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Showing posts from 2013

it's here!

Finally. Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion opened at our lovely Peabody Essex Museum in Salem on Saturday. And it was amazing -- seeing Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons, and Yohji Yamamoto garments close up, well, I can't even tell you. (Sadly, no photos were allowed, so I can't show you either.) They also had: Reels of old runway shows A try-on rack (my favorite was an upside-down Comme des Garcons jacket sort of like this one; it had dolman sleeves and two collars, and the second collar formed sort of a peplum shape in the back) Pattern Magic muslins (!), which you were allowed to touch and fuss with to look at the construction (you know, if you were so inclined...ahem) Yeah, so. Worth seeing if you're up this way (and even if you're not, it's worth a trip). I'm definitely planning more visits before it closes in January.

success, finally

I've been experimentally making t-shirts using the patterns from Alabama Studio Sewing + Design -- just plain versions (by machine; sorry, Natalie). And they're working! And they take no time! I can knock one out in an hour or two, not counting binding. Still not sure about the binding, actually -- the book calls for raw edges to show, but I'd like a neater finish so I can wear them to work. I'm using Alabama Chanin fabric purchased from their last garage sale. It's a dream to work with, but I think I like the lightweight jersey better than the medium-weight. It's much softer.  Next, I want to try frankenpatterning a long-sleeved dress (sleeveless dresses are lovely, don't get me wrong, but New England is COLD, people), with either a scoop or v-neck. Whee. Pictures to come, maybe. In other news (and I don't know if anyone actually reads this, but just in case) -- I have a couple of recent issues of Burda that aren't really up my alley. Any

MPB Day 2013

I had a fantastic time at MPB Day . It was so much fun (and so great to meet other sewists and geek out on fabric the entire day -- whee!) Recap, with pictures: I got in late Friday night and stayed in my favorite cheapie hotel, the Carlton Arms . (I would've stayed at the Gershwin, but it's under new management and I think they're going more upscale, bah.) It's old, and creaky, and every room is painted by a different artist. A couple of scenes from my walls: Also, they have cats. The cat last time was old and grumpy and slept in the lobby a lot. The cat this time was a four-month-old EMERGENCYKITTEN who decided it needed to explore my room the second I opened the door. EXPLORE BED EXPLORE LENS CAP ALL MUST BE EXPLORED The next morning, some of us met up early at the Chelsea flea market. Peter has a nice group photo of us, which I hope he doesn't mind if I borrow. Vicki, Linda, me, Peter, Suzanne At one point, I saw an Issey M

a thing or two

One: I'm going to Male Pattern Boldness Day . So excited. We lived in NY for five years, but I didn't get into sewing until just before we left, in 2007, so I never did the whole Garment District thing. I have lists of stuff I need organized by project. Hopefully I'll be able to find everything. (Like 72" or 108" wool jersey. Help me, NY, you're my only hope.) On Sunday, I'm going to some old haunts: Prospect Park Zoo to visit the prairie dogs, Salvor Kiosk, the Young Artists' Market, my favorite rice pudding place. If they're still around, that is. It's a mini-summer vacation. Squee. Two: I really wanted to wear a handmade something, but my last two projects -- the top and skirt from v1247 -- didn't work out so well. The top is too big and bunchy at the seams (my fault for using French seams with a knit), and the skirt is almost OK, except I had trouble aligning the pockets, so they're not totally straight. I don't reall


I'm trying to make the infamous ("that means more famous" = Follow That Bird) top from v1247 out of bright-red bamboo (?) jersey. It's my first knit. It's driving me bonkers. It wasn't hard to cut out, and my Bernina is stitching it just fine...but it's impossible to pin, and the chalk marks disappear if I so much as look at it. I guess I finally see the appeal of tailor's tacks.

put a bird on it: New Look 6352

I wanted an instant-gratification, easy cotton summer dress -- one I could throw a sweater over to wear to the office, and (ideally) one that wouldn't take a month and a half to make. (!) So I pulled New Look 6352 out of my stash and decided to give it a shot. (Did I mention I have a new job? I have a new job. The dress requirements are a little different: semi-formal, with no casual Fridays. I hate suits -- I never wear them except to interviews -- so I mostly stick to either dresses or black pants/black sweaters/bright shirts.) Anyway, it looked amazingly easy -- just 2 dress pieces and facings. No closures, no darts, no pleats. Easy peasy, right? The envelope called it a "1-hour" pattern. Ha. I wound up making three muslins because this dress has so much ease. It's a tent, basically. (Some PatternReviewers made nightgowns out of it, and I can totally understand that.) Going by the measurements on the pattern envelope, I started with a size 14. It was en

...I should explain

I submitted this for Cation Designs' February Stashbusting Challenge and somehow put my blog name where the description should be. Oops. So here's the actual description: Baby quilt made with vintage men's shirt scraps! I made it for my brother and his wife, who are having a baby (their first!) in a couple of months. It's a  boy, so I wanted to make a baby blanket using Very Manly men's shirting. Because my quiltmaking skills are ... er ... pretty much nonexistent, I decided to go with a postage stamp design instead -- just small blocks and a border. The blocks are actually from someone else's stash. Last summer, I stumbled across a garage sale -- someone clearing out her mother's house, trying to get it ready to sell. I asked if she had any fabric. "Fabric!" she said. "She had bolts of fabric upstairs!" She led me up to the attic, where there were bolts (!) of home-dec fabric, and then she took me to her mother's se