Monday, October 31, 2011

Moving Tales - Part III

Of course there is no sewing going on in the new sewing room.  However, all the sewing machines are on my L-shaped table set-up because I now have the space.  The cutting table is up and ready to be used...and I'm working on the boxes.  But the one thing that moving does is that it makes you go through all the stuff that you've been holding onto.

I'm sure I should just toss magazines but if they've been around for any period of time, I realize that there was a reason for me to keep them.  My bedside nightstand was a treasure trove of magazines.  I wanted to highlight just two of the things I found.  

One is the January 2002 issue of Town & Country.  There is an article in the magazine on Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and the making of a new RTW Chanel jacket.  This was a fantastic find and I actually sat down on my bed and read this article by Judith Warner.  I'm sharing the pictures of the article with you here:

I'm soooooo glad that I kept this!

The next thing I found that I probably should have thrown out...but after flipping through it I decided to keep for the ideas.  This company was a division of JJill and went out of business.  These are probably the last three catalogs that I received and they are dated 1999.  I probably didn't toss them because the clothing is classic...things that I could make/wear now by simply changing hem lengths.

I was curious about this company so I did an internet search and found the following blurb in a Direct Marketing News brief (probably why I was so attracted to the clothing and the styling of the catalog):

"The discontinued Nicole Summers catalog concept was targeted to a slightly older customer than J.Jill, affluent women ages 45 and older who have an active but formal lifestyle, according to a company overview.  J.Jill is designed to appeal to women ages 35 and older."

I'm getting use to the sewing room set-up.  I've moved a few things around since the first pics but I don't have any more to share just yet.  I've got to sew something to see if it will work for me before I call it done.  After I run some errands today, I'll be back to unpack a few more boxes...then it's back to work on Tuesday. always, more later!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Moving Tales - Part II

Yesterday was moving the middle of a snowstorm.  Yes, that's right...the snow that was anticipated to arrive around 2-3pm actually showed up at 10:45am in my neighborhood.  I know.  I looked at my watch at that time because I couldn't believe that the rain had turned to SNOW!  It snowed the entire time of the move, as well as, well into the night.

However, I am all moved in and typing this post from my new sewing room.  My amazingly disorganized and stuffed to the brim with fabric totes bin...but in nevertheless.  I wanted to share a few moving observations while the horror of it was still fresh in my mind.  Horror because I HATE moving, not horrible because the move was bad.  Actually, the movers were fantastic.  Funny, fast and unperturbed by the snow...if anything the snow caused them to move it along a little quicker...

Some observations:
1.  As stated above the movers were fast, funny and professional.  They were such good sports about moving in that horrible weather and even took the time to wipe the boxes off before moving them into the house, that I'm sure I overtipped them.  But they did make moving extraordinarily easy.

2.  Ummm no I don't sew for a living and no I won't make you anything...enough said about that!

3.  I have alot of fabric.  I know I have alot of fabric.  And yes, I did have two large garbage bags full of fabric after the great pack up to donate, as well as giving two large 20 gallon totes of fabric to my daughter.  I have culled quite a no I don't want to donate any more.  Yes, I'm quite aware of the fact that I won't be able to sew it all in my lifetime...but that's why I have daughters! *LOL*  It will be their problem to deal with once I'm gone.

4.  The room diagram my friend John made up for me works.  Of course the room needs a little tweaking...but having some directions made getting all the items in far easier.  Now unpacking...I'm going to be doing that for weeks!  My computer is up and next is the sewing machines and after that the boxes.  Thank goodness I don't go back to work until Tuesday morning.

5.  My bedroom is in the best shape of all the rooms since I bought new bedroom furniture, someone else built it and made sure it was right.  All I have to do there is hang up my clothes because while I was waiting for some tech to come and hook something up, I filled all the drawers.

6.  Of course last night after going through everything, I noticed a missing box which I have no hopes of recovering...especially since this same thing happened the last time I moved and I swore that I would be more careful this still went missing! *sigh*

7.  I'm broke.  Moving is terribly expensive and I don't want to do this again any time soon!  Last time was 6 years ago.  I'm hoping that I can stay here another 20 years...I'm getting to old for this!  *LOL*

Finally because I have no shame, a few pictures of the mess that currently is my sewing room:

Picture from my new bedroom window
early this morning so you can see the snow!

The wall of fabric bins

The new home of my book collection
Some day it will come out of the totes!

The sewing table that needs 
to be set up

Of course, I'll post pictures when the room is finally in shape and receiving visitors - but doesn't the floor look good!  My daughter did a great job of putting it down! always, more later!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Moving Tales - Part I

It's pouring rain in New Jersey...and I've been out in it ALOT today!  My daughter and I spent the day moving my clothing to the new place, waiting for a furniture delivery and then laying down a new floor in the basement...which even though I thought I bought enough boxes of flooring, we are making another trip to Lowes tomorrow morning to get more...

The picture is a little grainy because 
it was shot from my blackberry.

It also helps to have friends who love to decorate because I was totally stumped on how to best use the space in my new sewing room. So I sent the measurements and pics of the room to my friend John, who was designing my original sewing room.  In 2 hours he shot me back the following sketch:

He also located some cabinets that have a 6" clearance at the bottom that aren't very expensive. I will use them to store the fabric in...for a fabric closet wall.  See I've been majorly stressing about losing my fabric closet...MAJORLY STRESSING!  36 18-gallon bins of fabric is not a's a stash.  And it is an overwhelming stash...but I think these new closets will solve my problem.  I can live with the bins until I get together the cash to purchase the closets...just knowing there is a solution has eased my mind!

Tomorrow it's back to Lowes, laying the rest of the flooring, meeting up with the offsite shredding company to shred all of my mail (thanks Elizabeth, I listened!) and then back to the old apartment to finish off the last of the packing.  I keep thinking I'm almost done and then come back and see more stuff that needs to be packed up...*sigh*

The movers arrive on Saturday morning so I will be unpacking Sunday and Monday...and back to work on Tuesday.  I may or may not post again before then especially since who knows when I'll be sewing again...*sigh* always, more later!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tales from Walmart

...or why I shop online...
I tried.  I tried really hard to order storage bins online but it came down to the fact that I did need to see them.  I couldn't figure out what the difference between the gallon sizes were without hefting off to Walmart I went.

Here are just a few observations...
*Why does every older person of diversity (and I don't mean black folks!) ask me what prices are, where things are located, and if I can lift something for them? Seriously, wasn't the suede jacket, purse over my shoulder or the fact that I had a shopping cart just like you a giveaway that I was a shopper just like you?  And if it was a black thing...Lord help me!  My mother finally just moved out of the aisle after the third, yes I said third person, asked me for a price and I looked at them and said quite loudly, NO...I don't work here!

*What happened to the day when people carefully watched their children in the store? Seriously, there were more little (and I mean little) people wandering around touching iPad displays, darting in front of carts and generally being parentless.  I guess parents don't mind if those children go missing, huh?

*Does your Walmart only open three lines so that the lines are so long that you can read almost an entire magazine before you can begin to see the cashier?

*And does Walmart even hire people anymore?  I mean besides cashiers?  Try looking for someone to ask a question to...

Why was I in dreaded Walmart anyway?  To purchase 25 18-gallon plastic bins to pack my fabric collection in.  And why am I packing my fabric collection away...because I'm moving.  Yes, that's right...I'm moving. *sigh*  

There has been a lot of behind the scenes wrangling, buying, etc. but I'm moving just 7 minutes away from where I presently live.  I will have a sewing room.  An 8'x10' foot space but it's in the basement of the new condo.  So all of my pretty sewing room plans have been thrown out and I'm going with very basic industrial furniture in case of basement flooding...hence the plastic bins.

My plan is to finish up the McCalls dress this weekend and then I'm shutting my sewing down.  I have a lot of packing and then unpacking to do.  I'm already stressing and eating gobs of junk food and drinking way too much Mountain Dew. So after this dress, it will be a minute before any more sewing goes on patient...I'll be back...well I hope...if that mountain of fabric boxes doesn't fall on top of me and kill me!  *laughing hysterically*

...okay, more later!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

McCalls 6395 - Part I

This is another pattern that I've wanted to make since it appeared in the fall catalogue.  However, you know those patterns show up at the middle of summer...usually during a you have to wait until the weather is chillier to even think about making them.  Well it's chilly and I'm seriously thinking fall gear!  So instead of pulling my altered pattern pieces for my SF Inspired Dress out of the folder, I pulled new pattern pieces out of the pattern envelope instead.

I think this pattern is skewed to the younger sewist but I saw a dress that I could corporatize by making a few changes:

- I mixed two views ~ using the upper half of view B and the skirt portion of view C.

- I'm adding faux leather accents to the dress.

- I omitted the foldover neckline, because even though the illustrations show it as close fitting, there is no way that it could be since it has a boat neckline.  

- I omitted the exposed zippers.  This is a very cool and trendy effect but I'm already adding faux leather accents to the dress so one trend per dress is enough for me.

- I omitted the facings since I decided to line the dress and I'm binding the neckline with the faux leather.

Pattern Alterations:
- added 2" at the lengthen/shorten line to both the front and back bodice pieces.  The unaltered pieces hit me in a very unflattering place on my body, lengthening them took them down a bit and will give the dress a better line.

- added 2" to the hemline of the skirt pieces ~ both front and back.  As pictured above this skirt is short for my chubby knees so adding length was necessary.

- I did a pivot and slide on the front bodice piece to add some room to my abdomen area.  This amounted to 2" at the bottom of the bodice piece.  So I added 2" to the front skirt piece also. 

- I added 1" to the back seam area of the bodice piece and the same 1" to the back skirt piece.

A pleasant surprise was that I did NOT have to make an alteration to the sleeve biceps.  They were more than wide enough - Yeah McCalls!

I've already started to construct the dress but got interrupted by my Vogue 1250 LBD.  Hopefully, I will finish this up next weekend. always, more later!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Little Black Dress

I've always said that I wanted a black version of Vogue 1250.  So this afternoon while working on a different dress that I was using this fabric for, I thought that it would be perfect for V1250.

There are no new construction details to share since this is my fifth version of this pattern.  But each time I work with the pattern, I adjust some minor detail that makes the dress more me.  I can tell you that just like my maxi-mized version of this dress, I've added a deeper drape and a smidge more fabric in the abdomen area.  This has resulted in a fuller hemline but I'm okay with that because it's the drapiness of the neckline that I like most.

I'm still using seams in the back area...both at the bodice and skirt.  I like this look better and after reading through some of the other reviews of this dress on Pattern Review, I realized that my back seam should be a little higher.  So this time during construction I changed the depth of the seam to raise it a little.  Other than that this is still the quick sew that it always is...especially since most of the construction is done on my serger.

This dress has great versatility...

For Work...
Cardigan:  QVC Knockoff 
Shoes:  Jessica London
Bracelets:  RJ Graziano
Earrings:  Judith Ripka

For a date with friends
Suede Sweater Jacket: Jessica London
Booties:  Jessica London
Earrings: eBay vintage Sarah Coventry
Tights:  Dress Barn

For an evening out
Earrings & Pin:  eBay vintage Sarah Coventry
Stockings:  Fishnets from The Avenue
Shoes:  AK Anne Klein from Lord & Taylor
Watch:  Avon

and winterized
Turtleneck:  Dana Buchman
Boots:  Torrid

Turtleneck & boots from above
Cardigan:  Burda 8869 (OOP)

I can't guarantee that I won't find another piece of fabric in the collection that will ask to be made using this pattern but for right now I'm really happy with my fifth version of it! always, more later!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vogue 8764 in photos

Yes, it's finished and I'm kinda liking it!  It will be great for work and it's lets go to the stats:

Vogue 8764 from Vogue's recent Winter/Holiday release.

Red ponte knit from Fabric Mart
Black doubleknit from Metro Textiles

22" red invisible zipper
black/white striped ribbon

One of the best things about this pattern is the A,B,C,D cup custom fit sizing.  I used the D cup bodice in a size 24 and had no problems with the fit...well I think my side dart can be a smidge higher...but that's probably my fault.  I'm sure it was higher but when I removed the basting, my markings disappeared too, so I think I sewed it a smidge lower.  Definitely won't happen next time!

To make the skirt portion fit my abdomen, I did a proper pivot and slide technique making another pattern piece instead of the quickie I usually do on the fabric.  But even with this I feel the dress is still a little too close-fitting in that I've already altered my pattern piece to give me a little more room without changing the empire waistline use in the next version.  Believe me there will be a next one...I've already picked out the fabric...a tweedy wool crepe.

This dress is unlined.  The pattern tells you to line it.  I pretty much thought that I wouldn't line it right from the first fitting because the fabric doesn't need it.  I am, however, wearing a half slip in the pics and will in real life.  To finish off the neckline since I didn't line it, I just serge finished my pieces and turned under a 1/2" and stitched flat using a lot of steam and my clapper.

Only the neckline is top-stitched although the pattern tells you to topstitch all  the seams.  By not adding the lining, I did have some looseness in the back neckline, I solved this by adding two shallow darts.  I'm not sure if the looseness was caused by my handling of the fabric because it was more stretchy than the bottom piece, or if the back piece just was a little looser on me.  Whatever the darts solved the problem...

I'm still using Summerset's method (her November 2nd, 2009 blog post) to set in an invisible zipper when you have a band in the back and it works like a charm.  I got a really good match this time...even though I sewed the ribbon to the dress prior to adding the zipper. 

Adding the ribbon trim was a little challenging, but Steam A Seam 2 in the 1/2" size made the job so much easier.  By applying it to the back of the ribbon and then lightly pressing the ribbon to the fabric I got a great hold before I took the dress to the sewing machine and added two rows of stitching to the ribbon.  Then after I pressed the ribbon area, the Steam A Seam added some additional hold to insure the ribbon was firmly attached to the dress.

The sleeve hems and the hem of the dress both have a twin needle hem.

When I was putting the dress on the hanger, I knew that I wanted to wear the pearl brooch that was my Mom's.  She wore it in the 70s, I actually remember her wearing it when I was in high school.  I retrieved it from a garage sale basket she was putting together a couple of years ago and I've been wearing it ever since.  However, when I pinned it to the knit top, it made the dress front sag.  To solve this I was originally going to put a piece of the black/white ribbon on the back of the dress so the brooch would be stabilized. As I was cutting the fabric it hit me that the ribbon on the front of the dress with the brooch would look cute.  That's how that look came to be...

Finally a few more shots of me wearing the dress...

I've already pulled the fabric for my next dress...yes, I know another dress but  my dress wearing time is starting to get's starting to get chilly here...I'm watching the wind blow outside my kitchen window as I type this.  And I know that I'm going to need to make a couple of pairs of pants this winter since I've recently retired several pairs. always, more later!


Friday, October 14, 2011

A Three Day Weekend...

I have a vacation day today so I'm home...taking my time, surfing the web, reading blogs, watching TV and of course, sewing.  My plan is to finish off the Vogue dress this afternoon and get pics taken in the morning...during the good light...because my evening/after dark photos just aren't cutting it anymore.

Next up will be cutting out my new fabric for the SF Inspired dress and working on it this weekend.  New fabric as in I figured out what took my eyes off my obsession with this dress. The Fabric Mart fabric while amazing is a small houndstooth weave and the designer dress uses a larger houndstooth.  As I've seen more pictures of celebrities wearing this dress, my original fabric was just not working for me.

So I left work reasonably on time last night and hurried over to Mood Fabrics where I picked up this piece from the wool department on the 2nd floor.

I also saw the most amazing printed wool jersey piece that I left behind but the thought of it is torturing I see another trip to Mood in my future! *LOL* Anyway, now that I've got the right fabric, I will start working on this one this weekend too...because this will be one of my last long sewing weekends for awhile and I want to get the most out of it!

One more inspiration photo...

...I have an idea for this dress, based of course on my TNT dress pattern, that involves a little houndstooth trim (yes, I have houndstooth on the brain!!!) and an awesome piece of fabric that I bought from Fabric Mart.  I may or may not get to this one, but it will be next up in the sewing queue if I don't.

Speaking of inspiration, this list appears in an article in the November 2011 issue of O Magazine.  I definitely want to add a few of these pieces (especially the graphic black & white sheath dress) to my fall/winter I just have to find the time to sew them... always, more later!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I was reading Kathryn's blog, I Made This!  She recently completed this amazing halter dress that she'd started earlier this summer...but even though she probably won't get much wear out of it this season, she completed it because it was in danger of becoming a UFO.

I use to be like Kathryn.  I had maybe 2 or 3 UFO's over the course of five years.  If something didn't work, I tore it apart and reworked it or I pulled the fabric apart and added it back into the collection.

However, this year I've had at least four UFO's (5 if you include that disastrous affair with the CC dress) and even though I'm holding onto them hoping that I will be able to reuse or rework them, if I don't that will be okay.

Puzzled?  Wondering why I'm so accepting of my UFO fate?  Well it's because I have sooooo many ideas and sooooo much fabric that I'm finally realizing that I can let some of these "failed" pieces go.  Lately trying to finish or thinking about fixing unfinished garments is sucking all of the joy out of my sewing.  Which isn't good...because I need the balance that sewing provides in my life.  So I've decided that if I get to them, I get to them...and if I don't...I don't.  Sometimes letting go is the best thing you can do for your creativity.

So tell me, what do you do with UFOs?  How do you handle them?  Are they holding places of honor in your sewing room waiting for their chance to be completed?  Or do you trash them?  Talk back to me because this is the Question of the Day!

On another note, can I just tell you that I appreciated you talking back to me on my last Question of the Day!  I really loved this comment by Patti (fourkid),

"I know I will never measure up to the abilities of some of the ladies whose blogs I read, but neither do I feel I need to.  I am happy with what I do - and always learning more - from those very ladies.  I need them in front to inspire me, and I need to extend a hand to those following me."

Thanks for perfectly stating how I feel about my sewing and sharing this precious gift with others... always, more later!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vogue 8764

I fell hard for this pattern when I first saw it in the Vogue winter new patterns section.  I HAD TO HAVE IT!  So I was really thrilled when Vogue put the new patterns on sale so quickly...and as tired as I was last Friday I was even more excited when I opened the mailbox and found it there.

I really wanted to make this dress this past weekend.  I was even willing to throw over my other obsession (the SF Designer Interpretation) for my very own copy of this dress.  But I was tired, really tired and all I managed was to find the fabric in the collection and cut the dress out.  Wait, wait, I need to back up a minute and talk about my fabric selection - because what I ultimately used was not my first choice.  

I knew I wanted to make the dress from a ponte knit because ponte knits are my new favorite fabric to sew it was a matter of finding two coordinating colors in my collection. (Yes, I have amassed a collection of ponte knits but shhhhh that's not what this post is about!)  From the very first sighting I knew that I wanted this as a two tone it was a matter of choosing.  

My first thought was to mix a solid and a print but I couldn't decide on what print and solid and how to situate them.  Print on top/solid on the bottom or the matter how I placed them I just wasn't happy with the combinations.  So I fell back and used a bright tomato red and black combo.  I cut them out Sunday afternoon but I just wasn't feeling them, so they sat.

Then there were the pattern alterations which really weren't extensive because this is a custom fit ABCD cup bodice.  Seriously, if you haven't used one of these patterns you are really missing out!  There is a chart on the first page of the instructions that tell you where to measure to figure out what size cup bodice part you should use.

I used a smaller size bodice than skirt bottom.  I altered the skirt bottom pieces to include enough space for my abdomen which hasn't seen a flat day for the last 22 years!  However, I'm finally embracing the fact that I'm a true pear and I think that when I acknowledge that fact and incorporate it into my sewing that my dresses fit better.  With much trepidation, I cut the bodice one size smaller and as I said before the pieces sat on the sewing table while I watched Sunday night television.

Yesterday was a holiday...well for some people...not for me but I did manage to leave time on work and since the traffic was very light, I made it home in record time.  With all of that extra time and some renewed energy, I decided to baste the dress together to see how my alterations worked...I know, I know, the muslin camp is thinking, "if you had just made a dayum muslin, you would know how it fit"  yeah you're right but since that ain't happening, I basted the dayum thing together! *LOL*

Here's the result...

...pretty good, huh?  I'm thrilled!  I made one simple alteration to the skirt bottom and transferred it to the pattern piece...and then I added this ribbon trim...

Now I can't wait for the weekend to finish this up!  I did take the basting out, serged the edges of the fabric pieces and then pinned it back together...I will definitely finish this up this stay tuned! always, more later!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sometimes you just need a quickie...

I was eavesdropping the other day and overheard a conversation that went something like this... 

Sewist #1:  I don't understand why some women post and sew such quick things that never look very well done or flatter them.  I know they like to sew since they sew alot but why rush through garments.

Sewist #2:  Cause sometimes you just need a quickie!

I've been thinking about this conversation for a few days now and finally decided how I would reply if I was indeed in the conversation instead of just eavesdropping.

First I agree with Sewist #2.  There are times when you just need a quick sewing fix.  When indulging in the quick sewing fix you do attempt to do the best sewing job that you can, but sometimes it's sewing just to cleanse the palette...or sewing just to get an item done...or even sewing to encourage a lost mojo to find it's way home.  To me, not all sewing is about the long arduous process of making a "couture" garment..sometimes it's about finishing something, anything to get it on your body.

Now not everyone is that type of sewist.  Some sewists enjoy the process. Taking their time, doing all of the hand-stitching, and time-consuming techniques to make that one perfect garment.  I'm just wondering why it has to be one or the other. Why can't there be a place for both types of sewing in a sewist's arsenal?  And seriously, haven't you gone through the process, worked everything out by muslining the garment, cut your precious fabric and ended up with a less than perfectly fitted garment?  Every now and then even the most accomplished sewist can end up with an oops!

So this is the question of the day, "Do you sometimes just need a quickie?"  If yes, why?  If not, why not?  And do you think that both types of sewing quickie and involved can exist in a sewist's life?

Talk back to me...cause I'm really interested in what you think! always, more later!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

So do you really wanna know?

...what I've been doing all week?  Seriously...cause it ain't fun and it ain't sexy...and I'm plum worn out from it!  Why moving our offices at work and I have the bruises to prove it!

But every now and then, when I wasn't moving something, talking to a mover, prodding a coworker to pack a little faster, or falling asleep as soon as I sat down on the couch in the living room, I did manage to give a passing thought to sewing.  However, I haven't read many blogs in the last week or even managed to keep my own up-to-date...

Here are some of those passing thoughts:
1.  My Vogue patterns arrived yesterday...this is what came:

2.  Patsjean - I did manage to download the free ebook pattern alterations book you mentioned.  You can get one here: and looked at it briefly before falling asleep on the bus! *LOL*  But I think it will be a great additional to the pattern making section in my sewing library.  Thank you for providing the link!  And I punched this and spiral bound it at work...we have a huge production room that allows you to do this and much more.  One of the things I really love about my job!

3.  Do you know if you don't look at Fabric Mart's fabrics everyday, that the selection is pretty awesome and a little overwhelming?!  Yeah, when I'm not so tired and/or busy I pretty much haunt the new arrivals section of Fabric Mart every day (except the weekends) and I had my first opportunity to check out the new arrivals this morning...and promptly went into fabric overload!  Whoa, they have some great new stuff!

4.  I want to sew.  I REALLY want to sew.  I have that anxiousness that occurs at the beginning of every new season when I have all of these things I want to make and seemingly not even time.  I get a little stymied about what to make first.  I do have a list but everything on the list is making me want to sew it first which is just physically impossible.

5.  I don't know if I'm going to work on the SF Inspired dress this weekend.  I'm feeling like I need to accomplish some quick pieces first...but I don't we shall see what eventually ends up coming out of the sewing machine.

And with that I'm off!  Off to clean my bedroom and figure out which project to sew. always, more later! 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Designer Interpretations - Silhouette Inspired

Pattern Alterations
As I thought, I had a limited window for sewing this weekend just due to life. However, I did get my TNT pattern altered for my version of the SF dress but that's all I did...because the pattern alterations were pretty time consuming.

I basically started from scratch for this dress - using only the wrap fronts from the original dress.  For everything else I traced and added seam allowances to come up with new pattern pieces.

Here is the list of pattern pieces traced:
~ a back piece with a 5/8" seam allowance added
~ front and back band pieces again with seam allowances added
~ skirt front and back pieces - adding a 1/2" to the side seams
~ the drape for the skirt front

Now the drape for the front of the dress is where I'm most looks like it should work but who knows if it will in the actual construction.  You may wonder why I'm being brief with these pattern changes and it's basically because I just traced sections of my TNT pattern and added the 5/8" seam allowances.  There was no great mystery to this...just trace and cut.  If the drape works - I will go into additional details...if it doesn't, I'll just lose it because that part doesn't intrigue me as much as the v-neckline, the banded middle and the fabrication.  

I've no plans for this weekend and a hankering to get started on look for updates soon. always, more later!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Thank you Vogue Patterns!

To say that I was unreasonably angry last Thursday would be an understatement. Was I in this state because something terrible had been done to a family member or because there was some great injustice in the world?  Nope...I was mad at Vogue Patterns because on the last day of the sale for about three hours, they put the new patterns up on their site at the incredibly L-O-W price of $3.40 a pattern.

I was ecstatic that they would offer the new patterns for their faithful customers at such a wonderful price on the last day of the sale.  I was also ecstatic because there were quite a few patterns that I wanted to purchase.  It's been two pattern cycles since I wanted to load my cart up, plunk down my credit card and wait for the pattern goodness to arrive.

So I had a minute at work and I took 10 precious ones to load my cart full of pattern goodness.  Then I had to go to a meeting but I consoled myself all during the meeting with the fact that when I got home I would order the wonderfulness that I had beheld.  I get home...boot up the computer...anxiously wait for Vogue Patterns to load...and horrors of horrors the new patterns had disappeared.

Peeved, annoyed, disappointed and very angry were all adjectives that described my mood that evening!  And we won't even begin to comment on how angry I was the next day when I found out that my sewing friends on the west coast were actually able to purchase the new patterns at the lower price for about 45 minutes.

Now fast forward to this morning...I'm at work skimming through my email when up pops this one:

I started grinning from ear to ear...I wanted to pump my fist in the air, scream out a hearty yes and do a victory lap around my office!  *LOL*  Instead I thought, that's the way to go Vogue!  Then I found five patterns that I just can't live without and put them in my basket.

But mostly I just want to thank Vogue Patterns for doing the right thing!  For realizing just how valuable their customers are and for making sure that their customers are happy.  It was a classy thing to do and I just wanted to thank you publicly for listening...

THANK YOU VOGUE PATTERNS! always, more later!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

My Next Great Idea

I am really obsessed with the Salvatore Ferragamo Fall 2012 line.  
S-E-R-I-O-U-S-L-Y!!!  And I simply adore this look...

photo courtesy of

As is, it is just not corporate ready...and I've been thinking and pondering on how to make it work for my lifestyle.  I've religiously visited the dress on I've printed out pictures to try and capture all of the details, as well as, the essence of the dress.  I finally got the "bright" idea to visit the Ferragamo website and watch the dress move and see larger pictures of it.

After watching the video for the third or fourth time, I finally came up with an idea on how to incorporate the best features of the dress...which to me are the supplice neckline...just not as deep as the original.  The wrapped skirt but not with the slit up to gloryland (can I still call it that since it's not as much a destination as it once was...*LOL*) and of course the houndstooth fabric.

So this is what I came up with...

I can use my TNT dress pattern to start with based upon this dress that I made back in June 2007.

Hopefully with all my pattern alteration books, I can figure out how to make the draped panel on the front, which I'm using instead of the slitted front skirt. I found a silk twill from Fabric Mart that I will use for this dress...

In watching the video on the Ferragamo site, I now realize that the original dress is made from a midwt silk houndstooth...sort of like the one I used in the Dries van Noten mixed fabrications dress.  My fabric is drapier and lighter but I think this will work better for me.  I'm also thinking of adding a black waistband instead of making it all out of the houndstooth and I've been going back and forth over whether or not to add piping at the neckline.

I know that this is altering the designer's vision but I am calling this series of dresses designer inspired.  I just think without all the skin showing, I will end up looking like one large blackandwhite check...there needs to be some definition there.

Anyway, that's what I'm working on today...since there are a few pattern alterations, some embellishments and a lining going on, I sincerely doubt that I will be finished with the dress this evening...but you never know...I may get inspired! always, more later!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Designer Interpretations - Fabric Inspired Photos

The dress finished...

This has actually been worn already.  I came home from work Tuesday night, looked at it and realized that it had about 90 mins of work left on I sat down and finished it...then wore it to work on Wednesday.

Some stats:
silk blend houndstooth suiting fabric - I think this came from the great fabric divestation that Marji did before she boarded the boat

black bemberg rayon lining
22" invisible zipper
1" black lace for the lining hem
rayon seam binding for the dress hem
2" black ribbon

Some construction notes:

*I used the ribbon to break up the pattern on the front of the dress.  It looked like one humongous plaid without something to give it definition, and I knew I would look like one big ole black 'n white square...not an attractive look for a plus size chick.

*I added black satin piping to the neckline...again to add some definition to the fabric.  It finishes off the neckline and gives the eye a stopping point.

*The dress is lined...with black lace added to the hemline.

...and that's all of the construction notes, because it's another dress made from my TNT pattern and making it up now is so automatic that I think I tried it on right before I sewed up the hem.  Now that's a good TNT pattern!

Wearability issues:

Because of the stiffness of the fabric, this dress has no drape and stands away from my body.  I did NOT notice this in the construction of the dress.  I noticed this at work - *LOL*  Even though I received quite a few compliments on the dress at work and even at the bus stop that morning, however, if I don't want to look "large and in charge" this dress must be worn with a cardigan.  You will see no side pictures of me in this dress because of that fact!  Said cardigan does help with the illusion of giving this dress a slimmer silhouette.  Other than that the dress wore very well - no wrinkles, no butt print from all the sitting I do and it still looked crisp and professional at the end of the day.

So a couple more pics...
...dress alone...

...dress with cardigan... of me and the Little Prince...

I do have to run a few errands today and after that my plan is to spend time with my sewing machine.  I can tell it's the beginning a new season because my mind is bursting with ideas...and all I want to do is sew!  It's also quite chilly here this morning and all I can think of is wool this and wool that! *LOL*

Finally a parting shot:

I've been giving away or throwing out shoes from the last five years.  Some because they've just worn out, some because I'm not in love with the style anymore and some because menopause has affected even my feet...they are a little wider these days.  So these AK Ann Klein's were purchased in two colors - black and raspberry - expect to see them paired with more outfits because I lurve them! always, more later!



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