The Tie-On Dress Hawaiian Style

My husband and I’ve were recently invited to a party to celebrate the elopement of some dear friends. The happy couple wed in Hawaii last December and then planned a Hawaiian style dinner party in Colorado for their friends. The outdoor event became a summer bash because Colorado in winter, while beautiful, really doesn’t instill that tropical feeling. Continue reading

Athletic Mesh Cutout Hem Skirt

Manequim_May_2013_260 - Scallop Hem Skirt Athletic Mesh

Last week Wednesday the theme for Sew ‘N Sudz (which I didn’t end up actually making it to) was skirts, so I decided to start sewing a skirt on about Monday. I bought this stretch athletic mesh after looking forever from a seller on Etsy because I had plans to use it as an overlay on the contrast panels of some Fehr Trade PB Jam Leggings. But by the time I found the right fabric for winter skiing tights it was May and I lost my mojo. I’ve had the mesh sitting out for months and every time I look at it I think of new things I want to use it on – I wish I would have bought more! If you can’t tell by this rambling story, my sewing is less “Sewing with a Plan”, and more… Continue reading

Operation: Core Wardrobe – What shape am I?

operatoin core wardobe 2
The idea of sewing my core wardrobe has been growing for the past year.  I’ve taken the last 6-9 months or so to plan for it.  Not that it needs to take that long to plan for a wardrobe, it’s not like we’re climbing Everest here. Or is it?

The first steps in sewing a Core Wardrobe that looks and feels smashing is to determine what body shape you are. I took Tish Gance’s fitting class from HISS Studios here in Denver.

The true eye-opener was when our bodies were analyzed as to what shape we were (Apple, Pear, Rectangle etc). Now, this was totally optional and you had the option to not do it or to have Tish help you privately. Most of us have some body issues, good lord I wore baggy men’s clothing for years to hide my shape.

In my leggings and tank and I stood in front of the group where everyone came to the conclusion that I was a Pear. I was a Rectangle but due to ‘birthing babies’ and the fact I don’t work out for two hours every day I’ve morphed into a lovely Pear.

So, what looks best on Pears or other shape? There is a virtually a Library of Congress sized resource out there for you to find what works best for your shape. Our Pinterest boards for body shape how to dress and sew for it might be a good place to start. Or just Pinterest in general. I also like the book The Pocket Stylist by Kendall Farr.  I prefer books that use real women as examples. Where’s the benefit of looking at a 23 year old 6’ slender framed woman in building my wardrobe? Where!?

I would also like to add that for every body type there is a multitude of differences within. For instance, I am a short-waisted Pear and there are long-waisted Pears. If I wore the same thing as a long-waisted Pear I would look out of proportion.

The important take-away here is you really need to have an accurate assessment of your body shape, especially if you’ve never had it done. The fashion industry loves to convince us that we’re still the same size that we were in high school with this ridiculous vanity sizing but our clothing size is really such a small part of getting a great looking wardrobe. We can all look good (or bad) regardless of size.

Here is a visual to body types. Sometimes a persons shape doesn’t fit neatly into these 5 categories. A fitting specialist can really help pinpoint what will look good on you and what to avoid.

For the next post, I’m going to discuss the most painful part of this and show you the patterns that I will be using in sewing my wardrobe.

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Burda September 2014 Review (International Edition)

Burda-Sept-2014 Cover

If you’ve forgotten Burda is a German magazine, the Oktoberfest theme throughout the September should remind you. What? You don’t have dirndls and fabric pretzels at the top of your September sewing list? Fine, I’ll start with the (somewhat) normal stuff. If you remember from the preview last month, I called this lovely pic “Grease extras with a wardrobe malfunction”. Burda apparently calls it “Oh so very British”. Who can keep those English speaking countries straight anyways?

Burda-Sept-2014 Grease Extras

Continue reading

A Look at the Brother Dream Machine

Brother Dream Machine

I had the chance to check out the latest top-of-the-line home sewing and embroidery machine from Brother courtesy of Rocky Mountain Sew and Vac in Littleton, Colorado. It’s called the Dream Machine and it truly makes you dream. Note: I am not associated with Brother or with Rocky Mountain Sew and Vac in any way. I am just an interested consumer of sewing and embroidery machines! Continue reading

Try a Style Arc pattern for free!

I’ve seen a few promos lately for a free downloadable Style Arc pattern if you join their mailing list. Since I’ve been sewing a lot of Style Arc patterns lately I thought I’d evangelize a bit and pass them along… I swear I’m not a shill for the company! I just really appreciate it when I find a company who puts out patterns with consistent sizing that actually look like the drawings/photos when you sew them up and that I don’t need to make a lot of adjustments to. Besides, you all like free patterns, right?!

The first offer is I saw in Threads magazine for a free stretch pant pattern:

StyleArc Barb Pant Promo Continue reading

Y is for You Sew Girl! Patterns

For the 25th post in my  series, the letter Y, I’ve chosen a “You Sew Girl!” pattern, the A-Line Skirt. This 2011 pattern is from Australian designer Nicole Mallalieu. Nicole Mallalieu began her pattern drafting career as a handbag and hat designer, but once she ventured into garments her A-Line Skirt also garnered excellent reviews on PatternReview.

Although I already have several A-Line skirt patterns, when I read “the skirt is a great ‘canvas’ for textile embellishment and instructions are included for THE BEST way to insert an invisible zipper” this pattern proved impossible for me to resist. I’d never mustered the courage to try invisible zippers, so instructions for THE BEST way to insert one piqued my interest. The close up photo above is of the invisible zipper I inserted using Nicole’s method. Not bad for a first attempt, and actually this is the best zipper insertion I’ve ever managed!

In my opinion all of Nicole’s sewing instructions for the skirt are THE BEST. She left nothing to chance and spelled out every single step. Photos demonstrating sewing techniques and helpful tips were included with the text. One time saving tip recommended hemming by machine with a blind hem foot. This inspired me to try out the blind hem foot that came with my sewing machine when I purchased it (quite a few years ago). Yup, I’d never attempted a blind hem before either.

So I’d like to say “Thanks, Nicole Mallalieu, for showing me how easy it is to insert an invisible zipper and for inspiring me to try a blind hem by machine. I’ll add both techniques to my sewing repertoire – your pattern was totally worth investing in!” In my opinion the incredibly detailed sewing instructions included with this pattern make it perfect for everyone, especially less experienced or self-taught sewers.