18 September 2014

Blog Hop Part II & Why I Always Pre-wash Fabric

As part of the Around the World Blog Hop, participants are to invite two bloggers to join.  I admire so many sewers that blog, it was hard to select only two!  I've been blogging since 2007 and thought about the first few people I met back then:
Michelle of happilycaffeinated.  Although Michelle and I have never met in person, we connect!  She was one of the first people I followed on PR and whose reviews and comments I read frequently.  In addition to being a talented sewer, she is super sweet, helpful, and cheerful.  Perhaps we will meet someday!

Rachelle of Smoking Needles.  I've had the pleasure of connecting with Rachelle a few times when she would drive an hour to meet up with our local sewing group.  She's a real treat to be around and a very talented fitter and sewer.  Have you seen her Barbie collection?  Oh. Em. Gee.

Look for their posts soon!


This picture shows why I always pre-wash fabric:

Do you see this foolishness?!  This is from a red stretch cotton poplin found in the stash.  I really wanted a red shirt, but saving the fabric wasn't worth the hassle of dealing with all of the run off.  My hands were stained from handling this wet mess.  I threw it in the trash bag that, of course, had a hole that I didn't know existed.  Imagine my surprise when I walked back into the laundry room. 

Lesson of the day:  pre-wash all fabric and check the water before your wash cycle starts!


15 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Bwahahahaha.  I saw this recently at a Thai restaurant in Midtown and love it.  I am corny and I like corny stuff.  You have been warned.

I was invited to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop by awesome sauce Kyle of Vacuuming the Lawn.  I don't remember where I found her blog (most likely PR), but I do remember the first time I visited and saw her avatar where she held sunflowers in front of her eyes.  I thought, "Oh my gosh, that is a cool picture!  I gotta read what she writes."  Hah!  I've been a fan ever since, so when she asked if I would hop along with her, I agreed.  I almost backed out, however, due to my meltdown.  But, I got myself together and made the commitment.

As part of the tour, we are to answer four questions and invite some folks along for the ride.

About me

I was born and raised in the D (Detroit) and have lived in Michigan most of my life.  I will never get used to the arctic winters, but I do love having four seasons. 

I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in pure mathematics and am also certified to teach secondary education.  In my senior year of college, I went to a job fair and quickly realized that I did not want to work in corporate America or have a regular 9-5 job.  Not knowing what I was going to do after graduation, I decided to just stay in school.  While a graduate student, I taught my first class and knew that this is what I wanted to do.  I taught high school math when I lived in NYC and now I teach at the college level.  

In addition to sewing, I also spend quite a lot of time at a local pottery studio.  I started doing pottery five years ago and truly enjoy it.  Right now, I am focused on making more dishes (plates, bowls, mugs, and casseroles) and have also started making table lamps and soap/lotion dispensers.  


In April, I participated in a workshop by renowned ceramicist, Daniel Johnston of North Carolina.  He is known for making super large pots and did an all-day demonstration for us.

 Here I am with my big pot!

Unfortunately, my pot cracked during the bisque firing.  As you can see, the whole bottom came off.  Waaah!  I do have some ideas on how to save it, but I haven't tried them yet.

In addition to sewing and making pottery, I also travel, bike, roller skate, and work out at the gym. 

I am vegetarian and have been for...um...twelve years or so.  I gradually stopped eating meat long before that and I don't miss it at all.  I do love cheese, though.  And chocolate. 

As with Kyle, I like to practice mindfulness meditation.  I have Dharma podcasts that I listen to (almost) daily.

What am I currently working on?

Many things.  I usually have a few projects in some stage of construction.  I find that to keep my sewjo in check, I work on what ever suits my fancy.  Right now, that includes:
  • a skirt (McCall's 5523)
  • a tank top (from RTW)
  • a muslin for another button-front blouse (New Look 6704)
  • finishing the trench coat from April *SMH* (McCall's 5525)
The first three projects are part of my early fall sewing plans.  I joined the Curvy Sewing Collective wrapped dress sew along and will start that soon as well.  Basically, I am working on sewing projects to help fill some needs in my closet.  I want button-down shirts and dresses.  I am fortunate to work in an environment where I can wear (and have worn) jeans every day, but I want to dress more femininely.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work differs from others in that I don't follow trends.  I find Pinterest overwhelming and I don't look at style magazines or runway shows.  Occasionally, I will pick up ideas from fellow sewers, but that is as fashion-thinking as I get.  I just sew what I like and what I think flatters my figure. 

 jacket:  Kwik Sew 3558
top:  McCall's 6078
jeans:  Jalie 2908

jacket:  Jalie 2559
top:  McCall's 6078
jeans:  BWOF 11-2009-125 

top:  McCall's 6078
skirt:  McCalll's 5523
 top:  New Look 6407
pants:  Kwik Sew 2960

I also am not too focused on couture methods.  When it comes to jackets and coats, I will include some tailoring, but I am in no way Claire Shaeffer in my sewing.  You see how long it took me to add buttons to that shirt?! That's about as much patience I have for hand sewing!

Why do I create what I do?

I've always liked making things.  When I was younger, I used to build model cars and once built a dollhouse.  I'm an only child and my mom always bought me things that kept me occupied. 

I never used to like sewing, though.  My mother used to make her clothes and tried MANY times to get me to learn.  I wasn't having it.  I thought it was boring and a waste of time!  Later as an adult, after I saw a coat made by a childhood friend, I was intrigued and interested!  I took a sewing class when I lived in Brooklyn ten years ago and have been at it ever since.

Primarily I am a garment sewer, though I do occasionally make home dec items.  I find shopping for clothes very frustrating!  I don't like malls anymore and usually end up empty-handed because the fit of RTW doesn't work for my short, curvy body.  Trips to the mall are for shoes, bras, and snoop shopping only.  I am in the second year of a RTW fast and couldn't be happier.  As soon as I learn how to bras, I'll be making those too!

How does my creative process work?

Ooooo...shiny!  I want that now!  

After making a thousand muslins, I fret over cutting out the fashion fabric, and then finally say, "f*ck it, it's only fabric," cut it out and move on.  If it doesn't work, in the trash it goes.  Area 51 is full and I got no room in the closet (or in my mind) for UFOs.  (I'm looking at you trench coat.)

I also get a lot of ideas from other sewers and feed off of their creativity.


Thanks to all who stopped by to visit my little space on the internet during the tour.  I hope you've enjoyed learning a bit more about me.

I've invited two bloggers to hop on the tour and am waiting to see if they are able to do it.  The two people I have in mind I've known for a while - one of which I've never met in person, but feel as if we go way back.  They were one of the first few people I started following when I began "sewing on line."  When I have confirmation that they can do the tour, I will add a follow-up post to this one.

Until next time, peace!


12 September 2014

Pictures (finally) and Fall Sewing

It's been a while, I know.  I seem to say "a lot has been going on" often:  it's true.  I'm taking it one day at a time and trying to stay positive.  Gotta think happy thoughts.

I finished the jacket and blouse over a week ago and took some pictures this morning.  Temperatures have fallen quickly here and I wore them both to work today.  The shirt fits very nicely and I can see making a couple more in the future.  Y'all know I love me some Jalie 2559, so it was a breeze to sew this jacket for the fourth time.  I heart TNT patterns, but I want to try other jacket patterns since there are so many different styles available.  

On with the show-n-tell.

New Look 6407 paired with Kwik Sew 2960 (not yet blogged)

close up

 paired with in-progress McCall's 5523

 Jalie 2559

The jacket color reminds me of strained peas - not really a look I was going for.  It's rather bright for fall, but I like it so who cares? =)

I likely will not wear the jacket and skirt together.  Lil too much green, knamean?

These four garments (including the dark grey pants I'm wearing) are part of my fall mini wardrobe plan.  The inspiration was this floral knit print I picked up from...um...I don't remember.

When I started digging around my stash, I found quite a few fabrics that coordinated with this print.

top to bottom:  sweater knit, rayon knit, striped cotton shirting, 
solid cotton shirting, wool sweater knit, wool twill

The patterns for these fabrics are yet to be finalized.  What I wanted to sew was quickly squashed when I realized I didn't have enough fabric.  Oops!

I haven't sewn much of anything in the last couple of weeks.  I hope to get some sewing done this weekend.  Until next time, peace.



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