Monday, January 31, 2011

What's Next


It has been a long time since I blogged anything regarding sewing. That’s because I have put all sewing on hold. I have thrown my hat into crown creation for Allah’s Garden.

I have made 35 crown and sold 15. I did not expect this to be a lucrative business venture, but I am glad that I’m in the black because I made my start up money back. I have a few custom orders to make but other than that, I’m going to chill. I was making 2 crowns per work night and then a bunch on off days. There was a rally yesterday; the Father’s Degree Celebration will be on the Knowledge Born day of February and then the rally at the end of next month. Yeah, my crown making is slowed way down. So…. Back to my sewing!!!

I have plans for the summer. The warm weather the southeast just got over the weekend did nothing but help me pull my thoughts together. Also the sale flyer from Hancocks helped too! Every week of February Hancocks will be having a sale on patterns. The dirt cheap sales. Patterns as cheap as they ever get. I have my list ready. Mostly Vogue. Vogue never goes on sale under $4. But that beat the regular prices. All the others will have their $1 days. I plan to be there when said events happen.

My favorite fabric store closed. Phoey! They had been there for over 20 years and they decide to close now? That place was only open 3 days a week and it was full every time I went in there. But they are the best knowers of what they can handle….. So I will go to my 2nd favorite fabric store and load up on white and beige fabric. They will be the foundations of my summer wardrobe!!!

Now here is the other thing, the hippy in me has been bitching for sometime that I have too many clothes. But the little Catholic school girl, with the cheap mother, in me who used to get teased for wearing the same clothes over and over again says, “Noooooooooo! We have to keep those clothes!!!!” I’m almost sure that it’s going to go down like this. I am going to nearly completely get rid of all my summer clothes and start from scratch.

What I’m planning for the wardrobe is 3 dresses and 2 suits that fall in the beige and white color scheme. Choosing those neutral colors mean that I can add on all kinds of garments and they will match the skeleton. I already have shoes and bags to match. Next fall I will do nearly the same thing. And then maybe I can walk in my closet! Like I said, I’m not certain, but everyday I’m seeing the value in that. I have a LOT of clothes that I simply don’t need.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In a Sea of Dark....

....She was a beam of light!

My Shero and current lifestyle inspiration....


Thursday, January 20, 2011

I'm Stashless


I don’t have a big fabric stash. I don’t have those hoarding tendencies. And it’s just not my philosophy to acquire fabric because it’s pretty and/or I want it. When I decide to make a garment part of the process for me is choosing the fabric and notions all together. But that’s me.

If you read the blogs and Pattern Review, you will learn that a LOT of people approach this from the opposite direction. The see fabric they like and buy it. I don’t get it. I mean how do you know how much to buy if you just buy at will. You either buy too much or too little. And either way that will piss you off. I might buy undecided fabric if the sale is ridiculous. I might change my mind or my plans change. I might run out of time. So I do have a small stash. And what small stash I have, I never use. Just doesn't fit in.

Also…. I don’t sew like my blog people. I don’t do this every day. I make clothes to wear clothes. If I’m good, then I don’t sew. I rarely do things purpose-less. I blame my mother for that. She did not allow hobbies in the house when we were growing up. She said she wasn’t throwing her money away. If we wanted hobbies, we had to finance them ourselves. Since little people don’t have jobs, I have few hobbies. I don’t know how to develop them or how they should run course. Oh well.

Just felt like sharing….


My Snow-cation


Last week, Atlanta had the embarassment of being overwhelmed by 4 inches of snow. They should be a-damn-shamed of themselves. The locals are saying, "Well, we aren't used to this type of weather." Like that is some kind of excuse. Umm... It snowed 4 times last year. The difference between last year and this year, was the snow melted with in 2 days. I suppose they had hoped for the same. It didn't happen. I was out of work for 4 days because the snow and ice frightened my boss and our patients. As a child, I would have had to walk to school in weather like that. Four days is a lot of work to miss. I had to use my vacation to cover it. I guess my boss missed the memo that he is supposed to pay for inclement weather closing.

Anywho.... Even though I knew snow was predicted, I didn't expect for these southern people to lose it like they did. I didn't have anything to sew. I didn't have anything to read. So I made the most of my cabin fever. I made nearly 20 crowns.

Crowns are head wear for the men in Allah's 5% Nation of Gods and Earths. They are essentially beanies with a tassel. You would think men would be lousy with them. For some reason they aren't and I don't know or get why. Maybe it has something to do with how people look down on all the talents it takes to be a good homemaker. But we aren't supposed to fall victim to that type of savage Wisdom. But I will do my part as said person of that ability to make them available for Gods who want them.

I crochet, but it's not how I sew. I'm not uber proficient. But I was by the time I got to my 3rd crown. Luckily the God claimed the 1st few. I'm grateful for this crown experience because I am starting to re-connect with my hooks. I find it an enjoyable way to pass hours. I can listen to the tell-lie-vision as well as the radio. I can build with the God. I can multitask. I'm wondering what else I can do with these hooks?

I'm going to be a great grandmother!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pattern Convert


With great humility I must make this confession…. I am a pattern convert.

For the better part of my sewing Koran I have stayed away from patterns and free styled my isht. Unfortunately that left me doing projects only sparingly. Mostly alterations and things for the house. The reason behind my pattern phobia was me making garments from patterns as a teenager and them not fitting well, or at all. Yes I could alter them down to fit, but what was the point? That’s like buying a ready made garment and having to fix things on it. Why bother with them at all. Also, my father taught me how to sew (his mother taught him) and he nor my grandmother ever used patterns. We just would look at a garment and bootleg it.

I had a friend who tried repeatedly to convince me that patterns were not evil. Tried hard too. I bought a few patterns made a few garments that again didn’t fit. As we built about it, she asked me what adjustments and alterations I had made in the pattern. Huh? Patterns can be altered? WOW! The next garment I made, I kept my eye on the proportions and made a few adjustments. It came out perfect. Then I tried making adjustments on the next pattern. That came out great too. Sew now…. Patterns is what I do…..! And I owe it all to you…….! Actually Jeanenne.

I thought I had freedom before but now, I love both ways! And I don’t even stop with adjustments on 1 pattern. It is not unusual for me to merge different patterns together and ‘Frankenstein’ a garment. I add this and take that away. And the beauty is, if I need to make an additional garment I can because I already have a template. I don’t need to re-invent the wheel.

Yeah I love patterns now. Thank you Jeanenne!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Meet Serenity

Peace From the South East!

As I was looking over this blog, I realize that I talk about Allah’s 5% Nation of Gods and Earths, but never did I explain what it means to be Earth and why I dress the way I do. Some of y’all may be unfamiliar with the whys and hows so let me make Knowledge born….

In this Culture (that’s what we call our chosen lifestyle), the women are called Earths. Women in this Culture do everything the planet Earth does and that is how we came across our designation. Just as the planet Earth is covered 75% with water, true and living Earths cover themselves 75% or 3/4ths (as it is officially called) with clothing. This is why I lengthen most of my Skirts/dresses and wear my head covered.

3/4th is the rule, but I determine how I express it. For example, I don’t wear pants abroad. That is my personal expression. I stopped wearing pants years ago. Other Earths wear pants. If I all my body was covered by, say, a long skirt, a long sleeved top and some boots; I could uncover my head if I chose to. I don’t choose to wear my head uncovered when I am abroad. But since the rule has built in flexibility, should I need to… like say I’m in someone’s wedding and they don’t want my head covered….. then I could do this.. I have seen Earths wear halter tops. I personal cannot do this; my boobs are too big for that. I will wear a skirt that comes to the knee if I’m wearing something to compensate like a jacket or boots. See? It’s about percentages.

I don’t wear makeup either. There is no rule that says I can’t. Well maybe. But I don’t feel its right. Folks wear makeup to make themselves look other than their own selves. How can I proclaim that the Original Black woman is the most beautiful of all and cover up said beauty with makeup? I embrace the ‘own selfness’ of it all. I see Earths at the Show and Prove (our annual convention) rocking full face and weave. I don’t. Recently I have found that most makeups contain pork by-products. A NGE no no. I'm thinking make up is gone forever. But.....

Earths display their Understanding of this Culture in many ways. A lot of Earths appear to be very earthy and hippy-esque with their dress. I work in a business environment and I’m now in my 40’s; so for me, dressing like that isn’t going to work for me. I sort of dress the way older Earths dress. I’m okay with that. Plus… I’m vain. I’ve always been vain and I don’t plan on changing. Knowledge of Self only reinforced my vanity. I love wearing good clothes that make me look awesome. I love Vogue magazine and will bootleg anything I see in there at will. When younger Earths see me, they think because I’m overweight I should look bad. Ummm…. Emphatically No! I’m my Daddy’s daughter. That foolishness doesn’t touch me. I’m fly all day long.

It is my personal opinion that a lot of Earths take the 3/4th as an excuse to not dress well. I am from northern NJ. I know plenty of Earths. I had decades of interest in the Nation before I joined it. One of the reasons I held back was because I didn’t want to be forced to look like a Rastafarian or Mormon woman. No offense to those individuals, but that isn’t my style. Even after truly joining, I was still a bit weirded out about my personal style. I tried the bohemian look, but it looked on me like a costume and I didn’t feel comfortable. There is still a REALLY bad pic on MySpace somewhere with me in it look like a beached whale in hippy blue. I decided to reclaim my look on my own terms and that is the essence of what this Nation is all about. Doing me. Being the best me possible.

If you have any questions about me or my Nation hit me up via email at Don’t send me anything at the yahoo email in the Facebook widget. It’s a dump email address.

(That’s how we come and go)
Serenity Love Sincere Peace Earth

Monday, January 3, 2011

Simplicity 5387

Peace Y'all!

Today was the only day I got off for any of the December-January holidays. I don't normally work on Fridays and Xmas and NYE fell during the weekend. My boss got away without having to pay us any holiday pay. It happens.... I made the best of today by working in the sewing room!

I know I have begun to plan my spring/summer wardrobe but I still need some things for the winter. Especially since it just started. I need a brown skirt, a blue skirt and a red skirt. But I didn't make any of those. Another thing I'm light on is blouses/tops.

I'm heavy all over but especially in the top and that's usually one of the more difficult parts to fit. Also.... I fear buttonholes. But I want a seasonless wardrobe so I have to get on the good foot.

I scored some vintage patterns at the thrift shop for a dime a piece. SCORE! Let's be real... people just don't sew like they used to. My gain. The cool thing about these pattern is (a)they are vintage and (b)they are my size. I have a bunch of FBA tutorials and am willing to get rolling on them, but it's good to make something that fits right out the bag.

S5387 is dated 1981. Wow! I was 10 in 1981. I can't believe that 1981 is considered vintage. The other blouse pattern is even older. I would say the 60's or 70's. The directions are so yellowed. The God and I were cracking up! Let me tell you, all of these blouses will get made! Another thing that I found interesting about working with a previously owned pattern is that the blouse I made was already cut out. The last time I worked with a previously cut pattern I couldn't figure out how to undo their alterations and add mine. It was an epic fail and i am still trying to figure out how to recover that fabric.

Here goes my review...
Simplicity 5387

18 1/2

4 Blouses (I did view C, the red one)

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

Not sure, seems like rayon

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Very, but I didn't need too. I always read directions before I even cut. I have found that there is always hidden wisdom in directions.

What did you like or dislike?
I liked all of it and hated none of it. This was a very easy pattern. I completed it in 1 sitting. I stopped a lot but it took about 3 hours of continuous work from start to finish. Remember it was already cut. And there were only a few pieces. Another thing is I am/was scared of buttonholes, but this wasn't bad. Only 5 buttons.

Alterations made?
None! Never had that happen before

Would you sew it again?
Yes. And plan to

Recommend to others?