Designer Top in Silk Charmeuse

I spent the first weekend of December in New York and was exhilarated by the Christmas sights and festivities throughout the city. I spent the second weekend of December visiting my parents in Southern Pines, NC, thoroughly charmed by small-town Christmas celebrations including the cutest horse and buggy parade. I went from being among millions of people dressed in black to hundreds of people dressed in red, inspiring me to do the same. On a mission to recreate this Elizabeth McKay top, I chose a red and white silk charmeuse from Mood Fabrics for my first attempt. I began with [...]

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Classic Black + White

It seems lately, that I’ve been drawn to black and white ensembles.  It’s completely subconscious and I don’t even realize until I look back at my blog, like here, here and here. This time, I dug way back in the crevices of my pattern filing cabinet and found my version of a “vintage” pattern.  Because 1996 is about as vintage as I’m probably interested in going. This is Vogue 1846 (OOP) by Byron Lars. I’ve always loved a wrap top.  I’ve have too many to count over the years.  So while digging through my pattern cabinet I came across this [...]

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Stripes Take Two

I’ve always wanted to try out those Japanese pattern books where the garments seem like little works of art. I finally got my hands on an English translation of Drape Drape 2 by Hisako Sato as a gift from the publisher, and I launched right into pattern number 2: one-piece side drape top. I might have launched myself in a bit too quickly though because after converting my bust measurement into centimeters and seeing I was about a small, I traced the S/M pattern for myself. It wasn’t until after I cut the pattern out from a bit of leftover [...]

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Comfortable Organic Cotton Top

Thirty-eight degrees outside and a sleeveless cotton top? As temperatures go down thermostats go up …..sometimes to s u m m e r temperatures. Fortunately, I can pare down the layers to this top made of soft organic cotton from Mood Fabrics. This wonderful fabric is just as soft as those extraordinary l o n g Velvet cotton t-shirts found in cute boutiques at cute prices. The environmentally friendly fabric, free from pesticides and chemical fertilizers feels great against my skin and will allow me to comfortably sit through long meetings in hot conference rooms all winter long! Having successfully [...]

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Black is Back in Wool Satin

Sorry for the homespun photography. I am working on it! Black is one of my favorite colors. Alexander McQueen’s Dante collection in 1996, and Helmut Lang’s 80′s minimalistic designs in black leather made me yearn for strong black pieces in my wardrobe. With the revival of the 80s and partly 90s styles, minimalistic black clothes have become quintessential this season. alexander-mcqueen-pre-fall-2012 alexander-mcqueen-pre-fall-2012 So, why postpone the urge to create something that sober and strong. Walking in the wool section of the Mood, I found so many different blacks – all very enticing and rich. Yet I was drawn to a beautiful black wool satin. It has some [...]

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A Simple Design Paired with Fabulous Fabric and Trim

Whew, what a week this was here on the East Coast. Guess you heard about the storm that ripped through the area. Grrrr. Good thing I don’t have any friends named Sandy. My neighborhood looks like it was chewed up and spit out by some tree-hating monster. And I had no idea how much I LOVE electricity. Today is Day 4 without it and the family’s nerves are fraying. I spent two days hand-sewing trim on a jacket during the daytime, listening to the news on a crank radio; yesterday trains were running again so I was able to come [...]

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Bamboo Knit High-Low Top

The idea for this top came while I was making view A last year. I was just starting to notice the colorblocking trend and thought it would be fun to have one side in black and the other in white. During the month of August (aka the month of wadders) I stitched it up using some polyester jersey. The fit was horrible on that first one and the fabric was gross. But worst of all was that it looked like some sort of court jester costume. Hmmm, what now? I decided to cut the front in black and the back [...]

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My Mood in October: Swingy Stripes

I’ve been in the mood for stripes lately – swingy stripes. For my big project this month, I wanted to find the perfect pattern to pair with a lovely striped wool jersey from Mood (sadly, out of stock, but here’s a similar, albeit narrower, stripe in the fetching combination of navy and pea green) that I bought with my Mood Sewing Network allowance. I was imagining a full, gathered skirt to take advantage of the beautiful drape in the fabric. When I was contacted by BurdaStyle about doing another guest post, I jumped at the chance to make their Swing [...]

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Inspired by Pinterest | Pink & Red!

I’ve been needing to add cool basics to my wardrobe.  Let’s face it, sometimes I just want to throw on a pair of jeans.  But since I’m no where near a “jeans & t-shirt” kinda girl, I need some cute tops.  You’ll notice a few of those being added to my wardrobe in the near future. Inspiration: Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve found the loveliest of lovely color combinations:  pink and red. It screams Valentine’s Day, I know.  But I love it anyway. I used Rachel Comey’s pattern, Vogue 1323 for my top.  If you had only looked at the extremely [...]

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