Moving Day

Well folks, I finally decided I had enough. So here I am at WordPress. Welcome to Gorgeous Fabrics and my Gorgeous Blog! I’ll be adding posts, both archived links from my old blog, and new ones, over the foreseeable future. I’ll probably play around with the theme and background while I get used to this. And I’ll be importing all my old blog’s content, so you’ll want to reset your links to here to see what’s up in the wonderful world of Ann’s sewing.

Thanks for everything, especially your patience while I migrate this whole thing!

Happy sewing!

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Decision Made

Thank you all so much for your input! It helped solidify the decision I had already pretty much made. I have to admit, I feel rather sheepish about this. I love the Lady Gray, but  I think I prefer the McCalls to the Lady Gray. Even after making another muslin in a size 10 The LG requires too many changes to make it flattering. I may not have the size 4 body I did in my 20s, but I’m not hippy, and this makes me look hippy and short waisted, sigh. Don’t get me wrong. I still really love this pattern. I’m just not the right body type for it. I’m self-aware enough to know that, even with changes to make it look good on me, I’d end up looking like mutton dressed as lamb. I’m not old enough to be mutton yet, so I definitely don’t want to look desperate. The final nail? After placing the lace on the second muslin last night, I realized that it just looked overwhelming and rather twee.


So McCalls 5525 it is. View A. I’m sorry I won’t be participating in the sew-along, but I want a garment that I’ll love, and I think this is the more likely candidate.

BTW, in case you haven’t figured it, this is yet another reason to make a muslin!
Happy sewing!

Posted in McCalls, Patterns | 4 Comments

Decisions, Decisions…

Lady Gray:


McCalls 5525:

Keeping in mind that the final version will be ivory French lace backed with champagne colored silk charmeuse and lined with Oyster Silk Habotai.

I have a definite opinion, but I’d love to hear yours.

Happy sewing!

Posted in Colette Patterns, McCalls | 3 Comments

Lady Gray Muslin

You know how I feel about muslins, and this demonstrates clearly why I feel that way. I made a muslin of the Lady Gray coat to test the fit. I’ve never used Colette patterns before and I have no idea how their sloper compares to the slopers other patterns use. I’m very glad I decided to make a muslin. Check out why. Here are a couple of pictures of the muslin on me.

Right shoulder:

Left shoulder:

I made a size 8 straight out of the package. Looking at these pictures I know I need to do several things.

  • Lower the bust point
  • Adjust the shoulder in front
  • Add a little to the waist
  • Change the sleeve to a less voluminous style
  • Use a size 10 (sigh…)

I may also want to take a bit of the flare out, though I haven’t entirely decided on that yet. I think I will also convert this to a shoulder princess seam.  I like those better and for my body type, a shoulder princess is more flattering and easier to fit.

More later!

Posted in Colette Patterns

Vale, Fred Bloebaum

Fred Bloebaum, owner and designer of La Fred Sewing Patterns, passed away yesterday. How very sad for the sewing community. I met her once, and she was a delightful lady. She was gracious, and generous with her knowledge. She will be sorely missed.

Posted in Uncategorized

My Name is Earl

Image: CBC

I don’t know if you’ve heard (snicker), but there’s a hurricane heading up the East Coast right now. Earl is already clouding up the skies over Boston, and the rains are supposed to start in earnest sometime late this afternoon. We’re fortunate that we live in days like this where we have 7×24 access to satellite data, doppler radar, and experts on the Weather Channel to whip into a frenzy (“Nail your shutters! Nail your roof! Nail your cat to your dog!”)

But since I don’t want anyone caught in terrible traffic, and so my folks can put their lawn chairs and other potential flying objects away before the storm hits, we’ll probably close Gorgeous Fabrics’ offices just a wee bit early tonight. But not until the orders from yesterday ship, so don’t worry!

Also, our offices will be closed in observance of Labor Day on Monday. There’s no UPS or postal service that day, so everything may get to you a little slower than usual. But it will be on its way, promise!

I’m hoping to spend much of the weekend working on my Lady Gray coat. Speaking of which, check Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing later today, to read a fascinating article on fabrics for said coat, by an awesome writer (wink, wink)!

If you’re in the path of Earl, be safe. And to all, have a great weekend and

Happy sewing!

Posted in Fabrics, Miscellaneous

New AMAZING Designer Fabrics at Gorgeous Fabrics!

Oh. My. God! You have to see the fabrics that just came in. From the Fall 2010 collections of Chanel, Akris, Malandrino and others. They are not to be missed. I was only able to get a very limited amount of these fabrics. They are dear, but they are worth every penny, and when they are gone, there ain’t no more! I’ve put up several, and I’ll be adding more tonight. If you like them (and I know I love them) don’t hesitate – they’ll be gone in a flash!

Happy sewing!

Posted in Fabrics

Quick Tip – Temporary Storage for Patterns/Cut Pattern Pieces

This is one of those things that I just do without giving much thought. Then yesterday I had an “aha” moment that maybe it’s worth sharing!

This tip works like a charm to help you keep pattern pieces and cut pieces of fabric together in one place during construction. It’s especially useful if you’re putting a project on hold for a short while, and you want to keep all the pieces together in one place. Rather than folding your pattern pieces up and storing them (and cut fabric) in an envelope, I use a skirt hanger (the kind with clips) to hold the cut pattern pieces and fabric. It’s kind of like the pattern hanging technique used in workrooms, but you don’t need any specialized tools. I simply clip the fabric and/or pattern pieces to the hanger and hang them on a door or clothes rod. This keeps the pattern pieces together (I put the small ones in ziplock bags), and it keeps them from getting lost or wrinkled. It’s really helpful when you are working with large items like gowns, or if you cut out multiple patterns at one time before sewing. You can find these hangers at 2nd hand stores. You can also ask salespeople at clothing stores if they have any extras. They are usually happy to give you some.

This method is not recommended for velvet or crushable fabrics, and it’s not really suitable for bias-cut fabric pieces, but other than that, it works like a charm.

Posted in Tips

Working On…

Lots of stuff. This is the last weekend before the kids head back to school (Halleluia!!!!), so we’ve been out enjoying the last little bit of freedom before we all get back to work. I’ve cut out the muslin for the Colette Lady Grey trench coat:

I’m going to make it from a French lace that has been aging in my stash for several years. I bought it wanting to make a Burberry-Prorsum style trench, but all the patterns that I’ve found for trenches just didn’t do it for me. Then I saw this one and was intrigued. I have never sewn a Colette pattern, so I’m making a muslin of the size 8 to check it out. I’ll post my progress.

Speaking of this pattern, there is a sew-along starting up using this pattern on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing. I’m not going to officially participate in the sew-along. I can’t commit to sew-alongs because I can never tell if I’ll be able to finish it in the timeframe, but I will be following it and maybe even contributing a little bit here and there!

I’ve also been working on doing some preliminary editing on a book (not mine – I’m really just helping the author out). But as soon as I can tell you about it, I will, because it is going to be amazing!

Also, did you know that there is a Huge Labor Day Sale going on at Gorgeous Fabrics? Well there is! Every fabric, except muslin and swatches, is marked down until next Monday (Labor Day, September 6). So get your bad self over there and snap up some bargains! We’re selling out a bunch of the new fabrics; don’t wait if you’ve been eying them. They aren’t going to last.

Parting Shots – Sewing Machines on Newbury Street
Today we took the kids to Newbury Street in Boston. Newbury Street is the high-end shopping street in town. Though it’s disheartening to see how many shops are closed up and how many “For Rent” signs there are. I hope this recession ends soon.

Anyway, we were walking down the street, between Dartmouth and Exeter Streets, when we came upon a store whose windows were chock full of GORGEOUS antique sewing machines! I had to snap pictures from my phone. Sorry for the reflections off the glass. I tried to get pictures at angles that would minimize the reflections, but it was impossible with the phone. But still, this was amazing display. I want to call the store tomorrow and find out if they would be willing to sell any of the machines!

Le sigh… Happy sewing!

Posted in Colette Patterns, Fabrics

I Got the New Vogue Patterns Magazine

And you didn’t! Neener neener neener!

Oh wait, that’s not terribly gracious, is it? Sorry. But I am totally excited about the October issue. One of the nice things about being an advertiser is that I get slightly advance copies of the magazines. This month, VPM has undergone quite the makeover! The change is obvious the minute you see the font on the cover.

But what made my little heart go “Squee!” was when I flipped through and came across an article by the Blogosphere’s very own Selfish Seamstress.

Yay for the SS! It’s a very funny article, much like her blog. Speaking of which, if you don’t read it already, you should. She’s cute, funny, an amazing sewist, and smart. I’d hate her if I didn’t love her so much. And her haiku totally cracks me up!

Well, I have to get back to work. Happy sewing!

Posted in Vogue