Friday, April 17, 2015

Virtual sewing...

 Hugging the pillow - again. I've been sidelined for about a week, I'm tired of not feeling well! Whine...

But I see my PCP at Cleveland Clinic in 2 weeks, and I want every test! so I can beat this intermittent issue that's been challenging me for over a year. Believe me, I've been tested like crazy and everything is working great. So why do I feel so awful? I'm sure it's tied to my scleroderma and its effect on nutrient absorption.

I had been feeling so well since early December, but I started stumbling during Ashley's wedding weekend at the end of February. And was in the ER once more in mid March. aarrggh.

Meanwhile - for the last day or so, I've felt well enough to do some online window shopping and to think about getting back in the loft. I'm feeling an urge to do something different for spring and summer. Uh oh, dangerous territory. New patterns are implied.


Have you heard of 'lagenlook'? From the German word, it translates as 'layered look'. I didn't realize there's a term for this style of clothing, I really hadn't thought about it. Now I find there's a big world of lagenlook designers, retailers, bloggers, sewists, Pinterest boards...I've done a lot of looking. The approach is so appealing to the loose clothing/maxi lover that I am.

I was tipped in this direction by recent Pattern Reviews by rivergum and twotoast, focusing on designs by Tina Givens. What? I love Tina Givens fabric! Her designs are romantic, creative, intricate, and well articulated. Now I've fallen for her sewing site (what a relaxing exploration, it's beautifully done) and her patterns.

She has 6 freebies, and all are really appealing patterns. I picked up two of them right away:

The Plinka pants. Well, OK, I might not do the ruffled hems, but how about very full pants, something between a gaucho and a culotte.


And the Bloom dress, which seems very foundational - many of her designs appear to be a play on this basic style.

That was so much fun, no money spent, and new ideas garnered.

Well no, I just couldn't stop there. I purchased 3 more! but with a generous newbie discount.  This is so typical of me. I like to 'fullsome' anything I'm doing. Artwork, crafting, sewing, gardening - I always end up surrounding myself with everything and anything I think I might need. Apparently I need 3 more patterns to complete my initial Tina Givens journey.

Gypsy jacket

Phoebe shirt and pants

Suzanna jacket

These designs are so calm...

Lightweight linens, voile, blends, jerseys - finding the right fabrics will be interesting, especially on a retiree budget. But I'll pace myself! I have lots of broadcloth in the stash for muslins, which will keep me out of trouble for a while.


Early this morning, I rambled through my Bloglovin' update email as usual. This and the Pattern Review update are company to my first cup of coffee, every day. It has become a pleasurable habit. And I found a new pattern by True Bias - the Southport dress.

(Yes, True Bias of the Hudson Pants fame...great pattern).

Of course I had to have this. Fresh, pockets, long - I can already feel this dress. I have a gorgeous, soft Maggy London embroidered lawn that has been languishing in my stash, just waiting for the right pattern. The fabric is a bit challenging - the flowers are large and need a proper display. I think this will be a good marriage.

And I stopped there! I'm looking forward to all the cutting and taping of pattern pieces (these are all PDF patterns). I really am - I enjoy getting on the floor with my cutting board and drafting tools, and putting on a good movie or watching Big Bang Theory (my geek side - I have all of the episodes).

Hoping everyone has a nice weekend - bye for now! Coco


  1. Good luck Coco, I've tried one of the older T.givens patterns and it was awful. I threw it and the muslin out. I'm told she is actually paying a bit more attention to sizing and proportion, but it may be a long time before I venture there again since they usually use so much fabric.
    The fabrics though, I agree, so beautiful! I like a lot of Tula Pink designs too.
    I haven't got a review up on my blog yet but the Sew House Seven pattern- Miss. Ave dress is a real winner and very flattering even to my roly poly apple shape.
    Feel better soon!

    1. I'm laughing...yes, forewarned is forearmed. rivergum is very open about the possible issues with the drafting. I plan a lot of time working on the pattern, in paper, on the floor - I'm fairly optimistic about the two jackets...Thank you for the get well msg, and now I'm off to look at Sew House Seven. Or a nap :-)

    2. p.s. I agree re. Tula Pink. Some of her fabrics are stunning. She and T. Givens seem to have the same soul in their designs.

  2. Big hugs. Hope you feel better soon. Look forward to seeing what you make of this when you feel well.

  3. Sorry to hear you're not feeling the best, but I've found that shopping always helps!

    1. thanks, Ruth - you're so right, shopping does help!

  4. Oh I hate to hear you are not up to snuff- I hope you get some answers!
    I'm totally attracted to the lagenlook- but must use major restraint- I'm a lot of girl for a lot of layers!!!

    1. thank you, Anne. Me, too. As for lagenlook - having looked at so much of rivergum's makes, maybe this would work for you. Very different style, yes!

  5. oh Coco, good luck with the docs and feeling stronger! That's a pisser of a disease and not well understood. Hugs!

    re: Lagenlook. heehee, i just finished making my first Tina Givens, the freebee Briare Slip! I was quite surprised, after hearing all the bad mouthing of fit, that the arms and neckline fit perfectly with no alterations. I will end up taking in some of the fullness at the middle seam, but that is a design choice.

    Over at Stitcher's Guild there are some threads on lagenlook, including a couple of sew alongs which member Garden Girl (Rene) has been leading this year. Come on over for inspiration, help, and conviviality!,24446.0.html,24748.0.html,24860.0.html

    See you soon :)

    1. Thanks so much, Stephanie. And I just found your blog - love it. Artisan Square - I'm on my way over, I so often forget to check there. I should be more active, it's a great group. Looking forward to your Briare slip. Good news that the bodice fit worked for you.

  6. thanks, Val. I agree - the Phoebe set is my most likely win. We'll see!

  7. Sorry to hear that you are under the weather - and hope that your next visit has more positive news. My recent annual blood tests totaled 53, with 14 vials of blood :)

    I'm excited about you playing with the TG patterns and look forward to seeing what you make!

  8. So sorry to hear that you are feeling poorly again, Coco! Hope you get some answers at the clinic.

  9. I hope you find out the cause of your illness. No fun being sick. I looked at the Tina Givens site. Beautiful. Some I coudnt wear but I do like the phoebe shirt and pants. I have downloaded the Southport dress and am anxious to get it sewn up before summer actually gets here in Central Alberta.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco