Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Weekend at The American Sewing Expo 2015

I was so happy to finish my Motor City Express Jacket in time to wear it to ASE!  Yes, that is Janet Pray standing next to me.  I took the Islander class that Haberman Fabrics offered to make this jacket.  When I went looking for my wonderful instructor Diane, I found Janet.  She was so sweet and asked if she could take a picture of me in my jacket.  I will be blogging more about the jacket soon.  I started it so long ago, it definitely deserves one of my new labels.  
These labels were a thoughtful gift from Kyle.
This year was made extra special by a few friends. Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn, Lynn from You Sew Girl, and Kristine from Just Keep Sewing are great fun and incredibly amazing sewists.

Kyle and I took Jennifer Stern's "Professional Jean Construction" class.  We learned how to make jean pockets and fly fronts look better than ready-to-wear.
We also took her "How to read the Wrinkles" class.  She has an incredibly motivating teaching approach that really worked for me.  It was a lot of fun! I am soooo motivated to start my muslin.  Jennifer teaches a great class on Pattern Review and another on Craftsy.
This afternoon, I had the pleasure of listening to Jennifer discuss the best way to create a waistband with Lynn, an amazing jeans maker.  Lynn cleanses her sewing palette by making a pair of jeans.  I couldn't believe I was privy to this conversation!

The highlight of my weekend wasn't actually at the Expo but at Lynn's house.  Kyle and I went to visit Lynn and got to see all of her beautiful makes!  Lynn was a very gracious hostess. We raided her closet and played dress-up. I felt like a little girl again.  We laughed a lot and really enjoyed the tour of her sewing space.  
Lynn is incredibly organized.  She has 31 large Rubbermaid totes full of fabrics.  She sorts them by type and catalogs each piece on index cards.  They are held together on rings and kept neatly in boxes.  Lynn can easily find a fabric and know how much of it she has without digging through her boxes.  I love her system!
If you have never been to the American Sewing Expo, I highly recommend that you put it on your to do list.  Novi Michigan is a nice place and there is a fantastic sewing community of people from all over the country.  The girls at the Simplicity booth were so much fun to talk to and full of interesting information.  Simplicity put on a great fashion show Friday and Saturday featuring their new patterns. For Project Runway fans, ASE has a similar challenge called "Passion For Fashion." Kristine was once a contestant.  Her design was amazing.  Former winners include Joi Mahon and Angela Wolf.  It is always great fun!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Motor City Express Jacket for a Motor City Girl!

    I am so excited about the Moto Jacket that I am making in a class at Haberman Fabrics.  It is being taught by an Islander Systems instructor.  Technically, I don't live in the Motor City, but in the suburbs of Detroit.  I still consider myself a Motor City girl because I was born in Detroit, went to church in Detroit as a child, and graduated from Wayne State University in the heart of Detroit.  I love the city.
     Ironically, I wrote to Craftsy and requested that they offer a class featuring Janet Prey and this jacket.  Soon after learning that Craftsy was offering the class, I recieved an email from Haberman Fabrics spotlighting their class for the jacket.  I need a deadline now and then.  I always do my best work in the final hour, and like the one-on-one contact with an instructor.  Hence, I will be spending four Saturdays in the middle of fabric heaven!
Samples were available to be tried on at the American Sewing Expo in September.
Here's hoping my jacket looks like this!

     The zippers are the most expensive part of the jacket.  It calls for 7 zippers, but that's what makes the jacket look so special.  I chose 3 black and silver Ghee zippers and purchased four extra pulls.  They are really beautiful and will give the jacket a professional look.  Learning to shorten the zippers and apply pulls and stops was really fun -- not easy but fun.

     My instructor, Diane Kroll brought so many beautiful samples.  We tried them on for size, and I fell in love with her fabric combinations.  It was really difficult to choose a fabric with so many possibilities.  Haberman Fabrics has an amazing selection.   The weather has been sooooo cold here in Michigan making warm wool very inviting.  However, I won't be finished until March, so I chose a beautiful linen blend. I decided to go for a less dramatic look that I can wear with almost any color. It is a gray herringbone, and the contrasting black lapel makes it pop a little.

 Stay warm if you are in the midst of this crazy winter freeze!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Snow Day Project

     We had a few sew days snow days last week here in Michigan.  Hmmm, what to do when you can't go to work and can't get out of your driveway?  

     Can you tell what I used to make my starburst?  I'm sure it is obvious.  I had been looking for a starburst clock to replace the one from my living room before redecorating.  Then I found this vintage clock in an "antique" store in Lansing.  I really loved it, but it was too small on all of my walls.  At the same time I was helping a friend make purses from men's ties.  It may be a bit contrived, but I had to try it.  I typed tie clock into Pinterest and this what I found.  I tried to make the ties look  a bit more like a dresden pattern, but had difficulty with the different sizes of the ties.
 After fooling with them for much too long, I decided to just get it done.  This was the easiest way to make it work.
     I used a very stiff 70 weight interface from JoAnn Fabrics.  Love those 60% off coupons!  I had to double it to get the width I wanted.  
     My "new" Bernina made it possible.  I haven't really blogged about this machine.  I got it this spring and have fallen in love with it.  The walking foot and knee lift made this project happen without any four-letter words or tears.  
     It makes me so happy to get this off my sewing table.  I started collecting ties this summer.  It took a while to get the color combination I wanted.  I am unhappy with the way the light blue striped tie overlaps the dark green tie on the bottom.  I will probably take it apart because I am obsessive. 

Hope you all are enjoying the winter weather.  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014, A Very Different Year For Me

 This year has been better for me than many!  Yet, to hear about it, you might ask why.  To be honest, I haven't been myself for quite a while.  I know that depression is difficult to hear about as much as it is to talk about, but after eight years, I found myself feeling better than ever.  I hope that this truth gives hope to anyone who experiences the everyday drudge of depression.
     What does this have to do with sewing?  Well if you are down, it is hard to sew.  When I was struggling, I spent loads of time reading blogs instead of attempting my own projects -- probably not a healthy thing to do.  This year, however, I have been excited about my new found motivation.  I haven't blogged much and realize that is kind of selfish.  I get so much enjoyment from reading about all of the interesting projects all the awesome sewing bloggers are making, I feel that I should contribute.  Sooo, even though my resolution should be to lose all the weight I have been putting on, I am going to try to blog a little despite that fact that my photography leaves much to be desired.
Warning: this may be my longest post to date, but it is mostly pictures.
A Review of 2014
(with some unblogged pics)


New Year's in Hawaii

The man taking our picture thought he should take another because the wind came up and grabbed my hair, but this is one of my favorite pictures. Lol!

I had a great time shopping at Vicky's.  This is Vicky's daughter.  She had a great selection and was so much fun.  I didn't buy much, and kind of regret not getting a bigger piece of the surfing Santa fabric.

Spent all month stressing about making the wrong decision and finally forced myself to buy new furniture before redecorating.  

Made my mother-in-law a fanny-pack for garage sale and re-sale shopping.
Reading month at school was a blast.  (Note to self and others: don't use a Sharpie to draw on door.  It bleeds through paper and does not come off door unless repainted. Oops!)

Fabulous trip to visit my daughter in New York including Idena Menzel's new musical and The Empire State Building at night!

May and June
Painted my family room and kitchen.  It was quite a big change in color.  I loved the brick red but change is good.  Notice the holes in the walls?  I finally got D to do something about all of the cords hanging out of the walls.  A big thank you to Lori from "Girls in the Garden."  She posted the same problem.  After reading her post, I gave D three choices: add some built-in shelves and doors to hide them, add on to the fire place and buy furniture to hide equipment, or hire someone to feed the wires through the walls like he promised in the first place.  He chose door number three.  YAY, NO MORE CORDS!!! We also had the wood floor refinished and got badly needed new carpeting.

Back to New York with the in-laws including a trip to Ellis Island.  No time for fabric shopping :(
Attended a wedding in this un-blogged about dress before I put on the weight I am currently needing to lose.  It fit except for the bust being too tight.  This pattern is OOP Simplicity 3867.  I have since given it away to someone who looks much better wearing it.  I will probably make it again now that I know a little more about where I went wrong.

Beginning of August
Quick trip to visit my parents in their summer home while they worked on the county fair.  

I painted the living room which is open and connected to the family room a darker shade of gray. Then I began making a new slipcover for my couch.  It is a slipcover couch from Jennifer Convertibles and the old fabric no longer matches the carpet.  This fabric was in my stash for about 17 years.  I forgot about it until I opened a long forgotten box in my basement.  I reused the piping, zippers, and velcro from the original slipcover.  Cushions have been recovered andI have yet to finish the cover for the frame.

Then August 6th the shit hit the fan! life became more difficult.

Southeast Michigan had the worst storm of my lifetime.  Both of our parents houses were flooded and the tree in my backyard broke and hit the house within about 30 minutes.  The streets were flooded and the roads were closed.  I couldn't get to our parents' homes.  They live about 30 miles away but within in a mile of each other.  The bucket is what the water looked like after one or two swipes of the mop.  Water came up through the drains and basement toilets.  We filled the streets with everything in the basements that couldn't be saved several times during the week.  My brothers tried to help, but my parent's house was mostly left to me because my brother's house was also flooded and my husband had to help his parents.  We were so grateful for the hurricane training we had the year before.  Mold can be nasty!

In the midst of it all we gave a 50th wedding anniversary party to my parents along with 75 of their friends and relatives.  It was one of my favorite days ever!  They took the losses to their belongings quite well when they got home and saw the damage from the flood.

On September 8th, my participation in the flood clean-up came to an abrupt halt when I got ready to go to church and broke my tailbone as I was coming down the stairs.  Ouch!  Fortunately, I healed enough to make it to The American Sewing Expo on the 29th.  I learned so much from Joi Mahon's class and had a fabulous time with Kyle from Vacuuming The Lawn and Lynn from You Sew Girl!

I spent the month trying to sit on my broken tailbone long enough to work on my cousin's wedding dress.  The bright spot was my new Bernina 350!  It runs like a dream and hemmed the dress beautifully!  What fun.  My son bought his first car.  We had given him a 2003 Pontiac Vibe.  After 280,000 miles, he decided to buy himself another one.  The new one is a 2010 model with only 29,000 miles.  He knows a good thing when he finds it.

A rare moment with both of my children!

The wedding day arrived and the dress was finished! We also had a blast in the unusually pleasant weather for two Thanksgiving parades.  Despite what you may hear, I love Detroit!  The car is from Green Field Village.  We had fantastic seats in front of the Detroit Historical Museum.  Isn't this last picture cute.  I caught my mom and dad holding hands as they walked around Royal Oak after the first parade - even after 50 years.

Had a wonderful Christmas with some great gifts pictured.  My dear friend made this gorgeous framed message board. It is magnetic and the magnets are made from buttons -- some vintage.  My daughter came home for the holidays.  She gently broke the news that she got an exciting new job.  Unfortunately, she will be moving to Shanghai for 6 months!  I said goodbye yesterday for 7 months.  Though I am thrilled for her, I am writing this marathon blog to keep my mind occupied and because I hope sewing will make the time go by quicker.

Have a wonderful New Year!  I am looking forward to another good year.