2013 ESSENTIAL TOPS SEW-A-LONG FINISHED PROJECTS

January 26, 2013

NOTHING TO FEAR...


...

I've joined in on Victoria's (TenThousandSewingHours) Fearless February Sew-A-Long.  It challenges sewers to step outside their regular comfort zones.  I must admit that I sometimes get caught up in a sewing comfort zone.  So I joined the sew-a-long:
  • to honor Victoria's very first sew-a-long - congratulations Victoria!,
  • because she's a home Georgia Girl, and
  • because it's high time I shook things up a bit in the sewing room.

My project will exercise (and hopefully expand) my existing tailoring skills. As far as tailoring is concerned,  I've actually not done any since my Lady Grey jacket back in 2010.  I've  used a few techniques on projects here and there,  but it's been far too long since I've made a structured jacket.

The sew-a-long doesn't actually start for 5 more days, but I thought I'd better get a little head start since February is a short month.  Last week I prepared my fabric, traced the pattern, and started fitting a muslin.  It's been an emotional roller coaster already because I really thought I wouldn't need to do much fitting.  Is being able to make up a pattern straight out of the envelope too much to ask???  I guess it is!  I actually considered dumping the whole project at one point, but have since decided to press onward.

I woke up early this morning and after 5 hours of diligent work,
  • was able to finalize my muslin (or at least get to a point that I thought was workable/wearable).

  • layout and cut my fabric

  •  and now I'm actually involved with thread tracing.  Yep, that's right, thread tracing 16 pattern pieces.  Thought I'd finish this part tonight, but mmmmmmm I don't know about that since I've got 10 more pieces to go.
 
Its gonna be one of those labor of love projects that I hope won't take as long to finish as that Lady Grey jacket did.  Maybe it's a good thing that I'm getting an early start...

January 22, 2013

AREN'T THESE TWO BOOKS THE SAME...

...



I already own this book, but I'm wondering
is this just a reprint of the Singer book?
 
      







      

January 21, 2013

EXCUSE ME, BUT I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER...

  • what type(s) of interfacing was used in this coat?
  • what special couture sewing techniques were used in it's construction?
  • when will somebody release a good full length picture of the dress that was underneath?
  • which big 4 pattern company will reproduce a pattern for the look?
Never heard of Thom Browne, but he really showed out with this design.  What a beautiful coat!  And those gloves, just the right POP of color.  I couldn't help but get excited about the outfit, and the inauguration as a whole of course...

January 17, 2013

...I promise you that I didn't plan on making this an all out "Skirt Season" - it just happened - and I just went with the flow.  I do love skirts (guess you've figured that out by now), all types, but especially knit ones.   I had been looking at Mimi G's pencil skirt for months, even watched her YouTube video.  My friend Ebony had made it twice, and vouched for it's simplicity and great fit.  But truth be told friends, I'm just sooooo in tuned to sewing by pattern only - that I rarely venture into DIY land.  But since I'm already d-e-e-p into the skirt demilitarized zone, it wasn't hard to heed Mimi G's call to "Show Off Your Stuff" by using one of her tutorials and then posting to her Flicker group

Since our "faux spring" went back into hiding and "real winter" returned today, I decided to wear my Mimi G skirt with my jersey 1001 dalmatian top that I made last year, and my beloved boots.


I felt my sense of style was well rewarded when the Teaching as a Profession instructor asked me to model for her class as "the way to dress professionally on the job" example.  The icing on the cake happened when later in the day a student called me "Fierce".  I have to say a bit "THANK YOU TO MIMI G" for such a stylish day...

January 8, 2013

MY MOTHER TOLD ME...

... that I need to start taking more pictures wearing my designs.  I'm trying to do just that, but I can't promise how long it will last.  Sometimes it's not convenient to take pictures at work. It's so much easier to just press the finished project and take a picture of it on the dress form.  Sounds lazy I know, but moving on.

Today I wore my self-drafted Carnival skirt with my ponte de roma peplum top - first time I've put this combo together.  I usually wear this skirt with a black sweater. I also wore the red coat that I refashioned last year.

I've got one more bit of blog business to finish - it'll be coming up soon, so stay tuned...

January 7, 2013

BLOG AWARDS...

...in December Lynn of You SewGirl awarded me two beautiful blog awards.  Another sewing blogger also sent me the same awards around the same time, but I cannot remember who she was.  So sorry that it has taken me this long to acknowledge receipt.





Here are the rules:

1.  Thank the person who nominated you.
2.  Add the One Lovely Blog Award/The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.
3.  Share 7 things about yourself.
4.  Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers that inspire you.
5.  Include the rules.
6.  Inform your nominees.

Seven Things About Me
 1.  I have just a tiny bit of OCDism.  I can't stand it when objects are not straight;  i.e., chairs in a row, pictures on a wall etc.

2.  I am the oldest of four siblings.  I find it amazing that for generations everyone in my family who has had children has had either one child or four - really, I researched this.
 
3.  My body craves dark, leafy green vegetables and I must have them at least two or three times a week.  Good thing right?

4. The majority of my friends are at least 10 years younger than I am.  I never plan it that way - it just always happens.  I actually like having younger friends - they keep my thinking fresh.

5.  I've always secretly aspired to be a writer - there, my secrets out!

6.  I have NEVER traveled outside of the continental United States.  When I was in high school I wanted to be a flight attendant so I could see the world - for free. (I also thought that I wanted to have 12 children - inspired by the book "Cheaper by the Dozen".  I had dreams of Spain, France and England.  Neither of those things happened and I'm o.k. with it now.

 7.  I'm a cookbook collector (at last count I had over 300), but never mind sending me any.  Since I've started back sewing fabric/pattern shopping has taken the place of collecting cookbooks.  I rarely buy any now, but I still MUST have my yearly copy Southern Living Annual Cookbook. I own every copy of it, and actually subscribe so it comes automatically - except for this year.  I need to contact Oxmoor House about my missing 2012 cookbook that hasn't come yet! 

My Inspirational Bloggers
You probably know that I read a lot of blogs and admire and am inspired by them all.  If you aren't already reading these blogs, may I please suggest them:

It's Melanie Darling -http://itsmelaniedarling.blogspot.com
Merchehan http://aventurasdecosturas.blogspot.com
Tee -  http://dressed2atee.blogspot.com
Shelly - http://shellystorey.blogspot.com
Yuki http://mycatsew.blogspot.com/
Tina -http://itsajeansthing.blogspot.com
Beverly - http://bjsewmuchmore.blogspot.com
Judith -http://doobee64.blogspot.com
Lauren - http://laurensvirtualworld.blogspot.com
Sewingsista - http://sewgirl54.blogspot.com

 I AM TRULY GRATEFUL to all who for the acknowledge my blog... 




I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOUR CAMERA...

...but all of a sudden the one I'm using is adding ten pounds to my frame.  I promise I didn't overeat during the the holidays!!!  Didn't even make the pineapple upside comfort cake I had planned.  It's all my camera's fault.  Anyhow, on with my sewing project report.

Seriously, I didn't just all of a sudden plan to make this deep chocolate ponte roma skirt, I actually envisioned it as part of my wardrobe, and on my body.  So, it had to come to pass.

 I used McCall's 6654 knit skirt pattern for this one too. I underlined it although afterwards found that I really could have gotten away without it.  Strange thing about this ponte roma, the weights differ - solids are a bit heftier than the prints.   I needed something brown in my closet as I'm still wearing black too often.  I heart this skirt, especially paired with my silver pink sweater (that was actually printed on the label, although one of my students called it petal pink) that I got on sale after Christmas.  Pink and brown should definitely be married - don't you think?
The Birthday Girl wanted in on the photo shoot - rightly deserved because after all it was her day.  Isn't she cute with her little tiara?
Then I had to get one of the the rest of the second block bunch as well.  Never mind we also had to take a test today.



January 6, 2013

...While enjoying my lovely Christmas vacation my sewing room became an impromptu PENCIL SKIRT FACTORY of sorts.  I made one skirt from the new McCall's knit pencil skirt pattern 6654, and can I tell you that I FELL IN LOVE.  What's not to love: a)only three pattern pieces (one of them I eliminated by the way by substituting my own elastic waistband treatment). b)It was an easy peazy way to use up part of my pile of ponte de roma knits.  Yes there is a pile - over in the corner, not to mention that I have some more stashed in a dresser drawer.  Can't you just feel the knit love oozing out?  c)I just love being able to get that tapered pencil skirt shape from knit fabric.  Mind you, I'm still very much in love with the Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt pattern, but simply could not resist giving the McCall's pattern at least one little try after seeing the cutest mother/daughter snow-leopard duo whipped up by Victoria a little while ago, (still need to get my snow leopard skirt made up).

I actually made four of them, and still have plans for a couple more.  I used Lynn's wedge alteration on this pattern too, but this time decreased the wedge to 1" rather than the 1 1/2" that I had used before.  A word of advise about the wedge though is (it does not work for me when using plaid or stripe fabric) makes it almost impossible to line up.

 All of the skirts are fully underlined with poly-interlock so I don't have to be bothered with a slip.

 I love the ease of pulling one of these things on in the morning.  Match up a top or sweater, tights, zip up a pair of boots - it makes dressing for a comfortable day at work just little bit easier.  I wore two of them to work last week. 
I also managed to re-organize ALL my closets right before returning to work.  Founds some things I really needed to get rid of and a few things I had forgotten I had.  One of them being this 3/4 length coat.  This coat was given to me by not my Grand Mother, but my Great-Grand Mother way back in the 80's.  I can remember LOVING it and wearing it over and over again mainly because my Granny gave it to me.  I still love it, especially the little gold braided hat that is attached to the lapel.  Thought I'd pull it out and give it some more wear.

I was also able to squeeze in a 4 day surprise visit with my grand-children after Christmas.  My daughter knew I'd be arriving the day after but we kept it a secret from the kids.  LOVED IT!!!

I guess the SCARF FACTORY is still open as well.  I made 2 special order big button scarves right before Christmas and have orders for 2 more.  I don't mind - they are so easy to whip up and put a few
extra dollars in my pocket to boot.


I have lots of sewing related plans in the works that I'll mention here later.  Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend....


BOOKS ACQUIRED

  • Pants Sewing Guide
  • Denim Revolution
  • Pants for Real People
  • Jackets for Real Peopls
  • Easy, Easier, Easiest Tailoring - Palmer & Pletsch - Gifted
  • The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook
  • Ribbon Crafts
  • Professional Sewing Techniques for Designers
  • Successful Serging
  • Making Trousers for Men and Women
  • Couture Sewing Techniques
  • Singer - Perfect Plus
  • Cool Couture
  • Couture, The Fine Art of Sewing
  • Singer Sewing Reference Library - Tailoring - GIFTED
  • The Perfect Fit: The Classic Guide to Altering Patterns - Creative Publishing International
  • Fit for Real People
  • DK-The Complete Book of Sewing