Posted in sewing

Things Calm Down

It’s been a crazy busy month on this side of the world.ย  But, my reward came early! Remember whenย I bought the Singer 221 Featherweight? Well, one came without a case. The woman selling said her mom had the case and accessories and she’d let me know when she got it from her mom.

Well, this morning I went and picked up the case. It was in perfect condition. I noticed it was crazy heavy and I figured there must be a buttonholer inside.

Which there was….

And this zig zagger!

And this great book!

And these singer sewing lessons! Complete with samples from the class!

And a complete box of accessories!

And a random tucker!

An instruction manual, two keys and a can of oil!

Awesomeness


If I owe you an email, package or phone call — I’m working on it this week. Thanks for your patience! I slept a full 12 hours Monday and Tuesday after three solid weeks of work. I’ve never appreciated a day off so much ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m having a party this weekend — and you know how much time that takes! I have hopes (ha!) of making something for the party. But, I doubt it’ll happen ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Posted in sewing

Book Review: 500 Quick and Easy Decorating Projects and Ideas

Country Living 500 Quick & Easy Decorating Projects & Ideas

This book was a delightful and generous gift from LindsayT who picked up on my love of the now defunct Cottage Living and Domino Magazine. I’ve always called my personal decorating style Urban Cottage and this book will easily help develop it. Country Living is also where my favorite bake-at-home cake recipe is from.

Despite being a total city girl, I’m in love with cottage / country decor. What I love about the country / cottage looks is the extreme use of fabric. What appeals to me about this book is that the aren’t trying to tell you that you can do anything when you can’t. Rather, they just want to show you the possibilities. This is not a book of how-tos, but rather photos with short descriptions of the how the color, fabric, flowers, etc. work for that room.

There is minimum text and beautiful photos straight from the pages of Country Living magazine. It covers Entries and Hallways, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, family and Great Rooms, Bedrooms, Kids’ Rooms, Home Offices, Small Rooms, Laundry Rooms, Porches and Outdoor Spaces, and Seasonal Decorating. But, some of the sections like Outdoor Spaces are all of two pages long.

What it will also do is make me crave:

Pink kitchens. Seriously. I think I petted this page.

More quilts and a long banister. I love the use of quilts to decorate.

Lots of layers, white and frills. If I made my bed, this would be so pretty.

and a pink typewriter. Which has nothing to do with this book. I just want a pink typewriter. Bad.

Posted in sewing

Book Review: Fitting and Pattern Alteration (A Multi-Method Approach)

Fitting & Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach Fitting & Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach by Elizabeth L. Liechty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘A swayed back will be evident by the forward tilt of the pelvis; a prominent abdomen and protruding buttocks. … Other probable figure variations include shortened upper back length in between waist and hip, and an increased length of the buttocks to crotch’ — pg. 38

So, I read this standing in Christina’s computer room when visiting her in Seattle and was sold immediately. Right there in front of me for the first time, in one place, was a description of the. very. pattern. alteration. I needed to make. Remember my final project dress and how I shortened the back by about three inches out of the back? Every pants that dipped at the back waist because my crotch line wasn’t long enough? It’s because of my swayback! I put an alert on Half.com and the book was mine for under $20 in less than one month.

I am figure 3-8 and getting the shoulders of figure 3-7!

All I can tell you is that this is the most thorough book on fitting I have ever come across. I like that they acknowledge there is more than one way to solve a problem and give you at least three different methods to do so.

In addition to the multi-method approach, they show an alteration on several garments. So, if you have a swayback, they show you on pants, they show you on a blouse and they show you on a skirt the ways to fix it.ย  I also like that there is a discussion on what your body is doing to make the garment hang or fall the way that you don’t want.

*All* my pants do this

Oh, and I also so clearly have large thighs on the inside. Kind of excited about trying this alteration!

Excellent resource. It’s possibly too complicated for those who haven’t tried simpler adjustments first.

Posted in sewing

Book Review and Fabric Giveaway: Material Obsession (Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots)

Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots Material Obsession: Modern Quilts with Traditional Roots by Kathy Doughty

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I first found this book on Kathleen’s “Little Hunting Creek’ blog. Then I saw it written up in the Spring 2009 Stitch magazine. With two ringing endorsements, I made the purchase. And, considering I rarely buy sewing books full price and haven’t bought a quilting book in aeons, that’s saying a lot.

What a pleasure this book was to both read and thumb through! I primarily sew clothing, but I have always loved quilts. This book, in my mind, marries them both. The quilts are arranged from easiest to hardest and use the most extraordinary contemporary fabrics. Using these fun fabrics, the quilts don’t look like what your grandmother would make or what you see in most homes. Instead, you have dresden plates with graphic prints and applique with modern figures. I would recommend this book to someone with much experience or very little. The book will serve you well as your skill set grows.

In addition to great patterns, they have an always useful ‘how to’ at the back. So, it also makes a great reference book for the shelves.

I ordered my copy from Little Hunting Creek. Between her great customer service and being just one state over, I was curled up in bed reading this one less than 48 hours after hitting ‘send payment’.


I’m sure you’re now super inspired to give quilting a whirl, right? If so, check out this fabric giveway on FabricWorm’s blog. She’s opened her first retail store and is celebrating the one year anniversary of the online shop.ย  She’s giving away three fabric prizes!

  • 1st Prize: 1/2 Yard Set of Patty Young’s Mezzanine Collection (15 prints total, 2 of the prints have not arrived yet)
  • 2nd Prize: A Collection of Holiday Fat Quarters, including Michael Miller’s Funky Christmas and the New Alexander Henry Christmas prints (17 Fat Quarters in all)
  • 3rd Place: A large selection of Heather Ross Mendocino Scraps, (4 Yards by weight)

So, go to her blog to enter to win. Make sure you t ell her I sent you ๐Ÿ™‚ And, with the money you saved in the win, you can order this book!

Posted in Fashion

Book Review: Bringing Home the Birkin

I picked the following book for bookclub.ย We usually only read ‘serious’ books. But, each summer we pick a beach book. I thought this was a good summer read. Especially for those who like fashion and celebrity (umm, me). It comes out in paperback this July.
Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World's Most Coveted Handbag Bringing Home the Birkin: My Life in Hot Pursuit of the World’s Most Coveted Handbag by Michael Tonello

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
$25,000 for a bag? Not so crazy in the circle that author Tonello travels in. How can Hermes claim to only make 100 bags a year and put people on a waiting list? The author was able to buy five at a time and spent years traveling the world lookng for new Hermes stores to buy from. All his wares ended up on eBay or sold otherwise online. What is ingenious is how Hermes built their name and the mystique surrounding them by totally faking exclusivity. The BEST chapter IMHO is when one of his bags is taken hostage. The rest of the book felt like filler to that point.

Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to read something easy and light. And, this was read start to finish on a Friday evening after work. It is *not* high lit, but would be great for a marketing class.

I was impressed with the ingenuity of the author and the thrill he gained from working the system. But, to read how ravenous others were for a handbag boggled my mind.

The writing was *ok*. I did feel like the publishers asked him to throw in more about his romance and backstory to flesh out the book. I was also uncomfortable with him talking about his parent’s wealth, seemed to have little to do with the story.

I think if you’re not interested in fashion and retail, this book will annoy you. If you are interested, you will be amused.

View all my reviews.