I’m not dead; I’m just snakebit

Hello! I’m still here. I know I haven’t posted since August, but it’s been a rough stretch of bad sewing luck. I did have a couple of decent things — a Plantain here, a Renfrew there, a great blouse — but the number of wadders! I’ve never had such a losing streak in my (sewing) life.

Recently, I thought I had gotten myself onto the right track. And then this just happened:

BRB, gotta go throw something breakable against the wall. See you in 2016.


wardrobe architect: march

[ I call this Still Life of Broken Sewing Machine in Spring. ]

Here’s the tricky part of March’s challenge for Wardrobe Architect: How do identify the holes in your spring/summer wardrobe and plan out your sewing projects for the season when your summer/spring wardrobe is still in a plastic tub in the basement of your building?

(Also, how do you sew said items when your sewing machine is on the fritz AGAIN? BLAARGHH)

It comes down to a plan. At the end of last summer, I talked about how the end of a season is the best time to plan for the next one. All your recent wardrobe gaps are fresh in your memory, since you’ve had to deal with them week in, week out for months.

And that’s exactly what I did at the end of last summer, before I let myself get all excited about fall sewing — I made up a list of the things I lacked. I drew on that plan pretty heavily to make up this post, and I’ll make notes for next fall/winter at the bottom.

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wardrobe architect: february


You know about Colette’s Wardrobe Challenge, right? Right. January’s challenge was satisfying, but easy. The real work begins now.

February’s challenge: Inventory and clean out your closet.

I didn’t exactly follow the challenge — there’s a worksheet that I didn’t use — but I followed along with the spirit of the thing: Get rid of things you don’t love to wear. Not things you don’t love. There’s a difference.

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vintage amazeballs

google news

[ Lewiston (Pa.) Evening Journal, Sept. 13, 1947. Image via Google News. ]

So, let’s talk about vintage patterns for a minute. Not those reproductions that the big pattern companies do, although I’m ALL in favor of those, and not the vintage-inspired indie patterns you see out there, like Tilly and the Buttons’ Francoise or Colette Patterns’ earlier designs. I’m talking about really, truly vintage patterns that someone bought in a store or by mail 60 years ago (crazy thought).

I’ve been sewing up my first one, and I’ve learned something important: Old newspaper ads for sewing patterns are delightful.

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wardrobe architect: january


Well … in theory, yes, we’re here to make clothes we’d wear.

Yet I’ve got all sorts of garments malingering in the closet because I got all excited about an idea and it turned out to work better in my head than in real life.  Not that getting excited is bad. It’s what makes sewing fun and worthwhile. Trying to avoid that would make this a pretty joyless pastime.

So what do we do? We balance excitement with an assessment of what works and what doesn’t. We point our excitement in the right directions. That’s where Wardrobe Architect comes in.

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looking back, looking ahead


I won’t tell you how much I love fall. If you also love fall, you already know what it’s like and don’t need to be told; if you’re mourning fall’s arrival, you won’t thank me for rubbing your nose in it; if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, this doesn’t even apply!

But we all can agree on one thing: Planning out what you’re going to sew for the upcoming season is the most fun.

Here’s what I’m thinking for fall/winter:

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