It’s Halloween!!!! I’m excited. It is one of my favorite holidays and I treat it just like a holiday. BUT…. This year I didn’t make myself a costume. I know…. The neighborhood I live in doesn’t see any trick-or-treaters and my boss pissed me off so I decided not to dress while at work anymore…. (hopefully this is my last Halloween at this job). But the God needed a costume for his job’s celebration. So that’s where my machine worked this year.
Meet my Shaolin Monk….
Isn’t he a cutie pie? That is his tortured happy smile. Neither of us know how to smile for pictures. The costume was his idea. I wanted to do Despicable me and he be Gru and I could be a minion. But…. He is a big martial arts buff. He actually practiced some version of it because he had the pants and boots. He made me watch some movie so I could see the outfits in action. I fell asleep and he paused it until I woke up. It was something about 36 chambers of something. IDK…
Here is the inspiration...
This costume was ridiculously easy to make. Simplicity 5152. I got this at a thrift store for like a dime. It was already cut to a medium. And I had already made the 7 a tunic from this pattern before so I knew we were good.
Changes I made included opening the sleeve to make it wide at the end and adding 10” to the length. The 7 has freakishly long arms but he wanted it to be open like that. I added 22” to length of the garment but kept the side splits at 16” from the sleeve. I didn’t add the front or neck facings. I wasn’t sure I had enough fabric to do that. I just cut both pieces on the fold and added a collar an inch thick. I changed the front a bit to. It called for a deeper opening than he wanted.
I used a yellow linen looking fabric that was in my stash. I intended to make a dress from the fabric. But…. Yellow on darkskinned people is a bit off putting. I know. I’m working through that. It was easy to work with and it has some stretch to it. The red scarf is 3 yards of uncut red cotton. He was supposed to draw lines on it like were in the movie but he chickened out last minute. I’m not sure if you can see it but on his legs there are like these white cuffs? It was part of the uniform and I have no clue what they are for. A yard of fabric cut in half with about and inch folded over and a bootleg drawstring. By bootleg, I crocheted a strand and ran it through. It’s dark and no one will be able to see it. And I even strung those beads.
When making costumes…. I don’t put a lot of thought into finishing or making sure seams are secure. Especially if it’s loose. My personal requirements are that everything is neat and doesn’t explode at some odd moment. It’s going to be worn 1 day and forgotten afterward. I put a bit more effort into this garment because the people who see this may become potential clients. So…..
All in all he’s thrilled. He claims that this is going to be his costume for all his costume needs for years to come. Now I wish I had finished better. LOL. there is always next year. And I am happy that I could play a role in seeing him so happy
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 12:28 PM
Monday, October 21, 2013
It’s been awhile has it not? I made another skirt version of B5760. I have come to some serious acceptances…. Pencil skirts and A-line skirts look best on me. So I’m not doing the full skirt trend. I just don’t want to look big as a house. B5760 is my TNT pencil skirt pattern. I have made this pattern so much that I can get it up and running in an hour from start to finish with completely satisfying and predictable results. So I’m not going to review this skirt I’m showing you. But it does bring out questions…..
An African patient came into the office and she had on an “African print” garment that I admired. I will freely admit that I don’t know what to call them. Everyone seems to call them “African Print” so I will too. I admired it because it was beautiful. The next time she came in the office, she gave me an entire outfit; top, shirt to wrap and head wrap. I adore it. Here is the print.
I don’t really have an occasion where “African Print” is the required dress code. When I used to go to church and we would rock these prints on a Sunday in February. But I don’t do church anymore. I suppose I could wear it to a parliament but I don’t like to get that dressed up for them. I tend to wear this outfit for a special occasion (a wedding, presentation, for when I don’t know what to wear but feel like I need to dress up) and sometimes to work.
Another African patient saw me in my AP outfit and she got mad at me. Her exact words were, “I want to fight you. You don’t wear that to work. You wear it to a party or special event!” Well I didn’t know that. And now that I know that, I realize it doesn’t make much difference. I would not wear it to a party because at parties I dance. I’d be worried that the safety pin that was holding the skirt together would fail at the most inopportune time. I’m no longer a Christian so church is out (I see Ghanaian people wearing this type of print to a church in my neighborhood). I suppose I should throw it out?
No I’m not.
I was in African store that sells fabric. I found the fabric that I made this B5760 skirt from on sale. I have wanted to make the skirt I made, and out of this particular print. I have been waiting for it to go on sale. The African woman who was ringing me up asked me if I was from an African country. I said no (just because I’m Black doesn’t make me African). She asked me what I was going to do with the fabric. I said make a skirt. She asked where I was going to wear said skirt. That’s where it stopped for me. I asked her if she was willing to sell me the fabric. She did. We were done.
Here is my question…. Am I appropriating another’s culture by wearing their fabric? I LOOOOOOOVE saris and would love to wear one as Indian women do. But I don’t because I’m not Indian. I see how that is disrespectful. BUT... I would wear a garment made out of sari fabric without thinking about whether it was appropriate or not. I would never wear a Native American headdress, but I would wear their jewelry. I might have worn a burqua before. It wasn’t because I was trying to be modest but because I was trying to prove a point to someone. I like to think I’m culturally sensitive.
My see is it’s about the garment and not the fabric. Fabric is objective where the display is subjective.
How do y’all see that?
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 10:28 AM
Monday, September 9, 2013
It's been a while since I posted. I have nothing to report. I'm a be super honest.... I don't like my sewing room. This house that I have been living in for 2 years, is a step down/ half the square footage from/of the house I lived in previously. So I have to share my space with the 7. I think he keeps his area a mess and he feels the same about me. Coupled with the fact that there is refrigerator, his microwave and other foolishness in there... I just don't feel super comfortable in there. It's hard for me to get in sew mode. But these questions have been all over my news feed so I thought I'd build on them for the post. LOL!!!!
1. Do you cut with your fabric RS out or WS out?
Took me a minute to figure out what WS and RS was. I think it means right and wrong side. If it does, I always cut the fabric on the right side. BUT... I don't always cut with the pattern on the right side. I use whatever is convenient.
2. How do you make your pattern markings?
Another question I don't quite understand. If it means how do I transfer marking from the pattern to the fabric.... I use a pen or a pencil. For real. If your gonna sew and fold it after sewing your not going to see it anyway. So...... I have occasionally used a sharpie. And everything has always come out fine. Don't judge me!
3. Do you follow the cutting layout in patterns?
Until this very post... I never even considered that those pictures were suggestions on how to cut out the pattern. I don't know what I thought they were. Maybe just artwork? And I have been sewing for over 30 years!
4. Are you obsessed with re-folding your pattern tissue on or very close to the original fold lines?
YES!!! Absolutely. And I'm good at it. Even after I iron a pattern down I can refold it back to the factory fold. I'm proud of this ability
5. Do you make all the markings?
Another Question I don't get. I make all the marking that I'm supposed to make. Now as far as those things on the pattern that stick out or in... I don't make those. They are ridiculous to cut. Again... Everything always comes out fine.
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 9:29 AM
Monday, July 22, 2013
The God and I went out with 2 of my friends. He doesn't have friends here without me, yet. We don't really have a lot of couple friends. We both have these social yet anti-social tendencies. Plus for some reason, in our Culture functional relationships are not the norm. Who knows.... But we had a double date with married friends of mine. These friends are really important to me. We became friends when I 1st moved to GA. They had been friends with me and my late husband. Then they were church friends. I had a lot of those. But when I left that particular church and started to attend another... I lost all the friends I had there. You know those friends who claimed to be ride or die friends... This couple remained close. When I left the church all together, they still remained my friends. I adore these people. But... I guess I found their limits. Since the God and I have been together they have become distant... Oh well. They invited us to attend something and we went.
The biggest thing that keeps me from going out, is I don't have a lot of going out clothes. the clothes I acquire are work clothes. Now my job is very casual, and there is very little I cannot wear so my limitations usually have to do with 3/4ths. I don't club. So when I "go out" it's usually to some function. See? this is getting more and more convoluted. Every summer I get a going out dress. Since when I do go somewhere it will always be with different people. I can wear the dress over and over again. My idea of a perfect "going out" dress is one that will shift from day to evening. Since I will get the most use out of something I can also wear to work. M6553 fit the bill.
I have had the pattern for some time now. I bought it when it 1st came out. It's a loose fitting dress and on big girls loose fitting is synonymous to sloppy. I don't do sloppy. I bought the fabric 2 years ago to make a shirt dress. Where shirt dresses have their place... that place is not on my back. My clothes need to be just a tad edgy. But I have seen so many versions of M6553 that I had to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
Pattern Description: Misses Dress and belt
Pattern Sizing: 14-22 (I cut 22)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes and no. Essentially they were but the instructions about where to place the belt vent was not there. I read them and re-read them. Folk have pics with them put in so I had to guess. I wish I had put it in higher. I still can but I wish to have done it the way I wanted up front.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I was surprised that something so loose fitting would work for me
I didn't like the lack of vent instructions
Fabric Used: Blue rayon. I don't like fabric that frays like this. Enough said
Yardage: 3 yards
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I lengthened it an inch. I need for my knees to be covered. It kind of worked and kind of didn't. Everything lined up except the front piece. I am certain that I lengthened it an inch like I did the other pieces but it was exactly an inch short. That's why my knees are out. I don't know if it was supposed to be like that. ALSO.... I lost a pattern piece for the back yoke. I re-drew based on the directions and the pattern pieces that were there. I don't know what to say about that.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and Yes. I applied and interviewed for a ptj. And if I get it, i will be required to wear black. I found 3 yards of black fabric in my stash, I will use that to make another one but this time in a smaller size.
But my question is how many of this dress can one have in one's wardrobe?
I really like it.
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 12:04 PM
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Tonight starts the newest installation of Project Runway!!! Woo Hoo!
I have been all over the Lifetime website learning what I can about the new designers. I already have my favorites. Just to make the cut is amazing. I know I couldn't do it.
My only PR rant is its a bit predictable. The basic challenge is how fast can one make a couture dress. It used to be way more fun, but I suppose that's hard to keep up. But I still find it a solid show. It's helpful to see how much drama goes in making garments from people who do this for a living. If they never did those challenges with car parts or candy or whatever, I'd still watch.
I will be sitting there with my popcorn and grape soda. I will route for the self taught home sewers and/or the Black people. Hey! It is what it is.
Who is going to be watching?
I have some sewing plans of my own. KiKi is not 100% She is more like 62%. I need a new bobbin case. This I know. And she is has this funny smell. It smells like alcoholic oil. It might be from what the maintenance people did. IDK.... I have a 60 day warrantee on it so I'm a ride this out to see what gives.
My family reunion is the weekend of 8/2. I need a dress for the banquet. I have yellow fabric and red fabric. If I use the yellow it will be S2588 the floral version on the cover. If I use the red it will be M5972 the b version. I have to bar tend at the reunion so I need to be comfortable... Long story. I also have M6533 qued to make.
At some point, summer sewing must cease. It is mid July and eventually I will want to start fall sewing. But it won't get cool here until November. I really shouldn't be concerned, but you know how it is....
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 11:14 AM
Monday, July 8, 2013
Clearly I was premature with the death report. So many of y'all were so kind during my bereavement. I took her to 2 different repair people and called a bunch more. No one wanted to touch her. Said she was too old. I have been making plans to get another machine. I was even ready to move on one of these new-fangled sewing/embroidery machines. I had a conversation with an older woman who I knew sewed and lived in the city. I was Building with her because I knew she had multiple machines and I was wanting her to give me one. I'm not proud, but I was desperate. Or at least sell me one. What she did give me was some advice and a phone number. I called this man and he said that he could fix KiKi. Really?
So I took KiKi over to http://www.atlantasewing.net/. I had seen that place before. It's near a thrift shop I frequent. But it also sells and services vacuum cleaners. That's why I never thought to take her there. I was told if I got her there early enough, I could get her back the same day. I took off work to do this. The repair man took 1 look at the machine and told me what was wrong with it. And he was right. I have mixed feelings about this... On one hand, I am super excited to have my baby back working just like she did before. On the other hand it cost $80. I could have bought a new machine for $80. See my conundrum? And it's not like anything was broken or repaired. He said it was "gunked up." That $80 bucks caused me to be overdrawn in my checking account AND I got a ticket (for an out brake light, that requires me to go to court) behind the repair. I feel some type of way.
Well.... I got some sewing done on Saturday. I made 4 garments in 8 hours. I had a lot of pent up mojo inside. These garments came out quick too. I finished the patriotic dress, I made 2 skirts and a top. They weren't really that hard. Most were patterns I have made before. The only pattern I hadn't sewn before is NL6463. Let me tell you something... That is a very easy pattern. So easy I'm ashamed to review it.
I used the rest of a Wal-Mart fabric from which I made a blouse. I had always planned to make a skirt to match. Everything went together so easily that I was finished with this skirt in 40 minutes from cut to hem. Seriously. I wanted a skirt with some flounce at the bottom. This fabric is supper bold. I wasn't sure if I wanted it all over so that's why I chose to make separates. the skirt was super easy I mean SUPER easy. I added 3" to it... and that is where the drama begins...
The finished waist dimension for this skirt say that for the size 18, which is the largest size, it should be 34". Well my waist is 43". Don't judge me.... Seems like I should have added 9" to the skirt right? Right? had I been a newbie sewist I would have. But since I have a bit of wear under the hood, I measured the pattern directly. I only needed to add 3" vs the 9" the pattern would have had me add. That is a pisser right there. This is why newbies quit sewing. But other than that it was a very easy and satisfying pattern to whip up.
So back to this machine thing..... I have always serviced my own machine. I'm a continue to do so. $80 is a lot of money. Think about this... I could have bought a brand new machine for $90! And since I have been handling my business for all these years, I'm going to continue to do my own maintenance. I'm still getting more machines. Definitely a cheap back up for when KiKi has to go to the doctor. Let's face it. She is 30. There will be more problems. I probably need a new bobbin case. I want to get into embroidery. The issue is do I get a combo embroidery/sewing machine or an embroidery only machine and a sewing only machine? Either way, I'm still getting a cheap basic machine; but it will need to be brand spanking new. So many issues......
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 2:25 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
I have not been sewing. I was in the middle of making a new patriotic dress (a dress to be worn on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor day and any other day where I need to rep the USA) and my baby of 30 years slowly just gave up the ghost and died. She died doing what she loved.
I got KiKi, my Kenmore Ultrastitch in 1984. My mother bought it for me for my 8th grade graduation. It's the only machine I have ever owned. Everything I have ever made came through that machine. I'm not sure I can sew on another machine. I tried to have her fixed but the repair man said he didn't have parts for her. Sniff..... Pour some liquor out.
We know this isn't the end of me sewing. I will have to get another. Unbeknownst to me the God was planning to buy me a ridiculously expensive machine that does more than I know how to do for my Born day. But... my Born day is in November and he has only saved $200 towards that machine that costs $1000.
I have been doing the Knowledge to differnet types of machines and I think I want this one....
She makes 600 stitches. It has everything KiKi had and more. It does some embroidery, but it isn't an embroidery machine. The reviews are way better than the other machine the God was going to buy. I'm excited. But I don't have the $$$ to buy right now. It costs more than $200. You see... I live close to my paycheck. All my mad $$ comes from my side gig which includes sewing that I can't do because I don't have a machine! I am a notary and have considered raising my fees to $20... Think someone will pay that? LOL!!!! I'm not waiting until November.
My mother said she would give me some $ for a new machine, and said I need to get another machine like KiKi. Mommie said if my next machine lasts another 30 years, chances are I won't be sewing when I'm 72. LOL! But I don't like taking money from other people and that includes my parents. I'm grown. I behave that way. I need to find a spare machine from somewhere. I have been to thrift stores. Those machines don't work and/or they don't have all the pieces. I have been to Craigslist and yard sales but folks want to sell their used stuff like it was new. I am in a bit of a conundrum.
But I have learned valuable lessons from this experience (otherwise why have them)... I have often wondered why people have several machines. I figured they didn't get the one they wanted. I only have 1 car. Why do you need a bunch? But now I see you need a spare in case something goes wrong with one, you're not out of business... like I am. I think I will get a dedicated embroidery machine next. And I'm on the fence about wanting/needing a serger. They so don't look user friendly.
Anyway. Just wanted to let you know why I went ghost.
Posted by Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth at 11:28 AM