Monday, December 29, 2014

Sewing Jots and Tittles 12.29.14

.....Because it's been WAY too long and we need to catch up! Time for me to empty out the space between my ears.....

Sewing, Fashions and Such

 Nothing like going to a local High School football game and spotting the Double sided orange and blue capes you made a few years back! Remember THESE! What a pleasant surprise and proud moment :)

 (I adore colorful prints.....

(.....and that's all there is too it!!!) 

 (Simplicity has changed up it's sewing pattern catalog. They're listening patterns by fabric type. Interesting....

 (....another example...)

 (....they even added a knit section! Yay, a section for my favorite thing to sew!!!)

 (2 patterns I CAN'T WAIT to sew! Love the black & gray jegging fabric)

 (Picked up this purple, black and white zebra print cotton sateen. You know bold prints don't scare me!)

 (I'm loving this burgundy and black lace! Just waiting to get invited to a swanky event!)

 (I've tested several of these over the years and finally found one that I like!!!)

(Sophia was sewing on Sophia the First!!! That just tickled me!!! She's sending the right message to all of the young girls!! Hee-hee)

 (Sewed a pleather pink jumpsuit for a client and couldn't have done so without a leather foot and leather needles.)

 (Had to have these cool buttons for a future wool coat)

 (My favorite type of ruler)

(Had the pleasure of meeting Trish who just so happens to follow both mine and Mr. Jim's blog! What an honor. She was such a sweetheart!!!)


 (Really?!?!?! Did someone really think selling a Nicholas Spark book at an Elementary School Book Fair was a good idea??? (scratching my head) LOL)

(My daugher and her lil' brother---aka Brownie. He's about the cutest Syrian/ Teddy Bear Hamster!!! When people ask me how many kids I have it's funny when his name ends up in the mix! LOL!)

(And they say Hamster's are bad climbers. They're right!!!! but doesn't stop Brownie from doing it! Always funny to watch.  I have no idea why he'd rather climb up to his water platform instead of just crawl through the tube LOL!)

 (Someone tell me why does a Hamster treat have to look like doughnuts and cookies??? They don't care!!! LOL!)

 (Our church really goes all out for Operation Christmas child!!!! I LOVE IT!!! I believe those are several thousand boxes collected and ready to be shipped out!!!)

 (Only in the south can you rent the rims on your car SMH and LOL!!!)

 (Finally went wireless!!!! It's about time)

(Saw Jersey Boys and LOVED IT!!! It was SO GOOD!!! This ending scene took the cake. Bet you can't watch and not dance! LOL!  I'd love to see the musical!!!)

 (This is what happens when your 7 year old loves to write and leave messages all over the place. The fridge and food related one's are always the funniest)

 (At PF Chiang's out of town--- I pulled back a propped up menu to reveal a surprise. Hubby was discreetly watching a Major football championship game while enjoying the meal with the family.......
 (.....he's so CLASSY! Kept it out of sight! LOL! Hey, I know a thing or two about having an obsession (ahem,... sewing, clears throat). I encouraged him to watch on!!! LOL!!!)

 (My inspiration picture for my highlights)

 (We now have a Planet Fitness so I'm back on my workout grind. Brings me together with two things of my favorite things---an elliptical machine and Joyce Meyer!!!)

 (Daughter feeding one of Great Grandma's cows)

(I MUST find this movie and watch it! The cinematography is beautiful. I'll endure the subtitles! It's worth it!!!)

(LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this song!!! It warms my heart!!! )

(When your In-Laws retire and become professional caterers Christmas dinner is a Heavenly experience. I do mean HEAVENLY!!!! I nearly lost my mind it was so good! LOL!)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!!

Wishing you and your family the joys and love of Christmas. 
May the Peace of Christ rest in your hearts!!!
Much Love, Victoria XOXO

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sweet 16 Bubble Gum Pink Faux Leather Overall's

I just finished up my latest client project last week! It was a pair of Bubble Gum Pink Faux Leather Overall's to be worn by the lovely Ms. S at her Sweet 16 Party on December 19th. She LOVED them and said they were a HIT!!!! I love having satisfied clients. Makes me happy, happy, happy!!!! Plus I love taking on the "unusual" projects. It's a wonderful feeling to help bring other's clothing ideas and visions to life.
(Here's the BDay girl Ms. S all dolled up and reflecting her Pink Party theme. She performed a dance number in these overall's and of course she had to wear them the ultra-hip way with one shoulder strap down!)

Here was the inspiration overall's I was initially presented with, except they were to be made a bit looser.......

 So I used Kwik Sew pattern and modified it a GREAT deal to achieve the results. I totally ditched the back on this pattern and recut/shaped it. I shaped the legs and slimmed them out alot in addition to readjusting the crotch depth. As always I use a client's pre-existing RTW pants that fits good to help guide me in the fitting process. I added elastic to the back and added separate straps that attached to the back waistband using suspender clips. Of course I made up all these changes in a muslin first and had my client try it on. With minimal additional fitting needed I was able to move on to making the final piece in the pink pleather.

Here is a better view of the front of the overalls......

Back View. Notice the modifications....

I really enjoyed this project. It made me think and helped me try some new things. We had a few challenges with the pleather being that it stretched and tore fairly easy. So I was sure to add extra circumference to help eliminate that in addition to using clear elastic and seam binding to strengthen the crotch and upper side seams which would take majority of the wear. And of course you have to be careful with stitching pleather because machine holes become permanent. So you want to make sure you sew correctly and avoid having to pick out stitches.  Again, I'm delighted this turned out so well!!! And I'm glad I helped contribute to a 16 year old feeling extra special for her birthday!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

About that Thing Called Perfectionism.....

I had a MAJOR epiphany recently! A MAJOR ONE!!!  One of my wonderful FB friends Barbara W. (you know who you are. I always enjoy your insightful posts. We may not know each other personally but I think you to be brilliant *hugs*) posted a video that gave me a MAJOR revelation when it comes to perfectionism. Now, I don't consider myself to be a serious perfectionist (instead I'm often plagued by Paralysis of Analysis, #3 on the list)  but I do recognize that sometimes I have to fight the the tendency for perfectionism to creep into my sewing. Well this little revelation really was mind altering for me. Anyhow I'll let you watch it for yourself before I say anymore. Here it is.......

The video link is HERE and watch the 4th video with Elizabeth Gilbert (woman in the pink top as seen in screenshot below).

Did you get that????

 Isn't that crazy? ???

Perfectionism is another form of fear! I never, ever, never, ever thought of it like that! Did you know that? Did you ever think of it that way?  I  particularly loved how she described Perfectionism as the "Haute Couture High End of Fear". That was a very profound thought for me.

Personally, again I don't have a serious struggle with perfectionism in my day to day life. I mean I already know I'm not a perfect wife or mother and I'm ok with that. I give it my best and am loved just the same. However in the past I tended to have more moments of perfectionism when it came to my sewing. I had those tendencies for years and unknowingly. It wasn't until I met my mentor Mr. Jim---some of you  know him as Gentleman Jim--Master Tailor of 53 years experience, that I realized this high standard I was holding myself to was a bit unrealistic and frankly I needed to as they say to "take a chill pill". Mr. Jim helped me dispel alot of the false notions that I had about sewing and what a sewing professional should be doing.  I've been coming down from that ever since and I'm WAY more comfortable in my sewing and with the fact that things can be done right but they don't have to be done perfect.

 I personally feel like the fear that's perfectionism hides itself behind good intentions---- but they are intentions that are self defeating!!! Perfectionism itself doesn't exist nor will it ever. When it comes to sewing I recognize that when I'm making clothing I intend to offer my best craftsmanship and talent. Perfectionism will never be obtained but instead an offering of my craft that comes from the heart and originates from the soul is what's produced. That is enough. That's more than enough!!!! It in of itself is a great gift. It's in shunning the idea that is "perfectionism" that we shake off the fear and struggles that go with trying to obtain it and instead embrace our gifts for what they are. Again, that's enough---that's more than enough!!!

It's funny I've always subscribed to this notion about craftsmanship.....

"Craftsmanship is the ability to cover your mistakes"

So it's NEVER an issue of whether mistakes will happen. They ALWAYS will. I look at all of the garments I've made over this year and none are completely flawless. Maybe to my clients they are but as the creator I know better. But they are made so well that the beautiful total package easily eclipses and minor imperfections. I love the feeling that that knowledge gives me. It makes me so comfortable with myself and abilities. I plainly makes me feel like an artist!!!! Which is what I LOVE!

So lastly, I also think perfectionism is one of those "sneaky boogers" in that most people who are suffering from it or even have minor tendencies don't even realize they do. I found this neat little list that will help you tell if you are a perfectionist! If you see yourself here I encourage you to re-think the whole idea of perfectionism and to give yourself the grace and room to be your best you and to grow! Remember perfectionism is a form of fear and fear in any form is self-defeating! I encourage you to work towards letting it go.......... Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Turtleneck Dress that Almost Was....

Happy Sunday!!!! Hope you're having a restful one! My client just came by to pick up/try on her custom made Pink Faux leather overall's she plans to wear at her Sweet 16 Birthday party next weekend. She loved them! Pictures coming soon!!! I spent most of yesterday finishing those up and afterwards I wanted to make up a quick dress to wear to church on today. Since making THIS turtleneck dress I've been so DESPERATELY wanting to make it again. So I pulled out a brown, black and off-white slinky knit in this cool abstract print and got to work. The dress literally takes like 1 hour to make. So I did a quick fitting once it was nearly complete and realized that adding the turtleneck would make it look to busy. Instead I added some self-binding around the edge and I think it worked perfectly! I got lots of compliments at church. So it's the dress that didn't quite become a turtleneck but I liked it just the same. I still plan to make some more turtleneck dresses. I really NEED them in my life! Here's some pics of the finished dress......

(Front view)

 (I changed my hair up a bit and added highlights. I've wanted them for quite some time. It's been almost 17 years since I had them last. Thought I needed a little change. I love them!)

 (Back view)

Ok, I need to make some more quick and easy pieces. My wardrobe needs to be beefed up and quick!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Have Trouble with Fitting Pants???? Take My Class!

It's Back by Popular Demand! I have the pleasure of teaching my Pants Fitting webinar yet again!  If you missed it the first time it's entitled "Learning Backwards: Dispelling Old Practices and Perfecting the Art of Fitting and Sewing Pants the Easy Way! It's an EXCEPTIONAL course  and teaches you easier strategies on how to properly fit pants for yourself and even for others. I use it on my clients and have always had success! If you're struggling with fitting pants or even want added bonus tips on how to finetune your fit SIGN UP FOR THIS COURSE! You won't be disappointed! I LOVEEEEEEEE to teach and convey the information I've been fortunate enough to learn throughout the years. Like many of you I struggled with making pants for myself and others and through serious research, trial and error had a major EUREKA moment that forever changed how I make pants. It's WAY SIMPLER then most people realize. The right knowledge and techniques are key. Let me share them with you! Anyhow, I hope you will consider signing up! The class is tomorrow ---Thurs, Dec 11th at 11am but you don't have to be present to take it. I know many folks work! Still sign up! If you can't be present for the live webinar then you will receive the recorded version. So what are you waiting for, go ahead and sign up and enjoy the newfound freedom of conquering pants fitting & sewing for yourself and anyone else you choose to sew for!!!!

You can find the course link and more info HERE. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Funny!

I think I just found my sewing "funny" for the week! HAHAHAHAH! Wanted to pass on the laughs! That's why you fabric addicts (myself included) should never make promises you can't keep! If you do be sure to steal the footage LOL!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Men Aren't Off Limits Anymore.....

That's right, I used to only analyze the fit of women's clothing but ever since I've been doing men's suit alterations I now find myself scrutinizing their clothes as well. If a man's going to wear a suit the fit has got to look right or otherwise it's just starts to look sloppy. Take this screenshot of Justin Timberlake from a video he made years ago. I really hate to call him out because he usually has such great style. Anyhow I ran across this video today and the entire time I was so distracted by the ill-fit of the suit particularly the jacket arms. Those wrinkles were just screaming at me!!!

Not his fault I reckon, I've seen this wrinkle suiting as the "intentional style" in some cases. Either way it's just something that gets my attention now. I've officially been sucked into the world of men's clothing and have got a slight obsession with Men's suiting. Yikes, how did that happen??? LOL! Well again  I've done so many suit alterations as of late I hadn't realized men faced just as many difficulties in achieving the right fit as Women do.

(Here's 6 of the suits I've completed work on for 2 clients. I had to take in the shoulders, blade, sleeves and side for most of them. I had to also let out the sleeves for all but one of them. These are the most common alteration types!)

 (Here's the inside look at the shoulder area. It's a little harder to structure then most realize and doing an alteration on this area can be tricky if you don't know what you're doing it. There's a pad and sleeve head in there in addition to the suit fabric and lining. There may even be a hair canvas to give body to the front of the jacket. You have to take everything apart, make your adjustment and reassemble. If you don't do it right then the suit won't go back together correctly. Trust me Women's jackets are WAY easier to construct/alter then Men's by far.  I'm glad I had my Mentor, Mr. Jim (most of you know as Gentleman Jim) there to show me the ropes. He also demonstrates these alterations on his Basic Alterations DVD which was a great resource when he wasn't around!)

I'm excited to be developing the skills to help men get that tailored look and I look forward to doing some tailoring of my own this upcoming year. I truly am intrigued with mens suits and the structure and craftsmanship that goes into making them. I'm actually planning to take on the task of tailoring a Sports Coat for the Hubby. More on that to come. Maybe one day I can get to the point where I can make all of his Sports Coats. Anyhow, do you find yourself scrutinizing/analyzing men's suits??? I hope I'm not the only one out there! LOL!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Post Thanksgiving Miracles

I can't believe it's the last day of November. Seriously where did the month go? This month was a bit of blur since I had a huge sewing project  to work through. I survived but afterwards felt a bit frazzled. I was pretty blessed with some miraculous moments that really snapped me back to my old self. Trust me they're by no means anything monumentous---so if you've got something better to do please go tend to it ----but sometime's it's the little things that mean the most, you know?  Like when I'm having a tough day and I get a homemade card from my daughter---you know like that.

Anyhow here's my 3 Special Little Miracles.........

Somehow I ammassed a LOAD of sewing fabric remnants from a ton of projects I've done since the beginning of the year.  I promise you it had to be like 50lbs. And I constantly tripped over this fabric as I tried to move about my sewing room. Well I had enough of it on Friday. I finally just packed it all up and tossed them in the garage---labeled of course. I plan to use them when I resume my draping on my body double from in addition to my half-scale form. The fabric will come in handy when I start design testing. Trust me this simple clean up was a HUGE deal. My sewing room was getting cluttered and out of control. I can't believe how much my life felt in control after that one move! LOL! Crazy I know! LOL

Miracle #2---I learned how to use a utility blade in place of a seam ripper. I've been doing a ton of alterations and if I can tell you the truth this little baby here (the utility knife) cuts down on alot of work. You can take things apart SO much faster. I was terrified to use it at first. I tried a couple of times but couldn't get my hand motion just right. On yesterday when I had to a a jacket apart I just picked up the blade--since I knew I'd be here ALL day trying to take the sleeve apart with a seam ripper---and proceeded to use it. Just like that!!! It's all about the angle in which you hold the blade and the tension you use to pull the fabric apart as you expose the thread. So delighted I figured that out. I'm pretty proud of myself. Mr. Jim (aka Gentleman Jim) inspired me to do so. His video is a good reference!

Miracle #3---And speaking of alterations and taking things apart I've learned to do alterations on Men's suit jackets. In the past I only took on hem jobs. Then with Mr. Jim's instruction I figured out how to take in/let out the waist. Now I can tackle suit jackets and perform operations like narrow the shoulders, take in the blade & waist, narrow the sleeve and lengthen/shorten the sleeve. These are pretty big steps for me. I'm actually working on 5 jackets at one time! It was an overwhelming job at first since everything was so new but now I'm happy to report I got the hang of it. I definitely have Mr. Jim to thank and his DVD---The Basic Alterations 2 Disc set has been a super help. They detail all of these types of alterations. If you're interested you can buy it on his site HERE. Needless to say I feel like a big girl!

Anyhow, I'm happy for my little post Thanksgiving miracles. They've got me back on track. I hope you two have experience some special moments this month. See you next---only 38 minutes to go! LOL! Until then, Happy Sewing!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

In just a few short minutes Thanksgiving, the Holiday will be over but I know for many of you it will continue as it should. There's something that happens when we slow down our lives a little bit and take the time to inventory our lives and express gratitude. Developing an attitude of thankfulness should be a daily habit and makes for a much richer life. No matter the negative there's always something to be thankful for. I'm SUPER thankful for you guys!!! Thanks that you consider it not a waste of your time to visit with me, leave comments & give great suggestions. I had a wonderful, quiet holiday with just the Hubby and my daughter. As we ate our Thanksgiving feast my daughter asked if all of us could go around the table and say what we were all thankful for. I was just so blessed by all of our answers. Kinda made me emotional.  I'm blessed to have a wonderful and supportive family, a nice home, health and strength and provisions for all that I need. I'm thankful for God's kindness and all of his many blessings. I pray that you enjoyed your holiday and it enriched your heart and soul with much joy and peace!!! ((hugs))


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