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.

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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.

Fabric Chat (NYC)

So as promised, I am sharing with you my New York City fabric scores. In no particular order, here goes:

Everything is silk unless otherwise noted.

blue-lace
Lovely Navy lace that really wanted to come home with me

I am thinking of turning the blue lace into a self-draft pencil skirt. I have my own sloper with my measurements, which will make it easy for me to make into a pencil skirt.

blueleaf
The detail is hard to photograph, but it is really nice

This is some kind of light weight cotton with interesting  a leaf details. Not really sure what I should make with this. Thought? This could be an Anna, maybe?

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More left prints

I really love this fabric. I  am pretty sure this should be a long sleeve blouse.

purplecircles
Has a lovely touch

This fabric is the fabric that was going to replace the specific fabric I was looking for, so now it can be anything.

fromRenata
Gifted to me

So this fabric, I did not actually get in NYC but I got it on my return back to San Diego, from my friend who I ended up Loft/Pet-sitting for the day I got back into town. It’s only a yard, so I might make it into a lining for a bag or something. What should I do with it?

Okay, now for the main event.  So a while back I saw somewhere this blouse that had this flying bird design. I searched high and low for the fabric. No luck. I even seen the shirt from RTW stores floating around the real world. In NYC, while I was in one of the stores looking for this fabric, the one girl helping had the print I wanted. She said she got it from H&M or Forever 21. I gave her mad side-eye when she was not looking (she was helping us btw, had to be polite). So yeah, this is the lovely fabric that I ended up buying.

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My special fabric

Sure this fabric is sheer, but come on. Too Yummy to care

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So sheer, you can see the lines in my hand.
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Birds birds flying everywhere

So what do I plan to make it into? Yup, Pattern Runway‘s Pussy Bow Blouse. Too cute, if I may say so.

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Pussy Bow Blouse by Pattern Runway

Now, it is time to share with you the fabric that I fell in love with at first sight.

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Wool from Italy

Isn’t it just gorgeous? Don’t you want to wrap yourself in it. I want to wrap myself in it everyday.

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Someone ask if I am making dress, but if I make it into a dress I can’t wear it everyday. So I am thinking of making a hoodie or perhaps a pullover sweater. Not sure what will be better. Hoodie or Sweater?

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So Yummy.

Dancing with Sugar Plums

Geez, Trice another post? I must be on something, right? The day has finally come. I get to share with all of you another secret project.

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Enters Lolita Patterns‘ Sugar Plum. I was one of the lucky women to be a pattern tester for their new Sugar Plum dress. I love clothing that are mixed with woven and knit fabric, so I was very much looking forward to making this dress. Early June, a request for testers were sent out and I hopped on right away to be a tester. I knew this dress would be perfect for my work wardrobe.

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Sugar Plum is a dress that looks like a shirt tucked in, how awesome is that! Plus there are ruffles. Despite the fact that I am a tomboy at heart, I love me some ruffles. However, due to time and my skill level, I decided to go with View B. I have never mixed woven and knit fabric before, or made a rolled edge hem with my serger (yay, to new skills aquired), plus I was not sure if I had enough fabric. So yeah, no front ruffles. I used fabric already in my stash for this pattern, the only thing I purchased were the buttons. Go me!

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Whistle while you work, or slip out of work

I definitely knew I was not going to get away with making this pattern without making a muslin. I would like to note that I did not do a FBA for this pattern and the only changes I made to it, was adding 5/8″ to the front and back side seams after the side notches. Next time I will definitely do a FBA using a size 10. While I am at it, I will probably throw in a forward shoulder. I am pretty happy with the fit in the back, except for one part which I will go into later.

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Did you notice? This dress comes with pockets, who does not love pockets? I walked around all day with my hands in my pockets, most of the pictures in the photo shoot has me with my hands in my pockets. I was supposed to line it with the lining fabric, but I decided that I wanted to use the contrast fabric (skirt fabric) as my pocket fabric.

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Dress in Action

So like I said earlier, most of the fabric and notions I used to make this dress I had already in my stash. Yes, I so happened to have a 22 inch zipper, yeah I don’t know how that happened. The only thing I had to buy was the buttons, which I love. They are a pearl-like button, wish works perfect for this dress (sorry for the lack of close-up). The fabric I used for the top half is the same I used for the Sorbetto Top. I think its a poly silk.  The contrast/skirt fabric is a double knit that I have tons of.

Sometimes a gal needs a break from shoes
Sometimes a gal needs a break from shoes

Despite the fact that this dress looks great on my curves, there is a little bit of an horror story that goes along with it. You see, the back is supposed to have an invisible zipper, but the zipper is not that invisible, especially in the contrast skirt. The reason being… I am actually hand-sewn into this dress. My invisible zipper foot gets so close that at times it stitches into the teeth and that’s what happened and I broke the zipper. During the day the little spot that would not zip just got worst and since I needed to take pictures of the dress, I could not hide my exposed back behind a hoodie, so I had my coworker sew me in since we could not fix the problem. I know, complete Face Palm, but doesn’t this dress look great on me?

I know I should take the zipper out and re-install a new invisible zipper. However, I am lazy and scared to remove a zipper since it is fully lined and the fabric is delicate. We shall see, it would be a shame not to wore the dress again.

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Lolita Patterns will be having a sew-a-long for the Sugar Plum dress at the end of the month, Everyone should check it out. I know I will be following along.

I want to thank Lolita Patterns for giving me the opportunity to test this lovely dress. One of the things I love about Lolita Patterns is their sizing. These L.A. Pattern Companies (Lolita Patterns and Christine Haynes) are stalking me, I am convince. 😉 The size is on point with my own measurements, give or take what I might eat on a given day. Lolita Patterns also has two size range (2-14) then (16-24) and they are not just using the same block for the larger size. This is really smart. There is a brilliant post about it here.

Now go and purchase your own Sugar Plum pattern, here. Especially since they are having at 15% sale (on physical patterns) until Oct 10 PST. Sale code is sugar15plum

Happy hour and dancing friendly
Happy hour and dancing friendly