Monday, November 24, 2014

Scandalishly Delicious!

SO, unless you are residing under a rock, you have heard the buzz about Scandal, the tv show with Kerry Washington.  Even if you haven't become obsessed with watching the "scandalous" behavior each episode, those of us who love clothes, love watching each week just to see the sartorial splendor donned by the character Olivia Pope.  All I ever need is a reason to sew something and so, I found it squarely rooted in the wardrobe of Ms. Pope.  As I noted in my last post, several years ago, I decided to tackle the coat making world.  I don't know why, other than "why not" for my rationale back then. And since it was around my birthday, I was certain this was a "sign" for me!  I mean, why wouldn't it be perfectly appropriate to celebrate my birthday with a new coat?  Funny thing about this new revelation; before a couple years ago, I wasn't even a big coat wearer.  It gets cold enough in Tennessee for them, but I never wear one when driving and for many years my job afforded me a parking garage so I didn't have to be terribly exposed to the elements.  So much for the practical aspects of outer garment wearing! I've never allowed practicality to stop me before.  :-)

So, back to my current situation.  Here is the inspiration:
And here is my take on the inspiration! (My face suggests that I'm very mean! I'm not and when my DD took this photo, I was just waiting for her to tell me she was ready! She didn't! Now I have to work on my "mean mug face!)

I just LOVED this thing from the moment I saw her wearing it.  It was classy, commanding (I mean who can get away with wearing a WHITE trench coat) and just a bit scandalous!  So, I saw this and knew this was the 2014 Barbara Birthday coat.  I also knew I already had a pattern in my stash and would probably not need to "frankenstein" several patterns to make it work.  And I thank you McCalls for that! I had no idea this pattern was a best pattern winner at from 2009! Wow, didn't know I'd been stashing for so long. ;-)
View E (the beige trench far left) was perfect.  Practically identical actually!.  Sew, the next step was fabric.  In my mind, I initially thought of the outerwear choices I see at Hancock's around this time of year.  They are these coated fabrics that I guess one would make rain slickers from (??).  They feel more like those plastic tablecloths that you can toss out when the picnic ends.  I wasn't feeling motivated.  Then, one day, lightening struck - well common sense I guess (which is rarely common) . I thought, a polished cotton or brushed cotton would be the perfect choice.  So, I set about to find such treasure.  I love online fabric options, but I try local first.  You can touch the fabric and know that it's right and if you want it right away, there you go.  Sadly, in Memphis, the fabric stores believe that the "World of Fleece" is the only world worth living in.  Thank goodness for online fabric and online fabric sales.  I checked and not only did they have a polished cotton, but it was a stretch (added bonus) and it was on sale for 5.99 a yard!!!  The fabric angels were shining down on me.

Ok, so the fabric arrives and I'm ready to go. Whoa nelly, what about lining?  Again, back to the COMPLETE LACK OF VARIETY AT THE LOCAL FABRIC STORES (that means I can't line this coat with fleece Hancock's FABRIC stores (you do know what the name means in your business name dontcha?  Of course the pattern called for China Silk for the lining and that is not going to be at my local store.  Usually, I just ignore the pattern recommendations and get what I like from what's available locally.  I must admit however, that has worked against me in the past. I have several dresses that I LOVE but hate the lining because it's either too heavy or too "polyestery" for the garment and thus, feels hot and/or cheap!  So, again to the online options I go.  Now I'm ready! I cut my fabric pieces. My lining hasn't yet arrived but no worries, I will get started.  Because my life is set up for simplicity, there MUST be a glitch.  SO on Sunday, a week ago, as I'm putting pieces together, I realize that the front of the coat has to be cut out FOUR times!!  I go back and barely manage to cut the front facings out! Whew! Crisis averted! Back to work. I know you think the drama and trauma should be over at this point but NOOOOOO! Not so much.  It seems, because I'm not that smart, not only did I miss cutting the front facing pieces out, I also missed cutting the side front pieces out!!  But unlike the "just barely" enough fabric save for the fronts, there is nothing left but cylindrical pieces left.  No way I can get anything more than a sweatband out of the remnants!  How could this happen?  Well, I'm notoriously bad about looking at fabric layout guides and especially so when I think I have LOTS of fabric so no issue.  This is a much bigger issue than I can properly convey in words.  Why you ask? Because, as I mentioned above, I was delightfully happy to have found this fabric on line!  At this point, that means I can't readily (like right now) go get more fabric. I pull my computer out and go back to the website to order more fabric because, this coat is solid white and matching whites (even if I found the exact fabric) is more difficult than matching colors.  Suffice it to say, I didn't find this fabric again online.  In tears now, I endeavor out to my local fabric stores (remember the ones I groused about above?) hoping against hope that I can find something that will work.  (Insert the thank you JoAnn's Speech here). After two Hancock's, I finally find two pieces that I think will work at JoAnn's!

Not only did I have a problem with the fabric, but also with the lining AND the buttons! Story below! But, after all of that, here is the finished product!  I must say, I'm in love with the final product.  It really wasn't difficult to sew at all!  It was all the other things that came into the process that aged me another year!

Like the buttons?  The buttons HAD to be silver, and they really needed to be shank type buttons.  And they needed to be 1 inch diameter.  Well, guess what I could not find? Yep, 1 inch, silver, shank buttons!  So, what are these you may ask? Well, they are covered buttons. Covered with what you may ask? Isn't it obvious? Duct Tape! Silver electrical duct tape! Honestly, it's cute and worked for my obsessive need to complete this coat and wear it today, but I will need to change them. I just have to find 1 inch silver shank buttons.  I looked at every fabric store in Memphis and looked on line.  I used the advertisements in Threads and looked for them.  Nothing.  So, hopefully someone will give me a lead on these most elusive closures! 

The cuff tabs.  I will need to alter the tab carriers.  They are too long, but I love the look!


So, I finally finished my coat! I did it an actual week before my real birthday on the 30th.  That's amazing for me.  I have a few things that still need to be changed, but it's done and I love it! Now on to the next crazy obsessive item to create! Hint:  it's not a coat but it's totally cool and I can't wait to share!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Easy Breezy Blue

So, November is my birthday month!!  Yay!!  And my tradition over the past several years has been to "be creative" for my birthday. For me, that has meant creating clothes.  And not just "a birthday dress" but usually a birthday "ensemble".  That has yielded this coat.
And the next year, this coat.
And last year, my DD gave me a "sartorial birthday party" and that resulted in these.

So, here we are this year!  And the plan is for a "Scandal-like" trench coat and a fabulous black dress that I saw on a runway last year.  And you would now expect me to import those photos right?  Nah, that's not how I operate.  I prefer to wait until the last minute and stress myself completely out in order to get the garments finished.  That makes sense right?  Yeah, I know. Completely nuts.  
So, the title of the post suggest something easy and stress free.  And that's exactly what I made Thursday night while watching Project Runway Allstars.  And just so you know, this is not one of the dresses (yes, more than one is the intent!) I plan to create in celebration of my birthday.  But, it was really easy and fun and I love the color. 
This fabric was in my stash.  I have had it for more than a year I'm certain.  I either got it from or  I can't remember why I originally selected it.  But once it arrived, I guess I didn't like it for the intended project.  Now I love it and so glad it was sitting there waiting for its moment.  This pattern has been in my stash for a while as well.  I love wrap dresses and should have far more than I actually have at this point.  I need to correct that error! :-)
This came together very quickly.  It fits well (need to force my daughter to take a photo of me in it!) I made it Thursday night while watching PR Allstars.  Hemmed it Friday morning and wore it to work Friday.  I got lots of compliments which confirmed this was a great combination.
So now, it's time to start that birthday collection.  LOL, I kill myself with the nuttiness that is my logic.  Well, my birthday is not until the last day of November, so I have time. Right?? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

All Work, No Play

When I decided I needed to upload this wonderfully delightful dress, I was shocked to see that it's been nearly a year since my last post! That certainly isn't indicative of my sewing time.  I still spend most of my free time working on something or thinking about working on something.  I'm still on the no RTW diet.  I think this is my 4th or 5th year!!  I have purchased sorority paraphernalia but if I could make it, trust me I would! LOL  Anyway, I will have to try to catch up a little with all the things I've made since October 2013!  And it's telling that my partner in crime, my daughter is also guilty of "failure to blog".  She too hasn't posted anything since October.  I happen to know she sews just about as much, if not more than me.  She just finished making a wedding dress!!  I will have to scold her as well!

So, about this dress.  It always seems that the item you put the least amount of thought, time or effort into turns out to be that great one! So, this fabric is a find from JoAnn's.  When I saw it I loved it and thought at that time that it would be a great dress.  After I got it home, I looked at it and really touched it and thought it might not be great as a dress after all.  JoAnn's labeled it "knit -jegging". Now I know what a jegging is - it's a combination jean and legging.  This didn't really look like the fabrics I've seen used to make RTW jeggings.  But, I had it and it would become something at some point.

Well, today (actually yesterday because it's 1:43 in the morning right now) I was watching football and thinking about the stress of work tomorrow (err, today). After my team won (Go Cowboys!!) I decided I needed something new.  I started out looking at this black ponte knit that I recently purchased.  So, as I "shopped" my pattern stash, I saw this
pattern.  I've had it forever and thought it would be perfect with this fabric.

I thought the fabric looked a little tie-died, a little graphic and just a nice departure from the typical knits.  So, within an hour or so (while still transfixed with football) I put this together.  Let me just say, I LOVE this fabric and this dress.  It is the most comfortable thing I own that I can wear outside the house! LOL.  Seriously, I'm going back to JoAnn's to see if there are any other patterns or solids that I can grab.  This dress could be my work uniform.  For nearly a year, I have been pretty consistently working out (about 5-6 days a week). I've lost some weight, although not even close to my goal.  But I've also lost a few inches and while I obsess with the scale, it's is nice to see that my clothes fit a bit better and that I am willing to make and wear things that I would never have made a year ago.  I'm not there yet, but this is taking me in the direction I want to go 

In terms of changes I made to the dress, this pattern calls for the dress to be lined.  I didn't want to line it.  I made a wonderful ponte knit dress from a Vogue pattern last year.  It was lined.  I have only worn that dress once or twice.  It was so daggone hot, I thought I was trapped in an iron lung when I wore it!  I'm always hot, so that should have been a clue that lining a knit probably wasn't going to work for me, while I still lived in the South!.  I wear sleeveless dresses and tops all year long and just add a jacket. So, I knew lining wasn't going to work for me.  Initially, I was going to use bias tape to finish the neck edge and the armholes.  But, because I was lazy and concerned that the bias tape might be too heavy for the neck edge and armholes and make them turn in, I decided against the bias tape.  So, after remembering that my twin needle hemming worked great on another knit dress I made some time back, I decided that would be good for this dress as well.

And so, that's how I finished it!  As I said, I love it, would make it 50 more times if I found interesting fabrics, so don't be surprised if you see another post or two espousing the wonderfulness of McCall's 6282!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Time!!!

I know it's been a minute... 

Shoot me later, but I plan to catch up shortly!! 

The latest project (on a list of about 3,000 items) is a wonderful Halloween costume for my son. Now for the story part! My darling, handsome cutie is now at this age that clearly he thinks he is the coolest thing walking and everyone else is just not as cool as him. So as Halloween approached I asked him if he wanted to dress up and what he would want to be...

That took a week! :-(

Once he decided that he wasn't too cool for Halloween, we set out on the journey of costume discovery. (Which ultimately meant that he would look online for something he wanted!) As he searched on Party City for costumes he found one and brought it over...

What the FIRST thing that I look at... THE PRICE.. 

The costume was $179.99!!! CLEARLY someone at Party City has lost their ULTIMATE mind!! 

What did I say after looking at the picture... "huuummmmmmmm I can make this!" 

So I set out to do just that!! After studying the picture and planning my attack, it was off to JoAnn's!! (Cause I had some AWESOME coupons and was NOT afraid to use them!!!) 

So here is the start....

The inspiration...

And the final product! 

This thing had a shirt, vest with tails, waist belt, hood, some sash thing, pants, leather wrist ties, and boot covers. And MOMMA made them all!! 



Best part about it my husband asked our son, "why is mom making this costume for you?", my son's answer "Because she's AWESOME!" 

yep.... AWESOME! :-) 

Some from one AWESOME mom, 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sew Forth & Sew On

Sew, I am finding that sew much of my time is spent sewing for others. The others is very often my daughter, the younger one.  Sew, here I go again.  Her birthda is tomorrow.  She wanted a "fabulous pair of pants" to go with her "fabulous new shoes".  And being the pliable one, I had no choice but to comply.  Actually, she has done this sew many times, that I expect this before each "event" in her life.  And since she will never read this blog, I guess I don't mind sew much! :-)

She found a photo of Rihanna wearing a pair of "cigarette" pants.  Needless to say she had no idea what a cigarette pant was and as she described the pants, I knew eactly what she wanted. Sew, when she returned from her summer internship last week, we headed right off to the fabric store.  We found this great red suiting that I thought was a perfect choice for her "vision".  I used this McCall's 6758, pattern and I loved the final result.

And here is the final product!

The lighting isn's great on these, but this is the best I could do as she was packing to leave and was not a willing participant.
Sew now that these are finised, I'm on to the next project; a dress as a birthday gift for a friend! 
Sew Forth & Sew On

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Soooooo I'm so behind....

There are times that you look at your mental list of things to do and realize there is no possible way in heaven or hell you will make it through a third of it! With that being said updating my virtual life to match my real life has taken a SLIGHT back seat.


At least that is until there is a Harry Potter marathon and then I can't and won't make any promises!!! Lol hey don't judge I have an addiction after all this time....

So where did we last stop, OH well I had announced my wonderful engagement! *update... MARRIED NOW! :-)

So the wonderful world of wedding planning! I must say I am and was the furthest thing from a bridezilla one could ever see! However, can't say the same about other people in my life... The plan was simple... Set a destination, invite friends and have fun!

Goal, set, match in my book!

It was wonderful! We got married at the wonderful Paradisus Palma Real in sunny (and humid as hell!) Punta Cana, Dominican Republic!

I (being the fab o friend I am) made all my bridesmaids dresses. Given the location I thought the perfect style would be an infinity dress and I must say they turned out FABULOUS! My friends looked great and we really had a blast!

Adding to my FABULOUSNESS, I also made my darling flower girl's dress. I love my Tay, even if she can be a little diva sometimes! She was fab as my little helper!

Oh and I customized her basket because anything
Less would be totally uncivilized!! LOL

All in all it was a ball and I would trade the experience for anything in the world!!!

Because these two live to torture me!!!!! LOL :-)

Well, gotta keep updating!! More sewing projects to post!!