Saturday, January 14, 2012

Loyal Dress

I think this dress might be one of Euro/Canadian Dollar my favorite dresses I've ever thought up. The special detail with this piece is the bias-cut midriff. The bias-cut allows the waist to stretch just slightly, so it's very comfortable. With the opposing direction of the stripes on the midriff, it makes any girl look like she's a perfect hourglass. 

Also, I recently read a great article about the connotations of red dresses and blue dresses. It's brilliant. You should read it.

Modeled by Nicki.
The Loyal Dress is available here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Katharine Trousers

These trousers were inspired by Katharine Hepburn. In the golden era of lipstick, powder, and wearing a dress every day, Katharine Hepburn wore trousers. This attitude reminds me of my mother, and I think that's probably why I love it so much.

I designed my trousers with a chart Euro - Canadian Dollar wide leg like Katharine's and a yoked waist, because I love details like that. I made these trousers out of a cashmere-wool blend, intended for men's suiting.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sewing Machines

I've used a lot of different machines. I've never really had a favorite. As long as they run smoothly and they're very fast, then I'm happy. When I was growing up, I used my mom's Bernina. After high school, I got an apprenticeship with a tailor and we only used industrial machines. I became so accustomed to the speed of them, that I get bored and frustrated when I sew on plastic sewing machines. So, since I was eighteen, I've only used industrial sewing machines.  My sister jokes that the number one requirement in a sewing machine for me, is that it has to be transported by a freight truck.

Currently, I have five machines in my studio. Four of the five machines are vintage. Sometimes people ask me why I don't get new machines. There are two reasons. First, old machines are built so well. They have all metal parts, so they rarely have problems. Second, they are incredibly inexpensive and you can find them all over the place.

Consew Tailor's Sewing Machine

This is my main sewing machine. It only does straight lines, and it is fast. (Around 3,000 stitches a minute fast). It rests in a bath of oil to continually lubricate all it's moving parts. It Chart Euro to Swiss Franc simultaneously winds bobbins as it sews. 

Singer 460 Over-lock Machine

This is the greatest over-lock machine I've ever used. It's fast and so quiet.

Highlead Blind Hemmer

This is a fairly uncommon machine for home sewing. It is a blind-hemmer. All it does is a blind-stitch. 

Kenmore Straight Stitch Sewing Machine

I got this straight-stitch Kenmore sewing machine at a thrift shop for only $20.00. I definitely didn't need another sewing machine, but it had this amazing buttonhole attachment, that does keyhole buttonholes! I had to have it.

General Straight Stitch Sewing Machine

This is my oldest and prettiest sewing machine. Drew got it as a Christmas gift for me last year. It's easy to thread and easy to use, so I let my niece use this one.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Concrete Dress

I found this awesome burgundy belt with a bolt-action closure so I bought it. When I got home, I decided I wanted a new dress to wear with it, so I designed this. I've always loved dresses with contrasting colors; they're just so interesting to look at. The bodice is made with charcoal cotton, and the skirt is a polyester-rayon blend which has a beautiful drape. My favorite details are the small collar, the bodice pin-tucks, and that the texture of the skirt looks like a sidewalk. 

Also posted at Sew Country Chick.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Want a pearl necklace?
Surprise! I have three more sets of vintage pearls! I had actually forgotten about these. I found them in the basement when I was looking for Drew's lederhosen.

To enter to win:
1. Just leave a comment mentioning which necklace you want.
2. If you like Thinking In Shapes, follow or subscribe.

Three winners will be chosen Monday January 16.
This giveaway is open to everyone.
The Classic Necklace
Long single strand of ivory colored pearls.

The London Necklace
Double strand of pearls with unique pearl-topped clasp.

The Graduation Necklace
Double strand necklace with graduated pearls.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lion Blouse

A few months ago, I found this amazing Lion-print cotton at a thrift shop. There was only one yard, so honestly, not enough for a wrapping blouse, but, I can be so tricky sometimes! (The caps sleeves really aren't cut like sleeves. They're just bias-cut half-ovals. The back is pieced. And I used plaid blue cotton for the facing.)

You may be wondering why a grown-up girl would want to wear lions on her blouse. It's probably a really childish notion. I'm aware of this. It's why I designed this blouse with the gathering at the shoulders and the pleated wrap around front; It makes the print a little less recognizable. Can you see the lions?