Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Madison Avenue dress

I finished this dress and absolutely love it. The fabric is slinky and super comfortable.. Now, If I can just get these pins out of my toes so I can acutally wear shoes! This is a pattern from Textile Studio Patterns (see link in sidebar). The pattern is designed by Loes Hinse. Very easy to make and it went together quickly. The fabric was also from Textile Studio and is a wonderful polyester microfiber jersey. It has a wonderful drape and washes up beautifully. This dress is such a great pattern because you can easily dress it up or down. I will definitely make this one again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sewing Along

Well, I just finished a pair of pants the other night - but I really don't like them too much. They fit well, but even after taking out some of the fullness in the legs, they are still pretty baggy.
I have cut out a Textile Studio pattern for "Madison Avenue Dress" and can probably finish it today. I am going to try and make a duffle bag for Grace so she can carry all her diving stuff or whatever she needs. I went to Joanns today and bought the material. I really dislike that store. The sevice is terrible and the sales people are not very knowledgable. The lady that was helping me today was griping the whole time because she couldn't find something and when I asked her where the seam binding was, she didn't even know what it was. They don't carry it either. geez... Anyway, I got a little extra of the fabric for the duffle and I'm going to make a purse. I also got some brocade that I want to use for a collar for a jacket. I'm going to use the linen from my FM bundle to make a dress and jacket. The dress is a Vogue pattern for a straight fitted dress with boning in the bodice front. Here is a picture of the jacket. I am making the one with the contrasting collar. I hope I can keep going since I'm going back to school on Monday - well, Tuesday since Monday is a holiday.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Giant Fabric Purchase

I am so excited about my order that I received this week from They have all kinds of specials and bundles. I spent $90.00 (yikes!) including shipping and I cannot believe all that I got. It all started with a Burda Magazine (July 2006) I saw some beautiful patterns and decided I wanted to try a dress. I've never sewn a Burda WOF pattern. Since I can't get up and drive to the fabric store (which is woefully short of dressmaker fabric here) I decided to look online. I read several good reviews on PR for fabricmart and
I ended up getting an orange and white stripe broadcloth for the dress, brown ultrasuede for a pencil skirt, and a beautiful aqua stripe silk for a blouse. The Ultrasuede was the most expensive at $30.00 for 2 yards. The silk was $7.99 (buy one get one free) and the dress material was a bargain at $13.50 for 3 yards!
After ordering this, I decided totry some rayon fabric. They had a rayon bundle for $25.00 which included 4 cuts (their choice) of Jones New York sheer and semi sheer for a total of 12 yards of 60" fabric. The fabrics are beautiful, and when I measured them, I actually got a little over 13 yards. Planning some dresses, skirts and blouses out of these.
Because my order was over $20.00, I received a free mystery bundle.
This is a 10 yard total with a value over $100.00. This is for first time customers only. I love the fabrics I received (except the blue, which I have no idea what to do with.) The only problem is that there is no telling what the fabric content or care is on these. I have cut 4" swatches of each fabric to prewash and test for garment care. I especially like the gray colored waffle weave. It has a really nice drape to it. The blue is kind of a stretch twill, and I have no idea what to do with that. There is a total of over 13 yards in this package and most of it is 58" wide.

Finally, I got the Super Bundle Deal!
12 Total Yards
Four 3 yard cuts
Will consist of
Random picks of the
following fabrics
3 yards of Silk
3 yards of Rayon Print
3 yards of Polyester /
Triacetate Black
3 yards of Suitings
Over $125.00 retail value - All 12 yards FREE With $80.00 order (I also ordered 2 spools of thread.
The picture does not show how beautiful these fabrics are. I actually ended up with close to 15 yards on these fabrics, and they are all over 50" wide as well.
I certainly have plenty to work on now. Even if I only use a few of these pieces of fabrics, I will have gotten my money's worth!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Surgery Inspires Creativity

In the last month, two things have changed my life, First, I had foot surgery on both feet. Second, I got a new laptop - a MacBook. Well, the surgery has made me spend a lot of time with my feet up (ie, in bed) and the laptop has given me PLENTY to do. I started searching out websites, and discovered my all time favorite, Pattern review where they have reviews on patterns, books, websites, and more. They also have message boards and classes and chats. I have spent hours on this site and have already learned a lot. I also discovered some great online fabric stores which are in my links.

It all started with...

Early this summer (June or July 2006) I needed some pants altered. I know how to sew just about anything, but alterations, other than the occasional hem change, have always escaped me. I asked my friend Karen, who is very good at alterations, if she would do it for me. Unfortunately, she was not longer doing alterations because of time constraints. (Actually, this was very fortunate for me, as you will soon see) She was kind enough to agree to show me how to do the alterations so that I could do them myself. A few days later I met with her at her home and she showed me a few different ways to make the alterations I needed. I have a small waist (or would that be large hips?) and a slightly swayed back, so my waistbands usually poke out in the back. Within a few days, I dusted off my machine, took a deep breath, and decided to tackle the alterations. The alterations came out great, but even better than that, I remembered how much I love sewing! I was ready to start on a new project. I picked up a copy of Threads magazine at our local JoAnns and read it cover to cover. The issue (which I can't find right now) had a cute gypsy skirt in it. I've always sewn with a pattern, but this looked easy enough, so I tried it. I made the cutest skirt for my daughter Grace. Now it was supposed to be a 2 hour skirt, but I lined it, added ribbon embellishment, and lace ruffle to the hem. Since I haven't sewn anything in years, it took me a lot longer than 2 hours. I think the next one will go quite quickly.
Now I was truly inspired. I had purchased some of Nancy Zeimans fitting books from the internet (to add to my collection) and wanted to make a sleeveless blouse. I follwed her LBA technique and altered my pattern. I really like the way it turned out, but I need to make an even larger adjustment. I think next time I will use the slash and spread method in Painless Sewing.