Making a Collection: Part 1

If you have read several of my post for this year, you will be aware that I am taking an Advance Pattern-making class. The class is about making your first Collection. I have been sharing pictures of my process on Twitter/Instagram. However, everyone does not use Twitter or Instagram, so I decided to do a little series about the path to my first collection.

Concept:

So I knew exactly what my Theme would be for class before the semester even started. Sadly, once class started, I realized I had to calm my ideas the hell down. This made my concept a little tricky.

I bet you are curious what my concept/theme is! Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a soft spot for things Asian. I took Japanese for my foreign language credit in college, my first clothing item I sewed up was a Kimono blouse and I really don’t need to get into food. In all honestly, I didn’t realize I had a LOVE for Asian things until a few years ago. My current focus is with Korean culture and this lady loves some Korean Pop music. It’s a not so secret, secret pleasure. A lot of it reminds me of music from the late 80s, early 90s. Feel good music you can dance too. I have a strong bias towards Korean Boy Groups to make matters worst. In the 80s/90s it was American Girl Groups.

Okay, back on tract. I don’t remember how it came to me, but I do recall it was very much like a light bulb moment. Like YES, there is no other option. I was mad excited about this idea, still love the original idea. My concept was inspired by my second favorite K-Pop group, Vixx’s Hyde music video.

Warning: This is a dark concept video, so there are snakes, skulls and such.

In case you decide to skip the video, the story line is, these guys are struggling between their good and bad side. The song lyrics plays out in a similar fashion, like a crappy relationship. Nice one moment and a jerk-face the next.

I have watched the above video many times (as well as their others), plus I even read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The next step for me was to make an inspiration board. Not only was I inspired by images from Vixx, but also Krystof Stroznya’s Fall/Winter 2012 Collection and even photographs from the 1800s on double exposure.

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Vixx Inspirations

 

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Jekyll & Hyde Inspirations

Design

The next step for me in this process was to come up with designs. Somehow, I got in my brain that I had to create three different looks. So in my head, I came up with a good side, a bad side and the conflicted good/bad. However, turns out I had to make three garments or a 3-piece outfit, which is great labor and time wise but kind of threw me off design wise. I needed to get across Jekyll & Hyde (meets Korean pop idol) all in one look (3-piece outfit). *breathe*

The first real assignment was to make a croqui, make copies and then design 12 garments. From the 12 I had to pick 3 that I would make. This method is a little difficult for me, because I usually always know what I want and I really have strong feelings and focus towards those idea. So, 9 of the garments I designed ended up being mostly BS, that I kind of struggled with. However, some of them I went in after the 3 were picked and played with for other project ideas. I did make some adjustments to my final 3 garments, and guess what, the designs are still being adjusted beyond the design stage. You know I even dream about my design ideas, FOCUS!!!

To end today’s post, I will share with you my first garment. My illustrations are not the best, so I will do a short description for each illustration.

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Illustrated by Me (Trice @ SewTell) Don’t know why I crossed my real name.

Garment 1: Jacket/Vest, Black and white, armhole princess seam front, waist back darts, feathered back, 5-6 different fabric textures, faced and partially lined.

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Jacket Mockup

Come back next week, for Garment 2 and other thoughts on the process.

Making sewing friendships

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A few months ago, I happen to oversee on twitter, that Lauren and Clare where planning a trip to NYC. Being the polite rebel I can be sometimes, I asked if I could crash their party. During the time leading up to the  date, I was completely on and off about going, mostly due to finances. In the end, thanks to tax season, I was able to go (my Portland trip isn’t looking so good however). I also like to add that this was like a school/business trip for me. I can comfortable say, I purchased two fabrics that was just for me.

Ahem, Okay! Disclaimer: If I forget to mention you or left anything out. I am super sorry.

Shortly, after arriving in New York, I caught up with Clare, Ginger, Oona,  Jen, Kelli and Amanda at a super fun craft Happy Hour. As soon, as I walked through the doors, I was greeted by my gals Oona & Jen and was taken promptly to the bar. Start of a good night, right?   There was a fun times had at the event. I think  I was a lot more silly and chatty that night. I had a tons of energy that night.

The next day, I had a lovely breakfast with Clare and Jen. For some reason the couple sitting next to us kept looking at us. We were excited but I don’t think we were loud, so I guess that they were just jealous.

After breakfast, Clare and I went explored NYC until we met up with my new partner in crime, Amity. Then, Amity and I went to Sephora and I got made-over before heading over to meet Betsy to meet everyone else for dinner. There was a large group and I got to meet so many amazing women. It would appear that I was in the heart of Oona’s Fat Quarter Challenge. I think I missed part of that conversation, probably because I was too busy destroying the margarita pitcher chatting/eavesdropping on the other end of the table.  Lucinda and Devra got to witness my sneaky clever margarita behaviour. Oona witnessed it too when I thought she was not paying attention. There were a lot of people there, so I was trying to weave in and out of various conversation. After dinner, Amity and I headed over to NJ (Philly naive grumble) since we were roommates for the rest of the trip. Getting over to NJ was an adventure and we did not get to the house until like 3am, due to waiting several hours at Penn Station.

Saturday, was the big Meet-Up day. Amity and I  traveled back to NYC on a Gypsy Bus to go to Devra’s place for brunch. A whole bunch of my favorite people were there, aka all the ladies from my Fall NYC trip, and I got to meet some new favorites. I was a little star-struck when I saw Peter, who I really wished I got to talk to more. Plus, I got to hang out with Carolyn again (we met the night before) and not to get super gushy, but, YES, Carolyn = Awesome Women!!

Then, we all went to the big Mood MeetUup.  There was a lot more people there but I didn’t really get to exchange words with a lot of them. :( I did finally got to meet Maddie, which was delightful. There was more hanging out involved after Mood. However, after a while I got a bit sick and just need to take it easy.

Sunday, was my last day in NYC and I spent most of it with Devra, Ginger, Clare and Lauren fabric shopping and chatting over coffee.

Whenever, I leave NYC I fell like my heart gets broken. Seriously, NYC is one of my favorite cities. I feel more at home in NYC, then I do in San Diego.  I really love cities that have tons of energy, you can fell it flow through you (and I am not talking about the wind chill.) San Diego has a settle down, take it easy vibe, in my opinion and I am not one to really settle. Plus the amount of people in the sewing community that gets together is pretty awesome. So yeah, NYC is like falling in love and getting your hear broken. I met so many amazing people during my trip in NYC, that for a minute I thought I dreamt it. Weird huh?

The weekend after, I still was not done hang out with the sewing community. Christine Haynes had her Book Release party at Sew L.A. It was a lovely event with yummy food and drinks. I purchased Christine’s book for a friend, in hopes that he gets inspired to sew more. The next day, was a fashion district meet-up organized by  my dear friend Amity (Yes, we must hang out on ALL the coast). I got to meet more lovely sewing ladies too. Let’s see if I can get them all, Laurie, Laura, (I, of course verbally mixed their names up, thinking to hard about not doing that, looking like dork) Kathy, Kaoru, Jeanette and Angela. I really hope I did not miss anyone. We had a really good time. I hope we get to do this again. I really like hanging out with apparel sewist. San Diego if anything is more of a quilter community, so it gets a little lonely.

As usual, I did not take too many pictures while I was in NYC or LA because I was too caught up in the moments, but here some that I found on my camera. These shots were taken in NYC just before I was about to leave to head back home.

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Lauren and I: I think my eyeliner matches Lauren’s hair

The Lady I traveled across the country to meet: Lauren. I promise you she doesn’t look high in real life. She is way more adorable than I could have imagined. I am trying to talking her into a West Coast visit. Starting in San Diego and working her way up the Coast.

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Clare & I

What an Bonus: Clare was such a treat to get to meet. Quite the sweetheart, great company and pretty darn funny.

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Ginger and I

Ginger, is on my list of people I would blindly follow on an adventure. She is that awesome.

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Devra and I

The last time I went to NYC, I got to meet the awesome Devra, but this time I actually got to hang out with her and get to know more about her. Which I am happy I did. She is unicorn and that’s pretty awesome.

Let’s be honest, a large portion of this community is pretty darn awesome. Jennifer made a lovely post here about it. I completely agree with her post. I am super glad I got to send time with the ladies in both NYC and L.A. last month. It was a great experience that I hope will happen again.

Now on to the treats. Besides fabric, I came home with some lovely spoils from NYC.

 

Host gift from Airbnb

Host gift from Airbnb

At one of the Airbnb places that I stayed at, my host provide everything I could need for my stay. The yummy chocolate bar is the only thing I ended up taking with me.

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Gift from Clare

Clare had asked if anyone wanted anything from GB and I was quick to think about Jaffa Cakes. We have an American knock-off call Pims, but I really wanted to try the real deal. I am a huge SPACED (tv show) fan, hence the request.

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Gift from Oona

The lovely Oona, got me a late birthday gift. She knows I love cute Asian things, so this was a great gift. The page markers can be found all over my pattern books.

Gift from Maddie

Gift from Maddie

Maddie stop by Mood for a few hours, which was a treat since I really wanted to meet her. Before she left the group to go home, she handed out some beautiful vintage buttonhole twist.

NYC Fabric

Non Jekyll & Hyde fabric purchase

Minus, the very top fabric,  here’s the fabric that I purchased in NYC that was not related to my school project. I have plans for all the above except the last one. No pictures of the Jekyll & Hyde fabric since they are just black or white fabric, which isn’t that exciting.

Well this post has gotten way too long and I won’t torment you all anymore, today. ;-)

Devra inspired me to do a weekly post related to my school project, so look forward to that post coming soon.

Run Lola Run

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Finally, I jumped on-board the Victory Pattern’s Lola love train. Why on earth did I take so long? Yeah, I don’t know either.

You all know by now that I went to NYC last month. Once my trip was confirmed, I knew that I wanted to make a dress for that trip and I want to make sure I was going to be warm too. This dress, in this fabric was perfect for the job.

This fabric is an amazing, super cozy. I was completely warm during the cold NYC weather in this Lola dress. I believe the fabric is a sweater fleece, with stretch (YAY) that I purchased on my trek to San Francisco to meet the gorgeous Leila.

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There isn’t much I really need to say about Lola that you probably don’t already know. Right?  This is indeed a super fast sew, especially if you have a serger. I sergered everything except for the top-stitching on the pockets and  stitching down the triangle. You can honestly make this dress in a day.

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The next one I make, you can be sure there will be a next, I would like to make it in a lighter weight knit. That why I can wear it more often in SoCal’s warm weather. I think the next version I will go down in size. You can see that I have a lot of extra fabric in that upper back area. I would also like to make an adjustment in the sleeve/sleeve band. For some reason, the 3/4 sleeves bands are always too big, like in my Renfrew. Perhaps my arms are a lot smaller than the rest of my body suggests. I dunno.

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Obviously, one of my favorite features about Lola is the pockets. They are so huge, I think I misplace my ring in one of the pockets. I DID find it before it ended up in the washer.

That’s where I put my phone!

If you want a fast, simple, yet cute dress, you should definitely check out Lola and make her up. The directions are pretty straight-forward and easy to follow. Here are some more pictures from the photo shoot. Mostly silliness.

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Big pockets = more storage

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Come on, get in there!!

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I think I got this

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Success! Mwahaha

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Okay, let’s be serious now.

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Nope, never mind!

I got caught by a coworker shortly after this picture. He said he sensed booty shoots were going down, which was true. There is a series of shoots of me touching my booty.

I am still working on my Jekyll and Hyde project for school. I think my teacher is finally starting to see my vision. She gave me a big hug the other day because she was happy I was in her class and that my project was so different from everyone else. Tonight I have class, and I plan to work on the drafting the facing for the jacket, then, cut out my top and sew it up. I also need to drop into JoAnn’s to find some fabric to test the fit on the pants. So much to do. The school is having a fashion show towards the end of May. I have to submit an application to be in it and hopefully, I get selected. I think my piece is interesting enough to be including. Wish me luck.

Okay, I am going to end this post here. Up next will be my NYC/L.A. trip post. It’s gotten so wordy, that I am about to delete it and start over. Okay, until next time.

Happy New Year! (What?)

 

Let me dust off the cowebs and dust that this blog has collected so far in 2014.

I know, I know!  I have been MIA for some time now, well mostly from blogging. I have been spotted on instagram and twitter. Oh and of course hanging out in real life. I am sure most of you have seen several of the amazing blog post from everyone that met up in NYC a few weekends ago.  I also went to a meet up this past weekend in L.A. for Christine Haynes Book Release Party. However, I will save those stories for another post.

So what have I been up to all this time. Well, despite my lack of presence here. I HAVE been sewing and a bit of pattern-making. I’ve made x-mas presents, tester patterns, slopers, hacks, sample patterns and the Victory’s Lola.

But today, I will share with you one of the x-mas presents I made, that I am very happy how it turned out. Most of the other stuff I can’t share with you right now, because either I didn’t like how they came out, they are not ready to be shared or I did not photograph them yet.

This last x-mas, I made blankets and a scarf, even a knit ponte pencil skirt as gifts. Of course, I can’t find the pictures for some of these, but that’s okay because I do have pictures of my favorite x-mas make.

 

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Over Thanksgiving, I overheard my friend’s brother say that he would love to have a hooded sweater. Light bulb,  McCall’s M6614. This pattern is pretty easy to sew up. I went with View C, since I think he really wanted a pull-over. The only changed I made was with the sleeve. Which was the first sign of the downfall of this garment.  It was when I slipped my hand through the cuffs that I made, that I realized I had purchased the wrong fabric. Don’t get me wrong, I love this Sweater fleece fabric I purchased from JoAnn’s. Super cozy. BUT how the hell did I not notice there was no stretch. D’oh!

 

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I finished the pull-over hoodie anyways and crossed my fingers that it would work out. X-mas day, my friend’s brother received his gift. LOVE IT. However, it was difficult to get on and 5′ too short. UGH! I told him that I would make him another one, longer and going up several sizes since he really loved the fabric. I purchased more fabric and that’s where the story gets put on hold.  Yes, I am a bad friend. Life has been insane tho.  So now, I have this really nice pull-over hoodie that has no owner. Super sad-face. It is a crime. Especially with those hidden front pockets.

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Despite, the fact that this doesn’t fit the person that it was intended for. I really love the way it came out. This was my favorite make of 2013.

 

In case you did not know. I am taking an Advance Pattern-making class this Spring semester and we have to make our first collection. The collection is only 3 garments thankful, but kind of sad because I had this whole vision beforehand. My theme for my collection is Jekyll and Hyde meets Korean pop idol. Since I am making a 3-piece outfit, I have to translate my idea to one garment. My teacher kind of side-eyed my sketches but approved it anyways. I think I have 9 weeks left until the fashion show, where the garments will be displayed. Of course I am a bit behind. I am excited and nervous all at once. Very overwhelmed. Hopefully, I get this done in time. I really need to focus and buckle down my time, since my garments  are not simple. I do promise to share the excitement of it all with you all.

Next post should either be about the March meet-ups or my Lola. Until next time.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

AnyWHO, on with my own reflection of 2013.

Like every true artist I can find fault with everything I made and in true form say it is not finished. However, I will roll my eyes at that part of me and take a step back and allow myself to see the good in the stuff I have created over this year. Here are My top 5 Makes of 2013

1. SHANER DRESS

Shaner Dress

 Me-Made-May 2013: May 17th

Of course, I am going to be proud of this dress. This dress started from an idea on paper to a perfectly fit garment that I can wear. Not a model but ME, with all my glorious curves. Yes, they are glorious, whether it’s from the muscles I built from walking and lifting or fats from cookies and tasty pastries. GLORIOUS. I was uneasy about buying pink fabric, because YUCK, pink. However, I am a sucker for polka dots and I think it works great for a dress to wear to a wedding. There are some changes I would like to make to this dress: Deepen the neck curve because it is not supposed to look like a V-neck, take out some of the flare in the CF, add sleeves and use interfacing. D’oh!

2. Polka-dot Sorbetto

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I really love this top. If I could wear it every day I would. First off it has polka dots. The fabric feels wonderful and I wished there was more of it. I am tempted to make another and a adjust the armhole but I will pass on that for the time being. REALLY LOVE THIS TOP.

3.  #Sewingdare Pillow Cases

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I had purchased some Ikea fabric and pillow forms a while back for my last apartment and just never got around to making covers for the forms. Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow gave me a sewing dare which was a good kick in the butt to take care of covering the ugly pillow forms on my couch. Heck, even my Man Friend likes them.

4.  Emery Dress

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I didn’t actually expect to like this dress since I am not really a retro/vintage kind of girl. More of a comfy, modern, wannabe futuristic kind of girl. I have actually wore this dress outside of a photo shoot. I wore this dress for Xmas and got some compliments. I am thinking about wearing it for a party next week. I also might make another one and do a much-needed FBA . This is a great pattern, simple and allows room for your own personal touches. Love it.

5. Black/Blue Sugar Plum

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This year I made 2 Sugar Plum dress from Lolita Pattern and this one is my favorite. I made some fitting adjustments that makes me happy. My favorite thing about this dress is that it looks like a two piece. Which is awesome. I also like this version more because it has a shorter hem. Not that I like showing off my legs, but fitted knit skirts look better on me above the knees or to the ankles.

SUMMARY

This year was a pretty decent year. I gained some new sewing techniques, I did a lot of designing (Xmas put them on hold), I lost some friends and made awesome new ones (sadly none in SD, but LA is not far), got to meet some sewing heroes, and participate more in our little community.

Since I did not accomplish two of the main things I had plan to do this year, I am going to keep my goals for this year simple.

My Goal for 2014 is to create more. This is simple enough and regardless of what I do, I can make this happen.

Do you have  goals for 2014?

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year and I look forward to spending 2014 with you!

Roadtrip

A month or so ago, I was browser my twitter feed and notice that Leila from Three Dresses Project was coming to the California. Imagine the sound of someone slamming on their breaks. That was my brain. I need to know everything, so I could see her. Amity from Lolita Patterns was planning a road trip up to visit  and then meet up with SF/Bay area sewcialist, which sounded like a great plan to me.

Due to Xmas and other expensive that was not the plan for me, but I was determined to go.  I ended up going to SF for a day which started Friday afternoon. A $1 plus $1 service fee ride up to LA, in a very sweet Bolt bus. I had a couple of hours to waste, so I hopped on the metro and checked out Mood. I have never been to the LA Mood before. I will have to say New York Mood is my favorite, the 3rd floor alone makes it my favorite.

I rushed back to Union Station, which is good because there were a lot of Korean stores near by and I am going through an everything Korean phase right now. I grabbed a Cosmo and some food before catching my train. The Cosmo was not the best idea because I was getting very sleepy, very fast and I did not want to fall asleep on the train. I took the train to Santa Barbara and then switched over to an overnight bus. This is the part of the trip that the drink would have been perfect for. But no dice, because as soon as I tweeted about being the only person without someone next to me, a lady got on the bus at the very last-minute. This lady made me nervous most of the trip. I think she was a little crazy.

The bus arrived in Oakland a little before 6am, so I found the nearest plug to charge my phone and I took some cat naps at the bus depot before meeting up with an old friend from Philly for breakfast. After breakfast, I got on a very crowd BART train, sans Santa Clauses (SantaCon weekend?)  and caught up with the below lovely ladies.

SF Trip1

 Karen,  Chuleenan Daiyami, Kirsty, Leila, Loran, and Amity

Others not in Photo:  Erin, and Cindy (I think that was everyone)

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OMG, Can’t believe I got to meet Chuleenan

Of course, we all went  fabric shopping and grab some food. It was great meeting people in real life and also being introduced to new people. Such a nice group of ladies. We split off into two groups, Leila and I had to leave SF and Amity was our ride.

So far in my  experience with meeting people from our lovely community, everyone clicks really well. I guess it makes sense, because our love for our craft brought us together. But sometimes, you meet people who just brings that to another level.  This does not happen often for me. I am pretty reserve when meeting someone for the first time and don’t warm up to people right away. However, Leila… different story entirely.

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Perhaps we knew each other in our past lives or maybe we chat enough online that it was just natural (my bet is on past life). You would never have guess this was the first time we met. Leila is adorable and such a sweetheart. Yes, I do have a secret crush on her, don’t tell. And yes, I kept trying to steal her petticoat right off her. I can’t wait for next year, I will put aside extra money on top of Xmas funds, so I can have a proper visit with Leila.

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Too cute. Can you tell that sleepy?

After, departing from Leila, I got a message from SW airline, saying my flight was delayed. This was a good and bad thing. Bad, because I didn’t really want to get home late but good because I got to hang out with Amity and her husband. I adore Amity as well, which is obvious. Right? You don’t plan on doing road trips with just anyone. Amity and I went back to the hotel, where I could lay down for a little before we tracked down a food truck (which I heard had amazing food). Eventually I had to leave and head to the airport. Of course when I got halfway to the airport, I get another message about my flight being delayed again. I didn’t leave SF until after 10pm (original flight 7pm) Smh! I was very upset at the airport as they kept pushing back the departure time. I could have been hanging out with Amity and her husband. Grr. But that is okay, I can get to LA for a few bucks now and see Amity more often.

I also got a $100 voucher (more than the price of my flight. Yay for savings!!) from SW so I can visit other blogs. There are a couple of bloggers that I MUST meet.

 Have you met sewing bloggers in “real life” before? How was that experience? Do your non-sewing friends think you are weird for meeting people from the internet?

Sew Red October

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Yeah I know, it is not October anymore, we have moved on to November. But I am allow to hold on a little bit to October, it is my favorite month. Except for the allergy part.

I did finish this blouse in October, but did not get to photograph it until November. The interesting part is that I started this blouse back in May 2011. I think time ran out, this was my second garment of the semester. The cool thing was when I decided to work on it again, all the tissue fitting/adjustments and cutting the pieces out were done. Tho, I do think i was supposed to do a fabric fitting. Oh well.

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So the pattern I am using is McCall’s M5661. I cut out a size 16 and did a 3/4″ FBA then I lowered the FBA dart 1.25″. I ended up moving that dart to the neck pleats. I also did a sway back and made the seam allowance 1″. Beside the fit adjustments I made this pattern without a belt and I went with snaps instead of button/holes. I used pearl snaps for the pattern and kind of aligned it with the guide. Since this was my first time installing snap, they might not be perfectly in line. I really don’t like making machine buttonholes, so hence the snaps.

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My favorite part of this top is the sleeves. I love cool sleeve treatments. Even puffy sleeves. It was fun making these sleeves. I think everyone should try a hand at fun sleeves.

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My least favorite things about this shirt are the silly front facing, the pool above my bust and that I can hulk out a little in this top.  If I bend over or flex my back, the second snap unleashes. I feel like Bruce Banner (The Hulk). So this top will be worn on an easy movement day, which actually doesn’t exist. HA.  Okay, more like not in heavy rotation unless I want to show off my upper back muscles.

Now for a little silliness. I wasn’t too much in the mood for taking picture, plus I was heading up to L.A. in a few hours so I had to be quick. So most of my pictures are side views. Did I mention I forgot to pack my shoes. I am wearing running sneakers? Yeah, I was kind of worn out.

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I have decided that I am going to try to complete an UFO in my collection each month until they are gone. This does not include stuff that I have no interest in anymore. It happens. This month, I am planning to finish my Sewaholic Minoru Jacket. Does anyone remember that. Yeah, didn’t think so. Lol

I also have some exciting new projects underway, so stay tuned.