Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Peplum, A Skirt, and A Coat....

The period after a huge sewing project is always interesting for me. My sewing room is a disaster! I repeat---a HUGE disaster. I'm still on cloud nine over the fact that the Dance Line capes turned out so good and the girls were able to perform in them at their Homecoming on this past Saturday. But with that behind me I'm more than eager to move forward with other projects and I'm slowly working to get things back to normal. Let's see my house needs some major cleaning (mainly for the sake of my sanity--not because it's anywhere near the Hoarder level or anything). Meals need to be planned, laundry washed and a bunch of other stuff needs doing. It's amazing how much of my life can be suspended due to a sewing project. I'm sure you've experienced the same thing....probably even right now......

Well I'm SO ready to get the ball moving on new projects that I'm motivated to clean or do whatever to get going on some new projects. The aforementioned items in the title have been weighing heavy on my brain. I have fabric for 2 of the items and plan to get to work right away. It's time to get started sewing my Fall wardrobe. It won't sew itself!!! LOL!
(2 out of the 3 fabrics I'll use for the peplum, skirt, and coat. I wonder which of the fabric will be used for each of the garments???? That's a secret for now. Will reveal soon.....)

 BTW, to switch to a more serious note... Sandy left alot of devastation in it's path. My thoughts and prayers goes out to all those affected by the storm. Stay safe!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Finished Capes & Murphy's Law--Pics & Video

Whew.........The 10 Reversible Capes are done!!!! You may recall from my last post that I was making them for a local High School dance line. Here's a quick pic of me in one (half done, before I pressed them)--showing both sides. The pics don't do them justice. I'll get a pic of the girl's in them soon.

 They turned out great and the dance coach absolutely loved them. I'm a little short on time so here's a video detailing more about my experience. Murphy's law almost thwarted things but thankfully I was able to work around it! Check it out!
Ok, that's it for me. When I get back in town I'll get to work on my fall wardrobe!!!! I can't wait!!!!
Have a great weekend!!!!

If you can't see the video or the links acting up go to my youtube page to see it HERE....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtIcDoIgKu8&feature=youtu.be

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Sewing Progress Report-- VIDEO edition

 I've been wanting to do a video forever so I FINALLY did!!!! This is my first video so go easy on me---I'm all over the place and so is my hair.... LOL! There's lots going on and I wanted to share it with you guys (btw, will show draping results next time). Check it out.  I think there's some weird lag with the video too so sorry if my words and actions don't coincide. I may need to use another video program next time. Any suggestions? Anyhow I hope this is informative and I look forward to doing the next one. And as always, thanks for following along with me and my zany sewing adventures!!! I ALWAYS appreciate your support!

If video isn't working check it out on youtube here.....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFFZ9x_F-vs&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Fabric Butcher

Cue the Horror Music!!!!!!! ( play sharp piano and violin notes)............

 A few days ago I felt like I was the main star in a horror movie!!! I dropped by my local Wal-Mart for a little grocery shopping and to pick up fabric for a client. I was looking for a very specific fabric I'd seen a few months earlier. I was delighted to find the fabric and took it to the fabric counter so it could be cut.

I told the sales associate that I wanted 1 yard of fabric and she obliged me. She was kind and courteous. She gently laid out the fabric, measured out 1 yard and then proceeded to cut it. Just to forewarn you the rest of the story is not for the faint of heart.

She took 2 cuts of the fabric and then stopped. I wondered what was wrong. Then I watched in horror as this woman began to butcher my fabric. She cut the fabric again and then attempted  to forcibly push the open scissors through the fabric to cut it. She obviously thought that it was the type of fabric you could cut once and drag the scissors through to cut it. But that wasn't the case since this fabric was a blend of taffeta and velvet and couldn't be cut in this fashion. But this didn't stop her from trying .
(my purchased fabric with butchered cutting edge. The way she was cutting I'm surprised the edges didn't end up worst.)

 So I watched in horror as she repeatedly would make 2 cuts and forcibly push the scissors through the fabric despite being met with resistance---over and over again.  I almost wanted to jump out of my skin!!!!! At one point I gently mentioned that it probably wasn't going to cut very easily with that method. She sorta agreed and kept right at it. I began to feel faint. Fortunately by that time she'd finished up and I was ready to high-tail it away from her. I asked her if she sewed and she said she was just learning to do some hand sewing. She then tightly folded my fabric into a small square. Why would you put so many crease lines in a taffeta fabric??? By that time I'd had enough. Not only I've never been so happy to be away from a cutting table. The only good thing from this is in addition to the 1 yard I bought she also sold me a 22" the remaining fabric remnant for only $0.46---super dirt cheap! That helped calm my nerves.

That has to be my WORST fabric cutting incident!!! Do you have any fabric cutting/mishandling horrors of your own????? Please share!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

NewLook 6120 "The High Performance" White Knit dress!

I love the name I've given this dress!!! It kinda makes me giggle. It's all based on the unconventional fabric I used for it. I used a "high performance knit" that I found in the dancewear/ athletic wear fabric aisle at Hancocks. I feel like I could just run a mile in this dress comforted by the thought that it would wick away my sweat and keep me cool and dry! LOL!

Before I found the HPWK I had the hardest time finding a good fabric for this dress. I picked up a ponte knit but didn't like it's drape. I visited both my local Hancock & Jo-Ann's with no luck. So finally on Friday (the day before the birthday party I needed the dress for) I decided to go back to Hancock for a second look. I really was SURPRISED to run across this fabric. This fabric is SO nice and it's hard to imagine that it's used as a dance wear or athletic wear fabric. It really feels luxurious!!! Well I picked up some, got to work on it at around 6:30pm last night and churned out a dress about 3 hours later!!!! I guess based on my last post you can call me a magician LOL!!! What a rush of blood to the head! I was REALLY nervous this wasn't going to work out but surprisingly it did. Although I'm not a fan of solid white dresses I really like this one. I received numerous compliments, enjoyed a fabulous party for a fabulous friend and picked up another client.

So here's my review.......

(Front view)

NewLook 6120

Time to Sew:
It took me a little less than 30 min to cut out and about 2 1/2 hours to sew. The belt was super easy to make and took about 15 minutes to throw together.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
This is a 2! Quite the EASY sew.
(Back view)

Pattern Description:
Dress with kimono sleeves, neckline variations and belt.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12 for the bodice and 14 for the skirt. I took the skirt in a little bit since I used a knit and didn't want it to be baggy.

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!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It's simplicity and chic-ness. I also LOVED the belt. I plan to make a bunch of these out of different fabrics.

Fabric Used:
White high performance knit from Hancock fabrics. It's 86% polyester and 14% spandex. This fabric had 2 sides, one that showed the knit ribbing with subtle sheen and the other was really mat with a "peach skin" texture. I wanted to use the peach skin textured side as the right side but it's texture made it a lint magnet. So I decided to use the knit ribbing side. I'm happy I did---I won't have to use a lint brush as often.

For the gray belt I used a miscellaneous gray polyester in my stash. it's sorta striped and has both light and dark threads. It made a great belt.

(Closer view)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I added 1" to the front and tapering at the side.
2. Coverstitched the neckline by folding down and coverstitching.  I didn't want the binding at the neckline and kinda wanted to open up the neckline a bit.\ I also coverstitched the skirt and sleeve hems.
3. Omitted the pockets.
4. Added 1" to skirt length.
5. Used 1/2" elastic for the waistline so I made the casing 1". On knits I make my casing by sewing with slight zig/zag stitch 1" in from waistline edge. Then I use 4 thread serge stitche to stitch edge of waistline leaving small space open to insert elastic.

What would you do differently next time?:
I want to make this again but change the neckline and use a print.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Wardrobe Versatility:
It's a white dress----a blank canvas for almost any color. I'd love to pair it with some bright color jewelry and shoes. I'ld wear this under a fitted jacket as well!

Lovely dress!

Please feel free to visit my blog at www.tenthousandsewinghours.blogspot.com!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pulling a "White Dress" out of a Hat!!!

Have you had one of those situations when you just knew there was a special event taking place fairly soon that required a special & specific outfit. You already knew you didn't have anything in your closet to fit the bill and you didn't want to buy anything. And then you have the genius idea to just whip up something. Heck, you're a seamstress and that's what you do best. Like it's a magic trick or something. Why do we seamstresses make ourselves out to be magicians??? LOL!!! And then you wait until the week of the event and even as close as 3 days from it before you actually start making that said outfit. Hmmmmm.....I'm certain that's none of you wonderful people. I guess I'm the only one who will have to hang my head in shame for this one.

Yup, the situation I described is completely me!!! I'm going to a Special Birthday Party on Saturday for a VERY special Lady (you know who you are and if you're reading this know that you're SUPER special to me *hugs*). Anyhow the attire is all white (with the exception of colorful shoes). Not partial, not mixed with other colors but solid white. Yikes, I rarely keep an all white outfit in my closet. The last time I made something all white was actually for the Birthday Girl's wedding a few years back.

So now I'm running around like a crazy woman trying to put something together. Well I actually have an excuse and I'm quite calm about it. I've been working on a TALL client order all week long and had to shift those plans to squeeze in this quickie little outfit. But I'm not worried. I'm a professional!!!! Ok, I can't even say that with a straight face---maybe a professional procrastinator---an unintentional one, born out of circumstance! LOL! But I got this. I do my best work under pressure. And even more importantly I LOVE a challenge. I'm entertaining a few patterns & will lock in on my decision by tomorrow when I hunt down and pick up fabric. It's a little tough to find what I like locally. Selections are sometimes slim. Also.... Now trust me, I'm no fool. I picked patterns I know I could knock out in a day or two's time. Here they are......

(Option #1: This would look GREAT in a white ponte knit.)

(Option #2: This has been in my sewing queue for a long time. I've always wanted the strapless dress)

(Option #3: I was debating about converting the off shoulder or boat neck top into a dress)

These are my 3 options. I picked up fabric for one of the options on today. I'll do a little more fabric hunting on tomorrow and then I'll settle on my choice. I'll keep you posted. We'll see what white dress I pull out of my hat (wink)!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

NewLook 6130---- The Pretty Peplum Top!

Everyone has been making peplum tops. I feel I'm a little late at jumping on the bandwagon. So I decided to make it about a month ago and ran into some problems. This top almost gave me a run for the money. Most recently I had a fitting issue that halted my progress with this top but I'm glad that I resolved it and was able to complete it. Thanks for all of your comments on my earlier post on this. You helped me realize it just wasn't me. I rarely say this but it was definitely worth the trouble. This top turned out super CUTE! I love peplum tops and look forward to making more. I'll definitely have a Fall/Winter version!!!

Anywho.....here's my review.......
(Full View. For fun we took pics under a bridge with a river in the background. Love the cool effect of the background bridge pilings. )

Time to Sew:
This should've been a 4-5 hour top but I had to stop sewing to figure out some pattern alteration issues. It took me a while to realize the back of the pattern was drafted a little weird.

Sewing Ease (scale 1 easy to 10 difficult):
It's super easy to sew. I'd give it a 2.
(Back View)

Pattern Description:
Top with peplum. I mixed view b and c to obtain the look I wanted.

Pattern Sizing:
I cut the size 12 for the bodice and graded to a 14 at the waist.

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

(Side view up close)

Were the instructions easy to follow?

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved the design of the pattern!!!! It's a peplum top and is SO stylish this season.

Fabric Used:
A black cotton stretch twill. I wanted to make this top in a fabric that wasn't too fancy --like a satin---so I could get a lot of wear out of it. Plus it's alot heavier so it gives the top the slight stiffness I wanted and makes the peplum flare a bit more.

(front view, up close. )

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I added 1" to the front bodice length.
2. I'm shortwaisted in the back so I removed 1" from the back length.
3. I added 1" to the peplum.
4. Again, I discovered the upper back of the pattern was drafted a little wide. I heard some other bloggers had a similar problem. This was very strange. So I ended up taking a wedge out the top back edge and tapering about 6" down. So it's like I remove a dart from each back edge. That's an uncoventional, non-textbook fix but it worked. It's odd that that was the only spot where I had a problem. I rarely have a narrow back adjustment to make but it's usually done the entire length of the pattern, not just the upper center back.

What would you do differently next time?:

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes! This is a super cute top and I want MORE!!!
 (My Wee-One wanted to be in a shot!)
Wardrobe Versatility:
-Paired with a bright pair of pants, capris or shorts.
-Worn with a cute pencil skirt.

Enjoy your Sunday and happy sewing to ya!!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sewing Jots & Tittles 10.4.12

Sewing Jots & Tittles, my weekly postings about what's been going on in my world of sewing and beyond....


(I LOVE these! They're so funny. I've never had this problem. We seamstresses are all polite well behaved ladies:)

(Well it's not quite this serious but it's darn close! Ask my husband! LOL!)

 (Ross had Nine West pumps! They're patent leather only on the toes and heel. I couldn't pass these ups. They are comfortable enough to run in! Plus they make me feel like Betty Bop:)

 (I want a metallic jacket this season. This one's great and had dark and teal blues and golds in it. I need to find the perfect fabric.)

 (....and I want a shirtdress too! I love my daughter's)

(This fabric was love at first sight. I didn't even hesitate. It didn't have a chance to escape! LOL)

(My daughter has a costume book fair at the end of this month. This is one of her favorite books. Looks like this could be the costume I sew for her. I'm excited!)

 (Free fabric! A dear friend bough me fabric back from Portugal. I love these 2 pieces. The one on the right is a lightweight polyester and the one on the left is jersey like knit in a pretty watercolor design. Love these.)

(The fall fabrics are out, not organized, but out. I've pulled the patterns as well. Let the fabric/pattern pairing for fall begin.)

 (It goes to show you can pickle almost anything. I'll pass on this, thanks!)

 (Pepperoni Ziti!!!! Recipe HERE. Regular version on top and gluten free on bottom.  Just used gluten free noodles & cream of mushroom soup for mine.)

(Got the BEST deal at Sally's beauty supply store. I like to save money by doing my own pedi's. The CC is the fancy tool they use at some nail salon's to get rid of any tough patches of skin (gotta be careful though, it's really sharp but makes your feet baby soft). It was $10 and I had a $5 off coupon. And I got the 10 blades for it for free ($8 value). So $18 worth of stuff for $5. I LOVE it!!! 

 (I see covers like this and I wonder "Who cares"? I want him to be happy and all like the next person, I'm just not willing to get all up in his business! These mags seem so invasive!

(My new fave gluten-free blueberry & coconut muffins!!!! I scored catching them on discount. I bought like 18 packs! LOL!)

(Beautiful sunset---the entire sky was red! It was amazing)

(The "Stingray Photobomb" photo went viral! It is hilarious! I love stingrays)

(Took myb "Wee-One" to the Jacksonville Zoo. I love her with the Gorilla behind the glass. What a cool pic)

(I LOVE this quote. Keeps me on my toes!!!)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Got Muse???

Definition of MUSE

: a source of inspiration; especially : a guiding genius

For those of you who are fans of Project Runway you'll recall Nick Verreos from season 2 who won the "My Scene Barbie Challenge". Well he designed a outfit for Barbie and credited his muse, his assigned model for the inspiration.
(Photo of Nick Verreos courtesy of Project Runway)

 (Photo of the My Scene Barbie Challenge winning outfit and Nick's model/muse on the right)

At some point during the season he actually lost his model to someone else and it was obvious he struggled with coming up with ideas without the aid of his muse. For some reason that always stuck with me. I didn't really know what a muse was and then I looked it up. What a concept. Can a person really inspire another's fashion design creativity???

I posted about things that inspire my sewing just a few weeks ago. But there was one thing I intentionally left off of the post since I knew I'd be talking more in depth about it later. In the last few months I've made an interesting discovery about myself.  Actually this discovery came on the tail end of me beginning my fashion design sketching earlier this year. I realize that I have a hard time just thinking about design ideas just out of the blue. I mean I could think of random ideas but had a hard time connecting and visualizing them without a face & body to connect them to. Well that was until I got a muse. My muse is actress Megan Good.
(Actress Megan Good)

 She's a very talented and beautiful actress. The funny thing is I never set out to pick her or anyone else for a muse. It just sorta happened. I've seen several of her movies and she's usually very stylish and fashion forward in them. Inadvertently my mind mentally migrated back to some of her fashion choices and then I just began to create new fashion ideas with her in mind. She's like a little Barbie so it's easy to imagine her in different fashion designs. And for some reason it's easier to imagine her in different types of clothing then myself. Hey I'm not going to question it, I'll just go with it. I plan on creating some of these ideas one day and wearing them myself or even sale them. Who knows. I have to admit, I love the idea of having a muse, it makes the fashion design process ALOT easier on me especially since I'm such a visual person.

Also, for the record, my youngest muse just so happens to be my "Wee-One". She always manages me to inspire me to make such pretty "special occasion" dresses for her to wear.

(My Wee-One's Father/Daughter banquet dress from earlier this year)

What about you? Do you have a muse or muses? Who are they and why?


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