Monday, January 31, 2011

A Welcome Addition

Dear faithful readers (of which there are, so far, none),

I find that the success (read: the mere existence) of this blog has become too much for one person to handle alone. Why, with the whole 15 minutes it takes me to post, I become fairly faint with exhaustion (though, perhaps, that's because of a caffeine withdrawal). With that in mind, I have invited another aspiring Coco Chanel aboard.

Or, rather, my best friend shall now be adding her two cents to this blog, as well. I have successfully pressured her into picking up sewing again (she was a precocious child fashionista) and she'll also be gabbing all about pretty clothes and the sewing of them. Her name is Stephanie - she's a writer who loves tea, classic American style, and penny loafers.

Essentially: twice the pretty. Get excited, kittens.


From right to left: Mary, Stephanie, and our friend Sarah (who also sews and, therefore, will no doubt be roped into writing this blog eventually)

Colette Spring Palette Challenge

Have you heard about the Colette Patterns Spring Palette Challenge? Colette's Sarai has come up with one of the most fun sewing challenges yet. Over ten weeks, participants are going to devise a palette for their Spring wardrobe, gather inspiration and ideas, then - of course - madly sew away! The official post is here and a ton of other sewers have already posted their inspiration boards, palettes, and plans in Colette's new forum.

For my part, my final palette is based on the 2009 BBC version of Jane Austen's Emma. I'm something of a BBC (and Austen) groupie and I've lusted after Romola Garai's costumes ever since seeing this lush, delightful tale of Austen's most mischievous heroine. It also doesn't hurt that I have the same coloring as Garai, so they're colors I adore anyway.

All those pinks and whites and yellows just make me want to romp through a field of English daffodils in empire-waist dresses. Alas, I will settle for Texas wildflowers & the same amazing palette. :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Pretty: 1.29.11

A little dose of lovely things, straight from Paris Haute Couture Week. The Dior show was to-die-for, a mix of mid-century design and lush embellishment. Here are few of my personal favorites from the collection...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Musings: Simplicity 2250

If you couldn't tell from yesterday's post, I'm positively dying for Spring to arrive. Mother Nature seems to have heard my complaints, because today in Austin it's a gloriously sunny 77 degrees. Sadly, next week, we're getting another Arctic front.

I refuse to be daunted. To that end, I'm bringing out my sewing machine (it's been consigned to moving purgatory for the duration of the winter) this weekend and whipping up something fun. Namely, a pink seersucker dress. I picked up some adorable pink and white seersucker from Hancock over the weekend. For relatively inexpensive fabric, it has a lovely drape. I have sick, sick love of seersucker -there's just something so joyful about it. Seersucker stripes are especially addictive for me, a light, feminine twist on menswear.

Pattern-wise, I'm trying something new. Simplicity just released their early Spring patterns and one of them was this adorable sundress from Cynthia Rowley. The version I've chosen is View A, which has a slightly longer hem and wider straps than the modeled view.


This is the first of Rowley's patterns that I've attempted and the bodice pleats (at least, I think they're pleats) are a bit daunting. I'm more Marilyn than Twiggy, so Full Bust Adjustments are normally part of my sewing prep. Unfortunately, I have no clue how I'm supposed to adjust this bodice. A muslin is definitely in order. I'm also going to add three inches of length to the hem, since even with the longer version, it's still on the short side for my height.

Despite those little tweaks, I'm absolutely in love with this pattern. Keep your fingers crossed that it turns out as lovely in real life, as in my mind! If it comes together this weekend, I'll post all the nitty gritty details on Monday. Have a lovely (and warm!) weekend, lovelies!

[Edited to add: Simplicity 2250 is finished! Check out the finished project here.]

Spring Is (Not Quite) Busting Out All Over

I'm ready to be warm again, lovelies.

I know, I know - I live in Texas, for Heaven's sake. What do I have to complain about? The Northeast is getting snowed in for the zillionth time this Winter, Atlanta saw over a foot of snow, and to hear my friend in Maine tell it, her state is thinking of renaming themselves The North Pole. In Austin, we've had a solid month of gloomy, rainy low days in the low 50's. Puny as it might seem, it is still so cold.

Normally I love chilly weather, but for some reason this year it's getting to me. Once the holidays ended, I was ready for Spring. I want to pull out the bright, sunny dresses, put on some espadrilles, and lounge around outside with a Mint Julep. Or, more honestly, a giant glass of iced tea.

It's this impatient longing that's to blame what happened this weekend. You see, I bought fabric. Thirty-one yards of fabric, to be precise. It's not like I needed it, either. Don't go excusing it with "Oh, I bet she has a really small stash." or "Well, she will need something to make all those sunny dresses out of." My stash is not tiny, but my willpower is. Clicking around on Gorgeous Fabrics this weekend was like a shot of sunshine and Springy possibilities straight to the vein. There were florals and stripes and the same joyous colors I've been longing for.

So, I gave in.

And I'm proud of it. Wouldn't you be? Check out these fabrics! Can't you just see the dresses and skirts clamoring to be made?


An Introduction

Hello kittens!

I have started a sewing blog. This is no doubt not a monumental revelation for you, since you have no idea who I am. For me, however, it's a rather big deal. I've only blogged about writing (my real world job) and other literary adventures, so a blog for the pure fun of it is a novel concept.

And - trust me - fun will be had. Expect fashion gawking, sewing adventuring, vintage obsessing, and heavy use of italics.