Thursday, January 27, 2011

An Honest Prayer Quickly Answered---got my NEW Vogue patterns!!!

I have a funny story to tell. Earlier today on my lunch period I wrote the following blog post entitled "An Honest Prayer" which I'd planned on posting later today. It's a written prayer to God expressing my frustration on waiting for the new Vogue patterns. Just a lighthearted post highlighting my pattern obsession and need for divine intervention (smile)!

My prayer went a little like this.......
God, you know today starts the Joann’s 3 Day Sale and Vogue patterns are $3.99 each. I called my local Jo-Ann’s  on yesterday to find out if the Spring 2011 Vogue patterns would be available for sale. The sales associate said no. I asked them if they would be in on tomorrow and to that he gave a definite and adamant NO!  This is the 2nd Vogue pattern sale since the release of the new Spring line---and still NO patterns. I mean It’s bad enough that it took them FOREVER for them to actually release the Spring pattern line (they were at least a month or so later than the other Big 4 companies) and on top of that it’s taking them FOREVER to get them in store.  Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit, but you know what I mean.....

I mean I had my whole scheduled planned for today. I was going to delay going to work and anxiously wait in the car until Jo-Ann’s open, run in and be one o the first people in the city to get my hands on those sale patterns.Well I guess that plans out of the window.  Ok, I know I sound a bit desperate but have you seen  how fantastic some of the new patterns are. Oh, of course you have---you’re God and you know everything.

I know patience is a virtue but I’m reaching the end of my rope. How long do I have to wait until I can get my hands on them. Alright, I'll be patient but could you orchestrate a little divine intervention to speed things up. Thanks for taking the time to listen to an over crazed seamstress. Love you, Amen.

So I saved this with the intention of posting it once I made it home after work. I made a quick stop at the cleaners to pick up my wool (the one I'm currently using to make a coat with) and I stopped by Jo-Ann's to pick up some liner and other supplies. I walked past the pattern table and to my surprise spotted the new Vogue Spring catalog. I was super excited but remembered  that I was told just yesterday that no patterns would be availabe today. So I checked the pattern cabinet to be on the safe side and there were NO new patterns. Seriously, you've got to be kidding me. Who puts out a new catalog without putting out new patterns? So I grabbed my supplies and checked out. While I was in the checkout line, I decided to inquire of the cashier when the new patterns would be set out. The cashier was able to get another associate to check for the patterns in the stock room. And to my suprise, the associate emerged with all of the new patterns. I was floored and excited. She was a doll and helped me pick out all my patterns which I had listed on a post-it note in my wallet ( yes, I come prepared for patterns sales). I couldn't believe it! Here's what I got.....

 I'm SO excited to have the new Vogue patterns and look forward to incorporating some into my Spring wardrobe. So this is my little story for the day. I started my day with a prayer and ended with an answer. What a miracle. To that all I can say is.........Thanks God, you really work FAST!(smile)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wool- vs- Gabardine

I have 3 pieces of clothing (1 dress, 1 tunic, 1 pair of pants I mentioned in my last 2 posts) in my queue that are in different stages of near completion. On top of that I'm adding my jacket for the month. If you recall I decided somewhere around mid month that I would join the "Jacket a Month" Sew Along. OK, I know this all seems like a lot but the first 3 items are just a step or two a way from completion. So technically I'm beginning a new project this week.

I've been eyeing this coat pattern (McCall 5987) for quite some time. Isn't it a beauty .....
 I haven't figured out why I'm so smitten with it but I think it's the versatility and drape of the coat. I never really paid attention to this coat but now I'm in love.

The challenge I face now is deciding which fabric to use. I think I'll need your help for this.
I have a beautiful wool fabric (90% wool, 10% acrylic) with two tones of color in it.

 Here it is draped on my dress form

But I also have this wonderful gabardine which is a little lighter than the wool.....

I just can't decide. I've read reviews on this coat and I understand it runs a little big. I want to pick the fabric that doesn't make this too heavy. Also, I want to take into consideration the fact that this coat is unlined. If I use the wool, would I be comfortable with that? Or will I have to line the sleeves to make this coat easier to get into? Decisions, decisions! I plan to make a muslin of this on tonight to adjust the fit and get a better impression on which fabric I should use.

By the way I picked up the wool fabric at an incredible price at I paid $6.99yd on sale (total $20.97 for 3 yards) which was far better than the $25/yd price I saw at Jo-Anns. Heck, even with a 50% off coupon this coat would have cost a little more than I wanted to spend.  I also was able to take advantage of a few more goodies. As I mentioned before my local Hancock & Jo-Ann's is often limited on the fabrics I want so I don't buy fabric often but rather wait for a big sale to rack up.

So I was able to pick up a host of knits---which as you know IS MY FAVORITE FABRIC TO SEW!!! Lol! Here are 6 different ITY prints. I only purchased these in 2yd increments (for 1 I purchased 3 yds). These are great for cute little asymmetric tops, dresses, etc.

I also snatched up some velour that was discounted super cheap to do a couple of jumpsuits with.
The one on the left is espresso and the one the right is navy. Of course the camera flash made them appear much lighter than what they are. Why did I think the color espresso would be a dark brown. WRONG! I already had black velour so this one has to be returned.

So I'm trying to wrap up my sewing projects. I hope to be able to review 4 pieces before the month's end. Please give me your honest opinion on the fabric for the coat. Which do you think would be best---gabardine or wool. Both are recommended fabrics. Between your suggestions and my muslin I should be able to decide.

What say Ye?????

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Paint my sky "gray" anyday.....

Growing up I usually associated the color gray with rainy days and overcast skys. To me it was kinda like the color of gloom. I noticed that it was used in a lot of business wear. But in my opinion alot of the pieces I saw were boring , too corporate,  and lacked any fashionable flare. I just never really gave the color gray a second glance when it came to clothes. It wasn't until recently that I began really liking the color. It all started with a pair of boots I spotted at the After Thanksgiving Sale. Unfortunately they didn't have my size but I sure was smitten with them.

They looked kinda just like these except they had a buckle and chunkier heel and were super SEXY! Since then I've been obsessed with all things gray and it's been popping at me left and right. But I soon began to realize that I don't really even own any gray garments. Just recently I made this dress.....

and of course I love it and would love to add more gray pieces to my wardrobe. It's definitely my favorite color at the moment and I'm plotting on incorporating it in future pieces. So I got to digging around in my fabric closet to track down the gray fabrics I do have. I think I already have enough to get started with.  I read that Allison is sewing a mini gray collection. I'm already liking where she's going with her idea and can't wait to see the finished wardrobe. So here's some fabric I have.

 I bought this gray sateen the other day with the intention of making the jacket in this pattern (BTW: This is one of the jackets in my queue for the Jacket-A-Month Sew Along). I've been wanting to make this for a while and wanted to pick an "uncommon" color for me that I know I would get good use out of.

The idea of the jacket spurred some ideas of some additional pieces like a dress, top, and/or jumpsuit that could go well with this jacket. Here's some other great fabrics I have that show gray at it's best....
The fabric on the left is a peachskin polyester that has an awesome drape. The sateen is in the middle and a poly charmeuse with grays, and browns is on the right. These fabrics would be great paired with the jacket.

This is a sweater knit fabric that has gray intermingled with lilac and green. I'd love to make this into a cardigan and pair it with a pair of gray slacks.

And if I decided to carry the color over into the spring here's a livelier piece of fabric that could make that possible.

It's really nice to be inspired and I must that the color gray is really serving as my inspiration at the moment. I can't wait until I finish sewing up my current garments so I can get started on a few gray pieces. It's funny it used to be the color of gloom but now it's the color of happiness!!!

So I must ask you----what's your inspirational color(s) at the moment!!!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Got my Fearlessness back--- Count me in!!!!!

Things have been quite hectic as of late and I've had my plate full adjusting to some new responsibilities. It's felt like I've been on a roller coaster. Without going into details, I can truly say that for the last week I've felt like this on the inside. They say a picture is worth a thousand word so this one pretty much sums it up for me.

Yes, I've been feeling like the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Funny I know!  I don't know what it was but every sewing project I set my mind to tackle just seemed so overcomplicated and intimidating. I now know that it wasn't the project that was the problem, but of course me. My confidence felt like it was at an all time low. Ironically during all of that I was reading & absorbing new sewing info, studying and reading your blogs but I was just just too out of sorts to start a new sewing project.

It's funny alot can change within a week. I'm still just as busy but somehow I was reminded of an old truth. The world will keep on turning whether I'm a part of it or not. I have to make the decision to jump back into things despite what I'm feeling. It's ok to be in a funk but it's not ok to stay in one.

We sometimes give our feelings too much credit. They can be up one day and down the next.  People who truly want to accomplish something in life can NEVER wait on their feelings to give them the "green light". I don't know about you but I don't always feel confident, capable, talent, etc. But even if I don't feel it I HAVE TO KNOW that I am (and of course you are too)! So I've learned to push forward despite what I feel. To me this is the very definition of courage. Besides, I've done some of my best work when I didn't exactly feel the most confident.

So I snapped out of my funk and I'm back to my OLD self and I'm feeling great. To be quite honest I'm feeling a little to good---more so like this....
I've got my "Fearlessness" back and Like Evil Knievel, I'm aiming to take my sewing to new heights!

As a result I've decided to join the "Jacket a Month" sewing challenge. Thanks so much to Carolyn and Gigi Sews (two exceptional seamstresses)  for spreading the Stitcher’s Guild sew-along info around . It's an awesome one and one I hope will drastically improve my tailoring capabilities by the year's end.  So COUNT ME IN!!!! The month is almost over so I need to get started and settle on a project, and complete a jacket before the month's end.

Also,  I'm currently working on a mini business wardrobe needed for some weekend business meetings I plan to attend with the non-profit organization I'm a part of. It's funny, business attire isn't fitting for my weekly job which is centered around a casual wardrobe of jeans, shirts, and sneaker. I work in a lab so I suspect heels and stockings aren't too fitting for that environment. It's kinda nice to dress in business attire for a change. Plus I can use it for church as well. I'm currently working with this pattern (I'll only show you the pattern and surprise you with the fabric once it's completed).
All I can say is I'm loving this pattern so far! Plus I still need to finish and review Butterick 5247 from the last post. I've got lots to do and I'm loving it!

So this is everything's that's been going on with me. I'm pumped up and ready to go. How are you doing? Hope all is going well with your sewing!

BTW, Happy MLK Jr. Day......
Remember it's the "Dreamer's" who help change and shape our world for the better!!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jan / Feb 2011: 10,000 Sewing Hours Challenge---New Year, New Challenge

First I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year! The last time I posted it was last year and I have to admit it's great to be at the start of a New Year! I'm hoping this will be a GREAT year. I'm hoping for better and more challenging sewing projects and for a greater sewing output!

I posted a quote on my blog that I hope will epitomize my year as well every year thereafter. It's says...

Nobody exceeds beyond his or her wildest expectations unless he or she begins with some wild expectations. ~ Ralph Charell

I love this quote! It's so profound and it's one for the rest of my life that I will strive to live by! 

 With all that said I have to admit that I'm off to to somewhat of a slow start.......... but I'm not worried my sewing mojo will soon kick into full gear soon. I'm in the process of finishing up this dress. It's a super easy pattern
  I don't exactly know how to feel about it but I think once I get it styled it will be a cute dress. It's actually cute but I guess I'm just on the fence with it!

I'm still deciding on where to go from there. My goals for the next 2 months are to finish up my basic wardrobe essentials and do some more winter sewing. Of course I'll follow the rules of my 10,000 Hr. Challenge which are to sew a garment weekly (spending 2 weeks for the more complicated one's) and log 1000 sewing hour (+sewing related activities) for the year. I'm trying to make it an effort to squeeze additional pieces and even duplicate garments within the week. I really want to push myself this year.

Here are some of the patterns I'm planning to choose from.....

You might recall these same patterns from my Nov/Dec 2010 Challenge.

I also want to squeeze one coat in. This one if I have enough fabric for it.....

I am also pleased to say in advance that I'll be attending a Gala in April (provided I don't have to be out of the country in AK again). I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sewing for formal occassions!!! I wish I had a formal affair to attend every other month but of course that would probably get expensive. And by that I mean renting my Hubby's tux because with sewing skills you save tons on formal dresses! This new Butterick pattern is already a strong contender. Early last year I purchased this beautiful blue fabric from a Hancock Fabrics in Tallahassee, FL.  I bought this beautiful fabric originally $6/yd for $1/yd and it's the first fabric that I thought would be perfect for this gown. It's a gorgeous midnight blue color. Although it's understated yet pretty, I think it would be oh so elegant for this style of gown. We'll see...

And lastly I bought fabric. Now I mentioned my goal is to limit this this year and for that I'm SERIOUS. I plan to go shopping in my own closet because I have Tons of fabric. This is my main sewing closet....

It is so packed with fabric and you can't even see completely inside the closet....And here's the sewing cabinet outside of my sewing room.....
 And I have several bins of fabric too. Like you guys who are fabric collectors, you can see why it's important to work on keeping this stash in check.

But I decided to treat myself since I landed a Part Time job with a WONDERFUL, local, & Prestigious non-profit organization that encourages mentorship and education for local youths. I found that a reason to celebrate!!! So at Wal-Mart I spotted this purple fabric and passed it up a few weeks ago---you know being disciplined an all. Since getting my position I went back for it and spotted 2 more pieces. I have to admit, Wal-Mart had some nice fabrics--that's not a regular occurence.
The fabric on the left and middle are charmeuse and the one on the right is a red patterned knit with gold specks.

Anyway, that's what's up with me for the next 2 months. What's going on with you. I hope your year's off to a great start! Got any lofty goals? No matter what you choose to do----Happy Sewing to you!


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