Posted in quilting

Quilting Progress

It’s been a while since I chatted about the Single Girl Quilt — which I think I’m going to name ‘Put a Ring on It’. When I last left you, I was piecing together the circle quadrants. I ran short of fabric for the last quadrant, but Cynthia at Fabricworm has sent me a fresh shipment!!¬† ** All print fabric from I rather like quilting. No fitting and very therapeutic.

Today, I worked on the inner and outer background pieces.

The inside border piece is solid and shaped like a pie. The outside piece is sort of like a fingernail. When sewn to each quadrant, they form a square. Four of these squares are sewn together to form the full circle.

To cut the border pieces, I traced the template with pencil.

Using my rotary cutter, I cut the straight edges.

If you sew clothes, sewing the curved pieces will not be an issue. There is some easing involved but easy enough when pinned. I found that the border should be on top when sewing the inside so that you ease the circle and vice versa for the outside border.

Now, I just have like… 30 more to go ūüôā

For those worried about my poor IKEA drawers — fear not. I heard your warning and moved them into this plastic container. This also holds four years worth plus a slew of Knip Modes.

Posted in sewing, Tools and Notions

A step in the right direction

I got up this morning all set to start a Vogue jacket. But, I couldn’t find the pattern. I went into my sewing room to look and I didn’t even know where to begin because it was such a sty. So, I took matters in to my own hands and decided it was time to assemble the¬†Aneboda from IKEA (idea originally Kristy‘s)

And now, the patterns I can put my hands on, are all in one place. I even found the missing jacket pattern.

And, it’s holding about four years worth of BWOFs too.

No, this didn’t make a huge difference in my sewing room. But, it makes me feel at least like I have a little more control.

I did manage to set it up in my prime photo location. But, I’m too tired to even think about moving it right now.

Posted in sewing

The Pink Kimono

Can you believe I was STILL waiting for my June 2009 BWOF when Trena sent me a photo of her muslin of 6-2009-110??  Seriously. Sometimes I think the women at the post office are thumbing through that and my US Weekly before they deliver it to my house.

For this project, I used a light pink suiting from the Carol Collection. It’s darker than it appears in the photo, but is overexposed in today’s SUNSHINE. YES!! My friends, there is no rain today and¬†we finally have SUNSHINE in Baltimore!¬† But, I digress. To break up all the pink, I made the bands in navy blue. This way, it would coordinate with the navy plaid silk tie fabric I was making the #151 obi from.

The dress is unlined so I serged the inside seams. Because the fabric is see through — and opaque with two layers, I left out the pockets. Also, on me, the pockets didn’t seem to hit at the right spot. I had no interest in lining this dress. None.

I should also mention that I struggled with the facing. It was several inches too small. So, I cut it out a second time and added several inches.

There are four snaps at the top. These came to me courtesy of Ann of Gorgeous Fabrics. I made a plea on PatternReview on where to find HUGE snaps and she answered!¬† I also needed two more snaps lower on the dress or you could see my vajajay when I walked and sat. For those, I used used light plastic pink ones from NYC. The plastic ones are about a quarter each, hard to open and close and feel like they might break. Ann’s are strong yet lightweight and retail for $3 a pop.

I did start to cover the snaps, but realized it was a big hassle and it didn’t bother me for them to not be covered with lining fabric.

In the photo below, you can see what I mean when I say the obi is too big. The dark solid navy are the side pieces, and clearly start in the middle of my back. I’m not motivated enough to alter it — yet. But, when I make another, I could easily take three to six inches out of the obi. I, um, also forgot to leave a slit for the belt to slip through in the back.

The other thing to be aware of is that the armsyce is super low to accommodate the kimono style. It will also cause some natural blousing of¬†the¬†upper bodice (see above. that’s why my skirt looks crooked) over the belt.¬†¬†Because of this the, belt rides low, and this hikes the skirt up higher than you might think. Even though I added the correct length to the dress, it’s still a wee bit shorter than I’m comfortable with for work.¬† So, you want to make it longer initially for safety.

When I tried it on yesterday, it felt a little like a robe. But, I think that’s the nature of a kimono-style garment in the west. I QUITE like it and feel very chic and extremely retro. It’s not as baggy as the #107 dress. I’m working on a new Japan related project in the office, so I should fit right in during the next few weeks!

Posted in Life

Coming Full Circle

Bear with me as I work through this little essay / self revelation…

10 years ago I stopped buying makeup from companies that didn’t make foundation in my shade. If you won’t make a dark foundation, then I wasn’t buying your lipstick, eyeshadow, blush or mascara.¬† Fashion Fair made me break out and by the time I needed makeup every day (brief stint as an anchor / tv reporter) Cover Girl and Revlon had discontinued thier women of color lines and Imanwasn’t out yet. That pretty much kept me with MAC since my sophmore year of college.

Earlier this year I needed a self esteem boost and switched to mineral makeup. I kind of love Bare Escentuals. Great color range, good for oily skin and more natural looking. But, a little pricey. Too pricey for me to experiment with thier $13 eye shadows.

Christina told me about an online companythat does mineral makeup. I went to look at their eye shadows and quikly filled my shopping cart with these great $3 samples. I decided to see what they offered by way of foundation and was truly surprised and dissapointed to see that they don’t offer anything close to my skintone. Well, they have a bronzer which is definitely not foundation. I did shoot them an email and they suggested truffle and warm tan as their foundation for dark skin. Ummm, right.

Miffed, I emailed Christina and she said she¬†even she noticed the same thing.¬† She suggested I write them and say ” I would buy your product if¬† you had a better range of foundation colors for darker skin.” I haven’t done that yet. But, I had an Epiphany related to sewing.

I’ve read on the blogs and message boards about the piss poor offerings for plus size. I’ve also read about stores that are shutting down or moving their plus size clothes to the¬†Internet. ¬†But, my reasoning was a little bit of, ‘what’s the big deal? It’s not like you can’t buy it. It just take a little more work. ¬†Just buy from the people who have your size or draft it yourself.” But, this experience reminded me what it’s like to be ignored. Not excluded, but ignored.

And, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would any company have a product line that’s not inclusive? Especially when the folks they are excluding have a proven track record of spending money.¬† According to Essence Magazine, black women in the US “spend¬†$7.5 billion annually on beauty products, but shell out 80 percent more money on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general public” — source

Arrgh. So, I’m sticking with Bare Escentuals. I will happily pay more money for a product line that caters to me. And, I owe my plus size sewing sisters and apology. Sorry I wasn’t paying listening to you before. You’re right, it¬†doesn’t feel good to be¬†ignored. And it makes bad business sense too.