Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sewing Jots & Tittles 3.31.2012

Can't believe it's almost April!!! Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the New Year and now we're getting close to the finishing the first quarter. Well the thoughts/ideas in my brain has been moving as fast as the days. Here's what's been on my mind.....

-Easter Dress sewing is in EFFECT!!!!
Remember my Easter dress plans? I'm 75% done with my dress and about to begin my daughter's.
Here's the bodice and I've already done most of the skirt. Just have to add the collar, sleeves, and attach the skirt. I love the raspberry color.

I'm trying to hurry up and get through these 2 projects since I have so many other's I want to do:) So far, so good. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have a Gala gown to sew right after these 2 and need it by the 14th! I'm going to be a sewing "mad woman".

-Baby on the Way.......
Guess who's in the mail? My custom made dressform from Andy's Dressfroms in NYC. And yes I said, "who" on purpose. I'll have to give her a name.  I can't wait!!! I have the UPS tracking # so I'm always looking for updates. I hope my dressform is my exact clone!!!

-BURDA PATTERNS on SALE April 5th-9th at Hancock's
If there's anything you DO NOT want to forget, it's this. These things only go on sale every blue moon. I'll be there with bells on. This is worth going to work late for LOL! And yes, it's that SERIOUS!!!! Don't FORGET!!!

-Got leggings on the brain
I have at least 4 leggings in the queue to sew up. Can't wait to get to them!!!

-$49.95 Dress
Saw this at Dress Barn. It wasn't the dress that caught my eye but the price tag.

Can't tell you the last time I paid that much for a dress. So thankful I can sew. I'll pay that for a pair of jeans before I do it for a dress!!!!

-Draping the Cross
In preparation for our Easter Service I have the task of preparing the drape for the cross. Actually I was asked to sew the drape so it doesn't slip or shift. I think I worked out a strategy where I'll sew the upper portion of the drape on the top of the cross and add velcro on the cross and underneath that portion of the drape so it won't slip and slide. Hope that does the trick.

Being tall has it's disadvantages. At 5'9" I have to pass on wedges that add 5" to my height. I don't really feel like being a skyscraper. But they're so cute.....walks away sobbing....

-Sewing for the Groom
I've sewn for a bride before (reception dress) but never for the groom. I have a friend (the Groom) who would like a bow tie that would match his groomsmen's ties but is having a hard time finding it. That's where I come it. I look forward to making one for him.  The wedding's not until July but I'm excited about it. Here's the pattern I'll use.....

-Love for Rayon Challis
I recently bought some from and I have flowy dresses and tops on the brain. Can't wait to use these.....


-Orange cauliflower?!?!
Who knew? I'm a big veggie fan and have never seen one of these before. Fascinating. I wonder if there's a difference in taste?

-Sleeping Beauties
I promised my Hubby I wouldn't post this on Facebook, but didn't say anything about my blog. LOL! I swear, just ran into Beall's Outlet only for 10 minutes. Came back and they were both passed out! LOL!

-This was posted at the YMCA! Love this quote.....

-The Sweetest book!
We as people could learn alot from animals.

-My meal problems are SOLVED!!!!
I am in LOVE!!! I bought a pressure cooker and it has revolutionized how I cook meals. I've known about these for years (hey we used to use one in my lab to sterilize things before we bought a autoclave). It cooks everything FAST! I've been a cooking fool. I made sirloin beef tips in 25min, cornbeef in 45min, a pork roast for pulled pork sandwiches in 35 min. I've been making soups and everything. I love to cook but don't always have the time. Well I'm set now. And the good thing is all of the food nutrients are locked in. So I can cook the healthy meals I like. And all for $42 on I'm going to buy at least 2 more. If anything they're great for using to quickly cook meats and use in other recipes.

I also bought this cookbook and the recipes are AWESOME!!!!
With meals done there's more time for SEWING!!!!

-Pure ridiculousness!!!
I swear McDonald's doesn't need a gimick to attract customers. This store was recently rennovated and for it's Grand Opening offered to give the first 100 customers a "Year of FREE Bigmacs". That's ludicrous. Who would even want that?!?!?

Well that's what's been on my mind. What's been on yours?????

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pattern Graveyard --Part 2......

Wow! Thanks so much for your feedback to my last post. It's great to know that there's so many passionate pattern collectors & sharers out there!!!!

For the record, I was only referring to my USED patterns--the one's I've cut out and sewn up. Sorry if I was confusing. Every pattern I showed in the picture has been sewn up before. I am just doubtful I'll revisit them again.

 (My used patterns I was on the fence about keeping)

I wouldn't dream of throwing out perfectly good and new sewing patterns. That's just wasteful and against my character. One thing that disgusts me about my country and places around the world is that so many restaurants produce food that they'd rather toss at the end of the day instead of donate to those who are hungry. It's not that there isn't enough food to go around globally---it's that people would rather hoard and not share. Wastefulness & greed are such evils. Ok, let me get off that tangent---please don't get me started. Sounds like many of you are against wastefulness as well. I was just so tickled to hear about how you share & donate your patterns. If only the rest of the world could be like kind sewers (smile).

But reading many of your comments have given me a few ideas of what to do with my used patterns. I definitely will hold on to those few "used" patterns especially since I plan to get into patternmaking myself---more so from draping then from drafting. I have the textbooks but it would be nice to look at drafted pattern pieces to help me get ideas. Having used patterns to refer back to I think would help. And as always, someone said it best,

But I DO so happen to have a box of brand new patterns that I don't want. I was looking for a place to send them and many of you had some great ideas. I definitley would like to donate them and you guys gave some great suggestions. And of course, since you're all "pattern junkies like me" I definitely will have to do a giveaway in the near future.

Thanks again for all of your input. Again, I'm not tossing NEW patterns at all--I  just was exploring the possibilities of what to do with the USED one's. But not to worry, I'm dropping the shovel and walking away from the hole in the ground. Thanks to your input, I'll be keeping my USED patterns after all:)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pattern Graveyard???

Ok, so on last week I began one of the final stages of my sewing room reorganization. I organized all of my patterns and began storing the used one's with instructions sheets and original envelopes in 1 Gallon Ziploc bags. I ran across a few patterns that I am CERTAIN I won't be sewing again. Some I really love and others I've fallen out of love with. But then it hit me that up until now, I've never thrown any of my patterns away. I mean I might have tossed one if I lost a pattern piece or something flukey like that but for the most part I've just kept them, even the one's that may have not worked.
 My lack of pattern organization may have played a role in that. I used to fold my patterns up and stack them. Now that I'm packaging all of my patterns up, it's easier to distinguish between the one's I like and don't like. So now I have a stack of used patterns to keep and others I don't want to keep. I'm still perplexed. For some reason it seems like a waist to just trash the pattern. But that seems like the logical option when you don't want anything anymore, right?  I have NO problem decluttering but for some reason I have reservations about tossing patterns. It's not like I can pass these on for someone else to use, right? Especially after they have my markings on them. Maybe it's my devout love for my craft that makes the thought of tossing old patterns seem wrong. I don't know. But despite the feeling I tossed a trash bag full of patterns that I didn't feel like sorting out. And I'm pretty sure I will toss the undesirables.
(Here are some of the patterns I don't plan to sew again for one reason or another. Some worked very well and I still have the finished garment. Maybe that's why I may feel a little conflicted?)

But there's still that reservation. So I'm curious, Do you trash patterns you've tried and don't want or don't plan to sew anymore or do you hold on to them? If so, why? If not, what's your reservation?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Quickie Dress---McCall's 6074

I needed......well let me rephrase that....I WANTED a new dress to wear to church on Sunday so on late evening yesterday I decided to make one. While perusing my patterns I ran across McCall's 6074. I'd meant to sew it ages ago but could never find the right fabric in my stash. Well I dug through my fabric and found the perfect print for it. I'm all too thrilled when that happens. The marriage of a good pattern and fabric is truly a good thing. Well I got to work and Voila....I had my dress in about 3 hours.

McCall's 6074

Pattern Description:
Dress with gathered elastic under bust.
(Elastic gathers up close)

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?
(Back shot)

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Loved the simple styling. Wanted to use it to showcase my fabric. Plus it's a really quick pattern. I made view A and it was only 3 pieces. It's said to be an 1 hour pattern but I'm a slow poke so between coverstitching the neckline & hems it took me more like 3.

Fabric Used:
A Poly/Rayon blend that I won from the lovely Sheila:)
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
(Side shot)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably--it's a great simple TNT dress to keep on hand. I highly recommend it!!!

Great quickie dress pattern! I wanted a new dress to wear to church the next day so this fit the bill & turned out rather cute. No complaints at all:)

BTW, while I was at the park today you wouldn't believe who I bumped into today.....
try again.....
go ahead and take another one.....
give up? LOL!

I ran into Angela Keslar from Project Runway Season 3. She was jogging at Forsythe park. I saw her from a distance jogging and kept staring. Thankfully she didn't notice. But as soon as she approached I asked if she was on PR to be sure. When she said yes, I gushed a bit. I think I made her smile when I told her I was a bit star struck and I remembered her for her rosettes. I wanted a pic, but with no makeup and jogging I thought not to ask. As a Woman I wouldn't want to asked. But she was lovely just the same. That's like the 4th contestant I've run into. Pretty cool.

Anyhow, I just cut out my Easter dress and got to get back to work. Happy sewing to you.........

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Shoe Envy

(Christian Louboutin shoe sold at Saks Fifth Avenue)

If only I had an extra grand laying around and maybe (based on the shoe reviewer)---a high tolerance for pain---I would have this shoe!!!! I LOVE this shoe.  It' the epidemy of what I'm searching for to wear with the Easter dress that I'm sewing. It's pictured here on the right of course.

A simple mock wrap/shirt dress to be made of raspberry rayon lycra knit. A simple understated dress and flashy shoe---see how great it would go together!!!

Sigh.....Ok...I'm coming off of my "shoe high" and reality is setting in. Truth be told I don't think I'd EVER spend that much money on one pair of shoes, even if I had it. Maybe it will end up on ebay for cheaper! Much cheaper---more like dirt cheap! LOL! Price aside, I'm 5'9" and with a 5 inch heel this shoe would make me as tall as my husband. But I am looking for a cute floral print shoe to wear with my dress. Has anyone seen any? I plan to check online stores. Have any of your favorites to suggest? I appreciate any help or suggestions:)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A "Fashionable" Top--- McCall's 5855

When I saw the fabric used in this top it was "love at first sight". I loved the fashion photos and phrases on it in additon to the cool pics and colors.  I'm delighted that I found a pattern that would showcase it. This was a fun top to make and a great day to take a photo at Savannah's well known Forsythe Park despite the "curl dropping humidity"! I REALLY do completely love this top! Anywho----here's the review.

McCall Pattern 5855

Pattern Description:
Flowy tunic with waistline belt

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size small. Although the top is very loose I was cutting it a little close in the hip area though. I looked at the bust measurement and forgot to look at the hip measurement.

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

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very much so! It was super quick to cut out. It says it takes an hour to sew but it took me about 3. Mainly because marking & sewing a sheer is a slightly slower process:)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I've wanted one of these flowy tops for quite some time. I just wanted to make one with a great fabric.

Fabric Used:
Some poly blend---I think it's georgette! It pays homage to the 80's fashion and has some cool pics and fashion related words & phrases. Although a sheer, it was a DREAM to sew. I cut it out easily using my rotary cutter and it didn't slide all over the place. It even sewed well and didn't get sucked into the needle plate. Sewing with sheers is usually exasperating but not this one. Pure joy:)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
As far as design changes go---the only one was I nixed the neckline facing. And used a different method mentioned below.
Here are a few pointers I found that worked well with my fabric and this pattern.
*I used Design Plus Superfine Bias fusible tape to stabilize the neckline. I only had it in white (wish I had black) and fused to wrong side of neckline. I turned it under and topstitched.
* I stitched & serged the shoulder seam since my fabric wasn't extremely sheer.
*I enforced the button hole using black fusible interfacing.
*I didn't have 1" bias tape so I used 1/2" and opened it up and pressed it. Voila---it became 1" and worked well. Plus I didn't have to press sides open since it already was already.
*I used tape (that wouldn't leave a residue to mark the vertical sew lines. It was a great sewing guide and peeled off easily.
*I also did a 3 thread rolled seam as the finishing the entire tunic.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably but there are some other patterns I want to try with sheer fabrics.
(The Forsythe Park fountain is still green from this weekend's St. Patty's Day celebration:)

Wonderful pattern and a great way to showcase my fabric!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Giveaway Winner & Easter Dress plans....

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful compliments on my daughter's 2nd Father/Daughter Banquet dress!!! You guys are so kind (smile). I've started working on other projects but before I get too caught up let me announce the winner of the Simplicity Givewaway.

It's Kimberly!!!!!! Yay!!!!!
Kimberly please email me at and pass on your contact info and I'll send your pattern and pre-cut dress off asap.

With some more special occassions coming up I don't really have much time to rest. Easter & a Gala are the next 2 big events coming up and they're just a week apart. Well I think I've settled on my Easter dress plans for me and my daughter---that is unless I change my mind AGAIN! Here's what I'm planning...
 It look like "Raspberry pink" will be the color choice. The overlay for my daughter's dress is on the left. Her fabric is a sheer pink with embossed pink hears and other patterns on it. It screams "I love pink"---which she does. She actually picked it out herself. Her pattern, which I may change, doesn't call for an overlay but I will add it. My choice is this new Spring season Vogue dress. I wanted to make something with a floral pattern for some odd reason---particularly a jacket. I was just craving flowers. But I couldn't find the perfect floral pattern. So instead I'll get my fix by hopefully finding a cute pair of pumps in a coordinating floral pattern for this dress.

Ok, I hope to get moving on these patterns really soon. I have a few projects lined up and want to be ahead of the deadline on each of them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NewLook 6881-- The "Masquerade" Father/ Daughter Banquet Dress!

(My daughter & Hubby, two peas in a pod:)

Well last night was yet another Father/Daughter Banquet hosted by our church. It was the second one my hubby & "Wee One" attended together. Remember last year's banquet? (that dress was pretty fun to make too!) Well, the theme this year was the masquerade and from the stories I heard upon their return, all from hubby since my daughter was knocked out sleep, it was a BLAST!!! They danced, ate, danced, and had fun mingling with friends and other daddy/daughter pairs of all ages. It was a great event to encourage bonding betweend dads and their girls. I was blessed to have a WONDERFUL Father and it inspired & influenced me to marry a Wonderful Hubby & Father. Father/ Daughter bonds are so important!!!

Here are a few picture highlights of the evening....

(Wearing my mask)

(Dancing with Dad)

 (Made a new friend)

(Posing with the Big Girls)

(Grabbed some chocolate ice cream afterward)

 (One of my favorite photos of the night--I'd call it "Ice Cream and a history lesson")

I'm happy I "rediscovered this pattern " and made the decision to use it. It went together effortlessly!!! Here's the pattern review.....

New Look 6881

Pattern Description:
Dress with bodice and skirt variations.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 4 for my daughter.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, pretty much! I added a few changes but overall it looked about the same.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Super easy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the style and felt it would be a great pattern to showcase the fancy fabric I had.

Fabric Used:
Turquoise taffeta with black embossed velvet pattern.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Added 2" to the bodice and took in back skirt seam at bottom about 2" and tapered to nothing at waist. I also used tulle instead of net to add volume to the skirt & let it hand 2" below hemline to add contrast. I also used a velvet pleated trim that I picked up in NYC for the neckline. And I used the remainder of the trim to make a flower which I added to the dress.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Probably not since I sewed it once when she was a baby. But I HIGHLY recommend it to others.

Wonderful little dress! Me and my daughter couldn't be happier!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Masquerade mask is done!!!

Whew!!!! I just finished up the mask that matches my daughters dress for the Father/Daughter Banquet! I'm pretty happy how it turned out. Nothing too over the top but I think it's just perfect for her dress. I did a little research online and looked at some decorated masks. I took a few ideas and voila---the finished product. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY love it.
(Here's her mask. The black plastic mask originally had elastic band. I removed it and added the decorated dowel rod. This made it easier for her to use.)

And all I used was  a plastic mask, wide & narrow ribbon, feathers, a dowel rod, decorative crystals and a hot glue gun. I practically most everything from Wal-Mart and in the kids craft section with exception of the feathers which I purchased from Jo-Ann's.
 (Working on a hancock fabric ad on my cutting table. Here's all of the supplies. I swear I dripped glue everywhere. I really enjoyed playing with the glue gun.)

 I didn't realize "mask making" was so fun. I have 3 more left in the package and would love to use those for craft time with the "Wee-One" especially since she didn't get to help me at all with this one. She's off getting her beauty sleep for school and the banquet tomorrow evening. I peeked in to check on her while sleeping and this is what I saw.....
She was passed out sleep.............on her knees. I had to turn the light on for a pic! It's so funny when I catch her like this. I honestly don't know how she assumes this position. So funny!!!

Anywho---tomorrow is the banquet and I have 2 small thing to do on her dress and I'm done. I'll post the finished pics of my daughter's dress and mask then. I can't wait. I know I may be a bit over the top with excitement but I LOVE Special Occassion sewing!!! Nothing better than making fancy dresses. Well I'm off to get my beauty sleep. Unlike my daughter though, I'll be sure to stay in bed! LOL! 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Keeping the Dream Alive: March & April 2012 10,000 Hour Sewing goals

With a new month in effect, It's time to recap my sewing goals. It's been a while but don't think I've last sight of my overall goals. Remember my goal is still to try and rack up 10,000 sewing hours. Here's my recent activities....

Well I've been busy around the sewing workshop. Just to have to add the zipper and hem my daughter's Father/Daughter Banquet dress and I'll be ready to move on to making her mask. I've got my supplies and all and just to do a little research to finalize my ideas.
(Mask to go along with my daughter's dress. I plan to add feathers & hopefully some turquoise crystals or glitter. I hope to add a dowel rod to the side of it so she can hold it up to her face.)

Well needless to say all of the work this month has definitely been a stark contrast to how I started the year. My January & February months in respect to sewing...................(silence).........(crickets chirping)........well, let's just say they were less than stellar. I didn't get to sew no where near as much as I desired. I did practically spend the entire month of January preparing to go to Alaska for 2 weeks, going, and trying to catch up with life once I returned. I snuck a little sewing in though. February was spent doing mostly client work. But I did manage to sneak in that COOL trip to the N.Y.C to get measured for my custom dress form. That whole trip was UBER exciting! And I was able to log "sewing related activity" hours visiting all of those sewing machines. By the way which looks like it might be ready to be shipped to me in the next week or so (keep your fingers crossed). But in the midst of all that I did manage to finish sewing up a dress.
(Simplicity 2305 in  Jo-Ann's "ostritch feather" charmeuse)

I'm actually still on the fence with this one. It looks better on the form than me. It's a shiny silvery blue charmeuse so the color is a little bit overpowering. But I'll try wearing it with a bolero and big belt to tone it down a bit. I think it could be cute that way. If I like it then I'll review it in the near future.

I'm not one to cry "over spilled milk" so I won't dwell on my low sewing hours for January & February. Instead I'd rather tell you about the exciting sewing plans I have for the March & April challenge months. Well I'm partly excited because we're headed into Spring---my favorite season. Truth be told we've already been having high 70F / low 80F weather so it feels like it already. Anywho, I haven't completely streamlined all of my ideas but let's just say I'm planning on making some fun clothes that for me kind of push the limits of my style. I'm feeling a bit colorful and a little more daring these days. Now my definition of daring may not be yours but if you've followed along with me for a little while you'll definitely be able to tell I'm venturing out a bit.

I definitely want to make some fun pieces. I'd like to incorporate more leggings, vests, skirts & pants into my wardrobe. On top of that I also have a few formal & special occassion sewing to do. My daughter's dress which I'm working on now, my Gala dress (April), and both my daughter and I's Easter dresses.

Anywho, here are some of the fabrics & patterns I'm looking at using. I won't pair them up because I'm notorious for changing my mind. But hopefully these will give you some idea of where I'm going.....
(I picked up this jersey knit from Jo-Ann's. It's splattered paint in turquoise, gray, black & white. It's so COOL! This fabric screams "playful" to me so I hope to use it in a fun outfit.

(Black knit with metallic glitter. I've ALWAYS wanted this fabric. It will make a cute off the shoulder top.)

(This is a cute sheer 100% rayon fabric with fashion themed pop art. I see a cute & airy halter top or a dress.)

(Chocolate brown reptile skin textured ponte knit. Somehow I've got it into my head this would make some cute leggings.)

(Twill digital print on left and blue white black ponte knit. And yep, thinking about these for cardigans & pants.)

(Some fun patterns I'm planning to use)

(I'm entertaining making this for my April Gala)

 (Some cute dresses. Love the Simplicity jacket on the right)

(I've been wanting to make this vest and jacket forever. That would be a cute Spring jacket!!!!)

Ok, I know I've got lots of ideas. My mojo is in full effect and I'm ready to go!!! I'm so excited. Ok, let me go put this zipper in the "Wee-One's" dress. Take care!!!


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