Friday, November 30, 2012

Sometimes I just feel like quitting.....

 I never knew what Yosemite Sam was saying when he got frustrated but whatever it was I sure felt like saying it on today! LOL! Yeah, you read the post title right! Sometimes I just get SO frustrated with my sewing/sewing related decisions that I feel like throwing in the towel. Ugh... Seems like an odd thing to say just 2 days after celebrating my 3rd Blogoversary (BTW, a thousand thanks to you guys for all of your kind words! Don't forget to visit the post HERE for details about my Giveaway). Ok, let me get back to my ranting.....

Seriously, my day just took a few frustrating twists. For some odd reason I got the notion that the dress I picked for my Dec 5th upcoming Holiday dinner was TOO Fancy. Let's just say I got overly self conscious! In truth I don't like to Then I decided to do all sorts of research about what constitutes a semi-formal dress---BTW there are NOOOOO clear answers. It's so subjective. Some websites suggest understated 2 piece ensembles, shunning any satin dresses, etc. I was in a tizzy over what to do. Then I consulted an attendant from a previous year and she said that I was safe anyway I decided. Then I tried to figure out what shoes would go well with a hunter green dress if you DON'T have hunter green shoes. That took some research. The answers were nudes, metallics (provided you use them as accessories too) and black.

So I finally got the info I needed to proceed with the project. Great! After all of that worrying I discovered upon closer examination that my fabric was a little too heavy for the project.  What?!?!?!?!?!? All that worry and headache for nothing!!!!! So that put me back at square one!!! Scrapping this project and needing to find another one. I decided to find another pattern and fabric from my stash.

I dug and dug and was able to turn up something while simultaneously  On days like this I'm happy to have a fabric stash and decent pattern collection. After much digging around I turned up what I consider to be a lovely dress pattern and I pulled out a fancy piece of jacquard (gray, black, and bronze) that I'd bought this Summer while visiting family in TN.

So here's my new sewing plan for the Holiday dinner and I'm happy with it. Now I've got to get to work!

Whew! Glad all of the raucous has come to an end. It's kinda like the old song goes..."Mama, said there'd be days like this". Oh I wish sewing was all rainbows and unicorns. But as you know it comes with it's share of frustrations. In my world, it's ok to feel and accept the frustrations but by NO MEANS will I ever succumb to them. There's no giving up as far as I'm concerned. I've got 10,000 hours to get under my belt. Hey if you gave up anytime anything got frustrating you'd never get anywhere in life. Heck, I think all parents would've stopped after just having one kid! LOL!

As always I'll keep pressing on! Besides, I'm a firm believe that opposition makes you sharper and will reveal your focus. I'm excited about my new sewing plan and am working on the muslin now. So my question for you is how do you handle sewing frustrations?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My 3rd Blogoversary & the "V-List" GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm feeling a bit on cloud nine! I had a successful muslin fitting with a client just a few hours ago! And on top of that today is my 3rd BLOGOVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!! Seems just like yesterday I reluctantly made my first post and introduced my little self to the "blogoverse" (aka the blog universe, just made that up LOL!). I was SO nervous! The lovely Knitmachinequeen left  the very first comment! Since then you guys have always been SO gracious, welcoming, helpful, and supportive. I've always appreciated that.

So I'm hosting a giveaway to celebrate this milestone. You've heard of the O-List, a list of Oprah's favorite items, well I'm hosting the V-List----yep as you guessed it---a list of my 10 favorite things (things that were significant to me this year) that I plan to giveaway to ONE LUCKY WINNER!

All you have to do is.....
1. Leave a comment below. 
2. Follow my Blog (box is on right side of blog)
3. Like my Facebook page (box is on right side of blog)

 Here are the FIRST 4 items of the giveaway......

(top left going clockwise: )
1. The Science of Sexy Book (See info HERE This is an excellent book that shows you which clothes flatter your figure. The illustrations are great and there are lots of other figures shown as well. 
2. Butterick Pattern 5601 sizes 14-20 (I made it HERE. This was a great little Summer dress.
3. The Illustrated Guide to Garment Construction. (See info HERE I'm all about properly constructing clothes and love resources that help me improve my technique. This isn't the most indepth book on the market but it's pretty handy).
4. 1 1/2 yds, 60" wide teal taffeta with black embossed velvet (used to make my daughter's dress HERE. I purchased this fabric while visiting NYC earlier this year. It's absolutely gorgeous!!!)

Over the next few posts I'll unveil the remaining 6 items and ultimately announce the winner on Dec 8th. Update: changed to Dec 9th.

So to make sure you got this here's the "V-List" Giveaway details at a glance.....

What: I'm giving away 10 of my favorite items to 1 lucky person
When: Nov 28- Dec 8. The Winner will be announced on December 8th. Update: There's been a slight change and the new end date is Dec 9th.
Requirements: All are eligible just.... 1. Leave a comment Below.  2. Follow my blog. 3.Like my Facebook page

Ok, that's it! Be on the look out for the next items in upcoming posts. And again, thanks for all of your support and following along with my 10,000 hour sewing challenge/adventures......  *hugs*   ~Victoria

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The next Daddy Daughter Banquet Dress....

I hadn't realized Butterick's Spring patterns were available until today. I haven't really tackled my Winter sewing yet and now I have to think about Spring patterns. Geesh---that's how it is every year! The seasons move fast. Well while looking through a few I stumbled across this little girl's dress Butterick 5845.  I think my jaw hit the floor. It's ABSOLUTELY a showstopper! I love the front, the gathered waist and the lil' train in the back.  I immediately thought about the upcoming Daddy/Daughter Banquet that's held at my church each year. My daughter has gone with her dad for the last 2 years and I always make her dress.  You may recall her first dress and the one from last year. Each year there's a different theme for the banquet. I don't know what this upcoming  year's theme is (or the date---think it's Feb or March) but I hope this dress fits into it. If so I hope to make this in a bright color and do some small tweaks to it to make it my own (probably lower the front hemline and add more drama to the tulle underskirt. Anyway I'll keep you guys posted.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sewing Jots & Tittles 11.25.12

Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving day and weekend! I definitely enjoyed mine! Here's some things I ran across just this weekend......

Be still my beating heart! It's outfits like these that make me happy I can sew. I LOVE this look I saw at Dillards. It stopped me in my tracks. May need to make this one day so I'm saving it!

 Really don't know how someone thought as sports coat, skirt, and tie would just go well with skinny jeans???

 Spanx for men!!! comment. I wonder how it will do???

 Love this coat. A basic trench design but the metallic animal print on ivory fabric just gave it that WOW factor!

 I love the look of an open Jo-Ann's store at 7 in the morning LOL!!! Only happens on the Thanksgiving weekend. Tried to go by to pick up muslin on Black Friday late morning and the cutting lines were SOOO long. Went back on Saturday morning and it was a ghost town. Just how I like it!!!

 Didn't notice the new Burda patterns until this weekend. Love the middle look. It's one piece just different fabrics and all suggested as knits. Really sexy look......

....and I also loved this long skirt as well. May have to grab this one for a formal event one day!!!

The HBO Documentary "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye" will be airing on HBO. Read the synopsis HERE. The fashion editor's perspective should be an interesting one!


 Powdered peanut butter at the health food store. Never knew about this. Interesting.....

Have been craving dolmas ever since missing Savannah's Greek Festival this year. I plan to make my own (I remember seeing grape leaves around somewhere) but settled for the canned version. It was vegetarian (feta, rice, olives, etc.) and wasn't half bad. Can't wait to make my own.

These are just some things I ran across in the last 3 days. Any interesting sewing jots or tittles you want to share???

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Here we are on the eve of one of the biggest holiday's this year, Thanksgiving. I'm preparing to go hang out with family. I love this time of years because of what the holiday means. I have SO much to be thankful for. God has blessed me and my family so! We've got food, shelter, clothes, etc.....all that we need. And I'm so thankful to Him for that. I'm ESPECIALLY thankful for you Guys!!! Thankful that you guys join me on this my 10,000 hour sewing adventure and have cheered me on through my good projects and my not so good projects (smile & *hugs*).

I'm wishing you and your family a ton of blessings this holiday season!!! But before I go, I found this neat little list on the internet. Just further drives the point home that we've all got so much to be thankful for. This doesn't mean everything's perfect in your world (mines isn't either and I've had and am having my share of ups and downs too). But all in all there's SO much to celebrate......
And the list goes on and on.....Enjoy reflecting on the goodness in your life. Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mother/Daughter Snow Leopard Skirts-McCall 6654

The cold weather finally gave me the motivation to sew this skirt (and boy was it cold today---and rainy.) And I'm happy I did because it was quick to make and turned out pretty cute. I had a few scraps so I thought it would be fun to make my "Wee-One" a version too. Truth be told she has VERY few winter clothes. She's just grown out of most everything recently so I needed something for her to wear to church. It's amazing you feed them and they actually grow---just like little weeds. Who knew? LOL! Anyhow, this was a fun and quick project (began/finished last night). And I definitely see more of these in my future. Here's the review......

McCall 6654

Time to Sew:
It really only take an hour or so. I came home after a movie and grocery shopping and whipped both up. Stopped a few times to make dinner and do a few other things. Mostly made on my serger and I used a small zigzag stitch to add the waistband. I whipped my daughters up using a scrap piece of fabric cut to fit around her. I serged the one side seam and folded down upper edge of skirt for elastic casing and hemmed it. Super simple. All pretty quick.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
A 1 for sure.

Pattern Description:
Elastic waist skirt

Pattern Sizing:
I made a size 14
(front view)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Cute little skirts are a staple for winter. I love to pair them with tights & boots.

Fabric Used:
Snow leopard print ponte I picked up on a clearance table at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks ago.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
(back view)

What would you do differently next time?:
I won't attach the elastic per the instructions. Instead I'll leave an opening at the base of the waistband and feed the elastic through---sewing the opening of the waistband once finished.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Oh YES!!!! I need lots of these cute little skirt in my wardrobe.

Wardrobe Versatility:
I like to wear little skirts with these with tights or even leggings. A cute top or sweater works well and I like to add a scarf to add layers and even pops of color.

(side view)

Cute & quick skirt pattern! Definitely a wardrobe staple:)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sewing Jots and Tittles 11.17.12

 It's the weekend!!!!!! You know what time it is. It's my Sewing Jots and Tittles post were I get to expose you to the crazy and not so crazy things I see, hear and think about......

Sewing, Fashion and the Like....

 This is a screen shot from the movie "W.E." I've always had a thing for wearing ties. It was sorta the style when I was in high school. I love how it's worn here with a fitted blazer.

Yay, it's finally cold enough so I'm back to working on a skirt in the fabric on the left. Plan to wear on tomorrow........Wait a minute, did I just get happy that it's cold????? Making cute winter clothes will make you happy about the cold I suppose. LOL!

 Oops---I discovered why my rotary cutter wasn't cutting right. I had 2 blades on it. See all the fabric that got stuck in the middle? There's a first time for everything.......

 My main sewing machine still needs repair. My itty, bitty first simplicity machine (the first I ever bought myself) is hanging in there like a champ. True it doesn't have the awesome pressure foot knee lift and invisible zipper foot that my main machine has but for a simple machine it gets the job done!!!

Loved this dress that Tyra Banks wore to a fancy affair. It received horrible reviews. But I love it. So stunning!!!

I fell in love with this "quick turn" tool when I was making the capes. I used it to make the neck closures. Never realized how easy it was to turn fabric tubes with this nifty tool. I love it!!!!

 Looks like you can buy novelty fabrics of scantily clad men at Nancy's Notions. I'm too young for all of that LOL! My favorite part of this advertisement is on the right---you can use it to make the "Church Lady's apron Pattern". Hmmmm....that's sure to stir things up at a church dinner! LOL!

JC Penny's had cute holiday dresses for girls. I'm pretty snobby about buying her any special occasion dress. I prefer to sew them. Makes the moment more special for me-----and her since she likes my dresses.

Got a giant bag of peppers for $1. WoooHOOOO!!!

Saw this bumper sticker before the election! LOL!!!!

One of the things I love about Mommyhood---watching my "Wee-One" Sleep

 I stood in line 2.5 hours for early voting the Friday before the election. You better believe I was going to reward myself!!! LOL!

 Someone's too tall for the mall play area. Can't you tell she wasn't happy! LOL!

 But someone got brand new boots and she's just loving them!!! Even wants to wear them in hot weather (shaking my head)! LOL!

What?!?!?!? A manuka honey shortage at my local health food store. I use this on my skin (mix with a facial scrub) and it's awesome. It has awesome antibacterial components. It's found in New Zealand and productions were up to 80% lower this year. Fortunately to the resc!ue and I ordered from California. Can't be without the good stuff!!

Civil engineers are cool---hey I build clothes and they build bridges!!!

Love this!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Inspired by the Fashions of Patsy Cline....

I spent a good part of my work day listening to my Patsy's Cline's "favorite hits" CD. I can't remember if I bought it or if it was gifted but I'd honestly forgot I had it until I uncovered it from an old work storage box. To be quite honest I'm not a die hard  fan but there's something about the songs "Crazy", "Fall to Pieces" and my ultimate favorite "You Belong To Me".

In an effort to learn more about Patsy Cline I did a quick internet search. I hadn't realized that she had taken the music industry by storm and was one of Country musics top female performers until her untimely death at age 30 (plane crash). She won all kinds of awards and accolades before and after her death. She was a woman that touched many a life through her music.

Something else I discovered was that her mother had been a seamstress and that she'd often sewn for Patsy. As a seamstress myself I appreciate that fact. Patsy also had a wonderful sense of style and was extremely fashion forward. I mean, who knew gold lame pants were alive and well in the late 50's early 60's? I tried to find pictures of her wearing some of these elaborate outfits but unfortunately didn't turn up much (most pics show her in western wear). But here are a few....

Wasn't she SO gorgeous! I had no idea she had been so fashionable.
 But then I ran across some of her clothes that are on auction at Christies. These really showcase her fashion sense. There's practically nothing up there I wouldn't wear. She seemed to have a very feminine and timeless sense of style. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this dress......I think I'm going to definitely have to knock this one off!
(Source: Christies Auction, description: dress made of cotton, printed with whimsical images of posters)

I'm glad I turned up Patsy's CD and with all the new information I learned I'm now happy to say that it's not just her music that inspires me!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Lookie what I got!!!

(the NEW Vogue 8850 & Hunter green satin I bought today. Excuse the poor pic)

I was praying REALLY hard to get my hands on this pattern. You may recall from my recent blog post that I wanted to wear this to an upcoming semi-formal dinner party.  I checked at Hancock's this past week during their $3.99 Vogue sale but they hadn't got the patterns in just yet. So I discovered after visiting Jo-Ann's today (to look for some fabric for a client) that the new Vogues were in but they wouldn't be on sale until Wednesday. I checked the pattern drawer and noticed there was only 1 copy of Vogue 8850. So my choice was---buy now or wait until Wednesday and risk it not being there. What do you think I did? Mama didn't raise no fool LOL! I swooped that pattern up SO fast and sucked up paying an extra $10 for it. Then I went to look for fabric. I mentioned that I wanted a rich dark green fabric---maybe a crepe or something with a little sheen. But I was more interested in a dark color. So I ran across the Casa Collection hunter green satin. I grabbed it too and with my 60% off coupon purchased 4.5 yards for only $15 (saving myself $21). What a STEAL huh???!!!

So both pattern and fabric are safely at home. I still have to double check with other party attendees to make sure this dress isn't to fancy for the affair. But it is a semi-formal dinner party so in my mind it works but I just want to be sure.

I'll start working on a muslin later this week.......

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Proud Mama.....

Today was a gorgeous day! It was 71F and there were so many outdoor activities that me and the "Wee-One" were able participate in. And on top of that the weather will be almost 80F on tomorrow so I found it REALLY HARD to stay indoors and sew the winter top and skirt that I wouldn't even be able to wear on tomorrow. Despite the "yo-yo" weather I'll begin sewing the skirt on tomorrow.

But while I was out and about today I received a text message from my recent client, a dance instructor for a local high school. She finally sent me over the pics of the Reversible Hooded capes (McCall's 2853) I made as being worn by the high school's danceline team. Only 8 of the 10 I made are pictured. Needless to say after having a wonderful day out on the town these pics really made my day extra special. I got a little choked up to be quite honest. Alot of work (pattern design changes/ alterations) and time went into this project and to have it be so well received is just great! All of the ladies look spectacular!

It's funny people always refer to big endeavors as "labors of love". I feel like that with my large scale sewing projects. Like I said in an earlier post there was more than 60 hours that went into this project. Labor indeed!!!! So you can understand why I may feel like a "proud Mama"!!!! And this project seems to have  paved the way to some more opportunities. I've already been asked to work on similar capes for a local college and to make some more for the same high school.

So as seamstresses, for every project that we do that often requires SO much sweat and tears, there is much reward in success. I'm glad to stand in the company of other "Proud Mamas".

What project, as of late, has made you feel like a "Proud Mama".

Friday, November 9, 2012

What, Supermodels use Body Doubles !?!?!?!?!?

Grrrrrrrrr! I'm so frustrated! Last week I lost my  USB cord to download pics from my phone.  I then bought a replacement cord and it quit working. Now I can't download my pics for my Sewing Jots & Tittles Post.    Back to the store tomorrow for another replacement. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr indeed!

Well while I'm in a slightly frustrated mood I might as well share something I read a few weeks ago that was also unbelievable frustrating. I read the foxnews article, "Who Knew, Even Supermodels use Body Doubles". If reading the title is enough to frustrate you then I'll advise you not to read the article! Did you know that Supermodels used body doubles? I didn't. I thought they were deemed supermodels because they were "allegedly super in every way". Now I'm really not being facetious. I mean the women are INCREDIBLY beautiful and I loved the fact that they were "meatier" and flaunted more curves then the average model. These women are symbolized by our culture to be "perfect". But in truth I've always known there's NO SUCH thing as the "perfect woman". Sure some women may have more attractive features then others but I think beauty is a universal thing, not just meant for women our culture objectifies. I really do regard external beauty as being superficial. I've met alot of externally beautiful people, whose beauty in my mind quickly faded after realizing that they weren't very nice and decent people. I think beauty, at it's best, is exuded from the inside out. And making the most of what you have defines beauty.

 This article, in my opinion, only serves to justify the fact that portraying "perfection" to society should be achieved at all costs. When in fact it clearly shows that this type of perfection is IMPOSSIBLE. The fact that you can say that a highly attractive woman doesn't have what it takes, what are you saying to all of the young girls and women out there? So may of these girls and women have complexes based on societies definitions of beauty. I could talk on and on about this but I'm getting sleepy and pretty soon I won't make any sense (smile).I LOVE to sew for others to counteract these false ideaologies of beauty. For me it its more than making a beautiful garment but about spreading the news that perfection is an illusion and ALL WOMEN are beautiful!

How about you---- Did you know Supermodels used body doubles? What are your thoughts on this subject?  Please chime In?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I think I may have found my Semi-Formal dress!!!

Ok, I don't want to jump the gun just yet but I think I may have found my Semi-Formal dress. I mentioned just yesterday that I was invited to a swanky affair in December and was trying to locate just the right pattern  so I could make my dress. Well I just so happen to see that Vogue had it's new Winter patterns (btw, the Winter line is awesome) and I INSTANTLY fell in love with V8850.
It's funny because although I have a few vintage patterns I don't really find occasions to wear them so many have gone un-sewn. But there is something so dramatic, bold yet highly feminine about this dress. I love the neckline and the drape that extends from it beyond the hem. There's just the right amount of drama in this dress. I'm in LOVE. I'm thinking that this could work well as my semi-formal dress. I would likely make it in a darker color and haven't decided whether to use a shiny or matte fabric just yet. More than likely I'll make it in a matte just to tone it down a bit. BTW, it requires approx 4 yds of fabric. Isn't that insane!!! But it's worth it! LOL!  I'd also make the long sleeve version and I could see myself with my hair slicked back in a pony tail or bun and wearing really bold, bejeweled earring to compliment the fabric I'm making it in. I'd wear a killer pair of pumps and carry a small clutch. I'm getting so excited just thinking about it. I think I could make some magic with this dress!

So what do you think? Think this would make a good semi-formal dress for me to wear for my holiday party???

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sept & Oct Wrap up; Nov & Dec 10,000 Hour Challenge goals.....

Singing....."It's a NEW month. Oh, how exciting, it's a new month"!!! Well we're already 6 days into November. I get excited about new months because I get to reflect on my bi monthly sewing plans and create new one's 2 months in advance. Of course I'm all about my 10,000 hour Sewing challenge!!!! See my side bar to see my accumulated sewing/sewing related activity hours.

Although my November & December sewing plans aren't complete, I've got some cool things in the works. But before we get to them I need to re-cap the September and October sewing......

1. NewLook 6130 Peplum top
2. NewLook 6210 High Performance Knit dress
3. McCall 2853 Reversible capes (client work)

Looking back I didn't sew a thing for myself in September. I practiced my draping lessons and fitting pants but didn't end up with a final project. But I think I made up for it in October when I churned out that HUGE client cape order and 2 dresses. So it evens itself out I suppose. I logged

As far as new plans go for the final 2 months I intend to.....

1. Sew some of my fall wardrobe (detailed in my video)---that list includes a coat and lots of separate pieces---skirts, tops, vests, etc.
2. I found out I'm invited to a swanky event in December so I have to sew up a nice semi-formal dress. I'm so used to doing formal gowns so making something a little less dramatic but high fashion should pose a nice challenge. I'll start blogging about my ideas soon.
3. I've got several client projects to work through.
4. I also will be celebrating my 3 year blogoversary in a few weeks so expect a giveaway or two.
5. Pick back up with my draping lessons.
6. Re-organize my blog template (working on that now so please forgive if things are out of sorts)

So all in all, I hope to go out this year with a BANG!!!! So that's what's coming up.

Currently I'm working on a top and skirt for this weekend.......

Well that's what's up with me.  How about you, you have any exciting new sewing plans to share?


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