A Year with the Minoru Jacket


Greetings, pumpkins and candy corns! It’s been over a year since I’ve made the Minoru jacket by Sewaholic Patterns, so I thought I’d do a little review on how it’s fared. In short, I love this jacket and would recommend it to anyone.

(Please know that when it comes to the Beatles I would only wear something I’m proud of  – here I am at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts exhibition earlier this year commemorating the Fab Four’s first US visit 50 years ago!)

When Tasia first released this pattern, I really loved the casual yet figure-flattering design (the zipper and elasticized waist were two big winners in my book). Although it’s been a while since I worked on this, I remember it coming together fast so I’m hoping to make another version one of these days. I seem to have a number of coat projects lined up in my mind.

I wear this jacket in the spring and fall, and the vibrant blue adds some serious happy factor when it reemerges from storage. I really only ever pair it with jeans since I like my dresses and skirts to be covered by knee-length coats (a preference I apparently share with Sewaholic’s Caroline!). It pops so nicely against dark jeans.

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Neat Fashion Exhibitions in NYC

Photos from my visit to the Charles James exhibition at the Met this summer. Click for larger view.

One of the things I love most about my city is the endless opportunity for exploration. So many things going on, so much to see, not enough time to do it all! Nevertheless, it’s still fun to pick and choose to your heart’s content. On that end, I’ve noticed there are some cool ongoing and upcoming fashion-related exhibitions on show around the Big Apple.

Sorry in advance for the lack of images in this post. I was about to include ones from each museum’s page, but then worried I’d be doing so without permission. Wouldn’t want the museum police after me!

Anyway, here’s what I’ve found (click on the exhibition name to learn more about each):

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The Day I Learned To Sew

firstprojectLook, it’s me! Exactly five years ago today I took my very first sewing lesson at Sew L.A. in – you guessed it – Los Angeles. I promptly came home and took this photo of me and my new tote bag (complete with ruler still in its packaging) to share with family back East. Yep, this is what I looked like the day I learned to sew.

Back then Sew L.A. was in a smaller shop in Silver Lake before moving into their spacious digs in Atwater Village (which I’ve yet to visit). Oh, how I thought it was the most magical place in the whole wide world! Shelves full of bolts of fabric, six tables with six sewing machines, lots of light, and lots of promise.

I honestly can’t remember what compelled me to sign up for a lesson (it was fate, I s’pose), but I do remember how popular their classes were. I had to sign up a month in advance for “Machine Intro”, the prerequisite for the other 100-level classes. Other than a handful of sewing sessions in middle school Home Ec., I didn’t have any experience (or interest in) sewing. I did get the Home Ec. award that year though, so maybe it was in the cards. Either that or my teacher was majorly impressed with my dish washing skills.

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Fall Essentials Sew Along 2014

FESA2014Logo copy

Riding on the “yay, I’ve successfully made it through two group challenges this year!” wave, I’ve signed on for yet another: the Fall Essentials Sew Along (FESA) hosted by Sarah and Lisette.

Cold weather clothes have always been a struggle for me, even when I was buying them in stores. In my first few years of sewing I only wanted to sew summer sundresses, but in the past couple of years I’ve been – dare I say it – excited to fill some major gaps in my fall and winter wardrobe. What can I say, it just gets a little tiring to wear the same three cardigans to winterize most of my clothes!

I’m going to keep my FESA plan simple (even so, it’ll be interesting to see what I can get done by November 30th). I find that the following patterns are essentials that fit my lifestyle, which is certainly a motivator.

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McCall’s 6696 Emerald Isle Shirtdress


Hello, you hot and humid September! Making up for that fall-like July and August we had, aren’t’cha?

I’m so pleased that I got around to making yet another McCall’s 6696 shirtdress! Is this pattern popular or what? And for good reason: it’s “top drawer” with lots of variation possibilities. This is my first attempt at the pleated version. Both my sleeveless summery and cozy flannel versions featured the fitted skirt option.

I’m particularly happy with how this one turned out. This dress is very fun to wear, and the color is even more amazing in real life! A really striking emerald green. I’ve never been to Ireland (sad face), but I’m told the green color of the landscape there is stunning so I’ve dubbed this the Emerald Isle Dress.

The fabric itself was bought on this side of the Atlantic at G Street Fabrics in northern Virginia back in October 2011. Nice to stash bust! I used up all two yards of this 58″ wide rayon/linen blend to create this dress. The pattern calls for 2 3/8 yards (60″ wide) so this ended up being a tight fit, but I made it work. Phew. I originally bought it with a circle skirt in mind.

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