Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Vogue 8593........again

Work has been making my life just a little hectic so I thought I'd revisit a pattern I first made a couple of months ago (see This Post ). I'm pretty pleased with the results which were similar to the first time around with the exception of the fabric being slightly more stretchy and a great animal print. I'll probably make a couple more of these in the sleeveless version. Ok, I've gotta get back to working on my Easter dress (see last post). I've vowed that I won't be sewing up until I walk out of the door this year. Off to it.........

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guess What I'm Working On........

 Yep I got my hands on Vogue 1182 and am in the process of tweaking the fit on the muslin and I owe my decision to the help of you Guys (especially you Megan)!!! When I had trouble chosing my Easter outfit in this Post you Guys chimed in and helped me make a decision. It was weird, but just like that I knew Vogue 1182 would be perfect for my Easter dress.


But there was just one problem----- Vogue 1182 hadn't even made it into stores just yet. So I had to figure out a way to get that pattern here and FAST! Well to cut the story short, I was able to Google the  McCall Company phone number, talk to a rep, and get them to send it to me by priority mail. I ordered it on Thursday and it ended in my hands on Saturday afternoon. Thank you Jesus, and thank you Kim (one of the helpful customer service reps)! That was my first time ordering directly from the Vogue/McCall/Butterick Pattern co. and I sure was satisfied with the level of customer service. I hope this dress turn out well. Keep your fingers crossed for me:)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Warning: Watching Kell On Earth may cause Heartburn!!!!!

 Why does it always seem like I need to take an antacid after I watch an episode of "Kell on Earth". Ok so I really don't suffer from heartburn after watching this show, I'm just overexaggerating. But I  have to admit, I was pretty shock and wound up after watching the first couple of episodes. They don't call it "Kell on Earth" for no reason. The situations and people on this show are just so "high strung" and "extremely intense"--but still strangely fascinating--the line of work that is. Have any of you seen this show? It's a pretty interesting reality show and give you a look into the inner workings of the People's Revolution Fashion PR firm. If you haven't seen it, here's what Bravo TV says about it on their website:

According to Bravo TV.com this show is about.......
......a behind the scenes look at the high-powered and fast-paced world of fashion PR when Bravo debuts its newest series "Kell on Earth," featuring public relations guru Kelly Cutrone.
Cutrone has been called one of the "coolest, most intimidating persons ever," and, judging from her frank demeanor and fashion world credibility, it's easy to see why. Bravo takes a no holds barred look into the life of one of America's most legitimate tastemakers as she balances running her wildly successful fashion PR company, People's Revolution, juggling Fashion Weeks in New York and London, with being a single mother and one of New York's most notable women about town.

Well from my opinion, when it comes to describing Kelly Cultrone, the word intimidating is the right one.  I'm not one to usually pick apart people, because we are who we are and everyone isn't "little miss nicey". But based on observations, Kelly is quite the tough cookie. She's a "no hold's barred-take it-shut up-and like it kinda chick". I think it's a combination of the type of work and her gritty personality.
Her hardcore personality is a tad bit humorous and over the top. Her book title (on the right) is pretty interesting too and reveals her personality. I do respect her definitely as a business woman and for the reputation she's established in the fashion world. Hey you can't have a great fashion show without a great PR group. But I have to admit that at times I feel so sorry for her employees because they're always so stressed and overworked and they're always being cursed at and sometimes berated. But maybe it's the nature of the beast and the price to pay for working in that part of the fashion world. Not my cup of tea by any means. I am of the strange notion that one can run a great business while at the same time treat others respectfully and with dignity.

After watching a couple of episodes I really didn't have an interest to check anymore out. Well today I took in another episode and I'm beginning to get used to the brutality LOL!!! It's becoming less shocking especially since I know what to expect now. Hey this was my first glimpse into the world of fashion PR and it's an eye opener--but in a good way. Maybe I expected everything to be a little more "cookie cutter" and that everyone would unite for the sake of fashion and work harmoniously together.  I didn't know what I was thinking. But it's definitely a different world that I imagined and I appreciate the reality check, no pun intended (smile). 

Anywho, if you've got the time to check it out please do. If you have, what's your opinion of this feisty show???

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Possible Easter Dress Patterns/ New Vogue Summer Patterns

Ok--- I finally have narrowed down a few patterns for my Easter dress. A couple of blog posts ago I introduced my Easter fabric. It is......
Now, I feel I have a little challenge with pairing this fabric with the right pattern. The look and feel of this pattern exudes such elegance.  If I pick a pattern that's too elaborate, all the fabric will do is drown out the design elements.So I'm trying to find a pattern that is simple yet elegant.

Well I pulled a few patterns out of my stash that I thought would work. They are......

McCall 6024

(I'm thinking maybe the middle dress with the sleeves)

Simplicity 2888
(....Or maybe the dress on the left)

Simplicity 2926
(The dress on the left and bottom right caught my eye also)


Simplicity 3877
(I love all of these looks but the one on the right would be stunning in this fabric.)

But then I went online to do a few searches too and stumbled on the newest season of Vogue Patterns. Immediately this pattern popped out at me. It's Vogue 1182 and it's Spectacular!!! It's by the designer Kay Unger. I imagine that this dress could look very pretty in a floral print!
 I plan to go hunt it down on Thursday. I hope it isn't so new that I can't get it in JoAnn's or Hancock Fabrics now!

Time is moving quickly and I need to come to a quick decision. I hope to have this figured out by week's end so I can get started. I'll gladly take any opinions!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Maximizing your Sewing Time: Tip #32 - Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

I've been thinking about starting a blog segment on "Tips to Maximize your Sewing Time" for several months now. It seems appropriate since my entire blog is centered around accumulating sewing time to accomplish specific sewing goals. As you all know, this is a difficult task for us all. There's only 24 hours in the day so it takes a bit of discipline and sometimes sacrifice in other areas of our lives to make this possible.

These are some of the tips I've discovered in my quest to try to balance life as first a Wife, Mom, Full Time Employee, Business Owner, and Seamstress.  I plan to post a tip weekly or biweekly and feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Here goes for the first one.......BTW they're not in chronological order--it just feel more fun this way! LOL!

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Maximizing your Sewing Time:  Tip #32- Prepare Meals Ahead of Time

I love home cooked meals but I don't necessarily like to come home after working 8 or so hours and cook a healthy meal from scratch every single day. A couple nights a week is one thing but just not every single night. For the night that I can't cook, I rely on meals that I've prepared ahead of time and put in the freezer.....you know, "freezer meals".

Several year ago I began to notice how much time I was investing in making meals and searched for an idea that would allow me to provide my family with some "Home Cookin' " and at the same time free up some extra time----time that could be spent SEWING!!! Fortunately, I ran across the idea of making meals ahead of time and freezing them several years back. I bought a sizable chest freezer and a few great cookbooks with freezer compatible recipes and tips. I eventually settled on the idea of cooking one to 2 weeks in advance (planning a month ahead was just a little too much work for me).

I have to admit that this method really has revolutionized how I prepare meals for my family. Now I don't stress out as much about what we're going to eat. I also discovered that it has saved me a good bit of money as well. Planning my meals and making them ahead of time have helped prevent buying last minute take-out that wasn't factored into our budget! And it has indeed freed up extra sewing time for me which is definitely a plus. Now I can usually come home, spend time with my family, and then hide out in my sewing room for a few hours:)


Here are a few of the books I use and recommend. The recipes in these are amazing and I usually will always make a double batch of anything I cook. I'll make some to eat for the night and some to freeze for next time. You can go to Amazon.com to check get a sneak peak into a few of things and check out the recipes for yourself:





 
What meal preparation tips do you have to share???

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Which came first: The Pattern or The Fabric???

This is kind of a silly question to ponder when it comes to sewing. It's like the the age old question "Which came first, the Chicken or the Egg"?
You arrive at a great end result but ponder at where it all began. No philosophical answers are needed since I'm only being facetious (smile). Well over the years I've noticed a pattern at which I usually arrive at a sewn garment. Majority of the time I manage to find the fabric first and then end up finding the pattern. Finding fabric for me is more of an instinctive sort of thing. I always usually trust my instincts and I have to admit they're pretty good and at times a little daring. This may make it a little difficult sometimes to find an appropriate pattern. But I usually do in the end and the result is usually a great finished garment. I don't know what it is really, but fabric really inspires me and get my creative juices to flowing.

For example I picked this fabric up the other day and just fell in love with it. It's actually the fabric for my Easter dress and the sash for my daughter's dress (we have to match a little).
It's spectacular and has somewhat of a shantung weave (sorry the pic is a little blurry). The colors are so rich and bold. I love it, I love it, I love it!!! I have a few ideas for patterns and am narrowing it down, hoping to have a solid pick by weeks end.


So tell me, what's your method of ending up with a beautifully sewn garment. Do you usually find the fabric first or do you like to find the pattern and then shop for fabric????

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Furlough Day Ends Sewing Withdrawal!!!!

You know you've got a busy work week when it takes a furlough day to help give you some sewing time. Such has been the case with me. I mean I haven't sewn one stitch since Sunday--NOT ONE!!!  Do you know how DIFFICULT that's been for me. There are no words. I feel like a "Sewing Junkie" going through withdrawal symptoms. Ok, so it's not that serious but when you're stressed it sorta feels like it sometime, huh? But thank goodness for my furlough day!!!  Tomorrow I'm going to sew like there's no tomorrow (wink)!!!!

But all my excessive work has been for a good reason. My research group is going to ALASKA--yah!!!!! I work at an Oceanographic institute and I specifically work with a scientist who studies bacteria in the marine environment. Well we're headed to the Arctic circle (you know where the North pole is)
to check out the bacteria there and see what they're doing up there. We'll be going off and on for the next 2 years. This year I'll be going in a couple of weeks or in August--we haven't decided just yet.  I'll spare you the details but I've been swamped with packing supplies and cold weather gear----because it's a "cool" -30F there--and yes I said "negative 30 degrees F" there right now. But there's one major question I have yet to answer, "Is there a fabric store in Barrows, Alaska"?


Well I've desperately missed sewing and posting as frequently and I need to make up for lost time. Because you know I've got some 10,000 hour challenge goals to fulfill for the month. So with a few days left in this week,  I thought this would be a great time to revisit a beloved pattern I made for the first time in January. Remember this look.....
Vogue 8593
Well I'm feeling a little daring--maybe because of my serious withdrawal but what do you think about it in this....hmmmmmm. I'm loving it!
Gotta get to work on this one to have it ready by church on Sunday.  Hopefully all that pent up sewing frustration from the last few days will work to my advantage and I'll be able to churn this one out quickly.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Butterick 5225

   I picked this dress because I wanted to knock out two projects in one week and I knew it would be a great "tag-along" project, that is until my work week became super busy and zapped all of my extra sewing time. I honestly had high hopes for this dress.
 (Here's the pattern)
A simple silhouette combined with a beautiful paisley print would result in a great daytime look, right? Well if only it were that simple. The dress turned out perfectly fine (as you can see on the dressform)  but just not for me .
 
 (And the dress, nice huh, but........)


 It just so happens that I'm a  bit curvier then my dressform which made this dress a "No-Go".  In addition to this I honestly believe my fabric was too light for this design which made it difficult to maintain it's shape. I'm not really accustomed to wearing such loose-fitting clothes and it's usually not very flattering on me anyway. Now usually I'm not bashful but I'll definitely save myself the embarrassment of letting you see me in this  dress. Just please trust me when I say it didn't work.
 (Me and my dressform--It's a PGM size 10 (I forget the measurements) and I'm a RTW size 8 and in patterns size 12 bodice, 14 waist & hip.)
 That's ok, as my Mom used to say, "You can't cry over spilled milk". So I'll see about giving this to someone who can wear it.  And about my dressform looking way more better in the dress then me, there are no hard feelings. As far as I'm concerned, we'll always be the best of friends!!! LOL!

Ok, let me stop goofing around. Here's the review.......


Pattern Description:
Loose-fitting above mid-knee dress has shoulder straps and below waist casing and drawstring.
Pattern Sizing:
Due to all of the added volume of the dress instead of cutting my usual 12 top 14 waist and hips, I cut the size 10---I didn't want to feel like I was wearing a tent!
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did actually---especially on my dressform. On me it was a whole different story.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
This is a quickie patterns so the instructions were super easy!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The pattern was ok but it turns out that the style wasn't very flattering for me.
Fabric Used:
A polyester fabric with a beautiful paisley print in peach, white, and black
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I omitted the waist casing and drawstring.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Nah, this dress isn't my "cup of tea" so I won't be sewing it again.  The style definitely isn't figure flattering for me.  But I definitely recommend it to others. And I think sewing it in a stiffer, recommended fabric such as light linen and stable knit will help the dress hold it's shape.
Conclusion:
Great pattern if this silhouette looks good on you:)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

DVD Review: Eleven Minutes

Hey this week has been "├╝ber exhausting"---my most exhausting in weeks. Work has been zapping my energy and I've been struggling to keep up with it all. I did manage to quickly sew up my Butterick dress (mentioned in the last post) and just have to hem it so I can post a review. But thank God it's the weekend and I'm feeling more like myself again! The sewing must and sewing related activities must continue (for the sake of my sanity alone)!!!
So it's time to catch up on my posts and catch up with some of my sewing. I don't like being away too long:)


Ok, I watched this DVD about a week or so ago but hadn't got around to reviewing it. I have to admit I enjoyed Eleven Minutes, which detailed the first runway show of the Project Runway First Season Winner, Jay McCarroll.
 
Most of you might remember Jay, and probably a few pieces from his Project Runway collection. Here he is and here's one of his memorable pieces.

Well after his Project Runway debut it appeared that Jay disappeared from the face of the earth. Everyone had such high hopes for him and awaited his collection. It took a few years for him to resurface and he did so in this movie. What I personally liked about this movie is that it detailed the process of bringing a collection to Bryant Park's Fashion Week. From the need to have financial backing (which in his case was the Humane Society), to developing a concept, outsourcing to have fashions created, to picking models, and finally to taking the looks to the runway---this movie captures it all. There's so much work, stress, and drama that goes into a runway show that only takes "eleven minutes" (hence the title of the movie). And on top of all this Jay is definitely a "character". He's sarcastic, funny, unfortunately at times has a "potty mouth" but despite it all he has and "air of brilliance". I loved the theme of his fashion line and how he brought it to life. He has such creativity and imagination. I'm surprised he didn't buckle under all the pressure and stress of his endeavor. As a result of his hard work and perserverance, he was able to sell his line to stores. Check out the movie website here http://www.elevenminutes-jaymccarroll.com/

So if you have the time and interest, while you're sewing up one of your little cute numbers, I recommend you check out this dvd. At the very least I think it gives a raw and edgy perspective into the world of fashion design and production, different then what you've experienced watching reality TV.

I give this movie a B+

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Simplicity 3867

 This is the first garment from my March/April sewing goals posted here.

 

 Pattern Description:
Empire waist tunic
Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Most definitely!
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so---nothing really tricky about them.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the style, the waist tie, and especially the volume of the top
Fabric Used:
A cotton fabric with an array of texture, containing both embroidery and eyelets.

(Here's a closeup of the fabric)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None whatsoever
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! Absolutely! Absolutely!
 (Excuse fabric buckle near top--oops--I sewed the hook and eye in too tight. I hate sewing hooks and eyes--LOL!)

Conclusion:
I really love this top. I definitely have to make this again!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

10,000 Hour Sewing Challenges: March & April 2010 Goals

It took me a week but I was finally able to round up a new set of sewing projects. For some reason it took a little while for the creative juices to flow for me to settle upon some good ideas.  Nevertheless, I'm SUPER EXCITED about my new goals.  Here are the "pool of patterns" I plan to pick from to create my 6-10 garment by the end of April.  They are....
 
(Just have to add the zipper and this top is ready for review)


  
 (This dress is cut out and is next in line to be sewn)


(Here is the "pool of patterns" in which I'll pull some of my remaining projects from unless I get some new ideas or new patterns)


 (I still want to squeeze in a pair of jeans and possibly another pair of these Jalie trousers(I loved my first pair of trousers).)


Here's my pool of fabrics as well.....
 
(Lots of colorful poplin prints for tops and dresses.......)


  
 (Denim and bottom-weight fabrics for capri's and jeans)


 
(2 polyester prints that I can't wait to sew with.)


In addition to these above sewing projects I have to sew Easter dresses for my daughter, Goddaughter, and myself. I haven't even decided on patterns yet but I'm working on it asap.

The next 2 months are going to be a super busy month and I'm going to cram as many sewing project that I can into them. I wasn't super satisfied with my progress from January & February's sewing challenge so I feel I've got to push my limits just a bit. Thanks in advance for following along with me and keep your fingers crossed for me!!!








Thursday, March 4, 2010

New Simplicity / McCall Summer patterns & Past Due Butterick patterns

Although the Butterick Spring patterns made their debut a few weeks ago, I've been waiting for them to go on sale so I can pick them up from JoAnn's or Hancock. So they're currently on sale at Joann's and I plan to pick them up on tomorrow. Well I just found out that Simplicity and McCall's just released their early Summer patterns. Wow, this is getting crazy and I have so many patterns to pick up now. Gotta love those $.99 & $1.99 sales.

There are way too many patterns that I want but I'm just too lazy to post. I'll post them after I actually purchase them (I don't want to jinx myself---LOL). But here are just a few of the looks from each company that I'm really feeling!

Simplicity--- Early Summer
 (I don't even have to explain this one--it's so cute!  I feel like squealing with delight when I see this pattern!)



(I'm feeling brave enough to wear a jumpsuit so I'd like to take a stab at making this one. It looks so comfortable, especially in a knit!)


McCall's Early Summer patterns--- I'm not so crazy with new patterns but I was able to found a few I liked---here are two of those.
M6072
 
 (Love the crop dress with the leggings. Something tells me leggings will be a big part of my Summer!)

M6078
 
(I like the back on the far right top!)


Butterick Spring Patterns---once again I'm too not crazy with the new line but I was able to sift through and find some that I liked.
B 5450

(All 3 of these looks are perfect for me. I'm loving the short and long tunics. I can just imagine them in beautifully printed poplin fabrics!)

B5469
(I'm liking the brown jacket view--- a cute, short sleeved jacket, with neat pockets!)

These are just a few of the patterns I have on the radar. I'm still in the middle of planning my March/April Challenge wardrobe. Not to worry, I've already got started on the challenge and am currently working on a cute yellow top. By the week's end I'll have a better idea of the 8 or so items I want to sew and will post them.

Monday, March 1, 2010

DVD Review: The September Issue

 I have to admit this is a pretty interesting DVD. I didn't know anything about this DVD until I saw it in a Redbox and thought it would be pretty cool to check out.

I think we all know about  Vogue the magazine but in this documentary you get the in-depth look into how one of these magazines are created, specifically the September issue (hence the title). Unfortunately I don't know the year of the particular September issue being highlighted but here it is below with Sienna Miller on the cover. It's actually the biggest Vogue published to date having 840 pages. I never saw the issue but I that's alot of magazine pages for one month.  Heck, Sienna Millers spread was roughly 22 pages.

 It's funny before watching this film I only heard of Anna Wintour. I never realized she was the Editor of Vogue.  It's funny how she's depicted in this film and is probably that way in real life. There are surely some cult followers of fashion who view Anna Wintour as some sorta Demi-god. As much as I admire her hard work, I don't view fashion as seriously as some of these people and fashion really isn't my life.  However, during this film I spent most of my time admiring Anna Wintour's personal wardrobe choices. I guess it would be crazy if the Editor of Vogue didn't look fabulous, huh?

After watching this documentary one thing is for sure, I'll never go past another Vogue magazine without flipping through it's pages and analyzing it's cover details. It's amazing how much work goes into it.  You have to respect that of course. If you want a sneak peak into the world of the Vogue magazine I recommend you check out this DVD. BTW, Netflix will be making this DVD an instant movie soon so all you Netflix users will be able to stream the movie online.

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