Thursday, March 29, 2012

Colors....I Do Wear Colors!

About a year after a long absence from the health club (nice word for gym) I returned and met a lovely woman of a certain age (lol) in the water aerobics class.  She was originally from Los Angeles and had been living in Mississippi for the past five years.  We hit it off and became friends.  After knowing her for a few months one day she said to me in the dressing room, "Lillie, why is everything you wear such DARK colors?  You know I'm from California and we wear bright colors".  I was a little offended and replied, "What are you talking about I do wear colors, my gym clothes may be dark but I wear color most of the time".  A few days later as I went into my closet which is walk in and L shaped, my eyes scanned the closet and much to my horror the color scheme was black, navy, dark brown, gray, dark gray, more black with just a few pops of color.  I couldn't believe that somehow my wardrobe had turned dark.  I began to try to figure out how this happened.  The last five years of my employment I worked from home and work related travel, consequently, I had the usual business uniform dark suits and dresses with small splashes of color.  Additionally, when my hair turned silvery white, the dark colors and silver jewelry really made the silver hair pop.  So I figured I might as well use the lemon-aid theory and make the best of it.  So what about casual wear I thought.  Apparently the same thing applied.

I took the high road and related the story to my friend and apologized for being miffed by her on target observation.  We had a good laugh and I promised I would do better with my wardrobe.

So I am making a real effort this spring to only make colorful garments for myself.  I've made a good start and most of my recent purchases have been colorful turquoise, melon, and fushia.   I want to make more large prints even if I am not a thin person.  I'll just pretend that I just don't know that big bold prints are not good for my full mature figure. lol.  I will also make something i.e. shrugs, jackets, scarves in coordinating solid colors to go with the large, bright and bold prints.  lol

Friday, March 23, 2012


I have been on a real sewing frenzy inspired by my recent bargain purchases of 2 yard remnants of current fabrics from my local Hancock Fabrics store located just a block and a half from my home. Over the winter months I've been practicing various fitting techniques and decided to try them out on my bargains.  My first item was a little of my ocd as described in previous posts.  So I made the top again from a piece of cotton sateen purchased a couple of years ago.  Thought I would try a print for an interesting lining.  I liked it so well, I decided to make a simple dress to go under it.  Here's the top.

I loved the print fabric so well as I decided to use the print for the dress but didn't have enough to finish the lining so I got a little creative and pieced the back.  

So now I'm enjoying sewing prints so much that I decided to make my 11 year old granddaughter, Trinity a print dress for Sunday.  This fabric is a polished cotton and has to be at least 10 years old.  I had planned to make the older granddaughter, Bree, who is now 17 a dress many many years ago and never got around to it.  I used a Simplicity pattern as shown in the next photo.  I had to use a size 6 adult pattern as Trin is so tall for eleven, the children sizes are too short, shoulders too narrow and just doesn't look right.  I guess this is what is ment by the word "tween".  I had to add a little to the waist and shorten the bodice.  Hopefully,  I'll get a chance to get a picture of her wearing the dress.

Now comes the linen pieces:
The top is a very lightweight linen and cotton made from my pattern copied from an Eileen Fisher $158 tank I purchased on a drastic clearance sale last year at Dillards.  The pants are made from a lightweight cross hatch dark and light gray linen.

 This pant is made from a heavy weight linen all from the remnant stash.  Because I'm short 2 yards will make almost anything for me.
I'm still excited and plan to continue this frenzy until burn-out!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Last week I ordered interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply and  it arrived in only a few days.  I was so impressed with the quality of the Pro-Weft Supreme Lightweight Fusible Interfacing, 60" wide @7.59 per yard, I called to order more after my first use.  In this day of press 1 for this and press 2  for that and so on, it was a very nice to just leave your name and number and within a few minutes you get the return call.  I spoke with Pat and she and I really hit it off and ended up laughing and talking about various things for at least 15 minutes more or less. Not that she told me, but I believe she is the owner based on our discussion.  I am always amazed how people discover a niche market and do really well.  Who knew one could earn a living selling interfacing?  Hopefully I'll discover a distinctive niche and develop a business as well.  lol  (I'm the ultimate consumer).

I would like to commend this business for doing a very good job while maintaining a wonderful rapport with the public.  They are also on facebook as well as online, so if you haven't used them check them out. I can imagine it takes special people to do this.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I went into Hancock Fabrics today just to browse as I live just around the corner from the store.  What luck, they were making remnants of bolts with only a few yards left to make room for a new shipment.  The remnants were priced at only $2 per yard and it was the really good stuff my favorite linen, batiks and a few sheers.  The original prices were $10-$20 per yard.  I ended up with 28 yards at $2. per yd.  Here is a picture of my good fortune.

I guess I should stop browsing at fabric shops, but this is the best part of sewing. lol  Just as I was starting to whittle down my stash this happens.  I think it was just about a year ago when I pigged out on fabric at the Atlanta Creative Sewing Festival.  Somewhere in this blog I have a photo of that spree as well.

Today I worked on the OCD Fushia top like the green one I made Saturday.  I should finish tomorrow and will probably put photos up late tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Sewing

We have had the warmest winter I can remember.  This week the temp went up to 78 degrees.  This warm pre-spring caused me to consider sewing in advance for a season probably for the first time ever in all my years of sewing.  After looking at my most current patterns, I decided to make this one because I had exactly the same fabric in my fabric stash and thought it would be fun to make it just as shown on the pattern envelope.

I used a medium weight green linen and lined it with a light weight green linen very close to the same color...maybe just a half shade difference.  I've had the fabric so long that I felt no guilt in using the relatively expensive handkerchief linen as lining.  Normally I would have thought "Not my good stuff for lining".  Additionally, I had a heavier weight white linen for the pants.  I really enjoyed making this one.  I'm glad I took time to think about this before I rushed in to do it.  I carefully took my measurements and compared them to the finished measurements by actually measuring seamline to seamline and factoring in comfort ease.  Since I spent all of my sewing time this winter on various knit projects, I was sure I needed to consider using this new pattern for the pants.  This rapidly changing figure is becoming a real challenge.  However, taking the time to measure and prepare muslins for new patterns is really worth the effort.  This was a hard lesson for me to learn as I was always, always in a hurry before I retired and discovered slow leisurely sewing and the success and satisfaction it brings.  I even marked "for woven fabric only" on the muslin, so not to get it confused with others. Well here is the finished product:
 This pattern actually called for snaps instead of buttons.  I thought I might want to wear it open someday and I hate they way metal snaps detract from the looks of clothing when open; sooooooo... my OCD (that I often discuss these days) set in and I remembered that I had some green spray paint left from my sewing room decorating foray last year so I just spray painted them.  It took about 2 seconds.  I don't believe I would have gone out to purchase spray paint if I didn't already have it.  I suppose I could have covered them with fabric but I really don't like tedious hand sewing if i just don't have to do it.  I'll probably never wear it open but I'll be ready if the opportunity presents itself.  lol
Since this was a very successful project, you know I'll more than likely do it a couple of more times, or until I mess it up.  That usually gets me to go on to another project.