Stylish? Who, me?

I may be 3 weeks late on the excitement, but I was surprised to find out that I was awarded a “Stylish Blogger Award” by Mary of Idle Fancy. Such a huge compliment in itself since I find all her creations to be so lovely! (She has single-handedly made me change my mind about all the new Lisette patterns….there’s nothing “meh” about the clothes she’s made from them!)

So, the rules: share 7 interesting/random/unexpected facts about yourself, then tag 7 other stylish bloggers that you would like to award and learn more about. (I’ll be skipping the tagging part though….mostly because the few bloggers I follow have already been tagged!)

Shall we begin?

1. The reason I’ve been absent from this blog for so long? I got a new job! (After being unemployed for a while, that’s definitely big news!) It’s been almost a month, and I’m really happy!

2. I’m left handed. So small things annoy me….the fact that promotional pens are printed with right handed people in mind, those cute mugs with faces on the bottom or cute paintings on the inside are all made for righties, the fact that I have to mentally reverse diagrams when learning to crochet or hand stitch. Needless to say, I think those challenges make us stronger and smarter… take that, righties!

3. I’m terrified of failure. In fact, I think it’s safe to say part of the reason I haven’t been sewing much for myself lately is because I’m afraid of screwing up again. I need to repeat to  myself….”it’s just fabric!”

4. I love dance, yet I hate dancing. Perhaps I should clarify….I love choreographed dance. I danced as a kid, and I’ve been taking bellydance classes for almost three years now. My latest obsession: Bollywood!! LOVE. IT. Just don’t ask me to dance at a party….for some reason I hate recreational/unorganized dancing.

5. I’ve lived less than 13 miles from the beach nearly my whole life….and in the past 10 years I’ve only been there a handful of times.

6. I’m obsessive. A lot of times I’ll discover something new and obsess about it for days or even weeks at a time. I’ll completely immerse myself. For example, when I started taking “Bollywood” dance classes I became obsessed…..with the movies, the colors, the clothing, everything. I’m the same way with food (which explains why cartons of ice cream don’t last very long in my freezer), and hobbies. I have trouble with moderation.

7. I can’t remember the last article of clothing I bought. I’d like to say its because I’ve been sewing up a storm and have no need for store bought clothing. In reality I’ve just convinced myself that I can do a better job than the retailers, then gone fabric shopping instead, skipping the sewing altogether. lol. (Have I mentioned I have a shopping problem? I’ve just replaced my Ann Taylor Loft habit with a JoAnn Fabrics habit.)

April 25, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Show-and-Tell Tuesday: Back to Business!

Can I confess something? I haven’t touched the muslins for my Spring Palette garments since last week. Why? Well, I got word that Be My Clementine was accepted into a craft show next month! I haven’t gotten my payment confirmed yet, so I’ll hold off on any “official” announcements for now….

Either way, that made me realize I hadn’t worked on my business for a while….like, 2010. I kinda got burned out with the holidays and my 2 week vacation extended well through January, then February. The good thing about that is I’m now completely refreshed and ready to WORK!

Just so that I don’t ramble on for hours, I thought I’d share some of the cute fabrics that will soon make their way into my shop….

The first three have already been turned into aprons (one will be a gift to my cousin’s daughter), and the rest will be converted very soon! I’m so excited!

Here’s another picture, this time one that includes the lovely “Crabby” print at the end! I don’t often repeat prints unless I really love them, and when I sold “Crabby” a few months ago I was a little sad to say goodbye. When I found a bit more of the print in the store last week I had to buy it!

I’m also trying out some sturdier home decor fabric and canvas for some new products. I just LOVE these prints…I even stalked that crab print for a couple of weeks until it was in stock again! (Hm, I just realized that’s two crab prints in one week….)

You get 10 points if you recognize where these prints came from…

What’s going on in your sewing room this week?

March 15, 2011 at 12:20 pm 2 comments

Show-and-Tell Tuesday: What’s Next?

Now that I’m halfway done with my Spring Palette Challenge garments (ha! The two most complex garments still remain…) I’ve inevitably started thinking about what’s next in my sewing! It’s quite exciting, but I think having so many possibilities could easily paralyze me. So, I thought I’d show and tell you all what’s running through my mind and maybe you can point me in a good direction?

The first project that comes to mind is what I call the “Pink Stripe Dress”. I’ve had this fabric for a while and only recently decided on using Simplicity  2308 for it.

Pink Stripe Dress

I had trouble finding the right pattern since I wanted something simple that wouldn’t cut up the stripes with design lines. I think this will work out well, although I think it’d be best if I buy a solid silky print for the neckline, since the “stripes” might look a bit funny on that piece. We’ll see once I get a better look at the pattern pieces and layout.

Another pattern in my stash I’ve been wanting to make (although I’m not sure why since I really don’t think I have many places to wear it) is the “Cutout dress”, or McCalls 6281. I have this lovely grey Ponte de Roma knit from JoAnn’s, and I finally found an exposed zipper (black, with silver teeth) in the right length. Has anyone made this yet? Should I make it in a different color?

Ponte Dress

Another strong possibility is Simplicity 2443, in a purple poly/spandex knit I’ve had in my stash for this very purpose. And it’d be great timing too, since the summer is quickly approaching (plus, it’s always pretty warm here in Florida).

Sadly, I also have a bunch of other fabrics and patterns in my stash that I could choose from. But help me out….what would you start with?

Any new projects you’re excited about tackling?

Oh, and since I know you’re curious, I have already cut out the muslins for my final two Spring Palette garments!! I should be done with fitting soon, and cutting into the fashion fabrics before the week is over!

March 8, 2011 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Spring Palette Challenge: McCalls 6069

I realized last Thursday that we were rounding out Week 6 of the Spring Palette Challenge….and to date I’d only completed one item! That was simply unacceptable. The “paperbag” skirt was causing some creativity blocks, so I figured that getting started on the next garment might help out a bit.

I started cutting out the pieces for the blue blouse when I realized I wanted something quick and easy with no muslin required. So, I pulled out McCalls 6069 instead!

Originally I had planned on going with the square neckline for this fabric, but after consulting my mom, and standing in front of the mirror for a while I changed my mind and went with the draped neckline. It’d be a bit “fancier” than what I originally wanted, but I thought it’d work better with the print. I didn’t really make any “changes”….I omitted the optional back tie/strap (I thought it might make it look too “mature” for me…kinda like the green top), and I didn’t put in pockets.  I also tacked down the facings with a tiny stitch, which surprisingly the instructions don’t call for. (Maybe they do that for a reason…)

This was my second project using knits, and while I still think they’re a pain in the butt to cut out, I actually liked sewing with it once again.  (Except for the armholes….but I think that’s one part inexperience, and one part impatience.) I cut out a 14 for the top and a 16 on the bottom….I didn’t want it to fit tightly anywhere. I love that it’s super comfortable, and it’ll be so easy to dress it up or down, depending on my mood. Although if I try to wear it casually, inevitably everyone will ask “why are you so dressed up?” This happens even with my most casual dresses. But moving on…

What do you think?
M6069 Collage
My favorite part is most definitely the back. I love the low drape! And I’m glad I omitted that strap….although if the shoulder straps slip I’m in big trouble. I’m thinking of adding “bra strap carriers” to wear with a sturdy bra. Seriously.

Also, chances are that I won’t wear it without the belt. While I could wear it without the belt, I like the waist definition. Plus it hides the stitching that is visible around the waist, which brings me to my only disappointments about this dress. It’s the visible stitching! I’m not sure that a different thread color would’ve made things better, but I almost wish I hadn’t treated this dress like a “1-hour dress” (which the pattern envelope claims it is) so that I could’ve done the hem by hand. Same goes for the armholes (which, I should probably mention would probably make my picky mother faint. Let me just say I’m glad it’s a stretchy fabric and most of my mistakes won’t be visible to the untrained eye. I think.) Are you noticing a pattern in my sewing? I’m kind of impatient….but I’m working on that!

So that’s that!

2 garments down, 3 to go. Yikes! Now, back to working on that skirt…

March 2, 2011 at 7:00 am 3 comments

Show and Tell Tuesday (Pattern Edition)

Tuesday once again!

I think it’s becoming obvious what my intent was with SATT….to force me to blog now and then, even when I don’t have any finished items to share!  Well, this week I actually did finish an item, I just haven’t been able to photograph it. So my dress will have to wait until tomorrow. No go on the paperbag skirt either….although it’ll be done eventually.

So what do I have to show-and-tell this week? PATTERNS!!

The funny thing is about a week ago I bought a few new patterns, then I stopped to say to myself “I have enough patterns. I think it’s time I give the buying a break.” And then someone had to go and post the McCalls Early Summer patterns. Ugh. Of course, I’m just now realizing that I don’t have to go out and buy EVERY SINGLE PATTERN that I like. I could always WAIT until I am ready to cut into a new one. (My problem is that it’s very easy to justify any pattern when they’re only $1 on sale.)

Anyway, patterns won’t be on sale any time soon, so that gives me some time to re-evaluate my decisions.

Back to the Showing and Telling. First up are the “OMG I have to go buy these RIGHT NOW”:

McCalls 6321 (view C, the yellow one)

I LOVE this dress. Do I really need to say more? Well, I will say that I would like to try to make this in a nice thick double knit or something like that. It’d be dreamy….

Actually, that’s my only must have. But there’s still a bunch that have really caught my eye, and as soon as they’re $.99 they will be MINE!

Such as McCalls 6331.

I almost skipped past this pattern, but upon taking a closer look I noticed it had a romper! I’ve been wanting to make a beach romper for almost a year now, so this pattern would be perfect for that! (Although I still might “frankenstein” it with a different bodice.)

McCalls 6325.

I think this would make a great casual top for the summer….or even for my frankensteined romper?

Everyone’s making a big fuss over the new Simplicity patterns, but honestly? Meh. They seem a bit plain to me. I was about to brush them all off until I saw 2220, one of the Suede Says patterns.

I really like this one! It’s girly without looking too fussy.

Let’s not leave Butterick out though. There’s a few of their new ones I’m really digging as well. Such as B5598, the Trench Dress.

I know there was another “trench dress” released a few months ago, but this one is so much more up my alley! If I decide I’m making a trench dress later this year, this will be it!

B5599 also caught my eye. I’m loving it with the contrasting lines.

B5600 reminds me a bit of the new Cynthia Rowley dress pattern, except this one holds my interest a bit longer. I think my vintage fried egg sheet could work in a style like this!

Finally, some honorable mentions….

McCalls 6333. Normally I’d say this is NOT me, but I think I’d really love a breezy racerback tank. And doesn’t it remind you a bit of Gretchen? You know….the Gretchen? (Jones.) Maybe not…I dunno.

Butterick 5621.

I first saw the thumbnail and thought “what the heck is this?” And then I realized….those funny little things are pouches! Attached to reusable grocery bags!! lol. It’s so crazy I love it. I can see myself walking into the grocery store with a strawberry, a bird, and a butterfly hanging from my wrists. Actually, I probably won’t (I have plenty bags I’ve gotten for free, and fabric ain’t cheap!)  but it was a funny visual.

So, that’s all for this Tuesday! Here’s to a more productive sewing week this time around!

March 1, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

Show-and-Tell Tuesday

I thought I’d start a fun little feature called….you guessed it, “Show-and-Tell Tuesday”!

If I must be completely honest, this came about from my disappointment in not having finished my “paperbag skirt” (the nickname I have affectionately given to Simplicity 2413) but I still wanted to share some of the other goings-on in my sewing room.

So, about that skirt. I’m almost done with it, but I’m feeling kinda disappointed about it. At times I almost love it, and at others it just looks like a big paper sack. I’m determined to make it wearable, but unfortunately it’s keeping me from staying on schedule for my Spring Palette.

Now, onto the “showing”!

I went thrifting for the first time a few weeks ago! Well, I’ve been “thrifting” before, but never had any success. This time I walked out with several sheets to work on items for my shop, as well as a few things for me. For now I’m going to share just one….this vintage sheet!

(I’ve dubbed it the “fried egg” print, because….well, doesn’t it remind you of fried eggs?) I’m thinking of turning it into some kind of shirt dress.

JoAnn’s had another red-tag sale, and I walked out with some new fabrics. My favorite was this awesome corduroy print.

I know, you’re thinking “how old are you?!” I thought the same thing when I saw it at first, but when I saw it at the second store I had to have it….how could I leave it behind? (I mean, just look at those cute little faces!) I’ll probably make something fun, like shorts….because no one needs to take you seriously when you’re wearing shorts.

After that, I quickly realized I have no shorts patterns (or any pants that I’d want to turn into shorts.) So I looked, but Simplicity (which was 5 for $5) didn’t have any cute shorts. However I did find New Look 6873. The pleats might be a bit much for my new print, but I really like them!

I also picked up the New Look 6808…which is almost exactly like the Palmer/Pletsch pattern I have from McCalls (5661), but it has some really cute neckline options!

Finally,  I made a pillow/pillowcase for my boyfriend! I’ve had the materials for months, but never got around to it until now. It was a super quick project, I just wish I’d been a bit more accurate with my sewing. It looks a bit lumpy and I’m afraid it might be because I rushed through it. (I’m hoping it’s just a lumpy pillow that will take shape nicely though….)

Now that I see the finished photo I realize I went a little too big with the letters. Oh well, I hope the BF still likes it!

(In case you aren’t familiar with it, AE is from the icon for After Effects, a computer program used for graphics and visual effects. He works a lot with the program, so I thought it’d be fun to make him the pillow. And here’s the icon….

That is all for this week! Do you have anything you’d like to show and tell?!

Feel free to link back to your blog in the comments!

February 22, 2011 at 7:00 am Leave a comment

The Full Black Gathered Skirt

When I went to New York at the end of December I purchased a black and white gingham to specifically make the gathered skirt Gertie made on her own blog. (I know…such a copy cat, but can you blame me?) At first my plan was just to dive into it…I mean, how complicated could it be, right? There isn’t even a pattern! However when I got to thinking, there were a couple of reasons why I probably needed to have a trial run:

1) Invisible zipper. Before this I’d never installed one. I didn’t want my first attempt to be on my expensive fabric! (Especially one I can’t run out to the store and get more of.)

2) What if I decided I didn’t like it? There was a chance that I could decide that this style was completely unflattering on me, and I didn’t want to have to sacrifice the gorgeous fabric to figure that out in the end.

I didn’t want to make the skirt out of actual muslin, so I figured I’d make it out of something I’d wear afterward.  So, black it was. I purchased a black Cotton Sateen at JoAnn’s (for about $6 regular price…and I used a 50% or 40% off coupon). I then followed Gertie’s instructions ALMOST completely. She calls for two panels of 40″ for the skirt front and back. That would be just short of 2.25 yards. I used 2.5 yards and just sewed one seam and put it in the back. What can I say…I’m lazy. (I couldn’t think of any reason why I couldn’t keep the zip in the back instead of the side. Did I miss some reasoning there?) I also made mine a bit shorter; I wanted it to hit right at or above the knee.

It was pretty smooth sailing, with a lot of hand stitching…which I surprisingly enjoyed (as soon as I accepted that it wouldn’t be a one-afternoon project). The zipper did give me a bit of trouble though; I couldn’t quite iron the teeth down like the instructions say, mostly because I was scared of melting the teeth. Then I started getting scared about the bulk the waistband would create and if the zip would even go past it once I got it on. Well, I’m not sure if it was improper insertion, or if invisible zips just don’t work with that much bulk, but the zipper did NOT want to go up past the waistband. I gave up on that, left it as it was, and decided to add a button tab to keep the top ends from separating. It’s not the most sophisticated addition, and sadly it was poorly executed, but it does the job! And it’s a good thing I added it too….without it the skirt wouldn’t close! Looks like I need to lose another inch before I can wear it without looking like crap from the back.

For the hem I also decided to use a bit of lace hem tape to avoid extra bulk and add a bit of color that only I’ll see (hopefully…it’s a 4″ hem, so I hope no one’s peeking in that high).

So overall….I LOVE this skirt! It feels so girly and fabulous! I thought I wouldn’t like the gathering of the fabric at the waist on my figure, but I actually think it’s quite flattering. The slight shine of the sateen also adds a little something! My only gripes….well, the fact that I should’ve added an extra inch to the waistband, and the fact that the zipper and button tab look like crap. I’ll probably wait until I lose a little more weight before I wear this in public. Even so….I love it!

Full Gathered Skirt_black

As for the gingham version…..well, sadly I don’t remember how big I made the waistband, so I’m afraid it’s defeated the purpose of making this a “muslin”. I’m also still terrified of trying the invisible zip on the fabric. I’ll do a little more research and practice before I attempt it on my nice stuff. And perhaps it would help if I do it by hand instead of on the machine? [sigh] I have so much to learn….

February 7, 2011 at 7:00 am 4 comments

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