Vogue 8854


I AM sewing, just having a hard time documenting it. Here’s a quick take on a new Vogue pattern in a sweater knit I picked up from fabrics.com.
I know, lousy photo. I was running out the door!
This is a quick and easy, especially if you have a serger and are comfortable with knits.
Might have taken longer to cut than it did to sew.
I felt like I was wearing my jammie’s all day. Oh yeah.




Donna Karan Spring 2013 Tablecoth Dress


OOOH, look, Donna Karan did a new take on the tablecloth dress!

NY Times fashion week

Which I first found as a skirt here on Communing With Fabric, And then made from Lynn Mizono’s Vogue 1312 in a lovely white linen (which I have yet to share with you).

You know I’m going to be working with this lovely variation.


New Fall Wardrobe

New Fall Wardrobe

As I took a look through the Fall 2012 RTW shows, I was just loving the patterned, layered sweater knits and all-over patterned pants suits like this one from Rue du Mail.

And so the shopping began, I found a couple black and ivory knits in a wool/cotton blend from Fashion Fabrics Club and a tweedy woven wool at JoAnn, and dug out a few other pieces from my stash. Initially, I was going to make a draped skirt, a top and a jacket, but I ended up going a little crazy and finished with six pieces.

How can I wear thee? Let me count the ways…

First, the skirt. I used McCalls 5434,

but altered the pattern by cutting four slices in the right front from the side seam almost to the center. I spread them apart right on the fabric and trued the line as I cut. Daring; I know, but it worked just fine. You can’t take this stuff too seriously. Then I gathered up that side to its original proportions. I’m pleased with the result. Here it is.

Next came a top to go with. I picked up this Vogue 8771 last week, thinking it would be ever so comfy in sweater knits for this upcoming 6 months that we call Winter in Upstate NY. When JoAnn has Vogue patterns for $3.99, I can’t resist and this time came home with 8 or so.

I used the same knit as for the skirt on the body, and the coordinating knit for the sleeves. I love the high-low hemline here.

I have sewn Butterick 4665 three or four times now.

It’s a very simple coat that goes together quickly and fits me well after a FBA the first time around. I omitted pockets and closures, just wanting this to be more of a casual cardigan type jacket. Again, I mixed the two knits and lined it in a champagne colored charmeuse from my stash.

I had enough of the smaller print to sew up a simple pair of elastic waist pants, also from M5434. I’m feeling like it might be a bit much to wear together, but, hey, that was the goal, right?

Then I remembered that I had made up the top from Vogue 8771 in that same charmeuse I used for the jacket lining. Bonus piece! I don’t like the fit of this at all; there’s just too much of it, it’s all too big and shiny, but it works under jackets with just a bit of the drapey neckline peeking out. Charmeuse and DD’s is just plain stupid. I know better.

Part of my Vogue haul was Vogue 8757, a most adorable little jacket with a collar that goes oh-so-many ways.

I used both knits, for the sleeves and collar, some stash fleece for the side front and under collar and the woven wool for the front and back.

Everything was going so well. The muse was upon me. I hardly had to pick out a seam. Even the serging was smooth. Then I tried on the jacket and there was some funky bunching along the back sleeves. . I thought I caught the lining, or (gods forbid) cut off some critical bits when serging the sleeve into the shoulders, but after a couple ons-and-offs, I determined that the woven wool had far more “give” than the brocade I used to line it with and that was causing the bumps. So I cleverly pulled a bit crosswise on the lining, which promptly shredded down the center back seam. No, no seam allowances; I had serged them off! Clever girl. The best I could do was to bind the edges so it doesn’t fray further and vow to never take the jacket off in public. So much for any smugness I might have been feeling. And, yes, those are skulls on the brocade. It was leftover from a costume something or other I made for my son and I didn’t have another piece of anything suitable to use. Should have just gone shopping. I knew better!

No-Guilt Cheesecake


I’ve been on the road for most of the past 6 months, ok, 5 years, for my job. While I occasionally get to stay in 5 star resorts, most of my time away is spent in not-so-hot spots at an Embassy Suites or such.

The last number of months have seen me in Utica, NY, a small, seen-better-days upstate New York city.

It has nothing to recommend it.

Except the food.

The descendents of the Italian immigrants who populated Utica in the early days have not forgotten the foods of their ancestors and great Italian food is ubiquitous, delicious and comes in very large portions, which I have been putting away with gusto, which resulted in, er, a few extra pounds, which made my clothes uncomfortable, which spurred me to change my behavior.

I tell you all that to tell you this:

In the course of switching to a healthier, lower calorie diet, I discovered Greek Yogurt. High protein, no fat, not so bad on carbs super food. Make it sweet or savory; it goes every where yogurt, sour cream, creme fraiche and even heavy cream can go. So after a few weeks of yogurt dressings and dips and frozen-with-fruit treats, it dawned on me that it was likely possible to concoct a cheesecake with my new bff.

So I scoured the food blogs, came up with a few potential recipe candidates (here is my favorite: http://eat-your-heart-out.net/2012/04/04/lemony-greek-yogurt-cheesecake/ and, because I can never leave anything alone, did a little tweaking.

I was really intent on making this as guilt/calorie-free as possible, and while I don’t know an exact calorie count, I can tell you that it is 3 Weight Watchers points a serving. Which is somewhere between 120 and 180 calories. Anybody can do that, right?

Best part is that you would never, ever, ever know that it’s not the real deal. Don’t take my word for it; try it. Let me know what you think.

4 Stella Doro breakfast treats crushed to crumbs (graham crackers are fine, but bump up the calories) Breakfast Treats are much like biscotti, dry, crumbly, not too sweet. Use whatever cookie crumbs you like.
2 T Olivio spread (or I can’t believe it’s not butter light) melted.
1t lemon zest
Mix together and press into lightly greased 7″ springform pan. I used parchment on the bottom

1 1/2 C fat free Greek yogurt
4 oz softened light cream cheese
2 eggs
2/3 C Splenda
1t vanilla
1T corn starch

Mix well, pour into pan, bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Middle will be wiggly, but edges should be coming away from sides of the pan.
Refrigerate 2 hours or more before removing from pan

I wish I had a picture, but we ate it too quickly.

Vogue 1159


I eventually had to put this on my dress form to get the pieces and parts in the right places. I’d have thought maybe it was just me being a little thick-headed except that when I started to get frustrated I did a quick search to see if I was, in fact, thick-headed, or if there were errors.
Sure ’nuff, I wasn’t the only one out there.
Apart from the mistakes, others noted that they had made alterations when finished; sewn up the side seams to shorten the armholes and tacked the draped front closed. If I were going to wear the dress by itself, I’d have done the same, but in my experience as a full busted individual, wrap front dresses never stay closed well enough and so I opted to leave the dress as is and wear a tank underneath.
Since I used a silky lycra knit… I got it on clearance and suppose it might be a swim wear knit… I didn’t bother to line the skirt. It’s a decision I’m glad of since one of the pattern errors has to do with the lining and I might have bagged the whole project by that point.
All things considered, I am quite pleased with the results. The fit is good, the fabric worked well and it is very comfortable to wear.
Apologies for the lousy photo. Time crunch. Sometimes adequate just has to do.


Vogue 1159


Yes, Yes, I know, it’s been months and months. All the fault of the day job.

And the first thing I am compelled to write is a big complaint to Vogue and warning to you all.

This beauty, that I’ve been planning for months now, is a B*tch!

I’ll give you  more details later, but let’s start with the mismatched markings and incomplete instructions. One set of notches is 2 1/2 inches off!

Since the front, back and front facings are all one enormous pattern piece, even this experienced sewist is having a devil of a time noodling this out without good direction.

Maybe they should change their name to VAGUE.


Back Soon, I Hope


Hi all!

Just wanted to apologize for the silence lately. My job has had me traveling five to six days a week for the past couple months and just last Saturday, when work was about to settle down, my son took a header off a dirt bike and into a tree.

He fractured his skull, nicked an artery running behind it and gave us a few really scary days. Miraculously, and thanks to really good doctors, it looks like he’ll make a full (but slow) recovery. It’s been a helluva ride.

You know how you get when you have no time at all for creative pursuits for a long time, right? Yeah, I’m feeling a little crazy right now.

I have had a couple requests to give some instruction on ways to style the Endless Dress, so I’ll be working on that for you as soon as possible!