Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Hope springs eternal

New patterns and new choices abound with the release of Butterick spring collection as well as McCall's spring collection.    Once I signed up again for an account, I set up my wishlist.  My goodness but these styles are ladylike!  I live a casual and sporty life and though I sometimes dream of being sophisticated, it is true that my days are spent in breeches or loose pants.  So, the Butterick offerings include only 4 patterns that I might be able to integrate into my closet.

First up is B 6740 wardrobe which includes a duster style coat, jacket, shell, and pants.  Princess seams on the coat and jacket, cute detailing on the shell, and the pants have a contoured waistband.  Win!

Next up is B 6732 blouse, an empire blouse with a variety of necklines and sleeve choices.  I think this will be great for the summer.  

Another nice blouse pattern is B 6731.  The shaping in this blouse comes from a tie in the front, leaving the back somewhat less fitted.  I like the sleeve options and just love the front tie.  

My last choice is based on what I'd like to sew, but probably wouldn't wear much.  The pantsuit option in B 6739 is so pretty and would be fun to make in a colorful crepe.  

Flounces, flowers, and femininity are center stage on the McCall's page.  Cute patterns if I were quite a bit younger.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the sewing community embraces these styles-they are perfect for summer casual.  I did find one dress which could work on a 65-year-old living the retired life...M 8090 #Marina  Imagine, though, that I have come home from being at the barn in 100+ F, jumped in the shower, and then slipped this on.  This could get close to Mrs. Roper without attention to fabric choice and the correct accessories!  

The new BMV site is cleaner and easier to navigate.  I like the changes.  I think we are going to see a more specialized approach to style, with Butterick being work/career, McCall's aiming for the younger sewer, and Vogue for cocktail/glamour/high style.  KwikSew? 

Thursday, November 28, 2019


In these trying times, I am so grateful to the press for shining their light into the darkness of corrupt actions by those in positions of power.  What would we do without a free press?

I am grateful for the chance to vote, both for local leaders and national ones.  Vote!

My retirement continues to be a time in which my true self emerges and I love following my interests.  

My marriage means so much to me and I cannot imagine how different life would be without the love we share.  You are my sweetheart, Ross. 

                                Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Why blog?

There is nothing worse than having to do something creative when given a deadline.  Even a self-imposed deadline.  

I got out of the habit of reviewing my sewing, and when that started, I also stopped sharing most of my sewing projects on other platforms.  As time went on, I couldn't convince myself of any of the benefits of writing a pattern review, or photographing a garment, or sharing a project here or on Instagram or Facebook.  

For awhile, I was happy to be all by myself in my sewing room.  I planned a project, I sewed it, and then I wore it.  After a time, I realized some things.  One, my work was suffering because I knew I was not going to analyze my work, much less photograph and publish it.  Two, I was losing some creativity because I was not feeding that part of the process.  Finally, I realized I was lonely for the community.  

So, why blog?  If you ask that question of Google, you will get a lot of information on how to build a blog following.  Oh God, just kill me now. 😱  That is the farthest thing from success in my little blog world.  What I do know is that there are many ways to share projects, and each has benefits.  Blogging allows me to ramble, think aloud, and to just have a brag session from time to time.  

Above is V1395 in a cotton voile from Fabric Mart.  The dress is very blousy with ties as part of the back overlay.  It is an interesting pattern to sew and a pretty dress.  The style works best on a rectangle figure type, in my opinion.  I am not that; I am curvy with the usual age-related changes.  Pattern review here.

Below is B5997. a very popular tunic pattern with loads of options.  I LOVE this pattern-someone please remind me to trace it or interface the tissue.  I've made it many times and always am pleased.  This was made for riding.  Tomorrow we have a group ride going out at 7:15 am-this plus a light jacket will be perfect in the chill of the desert morning.  Pattern review click here
Thanks for reading! Mary

Friday, July 26, 2019

Summer sews

I have lately been focusing on adding feminine elements to my wardrobe and also keeping Estee Lauder in business.  My recent clothing makes and purchases have been decidedly fun-lipsticks, fancy jacquards, glittery and striped linens, embroidered jeans.  I am feeling GOOD, healthy and strong and want my outsides to match that feeling.
I still struggle with pain and range of motion but am walking, swimming, riding and working around the house and yard.  Avoid at all costs falling off your horse or bike or a ladder at an advanced age!  

To celebrate this improvement, I made a dress.  It is a sheath dress, but with a button placket.  I used a rayon/linen blend in a warm paprika color, an impulse purchase for sure as this color is not in my closet at all.  While I love the color, the fabric itself is a bit too soft for the dress.  I know I'll make this again and use a more tightly woven fabric.  The pattern is M7944, a wonderful pattern for those learning to sew.  McCall's did a good job with this approach to a basic dress.  
This pattern includes basic instructions in a one-page introduction to sewing this pattern. There is information on supplies needed, size and pattern pieces, explanations of markings, how to adjust the length, how to layout the pattern, and transferring the markings. Each of these topics is discussed within its own text box.

I like the neckline, the front and back darts as well as bust darts, and the button placket.  The length as drafted is a little short and so I added 2 inches.  I am 5'2".  


The armholes are good, with no bra showing. 

Channeling my inner Marilyn Monroe :-)
Other projects have been a skirt and 2 tops using the following patterns: skirt from B6463, white top from Cutting Line Designs (My Heart's A'Flutter), navy top from Christine Jonson V-neck Tee.

The white linen top has become a coordinate for jeans as it is boxy as sewn.  The skirt is much loved, as is the navy tee shown below.  

This is what is on my table right now, using some pretty floral voile.  (V1395)  What are you sewing?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hot summer reads

Here is a sampling of what I have been reading.  Some are keepers and others? Well, they are entertaining.

First, I am currently staying up late reading The Farm by Joanne Ramos.  If The Handmaid's Tale caught your interest, you will find this novel thought-provoking.

Also taking up space on my Kindle is Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio.  The story follows a woman recently released from prison, where she served a sentence for murdering her sister.  Did she do it?  Somehow, I think she was unfairly accused :-).

On a serious note, this title was recommended to me and others on a forum.  We were discussing resolutions and goals, and of course, improved mental health.  I have started it, but it deserves quiet study and I have yet to give it much attention.  It is good and contains both scientific background and helpful information as well as ways to improve one's mood.
The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb
As always, I keep art and craft references close at hand.  Two books which are providing me some spark are Stitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces, and Traces in Textile Art by Cas Holmes and Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.  Both are beautiful and rich with detail and inspiration.  

What is on your nightstand or on your reader?  I am always looking for titles to add to my list.  
Tanque Verde Ranch, on the east side of Tucson
Wonderful place to visit, have lunch or stay on vacation.