Friday, January 27, 2012

10 Essential Pants styles for every Woman!!!

I ran across the article "10 Pants Every Woman Should Own" and it's made me reevaluate my pants collection. I'm sad to report that out of the 10 pair of pants suggested I only have three of them, the Leggings, Trousers, & Wide Leg Pants. To be quite honest I don't wear alot of pants because it's hard to buy pants that are long enough for me, which is why I mainly wear capris (I LOVE me some capris!!!). Secondly, I haven't figured out how to sew pants that fit perfectly--although I'm getting very close. But this is my year and I guarantee I will be sewing all of my pants from this point on---I can feel it. I look forward to sewing up some of the "missing styles". I would love to have the "persona altering pants" and have always wanted some stretch pleather leggings! I have to admit, having different styles of pants in my wardrobe sure will help me in creating outfits. Remember, it's not about having a large quantity of clothes but about having enough different styles to maximize your wardrobe.

Ok, you look over the list. Do you have all of the suggested pants?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Preparing for the Masquerade!!!

I honestly can't tell you where time went. I'm sitting at the Anchorage airport making this post. I wanted to post sooner but was SWAMPED with work in Barrow, AK. Well I've finished the work and am headed back home. With this trip finished (nearly--still got a bit more flying to do), I can start thinking about some upcoming projects on the table.

Well it's almost time for another FATHER/DAUGHTER Banquet sponsored by our church. You may recall my Hubby & Daughter (the Wee-One) attended their very first one last year. You'll find the blog post HERE.  I made her dress and loved the outcome!!!! The theme last year was about "Being a Princess". I made her a Asian style dress with a mandarin collar and piping out of brocade. So she was our "Little Asian Princess" on last year.

This year is a "Masquerade" theme. Needless to say our church is sponsoring it so it won't be racy or anything. So the wheels are turning and I'm thinking of all kinds of ideas to make an appropriate dress. I've got to do a bit more research on it and settle on my ideas. That shouldn't take long. Then there's picking the right pattern and fabrication. Fortunately I've got a bit of time. The event isn't until the 2nd week of March.

For starters I perused the patterns I already have to pick out a good baseline dress pattern that I could modify. I want the dress to be a subtle costume. This is what I grabbed. Again, I'm just brainstorming and nothing's set in stone.

But I have been thinking strongly about the purple and black color scheme. Or maybe teal and black and use some peacock feather to add a dash more color. One thing I plan to do is make her a matching mask to go with her dress. I've already grabbed the mask and look forward to creating it from scratch.

 She's supposed to get one at the event, but there's no guarantee it will match her dress. You know me, I'm going for a complete look. I want her dress, mask, hair etc. to embody the masquerade theme. This will be a fun project. I think it will be more fun for the "Wee-One" since she LOVES to dress up in pretty dresses. I'm curious to see what I come up with.

Ok, I've got to go catch my flight now. But before I go let me leave you with an interesting pic. While we were up in Barrow, you might have heard that there was a major solar storm that caused some spectacular auroras . You can read more about it HERE. Guess who was able to check it out and get captured in a photo with it. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Here I am in this picture....
Yep, that's me standing in the snow looking at the auroras!  Pretty cool, huh? It was a SPECTACULAR light show which changed from minute to minute. It was a nice way to end a long trip:)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My New Best Friend!

Before leaving town for Alaska I couldn't get a few hem alterations finished in time for a client. I was so bummed about this. I always like to return alterations in a timely manner. Fortunately it was a regular client and that wasn't a problem.

 I'm embarrassed to say the reason was I couldn't properly thread my blind hemmer right. Actually I couldn't thread it at all. If any of you have seen a blind hemmer needle, than you'd know it is curved. You have to thread it through the eye under the curved end of the needle. This is a tight spot to access!
  (My blind hemmer. Sorry, no close up but if you look to the left you can see part of the curved needle )

 For the life of me, I think I spent and hour trying and just couldn't get it. How embarrasing!!! So I had to enlist the help of a very common and not so new notion. Ms. Needle Threader.
( Wow, fancy--it comes with a cutter! It's been so long since I noticed one of these.)
And to think I actually used to be snobby and thought I was too good or too skilled to need the likes of Ms. Needle Threader. Seriously, I've always prided myself on being able to handle the task myself. Well that was until I met the eye of a curved needle!!! So I've got a new "Best" sewing friend. What sewing notion is your favorite at the moment???

Friday, January 13, 2012

Oh the Places You'll Go.....

I had a bit of a flashback today. When I graduated from college some years back I received the Dr. Seuss' book "Oh the Places You'll Go" and it was signed by some of the co-workers from the Institute of which I was then an intern and am now employed. If you asked me back then, I wouldn't have thought I'd be taking research trips to Barrow, Alaska---one of the most extreme weather & remote locations I've ever visited. Well today I embarked upon my 4th Research trip and I'm currently spending the night in an Anchorage awaiting my last flight to Barrow in the morning. Life can take you to some pretty unexpected places some times. Oh the places indeed! Just a funny thought.....

Well as an overly-obsessed seamstress, no matter where I go, you know I'm going to be armed with sewing related materials of some sort. For this trip I've decided to take the time to revisit some great resources I have in my library---since I couldn't bring my sewing machine of course! LOL! I have a ton of DVD's and would like to take this time of "forced non-sewing" to learn new techniques and refresh my knowledge of old one's. So here's the resources I packed with me.
 I of course packed my Threads Magazine Archive DVD-ROM containing 146 issues. It is jammed packed with great articles, pattern reviews, and supply suggestions. It's been a while since I browsed this DVD-ROM so it would be nice to get reacquainted.  I also packed the Fit for Real People DVD's since I'll be taking up teaching sewing/fitting classes again upon my return. I'm EXTREMELY excited about giving lessons again! I've gotten pretty good at fitting my body and just want to review the basics for teaching purposes. Also, I do plan to make some pants for myself and also want to refresh myself on the fitting process.So I've got what I need for this trip and look forward to sharing any new discoveries. I'm going to fill like I'm in sewing school for the next couple of weeks. I love learning so that will be quite fun!!!!

On a fun note today I discovered a Super Wal-Mart in Anchorage. I forgot a few items and boy was it a lifesaver. Especially since I will be spending the next 2 weeks in very remote Barrow, AK and would probably have a hard time finding some things.

(It's definitely been a while since I've seen so much snow.)

I never thought I'd ever be so happy to see one! And not to suprisingly, it looks just like all the rest I've seen. Kinda felt like home away from home.

For kicks and giggles I wanted to see if it had a fabric section. And it did! Sigh...the sight of fabric & sewing machines always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside:)

Well I've got a plane to catch in the morning and some quick reading to sneak in. Happy Sewing to you!!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A New Year, a Glance back, and Continuing the Challenge!

Happy New Year to ya!!!! Wow, can't believe we're already 8 days in. I'm SUPER excited about the new year because I know it abounds with new opportunities. I feel pretty invigorated and motivated!

I probably shouldn't feel this way considering the fact that I have not sewn in a couple of weeks. That's right, I haven't sewn in quite some time. It just doesn't even seem right that those words can come out of my mouth. I haven't sewn a stitch in over 14 days. I'd probably  be depressed by this if I weren't being EXTREMELY productive in other areas of my life. I actually spent the last couple of weeks organizing my life. I organized my house. I mean I overhauled it. I downsized tremendously. Got rid of clothes, shoes, furniture, and other items and turned them over to Goodwill. And then I went on a bit of a decorating spree. I LOVE my home---everything is SO pretty and I'm nearly finished decorating!!! Now I just have to do an overhaul on my sewing room and I will be good. It's amazing how relaxed you feel when your house is in order.

With my home in great shape, I'm ready now to get my sewing plans together for the year. But before I do, let me take a quick glance back at last year's progress. As you know I'm all about my 10,000 Hours Sewing challenge. I didn't re-cap the last few months but I recorded my hours and I'm still very much driven to reach my goals overall 10,000 hour goal--which will take several years to accomplish. My goal last year was to try and sew 1000 hours but I fell a bit short and only ended up with 881. Well that's ok. I hope to make that goal for this year. Despite not hitting my numbers I did manage to make the following:

14 Dresses
2 Tops
1 Pair of pants
1 Velour Jumpsuit
3 Strapless Jumpsuits
2 Dresses for my Daughter
1 Dress for my Goddaughter
1 Ball Gown

I have to admit that my 2 favorite pieces were the formal dresses:

And believe it or not, I'll have to make formal gowns again for the same events this year. I can feel myself salivating already!!! So it's time to look forward. There's SO many things I want to get done this year and I'm working on my plan right now. I really won't be able to begin sewing on my plan since I have to leave for a 2 week research trip for work at Barrow, Alaska on Friday (I can't believe it's my 4th one).  But you better believe upon my return I'll have a solid plan and will be "ready to sew up a storm"! And not to worry, although I'll be away, I've still be blogging and I'll be doing much sewing related reading. I've got to keep racking up those sewing hours!

I'm looking forward to having a great year!!! I'm planning on sewing and achieving new goals which I can't wait to share.  I hope you'll stay on for the ride. So once again, Happy New Year's--from my family to yours! Here's a parting shot of my family's New Year's photocard pic.


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