Saturday, May 29, 2010

Flower power

Following so many sewing and craft blogs on Google Reader, it's easy to forget on whose blog I spied a neat pattern. Anywho, someone mentioned a vintage McCall's pattern with millinery fabric flowers (that means hats, I tell ya). . . only to learn that the pattern was re-issued as M6047.
This week I found myself in one of the last existing WalMart stores with a fabric department and remembered the pattern. The number in my head was transposed but quickly found in the McCall's pattern book. Two remaining patterns in the drawer, yay. As I took two steps away from the pattern cabinet, I flipped the pattern over to see the price. "Dang!", I must've said aloud because the fabric clerk looked up and asked if I needed help.

"I didn't realize the pattern was $17.95," and wondering if I really needed it.

"Let me scan it for you. Our pattern prices are usual lower than marked. Yes, it is $6.50."


Friday, May 28, 2010

Fashion Friday

First of all, I didn't make this jacket.

(oops, I didn't straighten it on the dress form, it really does hang straight.)

I notice more detail about finishing and construction of clothing now that I've sewn a few things.
Check out the finer points of the summer weight 3/4 sleeve jacket.

Lapel detail

Inside lapel

Welt pocket

REAL working buttonholes!

Back vent


This jacket kinda intimidates me because if I couldn't sew a jacket at least as well as this, why bother?

From where did I purchase it?
You're gonna be surprised.

You heard me.
Looking for quality linen tea towels once in their Martha Stewart line and nope, no more.
On the way out, the jacket caught my eye.
Paid for it and was pleasantly surprised with a 20% discount = $24!

(Not on sale now, but
here's the link.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cut it out

Last week I showed ya a white knit tank embellished with beads but forgot to show ya the first alteration made to it. Those knit tanks often include a sewn-in shelf bra but they don't work for me, especially if I wear a bra under the shirt. I hate the elastic of a bra so sure as shit don't want any redundant restriction so I cut them out. Whew, I can breathe . . .

Monday, May 24, 2010

Birthday T-shirt

Embellished a couple T-shirts for Baby Cutie's first birthday. Eileen and Ernest are hosting a crawfish boil/birthday party for him so motif shirts were in order. Please to enjoy.

Crawfish/lobster motif drawn onto back of WonderUnder paperbacked fusible web. Image trimmed. Ironed to shirt. Appliqued with fast and sloppy stitching. After laundering, the orange knit fabric will curl up and look even more distressed (in a good way).

Numeral drawn onto shirt with water erasable pen. Outline stitched and filled in with little seed stitches. Super fast and super easy. Just like your ma.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Estate sale finds

You know it's a good estate sale when you leave with your finds in a Brooks Brothers bag!
Looka - silver teapot for $7!
What else makes me as happy as a crow with shiny things?
Sewing notions!
Spied a couple bags brimming with stuff! Mine! Mine!

Check out other blogger's garage/estate sale and thrift store finds at Southern Hospitality's Thrifty Treasures page.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The closest I'll ever get to having a white beaded gown is this tank top

My favorite "cute" white tank died on me so picked up this simple lace trimmed tank last week while at WalMart for $5! That's how they get ya: go in for groceries, come out with a shirt.
Anywho, my old favorite had bead embellished lace trim so this one was a good replacement except . .

. . I couldn't help myself and sewed tiny white seed beads at regular intervals using the lace pattern guide. Nice but dang, you can't even see them! Added the larger pearl beads while watching the Survivor finale.

Easy peasy and mo' better.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Because I didn't prepare today,

here's a pic for ya.
Though not a new decor concept, I do love an exterior light fixture used indoors.
Please to enjoy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fashion Friday - What to Wear?

I'm not gonna profess myself to be the best dressed but after looking at too many "People of WalMart" photos, I've gotta be in the Top 20 of MY local WalMart.

NOT me

Anywho, what the hell do you wear when a dress code is nebulous, say "dressy casual" or "creative holiday"?
Some would say that "one can never overdress" but I disagree. Instead, I opt to strive for the middle. Not the bland middle but neither overdressed nor under dressed.

Example, you're packing your bag to attend a national convention and will need attire for a cocktail party. What you pack is what you'll wear because there will be no time to shop. It's not your city and folks are coming from every state. What others consider cocktail wear may differ from your idea. Ladies who don't get out much will wear a shiny an unfortunate dress that is an "interesting" mix of prom and lounge singer while some arrive in ragged out jeans and flip flop sandals. It's reallllllly easy to opt for a place in between. Nice dress pants with a pretty blouse and jewelry. Cute dress and heels. Whatever. C'mon, I don't need to draw you a picture - just don't be an extreme.
Now, as I remember, the Preppy Handbook stated the best thing to wear to any event is the exactly the entirely inappropriate thing, like your tennis whites to a brunch party or dressy clothing to the PTA meeting because you have other places to go. What a great device to scoot out of a place you don't be!

~~You're welcome~~

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lands' End canvas tote

Are you a freak for a tote bag like me?

I have a few of the Lands' End and LL Bean canvas tote bags so when I realized I needed a gift for an incoming volunteer board member, I remembered Lands' End had select totes on sale. Their newer versions have nice interior pockets so ordered one for myself too.

WooHoo! Color and monogram selected for the chick of the hyphenated last name. Mind you, if her name is Rikki Tikki Savi: a typical monogram reads RTS but the centered monogram style would read as rSt. I've known monogram protocol forever but this chick has two last names so unsure if I confused the name order or the friendly Lands' End order taker transposed the initials. The bag arrived and looked great. The next week, I read the intended tote bag receiver's name again and HammerOfThor, I realized the order of initials was wrong. Hellfire!
Spoke with a Lands' End operator and she assured me the second bag would arrive in time for the next board meeting and even checked my last order to make sure we didn't make the same mistake twice but here's why I am sharing this story in the first place: when I said I would just keep the first bag, the friendly sales rep gave me the option to return it.
But I am not sure it wasn't my fault, I said.
We guarantee our merchandise so if it is something you didn't want, we will give you credit for it.
AND, you can take it to your local Sears store for a no shipping cost return!
Impressive customer service, don't you think?

Wish I had taken a photo of both bags. The original color was not in stock but the second bag was just as cute. Took both bags to the board meeting and asked New Chick which bag she preferred. Both!
Look more closely.
Oh, that one.
Whew! At least one of them was correct.
Yay, Lands' End!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pillowcases for days

Remember this assload of fabric waiting to be sewn into pillowcases? It sat on the dining room chair for months while I felt guilty because I'm the idiot that volunteered for the project but meanwhile doing everything but getting them sewn. Enough guilt already, the fabric needed to go away. I serged at least 70 pillowcases. Why the hell was I procrastinating? This is fast and easy, if not a little noisy.

Next, I turned under the open edge twice to sew border. As you know, ironing is key for crisp edges and consistent borders so the assembly line speed realllllly slowed down at this point.

Thinking a contrasting thread would be interesting; straight stitched.

The gingham fabric is a lower quality blend so it slips and slides, thus, straight stitch shows every inaccuracy. Zigzag is better and kinda cute.

After doing 10 or so, I realized I might need help. A couple chicks in my volunteer group offered to help months ago so I sucked up my pride and asked if their offer still stood. Of course! Yay, new sewing friends!!

Miss Sanford (remember her fabulous refinished bar?) took 25 pillowcases and then taunted me with phone photos of her fun stitches! She was having a blast with her fancy schmancy sewing machine's decorative stitches. Miss Sanford had never taken the time to try all the stitches and enjoyed seeing them stitched out on the pillowcases! It's a win, win. Take a look at just a few of her good time with gingham samples.

Duh! With 25 remaining instead of 70, I took Miss Sanford's lead and tried some decorative stitches myself.

I've said it before, I'll say it again:
Necessity is the mother(fucker) of invention.
One of my stitches totally chewed through the fabric, forcing me to cut it out from the presser foot. I trimmed the hole including the three layers of fabric but there wasn't enough fabric to refold the edge again. Bias tape to the rescue! Dang, wouldn't you know it? It was the very last pillowcase! AND the cutest of my batch!

Unable to stop, I experimented with tone-on-tone accent stitching on a white flannel sheet. Next time I'll try a wing needle. Have fun with your decorative stitches!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Notebook organizers

Made a batch of notebook portfolio organizers for my volunteer committee. Take a look!

Pulled the navy blue preppy turtle motif ribbon from my stash but reverse side isn't so pretty with easily frayed woven threads so I layered it atop slightly wider green ribbon. Thinking myself to be clever, used navy thread on top with green thread in bobbin but look, the tension is so tight that little green bobbin threads are pulled to the top. Not a typically desired effect but it kinda works.