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Ontbijten 2013 12 11 04:43:11

Na de “first look” zijn we met de twee gezinnen gaan ontbijten. Mijn zus woont drie deuren verderop en daar was het ontbijt gepland.

Ik heb me helemaal niet met de aankleding van de ontbijttafel bezig gehouden. Daarvoor moet ik mijn moeder, zus en zwager bedanken. Ze hebben echt een fantastische sfeer weten te cree ren!

Dit was echt een heerlijk rustig moment op de dag. Iedereen kon even lekker kletsen, een bodempje leggen en het was een geschikt cadeaumoment.

Fotocredit: Mon et Mine


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Hoe staan amp;nbsp;al nbsp;deze nbsp;jurken nbsp;m

Ik wil mijn terugblikken naar onze bruiloft even onderbreken met een terugblik naar mijn trouwjurk shop ervaringen. Na mijn eerdere trouwjurkshop ervaring ben ik naar Cermo bruidsmode in Turnhout gegaan. Hier heb ik mijn jurk gevonden, maar ik heb daar eerst nog een heleboel andere jurken gepast. Bij deze bruidsmodezaak deden ze gelukkig niet moeilijk over het maken van foto’s!

Het viel me bij de eerste fishtail jurk op dat deze mij heel anders paste dan het model in de prachtige folder van het merk. De verkoopster in de winkel wist me te vertellen dat jurken vaak voor de foto worden teruggespeld. Net zoals bij veel etalagepoppen in winkels ook gebeurd.Bij deze een post waarin ik verschillende jurken laat zien en mezelf vergelijk met de plaatjes van de ontwerpers.

#1 Rembo styling

De eerste jurk die ik paste was er een van Rembo Styling. Op zich niets mis mee, maar ik had echt het gevoel dat ik de vloer aan het vegen was met de gigantische sleep.

#2 Merk onbekend – Als iemand me hiermee kan helpen hoor ik het graag

Deze jurk komt al meer in de buurt. Ze is wat pittiger, en mijn prachtige rode Jimmy Choo’s � staan er geweldig bij.

#3 Linea Raffaelli

Waarom staat deze jurk haar zoveel mooier dan mij? Waarom sluit die rok daar super mooi aan op haar benen en lijk ik er opeens 10kg zwaarder door. Maar vooral de hals stond me tegen, die past gewoon niet bij me.

#4 Linea Raffaelli

Deze kleuren staan me gewoon niet en zien er flets uit. Vind je ook niet dat het topje gewoon 10x mooier is qua kleuren bij het model? Bovendien lijkt deze jurk wel rg veel op die van mijn zus, dus dit was weer een duidelijke NEE

De zoektocht naar MIJN jurk gaat dus nog steeds verder, maar ik geniet wel van de zoektocht.

To be continued…

Fotocredit: Rembo styling, Linea Raffaelli en persoonlijke foto’s


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Ik nbsp;hou nbsp;niet nbsp;van nbsp;trouwjurken he

Na mijn eerste ervaring met het passen van jurken was ik er van overtuigd dat ik mijn jurk zou vinden in de feestjurkencollectie van Pronovias of Linea Raffaelli.

Ondertussen had ik de trouwmagazines weggelegd en bruiloftssites en blogjes gevonden. Op een blogje vond ik foto’s van korte trouwjurken. Op de een of andere manier was het gewoon niet in me opgekomen dat er ook trouwjurk zijn. Wat een eye-opener!


Deze prachtige jurk van Ian Stuart trok meteen mijn aandacht. Short and sassy. Ik vond alles aan de look van het model leuk. Alleen… deze jurk was collectie 2009 en inmiddels werd de collectie 2010 al in de rekken gehangen. Bij de bruidsmode zaak waar mijn zus is geslaagd voor haar trouwjurk was de jurk nog wel te bestellen, maar niet meer beschikbaar om te passen. Nou vind ik het best leuk om kleding te kopen via internet, maar een trouwjurk waar een behoorlijk prijskaartje aan hangt durfde ik toch niet aan.

Dus heb ik de stoute schoenen aangetrokken en ben gaan rondbellen. Ik heb op de Ian Stuart website een lijst gevonden met bruidsmodezaken in Nederland en die ben ik van boven naar beneden gaan afbellen. Bij de 20e zaak had ik succes: De jurk was nog aanwezig in een zaak in Hengelo! To be continued…

Wat heb ik van mijn ervaringen geleerd:

Vraag naar beschikbaarheid

Als je een leuke jurk hebt gezien bel dan met de bruidsmode zaak of ze deze jurk verkopen en of deze ook beschikbaar is voor passen n vraag ook na welke maat ze hebben hangen.

Vraag naar de prijs

Ik heb elke zaak die ik heb gebeld gevraagd naar de prijs van de jurk en ik heb altijd antwoord gekregen. Het is me opgevallen winkels voor dezelfde jurk wel � 250-400 prijsverschil kunnen hanteren.


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Roze amp;nbsp;wolk 2013 12 11 05:16:29

Nog geen week terug van onze huwelijksreis heb ik moeite om van mijn roze wolk te stappen. Voornamelijk eigenlijk omdat ik het niet wil. Ik geniet dagelijks van onze foto’s. Ik geniet van de herinneringen. Ik geniet van de leuke kaartjes en mailtjes van familie en vrienden die k een geweldige dag hebben gehad. Waarom zou ik dat ooit los willen laten?

Helaas ben ik weer begonnen met werken en wordt hierdoor van me ‘verwacht’ weer door te gaan met mijn leven. Weer gewoon te gaan werken. Maar ik ben nog lang niet klaar met onze bruiloft! Ik zal de komende tijd lekker gaan bloggen over onze dag. Over de highlights en de leerpunten. Over het verloop van de dag en over de details.

Fotocredit: Mon et Mine


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Off on our amp;nbsp;honeymoon 2013 12 11 05:23:50

We vertrekken vandaag op huwelijksreis! We gaan naar een heerlijk klein eiland in de Malediven.

Even lekker bijkomen, samen bijpraten, genieten van de paar foto’s die we al hebben, lekker snorkelen en cocktails drinken…. maar vooral genieten van de tijd die we samen hebben.

Tot over een week of twee…


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Een boeket om amp;nbsp;te nbsp;bewaren 2013 12 11

(bron)
Je kan je boeket natuurlijk altijd laten drogen, door dit dagen op z’n kop aan het plafond te hangen. Op de een of andere manier vind ik droogbloemen er altijd oud en dood uitzien. Een ingelijste foto van het trouwboeket zou ik nog een mooiere herinnering vinden. Maar wat nou als je geen boeket van echte bloemen wil? Er zijn super veel leuke alternatieven:Op de een of andere manier staat het me tegen om 100 euro neer te leggen voor een boeket wat je maar een paar uur vasthoudt. Vooral omdat ik niet ge nteresseerd ben in een fancy boeket, maar alleen een bos samengebonden pioenrozen zou willen.

Tot blogje van Arnhemsmeisje me op een super gaaf idee bracht: een boeket van broches.

Wat een super gaaf idee! Maar er zijn nog veel meer leuke alternatieven voor een bloemenboeket:

Een boeket van stof

Met een stoffenboeket kan je op een makkelijke manier wat kleur aan je dag toevoegen, of zorgen voor een vintage detail.


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Knopen boeket
Wat een schattig alternatief voor een traditioneel boeket. Super makkelijk uit te voeren in de kleuren die je wil en ook heel goed zelf te maken.


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Veren boeket


bron en bron

Boeket van vlinders

Wat een prachtig en speels boeket. Ideaal voor een lente bruiloft.


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Snoep boeket

Vergeet de bloemenmeisjes niet! Een snoepboeketje zorgt ervoor dat ze iets hebben om vast te houden en ze hebben ook wat lekkers om te snoepen als de foto’s zijn gemaakt.


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Zou je ook een bruidsboeket overwegen wat niet van echte bloemen is gemaakt? Welk boeket is je favoriet?


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Dromen amp;nbsp;van nbsp;d rsquo;orcays 2013 12 11

Lang voor ik mijn trouwschoenen?vond wist ik al wat voor truowschoenen ik zou willen dragen. Ik hou van schoenen en ik word helemaal wild van Manolo’s, Choo’s en Louboutins. Waarom zou ik suffe trouwschoenen?kopen die ik vervolgens nooit meer aan zou doen? Dan kan ik toch net zogoed dure pumps kopen. Toch?

I kan er omheen blijven draaien maar ik ben erg hard gevallen voor de Manolo Blahnik ��s d ��orsay pump. Ze is in erg veel verschillende kleuren beschikbaar en op de teen zit ook nog bling. Wat zou een meisje nog meer kunnen wensen? Ze zijn alleen niet makkelijk te vinden en ik weet eigenlijk niet eens zeker of er wel een winkel in Nederland is waar deze schatjes worden verkocht. En online shoppen is ook niet echt een optie, als ik de prijzen zie bij Ebay en sommige andere aanbieders denk ik dat er veel namaak Manolo’s worden verkocht. En � 100 voor een paar knock-offs is nog steeds behoorlijke afzetterij. Op de site van Amerikaans winkelketen Neiman Marcus vond ik deze beauties:

Helaas zijn de kleuren die nu beschikbaar zijn niet zo fel als ik het graag zou zien, de blauwe zouden leuk zijn geweest als ze niet van jeans stof zouden zijn geweest. En voor $715 moeten het wel echt DE perfecte schoenen zijn. Zoals deze paarse schatjes bijvoorbeeld:

Misschien moet ik nog maar even verder dromen en vooral verder zoeken naar mijn perfecte trouwschoen. Ik heb ik ieder geval al een goede inspiratie. Heb jij ook droom trouwschoenen?


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Etsy 2013 12 11 06:09:27

Voor iedereen die houdt van mooie, originele, handgemaakte spullen maar zelf geen DIY-queen is, is Etsy “the place to be”. Voor het geval er nu geen bellen gaan rinkelen: ik heb het over de website: Etsy check it out!

Etsy is een verzamelplek voor verkopers van zelfgemaakte of vintage items. Veel verkopers komen uit de VS, maar het is vaak wel mogelijk om spullen naar Nederland te laten versturen. Om een aankoop op Etsy te doen heb je een PayPal account nodig.


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Bruidsmeisjes 2013 12 11 06:12:06

Een week nadat we onze verloving bekend hebben gemaakt kregen we een open sollicitatie brief thuis gestuurd. De twee prachtige dochters van een nicht van me wilden graag onze bruidsmeisjes zijn. Op de 5e verjaardag van de oudste hebben ze auditie gedaan.

(persoonlijke foto)

Wie kan er nou weerstand bieden aan zo veel schattigheid? En hoe leuk is het om die meiden leuk aan te kunnen kleden? Wij hebben echt genoten van alle voorbereidingen n natuurlijk van hun stralende aanwezigheid op de dag zelf.

Maar hoe betrek je bruidskinderen bij je dag:

  • neem ze mee als je foto’s gaat maken
  • laat ze bloemblaadjes strooien
  • laat ze ze ringen aangeven

Door kinderen bij je bruiloft een taak als bruidskindje te geven heb je meteen een mooi excuus om ze leuk aan te kleden. Zodat bijvoorbeeld de kinderen goed bij jullie passen.

En vergeet vooral niet om ook vermaak voor de kleintjes te verzorgen!


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Fotolocaties nbsp;1 2013 12 11 06:13:48

De eerste keer dat ik de locatie opties voor de fotoshoot met mijn vent doorsprak werd me al snel duidelijk dat wij niet helemaal op n lijn zaten. In zijn gedachten zouden we naar een kasteeltje in de buurt gaan, zoals dit:

Nou, dat was niet echt wat ik in gedachten had. Ik vind kasteeltjes en parken gebruiken voor een trouwfotosessie gewoon z 1995. Ik wil een modernere achtergrond. Ik wil een fotosessie die wat beter past bij de “city chique” vibe die we onze bruiloft meegeven. Ik ben erg gecharmeerd van een graffitimuur als actergrond.


Fotocredit: Rock ‘n Roll bride

Vooral dat linkse plaatje met de doodshoofden doet mijn hartje sneller slaan. Maar je moet natuurlijk wel een leuke graffitimuur in de buurt hebben. Ik heb mijn ogen open gehouden en in het weekend heb ik de hond eens op een extra grote ronde genomen, op zoek naar leuke fotolocaties.
De Amada’s zijn een rij van appartementengebouwen bij ons in de wijk. Het zijn echte trekpleisters voor (hobby) fotografen en voor ons een heel herkenbaar beeld. Direct naast de Amada’s staat het Stedelijk museum, waarvan een gedeelte van de muur met graffiti is versierd. Ik had dit al vakar gezien vanuit de auto, maar dan van een afstand. Maar van dichtbij ziet de muur er nog leuker uit.

Persoonlijke foto’s.

Score! Dit zijn meteen al een paar leuke foto spots in de buurt. Nu wil ik nog wat foto’s maken in het centrum van de stad. Hoe heb jij je locatie gevonden voor je trouwshoot? Ben je ook gaan scouten in je omgeving?


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How did they miss amp;nbsp;that November 26, 2013

I think Burda should hire a proper tailor. Or buy some push-up bras and stuffing. Okay, pop quiz time!

Are these jackets from Burda’s December 2013 issue fitting this starving young lady well?

The answer is NO! The fabric on the Chanel-esque jacket is collapsing where her curves should be. The red jacket has entirely too much fabric coming off that shoulder to fit her non-bust. Why would they sacrifice fit to have a super skinny model? She is not selling these tailored patterns at all.

I understand they want the “fashion magazine” look, but when it isn’t selling their product, it seems stupid. Agreed? I spend so much time fitting a piece for myself, I would expect a sewing pattern company to make the same amount of effort when making samples. Look at the Indie companies like Colette or Victory. Other issues of Burda. Vogue and Butterick photograph their pieces well even though their patterns are weirdly drafted. If this was in Vogue Patterns, they would have her doing an odd or avant guarde pose to hide the poor fit. Burda chose to take these shots head on flaunting this improperly fitted bust. I just saw these posted on burdastyle.com and I wanted to slap someone. Maybe they thought we would be so distracted by her digitally enhanced cheek bones, we would never notice.


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Shedding a few amp;nbsp;tears amp; 8230; November

The time has come! We are moving into our very own townhouse! Today! That being said, I started moving the breakables yesterday, including my sewing machine and serger! I feel like I am coming out of the desert into the promise land.

I had the enjoyable experience of reuniting with my stash that we left in storage years ago. I didn’t think much about it then, but now I realize how much I gutted it before I left. I donated a decade’s worth of accumulation to the charity store: patterns, fabric, notions, trim. I kept my Vogue Magazines, but the first issue I found from Nov. 2011 (above) was damaged because the box glue stopped sticking and the contents of said box spilled, upending the entire stack. I wonder, if a box falls and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

I haven’t found my fabric, but I know I am going to regret parting with some of it. I remember once I stumbled across a Jo-Anns that was going out of business and I cleaned out over 100 yards of fabric for less than $50. I never had to shop for formal wear or costume fabric again. However, I didn’t feel right storing so much (My entire spare room was a sewing room. I was so spoiled and didn’t even appreciate it!). Therefore to reduce storing expenses, I did it. I remember parting with all that polyester thinking it was the better choice as the other fabrics were too nice to give up. I hope I remember correctly and that the fabrics I’ve been dreaming about are still in my possession.

Anyway, a friend is coming today so we can catch up and unpack! I have already found part of my yarn stash and presented her with cashmere/silk yarn, Debbie bliss eco cotton, etc. I think she has about 20 skeins including a hand dyed wool blend sock yarn that a dyer made for me after we met during my travels. I just know that with a job and family, my crafting time will be limited. If I have to choose between sewing or knitting/crochet, the sewing wins every time!

Once we get settled and I find everything, I will be posting my completed projects. As you can imagine, I did absolutely no sewing since I’ve been here. My friend’s house was already full of her stuff so my sewing machine and whatnot had to stay in storage. I bet most of you already guessed that with my overambitious plans, but I was really hoping. My new goal is to spend the next few weeks unpacking like a mad woman around holiday commitments so that by December I can sew! I even planned a dinner party the first week of December to keep me motivated. I know it’s an addiction but admitting it doesn’t stop it!


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US Burda Style: A amp;nbsp;Review November 6, 2013

The first issue of the US Burda Style hit newstands awhile ago, but I finally went into the large bookstore today and flipped through the issue. It has some good qualities, but I was mostly disappointed.

The issue contains the usual pattern sheets with patterns, but the pattern selection is rather odd. They have patterns from older issues like the popular neons from 08/2012 and the black and white plus size pattern collection from 03/2013. It seems odd that they didn’t pull from current issues.

On the plus side, the pattern sheets are less crowded than the traditional ones. However upon closer inspection, the reason it has fewer patterns is because many of the issue’s patterns are only available via downloads with the issue’s code on burdastyle. com. That annoys me because I prefer tracing to taping together all those sheets of paper. It is one of the reasons why I like buying the magazine even if I only use one or two patterns in the issue.

The overall content is still 4 “collections” with a few DIY articles and fashion stuff. It feels like the “cutting edge” portion of the fashion is missing. The page with all the pattern fashion mini-photos is missing too.

The final plus is that the subscription is only $20 for four issues with the included subscription card. That is a huge savings compared to the $100 for a montly subscription. For someone with less time to sew and/or maybe not as interested in owning the entire “collection” offered by Burda, the savings would be appealing.

Overall, this magazine would entice new readers and newer seamstresses with the easier to read pattern pages and lower price. It should attract a broader audience with its availability at chains like Barnes & Noble. It will also draw them to the website with the included downloadable patterns. On the other hand, people already familiar with Burda would most likely find it an inferior version of the monthly magazine.

When I get settled, I plan to subscribe to only one version as the quarterly version is simply a repackaging of stuff from the monthly subscription and I really like having all the options available for tracing. Which version are you going to choose?


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Sew a Longs in amp;nbsp;October September 30, 201

Really T? When you are moving at the beginning of the month?

Well dear reader, one fun thing about this move is: I’m not taking my sewing machine! GASP! And that is because, I have this beauty waiting for me:

Isn’t she pretty? Or is it a he because it has a computer? And no, I didn’t just buy it. Can you believe I bought this several years ago? Its been waiting for me in the USA because I couldn’t get it on the airplane as carry on and checking it with the computer module wasn’t happening. On top of that international shipping seemed silly since we were planning on permanently relocating to the USA “soon.” Years later, my dusty box is waiting for me, which means finding it and unpacking it, is really a visit and a return trip home. Easy peasy! As for fabric and stuff, I’m only moving what can fit in my suitcases, so my shrinking stash busting sewing has made that far more managable. I’m not buying anything new either because moving it would be crazy. I’m mostly taking finished items, tools and patterns.

Which means I’ve been drooling on the US fabric websites like a mad woman!

Here are some ideas I’ve got brewing:

This jacket is designed for a lighter weight fabric, has a slightly different band, and poofy pockets, but its essentially the same jacket as the Plaid Jacket they’ve picked for the new Burda Style Sew-a-long in October. I have this lovely copper silk noil I picked up during my jacket class. Cynthia G. recommended the color as a “wear with everything” jacket fabric because it matches my eyes. (Her tip being match either your eyes or your hair color for a jacket that you can wear everyday.) Of course at the time we were talking tailored jackets, but now that I’ve been loving (and wearing out) my Laura cardigan, I understand and appreciate how a smart light layer and relaxed fit can really dress up jeans and a t-shirt. Therefore, I’m going to pair these two up and line it with the coordinating Bemberg Rayon I picked for it in peach.

I also love these satin PJ style pants. I think while I have the pattern tracing stuff out I’m going to trace off the pants. I missed Did you make that?‘s Pajama Party sew-a-long this year, and my ones from last year wore out. If I really like the fit/style, I have this scarlet red silk/cotton satin that might make fun wear around town pants with heels, but first PJs!

The other sew-a-long I’ve been looking forward to is the Monthly Stitich’s Frocktober Fest. I’ve been wanting to join in the fun over there, but just haven’t had the time. I plan to make the 02/2011/101 dress which I just fitted up in a purple cotton sateen. I have the bright orange/coral poplin with matching lace that is calling my name.

Of course, you’re probably wondering about my crazy list. I finished it all, except for the 02/2011 jacket blazer! I went to work on the collar only to find the un-interfaced collar band piece has disappeared. I’m half-way through the collar, the body is done and fitted, and the sleeves are done. It is so nice to do fusable tailoring for a stretch fabric because it goes so much faster than the couture techniques. So I figured while I’m waiting for an early morning time block when my son is sleeping and I can cut, I might as well prep a few patterns! Totally logical =)

I figure after finishing the blazer, I’ll have whipped up almost 15 pieces. I think I’ve earned a few casual and sleepwear pieces for day-to-day wear. Then I can get back to job stuff with the navy poplin or black linen or something. I’m not really inspired by my “career” fabrics right now. Probably a bit of burn out!

On a final fun note, a friend of mine wants to trade. She’s going to take photos for my blog and I’m going to help her with her etsy store photos. Awesome photos will be coming soon!


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If it was a amp;nbsp;snake amp; 8230; September 26

…it would have bit me! You know that feeling when you realize something that’s been staring you in the face? Take a look at this photo from the Burda 02/2011 Italian inspired collection:

Remember how much I said I loved this collection? Now look at this photo:

Notice anything? I was packing my albums and I noticed that I picked almost the same style lines, hair, etc. for my wedding day! A bustier top with beautiful fuller skirt? Check! Flowing brown hair half up and half down? Check! And the jewelry might have been more dramatic than I’m wearing, but this set of jewelry was borrowed from a friend and very sentimental. If not borrowed, I might have ended up with chunkier bling, as I do like that.

Now what woman doesn’t want to feel like a princess on her wedding day? And if she could bring that feeling into her every day looks? It would be perfect, right? So why didn’t I think of this sooner?!? Well, when I unpack after the move, it is something I can pursue as part of my silhouette project/signature style research.


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Ouch, I think I strained a amp;nbsp;muscle Septem

I want to be this cool when I grow up!

So remember that list with 10 items for my work wardrobe? I finished 8! The white Burda blouse ended as a wadder/UFO due to weird directions and delicate fabric and my Deer and Doe Bluet needs buttons and buttonholes (BTW LOVE! I just had to let out the waist a bit and tweak the bust, but other than that it was a lovely pattern to work with!)

So what’s next? A job offer hopefully, but until then I am going to take some aspirin for my eye strain and keep sewing!

Here’s the next stage of my ridiculously ambitious plan for my last 3 weeks in Brazil:

Black Stretch cotton twill: Burda 02-2011-108B jacket, Simplicity A-Line skirt, and Burda 05-2013-126 Lace waist dress with a grosgrain ribbon instead of lace

Purple stretch cotton sateen (matte side out): Burda 02-2011-101 dress

Cream jersey: Top Burda 02-2012-107A and Cami Burda 02-2011-102B (I made one already and LOVE it. I actually love this entire collection if you hadn’t noticed the repeated 02-2011 references!)

My fingers are already not happy with the idea of another 6 projects, but I have 3 more planned if I have time. I just returned from my trip to Ipatinga, MG and they have the most amazing fabric store there. I found this beautiful bright coral stretch poplin that I would love to make up in a

I want those purple pants too!

dress. AND I found matching 20cm wide stretch lace! COLOR-MATCHED! They have the most amazing selection of bikini and lingerie hardware, supplies, and fabric there and I hit a sale. The lace cost a whopping R$5! LUCKY! And I bought 2m of stretch navy poplin too because those fabrics were on sale for R$9 a meter. The navy will be a work outfit while the coral is going to be part of my non-work stuff, so its at the bottom of the list. Maturity sucks sometimes. I managed to prep 3 patterns today and cut 2 garments even though it was a rainy day. My husband took charge of my son to help out. He’s probably not going to be able to work tomorrow because of the rain too, so I hope to cut out the 3 black twill pieces tomorrow. Pray for rain in Rio!


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Elegant hanging long neck pink halter elegant evening dresses  2012 new yellow shoulder evening dress of a elegant evening dresses  

Life changes and amp;nbsp;Sewing August 31, 2013 2

I know its been really quiet on my blogs, but in truth, my life has been a little crazy. I am moving to the United States and with that move comes a new job, old friends, and a new place to live. Things were very vague and tentative until about the middle of August. Now I have plane tickets!

With this change coming, I ran through my closet looking at potential interview and work outfits. I found a red sleeveless blouse and a pair of brown knit trousers. No interview outfits. Nothing else. Just a top and pants. And sleeveless isn’t really an office look without something. Maybe my gold Laura cardi but that thing is just about worn out, I’ve used it so much! So while my son was sleeping, I pulled out my entire stash, organizing and sorting as I went.

I tried to focus on patterns I’d worked with before like the Simplicity A-line skirt from my Silhouette project. That way I didn’t have to start from scratch. I cleared a few casual wear projects off my table before starting as well so I would have room to work. I’ll post about those eventually.

Here are definite projects as they’ve been cut out and are in various stages of construction:

purple cotton satteen: Sheath dress (B5447), and A-Line skirt (S2152)

purple cotton twill: button up blouse (Deer & Doe Bleuet shortened)

black medium weight knit: Jacket and skirt (V2989)

black linen: pencil skirt (Burda 08-2012-111)

shiny black knit: dress (Style Arc Anita lengthened)

black mystery sheer fabric: button up blouse (Burda 07-2010-121 without shoulder frills)

white cotton batiste: button up blouse (Burda 01-2011-102 with long sleeves from the dress version)

Leftover chunks of jersey in black, grey, purple and cream: color blocked camis (Burda 02-2011-102B with self-drafted band to lengthen)

I’m trying to finish all these projects up before our trip to my mother-in-law’s house. When I get back, I’ll have about 4 weeks to finish everything before the move. I plan to reuse some patterns a few more times like the A-line skirt and the pencil skirt. If the Bleuet shirt fits well, I have 3 other Deer and Doe patterns that I am so excited about trying. I just know my time is limited and repeats will speed up the process. The big thing on the list is an interview blazer or jacket in black, and considering the time and materials I have, that may not be doable. But if I reduce my spending for an entire work wardrobe to a few zippers and buttons, a pair of black pumps and stockings, then buying a nice blazer would be very doable.

At this point, all I am working with are solids, in black, gray, purple, and white, in classic shapes so there is no “signature style” but it will give me a great foundation to build on once I get settled in and set up my sewing area. Until then, I’ll just be wearing classic, well-fitting pieces, which actually follows the elegance, understatement and minimalism that is French Chic. I could experiment with a cross between Coco Chanel, Brazilian spice, and modernism. Mmm, food for thought!

I’m still waiting on our camera, so when I get photos I’ll have a lot of catching up to do, patterns to review, etc., but until then “I’ll be sewing up a storm” as my mother would say.


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The charming white All-Share Index bride gloves  Lace embroidered sequins Wedding gloves  

Talking Print Selection with a amp;nbsp;Stylist Au

Reachel showcasing how prints can combine to make a signature style statement.

As seamstresses we get to be our own stylists, for better or for worse. Therefore, as part of my Silhouette Project, I asked stylist and print guru Reachel of the Cardigan Empire to help us all with selecting print fabrics.

1. Seamstresses are spoiled for choice. When looking at walls of printed fabrics or racks of clothing, how do you start narrowing down your choices?

Whenever I’m working with a client, the first thing I do is identify their profile. A profile consists of 4 primary categorizations: body type, complexion, signature style, and lifestyle. Let’s say we have a client with a lower figure, deep autumn complexion, a penchant for modern stylings, and a formal business profession. First we need to envision where the print will be applied. If the print is to be sewn into trousers, the colors should be dark and the pattern subtle. We don’t need to decorate our broadest areas, just streamline them. If the fabric is to be sewn into a top, any motif will work but the colors need to be warm and rich. Any pastels should be overlooked as pale, dusty hues next to her face will drain her coloring. Next we can start looking specifically at personal preference. If she’s modern, she can breeze past the sweetly feminine florals and the glamour saturated animal prints. She wants clean, graphics including color blocking and abstract silhouettes. Sometimes we can appreciate a print but we still won’t wear it if it isn’t in our nature. Finally, we need to marry our prints to our lifestyle. For a formal business setting, we’d eliminate anything too narrative. The pineapple motif skirt is perfect for a barbecue but is going to reduce your credibility in the board room.

2. Are there any hard and fast rules that guide your choices when finalizing prints for your wardrobe?

Most of my garment choices are based on a simple 1-10 evaluation. Unless I can say an item is at least an 8, I don’t keep it. But a big portion of my decision lies in whether it resonates with my signature style. I’ve defined my personal styles as: colorful, playful, feminine, graphic, unexpected, crisp, and tailored. (read and see more here http://www.cardiganempire.com/2012/03/define-your-signature-style-part-1.html)

3. When planning several print garments for a cluster, how do you know if they go together?

The easiest way to mix and match prints within a cluster is to choose items with a common color. So you can have a ocher, flame, and navy floral paired with a cream and navy polka dot. One of the prints should be the starring lead and one should be supporting. In the case described here the floral would be the lead because it has more colors and a busier motif. The polka dot would be supporting because it is a simple, classic pattern with fewer colors.

Color blocking and stripes can really make a statement, especially in your signature color. Always double check your print placement, especially when working around seams. Better yet, take the time to cut the pieces separately on a single layer fabric for perfect print placement. Photo courtesy of mymineolafashion.com

4. For someone first learning how to use prints in their handmade garments, what is the “must-have” or “go-to” print that flatters most women? What is the hardest print type to wear (excluding crazy novelty prints like kittens with pink bows)?

Gingham and polka dots are extremely versatile and easy to mix into a wardrobe. Plaid is a slightly more advanced runner up. Stripes are utterly classic but can be tricky, mostly because of what they do well. Stripes compel our eyes to visually measure. This is great when you want to say amplify the dainty undulations of bust but can be less than complimentary when applied to a fuller waistline with a few secondary/tertiary curves.

5. What article of clothing is your favorite when made in prints? What article of clothing should never be made up in to a print?

Skirts are easy candidates for prints because they offer a broad uninterrupted platform for the print to populate. Trousers, on the other hand, have more pitfalls. They have to weave in out of thighs, around bottoms, scale crotches. It’s a complicated business and sometimes prints get in the way. I wouldn’t say never do a print on a pant, but I would say it’s for advanced users only.

Patterned tights can add a unique touch to any fall/winter wardrobe. photo courtesy of thestylishfox.com

6. What is you favorite print and how do you like to wear it?

I don’t know if I could pick just one print, but I do love a good doubling up of prints. I commonly wear two to three at a time. Right now I am loving stripes on stripes or dot on dot. The trick is to vary the scale. The combination doesn’t work as well if they are the same size: one should be smaller, one should be larger.

Now several of you submitted reader questions, and Reachel helpfully answered them!

A) What happens if I am between two color palettes? How do I decide which one works best for me?

If you are trying to decide on your personal color palette, the best strategy is to color drape. You can do this with solid colors in your closet or solid fabrics in your sewing closet. Drape the color right under your chin and try to figure out which are the most and least complimentary shades and varieties. Good colors will even the complexion and help your natural features to glow. Poor colors will draw attention to imperfections and either leave you overwhelmed or drab/sallow. However, if you are having a hard time deciding between two categories say cool and delicate (summer) and cool and brilliant (winter), maybe you are in fact between them. A cool summer is on the border between summer and winter and shares qualities of both. Also, did I mention that if you love a color that’s not in your palette, try it in a print. I love mint right now, but my skin hates it. So I got a cream blouse with mint bows. The cream still flatters my skin and I can sneak a pretty little mint in too.

B) I like her ideas for casual wear, but how would I add signature style to work clothing?

Floral heels for work from Nine West

For a lengthy answer, I highly recommend this post-http://www.cardiganempire.com/2012/01/what-to-wear-to-job-interview.html.

However for a short answer, take what you love and minimize it. Let’s say you love romantic equestrian. Rather than donning a blouse covered in roses and horses, perhaps a pair of horse earring posts and floral heels would identify you without deteriorating your professional merit. Accessories are a safe avenue for expression in the business world.

C) How do you decide which hem length is the most flattering for skirts? Any guidelines?

About an inch above to an inch below the knee is the most universally flattering hemline. As your leg’s natural breaking point, you aren’t eating into the length of your legs. And longer is always, always leaner. For the rest of the hemlines from minis to midis to maxis is driven by leg circumference. You don’t want the skirt to hit at a wide area on your leg (i.e. a mini that hits at the broadest width of your thigh or a midi that cuts at the fullest part of your calf). You want a line to highlight a narrowing point.

D) I need a jacket for winter. What kind of jacket should I be looking for if I am a pear?

You want a coat that outlines your waist without amplifying your lower half. So no downy parkas banded at the hip giving you a bulky snowman top and overexposed hips. Instead opt for trenches or top coats that nip in at the waist and end at the knee. The shortest you want your jacket is the widest part of your hips. Ending a jacket at this point cuts the area in half and visually minimizes it.

Reachel’s blog (www.cardiganempire.com) is chock full of great tips including everything from signature style guidelines to selecting the perfect swimsuit and she frequently posts companion videos on her youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/reachelbagley). So check out all her great advice! I am planning on using her tips and tricks to improve my own style choices and really create a style philosophy!

If you really need more proof of her awesomeness, Reachel worked for Anthropologie as a personal stylist for 6 years, and has been consulting with clients on fashion through Cardigan Empire for the last four. She also teaches Wardrobe Strategies at a college in her area. I wish my college had fashion classes like that when I was an undergraduate. I probably never would have made shiny neon orange terrycloth pants but that is another story!


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Sheath Floor-length Sweetheart Evening Dresses  Black One Shoulder Floor-length Evening Dresses  

Last Winter Update on my Wool amp;nbsp;Jacket Augu

I threw the bloody thing away!

Not really, but it was a near miss. I am at the point where I need to add bound button holes, before inserting the lining. (Check out Julia Bobbin’s great tutorial here, and she isn’t joking about chocolate being a necessary tool. Chocolate is the only reason my jacket’s not in the rubbish!)

Anyway, I tested it out on scraps of the fashion fabric and interlining. I hate the interlining BTW. The polyester content is great for stiffening things up but it won’t iron down the way I need it to for bound buttons. I tried 3 different variations and other than cutting out the interlining entirely (which would make the fashion fabric too soft and loosely woven for buttons) bound buttons are off the menu.

After all the hand tailoring leading up to this step, I felt like crying. I then tested out machine buttonholes on scrap only to discover the fabric thickness or something is making the 3rd stage (return side of buttonhole) wonky. Like seriously-my-son-learned-some-new-inappropriate-vocabulary wonky.

Now I was ready to chuck it but after a break munching on chocolate with peanuts, I decided to let it be. I plan to finish the rest and test out large snaps, but it means the pretty buttons I bought (all 3 sets because I couldn’t make up my mind in the store) will be stashed and the jacket front won’t have that pretty detail. I have to hunt down pretty snaps since they’ll show when its open.

You’d think a trip to the sewing store would cheer me up but the disappointment with how things are going and the change to Spring has made me pack up the whole project. I’ll come back to it after I finish a few more projects and get some distance/perspective.

Sorry there aren’t any pictures, but my son broke the new camera. Luckily its under warranty and my husband has sent it off. I’ll be posting some but until the camera is back, there won’t be much to see from my sewing machine.


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The beige bow All-Share Index wedding gloves  White wedding gloves  

Eek I love amp;nbsp;it July 31, 2013 2014 01 02

This lovely little dirndl style skirt is the second silhouette project skirt and I can’t emphasize enough how much I love it. It was super fast and easy to make, and even easier to wear. This fabric is a loose weave linen blend that is soft, drapey and perfect for spring/summer. It is also a self-drafted pattern. In the future I’ll have to add a fuller seat to the back, which means a different pattern front and back, but otherwise its perfect. I paired it with my purple tunic.

Before the photo shoot, I grabbed my new red lipstick (Avon Color Trend Salvagem Vermelho). I chose a color I normally avoid, thanks to a Brazilian Fashion magazine article on how to choose your red lipstick based on hair color, eye color and skin tone. Not surprisingly, they suggested a warm red with a hint of orange or gold, which matches my Warm and Rich color chart from Cardigan Empire. I used black mascara, and brown and gold eyeshadow to complete the look since a dramatic lip might be too much with a dramatic or smoky eye. Thoughts? I find it attractive and think it works for day and casual wear.

In other sewing news, I finished cutting out my party dress! That thing is coming together at a snail’s pace. I can’t figure out why.


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Sweetheart Multi Colours Floor-length Dresses  Blue Sweetheart Floor-length Evening Dresses  

Wishing it was Spring amp;nbsp;Giveaway July 26,

This is my innocent face and “I didn’t touch it” hands.

The past 3 days have been rainy, cloudy, and cold, reaffirming winter’s hold on Rio. My son has been going crazy and we worked hard to wear him out. During naptime, the cold weather inspired me to clean and organize my sewing stash and table, mostly so I could plan some new projects. I discovered a UFO, a few old muslins, and other odds and ends I’d forgotten about. This has created an entirely new “to-do” list of fast fixer-uppers and upcycle material, all coming soon.

My son picked this Khaliah Ali Collection as his favorite.

Now for the Giveaway. One of the weight loss tips I read was: don’t hold onto your larger sizes just in case you gain the weight back. That is destructive thinking. Rather keep your clothing in your size and if they get a little tight, cut back on your calories or bump up your workouts to keep the weight off.

So in the spirit of this advice, I have pulled all my uncut plus-sized patterns and am giving them away! I’m not sure what to do about the cut ones, as throwing them away seems so wasteful. I am planning on recycling them, unless you guys have a better idea. To enter, just leave a comment with a funny story, discovered item, or handy tip from your own spring cleaning! Please include your email or blog so I can contact you if you win! My son intends to supervise the random number generator for fairness.

Top Row from left: S2338 20W-28W, S2189 20W-28W, B5788 18W-24W, S1945 20W-28W Bottom Row from left: S1916 16-24,Burda 18-32, B5495 16-22, S2690 16-24

If you have any questions, just ask! I will be accepting entries until midnight EST Aug. 4, 2013.


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Stylish red waterproof wedding shoes  New fashion golden wedding shoes  

Misery Loves Company amp;nbsp;Dress July 23, 2013

I hate my party dress and I haven’t even cut the fabric. Le sigh. What happened? I have paper fitted half a dozen patterns, and even went as far as stitching up one and half muslins, and come up with nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero. Remember this fabric? It has this beautiful border area that I am trying to work into the dress.

This border is only on one selvage and somehow I didn’t think about that when I only asked for 1.6 yds in the store! Of course its enough for a party dress, but not for one with a border print full skirt. It is also not stretchy enough for a ruched knit dress. It is silky, but the fused on lace really stiffens up the satin. It is just a fabric that defies being stitched up. Part of me was ready to give up using the border print and throw together a dress, but I didn’t want to do that (stamping foot like my son).

So this rested until I found a cute dress in a Manequim issue I picked up this weekend.

The pattern is of course #11. I am thinking sleeveless with a new style line above the bust darts because that area would be narrow enough to cut front and back on the border. I was actually looking at this article because the cover listed it as “Chique Tudo Dia” or chic every day. The magazine included patterns for this entire wardrobe group (not accessories) and showed how to mix and match the pieces for various occasions/12 outfits. I have also traced out the #4 blouse pattern because I love the sleeves. Alas, in true Manequim fashion, the blouse comes only in one size and its too small so that will have to wait for redrafting. The dress, luckily, came in a multi-sized format. Now, I just need to widen the hips for my bottom-heavy shape and make my other adjustments. Can you believe they don’t mark where the waistline is? Grr. Hopefully, this new pattern will bust my slump and I’ll have a new party dress (even though the party has come and gone). Wish me luck!

PS: In other fun news, I have joined the Winter Swap! It will be my first exchange and I am super excited. I just hope I pick the right things to excite and inspire my exchange buddy Curls and Skirls!

I also joined the Monthly Stitch Collective hosted by the lovely Curious Kiwi and Vintage Modern Cupcakes (who did the Burda Sew-along I participated in). They are going to have challenges every month. I found the Burda Sew-along so enjoyable and motivating that I had to join the group.


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plus size evening dress Alicia Dress  plus size evening dress Gabrielle Gown in Burgundy  

Silhouette Project Ideas and amp;nbsp;Lists July 2

Since my closet busting a few weeks ago, I’ve been doing my research. There are so many books, articles, and how-to’s that it blows the mind. So who do I trust? I have watched (and adore) Gok Wan from the UK’s How to Look Good Naked and really appreciate his lady line ups. To bad he’s not on TV here. I religiously watch What not to Wear and their website has tons of videos. Nina Garcia’s Little Black Book of Style is a good read. Ultimately, they all pretty much have the same content: how to fuse properly fitting pieces with one’s personal taste, style, and color palette to create a unique wardrobe that tells the world who you are. No small feat! So let’s take a look at the Trench Coat, included on lists everywhere. The color, length choice, and finishing details can dramatically change the look . You know what the classic trench looks like, but these are tailored for signature style.

The Romantic

The Unique Print

Sporty Chic with on trend color blocking

As seamstresses we are spoiled. With so many options, how would I narrow it down? First, I don’t get to wear jackets often, so when I do, I want it to stand out without being too crazy. I would chose this one:

How cool is it? The only draw back would be sitting in it! The gold color is in my warm and rich color palette, while the drama of the buttons keeps it from being too traditional. It accents the waist, which is key. I love how they styled it with the chunky bag and jeans. It suits my tastes, which seems to lean towards Traditional Modern because of the cut and color.
It is time for a list breakdown. I am still flexible with it, but I pulled some ideas from Vogue’s Sewing Handbook.

No matter what edition you have, there’s a section on basics with photos like these. They don’t necessarily show the most attractive versions, but you get the idea. I am already deleting the tent dress and the dropped waist dress since one is an unfitted sack and the other is universally unflattering for pears/bottom heavy hourglasses like me. It is nice that they show all the basic necklines, sleeves styles, and collars types too.

I am going to start with a few basic styles, as well as basic wardrobe pieces and see where that takes me. I am excited about this journey, but I keep hearing Nina Garcia’s saying, “I worry about her taste.” Well, so do I Nina, so do I.


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Sash Spaghetti Strap Taffeta Organza Layered Floor Length Flower Girl Dresses  Cute Satin Shoulder Straps Floor Length Flower Girl Dress  

Wool Jacket amp;nbsp;Update July 14, 2013 2014 01

I am so happy with this jacket! Except for the fact that winter is almost over… At least I will have a beautiful couture wool jacket to decorate my closet during our tropical summer. Now remember that lumpy lapel?

It is beautiful now! Thanks to some reader tips and Gertie’s video tutorial, I solved my problems and have a nice lapel that lays smooth and wants to flop into position naturally. Notice anything else? The pockets are on! Now, before you look below, think about how you would attach a patch pocket without exposed stitching…

These pockets are so baggy but they mysteriously hide my hips and make my waist look skinnier. What more could a girl ask for? I love how they elongate the angled princess dart but they hide the horizontal line. They turned out really flattering so I’m not complaining; just warning you if you wanted to show off your unique darts, you have to scale down or skip the pocket since moving them down just looks awkward. I know. I tried.

So back to my question. Here is the side view. Normally patch pockets are top stitched and have the fold exposed on the pocket side. These are hand stitched (8 layers of fabric!). I had to switch to unbleached cotton muslin for the underlining as the sturdier interlining would not fold softly. It took some fiddling to get the pocket stitch line abutted with the dart seam to stitch these pockets at a 90 degree angle from the jacket front. I also carefully stitched with the weave of the fabric and perfectly matched thread (thanks to Fabricmart’s thread matching) to conceal my stitches. I am loving them but I’m terrified my son is going to rip them. He tried hanging off of them like a monkey while I was double-checking evenness. He also likes petting my jacket. He’s going to be a fabric lover like me!

In other fun news: my husband bought a printer and, in his normal man “I’m not reading the manual” fashion, he ended up printing the same form about 30 times. Then I printed off a downloadable pattern guilt-free on the unused side! I am finally going to be able to test-drive the popular Colette Sorbetto top! Though I should really put my jacket sleeves on first…really… maybe…or not.


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Mermaid Organza Sweetheart Sexy Prom Dresses  Ball Gown Sweetheart Organza Prom Dresses  

My Silhouette amp;nbsp;Toolkit July 10, 2013 2014

Before I go any further with my Silhouette Project, it is time to share some of my discoveries. I am a Bottom-heavy Hourglass. Hot damn! So much for reading up on all those “How To Be a Pear” articles! It means my bust isn’t quite busty enough for a true hourglass but my bottom half has shrunk out of true pear territory. Another inch off my waist and a good padded bra and I would be inside the hourglass box! Based on my hair, eyes, and skin tones, my color palette is Deep Autumn best suited for warm & rich colors. How do I know? I found the Cardigan Empire thanks to Stephanie’s comment on my A-Line skirt! Look at Reachel’s cute button for the hourglass figure!

First: Go to her how to measure tutorial. While many may assume their body type based on the mirror, she provides a mathematical formula that clears up any doubts (or unreliable/problematic vision). I know personally I visually add about 15 lbs directly on my thighs when I look in the mirror. Old habits of seeing myself at 200 lbs die hard. This math really rocked my world. Then you can watch her videos for specific body types and/or run all over the web with your new found knowledge!

But don’t stop there. Look for the color analysis worksheet here. I found it very helpful and it is presented in an easy to understand format. Here is my color cheat sheet.Looking at her color chart, I have to agree that the pastels suck on me, and her warm neutrals match exactly with what Cynthia G. told me in my jacket fitting class last summer. Remember she told me that black isn’t my best neutral so I brought home the camel wool for my jacket? I am not entirely sold on the light salmon and C. G.’s recommendation of clear red is missing, but other than that, this list matches Cynthia’s. Alas, I’m still wearing too much black and have a bit more in my stash. I really need to break that “universally flattering” mantra my grandmother taught me. My new mantras need to be “Warm and Rich colors only!” and “Accentuate that waist!”

The final awesome bit? She has a list of styles like Bohemian, Modern, and Romantic with definitions and examples to see if it matches your style comfort zone. Reachel also made a cheat sheet for how to create your own signature style by mixing and matching these styles (the extended blog post is a must read!).

Now that I have a body type, a color palette, and some new tips, I am ready to take another look at my wardrobe/stash and start my chic mommy transformation. I sent her an email requesting a blog interview specifically for seamstresses and style. If I can snag her expertise, what would you ask her? Post in comments and I will beg her to answer your questions as well as mine, then post all the juicy info! If I lived near her, I would drag her into my sewing room and have a long sit down over coffee and fabric!


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A luxurious silver white diamond wedding necklace  Silver white rhinestone wedding necklace set  

The A Line Skirt My First Silhouette Project amp;n

The A-line Skirt, a universal basic for every woman, is something I can’t remember ever making. When I was watching The Great British Sewing Bee, I realized this. I have always gravitated towards dresses and tops. Therefore it became the first style on my Silhouette Project List. I whipped one up in a lovely quilter’s cotton batik for a casual addition to my wardrobe.

A lovely overcast day at the park seemed like the perfect place to test drive my new skirt. This is Simplicity 2152. I cut the below knee length with pockets. I skipped lining it though I can hear Ann saying, “I always line this kind of skirt.” I am such an underachiever! Honestly, this fabric turned out too soft to hold the “A” shape crisply but it is a great casual look. This brown top is the RTW top I mentioned in my closet busting post. I already took apart the black one for a new pattern.

I was happy with this outfit until I saw this side view. My mummy tummy is poking out from the body shaper/slip I’m wearing. Not attractive.

Anyway, let’s break it down. Casual tee, tucked into an A-Line skirt: Win or Lose? I think the A-Line works and I like this skirt, but I am going to have to seriously think about how to style skirts in general. If I wear a full body shaper, it won’t be that comfortable for a day look. The shirt is too long to wear un-tucked with a skirt. I could play with structured tops and shorter hem lengths. Finally, is this top style working for me? Is it worth the effort of making a new pattern from the worn out old ones? Thoughts about either piece? Overall style and color choices?


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Short Strapless Graduation Dresses  Short Pink Strapless Graduation Dresses  

Friday Freebie a little amp;nbsp;late June 29, 201

I have been talking a lot about my struggles and successes with fit. This has been my free online tool, found here. I know it looks a little juvenile, and I actually used something like this during my 4-H years. This is provided by the University of Florida’s library and they have a number of these type of publications (again many I read and used during my formative sewing years) for free. They are now online! Hurray! I have referred to their old school diagrams when needing to identify fit issues and I love their straight forward approach. I also like that they include multiple versions of how to alter something: regular or kimono? with or without waist seam? no problem! Its covered. It is not fancy or modern, but it works! I highly recommend it!


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spaghetti strap A-line Floor-length Satin organza dresses  Cute Straps Ribbon Shoulder Flower Girls Dress  

Well that amp; 8217;s a little amp;nbsp;awful amp;

Here is my first wearable muslin for my party dress, using Burda Mag’s 08-2012-110 sequin dress pattern. The best part? My husband loves this top!

Yes, I confess. This is a polyester stretch satin I bought in Taquara. I am sure many of my problems stem from that. I was inspired by the 13/14 Fall/Winter Marc Jacobs satin trend: simple, clean lines with a pretty shiny finish.

It is also a rather warm shirt thanks to all that polyester, which makes it nice for cool winter evenings, but after wearing it a few times it is going to look like it had a hot date with sandpaper. It is really snaggy. So the weird parts…

See those bias wrinkles? It came off the bolt that way, and unless I melted the fabric, the iron couldn’t get hot enough to take them out. Pre-washing didn’t do it either. All my seams rippled, included the extra one at CB that I added after making my short back waist alterations. Hurray for no puddles! At least that fit problem has been solved. As you can see, this pattern has a lot of ease, which is also why it is zipper-less. It is strangely drafted around the arm scythes and sleeve caps, like they were trying to fuse a dolmen sleeve and a fitted sleeve. At first I thought it was a fit issue or a bias/growing issue, until I looked at the photo more carefully.

See the model even has the underarm/sleeve craziness, so its the style. The French dart is nice, and it is super comfortable to wear. It sits nicely at the shoulders and I can chase my son around. I just don’t think this style says “party dress” or “evening” when sitting on my body. This reads more casual, right? I can see it as a comfy belted day dress in a drapey print, maybe in a warmer fiber like wool for winter with the long sleeves.

And the final weird bit?

The jewel neckline doesn’t fit correctly. So what? Now I need a fat neck adjustment? There are some things I wish I didn’t have to think about in fit. It might have to do with my shoulder front width, but still, it is clearly higher and tighter than the model’s. I find it odd that the back doesn’t have a hint of this problem. I have never encountered this before because I tend to gravitate to scoop and v-necks. Alas this fabric doesn’t allow for much unpicking due to its nature, but at least I know for next time.

Overall, it is a quick and easy pattern with a few interesting touches. I don’t like this top because I don’t think it flatters my figure nor does it showcase my sewing skills well; but I’ve worn it and it looks pretty with the dramatic necklace and skinny jeans. Will I make it again? Not any time soon. I hear a quote from Stacy (What Not to Wear) when I look at this top: “It is nice, but we can do better.”

I’m off to hunt down a different pattern for my party dress.


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A Line Chiffon Sweep Prom Dresses 2013  A Line Sweetheart Floor Length Prom Dresses  

For me How amp;nbsp;awesome June 27, 2013 2014 0

Caydi from adorable Caydi Doll fame nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award like a year ago and somehow I never saw the nomination or totally forgot about it. So I want to thank her first! Here’s her blog. Then I’m supposed to nominate 15 people’s blogs for this award, and finally tell you 7 things about myself. Really, if you are reading this you probably already know a lot about me. I’m a mom living in Brazil and I blog about that. I love to sew and I blog about that. I also love to read, shop, and hang out with friends. I drink tons of coffee as every mother most likely does.

Then this week, Every Stitch nominated me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I am supposed to nominate 13 bloggers for this award as well as answer some questions about sweets. Alas, as I have gone from over 200 lbs to fitting into Burda’s size 44/46 (US 12/14), sweets have not been a part of my life that much the past 2 years. I still splurge every now and then on dark chocolate or milk chocolate with peanuts and soda. Otherwise its either fruits like acai or hard candies to satisfy my sweet tooth in a healthier manner.

Now I’m supposed to nominate 28 blogs >.< when most of those blogs already have these awards. Mmm… think think think. Well I have 30 subscribers, so I nominate all my subscribers! Hehe, I know, a total cop out =D

Well alright then I’ll pick a few and my subscribers get the rest! Cristina from Sewalife as my newest subscriber and a seamstress just beginning her great sewing journey! MrsMole for her wonderful advice. Julie from ReadyThreadSew for her awesomeness! The lovely curiouskiwi and modernvintagecupcakes for hosting the inspiring Burda Sewalong last month. Who knows how long my jacket would have “rested” without proper motivation (aka deadline and moral support). Gjeometry and her lovely kitty sewing sidekick who plays bocce ball with garden gnomes! And Ping from Peneloping, the sewing blog I just discovered and found super inspiring and funny. I love the wordpress recommendations. Its help me find all sorts of interesting blogs.

Now dear reader, post your blog link below, then blog your answers and congrats! You get the blogging award of your choice! I am so happy to be a part of this online sewing community! Love you all!


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A Tale of Two amp;nbsp;Stitches June 24, 2013 2014

Even though I’ve been researching for my Silhouette Project, I’ve been sewing my Wool Jacket. I have new calluses on my fingers from all the hand stitching!

Now this is the first project where I’ve used catchstitiching, and it is so effective! As you can see here, my side seam stands up even after pressing thanks to the firm underlining/interlining.

All those naughty seam allowances were tamed by the stitching. I am very pleased to be adding this stitch to my toolkit. (I learned this stitch from the Couture Dress class on Craftsy, but I’m sure there are plenty of others tutorials out there. Vogue’s Sewing Handbook also has it.)

Then I turned to the lapels. Note: Whenever Burda’s directions say:

Build a little extra fullness into x

they are asking you to padstitch. In this jacket’s instructions, and apparently in all tailored notched collars as far as my research uncovered, they ask you to build a little extra fullness into the corners of the lapel facing and the top collar.

Again, this is my first time doing this stitch. This is a gigantic failure that even ironing couldn’t save. I followed a tutorial online that said rows should be 1/2″ apart, which turned out way too big. I also had trouble maintaining even tension, so some areas ridge sharply while others lay flat. The tutorial also mentioned that “some stitches” might show on the outside, but not to worry because it wouldn’t be a big deal. LIARS! Every stitch showed and really stood out because the rows were so wide. I also tried ‘the twill tape on the roll line” step, using grograin ribbon instead, but that turned out too wide.

Needless to say, I put this thing away and worked on a muslin for my party dress (coming soon). I also searched for a better padstitching tutorial. At the moment this entire mess has been undone, and I plan to start over soon. I really hope I finish this before the end of winter. It has taken more time than I anticipated.


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The Silhouette Project Stage amp;nbsp;1 June 19, 2

First, I found the news clip with Linda Przybyszewski on CBS. (Really, a 6 button cuff? Wow!)

Second, I found this wiki online that sounds like the panacea for all of us struggling with style. I figured I could run through the steps and see how it works. Of course, it didn’t. Step 5 is “Know how to put an outfit together.” Well gee, if that one line would teach me how, your wiki would actually teach me something new!

After writing my “Searching for my Style” post I had to think about how to get started. I’ve been thinking a lot about this project and am excited to be doing my own make-over. I remember feeling like I had a unique style back in the day, but I lost it somewhere in my 20s. I hope to have this project finished by my 32 birthday or Jan of 2014. That gives me 6 months but I’m not going to cry if it goes longer. I have to finish my wool jacket and make a party dress too.

On Sunday, while my husband helpfully took our son to the park, I pulled every item out of my closet and sorted it. I tossed clothes with holes (why did I keep them, really?), clothes that were too big in fabrics not worth saving, and even that ugly green cotton sateen tank I made that fit horribly. I kept two tops that were worn out because I loved them to death: a black tank with ruffle neck detail (I bought it in brown too and that one is about done) and a black batwing tee with elastic waist detail. I am going to take them apart and make patterns from them, though my husband voted for the waist elastic to be deleted from the 2nd top. My husband requested I toss a few more things that he didn’t like, but I do. I love that he can’t explain WHY he doesn’t like something.

After the culling, I analyzed my closet, focusing on the pieces I really loved and the gaps.

Here’s a helpful analysis/breakdown which I made as a way to organize my thoughts and figure out an overall pattern:

Go To Neutrals: Black, Dark Brown, Tan

Go To Colors: Purple, Turquoise, Red

Absent Colors: Pink and Orange

Go To Prints: Zebra and Leopard

Absent Prints: Geometric prints

Odd items (stuff that doesn’t really blend with the rest): One yellow hi-low dress, one floral halter dress, one green tee

Rarely worn items: 2 maxi skirts, one vintage style dress (Nothing goes with them)

Most worn items: skinny jeans, black leggings, purple/blue/leopard print tunic, brown knit tank with neck ruffle

Missing items: shorts (none? Honestly, I had one but they are 2 sizes too big now), skirts (dresses are just easier) and a day dress (wore that sucker out)

NOTE: I didn’t include things like work clothes or gym clothes into this because I don’t work and my gym clothes are only for one purpose (at least they are now that I am trying to dress better).

Conclusions: I wear a lot of jewel tone knit tops with my jeans. When I’m with my son, I wear leggings and loose knit tunics for comfort and mobility (like the purple tunic I made). I like and wear a lot of chunky earrings and necklaces. I have only 2 skirts, my maxis, yet I have nothing to wear with them. Skirts in general I find challenging to style since skirts=dressing up in my experience. Obviously seeing how others do it around the blogsphere I need to change my way of thinking! I also tend to sacrifice my “look” for comfort but I should really be looking for a way to meld the two together.

So what’s next? Researching the basic shapes and silhouettes, seeing what fashion designers are doing with them to make their unique “design ascetics,” and figuring out what I like of all that and how I can incorporate that into my daily wardrobe rotation. Then of course its off to sew something from all my swirling thoughts! (I just started Pinterest last month for the Burda Sewalong and am now crazy about how easy it is to keep pictures there!)

PS: I do NOT like “gamine” style. Colette patterns referenced it as part of their new pattern description so I had to look it up. Here’s a really good description if you’re as clueless as I was. I also don’t like the flapper drop waist look either.


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Searching for my amp;nbsp;Style June 15, 2013 2014

What the **** is style? This has been a mystery to me, and of late, one that I want to solve. I make things and then I wear them. Sometimes I love it, but then its a “yawn” on and other times its just blah. Or worse, I made something that I have nothing to wear with. I don’t have what I would consider an overall style i.e. classic, modern, vintage, romantic, Naughty Librarian, French Chic, etc to guide my choices. I have struggled with this in my sewing journey and I don’t want to just copy a look and be a Jackie O clone. I don’t want to make clothes that fit well but really don’t “do it” for me. How do I really dress well? How does one really build a unique and flattering style? What does Google say?

Thanks, that helps. I’m relieved to know I’m not the only one thinking about this. Erica B’s blog post on Americans lack of dressing up and “The Lost Art of Dress” article she references both consider this question (and her shocking experiences with people criticizing her efforts to step out of her house looking gorgeous!). Notre Dame history professor, Linda Przybyszewski, is even writing a book about it (working title-A Nation of Slobs).

One of her beefs, and the impetus for her book-in-progress, is that fashion expertise is a lost art in contemporary society. One of her principle theses is that the disappearance of home economics from the American educational system has left generations of women unschooled and unskilled in the ways of dress. –quote from another interview

At one time American women did a great job making stunning clothing that was age and occasion appropriate. What happened? Personally I never learned because my mom was a total tomboy who never wore make-up and wore black ponte knit pants, black polos and the same pair of black sandals ordered annually from the same company. She hated the mall, so my back to school shopping trips consisted of a trip to Wal-Mart. I never really learned “the girl stuff” while growing up. I remember I once bought lip liner and wore it as eyeliner until someone kindly pointed out it made be look ill (I was a teenager). Another time my aunt gave me translucent powder and I went to the cosmetics counter lady to ask how to put it on (again, a teenager). I was totally clueless about so many things and my small group of female friends weren’t entirely knowledgeable either.

This stuff used to be taught in school because its NOT easy! Now I am trying all these new things, some hits and some misses, but I really don’t feel like I have a cohesive “look” or even a great understanding of what I should be wearing, in the sense of what would work to make me look and feel amazing, daily.

Therefore I’ve decided to do a silhouette project. What does that mean? I am going to make a series of skirts, tops, dresses, etc. in various basic shapes to experiment with what looks good on my figure. Sheath, Shirt, or Shift dress? Empire, Natural or No Waist? A-line, Circle, or Pencil Skirt? Knee, Maxi or Midi length? Collars, Necklines, Sleeves? What is really flattering? I’m not starting from scratch because I’m going to do my homework.

I am then going to make a serious effort in pairings and accessories to make a “look” or cohesive outfit. I am counting on you, dear reader, to give me a final yeah or nay since my husband is not entirely honest, which is probably better for our relationship in the long run.

Once I have some building blocks, I can experiment more with style and color. Do I like romantic? Well when I see them in Burda Mag all I think is “yuck pastels” but put them in black lace and I like it. Hopefully with trial and error (and research) I can to come up with some “wardrobe fillers” and “fashion staples” with a few “trendy items” that actually look great on me and fit my lifestyle. I might even hit on a “style label” and be able to say “My style is …”

P.S. I don’t care how many times you tell me a white collared shirt is a staple, it isn’t happening! And Tim Gunn, a sweatsuit alternative needs to cover the legs as well as be easy to wear. Why? Not every woman shaves fanatically you crazy man!


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Short Purple Graduation Dresses  Short Graduation Dresses  

My son amp; 8217;s little amp;nbsp;Jacket June 12,

This boy’s jacket from Burda (06-2011-136) finishes up quickly, just in time for winter in Rio. (I’m wearing my StyleArc Laura Leggings in this photo too!) Its a cute pull-on hoodie in size “4″ for boys that works well for the most part; but there are a few problems with it.

Here’s the magazine photo. The boy’s neckline seems to be laying flat and straight.

Alas, on my son, this is not true. The hood goes almost to my son’s pants waistband and the weight of it pulls the neckline up and back leaving the “v” portion gaping. I think it is because I used a soft printed cotton flannel rather than a stiffer linen.

See how long and wide that hood is? Sometimes it slides down his shoulder for that 80s look.

The sleeves also came out too long. If I make this again I need to shorten them 2.5″. I am also thinking about deleting the hood and finishing the neckline with extended binding that would tie the “V” shut and keep out the chill. My husband has asked that I insert a zipper which would mean either slashing it lower and adding a CF seam. I like that this is cut and slashed because it makes it super easy to plan the print placement; however, a seam would be easier for installing a zipper. Also if I delete the hood, we loose the “easy grab” element.

Overall, I would say this pattern is easy and successful. It is a little big, but it is not the pattern’s fault. My son is realistically a size 3, but I made one larger so he could keep using it all winter even if he has a growth spurt. The biggest oddity is the hood. I plan on making this again with modifications.


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The first flowers of pink wedding  Bridal jewelry red head flower  

Friday amp;nbsp;Freebie May 10, 2013 2014 01 02 0

This is a FREE Gertie dress pattern published in Stitch Magazine and downloadable at sewdaily.com. It is tagged under Stitch with Style 2013. Just be warned, there are no directions! You have to buy the magazine to get those. Too bad this magazine isn’t distributed here. It will be like a directionless Marfy pattern!

http://www.sewdaily.com/media/p/8634.aspx


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My Burda amp;nbsp;Story May 7, 2013 2014 01 02 01:

As I mentioned briefly, I am participating in the Burda Sew-a-Long with other ladies in the Southern Hemisphere courtesy of TheCuriousKiwi. Here is my “Burda Story.”

How did you discover Burda Magazine? The internet and Blogosphere way back in 2008.

What have you made from Burda Magazine?

This is my first and only Burda project I completed before moving to Brazil (not counting a downloadable Malissa variation I did before the English Burda merged with Burdastyle.com). It is 10-2008-114. After discovering Burda, I purchased 4 magazines through Ebay. This was the first one I purchased. I loved it, so I picked up a few more.

I ended up with 3 issues in English and one in French. For my second Burda project, I traced off a dress from the French 08/2008 issue, and had a huge flop due to the lack of directions. I wanted to wear it to chaperone prom.

This one was completed by Fehr Trade.

I love the bodice details! Anyway, after this second project failure and shelling out quite a bit on Ebay with shipping, I decided to stop buying the issues. I also did not have an effective trick for tracing off the patterns so I was using poster sized sheer vellum that I picked up from the local printer’s leftover bins. The paper was leftover from wedding invitations, so it was heavier and harder to work with than the drafting paper I use now.

I didn’t pick up another Burda until I found them on the newsstands here in Brazil. I left my few issues in storage, so all I have are Portuguese ones. What has been really fun is that they package old issues (mostly from 2010 and 2011) in sets of 2 for R$ 9.90 and the new issues are several months late for R$ 10.90. I am currently waiting for the February 2013 issue. I’ve collected 12 issues in the past 8 months, though I’ve missed a few and skipped a few. I really didn’t feel like buying winter issues when I was sweating buckets. Now that its cold I am slightly regretting that decision, but I do have plenty of stuff to choose from in the issues I do have.

Do you have a favorite issue?

It is so hard to choose! I would say my favorite right now is 01/2012.

Lots of arrows! I love the funnel neck jacket and the ruffle neck cardigan. I love the two plus tunics and the two sexy black dresses. I love the wrap top that is in several places in this issue. And finally the sexy undergarments that just scream “new techniques to learn.” As of yet, I haven’t made one thing from this issue. Funny huh? I now feel I should plan something for the sew-a-long from here, but what?

Anyway, I still hate tracing off patterns from those ridiculous pattern sheets, but now that there are NO paper patterns available and they are all in these magazine formats, I choose Burda as my favorite of the magazines here. I think many Brazilians sew for special occasions so the sewing magazines reflect that with a lot of cute cocktail dresses. I like that Burda covers the spectrum from casual to work to dress up clothes. I also love that large community that has developed online and the availability of English directions from Burda Style.com.

Fun Fact: I am now wearing size 44 again, which is the same size I made the 10-2008-114 top in. How exciting!


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Another StyleArc and some other amp;nbsp;things Ma

Well I am truly a StyleArc convert. I whipped up the Laura leggings expecting a saggy baggy mess and got the best fitting pair of leggings I’ve ever made. I’m not going to take crotch pics in leggings, sorry. That’s just a little too personal.

The only change I made was to shorten them by 3″. I found the fit very similar to the RTW pairs. This grey knit was leftover from my infinity dress and I am so happy to have a winter clothing item! I want to lengthen the back crotch seam a smidge for the next pair, but compared to the McCalls 6173 that were completely unwearable as a muslin, I am super excited and hope the other two pant patterns fit well with minor adjustments. One little odd note, this pattern had 1/4″ seam allowances which was smaller than the Laura jacket. Not a problem, I’m just glad I caught that before a started sewing at 3/8″.

I ran off this fun backpack for my husband. I upcycled one of his old uniforms that are made in this heavy cotton twill. He’s used it every day since I made it, which makes me happy since he’s never worn the shirt I made him.

I made this tank out of the leftover bits of fabric from my husband’s shirt and B5493. I love that it matches the maxi skirt I made but seriously this top is NOT flattering. It is comfortable! My son has figured out posing, so almost every shot had him blocking the skirt.

And finally, a simple upcycled knit pencil skirt that was a Burdastyle Lydia tee post-pregnancy size. After seeing the first pictures, I like the top better with the belt. I also failed with the sway back adjustment. There are a ton of tutorials online, and the one I followed suggested curving the side seams in order to smooth the fabric around the back arch. FAIL! If I make this top again, I’m going to have to put in a center back seam and try a different technique for dealing with my sway back. I will also consider adding waist shaping and a side zip.

That catches me up to the end of April. I have just my jacket muslin and a skirt muslin in process and I’m ready to start my May Burdastyle Sew-A-Long. I’ll keep you posted!


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Holy Cow Batman, those are some amp;nbsp;darts Ap

Also known as the front bust shaping darts in my wool jacket muslin. They took 6 steps to finish! Crazy. Here’s how they started.

Burda’s directions left me scratching my head, so I had to muddle through hands on. I took pictures of the second one just to show you. Luckily all my mistakes in the first one were fixable, so I didn’t have to cut another muslin front. First I had to cut between the horizontal lines.

Second, stitch the vertical portion of the dart, which I did in two passes (the second time). First I started at the center and stitched up to the point. Then stitched from the center down to get the bottom point accurately.

Third, cut away seam allowances and press.

Finally, stitch the horizontal seam of the dart. Clip into the angle and press open.

And that’s how you make a dart with a 90 degree turn in it! Here they are all basted up.

Now imagine doing all the with these un-illistrated Burda instructions:

“Cut the fronts along the center between the marked horizontal edges, up to 1 cm before the front dart line. Stitch the bust darts. Clip the seam allowance diagonally into the corner at bottom end of dart. Trim dart allowances to 1 cm wide and press open, pressing points of darts flat. Then stitch horizontal edges of fronts together, right sides facing. Press seam allowances open.” from BurdaStyle English directions online.

Personally, I am a hands on learner and the block of text I found confusing until I broke it down and did it myself on the toile. I know we are all supposed to read through the entire pattern to understand everything before we start, but when its complicated, I don’t find that very helpful. Either way, this was a fun challenge and I’m glad I did it, though this could explain why this lovely jacket has so few downloads and no reviews that I could find online.


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BF amp; 8217;13 April 24, 2013 2014 01 02 02:25:59

Best Friend 2013 or BitchFest 2013-either way BF’13 is about being honest in comments about sewing projects. It all started with ReadyThreadSew’s post about honesty. So I made a badge.

I would love if everything I made was perfect but I am not a Savile Row Tailor nor a Couture Dressmaker trained in Paris. I am learning and hope to someday get there. This blog is about my journey and I want to learn. If you see a spot where I can improve or have another way to handle a problem: share, comment, critique, etc. Feedback is the best way to learn!

If you want to foster this sort of reader relationship on your blog, grab the badge and help your readers know its a safe place for honest criticism!


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The black lace hollowing full refers to the wedding gloves  Refers to the bride lace gloves  

My first Lace AND my first Couture project is amp;

Remember way back in February the Muslin with the side zip that wouldn’t pose? The result is all finished!

What a relief! I wanted to finish it up before our trip but I set it aside to clean the house since my Mother-in-Law was threatening to come back to Rio in our car. All I had left was the hand stitched hem and seam finishing on the side seam.

I am so happy my toile provided such a great fit (New Look 6515 OOP for the pattern info). This is an embroidered cotton eyelet and it is unlined! Oh LA LA! All those little white polka dots are my skin and a flesh-toned bra. In her couture course on Craftsy.com, Susan Khalji mentioned a lace jacket that someone was making and her flesh toned seam binding lace finishing technique.

Here’s a close up of the inside. Using a wide flesh colored bias seam binding, I covered as much of the S.A. as possible. I could have cut them a bit, but I was worried about stitching beyond the seam into the top itself, so I left it. This binding “erases” the fabric that would show through the holes, leaving you with this view on the right side. No promises that this is exactly what Susan meant since it was a comment she made, not a tutorial with pictures!

It is like magic! I loved this technique and I loved making this quasi-lace top. This is my first lace project and I know it will not be my last!

That being said, there are some wonky bits. I feel they all stem from one main problem: HEAT. I prewashed this fabric here in Brazil. The only hot water in my house is in a small tank for the shower. No hot water prewash in the laundry. I also have no clothes dryer (not a complaint). That meant that the first time this cute embroidered eyelet cotton felt steamy heat was under the iron, during construction. It rippled. The fabric shrank some and the embroidery did not. It is not too noticeable but it really irritates me since I did all the various couture steps, except underlining and lining of course. I finished and tweaked everything to make it as polished as possible and the one step I didn’t do was give the entire fabric a nice steamy press before laying out the pattern. By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. Irritating, right?

Oh well, no one but the “trained eye” will notice. All my husband noticed, besides the “wow”, were the sleeves puffing up. He doesn’t like them and thinks I should switch them out for “something different or longer.” I feel like the material isn’t laying as well as I would like, but I have shoulders and he can just deal. I am not pulling it apart and potentially damaging something. Honestly, I kind of agree, but I thought it was the muslin fabric being heavy, rather than that my shoulders were more than the sleeve could accommodate.

Total Time: Started the end of January, worked around my “fast” projects, and finished today.

Overall, I love this top and the fact that I had a chance to test out Susan’s lace technique and practice some of the others from the course. I have a beautiful red cotton/silk satin that I want to make in this pattern as well so I’ll have another chance to get the sleeves right, if I don’t change it up a little. I really like Julia Bobbin’s Rose Sleeve.


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Cheap Mermaid Floor-length Strapless Dresses  One Shoulder Mermaid Floor-length Evening Dresses  

I suddenly think I need to learn amp;nbsp;French A

I want this skirt! This gorgeous skirt is from the pattern company Deer and Doe, based in France.

They have other adorable patterns too. The shop and patterns have English so why do I need to learn French? Because their blog is in French and their Deer and Doe addicts blog is also in French. All those lovely chic French seamstresses to get ideas from and read about their lives in Paris. Ahh, Paris. I’ve always wanted to go there. I went to Germany once and I wasn’t thinking straight, otherwise I would have used the great public transit and traveled to Paris while I was there. Le sigh. I will get there! My husband has family in Portugal that we want to visit. I want to see Spain and France when we go. Can you imagine how much fun that will be? Its still a few years down the road, and many pennies to be saved, but its fun to look forward to!

http://www.deer-and-doe.fr/?lang=2

http://deeranddoeaddict.canalblog.com/


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New Fabrics for your viewing amp;nbsp;pleasure Ap

We went to Ipatinga for Easter and spent 3 weeks there. I didn’t get to sew, but I did find new fabric. For some reason I can find several great ones there, but have a harder time finding gems here in Rio. First I came across a fabric store that specialized in knit fabrics. They made up clothes and sheet sets for the front half of the store and the bolts and cutting table were in the back. Seems like a good mix for a fabric store to make some money from non-sewers as well.

I also managed to hit a sale: R$ 10 for a Kilo. I have never seen a store sell by weight before. I got this lovely dark purple jersey (roughly 2.5M) and this red jersey that has a sheen too it (roughly 2.5M too) for R$ 16.00. I’m guessing I’ll get at least two dresses and two tops from this fabric which would be R$ 4 or US$ 2 per piece. You can’t beat that for cotton blend jersey.

At another store I found this beauty. It is a stretch poly satin in shades of orange and cream with what looks like a black crocheted stretch mesh glued to the top. It is a 3 dimensional fabric and that feels cool. It was also pricey at R$25 a meter. I only got 1.5 M thinking I would make a cute top for jeans, but it turned out to be wider than I expected so I might get a dress or tunic out of it, if its sleeveless. I’m still thinking about this one. Now to set up my machine and get to sewing!


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Empire Floor Length Chiffon 2013 Prom Dresses   Floor Length Chiffon Back Prom Dresses  

Wool Jacket Muslin Part amp;nbsp;1 March 24, 2013

For my jacket posts, I’m going to include my process along with tips from my jacket class last summer. As seen in my previous post, I am clearly not an expert. I am hoping for feedback, shared experiences, tips and tricks, and questions/comments. These are for me to learn and share, so feel free to participate! Here we go:

I left off with the bust apex confusion. Before cutting the muslin, I double checked the patterns to the magazine diagrams to make sure I marked everything. I missed a few things because this jacket is the “red line” pattern and there was a big red shaded pattern piece printed in the middle of the pattern sheet. Great thinking Burda.

When I placed the patterns on the muslin I discovered two problems. First my “great idea” of using 118″ wide quilting muslin backfired because it was hard to layout on the cramped floor and as I moved around the layers shifted. I had to check for grain and reposition the fabric several times even after the first pattern piece was pined. This was a failed experiment. I also caught that I forgot to do my width adjustment on the front shoulder seam. That was a quick fix, and I’m glad I hadn’t done all the bust adjustments or it would have skewed them because I had to take out 3/4″ from each shoulder and redraw the shoulder slope.

Here’s a trick we played with in our jacket class. The left is marked with the tracing wheel/wax paper and the right with marker, though I have no idea why the color looks so weird in this photo. Our class supply list included a pack of multi-colored Sharpies for Cynthia’s color system. Each round of fitting changes gets a different color so as we made changes, we didn’t lose our place. She also used the Sharpies to mark fit problems on the muslin. Some of us took it a step further and marked everything with the Sharpies so it was easier to see and stitch. Now I use washable kid’s markers because I saw the bleed through marks all over the class tables and onto one woman’s bra. I don’t want to deal with that. I am wondering if the shop owner replaced the Sharpies with a different brand on the next class’ supply list. Here’s my final front pieces ready for sewing.

I am really glad I learned this because it makes stitching more accurate and seeing the waistline and center lines while fitting in the mirror easier. When I pack this muslin up for our Easter vacation trip to Ipatinga, the color will still be there and I can jump right in where I left off. We are visiting family in Ipatinga (mountainous region north of Rio) and it will be cold (Fall/rainy season has hit Rio too), but I know I won’t have this jacket done in two days. At least I have my new Laura jacket!


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A line embroidery net middle sleeves elegant dresses  elegant blue v-neck long dresses evening new fashion 30829  

My Laura amp;nbsp;Cardigan March 22, 2013 2014 01

Tada!

Yep, its done and I LOVE IT! I can’t believe it went together so quickly. Now for the pattern review and my changes. This sweater knit has a gold metallic lamination (correct term?) that looks like a zebra or tiger print on the right side. I love it, but I wanted my collar/hood to be pretty and not the plain color of the wrong side. So I changed my perception and the “wrong” side became the body of my cardi, while the “right” side became the hood/collar. I also changed the sleeves to make gold zebra cuffs. Very 30s, no?

Now before you say, “um aren’t those sleeves a little long?” I want to explain. The sleeves were too long on the pattern, and I shortened them to this length. Why? Because I wanted them to act like gloves. So instead of shortening to my wrist, I chose my knuckle length so I have that warming option since walking around with my hands in my pockets isn’t really practical with a toddler and handbag. It doesn’t look too crazy right?

I think the print contrast with the gold is just perfect, as I imagined it when I cut it. Its subtle and chique, IMO. I had nothing in this weight or drape to use for a muslin, so I increased the seam allowances to 5/8″ but that turned out to be unnecessary and the extra bulk caused problems when I stitched the back neckline and the hood/collar together. I don’t have a serger/overlock machine so I added hem allowances. I hemmed the sleeves 5/8″ and the bottom with 1 1/4″ after shortening the back length to 24 3/4.” It was originally 30″ long. Instead of turning the center front hem to the inside, I turned it to the outside so that the hem doesn’t show on the collar/hood and it disappears at the center front because of the way it drapes down.

Final assessment: I am in love with this cardigan! Honestly, after my disappointing Anita Blouse muslin, I wasn’t too motivated to open up my other StyleArc patterns. I am so glad that we had a cold snap last weekend that motivated me to make a cardigan. Hurray for that sweet feeling of success! Now I’m more excited about the other patterns. So what should I choose to make next?

PSST: For those who noticed, that cream t-shirt is the finished Burda03-2011 # 138 wearable muslin. I haven’t decided which fabric I’m going to use to make another because the gold fabric didn’t have enough stretch. Its more like stretch Satin than jersey.


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Ball gown Strapless Knee-length Satin Organza flower girl dresses  Cute Scoop-Neckline Sleeveless Tea-Length Flower Girl Dresses  

Anatomy of a Style Arc amp;nbsp;Pattern March 20,

Meet the Laura Jacket pattern from Style Arc. Personally I’m thinking of this as a cardigan, but what’s in a name anyway?

Each pattern (I ordered 10 remember?) came in its own personal plastic sleeve that fits perfectly into a ring binder. It makes them storage ready, which I think is a nice plus.

Each pattern also has real fabric samples (LOVE!), a diagram of pieces and instructions on the back of the cover sheet. The instructions are minimalistic, similar to Burda’s lack of step-by-step diagrams.

The FULL (awesome!) pattern pieces are sketched onto this great paper. Its heavy and strong. It seems like this pattern will endure multiple uses. Everything is well marked and I was really shocked that it looks like its hand drawn! Also the layout includes a large blank space, which is great for pattern alterations.

As I discovered with my Anita Blouse Muslin, the size I ordered no longer fits me, so I’m going to have to grade this down, but wait, WHAT IS THIS!?! I have no idea why my Anita Blouse looks like it should fit a hippo and this one barely needs modification! I measured the pattern and my RTW hoodie just to double check, and I didn’t have to alter anything but length. WHAT??

I looked over the size chart on StyleArc’s website and best I can tell is that when I ordered the patterns I was between sizes and rounded down. As a pear I run a size smaller in the bust, and I followed the website directions of ordering tops, jackets, etc. based on the bust with the intention of grading up the waist and hips. Now my hips and waist match the size chart for 16 and no widening is needed. I probably should have shrunk the bust a little, but considering the draped style and the fact the shoulder measurements matched, I left it alone. That still doesn’t explain the Anita problem, with them both being the same size. I’m shooting off an email to the company. Maybe its more like they overestimated ease? Either way, this was my free pattern so I’m not going to cry too much.

Note on finishing: I plan to follow Ann’s advice at Gorgeous Fabric’s blog on how to sew the collar/hood so the seaming doesn’t show. Great tip!


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plus size evening dress Aphrodite Gown in Sea Breeze  plus size evening dress Estrella Gown in Red  

Re stitching amp;nbsp;Infinity March 18, 2013 2014

My favorite well-loved “Infinity Dresses” have kicked the bucket. My black one (my LBD) was so thread-bare you could see through it and I had to chuck it back in July when a friend of mine did an intervention. It was so hard to part with and I was LBD-less! My brown one is still functioning, sort of. I’ve had to make a few repairs and the fabric is pilly, but you can’t really tell, right? Needless to say, I decided to whip up a new one.

Step 1: Pattern hunting:

Available stash options: Free tutorial (strapless?), Butterick 5783 (sleeves?), Butterick 5606 (straps?), and McCalls 6353 (strapless?)

Ultimately my choice came down to two factors: A) my original dresses had become more problematic due to my son pulling on them (a tube dress no-no) so the two strapless versions were out and b) the fact that I live in the tropics where sleeves are optional 90% of the year kicked out B5783. Leaving B5606 as the clear winner.

I picked up several yards of a charcoal grey medium weight jersey from Jo-Anns in my suitcase before coming back from my summer trip State-side. I bought the fabric as a “basic” so there was plenty. In my mind, making it up in grey would be slightly more casual than a black one. A neat accident is that the back and the front of the fabric are slightly different because while the front looks uniform in color, the back has a micro-pinstripe from the 2 color knitting process and there’s a slight sheen, which really made the ties unique and beautiful.

Step 2: Making it:

There were some minor pattern changes I made based on looking at the model photos. The pattern model looks very exposed, so I raised the front and back necklines by one inch. I also drafted armhole and neckline facings. I figured it would help prevent “stretch out” and make the neckline more modest. Note: the Butterick pattern website has an error and says this dress looks the same front and back. There is a distinctive neckline height difference, the back is higher and by raising it more, it keeps the neckline in place even when I’m carrying my son.

This pattern practically fell together and fits beautifully (and I didn’t even make a muslin!). The hardest part was cutting out the ties since they are so long and my hallway is narrow. The only thing I might change in the future is the angled base of the ties. It attaches to the dress at such an angle that if you don’t tie carefully you end up with hip holster bumps. (See next to my fingers below? I retied it and then took the rest of the pics!)

Also in the washing and hang drying processes, the curved edges of the tie base can stretch out if you’re not careful. I caught this before the raw edge finish developed serious runs and fray-check has nipped that in the bud, but a more delicate fabric would have really shown the damage.

Step 3: Wearing it with pride!

I had my husband snap off a few shots before we left for dinner Friday night. I am in love with this look and want to make it again in a bright, fun color or vibrant print since grey isn’t a day or beach color in my book. pattern review


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Sexy Red Christmas Costume  Elastic Cotton Womens Sexy Sailor Costume  

Finished amp;nbsp;Projects March 9, 2013 2014 01

Not that I had a sewing frenzy, but here are 4 finished pieces! After hitting the snag with my jacket, I whipped up this cute maxi skirt. I love this skirt and I love that it was so easy! I did take the time to finish all the edges with French Seams so it took longer than 2-3 hrs, but I think the extra finishing touches add quality and longevity. That’s why we sew, right? Unfortunately I now realize that I don’t have a top that really goes with it! I tend to like longer tops and this one really needs a shorter hemline. Clearly need to start planning.

It’s B5330, the same pattern I used for my pajama party pants. Full Pattern Review here.

Now I’ve been doing some upcycling over the past few months, but I’m finally getting around to doing the finishing touches. This red tee was originally that red knit maternity dress I wrote about here. I had everything but the neckline done and I needed a new shirt to wear to a birthday party so I finished it. I can’t believe its been sitting and all it needed was 5 minutes of my time.

I only did white top stitching because I didn’t have a spool of red thread and I didn’t feel like walking to the store to buy one. With the white beaded necklace, I think it looks just fine. No pattern required, though keeping the neckline square was an amusing challenge.

And the final project is my First Wiggle Dress inspired by Gertie. She wore a green and white microdot vintage style dress during one of her Craftsy.com class videos and I just had to have one. I actually made this in January when I didn’t have internet and I think her class video was just stuck in my mind. My husband helped me take good pictures of it yesterday. I am tired of posting oddly angled one-armed photos of myself! Hurray for husbands!I bought M6318 (OOP now) last summer with the intention of using view A. However, when I searched my stash for a dress that would mimic Gertie’s neckline, this one jumped out at me.

As you can see from the side, there are a few minor fit issues, but one in particular makes this difficult to wear. I couldn’t get the shoulder slope 100 % and the neckline finishes rather wide, so the straps slip down my arms exposing my bra and restricting my arm movement. I have no idea how to adjust the pattern to fix this so I won’t be making it again. Also the embroidered linen I used is not holding up well around the waist line pleats. I know, I should have underlined it, but I didn’t. Full pattern review here.

Now I need to oil my machine and get ready for next week. I will continue my jacket and I hope to squeeze in another upcycle and quick new project so that my wardrobe will expand to fit my new svelte figure!


,,lancylin,Admin,avondjurken 2014,

plus size evening dress Alicia Dress  plus size evening dress Carmella Lace Dress   

Finally watched Tim Gunn amp; 8217;s Guide to amp;

First I can see why the show only aired for two seasons. I don’t really see the chemistry between Tim and Greta compared to Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, but Tim does provide this nifty list. There’s a similar list in Nina Garcia’s Little Black Book of Style and TLC’s website for What not to Wear if you want to see the slight variations between them.
Tim Gunn’s 10 Essential Items Every Woman Needs
� Basic black dress
� Trench coat
� Classic dress pants
� Classic white shirt
� Skirt
� Blazer
� Day dress
� Cashmere sweater
� Jeans
� A comfortable alternative to a sweatsuit

And if you’re really good he might let you buy one “really trendy item”.

Now I don’t know about you, but my husband isn’t going to be giving me the $5K to buy a new wardrobe, but I noticed that with the Free patterns from Burdastyle.com I could almost make the entire list using Free patterns! How awesome is that? Here are the links so you can be fabulous on a budget!

* Basic Black Dress> Jocelyn, but I would lengthen it to the knee

* Trench Coat> Talea in a lovely color

*Classic white shirt> JJ Blouse (I love the ruffles!)

*Skirt> Marie

* Day dress> Danielle in a print with a coordinating color for ribbon

*Cashmere Sweater> Cardigan in a wool/cashmere blend (I’m not sure Tim would approve of the bulk though and I don’t have the time or the need for this type of heavy sweater. Maybe something in a cotton jersey might work better for me?)

*Sweatsuit alt.> Silk Caftan looks comfy, especially in silk for amazing happy skin. I never saw what Tim’s fashion victim picked for this since they didn’t include it in the selection of outfits for the big reveal and I think that’s the one 90% of Americans really want to see!

*Really Trendy Item> A funky purse, it reminds me of the mustard Baby Phat purse that I loved from the Spring/Summer 2012 collection.

And that leaves jeans (not ready to make those this year), black pants (not happening right now either) and a blazer (they didn’t have a pattern for one of those but you might get away with shortening the Talea trench, reducing the ease and changing the finishing details and fabric weight).

Am I really go to sew all of these? Probably not since I have the Burda Mags and tracing paper already whereas a printer is far more expensive to procure here. And the price of ink and computer paper makes printing one pattern at home about as expensive as one issue of the Burda Mag off the rack, especially when I find the back issues shrink wrapped in pairs for a mere R$9.90 (<$5). But I really do like the Marie Skirt, JJ blouse and Talea trench. I might print one of them out, but we shall see.


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The Black Lianzhu flowers bow their heads  The first flowers of the bride pink feathers  

Muslins, muslins, amp;nbsp;muslins February 27, 2

Finally, I have internet! Though without Facebook, I’ve gotten quite a few things done. Rather than just shoving a ton of stuff into one post, I’m going to start with the three muslins I have in process right now and catch you up on the completed projects a little later.

Up first, Burda 03/2011 #138 (plus size) t-shirt.

You may notice something different about me…I’ve lost more weight! Whee! This is now the smallest plus size 44. I think pretty soon I won’t be limited to only Burda plus! Really 44 is also in some of the “regular” patterns as well so I’m looking through my issues, excited about my new options! Anyway, this is a cream knit jersey for the wearable muslin. I cut the short sleeves from #138 (tunic) and the length for #137 (t-shirt). I’m going to add in the neckline from #139 (dress) because this neckline, while nice, is too exposed. When I hold my son, he tends to drag on my clothes or pull on them when he’s walking. I really don’t want to flash my neighbors. Also I need to shorten the length by 2″ I think. This hits the top of my hips and I want more of a normal tee rather than a long almost tunic length tee. Either way, this is an easy pattern with raglan sleeves that will be a great basic for my scanty wardrobe. I want to make it up in the fabric my husband bought for my birthday last month: metallic gold knit fabric of mysterious fiber content. Weight loss is great, but it means I’ve had to spend a lot of my sewing time in the last two months altering some of my old clothes so they fit. And my next few projects are going to be quick and easy ones to fill out my wardrobe needs.

Second is Style Arc’s peasant style blouse.

Oops on the blurry but this was the best shot I took. I like the neckline, but I need to take 5-6″ out of the waist so it doesn’t look so sack-like. Part of the problem is that I ordered these patterns a year ago and they only come in one size. I need to whittle this down about two sizes. I do enjoy their pattern quality and style, but considering the cost of shipping to Brazil, and the one size only aspect, I may not order from them again. Or at least wait until I get to my goals and maintain for awhile before I commit a pretty penny into the new correct sizes.

Muslin #3 is New Look 6515 but none of the pictures came out. I didn’t install the side zip and therefore the fit couldn’t be assessed properly. I really need to put in the zipper before I start making adjustments. I know just from pinning the side slit that I probably need to narrow the back and slant the shoulder angle. I learned all about the shoulder angle adjustment in my jacket class this summer but it is a pain! On the upside I found a real life application to those “rise-over-run” aka “finding the slope” math problems from high school. Whee… I want to make the final version of this one in either the dark royal blue cotton eyelet (bought in Ipatinga last year) or the red cotton silk blend with satin finish (bought in NC this summer) but either way I need to work on this muslin more.

Lesson learned: don’t skip putting in the damn zipper! Baste it in and quit trying to cut corners. Honestly I feel I make more mistakes rushing the clock during nap time than just doing it right and sewing slower. Time management takes on an entirely new meaning when dealing with a child.


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Cotton Black Lace Applique Cotton Gothic Lolita Dress  Black Short Sleeves Cotton Round Collar Gothic Lolita Dress  

The joys of living amp;nbsp;overseas January 19,

After weeks of waiting for the internet company to connect us “tomorrow” we still don’t have internet. The employee finally came by our building, and saw that we didn’t have a “box” of whatever kind was needed, so he left. My husband, now knowing we need it, is going to install it tomorrow so we can finally get connected, when the guy finally wanders back. So far we’ve been living in our new apartment since the middle of November. Here’s hoping and praying that it won’t take the guy another month and a half to come back! I am really tired of internet cafes! When we get internet I am going to start posting again. Sorry for the delay folks!


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Sexy Black Plus Size Evening Dresses  plus size evening dress Celebration Wrap Dress in Black  

How to Make an Easy amp;nbsp;Facing November 9, 20

First, welcome to my first tutorial! This is the method I developed to make facings on patterns that don’t come with them. I hope this is clear and concise as well as informative for all levels of seamstresses. I would love to hear your feedback in order to improve! Thanks!

Difficulty: Easy-Peasy

Now why would you want to make a facing? Facings are useful because they change the hem treatment. Rather than the stitching showing on the right side of your garment, the facing finishes the edge with a seam that is hidden inside. Facings can be used on sleeves, hems, armholes, and necklines. Even if a pattern comes with a facing, you may want to make your own if you’ve had to make neckline or armhole adjustments, because its easier to do this than try to adjust the facing pattern piece.

Step 1: Using a scrap of pattern paper (I always save my paper scraps from cutting out in a bag) and pin it over the main pattern piece, in this case the back neckline.

Step 2: With a dark colored marker or pen, mark the neckline edge, this keeps the seam allowances the same, the shoulder angle, and matches the curves of your “finished” pattern piece (i.e. AFTER you’ve transferred your muslin adjustments to your pattern piece). Most of the time I make a 3″ facing pattern, which makes a 2 3/8″ final facing if you use the 5/8″ seam allowance. I finish the raw edge with a hand overcast stitch for woven fabrics OR leave it raw or serge the edge for knits. If you want to hem your facing you need to add the depth of the hem to the 3″ I use.

Step 3: Using my handy quilter’s ruler, which conveniently has small holes down the center, I dot off the bottom edge. Remember these dots are 3″ below the original edge, and be careful to follow that curve as accurately as possible. Sorry for the awkward angle, I just wanted the image to show the dots on my ruler.

Step 4: Connect the dots! Now you have a facing pattern piece. At this point I transfer all the critical information to my new pattern piece such as grain line (super important!), cutting directions, piece name (back or front can get mixed up if you’re not careful) and pattern number. I keep my facing patterns in the envelope with the pattern since these can’t really be interchanged unless the neckline curves match exactly.

Step 5: Trim away excess pattern paper and you’re ready to cut it out of fabric! This facing pattern was the one I used for my Quick and Easy dress.


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A Line V Neck Chiffon Gowns Sexy Prom Dresses  A Line Sweetheart Prom Dresses 2013  

Free Panties, Assembly amp;nbsp;Required November

That’s right ladies, there’s a free PDF pattern for the Rosy Ladyshorts over on Cloth Habit’s blog and they are adorable! Now why would I want to spend precious sewing time on underwear? First, because in Brazil 100% cotton underwear is expensive. Hanes and Fruit of the Loom bikinis at Wal-Mart in FL were always affordable and comfortable in the heat, but here there is a plethora of polyester blends! Just eww! I’m totally a natural fibers girl when I sew and I am going to hunt down the stretch lace trim and experiment! I also have the Jessica Bikini pattern from Burda, which I downloaded when it was still free. A few modifications, mainly the waistband, and this one would double for panties too! I will probably hit the sewing store next month, because we are in the process of moving to another apartment here in Rio. I’ll keep you posted!


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High-grade silver-white Rhinestone Bridal Necklace  Silver White Rhinestone Bridal Necklace Set  

Love this amp;nbsp;stuff November 6, 2012 2014 01

I have found a new notion that I love: Tracing Paper!

I was introduced to tracing paper on the roll (also known as drafting paper) during my jacket class this summer. I brought home a roll and stashed it until today. I want to make Burda Mag 07-2012 dress #102. To be honest, I have only made one dress from a Burda Magazine before, mostly because of the hassle that comes with tracing off the pattern from the eye-straining pattern sheets onto legal sized pieces of tracing paper and taping it all together. This at least cuts out the large pieces of tracing paper so I was able to trace off the large dress pieces in one pass. Awesome! And at $11 a roll on Amazon! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this sooner considering I keep buying the damn magazine and not using them. Manequin, Molde & Cia, and Patrones also use these crazy pattern sheets (all in Brazil) so maybe I’s start playing with those patterns too!

PS dress 102 is going to be in that light weight cotton print I bought in Flamengo! I finally found a zipper-less pattern that will work with such a loose weave…I hope! More later =)


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Women's bracelet with a bat ring  Luxury red wedding dress necklace  

A Quick and Easy amp;nbsp;dress November 3, 2012 2

As in I needed a break from all the hand finishing woven fabric requires!

Pattern: New Look 6936, knee length with the flutter sleeve

Fabric: 1/2 yd remnant of leopard print cotton jersey and 1 & 1/4 yds of black cotton jersey. To make it fit, I only cut the front bodice on the remnant so the bodice back is solid black. Here’s a better shot with my son where you can see the back of the sleeve.

The remnant was a lighter weight and didn’t behave on my standard machine, but the other worked beautifully. The v-neck stretched out a bit, so I made my first attempt to use clear plastic elastic to fix it. Ugh.

The neckline went from saggy baggy elephant to properly sized ripply mess. This is the best shot I could get of the ripples. I have never sewn with clear plastic elastic, but I have read a blog post or two about it. I tried to sew it up like its white old-school cousin. I taught my son’s sleeping subconscious a few choice words during this process. I should also mention that I didn’t read any tutorials on how to do this. I was a little disgusted because the entire dress was finished, hem and all, when I went back to add this stuff in. Luckily my husband assured me no one would notice, so I took a deep breath, put down the seam ripper and called it done.

Another fun fact: Other than length adjustments at the hem, I made no alterations to this pattern tissue! I made a straight 18 and it worked. Happiness! The biggest change was adding a back facing (and in retrospect I should have tried one on the front too). I’ll post a “how to make facing the easy way” tutorial soon.


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Short Strapless Graduation Dresses  Off the Shoulder Graduation Dresses  

My New Vogue amp;nbsp;Picks October 26, 2012 2014

In order of most lovely to highly desired:

V8849: Love that back detail with the front peplum so it looks like two pieces in one! I can see this several ways and all are just beautiful! It would also be a nice pattern to play with some of the lace couture techniques Frabjous Couture has on her blog.

V1330: At first I wasn’t keen on this sample, but after reading the description is seems like this dress would challenge any seamstress with a variety of techniques. I can also see it in contrasting sheer like V8849′s lace top. I would really like to see how they put all the boning and infrastructure into this dress.

V1329: This one is simple and chic. I’ve never been bitten by one of KU’s designs before, but the waist detail, color blocking, and flattering princess seaming makes this one interest me. I can see this being a great work sheath/wardrobe staple.

V8847: I love this print. I also love the simple lines of the dress. I love showcasing beautiful prints, and this style sleeve is one I enjoy. I could see this in a light cotton or in a heavier linen and it would work for all seasons here in Rio. I want to buy it today and sew up my loose woven green print from Flamengo in this one. I also want the fabric they used to make the sample!

After those four, there are a few maybes:

V8845: This Shaeffer jacket is great, but I have so many great suit jacket patterns and I have yet to sew a completed suit jacket in all my years of sewing. Wait, I did one in high school for a 4-H project in a horrible purple and black polka dot quilting cotton that faded after a few washings. However, if they were having a pattern sale and I was getting my other patterns, I would get this for her directions, since she always has something interesting in her sewing techniques but my Chanel jacket is still going to be my first adult suit jacket completed.

V8856: I really don’t like this sample at all, but the pattern has three cute blocked t-shirts. Of course the two views I like are the ones they didn’t sew up, which makes you wonder right? Anyway, I like knits and I like pieces that look great with jeans and are more unique than what you can pick up at Old Navy. I want to see some reviews though before I shell out the cash.

V8846: Again I love the print and how this dress shows it off. The back detail is also interesting, but I can’t really tell from the pictures if you can see the waist or not. With my bottom-heavy hourglass figure, a nip-in on the torso is a must. Again, going to have to wait for some better pictures in the blogosphere before cutting into a pretty print.

V8852: This looks like a formal infinity dress, but again I don’t like their sample fabric choice. I see this as a summer maxi in another beautiful print. I sense that I’m in a print happy frame of mind these days. Anyway, this seems like an easy breezy dress with plenty of bodice structure and its for woven fabrics, which is something I haven’t seen in any of the infinity dress patterns before.

There are some other pretty patterns like V8858 and V8850 that I wouldn’t wear, though V8858 would be a great wardrobe staple for flamenco dancers. And they win the “what were they thinking!?!” prize for V1332. That jacket makes the model’s shoulder resemble a line-backer! Just what every woman wants. I look forward to seeing what McCalls comes out with next!


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plus size evening dress Keira Lace Dress  plus size evening dress Cybelle Cocktail Dress in Royal  

From Wadder to amp;nbsp;Wonder October 17, 2012 20

As I mentioned in my last post, I pulled out New Look 6557 to make view A from that lovely Brazilian fabric I picked up. However, upon reading the various reviews on patternreview.com, I realized that my fabric wouldn’t work. Why? Because it is a loose weave light weight rayon-cotton blend. One reviewer in particular mentioned that even with a stronger and slightly heavier fabric than mine, she would have liked boning to hold up the back and maybe some interfacing for the ladies. Thinking on those comments, I began to research how to go about putting in all that support in a lightweight fabric. I concluded that it wouldn’t work. The fabric I stitched up in a sample stressed very easily at the seams, without any support. If I go through all the various methods of support I’d lose the beautiful drape at the bust gathers and have to cut the front waistband on grain. I decided it would be better to use the Brazilian fabric with a different style, maybe something looser like a dress with an elastic waist and “blousson” style top. I was saddened to have to set aside this pattern since the halter top in unbleached muslin had so much promise. Then I remembered this wadder. Here’s what it looks like now!

New Look 6557 view A from the pieces of McCalls 6552. I had to change a few things like the cross grain cutting of the back skirt pieces to get everything to fit on the already cut pieces. I had to insert little triangles at the bottom of the skirt because the NL skirt was wider, but its not obvious! I cut out the View D strap pieces in the print to make into double-fold binding for the neckline trim and bow. Here’s a look at the fit: Back/Side

I still didn’t take enough out for the sway back adjustment. I thought that it would be the same for any pattern, but clearly not. I didn’t put a zipper in the muslin so I didn’t catch it. Not a huge problem, so I’m counting it as done and a lesson learned. Bust Fit:

Overall, I am happy I was able to get the coverage I wanted. I extended both sides of the center front overlap by 1/2″ as well as the slash and spread across for full bust. Oddly enough I didn’t need to lower the bust apex at all. When I added the bias trim/ties I didn’t cut away the seam allowance which added another 5/8″ so my bra is completely covered and when I bend over to wipe my son’s nose I don’t flash anyone. Success.

I am really happy with this frock. It is so comfortable! It is probably the best fitting thing I’ve stitched since I started this blog. That makes me feel proud of all I’ve learned since February. A few tweaks and this will be my first woven TNT pattern! Maybe next time I’ll actually line the entire thing instead of just the two bust pieces and the entire back pieces (I deleted the facing and made a lining piece instead).


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Blue lace bridal feathers flower head  Wedding flower head  

Pattern amp;nbsp;Play September 19, 2012 2014 01 0

Taking my new skills from the jacket class, I’ve started mocking up my new projects. Now before you think I’m a complete overachiever, I did not in fact clear my sewing to do list. There is still one dress in the final stages of fitting and my husband added two pairs of pants for mending (broken zippers). Did I mention I hate mending? Not just any pants, one is a pair of jeans, ugh… And he sadly pointed out that he really like those jeans when he saw me making new muslins. I felt so guilty I went out and bought the two zippers today while Akylis and I were out for our daily walk. And I used some of nap time to start seam ripping the zippers. I also used the rest of naptime to make pattern alterations on another dress!

All my patterns are starting to look like Frankenstein has been here. Here’s Simplicity 1886:

Being a custom fit or select a cup size type pattern I made the first muslin with no bust adjustment. Alas the bust apex was too high. Here’s a closer look at my first full bust adjustment!

This pattern is actually two sizes smaller than what I have been using. Cynthia’s method works from the top down. First you pick a size that measures closest to your shoulder measurements, which could take a little work to find or learn through trial and error. Then you cut the pattern straight to that size rather than the multi-size pattern trick of using different size lines. She’s a firm believer that once you get the “hanger” (shoulder area) correct, swinging in and out for you curves is a lot easier whereas cutting to a bust and then trying to reshape the shoulders can be quite challenging. It has something to do with how most patterns are graded evenly so shoulders are increased along with all other measurements. Being a pear-shaped person, cutting to my B-W-H tends to make the shoulders way too big, the back too wide, and the armholes saggy. Also cutting the multi-size way, while easier, can distort style lines on more complicated silhouettes. So how did the 2nd muslin come out?

No idea why I’m holding my hand like that. I suck at taking my own picture. Anyway, I like how this lays so nice and flat around the shoulders and armholes. No pulling! The lumpy section at CF is where the neckline split isn’t pinned down.

See my cute little man? He’s always wanting to jump in and help! Anyway, see how it catches on my bum? I can’t take anymore out or it will be impossible to get into and out of. Ideas? I am wondering if its the drape of the fabric at this point. Taking the adjustments back to the tissue, I’ve now cut out all the collar pieces in this pretty floral print. So muslin 2, part B will be making sure all those pieces fit the new neckline size correctly. I think this top is pretty successful, but I don’t know if I’ll wear it out of the house. Thoughts? Maybe capris in black?

As for today’s pattern, here’s New Look 6557.

Over the weekend, I found this really pretty rayon blend at a fabric shop in Flamengo (here in Rio) that was screaming to be a sundress. Searching my stash I came across this one. I made it several years ago out of a cotton print, pre-pregnancy with the multi-size trick. It took some resizing and then the adjustments to get this to a straight 18 before making my first full bust adjustment on a wrap/halter top. Fun and games! Here’s the fabric!

My son woke up before I could begin cutting out the muslin, but that’s fine. I got a lot accomplished so far this week!


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Sexy Yellow PU Womens Cowboy Costume  Yarn Imitated Silk Halloween Witch Costumes  

Finally Unpacking and amp;nbsp;Sewing August 31,

I haven’t had as much time as I would like to sew these days, that ends now! While I was in the US I bought all the odds and ends that I need to make my couture dress with Susan K, and a few other projects. I’ve also unpacked my jacket muslin from my fitting class along with the camel colored wool that I ordered for my Coco jacket. Since my Guffey jacket pattern muslin is completed and very similar to the Chanel jacket style, I’m using it to cut a jacket out to make couture style too. Here’s a preview of my work wardrobe shopping to go with my jacket.

Obviously I don’t know how they’ll look with the muslins, but we’ll see. I’ve cut out the muslin for the Simplicity top and have a pretty red silk that I think would look stellar in. I have pieces of dark purple and chocolate cottons that would look nice as skirts. One step at a time!

Here are some other fun patterns that I picked up.

I am really excited about trying patterns that are not part of the Big 4, so I’ll keep you posted on those as well. I will say this, I put together one of those downloadable Hotpatterns from Fabric.com and was really disappointed. The print out did not come with a measurement square like the Burda ones, so I couldn’t check that and the pattern had no finished measurements at the bust, waist, or hip. The pattern itself was underwhelming. Needless to say I never cut it out because of the frustration level.

Finally here are two projects I cut out and almost completed at Waetcher’s Fine Fabrics in Asheville, where they held the jacket class. I have finished them both now.

A night dress in a knit print from jo-anns and the less used version of this Fashion Star pattern. The ease is ridiculous. I probably could’ve cut out a Medium, even though Larges in other McCalls patterns work for me with minor adjustments. I took 3″ out of the strap length from front to back and numerous inches around in various areas. It is still a little loose, but that’s fine for a night dress. The other is also a Fashion Star pattern (M6552) with way too much ease.

Notice the size problem? It could fit two of me and I cut the large! I think this light cotton wasn’t light enough either. I picked this fabric up on Waetcher’s clearance table. There is no way a shoe string sized draw string is going to gather up the 10 ” of ease in a flattering manner! I am thinking about cutting this one down and inserting a zipper or re-cutting into a sheath style dress since there’s enough fabric for it. We’ll see what inspires me. I did buy some solids based on the color wheel Cythnia helped me put together in the jacket class.

I pretty much bought a little of everything at Waetchers!

That leaves two UFOs to complete before starting something new. I’ve really made an effort to finish up the in process projects I brought here from the US. Or do I just cut that jacket out after my son goes to bed? Sometimes its hard to be practical when I want to cut my new fabrics now!


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Strapless Short Graduation Dresses  Off the Shoulder Graduation Dresses  

My graduation amp;nbsp;dress August 15, 2012 2014

Before I left for the US, I mentioned a UFO that needed a zipper and hemming. I packed that dress up, finished it by hand around writing essays, and wore it to MA graduation. Without further ado, here it is.

No idea what the look on my face is for… Anyway, this is 100% linen print from Jo-Anns with black linen inserts and 100% Bemberg rayon lining. I used Simplicity 8600 size 20. This is OOP from maybe 1999 or 2000. I cut it out a year ago and brought the pieces to Brazil because I felt I needed more warm weather clothes and a linen dress sounded perfect.

For couture practice I hand picked the lapped zipper, hand basted the joins so that the seams are aligned correctly, and I created my own lining pattern pieces that attached to the facings.

The creation of lining patterns turned out to be easier than I thought. I used the facing pattern pieces to shape the top of the front and back pieces. I also used the front and back pieces and taped them together along the stitching lines to that I didn’t have all that extra seaming in the lining. I’m not sure where it happened, but the lining ended up slightly narrower than the skirt, but it doesn’t really affect the wear. It just meant I couldn’t try the ease hem pleat couture technique. I wonder if that is appropriate for a fuller skirt anyway. I keep seeing it on jacket and straight skirt hems. I haven’t seen it used on an A-line or circle skirt, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

As for this pattern, it went together well, but there were a few fit issues, starting with the neckline. The models have it straight across, but mine ended up higher on my neck which was extremely uncomfortable. I scooped out the neckline and ran with it. If I make it again, I need to change some minor fit issues in the bust area, and the hips. It doesn’t help that when I cut out this dress my waist was larger post-baby and I’ve managed to whittle it down to 36″ (whee!), so I had to make that adjustment after cutting out the dress which was a challenge with all the piecing. Also when I cut out this dress I didn’t know how to do a sway back adjustment, which I couldn’t do much there after the material was cut. My cup size also changed one year into post-baby life, as you can imagine so I have hand tacked darts in the underarm area to compensate, but alas there is still a minor gaping issue.

Overall this is a great knee-length casual dress that I wore all day on a sunny North Carolina summer day and didn’t feel like I was sweating to death or that anything was uncomfortable. It looks great with sandels and I don’t think its extremely dressy so it would work for a casual night out or a work dress with my gray cardigan.


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Blue And White Jacquard Cotton Lace Short Sleeve Sweet Lolita Dr  Black Cotton Ruffled Lolita Dress  

Introducing amp;nbsp;Sue August 8, 2012 2014 01 0

I want this sewing machine. It just looks so user friendly and space-friendly so it can go anywhere in my crowded home.

So ladies and gents, would you buy one too?


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Short Strapless Graduation Dresses  Off the Shoulder Graduation Dresses  

What an awesome Jacket amp;nbsp;class July 27, 20

I have been so busy working on my MA in Asheville, but I’m never too busy to sew. I signed up for a Cynthia Guffey jacket fitting 4 day workshop! She was at the local fabric store Waetchers. This place was a seamstress’ candy store!

Anyway, We used Cynthia’s basic jacket patterns with princess seams through the shoulders. She is very energetic, insightful, and downright awesome. I had so much fun, though I felt like a kid. I was at least 15 years younger than everyone. She has this entire method of how to fit, starting in the shoulder and bust area. Once you get that nailed, the rest is easy. I can’t beleive how many fitting problems she identified that I have that I thought were bicep issues, armhole issues, bust issues, when they were all shoulder area problems that were causing problems to appear in other areas of the body. And look at how narrow she was able to get a straight grain sleeve! All because of having proper shoulder fit. I highly recommend taking a class with her!

One thing Cynthia included in the workshop was color matching. She took those who were interested over to the fabric section and discussed color options, textures, etc. that worked with our hair, eyes, skin, and body type. She also talked about where hems should go and why. She is planning her next workshop at Waetcher’s a little differently with the garment fitting portion, and a Sunday (optional) day where the store will be closed to the public and she will walk around and talk about colors, textures, etc. and how to work them on your body for the most flattering style to match your now flattering fit.

So I left my workshop with a partial version of her full day color matching because I am going back to Brazil and won’t be in town for that day. I now have the jacket muslin, copper gold silk noil (center swatch) for my fabric with matching buttons, and a color coordinating set of fabric swatches that match me and my new jacket when its done. She informed me black does not look good on everyone, and that I should rely on chocolate brown and navy, but if I really had to, just keep the pretty colors near my face and put the black and colors that aren’t perfect for me on my lower half. Definitely keep an eye out for these fabrics to appear! I bought fabric in almost every color on this wheel and the findings so when I get home, I’ll have everything I need to start building my post-baby work outfits. I have also put these swatches in a little ziplock back so I can carry them to the store when I buy other items like t-shirts, blouses, etc. I have a part-time job offer that needs business attire as soon as my work visa comes in. So I have a lot of work to do!


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Short Strapless Red Graduation Dresses  Strapless Graduation Dresses  

Someone hasn amp; 8217;t been amp;nbsp;sewing amp;

But I have been reading! I’ve been catching up on all sorts of things. I have been able to finish most of Susan’s course videos on the Couture dress. I also stumbled across a Behind the Seams: The Making of a Couture Dress articles by the author of the blog Frabjous Couture. A very inspiring series and her blog also has a completely documents Coco Jacket from a Susan week-long boot camp. Love! And from Vogue, the new Chanel style jacket from Claire Shaeffer, which should have some amazing couture directions. Don’t you just love the red color? I wish I had found this boucle before I ordered my Camel colored fabric. (It took 5 weeks for my StyleArc patterns to travel from Australia to Brazil btw. Crazy! I’ll post more about them once I start using them.)

As I look forward to my trip back to the US in three weeks, I’ve been building a shopping list! And all these couture articles have inspired me to add a few things to my list. As I’ve already ordered my couture dress fabric (sitting at my friend’s house in the US) I’ve been working slowly (turtle slow) on my muslin. I’m adding more muslin and organza to my list and a few odds and ends for the Coco Jacket like hair canvas. Its funny how often I buy the obvious stuff, but never think about the “framework” elements until I’m ready to start the project and then realize I don’t have things like interfacing, lining, or elastic. Thanks to Susan’s class, I think that habit will be broken, and I will probably get things that aren’t even listed on the back of the pattern.

I like the style of Susan’s course dress, but I also want to make a summer version, maybe in a different style, because my fabric is a wool blend, which may lead to me hardly ever wearing it. After reading about Frabjous’ linen dress over on Burdastyle and seeing Goodbye Valentino’s class dress, and how lining and underlining helps tame linen; I want to make a great linen dress for my tropical life here in Rio. Maybe a Maxi dress or one of Cynthia R’s dresses? So the fabric and all the “framework” bits made the list.

Anyway, I’ve also drooled on some non-couture patterns! Here’s the list. I am trying to limit myself=)

Here’s some cute summer styles from McCalls that made the cut! I also like the new Hazel and Lily dresses from Colette Patterns. Honestly, these are the first two patterns I’ve really liked from this company. I don’t know why, but their previous patterns didn’t inspire. I hope to find them while I’m in the US. That makes 5 patterns that made the cut, though my wishlist is far longer. If I can’t find the Colette patterns (which are a little pricey) I really should just not buy any, but I might get two others from my wishlist.

I also enrolled in the Craftsy Block of the Month course (FREE!) which has great informative videos! Now I want to make a new bedroom set. I have been looking over the quilt fabrics, especially Art Gallery Quilts’ Pat Bravo lines. She makes some amazing modern floral designs. I like the sample maxi dress out of her Rhapsodia line. For some reason I couldn’t re-post the picture. Anyway, I’m not sure this is going to happen, because when I put enough fabric in the cart for a queen-size quilt and pillowcases, the total was almost $200! That is a bit much for a bedroom set don’t you think? It would also take me hours and hours of sewing time and heaven help me if I spent that much money and it became a project that wasn’t completed for several years! Some quilters with kids take 2 years on large quilts. That is a huge commitment for someone who’s only successfully completed one over-sized crib quilt with a quilting class.

Here’s a picture of the Fun ‘n Done Halloween Quilt I finished shortly before my son was born. I might buy quilting fabric, but I’m just not sure I will, you know? I like the actual process of fitting together cute little squares, but to make a large project, I’d be talking about 110 squares. Yikes! What a time commitment, when my time is so limited and I’ve already purchased the couture dress materials and the coco jacket fabric. I probably should just leave this kind of project for later and focus on learning one set of new techniques at a time.

Its so hard to wait when I want to buy, cut and sew now! But with all the waiting its given me time to add and subtract all sorts of things from the shopping list. I don’t know which I like better, sewing with a plan that comes from this sort of list or my previous style of hitting the fabric store, buying and stashing until I’m inspired. I am hoping that the list and the plan will reduce waste, aka stashing that needs to be stored. I hate to think about how much space in our storage unit is my previous spare room/sewing room stuff that I couldn’t bring with me.


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The white silver alloys bride sets of chains of marriage  Bridal Accessories Cheap Wedding Accessories Sets 019  

Pajama Party amp;nbsp;completed April 28, 2012 20

Here they are! I took these last night before bed and have been lounging around in them all day!

This is my first successfully completed sew-a-long! I used Butterick 5330.

Here’s me in my reading pose during nap time! I have a Kindle so I’m technically holding my entire library in my hand! I am currently finishing up Chalice by Robin McKinley. Not her best, but a fun fantasy read.

This is a simple forest green cotton that I had in my stash. I made this pattern once before in a hot pink linen blend, while I was pregnant and Karen’s Pyjama Party Sew-A-Long inspired me to pull them out, rip them, and resew them into a wearable muslin (minus 6″ in the hip! Hurray!). Then I made the pattern adjustments and cut these out. I think another pair or two will move this pattern into TNT status. Honestly they are probably already there, I just need to transfer a few tweaks back to the paper pattern.

I loved the SAL and seeing everyone’s projects! Please have another SAL Karen!


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Sweep Chiffon One Shoulder Prom Dresses  Mermaid Organza Sweetheart Sexy Prom Dresses  

The year of pants take amp;nbsp;2 April 27, 2012 2

Here’s my crazy quilter Bermuda shorts:

Whoa! Look at that fabric. Kind of funky cool right? These are Burda Plus 11-2011 136B. Now to tell you how much I was paying attention to the little pattern sketch I didn’t even register these were pleated front pants until I went to sew in the waistband! And I had even marked the pleats when I cut them out! I was too busy thinking “I need a pants pattern that works, oh here’s one in my size. Cut! Cut! Cut!” Honestly, not a fan of pleats, but here its not really detracting. Agree?

From the side, I would say they are actually flattering because they aren’t being pulled open. They are stitched down about an inch, which keeps them tidy, and if I had actually made functioning pockets, the pleats would make those pockets very comfy rather than “jean” tight like on flat front pants.

Here’s the back. Its harder to see, but there is a bubble under the waistband because of a protruding bum/swayback alteration that needs to be done. I drafted off a size 50 and used the flexible carpenter’s ruler to shape the center front and back seams and this fit well (I discussed this in a previous pants post.) I’m happy that I learned a trick that makes that part of pants fitting easier, though I think I need to tweak it slightly to get the waistband height correct. However, because I didn’t grade down to a size 48 or 46 waist, I have pins all over the waist band.

You can see it better here at the zipper opening. It fits in the hips, but I need to take out 3″ a piece at the side seams, and 1/4″ at CB top of waistband (a curve basically) and another smidgen at CF, and grade these down to the hips smoothly. I also really need to lower the waistband first because it’s covering my bellybutton and I don’t like that. Realistically to make these a wearable muslin, I need to seam rip the waistband, shorten the waist seam and lower the front pleats and back darts. Then refit the waist seam since it will be in a new position. Then after that fitting I would have to resew the waistband and insert a zipper. I didn’t have enough fabric for the lining of the waistband, so I will have to cut re-sized waistband from another fabric and insert that as well before deciding on exact hem length. Am I going to do it? Honestly I don’t know if I like them that much! At this point, winter weather really set in last weekend and I realized how few winter items I actually own so I’m motivated in that direction. This muslin is going to take a nap. When I went to put it in the box, I came across a UFO in need of a zipper.

Here’s a peak at the fabric. It needs to be ironed, but then I’m going to practice Susan K’s method for inserting a couture zipper. I bet you thought I forgot about that class! I’m slowly making progress, but I’ll post about that later when I reach my next milestone. Until then, I am going to finish this UFO and my pyjama party sew-a-long!


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Black And White Ruffles Bows Cotton Gothic Lolita Dress  Sweet Pink Checked Bow Cap Sleeves Cotton Lolita Dress  

RTW Contest and Pattern amp;nbsp;Review April 23,

I have finished on my entry!

I know I probably should’ve moved the stroller but I just didn’t think about it. I also didn’t think about my lil zit which is why I’m covering it up in the third photo. Whatever, we all get them! Here’s a peak at the patterns.

Simplicity 3696 is the basis for the robe, which I shortened and color blocked. I had to squeeze both garments out of 3.5 yards of my fabric. 2.5 yards of the peacock rayon and 1 yard of the red cotton sateen. Yes one yard of the red. That’s why the robe is short. It was a tight squeeze cutting it all out but I did have enough by ignoring some grain lines on minor pieces (GASP! Not true bias! Nooooo!). Interesting to note, the robe came with 2 piece raglan sleeves. I have never seen 2 piece raglan sleeves before, and its been awhile since I’ve done 2 piece set-in sleeves. It was an interesting twist to a basic pattern. The pattern has a very definite curve on top of the shoulder because of the two pieces, and I had to straighten that out. Other than that change, this fit really well out of the envelope.

The nightgown is New Look 6490 (OOP) circa 2004 or 2005 when lingerie as outerwear made a comeback. Its a bias cut tank top that I lengthened. LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern and my husband does too. It fit really well out of the envelope and works perfectly as a sexy housedress/nightgown. I’ve already cut the tank in a soft green cotton to match my “pyjama party” pants. I also want to make another nightgown with a different neckline in a navy blue cotton eyelet I bought in Ipatinga. The ladies from the telanovellas all wear nightgowns and matching robes on screen and I feel that I will be starting my collection with these patterns.

Had such a hard time picking which photo to enter, but here is the entry shot.


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The beige lace Lu married gloves  Bow satin double flowers Bridal Gloves  

Budgeting My First Coco amp;nbsp;Jacket April 10,

Planning for a Chanel style jacket is insane! I ordered the pattern from Stylearc and they shipped it before Easter. As soon as I got the shipping notice, I began pacing. I want this jacket to be sewn couture. I want it to look amazing. I started reading up about the Chanel style and all the various bloggers who’ve done knock offs in the sewing world. I just haven’t found a boucle that I love. Some of those boucles look like something a cat threw up! Am I the only one who thinks this? I know its all about the “signature” but really? Some of the color combos with the texture just look gross. Maybe its the pages/web photos but I just haven’t been inspired by any of them. So I bought this fabric instead.

It’s $8/yd. Its 100% camel colored wool. This picture looks lighter than what I am expecting since it is called “camel,” but I won’t know until I open the box. I don’t know if the wool will be too warm here, but the site calls it a heavy weight so I am thinking this will be a serious winter jacket that gets pulled out infrequently. That is fine for me, since its a dry clean only fabric and if it really is light colored, it won’t be too happy being worn a lot anyway. To be honest, I’ve never sewn with wool, so I see it as more of a challenge/learning experience that won’t cost me a fortune. The pattern only calls for 2 yards, 54″ wide, and this fabric is 60,” but I bought 3 yds just in case. I also bought Oscar de la Renta buttons on sale.

They are bone and I bought 8, 4 in 40L and 4 in 28L. Another $10. I think these will go well with the camel, again based on pictures. I am planning to underline it in cotton muslin ($10 for toile and underlining from stash) and lining it in a pretty cotton quilting fabric. I haven’t picked exactly what I want yet, but according to the pattern I only need about 2 yards for lining. That should be another $12 to $16 depending on the store and style. I’m not going to order extra because in Susan’s class she does the toile first, then the fashion fabric and underlining. By the time she cuts the lining, she’s already fitted the project twice. There shouldn’t be any tweaking on the lining. Two spools of Guterman camel thread was $3.50 and shipping was $8.

Estimated Project total: 24 10 16 3.50 10 8=$71.50

For a tailored jacket, I think that is a steal! It may not be completely true to the style, but if it looks good, and lasts for 10 years (probably more considering how often I wear a jacket) that means I’m investing $7.15 annually for a couture jacket and I will be learning loads by going through the entire process hands-on rather than just reading about.
I know some would suggest that spending all the time doing couture techniques on cheap fabrics is loco, but to me it works out. I don’t think couture has to be super expensive, especially in the learning stages. Once I’m more comfortable with the whole process maybe I can justify spending $300-$800 on materials for a true “Chanel” knockoff at one of Susan’s couture week-long bootcamps on the French Jacket ($1000/course and travel expenses), but that is down the road.


galajurken2013,galajurken2013,korte-avondjurken,avondjurken,avondjurken grote maten,

Orange Floor-length One Shoulder Evening Dresses  One Shoulder Floor-length Evening Dresses  

My first Montessori Puzzle amp;nbsp;Ball April 9,

After speaking with a friend recently, I began researching Montessori education and they start the kids young! Anyway, thanks to the info provided by How We Montessori, who started her child learning in the first month, I stitched up my first child’s toy (and his first Easter present). Here is the tutorial I used. When it said the final ball would be the same size as the original circle, my stitch nerd said, “But wait, you’re not adding seam allowances? How can that be?”

I used the bottom of my son’s formula can, and the ball is roughly the same size, and that’s without adding seam allowances! Craziness! This ball is great because the shape makes it easy for my son to grasp, its soft for chewing (at least he thinks so), it rolls pretty well, and its lightweight so he can carry it around and bash it into everything. I think the only improvement I would make is adding a sound element in the future.

Another change would be not to use white fabric for the petals! Duh, mom! Here is a more “quilter” style tutorial. I say that for 2 reasons: a) she uses a rotary cutter, which I do not have, and b) she has a sweet antique straight stitch machine in her pictures. I’m jealous! For mine I used an cereal box for the pattern paper and just traced off the rows of triangles and petals so they all fit on narrow strips of fabric, then used my scissors. Its a great scrappy project.

An interesting fact, in Brazil, toys from companies like Fisher Price and Baby Einstein are hard to find for less than R$ 50. Some toy sets can be over R$300, like the block set I was looking at. Montessori is also something that hasn’t been imported into Brazil. I have begun to read up about their education philosophy and am already planning several sewing projects to match his development in the near future, starting with a set of shapes/color blocks and fabric books. I’ll post the tutorials on those as well. Overall this project cost me nothing since I had the fabric in my stash, a ripped pillow the provided the stuffing, recycled cardboard, and thread I already owned. I just invested about 9.5 hours of crafting time. The hand stitching takes the longest and there is a lot of it!


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Mermaid Sweetheart Floor Length Prom Dresses  Floor Length Sweetheart Mermaid Prom Dresses  

I amp; 8217;m a amp;nbsp;Statistic April 7, 2012

I emailed StyleArc a question about their membership and Chloe responded promptly and also informed me I’m the first person in Brazil to order Style Arc patterns! How cool is that!

And just for fun, here’s my beige pants paired with a long tunic to cover the trouble I had with the fit. I look a little shorter than 5’2″ don’t you think? This is for my Wardrobe basics sew-a-long instead of the camel skirt. I have more of this fabric so I might use a Style Arc pattern to make another pair of pants and see if it works better.

In other news, I’ve found some time to start my RTW contest entry so I’ll be posting more about that soon. I’ve incorporated 2 new couture techniques in this project and 1 of my homemade ones so once I get some new batteries I’ll be posting all about those!


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plus size evening dress Estrella Gown in Black  plus size evening dress Venice Dress  

My first Style Arc amp;nbsp;order March 31, 2012

I am a total pattern hog. I have tons of them. I’ve sometimes bought the same pattern twice, and not because I loved it that much, I just forgot I bought it before. I have rarely used patterns twice, let alone developed them into TNT pattern the way the Sewing Fanatic describes. I used to go to Jo-Anns during a pattern sale and buy the 10 allowed and if they didn’t have my size I would drive to the next one even if it meant another 30 minute drive. Craziness, but I couldn’t resist and I would say I haven’t even used 50% of them, all sitting in boxes uncut. Before I moved I donated over 100 uncut patterns to the charity shop and put 4 small boxes into storage. I also brought about 40 with me.

However, now that I’m in Brazil, there are no Jo-Anns. There aren’t even stores that sell the big 4. There are several brands of pattern magazines (similar to Burda) that serve the seamstresses here. On top of this complication, I have learned a lot about patterns from reviews on Patternreview.com. Now that I have to pay full-price and international shipping, I am looking at the patterns with fresh eyes. The more I read the more I began to want to try smaller companies that have amazing reviews online with descriptions like “perfectly drafted.” I have never used a pattern that I would say is perfectly drafted. I agree with one PRer that the models they use to size the Big 4 are probably disproportionate aliens. That or I’m the mutant. Whatever.

So while researching other companies I looked over the size charts at Style Arc and found that I am not a mutant in their book. Hurray! And they have some amazing patterns. My first order is 10 patterns. I know, who does that?? Me!

First I picked this trio. Its nice that the designer pairs it with a celebrity look and you get a discount for the set. I couldn’t resist a SALE! I’ve been wanting to learn how to make a couture Coco jacket, though maybe not in the a wool tweed because I would only wear it once a year or so. This pattern offers that perfectly and comes with two cute basics: a tee and skinny stretch woven pants. The pants are going to be in a denim first time out, my first skinny jeans! And it will connect back to my wardrobe SAL.

This one is a little harder to justify. I love the wrap top but the tank and trousers are fairly straight forward and I know I have versions of these in the Big 4. On the other hand, they would require extensive mods and I have not found a Big 4 pair of pants that I love. So I’m relying on the perfectly drafted reviews to say that I am going to develop these into TNT wardrobe basics with a high quality pattern paper that will survive numerous uses over the next couple years.

Then there was this adorable cardigan, I think I’m going to make it first! I just love the collar detail! And it comes in a set with leggings, another basic that I love to wear, and a dress that I’m not sure I’d ever make, but hey it’s on sale as a set so the dress pattern is almost free. I am a total sale sucker! Here is the dress.

I can definitely see it as a tee with the color blocking or maybe stretch lace since that is huge right now but I’m not sure I’d ever wear it as a dress. It’s pretty basic so maybe I will do some pattern play with it. We’ll see what sort of inspiration strikes.

And another cool promotion? Every order comes with a free pattern! That makes 10 patterns for less than $10 each (price before shipping), which makes them just as affordable as other pattern companies with better quality! And these all have potential for numerous pattern alterations! I can’t wait for my shipment to arrive!


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Simple white fingerless embroidery Bridal Gloves  The beige lace Lu married gloves  

Affordable Inspiration from Fashion amp;nbsp;Week

I usually find the Fashion Week fashions a little over the top and unrealistic with all the layers and the heels that I can’t walk in, but there are some brands that I do look at. So while watching matador inspired lines in Buenos Aries, and Dior’s see through gowns in Paris. I found the SS 2012 Baby Phat look book very inspiring and actually the styles match my lifestyle. No not Bling Bling like Kimora, but look at these fabulous tropical friendly styles.

First the colors are bright and cheerful, the fabrics are light and natural, and the models are wearing flip flops!

Palazzo pants and jumpsuits are huge in Brazil, and again look at this beautiful blue!

And look at this white dress montage! White dresses are not totally practical with an infant, but they look fresh and airy for this tropical climate. Maybe if I make it up in a bright color.

This would be a true winter look for Rio! A pleather jacket and a beautiful white dress, though it could be made in a different color. This is a fabulous and affordable line, if I was in the US. I can always make my own versions in Brazil. Its funny that “cold” is very relative! When I hit the US in June, I would really like this yellow purse, and according to some of the quilters “yellow goes with everything!” Its the fringe that may not survive my son’s toddler moments.


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A Line Floor Length Pink Sweetheart Prom Dresses  A Line V Neck Chiffon Backless Prom Dresses  

Year of Pants take amp;nbsp;1 March 24, 2012 2014

I have finished my first pair of pants for the year! Since 2009 to be exact. This is also one of my nine pieces for the Wardrobe Basics sew-a-long. Hurray! Eight more to go!
I used Simplicity 2373, pants view, and my grandmother’s pinch method. For some reason my Elgen sewing machine did not come with a zipper foot so I handpicked the zipper, therefore I’m counting this as semi-couture since I also hand-stitched the waistband and the hems.

Likes: no stitch-in-the-ditch mess and the pant hems have a full circumference which is very “in” right now for the fall/winter season in Brazil. It’s hard to think of June and July as “winter” months! Hand picking the zipper really helped keep the seam allowances from bunching around the seam joins and all the hand stitching leaves a clean finish.

Dislikes: as usual my grandmother’s pinch method results in a “meh” fit. Not great but not horrible. One of the reason’s I’ve never really enjoyed sewing pants. Also, I used a stretch cotton sateen which turned out to be too lightweight for pants and it wrinkles very quickly.

Front and back shots. For some reason I have travel lines on the non-zipper side. Any ideas on how to fix that side? I’ve measured and I took in the seams evenly but they don’t lay the same. Maybe because the zipper adds ease? And see how wrinkly? Bleh!

It’s really hard to take pictures wearing them but that’s the way it goes. And for the inquiring minds here is an explanation of my grandmother’s pinch method.

Step 1: Measure the waist and hips. Pick the size based on the hips. Cut the pattern straight to that size. I really think she did that because she was used to one-size only vintage patterns and she was more of an apple, at least when she was teaching me, while I was a pear.

Step 2: cut your fabric. Yep, she never did muslins either, felt they were a waste of fabric, probably a leftover from the Depression era seamstress that taught her to sew.

Step 3: Sew up the crotch, inner and outer leg seams leaving the zipper open. Try on pants and pull up crotch until its in the right place. Pinch out the extra fabric you don’t need. Pin and resew. This method always resulted in resizing and reshaping waist darts evenly, curving the Cf and CB seams to fit my tush and lower abs, and cinching in the waist at the side seams. Lots of extra fabric in the seam allowances and a loose fitting high waist pair of trousers. My grandmother never understood a tight pair of jeans since it was so “unattractive” to show your flaws. She also never understood why actresses wore short dresses to the Oscars, which she watched religiously, because knees are so “ugly.” She was a meticulous seamstress with strong fashion opinions. Great for learning how to sew, sucks for a teen girl trying to sew “modern” pieces in the 90s.

Anyway, this is my starting point. My end goal is to have learned how to properly fit my figure and have a sloper developed that fits me to a T. I will probably wear these pants with a tunic to hide the flaws and count it as done. This pattern is not worth any more time. Without pockets or interesting details it might make a starting place for a future pair, but not now, since I want to test out my Burda Plus 11/2011/136B pants. I have cut out a Bermuda length muslin in this quilter’s cotton.

Either they are going to be really ugly and be used only as a muslin, OR they could look like an awesome pair of resort wear shorts. We shall see. I cut all the necessary pieces to complete them if that’s the case. Can you believe actual “muslin” at the quilt shot is R$12/m. Very pricey.


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one long sleeve printed flower special occasions dresses, dance wear  manufacturer supplying one shoulder white formal evning gowns, bridesmaid dresses with silk ribbon 30858  

Fitting Pants: a new amp;nbsp;trick March 16, 201

So in an effort to improve my fitting skills, I have been reading up on how to fit pants. Not the easiest reading, but I came across a tip using a carpenter’s flexi-ruler. So I decided to test drive it.

Step 1: Measure a crotch the already fits. I used a pair of Cato 16 women’s petite jeans as my basis even though they are a little loose. The crotch seam already fits pretty well.

Immediately I can see the shape of the crotch seam and know the measurement of my front crotch and the back crotch seam.

Step 2: Measure the pattern pieces without seam allowance, which is easy peasy with Burda Mag patterns. Here is Burda Plus 11-2012-136.

I can immediately see that there is a butt problem. The front measurement matches my jeans, but the butt is an inch short and I can see that I need to put that extra length under the butt, right? How cool is that!

Now for fun, I pulled out my WIP Simplicity 2373 khaki’s that I did my old way, which was cutting them out based on pattern measurements and pinching out all the extra, which in this case was inches around the waist, deepening the darts, the taking a little out of the CB. Here it is after all that crazy fitting waiting for the waistband:

It is about the same (in reverse) about 1/4″ off. It would have been so much easier to use the flexi-ruler on the pattern paper and save myself some serious time.

So where to add the crucial inch? According to Sandra Betzina you can add up to 3/4″ under the butt. After that you need to add it in about 5″ below the waist, using the slash and spread method.

Now I looked at my remake and I realized that it doesn’t match. After some thinking, I realized my problem. The front is 9.5 inches which matches the jeans finished length of 9″, plus SA which I don’t need right now because its a Burda Mag pattern. The jeans back is 15.5″ so the total is 25″. I need to move 1/2″ from the front to the back. Referring back to Sandra’s pants instructions, I need to fold out 1/2″ 5″ down from the CF and spread another 1/2″ in the back.

Here it is done to a total of 25″ which matches the jeans. However, it is less angled on the back. I’m hoping that it is just the difference between fabric and pattern. Any thoughts? Agree?

I like this ruler. I looked online and in the US you can get one on Amazon. I’m assuming they have them in hardware stores too. I think this particular tip came from Threads Mag, but I can’t remember because I read so many different pages. Next time I’ll take source notes. Feels like I’m back in school


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Short Strapless Red Graduation Dresses  Chiffon Strapless Semi Graduation Dresses  

Happy Birthday 3 months amp;nbsp;later amp; 8230;

I finished my husband’s birthday present! Finally!

What an odyssey. I didn’t even cut the muslin out until a month after his birthday and then practiced Susan’s couture muslin techniques to the letter so that took a significant amount of time. As for the actual fashion fabric I didn’t use any couture techniques unless you count the hand stitched collar facing. Hurray for my first menswear project. The biggest change I would make is in the collar. I think I needed a heavier facing to get the professional look this collar doesn’t have. My husband doesn’t mind thought. Here is the center front zipper.

I just couldn’t bring myself to do an exterior zipper like so many fashion houses have done because a) the zipper was too short and a hunter green, and b) it looked really sloppy when I pinned it out the first time. Also I have never really worked with stretch cotton sateen and I loved it for the sheen and the stretch, but I hated that the hand-picked stitches really show up on the outside. Anyway here is the pattern review.


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Pink Satin Bodice & Cristal Organza Flower Girl Dresses  nek v halter organza gown style sell hot flower girl dresses  

I finished amp;nbsp;something March 7, 2012 2014

With all the machine problems and whatnot, I have felt like my sewing was stuck in limbo. But finally I have finished a project, entirely cut and sewn in Brazil around naptime!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I cut this pink Rayon snakeskin using Burda 7379. Here’s the front:

I love how the stripe on the fabric looks so pretty when cut on the bias. This pattern was entirely cut on the bias, which was a first for me.

And here’s the back:

I am thinking this will look good with jeans or with a black skirt, maybe tucked into the skirt. I have some black linen in my stash so I am toying with the idea of sewing up that soon. Here’s the front ruffle:

I am also proud that I used several couture techniques so its “quasi-couture.” I seam bound the seams and used the armhole and neckline bindings provided using hand-stitching. The only raw edges are on the ruffle. I’m worried that its going to be a gnarly mess in short order but we shall see. I have the full pattern review here.

Next up I have to finish my husband’s green shirt. Remember his Dec 2011 birthday present? Yeah that one!


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Handmade Flower Satin Organza Embellishment Girl Dresses  A-line Square Chapel Train Satin Bridesmaid dresses  

Inspiration from the Purple amp;nbsp;Carpet Februa

As if I didn’t need another reason to sew, along comes these beautiful stars in these gorgeous styles at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Somehow these seem more wearable and interesting than what they’ve had in previous years. Anyway here are my favs!

Kate Beckinsinale wearing Diane von Furstenburg’s take on a jumpsuit! I wish I could take a draping class with DvF! Can you imagine how awesome that would be?

Alexander McQueen’s floral and leather frock worn by Anna Kendrick is just begging to be imitated. Now if I could find this exact fabric, but that seems unlikely!

Check out the full gallery here at Yahoo! News http://movies.yahoo.com/photos/best-dressed-at-the-2012-indie-spirit-awards-slideshow/2012-film-independent-spirit-awards-purple-carpet-photo-1330206049.html


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Wedding flowers wedding dress red head  The new bride head flower pink  

Update on my little red amp;nbsp;dress February 25

Well my machine is done and we picked it up today. Alas, we are making a trip to Ipatinga to visit my MIL this weekend. It was vaguely planned for earlier in the month but my husband decided to get the tickets yesterday. That means an 8 hour bus ride each way and a week plus at her house. So that means my dress is on pause until we get back, which is after the deadline!

My little red dress is “dead.”

Oh well! It was my first contest at pattern review even though I’ve been reading the reviews and lurking there since like 2008 or something. And here I thought being an at home mom would give me more time to sew! Little did I know! I want to enter another contest, but I am NOT making a swimsuit and I don’t have any vintage patterns unless you count one I bought in the 90s!


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Dark Red Cotton Satin Off-The-Shoulder Multi-Layer Gothic Lolita  Cotton Sweetheart Empire Waist Cotton Classic Lolita Dress  

Having a Betty amp;nbsp;Moment February 22, 2012 2

To be honest, I’ve never watched Mad Men. (GASP!!) Please be kind, they don’t air it in Brazil and before that I was way too busy to watch much TV (or sew for that matter). But I have been drooling on the pictures since I saw the Banana Republic ad campaign with the Mad Men theme ages ago. With Juliabobbin’s sewing challenge for a Mad Men dress I decided its time to make something Betty-like! I’ve already been drooling on the full gathered skirt stye thanks to Gertie’s silk taffeta version. Here are the inspiration photos:

and this one:

a simple and feminine ensemble with a full skirt and a buttoned up blouse. Not sure about the fabric yet, but I do have a navy eyelet cotton that would be cute for this in my stash. I will have to dig it out and and see. I am thinking an underlining in a sunny yellow would be adorable with the same yellow used on the top. Maybe with navy buttons. We’ll see what I find the next time I hit the fabric store since I don’t own any yellow fabric right now. Or maybe pink? or white?

What I really NEED is my sewing machine back! Then I could sew and all this pent up energy wouldn’t be going into planning new projects!


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plus size evening dress Sicilia Dress  plus size evening dress Cybelle Cocktail Dress in Orchid  

The Couture Dress amp;nbsp;Update February 20, 201

Well I have ordered my fabric. I’ve been sewing for years and I have never sewn with wool (lived in the tropics so never saw the sense) or silk (a little pricey for me though with my fit being more successful in recent years I’ve splurged on some silk dupioni but never sewed it up) or plaid. So this Marc Jacobs fabric has all three.

It was on sale at Farbicmart and it was purple! It hit all the high marks and supposedly it is lightweight tropical wool. We’ll see when I see it. Alas, I had it shipped to my PO in the US, and was planning on having a friend ship it to me, but seeing the postal rates and the 50% import taxes, I am going to have to wait until June when I journey back stateside.

In the meantime, here are a few dresses that I find inspiring in their use of plaid. The red and black one with shoulder drape and belt is my favorite. Maybe after a little more practice with plaid and pattern drafting I’ll make a go at that one.






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A-line Sweetheart Satin flool-length flower girl dresses  Ball gown v-neck floor-length satin organza dresses demo  

What I amp; 8217;ve done without a sewing amp;nbsp

No news on the machine. We have to go there on Saturday to check on its progress. If they have to order a part from the company it will take another week or two. If its an easy fix, we can get it when we go. We could call but I want to physically visit my first sewing studio in Rio. They apparently offer sewing classes and sell a certain number of notions, though my husband didn’t know too much about it other than he saw zippers and buttons. Maybe I can get an invisible zipper foot for my non-couture projects.

In the mean time I’ve been busy! First, I hunted down the Brazilian version of Burda Mag, called Manequim.

There are many pretty patterns, which is great, but they are mostly one size per pattern. There are a few multisized patterns, but not many. Of course the grading technique I learned works off of multisized patterns. Mmmm, a new challenge! Here is the dress I want to do first (left).

They used a silk chiffon for the dramatic outer dress, and from the looks of the layout, there is a nice fitted bodice and skirt lining included. Of course, the directions are in Portuguese so I need to slog through the translation process and find a store that sells large format tracing paper before I can start that project. I will also need to grade this pattern up one size in the bust and two sizes in the hips, and then make the muslin. I’m not 100% on my size here.

Next, I signed up for Gertie’s Starlet Jacket course over on Craftsy.com. She includes a skirt pattern as seen on the lavender version behind her, but I really like the circle skirt of her yellow version, pattern not included. Of course I didn’t want to draft a circle skirt pattern (been there, done that, got nightmares) so I started contemplating my options.

I hit upon two ideas: 1) my grandmother, a child of the depression, had a pattern (50s I think) that she was super happy with because she could make a fitted suit top with short sleeves and pencil skirt with less than 3 yards of fabric. I have no idea where that pattern is now. If it didn’t self-destruct from overuse, it is probably at my aunt’s house somewhere. Anyway, I saw enough pictures of it, that I am going to attempt a copy of the skirt. Not really exaggerating here. She loved it and it fit like a charm so she copied it with minor variations over and over again during her working career. I’m going to call it a Pencil Pop Skirt. Sounds fun to me! 2) I was reading Gertie’s archived blog posts and loved her silk taffeta full gathered skirt here.

As I was calculating the pattern drafts for both skirts with a 38″ waist I got to thinking. If done right, I might be able to swing both skirts out of one pattern as long as the base measurements are done in such a way to work with the Pencil Pop Skirt first. Here is my first draft.



If you’re wondering this is the same fabric I used on my husband’s shirt muslin and this was only folded up for a day after drafting before I took pictures. This fabric is an insta-wrinkle. Bleh. At least as a pattern it doesn’t matter because I’ll iron it before laying out. I am going to make samples of both in the same fabric and then the final version of whichever one I pick is going to be done up in a medium weight black linen with embroidered white polka dots. I’ve had this fabric for ages, love it, but haven’t really found the right project before Gertie’s jacket. I think it will be a great weight for the jacket with enough fun so that it doesn’t look like a Wall Street Corporate Power Suit. (pictures of fabric coming soon)

On another note, while digging around in my stash for a fabric for Gertie’s class, I came across an OOP Sandra Betzina pattern with fully lined palazzo pants. Again something I’ve stashed for a long time, never used, but I still love it!

I think this pair of pants really lends itself to couture techniques with the lining and various waistline elements, and with the right fabric they could be great with Gertie’s jacket. I can also see them in a tropical print fabric, maybe a cotton gauze or silk chiffon since its fully lined. Very tropical couture resort wear in my mind, which of course goes with the Manequim dress. They will have to wait until I find the fabrics but there is supposed to be a fabric show at Riocenter sometime in the next two months so we’ll see what I find. Maybe I’ll do a mini-wardrobe of couture resort wear since I’m still waiting on my Vogue pattern, not surprising really since it has to get to my US PO first.


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Floor-length One Shoulder Evening Dresses  Sheath Floor-length Sweetheart Evening Dresses  

My sewing Machine amp;nbsp;Broke February 14, 201

Here’s my son checking the packaging before my husband zoomed off to the store.


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The bride yellow flower head  Bride a red flower head, simple but elegant  

An Inspired amp;nbsp;Weekend February 14, 2012 201

This weekend there was an Expectant Mom and Baby Convention at the Riocenter. They sold everything from expensive imported American toys to linens they embroidered with your child’s name while you waited. My favorite items were these pillows.

Here was the gender neutral vintage bird theme:

I’m not always a fan of applique but I really liked these little brown birds. They also had a cute boy’s theme with a lighthouse theme. I couldn’t get a pic because a very pregnant mom was in deep conversation with the salesman, but it was a simple technique. They made the lighthouse body in a solid light blue fabric and stitched the slanting stripes in long red basting stitches. They added a dark blue base and top, properly shaped, and used satin stitching with yellow thread for the light. Here was my favorite girl theme. Considering the princess theme had the crowd I doubt this one will be the best seller.


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Black And White Satin Gothic Lolita Dress  Classic Lolita Rococo Renaissance Aristocrat Purple Long Dress  

Vogue 8489 as a Maternity amp;nbsp;Dress February

I had two events to make dresses for late in my pregnancy, graduation and prom. I love chaperoning prom because I get to wear a cute semi-formal every year. This year I was in a major time crunch with work, the pregnancy, my mom’s illness, and moving so I thought it would be a great idea to whip up this dress and save money rather than buying maternity formal wear which starts around $150 if there’s a sale! Needless to say it was not one of my most lucid decisions! I ran into to Jo-Ann’s and found this cool knit on the clearance table. It has two treatments. First it has a shiny black on black leaf and floral design on the black knit background. Second its topped with a silver splashy finish that hints at an animal print. The photos don’t do it justice. However, it had a pretty stiff drape that was not appropriate for this pattern. Also I should never have tried to fiddle with the CF with all those pieces coming together into one point. I added to the gathers at the CF, about 3″, which meant I had too much to gather to really have it work nicely. It was a not a pleasant sewing experience.

It looked cute dancing, but I look like I’m about to birth my son right there! In reality I still had almost 12 weeks. Because the fabric was heavy and I added inches to the front it sort of stood out all on its own. Here’s a better view of the CF. It was a fun dress to wear, but will I ever sew this again? Probably not. I found the experience of sewing this one stressful, so when I packed for Brazil I threw this one into storage. Funny how hard it is to part with a pattern sometimes.


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The first flowers of pink wedding  Bridal headdress of pink feathers  

McCalls 6070 as a maternity amp;nbsp;dress Februar

For the Class of ’11 Graduation, I was giving out the diplomas to what may be my last class of seniors and I was not going to miss it for the world! I was 36 weeks pregnant and needed a dress to wear, so I used McCalls 6070 with modifications to make a maternity dress. Here it is at the event.

Not my most flattering cut, but I fit the dress around the boobs and altered the waistband and skirt to fit the belly. I wore it with those preggo support leggings to help my back, but looking at the photos I am regretting the overall effect. I should have shortened them to above knee length so you couldn’t see them for a more proportional look.

Anyway, I modified the skirt so it didn’t gather all the way around but rather mostly at CF (5″ extra for bump) and some at CB (3″) , so I shaped the skirt pattern pieces to be more of an A-Line rather than a large rectangle. I was hoping for a smoother fit at the waist and hips so it didn’t look sack-like. I also put in the elastic, which most people leave out, along the top of the waistband to keep it tighter above the bump, otherwise the bump was pulling the CF and causing gaping. I overlapped the CF crossover panels more than recommended by the pattern (about 1.5 ” more) . The pattern was a quick sew and I didn’t really do much finishing to the inside (messy messy).

I brought this now huge dress to Brazil thinking I might alter it to fit my post-baby figure ( smaller than my pre-baby figure hurray!). I threw it on while my husband was watching the baby and he took one look and pronounced it “ugly.” I have to agree. Empire waistlines are hit or miss with my deeply arched lower spine, either looking pretty or pregnant. I still look pregnant in this thing. So I am taking it apart and planning to up-cycle the dress into something else. As I have entered the patternreview.com Red Dress Competition, I am hoping to get it done by the end of the month. I am just waiting to hear up-cycling is allowed according to the rules.


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Percolating amp;nbsp;Projects February 4, 2012 201

I’m not patient. I admit it. I have already started watching the Susan Khalje’s videos and my creative juices have been flowing. While waiting for the class pattern, I dove into my treasure trove, two large suitcases that hold the portion of my stash that I brought overseas. My first muslin is based on Burda Mens 7525, view B in a pretty green stretch cotton sateen.



Yeah, it is for his birthday…Dec ’11. He loves me! Anyway, I started it this week. I found a white cotton/linen blend in my stash that I decided to use for the muslin. I hate this piece of sh** fabric from the chain store. Why the hell do they make such crappy fabric? Oh, right because cheapskates like me snap it up at $3/yd. I also have about 8 yds of this sh** in dark green. What a waste of suitcase space! Anyway, the muslin looks like the wrinkled behind of an elephant, a really old one at that. The fabric shifted, distorted and generally misbehaved the entire time. My husband saw me cussing it out and he asked me what I was working on. When I told him it was his shirt, the look on his face was priceless. He was frantically searching for the right way to tell me he was never going to wear the white wrinkled monstrosity. I then reminded him of the video I was watching and telling him about the night before. He said, “Oh where they use bad fabric first to see if it works?” Bless him! He was listening to me! Anyway, I fitted him today, but I don’t think I’m going to use the muslin as a pattern because of how distorted certain seams are, especially around the curves. Attention fashion designers: the lazy side of me only made half sleeves because I was planning on making short sleeves, but he liked the elbow length because they are unique. Maybe its the next trend!

Here are the other projects:

Burda 7379: I don’t think I’m going to do a muslin because it is a simple rayon blend snake skin cut on the bias. The entire pattern is cut that way so no zipper! If I really like this cut on me, I think I might make up the dress length version down the road. My husband thinks this bubble gum color looks like a kids’ fabric. We’ll see.

Vena Cava’s V1228: I have been going back and forth about the fabric since the day I bought the pattern. I’ve been scouring the sites looking for exact fabric used on the model or one that is similar. After a fruitless search, I put the pattern aside. Then when I was looking through my stash to figure out what to bring to Brazil, I noticed that the pattern listed lightweight jersey as a potential fabric. It clicked with a fabric I had come across the day before that I had forgotten I even owned. I am going to omit the zipper and make a cute jersey dress or tunic. I’m not sure, but am thinking of shortening it to wear with leggings. I loved leggings in the 80s and I love them now.

Simplicity 2152: Finally, I have been reading up about TNT patterns (Tried ‘N True patterns, yeah I had to ask) and I hope this skirt with the micro-suede leopard and khaki stretch cotton sateen will turn out to be a pattern that goes in this category. Now that I’m looking at the picture, it looks like the two are not quite that same shade and maybe won’t go together. I will have to think on this. What other color would go with the micro-suede leopard print? Maybe purple or black? Navy? I’ll keep you posted, but this skirt is definitely getting muslin-ed. Look for pattern reviews of these four patterns in the future.

I’ve also been reading about wardrobe building and I began to look at my wardrobe with fresh eyes. I only brought things that fit 5 mos. post-baby when I came here, and now a lot of that doesn’t fit (yes!) because of further change. The things that still fit are numerous pairs of leggings (I brought 5 pairs overseas with me and they are very popular here) but somehow I only packed 1 tunic and 2 dresses. Craziness. So I hope these pieces fill in the blanks, including my husband’s lack of a b-day present! Only 3 months late=) He was betting that it would be his ’12 present. See I showed him!


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Another Reason for amp;nbsp;Patience February 1, 2

I just caught up on my emails of which I had several from Craftsy (the website with Susan’s class) and they offer a promotion for new members their first week, a coupon so that any class is only $25! I enrolled (which is free) just to take the class so I just went straight to paying and watching the first video without checking my email! I paid full price and looking at the other sewing classes I’m not sure I want to sign up for another until I know I like the format they use for their classes. Sigh… So please, if you create an account with Craftsy, double-check your email confirmation of enrollment for the coupon.

Here’s a picture for my pattern review of New Look 6871 that is over on pattern review. Just had to post the picture somewhere. I should really start a flicker account for these.Here is another photo for my Simplicity 2655 pattern review


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This is the year for amp;nbsp;Couture February 1,

I bought my birthday present for me: Craftsy.com’s Susan Khalje’s Couture Dress online sewing course! I am so excited! I have been wanting to take my sewing to the next level but haven’t really hit on a way to do it. Sure a book would work but I wanted something more visual and hand’s on. As I have been reading up in the blogosphere I’ve heard a lot of good things about her course and her workshops so maybe if this goes well I’ll be able to justify the splurge and travel expenses for one of her week long jaunts.

Pattern drool! The course is using V8648. I like the pinstripe play on the sheath but not sure which fabric I am going to choose. Decisions, decisions!

Here is my plan for this blog, at least initially. I won’t be including course content so go register for that! Its really affordable! I am going to include my musings, my challenges, and a review of the online course. I am not promising huge progress, especially since I am waiting for the pattern to get to my US PO Box to then be picked up by my friend and mailed to me here in Rio. Trust me, I have already looked through my pattern collection tempted to start with a pattern I migrated with, but I decided to practice “slow sewing” as in not rushing through the process to get to a result (which is not always a gratifying piece of clothing). I am going to change my instant gratification ways and start pushing myself to be methodical and precise. My grandmother would finally see the fruition of all those summers when I was a kid where she insisted the seam ripper was my friend and straight stitching was really important. I finally agree grandma!

Anyway, my first test will be patiently waiting the 2-3 weeks for my pattern to arrive! Happy Birthday to me!


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British amp;nbsp;Countryside 2014 01 02 10:56:52

Dress: Dolce and Gabbana, Shoes: Valentino, Bag: Bvlgari, Sunglasses: Miu Miu, Headband: Ferragamo, Bracelet: Hermes

A short post from a short weekend getaway in the British countryside! We played tennis, cycled and walked around the grounds – its great to escape the City sometimes

I’m wearing a Dolce and Gabbana floral printed dress. I fell in love with the print and volume of the dress. Because the dress had so much colour, I accessorized this look with a simple bag and shoes. Both nude with only a touch of detailing like the wide bows on the shoes and serpent’s head on the bag.

Hope you like the look and had a great weekend too!

Beibei x

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La Tour amp;nbsp;Eiffel 2014 01 02 11:06:58

Jacket: Zara, Top: Topshop, Trousers: Emilio Pucci, Sunglasses: Linda Farrow,
Bag: Bvlgari

Some more pictures from my weekend in Paris with my friend Helen. No trip to this city would be complete without some photos of the iconic Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

I wore one of my favourite trousers as the colour and length are so unique. Hope you enjoy these photos. Have a great weekend everyone!

B.B.x

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Bonjour, amp;nbsp;Paris 2014 01 02 11:14:54

Jacket and Top: Zara, Skirt: Aqua, Shoes: Charlotte Olympia, Dress: Three Floor Fashion, Bracelet: Hermes, Ring: YSL

Had a great weekend in Paris! Pictures were taken in Relais & Chateaux’s Saint James Paris Hotel. Paris is such a beautiful city from the people to the art and architecture. Its my first time back in several years – just walking through the city made me remember how romantic this city is especially at night. More pictures to come and have a lovely weekend!

B.B.x

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Egypt Part amp;nbsp;VII 2014 01 02 11:24:39

Dress: Oasis, Shoes, River Island, Bracelet: Anna Dello Russo for H&M

The palm and flower-lined paths in our Hotel were stunning! Hope you enjoy these photos of this orange dress. The chiffon detailing had great flow and whipped up in the air – loved it!

B.B. x

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Egypt Part amp;nbsp;VI 2014 01 02 11:33:06

Playsuit: ASOS, Jewellery: Vintage, Gold flats: Roger Vivier

Just another photo diary from Egypt in my resort Enjoy^^

B.B. x

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Egypt Part amp;nbsp;III 2014 01 02 11:49:25

Top: Vintage, Shorts: Asos, Shoes: Roger Vivier, Clutch and Bracelet: Anna Dello Russo for H&M, Sunglasses: Fendi

I can only wear high-waisted shorts this colourful and a frilly off-the-shoulder top on a sunny holiday – if only it was like this everyday. The gold accessories remind me of the traditional Egyptian markets laden with beautiful gold pieces that locals craft. Hope you enjoy!

B.B. x

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Egypt Part amp;nbsp;II 2014 01 02 11:58:35

Top: Clover Canyon, Skirt: H&M, Shoes: Herv L ger’s

Its super cold in London with blustery winds each day…. I look at these pictures to remind me of the beautiful sun in Egypt. I love the deep orange colours in this Clover Canyon top set against a slightly neon yellow skirt. I love to wear lots of colours on holiday!

Hope you enjoy the photos!

B.B. x

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Egypt Part amp;nbsp;I 2014 01 03 12:09:04

Top: ASOS, Dress: Zara, Shoes: Herve Leger

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you’ve all had a great day! I’ll post my look for Valentine’s in the coming days.

This is my first look from my trip to Egypt earlier last month – it was great to see the sun after so much rain and snow in London. The balcony on our room had these beautiful flowers and view of the Red Sea. These shorts are so practical as the white goes with everything like this patterned top. Hope you enjoy the photos!

B.B. x

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Shine Your amp;nbsp;Light 2014 01 03 12:26:37

Matching Top and trousers: ASOS, Accessories: Hermes and Cartier, Earings: Zara

Hey everyone, its been a while since I uploaded anything but i have just been over loaded with… ‘work’ and ‘laziness’ ^^ So here are some photos my lovely cousin took of me on the rooftop of our flat, but it got dark pretty quickly… this is what I dislike the most about London winters! Anyway, hope you enjoy the photos and I promise I will update more often.

B.B. xx

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Vogue amp; 8217;s Fashion Night out 2012 amp;nbsp;

Dress: Miss Selfridges, Shoes: French Sole, Bag: Hermes, Ring: Vintage

Hey everyone! Here are some photos I want to share with you when I went to the Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out on Bond Street last Thursday. It was so much fun, the pictures were mainly taken in Dior, Louis Vuitton, Hermes (who had a live band… how cool^^) and the latest addition to London Bond Street- Victoria Secret’s! I did not have enough time to go to more than that however I am planning to go again next year! Come and Join me!

Have a great week everyone and click below to follow me on Bloglovin!

B.B. x

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Pink amp;nbsp;Peplum 2014 01 03 12:45:03

Dress and Shoes: Zara, Earrings: Vintage Chanel, Bag: Hermes

Hey everyone! So as the weather in London is so sunny these days, and with the Olympics over; it is the best time that I take some time out in a less crowded London and take some photos around my favourite Park in London -Hype Park! I’ve never thought of Pink as one of my favourite colours, but I just realize that I have so many pink dresses -_-. Remember this one for My Pink Valentine’s Day this year? But I love this Zara dress, the shape is just complementary to the body, not the most comfortable but hey Fashion is never really about comfort is it?! Haha. See you very soon with a new post ^^

B.B. x

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Vogue Festival amp;nbsp;2012 2014 01 03 12:50:53

Can you spot me in the video? ^^

I also got photographed for Vogue Street Chic that day, see here!

Dress: Mary Katranzou for Topshop, Shoes: Zara, Bag: Chanel

So, I have finally found the time to post pictures that I took from the Vogues Festival 2012 Event. The event itself takes place on 2 days, but I only attended the first day. It was truly great fun; getting to know the industry a bit better, seeing a lot of stylish fashionistas, and getting involved in various activities such as the Vogue Cover shoot with Chanel. I would love to go again next year. The Mary Katranzou for Topshop dress that I wore is one of my all time favorite dresses, the print was just unique and simply fabulous! Speaking of Mary, she was actually there giving a talk, alongside Tom Ford, Christopher Bailey, Stella McCartney and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana!

Enjoy the pictures and the video everyone and I will see you soon!

B.B. x

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Scented Fields of amp;nbsp;Purple 2014 01 03 12:53

Dress: Topshop, Necklace and bracelet: Marni H&M, Scarf: Gucci

Summer is the perfect time to visit Lavender fields; these photos were taken a couple weeks ago at Mayfield Lavender Farm. The view was truly breathtaking, I have always wanted to visit it, as purple is my favorite color Also, it is super fun running around in endless fields of purple!

Looking back, I don’t think I wore most appropriate dress, maybe a yellow dress would have photographed better… Haha. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this post, and dont forget to follow me on instagram, twitter and Bloglovin’ with my updates, blog-post previews, look-of-the-day and other Fashion inspirations.

Lot of love,

B.B xx

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Pr ecirc;t agrave; Portea Fashion Afternoon amp;n

Dress: ASOS, Shoes: Charlotte Olympia, Ring: YSL, Bag: Hermes

High tea at the Berkeley Hotel- Pr t- -Portea at The Berkeley has a designer twist on afternoon tea with inspiration from the themes and colours of the current fashion trends. It is full of surprises and taste is amazing too ^^ It is located at the heart of Knitsbridge and its just around the corner from Harrods and Harvey Nichols, so a great location for shopping too!

B.B. xx

//

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All That Glitter And amp;nbsp;Gold 2014 01 03 01:0

Jacket: Alberta Feretti, Dress, Skirt and Top: all by Zara

Hey Everyone! Its been so long since I updated my blog, but now I am back and now I have so many pictures to share with you! ^^ These photos were taken a few weeks ago when I was having some casual tea, I hope you guys enjoy it

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Sketch the skirt Miu amp;nbsp;Miu 2014 01 03 01:16

Here is another outfit that I adore….

Photos by Helen Miao

Remember when I said in the ‘Sketch a Print Dress‘ post that the dress I wore reminded me of the Miumiu SS 2012 collection? I finally found the photos I took when I went for a viewing of their summer collection. I just love the print!

Have a good week everyone!! ^^

B.B. x

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Back to amp;nbsp;Basics 2014 01 03 01:20:25

Jacket: Zara, Top: Karen Millen, Skirt Topshop, Shoes: Miss Selfridge, Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Over the weekend, I went “back-to-basics” with this White and Black look. I just adore Salmon Sashimi and what better than homemade Eton Mess to finish off a meal. ^^ It was amazing – perfect for any summer party! Hope you had an enjoyable weekend and have a good week.

Don’t forget to enter my Versace for H&M Giveaway.

Lots of love,

B.B. x

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Versace for H amp;amp;M amp;nbsp;Giveaway 2014 01

Have a chance to win this Bag from the Versace for H&M Collection. I fell in love with this bag the moment I saw it, but now, I am going to give it away to one of my followers! All you have to do to enter this giveaway is:

1. Follow Beilovebei here on wordpress using your WordPress Account or by e-mail

2. Follow Beilovebei on Bloglovin’ and like this post

3. Follow me on Twitter

Don’t forget to leave your name and e-mail address in the comment box below so I can contact you if you win. If you’re already doing those things, simply enter your details below!

Deadline: 22:00 GMT Friday 6th July

I will be checking entries to be sure all necessary requirements are completed

This giveaway is open to everybody from all over the world.

Good luck!

B.B. x

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Sketch a Print amp;nbsp;Dress 2014 01 03 01:43:02

Breakfast at Sketch with my friend Sisi^^

Dress: Topshop, Necklace: Mawi (Disney Couture collection), Shoes: Zara

As soon as I saw this dress, it reminded me of the Miumiu SS2012 collection prints. I just love the cut-out detail. This was the second time I had breakfast at Sketch, I just love their desserts and modern decor; their waitresses have the cutest pink outfits too, although the portions are somewhat ‘too girlie’ for me… heehee^^ The weather in London is slowly getting better, more photos on their way…. On daily updates on my outfit, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Lots of love,

B.B. x

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Sparkling amp;nbsp;Ankles 2014 01 03 01:48:43

Jumper: H&M, Trouzers: Asos, Shoes: Topshop, Necklace: Topshop, Tiffany’s, Van Cleef and Arpels


I took these pictures after a swimming session during a relaxing weekend. I feel like some exercise is essential for a perfect summer body, and this is the time when I start to keep to my New Years resolutions to exercise more ^^ I love this grey sweater as it has a cut-out detail making it unique and easy to wear. And of course, some sparkle on my ankles to catch the sunlight!

B.B. x

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