Monday, December 31, 2012

Year 2012 in Review

Happy New Year's Eve to ya!!! What a year it's been!!! I've definitely been enjoying my "staycation" for the last week and a half. I've got so much sewing done! I've enjoyed reading others' reflections of their sewing in 2012 too. At first felt a bit discouraged and unaccomplished. But after looking through all of my pics and organizing this post I realized that I got alot done this year....and I'm proud of that!!! I not only sewed for myself but I did a good deal of business related sewing. It's part of my personality to keep pushing myself farther but I also realize how important it is for you to reflect. Time for reflection helps remind you how far you've gone and reinvigorate you on the journey. So I'm proud of all I've accomplished and here's most of the items I've sewn (with the exception of some client stuff I don't have pics of). I hope you take some time to review your sewing year. Pat yourself on the back. If it wasn't all you've planned, still pat yourself on the back---because you've got 2013 ahead of you and can make new plans. Always push for greater:)

 So here's my year in review.....

At-A-Glance Stats
-Sewing/Sewing Related hours accumulated: 952
-Total Hours accumulated for 10,000 sewing hours challenge: 5853
-Pieces Sewn
Dresses: 10
Wee One: 3
Client...: 18

The First Garment Sewn.....

....the Last pending

My Favorites 

Least Worn
(Just needs better styling)

(same issue. This would be cute with a fitted off white jacket)

Quickie Projects.....

(I think I made 2 of them)

(Peplums were all the rage!!! I made 2 of them and want MORE).

(made a couple of leggings and have more on the way.....)

Made some cute solids!!!!

Sewing for my "Wee-One"

Sewing for Clients

& I did a fancy dress for a 12 year old and a baby! Oops, I need to get the pics to post:)

Even did some home decor.....
.....and of course tons of alterations for my clients:)

Other Highlights of the Year
-Went to NYC in February for my Bday and bought my custom dress form

-Started teaching myself how to drape. Got through a couple of lessons but was stalled by client sewing. Plan to aggressively pursue in 2013.

I really learned how to fit pants on my body. This has been a long journey. Look out for more of them in 2013.

Ok, that about sums it up! For more detailed info feel free to peruse all my past posts. Thanks so much for following me on my sewing adventures!!!!! I have some wonderful projects planned for 2013. I have to take the next week off to handle some personal matters and will be back afterwards with my sewing goals for January & February!!! Happy New Years to you!!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

You Say To-mato and I Say Tom-ato & McCall 5394

It's always pretty neat that there are multiple ways to say and do some things. Such is true in the sewing world.  Yesterday & today I spent some time watching some videos on fitting and sewing pants. I watched Palmer Pletsch's Jeans for Real People DVD and Peggy Sager's 2 pants fitting webcasts found HERE.  I've had the jeans DVD for a while but finally watched it and I've watched Peggy's webcasts before but like to watch things over and over to ensure I picked up on all of the good tips.

What's interesting is both groups had amazing fitting advice!!! They are both 2 of my favorite fit EXPERTS. But what's ironic is both groups had slightly different pants fit advice. Pati from Palmer/ Pletsch encouraged "scooping out the back crotch" if there is bagginess in the seat area whereas Peggy Sager advised against scooping anything and suggested doing a dart at the center back inseam, tapering to nothing at the side. Both achieved good results with their select methods. It was really interesting to see the differing opinions on the subject. It's such a lesson to me. Pants fitting isn't an exact science. It's good to try a few suggestions and even venture out and do some experimenting of your own.

Well speaking of pants fitting. I finished up 2 pairs of leggings on today and will just showcase them below. They were such an easy sew that they don't actually deserve a formal review. They are McCall 5394. I LOVE this pattern and it's my new TNT legging pattern. The only pattern change I made was to reduce 1" from the front rise and add 1" to the back rise (my rear end is high in the back which always call for a higher rise.) I have lots of sweater dresses that are too short to wear by themselves so these leggings are perfect for them. Here are a few pics. Sorry, I had to settle for the smartphone pics so they're not the best quality. But you'll get the idea.
(Here's up close of the legging fabrics. Both are some spandex blend. The one on the left is black with silver and has a bit of a sheen and strip pattern. On the right is a blue floral print spandex. I loved the print. It kinda had a graffiti feel to it.)

 (the black leggings with multi-color sweater and brown boots)

 (black leggings up close)

 (the blue floral print leggings with red sweater)

 (up close)

(side view)

These were two really fun leggings to sew up and it took less than an hour (not quite for me since I kept having interruptions from the "Wee-One"! I definitely plan to make a few more. I also enjoyed all of the pants fitting videos I got to watch and re-watch. I love learning various techniques because they not only help me but will help me in fitting my clients. Anywho, that's all for now. Be back soon with a few more finished projects!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The "EOTY Sewing Binge"!!!!

First off, Merry Christmas to Everyone!!!! I hope the day has been a wonderful one for you and your families. It's been great for us!!!!!

I'm preparing to make a nice Christmas meal. I'm steering away from the traditional and will be making ribs (have a great pressure cooker recipe), mac and cheese, baked beans, cabbage, carrots, and throw some shrimp and grits in the mix. The menu is all over the place! LOL!!!!! Just some things we've been craving as of late.

I'm off from work until mid next week so I've been trying to plan how to spend my time. Hmmmmm......well you all know it didn't take me much time to determine that I'll be spending most if not all of my free time sewing. LOL! Why not do an "End-of-the-Year Sewing Binge"!!!!! It's a brilliant idea for me! I need to knock out some projects I'd been planning to do all year and this would be the perfect opportunity. Well I won't get into a long list of my plans now but will review my projects as I go. I can say that I have a few leggings to make for myself, a skirt or 2 for my daughter, and I need to sew up the gray coat I cut out, etc.

You might ask why cram in so much sewing in the next few days? Well you know me, I always like to give myself a lofty goal to pursue. Keep in mind, I'm out to become a sewing expert (hence the 10,000 hour sewing blog challenge). I've really got to push the envelope at times!!!!

Anywho, I'm off to cook and then plan to pick up some sewing. I've lost my child to her Christmas presents and the NBA has got my Hubby hypnotized. LOL! So a girls gotta do what a girls do! LOL!

Again Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Husband's Stylist Part I

I've recently become obsessed with menswear! Like really obsessed! Because of that I've taken a particular interest in dressing my husband. After 10 years of marriage some might think I'm a little late with this but the truth is my Hubby's ALWAYS had great style and never really needed me to stage any interventions or give him any ultimatums. LOL!!!!

What I'm interested in now is to kinda taking his style to another level. We met and dated when we were just teenagers. Fifteen years later and we're of course a bit older (and definitely have way more grays).  Again, his style is great now but I want to give it a bit of a boost. You know a little more polish and refinement. Plus he's my "Hottie" so he's got to look the part (wink).

So I've officially taken on the task of being his stylist. It's SOOOO much fun and my love for menswear is NOW right up there with my love women's clothing. Plus he's all for it and seems to like my involvement. We've got similar style tastes. So great, no resistance!!! Although that rarely stops us as women anyway! LOL!

The challenges of dressing my Hubby stem from his size. He's got an athletic build. He's 6'3" and around 250lb. He's got broad shoulders (usually a 2X in shirts) and really big muscular thighs (no doubt from years of playing sports). So for someone of his size skinny pants WILL NEVER be acceptable. Anything tight on his bottom half would just be plain wrong. Sometimes finding shirts can be tricky since he's considered "big and tall". Sleeves sometimes are too short, etc. He's not into "preppy wear" so those extra small shirt just won't do LOL! All in all he has a few challenges but nothing we can't work around.
(Here's me and my Hubby a few years back)

Here's some great men's looks I've stumbled on. I have to admit, most of these are from and are sharp and sexy. I would love to see him in some of these and am planning to add some of these pieces to his wardrobe.
 (such an effortless look. Nice way to showcase a great sweater and fitted jacket)
 (love the pop of color of the vest!  I just bought him a brown and black fitted corduroy jacket.)

(I'm just going to recreate this look. It's perfection from head to toe. Again with my Hubby's frame such a snug pair of jeans wouldn't work entirely. We'd have to loosen them up a bit.)

I love these casual looks. There's plenty of more looks I love but I'll save them for the Part II post (it's WAY past my bedtime). Anyhow, I'm SUPER excited about styling my Hubby and even more excited to enter the world of menswear---something I've never really been interested in before. I've got a few menswear sewing patterns and since the thought of sewing for my Hubby is no longer intimidating  expect to see a couple of pieces for him in the New Year.

How about you, do you like to play stylist for your Hubby, Wife, significant other? You feel confident in doing so? Do they let you? Are your styles compatible?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sewing Jots and Tittles 12.15.12

Yet another busy week! Not too busy for another Sewing Jots and Tittles post. Despite what's going on my mind is ALWAYS working overtime. Here's where it's been......

  My "Wee-One" hanging at the pattern book table.  You've got to train em' while they're young! LOL!
 A jumper is in the queue. I've been wanting one for year and recently saw Toy's version (she used a different pattern) and fell in love with it.

 Bought some necklaces that I LOVE on clearance at JcPenny's. 

 ...and this one too! Oh how I love costume jewelry!

New Jewelry holders! Can't wait to transfer some of my jewelry over.

 I saw these curtains in the November Jo-Ann's sales flyer. They would be perfect in my sewing room which is also purple.

The coat is all cut out. Have some client work to complete and then I can hop on it.

Last month I bought a ton of muslin, well not exactly---just 25 yards. Caught the black Friday sale so it was 40% off and then an addt'l 25% off. I should have bought online. The sales associate was a saint about it.


One of my current reads! This is a MUST read for everyone! LOVE this and don't want to put it down!!!

Excellent recipe! This thing whips up SO fast! Recipe HERE.

What would I do without these. I love my cookbooks but I can't rip out pages like I do with these.

Disney on Ice was awesome!!! I still remembered all of the songs to the Little Mermaid! Brought back memories---sniff, sniff.

My daughter and goddaughter after their dance recital. They are quite the little talents!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Christmas Wishlist 2012

In the 3 years I've had a blog, I've always posted a list of sewing related items & tools I wanted for Christmas. Here was my first and  second list from a couple of years back. Although it took a little patience, I was blessed to get most everything I wanted within a reasonable 2 year period. And for great prices! My favorite possession being the custom made dressform I purchased in NYC. As they say...."Good things come to those who wait".

Well I've got a NEW wishlist and I'm in no particular hurry to acquire these items. Trust me I feel more than fortunate for all I've got. My sewing room is stocked with notions and fabrics and I have  no complaints. Just every once in a while I'd like a few new toys. Here's my list.....

1. Another sewing machine. I only have one backup and I'm using it while my main machine is down. I'm not looking for any major bells and whistles. Just another machine to put in circulation or use as a backup:)

2. Newest Draping Book--I'm teaching myself how to drape. Of course I want one of the newest books on the market! I've previewed this book and it's exceptional. I think it will help me grasp the material quicker. This is definitely a MUST!

3. Pressboard pad---I already have the tailor board BUT NOT the pad. I would love to have the pad.
4. Pressing mitt & thermal thimbles-because I like to get real up close and personal with my iron:)

5. Light Tracer- I like to draw my own fashion designs and this would be great to use with a croquis. I can trace the croquis template and sketch my designs.  I wouldn't have to sketch a body for my designs. I could just trace it. I stole the idea from another designer I saw on TV.

6. Magnetic Tool bar. I need a magnetic strip right over my cutting board so I can hang my scissors and other metal items.

7. Half form......for draping and patternmaking

Well I'm a pretty simple girl so that's my list. Of course there are a few more books I'd like and I could ALWAYS use a Jo-Ann's gift card so that goes without saying!

 How about you, what sewing stuff is on your wishlist this year???


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