Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing You & your Family all the JOY & PEACE the Holiday brings!!!
Much Love, ~Victoria

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Crash, Burn,.........and Recover!

By the time I got my legs into those leggings I knew something was wrong. The only thing I could hear in my mind was those fateful words "Houston, we have a problem".  And tried as I may, I pushed and pushed, and realized those leggings were just going to be too tight to even wear. How could I have made such a silly mistake?

My plan, as mentioned in my last post, was to whip up a quick pair of leggings (using McCall pattern 6173) to wear to a Christmas party at church on Tuesday. I wanted to pair it with a tunic, jacket & scarf. This should have been totally uneventful but a silly mistake of absent mindedly cutting the leggings out wrong (stretch going down instead of crosswise) messed the whole mission up. Totally my fault!
(Look at the width of that leg. This could've been easily mistaken for a sleeve! LOL!)

So I'm out a piece of really nice legging fabric. And all over a silly brain fart. Nevertheless, the evening was not lost and I still was able to put on another outfit for the party. I through on a funky tan jacket, blue screen T, Express dark denim jeans and brown boots.

Fast forward to today. I marched down to Jo-Ann's and was able to get more of the same legging fabric to replace the loss. Actually I bought 2 pieces! Yay me!!!! So I''m quite the happy camper. See, it's the Project Runway dark blue (denim look-alike) legging/jegging fabric. I don't own any skinny jeans but I suspect when I'm done making these my leggings will have the look of a skinny jean.
(Got my 2 pieces of jegging fabric !!! I'm too ecstatic!!!)

This whole situation got me thinking a bit. I'm actually happy it happened. For one, it showed me just how far I've come as a sewer. I remember the days I would be devastated over such a mistake and the loss of a prized piece of fabric. Trust me I was pretty hurt by this snafu and until today I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get my hands on more fabric. But I didn't internalize the issue and let it define me. I just brushed the issue off and decided to move on to the next thing. Maybe I'm not explaining it right, but I'm sure there are some of you out there who know exactly what I mean. It's nice to have the confidence to "recover" even after you've "crashed & burned". Also this scenario made me appreciate the checks & balances I have in place to avoid any major disasters, which for me are few and far in between. For one, I usually always make a muslin--especially for wovens & pants to ensure a good fit and save good fabric. Trust me mistakes happen, but I've heard the definition of craftsmanship is being able to cover one's mistakes (wink).

So I'm back at square one and need to make my leggings which I'll knock out in the next few days. It was nice to go through that little situation & learn more about myself. Not a big deal, but pretty cool. How about you..have you had a recent sewing snafu that you handled fairly well? Do share:)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Crazy love for Sweater Dresses!

I've mentioned before that I have a serious love for cute sweaters and plaid skirts during the fall and cold winter months. Another article of clothing that I simply can't live without are sweater dresses. I promise you I'd wear them several times a week if I had that many. They are a wardrobe staple for sure. You can dress them up or down. They wear well with tights, leggings, fancy boots, or flats. And I love to throw on a scarf with them to make them even more winter worthy.

Well a sweater dress is exactly what I wore to church today. It was a gray one in which I accessorized with a black belt, black striped tights, and suede boots with cute little buttons, and silver hoops. I was rather proud of my look--it was simple and yet cute--- and of course I LOVE the comfort and warmth that these dresses bring.
 (I thought I'd take my own pic at the store and give Hubby the day off.)

 ( I love the buttons on these cute little boots. They're kinda hard to see.)

 After church I had to run a few errands and ended up at my favorite store Ross Dress for Less. I believe that's where I purchased the sweater dress I was wearing and definitely the boots. I love to check out there shoes and clearance racks. I always get PHENOMENAL sales. You guy's know me, I'm all about being frugal. Anywho, I ran across a sweater dress that I wanted to have. It was by Calvin Klein and frankly every sweater dress I've seen of this brand I've wanted to have. They're just so gorgeous.
 (Such a cute Calvin Klein sweater dress. I loved the sleeves and waist ribbon belt)

 But the price wasn't where I wanted it. It wasn't worth $40 to me by far---$20 maybe, $15 is more like it:).

 So I skipped out on it for now. I'll keep checking back, one is bound to go on clearance soon. But I did run across 2 others that I liked and bought (I'm holding them in the first picture)---which combined was around $20. So I'm pretty happy with my bargain! I'm curious, what's your cold weather clothing staple????

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 12.17.11

Wow it's been a little while since I did one of these post! Here's just a few things I've been focusing on.....

-Almost finished.....
I'm currently working on Simplicity 2305 and just have to add the skirt and zipper. I'd hoped to have it ready for a party last week but with back to back parties I just didn't make it in time. The fabric, which I love is a charmeuse from Jo-Ann's called "ostritch feathers". It's such a cool fabric.

-Time for a Coat
I might re-think that notion if we keep having 70 F temperatures. But while running through JC Penny to do some Black Friday returns I saw this coat. I love a bright colored coat with black buttons.
  I have to make at least 2 coats this Winter. Even if the weather isn't consistently cold:) Time to go rummaging through my coat patterns.

-You can always find things cheaper
I bought a fancy bra contraption for this dress. I wasn't happy that in a time crunch I ended up having to pay $30+ for it (including the bra). Well I ran across one of the devices I used at an outlet store and look at the price. It was $1.99. Searching when you have the time is usually always worth while.

-Nude Shoe
I've wanted a pair since this Summer. I ran across this Steve Madden pair at Burlington Outlet's. Although they're cute, I didn't want them as a platform and with a strap. I'll keep searching. Hope to find some soon.

-Edwardian shoe
I must admit that I love shoes and I particularly love unique one's but this shoe was a BIT over the top. Look at those ruffles! Over the top all right!!!

I'm heading back to Barrow, Alaska (it will be my 4th trip) in less than a month for a 2 week long research trip and am in need of some additional warm clothes. The temperature there could be anywhere between -20F to -60F. Either way it will be EXTREMELY cold, painfully so. I've got a great jacket, wind proof pants, polypropylene undergarments, etc. and just wanted to bring along some warm fleece hoodies to go with these other items.  A particular fleece that's really warm is the Polartec brand which is used in North Face & other high end hoodie companies. Those hoodies are way too expensive so I'm thinking about ordering the Polartec fleece and sewing my hoodies myself. I found a fabric mill HERE and will call on Monday. We'll see... Aside from that, does anyone have any suggestions on where I can get some deeply discounted North Face or REI fleece? I'd like some of their hats & gloves too.

-Angry Birds Formal
A friend sent me this photo and I just loved it. I'm not a fan of the game but I think this dress is pure genius.

The caption on the photo read "The wife of an executive at Rovio, the company that makes popular mobile game “Angry Birds” showed up to an event at the Finnish Presidential Palace wearing a dress suspiciously resembling the same foul-mood fowl". What do you think?

-Denim Jegging outfit
I plan to hopefully knock out a pair of denim jeggings on tomorrow to wear to an informal holiday party at my church on Tuesday. I plan to use this pattern, McCall 6173....

But I want to build and use this picture as my inspiration....

I'm thinking denim leggings, tunic, cute scarf, jacket, & boots. We'll see what I put together for the party:)

Here are a few non-sewing tidbits.....

-Gluten free goodies
Being gluten free means I often have to pass up the holiday work treats that are ever abundant each year. This year a friend and co-worker was kind enough to make me an entire gluten free platter of treats in addition to the normal treats for everyone else. That was too kind!!! Thanks Laura!!!

-My Hubby's many acts
For our church's interactive Christmas story my husband was an actor and played a Wise Man, Herod's advisor, & an Angel. It was a major production and 10 day/ 40+ hours committment (resulting in over 14,000 visitors.  It was an awesome production. I even got to do a little costume work and hope to contribute more the next go around.

-Funny pic
My hubby sent this to me the other day and I burst into spontaneous laughter. This has happened to me too many times....LOL!

-"Wee-One" posing
Now I know my daughter has witnessed me posing for my blog pictures but goodness I never looked like this. She poses for most of her pictures like this. Her posing is on a whole other level!!!

Seriously, I never taught her to pose like this. LOL!!!

Well that's it for me. What's been on your mind????

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vogue 8379--- Another Wrap Dress!

I recently made this pattern HERE and decided to crank out another version for a Holiday party I attended on tonight. I love this version with this fabric. When I bought this fabric I just KNEW it would be used for a wrap dress. Since I reviewed it a few days ago, I'm only going to show the pictures. I braved the cold and dark to bring these to you.....ok, maybe it's not quite that dramatic....but what else are you gonna do in a crunch to get the job done:) Here goes.....

(Fabric up close. Excuse the blurriness)

Ok, I think that's enough wrap dresses for one week. I REALLY want a black one but will hold off on it. So many other things to sew. On to the next thing.......

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Senseless Fear......

I can't believe I spent the last year avoiding using my newly purchased blindstitch machine. That's right, you heard me right. A YEAR! I bought the thing this time last year and got it at a phenomenal year. It was used and was going on closeout. And to be honest with a custom sewing and alteration business it is a MUST. So with the price tag of $125 more than half off the original price and a few months of warranty I knew it was a steal. So I bought it. Got it in the mail. Looked at it. Stared it over some more. And it's sat on the corner of my sewing desk for a year.
(It's so cool, it even has a knee lift like my sewing machine)

Well you ask, "Why would you buy a piece of equipment and not use it right away"? Well I have a one word answer. FEAR. Ok, now I feel like a total idiot to come to such a conclusion but it's the truth. And I might as well be honest. Hey, if I can't be honest with you Guys than who can I be honest with? (Smile) Anywho, I decided on last night that I would take the time  to get the machine working since I had a few hems to do for a client and was running short on time. I oiled it up on yesterday and followed the manual doing the necessary machine adjustments. Well on tonight I finally figured out how to thread it correctly and VOILA'....the thing is the easiest machine to use. I made the most perfect hems and a job that I used to do by hand since I didn't like my conventional machine blindstitch, and took about 7 minutes total to hem 3 pants. That would have been an hour and a half job by hand. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS MACHINE!!!!

So I must admit that I feel so SILLY that I didn't just step out there and put this baby into use months ago. But I used my excuse of not being the machine tinkering type to procrastinate. And I know what else you're thinking. You're thinking that's a pretty lame excuse giving that I own like 3 different types of sewing machines--- a conventional, coverstitch & serger. But to that I empasize I was FEARFUL and when does FEAR (the senseless kind) EVER MAKE ANY SENSE! LOL! (sorry you just have to laugh at yourself sometimes.) It was the thought of the possible challenges of facing a new type of machine. And it actually turned out to be no challenge at all.

Moments like these make me wonder how many times in life have I robbed myself of opportunities and experiences because of that 4 letter word. How many sewing projects have I talked myself out of or risks I wouldn't take. I've been thinking alot about fear lately and am currently reading the book on overcoming your fears. It's funny, my blindstitch machine has served as a great example of senseless fear. This year I'm making  a greater effort to step into the unknown and not let my fears dictate where I go. I especially look forward to doing this with my sewing. The older I get I realize that life is too short. Why miss out on living. And you'll never KNOW the unknown until you actually venture out into it. Lastly, I leave a great quote that I ran across this week that's worth pondering.......

We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.
-Titus Livius

I'm curious, what are your sewing fears? What has you stopped dead in your tracks that you feel you can't move past? How do yo plan to get over that hurdle? Do share.......

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Blogoversary Giveaway Winner!!!!

Thanks SO much for all of your blogoversary wishes and for all those participating in the Giveaway!!! I'm hoping on being SUPER productive from now until my next blogoversary. With that's time to REVEAL the Winner!!!!

I used Random.Org to pick the number and the first one generated was #19. So commenter # 19 is thillsdCongratulations Lady!!!!

 The Mystery gift you won is..................(drum roll please)............

A $20 Gift Certificate to one of my favorite online fabric!!! I thought to myself, let's just keep things simple and let the winner pick out their own gift. Hope you enjoy shopping thillsd!!! Please email me at to give me your email address so I can pass on the gift certificate.

Thanks to all who participated!!! FYI: This giveaway isn't sponsored by hope to be lucky enough one day to gain these types of sponsors (wink).

Happy Sewing to you ALL!!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vogue 8379---TNT Wrap Dress!

 I've been sewing my pants off lately and I've been anxiously waiting to sew this dress for some time. When I first bought this fabric online I knew it would be perfect for a wrap dress. I'm so delighted I was finally able to get around to making this dress. There's not much to be said about this dress! Simply stated, I LOVE IT!  I know it's a pretty popularly reviewed pattern of Sewing Pattern  If you haven't used this pattern I recommend you give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
 (This dress gave me a chance to break in my new Nine West boots)

 Vogue 8379

Pattern Description:
Wrap front dress has soft pleats, side tie, and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 12.
(Closer view. Notice anything interesting about the pattern on the bodice? I managed to get the pattern, throughout the dress, in the same direction except on the left side bodice (my right). The pattern goes down & not across. I nearly ran out of fabric with this dress and had to make due. Luckily, I could get away with it with this dress:)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super EASY!!! I cut this out on Friday night and sewed it up on Saturday. It's an easy pattern to assemble.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved everything!!! This pattern isn't highly reviewed for no reason!!!!

Fabric Used:
Poly lycra knit with red, black, & white geometric shapes.
(I love the vivid and bold colors. The shapes are pretty cool too!)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't make an alteration--except I sewed the bodice to the skirt with a 3/8" seam to give me a little more added length. I did add the collar (it's hard to see with the print anyway) and made the quarter length sleeve with the sleeve band. So my dress is a hybrid between views A & B.

(Back View)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely! I've made it once before but never reviewed it. It's definitely a TNT wrap dress pattern.

Great dress! A fun way to showcase cool knit prints!!!


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