Sewing Tops

01 May Merry, Merry Month of May

Make that the Merry, Merry Well, Hello! After sewing almost non-stop for over a year and a half, I'm ready to take the Me-Made-May'13 challenge created by the cute, creative and energetic Zoe from SoZoWhatDoYouKnow. Her challenge now in its fourth year has gained strength and momentum with over 440 participants. In case you don't know, the challenge is a celebration of the efforts we pour into creating our clothes by pledging to wear our handmade garments. Participants design their own pledge based on their comfort level. I pledge to wear one handmade garment made by me everyday during the month of May. I...

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15 Mar New Arrival at K a t i e Spade

I’m staying at a lovely 5-star resort through the weekend (not our typical getaway) – one of those places where you swap your car for bicycles upon arrival. My husband is engaged in professional activities allowing me to bring along a suitcase of sewing paraphernalia guilt free. This morning when I discovered my white thread was left at home I called the concierge to request a sewing kit so I could hem my top. “My apologies Mrs. Gunn, but we do not furnish sewing kits.” My husband was slightly incredulous when I got dressed and pedaled to the nearest store to find some thread. I ended...

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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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13 Dec Elizabeth McKay Inspired – Vogue 1323

  I spent the first weekend of December in New York and was exhilarated by the Christmas sights and festivities throughout the city. I spent the second weekend of December visiting my parents in Southern Pines, NC thoroughly charmed by small-town Christmas celebrations including the cutest horse and buggy parade.                   I went from being among millions of people dressed in black to hundreds of people dressed in red inspiring me to do the same. On a mission to recreate this Elizabeth McKay top, I chose a red and white silk charmeuse from Mood Fabrics for my...

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03 Dec Holiday Fasting

A funny thing happens when sewers quit buying clothes…… they become very clothes conscious. At least that is what’s going on with the RTW Fasters, and it certainly happened with me. I became obsessed with all things clothes. I recently asked the Fasters to briefly comment on the experience so far and to date no one said they miss shopping for clothes – quite the opposite. Many have expressed a new sense of freedom as shopping for RTW is becoming a distant memory. So what are they doing? Robin bought a practically new Bernina Artista 200 last month and is all over the place...

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08 Nov Lagniappes

Many years ago my dear friend from New Orleans introduced me to the word lagniappe, a word Mark Twain describes as worth travelling to New Orleans to get. A lagniappe is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, "something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure." I might be stretching the meaning here, but my new garments certainly bring the word to mind for they were partially obtained gratuitously……. and I do consider those couple inches of extra...

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17 Oct Vogue 8833

Here is my new top.  If I was on Project Runway, Tim Gunn would walk into the workroom and tell me I needed to live up to my potential. Michael Kors would call me a One-Trick-Pony, and Heidi Klum would exclaim that I look like I’m going to a baseball game before saying Auf Wiedersehen with a kiss on the cheek. Does this mean I do not like the top? Not at all!  I like it, but I’m starting to repeat myself and it’s time to regroup. ______________  Two weeks ago I went to Waechter’s Silk Shop in Asheville, NC with a friend who decided to start sewing for...

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