Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In The Animal Kingdom and stuff...

I am a slacker! There... I've admitted to having this problem lately!
No real sewing for 3 days now!!! Not even anything cut out...
I've been reading up on new techniques and planning.. organizing .. does that count for anything?
The Bald Man was off work today. I can't get any real sewing done when he's home! Sunday was hoop making and I worked at the spa Mon.
I did embroidery these cute dish towels though..... I wanted to give something to my friend who invited me over to her house for lunch tomorrow.
I've also been distracted by my new mini obsession... and there's tons of Hoola Hoop Trick 'how to's' on youtube.com
I'm not afraid to say this... hoola hooping with the fancy tricks and dance stuff is HARD! and I am terrible at it! My waist is sore! my hand is sore from trying to 'lasso' it up, AND I've even hit myself in the head a few times.. whacked my calves! Pathetic!

Prada is doing very well here in her new home. She's been with us a week now. She likes her arch enemies, the poodles, no better.
In fact she never comes down stairs and avoids them all together. The aren't allowed up stairs...
and they know it!
Although a few times today 2-Pac ran upstairs a couple of times and barked at her... then run back down... quickly!!! Knowing he's going to get in trouble by us and he knows she'll whoop his little poodle butt if he hangs around!
Here she is all lounged out on my cutting table.

Here below is a short video of my toy poodles acting absolutely insane over a toy motorcycle!
My sweet toy poodles are forever entertaining... no matter what Prada thinks....


Monday, April 28, 2008

Getting ready for Hoola Hooping!

First let me say I'm wearing BWOF top 105 7-07 that I made it Saturday morning. Easy top... cute... casual....

On to the hooping! Yesterday Sonja (on the left) invited me and Rach (in the middle) over for some hoola hoop making!
You see we are taking a Hooping workshop next weekend... Have you seen how people are hoola hooping these days???
Check out my favorite hooper

We made our hoops from some kind of plastic pipe.. male to male connector... I don't know...
Sonja got all the stuff . I just brought the champagne and Chocolate Cheesecake... which is very important to have when making a hoola hoop!! The we decorated in with different tapes! I sent Bald Man out to get us more tapes and he found some awesome cheetah and zebra print tapes!! Our hoops are so pretty!!!
Now after we learn to do this good (which Sonja, ex-hippy that she is can already hoop good!) I'm going to have to make us outfits to match our hoops... It will be SO cute!!!
And if we don't get good we'll still need those outfits I'm sure!
I "practiced" (played) last night... I can see how this is a great core workout! I am SO excited about the workshop!
For our next 'creative' get together I told Sonja and Rach I would do a Bellydance Costume in a Day for them... oh yes... it can be done!!!

Here's the back of my BWOF T-shirt....
I have to work today so no sewing... but I'm going to take some of my new mags and make some notes... planning the next project.
And I still have BWOF bustier to make!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

SO much sewing STUFF!!!!

I'll start with what I got in the mail from ebay... 6 back issue Threads magazines and the Kwik Sew pattern for a mans jean jacket... cause of course the Bald Man wants a distressed jean jacket!!

Then... my Grand Mother sent me this shoe box full of vintage patterns that was from her pattern stash! And... yep they are my size!

Now, let me say thanks to my Mom for being on the lookout for fabulous sewing goodies for me when she hits the flea markets.
She hit the jackpot this weekend!!!

She got me these 2 Magic fit "kits" to the right. I have no ideal how to use them! They have french curves in them.. dart templates, pattern paper and instruction books...
They are so neat!!
To the left is a huge amount of back issue Machine Embroidery, Sews News and many other sewing magazines.
Now the magazines came for her stash... but she got all those cool vintage patterns you see at the flea market!! There are a few my size.. the others I would have to size up 1 or 2 sizes.

These 2 old sewing books to the left.... The Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book and this cool Patternless Fashions book.
It has little patterns all through it with instructions on how to draft full scale patterns from them. Much like Mrs. Stylebook and other Japanese pattern magazines.
It was originally printed in 1966 in China... then revised and translated later in the U.S.
I'm hoping with this I can learn how to draft pattern like this so I can use pattern books from Japan that don't have full scale patterns... this is the hope I have anyways :)

Also... wonderful Mom got me about 12-14yrds of heavy duty denim!!!! Can you believe it!!!
And this awesome stretch poly fabric to the left... how retro is this??? I have no ideal what I'm going to do with it yet... its in really great shape... no dry rot or anything! I only have about a yd and half of it...

And this piece! You can't tell from the pic, but its sparkly! 4yds of this awesome sparkle zebra print,, and here and there throughout the piece you can make out a zebra face and red eyes!
What the heck am I going to do with this??? I'll think of something.. if anyone has any ideals let me know!

So I have a ton of sewing stuff to play with and learn from!!! I love it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A present, BWOF top... another pet!!!

Sweet Sonja brought this over to me yesterday... It was her moms and it needed a home! They gave it to me!!! Thanks to Sonja and Sonja's mom!!!! A seamstress can never have to many dress forms! This will come in so handy when I'm working on two projects!!

Here is BWOF top 126 from issue 7-01. Made from some awesome fabric I got from Gorgeous Fabrics.
Around the ties I did a rolled edge using metallic lime green thread.
I feel Sexy, Sexy in this!

I had the most wonderfully mean, black Manx cat for 3 yrs named Rain... one day he got out the back door and we never saw him again... Its taken me awhile before I've really wanted another cat. But I miss having a kitty around the house... So my n' my son went to the animal shelter Saturday and found this beautiful black kitty.. 8 months old. She had been there for about 3 months... Now she's here!! Her name is Prada!
Below is my chinchilla Kit. Who is not so happy about Prada....
On the right here is Prada. Relaxing and looking out the window from time to time to make sure her new arch enemies the toy poodles are still on the deck.
I mean, she weighs more than my dogs! She's already let them know she's the new boss....

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Old projects made new, New Challages in Vintage!

Here are the vintage patterns I have found/ordered for the retro jumpsuit I want to make...
Aren't they all so cute???? I love'em!!!!

I have been working on The Bald Man another shirt... its the same style as the last one. Here's the embroidery on the back shoulder of the shirt.
I also but a design on the front shoulder... Its looking good! I am so glad I can make the Bald Man some nice , unique clothes... he's such a big guy its really hard for him to find nice shirts!

For me I'm working on BWOF top 126 from issue 7-01... its a very darling top that has little ties up the front instead of buttons. I made it last year... so its not a challenge but I'm doing it "up"
a bit! Its almost done!
I also have BWOF Bustier 129 from issue 5-03. I have also made it before... but it came out much to small in the bust. Its so hot though I have to try it again... with the bust larger!!! Much!!!!! It also ties up the front for closures.
Also have out to make BWOF 105, issue 7-07. Which... I have made before also.... and I love. Its a casual T in the front with a cute twist in the back... check out the link for it!
So this is like "review week" for me!!! Bald Mans shirt and all the shirts for myself!!!
My challenge is trying to make the more interesting or better fit than the last!
Not to hard. Next project will be something harder... my brain should have recovered from that last pair of jeans by then!
I think trying to sew my vintage jumpsuit may be hard... ofcourse I'm always thinking of the next pair of jeans!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

BWOF Tops and a flashback!

I admit it! I love jumpsuits from the 60's and 70's.... so when I saw Pattern review was having a Vintage pattern sewing contest I started looking for jumpsuit patterns!!! I have an excuse to make one now.
The search is on! This pattern to the right is Simplicity 9674
There are so many cute ones I can't decide which one to buy....
plus I've never sewn from a vintage pattern before so it will be a challenge for me too! This will be fun!!!

Hers is BWOF Top 111 from issue Nov. 07.
Sorry the pic is kinda blurry to the right... its the Bald Mans fault!
I made up this little shrug to go with it. Love the print of this fabric! I got it in ATL at the sewing expo.

And here is the other BWOF top I worked on last week.
From issue 11/99 Top 134.
I LOVE this top and plan to make it again soon. I have alot of nice stretch lace fabrics and this top and shawl/cape are perfect for them.
There were darts in the back but I added them in the front also.
Love it!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Seam Method (hinge)

Many of you have wrote me and asked about the hinge method I referred too.
Its also called Seam Method. I don't have a book on it. I learned the basic principle of it from a class at the Sewing Expo with Lorraine Henry.
Here is a link I found about it too...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Copy RTW Process Pictures

Several of you guys have asked me to take pics when I copy RTW... And so I did...months ago!

Sorry I'm just now posting them! My instructions to go with the pics are probably going to be 'lacking'. Hopefully you'll get the ideal of what I'm doing from the pictures though. I find writing instructions very hard... maybe I should do a video and post it on youtube!

After much reading and researching different ways to copy RTW and make patterns this is the easiest I've come up with... and gets me the best fit. So far I have used this method to copy a pair of rtw yoga pants, 3 different pairs of jeans and a long sleeve knit top.

I use cheap non fusible interfacing for my pattern. Its strong and sheer.

First I turn the garment inside out. For pants I put one pant leg inside the other. It stays flatter, makes it easier to pin down.

I do this on a carpeted floor so when its all smoothed out and flat I stick the pin straight down into the garment and in the floor. This holds everything nice and tight!

Everything nice and secure here,,, ready to trace!

I trace with measuring gauge in hand to mark my seam allowances as I go

After all traced I measure different fit 'points' and compare them to the measurements of the rtw garment and "true up" my lines.

With the waist band (and yoke) I push pins down all around the edges... tracing the tops and sides first.
Then underneath along the pin lines.

This is the hardest part for me... measure and do the 'true up' thing again! With the last pair of jeans I made I used the hinge method,,, aka. seam method to get a good fitting waist band.

I measure the fly pieces and make them according to the measurements.

I put my fly zippers in using the Easy Islander Zipper video... its the best ... and easiest method I've ever seen!

I lay the interfacing on top of the pants and trace along the fly top stitching. This makes my fly template.

I lay the cut out pattern piece on top of the pants to mark where the pockets go

Lay Pattern/interfacing on top of pants to trace you back pocket pattern piece

Here are all the pattern pieces from this pair of jeans. Its more of a jean-trouser pattern.
There was no yoke and 'pouch pockets' instead of traditional jean pockets. So it was a bit easier to copy that the other 2 pairs of jeans I've done...

Hope this helps some of you who have wrote me wanting these pics of my copy process.. Sorry for the wait!!! And sorry I'm not better at describing the process!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What I've been up too...

Today I got a job... I mean I have 'jobs' I sew and make costumes for other bellydancers.... I also bellydance at Mirage on some weekends. Lately I've not wanted to dance much down there though... its kinda boring ... after a year I'm pretty burned out.. It takes up my weekend nights!
When I want to go out with the Bald Man!!!

Anyways! Seeing as how I paid for, went to school for and took those crazy tests for my Esthetics's License, I thought maybe I should put it to use when I heard of a new salon opening up just minutes from my house.

So I'll be putting my license to use at Gentleman's Top Cuts... 2 days a week. We'll see how it goes...
Also today I finished up BWOF Top 111 from Nov. 07. It was totally easy! Its flattering and a good fit. I love the pleat/darts in the front! They're very 'shaping'

I almost have BWOF Top 134 from Nov. 99 finished... just gotta do the edges ... Its super hot! I love this top!!!
I'll post pics of both soon!!!

I also baked a loaf of Cheddar Bread in my bread machine using this fabulous recipe : Fabulous Cheddar Bread!!! It is now my son and Bald Man's favorite bread! Actually, as I've been blogging my son has already ate half the loaf!!!!

And I baked a Mocha Cheesecake!!! It TDF!!! Best Mocha Cheesecake I've ever made!
I make alot of cheese cakes... all different kinds. I love to bake so much! If I baked as much as I want to we'd all be a big as houses here!
So if you like cheese cake...

Mocha Cheese Cake

1 gram cracker crust or chocolate cookie crust (I use a reduced fat gram crust.. every little bit helps!)

2 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese (again, reduced fat.. it makes me feel better about that 2nd piece!)
2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1/3 cup espresso
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbls of flour

Melt chips. Mix all ingredients until smooth. Bake at 350 about 45 min. till done in center...


Yesterday I went to a used book store here in town called McKays....

I hit the jackpot!

I got sewing books I've been wanting... OOP books and all! And on the cheap! I also got some fabric painting books and some cross stitch patterns/kits (.60!!) that I will use for my needle punch.

I had never heard of or seen this book before. Let me tell you its a gem!
All these fabulous designer/couture techniques straight from the designers!!!! 11 designers sharing... its a beautiful thing!

Uncomplicated instructions for the techniques, pictures.... Fabulous book.. I don't know why I've never heard of it before!!

Ofcourse I loved the special chapter on Calvin Klein giving tips and techniques on sewing jeans!!! Extra bonus for me!!!

Here are two books I have heard about and wanted! Sewing/Tailoring books by Adele P. Margolis. I've been so fascinated by the book above I've only looked through these briefly... so I don't know about them yet... I'm sure I'll get my moneys worth out of them though! $5! and $4.50! for vintage OOP sewing books! Whoo Hoo... I love a used book store as much as I love a thrift store!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Steps to the Perfect Designer Look Jeans

It was a process!!! From the 2 pair of cut up jeans you see on the left to what you see on the right.
Using a copied pattern from my RTW XOXO jeans and 2 pair of Goodwill jeans....
A pair of size 14 Tommy jeans have been cut to make the front and back of the new jeans. A pair of Rt. 66 were cut up to make the pockets, carriers, waist band and the yoke.

After all the pieces were cut out I used my embroidery machine to do the pockets and 2 matching but smaller designs on the front legs... then a few matching really small flowers here and there....
You can see at the top of the back pockets where the old pockets on the Tommie jeans were placed....
I made a contoured waist band this time instead of a straight waist band which I always have to place darts in to get it to fit.
I don't know if I made the contoured band right but it worked great!!!
I simply took the straight waist band and used the hinge method of fitting... which gave me a perfectly curved waist band.
This was much easier than all the ways I read to draft a contour waist band.
After all embroidery was done and all the fitting was done (honestly there's not to much fitting to be done when you make a pattern from something that already fits well)
Then place rivets and button... get the seam ripper and rip along a few edges and poke some holes here and there. So when washed they'll get that worn frayed look.... then get out the dish washing liquid!! Using dish washing liquid with bleach I smeared it up and down the jeans... waited about 45 minutes and washed.... bleach spots and frayed look in place....
Last thing to do.... get out my rhinestone setter and place some small rhinestones around the embroidery areas.

Yes! All done!!! Alot of work does go into distressed designer jeans. But paying $300 or more for jeans is not in the budget!!!
Next step is to tell husband after all this work a really nice dinner out is in order! Hey he can afford a nice dinner out since he didn't have to buy me these designer jeans!!!
Shirt I'm wearing is an Oscar da la Renta... very nice couture item I got at Rag-a-Rama in Atlanta for $14!!!!!
The necklace,,,, Vintage rhinestone necklace that belonged to my Grandmother. There's a great story behind it that makes it extra special!!!

The Bald Man! Wearing the most recent shirt I made him... looking sharp!!! Ready to take me out for a great Saturday night!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Painted jeans and mermaid apron

Lots I want to post today!!! So I'll make 2 separate posts...

The jeans I started this week were finished up Friday... and I am SO happy with them. I'm going to wear them tonight so I'll post a pic of them tomorrow or Monday. This pair seemed very 'labor intensive'! So I am brain fried!!! Instead of using my double needle on the top stitching I used a single need this time which was extra time consuming but I did get better results.

Thanks to the dvd, Jeans Couture!!!! If you're thinking of making a pair of jeans please get this DVD... I wish I had got it before I made my other pairs!

I'm working on some smaller projects this weekend since the jeans took alot of of me this week. Like this pair of jeans below... no, I didn't make these. They are a really good pair of Ralph Lauren jeans I picked up at Goodwill. They are plain so I decided to paint this panda bear on the upper leg. Isn't he cute??? Didn't take long at all to paint! I'm also going to remove the waist band, move the belt carriers down and then distress them greatly!

Also on the list of simple projects.... an apron! Check out this adorable mermaid fabric!!! I have to find a contrasting fabric to go with it before I can make the apron.

I'm going to use the apron pattern on the far right for the mermaid fabric. Which is really my moms pattern that I'm sure she would like to have back sometime soon!

I have to find fabric for the 'Wendy's Apron' pattern too.... look at the little cat pocket! Its TO cute!!!!

Between signing up for the Sassy Apron swap and joining Apronista I can see how women get so crazy over aprons. Their so fun, cute and easy to make!!

Felted Purse and so much more!

Felted Purse! This is a self drafted purse made from a cute purple Goodwill sweater I felted and lavender leopard print for the lining and handle. Now whats really 'special' about this is the fold over flap.... its a vintage brocade that I felted wool roving into, following the designs on the fabric.... and it took forever!

I love the hardware I found for it! On clearance at Wal Mart!!!

The inside lavender leopard print... with a zipper pocket, a cell phone pocket... and an extra non zip pocket. I interfaced it lightly since the felted sweater was already very stiff....I'm not quite done with this purse though... I feel like it needs more hardware or something... and ofcourse I need to add my label to it.
Over all I'm really happy with this bag!

This little bolero is a felted cashmere/wool blend. I am taking the left over brocade scraps and felting them into it.... I am not sure where this project is going honestly... I just knew I wanted to do something with those brocade scraps that took so long to felt.

I got this book in the mail this week and so far I am loving it! It has great chapters on pants! Very detailed instructions for knocking off rtw. Some couture methods made easy... easy alterations. I got it used off amazon.com for like $4 and shipping. Well worth it!! This is the best book I've bought in a while.

Just a little pic of my Bald Man before he goes off to coach his Lacrosse game... which was rained out!!! Poor Bald Man he so wanted to coach last night!

Thanks again to Faye at http://fayessewingadventure.blogspot.com/ for passing this award on to me!!!
I would like to pass it to my mom at http://cottonpatchquilts.blogspot.com/
for her excellent projects!
And to Laura at http://sewatsea.blogspot.com/ for her great handbag and dress projects and for her hilarious daily life stories!!!