sweatshirt fleece
diagonal fold here is not a fit problem, it’s how I’m standing.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been on a mad hunt for warm winter knits.  It gets cold in our house and having sweaters for layering is always a good idea in CO.  After my last couple of shopping ventures, I finally have a good stash of 5 different sweater and sweatshirt knits that should fill some serious gaps in my cold weather wardrobe.

First up is this sweatshirt from sweatshirt fleece I picked up at Vogue Fabrics (Evanston store).  I’d bought Burda 7434 a couple of years ago but never really came across the right fabric.  I like the sporty ribbon casing.  The pattern has all of these pleats–2 in the front armscye, 2 in each sleeve, and 2 on the front and back that chevron at the side seams (they also chevron on the sleeve, though it’s less obvious).  There’s also a sleeve pleat + topstitching detail.

vacation dress

In the midst of packing for our trip, I decided that a quick knit dress to toss in my suitcase was really a necessity.  Because it was a last minute operation, I pulled this knit out of my deep stash.  This fabric is not really in my colors, but it feels lovely and it’s appropriately fun for a travel dress, so I was not sad to use it up.

I had this particular poly/rayon/lycra jersey available to me and I took it as an opportunity to try out Burdastyle 2-2013-114.

vacation dress

shorts pattern
at my husband’s Grandma’s in NC

We’re back from 2 weeks of road tripping out to NC and back again via Chicago.  We had a great time visiting family, having our own bits of vacation, and lots of solid fabric shopping for me.

With so much time on the road and in the car, I wanted to make up another pair of shorts to give myself some more wardrobe options since we only were able to do laundry once.

So I turned to my favorite shorts pattern (Burdastyle 3-2011-131) made up in this pretty mystery blend fabric from Denver Fabrics.  I bought it as a very generous flat fold of 2.5 yds–so I’ll have enough for a skirt leftover!  It’s some kind of slub linen look fabric.  Awesome for me where travel is concerned it does not wrinkle at all, and the cross dyed texture really hides dirt (wonderful when wearing anything for an untold number of days in the company of young kids).  Usually I shun synthetics in summer, but this felt like it had a high percentage of natural fibers in it and it was sturdy but mostly pretty. 

flared pencil skirt

Since having my colors done, I’ve been slow to get things done.  I’ve been really looking at my stash and trying hard to stay within my palette and contrast level.  I do really feel much better wearing these colors, but there’s often not a lot available to me in fabric shops.  Like when I shop RTW (minus LOFT which apparently has my number the last two seasons!), I sometimes get frustrated by my lack of choices.  Hopefully I can find some really good choices when we’re on our big road trip out to NC to see family.  We’re stopping at Needle Nook in Wichita and Vogue Fabrics in Chicago (yay yay yay!), so I’m sure to pick some things up that will fit within my palette.

So now, when I find something in my colors, I snatch it up quickly.  So it was with this poly/cotton twill that I found at Denver Fabrics.  The pattern is Burdastyle 12/2009/122.  I love the froofy flounce at the bottom that extends around the back.  The basic shape of the skirt is a pencil skirt, but the flounce makes it more of a flared pencil skirt.  The magazine has it made up in corduroy which I’ve always thought was a bit silly for a flounce which probably should be in a softer, more drapey fabric.  But given the denim details of the skirt, I went for it in the twill.  To me, the overall effect of this skirt is a denim pencil skirt with some froth in the back.  Fun.

Flared Pencil Skirt

gathered raglan sleeve

Burdastyle 2-1013-127 really grabbed my attention with it’s long, gathered raglan sleeve.  Long raglan sleeves in Burda mags are pretty rare–that there’s a little frippery with the sleeve gathers makes it all the more fun.  I was tempted to download the pattern–I was saved the utter hassle because of the greatness of this issue.  At least 5 things caught my eye besides jackets (Burda always has great jackets), so I knew it’d be worth it to just buy the whole issue.

There’s only 3 pieces, so this sews together very quickly.  The gathers are in the sleeve, not the front, which I appreciate–bulk over the arms, not the bust is a great deal more attractive.

neutral feather dress

As I said, I’ve been working on Burdastyle’s Jan 2011 cover dress (Burdastyle 1-2011-108).  I was immediately drawn to the collar, and indeed it’s a great design feature.  And though the thought of making a bagazillion buttonholes in a knit was initially scary, they went in without issue through the aid of some lightweight fusible interfacing.

That is where the love ends for this dress.  I fully lined it (beautifully I might add) because the knit was too sheer to go without.  While the pattern certainly had enough ease despite it not being a pattern with a lining, it added far too much bulk in the final dress.  This pattern needs more drape because you have to style it with a belt.

About that ease…it shouldn’t surprise me that a dress with this line drawing

neutral feather dress


When I was pregnant with the boys, I didn’t have a choice not to wear maternity pants.  I started sewing when I was pregnant with Noah because of the lack of maternity clothes in non-soul-killing colors and prints, and I couldn’t fit pants yet when I was pregnant with Sam.  I remember wearing this particular pair of Old Navy maternity jeans and feeling, well, fat with all of the extra fabric hanging off of my legs in the back and I remember vowing to figure out how to fit pants.

linen shorts

Loden and Grey Linen Shorts

Shorts have never been high on my love list in garments for the same reason that pants never have been either.  Trying to find RTW ones is an exercise in seeing just how bad you can feel about yourself in a dressing room.  Learning to fit pants has changed my mind about shorts, and since I started the pants fitting journey, shorts have creeped their way to the top of my want to sew list.