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To see Ann's latest projects, tips, how-tos and giveaways, change your links to:

Updated: 2017-02-08T23:46:02.359-05:00


Change Your Links


There's nothing happening here. I've moved, and if you want to see the Lace Trench or any other fabulous projects, Reset Your Links Here So You Don't Miss Out Houston, this is Apollo Fabulous, signing off...

Decisions, Decisions...


Lady Gray: vs. McCalls 5525: Keeping in mind that the final version will be ivory French lace backed with champagne colored silk charmeuse and lined with Oyster Silk Habotai. I have a definite opinion, but I'd love to hear yours. Happy sewing!

Lady Gray Muslin


You know how I feel about muslins, and this demonstrates clearly why I feel that way. I made a muslin of the Lady Gray coat to test the fit. I've never used Colette patterns before and I have no idea how their sloper compares to the slopers other patterns use. I'm very glad I decided to make a muslin. Check out why. Here are a couple of pictures of the muslin on me. Front: Right shoulder: Left

Vale, Fred Bloebaum


Fred Bloebaum, owner and designer of La Fred Sewing Patterns, passed away yesterday. How very sad for the sewing community. I met her once, and she was a delightful lady. She was gracious, and generous with her knowledge. She will be sorely missed.

My Name is Earl


Image: CBC I don't know if you've heard (snicker), but there's a hurricane heading up the East Coast right now. Earl is already clouding up the skies over Boston, and the rains are supposed to start in earnest sometime late this afternoon. We're fortunate that we live in days like this where we have 7x24 access to satellite data, doppler radar, and experts on the Weather Channel to whip into a

New AMAZING Designer Fabrics at Gorgeous Fabrics!


Oh. My. God! You have to see the fabrics that just came in. From the Fall 2010 collections of Chanel, Akris, Malandrino and others. They are not to be missed. I was only able to get a very limited amount of these fabrics. They are dear, but they are worth every penny, and when they are gone, there ain't no more! I've put up several, and I'll be adding more tonight. If you like them (and I know I

Quick Tip - Temporary Storage for Patterns/Cut Pattern Pieces


This is one of those things that I just do without giving much thought. Then yesterday I had an "aha" moment that maybe it's worth sharing! This tip works like a charm to help you keep pattern pieces and cut pieces of fabric together in one place during construction. It's especially useful if you're putting a project on hold for a short while, and you want to keep all the pieces together in one

Working On...


Lots of stuff. This is the last weekend before the kids head back to school (Halleluia!!!!), so we've been out enjoying the last little bit of freedom before we all get back to work. I've cut out the muslin for the Colette Lady Grey trench coat: I'm going to make it from a French lace that has been aging in my stash for several years. I bought it wanting to make a Burberry-Prorsum style trench,

I Got the New Vogue Patterns Magazine


And you didn't! Neener neener neener! Oh wait, that's not terribly gracious, is it? Sorry. But I am totally excited about the October issue. One of the nice things about being an advertiser is that I get slightly advance copies of the magazines. This month, VPM has undergone quite the makeover! The change is obvious the minute you see the font on the cover. But what made my little heart go "

As If I Need Another Reason to Love Helen Mirren


In the current issue of Vanity Fair, Dame Helen is the last-page interview, answering a Proust-style questionnaire. Here's an excerpt: What is your favorite occupation? Probably gardening. Also dressmaking. Love. Her!

Material or Fabric?


Here's a question for you. Do you refer to the "stuff" out of which you make garments as "material" or as "fabric"?  My mom always used to call it material. I've called it fabric at least since I moved away from home. I've seen and heard it called both. I used to work in supply chain when I was in high-tech. Supply chain refers to the things and processes that take a product from raw, well,

Dance Comp Day!


Okay, so can I tell you about my week? Here it is. Work about 50 hours, no big deal, who doesn't, right? But interspersed within that 50 hours I had to get kids to rehearsals for "Thoroughly Modern Millie", Band Camp (don't even THINK about making comments about that, mmmkay?) and prepping for the Eastern Dancesport Championships with DS the younger. Good God, I felt like I wanted to, well,

Pattern Review - Burda 08-2010 112 Top


Found the picture, thanks to Katia and absolutely NO thanks to Burda Pattern Description: This pattern is for a double-layer top. The under layer is offset about 45° at the sides, creating a cool bubble effect. Sizing: 34-44. I used a 40, though next time I'll go down to a 38 and do a FBA. Fabric Used: For the underlayer, a (sold out) paisley jersey. For the upper layer, Rayon Jersey in

Notion Review - Bienfang Canary Sketching and Tracing Paper


Image: Dick Blick Art Materials What it is: This is a lightweight tracing paper in a soft canary yellow. I bought this when Charette was having their going-out-of-business sale (sniff!). I wanted white tracing paper, which I had bought there on many occasions, but they were already sold out. It turned out to be a happy circumstance. I opened this up today for the first time when I was tracing off

Grrrrrr.... (Rant Ahead)


See the current issue (August) of Burda? Check out this top, 112, a super cute double-layer tee: . . . Oh that's right - you can't! Burda has decided, in their infinite lack of wisdom, to eliminate the online previews, archives, and just about everything else about their patterns. I understand that you can still see them, in Russian, but no luck for anyone who doesn't have command of the Cyrillic



I lean toward the first option, myself. So here's a question for you, since I've been cleaning rather than sewing. If you had the choice, would you rather travel to somewhere special and amazing, or would you rather stay home and receive a really special and amazing gift (not of travel)? No, you can not say you want to receive a special gift while traveling somewhere amazing. Talk amongst

Three Hour Flash Sale at Gorgeous Fabrics Today!


I ♥ Flash Sales Do you know about our Flash Sales? They are three-hour long sales that put a specific group of fabrics on sale for fabulous prices! Well, today we're running a flash sale on Velvets and lots of selected fabrics from our Oo-La-La category. From 10 AM to 1 PM (EDT), these fabrics will be priced 25% off our regular great prices! It's a great opportunity to stock up on fabrics for

While I was Buying Thread...


... to make my Marrakesh pants, I picked up a couple of Vogue and McCalls patterns at JoAnn. They were having a sale on them, so I figured I'd get a couple. First one, and this is out of my usual comfort zone, is this Donna Karan: I really like the skirt. I think it could be a great wardrobe element this fall. I like the top, but I don't know how I could ever wear it. I think you need to be

Pattern Review - Hotpatterns Marrakesh Pants


Pattern Description: From Hotpatterns' Website - "Fabulously relaxed glamour in these stunning pants, designed for a drapey pants-weight fabric...try a fluid washed linen, heavy rayon blends, single or double knits or heavy crepe. Relaxed-fit straight leg pants sit around 1” below the natural waist and feature a drawstring waist with fly front zipper. Side seam pockets are topstitched down.

Now What?


Have you ever had one of those days? I've had two. In a row. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I can say that one of the problems was of my doing, the rest were not. Give me a gun and a bottle of scotch. Edited to clarify - the problems didn't have anything to do with cancer. One was that I inadvertently hurt a friend's feelings and the others had to do with a supplier to my

All's Clear on the Western Front


 Here's hopin' At least that's what it looks like for now. Fingers crossed! But I won't have to see the inside of a doctor's office again until November. Oh, and if (heaven forbid) you ever have to go through it, here's a little secret they don't tell you about chemotherapy. They warn you that it may cause loss of hair and loosening or loss of fingernails. The hair loss starts within about 2

Fab Finish for Knits: Bound Edges


I love the ease of sewing with knits. And one of my favorite finishes for knit garments, especially necklines and armholes, is a self- or contrast-fabric binding. It produces a clean, elegant look, and it is really easy to do. Let me show you how I do it... Measure your bound edges First, measure the edges you want to bind. In this case, I’m binding the neck edge of a wrap-top. Use a flexible

Quick Tip - Masking Tape to Mark Notches


I've tried all manner of marking notches and dots and other pattern markings. When working with knits and many wovens, I'll either use tailor tacks or little snips in the seam allowances to mark things. But those aren't always useful when working with sweater knits, certain coating fabrics or fleece. I've tried using WhiteOut in the seam allowances. But the WhiteOut gets gunked up easily with

Pattern Review - McCalls 6074 1 Hour Dress


It's hot here, so I wanted to make a little dress to wear and stay cool. I wanted to make it before I left on vacation, but alas, life got in the way so I made it today instead. Pattern Description: From McCalls Website, MISSES' DRESSES IN THREE LENGTHS: Pullover dresses A, B, C, D have front elastic casing detail, deep V-neck, flare skirt and stitch hems; dress A has purchased iron-on trim;

Decompression Time


Happy... whatever!