Monday, March 21, 2011

Meet Zippy


I was at a friends home who sews last summer. She had just retired from her job and those of us who ride the bus with her wanted to pop in and see how she's doing. She knows I sew, so she wanted to show me her sewing room. It was amazing. There was so much to be in awe of. The arrangement of the room, her stash, how she organized her patterns. I was flabbergasted. My sewing room looks like a bomb hit it. Two things struck me as something I could achieve was her bedazzler and her electric scissors.

I had never seen electric scissors before. Ever. I didn't know they existed. I have been obsessed with them since I saw her pair.

I saw some incredibly inexpensive ones on I am not one of those people that like to go big when I'm not sure. The God purchased these scissors for me. I love them! But let me be specific...

It's battery operated. My friend's had a cord and a plug. I could tell it was an older model. It is not a pink cut. Just a flat one. That's mostly cool. I may have to process my edges a little better. I don't have a serger. And I noticed that it didn't really want to cut knit. But I don't sew a lot of knit so I'm thinking that probably won't be a problem. It cut through various levels of fabric with no problem. I had it up to 4 pieces of denim. It's also brand new. Lets see how it does in a few years. For $6 I can afford a new one every year.

I hate cutting the fabric. I dislike cutting patterns too, but at least I can do that in the bed while watching TV. Zippy made it quick and pleasant to cut the fabric out. I'm thinking I'll be able to do more sewing because of him.

The cuts aren't super precise. Sometimes I had to go in and cut intricate parts of patterns. But that isn't enough of a turnoff to get me to stop using him.

And this is a bonus.... The noise Zippy makes, scares my cat off. No more feline pulling down my fabric!!!!

All that's left is the bedazzler.....


Simplicity 2403


I said I was going to sew this weekend and I did. But with varying levels of success. You wanna hear it? Here it goes....

Y'all know I was fiending for a new white dress for the Asiatic New year. Well..... I was gifted with Simplicity 2403 From Toy. I looked in the mini-stash and found some white eyelet. I have no idea why I had it. This is why I don't keep a true stash. Stuff gets lost. There is a white 2-piece dress that I often see that I often want. It reminds me of that dress. I wonder why I never made said dress before? there is a possibility that I meant to use it for curtains. It has a pretty bottom. Hmmm.... Any who.... Free fabric + free pattern = new white dress!

Now I don't have very many Simplicity patterns. I have a lot of McCalls and Vogue patterns. And for some reason I have a lot of Advanced patterns. Go figure. I'm not really sure how I fit Simplicity. I measured and was still confused. So I cut a 20 (the biggest size I could cut). It was too small across the chest. I have not mastered how to do a FBA on a princess seam. Soooooo...... I cut big, decreased the seam allowance from 5/8 to 1/4 and added thickness to the front panel where the buttons go. I am going to add 2 rows of buttons rather than the single breasted option. That will make it look more intentional. That still wasn't enough to get it to close. (Have I mentioned I have large breasts?) Also I will add a panel to the side seam. I learned to sew because of these same adjustments. This is taking me back to my adolescence.

I won't let this dress beat me. And I will post pics of the finished garment on me and on the hanger.

I refuse to have wadders!


Thursday, March 17, 2011


Two posts today? What have y’all done to deserve this????

Just kidding.

The builds didn’t seem like they went together so I decided on 2 posts.

This coming weekend marks 2 milestones… The Asiatic New Year (Spring) and my midway point of P90x. I did not want to make clothes for spring that I would have to alter. I needn’t have worried. I haven’t lost all this glorious weight that I was expecting to lose. Everything in degrees. I am supposed to have a white ensemble to celebrate A.N.Y. I probably won’t have that. But I am assuming that there will be something new to mark this occasion. You know why? Because I’m sewing this weekend even if it kills me!

Remember my spring plans? A white and beige wardrobe that is easy to pair other garments with. I already have the bags and shoes. I suppose I could make the white suit for Monday. I have everything I need but the time. Cross your fingers on that one.

I’m excited to be this close to spring and I need it! It must be contagious because the God bought me electric fabric scissors!!! He knew that I dislike cutting the fabric out. He also had a table that he has made available to me for cutting. Normally I cut on the floor all hunched over. I have a bad back that is getting worse. Standing while cutting is the truth.

If I had the fabric, and had a clear idea of what exactly I wanted, I could make a new white dress. But I am flirting with 3 different patterns that I want in white. I wear a lot of white in the spring and summer. It is a tradition to get a new white garment to mark the equinox. Consequently I have a LOT of white dresses already. But I want something new. I could go to Hancocks tomorrow and see…. Maybe some linen…. Maybe a knit… Maybe a stretch poplin…. I just don’t know!

But I do know this…. I’m making something this weekend, damnit!


Sew Happy

Peace Y’all,

One of my co-workers fro some reason thinks she can do everything I do. When I’m sewing, she is sewing. When I am crocheting, she is crocheting. I would find it flattering but she doesn’t ever have any real success at it probably because she doesn’t know what she is doing or has a clear picture in her mind drawn up of what her aims are. She asked me what was going on in my sewing room for spring. We had a long conversation about patterns and my plans and I casually mentioned that I had cleaned my own machine. She said with a straight face, “Does it still work?” Really? I must have looked insulted because she came back quick with her response. “Oh! I didn’t know you knew how to do that!” I suppose she wanted to preserve her ride home.

On Monday evening, I used my extra hour energy to clean and oil my machine. Did I know what I was doing? Not really. (You have to start somewhere) But I was armed with internet instructions supplemented by human instructions from a bunch of people at Hancocks. I took apart 1 panel at a time and vacuumed all the dust, cleaned all the grime off and oiled the oily looking parts. Then I replaced the panel and moved on to the next one. The screws were on super tight since I have never had the machine serviced. I sew way more now than I ever did. And I have had the machine since I was 13. The God had to remove and replace screws. For the most part, it was clean inside. The only areas of dust and grime where around the bobbin case and under the feed plate. There was some serious nastiness in there. I got it all out and re-oiled.

I waited a day for everything to sink in and settle and then I sewed something small. I haven’t heard my machine purr like that in years. I almost fell asleep from the easy stitches. Nothing grinding, scratching, shaking or getting stuck. She feels like new! KiKi is now under her hood protected in my sewing room. Mama takes care of her babies!

I am thinking of picking up one of the vintage (or maybe just old) machines I see in the thrift stores and service it. Just to get my servicing chops up to speed. Earths be asking (excuse the Ebonics) to borrow my machine. But I don't lend KiKi out or allow anyone else to sew on her.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

McCalls 5661

Peace Family,

I have been sewing. Still sewing winter clothes. Or at least that's what I'm calling them. These are clothes I can wear now, and clothes I can wear later. I need blouses. But 1st things 1st.

I sewed Simplicity 2947 again. Remember the 1st time I made it was for Thanksgiving. I made a purple one for a party dress. But.... Just as I was about to leave the house, the zipper burst. And burst is the right word. Oh well.... My plan is too put another in and shorten it a bit. And maybe think about making a crinoline. Maybe.

Yesterday I cut and made McCalls 5661. Yeah baby! Today was Earth Appreciation Day here in Allah's Garden. I want to wear something new to mark the occasion and represent my breed of style. Mainstream yet righteous. So many Earths choose to dress like hippies, and that's their choice. I sometimes dress like a hippie. But I just want to put other options out there.

I cut fabric yesterday and my plan was to get up early today and sew it up. But.... The music was good on the radio and I got into that mood. At first I was like I'll just interface the facings.... Then I was like let me just sew the big pieces together.... Damn that's some good music... Next thing I knew I was adding the sleeves. Done. So that freed me up this morning to make a matching crown.

One thing that annoyed me to know end was that the fabric had a recurring defect in it. That's why it was on sale. It became a problem because I forgot about it. So while I was putting it together, I kept coming across defects. Luckily it wasn't in crucial areas. A facing. Under the sleeve. But there was one on a back panel close to the buttons. Well it's over now. And I only have a small amount left for the quilt pile.

M5661 falls into that category of transitional clothing. I made it short sleeved and in a eggplant color. It's nice. I'll be able to wear it until it gets truly cold. I let the God choose the buttons and he didn't choose too bad. Here is my review....

Pattern Description:
McCall's 5661. Misses' blouse.

Pattern Sizing:
Okay.... I have been on a diet for the last 2 months and I assume I have lost weight so I measured myself. According to the largest measurement, I should be a little larger than a 16, I cut a 18. I should have cut a 20.

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?

Actually yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked everything. Especially how detailed the instructions were

Fabric Used:

Not sure. I was shooting for cotton, but I suspect it was polyester because there was no wrinkling whatsoever

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
All I added was the FBA. And it wasn't my normal bootleg FBA. It was the directions that came with the pattern

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Oh yes. I have plans to make 3 more blouses using this pattern in different views

What's next? I'm going to try my hand at servicing my own machine.

Wish me luck!