Monday, November 30, 2009

More ramblings on the Burda Skirt

I knew that the Burda skirt was hot but I never realized how hot!  Sharon, who authors the blog, "Adventures from the Sewing Studio", has already completed her version of the Burda skirt.  You can see it here!  Also Elizabeth, who authors the blog, "Sew A Beginner", also has her muslin of the skirt up on her blog.

First a progress report, I have only cut the skirt pieces out of the black wool crepe.  I haven't cut the underlining pieces out yet, that is the next step.  I know everyone is wondering where my finished skirt is but I was feeling under the weather this weekend and spent most of Saturday and Sunday sleeping.  The alterations to the pattern and cutting out the fashion fabric are as far as I got.

However, there were a couple of questions and comments that I wanted to address.  One, I understand that there are lots of words in my posts, but I did state that this is the first time in YEARS that I have sewn with a BurdaStyle (WOF) pattern.  This entire construction process is an adventure and totally out of my comfort zone. 

I am perfectly happy sewing up those Big4 patterns.  I have no problems making the adjustments to them because I've been using them since I was 11 years old.  On the other hand, if you are more comfortable using the Burda magazine patterns...if tracing them and grading them up is no problem for you I think that's wonderful.  Me, I'm stumbling around here, getting my footing and trying to locate some normal landmarks.

That is why I elected to use my TNT pattern as a starting point.  I know that this fits.  I know how to manipulate it and make it work for me...and frankly this is just how my brain I get from Point A to Point B. And can I add here as politely as I can...that I don't mind constructive criticism especially when I can see a garment that you've made.  Then I know where you are coming from...however, if I can't see anything you've made, yet you elect to "instruct" me on how to do something, I'm a little skeptical of your advice.

MeredithP asked about the pegged hem
...girl I removed that!  *LOL*  I straighted the side seam out and added some width to it at the same time that I added some length to the pattern.

BeeBee said:  I always take time to outline my BWOF size line in a Sharpie. I'm anal enough that I have to use the color of that pattern (green for green, red for red, etc. I tried using black once and almost had a meltdown). 
Seriously!  I never thought of this!  I will have to remember that - I mean if I ever take this adventure again! *LOL* 

Anonymous said:
easy method to trace out a Burda pattern:  Lay newspaper under the pattern sheet. Financial Times is good because it is very thin. Place both of these on a tracing wheel friendly surface. Use a tracing wheel to trace out the pattern. The tracing wheel will make marks into the newspaper which you can use for adding seam allowance and markings with marker directly on the newspaper.
Ohmygoodness - that would have just about done me in!  *LOL*  I was having a hard enough time seeing the lines and using a black sharpie!  And I don't mind people using the anonymous section if they just put their name at the bottom of the post, please!

To everyone who wrote an encouraging word and are waiting to see the finished result ~ thank you!  Ummmm, I am sooooo flying in the dark here! *LOL*  I am taking a huge leap because I really like this skirt.  And to the awesome Marji, thanks so much for the instructions and the picture (wait until you see how she marked up the pattern piece to show me how to add the lining!)  I probably won't have the chance to work on this again until stay tuned!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Begun - The Burda Skirt

After seeing the skirt in the December Burda Style, I had to have it and I wasn't going to be deterred by the fact that it was only graded up to a size 46...especially since I'm probably more like a size 50 in Burda.  I mean I have a TNT skirt pattern and some tracing pattern, why couldn't I make this skirt?

I've spent several days thinking about how I would alter the pattern to fit me...what changes I needed to make to both my TNT pattern and the Burda skirt piece.  I even got Marji involved when I told her that I couldn't come up with a lining alternative...her suggestions follow in the next post.

But before pattern alterations, there is pattern tracing...and now I remember why I don't use my Burdas more often.  I know you everyday Burda users think nuthin' about tracing off patterns...but this was a semi-challenge to a chick wearing new progressive lenses (bifocals) and having problems seeing anything up close!  All of those intersecting lines in several different colors made my head hurt but I pressed on because I really want this skirt!

So out comes the black sharpie and following some advice to outline the pattern piece with said sharpie, I trace the main skirt pattern and all of its markings only. 

Why did I do this?  Because I am going to use the back skirt piece of my TNT pattern.   I mean that piece fits, I know it fits, I've made it several times...okay more than that but you know what I mean!  So why re-invent the wheel?  After the piece was traced out the real fun began because I have to turn the original skirt piece into a workable pattern piece for me.

Who knew a size 46 was so d*mn small!  When I first looked at that piece I was wondering if I would be able to make it fit me!!!  But I really want this skirt so I moved on! Since I didn't want to alter my TNT skirt pattern, I drew another one onto pattern paper:

Then I sliced the traced Burda skirt pattern into two pieces...cutting it apart at the center front line.  The piece that was the normal skirt side was matched to my original skirt piece...and taped down.  With a slice of pattern paper, I added an insert between the two pieces.  The insert measured 10.5" at the top tapering out to 12" at the skirt bottom.  And more taping ensued so that I would have a workable pattern piece that wouldn't fall apart with a little handling.  I also lengthened the skirt pattern (that's why the lines are about 6" higher on the original Burda skirt pieces), ummm that thing was sooooo short, I would scare grown men and little children!  I also straightened out the side seam on the right...figuring I need as much fabric to cross my body as possible!

Finally with my daughter's help, I tissue fit the pattern to the front of me checking to see if I needed to add more to the front of the skirt pattern...but it was okay.  It fit!  Even with the piece pulled over to form the drape - it fit! Insert Snoopy dance here because I really want to make this skirt! *LOL*

And that's where I left the skirt.  Today I will wade into my fabric closet because in the midst of my daughter pulling down the Christmas ornaments Friday evening, she pulled down the entire top shelf of fabric.  I need to find the black wool crepe that I want to use for the skirt...hopefully later today I will have pics of the finished skirt to share...

I hope so, 'cause I really want to make and wear this skirt!!! *LOL* always, more later!



Friday, November 27, 2009

A Book Review - Mrs. O The Face of Fashion Democracy

As you know I'm a huge fan of Michelle Obama and I've been following the Mrs.O blog for quite some time.  I've pretty much been blatantly copying her dressing style! *LOL*  Because it fits my lifestyle so well.

So getting the Mrs. O book was a natural.  However, I was waiting for Christmas money to purchase it and then my girl hooked me up!  In one of the sewing meet-up dinner pictures, I am hugging the book tightly to my chest...seriously that's how much I wanted this book!  *LOL*

Okay to the review...the interesting thing about this book is that the author, Mary Tomer, not only has great photos, up close and singularly of garments but she also has very interesting interviews with the designers.  She's interviewed Isabel Toledo, Jason Wu, Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi to name a few and even the owners of Ikram Goldman in Chicago, the boutique that has worked with Michelle to help formulate her style.

The book opens with a brief introduction, "The Early Years" but almost immediately gets to the good stuff!  The next chapter is the "Primary Campaign", followed by the "Democratic National Convention" on  through to the first few months in the White House including the European Trip.  To anyone who is remotely interested in the Michelle Obama's clothing choices, the designer's motivations, and fashion and politics...this book is for you!

I'm sure you are thinking that this is just another one of those coffee table books with great pictures but this one is actually chockful of interviews with the designers and jewelry makers.  There are even quotes from some of the readers of the Mrs. O blog in the final section of the book.

I highly recommend that you own a copy of this book.  Add it to your Christmas wish list or plan to purchase a copy with one of those gift cards that you won't be disappointed.


I got home this afternoon (only had to work a half day) and spent it reading some blogs...I still haven't decided what I'm working on this weekend...will probably make that decision tomorrow morning when I wake up!  I'm headed off to clean off my sewing table, set up my iron and generally just make things ready for sewing this weekend! always...more later!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Burda Style - December 2009

I purchase Burda Style formerly known as Burda World of Fashion every month.  I have about 12 years worth of the regular Burda magazine as well as about six years of the Burda Plus specialty magazines.  In all that time I've made 2 or 3 garments and that was early on in the process.

Even though I can only wear 3 or 4 pieces out of every magazine, I must own every issue!  The magazine inspires me and makes me look at some of the pieces I want to create differently...however, I am GOING to sew from this issue.  This is the first issue in a long time that seems like the garments were made just for me!

C'mon doesn't this just look like me

And this is so Michelle Obama style

I really love this cowl neck sweater dress

I love the funky collar on this dress

And even though this skirt is in the skinny girls' sizes, I j'adore it! 

I mean I really think I could use my TNT straight skirt pattern and work it out...I came home from work wishing that I had time to trace this out.  I know that it's going to show up in the wardrobes of many a slimmer figured woman but I think this would work wonderfully for us plus size women too!

So now I'm wondering should I go with my original "Thanksgiving Plan" or should I improvise...*sigh*  Winning Mega Millions right now would solve that problem wouldn't it...

For the first time in a long time, I've got Burda Fever and I need to do something about it!  *LOL* 

There won't be a New Sewists Thursday post this week because it's Thanksgiving...and this is probably my last post until the weekend.  I hope all my American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving...full of food, family and fun!  Safe travels everyone...and as always, more later!

Monday, November 23, 2009

An evening with Marji

First let me say right up front...I have no pictures - this one is from dinner Friday night!  We remembered the camera when we said good night! *LOL*

Second, I missed most of the American Music Awards even the Adam Lambert kissing and fondling part and never "missed" it because Marji bought so many fabric swatches to show me...and talked about what she was making in such detail...believe me the jacket she's creating will knock your socks off!  It has a real beaver fur collar...that is soooooo soft and soooooo pretty!

Third, Marji loves bestsellers as much as I do! *LOL*  Okay this may seem like nothing but there are so many people you meet who are high-falutin' when they talk about what they read...and she reads the same authors I do!  I was thrilled!

Fourth, I want to sew like Marji when I grow up!  If any of you think I can sew believe me I'm an intermediate muddling my way through with a TNT pattern and a few good ideas.  Not only can Marji fit but her sewing is immaculate!

Finally, I've had the best weekend that I've had in a long time!  I blew off my significant other, my kids, and my sewing machine to spend it with someone who means the world to me...and I got to meet some amazing sewing women!  I'm so glad that I had the chance to not only meet you...Claudine, Robin and Nancy...but to spend time with you talking and getting to know you! know you're my girl - thanks again for the wonderful gift!

I've had the best non-sewing weekend in a long time! *LOL*  And in my world that says alot! always, more later!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Thanksgiving Weekend Project

Well to continue my "Marji Weekend", I haven't and probably won't be sewing at all this weekend.  I need to clean...yeah, I know I was suppose to do that yesterday but rested instead...because Marji will be here later this afternoon.

I have, however, been thinking about my Thanksgiving project.  Even though I'm not off the Friday after Thanksgiving, it's a light day at work and I will be home early.  And since my family lives locally I don't have to travel more than 15 minutes to get to my sister's for Thanksgiving Dinner, I will have most of the morning and afternoon to do a little pre-sewing.

Usually I pick one involved project so that I can take the time to work it out.  I was floundering around wondering what it should be, nothing really striking my fancy until the Simplicity 6461 vintage pattern arrived from Lisa.

I have an awesome steel gray Italian tropical wool that I bought from Metro Textiles several months ago that would make up nicely in this pattern. 

I haven't sewn a vintage pattern in a minute so this has really piqued my interest.  I am going to make the collarless jacket with the three-quarter sleeves and the coordinating dress.   Interestingly, the dress has no lining.  I guess full slips were the thing in the 60s.  However, I will be adding a lining to the dress and I need to find a trim to add to the jacket front.  If there is enough time, I will make a coordinating lined straight skirt from my TNT skirt pattern and a silk tank top from this pattern:

to make a little wardrobe unit.  This of course will give me some flexibility when wearing the pieces to work.

The skirt and tank top are the easy sews...I hope to concentrate all of my energy on the jacket and now that a project has been decided upon...I live for the weekend! *LOL*

Marji will be here later this evening so I will have more to share tomorrow!  And I have one quick question, has anyone seen this pattern (Advance 3073) in a larger size (40-44)?

If so, would you kindly point me to the internet spot or would you be willing to sell it to me?  I really want to make this outfit up!

Hope everyone has a great sewing weekend!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reflections on a Saturday Afternoon

I'm moving a little slowly this afternoon.  After two great late nights in the City, I'm a little tired!  But I'm also thrilled with the experience of spending time with such wonderful women.  Today's post will be pic heavy showing some of my adventures from "The Marji Weekend!"

First gifts - I got presents:

This is my all time favorite!  I love the blog, Mrs. O and can't believe that I now own the book!  Yippee!!!

Then when I got home last night I found these two patterns from Lisa Currie:

Lisa - I think you've inspired my Thanksgiving Weekend project!  I haven't made anything vintage recently and this jacket and dress works in my new wardrobe planning!!!

Someone brought me Simplicity Patterns, too - you know who you are and how much I appreciate it!  Now I have the pattern I need for one of my outfits for SWAP!

Thanks ladies for your generousity and for thinking of me!

Now a few shots of the evening:

The Gang's all here!

At the table - dinner was at Havana Central

Marji and Me at the end of the table

Nancy holding up the Mrs. O book with Robin

Claudine and LindsayT at the coffee shop
(After two hours at the restaurant - we moved onto a coffee shop to continue the conversation)

Mardel and Nancy

Mardel, Nancy & Marji


Robin, me and Claudine

Ladies I had an amazing time!  It was so wonderful to meet you all in real life!  We shared experiences, talked sewing and more sewing...and I have to tell you that Claudine had on THE.BEST.SKIRT!  You should have seen it moved when she walked.  Just awesome!  Thank you again for taking time out of your busy lives to come and spend a few hours talking sewing!!!

...and Mardel and Marji thanks for sharing your pics!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dinner with the girls

...and the reason why there was no "New Sewist Thursdays" post yesterday!

I have a full weekend now that Miss Marji is in town.  As you saw on her blog, yesterday we were at Kashi's (and of course the pics I took on my blackberry, I somehow neglected to save!) so you can see slim Marji and the plus size woman on Marji's blog with the obligatory pose with Kashi shot.  *LOL*

Then I met Mardel and Marji for dinner!  And we had so much dinner and in their hotel room later that I was really sad that I hadn't brought some jammies to spend the night with them!  We will be having dinner tonight with some special friends...then I have Saturday to sleep late, clean my apartment and move some things around because Marji will be by to spend Sunday evening and night with me.  Yeah!!!

Gosh, I should have called this post, "The Marji Weekend!"  BTW, can you do me a favor?  When you surf over to Marji's blog, can you become a follower!  She is an awesomely talented sewist who has some amazing information to share.  You won't be disappointed if you start to follow her blog!

Anyway New Sewist Thursdays will be back next week.  Have a great sewing weekend and I will have more of the Marji Weekend to share later!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Obsession my TNT dress pattern.

You would think that with the amount of patterns I purchase both new and vintage that I would sew more garments from these patterns rather than tinkering with and making and remaking my TNT dress pattern.  Seriously, I have made this dress over and over again in the last couple of years...

Here is a pic of the last four that I've made recently...all from that same TNT dress pattern.  Seriously would you know that all of these dresses came from the same pattern?

I keep shifting the details around and cutting up the pattern to reflect something I've seen in a magazine, or a catalogue, or in my mind's eye.  I feel like I should get a grip and move on.  Because really there are sooooo many other patterns out there!  Even amazing dress patterns...however, I have a few more versions of this dress floating around in my brain.  And I know that I won't be content creatively until I make up those last few.

So please bear with me as I play out my obsession.  It will be getting colder soon and I will need a few more pairs of pants with maybe even some matching jackets...cause I've got to do something about this obsession!  *sigh*

Monday, November 16, 2009

LindsayT's Choice...

...or Dress #3 in The Cardigan Series.

I bought this fabric from Mood this summer when LindsayT and I went to see the Isabel Toledo exhibit at FIT.  I knew from the moment I touched it, that I wanted to make a sleeveless sheath from it.  The fabric's design would work well with quite a few of the sweaters and jackets already in my closet so bringing it home was a no-brainer.

Some stats:

TNT Dress pattern yet again!  Aren't y'all tired of it by now! *LOL*

Wool & lycra blend from Mood Fabrics

Black midweight lining 
22" invisible zipper
5 yards of satin bias binding

Construction Notes:
This is my TNT dress in its basic form.  The fabric does all the work because the design is so fabulous ~ well at least to me! *LOL*  There are just two things of note about this dress.  One ~ I used a mid-weight lining fabric for this dress because I wanted to give the dress some heft.  Even though the fabric is a wool and luscious, it still is a little lightweight. 

The second thing was that since the fabric is sooooo distinctive, I thought it needed a start and a stopping know somewhere your eyes can light upon to rest from the busyness of the fabric.  At first I thought that I would use black piping and even went through the exercise of pulling out all the different types of black piping in my trim stash...who knew I had 4 different types!  But I was about done with piping after the last dress and as I fell asleep last night it came to me that I still had some satin bias binding.  So I used that at the neckline, the armholes

and the hem...I really wanted to contain that print!

That's it!  It was an easy sew and no I did not learn my lesson.  Didn't try that dress on until I was getting ready to hem it.  But since I had made no radical changes to the pattern, it fit like it was suppose to:

and with a 3/4 length black cardigan:

This dress also goes with two other black cardigans in the closet, a black jacket from my 2007 SWAP and a little white wool jacket that I made years ago!

I have just one dress left to go in The Cardigan Series...and then I want to make up a couple of solo pieces that will work with existing pieces in the closet...unless I get another crazy idea and go off on a tangent! always more later!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dress Number 2 in "The Cardigan Series"

Have you ever worked on a piece that made you doubt your ability to sew?  Well that was this dress!  When I stopped working on it two weeks ago, I had a shell with the lining attached.  The dress had a wonky neckline and the panel that I had cut on the bias was loose.

After waiting two weeks to work on the dress, I thought that I had worked out a solution to the loose bias front piece...add some interfacing to stabilize it.  Well that was the first thing I did yesterday morning.  I cut a piece of ltwt. fusible knit interfacing omitting the seam lines and pressed it to the backside of the front panel.  Problem solved.  The panel immediately took on the hand of the side panels and hung better.  However, when I tried the dress it was a scooch too tight.

This is when I should have been forcefully removed from my sewing machine...but no I plod on!  See at this point I had already hemmed the lining, inserted the sleeves so basically the dress was finished.  I only needed to hem the actual dress...THAT was when I decided to try the dress on...SERIOUSLY!  I mean it was my TNT dress pattern...I never try it on during the construction process...IT.ALWAYS.FITS!

Well it didn't yesterday.  So after I get over my initial shock...shock, it was more like an earthquake! *LOL*  But after the aftershocks subsided, I get out my seam ripper and start to rip.  Yes, rip as in rip the sides out of the dress, the lining..and least we forget the rayon hem tape that is on the lining!  It was alot of sewing to undo and at this point I realize that I am NOT a patternmaker...I just play one in my sewing area!

After basically ripping the dress apart...I press the seams flat.  I pin it all back together and stitch the tinest side seams that I can..and then I stitch them just never know.  I hold my breathe and try the d*mn dress back on...and it fits.  No more stuffed sausage look...well okay that was an exaggeration if I only needed to add about an inch to make it work but still...

So I should be good right...nope.  The neckline is still wonky.  I thought that some of the excess would be removed when I added the sleeves.  Can we just say that I was delusional yesterday and I didn't even have anything to drink stronger than Mountain Dew.  I now have two the neck and shoulder out and restitch the yoke or cheat.  *Hanging head in shame*  I cheated.  I just couldn't face my seam ripper again.  It had grown to comfortable in my hand and I just didn't like that kiddies, don't do this at home!  Don't imitate me *sigh*  Do the right thing in this situation okay...

How did I cheat?  I placed a fold in the neckline, matching the piping as best I could.  I stitched it from the back and then steamed the heck out of it to make it flat.  Then I went rambling around in my button collection looking for the perfect button to make it look like it was a planned embellishment instead of the laziness it really was.

I think the only thing I did right construction wise was to insert the sleeves using the pinning technique that Ann described on her blog.

I have to tell you, she's right!  This works like a dream!  I got two sleeves inserted perfectly without having to hand baste them in...which is what I normally do and then sometimes I still have to rip one out and insert it again.

You want to see how the dress ended up dontcha!  And I'm sure some of you have already scrolled down and looked...but here goes:


With a black cardigan

Last night when I went to bed, I thought it was just okay.  However, today after walking around in it, taking pictures and sitting to make sure the side seams would hold, I'm alot happier with it.  Stockings, heels, some make-up and jewelry always makes me feel better! *LOL* 

One last picture of it:

and tomorrow I will show you Dress 3 - which was a much easier sew!  *LOL*

Friday, November 13, 2009

Late on Friday evening...

It took F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get out of Manhattan tonight!  The traffic was horrid due to the rain...and instead of spending my time thinking about sewing...I slept!  What is it about the sound of the rain, a nice warm seat and the rocking of the bus that puts me to sleep every time! *LOL*

This is a mishmash of thoughts from the day so here goes:

First, thanks to everyone who wrote and told me about what they hate.  It was fun to read.  If you haven't had a chance to read the comments, please do.  You will probably recognize something you hate too!

Second, there was a question on the last post:
Sewuptight asked, "I would be interested in knowing what tools you have that you don't use."

Ummm, I use all of them!  I think they've been used for various tasks at one time or another.  The thing is to make yourself use the gadgets, not just collect them.  You will be surprised at how much easier a task is if you use the proper tool.  Now as an addendum to that...I am no longer phased by ALL new gadgets.  I truly look at whether said tool will enhance my sewing abilities or enhance the wallet of the seller.  If I believe it will work for me ~ then and only then will I purchase it.

So what about you?  Do you have any tools that you don't use?  And why?

Third, I have a confession...

I haven't worn either of the last two outfits that I just made.  Nope...neither one!  One reason is because the gray jacket/dress combo definitely works well for those days that we have important meetings one after the other...days upon days...weeks upon weeks!  Of course, now that the combo is finished...I don't have any meetings scheduled.  And the dress...I don't know why I haven't worn it!  *sigh*  I think I thought I would have had the black'n white plaid dress from The Cardigan Series finished by now...and of course I don't.  In my head I was seeing a week of all new work maybe next week.

Also, thank you for all of your very kind comments about both outfits.  Being the comment 'ho that I am, the positive and reaffirming comments mean so much to me!  Shallow, right?  I know!  *LOL*

Lastly, I've been stalking the mailbox again.  I found this pattern at Lanetz Living while surfing the internet from bed when I was suppose to be recuperating...

I'd never seen this pattern before...and I loved the jacket with the Peter Pan collar!  How kewl is it!?  I even know what fabric I want to use to make it...and I was hoping that it would be in the mailbox this evening.  I even stopped in the downpour to check...but no luck!  As Scarlett says, "Tomorrow is another day!"

And with that I'm signing's getting late here and I need to rest so that I can sew this weekend.  I've got dresses to make so that I can have my week of new work gear to wear! *LOL* always more later!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Sewists Thursdays - The Proper Tool for the job!

Many people come back to sewing or start sewing to save money.  Some times when attempting to save money we scrimp on the tools of the trade.  Or maybe we don't gather all of the tools because we are not sure of what we should have...

So today's post will be about the tools that a new sewist should have in her personal sewing toolbox.

1 pair of dressmaker's shears - 7 or 8 inch
1 pair of pinking shears
1 seam ripper (or maybe 2 - since I have 3!!!)
1 tape measure
1 6" measurement gauge
1 Dressmaker's Ruler
Pkg of dressmaker's chalk
1 Wash-away pen
Rotary Cutter and blades
Pkg of handsewing needles
2 pkgs of sewing machine needles in every size
1 pkg of dressmaking pins
a pincushion - tomato or magnetic
pattern weights (if you use a rotary cutter to cut out patterns)

I also think that all beginning sewists should have a "how-to" sew book too...either The Reader's Digest Version, The Vogue/Butterick sewing book or the Simplicity book...but something that you can turn to for help with beginning questions.

I don't think a good carpenter goes out to work without a complete toolbox and a committed sewist should not start a sewing job without the proper tools either...well at least IMHO.

So if you are missing anything from the above list, I would encourage you to add it to your sewing toolbox.  Having the right tool for the job makes the job easier to do!

Now as usual this is a community discussion.  If you think I've missed anything or if you use something consistently that I've missed, please feel free to add it to the list! always, more later!

p.s.  thanks for all the get well wishes!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I hate it when...

I hate it when I'm home sick and feel too terrible to sew!  Why is it during this time that I get some of my best ideas?  Or find something on a fashion site on the internet that I know I can reproduce without much effort?  And here I sit or lay as it may be with no ability to make it!  Can we say major frustration!

I hate it when I plan a garment from a piece of fabric that I've seen on the internet, purchase it, get all excited about it and then it doesn't feel the way I thought it would...or have the weight that I thought it would...or even be acceptable for the garment type I was dreaming of...*sigh*  Can we say major frustration!

I hate it when I pull a piece of fabric from the collection with an idea to make a garment only to find it mismarked.  I mean it's no one's fault but my own...shoulda updated the darn ticket...but I didn't and so I either have to come up with a new idea or put the piece back into the closet!  Can we say major frustration!

I hate it when my serger blades get dull!  Ummm, I still haven't learned to change them.  So the serger has to go to the shop.  Do you know what a major pain in the arse that is!!!  With my tight schedule, I can only do that on the weekends...okay say it along with me "Can we say major frustration!"  *LOL*

So the Question of the Day is "What do you hate it when" it happens to you during the sewing process!  Talk back to me people...I'm laying here with a fever...I've read all my sewing following a few new ones...(Hey ~ if I'm following you now!) and am totally frustrated by the fact that I am home...sick and can't sew!

I'm looking forward to reading what frustrates you too!  *LOL*

Monday, November 09, 2009

My Hems

If you've been following along you know that I love to put a little lace on the hem of the lining in a dress or a skirt for that matter...going for that slip like appearance without the hassle of actually wearing one!

I've used it pretty consistently on garments for the last three years and sorrowfully I've come to the bottom of my lace stash.  Now I can and probably will refill's just that my previous stash was purchased at some really bargain prices...whereas the lace I'm finding today is a little pricier...*sigh*

So I've had to come up with a new way to finish my linings.  Now I know that I could just turn the hem twice, press and stitch.   But where would be the fun in that!?!  After rumbling around in my trim drawer, I decided to just add some rayon hem tape to the bottom of the hems:

Lately I've decided that I really like this's a clean finish that works with the tailored garments I've been making recently...because of that it's shown up in the last three dresses...

It's a very simple application.  I just fold the rayon seam binding in half, press it, then pin it to the hem of the lining.  Finally stitch it onto the lining and of course, give it one last press.  Voila ~ you're done!

I know it's a small thing...and it's one more step right at the end of the garment...when you are almost home free and done...but its such a wonderful surprise weeks later when you are wearing the garment see a touch of lace or this really kewl clean finished hem.

Try it!  You will see that it makes you smile too!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Musings on a Sunday Afternoon

I've felt like crap most of the day...*sigh* even though my sewing mojo is working, my body is not cooperating!  And I have to go to work tomorrow...

Yesterday I did not sew.  This certain little person needed a babysitter...for SIX HOURS...can I tell you I know why God did not see fit for women over 50 and menopausal to reproduce.  At one point I wanted to lock that little joker outside...seriously, can you cry non-stop for 45 minutes?  Me, neither...but he can!  *LOL*  Then I had family over for several hours during the evening so there went my Saturday.

This morning I woke up and just felt well...crappy.  I've been reading a book instead of's about all I can handle.

However, I did come up with a SWAP plan.  So as soon as the three pieces of fabric that I purchased yesterday just for this purpose arrives, I will start a folder on Stitchers Guild and announce my plan.  Not to disappoint but I went with option 2:

2 dresses -single pieces consisting of top and bottom that can be worn alone.
6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles
2 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
1 your choice (not an accesory)

I chose option 2 because I could incorporate some things from my already formulated fall/winter sewing list in my collection...and don't everyone gasp now but it incorporates three new patterns.  I'm pretty excited about this plan especially since two items can be made prior to the start date of December 26th.  I even have a great name for the came to me 1,2,3 without much handwringing or thought so I know it's perfect name for the wardrobe.


Please go by Karen's blog and see the new outfit she made with the fabric she took home from the get-together!  It is awesome because it plays to her refashioning strengths!  If you think I'm the "Queen of TNT," Karen is the "Queen of the Thrift Store Refashion."  The girl makes me almost wish that I hadn't given her that piece of fabric!  *LOL*


I really want to see the movie, Precious.  I read the book several years ago and my oldest daughter brought it with her yesterday.  It took about three hours last night to read through it again.  At first I didn't want to see the movie from what I remembered of the book...but now...I think I'm gonna go!  But I'm bringing the tissue box with me!


Finally, this piece of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G fabric showed up on my doorstep this week:

Fabric Mart describes it like this:

This unique Anna Sui 100% designer wool is an understated, yet quite elegant wool with gorgeous detail. For starters, it is a gauze-like crepe with a slight sheerness, yet softly textured hand and a nice light drape. It features a burn-out jacquard border that consists of a repeat scrolled columns that are approximately 23” in height. It would make a gorgeous long sweater coat or a modern wool jumper, over shirt, blouse or classic skirt. Use you imagination to bring this lovely wool to your wardrobe.
It's so beautiful it makes my heart stop! *sigh*
I will work on the dress next weekend...I'm headed back to watch television and continue to read my book!  I hope everyone else had a very productive weekend...
...more later!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

To Swap or not to swap?

I haven't SWAP'ed in 3 years.  After that last experience I just haven't wanted to be tied to such a rigid sewing plan.

However, Stitchers Guild has announced the SWAP contest for 2009-2010.  And I have to tell you that after reading this year's rules, I've had quite a few thoughts about participating...I mean quite a few!

It didn't help that this week I pulled three garments out of my closet that were made from "The Corporate Chic" SWAP wardrobe and wore them to work.  This outfit in particular:

...and a pair of the black wool crepe lined pants were worn with a black thigh length cardigan and a coffee colored top.  I realized that three years later all but one piece is still playing a vital part in my work wardrobe.

So I've been playing with some coordinates...thinking about the possibilities...mentally reviewing my fabric closet...and yet I pause...

SWAPing ~ at least creating a well-thought out, well constructed, coordinated wardrobe takes a lot of time and effort.  It is a huge creative and mental challenge.  To get a wardrobe that meets all the qualifications of a SWAP and have all of the pieces work together as well as play nice in your current wardrobe, is a challenge and takes a lot of determination to follow through with the plan.

Do I want to put myself through that again?  Do I want to challenge myself and push my limits?  Can I plan a wardrobe and stick to it working the schedule that I'm working?  Last time I almost didn't finish it due to work...

I don't know...but...I have twinges...and I need to decide whether I'm going to SWAP or not.


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