Thursday, April 18, 2013

Random Threads # 2

Time for another post where I gather up the random threads that have been occupying my mind lately.

I did finish the Vogue 8865 jacket in deep pink wool, so I will post that one soon. Keeping with my resolution to make anything but dresses and trying to use up fabrics I have, here is a sneak peek at my latest project, all finished but for the photos.

Burda coat sneak peek

Sewing Lessons with me:  months ago I added a page to the blog about sewing instruction and then left it blank. Now I have finally added some content!.  If you are in the San Francisco bay area and would like to spend some time in one-on-one sewing instruction with me,  email me to discuss. (my email is: sunnygalstudio (at)  I have listed a bunch of techniques that you may want to learn and of course there is always fitting. (have you made a muslin or sloper that needs another sewist to fit?)

Pantone Spring Color Trends:  every season a few I like (the bright and bold) and the rest are bleeeh. If you haven't seen them here is the link. After all this is marketing through and through...a way to create desire in consumers to purchase new items.  If you are interested in this I recommend a book I read a few years ago, Color Stories: behind America's Billion Dollar Industry.  Fascinating look at the business of the cosmetics industry. Thank you to my local public library that had this book on the new and interesting shelf a couple of years ago.  I love my library and am a bit worried about the future of libraries in general with budget issues and changes in the publishing industry.

Don't you think this is the ugliest pattern they have ever come up with? Click over and wonder who would look good with a weird boxy bow across their frontage? And the background wallpaper plus the necklace make the outfit, right.  eek...

ITY knits:  I think I am over them.  I have made a few items, mostly because I loved the print but the feel of the fabric is just not for me.  For the future I will stick to rayon, cotton, bamboo or wool knits and if I find the right fabric at the right price a silk knit.

Jean's coat:  have you seen this masterpiece made by my friend Jean Kaori? Lucky her, she went to the Susan Khalje class in SF recently and created 2 fantastic lace garments. This is only one of her talents, her knitting is beautiful and almost makes me want to try.  Almost.

Project Runway:  Ok I will never NOT watch a show that involves some sewing but some is the operative word.  Less and less actual design and sewing of real clothes and too many stunt challenges. Plus the people on this season are as annoying as ****.  No one I care to win. Maybe the whole thing is a bit tired and needs to go away for a while.

The Great British Sewing Bee: A show that actually features sewing!  Moves along at a good pace, discusses the techniques a bit, and the participants are charming/quirky/talented/earnest. My only criticism is the show's tag line, "looking for Britain's best home sewer".  If that were the case it seems they could have found a few more contestants that were actually advanced level, but after all it is a reality tv show  which requires a few interesting characters to make the story move along.  The finale next week is a formal evening dress.  I would not want to make that in a day while filmed, talk about pressure!

A questionable top:  my sister showed me a very cute t-shirt top she bought the other day and I thought I could recreate the neckline. I used the simple T-shirt top from New Look 6150 and played around with the neckline (something I did on this blog post when I made a color block dress).  Now I have a new top which has a nice shape but perhaps is hideous. Or cute?  I can't decide. I threw everything but the kitchen sink into this one, as I wanted to try the gathered short sleeve on the pattern plus I cut the front out about 4 inches longer than the back so I gathered at the side waist to create a ruched effect.

paisley Tee with keyholePaisley Tee keyhole closeup

I like the keyhole effect so that is a keeper, but it is this crazy psychedelic print that is bugging me. But it is soft and comfy. I have more of this fabric (which I threw in the cart on the FashionFabricsClub website when I was ordering other stuff) so it will get used for other t-shirt experiments.

In garden news I recently filled a few knotholes in my huge apple tree so that the bees would not find them and start a new colony as they did 2 years ago. Evidently I missed one but they didn't. I hate to commit bee-icide but in a few weeks going past the picnic table at 4 pm will unnerving.  However the orange and meyer lemon trees are in full bloom and need the pollination.  So the bees are spared for the time being. This is the scene outside the kitchen window, the orange blossom fragrance is heavenly.

Happy sewing, Beth

Orange blossoms


  1. Here's a few thoughts:

    ITY Knits - so agree with you!

    I saw Jean's coat and it is stunning!

    PR - gave up on that show long ago.

    GBSB - my new obsession. I was home sick from work yesterday and watched Ep. 3 - 3x. See told you I was obsessed! Can't wait for the finale and I'm the head cheerleader on Team Ann!

    The top is kinda cute. I could see it over some jeans.

    Finally, I would love to take some sewing lessons from you, just gotta find time to get to San Francisco! :)

  2. I like the top a lot! Even with the cool "70's" print! I wish I could get GBSB on my TV! I have to watch episodes on the YT!

  3. Beth, that top is great! The print is awesome or is it just me needing colour desperately? (hence the weird fabric choices I made this week ,on of them involves fans and big flowers...eek!) Thank you so much for the link to that terrible dress, I was a little down and tired and that made for a few chuckles!
    Bee-icide, ha,ha!
    Lots of love!

  4. ahhh, I saw that bow butterick pattern yesterday and was horrified!
    haven't checked out GBSB yet but i am looking forward to it :)

  5. The Butterick designer must have been under the influence at the time.
    Love the cool top you've made. Well actually everything your make.
    GBSB has been a refreshing change from PR.

  6. Ha ha - that pattern rates up there with the one that has the squares over the girls. I agree with you on TGBSB - I thought they would have contestants who could actually design, fit and sew. Seems they went for personalities...but I enjoy it nonetheless. I'm staying with ITY for a while longer, the colors are so amazing. Just have to be careful with the weight of the garment - can be so heavy! Love your tree update. I have a newly planted Tahiti lime, very small, and am hoping the rainy season will bring some good growth. The spring Pantone color palette is sooo washed out. I love color! And that is one funky top!

  7. I really like that t-shirt! Sometimes it's nice to see something with a lot going need to be all minimal all the time.

  8. What an informative post! Your top is cute not hideous :)

  9. I can't wait to see that blue coat -- looks impeccably made from the sneak peek. I like the neckline of the top, but wondering if it would look more flattering in a solid or a less busy print -- feels like there is some competition going on. Love your sewing instruction page and am wondering if you also teach techniques in copying ready to wear, which is something I've been wanting to learn. Enjoy the amazing weather we've been having!

  10. I'm boggled at the number of decision making processes that must have failed in allowing that monstrosity to emerge from Butterick HQ. Sheesh.
    And I couldn't care less for colours that are 'on trend'... I'll stick with colours I know suit me. Which is on of the better parts about sewing, of course! I'm absolutely loving the GBSB, not long to wait now until the fourth and final episode!

  11. B5853 is just plain nasty! Why would any woman want wings over her boobs? Project does need a break now but still going to watch it for what Patricia can do with her NA heritage...bring on more horse hair! Love the T-shirt fabric but then again I grew up making fashions in the 60's with all the psychedelic prints and Peter Max artwork.

  12. Ann, the 81 year old Grandmother, is a very accomplished sewer and has posted several helpful tips on the Stitchers Guild as well as many helpful tutorials. She is an advanced sewer. Thanks for mentioning this program. I'll have to look it up on YT.

  13. Your coat promises to be quite magnificent :)
    Oh my gosh, that Butterick pattern; how terrible! Even the very beautiful model wearing it looks doubtful! I'm loving the GBSB and I'm so pleased that someone has been putting it up on youtube. I've been watching it on my computer. But I'm not sure what they are trying to accomplish by pitting obviously advanced seamstresses against people that are almost beginners. What is the point of that? I think they could group people together who are more on a level with each other. :)