October 2008

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When sorting through a box of fabric flower making stuff* I got from Nana, I found this treasure: it’s sterling silver with diamantes.  I’m not sure where it came from – stuff has ended up all over the place during various moves, so it might not have been Nana Miller’s at all.

Lil of the Valley brooch

Lily of the Valley brooch

Isn’t it pretty?  It needs a good clean, though – one of the stems is wobbly, and the silver is very tarnished. I’m off to get a quote from a local jeweller to see what can be done.

Can’t you just see this pinned to a plain (vintage!) dress or (vintage, to die for!) hat?

for scale

Anyway, that’s a job for tomorrow.  We used up too much bandwidth this month and so our internet is cut back to dial up speed ’til the new month.  PAINFUL!!

So tomorrow I’ll try and mostly sew, I think.   Hmmm.

I went to Quilters today – first time in ages, since I was so sick before the surgery that I wasn’t going much of anywhere – and THEY DIDN’T RECOGNISE ME!!  It was hilarious watching people whisper “Who’s that?” to each other.

Last time they saw me I:

  • looked really ILL
  • had long hair
  • had different glasses
  • wore no makeup
  • only dressed in jeans and t-shirts!

And today I went in the new frock with cute shoes, a little bit of face on, and my short short haircut – and, if I do say so myself, looking better than I’ve done in YEARS.

Quite the difference.

And now it’s past my bedtime again – catchya tomorrow!

*yeah, more on that later  – I need to figure out how to get a spirit lamp (?) that burns without making soot, I think?

So I’ve been struggling with this dress… but I think it’s worth it! Mr Beloved thinks it’s “classy” and my bestest sewing buddy deemed it flattering and pretty… it certainly wasn’t a quick project.

Simplicity 2981
Simplicity 2981
Simplicity 2981
Simplicity 2981

I sewed from Simplicity 2981, which was released some time ago as a Khaliah Ali  Plus size pattern (18W to 24W, and 26W to 32W). I noticed that a smaller  version (6-14  and 14-22) of the exact same dress was put out under the Threads Magazine Collection label as Simplicity 3877 a while back.

I made the shorter length with collar and short sleeves (view B or view D, depending on the pattern you’re using.)  The instructions do warn that you must decide on your finished length before you cut the fabric -I shortened the skirt length by 2″. There is no provision for above waist adjustment on the pattern (but that shouldn’t deter you – get a copy of Fit For Real People and go for it!) I’m long waisted so I lengthened the top by 1″ – in retrospect, I could have even gone 2″. (This might sound odd – why did I shorten AND lengthen? Well, because I needed a flattering skirt length and for the waist to actually reach my waist!)

Can I just say that the pattern instructions SUCK?  I mean, really suck.  They were confusing and the illustrations made things even more muddled. Even though I’d read through the pattern, it took me a while to work out when to attach the second tie of the sash. The jumping backwards and forward in the instructions really threw me, too.

The zipper goes in almost LAST, which is not at all helpful – it makes getting a nice finish even more difficult. I was also undecided up to the last moment about whether to use an ordinary zipper, hand picked (not machine sewn) or an invisible zipper.  I knew an ordinary machine applied zipper was not what I wanted, even though it’s in a side seam and unlikely to be visible when the dress is worn.  After reading Summerset’s blog on her latest dress, I went with hand picked – it’s amazingly quick and strong. (Mine is NOT as nice as hers – she’s one of my sewing heroes,  I aspire to her skills!)

I think the collar is ok – the spread works on this style of dress.  It’s applied directly, no collar stand – which makes it easier to sew, but not as crisp, in my opinion.

I’m very, very proud of myself about the skirt – 4 front pieces, 4  back pieces, and 8 godets – all of which went together smoothly first time with no ripping and restitching thanks to the godet instructions in Sandra Betzina’sPower Sewing.” Yay for skill building successes!

I let the dress hang for DAYS to let the bias drop (and ok, because I was procrastinating!) and when Sue helped me pin the hem, we were surprised by how much some sections dropped – and how little others did.  Fortunately I knew I was using more of the same fabric made into bias binding for a bound hem – so I could get away with having a few sections that were quite a lot shorter.  And with 160″ or so to sew around the hem, I had to accept that some compromises were necessary if I wanted to wear it THIS YEAR!

In this hem detail photo you can also see just how cute the all-over print of sewing things is!

The hem, bound with bias binding
The hem, bound with bias binding

The neckline was rather *ahem* LOWER than I had anticipated – perhaps next time I need to stay the neckline? (I don’t think this was caused by my lengthening the bodice – it looks low on the pattern cover, too.) But the crossover point got a wee press-stud inside, so I won’t flash bra at anyone.

HOWEVER – I will probably make this dress again – cos it’s TWIRLY!

This dress makes me happy!
This dress makes me happy!

And I grabbed some $5 per metre/115cm wide all polyester (not too bad to the hand, though, and totally non-crushable) in black with white dots when Sue, Vicki and I stopped at Fabric Barn on our way home from Brisbane the other day.  I’m glad I did the first one in cotton though – I know some of the traps to watch out for in the second iteration.

Not least of which is MARK EVERYTHING. A LOT!  The chalk I used seemed to disappear just when I needed it most – it’s back to good old-fashioned tailors tacks for me. I have shamelessly snagged this illustration from Vintage Sewing Info, who very kindly provide their info under Creative Commons:

Creative Commons

Mark perforations with tailor’s tacks.

The very best way to mark perforations is by using tailor’s tacks since you can then mark them through two pieces of material at once. A very good plan is to mark all small perforations with one color thread and all large perforations with another color.

Tailor’s tacks are thread marks placed in the material, made through the perforations in the tissue paper pattern.

Illustration 25This is the way to make tailor’s tacks.

Use a double thread preferably without a knot. Take a stitch or two stitches one over the other through each perforation and down through both pieces of material if the material is double. Where there is a row of perforations close together like those at the shoulder seam or the underarm seam, take a row of stitches through each perforation and leave a loop between each perforation. (Ill. 25.) Cut the thread half way between the perforations and take the pattern off.

Now, to separate the two pieces of material, pull them slightly apart and snip through each tailor’s tack between the two pieces of material. A little whisker of basting thread will be left in each piece indicating where each perforation comes in the pattern.”

There, wasn’t that useful?!

I’m off for a little bite of dinner, and then to work on the petticoat…

So I’ve been a busy little bee, sewing.  I’m striving towards better “build quality” with each thing I sew… but…..

You know how there is a series of books called “The Missing Manual: The Book That Should Have Been In The Box”? (Pogue Press O’Reilly are awesome technical publishers, BTW. If you’re stuck on something techie, they are THE go- to books, IMHO.) Well, what I need is a “Missing Manual” for the Big 4 pattern companies!  It would include things like:

  • cut the interfacing to the SEAM lines (not outside cutting lines) of pieces you need to interface, it reduces bulk and makes things turn in so much more nicely
  • when to put in a grosgrain waist stay
  • WHEN to finish which edges in construction – the stupid patterns assume you know this, except when they suddenly remember to say things like “Finish long facing edge…” – NOT HELPFUL, arrgh!
  • reminders along the way to hand baste to check fit
  • ideas about alternative ways to finish seams
40 is the new...

40 is the new...

Yes, I have at various times read most of these things in my treasured collection of Threads magazines; but with my menopausal memory (like a steel… sieve!  Yep, that’s it, memory like a steel sieve, me!) I can’t keep so much in my head.  Most of my functioning brain space these days is taken up with thoughts such as “HOT!  Why is it so HOT In here?” and “What was I doing… why am I in this room?” and “Did I just eat that gingernut… or if not, where have I put it?”

Last night I spent HOURS – literally hours – trying to work out how to pin something together that should have been simple.  I know, I shouldn’t attempt to sew when I’m tired; but I reckon losing those brain cells to another general anaesthetic combined with the lack of hormones has made me even sillier than before!

Paris Frocks At Home

Paris Frocks At Home

Actually, the more I look at this book at Vintage Pattern Info, the more I see where my Missing Manual went – this is all the sort of stuff I was talking about!  ARGGGGH!

Could it be that I’m not only menopausal, but need to TIME TRAVEL for sewing lessons as well?

(ooooh, imagine being able to grab that yummy David Tennant as Dr Who and travelling to various couturier’s workshops – who would you pick first?  I think I’d have to at least go to Charles Frederick Worth and see how HIS seamstresses managed those princess lines he allegedly invented!)

Right, I’m off to iron a frock – I’m going to a TUPPERWARE PARTY this arvo  – LOL! (It’s an excuse to eat yummy things and drink champagne and be giggly with the girls – gotta love that!)

Like this sweet young thing, I’m busy sewing.  Results soon!

Sewing, sewing, sewing....

Sewing, sewing, sewing....

The One Hundred by Nina Garcia

The One Hundred by Nina Garcia

And I got a new book!  (Thank you Mr Beloved, *Mwah Mwah*!) BUT I have to swear off magazines.  No buying at the newsagents/shops except for Australian Stitches Magazine and Burda World of Fashion.  Even some of the ones I have subscriptions for  won’t be renewed. (Quilters Newsletter, Cloth Paper Scissors, and maybe even Quilting Arts – I’m talking ’bout YOU!)

Magazines are to budgets what biscuits are to diets – they kinda creep back in, and all of a sudden they’re making you fat.  Yep, magazines make my house look FAT, I hate seeing clutter everywhere! (And after seeing the dietician this morning and not losing anything AGAIN this week, the gingernuts done with, too.)

The illustrations are just superb – Ruben Toledo is a genius!  Have a look inside the book here. (I’d scan in more images that I’d like to comment on, but I am SOOOOO clumsy with the new image editing software that’s it’s unbearable. Grumble grumble.)

Ruben Toledo Illustration

Ruben Toledo Illustration

Also bought some “suck your tummy in” pants at Big W.  (Or for those of us who remember the old ads- “I can’t believe it’s not a GIRDLE!”  – well that’s because it bloody well IS!!) Also a couple of HOT PINK T-shirts because they were 2 for $16 – I can’t make them for that.  Some poor worker at the #74 Hot-Pink-T-Shirt-Factory-and-Political-Prison-Somewhere-in-China sewed them.  Which I feel slightly guilty about, but it’s HARD to be politically correct when you’re a pov!  And I’ve only just learned that after years of wanting to wear HOT PINK, it’s actually a good colour on me – wooo hooo!

(and yes, HOT PINK does need all caps – how else do I convey that the colour is not some prissy little baby pink, hmmm?)

And now I really should stop faffing about on the ‘puter and go sew this #*&)@$) zipper that I’ve been procrastinating about for days – once that’s done I can go ask my sewing buddy Sue to help me with the hem!

New ‘puter. Hooray for Linux Mint!  FAST!! and STABLE!! two things my poor old Windows laptop was not.  And HOORAY for wider bigger screen!  Boooo, however, to ASUS for having their download site not working.  (And boo for not providing Linux drivers straight off – yep, I’m a convert!)

Booo for having to remember a gazillion different log-ins and passwords though – maaaaaaaan I have NO idea what some of them were!

Also – BOOO for pattern instructions that leave me scratching my head.  I’m still hoping to get the dress done to wear Wednesday morning, but there’s more to still be done than I was hoping…

Go forth! SEW!!

Go forth! SEW!!

Now I just have to get it and the petticoat done by 5 am Wednesday morning… please note my very expensive and exclusive pattern weights – otherwise known as tins of tuna!

Getting ready to cut 4 metres of fabric

Getting ready to cut 4 metres of fabric

Think I overdid things in the last few days.  Hiding in bed today feelng particularly blah. I want to be sewing, but I’m too achey.

wheeeeeeeee!

*sigh* just pretend this is me having fun, ok?  I’ll be over here in the corner chewing painkillers and whimpering…

New Look 3735: Short sleeved T Shirt

New Look 3735: Short sleeved T Shirt

Please excuse the awful photo – Mr Beloved is having a nana nap after getting quite stressed out by noise.  This was done with the camera self timer!

Pattern Description: Lovely wearable collection for knit fabrics – a 3/4 sleeve top, and cap sleeved top, cardigan with belt, skirt, and pants.

New Look 6735

New Look 6735

Pattern Sizing: 10-22 in the one envelope.  I made a straight 22 with no alterations at all – not even my usual D/DD Full Bust Alterations!

New Look 6735

New Look 6735

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

YES! Other reviewers have liked the fit and those curves in the illustration on the envelope are really there – WOOHOOO!! (I’ve been caught before by over-optimistic illustrators, so I was pleasantly surprised that the promised shaping was delivered.)  And I bought this pattern for $5 when it was on sale, so I reckon I’ve already got my moneys worth our of this one!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, but… for my first run through I followed them exactly – and I sure won’t next time. I do not understand why pattern companies insist on inserting only-very-slightly-eased sleeves in the round, when sewing them in flat is so much easier.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Quick, fits me straight out of the envelope! The scoop neckline shaping is super flattering, the sleeves look like they’ll be too short but they really work, and the centre back seam really improves the fit. Best of all is the gentle gathering of the front sides at the bustline – not enough to look like gathers, just enough to make a beautiful fit.

Fabric Used:
ARRGGGH! The cheapest, awfullest knit you ever did see – only $1 per metre at a Spodshite clearance and now I know why! It stretched out of shape and didn’t bounce back; it was super-soft and so was tricky to sew, and I don’t expect it to last more than two washes! This was only a wearable(?) muslin though, so I’m not worried.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

None this time BUT: next time I will:

  • stabilise the neckline before binding it
  • stabilise the hem and sleeve hems with fusible tape before I hem them
  • use the overlocker (serger) for most of the construction
  • shape the bottom seam into a gentle curve at front and back, so I can wear the shirt out over my waistband.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I’ve got fabric in the washing machine right now to sew into two more tonight… I LOVE this top! I’d certainly recommend it to others, especially beginners or those (like me!) lacking confidence in sewing
knits. Just remember to put the sleeves in flat (before you sew the side seams) and I reckon you can make this in no time.

Conclusion:

A beautifully fitted quick and easy t-shirt that will become a TNT (Tried and True) pattern for me.

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And in other news today: went back to the gastroenterologist  –  keep taking the drugs for reflux, lose more weight, yada yada.

Next in the sewing pile – a pirate shirt for the TeaBot 5000™.  Years and years ago – maybe SEVENTEEN years ago, in fact ! – he asked me to make him a shirt. Better late than never – the fabric is almost dry on the washing line: black with a print of grey pirate skull and crossbones (sideways in this image):

Complete with late afternoon silhouette

Complete with late afternoon silhouette

About to become this shirt (Butterick 4486)

Ahoy there mateys, it's a PIRATE SHIRT!

Ahoy there mateys, it's a PIRATE SHIRT!

unless, of course, I decide to cut out those other two new t-shirts first….

Today and tomorrow are two of the HIGHEST of  High Holy Days Of Obligation in our household – the Bathurst 1000! GO LOWNDESY!!

But this year instead of pigging out on chips and dips, I’ve been cutting out pattern tissue instead.  Sometimes I’m just so virtuous…!

But we are having a small crisis: the vegemite is lost!

Now, if you’re not a fan of the black goo, you’ll be saying “So what?”

But in this house, it’s serious stuff.  When you want toast and vegemite, ONLY vegemite will do.  And somehow, our jar has vanished.  I’m currently under suspicion, because I’m the one who keeps moving it off our very limited counter space and back into the pantry – but it’s not there.  Not on the counter.  Not rolled under the table.  NOWHERE!!

It’s a mystery…

And now of course, I’m craving it too….

Sue and I had the BEST girly day out today!  We were originally booked in with a make-up artist who was coming up from BrisVegas – for whatever reason, that didn’t happen.  But we kept the booking with the cosmetics counter and ended up getting much better value for money!

First thing: I’m not a warm undertone at all – I’m COOL? (Yeah, you always knew I was cool, eh?!)  In fact, I’m not an Autumn at all – I’m a WINTER!!  Look, here I am in pretty pinks – looking HEALTHY!

Pink lips, pink blush, turquoise(!) eyeliner

Pink lips, pink blush, turquoise(!) eyeliner

And look how far I’ve come: this photo was one I posted in May this year: (Admittedly, a less flattering shot, with too much flash, but still…)

May 2, 2008

May 2, 2008

I’m bloody AMAZED! So you’ll be seeing me in more of these colours:

Winter colours

Winter colours

(Someone who happens to be one of my very dearest friends and who IS an Autumn is going to get some fabric, LOL! but not that Japanese piece, I’m planning on cutting into that TONIGHT!)

Sue and I both DESPERATELY want to go see Kerryn and get our colours and image style done – I think that it would best the absolute BEST treat once I reach my goal weight,  don’t you?

After the whole skincare and makeup stuff was finished, we went for a coffee and then a little shopping – until all of a sudden we realised it was quarter to FIVE! (our appointment was for 12:30!)  We both tried on a new perfume (which I am totally in love with, the mandarin and pepper notes are just gorgeous) and went to the discount cosmetics shop for quick drying nail polish (bare toes, need polish!).

And we did a lot of sneak shopping – I wish I’d though to whip out my camera phone for some details: tops with masses of pintucks; a shirt with a lovely wide collar shaped by an inverted pleat; covered buttons and beads embellishing another pricey jacket; colour combinations to reproduce.  All things that we could add to our sewing…

I had the nicest day!  And now I’m feeling much more confident about going for  new colours – I just want to get sewing! And now I know what colour make-up to buy,I’m saving up and veeeeerrrry gradually getting myself new things.  WOOOOOOOO!  Look out world, Caity is BACK!

Next up: New Look 6735

The t-shirt in this has good reviews over on Pattern Review – but I SUCK at knits!  Wish me luck…

So, I just made View A of this skirt, with the lovely cascade formed by a couple of pleats and the shaped hem.

McCalls 5430

McCalls 5430

Pattern Description: Skirts A, B, C have waistband with self-ties and inside buttonholes; skirt A has front pleats creating a cascade; skirt B has optional trim; skirt C has self-faced pockets; length is 2″ below mid-knee.
Pattern Sizing: 6-20.  I made a size 20.

I tissue fitted the pattern and thought I would have enough overlap to allow for my swelly belly – NOPE!! Close, but I don’t know if I can wear it in public.  (I think I might have forgotten to pleat out the pleats.  Truly, I am such a NONG sometimes!)

Wrap skirt

Wrap skirt

What do you think – can I go out in this or should I leave it in the wardrobe until my belly goes down?

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!  Of course, the pattern illustration girl is unrealistically tall and thin, IMHO….

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.  The only tricky bit is the waistband and attached ties – but just read the instructions through carefully and you won’t have any problems.

What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern?
Like: It was quite simple to construct.
Dislike: Unless it’s an hour on some planet with a MUCH longer day than Earth’s, there is NO WAY this is a one hour project!  I’m sure I spent at least that long just pressing during construction.

I am, however, now QUITE motivated to learn how to use a narrow hemmer foot properly – because doing the whole “ease stitch, press up, then pin and stitch” on that much hemline, as per the instructions, is just silly.  Next time I might just use the serger for a rolled hem -there’s a LOT of hem!

Fabric Used: Quilting cotton from my stash. (Robert Kaufman Fusion Roses in red from Hancock’s of Paducah.)  I probably should have thought more about the wrong side of the fabric showing in the cascade – but I can live with it.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None! This is straight out of the envelope.  I *should* have altered it to accommodate my larger than normal belly, but I didn’t.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Already got the next one cut out – this time view C with pockets and top-stitching.

Conclusion: Don’t go into this expecting to make a skirt in 1 hour – there’s just NO WAY! But it is a simple and wearable skirt that will be fabulous for summer.

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BTW – my hair is even shorter now!  Mr Beloved thinks it’s a little too severe this short. I kinda like it.  And did you see how Constance posed just like in my avatar?!

Oh, and I got my new glasses today – they fit better than the old ones, and are slightly stronger.  Purple frames again! Also, the lenses aren’t scratched – amazing what a difference that makes.  I try to be careful with them but ya gotta LIVE, eh?

Had the most gorgeous afternoon today – it was the long anticipated FROCK UP High Tea to celebrate darling Chriss’s birthday.  She claims it was her 50th – but truly, that can’t be right!  No way this sweetie looks fifty, don’t you agree?

Happy Birthday, Chriss!!

Happy Birthday, Chriss!!

We were treated to a scrumptious high tea.  Chriss assures us that any food consumed at a birthday party contains ZERO calories, so we all enjoyed ourselves.

High Tea - Calorie Free!

High Tea - Calorie Free!

Here we are saying “KIWI!!” in honour of Chriss’s home country, Noo Zillund.

The party was at Platform Nine – which is the Toowoomba Railway Station’s dining room!  They had display cabinets of artefacts from when we had a true passenger service to Toowoomba…(mutter mutter grumble, that’s a post for another time…)

It was the best birthday party ever – and the sweetest pressie from Chriss’s Darling DH.  (altogether now – awwwwwwww!!) She’s also getting A SEWING ROOM!!

Rock on in your 50s, sweetie – the best is yet to come!

Note – this is almost the same as my review over on Pattern Review, but with a few more details and lots of extra pics.

Pattern Description: MISSES’/MISS PETITE DRESSES AND SLIP: Loose fitting, slightly flared dress, above mid-knee has back zipper closure; dress A is sleeveless; dress B has long sleeves with wrist casings; dress C has three-quarter length sleeves; pullover, above mid-knee, A-line slip D (fitted through the bust) has shoulder straps and stitched hem.

McCalls 8853

McCalls 8853

I made dress A, the sleeveless view.

Pattern Sizing:4-12 and 14-20.  All have alternative pattern pieces for A/B cup, C cup, and D Cup.  I made a size 20 with C cup (yay, I’m not a D cup in these patterns any more!)


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? YES!!  Except I think mine is even cuter. I would have loved to get hold of the exact same fabric as the pattern picture – looks a bit Marimekko, doesn’t it?

Were the instructions easy to follow? Very easy – but I cannot work out for the life of me why pattern companies insist on putting zippers in things you can pull over your head!  I did use an invisible zip this time, but won’t in the next iteration.

And without the zip, there’s no reason to have that centre back seam – so I’ll cut the back as well as the front on the fold next time. That will also avoid the awkward “oh, I should have pattern matched the back” problem on this fabric. (and I wasn’t entirely happy with the way I did the zip – never mind, I’m not re-doing it now!)

Next time, no back seam!

Next time, no back seam!

I used French seams on the shoulders and sides – the pattern called for “double stitched seams” so why not?!  The neck and armholes are bound – I think next time I’ll stitch the binding so it finishes on the outside instead, as a design feature in contrasting fabric.  With no seam in the whole dress could be made with no exposed seams – which means the stitching will probably outlast the fabric.

What did you particularly like  or dislike about the pattern? Likes: It’s fun, flirty, twirly- and quick!  I needed an outfit for a “Frock Up” event for a friend’s birthday party, but at only 7 weeks post major abdominal surgery, I can’t wear anything with a waist – because right now, I don’t have one. 🙁

Twirly dress!

Twirly dress!

Dislikes: This is a trapeze style dress (super cute!), and so has a LOT of hem. I hand stitched it this time  – all 200cm/78″ – the next version will definitely have a machine stitched hem.  Hand hemming took me almost as long as making the dress!

Fabric Used:
150 cm wide Cotton with 3% lycra, bought from local fabric heaven, Gardam’s.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:

As shown on the pattern envelope – this is SHORT!! For a size 20 the finished pattern measurements from back of neck to hem are 92cm/36″.  I initially lengthened the pattern at the hem by 11cm; once I’d hemmed it to my satisfaction the finished length was 98 cm, which falls just mid knee for me (168 cm/5’6″), so I cut about 4 cms off that 11 cm.

I also used saddle/triple stitching with embroidery thread to finish the neck and arm bindings – not something most people will notice but it made me happy.

As already mentioned, I used an invisible zipper – in low stress seams such as this I think they look better than the “traditional” lapped zipper. You really don’t need a zipper at all.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I’m already planning the next version in a sheer chiffon with a jap silk slip.

Conclusion:
I adore this dress!  Can’t wait to make it again, it’s so quick and easy to wear.  I can see me wearing these a
lot over our hot summer here in Queensland.  And in a less dressy fabric these will be perfect for popping over togs on the way to and from the pool

Next up: Simplicity 2981: in this fantastic cotton poplin sewing themed fabric! (The scissors are about half an inch long, to give you an idea of the scale)

Simplicity 2981, View B

Simplicity 2981, View B

Divine!

Divine!

Vogue 1078: *sigh* unutterably gorgeous. Masses of almost Fortuny -like pleating and presented in a flattering colour – If I was a size 16 I would sooooooo find an occasion to make this dress. (A bit much for popping down to the shops, yes?)

It burns! IT BURNS!!

It burns! IT BURNS!!

Vogue 1079 – oh my eyes!  They BURN!! Too much lamé is – well – TOO MUCH! I can see this dress working beautifully in silk charmeuse, but as it is ? The horror, the horror! (and yes, her bum DOES look big in that!)

Swish!

Vogue 1082 – a new skirt from Sandra Betzina.  I’ve seen similar skirts (Butterick4859, Burda 7995 ) but I know that Sandra’s patterns fit me and her instructions are generally much better than the average.  One I’ll definitely be buying.

Genius or madness?

Genius or madness?

Vogue 1073 – another challenge from  Chado Ralph Rucci – I can’t decided if this is genius or madness!  All those teeny shaped pintucks – almost looks like you’ve gone a coupla rounds with Edward Scissorhands – but it could look awesome.

But my two THREE “I could really use that patttern” picks: a new basic tshirt with lovely shaping and variations, Vogue 8536

Super cute ts

Super cute ts

and the dress that seems to be the bloggists pick so far – Vogue 8532 – which, as Erica pointed out went from “yeah maybe” to “MUST HAVE” as soon as I saw it on a real person (well, a model!) Love the sleeves, love the bodice, love the fit – it’s just gorgeous!

Lovelovelove this dress!

Lovelovelove this dress!

And now that the correct line drawing is up – this, oh, this!! Sue, we’re going to find a hat to go with this a do the races! I can see this in an embroidered silk, understated and elegant.

Sophisticated Summer Suit

Sophisticated Summer Suit

So  – what are YOUR Picks and Pans?  What do you think of my choices?