The Litter Box

Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
« August 2018 »
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics
A Bonus in the Box!
blast from the past!
Busy Day in the Box!
Cats, Catz and Kats
Fashionable Kat
fun with fabric friday
Graph Paper Patterns
grumble grumble
Happy Kat!
I can has topik?
I Made It!
I need a topic?
Jeebus sightings!
Jewelry and Beads
No Topic Today!
odds and ends
Project Runway Canada II
Random KatBox Droppings
Rants and Raves
Really Important Stuff
Retro Rules!
Sewing FAQ's
Squirrels in the news
The Fungus AmungUs
The Kreative Kat
The New Box!
The weekly flower report!
Things to make.  «
this 'n that 'n the other
Throwback Thurdays
Web Insanity
Weird Science
What I Did This Weekend
Works in Progress
Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Topic: Things to make.

Welcome to the hottest days of the summer! How do I know (aside from the weather channel) that's we are in the hottest days of the summer? Because all the big pattern companies are relaesing fall and winter preview patterns! WEEEE!  I LOVE sewing wool when it's a mere 35 degree celsius, with humididty making it feel even steamier! The only thing that makes this acceptable is that the few patterns being previewed are all quite needle-worthy.Burda Germany is first and Simplicity has a few out now. Later this week the buterick group will unveil their early fall preview.

Love this wrap dress. In a heavy interlock knit, of course.Warm and comfy as a robe, but it's a dress! This would need extra special fancy jewelled buttons on the waistband. I would add small invisible snaps to the skirt part of the wrap so it won't fall open all the time. Anna Sui also adds those tiny snaps to all her wrap dresses -We must have learned a few things from the same teacher! I'm not sure about the shark-tooth hem. I think a straight hem slightly below the knees would look better.

While I love the royal blue color of this dress with the wrap look and front gathers it is a bit too Duchess of Cambridge looking. In a different color it looks much less like a knock off of the Issa dress. It needs to be made in a drapey jersey. Matte silk jersey would be best but silk jersey is quite expensive. A rayon or polyester jersey would also work. In a colorful print jersey it would look more hippy and less Duchess. In a cotton or rayon jerseyt it would be as comfy as a t shirt. iIn a jersey that looks more wool or sweater like it would be warm and comfy.

This retro 1950's inspired dress is soo adorable! I would shorten the depth of the skirt pleats by about two inches. At the length they are in the illustration they could cup and emphasize any midsection bulges. Slightly raised they would make the midsection look slimmer. A dress like this needs a crinoline underskirt to make the skirt puff out a bit. Make use a contrast color tulle and let some of it peek out the bottom.  Another cool idea would be to get some fancy embroidered organza and use it over tafetta opr silk shauntung on the bodice. For really expensive deluxe big band dance hall dress use embroidered and emebllished organza over shanutung for both bodice and skirt and have the tulle underskirt peeking out from the hem. If a tow cxolor shot organza is used then it would be easy to play with contrasing colors and switching the grain lines of the organza for some amazing special effects.

It's nice to see the gathered at the waistband drindl styel skirt make a comeback. it's so easy to sew, works in many different lengths except super short and can serve as the base for some super-creative ideas. Using a simple crepe back satin with a lace overlay makes an evening skirt formal enough for weddings and easy enough that it can be made in one afternoon. Perfect for those "i need something for Saturday and it's already tuesday" panic attacks.

So those are a few of the very early fall preview patterns now available. I like the burda dresses and I might make one -probably the wrap or the jersey dress. I do like t-shirt fabric dresses in the fall and winter -paired with tights, a cardigan and a pair of nice moccasins I can wear them all day and be as comfortable as wearing a tshirt and leggings or jeans yet still look dressed up. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:49 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Next/New Projects
Topic: Things to make.

A few days ago I went off to Michael's craft store to get some wire for jewelry making. I needed square wire and some anitique gold wrapping wire and some bright gold wire in half hard and dead soft. Dead soft is the wire that can be hammered and hardened after shaping. You can shape it more than a half hard which takes less work before it goes full-hard and unworkable. I also looked for some dye for tie dye and they had these large kits that came with their own plastic storage boxes and 16 bottles of dye. Since I was walking it was a bit too heavy to carry. I also found some realy super nice leather and emebellishments.


...which totally made up for the place not having individual dye packets any more. Here's the leather, some lacing, a concha and some pyramid shaped studs.

Here are a few designs I sketched out. I wanted something small, wallet-on-a-string like and I wanted it large enough for my phone and a bit of cash, bank card and not much more. I decided on the upper middle bag and I am now making it.

The newest BurdaStyyle's haven't been extremely inspiring.  The newest one from May has two things I really love. First is this white blouse:

I like the shoulder yoke depth on both front and back, I like the arrangement of the pleats on the yoke in the back and I like the narrow band at the bottom of the sleeves. I like the V neck because I can show off some of my big necklaces that I make. It's dressy looking but not like a stuffy uptight man's office shirt. It looks like there's a narrow concealed opening in the front, if so that makes it een nicer becuase I can switch it to a narrow button band and use some tiny delicate antique shell buttons I have. A bit of tone on tone embroidery on the yoke would look classy; while colorful embroidery would make it look like a festival blouse. Made for a solid cotton for the yoke and an embrodered eyelet for the sleeves and body would look sweet and delicate. Kind of Japanese Lolita. There ans many way to adapt and change up the pattern.

I also like this fake suede fringed jacket.  The pattern uses fringe trim but making a fringe isn't that difficult and it's much cheaper. The jacket looks simple to make but attaching the rows upoon rows of fringe would be quite time consuming. I would add some bold buttons and some suede loops at the front for closing the jacket. Maybe add a few concas and some lacing to the yokes. This jacket could be either as is or lightly embellished or heavily embellished.

So I need to find some nice fake suede in a deertan, elktan or other natural color. I have some embellishments that I can add. For the blouse I have tons of white shirtings so that's an easy one and I can start this week! I am already working on the small purse and it will be done soon. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:46 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Monday, 16 November 2015
I need some wool skirts: these are perfect!
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Things to make.

I need a new wool skirt. I have several pieces of wool from this year's creative festival and a piece that's been in the stash for a while. Two are a cute plaid -one is in blue and brown that I simply LOVE! and I want to make something super special with it. I want it to be somewhat full and have lots of movement and I want it to be as comfortable as possible so I can wear it all day and for everything I do during the day.

I LOVE this skirt. It's full, has pockets, long but not too long and designed for plaid. Even better: it's virtually patternless: Simply cut rectangles, add side seam pockets and gather to the waistband. Done.

I like this style for the second plaid I have. I love the drape and the way the large checks move and shnage and the grainline moves. I Don't like the length in front -too short. And I think the wrap would fly open unless it was secured at the center front somehow. Woudn't be too hard to take care of either problem. Maybe move the button and wrap over toward the side seam.

This classic trouser pleated skirt is good for plain wool flannel. The pleats don't hug the tummy and the deep vertical lines thay they provide are elongating to the shape. The pleat in front adds ease of movement without any expeosure and the length is timeless. The back view is simple and O would change that silly flap that doesn't relate to the rest of the design into a couple patch pockets. The skirt fits the description of modern "smart casual" and can be dressed up for business or evening and dressed down for everyday.

Also suitable for wool flannel is this adorable little retro style. A nice drapey wool would look great and it can showcase several ribbon and brand trims along the skirt/ruffle seam. The sample in the picture has an ragged unfinished hem! Bad stylist! Was there not enough time to serge the edge so it doesn't look so ragged? It would have taken ten minutes and it would have looked so much better.

And now I will stop looking at wool skirt patterns. I have two for plaids, one that's fun, one that's business and one that I can't wait to start! 









Posted by lincatz at 11:16 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Friday, 29 May 2015

Topic: Things to make.

Just a short little entry! This dress from The BurdaStyle july magazine preview:


with this rayon challis fabric I got at FabricLand: 

Any questions? No? Good! Could it be any more perfect for the dress? The suggested fabric for the dress is Rayon even weave challis -exactly what I have! So yeah -it's like the two were made for each other.

Posted by lincatz at 9:28 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Thursday, 23 April 2015

Topic: Things to make.

I love re-purposing and recycling old clothes into new clothes. When I go thrift store and vintage store shopping I never start with an idea of what I am looking for -I keep an open mind and let the fabric and color speak to me. My only exception is Good, high quality leather in bright and unusual colors and Cottons from India -specifically skirts or Saris

One of my favourite projects was taking several of these old washed-to-silky-softness cotton voile skirts with different prints, cutting them into squares and making a long patchwork skirt. It's quite outstanding but it was a lot of work. I decided that once was enough. and the other skirts were used forsome simple summer blouses that have since wore out and been retired.

Nevertheless I still find myself grabbing anything with a Bollywood vibe. I have two pieces of fabric now that I needs a couple good designs. One is a typical long broomstick pleated skirt with elephants and abstract floral prints forming several borders. It's far too long and way too dated looking to wear as a skirt. There's enough fabric to make a nice summer dress. 

I also have a full nine yard long cotton sari with several different edge and border prints. I want to take apart the borders and edges and use them to make a really interesting dress that exploits all the edges.  I want to use the whole nine yards -and yes, perhaps that IS where the expression originated. that or Kilts.

For design inspiration I am looking to my favorite on-line clothing shop: Free People. Oh c'mon don't act so surprised. OF COURSE I love free people; it's the most boho store on line.  Some of the dresses are quite shapeless, others far too short, and other fit the models weirdly. But there's enough to them to get the creative juices flowing and maybe lead me to something that will look really good and work for me. 

Like this. I love the way the sleeves and bodice are cut in one from the border print and the lighter floral of the skirt contrasts with the  bodice and sleeves. I would make mine longer -a stray breeze would be rather exposing. And I might do something to the center V -maybe add a beaded accent applique.

I like this wrapover blouse. Again the border print forms the edge of the wrap and all the fabric is caught up in the gathers at the shoulder. Super soft and feminine looking. I think this one is on the MUST MAKE list. If I make it I would make it long enough to tuck in front and back orto wear left untucked and floaty and airy.

There's a V in both the front and back and the border print edges both V's. The bolder darker print makes up the skirt -which is WAAAYYYY too short for me. Mid length would be much nicer than mini length and the warp look is really eye-catching.

Im usually not a big caftan fan, they look way too much like muumuus -but this is certainly the exception. This would be georgeous at the beach in the evening after a full day of sun and sand. The V neck, flutter sleeves and centerfront and center back seam all take advantage of the border print. The elevated elasticatewd waistline adds fit and elegance and makes it look more like a summer dress and less life an oversized muumuu.

Since this is an oh hell YEAH! here's the back detail to help me makes this piece.

now THIS is how to expoit an indian border print sari. 20 years ago I would have said oh hell yes! and made it, now I'm not so sure it would work for me. HOWEVER! The skirt and the idea of the top is perfect and I'm sure I could make something similar work for me.

I could also take a skirt, add lots of lace and make another skirt!

Maybe a little too young? Would lengthening it look better? Dunno.

I could always turn the print on its side and end up with this!

And last: a square necked floaty baby doll style. Again, too short for me but with some added length and added shape this might be quite nice. I would skip the gathering at the ends of the sleeves.

So now I have some really great ideas -and I can go off to the vintage and thrift shops and look for more of these wonderful printed cottons from India. The skirt cost 3$ and the sari was in a box labelled Tablecloths 2.50 each so they aren't expensive. To buy these at the Free People store would be much more than that: each of these dresses and skirts are over 150$ -one is over 500$ I'm going to start on the midi length caftan rightaway!

Posted by lincatz at 10:58 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Tuesday, 14 April 2015
a few patterns that interest me.
Topic: Things to make.

Good things about a grandson: Everything that isn't the one big bad thing.

Bad things about a grandson: They pick up and share every little cold and flu bug they come across. And they share a few exotic critters too.

Like last week. Gavin had a some type of flu bug -it seemed to fit the common norovirus profile -that he shared with his mom and dad. Dan became quite sick and took a few days off work. Heather got to relieve those early newborn days of change a liquid filled diaper every fifteen minutes. By Easter weekend Gavin seemed fine, Heather was fine and Dan was mostly fine. So they came to Easter Dinner.

By Wednesday I was sick, Ben was starting to get sick, my brother was sick and my mom was 12 hours from being taken to the hospital for dehydration.  by friday I was weak but recovering, Ben was recovering, my mom was released and Dan and Heather were feeling rather bad about spreading their germs.

Most interesting part about all this? It's possible it wasn't the good old Norwalk virus. It's possible it was a fun and exotic tropical bacteria the Gavin picked up a the Early Years drop in play center.  So we get to have an exotic tropical disease without having to get on a plane and actually visit some exotic tropical location. 

And now a few sewing patterns that I kind of LOVE!!!!

I love this vintage vogue dress. The sweetheart neckline in wonderful. Look at the way the gathers are cut and seamed in the skirt and bodice. I bet this is challenging! I also bet that worked in a lighter fabric with drape it woul look a little less old fashioned. I also would extend the buttons all the way down the center front to make it a bit more casual and summery.

This is also vintage and still modern and wearable. I love the button-front skirt -only three inches shorter -in chambray and lighter denim. I recall outfits like this being quite popular in the 60's in the summer: the bra top was cool when it was hot and the blouse over was for when anyone came to visit. I also recall many women wearing a pair of shorts underneath for a complete 4 piece day-at-the-beach outfit.

This is a super-cute easy to sew and easier to wear summer dress that can easily be made from on of the hundreds of brightly printed knits available everywhere. Even advanced level sewing people like me enjoy a simple to sew pattern and one like this can be made several times because of the many varaitions in sleeve and hem length.

I still have the ORIGINAL of this pattern. I made view B. The sides fit kind of gappy and weird. I wonder if they fixed that?

Some things never go out of style. Even if the tightly laced up and girdled waist in not fashionable -or humanly feasible -the blouse itself is wonderful and a true classic. If you look a the technical drawing:


..the style details are identical to many expensive blouses in the stores right now and identical to several burdastyle patterns. 

Speaking of sleeveless blouses I have three that need their pictures taken:  a pale pink embroidered blouse, a light wash denim with Battenburg lace, and a brown one with tatted lace. Since it's sunny, warm and really, really SPRING! I should do the pictures outside. Later!


..the style details are identical to many expensive blouses in the stores right now and identical to several burdastyle patterns. 

Speaking of sleeveless blouses I have three that need their pictures taken:  a pale pink embroidered blouse, a light wash denim with Battenburg lace, and a brown one with tatted lace. Since it's sunny, warm and really, really SPRING! I should do the pictures outside. Later!

Posted by lincatz at 10:03 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Monday, 30 March 2015
What not to Sew: Worst. Skirt. Ever. (and a top to sew immediately)
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Things to make.

Hey lady! Your vagina's leaking fabric! Do something about it! Like maybe turn the skirt so the fullness is to the side, the back or anywhere that doesn't make it look like your vagina's leaking fabric. Oh wait, the back view looks like you are pooping fabric.

How to fix: raise the yoke higher on the hip so the lowest point isn't crotch length. A shorter yoke will raise the fullness and make it look a bit better. Or raise the yoke and blunt the point so it looks a little less granny-panty-like My first impression -send the fullness to the side or side front and eliminate the back bustle is what I would do to fix this pattern and how I would wear something like this.

This monstrosity is on BurdaStyle and it's really quite the miss for them. They have had a few dogs recently -most being shapeless sack dresses -but this is above and beyond merely a shapeless sack. This borders on impossible to wear and unflattering on even skinny girls.

BurdaStyle does redeem themselves for in the same collection as leaking and pooping skirt is this adorable little wrap top: 

I can see that there's a small hook and eye at the crossover to keep it from gaping open, but that's okay -Anna Sui uses little hooks and if a big name like Anna Sui uses hooks on her wrap tops then we can all use hooks.  The neckline is perfect for showing off statement necklaces and bold jewellery. I love the little lapel -it's a place for beads and embroidery and the shiny flowing fabric makes it hang perfectly. I bet this could be easily lengthened into a super easy to sew and easy to wear dress.  The description says to make it in a cotton fabric for casual wear with jeans but honestly, the shiny fabric would pair perfectly with jeans and really dress them up.

It's all good BurdaStyle, for now all is forgiven. Your fail was utterly spectacular -I seldom see such absolute disasters from you (Sandra Betzina for vogue is another story -I expect disasters from her) but you redeemed yourself with one simple thoughtful top.And I will give you credit for imagination: it's nice tosee something other than pencil skirts or those god-awful "skater skirts" that are so short and so poorly designed that girls need to wear a pair of pants or leggings under them to prevent embarassment.

speaking of pants! One more thing BurdaStyle: stop trying to make cullotes a thing. The entire fashion world need to stop making cullotes a thing. Stop. Now. 

Posted by lincatz at 10:25 AM EDT
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Friday, 20 February 2015
Fabric Swatch Friday!
Now Playing: Siouxsie and The Banshees.
Topic: Things to make.
I finished up all my quilted placemats and trivets and they look fantastic. It really brightens up the dining room on these super cold days. It's been a very cold February -even colder than last year! It's so cold this morning that all the schools have closed for the day. I've also tackled a couple big home improvement jobs. The bathroom is still waiting but the miserable job, the one we've been avoiding the longest has the worst part of the job completed. There was a leak in our roof and it damaged the ceiling plaster in out bedroom. As it dried and shrunk the plaster began to chip and crack leaving a large crack in the wall. We know it needed repair but it we kept putting it off. Finally when the curtain hardware began detaching form the wall we knew it was time to fix the wall.

And it went surprisingly fast. With everything we learned doing Dave's mom's house and Dan's place fixing our crack was a piece of cake. We chipped away all the old stuff, V 'd the larger cracks and filled them with a high adhesion high strength compound made for repairing cracked plaster. We had to chip down to the rough plaster in  a few places but the repair compound stuck to it as promised and it now looks wonderful. After the big cracks and holes were gone we plastered over the repair stuff and filled and patched the smaller cracks. And we are all done. Who knew that white plaster could look so darned good? Anyone who had a big ugly water-stained crack, that's who!

After repairing we put up new curtains and blinds and so far they are holding well. Next it's priming and painting the room.  The new colour will be a little less aqua and a bit more cool blue.

I've also managed to find time to draw, illustrate, and design. Creativity is certainly a matter of "USE IT OR LOOSE IT" and like any other muscle that isn't used enough it becomes flabby and out of shape. I've been exercising it by attempting to re-imagine some older designs that weren't quite working the way I wanted.  After spending time re-imagining I've turned to new designs and ideas. It's coming back and I have a few really great ideas that I need to explore.

Which segues right into my swatches. This is a wonderful rayon smooth finish broadcloth with that wonderful drape and flow that rayon does so well. I'm hoping to make a summer dress and a nice summer top with this fabric.


This is a bark crepe georgette. I love the dusky color to the print. I can see this as a spring blouse with short or cap sleeves, maybe lots of darts for shaping, probably an unuual shaped hemline. Thinking something retro -1940's or 50's maybe.

I LOVE these bold pansies. This is also rayon but with a challis finish rather than the smooth broadcloth finish as above in the first swatch. This is going to be a jazz age inspired dress -not sure if it will have a flapper silhouette or a later 1930's RKO movie star silhouette. The flapper look has the waist line at the hip and the 1930's look has the waist higher -just above the natural waist. Again, there's plenty of drape so the design needs to exploit the flow and drape of the fabric.


These seven chiffons are arranged like this for a reason. I am planning on  combining them into some type of patchwork or tiered skirt. I also plan to include some fabrics from a few older boho skirts that are ripped, torn, worn to shreds and in in need of retiring from active rotation. Back last summer there was a design contest: design a shawl for Stevie Nicks. It had  to be creative, unique, differnt, show a designer's point of view and vision and suited for the singer. I got all the way to the concept and an illustration for the concept but I didn't have a chance to develop it completely. So instead of being a shawl for Stevie Nicks this will beome a boho skirt and top for me incorperating the original Julia Fractal arrangement.

This cotton plaid will become a shirt for Dave.  There's plenty of cool colours in it including pink, purple teal, beige, khaki and more all in a chocolate brown background. It's an Indian Madras plaid so it will need to be washed and pre shrunk. Depending on what happens after washing and shrinking it will be either a casual short sleeve shirt (if the fabric ripples and shrinks) or a dressier long sleeve shirt (if it doesn't ripple and shrink)

I also have some really nice plain cotton voile for summer blouses in chocolate brown, dusty pink, white, pale aqua, white, faded frost wash denim and more white. I want to include some of my hand made laces and some recycled battenburg laces salvaged from tablecloths and ugly early 90's dresses.  I want to use some late 1800's patterns as inspiration.

And that's what will be occupying my sewing machine for the next week or so. After that I will have lots more ideas. and plenty more fabrics to scan! 

Posted by lincatz at 10:13 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Newer | Latest | Older