McCall’s Sewing Pattern

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13 Apr Garment #9 McCall’s 6885

I was briefly tempted to spend $326 on a shirtdress I saw online before walking into a shop and seeing it on a hanger. I snapped to my senses upon feeling the paper thin silk on the shapeless garment. Since I returned to sewing, I have watched many ready-to-wear lines continue on a downward spiral, but wouldn't you think $326 would buy a decent shirtdress? In November, my friend Ruth gave me three beautiful pieces of Korean silk from her mother's collection.After the shirtdress incident I knew what to do with the middle fabric; an exquisite silk twill with a kaleidoscope...

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13 Mar Better in Bluffton

For the third weekend in a row, I am away from home. All good but each weekend has involved planning a suitable wardrobe and packing a suitcase. Greetings from the lovely Montage Palmetto Bluff resort in Bluffton, SC, an outstanding resort nestled along the May River and home to numerous sunbathing alligators ;) Hubby is working and I am playing, but the weekend is full of activities that require thoughtful dressing. I panicked as I started packing my suitcase since my sewing has been off track and a new season has arrived. Looking at this dress in my closet evoked an unpleasant reaction since...

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21 Dec Garment # 3 – Warm Winter Whites

'Twas five days before Christmas and all through the yard the creatures were glowing and waving at cars. Greetings, Dear Readers! I'm not sure when I've had so much fun sewing. With the tacky Christmas sweater craze long gone, I knew it was time for a new festive sweater set. For garment #3 I ordered this Italian Cream Wavy Blended Wool Knit from Mood Fabrics. It is a very stable knit and slightly heavier than what I was expecting, but when it arrived I knew it would be compatible with the furry trim in my stash. My cardigan pattern is McCall's 6844, View B , an easy and...

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05 Nov McCall’s 6884

Just one look - that's all it took ~~~~ It's true, one look at this fabulous viscose jersey was all it took to convince me I needed a new wrap dress. This medium-weight viscose was my first fabric purchase in Florence, and I would have bought much more if only the store was willing to ship. A tax voucher was all the handsome Italian at Valli Tessuti could offer me. After uncareful consideration, I concluded the voucher signified a generous discount, and I left the store with four beautiful pieces of fabric - two silks and two viscose. McCall's 6884 was waiting for me at home. At...

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31 Oct Scuby Dooby Doo & Giveaway Winner!

Although sewing Halloween costumes are but fond memories these days,  I could not resist the vivid holiday colors in this Scuba Knit ordered from B & J Fabrics. What does the dress really look like under the 20-year old Eileen Fisher cardigan, you wonder? Here is the front, and here is the back ;) What a fun dress this was to sew! If you have never sewn with Scuba Knit I encourage you to try it. Many scuba knits feature high-resolution digital printing almost resembling photographs. It is nearly impossible to make a garment too tight when sewing with this fabric  - scuba knit is...

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08 Jul Julie Starr – Ribbon Skirt Sew-a-Long Part 1

Greetings! At last the time has come to make Julie Starr's 'Spoleto Skirt' inspired by the                         J McLaughlin ribbon skirt.        Many have asked how to sign up and the answer is you simply follow along on my blog. ________________________________ If you are just now joining in,  you will need the following materials. 1. Your favorite straight skirt pattern (Julie used McCalls 3830) 2. 1 yard good quality prewashed cotton fabric for your skirt base (Julie recommends Kona cotton) 3. Fusible interfacing for the skirt facings 4. 1 9” invisible zipper in a color to...

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20 Jun Julie Starr Ribbon Skirt Sew-a-Long

We all have our own favorite clothing stores. You know, the store that offers cute clothes which fit well and work for your lifestyle. In my case it’s  These small retail stores selling their label of traditional silhouettes with a fresh twist are downright irresistible to me. I can justify buying any item in the store with the exception of one style;  The Ribbon Skirts.              As cute as they are, spending $200 on these skirts struck me as frivolous, but that didn’t keep me from wanting one……… as well as examining the skirt in detail until eyebrows were...

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14 Apr The Oonaballoona Dress

 In the first week of December, Oonaballoona, that sassy woman from Kalkatroona sent me a piece of fabric I had admired just a few weeks earlier. For readers post November 14th……….. During my one and only meetup with Oonaballoona, my husband's camera broke while in her hands at Mood Fabrics. Oonaballoona erroneously blamed herself, and three weeks later this tropical banana leaf jersey arrived at my house along with a chocolate bar for hubby . Or is feathers? The woman does love her feathers………. Whatever it is I wanted to savor every inch of this fun print, and I’m celebrating the return of warm weather...

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08 Mar Anchors Away

“I don't really know how to do casual clothes.”  Oscar de la Renta   I don’t know how to sew casual clothes -  the kind of knock around frocks you wear on the weekend - but I’m going to learn. I believe the art of making a simple garment requires an underestimated level of sophistication that I’ve yet to acquire.  How does one Avoid the discount department store look? Address excessive ease in loose-fitting patterns? Achieve a finished appearance despite a lack of construction details? What is Eileen Fisher’s secret? I gave myself the assignment to sew a very casual top  - one I would wear on a...

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