Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fabric Stores in the ATL...

I'm headed to Atlanta for the holidays and I would love to check out some nice local fabric stores in the city.

Of course, I can't remember any of the names I've come across over the past year.

Anyone have any suggestions?


Holla!.... and Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Long, long, long time coming... back, that is.

I have been completely out of the sewing and blogging loop for several weeks now...I've been using my purty new sewing table more as an ironing board base than a cutting table... but as we all know the mojo comes as the mojo goes... at will.

I did go on vacay during this time.... a cruise to the Bahamas.... and I am happy to say that my black Weekend Designer column dress was a raging success at the formal dinner on the ship.

Here are a few of pics from the trip....

My sister and I in the limo on the way to the pier.

Me on the balcony outside our suite.. recognize this dress?

My sister and I again, on our way to para-sailing.

The next pic is a better version of this picture, but this one is my abso-favorite! I swear, they look like a female-lead Mafia family! My Nana as the no-nonsense Don.... My Mom as her, equally no-nonsense, Underboss.... and tell me my sister doesn't look like a solider that's telling you, with her eyes, that you've come close enough!... HHHahhaaaa!!!

Very nice! (... My fam AND my dress!)


Sunday, September 20, 2009

If at first you don't succeed... try, try again... (OR!... scrap it and do something else!)

Which ever!!

I, for one, ended up doing both...

I really loved this Weekend Designer Column dress How-to.So, I kept adjusting the pattern till it would work for me.

Finally I got it. I was doing pretty good until I, over zealously, took in some excess fab on the side seams. I, apparently, needed that fabric, else the back zipper buckled!

And the straps.... )))Grrrrrr(((.

By pure happenstance, as I was trying to fit it again, I pulled the dress on backwards, to get the zipper up...(((eyeroll))).... I had the straps wrapped around the bodice and when I turned it around again, Whomp!
Momma likes!!

Since I didn't need as deep a pleat anymore, because the straps covered so much, I took back some of the room I needed.I even added pockets. I put them a little low on the hip... not necessarily intentionally low... but I think it works.

The pattern also called for a self-fabric lining. Since I was using a linen, I decided to use some light weight jersey I had in the stash to make it instead... it was a new concept for me. I liked the result.
... like Slick Rick said at the beginning of 'Children's Story', "HHeeerrrreeee We GO!"

Now, is it just me or does anyone else get the overwhelming urge to get up and make something after watching Project Runway?

This week was no different... I set out to make this M5754 top from McCall's.
(I poo-pooed the sleeves and chose jersey instead of a woven for the bottom.)

Unfortunately, the allover stretch lace I was planning on using was not a color match for either of the black matte jerseys I had on hand.

But, while I was rummaging through my stash, I came across several trim laces I'd forgotten I had.

My first thought was to piece the lace together and then cut the pattern piece. But then I'd lose the scalloped edges.... blah blah blah.

Anyway, while I was holding up the different lace choices to see which pattern I liked best, I thought, 'hey!' what about a sleeveless tube?

I ended up using the bottom pattern pieces (view C), since it was already the proportion/shape I like.

All it needed was a row of lace across the top and Whomp Whomp!!
(Front detail)(Back detail)

I liked that tricot shelf bra idea so much, I added it to this top too. But instead of making one from scratch, I used a mini-tube cami-ette I got from work.

I'm going on a cruise to the Bahamas at the beginning of next month and I can't wait to rock BOTH of these!


Totally off sub.... has anybody ELSE chosen Kathy the California Cow?... L.O.V.E. her song.... "...C to the A to the L - afornnnnnyyyaaaaa!!"

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sing it with me y'all!!

"I'm so excited... and I just cant hide it!!"

Okay so, over the last several months, many of my nearest and dearest have embarked on various degrees of higher learning. Some finishing a degree program started many years ago. Some studying something completely new.

Needless to say, I was inspired and decided that it was past time to supplement my 15years of garment production experience. In hopes of, both, making myself more marketable, but to also be more knowledgeable in the way my company's business is changing now.

I said all that to say, I walked myself over to F.I.T on Friday and enrolled into one of their Professional Development Programs... Product Development, to be precise.

My first class actually starts next Saturday, 'Fabrication -Everything You Need to Know'. That is EXACTLY the kind of knowledge I have been wanting to get for both my work and craft life!

Then my next class is (if you can stand it) 'How to Build a Better Garment'.... I know this will be geared toward bulk garment production, BUT STILL!!

It's a certificate program, not a full fledged degree. But as I never really liked school, baby steps.

And best of all.... NO EXAMS!! I'll say it again, I'm so excited!!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Small Victories.

Fresh off a crash and burn attempt to adapt this Weekend Designer dress to (((sniff))) my.... particular measurements.... I needed a 'sure thing'.

Hheellooo McCalls 2781!
I've made this dress a few times before. But this time, instead of sewing up the skirt portion, I left it open (...with the existing selvage edges saving me a finishing step) and converted it into a wrap dress...
Done and Done!


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sim2584 Complete.

Looking forward to adding this one to the fall wardrobe!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Frankendress, V2....

After making the aforementioned adjustments, Voila! (...and please say it as I would...'Vee-Oil-Ay!')

The fabric is cheap for a reason.  Its super stiff even on the bias.
I will be doing yet ANOTHER version in a nicer fabric that is a little more forgiving...

But some of the more pressing issues were taken care of....
See!   Its not NEARLY as..uummm... revealing... as V1!.

... and trimming the back pattern piece was definitely beneficial!
I'm toying with going slightly above knee length, I think it makes the dress a little more casual and wearable.

Anyway.... there you have it.


It looks better on me, I SWEAR!

....See, what had happened was....

I was on the subway headed to work this past Monday morning. From the corner of my eye, I see this woman in a really cute white dress. Now, what caught my eye was really the color. Just white, but that really bright and 'just bought' white, you know? Anyway, it was a simple sheath with, thin self-fabric shoulder straps.

Uber-typical dress for running around the city on a hot summers day, right? Right!

But then, she turns around and I see that the back of the dress covers her entire upper back and shoulder! Basically a boat neck line draped across her back neck and shoulders from HPS to HPS.

I thought, I.HAVE.TO.DO.THAT!!

SSOOO...Now, I don't pretend to have any deep knowledge of pattern-making, but I muddle through this one by taking a dress from my closet and 'rubbing off' the armseye curve and a bit of the shoulder slope.After I got that initial template, I measured my bust line and cross back then squared down from the armhole opening to the hem line.

For the front, I measured down from my HPS to about 1/2 way down the armseye (about 7") and then squared across to CF.For the back, I squared from the very top of the armseye curve.

I laid out the fabric (cheapy linen from Fulton Fabrics, 3$ a yard) and placed the pattern on a 'eye-balled' bias.

In effort to avoid binding the top edge of the front piece, I doubled over the corner of the fabric so it over-lapped to about my bust line (I just serged the edge for a clean finish.)
However, I wasn't thinking that far ahead when I laid the back piece out, so I ended up sacrificing a bit of the neck line height and folded the cut piece under.

I cut bias strips, from the scrap fabric, to bind the armhole opening as well as to cover the missing top half of the front shoulder.

Once I put the dress together, I found that 7" down from HPS was ....uummmmm.... a litttttllllllle.... low....
... ahem....

So I've added another inch to the top of the front pattern. Now the binding strap will reach 6" down from HPS.

I also found that the cross back shoulder measurement was a bit wide and the straps didn't sit on my shoulder that way I wanted.
So, I trimmed about 3/4" from the total measurement.With those tweaks, this is what I am hoping for...I'm going to cut and sew another one today.... Will post more pics later.

I have to say, considering I only saw the dress for the corner of my eye for about 2 seconds, I can't promise that this is what HER dress actually looked like. But it is what I remember!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

A hint of Fall...

... No, not the weather. Just my Saturday sewing project... Simplicity's 2584.

Its not complete (... need to make an invisible zipper run...), so I didn't take a full set of pics.

But, I was particularly proud of my work on the front bodice/neck line detail....
... so I had to share.

More pics to come when I finish.


Sunday, August 9, 2009


... I've been having neck issues, so sitting in front of the machine has not been on my 'fun things to do' list for a few while.

But I woke up this morning and, no lie, the first thing I thought was "I need to finish that quilt today".... (that might give you some insight into how strange my mind works sometimes.)

So, I got all the pieces together and finished quilting the 'sandwich'... I used black for the top thread and this bright shinny orange for the bobbin thread...
Then, I spent the next few few hours hand finishing the binding...

I learn something... I HATE hand finishing binding... truth, I'm not a fan of hand sewing in general. But, this was singularly distasteful...

But, I consoled myself by watching 'Taken', 'Quantum of Solace', the last three episodes of 'True Blood' AND the last two weeks of 'Entourage'...

I told you... I.HATE.HAND.SEWING!!

But, when all is said and done, I set out one goal for myself today, and I finished it. FINALLY!!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another one bites the dust....

...I'd like to take this time mourn the passing of McCall's 5388.

I spared it the indignity of photographing its short and needlessly difficult life.
We made every effort to meek out even the humblest existence, alas, it was to no avail.....((sigh))

One good thing can be said, I got a little ego boost in finding that I can cut the pattern a good 3 sizes SMALLER next time around... HA!!


(.... for any of you that were worried, the effects from that busy bee sting has, apparently, COMPLETELY disappeared.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Built by Wendy by Me

I must've gotten stung by a busy bee last night because, around 10pm, I had this irresistible urge to cut out a pattern... (Yes. I acknowledge ALL the things wrong with that sentence! LOL)

I picked Built by Wendy's #2865 and paired it with this matte jersey I picked up a few weeks ago from P&S fabrics.
Its a really cute black and white zebra patterned seashell print. Its a little odd, but in a very good way. (... if you look at it really hard, it almost looks like actual zebra's with their heads curled into their necks... doesn't it?)
I picked view C's hip-length tank top paired with view B's sailor's collar detail...
Still feeling the effects, I was up at 8am this morning cutting and sewing it together.

This was my first knit pattern and I have some fine tuning to do with learning start-to-finish garment construction with a serger. But I think I did pretty good for the first go round.

I still have to finish the hem... I tuckered out around 3 and decided to take a break before finishing this one and starting up on McCall's 5388 (... also cut out last night...ha!)