Friday, May 22, 2009

Gratefulness - Award Nomination

Much appreciation to Opal and
Omega for nominating me for the Attitude of Gratitude Award.

One of the rules for accepting the award is to tell my story of "attitude or gratitude". Well, here goes.

Once upon a time, there was a little baby girl born to the proud parents of Nathaniel and Mary at Cook County Hospital. lol Okay, Okay. I'm getting serious.

My life has been journey, like everyone else's. Along the way I've had some ups and downs. God has so blessed me beyond what I could ever express in this post. Daily I think about His goodness and His unfailing love. It's a constant reminder of what we, "I" have to do and be: love my brothers and sisters and to be Christ like.

There are many stories I could tell, but I'll keep it to just one. About seven years ago, I nearly lost the function of my kidneys. I had test after test to make sure that was the case. The solution: surgery, of course. This health issue came at a time when I felt defeated and lost on many levels. Basically my life was falling apart: nasty divorce, living with my mom, troubled child and financially challenged. A mess. But God rescued me. God's people, people I least expected to help me. They did just that helped me, loved me, through a difficult time. Now, I'm better for it. This isn't the only thing that keeps my attitude in check. I was blessed upon breathing, seeing, eating, etc., long before 2002. This time, this situation, brought me to a low point of hope. It was a pivotal point in life that made me hyper-sensitive to situations, feelings, and conditions. It humbled me further. Gratitude begot gratitude.

I'm not sure who has been nominated already, but I'd like to recoganize a few people for this award:


Attitude of Gratitude

The Rules of Accepting and Sharing this Award
1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate a few blogger's that show an attitude of gratitude
3. Link to your nominees within your post
4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award.
6. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flower Power Continues with M5818

I started making this dress at Easter time. But because I was working on the prom and dinner dance dresses I hung it in the closet. Saturday afternoon, I decided to finish it, with only the hem, armholes and slit to complete. Here's my review.

Pattern Description: MISSES' LINED JACKET, DRESS AND PANTS: Lined jacket A has princess seams, welt pockets, flaps and sleeve with slit; lined dress B has front and back pleats, front and back darts, back zipper, back slit and topstitching detail, length is 1" above mid-knee; pants C have fly front, front, back darts and self-faced yoke, purchased belt.

Pattern Sizing:Sizes 4 to 20. I made size 14 with modifications.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are helpful and easy to follow. This is another Palmer Pletsch teaching pattern. It's has several pro, quick, and fit tips that will help with creating a more polished look while providing instructions on how to custom fit the pattern to your body shape and size. It's labeled classic fit - the perfect wardrobe. I'll probably make the jacket as well. The yoked pant design is similar as other wardrobe pattern. This version has a fly zipper front, instead of the back or side zipper.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the classic lines of the dress with pleated neckline. I also like the collar on the jacket. There was nothing that I disliked about the construction or design of the dress. It's a perfect little summer dress that can be worn to work, church, or out to dinner.

Fabric Used: I purchased the fabric for the remnant's room at Vogue Fabric on Roosevelt for the cool price of $6.73. The weave looks like shantung, polyester shantung, that is. I have enough left over to a top.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I basically did my usual FBA, broad shoulder alteration, and added 2 inches to the length of the dress. I also added a bust darts.

Because of my prominent shoulder blades, I sewed darts at the back shoulder seam instead of following the design theme of pleats. Lately, I noticed that I need to make the armholes a little deeper about 1/2 inch at the side seam.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I may sew the dress again, later. For now I'd like to make the jacket. And yes, I would recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is a good wardrobe pattern that has a lot of options for mixing and matching the coordinates. The instructions are good and will be of great help to those who want to understand how to create better fitting garments. Great wardrobe builder.

Prom - Accessories

For every prom dress that I make for someone I also make a garter, purse, and some type of coverup (stole, shawl, or jacket). Over the years I've purchased several accessory patterns that include complimentary views to special occasion wear. This year I kind of took the easy route, using the same purse pattern (M4679) for all three outfits made. The stole pattern(M3880)for my niece is now out of print, but I do recommend that you try it. There are a few views from this pattern that I will use again and again. This was the second time that I used the stole view.

A few weeks agoKat of Phat Chick Designs made a beautiful stole for her DD. It's similar to the McCall's pattern. The differences are the shape at one end of it and how the slit is made to join the two ends. I really like the bound buttonhole slit of Kat's version. I will use that technique for future versions of the stole. My sister has already requested a black one to add to her wardrobe.

The purse that I made for each lady was specially made to match the outfit as I used scraps from the dress.

I started including garters and purses with the prom/graduation assembles about 15 years ago. Many of the clients complained that the garters in the stores were ugly or cheap looking. That prompted me to make some from the fashion fabric on the dress or grosgrain ribbon. Garters are simple to make taking about 45 minutes to complete. All you need is about a yard and half of ribbon/fashion, some elastic, thread, and some type of decorations.

My niece's garter

DD's garter

My reviews of the purses and stole are on Patternreview.

I would like to give a BIG thanks to Omega and Opal for nominating me for the Attitude of Gratitude Award.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

To all my beautiful blogging friends, Happy Mother's Day! May God bless you and keep you.
Peace and love,

Friday, May 8, 2009

Do Sewing for Other People?

Occasionally I receive e-mail from readers about a variety of things as they relate to sewing. A few weeks ago Elaray asked me about sewing for other people and how do I manage the stress that comes with it?

Here's her note to me:


Your post, in which you described all of your responsibilities, made me think. You sew for other people, proms & weddings in particular, and you sew for yourself. The reason I give for not sewing for hire is sewing for someone else would be just another source of stress. Do you still find relaxation and joy in sewing for yourself? Is it less relaxing when you are sewing for hire? Are your clients too demanding because they are paying you? Obviously, if I think of clients as "too demanding". I don't have the personality to sew for profit! But, I am curious about how you can have the same activity for fun … and for profit. -- Elaray

My response:

Good afternoon Elaray,

You are absolutely right about the amount of stress related to sewing for others. The pressure is on each time I take a commission. If you are like me, you think about: are my skills good enough for pay? Will they be pleased with the results? Are the seams straight enough? Is the fit right? Can I finish on time? All of these questions enter my mine. To help combat some of the stress, I only take a few commissions. Most are regulars from church and work, a few family related clients. I'm very methodical in how I organize my client projects. At the beginning of the year, I gave notice to those interested telling them that I would only take a select number of jobs this year. After I reached my quota, I will not accept anymore. I discuss deadline dates, information about the garment to be made (occasion, style, etc.), pay and pattern(s). Because I need time to sew for me and DD.

When I sew for myself or DD, there is virtually no stress. It's the best. Some clients can be too demanding and very unpleasant. If a client is overly difficult, it's a one time deal. Sometimes, people want the "perfect look" that is not "perfect" for their body structure. Over the years, I have become very selective about what type of jobs I'm willing to take. Being careful not to stress myself too much. In that, I decline some projects. I will tell them, "I'm sorry that will require much more time and a higher skill set than I currently have. May I recommend: (I know a few people that sew and may be willing to do the job.)?"

I understand your statement about having the "personality" to sew for people. You have to a keen sense of "customer service". I love the interaction especially with young people. They are so creative and energetic in most cases. Often clients give me opportunities to try out a new technique and/or test my skills. That's good for me. Lately, I have been thinking about making some accessories to sell. People love the things that I crochet. I've also sewn a few scarves, purses, belts, etc., that people have begging me for. This approach to client sewing will totally eliminate stress. Because I can make up several items and sale them as is.

I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for asking. Please feel free to ask other questions. I think these are questions other people might have as well. ..,

How do you feel about sewing for other people?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Still Here!

I'm still here, but too busy at work and too tired in the evening to sew as much as I would like to. The second fitting of the prom dress was pretty good. My niece was all smiles, giggles, and jokes. I was glad to have a "happy" fitting. The purse and wrap are finished. But I'm having a hard time finding the right color ribbon for the garter belt. Today I'll stop by Vogue Fabrics; they are sure to have what I need. The plan is to have my nieces dress finished by Monday.

In the meantime, I've gotten a lot of commissions for sewing projects. I need to take a breather. Plus there are some things I want to make for DD and I. So no client sewing for the rest of May and all of June.

DD and friends are headed to the Anime Convention near O'Hare Airport. These brainy college coed's are crafty little ladies. They rented a table to sell their handmade jewelry and other crafts. DD encouraged me to sell some of my accessories as well. So she taking several of my crocheted caps and scarves. I also made a few crushed velvet and satin scarves with fringes or beads. The convention last through the weekend. Sunday night I'll find out how much they enjoyed the convention.

I'm a little behind with responding to e-mail and reading blogs. Hopefully I'll catch up soon.

That's all for now.
Happy Sewing!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin