Sunday, February 3, 2013

Random threads # 1

A few sewing bloggers do posts rounding up various topics that have been on their minds. I really enjoy those so I have been jotting down some of mine in a notebook to write about. Victoria of 10,000 Hours of Sewing does this periodically and I like to see what she is thinking about.

Random Threads will be my catch-all posts and here is the first for 2013.
V pattern

New Projects:  I am working on a corduroy jacket and just bought this pattern V8865, to make the jacket with the 2nd piece of fuschia wool seen in my previous post as a skirt. I like the version with the stand up collar but the zipper detail bugs me, will probably turn that into pockets. And not wear it with the skirt, thinking black slim pants.

Marfy Patterns:  Did you see the article in the latest Vogue Patterns magazine about Marfy patterns? Very interesting and I am always attracted to anything Italian. I have been looking at the Marfy patterns website for the last couple of years and really want to try one, it looks like a fun challenge for me. But so far I have not because I just can't get excited about any of their patterns.  They have some very pretty looks but until something jumps out at me as a "must have" I think I will skip the cost and work involved.

New Vogues:  speaking of patterns, some hilarious comments on various blogs on the new Vogues. Is it becoming a bit of a sport to make fun of the patterns and poses?  If so I enjoy reading them, two of the best practioners of this form of criticism are my pal Shams and the very funny Lladybird, although neither of them found much to like among the new patterns. I did see a few that I really liked and am planning to make the little trenchcoat V8884 in a bright colored stretch cotton poplin. Perfect coat for summer in San Francisco. Yes - you can need a coat in summertime in San Francisco. I had to laugh last week when Tasia of Sewaholic wrote about visiting on a recent weekend and seeing people in shorts. California - we can and do have every possible microclimate.


Project Runway:  Still watching and probably always will but it is becoming a litte rote. The same challenges, the same bitchy people in the workroom. Thank goodness for Tivo - fast forward to the good stuff.  Spoiler Alert - I thought Uli was robbed in the recently completed Project Runway All-Stars.  (All-Stars, who are they kidding, rather the most-likely to create tv drama-stars).  This new season with the team challenges is interesting although it seems a bit artificially constructed to create more conflict.  I watch it for the design and sewing and wish they would show the clothes a bit more. If I see one more dress with back cutouts and an exposed zipper I will scream. Get some original ideas, people. And I miss Michael Kors - seemed like the voice of fashion reason sometimes. But I will stick with the show.

2 dressesPants:  Still working on making the perfect pants.  Do they even exist?  I did the Craftsy Pants-Fitting class taught by Sandra Betzina. Very good and lots of helpful information. I think the Craftsy classes are very well done and the feature that lets you look at the videos forever is really great. I have gone back and looked at a couple of quick things several times. I am so happy with the Sewaholic Thurlow Pattern and now am doing a few adjustments based on the Craftsy class.  Hopefully that will result in the best possible version. A girl can dream.

Spring is approaching so time for some new dresses on Etsy: Yes, since the holidays ended I have made a few new prototypes. My style is more suited to summertime wear and after a couple of years and some very nice repeat customers I am sticking with what I enjoy, mostly sleeveless dresses in bright colors or florals. The one on the left is a one of a kind - some fabric my friend Alice gave me which is a hard to describe gold-bronze-brown abstract floral with slight shimmer.  It has suprised me how much fun the whole process is, to make something for someone very far away, get to know them a little bit during the correspondence and then create a dress they love.

Sewing machine envy: Is it the time of year?  After Christmas sales? new resolutions? There are a lot of new sewing machines out there and I have a bit of jealousy. Sometimes I go through a phase of wanting a new machine, but the idea of actually choosing one is soooo much more trouble than I want to go through. Car, no problem, a month or two of research, some comparisons, done. A house, knew just what was wanted, chose the 5th one seen on the first day of searching and have never looked back, perfect fit.  A sewing machine, the agony.  How much to spend?  what features are necessary and which are useless?  A long way of saying that I will not be buying a new machine any time soon. Particularly since my current machines work so well.  I am often asked what I use.  Here is my very first post with my faithful sidekick. And now I have another, the lovely Rocketeer.

Threads Magazine DVDs:  This year I won 2nd place in two different Pattern Review contests, and the prize for the ReFashion contest was a set of Fitting DVDs from Threads Magazine. They just arrived last week which was perfect as I had a lot of time on my hands.  Why, you might ask? Because I had a tooth that went crazy, required several trips to the dentist and specialist, an agonizing 5 days including the weekend waiting to determine exactly which tooth was the culprit (really?  modern dentistry - still you only have the option to tap and freeze and other low-tech tests)  So on Friday night (doesn't that figure) it was horrible. Saturday and Sunday were spent on the couch watching everything on the Tivo recorder and then remembering that these DVD's had arrived. Perfect. So I actually watched all 4 of them in a row.  My review - they are really great.  Being at the advanced level perhaps I am not the best judge as everything makes sense but I think for any level they are really informative. After all, fit is the number one issue that everyone seems to wrestle with, myself included. They do go through things quickly but cover a lot of adjustments andof course you can rewatch and take notes.

Dvd fitting

As for my tooth - all is now well after a root canal on Tuesday, which I will spare you the details. But like many things, horrendous while in process but wonderful once it was finished. Time to get out for some exercise and enjoy the sunshine, maybe even wear shorts, he he. And be back in time to see our San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl.  What a sports year here in N. California. Let's all do it again next year !

Happy Super Bowl Sewing, Beth  

and the first of the camelias is blooming, 49er Red and Gold.



  1. Love those dresses. Very nice etsy shop.

  2. Well this brought a smile. I clicked through to your first post and found the exact machine I have. Like you I learned on it, but unlike you I foolishly gave it to a friend when I thought I needed a zig-zag. Bought a Necchi, which was a thing of beauty to behold, but turned out to have the dreaded plastic cam. I recently found a lovely machine just like my first on Ebay, and am delighted to have my old friend back. Elle

  3. Are you thinking of getting a new machine? You produce such wonderful things already!
    I have had the same machine for well over 20 years and can't ever see myself wanting another. It's old, and mechanical and simple and very very basic, and so it is perfect for me!!

  4. I like your Random Threads post -- fun to read! That Vogue trench looks like a good pattern -- I think I need to make that one. I agree about Uli -- I actually thought she was robbed when she first competed on Project Runway and the tatoo-ed guy who made a funky dress with zippers won. I'm glad you are recovering from the dental ordeal!

  5. Your dresses for etsy are lovely!!