Friday, November 22, 2013


I was not expecting this to be a ripoff because I hate this pattern.

Vogue 8855

And I certainly wasn't expecting it to be a ripoff of Armani!

Armani, Spring/Summer 2012
A white silk, boob framing, JUMPSUIT! I do have to give Vogue credit for not making a jumpsuit pattern. That would be just too obvious of a ripoff, plus it decreases the chance for this heinousness to be further released onto the world.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sewing Mojo: Missing and Found

A couple of weeks ago my sewing mojo ran away screaming. I blame the enormous winter coat project. I baked a bit, knitted a bit, let the sewing lay quietly. To coax my mojo back I made my Mom's friend a tote bag to match my Mom's own from a few months ago.

The drawing is way better, but I managed to make the bag way bigger on accident.

I hope SK likes it!

I even found the same lining and I literally couldn't kick that damn cat out of the picture.

Then as fast as the mojo went away, its can a'roarin' back! I excitedly started cutting out tons of teeny weeny appliques for a special project and then......I started feeling a sharp pain in my hand. Well frick-sticks. So I have a very deep bruise in my hand and am trying not to use scissors at all. All cutting will either be done by my very sweet boyfriend or by my very sweet rotary cutter. And no handsewing!

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Patterns: McCalls Winter 2013

Early prom arrivals!

Would you rather...

go as Barbie?
McCalls 6838

go as what my imaginary best friends Tom and Lorenzo would call the glaring titscrepancy?
McCalls 6837

or go in this dress which I think was made with cheap screen door material?
McCalls 6836

For my imaginary prom, I choose cheap door dress. There's potential which other two don't aspire to.
Normal clothes?

McCalls 6833
Ok not too normal, its still pretty fancy pants. The skirt is way full and the antique colored lace is way too much with that brocade. It all comes together to look like a very mature (or rich) child's Christmas dress. The non-full skirt option is more adult.

McCalls 6834
I though there was a seam there until I saw the line drawing. That point is just where all the pleats open. I think in a less stiff fabric the garment would look more like the line drawing and have some of the promised flow. The sleeves make it a bit twee.

McCalls 6835
That's just rectangles....This is NOT a dress, its a coverup on its best day! And please, for the love of god don't do this:

McCalls 6841
This was actually an extremely trendy look from earlier this year, but instead of giant cowl the fabric reversed and folded at the bottom. The style was better rendered by Hot Patterns 1153.

McCalls 6839
I hate these cut-out, cowl back tops, with the *SHUDDER* shoulder ties to keep them from falling off. Reminds me of the cheap tween clothes I sometimes convinced my understanding mom to buy me. Thanks for indulging me, momma!

McCalls 6846
Please excuse me while I run screaming from the room. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

McCalls 6847
Dental assistant's smock.

McCalls 6844

Love this fabric. Love the shawl collar. HATE the peplum.

McCalls 6840
Ok, I have this shirt in chambray. No joke. Love those obnoxious, annoying sleeves.

McCalls 6842
Rah-rah cheerleader skirt.

McCalls 6849
That is aggressively ugs.

McCalls 6848
I cannot imagine the pain of sleeping in romper. I flip over about 14 times before I fall asleep and then supposedly, I spend the rest of the night either kicked off the covers or stealing the covers. Do you realize how much this thing would ride up, anywhere and everywhere? Oh man.

On that....

Saturday, October 12, 2013

If I were in an indie pattern company, I would be....

I would define my style as 80% Grainline with 10% each of Papercut and Victory for zazz. Don't get my wrong, I love the others too, Megan Nielsen, Sewaholic, many more, and its not like I wouldn't make their stuff, I love it, I have plans for them too, but if I had to define who 'got' me, its Grainline. Slightly masculine, modern, and clean. Et tu?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Archer #2

Archer #1 is totally jealous of Archer #2. I told him to be the bigger Archer and accept it. He said, I am the bigger Archer, you made the new on one size smaller. Touche, Archer #1, touche.

The one size smaller experiment shows that I need the smaller size in the shoulders, the waist, and the back. I love the way the shoulders fit here. Also the back is way more manageable while still having plenty of flowy, blousy fabric. The bust on the other hand neeeeeds to be cut at the larger size. See the button gaping up there? Not a problem in Archer #1.

Oh man alive, I put that pleat in backwards! I couldn't remember which way it went so I guessed. Guess I guessed wrong? Those instructions are really good, totally my fault. The fabric is cotton voile from Fabric Place Basement, the green is, um, not the best quality.

I love my new gas station attendant/bowling league uniform. All the seams are finished as french seams, EVEN THE ARMHOLE. I never understood the physics of how one could attach the sleeves with a french seam, but bygolly, it worked! Damnit, this shirt is sturdy!

Unfortunately, it attracts cat fur like a muthah.....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bound buttonhole tip

These are the first bound buttonholes I've ever worked on so I'm no expert here, but I found this extra step made the process faster and the final product cleaner.

First thing you gotta do is bring up Colette's bound buttonhole tutorial. It rocks. All their tutorials rock.

Get thee-self to the following step where everything is nicely ironed.

Turn so the right side if facing you and fold the lip so its about at the center of the hole. Pin it and be sure to catch the fabric at the edge of the hole, the lip you just folded, and the fabric on the other side.

Now fold the other lip over to meet the first lip. Having that pin in there makes this a lot easier since you don't have to hold two unruly folds at once. Also doing it this way insures that your lips meet in the center of the buttonhole instead of doing this from the wrong side and guessing. Re-pin, but don't remove the pin from the first lip, just take the tip out from the side you just folded and pin the same way that the first lip is held.

That's how it should look. I couldn't get things nearly as centered by just eyeballing from the back.

Flip over to the wrong side and thread a needle. Make sure your folds looks nice from this side. A half to one centimeter after the end of the buttonhole tack the folds together by catching them with the needle. You want to catch a significant portion of the folds and not just the get the tips, ie. the distance from where I inserted the needle to the edge of the fold is about half a centimeter. This seems like a lot, but it insures that the lips will be snug and not gape.

Run the thread through and knot it tight two times. I should have used contrasting threads here :)

Remove the pin from the right side.

Repeat on the other side. Now you can press and sew according to Colette's tutorial without worrying that everything is going to slip. That knot can be removed after everything is sewn if it bothers you.

There are many tutorials out there and goodness knows someone probably has already done this or something better, more accurate, easier. This worked for me and I thought I would share.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Most ripoffs are done under the 'nameless' patterns, this one's under a named designer, Marcy Tilton. And not that I'm complaining, I love this pattern and its the only Tilton pattern I've ever had a positive feeling towards.

Vogue 8904

Now the original could very well be another designer, but this dress takes after the extremely popular dresses being sold on Anthropologie by Bailey 44. Seriously, these things sell like hotcakes there.

Anthropologie (sold out!)

Anthropologie (sold out!)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Butterick Patterns: Fall/Winter 2013

50's style patterns have been in style for several years now and I suspect, will remain comfortably there for several more years, the Mad Men effect. Its too bad I don't like them because 50's silhouettes are made for my body, but if I were to go vintage I love the 20's look, the total antithesis of my body type. Ain't that just the way things work. For all you 50's lovin' ladies, Butterick has some fun stuff though!

Butterick 5951
So this has options to remove that shoulder poof and even the sleeves, but as is this is pure Boogie Woogie Buggle Boy of Company B. What would you call that collar, a modified mandarin?

Butterick 5949
 If you are going to use model-sized women, make your sample model-sized, right? Also, iron your shit, Butterick!

Butterick 5953
I can see a lot of women loving this. I like the button detail, not a fan of the boob frames.

Butterick 5962
Another Gertie offering. I suspect there might be some photoshop going on at her waist because that's remarkably sharp.

Butterick 5947
Someone vaguely 50's inspired that I loooove. Kinda like some 50's/Star Trek cadet's totally inappropriate for actually working on a spaceship uniform (obviously have to hack off about a foot of that skirt to keep things on the up-and-up with the Federation). The button detail makes it.

Butterick 5950
Ick, seen it a million times. The pleats on the side of the skirt are heinous.

Butterick 5952
Totally FLOTUS inspired, right? Michelle loves the matching jacket and dress look and she would rock the socks of this pairing. Great fabric.

Butterick 5966
This coat is all class. Love it. Perfection.

Butterick 5955
Stupid unflattering, but I love it. Fun fabric again.

Not a lot for me, but not bad. Nothing too dull as dishwater.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


We all know many sewing patterns are ripoffs of designer clothes (and many designer clothes are ripoffs of other clothes and so on...), this one surprised me.

The Carven version.

Vogue 8900 is an actual dress. The original is by Carven and is made using a rafia tweed in a red that Vogue managed to match pretty perfectly.

The Vogue version.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Pattern Review: New Look 6097

I'm totally messing with the shape of this thing, but look at my pocketses!

I've been lusting after New Look 6097 for a while now and all thoughts were confirmed. Unabashed success! I went three sizes smaller than the pattern indicated for a correct fit with a very sturdy Italian knit. A very sturdy Italian knit which I discovered likes to unknit itself at an alarmingly fast pace. The pattern calls for a lightweight knit, but this beauty works too! I stabilized the shoulders and pocket openings with the selvedge of some teal silk and tacked down the cuffs, but otherwise followed the pattern exactly. Some previous reviews added elastic to the neckline, but this knit is so meaty especially with the multiple layers of fabric at the neckline, I'm not much worried about mine. I did hem it a lot shorter though, a little too short in the end. Oops. I used a stretch stitch to sew the hems and the space-dyed pattern is so busy you can't tell there's even thread there. 

Hey, look, a button that took me 30 minutes to pick out. Its gold. And plain. This picture shows the colors of the fabric better, it mainly red, gold, and teal, but it seems like everything is in there. Its a sold out fabric from Gorgeous Fabrics. The grain of the pockets was half a design choice and half a lack-of-fabric requirement.

The dress looks really cute with a black belt, but I forgot to throw it on for the pictures. This was meant to be a work dress, but its a little short. I figure the longer sleeve balances things out so its still good. I'll just wear it with a black blazer and leave the hooker shoes at home.

My hand looks alarmingly tiny.

I think this is the: I'm posing but my cats just tripped me picture.

This is a fan-frickin-tastic pattern, I can make a million of these.