September 30, 2012


 ... I can just close my eyes and see the Carnival parade - can't you???  The people lined streets, all the noise, and float after float after float slowly rolling on by.  Carnival parades always produce such anticipation and excitement, and my parade is no different.

I'm always sooooo excited to at the first signs of a finished project.  The signs that say you've once again taken a one dimensional piece of fabric and successfully turned it in a three dimensional design that you can wear to work (as well as other places) proudly.  One of the first signs is when I start searching around for all the pattern pieces then tuck them (as neatly as I can) back in their own little envelope for safe keeping.
VOGUE 7937
This pattern was cut last week on NEW PROJECT SUNDAY.  Of course I thought I'd finish it in just a couple of days.  Well that couple of days turned into a full week with me finishing the skirt only about a hour ago.  I'd made this skirt before (VIEW A/B) using a chocolate faux suede upholstery fabric (50% off) from Hancock's.  I love that skirt, and decided that I wanted another just like it in pewter gray.  Come to think about it, a black one would be cute too - maybe next Fall.  I actually purchased this fabric last fall but didn't get to make it up then.  Better late than never - right?

Tab with button attached to side front panel

Close up of topstitching detail where I used a double threaded single needle

The skirt carnival to date

All skirts to be worn as soon as temps drop just a little more.  I'm planning an entire week of skirts when the time is right, and I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures.   Mmmmm now where do I go from here?  I've got a couple of really nice print ponte knit pieces that I purchased for skirt, and I'm thinking I might try the Magic Pencil Skirt Pattern once again.  We'll see - after all it is "NEW PROJECT SUNDAY".....

September 24, 2012


...I am soooo glad to have finished the third skirt of the Carnival.  I was inspired by a cute Vera Wang skirt that I saw while snoop shopping while on vacation in New York this summer.  I liked the skirt right away -  because it was made of ponte roma knit, it was a beautiful purple just right for fall, and because of the patched detail and top stitching.  My mother offered to buy the skirt for me, but I said no because of course I knew I could make it.

After all I been through, I wish I had allowed her to buy it.  I went through numerous challenges and disappointments in making it, and this finished project is actually the second version of the dream skirt.
For the first version I chose the WRONG pattern.
 A great pattern, yes.  I was making view F.  But I should have known better because the skirt has a yoke.  I just do not do well with skirt or pants yokes.  It along with several construction ideas that I incorporated gave me a fit.  I completed the Simplicity shirt up to hemming but was not satisfied with the skirt at all.  I kept trying to convince myself that it was O.K. and that I could get some wear out of it.  But who was I kidding.  I finally concluded that the skirt would end up a hanging closet reminder that I'd keep sliding to the side - so I ditched it.  I'll donate the skirt and maybe someone else will enjoy it.

Moving on, but still wanting the same basic skirt design, fabric and color - I decided to start all over from scratch using this pattern - view A without the tabs.  This skirt has a waist facing instead of the yoke.  I added the patch design to the side front and side back pattern pieces.
Vogue 8603
 Another snag in the road was that I was sewing while sick.  Not a good fit.  I'm already a slow sewer - sewing while sick made me even slower.  But alas I am finally finished and here is my finished skirt - although the deep purple does not show up that well.
 A closeup of the patched detail with topstitching.

 Here's a picture of the Carnival trio.  I do plan to add a few more to the collection, and they WILL have either elastic, a waistband or waist facing I can promise you that!  For "New Project Sunday" I'll be adding Vogue  7937 view B using a pewter gray faux suede upholstery fabric.  I made this same pattern in chocolate brown faux suede a couple of years ago and have gotten a whole lot of wear out of it.
Happy Fall Ya'll!  This is the first time I've ever gotten a jump start with a few finished projects at the the front of the season.  It'll soon be boot wearing season, and that's when I'll break out all my new skirts!

What new developments are coming from your sewing room this week????????

Currently experiencing Blogger posting issues -Can't Post...

September 11, 2012


...can't really say exactly what initiated this great interest in skirts for my Fall 2012 wardrobe collection.  But I can say that I am pulling inspiration for EVERYWHERE!  I finished skirt number 2 in my Carnival of Skirts on Sunday.  It was made using Pamela's Magic Pencil Skirt pattern that I added to my collection earlier this summer.
Pamela's Patterns #109
I usually do not make pants or skirts with elastic waistbands; however this pattern intrigued me - so I just had to have it.  I think it's a great pattern..  The way the pattern is drafted is what I love.   The skirt is pegged perfectly.  I made the regular skirt (above right), and according to my measurements - the medium size (which automatically made me happy).  The skirt would have probably only taken me about an hour from start to finish, but you know me - I had to make some changes.  

I used a print stripped ponte de roma from Hancocks.  I've found that after washing the print ponte de roma the texture of the fabric changes leaving it a much lighter weight than the solid colors.  It just does not hold it's body.  Because of this, I decided to underline the skirt just to add a little weight to the fabric.  I used a black jet set knit as underlining and after pinning it to my fabric, hand stitched it to the seam allowances of my fashion fabric.   The hand stitching was time consuming, but worked so much better than stitching by machine.  I picked up Gertie's book this weekend and used her tip about catch stitching the seam allowances to the underlining.  Yep more time consuming hand stitching, (but at least there were only two seams) making Skirt Number 2 a real labor of love.  Adding this step will keep my seam allowance stable preventing it from ending up all "willy nilly" after washing.
Hand stitching seam allowance to underlining.
The stars in this stripe remind me of snow flakes
Two for the Carnival - The Parade is growing!!!

 The next skirt will be a Vera Wang knockoff - it's was prepped and cut on "New Project Sunday"...

September 5, 2012

... I'm so excited about Fall, even though our temps are still in the 90's .  Usually I lament at season's end, thinking that I just haven't done enough summer sewing.  I actually feel that way now, but it is what it is.  I'm suddenly so excited about the possibilities of Fall wardrobe creations that I can hardly contain myself - for real.

I was talking to my sewing friends recently - about how I want to make lots and lots of skirts, and retro dresses (again), and of course pants and don't forget about my favorite - TOPS.  Guess I just want to make some of every thing. Ebony suggested that I name my skirt collection
              "CARNIVAL OF SKIRTS".  
I love Ebony - she likes to name inanimate things like I do - and she always comes up with some good ones too.  She says she had visions of Carnival and all the people who come out to party.  O.K. I like it!  I've got a feeling there will be quite a few of them that I'll parade around this Fall.

I started The Carnival of Skirts this weekend.   Inspiration for this oh so simple skirt came from the Made It on Monday blog.  I  first saw it back in January, and instantly knew that I could make this easy look work for me. Just never got around to making it up.  Well the time has come.

I had left over ponte roma in gray from a dress I made, and just had to buy 1 yard of black (30% off) .  Cut my strips, and sewed together to make the large stripped fabric for my skirt.  Elastic waist, no pattern, plain and simple - I LOVE IT.
It will make it's appearance at first chill.  Probably won't be until November though.

My second skirt's inspiration came from Debbie Cook's use of this  pattern called Pamela's Magic Pencil skirt.  I was intrigued by the construction of the skirt and the fact that the pegged shape is  incorporated in the pattern design.  Can't wait to give it a try.
 I'll make this skirt and then switch off to another type garment.  But you can be sure that more skirts will join the Carnival Parade before the Fall Season ends for one big celebration...

September 1, 2012


...on the floor in my sewing room.  I've officially been relocated and it's such a mess.  Of course I wanted to move things methodically, but when someone else is helping  - you just go with the flow.  I'm not complaining - yet that is.  It's not that I'm a completely organized person by any means, but for the most part I can usually find things in my sewing room whenever I need to.  Everything is out of here for the most part, except for this "weighs a ton pattern cabinet", and every drop of the carpet and pad has been removed and carted out the door - THANK GOD!

Next comes cleaning the floor (I just didn't have energy to do it this evening), caulking (then giving it a day to dry), re-painting the moulding, and then the actual staining can begin.  I'm blessed that the flooring, although not perfect, is in pretty good condition.  It saves having to go through a sanding process.

Post Carpet Removal
The Kitchen Sewing Station

The Living Room all piled up so I can at least get out of the door.

A real mess, but oh so worth it...

Paying Homage to Black Pattern Designers...

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