Saturday, October 30, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway!

Hi Everyone!

I'm hosting my very first giveaway on my blog courtesy of CSN Stores. CSN is comprised of over 200 online stores, selling everything from dining room chairs to sewing equipment!  Don't worry, this post isn't really about dining room chairs and you don't have to purchase a chair with your $35 gift certificate from CSN!  But, you may want a new chair for your sewing studio. :)  WOo!  You can buy shoes! or awesome bedding! (my favorite) or pet supplies!  I actually bought one of Pearl's doggie beds at CSN well before I started to blog.  She loves it!  

So here is how this works:

Check out the site and leave a comment telling me what you plan to purchase by Sunday, November 7th at 7:00pm Pacific Time. Creativity counts! I love haikus and limericks.  Actually, I will use to pick my winner, but think of something cool to write anyways!  I need something really entertaining to read in between working on homework assignments now-a-days!   I will also give you another entry if you link to this post!  Just comment again telling me you linked and you will have, count 'em, TWO entries!  YAY!  

Sorry super international folks...I'm pretty sure this is only for US and Canadian residents :(    Also I have been informed that there may be international shipping charges in the case of Canadian addresses.

I will pick the winner of the $35 gift certificate next Sunday night!  Good luck and please keep me entertained!  

(PS. I have not forgotten about the zipper giveaway...there will be one. I promise!)

Thanks Jo Ellen for becoming my newest Follower!  Don't forget to enter for your chance at $35 smack-a-roos!

Doesn't Pearl look like a Bobblehead? 

Thanks everyone and good luck!

There's no place like home....

Last year I was determined to make my Halloween costume.  I have always wanted to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but found RTW costumes either very frumpy or overly slutty.  I wanted to be tastefully naughty :)  I'm still young, and it is Halloween after all.

So here I am in my costume:

It was a first for working with slippery fabrics, lining, grommets, and using boning.  I used the crappy Joann's boning, something I will never do again.  I think it turned out pretty well for a crappy Halloween costume.  The shirt is RTW and the shoes are kid's shoes from Target.  I have tiny feet :)  

The silly thigh-highs were so ridiculously expensive from one of those seasonal Halloween Headquarters stores.  I liked the cute blue bows though.  

I also made the Boyfriend a costume.  He went as an octopus.  I actually like this picture of him, but he doesn't.  That's why is face is blocked out.  

Here's the PR for my Dorothy costume:

Pattern Description: 

Misses' wizard of oz costumes - Dorothy, scarecrow, Glinda and the wicked witch costume patterns. I made the Dorothy pattern.

Pattern Sizing:

8-16. I made an 8 in the corset/vest and a 10 in the skirt.

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

For the most part.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

For my first corset and first lined vest and skirt, yes. They were.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

The pattern was drafted okay. Not great. Because it was a costume, it did not go into the correct way to insert the boning. I didn't care because the costume was worn once. I hate the plastic boning with channels. It was a pain in the butt.

Fabric Used:

A shiny poly gingham from Joanns and rayon lining fabric.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I had to let out the skirt a bit for comfort. Maybe should have made a 12. I also serged the bottom hem for ease. I made it over a year ago so I can't remember all the changes. Nothing drastic though.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

No. I would recommend using other patterns to achieve the same look.


The costume was fun. I was happy with it when I made it for last Halloween and maybe I'll wear it again.

And don't forget to vote for Pearl for the PR costume contest starting in November.  I'll remind you all and send a link when the voting starts :)  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grrr! Roarr! Simplicity 2839

Happy Halloween (almost)!  I finished Pearl's Halloween costume about a week ago and finally got around to taking pictures! Here she is:

Isn't she the most ferocious lion you have ever seen!?  

More pictures!  

The lion has spotted her prey...

And if Pearl isn't a good enough model, here is Fritz!

 Did you know lions climbed trees?

The back hem detail:

I'm entering this costume into the Pattern Review contest so please vote for me :)

Here is the Pattern Review:

Pattern Description: 

Dog costumes in 3 sizes: Elvis, Bumblebee, Cow, Lion

Pattern Sizing:

S - M- L . I started with a small and shrunk it down to 60% on a xerox.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
More or less. After I shrunk it down, it ended up being a smidge too small so I lopped of the back legs and made it a shirt. I also omitted the tail because my dog's tail is cuter. :)

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very easy

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Their small is not really small. It will fit a fat chihuahua or a larger pug. Not my 4.5lb yorkies.

Fabric Used:

Golden polar fleece remnant from Joann's and brown faux fur.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I shrunk the pattern down to 60% of the original and added back 1/2" seam allowances. It didn't quite fit so I made it a shirt instead of a jumper. I also lined the hood with polar fleece to make it more comfy for the dogs. The fur was really scratchy on the underside. I used the same pattern pieces to make the lining, just did not attach ears to the lining. I serged the entire outfit and used a twin needle for all the hems. I omitted the tail. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? 

I would like to make it a bit bigger for next Halloween, maybe in the cow print for my dogs. Or make another one for my mom's yorkie. Both dogs hate hoods though. 


Sizing was a little weird, but the pattern is cute!

Pearl's pouty face.  (She's begging for a vote!)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A cool thing I learned at Industry Secrets!

No tutorial pictures...Sorry. I just don't think you need them. (If you do though, I'll post some).

 I learned something really simple, and I might even say life-changing in my sewing class at FIDM.  It was sort of a "duh" moment. You know, the "Why didn't I think of that?" portion of class.

My instructor told us that when backstitching, instead of stitching from the top 1/4in., then reversing 1/4in., and then continuing forward with the seam, we should start 1/4in. from the top, reverse to the end and then continue forward.  This way:

1) It is faster and more efficient
2) It has practically the same locking effect as the "forward, backward, forward" method
3) It is easier to pick out if necessary
4) It actually creates a lot less bulk in the seam

At the end of a seam, go all the way to the end and just reverse 1/4in.  You do not need to stitch forward to the end.

I hope this made sense.

Cool, huh?


Thanks to Angie and Alethia for becoming my most recent followers!  A special thanks to Alethia for her comment on using an industrial machine.  I have been practicing and it is not as hard as it had been.  I appreciate the encouragement (and now I want an industrial machine of my own!)

I think it's time to bust out this gem of a picture.
Yes, Pearl is SEW CUTE!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My New Toy!

The shears FIDM "gave" me!  They are ARSuper SS 526-As.  The only place I can find them online is here.  They are AMAZING! These scissors are so smooth and cut like buttah.  I'm a lefty and they even work for me.  My favorite part about them is the logo though. It says ARS and has a little crocodile biting the S.  A little crocodile bitting an ARS-e.  Yes, yes, I know I'm immature.  The one thing that makes me sad about these shears is we are forced to cut the marker out a certain way: 

1) Lay down blue dot paper or brown butcher block paper.
2) Lay down 2 layers of fabric (muslin in this case) aligning the selveges along the straight edge of the paper.
3) Place marker on top (a marker is basically sheet of paper with all the pattern pieces on it)
4) Pin and then cut through ALL 4 layers....INCLUDING THE 2 SHEETS OF PAPER!

I hope my beautiful new shears don't die!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A full Course Load = Not Much Sewing... :(

I have had my first class for all five of my classes at FIDM. I've had lots of homework so I haven't had much time to sew for myself.  The same night I made the Kwik-ie I made 2 infinity scarves, but thats it.  (Pictures to come.)  I do plan on entering a Pearl costume for the PR costume contest!  I'm not going to say what she will be though.  It's a surprise!

So Monday I had Sketching and the Business of Fashion classes.  In sketching, I had a substitute teacher.  It was Mrs. Riegelman herself, author of our textbook,  9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion (3rd Edition)!  She is a lovely woman and an amazing fashion illustrator.  Her work is beautiful!  If you want to learn how to draw fashion sketches quickly, you must buy this book!  I've only drawn 10 of the basic front view croquis so far, and I have already improved!  This text is used at all of the top design schools, so it must be good!  I will definitely take pictures of my work as the quarters go by.

My business class instructor is amazing as well. Her name is Carol Pender and she has had some amazing businesses in the fashion industry. She is/was? the President of many management companies including CP Management Services, Inc., Global Technology Resources, and CAL Safety Compliance Corp. She even consulted for Homeland Security. She really knows her stuff when it comes to buying, manufacturing regulations, distribution, imports/exports, and the list goes on and on. This class is completely out of my confort zone because I am not business savvy. I've taken many college courses before, but nothing like this. It will be a completely different experience. The textbooks for this course are interesting.  A intro business book that's informative, but easy to read and this AWESOME book/CD with every form you will ever need to actually have garments manufactured.

And my industry sewing class! My instructor sounds very strict, but knows her stuff too!  She has been a costume and pattern maker.  The industrial machines we use are Jukis and sort of look like this, just older:

I had no problems winding the bobbin or threading the machine, but sewing was another story.  I can sew pretty darn well on my home sewing machine and have good control.  With these machines, I was all over the place. Granted, I was sewing on paper using a basting stitch to not shred the paper, but jeez, I sucked!  Sucked, sucked, sucked!  Anyone out there with an industrial have any tips for me? (Gigi, do you read my blog? :) )  Do I use one foot or both on the treadle?  Any tips on keeping control?  The book we use for the class is A Guide to Fashion Sewing (5th Edition) by Connie Amaden-Crawford.  Doesn't she design Big 4 patterns?  I haven't really read through the book yet, but the reviews say its a basic beginning sewing book.  We also got a cool fashion term dictionary!

I have tons of reading to do, a marker to cut out, a newspaper article assignment on demographics and psychographics, images to find, sketching, and a tedious project on tints and shades.  I'm going to try to get Pearl's costume done too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I Just Love a Kwik-ie!

I didn't see all the bunching before.

I heart Kwik Sew patterns!  I've only made one, but I will love them forever.

My mom wanted to start to learn how to sew with knits so we bought K3740. I chose it for her because she liked the style, it had great directions, and it looked very easy!  I decided to test it out before she made it.  I cut a size xs and had to trace it because she is a different size.  I made the whole thing on my serger, except for the hems, which I used a double needle in my sewing machine.

I have been wanting to post this for a few days now, and decided to take the pictures myself.  Ugg.  It was hard because I was having some technical difficulties with my camera.  Plus, my hair is a giant Frizzlo (a halo of frizz*)

Here is the pattern review:

Pattern Description:

Close fitting pull-over tops have scoop neckline. View A has cowl collar and full length sleeves. View B is sleeveless and neckline and armholes are finished with self fabric bindings. View A and B necklines can be interchanged (fabric requirement will vary).

Pattern Sizing:

xs-xl. I made the xs.

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

Yes, except mine has shorter sleeves.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Very, very easy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I loved how easy and fast it was to construct.  I love, love, love, love that there was NO EASE in the sleeve cap! It made construction so much faster! No dislikes!
Fabric Used:

A polyester light to midweight knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I shortened the sleeves to just under the elbow (not intentional) because I ran out of fabric. I've had this purple knit I bought for less than a dollar at an estate sale waiting to be made into something, but everytime I lay out a pattern, nothing fit!  I only had 1.25yds.  I had to shorten the sleeves and the undercollar is cut on the cross grain.  It still worked!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I will sew this again. The cowl drapes really nicely.  Next time I will do my sloping shoulder adjustment. I always forget, but I definitely need it.

* The term frizzlo was coined by myself and my bf Al.  We are genius wordsmiths!

First Day of Classes

On Wednesday, I had my very first day of classes.  First up was my History of Costume class.  In case you all wanted to know, the textbook I am using is:

The book is very comprehensive and so far easy to read.  I really like my instructor too.  I have tons of reading to do, open-book (easy!) quizzes almost every week, a midterm, a final, and a notebook project where I have to type out my lecture notes and find images in current fashion magazines that are influenced by various costumes throughout history.  Overall, I think it will be a very useful and informative class.  

My next class was Color and Design Theory.  This class is very similar to the art class I had in High School.   Very hands-on with lots of painting projects.  It will be good to be reintroduced to color and design theory.  I think it will come pretty easily for me because my HS classes (7 and 8 years ago!) really focused on these two subjects.  My first assignment deals with creating shades and tints.  We are to take the 4 gouache paint colors and add white and black to them to create shades and tints.  I did a very similar project to this in HS using acrylic paint.  It will be fun to get back into painting.  Oh, and if you are curious, here is the text book for this class.  

Overall, it was a good day.  Not nearly as stressful as Orientation.  I met some really cool people too.  

I have my Business and Sketching classes on Monday. I fear Sketching!  I can draw clothes pretty well on croquis, but can't draw the figures themselves.  Everyone says I will be amazed at how good I get by the end of the quarter.  I can't wait until my Industry Sewing class on Tuesday!  

On another note,  Follower thank yous!

My newest followers on Blogger are Valerie and Susan.  Also, Ashley of NellieK.  Like me, she loves Cynthia Rowley!  

Thanks for following and thanks to everyone who continues to comment on both Blogger and Pattern Review.  

What the heck... Here's a new picture of Pearl:

Pearl half-way into her striped onesie. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Get to Drive a Maserati!


The Maserati of sewing machines that is!  That is how the Head of the Fashion Design Program at FIDM described industrial sewing machines.  My first test drive will be on Tuesday! 

I'm not going to use this blog to bitch and moan about life so I won't go into detail about orientation.   All I will say is there was a total of 4 hours of sitting in traffic, rain, and long, long lines for everything.  It was not my cup of tea and all the information I needed was in the packet I was given first thing in the morning.

My favorite part of the day was a lecture by Peter Tredwin, founder and President of Business Affair, a consulting company for business management and retail merchandising.  His lecture was entitled "Concept to Consumer" and man, it was fascinating!  It reminded me a lot of what Kathleen Fasanella of Fashion-Incubator writes about in her blog.  This man was so passionate about his business and seemed to genuinely care about the success of the 400+ people in the room.  A great intro. to the industry!

I haven't been sewing lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it.  My best friend flew in for a visit last week and we drove to L.A. to test the commute.  We also browsed the Fashion District and used this article to guide us in the right direction.  

Here is a list of places we visited:

Alen's Fabric - 821 S. Wall St.
~ Carmel Tex - 432 E. 9th St.
~ Fabrics and Fabrics - 403 E. 9th St.
~ Mike's Fabric - 829 S. Wall St. (My favorite!)
~ Zip Up Zipper - 828 S. Wall St.

We visited quite a few more, but I was camera-less and forgot many of the names.  Mike's Fabric was my favorite because it was so well organized. I could breathe in there!  The selection was a lot smaller, but the quality and prices were good.  I picked up this light to mid-weight purple and black woven wool for $7/yd.  The color is so rich. I photoshopped the crappy picture to try to get a more accurate representation of the color.

I need a good coat pattern.  I was thinking M5937, but I not loving the huge droopy lapels.  I don't think the Lady Grey would flatter my figure either.  Any suggestions??? :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

New Patterns!

A few blogs I read have already posted their picks for the new Vogue patterns that were released. The only one I really like is the new Cynthia Steffe pattern:

I probably will not buy it though because I need to wear a bra and the back is very low cut.  Maybe if I were to raise the back opening.  It could change the overall look and feel of the pattern though.

I'm much more excited about the new Simplicity patterns.  I want this one:


and this one:


Next Joann's sale I will be purchasing these two.