Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sewing Vicariously......

What do you do when you want to SEW SOOOOO VERY bad but you can't? Well you watch others do it!!!!

I'm going out of town to visit Orlando, Fl for a few days and will have fun watching these DVD's (in addition to hunting down fabric stores (wink)). You can never get enough of Project Runway re-run's. BTW, the new Project Runway Season 9 (has it really been 9 seasons, that's crazy!!!)...anywho it debuts July 28th, 9pm on Lifetime!!!! Can't wait!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 6.26.11

 "Sewing Jots & Tittles" is my weekly post where I get to ramble on and on about sewing related stuff that's been on my mind. Here what's been orbiting my brain.....
Vacation Sewing:
 -This month is my vacation month (yeah, woo-hoo, yipee) and I've got to make a few items to take with me. I'm pulling out patterns and fabric now---so I'm in planning mode. One garment I know will be another jumpsuit--I've already bought the fabric and have prepped it. The other items will be cute and simple---and probably mostly knit. To me there's nothing cooler, especially since we're heading down South to Florida. Besides, I'll be dropping the Wee-One off at Grandma & Grandpa's for a week, so that will free up lots of time for sewing!!!! Can't wait until I organize those plans.

3 Waiting in the Wings:
-I have 3 garments that are cut out and ready to be sewn. I have no idea how I got so backed up like that. I need to figure out something fast, especially with Vacation Sewing that needs to be done. They may have to sit on the backburner until I make it through the Vacation sewing. Sigh......

New Fashion Shows on Bravo
-In August, when the Rachel Zoe's show new season begins (I've never been a huge fan but I do occassionally watch it) there will be 2 new fashion shows.
One is Fashion Hunters and the other Mad Fashion. Fashion Hunters focuses on employees of the Second Time Thrift store that  is known for it's high end merchandise. Mad Fashion is pretty much self explanatory in that it deals with the crazy fashion sense of Chris March, former Project Runway Alum. You can find more info for each show here & I'll check them out.

Banana Republic
-I saw this dress in the Banana Republic store window in Downtown Savannah a week ago. Isn't it just gorgeous. The simplicity of the design and those beautiful, soft watercolors. So breathtaking.

Fabric from Lisbon
-I had some Co-Workers/Friend recently travel to Europe and while they were in Lisbon, Portugal looked what they picked up for me. I love Fabric from other countries. Plus it's a knit----what a treat!!!

A Funny:
I saw this in the current Vogue Pattern magazine and it made me chuckle.We seamstresses are truly artists!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Try Fast, Fail Fast / 1000 Pair of Pants???

  So I was doing a little research the other day pertaining to the habits of successful people. Most of you have read the book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" (I've read some of it and it's still on my reading list). But every now and again I need a refresher. You know you get into a slump and don't feel like you're getting much accomplished.
  Well during an online search I ran across an interesting I ran across the article "5 Winning Habits of Successful People-Do you Have Them All?". Needless to say at first glance the article offered the usual and common advice of 1. Having an end in mind, 2. Have a support group, etc. But it was habit # 5 that really stuck out to me. Habit #5 is "Try fast, fail fast, keep trying and never give up. There was something about that point that REALLY stuck out to me. I've never entertained the notion of "try fast  & fail fast".  I interpret this phrase as don't waste any time. Get in there and give it a go and if you fail, do so, get it over with and take another stab at it! So I started to think about this concept when it comes to my sewing. I can't tell you how often I seem to "mourn" over a failed project or how often I put off giving a sewing project a try due to a feeling of intimidation. What I'm learning to do is just go for it. Heck, OUT with all of the reservation!!!! Just take a stab at it. Ok, I might not know EXACTLY what I'm doing but that's where learning comes in, huh? But we should never let the fear of failure prevent us from giving something a try. What have I got to lose. So if I waste 5 yards of silk, It's only fabric, right? LOL (wink)!
   Well as I mentioned in my last post, I had the notion to sew up some white pants and that's exactly what I did this weekend. Unfortunately I didn't have stellar results. I used the Jalie 2909 pattern that I sewed up HERE.  The pants which are a cotton sateen turned out great with the exception of the back leg wrinkles.  I had this problem when I originally sewed this pattern in black cotton sateen but they seem to be more pronounced in white.
 (Front turned out great, just like last year's version)

(The fit on my bum is good, it's the upper leg wrinkles that I detest.)

Either way, although I sewed up my pants and they didn't turn out as perfectly as I wanted them I'm happy I just did it anyway. Sewing very fitted pants is a special skill and I just need to figure out how to reduce the length of back leg pant on this pattern. I already found this helpful info and I have some other resources to check out. I'll take any of your suggestions as well. Also, I have other pants patterns I plan to give a go at. I have pants I want to deconstruct and convert into patterns and ultimately I plan to draft up my pants sloper. I've enjoyed sewing & fitting pants because it's so complex and I learn something new every time!
  So I'm cool. I can't wait to have another go at it. I just have to get some more white fabric. But I'm left with the lasting thought of "Try fast, fail fast, keep trying and never give up". Again, I love the "try fast & fail fast" part. What a great reminder!!!! You can't just embrace your success without doing so with your failures. It's your failures that makes success so sweet! Besides, it's been said that Thomas Edison tried more than 1,000 times to develop the filament for the light bulb . When asked about this Edison simply said " I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb."  What a great response!!!!! He's also quoted at saying "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time".
Such wise words!!! So let's get out there and  push the boundaries of our experience. Remember: "Try fast, fail fast, keep trying and never give up"!!!

What have you been wanting to sew but have been putting it off? Why? Do you feel courageous enough to tackle it???

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sewing Jots & Tittles 6.16.11

 "Sewing Jots & Tittles" is my weekly post where I get to ramble on and on about sewing related stuff that's been on my mind. Here what's been orbiting my brain.....

Jumpsuit Love & Reveal:
Thanks so much for all of the compliments on my jumpsuit!!! I can honestly say that that was one of the easiest garments to sew that yielded in my opinion really great results. It was super easy!  There was one hitch that I forgot to mention on my post. The matte jersey I used was a light weight and a tad bit see through believe it or not--only if you held it to the light. I took pictures early that afternoon when the sun was shining it's brightest and realized that only on camera (clears throat) I could see slightly through the backside. I had to wait until the sunset to take another pic. I don't think I ever experienced this with photographing fabrics before. That was interesting and believe me from now on I'll pay close attention to how my slightly sheer fabrics photograph from now on. I don't want to end up like some of these celebrities with pictures of their unmentionables showing through their black clothes! LOL!

Sewing Machine Scale Back
It's funny when I bought my first machine I felt it was so basic and I longed to have a machine with more bells and whistles. It's ironic that just the other day it was my first sewing machine that saved me from a jam when my fancier machine had to go into the shop.  It has taken me a couple of years to realize that I only need a nice, reputable and basic machine.  I'm kinda past all of the bells and whistles. I think my first sewing machine's name pretty much sums it up........Simplicity:)

Costume Jewelry:
I love jewelry and especially really pretty jewelry for discount prices. I'm not interested at all in any real or really expensive jewelry.  I scored these pieces at Cato's the other day. I acquire my jewelry piece by piece . One can never have enough great jewelry!

Bottom basics:
I can't really bring myself to sew pants of any color other than the basics being Black, khaki, white, and blue. As you know I LOVE COLOR, but am very cautious about putting it on my lower half. I wonder what that's all about. I think it's because I know that my lower half is so long that I don't want it to stand out too much. But then again I like basic colored pants and to wear tops that stand out instead. I don't know. I need to figure this one out.

Pick up the Pace:
-Since May, I've only sewed 3 garments and we're almost half way through June. I've got to get a move on it. I hope to get at least 3-4 more pieces in before the end of the month.

Fabric shopping freeze:
-I just realized I haven't bought fabric online in forever. I just haven't seen anything that has tickled my fancy or any bargains. It would be nice to run across some deals in the future, but I've got a closet full of fabric so I'm not complaining:)

Threads Book:
I  saw this book for sale and noticed alot of people making a big deal about it. It's basically Threads favorite articles compiled in book form. I already have the 2010 Threads DVD so it would be no need to get this book but I've heard so much about it. Anybody have this one?
White Pants:
I want some white pants so I just cut some out using Jalie 2909. I'm always leary about sewing anything white. It seems I'm always the biggest dust and dirt magnet. I own a pair of store bought capris and I'm going to eventually have to trash them due to some mystery stains. Since I know it would be difficult for me to find the perfect pair of white pants that were long enough for me and didn't cost an arm and a leg---I'll just make my own. Now if I can just figure out a way to make it dirt repellent.

Chiffon mania:
I've been wanting to make some sheer tunics and caftans. Here's some of the fabrics that I have. I hope to make up one of these to wear with the white pants I'm making.

Work Uniform?
I've mentioned before that I work in a research lab and giving the type of work that I do it's really not acceptable or functional for me to dress up in heels and dressy clothes. So I've had to figure a way around that--because a girl has got to look cute right? I usually like to wear capri's with cute tops and sneakers or sandals. Other times I like to spruce it up a little more.  Here's such an outfit--a black sleeveless top, white & black cotton skirt, short leggings, and flip flops. This is an awful self pic with bad lighting. But hopefully you get an idea of what I mean. What do ya think?
Anywho, that's what's been up with me. What's been going on with you?????

Sunday, June 12, 2011

McCall's 6380--- Jumpsuit for Date Night!

This weekend was a fun one for me! As I mentioned in my last post, my daughter's Godparents kept her for the weekend which gave me an Hubby a "Wee-One Free" weekend. So we definitely wanted to have a fun weekend together. We decided to spend Saturday out and about and Sunday vegging out in the house. So of course I wanted a cute outfit to wear for our outing on Saturday. I'd been wanting to make a jumper for quite some time. I fell in love with the McCall 6083 pattern and figured it would be a good choice. And it was!!! But it almost didn't happen. Half way through sewing my jumpsuit my Brother sewing machine (the one I just sent to the shop early last month) started jamming. I almost panicked but I was determined to finish this jumpsuit--- even if I had to handsew it LOL! Fortunately I used a back up (the first machine I ever bought) whichI hadn't used in 4 years and "she" worked great for me ---and didn't even hold a grudge (smile)! I'm happy things worked out because I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this jumpsuit! I've got a couple more in the works and in different fabrics! So here's my jumpsuit.....

McCall 6083
Pattern Description:

Jumpsuit has side front pockets, elastic casings and stitched hem and sash. I made view C.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 10 for the bodice and 12 for the hips and below.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yep, yep!!!
(Love those pockets. BTW, couldn't wear cute strappy sandals due to a hurt big toe:(

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super easy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved everything about this pattern! There were no dislikes!

Fabric Used:
Matte jersey

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I didn't have to make any major alterations which was nice. I always get nervous when I'm making pants that I will have to do some major crotch adjustment. None was needed in this case.

1. Added 1" length to bodice----I made a muslin and thought the front and back pieces could use a little more length.
2. Added 3" length to the hem.

(Loved the necklace---black tiny beads with larger wooden beads and mother of pearl shell medallion).
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
ABSOULUTELY!!!! I love this jumpsuit and already have another cut out and ready to sew.

Love this pattern! It's well drafted and the fit is great! I plan to make a few more!

I had a great date with Hubby made better by having a cute outfit to wear which he loved. To close, I

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jumpsuit vs Romper

I'm definitely not a trendy person. I make/buy clothes not because they're trendy but because I genuinely like them. I've been eye-balling those cute rompers and jumpsuits that I've seen around lately and honestly have taken to them. I blogged a couple of months back that I wanted to make a jumpsuit.With my upcoming "Date Night" this weekend, I definitely want to wear something fashionable and sexy and I can't think of a better garment. But I'm having a hard time deciding on whether to make a romper or jumpsuit. My dilemma is I have really long legs (I'm probably 80% legs with a short torso) and I don't really wear short clothing because I don't want to walk around exposing most of my body and risk feeling naked. Of course I have no problem with wearing short shorts, etc. at the beach but it's different when you're just out and about walking around town. I definitely love the idea of a jumpsuits since they differ from rompers. 

But I was still a little curious about those rompers, especially since I didn't know too much about them. I know there's lots of styles and I wanted to familiarize myself with them to see if they'd suit my style. So I decided to do a little research to see suggestions on how to wear them. I ran across the following sites and articles:

These sites offered tips on how to wear rompers and frankly aside from wearing one at the beach, it's NOT for me. They're just WAY too short for me---some scandalously so! If I was a little shorter I definitely would wear them--but only the tasteful one's. To be quite honest some of the rompers in silkier fabrics looks like lingerie. I assumed they came in various lengths but have noticed that the rompers are short shorts while the playsuits (some) and jumpsuit are usually longer in leg length. It seems the latter 2 options would work better for me. I even love the idea of a cropped leg jumpsuit. I love this style right here....
I don't really like the fullness of the pants legs but I love the length and elasticized hem. And besides, this goes better with my style anyway. I'm not really a shorts wearer but love Capri's. I'm thinking about modifying my McCall 6083  jumpsuit pattern and cropping the pants leg. I'm interested in making the upper right version.
I'll mull it over on tomorrow and decide what to do. Straight, long pants or cropped, elasticized pants? Hmmmm, decisions, decisions. I'll figure it out. But in the meantime I'm interested in your opinion. Are you a big romper or jumpsuit fan? Why or why not?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Feeling Real Motivated.......

Thank God it's Friday!!! It's been a heck of a week! I never mean to be away from blog land long but things have been crazy. I prepared all last week and early this week for a research presentation for my peers on Wednesday. I was nervous but made it through and delivered a good presentation. I have "Sarayu" to thank for helping me through it all (if you've read the Shack by William P Young then you understand the reference (wink)). Needless to say that after having delivered something I spent so long preparing for, I really wanted to get to a fabric store and unwind by checking out some fabrics. But I couldn't get away so I did the next best thing, treated myself to one of my favorite lunches.

I love a cranberry and feta cheese salad with balsamic dressing. In addition, a friend was nice enough to make a gluten free treat for after my talk (treats are a part of our weekly talks) so I got a fruit pizza (cookie crust, cream cheese and fruit) out of the deal . It was a nice way to end a somewhat stressful day. And I can honestly admit that in just under 3 minutes I inhaled half of the missing section of that pizza LOL! It was GOOD!

Since I spent most of the week preparing for my presentation, all I've had time to do is stalk everyone's blogs. And man, many of you guys (or technically, Ladies) have been super busy and productive. So my little sewing hiatus has made me antsy. I have this project on my cutting table right now and am hoping to finish it up this weekend.

At the same time I've been working on creating a "Style Look Book" containing all of those pictures I've been ripping out of my fashion magazines. This is actually a fun exercise for me and one I'll always do--and it's so helpful. I've always had an inspiration board but it's kinda cool to create my own look book. I just have a basic photo album that I'll create sections in and add different looks to. It's amazing how simple and straightforward my style is.

I can honestly say that I've figured out my style pattern but I'll talk more about that later. Lastly, next weekend will be a "Wee-One" free weekend (thanks to great Godparents) so that means the entire weekend my Hubby and I will be hanging out catching up on some well needed personal time. So I'm putting some looks together for our "Date Weekend" (including some activities). Here's some of the patterns I'm looking at.

These were items I was planning to sew up anyway but they're very fitting for the occasion. I just want to keep it fun, simple, and sexy!!! I'll be sewing like mad all next week. I can't wait!!!


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