Stick To The Plan

I admire sewists who formulate a wardrobe plan, assemble all their patterns and sew according to that plan! I on the other hand, haven’t been able to stick to my plan! There’s always a new pattern sale to derail my plan! For instance, this Burda pattern I picked up and had to sew immediately! I really love the silhoullette! It has the illusion of separates but it’s actually a dress!

I used a black and cream rayon for the skirt from my favorite local fabric store, Habermans. I used a peachskin from Joanns for the top.




The first one turned out so nicely, I decided to make it again!

For the next version, I had a yard of waxed cotton I bought a few years ago at a sewing expo. I had no idea what to do with it and thought it would be worth the experimentation! I paired it with an orange linen blend for the top. A very unexpected color combo, but I like it!




I forgot to alter the skirt making it straight instead of a-line as I did with the first version. I may redo it later.
This is a nice, easy straightforward pattern. The only mild dislike would be the 2 pleats at the rear hip line area. They seem to call too much attention to that area! All in all, I really like the outcome!


Burda Lovin


Well, I am in love with my latest completed project (insert Cheshire Cat grin). To think, it all started with a downloadable (DL) Burda sleeveless waistcoat pattern! And since Burda DL’s don’t include seam allowance, I thought it wise to make a wearable muslin first! After a little tweaking of the muslin, I was ready to dive into the gorgeous faux shirling I bought at Joann Fabrics with my 60% off coupon! The total coupon price for 2 1/2 yards was $22.00! There’s just something magical about fabric, sewing and coupons! Said like the true addict I am!
So let’s start with the muslin. The fashion fabric used from my stash was from Walmart for a mere $1.00 per yard! Didn’t need a coupon for that! The fabric is a sturdy denim that probably is more upholstery than fashion but it worked wonderfully for this project and if it failed (not I, but it), I would have only lost $2.50 of the $4.00 paid for 4 yards! Piece of cake! The fabric used for the sleeves was also purchased from Walmart for a $1.00/yd. it’s the most awful mystery knit I’ve ever used but perfect for sleeves! Awful because it kept breaking my thread even after many tension adjustments. image
The real star is the faux shirling coat! Since I can’t do much with a sleeveless waistcoat, especially with the winter we’ve had in Michigan, I paired it with upcycled leather sleeves that were originally skirts I purchased from the Salvation Army for less than $10 bucks total!
I originally wanted to go with an animal print lining, but found this instead in the clearance section of my favorite fabric store Habermans for $4.98/yd.



Since the neckline is wider than an average coat, I made a fleece infinity scarf/hood which allowed me to get some animal print in!

And since I had the entire top half of the tan leather skirt leftover, I made a purse with animal print lining!image


I left the skirt zipper and fashioned it into a pocket to keep my cell phone or keys.


For those still reading this rather lengthy post, I say thank you! Now off to continue admiring my handy work!

Call of the Wild

There’s some exciting events happening over at Pretty Grievances that I just had to get in on. Jungle January! Where gamey sewists tear enthusiastically thru their stash (or newer acquisitions) in search of that animal print fabric that we’ve been saving for just the right occassion! Well, wait no more, Prettynpink has created that just right occassion! And the submissions so far have covered every species in the jungle! You’ve got your lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) Couldn’t resist!, sorry! Your birds and bees, big cats, little cats, snakes (eeew!) and lesser known species too!

While I’ve been known to sport a few snakes in my day (dating and wearing! Although, I much prefer the latter!), I knew exactly what animal in my stash I wanted to unleash! Okay, enough puns already!

Not too sure what type of fabric this is: possibly a polyester who cares, the most interesting part is that it’s an animal print with eyelash fur! I found this lovely find at my favorite fabric store, Habermans, when I first started sewing 3 to 4 years ago.

underbelly of the beast

underbelly of the beast


I’d take it out every so often to ask what it wanted to be and finally it said, “I want to be a vest” Using Simplicity 2285 view c, that’s what it became!

IMG_0036 vest S2285

vest 2285

It was kind of a no brainer considering the pattern illustration even featured this view in an animal print! How appropriate for the Jungle January fun!

I love the way it turned out! It’s a fun walk on the wild side and gets lots of attention! How Purr-fect and I don’t even mind the occasional petting!




Okay, I have to confess, among lots of other things, I’m hooked on the Craftsy site! Who doesn’t love a one stop crafting site that offers classes on everything your heart desires to know about! I’ve purchased classes on pant construction techniques with Betzina, drafting an a-line skirt, and handbag construction. Then there’s the free classes I’ve signed up for like basic bag making. I have yet to actually start any of these, but I’ll get around to it. Having said all of that, finding a freebie trumps even Craftsy!

Here is the info:

Baby Lock has partnered with Miriam of Mad Mim and Miranda of One Little Minute for “Stretch Yourself,” a two-week series that will cover everything you need to know about working with knits. From choosing the right tools and fabric selection to patterns and construction, “Stretch Yourself” is chalk full of information about working with knits.

Miriam and Miranda have a lot of fun stuff in store for you, so pull up a seat! To get started, head over to One Little Minute to get started with fabric selection and Mad Mim for knit cutting techniques.

Restoring My Faith in Burda

Okay, I’m still in the midst of my colossal Burda coat project but I had to take a few breaks in between to make some easy sewing projects. One of them is this jersey pullover using Burda 7866. This is my 2nd time making this top and it’s really about restoring my faith in Burda. You know, something easy to offset something hard. This was definitely a straight forward easy pattern. No confusing, read between the lines translating German to English. Yep! An easy breezy, no brainer project. Hopefully, the ulcer I’m developing over the monster Burda project has diminished. I picked up this fabric from Habermans at the Michigan Sewing Expo in September. It’s a jersey knit. I love the abstract design and the feel of the fabric.

This has to be one of my favorite tops. It’s comfortable, stylish and I get a lot of compliments when I wear it. I love to see my coworkers’ reactions when I tell them it’s from my Basement Boutique!

Well, I guess it’s back to the OTHER Burda project!





Minimum Labor Equals Maximum Benefit

I love the pattern sales at Joann’s because it gives me an opportunity to experiment with patterns that aren’t necessarily on my wish list. It’s nice when a so-so pattern becomes the star attraction. Case in point, Butterick 5821.

 Butterick 5821 Butterick 5821

It doesn’t look like much on the pattern jacket and I really wasn’t excited about it until I found this great fabric.  It’s a microsuede in a beautiful sand color. IMG_0045

IMG_0046The fabric looks like suede or leather. It’s only when you touch it, you discover it’s not actually leather, and it’s washable! The edgestitching really gives it the look of leather.  This pattern is so simple. There are only four pattern pieces for the dress! For only a few hours investment, you could have a beautiful new addition to your wardrobe. Now I’m on the hunt for more of this micro suede for my 2nd take!

Burda Odyssey Part III

Still chugging along like the little engine that could on this project! At this rate, maybe I’ll be done by next spring! I’m a little more than halfway thru the project but certain parts haven’t been easy! I’m having to read each instruction several times; although they’re written okay, I prefer the slow and steady approach. After all, there are no do-overs with leather!

I already thwarted a near catastrophe – not looking to make another! While sewing the pockets on the lower panels, I unintentionally left a 1-1/2 inch hole between the pocket edge and the horizontal seam which I didn’t notice until AFTER I topstitched the seam!

Poor seaming!

There was some serious handwringing going on! I had to try to hand stitch between the two topstitched layers (yikes!). Surprisingly, it turned out pretty well!

Neatened seams

Still to do:
attach fur to the lining (mom’s job)


Attach lining to the leather

I need to go make something else to curtail my excitement!