Wednesday, March 31, 2010

♪♫•*¨*•.A sewing we will go, a sewing we will go, hi ho the dairy-o, a sewing we will go ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸

This morning at the crack of dawn (that'd be 6am for us ol' retired folks) I placed the call to register for the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, Alabama from Monday, July 19th to Sunday, July 25th. I am so excited I can hardly sit still enough to type!

It was a hard to decide on which of the 11 schools to attend, but I finally decided to take the Louise Cutting Fashion School Thursday through Sunday. I will also be taking her 3 pre-day classes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I have tried to find pictures on the internet of the patterns we will be using in each of the classes. Here's my best bet:

Monday from 8:30a-4:30p, I will be taking the Tabard class. This is the description from the school brochure:

The tabard originated as a humble peasant’s garment before the Middle Ages when heraldic emblazons elevated it to noble status. Today, this short coat is worn open or belted, sleeveless or short sleeved. Louise Cutting has designed a tabard for you that is loose fitting, off the shoulder, and sleeveless. This vest style coat features a bulk-free, easy cut-on front with side and hem facings. The straight hem utilizes Louise's easy mitered corners and her "X" stitched boxes to create deep, comfortable side vents. This stylish garment in linen will add polish to a pants and top outfit. The pattern will be available in sizes XS through 3XL and, with Louise and Sandy’s assistance, any needed alterations will be an easy adjustment. You will have an assortment of kits to choose from that include several different colors and patterns, so your personal style will be reflected in the finished project.

Tuesday, this will be my class:

The “Nine Lives Vest” is from the “Shapes” pattern line by Louise Cutting and can easily be worn as a top rather than a vest. Create an asymmetrical linen vest with differing shoulder seam lengths, stand-up collar and diagonal hem. This easy and versatile button front vest/top looks great with or without a blouse or t-shirt underneath. The pattern is available in sizes XS through 2XL, but with the help of Louise and Sandy, alterations can be made for additional sizes. The vest will be made of a linen blend fabric and students will be given a choice of kit colors in class.

Wednesday will be the Anything But Ordinary Top. I haven't been able to figure out which one of her patterns will be used for this class, but again, here's the description from the school brochure:
Ordinary becomes extraordinary in this cropped, pull-over style top (all sizes) with a buttoned tab closing on the left shoulder. Its sleeves are short with slightly dropped shoulders. Mitered corner side seam vents at the top’s hem show beautifully in linen. You’ll be able to complete this top quickly and have an extraordinary complement to so many of your outfits.

On Thursday, the official school starts and we begin with a 2 day class on the High Five Jacket:

This jacket is fast and fun to make! After working with Louise and Sandy to determine your perfect size and any needed pattern alterations, you will be ready to create the High Five Jacket. Choose from an assortment of colors and prints in linen, linen blend or tencel fabrics. While making this stunning swing style jacket, you will learn techniques for perfect precision hems, mitered corners and three-quarter length sleeves. Add a fabulous button, and take home a great finished jacket, an altered just-for-you pattern to use over and over, and lots of construction and fitting knowledge, ready to use with all your future garment sewing projects. Patterns will be available in adult sizes 6-20. Louise and Sandy will work with you to find your smaller, larger or in-between pattern size.

On Saturday and Sunday, I will be attending the One Seam Pants class:
Nearly every designer’s offerings include a pair of one-seam pants that make everything else in the collection look great. You’ll learn to achieve a fabulous, flattering fit by applying the secrets Louise has uncovered in her extensive study of designer garments. Louise and Sandy will teach you to use the chart included in the pattern instructions, measure and make pattern alterations, and then construct a great pair of one-seam pants with a custom fit. You will choose from a selection of colors in linen, tencel or linen blend fabrics. This pattern offers the option of a pant leg that falls straight from the hip or a narrower leg and snugger fit. Join Louise for two fun-filled days of creating your first pair of perfect-fit one-seam pants, and take home the knowledge and skills to supplement your wardrobe by using this pattern over and over. Patterns will be available in adult sizes 6-20. Louise and Sandy will work with you to find your smaller, larger or in-between patter size.

I have actually had the pattern for the One Seam Pants (a title she has trademarked, by the way) for about 4 years now but haven't tried to make it because she mentioned in her 45 minute Sewing Expo class that I've taken twice (two years apart) that you cannot make a muslin for this pattern and expect it to come out anything like it would when you use a fashion fabric because of the drape issue with muslin fabrics. I've been thinking about using something cheap from Walmart's $1.50 yard bin but have never found anthing suitable. Plus I'm not sure about a choice of fashion fabric for this project either. Now my problem is solved! The class will provide me with a selection of fabrics to chose from!

I am most excited about this school as I will get to work with the pattern designer/drafter for a personalized fitting! It's so hard to fit a pattern to yourself without any help! (Again, I miss my Mama)

Tomorrow, I will post about the evening classes I will be taking for my heirloom sewing for babies interest!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Hearty Welcome to an Early Spring

I don't care what the calendar says, it's been spring here for a couple of weeks! The daffodils are all up and dotting the landscape with bits of sunny yellow.

The cherry blossoms trees are adornedwith their pale pink finery, the strong breezes off of the bay send showers of tiny petals to dance and swirl across the lawns.

This Spice Viburnam bush is ready to flower. This will smell heavenly when the blossoms open!
Even the lilac bushes are budding out!

I was standing at my sewing room window admiring the beautiful sunny day when a jewel in flight appeared before my eyes! The hummingbirds are back! A full week before they arrived last year, according to this post from last spring. He knew I was looking at him from the other side of the glass, he zipped side to side making a 'zeep, zeeeep, zeep' noise to announce that he was here and hungry! The feeders are up and being frequented!

I love this time of year! I cannot wait to start gardening! Let's get our hands dirty!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hello, my name is Karen and I have a fabric addiction...

This is the email I recently sent to my 'partner in crime', my sister who attended the recent Sewing Expo with me.

Good Morning Sis,

Well, I have been stewing and worrying about having to tell Brent about my fine fabric induced euphoria and the resulting Mastercard bill for $330!

I've kept the fabrics next to my chair in the living room, tidily bundled and sheltered in my leather footstool. I touch them, I run my fingertips lovingly over them, I pet them frequently. Every. time. I. sit. down.

So, last night before dinner he decides to pay bills. We've been doing it together. I don't know if you remember me saying this, but when I went to work full time, I told him I couldn't do it all by myself, so he took over bills. I always said, I paid the bills for the first 15 years, he pays the bills for the next 15. Well, he paid the bills for 11 years, and when I retired I wanted back, we do it together.

So he goes to the MC website to see why the bill is so high and I have to confess.

I explained how we were experiencing all the fine fabrics, the textures, the colors, the polished salesman, a true horse trader..."you have to feel this, see how fine, oh it looks so good on you, definitely your color, I'll give you a good deal, feel how fine this is"... and I have to confess how I got carried away...

How I got carried away...I thought the pale celery baby cashmere was $23 or $26 per yard (a definate splurge)...but it wasn't. It really wasn't. When I got home and really looked at my receipt I realized I paid $97 per yard for 2 yards. Yes, ninety-seven dollars a yard! What have I done?

I told him how I almost hyperventilated when I walked away from the stall and realized I had just spent $330 on 4 pieces of fabric and how you kept saying, "Breathe, just breathe". I told him how much I've been dreading telling him how weak I was when I am the driving force behind our NOT SPENDING efforts and how much I regret the price but I cannot regret the fabric. I AM WEAK.

He starts laughing, he laughs until he had tears in his eyes! He says "I bet your a**hole just puckered up!?!!!HAHAHAHA" (how can you say that to your beloved wife?)

I say, "It's not funny, I almost cried right there on the floor of the expo. I couldn't catch my breath..."

I tell him that he cannot tell anyone, especially not his parents, they won't understand...please!

"Nope!" he says. "Everyone always enjoys a good laugh at my expense, now it's your turn!" "I can't wait to tell the family. Remember Dad's famous "The Shirt" story? Well, this is yours!" (insert cackling here)

It could have been worse, he could have been angry. :-)

Well, back to my morning chores. I am determined to start sewing the apron pattern this afternoon!

Love to all,

Hello, my name is Karen and I have a fabric addiction.

My most recent textile purchases still have me mesmerized.

1-7/8 yards each of 60 inch wide fine Italian 100 percent cotton shirting that feel like silk, the weave is so fine and tight, the threads are so is pure white and has a beautiful, intricate trellis pattern woven into it. The other has tiny black squares that form little 'X's in a vertical stripe. Oh, the perfect blouses I will make from them!

Two yards of a 60 inch wide of beautiful olive wool and silk blend that has such a beautiful woven pattern. It is heavier than the shirting but still lightweight. Oh the perfect tunic length over blouse I will make from it!

Oh, how can it describe the pale celery green baby cashmere? It is the most expensive thing I have ever purchased! It is 60 inches wide and I have two luscious yards of it! So soft and delicately woven, so silky it doesn't make me itch at all! I decided on this one for a wonderful wrap that has armholes in the center of a large oval, creating a wrap that can be worn in multiple ways. I dream of the finished garment, I dream of trying out different edge finishes, but how can I bring myself to actually lay scissors to this fabric? Until I cut it, it remains perfection! But, Oh the perfect wrap I will make from it!

(if I can bring myself to cut it...)