Monday, May 31, 2010

BWOF 6/2010 #109 Dress

So it's May 31, and I've already made something from the June issue of Burda. Do I have to tell you how good that feels?

Since it was a long day - family cooking (I'm still uncomfortably full 6 hours after we got home), and then a little sewing - I'm going to leave you with my Patternreview because I really, really need to get some sleep.

Pattern Description: Figure-hugging jersey dress with cap-sleeves, "witty" front gathers and inset. (Combination description from BWOF patterns #108 and #109, top and dress using same gathered front detail; not sure how witty it is!) This is what the line drawinglooks like.

Pattern Sizing: BWOF sizes 36-44. I made a 38, my usual size in their knit patterns.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It looks like the line drawing. Their dress is in a fairly busy print, and mine is in an even busier one. Can't see the details for the details, but I like it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really look at them at the time, but going back and reading them after, they were actually pretty good for Burda. They described the neckline well, and that was really the only place to get hung up.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I've been jonesing for a new knit dress. Most of my projects lately have been more structured, so this was a definite head-cleaner for me.

Fabric Used: Stretch jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. Resting in stash for a little over a year. I'm glad to have finally used it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None at all. I liked the design the way it was. I wasn't too sure about the gathers, whether or not they'd be flattering, and I'm still actually note sure - they kind of disappear into my fabric. I didn't like the way the fabric lined up at center front - I miscalculated the way the print would meet in the upper bodice sections so there's a difference between the upper fronts and the center front piece. To disguise it slightly, I made a tube of the leftover fabric, tied a bow and tacked it down at the neck. Works for me.

The neckline treatment makes for a neat finish - they have you cut a strip of fabric, fold it in half, and sew it right sides together with the neckline, starting at one side front and going all the way around to the other. Then you press it, flip it inside and topstitch it down. The center front point gets folded down at the top and then the two sides get sewn all the way to the center, completely enclosing the center piece.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'd definitely make this one again. It went together quickly, though it still took me the better part of 5 days since I kept getting interrupted. If you had a few hours alone with your machine, you'd have a new dress. Burda calls it figure-hugging, but it's definitely not so tight you couldn't wear it to work. The neckline also looks lower than it really is - this isn't your typical Burda plunge.

Conclusion: Another easy, flattering knit dress from Burda.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

BWOF 5/10 #137 Dress

Did you forget about this dress?

Did you think I did?

I'll admit, it almost fell into a black hole leading up to PR Weekend. It was finished, all but the hem, but I didn't have a belt to wear with it, and therefore, it languished, unhemmed, over my stair rail.


The thrift store strikes again. This isn't the perfect belt, by any means, but it's a good color, I wanted something woven, and it was 50 cents.

Can't argue with that, right?

Notice Lily the sewing room cat sneaking into all the photos. Do you think she realizes that a finished project with photos means that I'll be back in the workroom soon, starting up something else that will keep us in there together?

Right now, I'm tracing. The June issue of Burda arrived yesterday, and while it's not the treasure trove that May was, there were a few things that caught my eye - the knit dress (#109), and one of the Take 1, Make 4 skirts - a plain, unadorned little pencil skirt that I'm going to use for the fringed fabric to go with my Chanel-ish jacket.

Long weekend ahead. Hopefully I'll get out early on Friday and get a few hours of uninterrupted sewing time. There are a few things I need to do on Saturday, and Sunday is mandatory-family-cookout. Monday will be a combination of recovery and sewing.

Mostly sewing.

Is everyone getting ready for a long weekend spent with fabric?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chanel Relapse

Anyone remember this post from back in September, 2009, where I'd claimed to have caught Chanel and actually gotten as far as making a muslin of KwikSew 3258? Apparently it wasn't a serious case, because most of my symptoms disappeared, though I occasionally thought about it.

Back in March, I was attempting to clean up the workroom, and I found the bag with the muslin in it. I remember when I bagged it up I wasn't thinking it was turning out too well, though I did seem pleased enough when I posted in September, so not sure what happened there.

I decided to leave the muslin and cut into some black boiled wool that I'd been holding for (probably) that purpose. Somehow I've managed to lose the original pattern, but my traced and altered pattern pieces were crumpled up in the bag with the muslin, so I was okay. My main issue with the muslin's fit was that it was still too boxy; I like the look of boxy jackets, but I'm a little too close to rectangular myself to find it a flattering look. The jacket has a center back seam, obviously for shaping, although it had almost no shape, unless you consider a straight line to a shape. I added a curve to the CB seam and also added darts to the front. The center fronts were also too close to overlapping, so I took about 1/2" off the edges and also off the facing. The bust dart was also a little low-slung, so I moved it up about 3/4".
After I got the body of the jacket together, I put the jacket down again and didn't pick it up until this month, when I was up to my neck in PR Weekend planning and should have known better.

I was having trim issues. I had several trim selections in the bag, but none of them were quite it.
So I bought more trim at PR Weekend, which of course was my last choice once I actually looked at all of them. The trim I went on to use was the first trim I purchased. Why is it we don't trust our instincts?

Or do we, and we just use that excuse to buy more trim? I'm not saying a word.

I lined the jacket with a silk remnant I got at my first trip to London Textiles with Kisha sometimem last year. There wasn't enough silk to line the whole jacket, so I used some black and white striped sleeve lining for the sleeves. Mistake or design opportunity? I know what I'm calling it.

After I got the lining in, I decided that all that black and white needed a shot of color, so I added a line of bright red rat tail cord around the edge of the facing. Perked it right up. At the hem, I hand-stitched a length of black chain I got at Pacific Trims in NYC.

The trim. The trim was a pain in the butt. Actually the choice turned out to be the least painful part, but you couldn't have told me that at the time. This is a jacket with at least 6 hours of hand sewing, and probably more. I lost track sitting with it today, repeatedly sticking the eye of my needle into my fingertip because the cats had chased all my thimbles under the furniture.

First I pinned and then sewed the ivory trim. It's an organic hemp (la-di-da, but really I just bought it because I liked it; I'll stick to organic in my food). It had a nice flexibility but frayed awfully so I couldn't miter the corner at the neckline, so I folded it, beat it flat and then ironed it into submission.

Once I got that on, I used the last of my roll of Wonder Tape to stick the black braid along the entire length. I pressed it to set the sticky and then I sewed that on. I trimmed the front of the jacket and the sleeves, but not the hem. I thought it would look less boxy without a line of white around my hips. For the sleeves, I took the trim about 3" up the sleeve seam to mimic a much more complicated sleeve, then I added some black, white and gold enamel buttons I got at M&J Trims.

To the left is a closeup of my lining fabric, an 1893 almanac print. If I get bored at work, I can always read the good advice in my lining.

For the closures, I used some fur hooks that I had in the notions stash. Regular hooks and eyes looked too skimpy, so these did the trick. I want to pick up one more for the bottom, just to balance it out.

As I was taking the jacket's picture tonight, I wanted to put some fabric on Evelyn to make it look like a skirt, and I grabbed the remnant I bought at London Textiles this past Saturday - black and white nubby boucle-like fabric with a fringe.

The entire patternreview is here.

Obviously, now I have to make a skirt to go with my Chanel-ish jacket. Boiled wool. Boucle. Wooly fringe.

Just what I need for the 80 degree May weather we're expecting.

I don't care. I have an occasion coming up in October (to be discussed soon) and I'll wear it then, if I can't wear it now.

It's been a week since PR Weekend, and I'm feeling like myself. I didn't do much all weekend except futz in the garden and sew, and that's just how I wanted it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And then there's the fabric (PR Weekend Pt. 3)

As promised, here are the pretties accumulated during PR Weekend.

I'm surprised - I'm not sure if it's my semi-regular exposure to these stores, or the fact that I was trying to ride herd on everyone and make sure no one got lost, but I really under-shopped. At least for me.

First photo on the left, fabrics I did not purchase. From left to right, a lovely plaid donated by Andrea, an embroidered border print from the official fabric swap, and a black and pink plaid that I've been coveting, which was a hostess gift from Elizabeth.

Maybe I should host people more often. (She gave me wine, too, just in case fabric wasn't enough).

Next photo on the right, some of the loot from London Textiles: a rayon-blend print in all my favorite colors, a gray stretch stripe, and a dark gray (though it looks brown in the photo), wool and lycra blend that has announced its intentions to be a skirt.

Who am I to argue with the fabric?

Third photo, left, more fabrics from London: an orange flowered sweater knit (some of you may remember that I bought the green colorway of this sweater knit last year; I loved it enough that I bought it twice); a rayon brocade that is intended for craft show goodness next December, and a lovely black and white boucle with a nice self-fringe that wants to be something yummy. We'll see what kind of yum - it's not a big piece.

All I bought on 4th Street was a double-sided blue and brown home dec fabric, last photo below on the left. I'm seriously thinking it might want to be the new Amy Butler rain jacket pattern, possibly sans hood. I want something where I can just show off both sides of the fabric, and the nicely bound seams inside - I even got matching seam binding at PA Fabric Outlet. It better match; I stood in line for 40 minutes for it, though I had Dixie and Lisette to talk to, so it went pretty quickly.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't count lining as fabric. It's a notion, something I need to finish something made out of fabric. That's my justification and I'm sticking to it.

So at Jomar, all I got were these 3 lining fabrics - a fabulous resort print, a gray and black stripe and a brown - green - orangey one that looks more or less like what's washing up on the shores of Louisiana. Much better as a jacket lining than an oil spill.

Oh, right, the leather. I actually found leather in one of the remnant boxes at London. I didn't even know they sold leather!

It's not a huge piece, probably just big enough for a bag or a vest (and for some reason I'm thinking vest, even though I've never done leather-as-clothing before. It's nicely distressed, and it's even thinner to sew than the lambskin that I'm used to. Thinner, but a bit more crisp. I'm looking forward to sewing with it, whatever it's going to be.

And that is that for Patternreview Weekend 2010 (at least until Montreal, which I will not be attending due to lack of funds and energy).

Back to the real world, and real sewing. I've actually picked up a project I started back in March, and kept putting down. Now that it's too warm to wear a boiled wool jacket, don't you know it's the one project I want to work on?

I'm at the trim stage, so I should have something to show you all soon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Overload (PR Weekend Pt. 2)

Despite the stress of planning PR Weekend, and the occasional nail-biting moment as it all went off (almost) without a hitch, I had an absolute blast.

Of course, since, last time I checked, I am no longer 21, it also kicked my ass. I was still tired on Tuesday. I mean, really.

Friday morning started off at the hotel conference space, handing out name tags, Patternreview tote bags with goodies inside, and getting acquainted.

Then Kenneth King arrived and the fun started.

Sewing is such a solitary activity - the most I've ever manged before was one friend coming over for a two-machine play date - so sitting in a room with 40-odd other women (note I didn't say 40 odd women), sewing, was really an experience. And when you add in our instructor, it was truly memorable.

I think I learned as much from listening to him talk and looking at the fabulous garments he brought to show us as I did during the actual workshop. I'll admit I wasn't too stoked on the idea of embellishment because I fully admit to being embellishment challenged, but I'm always willing to learn something new, you never know when you might need such skill and it's Kenneth-Freaking-King. How often do you get that?

I really enjoyed one jacket that he brought. Not only did he bring the finished jacket, but he brought the pattern pieces and a full explanation of how it got from inside his head to the work of art he held out for us to see. "It comes out through my hands," he told us. He doesn't draw. Isn't that comforting?

After that, a group of us went for lunch, and then off to the museum, covered in yesterday's post. We left the museum separately. Some walked, some took the bus, some did a combination. I walked back to the hotel in relatively new sandals, which I'm proud to admit didn't hurt for the first 2 or so miles.

Dinner that night was at Pietro's. They put on a great Italian family-style spread for us - 2 different appetizers, 2 salads, rigatoni, chicken parm, bowls of angelhair pasta and, possibly best of all, trays of cannoli and tiramisu.

Despite a fairly dire weather forecast, the skies didn't open until we got inside the restaurant, and trust me, the sound of 50 women getting acquainted could deafen thunder!
As we were about to leave, it started raining again, so we had an impromptu fashion show where each table got up in turn and introduced what they were wearing (by pattern name and number, most of the time, while the rest of us tried to memorize, scribbled lists or input numbers into their phones).

Needless to say, my pattern list grew ridiculously just that evening.

Saturday was retail therapy day. We got on our big yellow schoolbus before 10:00, and went to Fabric Row, otherwise known as 4th Street. Most stores heeded the warning and had extra staff on, but PA Fabric Outlet, pictured here on the left, did not. Lines stretched to the back of the store, taking at least 40 minutes for me to buy some seam binding that matched a fabric I bought earlier at Jack B's. (The fabric post is tomorrow, if I can get it together.

After lunch on our own, we went to London Textiles in Cherry Hill, NJ. LT is a wholesale business open to the public if you can find them. It wasn't easy, and eventually we were flagged down by an employee at the side of the road, but I think we more than made it worth their while. The sight of that many women up-ended in bins was great. And they had some amazing remnants, a few of which came home with me.

Finally, and by that point almost excessively, we went to Jomar. I personally didn't think they were up to their usual standard, but you couldn't tell that from the long lines winding through the store. Jomar was prepared, though - they had 3 or 4 people cutting, and the line moved quickly.

Back to the hotel at last, sprawled in the big comfy lobby chairs, I realized that I had a fridge full of leftovers at home from Friday night's dinner. I gathered up a few friends (Connie, Lisette, Touran and Lee), and we went off home to drink wine and eat leftover pasta and cannoli, and on the healthy side, a little salad from my back yard. It was a perfect end to a great weekend as we decompressed around the table, talking about our purchases and our plans for them.

Sewing friends are a wonderful addition to my life. I'm happy this weekend I got to add so many more of them.

Photo credits (since I forgot to take any) to Lee, Connie and Noile. If I snagged your photo and didn't credit you, let me know.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Right in my own back yard (PR Weekend Pt. 1)

Can someone tell me how I never managed to get up to the Perelman Museum (part of the Philadelphia Art Museum) before I went there with the group for PR Weekend?

And who came up with this study room concept, and why didn't I know about that either?

Let me start at the beginning. Well, not actually - the beginning would be Kenneth King's embellishment workshop, which I fully intend to talk about out of order in my next post. For now, the museum.

There was a perfectly adequate couture exhibit, and on another day, I would have been really excited about it - there were some beautiful pieces from Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, and an outfit from Marc Jacobs that was so not right that I really liked it.

But the study room was something else entirely. The showing they gave us was called "Great Designers" and it was a selection pulled from their ginormous collection of pieces by, well, great designers.

The first thing they showed us was this gown from worth, with two bodices, one for day and one for evening. The explanation was that gowns like this were so expensive, it gave the owner the ability to wear it more often and get more bang for her buck.

This gown had plenty of bang. The floral trim on those flounces was embroidered and attached afterward, which at least made me feel a little better for the half-blind seamstresses who probably stitched it somewhere by totally inadequate light.

I love the color combination - the gold, the green, the burgundy velvet underside. Best of all, they opened the bodices up on the table for us to see the construction - boning, waist stays, serious discomfort but who cares if you can wear this thing?

There was a beautiful pleated Fortuny gown that looked like death in my photographs so you'll just have to take my word for it that it was gorgeous. I think Fortuny is one of those things that just needs a body in it. Most of these dresses I was perfectly happy to see flat on the table; that I would have preferred on a mannequin.

Schiaparelli is one of my favorite designers, and they had the most amazing embroidered velvet jacket. Embroidered, mind you, with vegetables. The buttons are also vegetables.

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of bound buttonholes in velvet. Yeah, right.

There was a beautiful Chanel coat that I didn't get any photos of because I got a call from the fire museum regarding those long-awaited buttons (yes, they're mine now!) and so I saw it come out, and I saw it go away, and that was really all I saw. Can you see the pout?

And then there was this dress. I was so interested in the back - the closure, the interior - that I completely forgot to take a photo of the front. Doesn't that figure?

I'd love to see the kind of fit you get with this - not only does it zip, but there's a panel that conceals the zipper, and it fastens with alternating hooks and eyes and baby snaps.

Obviously someone had a lady's maid - or a man with really good hand-eye coordination. They're not good at undoing hooks as a rule; let's think about doing up that many, and then throwing in the curve ball of snaps.

One of my favorite dresses of the day (though by far the least attractive or wearable in my eyes) is this yellow and white one. Can someone who was there remind me - was it YSL? That's what's sticking in my mind, but I was so blown away by all those horsehair-edged ruffles, I can't remember.

Held up by Ingrid, you can see it's actually a funky-looking dress, and not in a good way. But flat on the table, you can really see the beauty of the work in this. The photos (and I took quite a few, this is just one of them) show the architectural quality of the edges.

Coming down off my la-di-da, they also kind of reminded me of Pringles potato chips, coming out of the tube in their perfect little chip shapes. Can you see it?

There were a few other pieces in there, but not all the pictures came out that well. We weren't allowed to use flash in the study room, and the black lace dress came out muddy, though it was beautiful in person.

I had no idea what to expect from this visit to the museum, and they went beyond any expectation I could have had. I have to contact them again and find out just how large a group you need to visit the study room, and then I may have to hijack a few people (I think I know some locals who wouldn't mind) and pay another visit.

Monday, May 17, 2010

So. Tired.

PR Weekend is officially history. And it all worked, which is even better.

When Deepika first told me that she wouldn't be here for PR Weekend, I had a small breakdown, took a deep breath and called the great group of women who helped to put this together. Together, we made sure that everything happened (more or lesss) when it was supposed to happen, that no one got misplaced, which was quite a feat on Fabric Row, where there are so many hiding places for stragglers, and that the bus driver only got slightly lost in New Jersey.

When the worst thing that happens during a weekend with this many moving parts is that the restaurant had air conditioning problems early on, I think it can be called a success.

Now if I could only get out of my own way. I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't even sorted my fabric yet for pre-treating. Shame on me.

Back to work tomorrow; back to reality. At some point I might even manage a few photos from the museum exhibit, the only time I remembered that I had a camera.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's almost time

PR Weekend Philadelphia starts early on Friday morning, but my preparations start tomorrow (and my first house guest, Connie, also arrives then), so it'll probably be a blog-free weekend here - but a lot of sewing will be talked, and some will probably even be accomplished.

Looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and buying more fabric than I have space for.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Button, button

Sometimes the most unexpected things come from sewing.

We went out for First Friday this past weekend. First Friday is when all the art galleries open their new exhibits, plus there's sidewalk art, jewelry, vendors, live music, and people everywhere. For one reason or another, we haven't gotten down there since sometime last summer, and this past Friday was a clear, warm evening and we had no plans, so that's where we ended up.

We did all the galleries on the west side of 2nd Street, and crossed over to the east side. At the far end of 2nd Street, just past the galleries, is Fireman's Hall, which is the Philadelphia firefighters museum. I've never been there.

And my dad was a fireman. Shame on me.

So we go in. We wander around, looking at all the old fire engines, equipment and photographs, and I end up - of course - in the gift shop. When it hits me, something I've wanted for years, and I'm in the perfect place. I approach the woman at the counter and ask my question. She doesn't know the answer but says, "Try the fireman who's greeting everyone at the front, if there's a way to find it, he'll know."

The fireman at the door, a big, burly, blondish guy, is talking to a few people, and I wait until he's free. Then I say it. "My dad was one of you guys until he retired in '72. My mom got rid of most of his stuff after he died but I got a few of the silver buttons from his dress overcoat, and I'd love to use them on something for myself, but I don't have enough. I was wondering if you had a source for those buttons."

He looks at me, then looks down, sees my dad's ring and grabs my hand. "Little sister! That's a nice one," he says approvingly, and gives me a fist bump with his near-matching ring. "I've got a box of those old buttons upstairs somewhere. What do you want, like 10 of them?"

I get a rush of blood to my head. That would be more than enough. I've held onto my buttons since I saved them from my mom's cleaning rampage in 1973 or thereabouts. Only in the last year or two have I felt confident enough in my sewing to want to use them, but there weren't enough.

He gives me his card, asks me to shoot him an email, and the next time I'm down there he'll have them for me Then he asks if I have my dad's photo ID or any of his paperwork. I say no, that he died when I was 9 and just about anything that might have been at home, barring some photos, is long gone. He asks if I have my dad's badge number. I do; I have the actual badge, scrounged from the trash. He say to send the badge number as well and he'll go into the archives and pull my dad's employment file, his ID photos, anything they have.

And then his eyes light up. "What kind of pictures do you have?" Turns out he's building a photo archive and will scan copies for himself of anything I have. Talk about an equal exchange.

The photos here are most of what I have - my dad and another guy (and girl) on a parade float, a formal dinner, a classroom picture, a little one of all the guys with the engine, and three studio portraits of him in uniform. The only way I can date the studio pictures is by his smile; his own teeth, and then a set of false ones, were knocked out when a hose got loose and hit him in the face; it did quite a number on his nose as well.

So I've gone through all my boxes and come up with about 6 photos for the museum curator, plus two buttons to match to his, and my dad's badge. I've got off next Monday, the day after PR Weekend; I think I may go to the museum.

And then I need to find a pattern that will use 10 silver buttons, and make it up in honor of my dad - and all the brothers I didn't know I had.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Who else but Burda?

I'm still working on the #137 dress from the May Burda. I didn't get to do anything tonight - got in later from work, bolted dinner and went to book club, and had the sense when I got in at 9:30 not to start something I was too tired to do properly.

But I wanted to share one of the interesting bits of this dress before I get too far along and it just merges into the pattern review.

Going by Burda's pattern photo, the collar looks like a regular collar, right? The front bodice piece, when I first looked at it, seemed odd. It was a straight bodice with a cut-on facing. Where's the collar? Where's the lapel?

The collar piece was obvious enough, but what's this pie-wedge piece? A separate lapel? WTF? That was a new one on me.

After reading the instructions a time or two (or four), I got it. The collars get sewn together normally, along the back and the short side - but not the short side on the bottom. Just like where I messed up on Mario's suit jacket and had to redo. Okay.

The light bulb is coming on gradually.

The pie-wedge pieces get sewn on the long outside, and along the top only to the mark. The lapels stay inside out at this opint, and the collar gets pinned into the unsewn part of the top of the lapel. Sew that seam, turn the lapels out, press, and it's a collar.

All in one piece, very neat. Then it gets basted to the neck edge of the dress, and finally it gets sandwiched between the bodice and the attached facing.

The only thing Burda didn't think of, and neither did I, until it was too late, is what happens to the inside back neck edge? And what about that cut-on facing?

Not so tidy. Ever notice that sometimes facings just don't reach as long as the pattern piece they're supposed to be facing? Even when they're cut-on? The facing doesn't quite reach the shoulder seam, and Burda's only hint about how to deal with the back of the neck is to "neaten" the seam.

Neaten, my ass. There's 3 layers of fabric and 2 layers of interfacing there, plus a line of basting and another line of stitching. How do you neaten that? Why didn't they make a back facing piece? Better yet, why didn't I think of it?

My solution, since the raggedy seam would be visible around the back of my neck, was to cut a bias strip of the fabric and hand sew it down over the seam, curving it to cover the top edges of the facing. It works, but I'd rather they had drafted it right to begin with. Barring that, I wish I'd been able to see what was going to happen while there was still time for me to change it.

Hindsight is 20/20, right?

I got one sleeve in on Sunday night, but since it was after 10:00 at that point, I decided not to risk setting in the second sleeve. Last night I got the second sleeve in, and since it was much earlier, it went in much easier.

Like cutting, I think setting in sleeves is something that should be done early in your sewing session. And sometimes I even remember that.

The skirt also got constructed - pockets inserted, side and back seams sewn, everything pressed.

Tomorrow night I think I have nothing planned. I hope I have nothing planned, because really I think I can finish this off in a few hours if I go flat out and nothing goes wrong. Attach skirt to top, "neaten" my seams, hem and cuff the sleeves, make 12 buttonholes and sew on 12 buttons, and hem the skirt. That's not too much, if I'm not distracted.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Month End Review - April 2010

Running a little late here on the month-end review, but better late than never - especially when I'm about 3/4 of the way there on the no-longer-plus Burda dress.

Fairly productive month overall - 7 projects, 13 yards of fabric out the door. Okay, so one of them was a wadder and a yard was donated to a theatrical project, but that leaves 5 wearable items, so I'm not complaining.

My favorite piece for the month is BWOF 2/09 #124, the sheath dress that I wore for Mario's birthday dinner. It went together quickly, it fits beautifully, and it recommended itself highly for many other versions. You know it's a good pattern when you're mentally sewing the next version and you haven't finished the first one yet!

The vote for most-worn (already) goes to the Jalie scarf-tie top, which has gotten two wearings to work, and more than a few compliments. I'm late to the Jalie party, but I'll catch up.

For sheer fun (and cleavage), there's BWOF 8/2007 #105, the striped knit top. I feel a little precarious in this one unless I'm wearing a godo bra, but sometimes you just need a top like this. And I love to play with stripes.

I don't think I've ever made two consecutive pieces from one issue of Burda before, but the raglan-sleeve blouse on the left was the next pattern up after the sheath dress. I borrowed a sleeve from an older, similar shirt because I just can't do Burda's puffed sleeves.

Some of my productivity can be explained by my signing up for the Spring Month of Tops, but spring also requires new bottoms, and my floaty godet skirt from Burda 2/2007 #113 has moved quite happily into my wardrobe.

I'm working away on my new Burda dress and should have a finished project to show off in a day or two. If I can, I'm going to get a bit more done in the morning so I can take it to book club tomorrow night to do the hand-sewing on the hems. I'm nowhere near buttonhole stage, or I'd spend the 90 minutes sewing on buttons instead of snacking.

Sewing as a diet plan? That could work.