Monthly Archives: September 2012

Emmy Day. Go Tim!!


Happy Sunday and Emmy awards day

I never documented my Tim Gunn book signing experience, so when I saw this photo on his Facebook page today it reminded me.

How cute is this?

As you know, Tim has been all over the place promoting his fun and fabulous book, Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible; and I was fortunate enough to meet him at Bookends in lovely Ridgewood, New Jersey, a few weeks ago.

Tim was amazing. He talked to EVERYone, and took photos with EVERYone, bless him. Took two hours to get through the line.
Yay, it was finally my turn. An employee/owner was kind enough to snap shots for all of us adoring fans.
So here we are together. I love it!!
By the way, anyone watching the Emmys tonight? Who ya rooting for? I’m all about Jim Parsons, everyone’s beloved Sheldon on Big Bang; but I wouldn’t cry if Louis C.K. won. Naturally I’d love a Downton win or two, some Breaking Bad love, and even more Big Bang recognition in the form of Best Supporting Actress in Comedy for Mayim Bialik.

Come hang out with me on Facebook (theshelleyhesson) or Twitter (@shel_shel_shel) if you need some company during the red carpet and awards. Snarky comments always welcome.

Make it work, gorgeous blogoddesses.


Green and Drapey


Hey all. Hope everyone is having fun with his/her respective seasonal sewing. All of us northern hemispherers have visions of cardigans and capes and pants and Gertie coats dancing in our heads. Or at least I do.

My blouses are coming along nicely. Alma would be done if I hadn’t hemmed it wrong side out. Oh well. That’ll be a seam-ripping time for another day. I also started a Cambie because I’m silly, AND because I LOVE the fabric that just came from Fabric Mart
20120918-234040.jpgAND because I saw the sublimely talented Amanda’s version in person at Gertie’s/Gretchen’s book launch party this past weekend. Just lovely. Not to mention Sew Busy Lizzy’s beautiful versions. Hope to have a full-blown case of Cambie Pox real soon.

So here’s something I actually finished. Never mind that I finished it at the end of July and just never documented it. It’s an easy, comfy McCall’s 6078 and I highly recommend it if you have some jersey knit hanging around and want to make something kinda sweet for not a lot of effort.

Here are some shots on a semi-cool summer sunset evening in a field of sunflowers that a local farmer just randomly planted this summer.


Yeah that’s me taking a picture of Lenny taking a picture of me. We do that a lot.

And one where you can almost actually see the shirt, taken during another gorgeous sunset, on Block Island last week.
Ahh, my trusty Saturn. My only new-bought car. 15 years old, 229,000 miles, and at least four boyfriends.

There’s SO much more to blab about, but it’s past my bedtime. However, I just have to congratulate the blogoddesses chosen for the Mood Sewing Network. Did they nail this or what?? Absolutely spot-on selections.

Happiest of fall/spring sewing!

Strictly Strictly


This post will mean almost nothing to my fellow Americans (unless you’re a downloading Anglophile like me), and for now it has nothing to do with sewing (unless I get a hankering to sew dance costumes this season), but please, if any of you lovely English lasses want to talk Strictly, please take pity on a girl who has NO ONE to discuss this with (except for my patient bestie Donna) and yammer on about it with me. Thanks to the wonderful internet, I’m only a few hours behind on getting to watch it, so I’ve already seen the introductory partner-pairing episode and am so excited already. This is the first series that I know ZERO celebrities beforehand (no Lulus or Pamela Stephensons or Widdys for me this year), except for the token American Jerry Hall of course, but I can tell that I love this cast.

Here’s what I love:

The new judge, Darcey Bussell (obviously haven’t seen her judge yet, but I get a good feeling about the chemistry there)
The pairing of Brendan and Victoria
Artem and Robin, always, and with anyone or no one
Flavia Cacace, always. In another life I would have her hair.

And I’ve been developing a huge crush on Len over the years. It’s getting ridiculous.

Give me a se-VUNNNNN, Len!

As for Dancing With the Stars, it IS an opportunity to see Len two more nights a week, but I’m not excited about this year’s All-Star cast. I want fresh dancers!! But who am I kidding? I know I’ll get sucked in.

Signing off from Strictly Central, East Coast USA branch,
See ya 5 October!

Long live rock. And Macaron!!!


Hellllooooooo 2.0 Sewalongers!!

Well, I finished this two weeks ahead of schedule which means I’m late posting it. Typical. There was just never time for a proper shoot, and I had to do photographic justice to this garment’s sheer silliness.

So here’s my content-light, picture-heavy post. The main pink guitar fabric is a print from eBay that I’ve been wanting to make something out of for a long time. My boyfriend does sound and plays in a few bands, so there’s always an excuse to make clothes to wear to gigs. The contrast is White Leopard Burnout (which is going to be the name of MY band), coolest fabric ever. I have a ton left, so if Lenny ever makes an honest woman out of me, I think I’ll make my wedding dress out of the stuff–At least the veil. Nothing to say constructionwise that wouldn’t have been said in my muslin post. I did attach sleeves to this one, which miraculously went without a hitch. The invisible zipper is even less visible than in the muslin, but being a very similar color always helps.

Shelley the Roadie to the rescue.

My attempt at a Pete Townshend windmill. Hard to do without a guitar strap.

Had to have at least one photo with a hat

Do you see a zipper? Me either. Okay maybe a little bit.

My creative honey’s creative photography

So I LOVE the Macaron, and it sounds like y’all are falling in love too. There are so many amazing versions out there. I could squeeze you all. I’m even planning a Halloween version. Um, you don’t know me, but I don’t do Halloween. Every day to me is an excuse to dress ‘interestingly’, so usually I ignore Halloween, but I found some fabric on eBay that will be the PERFECT contrast fabric. Squeee. So I hope to be bewitching in October.

Happy Autumn Sewing, and Colette Sewingalonging!

Tim Gunn, anyone? How about Gertie?




Hey all,

Million things going on here in the nest, but just wanted to reach out and ask if there’s anyone in my little blogosphere who lives in the New Jersey/Philly/NYC area who is planning on or would be interested in going to the Tim Gunn book signing this Monday the 10th at Bookends in Ridgewood, NJ.  It may be a good opportunity to meet up, and who wouldn’t want to be in the presence of Mr. Gunn???!/events/404917699565246/


Contact me here or at shelley57 at Yahoo if you’re interested, and feel free to pass the word around to anyone who might be so inclined to make it work.  I realize this is short notice, but live a little!!

Also, I’m planning on attending Gertie’s book signing in NYC a week from today, the 15th, at The Sewing Studio on W 29th St. 




And I’m sure you all know this, but just as a pesky reminder–Even if you can’t come to the party Gertie is doing this amazing kerchief drive for Pets Alive, a no-kill shelter in New York state.  If you have time and scraps and want to make something cute for a sweet pup, consider this:


Tutorials and necessary shelter contact information, as well as information on how to donate, are all on the page.

You can make an Adopt Me kerchief using iron-on transfers, or a simple festive fun print kerchief for the dogs to wear to their new home.  I swear to God I cry everytime I read about when she and her honey adopted their shelter dog and they dressed him up in his new kerchief for a family portrait. 

Just a tip in case you’re thinking about it, I went to Staples to buy the transfers yesterday, and they have both 8.5×11 AND 4×6 transfers.  The 4×6 may be slightly more practical for the kerchiefs.  I’ll keep you updated as I fight with my printer and see how it all works.  Gertie includes a PDF template on her page, but you can also make a template for the 4×6 fairly easily through the Avery website.  If you’re at all interested in my 4×6 idea, let me know and I’ll pass along my template if I am successful. 

Whew, this was a longer post than I had planned.  Take care everyone, and maybe I’ll be seeing you soon. 




Feelin Blousey



For some reason I decided to begin three blouses simultaneously last night (because I don’t have enough UFOs and WIPs). And it took ALL evening to trace all of those pieces, especially the seam-allowance-free Burda. I’m hoping that the hard work will pay off and that these pieces will be reused multiple times. Look, Anne, I’m trying that crazy Rowley pattern, but with something slippery enough to hopefully combat the Pleat of Doom. The purple that I’m using for the Burda is from my last Mystery Bundle. Two yards of yummy purple satin. Nice.

I’m way behind on responding to comments and making comments to your posts, but I’ll catch up soon. I really appreciate your generous feedback, and I’m loving what you blogoddesses are putting out there. You all rock my world.


June Cleaver Dress, Butterick 4790. And Happy Birthday to my dear Dad. And hey, I got free rick rack!!


Hey all. The week of FO’s is off to a great start. I finished this Butterick 4790 last night and wore it to work today.

As you probably know from seeing it around and about on blogs and Pattern Review, it’s a retro pattern from 1952, and is just doggone cute and old school housewifey looking. Very easy construction. I love the flowiness of it. This thing takes five yards of fabric, most of it skirt. I made it from some broadcloth that I found at Jo-Ann’s for only $1.99/yd. When I saw that price I got my Sewing Kit App out to see if I had any patterns that recommended broadcloth, and there she was. I immediately bought five yards of red red red.

According to the sizing chart I was a 20 (still getting used to that whole crazy sizing thing), so I cut accordingly, except, inexplicably, at the waist, where the back comes around to meet at the front. Sounds confusing if you haven’t worked with this pattern, but it all eventually makes sense. I still don’t know how I totally brainfarted and tapered that part of the pattern, because that is my number one icky spot. My waist size isn’t even on most sizing charts. Ugh. Other than that major screwup, most of the dress fit great, especially the front section. The darts make it so form-fitting and flattering. LOVE. As a matter of fact, I want to somehow make this dress without the wraparound because the front fits so well. Maybe I could duplicate the front and somehow draft a back, but keep the original back as a cape. 🙂

So anyway, the waist issue. I could probably have forced the wraparound waist part to meet, but it wouldn’t have been pretty, so I did what any overeating enterprising sewist would do–I made a fancy panel.

This is a groovy trim that I got from Esthers Vintage Fabric on eBay, and this was my first opportunity to do something with it. I HIGHLY recommend her as an eBay seller, by the way. She has fun stuff, and always throws in buttons and other goodies with your order. My love has officially been bought. 🙂
I’ll probably have to reinforce the hooks and eyes because this woven material has a lot of give to it and wants to fray, but it has held up through a workday so far. I like that it’s entirely adjustable and removable.

So here’s the entire dress, taken this morning as I dutifully made coffee for my honey while wearing my 50s housewife dress. Not the best photo because it was taken with my boyfriend’s phone, but I love it anyway.

And because he didn’t adequately capture my wonderful shoes this morning, I did a reshoot with my real camera after work:

This is one of my few dresses that isn’t a fairly noisy print, so it allowed me to accessorize viciously, with my splashy Marc Fisher shoes and this great necklace and earrings set that I spotted in the amazing town of Rockport, MA.

Another fun frock. If you have the pattern, treat yourself to a fun sewing experience and whip one up soon.

And as it is still September 4th in my neck of the woods, Happy 72nd birthday to my cute dad, Gary. I took a machine to his snowbird place in Florida for my first ever sewcation, back in April, and decided to make him a shirt. I bought this Kwik Sew 3421 based on the great reviews, and it didn’t disappoint.

Here he is being my model. He is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, hence the intense eagleyness of the print. I highly recommend this pattern if you have a guy that you want to spoil. I hadn’t been sewing two months when I made this, and it has collar, pocket, buttons, etc. Truly easy-to-follow pattern.

One last thing, if you’re still here. I got a goody in the mail today, from the wonderful Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones, as a fun part of the Colette 2.0 sewalong. The lovely hostesses are being kind enough to sponsor giveaways after each project. How amazingly sweet and generous is that??!!

Yay! HOT PINK RICK RACK! (and my shoulder-riding Teddy cat)

May you all be currently experiencing incredible sewing adventures, with or without rick rack.


Labor Day Bliss. And say hello to my little Pfriends


Sewing Happiness Is:

About 87(ish) yards of new Fabric Mart fabric pre-washing as we speak (And they actually sent me useable, cute fabric in my 6 yard Mystery Bundle!) and Joann’s orders in the mail, including stupid amounts of crepe de chine, faux fur, thread, and elastic, just because
Two awesome new-to-me sewing machines on the dining room table
Two adorable WIPs (if I do say so myself) on said machines
Two UFOs that have a chance at some kind of life in the next week (or day)
One finished pink guitar Macaron and a lime green jersey drapey top that are bursting to be documented
An Alma and a few other tops that need pattern tracing/cutting
Bunches of new patterns, including Gertie’s new dress and coat, and some autumny capes, ponchos, and pants

It’s going to take all of this happiness to get over the fact that the summery sunnery part of summer is essentially over. The pool closes today, and the weather isn’t looking good enough for the next few days to justify drowning my sorrows at the beach. But I’ll be okay. People have real problems out there other than fading tans. Thanks for letting me wallow for a few lines…

So, on to my new friends:

For these almost seven months that I’ve been sewing, I haven’t had my own actual functional machine. I taught myself the basics on my mom’s Sears Kenmore, but it only has a straight stitch. It can sew through a tent, a mainsail, and 5 layers of denim, but it ain’t gonna buttonhole or zigzag. Thanks, babe. I’ll get you back out when I need to repair my tarp.

So anyway, my honey’s sister (the one with the greenest of thumbs who makes the garden so pretty) was kind enough to let me borrow her Brother (the sewing machine kind–I was already borrowing her human brother) for all of this time. AND a close cousin’s wife also let me foster her grandmother’s Husqvarna Viking 990 for a while too. Both machines have served me well, and I’ve learned a great deal about what functions I need and don’t need. Well, sadly the beloved Viking had to be returned, and I’m thinking I shouldn’t overstay my Brother welcome, so I went about acquiring my own children.

This is proof that timing is everything. A local lady who is moving back to Australia after living here for 18 years was selling her amazing Pfaff 2030 on Craigslist for an ungodly low price, so here she is:

And just because I can’t live in a house that doesn’t resemble a sweatshop, and because I couldn’t live without a Swede around, I found this on eBay:

It’s not as pfancy as the Pfaff, but it’s actually pretty kickass. It’s tough, even sewing through thick layers. I’m about halfway through a stretchy polyester knit dress, and its stitches have been perfect for the task. The coolest thing is that the model name is Lena, which is my boyfriend’s Sicilian grandmother’s name. I HAD to buy it!

So I’m off to see what to do first. I literally don’t know where to start. Shall I pull my hair out trying to still get inspired by that crappy Vogue ‘wrap’ that I’m trying to modify, or creatively extend the waistline on the potentially cute Butterick 4790 that’s THIS close to being done? Or play more with the WIPs? Don’t worry, these are rhetorical questions. I’m gonna do what grabs me first, as always.

Enjoy what’s left of your Labor Day, U.S. people, and enjoy that Monday will soon be over, everyone else. May you be blessed with wonderful bursts of creativity.

I’ll close with two of my favorite Facebook finds from this week: