rucci

I want this jacket.  I need this jacket.  When I make it, it will probably look not as fabulous, but oh, I have really fallen for the Ralph Rucci looks over the last few years.  The dress underneath isn’t really my style, but who cares when it’s topped by something as lovely as that jacket.

V1435 Tom and Linda Platt

This is the cover image used for the current issue of Vogue Patterns and I like the seaming. Not something I’d probably ever make and wear, but for a swing jacket, I love the execution. But that’s not the best part of this pattern. Nope, check it out:

Figured it out yet?

Shoulder princess seams for the win! I love princess seams, but by the time I get done with a FBA on an armscye princess, it’s a really dramatic curve that’s not fun to sew and I’m forever tinkering with getting the curve right with my undergarments and so on. Shoulder princess seams on the other hand are so much easier for me to sew and I like the lengthening lines on my petite frame.

V1434 Isaac Mizrahi

I about squeed with delight when getting Vogue Patterns in the mail a couple of weeks ago when I realized that they had picked up a new designer. Yeah, the dress itself isn’t hugely exciting but I will still buy it in hopes that designers I’ve heard of will be willing to license their designs. I know the old days of the Parisian couture patterns aren’t coming back, but I can dream anyway.


So I hear there’s this guy in Bahrain who can make anything to measure and the thing to do is a poly brocade smoking jacket. In red. Yeah, that’s what I said when I saw them. So for my sweetie who missed the chance to get one of his very own, I can do it too! Okay, not really. Though I do like the idea of a dinner jacket, I would be too terrified of screwing up the tailoring hard on something like this to ever try it on my own.


My not-New Year’s resolution

My sister and I were talking recently about starting new habits and she told me that she likes to start new things on Mondays. If you mess up and need to start over, you get over fifty chances a year. I like that because I’m well aware of how often I embark on self-improvement endeavors and fall on my face. So with it now being in the second half of January, I want to share my not-New Year’s resolution.

Not proud. Fabric just hanging out on the floor, for shame.

See that wreck? Yeah, looks sort of like last year when I shared the mess that is my sewing space. You will note that I am a bit lacking in the housekeeping department. I went and sat in front of my sewing machine three different times this week and instead of starting a fun new project, I ended up feeling overwhelmed by my messy surroundings. The upside for my husband is that I re-hemmed two pajama pants, and fixed buttons on a vest and uniform jacket that have been awaiting my attention for two months now. Getting the repair items out of the room really made me feel good, but I realized I needed to clean the rest up as well. My goal over the next year is get my house in order so that when it comes time to move again, I won’t be upset that I’m moving stuff that I don’t even want. I’ve been making slow progress in the more public areas of the house, but with this room, it’s the guest room over the garage and with the door closed, no one sees the mess.

Well, at least we’re back to all of the bins with the fabric, some progress.

Moreover, I have found that I sometimes like the shopping associated with my hobbies more than the actual execution. Hence I now have ten years’ worth of yarn at my current knitting speed and the fabric stash has spilled out of every storage solution that I have tried so far. If you look at the sidebar, you will see that I bought a hundred yards more fabric than got sewn up last year, and last year was a pretty good sewing year for me. Even my pattern collection feels more like a hoard than a collection and I watch my children struggle with letting go of things they don’t use and I know they are emulating me. So I need to set a better example with my own possessions. That said I’ve seen more bloggers than I care to promise to only stashbust for some random duration and then it doesn’t quite work out. I’ve made the same promises to myself in the past and then felt like a failure for failing to meet my own standards. So rather than aiming high and then having my perfectionism undermine me, I’m setting the bar low. I will sew more yardage than I buy this year. My stretch goal is to keep my sewing space clean. Most importantly, I won’t worry if I fall behind because each week brings a new opportunity to work on my goals.

The fabrics on top of the table are what remains of my UFO/alterations pile, whew.

To that end, I spent today putting fabric away and picking up the wayward notions strewn through the room. I found the missing ten yards of waistband elastic (finally!) so I’m waffling between doing a knit top or knocking out a bunch of pajama pants for my next sewing project.

What does the fox say?

With a quiet house while dinner was simmering, I decided to see if I could find the missing elastic in my sewing room so I could work on some pajama pants. Hmm, I never did find the 10 yards of non-roll elastic that’s still in hiding, although I did find a bunch of notions I bought back in the early fall and a battered old length of elastic which would work to finish a pair that’s been sitting around since Christmas.

Trying to find a good pose in your pajamas is a nightmare

These are from Butterick 5432, which I used twice back in early 2010 to make flannel pj pants. Those pants get worn all of the time, so I used the pattern as is with only the length adjustments I made for the initial pants. I found this adorable interlock at Jo-Ann in September and for once didn’t pretend that I would make anything for the kids out of it. The print is too juvenile for normal use for me, but for pajamas, anything goes. The side seams are serged and the hems are coverstitched. Yes, after four years of seriously coveting a coverstitch machine, one finally entered my life courtesy of Christmas, my sweet husband, and very clear instructions on where to get one in town. I decided to be creative and mimicking a RTW waistband I found in my drawer, the elastic is serged to the top of the garment, turned and coverstitched in place. I like the idea that the elastic cannot possibly twist around, but the elastic seems a bit stretched out compared to when I tested it around my waist prior to attaching it. Nonetheless, I love how it came out and they wear just fine.

Serger thread is gray, the coverstitch thread white.  No, I haven’t changed the thread yet since unboxing the machine.  I’m a little intimidated by it.

So the bad part about using a pattern I made so long ago is that I had little experience with pants fitting at the time, so I made no adjustments to the rise at all. Yeah, way too tall in the front rise, and in the back, well, it feels like it’s pulling a little bit, but does reach my waist, so it’s okay enough. Ideally, I would add a smidge to the back and take a good two inches at least out of the front. I’m guessing these problems are present with the pants made originally, but I never noticed until now. Thinking the fit problems through, it’s obvious what I should have done, but I wonder why I never thought to double check before making these. Not that it will take away from my enjoyment of wearing foxes, owls, and hedgehogs.

A winter hat that fits

Well, I have been sewing, but alas, I have nothing to show you because I don’t know where I put the ten yards of waistband elastic I bought back in September for my great pajama pant project. What great pajama pant project, you ask. Umm, the one that’s gone sort of nowhere. I bought what I shall politely call an excess of flannel prints when Jo-Ann had their cuddle flannel priced at $2.99 per yard and have used exactly two of the cuts I bought. Oops. So what have I been doing in the meantime? Binging on reality tv on Netflix. What goes better with mindless television than mindless knitting? Nothing.


There’s not much to share with a simple ribbed hat like this other than I can’t believe how much better I have gotten at knitting in the four years since I took it up for real. I make way fewer mistakes even while only having half an eye on what I’m doing and things that used to make me cringe in fear, like cables, don’t anymore.  Last year I made a sampler hat that was a fun learning exercise, but it is way too big for my head, so I wanted a new beanie this year that fit tightly to my head.  That’s exactly what I got with this hat, and I’m really happy with how it feels when wearing it and how warm it is.


I used a domestically grown and processed wool, and I appreciate having the opportunity to support the continuation of wool production in this country. The wool definitely still has a good bit of lanolin in it, which I found disconcerting at first as I am more used to the feel of superwash wool. Two weeks from start to finish wasn’t too bad and I’m glad to have a snug fitting beanie just in time for the coldest weather so far this season. Now if I could just focus back on my sewing…