May 2012

30 May S H I B U I – Vogue 8648

“When the student is ready, the master appears.”   Buddhist Proverb I was ready to learn how to make a good dress, and boy did I learn. My dedicated efforts in dressmaking were often flawed by random mediocre details leaving me discouraged and insecure. Enter the Online Couture Dress Class with Susan Khalje. I’m wondering if I even knew what  C O U T U R E meant. Very nice, good fitting, custom-made clothes with special hand-sewn techniques – right? My naivety proved me nearly clueless. While Susan suggests several dress patterns to use, the Craftsy course includes this free Vogue 8648 dress pattern which she illustrates in...

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25 May IN THE NAME OF COUTURE

I’ve been about to bust to write a post but sadly I have nothing to show. I’m in the midst of The Couture Dress Craftsy course with Susan Khalje for whom I have great admiration and respect. Composing a symphony, climbing Mt. Everest and making a couture dress must have similarities, although I bet climbing Mt. Everest takes less time than making this dress. I have been working for days making a muslin, cutting the underlining, and now, I am         f i n a l l y  assembling the dress. Susan recommends using large (huge) sheets of waxed tracing paper...

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20 May The Ultimate Compliment

Many years ago my daughters and I colored and framed a poster entitled “The A,B,Cs of Manners & Etiquette” featuring a little penguin illustrating all 26 rules. A   “Accept a compliment graciously.” it begins. Today I received the ultimate compliment. I wish I had accepted the compliment with  less modesty and more vigor. I really feel like tearing up this poster.  The story goes like this: I was in North Carolina over the weekend visiting my parents. On the way home today, I stopped in Charlotte to have Sunday lunch with my daughter. In my life all roads lead to Neiman Marcus, and so there I was in...

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11 May Simplicity 2497

It was as if Jo-Ann’s was expecting me. I arrived in the pouring rain without an umbrella to get supplies for the online Couture Dress class with Susan Khalje and walked right into this beautiful turquoise silk dupioni fabric. “Hello, Jo-Ann’s understands you just made a skirt from your daughter’s abandoned Lilly dress and want to wear a turquoise top with it – try this.” The Jo-Ann’s in my town doesn’t stock silk! I was immediately sidetracked from Susan Khalje’s class, bought the silk, which is much cheaper at Mary Jo’s, and started sewing. This is the third time I’ve made this Simplicity Cynthia...

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09 May Anyone Else Fasting?

Today while reading  The Sew Weekly website I read a lovely article entitled I Remember Mama written by a woman named Barbara whose mother died at the age of 68. I visited Barbara’s website and learned she too has taken a pledge to stop buying RTW for a year. She began on January 1, 2012. I found ZiberGirlSews quite entertaining with creative photography and wanted to share it in case you haven’t seen it. I have a feeling Barbara and I are not the only two people in the world abstaining from RTW for a year. I S   A N Y O N...

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08 May Gilding the LILLY

If ever there was a dress that did not need to be remade it was this one; a Lilly Pulitzer sundress, circa 2003. I bought this cute dress for my older daughter when she was in high school. I’ve always loved it but she left it behind several years ago. I understand. Twenty-somethings don't want to wear 10- year old dresses, nor did I at that age. The dress isn’t my style or size, but I didn’t want to give it away. I decided a remake was in order, so I picked up my seam ripper and watched Diana Rupp’s Sewing Studio skirt tutorial...

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04 May Once a Lilly, Always a Lilly

For years I  wanted to do something with this Lilly Pulitzer dress.I bought it in 2008 shortly before going on my first cruise. I had no idea what to take, and bought this from Lilly’s Resort collection. This shapeless dress made of heavy broadcloth hardly looks like Resort Wear on me.I suppose I’ve worn it enough to get my money’s worth,  but I‘ve always felt dowdy and matronly in it. Within seconds of cutting off nine inches, the garment had a brand new look, much like one of those magical haircuts that bring out one’s best facial features. The project was pretty...

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02 May McCalls 3830 + Craftsy Class

Since the last post my sewing took a domestic turn in the form of window treatments for my daughter’s new apartment in Charleston. My husband and I drove down to check out her new home and help her settle in. I sewed, she pressed, he hung; a comical scene since our family isn’t exactly handy. Thirty-six hours later we congratulated ourselves on a job well done and headed for Edisto Beach. Shortly before leaving for Charleston, I decided to enroll in a much-needed sewing course.  For months, maybe years, I’ve been looking for the perfect skirt pattern. I finally concluded the only...

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