Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vogue DKNY 1194

Well I finally finished my dress and was able to wear it to church today. Overall I was really pleased with it (it's so comfortable) and received a good deal of compliments. That's always a nice ending when you begin a project not sure if your fabric choice will work for the project. In those moments, as I've learned, you just go with your instincts and hope for the best. Fortunately my instincts were good.

After church we went out for Japanese food and on the way back to the car I saw this cool stairwell where I could take a few dress pics. Yes, don't laugh at me, but this is my feeble attempt to change up my background scenery. I'm no photography expert but sometimes doing things differently can be pretty fun. Here's my review.......

(Full View)
Vogue 1194

Pattern Description:
Pullover, mid-knee length dress has loose-fitting, front pleated and gathered bodice, bands (twisted front), raised waist, A-line, front pleated and back gathered skirt, side pockets, stitched hems and long sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 12

(Up close. Please excuse rail shadows on my dress. My photographer (Hubby) didn't warn me about these)

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super easy! Only 30 or so steps. I cut this out a week or so ago and finally was able to sew it up this week. It went together in 2 evenings time:)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the style. From the pleating to the bodice and twisted band it was a really cute dress. Hey it's DKNY, what's not to love.

Fabric Used:
I used some mysterious red polyester knit blend. It either has some cotton or rayon in it. It was prone to a little wrinkling which concerned me. But fortunately some fabric sizing fixed that issue. I wasn't sure if this knit would absolutely work for the project since it was a lighter weight and I don't think it have the suggested spandex blend. But fortunately it worked just find and felt soooo comfortable. I originally didn't want to make this dress in red but since it was the only fabric in my stash I thought would work, I went with it. I'm glad I did, it's a great color on me.

 (Back view: Excuse lower seat & hem wrinkles from sitting at dinner)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a few and they are as follows:
1. I used clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams.

2. I also used clear elastic to stabilize the neckline (the interfacing wasn't doing the trick and the neckline was a little too droopy). That did the trick.
Since I used the elastic I had to topstitch the neckline. I would have done that even if I didn't use the elastic, so the neckline facing wouldn't invert.

3. I raised the neckline 2" since it was way too low for my taste. This was an easy fix. I just sewed the neckline higher than they recommended. But be sure to do this before adding the elastic to prevent bulk in that area.

4. I omitted the pockets. Since I weren't sure the knit I picked would work I didn't want to add the pockets. Turns out my knit worked great and I wish I had added them. I love pockets and I'll just add them to the next one.

5. I chopped the sleeves down to 3/4

6. After looking at the pattern envelope pic I assumed the dress would be short on me (since I'm 5"9) so I added 4". Turns out it wasn't so I ended up chopping it off to the original length.

7. FYI: Unlike alot of people who reviewed this dress, I actually used the elastic in the band and the back of the dress. Since my knit felt a little lighter I thought it could use the help of the elasticized band and back band to help stabilize it. So since my knit wasn't heavy it worked well.  But if I had a heavier knit I'd rethink using the elastic to cut down on bulk.

 (Side view)
Would you sew it again?
Absolutely! I want one more, but with pockets.

Would you recommend it to others?


Great dress! Great design! Great fit! This gets A++++++

Well on to the next project. There's a dress and cardigan pattern just ready to be cut out and sewn. Happy sewing to you.....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New fabric, Thread Sale, etc.....

I'm sad to report there hasn't been much sewing going on for me in the last few days. I've had a few alterations for clients and my Goddaughter was hospitalized for most of last week for an infection so that meant alot of trips to the hospital to visit her. Thankfully she's doing well and is at home and I'm almost caught up on my client alterations. I look forward to getting to work on Vogue DKNY 1194  which I'd love to have ready to wear to church on Sunday. I'll "burn the midnight oil" and sew my little heart off and see what happens.....

In the meantime,  the Fabric fairy brought me fabrics, knits to be exact, from Fabric.Com. Ya'll know how much I LOVE ME SOME KNITS. I share that love with some of you Ladies as well.......(ahem,... clears throat)......Mz.Choize. LOL! Well it turns out I had a fabric return that was refunded earlier this week during the same time that Fabric.Com got some new knits in. So I was able to use my store credit to stock up on 2 yards each of the following fabrics which are all Rayon blend jersey knits. Most of them have rayon, polyester and a couple of them are also mixed with lycra. They feel absolutely fabulous! You can find these fabric for sale here and right here......

Here are the fabrics....
(The knit on the left is blue with tan circles and the one on the right is white and green)

(I love these two, particularly the snake skin print on the right)

I also ran across an EXCELLENT thread sale at the Atlanta Thread and Supply Company. I love to share money saving information with my fellow sewists! And no, I don't get any kickbacks for doing so, I only wish I were that important! LOL! Anywho, I normally get their catalogs in the mail and have bought a few things in the past.
 Well they've really revamped their catalog and I've recently taken an interest in getting several items from it. I noticed they were having a really good thread sale. Their Guterman 1100 yd thread is discounted to $1.85 and Maxi Lock thread is only $..... You can see the details here. I'm sure most of you order alot of your supplies because it's MUCH cheaper than local fabric stores. Heck, a 250yd spool of Guterman's thread costs about $3, so to get a spool of thread for 4X the amount for over a $1 less is a GREAT deal. Anywho, the sale is only until the end of the month. I plan on stocking up, especially for such cheap prices.

Lastly, I finally ordered this book I've been wanting F-O-R-E-V-E-R.
I love knits so it would only make since that I love books on sewing knits. I have a couple but have always wanted to add this to my collection. I've heard great reviews on this book and am always open to learning new information. This book unfortunately is no longer published so I had to track it down for a good price. It used to cost $21.95 on but is sold for $30+ used. So I stalked it on Ebay, but ended up getting it Half.Com for $26 which isn't bad since I saw people trying to sell is for over $100. I hate when people try to make big money on books that are no longer published.  That just seems so manipulative. But anyway I'm happy I bought it and it should get here on Friday.
Well that's it for now. I've really got to get a move on on this dress. Time to go sew. Happy Sewing to ya!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

I Bit the Bullet and Bought some Jeans!

 Well today I went out and did something that I didn't think I would do anytime soon. If you recall it was just a few weeks ago that I made this post about my frustration with RTW jeans. My frustration is that I can't find jeans that are long enough, have the right fit, and are in my price range.  I would only consider purchasing jeans if I could find everything I was looking for. Well that frustration is still very much a fact.


.......and I do stress however....

.......Mama didn't raise no fool and that's exactly what I would have been had I not taken advantage of today's sale at Express. It all started a few days ago when I received a $30 off $75 purchase coupon from Express in my inbox.  As nice of an offer it was, I still needed a reason to go check out the store (I just don't shop to shop---there has to be a reason). Well it's been a little cooler in temperature lately and I still don't have any jeans in my wardrobe. My jeans/corduroy pants are still in my sewing queue and I'm trying to get around to making them asap.  So I decided to check out the Express online store (especially since I get their email notices) and realized that jeans were buy 1/ get 1 50% off. So at that point, I must admit, the idea of possibly  buying some jeans and getting the store discount in addition to the using the emailed coupon was rather enticing The truth is I used to buy Express jeans alot back in the day---that is before they got crazy expensive ( FYI: I also like GAP jeans).  If I applied the double discount, I knew I could possibly get some great jeans for cheap. So why not, huh? I looooovvveeee to SAVE money!

So to make a long story short, I went to Express earlier today and tried on like a bajillion pairs of jeans. I swear shopping for jeans is almost as daunting as finding the perfect bra. Fit is definitely KEY for both!
(Sorry for the bad cell phone pic. Here's me in the dressing room trying on jeans. See all those jeans I tried on behind me. After trying on about a dozen I found the right fit.)

Well I tried on a whole lot of jeans. Fortunately I had a great sales associate assisting me and I eventually ended up with 2 pairs of the same style that were a great fit, long enough, and cost around $69 each (still too expensive for my taste---I told you I was CHEAP! LOL!). But the 2 discounts helped remedy the cost issue. Well when it was all said and done this is what I ended up spending......

(my award-winning receipt)

Both pairs w/o tax ended up costing $37.43 a pair which is a far cry from the $69 a  pair price tag. Needless to say my day was made since I saved a load of money. The grand total was $80.09 when it could have been around $145---Thats a $60+ savings!!!! So how's that for saving?  Take that Express!!! LOL!!! You know sometimes a Girl's gotta do what a Girl's gotta do. Although I do intend to sew my own jeans and continue doing so. But as I said before, I'll only buy jeans if I can find the right fit and right price!  I'm happy I was able to do so and  today and take advantage of such a great sale:)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Used Pattern Storage Problem.......Solved!!!

Hey Guys, 

Thanks for all of your responses to my last post! As I figured you guys would be a wealth of information and help me solve my little debacle. As soon as I read some of your entries the light bulb went off in my head.

As I said before I really don't want to fold down my ironed patterns too much so I won't be putting them back in their the 6X9" manilla envelopes assigned to them (remember I archive the original pattern envelopes in sheet protectors within large binders). I know it's crazy, but once I've unfolded them I don't like to fold them back up all that much. Plus some of my popular patterns are interfaced (to increase longevity) so there's no way I can squeeze them back into the envelope anyway.

So I've decided to organize my used patterns 2 different ways. For those used patterns I repeatedly sew, I will store them in a larger manilla envelope (9X12 or so), write the pattern name and number as I do with my regular filing system here and file them away by number. Thanks Joy for the HELPFUL suggestion (wink)! Now I can easily distinguish my favorite sewing patterns because they'll be in larger manilla envelopes. I love the manilla envelope system!!!

For patterns that aren't as popular, I'll store them in ziploc bags labeled with their name and number, or maybe even think about storing them back in their originally assigned manila envelope. I failed to mention in the last post that I've tried storing patterns in plastic ziplocs before---it works great with my daughters patterns. Again, I didn't want to put my favorite patterns in ziplocs (since the large one's weren't large enough for my taste) so I brushed off the idea.  Either way, with the infrequently used patterns I don't care about them being folded down, and provided they aren't too bulky for my plastic filing bins I might consider putting them back in the 6X9" envelopes. There's always room for compromise.

Whew........I can breathe better! So happy that's solved. I have to have a good system. Without it there's chaos. Thanks again for your help!!! I can't wait to get home and get my patterns organized:)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There's got to be a better way....... store used sewing patterns that is.

I have an awesome system to neatly organize my sewing patterns. In short, I separate the pattern contents from the envelope. I store the envelope in sheet protectors and three ring binders. The envelope contents is stored in a manila envelope, is numbered appropriately and filed in a cabinet. You can get more details here.

HOWEVER......... I DO NOT have a great system for storing used sewing patterns. I refuse to fold them up and place them back in the assigned manila envelope. Instead,  I organize my used and cut out patterns in a large plastic bin. I pin together all the pieces of one pattern and stack them neatly in side.
 (Plastic bin with stacked patterns)

(Stack of patterns removed from the storage bin. BTW, the canned goods on my cutting table are my pattern weights. Don't you judge me, you know I'm cheap! I stole the idea from someone else and they work GREAT! LOL!)

Well, the more I sew, the more stacked patterns there are and the harder it is to find patterns. Although the method is so simplistic it still frustrates me. I'm currently trying to track down Vogue pattern 879---you know the cute wrap dress pattern. And I can't find it anywhere. I'm sure it's hidden within my stack of used patterns. I need to explore other storage ideas. I'm sure for the moment I'm extremely frustrated because I can't find my beloved Vogue pattern. I'm sure if I organized my patterns a little better I wouldn't have this problem. That issue aside,  I'm still open to trying another method. So I'm curious, how do you store your used patterns. Do you fold them back into their original envelopes? Use pattern hooks? Please help a Sista out with some suggestions! Thanks in guys are always a wealth of information:)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Little Bit of This and That.....

There's been a mixture of things going on as of late! I hadn't meant to stay away but things have been a little busy. But busy is good when it doesn't involve a ton of stress.  Here's what the last several days for me have looked like.....

-I recently finished a quick Apron pattern for a client. It's See & Sew pattern B5274.  It turned out well and although I've never seen this pattern before, I've come to like the style of this apron. If I decide to make one in the future I think I'll use this pattern. The one for my client is made out of cotton batik with green and bronze tones. At first when I saw her fabric choice I thought the apron was going to look dowdy.  I was pleasantly surprised. It's really pretty---for an apron that is:)

-I had a couple of client alterations in addition to the apron so that was all of my sewing for last week. Unfortunately one of them was a last minute alteration for a client who needed a suit altered for her Father's funeral. It's always nice to be able to help out, especially when people need it the most.

-I did grab the new Vogue patterns I'd been stalking for the last couple of weeks. They finally went on sale for $3.99 at Jo-Ann's and I couldn't wait to get to the store to snatch them up. I love, love, love them!!! They are some really cute looks. I'm telling you, Cynthia Steffe and Kay Unger created some stunning looks this go around!!!! But really, are we ever disappointed by these designers?

-I've been on a MAJOR ORGANIZATION KICK for the last couple of months. I organized my personal clothes/ shoe closet and bought a new shoe rack from Bed Bath and Beyond which I LOVE!!!!! It holds 36 pairs and I have another type of rack in the closet to hold the rest of my shoes. I have a fair amount of shoes so I like to keep them organized.

In addition, I've organized my sewing room, and have started on my garage and family room. I just feel the need to scale down. My house isn't junky by any means but I just feel like purging some. With less stuff to fuss over, there's always less to clean. With less time spent cleaning, there's more time to spend with family and SEW---and I'm all about that!!!

-My family and I took a quick trip to Atlanta this weekend to go to the Aquarium and run some other errands. To aid in my organizing, I stopped by IKEA to pick up some great bookshelves. I was pretty excited about the visit and was impressed by the store. Fortunately I'd planned to what I wanted to buy before going in the store. I only needed 3 bookshelves. So I was done within 45 minutes but the store is so overwhelmingly big that it took forever to get out of it. By the end of it I was ready to run out of the store!!! I felt like a mouse in a maze. LOL! I'm realzing I don't like to browse like I used to----I'm a get-in-and-out-quick girl!!!! I do plan to go back in the future with a list to get a couple of more items. I'll be sure to have my running shoes on the next time! LOL!!!

I also stopped in Decatur to visit the Discount Fabric store on Memorial drive. I mean come on, did you really think I was going to go out of town without visiting a fabric store! LOL!!! I was actually pretty restraint. I usually visit every fabric store within a 20 mile radius! LOL!   The entire store was a warehouse store full of fabric and everything sold for $1/yd.

The selection wasn't too impressive but I was able to pick up a few pieces.......
(The upper left blue fabric is a cotton knit, the middle fabric is also a knit with an amazing print and colors, the far right fabric is a woven one in jewel tones and neat design (I plan to use this for a coat) and the bottom burgundy fabric is spandex.)

So those were my adventures for the last few days. I'm currently working on this Vogue pattern if I don't change my mind again. I hadn't planned on making it in red but I don't have any other cotton spandex or lycra fabrics (well I do but they're all prints which would drown out the design lines of this pattern--which I love)!!! I really love this pattern and am looking forward to sewing it up......

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All I want for Christmas: My Christmas Wishlist 2010

I've been busily planning my Christmas shopping strategy for the kids or "little people" in my family. I'm an Auntie to 9 kids and a Mom to 1 so there's alot of little people to cater to and of course I like to do it in the most budget friendly way.  We usually only buy for the kids which means we don't get things for any other adults in the family. To keep things simple I think I'll make custom Christmas stockings for the little people  and pack them full of treats and a gift card to their favorite store. I'll keep it simple this year and let them pick what they want.

I got to thinking about what I'd like if I had some extra mullah. To be honest my husband got me thinking about it since he's been asking me about what I'd want.

So I remembered that I posted my list on December 22nd, last year and thought I'd revisit it. With the exception of a steam iron, I didn't get anything on my list. So I thought I'd update my list and maybe beginning this year and every subsequent year --little by little---I'll get everything on my list. I'm in no real hurry and I'm pretty patient. As always my goal is to get items at the best possible price.

My SEWING Christmas Wish List consists of........

1. Custom dressform from Andy's Dressforms in NYC. Out of everything on my list, this is the one thing I WANT the MOST. Oh how I would love to have the full body form with legs included ----totally made in my size. Even a customized dressform without legs would be great. It would simply be great to have a body double of myself. That would be ssssssoooooo awesome. That would make fitting things like jackets so much easier. Fitting my small back and narrow shoulders would be a cinch.

For some reason my Hubby has been asking me alot about this. Hope that's a sign that one's in my immediate

2. A Velva Board . I know you can use self fabric or a towel when pressing corduroy or velvet but I like to collecting nifty pressing tools. I'm planning to make several corduroy pants and skirts this winter so this would come in handy.

(Photo is a Google Image courtesy of Couture et Tricot--the only one I could find on the internet)

3. Blind hemmer since I do a load of hem alterations. Still doing my research and haven't decided on a brand yet.

4. Janome 900 CP Coverstitch Macine I actually have coverstitch capabilities since I own the Husquvarna Viking Husky Lock serger which not only allows you to serge but converts into a coverstitch machine. Howerver, it would be nice to have a separate coverstitch machine so I could serge without having to covert my machine over to the coverstitch option.

 5. Dressform tape for when I experiment with draping. This would be great if I get a custom dressform.
6. Threads Magazine DVD ROM. Who wouldn't want all of the Threads Magazines EVER published???? They've recently updated this to include the 2010 year of Threads magazines. I'm so cheap that I don't want to pay the $149 price tag but for 152 issues, you can't beat the price. It's less than $1 an issue. From that standpoint it's a real value and I'd like to have it.

7. Business Labels from Worldwide Label. I'm just having a hard time deciding on a logo. I think I'll forgo the logo and just have labels with my name.

9. Book: Building Patterns the Architecture of Women's Clothing. I have almost every popular pattern drafting book on the market (I'm not kidding) but I love to collect. This one come's with high recommendations and I've been stalking it for some time. Hope to get it for less than it's $65 price tag.

10. Burda Subscription: I had a subscription between 2006 and 2008. I wouldn't mind renewing my subscription since I know I'd actually sew up some of the patterns.
11. Gift Cards from my favorite sewing stores:
       * Fashion fabrics club

Ok, here's my NON-Sewing Wish List

1. A new eliptical machine: I bought one off of Craigslist for $75 and it works great but it squeaks just a little. I'd love to have a fancier one. I used to be a HUGE gym rat back in the day and have slowed down (and gotten lazy) since having my daughter. It's time for me to get back to working out.

2. I've always wanted a Rebounder. NASA uses them in training astronauts.  They're great for your health and stimulate the lymphatic system, etc. etc. They're a low impact way of using the gravitational pull on your body. The only bad thing is these guys can be pretty expensive ranging anywhere from $300-$400.
3. A new vacuum cleaner: A fancy one such as a Dyson equipped with all of the bells and whistles and an awesome Hepa filter system.

4. A year's supply of Justin's Almond Butter: I discovered this stuff at a local health food store and have been hooked. It's sooooo good. I like that it's all natural and combines two great things---chocolate and almonds:) I've also tried the maple almond brand it's just as good. I like to put it on sliced apples to curb my sweet cravings. It's a little pricey---normally $11/jar but you can get  the 3 pack  on for much less (about $8.50/jar) and with free shipping. This stuff is so good that they ran out of my chocolate almond version on Hope they get it back in soon, I just have 1 jar left.

5. Gift Cards:
    * My favorite online site for books, household items, etc.
    * Apple's iTunes---- Music for my IPOD
    * Ross Dress for Less--- I always get Nine West shoes from her for $15
Well that's pretty much it. Nothing wrong with a little wishing is there? What's on your Christmas wish list? Well there's only 2 months left til' Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed because you never know what could happen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Look 6729

 I've had this pattern for a number of years now and have always wanted to sew it up. I finished it and wore it to church on Sunday.  I originally planned to sew this top 2 weeks ago but had some mojo "depletion" issues so I sewed something else and put it on the back burner. I'm happy I picked it back up and finished it. I love the style of this pattern, it's definitely a keeper. It's simple but the front design makes for a cool effect. Unfortunately you can't really see the design lines due to my loud print. But I still think the top turned out cute.  Here's the review.......

 New Look 6729

Pattern Description:
Top with tie and overlapped bodice design. I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Front View: It's difficult to see the design lines in the top due to the print.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They couldn't be any easier!
Fabric and pattern. I made view B (pictured as black and white print on envelope)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the overlapped bodice design and tie. I didn't like how low the neckline was so I ended up having to use a safety pin. Next time I sew it I will raise the neckline some.

Back View: The "Wee-One refused to let me take a picture by myself. I have no idea who taught her how to pose! I only know the basics. She always likes to get all fancy with hers LOL!!!

See what I mean about the posing!!!

Fabric Used:
Matte jersey with blue, gray, black circles on white background.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

Closer View: All Smiles

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, plan to sew it in a solid color!
Great top, super stylish, and easy to sew. What more could you want:)

This is the coolest tree---most of it's roots are above ground and covered with moss!!! Isn't that neat:)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I met April from Project Runway!!!!!

I had the most surreal experience yesterday. I was running into my local Jo-Ann's today to pick up a few patterns and notions on sale. Before I grabbed those items I had to run to my favorite section of the store----the knits. I looked through them and didn't find anything I liked or didn't already have so I left. As I was leaving I turned around and I glimpsed a familiar face. Upon further inspection I realized it was April from this season's Project Runway. I knew she was from Savannah, but I never thought I'd ever run into her. I have old college classmates that live in Savannah that I've never even run into. But then maybe I'm a Project-Runway-contestant-from-my-city-magnet, especially since I ran into Mitchell Hall  from Season 6 on River Street (our downtown area) about 2 years ago.

Well I need to finish my story..... as soon as I recognized it was April I slowly and discreetly moseyed my way over to her and called her name sorta low so I wouldn't alert the whole store to her presence. She turned around and smiled. I then became a babbling fool--telling her I was just watching her on TV the night before and how much I admire her work. I even asked for a hug and she sweetly obliged (hugging is a southern thing). I then walked off because I didn't want to be a nuisance. As soon as I walked off it hit me that I could have taken a picture with her. How could I forget such a thing? I mean I could tell everyone I met her but that wouldn't quite as convincing.

So as soon as I worked up the nerves to go and ask for a picture with her  she started a conversation with a friend. So I waited, and waited, and waited until she was finished and humbly approached her for a picture. I explained I had a blog and would love to have a picture to post. She graciously took one with me (her friend volunteered to take the pic) and I was ecstatic. Her friend mentioned that April was starting her own line. I'm pretty proud that someone so young worked hard and had such an opportunity as appearing on Project Runway. Now she's starting her own line and who knows where she'll go from there. You know, this could be anyone of use one day (with or without the Project Runway Gig) but my point is sometimes you never know where you'll end up. You know the old saying.....Success always comes when PREPARATION  meets OPPORTUNITY!  If we develop our skills and work hard you never know what opportunities will open up to you. I'm feeling pretty's time to go sew:) Happy sewing to you all:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keeping my Sewing Mojo Under House Arrest!!!

Maintaining one's sewing mojo can be a tricky undertaking. Quite naturally when you're obsessed with sewing as much as we are (I say We, because I know you feel the same way) you want to do it ALL of the TIME!!!  It's true, we think about it all of the time and can't wait to move from one project to the next. You know, I'd love to devote all of my time to sewing but there's a small thing called LIFE and then there are RESPONSIBLIITES (which are a component of Life) that get in the way of me fulfilling that strong desire. LOL! As a result, life's requirements can oftentimes kick my sewing mojo to the curve making it feel overlooked and unwanted.

But as you know I'm trying to complete a sewing challenge and ultimately rack up 10,000 sewing hours.  So despite all that's going on in life I still have to keep the sewing mojo steady if I'm going to reach my goals of becoming an Expert Seamstress. So I have implemented a few sewing Rules (or as I like to mischievously refer to as tricks) to keep my sewing mojo "under house arrest" and to work to counteract those things that can steal and drain my mojo.

My "rules/tricks" may seem a bit stringent to the sewing hobbyist and that's understandable. But again, I'm super serious about my sewing goals and know that the only way to achieve them I have to be dilligent, disciplined, focused, and committed.

So here are my Rules/Tricks:

1.I HAVE to sew weekly: This is part of my 10,000Hr Sewing challenge rules posted in my blog side bar. I absolutely have to sew. It doesn't matter if I feel like it or not. To be disciplined, I have to sew even when I don't feel like it. Even if I don't get to finish, I still have to sew. Obviously the exceptions are when I'm out of town, on vacation, etc.

2.Push Pause: It's Ok to push pause on a project:  I can start a project, but if my sewing mojo wanes, I can abandon that project but have to pick up another one that peaks my interest and finish it. You know us seamstresses are always changing our minds.

3.Keep Moving: Whatever I do, I MUST keep MOVING!  If I'm sewing and I get stuck on a step, I need to either move on to another step if possible or just sleep on it for the night. I suffer from I like to call "Paralysis of Analysis" (it's a true disease LOL!!!) and I could spend all day analyzing and overthinking a problem and get nothing accomplished in the process. I've learned to turn the brain off and work so I don't lose my momentum. And if I'm really stuck, just to walk away. I try to keep in mind that it's just one project and and as soon as it's done I'll be moving on to the next one. So I try not to sweat every detail--but sometimes I can't help it.

4. Take a BREAK: If I get tired of sewing I should take some time to rest or even better, go and do some housework. Usually doing housework always will snap me back to reality (hey who wouldn't rahter be sewing than doing housework). But taking breaks is a Must!

5. NO TV while Sewing: I wrote a post about that HERE. Now occasionally I'll cheat but I've found that I'm more accurate and make less mistakes without the .....

6. Organize, Organize, Organize: I have to organize my time and don't obsess. I usually plan how I will complete a project within a week.  If things don't go as planned and I don't get to spend as much time sewing, then I'll try to make up for it the next time.

7. Sew Guilt-FREE: It's hard to sew when you feel like the worst Wife or Mother in the world. Family has to come first. I'm fortunate that my family respect my love for sewing but I try my best to keep things balanced. I schedule sewing days where they least interfere with "family time". And of course I make sure that the family stays fed, happy, and healthy. Again, I'm not perfect but I try to keep things balanced. On days I have big sewing deadlines, I allow my daughter to hang out with me in my sewing room where she can color and we can talk while I sew.

8. Keep it Challenging: You guys help me with this. I gain alot of inspiration from your blogs and work. I'll try sewing anything at least once. And I love the thought of being to sew garments from tailored jackets to swimsuits. I love the things I'm good at sewing but I definitely want to branch out and try new things.

9. Use My Resources: I'm definitely still learning and often forget the things I've learned. Hey I am only human. So if I have a brain fart, I don't hesitate a second to find an answer to a sewing question. I have a ton of sewing book and other seamstresses I can chat with. So I usually end up solving alot of my sewing issues.

Last but NOT least.......

10.Have FUN: I refuse to take sewing SO serious (sometimes I do though and have to snap back to reality). We learn from Triumphs and Failures. I'm learning to accept the bitter with the sweet because in the end it all equates to LEARNING. One of my favorite quotes is by Mother Theresa and it hangs on a plaque on my Sewing Room says......

So "Trying" is definitely what I will keep doing!!!

So these are some of the rule/tricks I use to try to keep my Sewing Mojo around. The more I sew, the more new rules I come up with and add to this list. I know you've got some tricks of your own. How do you keep your Sewing Mojo under house arrest?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

When I'm Feeling Blue............ Simplicity 3867 (again)!!!

I've been on a bit of a roller-coaster ride lately. There's been sooooo much to do, soooo little time, and too many decisions to be made.  This is usually my normal life (like most of yours) but I guess things have been a bit more intense. So needless to say with that added pressure I've been a little blue. Such is life and with some prayer (talking with God always helps) , love & hugs from the family, and some fabric store browsing (just being surrounded by so much fabric relaxes me) I was able to snap back to my old self.

So with so much on my plate I wasn't able to complete a project on last week like I'd planned. Then I had the worst case of indecisiveness. Originally I planned to make this....

I got it all cut out and then couldn't bring myself to sew it up. I simply changed my mind on it. I put that on hold and then switched to this pattern and stretch cotton poplin fabric with patchwork print.
Then I changed my mind about the pattern and thought I'd find another one that would work best.

Well I finally settled on Simplicity 3867 which needless to say is definitely my TNT pattern. I've always wanted to make it in a patterned fabric---you know how much I love patterned fabric! I've reviewed it Here and Right Here, so no need to go through that again.  I felt inspired to make this top since I knew I would be hanging out downtown this weekend for a special event and wanted a cute-sy top. The top turned out great and at first I was a little nervous that the patchwork print would be too overwhelming. But I think it works and I love all of the shades of blue!!!! The family and I were able to head downtown today to hang out on Riverstreet and get Japaneses food. The weather was beautiful!!! After this weekend I definitely feel more refreshed. Here are a few pics of my top as I frolicked around downtown Savannah......
 (front view)

 (back view)

 (fabric upclose)

 (playing around...)

(my 2 favorite people in the world: Hubby & the "Wee-One")

Had a great time today and making my top was well worth it!  Now I'm moving on to the next project......Happy Sewing to ya.....


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