Thursday, February 23, 2012


One of my biggest problems is perfectionism. I want something to be perfect before I show it to anyone (or even before I allow myself to finish it), which is a problem as a beginning sewer because it means I often don't finish anything. I honestly couldn't tell you how many UFOs I have in my sewing space right now. I've spent around 12 hours on the Colette Jasmine blouse. It's a simple design and should go together beautifully, but my perfectionism means that I was so dissatisfied with the wonky seams on my collar that I ripped the whole thing off and decided to cut new pieces for it and start the collar over again. Erm... Let's be honest here. SWAP is so not happening this year. :) I think it's time for some more modest goals, and possibly time for me to put some effort into letting go of perfect a little bit. Because really. No one would have noticed that collar but me. I'm going to really focus on just finishing the blouse this week, and after it's done, I'm going to go through my UFOS and make them into FOs.

Are there any other procrastinators out there? UFO hoarders? Do you have the same problem I do, with wanting it to be perfect and knowing it won't be, or do you have another problem altogether? Those of you who manage to finish multitudes of garments every year, how do you do it?! Are you speedy sewers? Fearless in the face of failure? Do you have mad time management skills? Please, spill your deepest sewing secrets!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sew Grateful Week Giveaway Winner!

Hi all! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. I was sewing in the basement yesterday with the intention of finishing up my Jasmine blouse when I smelled something burning. When I went upstairs, it was to find the entire house filled with smoke. I didn't burn my house down, but the chicken carcass I was supposed to be cooking into soup was burnt to nothing but blackened char on the bottom of my big pot (which was also destroyed), and my whole house smells like fire now. Needless to say, I didn't finish the blouse. I evacuated the dogs into the back yard, opened all the windows, and spent my afternoon airing out the house and avoiding the windowless basement. :(

On the bright side, this morning, I wrote some names on bits of paper, dropped them in a bag, and picked one back out. The winner of Vogue 5867 is Rhia the Evil Dressmaker! Congratulations, Rhia! Please email me your address so I can send off your new pattern!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sew Grateful Week - Giveaway!

Debi over at My Happy Sewing Place is hosting Sew Grateful week this week. I have to say, I love this idea, and since I just won a lovely giveaway myself, I've decided to pass on the sewing love.

Sew Grateful Week

I have another beautiful vintage pattern to give away. I love, love, love this pattern, but I have more patterns in my collection than I can reasonably expect to use in one lifetime. :) Since I am a firm believer patterns should be used, rather than stored until they turn to dust, I'm passing this stunning gown pattern on to one of you, who will be able to make it into something lovely and wearable.

The pattern is Vogue 5867, and it's a size 14 (32 bust, 35 hip). After a little research, I think it's from the mid 1940s - possibly 1946. I got it as part of a lot of 100 patterns I bought last year, which was the combined collection of two women from Tennessee. As you can see, the envelope is slightly yellowed, but in fairly good condition. I haven't opened it, so I'm not sure about the condition of the pieces, but the patterns I have opened from this lot were all intact and had clearly been used but were still in great shape.

The back of the pattern says "Long or short length. three-piece skirt with straight or harem gathered peplum joined at waist-line. High round neck or optional collar band. Long fitted or short sleeves."

Here are the rules for this giveaway:
1. Comment and tell me what fabric you would use to make this dress in and where you would wear it.
2. Because one of the things I'm "Sew Grateful" for is the lovely support I've received in the form of your sweet comments, if you enter this giveaway by commenting on this post, you will automatically be entered a second time if you left me a comment on any post (other than my last giveaway) prior to today. (Did that make sense? I feel like it's a bit convoluted!)
3. You must have a way for me to contact you (email, or a link to a blog profile with your email in it).
4. If you win, you cannot sell the pattern. If you decide at some point that you no longer want it, please pass on the sewing love to someone else in the form of a giveaway or a gift.
5. The giveaway will be open until 7:00 am ET on Monday morning (February 13), at which time I will be writing all the names on slips of paper and picking one out of a hat. I'll announce the winner on Monday and will email you if you won as well.

Good luck, and thank you all so much!

Edit: Whoops! Since you all probably aren't psychic, I suppose I should add this instead of assuming you'll be able to gather this information by reading between the lines: this giveaway is open to everyone all over the world. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Personal Style and a Few (er...several...) Sketches

I took a four-day weekend last weekend, because A is back in the country. I did not take any sewing with me to Illinois, so I have nothing to show for my long weekend but a big smile and a lot of joy that my partner is back in the country. I spent yesterday evening grocery shopping and cleaning the house up a bit (things I usually do on Saturdays).

I've been thinking a lot about my personal style lately. When I was younger, I liked full, gathered skirts and tight t-shirts/tanks. It was a super cute look. Looking at that style now, I feel like I've grown out of cute, but I'm not sure where to go from there. I bought a gorgeous leather trench while I was in Chicago over the weekend, and I absolutely adore it. It looks even better in person than it does in that photo, and it's edgy in a way that's not too extreme for daily wear. It's downright hot, and I feel so incredibly good when I put it on. I think it's time to take a good, hard look at the few items that are still in my closet and ask myself whether or not they make me feel like that, and if so, what about them does it.

I went virtual shopping - where I skim around the internet and save photos of clothes I want to my computer - and found a few things I liked. Before I put the effort into trying to replicate them, though, I decided to sketch them out on my croquis. Did I tell you guys I made one of these? It was a few months back, and I've sketched a few things on it, but I thought I'd share my latest sketches.

Knit top with lace/mesh panel and sleeves and leather skirt. In spite of the more fitted silhouette of this skirt, it's still reminiscent of my old clothing formula.

Full dress with leather belt and leather detail. I usually don't like any gathering around my waistline, but this one might be okay. Also, my shoulders are way more symmetrical than that back view would have you believe. My tracing skills just sometimes aren't up to par. :)

I found this adorable draped top, and I sketched it out with a pencil skirt on the bottom, and oh, man. Badness. That drapy hem hits right at the widest part of my hip, and it looks downright dowdy. Now, if you shorten it and tuck it into a pencil skirt, it looks way better. Or lengthen it and turn it into a dress. I love the draping and the shoulder detail, though!

Then I started thinking about my SWAP items and things I actually intend to sew. Why not see whether they'd actually look any good on me, before I started cutting and sewing? These are Butterick 2434 (vintage) and Simplicity 2145. I'm loving that Simplicity dress. Loving.

I went a little sketch-happy and did a few more. Like, almost all of my other SWAP items. Simplicity 3562 (vintage), Colette Jasmine, Burda/Gertie bombshell top, Simplicity 3520 (vintage), and Butterick 4042 (vintage, and also can see the bombshell top sketched lightly underneath if you look closely).

What do you think? Have you jumped on the croquis bandwagon? It's definitely worth the time it takes to make one. I could have endless amounts of fun just sketching up ideas. But I'm not going to. I'm going to sew tonight instead. :) Perhaps I'll have something fun to show you next week!