Wearing Yesteryear: Class of March 2013

I have been sewing away this past month, but you’d never know it from looking at my blog! There is one Colette Beignet skirt in red wool gabardine in the works (very excited about this after some initial pressing issues), fixing some pillows for my sister, and another secret project that is a gift for someone. This last one is the project I’m closest to finishing, yet I won’t be able to share it until this certain someone receives it! I should be sending it out by the end of this week so hopefully there’s a blog reveal post in the works soon.


Silk dupioni hanging from my apartment’s picture rail. That’s one way to avoid folding it up to deter the wrinklies! Three cheers for historic interiors.

Of Sew-Alongs and Sewing Meetups
Oh, and I’m also participating in the Sew Sexy Sew-Along being hosted by Clio of Clio & Phineas, Lisette of What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, and Wanette of Sown Brooklyn! My sew-along track record is the pits, but what the heck – why not?! I plan to make a Sewaholic Cambie/By Hand London Charlotte mash-up using red silk dupioni (seen above), which I have already dubbed “the Charmbie”. If I pronounce it with a French accent, will it sound sexier? 😉

Also, a meet-up happened! Lladybird was in town and a whole bunch of us gathered on Saturday to shop the day away in the Garment District. I feel like I should do a post about that, but how about I just officially endorse the wrap-ups of the day written on Peter’s, Aleksandra’s, and Lisette’s blogs?!

Anyway, I figured I could share a Wearing Yesteryear post for March 2013 (no finished projects for February 2013, alas). Yay, a freebie post for me! And this is one I’m very excited to share…


The Sabrina Coat

Blog Debut: March 25, 2013
Pattern: McCalls 5717
Worn In: Late fall, winter, early spring
Wearability Meter: Very much so!
Lessons Learned: This was fun, so make another one 🙂

Okay, so I really love this coat! The whole tailoring process was really fun and a great learning experience. I’ve found that I can wear this coat in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 50s F (~0-10 C). One of my favorite features is the length of the coat, which covers knee-length dresses and skirts. Makes for a nice clean finish I think!

Everything seems to have held up well over the past year. This winter has been COLD so I spent most of it in my goose-down coat, but I’ve definitely worn this baby enough times this season. I had used a flannel-back satin lining to give a bit more warmth to the coat. Originally I wasn’t sure if it was going to make me super hot, but now I know I could stand to add a layer of interlining if I wanted to make the coat even warmer.

I’d love to make another coat in a slightly more casual fabric. Oooo, temptation! But, for now, I have some spring projects on the mind. Are you getting ready for some spring sewing? Or autumn sewing for those down under?

(Random note: WordPress has changed the look of the smiley emoticons. The 😀 one looks kind of strange!)


MPB Day 2013 And All That Fabric

Yesterday was a great day in sewing land as ladies and even some gents came out for the third annual MPB (Male Pattern Boldness) Day. Even the weather cooperated. I attended the first MPB Day back in 2011, but missed last year’s because of a bachelorette party.

I didn’t get any photos, but Peter will be doing a recap of the day tomorrow so check out his blog for visuals and entertaining commentary! It was fun to see familiar faces and also meet new ones. There was Wanette of Sown Brooklyn, Clio of Clio & Phineas, Sonja of Ginger Makes, Vicki of Another Sewing Scientist, Suzanne of Beau Baby, and many, many others. I’m hoping to get a hold of the names of other bloggers in attendance!


M6696 leading up to its MPB Day appearance!

I wore my latest creation, the McCall’s 6696 shirt dress. I will be blogging about that one soon! I can already tell it will be a TNT pattern.

After seeing the RetroSpective exhibit at FIT, we all gathered for lunch and a pattern swap (or “a pattern take” as Peter called it). I put in four patterns I just knew I was never going to make, including Colette’s Lady Grey coat. This actually worked out well because I had been eying Colette’s Chantilly dress for a while now and guess what pattern ended up in the pile?! Good times, good times.

A group of people went straight to Mood after lunch while the other half followed Peter to smaller shops on 39th Street. We checked out Chic Fabrics, Fabrics for Less, Paron’s, and AK Fabrics. I bought a red and black Buffalo check cotton flannel at AK (below), which is so super soft! I’ve been on the lookout for winter fabrics and had first contemplated this print a year or so ago, but I wasn’t sure if it would work as a dress. A vote of confidence from Peter convinced me to take this future dress to the check-out counter.


MPB Day goodies – I guess I was in a red and black mood!

Next came Spandex House on 38th Street, and even though I’d been there during what I’m dubbing “Meg the Grand Day” I had no idea there was a HUGE second floor of more and more fabric! I had run off to Sil Thread quickly to pick up a zipper for a planned skirt and when I came back to Spandex House I thought I had lost the group. But then as I went upstairs they all magically appeared from the bolts and bolts of polyester.

Afterward we went to Mood where I picked up a couple of knits to make a couple of Sewaholic Renfrew tops (above). Our group was given a 10% discount and a free Mood tote bag. Victory! There were many great quotes from Male Pattern Boldness Day, but one of my favorites was when Sonja said someone from Mood asked if we were with “the balding men group.” Ha!

The day ended at the Kinokuniya Bookstore and then Bryant Park across the way where we all recounted the day and shared our fabric goodies. During your average day you might get asked, “Did you make that?” but with a group like this you get asked, “Is that the Colette Ceylon dress? I love that you matched the stripes!” Or “I knew you were part of the group because I recognized that fabric!” All in all, a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday in New York. Thanks Peter for the great day and I like your idea for a winter meet-up, though no pressure!

Oh, and we even met Charlotte, the founder/designer of By Hand London, who happened to be in the city this weekend with her beau! I haven’t made any of their patterns yet, but I’ve definitely seen them pop up in the blogosphere. Charlotte wore her Anna dress and seems like a super cool lady.


Reality check.

And I’ll leave you with a little exercise in reality I completed today, courtesy of this paper ledger (am I a dork or what?!). I decided to write down all the fabric I have and their cost as a way of putting it to me plainly how much I’ve spent on fabric I have yet to use. I knew what I was in for but it definitely helps to see it all written down and added up (total = major yikes factor!). As the daughter of an accountant, you can bet your bippy it’ll be thrilling to move the costs to column 4 after finishing up a project.

I’m starting with a couple of pieces from my stash to make an outfit for the Sew Weekly Reunion. Are you joining in for the big September 1st reveal?

Nicola Progress and Colette Events


Here’s a quick shot of the bodice of my latest work in progress, the Nicola Dress by Victory Patterns. I was originally going to use another fabric for this dress, but since I’m on a tight deadline and the sheer fabric was going to require underlining, I decided to go with this rayon instead. The print is called “Van Gogh” – perfect because the event I’m going to will be in an art gallery!

I made a muslin of the top and it fit well enough for me to say, “Just go for it, kiddo.” I cut a size 2 at the bodice and transitioned up to a size 4 at the waist, which is what I usually do. There are a lot of darts on this baby! Three on each bodice piece and two in the back (so eight total). The rayon wasn’t liking my chalk pen so I thread traced the darts instead. Took some time but they came out nice.

One thing I noticed is that I probably should have done an FBA. I’ve only seen a few other finished versions of Nicola online and I could sense that this neckline might be a bit revealing on me – turns out I was right! I mean, it’s nice for a date or something…but not a work event. 🙂 It all works out though because I happen to have a matching camisole that will pair nicely with this dress.

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3 is the Magic Sewing Number

This post is about meeting 3 sewing ladies, 3 fabrics, and 3 patterns. Yes, I also met fabric and patterns. It’s the new thing!

In any case, a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to meet up with Meg the Grand, oonaballoona and Clio & Phineas in the Garment District! Meg announced on her blog that she would be visiting from Chicago so I was excited to finally meet her. I’ve been following her blog for a couple of years now after “meeting” her on the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle, which sadly seems to have slowed down of late. This was also my first time meeting oona (I respect her usage of all lowercase letters as I would for e.e. cummings) after a number of failed attempts, yay! And it was also nice to meet Clio and find a new blog to follow. How cute is this knit hippo?!

We visited a couple of new-to-me stores (I’m so unadventurous), including Spandex House at 263 West 38th Street. Yep, Spandex House! I’ve heard about it through Peter’s blog, but never went in since I had this idea in my head that the store only sold spandex for workout clothes or something. Silly me, t’would seem.

photo 1

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