Archive: Dec 2016

Little treasures from Ortwine

Sometime there are little family owned shops which haven’t changed in ages. This was the case of Ortwine Hardware. A little ‘hidden gem’ close to my neighborhood, this store finally closed after 70+ years of business. On December 30th, a couple friend…

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Miss Bernadette Decks the Halls: Butterick 6244 and Cashmerette Turner Dress

Good evening, kittens! There’s time for one more 2016 blog post, right?
We originally had grand plans for tonight, but after two straight weeks of travel, decided to plant ourselves on the couch and watch college football instead. Sam is making steaks, I may whip up some brownies, and we’ll ring in the new year in my favorite way: clad in pajamas and drinking mimosas at home. I would make such a fabulous hermit, y’all. 
Despite my introverted inclinations, we did spend most of the holidays celebrating in style. Not only were there a million parties to attend in December, but our third anniversary fell right before Christmas. Usually, I make up one fabulous holiday dress, then wear it endlessly for a month. This year, I made a dress and a coat. It wasn’t overachieving, so much as self-preservation. We had a series of cold fronts, before Christmas, and I would’ve been a beautiful popsicle, without a festive coat to throw over my festive dress. 
No shivering under the mistletoe for me, this year!
Butterick 6244, the coat in this ensemble, is a pattern I’ve longed to make. It’s one of the new Lisette patterns for Butterick (she moved from Simplicity, last year) designed by Liesl Gibson, of Oliver + S fame. The pattern features two pieces: a simple princess-seamed dress and a drape front coat to pair with it. The dress is cute enough, but that coat! Be still my heart. Unlined, with that dramatic collar and flat-felled seams, it’s the elegant, but easy-to-sew outerwear of my dreams. 
Gorgeous versions of this coat first popped up, last winter. Lori, of Girls in the Garden, made an elegant camel version; Margot, of Creating in the Gap, made this glorious red one; and 
The Frougie Fashionista made a buffalo plaid iteration that I have coveted ever since. We had a remarkably mild winter, last year, and I never got around to cutting it out. This year, however, coats seemed like the smartest thing to sew. We had a cold snap early and those Arctic waves of weather keep on coming. I’m relishing them, if only for the opportunity to wear my favorite layers. 
For the fabric of this coat, I chose a dishy boiled wool from Mood Fabrics in cayenne red. This color is, sadly, no longer stocked on their site, but a dozen or so other colors are still available. Boiled wool is exactly what it sounds like–wool fabric that has been agitated in hot water, so that the fibers shrink up into a tighter, more felted fabric. It has a gloriously soft, nubby texture and a bit of springy stretch in one direction, thanks to this process. In addition to coats, I’ve had a couple of winter skirts made from boiled wool and they are such cozy layering pieces. It is one of my favorite fabrics to wear during colder months.
It’s also a bit strange to work with. Boiled wool is densely packed, but isn’t opaque. It’s super warm and a bit heavy, but also drapes beautifully. This is the first of two projects that I’m using boiled wool for, this season, and I’m treating it differently in each case. This fabric works brilliantly for unstructured, drapey pieces like this one, as it doesn’t unravel and has beautiful movement on its own. However,  if you add the right lining and understructure, it’s also a fantastic fabric for a more structured coat. It’s almost more chameleon than cloth.
The construction of this coat was about as easy as outerwear gets. There are two darts at the neckline, no lining to fuss with, and only five pieces in total. The instructions are pretty clear, with a lengthy explanation of flat-felled seams for beginners, and there’s a sew-along on the Lisette website for the entire pattern. Boiled wool doesn’t actually unravel, as mentioned above, so if you wanted to leave the drape unhemmed and the seams unfinished, this pattern would be easier. You’ll see unhemmed boiled wool in ready-to-wear all the time and it gives a bohemian, casual look to the finished garment. Despite my penchant for perfectionism, I almost did that myself. This wool looks seriously beautiful left on its own. 
In the end, though, I hemmed everything and finished all seams as instructed. The armscyes are the only seams left unfelled in the directions, which I kept out of pure laziness. The fabric is a little bulky for flat-felled seams, but it takes both pinning and pressing well, so it’s not too big of a challenge. My seams aren’t perfect on the insides, but look nice and neat on the outside. I’ll take that!
My only note is that, if you’re going to use boiled wool for an unlined design, expect it to wrinkle. I wore the coat for an hour, before these photos, and signs of wear are evident even after a good pressing, earlier that morning.  Its organic, unstructured nature is part of the charm, in my book. For more tailored designs, definitely consider those lining options well, however.
Underneath this coat is another version of the Cashmerette Turner Dress, which is easily my favorite pattern of the last few months. It’s a simple design, but also a timeless one. Depending on fabric and design variations, soooo many different looks are possible with this pattern. Plus, those multiple cup sizes are amazing. I will never be able to praise Jenny enough for making the FBA a thing of the past. It’s freeing to skip such a major fitting step! 
For this Turner, I used black and white geometric rayon jersey, also from Mood Fabrics. This fabric is extra stretchy, drapes like a dream, and has abstract hearts and circles marching diagonally across the print. It’s absolutely beautiful and just a little strange, which I dig. In order to take advantage of this fabric, properly, I made a few small changes to the pattern: 
  • Rounded the neckline and subbed in a neckband, in place of the lining. 
  • Elongated the shoulder seam slightly to give it the illusion of a cap sleeve, which I thought would be fun with those diagonal stripes. 
  • Kept the 1″ added to both the bodice and skirt, last time. 
Like my other knit makes, I constructed this one in the usual way. It’s sewn on my machine, with a lightning bolt stitch for the seams and small zig-zag for the hems. Lightweight fusible webbing is used on both the skirt and sleeve hems to stabilize them and make sewing much, much easier. 

I really adore this pairing, y’all. A black-and-white print worn with bright red statement pieces is one of my favorite combinations, especially at the holidays. It’s festive, but also works at other times of the year. You can deck the halls or just bundle up for an elegant evening out. Even better, this coat is eerily similar to wearing a gigantic blanket. Between it and the secret pajamas factor of a knit dress, it feels like I’m cheating at dressing up! When I’ve eaten record amounts of holiday food, that’s a definite win.
Happy New Year, kittens! I hope you had a joyful holiday season, filled with friends, family, cake, and maybe even a little selfish sewing time! I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for us all. 
Note: The fabric for this post was provided by Mood Fabrics, free of charge, as part of my participation in the Mood Sewing Network. All opinions and thoughts are my own, however, and I choose all my MSN fabrics. 
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And just like that…

So, it’s 2017!  Just like that! (This blog post will feature random photos from the year). I still have over 30 garments from 2016 that have not yet been blogged.  Gulp.  I have finally made it as far as getting photos for most of them and uploading them to Flickr, so maybe while we’re away… Continue reading And just like that…

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Amanda vs Ginger Jeans

You know in movies how the protagonist has that one moment where something happens and it is a catalyst for them to become extra awesome and take on a superhero mantle and fight crime? Well, I totally had that in July last year. Except there was no rousing soundtrack. And sadly my life remains secret identity free. […]

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15 Simply Scrumptious Sugar Scrubs

sugar scrubs you can makeWe’ve gathered together the most gorgeous, fragrant and fun sugar scrubs  to share with you today. Using essential oils, these scrubs are so easy to make, you can do a different one each week or make a bunch to use as gifts for friends. DIY Sugar Scrubs Links in this post contain affiliate/distributor links. We…

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The post 15 Simply Scrumptious Sugar Scrubs appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

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State of the Curve: Plus Size Sewing in 2016

Happy New Year, Curvy Sewing Collective! Along with sewing a party dress and carefully choosing a bottle of bubbly, writing this post is one of my favorite end-of-year tasks. Nothing ushers in excitement for the upcoming year quite like basking in the successes of the previous one. Even better, 2016 was a banner year for curvy sewing!…

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Free Embroidery Design – Happy New Year

Happy New Year Design #HEF0035 Size (in): 5.44 (w) x 5.37(h) Stitches: 7473 Colors: 5 Thread type: Isacord Color 1: 3820 Color 2: 1902 Color 2: 5326 Color 2:

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Top 10 Renegade Seamstress Projects of 2016

Call me weird, but I love reading all of the top 10 lists that come out at the end of the year. Anything from the most popular nail polish colors to the best new books to read. So, I thought you might … Continue reading

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Free Project – Dollhouse Miniature Pancakes In Blueberry Sauce

Free Project – Dollhouse Miniature Pancakes In Blueberry Sauce

Make some polymer clay pancakes covered in blueberry sauce. Leave it to use as a cute dollhouse miniature or glue it to an adjustable ring and wear around your finger. Click below, scroll down to “Blog”, type “Dollhouse Miniature” in the search field Click Here

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2016: A Year In Review

I can’t believe this year is nearly over! 2016 was such a weird year for me – it seems so brief when I look back, but also like it lasted FOREVER. As with my wrap-up last year, I’m not going to post every single garment I made in 2016 (part of the reason being that […]

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Free Project – NYE Star Crown

Description Be the star of the New Year with this fun, glittering crown of stars. Download Now

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Growling at 2016- with Butterick6241

Well, Happy New Years Eve from little me and all of us at Mutual of Omaha! I’m feeling most frisky today- new year approaching, new possibilities, new yada yada…. it’s time for Jungle January 5 and a renewed sense of sewing wonder- cuz I wonder how many peeps will join me and what wonders we […]

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Free Sewing Pattern – Owl Hotpad Max & Molly

PATTERN DETAILS So cute and functional! BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY You should already know how to sew bias binding RECOMMENDED WITH THIS PATTERN cotton fabric, insul bright, double fold bias tape sewing machine Download Now

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Free Quilting Pattern – GO! Qube 12″ Laura’s Kitty

Free Quilting Pattern – GO! Qube 12″ Laura’s Kitty

Grab some charm packs from your stash to make the GO! Calico Cat in this super cute and fun quilt. Although the cat is the star of this quilt, classic shapes and strip cutters are holding their own as these cats sit on their perches. You can cut out this quilt in an hour or […]

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Free Embroidery Design – Number 2

Free Embroidery Design – Number 2

Today’s Free embroidery design from Embroidery Machine Designs Free Today Only Download Now

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Unstructured Jacket

I finally finished my first jacket! I’ve been working on this forever, about 16 months, which is way, way too long. It is a two button, unstructured, side vent jacket with a minimal lining. I made it out of a piece of textured cotton I’ve had laying around in my stash for a while. The […]

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Unstructured Jacket

I finally finished my first jacket! I’ve been working on this forever, about 16 months, which is way, way too long. It is a two button, unstructured, side vent jacket with a minimal lining. I made it out of a piece of textured cotton I’ve had laying around in my stash for a while. The […]

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Alvin Extended Zipper Project Bags – Product Review

I love plastic reinforced mesh bags to store my needlepoint projects in process. Ever since I found them, I buy them whenever and wherever I find them: Needlepoint shops, The Container Store, Japanese Dollar Stores, and Cabella’s. Coming in different sizes, it’s so easy to match the bag size to your project size. But all […]

The post Alvin Extended Zipper Project Bags – Product Review appeared first on Nuts about Needlepoint.

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A Beautiful Mess—Best of 2016!

Hey, friends! I’m here to share our most popular and personal favorite posts of 2016. On the list of things less shocking than Donald Trump being elected president… jello shots are still crazy popular here on ABM. These pink lemonade jello shots were one of our most popular posts of the year (#10 to be exact) and the most pinned. I predict that after #gummerbaby is born, we’ll get back…

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The Woman on the Tube Train

Not quite The Girl on a Train, but will show that you can get inspiration for sewing from anywhere – trains, the Underground, books, TV, movies, each other…… Not blogging doesn’t mean not sewing: I’ve been doing the latter but … Continue reading

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The Monochrome Dreamcoat : Part 2

While I love reading other peoples year end reviews and plans for next year – and in the past have done them myself – I’m not going to do one of my own.  I don’t really know what to say about this year, it’s had it’s ups and downs certainly. …

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#2017makenine

I tend to be a spontaneous blog writer. Snap some photos, hammer at the keyboard, slap the laptop shut, take my dog out for a walk – job done. But for some reason, I was struggling to encapsulate exactly what … Continue reading

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Bright and Cheery

 Ending the year on a bright and cheery note in this fancy floral blouse (under $30 on sale!). And because it’s New Year’s Eve, let this be my New Year’s (silly) resolution: more color in my wardrobe! I always lean towards my go-to neutrals but it’s so refreshing to wear color! Especially on a cold(ish) winter […]

The post Bright and Cheery appeared first on 9to5Chic.

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2016: Not Quite A Write-Off

Wowzers! Without wishing to get too political/emotional 2016 seems to have universally sucked for so many reasons.It’s been a challenging year personally too. I’ve travelled as far as Seoul in South Korea, and less impressively to London and Brighton, …

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2016: Not Quite A Write-Off

Wowzers! Without wishing to get too political/emotional 2016 seems to have universally sucked for so many reasons.It’s been a challenging year personally too. I’ve travelled as far as Seoul in South Korea, and less impressively to London and Brighton, …

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Ginkgo Biloba


Ginkgo leaves are not a traditional Christmas choice, but this dress turned out to be the perfect holiday frock.  I rather like the unexpected print in a traditional color scheme on this beautiful cotton sateen.


Since finishing the dress on December 12th, I have already worn it three times.  That is almost unheard of for me as I tend to go for a bit more variety in my outfit choices in any given month.  I guess you could say I am quite pleased with the way this project turned out!


The dress is also incredibly easy to wear!


I was not entirely sure that the bloused bodice was going to work for me, but with the help of a wide belt, I really like the look.


The bell shaped skirt is also becoming one of my favorite silhouettes. 


When I stitched up this petticoat a couple of years back, I had no idea how much wear I would get out of it.  It was made specifically for this dress, and at the time, really did not work with anything else in my closet.  Two years later, I have added two other dress designs to my wardrobe that work perfectly with this petticoat.   


And there is a good chance that there will be more 1960s style dresses in my future!  I think I  would even love a solid colored version of this design, provided I can find the right fabric.  What is it about solid colors that I find so off putting when it comes to textiles!?!



Dress & Belt:  Made by me, BurdaStyle 7179 & Vogue 8193
Petticoat:  Made by me, Vogue 4203
Shoes:  Royal Vintage “Marilyn
Necklace:  Mom’s
Ring: Grandfather’s class ring

[Disclosure:  The fabric for this project was received in exchange for two yards of fabric from Organic Cotton Plus, but the opinions written here are my own.]

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2017: Make It Your Best Lingerie Year

Even for the most pessimistic amongst us, it’s hard to resist jotting down goals and aspirations on January 1. It’s a refreshing season and the enticing smell of resetting is hard to resist. A chance to become skinnier, richer and/or more organized? Seems delicious. Most of us stick to our resolutions the first few days and weeks

The post 2017: Make It Your Best Lingerie Year appeared first on Madalynne.

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2017: Make It Your Best Lingerie Year

Even for the most pessimistic amongst us, it’s hard to resist jotting down goals and aspirations on January 1. It’s a refreshing season and the enticing smell of resetting is hard to resist. A chance to become skinnier, richer and/or more organized? Seems delicious. Most of us stick to our resolutions the first few days and weeks

The post 2017: Make It Your Best Lingerie Year appeared first on Madalynne.

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Flypaper thoughts day before New Year’s Eve edition

I hope you all had a wonderful ChristmasKnow that not all are spectacular and that not all folks like the holidaysBut I do, assembling as much of the family as we can and making the dishes we always make marks the years for meWith the poignancy that br…

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Vogue 1496

Vogue 1496 ended up being my Christmas Day dress.  At first I’d planned on wearing the blue linen Mary dress that I blogged a couple of days ago, but when I tried it on I just wasn’t feeling it.  So at 4.15pm Christmas Eve I started cutting out and sewing this dress. Surprise, another sack… Continue reading Vogue 1496

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