When I pulled out Simplicity 1884 this week, I’m glad I didn’t remember that I was mad at it. I knew that I had already traced it and cut out the pieces, so I was happy that I was going to be able to get to the good part quickly (which for me is anything after cutting the fabric). As I laid out the first pattern piece on my fabric, I was puzzled as to why I would have already snipped the notches… huh… I knew I didn’t have one of these hanging in my closet already? Anyway, no matter, I proceeded with my laying out and cutting. (I had plenty of time to mull over this enigma because I am slooooow at this step of the process.) I concluded that I must have started to cut it out at some point. I knew I hadn’t sewn it — that I would remember. But I couldn’t for the life of me recall cutting it out, either. So I went to the fabric closet and started looking around. My eyes fell on a piece of prized rayon challis that had been part of an unfortunate cutting miscalculation several months ago. Nooooooo, it couldn’t be that one could it… yes, it was. I had gotten so mad when it happened, I guess I had blocked it out. (Why do I have so many issues with cutting rayon challis??) Anyway, the issue was no fault of the pattern’s; I just hadn’t bothered to ensure I had enough fabric before starting to cut. Please humor me and tell me this has happened to you, too.
This pattern was drafted for lightweight wovens. Apparently I will sew any fabric these days as long as it’s a knit, so I went in a different direction. Continue reading
You know, it’s funny. One of the main ways we classify a fabric is by woven or knit. The two are even on opposite sides of my stash closet. :) Yet, as anyone who’s worked with knit fabrics knows, all knits are so not created equal. I have knits that are so stable they would work better on a pattern designed for wovens, and then there are the ones that stretch so much, and so easily, that they’re difficult to cut out with precision. My second version of the Taffy blouse from The Colette Sewing Handbook is a perfect case in point.
As I mentioned when I first made this pattern, I fell in love with the sleeves despite starting out dubious of them. I knew another version was on my horizon, and I really thought the sleeves would look lovely in a drapey knit. Enter this fabric which I purchased less than a month ago… Continue reading
Have y’all seen that new book, DIY Couture? I wrote a review of it, including details about how I created this garment from its instructions, posted today over at Dixie DIY…
Wait, come back… it’s not another recipe post. This one is for the Taffy, not taffy. :~)
Taffy blouse – click for source (Coletterie.com)
My book club’s selection in June was The Colette Sewing Handbook. This book is designed as a garment sewing school… it gives lots of lessons and tutorials, then presents five projects throughout the book to practice and build upon the skills you’re acquiring. Sarai Mitnick, the author as well as the owner of Colette Patterns, structures the book around what she calls The Five Fundamentals: A Thoughtful Plan, A Precise Pattern, A Fantastic Fit, A Beautiful Fabric, and A Fine Finish. She starts with some sewing basics and then gives more detailed instructions within each of these fundamentals. I especially enjoyed reading the Thoughtful Plan section — she shares some fresh ideas on inspiration, editing, strategy, and even creating your own croquis. (Alana from Lazy Stitching has a great post about that last one.)
In this post, you will find nothing about sewing. Today’s topic deserves tomes*, but its very own post will have to do for now. I heart refried beans. Although my husband and dog are the only things I would grab if my house was burning down, my tireless affection for this humble food has been with me much longer than either of them have. At any burrito joint (preferably, Freebirds), when asked about the beans, my choice is always pinto, it’s always refried if that’s an option, and I always ask the server to pile on as much of them as they’re allowed to. The rest of whatever’s loaded up on there is tasty but optional. At any Tex-Mex restaurant with the ubiquitous rice and beans on the side, it’s always all-beans-no-rice-thanks. OK Susan, point made.
I do not claim this recipe as the absolute ultimate or the most authentic. It’s simply the very, very tasty one that works best for me. Continue reading
For some reason unbeknownst to me, I always seem to be on either an apparel or crafts sewing track. For instance, I am never working on both a bag and a dress. Three shirts at once, yes. Napkins, bags, pillowcases and a stuffed toy — all in the same day — sure, no problem. The two tracks run parallel for me, and my mind can’t seem to process both simultaneously. I have a hunch that they are two different “sports” for me, if that makes sense. Anyway, all of this is to say that I have felt the pull of the garment track for a couple of weeks now, which is part of the reason for my presence trickling to a crawl on this blog. (And why I didn’t make the bag that I planned last week for the Zakka Style Sew Along!) I am much slower and less confident with clothes. But no way to overcome that except with practice, right? So I’m diving in and sharing anyway…