simplicity 2192: i promise that no muppets were harmed in the making of this garment

i swear that it is oona’s fault.

have i ever told you guys (excuse me, gudes) this story?  the story of the terrible influence we have on each other sometimes when we shop?  classic examples include clio buying ewok fur; suzanne and susan teaching oona about sequined bomber jackets, and my obsession with muppet fur.


the muppet thing actually goes back, i think, as far as the “oona does it” days on the sew weekly and the very first new-york-based meetup.  now, i could be making this up – memory does play tricks – but i think the way the story goes is that me, oona and nettie were giggling over a bolt of something on 39th street and attempted to dare oona to make something out of muppet fur.

and yet, all these years later, how am i the one that followed through?



seriously, sometimes i am just too easy.  the pattern is simplicity 2192, from the cynthia rowley collection.  i swear, these patterns come about as close to perfect-out-of-the-packet as possible for me.  they’re cute but not cutesy, and modern without trying too hard, and just have a vibe that i find very easy to incorporate into my vision.

this sweatshirt was a cinch to make up.  front, back, sleeves and facings.  i didn’t even do my usual tweaks to the sweatshirt (i.e., shortening it a bit, re-shaping the sides) because i wanted the slightly-boxy-oversized look.

that said, facings were a mistake with this fabric.  TOO MUCH BULK.  alas, we live and learn and wear it anyway.

(also, i just now noticed from the fashion drawing as i pasted the image in that the facings were meant to be attached on the outside as a design feature.  RTFM, much?  sheesh.)


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vintage simplicity playsuits for the end of the summer

gudes*, let’s get real.  summer’s over (in the northern hemisphere), the wind is starting to smell like fall.  days are shorter.  the world is (yet again) going to hell in a handbasket.  and this past weekend was the two-year anniversary of a huge personal challenge.

i am not in an awesome place this week.  i’m not gonna lie.  so i’ll just post some fun end-of-summer outfits i finished just in time for a summer vacation weekend in california.


(and watch some buffy the vampire slayer.  obvi.  maybe read some really trashy sailor moon fan-fiction?  wait, did i just admit that out loud?)


these are both 1930’s-era simplicity playsuit patterns and can i tell you how much i love them?  they were beyond perfect for beach-strolling.  and high-waisted shorts!  awesome!


the skirts are identical and i used two different shorts patterns.  keep an eye on the pleated pair; i have a new set nearly ready (#missionarea51, much?) in some liberty of london wool from NY-Lon.


i think i just need to hole up for some quiet time with the new bernina.  i have jean-ius to accomplish!  and drapey rayon challis trousers? and a list a mile long of UFOs!


and buffy.  let us not forget buffy.


* i am reliably informed that this is how the cool kids are referring to their “girl dude” friends :-)

so, yeah, this really happened to me.


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#fqchallenge bonus garment! because i use all the parts of the buffalo

of course, technically it wasn’t allowed, but i did have some scraps left over from my #fqchallenge masterplan. see, originally i was going to really go overboard and make a skirt and blouse to go over my playsuit, sort of like this butterick weekender pattern (that actually was my base for part of my work):

but the shirt, in spite of homemade pieced bias tape and a dismembered zombie head on the pocket, was nothing but a hot mess.

but i persevered!  i made the skirt anyway.  this circle skirt pattern is my favorite, because it is so easy to play with.  i quickly ended up with something fun and wearable, even if it didn’t match my original masterplan.



i just have to give a shout-out to the other ladies who shared the fun with me:

i really loved how, even with ridiculous choices and restrictions, everyone found a way to make a garment that was nonetheless true to herself!  so, readers, what do you think?  should we let oona continue to hand out assignments?  or do we cut off her margarita supply?


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happy birthday oona: may it be full of unicorns and rainbows #fqchallenge

20140805-135214.jpgso, good things do come to those who wait. i know a lot of people have been eagerly anticipating the results of the fat quarter challenge


– oh, wait, that was just me? because my garment is so freaking awesome? that’s right, project runway ain’t got nuthin’ on this ensemble.




and wait, what is that i see? a clear, full photograph? HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OONA. now let’s not discuss it again until next august.


i swear that lens flare is not there on purpose, oona

like most of the rest of the fashion universe, i have been obsessed with two-piece sets, or co-ords, a term i swear i have never heard before and i was a child of the nineties appropriately obsessed with clueless.


as if!

the genesis of this set was the idea of the fifties-style playsuit.  ignoring the fact that this “playsuit” would be illegal on most televisions in the 1950s, i think i succeeded with an appropriately modern twist.


that’s right, i’m livin’ on the edge of the law

i started with two simplicity patterns, both by cynthia rowley.  my favorite of favorite bodices, simplicity 2250, had a love-at-first-sight moment with a newer release, simplicity 1607, and before i knew it they had procreated themselves straight to this.


since this is an oona challenge, cocktails were undoubtedly involved.

the original guidelines stated that all of the FQs needed to be used and visible, so i treated the bodice pattern as a building block and made each piece out of a different fat quarter.

20140805-135252.jpgsome stash china silk lining and red cotton broadcloth unified all of the elements into one cohesive top.  no mean feat, amirite?

20140805-135152.jpgand then for the bottoms i wanted a more modern short than any of my fifties options offered, so i turned immediately to the papercut pattern rite of spring short.  this is my TNT short pattern, guys, even though i am still perfecting my construction technique.

20140805-135207.jpgi used pockets copied from my favorite ready-to-wear jeans using kenneth king’s jean-ius class to highlight other fabrics from the bundle and then created pieced bias tape using a technique from modern mix, one of my quilting books, for the racing stripe effect.  each stripe was finished with bias tape (also homemade) on one side and white piping on the other for a clean look. i finished the waistband with a piece of red polka dot poly grosgrain.

20140804-222424-80664037.jpghere’s the best part:  i will TOTALLY wear this in public.  as a set, as separates…it is already packed for an upcoming family weekend in laguna beach.  i wonder if the high-and-mighty LA fashion set will understand my vision?


nah.  probably too sophisticated!


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me-made-everyday: style report



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a quickie: megan nielsen crescent blouse


speaking of my constant stash of nearly-finished UFOs (hereafter referred to as area 51), i seriously have four of these happening right now. they’re just so cute and easy and don’t take up too much fabric! perfect for a few scraps of leftover lizzy house or liberty of london (not that i’ve tried that yet) or even silky things.


i like the open shoulder variation the best so far, but i do think that – should i take the time to actually finish one before cutting out the next one – i want to put a bit more shaping in the side seams. the pattern is ever-so-slightly boxy and i think i’d prefer a more fitted variation, even if that means sucking it up and putting a zipper in. (insert sadface)


construction-wise, nothing could be simpler – i made everything on my serger, including finishing the shoulder and arm openings with a rolled hem. then i popped that baby into my flat-felling foot on the regular machine for a clean, no-fuss finish. again, next time i might prefer to add a bit more seam allowance (the crescent, like all megan nielsen patterns, has 1cm) to allow a little more flexibility on the seam finishes, but overall i was quite pleased. it’s a cute top and the proportion is perfect for a long, slim skinny jean or trouser.




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a NY-Lon FO: 1930s sundress in liberty

confession:  most of my NY-Lon fabric haul is already cut out and in various stages of assembly.


but this is my first finished, worn and photographed make out of the haul.  the fabric is liberty of london Lanthe which i scored at our (second) trip to Shaukat, an amazing little spot in the old brompton road that specializes in liberty remnants.  they actually have more fabric in stock than liberty, in more colorways and content types, and i fearlessly splurged on varieties in silk/wool, silk/cotton, and the classic tana lawn.  in fact, while we’re talking about our trip to shaukat and the subject of aggressive persuasion, i sweet-talked vicki into snagging some of this print as well – she went for a classic colorway in multiple shades of blue.


also true:  vicki went straight to a bolt of wool/silk and looked at me and said, “this is so you.”  and then i held up my cut pile to reveal the yardage (meterage?) i had already set aside for purchase.

i felt that the art deco and vintage feel of this print demanded an appropriately period garment and i went straight to the 1930s part of my pattern stash.

only, i really don’t enjoy that style of waistline.  it’s difficult to sew (for me) and i don’t find it particularly flattering.  for me, the appeal was about the great skirt detail, the low back with straps, and the collar.  to me those all screamed 1930s but in a way that could still be modern and fun.


so i paired it up with simplicity 1755, a raglan number from the leanne marshall pattern collaboration.  it’s been a winner for me in the past and i felt confident that i could blend the more modern bodice front with all of the elements that attracted me to the vintage piece.  i especially love the gathers along the shoulder line instead of a dart – i thought a dart would too obviously deviate from the vintage feel.


only don’t ask me how many times i pleated and re-pleated the fashion fabric, lining fabric, collar fabric and straps in a quest to get a neat, clean all-in-one finish.  i swear part of my brain has deserted me.


i am extremely satisfied with the curve of the back bodice and the way the straps lay across my back.  there was some tweaking there but in the end a good result.


my collar leaves a bit to be desired but mostly in the realm of “only another sewist would ever know”.


best of all, it looks perfect with my papercut copelia.  my office life demands top layers and i don’t enjoy sitting in a blazer all day.  instant answer.








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