Monday, January 26, 2009

Lessons Learned

There are things in life you simply will never do twice. 
It reminds me of moving to the San Francisco east bay. Just after moving here my daughter was about to give birth. I being an excited first time grandma decided I wasn't going to miss this birth. Since my husband was at the office I had a friend drop me off at the local BART station and I just knew I could get to the Oakland airport easily. To make my point I will just tell you I ended up at the Embarcadero in San Francisco. By the time I hooked the next train back and got to the airport I had missed my flight and ended up on a red eye. I will NEVER miss that stop again. I have made that trip many times since, very successfully. I will also say here that I did witness my grandchild's birth.

The new lesson... I decided I would buy the fabric for my tailoring class inexpensively. I needed 100% wool. I have a degree in Fashion Merchandising and have been sewing for many years and so I had every confidence I could choose 100% wool fabric without much problem. At the warehouse type fabric store I ran into a fellow classmate also having the dilemma of not wanting to spend top dollar for fabric. I suggested to her that she run a burn test before beginning. I on the other hand KNEW my choice was right. I chose two nice fabrics just knowing they were 100% wool. Later that evening while contemplating my good fortune I decided that maybe I should take my own advice and do a burn test on my fabric.

Well, you know I was stunned to find that my wool fabric was NOT  100% wool but was indeed a blend!!!! An expensive mistake. The two fabrics while being much cheaper per yard, were by the time I purchased two fabrics with an ample yardage a very close price to my guaranteed from a reputable dealer wool. :(  I will never buy ample yardage from a lower price dealer without the appropriate burn test. I remember the old adage, "you get what you pay for".  Well, once again it holds true.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The last of Melissa's "Skirts and Blazers" and Sewing without a pattern

I am done making the skirts and blazers for Melissa. She was so excited to get them. It is so fun to have people love what you do for them. The fun thing about sewing for other people is that they have to make all the decisions about what they want and out of what. When I am making something for myself I often have such a hard time with those pesky decisions. It does help to have purchased your fabric inexpensively.

 The other day I received a box from Fabric Mart with five pieces of wool. Fun, fun. The great thing is that the fabric is way better than I expected. I only paid about $4 a yard for each piece. 
I made a lovely dress from the purply/grey wool crepe.

This dress was made with a bias technique I learned while in a class on making a Chinese Lantern skirt from Juliann Bramson. Here's a picture. I was the star pupil that day making two of these skirts (I'll post photos another time) I found my MoJo that day. 

Juliann started telling me about another technique she had learned of making clothing without a pattern. Making a skirt or dress or top with or without sleeves, and on the bias. Making clothing on the bias, when using a drapey fabric gives a wonderful hang and is very comfortable. You start this with just some yardage of fabric, and by folding and stitching you get a tube of bias. You then add holes for neck and arms for a dress or top, or you finish the end with elastic or add darts and a zipper for a skirt. Julieann told me I would probably enjoy figuring it out by myself. Sooooooo she demonstrated the idea with a piece of paper. I was so intrigued with the idea. It turns out Juliann was right, I loved the whole process of figuring it out. This wool crepe dress is done with this bias method and then the neck and sleeve openings were cut out. I used the pattern Simplicity 2846 for the sleeve and neckline cuts. I really think the sleeves and neckline are classy and cute. You can't really tell in the picture the diagonal of the dress. Here is a picture of the technique while in the tube state. This will become a skirt. The tape measures are set down on the seam lines so you can see them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Simplicity 2882 modified

Here is the simplicity pattern brought to me for the making of this white dress. She needed sleeves and the bodice brought up a bit for more coverage. I altered the bodice to accommodate both of these changes. 

Here is the dress I made with the alterations. It turned out quite well and the client was happy with the results. This dress was also done during the week of Thanksgiving. You can see I've been very busy. 

I didn't talk about christmas but my DH was so nice he purchased the perfect gift for me. This captures my mantra of life so well!

I am still having technical difficulties trying to post my blog entries the way I want. I hope the strange way things may look at times doesn't make you want to stop reading. My technical people don't seem interested in trying to help me, so I am on my own!!!! consequently some paragraphs are centered and some start at the left or right and sometimes I can't get pictures to move so I can write more. (last post) Maybe this is better anyway, I WILL learn how to do all this eventually. I did from last post to this one for example learn how to move the picture so I could keep writing behind it. Maybe having people to do things for you is overrated. The satisfaction from doing it yourself can be liberating, satisfying and simply wonderful! (even if things don't always look or read the way you intended)

Suits and skirts

I have been sewing a large order for a gal who is going on a mission for our church. Seven skirts and two blazers. WOW! This is a large order. I didn't meet with them until the week of Thanksgiving due to the college schedule. Now you know why posts haven't been made. I managed to get one blazer and six skirts done before christmas. The mom wanted gifts under the tree for her daughter. Add Image

Shown above is the finished suit. Here is a picture of all the skirts together from the same pattern I developed.