Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New Look Winter 2007

We are still moving in & there are piles of “stuff” everywhere so I no pictures of our new digs just yet.

So instead I have my picks from the new New Look patterns.

Nothing earth shatteringly trendy or fabulous but quite a few “basics”.

First up.....

#6749 ~ Dresses: I really like view A, the purple one on the model. I think that this would make a fabulous Holiday party dress or a wonderful "Little Black Dress". If you made it in black you could make the sash from a wonderful jewel tone satin that is so "in" this season. With all the different options in this pattern there is something for every one's tastes.

#6750 ~ Dresses: Another good dress pattern for the Holiday season & beyond. I really like the black & white one on the model for work & the black one with the jewel tone sash.

If you look at the line drawing, this pattern has a ton of different options. It appears that it would be very easy to lengthen the sleeves to make it a little more cold weather friendly.

#6753 ~ Knit Tops: A slightly different take on an empire waist knit top.

#6756 ~ Misses Capes and Bag: A different take on the winter coat. Capes seem to be big this season & they are starting to grow on me.

#6756 ~ Trousers & Skirts: I was trying to decide how I feel about this pattern. I don't think that I care for the skirts at all. The trousers however I am torn on. I like the grey pair shown on the model, but I am am not sure about the tan pair. I think that the sash makes the gray ones for me. I think that I might like the tan pair better if I could see them with an untucked close fitting knit top. Maybe it is just that I remember when pleated front pants were the thing & it haunts me! Or maybe it's the wide yoke then the pleats that look odd to me without some kind of top covering some of the yoke. I'm not sure......

#6762 ~ Knit wardrobe: A good basic knit wardrobe pattern. I think that this would make a great base for a travel, comfy weekend or even casual work wardrobe. It would be very easy to lengthen the sleeves or body of the top for many different looks. Depending on the knit you use (wool, cotton, rayon, etc) this pattern could take you through all four seasons.

Also I think that the top would be so cute if you lengthen the raglan sleeves to end in a gathered cuff like these:

Unisex patterns are usually blah, but I think that I might pick these two up.

#6765 ~ Miss, Men & Teen Pajama Pants /Short, Knit Top and Misses Knit Nightshirt - PJ's always seem to be popular as gifts & I thought that this one had some good possibilities for themed jammies. You can do the bottoms in a print, maybe a favorite sports team, then do the top in the team colors.

#6766 ~ Miss, Men & Teen Pullover Top and Pants and Misses Knit Pants and Tank Top: Another good lounging around watching fall football pattern. I think that the pockets on the pants are cute, but I am not sure how I feel about the tank top. The waist tie is cute & maybe if you add a built in bra to it I might feel differently. hmmmmm.......

Now for my "what were they thinking" pick:

#6763 ~ Misses Pants and Knit Cardigan and Tops: Is it just me or does this just look odd? Is it maternity wear or what? I don't think so because there isn't a panel in the pants & the tank doesn't look like it would accommodate a bump, what is up with that cardigan???? It makes here look like she's five!

Here I'll leave you with one picture from own new place. This is looking to the west from our deck.

Westward View

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thrifty Thursday

Ok I have tried to post this a few times but my pictures would not load, but now that we have hi-speed internet at the apartment I finally can! Haaaaaa!!!! So here is my Thrifty Thurs a week late!

I was going to post this along with my “News” post but it got way to long & out of hand. It had to get it’s own post.

So on to the Thrifty Thursday….if my pictures would ever finish uploading. So I have discovered another thing to LOVE about New Mexico, aside from the fact that nearly everyone here is sooo nice. There must be something in the water because people are just really friendly. Not like the polite friendly in the Mid-West but the help you move heavy gun safes after only knowing you a couple months, talk your arm off in the check-out line friendly. Really nice but hard to know how to deal with having grown up in South Florida where you are more likely to get flipped off or cursed out than anything else. So anyway back to what I LOVE. In Abq there is a road named San Mateo, this is turning into my most favorite street so far. (Reasha if you are reading this, have you guessed why?). There is a Joann’s fabrics, Hancocks Fabrics, Savers Thrift store & a huge Goodwill at with in like 3 miles of each other! The first two next to each other & the third across the street! Crazy! So I haven’t done much thrifting since moving here, what with not working & all, but I have gotten to Savers a couple times.

So I have babbled enough, Here are some pictures of my New Mexico thrifty finds. I guess that because I haven’t been able to blog in so long that I am just rattling on & on.

Thrifty Thurs - Shoes
Black chunky work heels - Nine West $12.00
Black mary janes - $4.99 for Can Can outfit yet to be made.
Blue heels - $4.99 great shape on the heel. I am going to replace the ties with gold ribbon to go with my "Blue Mum" Victorian Dress.

Thrifty Thurs - Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge plate - 69 cents

Thrifty Thurs - Blouses
Couple of new blouses for my new job(fingers crossed that I get it).

Thrifty Thurs - Linen napkins
These are for my Mom for Christmas.
Thrifty Thurs
McCall's 9635 ~ Front wrap dress with or without short set-in sleeves and scarf.
McCalls 4631 ~ Dresses or top and pants with transfer for embroidery.
I got these & 2 others for 99 cents at Savers.
Thrifty Thurs
Vogue 7226 ~ Very loose fitting evening dresses.

McCall's 4313 ~ Unlined jacket & pants. Circa 1974

These were in the same pack as the other two McCall's patterns. The Vogue one dosen't have have the direction & I don't plan to keep it anyway. The McCall's one felt the same way about that one at first but once I took a closerr look I think the jacket might be kind of fun to make up.

The jacket description is this "Buttoned, back yoked jacket has collar, sleeves pleated into buttoned cuffs and waistband extension tied in front. Jacket B has pleated patch pockets with button trimmed flaps."

I was thinking that made up in the right fabric it might be pretty cute for work. But what kind of fabric.........?
Thrifty Thurs
McCalls 4631 - circa 1975. Groovy baby! I actually bought the pack of patterns from Savers just for this pattern & the wrap dress pattern. I really like the blue satin top for some reason. I also think that this would be nice made up in a knit. The pattern description " Pullover dress or top gathered into neckbands, has raglan sleeves gathered into buttoned or snapped cuffs and cummerbund. Pants have hooked waistband and zipper in front opening." This pattern is as old as me!

Let me add to that the Goodwill here has a clearence center. I got 2 blouses, the napkins & the scarf that is under the shoes, all for $1.25! Crazy huh!????

Some News

Ok let me start by saying that I have been trying to post this since Thurs. am. So now some of the news has come & gone.......Like my interview on Fri. seeing as today is Sat.

Yes I am still alive. Still dealing with spotty internet connection but that should change soon.

So with the news, well several things really.

First I have my second round of interviews with The Gap Inc, corp. offices on Fri. They have part of their headquarters here in Abq (that’s short for Albuquerque incase your not up on the New Mexican lingo). They handle all the real estate, payroll, inventory & other financial stuff here. For those that don’t my degree when I was in college was Fashion design & merchandising until they canceled the program. Leaving me with a bunch of non-transferable credits & a bad tasted for higher education. Thus my unfinished degree. So I am rather excited about the prospect of working at The Gap, be it not at all in a creative aspect. But if you know away to make Payroll creative endeavor by all means please let me know. Anyhoo they have a tons of employee benefits & sound like a great company to work for. They remind me a little of when I worked for State Farm in MI. We shall see. It’s only part-time for now but from the sounds of things there will be tons of opportunity to move in all kinds of directions with them once I actually get the job.

PS ~ The interview went well or maybe ok. I don't know I hate interviews. I always think of what I want to say or ask an hour after it's over. Ugh! All four of the people that I interviewed with were very nice & personable. I think that I would really like working at there if I get the job. So fingers crossed. I shoudl hear something Mon.

There is a reason that I am only looking for a part-time job right now…….No not that reason. Although is probably will including taking care of babies next spring but of the four legged type. John & I have been offered a caretakers position at a Thoroughbred horse ranch! They currently have 3 mares in foal! Yeah! That will be fun to see babies born. Here is what we get an apartment & 1 car garage on the 40 acre ranch, including high speed internet, direct TV, all utilities & local phone calls. So as glamorous as all that sounds we in exchange need to feed & clean 7 horse stalls & paddocks every morning, feed again at night, feed 2 dogs & clean their kennels out weekly as well. But David & Laurie are very nice, we will have more room than in our “home on wheels” & they have a gorgeous view of the Sandia Mountains! We are moving in this weekend so I will try to get some pics then.

Also John & I are going to the SASS Convention in Las Vegas in Dec!!!!! Yeah! We will be working, volunteering really, but it gets us a room & tickets to the convention so who cares! This is billed as the social event of the year for SASS people. There are tons of vendors, a ball & lots of people from all over the country come. My friend Gina from Idaho will be there & a bunch of other ladies that I know from the internet that I haven’t met face to face yet. Pretty exciting for us. Once we move in to out apt at Rising Star Ranch (great name huh?). I will be sewing like a crazy person trying to get stuff made for us to wear in Vegas. It’s pretty fancy because everything is inside, so no dirt & wind! Yeah! I know one dress that I will defiantly be taking is this one. We finally got our pics back from the photographer that we had taken at Outlaw Trail. This is the one that we are going to use for our Christmas card this year.

On a totally different note I am really enjoying Twilight.

I saw the author on the Today Show a couple weeks ago & picked up the book to see what the fuss was about. It’s supposed to be the next Harry Potter type craze. I think that it is gear toward an older audience though. I have always like Vampires, not sure what that is about but I really got into the whole Interview with a Vampire thing. It’s an easy read & good for getting lost in. I like a little romance with my mystery/adventure, but not all that heaving chests & what not like the Harlequin romances. So this fits the bill. Also I have 2 more after this one to look forward to. I like my books like I like my movies, easy to get into & Calgon-take-me-away- esque. I don’t want to be depressed when I am done.

That is about it for now. We have my aunt & uncle stopping in for a couple days on their way to AZ (they are full time RV-ers), taking care of the horses where our RV is, cat sitting for some friends (at another place), job interview Friday afternoon & moving this weekend. Yeah I think that should be enough to keep me busy a couple days. ~ Again 2 days late on the posting thanks to a crappy connection, so they came & are leaving today. Had a great time with them.

Oh one last thing to share. I am loving this new jewelry set I made a couple weeks ago. The grey/black/cream stones are some kind of opal that I bought in a bead store in Old Town. They are really pretty in real life the pics don’t show them off that well. ~ Wore this with my bubble gum pink skirt & balck pants to my interview. It looked really nice with the pink actually. Maybe they brought me some luck?!
Wish me luck at my interview & I hope to post some pics of our new digs soon!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

To SWAP or not to SWAP?

I LOVE checking out all the entries to the Timmel SWAP every year, but have never entered the contest myself. For one thing I never knew when it started so I was pretty excited when I stumbled on to a blog post saying that the rules for the 2008 SWAP contest where up! You can read them here: SWAP 2008 Rules.

For anyone that is not familar with what a SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) is here, is a brief description or you can read more here:

"Here is the formula: Stage One - make 11 garments. These are: 2 pairs of pants; 2 skirts, one in a solid colour, one in a print or check; 2 simple tops, one solid, one in the above print; 4 tops, in colours which coordinate with the solids; 1 simple cardigan jacket in a solid color."

Julie at Timmel has used this concept of a SWAP & made a contest out of it. You have to put together a wardrobe of atleast 11 garments. You can use one piece that you purchased and or one that you knitted, crocheted or wove. You must also use a print, plaid, check or stripe for one of your items.

Here are the basic 11 garments as they apply to the Timmel contest:

"This consists of 11 garments, 4 bottoms (skirts and/or pants), 6 tops (2 should be more like blouses than just tees), and 1 jacket that will work with all the tops and bottoms. This gives you a total of 48 possible combinations. However, you can substitute a dress or dresses for two of the tops if you wish. Therefore, your SWAP can be 1 jacket, 4 bottoms, 4 tops, 2 dresses or it can be 1 jacket, 4 bottoms, 5 tops and 1 dress. The jacket must work with all combinations.
In the case of a jumper, this would count as a "bottom" item, in that it must work with all the tops and it must also be able to be worn with the jacket. A vest is counted as a jacket since it is usually worn over a top. If it can be worn solo, count it as a top."

Every year Timmel also throughs in a twist to make each years contest different from the previous years. The 2008 twist is that you must use a combination/wardrobe pattern. Here is how Julie explains it:

"2008 Twist – Three garments must be made from one "wardrobe" pattern.
You must make three uniquely different garments from that pattern; making one type of garment three times will not qualify.
These patterns are available from all the major pattern companies and they usually include a jacket, dress and/or skirt, pants, blouse or top. For our purposes, any pattern with at least three different garments that work together will be counted as a "wardrobe" pattern.

The patterns labelled "wardrobe patterns" often have 4 or 5 garments in them; but as long as the pattern has three different garments, it will qualify. The purpose of this year's rule is to encourage making the best use of a pattern; in other words, work it for what it is worth. The other 8 garments can come from any other pattern or patterns or be self-drafted."

Now with all that said I have been reading about the posts about the SWAP on Stitcher's Guild There is a thread just for the 2008 SWAP & getting more inspired & excited. Now I am thinking that I want to join!

When I first read about having to use a wardrobe pattern Simplicity 4097 popped into my mind.

Here is the line drawing for the pattern.

The problem that I am running into is figuring out what fabrics in my stash to use that meet all the reqquirements & would allow all the tops to match all the bottom fabrics. I am torn at the moment between using brown or grey as my base color. I have a bunch of each.

Then I got a crazy idea this morning as I was laying awake at 5:30 am thinking about my SWAP. I could do a Victorian wardrobe instead of a modern on!!!! Hmmmmmm!!!! The problem with that would be coming up with the wardrobe pattern & having enough fabric for all the pieces that would need to match but it would be totally different.......

Monday, October 01, 2007

Victorian Sewing - June 1879 Dress

I have actually been able to do some sewing since we have been in NM. Not as much as I would like but with such limited space it’s a challenge.

This first dress has been on the drawing board for a couple years now. Then on the Carolina Belles site they started a “Dress of the Month” sew along for 1879. I have been eagerly awaiting the post of each new dress. Then one day as I was flipping though my Fashions of the Gilded Age, Vol 1 I realized that this dress is from Harper’s Bazar June 1879! Auhhhhhh! I already had the fabric so I decided to jump in!

Here is the inspiration fashion plate:
Inspiration - Harper's Bazar 1879

This is how far I have gotten so far…..

Front - Harper's Bazar June 1879

Back - Harper's Bazar June 1879

I drafted the overskirt (yellow print) from Fashions of the Gilded Age & used Truly Victorian Tie Back Underskirt (solid yellow & pink). I am going to add 2 more pleated ruffles to the underskirt but I wanted to see where the hem of the overskirt would hit before adding these ruffles.

For the bodice I am going to use the Truly Victorian French Vested Bodice as a base. I will alter the back to make it more appropriate for the Natural Form Era. Then I need to figure out how to modify the front to get the crossed effect above the printed “vest” part in the fashion plate. Hmmmmmm. I haven’t fully worked that part out in my head yet but I hope once I start on the pattern that things will fall into place.