Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring Vogues, oh my

I must admit one of my great pleasures some mornings is getting a notice in my inbox that new patterns are up. I love a new pattern.

Yesterday it was Vogue.

I was a bit stunned by this season's collection to be honest.

Increasingly I am only interested in patterns and clothes that I can see  worn in real life. After all a real life is all what we all have and most of us don't have an infinite amount of sewing time. Seems to me to be a pretty clear calculation there.

On this basis I have been increasingly impressed by recent releases from Stylearc, been making some of those looser dresses lately and loving them:





I have also been excited by Jalie's new patterns. Jalies grow on you. I have found  their patterns so often turn into ones you make again and again. Here are some of those I see with that potential in the newest collection:






I mean both the Stylearc and Jalie patterns are stuff you would actually put on.

I wish I could say the same about the new Vogues. I would have thought the business model would include clothes that a lot of people would want to sew and want to wear.

On that basis, in no particular order, are some that caught my eye this week:




O.K. let's start positive. This dress does have potential for an event. It keeps the attention at the top of the body, which is a good thing, and means you don't jam yourself into Spanx for the wedding. I am not knocked out by this dress but it would be wearable and if you could find some drapey fabric would be nice, although finding nice draped fabric is not that easy.



Now this one is a bit of a contradiction in terms (notice too how you can see the model's navel? Wonder what the lining is?) Back to contradiction. The bodice of this dress is designed to show boobs but you can only wear it if you don't have boobs (model with navel doesn't even quite fill this out but is covered which makes my point) and she also seems to get away without side boob problems with that armhole too. This unit would involve a lot of sewing time for something you  would definitely not wear on a repeat basis, only once when you are going to the Academy Awards but not sure if those folks are entirely all sewers.


Now this one is beyond, just beyond. I am not at all consoled by the fact that military breastplate is detachable. How many dumb features can you fit into one dress? Apparently a lot. I wonder if they will sell one copy of this pattern.



Look at the model's face in this one. She feels the same way I do about this knee heavy outfit. She's not taking this one home. Like wearing the duvet.


This is a back to the future number. I distinctly wonder if the next trend is the '70s? Seems to look like it. Quite sure my sister and I made dresses like this years ago and quite sure we tacked that neckline closed halfway up.


O.K. I have already made this bathing suit, when I was about 13. Out of broadcloth with buttons for the top and a zipper in the bottom. In the dark ages swimwear fabric was not available. I can tell you from intense experience then that these bathing suits are a bitch to fit and definitely made only for sunbathing not for swimming. The problem of course is that we aren't supposed to sunbath anymore (any other idiot ever spend time holding a home-made tinfoil sun reflector up to her face to get a tan? Those trips to the dermatologist these days are a riot now aren't they?) and that if you go into the water in something like this it is the equivalent to falling overboard in your clothes (something I have done myself on more than one occasion while trying to learn to sail). Everything gets saggy and heavy and sort of falls down. Not all vintage garments are worth reviving. What's next? Girdles?



Seems to me that on a regular basis the pattern companies try to convince us that mega width pants are O.K. Really? Where would you wear this outfit and not feel like a dork? If you were 7 feet tall and wearing 5 inch heels and just stood there maybe, possibly, but the rest of us would look like Frigidaires.


This seems to me to be more wearable. The wide top is balanced by pants that are slimmer in the hip.


Another back to the future number. If it was 1972 and you were bringing a jellied salad or an onion soup mix dip to a backyard pool party this might work, check your calendar.

Right now the Indie patterns are looking pretty good to me. 

What do you think?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Flypaper thoughts last week here edition


  • If sewing in an r.v. were an Olympic event
  • There would be a gold medal for Canada
  • Older man stopped by and watched me serge on the picnic table
  • My mother died when I was young but I remember her sewing for all us kids, he said
  • Seeing you there brought her back
  • I like doing something that makes older men remember their mothers
  • Told the husband that when the draft goes out he is taking me for a mojito
  • Not much for drinks but like ones that taste like something else
  • Do you know what not once in my life have I ever gone into a bar by myself?
  • As likely to do that as apply lipstick in public
  • Some things date me
  • Taken time to adapt to these things
  • Jackets and coats that are shorter than what's under them
  • Bra straps that show under racerback tanks or dresses
  • Shoes and purses that don't match
  • Why bare veinly legs are better than having nylons over them
  • Calling panty hose nylons
  • Some things don't date me
  • Don't date most women
  • When was the last time you heard a woman say she was a meat and potatoes kind of person?
  • I think fashion and children keep us flexible
  • Think of all the styles we have talked ourselves into
  • Cold shouldered tops this year
  • Thong underwear
  • Coats with only one button at the top
  • Midcalf skirts
  • Hope I haven't offended anyone here
  • Shoes we can't walk in
  • All this sewing has reminded me how energizing it is to go all in on what you are working on
  • I enjoy working hard
  • Forget telling myself that the dusting and hand made pasta are things that I would do if I had more time
  • I would have the time if I really wanted to do them
  • Would just rather sew
  • Golf game much improved
  • Husband double checking my score
  • No date stamp on learning
  • Remember that
  • Have an idea for a new project
  • Response to my friend who flags the "10 minute recipe"
  • List of things sewers can cook so they don't waste sewing time
  • Criteria is that it can be made in 10 minutes
  • Doesn't poison you
  • And has some category of healthy
  • So fish sticks and frozen French fries are not eligible
  • Besides I can already do that
  • You in?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Flypaper thoughts over and underestimated things in life



  • Only two and a half more weeks then we are home
  • Should be back to my real life and posting real sewing then too
  • I have been thinking about the title topics of this post
  • Here we go
  • Staystitching is underestimated
  • It keeps things from stretching so so much
  • Like 2" in a scooped neckline
  • That's why the facing doesn't fit
  • From wide to narrow, down to up
  • Stay stitching really works
  • Best thing I bought all year was 
  • A dog stroller
  • Miss Daisy likes to walk only in one direction
  • But with short legs she doesn't get that this means she has to walk the same distance back
  • Dog strollers are a genius idea for the beach
  • She goes as long as she wants and then I pop her in
  • She loves it, lies and watches the waves and the people
  • Never underestimate the usefulness of really nerdy and embarrassing things
  • My daughter says though if she sees that thing in the neighbourhood she will be mortified
  • Never underestimate the freedom of being at the certain age when you don't give a shit
  • Never underestimate the soothing effect of spending time with your dad's old friend
  • When your own dad died before the internet was invented
  • Do you have any idea how great it feels to sit and talk to someone who knew him and is still exactly like him?
  • Like a quiet gift giving me some time with him back
  • Friendships transcend anything
  • This week my best friend from home made me a sample and sent me pictures the same day I asked
  • We all need pinch hitters
  • And the no questions asked people
  • Remember when you were a kid and life was a cashless environment
  • When your best friend was everything?
  • Well that hasn't changed
  • Only you did for a while
  • But you can get it back at any time
  • I am now friends with my dad's best friend's daughter too
  • Never underestimate the power of a nice hand stitch to go where no machine dares to
  • Wish Jill Scott made more movies
  • The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series was amazing
  • She had these cool cotton dresses too
  • Never underestimate the value of a man who brings you coffee in bed before you get up
  • As a matter of fact that should be a pre-nuptial test question
  • Got to get to San Francisco to see where the kid is living and working
  • Right now I feel I don't know where he is
  • Got to have a picture in my head
  • Like to see where they buy groceries, where he catches the bus
  • That's what matters
  • Those are the picture I want
  • More possessions than you can fit in an rv is probably overestimated
  • Only thing I have missed is...
  • OK can't remember what that is
  • Where we are I see flamingos flying in the inland waterway
  • All pink with dangling long legs
  • With all these gifts there are no things to miss
  • Only people

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Flypaper thoughts Sunday morning edition


  • For the past month I have been doing nothing but sewing, writing about sewing, and thinking about sewing
  • I have been so happy all month
  • Makes me think two things
  • How lucky I am to have something that makes me feel that way
  • How hard it would be if all you could think of doing was say dust
  • Or watch TV
  • BTW at what moment did anyone invent reality TV?
  • Seems to me that we used to watch shows so we didn't have to deal with that
  • Haven't watched anything but the news in months
  • Second thing all this sewing related has made me realize
  • I haven't lost it, not one bit
  • There is zero difference between late middle-aged me when I sew as when I was 17
  • I can do something that totally connects those two people
  • At 7 Miss Scarlett feels the same way when she sews
  • Wonder if she knows she is right now connecting with her 80 year-old-self
  • Going to see those guys tomorrow
  • They are on the Gulf Coast with the other grandparents who I also love
  • We are going over to have the girls sleep over in the RV
  • Those guys are a zany bunch
  • Daughter texted me that the trip down was the worst trip in her life
  • 10 hours with three kids up since 3:30 a.m.?
  • How is that possible?
  • Every one has to have somewhere to put their love
  • That's why all rv folks who are older like us have a small dog
  • Spend all those decades
  • Listening in your bed to hear if that cough sounds like croup
  • Or to hear the car safely glide into the driveway
  • Or standing with the world's stupidest school supply list at Staples
  • Wondering if the lines on the music teacher's requested exercise book are 3/8" wide
  • Instead of 1/2" 
  • Will really matter at all
  • But think maybe someone else has the right exercise books
  • After all it is your kid
  • A person doesn't just come to a standing stop on that stuff
  • And then the big kids tell you Mom your job is done, enjoy yourself
  • Which of course is why you need a dog
  • Who will never say anything like that to you
  • And lets you coo while you watch them eat
  • And lets you brush their teeth
  • Nothing wrong with it
  • Have to let the flow keep going
  • What a wonderful feeling to know that I will never have to retire from doing what I really do best
  • This is the primary difference between sewers and professional athletes 
  • Imagine if someone had said 
  • You're 32, your best days of putting in zippers are behind you
  • Proved to myself this week that my best zippers are now
  • Watch out

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Running on the beach

I heard today that the rescue organization where we got Miss Daisy has just gone and picked up 250 dogs from a puppy mill that was busted in Jacksonville. I heard too that those dogs are right now pretty low and scared. If I wasn't in an RV I would be over there right now and getting another one.

So I was thinking today about Daisy when we got her. Never been out of a cage, all flat and closed into herself.

Well today here she was at the beach. May those other dogs get a chance.


Here's to second chances everywhere https://youtu.be/oWwLaRANW9s





Thursday, February 23, 2017

We have to talk

Listen blog readers I have not forgotten you. 

Thing is I have this book writing thing going on and have a deadline. I am not sure if anyone will read it but I sure am putting my heart into it. So many sewing thoughts of a lifetime. I don't want to wake up in a few months and think I haven't told you something I need to. 

So bear with me. Lot of production going on in the RV.

So until my sewing goes public again are we fine with flypaper thought? Let me know. Here we go:


  • Time off for golf lessons
  • Pro is an elderly Irishman who might have had the odd cocktail or two
  • Slouches in the cart and just nails what I am doing wrong
  • No reaction when I say to him "this is just like life isn't it?"
  • Makes sense to me
  • Tells me to stand tall and just trust the swing
  • Of course this is like life
  • But maybe he has heard this one a lot
  • Jalie patterns are the bomb
  • Everyone new one has been turning out for me lately
  • If my husband keeps feeding me like this I am going to have to expand the fitting chapter
  • I think the three step zig zag is the most neglected stitch on the machine
  • Keeps that long zig zag thread from catching
  • It is making me unbelievably happy to have nothing to do but write and sew
  • Why did I ever think anything else is important?
  • Next weekend are going to the other coast to see the kids and grandkids and the other grandparents
  • Really looking forward to it
  • Promised the girls they could sleepover in the RV one night
  • Decided next winter we are going to drive across the country to San Francisco
  • No kid is going to get away that easy
  • Taken the southern route I think
  • Saw a pink flamingo in flight today
  • My niece is still digging out the driveway at home
  • I doubt if I will ever sew any zipper again except an invisible one
  • Why would you?
  • You can restitch and restitch them until you get it right
  • And none of that shows on the right side
  • Try that with a lapped zipper
  • I walk down to the inland waterway at night just to hear the fish flip out of the water
  • Miss Daisy listens for them too
  • Got to write tomorrow and then practice golf
  • Want to show I've got the life part down 
  • So we can move on to the slice
  • That's part of life too

Sunday, February 5, 2017

My halftime flypaper thoughts


  • OK I am not watching football but am aware it's on
  • Daisy is fast asleep too
  • Sewing on the road working well
  • Iron outside, cut on a cardboard mat on the bed, and machines on the table
  • Works if you keep your elbows tight
  • Times are changing
  • Nylon stockings are out whatever the temperature and leg veins
  • Eyebrows are in, coloured eye shadow is out
  • As far as I am concerned tailor tacks never go out of style
  • Saw an ad for a food preservation system that means you can eat food you made 35 years ago
  • Think about that
  • Who was a better cook 35 years ago?
  • Let's add water and rehydrate tuna casserole made with a can of mushroom soup mix with crumbled potato chips on top
  • You can tell a lot about a man by the look on his wife's face
  • Been to enough office Christmas parties to have figured that out
  • Riding my bike on the beach in the mornings
  • Watch the pelicans glide like masters of the universe
  • Pre-historic faces and all that grace
  • Consider that peacocks don't fly
  • Hope girls in high school are holding that thought
  • Not much is nicer than a row of perfect buttonholes
  • Any body figured out why it takes a dog 20 minutes to find the exact right place to pee
  • I wish I could play the clarinet
  • Ended piano when the teacher said come back when you have rhythm 
  • Good news Mom I said
  • I don't ever have to go back
  • But really
  • The clarinet is the musical equivalent of a shawl collar wool velour coat
  • You know what I mean?
  • Any one want to split a Key Lime pie with me?
  • Not many of those in Nova Scotia
  • Pies or splitters
  • My turn for dishes
  • Catch you later