Thursday, June 25, 2009

basic tank + border print = fabulous dress

I finished it!  Here is the completed project I promised.  I meant to post last night, but the hemming took a bit longer than I expected.  The top of the dress is a simple $6 tank top from H&M.  The skirt is lined in batiste, and finished with french seams.  This is the easy project I have been waiting for--and just what I need for my long weekend trip!

Thanks for looking, and happy sewing :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Yesterday's shopping trip turned out better than I expected.  Although I didn't find any fabric per se, I did pick up something small to go with the Art deco-y border print fabric.  And it came from H&M, so it was super cheap!  For now it's a secret, but I will post pictures of the results tonight.

Happy sewing thoughts-

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekend Project Progress

I was really busy this weekend! My list of current projects keeps getting longer, though I haven't been finishing much. This past weekend I cut out:
  1. Jacket from Burda 5/2006
  2. Strapless swimsuit
  3. Top 118 from Burda 2/2009
  4. Franzi vest from Burdastyle
I don't have pics yet for the last two, but I will soon-promise! For the jacket I am using a silk/cotton blend from fabricmart fabrics, and a great vintage button that I found at Exquisite Fabrics. For the strapless swimsuit I'm using poly/spandex jersey from The photo on the left is Norma Kamali's Walter MIO suit, which inspired this creation. If you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check out

I've also been combing through my stash to identify possible projects. There is so much fabric that I really love, but am not sure how to use. My sewing space is quite small (about 5ftx7ft, including sewing machine, ironing board and storage) so it can get a bit chaotic when i bring out too many projects at once.

Yesterday I found this post by Katharine, in which she mentioned how she deals her small workspace. I know I need to be better organized, but of course I'm not sure where to start! How do you keep your sewing space tidy? If you have any suggestions I would love to hear from you.

Now I'm off to find some fabric to go with this:

But more about upcoming projects later! Good luck on all your current projects and fabric hunting :)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Inspiring Summer Projects

I've found quite a few lovely projects this week and last. If you're looking for summer sewing inspiration, be sure to check these out:

From Casey: Shorts Story

From Anna: Mociun Knock-off

From Cidell: BWOF 6-2009-107

From Sigrid: Top for my Daughter

Casey and Anna's creations have inspired me to try my hand at some more pattern drafting. I'm in love with the idea of having creative control over an entire project, from the conception of an idea, to the design of the pattern, and the final hand stitched hem. Often I am too timid to make the leap of faith and trust myself to do this. This is where Burda's patterns are so wonderful; They let me create trendier pieces without spending as much time working my measurements into a pattern. Cidell and Sigrid's gorgeous posts remind me that I need to take another look at Burda's June issue. These are both examples of garments that I might have been a bit wary to try if I hadn't seen other attempts first. Thank you to Casey, Anna, Cidell and Sigrid for the inspirations! I'm ready for a weekend of sewing now!

Burda Spring Jacket

Technical drawing from

I took a few photos of recent projects over the weekend, and have finally gotten the chance to post them. The pattern was a breeze to follow, since most of the seams are straight. The toughest part for me was the pocket construction--setting those babies in took me a couple weeks! I really like the vintage-y feel of this one, and the large snaps keep the front placket unfettered by over decorative buttons. While I love every kind of button, they just don't work well everywhere. The cotton/rayon jacquard was sourced from Emma One Sock and the cotton butterfly-print lining came from I didn't use the recommended silk fabric because I wanted this to be a good everyday jacket, and I don't like to dry clean clothes frequently. The pattern is available as a download from Burda.

There are more project updates to come, a tunic and a button-up beach top, both from Burda WOF patterns. I will post them as soon as I get the chance!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fabric Friday

From Left to Right: brightly striped cotton jersey, claret wool jersey, 
emerald hammered silk, black and ivory cross- weave linen

I bought some more fabric last week, after tricking myself into thinking that I needed more.  Clearly I do not need more, as indicated by my Billy shelf that is fully to the brim with yard goods.  The only remedy, of course, is to sew, sew, sew!  Of course it's never fully evident why all these projects-in-waiting do not come to fruition more quickly, but I have an inkling that part of the puzzle is inspiration.  Once I get an idea in my head I tend to fall in love with it, and the project seems to fly off my fingertips like a ball of yarn unwinding.  I'm waiting for the inspiration to hit ;)

Anyhow, here are pictures of the fabrics.  Do you have any ideas about what these lovelies should become?  Any and all ideas are most welcome!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

July Burda Excitement

Last month I finally treated myself once more to a Burda World of Fashion subscription. Although I have subscribed to the magazine in the past, $80 a year became too much as I made the transition from high school to college, and then college to life in the "real world". This spring, however, I really have gotten back into sewing in a major way, and have thus been chasing down back issues from February and March. After ordering the original German version of the March issue from Burda Direct and trying to figure out how I would pay the publisher using my non-existent German bank account, I decided it was high time I reinstated my subscription. (One other justification I gave myself was that even if I only like 4 of the 12 issues each year, procurring them as back issues at $15 a pop adds up very quickly.)

Well, all that drama aside, I peeked at the Burda web site last night and was very excited to see that Burda WOF already has their July preview slideshow online! [Please be forewarned: There are spoilers in this post.] It seems like I just received my June issue in the mail, though I am of course very excited to see hints of the next issue. I do admittedly feel as though I have indulgently cast aside that last issue. The fashion stories were lovely, and they did inspire me. The problem is that they inspired me to purchase more fabric over anything else! After flipping through some of the photos of next month's Burda I think that some of those patterns will be more conducive to stash busting.

I definitely have some cotton/lycra poplin that may work well for this one:

Dress from upcoming Burda WOF July 2009

And I'm not sure what fabric I would use for this skirt, but it would be lovely made up in a cheerful color (think lemon yellow or a vivid green) with some vintage buttons. This is definitely going on the project list!
Skirt from upcoming Burda WOF July 2009

Aside from my giddy joy at the prospect of new patterns, I thought that I would share one of my recently completed projects:

This was one of the patterns that made me purchase the August 2008 issue of Burda WOF. The feminine details of the peplum, puff sleeves and rounded yoke really appealed to me. Although the fashion story featured the top in a silk charmeuse, I thought that a crisp cotton would do just as well (and be MUCH more affordable!). Once I found this lovely piece of sapphire cotton sateen at Gstreet on the discount table, I just had to make it. It is also very satisfying to me when I can pull these projects off for such a reasonable price:

2 yards of blue fabric =$5.94
2 cards of tiny shank buttons =$1.60

In total, the blouse materials cost only $7.54 !

Here is the technical drawing of the blouse, which shows all the little details more clearly then my photos:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Hello, world! My name is Megan and I am an avid seamstress and knitter. I created Hanging by a Thread so that I have a place to share my thoughts on sewing, knitting and other pearls of wisdom. I have been sewing for about 14 years, and knitting for five. While sewing is my first true passion, I find knitting to be a great stress-reducing activity. My first sewing projects included dresses for my dolls and historical costumes for myself. These days I make many of my own clothes, drawing inspiration from Anthropologie, Burda World of Fashion, Japanese pattern books, and designers like Anna Sui and Norma Kamali.

You can find me on craftster, burdastyle, and ravelry--my handle is littleweasel. I really enjoy participating in these online communities, and have recently enjoyed reading individual sewing and crafting blogs even more, and so I thought I would give this a shot. Here I hope to be able to share not only photos and and descriptions of my creations, but the inspirations behind them. I also have plans to share some patterns on burdastyle, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, you should definitely check out some interesting posts from these crafty blogs:

Blue Sky sewing, from Melissa Fehr (of nytimes fame) -shows off her new super cheery top

Stashaholism Confessional, from The Slapdash Sewist -detailing her latest fabric purchases and plans for sewing projects.

Hom Spun, from Anna Allen -she shares some inspiration from one of her most recent Japanese pattern book acquisitions

Whew-time for me to get sewing! Hopefully this weekend I'll have a chance to take some photos of my most recent projects to share with you.