Saturday, January 31, 2009


I'm easing back into sewing over here- there's a pile of things I'd like to make for myself, mostly from the January BWOF and the Knipmodes I bought at the beginning of the month- AND from February's BWOF (only seen the line drawings so far, sadly). However, I had two little girls who fell in love with the Freshcut prints I'd gotten from Fabritopia, so I tackled those first.

Kate picked out these two prints by herself. They're very "Kate" since she loves wild colors together. I used the bodice front and back, and the skirt from Simplicity 3588 (the girl's Duro dress and a mandarin collar dress). The sleeve pattern came from some stray size 5 vintage girls sleeve pattern that I found under my cutting table. Yeah, I'm that organized, stray sleeve patterns just lying around waiting to be plucked into action... I should really find its parent pattern envelope! I think the collar might be from a vintage Simplicity 7667. Maybe.

And here she is modeling it with a grumpy face:

And here is Ana's dress, from the standard bodice front & back & sleeve I've been using for her for two years. I'm going to be in trouble if she ever starts to grow:
dress for Ana

I L O V E the colors in the dress. So much. I've saved the scraps, and they'll be worked into a few squares of my never-ending mendicino quilt. The waistband ribbon for this dress is from MJ Trim, and I used ladybug buttons on the back:

dress for Ana

My sewing machine has a decorative stitch that resembled the vines in the bodice print, so I did that in blue around the neckline:
dress for Ana

My sweetpea in her new dress:



I have a nice sewing (and kid wrangling!) vacation coming up this month- Feb 7 through Feb 12. I'm hoping the Feb BWOF will be on newsstands in the city by then, because I'm hoping to make these over that break:

02-2009-118 top -love the yoke front and the bubble sleeves.

02-2009-130 wrap blouse -similar sleeves again, but I love the wrap front here too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

fuzzy bear jacket

Emptying my camera's memory card this afternoon, so here is Ana wearing her Christmas present fleece jacket with little teddy bear ears (burda 9735, one of my favorite patterns ever):

Dinner is over!

Who hid my walker?

Well, thanks for stopping with the camera long enough to return it to me

Oh boy

See you guys later!

I can't get over the adorable little ears on the hood for this. It's so precious! The pattern is lined, and I've usually made it with a lining, but this fleece version is unlined. I didn't want it to be too bulky, and this fleece is thick enough to be OK on its own.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Still no sewing. Instead there's been some of this:

And this:

And here is my Coastie pilot, doing some pre flight checks:

And there's also been more teaching Kate to ice skate. She's getting pretty good- I hold her hand and we slowly go around the rink. She's very cautious, so she won't let go of my hand yet, and we skate at a snail's pace. She likes to make sure she's fully figured out each step before moving onto the next one.

I still have the Hot Patterns Riviera jacket cut out and lying on the floor, waiting. One of these days it will get sewn together! My next project will probably be something a bit easier, though. Kate asked for a dress from the blue cabbage rose print from Freshcut. I kind of liked the white and pink peony print, but she went with the blue and purple hues from this print instead.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

an old project

Originally uploaded by wck

No sewing going on this weekend, so here's a quick post about an old project. This is a size 6 months dress that I made a long time ago. It finally doesn't fit Ana, so I'm going to be wrapping it up with some other old outfits and mailing it to my cousin in Cambridge, MA. She just had a baby daughter, who will get to wear all the old dresses that don't fit Kate and Ana anymore.

This was one of the first patterns I made by myself for kids clothes, and I remember fussing over the pleats and neckline. The neckline does still kind of stand up a bit, but it's not that obvious when it's on a kid, so it's ok in the end. I also drafted this on regular tracing paper, before I had figured out how to get a good supply of pattern drafting paper. The best place for me, it turns out, is the FIT bookstore. They sell pre-cut rolls of the paper that are pretty cheap. The only problem is making time at lunch to run up there as they close early in the evening and aren't open on weekends.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

sewing classes around NYC

Manhattan From the TramThis is a list of classes that I just shared with my NYC Sewing Meetup Group and I figured I'd add it here as well. It's amazing how many great sewing classes you can take in the NYC area. We're so spoiled for choice here.


Purl Soho Classes
Full class list online

Sewing with Knits for Baby with Heather Ross
Wednesdays Feb 18th, 25th, and March 4th 7:15- 9:15pm

Skirts that Work with Heather Ross
Tuesdays Feb 24th, 3rd, and March 10th 7:15- 9:15pm

Machine Sewing with Cassandra
Mondays March 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th 7:15- 9:15pm


Sew Fast Sew Easy
Full Class list online

Beginner Sewing
- lots of classes listed online:

Pleated Skirt Class
Thursday Evenings, starting 02/26/2009, ending 03/05/2009, 6:00-8:30pm

Intermediate Sewing - Skirts
Wednesday afternoons, starting 02/11/2009, ending 03/18/2009,
Saturday Afternoons, starting 02/21/2009, ending 03/28/2009,

Moulage - Bodice Pattern Drafting
Monday Evenings, starting 02/23/2009, ending 03/16/2009, 6:00-9:00


Soul Collection - Intro to Patternmaking and Sewing
Full class schedule online


Make Workshop
Full class list online

intro to sewing machine
- many, many dates listed

one-night pillow making workshop
sat jan 31 3:00pm – 5:00pm
fri feb 27 6:00pm – 8:00pm
thu mar 05 6:30pm – 8:30pm

invisible zipper 101 workshop
sat feb 21 3:00pm – 4:30pm
fri mar 06 6:30pm – 8:00pm


The City Quilter classes
Full class list online

Intro to Machine Sewing
Wednesdays, Jan 21, 28 12 - 2 or 6 - 8 PM
or March 18, 25 12 - 2 or 6 - 8 PM

Open Sewing Dropin
Mondays Jan 26, Feb 23, March 23, April 27
4-8 PM

Rectangle Bag
Wed April 29 1-5 PM


FIT Knitting, Jewelry and Sewing Non Credit classes:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

polar bears and PJs

I finally finished up my sailor's christmas present! Well, the handmade part of it, at least. I didn't get to see him over Christmas because he was busy working, so he'll have to wait a bit more to get it. He's been stationed mostly on ice breakers since we met, and so polar bears have been kind of a long running joke for us. When I found this fantastic polar bear print in JoAnns a few months ago, I knew I needed to make something from it for him. I originally thought I'd do a lap quilt, but it turned into two quilted pillows instead. There are actually two polar bear prints in there, as well as 2 solids. I've given him homemade presents before, and they've gone over well, so I think he'll like these. They'll probably end up on the living room sofa- he has the ultimate bachelor sofa, with two built in Lazy Boys built in it.


Now I just need some cute penguin prints to make some South Pole pillows, or to actually make that lap quilt! (Polar Bears are North Pole, which he's actually been to. I knew they were at different poles before we started dating, but I could never remember which. Now I've been through the deployments and seen pictures, I can keep it straight. (;) When he went to McMurdo in Antarctica, I asked for a photo of a penguin, and he obliged with a shot of one in front of his ship for me:

Penguin in Antarctica

When I found it, I'd bought a ton of the material, so I also had enough to make a pair PJs for myself from each print. Here's one of them, using the Dec 2007 BWOF pj pants pattern. You'll have to excuse the target receipt tucked into my mirror. That's my "hey you can't forget this!" spot, so I always end up with some slip of paper tucked in there.

A close up of the trim on the pants leg:


Originally uploaded by wck

This is my sewing room shelf, between the two dormers. If you can believe it, I actually organized and cleaned it two weeks. Clearly organzing doesn't last all that long around here.

Here's what the mess is from:
BWOF 06-2008-107

BWOF 06-2008-107, the blouse of three left sleeves, finally has a left sleeve and a right sleeve. I finished it up yesterday afternoon.

And then I used some of the leftover silk- it's from Mood in NYC- to make a little BWOF top for Kate.
outfit for Kate

The matching skirt has a binding using Mendicino... I sacrificed a jelly roll strip in yellow because I liked the color so much with this purple. Here's a close up of the yoke, decorated with fancy stitching:


Kate's top is bwof-08-2008-134, just a basic little gathered yoke design. The skirt is a gathered rectangle, so no pattern there.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

comment catchup!

buttons I realized I had a few comment questions that I'd never answered, so here's a few quick answers. And a picture of some sunny buttons on my ironing board this weekend, just because. ;-)

Leslie asked where to get the pattern for my Knipmode blouse. You can order the magazine it's from here: Naaipatronen. I tried a direct link, looks like their website doesn't allow those though. So go to that url and enter KnipMode - juli 2008 in the search box. Click order, then you can pay with paypal... her shipping is very quick. Hmm, and I see that they are having a 3 for 2 sale on Knipmode right now. I might need to pick out a few issues for myself!!

Rae asked about the yellow fabric from Fashionista Fabrics that I used for my Simplicity 3867 Sew Stylish top. It was a poly/cotton blend, and had very subtle stripes woven into it in addition to the floral pattern. I don't usually go for poly/cotton blends, but Melody always has great stuff and indeed this was really nice to sew with.

Gwen asked how old Kate is... she's 5 and a half. Her sister just turned 3 and their brother Tom is 1. They're the only nieces/nephews I have, and only ones I'm likely to ever have since Dan is an only child.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

for my quilt

for my quilt
Originally uploaded by wck

More mendicino fabric and 1 pop garden.

I tried making another BWOF 06-2008-107 blouse this morning, but I made three left sleeves. Not my day. So I took Kate ice skating for a few hours instead.

I've got the Hot Patterns Riviera cardigan traced off and the tracing cut out, and so that's waiting as well. I really wanted to wear the blouse to work tomorrow- I'm making it in a great cranberry purple silk that has a white windowpane check woven into it, from Mood- but I know that if I make 3 left sleeves it's really time to just stop right there and walk away from the machine for a while.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

tshirt refashion

tshirt refashion

I won this tshirt in a perl trivia contest at OSCON 2008 in July- it was a men's XL (aaah, perl community, I love you :P) and I finally took it apart and remade it in my size. Is it any wonder that girl geeks sew so much?

The trivia contest was "what is the name of the animal that's the oreilly mascot"? It's a tarsier. (Cute little animal, isn't it? I remembered the name because it's so unusual and my brain collects useless info.)

Anyway. I have a custom fitted Jalie 2005 pattern-- one inch longer in the upper bodice and 4 inches longer below the waist-- so I took the tshirt apart this morning, cut out new pieces with my pattern, and stitched it back up. I used the original sleeve hem, and although it's hard to see the neckline uses a white ribbing. I let about 1/8" of the white ribbing peek out at the neck since it echos the white of the print. The back says "O'Reilly" and "Code Matters" on it.

There's 10 years of old geek tshirts sitting in a box in my closet, and I need to take a few out and re-make them to actually fit me.

Friday, January 2, 2009

most worn of 2008

Here are my most worn pieces of 2008. These are not necessarily my favorite patterns, just the garments that I actually wore out my front door the most. It's not so useful sewing up a closet full of things you never put on, so my focus in the last year was really wearable things.

KnipMode 07-2008-18
I tracked down how to buy a copy of KnipMode magazine when I saw a line drawing of this shirt. I wear it with jeans to work all the time, and I've got material cut out to make up another version of it. I love the collar and the unique tie front.

BWOF 11-2007-118 Hoodie
Made in a marimekko cotton rib fabric. Sooo comfy. pattern review here
sweatshirt from BWOF

BWOF 06-2008-107 Blouse
Now my go-to button front blouse pattern. I think I have about 5 of this pattern now, and plans to make at least 2 more. It fits me perfectly, which is a small miracle. pattern review here

Simplicity 3867 Sew Stylish
I made this three times this summer, and I wore this version quite a bit. The fabric is from Fashionista Fabrics.

Self drafted flare skirt pattern
This version is in a black/white tweedy wool and lined in pink silk shantung, made last January. This pattern was just made by closing the darts on my skirt sloper, so it fits my sway back really nicely. It's one of the only wool skirts I really wear often.

And I'll offer an honorable mention to the Stitch Magazine pintuck skirt. I've worn it twice already, and I'm sure it's going to get more wear in the coming year.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year

Bonne Année !

PJ pants
I started a post on "things I've made that got the most wear this year" but it will have to wait until I have light to finish photographs. I should have started it this morning when the sun was out. I did take a picture of some christmas wrap up... I had to run elastic through some of the pajamas that I made as presents, now that I can try them on folks. Here's three pairs of flannel pajamas- my sister's, ana's, and kate's.

I also did a bit more work on my quilt which is still coming slowly along. While I was cutting strips I actually almost sliced my headphone cable! Ooops. I keep my ipod in my pocket while I'm sewing, and usually the headphones cable is clipped out of the way, but it came undone and I didn't notice until the rotary cutter blade was about a half inch from the cord. Disaster averted! I have etymotic noise blocking headphones for my train ride, so I would have been a very unhappy camper on Monday if I'd sliced that cable! I kind of gather that not that many people listen to an ipod while sewing, but I almost always have mine on. Part of it is just to not disturb people around me. I like to listen to a lot of loud hardcore punk while I'm sewing (come on, Black Flag goes so nicely with sewing up lacy little kids dresses! (; ) and it's easier to just put on headphones than entertain requests to turn the volume down on the speakers.

And finally, my two new years resolutions. The first is very simple; since I have a digital SLR, I want to take more pictures with it. Photography is my first love but I find I don't put a huge amount of time into it anymore, and don't go out on photo walks enough. Really I don't often carry my SLR into the city with me, so I want to make it a regular practice to bring it into NYC and take pictures. My Seattle friends have been claiming that they don't believe this "I work in NYC" thing since my flickr stream shows scant evidence of the city.

My second is to work out more. Last December I sprained my right ankle really badly, and haven't done much exercise beyond walking to my office from the train station or a bit of yoga here in the last 12 months. It's finally about as good as it's going to get for a while, so I have some new red sneakers! These are adidas "Boston" shoes. I admit the name sucked me in, as my dorm at Wellesley was on the halfway point of the Boston marathon and I spent each year cheering myself hoarse for it. I've pulled out my nike+ ipod widget thingie, and I'll sew up a little bag to hold the shoe piece on these new sneakers tomorrow.

new sneakers