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22 Feb Tips and Clips

Do you keep a Sewing Diary, sew your muslins with one-inch seams, or keep a pad of post-it notes beside your machine? The 2014 RTW Fasters are rocking the sewing scene with some fabulous frocks and I asked them to share some of their secrets to successful sewing. Following are 48 of their Favorite Tips from techniques to practical and even philosophical advice. The first clip, from a Singer Sewing Manual was offered more for amusement, but I find it could be quite helpful if re-written for the 21st century!  Does anyone want  to give it a try? ;) While I don't...

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06 Feb Marfy + Mood = Love

Have you made your Marfy yet? Thanks to Leisa Stanton of A Challenging Sew, I had no more excuses to avoid the chic Italian patterns without instructions. Not only are three free patterns available for downloads on the Marfy website, but Leisa is providing sew-a-longs for the patterns on her blog and just completed the top sew-a-long. How do you like it?  The pattern is Marfy 1913, and after two muslins I was ready to cut my Thakoon silk crepe de chine from Mood Fabrics. When the silk arrived in July, I was tempted to make my 5th sleeveless ruffled top. “No! No! No!” exclaimed the...

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01 Jan Happy New Year!

Ready - Set - STOP! Buying clothes that is…. It's time for me to stop shopping and start sewing for an entire year :) This time around I am in the company of nearly two hundred women who accepted my 2014 RTW Fast invitation. Click on any of smiling faces below to see the entire group of the 2014 RTW Fasters.        Aren't these 200 women amazing? They represent women across the globe and feature a diversity of skills and styles as well as a diversity of shapes, sizes, ages and races.  The new 2014 RTW Fasters page found at the top of the blog is designed so...

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24 Dec Vogue 8532

Santa Baby, Leave a sable underneath the tree for me…… :) While waiting for Santa, I sewed one more holiday dress, this one for a January wedding. I have never seen a Carolina Herrera I didn’t love which includes this cobalt blue paisley silk brocade from Mood Fabrics. Yum……. I was sold on the color alone until the fabric arrived. The quality of this brocade is unlike any I have seen or touched. It’s that good, and once again I found myself scared to cut my fabric. What would Carolina do? Santa baby……. give me an answer!  I made a muslin from an old Vogue pattern -  8532, now...

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17 Dec Don We Now Our Gay Apparel!

Some fabrics are meant to be worn at night, and I believe this shimmery metallic boucle from Mood Fabrics is certainly one of them.  I bought the fabric at the NYC store in November 2012, and admired it at home for over a year while waiting for a vision to appear. Perhaps, a coat, a suit, or another French jacket…… And then -  it came upon a midnight clear ;) After nearly three weeks of no sewing I was eager to make something festive and chose the classic Butterick 5588 pattern as my base (available on Etsy). Since the fabric is relatively heavy I wanted...

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01 Dec Invitation!

  That's right, dear readers! It's time for me to fast from Ready-to-Wear again, and I've got a wedding coming up this year! Hope you'll join me in the festivities of sewing during 2014. You've got a whole month to prepare for a whole year of sewing, saving and looking fab!...

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24 Nov Wearing the Pants

Hubby was about to give his pants away. He had absolutely no idea that plaid pants are quite in vogue. Even his …. Have you ever taken apart a pair of men’s pants?  Releasing a single seam gets you nowhere. It was maddening to discover interfacing, horsehair (or a similar product) AND muslin layered between the fashion fabric and the lining to prevent stretching. The front pockets  are as deep as the Pacific Ocean and neatly sewn into the fly, waistband and side seam. At times I found taking the pants apart was more difficult that putting them back together.        The good...

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10 Nov The Shanel SUIT

I always thought I wanted to be cremated, but now I’m not so sure. I mean, now that I’ve got something to wear………. At last, I have completed the coordinating skirt to my Shanel Jacket, which means I have a brand new suit! Goodness, I never wear suits, but I’m going to start,  and pray I am lucky enough to wear this one out before it’s time to go. ;) ________________ Over the last 26 months I’ve sewn many skirt patterns and deemed Simplicity 3648 worthy of sewing the last yard of the lofty Chanel tweed. I so wish the camera could capture the beautiful metallic thread...

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21 Sep Butterick 5526

It was time to make a shirt – not a top, not a tunic but a shirt. My Pattern Review friends are making shirts by the dozens while I’ve been acting as the cheerleader. While I’ve always appreciated the flexibility found in sewing my clothes, the precision of shirt-making kept my happy observer status in tact. From my large collection of unmade shirt patterns, I selected Butterick 5526. View D offered princess seams giving me a more controlled fit. After sewing the bodice pieces together of my new off white shirt, it hit me………… precision need not be so rigid. In other words, lighten up! Using...

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