Hey, Jill! Whatever Happened To That Core Wardrobe?

Remember that Core Wardrobe thing I was doing? Way back when? I wasn’t really documenting it but I did finish a black dress, black pants and two black skirts. What I haven’t completed is a blouse and a jacket.

Ay, now, here’s the rub.

I love the idea of a Core Wardrobe and I don’t want to give up on it, but I did a couple things wrong and I think if I reorganize I can do it better next time. Here’s what happened.


  1. I made everything in one color and really started to get bored. I’m a color person! Next time I’ll work within a palette of sorts.
  2. I didn’t start out with an arsenal of TNT’s. For many I was starting from scratch and there was fitting, fitting, fitting involved. And, we all know how time consuming that can be. Next time I will have TNT’s at the ready.
  3. The items I made I really don’t wear! The skirts I made are very professional/dressy. The dress is okay but it’s definitely not my fave. And, same with the pants. I’ve even yet to wear it. Next time I’m really going to scrutinize my Imagined Wardrobe vs. Actual Wardrobe needs.
  4. I didn’t really have a schedule down. I think next time working on a deadline of sorts is helpful to me. I need some sort of accountability.

One positive aspect of this experiment is when I go into fabric stores I really look at the fabric and ask myself:  Is this my color? Will this go with more than one item in my closet? Do I really need this yardage? Of course I still answer ‘yes’ to all those questions.

But, I feel marginally better that at the least I have an awareness of my over consumptive fabric/pattern shopping. Awareness is the first step to recovery!

And, that is my experiment with making a Core Wardrobe. I give anyone who does this special props. It’s hard to maintain focus with so much beautiful fabric around and with patterns being as cheap as they are. Our time is so limited and we get so little of it to sew and create I applaud anyone who can even get one damn project done!

I think building a Core Wardrobe can/will be quite rewarding in the end. I’m not giving up!


Oh La La! The French Seam of Indianapolis

My knowledge of Indiana begins and stops at Michael Jackson, Indy 500 and Hoosiers (whatever those are). But, somewhere I heard about The French Seam, maybe on social media or in Threads magazine. And, with a name like that,  it’s hard to forget. Frontier Airlines offers low fares every now and then. I told myself that next time a cheap fare came along I would book a flight out to Indianapolis and visit The French Seam. And, so it came to be.

I flew out to Indianapolis on Saturday October 12. I got in around 2 pm. Popped into my sporty Ford Focus and checked into the Hyatt Place.

I had Siri show me around the area. My first request to Siri was to take me to the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. I figured museums would be located around great neighborhoods. I wasn’t disappointed.  I think there are two contemporary art museums, but the one I located was in the Fountain Square area of Indianapolis. It’s a cute, funky area, looked like fun bars and eateries around and several thrift and vintage stores, of which I had to stop and visit.


Continue reading

McCalls 6794 – The Battle For Victory: A Review

Ever have those sewing projects where nothing seems to go right? This pattern was super easy and the problems were not with the pattern but rather the universe (or me).

Mccalls 6794

Looks sweet and innocent.

  • First I cut out the correct view on the front and the wrong view on the back. I fixed it by cutting away at the back view and then piecing together a portion in order to make it all work.
  • Neck opening was too small had to make an adjustment.

Continue reading

Style 2708: My Moby Dick Of A Dress

The dress represents for me my overall madness for sewing. Madness in a good way and sometimes in a “black heart I stab at thee” madness. That kind of craziness that comes over you and you drive yourself mad trying to figure it out and you’re just stuck in this endless insanity. Usually I have the good sense to bail, but this one, ah, she was different….

2708 Jill caseI bought this pattern back in the 90’s and have always been a big fan of the shirt waist dress. Very popular in the 40’s and 50’s and every other year or so we see it back in various styles. Michael Kors had something along these lines for Spring 2015. All very lady like and really, hands down my favorite look. I think the style of dress is dress at it’s best.

If you like to look through vintage sewing patterns from the 40’s you’ll see this style in many incarnations, some housework casual others lunch with the ladies chic. There are hundreds of patterns new and old that have a similar look. But, for whatever reason I HAD to have this one work. There are a few I have worked on with varying results but always longed for my white whale of a dress: Style 2708. Continue reading

Cultural Approbation vs. Cultural Appreciation & MFA’s Kimono Wednesday

I recently was asked on Instagram about the Kimono Wedensdays that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston was holding earlier this summer. Museum attendees could try on a kimono similar to the one in Claude Monet’s La Japonaise . On the Instagram post there was a question of “is this fun or racist”. I immediately replied sounds like fun! Turns out a lot of people thought the event was “yellow face” and extremely offensive. As I explored the controversy I was kept up late night exploring my feelings about race, cultural appropriation and the Internet as a extremely unfriendly place for race discussions.


Claude Monet’s La Japonaise

Continue reading

McCalls Sewing Pattern 7131 – Warning: Culottes Ahead!

Ah, culottes. AKA gauchos, knee breeches, skorts or my favorite, bifurcated skirt. Whatever name you call them there are few garments that cause such passionate debate. There are two camps, those that love ’em and those that don’t.

McCalls 7131

McCalls 7131

Continue reading

Simplicity 1810 Completed

I made this dress over the weekend. It is similar to Vogue 8645 I made last year. This is a very easy pattern to sew.

Simplicity 1810 Jill Case Denver Sews Here are the changes I made to the pattern.

  •  I lengthed it by about four inches. I cut out the size XS.
  • I did not use the facing pieces but instead put in bias binding along the neck line. I made matching bias binding for the arm holes.
  • The arm holes seemed unusually high for me so I dropped them by about 1/2″.
  • I did not sew on the ties, but made one in the chartruse in the photo and then I also made a matching belt too.
  • I like the option of not having the ties attached.
  • I used a silky from JoAnn Fabrics.
  • It has the great fortune to make my bust look bigger. Win all around.

Swing or tent dresses are always popular in summer, it’s like wearing a slip. The next time I make this I most likely will put in pockets.

1810 (1)