Monday, March 30, 2015


It's a beautiful labor of love, and how I spent a good chunk of my week last week.
9 tabs in a spreadsheet.
176 pieces.
223 yards.

We're going to ignore the fact that I have yet to count the linings or the interfacings or the net/tuelle/crinolines or the flannels and just marvel at all the pretty fabrics now.  They're lined up on a shelf where I can see them, wrapped around tiny bolts made from comic book boards.  It's been a 2 day process, but I think it'll be worth it if it means I can see my fabrics, I stop buying duplicates, and I want to sew more... which is what it's all about, right? If I can see my stash I can sew my stash.

This process is part of the complete re-organizing and un-cluttering of my sewing space in the guest room.  As I cataloged the fabrics, I folded them the width of the comic book boards, and stored winter fabrics that way until after we move.  Summer fabrics, knits, bag fabrics, and quilting cottons all went onto the shelf.  Decor fabrics were put away till it's time for curtains/slipcovers in our new house, folded in their own bin, and I have yet to find the solution for cuts of fabric under 1 yard(mostly quilty stuff) so it has its own bin, where everything is neatly folded and arranged vertically in rows so I can see it all.

Now I'm off to drool at fabrics and finish the rest of the room... Maybe I'll come up with some sort of grand reveal to do here on the blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stitching, fitting woes and SO CLOSE

This is another post in my new(ish) Throwback Thursdays series.  I've used this spot as a way to highlight the process of sewing my wedding dress over the past few weeks, although a bad cold kept me away from the computer for a couple of weeks, and a new computer means this is a post without pictures.  Read on for the latest steps in the journey!

So I overcame fear of the machine, and it was smooth sailing because of all of the hours of basting.
And it was a big moment when I finally got to put the dress on... and a good bit of shock too.  In the 2 and a half weeks between un-stitching the muslin and putting real stitches in the silk, I'd lost nearly 3 inches at my bust and probably an inch at my waist. Thanks, stress.  And thankfully, a good bit of the excess pinched out at the sides pretty easily, and with the addition of foam inserts at the bust, the shape was maintained without messing with the hand-sticthed, carefully clipped princess seams.
 This was not a welcome surprise, but I unpicked the join of the lining and the dress at the top, berated myself for not trying it on sooner, stepped away from the dress overnight, took in the side seams, and put everything back together.

I used organza selvages to strengthen the curve at the neckline, and all the way around the dress, which really helped the integrity of the silk when the top had to be un-stitched and re-stitched. The straps went in the front at this point, to be pinned to the right placement in the back.

This is the point where I needed to go to the fitter/hemmer who is a friend of a friend and get the back marked for all the tiny pearl buttons, and for the accompanying tiny button loops.  She also pinned the hem in place, and I was very proud of myself, y'all.  I left it with her for her to hem. I let my baby- the project that had consumed all waking, non-working hours for some time at this point- in the hands of an almost complete stranger.

She had the horsehair, and the silk thread, and the dress, and I'd see it in a week to sew on all of those tiny pearl buttons and the bustle.  Cue a sigh of relief and the simultaneous biting of nails...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SWAP 2015

Y'all, I really like this year's rules for SWAP... Sewing With A Plan. Given my new job in a business casual environment, my desire to do something creative and use some color after acres and hours of sewing white, I think I am going to dive in.  A capsule wardrobe fitting the SWAP model would go a long way toward giving me a cohesive work wardrobe, and as a young professional I need all the help I can get.

If you're unfamiliar with the SWAP format, here's a run down:

Stitcher's Guild specifies you must create the following in an 11-garment format:
5 tops
3 bottoms
3 "wildcard" items

For this year's focus and twist, one garment has to reversible, multifunctional, or upcycled... making something new out of something old(which is right up my alley!!!) You are allowed one garment finished before the start date of December 26, and one purchased garment.  Wild Cards may not be accessories.

The deadline is April 30.  I think I'm in!

5 tops:
grey oxford cloth tee in TNT pattern
blue swiss dot Jasmine tie blouse by Colette Patterns
woven white envelope shoulder tshirt(will riff on TNT)
1 knit top using Renfrew by Sewaholic Patterns
1 cowl neck knit top in royal blue (likely also Renfrew)

3 bottoms:
upcycled purple boucle skirt with shaping and black side panels added??
Purple herringbone wool skirt??
black TNT skirt, add a pocket
grey pencil skirt with pockets

3 Wild Cards
Grey sweater knit dress
Fuschia Sweater knit dress
cardigan/jacket tie-together TBD, probably already in my closet.

Monday, March 16, 2015


It's over 70 degrees! Easter is in 3 weeks!

My "sewjo" as phrased on Instagram is here with a punch-packing presence and so it's off to the machine for me... I have quite a bit I would like to get through before Easter, so it's a good thing I've gotten a kick in the pants from the unlikeliest of places- a bed for our dog, Winston.  He outgrew his puppy crate a while ago, and I was ASTOUNDED at how much people pay for pet beds... So I made one with Minky and canvas. It's stuffed with scraps and clothes too worn out to give to charity.  He's one happy customer. I'm one happy customer because I didn't have to buy a dog bed, AND everything was stash.
Plus I have an excuse to share a picture of my dog, since he would kind of growl and whine if I tried to take the bed out of his crate to get pictures of it.  Apparently it's a good one.