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My Ode to Pattern Review Weekend 2018


I just got back from Pattern Review Weekend 2018, and it was SO MUCH FUN!! I’m thoroughly exhausted, but it was totally worth it. I’m still on my PRW high, so I’m going to wax poetic about just how awesome this weekend was.

The weekend started on Friday morning with a tour of the Stratford Festival Costume Warehouse. This was such a cool tour. I can’t remember how many sewists are employed by this organization, but let’s just say it’s a lot. The costumes that they make are pretty fantastic.






At the end of the tour, we were able to try on some of the costumes. Not sure which of these should be my new look?



After the tour, we had three different sessions. The first was from the amazing Gillian Whitcombe. She talked about how to take better photos of our makes, and she had us practice taking some pictures. Kyle, from Vacuuming the Lawn, and I took this opportunity to take some photos of our makes from the same fabric. We actually bought this fabric at French Couture Fabrics in NYC during PRW 2017.


After lunch we heard from Jalie Patterns and got to see their new releases. I bought three. Then at the end of the afternoon, Bramaker Supplies gave a presentation. I never really considered making bras, but after their presentation, I’m kind of considering it.

When evening came we had entertainment, dinner, and contests. The entertainment was Connie Bontje’s ukulele band and they were FANTASTIC!!! The fun that they were having during their performance was contagious!!


After dinner we had the contests. I entered the camp shirt contest with a new version of Butterick 6563. I used some fabric that I have had in my stash for approximately 5ish years. It came from the now shuttered Les Fabriques. I loved that store and was so sad to see it close. 😦


Since the fabric was sewing-themed with all of the thimbles, I added spool and scissor buttons. They are super-cute, but a little tricky to move through the buttonholes.


And since this camp shirt was for a sewing weekend, I decided to add a little embroidery on the back. The design came from Urban Threads.



And just because I’ve been in an embroidery groove lately, I added some embroidery to the front pocket.

B5522E18-7C4B-4696-9BAE-FCEBF88DF433I loved how it turned out. It was a lot of fun to wear, and I actually won a prize for it!!!

On Saturday morning we boarded school buses at 8AM and headed out for some shopping. The first stop for my bus was Ann’s Fabrics in Hamilton, Ontario.


This is an amazing store. I bought some gorgeous wool sweater knit and some coral cotton sweater knit. I could have bought more, but I was trying to pace myself.


We then went to Ottawa Street in Hamilton and checked out more fabric stores. We also stopped for a few photo opps.


Our last stop of the afternoon was the Lens Mill Store in Woodstock, Ontario. This place is huge.



We returned to Stratford at 6PM. It was a full day of shopping. I ended up purchasing about 15 meters of fabric (and three Jalie patterns from day 1).


There are so many things to love about PR Weekends. The shopping is incredible and the sessions are super informative, but PR Weekends are way more than that.

For most of my childhood, I went to summer camp. It was always the highlight of my year. I loved everything about it and hated to see it end. When I would return home, I always felt like I had changed in important and visible ways. That’s kind of what PRW feels like to me. I’ve returned home to Boonetowne, and I feel a bit different. Over the weekend, I saw old friends and met some new ones. I was inspired and challenged and supported, and I began to imagine who and what I might become. That’s what I loved most about this weekend. At fifty years old, I left PRW thinking about who and what I might become. It’s like summer camp for grown-ups who really love fabric!


My Wardrobe Contest Entry


I think I’m finally done. I finished sewing everything yesterday and then today we got 5 inches of snow and school was cancelled. This gave me time to get the pictures taken and the entry submitted.

I’m calling this collection “Springtime in the Mountains.” Boonetowne is in the mountains of western North Carolina. We are 3300 feet above sea level. Our altitude and location produce springtime weather with lots of variability. One day it’s sunny and 65 degrees and the next day we are getting a winter storm. This wardrobe is designed for a mountain springtime. It has options for sunny days and snowy days.

I made three tops (Jalie 3667, Butterick 6378, Butterick 5526), two bottoms (Simplicity 8175, Ottobre 5/2015-9), and one topper (Jalie 3675).


These six garments actually produce a total of 12 different outfit options. And now I’m going to show you every single option–feel free to skim or leave this blog at any time.


















And if you haven’t had your fill of pictures, here are some composites:





Last but not least, here’s a video where I talk about each of the garments that I made for this contest. It’s almost seven minutes long, so watch at your own risk!!!!

This was a fun contest!! I loved every minute of it!

Ottobre 5/2015 #9 Update


One of the first garments that I made for the PR Wardrobe Contest was a pair of wool shorts. My plan was to wear these with tights during the transition from winter to spring. I liked the color and the fabric weight, but the fit was not great. They were a bit too baggy and the crotch was way too low.


So I took the waistband off, took the side seams in, and raised the crotch. Unfortunately in doing all of this, I lost the side pockets and made the shorts a bit too tight.


See, they’re too tight. Also the zipper is black and does not blend in. It was driving me nuts, so I made a second pair. Now the fit is good, the zipper is gray, and I am a happy woman.




Butterick 6378


I don’t know about y’all, but I was single for a LONG time. I didn’t get married until I was 40, and before I met Mr. Boonetowne, I went on a lot of dates. And dating is exhausting. Sometimes I would go on a date with someone new, and I would want so badly for him to be the one. Then something would happen (he would tell me he lives with his mom or he’s addicted to a controlled substance) and I would realize, without a doubt, that he was not the one. The disappointment was crushing.

I think I am having the same experience with my cream, floral Butterick 6563. I want so badly for this garment to be the third top in my wardrobe entry, but it’s just not right. It just doesn’t go with the skirt and the jacket. It’s too much of a stretch. I want it to work, but it doesn’t.

While wallowing in my disappointment, I decided to try a fourth top, to see if it was any better. Enter Butterick 6378 in a black and cream floral challis that I bought at JoAnn’s.


I decided to make View C without the elastic waist and with the short, banded sleeves from Butterick 6563.


I also decided to add a ruffle/flounce around the collar.


I cut a size 6 and graded out to an 8 because there’s a lot of ease in this pattern. I’m usually a 10 in tops. I used the sleeves from B6563 and then cut a ruffle that I added to the collar.






The good news and bad news is that I think it works better with my wardrobe skirt and topper. This means that I might have to give up my dream of the cream floral. It’s hard to let a dream go.




Butterick 6563


It started with this fabric. Each Christmas my husband gives me a gift certificate to Mood. It’s the best gift ever!! This year when I was doing my post-Christmas Mood shopping, I came across this fabric. It’s a cotton sateen named The Passing of Adonis. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but I knew I had to have it. I ordered two yards.


Then last weekend I was visiting Asheville, NC and made a brief stop in JoAnn’s. Butterick patterns were on super-sale, and I scored this new Gertie pattern. I decided that View C would be a perfect vehicle for The Passing of Adonis. Not that anyone cares, but in my opinion, The Passing of Adonis name does not really fit the fabric. English Springtime would be better. Or even Adonis’ Garden. Or even Adonis in Springtime. Maybe Mood should hire me.

In any case, the pattern is super straightforward and seriously cute. I spent a lot of time trying to decide which buttons to use. I even solicited Insta-feedback. I had four different options that I had identified from the button stash that my mom gave me.


Options 1-3 were glass. I ended up going with Option 4.


I did get to use some of my newest gadgets. I used this accordion thing to place my buttonholes. I’m not sure how I lived without it because it’s awesome.


I also used my new buttonhole cutting tool.


I also used a tip that I got from Male Pattern Boldness on Instagram. He recommended putting Fraycheck in the buttonholes before cutting. I did this and it worked really well.




I loved the end result. The only problem was that when I combined this top with my wardrobe bottom and topper, things got way too busy. See:


It just felt like way too much. So I ended up switching out the flower buttons for some cream, glass buttons. It’s a little less overwhelming.





Here it is with one of my bottoms:


And with the topper:


It’s a lot, but hopefully it works.

I’ve made some changes and another top


I wore my pleather, embellished skirt to work, and truth be told, it was a little too jangley. It jangled when I walked. That did not feel (or sound) very professional. It was also a little too rodeo. So I made a decision–the rivets had to go and it needed to be a little less Grand Ole Opry. Make no mistake, I love the Grand Ole Opry, but not on this skirt. So I pried the rivets off.


Then I replaced the tonal flowers with small, black leather fabrics. Instead of riveting them on, I sewed them on.




I think it’s better, and it’s definitely far less jangley.


Once I had the skirt revamped I moved on to another top–Jalie 3667. I’ve been sewing this top nonstop. Seriously, I think I’ve made something like 8 versions of it. This time I used some crocheted lace from Mood and put it on top of some cream knit from Metro Textiles in NYC (they have new online site–check it out!!) I used black scuba on the sleeves, neckband,  cuffs, and the waistband I added. I also shortened the front and back to fall at waist level.


After I finished the top, the cream knit seemed a little too bright-white when I put it next to the bomber.


I didn’t like the way it looked with the jacket, so I brewed another very large pot of tea and stuck the Jalie top into it. The tea took the white down to a better level.



It took some doing to make sure that the flowers did not line up with the boobs, but I think I might have done it.


Here’s the back:


And here it is with the bomber:



I really kind of dig it.

Jalie 3675


I’ve been changing my mind. At first I was planning on making a Burda military jacket above (5/2011 #113) out of some black beefy knit as the topper in my PR wardrobe contest entry. But then I started worrying that the military jacket would be too wintry. So then I thought about the floral blouse that I made.


And I started to think that maybe “flowers” should be the unifying theme for my wardrobe entry. So then I started to wonder what kind of floral print would go with my blouse and work as a topper.


I started searching the Mood website and found the above fabric in a Mikado. When I realized that the name of this fabric was “Wildflowers of the Mountains,” I took it as a sign because Boonetowne is in the mountains. I ordered one yard and paid for it with my Mood points and so it was free and that was kind of like another sign. Then I was on the and found some Lucky Brand sneakers in the exact same pattern!! That was like a sign times x 3. So the long and the short of this is my topper is made out of this wildflower print and flowers will serve as the unifying theme for my wardrobe contest entry.

I decided to make a bomber and since Jalie’s Charlie bomber is one of my favorite patterns, I went with the Jalie bomber. I had some striped, ribbed knit that I bought at Butoni in NYC during the 2017 Pattern Review Weekend, and I thought I would try to use it with my mountain-flower fabric. The problem was that it was a bit too white.


The bright white stripes were not working for me, so I made some tea and used it to dye the trim.



It worked perfectly. The tea toned the bright white stripes down just a tad. I’m not sure if you can see the difference in the pictures, but the stripes are more off-white/creamy-white after the dunk in the tea.


I assembled the Charlie the same way I always do–with the online tutorial. I used scuba on the sleeves and to line the front and back. The jacket went together without a hitch.



It snowed this morning in Boonetowne, but I was not to be deterred. I wanted to take pictures with my bomber and my matching kicks. What I got was pictures of my bomber, my shoes, and Louise.


I wanted close-ups of the shoes, but that turned out to be a little harder than I imagined. This one looks like I might have stepped in dog poo.


This one is equally strange, but I like how Louise showed up in all of them.


So now I’m wondering, how much floral is too much floral. I made the blouse below the other day (I still have to blog about it) and I love it, but does it really go with the jacket????? Not sure.






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