Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Beauty in Yellow

Last week my friend Alexandra came over and we sewed and sewed and sewed for almost 8 hours. I was helping her make her wedding dress!!!!! It was a blast, but tiring. She fed me well though. I think we both learned a lot from it. I was very nervous, I think for many reasons, but one being that the fabric was $50 a yard. Second being that I am used to sewing alone and not having to be so perfect. I love the colors she picked out, yellow and turquoise. After that day she went home and remade the top part so that it would be perfect. I love that she made her wedding dress. She will look beautiful!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Strapless No! One sleeve Yes!

I am making McCall's pattern # 5658 for a friends wedding. It is an evening wedding in San Diego and will be outside in a Japanese Friendship garden. I wasn't going to make a dress, but I got the bug to make something, I have 2 weeks to "get her done." I have a hard time wearing strapless and I don't like always pulling and fidgeting with my clothing, so the dress is one sleeved dress. I think it makes it a little sophisticated. I am going to use the black print fabric for the dress and maybe a pink satin fabric for the cross sleeve part, to make it a little more fancy. I also think I will make it a little longer and maybe add a ruffle along the sleeve. I think the dress will be a little wild and I might look like the flowers in the garden, but I like big bold prints. If it doesn't look good, I'll just wear a dress I already have. I will post pictures of it when I am done.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Coffee Date Gone Bad!

I was so excited about this project. It is a a dress with a ruffle down the front. I was almost done with it and it didn't fit. I tried and I tried to zip it up, but it wouldn't budge. I was so sad. I tried to let out the darts, but it still wouldn't go. I put a longer zipper in and still nothing. I was even more sad. The next day I decided to try again. I bought more fabric and I made the pattern 2 sizes larger. I will use the same zipper and I will reuse the fabric for another project. I am planning on working on it this weekend. This time the dress should be perfect since I already made it once. Lesson learned: ????? I did measure myself, I kept trying it on and I compared the size with other dresses I have made. Please work!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Invention of the Sewing Machine

This was on the burdastyle blog. I found it very interesting.

"In the beginning was the needle, or better, the patent for a needle designed to be used by a machine; since the patent didn't describe the machine, the needle was of no great use either. That was 1755. The next 75 years should see at least six new patents for all sorts of different attempts to develop sewing machines, none of them successful and all them soon to be forgotten.
Finally in 1830, a French tailor, Barthelemy Thimonnier, cracked the nut and designed the first functional sewing machine that used one thread and a hooked needle, but rather than fame and money, the machine almost cost him his life, as a mob of enraged French tailors burnt down his garment factory, fearing the new invention would threaten their jobs.
Maybe this was the reason why Walter Hunt who built the first somewhat successful sewing machine just a few years later had no interest in patenting it. The next in line, Elias Howe, in contrast fought vehemently against competitors to get his machine with lockstitch mechanism patented. His most dangerous rival was Isaac Singer, with whom Howe entered into a tedious patent battle (by the way Singer was not just an inventor but also an actor!). Having won the battle, and therefore rights to a share in the profits of Singer's commercially successful invention, Howe earned close to 2 million dollars from his earlier invention.
How did these first sewing machines look like: in principle just like today's sewing machines with the main difference that they were powered manually via a big wheel on the back of the machine. That may not sound hugely comfortable or time efficient compared to what we know today, but in comparison to sewing by hand these machines were definitely much faster. The "lock stitch" mechanism invented by E. Howe, which uses two threads, one passing through the needle and one being fed from a bobbin, is still today the basic stitch performed by any sewing machine."
Image © Smithsonian

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Junior League Skirt

Lately I have been busy training for the 3-Day and sewing. Today was a training day and I just completed 13 miles. If it seams I am sewing a lot, I am. As long as I am not working that much I am trying to enjoy life without spending much money. Awhile ago I found The Junior League's thrift store on Fillmore. In the sale area I found some fabric that was $3. It is one of many fabrics I have had in my fabric pile waiting to be made into something . Yesterday I decided to make a skirt with it. I used the "Sew What Skirts" book and made a pattern. This is an a-line skirt like the vintage skirt I made, but it is longer and instead of a zipper it has a drawstring waist. I really liked the way it turned out, but I just noticed that the stripe at the bottom is a little crooked. Tomorrow may be a sewing day........stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blue Pineapple Shirt

I made this shirt today. It really is a one of a kind shirt with blue pineapples. I think this style of shirt is flattering for many body types. It is a wrap style with a seperate belt. I found the light linen fabric at Fabrix and it was really cheap. For some reason I loved the fabric.
If you want to make it go to the link and print out the pattern. The only part that was confusing were the the side sleeves, but I scrapped them. http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/show/654

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Grab & Go Skirt

I have been wanting a dark denim skirt. I wanted it so that I can wear anything with it, colors, black or brown. I want to grab it and go to work. Skirts are sometimes hard to wear because you either have a certain top that goes with it and that top may be dirty or you have to try on several tops. The best part of this skirt is that the fabric is a dark stretch denim. This means that the skirt is fitted, but is comfortable!!!!! I made this skirt last week and it was pretty easy. The zipper on it is the best one I have done. I can't wait to wear it.

P.S. My photographer Bert has been out of town so I have had to do self pictures for the last few projects.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

In honor of 4th of July

Who says you can't be fashionable for the 4th...Here are some fun options.