Vogue 9081

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 12/5/2018 to Sewing Projects

Just by happenstance, Marcy Tilton and I have managed to be in some of the same places (airports, grocery stores and fabric warehouses) at the same times recently.  It is always good to see her and to remember great times like the days when she owned The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco and later when she led the Design Outside the Lines retreats with Diane Ericson.  Marcy is one of the true treasures of the sewing world and she has given us all so much – including the wonderful Vogue patterns she is still designing.


We were both on our way to Los Angeles for some buying and I happened to be wearing a dress that I sewed up using one of her patterns, Vogue 9081, a pullover dress with ¾ sleeves, bias neck binding and some very fun seam and construction details.   


Fall Patterns from Vogue

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/22/2017 to Commentary
If you are loving the new Fall Patterns from Vogue as much as I am, you are probably already sewing for cooler weather.  It struck me that they were showing some interesting designs and perhaps taking some welcome chances in this collection.

I love dresses and I especially loved two of the dress patterns.  It seems that everyone agrees with me about V9268 by Kathryn Brenne, as it has been the best seller so far and that it is even sold out in most stores and online. (Congratulations Kathryn!)  It has been so nice to see what Kathryn Brenne has produced for the last few seasons.  This one is easy, fun and striking, so if you do happen to find it, it will make a nice project for a sweater dress or some other knit.

What do you think of Vogue's new fall patterns?

The Creative Muse and The Madrid Top

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 6/7/2017 to Sewing Projects
I purchased the Madrid Top & Pants pattern from The Sewing Workshop booth at the big SewExpo in Puyallup this last March thinking what a great looking shirt this would make.  I'm a big fan of asymmetric hemlines and diagonal features in a garment.  Of course, it went straight into the box of sewing patterns that I have been collecting for years - you know the one.  It is marked "Maybe I will sew this someday." 

And then, a couple of weeks ago I found this cool looking piece of fabric in a thrift store here in Southern Oregon.  It is vintage bark cloth, like maybe something for curtains in the 1950s.  Immediately, I thought it should be paired with this gorgeous green silk - Comice Pear Silk - and remembered the yet unseen Madrid Top. It was one of those sewing moments when you just know that the muse has arrived.  Despite the fact that I have more UFOs in my house then at any other time in my life, I just had to sew this.

Sewing Retreat

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/16/2016 to Sewing Projects

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.

Exciting Designs from the Winter Holidays Collection at Vogue Patterns

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/28/2016 to Commentary

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. 

Summer Patterns from Vogue

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 3/9/2016 to Commentary
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 11/25/2015 to Commentary
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.  

Keeping it Positive About Butterick's New Winter Patterns

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/4/2015 to Commentary

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.

Have You Ever Made A Dog Bed?

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 10/27/2015 to Commentary
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.

Going Gaudy - Vogue Winter Holiday Patterns

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 10/15/2015 to Commentary
Anyone who truly knows me knows at least a couple of things about me: 
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.

Pearl Cotton & The Hometown Fabric Store

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 9/19/2015 to Sewing Projects
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.

National Sewing Month - An Alternative to Yoga

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.

Japonesque Top - Version 4.0

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/26/2015 to Sewing Projects
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.  

Camp Workroom Social

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.

Jenny, Rosie and Fighting Hate with Cake

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/12/2015 to Commentary
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.

This photo is of Jenny wearing a top she sewed with Smuggler's Daughter fabric. Milly of NYC - Bs or Ds Knit

Is It A Dress or A Tunic?

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 8/5/2015 to Sewing Projects
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.

The Sewing Machine, The Civil War and The Confederate Flag

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 7/29/2015 to Commentary
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.

Women in Clothes - Blue Rider Press

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 7/22/2015 to Book Reports
Women in Clothes 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.

Time for Some Fall Sewing

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 6/26/2015 to Commentary
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. 

Death in the Sewing Family

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 6/10/2015 to Commentary
Death in the Family - Closure of The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco 

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.

Vogue Early Spring 2015 Patterns

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 1/24/2015 to Commentary
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.

Baby It's Cold Outside

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 12/21/2014 to Sewing Projects
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!

Sunday Afternoon in The Sewing Circle

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 12/7/2014 to Sewing Projects
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.

Nice & Easy - Sewing Marcy Tilton's New Skirt Pattern

Posted by Susan Liane, The Smuggler's Daughter on 11/9/2014 to Sewing Projects
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.

New Vogue Patterns - October 2014

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.
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 Vogue 9081
 Fall Patterns from Vogue
 The Creative Muse and The Madrid Top
 Sewing Retreat
 Exciting Designs from the Winter Holidays Collection at Vogue Patterns
 Summer Patterns from Vogue

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