Friday, October 31, 2014

Pattern Whisperer selects: daytime or business dresses

My first Pattern Whisperer selection seems to have been a resounding success based on the lovely email message I received from Rachel plus all the great comments left on that post. By the way she loved the choice of the DKNY pattern so I can’t wait to see that sewn up.
I do feel I hit it out of the park on that selection (oh yeah, baseball metaphor – and a lot of cheers – San Francisco Giants Baseball World Series Champs once again. No sewing Wednesday night, just nail-biting until the final exciting catch).

For you non-baseball fans, let’s get back to sewing. I am a little worried that the first whisperer post was so well received that any subsequent ones will be a bit of a letdown.

So I am going to do multiple posts with some pattern picks in lots of different categories. From the comments left I think it will be helpful to both choose patterns and go into some details on why the pattern is a good one – style options, works with a variety of fabrics, and perhaps most importantly where I see options for pattern adjustment to get a good fit. I think that is the mark of a successful pattern, if you can get a good fit and choose a fabric you are happy with then it will be a success.

Today I will show some good very basic dress patterns, things that work on a variety of figures and can work with a lot of common adjustments. If this post seems a bit dull – stay tuned for a following post with some more – ahem – interesting suggestions for a variety of specific commenters with distinctive requests.

What I have noticed and I should not be surprised AT ALL, as I say it all the time – but there are a LOT of very similar patterns. Like exactly. Even from the same company. (how many DVF wrap dress clones are there ???) So sometimes the key is really scrutinizing the style lines to pick the best pattern for your body shape or the alterations you generally need.

The subtitle of this post could have been something like “OOP, where have you gone?” because a few of the patterns that I had in mind are discontinued. I am glad to say that BurdaStyle seems to buck that trend and issue patterns that previously appeared in the magazine as PDF downloads which is great.

Here is my first pick, Vogue 8787.  This is a really pretty dress, a bit distinctive and offers good opportunities for adjustment or color blocking, and it comes in wide range of sizes. I have made the cowl neck version for a sewing client, using the size 20 as a starting point. I used a light color rayon jersey which was a mostly white, and added a full lining in a compatible knit. Soon I will be making a winter version so perhaps I should show some of the pattern adjustments when I do. The straight skirt version has darts - think about converting those to pleats and maybe even adding another pleat there to create a tiny bit of fullness. It won't change the look of the dress front very much and I think those front darts on the tummy are among the most difficult to sew - they often seem to point right to a spot you don't want to call attention. On this color-block dress I did the dart to pleat change if you want to see how it
looks. On a small busted person the asymmetrical option or the cowl would work well. Plus this pattern has options for various sleeves. This pattern works in any jersey as well as the fabrics they specify. The slim version in wool crepe would be very good.

Vogue 8787

New Look 6067 is a pattern that looks fantastic on a lot of different body shapes. It has interesting, flattering details and options for sleeves and neckline. Kyle sewed it two years ago, and Sewmanju made a great version for the Tessuti contest. You could frankenpattern this one, and put a full skirt on, or use the skirt portion with a different bodice. I also think it would be nice with a lower neckline, how about changing it to a low v-neck front and back for a more summer or evening dress.

NL 6067 pattern rec

Now its time to complain a little about the OOP patterns.
Here is a great one that I have used for a variety of bodice ideas. OOP McCalls 5297. Super easy to sew and minimal pattern pieces.

McCalls 5927 pattern envJPGMcCalls 5927 drawing

This pattern is one with the various front bodice pattern pieces for cup sizes, plus it has pockets! and a tiny pleat in the front. Which may sound odd but it gives room to put your hand in the pocket - and keeps the front from straining across the tummy, if that makes sense. I used this as the basis for the color block dress I mentioned above. I have changed the neckline on this one but that is easy to do.

Now if you are a committed Franken-patterner (like I am) these two are also OOP but man, I am so annoyed at Simplicity when I just noticed that 2648 there on the left is OOP. Whaaaaaa!. Not that this pattern is the ultimate in patterns but it was so useful. Cup sizes, neckline options, princess seaming in the skirt front, choice of darts in the back....very useful. So if you have it in your stash maybe time for a second look. Even with all the valid complaining on the Simplicity excessive ease  - if you do the work to fit this pattern then you can morph it into a LOT of other things or use as a fitting sloper. The 2217 looks very blah and sad bridesmaid on the envelope but I have used this also as a starting point. Also if you have any tummy an empire waist is actually very nice if you choose one that has some soft pleating. I used to watch What Not to Wear and they frequently told people that the narrowest part is above the waist at the ribcage so it works to emphasize that. Also if you are short you may be surprised to see that an empire waist dress can actually be elongating, if the fit is right.
Simplicity Amazing fit patterns
The Amazing fit patterns can look really basic but hidden in the many many pattern pieces in each envelope is good chance of sewing success. The Simplicity website is just dreadful which is a shame but the patterns are really useful. Here is a look at the result when I sent one of these patterns to my friend Karen in London in 2013. That one is probably OOP as well. Thank goodness for Ebay and Etsy!

Last in the OOP category is this New Look 6097, another one that looks good on a lot of people. The skirt is slightly gathered at the waist seam, the wrap sews up really well (not too low), pockets again, and it has that chic wrap dress look but in a slimmer silhouette and no wrap flap lifting in the breeze.
NL 6097 pattern rec

Everyone needs or can wear a shirtdress and this one has a lot of options.  McCalls 6696
McCalls shirtdress
I like this pattern because it has the cup size options, the straight skirt version has cute slant pockets, sleeve options, and the waistband gives it a bit of polish. As with all patterns that have a sewn on waistband, if this one is a single piece - I would chop that thing up at the side seams and sew the whole front of the dress, and the whole back together and then sew up the side seams last - SO much easier to get a nice fit that way. And easier to cut out the smaller waistband pieces, sew on the skirts that way, etc. This has the bias cut slip included in the pattern which is a nice addition. Also the back has the gathering which you could convert to a pleat for a different look or if your fabric was a bit more crisp.

Here is Vogue 8786 which might seem kind of simple, but I think would sew up quickly and offers a lot of fitting opportunities with the princess seaming. Also kind of clever how the sleeves are done, another reason it is easy to sew. Great color-blocking opportunity as well. You can tell I am all about color blocking but a dark color on the panels and then a bright or light on top would look very sharp and be great for directing the eye upward.
Vogue 8786

Here is one that is a bit out of my usual selection - a Style Arc pattern. They have some nice dress patterns for knits but this one is for a woven. Those two piece sleeves intrigue me and this would be a really sharp dress for office wear. Also tucks in the skirt front, and a square neckline which I like a lot.
Style Arc Catherine dress
Now for a couple of Burda patterns.
Burda pleated V-neck dress
 Look how different the skirt hangs in different type of fabrics, possible a silk duppioni or other firm fabric on the left, and softer on the right in lace. I would not have thought of this pattern for lace but it looks really pretty. It appears to have a 2-piece sleeve which is slightly unusual for a dress but gives a nice fit. I would probably make a sleeveless version and do my usual change of carving in that outer edge of the shoulder seam to narrow the shoulder to fit my frame better.

Here is a dress that is office-friendly but kind of a knockout. I just muslined this for a sewing client and wow it looks great. I actually added another bust dart in the bodice which was quite easy and made the front fit a bit better but otherwise it was a good fit.. Also shoulder darts which give a nice shape to the upper bodice. Now I am looking for the right fabric, maybe a scuba knit would be perfect.
Burda plus 113B

Interestingly I have noticed that the best selection and variety in dresses in the plus size range is in Burda. They have so many great choices so worth taking a look. It is my first choice lately if I am searching for a pattern in that size range.

OK - those are some options for good dress basics. Google search or look at Pattern Review to see lots of versions of those first few patterns, on all shapes and different fabrics. I think it is invaluable to find some other women who have a similar shape and evaluate what has worked out on them. I have another post in the works for maxi dresses, possibly a few summer sundresses for you lucky ones in the southern hemisphere and some specific picks for people who commented. Plus a post on jacket and coat recommendations.

I am not much of a Pinterest user but collecting all these pattern ideas was kind of a chore until I realized I could pin them and be able to review en masse.  I also like a minimalist style of blog but just like my closets the stuff keeps piling up. So I made a widget and you can see all the patterns I have pinned and will use that going forward. 

I almost forgot - did you notice my blog button? Made for me by the lovely Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. What a great surprise to wake up and find that in my email! And I actually have that exact dress in my wardrobe. I will have to find a hat and then model in the spring. 
So if you are whispered by me and sew up something please let me know so you can have a blog button (if you would like.) And Carolyn wants a whisper too - that is quite a challenge, after all what hasn't she made? So madly thinking on that one.

pattern whisperer 300pixels

What are you doing with your extra hour this weekend? I'm going to Britex tomorrow although that isn't my extra hour - that will probably be catching up on sleep!

Happy It's Really Fall here sewing,

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pattern Whisperer Selects: Party dress

That last post offering my services as a Pattern Whisperer was a bit of a lark, but whew! The response was quite a surprise. So many of you (including plenty who sew and blog and choose all kinds of good patterns) wanted a little pattern counseling. And after all, for many of us sewing is a solitary sport so to have a friend giving that virtual "dressing room" advice is definitely fun and worthwhile.

I have been collecting all kinds of ideas in the categories of dresses and jackets for casual and work wear but first up is the party dress selection.

So let's turn our attention to the comment from Rachel who blogs at Here is her comment:

OMG! you've answered my prayers. I was just thinking about writing a blog post searching for      inspiration for a very special party dress for my next birthday (a BIG one with a 0 on the end!) I have mainly sewn with Indie patterns except for the        (blank here in her comment)
I am in need of a pattern for:
  1. A party dress with wow factor. Something slinky and figure-enhancing.
  2. I am an intermediate sewist.
  3. I tend to have to add an FBA, and usually go up a size at the waist. 
  4. I love designs that flatter a more hourglass figure. I have found that dresses that accentuate a waistline and are fairly fitted on the bodice look best. I would probably go quite short too. It is my birthday, after all...!

Now who could resist that plea? Not me.  Hopefully she won't regret asking :)
So I took a look at her blog, and thought about shape and style. And thought some more. Then I revisited her comment, (note the word slinky) paired that up in my mind with her shape in this dress - scroll down to see the solid red version - and came up with this. 

Vogue 1342 Donna Karan knit dress.  But please not in that color ! I think in a deep rose or wine color, or maybe a very dark amethyst purple.  OK, it does say advanced pattern, but as you all may know, these Donna Karan patterns are genius. It is the lining that does all the work.  As regards fitting: Hopefully they have the finished garment measurements on the pattern tissue. So far all Vogue patterns do, even these form fitting twisty knit ones. So go by your measurements to choose the pattern size and use the multi size pattern to help with fitting. I also think the straps will allows some shortening at the back which is a nice feature. I think I would keep this one at knee length. It is certainly figure enhancing and the length of the skirt adds to the drama. I know you said you are an intermediate level sewist but I think jumping to the advanced level with a knit dress is a good way to go.  Our pattern requester (willing victim) Rachel has a great figure and could wear the heck out of this dress - so be brave!

Vogue 1342 dress

Vogue 1342 drawing

OK, now that I have shocked you with my first recommendation, how about another one?
Up next is Simplicity 1778 which is one of those pattern envelopes that suffer a bit from either hideous fabric choice or prints that obscure the details. If you don't think this one can be a WOW then check out this version I found.

Simplicity 1778 dress pattern env
I am including the line drawing so you can the seaming. this dress has A LOT of fitting opportunities.
what am I talking about?  Princess seams - front and back, perfect. Under bust seaming - very useful for lengthening or shortening. Clever pleating across the front - adds to the slinky and still leaves space for some drinks and nibbles. Love that.  I am a fan of the square neckline, I just think it is really pretty but some people don't like it. Also allows you to easily raise up the neckline if it is a bit too low which you can't as easily do the the sweetheart wrap neckline. My choice, I would make the square neckline, sleeveless version, in a good quality ponte or other knit. Whatever choice, an quick  muslin in a similar weight and/or stretch fabric would really help you to get the fit just right. I am not always a fan of the super tight dress - but as shown in that link in the previous paragraph, when fitting right they look hot!

S1778 tech drawing

Rachel, here are two more suggestions that may be closer to items that you have previously sewn. And slightly less va-voom.  But who wants that for the special birthday...not you, right?
This New Look 6123 pattern has a standard bodice and attached skirt, so if you have made a dress with a bodice with bust and waist darts you can compare for fit. I like the V-neckline version - sleeveless or the cap sleeves, and the draped skirt. In a solid color it would be smashing,

New Look 6123

And one more suggestion, this one may be a bit random but how about Lekala 4078. This is quite an easy dress to sew, I would leave off the sleeves and narrow the width of the shoulder portion a bit - my favorite adjustment for portion - always looks more elegant. If you leave off the sleeves you may need to raise the bottom of the armhole. Or with sleeves - great for winter. You are in the UK and this would be a very quick and economical option  - pricing for us here in the US is around $ 3. They send the PDF quite fast (it has always been in less than an hour for me) and since you put in your measurements you probably won't have to do an FBA. 

Lekala 4078 pattern and drawing

So those are my suggestions for a WOW dress for you, Rachel. I will be so interested to hear what everyone thinks. And if you go in a different direction that is OK too - find something that will be fun to sew, don't stress over it and my biggest suggestion is to pick a color that you LOVE to wear and you will shine. other piece of advice for party dress sewing. Treat it a little bit like a costume. It doesn't have to be perfect on the inside. You are going to wear it a few times, styles will change or fabrics will go out of favor. It's not a coat you will keep for many years or a pair of jeans that get every weekend wear. A party dress is almost like a party itself, a bit ephemeral - something to enjoy, remember and on to the next thing.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Happy sewing, Beth

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Pattern Whisperer is taking your requests

Edit on 10/21/14:  The Pattern Whisperer request line is now closed. I am currently reviewing all the comments and working on my choices. I will be choosing some specific requests to address with suggestions. But I will also make some general recommendations in the various categories which can apply to a lot of you so that more stitchers can get some ideas on patterns.

My head is spinning! But I can say that it is really fun to look at patterns with a different perspective other than how it might work out for me. 
First up will be the request from SewSouthLondon. If you scroll down to her comment she is looking for a special party dress and I have some ideas she may find surprising. Hopefully in a good way. 
Stay tuned!

The Pattern Whisperer is waiting for your questions! I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in one of my posts about patterns that I secretly love picking out patterns for other people. It is really fun to look at someone's shape, lifestyle, event, sewing ability or even fabric and choose a pattern that might be just right for them.

Note that I have kind of fixed ideas on how things should fit, and what looks good on various figures. Anyone can look great and have a garment that flatters but sometimes you have to choose very carefully or focus on one fashion detail and skip some others to get the look you are going for.

So with those caveats - who is interested?  I figured since we are heading into holiday and winter sewing - particularly for the organized among us - I should do this now.

This is just for fun and hopefully will get us all thinking about what makes a good pattern. Is there a universally great pattern? Are there patterns that have no envelope appeal but sew up well and look great on many people?  It will be interesting to see.

photo of pattern bin Another note - I will be choosing from Simplicity, New Look, Butterick, McCalls, Vogue, BurdaStyle PDF, or Burda envelope patterns. Those are the ones I am familiar with and can easily scan through the websites looking at. Although remember my other favorite saying "there are no new patterns!" Even if you can't obtain one of these, it is quite likely there is something similar in a different pattern line that will work.

If you would like me to recommend a pattern please leave the following details in the comments. 

Let's limit it to 4 categories.  I will pick one or two from each category and give a few options as to patterns I think might look good, sew up well, and hopefully be adjusted for fit without too much trouble.

  1. Day or work dress
  2. Holiday or party dress
  3. Jacket  
  4. Coat  

Please include the following information in your comment:

  • What you want to make (details such as a dress for holiday party, a winter coat which will be a wardrobe basic, a casual jacket to wear with jeans and a t-shirt)
  • sewing skill level (and what you feel comfortable either sewing or a new thing you want to try)
  • your most significant fitting issue(s)
  • A special detail. Kind of a do's and don'ts, such as: must have full skirt, or can't be sleeveless. Needs classic shape to last for several years (coats). Needs to be in a particular size range. Love or Hate certain necklines. Want to accentuate a small bust, hide a tummy, fit on broad shoulders, etc..... we all have variations and sewing lets us adjust for fit and look good doing it.  
  • Optional - Fabric.  if you have a particular fabric that you can't quite figure out which pattern to use include that as well.
If you have a blog or a profile on Pattern Review or ButdaStyle where I can take a look at photos of your previous makes that would be great, so let me know that as well.

Not asking for an essay here :)  just a few lines with your sewing wishes, fit issues and garment choice.

OK, remember this is all for fun. No one is going to check up on you and see if you sewed up your Pattern Whisperer pick. But maybe we will all get some ideas on what works for different people.

Happy Sewing, Beth

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Random Threads #9

today's topics: coat desires, a fitting guide and how many patterns is too many?

Today it is almost coat weather here. Well just barely, this morning I was out and about in jeans, a short-sleeve top and sneakers. So no need for a jacket but there is a tiny hint of autumn in the air. There are supposedly some rainclouds blowing by and we are all hoping for a storm. Because we really, really need it!
Which means I have been thinking about making a coat. For no good reason, by my count I have at least 3 that are currently wearable - meaning style, fit, color are nice. (I have several more that are buried in the depths of the closet which I just can't part with but never wear lately). And as I have said before, the weather which is temperate and my not so fancy lifestyle conspire to make a wardrobe of coats not really necessary. But......I am still thinking about a new one. Here are two coats I have recently seen online and they both give me a thrill.

This one I saw in the New York Times Style magazine and had to track it down. It is a Louis Vuitton coat from their Fall 2014 collection. Wool with leather insets on the collar and pockets. They show it with a separate belt belt, theirs of course.
LV Coat

This one is from LK Bennet, a UK brand. This line started with shoes but now also have clothes.  I love the simple shape of this one and the way the neckline goes up in the back. It does look great in this red shade but I have a coat in this color.

LK Bennet coat

Last year mid-winter I bought this fabric at Stone Mountain for who knows what reason. I rarely buy something with no idea and now that I have it I fear it is a bit dull. Quite soft and it does have lots of flecks of different shades of grey, mauve, purple, red. 

purple grey wool

So I like the red LK Bennet coat shape more but the Vuitton coat shape would be so nice for this wool with some coordinating leather for the trim. Perhaps I should go look at the leather options and then decide. 

As for patterns, the Vuitton is a fairly straight forward style, I could find a pattern and adapt. The LK Bennet is a princess style with the interesting neckline, I was thinking I could adapt this jacket into a coat pattern. 

I had a new post on the Craftsy Sewing blog this weekend which I completely forgot about. But if you are interested in pattern fitting you might want to take a look. And this morning I was completely gratified to read that someone got something out of one my posts, Sewing Tidbits adjusted her Archer shirt pattern to great success. Thanks for the acknowledgement :)  and a great blog too, interesting observations, lots of pretty creations and tropical backgrounds - just my cup of tea.
Craftsy post measureing
Link to the Craftsy Post

How many patterns is too many?  This past weekend I went to the Bay Area Sewist's Meetup, always fun to see friends and meet people who are new to sewing. This one was a pattern swap, so I brought some that I will never use and was determined to leave with fewer. However....someone (not sure of her name) brought an amazing haul of Vogue designer patterns, completely unused. So I did avail myself of a few.  The one on the left looks very simple, almost nondescript but the line drawings are fantastic and 3 completely different dresses. For the one on the right, I blame LauraMae as she is quite the pattern enabler - to the point where she dragged me over to the table and said "you have to take this one, it is a great pattern that looks good on everyone"!  OK, I am not going to say no to that endorsement. 
Dk patterns

I have kind of mini-obsession over Donna Karan Vogue patterns and want to collect them all. (and Michael Kors patterns although he seems to have dropped the partnership). I give DK all the credit in the world for continuing for so long with Vogue and giving people like me a chance to sew these up. One little note is that in the last 2 Vogue releases I was completely blah about the DK patterns, however if time is any proof I will be scooping them up down the road. Confession I do really like V1408 but a self imposed moratorium means no adding of unnecessary sleeveless dresses to my wardrobe. I will hold out until spring!

Update on my potential fabric fail - that jacket is looking even worse than anticipated. With a distinctly 70's safari suit vibe that I was not intending (like who would?)  But I am powering through and finishing, so I will show all soon.  And then onward to fall not fail for real.

has autumn arrived where you are?  
Happy Sewing, Beth

And a lingering bloom in the garden, a red nicotiana.

red nicotiana

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Blog Hop - Why I write

My far away on-line friend Yoshimi of the blog yoshimi the flying squirrel has passed the blog hop baton over to me. She has a talent for creating effortlessly cool garments and I wish I could meet her in real life. Someday! So the blog hop is moving around and we are supposed to answer the following questions on why we write. Here are my answers.

1. Why do you write?

OK, I will be completely candid here - I am one of those people that see something and always say to myself "I can do that".  Not always successfully but more often than not it really does work out well. I am a big time try-er (if that can be a word I just made up). So I read blogs for a while and finally said to myself - jump in! At first I didn't have much to write about but over the months I got into a routine and along with that I was doing more sewing for myself and other people so the topics developed from that. 
There have been two things about writing this sewing blog that have been the most happy and unexpected effects and these will keep me doing it for a long time.

First - I am surprised at how much I enjoy the writing process. Crafting the sentences, having a theme, a story or topic that flows, something that connects with a lot of readers, that has been really fun. Now I can confess that almost everything I sew gets a little mental scrutiny - I analyze how I can turn every project into a blog post. All sewing doesn't make the cut but most things I sew for myself show up on the blog eventually. 

Second - The friendships and opportunities that have come my way are just amazing. I have met so many fantastic people and have a whole new circle of enthusiastic friends just because I decided to both join in and reach out to the people I met online via their sewing blogs. One day I had an unexpected email from Karen in London asking if I would do a week of sewing and tailoring instruction with her here. Since then I have continued teaching many other wonderful women who are interested in fitting, tailoring and all things sewing. And we never run out of subjects to talk about.

Meetup at Britex to say goodbye to Amy of Sew-Well

2. How is your blog different to others of the same genre?

I make a lot of Vogue and Simplicity/New Look patterns, plus a smattering of Burda so that is not different from other seamsters,  but almost no independent patterns. I tend to make more tailored items that others I see (so that is a bit different) lots of jackets and coats, probably more than I need. This may surprise you to hear but I don't think I have ever called one of my posts a tutorial. Sometimes I like to show how I do a particular technique or tackle some pattern but I don't like to write tutorials. That is a lot of responsibility: to remember to take all the photos, make sure every step is included, post all the photos in proper order. Whew! too much work. 

One difference in my blog and my sewing is that sometimes my fabric choices are a bit weird. Not the fabrics but the backstory on them. A few years ago I bought some very nice fabrics at a garage sale and ever since then I have an overwhelming urge to find extremely low-cost mystery fabrics and try to turn them into something fabulous. So far I have been darn lucky in my finds and have made a beautiful blue coat, a favorite Vogue dress, this skirt and this jacket plus lots more. I was telling someone recently that at this point in my sewing life (at it since about age 7) I feel like I could sew anything and use any fabric so the challenge is not going to the store and picking out something just right for a particular pattern, but taking the oddball fabric and visualizing what it could be. Plus the minimal expense takes any pressure off. The Vogue pattern seen below I made with some wool I bought at a tag sale.

Rose jacket1
Another thing I like to do on my blog is write posts in series, so that the stories unfold over several different chapters. My first one was the story of the Vintage Treasure dress, a series that still gets lots of readers. I made a very unusual wedding dress using vintage Japanese kimono silk for a local bride who had an eco-friendly wedding in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. That was fun and the process lent itself to doing a series of posts because we all knew the culmination would be the wedding, and the photos provided by the bride were great. I did a series on what I call the "One-Hit-Wonders" in my wardrobe, items I made and wore only once. I can report that some of those have been revived and worn again, others sent on to someone else and the finale dress seen below will stay in my closet forever.

Navy party dress on me

3. What am I working on right now?

Right now I am working on several things at once, which is the usual state of affairs around here. Before I left on vacation I cut out a denim jacket, using the pattern I made copying a ready to wear jacket I owned. Alas, this may be a rare fail – completely due to operator error. I was rushing before I left and started cutting it out very quickly. Then I realized that contrary to any stretch denim I have EVER used, the stretch is longways on the fabric, not crossways. WHAT?  So I am forging ahead and it may turn out fine in the end. But I was so damn angry when I sewed a few seams and realized that I shoved it in a bin. Took it out the other day and figured I should finish it. I love the color. 

turquoise denim jacket start

Also I am cloning another dress for a friend and making versions with different necklines. In my queue is a totally unnecessary dress pattern that I really want to make, Vogue 8946. And I have shirt pattern that I am going to experiment with fitting and then blog about it with a pattern giveaway for fall sewing.

4. What is your writing process?

I have a mix of planned posts and things that I sew up quickly and show on the blog. So the quick ones are more pattern review type posts where I like to choose one or two features of the project, it could be a pocket, the fitting or maybe the fabric that are potentially interesting so I write a post around that feature. Longer posts or series often are things I think about and they kind of marinate in my brain for a while – I may be overstating things but I like to have some underlying theme and then the sentences seem to flow from that. Usually I write the posts late at night when it is very quiet and I am often surprised when I sit down intending to work on a post for maybe 10 or 15 minutes and then realize an hour has gone by and it is done. I always struggle with photos, they are necessary for a visual medium like sewing but are my least favorite part of the whole thing. I wish I could post more often but maybe sticking to around once a week is a good idea, gives me time to think of things to say and actually spend my time sewing instead of typing.

So that's the scoop!

and now I pass the Why I Write blog topic over to the following bloggers:

LauraMae of the blog Lilacs and Lace. She makes fantastic vintage and vintage inspired garments, sews meticulously, knits as well and is one of those wonderful people that I have now become friends with in real life :)

Manju of the blog SewManju. She is in the UK so I have not had the pleasure of a real life meeting, but as with Yoshimi - you never know what the next years may bring.  Manju makes chic, colorful and sophisticated garments and always seems to sew up the precise Vogue or New Look pattern that I am contemplating. Thank you for that!

Now it should be back to actual sewing around here but wow, our summer is lingering on and on. For which I am not complaining, summer girl that I am. I have worn a couple of my recent favorites to various parties recently, a Marfy and a Vogue repeat, and not a coat needed. Yippee! but I do have the slightest hankering to make a wool blazer.....

Happy pre-Halloween sewing to all,  Beth

(this is the time of year where I stay FAR away from the fabric stores during after school hours and on weekends, filled with novice sewers and desperate crowds,  that is where the really spooky things happen!!!!)