Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Sewing Year in Review

Let's get right to it:

I've made 44 garments this year.  I used 97 yards of fabric...I'm sure that I bought 3x that much!  *LOL* 

Garment breakdown:
21 dresses
1 Vest
9 Cardigans/Jackets
2 pairs of pants
2 tops and 9 skirts

Clearly this was the year of the dress and the year of the TNT pattern since 10 of the dresses came from my TNT dress pattern. The pants and all except the last skirt were also made from a TNT pattern. Dang what happened to all those new patterns I purchased!?! *LOL*

When I look back at my review for 2008, I realize that dresses have remained in the forefront of my sewing consciousness since I made 16 last year.  I did not enter any contests or competitions this year...but I did do the Lucky Skirt Challenge with three of my blogger friends.

I was most influenced this year by two things - "The Michelle Obama Effect" and Michael Kors designs.  I've written several posts on how Michelle Obama's style of dress reflects many aspects of my professional life...her simple sheath dresses coupled with a cute cardigan or a skirt and twinset combo so resonated with me.  And as I said previously, Michael Kors just knows how to dress a woman...and I have shamelessly interpreted his designs and elements from his garments.

However, I didn't meet all of the goals that I set last year.  I continue to purchase fabric...slowing down at the beginning of the year...and then later at the end of the year when I realized that there is ALOT of inspiration abiding in my apartment! *LOL* 

However, the one goal that I did meet this year was that I took my time.  I enjoyed the process more.  I thought out what I wanted to make and how it worked in my life and I made what I imagined using my TNT patterns...I really was on a creative flow especially in the last quarter of the year...

I also met quite a few of my sewing friends this year...and plan to have a few more sewing salons so that we in the NY/NJ/CT/PA/MD area can get together and discuss what we are sooooo passionate about.

I've decided not to set any sewing goals for 2010.  It is the beginning of a new decade and I want to see where my creative juices take me. 

January will begin my 4th year of blogging and I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who've come by to read my ramblings...who leave a comment...who question my sanity *LOL*...or who just plain understand my need to put needle and thread to fabric to create something new.  I truly hope that I have encouraged you, inspired you and caused you to look at this creative process in a different light.  I also hope that you will continue to travel along with me as I discuss my aspirations, my goals, and my dreams regarding this all consuming passion.

May the New Year bring each and every one of you, peace, love, joy, happiness and good health.  I also hope that all of your needs are met...whether they be for a new job, a new home, a baby, a mate...or just your own sewing space.

See you in 2010 where I will definitely share more of my sewing with you!  Thanks again and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can you lend a hand?

I've a favor to ask...and it's kind of a big that involves your pocketbook!  See normally I just point you to the sales and suggest that you purchase something if you want or need it.  This time I'm actually asking you to dig deep during this holiday season and help out a vendor in our sewing community who could use our assistance.

Denise is the owner of The Blue Gardinia Vintage Pattern site.  Her site has amazingly wonderful vintage patterns.  These patterns are pristine and packaged so that the patterns are well preserved.  I'm sure it looks like a collector's site but you can actually purchase a pattern from here to make something awesome for your own wardrobe.

The reason I'm asking you to purchase a pattern or two from Denise is that right now her business is basically the family income.  Along with many other Americans, her husband lost his job 8 months ago.  I know that the global recession has hit many of us hard...but Denise also has a medical condition that prevents her from working outside the home.  In a year of loss, at one point they lost their health insurance which Denise needs desperately to remain well, they now need our help.

Denise is presently offering her Year End Sale:

Annual End of Year Sale!!!

Buy 3 or more items, get 33% off!
Sale prices good now through
Midnight PST Thursday, January 7, 2010
Payment must be received by
6:00 p.m. PST Saturday, January 9, 2010

Would you kindly visit the site and pick up a pattern or two or three?  We as a community need to support our vendors and help them to stay afloat during this difficult time. 

Thanks for taking the time to check out Denise's offerings and I appreciate you for reading this far!**

I am a customer and I have received patterns from Denise but I gain nuthin' monetary from this post.  I'm just trying to help out someone in need! 

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vogue 8593 - Dress Number 21

When this dress came out in the Vogue catalogue in August, I knew I had to have it.  It was an interpretation of the Maria Pinto dress that Michelle Obama wore to her first visit to the White House. 

Up until that time, I never thought that I would be able to have a version of the dress.  One ~ the original is a very tight-fitting, body-hugging dress and not something that I could actually imagine on my plus size body.  Second, the design is so distinctive that I didn't think the pattern companies would get a copy out as quickly as they did.  Now I know there is a Butterick version but I liked the style lines on this pattern better. 

However, I was wrong on both accounts!  So let's start with my favorite photo of me in the dress and move on from there...

Okay - let's discuss how dress number 21 came into being....

A poly doubleknit from the Vera Wang collection from

22" navy invisible zipper

First let me say that this is a relatively easy dress to make.  Just make sure that you mark everything and choose the right fabric to work with and you will  be fine.  However, I did read every word of the three reviews on Patternreview and Amanda's version of the dress also.

Next I guess I should address my audacity in thinking that I could make this dress fit my plus size body.  Well, it really is only a straight dress with some amazing details ~ the pleated neckline, the back shoulder darts, the dart that runs from the hem to the center back.  To me all of those details could be manipulated to fit me.

Pattern Alterations:
I didn't know that the front piece with the pleat detail was one big pattern piece when I purchased the pattern.  So my first challenge was to figure out how to get that one pattern piece (that only went up to a size 20) to fit my size 24 body.  I kept thinking that if the dress had princess seams with side front pieces that it would be perfect.  And that is when I remembered the vintage dress that I made last year using princess seams...if that side front piece could work with the dress front I would be in business.

After laying the pattern piece on top of the dress piece, matching notches at the armhole seams, I realized it would work.  I have to admit that I started to do the joy-joy dance here because that was a major part in making this dress work on my body!

The pleated neckline on the dress is the most distinctive feature to me and one of the main reasons I wanted my own version.  After reading the reviews, I noticed that one of the reviewers had topstitched her pleats down.  I really liked that feature so I included it in my dress.  Now those pleats aren't difficult at all to make.  Take your time, mark the pleats carefully and they go together without a problem.  Oh and don't forget to press them well.  I used a silk organza pressing cloth, a lot of steam and my clapper to get those crisp pleats.

I opted to use my TNT dress back piece instead of grading up the piece that came with the pattern.  That piece is tiny folks! *LOL*  I just made some adjustments to my back piece - I added back shoulder darts

and instead of a dart from the hem to center back, I added a 1/2 inch seam/pleat on both sides.  It gives a nod to the original dress design but honestly I was afraid that dart would make the dress too tight on me.  So my solution works for me:

The original dress design is slim fitting through the waist and abdomen, not exactly a plus size girl's friend so my dress has more of an a-line skirt, but I'm thinking it works for me...judge for yourself:

and one more view because I just can't believe how well this dress turned out:

I will admit that I do have my bodyshaper on under this dress but even my daughter was thrilled with how this dress fit!

How about a close up of the accessories:

I'm very pleased with how this turned out...and I'm glad that I was fearless in trying this pattern out.  With a little bit of adjustment, I made it my own.  I know that some of you think I possess these amazing patternmaking skills but really sometimes I'm just fumbling around and doing the best I can with the vision I see in my head.  I was fully prepared for this dress not to work...even had a back-up dress to work on...but I am so glad that I did take this journey.

I got an email this week and one of the things the young lady, who is plus size, said was that she hated to see the big old pieces of fabric because she was wary of making a sack when cutting out fabric for a dress.  Let me tell you this is a constant concern of mine, but my solution is to add a seam wherever possible.  It adds such a slimming effect, it makes designs that aren't originally targeted for plus size women accessible and isn't that the reason we sew for ourselves anyway!

This dress finished without accessories is kinda nunnish looking *LOL* but add some accessories, hair and make-up and I think I could go to the White House in this dress too!  *LOL*

BTW, this is the first piece of my SWAP for the contest on Stitchers Guild. I've named the wardrobe "Midnight at the Oasis" because it will be comprised of mostly navy garments.  The SWAP ends April 30th, so you will see more pieces in the coming months.  I think that's it...I'm off to sew...I have one more dress laid out on the cutting table...*LOL* always, more later!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

19 Dresses and Counting...

I love a dress!  If I lived in an area where I could wear a dress all year long, I would!  I especially love that I can sew my own dresses because being a plus size chick and finding an interesting RTW plus size dress without paying an arm and a leg is damn near impossible...and the pattern companies are really not that far behind with their limited supply.

So since I love wearing a dress so much...I've made quite a few of them this year...19 to be exact!  Hopefully that 20th one will materialize before December 31st!!!  I mean I NEED a new dress for New Year's Eve church service, right! *LOL*

In order of is the dress parade:

ETA:  to correct the number of dresses I've actually made...*sigh* there's been alot of them so please forgive the miscount! *LOL*

The first dress out the gate was my winterized version of Butterick 5179

The second dress was a pretty popular one on PR as evidenced by the 28 reviews for it. It is my version of Butterick 5247:

The third dress of the year, was my version of the Little Black Dress - made from my TNT dress pattern:

Number 4 on the hit parade was, Butterick 5146.  Can I tell you that I've only worn this dress twice...the close fit of the knit dress makes me uncomfortable...and not that I didn't get compliments on it...but it's just outside my comfort zone.

Number 5 was another knit dress.  However, I loved wearing this dress.  I wore it to work several times and a couple of times for weekend was just so easy to wear!  I really need to make a few more for this summer!  Vogue 1091 - the Tom & Linda Platt dress:

Dress number 6 is "The Ralph Lauren Dress" so named because that was the description of the fabric on Emmaonesock's site. It is made from my TNT dress pattern in a crispy linen fabric. 

Lucky number 7 was "The Dreaming of Spring" dress.  It was a really involved dress with a lot of moving parts made from my TNT dress pattern.  It also houses my greatest disappointment...I put in a sorry invisible zipper and just didn't have the heart to take it I camoflaged...and wore it that way every time I wore it last spring!  Don't look at me like know you do it too! *LOL*

I have two personal favorites this year...and "The Chadwicks Dress" is one of them.  I really stepped out of my corporate work look with the color yellow...using it in three dresses.  So besides the amazing color of this dress, the fact that I copied it from a picture in a catalog and then it also wears so well, makes it one of my top two favorite dresses of the year!

In an effort to bring some color to my wardrobe, dress number 9 is part of a wardrobe of "colorful" garments.  It's a dress pattern that I've used before, Simplicity 4014.  It made a wonderful dress that was comfortable to wear and added some variety to my corporate work look:

I was really on a yellow kick and dress number 10 is also yellow.  Yellow linen to be precise...made from Butterick 5347:

I'm going to be honest here...okay when am I not *LOL*...but seriously this dress is the epitome of a good idea gone bad.  I used an amazing silk print for it...sewed it up and never wore it!  I just couldn't get past the muu-muu-ness of this dress...*sigh*  Vogue 8596...Rachelle if you want this can have it!  *LOL*

The next one is bright, pretty and summery, made from my TNT dress pattern and a woven stretch's okay...just okay.  I will take the side seams in on this one before next summer because it just grows and grows and grows with my body heat...which can be quite a bit in a menopausal woman...

Number 13 - is my interpretation of a Micheal Kors dress.  Now you know I love MK...he just knows how to dress a woman...and I can "interpret" his ready-to-wear looks easily to my size.  This interpretation was made with a v-neck version of my TNT dress pattern and was fun and easy to wear.  It's also a testament to having a great fabric collection...because I thought about making it, rummaged around in the collection and voila!

Dress number 14 is all about the fabric.  I loved this fabric when I saw it on Fabric Mart's site and it was a perfect trans-seasonal dress.  It also was the first garment that I made on my Sewcation...yet another version of my TNT dress pattern..."The Black/White Eyelet Dress":

Late summer/early fall is one of my favorite times of the year...just edging out spring.  So I went into a dress making frenzy during my sewcation as well in the weeks that followed - Dress 15 - was made using my TNT pattern and a great embellishment:

...and dress 16, "Pumpkin, Pumpkin...I've got a Pumpkin" was also sewn during the sewcation.  I am really into my "Michelle Obama sheath mode" here and both dresses were discussed in this post.

My dress imagination is in full gear now...revved up and ready to roll!  And during this period, I think I came up with some of my best dresses of the year.  Dress number 17 is my ultimate favorite dress of the year...I don't think what I've planned for number 20 can beat this one.  It has everything I like in a dress ~ color, comfort, fashionable but with a corporate look but most especially it makes me feel pretty when I wear it.  So without further ado, my favorite dress of 2009 - "The Variation on a Theme Dress":

I threw a basic gray sheath dress from my TNT dress pattern into the mix to match this fabu jacket from Vogue 1127.  It just works with so much in my wardrobe and again is a nod to the Michelle Obama style:

The last two dresses are variations of black and white and part of a series of dresses that I called "The Cardigan Series."  As much as I like color I still have to fit in at work *smile* so black and white fulfills those requirements yet gives me an opportunity to be uniquely me.  I used the bones of my TNT pattern from the Chadwicks dress for this black and white boucle dress and added a little embellishment:

...and finally dress number 19 (actually 20)...which I named after LindsayT because we bought the fabric together one summer Saturday at Moods.

To recap - I've used seven patterns from the Big4 pattern companies to create some of my dresses this year.  I've "interpreted" two dresses - one from a designer and one from a catalog.  The final 10 were some variation of my TNT dress pattern.  I really gave that pattern a work-out this year and ended up with so many different looks.  However, the predominant look in my dress wardrobe this year was the sheath dress and this was in direct reflection of Michelle Obama's style.

My goal for next year's dresses (yes, there will be more!) is to use more of the vintage patterns that I've collected to make some awesome dresses with interesting details.  I definitely want to add some more sheath dresses in other colors to my wardrobe...they just make dressing in the morning sooooo easy...and my final goal would be to make at least one dress a month.  

For my final dress of this year, I can't decide whether to make it complicated or to finish off the last dress in the cardigan series.  I have so many ideas floating around in my brain, quite a bit of fabric and some we shall see what emerges!

If you've lasted to the end of this very long post...thank you for reading along and please tell me which dress did you like best this year? always, more later!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Burda Style Skirt 12-2009-112

Well I have one more black skirt...or the Burda Style skirt is done!

One of the reasons that it took so long to finish this skirt is because I knew I would never be happy with the button closure on the waistband.  I loved the front drape but was totally turned off by the button closures.  I think this works great in the skinnier sizes as evidenced by the great skirts that Sharon, Elizabeth and Karen made.  However, as a plus size chick those buttons just weren't working for me.

So yet again, I changed the pattern...although this does fit with my sewing motto...that a pattern is just a jumping off point.  In my opinion, the change that I made to the skirt was just made it easier to wear.  But I'm sure that from a design standpoint, it's major...since the button front along with the drape are "the hook" that elevates this skirt from a regular old pencil skirt.  Whatever...

So some stats:

Skirt shell is from 100% worsted wool crepe that was purchased from Fabric Mart
Lining is from a silk charmeuse print also from Fabric Mart

9" invisible black zipper
2 - 5/8" black buttons from the collection
black rayon hem tape

The pattern alterations were extensive and are detailed in this post.  And after much discussion in the comments section, I am glad that I went with my TNT skirt pattern especially since this pattern stops at a size 46.  I don't believe that I would have gotten as great a fit particularly in the back of the skirt, if I hadn't used my TNT skirt pieces. 

One final thing, I did do a hard press in my drape/pleat.  I wanted the definition and for the pleat to stand out.  The directions don't tell you to do this but I would recommend it.  The soft drape is kinda wimpy to me...pressing it makes it command attention.

If I make this skirt again, I would do a few things differently:

1.  I would put the invisible zipper in the back.  It would just flow better.  The zipper in the side isn't bad but in my opinion it would just work better in the back.

2.  I've used 3/8" seam allowances in this version probably because I forgot to add a seam allowance to the front pattern piece on the drape side.  I'm old fashion, I like 5/8" seam allowances.  I sew them naturally because they are now ingrained into my sewing psyche.

3.  I would lengthen the pattern another inch or two.  I have a 1/2" hem in this skirt and would like a deeper hem...again just my personal preference.

4.  I would not add a back vent when placing the invisible zipper in a center back seam because there is plenty of room to walk in the skirt.  The pleated front piece gives you enough space so that walking is easy in the skirt.

Some pictures:

the invisible zipper and button closure

a sideview of the skirt showcasing the pleat/drape

a full view where you can see the pleat

I have some eggplant wool crepe pulled out to make this skirt again, but first I want to make one more dress before the year ends.  If I can get one more finished before December 31st, I will have made 20 dresses this year...and even though it's not a major distinction, I would like to accomplish this minor goal.

Christmas is Friday and my family celebrates on Christmas Eve so I probably won't be posting again until after Christmas Day! 
I am wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas ~ full of love, joy family, and good food.  If you are traveling anywhere I hope that you are blessed with traveling mercies and that you don't end up spending hours upon hours in your local airport!  I also hope that you receive as much as you've given!  Great sewing presents for all!!!

...and as always...more later!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I Refuse!

If you've been reading my ramblings for any period of time, you know that I live on the East Coast.  The same East Coast that at present is being inundated with snow...*sigh*  And as I read blog post after blog post by my sewing sisters here on the East Coast and each one shows a picture of an awesome amount of snow...I get more and more depressed. 

See, I HATE SNOW!  Friggin' fiddle-de-de-de hate it!  Yeah it looks all white and pretty when it's coming down but it effs up traffic, makes commuting to work a royal pain in the tush...and in no time it will be all brown and dirty looking and icing up.  Seriously people what is there to like!?!

So on General Principal, I'm refusing to show a picture of the snow here in NJ.  I'm ornery, I'm angry and I'm depressed...*sigh*  I HATE SNOW!

...and I still haven't sewn a lick!  Waste of a perfectly good snow day!...*sigh*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where do you sew?

This is a quickie post...I just thought of it and wanted to ask the question after I saw Karen, of Sewing by the Seat of my Pants post...about her new sewing area.

So I wanted to you sew facing a window or facing a wall?  I've sewn in both situations but so much more prefer to face the window.  How about you ~ window or wall and why?  It's the question of the day folks, so talk back to me!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not much happening here...

I started the weekend off with good intentions.  I was going to sew all weekend...I mean it was cold and rainy and perfect sewing weather.  However, the Christmas Party for my job was Thursday night...I got home late...back to work early on Friday morning.  Then I had an engagement Friday evening that got me home early Saturday morning so I slept late on Saturday...well actually I slept most of the day on Saturday!  *LOL*  It's been years since I've had the privilege of doing that and I took full advantage of it.

I kept thinking that I would sew today...but it was another lazy day!  I've worked a little on the black version of the Burda skirt...added the lining but it's not finished and not ready for primetime.  I guess I don't really feel much like sewing...cause I was moving sooooo slowly and when I'm moving that heart really isn't in it.

However, I did do some planning...I have a few days off at the end of the month/beginning of the new I made a list of things I want to sew.  My closet is finally at the point where I want it to be...I guess three years of non-stop sewing will do that for you...therefore I feel no pressure to sew.  The pieces on my list are pretty involved with alot of creative details and challenges.  I'm looking forward to taking my time and making these involved garments...enjoying the process and the journey.

Although today I did have to go through the fabric piles (notice I didn't say the closet - just the piles! *sigh*) and I realized that I have bought the same piece of fabric twice. 

This has never happened to me before!  So now I have 10 yards (two 5 yard cuts) of the grey and blue wool/lycra pinstripe fabric pictured above.  *sigh*  Since my SWAP has blown up (some fabrics I wanted aren't available)...maybe I will use this 10 yards as the basis of a new SWAP.  I just have to come up with it!

Postings will be sporadic for the next two weeks.  I have Christmas shopping to do...and another party or two to attend...I probably won't be doing much sewing until the weekend after Christmas! 

The end of the year review will be done somewhere in there...and as always, more later!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's been a long week...

Is it just me or do the days get longer at the end of the year?  But only during the week...not the weekend?!  On the weekend those days seem to fly by at sonic speed!...*sigh*

Anyway, it's cold as the North Pole here...and that means I'm staying inside!  Ummmm sewing here we come!  Also, I finally got my eyeglass situation resolved.  I don't know if anyone noticed but in the pic of the girls night on the town...I was wearing new specs...Progressive Lens.  The new way to say bifocals and old eyes! 

Well I've now had these new specs for a month...finally got used to them...but can't read or sew in them AT ALL!  Short bursts at the machine but nothing prolonged like I usually do.  However, they were great at the Knicks game last week...I saw stuff I would have never seen with my old pair!  After one more trip to Lenscrafters, I purchased a pair of reading glasses...this should make the short distance things work out better.

So wanna see glasses ~ well I'm sharing anyway!  *LOL*

The progressive lenses:

The pair just for distance:

The pair for reading and up close work:

Hopefully this will result in the Burda skirts being finished and a new dress (I know I said it's the North Pole here but I love a new dress!) idea that's been swirling around in my head.  Finally what was I thinking about when I talked about making Christmas Gifts...yeah...I can never sew for the season and it will be so much better for the economy if I just make a list and head on out to the stores...yeah, I think I will do that next week!  *LOL* always, more later!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I love it when I pull the next piece of fabric from the pile or the fabric closet and place it on the cutting table.  As I unroll it and spread it out, the possibilities and the prospective adventures invade my creative soul.  It's like smelling a favorite flower, or a favorite dish cooking on the just makes you crave it.

As the fabric lays before me in all its glory, waiting to become whatever I'm creative soul exults in the journey I'm about to take.  I love the start, the beginning of a new project.

How about you?  Does your heart tug and your imagination soar when you lay that piece of fabric out?  Talk to me and let me know - cause this is the Question of the Day!

Monday, December 07, 2009

I'm a Material...Material Girl! use a line from a Madonna song...*LOL*

Last week found me making a few purchases...I mean besides my new baby!

I got this amazing piece of fabric from Melody at Fashionista Fabrics:

I can't wait to have some time to sew it up!  I know exactly what I want it to be!

Then I read a post on Gertie's blog about plus size sewists and vintage patterns.  One of the resources she mentioned was GremlynGirl.  She had some cute patterns so I surfed over to look and these found their way to my apartment:

I really wanted this one! 
I've got a thing for raglan sleeves and pinstripes this winter...

I thought that the additional inserts was kewl...especially if I used a pinstripe and manipulated it.  Corporate yet different...

This one made the cut because if you buy 3,
you get free shipping.
And I really liked the neckline on the dress.

I think I'm going to have to make that one of my goals for sew more of the vintage patterns that I've accumulated!

I also ordered one of the Boudour of Bliss Hotpatterns - specifically the Trousseau Nightgown and Robe (I'm going on vacation - a real one, not a sewing one - in February and I need a new nightgown and robe) alongwith the Riveria Boulevard Cardigan Jacket which I was inspired to try after seeing Debbie's.  I can't wait for them to arrive!

I've been really good these last few months with fabric accumulation...I haven't bought much yardage and it's probably because my fabric closet is overflowing...I'm running out of space.  But on Saturday I did purchase a few more yards of the Vera Wang Lavendar Collection from - it's 60% off people - as well as a few basic wool/lycra blends from the Ralph Lauren Collection - it's also 60% off ~ as in $3.99 per yard.  So go over and buy something...don't forget if you have $35 in your shopping cart it ships for free.

As you know I did no sewing last weekend...the Knicks game was fantastic, btw!  I will finish up my Burda skirts this weekend as well as start on some Christmas presents I hope.

...and as a Parting Shot (thanks Summerset for letting me borrow it!) is the beginning of the snowfall last Saturday evening:

I'm just not ready for this I tell you...just not ready! always more later!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My New Baby

That's right instead of sewing I was playing with this!

Over the last year, I have spoken about how my friend of the last decade, my partner in crime in creating, and my sewing machine rock has been fading.  At each yearly check-up the repairman asks me when I'm going to upgrade her because she is really getting towards the end of her life.  She is past machine warranty and has any number of little ticks that can be fixed for a minute and then come back...she is wearing out from use and love.

So, I've decided to overhaul my sewing machine and serger.  I've been reading up and trying to figure out what will work for me for the next 25 years...okay realistically the next 10-15 years! *smile*  I've also been working out what features I really need because those TOL machines with all the bells and whistles are like bling to me and draw me in everytime!

Finally, I have an idea of what I want and am now slowly starting to purchase well actually completely overhaul my sewing machine & serger experience.  I decided to take baby steps and am starting with my back-up machine.  Which by the way, I no longer own since my DD absconded with it!  That's where this new Brother PC-420 comes in:

It has quite a few of the features that my Janome has but at a lot cheaper price point.  It even has a knee-lift...something I've always wanted!  Bertha arrived Thursday but I didn't have an opportunity to look at her, take her out of the box, set her up and play with her until there went any sewing I might possibly have done as I was enthralled with finding out about Bertha...that's Miss Bertha Brother to you, btw! *smile*

She is a version of the Project Runway PC-420 without some of the built-in designs but since I really didn't need that many designs I'm happy with her as she is!  Anyway, she will make sporadic appearances here in the future and my sewing machine overhaul has officially begun.

I won't be updating the Burda skirt this weekend unless I get home early from the Knicks game.  My boss gave me some I will be watching the game in Madison Square Garden this afternoon, snoop shopping at Macy's and checking out the Christmas windows both there and Lord and Taylor before heading home.

I hope everyone has a great sewing day...and as always, more later!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Sewists Thursdays Hiatus

I've attempted several times to write a coherent post for today's New Sewists Thursdays post.  And even though I started something ~ I haven't been happy with it.  And it made me realize that I'm not having fun writing these posts anymore. 

When I first started this series, I couldn't wait for Wednesdays to write out Thursdays post.  I had guest bloggers lined up and I had ideas.  But lately, it's seemed more like a chore...*sigh*  So I'm going to put these on hiatus for now.  See I've been blogging for 3 almost 4 years...and I truly like it.  It offers a release from my stressful day job and allows me to have conversations about something I'm very passionate about with people from all over the world. I want to continue to love doing this and sharing my sewing adventures. 

I will add some of the earlier fabric posts that I wrote to the New Sewists Thursdays category and when I feel like it again, I will add another post from time to time.  However, there is so much more that I want to say regarding sewing and I want to be able to share without pressure.  

To all of those who've looked forward to these posts, I hope you will keep reading my blog and ask questions.  I also hope that by reading my blog and other sewists blogs that you will continue to learn about this artform and enjoy it as much as we do!

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm looking forward to it for several reasons but mostly because its the day before Saturday.  The beginning of the weekend which will allow me time to finish my versions of the Burda Skirts! always, more later!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Burda Skirt - Part 3

....or how to turn a simple skirt into a major production! *LOL*

This afternoon Marji sent me another drawing to emphasize her lining point....and she got me thinking...and since I have the fashion fabric cut out, I decided to baste it up and check the's the unlined front (without the waistband):

and here's the unlined back (again sans waistband):

This is why I used my TNT pattern for this skirt...I have 4 small darts across the back to gently emphasize my behind.  I know this works well for me and I'm liking how it looks.  I even like how the drape looks in the front.

After basting this together and seeing the pics, I've now got another idea for how to make this skirt my own! *LOL*  This version will be made up as Burda suggests...but I AM making this again.  I will use my regular skirt back and add an invisible zipper.  For the front I will pin the drape and baste it down.  Then I will add my regular waistband so that I can unzip and step into the skirt.

The reason for the change is because I like the drape on the front of the skirt, it's different from your normal pencil skirt.  However, I'm not sure that I like the way the Burda skirt closes especially on me...and since I NEVER tuck anything in you won't see the button finish at all.  I think the revised version will work better for me.  So this will be the last update...the next post on the skirt will show you the finished skirt(s).

I have to admit that this has been an interesting adventure.  I have a better idea of what I'll face making the Burdastyle dresses...and I really think I'm going to make at least one of the that I can face the tracing out!

...and as always, more later!


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