Monday, April 30, 2012

And I was doing so well!

So, I had put myself on a voluntary fabric (and shoe) moratorium, telling myself that I NEEDED to use up much more of my stash before purchasing more fabric. And I was, until I realized that I didn't have any basic black in bottom weight fabric, which I need for my Business Wardrobe (more on that later). So, utilitarian purchase. But THEN... THEN... This happened:

Liberty of London
That's right. Liberty of London Tana Lawn with HELLO KITTY. OMG SQUEE!  I love it. I have at least four different things I can pair it with and at first glance it looks way more mature. I can totally see myself rocking this in a blouse at work with a smirk on my face. So I just dug into my "mad money" for two yards. Plenty for a blouse.

So where do you get this fabric? Well, its on pre-order at  So run over and put your order in now cause who knows if it will be in stock after the pre-sale.

Don't say I never did you any favors.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seven Yards of Ruffle

Gingham Ruffle

When all is said and done, the two dresses I've worked on back to back will have used up fifteen yards of fabric and seven yards of lace.  I really haven't gotten too much done other than  cut out the fashion fabric.  The pattern matching required was holding me up. I _think_ I've got it right.   I've gotten the darts sewn, the lining bust and midriff together, and of course,  I'm using the zigzag-over-dental-floss method to gather the bottom ruffle.  

Oh yeah, and Friday was my first farm share pick up of the year.  No, the brussell sprouts were not part of it, but I though I'd share the ONLY way that I'll eat them.  Cut into quarters, lay in a single layer on a pan with a light coating of olive or grape seed oil and kosher salt to taste.  Roast in the oven at 375F until crispy around the edges. 

Eat, Enjoy
That's all for now.  I have to work tonight. *sighs*

P.S.  The fact that Gertie's New Book is being released on the anniversary of my mother's death put a damper on my enthusiasm. *sighs*

Sunday, April 22, 2012

How To Win "Cool Mom" Points

The Cake is not a lie.

If you are confused, click here.

Happy Earth Day Dress

Well, I had it ready in time to go out to the Big Shanty Festival to see my son's choir sing, but then it turns out it was cancelled due to "too many student schedule conflicts".  So I was all like ok, well, we'll go see the parade and then head down to the Dogwood festival.
smile, or something
And then it rained us out.  Leh Sigh.  So, instead, my kids stayed at the Grand's place and went to the aquatic center to go swimming instead. Indoor pool on a rainy day with Grandma (mother-in-law, my Dad now lives on the downstairs floor apartment, hence "The Grands" place).  And I went to bed, then went out for "breakfast" with my husband in my newly finished dress.  I got lots of stares, and the greeter said my dress was pretty.  That's always a plus.

Somewhat blurry back detail, but YAY pattern placement!
 My favorite part is the lace hem treatment.  I bought this lace three years ago at the Sewing Expo from a company from Amsterdam. Cotton Lace, check them out as they are nice people.  This is a rayon, i think? I bought the last of what they had there in the hopes of making a Gothic like Steampunk costume. Then I discovered I had a serious personality conflict with a few people on the Atlanta "scene". They've since moved on, as I was not an isolated incident, but my enthusiasm had been lost by then.

Pretty lace detail
 The lace is sewn on with tiny zigzag stitches using my Mom's Viking machine. Her machine plays much nicer with these things than mine does.  Mine still works best with knits combined with the serger, so that's cool. Oh, and I got to use my new duckbill scissors from this year's Sewing Expo purchase. What a difference it makes.

Right, moving along,  when we got back I set up the tripod and had my husband snap the photos. I always feel like he's somewhat annoyed when I ask him to do this, so I usually end up taking less photos.So the one twirly shot I was making goofy face. Oh well.

All in all, I think this is probably my most favorite thing so far.  I definitely need a waist-stay and some shoulder strap holders.  I'll put those in while watching reruns of Dr Who or something.  Oh, yeah, bonus portrait shot!

What did you make this weekend?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Original Source

Wrinkles are not blemishes. Wrinkles are badges of honor. They are our story scribed upon our faces. How much we have laughed, worried, smiled, and cried.  They are our personalities, our animations, and our wisdom. They tell people we have lived and seen so much. We should wear these badges with the pride of a life lived in. 


*Thought you might like a peek at my shower thoughts. 

My Mood Board is a Song

I said over on the Colette Forums that I'm not doing an actual pallet this year or putting the badge on my website. I'm trying to work through all the things I've had on "back burner" waiting for my skill level to increase. Instead, I give you a song. Its rated E for Everyone!


This song is inspired by a book named "The Land of Green Ginger".

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Polyester Princesses

Sorry, princess is in other castle.  (No, not my dress. This is Chinese  Cheap )

The awesome news: My first Spring Dress is almost done. I just have to add the scallop lace to the hem and the sleeves.  I was hoping to have it done in time for dinner with my husband's boss Saturday night (eight of us total. four adults, four kids).  I decided I wanted sleep instead and that turned out to be a good idea.  My daughter insisted on wearing her Easter dress and stole the whole show.  Except all the prom goers.  I swear there was an entire bus load of teenage girls in polyester ballgowns.  In fact, I saw a girl in THIS EXACT DRESS.  Now all the "Disney Princess" dresses I was seeing all over Pinterest finally make sense.  There was entire gaggle of them standing outside our table's window smoking cigarettes they are probably too young to buy.  Smoking Disney Princesses. Awesome.

And the thing the thing I just couldn't get over was how cheap  the dresses looked. I mean, yes, they were all shiny and  fluffy but the material and the embellishments screamed Chinese Sweat Shop Cheap. One girl kept pulling her strapless front up repeatedly.  I'm probably going to make my daughter's prom dress if she doesn't herself.   Not only that, she's gonna be a self rescuing princess.  She's gonna be a black belt before she's 10, ya know?

Needs sleeves and scallop lace. 
 Anyway.  Lets talk about MY dress for a moment. First off, this is like MY FAVORITE THING EVER that I've made. Its probably going to be up there with my black skirt and two silk camis on the amount of wear it will get.  I'll probably even wear it to work at least once a month.  Its very fitted, that's for certain.

Invisible zipper!
And this was my first ever invisible zipper on anything WITH LINING.  And check out the pattern placement.  Awesome right?  Also, its a full enough skirt I can wear a petticoat with it.  I just might.  In any case it will be done in time for this Saturday's Festival Going.  I have a cute pair of maryjane flats with a rose print.  I figure lace trimmed black socks and I'll be set for walking around all day!

Then its on to cutting out the gingham for the Maxi Sleeveless Version.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Taxed Out

I finished my taxes a whole five days early. GO ME.  Now I'm waiting till tomorrow to put it in snail mail so they don't cash the check before my next payday.  I like to live on the edge.

So. Sewing. Um... I got most of my first dress cut out after my second run.  Here's a visual of some of the changes I've made.

Front bodice
 Instead of doing the weird fifth piece that was suppose to be the "modesty panel" I raised the neckline and added a front seam.  I plan on reinforcing it with some silk organza bias strips. Twill tape would be too heavy, I think.

back bodice
I also raised the back bodice and did a rounded shoulder adjustment. That seemed to help a lot with the "want to slide off the shoulder" problem.  I also had to lengthen the dart some.  Its not apparent on both photos but I added width to the front and back shoulder seam.

At the same time I bought the large tracing paper, which you can see under my pattern pieces up above, I bought some interfacing from .  I'm never buying cheap interfacing again. EVER.  It seems pricey at first but its also 60+ inches wide, so one yard goes a long way.  

Its suppose to be black, but it came out dark plum.
I'm trying not to buy new fabric for the next couple months but I might have to break down and get some more white batiste.  The eight yards that I bought over a year ago is almost gone.  In my frugality I went so far as to dye enough for the lining of the dress. I'm a bit short though, so the lining will be just enough for modesty, really.

Um, that's all for now I think. Not really exciting.  I feel the need to share the pattern/fabric buying rampage I went on during all the sales last year. That should take up a few posts. Lots of pretties!  How are you surviving tax day?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter

Chicken cannibalism. 

A Happy Easter to all that celebrate. Passover for those of the Judaic persuasion and anyone else that has a "Spring Celebration" that I am unfamiliar with.

I did not get my own spring dresses done in time for this weekend.  There was much drama that, in short, involves a messy divorce of some long time friends of ours. I have drawn my line of involvement and look forward to a much more peaceful rest of my month.  Maybe I'll get my dresses done in time for festival season. *crosses fingers*

So, have some fun for me today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Same Print, Different Colorway

Vogue 8470
Its going to be my "Easter" dress.  I say it parenthetically because it won't be done in time for Easter. That and I don't go to church. My kids go with their Grandma,  but well... the rest of it is  personal and I'll keep it to myself. It doesn't stop me from wanting pretty spring dresses, though.

Bodice pieces

I've had this particular dress in my head for some time now. I think it was on my Spring Palette challenge for 2011 and been on my "to do" list since 2010. There were a few reasons I was reticent in making up, the biggest being fitting issues. Why the people at Vogue decided to label this as "easy", I can't even begin to guess.  All but the halter variations have a "lined under bodice" with the most convoluted instructions I've seen to date.  The more I tried to figure them out, the more confused I got.  Once I threw out (or aside) the under bodice piece (That would be #5) the entire thing became much MUCH less complicated.

So first thing's first, I had to figure out how to modify the bodice pattern for my bust size.  The waist should be fitted snugly UNDER the bust (ending result should be WOAH MAMMA!).  I cut my normal size 18  (for commercial patterns) and pattern ease is +3 inches.  This means I need to add 4.5 inches total for the bust, about three for the waist. I decided to go with the more couture method of marking my seam lines and then tracing onto grid interfacing (the cheap stuff from JoAnn's), to make my initial pattern modifications before doing my first muslin.

Marking seam lines
While I do like "Fit for Real People" it does have some limitations. I recently bought Fitting and Pattern Alteration after ordering Susan Khalje's online class as it was on her "recommended reading" list.  So between those two references and Miss Snug Bug's FBA tutorials, I had a plan of attack.

Fitting and Pattern Alteration
And I just realized I failed to take photos of the modifications I made after tracing the pattern. GAH!  I'll take more and post them later. I added width and length to piece #1. I widened the shoulder seams by 3/4 inch on both front and back bodice because I felt the need for more coverage. They were going to be WAY too thin otherwise for my frame.   Then, of course, the aforementioned width to the midriff band pieces.

Then I got to pinning and tracing the modified pieces onto muslin.  Have I mentioned I also purchased the 26x39 inch tracing paper from Richard The Thread? I have no idea how I ever lived my life without that stuff. HOLY COW does it make life easier!

thread tracing queue
Another little tidbit of interest; you know all those bobbins with just enough on them for maybe two or three seams before you run out? They are PERFECT for thread tracing a muslin. I used up about four of them in the process and now I have four empty bobbins ready to be filled for other projects. Hooray for frugality!

Front muslin view

So, first muslin isn't too bad. I made markings of where I want my front bodice seams to fall which should put the midriff front right at my waistline.  I'm also bringing the two pieces together in the front so the neckline won't be so plunging.  A good friend mentioned I could always wear a cami underneath for more work-appropriate modesty, which I thought not a bad idea.

back muslin view 
So, on the back I still need to do a rounded shoulder adjustment and I'm going to add darts to the back midriff to take care of my sway back/narrower waist issue.  What might not be obvious here is the bodice dart has also been deepened due to widening the shoulders.  I think I might re-draw the V-back to be not quite so deep.

All that work is going to have to happen later though. I've got my four, 12 hour days ahead of me.   Oh, and in case you were wondering, the black and pink is what I'm using for this dress. Same print as my daughter's fabric, different colorway.

Print in two colorways
Wow, long post!  I hope you made it this far with me!  I have much more to come on this one.  So, what's got you excited for Spring Sewing?