Thursday, January 31, 2008

#2 SWAP......The Pretty Pants and the evil hong kong seams!!!

Here is the muslin I worked out for my SWAP pants... got the fitting right... now onto the real thing.... And then.................

What got into me???? What in the world made me want to try and do a hong kong finish on these pants??? Oh yeah... because Laura from

did her new SWAP pants with a beautiful underlining and a hong kong finish... and it was fabulous! So I thought,,, hey that looks amazing, I'll give it a try... so I looked it up and found several different articles on them... so here we go...

First off, let me say I have a great serger, a Babylock Imagine ... its not like anything I make has a really unfinished look inside. Sometimes I finish my in seams inside with wooley nylon.. in like a contrasting color... its pretty cute....

But still,,, had to do the hong king thing!!! Wow!!! cutting out the bias.... sewing on one side and then up another... so it took twice as long to make these pants!!!! All I can think the whole time is... why am I punishing myself!!!! Ahhh... live and learn...

I mean, the seams look good but I love my serger wooley nylon finishes!

What have we learned here???? That fancy inside finishes are not for everyone! I mean I feel like I've worked harder on the inside than the outside... and besides no one else will see this hard work!!! And it might be kind of rude to go around showing them...

Here are the finished pants... they're looking a little wrinkled in this pic. I'm happy with them ...they look very nice on.

Love the metallic copper stripes!!

I've pictured them laying on the next fabric to be part of the SWAP... it will be a long elegant cardigan. I'm going for a layered look here....

Moving right along....

Wall Hanging Present

I just got around to hanging this up in my sewing room the other day. My mom gave me this for Christmas... a quilted wall hanging... the quilt blocks are stenceled paintings by... by ME! In like 1994!!

I honestly I forgot I ever painted these... seems like another life time....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1st SWAP top done!! 10 more to go...

This is Simplicity 3634.
Simple lines, well fitting pattern.
Very easy to sew.
It looks better on me than the dress form... I also made a muslin for the pants in this pattern today.
I have a chocolate brown fabric with a copper stripe for them.... I'm using an invisible zipper instead of a lapped though... Hopefully I will get those done tomorrow.... since I've worked out all the fitting with the muslin it shouldn't be an issue.. and maybe I'll have time to start on my jacket!!! I'm so excited about it... its going to be chocolate brown trimmed with leather!!
I'm loving my colors for SWAP! Turquoise, chocolate brown, tan and black!

Bald Mans New Shirt... Done!

Super easy shirt for the Bald Man in a very light weight cotton. I embroidered an RD on it... and now he wants a tag too!!! If you want to make your man a shirt this is a top pick of mine! There's three different looks on the pattern.. We'll be seeing more of this style shirt on the Bald Man in the future!!!

Wild Things Handbag!

I finished my Wild Things purse yesterday! And its pretty cute... it doesn't look like the picture... the picture showed a bag with the tie handle coming up at the sides and that is not how it comes together... the instructions were also quite terrible.. I have a basic knowledge of handbag construction so I was ok. It didn't even say to use interfacing!! Not even on the bottom piece. This bag would have looked like crap it I didn't use any!
I also added an inside zipper pocket and a cell phone pocket.
And I even embroidered a tag! RD.... more on the name of my clothing later...
Anyways I like the bag, it was very easy as long as you know how to basically construct a handbag... its pretty cute!

And its a good extra for my SWAP project!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bald Mans new shirt, cheap fabric finds and a new purse!

Today I worked on my Bald Man's new shirt. I'm using the Kwik Sew pattern above 3052. Its so easy. Its all done but the hem. Since I made myself a complete outfit last week I thought I should make him something .
To the left is the fabric for my new purse I got at Hobby Lobby some time ago. It will actually go with the SWAP I'm doing.
You can't really see the pic of the purse I'm making well.
Its from the Wild Things pattern software and its free!!! You can download the program at They have some other software for garment patterns and it looks so cool.... but its not cheap!

I had to go to wal mart today... and look what I found!!! On the right is a faux leather... has kind of an antique look... it so nice!!! I can't believe it was actually at Wal-Mart. $8.00 a yd!!!!!
Its really strong feeling to... Its going to make an awesome purse!!

And check this out below... what a find!!! More faux leather!!
Weathered looking and feels like really fine leather. I got enough to make a jacket! Now check this out.... $2.00 a yd!!! I was so excited I almost squealed!! Time to break out those leather needles!!!

And I got this super soft cotton... unfortunately not for me but for a belly dancer who wants me to make her a costume cover up... its light weight, great colors! Will look fabulous with gold or silver accents. And just so soft!!! It was right at $5 a yd!
Maybe she won't like it and I'll have to keep it...
You can never till about Wal Mart. Sometimes I go in and its all junk that I wouldn't even dress my dogs in! Then sometimes I go in and find good quality, unique fabrics like these! No consistency! So I check like every other week!!!
Oh Yeah! I also got some great dark navy stretch denim for another pair of jeans!! $3.00 a yd!!!!
(if Sonja or Rachel is reading this... stop talking about me and stop hating! jealously is ugly you two!!!)

1 Year Anniversary!!!

Yesterday was mine and The Bald Man's one year Anniversary!

I was supposed to have Saturday off so we could celebrate... but the other dancer who works at Mirage got sick (poor Sonja).. so Bald Man had to cook his spectacular dinner for us last night!

He's an amazing cook... Sea Bass, Lobster, winter squash! Cooked in the awesome Green Egg grill he got us for Christmas!! Everything is better in that grill!

And a little bit of a fish called Artic Char which I had never tried and I loved!

I'm so lucky!!! I just love my Bald Man... and he's cooking!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Drunken Hookah Dance

Ok this weekend was good but I almost forgot to blog about this lady... I don't know how I could almost forget!!! Look at her!
This lady was so drunk and obviously very inspired after my sword dance.
We were watching just hoping she didn't drop it on someone.. or that it didn't come apart!!!
Big hookahs are pretty heavy...
she's trying to dance around with it... her friends are screaming and laughing at her... it was all a very amusing display....
Everybody wants to be in the show.....

Such a BUSY night!!

Last night was crazy busy! I am SOOOO tired today! As you can see by the end of the night everyone was up dancing! And later on I learned a new dance... I think it was Palestinian...
it was fun and quite a work out!!! There are a couple of Palestinian customers that come in every week and always do this stomping dance.. they always look like they are having so much fun.
So last night after I was done with my show I decided I wanted to know how to do it!!! I think the song is seriously like 15 minutes long! SOOOOO tired!!!!
No fire dance last night.. way to many people! But theres always the sword dance... and its always a crowd pleaser... and I bore myself doing it so bad!!!

Bombshell costume made an appearance...

And last night I wore my Gauzy BWOF shirt (cleavage alert!!) and my new jeans!! The Bald Man was trying to get a good pic of me in the shirt but Jesse here decided he wanted to get in on the pic too! He's the bartender at Mirage and he's great! He came over for dinner one night and tried to teach me to crochet... but I still can't crochet so I'm investing a real class in Feb so maybe I can learn and won't have to bother Jesse anymore... Learning to crochet is a big goal of mine this year.... and making "the perfect jeans" and SWAP.... and learning to do the perfect FBA, and make a constructed jacket... and make the Bald Man pants, shirts, jackets.... is a year long enough to do all this?????

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Brians Tobogans, Baby clothes and Kntting

No hard projects today. I just played... knitted on my turquoise shawl, that I will use as an extra if I do SWAP. I love this color!

Made Brian some toboggans. I copied one of his favorite RTW toboggans to get a pattern. He wrestled in a tournament today in Cleveland... so I wanted him to have something when he came home. He's been asking me to make him some of these forever!

And I made little Be'Be' and 2 Pac fleece jackets.... Be'Be' is not happy about her jacket at ALL... She is to the right in a cute Titans
jacket.... she stood like this and stared at me for a good 45mins and didn't move... she's so hateful... its not like she's never had on clothes!
Little Pac-ster here was just the opposite... he bounced and strutted around ... posed perfectly still when he saw I had the camera! See he really appreciates
the stuff I make... not like Be'Be'!
I also made 2 things for the Bald Man... ofcourse I can't post them until after he has them!

Fire Dance at Cairo Cafe

Since last night slowed down quite a bit by 11:30 I decided to do my fire tray dance which I've not done in a year!!!! It went well..... meaning no one was harmed in any way and no one had to

call the fire dept!!!!! I made up this little "fire dance" costume by cutting up a $5 thrift store dress. I've always hated wearing the beaded bra and belt for this dance... so now I don't have too....
and I danced to some different music... I used the same music for 9 years for my fire dance!!! I couldn't find anything else I liked for it....
So it was exciting... and since there were no disasters I need to start doing it more often. Its typically a good show piece for the audience...
I mean I really do bore myself by just coming out and "bellydancing"
all night... its nice to mix up the show with fire, sword and even the dreadful Shamadan ... more on that crazy prop dance another time.

The Jungle Jewel Costume

Yes!!! I'm patting myself on the back... not because of my design/costuming skills... no...

but my ability to make one so quickly!!! On the left,,, this is what my costume looked like yesterday morning, a folded pile... by evening it was fierce and ready to dance!!! I think this is one of my favorite costumes now... the color is striking!!! I have figured out how to sew beaded fringe on with my machine... and how to machine sew most of my fabric on the bra after I drape it... extreme time savers! Sewing by hand takes hours!!!

I have a book somewhere on doing actual beadwork with your machine... wouldn't that be something!! The fabrics I have used to make costumes lately haven't needed bead work though... their flashy enough on their own!

Ofcourse making them like the latest Egyptian styles are SO much easier than the styles of the mid-90's to early 2000's.

The skirt is actually a BWOF pattern!!! Its a done up tie/sarong skirt. I want to make one is casual fabric to... its a great skirt!

Last night was good... a little slow at the end but really good the first couple of hours I was there.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Altered Fashion Books

I just got this new book, Subversive Seamster, Transform thrift store threads into street couture.

You can get it at or like I did at for less!!

I have had several books on altering thrift store clothes. Honestly most of them are full of poorly executed ideals and you end up with crappier looking clothes after the alterations!

Now this book is different.. there's some really nice stuff in here! Like the 80's dress to a corset like top... looks smashing!!! The hideous turtleneck sweater to the adorable Bolero!!! (if you don't know, I'm telling you I LOVE boleros, the best accessory you can have!)

Theres much more cuteness in here... don't get me wrong there's ugly to... like the gauchos from flannel pj pants. YUK!!! How big would my booty look in those!!!

All in all... a good book with some awesome ideals!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

To SWAP or not to SWAP

SWAP or Sewing With A Purpose is a contest held by
And I'm really thinking about doing it this year...
If I do these are the fabrics I'll be using... And I'll probably add some denim to the mix!!!The items you have to make to qualify for SWAP are 4 bottoms, 6 tops (2 should be blouses), and 1 jacket that will work with all bottoms and tops.
You can substitute 2 dresses for 2 tops... and the jacket must work with them also.
There are a few more rules too, but thats the main deal with the contest.
I think it would be fun and I think it would be great to have 11 wardrobe items that coordinate!!!
Yeah, I need to do this... just thinking of all those outfit possibilities!!!!!

I made Jeans!!! WhooHoo!!!!

For those of you who may read my blog that don't sew you may not understand these 2 pics... for my fellow sewers... you will... as you can see here on my first pair of jeans...
the fit is pretty good!! Not "perfect" like the pattern says! But pretty good!
I'm happy and excited that is didn't take me days to make them...only 2 days... this pattern needs about 3 more things on it "tweaked" and It'll be close to perfect. Like the back waist band gaps slightly (which is why I will always wear a belt with these pants!) and the front area is alittle too loose, needs to be shortened at the top.
I've decided one of my goals this year is to make jeans as well as those $300 dollar Allen B's in my closet (no I didn't PAY $300.. I got them at the Last Chance Neiman Marcus for $27!! but originally they were $300!!!)
So now I must find more cheap denim... preferably stretch denim. Stretch seems to fit better in everything on me!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Jeans are coming along....

Got the back pockets done!!! With the help of my new 'mighty machine'! I basted front and backs,, and guess what! So far they fit!!!!! I did adjust the front and back length, took up an inch... which is usual on pants for me..... I need to take in an inch on the waist... add the waist band,,, hem,,,, button... whoo hoo!!!!!! New Jeans that didn't cost $100!!! These cost me about $8 so far....
$2.00 a yd stretch denim will do that.
It all comes down to the waist band ... sometimes I have issues with them... again.... its the patterns fault!!! Not Mine!!!
But If I can get this jeans thing down the Bald Man will save so much money!! And then maybe I can get that cool knitting machine...

McCalls: The Perfect Jeans

Well, calling it the "perfect jeans" might not be accurate since I'm sewing them! This will be my first pair of jeans,,, EVER!!!! So I'm excited and hoping I don't get disappointed! Like I do sometimes when patterns don't work out... I mean, its the patterns fault though... not mine!! (hahaha)

This is what I have done so far.. the front pockets and the fly zipper... which went it fabulously because I have that awesome video by Islander Sewing
I would not be able to put in any zipper worth a crap if it were not for their Zipper DVD... their invisible zipper method is awesome!
And check out the red top stitching that will match the top stitching on the Gauzy Shirt...
which is done!!! And I love it... BWOF patterns are so great and stylish. I'll have the Bald Man take a pic of me in it later.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Gauzy Shirt

Between grocery shopping, blogging, staring at my new fabric and trying to figure out that darn embroidery hard ware (my sewing machine store was closed today!).... I did manage to do a little sewing.
I had cut this out before we went to Philly... its from a BWOF magazine... its a gauzy white blouse (very Gauzy!) with a drawstring gathered "cleavage baring" front, I'm top stitching in red
to match the red and white ribbon... I need to do the sleeves and hemming and it will be done!

I also did a couple more place mats on the mighty embroidery machine while I was sewing this!!! I love multi tasking!


Fabric row is an amazing section of Philly... and IMO the best reason to go to Philly... fabric store after fabric store... cottons, slinky knits, velvets, leathers, notions, buttons... appliques... rhinestones... I could go on and on... like the fabric stores on fabric row... on and on!!! I didn't even come close to even going in half of these stores... they were not very expensive either! I got these oop Kwik sew patterns for 98 cents... and these awesome 'furry' buttons for a dollar a piece...

I got this beautiful green sparkly Lycra fabric for a bellydance costume... it will be fierce!

Same with this amazing black and gold... but I got enough of it to make a hot top too!!!

(at the bottom)And this velvety black knit with the white strip (I'm thinking pants!)
Got The Bald Man this stripped shirting fabric... its a great cotton with about 3% spandex... which should give a great fit!
The black and white piece at the bottom is SOOOO hot!! Its a sheer black stretch and the white
pieces aren't sewn all the way on... giving it a floaty feel.... I'm thinking skirt... long skirt!!!
I also bought 3yds of this beautiful black slinky with a floral black print and some light green pleather with embroidery and eyelets cut into it... it will be a great purse (need to take pic of it)....
Now for the time to make it all!!!!!!!!

The Flyers, Swanky Bubbles, China town and being cold

Here are a few pics from the trip...
In the pic of Bald Man, we are at a Champagne bar called Swanky Bubbles... that actually have good food there... sushi!!!
and so many choices for champagne... my fav!!!
I had a drink called Blondie... which is Vanilla infused vodka, pineapple juice and champagne...
yummy!!!!! Theres a pic from china town... where we were driving around trying to find a Chinese fabric store... no luck though!!

A picture from the Flyers game!!!! Bald Man got us awesome seats!!!!

There's a pic of my all bundled up in my new vogue coat... and the pretty lime green shawl my mom knit me for my birthday!!! (my birthday was the 21st!)

And YES!!! A hookah bar!!!! Even in hookah bars the service was terrible though...
but the butterscotch hookah I had here was very good!! This was the second hookah bar we found..
3 things have to happen when me and the Bald Man travel... we must find sushi, fabric stores and hookah bars!!!!

Back From Philly, PA

Yes! Back in the southland!!! And I am so happy to be home!
The Bald Man had this Lacrosse coaches conference to go to up in Philly... this is the 3rd year we've been up there for it. It is SOOOO cold up there! Wow I was miserable! If it had not of been for the Flyers game he took me to... and FABRIC ROW (which was a beautiful place to be!) I would have stayed in the hotel room and avoided all the freezing cold... and all the extremely rude people.
And I do apologize if you are reading my blog and you are from Philly... but I mean RUUUUUDE!!! My goodness, how does a person get through the day being so hateful... the constant horn blowing... the screaming over parking... the people who don't want to give you directions... even to a restaurant that ended up being right across the street from the back of our hotel!!!!

I'm sure there is good food in Philly.... but its very hard to find when you're in the downtown area.... imagine... you go into a fancy seafood restaurant... ofcourse the service is bad (but this is not unusual for Philly at all) .... you order a $12 Ahi Tuna Ceaser Salad ... sounds good... then you get the salad and ...... reality check!!!! Its week old lettuce drowned in peanut oil and lemon juice (wheres the ceaser?????) the tuna is seared in some hideous pepper (which completely kills the taste of the tuna) and there are BEER NUTS on the salad!!!! I kid you not...
beer nuts on a $12 salad.... I have now put Philly at the top of my list for "Most likely place to pay a ton of money for bad food" (South Beach did hold this title)

I would have blogged while I was in Philly but the silly Bald Man turned over my green tea on our laptop!!!! Thank goodness it was our older, back up laptop! Not the new one Bald Man bought... which has been sent back to HP because it was a piece of crap and now he's waiting for them to send him another one...
Meanwhile I have no laptop.... so last night I bought the one I'm using now! I needed my own anyways since I have all the embroidery machine stuff now.... which I can't figure out!!!!
So.... more blogging later about the trip and the fabric I bought!!!!! I have to go learn how to use this hardware now!!!!!!!!