Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fabric Shopping at the "Top of the World!!!"---Picture Heavy!!!

  (Don't let this pic fool ya, it's REALLY cold!!! The Chukchi sea is behind me and bowhead whale skeleton is to the right.)
I've been missing in action a bit because I'm in Barrow, Alaska again for work. You know I MISS sewing so much!!! I also miss seeing all of your blogs and definitely plan to catch up with all the wonderful things many of you are sewing. In brief, just because people usually ask, here's a brief description of what I'm doing up here. My lab has funding to work with other scientists to study climate change  in Barrow, Alaska lookingspecifically at bacterial response (using molecular microbiology techniques) and nutrients in the ocean. Our project began last year and you may recall the last time's I've gone were in April and August of last year. April was breathtakingly beautiful with the sea ice and ice ridges. Not so much for August, especially since there's no snow and just lots of dirt and mud. But the Chucki Sea is an absolute. And hey, where else can you go and pay more than $11 for a gallon of milk....

and have 24 hours of daylight in the Summer.....this is what it looks like at 10 O'clock at night!!!!
 (One of the lab buildings we're working in.

and see a Polar bear resting on the beach after an ocean swim.....
(This is my 3rd trip here and I FINALLY saw a polar bear. Yup, and there are no fences or glass. He was about a good distance away and I just had my camera on max zoom. Fortunately, there was a local bear guid right next to us with a rifle to scare off the bear if he got aggressive. Fortunately he just looked around a couple of times but laid very quietly. I think he had an exhausting swim.)

Anywho, I've been up here since Wednesday, Aug 10th and as you can imagine had so much to do to get my household and personal self prepared for my 13 day excursion.  At home I was in the middle of a couple of projects and unfortunately didn't get to finish the binding on my cute tank dress. That will be one of the first things I tackle when I get back.
(unfinished tank dress with white tank top underneath)

Before I left I also ordered Peggy Sager's new DVD which I blogged about HERE. Unfortunately it didn't come in time for me to take on my trip. Grrrrrrr! So instead I grabbed a couple of sewing items (you know to make sure I accumulate my 10,000hr challenge "sewing or sewing related hours).....

.....thinking I would be slammed with work and have no time to really read/watch them. Man was I WRONG. As soon as we got here we had one adventure after another. Long story short, the entire city was out of fuel (yes, none at the pumps or anywhere) so they had to get an emergency delivery by barge. Furthermore, Mother Nature's furious winds prevented us from even attempting a boat trip to collect seawater. So I sat twiddling my thumbs for 4 days with no real work to do. You bet I was sure happy with the Project Runway 1st Season DVD's and the 142 Threads Magazines on DVD-ROM.  I tried to check out the new Project Runway episodes online but unfortunately the internet here isn't the best for streaming. So the lesson is always bring enough materials in case you'll have alot of down time. The Threads DVD-ROM will keep me quite busy.

On Monday the winds finally calmed down and we were able to get some work done. Part of our research group went out to sea and me and another team member decided to go into town to check out a craft store we'd heard about. Well we headed to the Fur Store and it ended up being an absolute treat!

Here are some of the goodies in the store. Lots of fabric....
They had a good deal considering the small size of the store.

Exotic furs.....everything from fox, to chinchilla, rabbit, wolf and beyond. Every hide imaginable---from pig to deer. The native Inupiat Indians use these furs to line the hoods and bottoms of their parkas so they can stay warm in those -60F winters.
 Here's what the traditional parkas look like....
(People posted pics of the parkas they sewed in the store. Isn't this little number cute!!!)

They even had parka patterns but for $30 a pop I kinda shy-ed away from them. The Jo-Ann's $0.99 patterns have me spoiled. LOL! I think I could get one on Ebay for alot cheaper.

The furs really had me drooling. I'm not into furs, never had been, but I appreciate the way the natives use them. They really know how to responsibly and reverentially use their resources.

And of course you need really long zippers for the parkas. That's a ton of zippers.
The store also had lots of notions, yarn, lots of trims, etc. Everything except sewing machines. The store even doubled as a florist and souvenir shop (I picked up some cute T-shirts and a great picture.) It was truly a crafter's paradise. Although I didn't purchase any fabric, for now that is---I'm planning to visit again, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. And I'm delighted to say that I feel at home at any fabric store even if it is at the top of the world!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Should Royalty be held to a different Fashion Standard?

I ran across this article today in which Kelly Osbourne strongly disapproved of  Kate Middleton for "recycling" her clothes which means to wear them more than once. Kelly rationalized that because Kate was royalty she shouldn't be so "thrifty" by re-wearing her clothes. Instead she should get a new "dress" everyday for the mere fact that she could and to compensate for all she's giving up by being in the spotlight.

Ok, everyone's entitled to their own opinion and I don't care for the drama  this article stirs up but it definitely made me think. Even if I were royalty, would I want to have a dress for everyday of the year. That's 365 dresses! That number is insane!!! What's wrong with wearing your clothes more than once? Hey the average person does that. How could you ever establish and enjoy you favorite garments if you only wore them once? For me that takes the fun out of having a wardrobe. I know I repeatedly wear (and on the verge of wearing them out) clothes that I've sewn for myself. It's part of the fun for me. But that's just me. I could ask a thousand more questions on this subject but I don't care to devote the time. But I have to admit being scrutinized for re-wearing an garment is ridiculous. Trust me if those are the kinds of standards people hold famous people to then I'm glad I'm not in that spotlight.

What are your thoughts? Do you think Royalty should be held to a different standard?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Fitting DVD--- "Fit Yourself by Yourself"

If you've followed along with me long enough than you know I'm all about the sewing resources. I recommend that everyone has a well stocked library filled with the best sewing resources on the market. They're an invaluable resource to any seamstress no matter the experience level.

Well I'm pretty satisfied with my book, textbooks, & DVD collection but every once in a while I run across something that I'd love to have. Well that happened today. I subscribe to emails from Silhouette Patterns and heard about an extension sale on her latest DVD, "Fit Yourself By Yourself" and just knew I had to add it to my collection. I own several of her DVD's and have always been pleased with the content and quality. Her "Achieving Great Fit with Muslins" dvd helped me when I was experiencing trouble with resolving my own pattern fitting issues. That and several fitting books helped me learn the steps on how to fit myself as well as other clients. Even if some of the information is familiar to me, just one new tip or idea can improve upon my sewing. That's what I go for. Plus, since I teach sewing lessons, I love to buy resources like these to share and recommend to my students.

When it comes to sewing I consider myself a lifetime learner. And I'm a very visual learner so videos are very helpful to me. I've learned ALOT in a short period of time due to some great resources. Anywho, I just wanted to pass this info on to anyone who's interested. It's on sale for $19.99 instead of $29.99 until 8/4. For the record I'm not getting any perks for my recommendation.  Just passing on some helpful info:)


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