Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NL 6634 and 50/50


I have a coworker who is a straight hustler. I don’t have that particular hustler gene. I am not good at selling anything. Not candy bars as a child, not Avon as young adult, not really anything. I am a person who can take no for an answer and not bother you again. This may be why my side gig of sewing for other people is just that. A side gig.

I was at a regional conference with a table full of crowns, bags, headwraps and other Nation paraphernalia that folks tell me all the time that they want. The operative phrase is FOLKS TELL ME THEY WANT. Last year I made so much stuff, and really only sold a little more than my expenses. I ain’t mad. At the end of the event is when I made most of my gold. People thought I would discount the prices rather than take product home. I told these people that this is a side gig and pays not one bill in my house. And it’s not like the product expires. I can sell it whenever; and do. Once people understood this they bought stuff. But why does it have to be like this?

Anywho…. My coworker had experience with selling surgical caps at a previous job. We work in a hospital. She doesn’t sew, but she knows I do. She convinced me to partner with her. I don’t really like working with other people, but I would never have thought to do any thing like this on my own. I have been working here for 9 years and never conceived such an idea.

Here is my problem with the set up….. She thinks we should split this 50/50. I’m uncomfortable with that. I buy the fabric and make the caps, All she is doing is selling them. That doesn't seem like it warrants 50/50. She says it’s her idea and she deserves to be compensated for that. We are still working out the details… Here is the cap…


This pattern looks quite a bit like the Little House on the Prairie bonnet hats. I tried one on and if fit my big head with my mid-back length dreadlocks. So I don't think the size is gonna be a problem.

She thinks we should do only holiday ones. I kinda feel differently about that. Some folks like holiday kitsch…. Some don’t. I say, make the caps in holiday colors, yes… but make them in such a way they could be worn year round. Like for Xmas, red ones, green ones and gold ones. The red could work for Valentines Day and the green could work for St. Patrick’s. See where I’m going with that? In hospital environments there are a lot of people whom aren't American and don't share American traditions. They often don't understand our holidays. So I chose some light blue plaid and a moderately ethnic print. It's not really ethnic, but white folks would say it is. She bought a ½ yard of Snowmen fabric. (I convinced her to buy the fabric buy claiming I was broke and would be waiting until I got paid to purchase it. She didn't want to wait.) I got 6 caps out of that. I had some big scraps lying around and made another 7 out of them. We sold 1 yesterday to a male. He didn't like the snowman pattern. Said it was too girly.

Also… I feel like I’m not getting enough from the energy expended. When I make crowns, I can get 3 or 4 from 1 $3 skein of yarn. I sell them for $10 a piece. It is so worth it. If I sell 1 of 4, I have made my money back and then some. These surgical caps are a lot of energy for little return. I run them like an assembly line and it takes me about 10 minutes a piece. There is a lot of ironing and pinning involved. She spent $6 on a half yard of the snowman fabric (she bought no thread) and I got 6 caps. We are selling them for $10 a piece. So that’s $60. But… at a 50/50 break, I get $30. I’m just not feeling it.


Peace Y’all,

Y’all had a good holiday? Mine went as expected… DRAMA!!!! Oh well….

I don’t know if you remember this pattern. Over the summer I had decided to make a floral blazer from this pattern. I was ridiculously difficult, used a LOT of fabric and had boning in it. I was looking at the skirt pattern while I cut the jacket. It grew on me. I had this fabric in my stash for a while destined for a skirt so it was a good match.

The fabric is either black or navy blue with a white pinstripe. I initially thought it was navy blue. I need a navy blue skirt. That’s why I bought the fabric in the 1st place. But the navy blue thread I used didn’t match the fabric. However the black did. When I got done with the skirt I was pissed because I don’t need another black skirt. I have plenty of black skirts. BUT… In certain lighting, it looks blue. IDK. What are you gonna do?




Pattern Sizing: 24

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

Where the instructions easy to follow?
Very simple. And not just Vogue simple, but simple simple

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
In the back, it’s not really easily seen on the pattern or on my picture, is like a fish tale? I like that detail.

Fabric Used:
Blue or black pinstripe suiting

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
All I did was lengthen in 2”. No big girl adjustments. I am okay sewing the biggest size out of the package. I am happy as a pig in poop that I don’t have to widen it.

Would you sew it again?
Yup, and plan too. I bought burgundy brocade. I think this will look really good in

Would you recommend it to others?
I really like this skirt. And it makes my stomach look flat!

This skirt, NL6106 and B5760 are my current TNT skirt patterns. They look good on my shape and I can sew them out the package.... quickly


Monday, November 12, 2012

Bornday outfit #2

Peace y’all,

I had what I thought was great degree day. I went to a vegetarian symposium, I got GREAT pizza, (If you have ever lived in the northeast then moved to the south, you the know pizza here is lacking. Felinni’s is the TRUTH!) and we went to see Cloud Atlas. There is still a dinner promised to me, but I was knocked out after the movie. It was nearly 3 hours and very deep. I got some money, funny cards, pistachios, and a HUGE brownie and an ice cream cake. I was really happy until I talked to my cousin. My cousin who I assume is older than I, (the women in my family get to an age, then appear to stop aging) since she has a son older than me, has a degree day the day after mine. I tried to call her at 8pm, but she was at the club….. I need to do some serious life re-evaluation.

These garments aren't going to get the same review as other garments because I have made and reviewed other versions before. The skirt is B5760 (at some point I need to make the jacket) and M5661. I got both fabrics on sale. The skirt fabric was $3.50/yard the blouse $2/yard. I love anything leopard, but the fabric is so flimsy that it already came apart in the left seam of the picture. I’m not surprised. I used a simple stitch. The more binding stitches made the fabric got chewed in the feed plate. Even though I love it… I bought it…. I’m not really attached to it like that. I didn't even use the same thread. It has just made me want MORE leopard. And I know the leopard I want.

The skirt I’m a little more excited about. I was in Ashley Stewart and saw a pleather skirt to die for! But it was $40. Thank goodness $40 isn’t a lot of money for me. But it was more than I was willing to spend. I mean this is why we sew right? I looked at the construction and set off to find some pleather. Pleather is not cheap y’all. But… I found some that was inexpensive to start with an on sale for 50% off. I paid $7 for 2 yards. I still have enough for a hat. Had I had time, I would have gone back this weekend. They are having another sale. But I was all busy with my 9day and stuff. I love how this skirt came out. I lengthened it by 2”. And I couldn't put a hook and eye in it because my needle wouldn't have it. I love this skirt because it’s so on trend and I needed a brown skirt. This just really worked out for me. I made sure to line it up like Sheila did hers. I am so geeked. I really get the whole TNT thing Carolyn, thanks!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

OOP S9224: Bornday #1


Y’all it’s my birthday!!!! (Well actually my true birthday is Saturday 11/10 at 8:31am) In my Nation we call it “Degree Day or “Bornday.” Either way…. I’m getting my party on! Borndays are special. Everyone shares all the other holidays with other people. But on borndays are just for you. You get to be the center of attention. That is unless you are a twin, or are born on a holiday. One tradition I have… and I have many traditions…. Is to get me something new on my day, on my own terms. i.e... I buy/make something for Serenity; and that is more than likely a new outfit. When I grew up… yeah I’m getting old saying stuff like that!…. Children didn't have all the say in their lives they have now. You may have expressed your preferences, but you got what you got. When I got old enough to have my own money… because in my house, if someone gave you money, you HAD to hand it over to Mommie or she would not let you have any peace until she saw it spent…. I made sure to have at least 1 present that I truly wanted. Also I went to Catholic school, so I didn't have a lot of personal clothes. I guess I’m a bit on the hoarding side when it comes to clothes, shoes and purses. I never had what I wanted. And it wasn't because we were broke. We weren't. Mommie is just tight with a quarter. Seriously! She didn't buy anything we didn't need.

I have been telling y’all a bit about me personal life. And that ain't like me. I must truly be getting old and have begun to ramble. Anywho…..

Since my bornday is on Saturday, no one will see me in my new duds. And isn't that the point? So…. I made 2 bornday outfits. A cream one and a leopard/pleather one. I decided to wear the cream dress before and the pleather combo after. I’m expecting company over the weekend and I don’t want to be in a white dress when she gets here. I’ll wear the darker separates on Monday and make a bornday-new-outfit-sandwich. Apparently I’m not that old….

I bought Simplicity 9224 at a thrift shop when I was getting into patterns. It was 10 cents. And where is the cents sign on this keyboard? I really cannot bring myself to pay these exorbitant prices for old patterns that folks ask. I just won’t. Especially when they were bought for all of 15 cents and not by the person selling them. I mean $35 for a pattern that cost 15 cents originally?? And even the thrift stores have caught on a bit and have begun charging $1 for patterns. I won’t pay that either. I can buy a brand new uncut pattern that has all the pieces and instructions for $1 (on sale). I’m not taking the chance on a used one for the same price. And the big 4 have vintage patterns now a days.

One of the things that blows my mind is that 1979 is considered vintage. It is 33 years ago. I’m older than that at times. Anything 30 years or more is considered vintage. When I think of 1979, I think of the television show Dallas. I remember thinking, as a small child, how glamorous all the people in the show were. Since my mother had a job, I assumed I would have to work (and I do) and most of the working women were the receptionists at Ewing Oil. This looks like something they would wear. And didn’t Ginger from Gilligan’s Island work at Ewing Oil?

The pattern had all the pieces and instructions included. I’m very thankful for that. The pattern came in sizes 18 and 20 and was already cut for a 20. Again I’m grateful. I had some cream knit from a store that was half fabric half dollar store that was going out of business. I miss that store…. So I made out like a bandit with this combo.

I tried to smile, I'm worried about wrinkles... And damn my boobs look big in this picture.

S9224: Women’s dress, OOP, from 1979

Pattern Sizing: 18 & 20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Actually yes. Even more so because I used the same color fabric that was on the package

Where the instructions easy to follow?
Yes they were.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I made it right out of the package. I always love not having to make adjustments! I do not really care for front slits. My knees are meaty and I don’t feel modest with this type of feature. I also finally figured out what the directions mean when speak on inserting the waistband. I did it like that. I don’t think it was easier. I will see how it wears.

This was my 1st time with these types of button holes. Oh there was a lot of internetting to figure out what they meant. I think I got it. Next time it will be better

Fabric Used:
Cream knit. I don’t know what kind of knit. It was that type of store. As of yet, I’m not itching, but that could change. The knit doesn't have a lot of body to it. I wore a girdle although the popular current word is “shapewear” to camouflage the lumps, but you can see the shapewear. I don’t really see the point?

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None I was testing out the waters...

Would you sew it again?
I plan too. I want to make one of the short sleeved longer versions for the summer in a cotton, possibly with a print. Maybe for the 4th of July? Does anyone other than me plan that far in advance?

Would you recommend it to others?
Yes if you can find it.

Conclusion: I’m very satisfied!

Stay tuned for bornday outfit #2!


Monday, November 5, 2012

NL 6106

Peace y’all,

I have been sewing, but I have not been blogging. And it’s not the blog… It’s my job situation. I have been working at this job for 8.5 years. I have relative privacy in my office so I can do what I want. For some reason I have yet to fathom, my boss decided to hire someone to “help” me. She is older, Caucasian, and doesn't want to be told anything by me because she has done this type of work for 27 years. But she cannot type, file, refuses to learn the software and she consistently lies and bullies the patients. So now I have to watch my back when I do stuff at work. She does all kinds of personal isht at work, but I’m not petty enough to snitch. If folks do their jobs, who cares what else they do? That’s my see… I don’t like to blog at home because I’m busy sewing or thinking about sewing, or shopping for sewing…. That’s where the magic happens!

Basically… I’ll be playing catch up for awhile.

I made NL6106 over the summer. Atlanta does not have a large selection of fabric stores. You would think they would since this is a big metro area, they have designers based out of Atl and they have a fashion school here. We have Hancocks, Joanns and Hobby Lobby. Some Walmarts have fabric and notions. Then there are the few… and I mean few… Mom and Pop stores. One of these stores is called Gayle K fabrics. This place has every effing thing you can imagine. I think that is where the students and designers shop. Seriously. B.U.T. They are seriously effing high; and I mean for everything like thread, buttons, zipper, just everything. And they never have sales. They WILL have what you are looking for, but it will cost more to make than to buy. But I was in there one day looking for tangerine linen (because where else will you find tangerine linen?) to make my spring jacket and I saw this fabric. I could not stop thinking about it. I have a firm policy that when you think about something for days and lay in the bed thinking about it…. You must. So I did.

I really love everything about this skirt. I love that I can wear it year round. I also love that it’s printed. But I wasn't thinking about the print when I cut the 1st panel. I would have lined it up differently. Valuable lesson learned. I would have preferred the antelopes be the stars rather than the birds. Because of that I had to line the back up to match. I’m okay with it, though. I’m not really mad. I have enough scraps to make a purse.

Pattern Sizing: 10-22

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

Where the instructions easy to follow? Very

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? That I didn't have to make 1 adjustment to the pattern. I was able to sew it right out of the package. And it was actually loose. Yay running!

Fabric Used: Printed Denim

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Not 1

Would you sew it again? Yes and I have. When I made it the second time, I used the shorter version for my Halloween costume. The shorter version is REALLY short and not modest at all.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes

Conclusion: A TNT A-line pattern that is modest and not frumpy looking.