Friday, June 28, 2013

Lots of sewing, very little blogging and some summer fun

Three weeks since I wrote about my new sewing machine and then disappeared. No, I have not locked myself in for a long session with my new treasure. But more on that to follow. After all, it is early summer here in northern California, time to get outside and enjoy everything the climate offers. Last weekend was a mini-vacation in the wine country, and a reunion with far flung friends. The occasion was a birthday celebration held at a winery in Calistoga that is a recreation of a Tuscan castle. A slightly Disney-esque spot but a very fun and wine-soaked day both preceded and followed by more fabulous food and wine. Poor me, right?

I realized as I was packing my little weekend bag that the clothes I was pulling out of the closed were all knits. I wore this rayon jersey knit dress which is Vogue 1191, one of my favorite patterns. Here is the link to the original post on this Michael Kors pattern.

Beth outside castle
This has become my go-to item for summer, casual or dressy, it rolls up nicely in my bag, doesn't wrinkle and that twisty draping in the front is perfect when overindulging in yummy things. I keep thinking about making this pattern again but there are so many other things in my queue so I haven't yet. 
In sewing news, I have been super busy with custom work and sewing students so not a lot sewn for myself. Which is probably just as well since I have a wide array of summer stuff already hanging in my closet.  
The new sewing machine is turning out to be quite a treat. That little thread cutting feature is worth the price of admission. OK a bit of an exaggeration but it really does make sewing faster. I am suprised to find that I rapidly adapted to adjusting the stitch length and other features on the digital display and have even used the overcasting feature instead of changing the thread on my serger. All in all I am quite happy with it, but I will never stop using my old Singers. For one thing the buttonholes on the vintage machines are still superior and I like the old style adjustable zipper foot so much better than the type that is on the newer machines where you can't adjust the precise spot of the stitching.  
In process is this Vogue 1353 in a royal blue stretch cotton poplin. Not appearing entirely successful so far, probably due to fabric choice but I will tell all in a forthcoming post. After this dress is finished I have a stack of knits ready to go, for tops and dresses so maybe I will have a new go-to item in the bunch.

                                             Voguepatterns V1353
This weekend we are expecting temperatures way over 100 degrees F, so I plan a little bit of sewing, some lazing by/in the pool with a good book and snacking on my garden tomatoes which are quickly ripening in this heat. I just realized I closed my previous post with the same weather report - it has been perfectly lovely in the intervening weeks so this latest heat wave is just par for the course around here. So many flowers are blooming now including all the gardenias which put out a heavenly scent, you will just have to use your imagination.

happy weekend sewing, stay cool!  

Gardenia 2013


  1. So glad to see you back. I love that dress of yours so much! You look like a princess in your castle :)
    The Kay Unger dress looks really good. Can´t wait to see your version!

  2. It's always so refreshing to get away for a few days and indulge, particularly in such a lovely dress, and at a great looking place! Crossing my fingers for success with the latest dress ... J

  3. So glad you're enjoying your new sewing machine and the gardenias look lovely!

  4. What beautiful gardenias, lovely castle and what a terrifc dress on you. Stay cool by the pool; we are heading for warm temps also in the Klamath Basin.

  5. Too bad you aren't happy with Vogue 1353 in a royal blue stretch cotton poplin. Lately I stay away from stretch cottons. Not only are they difficult to ease (for example sewing a set in sleeve), I don't care for that way they wear after many washings. Oh well! Hope it works out anyway.
    Cute castle!

  6. Sounds like you are having a marvelous and busy summer. I hear tell Oregon is going to be 100+ this weekend too. Looks like you know how to stay cool! Your gardenias are gorgeous! PS: I made it back to Kaimuki's recently. How fun to visit that treasure twice in one summer!

  7. Glad you are having a nice summer! Stay cool, over there. :)

  8. So hot (or not) on the heels of the coldest winter in living memory, we had the wettest spring in 50 years and now summer is ... missing in action. Your photos make my heart hurt! I'm kidding - just. I absolutely love your new favourite dress. Glad to hear you're enjoying the new machine.

  9. I just love that Vogue pattern, so I can't wait to see your latest make! We are getting very dry and sunny winter here in Perth... which is nice, but we need the rain!

  10. Oh that red and white knit dress is a stunner! Love the fabric and the way it looks with the front twist. I would never have thought to translate that dress pattern for summer. And what a glorious day it was for you then too :) So glad to hear you're enjoying your new machine!

  11. You look great against a castle! I want to see that Kay Unger before I do it a disservice myself!

  12. I love your dress -- great colors on you. And that background is too awesome. How fun to spend a weekend in wine country! Stay cool this weekend!

  13. I was eyeing up that Kay Unger pattern this weekend!!
    Your gardenia is a fantastic producer!!
    (Glad you like the outdoor shots--there will be more of those to come....til it gets cold, and then I don't know what, but let's cross that bridge when we get there).