Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Virtual Sewing & Actual Packing

Well the count down is on & the packing has begun.

All of my sewing “stuff” has been packed up thanks to my lovely Mom, who came up from FL for 5 days to help me. She's where I get my passion for sewing (& collecting, fabric, patterns etc) from. So she totally gets that I will NEED to be able to be able to sew once we get to New Mexico even though most of our possessions are going into storage. We spent most of the time that she was here organizing the projects that I think I will want to work on first for easy access & packing up the rest of the fabric in a way that I should be able to locate anything that I need easily enough. It's doesn't seem like this should take 5 days but you haven't seen my "stash" either. It is really quite embarrassing.

Now my MIL, Joyce is up till Sun helping to pack up the rest of the house. My last day of work is this Fri & we pick the moving truck that same day. So Thank God for my Mom’s or it would never get done!

So because I can’t actually sew anything right now I am “virtually” sewing & planning out projects in my head for the time when I will be able to sew again. The first projects when we get to NM will be to finish anything that I need for my Victorian outfits to attend End of Trail, but once that is over besides looking for a job I want to use this fabric from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics.

I was a little surprised how large the print was when I received my order & was totally stumped as to what I should make from it. Then my Mom & I were in Target & saw this dress!

Ah Ha!!! The light went off & I knew that I needed to make a dress from my Big Daisy knit.

Now what pattern……? Then I remembered the McCall’s 5379 dress that Stacy made & how much I liked view C.

While Joyce & I sat waiting for people to show up for our garage sale yesterday I cut out the pattern. At least that part is out of the way & once we are more settled in NM I will be able to get the fabric cut.

Speaking of New Mexico I am finally starting to get excited about getting out there. I have been so completely over whelmed by everything that needs to be done that I haven't fully grasped that I am moving 1400 miles in less than a week to state that I have never been to before! Oh wait, I take that back we drove through NM when I was 5 when we went to the Grand Canyon, but I would hardly count that!

During my lunch break today I did a little net surfing to see what kind of "dates" I can get John to take me on once we get out there. There looks to be a lot of cool places out there!

There is of course Santa Fe & Old Town in Albuquerque.

We will be living right by the Sandia Peak Tramway, which is the world’s longest passenger aerial tramway. John has already ridden (by horse not tram) to the peak & he says that it is incredible! A side note on that, John & Scott (his friend) rode to the peak on horse back & then they got to the top a tram full of tourists had just arrived. They heard "Oh look cowboys!!!" & got bombarded with photo requests. So if you were on the the Sandia Peak Tram a few weeks ago & took a picture of a couple cowboys at the peak chances are one of them was my John. Auh yes, one more thing the lady park ranger that was hitting on him in the parking lot better step back, he's already taken, but I can hardly blame you. There is something about cowboys.....

Anyhoo I digress, It appears that New Mexico has several wineries, ghost towns, caverns & even scuba diving!

Also I will be totally crushed if John won't take me Llama treking in the wilds of New Mexico!!!!

Doesn’t that guy they show on their home page just crack you up??? Oh just me, huh? Oh well what can I say? I am easily entertained.

It should be an adventure to say the least! I doubt that I will be able to post before we leave but I hope to have lots to share once we in our new digs in NM.

Until then I hope you all take care!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More new patterns….

Ok Kids McCalls just released their Summer 2007 patterns. Let take a peek & see if they have managed to come out with anything new or if it’s the same old tired offerings in different colors……

Ok is it me or are a lot of this years styles very baggie maternity looking??? I mostly like lose clothes (except jeans, bootcut yes please but I like a good fit in the rear, Y’all wanted to know that right? Incidentally 2 of the best fitting that I have found in a long time are Levis 525 & 515. Both are slightly low rise & bootcut with a little stretch. Yeah baby!)

So anyhooooo on with the patterns……

The Good:

McCalls 5428: Plunge neck shrug has yoke and tie closure variations, front and back gathers and below elbow length sleeve; shrugs B, D have yoke contrasts; sleeveless pullover top has front darts.

I think that this is a cute & different option for a summer jacket or sweater. I am always cold when I am in a/c. In restaurants, the office, movies etc, but in getting into these meat lockers I roast in the summer heat. When we lived in FL I always carried a sweater in my car just incase I forgot to grab one because I knew that I would be freezing by the time the food came. I would imagine that New Mexico will be the same for me so I might pick this one up. Also I think that it would be really cute over a sheath or tank dress.

McCalls 5430: MISSES’ WRAP SKIRTS- Skirts A, B, C have waistband with self-ties and inside buttonholes; skirt A has front pleats creating a cascade; skirt B has optional trim; skirt C has self-faced pockets; length is 2" below mid-knee.

I like View C because it looks exactly like a vintage 1960’s wrap skirt that I have. I am not sure how I feel about the one with the cascading trim thingy but this looks to be a true a-line wrap skirt & would be a great summer staple made up in light weight denim, cotton or linen. Also you could embelish the pockets with biase trim, embroidery, patches, etc. Lots of possibilities!

McCalls 5431: Flared skirt has yoke and back zipper closure; skirts A, B have lower edge band contrasts; skirts B, C, D have pocket and pocket band variations; skirt C has belt carriers; skirts C, D have machine-stitched narrow hems.

I have a skirt thing this summer for some reason. I would like to see this one made up to see if the pockets add to the design or add 10 pounds to my hips. I like pockets but sometimes they aren’t a good choice. I like the shorter views & the contrasting bands.

McCalls 5434: MISSES’ TOPS, DRESS, SKIRT AND PANTS IN TWO LENGTHS: Tops A, B and dress C have wrapped fronts with self-ties; top B has three-quarter sleeves; dress C is lower calf length; top D is strapless and has elastic casing; skirt E has mock wrapped front, elastic waist casing, length is 2" below mid-knee; pull-on pants F, G have elastic waist casing; pants F is lower calf length.

This just screams comfy, stylish summertime office to beach resort vacation to me. I don’t usually like the whole asymmetrical thing but this I like. I think that this would make a great travel wardrobe because it wouldn’t wrinkle. I am not too crazy about the tube top because my girls just don’t have the umph for that kind of thing but I think that I could easily add straps & use Stacy’s article from Feb 2007 Sew News to add a shelf bra. Or you know I could just wear one of the dozen cami’s with the built in bras that I have. I just LOVE those things!

McCalls 5441 - ORGANIZER ITEMS: Package includes patterns and instructions for pocket pillow A, 16" square; square wall organizer B, 20" square; closet organizer C, 17" square; long pocket wall caddy D, 7" W × 34" L, purchased handle; apron E, one size, 19" W × 16" L, excluding ties; all items have contrast pockets and binding.

I just love things that claim they will get me organized! Now I am not sure why you would want a “pocket pillow” but it is hard to see in the picture so it might be the best thing since sliced bread in real life. The other things I can totally see being handy for organizing from the sewing room to the bathroom. As we are going to be very limit on space in our New Mexico abode these might come in super handy. Also I just saw on U-Handbag where they used a purse handle for something similar. Great idea!

The Bad:

McCalls 5423:
That huge bow just bugs the bageezums out of me. This might be very cute made up in a different way but it’s kind of old lady muumuu looking to me here.

The very Ugly:

McCalls 5432 – I couldn’t even get past the color combo that they picked for this one to tell what the style is like. Then once I was able to pull my eyes away much like you can’t look away from a train wreck I realized that the style is really bad also. The jacket & vest look shapeless & the pants look high granny waisted & what’s up with the tube top. Ugh on the whole thing. I just think that this woudl look frumpy on anyone & there are much better wardrobe style patterns out there than wasting good pattern money on this. It doesn't even look nice on the model for goodness sake!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Victorian Sewing

Wow I actually do sew costumes still! It has been so long since I have done it I was beginning to wonder myself. This isn’t one of the fanciest dresses (well skirts now but will be a dress soon) that you would see at a large SASS event by any means but it is a big deal for me. I am not usually that good at going off on my own. If I have directions I tend to stick to them. I am fine if I start something on my own but if there are directions I am lazy & just following along like a lemming off a cliff. So for this one I really kind of took a picture of an outfit & made my own version from this & that, making it my own.

Let me give you a little crash course on Victorian Era Fashions. There are basically 5 periods; Pre-hoop & Hoop 1830-1869, Early Bustle 1869-1876, Natural Form 1877-1882, Late Bustle 1883-1889 & Belle Epoch 1890-1901. There are very distinct characteristics that set these periods apart & I do not claim to be an expert by any means. I just know the basics & just try to research the rest as I go along.

I like wanted to make a Natural Form dress. The big thing about the Natural Form period is that as the name suggested they primarily did not wear styles that required a hoop or bustle to hold the shape of the dress or at least nothing as elaborate as the earlier or later periods. When hoops & bustles could be huge! Also I should add that sewing patterns where nothing like what we have today they came in magazines all the pieces printed on one large page all over lapping in black ink, the lines of each piece in different combinations of dots or dashes. I will have try to find an example to show you all some time.

I drafted the overskirt from Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol #1 & the underskirt was made from Truly Victorian’s Fan Tail skirt, the trained version.

This was my inspiration from Fashions of the Gilded Age:

Inspiration for red black & white NF dress

Here are my fabrics: Fabric for  for red black & white NF dress

I used the diagrams in the book as best I could to get the general shape for the over skirt. Then I just pined & repined until I got the look I liked.

Here is the nearly finished product:

Victorian Natural Form Skirts - trimmed

Victorian Natural Form Skirts - trimmed

I still need to add a pleated ruffle to the underskirt & make a bodice, but I am so happy with the way that this turned out I had to share! I am still trying to decide what to do for the back. Here is a picture before I added the ribbon trim:


I will be sure to post some pictures of me wearing the finished dress hopefully at The SASS World Championships in June.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Playing catch up

Goodness that was such a long time with no posting! Now I have to try to catch up.

First up Chara & I are hosting a sew-along on flickr for the Sew What! Skirts book.* We have been talking about this book for like a month. Chara set up the flickr group & we already have like 3 or 4 skirts up in the photo album! I actually got mine cut out last weekend, except the facing which I totally forgot about. Maybe I will get that sewed up this week.

Next up Butterick has their Summer 2007 patterns out.

I can’t say that I am over thrilled by any of them but there are a couple that are kind of cute & I might pick up if I am near Joann’s during a $1.99 sale.

Flared, wrapped dress, below mid-knee has semi-fitted bodice, front band or collar, sleeve variations – There are a ton of wrap dresses out this season, but this one looks pretty nice with all the different options & it says it’s easy.

Front wrap top or dress has inset at waist. A, B, C: sleeveless. C: scalloped edge of fabric at hem. D: contrasting flare sleeve and inset. – For some reason I love the look of the pattern drawings of this. I am sure that it would look completely like maternity wear on me but I am just drawn to it. It looks cool, comfy & cute. I love the brown outfit on the left. This is on the maybe list.

It might seem odd that I would include a bag pattern but I keep seeing those triangle shaped bags in magazines. I think that they are supposed to be better for your back or something. I thought that it might be a good vacation type bag, not that we are planning one, but maybe one day.

Butterick appears to be jumping on the Indy pattern band wagon as well. They now have several patterns by CONNIE CRAWFORD. Judi & I saw her patterns at the Sewing Expo last Sept. I looked at them but wasn’t impressed enough to buy any. I don’t remember if we actually saw any made up or not. Maybe in the Indy Pattern company show that they did? I don’t remember. I will keep an eye on Pattern Review I think to see what people say. None of her Butterick offering are crying out to me as of yet. The neat thing though is that the Big 4 pattern companies must be realizing that their normal offerings are seriously lacking & are trying to make amends by offering the Indy patterns too. Good for them! I hope they keep it up.

On last thing I thought I would let you all know that my Mom has just listed some of Heather Bailey’s Fresh Cut fabric in her Ebay store & has it on sale. Look under the fabric section. I am super excited that she was able to get some. She says that it is beautiful in both look & feel. I can’t wait to get some. I have a birthday coming up in July & I can guess what I will be getting. I want to make a couple skirts from Sew What! Skirts but I haven’t worked out the fabric combo yet……hmmmmm…….

*I should say that Chara is hosting & I am just tagging along because she set up the flickr group & got everything going! Thanks Chara!

Monday, May 07, 2007

And the winners are............

Where did the weekend go????? My goodness it was Fri & then the next thing I knew it was Sun night. Yuck!

Ok so on with the contest……drummmmmmrollllllll…….

And the winners are:

#1 Springtime Pond Fiona Purse: Capello!

#2 Poppy Fields Amber Joy Messenger Bag: Bekka!

& last but not least

#3 Hippie Summer Fiona Purse: Finnyknits!

But wait there is more!!!!!

Zipper bags

I had some (ha some that is the understatement of the year) fabric leftover so I whipped up a couple little zipper bags too. One from each of the color combos & drew names for those to from the comments as well.

The winners of those are:

#1 Springtime Pond zipper bag – Melanie of Taylor Design
#2 Poppy Fields zipper bag – Julie
#3 Hippie Summer zipper bag – Chara Michele

Yeah to all of you! If you all could pop me an e-mail with your address I will try to get those mailed out to you this week. I hope that you will enjoy them & thanks for everyone for your sweet comments.

Now we can get back to our regularly scheduled posting!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

100th Post!!!!!!(finally) & Big News!

Ok kids lets get to it. I know, I know this has been a long time in coming but I think that once you hear the “Big News” you will understand. If not well that is just too bad, right?

So here is what I have cooked up for my 100th post give away: 3 of my purses.

I took inspiration from several places & have been working on getting these just right. So who ever wins will have to let me know what they think & give me some feedback & suggestions for any changes.

#1) I have the Springtime Pond Fiona Purse, named after my wonderful friend Fiona that received the first one I ever made! I have made a couple changes since then but the over all shape is the same. She made is made from vintage lily pad fabric for the pockets with vintage buttons. The lining is of chartreuse green variegated cotton with printed white polka dots & the exterior is of tan cotton. There is also an interior pocket. Springtime Pond Fiona Purse

#2) Next up the Poppy Fields Amber Joy Messenger Bag, named for my baby sister. She is a fun & practical bag that is made from vintage re purposed yellow poppy print fabric for the strap & lining with a vintage button on the front. The exterior is of green re purposed linen fabric. There is also an exterior pocket on the back & an interior pocket. Poppy Fields Amber Joy Messenger Bag

#3) Last but now least the Hippie Summer Fiona Purse. She is a hip purse made from vintage retro Daisy & Daffodil print fabric for the front pockets with vintage buttons. The lining is made sunny yellow & white gingham. The exterior is of navy re purposed linen fabric. There is also an interior pocket. Hippy Summer Fiona Purse

I will draw 3 winners on Sunday night (May 6th) from all those that comment. When you comment just let me know if there is a particular purse that you would like to be entered for or if you want to be entered for each of them, but you can only win one. Gotta share the love. So there you go Dears, I hope that it was worth the wait & best of luck to everyone!


So now the reason that this has been so long in coming. We are moving to The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico!!!!! John was offered a job with the company that he worked for in FL & it is a God sent for sure. Many of you know that MI has not been kind to us. We are still dealing with our “house problem” that has no definite end in sight, but we have decided to forge forward & start our new life come Hell or high water.

As we can’t even begin to list our house here much less actually sell it at this point we are looking at some unconventional living arrangements in NM. We feel however that this is much better than the alternative, which is being apart for who knows how long.

So we are working out all the details but our hope is to be in NM no later than June 18th so that we can attend this which is all of 15 min from where we are going to be living! How exciting is that???!!! (Well if you are a SASS member it’s exciting, everyone else maybe not so much, but pretend with me ok?) I am so excited that I will finally get to me my friend Gina who makes this kind of beautiful stuff!

Gina Purple Dress

So in preparing for our move I have been trying to get as many projects done as possible & organize some so that I can still be creative when everything else is in storage. Also I have been looking at a lot of sites like this. Seeing as the first time I will be in NM is the day that I drive the moving truck across the state line. I really enjoyed reading about Finny & Kelli's Santa Fe adventure (high on the list of must sees in NM) & would love to hear anyone else's NM stories.

Let the adventure begin! I will try to post as often as I can to let you all know how it’s going.

Wish us luck & good luck to everyone on for the drawings!