Saturday, December 31, 2011

End of Year Wrap Up and Goals for 2012

Hello Bloggy Friends!  Here it is, that time of the year when we review the things we've sewn and plan our future projects.  I'm not gonna lie peeps, I did not do well.  I sewed a grand total of, well, two things.

Wooo!  Not.  Those two things were made from the same fabric (old bed sheet) as well. :cough:  Well, onward and upward I say!  2011 was not the greatest year of my life so I am really looking forward to the awesomeness that 2012 is sure to bring!  Ok, so goals:

1.  Sew.  It is pretty terrible when I consider the size of my fabric and pattern stash, plus the fact that I have about 6 hours of "Me" time everyday, that I only completed two items.  So, how do I fix that?

2.  Spend less time on the internet.  The interwebs are a giant time suck.  Sure, they are full of useful things that are worthy of my time like tutorials and things that help me learn to sew.  But they are also full of cute puppy videos and other "Awww" inducing distractions.  Seriously, can you every just watch one cute puppy video on Youtube?  I didn't think so.

3.  Finish setting up my sewing room.  This is the first time I've ever had an entire space devoted to me since I've gotten married.  However, some of the boxes are still not unpacked from our move.  In my defense, I'm waiting on my new shelving so I can unpack the rest of my fabric stash.  I have a hard time staying focused when I'm surrounded by clutter, so the cleaner the space, the more productive I will be.  I hope.  :)

4.  Be a better blogger.  One of my biggest pet peeves is when a blogger shows me the fabric and pattern and then never shows the finished project.  I am totally guilty of this!  It's so annoying, my bad!  This one ties into the first goal.  No all I need to do is actually sew something so I can actually blog about it. :) Easy, right?

The Sewing Plan:

I think another reason I didn't get much done was that I had no set schedule or deadlines.  I like structure in my life and pretty much require it to get anything done in a timely manner.  I'm a procrastinator, if it can be pushed back, then it will be pushed back.  Hey, the first step is acknowledging the problem, right?  So, my challenge for myself is to make 1 thing every 2 weeks.  I think this is reasonable, considering I have no pets children to take care of.

 To start off with, I am going to work through all the patterns from The Colette Sewing book.  I love love love Colette Patterns and think Sarai did an amazing job with the book.  I feel very confident that completing the projects in the book with help me hone my skills and become a better seamstress.  Then after I finish that, one pattern each month will be a Colette pattern, while the other can be whatever I choose.  Hopefully this will lessen my sewing ADD.  I went a little crazy during the Black Friday sale this year, so I'm pretty much set for my challenge :)


So, that's my plan.  What are you sewing this year?  
Wishing your and yours the very best that this year has to offer.  Happy New Year!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Testing...Testing...1...2...3...

Hey Bloggy friends!  I recently realized that anyone who reads my blog via Google Reader probably has a hard time when I post text in different colors.  So I've been tweaking the blog so I can post in black.  It's not my favorite, but it is more user friendly.  Right?  Let me know your thoughts. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's a Zebra Sorbetto!

Holy crap, it's been a long time guys.  I won't bore you with the whiny angst ridden tale of how I've gained a million pounds, how much I hate moving, and living in Germany, and how much I want to go home.  Let's just say I'm counting down the months...

Suffice to say, there is nothing like a bout of emo-ness to block your creativity.  That and a three month wait for all (well, some of it anyway) your sewing stuff to make a long trip over the Atlantic.  But I digress...I finally got my crap together, stopped moping, and started sewing.  I did start this project before the the move.  I cut and basted everything together in the States, and finished it here in Frankfurt.  This is an International Sorbetto, people!  Enough of the chit chat, time for pictures.


I'm really happy with the construction.  I french seamed the side and shoulders, and I really took my time with the bias binding.  It was by far the most nerve wracking part of this project.



 

As if matching shoes and a hair flower weren't enough (I'm a matchy-matchy kind of Drag Queen) it's matching makeup!  For you know...when your turquoise zebra print shirt doesn't make a big enough statement.  :)  Next up: A Polka Dot Sorbetto!  This one won't take six months either....

P.S.  You are not confused if you think you've seen this fabric before.  It's the same as the Charlie bag I made, too.  I am certainly getting my money's worth from that sheet set. :)

P.P.S.  The Sorbetto is a free pattern download from Colette Patterns.  It is awesome.  They are awesome.  You should check them out. :)


Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's the Birthdoona Party of the Year!

Hello Bloggy Friends!  It's party time!  We're celebrating the most groovy-ist Balloona-ist Kalkatroonan out there, Miss Oonaballoona.  (Say that five times fast!)  I may be a little late to the party, but I think my guest will more than make up for that.  But first, the outfit!  

A half handmade outfit.  My fave self drafted polka dot skirt.

And I haz cute shoes! 

 Anywhoo, I ran into Officer McNaughty while I was on my way up.  He says he's here to check out a "noise level violation."  This must be some party! :)   Oh Officer, what a big night stick you have.  The better to WHAT with!?  Oh my.  Hmmm, your badge seems to be made of tin foil, Officer.  You know, Oona, I'm starting to wonder if he's a legit cop....do real cops also carry a boom box and techno music?  Well, the handcuffs look real. ;)


Oh hai, Officer McNaughty!
  
Oops!  I swearz I thought he was a real cop, Ruggy!  Sorry! :)

Happy Birthday Ms. Oona Balloona! Enjoy! ;)
P.S.  I have no idea how she is able to look so cute in her photos whilst making the most hilarious faces.  I swear I took like 700 pics trying to make an "Oona Face," and none of them really turned out right.  Mad props on your photo skills, Ms. Balloona!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who I Want To Dress Like When I Grow Up: Penelope Garcia

Hello Bloggy Friends!  Things are going a tad bit slow with my skirt.  (Note to self:  You are not smarter than the pattern designers yet.  Put it together in the right order or you'll have to unpick nearly every single stitch!)   
Soooo, I thought it was time for a another edition of WIWTDLWIGU!  Today's post features another fictional character, the lovely Penelope Garcia of the tv show Criminal Minds.  She is the bubbly girl geek behind the elite team of FBI profilers.  Excellent show, if you haven't seen it, but will certainly spook you sometimes.

Garcia (as she's called on the show) is like a happy rainbow explosion.  She rocks multiple colors, many accessories, and has the biggest collection of glasses I've ever seen.  As someone who wears glasses, I find this highly enviable. 

See!?  Lime sparkly glasses that match her earrings!  So jealous!  Oh, and a purple feather fascinator that matches her eyeshadow. :)

Part of her appeal is her personality.  She is the much needed colorful comic relief on a show that deals in boring suits and serial killers.  Note:  There is nothing wrong with suits, if that's your thing. :)  Her work station is a collection of sparkly, fluffy, fun things.  I love sparkly, fluffy, fun things!

 
I think I need that pen in my life.

The only thing that might rival her pen and glasses collection is her hair accessory collection.  While I tend to be boring and wear black and white a lot, I do love the hair accessories.  We have that in common. 







More cute clothes, and fun pens. :) Oh, and a cherry bracelet!  I really dig food jewelry for some reason.




 One of my goals is to incorporate more color into my wardrobe.  I love color, and have the fabric stash to prove it, but I get stuck in a matchy matchy rut and don't always know how to put it all together without looking like I'm insane.  I guess I'll have to stay tuned into the next season of Criminal Minds for some inspirational how to.

So until next time Bloggy Friends, happy hair accessories and fun pens for all!  Aloha!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

My New Wardrobe Plan: The Fabric

Hello Bloggy Friends!  Today's post is all about the fabric. :)  This was my first time attempting to plan out a whole wardrobe.  Knowing what an ADD indecisive creature I can be, I limited my colors to black and white.  (Grey may be added later)  Even with my narrow color options I still spent a good two hours in Jo-Anns waffling back and forth.  Man, can I just say how much it sucks to buy fabric in stores compared to online?  Ignoring the whole "touching the fabric before you buy it thing."  It is expensive!  Don't even get me started on G Street Fabrics, which is located in the traffic hell called Seven Corners, VA.  I refuse to drive in Seven Corners.   I am not exaggerating when I say I probably could've gotten 3x the fabric had I purchased it online.  Alas, that's what happens when you try and move in two days. :sigh:  Anywhoo, time for the pretties!

3 yards.  Cotton blend w/ glitter.  I'll use this for one of the dresses and try to squeeze out a top with any extra.

1.75 yards. Poly blend.  Tunic top, most likely M5851 sans bows or yo-yos.

For some reason when I tried to take pictures of the black fabrics on their own, they would show up as grey.  On the left is a black linen blend. 1.64 yards (end of the bolt).  This is up first as B4686 view C.  The B&W rose is a poly silky something.  I don't know why I torture myself trying to sew these annoying fabrics, probably because they keep printing the cutest things on them.  In this case, I couldn't say no to the tattoo rose like print.  Only 1 yard cuz this sucker was 9.99 a yd.  Ugh, if I find this online for cheaper I'll probably throw something.  I think this will be a Sorbetto if I can't make it work with any of the other tops.

L: 1.75 yards of black stretch sateen.  This will be a pencil skirt and whatever top I can squeeze out of the rest.  I'm thinking part of M5882 or  part or NL6048.  R: 1.22 yards (end of bolt) white w/ black flocked dots.  This is pretty sheer and will have to be underlined.  I'm thinking M5882, or the bow blouse from S2154.



L: 2 yards white stretch sateen.  This will be View E of B4686, unless I change my mind and want a dress. R: 2 yards linen blend.  Another skirt I think.  This is a pretty heavy fabric, and sorta scratchy.  I'd have to underline everything if I wanted a top or dress out of this.


This is it so far.  There are some pretties (on sale!) online that I'm keeping an eye on.  But first I have to sew up some of this.  The Hubster gives me the evil eye every time I mention more fabric.  Well, he should've been more specific when he said, "Just buy more fabric."  I don't think he'll underestimate my fabric buying powers anymore. LOL! 


Toodles for now, bloggy friends.  I've got a muslin to sew.  Aloha, all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My New Wardrobe Plan: The Patterns

Hello Bloggy Friends!  Today's post is brought to you by procrastination. You see, while it is one thing to pull a college paper out of your "you-know-what", it is an entirely different matter to prepare for a major international move in two days. That is to say, you can't. Well, maybe you can but I certainly can't. I'll spare you the details by just saying that pretty much everything got f*cked up. Everything. It was certainly a lesson learned.

The point is, all my sewing stuff, patterns, fabric, reference books ect, were packed in the wrong shipment. Instead of taking two and a half weeks to get here, it will all take two and a half to three months. I cried. Like a giant baby. Luckily, I was able to shove one small container of my sewing necessities into the correct shipment. Stuff like my sewing shears, pins, marking tools, and measuring tape. After I finished crying on Skype to the Hubster, he told me "Just buy more fabric." Smart man, that one. So I spent two days picking out patterns and coming up with a sewing plan to keep me busy until my other stuff gets here. (Typing this all out makes me seem like a big baby, but trust me when I say it was a drama filled week)

Here are the patterns I picked out.  I received the first shipment today, and am expecting the last one tomorrow.   I nabbed these while they were on sale in their various venues.  Hooray for pattern sales.


Blouses:


From top clockwise: M5882, M5851, M5664


 Dresses:

  

 From top clockwise: M6318, NL6048, B5306

Skirts:

 

L to R: B4686 and B5466


Vintage inspired separates and Jacket:




 L to R: S2154 and S2311

Check back later for My New Wardrobe Plan: The Fabrics. :)

PS: This was my first post using the new Blogger  post editor.  I found it to be freaking infuriating challenging.  Apologies if anything seems out of whack.  I'm still trying to get the hang of it.   

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Sewing Toys!!! Erm, I mean tools...


Oh my goodness, Bloggy Friends, today is a really good day! :) My order from Stitch Nerd Sewing Supply arrived today. (Special thanks go to The Hubster for getting to the mail room with 4 mins to spare before they closed.) I honestly wasn't expecting it until next week as I've been told shipping DPO can take up to two weeks. So you can imagine my squee of delight when The Hubster walked in with my box. Well, enough with the jibber jabber, on to the pretties!


As you can see, I was a pretty eager to get into the box. :)


Everything was beautifully and securely wrapped with a layer of tissue and plastic. I started ripping open everything before I remembered to take pictures. I love that the seam roll looks like a pretty piece of candy. :)


I ordered a custom set with zebra cotton and pink plaid wool. Cuz you all know how much I love animal prints. lol I also asked that the plaid be set on the bias so the squares would look like diamonds. Both come with a handy hanging tag. It took me forever to decide on my combo, as there are tons of cute fabrics to choose from. But I'm very happy with how everything turned out.



The owner, Sonia, also made a free custom matching magnetic pin cushion to go along with my set. I was debating ordering a pin cushion too, but was planning to sew my own wrist/forearm cushion so I didn't. Now all I have to do is sew myself a strap with a magnet and stick this one on top. And it matches! Cuz you all know how matchy matchy I like to be. :) And speaking of matching...



Here is the note card included with my order, it totally matches my outfit today! It's like a sign...I feel like Sonia and I are totally sewing soul mates. And I mean that in a totally non-stalker/weird way...Anyhoo, girlfriend has some serious good taste in prints. :)


She also included a free tailors wax crayon. I'm not sure what I use that for yet, but it's super awesome of her to do that. But the awesomeness doesn't end there. She also included a 10% off coupon for my next purchase, and let me tell you, with service like this there will most likely be another purchase.

So as you can probably tell, I'm pleased as punch about my whole order. My custom order was sewn and shipped every quickly. It traveled from California to Germany in six days! The quality is great and the color/prints are to die for! I feel like they really are in line with my taste and make my sewing room an even happier place to be. I fully recommend Sonia and Stitch Nerd Sewing Supply!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The New Shops @ McCall...complete with unsewable patterns (at least for me)

Today I received the email introducing the new Shops @ McCall store. I eagerly followed the link to check out the new store. I was excited to see what appeared to be a new line of patterns. There were a variety of patterns, all done in a pretty illustration. Perusing through the skirts and dresses section, I quickly found quite a few patterns from a company called Marfy that tickled my fancy.



Super cute! Love the petal details and the color.



Interesting lines.




Not the cutest styling ever, but I still like illustration.


Adorable.

Then I read the note saying that these were expert only patterns. Really? They don't look that difficult. Below is taken from the website.

"HOW DO THEY DIFFER?
MARFY PATTERNS:
• Do not have cutting layouts
• Do not have seam allowances
• Do not have hem allowances
• Do not have instructions for assembly
All sizing is European and all measurements are in centimeters. See the special Marfy Body Measurement Chart on each design page to calculate your size.

Fabric requirements are only estimates, and are for one size only. You must calculate the amount of fabric required on your own. Contrast and trims are not calculated.

The pattern tissue has minimal markings in four languages (Italian, English, French and Spanish). Letters indicate matching"

Um, what??? Apparently each single size pattern is hand cut on onion skin to "insure perfect fit, line, and elegance." You still have pick a size, and what, hope you fit perfectly within their size chart? Right, because everyone can sew right out of the envelope. This would make sense to me if you gave them your own measurements and then they made you a perfectly fitting pattern. What do you do if you need to make adjustments? Strange.
Then, all you have to do is lay the pattern on your fabric and cut. But first you have to figure out the cutting layout, add your hem and seam allowances, then you put it together with no instructions. Well, now I understand the "expert only label," which leaves me to wonder, who is going to buy these? Perhaps the same people who might have use for a $500 ironing board?
I hope I don't sound too much like a Bitter Betty, but I am just a smidge annoyed. It's a little annoying to be shown new pretty patterns only to be told, "Just kidding, noob, these patterns aren't for you." Grrrrr.
I guess I have a new project trying to knock off the green petal bodice thing. The bolt of pattern drafting fabric they sell would come in handy for that. See? Not everything is annoying about the new shop. They do carry some handy things, that you know, come with instructions. :)
So, tell me bloggy friends, are you an expert enough to sew with Marfy patterns? I'd like to hear someone's experience with them.
PS: This isn't to say that this was the only pattern company sold on the site, it was just new to me. There are plenty of other patterns as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In which our Heroine can't sew...so she shops!

Hallo Bloggy friends! Guten tag! Greetings from the new headquarters of Sew Cupcake Couture: Frankfurt, Germany! I'm still waiting for the first shipment of our things to be delivered, so there's no sewing being done. But I have been thinking about sewing and doing my second favorite sewing related activity, shopping for sewing accessories. Albeit, mostly online window shopping, but I have a birthday coming up next month. (Are you taking notes, Hubster?) :) Anyhoo, here are a couple of fun things I found to share.

I've recently outgrown my old method of storing my sewing accoutrements and rather than buy more storage boxes, I've gotten the idea in my head that I need a sewing box. But I need a cute sewing box. I've found these four, and now have the tough choice picking one. Animal prints, cupcakes, or polka dots? I'm torn. I really love the shape of the animal print boxes, I just wish there was a picture of the inside.




I've been coveting the pressing hams and seam rolls from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch for a really long time. They are lovely, but just a smidge too pastel for me. So I went searching around etsy and found the StitchNerd store. When the first thing I saw was the red leopard pressing ham in her profile picture, I knew I was in the right place. :) Her shop is full of all the pressing tools, pin cushions, and haberdashery that my little drag queen heart could desire. I ended up ordering a custom set, but here are a few sets that made making a decision difficult.



I also ordered this mini pink hip curve and t-sqare set. I justified it by telling myself I'll need them to alter patterns for my ridiculous hip/waist difference, but really...it's pink! :)


I can't vouch for the workmanship yet as I haven't gotten my little hands on them, but I can tell you that Sonia has been extremely helpful and accommodating about sending them internationally. I'll review them once they arrive, but from the pictures they look really well done. Here is the website: StitchNerd Sewing Supplies

Here are a couple garments that kinda get the mojo flowing and have me saying, "I could totally make that!" :)

I feel like I've seen this dress everywhere, but I want it too. This is the version I found on Modcloth, which tends to be expensive. Fabric.com has some lace on sale that may just need to come live in Germany with me. I'm thinking Pink, Pistachio, or Black. Or all three. Not all on one dress though. :)




I guess I'm on a lace/eyelet kick right now because I also found this skirt at ModCloth. I really like their products but they tend to be seriously short. I wouldn't wear a pencil skirt to work anyway (as I'm often on the floor with the kids), but still, no one wants to pull a Britney.



I'm loving the pleating on this dress. I'm not so crazy about the print but that's the beauty of sewing, I can make it it whatever color I want. The best part? It looks really similar to V8020*, which is already in my stash. I love it when it works out like that! :)

Modcloth Dress V8020


So I hope you liked what I brought for show and tell. Do you have any super fun sewing related stuff? Do share with class. Aloha all!



*Can I just tell you how annoying it is to be without my sewing stuff? I know I'm like a broken record here, but while trying to write this post I knew that I had a dress pattern that matched the purple dress but I didn't remember the pattern number or who made it. All I remembered was that the dress on the envelope was orange. It seriously took me nearly an hour to track this bad boy down. If I hadn't been in a public place I would've busted out my victory dance. That said, there was much cursing inside of my head as I hunted. :)
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