You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

I’m in San Francisco for work (Palo Alto actually), cooped up in all day meetings, and as predicted I haven’t had any time to visit any of the longing-inducing fabric shops you all mentioned (thanks for the suggestions though! I’ll schedule time next time I come out.) And definitely no time for sewing. But that doesn’t stop me from scouring the web for more things I wish I had time to make. Check out this gorgeous 1960s cocktail dress from Posh Girl Vintage, one of the most covet-worthy sites I know:

More specifically, have a look at the wonderful draping on the bodice- I just love this:

This is making me wish I knew the first thing about draping, and had a nice pinnable dressform in my size. (I’ve posed this question before, but if anyone knows where to get a basic French non-adjustable dressform that you can pin into in a SMALL size -bust 30″ or so- at a reasonable price, let me know!) It’s on my ever growing list of things I’ll never get around to making.

That’s it for now– I head home tomorrow night, so I hope to have some real sewing to share with you soon!

You need your pants hemmed?
Google for local tailors.
Glad that I could help!

Well, it’s been a busy week here, and I haven’t gotten much sewing done here other than the tutu I mentioned yesterday.  Just a quick update.  I had a little IM conversation with the intended tutu recipient and her mom yesterday, and when her mom told her that Auntie Elaine was going to bring her “a present” (she didn’t tell her what it was), the little girl’s most excellent response was, “When you give me that present, I’ll give you a present!” Whoa.  Now there is a child who knows exactly what a Selfish Seamstress wants to hear.  She then went on to say she’s going to give me TWO presents. Apparently she wants to make me “something warm for the winter and a card.”  I fully plan to take advantage of this two-for-one deal.  Finally…. the children are working for ME. The only thing I love more than a present is two presents!

Just because serious sewing progress in a bit of a lull, it doesn’t mean I’m not still planning lots of projects that I’ll never get around to.  Like knocking off this Anthropologie dress:

By now you may have picked up on the fact that I love feminine shapes rendered in menswear fabrics, and this one is just lovely. Have a look at the style lines and topstitching on the bodice:

It looks like it should be a straightforward draft.  That corset-esque midriff looks like it would be flattering too. We’ll see if I ever get around to sewing it anywhere other than in my head.

In other news,  I’ve got more travel for work this weekend.  I fly to San Francisco tomorrow.  Again, I’m pretty sure I won’t have time to shop, but just in case, does anyone have any great fabric store recommendations?

Tonight, I made this little tutu. There’s nothing spectacular about it from the sewing perspective- just a quick little crafting project out of some snowflake-flocked sheer something or other that I’ve had in my stash for years, a little wire-edged taffeta ribbon, narrow elastic, and a quick half hour.  In and of itself, it’s nothing that warrants a blog mention.  In fact, I planned to hide it from you so you wouldn’t know that your most Selfish of Seamstresses had of her own volition decided not only to sew for someone else, but for a child (like a regular person but smaller and with an underdeveloped sense of indebtedness.) I had a moment of weakness.  What do you want from me.  She’s cute and she’s sweet and she loves ballet and she’s going to see the Nutcracker this weekend.  And as a lifelong student of ballet (on and off these days), I couldn’t resist the urge to make a Waltz of the Snowflakes romantic tutu for her.  What.  WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT.

The reason I bring it up is that as I was starting this project, I needed to figure out how big to make the waist for a 5- to 6-year old girl.  So, I went to McCall’s website and looked up the size chart for children.  And this is what I found:

So, we’re looking at about 22″.  Now, wait a sec, wait a sec, wait a sec.  That number looks familiar.  Hey!  I know where I know that number from– that’s the waist measurement for the Misses’ size 4, the size I usually make… WHAT???  Here’s a chunk of the Misses’ size chart:

The smallest Misses’ size has the same waist measurement as that of a child described as “walking and not wearing diapers.”  For context, there are still all the Girls’ sizes 7 to 16 in between the Children’s sizes and the Misses’ sizes. Now I know that kindergarteners may have little round pudgy bellies, but… they are not grown-up people size! This is scary!  Do the pattern companies really expect that adults will have the same waist measurement as kids who are singing Itsy-Bitsy Spider??

Now, I cut size 4 when I make Big 4 patterns.  But that’s based on the bust measurement, NOT the waist measurement.  I have often puzzled over that number, because while I am certainly on the smaller end of the people spectrum, if we go purely by the measurement chart, my waist would probably fall somewhere in the 10 range.  (Who ever heard of grading from a 4 bust to a 10 waist and back to a 4 hip??)  And funnily enough, I pretty much never grade the waist up, because the size 4 patterns generally fit just fine in the waist when I make them up and all the wearing ease is factored in.  Once I made a skirt and decided I’d err on the safe side by starting with a size 6 (still considerably smaller than my actual waist measurement according to the chart), and I ended up swimming in it.

This makes me wonder if the prescribed waist measurements for Misses’ sizes are just vanity numbers and in actuality the pattern companies KNOW that no one really has that waist measurement and don’t even draft the patterns for those body measurements. Maybe they always tell you to go by the bust measurements because it’s the hardest area to alter AND because they know the waist measurements as given are inaccurate? I can understand why companies do vanity sizing in terms of the size numbers, but wouldn’t they want to be super accurate about the actual body measurements? I know I don’t have a very defined waist, but the waist measurements surely must still be off if they expect a small woman to have the waist circumference of a child just a year or two past toddlerhood, no? Or is my waist just that unusually enormous in proportion to the rest of my body?

I’m sure there are some women out there who do indeed have teeny tiny 22″ waists. (And NO, for the record, we DON’T want to hear about it so don’t go posting comments like, “Well, I have a 22″ waist and I have no idea why because I eat anything I want all the time and everyone’s always like OMG how do you stay so skinny when you eat so much!”  I have the power of DELETE which I will use in conjunction with EYE-ROLL.) My point is not that such people don’t exist. My point is rather that it is just bizarre that pattern companies use the same standard waist measurement for my grown-up pattern size as for children’s size 6. Oh, and for context, the size 10 Misses waist measurement (25″) is the same as the Girls’ size 10- roughly equal to that of a regular sized 10-year old girl.  Eh?

The upside of this is that if all these charts are actually realistic, that little girl will probably be able to wear that snowflake tutu from Auntie Elaine well into her 30s. And she’d better because she owes me now.

Remember the Pattern Review Little Black Dress contest? I entered my Audrey-inspired dress and was the lucky winner.  The first prize for the contest was supposed to be a Hamilton Beach Smart Lift Iron, valued at $70.  Well, guess what!  Package came in the mail today, and I was all a-flutter about it.  And I opened the box, and out came…. this!

That, my friends, is a Hamilton Beach Voice Activated 12-cup coffee maker. It says, “Press once & Talk” on the box.  Hmmm.  The Selfish Seamstress does not drink coffee, so I guess I will just have to talk to it about other things?

My dear friend Martine suggests, “Maybe somewhere some barista-winner of a ‘best made coffee’ award is out there staring at a voice-activated iron, going ‘WTF’?”

Indeed :) 

The good folks at Hamilton Beach wrote me back and apologized for the mistake and said they’d send me an iron right away.  Nice job, HB customer service!  As for the coffee maker, it’s mine to do with what I please (generous!), which is an interesting situation for a non-coffee drinker.  Dan seems to do just fine with his 2-cup machine.  Hmmmm….

Oh, Burda, Burda, Burda.  I know it’s a Fasching costume and realism goes out the window when you decide to dress like a pirate, but must we be subjected to your infatuation with one-sleeved garments in every aspect of the wardrobe?  It looks like January 2010 will be the third consecutive issue that fails to acknowledge the conventional wisdom that sleeves are generally best when they occur in even numbers, ideally zero or two. Perhaps they’ve been too busy refashioning their website to sew a second sleeve.  Didn’t stop them from making a pirate armwarmer though. Wow. There’s two words I never thought I would string together.

Once again, there’s nothing in the Burda Modemagazin/Style/WoF preview to tempt me to renew my subscription (though we’ll see when the full preview comes out in a few weeks). And if you can’t say something nice, you may as well make fun of stuff so everyone can have a good laugh. So let’s mock the crafts together, ok?

Right.  So this is a chair that has been studded with the word “Rock” on the back.  I have to say, unless you tape a bunch of printouts of band equipment (Burda, seriously? Printouts? Again with the 3-minute prep for the photoshoot??) to the wall right next to it, and prop a cheesey electric bass against the side of it, this chair is not exactly rockin’. Add to that the fact that “Rock” is the German word for “Skirt” and you really have to be wondering what the good folks at our favorite German sewing magazine were thinking. In what context would one actually have this in one’s house?  Let’s move on and see what else we’ve got this month:

I don’t know where to go with this one.   Except to suggest that BurdaStyle magazine may want to reconsider the recent inclusion of the word “Style” in its new title.  This doesn’t even look symmetrical to me.  It’s making my eyes explode. Someone help me out here.  What is going on???

In general, the Selfish Seamstress thinks it’s pretty cool when people try to make their own clothes.  She’s all in favor of exercising creativity and being self-sufficient. But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t mentally roll her eyes from time to time at some particularly homey-looking garments. You might not know this though, since the Selfish Seamstress is more is much more of a mock-you-behind-your back kind of person than an insult-you-to-your-face type.

Unless the person knows that you sometimes make  and wear your own clothes, it is generally NOT a compliment if someone asks you, “Did you make that dress you’re wearing?” :) So, I’m going to pass along a couple of handy tips to avoid that frumpy homemade look. Now, I’m not about to claim that my own creations can pass for store-bought, designer, or professionally made. I am, myself, something of a newbie at garment sewing. Even so, the Selfish Seamstress has strong opinions and is generally under the impression that she knows better than everyone else, and that that somehow gives her the right to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.  Particularly what you shouldn’t.

The Selfish Seamstress’s Tips for Avoiding Cringe-Worthy, Mock-Inducing, Amateur-Looking Results:

1) Don’t make apparel out of quilting fabric
I know how hard it can be.  Your local fabric store is hit or miss with apparel fabric and sometimes you walk in and nothing looks good.  And then you wander over to the endless walls of calico and broadcloth, and everything just looks so pretty and the prints and colors are so tempting.  Do not do it!  Unless you have a very artistic plan for it, clothing made of quilting fabric screams dowdy!  The texture and drape of quilting fabric is very recognizable as not-garment fabric. So unless you’re making jammies or aprons, wander back over to the apparel side of the store.

2) Look beyond the print 
Don’t forget that fabric isn’t going to stay fabric; it’s going to become clothes.  Avoid being seduced by a print just because it looks great on the bolt. If you wouldn’t buy a garment with that print from a store, you’re not going to want to wear it just because you make it yourself. Seriously, before you pick out that dainty pattern of blue roses on a lavender ground, the cute poplin with frogs holding umbrellas, or the linen covered with romantic Victorian ivy vines, consider not just whether you like the print, consider whether you would like to wear a garment in that print.

3) Lining fabric goes on the inside
We’ve all been there.  You’re new at sewing, you don’t want to invest in expensive fabric, you’ve got a particular color in mind, you want to try something a little dressy… hmm, this lightweight satin looks good, and it’s cheap too!  No, no, no. Do not make dresses out of lining fabric. Why?  Because it’s going to look janky.  And if you don’t know what “janky” means, make yourself a dress out of lining fabric, put it on, and look in the mirror.  That is what janky looks like.  If you’re just getting started, find yourself an inexpensive fashion fabric.  There’s no point in putting in all the work for something that’s just going to gather dust in your closet because you feel weird if you wear it out of the house.

4) Say “no” to no-sew dresses
The Selfish Seamstress will readily admit that she has been known to cut a corner or two. She’s not proud of it, and she strives to be diligent, but we all have our weak moments.  Even so, no-sew dresses are a no-no.  If it seems too easy to be true, it’s going to look too easy to be true to everyone who sees you in it.  At the end of the day if all you have to do is wrap some raw-edged fabric around yourself in a certain way, you’re going to look like someone wrapped in fabric, not someone wearing real clothes.

5) Don’t skip the darts
We’ve all seen it done.  Someone cuts two pieces of fabric into a slim shape, stitches them together at the sides and calls the result a pencil skirt.   Or wraps a rectangle of fabric around the torso to form a tight bodice, and then fulls a skirt to the waist to make a strapless dress.  See all those weird horizontal wrinkles forming everywhere? Those wrinkles are the sartorial equivalent of scrawling, “I made this outfit and I didn’t know what I was doing” across your forehead. Unless your body is a perfect cylinder (in which case you have probably have bigger problems than dowdiness), fitted clothing needs darts (or some dart equivalent like princess seaming).  Darts are your friend.  Don’t be afraid to use them.  (Obviously this doesn’t apply to garments that are meant to be loose or to made from knit/very stretchy fabrics.)

To prove myself correct, as I often feel compelled to do, let’s see what happens when we violate some of these rules:

Quilting fabric?  Looks like it!  Fun print that doesn’t work for clothes?  Yep!  (Perhaps our very handsome president would have been better on a whimsical purse or a political button to accessorize a dress that is somewhat less…. nuts.) No-sew dress?  If there’s a seam in there, it’s certainly well hidden.  Badly in need of darts?  Oh yes. There you go.  Four out of five rules violated to disastrous results. I guess Ms. Victoria Rowell couldn’t find any Obama print lining to wear to the 2009 Emmy Awards. But she did break another rule which I thought was so obvious that it didn’t need articulation:  If you absolutely must wear a head-of-state-themed calico print, avoid laying it out in such a way that he’s grinning out of what looks like a window to your womb.  [Before you flip out for not having recognized this garment as a traditional Ghanian dress, read below where I apologize for having been culturally ignorant. My statement above was purely meant as a joke about sewing, and NOT intended as a slight on anyone’s race, ethnicity, or traditions. And thank you to those who informed me of this type of dress with civility and understanding as opposed to retorting with comments about MY race and ethnicity.]

Obviously there are exceptions to any of the above rules, particularly if there’s something specific you’re trying to achieve and you want to emphasize certain aspects of the materials or construction for artistic effect. But if you just want to make a nice skirt or pretty dress that you will wear, adhering to those five things above will go a long way in making sure I don’t point and laugh when I see you walking down the street.  After you’ve got your back to me, of course.

How about you?  What are your homemade clothing pet peeves and tips for avoiding the frump?

UPDATE: Ericka kindly pointed out, “the dress that Victoria is wearing is by no means quilting fabric…this type of fabric is used often for dashikis and other garments in Ghana. the edges of the garments are usually ‘raw’ and they typically have positive african words on them, fruits, or faces of prominent people in Africa like this dress.” I apologize for my cultural ignorance!  Victoria Rowell: 1, Selfish Seamstress: 0.  But I guess some of it still holds– do not do this with a big length of flowery quilting calico :) I will laugh my ignorant butt off!

UPDATE #2: Ok, person who just left a very indignant comment (now trashed). I completely apologized for not having recognized Victoria’s dress as inspired by a particular traditional cultural dress.  Obviously I didn’t make fun of it BECAUSE it is African, and had I known that is what it was, I would not have (see update above).  Am I culturally ignorant?  Yes.  But to imply that I intentionally wrote this out of an desire to mock African culture or dress is simply ridiculous- as ridiculous as your insinuation that I did so as a result of my Asian decent.  Spreading hate is no better than spreading ignorance.

The Selfish Seamstress can’t resist the opportunity to be Selfish at bargain basement prices. Have you seen the crazy sale on Vera Wang Lavender Label fabric at The same amber floral brocade that I purchased about a month ago at about $12 a yard is now $3.99! So I went on a bit of bender and ended up ordering seven yards of Vera Wang fabric for $27! You know I’m excited about it when I put it in both bold and italic. Then I tossed in a yard and a half of stretch denim to sew some jeans and to make the free shipping quota. Here’s what I’ve got coming:

Top row left is a charcoal wool blend stretch suiting from Vera Wang, on sale for $5.99/yard, slated for a Narciso Rodriguez-inspired dress.  Top row right is a Vera Wang navy blue jacquard on sale for $3.19 perhaps for a Cynthia Rowley pattern.  Bottom left is a Vera Wang $2.79 cream poly/spandex jersey for a goddess dress I’m drafting in my head.  And bottom right is a stretch denim (bought at the regular price of $9.98) which is exactly what I’ve been looking for- I love that it has white threads in the warp and the weft, which looks very modern, I think.

As soon as all this life-sucking sewing-for-other-people is done, I’m going to be all over this like butter on a hot biscuit. Which I will eat in front of everyone without offering a bite.

I hemmed for you once
And now you keep coming back
Like an infection.

These are some not-very-good pictures of a dress made from my favorite Burda Modemagazin dress pattern:

I made this a while ago, right after I got the issue, I think. (I was a bit slimmer at the time that I made this dress than at the time of the photos, so it looks a little overfitted here.  But I wear it and love it anyway.)

I haven’t seen model 125 from the May 2008 issue of Burda reviewed on Pattern Review, or seen any other versions of it made up.  I can’t understand why this pattern doesn’t have a cult following.  Just look at it! Elegant, classic, but with just the right smidge of clever detailing to make it fun to sew and distinctive, but still a relatively quick and manageable project:

I know you’re all thinking the same thing right now: Why haven’t I made this dress? (Well, I’m not thinking it.  Because I HAVE ONE.) Maybe you weren’t drawn to it because when Burda made it up, they insisted on using that crinkly fabric  (yawwwwwn) that they love so much (why would you use this for a tailored style with ruching??) and letting the model swim in the upper part of the bodice:

That photo nearly threw me off too.  But thank goodness for line drawings!

My version is made of some $1.79 bargain table fabric that feels like cotton poplin, but was probably too cheap to be 100% cotton.  It’s deep olive green and has an interesting cobalt or navy blue sheen to it from certain angles, I think because some of the warp threads are a slightly shiny blue.   The dress is fully lined, and it has a mock wrap front.  The skirt is actually a regular pencil-type skirt with an extra flap over the front to give the wrap look. The bodice has princess seams and a waist seam in the front but not the back.

I love the style lines and the slim silhouette of this dress so much. Look carefully- it almost gives the impression that I have a waist rather than being shaped like a slightly flattened cardboard tube from the center of a roll of toilet paper! I also used the lining pattern from this dress as a block when drafting my Audrey Hepburn-style little black dress and I suspect I’ll use it again for future variations.  

Why are you still reading this?  Shouldn’t you be hunting eBay or your giant Sterlite container of Burda back issues in desperate search for this pattern? GO NOW.

If you spend more time surfing the web for sewing-related goodies than actually sewing, you’re probably already well familiar with some of the popular sites for free pattern downloads, like Burda, BurdaStyle, and Fitz. But if you’re like me, and you spend more time surfing the web for sewing-related goodies than actually sewing, eating, sleeping, making friends, attending to basic hygiene, or otherwise engaging in normal human activities, then perhaps you have also hit upon the treasure trove that is Manequim’s free pattern page.

Manequim is a Brazilian fashion and sewing magazine, and I have to confess, I’ve never actually seen an issue of it.  It is unclear to me what percentage of it is regular fashion magazine, and how much of it is patterns and sewing-related. (Anyone know firsthand?) But never mind that- check out some of the amazing downloadable patterns they have for free!

I haven’t tried any of them (yet!) and the instructions are all in Portuguese. Some of the patterns are multi-sized, but many of them only come in one size, usually somewhere between 38 and 44. I haven’t been able to find a size chart, but I’m guessing that the sizing is similar to Patrones, based on those numbers. It looks like they have some plus sizes too. Here are some line drawings from some of my favorites of their pattern offerings:

And there’s a lot more where that came from and they add new patterns frequently. Jackets, evening gowns, blouses, skirts… even clothing for kids, if one is inclined to *shudder* sew small clothing for small people who have yet to develop any reasonable sense of style, are generally not prone to worshipful gratitude, and do not yet understand the concept of recompense. The Selfish Seamstress doesn’t understand it. Especially when one could be working on one of these for oneself.

Sure, you could make your own Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress. Or you could just buy one of Audrey Hepburn’s actual dresses!  Tons of Audrey’s dresses and other memorabilia are being auctioned off on December 8th by Kerry Taylor Auctions.

The collection can be seen in the winter catalogue, and Audrey’s things start at page 62. Here’s a small sampling:

So, go get ’em!  And pick up a little something for me while you’re at it.  Merry Christmas indeed!

At some point in her life, a Selfish Seamstress realizes that it isn’t enough to cross her fingers and hope that next month’s issue of Burda will have something that she loves, or to flip through the pattern books at JoAnn in futile search for the perfectly sleek blouse that exists only in her head.  When I hit this point about a year and a half ago, I started hunting around Chicago for pattern drafting classes.  No more wishing it came in my size, no more wishing it didn’t cost $4000, no more feeble and uninformed hacking of patterns with questionable results. Yes, the Selfish Seamstress was determined to have *exactly* what she wanted if it meant making it herself entirely from scratch!

But it wasn’t that easy.  After countless hours poking around the web and calling places that would only teach pattern drafting as part of a fashion design certificate or degree (and I simply didn’t have 2 years worth of evenings and weekends to devote to it!) I posted a query on Yelp for drafting classes. And that’s how I found sewing instructor and fashion designer Tchad. Here’s some of his work (prepare to covet):

Simply put, if you want to learn to sew and happen to be fortunate enough to live in the Chicago area, you want to go to Tchad.  Because the guy knows everything there is to know about fashion and design, and he wants to share it with anyone who would like to learn, and he wants to do so in what will inevitably be the most enjoyable 3 hours of your week.

Tchad’s classes are sewing for grownups.  No assigned projects, no required course of learning.  Each student comes in with their own goals, be it learning basic skills, learning couture techniques, wanting to copy a Chanel dress from a magazine, or making one perfect fitting pair of black pants -Tchad works with each student individually to help him or her meet those goals.

I first went to learn drafting, but stuck around because, well, there was just so much more to learn from this amazing teacher! You can ask him about the history of the Singer Featherweight, and he’ll tell you.  You can ask him to explain the differences between dimity, batiste, voile, and lawn, and he knows.  And on top of that, he’s just the about the nicest, most encouraging and supportive teacher you could ask for. Seriously, check out his Yelp reviews— students love this guy. Check out one of his students’ projects (hope she doesn’t mind that I posted it):  


Oh yes, that is a glen plaid cashmere coat from a vintage 1956 pattern.  With bound buttonholes to boot. Second helping of covet, anyone?

Also, check out the gorgeous, open, sun-filled studio which Tchad built himself. What seamstress wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon here crafting a silk faille gown with the help of a master at his craft?

And when I say he built it himself, I mean *everything* as in designing the space, putting in the electrical, laying the floor, knocking down walls.  By himself.  By hand. With no help. Trust me, this is the kind of person you want to learn from.

If you’re wondering, Tchad’s not paying me to write this or anything. But despite the Selfish Seamstress’s overarching disdain for most of humankind, she does feel that it’s only fair to give props to certain outstanding people, especially when they answer every single one of her sewing questions, help her make cute clothes, helped her find the perfect sewing machine for her needs, and totally understand why she gets giddy over vintage pattern books. 

If you’re lucky enough to live in the Chicago area, check out his classes. But I warn you, you will get hooked.

I’m going to Atlanta for the next five days for work (yes, unfortunately the Selfish Seamstress hasn’t been able to find an employer who will pay her to be a grand royal beeyatch full-time, so she has a day job as a professor and does the beeyatch thing for free on the side. Though some of her grad students might argue that the distinction is awfully blurry.) I won’t be sewing, but don’t fret, I’ve got some stuff queued up for you in the blog including my favorite Burda WoF pattern and some new haiku. So stop crying because I WILL slap so help me sweet jeebus I WILL.

Anyway, I don’t know that I’ll have time for anything non-work-related (nor will I have a vehicle), but just in case the opportunity presents itself, does anyone have any good fabric recommendations for Atlanta?

[Detail-oriented readers will recall that Sasa is a native Atlantan, and yes, I did live there for several years while I was a student and that is where we met. But back then I wasn’t a Selfish Seamstress, but rather just a Selfish Regular Person (which wouldn’t make for much of a blog title). And I don’t recall having taken note of anything other than Hancock’s and home dec stores while there.]

In addition to hypothetical sewing, mocking readers, and hawking stuff, it turns out that I also sew! Hahahaha.  Okay, this is sooooo not something that I would wear. Dan says it makes me look like I’m from Cirque du Soleil. 

But S.W.A.G. present #3, a sequined taffeta bolera for her mommy, is almost done. (Yes, I am a grown woman who calls her mother “mommy” still.  I’m not going to give it up, so mock all you want!) I hope she decides it’s her style at least. My mommy is a sweet person. But much like her Selfish daughter, she won’t wear something she doesn’t like just because it was a gift. She knows that people’s feelings are important, but looking good comes first!  Smart lady.

For having only 5 pattern pieces (other than the lining), this was an awfully fiddly project with difficult seaming at the collar and under the arms, and the taffeta is not very forgiving of tiny imprecisions.  You get to see it on me since I don’t have a dressform at the moment.  It’s cut in a size 34 as my mom is a smidge bigger than I am, so there’s a little extra room in there.  But then again, I’m not really sure how fitted a garment like this is supposed to be. I do need to finish hemming up the sleeves, but I’m trying to decide whether I want it to hit halfway between the elbow and the wrist or just below the elbow.  Thoughts?

I have some fabric left now, and I’m not sure what to do with the rest.  I’d like to make a matching top to go with the bolero, but I’m having trouble picking one out. I definitely don’t like what is going on in Burda’s photo:

That’s a whole lot of fussy for that much shiny.  I’m contemplating this Ottobre top, which would suit my mother’s taste for tailored sleeveless tops with necklines that are neither deep nor wide.  Plus it would justify the fact that I impulse bought this issue of Ottobre for something like $14 while on a trip to Switzerland even though I KNOW I never make anything from Ottobre:

But I’m wondering if that neck opening is too narrow to go with the bolero.  I don’t think it will look nice if you can see the shoulder straps when the bolero is on.  If it were for me, I’d just do a simple princess-seamed bodice with spaghetti straps and perhaps boned at the seams, but that might barer than my mom wants go to. What do you recommend?

About this blog

The Selfish Seamstress loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. I'm Elaine, known in the online sewing world as elainemay, and welcome to my selfish sewing blog.

Little Black Dress Medium

Get Selfish Seamstress Haiku Stuff!

100% of sales proceeds are currently being donated to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Total donations to date:
$270.00 to the Atlanta Humane Society
$464.00 to the American Red Cross
$119.56 to Doctors Without Borders

The Selfish Seamstress Recommends:

Is your awesome sewing blog missing from this list? Let me know!