Almost there! (And Burda stuff)

This is the backside of my quilt…all I need to do is finish sewing on that binding (which I machine-sewed onto the right side today) and I’m done! Though it may take awhile, seeing as how I haven’t finished a side yet…

Besides this, I traced out several Burda patterns on Saturday– couldn’t work on my quilt since I spent most of the day with henna on my hair and I didn’t want to risk staining it, even though my head was covered. Traced out something like 6 patterns, all the ones in my planned summer queue. It’ll save me time when it comes time to cut out, but I think next time I might just trace them out as I need it, because I was totally mentally wiped from trying to follow the lines all day!

Speaking of Burda, I finally got my March issue today. It was…interesting. I’m generally not a fan of the wedding issues…the dresses are never anything I’d ever want to actually wear. Including as shorter, more everyday dresses. The worst out of the lot was this one, which pretty much just screams Swan Lake. (My friend Tracey–the one I made the Tardis for–recently got married, and on her blog for several months leading up to the wedding, she did a weekly feature called “Not My Dress”, in which she posted a picture of some horrendous wedding dress she found online, gave the reasons why that was not her dress, and then opened it up for her friends’ snarky commentary. This dress would be a prime candidate.) A close second was this suit. 80s-inspired, boxy, boyish in a bad way, ugh. The main portion of the magazine had some pretty awful things too. I’m trying to decide if the worst was this “shrest” (as dubbed by The Selfish Seamstress) or the Hammer-pants jumpsuit. Probably the jumpsuit, because anything that has to be completely stripped off to use the bathroom just shouldn’t be worn. At least not off the beach. Though I don’t like 1-piece swimsuits for that very reason.

There were some good things, though. The standout for this issue was this lovely wrap blouse, which I think will absolutely have to be made. If I’m in the mood to make a straight skirt anytime soon, this would be a prime candidate. (Let’s just completely ignore that hot pink monstrosity on top, which thankfully is not a pattern in this magazine.) And I’m thinking this dress could actually be fun, at least shortened as a tunic. (Though they need to rethink their definition of “contrasting”, because that obi belt is obviously in the exact same fabric as the dress!)

Ok, back to handsewing…

Dreaming of summer…

…clothes, that is. Since apparently I now live in Alaska instead of the mid-Atlantic, is it any wonder?

Since I didn’t have work until later, I braved the aftermath of Snowmageddon with my mom to go to Joann’s–my original plan for today was to start assembling the quilt, but I discovered that I didn’t have enough of the muslin that I got for the backing, since I had to make the quilt top larger than originally planned. (I guess I might be doing that tomorrow. We’ll see, since I also have the sides for the rest of the ottoman reupholster job cut out and waiting for assembly.) And since I’ve been pondering my wardrobe quite a bit lately, one of the things I quickly settled on is that I’d like to add a simple black knee-length skirt to my wardrobe, since I think it’ll go with a lot of things and the black skirt I have doesn’t always go with everything due to the styling. So I figured I could justify adding some fabric to my stash for that… a linen-look poly-rayon blend that’s not supposed to wrinkle a whole lot. (I know it looks grey here due to the lighting, but it really is black.) I’m planning to give a skirt from the most recent Burda mag a shot for this one. (I also splurged on this great printed knit there, since Joann’s hardly ever has good knits, but let’s just ignore that for now.)

And then when I got home, I was inspired to go through my samples of my current fabric stash to choose a couple fabrics to concentrate on using for some spring-summer clothes. (I spent some time last night partially going through what I have there, and figured I should probably be thinking of sewing additions to that now, and then in the summer I can work on sewing things for the fall and winter.) So here’s what I pulled out to motivate myself to get the rest of this room sewing done so I can make clothes again!

1. An organic cotton jersey knit–it’s really kind of a seafoam green color. I’m thinking shirt #102 from last June’s Burda for this one.

2. A woven polyester in cream, seafoam, orange and a more pinky coral. The most likely candidate at the moment is McCall’s 5809.

3. A purple 60s-printed lightweight sweater knit that I picked up at a dollar a yard several years ago at a Walmart sale. I’m thinking a lightweight shorter sleeved cardigan, but I haven’t settled on a pattern on this yet. I have nothing in my stash patterns or Burda mags that seems to quite fit yet. I’m considering the Riviera Mini-Midi-Maxi Cardi from HotPatterns, but since the pattern alone is almost $20, I’m keeping my options open and will probably save this one for a later project.

4. This crinkled gold-embroidered turquoise is one that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago, I think. And I’ve been eyeing it for about a year trying to figure out what to do with it. I think I’ve finally settled on a pattern I’ve done with crinkly fabric before, Simplicity 5595 (the short flutter-sleeved one).

5. I found some inspiration the other day at EMS, of all places. (That’s where I get a lot of my outdoorsy gear.) There was this cute blouse there with a gathered empire bust, mandarin collar and interesting button closure made out of a stripey sheer fabric. I almost bought it because it was on sale, but then I remembered I had this fabric in my stash and didn’t need to pay $26 for it. I think I can figure something out based off of the May ’09 Burda #110, though I may seriously take the sleeves from, say, #112 of the same issue.

6. This is another one I’ve been eyeing in my stash for awhile, an embroidered twill. I was thinking maybe a dress when I bought it, then I thought it would be perfect for Burda 3/07 #117, and then I thought maybe I should go back to a dress, but I think I’m back to the Burda skirt again. I’ll just need to figure out what to do with the yard or so I’ll have left over.

7: Now I’m not sure what I was thinking when I bought this particular fabric– I’ve never really been a Francophile, not to mention one of the colors is hot pink! But I am in need of some cute summer pjs, so I think these will do nicely. I’m thinking maybe the Jane pjs off of the BurdaStyle site (with longer shorts), since I do have that pattern saved from back when they were free patterns. (Maybe I should just do the shorts from the November ’09 Burda, since then the magazine would be good for something. Although I actually really do like one of the pj tops from this issue too– I just don’t think I have the yardage to make both out of this fabric.)

8. And then there’s this turquoise polyester satin that I got for free–someone passed it to my mom, but she couldn’t use it for quilts so I ended up with almost 4 yards of this stuff! It’s a great color, but I’ve been having trouble figuring out what to do with it since it would be quite easy to make it look too nice for everyday wear (and I’m not sure it’s nice enough for all of those fancier occasions I don’t go to!) So part of it is going to become a jacket lining, at least. I spontaneously ordered some corduroy on sale at for $2.99 a yard to make this jacket (and therefore this is actually probably going to end up as a fall sewing project)–figured this would make a fun lining for it! I just hope the fabric’s really more chocolate than it looks on screen, though I guess turquoise and black would go well together too! Um, and then while I was at it, I sort of got this and this to make those same blouse and jacket patterns that I’m using with the sheer metallic stripey fabric. (Been feeling an urge lately to add some plaid back into my wardrobe, probably a result of that revisiting my teenage style post. I tried to get something to refashion, but Goodwill didn’t have anything in plaid that I liked this time. At $2.49 a yard, I figured I could give it a shot for these.)

And then there’s the one thing I’d love to find an excuse to make, but haven’t quite figured out yet…I have this retro 60s Simplicity dress pattern— I’m thinking the style of the coral, but the length of the turquoise. But despite the plethora of suggested fabrics on the back of the envelope, I just don’t seem to have anything in my stash that is calling out to me on this one! Any suggestions?

I know it looks like a lot, but I figure I can take a day to trace out patterns and then a day to cut out stuff, and then I can probably get through much of this pretty quickly. Barring any major fitting issues, of course. And once I get through finishing that ottoman slipcover and quilting that bedspread and making three sets of curtains…of course, it’s looking like there’s a very good chance that I’ll have snow days both tomorrow (today now, I guess) and Wednesday, so as long as we don’t lose power, I have no excuse not to sew!

Thank you, Burda…

…for renewing my faith in your magazine. Good thing, since I took the chance to renew it!

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling rather ambivalent towards the last couple of issues– I could generally find one or two things I liked, but overall I was pretty uninspired. But I got my new issue today and found a lot that I liked!

1. Loving this A-line skirt–a good basic silhouette that could go with so much, and it has pockets. That just makes me so happy. And in evaluating my wardrobe, I’ve been thinking I need a basic black A-line skirt, so this could be just the thing.
2. Speaking of basics, I could see myself getting some use out of this blouse as well.
3. I love raglan-sleeve tops, so I think this one will definitely get made! It looks like I could whip it up in no time with my serger.
4. For the first time, I’m actually considering trying a pair of their pants.
5. Isn’t this jacket just so cute? Loving the wide obi-like belt, and seriously wondering if I have anything in my stash that would do it justice.

The site’s not showing pictures for everything, but there was also an adorable 50s-style cropped jacket that I wish so much wasn’t a petite pattern, a suede jacket that I really liked the silhouette of, and another knit top (this one with some bustline gathering) that I think could be a great layering piece…but not in a stripey knit like they did both samples in! So considering that the January issue had only two things I’d even really consider making (ok, with the exception that if I was in the market for a new backpacking fleece, which I’m not, I’d consider this one), I’d say this was a good improvement. Here’s hoping next month keeps up the trend (we’ll see, since it’s the wedding dress issue….)

I’m back!!

It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks, to say the least…in the process of trying to get my computer fixed, most of it has had to be replaced. New motherboard, new processor, new memory, got a new video card while I was at it (I’ll admit it…one of my guilty pleasures is one of those online role-playing type games, and my old video card was never quite capable of running it well. Yes, I am a geek.) Anyway, as of Thursday night, it’s up and running again, with almost all of the programs reloaded. Including the camera software. Which means, rather than boring you all with another picture-less post, I can actually start catching up on showing some of those more recently finished projects!

So this is the first of the three projects that I finished in my absence– the “Weekender” bag from Weekend Designer. Since I already talked about it some here, I won’t rehash the same details. But it has been through its first test, the weekend trip to the beach that I had originally wanted to finish it for, and I’m happy to report that the strap did not, in fact, tear open as soon as I picked it up to carry it.

I was a bit nervous about that. That little band of fabric isn’t the sturdiest-looking thing, you know? And it was quite roomy– big enough to fit all of my clothes and toiletries for the weekend. Minus my beach stuff, which I stuck in my beach bag. (Were it not for my lovely beach blanket, my propensity to read very quickly with an ocean soundtrack–i.e. need for multiple books– and my inability to comfortably wear flip flops for more than the time it takes to walk onto the beach and then promptly remove them, I probably could have at least fit my swimsuit and towel in there.) Oh, and minus my craft stuff, because it’s tradition when I get together with these two particular friends to spend a great deal of time watching movies while crafting. But I digress. The point is, there was plenty of room for the essentials.

I also have to say, I’m very happy with my pockets. It was one of those last-minute inspirations–I didn’t want to make the main pocket out of the embroidered part because it would have been too hard to match, but I wanted to add a little more flair to the pockets. And the extra outer pocket is nice to have.

And that’s one less pieces of fabric in my stash–and this one’s been there for a few years. The cat approves.

On a non-related note, I got my new BWOF on Thursday. The previous issue didn’t really have a whole lot that I was interested in, but this one had some winners for me. I thought this skirt was really cute, I’m kind of in love with this jacket and spent quite a bit of time last night pondering an excuse to get it into my wardrobe (namely what color I could make it in and still have stuff to go with it! I already have too many black ones, and have plans to make a brown one), this top is going to have to get made at some point, and I’m actually finding these knit pants quite intriguing. I’m usually not a halter-top person but I kind of like the look of this one. I also like the look of this dress, but think it would be sadly unflattering on me. At least if the last dress I made (yet to be posted) is any indication.

So I’ve got two more catch-up posts to do… possibly 3, by the time I get the current project done. Next time: the first of the mini-wardrobe tops.

Questions… questions that need answering

So my mom kindly picked up the Vogue pattern that I’m hoping to use for my brother’s wedding when she went to JoAnn’s yesterday. I think this has some definite potential to be a very gorgeous dress. Which would be perfect, since his fiance is hoping for an elegant wedding (and I will be seen, most likely, since it’s looking very likely that my involvement will be as a musician.) But after looking at this pattern more closely, there’s a lot of detail involved, and I think in order to do it justice, there’s a lot of questions I need to figure out before I start it. (Good thing I have until October.)

#1: The prepwork. There’s a lot of really funky-shaped pieces in this pattern, as you can see! I did some research yesterday and saw that I should probably cut the charmeuse out while laid out on top of some tissue paper to help tame the slipperiness of it. (Probably wouldn’t hurt in terms of protecting the fabric from the table too, since my usual cutting table is a ping-pong tabletop on the pool table, and the surface is a little rough!) But there’s some other things I need to look into as well. Like how to best pin it– or if I should even use pattern weights instead. And whether I’d be better off attempting a rotary cutter rather than scissors, to keep it flatter. But I’d probably have better control with the scissors…

#2, the structure. The charmeuse I got is very lightweight– in fact, the pattern calls for charmeuse for the lining rather than the outside. But I liked the color, and I wanted to go with a natural fiber since I think it would have a better chance of keeping me warmer for an outdoor fall wedding. Due to that, though, I’m questioning whether I should consider underlining the fabric to give it some additional strength. There’s two main difficulties here. The first one, as you can see, is the pleated section. I didn’t realize until folding out the instructions yesterday that those aren’t gathers– they’re very specifically placed pleats! A lot of pleats. Both front and back. But they’re kind of soft pleats, so I don’t want to stiffen up the fabric too much. But at the same time, I’m not sure that side panel could hold them all without some reinforcing help. The second is the assymmetric drape in the front of the skirt–if I underline it, I’m going to have to choose the fabric carefully, because the wrong side will show. I emailed Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics for some advice, and she was very helpful– her suggestion was that if I underline it, I may want to consider using silk organza for that side panel where the pleats go into, and chiffon for the rest since it’s softer and wouldn’t affect the drape much, though it would be a lot of work to underline it. But I think I might want to put that work in– I know silk is a strong fiber, but I have this fear of going to all this work and then the seams pulling out the first time I wear it! My other thought is, the hem might look better if I do underline it, since then I can just hem it to the underlining and it won’t show on the outside. I know that charmeuse will show everything. Or would I be better off just sticking with that narrow machine hem, with that irregular hemline?

#3– I’m not sure yet what on earth to line this with. I guess I can just go for one of the nicer lining fabrics at JoAnn’s or something– though do I really want to wear a polyester lining with silk? (The lining won’t show on that wrong side of the fabric, since the dress isn’t fully lined.)

#4– how to handle the zipper, due to that aforementioned lightweight fabric. Though if I do go the underlining with silk organza route, that might help since I can probably use a strip of that to reinforce it. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper– I’m debating whether I’d be better off attempting to hand-sew that in, since I haven’t quite mastered exactly how to get the invisible zipper in without the bottom of it getting all puckered and leaving gaps when the rest of the side seam is sewn. Not to mention sometimes I have trouble getting it close enough to the teeth. But would a hand-picked invisible zipper even hold?

#5– how best to hem this. Though I already talked about that, so I won’t elaborate again.

I am trying to do my research here–looking through my old saved Threads articles, and the Couture Sewing Techniques book for ideas. And I definitely plan on doing a muslin for this one– debating whether I should even try a lined muslin, since the lining isn’t even the same shape as the dress! It’s going to have to wait, of course, since the first priority at the moment is my summer wardrobe type stuff. But hopefully that will give me some time to find some answers.

p.s. Any advice welcome– it’s not like I haven’t sewn formalwear before, but it was always with polyester satin and stuff. I’ve never sewn on silk. And I’ve never underlined anything. This one’s definitely going to be a skill-stretching project!

Edit, as of Saturday: Got my latest BWOF in the mail today. Woohoo, I have a backup plan!!

Reviews: BWOF 3/09 #106, and the latest issue

FINALLY finished this one on Sunday. I swear, this blouse had it out for me– it just did not want to get sewn! First I had trouble figuring out how to put the yoke on, which still didn’t end up lying quite as flat as I’d like. Then I had trouble figuring out what the heck to do with the sleeve cuffs, but I got some help there (more on that later in the review.) Then my experiments on scraps revealed that my machine and this fabric was not going to come together in a nice-looking buttonhole. Then, I finally thought I was done….and discovered that the hem on one side of the front had somehow ended up an inch longer than the other side of the front! Fortunately, I still like the results…

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 3/09, #106
Pattern Description: Fitted tunic-length blouse with 3/4 cuffed sleeves and drawstring neckline.

Pattern Sizing: 36-44. I made the size 38.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow? It was a little harder for me, since this was my first BWOF pattern, and I’m used to instructions that are fully spelled out (or just winging it on clothing reconstructions.) So I had a little trouble sorting out the collar and the cuffs– but I got some hints from Christina on how to do the collar, and she was kind enough to also give me her suggestions on how to do the cuffs!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the drawstring neckline! It’s such a unique feature, and I like that I can adjust it to whatever I want– higher for wearing by itself, lower for layering. I did have a bit of trouble with getting the yoke to work right, but that was more me not yet knowing my way around a BWOF pattern than anything else, I think.

(And here you go, Rose, a glimpse of my henna’d up hair… not a very drastic change at all, and better seen in the sunlight.)

Fabric Used: some kind of light grey cotton or cotton blend that was sitting around in my stash–I think someone gave it to my mom and then she passed it on to me, because this was NOT a color I would have bought on my own! (Incidentally, this one puts me at 4/6 out of stash used vs. fabric bought this year. I’m catching up!)

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I’d definitely sew this again–if only to work out the couple of issues that I had sewing it, so I can make it even better! And yes, I’d recommend it.

Conclusion: This one’s a keeper. Flattering fit, and it would be easy to customize the sleeves for a different look.

And that’s the end of the review. Just one more note about those buttonholes I mentioned– I did machine- sew the ones for the drawstrings, though I kind of wish now that I hadn’t because they’re kind of badly placed and skewed. For the ones on the front of the blouse, which doesn’t have an interfaced front facing, I ended up following the instructions from CraftStylish for how to hand-sew the buttonholes. The results were much nicer than my machine would have made them (the test ones had a huge gap between where they started and ended, and were puckering the lightweight fabric badly)…and I was surprised that they were actually kind of fun to do. Not saying I’d want to do that all the time, but it was a nice, relaxing TV-watching project.

Also, over the weekend, I got the April issue of BWOF. Sadly, this one didn’t have nearly as many things that jumped out at me as the March issue did. For one thing, one of the main features was on wedding dresses. Since I’m as single as it gets/burned out on wedding sewing at the moment for obvious reasons, this set of patterns was overall pretty useless to me. Unless for some reason I have an urge to dress up like Giselle from Enchanted. It’s pretty safe to say that nothing in this collection was screaming “dream wedding dress” at me. And, I have to say, jumpsuits? Seriously? I mean, face it, just because two things can be merged together into one article of clothing doesn’t mean they should. And jumpsuits are for babies who are constantly having to be changed anyway. And the Dharma Initiative. (Mmmm, Sawyer.) Any article of clothing that requires completely stripping down to use the toilet should be forbidden. The section on basics was ok, and I know sometimes they have to be made, but those type of garments generally don’t jump up and down and scream “ooh, sew me! sew me!” At least not to me. (I will admit, though, that these pants are promising.) The kids’ clothing section actually had some really cute stuff, but I don’t have any kids to sew for, so skipping that. (Other than to say, in the words of the Simpsons, “D’oh! A deer?” Lol….) Normally I’d be all about the bright colors, and this skirt is rather fun, but the elastic on the bottom of this jacket makes it scream 80s at me. And in my closet, 80’s = run away at least a decade or two back. There were a couple other of tops/dresses I like, but they’re so low-cut, and styled in such a way that I don’t know if they’d look right with a raised neckline, that I don’t know if I could ever sew them.

So, most promising to me was the India-inspired collection. I like the hippie-looking tunic, and this dress is just so pretty, and I think I already have the perfect crinkled fabric to make this blouse (which I’ve been trying to figure out what to make out of it for something like a year and a half! And this would be to wear over something else, of course.) So not a total loss on this month!

On a completely random note, I think it’s past time for me to change the picture on my blog header. I hope I can remember how to change the colors!!

Friday Favorites, Episode 41 (the late edition)

Technically, it IS still Friday, so…

Since it’s getting late, just going to run these off quickly. On (found via another site, but I can’t remember if it was One Pretty Thing or Whip Up), I liked this laminated paper chandelier. They used an old book, which I thought was fun. Creativity Prompt had a video tutorial for a fabric covered hardbound book. Sigrid shared some hints and tips for using Burda World of Fashion patterns and what they don’t tell you to do– quite good timing, since I just cut out my very first BWOF pattern today! ThreadBanger shared some ideas for a dress pattern similar to the famous black dress that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Craft Tutorials shared some tips for finishing craft projects in general, some of which I knew, but others I wouldn’t have thought of (like using a hairdryer to get rid of those pesky hot glue strands!) Antoinette made a great Flickr slideshow tutorial on turning a men’s shirt into a shirtdress (and I love her men’s shirt refashions, so I was happy to see this!) And at ScrapHappy, she did part 2 of her “Scrapbooking on the Road” miniseries.

3 Wardrobe Refashion picks this week: Ellsea’s Susan Pevensie costume (from Prince Caspian) that she made for her daughter completely out of thrift-store stuff, some appliqued jeans from the same person, and Meghan’s tunicy-dress thing.

Hopefully I’ll get some time to post again tomorrow… the time just got away from me today. The good news is, I was very productive. Finished my new spring/summer purse, got the aforementioned BWOF cut out (that drawstring blouse I was raving about in one of the more recent posts–ended up just using a piece of stash fabric because the men’s shirt didn’t have enough fabric), and starting a reconstruction (not the men’s shirt) that was inspired by a song and this book. More details on that to come. Plus I have an award (thanks to Sharon) that I need to post about. But now I need to get off the computer and get some sleep!


Got two things on Saturday that I was very excited about.
The book was one I picked up to get enough on a recent order to get the free shipping–figured it might help me with some of the stuff I’ve been having trouble with to get a really good finished look, like getting jackets in linings and such. I’m actually excited to try some of the hand-sewing stitches in here!

And I was quite excited to FINALLY start getting my BWOF subscription!

I’m still sorry that I missed February’s hippie-clothes feature, but I really liked some of the clothes in this issue, so I’m going to post links. (Skipping the menswear, kid’s clothes and plus sizes, since it’s highly unlikely I’ll be sewing any of those any time soon.)

1. I’m really not sure how to define my style– I haven’t boiled it down to one or two words or a phrase yet. But one of the things I’ve liked for a long time are vintage-looking jackets– there were a couple my mom made in the 70s that I used to wear all the time, and this one I got from the thrift store in 8th grade that I looooooved–it was black velveteen with covered buttons and patch pockets, and I wore it all the way up until sometime in college when the back finally split open. I guess the fabric rotted, because I hadn’t really changed sizes (and it had always been just a tiny bit too small for me anyway, but I loved it too much to get rid of it.) But this jacket reminds me very much of that one–my jacket’s pockets didn’t have flaps, but they were that same rounded shape.

2. I think this dress is just adorable. I probably won’t ever sew it, because it’s only offered in petite sizes. (Nicole, if you’re reading this, this is SO you–it looks very swing-danceable!)

3. I. Want. This. Blouse. When flipping through the preview online, this was the one thing that really made me hope that my subscription would start this month! I guess if I had to boil my style down to a couple of words, it would probably be something like “Boho-buisness-casual”– I like some more tailored-looking things, like the aforementioned vintagey jackets and pants that actually fit me. And I have to wear some stuff like that for work. But I love stuff that looks hippie and/or medieval fantasy movie-inspired, and I still love my jeans and fitted t-shirts! Anyway, the point of that ramble was that the drawstring neck on this really combines that whole hippie-medieval and tailored look, as far as I’m concerned. I’m actually going to attempt this one as a reconstruction– took one of my men’s shirts from the last thrift store run (the blue one) and tore it to pieces last night. I’m going to try it as the shorter version, so I’m hoping that allows me enough fabric… I may need to fudge it a bit with the collar.

4. I’m trying to decide if I like or hate this skirt. The pockets interest me, but between the boring basic grey and the pleats, it might be a little too high school uniform for me. Maybe I’ll stick with the pencil skirt version.

5. I’m loving this knit tunic–it’s got such a mod 60’s feel to it, with that neck piece. But it pretty much demands to be made out of a really good graphic print, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for one (pretty sure nothing in my stash would quite work.)

6. This dress is so pretty, though I would never make it in pink. But I don’t think I could pull it off–it looks like it would be way too low-cut for my comfort.

7. So if I ever get an urge for a trench coat the next time I watch Casablanca, I’m covered.

Speaking of Burda patterns, I’m feeling quite happy with today’s new BurdaStyle pattern. It’s been awhile, sadly, since one of theirs really jumped out at me– the last two weeks have been just variation how-tos on previous patterns, and while I appreciate the restyling tips for versatility, a couple weeks of that in a row were just disappointing. And then before that it was either accessories that I could easily figure out on my own, stuff for Valentine’s day (yuck), or men’s clothes, which I have no reason to sew– I don’t think my brother would like any of their stuff, and the styling is a bit young for my dad. But this fits into the vintagey jacket love very well, and also looks very Anthropologie to me, which I also like.

So I guess I should actually say something about what I’ve been doing, besides drooling over these patterns, huh? Well, I spent nearly all afternoon and evening on Saturday sewing a purse and watching movies. I was hoping to finish the purse, but the bias tape edging took forever to do. And then I only got one side sewn on yesterday afternoon, because I was away from home too much. That, and while I think I’ll like the final look of the bag, I’m really not liking how it’s constructed–too many layers of fabric/batting/bias tape makes my machine very unhappy, and having to hand-sew the tops of it together with upholstery thread and using the machine table to help me shove the needle through all of the layers without stabbing myself makes me unhappy. And, as mentioned, I tore up a shirt in hopes that it will cooperate and I can try out that BWOF blouse without spending any money on it or using up stash stuff I might actually want to wear! But I don’t think I’ll get any of that sewing done today… despite having a snow day from my teaching, I still have about half the work left to do on some serious cleaning that needs to get done so I can beat down my recent allergy attacks. Yes, this is craft-related, since the headaches have been keeping me from sewing!