Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Sewing and *New* Lessons Learned

As I do to myself every so often, I have decided to sew something for my niece fro Christmas. Now, after the last dress I made for her, I said never again. But I should never say never. This time around I was swayed by her recent excitement/interest in sewing, the fact that it is only a fleece bathrobe and (I'm sure mainly) because of such distance from the last project. And the pattern is adorable; a 1970's Simplicity robe and nightgown pattern that is too cute.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Body Block Update: YAY!

Okay, so I finally have good news to report about the body block saga. I am done with it! Yay! And I *even* did the sleeve block this weekend as well. Sorry that there are no new pics for all of my block-done-ness. The last tweaks that I did in this post seemed to work out just right. Now, I have all my pieces and I can move forward to the sheath dress.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Body Block Update: Grrrrr.

And that doesn't stand for Grrrrrreat! Nope. Not at all. So I am on the third round of fitting with the block. Well, technically I am on two and a half or something. But first let's back up to where we left off.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Apron Distraction

Sorry to let you all down. I'm sure you are waiting for phase two of the body block, but yesterday I had to sew an apron for a birthday present. It took me about four hours to finish from cutting the fabric to the last topstitch. Isn't it cute! Hopefully said recipient will appreciate it. And if you are reading this, Miss Recipient, and you don't like it — I will gladly take it back ;)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Body Block: Part One

So, first let me apologize for my lack of posting. With the holidays there comes long hours of me at the cheese counter, which means not much time for doing anything else. But now that I am free from the Turkey holiday, I will have more time. Well, at least until the next big holiday.

On to the body block/sloper!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's About Time: A Body Block

I have had this book for about a year now, and I haven't had a chance (or made time) for making a body block, or a sloper of myself (those are the same things, right?). This part of the book is essential for completing any of the patterns included, hence why no progress has been made.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rome: the last few days...

My first stint in Rome is slowly coming to a close. I have two days left in this lovely city, then back to the frigid Northeast. After a two month stay back at home, I will be back her in January and will stay until June.

Friday, November 5, 2010

McCalls 5591: Finished!

Remember this skirt? I finally finished it! I had brought all the pieces cut to Rome, but lacked a zipper and interfacing. After a helpful care package from the States, I was ready to finish the task. It has been done for a couple days but lacked a photo. I know this isn't great, but since it is taken with my laptop, I don't think it is so bad. It was either this or nothing :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blind Hem Domination

I spent most of yesterday afternoon working on making a blind hem. Maybe this is an old trick for most of you, but for me it is new. It has always been one of those intimidating aspects of sewing I thought I would never learn. The instructions might has well have been in Italian at home since reading them always produced a scratching of the head and decision to hem by hand. Now I can share my knowledge with you all, so you don't have to spend two and a half hours figuring it out :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

In The Kitchen: This Little Piggy...

*** Disclaimer: pictures of uncooked pig and other pig parts are present in the post. If you are vegetarian or have a weak constitution, I would recommend not reading the following post. Or at least wait until 30 minutes after you have eaten :) *****

My husband loves barbecue. He is from Virginia, and whether or not they are known for barbecue, my husband really likes to dabble in it at home. As most of you know, we are living in Rome right now, which is *not* the home of barbecue. It is home to many other wonderful things, but barbecue is not one of them. We are more than half-way through the semester and my husband (and the rest of the faculty) wanted to give the students a little taste of home. We tossed around making Mexican, but southern barbecue was the final winner.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Paris: Strikes, Tarts and One Amazing Lunch

So I am back from my trip to Paris (and also Portugal which is why so long between posts) and I wanted to share with you the highlights of the trip I had. I was a great trip, it certainly tested my skills of "okay, if this won't work, let's try this" way of thinking.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Paris? Oui, s'il vous plait!

So I have to opportunity to go to Paris for a few days...and I have decided that it was a good idea. I leave today. Honestly, is Paris ever a bad idea? I did hear that there are some terrorists threats and they evacuated the Eiffel tower a few times, and that the whole city may still be on a transportation strike, but it is Paris. Paris!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Yay for Moms!

And for the USPS. It may have taken a little time, but my zipper for my skirt arrived. With the interfacing as well. Not that they don't sell zippers here in Italy, but I had already picked out the right color and size, and my mom was sending a package all just seemed to work out.

Thanks Mom!

So, now nothing should keep me away from finishing this project. Onward!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Buttonholes are the devil.

So, if I had to pick things that I hate about sewing, I would say making buttonholes are at the top of the list. I know I said I disliked them the other day, but now I am at a whole new level of loathing. The torture that I endured to make three (only 3!!) buttonholes on my garment was vicious. They are the devil.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ruffles and Dots

I was busy yesterday. I spent most of the afternoon getting to the point in the photo above. If you are just joining in, I am working on Simplicity 2053, which is basically a shirtwaist dress with options for ruffles, sleeves and two bodice choices. It is a Project Runway design, and I have only worked with one other pattern from that line before. Besides trying to figure out which exact pieces of the pattern to cut out (there are many "designer's additions"), I do like the way their instructions are written and I think their designs are exciting and easy to execute. At least so far.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another day, another merceria...

But, my friends, this was one was different. I could tell as soon as we walked in the door. Well, after the lady yelled at us after we walked in the door, I could tell. Actually she didn't yell, per say, but I wasn't expecting to have to take a number when we walked in, kind of like a deli counter.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birthday, Then and Now

Yes, I spent another birthday in the fantastic city of Rome. Last time was ten years ago and I turned 23. Ah, such a silly girl then. This time around, I spent it in a much different way. Let's take a comparison look at my birthday from then and now:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fabric Heaven!

I told you I would do a post just on the fabric store, Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti, where we went on our hunt for fleece. In one word: wow. If I could do it in more than one word, it would mostly be expletives. If you have ever had daydreams of walking through room after room of fabric stacked floor to ceiling, than you have seen this store. It was amazing. We were on the search for fleece, so I didn't have too much time to explore, but what I did find made my brain buzz with all sorts of ideas and projects that I am fearful for my wallet ;)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Next Up: Simplicity 2403

While I am awaiting the arrival of a zipper and interfacing for my skirt (my mother was sending me a package anyway, so I had her toss them in) I decided to get on to another project. So here it is. Simplicity's Project Runway 2403. Basically a shirtwaist dress with different sleeve and bodice options. Shirtwaist dress...hmmm, that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Does anyone remember my shirtwaist dress that I abandoned in the states?

Fleece? Like from a sheep?

As I posted before, I have been set upon the task of making a Snuggie for someone in exchange for their knowledge of the Italian language. The end goal for me is to get to the well-known fabric store, Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti to obtain fabric for myself (which will have its own post—trust me).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Snuggie? Snuglet? Oh, the Horror.

To be honest, I do not own one of these things. And I am trying not to judge. Really I am trying. If you own one, then I am sorry to make fun. Sort of ;) One of the faculty here at school has made an agreement with me. She, whose husband is Italian so her Italian is WAY better than mine, has agreed to accompany me to the fabric store to translate for me and help me through it my first time, *if* I make her a snuggie. Or snuglet. Or whatever you want to call it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday sewing!

Woooo! I am on a roll. Well, I am at the end of the roll now. I got as far as my little needle could carry me today. I brought out my pattern pieces this afternoon. I know I said I would do it yesterday, but there is so much eating to do here, I barely have any time ;) Today I got the first introduction to my new machine. Everything is great, a little different than my machine at home, but it is kind of nice to go back to basics after using a fancy-pants-all-electric machine.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New addition to the family!

Well, here it is — the Husquavarna H Class E10. I know that this means I turned down the treadle, but it is always there if I need it. Instead I gave into peer pressure and went for the new machine. I am very excited about this though. Back in the States I have the HuskyStar E20, so this is the non-electric version of that.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Really Vintage Hair

During one day a week, we have someone that cleans the apartment and I am forced to find something to do in the big city of Rome. For two hours. Poor me, right? Anyway, this week I decided to go to the Palazzo Massimo, which houses some beautiful statues of former emperors, draw-dropping mosaics, amazing wall paintings and a nice small jewelry collection.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giveaway Winner!!!

Yay and congratulations to sewiknitoo for being the winner of my giveaway! (So, she was the only one that left a comment...but that was all I needed! )What did she win?? No, not a Dishmaster (although who wouldn't want one of those!), but fabric!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

To Treadle or Not to Treadle?

In a previous post, I told you all about the machine that I can borrow from the school where my husband is teaching at, right? I was told, "it is in a closet." Well, apparently "closet" actually translates to a "cabinet", in this instance. I was prepared for some 1970's or 80's machine covered with dust languishing in the back of a closet, but instead what I was brought to was a 1930's (possibly younger/older?) Singer (prounced Sin-jer) treadle machine. Imagine my surprise, especially with these images so fresh in my mind.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cinque Terre: Anchovies, Boats and Mimi

Now, I know I have been mostly writing about sewing on this blog, but I do have other passions as well, one of them being food. Since my weekend away in Cinque Terre had absolutely no sewing, I thought that I would take this moment and post about something I said I would blog about...but still haven't. So, just to be sure, there will be no sewing in this post. We will return to our normal programming tomorrow ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

La Mimose Merceria

How adorable is that? And I am talking about my purchase, not the (possibly stained?) lace tablecloth. I went this morning with a friend to the merceria around the corner from our apartment, which is a catch-all of craft stores. My friend was looking for knitting yarn, which they did have and I was looking for fabric and/or thread. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Oh, the agony!

I walked downtown this morning (well, I took the bus, but you know what I mean...) wondering what would be new at Stefanel and then I came upon this sign. This sign marked where my favorite store once stood. For a brief moment I was crushed. Images of the sweaters that someone-who-shall-remain-namless made me give to Good Will before I left came rushing back. I collected myself. When I was there ten years ago, there was about twenty stores around Rome. I knew that was another on the Via del Corso itself. I was on my way.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rome: Motorinos and More!

Well, I arrived safe and sound in the land of pasta, vino and Vespas. Yes, especially Vespas (I won't talk about the vino yet, as I am still recovering).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Goals and GIVEAWAYS!

Here is the my Anniversary dress. I would like to show you the whole thing, but it is now packed in my suitcase. I did finish it. Well, I can wear it out, but if I can get a chance to tweak it before the final wearing I will. Once I finished I realized that I could take in the side seams just a touch to give it a slightly better fit. This fabric seems to have expanded much more than my muslin fabric. But everyone says it looks great...but maybe they are all saying that so I will stop sewing and pack. In less than 18 hours I will be on a plane to Rome, and I didn't start packing until tonight. Crazy, I know.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Shop 'til you drop!

Look at the pretty shoes!! Doesn't that purchase make up for my lack of posting yesterday?! Yesterday, I went on a shopping trip of epic proportion. We left the house at 8:15 in the morning and didn't arrive home until 9:00 last night. It was some serious shopping. What were we looking for? Shoes, jeans, a coat and some pretty undergarments. Were we successful? Thankfully we were. Can you imagine shopping for 12 hours and not being successful?!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday Goals with Progress!

Ah, Tuesday has found me again! And this time I have been able to accomplish the second easiest goal. After this is when I really have to start bringing in the big guns and put in some time, unless I want to lose some of my beloved stash to you readers. Laurel, the other day, had her eye on some of my vintage-looking silk from Mood. In order to not lose my stash here, is what my finished goal was for today:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sewing Mojo and Dupioni!

Have you ever had those sewing days where everything seemed to turn out right? Seams match up, linings/facings behave and you only have to rip out maybe one row of stitches? It doesn't happen very often for me, but recently I have been feeling great about my sewing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Suitcase Full of Patterns.

Isn't there a nursery rhyme like that?  There should be.

When I moved out of my house a little over a week ago, I had to put my patterns in something for the move. I grabbed my huge Samsonite piece of luggage (the same I took to Rome ten years ago) and shoved it full of patterns. I have *a lot* of patterns. I knew I had a few, but after seeing them overflowing in a suitcase, I knew I might have hit my personal limit. At least until an unexpected visit to Joann's forced me to buy this $3.99 Vogue pattern. But that is it...for now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Check-In

Well, it has been a week since I posted my goals and it is time to see how I am doing. I think I have done pretty well this past week. Let's recap what I wanted to get done:

Monday, August 9, 2010

Just one more...

Even though I am moving to Rome in 26 days, have just moved my entire pattern stash to my parents' house, and I could use another pattern like a hole in the head...$3.99 was just too much for me to resist.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Romper Room!

Do you remember this little number? Yeah...the pattern I said that I was going to make for my sister's birthday, which was in June? Yup. Well, after I decided on which pattern for my Anniversary dress, I needed some help choosing the right color fabric for the dress.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Winner is....

The Michael Kors dress wins the slot for my Anniversary dress. I fell in love with the dress the first time I saw it, and I just need to make it. That is that. I want something that I really want to make, and this is definitely it.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Apparently in my two month absence I thought that my decision making skills had evolved to a normal level. Since I sat over this pile for more than thirty minutes, and still haven't decided, I am positive they are still hovering in the painfully indecisive area. For the Anniversary dress, I am leaning towards the Michael Kors in the upper right or the Vintage Vogue right below it. Any thoughts?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tuesday Sewing Goals. With Consequences!

So it isn't Monday, but I am going to give my goals not just for this week, but for the rest of the summer (or until I leave September 2nd). Besides, Peter has gone all soft in the sweltering city heat, so I will have to state my goals here on my own blog. How dare he ;)

Monday, August 2, 2010

August already?!

So I have been a little lax about posting. Hmmm, two months since my last post? So maybe a little more than being "lax" with this blog— how about neglectful? That is probably more like it. To be honest, it is not for the lack of things to post about. And as much as I would have loved to just lounge around (reading and drinking soda!), that was not happening.  I have been running around opening a new shop, selling lots of cheese, moving out of my house, sending my husband off to our new apartment in Rome, while I moved in with my parents. It has been a very busy summer :)  

So, it is a new month. It is also the start of me getting back down to sewing and getting ready for the big move to Rome.  I have lots of sewing goals to get done before I leave, which I will post tomorrow. Ah full of hope ;)

Seriously. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Please Excuse the Interruption...

I have been working on my shirtwaist dress (slowly, I swear), but I have had to take a break. We are opening up a second cheese store! Yay cheese! The possible open date is for next Thursday, June 10th. Only nine days away. I'm sorry, I guess you didn't hear me? nine. days. away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Stars at Night, Are Big and Bright...

While visiting my my sister in San Antonio (almost a month ago now), I finally finished her birthday present. Her birthday was on Valentine's Day, so I was running a bit behind schedule. Shocking? At least it was this year's gift! She had visited right after her birthday and picked out fabric and I hauled it all down to get the fit right. This was my reasoning for person to fit? No sew.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pretty in Polka-Dots: 1980's Prom Dress FINALE!

Do you ever wish that you could go back in time and relive your prom? For some, maybe not. But my younger sister? She got to relive our older sister's prom. As you can see from the photo, my older sister certainly got into the fashions of the time. You can't tell from the photo, but that is white polka-dotted tulle circa 1988. With three (3!) layers of ruffles. All asymmetrical, of corse. They really don't make them like that anymore, do they. Thankfully. (Hey, isn't my sisters date great! The original? Not so much.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pretty in Polka-Dots: 1980's Prom Dress Sneak Peek

Ah, the 80's. I got to witness it in action with my older sister, I unfortunately (or fortunately looking at photos) was too young to participate in any of the exciting parts of the fashion of that era. Last week I saw it much more close-up. My younger sister went to a 1980's-prom-themed fundraiser this past weekend. She had my older sister's original prom dress from 1988 (last worn by someone in high school) and since my younger sister is *ahem* not 16, we had to do some creative altering. This involved much more than ripping out and moving the zipper. Definitely more.

This is just the teaser. I had every intention of writing a post this evening with pictures of before and after. Alas, I find myself at the end of the evening after a full day of doing non-sewing related things. It will all have to wait until tomorrow, but you can see a sneak peek above. It has been awhile since I last posted and I wanted to get something up. I am doing something, I promise!  :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Book Review: Coco Chanel & Stravinsky

Can you tell I'm on vacation? It is the only time during the year when I have time to read a book. So it is my ritual to find a book at the airport (I usually forget to get one before I leave) and read it while away. This time was no exception and it also relates to sewing (sort of). Yay!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shirtwaist Dress: Progress Report

Progress. That is a funny word. It means different thing to many people. A "moving forward", right? I guess what I have been doing would technically fall into "progress". The problem is there hasn't been too much of it around here. Especially on my current project. Let's take a look.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Rompers vs. Playsuits

I have had my eye on rompers when I saw a couple cute versions on ModCloth last summer. I just brushed the thought aside, even though the ones they had there were beyond cute. Then last night, my sister and I were trying to find a pattern I promised I would sew her, and instead we stumbled onto this beauty in this etsy store. We both thought that each silhouette was great, so the pattern was purchased.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My First SBA! Where's the Champagne, Mom?!

Those reading who are not familiar with this term, it stands for a Small Bust Adjustment on a pattern. This is not as commonly seen in the sewing world as an FBA, which of course is the opposite, for those on the bustier side. Most of the big pattern companies draft patterns for a standard B-cup size, besides Colette Patterns who use a C-cup as standard. This is a fine and dandy if you are an average type of lady, with all your full B cup-ness (or even C!), but I am no average lady. I couldn't even fill out an A-cup completely — wah wah wah :( But instead of wallowing in my small-bust-self-pity, I made a SBA. Yay!