Archive: Jun 2014

Chloe’s choc chip biscuits

Chloe recently made a presentation at school, on a ‘process’. She wanted to share how she makes choc chip biscuits, so we took some photos for her to put into a power point presentation. She did all the cooking herself, as well as all the typing…

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Finished Project: LBJ Dress

Like the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Butterick 4029 took more time than expected. 
I started sewing this vintage 1960s pattern weeks ahead of a planned night out on Broadway with my husband to see “All the Way,” the play about Lyndon Johnson’s unscrupulous (but ultimately admirable) efforts to push anti-discrimation legislation through the United States Senate in his first year as president. My husband is fascinated by LBJ; he prays every night that Robert Caro lives long enough to write the next volume in his epic biography on LBJ. The play was incredible (but it closed last night so if you’re interested, you’ll have to wait for the revival).
The dress was also pretty incredible. My husband may be as obsessed with it as LBJ. He told me a dozen times it was his favorite thing I’ve ever sewn:

I owe all the compliments to the fit — and the neckline, which I reshaped several times before landing on this. Remember how the original neckline tried to filibuster me with this unfortunate hunchback effect?

I took some good advice from Lisa (Notes from a Mad House wife) and cut the back into a scoop. I also had to deepen the darts on the back. The results were sexy but wearable:

If you’ve ever done such a fix, you know there are many steps in reshaping a neckline after your fabric has already been cut out. In order, they are:
• Remove facings
• Adjust darts to take out excess
• Use curve to redraft neckline curve
• Cut (and pray)
• Trace new neckline to draft new facing pattern 
• Cut new facings from your fabric
• Sew facings
• Finish facings (understitch; handstitch down facings along zipper)
Bye bye, facings!
I made a number of other fit adjustments to Butterick 4029 (which I most likely will not be sewing again!):
• Continued the front French dart up into the front neckline, creating (in effect) a Princess seam
• Took excess out of the shoulder seam, which of course meant that I also had to…
• Lower the armscye and….
• Find a new way to finish the armhole because the original facings would not match up now that I made so many changes. I opted for a bias binding:
Exhausting, right? Let’s just look at the dress:

This is how I styled it for our night out on Broadway — with silver flats and a DIY Anni Albers-inspired necklace made from silver bobby pins and a tub stopper chain.  

I had planned to make View E:
But considering the heat in NYC these days, I tossed the sleeves as quickly as LBJ threw out the Voting Rights provision. Once again, from the back:

 A dress that fits so well is an achievement considering all the points that had to be altered in order to iron out all the issues — not like, ending-segregation-level achievement, but a success nonetheless. Hopefully I will have more than one occasion on which to wear it!

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Modern Medallion quilt along – Cross my heart and stuck in the middle

Week four! How the time is flying. Some of you have already finished… say what? I can’t believe how quick you guys are. I have to admit I have been a bit slow lately and have been taking a bit of a break from sewing madly as is my usual state. I do h…

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No, I didn’t forget the “S”…My new shoe is an Aircast Walking Brace, size medium. I tore a tendon in my left foot several months ago, but didn’t realize what had happened, so I walked on it in Santa Fe, in Chicago, and on my daily 4 mile walk. OUCH! …

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KWIK Sew 3267 ~ Men’s Shorts ~ In Tan Cotton Poplin!

The shorts are finally done and just in time for this 80 degree weather we’ve been having in Ocean City!Now that I have the size just right, I really like how they fit around the waist.  The large was just to tight.  Where the extra large fit…

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I love this | weekend edition

 A compilation of articles and images that I’ve found inspiring. I hope you will too!candy colored denim from the early 1950s. Hello, summertime! Even though the weather can sometimes be oppressive and uncomfortable, I’m excited it’s summer! We’re…

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Rambo IV: A Celebration of Friendship

Could there be a movie tagline any more antithetical to the Rambo movies? Actually, I don’t know the answer to that question, since I’ve not actually seen a single Rambo movie. However, I have it on good authority (i.e. Mr. Cation, who hasn’t seen them…

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The Tee with Two

Two micro-pockets, that is!  These pockets are such fun to make, a little bit of picky sewing on a useful garment.  They’re inspired by the double-pocket feature on an early 1940&#…

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Seeing *Your* Fabric Out In the Wild

So the other day I was picking my daughter up from kindergarten when I saw it: a lady wearing a peplum top made from the same fabric I bought at for these Hudson Pants I made.
My hand-made pants
Yes, this is what some women wear to pick their kids up from school in the Bronx (she didn’t have the matching mini): 

 And then, a couple days later (also on my way to pick up my kid from school), I saw another lady wearing a maxi dress in the same fabric (this is not her; I found this pic online after much googling):

Of course, I wanted to ask both women where they bought their “nautical striped” ready-to-wear, but neither looked especially open to questions from strangers so I let it be. The fabric is pretty cheap (it pilled after just a couple washes) so I’m guessing it was not sourced from a high-end designer.
Meanwhile, in my latest sewing class, one of my students brought in this fabulous toile du jouy, which she bought at Mood and had been told it was John Galliano. It has a brocade sort of finish on top:

We all loved the fabric and I was dying to see how Galliano used it. After a few minutes googling I discovered it’s from Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 collection, though in a slightly different variation:

 You can see it’s the same print, but with a black quilting-style finish on top rather than the brocade (apparently the same toile du jouy is available in different colorways at Mood NYC). My student was using this fabric for a skirt, which was clearly a good choice considering that same collection featured a multitude of skirts in similar toile du jouy prints.

We’re lucky in New York to have such exciting, high-quality designer rollends at our disposal. Often you can find something that cost a fortune in ready-to-wear for a steal at the fabric store. A few years back I bought this bow print cotton by Marc Jacobs for just $5/yard from Metro Textile:

Curious to see what Marc Jacobs had made with it, I googled:

 Once I saw what Marc Jacobs had done with that bow print, I wished I had bought the entire bolt.

Recently I saw another Marc Jacobs print at Metro — this navy heavy weight cotton printed with his initials:

It was available in several colorways (at $5/yard), so I grabbed some for a friend’s daughter whose nickname is MJ. I figured anyone with the initials MJ would be happy to have something special sewn with his fabric. Try as I might, I could not find any items made from this print.

Do you ever search to see what a certain designer has done with the fabric you bought? (Or have you ever run into someone wearing ready-to-wear made from your fabric?

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Better than Adidas

My friends are in Brazil right not for the world cup ( I KNOW), but before they left we were watching a lot of soccer on TV. I was seeing a lot of these on the players 

The ever elusive…

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archer shirt variation: v-neck placket

Wutsup Internet pals. After my last post, I received some requests for a demonstration on how I modified the plackets of the Grainline Archer shirt to a V-neck. And I oblige! I like this look because the shirt lays flat against your chest while still f…

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Banana "Ice Cream" (Vegan, Gluten-free)

I’m not a huge banana fanatic, but do like a good slice of banana bread and love a good ole’ frozen banana dipped in chocolate.I had heard about the idea of pureeing frozen bananas to create “ice cream,” but was skeptical. I am no longer a skeptic. Sup…

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Countdown to summer (and summer sewing)

I’ve got 1 hour and 7 minutes before public school ends and summer vacation begins, which will greatly impact my sewing and posting powers over the next 70 days (for more on my other summer project, see here).

Still, I’m looking forward to resuming my Project Runway recap posts next month. Lifetime finally announced the season premiere date — July 24. You can already see some of the Season 13 designers’ work at Lifetime’s Project Runway page, where they have those “home visit” videos already up. Who will get “Runway Redemption”? (Remember they asked viewers to vote on what former contestant to bring back?). That will be revealed on July 24. Let’s just hope it’s not Ken. I would be really disappointed in Project Runway if they allow someone who threatened violence against a woman on camera to return. What a terrible precedent that would set.

Moving on, I finished my troubled LBJ dress just in time to wear it to “All the Way” Tuesday night. My husband loved the show — and was crazy about the dress. I didn’t manage photos other than this pre-show selfie (my husband showed up 5 minutes before curtain and afterward we had to quickly run off so we could get back to the Bronx to relieve the babysitter). You can just barely see one strap:

I made about 10 alterations to this dress (including a major back neckline excavation), and in the end the fit was pretty great. We’ll shoot some photos of it soon.

I’m also taking my swimsuit sewing to the next level with a Wonder Woman bathing suit for my daughter. It’s a birthday surprise, so shhhhh, don’t tell her:

I drafted it myself, and if it weren’t trademark-infringement, I would attempt to put it into Illustrator so I can share it here (who am I kidding; that would take me 40 hours and time is not on my side now that it’s summer!). Machine appliqueing on the golden eagle was a bit of a pain in the zig-zag. But that is love for you. I think I’ll make a little starry circle skirt to wear over top of the suit on the way to and from the sprinklers.

I bought the materials for this suit at Spandex House on a Garment District trip with Lisette from What Would Nancy Drew Wear? (We also checked out the lingerie exhibit at FIT, which I highly recommend). We talked lady-swimsuit-making and it has been on my brain ever since. I’ve only found two patterns I would wear. Jalie’s Tankini pattern:

And Papercut Patterns’ new Soma Suit, which has a couple variations. For myself, I like the one piece:

I do, after all, have nearly a yard apiece of solid gold, red, and blue-and-white stars spandex leftover (a kid suit doesn’t take much yardage and the minimum you can buy at Spandex House is a yard).

What are your summer sewing plans? Does sewing take the backburner when the sun is shining?

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Breeze Top Tour

 I recently had the opportunity to try out* a new tween/teen pattern called the Breeze Top designed by Shannon from Little Kids Grow.  Shannon has older kids herself and knows how hard it can be to find sewing patterns for that age group!&nbs…

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        Lately work’s been really crazy… I need at least one extra day in the week, maybe somewhere between friday and monday, to do all the things I need to do and all the things I want to do. It got me thinking a lot about simplicity and our motivations for it.                                                    POINT

        There are many reasons why you would want to simplify the way you dress – or the way you live for that matter. I realize the main reason I find myself more and more attracted to .simple, is that the rest of my life is not simple. There are so many things I want to be, to do, to learn, to see. This oftentimes translates into being motivated and energized but sometimes means anxious and unfocused.         LINE

        Perhaps you find yourself in the same spot: you might have a mess of a schedule or maybe complicated relationships. Simplifying your wardrobe and the way you dress is certainly not a solution but can give you a place of calm, a little breathing room, a refuge to rest before confronting the other areas of your life.         SURFACE

        Simplicity can be what ever you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be plain, it doesn’t have to be boring, it doesn’t have to be blah. For me is clean lines and and carefully selected details like Sara’s and Ute’s for example.         For you?         What is “simple” for you?…and if there’s an image that best describes it, fell free to link it in the comments – I’m really curious 🙂

Thank you for visiting. I would love to hear your opinion.


        Ultimamente sono stata molto presa dal lavoro… Avrei bisogno di almeno un’altro giorno nella settimana, magari da qualche parte tra il venerdì ed il lunedì, per riuscire a fare tutte le cose che devo fare e tutte le cose che voglio fare. Ho cominciato a pensare spesso alla semplicità e a ciò che ci spinge a cercarla.                                                   PUNTO

        Ci sono molte ragioni per le quali potresti voler cercare la semplicità nel modo di vivere e di vestire. Mi rendo conto che il principale motivo per il quale mi sento sempre di più attratta dal .semplice è che la mia vita non è semplice. Ci sono così tante cose che vorrei fare, imparare, vedere, essere. Spesso ciò si traduce in essere motivata e piena di energia ma avvolte significa inquietudine e confusione.         LINEA

        Forse ti trovi nella stessa posizione: l’agenda un caos oppure relazioni complicate. Semplificare il guardaroba o il mondo di vestire sicuramente non sarà una soluzione ma può dare un po di spazio per respirare, un posto di calma, un rifugio per riprendere le forze prima di affrontare le altre aree della vita.         SUPERFICIE

        La semplicità può essere qualsiasi cosa tu vuoi che sia. Non dev’essere insipida, non dev’essere noiosa, non dev’essere blah. Per me è linee pulite e particolari attentamente curati, come nei lavori di Sara e Ute per esempio.         Per te?         Cosa significa “semplice” per te?… e se c’è un’immagine che meglio descrive il tuo concetto di semplicità, lascia un collegamento nei commenti – sono veramente curiosa 🙂

Grazie della visita. Mi piacerebbe moltissimo sentire la vostra opinione.

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Embellished Micro Pocket

As a crafter, I often have an itch to stitch fun things like embroidered starfish, but it can be tricky to combine craftiness with apparel sewing.  Embroidered patch pockets are a mainsta…

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Perfect Micro Pockets

The Tee features optional micro-pockets that mimic the silly, lovely little pockets often found on Ready-To-Wear (RTW) t-shirts.   For a fun vintage twist, try stacking two!  These pocke…

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Gertie’s Sewing Show, Episode 2!

It’s here! The next installment of my new sewing web series. This one is a sewist’s review of the exhibit Charles James: Beyond Fashion, now showing at The Met Museum. I’m joined by my lovely fellow sewing nerds Allyson and Fleur.The purpose of Gertie’…

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Lesson 6…My Techniques to Sew Darts, Buttonholes, and Gaping Armholes

We’re nearing the end of he sewing classes until the fall. For the past two weeks, I’ve shared techniques that are useful to a sewist and am combining them in this week’s post.Techniques for Successful Darts1. Mark the dart clearly with chalk or some o…

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Lesson 6…My Techniques to Sew Darts, Buttonholes, and Gaping Armholes

We’re nearing the end of he sewing classes until the fall. For the past two weeks, I’ve shared techniques that are useful to a sewist and am combining them in this week’s post.Techniques for Successful Darts1. Mark the dart clearly with chalk or some o…

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Union Street Tee Blog Tour for Hey June!

What’s one thing every girl has, no matter what her tastes, age, size, or appearance:
a favorite t-shirt.

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Grid Guide for Custom Sizing

Cake Patterns uses innovative sizing methods designed to allow flexibility for individual fit and design preferences. The Grid-Guide Sizing lets you decide the length and ease for your Tee: crop top to tunic length, close or relaxed f…

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Finished Project: Hudson Pants Two Ways

I love sewing up easy-to-wear separates that push people’s idea about what handmade clothing looks like. Except for other homesewers, few people would expect that you made your own comfy lounge pants, like the Hudson Pants here:

Kelli of the great blog True Bias asked me to be a tester for her first pattern release, the comfy, cozy, but not-at-all schlubby Hudson Pants (named for the NYC neighborhood in which she lives — which also happens to be the first neighborhood I lived in in New York City too).

After seeing numerous versions of her new pants pattern pop up on her Instragram feed,  how could I resist?

So I ordered up two fabrics from a grey French terry (coming up down below) and this “nautical stripe” ponte:

I cut a straight size 12 for my first pair, made from the stripey fabric you see here. I don’t love the fabric, but that was my own error; when you purchase a printed fabric online, make sure to actually check the size of said print. I had expected the stripes to be much smaller. Can you tell from this pic who I think I look like in these pants?

That’s right: the Hamburglar! 
Moving on, my second pair of Hudson Pants was much more successful. I used a lovely French terry, which washed well, doesn’t pill and feels as cozy as it should in this pattern. It looks like lightweight sweatshirt fabric from the outside and feels like a thousand fairy wings fluttering on your thighs on the inside:

Not only was my fabric a better choice in Version 2.0, but I also graded from a Size 12 to an 6 at the waist. I am pear-shaped and had hoped that cutting the elastic to the right length would cinch in the waistband enough that grading wouldn’t be necessary. However, the leap from 6 to 12 is pretty big and my first pair were a little bunchy at the waist.

I’ve worn these a ton since I’ve made them. And machine washed them twice (after saying a little prayer). They held up beautifully. In fact, I took these photos on the Solstice, which was a month after making them:

The version of the pattern I used was the test version, and Kelli has made a few adjustments since then. The final version has some extra ease in the calf and ankle band for added comfort. The Hudson Pant pattern also includes a calf-length version.

Have you made lounge pants before? What’s your fave fabric for comfy pants like these?

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style monday | a little bit of a 70s groove

wearing: sundress (70s vintage), belt (Target), earring (Forever 21), bracelet (70s vintage), sandals (Anne Taylor), sunglasses ($5 store).Happy Summer! It’s officially here–and the weather that comes with it. Although I am not complaining about the h…

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Modern Medallion quilt along – waving not drowning

Week three and here we are waving hello! Your Modern Medallions are starting to take shape now and I am so glad to see so many of you have tackled your wavy borders head on! How are you going with your quilt?Week three host – Kate QuiltsKate blogged th…

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2014#21 – Striped hooded jacket – Jaqueta às riscas com capucho

ETA: click here for photos of me wearing the jacket

DESCRIPTION: The original pattern is for a straight unlined jacket with built-in hood and a single snap closure at waist level; there are no pockets or belt. I’ve added a full lining, a belt, two patch pockets and four buttons along the front edge, instead of the single snap. 
PATTERN: Burda World of Fashion 2007 model 126 (traced size 38); my magazine is in French because in 2007 Burda wasn’t publishing the Portuguese edition just yet. Below you can see a snapshot of the pattern and how the body and hood are cut as a single piece. 

Nota: cliquem aqui para verem fotos minha sa usar a jaqueta!

DESCRIÇÃO: O molde original é de uma jaqueta sem forro com capucho e com apenas uma mola de pressão ao nível da cintura; não tem bolsos nem cinto. Acrescentei um forro completo, cinto, dois bolsos-chapa e em vez da mola, quatro botões ao longo da frente.
MOLDE: Burda Tendences Mode, modelo 126 (cortei o 38); a revista é a edição francesa porque em 2007 ainda não se publicava a edição Portuguesa da Burda. Mais abaixo podem ver uma foto do molde, onde se percebe que o corpo e o capucho são cortados numa peça única de tecido.

 Side and back views / Vista de lado e de trás:

 A close-up of the tie-belt / Detalhe do cinto de atar:

For the belt loops I used buttonhole twist thread; there are no side seams and I anchored the loops using two small buttons inside, as you can see below: 
Para as passadeiras do cinto usei linha torçal; para prender bem sem arriscar esgaçar o tecido (uma vez que não há costuras laterais), usei dois botões pequeninos no interior, como podem ver mais abaixo:

 The patch pockets / os bolsos-chapa:

Here’s a view of the lining back fold for wearing ease; I’ve also tacked the lining to the jacket at the center of the back neck seam (the lining was cut using the jacket pattern excluding the edge facings/ hem facings width and adding SAs, so the hood is also included; hence the need of hand-tacking it at the back neck) and bellow the armholes. 
Podem ver aqui a dobra do forro no centro das costas; dei uns pontos à mão no centro da costura do decote atrás e também por baixo da costura da cava para prender o forro ao casaco e evitar que se desloque. O molde do forro é conseguido a partir do molde do casaco, excluindo a largura das bainhas /orlas e acrescentando margens de costura, por isso o capucho também fica incluído; é por isto que deve ser preso ao casaco na costura do decote atrás.

CONCLUSION: This project took some time to complete and also I was improvising along the way; I only decided to add the full lining after the jacket was completed so I stitched it to the jacket entirely by hand; then I decided to add the belt and only in the end I felt that just one button at waist level wasn’t going to be enough for me. As with the previous project using the same fabric, I took some care matching the stripes, choosing to align them horizontally; I matched the stripes on the patch pockets and also on the sleeves and I am really satisfied with the end result. Have a wonderful weekend guys, and thank you for visiting!

ETA: Just a quick note to mention that I interfaced the edge facings and hem facings and also the pocket placement area and back neckline/shoulder/armhole using fusing tape! There is no mention to interfacing in Burda’s instructions, but they do mention using bias tape as hem/facing finishing and also bound the armhole/neck/shoulder allowances, since this is originally an unlined jacket.
CONCLUSÃO: Este projeto demorou algum tempo a terminar, pois o meu tempo livre é mesmo muito pouco e além disso foi sendo improvisado à medida que avançava. Por exemplo, só decidi forrar a jaqueta depois desta estar finalizada, por isso tive de coser o forro à mão à jaqueta. Depois disso é que achei que ficava bem com um cinto; finalmente concluí que apenas um botão era pouco e acrescentei os restantes. Tal como as calças do mesmo tecido que mostrei anteriormente, tive o cuidado de alinhar as riscas de forma a coincidirem perfeitamente ao longo da frente e entre as mangas e o corpo da jaqueta, optando pela direção horizontal. Também fiz com que as riscas dos bolsos coincidissem, de forma a parecerem quase invisíveis. Fiquei muito satisfeita com o resultado final, valeu bem a pena o tempo que demorou a fazer. Tenham todos um ótimo fim-de-semana e obrigada por visitarem!

Apenas uma nota adicional: apliquei entretela às orlas da bainha e nas orlas da frente, assim como fita de entretela nas costuras das cavas, ombro e decote atrás. As instruções da Burda não mencionam qualquer entretela, apenas dizem para usar fita de viés para o acabamento das orlas, decote atrás e costuras de aplicação das mangas, uma vez que a jaqueta original não é forrada.

Couture et Tricot is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license
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2014#20 – Black&white striped pants – Calças às riscas brancas e pretas

DESCRIPTION: Wide leg pants with side seam shifted to the front, in-seam pockets, shaped waistband and fly-front zipper. 
Note: You can see photos of me wearing the pants here; also note that I’ve skipped project 2014#19: it’s an eyelet midi skirt that I’ve reviewed here (full tutorial); 
PATTERN: BurdaStyle 2013/12 model 103; I’ve used this pattern before (click here and here) but this time I’m cutting a size smaller (36) and also keeping the original model without alterations (on my previous versions I altered the shifted side seam into a side panel). 
DESCRIÇÃO: Calças de perna larga com costura lateral deslocada para a frente, bolsos metidos na costura, cós enformado e carcela com fecho. 
Nota: podem ver fotos de mim a usar as calças aqui; notem também que saltei o projeto 2014#19: é uma saia midi rodada feita de tecido bordado Inglês cujo passo-a-passo completo foi publicado no meu outro blogue (ver aqui).
MOLDE: BurdaStyle 2013/12, modelo 103; Já tinha usado este molde antes (ver aqui e aqui), mas desta vez cortei o tamanho abaixo (36) e também usei o molde sem alterações (nos projetos anteriores tinha-o alterado para ter painéis laterais).

There’s little to add to what I’ve said before about this pattern; this time my main concern was matching the stripes. The extended back was cut with the stripes aligned vertically and the narrower front panels were cut with the stripes aligned horizontally. Bellow you can see the waistband, back and front: 
Não há muito a acrescentar ao que já disse sobre este modelo; desta vez a preocupação principal foi casar as riscas e manter a simetria do modelo. O painel de trás que se estende para a frente foi cortado com as riscas ao alto e o painel reduzido da frente com as riscas horizontais. Abaixo podem ver o cós, atrás e à frente:

 The front-fly zipper / A carcela com fecho:

 The inseam pockets / Os bolsos metidos nas costuras:

CONCLUSION: I really love the visual effect of the horizontal/vertical stripes! Earlier today I also finished a wooded jacket (kind of a parka actually) using the same striped fabric; stay tuned for the upcoming review! Thank you all so much for visiting!
CONCLUSÃO: Adorei o efeito visual das riscas horizontais/verticais neste modelo! Hoje ainda consegui acabar uma jaqueta com capuz (uma espécie de parka) usando este mesmo tecido; estejam atentos porque não devo demorar muito a publicá-la! Muito obrigada a todos por visitarem!
Couture et Tricot is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license
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KWIK Sew 3267 – Men’s Shorts – Muslin Version

I really meant to start this pattern a couple months ago so I would have them ready for this warm weather we are having on the shore.  As it turned out other projects got in the way and I was delayed a bit.  I decided to make a muslin first f…

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chardon (m. thistle)

PATTERN THROWBACK. To ye olden days of 2013, when it seemed like we were in the midst of an indie pattern boom but were in fact only on the cusp.Last week I was feeling nostalgic for simpler times, so I bypassed my PDF pattern collection and turned to …

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