Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award - Thanks Victoria!

The fabulous Victoria have me a Beautiful Blogger Award. Thanks much!

Man, oh man! I've had hardly any time for sewing or blogging. Argh! Argh! I should have posted this entry two weeks ago. I'll be glad when things settle down so I can enjoy my crafts again. Work is busy, busy. We are in the process of "proving the worth" of the application (yet again). I'm demo'ing and demo'ing then compiling stats and other information. Jesus! I guess it's necessary in this current economy.

I'm supposed to tell ten things about myself. It's going to be brief. Then give ten other fabulous sewing sistas a Beautiful Blogger Award.

Ten things:
1. I work in IT for a major research university.
2. I've worked for the university for 27 years. Academia is a good place to work if you want a free education. And your children get discounts too. wink, wink.
3. I'm the eldest of four daughters; I only have one DD.
4. I'm a proud member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago. I've missed the first two meetings of this season due to church activities.
5. Vacation is near, I can't wait; I'll be cruising to Mexico.
6. I'm very fortunate to have a close knit family. Me and my sisters enjoy each others company. We are the best of friends. Joy.
7. Can you say, Daddy's girl? That's me. I lost my dad in 2006. Everyday I think of him.
8. Divorced almost seven years. If you can live with the "imperfections", don't do it. Everyone loses. Remember 90 percent of "stuff" is little. Only 10 percent is serious business.
9. I'm a little bit on the nerdy side. Love science.
10. Turner Classic Movie is my number one cable station. I have almost zero tolerance for reality TV.

Now the best part, Here are eleven, not ten fabulous sewing bloggers who I would like to present with the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Tany's Blog
Sigrid's Sewing Projects
Pamela's Off the Cuff Style
Kim's Kouture
Narcissaqtipie's Sewl Sista #1
A Sewn Wardrobe
Sewn by Alviana
Amber's Obsessed with Pink
Audrey's Sewtawdry
Sew Passionista by Diana
Summerset's Pins and Needles

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Dress - Women & Men's Conference 2010 B5520

First, to those of you who continue to visit and comment on my blog, thank you so much. I really appreciate your visits, your kind words, and encouragement. My blogging activity has declined to a low 5 percent comparatively speaking. I'll be back on it soon. I've got a lot of catching up to do.

Victoria nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award. Thanks much! So I'll post my ten things about me and will nominate some fabulous stichin' sisters.

Finally, I'm able to write a review of my W&M Conference dress. Anyway, here's my review of Butterick 5520.

Pattern Description: MISSES'/MISSES' PETITE DRESS: Close-fitting, tapered, above mid-knee length, lined dresses A, B, C have two-piece raglan sleeves, back zipper and back slit. A, B: contrast cap sleeves. B, C: peplum. C: above wrist length sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 8 to 22.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much. I made the simplest form of this dress, view A.

Were the instructions easy to follow? There was nothing difficult in them. Pretty easy. I also forget to talk about my method for attaching the lining to the back slit. Instruction 33 in this case. I never match the lower circles. To eliminate the "plucker" at the slit, I move the circle of the lining about a 1/4 inch above the circle on the skirt of the dress. Then sew the lining to the dress/skirt. The slit looks smooth.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like everything about it. No dislikes.

Fabric Used: Dutchess (matte) satin and rayon/cotton blend Brocade.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a few changes:

Installed an invisible zipper.
Added a few inches to the length of the skirt
Prominent Shoulder and Sway back adjustments
Eliminated the shoulder pads. I didn't think I needed them.
I made a belt with bow.

BTW- Oops, not the best picture this time and the sleeve is tucked in a little.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I plan to make a "winter" version, long sleeve. Yes, I do recommend it to others.

Conclusion: This is an easy dress pattern that is fashionable. If this is a style of dress that is appealing to you, try it. That's it, that's all.

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Viking Gems - Designer Topaz

When a sewing machines is called a gem stone, is that enough to make you pause? Well I paused for several moments to hear and see what the Husqvarna Viking dealer had to say about the Viking gems. Last week, I had an opportunity to preview the Viking Designer Topaz 200, 300 and the Ruby. These beautiful machine are as pricey as the name sake, ranging from $2,500 to $5,500.

For months, I've been needing a new sewing machine and for years I have wanted an embroidery machine. The brilliant sparkle and fire of these stones left me wanting, no, needing to own one of them. What beauty. what features. Who could ask for more? I want one.

After leaving the store still on cloud nine, I thought, "Be reasonable. That is, too much money to pay for a sewing machine. There are five things I need in the same price range." Today I still want it. That is the Topaz 300. Do any of you own a Viking gem?

For those of you who want to know more about the "Gems", here is a link to the site: Explore the Topaz.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Little Lady in White - S2588

Sunday was the climax of our Annual Men and Women's Conference, "An Image to Uphold", Genesis 1:26. My little lady gave the morning service welcome address. The women dressed in white or off white. I made DD's dress using S2588. If you recall, I used the same pattern for her Easter dress back in April. The only difference is I used the flared skirt instead. The dress looked a little plain without some type of embellishment. So I added a wide belt with a floral accent.

This dress is made of monece polyester satin from Fishman's Fabric. This fabric is easy to handle. I used a sharp needle (size 12).

Here is the process for making flowers.

Next, I post my review of B5520.

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Look 6936 - The Easy Traveler

I hope everyone had a great weekend. The weather is beautiful in Chicago these days. We have bright sunny skies and low humidity with an occasional cool breeze.

Over the weekend I worked on several projects. One of them was this easy knit dress made using New Look 6936, a simple dress, four clean line pieces. I made this dress for one of my sisters.

Pattern Description: Knit dresses in two length with bodice variations.

Pattern Sizing: 8 to 18. I sewed view A.

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? I didn't read them. This dress was so easy. Join at the shoulder, add neckband (added my personal preference), sew sides of bodice and skirt, join bottom of bodice to top of skirt, sew elastic casing and hem. Finishing seam with serger as needed or desired. That's what I did.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This is a very easy knit dress. The fabric I selected will travel well. So if my sister wants to include this in her vacation wardrobe, it's an easy, comfort dress to wear. I only had one dislike - no neckband for this view of the dress. The neckband creates a clean sturdy finish.

Fabric Used: A really nice knit from Vogue Fabric. I found it in the remnant room about a month ago. The pieces was only 1 1/2 yard, 60 inches wide. It was a close call. The neckband had to be cut on the salvage. So I purposely put that side on the inside of the neckline. You can't really tell less you look for it.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Yes. Added the neckband. The fabric has a lot of stretch in it and outstanding recovery. So I didn't have to do a FBA or any other alteration.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes. I thinking about making a dress for myself.

Conclusion: If you are a little shy about sewing knit dresses, try this one. It's easy and comfortable. A stretchy knit will reduce fitting alterations. This is an easy two hour dress.

Happy Sewing!

Part shots:

In August I had the pleasure of having dinner and a gospel concert aboard the Spirit of Chicago. Here are a few photos at Navy Pier in Chicago. Tina Brown was one of the vocalists. The concert was superb. Beautiful city, good food and great music makes for a lovely evening out of Lake Michigan.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looming UFO - Vogue 8489

This is supposed to be the final summer project. I hoped it would be a transition dress. We can definitely feel fall in the air, sunny and clear skies during the day and cool at night. Last week I thought I would finish this before the holiday. Instead I became less enthusiastic about the dress because I over estimated the FBA.

Yep…, I made a huge over estimate. See hear. Next to alterations, picking seams apart is my least favorite “sewing related” thing to do. But, I can’t let this fabric go to waste. So soon I will knuckle under and make the adjustments. I’m hoping I can remove some of the fabric at the base of the bodice.

This week I’m finishing DD’s dress for the Unity Conference along with sewing my dress and starting a suit for a client.

Here’s the pattern and fabric I selected for my dress. It’s Butterick 5520. I purchased my fabrics from Vogue (Satin - Matte finish) and Fishman (Silver and Cream Brocade). My dress is cut and ready to sew.

More later...,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Altered State - The Replacement Zipper

My sister asked me to replace the zipper in her Kenneth Cole coat. You can imagine the difficulty I had with getting started. First, the removal of the old zipper is a feat in itself. Once that was done it got easier to complete the task. Here's how I did it.

The preliminary work - Finding the appropriate zipper. Of course the replacement zipper has to match the other "hardware" on the coat. I ordered the zipper from the

Missing zipper teeth. First replacement zipper was poorly sewn.

Multiple seams to hold zipper in place. Zipper was unevenly inserted between the lining and coat. It's clear the snaps were an obstacle when it came to sewing the zipper.

Carefully removed old zipper.

The purchased zipper was two inches too long. One of the customer rep's at Vogue suggested that I go to I. Sach's for a zipper. I ended up getting some zipper stops complements of the owner. Here's DD removing the zipper teeth and adding the new zipper stops.

Teeth removed and stops in place. Next I cut the extra zipper tape to the desired length.

Next,I pinned zipper to the coat lining to help keep it aligned as I basted it in place.

Hand stiched it then removed the pin. This made it easier to sew the zipper by the machine.

Next I basted the coat to the zipper and the lining. Again, this help control the stitching of the permanent seam.

Finally, I sewed the zipper to the coat by machine. Here is the coat with the basting removed and the zipper securely installed. This process took about 3 1/2 hours. The broken zipper was a bear to remove.

I Sachs Sons Inc. - Hidden Gem on Roosevelt Road

I Sachs Sons, Inc. 637 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60607 (312)666-0091

I was looking for a black coat zipper with silver teeth to replace the zipper in my sisters coat. Several weeks ago I purchased a zipper online, but it was too long. Well I searched high and low for the right length with no luck. One day while shopping in Vogue Fabrics, I asked one of the sales clerks if she knew where I could buy a heavy coat zipper. She replied, "Next store. They have all sorts of zippers, notions, and leather goods." Off to I Sachs I went. Hmm.., They close early, 3:00pm to be exact.

So last week I finally returned to I Sachs before closing time. And it was more than I hoped for.

Have you bought anything from this store? If yes were the prices competitive? My first visit, I didn't buy a thing; but quickly made a mental note of all the wonderful goods I could purchase there. The owner was kind enough to give me four zipper stops and he explain how I could shorten the zipper I already had.

Were the sales people polite and friendly? Extremely.

How would you rate the quality of the item this store sells? Excellent. There were tons of eyelets, zippers, shoe making materials, you name it.

How was your shopping experience. Is there anything you did not like about this store? I walk around the store thinking, " ooh, I'll be back; That's a nice piece of leather; tacks for jeans; Wow!"

Would you shop here again? Yes. And soon.

Would you recommend this store to others? If you are in the Chicagoland area, check them out. Great supplies and notions.

Any other comments you would like to add? I've been shopping at Vogue's and Fishman's for as long as I've worked at the University and never noticed this great little warehouse. It's a gem.


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