Friday, December 30, 2011


Here I am, with a completed outer layer (with fur collar) and a completed lining... It's turning out beautifully, and I really feel like the end result will be a treasured coat I will wear with pride for many years. Such a great feeling!

That being said, I am at a crossroads with the closures. I bought these buttons last year for a different project, but I *love* them on this coat! If I go with a "normal" buttonhole, this coat will be done tomorrow (I get a little eager at the end, ya know?). But, something inside is telling me that a bound buttonhole is more professional, more classic, more... refined. Having never done them before, though, makes me nervous. I have scraps galore to practice on, and 6 shouldn't take me too long.

I started out writing this to ask your opinion, but now that I've put my thoughts out there, bound buttonholes seem like the only way to go. Isn't that funny?

Do you ever have to battle yourself at certain points in construction to do things the "right way" vs. the "fast way"?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In Progress: Winter Coat

Santa brought me lots of new clothes, so what's a girl to sew instead? A new winter dress coat, of course!

I bought the fabric (wool, coat lining, and faux fur) all last year, but never got around to actually starting... oops! I'm actually grateful for that, seeing as how it would've been a real downer to go to all that trouble for it not to fit this year! Happy surprises, right?

The wool coating is gorgeous (it came from Gorgeous Fabrics, so it should be!) and has a woven pattern within it. Black is hard to photograph, but the bright sunshine is helping here...

The pattern is Vogue 8346, view D. The faux fur will be the collar, and came from Ressy's co-op. My fear is that it will be "over the top", so I squeezed a collar piece out of the wool, just in case. What do you think... too much of a "look"?

The front and back are all stitched, so today will be spent catch-stitching the seams open. Lots of hand stitching to do, so I'd better get moving! Will update again in the next few days...

(Sorry for the weird format here. The app I've been using to blog from the iPad crashed, and I downloaded a different one this morning. If it doesn't shape up, this may mean the end of by blog!)

**ETA: Once I cut the fur collar and placed it on the body of the coat, I knew it was a done deal. I finished my happy dance, and resumed work... then found the most fabulous buttons in my stash. I can't wait to get this done to show you!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Knock, Knock... Missoni Knock-Off

When I bought this fabric last year, it was going to be a Sandra Betzina sweater vest, but when the big Missoni trend hit this fall, I decided it deserved more. I did some research, gazing at endless Google images, trying to find one that would work with my fabric and be similar to a pattern I already owned.
This was in the running, but I didn't have the energy to track down a solid for the color blocking...

But, it was this one that made me stop in my tracks!

McCalls 6282 was already in the sewing room, and the 2 yards of zigzag sweater knit from Emma One Sock would finally become a real show-stopper (at least I hope so).

The fabric has threads of burgundy, black, olive green, mustard, and a few other typical "fall colors". I think I did pretty well, although my version has 3/4 sleeves (winter in Michigan is COLD), and I should've listened to my gut and eliminated the waist gathers.

The pattern was crazy easy to follow, and I lined it with this wonderful knit lining from Gorgeous Fabrics. Just one yard of lining, as I just didn't line the sleeves.

I didn't really follow the pattern, since I wanted to test the fit with the lining. So, I constructed that first, then attached the sweater knit to the lining neckline, then stitched the side seams closed. Absolutely no hemming here, as I traced the final length on the pattern pieces, then lined them up on the selvedge, even the sleeves.

I am very, very happy with the final product, as the fit is spot-on, and it's super comfy for looking so polished. The waist gathers will help hide any bumps or bulges, but I think this fabric isn't meant for gathers. It warranted a "Oh, WOW" from DH, so I must've done something right!

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Wow, thanks so much for all your kindness, support, and words of encouragement! Sewing does definitely play a role in my weight-loss, as it allows me to wear styles that I couldn't before, and it's always nice to cut the next smaller size!

Today was the first day off of my 2-week winter break! Did I spend it in the sewing room? Nope. Had too many other "fun" things on the "To Do" list, like paying bills, filing paperwork (mostly into the circular file), running the kids to playmates, and picking up the Christmas cards. Last year, I didn't even bother with the cards, but decided to participate this year, as it is so nice to get them in the mail. Here's the pic I used this year... It's a candid from our Disney trip this past summer!

As for "inspiration", I picked up the newest issue of InStyle magazine, and found a few pages that will be ripped out and placed in my sewing space for future use!

Charlize Theron in Dior:

Sexy and elegant, understated and eye-catching at the same time.

Minks Kelly in Vivienne Westwood:

I have a black lace print chiffon that would be a perfect knock-off, but adjustments would be necessary... Unless I have another trip to Vegas in the near future?! Not a fan of the belt, and would like to see the back view.

Amanda Seyfried in Zana Bayne for Prabal Gurung

What caught my eye initially is the fabric, as I have a very similar silky print in my stash. Then I noticed the details: flared skirt, leather & rope belt... I love everything about this dress! And it would work in my actual life!!! The one subtle detail I can't mimic though, is the print at center front is like an ink blot, all symmetric! Amazing...
These sugar plums will be dancing in my head for awhile!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Last time I posted was Halloween, as life has been very full lately. Lots of added responsibility at work and many paid sewing jobs, along with making time for more exercise... I have been sewing goodies, but Blogging about it has fallen lower on the list of priorities. Do me a favor? If you like what you see, whether it is here or someone else's blog, please take a moment to just comment briefly. Feedback keeps me blogging, and I don't know about you, but no response makes me feel like either no one likes it, or one cares. Just a few words can really make all the difference in the world.

I will photograph the newest goodies very soon, but for today I will share my proudest accomplishment of the year: I am 20 pounds lighter since August 1st!



I know they aren't the greatest before and after, but I'm definitely NOT posting the swimsuit before shot! Started in a size 12, and now wearing a size 8 (RTW).

Counting every calorie (, making smart food choices, and exercising 3 times a week (45 minutes of cardio and strength training) were all integral, but what really kept me on track was having DH doing it all alongside me, (reminding, nagging, and cheering each other along) kept me heading in the right direction. He's lost 20 pounds, too, and we are still working together to see where we end up.

Ok, time to get back to other responsibilities... Pants to hem, papers to grade, and cookies to bake!