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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Look 6648

Peace,

I don't normally buy Nu Look patterns. They don't go on sale. I don't pay full price for patterns. This pattern had been on my radar for a minute. When I saw it on sale at Joanns I snatched it up. I wanted to scream BINGO! Anywho......

I have wanted a striped outfit as well. I know I'm a big girl and big girls should stay away from big horizontal stripes but screw that. I want what I want.


Pattern: Nu Look 6648




Description: Women's Knit Tops

Size: 16

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? No because I changed it a bit

Fabric: a 'sweatery' fabric with stretch in both directions

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't use them

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I need adult tops and this is one that doesn't look too juvenile but I am able to get the girls in them

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? I blended views A and C. I wanted A's neckline but B's sleeves.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. And Yes. I'm already making plans. And I can see view D as a 'go to' for the summer


I made a skirt too, but the God said don't wear both together it's just too overpowering, and he says I look like I'm in a chain gang. LOL! What does he know?




Peace!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fashion Fantasies


Peace….

You what a fashion fantasy of mine is?… But will probably never happen? Make small new wardrobes every season. While discarding the previous seasons. So, make a brand new wardrobe (I suppose a SWAP) every season. I have a friend who kind of does this, but she buys a ‘new’ wardrobe from the thrift shops every season and donates it back when she gets her new one. That’s nasty.

You have seen those magazine articles that will have like 10 pieces that they mix and match and make 50-11 different combinations that look completely different? I would like to do that for fall and then spring seasons. If I did that then I could get my closet under control and not have a million pieces of this and that in there preventing me from getting dressed quicker. (Takes me FOREVER every morning. And laying out clothes the night before only works 50% of the time. I’ll change my mind while sleeping.) My home is about 14 years old so it has a walk-in closet, but not like the celebrities have with shelves and drawers and such. I tried to put a bookshelf in there for shoes, but it ain't that big of a closet. I got a Target brand shoe holder. I could have more space for accessories, jewelry, shoes and purses (Which I’m a go back too. I put myself on shoe-purse punishment but I’m about to go off….!) and I could fit that 3-way mirror in my closet like on “What Not to Wear” and a leopard print fluffy chair. I’d like to relax (having coffee or reading a book) in there. I'm thinking of painting it Hot Pink. But who paints a closet? But painting it would force me to take everything out of it and start over. We Shall see.

A perfect closet has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. As a child, I went to Catholic school and had few clothes outside of my uniform and 2 church dresses. But those additions would require me to downsize like a mug. Making a new wardrobes every season would keep me completely fashionably updated, satisfy my sewing addiction and get my charitable contributions on (since I stopped doing the church thing, I no longer have that donation statement at tax time). But what happens if I get lazy? Then I’d be naked. I don’t have that type of job.

Yeah …. That’s a pipe dream.

Another fantasy is to have a walk-in dressing ‘salon.’ When my 1st/late husband and I were considering purchasing a home in NJ, we looked at this one house that had this walk-in parlor. OMG! I want y’all to get this picture in your mental minds. This was an old house so these people remodeled. The master suite was originally 2 rooms that they combined. The bedroom was big and had a sitting/TV viewing area. Since it had a walk in close, there was no need for standard bedroom furniture. So there was a bed, plants, nightstands, bookshelves, and a fireplace separating the resting area from the lounging area that had a sofa, coffee table and TV.

This ‘parlor’ had windows. But… Because it had windows all the clothes were behind doors (My mother had a closet with windows and those windows allowed the sun to bleach her clothes!). You opened the French double doors from the bedroom and you’d find a hall that ended with a stained glass floor to ceiling window. There was one puffy chair and doors on both sides. Those side doors on the left opened to the wife’s clothing and the right doors opened to the husband’s. With both doors opened, it looked like a Macy’s showroom! There where shelves for shoes, drawers for accessories, shirts, pants, dress racks, purses, ties, EVERY-damn-THING. I get excited just thinking about it. Nothing was on the floor in front and behind the doors. The owners claimed to have ‘help’ that cleaned the closet floors weekly. The end doors had full length mirrors on the insides and flipped out in such a way that blocked the big window and could sort of 360* with them. And they had the nerve to have a pedestal in front of the window that you could stand on when the mirrors were out! That house was amazing on so many levels. And No, we couldn’t afford it but I wanted to look inside. That closet has been my inspiration closet since I saw it.

Would I like to have a closet like that? What do you think? But that desire wars with my crunchy philosophy of having a small wardrobe with only a few splurges outside of jewelry and accessories. So I remain torn. I would like to enter my closet in the morning naked, and emerge a beacon of classic and fashion forward hippiness. I would like my closet to be more organized, though. Looks like a bomb went off in there. And what of the chair and mirrors? I do have 2 of those cheap flat mirrors. But I haven’t figured how to rig them like a 360 yet. Maybe hang them from the back of the door and on the wall? And right now I could only fit a folding chair in there… Folded!

What are your fashion fantasies?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

M6438 Revised.....

Good Morning Good People!


I am Friday Foster aka Pam Grier. I am doing a guest post on Serenity’s blog. She asked me to show off an outfit that I wore in my movie Friday Foster. And here it is…..




The blouse is from an out of print pattern that Serenity made last year. I just love a good “Pussy bow.” The skirt is a revision of M6438. She initially made them 10” wider because that’s what the envelope said to do. I told her she should be making muslins but she is sincerely hard headed. The jacket and boots she had. I think that was one of the reasons she wanted to recreate my outfit from the 1970’s. Either way, I gotta get back to fighting for the people I love, taking care of my little brother and showing off my boobies during intimate scenes.



Later!

M6394 - Epic FAIL

Peace Good People……

This weekend was Cray Cray! I worked all day on Friday; which I only do once a month. And I had a girls night out afterward. I finished my “Pam Grier: Friday Foster” skirt. I started a new class for girl babies on Saturday. More on that later in my “Serenity’s Cipher” blog. I attended a ghetto memorial service. Yes it was ghetto, but it was good ghetto. And I made M6394…. Out of all the things I did this weekend. M6394 sucked it, the hardest.

1st…. I need to accept that I lost weight. You see those people on “What Not to Wear” and they lose truck loads of weight yet still dress frumpy. I have always wondered why they do that. I would show off weight loss. But I ALWAYS cut the biggest size. I also measure, but always the biggest size. I learned with a that I don’t have to do that. But I’m always thinking bigger is better than smaller because I’ll be able to take it in. M6394 is not that dress.

2nd… I could only find 1 review of the dress. Not even on patternreview.com. And the dress looked horrendous on the author of the blog. She freely admitted it as well. Sometimes we sewists make ugly clothes because of the fabric we choose. So I chose something reserved like cream/brown. I chose the brown for the sides because I thought it would be slimming.

3rd… There are like a bazillion pieces to this pattern. It took an entire evening to get everything cut out. (An entire evening for me is 2 hours. 2 hours from the time I get home, I’m in bed asleep. And that includes cooking dinner!) If I had to cut it out the old way, I would not have tried to sew it up the same day. But thanks to my new toys, I was able to get it all cut out before breakfast. After the breakfast dishes were in the washer, the clothes were in the washing machine and the God was parked in front of the TV for Sunday football, I adjourned to the “sweatshop” to have my personal time.

4th… Because of the 2 different colors, it required a lot of thread/bobbin changes. I wanted to do this right. So I was changing them out with each panel. I actually wanted to wear M6394 to the ghetto memorial service. I was on the program. But…. That didn’t happen.

It turned out too big. Way too big. I cut a 20 (the biggest size). I also cut a D-cup. I have big boobies. Really big. The bodice for a D-cup was waaaaaay to plunging. Who does plunging for the buxom anyway? More proof the pattern is flawed. I didn’t do a FBA because I was (a) using a D-cup and (b) I made the dress out of knit. I followed the directions to a tee. I had too. I kept the pattern pieces with the cut out pieces just to make sure I was using the right piece at the right time. The directions gave no information about properly finishing the wide neckline. I, also, lengthened it 3 inches. Glad I did that because it would have been too short. LOL! And I’m short! It’s not like I’m going to wear it anyway. I won’t even put it on because it looks indecent. It looks better on the hanger than it does on me. Maybe I should have made it in an 18? Maybe a different fabric? I don’t know.

I doubt I will adjust it since I KNOW I’m not going to wear it. Thankfully I used knits that where in my stash. I don’t keep a big stash. But I had 1.5 yards of brown and 1.5 yards of cream fabric. My “stash” is really, “I changed my mind” fabric.

So there you have it…. A wadder… a failure that I dedicated 6 hours to. I ain’t mad. Lesson learned. All those different pieces were a challenge to assemble; like a puzzle. But I did it.

http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m6394-products-14657.php?page_id=108




Peace

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Concrete Gray 101



Peace,

This is my 1st time building on my nails. But I just love the polish so much I had to share…..

A month or so ago, I was watching HSN. Queen Latifah was showing her “Queen Collection.” I watched the entire 2 hours. Not because I wanted any of that stuff (I don’t), but because I fell mesmerized by the color on her nails. I was a gray that was creamy, not mat, not dark not light. I had never seen a color like it. It’s all I could talk about while it was on. I was even trying to snap pictures of it. I still have about a half an hour still on the DVR. Precise thinks I am crazy.

I set out to find that polish. My nail shop does not carry colors I like. And I usually bring my own polish in there unless I’m doing an American manicure. I wasn’t disappointed to find they didn’t have it. What completely shocked me was that I did manage to find the gray color but it was an OPI brand. That joint was $8.99. I ain’t paying that for nail polish. The nail tech heard my rant on the price and said…. If I went ahead and bought it, she would take the price off my service if I left it there. Unfortunately, we had a parting of company before I could take her up on that offer. I only want the manager to do my nails and if she is busy I am unwilling to let the other folks do them. They take too long and do a poor job. So…….

Mommie and I went shopping and I wanted to stop at this new beauty supply store. The store used to be a former JCP. I thought they would only be using a part of the store. Nope. They used the whole damned building!!!!! And it’s packed with more weave than I have ever seen in my life in one place. And I have seen a LOT of weave in my day. They had a big nail polish selection (how could they not?). And guess what I found? Yeah baby!!!! Kleancolor’s Concrete gray101. I’m happy as a fat kid with cake!

Why did the new nail tech try to steal my polish?




Peace!

Monday, November 28, 2011

M6438

Peace.

What? You feeling spoiled? I don’t post on the weekends. But that’s normally when I can do the work. Then when I get back to work, I post my thoughts. Who new I was going to have so many thoughts today?

We all know that you should never drive while drunk or even tipsy. You shouldn’t text while driving too. But did you know you shouldn’t sew while dieting?

Ok…. In the last build, I said I had been dieting. I lost 22lbs on the hCg diet. You can see it too. That was the promise of the diet. Weight loss you can see. Anywho…. The sewing urge got too strong to resist. I wanted to make something for me. M6438 fit the build.



Let me give you the back story on this…. I was watching some Pam Grier movie. And she was wearing a full circle beige skirt, a beige jacket, a green shirt with a pussy bow and some brown boots. Pam kicked ass in that outfit in that movie (I cannot remember which one, but I remember the outfit!). I want to kick ass too. I already own a beige corduroy jacket and the boots. I made the green blouse last year. All I need is the circle skirt. (Am I the only one that watches movies with a sketch pad?) That is where M6438 came in.

Now for the Bull….. I measured myself around the waist. That is the part that would determine size for me. Even though it broke my heart, I needed to add 10 inches to the waist for the garment to fit… ACORDING TO THE JACK LEGGED DIRECTIONS!!!!! And with tears in my eyes, I did. Size ain’t nothing but a number, right? Also, the dress needed to be cut on the bias. More Bull. I had 4 yards of 45” beige corduroy. This shouldn’t be a problem for 1 skirt right? AND I shortened the dress 10”. I’m not tall but I needed the skirt to still be appropriately long. Y’all know I have rules and regulations with regards to my dress.

I ran out of fabric. It was that bias cutting. That was a complete waste of fabric. The quilt pile is lousy with beige corduroy now. ***Deep Breath*** I get another yard and a ½ (y’all lucky I had a coupon!) and finish cutting my dress.

I have never had a garment come together so easily. I did not have to pull out “oh ye seam ripper” once. It went together in 30 minutes. I let is hang overnight before I hemmed it. I don’t really know why. But somewhere, sometime, someone told me to do that. I hemmed it in the morning. I wanted to wear my Pam Grier outfit to the Parliament. The easiest machine hem I ever did. Once all the way around. I never even ran out of bobbin thread. Even the button holes were ez-pz.

Guess what. The damn skirt is too big. By about 10 inches! Now I know I lost 22lbs. But I know I didn’t lose 22lb from my waist. I took before and after measurements. My waist went down about 5”. And I cut that skirt while dieting; not before. That joker should have fit. You know what that tells me? That the envelope lies. If the envelope lies then why even bother with it? I suppose they are in cohoots with the fabric industry forcing folks to do muslins or get wadders. I could have cut it as is at the biggest size and been fine…. Busters! Now I’m a have to take my dress completely apart, cut 8” off of it and re sew it. All that easiness I experienced will in vain.

My plan is to take the waistband off, then cut the middle seam 4”. That saves me from having to rip the front and back and remove the zipper. That’s where I added the extra in the 1st place. The waist band will have to be recut. Shortening it will throw off the dimensions. Good thing I have all that extra fabric.

Y’all know I have recently in the last few years come around to patterns. They aren’t free and they aren’t cheap. They need to not lie. If it says it fits a waist of a certain inch, them damnit it should fit that! I ain’t happy. I should have been able to wear this outfit this week. It literally falls off when I put it on. And that is the reason why there is no picture of said skirt on me.

All in all.... I don't hate the design of the skirt. Now that I know how it does me, I will make the needed adjustments. I actually want a loose skirt in jersey knit for a road trip I'm planning in the future.



Peace

Man Sewing

Peace.

I know I have been telling you guys that I have been sewing. But I have offered no proof of it! I have been on the hCg diet for the last month and some change so I haven’t been trying to sew for myself. I did a bunch of alterations for the God and made him a few goodies.

Every time I go near a thrift shop, I feel compelled to stop. Not for clothes (though sometimes). But for patterns. I like vintage patterns but I am unwilling to pay more than what I’d pay for a new pattern. Folks kill me with that isht. They inherit grandma’s old patterns for free and want to get rich or die trying to make a profit. I’m not saying give them away, but don’t gouge folks either. All the vintage patterns I own came from the thrift store for 10 cents a pieces (where did the cents icon go on keyboards?). When I teach people how to sew, I encourage them to buy thrift store patterns and sheets to get started. And I won’t teach another person who doesn’t have their own machine. You aren’t serious without one. But I digress….


So I picked up M4223. I’m thinking it might be OOP, because it’s from 1974. So technically it’s either vintage or retro. The pattern is nearly 40 years old! All the pieces were present. and I LOVE that it was already cut in the size I wanted! XL! Now, the God is not a wide dude; actually he is very skinny if you saw him sans clothes. But he is a tall and long. He is 6’5” and has freakishly long arms and legs and wide shoulders. He is VERY lucky I sew. I have wanted to make clothes for him but (a) he doesn’t really need any, (b) he puts the flag on EVERYTHING I ever make for him (reminds me of Laverne and Shirley and that “L”) and (c) he and I don’t have the same esthetic. Everything he wants, earns the fisheye from me and vice versa. But he liked M4223.

I had just enough navy blue stretch corduroy in my stash to make it. I’m also concerned about where that fabric came from in the 1st place. I cannibalized a zipper from an old pair of pants I use as a muslin for his long legs. (The man is skinny! But don’t tell him that. He thinks he’s sexy). I went on and made him the top to satisfy the sick sewing craving. When he looked at the finished garment, he was so excited he made plans for future projects. He said that he was afraid of me sewing for him because he thought the finished items would look homemade. I asked him if my clothes looked homemade. He said some of them. (WTF?) Turns out, it’s not the start to finish garments but the re-fashions. I can live with that. I don’t do many re-fashions anymore. I converted a lot of pants to skirts when I stopped wearing pants.
Not the best image. But I was snapping pictures on my cell at 5:30 am before leaving the house for work. Cut me some slack please. And that is a small flag.



After the blue M4223 was made. My HoneyDo surprised me with 6 yards of camouflage fleece to make an entire outfit. Camouflage fleece? Really? I made another M4223 and then made NL 6634 pants. I put elastic at the bottom because he wanted sweatpants and deleted the cargo pocket. I suppose I removed the pocket because I have an aversion to cargo pants. You would too if you owned my hips. But now I’m thinking I maybe should have left them. These pants aren’t for me; he wouldn’t look hippy with cargo pockets. I did add regular pockets to the pants. I suppose cargo pants would have been more him. Oh well it’s done now and he is happy as a pig in poop. Of course he added 3 flags to the camo outfit. SMH. I am a little annoyed because he used all the big flags. I wanted one for a denim jacket I have. I was waiting to borrow my friend’s bedazzler. The elder God who sold me the flags is now back in Now Why. Oh well…

The pants are on the left of the screen and the top is on the right. Those are the bigger flags.


Peace

You ain't NUDE!!!!!

Peace Y’all,

It’s time build on one of my pet peeves. It’s a trend that is mad popular right now. NUDE. I suppose this is a PSA making knowledge Born to folks who don’t quite get it. I made a comment on another person's blog that she wasn't NUDE in complexion and received more hate than I was prepared for. Well this is my blog. I do as I please. So follow me on this and examine if this applies to you.

When I was child, my mother used to buy NUDE pantyhose in the egg. I often wondered why she bought pantyhose in that color because it wasn’t a color match to her legs. It was too light. In my youth I made the assumption that that was all that was offered to the grown ladies, since I was only given the option of white pantyhose. I assumed that I would grow up and be forced to wear those light stockings that all the women I ever saw in church wear.

Another thing older folks can bear witness too is Band-Aids. Band-Aids come NUDE as well. And where as you may not see Band-Aids on some people; you will see Band-Aids on me and other folks. The individual that came up with clear Band-Aids needs to win a Nobel prize for the peaceful inclusion of folks into the Band-Aid ciphers.

So now that the NUDE trend is back, I really need to explain how that works for people of color….. Don’t call shoes NUDE if they don’t match you skin color. If they don’t match, then they are just beige. And don’t think that you can get away with matching these beige shoes with any outfit. You can’t if you aren’t beige. Why is this not self explanatory?

You want to wear NUDE footwear or hosiery? Then find one that is a skin color match to you. Me, personally, I’m ‘French Coffee.” When I would wear those hose to church, my mother would come and touch my legs to make sure I had hose on. (I am so glad those days are gone!!!!) She couldn’t understand why I would chose to have my legs be the color they are. Folks wouldn’t be sure if I had pantyhose one and talk behind my back. If that was all they had to talk about, then I was in good shape. Mommie would even suggest I bleach said pantyhose so that I wouldn’t waste my money. I retaliated by wearing the loudest pantyhose I could find. Striped, leopard, fluorescent colors….. That way everyone and my mother would know I had pantyhose on. After a season of that, I never had that conversation with any of the old church ladies again.

And if I was to get some shoes that match me, they would be BROWN!!!!

Doesn't work!!! This ain't a trend for her.

White women wearing NUDE shoes... It works because it was designed for white women.



Peace

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Morning People!

I said that a lot cheerier than I feel. I was up late fooling with the house and food for tomorrow because even though I live with a grown man, that is women's work! But I am writing this from my non at home work so you gotta love the logic. Anywho.......

2 week ago was my Born Day. Yay!!!!! And what I asked for was a self healing mat, a rotary blade, a blade sharpener and one of those acrylic things to hold them down. Yes, I'm sleep deprived. The God was kind enough to buy them for me.



Let me tell you something. This addition has energized my sewing. I love sewing. Not so much cutting the fabric out. I have moved from cutting on the floor to cutting on a table to now cutting with my new apparatus. It is making all the difference in the world. The efficacy of cutting the old way would take so long, the scissors depended on how sharp the were. I would just be like, it's not worth it. But now.... I have sewn more in 2 weeks than I did all summer. I can cut a Vogue pattern in 30 minutes while watching TV. I adore my new team of toys.

Yay! Bootzey!!!!! Yay!!!!!



Peace

PS.. My cat saw me whip out the camera and insisted that he be in the picture.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

B5569: A Topper!

Peace!

I have been sewing! I just haven’t been taking pictures of it. And I have been sewing a lot for my God. He deserves some attention. Not that he's busted; but he sees me laboring in the sweatshop and usually nothing comes out of it for him. I made him a couple of tops and some pants. I will get to those later. When they get photographed I’ll build on them. For some reason he must put our flag on everything!

Well I just learned something new today. I guess all the blogs I follow is finally paying off! I made a topper! A topper is a woman’s short lightweight coat. And that is what B5569 is. I saw a woman walking in my building this past spring wearing a ¾ denim jacket. I was instant love and followed her so I could determine the root of my fascination. It was the color, the length and the fact that it had clean crisp lines. I decided that I would make one for myself. I got B5569 on sale and found the perfect fabric with just a bit of stretch for $4/yard. I adore the coat/jacket. And it was so easy to put together. It actually came together in 2 evenings.

The only problem I had was deciding on the length. Cutter’s remorse. I was certain I wanted a mid length coat. That's what the inspiration was. So the middle view made complete sense. But after I cut it I decided I wanted the longer version. The whole time I was sewing it up, I was trying to figure out how I was going to attach the extra length at the bottom. I had enough left over denim. But once it was done I was happy with it.


Pattern: B5569



Description: Misses petite jacket/coat

Size: I cut a 24W for my boobs. Turns out I didn’t need it this big. I figure I might wear a sweater under it or something.

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? Yep, though I didn't find it all that petite. Maybe I'm just short.

Fabric: Dark blue denim

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The arm didn’t go on as easily as I would have liked and pocket placement was very confusing. I figured it out, but I could have been done with it in 1 sitting.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? None

Would you sew it again? Maybe. I can’t see a reason to need 2 coats like this and the only difference between the views is the length

Would you recommend it to others?
I would. It’s a really cute coat




Peace!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

No pictures in this post.....

Peace,

Just wanted to give you a heads up....

I have plenty of mojo these days. I've needed to redirect it. I have begun a diet that promises me I will lose goo-gobs of weight. In the 1st week I lost 11lbs. Not bad. But I don't want to make clothes that will need to be altered. Because I prefer creation over alteration any day. So where does that leave me? Sewing crafts and for others...

I made my honeydo a nice pullover in a corduroys stretch fabric. He picked the fabric out himself. Go figure. I haven't showed it to you because he wants to put some Universal flags on it before he He said he was going to a bunch of fabric stores to get some camouflage. Well alright then! yesterday he asked me if I wanted to go to Hancocks before we went to the rally. I looked him clear in his eyes and said, "Sweetie... I ALWAYS want to go to fabric/craft stores!" Also I picked up some vintage men's patterns. I'm gonna experiment with them for him. Older patterns have more options for men than current ones.

This break for me will give me an opportunity to tackle my fear of men's clothes. A male friend of mine asked me to replace a zipper in his dress pants. I was slapped with fear upside my head. But he encouraged me to try. Well, they were his pants... Did y'all realize in order to replace a zipper you have to remove an excessive amount of stitching? I was completely dumbfounded. I ended up with a strip of fabric that I didn't know where it came from. Thank white Jesus I have a man in the house. I had to study his pants to see what was needed. I was able to replace the zipper... and rather neatly might I add... By half machine sewing and half hand sewing. Hand sewing kept me from having to completely disassemble front of the pants. He was happy and I was relieved. So now I can add that on to my list of abilities!!!! Yay for me! I love to learn new skills.

Another project I have, is a sweater coat I want to crochet for my mother for Christmas/Solstice. I'm not a Christian but she is. And I won't accept gifts from her. But I want to make sure she has gifts from me because she is my mother and I love her when I'm not hating her. Also, she doesn't like "homemade" items. But at her age, she has EVERYTHING and doesn't need things. Gadgets confuse and embarrass her. She has been wearing the same bracelet for 10 years, because she can't figure how to take it off. I offer to remove it but she says she won't be able to get it back on when I'm not there. You cannot argue with the logic of the elderly. Clothes are best. I've made things for her before and she has begun to come around. As long as folks don't recognize that's it's homemade she is cool. And if it's unique, even better. I picked up an old crochet book with a patter fro the sweater. Her favorite color is orange (again, go figure...). So my ambition is to make this unique sweater in her favorite color and show her how to style it. All I need is for 1 stranger to admire it and it will be a keeper. My issue is it takes 12 skeins of yarn. DAMN! and that soft yarn ain't cheap. So I'm stalking a sale.

There is also a quilted table runner for my kitchen table that needs to get made. I have the block pieces all cut out and the fabric ready. So it's just a matter of sewing it up.

And there is my coat for the fall. The patter is out and cut. That's all I've done. I think I will work on that project while I'm dieting. My boobs never go anywhere and I'm not going to shrink. This is enough to keep me busy and the mojo pumping. If I get lazy, I'll want to eat. Gotta keep it pushing!!!!

Peace Y'all!!!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

M6287

Peace Y'all,

It has been a minute has it not? I had a festival that I vended for. It took a lot of my sewing time. I broke even for the supplies I purchased but I don't feel compensated for my time and energy. A lesson well learned. And I still have product to vend at the next opportunity. I plan to blog on the items I sewed for the festival, but I have a LOT of catch up work to do for some 'clients'. (I take on clients, but not everyone. I don't particularly like sewing for others and am really, Really, REALLY discriminate who I take on.)


I got this pattern at a 99 cent sale at Hobby Lobby. The picture looked cool and funky. It was hot when I bought it so it is truly a summer garment. I’m not supper crazy about how it turned out. But every failure is a learning experience, right? It will probably end up in the donation pile.

First of all, this pattern was deceptively easy. I made the B view. It had 2 pattern pieces. That sounds really easy does it not? Once I got everything sewn as the directions said, it looked very unfinished. That may have been the look it was going for, but I didn’t care for it.

Now I did make a mistake. The fabric has these subtle stripes on it. Instead of paying attention to how the fabric should have been oriented, I oriented it how I want to. That resulted in a top that stretches up and down but not out. So it’s hard to get in and out of. I don’t really like that the way this garment is designed, you cannot wear a bra with it unless you are wearing a jacket.

This just isn’t the pattern for me. I’m going to give this pattern away. I teach a Home Ec course to girls in the local cipher of my Nation. I will use it for them and all the other flat chested newbies I teach. That last sentence was not meant to be offensive, but I can’t think of another way to put it.

Pattern: M6287b





Description: A tunic

Size: XLRG

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it?
Yes?

Fabric: stretch cotton

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes and no. See the next answer

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I followed the directions exactly as they were given… That resulted in a crazy unfinished look to the top. I had to make some bias tape to finish the collar and they never discussed how the sleeves were to be made. I eventually had to just freestyle it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made?
I added a (homemade) bias tape finish to the collar, I closed off the end of the arm and hemmed it. I finished the open parts of the sleeves

Would you sew it again?
Maybe. A very slight maybe. I will always try anything twice; just to make sure. The pattern has only a few pieces, so it’s good for teaching others how to sew and I do a home ec class for girls in my Nation so it’s good for that, but for me, probably not.

Would you recommend it to others?
It’s an easy project for a newbie, but you have to have a more experienced person showing you the ropes



Peace

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Synthetics

Peace.

I am really giving y'all blog this week.

I didn’t finish anything last night. I did like I thought I’d do. I went home and was in a deep coma-like sleep (brownie points if you know what movie that phrase was from) from 7:30 until 4 am this morning. I’m all rested up. And the DVR caught my shows. Yeah baby!

But yesterday’s post brought something to the fore front of my mind…. My inability to wear synthetic fibers. When I say I can’t wear them, I mean I can’t wear 100% of them. I had on a polyester blouse… one that I love and cannot discard…. for 5 minutes on Monday evening. (Had I worn it to the party I would have had to leave earlier) before the itchies set in. It felt like ants running up and down my arms, back and chest. That was 100%. If I wear say… 50% I feel better but not super. I can tolerate it for a short time. Enough for me to go to an event. 20% synthetic can get me through my work day. I can NOT sleep in polyester. At all; any percentage. So those silky nightgowns and teddys hurt. That was a reason I was looking to make my own lingerie. The more the fabric becomes something natural the longer I can wear said garment.

All this is a real pisser. I’m assuming that the combo of me having eczema and being a vegetarian has something to do with it. I have had eczema all my life, but I used to be able to wear what I wanted. But let’s be real, synthetics and all these mystery fabrics have changed through the years. I look at clothing labels like I/folks look at food labels. Some of this fabric I can’t even pronounce! When I was a kid, kids wore cotton. So maybe that had a lot to do with things. Even as an adult, I didn’t have a true problem wearing synthetics. And my eczema would only flare every few years. When I stopped eating flesh, I saw many changes. One was the synthetic thing. I have had to purge my wardrobe of most non-natural garments. Otherwise you can see instant inflammation on my skin. It is quick and nasty. I can’t even wear polyester headwraps.

I have noticed that the more natural and cleaner I eat, the greater the reaction to synthetics. Don’t assume all vegetarians are eating super healthy. We aren’t. McDonald’s fries are vegetarian, and BK makes a veggie Whopper. Coca Cola is vegetarian and I believe was in my baby bottle because I have an unhealthy affection for it. Bring a Pepsi in my house and I’m liable to shank you. So when I eat well, I become itchier not just to my clothes but to other environmental factors. Jewelry other than gold can only be worn is shifts. It’s just that the clothes are more intimate.

So that leaves me with pretty much cotton and rayon. Wool, some silks, and cashmere (oh the agony) cause me to itch as well. Sucks to be me. I can wear leather and other furs. My mother will buy me garments that have to be returned. She refuses to understand this. I won’t be tormented to make her happy. This combined with my control issues makes me the perfect candidate to sew my own clothes. What are you gonna do? I tried wearing undergarments to protect me from the synthetics. And that works from the inside. But what happens when my skin touches the outside of the garment? I will still itch. I don’t like to touch people because I can have reactions to the synthetics they wear. I swear I’m a canary!

The funny, no hilarious thing is…. My bras are polyester! When have you seen ones that aren’t? But I don’t have a reaction to bras. This has me thinking it’s partially mental. Because I’m a J-cup and I HAVE to wear a bra. There aren’t any other options. Hell I’m happy when I find a black bra that fits with no leakage! Yes I have deep crevices in my shoulders but no other rashes. I do get really bad eczema on my back during winter. Looks like those sores Tom Hanks had in Philadelphia. But don’t worry about Serenity. I’m good! So when you see me reviewing patterns, now you know why it’s all cotton!



Peace

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

S2696

Peace.

I said yesterday that my mojo was back; well it’s all about maintenance to keep it! I meant to sew last night but…. Well…. See… what had happened was…. I went out. One of the Gods was celebrating his bornday. I NEVER hang out (I’m too old for that. Hell so is he!). And I let an Earth convince me to just go and show my face for a few minutes. That turned into 3 hours and more drinks than I was planning. I crawled home buzzed and now am operating on only 6 hours of sleep. For some that’s cool, but anything less than 8 leaves me drained and cranky. Who parties like that on a big Monday? Luckily McDonalds was giving away (literally) coffee. Anywho…. I didn’t sew last night and I probably won’t sew this evening because I will go home, cook and pass out! Maybe the last few patients of the day will cancel… A girl can hope right?

Today I’m wearing the 2nd garment I made this weekend. I was super relieved this morning. Knowing what I was going to wear allowed me to sleep a little longer this morning. And y’all know I needed it. The God said I slept like a corpse. I was happy and excited because I really like how the tunic came out. Funny observation…. When I first cut out the pattern, I was planning a sleeveless tunic. But because I waited so long to make it, I had to add sleeves to it. Hell, if I’d waited any longer, I’d have to add long sleeves to it! All in all I’m happy with how it came out. BUT…. I used cotton and now I fear it looks like a scrub top. I’m going to have to think about that. But here goes….

S2696



Description: Ladies Tunic

Size: 20

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? Yes it did

Fabric: Cotton

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn’t need them

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was very easy to whip up. From cut to complete took 2 hours. I dislike that it looks a little like a scrub top. But that may be my choice of fabric. Maybe if the sleeves were different….

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? I lengthened it by 4 inches. Not because I’m tall but because I knew that I would belt it and I wanted a good showing from under the belt. Next time I make this, if I make the same sleeves, I will use a contrasting color on the inside of the sleeve.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would. Both counts


Peace!

Monday, September 12, 2011

B5464

Peace.

You what you need to get your mojo back? Finished projects! Yes I accomplished a LOT this weekend. A lot. I finished B5464 and S2696. I found the denim for B5569 on the super low low ($20 for 5 yards!). And I found other discounted fabric for other projects.

I forgot that next month is the Allah’s Garden Chapter of Allah’s 5% Nation of Gods and Earths (I know a long name, from now on AG:NGE) and I plan on doing some vending. Which means I need to make some time to tighten up my inventory. I usually vend crowns and headwraps. I’m going to add on bags too. That’s new. Always trying to improve. I have some crowns made but they are yarn. Yarn is a bit warm. I’m going to get some pre-made beanies and add on to them. 5 Black, 5 gold and 5 white. That will be new for me. Lets see how they sell… I say all this to say my sewing this month will be abbreviated. But still here.

I’m wearing B5464 so lets get that blogged shall we?



Pattern: B5464

Description: Ladies Blouse

Size: I cut a 20

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? Yes

Fabric: Cotton – Pink, on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2.75

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
My issues with the pattern were totally my own fault. I didn’t do a FBA. That was pure laziness on my part. But it does close… It just pulls. I love the buttons I chose. But I made the button holes too big. That can be fixed. I adore pink and I adore ruffles. And the ruffles are so big they hide the problems. So, other than those 2 snafus, I’d say I love it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? None. But I should have done a FBA. I know the next time.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would. I’m keeping this. I already want one in yellow for next summer.


Tomorrow I plan on wearing S2696. And I will blog it then. Simply because I don’t have a picture of it yet. I also have a Vogue blouse cut. I am really moving forward on all this. And I’m geeked!


Peace!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Collette Challenge: Week 1

Define Challenge....

color palate

Skirts vs. Blouses

Antik Batik shirts blouse
$135 - net-a-porter.com

Labour of Love cotton shirt
$109 - farfetch.com

LUISA BECCARIA organza blouse
£290 - theoutnet.com

Kaliko knee length pencil skirt
£55 - johnlewis.com

Flared skirt
atelier-mayer.com

Clemens en August asymmetrical skirt
£96 - theoutnet.com

Old People Style

Peace Good People!

I see y’all… With your fall mojo running. And mine is running too. Just in neutral. I can’t seem to want to do anything when I get home from work other than cook dinner (that man needs to learn) and sit on the sofa. ***sigh***

Ok.

This morning found me opening the trunk. Yes, I have a new fangled house with a walk-in closet… But I still do the old school of moving my summer/winter clothes back and forth. I wasn’t prepared for fall to be here so quickly. I thought I still had at least a month to ease into season swapping. Apparently not. I drove to work with the heat on this morning. I need to be cute in an adult way. I keep saying that. I need to MAKE it happen rather than just keep talking about it. I am a big proponent of age-appropriateness. My wardrobe is not so bad, but I notice when I go somewhere, I don’t have that easy sophisticatedness. I look like I’m trying or that I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. And I truly need to get it together. And I’m going to. At my age hoodies look like I’m trying to be young. I will myself to figure out my own personal old people style and rock it hardcore. Yes, I’m old people.

I have come up with what I hope will be a S.W.A.P. for me. Still using my pattern plans from a previous post. Follow me now…. My plan is to fill the gaps of my current wardrobe to reflect my new old person style. So here are my haves and needs in various categories….
SKIRTS
Have
Black (2)
Beige
Gray
Blue
Need
Brown
Red
Purple

BLAZERS/CARDIGANS
Have
Black B&C
Brown C
Mustard C
Red C*
Need
Brown B*
Red B
Blue?*

BLOUSES (seasonless)
Have
Green
Need
Blue/purple
Black/white
Beige
Red*
Pink*


SHOES
Need
Black Flats
Brown Flats
Black riding boots (Bornday Gift from Mommie!!!!)

At my age, I need to come down off the stilettos. It’s tearing up my uterus. And I ain’t done with it yet. And I need to take some shoes to the shop to be polished and repaired.

In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t wear pants. Long story. And it’s here somewhere… I think. Let me know if it isn’t. I tell y’all all my business. There are still dresses that will be made. I just don’t have a clear thought of what I need outside a LBD. And I have a pattern that I want to use already.

The asterisk means I do not have the fabric for these garments. This past weekend, I took advantage of Hancock’s sale and hooked myself up! I have patterns for days. I’m at the point where I don’t buy nearly as many as I used to. I finally have a good pattern stash. As you can see, I’m good for most things on the list. I do need to get some denim for my fall coat. But $12.99/yard and needing 5 yards… is holding me back. They had this really nice denim but it was light. Like a blouse. I wanted that denim, but I don’t want to line my jacket. Me and linings aren’t good friends yet. I’m waiting on Sheila to give a tutorial…. They had heavier denim but it wasn’t classy enough. I envision my old people style to be classy. I have a hood back up store. I’m a stalk them and see what they have. Their prices are usually very low, but so is their quality. And they have mystery fabrics…. But denim is denim…. right? And I haven’t decided what color the coat stitching should be…. I’m leaning on pink and green, but I should be over that. I don’t want to be an old sorror, still wearing too much para. Haven't quite figured how that fits into my old people style.

Now I need to figure out how to post the color palates for the Collete challenge. Shawnta?

Please help!!!!



Peace

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Positive Haters

Peace….

Some things may seem like complete common sense, but I have learned that common sense is not common. I have also learned that Bloggers must put up blogs just for the glory they receive from said activity. This blog is not like that. If I post something that is incorrect, tell me… PUBLICLY!

I know that as owner of this blog, I could go out like a punk and delete your comments, or put you on blast. But I won’t. That’s uncivilized and I am a civilized person. So if I write something jenky or post a pic of something butt ugly, please fee free to tell me. I won’t get upset.

I think it’s a disservice for people to go through the energy of posting something and the only comments they get are cheers and back pats. It’s not fair to the owners and it’s not fair to the readers. As an owner, if any of you have any information/knowledge that you want to pass on that will benefit me in anyway, PLEASE DO SO. I’d hate to miss out on something. Also, I love to hear what you have to say. Inexperienced readers may look at something that is getting a bunch of shine on your blog and think that your way is the only right and exact way to cee or do something.

As a reader I have felt uncomfortable reading some pure fuckery and no one says boo about it. I have actually unsubscribed to blogs where this happens on a regular; but after I make my peace. Then when I go back and check after unsubscribing, I notice the comment has been deleted. On one blog, the owner asked a question and I gave my honest opinion. I went out of my way to NOT be mean, but did plainly state facts. I got put on blast! And that’s why I call it hate. It wasn’t the owner who went off, it was her followers. And there is a difference between followers and readers. I wouldn’t insult y’all by calling y’all followers. It’s still hate. By denying someone the truth and giving them nothing but sweetness and happy comments is positive hating. The owners will think they are walking on water when in reality they are wading in isht.

Don’t do that to me. Give me the real. And as long as you aren’t selling something or being wholly disrespectful, I won’t block it.


Peace

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge


Why not?

I love a challenge. And since I won't be doing "Self Stitched September" I might as well be getting my fall wardrobe on.

More to come....




Peace!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peer Pressure!

Peace Y’all,

I don’t usually fall victim to peer pressure but I’m going to just this 1 time….

Y’all are all posting your fall plans. And as sad as I am that the year is waning and the autumnal equinox will be upon us shortly, I suppose the time has come to make some plans. Phooey! Luckily in GA, my plans can come slow. This is what I’ve got planned so far…

Let me start with what I have….
B5569


I’m planning View B in denim

I am also planning to freestyle an A-line beige corduroy skirt to match an existing jacket.

I need to finish B5464.

I can wear this probably until after Thanksgiving.

I also have M5972 that I plan to do in an African print.


My plan includes wearing this with a sweater, belt and boots. And not the view with the ruffles! View B.

There is a black and white Simplicity tunic I’m working on. Well maybe working is the wrong word for it. The pattern is cut. I can still wear this when the weather begins to cool.


I have M5523




I’m planning to do a red skirt with that.


What I am adding to the mix for Fall/Winter sewing is

V1254


B5673


And I’m seriously lacking grown woman blouses. I hit the big “I ain’t telling.” I really need to come down off Old Navy tees at work. It ain’t cute no more. I'm thinking about the blouses with pouffy sleeves and pussy bows (love that phrase, heehee!!!!).

What I want for fall that I see in the magazines are: color blocked dresses in fuscia/black, and one in brown/cream. Something lacy, heeled oxfords in brown and heel black MaryJanes. Ohhh…. And some black riding boots for my bornday.

I have some blue pinstriped suiting. Not enough for a suit, but plenty for a skirt and matching beret. And I need something lace. Hmm….. Lace without looking slutty….. And I’m GOING to learn how to make gloves. I love gloves. I don’t know why I’m tripping. I just have to wait for a glove pattern to go on sale, but I want to do this freestyle. I must be crazy. I told y’all this peer pressure sucks….



Peace

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Sewing Room Bermuda Triangle


Peace.

This is the end of my ironing board. It is the place where projects go to die. If something gets laid here, it is doomed to become a UFO. SMH. I don’t care what my intentions are. This is what happens.

My current UFOs are a baby quilt, a pink sleeveless B5464 blouse and a OOP Simplicity white dress. You do realize that it is almost Labor Day and I won’t get any wear out of said items? Well! I’m off Thursday, I’m always off on Fridays and I intend to work on my UFOs until they are wearable garments or a wadders.


Peace

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Missing pieces of the wardrobe....

Peace.

Do you know what? I am missing a HUGE chunk of my wardrobe. Oh, I have the basics, but what I don't have are certain incidentals. Let me explain.....

I don't have any lingerie/lounge wear. Now for the longest this wasn't a concern. I have been single a long time. My 1st husband died in 2003. It was a terrible experience that I still have to deal with and I suppose I will always have to deal with it. I didn't expect to ever think that I'd ever have another man and lo and behold I have one!. The God and I have been adding on for 2.5 years.

I was in my 20's with my 1st husband. You don't have to try in your 20's. Things just happen. But at my age, I recognize that maybe walking around butt nekid is not as hot as it one was. Also, I'm in a different place mentally (and physically). I want to feel prettier.... I need some new lingerie, damnit! And I'm not just talking for nice nice purposes. I want lounge wear and pretty slips and camis. I just want to O.D. on the girly factor.

So... I suppose... While I'm waiting for my mojo to kick in on fall sewing, I will patch over with some lingerie sewing. I already have robes. For some reason I have acquired a cute robe to wear in each season. I've had them for years and I checked them out. They are still in good condition.

Anybody have any suggestions?



Peace

Monday, July 18, 2011

Non-Sewers

Peace,

I went fabric shopping on Saturday. I know I said I wasn’t going to make anymore clothes for a while, but…. Whatever! A non-sewing friend of mine went with me. She kind of made the comment about much cheaper it is to sew than to shop at the malls. It just so happened that McCalls was on sale for 99 cents and most of the fabric at this spot was 30% off. Myself, the cutter and a colored woman standing behind us looked at her like she just pooped herself. Sewing is NOT cheaper than buying. IT IS NOT!!!!

And non sewers need to Know and Understand this. Maybe they will chill with the ‘homemade’ insults and all the insinuations that sewing is so damned easy. It’s not. It’s a skill and like with any acquired skill, one must ‘learn’ how to accomplish it.

It is not cheaper to make a dress vs. buying one. You have to purchase the fabric, patterns and notions. Then sit down and give your labor. I have yet to make something that took less than an hour from start to finish. I need some blouses, and I have the patterns, but by the time I cut out the patterns and then cut the fabric that usually does it for me for the evening. I have to find another day to sew it all up. I work a job that is not sewing related, so my sewing occurs in the evenings and on weekends.

Sewing is a hobby people. And just because I love to do it doesn’t mean I want to do your sewing for you. I am in the “Teach a man to fish” camp. I will teach you how to sew and do your own repairs, but I am annoyed when you ask me to make something for you and are unwilling to compensate me for my time, energy and supplies. Don’t just drop off your fabric and pattern with no bobbin, thread, buttons/zipper etc.

These non-sewers need to keep their mouths shut, because whenever they open them, they insert their foot right in the middle!


Peace

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I'm done for a while....

Peace,

Yeah, I'm so done for a while in the sewing room. Kind of. I made a V1250 but haven't written it up because I'm just not ready to deal with the photo. I know.

I don't really have any pressing summer clothes needs so I'm not going to sew anything for a while. My eye has been on the fall and the plans I'm developing for the transitional weather clothes. If you can call what we get in GA transitional.

I need some blouses. I already knew this but this morning, again, I was faced with the reality. So I'm going to focus on making more blouses. Blouses and not the stretch tops. Those stretchy tops are usually made of polyester and itch and stink. So that is what I will focus on these days. A good selection of blouses can take me though the summer-fall sense. BUT.... Blouse patterns just don't inspire me!

Any blouse pattern suggestions?


Peace

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Is my Refinement like your Refinement?

Peace Y’all,

I feels like blogging even though it’s a Sunday. I’m back obsessing over my 3/4ths again. I am uber curious about how other women do their modesty. I’m not necessarily trying to bite but every now and then I see something that makes me ponder. Earths in Allah’s 5% Nation of Gods and Earths don’t have such prescribed laws regarding our dress; just mind 3/4ths. Something tells me the 60’s and 70’s adherents were more concerned about drawing up Gods than how the women dressed. But 3/4ths does exist, and we can rock it however we cee it. And as long as we can show and prove, we should be fine. Still, I have to look…..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzniut This article describes how Jewish women do. Elbow to knee covered. No pants. Married women cover their heads. That’s how you know their married. Sometimes they accomplish this with wigs. There are some interesting points. Like kick pleats instead of slits and no bright colors.

http://jamaicanrastafarianlove.com/ Rastafarian women are essentially natural Afro centric Jewish women. They follow all the rules of the Old Testament so whatever the Levitical rules are, they follow them. But they do not adhere to the non color rule. Nope. They actually prefer African print. The women cover their heads as well. It’s not so easy to find a lot of good internet info regarding Rastas. Better to build with them in the physical.

http://mormon.lds.net/mormon-beliefs/mormons-and-modesty These are the Mormon rules for women. They have no special rules that would catch your eye. You probably wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a crowd of mid western white people. They really do blend in.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hijab Our Muslim sisters cover everything but the face and hands. Some say no colors and only black, others rock all kinds of color combinations.

http://larp.com/jahavra/clothing.html Lately, I have been into Gypsies. Maybe it has something to do with the TLC program that has caught my attention… My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. According to that program these new Traveler women will wear damn near anything to catch a man. ANYTHING. And they are extremely suggestive in their activities. But the claim that they don’t act on all the suggestiveness. Okay. If they say so. But they do marry young. Some around 16 (28:40). So maybe they are telling the truth. It looks like a duck and walks like a duck, but it’s actually a gorilla. Anywho…. This link describes the more traditional what you think of when you think of a Gypsy woman kind of style.

Did I miss anybody?

And I’m back thinking about us Earths. We just have to cover ourselves with clothes as the planet does with water. It’s not so restrictive when you do the Knowledge. Other folks get dead or excommunicated if they don’t follow their rules. Us…. Not so much. So why do folks have such a problem with 3/4ths?

Insight y’all?


Peace

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Teach me how to Dougie, Teach me, Teach me how to Dougie...

Peace Y’all!!!!

I’m exuberant and excited. I gotta tell y’all about this blouse and why I’m so over the top about it and possibilities. It feels good to get excited about and look forward to something again.

I have never been big on copy catting someone else’s style. I will look at what it is I admire about someone and then bring those elements into my own personal style. I’m Serenity! Not a carbon copy of anyone else. Well… Michelle Obama changed that for me for awhile. I love her flavor and plan to bootleg her style. And… I ain’t shamed.

Before I get started, I just want to share with you why ‘Shelly O’ is my shero… (1) She is educated. I am educated, but it has always been hard for me to find Black female mentors because of the inherent distrust that comes along with achievement in the Black community. I don’t know why it is like this and at this stage of my life I don’t even care. I’m just making Knowledge Born that it exists. But our 1st Lady is Ivy leagued educated and returned to her home to aid her community. Even if only for a minute. Most folks get the degree, the position, the money (and for men, the white woman) and totally forget where they came from. And I’m not saying that that is a bad thing. No. You work hard for a degree. It ought to afford you the life you want. But it’s really cool to encourage and show folks how you did it. Some people won’t be exposed to the process any other way.

(2) She is dark skinned and married to the 1st Black president of the United States of America! Yeah Baby! I’m of a certain age, and I have always had the expectation of a Black president in my lifetime. When folks my age say else wise, I look at them like really? But I would have bet a paycheck that that said man (no I didn’t think the 1st Black President was going to be a Black woman. The world ain’t ready for that yet.) would have a white or at least a high yella wife. Be honest. You know what I mean…. There is a lot to like about President Obama, but I like his choice in spouses and them chocolately brown girl babies.

(3) This one is really stupid but it holds so much water with me…. FLOTUS doesn’t always wear pantyhose! Yay!!!!!!!! I hate panty hose. I don’t get why folks deem them so professional. Is it professional to have your legs be some other color, itch and run all over the place? It is professional to have to listen to the panty hose switch, have them twist and puddle around your ankles and have to smell them burning? Really? My mother used to give me the business about arriving bare legged to church on a hot summer day. Another thing is she would clown me about wearing a color that was a direct match to my legs. Mommie said that people would not know that I had them on. My mother also said I should ere on the light side. I’m French coffee, but she says I need to be wearing nude. WTF! I know. My mama has issues. But now that Mrs. Obama doesn’t wear stockings everywhere… She even wears shorts! My mother has changed her position on the hose torture.

(4) She is a soror. Yes she took it honorary, but she took it. She didn’t have to. I’m quite sure every Black sorority offered it to her. SkeeWee!

(5) Michelle Obama did the Dougie! ‘Nuff said!

Speaking of the Dougie, she was wearing a yellow top that had me hot and bothered. I tried to locate the manufacturer of said top but was unsuccessful. So… I got skills…. I made my OWN version of the coveted top. Here is the inspiration…..





Here is my version……



I used McCalls 6277. That’s a dress pattern but I shortened it to a blouse. I cut a 22 because the 22 was already cut. It was too big when I posted about this pattern on 4/12/11, and it’s even bigger now. I have been dieting. But it’s okay. I wanted it blousey. But I will cut the pattern smaller before I use it again. The neck is very loose and shows my bra a bit. The top has these fin type sleeves. I only used 1 because that is how the M.O.’s top looked. Mrs. Obama had hers on the right arm but I put mine on the left. I am experiencing a bad eczema flare up on my left arm and don’t want to show it off. The right arm is a little less affected. I used cotton with flower relief and glittery stitching. I’m a be honest. That’s what they had in Joanns. I went a few places and could find the exact fabric- yellow almost fluorescent yellow-green. It’s fine. I don’t feel like I settled. Since M6277 is a dress, it called for a zipper on the sides. It doesn’t really allow you to put anything on the back. So I added 5 buttons for closure on the finned side. But the blouse is so big I didn’t them. In the future if I need 5 yellow buttons I will take them off this garment. It’s so loose I can pull it over my head. All and all, I like and am satisfied with my new top.

Now that I have boolegged one of her outfits, I feel completely free to bootleg all of them. And I’m thinking my sewing will reflect that in the future.

Thank you Mrs. Obama!!!!!



Peace

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Toss or Save?

Peace Y’all!

I’m just checking in. I have been sewing but I’m not ready to share just yet. I thought I’d pop in and stand on my soapbox for a little while. On my new favorite obsession….. Patterns……

I be reading folks blogs and I have come across a phenomenon that quite frankly stumps me. Folks throw away their patterns after they finish 1 garment. Really? When I was 1st starting out, like in 1984, my mother used to insist that I don’t take scissor to paper and cut out fabric. She gave me some tracing paper and a wheel. She said to keep the patterns as is because then I could sew the same for others. But if I cut them, I would ruin the patterns and they would be useless. Okay, Mommie can be crazy, and I’m over her foolishness… I mean she doesn’t even sew!..... I now cut patterns, but I save everything. You just never know when you will need a pattern for something.

I’m going to sneak and share with you my probable next post….. I love Shelly O… FLOTUS…. Michelle Obama. I adore her style. I have adopted lots from her already. And yes she and I have drastic body differences… she’s tall, thin, and boobless – I’m short, thick and boobilicious…. There are some things I can imitate. The cardigans, sheaths, etc. She has a blouse that I instantly fell in love with and decided to make. But since a lot of her clothes are 1-of-a-kind designer, it’s not like I’m a find them in Macy’s or Ashley Stewart. So what do I do? Bootleg it! I found a pattern very similar to the garment in question and made said outfit.

Now could I have done it sans a pattern? You know I can, but there could have been a plethora of mistakes which would strip me of my gold o correct. Why not make a garment that has shown and proven to fit? And that is exactly what I did. And I am excited about the result.

Now I couldn’t have done this if I was in the throwing patterns away camp. I have a fellow sewist friend who has patterns from the early 70’s. She bought them new back then and sewed them up. If I show her a picture of something in a magazine, she can sort through her boxes and find a pattern that matches. Then all she has to do is update it in some way and she’s good. Yes she has boxes and boxes of patterns; but she doesn’t buy them the way I do. She might acquire 2 new ones in a year, where I am stalking every sale at Hancocks. But I will get to the place where I will be like her and have a cool stash waiting on me too. If I want a new dress I can take the bodice from one dress and match it with the sleeves of something else and the bottom of a third garment. It’s wonderful to have that ability.

So the moral of this story is…. Don’t throw away your patterns!!!!!



Peace

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Simplicity 2443

Peace.

I said I had been sewing and I have. I just haven’t been blogging about it.

This dress is one that sat on the cutting board longer than a minute. I sewed it up to go to the rally last month. I saw another Earth in Hancocks. And we got to Building. She wanted to see something made by me in the time between seeing here and the rally. I don’t know why folks act like sewing is some supernatural skill. It isn’t. I sewed up the already easy cut up dress to show and prove to the not-newborn-not-seasoned Earth that it was possible to sew up a dress in a few hours. There is no rocket science to this.

That being said, where as I like the dress, I see this dress as a wearable muslin. Here goes…




Pattern: Simplicity 2443

Description: Dress

Size: I cut a 20

Did it look like the pattern envelope when you were done sewing it? More than you realize. I got a GREAT deal on a bolt of cotton knit fabric that was the exact color of the envelope

Fabric: Cotton jersey…. B.U.T. this is the iffy part. I suppose I should have known I was being scammed. The store was going out of business and selling off everything including the fixtures. They were selling bolts of fabric for $3! It looks and feels like knit. But I didn’t have to use a knit needle to sew it and I can’t iron it with anything higher than a 3 setting. I even had to put a zipper in it in order to get it on because thee is NO stretch. Yet it feels like knit, though it wrinkles like cotton. The store said cotton, but I DO NOT believe it.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the fitted bodice with loose skirt.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made? I didn’t make any changes for this dress but in the future I will let out the bodice front about an inch. It’s is squeezing Cocoa and Puff in such a way that I am forced to wear a minimizer. And maybe lengthen the bottom a scoche.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will and do.

I had a car accident and cracked one of my ribs. I now have to wear a back brace 6 hours per day. So I have it on in the picture. I’m not naturally this lumpy.


Peace

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've Been Sewing...

A little bit. Not much and I don’t feel the need to apologize for that.

Sewing is a functional hobby that allows me to enjoy a hobby, while getting something useful from it. When you look at the bloggers sites, it seems all they do as soon as they get home and entirely on weekends is sew. That may be cool is sewing is your side gig or if you’re a Walton living on a homestead with 20 members of your immediate and extended family, but I am a normal Earth with no children. I don’t need to sew that much. My closet is full.

Right now, I probably sew maybe 1, 2 max garments a month. I’m good. Now there are a couple of garments that I have made since last I blogged. And it is my determined idea to get them up… eventually and reviewed over at patternreview.com.

So yet hold on. I got something to show you!


Peace

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Updates....

Peace.

I have been sick. My boss came into the office a month ago with flu-like symptoms. So of course 2 weeks ago we all came down with varying degrees of illness. I, personally, think I got it worse. Even worse than my boss, because I got laryngitis. Is it really fair that he gives us illnesses and then doesn’t offer us insurance? I’m coming out of it finally, but I haven’t been super well to sit down and blog. Though I have been watching all of your progress. I will bring you up to date on all I have managed to accomplish….

I finished 2 tops (1 jacket, 1 vest) and 3 bottoms. I also had a wadder in the lot. The top made from the denim skirt didn’t come out right. The shirt wasn’t as full as I thought it was and the seams were in the wrong locations. Oh well. Live and learn. Let’s get it started.


1- Vogue 8499



Pattern Description: Skirt
Pattern Sizing: 14-20. I cut a 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Kind of
Were the instructions easy to follow? I guess
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I thought it was going to make a funky eclectic looking skirt, and it did. But I didn’t like it after it was done.
Fabric Used: Cotton
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None
Would you sew it again? doubtful
Would you recommend it to others? no
Conclusion: I thought I would like it because I like to think of myself as an “outside the box” type of urban girl. But apparently I’m not.

For the Summer I planned 2 suits, 2 tops and 2 dresses to be the foundation of my summer wardrobe. I’ll blend then into the clothes I already have.

2 & 3- Suit 1

Butterick 5187
Pattern Description: Jacket
Pattern Sizing: 16-24 I cut 24. I have boobage.
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? Yes they were
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I learned something new. I was always a little afraid of collars. But this one had a big fat Peter Pan collar that I loved to I went ahead and did that view. Now I’m not afraid of collars. I’m still leery of linings. Anyone?
Fabric Used: White cotton. I love white clothes, and I have a plenty… but I swear this fabric attracted my filth than any of my other white garments!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None
Would you sew it again? Yes
Would you recommend it to others? Absolutely. I’m thinking it making it again come fall in denim
Conclusion: I love it!!!!

Vogue 8701
Pattern Description: Wardrobe pattern with all kinds of stuff in there. I made a pencil skirt
Pattern Sizing: 14-20 I cut a 20 but I should have cut an 18, possible a 16
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Didn’t follow them. Imagine that. A Vogue pattern that didn’t have me slung out on directions
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It was very easy
Fabric Used: More of the dirt attracting white cotton
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: none yet. I need to take it in 2 inches
Would you sew it again? Yes, if I need to. I mean pencil skirts are a fact of like
Would you recommend it to others? Yes
Conclusion: Very easy


4 & 5- Suit 2


Inspired by Vogue 8701
Pattern Description: Wardrobe- I made the jacket sans the sleeves to make a vest
Pattern Sizing: 14-20. I made a bootleggedly graded up to maybe a 24?
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? No. Because I took the sleeves off it.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Heck NO!!! %^&*()((&$@#
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I hate how unclear the directions were. I say inspired because I got so lost after cutting it and the directions were of no help at all, that I just winged it. Actually I was using direction from B5187 to help me get my thoughts together
Fabric Used: a really light linen
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Really? Every doggone thing
Would you sew it again? Nope
Would you recommend it to others? Nope. It has nothing to do with skill level. Those directions were crazy. I would burn them and dance naked around the whole thing if I didn’t want to keep some of it.
Conclusion: The jacket was a bust. But the pencil skirt was fine, and I’m planning to do make the dress. Doesn’t look to bad.

Simplicity 2698
Pattern Description: Skirt, Project Runway
Pattern Sizing: 14-22, I cut a 22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes
Were the instructions easy to follow? Not really
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? First of all, there were too may choices. That pattern can only make 2 skirts, but there was so much crap in there to wade through. Patterns and directions! The pocket screwed me over twice. I finally got it but the fabric is all stretched out. And I admit, I could have ironed it. But I was just home from work, tired, still sick, just finished cooking and on my way to bed.
Fabric Used: light linen… that’s what they said at the store
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None
Would you sew it again? Probably not
Would you recommend it to others? Probably not
Conclusion: I didn’t like it

I think I’m done in the challenges unless we are going to make dresses next…..


Peace,
Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Letter "H"

(Possibly the Opposite of) Peace,


This post is brought to you by the letter H.

H stands for HATE. That is what I feel for all non-McCalls patterns.


This weekend I wanted to put to bed all the the SWAP sewing that I had planned to do for the challenges I'm in. And I did complete everything I wanted to do for now. But it wasn't easy. Yesterday morning I realized why it was so sucky. Because I HATE all non-McCalls patterns!

You know I'm a pattern convert. I have been sewing consistently with patterns for the last 2-3 years. Before that, it was hit and miss pattern use with more patternless garments. I realize that I do more sewing with patterns than I did without. My dream of a completely self-sewn wardrobe is more of a possibility with patterns. So I'm okay with using them now. Let's get started....

A few of the reasons why I love McCall patterns so much is because they are easy to follow, easy to adjust, easy to understand and are stylish. They haven't given me the business the way the other 3 have. And you realize I am speaking about the others of the "Big 4."

I love vogue patterns too. They are some of the most stylish patterns. The clothes in the books and envelopes are simply stunning. Vogue has the most difficult to understand directions of any pattern I have ever tried. If I'm sitting clueless surrounded by pattern pieces and I look like I'm ready to punch someone in the eye... You can bet I'm working on a Vogue pattern. Pure annoyance. I suppose the more I work with them the more used to them I will become.... I suppose. I was sitting at the book table in Hancocks joking around with another sewist who said that her sister REFUSED to work with Vogue patterns. I know why.

Simplicity is another pattern house that has confusing directions. But I find their measurements off too. You know where you are supposed to measure your self at a specific point to determine what size you are? Yeah.. that some BS with these folks. You can't try them on to make sure they fit. I suppose I can make muslins but... no. I 'm not. I'm going to need for a pattern company to make accurate measurement if they want me as a customer. The directions are so confusing that I have made repeat dresses and have gotten confused. That says a a lot for the directions....

My big complaint about Butterick is that the designs are old looking. But don't think that's the only ting wrong with them. Their sizing is off and their directions are bad as well. But since the clothes are so 'old lady" it doesn't matter because you don't need the directions.

I have just a few Kwik Sews. I only made one of them. And when I finished that garment, it looked like the envelope picture, but it was still ugly. I remade it using a different fabric and it looked like hospital scrubs. So that's good to know that if I need to make hospital scrubs I can go over there.

I have a Nu Look pattern for a summer sheath dress. I haven't made it yet so I can't speak on it and all it's glory. I have never made a burda pattern. I'm not sure I want to. Those clothes don't appeal to me much.


Yeah. I'm a McCalls girl. That's good to know, It cuts down on the foolishness.




Peace

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who Knew?

Peace.

One of my goals since I started sewing again in earnest was to have a wardrobe of clothes that I made. Another was to decrease my wardrobe by 2/3rds. Yet another was to have a season-less wardrobe. 2 out of 3 ain't bad!

I recently swapped out my winter for summer clothes. Normally I have to sit on the trunk to close it. Not this time. It closes with no problems. I used to have 2 trunks. 1 exploded about 2 years ago and I just have 1. And on the remaining trunk, one of the latches is broken; yet that hasn't stopped it from closing flush. I'm decreasing. I suppose it helps that I stopped retail shopping. I always donate clothes that I can't envision myself wearing again. So my closet is finally coming down.

Also.... I was looking through the summer clothes that made it out of the trunk on to hangers and I must proudly admit, most of them are my creations! I feel like a proud mother. And as I dressed this morning in a blouse that I made, I realized that I wear something I made almost daily! It's ridiculous how happy and satisfied that makes me. How many regular everyday people can say that?

I have been and still am under the weather. I managed to get some of my SWAP and over the top sewing done. I need to complete just one more skirt and I will be able to post my progress on one of the the challenge websites.

So tonight I will juice an onion and drink a healthy does of brandy so that tomorrow I will awake bright eyed and bushy tailed. I'm finishing up.

Who knew I was this close to attaining my goals? Why didn't I?




Peace!!!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Victoria Dress/McCalls 6277

Peace Y'all,

I hope you don't take my absence in blogging to mean that I am not sewing. I am. A lot. I just don't seem to have the time to sit down and blog it. Y'all know I have my own personal SWAP going on and I am involved with the Over the top sew along. Plus I am in week 11 of P90x and I have the God to care for. Y'all know men are big babies?. So my blogging has fallen off.

Anywho... The only way back to it is to do it so hear goes. Last year I was gifted with some knit fabric from Victoria. It's beautiful. I purchased McCall's 6277. Now I only purchased it because it was on sale for $1 and I was sitting with the book too long. I didn?t obsess like I normally do. I liked and I bought it. To my surprise, it has an fba already built into the pattern! Meaning you can cut a B, C or D. I had no idea how to behave. So I graded Victoria's knit up to a 24-D. I should have cut an 18. Also, I meant to do view B but I ended up with view A. The pattern calls for these big wings that act like sleeves and I didn't have enough material for that.

The dress is big. That's ok, though. I kind of like the fact that it's not supper clingy. I could take it in and maybe I will one day, but right now I like it the way it is. It comes past the knee. So it's still 3/4ths proper.

Project Details:

Pattern: McCalls 6277

Pattern Sizing: 16-22, I cut a 22 (should have cut an 18! Yay and Phooey. I guess P90x is paying off).

Description: Dress.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes

Fabric: Jersey

Lining: not yet

Where the instructions easy to follow? I suppose. I really didnt "follow" them. Now when I say I didn't follow the directions, doesn?t mean I didn't read them. I always read directions of a new pattern, but unless there is a problem or something I haven?t done before, then I don't follow the directions when I sew.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I LOVED The D-Cup! Yes the D-cup. Did I mention the D-cup? I didn't like how short it was originally intended to be.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I lengthened it by 6". I'm short. Since I had to do that, which means this dress was designed to be a mini dress or possibly a top on a smaller woman.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Absolutely!!!!! Especially if you have Boobies!

TTFN...


Pardon me on the phone. I am at work. Gotta just find the time to blog.



Peace