Friday, October 29, 2010

You Know What They Say About Women With Big Feet ...

I have big feet. I hit a size 10 when i was 10. I wasn't even 5 feet then. People called me a duck. Yet another reason for me to learn to fight.

My feet are pretty much the same size. I fluctuate between 9.5 and 11, depending on how the shoe is made. I also made it up to 5'4".

I went shopping today for some 5-finger shoes. I tried a woman's 10... too tight. A woman's 11... to tight. A man's 42.... fit. Damn.

While in the store, I saw a bunch of shoes that I kind of liked. Mind you it was not a department store. This was more of an eclectic shop with Crocs and Birkenstocks. I am truly thinking about getting a pair of these ugly shoes. Y'all don't know how much my feet hurt. They hurt a lot all the time. Department store shoes have failed me. Maybe the time has come for me to accept my lot in life and begin acquiring a couple of few of these ugly beasts.

I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

More on the Mojo

The reason I'm updating this so soon is because I won't be at work again until November 1st. It's unlikely I'll update over the weekend. Especially this one. It's a rally weekend.

I did 2 things last night that I hoped would restore my mojo. I cleaned and rearranged my sewing room (I'm counting that as 1 thing). And I put in a stereo. It really helped. Maybe I changed the feng shui.

My dream for my sewing room is to one day become a nursery. A lot of the items in there currently, will be used for a nursey should that ever happen. The cabinet where I keep my stash will hopefully one day be painted white and decoupaged for use as a baby's wardrobe. The location of my notions, will with luck one day be a dedicated changing table. And the table that is currently supporting the stereo and patterns will become a side table to go next to the rocking chair I don't own yet because I am not yet pregnant.

Ever since I bought the house with my late 1st husband that was the plan for that room. It became a sewing room by default. He didn't care for the messiness of sewing so close to the front door. The plan was put on hold when he returned to the essence, and ressurected with my current God. We shall see. If and when I need to move all my sewing stuff out, the downstairs office will receive a new door (messiness again) and a new desk for my passion. I have already begun tricking the closet out to support my stash. I don't want to completey finish it because I don't want to start loading it up or have to de-assemble it should the bundle never arrive. I will be 40, 2 weeks from yesterday.

I forced myself to work on the God's robe. I pulled out the ugly contrasting trim. The fabric doesn't even match the fabric of the robe. It's jersey knit! Only to find that there isn't enough fabric for a contrasting belt! I ain't buying no more. I pulled some remnants from the making of the robe and cut up an old black t-shirt. Between the remnents and the shirt, the belt will get finished. I'm not even sure the belt will be looped on the outside. I'm putting a large Universal flag on the back of the robe that shouldn't be disturbed by a belt. I might put the loops on the inside of the robe and have them emerge from the sides. We'll see.

I cut out the shapes for the Universal for both the robe and the jacket. I did not cut the rays for the jacket or the star for either. Stars are hard and I started working late. Once the room became more user friendly, I went in there and began the process of piecing parts together. All the rays for the robe are together and the sun has it's crescent moon and 7-pointed 7. So far so good, although I am not crazy about the color of the gold thread. It didn't match exactly. When I do my jacket, I will try clear thread and see what that looks like. Another thing I noticed was that the cream fabric is relatively sheer. The rays are gold and black. If I don't do something, they will be seen through the Universal. Now you may say, "Big deal, it's a robe." I said the same thing, but I wouldn't want any thing I was wearing to look half assed. So I will line it with something. Initially I thought white, but now I'm thinking something darker, like black or brown. That will totally hide the base of the rays, give the cream more warmth and make the crescent moon pop a little more. Again, we'll see.

See why I said the addition of the stereo helped? I stayed in that room longer than I would have normally. I worked until midnight and I have to get up at 5:30 am. Yeah I'm tired, but it's a good tired. One laced with accomplishments. I have a small TV that would be nice in there, but it's an old TV and I'd have to bust out my coverter box to get infomercials. Cable and satellite has us by the balls, do they not? TV is supposed to be free. I usually watch videos on my laptop, but I have seen all the ones I have and The God's movies are scary. Plus, since he can 'acquire' movies, there is no need to continue my relationship with my bootlegger. So there is just the music. And so far so good.

Hopefully tonight I will finish the robe and the jacket before Sunday. Project Runway finale come on this evening. Making me wish there was a TV in the sewing room. (Go Andy or Mondo!) There may be sewing before and/or after. And I am off tomorrow....

When I finish (notice I didn't say, If I finish) I will take a pic of both garments and post them. I probably could do that before the weekend is out... maybe. I'm not saying I found my mojo. I'm just saying I think I know where it migh be hiding.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lost Mojo Reward

Peace Folks....

Have y'all seen my mojo? I swear I had it a minute ago.

I have so many unfinished items on the table. Remeber I said that I wanted to finish everything in August so that I could focus on fall sewing? Well that was a dream. It kills me to not live up to the 11:14. B.U.T. I rather just not finish projects than do a shitty job on them and then have no usefulness for me.

I have the God's bathrobe hanging on the bedroom door, taunting me. All it needs is a collar and the flag. I allowed the God to choose his own contrasting color for said robe and he choose.... Black. I hate it. A royal blue robe with black collar, belt and cuffs. I know it's not my robe, but it's still an ugly combo in my estimation. But I must push on.

I still have the flag to add to my denim jacket. You would think I would jump on it since that is what I need to do with the robe. But the flag for my jacket is way smaller than the flag for his robe. I actually had an inspiration. Ideas but no desire to work them. I plan to bedazzle aspects of the flag. My thoughts were to bedazzle all the golden aspects. The moon and the half rays. Then bedazzle my name at the bottom. Mad cool right? I found someone with a bedazzler. All I have to do is find the dazzles.

And then there is the baby quilt.... 2 years ago I began the painful process of making a quilt for a former friend. I let her pick out her colors. I never do that. I hate quilting. But folks ask me to make quilts like I love to. I will NOT make big items for other people, but I will teach them to do it for themselves. When they see how much work is involved they usually back off. There is a reason why it took several grown women to make 1 quilt. Should I agree to make something, I usually take complete creative control. If I gotta be trapped in the sewing room doing piddly, and slow sewing, I ought to enjoy the colors, right? But no.... I broke my own rules (11:14) and let her pick colors I never would. I designed the quilt, though. Lavender, blue and camoflage. Really? I purchased all the stuff (fabric, batting, special thread) out of my own pocket and proceeded to cut it all out. The design calls for 4 big squares... 24", but each square is very intriquite. I took me 3 hours to sew one completed square. That doesn't include the decorated trim or the back of the quilt. After I had completed about 1/3 the damn thing, the FF called and said she didn't want anymore blankets. WTF! She KNEW I was making a custom quilt. See why she is former and not current? The God kept me from slapping the taste out of her mouth by suggesting we use it for our own children or sell it for money. He likes it, but I would never use it for my children because I will be putting bad energy into it. But I started it, and it's all cut out. What else can I do with the pieces other than finish it?

These projects feel like a sword over my head. They are keeping me from starting the new stuff I want to do. Remember I have a list of fall projects. I just swapped out my winter clothes and I always take that time to discard things I don't intend to wear. Also, you rarely see me plan for casual/weekend sewing. That's because when my work clothes wear down, they get shifted to casual/weekend wear. I tend to be more dressed than other people in general in the casual cipher (I got that from my 1st husband who only owned 1 pair of jeans and 1 pair of sneakers that he bought at a gas station. He used both to do yardwork and that's it). I'm running low on nice clothes!

My bornday is coming up and I always wear something new on that day. I wanted to make something, but I don't think I have the time. If I did, it would be a lovely gray dress that I could wear my pearls with..... Looks like I may have to buy something. Last weekend I had 4 days off and did nothing!!! NOTHING Damnit!!!! I'm sick about it. I could have finished everything. I slept. This weekend has rally Sunday in it and I like to do a big dinner on the rally days for my Universe. The rally is usually about 4-5 hours , a half hour away from the kingdom. Prearing for the event itself and making a proper vegetarian dinner takes time away from sewing. And I KNOW the God will not be cool with going out to dinner. Crap!

I never feel like sewing when I get home from work. No surprise when it takes me 90 minutes to get home then I have to cook dinner. I have nothing after that. And this week, I have the moon to greet me, and her campanion... cramps. There is nothing in the tank.

This stuff has to get finished. Folks be like, just start and the mojo will come back. Not really. My workmanship is crappy when I do it like that. And I never really learned how to bypass the "I don't give a fucks". I really don't know what to do. I suppose I will take a bit of my late mother in law's advice... "If you do a little bit everyday, it all gets done." I will try to give it 30 minutes a day the rest of the working week. We shall see.....


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

V1202: My Cherry is Gone!

I did it! I busted my cherry! I sewed a vogue pattern!!!!!

I'm not saying I sewed it well. But I did complete it very close to the pattern directions. I am very excited!!!!

OK.... to the details.... It is Vogue 1202, the wrap shirt. It is amazing on the envelope. And the pattern itself was $30! But you know me... I got it on sale for $3.99. The fabric is a brown or burgundy (I can't tell) knit. Very similar to the color on the envelope. It has an open back, and since I wear a J-cup, I have NO business looking at anything that is supposed to be worn without a bra. I will wear a shirt underneath it. I don't care.

Pattern Description:

A crazy modern open backed turtle neck

Pattern Sizing:
12-18. I cut 18 I should have cut a 16. When you wear it for a minute, it loosens up.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Hell no!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

This is my kind of top. Not vintage but very stylish

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a bunch. I couldn't figure out how to do the back. I spent weeks sewing and pulling out the stitches. Finally, I put a band on the back, took out the ruffles on the front piece, finish the edges and use it as a tie.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. Definitely to an experienced sewist. Not saying I am a professional, but I can do a little something something.

I love this shirt. Not in my wickedest nightmares will I ever attempt to make the skirt. I looked at the pattern and got chills. Besides, my hips are too big to concern myself with that.

Positive Education Corrects All Errors!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just because your Granny sewed doesn't mean you know how


Lately I have been feeling rather pussy-ish. Meaning, I have been bitching more than a little bit. Everything is hurting my feelings now a days. I watch a lot of I Didn't Know I was Pregnant, and often wonder if I'm pregnant and don't know it. I have been VERY emotional, my baby cab has all this movement going on inside, I'm tired, hungry, gaining weight and have been having a LOT of unprotected sex with the God. I have everything but 2 lines on the test and cessation of my cycle. Although my cycle has diminished significantly. I am almost 40. I would LOVE to be pregnant (today, could change tomorrow) but I would like to know. Anyhoo.... My feelings have been getting hurt and it's sewing related.

I don't like sewing for other people. Since I don't have a business, the only people who ask me to sew for them,are people I share social equality with. I hate sewing for friends. They ask to much of you. Whatever they want, they want it immediately and they bitch and moan about it while insulting me in the process.

A preacher friend of mine asked me to make him a cassock robe. Initially I balked, but then agreed. Since we are friends I only asked him to pay for the stuff, I would kick my labor in as a donation to his ministry. He wholeheartedly agreed. I told him where to get the stuff and that's the last I heard of it. Why he let it slip yesterday that he paid someone $200 to make the same robe? My feelings are hurt.

Another example....
A work friend of mine was starting a new career as a Realtor. Her work wardrobe had been rather casual, and since she wants to sell high end property she needs to fake the funk until she can afford it. She bought a cute suit at a consignment shop but it needed to be altered. She knows I do not like sewing for others but she asked me to alter it for her anyway. The day she asked me to do it was the day before she had to show her 1st property. the tears floating in her eyes convinced me to do it. I had something planned for the same evening that I had to blow off to get the job done. Oh yeah and I had to go out and find matching thread and notions. did I mention she didn't pay me anything? the next day I return it to her and she had all these changes she wanted me to make. Now mind you, I altered it to her exact specifications. Changes? turns out she didn't need it done the next day. She lied to me to get me to do it.

Yet another example...
A friend of mine had just purchased a home. I know from experience that when you purchase a home you tend to be money challenged for a minute until you get your bearings. As a house warming present, I offered to make drapes for her den. she had been telling me that she wanted them. I made the drapes in my living room. She knows this. I never get anything but compliments on them from her and others. she told me that she doesn't want homemade curtains. WTF! But guess what? 2 months later she comes to me when she realizes how much custom made drapes where gonna cost her. I said "Hell to the NO!!!!" and "Kiss my ass Bitch!"

I can squeeze this example in....
My sister bought a sewing machine. She's crafty and I can buy her interest in sewing. I have been suggesting she buy a machine for years, but it took her maid to convince her to do it. Her maid promised to teach her to sew. she didn't let that jewel out when she first told me about her acquisition. turns out the maid just wanted to use a machine to sew on and had not intention on teaching my sister to sew. Now the maid no longer is in her employ. she still has her machine, but it's missing pieces. Hmmmm.... A new machine is missing big pieces and now it cant run? She wants me to buy the machine from her. My machine works fine. She said I need a spare. She's knocking $20 dollars off the price she paid for it since it's less than 6 months old. But the acquire the pieces to complete it will cost more. No thank you.

Last Example I Promise....
One of the Cipher chicks (I refuse to call her Earth. She ain't) here in Allah's Garden who knows I sew. I sew more and more and everyday I have on something I made. She makes a loud statement in front of people that she is gonna come to the crib (uninvited) for a few hours and let me teach her how to sew. Really? this is insulting on so many levels. First of all it took me years to learn to sew. I took many classes and had many mentors. There are still things that I want to learn. The implication that you can learn to do everything that I can do in an afternoon is insulting. She made this declaration in front of an audience. So my options were to smile, nod and go along letting people think that my addiction is all light and fluffy. Or... Put her on blast. I did the former.

I really hate sewing for people. It's gotten tot the point that I hate talking about sewing to people. I don't want to doe your repairs. That's not sewing. I don't want to make costumes for your kids. This is not novelty with me. It's how I do.

Unless someone has a business, don't ask them to sew for you. And if they offer, say no!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Simplicity 5898

I made the above dress. Yes I know its a maternity dress. No I'm not pregnant. I assumed that a maternity dress would fit my boobs. Even so I graded it up 2 sizes and added 6 inches to the bottom. The pattern was from 1965 and that was the mini skirt era. Turns out I didn't need to, and I ended up cutting 6 inches off the bottom. Its all good. I'll make it again when I get pregnant. So here we go. My 1st pattern review.....

Pattern Description
A-line short sleeved or sleeveless maternity dress.

Pattern Sizing

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did

Were the instructions easy to follow?
I suppose. I didn't follow them... much. I saw at the end that I could have made it a lot easier than I did.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I should have followed the instructions

Fabric Used:
Dark brown suiting. I found out after wearing it it was too heavy for the dress.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I graded it up 2 sizes but didn't need to. Since it is heavy, I will probably convert it to a jacket and skirt. It's just that much heavy fabric

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes. I plan to sew this a lot since I now know it will fit and come together so lovely. I will use it for maternity dresses. and I will use only light weight fabric for it.

Very easy and very cute. My 1st official vintage dress from start to finish. It is very good.



Peace to my 1 only reader!!!!

I don't just blog to be popular, I blog because it's cathartic. Also in this particular blog it's good because I have a platform to display my Understanding (3) of my chosen Culture(4).

One of the things that pisses me off is how expensive sewing has become. I can only blame the economy in this capitalist society. As the economy has soured, more folks have turned to home sewing. Now all the home sewing stuff has gotten off the chain expensive. It is NOT cheaper to make your own clothes. There used to be fabric stores in every neighborhood when I lived in NJ. Here in GA, there are fabric stores are few and far between, and they mostly sell upholstery fabrics and not clothing fabric. The ones where you can find a little something something, are Joann's, Hancocks, and Gayle's... you know the corporate companies. And they are expensive. I mean why would I pay $8/yard for fabric, $30 for a pattern and $10 for notions? I wouldn't. And it's not even like the fabric in those stores are the hotness.

There is a ghetto fabric shop in my neighborhood. What makes it ghetto is, (a) it's in the hood, (b) they have fabric at rock bottom prices $1-2 and the people working in there are tres' ghetto! They might have 20 teeth between all of them working there and they give you their asses to kiss. Our people... What are you gonna do. We also have an Asian shop that carries fabric, but their stuff is mostly synthetic. I don't like synthetic, but their notions cannot be beat!!!! So that's how I roll when I want to get my sew on.

But like I have been saying, it's not really cost efficient to really delve into making my own clothes if these were my only options..... But Ghetto Refined Princess that I am I have found a solution.... Thrift stores!

Thrift stores are wonderful for so many things. Depending on what you need to create you can find most everything at the thrift stores for the low low. But you have to approach it form a different perspective. You probably aren't going to find a bolt of fabric, you might (I have before) but probably not. So you have to look at the clothing hanging there for inspiration.

I needed a fancy black dress to sing in a Christmas concert. I like to sing so much that I will sing in church concerts. Shoot me! But my life isn't such that I have great need for fancy holiday dresses. Off to Value Village I went. Now, I'm a big girl. It's the reality of my life. I have made my peace with it. It's not like there is going to be a fabulous dress hanging there is a standard size 16 with the boobage extended to a 20. My determined idea was black velvet (black velvet tends to be the same color and blends well with other fabrics and colors) dress. I found 3. They were having a 3 for 1 sale. BOOM! I took them jokers home, niggarigged a ball gown complete with jacket and headwrap in one evening. I got more compliments than a little.

When you do this type of shopping you have to keep your eye open for buttons, zippers, and stray pieces. A long skirt in a size 12 may fit a size 16 if you cut it low off the waist. It will be shorter but it will work. You can take pre-made clohtes apart and use them as pattern muslins. You can use adult clothes as fabric for children's clothes. And it will be way cheaper than fabric stores.

Another example....
I am making a season-less denim dress. Technically it's a sundress but it is completely cute worn with a turtle neck and boots. Thin denim is hella expensive. So..... You know what I did, I went to the thrift store and purchased several denim dresses and I will rig them into the dress I want. The caveat in this situation is I can use the back of one of the dresses as the back of the dress I'm rigging it into! Saves me some work and the stitching on the back is cute, and probably not a detail I would do if I was making this dress from scratch. Denim fabric in Hancocks... $7.99/yard (I'd need 5 yards). 3 thrift store denim dresses total....$8. Saving a grip of money and time... priceless!