Lots of Little Things

The last time I wrote, I promised I’d have photos of my latest project on me. Well, little did I know it would be a incredibly windy and biting 36 degrees (2.2 celsius) on Sunday when I wore the dress in Michigan. In case you’re wondering, that’s 35 degrees cooler than it was when I left Baltimore. It was just too cold to take pictures outside. I was hopeful that I’d get some pictures inside but, things were so rushed that it just didn’t happen. My occasional photographer didn’t seem all that interested in having a photo shoot for my sewing blog on the day he graduated from law school. The nerve.

I did get one photo in my dress. But….

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The lighting wasn’t good. My flash didn’t go off. I look sort of goofy. My waist (and fabric) were grabbed so tight that I look about three months pregnant in all the pictures!  The darts! They hurt my eyes. Blergh.

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I’ve not attended anyone’s graduation since my own. So, I was feeling super old school at this ceremony. I love this version (my third) of this Burda pattern.  I am obsessed with this seersucker. Karen gave me the remnants of her pieces of it. At this point this seersucker is… five years old? I’ve used it for several projects in the past. If I could get more, I’d buy a bolt and make a whole summer wardrobe just from this seersucker.

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Because it was so fricking cold, I did get to wear this awesome vintage leather coat that was gifted to me by a co-worker. Listen, people. There is something to be said for being known for loving vintage fashion.

This colleague kept telling me she was moving and cleaning out her closets and had some coats to give me and I kept rolling my eyes. I have been the sorry recipent of terrible 80s patterns and ratchet clothing from other people. She dropped them off in a garment bag and it sat in my office for weeks before I took them home or even bothered looking. I finally opened the bag and this and another GORGEOUS  black wool  with a fur collar coat were inside. I rocked the hell outta this jacket over the weekend. This makes me want to save ALL THE VINTAGE in the world. Like, all of it. I want to own it ALL, wear it ALL and be fabulous in ALL OF IT. ME ME ME.

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It only took my third trip to Michigan to have time to sightsee. I’m always here for a few days and running in and out of town on other people’s schedules. But, this time, I finally got to go to Detroit! I’ve always wanted to see Detroit since it’s compared so much to Baltimore as a urban city with a blue collar background (and massive population declines). We were super short on time but I made sure we went to the Motown Museum.

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Oh. Em. Gee. We couldn’t take photos inside.  Let me tell you. I grew up listening to the sounds of Motown and was completely stoked to walk the same halls and be in the recording studio where the likes of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, and the Temptations walked and sang.  Especially exciting was their exhibit on girl groups. People, I need you all to be prepared for my style the next few months to be heavily influenced by the 1960 girl groups of Detroit and the Motown sound. I am not playing. Talk about serious black glamour. I’m going to be doing plenty of sheath dresses and empire waists.

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Finally, before I headed out of town, I did get to go to the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo with Robin, which was in Baltimore. I’ve never been to an expo before and my MAIN motivation for going was to check out the Babylock serger with Jet Air Threading and a Juki semi-professional straight stitch only machine. My modern Kenmore’s tension is so wonky that I sewed the above dress on my green vintage Kenmore. I’m in the market for a new machine in a few months.

Well, Brother, Pfaff and Babylock (all sponsors) were there. But, Juki (also a sponsor) wasn’t! I did test out the Babylock Imagine serger and purchased a pre-owned version. I’m picking it up tomorrow (Thursday)!

The fashion piece of the Expo wasn’t nearly where I’d like it to be. I heard Vogue Fabrics attended expos in the past. I like quilting quite a bit and enjoyed that aspect of the show. But, all the bitching and moaning from the vendors about the lack of attendees annoyed me. I mean seriously. I heard at least three stalls complaining about it to either me or to other vendors. I thought it was kind of tacky and a downer on something I’d been looking forward to for months. They thought parking was the reason people didn’t come. They thought crime was the reason people weren’t there. They thought no one likes coming in to a city. Whatever. I’ve never set foot in Chantilly, Va. But, I came downtown to see this. Make of it what you will.

Whew. So, yeah. Lots of little things going on. Just thought I’d get a lot of it said 🙂


  1. OMG could that coat be any more perfect on you?! No wonder you want to save All Teh Vintage, with that in your closet! 🙂

  2. You look great I can’t wait to see your 60’s inspired styles. Do you watch Mad Men? If so, are the styles anything like those women?

    • Yep. I started watching Mad Men years after the rush. For me, I was turned off by the Mad Men pov. But, it’s grown on me. I see Motown glam as girlier and way over the top!

  3. I was at the show in Baltimore too, and I thought it was very skewed towards quilting. I do quilt, but I was interested more in apparel sewing stuff, and there just wasn’t much there. I was sort of surprised and also a bit put off when vendors were complaining about lack of business.

    • Yeah. I like quilting too. But, outside of the classes – it was mostly quilting. The vendors though… what a turn off.

  4. Boy, have I missed you! How dare you have a life? I like your dress so much even though you don’t have a good picture of it. And, seersucker, what’s better for summer? Better than linen in my opinion. And, that coat, that coat! I am old enough that I could have bought that coat new, but back then I couldn’t afford it. It’s gorgeous on you. Can we see the other coat?

  5. That coat is FIERCE!!! (Yes, I said “fierce.”) And so is the dress! Girl, you are working it! I am pleasantly jealous. When I grow up I wanna be a Big Girl just like you!

  6. Good to see you’re back! You look fab-u-luss in that awesome coat! I love Motown too, (I bake to my Motown station on Pandora) so can’t wait to see your inspiration interpretations. Looking forward to reading your serger review, too.

  7. Coat is gorgeous. You are STUNNING in that dress and the law graduate is easy on the eyes as well! Looking forward to the rest of the coats.

  8. amazing coat!
    yeah I guess I was in the minority by totally enjoying the expo. I got to see several quilts by Victoria Findlay-Wolfe and they were inspiring.
    looking forward to some ’60s glam!

    • Oh. I liked the expo. I just wish there was more apparel and vendors were more chipper. Plus, based on comments from attendees this expo was smaller than it was in other locations.

  9. That coat is devine. Could it fit you any better? You’re making one of our less picturesque bus stops look stylish. The rest of Ann Arbor better step up its game.

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE the coat! I’d wear the hell out of that if it were mind! Unfortunately if you lived here, it would already be packed away as we’ve gotten up to 99* in the last week already. 😦

  11. Your coat & dress look great on you! I’m really excited to see some upcoming Motown-inspired looks. (I never could get into Mad Men, but I’m all about 60s girl groups!)

  12. So I wanna know if you’re thrilled to be getting the baby lock. You’re going to love using it! Make sure you tell us how you like it be using it. Because once I got use to threading it, it’s one of the best pieces of sewing machinery that I’ve bought!

  13. You’ll love the BabyLock. I bought an Enlighten, at age 25, as a long-term investment, and it’s amazing. Everything is SO much faster, and make sure you ring customer service whenever you have any questions – you’ve spent that much money on it, it’s definitely worth their time! The manuals also have great tables with detailed information about what thread and where, leaving less up to guessing. I have yet to buy any attachment feet but the ruffle foot is definitely a good one.

  14. Holy smokes your vintage leather coat rocks! I now want to visit charity shops instead of going to work! 🙂

  15. Oh my, I love that leather coat on you! 🙂 you must share pic of your seersucker Dress again next time you wear it 🙂 it looks lovely

  16. I’m coveting the coat! It fits you like the famous glove too. What a trip, am waiting eagerly for those inspired makes – too bad you weren’t permitted to take pictures though.

  17. That coat is divine!!! Lucky you 🙂 We all completely understand about the chill factor = no photo’s though… that’s entirely reasonable. I love the fabrics you’ve used for the dress though, and it does look wonderful on!

    • Yeah, accept all goods given to you – that’s how I got a fabulous vintage 1920s pendant necklace, came with a lot of stuff I didn’t want, but the necklace? I kept. But that coat. It seriously rocks. It’s a keeper. BTW, speaking of black fashion, there’s a great exhibit by Ebony Magazine at the Chicago History Museum thru Feb 2014. I’ve not seen it, but the next free day I am.

  18. I know what you mean about getting junk dumped on you, but that coat has to be the single coolest thing I’ve ever seen “dumped” on someone else. I can’t wait to see the black one too! Was there a bunch of other awesome stuff, or was the rest of it not that nice?

  19. I LOVE the neckline on your dress on you, it looks great. And I love seersucker too, I dont really have enough of it!

  20. That leather coat is AMAZING. I feel the same way about vintage – I want it all, to wear all the time, me me me!! haha!!

    I cannot WAIT to see you pull off some lady-Motown black glamour stuff. I have always loved that look and I’ve been waiting for someone to run with it. You are going to rock the hell out of it, ahh!!

    And and I’m so excited about your new Babylock Imagine 🙂 I have one (I bought it new, though, there were not pre-owned ones that early on hahahaha) and it still blows my mind every time I sew on it. It’s such a wonderful little machine, such a beautiful stitch and YAY easy to thread 🙂

  21. That coat! THAT COAT! I look forward to your upcoming months of fabulosity!

  22. You were ROCKING that coat! I love your dress too!! Looking forward to seeing where you take your new inspiration. I love those styles too.

  23. Oh, so glad you’ve had some playtime outside of your home court! I like everything about that coat on you: the fit, the color, the style. 1970s styles had more to like than not to like about them. For one thing, designers were still (sort of) thinking in terms of different body types. Shirts and blouse styles were interesting; trousers and suits were well-tailored. It was fabric patterns fiber content that messed up so much of the decade: crazy prints in weird colors that flattered no one; dreadful synthetics that were hard to wear and retained bad smells.

  24. That coat is AMAZING! I can’t wait to see your Motown-inspired looks! It’s definitely one of my favorites!

  25. wow that leather coat is fantastic and it fits you to perfection. Lucky you! and I look forward to seeing some 60’s girl group fabulosity in your sewing projects. I too adored the stagewear of the Supremes etc. the silhouettes, colors and beading – I wanted to be grown up and glamourous…

  26. First off, that coat is AHmazing. Like seriously.

    Second, I feel you on the Sewing Expo vendors. The sewing expo in general is not doing a very good job of keeping up with a changing market. There’s a lot of us that would love to go and partake of the expo in an exciting way but they do not make it engaging (mostly, ATL and LA seem to be more on top of things) to a younger demographic. Which is sad.

  27. That coat is incredible and fits you perfectly. And the Burda dress is a winner. I enjoyed the Expo, but took a lot of garment sewing classes which were great. Shopping sucked. Vogue Fabrics wasn’t there. No button or trim vendors. Not as many quilt shops. Lots of hand cream, plastic shoes and bras. Expo Management is actually trying to appeal to younger sewers. There was a fashion show aimed at a younger crowd. It was mismatched Amy Butler prints made up in blousey shapeless styles using patterns from some of the younger independent pattern designers. Yawn.

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