Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break Randomness

Look at the treasures I found and they didn’t cost a thing…

That’s right I got them from the library! I’ve been dreaming about the draping book since season two of Project Runway. It’s not the most current version, but who cares it’s got the general information. And the “Jackets for Real People” has the solution that I was looking for in my houndstooth review. It shows a machine method for that intersection of a jacket where the front hem, lining, and facing meet. Very exciting, I can’t wait to try it out.

How far would you go for interfacing?
Apparently I’ll go pretty far. The Cutting Room fabric store is about a 30-mile drive from my house so I only go there two or three times a year. Last summer I discovered a 60” lightweight, tricot, fusible interfacing that was remarkably similar to one I purchased from a nationally known sewing instructor last year. At $2.95/yd. I stocked up. However, my Easter outfit used up my stash. Wednesday I headed over the CRF only to find that the owner was participating in the Sewing Expo and had taken my interfacing and several other fabrics with her. Yikes! You guessed it, the very next day I was paying my $10 to get into the Expo. I’m happy to report that the interfacing was there, I bought the bolt (around 7 yards), and now have a great story to tell about my dedication to my craft! LOL

I am a project-oriented person. This doesn't mean I never have UFO's but... That was how I spent today and most of my spring break. I just couldn't get my mind in gear to do one of my sewing marathon days (heavy sigh). Today I cleaned up my UFO's - adjustments to my Easter top and skirt, finished a pair of black wool pants, and made a quick knit top that I cut out last year. Now my sewing area consists of pieces of fabric waiting to be cut and garments that are cut and waiting to be sewn. I'm a little sad I didn't get my black suit done this year. Oh well, maybe I'll be in the mood to sew it up this summer, hah!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I've been tagged by Dawn. I'm both flattered and (don't take this the wrong way) annoyed. I too am not a chain-mail participant but feel connected to a kindred spirit that I just can't let down! LOL

Seven Things About Me

Ever since my family moved to Ohio (when I was in fourth grade) I swore I'd move away and never come back. Yea, had to eat my words big-time. Not only did I move back, I actually like it, go figure!

I've always felt the most flattering compliment a friend can give me is to (laughingly) say, "you're so wierd!"

I have been known to eat an entire chocolate cookie pie crust without the pie.

In my husband's family there are several inlaws that are younger than me with grandchildren! I find this as funny as they do (my kids are 5 and 7)!

At 38 years old I moved in with my parents so I could attend graduate school full time! Imagine, all the irresponsiblity of college with enough years of responsibility to appreciate it.

I don't cook.

Until I discovered PR and all the other internet sources, I could never figure out how people could become addicted to the computer. How could someone possibly just sit there for hours and hours and I know!

Since so many of you have already been tagged I'm going to (gasp) break the chain!! Hope know one is offended but I think I'd rather just add you to my "Daily Visitation". Okay?


I've had my fabric and patterns for this outfit for weeks. The top was about half done last weekend. So why oh why did I wait until Friday night to start sewing everything else? Does that sound familiar to anyone? I was feeling really bad about it until I visited a few other blogs last Thursday and realized how many other sewists were in the same situation!

Anyway, I finished all three pieces and I love the results. You can read the full review of the jacket on PR (blouse will follow later this week). Here are some of the nitty-gritty sewing details. (Click on the pictures to get a closer view.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I should be sewing but...

...I really want to blog about something! How about taking pictures? Lindsay T. wrote this great article for PR about how to take pictures for your reviews. Well, I thought it might be fun to show what you don’t see on my pictures.

Here's how I do it:
Our Attic
Picture before croppingPicture after cropping

The curtain was supposed to hang in our bedroom but it’s waaaay too long and was just collecting dust. The attic has many scars from the previous owners and we’re not planning to fix them until the kids get a little older. So I had no problem sticking some pins in the ceiling to hold the top of the curtain and then stapling it about halfway down when it’s not in use.

This “photo” area came about after racking my brain for months because a) our house has only one solid wall without a window, b) every area that I used for a background took me at least 20 minutes to disassemble/assemble, and c) between my schedule, my kids, and the weather in NE Ohio (lots of rain) taking a picture outside has never even been considered a possibility. And did you notice the kid's easel in the first picture? That's my tripod! It's the perfect height and the top holds my camera in a stable, level position.

Now when I’ve got an outfit I want to photograph, I just move the easel, pull the staples out of the curtain and in about 15 minutes I’ll have at least one good picture.

FYI – if you don’t have a children’s easel handy…I saw an inexpensive tripod in the August 2007 issue of Real Simple that attaches to the top of a bottle.

Okay, now that I’ve got the blogging out of my system. Like many of you, I need to make my Easter outfit! Let’s, get off the computer and sew!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Half Price Books!

Sorry, I'm not selling. I'm buying! If you have access to this bookstore I highly recommend you take a stroll down the craft isle. I did and look at what I found:
The obvious steal here is the Shirtmaking book, only $3.00! I don't shop much on e-bay, but isn't that about the average cost of shipping? I haven't read it yet, but I've never been disappointed by anything from Taunton. (Erica B. just made a beautifully tailored shirt using this book as a reference.)

The last time I went looking for garment sewing books by Nancy Zieman (December), I couldn't find any! This is a generalization. I'm not one of those people that spends hours researching things. Anyway, I was excited to find this one because she has the best sewing tips! I love that she looks at garment construction differently than the pattern companies.

The Bodymapping is interesting. Someone made reference to this method on Artisan's Square so I made the $5 investment to check it out. As I was reading the beginning I started having flashbacks from my days in Minneapolis. I know I made the sloper using this method at some point in time I just can't remember anything else about it. I am old :(. Someday I'll fool around with it again as it combines draping, drafting, and flat pattern methods to create 10 basic pattern designs. These custom designs become the foundation for any additional designs you envision. I am intrigued.

Thought the book on fusibles might hold some hidden treasures - wrong, just basic info.

Once again the world of sewing through the internet has me spending more money! How did I get by for so long without knowing all the things I needed?!

Fall/Winter Summary

I've been having so much fun getting dressed! As I move closer and closer to understanding the real and true meaning of SWAP my wardrobe just looks better and better (IMHO). When I started planning this fall I created a wonderful spreadsheet to track my progress, well it really helped me when I was shopping too. That spreadsheet is 75% complete. Wow. Here's a picture to give you an idea of what I've done.

What you can't see:
Three of the incomplete items are wardrobe staples! A black skirt, jacket, and pants. How can you possibly get by without these? And no, I don't have an outdated replacement that I've been wearing. No black basics - yikes.

Two of the unfinished items are charmeuse blouses. You know, the ones that were everywhere this fall with bows at the neck? You won't believe it, but I just couldn't find the right pattern! (That and the extra care that charmeuse requires.) Well, I finally found the perfect pattern in my last batch of vintage patterns but at this point who knows if they'll get done. Because....

Spring is on it's way! (Eventually. We're in the middle of a major blizzard this weekend.) I got my Gorgeous Fabrics delivered yesterday. The colors matched exactly what I saw on my screen, hurray! Oh yea, this spring SWAP is coming together nicely.

I've got some nice tan and white linens too. Can you see the possibilities? If you're into sewing enough to be reading this, I know you can :) !

Sunday, March 2, 2008

(You Ain't) Nothin But A Houndstooth

Every blog and fashion source I read said you've got to have houndstooth this year. I found a fabric that was just the right size and the colors fit nicely into my wardrobe plan so here it is:

You can read all the sewing details by clicking on my PR picture at right. Here are some picture details (click on any picture to enlarge):

Love it when the plaids match!

Didn't order enough fabric (maybe I was planning on using a different pattern when I placed the order) so, the under collar piece is made from a flannel-backed lining.

In the end, I think it will look better with black underneath but my black pants have yet to be constructed. Seriously, I don't know how I've made it through this fall/winter with only two ill-fitting pairs of black pants. No time for that now as I've got to sew for Easter! Can't wait to get that outfit going.