Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/16/2016
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Do you ever have a hard time completing sewing projects at home? (Do you ever NOT have a hard time completing projects at home?) Maybe it’s the family or the pets or the neighbors that need attention – maybe it’s the mess or the tv or the bills that distract us or maybe it is all of the above.
Going off on a sewing retreat is a great way to concentrate on your projects, learn new skills, meet new friends and relax in an atmosphere filled with all of your favorite things – like needles, thread, sewing machines, fabulous fabrics and other sewistas! And the good news is that there are so many sewing retreats offered these days.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/28/2016
Vogue Patterns just published their Winter Holidays pattern collection and it is full of surprises, and some wonderful choices for your winter sewing. Overall, what is best about this collection is that there are some new names in the book.
Kayla Kennington has knocked it out of the park with her new pattern Vogue 9229. These tunics with overlays are very current and wearable for many body types. I love the sleeve and collar variations and feel like I could sew both View A and B, and end up with two totally different, yet fantastic, garments. These tunics are great for both work or evening attire. This is one that I’m definitely sewing.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 4/28/2016
When I was a teenager, I sewed a lot of my own clothes. Most of my friends sewed and they too, wore clothing that was home sewn. We were not embarrassed about this fact, in fact, we were proud to wear our own creations. Growing up in Southern California, we sewed t-shirts, shorts, sundresses, bikinis, etc. Sewing our own clothes provided us a way to be typical adolescents – to create our own identities and to express our own unique styles. Sewing my own clothing still does that for me, so perhaps I am in an arrested state of adolescence when it comes to clothing. I don’t want most of the things in the stores nor what most people are wearing. I want to do my own thing and create my own style.
Just out are the new summer patterns from Vogue and it is difficult to imagine any sewista not being able to find something among them to make her happy to sew. Here are my top choices:
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 3/9/2016
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/25/2015
Last year that was a lot of media buzz about large retail stores essentially forcing their employees to work on Thanksgiving. It seems that “Black Friday” simply had to start early. This year, on the other hand, there is a lot of media buzz about REI staying closed for Thanksgiving and “Black Friday” and there have been stories about how many retail chains are completely closed on Thanksgiving Day. Today I read an article about how the day after Thanksgiving is not such an important shopping day after all.
I, for one, have to admit that on many occasions, while cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I have been grateful to find out that a grocery store was open.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/4/2015
I got the feedback that my latest review of the new Vogue Patterns was a bit negative for some of you nice people who read my blog. So, I am trying to keep it positive this time when I write about the latest offerings from Butterick.
I am pleased to say that there is one dress pattern that I would love to sew - #6280, which is a style that can be flattering on many different women. I love the opportunity to use a combination of fabrics - like a solid ponte on the sides and a print on the front and back. The neckline is a nice detail that adds interest and you can either include the side pockets or not. I’m seeing this in a black ponte like Maggy London's Jet Black Ponte on the sides and a print like the Red Volcanic Eruption in the front and back. Or you could use Betsey Johnson's Geometric print on the front and back - that would be a real stunner for the right sewista with a bit of silver in her hair.
I am pleased to announce the adoption of “Pumpkin,” a two-year-old Vizsla mix (some people call them Hungarian Pointers) and the sweetest girl you could ever meet. Pumpkin came to me from the County Shelter here is Southern Oregon where she landed after being picked up as a stray. It is so hard to imagine anyone just letting her go - but irresponsible pet owners are a subject for another blog.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 10/27/2015
Anyone who truly knows me knows at least a couple of things about me:
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 10/15/2015
1. I own so many sewing patterns that I will never have enough room to properly store them all. I can’t resist buying more.
2. My personal philosophy when it comes to holiday clothing and decor is to “go gaudy.”
Given those two things together, one might assume that I will buy many of the new Vogue Winter Holiday patterns. Well, one would be wrong because I may be purchasing one or two of them - tops. "Too much" is the phrase that comes to mind.
Ok back to the Japonesque Top… I finished the one I started a couple of weeks ago. I sewed the large because it fit the last time I sewed it. I probably should have used the medium, but oh well, it will work as a lightweight jacket.
The pattern calls for hand stitching and I was certain that I would not do that. In fact, I tested out several of the decorative stitches on my Bernina. After testing the stitches, I felt like most of them would have distorted my lightweight fabric too much and I did not feel like adding interfacing. So, in fact, I did go with hand stitching, just a simple running stitch with Pearl Cotton.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/19/2015
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Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/1/2015
It is September 2015 and this is National Sewing Month here in the United States of America. National Sewing Month has been around since 1982 and it is a joint effort of the American Sewing Guild and the Sewing & Craft Alliance.
Do you ever get so enthralled with a pattern that you sew it up several times over? For me, the Japonesque Top, now out of print, from The Sewing Workshop is one of those patterns. I have sewn so many of them that I have forgotten about some, given others to friends, and worn others out.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/26/2015
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Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/19/2015
Does it seem to you like the world is suddenly full of sewing retreats, conferences, workshops, vacations, etc.? Well, it does to me. So how in the world do you pick which one or ones to attend?
The one that has caught my eye is Camp Workroom Social which is coming up this October 16-19.
Plenty of you have followed the recent goings on with the very beautiful sewing blogger “Cashmerette” aka Jenny. She blogs about her wonderful sewing projects and the particulars of plus size sewing, sharing her experiences and expertise freely in the sewing community. www.cashmerette.com
Sadly, we got reminded that plus size women often get hostility directed at them. A young man in his 20s went on her Instagram page and told her that not only was she not attractive to him, but that she should lay off the cake. Basically, he presumed that she is a piece of public property and that he is entitled to comment on her appearance and body size, in addition to telling her what she should and shouldn’t eat.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/12/2015
I don’t care what anyone says, I happen to love sewalongs. So when my friend Karen suggested that we sew Very Easy Vogue 8968, I immediately started to put together possibilities from my stash. By the look of the drawings on the cover of the pattern, this would be a pretty short dress, or maybe a tunic. I like the pattern because it is easy, but kind of unusual. I thought it could make a variety of striking garments.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/5/2015
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Many of us use a sewing machine only a bit less than our personal computers or tablets. If you are anything like me, you hate to be away from your sewing machine for any length of time. But as important as a sewing machine is in our lives, few of us are aware of the important role the sewing machine played in the outcome of the Civil War, a critical moment in American history.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 7/29/2015
Women in Clothes
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 7/22/2015
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is a book that is unlike any other I have ever read. The authors are listed as Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leah Shapton & 639 others. Yes, that is 639 other women including writers, activists and artists. Women in Clothes is based on a survey of more than 50 questions that was designed to provoke thought and discussion about some of the deeper reasoning and the broader impact of the clothing we choose to wear everyday. The answers reveal the complexity of style decisions and demonstrate how even our most basic clothing choices are the tools we use to re-create ourselves and the way others see us.
When the month of July rolls around each summer, most people think about vacations, bbq parties, parades and days at the beach. Not that I don’t think about those things, but when July rolls around for me, I think a lot about sewing for fall.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 6/26/2015
Death in the Family - Closure of The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 6/10/2015
In the first half of 2015 the sewing world has seen a couple of deaths in the family. The Sewing Workshop - the sewing school in San Francisco’s Richmond District is one of them. To so many of us sewistas in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, The Sewing Workshop was a place of inspiration, education, fun and friendship.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 1/24/2015
Vogue’s spring patterns are out and there are some super cute designs that might even be worth sewing in time to wear to the big Sewing Expo in Puyallup. Here are five patterns that I will definitely buy and will probably sew:
Sandra Betzina is the standout designer this season with this dress to the left, V1442, stealing the show. I can see a cold-weather version of this in wool or even a sweater knit, worn with a simple top underneath. The version seen here is going to be great for summer. And it does look great in the stripe.
As far as cold weather goes, we have it pretty good here in Southern Oregon. We get a fair bit of sun and mild temperatures during the winter, but this week, it has been cold outside. So, I vowed to stay calm and sew with sweater knits!
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 12/21/2014
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One of the sewistas here in Southern Oregon, Ute, hosted an afternoon of hand-sewing at her home in Ashland today. Much to my surprise when I walked in, there was Myrna Giesbrecht in the fabulous dress she sewed with our fabric, Sunny Day in Seattle!
If you don’t already follow Myrna’s blog, you really must do so. All last week she has been writing about the process of sewing this new dress, a version of Lynn Mizono’s Vogue 1410, but she had been quite mysterious about taking a trip to visit an anonymous sewing friend. And here she was, right here in Ashland.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 12/7/2014
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Sewing Vogue 9060 is a fun and easy project that results in a lovely new skirt. Marcy Tilton's design is one of those that, although simple, is quite striking. A joy to sew and a joy to wear.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/9/2014
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Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 10/25/2014
Vogue's new patterns have been out for a couple of weeks and I'm pretty sure that I know which ones I will sew and which ones I won't. What about you? Have you had a chance to look? There are some interesting necklines, a few fantastic choices from reliable sources, and a couple of great options in easy Vogue Patterns that aren't in the designer section.
In the last couple of days I've gotten that feeling of a slight chill in the air when I first get up in the morning. The back of summer has definitely been broken and it is time to focus on sewing things with sleeves, heavier materials, etc. You know how hard it is to think about sewing a coat or jacket when it is still hot out, but now I'm definitely feeling the season start to change and I'm ready for a challenge.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/10/2014
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Last year my friend Karen sewed this pattern, Vogue 1277, by Koos Van Den Akker, whose work I have long admired but never sewn. I love the jacket she made and I have been envious ever since I first saw it last winter. The pattern is rated "advanced" and I would take that seriously.
Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/1/2014
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was established as a holiday by the labor movement in the United States and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The Smuggler’s Daughter has many customers in other countries, where Labor Day is celebrated on the first of May, as International Workers Day. Throughout the world, we workers have felt the need for a special celebration of what we have done for the world.
Of course, in 2014, many of us don’t have much affinity for the origin of Labor Day. Rather, it is a long weekend that has come to mark the end of summer, the beginning of the school year, a day off work, and perhaps a fun gathering with a nice bar-b-que. Nothing wrong with that.