Monday, April 30, 2007

And The Winner Is...

The winners of the 4th Annual SWAP Contest sponsored by Timmel Fabrics are:

1. Glam Bam Thank you Mam
Shannon M. from LaSalle, ONT

2. LeRouge et le Noir
Laura P. from Bucharest, Romania

3. Chasing Butterflies
Summerset Banks from Northfield, NH

4. Its Not Easy Being Green
Terese R. from Burlington, ONT

5. Apple Pie ala Mode
Audrey Y., from Richmond, VA

Congratulations to all of these wonderful women! They designed and sewed some amazing wardrobes! If you haven't already checked out their collections, you can see them here!

Congrats again on a job well done!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The next to the last day of the end of the month

This year I have taken to tallying things up at the end of the month. I started doing it because I liked reviewing the month and seeing how my sewing progressed. It is a truer picture to look at the last 30 days and examine my goals than to do it at longer intervals. This keeps me on track and helps me progress. So with that in mind, here is what April was all about:

~April was about SWAP! *smile* My SWAP collection dominated this month - from the rush at the beginning of the month to meet the deadline, to the week afterwards sharing my garments with you and explaining why I did, what I did. That "Corporate Chic" collection took all of my available sewing time and most of my sewing thought processes. I think the most encouraging part of SWAP, besides finishing it, was the praise that everyone bestowed upon my pieces. It made the unveiling of them special...the time and labor spent designing and sewing them even more pleasurable...and the end result simply thrilling. So right now I need to say thank you to everyone who visited this blog last week and read about the pieces whether you left a comment or not...and finally to anyone who cast a vote for me in the SWAP competition thank you. Thank you for thinking my collection of garments worthy of your vote. Even though I won't ever know who you are and at this moment have no idea who will win, your vote for me means so much and even more to me if I don't win! *LOL*

~Fabric - I held to my fabric vow and purchased no additional yardage for at least two fortnights! But I did manage to use 20 yards of fabric from my collection! Yes!

~I have worked on two unrelated SWAP pieces - first a dress made from a brown stretchy lace from Lucy's Fabrics with a green swirly print silk from Fabric Mart that I used as a lining. The dress was made from my TNT dress pattern. I am also working on those American Girl doll clothes that I wrote about earlier. Pictures of both will be forthcoming since one of my daughters managed to drop my digital camera and now I need another one. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

~As for my garment totals - I have only managed to make 15 garments for myself year-to-date. At this point in the year, I can realistically say that I am not going to meet the goal of 100 pieces by year end. So I am rethinking this quantity goal when I'm really all about the quality of a garment. I truly believe that the processes you put into your garment, even if unseen by the world, definitely determines how your garment ultimately looks. It is all of those little extra steps that help with the way the fabric hangs or the garment fits and this is achieved by using the best sewing techniques you know. So this goal is evolving especially since I care more about producing quality garments than quantity.

~NEXT! Spring sewing and I can't wait! I have decided that I am concentrating on dresses this season...didn't I say that last year too! *smile* Seriously though, my wardrobe needs have changed and the right dress will give me the polished professional look I am striving for with the smallest amount of effort in the mornings. So I have a list of patterns (that I have been collecting for years) , quite a bit of fabric (the understatement of the year!) and motivation. I also want to make the eyelet trench, use my Hot Patterns Sugar Babe pattern and I don't want to be a Marfy virgin anymore!

Finally the winners of the SWAP contest will be announced on Monday. If you haven't voted yet there is still time to get your vote into Julie at Timmel Fabrics!

Enjoy your sewing journeys...

Monday, April 23, 2007

A break from the days of SWAP

Today Julie of Timmel Fabrics, the host of the SWAP competition, posted the final SWAP page. You can see it here. There are 31 amazing SWAPs entered by 30 amazing women. The SWAPs cover everything from casual to lingerie to children and even an American Girl doll got her own SWAP wardrobe.

If you have enjoyed viewing my "Days of SWAP" please surf over and look at the eye candy that is on display there. And if you are a member of Artisan's Square, please take the time to vote. Now, I want to be clear...I am not asking you to vote for me, I am asking you to vote in general. I opened that page this morning and was just proud that my garments were displayed on the same page as these awesome women!

So if you want to see some amazing sewing and some evenmore beautiful garments, take the time to look at all the photos and read everyone's thoughts...I was awestruck!

Finally, I want to thank Julie for hosting this competition for the 4th year in a row. She so generously allows us to make a purchase to enter the competition and then she takes so much of her own personal time to receive and then post all the pictures and commentaries. She is a wonderful ambassador of sewing and if you haven't purchased anything from Timmel Fabrics, take the time to look through her offerings. She has wonderful fabrics and even greater customer service!

So look, enjoy and vote! The more votes the merrier!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Six

The Shirts...
Another one of the SWAP rules for the dress contest is that you must make three tops. The three tops must coordinate with the bottoms and the jackets. To me that was a relatively easy rule because I was using three basic colors ~ red, black & white. But to add some interest to the rule I wanted to see if I could make any of the tops work with the dresses. If you have been following along, you can see that I was successful in this additional challenge.

I chose these three tops:
  • Sewing Workshop Mission Tank - this is my TNT tank pattern. I have made quite a few of these because they work so well with a suit.

  • Dana Silhouettes Top - this was a replacement piece. My original piece was the Jalie sleeveless turtleneck but as winter turned to spring and then turned back again, I was just tired of sewing winter clothing. So I substituted the Dana top.

  • You were allowed a purchased article for the contest - so I decided that white shirts were everywhere in RTW and why reinvent the wheel. Also by taking advantage of purchasing one shirt, I could put more of my efforts into creating beautiful dresses.

The Tank:

I really wanted to do an embellished piece....not something that screamed "embellishment" but something soft and subtle that would add flavor to whatever I wore it under. As you know, I have made this tank several times and I always reach for this pattern when I want a piece of fabric to shine or I need a well-fitted garment as part of a just gives every outfit a little more character.

The Dana Top:

This was the first time that I used this pattern. I chose it because I really like the cross-over detail on the front of the top. My original choice was the pattern that I received from Julie for participating in last year's SWAP. The pattern I replaced it with was also a free pattern from Julie for making these pieces.

Fabric Used: A sandwashed silk from Fabric Mart and a cotton blend knit from

Notions: An embroidered lace insert from Daytona Trimmings and a crochet flower from Home Sew.

Construction Details:

Dana Top - this is a very easy pattern to make right out of the envelope. First you pick your cup size along with your pattern size and those are the pieces you cut out. There were two things that I did notice when working with the pattern that I would like to point out. One ~ this is a pattern for knits and no where in the directions did I notice instructions for stabilizing the shoulder seam. I sewed it together and noticed that the shoulder seam was wavy and realized that it needed some twill tape or seam tape to stabilize it. Went back and sewed some down and the wavyness went away. Second ~ you have to determine how much ease you want in the pattern. This version is okay but for the next one I will add just a smidge more ease through the body. Three ~ due to the nature of my knit fabric I did not finish the hems. The fabric does not ravel so I cuffed the sleeves and left the bottom hem as is. It looks fine. I will just have to see if it passes "The Wearability Factor."

And that is Day Six...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Five

"Casual Fridays Wear..."

Even though there is a very corporate dress environment at my job - Fridays are casual. I wanted to incoporate this aspect into my SWAP also. To me this was the easiest part of planning the SWAP.

The Casual Friday garments all come from pieces that are part of other outfits except for the black and white jumper. Even though jumpers were trendy last fall, I included it in my plan as part of my Casual Friday gear. The other pieces just came together from there.

My Casual Friday pieces are:
*Black and white jumper
*Two pairs of black lined pants
*Sewing Workshop Mission Tank
*Dana Silhouettes Tank

*Black/white wool blend for jumper
*Cotton blend for Dana top
*Sandwashed silk for tank

Butterick 5932 - OOP - TNT
See how much I like this pattern. I have used it twice in this collection. This is just the dress minus the sleeves. The patterns for the tops will be discussed in a different post.

Construction Details:
I thought I would need to alter the armholes so that tops would fit comfortably through them, but there was enough space and it worked out fine. I did detail how I put the lining in the jumper in this post. And I added a slim black piping to the neckline and armholes to give the edges some distinction.

3 yards of black piping purchased at Daytona Trimmings

How I plan to wear the Casual Friday looks:
1. Jumper and shirt underneath the jumper
2. Jumper and shirt over the jumper
3. White shirt, Sewing Workshop Mission Tank & Pants
4. Dana Top & Pants
5. White shirt, Dana top & Pants
6. White shirt alone over the pants

And that's Day Five - Casual Fridays....

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Four

The Showstopper...

Yeap that's how I think of this dress - Simplicity 4014. The pattern is the key to the sucess of this dress and then the fabric adds the "wow" factor. The dress has princess seams with a great flare hem which gives the dress a twirly factor. I was looking for a reversible piece and I didn't want to make a top or a coat, and this fit the bill. As I have previously blogged about I am really pleased with the final results.

This one of the most versatile pieces in the collection. Not only can it be worn with a jacket to the office but it can be worn separately with some stunning jewelry as a great date dress. Whatever looks I can make with this dress, they are automatically doubled because it is reversible.

Simplicity 4014 - a lined princess seam dress with a wing collared jacket. I will definitely make this dress again. And to me that is a true mark of a great pattern. The copyright date on this pattern is 2006 and I know that it is still on the website.

Two 100% polyester prints

3 yards of a black satin binding

Construction Details:
Slide down to the Sunday, April 8th post and read all about them there.

How I plan to wear it:
1. Purple dress alone
2. Gray dress alone
3. Purple with black jacket
4. Gray with black jacket
5. Purple dress with sweaterknit jacket
6. Gray dress with sweaterknit jacket
7. Gray dress with Tamoutsu dress
8. Lilac dress with Tamoutsu dress

And that's day four...

*sorry I have no pics but Blogger is not being cooperative tonight! You can see more at my yahoo site in the folder called "Corporate Chic!"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Three

There are two suits in my collection and both of them are black! *smile* However, this post is about the "all black" suit. The suit pieces are the first ones I completed. They were finished during the cold, wintry months and they are the "basics" in my collection.

Even though the Dress SWAP contest requirements state that both jackets don't have to coordinate with all of the garments, I felt the SWAP would work so much better if both jackets worked with as many pieces as possible. The black jacket works with every piece making it an integral part of the collection.

The pants are from my TNT pattern. This pattern has been fine-tuned over the years and I have several versions with different pant leg widths. My TNT pattern has no pockets, has an elastic waist and is lined. Now I know an elastic waist is frowned upon by most sewists but this waist treatment works for me because there isn't much difference between my waist and hip measurements. So I don't have a large amount of fabric bunching up around my stomach. I have also fiddled around with my pattern so much that these pants fit like trousers which are the type of pants that I prefer. The pants fall gently from the top of my buttocks to the floor. I really don't like the "cupped" buttocks look that is so popular now. Plus I don't think anyone wants to see my ample backside cupped and jiggling down the street in front of them!

The jacket is made from a felted wool crepe. The felting was done by washing and drying the fabric twice. It gave the fabric a soft sweatery hand. The jacket is unlined however, all of the seams are finished with black Seams Great which was a journey in and of itself! I added silk organza ties to the side seams because the fabric tends to grow as my body temperature heats it up. I didn't think it was so noticeable that I needed to take the jacket apart and lose some fabric. The ties manage to pull in the fullness giving the back an unexpected surprise.

The best thing about these pieces is that not only do they work well with my SWAP garments but they function well within my every day wardrobe!

100% worsted wool crepe from Fabric Mart's Sample Cut Club - okay I bought 10 yards but it was on sale for a really good price!

Vogue 7944 - This is my second version of this jacket and I have a couple of additional incarnations planned both lined and unlined. The pattern jacket describes it this way: unlined, long sleeve jacket has topstitched collar and front opening edges.

3 gold medal buttons from my stash
1 roll of Black Seams Great
2 yards of silk organza ribbon
Construction Details:
Besides shortening the jacket pattern both pieces were sewn without any major changes to the pattern.

How I plan to wear it:
1. Jacket, pants & Sewing Workshop Tank
2. Jacket, pants & Dana top
3. Jacket, white shirt & jumper
4. Jacket & Reversible dress

and that's day three...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Seven Days of SWAP - Day Two

When I began my SWAP I had three colors in mind - black, white and red. The colors were chosen because they were basic but could provide a punch when placed together in the right combination. I knew that I wanted a red suit so I designed a dress and jacket outfit in red...just a simple corporate type outfit. However, I have to admit to being influenced by what other SWAPPers and sewists on the internet were doing. My little red outfit seemed to plain, it lacked verve. So what to do? I went with my strong suit ~ embellishment. For some time now, I have wanted to pintuck some fabric and then turn it into a garment. This seemed like a good opportunity for me to try this process out. I thought the pintucking detail would not only add dimension to a conventional garment but it would also give it a slimming effect.

By choosing to pintuck the fabric, the simple idea became an epic project. It took two weekends to get the fabric lengths pintucked, using two different sewing machines, eight bobbins of thread and 3/4 of a 10,000 yard spool of thread. And after making a few samples and starting to pintuck the first length, I realized that I liked the wrong side of the fabric better than the actual pintucked side!

100% worsted wool crepe from Timmel Fabrics - this was my qualifying purchase.

Butterick 5932 OOP - TNT - this pattern has a copyright date of 1988 on it. And if by chance you happen to own this pattern and notice that there isn't a knee length dress with short sleeves included in in the pattern, that's because years ago I made the empire waist, calf-length sleeveless dress. I made it several times - well actually I made a series of those dresses and I loved the pattern block. So I altered the pattern pieces to reflect the new look I wanted. From the altered pattern I have made the "new" dress out of linen, wool crepe, cotton pique and silk to name a few fabric types. I have made this dress for every season except winter because I just don't do dresses in the wintertime!

Construction Details:
1. Pintucking the fabric lengths was the most time consuming aspect of this project. The pintucking was done using a Schmetz twin needle size 4.0/8.0. I only made one adjustment to the tension on my sewing machine to tighten the stitching on the top and pull the pintucks a little tighter. This made the channel on the reverse side just a little deeper which was the effect I was aiming for.

2. Added a lining to the dress

3. Neckline on the dress was changed from a slight u-neck style to a slight v-neck style.

How I plan on wearing the dress:
1. Dress alone
2. Dress with black wool crepe felted jacket
3. Dress with sweater knit jacket
4. Dress with black Tamotsu dress

I have enough fabric left over to make a jacket and to add some of the pintucking detailing to it. I just need a minute for my ideas to perculate. Even though this piece is not the workhorse that the Tamotsu dress is, it does give the collection a much needed punch of color and it does fulfill the requirements needed for my "Corporate Chic" collection.

And that's day two...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Seven Days of SWAP - "Day One"

Since I created a dress SWAP, I thought I would start the seven days with my favorite dress from the collection, "The black wool crepe Tamotsu dress - Vogue 2090 (OOP)." Gotcha didn't I? Bet you thought it would be the reversible dress - close but no cigar!

This piece is the keystone of my collection. It was the first piece that I put on my list when I was deciding what to make. This dress did go through a few variations before I settled on this one.

100% worsted wool crepe in black purchased from Fabric Mart's Sample Cut Club.

Vogue 2090 - View B. This pattern is OOP and a TNT favorite of mine. I know that someone recently purchased one from Ebay so the pattern is out there, if you are willing to look for it! This is a great shirt dress that has "the curve" already drawn into the pattern. It is easy to sew and the collar and stand apply quickly and neatly to the dress. The pattern cover describes the dress as semi-fitted, A-line dress, above ankle, has collar, collar band, shoulder pads, mock front bands and above elbow sleeves.

A dozen buttons from M&J Trims

Construction Details:
  • changed the sleeves from short elbow length to full length - I used the sleeves from the jacket pattern to do this because I figured the armhole dimensions would be drafted similarly for the jacket and the dress. This was a second use of the long sleeves - I used them in a jacket I drafted from the dress pattern last summer.

  • shortened dress from ankle length to just below knee length

  • added a lining to the dress

  • dyed some lace and added to the hem of the lining

  • embellishments: piping added to the collar, a satin foldover bias trim added to the sleeve hems.

How I plan on wearing it: I see this piece as not only a dress but also as a jacket. Here is a list of how I will wear this piece.

  1. Dress alone
  2. Dress with Sewing Workshop embellished tank
  3. Dress and felted wool crepe jacket
  4. Dress with Sewing Workshop tank and pants
  5. Dress with gray reversible dress
  6. Dress with lilac reversible dress
  7. Dress with Dana Top and pants

Conclusion: This is a TNT (tried 'n true) pattern that I will make again. In my closet I presently have two out of linen (the tea dyed dress is one of these) and one out of a coppery silk duppioni. This latest is probably the most versatile version that I have made. It will be a hard working piece in my SWAP and will be "a great out of the closet and onto my body dress" for important days at work!

And that's Day One!

Friday, April 13, 2007

It is finished...

And I am definitely feeling the letdown...

I have been so anxious all week about the pictures for the SWAP contest (Sewing With A Plan), that now that I have finally selected and Photoshopped and Adobized five there is the letdown...My pictures have winged their way to Julie and of course, I think I should have sent some different shots or I am wondering if my write-up was succint enough but yet contained enough depth to get across my purpose in sewing the SWAP! Doubts, I have quite a few!

My next project is a suit - big surprise there right! And even though it doesn't feel like spring here in the Northeast and it doesn't look like it's coming anytime soon...I am going ahead with this outfit so I will be ready when spring finally does show up. I am using a TNT jacket pattern - Vogue 7944 and my TNT straight skirt pattern. Which I am going to admit that I now have in three different sizes! The version I was using last year is too big - how did that happen? So I am going back to the second version of this pattern (thank goodness I don't like throwing out patterns!) and will use it for the skirt. Both pieces will be lined and I am thinking of making a quickie little tank from some blue sandwashed silk crepe that I scored at JoMars years and years ago. I will work on that this weekend.

And finally Sunday I will begin sharing my "Seven Days of SWAP!" My 11 pieces really were created so that I could wear them for an entire week of work without repeating anything and for any occasion that might come up...several of what seems like the hundreds of shots that I took and rejected for the contest will be revealed at the time. I hope you will hang around and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This is the part I hate...

The pictures...I hate taking them! This is one of the few times that I wish I had cute little petite clothes so I could just hang them up and take pictures...where the piece fits nicely into one picture and you can see all of the curves. It is just so much more appealing than when the piece hangs there in folds...and folds...and folds...totally losing the shape...*sigh*

So I am taking pictures at home and I am wearing my SWAP to work and the production guys are taking pictures too and hopefully I will come up with five pictures that magically transform me into a beautiful, thin woman wearing the awesome clothes that I have created! *LOL*

I have to share this story with you...I wore the black Tamoutso dress to work today with my favorite pointy toe black shoes with the 3" heels. I was standing in the kitchen and a co-worker walked by and then came back in to check to see who the new girl was...she said that I didn't look like myself! Ha! That was the black fabric erasing 10 lbs. *LOL* But the dress is a winner! I got compliments from everyone today on it, and quite a few "I can't believe you made it's" win, lose or draw...I have already won because these garments have given my wardrobe the corporate polish that I desired.

Here's a picture of the entire grouping....

And I know what I am going to make next - a jacket and skirt in a blue/white spring colored knit from Emmaonesock...then its American Girl doll clothes!

Congratulations to all those who started SWAP, those who didn't finish and to those who did finish and who now have eleven new pieces!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

My Reversible Piece - Simplicity 4014

Each year Julie adds a different creative element to the SWAP challenge. This year's element is that one piece has to be can be any one of the garments in the SWAP but you must be able to wear either side with the other pieces in your collection. As I said in a previous post, I really don't like reversible garments - just don't understand them! And because of this dislike, I almost did not participate in this year's SWAP.

So imagine my surprise when the reversible garment I made turns out to be pretty fantastic...well fantastic to me! *smile* In my original plan (which has changed quite a bit since it was originally created) the reversible piece was a wrap skirt that was going to be a black/white/red silk tweed on one side and a red silk broadcloth with a lace hem on the other.

However, as I started to sew the collection, I realized that I don't wear skirts in the middle of winter. It is just too darn cold and I am not really a boot wearer. Since this wardrobe is specifically designed for my new work environment, two pantsuits were a more practical choice than a suit with a skirt.

Now the challenge became what to make that would not only work with the other pieces I had already constructed but be something that I would actually wear. Being the procrastinator that I am, I waited until almost all of the collection was completed to figure this out. But boy am I glad that I waited.

I finally settled on a reversible dress - inspiration for this was described in a post a few days ago. My first idea was to use a TNT tank dress pattern and alter the hemline to have quite a bit of flare in it. Simplicity 4014 was laying in the pile of patterns that I had pulled for spring/summer sewing and it started "talking loudly" specifically because it contains a princess seam dress with the flare at the hem that I desired. The second requirement for this reversible piece was that it bring some color to the collection since the majority of pieces are black and white...color & print were definitely needed to ensure that the collection stayed true to my personality.

There were two polyester prints in my collection - that's what I went looking for Friday morning and what inspired the ode to my fabric closet - that I had purchased from H&M Fabrics on 35th Street in NYC. I am sorry to say that the store is now defunct...lost to the reconfiguration of office space that is now happening in the garment district. I loved H&M Fabrics because they had trendy, inexpensive pieces and the tag on these two pieces stated that I only paid a $1 a yard for them!

Now I read the pattern instructions throughly before cutting out the garment but frankly I found the wording and illustrations a little confusing ~ especially the sewing sequence. And since I was going to change some of the construction details anyway, I ditched the instructions and went my own way.

First a few of the changed construction details and then pics of the finished dress. Here is what I changed:

1. All seams are sewn 3/8" instead of the 5/8" the pattern recommends.

2. I omitted the back zipper in the dress choosing instead to lower the neckline so that I could pull the dress over my head.

3. I lowered the front & back neckline 5/8" and omitted the facings that were included in the pattern. Why did you need facings when the dress has a lining anyway?

4. I used a large full dart in the center front panel of the dress - I have a full high bust and find I need to use the biggest dart on a pattern not necessarily the one recommended for my dress size.

5. I cut the pattern pieces so that the shoulders were slim like tank top shoulders, that the dress would fit closely through the bustline and then fit loosely through the waist and hips. The first dress was constructed and then all changes were made to the second dress which was actually cut 1/4" larger all around than the first one.

6. The two dresses were basted together at the neckline and armholes. Then serged together. The satin binding was added last.

7. Both dresses are hemmed individually. I didn't want to lose the flow of the hem of the dresses by stitching the hems together.

Here is the both versions of the dress:

The first in the shades of purple print and the second one in shades of black & grey worn with the black wool crepe jacket.
I am finishing up the Dana Silhouettes top now...just in time to make the deadline!
And next week, I will post the "Seven Days of SWAP." These posts will be all about how these 11 pieces can take me through any work situation that may come stay tuned!

Friday, April 06, 2007

My Fabric Collection

I went into my fabric closet this morning to look for a piece of fabric. I wanted to see how it would work with my completed SWAP pieces. But as I stood in the closet, I flashed back to a conversation that is taking place on Artisans Square/Stitchers Guild. Well, actually it is two conversations...

The first one is called A Legacy where "Karent" talks about her aunt's death and the sewing stash she left behind and how much it means to her to have inherited it. And the second one is called, Sewingroom video from YouTube. Both conversations end up discussing how sewers need to stash fabrics & notions and what happens to them once you have passed on. I am borrowing the last line of Karen's post from the YouTube folder, "My biggest regret is not that my aunt left so much stash behind, my regret is that I have not taken the time to enjoy mine as much as she did hers. That, however, is changing from this point forward!"

That sentiment really hit me this morning as I stood in my fabric closet...see it is filled with absolutely amazing fabrics. I have wonderful rayon knits in black & white prints, and colorful prints, like many that you would see on Gorgeous Things Fabrics site or Emmaonesock's site. I purchased these last season or before because they appealed to me and not because they were in fashion. I have linens in an array of colors because I like linen and color looks good on me. There are shelves and shelves of beautiful fabrics of all kinds, for every season arranged by color so it is like a kid walking into a candy store and wondering where to start eating.

And I sighed...a sigh of relief...a sigh of appreciation...a sigh of creative freedom because my fabric collection is within reach. Because at any moment I can open that door and realize my creative hopes and dreams and because it makes me happy. So today I am taking a page out of Karen's book and enjoying the wonderful fabric collection that I have assembled, just because it is there and just because it makes me happy.

You can see pictures of my joy here and here....

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Winding up SWAP

Well work is done until next Tuesday I will immerse myself in the finishing details of my SWAP. Of course, since I have had four more days to think about my reversible piece I am already changing some of the details. Now you would think that since I only have three more days that I would just try to get it finished but noooooo I am off on some kinda trip trying to make it more wearable and to fit in better with my collection.

See this is why I left my reversible piece until last...I just don't like reversible garments! So I had to come up with an idea that would really float my boat ~ something that I would actually wear ~ not something that I made just to fill the contest's requirements. I did that last year and have never worn the garment that I this year I am determined to make a totally relevant and wearable piece.

This dress from Monroe and Main (I must get every catalog under the sun!)
Became my inspiration for a reversible dress. This looked comfortable and like something I would actually wear. Of course this is just the jumping off point but it pointed me in a different direction, well different from what others were doing at Stitchers Guild - all good ideas but not what I wanted. Especially since I have invested so much time and effort into making my "collection" one that would work in my new corporate environment.

Tomorrow I will get up bright and early (well not as bright and early as I usually do - I am definitely sleeping in!) and start on the pattern work. I think I can get at least one of the dresses completed before Good Friday service tomorrow night. I will have all day Saturday to finish it up (while my Easter ham cooks!).

That leaves the top that was originally going to be a sleeveless Jalie turtleneck but I am tired of sewing winter clothes (even though it snowed today in NYC!). I have decided to make the Dana top from Peggy Sagers line, Silhouette Patterns.

Of course I have a twist for the top but nothing so extensive that I can't finish up my pieces by the 8th especially since I am doing sunrise service on Easter. I have gotten my confidence back and I know that I will be done by then! Will take photos on Monday the 9th, take them to work to Photoshop them and send them off to Julie at Timmel Fabrics!

Thank goodness because even though spring may have temporarily gone back into hiding here in the Northeast, I am so ready to sew spring!

Monday, April 02, 2007

M&J Comes Through

So this is what I bought....

Do they work for you? I found a great one that looked similar to this one but it had a ropey kinda gold circle...they were perfect...but they only had 5! So I went with the second choice... I think these should work well with the jacket button which is my primary concern. I don't want the buttons from the jacket and the dress to clash then you couldn't wear them together! BTW, the jacket button is in the center of the dress buttons.

Now here is the $24,000 question...did I work on the dress - Nooooo! I watched Dancing with the Stars instead...repeat after me...procrastation! I mean I really do still have time! *LOL*

I bought the buttons so quickly that when I got back uptown I still had 20 minutes left on my lunch break and since the subway station is right next to the Universal Magazine Store, I stopped in. Hoping against hope that the April Burda would be in the racks, but it wasn't. So I had to settle for the next best thing...another magazine. I found this one ~ "Q Magazine":

It is only published 4x a year but it had some kewl articles (a great one on Arnold Scassi), some beautiful advertisements and lots of eye candy (fashions). I love this magazine store. It seems like every magazine printed in the whole wide world is in here...that may not be true but it sure seems that way!

And finally on the way home when I should have been dreaming about finishing up my SWAP, I was dreaming about this:

Yeap, the patterns I want to use for my spring sewing! And I was mentally shopping my fabric collection and making a list of combinations...I am so ready to be done with SWAP and sew spring! *smile* Gonna go mess with the hem on my dress....

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Button, Button who has a button?

I have a lot of buttons...I mean a lot of buttons. I use to work for a button manufacturer so I managed to accumulate quite a few buttons. So you would think that I would have a button that would work on my black wool crepe dress, but noooooo in my entire collection there isn't a button that works. The problem is that I want the button on the dress to work/coordinate with the button that is on the black wool crepe jacket. And I have nothing in my collection that fits the bill....

So I am at a standstill...I was making great progress, too. The red dress was altered to give me a slimmer appearance and then hemmed. Then I started the finishing detailing on the black dress - piping added to collar and the collar attached to the dress.

Satin trim added to the sleeves and several inches cut off the bottom of the dress.

Here is a headless shot of me in the dress without buttons:

Tomorrow I will hit up M&J Trims to see if I can find a coordinating button for the dress. And here is my SWAP so far:

Items completed:
  • 2 Dresses completed
  • 2 Pairs of lined pants completed
  • 2 Jackets completed
  • 1 Top completed and 1 top purchased
Left to finish:
  • the reversible dress
  • one more top
  • the buttons & buttonholes and hem on the Tamotsou dress
I will be finished by the 8th....I will be finished by the 8th....I will be finished by the 8th - she says softly as she heads off to bed....


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