Monday, November 29, 2010

The Final 1st Blogoversary Giveaway---The BIG ONE!!!!

I'm pretty rested up from my holiday and I thank you guys for your patience. Yesterday marked my 1 Year Blogoversary! Yipee! To commemorate such a great year with you Guys, I've hosted a Giveaway for the last 7 days (with the exception of yesterday). So there's been 6 GREAT giveaways with the only condition being to answer a question to enter the drawing for the prize (if you haven't seen the other giveaways, be sure to revisit the last 7 posts to see them).  Since this is the last Giveaway I thought it would be only fitting to end my celebration with a BANG! So this is it......The final Giveaway prize is.....
Originally I was going to split up these 2 DVD-ROM's in 2 separate giveaway's but that just didn't seem right. I wouldn't want to win one without the other. These are 2 great DVD-Rom's I purchased not too long ago. I'm giving these away because I recently was able to get another "related" item off of my Christmas list (you may recall this post a couple of weeks ago)and wouldn't need these anymore (I'll divulge more about that later). Anywho, I'd love for these to go to a great little home where they'll get lots of use! They are spectacular and I don't have to sing the praises of Thread's compilation DVD-ROM's. The material is exceptional and oh, sooooo useful. It's definitely a resource I think everyone should have in their reference library.

Ok, now on to the's kind of a funny one....

I think we sewers sometimes talk a big game about how obsessed we are with sewing. We talk about all of the fabric we buy and collect, sales we shop, etc, etc but sometimes all of that seems a little blaze--- you know like obsession 101. But I think we're hiding the truth and masking it over with generalities. I know alot of you have that "Fatal Attraction" type of obsession with sewing. You've done some crazy things for your craft but you haven't really gone into detail about it. Beyond doing some crazy things you've probably had even crazier thoughts in regard to your obsession. I don't have a problem about being honest, I know I'm incredibly obsessed about sewing and I have the evidence to prove it. As they say confession is good for the soul so here goes.....

The signs of my sewing obsession are....

-I cringe when I get a library fine. Hey that's money I could be spending on fabric. Come to think of it, if I have to pay a little extra on anything that thought crosses my mind.
-I sometimes juggle my work schedule around  fabric/pattern sales at Jo-Ann's. Hey, you know those new   patterns always go FAST!!!
- Speaking of Jo-Ann's I'm on a first name basis with most of the employees. Well they're really nice people, I go there ALOT and knowing them means sometimes I can get a few perks (they pull and hold patterns for me when I'm at work and can't make it to the store).
- If I'm scared that I may miss the opportunity to get a pattern, I sometimes will buy it at regular price wait    until it goes on sale for $0.99 and return it.
-When we travel, I have to know every fabric store within a 20 mile radius. We usually visit most of the one's I find.
-My daughter and I spend a good time "together" in my sewing room. Hey you can practice the alphabets with your 3 y.o. while sewing a jacket at the same time! It's called multi-tasking! LOL!
-Yes, I catch the Black Friday sales at Jo-Ann's fabric's. This is the first year I didn't "stand in line" at Jo-Ann's and made a later arrival. Still got some good deals though:)
-It's getting so easy for my husband to give me gifts now. If he asks, I tell him money for fabric! Of course sometimes I want other things and can use that money for it if I like, but usually fabric's on the brain. LOL!
-My idea of a great free day is staying at home and sewing.
-When I order fabric online and I get that dreaded email stating they ran out of it, I go into a "short period of mourning". I may sulk for an hour. Hey it's tough to lose great fabric! LOL!

Ok, so some of my obsessions seem a bit ordinary,  but for me this is living on the edge (I'm a bit of a prude)! LOL! So I turn the question to you. You have to divulge. Now let me warn you that if you've done something as crazy as boosting a Hancock Fabrics truck and stealing all of the fabric on it, please don't share (I don't want to be an accessory to the crime).LOL! But if you've done something obsessive but Legal please do share! LOL!

So my Final question, for the 2 Thread's DVD-ROM's giveaway is.....

What are the "tell-tell" signs of your Sewing Obsession!!!! You know the crazy (yet legal) stuff you've done that you'd feel crazy sharing with anyone other than a fellow obsessed sewer!

Please do tell.....

BTW, don't forget to enter the giveway's of your choosing (see the last 7 posts). Tomorrow's the last day to enter.  I'll announce the winners on December 1st!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Late Arrival......

***Note: This IS NOT the final Giveaway post but only an update. Please enter that giveaway on tomorrow (Monday) when the question is posted.

Happy Blogoversary to me............yawn! Forgive me, I spent most of the day in the car traveling back from my In-Laws home in Florida.  I made sure we left so we could get back in time for me to blog but I underestimated the amount of other travelers that would be returning from their holiday. Fortunately we were able to take an alternate route but we still experienced some delays. We just made it back and I'm just beat. I wanted to post but just can't manage it tonight. I'll pick up with things on tomorrow. I'll post the 3 pictures of fabric from the last post and do my final giveaway post. I'm excited about the final giveaway post because I'm giving away these 2 DVD-ROM's! How exciting right! Well please check back in tomorrow! Night-night!

Reminder, This IS NOT the FINAL giveaway post it's just an update. It will be the next post and will have the FINAL contain the final question. Please enter that giveaway on tomorrow (Monday)! Thanks:)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away---#6 of 7

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

We're almost at the finished line. Just one more Giveaway to go! So here's the SIXTH Give-Away Prize:


 Now you'll have to trust me on this one. Pic's are to follow. I'm out of town and am traveling back home on tomorrow and will upload pictures of  the fabric tomorrow night when I arrive home. I will post pictures of 3 different fabrics and the winner of this giveaway will be able to select one of the 3 fabrics. I really do appreciate your patience:)

UPDATE: Here's the fabric....
 Left: 2 1/4"yd, 60" wide Lycra blend knit
Middle: 3yd, 60" polyester fabric

Right: 2 2/3yd, 60" Polyester knit

The winner gets to pick one of the above fabrics.

Now on to the question.....

It's funny, I find the more that I sew the more anal I become about my sewing. I've blogged about this before, so I won't go into that but I'm sure you can identify with me---well, maybe. I don't know what it is, but the more I sew the more "perfect and professional" I feel my work has to be.  The stuff I used to get away with when I was a newbie sewer is no longer tolerable. You know the things that made the inside of your work totally unattractive. Now, I actually strive for professional results as much as possible when back in the day my aim was just to finish the garment and have it fit. In particular, I'm really anal about the way I sew in zippers. I have to pin them in and check the positioning. I'll then baste one side of the zipper and check the position again, ensuring that the waist seam (if there is one lines up perfectly). Once everything's ok then I'll stitch one side of the zipper in and move onto basting the other, check the fit before finally stitching the last side. I love my zippers to be flawless, and although that isn't always the case it is nearly most of the time. I'm beginning to get really anal about sewing in sleeves now, almost to the point where I get a little anxious about doing so. I'm almost to the point of hand basting all of my sleeves in to control easing in the sleeve better. It shouldn't come to this I know, but I can't help it. I guess striving to be a good seamstress can make you a bit nutty at times! LOL!

My question for you is.....

When it comes to your sewing what you anal about? What do you feel you have to "sew to perfection"?

Answer to be entered in the giveaway!

Friday, November 26, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away---#5 of 7

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

So here's the FIFTH Give-Away Prize:
(This is a great little book with some interesting clothing ideas. It's a neat book to have around to help get the crafting juices flowing. So additional pics from the book are below....)

Sewing allows us to use our imaginations and creative juices to unfold. To some extent, sewing can allow you to enter a fantasy world and bring our fantastical ideas to life. Fantasies can inspire us, compel us, and motivate us. Every once in a while I like to fantasize about my future in sewing. I hope and pray that I'll have just as much desire to sew, maybe ten times more than I do now. I hope that my skill level is exceptional and that I will keep challenging myself all the while learning and growing. I also have some other fantasies that I rarely tell anyone about. I usually refrain from it, for fear of looking silly, because I interact with people who aren't as passionate about sewing as I am. So since I know you guys are, hey why not--- I'll share my fantasies with you.
As far as my sewing fantasies go, I would love to ultimately have my own Sewing and Alteration shop. I'd love to have a nice piece of land to have my shop on or maybe some commercial property. I currently have my tailoring/alteration business and work out of my sewing studio. But it would be great to provide my services on a larger scale and to have a few employees to do the alterations. The highlight of my shop would be the custom tailoring department. If I pick up the designing bug I'd love to sale a few of my designs and custom make clothing for a small group of clientele.  I also would love to have 1 or 2 high profile clients in which I would make clothes on a regular basis. One of the clients will be on the East coast and the other on the West Coast and I get to jet set back and forth to work with them (at their expense of course).  I fantasize that during that time I will be extremely good at draping and pattern drafting that I will be able to make most anything I can think of.  Maybe I might be able to offer a few of my designs for the Oscar's. Who knows? This is just one of my fantasies. I would also love to teach Women how to sew and tour the country doing so. I 'd also love to write a book on Sewing---especially since I'm such a book worm myself. Then once I make some money, use it to help provide sewing machines and fabric to help women in needy countries. I know I have a whirlwind of fantasies. Maybe some of it seems far fetched but who knows. A girl can fantasize can't she........

So you know where I'm going with this. I've divulged mine---now's your turn.

What's your Sewing Fantasy?

Remember your answer qualifies you for this giveaway. I can't wait to read your answers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away---#4 of 7

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you're enjoying your holiday:)

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

So here's the FOURTH Give-Away Prize:

 (I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you that this is one of the best books in the Singer Sewing Library. It's such a thorough book on fit.....
 (The illustrations are great and I love that you can see the fitting issue in real life and see how to correct for it on the tissue paper.)
 (I also love that the book outlines the steps to insure a proper fit of a garment. You start with the tissue fitting, tissue manipulations, cutting and sewing up the garment, and finally on to fine tuning the finished piece. Before I really learned how to fit, I didn't know how to follow the correct steps. Now that I'm more experienced, I know how to choose the correct steps in completing a garment. Less complicated garments don't require for me to follow all of the steps, while more tailored and fitted garments sometimes do. This book helped tremendously. I have to admit that it's a lot to take in for the newbie, but if you stare at it long enough and sleep with it under your pillow, it will begin to sink in----ask me how I know! LOL!)

I was actually happy to get my hands on this book some several years ago when I was first learning how to sew. So always had a copy of this in my library. In early 2007,  I saw  the entire Singer Sewing Library containing 30 books (I later found out that the set was missing a couple of book so it wasn't exactly the complete set--but hey it was close enough) up for auction on Ebay. Hey, I already liked the Perfect Fit book and just knew the entire library would be so helpful to me as a new sewer (at that time I had been sewing for some 3 years or so). At that time I just so happened to be expecting my "Wee-One" and was maybe a couple of months into my pregnancy. Anyhow, I spotted this set of 30 books up for auction on Ebay. I knew I just had to have it. So I stalked--- I mean followed the auction for the next 5 or so days until it ended. Man I think that was the longest 5 days of my life. All of that waiting, hoping, wishing and praying.  It just so happened that it ended on Sunday at 2pm. It just so happened to be at church and I knew I didn't have time to run home and bid so I decided to bunker down at church and try and win the sewing library. Well I don't need to tell you how anxious I was by that time. Let's just say I was so anxious that I'm sure my anxiousness was causing my "Little Wee One" to have a fit herself. My strategy on bidding was to try and hold off on doing so until the last few minutes and then sneak in a bid that would hopefully trump the rest of them---something I call Phantom bidding. At the time maybe 3 or so people were bidding back and forth but hadn't driven the price up all that much. So as I planned, I slipped my bid in at the final minute or so and held my breathe and squinted my eyes. I noticed another bidder tried to outbid me but it turns out they didn't bid high enough and as the clock went from 3 seconds, to 2 seconds, down to 1. I opened my eyes to see that I Won the Auction. What a victory and oh what relief.  I can't remember exactly but I think I ended up paying $110 or so. Let's just say when I did the math I ended up paying a little over $3.50 a book. WOW, that was a TOTAL steal!  I've had a ton of sewing deals stemming from fabric, to 50% off sewing machines, etc. The list goes on. But I have to admit that this was my best sewing deal to date. Especially given how rare these books are and how difficult it is to get a complete set. I think I read that Caroline and KnitMachineQueen have a set. But not many people. Although the books are technically out of date and the are screaming with the 80's influence, the information in the book is so invaluable. I've used the Sewing with Activewear & Sewing with Knits book to help me sew my swimsuits. And I love the Sewing with Pants book that aided me in sewing my first pair of pants. So I'll forever be thankful for my "Best Sewing Deal".

So my question for you is.....

What has "hands down" been your BEST sewing deal?

Leave your answer to be included in the Book giveaway:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away---#3 of 7

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

So here's the THIRD Give-Away Prize:

 (Although Clair Shaeffer has a thicker and more comprehensive version to this book, this is still a great little handy guide to give you info on sewing some of the most common fabrics).
(Well, what do you know---I opened the book and it fell right onto my favorite fabric---KNIT Jersey! LOL!)

So since last night's question was a pretty loaded one we'll keep this one a little simple. You probaly know where I'm going with this. Well I already mentioned my favorite fabric (and you avid followers of this blog already knew that answer as well) -----knits-----in particular printed matte jersey knits. And I love to sew nearly everything with them---dresses and tops in particular. In the summer time a jersey maxi dress is the most comfortable thing to wear. I just love them!

So the question of the day is.....

What's your FAVORITE fabric to sew and what do you like to make most with it?

An answer to this question will enter you into the drawing for this book:)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away---#2 of 7

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

So here's the SECOND Give-Away Prize:

 (Although this book is an "Oldie" don't estimate it. It definitely contains some great techniques on how to fit a variety of figure types. I've always been impressed with older sewing books. They seem to be more thorough than alot of the newer books. I guess that makes sense, especially since people made most of their own clothes back then and heavily depended upon these reference books).

 (I love the fact that this book not only has a diagram of the fitting issue, but also shows how to make corrections on the pattern or muslin).

  (Some more tips on fitting.)

I've mentioned it in several posts before but I remember clearly when I got the epiphany on the importance of not only being able to sew a garment well but also being able to make it fit. I was knew at sewing and had gotten pretty comfortable with the sewing process but was always disapointed when my garments didn't fit quite right. It was then that I began realizing (like we all know) that I would have to transform a pattern with standard body measurements to  reflect the measurements of my own.  I'm telling you once I got that revelation, I embarked on a journey to learn how to fit and have been on that journey ever since.

Learning to sew to fit one's body is a great achievement. Man if there's anything it forces you to do, it is to take a close look at the body you have and how fascinating and unique it really is. Hey I didn't really know I had narrow shoulders, long legs, a short torso and high derriere until I had to sew clothes for myself. I mean I knew I had these characteristics but spent most of my time being frustrated that RTW clothes just didn't fit me right. I swear, RTW clothes can often times make you feel that something is wrong with your body! LOL! Now that I can make my own clothes and know how to fit garments correctly to my figure, I'm no longer frustrated about the great characteristics that make me ME. Learning how to sew clothes that fit my body did not come easy---it's tough when you're learning anything for the first time. But I read everything I could get my hands on on the subject and it paid off. Of course I'll forever be learning and perfecting my craft for years to come. And as they say, the more you do it, the better you get at it! This "Fit Journey" has both challenged and heightened my sewing skills. I'm glad I decided to take the journey....

So my question for you is.....

What has your "Fit Journey" been like? Do you feel you know your body well enough to make clothes that fit it or are you still learning? What are your challenges? Do tell......

Monday, November 22, 2010

1st Blogoversary Give-Away------ #1 of 7

In case you didn't see my Original Post I'm hosting a Give-Away for everyday this week (7 total) in celebration of my 1st Blogoversary on November 28th. Please visit the original post to see all of the dates/ details about  the Give-Away's)

The only requirement is for you to 1. Be a Follower of my Blog and 2. Answer the Question posed in this blog entry.

Don't forget to spread the Word!

So here's the FIRST Give-Away Prize:

(This book is great and is filled with 20 DIY projects. It even includes a CD which contains all of the pattern pieces necessary for the projects. You can customize each pattern by adding your personal measurements and then print them out.
(some of the cute projects you can make)

A great book. I hope you win it:)...Now on to the question.....

The title of this book pretty much sums up what most of us are all about. There is so much sheer joy and complete satisfaction that comes with not only being able to make your own garments but also being able to proclaim that fact to those strangers, friends, and family who all stop you to ask you about them. I live to make my own clothes--I just love the idea and practicality of it. I'm always trying to push myself to new limits and try my hand at sewing things outside of my comfort zone. However, there are some things that I refuse ---and I mean vehemently refuse to sew. For me that would be undergarments. Now I know some of you may have gasped but yes, oh yes it's true. I have no desire whatsoever to sew my own bra, panties, etc. (well boy shorts and cami's are the exceptions). For me I think it's more so of a handling issue. I don't want to handle underwire (unless it's in a corset) and don't even get me started on those tiny pieces of elastic. Just the thought of trying to sew a thong would make my toes curl (I mean really, how do you handle something so small and elasticized)! That's just crazy coming from someone who loves knits, huh?  LOL! Seriously, you couldn't pay me to do it! LOL! Ok, maybe I'm going overboard but it's true. Now I ENJOY when you Guys do it (K-Line I always love yours) but for me, it's just something I'd rather not take the time and sew. So to you I pose the question......

What Item(s) Do You REFUSE to Sew and Why?

Leave your answers below to be entered in the Give-Away for this book. I can't wait to read your answers!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blogoversary--- MASSIVE GIVE-AWAY begins tomorrow!!!!

In 7 days I'll be celebrating my 1 YEAR Blogoversary. To celebrate my blogoversary I'll be having a Give-A-Way 7 days---that's right I'll be having 7 Give-A-Way's---- in a row beginning on tomorrow evening and ending on my Anniversary day which is November 28th. But due to the holidays, I'll leave all of the Give-A-Way's open until the end of the month and will announce all of the winner's on December 1st.

It's been a Wonderful year and I'm so thankful to for all of the experience Before I proceed with the details of the Give-A-Way's please allow me a moment to be sentimental......

I can't believe I'm 7 days away from my 1st Blogoversary. Ohhhh, I'm so excited. Who knew I'd even venture out to create a blog let alone make it through 1 year. During this time of year I love to reflect on those things I'm thankful for---actually I try to do that all year, but especially as the year's ends. It's been a WONDERFUL year and you Guys are part of the reason that's been the case. I've learned alot by pushing myself and embarking on some new territories. I had a few first's--my first pair of pants and my first bathing suit. I've had alot of great garments and alot of not-so-great garments (I'll review my garments at year's end). All in all it's been one heck of a ride.  And I can't even say how valuable your comments and advice have been! In any case, you are only good as your support, and I've felt the love from all of your comments, critique's, and advice. And on top of that I've had the pleasure following you on your sewing adventures. You guys have been great and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ok, I'm done being mushy, back to the details about the Give-A-Way's.....

The first Year's the BIG year, so why not make theses Give-Away's memorable. Here's some of the items I plan to Give-A-Way......and yes, there are 2  Best of Threads DVD-ROM's up for grabs!!!!

  I plan to throw a couple of more goodies (a little fabric) into the pile as well and they'll be unveiled throughout the week.

Now I know what you're thinking. What's the catch? At least that would be what I'd be thinking (I'm overly suspicious when things seem too good to be true). There's no catch. Just 2 CONDITIONS:

Condition #1: To qualify for the Give-A-Way's you have to Follow my Blog or either add me to your Blog Roll (hey, how else am I going to track you down if you're the winner:)

Condition #2: Every Give-A-Way will be accompanied by a question. Answer the question and you're entered into the Give-A-Way automatically! You know I love posing questions and getting your feedback. The questions will be pretty fun:)

So it's that simple,-----be a Follower and answer the Give-A-Way question and you qualify for the prize. You can enter one or all of the Give-A-Way's. But you can only win one.

Please spread the WORD to Others!!!!!  If you have a Blog and wouldn't mind posting a link to my Give-Away I would appreciate it. I know people love a good Give-Away.

To recap: The 7 Give-Away's  will begin tomorrow and will occur each day until November 28th with the contests winners being announced on December 1st.  Everyone has until the end of the month to enter.
Winners will be chosen randomly. And prizes will be mailed (by way of media mail) the very next day.

Again, thanks for everything:) BTW, my corduroy jacket is coming along quite well. I was off to a slow start but got my act together and should be done soon. I'll save those blogging details for after the contest is over.

All the Best,

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Suffering from L.W.W.E!

Lack of Winter Wardrobe Essentials........

I didn't realize that I lacked the winter wardrobe essentials until I finished my last project. It was my lack of styling with the Snakes Skin dress that made me feel that the look was missing something. I would have much had some long black boots to go along with the outfit in addition to a few other accessories. It's amazing how much styling affects your total look. I know this but this situation just drove the point home. My frustration with my last project just show's I need to up my styling game.
Well I'm ready to update and outfit my Winter Wardrobe with the essentials. I'm tired of dreading cold weather because I don't have the cute clothes / accessories to make it through the winter. Don't think I've been lazy in outfitting my wardrobe---well maybe just a little bit. The weather here in Savannah is just so confusing. The mostly subtropical climate actually discourages you from facing the realities of cold weather. Heck, it's mid November and we've been having afternoon temperatures in the upper 70F's. With so few months of cold weather, one often doesn't want to compile a huge winter wardrobe. Hopefully you can see my dilemma. Nevertheless, I don't want to have the wardrobe stresses I've been having with the turn of the season and besides I want to up my style game this go around.

 I like to sew and buy unique items that make my my wardrobe pop but I'm NOT big on trends. I'm sure by now that you know I like to sew alot of things that have unique colors and patterns---especially with my knits. So to really round out my winter wardrobe I know that I will need to update my closet with the basic pieces as well as some accesories I'm lacking. I used to have a lot to these items but you know in time you lose things or they wear out. Mind you I have most of my essential items for the Spring and Summer but just not for winter. I ran across this great website of Wardrobe Essentials and I was able to compile a list of the things I plan to purchase and the things I plan to sew.  Some of the items I need are....

Items I Plan to Buy
- Small Brown Belt
- Large Brown & Black Belt
- Skinny Belts (Black & Brown)
- Black shoes (Casual)

- Black Knee High Boots
- Fashionable scarves

Items I need to Sew
- Basic White Shirt- Long sleeve
-Black Cardigan
-Trench Coat
-Black Skirt
-Casual Pants (corduroy's, etc)
-Casual long sleeve tops (v-neck, turtle necks)
-Corduroy skirts
-Brown Corduroy jacket (currently in the works!)

So I'm excited that I'll be able to update my Winter Wardrobe and  that I have a different direction to take my sewing in as well. For the next couple of months I'll be tackling these projects. 

So how about you? Are you completely satisfied with your Winter Wardrobe? Do you have the Essentials? Lack the Essentials?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Butterick 5546--- Snakeskin Dress

I wanted a quickie project to complete in the midst of working on my corduroy jacket (detailed in the last 2 posts). So it turns out this dress sufficed. I'm still on the fence about the results of this dress. I think it turned out nice but it didn't have the WOW factored that I had hoped. As great as the fabric is (snakeskin print) I don't think it's that obvious from a distance. Either way it's a cute wrap dress and a great quickie project. Here are the details........

Butterick 5546

Pattern Description:
Close-fitting dresses A, B have wrap fronts, front tucks, front and back pleats, self-ties, A-line skirt and sleeve variations. Three-quarter length sleeves, length is 2" above mid-knee

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?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty much! There was only one page of instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the design features of the pattern. I needed a really simple pattern to show off some sexy knit fabric I recently bought. The only thing that make me feel a little uneasy were the pleats in the skirt. I was a little nervous they would make me look somewhat boxy. I'm tall but shortwaisted, so it doesn't take too much to achieve that affect. I ended up having to adjust those which I will detail below.
(I didn't notice the dark strip on my backside until now. I guess that was the variation in the snakeskin print. Funny how I manage to cut it in the same place for bodice and skirt.

Fabric Used:
I used a knit composed of rayon, polyester, and lycra. It feels just heavenly and feels so soft (thanks to the rayon) yet it can retain it's shape and is wrinkle resistant (thanks lycra & polyester).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I surprisingly didn't make too many changes.
1. I definitely added clear elastic to the entire neckline, running it from the low bodice around the neck and down to the other bodice side. The knit I had wasn't too stable and being that the dress was already low cut, I couldn't afford having any "malfunctions" in that area.....if you get me drift.

2. I also used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams.

3. I ended up taking out part of the pleats in the front and back. It turns out that my uneasiness about the pleats was warranted. I sewed the dress as instructed which includes creating the pleat and sewing down two parts of the pleat which is visible on the front side of the garment. After trying on the dress I realized the sewn down sections made the dress look boxy on me. So I picked out the sewn down pleats in the front and back, of course leaving the pleats in the seamline. So this, in my opinion changed the look of the dress and made it more flattering on me.

4. I should have lengthened the dress some more but ran out of fabric. I was able to tack on an extra 1/2" which made it touch the base of my knee---which was ok (an extra inch or so would have been better). I sewed a narrow hem to preserve some of the length. If you're pretty tall this dress will be somewhat short on you. I wore it to church today and was able to style it with tights and Mary Janes so I was able to get away with the shorter length.

(Of course someone had to jump into the picture!)
5. I took off the 5'8" seam allowance off of the back bodice piece and instead cut it on the fold.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes! Again it's a great little staple pattern!
Great dress! Easy to sew and very flattering.

Ok there you have it! The interruption is over.....time to get back to work on the corduroy jacket.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Little Sidetracked / New McCall Patterns

I've  done all of the mental planning and alot of the prep work needed to complete my corduroy jacket (mentioned in my last post). I'm really excited about it. I've  had to make decisions on what type of tailoring I wanted to do. And although I think I may work mainly with fusibles, I may try to throw some traditional tailoring techniques in the mix as well. I mentioned that I was going to take my time on this project and hope it will be done by the end of next week. seems that I've gotten sidetracked a little bit. Not to worry, it's only for 2 days, I'll be back to work on my corduroy jacket on Sunday evening. It just so happens that I ran across this Butterick 5546 pattern and just KNEW it would work PERFECTLY with fabric I bought a month or so ago. I'm telling you as soon as I saw that pattern it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
(Here's the snakeskin print fabric I plan to use with the dress on the right. It's a Rayon/Poly/lycra blend from I'm currently sewing the pattern on the right)

(Here's the upclose pic of the dress (sans the flash). I'm making the one on the right)

The interesting thing is the pattern is so simple (not a complex design at all), but it's completely perfect for snakeskin print fabric which is, in and of itself, quite dramatic. Anywho, I cut it out tonight and have gotten 75% done, all I have to do is sew on the sleeves and the skirt portion and do the finishing touches. It's so easy it could be done in a couple of hours but I'm so meticulously slow! LOL! Let's just hope it turns out as well as it does in my mind. It should be ready by Sunday.

On a side note, I've been doing the James Brown shuffle in celebration of the new McCall patterns I picked up on yesterday. Like you, I've been drooling over pattern 6243, so I'm delighted to have it in my possession. Here are all of the patterns that were to my liking.......
I can't say that I'm feeling that whole "return of the 80's vibe" style that's apparent in the current season's patterns, but some of the patterns are cute. Honestly, I'll have to pass on the big puffy sleeves excessively baggy shirts.

I also picked up this old Vogue pattern that I've been smitten with for some time now. I can't remember what season it's from but I LOVE it!  The top is ridiculously cute. I love the exaggerated sleeves and the bow! It's perfect paired with wide leg capris.It's so feminine and flirty! Spring can't get here fast enough. It will probably be the first thing I make!

Well I've got to hit the bed so I can get up at the crack of dawn for a quick grocery shopping trip. I've got to get my chores done so I can settle back to sewing. Happy sewing to ya.......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sept/Oct. 10,000HR Sewing Challenge Wrap Up and November/December Goals

I'm almost to the finish line with my Sewing Challenge for this year.

Whew.....I can't believe how quickly this year is going by. I started sewing this month forgetting that I had to begin NEW challenge goals. I remember the month of September but it's almost like I blinked and October was gone. Nevertheless, I've got to keep on keeping on. I've got to log sewing & sewing related activity hours so I can meet my 1000 hours for the year. It seems up to date that I'm 182 hours away from doing so (my hours are listed on the right side of my blog) which means I need to log at least 91 hours each month. Hmmmmm......I wonder can I do it? I'm so close to the finish line. Well I've gotten too close not to achieve my goal so it's time to stay indoors and sew nonstop! Fortunately I get over a week off for my Christmas break so I really plan to sew like made. I'm beginning to drool thinking about all of that sewing---let's get back to my sewing achievement for the last 2 months.

Let's recap my sewing for Sept/October:

-Simplicity 3877 for a Client
-Burda Anniversary top
-Simplicity 3867 cute top the 3rd time around
-New Look 6729
-Vogue 1194 Donna Karan Special
-Another set of Nursing Nest Pillow Cover (Boppy Knock-Off's) for my nephews

So I sewed up a few items, not as many as I like (I aim for 6-8 garments), but I'll definitely make up for it during the last 2 months of the year. Overall I loved everything I sewed and was fortunate not to have any wadders this time around.

As for my November/December goals, I'm taking a slightly different approach. I plan to probably finish up a few items that I didn't complete from the Sept/Oct challenge in addition to a few "suprise items".Although the last 2 dresses I made were cute and all, I feel the need to do something more challenging. So I'm embarking on making a corduroy jacket. I feel like doing some handsewing, lots of pressing, and much tailoring. Here's my pattern and fabric choices....
(Here's the 21 wale corduroy and the polyester lining I plan to use)

(Here's the pattern. I want to make view B with the double buttons and straight sleeve)

I'm gathering all of my supplies and preshrinking everything. I've spent the last few days doing my usual research on the project. I love to do background reading on a project so I can make better decisions on how to construct it. I've been checking out these 2 books and dvd. I like most of you LOVE the Tailoring book (which I discovered is a repackaged version of the Tailoring book from the Singer Sewing Library). It covers EVERYTHING and the 4 different ways you can make a jacket. I love having options.
 (Some of the Resources I've been studying)

 Believe it or not, I've never sewn a jacket for myself before. I've assisted one of my sewing students with constructing her jacket which came out rather well. However, I want my first jacket to be constructed very well so I'm exploring all of the possible construction options. The pattern instructions seem fine but I may deviate from them just a little. I should start on my muslin tonight. I don't plan on being done with it  by this week so I may slip in a simpler project to make up for that. However, I hope to be done sometime next week and have a cute jacket to show for.

Lastly, at the end of this month I'll be celebration my 1 YEAR BLOGOVERSARY! Yayyyyyyyy! I can't believe it's almost been a year since I took the plunge and started a blog. For me that was a sorta scary step but I'm so glad I did.  I've been so fortunate to connect with some great people like YOU! So to celebrate I'm planning some fun "stuff" throughout the month. So stay tuned a few Give-A-Way's and Special Deals are on the way!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vogue 1020......again

I found this wonderful "lace-printed" knit at Jo-Annn's a few months ago and was absolutely smitten by it. I'm not  the biggest fan of lace. And I'm not likely planning to sew with it unless it's to make a bolero or use it as an overlay on a gown or something, but I love the print itself and of course......I LOVE KNITS!

When I bought this fabric I pretty much knew which pattern I would use for it. I knew with such a sophisticated and feminine print it would look better in the form of a fitted dress. Well I made Vogue 1020 at the beginning of this year and absolutely loved it. The pattern is only 3 pieces and it's super easy to make!
 (My first version of V1020 made in January)

I reviewed it HERE so there's no need to do so again. The only 3changes I made were to use clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams and rouching on the left side. And secondly, I added 1/2 to each side seam to give myself a little extra room from my bust to my hips. The first time I made this the size 12 was super snug on me.....scandalously so! So the extra room made the dress much more comfortable. I also made the sleeves a little shorter.

 Front View

 (Side profile with ruching)

( Fabric up-close)

Anywho, this dress was part of my Sewing challenge for last month so I'm happy that I finally made it up and it turned out cute. Now to move on to the remaining items. I can't decide whether to make the corduroy pants or cardigan. Hmmmm......decisions, decisions.......  Until next time, Happy Sewing!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby on the Way.......

The loving home that my Husband and I have fostered for the last several years is about to welcome a new member. I've waited for this moment for quite some time now. My Hubby is happy but he is no where near as happy as I am. I'm SUPER excited! Allow me to introduce you to my newest baby.......

You may recall that I had a blindstitch on my Christmas List last year and this year. I do a lot of clothing alterations for clients (hems being the most popular alteration) so this machine will get great use and would eliminate a lot of hand sewing. I have blindhemming capabilities on my conventional machine, but the results are sometimes hit or miss. Having an actual blindstitch machine would be so much better for me. I didn't expect to get it anytime soon but ran across a great deal this weekend.

I just so happened to peruse the website and ran across this Reliable Portable Blindstitch in the Overstock/Refurbished section. It's an industrial machine that has the added benefit of being portable. And since it's small, a separate table isn't required and it won't take up too much space. This machine normally retails at $299. A couple of refurbished one's were being sold for $165. After doing some research and calling and finding out about the machine I felt good about purchasing one of them. It comes with a  6 month warranty and will be replaced if I have any problems with it. The sales associate Eugene was very helpful even though I kept calling him to ask questions and get updates.  You better believe I'm going to test it every which way from Sunday to make sure it works good. I'm not nervous about purchasing refurbished items. Heck, you can buy something brand new and it have problems. As long as there's a good warranty I'm happy. Besides 4 out of my 5 machines (2 are top of the line) were either used or refurbished and they've all worked great. In addition to the the $165 low price tag on the blindstitch, it turns out that I also received a 15% discount coupon in my inbox that I was also able to apply to this purchase. I stepped away scoring my blindstitch machine for $140.25, over 50% off. Thank you Jesus! Now if I can only track down a Velvaboard to purchase (I found out June Tailor no longer manufactures them).

So I'm anxiously waiting to receive my Baby who should arrive hopefully by the end of the week. In the meantime I've been prepping myself on how the machine works (watching You Tube videos and reading random blindstitch user manuals). Do you have an actual blindstitch machine? Do you like it? Is it easy to operate?


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