Friday, March 21, 2014

Cleaning Out Winter Posts

Have you ever noticed that irony doesn't always work so well in blogs?  Nonetheless, I am going to note the irony that my last post two months ago was about "why I blog".....and then I stopped blogging.  Thank you to those of you who asked me what's up.  If you didn't even notice I've been gone, feel free to move along to the pictures.
Yup, I wrote that post two months ago then spent a lot of time the following week prepping projects for the wonderful end of January American Sewing Guild Northern Virginia chapter sewing retreat.  This might have been my twelfth sewing retreat and was the fourth at the historic and beautiful George Washington Winchester Wyndham Hotel.  This year was especially enjoyable for me, relaxing and easy going.  Last year I was in the midst of prepping to sell our Florida condo and under a great deal of personal stress.  Last year I needed the sewing retreat.....this year was a delight because could just bask in enjoying the moments.  
A ballroom of happy sewists at work

The breakfast buffet awaits.....and a dinner one will look even more splendid
Sewing bloggers meet and greet one another:  lucky me, Julie from From These Hands   Welmoed from There She Sews  Audrey from SewTawdry

I did not take any new patterns to sew, just filled in winter wardrobe gaps so I was a little reluctant to blog about them....but here they are in their retrospective:

More Pamela's Patterns Magic Pencil skirts, these with dark brown and black in the prints so I could wear them with tights and black dancing shoes for the beginning Lindy class that Mr. Lucky and I took for four weeks in the winter.

Kwik Sew 3740 in a toasty warm sweater knit
McCalls 6444  in a glittery navy sweater knit, years old from Fabric Mart
Multiple versions of the Margarita tank top for layering all winter and spring, this one with a lingerie lace picot edge
I was remarkably cold this winter, my first winter back in Baltimore in ten years so I was working on sewing layers and cozy garments that still might be a little more fashionable than my beloved LL Bean polarfleece.  I have owned a luxurious pre-recession splurge light-as-air cashmere sweater but seldom worn it.  (The traditional cost per wear calculation would make me blush with shame.)  So I needed its warmth and use out of it and did some analysis in my sewing room mirrors.  One reason I didn't wear it was that it had wonderfully long sleeves (a gift on a sweater for a tall person like me) but they ended in this wide, frilly bell that slopped into everything.  I pinned the sleeves into a snug narrow version and immediately liked the sweater better.  Now I needed to make it stop falling off my shoulders when the front would slip and pull the sweater slides downward.  I had just watched my DVR'd last episode of "What Not to Wear" and was reminded how Stacey and Clinton encouraged women to fit in their slender places and let clothes skim over the "fluffier" parts.  I pulled out some brown grosgrain ribbon and pinned two pieces as an under the bust tie closure.  immediately the sweater looked brand new and flattering.  

Too wide a sleeve hem
Testing that front tie idea
Finished refashioning result

Final retreat project was a coordinated Margarita knit top and this burnout poly print from JoAnn's a half dozen years ago.  I made a top and lightweight jacket for our March Florida trip and the colors cheered me up in the midst of the brutal winter.  But even this jacket was a repeat pattern, Vogue 8088, a Marcy Tilton OOP pattern Vogue 8088 previous version  that I have fallen in love with this year.  
Marcy's wonderful directions include all these mitered corners and french seams
Since one of the other great parts of a sewing retreat is bringing your excess "stuff" for the giveaway table, I had also spent a great deal of time in late January filling boxes and bags with extra fabric, notions, patterns and books from our move north.  Hooray, they have moved on to better homes....but of course I did find a few treasures that came home from the giveaway table to my "resource center."  
Three pieces of fabric
Some tailoring supplies and a vintage tailoring book for next winter's coat project
So that takes me through the end of January. In my next posts I'll show you two new cardigan patterns that I sewed up last month and share more about my first icy winter in many years.  In the meantime, it's nice to be back in the blog world.  I've been busy with other parts of my life and haven't been reading my blog roll either so time to catch up with all of you virtual sewing friends. 


  1. I'm glad to hear that you were sewing and having fun during the past couple of months. I missed your posts. Welcome back! You made some fabulous garments that look like they will get lots of wear. You look terrific wearing you refashioned sweater.

  2. Congrats on getting back to sewing, blogging and finding new homes for your excess resources. I'm getting ready for a move so, if anyone is near LA and wants some of my excess, they should stop by!


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