Sunday, December 30, 2012

Twenty Twelve ~ A Review

Normally I do this post in two parts - the dress part and everything else.  Well by now we all know that I primarily sew dresses, so this year I'm gonna change things up and do just one post.  This post will highlight the number of garments I made, what type, and which ones were the real superstars of my wardrobe!  

Dresses Recap:
I made 25 dresses this year...on average 2 a month.  You can see the pics of the dresses in my 2012 Dresses Flickr Album or you can read about each individual project in the 2012 Projects Tab. 
  • I made seven designer knock-off dresses, two from Erdem's collections, who is quickly becoming my favorite designer.
  • 13 of my dresses were made from my TNT dress pattern.
  • There were five dresses made from new and previously unused patterns.
  • I made three more Vogue 1250 dresses - I love that pattern!
  • Three were from Butterick 5147 another pattern quickly becoming a fav because of it's versatility.

Finally, my top five favorite dresses of the year were...

Honorable Mention goes to the three Vogue 1250 dresses (especially this one).

Wardrobe Sewing:
This was big for me this year.  I love coordinates.  I love when the things I sew all work together, so sewing wardrobes comes pretty naturally to me.  I finished two and am still working on a third. 

Lavender and Gray Skies ~
This was the first collection which I started at the beginning of twenty twelve  and it consisted of seven pieces ~ a jacket, dress, straight skirt, a pair of lined pants, a sleeveless white shirt, a sleeveless cowlneck sweater and a cardigan. I can tell you that the jacket (which was the anchoring piece) didn't make it.  It ended up being purged with the last closet clean out. The jacket just wasn't me but the other pieces from the collection have been worn several times and will definitely make an appearance in 2013.

The Ten Yard Adventure Collection~
The second wardrobe challenge started with 10 yards of an ivory polyester crepe purchased from one of my favorite online fabric resources.  This collection yielded six pieces that I wore all summer long...took several pieces with me on the cruise...and even inspired a fall/winter piece.  It also spawned one of my favorite dresses of Twenty Twelve.

The Entire Collection

...and a few favorites from the collection...

The City in Winter Collection~
The third and final collection is still under construction.  So far seven pieces have been sewn with quite a few more due to come out of my sewing machine, some as early as next week, during my Winter Sewcation.  

Some of my favorites so far...

Final Project Overview...
For myself I made 25 dresses, 4 pairs of lined pants, 5 skirts, 3 tops, 6 cardigans and 3 jackets for a total of 46 finished garments.  There were a few projects that I started and abandoned and one dress (McCalls 6506) that I'm carrying over for next spring.  I also made a skirt for my niece to use for historical day at her school and the Christmas PJs shared earlier.

Sewing Highlights of Twenty Twelve...
  • Being named a Mood Sewing Network Blogger is hands down one of the most encouraging and inspiring things to happen to me this year.  I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing collection of women sewists and can't wait to share my 2013 projects with you made from beautiful Mood Fabric.  You can see my 2012 completed projects here.
  • Getting my sewing cave revamped in the spring was a real highlight of 2012.  I haven't had a sewing room this organized and detailed since my children were very young and I treasure having the ability to go into the sewing cave to create with everything accessible!
  • Attending the Le Tour De France Fashion Show sponsored by The Haute Couture Club of Chicago in May was pretty awesome too!  I met up with some sewing friends that I hadn't seen in awhile and met some that I'd always wanted to meet, Cennetta, Nancy, Liana and MaryBeth.  I also got the chance to go to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston and purchase some fabric from there since it's one of the fabric stores from my Sewing/Fabric Bucket List.
  • Finally spending time with some of my fellow MSN bloggers and getting to know them has just been awesome...Oonaballoona, Marina and Sarah thanks for spending time with me!  And to all the others who've journeyed to NYC and I've been fortunate enough to meet, thanks for meeting up with me!

Looking forward to 2013...
I have no sewing goals other than to just keep sewing!  I do have a sewing related trip planned in the spring, something I've wanted to do for quite some time and two sewcations - one this winter (happening now!) and one in the early fall.

There are now over 1,171 followers of my blog and who knows how many follow me through various blog reading programs, but I would like to thank each and every one of you for reading along.  It has been a privilege to share my sewing with you this year and I hope that you'll be along for the ride in 2013...and Elizabeth I really do miss you! always more later!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Valentino Inspired

Well this is it!  Today was my last day at work until Monday, January 7th and I'm trembling with excitement.  Which of course makes me just a tad nervous.  My last sewcation did not go well and I'm so filled with anticipation for this one that I'm worried it might not meet my expectations...*sigh*

Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, back to my first project. Valentino's design team for Fall 2013, created a series of accessories using stud accents.  Handbags, shoes and boots all have been accented with studs.

Ad from Dec. 2012/Jan. 2013 Bazaar Magazine

Valentino handbags and shoes from Bergdorf

Those studs inspired me to purchase this trim from the Moods NYC store...

...which I'm going to use as an accent on Butterick 5821.


This pattern has been on my to-sew list since it was issued. I understand why it hasn't attracted much attention because the design crew at ButtMcVogue picked the fuggliest fabric EVAH to make this up in.

However, if you look at the line drawing, you can see that this pattern has a lot of potential.  Add to it the laminated ponte that I also purchased from Mood's NYC store and I think I have the opportunity to make an amazing dress.  

Line Art

As I stated earlier, this will be my first sewcation project. I'm hoping that by using my TNT dress pattern as the basis for pattern alterations that this will go together quickly.

Of course I will share all of the details, so stay tuned.  Yeah, my sewcation is starting now! always more later!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Planning and Anticipation...

Only tomorrow left to work before my sewcation begins. So last night I took some time and pulled out notions to pair with fabrics from my sewing list.  Now if someone could explain to me why I have so much and yet in this instance, not the exact color I need...*sigh*  However, I'm going to make it work with what I have. I don't feel like journeying to the garment district when there is such diversity in my home stash.  Just 'cause an invisible zipper doesn't match exactly doesn't mean it can't be used, right?

However, I've got a more pressing problem. The fabric I want to use to make a dress has been paired with a boucle for a jacket/dress combo. Now I'm not in the mood to make that jacket/dress combo but I really want the dress. And I know myself, if I sew the dress without making the jacket it could be years, if ever, before the jacket gets made...but I really want a bright pink wool crepe dress to brighten up the cold & dreary winter days that are coming.

More what to may be pointless because I might not even get to it, right? So of course you know the piece I'm going to want to sew more than anything is going to be the dayum pink wool crepe! *LOL* I think I'm going to separate them and see what happens...maybe a new idea will come to me for the boucle fabric.

I'm pretreating the wool crepes in the dryer now. I've pulled patterns (yes, there will be several new patterns used), notions (an invisible zipper means you can't see it so if it's lighter it's okay), buttons and lining fabrics, again not exact matches but they will work.

My list has been revised yet again! I know, I know but when I first make the list I have grandiose ideas of what I can accomplish. As I get closer to the actual sewcation, I have a better idea of what I feel like sewing, so the list gets pruned. Now days before I ensconce myself into the sewing cave I have an idea of how challenging, yet familiar I want my sewing to be. I've moved a piece from the list to the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend later this month when I can spend my time working on just it. The dayum pink wool crepe dress has definitely been added to the list.

If I can get my new DVD player installed, I will be all set! Mountain Dew on-hand, check.  Potato chip stock in place, check. Ideas ready to go, check, check. So I'll leave you with a pic of my cutting table with everything placed on it, waiting to leave their flat fold status and become new garments in my wardrobe!

One last thing...the Mood 50% off one day sale - got me today!

I received several gift cards for Christmas and one was used to purchase several yards of this gray wool doubleknit.  You still have a couple of hours to partake, so jump on it!  

...oops that means this is my last actual fabric purchase of 2012!  *LOL* always more later!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas PJs

I, of course, had grand plans for making at least two pairs of pj bottoms for each nephew, a pair for my grandson and two or three nightgowns for my niece and granddaughter.  In actuality this is what came out of my sewing machine...

Purchased t-shirt with bow (made by me)
PJs from Coca-Cola Flannel purchased years ago
For my niece...

Purchased t-shirt for my nephew
with pj bottoms from Coca Cola Flannel

Purchased t-shirt for my nephew
Knit pj bottoms 

Purchased tank top for my grandson
Gray flannel knit pj bottoms I said I just don't seem to sew well for anyone but myself! *LOL*  The good thing is that I have plenty of flannel left and my niece will start sewing lessons soon so I will teach her how to make a nightgown for herself!

Since my sisters and brothers have mates and two of my children also are similarly paired off...we have our Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve so that they can visit the other side of their families on Christmas Day.  A few pictures of our Christmas Eve celebration...

My daughter and the Little Princess

Grandsons and nephew

The Little Princess

Opening Christmas gifts

The Little Prince and his Dad

Handing out the gifts

My daughter opening her gift

My daughters & my granddaughter

My sister has a Christmas Day Brunch so I was home shortly before 3pm which actually worked for me since I work the days after Christmas and am off the first week of winter sewcation this year.

It was nice to have an afternoon to rest before heading back to work!  To all of you that aren't working this week, enjoy!  I will of course be back with more sewing adventures and a year end wrap up later this week. always more later!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Last Random Post of Twenty Twelve

These are just a few things rambling through my brain while sewing today...
  • I really don't like sewing for others and have been dragging my feet like nobody's business making these PJs.  I will finish them though and will share them with you soon.  Here is a pic of one finished set.  I've made the pajama bottoms and purchased tank tops and t-shirts for the tops.
  • I think I'm going to give the Singer sewing machine that I just bought away.  I've never sewn on it because even though it's shiny and new it doesn't have the features that I really need to sew its going to my niece.
  • The very same niece that I'm going to give sewing lessons to in 2013 and I can't wait.  It's been awhile since I've taught someone to sew and it will be nice to pass this talent along to a family member.
  • I'm buying a new machine.  I know, I know but I've figured out that I have another 11/12 years to work before I can retire.  I need to start saving more money and planning out how I want to live during the next phase of my life.  Buying a new machine now would be a good thing...this is the one I want to purchase...

  • It's the newest Janome Quilting/Sewing Machine MC8900 QCP newer than the Horizon 7700 which I've been coveting for some time.  I've made a date to go and pick one up and I'm more than excited.  If you have one, could you please leave some comments about it!
  • I'm giving my Janome 8000 to my daughter because I'm going to keep my 6600P and right now I don't need more than two sewing machines. Wow, did that really get typed?  But I believe I'll be fine with these two and maybe a dedicated embroidery machine...but I'm still on the fence about that one.
  • My year end post will be up at the end of this week although I know I'm going to get some more sewing in before the end of the year. I'm only working three days this week and I begin my sewcation on Friday, so I'm sure something will make it's way off the "To Be Sewn" list!
  • My last sewcation did not work out as I'd planned for a variety of reasons so I'm hoping this one will turn out better.  I really just want to snuggle into my sewing cave and let my creative imagination flow.
  • My Sewcation To Sew list has been written, agonized over and rewritten.  I think I have a list that I can actually get 90% of it completed - which is my goal.
  • Did I tell you that I killed the DVD player that was part of the TV I bought last fall?  Yeah, played that sucka to death.  The new DVD player arrived this week and my brother will set it up for me tomorrow.  Can't wait!  Hopefully I won't do this one in too! *LOL*
  • The Christmas PJ post will show up after Christmas because members of my family read my blog and I don't want them to see ALL of the goodies!
Finally, this will be my last post before Christmas so I'd like to wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas! always more later!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Last Fabric Purchase of Twenty Twelve

Mixed in with all of the Christmas presents I've ordered online this last week, (can we just say that Amazon is my friend for life! *LOL*) was a box of deliciousness from Mood.  My last fabric purchase of Twenty Twelve was precipitated by this email, I received earlier this week:

Of course I clicked onto both of the fabrics, but it was the Marc Jacobs one that really caught my eye.  See I've been wanting a red power suit - jacket & dress for the fall/winter season and the texture of this fabric really excited me.  Y'know I can't just go for the norm, no I've gotta have something a little extra! *LOL*

Anyway, the fabric was 50% off for one day. Late and I mean late, about 11:00 pm EST Wednesday evening, I bought five yards of the fabric and a coordinating rayon bemberg lining, that arrived today!  Can you say fantastic customer service! That kind of cutting and shipping warms my instant gratification soul.

The red is a light/mid-weight pucker silk/wool blend.  It is a little softer than I thought but it will work well for the pieces I want to make. So there you have last fabric purchase of Twenty Twelve...

...but can I just take this moment to encourage you to one, get on the Mood mailing list so that these amazing deals will fall into your email box and two, don't hesitate to add these awesome fabrics to your cart and push the buy button.  As Evelyn testified, "I received my order from MOOD Fabrics yesterday. I ordered the yummy wool you posted a pic of in this post and a light gray knit to compliment for a pair of pants. The fabric is STUNNING!" The post Evelyn is referring to is, "Shades of Gray Cardigan" and as you can see she was thrilled with her purchase.

Even though this is a great fabric, it won't be included on my Winter Sewcation Sewing List...which has been composed by the way.  I have other goodies and ideas that I can't wait to work on instead.  This will probably show up either late January or early February.  Wouldn't this be stunning for Valentine's Day?! always more later!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Border Print Skirt

I don't usually sew skirts during the winter months.  When I first purchased this fabric from Moods NYC store, I was actually thinking of making a blouse with it...especially since it's a beautiful, lightweight silk with the border print going down the center of the fabric.

Then I saw this skirt from White House/Black Market...

...and after seeing it, a light went off in my brain. I decided that I should use my new border print fabric to make my own version of this skirt.

Of course, since the silk is lightweight and a little flimsy, I underlined the skirt with a bemberg rayon lining.  The lining was basted to the silk and a line of basting was also added to the center of the border print to insure that the two pieces of fabric worked as one.  The pieces were then serge finished.

I used my TNT elastic waist skirt pattern.  The simple silhouette of that pattern effectively highlights the border print.  To achieve this, I laid the skirt piece directly over the center of the print on the fabric, pinned it down and cut it out.  The front seam was then stitched closed.  The back seam was stitched leaving a back slit for walking ease.  A casing was added for the non-roll elastic and a half inch was turned up at the hemline and stitched flat.  That was easy, breezy skirt that lets the fabric speak.

Some stats:
Fabric ~ 
2 yards of 45" wide border print silk from Mood

Notions ~ 
1" non-roll elastic
black bemberg rayon lining

Some pics ~ first the side views...

The skirt worn with a RTW twinset...

Like I said...quick and easy with a lot of punch!  I'm thinking that I need to go back to Mood and buy a couple more border prints because I'm loving this skirt! always more later!


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