Friday, November 30, 2012

Sewing Bloggers Are Awesome

A while back, miss Juliet of Crazy Gypsy Chronicles had a lovely little give-a-way. I had all but forgotten about it, wrapped up as I was in personal drama, that the box was a delightful surprise.

First up was the most awesome pin cushion ever of pincushions. Its a teacup, WITH A DRAGON!  It just so happens I'm a dragon in the Chinese zodiac, and I love dragons.  She has a tutorial on how to make your very own here. Also, some navy and red cotton floral that is destined to become a summer blouse.  And a cute little bug in a box, which has since sprouted legs and walked off. Probably somewhere in the depths that is The Upstairs (That's the kids' domain. Also, that is where all my tape disappears to. I'm stuffing my daughters Christmas stocking full of every kind of tape imaginable this year.)

Up next:

BUTTONS! And Patterns! AND MORE FABRIC!  Oooh, that blue and white was claimed by Felicity, so that will probably end up being a summer blouse for her. I don't know what I'm gonna do with the buttons, but I'll find something. They are just too beautiful.

And in the very bottom of the box was a bar of dark chocolate, which has been hidden among my sewing notions for emergencies, such as sewing sleeves on backwards and Simon trying to do parkour in the house (more on that later).

So, thank you Miss Gypsy for the wonderful smile!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Men of the Cloth

I highly recommend watching this preview about Italian tailors. The Kickstarter has less than a month to raise 17,000 dollars. SPREAD THE WORD! I want to see this film come to fruition and so do you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Week in Snapshots

Hello Everyone! I want you to know that I got all dolled up to take photos on my newly cleaned up back porch only to discover the camera battery dead and the charger missing in actions. Add this to the lens cap I lost on the horseback ride and I was a sad panda.  So. I've ordered replacement parts and a remote. Here's hoping, right?

So, in the mean time you get Instagram photos. Here's a collection of outfits that include me made items. Two Renfrews and my cropped jacket. And a few other things as well.

Clover facings

The best part of this fabric is that it matches both colors of corduroy I picked out to make clovers. I also adjusted the waist band pieces to curve in more as they were too wide at the top previously for me to feel comfortable.

 Also, I finally relented and told Felicity yes on dying her hair. She wants RED hair, like mine. I said we'd do the lightest red first.  So I got strawberry blonde and it turned out lovely. In fact, it turned out to be the exact color my hair was at her age. It was spooky.

Can I wash it out yet?

Hair all done and I'm ready for bed! 
 And she wore the gold dress her Grandma bought her recently. I love this photo of her playing the Nintendo DS at the Thanksgiving party we had early. Cause I'm on-call Thanksgiving and working the Friday after. And the hubby is working both days. Woo.

So did I mention I made like, three renfews?  Yup, two cowl neck ones out of sweater knit and I'm practically living in these things. Here's a sparkly black one. I have to wear a cami underneath or it gets scratchy but it looks just so awesome.

This photo was taken after a 12 hour work day and I had just washed my face. 

On to work outfits!  This first outfit goes with my new jacket.  The gold blouse and the skirt are also made by me.

My eyes, they are closed.
I love these pants, they are RTW from Layne Bryant. Only problem?  They start sagging after about 8 hours of sitting. Bleh.  All these photos are taken in the locker room at the work gym. Yes, we have a gym at work and its free.  Working for Evil Corporations does have its perks. Fortunately, the one I work for is fairly benign, in that most of what they do and support I agree with.

Work outfit 2, Striped Renfew 
Dior Advertisment
I bought the September issue of Vogue just so I could have the photo of this dress' guts. I'm so fascinated!
I love it very much.

I sorted and labelled all my notions. I have a photo of all my lace zippers somewhere.  Gotta find it.

And last, but  not least, my two oldest cats curled up in the rocking chair together sleeping.  These two are often at odds with each other but they set it aside when its cold.

Monday, November 12, 2012

non-euclidean topography

Me: If I can ever wrap my head around the geometry of trouser fitting I will rule the world.
Hubby: Is it because non-euclidean topography has a real life application after all or did math geeks just figure out a way to get --> girls' pants?
Me: ...  You are such a nerd. 
In related news, I started a pair of Colette Clovers after finishing three Renfrew tops. Once I'm done with the two pair of Clovers I want to make (which should be this weekend) I'll have enough cake that I can get on to some frosting. Tasty Tasty frosting. No good photos as of yet, so uh... here's a pic of my cat in a box. 

I'm in a box! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

DIY Fabric Labels

There are quite a few DIY how-to's around the internet on fabric labels. Most of them involve printers. And if you are like me, trying to get any sort of unconventional printing done (whether is fabric or wax paper) on your printer makes you want to go all Office Space on the bitch.

So, enter my other hobby, scrapbooking (really, paper crafting and art journals, and some actual photos). I don't have much in the way of photos because I think this one photo is fairly self explanatory  I will, however, give you a supply list.


1) Satin Ribbon - about 1.5 inches (38mm) wide. You probably have something like this in your stash.

2) Hero Arts "Sew Artsy" stamps  Its possibly these may be sold in a craft store near you. I got mine at Archiver's.

3) Stamp Mounts.  There are several different varieties out there, I have clear acrylic blocks. Michael's and JoAnn's sells several options as well.

4) Ink. My recommendation is Versafine Onyx Black.(not pictured) I tested it and it is color fast. Yes, its expensive, but if you make sure to close it when done and then store it upside down (this makes the ink stay on top where it does the most good) it should last you a year or more. I've had mine for two, but I don't use is a lot.

5) Fine tip permanent marker.

So, stamp along a length of ribbon, make sure to give yourself room for sewing it on after you cut them out. TADA! Clothing labels. However, if you really want to sink some money into it, I found this Etsy shop will do 300 personalized embroidered ones for about $70. They are in China and it looks like it takes 6-8 weeks, but so far the best deal I've found. I might try them when I get my year end bonus. If so, I'll give a full report on what its like to work with them.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Have I Been Up To?

To be perfectly honest, I've been up to a lot but it feels like I'm spinning my tires in mud for all the good its doing. I got my house organized and cleaned up only to end up with piles of boxes since I agreed to store things for a friend*. She gifted her smaller of two beds to Felicity, which was wonderful of her, as an early Christmas present, and now Simon has access to all of her manga (in book form) and he's a happy camper

Felicity's new bed with a puff quilt by my Mother underneath the stars quilt by my mother-in-law. 

I, on the other hand, have been battling my own brain chemistry.  The unfortunate events happening to friends + getting turned down for a promotion at work blew chunks. Also, I've been worrying (for all the good it does) about everyone affected by Superstorm Sandy, including my niece. She's fine, and the only person that I communicate personally with that hasn't been accounted for is Oona, so if you are reading this, HOLLA BACK LADY! I'm worried sick about you!  But yeah, brain chemistry is no joke.  I spent years self regulating through diet/exercise and when they put me on Elevil for sleep problems due to chronic pain I also discovered a whole world of anti-anxiety and what it was like.  I'm thinking that we may need to adjust my meds now, I'm not sure. I'm slowly getting back on diet and exercise regime that I was on before Mom died, that seems to be helping too.  So, that's all part of my radio silence.

So on to the good stuff. I finally finished the cropped jacket! YAY!! That only took me almost two years. *chortle*  I love it and have several items planned to make to go along with it. Here's a few instagram/phone photos, cause I couldn't be arsed to bring out the good camera.

mmm, self made piping!

Before adding the lining and hemming sleeves

In making this jacket I discovered I need to have broader shoulders on my dress form. Yes indeed. I also regret that I didn't block fuse the entirety of the jacket instead of just what it called for on the instructions. Leh Sigh.  In all, I did a combination of couture and RTW tailoring.  It fits, looks nice. I'm happy with it.

OH OH OH!!! And for those of you following me on Facebook and Instagram may have already seen this, but Dad finished my shelves and cutting table. I'm stoked!  Lots of photos:

The white cubes are from Michaels, not from Dad, but this arrangement was what I had in mind when we were working out specifications. The black spot on the floor is a hair scrunchie.

Check it out, a space to hold BOLTS and my cardboard matt, and the wax paper.

Add caption
 You can't really see it, but the bottom shelf  has my Mom's machine and the Bernina serger. Its no longer kicking around on the floor.

Seasonal fabric rotation will happen here.

Action shot from when I was doing my layout. 

Best part about this is I can take the rotary mat off and block fuse on the table. WOOT!

This is what it looks like now with my old curtains now acting as a skirt of sorts.  I used upholstery tacks. Now I don't have to worry about the sun fading my fabric. YAY!

Oh, lets see, what else? Oh, I made a Renfrew wearable muslin.  I did an FBA using VickiKateMakes tutorial.  I'm about to transfer it over to the view A+C version, as I did B here.

I'm just going to pretend that gathering in the center was intentional. While there's not much stretch to this linen/poly blend (2.98 a yard, its too light weight.  I can wear a skin-tone cami under it and its solves most of my issues, but otherwise it needs knit with substance.

So, I have a few more Renfrews of the cowl neck variety planned, a beignet, and then I'm starting on Felicity's coat.  I finally was able to order the lambs wool interlining.  My daughter doesn't like the cold so much. While she inherited my hair (she's slowly getting more and more red, like i did) and build, she inherited her father's melanin and ability to tan and her paternal Grandmother's distaste for cold weather. Harrumph.

So tell me, what are y'all up to? What do you have planned for the next few weeks of holidays? Or as I stole from a friend "The Gauntlet".

*Its involved a lot of drama that I am not going to discuss on a public forum. Its a family matter, 'nuff said.