Monday, October 28, 2013

Danceline Costume Action Pics....Pic Heavy!

I was delighted that the Danceline Ladies of Savannah State University (my Alma Mater) were able to wear some of my handiwork. As I mentioned in my last post I had the privilege of embellishing their Tiger print bodysuits with Swarovski crystals (upper bodice) and fringe (around the body suit leg). I also sewed gauntlets (those black fancy gloves) for them to wear. I think their outfits turned out quite lovely, considering the budget/timeframe we had to work with. Here are some professional photos courtesy of the excellent photographer Litus Marshall (you can find him on Facebook). Some of these girls were moving so fast that their very fitted gauntlets didn't even have a hope of staying up on their arms. Now that's some fast dancing!!!! Anyhow, I enjoyed being this project ALOT!!!! I look forward to future opportunities to create/embellish costumes for these lovely ladies!!!

The Capes I made last year for a local High School were borrowed and used by Savannah State University. It's nice to know they're being put to good use!!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Danceline Costumes Embellishments and Gauntlets DONE!!!

 I love when I hand off a finished garment(s) to my client. Such was the case tonight. It's Homecoming weekend at my Alma Mater Savannah State University. And I just finished enhancing/embellishing the costumes for the  SSU Danceline team!  I received 9 tiger print bodysuits to which I added Swarovski crystals (in colors topaz/smoked topaz) and trim around the legs. I also made gauntlets (those cool arm gloves that loops over the middle finger) using Burda 7879.

(Finished bodysuit with Swarovski crystals in 2 colors and sizes (topaz and smoked topaz) added to black area and 2" fringe trim around the leg openings.)

(Body suit before)

(I also made Gauntlets. These look great with the bodysuits. They're made out of the same black spandex as in the top of the bodysuit)

(Gauntlet pattern)

(Lots of crystal gluing!!! I used the cutting mats to back my fabric and prevent from gluing the bodysuit to itself.

I have to admit I had a TON of FUN working with swarovski crystals. Maybe I should do a video tutorial on them. What do you think???? This was really my first time and won't be the last. I want to add crystals to everything now! LOL! Ok, back to the costumes.  The girls will wear them this weekend and I can't wait to get the final pics. I'll be sure to post them. I'm super excited I got the opportunity and look forward to future opportunities to work together.

So another client project is done for the month. I can chill out and rest easy now. I've got 2 gowns to knock out in the next couple of weeks for a birthday masquerade party. One is for the birthday girl and one is for myself.

BTW, Monday's BurdaStyle webinar (mentioned in my last post) went great! Thanks for all of your well wishes and to those who attended. It was ALOT of fun. I'm actually giving 2 more in November if anyone's interested. The November 7th topic is the "Do's and Don't of Sewing for Clients and/or Others and November 21th topic is "Knit Picky: How to Properly Pick and Sew Knits to get Superb Results. You can see more info or register HERE.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I’m Teaching a BurdaStyle Webinar!!!/ Alteration DVD Review

It is with Great honor that I announce I’ll be teaching  a Burdastyle webminar this Monday at 2pm!!!! I can’t tell you how excited I am!!!! Who doesn’t love Burdastyle???  They offer such wonderful patterns, sewing information, forums and webinars. My webinar is entitled, Sewing Time Management: Find and Maximize Your Sewing Time! and without giving anything away let me just say it will be a REAL TREAT! It definitely won’t be your run of the mill time management presentation. It will be witty, fun and chalked full of great insights. Through helpful illustrations I hope to give everyone lots of strategies that they can immediately implement.  If you’re no good at your sewing time management this will really help and if you are just looking to pick up some additional trips you won’t be disappointed either. I LOVVVEEEEEEE to teach and inspire those to take common topics and look at them from another angle. I don’t’ know about you but I constantly strive to hone my sewing skill and thusly have to work at my time management as well.  They both go hand in hand.  Because let’s just face it, we all can benefit from information that help us create more time for our sewing passion.
If interested you can register for my webinar here….. The class is only $19.  It's advertised on the main BurdaStyle page and on the BurdaStyle blog as well. Again, I’m SO excited and look forward to sharing and translating that excitement  into  a helpful and informative webinar!!!! Go ahead and register! What are you waiting for? If you can't attend you can still register and receive a link to review it later:) 

Also, please allow me to catch up on my blog posts. Client work has been dominating my schedule but I promised to review Gentleman Jim’s Basic Alteration DVD for quite some time.  As you know he's my tailoring teacher and an amazing Master Tailor. Well here goes….

I ABSOLUTELY love Mr. Jim's Alteration DVD!  That's just all there is too it! The content is what makes this review stellar! This was Mr. Jim's first shot at making a DVD and as he admits he had a bit of a learning curve back in 2005. I think it's a wonderful first DVD. BTW--shameless plug--- His next one on "Pants" will debut in November.  Anyhow, I offer alterations as part of my sewing business. And believe it or not they are WAY more lucrative then custom sewing. The info disclosed in this DVD is perfect for anyone wanting to learn how to do alterations professionally or personally. The DVD deals with an array of alterations like hemming pant, shortening a sleeve on a blouse or coat, replacing zippers etc. It really covers all of your basic alteration needs. This DVD is currently on sale for 50% off over AT HIS BLOG ( with a 25% off discount on his pants DVD.  You'll find all of that info here.....'m so glad I got my copy (wink)!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Mother of the Groom" Dress- Burda 7118 & McCall 5893

I'm interrupting my next DVD review for a quick pattern review. I was totally going to wait until I received the formal wedding pictures but my client, Mrs. E absolutely insisted I take some pictures and post them. Isn't she so lovely!!! I had the distinct pleasure of making a Mother of the Groom ensemble for this pretty lady. She called me a few months back after being exhausted from several shopping trips and coming up empty handed. Everything she saw was either too frumpy or just didn't fit right. She needed a lovely dress to wear to her Son's wedding in 2 locations---in the U.S. And South Africa!  Well we put our heads together, brainstormed a bit and came up with an outfit we were sure would wow! Here's the final product.

 (Dress with wrap. Isn't the color simply phenomenal on her!)

 (I added a bow belt at Mrs. E's request to give a little extra back appeal)

 (Dress without the wrap. Ha, you can see my head over her shoulder in the mirror!)

We used a GORGEOUS Dupioni Silk in the color Mint Cream from JRBSilks. This stuff is luxurious and at $30/yd it should be.  I ended up interfacing all of it to give it more body and help eliminate wrinkles.

Here's the patterns......I used 2 patterns. I used Burda 7118 View D for her wrap! Went together super easy and I only interfaced one side of the wrap.

And McCall's 5893 for the dress. This dress was meant for a knit but I just changed it to work with an woven. I wanted a empire style that would flatter Mrs. E's figure. I ended up downsizing the skirt of the dress alot so it would be more fitted. I made the appropriate adjustments needed to fit it to my client. Of course I always make muslins when fitting my client so we worked through the fit issues fairly well. I used white satin of medium weight as a lining to give added body to the dress. Silk sure is really light. And I added a side zipper. The dress was super easy to put together.
I added a 3rd piece at Mrs. E's request. She wanted a belt to go with the dress to add some pizazz if she took off the wrap. I make a 3" wide belt and added pleats to give it texture. To it I added a sizable bow which I made using an online tutorial---sorry can't find it right now. Essentially the bow is a tube of fabric cinched in by a smaller tube of fabric. UBER easy!!!!  I interfaced the bow and used and additional rigid sew in interfacing to give it it's stiffness. I used the large snaps as a closure for the belt. You can see the back side/bow-side of the belt in pic above.

I LOVE the way Mrs. E's outfit came together and most importantly she LOVES IT! She absolutely LOVES it!!!  That feeling is exactly why I love to sew for other people. It's definitely work but the great results and smiles makes it worth it!!! It's cool to know one of my garments will be traveling down to South Africa to be worn on another continent:)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Video Book Review: Draping by Karolyn Kiisel

Hello everyone! I promised I'd do an indepth review of Karolyn Kiisel's new Draping book which I'm totally in love with! I thought it would be better to do as a video. So here it is..... Hope it's helpful:)

I'll review Master Tailor Jim McFarlands Basic Alterations DVD next.......

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Book & DVD Review Up Next.....

Ever have one of those days where you start feeling like a walking zombie at the very end. Well today was one of those days! Wow, today has been BUUUUUUUSSSSYYY but productive and it's time to draw to a close. I NEED to recharge with some sleep. But in the midst of the business I was more than happy that my copy of "Draping" by Karolyn Kiisel an October 1st release, fresh from This book is GORGEOUS and the photos awesome---I can't wait to review!!! Sorry, but I'm just TOO excited! Plus it comes with a DVD!!!! I'm all too delighted to add this to my library of draping/patternmaking books. It dawned on me that I also forgot to review Master Tailor Jim's (you know my tailoring teacher) Basic Alterations DVD. It's also phenomenol! Such a must have for anyone who wants to know the ends and outs on alterations. It's the only one on the market of it's kind. Every sewer should own this video!  Ironically he's having a 50% off sale on his DVD over at his blog. Head on over and check it out!!! In depth reviews for both fantastic resources are on the way............


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