Pinterest: My Newest Obsession

I can’t stay off of my Pinterest! It’s an awesome website that permantly catalouges images and links from websites for you. Unlike saving to your Flickr or Photobucket, you don’t have to download the photo and re-upload it. Or, for some sites like Burda without a JPG URL, it will capture the photo from the page for you.

I’ve got several mood board going right now including garments I want to make, patterns I’m digging, bicycle accoutrements, and hats. It’s *addictive*. It was also great for cataloging all the American Girl stuff you guys were pointing me to. I’ve got a slew of images saved on my hard drive that I can’t wait to upload and catalouge. Ooooh! Maybe I can even use this to save my pattern collection?

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Peope use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

It’s conveniently and visually all in one place. You can follow your friends and like minded people and see what they are Pinning or creating new boards for.

If you’re not familar with Pinterest, check it out!

(Suggested) Drafting Supplies

So, I’ll be starting another blog for the Draft-A-Long. But, I haven’t come up with a great name yet. Suggestions welcome!!

My basic plan is this. Above is what the Mrs. Stylebook drafting instructions look like. Yeah. Japanese. But, the Bunka textbooks have translated *all* of this.

In addition, they have the directions in English. I think, just the sloper draft in English with my summary / retelling of the directions constitutes as ‘Fair Use’. After all, when we’re done, we’ll be able to use their patterns. So, really, it’s a win-win for everyone. If you’re feeling guilty about this, buy a MSB on Etsy or order the 1st of the Bunka textbooks. Well, I might actually order the 2nd. The first is really more about ‘how to sew’ than anything else.

Below is a list of supplies you’ll need (or will make your life easier) for drafting the sloper or drafting our basic garment from the sloper– at least the Bunka sloper.

1. A C-thru ruler. Kathleen Fasanella recommends the B-95 and I agree with that as it’s metric and imperial measurements. I’d have a photo of mine if I could find it….

2. A ‘D’ curve. I have totally forgotten the ‘American’ name of this drafting ruler. I want to say a #6? I have both. One from Japan and one that my drafting teacher  sold us. This is great for drafting your armscyce. I’m hoping someone will jump in here and tell me the name of this curve. My Japanese one was $11 from Bunka. Below is a photo of them on top of each other so you can see that the curve is about the same.

3. A Protractor. Here is the Bunka version for reference. I think a regular protractor will do just fine. But, to draft the sloper I do have directions that don’t use the protractor. So, not necessary. But, they are like $2.50

4. A L square. I suspect a T- Square will also work. Mine with the numbers was purchased in Panama. But, I found several metal ones at an art supply store in town.

5. A set of curves. I got these in plastic. They work fine🙂  And, I think this will be just fine.  This is the one Bunka mentions in the textbook.

Oh, and you don’t *really* need to order online. I’ve seen all of these things at art supply stores locally. But, to be fair there’s an art / design school in Baltimore.

And, I just want to reiterate one more time, I’m not a fit expert. The goal here will be to draft this sloper since so many people seem to be interested in the Japanese magazines that come out. It’ll be a good motivator for us to work together to make one!

I’m registered for a Computer Aided Pattern Drafting and Draping I class this fall. So, I’m super motivated right now!

Again, drafting blog name suggestions welcome!

Oh, Singer

It will come as no surprise to you that I buy any and all pink sewing accessories. So, while at Joanns this weekend foraging for the list of beading supplies needed for the Philadelphia weekened I found this:

Cute and useful, no? It’s a tomato with different size machine needle markings. This way, you can stick your sewing machine needles in there based on the number of hours you’ve been using it.

Except…. Well…. Ok. I do not understand the Star of David on top. I mean, I do in that there is a point in every section. But, peeps. It’s a Star of David.

And, I do not understand why the Star of David covers up all the machine needle descriptions. Yes, you can still see the needle sizes though. I’m thinking this is definitely a step up from my ‘change the needle whenever it breaks’ method that I currently employ.

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.

Seattle and My New Found Love of All things Japanese (photo heavy)

So, I guess I’m starting at the end of my trip. After PR Weekend concluded in Portland, I invited myself to Christina’s place in Seattle, WA.

On Monday I spent the morning exploring downtown Seattle.

I found the first Starbucks (I found out later it actually wasn’t. But, I thought it was at the time and that’s good enough for me), Pike Place Market and the the Daiso store.

I think we all know that I loooove pink. I actually have very little in my wardrobe, but loads around the house. My stop by Daiso, the Japanese $1.50 store in Seattle did NOT help. Sisters, check this out:

Pink tape dispenser(s). The smaller one is for classes (hopefully draping this fall) and the larger one is for home. Totally excusable. Tape is a necessity in pattern design, right?

Pink mini bento boxes for lunch. They even come with mini chopsticks.

And loads-o-blotting paper. I’ve been told I shouldn’t get wrinkles because of my tragically oily skin. In the meantime, I blot, therefore I am. These things cost a small fortune around here. But, from Daiso, $1.50 a box of 200.There was more I picked up. But, I made myself sit in the aisle and put things back (cone shaped coffee filter holder, tea and coffee canister, etc). It’s going to be ugly the next time I’m in the Pacific Northwest.

And, check this:

Sewing supplies! Machine needles, hand sewing needles, elastic, velcro, covered buttons, zippers, shirt buttons, flat head pins, lots and lots of sewing supplies. I wish my dollar store was like this!

And, on the Japanese… I got two new Mrs. Stylebooks and a new for me Lady Boutique from Kinokuniya Bookstores in Seattle ( . I can’t buy them locally anymore😦 And, these were $10 less each than I’d been paying! Christina has committed (cough) to buying them for me and just bringing them at PR Weekend Philly in 2010.

And if you’re unfamiliar, these are the drafting directions

Finally, the thing I may have like best about Seattle are the home styles. Seriously. I am in love with Craftsman style homes. It fits my whole ‘urban cottage’ aesthetic.

Everywhere I turned there were houses ripped from the pages of the now defunct Cottage Living. Not one red brick row house with marble steps to be found!

In the pink

One reason I’m motivated to clean my sewing room is because I’m missing a beloved tool. It’s a Dritz C-Thru ruler. What makes it beloved, is the numbers were all printed in pink. I know it’s not missing forever. I remember putting it away and telling myself ‘better remember where you’ve put this’. Same with my iPod’s FM Modulator. The modulator I ‘put away’ about two years ago. I’m still looking for that. And the C-thru ruler.

dscf7969 Above are are some of my pink notions. My vintage Traum Tracing wheel, an Olfa rotary cutter (ergonomic too!), a regular ball point pen (but I bought a box of them ‘cuz they were pink), and a vintage Dritz tracing wheel.


By 11 this morning I also managed to trace and layout the BWOF 4-2007-114 blouse. Whee!! I’m going to run some errands, visit some friends and cut out later today.


And, in honor of Easter, I’m wearing Sag Harbor by Essie. You might think it’s similar to China Glaze’s For Audrey. But, it’s a cool, gray blue. Versus the Tiffany tourquisey blue (compare below). Sag Harbor is kinda chalky on the first application, better on the second. But, it took a long time to dry — even with rapid dry drops. I woke up with little hair marks on it.


And finally, check out Marji’s blog today. She’s proposing we all drop her (or Taunton) a line. Perhaps we can help motivate them to release Threads on DVD. Which would be great for me, becaus I STILL don’t subscribe. I remember when I would be lost reading it. Everything went over my head. Now, I understand so much more of it and would like to get my hands (easily) on the back issues.

I don’t sketch

Do you remember on Project Runway Season 3 when Angela Kessler (Keslar?) presented to someone and said, ‘I don’t sketch’?  I always thought that was odd. How do you sell your designs to someone if they can’t see it on paper? But, then again, I can’t draw worth a lick. At any rate, for class, we always have to use a croquis and sketch our design. The instructor says that it’s a good way to visualize what you want to do.

So, for my final project I kind of know what I want to make.  We can make a dress, blouse or skirt. I have an idea of at least one dress and one blouse I like. The first dress is this one by Helen Rose in ‘A Designing Woman’. I’ve wanted to make this dress ever since I saw it in the movie 10 years ago when my sewing skills were limited to straight lines and off-grain skirts.


We owe three different design sketches in two weeks and I decided to take a stab at my first idea:


Using the croquis makes it FAR easier. I still don’t sketch, but, I can trace. Not that this croquis is really scale to my shape! I have a beautiful red wool from ‘The Carol Collection’ that I could use. But, I actually think we’re only allowed to use wovens for class, certainly not this double knit. Hmmm, I forgot to add darts to the design above. Must remedy before Tuesday.

I’m just not sure how the bottom back goes. It looks gathered in this photo, with the tabs of fabric imitating the front tabs. Or possibly two or three rows of fabric with the tabs. I may have to rent the movie again. It’s been a good 10 years since I’ve seen it.


On Monday we’re measuring to draft our own pants! We’re not supposed to sew them up. But, if we do, the instructor said she would critique the fit. You better believe I’m sewing mine!

Darn those Japanese magazines. Something new I’ve seen and decided my life is incomplete without. Pink and red pattern weights from Bunka.

** Thanks Ginerva for providing the link to Bunka! My friends. Try not to get sucked in. Now, I am dreaming of red, pink and blue pattern weights.


For the love of an industrial

My friend Lilya owns a sewing shop about 20 mins from me with three industrials at the ready.  I spent several hours in her store today working on the outside of the Weekender — the bag that will not die.


I am physically tired from the exercise. But, I only broke three needles at her place. And still want / need to go around it a second time. The stitching is just not close enough to the piping for my peace of mind. I want to trim back the seam allowance too so it wraps nicer (that Timtex is making the edges stick out I think).  I could also try ironing the edges.  My stitching is reeeeal close to the edge of the fabric in more places that I would like to admit.

So, this is going to wait a couple more weeks until I can get back to her store. I still need to make the lining.


I hit Joanns today for some quilting template. While there, I got this box for carrying my school supplies. It’s kind of pink, isn’t it?


Moral Dilema: I bought a bolt of muslin for school and home. Halfway home, I realized I was charged just $2.49 (minus my 40 percent off coupon) for all 25 yards. Do I make a special trip back so they can charge me the additional $35 or do I wait ’til my next Joann trip in a month?

I love this zipper

Ok. I don’t know how to explain my irrational adoration for my zippers that finally came today. Despite them taking a month to get to me and not contacting me because there was a problem, I’m still pretty happy with Why? Check this:


This is a 32 inch separating zipper in navy with an amazing brass tone and the ginormous pull. It was $4.75 from them. I’m going to use it on the Weekender bag (shortened to non separate). I think what’s got me so stoked is that this looks like the kind of zipper you would find on a high end bag. Sturdy, nice color, great pull. No more Coats and Clark for me I say! Below is the photo next to their ‘handbag’ zipper. Both have longer pulls.


Yep. It’s me an Zipperstop from now on. They did FedEx my order to me and I received it two days after I called them. So, I’ll definitely use them again.  They have the 2 way separating zipper I’ve been dreaming of for a jacket that is like 30th on my list of things to sew.

My one purchase from the craft show today was this way cool yard stick from a furniture maker. It’s made from cherry wood and is about 1/2 inch thick. Super sturdy and kind of pretty.

dscf7632And, here’s a peak at my  current summer dress project. As I mentioned, it’s basted for fit. Hopefully I’ll get to it next week.


Ah, also, I now officially have my own domain. Just type in (you don’t even need the ‘www’) and you’ll wind up here.

Sewing Kit and the WORST date proffer

I spotted this over the weekend at a local store:


Courtesy of Dumpling Dynasty

It’s a metal sewing kit from Dumpling Dynasty. It retailed locally for $16 and $18 on the site. I almost bought it, but remembered I didn’t need it. But, how stinking cute is that?

The other amusing thing from my weekend is the WORST date proffer EVER.  I was bullied into happy hour on Friday night (I’m not big on bars). While there, started talking with a person (I’m not a holster sniffer, but he is a police officer, a detective.  What can I say, my office is catty corner to headquarters.) who I had like two dates with over a year ago. We’re chatting and I’m remembering how charming and tall he is. He asks me what my plans are for Saturday and I say I’m pretty free these days. He says, “Well, I have to work security at the parking garage from four until midnight. You should stop by and break up the monotony.”  I had no sly retort. I just finished my drink and let the awkward silence hang.  You may have guessed that I am a story teller. And let me tell you. I have told this story to anyone who will listen.  Hillarious.