Enter the Mysterious World of Women’s Lingerie

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Sep 12, 2014 patterns, sewing clothes 1 Comment

Have you been simultaneously intrigued and discouraged at the thought of making your own brassieres, sweet sewist? Well fret no more! There’s a new bra pattern on the market by my friend Norma of Orange Lingerie, that will help us all on the road to proper (and sexy!) bosom support.

We already sell Norma’s fab book, Demystifying Bra Fitting and Construction, in our web shop and now she’s released a PDF in her Etsy shop called the Marlborough.

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I am thrilled! Every time I see folks like Cloth Habit or Very Purple Person or Madalynne or Sewaholic making their own bras, I get a little jealous. Then I start looking for patterns and notions and I get simultaneously over and underwhelmed. Under: there are a few bra patterns out there, but nothing that really revved my engine. Over: where to start with all these crazy notions?? Well soon we’ll have snazzy kits for Norma’s Marlborough that will help eliminate all the guesswork and digging, the parts of home sewing that I really can’t stand. I want what I want when I want it. Is that so wrong? No. It is the way it should be.

We’ll have kits up soon; I’ll keep you updated. For now, check out her book and pattern and let us prepare to venture into the wild wonderland of ladies foundation garments together!

Ye Olde Holly

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Sep 2, 2014 2 Comments

Welp, the brand new Holly Jumpsuit from those sassy minxes at By Hand London is out (our copies will be arriving VERY SOON) and while I haven’t gotten a chance to try it, I was among the lucky dogs to try the first version. I skipped the top band and straps that they had planned and just went for a strapless, which, incidentally, is my new favorite strapless bodice (same as on my anniversary dress). I thought I would share some pix of the old girl because I was quite pleased with how it turned out. I felt very fancy wearing it out to Taco Tuesday at Tremont647 and drinks with the Crafty Foxes (as well as after party shenanigans chez Ping). I made it in black Brussels Washer Linen and used featherlight boning for the top. Came out pretty well, non? Soon I will finish a Strapless Holly/Charlotte Lovechild that was dubbed by Oh, She Dabbles “The Harlot” or is it “The Harlotte”? Putting in the zipper this afternoon and should be up in the very near future. For now, a defunct Holly for your delectation (these particular pictures may have been chosen for the illusion that I have buff arms):

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Here’s to Six Years

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Sep 2, 2014 1 Comment

John and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary on the 8th of August, before The Moving Whirlwind. We went to Grill 23, which was deelishis. If we’ve ever talked weddings, I’ve probably showed you pix from our little shindig at the Arboretum and Les Zygomates and casually (ok, very animatedly) mentioned how we were featured in Boston Weddings magazine. That was, in large part, due to our fab wedding photog, Ashley O’Dell. I made a strapless dress for our wedding and this year decided to make one for our anniversary.  I used the (now defunct) bodice of the Holly Jumpsuit for the top in this Anna Maria Horner home dec sateen and some rectangles of this voile for the skirt. The trick to strapless is 1. a well-fitting bra 2. boning. Man that stuff is amazing. I’ve never done spiral steel or anything fancy like that (brings me back to high school when I first ruptured a disc and wore a granny corset style back brace). The featherlite stuff that we sell works great for tops like this. You just cut a half dozen strips and sew the casing to seams in the lining and WAHHLAHH: a well-structured top. I might do this as a bustier so I can catch a ride on the two-piece train that has been boarding all over the blogs. Wow, that is an analogy that didn’t quite make it, isn’t it?

So, here are the pix (be sure to check out my fancy anniversary Fryes. Oooh lala!! Love dem Fryes!) Also, try to ignore the wrinkly skirt. I think I had already brought my borrowed ironing board back to the store at this point.

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In Michigan & that rhymes with Gin! Kind of!

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Aug 19, 2014 things we like 0 Comments

We are officially living in Michigan. The drive out wasn’t too terrible and I did pretty well with that 16′ truck, if I do say so myself. Most of the boxes have been unpacked, though my fancy sewing machine is not set to arrive until the end of the week, so I haven’t really delved into the sewing room yet. It is admittedly quite luxurious to have a sewing room (slash guest room slash futon-that-the-dogs-have-claimed room) but it will definitely not compare to having a whole store to roam around in. I miss it already, though I know that Ashley and Katy will be rocking out and generally making the store an even better place. I’m planning on skyping in for tomorrow’s Crafty Foxes Sewing Club and drinking with the best of them.

SPEAKING OF DRINKING: gin. Have you been wondering how I brewed up that gin for our recent shindig? Well wonder no longer. The kind folks at Uncommon Goods suggested that I do a review of one of their products on ye olde blogge and at first I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure I’d find an item that worked within our mission and wasn’t somehow a conflict of interest. Then I saw it, dear readers, the holy grail: The Homemade Gin Kit. What better way to fuel the going away party than with a DIY beverage? Perfect. They packed it on up and I made us some juniper-infused goodness. (An aside: wouldn’t Juniper & Dart be a great name for a brand? Dart’s role in all this comes at the end of the post.)

The kit, one of their suggestions for an anniversary gift, uses juniper and a deelishis blend of other botanicals to infuse a neutral spirit with ginnyness. You do have to provide your own hooch, so if you’re giving this as a gift, I’d recommend thinking ahead and tossing in a bottle of some middle of the road vodka. There’s no secondary distilling involved (or really required, in my opinion) so you don’t have a crystal clear end product, but boy was it yummy. I think I’d let it sit even longer next time, and possibly introduce some new botanicals, like rose petals or black tea, to give it a personal twist. They have great stuff all over the shop and if anyone ever wants to buy me a present, how about a greyhound blueprint from the personalized section?? Genius.

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The kit itself is pretty simple: herbs, strainer, funnel, and bottles. I opted for the flask-shaped ones, but the round corked variety were pretty cute, too. You could source these things on your own, but it’s awfully nice to have everything in one place, especially for gift-giving. At $50+booze, it would not be a cheap gift, though for the right recipient it is super sweet.  I probably wouldn’t have thought to purchase this for myself, but it was super fun to get and to make. It feels like a kind of scrumptious gateway drug to home liquor experimentation and that works just perfectly for me. I pretty much immediately started thinking about what variations I would make next and now that we’re safely moved into our new laboratory err apartment, my experiments can begin! Moohahah! Maniacal laughter!!

Here are a couple of sheiks getting jazzed on giggle water, i.e. John and Daniel at the party, hamming it up with Pirouette cookie cigars.

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Later, luckily after it was no longer required, Dart found a yummy plastic funnel to play with. Thanks for nothing, Dart. See #whatdartate on Instagram for more fun puppysnack shenanigans and thanks again to Uncommon Goods for this uncommonly fun treat!

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(I was sent the gin kit gratis by Uncommon Goods and have told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about my experience with it. Amen.)

 

Party Review

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Aug 6, 2014 Crafty Foxes, par-tay! 3 Comments

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for: party pix! We were partying pretty hard, so it was pretty late before we got the camera out and by then it was mostly Crafty Fox folks, but a big THANK YOU to each and every person who has stopped by during the past couple of weeks to tell me goodbye & good luck. It really does mean the world to me that so many folks are wishing me well on this new adventure? chapter? something? Well, anyhow, before I get all teary-eyed, here are the lovely Ping and Mackenzie:

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Emily of Dressing the Role and Blogless Sarah, both of whom are also leaving for faraway lands. And in Tap Shorts, no less!tap shorts_sm

Two Sarahs, hamming it up.

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Jessica made us cookies and gave us our future homes in cutter format: Michigan for me and North Carolina for Blogless Sarah.

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The girls also got me a FAT gift certificate to Goorin Bros, which John and I spent immediately. He got an aviator for those cold Michigan winters and I got a grey wool fedora and a straw floppy that I’ve been parading about in, wearing my dark sunglasses from Fetch. It makes me feel like such a fancy lady! Pix soon.

We drank some gin, which led to SIN (not really). Here’s me looking like a gun moll with the new Professor Grey. Good job, husbeeste. Also, can I mention how much I love this dress? I think I need to add lingerie strap holder thingies, though. Easy enough!gun moll_sm

And at the after party, here’s Ashley doing her best Aurigirl impression. Ha-ha. Role reversal as feminist commentary! Kind of!

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Hey hey, the gang’s all here. For now…group!_sm

Sewing Parties & Machine Specials

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Jul 30, 2014 par-tay!, pfaff, sewing machines 0 Comments

How do you feel about parties? I don’t LOVE them unconditionally, since sometimes it can just be exhausting to be around people you don’t know. That being said, my bon voyage party is going to be super fun for a number of reasons. 1. ME 2. Greyhounds 3. Sewing people, who are great even if you don’t know them and, perhaps most importantly: 4. Gin, made by me. This will get its own post soon, and don’t worry, I don’t have an illegal still in my bathtub.

There is another sewing party that I will be attending: The Sewing Party! It’s an online class-stravaganza happening on November 8th that I learned about from Madalynne. She’s doing a bra class, which I will definitely be taking.  Melissa Watson’s class on silks is also on my list.

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One reason that I’m hyped about this is that my favorite sewing machine brand is one of the sponsors. Yay, Pfaff! Catering to the  young folk: because even whippersnappers deserve perfect stitches! How’s that for a tagline? Not so good? Well, I’ll keep working on it.

The Sewing Party isn’t until November, but Pfaff is having some great specials come August 1st. The Smarter 140 will be down from $350 to $299 (new) and we’ll have our floor models for $250. The Ambition Essential, normally $850, will be $599 new ($550 floor model). During my party, they’ll be as low as $225 and $499, respectively. Whoa, dude. (Our last Creative Performance will be $2160 – crazy talk!)

Tax-free weekend hasn’t officially been scheduled (though chances are good it will be August 9th and 10th). Honestly the 10% off during the party is the best deal in town.

See you soon, sweet sewists.

Thanks, Pattern Review!

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Jul 29, 2014 par-tay!, sewing clothes 0 Comments

This past Saturday we hosted a li’l meetup for PatternReview, founded by the lovely Deepika. We had mimosas and cookies and, so far as I could tell, a good time was had by all! I was a little out of it in the morning, so my spiel about how the shop came to be might not have been the most coherent ever, but c’est la vie.They had a pattern swap and then headed to brunch at Cinquecento, followed by more shopping at Bead and Fiber and Winmill. Thanks for coming, Pattern Reviewers! Here’s a pic I stole of all of us (I’m looking a little slouchy in my most recent Deer & Doe Sureau in Leah Duncan fabric by Art Gallery. Have to remember to stand up straight; don’t want to waste all that physical therapy I’ve had for the ol’ back-eroo.):

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And in case you were wondering, I hadn’t been hitting the mimosas. I’m saving all my alcohol calories for this Saturday’s Bon Voyage Foxtravaganza. Will I see you there, sweet sewists?? There will be freshly infused gin…

 

Bon Voyage Party Pour Moi

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Jul 15, 2014 6 Comments

Ok, I’m about to drop a bit of a bomb on y’all. I’m moving. To Michigan.

You see, John got an Assistant Professorship at Michigan State and because those bad boys are rarer by the year, he snatched it up faster than you can say, “health insurance.” Since we can’t reasonably afford two rent payments (and don’t get me started on my antipathy towards Boston rents!) I’ll be packing up the puppies and moving to Lansing, Michigan with my husband.

Don’t worry, the shop isn’t going anywhere. Laney-belle, my darling assistant, is going to be there on a near-daily basis to tend to your fabric-related needs. We will have a modified schedule, which I’ll be announcing soon.

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To celebrate this bittersweet milestone, I vote that we get well and truly smashed. Saturday, August 2nd, I plan to do just that. We’ll have drinks, snax, and a discount to entice you to come say goodbye to your favorite Grey. That could be John, Spindle, Dart, or me. We’ll all be present for the par-tay.

All day on August 2nd, we’re extending the discount normally reserved for Crafty Fox Sewing Club attendees: 10% off everything. It’ll be a great time to stock up and an especially great time if you need a machine, since floor models are fair game for the discount!

(Additionally, blogless Tall Sarah got a professorship at in North Carolina and will be departing at the same time, so this party is in part for her as well. A veritable Flight of the Sarahs!)

Hope to see you then, sweet sewists!

A Camisole for Me

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Jul 11, 2014 a crazy fabric lady gets dressed, patterns, sewing clothes 1 Comment

Easy, breezy, beautiful: a speedy cami is a great project for when you need instant gratification, as I often do. A front and a back connected by bias tubing, this is a quick make for a hot summer night. I used Anna Maria Horner’s Sinister Swarm Voile and some of our 1″ bias tape in Dark Ocean Blue. I have never liked turning things inside out, but then again I had never tried turning tiny tubes made from bias tape inside out. IT’S AMAZING. That bias stretch is just the thing you need to turn them with ease. I used my trusty Clover tube turner (back in stock soon) and was sort of speechless. I kept showing people who came in the store my findings and probably seemed like a crazy person. This stuff is awesome, though. I don’t know if I’ll do another Diana, or make a slip version, or use it some other way, but I love it. It looks so delicate and professional. Just like me. Ha. By Hand London has a tutorial for another way to make them, using on grain fabric, here.

How do you feel about rouleau straps, sewists? Have you ever tried a bias version?

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