Saturday, October 22, 2016

Autumn Sewing Miscellany

I've been sewing...I have four tops to photograph and share with you...just haven't gotten there since my photographer has a pretty full life with four little ones, a full time job, house and mate. Next photo shoot is tomorrow so more posts next week.

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Thoughts/Ideas ~
However, as the temps have risen and fallen this week, I've started to think again about what I want to look like in my new world. Also, I'm becoming a YouTube junkie watching many of the vlogs that sewists are making because it's interesting to see their fabric & pattern choices, what styles they think are important going forward, etc.

Though all of this makes me realize that my view of what's stylish and wearable is different than that of a 20, 30 or 40 year old...even some of the more fit and stylish 50 year-olds. My fashion view truly is more JJill, Chicos and Talbots, because of my work situation and my age. I want to be fashionable, comfortable (as in clothing that doesn't fit tightly), and age appropriate. I love the 70s boho chic look, but seriously I did it best in my teenage years!

As I've been exploring more of where I want to take my sewing this fall/winter, I've decided to pass on sewing bottoms and live with RTW. Of course this has meant making some adjustments to the pieces I've purchased. I can live with that for now since these are easy alterations that put jeans into my wardrobe quickly. Sewing wise I've decided to explore the world of tops, blouses, shirts, tunics and toppers/jackets.

Here are a few shirt patterns that I've purchased recently or had in the pattern stash and want to sew this season ~

BTW, I bought a couple of Style Arc Patterns from Amazon because they have several sizes in one pattern and are shipped in 2 days if you're a Prime member. I've always liked the designs from Style Arc patterns just couldn't handle that whole shipping from Australia thing. Love that they've partnered with Amazon to get patterns to the Northern Hemisphere faster!

I will make more of Butterick 5678 since I made a couple of pieces that were winners last fall.  I wore this one to #wineandcheesewithkashi that received a lot of compliments, so I will definitely use this TNT pattern again.

This is going to be my jacket/topper of choice this season ~

I've already thought up some interesting combos which means that I'm retiring my Rachel Comey hacked pattern that I used as a topper last winter. Three versions are enough right?! *LOL*

I have some quilted fabric that I want to use to make another Tamarack Jacket. Have all the supplies on hand - just have to get on that!

There will be a lot more denim in my wardrobe since I've been purchasing some interesting pieces ~

I would like to use some of the suiting fabrics in the collection in different ways that will work in my new lifestyle.  This was a goal last fall/winter and I only used one piece of fabric from the collection for this garment. I have to admit I only wore this topper to go out with friends and never to work. It just always seemed to "fancy" for work.

Finally, I miss pumps. I've added a couple of pairs of cool sneakers to my foot gear cause boy have sneakers changed. Also a few more pairs of shoe booties...but I miss pumps! *sigh*

So more posts are coming and this is an overview of where my sewing is going for fall/winter.

Social Events ~
Even though I've done some sewing and have a few items to share, I've been way more social lately. I've been to lunch or dinner with quite a few sewing bloggers that have journeyed to NYC, sadly I have few pictures of these events. I don't know why I can't remember to take a picture! Maybe because I'm so busy enjoying their company that I don't feel a need to document it for social media.

Though we did have dinner to celebrate my girl Nettie's (Sown Brooklyn) birthday. I love this woman! These are one of those friendships that I came to through sewing that I treasure.  

The women pictured at this table are true friends not internet friends, there for me in times of trouble (thanks for holding my hand during that whole job situation) times of joy, sorrow (some of the first to see me when I got back to NYC from Houston) and for encouragement...even though Aspen has some concerns about my relationship with Jesus...hahahaha!

I need to apologize if you've been in NYC and sent me a note to meet and I was unavailable to do so because most of my meetings/social events are planned weeks in advance. I'm not in NYC every day since my job allows me to work from home some days. Also, honestly I've been burnt by meeting some sewists in person who've posted some hurtful things to internet boards about meeting me. This has made me ALOT more cautious about who I meet. So please know it's me not you! I'm sure that just put me back in the cross hairs again but to me honesty is better than deception so there it is.

It's a dreary day here so I'm in the sewing cave sewing. Hope you're having a wonderful sewing weekend too! always more later!


  1. Yikes Carolyn! Your blog is such a pleasure to read, and I imagine you're a treasured friend for those who truly know you. Hate the idea that you've been burned by fellow sewists. You're appreciated by so many, including me.

  2. Great fabric and pattern haul!

  3. Awww I'm sorry people have hurt you I met you the first time and got warm and fuzzies! I hope to see you soon. I will try to do better with my visiting. Sometimes I just pop in since I'm only 3.5 hours away. Your tops look great!

    1. Yeah Donna really why do you just keep popping up in NYC! *LOL* Seriously DM me on IG the next time you're coming this way and we can at least go see Kashi together!

  4. Some good sewing plans there. You can wear jeans everyday with a different top and no one will notice they are the same jeans!

  5. Oh my word, people are funny aren't they. Well, I'm a Bostonian in NY off and on, but never at a sewing meet up we both were at. I don't blog but read yours and have sewn, especially when you were making business type clothes to copy you shamelessly. Cheers!

  6. Ah,... have been known, not sewn....

  7. I think you'll like the Cashmerette Harrison shirt. I ended up giving my first try with it to my neighbor - it fits her beautifully. After I crank out a few more pairs of jeans I am going back to that pattern to make one that fits me better.

  8. Have fun with your Fall/Winter sewing. Great pattern and fabric choices.

  9. I cannot imagine someone being a jerk about meeting you. Then again, my mom met you at a sewing festival and I squealed in joy, was immediately jealous and asked for photos.
    I lurk a lot, and comment less.
    I love your sense of style and flair. Your finishes, ability to adapt patterns and fabric choices are amazing. I hope to be someone who can sew and see the clothes the way you do.
    So for every jerk you meet, maybe there's a fan-girl too far away to see you!

  10. You know I love sewing plans!!! Love the tops and can't wait to see them come to life.


    I need to take a few more risks with fabric. Those look like some super fun pieces. I've been thinking about a denim vest but not traditional as-in sleeveless jean jacket...but something interesting. I'm far less creative than you so I'll have to browse the interwebs for inspiration!

    Yeahhhh people suck. I'm making a whole social media switch. I have gotten into some decent discussion but now feel like I implicitly sanction the nasty stuff by being an otherwise contributing member. You know you and the people who KNOW you, know you.

    Looks like you ladies had an amazing time.

  11. I too have a stack of suiting from when I worked a fancier job. Now that I'm a mom they are not practical. I took a few yards last week and made a ruana. Quick, easy and got it out of my stash.

  12. Mean people suck.
    I'll be waiting to your versions of the top style arc and bottom right vogue!
    I'd love to see some shares to some of your favorite sewing vlogs- your list of blogs is a godsend on my long, quiet homehealth night shifts!

  13. It was my pleasure meeting you in NYC this summer Carolyn and I feel very honoured you took the time to come and meet me. I haven't got into the vlog thing at all: -any vlogs in particular you recommend?

  14. Carolyn, I'm so sorry you were subjected to meanness from people whom you were gracious to meet with.

    Someone else wrote above, and I want to reiterate, there's probably 1000 fan girls on the Internet for every mean girl you met. I am not of your size, age, body shape or style preferences but I'm a huge fan of you and your blog! I bet there are tons of people like me who read this blog and love you for what you are! Some day I'd love to meet you in person too.

  15. You have the right idea of sewing what's right for you. It doesn't matter what's hot in the fashion and sewing streets, make what you like!

    After all of these years of blogging, I still can't get with meeting strangers from the internet just because they pop through Birmingham. I've done it a couple of times, but be sure that they were thoroughly vetted! I need a semblance of assurance that they're not crazy. And the most bizarre requests are from people that have no blogs or social media accounts and have never engaged me, but now want to meet. Girl, no! But I think it's super cool that you all do this in a group setting.

    1. "I need a semblance of assurance that they're not crazy. "


  16. I'm totally in your zone on wardrobe planning. No over-fitted tops and I, too, buy most of my slacks/leggings/jeans. Love the patterns you mention - made the Marcy T jacket and like the interesting seams. We are so lucky that sewing gives us freedom to make whatever we feel suits our lifestyle, figure and age, Thank you, Carolyn, for writing such an inspirational blog which makes me feel like you are writing just to me! Karen

  17. Love hearing your thoughts and ideas about where your sewing is going. I feel pretty sad hearing that sewing folks have been hurtful to you - messed up for sure. Your light shines bright through your blog and you are appreciated by so many of us, including me!

  18. I cannot imagine meeting you and posting something hurtful. In fact, I'm stunned. It was delightful to connect at EXPO and I wish we lived a lot closer. HUGS.

  19. How dare ANYONE make a mean comment about you when you willingly gave up your precious time to meet with them??!! Honestly sometimes it's hard to hold tight to faith in mankind..... But as everyone has said, then you see the hundreds of people who love you and your blog and you just have to take the attitude that it's their shame...... I don't often comment online but thank you Carolyn for your great blog and rest assured there are probably thousands of people like me who read your blog and enjoy but (and I am ashamed to say) don't take the time often enough to praise!

  20. Will you share which vlogs you are watching on YouTube? I am getting hooked on them too- but they are all "youngsters". Are there any 50 something vloggers out there for us to watch?

    1. And I have to add- you inspire me all the time! I bought a kantha quilt to make a jacket after seeing the ones made by you and Shams. When it came, it was so pretty. And I thought of those ladies in India who made it and probably only earned $1 for all that work. I couldn't cut it up! So it's on the end of my bed.
      I also don't do pants, but concentrate on jackets and tops. I have a few brands of RTW pants that fit and work in my semi casual office. So I buy them in every color and focus my sewing on tops to wear with them. I finally do have a pants pattern that fits- Eureka pants from Fit for Art. So I may have to dig out fabric and make some. Like you, my stash has lots of fabric for how my job used to be. I can't part with it.

    2. There is one vlogger I watch who is 50, Anita by Design, but her sewing is a lot different than mine.

  21. I buy my Style Arc patterns on Etsy! You can get three sizes in one PDF and if you need a different three size combo you just let them know and they try to help out. They do have some of the most interesting patterns, I just have a bit of trouble with sizing but that is minor.

  22. Why would anyone go to the trouble of meeting someone they know on line and then post negative things about that person? I think it's them, not you. #offendedonyourbehalf

  23. Caroline your honesty is refreshing. I have enjoyed your blog for quite a while. I did see you several times at Sew Expo in February and I was excited that you were there, but I did not feel it was proper for me to interrupt you to introduce myself to you.

    Truth be told I was as excited to see you as I was to see some TV celebrities at an awards show several years ago. I feel I at least have a love of fabric and sewing in common with you.

    I cannot imagine why anyone would choose to blog negatively about a meeting you were gracious to accept?

    As well as the sharing your sewing and your beautiful family, I appreciate the rare (but that makes them more powerful) political posts you make.


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