I am crushing hard on fall right now.  In New England, it’s almost as if Mother Nature looks at the calender and uses Labor Day as a cue to bring in the cooler temperatures.  I’ve been loving the weather this week – my windows and sliding door have been open every day while I’ve been sewing up a storm, and nothing beats sleeping with the windows open and listening to the crickets outside at night.  Ahhh fall…

So needless to say, my thoughts have moved on to fall sewing.  I’m digging a lot of the fashion I’ve seen pinned on Pinterest, so I created a “Fall Fashion” board to keep track of looks I love that I want to sew myself.  It’s all about layers, slouchy tops, red and orange, and some plaid thrown in.  Some of the patterns that I think could work well for my fall sewing:

1. Long Sleeve Scout Tee in plaid – I’m loving that Lumber Jane look, I think the Scout tee pattern would get me a close knock-off of the ModCloth top I pinned.  I found the perfect plaid flannel at Mood!
2. Sloppy Josephine Tee – I like how the raglan is fitted but the rest of the shirt is loose and blousey.
3. Moss Mini in red corduroy – I made one last year in teal, I need another one this year but will make it a little longer
4. Sewing my own knit jersey scarves – so much cheaper than buying them at Gap and I have plenty of leftover yardage from knit tops in my stash
5. A modified Simplicity 3631 in red wool – wouldn’t belt the short version and would lengthen the sleeves, maybe make them a little less flared.  Would be great if I could add a funnel collar or something.

Are you thinking fall sewing already?  What are your sewing plans?

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When I was on vacation earlier this month, the art museum near my parent’s house had another fashion exhibit like the last time I was visiting.  This time, a small collection of gowns from La Belle Epoque were on display to coordinate with the Toulouse Lautrec art exhibit (which was fantastic, by the way…he really pioneered the art of print making).  These are a few of my favorite gowns from the exhibit!


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Had to share this cross-stitch – look at all the intricate shading and detail!


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Oh the little tiny shoes for little tiny feet…actually, all of the mannequins for the gowns were not very high since people back then were much shorter than we are today by comparison.

I just love costume exhibits!  If you’re nearby, this exhibit is on display at the Allentown Art Museum until September 1.  In Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts is running a show on fashion from the 1960’s called Hippie Chic that just started last week; I’m dying to go.

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One garment done, two more to go tonight #sneekpeek #sewing #vacationpreperation

I started making this jacket at the beginning of May – when By Hand London introduced their Victoria Blazer and showed it paired with the Charlotte Skirt, in a flamingo print fabric, I knew I wanted to recreate that look somehow (the blazer pattern wasn’t available yet and I’m very impatient by nature).  I found a Simplicity bolero pattern and some sailboat print home dec fabric and raring to go getting this outfit stitched up.

Time went by…it just sat on my sewing table.  I sewed the side and shoulder seams and then put it aside, wanting to sew other things that grabbed my attention instead.  I tried to go back to it and start to sew it again, but I wasn’t in the mood to make it.  It just didn’t seem as fun as it did before.

Now that I’m getting ready for vacation and I’ve been thinking about what to pack from my hand-made wardrobe, this outfit came back into my mind.  It’s the perfect outfit – fresh and summery looking, spot-on for lunch out and a trip to the art museum.  Once I got the outfit pictured in my head and the wearing occasions, I cut out the skirt and sat down to finish the jacket.

What I’m getting at is that we should sew things we want to sew, not things we feel obligated to complete just because we started them.  Yes, it’s good to finish every project that is started, but if you’re not feeling the stitching love between you and your garment, that lack of mojo isn’t going to do anything for your sewing productivity.  Just set it to the side – you’ll be struck by the urge to sew it up at a later time.

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I don’t know where to begin with explaining my love for all that is Ikea…just about every piece of furniture in my apartment except for my couch is from Ikea. And did you know that there’s a home dec fabric section? I bet you did, you sassy sewists. I took a recent trip to my local store this weekend to buy a coffee table (huzzah!) and spent some time looking at their entire textiles selection for inspiration. Really, once you start thinking outside of the box and not looking at a fabric as its intended to be used, it’s amazing what the possibilities can be for different fabrics to work their way into your wardrobe.  Below are a couple of my favorites with a suggestion on what sewing patterns to pair it with.

All images from Ikea



Jannike Panel Curtain
I could totally see these dot stripes forming an interesting “V” formation on the bodice of a Hazel dress.  Or, wouldn’t this fabric make totally adorable Maritime shorts??


Solrun Fabric
Since this is a home dec weight, wouldn’t it be fun as a tulip-skirted Elisalex dress?  The heft of the fabric would help keep the skirt’s shape.


Ludovika Fabric
I love how nutty and kooky this print is, it looks like someone was doodling on a piece of notebook paper.  How about a Ginger skirt – the home dec weight would make a nice, crisp a-line skirt shape.


Malin Duvet Cover and Pillowcase Set
This fabric print makes me think of waves at the beach!  A summery dress would seem appropriate for this fabric, like the Lonsdale Dress.  The full skirt of the dress would be great to showcase the print.


Askertistel Duvet Cover and Pillowcase Set


I love this sunny yellow color, and with it’s stenciled-like floral pattern, I think it would make such a sweet Cambie dress.


Sy Sewing Machine
And hey, for the beginner sewists out there, you can pick up a sewing machine at Ikea, too.  For $69.99, I’m not too sure how great the quality is (or isn’t), but Ikea claims that it “satisfies basic home sewing needs.”  Sooo…maybe it’s good for hemming curtains?
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1920's evening dress, hand beaded


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Last month on Sewcation, my mom and I visited the local art museum to see an exhibit of flapper dresses from the 1920’s.  I love seeing historical garments in person – you can really see the details up close and begin to understand all of the time and labor that went into creating clothing long ago (so not the case today).  The timing seemed pretty appropriate since The Great Gatsby (one of my favorite novels) is coming out this weekend; I have a feeling we’ll be seeing fashions inspired by the movie in the near future.  Plus, have you seen Miss Crayola Creepy’s Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge?  I may jump in late and make a summer dress – frankly, this straight style of dress is easy for me to wear.

Here’s a fun fact: flappers got their name from the boots that they wore unbuckled, which was considered in style.  When they walked, the boots made a “flap-flap” noise.  Crazy, right?!

Here’s some photos I took of the exhibit (shhh photography wasn’t allowed but I used my iPhone):


1920's flapper dress


1920's evening dress


Because of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922, many apparel and jewelry designs reflect the interest in Egyptian culture at the time: colors such as Nile green and lotus motifs were predominant and pharoah-like headbands were in vogue.  I found this green dress interesting – the closure was on the side of the dress and consisted of only a few snaps.  I guess since it’s sheer and is worn over an underdress, the closure doesn’t have to be that secure?


All the little beads.  Hand sewn...wow.


That dress is 100% all hand beading.  Yeah.  That’s hardcore, man.


The latest styles from Paris


1920's McCall's sewing pattern ad


McCall's sewing patterns


I loved seeing these McCall’s sewing ads.  These were for garments inspired by current Paris fashions that could be copied at home.


Hand beading detail


More crazy hard-core hand beading on that dress!


Party dress


This dress was for a day-time party.  The edges on the scallops were turned under and slip stitched with navy blue thread, not a matching color thread, surprisingly.


1920's wedding gown

And of course, an obligitory wedding dress.  The train on the veil was incredibly long!

The next time I go home to visit my family, I’ll be seeing the current exhibit: bodices of the Tolouse Lautrec era!  I love costume history so much.

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