Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year's Eve---2015 Recap!!!

It has been an AMAZING year! I can't believe we all stand at the threshold of a new year. This year went by SO fast. My head was "caught up in the clouds" of many project and their looming deadlines so it's nice to come down and spend some time in reflection. I REALLY had some cool experiences this year!

***I'm in Fashion Design School---Made it through my first year in the SDC Fashion design program. I even upgraded my studies from a Certificate to a Diploma. I LOVE the cirriculum! Learning everything from technical drawing, costume history, sustainable design, textiles etc. And learning more about fashion design is preparing me for some of my future goals ;)

 (LBD design assignment. My drawings have come a long way!!!)

***I've taught lots of BurdaStyle courses through webinar but I got to fly out to visit BurdaStyle in Colorado and film my own Pants course in April. Planning my cirriculum and 3 days of filming sure was an AMAZING experience!

***Mr. Jim and I started the "Tailor and the Dressmaker Show"! Couldn't be happier with this project. We love discussing all things sewing and doing demos. Catch up with us on Facebook and you can find the link to the shows there:)

***I visited the Boston Ballet and got behind the scene access to their costumes department and closet! Just got one word for the experience---PHENOMENOL!!!

***Of course recently I helped make the Kansas City Ballet Nutcracker costumes and even got to fly out to Kansas City to fit the ballerinas! This project took 2.5 months and a TON of hours to complete. My greatest challenge of the year and most rewarding:)

***Accompanied Mr. Jim to Mimi G's Sewing & Style conference in L.A. this Summer

***Made the annual Father/Daughter Banquet dress for my daughter. I enjoy doing this every year.
Made glorious client dresses

And a few other accomplishments! I didn't do all that I wanted but I had an amazing year! God has truly been faithful to me. I did things I didn't even think I could do! I pushed past my very limits, overcame a few fears and insecurities and took some jumps into the unknown. I survived and better yet I grew as a sewer and a person! Very cool indeed! Looking forward to an amazing 2016! Will be chatting about those plans next!!!! I'm planning to push myself like never before and achieve some big things in 2016:)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

McCall's 7254--The Colorful Cardigan

Happy Christmas Eve's Eve! Things have finally slowed down enough since the ballet costumes and I'm starting to feel normal while things get back to normal. Have resumed sewing for clients, fashion design degree homework etc. Happy to report that I squeezed some time to make something for myself. That's always a treat! I was happy to pick this cute little cardigan pattern and had the perfect sweater knit fabric I picked up from Joann's! The patter is McCall's 7254 which I highly recommend. I made view C as pictured on the envelope and size medium. I'm VERY short-waisted (short torso, mostly legs) so I'm always a bit nervous about making tops or jackets that could potentially be too short and thus make my upper body appear shorter. I opt for slightly longer options to give my body some balance. But turns out this worked great and I like the style. I'm not a super fan of the shawl collar but this worked. I love the fact this  has a peplum too in the back. And this cardigan is a bit deceptive since it looks a bit like a jacket---but without all of the work. Anyhow great, easy little cardigan.

 (It's not everyday you walk into a restaurant bathroom with a full mirror. Makes for quick and easy pics.  Aren't you glad I'm such a classy & professional photographer LOL)

(Back View)

 (oops, didn't realize to after snapping the pic I put the cardigan on the form lopsided. At least you can see the colors and patterns. I love the fuchsia in the fabric. Great accent color!)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Here are the Ballet Costumes I made!!!

The time has finally come and I couldn't be more excited!!! The Kansas City Ballet rolled out their new season of the Nutcracker and I was so proud to see the 6 party girl dresses that my sewing partner Mrs. P (she is a costuming expert) and I made (we also made 2 capes not pictured). It took us 2.5 months and tons of hours to crank out these dresses. I mean TONSSSSSSSS of work---I was averaging 4 hours of sleep some nights. I sewed more in those 2.5 months then I think I did for most of the year LOLLLL! These weren't your average dresses. Each dress was unique in it's bodice and skirt detailing. They also had big fancy sleeves and trims. They were made of the finest silks and taffeta.  These pics don't do them justice. The amount of details in each dress is insane. They're made with very vivid colors so they really "pop" on stage! The amazingly talented Holly Hynes designed each dress and gave us a beautiful drawing of each. We went to work making them by first creating the patterns (did all of our drafting which was fun) and once we were shipped all of the fabrics we got to work making the dresses. Again, there's a TON of detail in each dress so it took lots of work. The costuming world is a unique one and is a bit different than dressmaking so I appreciated the insights! I'll have to share those with you all one day when I get the chance. In the meantime I'll just bask in this moment. This was by far the MOST demanding work I've done all year so as you can imagine the sense of satisfaction and pride is indeed greater! It's so humbling! It was such a blessing to be a part of such a HUGE event! Also, you can see more photos at this slideshow here....

 (Here are 4 of the 6 dresses we made-- the middle one excluded--someone else made it)

 (All 6 of the dresses are featured here---seated girls on both rows. The colors are REALLY RICH the photo doesn't truly capture it. I love the color palette used for all of the costumes. They are absolutely beautiful!)

 (another dress here....)

 (...and you can see the green one here)

 (Backs of some of their dresses. We made them big fancy bows!!!!)

(And if you needed a little proof to know I'm not making any of this up (LOL) here's a pic of me working on the bodice of the blue pinstripe dress you see in some of the pics above.....)

(Holding the finished green and pink dress before shipping them all off)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

My Big Costume Project Revealed (VIDEO)......

In addition to the video (see link below), guess this poster gives you a bit of a hint too (wink)!

If you've been wondering about the BIG COSTUME project I've been at work on then this VIDEO (see link below) should sum it up! We've been at work on this project since mid September (as mentioned in earlier post I've been pulling some 13hour work days). A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to fly out to Kansas City, Missouri to the Kansas City Ballet to fit 12 little ballerinas in their costumes---I'll give you the specifics later. These ballerinas are just a few of many who will be dancing in the Nutcracker opening up in December.  I had the honor of being invited to work on this project by THE TALENTED, Mrs. Pat who is a professional Draper with 40 years experience and my draping teacher. Anyhow, I'm still up to my eyeballs in work on this project and plan to share more in the near but in the meantime this video will give a good view into the project. During our fitting the local Kansas City PBS came to the workroom to do some filming. This footage was combined with others to create this video piece. The "Nutcracker" segment is the first and is only about 9 or so minutes long and I and Mrs. Pat can be seen from 7:44-7:47. Well I can partially be seen (wearing the gray sweater with fuchsia scarf and black pants) since part of my face got cut off in the video. There's a quick flash of me in the mirror in the next shot but I'm not entirely distinguishable but that's ok. We're fitting one of the ballerinas in her costume.Nevertheless I'm glad to be in there and to be working on such a HUGE project with so many players, artist, and talents. Makes me appreciate the arts so much more!  This is all the time I have for now but will share more soon. To see the video see below.....

Sorry no direct link to the video----follow these steps
1. Visit
2.  scroll down and select the video tab.
3. Open the Oct 29th video entitled---Nutcracker, Scarritt Elementary Mural, Shoes
Enjoy! Will update soon!

Thursday, October 22, 2015


It's good to be back!!! Let's just say I've been away for good reason. 13 Hour Sewing work days had a great deal to do with it! That's right, I've been a sewing fool around here LOL! Truth be told it's felt a bit like bootcamp. I'm an Army Brat and although have never experienced it personally I've heard enough stories! The grueling schedule, training, long hours and all of that. Yup, I've been in sewing bootcamp LOL!  As soon as I made it back from Boston last month I began working with a friend on a BIG COSTUME sewing project (I'll divulge some details in my next post)  in addition to handling my regular business sewing tasks---alterations and custom work for clients. But my daily work schedule started often at 7:30am in the morning ran through about 3pm, picking back up at 5 or 6pm and running through midnight. I started reliving my old college days. I was a part of "Team No Sleep" for a few days---well I got some sleep---the bare minimal. But all of the hard work and sacrifice paid off.   And I can definitely tell you there's nothing more rewarding than that.We're a few weeks away from being done with the big costume project.  Will share in the next post. One thing I must admit is that I've really appreciated the FAST pace and LONG hours. It's really kicked my butt into gear and I've learned a TON---new techniques, my strengths, weaknesses---all that stuff. As we all know diamonds are formed under pressure, I'm always amazed at how the best of oneself can be revealed in high pressure work situations.

(Sending hellos and hugs from bootcamp LOL! Pulled another 13 hour sewing day today! I've got blood shot eyes but I'm still smiling LOLLLL!!! Going straight to bed now! LOL!)

For this week I had to shift focus and crank out 5 dresses for the Miss Blueprint Pageant---a wonderful local organization offering a finishing school/ pageant for young girls---3 to be worn by contestants for the Interview segment, one by a volunteer and a formal dress for one of the contestants. The pageant is this weekend so that will be cool and I'll showcase the pics soon. Ok, I'm off to bed. As I mentioned I'm TIREDDDDDDDDD!!!! Before I go, hope you guys are checking out me and Gentleman Jim's show---The Tailor and the Dressmaker. We've got quite a few epidsodes floating out there. Here's the latest.

 Check out the rest---they range over a lot of topics and have helpful info/demos etc.
Ok, I'm off to bed for real this time. Night, night!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

My Trip to Boston----Marketing, Sightseeing & BALLET COSTUMES!!!

Selfie in the Boston Ballet Costume Room---nothing but floor to ceiling beautifully---most in-house sewn costumes)

I spent  last week in Boston and had an amazing time!!! Part of my time was spent roaming the Boston Ballet costume department looking at all of the beautifully sewn costumes. But before I jump ahead to that let me back up a bit and start from the beginning. I was there on retreat with my Business Mastermind group (love these talented and driven ladies), attending the Inbound conference. Side note---if you have the chance to be in a Mastermind group take it. I'm in 2 and LOVE them. As a business owner it's so important to have the right support, encouragement and connections. Ok, back to the conference---there was about 14K in attendance and featured some awesome speakers like Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Brene Brown and Sophia Ambrosa from Nasty Gal. To top off my trip as aforementioned I also got the chance to visit the Boston City Ballet Costume Department. My Draping teacher helped arrange this visit (she's done work with the Boston Ballet). I was SUPER EXCITED to have this opportunity. And the experience was AMAZING!!!  Pictures say alot more than words so here goes...

 Hanging out at Inbound---managed to sneak in before the huge crowds did!

Me and My Girls!!! These are some talented and hard working entrepreneurs!!!

 Opening talk with Seth Godin very inspiring---he has the best marketing advice

 Super excited to hear Sophia Amoruso---creater and designer for Nasty Gal clothes...

 She gave great entrepreneur advice about how to build a great business. I LOVED her dress---it's held together with hook and eyes!!!

 Comedian Amy Schumer stopped in.....she was her usual "unfiltered self" (clears throat) LOL

Chelsea Clinton was also a guest speaker in addition to many others and session speakers too! I learned a great deal from the conference.

Also, did some sightseeing.....
 Visited the Harvard bookstore....

 Saw this book there----it's actually going to be a movie. Would love to see it!

Was pleasantly surprised and moved to stumble upon the Shaw Memorial depicting the 54th Regiment --the first Black infantry in the Civil war (remember the movie "Glory" with Denzel Washington and Matthew Broderick---which I LOVE---depicts the story) This statue sits across from the State house and is huge. The detail is magnificent made me teary eyed!!!

I got to go to the popular tourist attraction----The Cheers bar where the show was filmed. My Dad used to love that show LOL!

After a LONG week of sessions and learning I couldn't think of a better way to end my trip than by visiting the Boston Ballet!

 Exterior view...

 The building was huge consisting of several floor and lots of dancers in their various classes. The school is very prestigious and one ranking high in training excellence! It was great seeing the dancers!

 I was taken to the costume work room where I got to meet all of the talents behind the costume production, alterations and maintenance. Here's an underskirt that was being worked on.....

 Time out for selfies and smiles!

 This bodice was made impeccably with amazing skill and attention to detail:)

 Charles, who oversees and runs the costume department  took me into the costume closet where he allowed me to roam freely and introduced me to some great pieces. Here's one---there are a ton of ruffles on that can-can skirt.

 BTW, the black velvet trim was sewn on top of the orange fabric. Each strip! Amazing accuracy and lots of work!

 A lovely tutu! I like the layers and how it's engineered to stay up and flared! It has a "panty" built in which makes it easy and secure to wear!

 BEAUTIFUL ballerina costume! I couldn't stop staring at it. Pics don't do it justice....

 I had to touch it for myself!

 Love these bow details. Everything was sewn amazingly well! There were hundreds of costumes all with their signature detail!!! All so artistically beautiful!!!

 A stack of tutus! It's funny that making one of these can take as much as 22 hours!

 Men's tailored costume. Most are borrowed since the shop primarily focuses on  dressmaking 

 Hand painted and pleated---I forget the fabric but I believe that 1200yds total was painted and used to make a whole lot of these skirts!!! Talk about a job LOL!

 Printed Organza butterfly! What a great effect! They were spread out on this skirt.

 Another tutu with a TON of beading!!! Took several weeks to do!

Charles and the rest of the group were such GRACIOUS hosts!  I enjoyed seeing the work space, costumes and meeting such great people! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit!!!


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