Archive for December 2011

Your favourite topics in 2011

December 31, 2011

WordPress keeps various stat counts of what is happening, including over the past year. And it’s very interesting.

(No, not to worry – they don’t keep a record of who looked at what. Apart from anything else, the storage requirements would be horrendous.)

So what have you been looking at ?

– – –

Busiest days

Shows the influence of the big sites. My busiest ever day was in October, when You Look Fab (Angie Cox) mentioned my necklines post. Second busiest was in May, when Inside-Out Style (Imogen Lamport) mentioned this blog.

Most popular posts

It’s amazing how many people look at my post on
choosing and changing necklines

Other posts that at least five people seek out individually each day are :

List of North American independent pattern companies

Classics for work, winter 2010 : dress, blouse, skirt, pants
(Don’t know why people always look at that instead of the more recent one).

Super quick Wardrobe patterns


Shawl collar jackets

Pant style and body shape

Pattern making – the formal route
(Personally I have more sympathy with what’s in the post on easier fitting shells !)

Most popular links

Related to the most popular posts. The most people follow up some of the links from the necklines post.

Other frequent links are to :
Eileen Fisher
Nancy Nix-Rice’s newsletter
Sue Neall’s article on sewing a wardrobe in a weekend.

Plus my pdf on developing your
personal wardrobe plan

The most popular pattern lines are
DIY Couture

And the most popular other blogs are
Carolyn (Sewing Fanatic, cmarie12)

Most popular patterns

The pattern most people want to know more about is the same as last year, the attractive ‘soft classic’ wardrobe in Butterick 5472. (Beware those cap sleeves, which are too small for my armholes.)


Perhaps there is very little on the web about making your own cheongsam. Anyway, people have been very interested in those patterns.

Free download dress pattern (side seam zip)


and the dress from New Look 6812 (no zip).


Another favourite is an even quicker wardrobe, Butterick 5045.


There’s also a vest version of the jacket without sleeves. Use jacket/ vest/ dress at many lengths.

Looks as if people like quick wardrobe patterns for soft smart casuals. Wearable for both work and weekends. Ideal for a basic wardrobe. Made me wonder about other wardrobe patterns. Some are like these and could be worn for both relaxed business and suburban smart casual. Others are even wearable for both smart Casual Friday and clambering around in boots in the countryside. A surprisingly large number of them 😀

Most comments

Getting to know my sizes‘ is the post that has had the largest number of comments ever ! All the way from ‘oh thanks, I need to try that myself’ to ‘what is all this unnecessary fuss about’.

Of course fitting methods are aimed at the average, so they work for the largest number of people. But I would like to give some courage and hope to all the people who have tried every easy fit method there is, and still end up looking like a potato raised in stony ground.

It is possible to get good fit. It’s just more difficult for some of us. Each little step in getting to know your body shape and it’s pattern needs is another little step towards looking good ! Hurrah 😀

– – –

And some time yesterday my all-time number of visitors topped 175,000 – your gift to me 😀

Best Wishes for a good 2012 full of successful projects and happy sewing experiences.

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

– – –

Links and patterns available December 2011

= = =

Best Holiday Wishes

December 24, 2011


Best Wishes for an ever happier personalised wardrobe and rewarding sewing during the coming year.

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

= = = = =

Sports Luxe fleeces and hoodies

December 17, 2011

I wrote a previous post about the current Sports Luxe style, with some patterns for ‘designer’ sweatshirts.
How about some designer style for your fleeces and hoodies 😀

– – –

Pullover Tops

Cutting Line 2 x 4.


Great Copy Yukon Pullover


Great Copy Cascade Mountain pullover


Jalie 2212 half-zip fleece pullover


– – –


Christine Johnson Travel Trio Two jacket.


Hot Patterns Classix Nouveau Sportive Skirt Suit.


StyleARC Maggie jacket


Jalie 2795 zip-front hoodie


From the Big4 there’s new Butterick 5698.


McCall’s 5538 and McCall’s 5252 are both yoked styles for pullovers and jackets with hoodie options. And McCall’s 4261 is for a classic gym/ sports wardrobe.

– – –

Something a little more unusual

Shapes Four Good Measure top
(One pattern piece, with one shoulder seam and one side seam.)


Shapes Nine Lives vest


– – –

Interesting. I often don’t pick patterns for raglan styles as I don’t wear them myself. This time I wasn’t deliberately avoiding them, as I think of them as classic for the sports style. But I haven’t found many.

If you’re still dubious about this style : YouLookFab has a new post about ‘loungewear‘ including sweat pants and hoodies.

Use high quality fabrics and trims for a casual Sports Luxe look. Or a modern shine/ sheer/ sequin fabric for a party version of the style. What is your favourite way of feeling and looking relaxed 😀

– – –

Patterns and links available December 2011

= = = Must Haves for winter 2011-12

December 10, 2011

Some months ago, published a list of Top 10 Must Haves for the winter season.

Time to catch up while winter is still in the future ? . . .
How many of these items have you added to your wardrobe 😀 There are several patterns available for most of these styles.

– – –

Warm Outerwear :

Posher Parka


Yes I love a parka and have a post about parka patterns. The parka picked out by UK Elle was more ‘street’ style than this image. I always wear a parka anyway, so can’t claim it as a high fashion item 😀

Coloured Fur


I’m making a cosy vest of pinky caramel fake fur. Not a bright colour. But it is a type of fake fur you can get in ‘fashion colours’. Anyone want a colour blocked fur jacket in purple, orange, and lime ! It is possible 😀

Waist or high hip length jackets are also in fashion (this one by Michael Kors). Not so good for warmth. And not flattering to my body shape. But marvellous if you have got slim hips ! Several short fur jacket patterns available, such as Simplicity 2150 .

– – –

Indoor Clothes :

Novelty Sweatshirt


I’ve written a post about patterns for these. Part of the Sports Luxe style is the non-sporty trims. This Jason Wu top has wide sleeve stripes in lace rather than athletic fabric. I love wearing loose comfortable tops anyway, so again it’s fashion catching up with me, rather than me following fashion 😀

Pencil Skirt


I would wear a pencil style if I wore a skirt. Bright prints may be fashionable but are too assertive for my taste (and the size of my hips !). And I certainly haven’t got the legs to celebrate with a high thigh slit. Though with my lumpy knees I like the longer length. Try Vogue 8773.

Skinny Ski Pants


Another way of getting a slim leg line, a winter version of ‘jeggings’. Not for me, I haven’t got the legs for skin tight pants. No shortage of slim patterns, especially among McCall’s pants.

I show the whole outfit from Jil Sander. Because may not mention them, but big patterned ‘Nordic’ and fair isle sweaters are fashionable this season.

Something Sixties


Such as a shapeless shift dress rather than a fitted sheath. This was a ‘new’ shape for the season. Not many patterns available, but I’m planning a post on them.

Notice the odd way of carrying the bag, which at the time of the shows was considered a high fashion point. Don’t know if it has caught on in high fashion circles.

Several of the season’s garments are straight rather than fitted. And suggest a change of proportions, to wearing large tops over slim bottoms. Which hasn’t been so prevalent for a couple of decades. Hopefully this will be a choice rather than a dictate. So people who like to wear straight clothes will not feel guilty and under pressure to change because they’re not wearing tightly fitted ones. Or vice versa.

Anything Patchworked


Wear an interesting combination of prints. I’m a quilter and love making multi-fabric quilts. But this fashion style is not like the patchworkers’ idea of using many small pieces of fabric. Each garment, or each section of a garment such as body and sleeves, is in a different print. An exciting and interesting challenge to combine them.

Notice in this outfit how the all colours and type of line have something in common. (And see the slimming dark side strips. And the glimpses of another colour group – green.) This is by Dries van Noten. Get more multi-fabric inspiration from Koos van den Akker’s Vogue patterns.

– – –

Accessories :

Bright Bag


I’m not a ‘bright’ dresser, though I do like red.

Furry Heels


Not for me. On the runway these were worn with a parka, but I like to wear practical shoes.



A big necklace. This stunning one is by Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. See McCall’s 6047 and McCall’s 6048 if you’d like to make something similar for the party season, from fabric and buttons. Or Elizabeth Gillett Vogue 8762 for ornamental scarves.

A good way of drawing attention to your face. And adding individuality to a basic dress. Personally my lifestyle doesn’t really have a place for big necklaces. But I do like the current ‘street’ style of big neck warmers and infinity scarves, which visually have the same effect. A neck warmer in fake fur is a quick and easy way of adding that essential touch of fur. See new Butterick 5727 for fur accessories.

– – –

How did you do ? Have you added any of these to your wardrobe 😀

Pick what you love, and let the rest of fashion whizz by as delicious but entirely frivolous even ridiculous entertainment 😀

= = =

All photos from

Patterns and links available December 2011