Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

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Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.

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The Perfect Sewing Fortune?


I couldn’t help but share this fortune cookie I opened yesterday. Usually these messages are pretty random, but this one in particular really resonated with me and my sewing habit (the baseball reference also helps, as I’m a huge baseball fan).

The second I read this I thought about the countless number of potential sewing projects that constantly stream through my head. I know I’m not the only one who does this! It’s so true though: wouldn’t one completed project be better than three stuck in UFO land?


This was also great timing because I’m finally determined to complete a set of seat cushions for my kitchen table. It’s only been, oh, three years since I cut out the fabric for these babies.

My incentive? I’m hosting a book club meeting this Saturday (we’re reading The Age of Miracles, if you’re curious). I have no idea if this will get done in time…


Of course, when picking up some supplies for that project at Purl Soho I also left with some Nani Iro fabric I didn’t really need. I’m thinking of either turning it into another Parfait dress or maybe finally tackling Casey’s 1950s sundress tutorial. Should I mention that less than 24 hours earlier when I bought the fabric I had plans to turn it into a skirt? 😉

Annnnnd that’s one of (way more than) three sewing thoughts left on base! I think it’s time for the 7th inning stretch so I can catch my breath, hunker down, and sew.

Hello, 1966! My Mad Men Faves

Saturday morning is one of my favorite times of the week, and I thought I’d take the time to share photos I took of some Mad Men fashions that caught my eye as I watched the entire 5th season on my TV. Yeah, photos of the TV – high tech, I know! These photos were taken as I was cutting out the pieces for my Purple/Blue Wrap Dress. 🙂

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I just love this dress that Joan wears (I noticed she wore it twice in season 5, can’t hide from me!). The color shows up better in the top photo, but I wanted to get both sides of the dress to see if I could one day recreate it. I think Gertie’s Wiggle Dress from her book would be a great match for this one, and Charlotte at Tuppence Ha’penny wrote a tutorial on how to draft your very own sailor collar. Helpful!

I also think the colorful tie peaking out of Joan’s collar is really cute. This would also be a nice project to try my hand at covered buttons and a lapped zipper, both of which I haven’t attempted yet.

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My Pattern Stash!

Hey! So I’ve been a little “organizing happy” lately. One of the things I decided to do was pin all my patterns on Pinterest…

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What “pattern goodness” looks like on my phone

I guess comparatively I don’t have a HUGE pattern stash – last I checked Mena of The Sew Weekly has over 800 patterns, yowsa – but the great thing about Pinterest is that it’s easy to gather all my patterns in fun-to-see boards. Also, indie patterns and newer patterns are linked to their company’s websites so additional photos/size charts are just a click away!

It’s nice to have all my patterns available to me like this. I can see them all at once (more or less). Do you sometimes forget which patterns you have? Or which ones you’ve been wanting to sew?

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Pinning all my patterns also made me realize where my pattern love is directed. Well, not “realize” – it’s obvious that I love dresses! I bookmarked this page on my phone and the colors and styles are nice to look at every so often. I also noticed that there are some patterns on here that I might not have bought if I had to do it again (I was a little pattern happy at one point, but have gained some control lately).

I’d like to keep my pattern stash manageable because it’d be nice to sew these babies up! And, so…that’s my story. Do you have a certain way of storing your patterns that you find helpful?!

photo 4You can find my pattern stash on:

Also, I just wanted to share this cute book I saw at the Strand today (a great bookstore here in the city if you get a chance to stop by!). I really love the old Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations and was so tempted to pick this up. There were a couple of other Pooh books on this table. Anyway, CUTE!

Nina Leen’s Glimpse Into LIFE

Have you seen these incredible photos by photographer Nina Leen? They’re part of the LIFE photo archive available through Google. Leen starting working for LIFE in 1945 and was one of the first female photographers at the magazine. A friend introduced me to her and her work, and I picked out some of my favorites to share with you today!

First, I just love the photo above. There’s something kind of dream-like about it, I guess. The pose as well as the dress with the shoes and headband are all so cute – enough to intrigue a couple of fellas rowing boats even! Everything about it makes me want to be there. Doesn’t the model kind of remind you of Casey from Elegant Musings?

The page where this is posted (click on each photo to go to the source) notes that this is Washington Square Park, which certainly isn’t so! T’is actually taken by “The Lake” in Central Park. The Beresford – the grand apartment building just above the model’s head – is a clear giveaway, situated quite happily on Central Park West between 81st and 82nd Streets since 1929. 🙂

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