Thursday, February 28, 2013

Its a Sewcialist Revolution!

I don't know if you've noticed, but the sewing corner of the interwebs has been growing. You can find us on blogs, facebook, twitter, and instagram. One day I was poking about and thinking "Gosh, we need a name. We should give ourselves a name!"

The great thing about out loud thoughts on the internet is people have a tendency to answer them. Fairly soon after that Leila of "Three Dresses Project" came up with the name "Sewcialists!". Boy, did that stick. I mean, think about it. Not only are we a community of people that love to sew and talk about it, we're from all over the world and a little subversive in our desire to make clothing when its just as easy to go BUY clothes (Wait, you can buy clothes? Huh). We're like the 21rst Century Sewing Circle. WORLD WIDE BABY!

This is where ya'll come in! The Sewcialists are seeking emblem designs for our budding community of sewing aficionados. We need your talent. Or your friend's talent. Its cool, we don't discriminate. We're laid back like that.

Who are the Sewcialists?

Sewcialists are those who sew and chat about sewing, fabric stashes, etc on social media. Any type of communication that utilizes the internet, really.

What are we looking for?  We are looking for a design that:

  • Relates to sewing and the social nature of sewcialists
  • Is modern, simple, recognizable and memorable
  • Is useable in black & white as well as in color
  • Lets not forget fame and glory! The winner will be given credit where credit is due. 

What will the winner win?

  • A 1 year subscription to Make magazine
  • A $100 cash prize. The cash prize of one hundred US currency will be paid through PayPal only
  • A custom ipad sleeve
  • The everlasting adoration of a bunch of people that like to make things. This could be used to your advantage, I'm sure.

We are proud to have MAKE as our official competition sponsor! They're the ones giving the winner the subscription.

(Come on, how cool is that? We have official sponsorship from other subversive types!)

Deadline for submissions is April 20th. Submit to jury [at] sewcislists [dot] org

We have a sewcialists jury of 10 who will be blogging about this contest. Check out the jury list at

General Voting

April 24 until May 8: The jury members will open up general voting on the designs that made it to the final round.

  • Voting will happen via comments on the jury blog posts
  • Every sewcialist has one vote per jury-blog
  • One person can vote multiple times (as long as it's on different jury-blogs) on different designs, or on the same design.
Any questions? Please let me know! Feel free to share this contest with your friends.In fact, PLEASE DO! Spread the word far and wide. It's open to all. The fine print can be found at I highly recommend that those looking to enter READ the fine print, there are stipulations about the file type.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Velvet Jacket and Flannel Skirt

I think I've pretty much said everything I can about these two items of clothing I can. The skirt zipper leaves a bit to be desired, but I'm calling it good after I totally serged the seams before inserting zipper. I'm not caring.  Other pro-tip: When taking photos, do the hat photos last, so as to not mess up hair. I remembered that this time. Small victories. 

Hi, how are you, check out my new skirt and jacket.
Katie mentioned this looked very Goth like and I'm all "Yeah! Corporate Goth!"


mmm... zipper wrinkle.

Oh look, boobs.

My lining, let me show you it.

I said to hubby "I make funny faces" He said "What? Where?" Weapons of mass distraction!

Here's a better shot of the jacket lining, with bonus funny face.

I made this cami too, like a million years ago. Then I decided I didn't want to make anymore camis, too much work. Then I tried to buy nice ones again, and they all suck. *sighs*

I are cute lady-k.


This is to show that the actual lining doesn't show until I do something like put my hands in my pockets. And that I did manage to line up plaid. Also, I love this belt.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

You Are Here

Vickie at "Another Sewing Scientist" had this awesome idea of creating a social map of where we, the social media using sewists, live. (Or #sewcialists, as evolved from twitter). I'm just gonna copy and paste her directions. I have found the "pin" works just fine in Google Chrome as well.

Here's how to participate:

Open this link to get to Map the Sewintists
Click on the red Edit button on the left
Click on the blue pin on the upper left of the map
Click on your location to drop the pin
A box will open that will allow you to add your name or blog URL in rich text
Save et voilà!

**********update from users: it appears that you cannot pin if you are using a mobile device / tablet; also, you may need to use Firefox since other browsers may not work; finally, you must be signed into your google account. (or leave your name/general location on Vickie's blog and she'll add you)

I would strongly advise people to only pin their general location or closest city, since we don`t want creepers peeping in our windows while we sew in our unders, do we?

Lets dot the world!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Remember When?

So way back, like two years ago(eons in internet years), I was inspired by this duster in Ralph Lauren's Spring 2011 collection. I still want to make my own version of it (runway version was selling for $8k), I even bought a purple chambray and some macrame style lace at Mood the summer I went to NYC. I'm still wanting to make it, but since I plan on doing hand embroidery its something I consider a long-term project. But thinking about it is what got me started on my new pin board, and I found some lovely examples of embroidery embellished clothing that I wanted to share. Its the sort of details that we lack so much in our day to day world of RTW clothing. I mean yes, there is machine embroidered embellishments on mass produced garments, but it still lacks that certain je ne sais quoi.

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Have a good day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Inspired By...

Source: via Lady on Pinterest

Some time ago I saw this skirt in J.Peterman catalog and I promptly pinned it to my "Inspiration" board. I decided I wanted some sort of plaid flannel skirt with lace trimmed lining peaking out from underneath. Considering the amount of money we've been having to sink into house/car maintenance of late I've had a limited fabric(and shoe) budget. However, in their omniscience* sent me a coupon after I had placed fabric in my cart then took it out. Then they had a sale on cotton flannel. It was a win/win.

For the pattern I used the a-line skirt from Vogue 8679 (All the patterns aside from the jacket in this envelope are wardrobe work horses that are easy to make. I HIGHLY recommend you pick it up during the next 3.99 sale.) which is the same as my red linen skirt. This time I decided that I would put the zipper in the center back and add pockets to the side seams. I used a generic pocket piece from a Simplicity pattern. I didn't really thing to take a lot of photos.  I do have one of the lace I'm using, reclaimed from a defunct steampunk costume.

I also have a photo of it hanging, which probably won't be news to those of you that have Instagram.

Pardon the towel on the floor, I put it there under my drying laundry tree to catch drips. I also use that tree for hanging works in progress. I need to find a link to it and share, its the best $20ish bucks I've spent in a while, as it folds and collapses and fits in the closet, easy peasy. Anywho. (update, you can get it on Amazon here)

So, reclaimed lace, on sale flannel, and lining in this skirt. The lining, a bemberg rayon, was the most expensive part of the endeavor. I'd say materials costs were around $25 dollars, the inspiration skirt retailed for about $109 on sale, though it seems preliminary to tell you this now when I haven't finished the thing yet.  I stupidly serged my seam allowances BEFORE putting in the zipper. DOH! I can fix it, but it meant not getting it done for this work week. Which brings me to another point, my work wardrobe. I'm really needing to rethink what I'm sewing now that I'm working on the day shift. Its I.T. corporate casual which means acres of kaki pants and blue polo shirts for the men. Women its a bit more open to interpretation and I find some of my old staples to be threadbare or not quite right in fit. So I'm working on TNT patterns.

First up, the button blouse for shirting weight fabrics:

I'm doing  sz 18 view B in a D cup fit. I graded the waist and hips from an 18 to a 20, did a full bicep adjustment, and a rounded upper back adjustment. I have a feeling my first muslin will reveal I need a sway back adjustment, but I didn't want to make that one yet. Once that's done I already have four different fabrics picked out, one of which is my Hello Kitty Liberty of London. I'll fill you in on the other TNT's as I get to them.

So, on to other stuff. I had my CT scan, no results back as of yet.The chalky white stuff they had me drink prior to the test played havoc on my digestive tract. I'll spare the details, but it was not pleasant. I've had to eliminate scrambled eggs from my diet, too. I can eat them in other things, and I'm having to limit dairy and coffee. Small amounts of fruit seem to be OK. Its a process of trial and error at this point.

vintage thimble find

The other sour note of the week was Simon damaging his (mine, really, had it since high school, 1992) flute. He dropped it in band class, got it wedged between instrument lockers and then bending it badly when "yanking" it out. I completely lost my shit when he showed me, to the point where Simon was cowering in his room crying (I sent him there so I wouldn't hit him) and husband taking me to the repair shop, pointing out  that I was in no state to drive. We walked through the antique store next door which I always find to be a calming thing. I managed to find the PERFECT ceramic thimble, to which the ladies at the check out were surprised when I said I planned to use it for actual sewing. In any case, by the time we got back home and ordered pizza, I was calmed down, Simon apologized and promised to be more careful in the future. It really was an accident on his part, but an avoidable one. He doesn't think about his surrounding enough. The repair is going to be about $30 so I foresee some yard work in his future. Mama's flower beds need tending.

*I totally forgot to add this at the end. I almost applied for the sys admin job at last year but I couldn't take the hit on insurance, and I was lacking a few skills they needed. That said, if you wonder how they know about browsing and sending coupons, the answer is tracking cookies. If you have an account and have logged in from a computer and then go back to the page, it logs it and sends it to a database that goes "hey, send them a coupon".  Because retail psychology (yes, that's a real degree/area of study) says it works. And it does.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Velvety Cropped Goodness

This is totally an "in progress" post. I finished up my second New Look 6564 and this will probably be my last version. I'm ready to move on to slightly more involved jackets and tailoring. This time around I block fused the entire body and did some machine tailored shoulder pads. I wish I had block fused the entirety of the linen version but will probably change my mind come summer.

What I did was measure from the top of the front of my armpit, over the shoulder to the top of the back side of my armpit, then from the neckline to shoulder and created a crescent pattern from there. I used some scraps of horsehair canvas and two layers of thin cotton batting. 

I then did some machine stitching and steamed the mess out of it while shaping it around the top of the tailors ham. It looks kinda like a pilgrim hat here. 

I used waxed thread and tacked them into place in around the armscythe seam allowance and then the shoulder seam allowance. The end result feels like 80's landing pads but really looks more late 40's ish. It didn't really increase my shoulder size, I'm just build like a viking. Its cool though, cause I'll be killer with an axe and a baseball bat come the zombie apocalypse.

I also managed to set the lining and bag it out. I slip stitched the open part of the seam and the sleeves. Unfortunately I couldn't get piping in the sleeves to work and I have a few wrinkles that I'm not keen on but I think I'll be the only one that notices. 

Felicity decided to try on the jacket for herself. She's got a ways to go before she'll fit into my clothes.

In other news, my roommate's Grandmother passed away and the funeral is on Tuesday so I'm taking the day off so he can have my car since his Mom isn't up for driving.  I have to go to pick up some supplies for the CT scan I'm having later in the week for my mystery abdominal pains that are NOT my appendix. Oh joys of joys.  But in any case, that means I'll be home and able to take outfit photos with my dslr. WEEEE!

Next up, Felicity's groovy jacket, Lady Grey muslin, and starting on a few new TNT patterns. I need blouses and jeans.