The Time In Between / Maria Duenas;
trans. from the Spanish by Daniel Hahn
NY: Atria, 2011, c2009.
615 p.
August is #WITMonth -- Women in Translation Month. In case you don't know what that is, it's a movement started 6 years ago by a book blogger (and scientist) who noted that women were translated only approximately 30% of the time, even within the already small number of translated books in English. So it's an attempt to focus on and highlight the wonderful women's voices out there, and encourage more to be translated. I've been reading along for a couple of years now (you can find all my book reviews at my book blog, The Indextrious Reader, under the tag #WIT)

In any case, among all the serious novellas and short stories I was reading, I came across a fabulous book that I think all sewing readers will also love. It was the sprawling saga  that I was... [read more]

Yes, yes, I am probably the last sewist in the world to make this jumpsuit this summer. It is a continuation of my mini-capsule of linen/double gauze for the humidity of Virginia, where I am now on vacation. In all honesty, I wasn’t in love with the pattern picture when I saw it – a gorgeous model, but the fit of the jumpsuit didn’t attract me like, say, the Deer and Doe Sirocco which I made instead. However, as per usual, once I saw versions on other people – and when every sewist from London to Mars says they are getting good results, you know something’s going on.


I liked the instructions a lot – very clear and good drawings. I was never in doubt as to what I needed to do (with one exception, see later). I also very much like the bluntness of the “staystitch your neckline or you will PAY later” part. Haha. Honestly, I wish more instructions were like... [read more]

I made it in magenta-colored linen. I'm sort of obsessed with this fabric right now! I also made a shirt in this same magenta linen, and a dress for Lily, and I'm not done yet I think...

Random fact: "cielo" is sky in rome, which is the opposite on the color wheel from magenta.

Okay, back to sewing. The pattern was so FUN to make. Very quick and clever construction. The pockets are part of this weird folded pattern piece that makes up the lower front of the dress, and the back has a yoke-like feature on the shoulders. I've seen some cool color-blocked versions, it definitely is calling out for that kind of treatment. I also love it in solids, obviously.

Closet Case Patterns definitely nailed chic Italian style in this dress, I could totally see an elegant Italian woman in Rome wearing this for a... [read more]
I'm so happy to share my finished...

... Jasika Blazer!

When Closet Case Patterns released their blazer this winter, I'm couldn't get my copy fast enough! I had the pattern and all the notions in tidily in hand before the sew along started... and then I realized there was no way I was going to be able to immerse myself in a jacket sewing experience at that time of the year. Far too many things going on between family and my artistic/academic career. All good, but... I was sort of disappointed to fall off and then have to sit aside and watch longingly.

However, at the end of this summer, I decided that it was time to finally realize my blazer dreams of glory! The anxiety of the new academic year always has me wanting just a few fantastic new wardrobe items.

I've been wanting a linen blazer for years now. Well, at least since I became aware that... [read more]
I don't have a finished project to share with you today. I have been spending all my sewing time lately on a 'secret' project I am making as part of my blogger collaboration with Fabricville. I'll be able to share it in a few weeks & can hardly wait! It's so great- think Jalie and some of my favourite fabric yet...

Meanwhile, I had a great day for finding more sewing resources! And it is a glorious day here today so once I got home with all my goodies I just sat outside and read them all instead of actually sewing 😉

I stopped first at the library (not the one I work at) to pick up some holds. Did you know that your library might carry sewing books with patterns inside? Take a look in your library, I have used so many from mine!

I picked up the very new Print Pattern Sew by Jen Hewett - not only a great primer for block printing it also contains... [read more]
This is my third Sew Over It Eve dress (one and two), and probably won't be my last because I blinking love this pattern.


I was inspired to make it maxi length after seeing a gorgeous maxi version ages ago on Instagram.  I just extended the length of the skirt pieces, but had to fold the side edges in a bit to fit on the fabric.

I also raised the underarm by 1 inch, and faced the armholes with black bias tape.

The fabric is some viscose bought last year from The Textile Centre.  I ordered 3 metres, but they sent me 3.5 metres with a note to say that the extra half metre was because there was a slight flaw on the print.  After much searching I found it, and it was only in one place and extended 8cm in from the edge.  I love The Textile Centre!


A lot of petite folks say they can't wear maxis; I say nonsense!!  I loves me a maxi dress, and this... [read more]

Hi Sewcialists!

Dear Gabby: Do you have questions? I have answers! Well, I hope so and if I don’t, I’m gonna google it for you.

I want to hear from YOU. Do you have a fit problem on a current make? Want some input regarding proportion? Have a measurement or grading question? Digging for some ready-to-wear tips and tricks? Need some advice on sewing etiquette? 😉

If so, you’re in luck! Send me a video or photos detailing your question, and I’ll get back to you here on the blog with tips, fixes, and general input.

How to submit:


Send an explanation of your problem with a short video or set of photos, and your contact information. Your submission will be edited into a blog post, so please note that by sending an email, you are granting permission for your video/photos and sewing problem to be shared... [read more]

I got a really big pattern Haul from Marfy Fashions. I don’t know where to start with all these fun designs. In this video I tried to give you a clue to my thought process and share some of the fabrics I hope to use with these lovely patterns. Who knows, I may just be a hoarder. Check it out.
- Patterns in this video. 
Marfy 1949- Skirt SZ48
Marfy 1948 Shirt SZ46
Marfy 6193 Dress SZ48
Marfy 1864 Jacket SZ46
Marfy 1862 Dress SZ48
Remember, we  are gearing up for another wave of Marfy pattern challenges this fall. Check out the last post about which pattern we’re using for the Sewalong in September.  See what we have gotten and where we are headed with this challenge in the upcoming months. We are shaking up a few things around here, so join in and... [read more]
I got a really big pattern Haul from Marfy Fashions. I don’t know where to start with all these fun designs. In this video I tried to give you a clue to my thought process and share some of the fabrics I hope to use with these lovely patterns. Who knows, I may just be a hoarder. Check it out.
- Patterns in this video. 
Marfy 1949- Skirt SZ48
Marfy 1948 Shirt SZ46
Marfy 6193 Dress SZ48
Marfy 1864 Jacket SZ46
Marfy 1862 Dress SZ48
Remember, we  are gearing up for another wave of Marfy pattern challenges this fall. Check out the last post about which pattern we’re using for the Sewalong in September.  See what we have gotten and where we are headed with this challenge in the upcoming months. We are shaking up a few things around here, so join in and... [read more]
I have got a very special project to share with you today. My bridesmaid dress for my Mum's wedding back in May. I was really excited about making it, but knew it could turn into quite a stressful project and a real sewing challenge. It was a big deadline to meet and I knew because of my work schedule I was going to have very limited time to put towards it. So, as much as I would have liked to make a complex and challenging gown, I kept the design and construction simple and focused instead on finding some really beautiful fabric.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Beaded Silver Bridesmaid Dress - BHL Elisalex Dress & Emmeline Tee

Mum had only a few requests. That all three of us bridesmaids (my sister, step-sister and I) wore floor length dresses and that they were a neutral colour (in the end we all ended up in shades of grey, Mum's favourite!). Once my sister had bought her dress Mum also asked if we could all have some beading on the bodice... [read more]
I definitely meant to do my post on how the second half of #30daysofdresses went but then completely forgot to do it.  Here we are 3/4 of the way through August and I've suddenly remembered it, so better late than never here it is!  But first, I want to share a new project with you that I sewed up in the last two weeks as well as a sneaky peak at a few projects I have coming up on the Minerva Blog this fall!

So let's get started!  First up is my new dress, the very popular Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress.  I wasn't sure I really liked the style for me when the pattern first came out.  I had only seen it on women who were definitely not my body type, so it was hard to imagine how it would look on me.  At some point they re-released the pattern with a larger size range from what I gather, so that there wasn't just a standard A/B cup bodice,... [read more]
Hi! It's been a while! In my previous post I was standing in the snow having zero intention of putting this blog on halt for over six months. But then a string of unrelated medical issues interfered with my plans. I kept sewing, but it's not hard to imagine that when you're on a diet of painkillers and antibiotics taking selfies is not high on the list. I'm as good as new now and happy to be

Editors’ note: The Sewcialists supports breastfeeding as a choice. The following post reflects our belief that breasts and breastfeeding are natural. Anyone offended by human breasts fulfilling their biological function should consider this their warning.

When I saw the theme of the month I knew I had the perfect project idea to fit. The only question was, could I be brave enough to volunteer for the assignment. The question of bravery coming into play as the assignment would end in me posing in a bra and posting pictures on the internet. I am a mother of two and I’m still coming to grips with the changes that has meant in my body. Therefore posing in my underwear is a bit daunting. I decided to go for it though because I wanted to make a nursing bra. Most nursing bras that I have seen in stores are all your basic staple items. I... [read more]

Over the years, I’ve heard countless glowing reviews about Opal Sock Yarn. If I remember correctly, I learned about the yarn from one of my sock knitting groups on Facebook. (I haven’t been active on Facebook in a few years). This past weekend, I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about and have ordered three skeins of the yarn. I purchased two of the same from the Claude Monet series (one of my favorite painters). The other is the Hot pink from their Uni collection. I should be receiving that yarn sometime this week. At that time, I’ll cast on a pair of socks for myself. Since I’m casting on so early, I’m sure they’re finished by the time I transition into my new job (same company)in September.

I picked up this funny little book at the thrift store this week, published in 1968.

It's very concerned with time-saving, with convenience and speed.

As I looked through it, I realized it's just focusing on the way most of us sew today; not too complicated, use one pattern to get used to it and have fewer alterations, along with giving various tips on the easiest ways to add to or reduce a pattern, or accomplish basic techniques. It's really a booklet, only 116 p. at paperback size, and an encouragement on the final page to order more as prizes for your clubs!

But it made me think -- do I want to instant gratification with my sewing? Or do I want longer projects that take some time and are made with extra details?

The Love to Sew podcast just recently had a show on the topic of Speedy Sewing.

I agree with them that sometimes it's just fun to choose an easier pattern... [read more]
One day I woke up with the urge to sew something yellow. Don't ask me why, as I hadn't worn yellow in ages, but I'm glad I listened to that inner voice. This sight made me smile everytime I entered my sewing room. The only fabric I could find in a shade that worked for me was a lightweight cotton jersey. So the fabric determined what I would make: Blackwood cardigan #5. Blackwood

Summer is coming to an end and so that means that for those of us still continuing our education, the school year will be starting anew.
As a child, this time of year was full of trepidation and excitement. By mid-august, I was bored of doing nothing useful and so going back to school would mean new challenges, while at the same time going back meant that I would probably not be in the same class as my friends or having a not-so-great teacher. It'd be great to say that my mentality has changed but in reality, I still feel those same emotions I felt as a child, especially in my first week of university.

Like I've mentioned before, in April I finished my first year of post-secondary school. When my last class was over and my last essay handed in, I could not believe how fast the year had gone by. To be honest, and somewhat cheesy, I felt like I was not... [read more]

Since making my Seamwork Sky Jumpsuit, I  have been thinking about making another in a knit fabric. In all honesty, I wanted the Paper Theory Zadie jumpsuit since seeing so many incredible versions on Instagram, but it was out of my price range so it will have to wait until I have more money coming in since I am unemployed. I got the Ellie & Mac South Shore Romper on sale instead. I love the faux wrap bodice and figured the knit fabric would make it comfortable.

I made size 3XL with no alterations in shorts length with short sleeves. It’s not a perfect fit. Both back and front crotch need some work, but it is comfortable. It kind of reminds me of the onesies I’ve made in terms of comfort.

I think the bodice fit is pretty good. The sleeves could use a slight full bicep adjustment as I find them difficult to get off for the bathroom.

My main issue with... [read more]

I finally got around to buying and making the Iris dress, after my first attempt at it using the Eva as a base and winging it from there. Of course it is the depth of winter now, so linen and sleeveless wasn’t going to cut it. Fortunately I found some Ponte in a suitable colour combination (always a problem!) at a sale, for a winter friendly version.

The actual Iris turned out to be a bit more slimline than my fudged version, and as much as I like the extra volume in a light batik for summer, I do love the more neat and trim version in Ponte. There are other differences too, the lower skirt is wider (I think I had lack of fabric issues with the batik) and the bodice seems a little longer, — not to mention the long sleeves and cowl!

For those who want to know, all the sewing details are on PatternReview.

Though there has been a heapa buncha sewing going on in the Ladie Lair that I have neglected to share here on my blog.  For shame.  I think I have a work-a-round.  Lately I have kept a tab in my browser pointed here.  Everytime I log on I see Sew Lyrically Vintage blog’s admin pages.  Voila!  Here I am posting my next project.

Okay, so I am excited about this project.  I saw this skirt last year sometime on the Internet somewhere.  I thought it was a FB group I am in so I went there, posted the pic and asked the originator to please stand up.  No response . . . soooooo, I don’t know WHERE I saw this skirt; but one has to join the Ladie Lair.  Event:  September 21, so here we come.

One thing hasn’t changed – my photography skills.  Let me see if I can upload a better pic.

ikea hot lips

Months ago when resourcing this fabric I believe Treasure Finds is on eBay. ... [read more]

What is it about the word buttonholes that can send shivers down a sewists’ spine? I can’t be the only sewist that drools over button up shirts but has always been too scared to even attempt one because…BUTTONHOLES..ick.

That is until Pattern Scout tested the Hana tank and dress. It’s like…112 degrees in Phoenix right now and there are only so many RAD CYOA tanks I can make before it becomes ridiculous, so when Casey sent the tester email for this out, I ignored the buttonholes and just jumped.

Pattern Scout is Casey Sibley and the Hana pattern is only her second garment pattern release.

Pattern Scout’s size range go up to a size 28 which is a 54″ bust, a 46″ waist, and a 58″ hip.

The Hana pattern has a 3 Views, 2 of which go from cropped to dress length.

View A is the popover (no buttonholes..phew) and can be a straight hem crop, curved hem tee length, or... [read more]

It's been a while... and part of the reason why is that I honestly needed a break after spending what felt like half a lifetime sewing (and hand hemming) this Simplicity 8608 hack. Luckily I think the finished thing is sort of beautiful and it's up on the Minerva blog now!

Now to find an appropriate occasion to wear such a luxe dress and... take a step back onto the everyday sewing wagon! I have plenty of plans lined up for my favourite sewing season - Autumn!

Thanks to Minerva for providing the fabric for this project. See the full review over on their blog now.

Stay in touch!

I'm putting these illustrations at the front so I will see them right away.
Because this is also my sewing information storage bin.
And this is the summary of our Bias time.

Click on 'em to enbiggen.

Vogue Pattern Magazine's last issue is the source for the image on the lower left, with notations

This is worth a minute of your time.

The warp is set on the loom and has to be straight and strong.
The weft is looped and threaded in different patterns inbetween the warp threads. It can be lighter, looser. Think of a jacquard weave, or a twill.
The thread/yarn/fiber is almost never the same weight and density as the warp.
If it's a crepe fabric, the weft is longer and curlier than the warp.
Your square grain won't stay square forever. 

Don't take my word for it? Marcy Tilton, from... [read more]
Mary stands in front of a wall of greenery and flowers. She extends her hands out to her sides to show the shape of her hooded poncho, which is goldenrod yellow with clusters of zebras placed throughout.

Hi! I’m Mary, @boxcarsewing, and I’m so excited to have been invited to write a guest post for this month’s challenge: Sew Over/Under!  

Mary stands in front of a wall of greenery and bright pink flowers, smiling widely. She has turned to her right and has bent her left knee to show off her white and brown ankle boots. Her poncho drapes around her, showing the navy plaid lining and the hood.

It’s deep summer in San Diego, and the prospect of sewing something extra warm seemed extra unappealing, so I wanted to make sure I made something extra functional for this fun sewing prompt. I sewed a Simplicity 6630 poncho with absolutely zero modifications, and it’s a dream. It’s a one-size pattern, a reproduction of one from the 70’s, and it really does look great on all bodies (I made everyone within a five mile radius try it on, just to confirm my hypothesis). My favorite part is the flap pockets, but I love that darted hood, too–both of these design features are oversized, and look like they’re going to be functional as heck. My brother, sister, and dad have already put their orders in. 🙂

Mary stands outside, surrounded by greenery. She sassily holds her left hand out to her side, showing off her freedom of movement in her new cape. Her cape is goldenrod yellow and features clusters of zebras; the lining is a dark plaid with stripes of white and rust.

I think there needs to be... [read more]

Sewing with MyLock II /  Janome Corp.
probably 1980s, 40 pgs.
I wanted to share this delightful book I picked up on my thrifting travels last week. It's a book of projects for the New Home serger, or as they say in their intro, any three thread serger. I don't have a serger, but I couldn't resist the 80s vibe of this book! There is no date or publication information beyond what is on the back cover. 

But from the projects and the photos, both of clothing and home decor -- lots of pastel ducks -- I think I'm safe in assuming it's from the 80s. 

It caught my eye at the thrift store with the dress on the cover, and the fact that a pattern for this dress is included in the back of the book. It's a knit dress with a low waist and a back tie, but it still feels quite modern and contemporary.

However, one interesting thing about this book is that it was... [read more]
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