Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I got the BEST gift for Christmas!!!!

Let me just say it's the BEST gift because it's one that's been on my list for a few years. Actually it was on my list so long I forgot about it---you know one of those gotta have items hanging out in the back of your mind. Only recently I remembered and began an actively search for it. I'm been on "organizational rampage"---purging, streamlining and organizing my home and businesses. Anyhow it's a hard item to track down for cheap or used. Not too many out there and they come available once every blue moon. Ok, I guess I should stop talking in code. You already probably guessed it from the pictures. I finally got a HUGE file cabinet to keep all of my patterns in!!!!!

I'm SOOOOO ecstatic. I had what I like to call a "God Wink" moment---you know those moments where you know it's more than a coincidence and that God really blessed you. It just so happen I was out of town for Christmas vacay and had been perusing my local FB sales groups. I was actually trying to find a mattress for my daughters bed but was scouting for file cabinet too. I'd been doing so fervently over the last couple of months and had resigned myself to the idea that I was just going to have to purchase one brand new for the tune of around $300 or so. Not idea for me but I was willing to save up for it. I needed to get my sewing studio extra organized and having one spot to keep my patterns would free up space in my studio since I had patterns stashed in several places and that was sorta becoming a nuisance. I have about 500+ patterns---after a downsize last year and I was eager to get them organized. To make a long story short I couldn't believe my eyes when I ran across a local woman selling two, not one but two Hon lateral file cabinets for the cheap price of $225. I literally did a double take. Not only were these professional grade file cabinets but they retail at $400+ each and she was practically giving them away. I noticed the post was made 18 hours previously and I was nervous someone had already bought them. I sent her an inbox message and waited twirling my thumbs. She got back with me the next day, saying they were available and that she would hold them for me until I made it back in town. I was so appreciative. THANK GOD! He's so SWEET!  Just what I needed!!! The lady was so sweet we ended up striking up a conversation and she asked me what I did for a living. When I told her I was a professional sewer and what I needed the file cabinets for she giggled. Turns out she's an artist and sews and she'd bought the file cabinets for the same reason------to store sewing patterns. What are the odds???? Never a coincidence when God gets involved LOLLLLL! And turns out they're so big I only need one file cabinet so if someone would like to purchase the other just let me know. It's definitely for sale!

Ok, here are the pics. Forgive poor cell phone quality! However, the excitement is REAL LOLLLL!

 The cabinet is about 3 ft wide, 19" deep and 65" tall. It's almost as tall as me. I had planned to put this outside of my sewing room but it ended up being too big for the space. I had to place right outside kitchen door in garage. My Hubby assured me they'd be fine and the humid south wouldn't destroy them or destroy the file cabinet. I hope not. I'll be honest, I had a bit of separation anxiety knowing all 400+ of my kids   wouldn't be in the house LOLLLLLL. I'm cool now!

5 glorious shelves!!!

 Feels like I'm looking through patterns at the fabric store LOLLL!

 More Smiles......

 Still very happy......LOL

 Each drawer can hold 5 rows of patterns and bought 45-50 each row! That's 225-250 each drawer! I put in all my patterns and still have space! I don't amass patterns as fast as I used to. I'm more discriminate now. Has to be something unique to make me buy.

 Top shelf pulls out and I keep my Vogues here. Not even full. The other 4 compartments are drawers that pull out.

 Big View. That's alot of patterns per drawer which is what I love. They are all in one place and I won't forget what I have now. I can just thumb through and see. I've already categorized them (dresses, special occasion, pants, etc) which makes things so much easier.

See all drawers aren't full yet!

Back in the day you may recall I used the binder and brown envelope system. 

I'd separate the pattern content---file outer envelope in binder sheet protector in binder for easy viewing and place pattern pieces and guide sheet in separate mini brown envelopes. Well I'm doing away with that system now  since I have the file cabinet so in my free time I'll be reuniting the envelopes with their contents. Maybe I can pay my kid to do this LOL! Anyhow, I'm delighted to have my patterns in one place! Well I'm off to finish organizing my studio and house. FYI---I have a few posts to get in before Jan so be on the lookout for a new post every day or so! I have Ballet costumes and Wedding garments to show--I finally have some pictures to share!!! YAYYYYY! Happy Sewing!!!

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Turquoise Sequin "Sweet 16" Mermaid Gown

Howdy!!!!! The last couple of months have been all about client work. Nonstop client work. 75+ hour/week client work. But I survived YAYYYYY! God kept me sane LOLLLL!  I still have wedding garments to post in addition to Nutcracker ballet costumes---just waiting on photos. But I do have something to finally post. I recently had the honor of creating Ms. K's Sweet 16 gown. She had her celebration this past weekend and her gown received rave reviews. I had so much fun making this one and her and her Mom were the sweetest clients.  Here are some pics I was given and gown details. Apologies I'm guessing the venue was a bit dark. The dress is a vivid turquoise. Pics of fabric below too. She looked so lovely! The dress was very classy and turned out great.  I look forward to making my daughter a special gown for her Sweet 16. Thankfully she's only 9 and I've got plenty of time. Don't want to rush LOLLLLL. Deets below.....

This turquoise sequin spandex was ordered from I believe. It was so lovely. Just the right weight and stretch. Very beautiful! A beautiful gown always starts with beautiful fabric!

I used McCalls pattern 7047. I've used it before to create a similar gown. I taped the bodice and skirt together so there would be no waist seam and it would be all one piece.  I did end up whacking this up a little bit to create the mermaid look. Alot of sewers will cut the gown a the knees and make the mermaid piece separately and attach. I flared the pattern to create the effect. She didn't want the dramatic mermaid which technically given the weight of the fabric would be difficult to pull off without some structural support. But here's a pic of my adjustments. You can see the back cutout on far right piece. Ms. K a little athletic so I had to extend her shoulder a bit. I added to bottom with flare as you can see. Only 3 pieces.

I did quick sample to make sure back was ok. My sample was using similar stretch knit I had around the house and didn't include bottom flare but ended at the knees. I always usually do a sample. The actual turquoise sequin fabric was $22/yard so if I'd went ahead and cut the back out too deep and they didn't like it there would be no way to fix. Hence why I always do a sample. Plus it helps me figure out logistical stuff like length and any other changes before making the real thing. We decided she didn't want too dramatic of a train so that initial idea was nixed.  From the sample I made the full gown including flare. Easy to sew together. The back was perfect. I still ended up taking it in a great deal. But that was just a minor tweak. I'm always cautious when making "back out" dresses. The worst thing is a saggy back hole. To prevent I usually end up pulling back shoulder (nearest to neck) up a little bit and sewing it slightly higher than front neck. It helps remove any slack. Even after the fitting there was just a tad bit so I sewed the neck shoulder seams deeper for both front and back.

Aside from that it was easy peasy. I would note that I didn't finish any of the seams. I just folded up and stitched down. I never use my serger to sew anything with sequins. Just doesn't seem like a good idea and I want to avoid any issues with impairing my machine.  Had I wanted to be super fancy I guess I could have used a seam binding but it truly wasn't necessary. The seams were spandex so they won't ravel or fray. Plus the sequins weren't too itchy (I know cuz I tried the gown on myself LOLLLLL) so it was good to go. I have to admit it was fairly heavy. Sequins have a bit of weight to them.

I also contemplated adding 2" horsehair braiding to the hem. I was nervous the gown didn't have enough wow factor with a flat hem but it really did so I'm happy we nixed that idea. I'm always interacting with my client to make sure we add the perfect elements to make their gowns special!

I was EXTREMELY happy with this dress and so was my client. When my clients are happy of course I am. It was a much easier project then my last too which was nice. I LOVE making fancy dresses! Always fun!!!! Let me know what you think about the dress ......and have you been working on any fancy dresses too?


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