Monday, February 23, 2015

How you KNOW you're on the right track.....

I saw this fortune sticking out of a fortune cookie and it made my heart smile. I've reached the point in my life where I'm learning to embrace the word "failure"!!! Yes, failure. And more importantly I'm beginning to realize that oftentimes failure is the very thing it takes to put you on the right track! Heck, if you're going to do anything worthwhile in this world you realize you can't run from it. It's inevitable! But boy does it bring with it some valuable lessons if you're paying attention. I appreciate the high's and low's of my sewing but I have to admit it's the low's that have always made my high's that much more sweeter. It's the low's or the failures that have tested my patience, pushed my endurance and motivated my creativity and forced me to deal with my abilities and inabilities! It's brought out the best in me and continues to do so. It has made me grow! So instead of having a negative view of failure I'm learning to take a positive look at it. Because frankly nothing has to end with failure---truth be told if you keep pushing you're bound to run smack dab into a huge pile of success! Remember where failure is concerned perspective is everything! So hang in there! If you've sewn that same dress and can't seem to get it right, try to figure out your problem and keep at it. If you keep trying you'll get it eventually. If you're draping a pattern and can't seem to get it just right---keep at it! Embrace each lesson you gain from failure and don't let it stop you from moving forward! I'm inspired by this article I read a while back by Richard Branson---entitled "My Top 10 Favorite Quotes on Failure" and can be found HERE.  Hope you found them as inspiring as I do (smile).

Friday, February 20, 2015

Burda 7053- The 2 Sided Shimmery Leopard and Black Cocktail Dress

I made my cocktail dress just in time for tonight's special event!!! As I mentioned in my last post I donated 2 handmade infinity scarves to be auctioned at the Blueprint pageant's "Southern Belles and Cocktails networking/fundraising event.  And I love the results! This was a very fun dress to make in 3.5 hours. I cut it out before bed last night and assembled this morning. I was looking for the right pattern to use with a shimmery silver and black leopard print ponte roma knit (try saying all that three times fast LOL). When I selected this fabric I was mindful that it was pretty flashy so I toned it down by picking a design that allowed me to use both the shimmery leopard print side of the fabric and the basic black side of the fabric. I wanted the design to incorporate some color blocking. I decided to go with Burda 7053 which I first made back in January of 2014 (pics HERE). I modified it a great deal from the original pattern and had fun switching things up. I was happy to let me creativity run away with me on this one.  Here's some pics and the changes I made below.....

 (Front view of the dress. Mind you --despite the camera's photo bleaching---the dress is actually black with silver metallic leopard print and black side panels and has another unique detail. Notice it??? You have to look close)

 (Another detail---I only put black panels on the front sides and omitted them from the back sides.....Notice the other unique detail yet???)

 (Also, I switched up the original pattern design and made the entire back the black and silver leopard print fabric. Have you noticed the unique detail yet? Hint: Has something to do with the sleeves....)

(Yup one sleeve is made using the black/silver metallic leopard print and the other is using the reverse solid black side. I actually did this by mistake but ended up loving it. I wanted to make this dress unique. It's funny most folks didn't even notice it until I pointed it out. I love the subtlety of that!!!) It's like a little wink and a nod!)

(Fabric up close! It's just fantastic!)

 (My camerman (Hubby)was out on his regular Friday night Daddy/Daughter date so I had to fend for myself with pics. Sorry for the poor quality selfies--but these give a better idea of the fabric color and details...)

 (that side panel was just enough infusion of black to break up the flashy print)

 (And this is the side view with the solid black sleeve. I love that you get 2 different views of the dress depending on which side you're looking.)

 (Here are the  2 Infinity scarves I donated for the silent auction. I loved the fabrics. The one on the left is a charmeuse and on the right a polyester blend that draped perfectly! Love the colors of both!)

 (Here's the Pretty Lady and bid winner of both of my scarves. She absolutely loved them and I'm ecstatic the money went to a good cause!)

Today was such a great day! These are the moments when I enjoy sewing the most. I love to know it can do such good and I love being able to create clothes that excite mine and other's senses! It's an amazing feeling! Alrighty, I'm beat from a long day and it's time to turn in. Have much more sewing to do in the morning---remember I've got Fearless February goals to fulfill. Night, Night!

Thursday, February 19, 2015


Oh, it's the story of my life. I am a donating  a couple of gorgeous Infinity scarves for the Blueprint Pageant  Southern Belles and Cocktails Networking Event. They will be featured in the Silent Auction to raise scholarship money for the pageant and it totally slipped my mind that it's a cocktail/networking event and I would need something somewhat "swanky" to wear. I'm so appreciate to be apart of this event since the Blueprint Pageant under the leadership of Rowena Howell is a wonderful Pageant/Finishing School dedicated to the enrichment and development of young ladies! Being the Mom of a young lady myself I really resonate with her vision. Anyhow between client work, designing/sewing a dress for my daughter to wear to next week's Father/Daughter Banquet and my own Fearless February sewing goals I've got lots on my plate. I think I'm gonna play this one pretty cool. I pulled out this gorgeous black and silver metallic ponteroma knit I had in my stash and will transform it into the perfect little cocktail dress number. The print is perfect--not too overpowering and it has just enough sparkle to it. Since the print is a statement piece I think I will go with a rather simple design. I'll let the print speak for itself. Ok, keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. Hope to report back with a finished product tomorrow....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Oscar De La Renta's Fashion Exhibit

Our local SCAD Museum of Art is currently exhibiting some of Oscar De La Renta's iconic dresses. I had the priveledge of going to check them out. As a bonus I went on our Super Museum day which meant the visit was free for all who came so the family tagged along with me. To be quite honest I haven't really followed De La Renta's career and need to do a little research to understand his design evolution. But as far as the exhibit goes I liked several of his pieces and appreciate his workmanship. As an aspiring designer myself I definitely respect his work and the reputation he built for himself. His artistry was and continues to be such a gift. If you find yourself in the Savannah area his work will be on display through May so it's worth checking out. Anyhow here's some pics below and I don't have alot of commentary to go with them since it was full of people and I didn't have a ton of time to spare. I'm considering going back so I can spend much longer studying each piece. And yes I must admit I checked the finishings (visually only, touching not allowed) on these pieces and they're impeccable. You can tell an exceptional garment not only by the way it's sewn but more importantly in my opinion by the way it is finished!
(Red floral dress worn by Beyonce. I liked the detail in this)

 (The Hubby was checking out the work as well)


(Those bows were stitched on top of the fabric)

Saturday, February 7, 2015

This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!

Ha! It's funny the things I have to say to myself to prevent a complete melt down. I just completed a total Wool coat reconstruction for a client. I had to downsize it about 4 sizes which meant taking in the side seams and substantially cutting down the shoulder and blade area. I successfully do ALL of that (without any problems) and am about to close it up---only needing to add the shoulder pad back, tack down the lining and hand sew in the sleeve (like tailors do)! Only thing is that pesky shoulder pad is MUCHO thick! Argh....!!!

(thick shoulder pad in question. It's about 3/4" wide at it's thickest part)

After several attempts of trying to do it on the industrial machine and "hand walking" the wheel it's not going to happen. I almost had a near meltdown out of frustration but it's not worth it. It's at that point I had to chant....

This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!
This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!
This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!

and one more time (with conviction).....

This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!

I gather my thoughts and decide I'll just put it in by hand. Technically, that's just what you do in that case. I got emotional because I couldn't get me way. And if I had a dollar for every time I got frustrated in the sewing room I'd be rich. Frustrations happen but you don't let them stop you. If you stopped because of every time you got frustrated you would get NO WHERE!!!! You got to suck it up and push through! In this case the meltdown was avoided. Glad I got my head back on straight. Because you know what.....

This Shoulder Pad WILL NOT END My Sewing Career!


On that note I'm back to sewing...........LOLLLLLLLL!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Fearless February Sewing Goals!

(Shouting Loudly)---"It's February and the 2015 Fearless February Challenge is in EFFECT!!! Despite being bombarded with work amongst other things in January I managed to get quickly focused for this challenge and my sewing mojo is in full throttle. I'm READY to get some serious sewing done.

My main focus for this challenge is my own wardrobe building. That's right! Being a full time Professional Sewer means I spend most of my time sewing for other and it's time to get back to me a bit. Besides, I'm my own "walking billboard" and need to maintain a high standard of fashion----not spend 15 minutes in the closet every morning trying to figure out what I'm going to wear.

So I'm off to a good start. I whipped out this cute top which I plan to pair with black leggings  and could also go with jeans and boots.

(love this top 6990)

I'm working on the rest of my wardrobe plans. I've pretty much got the fabric in house---remember I literally have my own fabric shop in my house so I had lots of choices to pull from. Here are some of the pieces I'm trying to crank out this month.

Victoria's February Sewing Plans (Wardrobe Building)
-Black knit pencil skirt
-Cream blouse---versatile enough to wear with skirt, pants, leggings and under fur vest
-Fur vest---I have this gorgeous fur I showed off on FB a few weeks ago
-Tan leggings/pants---I realize I don't have any light color pants in my wardrobe
-Animal print cardigan---I have a wonderful plush animal print knit and I'm debating a cardigan or a dress
-Black yoga pants---because it's a staple that should be in every woman's closet
-Gray Rain coat---I don't have one and I think it would be rather stylish
-Shirt dress
-Gold Sweater
-----and a few more ideas. I picked pieces that I know I could easily mix match. They will definitely expand my wardrobe.

Plus I need to do some casual wear sewing for my daughter. She wears a uniform to school but she doesn't have cute, girlie clothes to wear to church.

Speaking of my daughter. I finally found the fabric I'm going to make her Father/Daughter Banquet dress out of that she'll be wearing on Feb 28th. I ran across this GORGEOUS royal purple brocade with tan and gray in it at Jo-Ann's.  I got just a little under 1.5yd and had to order 3 yards since it was practically hard to find anywhere. This photo doesn't do it justice. This fabric is beautiful. I need to finish planning her dress design. I'll have that info later.

Ok, I'm off to bed! Got to get my beauty rest if I'm going to be focused to get through these sewing plans!!! I'm EXCITED!!! What are you guys working on for the challenge???


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