Category Archives: Uncategorized

Project Planning

Here is everything in my stash that I am interested in making into regular clothes (not costume or lounge or formal wear) for me. I’m seeing a trend in colors; red obviously, red-violet into deep purple, a couple of intense blues. Only a bit of grey and some olive for neutrals although I never met a color I wouldn’t use as base. stash-web


Here the fabrics are paired with patterns. My wardrobe plan… everyone is talking about planning their wardrobe and I’ve been thinking on it a couple years now. I’ve got the colors seen above. (It’s what I buy and wear) so that’s the palette.


I also understand the concept of silhouette.

I’ve been lazing about in jeans and T’s. That’s not a personal silhouette; that’s being covered up which is a good thing but I want more than that. So pants sure but I want to up my game to trousers (front zip), slacks (side and back zip) and leggings or tights. Jeans need to be intentional not default.

And those T’s…there is nothing wrong with T’s but again it’s my default and I don’t get any farther in my daily style. Topping the bottoms I want tunics, blouses, jackets, sweaters all with class and interesting details. Knit tops will still be a layer just not the whole deal.

The plan is with one addition- jacket, scarf, jewelry: I will be ready for anything.

These are the Fabrics and patterns I think I’ll use. I have patterns for everything except that beautiful cobalt blue wool boucle so I bought Vogue 8854 which I will make without the hood. I had nothing in my stash that used a heavy sweater knit that wasn’t a jacket.

2017 projectsAnd now to prioritize, strategize (there are some yardage shortfalls) and SEW! Above is an orderly plan although it has no priorities attached, just what made a neat grid.

Next up project plans.


It all went Side ways

plaid-placketSo this last couple weeks I’ve been working on what should have been a slightly challenging but not impossible shirt. A daughter saw a lovely aqua, green, red and black even plaid flannel to make a perfectly unexceptional shirt out of which I decided to make as I have been fighting with another shirt project and was tired of muslins after 5 of them.

Fitting went well, layout was OK. Can’t recut although I should have put the dark stripe down the center back but OK. Carefully marked all the right sides (you really can’t tell on this fabric except one side is fuzzier). Can’t recall all the ways this project went side ways but every sitting ended when I had made 3 serious rip it out and try again/cut again type errors. Fortunately I had an extra yard.

This week I was down to sleeves, cuffs and plackets. Got the plackets on the sleeves very carefully Monday (only had to recut twice for plaid mis-match). When I sewed the sleeve wrong sides together I decided to stop. Fixed sleeve Wednesday. Decided to go with planned flat felled seam. And it went fairly well although Thursday I was surprised to learn that I had felled on the inside but no matter. Did up the side seams and serged them.

Next step cuffs at which time I discovered the plackets are wrong. But no they can’t be I was so careful…nope, I put the sleeves in backwards!

To be continued another day.

More on (not) being perfect

Last night while I wasn’t sleeping I got to thinking about the importance of failing, not even big catastrophic failures but the little ones. If you look back and don’t see failures there hasn’t been enough trying in your life. You are living way to safely.. I am living way to safely. In fear of failure or even of not succeeding perfectly there are to many things I don’t try. As a crafty person there should be a lot of what in the sewing world are called wadders and there are not! There are shelves of project materials that have never become the things they were meant to be. Some in the last move went to new and hopefully more daring homes as I realized that however adventurous I became this project wasn’t happening … gone soap and candle making. But there are still so many projects waiting.

I failed to post this when I wrote it last year… (could it be a lack of daring, possibly not perfect).

There have been many projects since then; 24 in the last year! And that is only sewing. Next up It all went side ways…


Edwardian Jacket


This is a constructed Edwardian style jacket made for a Edwardian Ball event.  The outer fabric is a upholstery brocade, while the lining and vest are polyester.  The internal structure is hand done in the traditional tailor fashion. This involved hours of pad stitching needed to shape the internal structure of a man’s coat  Construction time was approximately 80 hours. It was a fabulous learning experience and directly influenced the Sari Jacket I made the next year for myself.

Metamorphosis – but I’m lazy

Once upon a time you were born, grew up, married, had kids, launched kids, saw your grand kids (if you were lucky), and died; your body worn out by years of hard work and poor choices or options. At 60 you were old and by 75 dead unless you had scored in the genetic and job lottery. (Mostly my family lost that one.) Now, there are many more options and even if you follow the program for the first part there is still a reasonable expectation of 30 more years! A whole additional life! I joke with my 20 somethings that we are both in the Chrysalis Emerging 9same life stage … “New Beginnings” and that was mind boggling at 50 and still is now. Thus my fascination with Metamorphosis. The idea of radical change; not continuing to be as you have been but deciding (this is where we have it all over the insects) to be different. Something more or at least different.

We decided when the youngest left for college to abandon the  suburban life we had enjoyed for 30 years and move to the city: for us that is San Francisco. Since it’s worth really doing it if you’re want a move to catalyze change we moved to SoMA; absolutely nothing like suburban anywhere. It makes us uncomfortable and we love it except when we want to hide from all the life that’s now happening at our front door. But that was the point. We need life to happen where we not only see it but can’t ignore it. Homelessness is no longer what happens elsewhere and their problems are now my problems. Bad schools are my problem because my neighbors kids go there. LBGT rights is an issue I can’t hide from because it has the face of my neighbor.

My point is that unless I am uncomfortable it is hard (not impossible but I’m lazy) to change so knowing I wanted to move to a new place personally caused our move to a new and very different place physically.

How will this play out. I don’t know. I am still exploring how my skills and abilities mesh with what is around me that needs my time and energy but I have some ideas.