Pattern Fiend


I am becoming a self-proclaim pattern fiend.  From the time decising to learn how to sew, I have been purchasing patterns.  Although, I have not gone to the fabric store, I use online to get them because it’s cheaper to purchase them online than retail.  My first purchase of sewing pattern was from a website, www.sewingpatterns.com where there are hundreds of dozens patterns including Burda Style, Butterick, and Kwik.  The patterns are usually discounted from 20% to 50% which does save some money and paying full price at retail stores.  People talk their pattern stash, but I have a pattern stash of more than 30 patterns (easy and very easy).  I registered for Butterick, McCall, Simplicity, and Vogue Patterns newsletters whenever they have a sell, I go onto the the site and order for one-third of the orginal price, and the reason for having more than 30 patterns.

I decided not to purchase anymore patterns, but it two weeks ago Butterick had patterns for $4.99 and ended up ordering two.  In the process of ordering patterns, I decided to sew clothes with a plan and created a poster of photos cut out from magazines as my inspiration of the type of wardrobe to sew and use patterns that closely represent the poster.   Tonight, I will go home and organize my patterns in the order of sewing.  I need to complete the two projects from this past weekend, and do a couple of muslin pieces for a pair of pants and skirt from a Simplicity pattern that should be easy after practicing sewing in a zipper.  Tomorrow, I need to make a trip to the fabric during my lunch hour and purchase a couple of zippers and lining becaus the fabric is wool and don’t want it rubbing up against my skin when done.

Project Photos


m5555.jpgI wanted to show you the photos of the projects I am working on and hopefully complete them soon. I am doing the jacket with the belt.

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The next project is dress A from the McCall pattern. I needed something to wear my holiday party at work and thought it would good to make something nice. I am still deciding on the fabric. I thought about velvet, but what color, purple, red or black, and there is the contrast at the bottom satin or silk, or perhaps an applique on top of the contrast for more interest, hmmm.

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My Weekend


Actually this entry would have more suitable to write yesterday, but became so enthralled with doing muslin(s) that writing my weekend became secondary.  Anyway, I went to see Dionne Warick in concert Friday and it was a good concert.  Of course, she sang all of her hits and talked about her life.  There was one story she told about Marlene Dietrich meeting her at airport in Paris for a concert, and got her first lesson in couture.

Saturday was a bigger night than Friday.  I went to a welcome home dinner party for a couple who sent to Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) for ten days.  They spent three days volunteering at a school for orphans.  They took a lot of photographs and had videos of their trip and it seem like such an experience.  Many of the children didn’t have shoes and walk for miles to attend school.  They are for the most part destitute with limited resources of water, and have one meal per day.  The children carry containers for their food and need to keep up with them because they have nothing to put in their food.  The couple said it was really an emotional experience and probably one they will not forget.

After being out for two straight evenings, I decided to stay on Sunday and finally get started on some sewing projects.  Which are the muslins I talked about yesterday with some good results.  My jacket should come out well and probably pratice on putting on the collar tonight since it will be my first collar.  I thought about doing the jacket in wool for the fall/winter, and a cotton twill for the spring/summer.  I am thinking about doing a muslin for a pair of trousers to make into demin once I see if there are any adjustments to make in the hip/thigh and crotch area.  I think pants are tricky particular when you are 5’4″ like me and need to make adjustments in the length, but the crotch isn’t right.  I probably do some reading tonight as well for putting on a collar, and a zipper.  I think the best instructions I read thus for installing a zipper is in So What Skirts, the instruction seem clear to me and have another option of taping the zipper in the place.  I don’t know, I just read those instructions and the light bulb turned on in my head.  Another book that gave me in clear instructions on a french seam was in Simple Sewing with a French Twist.  I didn’t purchase the book, but read the instruction for french seams and again a light came on in my head.

Well, I am on my way off to the book store for my lunch hour at work.  I actually am very brazen to write my blog during work hours, but I have some down time.  Hope to write soon and have a good day.

Day of Muslins


I was out for almost the entire weekend, and finally decided to stay home Sunday to work on a couple of muslin pieces.  It’s getting a little chilly in New Jeresy and thought it was time to start on a jacket from a Butterick pattern (B4865, pattern D) http://www.butterick.com/item/B4865.htm?search=4865&page=1 which I think is an easy project for me to complete.  The size went a 22 and I did the muslin to make sure it fit before going on to make the real version.

My other muslin piece is from McCall’s (M5555, pattern A), and the dress came out well.  My only thing is that I have not found fabric yet that excites, and decided to make a pair of pants as another outfit option.  It’s the kind of dress that you could wear alone or with pants.  Both projects will be my first in sewing a dress and jacket.  Yes I am embarking on new territory, installing a zipper.  I know that this is easy for some people, but it’s a big step and so is adding a collar for the jacket.

I realize that it does take time to make muslin, but I use the process for practice because I am beginner and am not taking sewing lessons.  Making muslins get into the improving my sewing skills, it’s probably time-consuming, but necessary for success.  The thought did run across my mind that I have tendency doing something worth while and doing things as best as possible.

What’s Happening on Friday


Today is Friday, I look forward to the weekend.  I am going to a Dionne Warrick concert today and a dinner party tomorrow night.  Which means I will not get much sewing done this weekend.  The dinner party should be good, I am seeing a couple that spent 10 days in Africa who are going to take about their trip and show their photographs.  It’s always a good to get together with friends for dinner to see what is happening in their lives.

I am looking for pearl buttons for the my cashmere cardigan sweaters to replace the ones that keep falling off.  Of course, I did have four extra buttons upon purchasing these sweaters, but the original sewn on buttons popped off and ended using the extra buttons.  So next week, I am going to walk to the fabric store not far from my place of employment and hopefully find more little buttons to make the existing ones.  This is my wardrobe malfunction of the week.

Everyday I receive an email from Ideal Bite which gives daily tips about being green with recycling and using sustainable materials.  Today I receive one about knitting entitled Next Gen Knitting with information about using organic and sustainable yarns.  Here is the link, http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/today.  The article talks about recycling yarn, perhaps there an old sweater you no longer like, just unravel it and create a new one.   In addition, the article also provides links to purchase organic yarn and bamboo which is the new trend of sustainable materials.  I decided to do a search for bamboo fabric as Threads Magazine printed an article in its October’s issue and found www.bambootextilestore.com.  It doesn’t have many color options, but it’s jersey knit for $10.00 a yard and free shipping for orders over $25.00.  Another website mentioned in the article is Near Sea Naturals that offers organic wool, the merino wool worsted weight sells for $17.38 skein for yards which a person could make a very long scraf, sweaters, and, shawls.  It does cost a little more than the average skein, but no chemicals or soaps harmful to the environment.  However, Vickie Howell has a line of yarn made from soy that is less costly.  I think it’s always good to try new products and compare them to what you traditionally use.

This is completely unrelated, but I haven’t written in my creative journal in several weeks since doing some significant writing on my blog.  However, a thought for a story to came to mind and wrote a little synopsis last night.  I like to write stories that I generally don’t read in books or see in films.  Hopefully, I will finally start and finish my story in this lifetime.  Have a good weekend everyone!

Sewing Blogs and Other Things


As I was leaving my apartment for work this morning, I picked up two books to take with me for some reading.  One is Sew What Skirts, and the other is High Fashion Sewing Secrets.  Not exactly turn paging novels to read on my train commute, but it’s a way to learn more about sewing.  I am waiting for my Vogue Sewing book to be delivered along with three other knitting books (serious book fiend).

 When I decided to start sewing back in June, I did some Internet researching and came across www.sewing.org which I found very informative, and magazines such as Threads Magazine, Sew Simple, Sew News, Sewing Today, and Vogue Sewing Magazine.  It was when I went to the Threads Magazine website that I hit the sewing jackpot in sewing blogs.  Now I started reading some blogs before going onto the Be Sew Stylish blog (Threads Magazine) with doing a google search and came across Erica’s DIY blog.  I thought to myself what a great blog and she has some knitting as well, so I saved it to my favorite.  However, upon going to Be Sew Stylish, I saw Erica’s blog as one categorized by the Stylish blogs as links they love. 

Another website that I enjoy is Pattern Review (www.sewing.patternreview.com), this site is for people who love to sew with the reviews from everything from fabric stores to sewing projects.  The site also have online sewing classes and if you are a member (bi-annual or yearly membership).  There are some other blogs that I regularly read, one is Adrienne’s Little World – Real Life: Live and Unscripted which is delightful.  She does an audio podcast and video (posted on the blog) including interviews of follow knitters, sewers, and scrapbookers.

There is Miss Celie’s Pants (http://missceliespants.blogspot.com) I believe is great with all of her wonderful sewing projects, and Toy’s blog  (http://trinilove.typepad.com) with her wonderful knitting and sewing projects.  Toy also does a podcast called Inspirational Wednesday with some good interviews in fact she recently did an interview with Cidell (Miss Celie’s Pants), and a current interview of Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic blog.

These are just a few of the many blogs I visit and read.  I find them very inspirational and motivational to create and make my own clothes (now it might take me a while to caught up), but also find these ladies very talented, and more than willing to share their experiences in sewing and other happenings in life.  I loved the fabric store trip with Adrienne and Erica.

 Now for my sewing happenings, as you know from post on Sunday, I did a muslin of a skirt and ready to move on to making the real one.  However, I thought about one thing, I needed a lining as the fabric is wood tweed and got a great suggestion from Belinda of Sew Seamless (www.sewseamless.com), thanks Belinda.  I already have some lining on hand, but then thought to myself do I really want to use a black lining (tweed is an orange/rust color). Thus that inner conversation that you have with yourself begs with the question to use another color lining or just use the black lining. 

So now this inner struggle about what color lining to use in your mind is similar to that of a sword fight (like the one in the Adventures of Robin Hood) as one part of you says use what you have no one is going to see it anyway and the other part of you says, yes but I’ll know.  Then I came up with a temporary solution, I need to make a muslin for a jacket until my final color lining decision, lol.  Hey, I do when reading a book that I am not really into at the moment, I read another one, finish it, and come back to the first one.  I think that could work in sewing as well (smiles).  I just mad another realization that I just wrote a seemingly long blog, lol.

MIDWEEK – THANK GOODNESS


I decided to change the format of my blog after noticing that it seem crowded.  I think this format looks better and much easier to view and read.  Anyway, it’s Wednesday or hump day as some people may call it and it’s been a cloudy and rainy day.  I decided to listen to my iPod during my commute to and from work.  I have artists such as India Arie, Cornine Rae Bailey, Lizz Wright, and Paul Simon’s Graceland.  There is a song on the Graceland Album I consider my favorite and needed to here today.  The name of the tune is “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” which Paul Simon singing and featuring the group from South Africa Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  I happened to find a video of a concert they did in South Africa maybe 20 years ago, and just as great live.  I do have an affinity for world music because the language is universal and it doesn’t matter if the artist is singing in a different language.  I did have an opportunity to see Ladysmith Black Mambazo in concert a couple of years when they tour in the US, and what a treat.  One of the peaks of working at a radio station is getting an opportunity of being offered tickets to concerts and shows (and it’s FREE).  However, I thought would share this video to give folks the energy to make it through the rest of the week.  Enjoy!

Sewing Strategies


Yesterday, I attended a free concert with the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble (yes, the U.S. Army has a jazz ensemble) at a performing arts center in South Orange.  I should let you know that New Jersey seems to be the performaing arts center capital in the country, the state has more performing arts centers than Carter has liver pills.  I live in an area where there are at least three performing arts centers in a ten mile radius that doesn’t include the New Prudential Center home of the New Jersey Devils in Newark, NJ that will open this Thursday with Bon Jovi the first to perform.  Now I am not into the hockey, but probably will get tickets to see Seton Hall University basketball play (unfortunately, the Seton Hall v. Louisville has sold out).  I am glad to say that it’s fun to live in a state where you have choices to many different events (also, close to New York City).

Now, I wrote the first paragraph to say that there are times when a girl gets busy outside of the home with working, going to concerts, and having dinner with friends.  I realized that some organization needs to happen if I want to knit and sew.  I have what I like to call my creative mess with books and magazines, fabric, notions, and yarn in different places in my room (I see a trip to the Container Store in my future).  My biggest problem is living in a small space and need to to use it to my best advantage.  This means using my wall space and building up from there, and sectioning off spaces for my knitting and sewing along with getting  wall shelves for my books and magazines.

I thought about getting a notebook to keep track of my projects, or better yet making use of the scapebook by having it as my project organizer with photographs of projects and fabric samples.  This will also give me a sense of how long it took me finish the project, record of notions used, and techniques that were most helpful.  Of course organization isn’t the only thing, I need make better use of my time management.  I would love to start and finish my sewing project in one sitting, but life does happen.  The best thing I can do in the time management department is doing my project in sections.  Such as cut out my muslin piece during the week, make adjustments the next night, cut the fabic the next night, and finish the project over the weekend.  I know that may seem a little time consuming, but I tend to choose projects that are simple in construction so that they can completed in the shortest amount of time.  Believe it or not, ordering notions online does save me some time with running around to find the items, but I usually order things ahead of time while working on another project then when I am ready for the next project, I have everything needed.  Besides waiting a few days doesn’t stop me from working on something else.  However, there is always another way that’s better and quicker than the way I do it and welcome any advice my fellow do it yourself guys can give me.  So I am taking a survey, how do you organize your space and time?  Let me know.  Thanks.

For the Plus Size Girl


Well here I go again, reading from the November 2007 issue of O Magazine for more fashion advice.  O’s creative director Adam Glassman responded to a reader who is plus-size what she absolutely needs in her closet.  He responds by saying what your best friend or friends will not tell you:

  • Lingerie that lifts, smooths, and supports, including shapewear pieces and a properly fitted bra. You’ve got to get dressed from the inside out.
  • A white wrap shirt to show off your waist (if you have one) or give the illusion of curves (if you don’t).
  • Black boot-cut stretch pants to balance broader hips.
  • Jeans with some stretch—I’ll even allow elasticized waists as long as you swear to wear your tops untucked.
  • A wrap dress in a solid color (more slimming than prints).
  • A trenchcoat with a waist-shrinking belt. Epaulets build up the shoulders—instant hourglass.
  • A straight skirt for the curvy; an a-line if your body shape is less defined.
  • A stretch tank to layer with—it helps to contain larger breasts.
  • A pair of heels for shapelier calves.
  • …and opaque hose to match—for the longest-looking legs in town.

I think this is great advice for not only plus-size women, but any woman who needs to have essential pieces in their warbrode.  I know that have people told me that is a nice skirt that you are wearing and often wonder if they like the skirt but not just on me.  There have been times when I knew something I wore did not flatter me at and yet people paid me a compliment of how nice I look (makes me question their fashion sense).  I know I say to myself what was I thinking, but the person paying the compliment, well let’s just say that he or she felt like using drama license so not to hurt my feelings.  I don’t know, but like when someone tells me that there is something hanging from my nose, or my skirt is higher in the back than front.  What do you think and how do you feel about having some rules as a guide to dress your best?

Website Review – My Shape


I like to read magazine as with others who read them discover new products, services and get ideas.  I came across a little tidbit in the July 2007 issue of O Magazine about a website called My Shape (www.myshape.com).  The concept of My Shape is finding clothes that fit your body type that flatters you.  My Shape devised seven body types to determine what clothes flatters your figure best.  You can enter your body measurements, the site calculates and determines what body type works for you.  I copied the body types so you can get an idea:   
Women with softened, straight figures and fairly straight shoulderlines. They have rounded bottoms and the difference between their waist and hip measurements is 7 inches or more.

Broad-shouldered women with proportionally narrow hips and less defined waistlines.

Women with curvy front and side profiles as well as softened shoulderlines, whose waist measurements are at least 10 inches smaller than their balanced bust and hip measurements.

Women whose shoulders and hips are generally in line with each other and whose waist measurements are within 6 inches of their hip measurements. Often with flat bottoms in profile.

Women whose hips are broader than their busts and shoulders.

Women with busts larger than their hips and whose bottoms tend to be flat rather than rounded.

Women with rounded profiles whose waist measurements are proportionally larger than their more balanced bust and hip measurements. They’re often short-waisted and long-legged.

My Shape has a personal shopper that chooses clothes for your body type so you can shop online (there are some very nice items), and the clothes are appropriate for all ages.  You can either shop online or get an idea to make the clothes if you are very particular about what you wear. various body types.  I suggest that you give My Shape a visit and see if it helps you flatter your shape.

Something Interesting


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A few weeks ago, I read an article in Knit.1 Magazine entitled Baby Got Back about how to learn from design pros how to use your needles to accentuate the pluses of plus sizes.  The article had web resources of companies and designers who carry patterns for plus sizes.  One website that I like in particular was Phildar.com (www.phildar.com).  The company has a yarn store and a ready to wear collection (sold in shops only unfortunately).  You can go onto the website, purchase the catalogue and/or yarn.  They have a good selection of beginner projects and a variety of sizes.  I should tell you that it’s a British company, so you have to convert sizes and currency. The site also has a size measurement chart and yarn substitution chart, along with knitting tips and a teen section to the site.

I think it’s a very good website and wish they would open a shop in the United States, but having another pattern and yarn option to the purchase is always a good thing.  Don’t forget to check out the site and let me know what you think.  Thanks.

Sunday Happenings


I have to write this first before writing about my sewing today.  As in my blog from yesterday, I went to see Three Mo’ Tenors and they were great.  They have a limited engagement in New York City at the Little Shubert Theatre until February 2008, so anyone living in the area or planning a trip to New York, I think you really enjoy the Tenors in concert.

Now onto my sewing adventures.  I usually don’t start any sewing projects on Sundays as my father comes to my every Sunday, but he has a problem with his tooth and needs some oral surgery and was unable to make to day.  I am quite sure he will be alright, but I took the opportunity to start cutting out a muslin piece for a simple skirt.  However, I have fabric that’s a herringbone tweed and the cutting instructions actually has the skirt layout on the bias and should work out fine.  I create muslins to improve my cutting skills (I’m left-handed) as a beginner it is important to me to cut as accurately as possible.  In addition, the pattern on has one skirt side, I don’t have a large table to accommodate the entire layout pattern, so I cut the first piece left the fabric and pattern together, and pinned it to the other end and cut the second piece.  This worked out well as both the front and back pieces are cut the same.  The skirt requires a 5/8″ hem, and need to add the elastic waistband.  I tried on the skirt and it fits fine with just a minor adjustment of taking in a 1/4″ on each side.

Although I am a beginner sewer, I realized that I want to put in a lining with this skirt.  The fabric is a wool tweed, but the skirt is an a-line and another solution of wearing a slip comes to mind.  I did read in one of my sewing books (High Fashion Sewing I believe), I could make the lining like straight skirt since my skirt flares and attach to the waist.  That’s probably the easiest solution, but I am open to suggestions for anyone else who may have a better option.  What is everyone else doing with their Sunday?

My Weekend


I am writing during the early part of the day for me. I typically don’t blog any entries until later in the afternoon or while into the night, but I am going to see Three Mo’ Tenors tonight in New York City at the Little Shubert Theatre. I saw them perform a couple of years ago at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC for the New Jerseyans), and thought they were great singing a range of musical genres from opera to rhythm and blues.

Now going to the concert means that not doing very much on the knitting and sewing front. However, I did pick up a new knitting book a couple days ago titled Knitting Patterns for Dummies by Kristi Porter, knitwear designer and frequent contributor of Knitty.com. Her work has been featured in the Knitgrrl series, The Big Girls Knits series, No Sheep For You, and Knit Wit. Kristi describes her book as not a learn how to knit, but “learn how to knit better” book. The reason for me purchasing the book is to get a better idea of not just knitting the basic scarf and hat, but improve on my decreasing and increasing, and for once for all how to knit armholes so that I can my darn sweater or knit t-shirt. It’s a great guide for learning how to read a pattern and follow a grid (which I have not done yet). My goal is to learn and master the basic stitches and knitting techniques to create my own designs. For you all you knitters out there, Lion Brand has posted its first pod-cast, http://yarncraft.lionbrand.com. I listened to the pod-cast yesterday and thought it was great and intend to write Lion Brand to let them know what I thought about it. I hope they will do a pod-cast on how to knit a sweater (obsessing).

I guess that it’s for today and hey I love to hear from people who read my blog, so write a comment and let me know what’s going on with you or if you have a blog yourself for me to read as well. Do not be shy, it’s only a blog and you are more than welcome to your thoughts. Have a good weekend everyone!

More Knitting Projects Ideas


Today, a co-worker announced that she is expecting a baby.  This is means a knitting project for me to tackle.  I’ve only been knitting a few years and haven’t knitted anything for babies, so this is a great opportunity to challenge my skills by knitting a blanket, booties, or a blanket.  I have some thoughts on what to knit and came up with possibly knitting a cotton sweater with bottoms (pants or a skirt).  It’s a way to introduce myself with finally learning how to knit armholes, and work with different yarns other than wool.  I wouldn’t knit with wool this time around as it might be a great fabric for a baby for the time being, but I have entertain the idea of using bamboo, cotton, or soy because the baby is due in early spring and the winter will pass.

I have six months to decide, but time does have a way of going by us and before you know it the baby will make an appearance into the world.  I will know the sex of baby, so deciding on what color to use is another consideration.  This means one thing, a visit to the yarn store and building a stash, lol.   Another thought is sewing an outfit, oh so many ideas and so little time.

The Finished Product


 

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After working most of the this weekend, I finally completed knitting the turtleneck poncho.  I like the poncho once finished and would definitely knit it again in a different type of yarn.  I made this as a Christmas gift for my niece ( her birthday is the day after, I have to make another gift).  The project is relatively easy since it’s knitting in the around, but you do have to change circular needle lengths and use double pointed needles to achieve the turtleneck.  Changing from the circular needle to the double pointed needles was a little tricky, but it just takes a little time for the first round and it’s smooth sailing from that point.   I did suffer from a little cramping of my fingers, but took some long breaks with no worse for wear.

I probably will take a break from the knitting front as making three knitting projects over the past three weeks.  Now it’s time for me to really get started with sewing some projects such as making a muslin for a jacket and skirt, practice buttonholes, waistbands and zippers.  I have some reading to do in my Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Sewing.  Staying busy and focused on creating a wardrobe and making some Christmas gifts.

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Little Ramblings of the Day


Today on my way home from work, I made the usually track to the Path train station to get back to New Jersey when I heard news of a possible bomb threat. Of course, there are two things that are going through my mind, one I hope it isn’t too serious, and two, it’s time to take an alternate route home. I was there September 11, and know that one should take things calmly in order to think rationally. While, I am there at the path station, people are thinking about how are they going to get home. I on the other hand, just walked in up north to next subway station and caught the A train to Penn Station to take the New Jersey Transit train home. It is a little annoying, yes but what is a person going to do. Well for me get on the train and knit.

I think that’s what got into the knitting as a way to quiet my mind, and just calm down for we don’t have control over everything. Someone once said that you create your own day, but I think it’s only partly true. We can only react to what the day brings us and knitting gives me a sense of balance of my life. I could have been angry today, I stood outside for an half-hour waiting for the bus to work and a bomb scare occurs on my way back home. But getting angry gives me a tension headache and isn’t very productive. Knitting on the hand puts me into a better moods giving me a different perspective about the day. Sure there were little annoyances happened during the course of the day, but at the end of the day I got a little closer in finishing my turtleneck poncho.

I think the poncho is coming along well. I did add a couple of inches to the poncho to make it a longer giving its total length 19 1/2″ excluding the turtleneck. This is my first knitting project that was not a scarf or hat. Slowly but surely, I am making my way to that sweater, lol.

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Knitting and Sewing Happenings


Today for the second time in a five day span, I went the yarn store to purchase a couple of needless to complete my turtleneck project which is coming along swimmingly.  I was very good and spent no more than ten minutes in the store as the desire of purchase more yarn can consume a person.  It’s difficult to resist not buying yarn particularly when you touch a skein and it’s almost like feeling cotton (it also cost $32.00 per skein), but I managed to fight the temptation.  Walking in a yarn store has my mind racing of possible projects I can do like a skirt or sweater (I really need to get pass the armholes).

Fortunately, I work near a yarn store that’s about a ten minute walk.  My organization is moving to Soho and I will have to find another yarn store nearby the building.  But there always shopping online to find yarn, I usually get good deals on www.yarn.com.  I was thking about expanding my knitting horizon by working with bamboo and soy yarn, and if anyone reading this entry has had experience working with these types, please feel free to write comments.   I understand that organic yarn is all the rave, and buying sustainable knitting needles.  Actually, I purchase bamboo needles because I love the feel of them in my hands and learn a trick the other day from watching Knitty Gritty of placing your needles in rice so that can keep their shine and smoothness (I don’t know if it works, but it doesn’t hurt to try).

On the sewing front, I forgot to mention yesterday that I purchase some fabric a few days ago from Fabric Mart.  They were having a wool sale, so I purchase some navy gabardine for $4.99 a yard.  Of course I purchase eight yards to make a pair of pants, skirt, and possible a hat.  Blue is my favorite color and yet I don’t have any of it in my closet which is not typically.  I also received you my Reader’s Digest – Complete Guide to Sewing which I am thrilled about using for techniques.  I have the Complete Guide to Sewing by DK Publishing, and Sewing 101, but felt these books didn’t quite do it for me.  I would also like to find a good book on linings because I like to have jacket, pants, and skirts especially if the fabric is wool.  Well enough of my happenings for the day.  Thanks.

Finding Inspiration


This entry will cover two topics, creativity and sewing. I must admit that most of my fabric and pattern purchases have been online. This is ironic in a sense I do work in New York City and have a number of fabric stores to visit one being the ever prominent Mood Fabrics that the designers from Project Runway purchase fabric. Another reason for making fabric purchases online is I can find some very good discounts. I made a purchase from Denver Fabrics for some raincoat fabric and lining. Getting 4 yards of rain wear poplin, 4 yards of brushed rain wear gabardine, and 4 yards of rayon twill lining for $25.50 plus $10.47 for shipping is what I considered a pretty good deal.

Now I can make a couple of trench coats from the McCall’s 5525 pattern I purchased a couple of weeks ago.  I purchase the pattern after seeing it on Erica’s DYI Style blog, and the idea of making a trench coat that does not drag on the ground and is some other color than black.  I also browse the pattern websites to see if anything excites me.  My inspiration for fashion does come reading magazines such as Glamour or In Style to see the colors or trends for the season.  I am amazed that most of the things in department stores or magazines I could make myself just by learning the basic skills of sewing and incorporating a personal style.  A co-worker at work wore a white cotton dress with a white slash, and buttons bordered at the hem of her dress.  That gave me the idea of sewing a simple dress and embellish by adding a slash and something at the bottom to give it interest making it your own creation.

The Turtleneck Poncho Project


 

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I started my knitting project of turtleneck poncho (cape). It didn’t start out well as I managed to get the yarn twisted he circular needles which meant starting from the beginning. I remembered a tip from one of the Knitty Gritty episode about knitting in the round on circular needles. Cast on a straight needle and transfer it to the circular needle to prevent yarn from twisting.  I used the technique with great success and coming out well.   I took some photographs to see the progression the project.  Seeing it coming to together, I didn’t follow the directions to the letter with using size 9 36in circular needles than 10 29in.  As the I begin to decrease the stitches, I will need to switch to a 9 24in circular needles, and 9 double pointed needles for the turtleneck.  A thought occurred to me while knitting that it would look nice to do this poncho with glass beading.  Of course this idea came in the middle of working on the project (I am not starting over).  But all is not loss as I can knit another poncho and add beading to the border.   Now I have challenge myself and knit a sweater and get the shaping of the armholes, agh!

 

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Ebony Fashion Fair Show


Yesterday evening, I attended the Ebony Fashion Fair show – the world’s largest traveling fashion show is the tagline.  The show is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and the theme for the 2007 – 2008 season is “Glam Odyssey.”  The show has duel purpose of showcasing to the black community high fashion, and raising funds for the charity organization that organizes the event where the show travels.  The $40.00 includes a six month subscription to Jet Magazine, or a year subscription to Ebony Magazine, price of admission along some of the proceeds going to a charitable organization, typically a scholarship fund.

The show has many designers including Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Oscar de la Renta, and Tracy Reese.  Ebony Fashion Fashion manages to do a wonderful show and includes a full-figured model on its runway (yes there something for the hips and thighs gals).