Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to enjoy yourself at work

I am blessed to work with the nicest people. When Holly described this dress, I knew I could recycle it for non-matron-of-honor duty. Today we were cut loose at 3pm for Thanksgiving and we were in good spirits. Holly livened things up by modeling her recycled Holiday Dress.
Doesn't she just rock that dress?! The clogs might have to go, though.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
And Happy Sewing- use your sewing power to make the world a better place :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maternity dress makeover -> Party Dress

My co-worker was to be matron of honor in her friend's wedding at the same time she was due to give birth to her little girl (who is 6 months old today!) She bought this dress in a larger size and had it altered. Then she had the baby the day before the wedding and never wore it. She hates to shop and needs a holiday dress, so I sized it back down for her.

Here it is- finished except for the beaded trim on the sides that need to be re-attached:
(cute style for maternity dress, eh?) I decreased the side seams by 1" at the armscye and 1.5" at the empire waist seam, tapering to 1" down to the hem. I completely de-constructed the bodice. The only part that made me nervous was the narrow hems. But I am very pleased with the results. Below you can see the narrow rolled hems (straight stitch on regular machine) and the rolled hem serge on the chiffon seam.
Oh- and I moved the spaghetti straps in the back to compensate for the rest of the fact that this is a size 16 dress cut down to fit a pretty tiny person. Right now they are held by safety pins until I confirm the length of the straps.
The lining and the dress are both made from the same fabric; a polyester crepe. The overlay is a polyester chiffon. The chiffon was originally finished with a French seam but I couldn't maneuver it to sew a French seam after the alteration. Instead, I used the serger set for a narrow rolled hem. It was my first time using a narrow rolled hem on the serger, and had I known it would work so well, I would have done all the hems that way. It was fast and easy and looks better than I expected.
To help me handle the fabric, I sprayed it with starch and it worked great to stiffen the fabric slightly and keep it from fraying. I pressed with a lot of steam and the starch seemed to just disappear afterwards.

I really didn't intend to load the pictures in this order (kinda reverse!) but I'm leaving it this way. This is just a little blogging on a little sewing. I bet Holly will let me take her picture when I take it back in to work. This week we have the party dress, a potluck lunch and decorating for Christmas. We are entering into competitive holiday decorating this year- it will be as gaudy as we can get it.
Now. I am glad that's finished, as I wish to sew something new to wear, for me.
Me, me, me.
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cleansing the palette; inspiration

I really enjoy looking at a blog called my love for you is a stampede of horses. In today's post is this crazy haiku. A print is available for sale here.
I did a little sewing this weekend - an alteration for my co-worker Miss Holly. She was supposed to be maid of honor in her friend's wedding when she was 9 months pregnant. She had her baby the day before the wedding so she never got to wear the dress.

I just de-constructed the bodice and took in the side seams and put it back together. Then I had to cut 2.5 inches off the front hem to be be level with the floor. The side seams are all finished, I just need to hem it (lots of rolled hems on lining, dress and chiffon overlay)

It is sooo pretty and I enjoyed working on a short project, especially cuz it made Miss Holly so happy. My co-workers are nice.
Happy Sewing!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kitty Chronicles- Day 4

During my lunch hour on Tuesday, I visited A Fabric Place, and got a few swatches for bedroom curtains. Although most fabrics there are on the pricey side, I found a poly blend for only $5/yard that will be purrrrfect.

HOWEVER, I haven't had time to go back and get the fabric, because I found another little swatch out in the parking lot! The cutest, friendliest kitten dashed up to me and introduced herself. I went back into the store and asked Michael, "Whose cat is this?" and before I knew it she was in my car and I was dashing home to deposit her in the condo and get myself back to work. (I did have a litter box on hand just in case I wanted to bring Pepper up to visit Baltimore)

Here she is on Thursday morning, just before her visit to the vet. People walk dogs outside! Frequently! Birds fly! Often! I could not get her to turn around and look at me for a good portrait.

The visit to the vet was very good- she needed all the regular routine shots & tests and she was pronounced a healthy 5-month-old female (no I had not yet looked). Ever since the vet, all she does is sleep! But she never seems to close her eyes. Maybe that is a habit from life in the wild. It is a little unnerving.

This photo was taken on day #2. She was so affectionate and hungry for attention. This is literally the best shot I could get on day #2. This is a cat using a camera as a petting device.

And day #1. I bought some cat food at the convenience store on my way home from work and she carefully ate a small amount. I was impressed that she didn't over-eat, then barf it all up.

I've been putting feelers out to place her in a good home because we do have 2 cats already, after all. But I think she is a keeper. She could possibly be, actually, the best cat ever.
So - no curtain fabric this month!! The Animal Medical Center of Mt. Washington got the fabric money this month! LOL. I am really sticking to my self-imposed spending moratorium. I found fabric in the stash for curtains.
Happy Sewing!
(if you were a stray cat, wouldn't you go to a fabric store and wait for your new human? It was a clever strategy on her part, eh?)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Meandering ...

I was in Timonium yesterday and I wandered into a Home Dec fabric store called Alexander Blank, where all kinds of stuff is on sale. This fabric jumped at me - and it's asking to be made into a duvet cover. I love the overscale print and I am very fond of purple and gray.

And the windows need curtains, although I sure am reluctant to cover up this gorgeous view. I have this view from home and also from my cubicle at work. It's a miracle I get anything done. Gorgeous fall colors this year!
I sewed a curtain wadder this week. A work buddy gave me a huge amount of Home Dec lace, which I would not necessarily choose, but heck it was free, ya know? Once I had hung them, I could see stains that had not come out in the wash- it was very sad looking so off it goes.
Anybody want a ton of lace? Maybe you could die it. PLease don't ask me what it's made out of! I did wash it with regular Tide detergent and ran it through the dryer, so it is sturdy stuff.
(I wonder if entering the SWAP and the Endless Combinations contests have destryed my mojo? Seriously, I may back out of both sew-alongs because it is feeling a little smothering...)
I will think on it.
Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hibernate in style!

Like a lot of us fashion sewers, I don't much care for Home Dec. sewing.
BUT... it is autumn and feeling cosy seems very appropriate.
Don't these bed linens remind you of Chado Ralph Rucci? Read more on the wonderful blog Desire to Inspire. The bed linens are sold by Wallter. I can totally see a quilt like this sewn from the amazing Zegnas that Michael sells.

Now- I am not saying I am going to sew that~!
I am hibernating!!! And surfing the internet.
The second I catch my breath, I am sewing clothes. I do have a plan for SWAP in my head and it works with the Endless Combinations contest at patternreview.

To the tune of 'Darling Clementine'

Oh my mojo,
sewing mojo,
Tell me, why did you depart?

I have fabric,
Lots of patterns
And a lot of stuff to start!