Miscellaneous Monday: Dumbing It Down with BurdaStyle

What a sneaky heifer you are, BurdaStyle! Right when I think you’ve done everything possible to push me away, you come up with the Honeymooners patterns.

I’m not even a honeymooner, and I surely wouldn’t wear a bikini top with a boucle jacket and a pair of cuffed shorts (wait, what?!).

But something about these patterns, and the pants below–I want them–makes me not want to break up with you so much. Maybe I looked too hard at Mr. Nautical Stripes’ nautical stripes. Mayhaps he knows juju.

And Clear Beads here ain’t too shabby either. I could have that skirt. It could be mine.

I even like the Beachside Beauty collection, particularly the dress below (though the collection name makes me want to vomit and burn a bra simultaneously a little).

Yet, having said all of that, I miss the fashion-forward patterns of old with all of their couture details. They inspired me and scared the angry cats out of me, but I loved them. I miss them.

That is to say, these patterns of late are not them. Maybe you recognized that many of your visitors are novice seamstresses like myself. Maybe you’re trying to engage us by beating us over the head with different iterations of the same relatively basic patterns. I don’t know, but I miss having something to aspire to.


Miscellaneous Monday: Full-fledged Hiatus

So, full disclosure, I haven’t started sewing yet.  I’ve thought about it . . . earnestly . . . but the timing was never right.  Seemed like I kept getting new Candy Crush lives or a nap was due.

I have visited fabric stores and thought about online notion purchases, so that’s something, right?  Also, what’s up with BurdaStyle lately?  It’s . . . different, and not good different.  Nevertheless, I’ve visited sewing sites too.

The most intriguing thing I found is IKEA’s online fabric department.  Now, I’m not sure if IKEA’s fabric is how I remember IKEA’s furniture, or how the quality of shoddy collegiate furniture translates to painted cotton fabric, but I am intrigued.

I wonder what a black paisley pattern on cotton looks like after a few washes, or what I would make with a fabric that looks like someone’s interpretation of paving stones.  And then, who are these Ulla Bella girls, and why do I want to follow them on Twitter?

When do you have too much furniture?  When your house is a blur of inanimate, legged things.  And, maybe I would have done better with Girl Scouts if the forests looked like this (they don’t look like that at all in real life).  And I’m not a huge fan of hearts, but these hearts are kinda all right.

I also started working on the pattern review for McCall’s 5989.  I would have submitted it today, but I had second thoughts about the photo I was going to upload.  Oh, perfectionists . . .

Miscellaneous Monday: Please Press Pause

I finished the Pink Lady two weeks ago and, honestly, I’ve been pretty content to just hang out in her. I haven’t even finished (read started) the pattern review. Somebody (read me) should get her sh*t together and get on that.

I do have thoughts about my next sewing project. I thought about making a See Kate Sew envelope clutch in leather.

But then I asked myself, have you sewn leather before? Do you have any idea what making leather goods is about? I had to answer in the negative.

Then I thought maybe I should make something simple. I need pants and Burda 2938 seems about as simple as a nice pair of trousers can get.


But then I thought about the fitting that would most likely be required and I folded . . . into the fetal position . . . whilst in my new robe.

[Sidebar: is there a limit on the amount of time a gal should spend in a robe? If there is, welcome to the jungle.]

Anyway, pants will happen within the next few months. I need that imaginary badge on my make-believe sash.

I’m assuming at some point I’ll start sewing again (I’m guessing in another week?) but for now I’m pooped. Keep givin’ ’em hell, allergy season!

Miscellaneous Monday: Regarding Pretty Insides

Soooooo, I hate to finish seams–HATE!  I can’t emphasize this enough.  Something happens, mentally, when I start a sewing project.  All I want is to be done, and finishing seams just seems like busy work.

This is Exhibit A.


Although, in my defense, I chose the wrong fabric for that project.  Plus, I had no idea how bulky the seams would be with the underlining and interfacing.  But the only reason I bothered to half try was that the fabric was loosely woven and shed bits of itself all over my house.  I hate vacuuming too.  Bottom-line: an attempt was made, but a crappy attempt.

Exhibit B: If you look at the inside of my homemade pajama pants, you’ll find a bag of cats.


So, when I finished my robe and saw insides that looked like the below photo, I was impressed with myself.  True, not all the seams are straight, but you gotta tip your cap to progress.


But me being me, things had to go sideways at some point, and that explains my shoulder seams, which I’m pretty sure are ladies . . . that’s the most SFW way I can describe them.  I don’t know where I got that seam finish from (my imagination). However, from now on, if Mama didn’t mention it, I’m not doing it.


I apologize for the wrinkles.  Ever since I finished it, I’ve been living in it.  I’m going to write a review of McCall’s 5989 and all that business, so I guess The Pink Lady (that’s my robe’s name) will need to be washed and steamed before then.  Sigh, Ironing.

I think my personal hell would involve seam finishing, ironing, and vacuuming, Sisyphean style.

Miscellaneous Monday: Stop Looking Homeless!!

One garbage day morning, I woke later than expected.  Worse still, I woke to the sound of a garbage truck closing in on my block.  With the quandary of what to do with unpicked up trash lighting a fire under my bum, I threw on the pants and jacket I found on the bench at the foot of my bed, bypassed all inferior trash for the perennially stinky money bag that is the kitchen trash, and headed for the door.

In the end, I made it to the curb.  But, in the midst of my success, I had also managed to do something quite heinous. I walked out of a home, where I (a home-ful person) live, looking quite homeless.

And this isn’t me being facetious.  This was me on Triumphant Garbage Day: Hair fighting atop my Zapzyt dotted face, a black waist-length motorcycle-style jacket, a knee-length oversized pink Winnie the Poo Shirt (it was a gift, no one knows why I kept it), sky blue patterned pajama pants, and black rain boots.

The moral of the story:  Fair Lady needs a robe (among other morals which will probably be revealed to me as time passes).

The problem is that I hate robes from an aesthetic point of view.  The robes I frequently encounter are utilitarian: straight, unflattering lines, boxy pockets . . . bleh.  Enter McCall’s 5989.

20130506-100616.jpgI love ruffles so I was drawn to and torn between McCall’s 5989A and Butterick 5723A.  But the shorter sleeves and longer ruffles on 5989 won me over.  Sidebar: I also bought Butterick 5571 just in case the ruffles didn’t pan out.

So far, things are working out dandy . . . well, except for one little construction issue:  the point where the collar joins the shoulder.

What’s happening right there?  I fumbled with it for hours and that’s the best I could do.  And hey, McCall’s, if a pattern is labeled easy, might be nice if the instructions were thorough.  Whatever.  That’s the collar up appearance.  Collar down–and collar will be down–no one will know.

Normally this would be one of those imperfections that would cause me to throw this whole project out.  However, when weighing crazy shoulder seams against waist length jackets atop oversized threadbare Pooh shirts, well . . . collar down.  If all goes well, I can be properly attired before next garbage day.


Until then, bask in the glory that is this Ann Taylor Loft jacket.


Sigh, I want, I want.  Of course, since I don’t want to run into anyone wearing my jacket, I can’t buy it.  Also, I couldn’t find it on the Loft’s website.  Nevertheless, it’s a peach.  One day I’ll make a jacket like it and this thing, it will be a thing of magnificence.

Miscellaneous Monday: Hello, 2013!

Once again, I have crawled out of a hole to rejoin the land of the living. Mighty nice daylight you people have here. I may stay a while.

There are many reasons months have passed without me posting a thing. I could enumerate them all, but I’d rather sum it up by saying, “Hi, my name is Fair Lady and I’m a perfectionist.”

What do my perfectionist ways have to do with my absence? Well, let’s say you sew a dress and you want to post about it. If you’re a perfectionist, you have to fret about the right lighting for the pic, the right pose to display all the garment’s details, the weight you’ve gained since your last post, and the rug you’re standing on which needs to be vacuumed.

Next thing you know, you’ve worn the dress so many times you’ve almost forgotten you made it, and your blog is none the wiser. You couldn’t write a post about the dress if you wanted to now. That was two projects ago, and hell if you remember the fabric content of the material or why you passed on the lining. Those were details known by November You. November You is not much of a sharer. And April You doesn’t believe in looking back.

But it is April, and April is all about big ideas (see the Easter Pledge). So here’s my big idea for April 2013: Miscellaneous Monday. What is Miscellaneous Monday? A weekly post about whatever sewing-related thing I choose to write about, with a few provisions. The biggest one is that any pictures must be taken with my phone so there isn’t a chance of obsessing. Also, clearly the posts must be published on Monday. Other than that, I’m free as a bird.

Maybe this will lead me to posting more regularly? See how that last sentence was a question? I’m so certain this will be a success. Yes I am. Yes . . . I . . . am.


That’s confidence with a period. Because that’s how I feel: confident, period. You need only scroll down to see that my last sewing project, my Naomi, was over a year in the making, and riddled with opportunities for failure.

So now that I’ve finished it, now that it’s wearable and I love it as much as I do, I’ve developed a little bit of a god complex. I haven’t tried walking on water (although I probably would if you double dog dared me–I’d drown), but I’ve done a few questionable things.

Exhibit A: Because I’m a kick a** sewer, I must be a kick a** kinda gal. So that means everything I do, I do awesome-like. This being the case, why shouldn’t I be an awesome beader? Yep, let’s bead! Let’s not just throw some rounds on a string, let’s bead up something intricate like . . . like this:


Let’s go to a bead store, buy up some bead stuff . . .


All of that looks good–bag it! And then we’ll uhhhhhh, we’ll figure it out . . . because we’re magic.

Exhibit B: I was looking through a pattern book I bought a while back, saw this dress, and fell in love. I decided I had to make it. The problem? I was looking through a Japanese pattern book . . . with instructions in Japanese, a language I know not.

DrapeDrapeVol.1No.3 DrapeDrapeVol.1No.3inst

Well, I did take Japanese in undergrad, ten years or so ago. And ummm, ichi ni san shi, right? Yeah, so BAM, let’s sew! Nevermind that I only remember that because of a Janet Jackson song. I remember it, and that has to count for something.

I probably shouldn’t have purchased Drape Drape ever, at all. It was inevitable that at some point I’d endeavor to tackle one of its projects. And now that I’ve got these thunderbolts coming out of my palms, all I can think about is domo arigato-ing me some Drape Drape No. 3.

Brought to you by confidence. Dangerously corruptive , futility bearing confidence.

Naomi and Me Like Peas and Carrots



It’s over!!  The year plus of fumbling around with Naomi #6015 is done, praise Ra!!

We will make no mention of that whole deal where I thought I miscut the sleeves and went to my favorite fabric store and enlisted the staff with the task of finding more of a remnant fabric I purchased years prior only to return home to discover that I hadn’t miscut the sleeves, I had sewn the hems rather than the center backs together.  Things happen when you sew at 4 AM–NO JUDGEMENT!

We’re not going to talk about how the instructions to Naomi are like a cryptic riddle from the Greek sphinx.  Nope.  Who wants to talk about words that convey no meaning? Stupid.

And we won’t dare speak of the inside lining of Naomi.  Have you ever been invited to someone’s home for the first time and asked the host to see the junk drawer during the tour? Because it’s rude?  So then don’t ask about the inside of my Naomi!

We’re just going to enjoy the fact that it’s over.  No more underlining, no more bits of raveling fabric all over the carpet.  No more wringing my hands over possibly misinterpreting the instructions.  Just the peace that comes with success (read the delirium that comes from fusterclucking your own person to fatigue, whatever).

I was going to rewrite the instructions for anyone else who tried to sew this pattern, but I don’t even know what the intent was . . . well, specifically in regards to the tie placement . . . well, the facings too.  But it’s a lovely design.  I did bleed it out, but it was so worth it.

I noticed that the left front hangs a little lower than the right front but I think that’s because there should be another snap on the inside of the jacket because the fabric is heavy.  It’ll happen.

Here are some pictures from the construction.  The end.

Oh, Life!

It’s rough having a hobby that brings you joy while at the same time having to comply with the mundane demands of everyday life.  Fulfilling work obligations and other non-sewing responsibilities can be a drag.  And that, friends, is the story of the last month or so.

In regards to the Pattern Stash Contest . . . well . . . something has to be said for having goals, right?  There was Simplicity 2451, my journey into sexual ambiguity, which I have already documentedButterick 5354 was the only pattern out of the four that I completed and would make again.

I nearly finished McCall’s 6126.  I had to jury rig some things to make it work so I would decidedly not make it again.  I’m working on reviews of both patterns–you’ll see.

Simplicity 2614 got the short end of the stick as I never had a chance to touch it.  One fine day I will tackle the FBA that is surely to be a part of making that blouse.  But for now, I’ll just talk about sewing it the way some women talk about meeting the one.

I also found the time to make McCall’s 5563the week before last.  Mayhaps I’ll review that as well.  For now, I must away.  I have to find the wherewithal to fix my face to take on Monday.  The reviews will, eventually, come.

Procrastinator’s Corner

Eight-plus days and counting, friends, and, despite my capricious leanings, I’m still at work.  I have cut out Butterick 5354, and McCall’s 6126 is on the cutting table.  These are both pretty simple patterns . . . well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.  B5354 has four pattern pieces and M6126 has five, so, fingers crossed, I can get these done before Friday.

After Friday, I can start the muslin of Simplicity 2614.  Now, will I get to a finished version of S2614 by next Tuesday?  No, we don’t ask questions such as these.  We just make lists, live free, and die hard.

Whatever happens, I did more sewing in July than I’ve done in a long time.  I’ve also got my eye on the Lined Jacket Contest.  But, shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone.

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