Who do you trust?


When I first saw Ms. Cotton Floral up there, I thought her blank expression was amusing.  What in the Sam Hill was going on in her head, I thought.

Then I sewed a muslin of that dress (McCall’s 6711) and I understood.

Before the shoot for this pattern, Cotton (Ms. Floral if you’re nasty) asked how many yards of fabric were used to make the dress she was modeling.  Upon hearing the answer of one million yards, she looked down at the dress in amazement, and then looked into the distance trying to imagine what a bolt with one million yards of fabric would look like.  As her brain froze–Cotton isn’t the most imaginative gal in the unicorn kingdom–the camera man whispered, “my Mona Lisa,” and snapped the shot.

The moral of the story is when confronted with a pattern illustration (shown below) that, say, represents a graduated A-line dress, and a photo that shows a lady posing in a circus tent, trust the photo.


The photo is the truth.  The line drawing is a smoke screen with an angry tiger cat waiting in the wings.  The pattern illustration wants your blood.  Don’t be dinner.


BurdaStyle Lies, Pt. 1

I really don’t like to call anyone out on their mistakes.  But when it involves taking me for my greenbacks, my preferences change.

Enter BurdaStyle’s Pleated Midi Skirt.  Ain’t she a forest green beaut?

Burdastyle Pleated Midi Skirt

Now after my Naomi, I had serious reservations about sewing another BurdaStyle pattern.  But then I read that an effort was underway to make the BurdaStyle sewing instructions more comprehensible.

Good for you, I thought.  And then I thought about all of the patterns I hesitated to purchase and sew and how my whole sewing life could be turning around.  In short, I drank the Kool-Aid.

And when you drink the Kool-Aid, not only are you tricked into believing you’re getting something of quality (you’re not), you end up with a sugar headache, your mouth is dyed a heinous, ungodly color, and your soul dies a little (i.e. you’ve just been screwed).

I exaggerate.  There’s no such thing as a sugar headache.

So let’s say you bought the Pleated Midi Skirt pattern.  And let’s say it has three pattern pieces: a front, a back, and a pocket.  The front piece is cut twice, the pocket piece is cut four times, and the back is cut once.

Where in this scenario does the instruction, “Fold each skirt back piece,” make sense?  There’s one back piece, which I only need to cut one of so “each”?

Okay . . . whatever.  I won’t dissect every line of these instructions.

Actually, nobody ever in life reads sewing instructions unless they’re from an indie sewing company.  But I’m going to go ahead and roll my eyes at the fact that there are no construction illustrations.

Let’s be honest here.   This pattern is $5.99 . . . for digital files.  I still have to print the pattern pieces.  And if I don’t pay a print shop to do this, I have to assemble the pattern pieces from a mini-ream of 8.5″ x 11″ pages.  $5.99.

At least if I buy a Big Four pattern I can catch it on sale, I get a hard copy, and while the instructions may be equally crappy, (at varying degrees) I get pictures throughout the instructions.

I could probably assemble this pattern with these deficient instructions, but it’s the principle of the thing that prevents me from doing so.  Sewing is supposed to be fun.  It’s not supposed to be a riddle.

So, updated pattern instructions, BurdaStyle?  Yeah . . . you lying heifer!

Pink Lady


So this is the Pink Lady.  She’s actually coral but I already named her so no backsies.  I’m working (for real, I’m typing it right now) on the PatternReview.  I’ll post the link to it and everything.

About the break . . . yeah, it’s been almost a week since my last post, and, yeah, that’s not at all the one post a day for all of November like I said.

But we learned a lesson: it’s easy to make deals like this on a Friday.  Then the weekdays come and it’s like, emm effer, one post EVERY DAY??  We’re gonna keep on trucking.

UPDATED (11/14/13 . . . like 45 minutes later): By the way, this is where the PatternReview link will go —> [You didn’t believe me, did you?  You’ll learn.]

The Stand-in

DIYCouture Wrap Top

DIYcouture Wrap Top

Vogue 8926

Vogue 8926










Ladies, let me handle the introductions.  DIYcouture Wrap Top, let me introduce you to Vogue 8926, Vogue, DIYcouture.

Remember yesterday when I was all,  “where’s my Wrap Top e-book, Dc“?  Well, maybe let’s not get our undies in a bunch.  Maybe let’s look to Vogue 8926 instead.

These do look similar, don’t they?  At the very least, I could make Vogue 8926 and sate myself for the Wrap Top.  Although even if 8926 is a viable substitution, I’d still be invested in getting my hands on that e-book.

I won’t pretend to believe the quality of the patterns will be the same.  I’m well acquainted with the roll of the dice sewing a Big Four pattern is.  I generally have had more luck with McCall’s than any other.

Sewing Vogue patterns is like playing Russian Roulette.  Maybe I’ll be successful, maybe I’ll throw my sewing machine off the roof and declare independence from crappy pattern instructions.  No one knows.

But, on the other hand, I don’t know the quality of these DIYcouture e-books either. Risky either way.  However, it’s nice to know I have options.

DIY Waiting


Once upon a time, I ran into DIYcouture–I love running into previously unknown pattern/sewing/design companies–and fell in love with the Wrap Top, pictured (in a number of variations) above.  I had even decided what fabric and notions I would use when making this top, which is rare for me.

All was fair in the kingdom, except for the fact that the pattern/e-book for the Wrap Top was “coming soon”.  But I’m patient, so I waited for soon.  That was a year ago.

And let me say that I’m a huge fan of procrastination . . . HUGE.  Here’s a secret: this here is last night’s post in the NaNoWriMo effort.

However, I’m not a fan of procrastination when it gets in the way of my hopes and dreams.  I’m a hypocrite . . . like you’ve never seen one of those before.

What makes this waiting harder is the simplicity of the pattern.  If I applied myself, could I draft this myself?  Is the e-book worth the wait??

Also, this pattern is from their first collection.  They now have a second collection and a hard copy book for it.  Which . . . does this mean we’ve given up on the first collection’s e-book format or what?  Maybe change “coming soon” to “coming never” or “skip to side B” or “gone ’til November” (I got these all day).

Hopefully everyone’s okay over there.  I would feel really crummy if a life event of some sort was at the root of this.  Yeaaaaah, I’ll stop here just in case.

I’ll keep regularly checking their website for that e-book, waiting the seconds it takes for that webpage to load like a ticket holder waiting for a lottery drawing.  I can think of worse ways to pass my time.

“HTTP Error 404-File or Directory not found”.  Okay, I’m done.

Needful Things

A while ago, something bad happened. Not the worst thing in the world–well, here . . . look.


I broke my Grabbit.

Before you assume this is me scraping the bottom of the bucket for NaNoWriMo, let me say that I have a tendency to form attachments to inanimate objects, particularly items I have “worn in”.

The duvet cover with the rip at the opening, the sewing scissors with the catch in the blade, the spatula with the melt marks–all mine.  And the rattier the thing, the stronger the tie.

I would classify myself as a hoarder except when I watch Hoarding: Buried Alive, I compulsively clean and mark items for donation.  Also, I don’t have to climb over heaps to do anything.  Matter of fact, my home is fairly sparse.

I really didn’t want this incident to be an issue, but it was.  I spent a couple of weeks (not sewing) trying to find a replacement.

As luck would have it, this Grabbit I so easily picked up at a local fabric store is no longer available.  Even online, the price has increased and the variety of colors has been reduced to primary colors (meh).

I ended up with a teal Grabbit, and a deep-seated concern for my mental well-being.

IKEA Trusts You

Well, the rumors are true.  IKEA has a fabric department–it is, of course, a home decor fabric department, but potato pajama pants, you know?

I blame the Ulla Bella Girls (pictured below) as their siren song called me out of my house, down the freeway, and figuratively down the rabbit hole.


With absence, you forget how labyrinthine IKEA is.  No matter.  Shortly after I arrived, and after cutting through the maze with the cunning and dexterity of a Jedi Knight, I found myself in the fabric department.

First things first, this was IKEA.  It should not surprise anyone that almost all of the material was cotton.  I have a lukewarm love of cotton so impressed I was not.  But the array of prints, outside of your local fabric store’s quilting section, was visually engaging.


That being said, there was something missing.  So, we’ve got fabric . . . what else is there?  Oh, right!  Someone to cut the fabric!


Turns out, IKEA believes sewers are honest people.  So you go ahead and pull that bolt out.  Yeah, cut that fabric, lady.  Take one of those slips–yes, there in the cup there–and measure and mark how much fabric you’ve got.

And when you check out, don’t be alarmed if the cashier doesn’t inspect the fabric when she enters your slip’s info into her POS machine.  She knows you.  She got you, girl.

SIDEBAR: As I stood at the self-serve fabric cutting station, I thought about the Ulla Bella Girls.  All this time I’d been wondering about them, and when I finally get to IKEA to check ’em out, all that’s left is the display fabric.  Bee tee dubs, can I just snatch the display fabric?  Is there someone I can ask about–right, SELF-serve.

Oh, IKEA . . . just as idealistic as the college kids who shop your stores. MAAAALM.  Just wanted to type that.

I–wait, me–I have a blog?! Curious.

So, yeah, I do have a blog. It’s this one. And uhhhh . . . Yeah, maybe it makes sense to write every now and again on the blog that I do indeed have.

The thing is, life has been a little turdy as of late. I’ve been busy trying to get baby (that’s me, I’m baby) out of a corner. It’s blue collar work to be certain.

Nevertheless, I was thinking about this blog, and my absence from it, and then I saw this WordPress NaNoWriMo post.

Before you get all judgy, let me say that nobody wants to write a whole novel in real life, least of all baby (that’s me, remember?). Plus, I got a little undiagnosed ADHD going on over here so I doubt I have the wherewithal to pull off such a task to begin with.

And I’m not going to slap together 50,000 words in a month and tip my cap to myself either. First, that’s dumb and second that seems like a task that would involve the word count functionality in Word and that’s a bit too undergrad for me.

But in the spirit of the season, I’m going to try like hell to write a post a day. Mainly because there’s so much I have done but haven’t posted. This may only last a week, but it’s good to have goals.

Make a place at the table, kids. Batman’s in the building.

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