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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Sewing Patterns: Need your Advice & Opinions, Please! on: December 11, 2013 04:49:00 PM
I will try to keep this short!  My partner and I are starting an independent sewing pattern company.  We are both veterans of the fashion industry, patternmaking and design, and feel we have a product that will fill gaps in the market!  I'd like to develop more before revealing the aesthetic and idea behind the company.  In the meantime we have been trying to reach out to sewers who frequently (or infrequently) use sewing patterns to make clothes for themselves or others.  Would you crafty individuals mind giving me a few moments of your time to answer a few questions?  A brief overview:  We are designing for standard sizing and plus sizing.  Some styles will be plus only, some standard only, and some will be for both size categories, depending on styling. We are focusing on manipulation of fabric and materials to bring a little extra to the pieces. We will release knits and wovens, all garment types, and plan on packaging the instructions in a booklet instead of the large fold out newspaper sheets.  You can answer by replying to this thread, or sending me a private message.  My partner and I appreciate your answers very much!  It will help us focus on the styles you want to see. Smiley

Thanks,
~ Sarah & Nicole


* What drives you to sew your own clothing?

* What sizes do you buy clothes in and can you find the types of clothing that you like in your size?

* Besides pants, which is the answer everyone has to this question: What fit difficulties to you find in garments that you purchase at stores?

* Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or straight? I'm such a pear! Wink

* Do you keep your patterns once you sew a garment from them?

* Do you like the level of detail that you find in sewing patterns, in terms of garment styling? What do you feel isn't being offered by traditional sewing pattern companies?

* Do you ever alter patterns? If so, what type of alterations do you do?

* Do you ever buy patterns online and print them at home?  If not, would you?

* Have you ever run into difficulties with a sewing pattern that made you quit the project?  What happened?

* Where do you buy fabrics for your garments?
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Professional Sewing Studio on: May 07, 2012 06:29:22 PM
Hi Everyone!

So I have made the transition to 3/4 time professional seamstress (I teach at a local college the rest of the time), and thought I would show off my ABSOLUTELY TINY "studio".  In this studio, I make dresses, draperies, costumes, alterations...you name it...I've made it, and I make a living (more of a starving artist...) doing it. Its been a hard transition, with lots of learning experience.  I thought about cleaning my studio before showing it off...but seriously, this is what it looks like constantly... just keepin it real. :p


The studio is in our master bedroom. We have a relatively small house, but our master bedroom is very large. We've divided it in half, and the first portion is my sewing studio. We've divided the room by using the dresser as a divider. When people come over for a fitting, I have a folding screen and a full length mirror that I pull out to turn it into a fitting area. The serger comes and goes, but its mostly out all the time. Large garbage can to catch pattern and fabric scraps, thread and whatnot.  A shelf with all of my crap - thread, tools, chalk, scissors (many many pairs of scissors), sewing feet, and a patternmaking book if I need a reference for something complicated. I have little kits for various functions - fittings, patternmaking, hand sewing, etc. I also teach people out of this area, one on one sewing lessons.  I tape sketches and calendars up to the back of the dresser to keep me on track! Extra lighting, various rulers set on top of the AC unit. I thought I would hate having it blowing right on my face, but I don't know about you ... I sweat like CRAZY when I sew!  There's currently a massive order of roman blinds sitting in front of the ironing board.  I use a Babylock Grace, for anyone interested in what sewing machine I'm using. I find it has a nice, strong motor, good timing and tension - and it was a little more affordable/portable than other "professional" grade machines at just under $500. Nice buttonholes, too. That is a MAJOR plus.


The other side of my "studio".  Professional, gravity feed iron. Seriously, I recommend this to ANYONE who sews a lot! It was $100 and presses better than any iron I have ever used. I got that hanging rack from target for under $50. We have 4 foster cats, 2 of our own cats and a dog. This keeps the animals out of everyone's fabric. Smiley  Its usually bulging, like in the photo ... fills up fast when I'm working on cushions or chair covers. Its been a godsend.


And the newest addition - not finished. I am just so excited about it... its actually what got me to post this!  I have been cutting on the floor for SO LONG. My back has been giving out and ... I generally feel like I've done 8 hours of pilates when I'm done at the end of the day. So, yesterday we replaced our ikea futon in the computer room with a day bed that we found on amazon of all places. Still need a mattress. We also bought an 8foot x 4 foot plywood board from home depot, and two 1"x1" planks that we wood glued to both sides for support. Put some sticky felt on the bottom to protect the day bed and I now have a cutting table! Its a great height...comes up to my waist, and 4 feet deep so I have plenty of room to lay out fabric. Its also got 3 functional drawers on the bottom to hold excess fabric - which I have been just throwing on top of my hanging rack to this point. When I'm done with it, I just climb on top of the bed, lift it and let it slide behind the bed. We are going to paint it white and make it look a bit more like a head board. Its an elegant solution to a crappy problem, and I can't take any credit for it. All hubby.

Its certainly not the most spacious studio, but it really works. We've got a 3 bedroom house, and we still managed to keep our queen bed in the master, a full bed in the guest room, and this twin bed in the computer room. Computer room is also home to not one, but TWO full computer desks (we are geeks). There isn't a spare inch of space, but aside from my studio, it somehow doesn't feel cramped. HURRAY FOR TINY FURNITURE!! Cheesy  I am truly blessed, though. It has taken years to get to this point and I am happy to share it with everyone. Thanks for reading!
3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Firefly/Serenity swap? on: November 30, 2009 07:21:35 PM
Has there been a firefly/serenity swap lately?  I have a hard time believing there hasn't been one in the past. Smiley   I would start (another?) one in a heartbeat, but I have just started w/ swaps and I'm not eligible to run one. Sad  Anyone else want to carry the torch?  I'd be first to sign up!!! Cheesy
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Sparkly Mario Eveningwear! on: July 22, 2009 04:05:04 PM
So I'm a fashion major. Graduated in 2007, and just NOW got around to uploading pics of my stuff!  I'm an avid gamer for life. Shooters, RPGs, PC, nintendo, Xbox... I'll play anything if I can afford it. Smiley I also don't like to take myself too seriously, so I decided that my senior collection was going to be mario eveningwear. Ya know, lots of sequins, duchess satin, chiffon, coupled with the crazy icons we know and love.

Anyway, pics. These are the only shots I have. It was a crazy night, and I was lucky to get away with these!!




My favorite Smiley  That applique head was all hand made from scratch. It took me over 80 hours of hand work. I like to call it .. my opus. *snicker*




We had dressers in the back, and the lining of this dress was attached at the hem. They didn't pull the lining down so it hiked. Sad  It fit like a GLOVE but looks pretty bad with that bunching.  Its the mushroom dress. Smiley




Coin dress!




This is my bob-omb dress. The little red explosion is all sequins, and the bomb is quilted, and the quilting is outlined in swarovsky crystals. Again, not so great of a photo.


This was supposed to be the big show stopper, but it turned into a big 'meh'. I made the hoop skirt underneath. Lined it w/ 2 layers of some serious muslin, and then quite a few more layers of chiffon. Really think I needed a layer of tulle or two in between. The skirt just didn't do it for me, and the big leather loin cloth thing ... meh. It is a lambskin corset, though, and I love that. Oh, and here's the shot of the sequin applique on the front. I took it off after the show and used it on my graduation cap. Smiley



And here's one more shot of it during our halfway through critique! Its super unfinished here.



So that's it Smiley  
    




5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Jewelry/metal things I make - photo dump! on: March 08, 2009 09:10:13 PM
Hi Smiley  Haven't posted much, but thought I would post this project. I just finished him. Its bronze, with silver headphones and wire, and the eye is a cubic zirconia snap fitted into a bronze jump ring. I've been taking a jewelry class, and I love it! 


Its about 1 3/4" high, for reference. I soldered a backing onto the piece, and polished up the sides nicely, so its a hollow shape. Was paying close attention to a nice finish, for once! Wink Here's another shot in a different light to show the eye better.



And just for the hell of it, here is a shot of the first thing I've ever made in the class... a basic sterling silver ring with 2 london blue topaz gems.



And yeah, another shot at a different angle to show the gem as it naturally appears. Seems I can't light the metal and the gems correctly in the same photo!!!



I'm used to doing more large metal work - welding and blacksmithing, so jewelry is new to me. Same basic principles, just a lot less muscle involved Wink Below are a few bigger things I've hammered out of metal!







This was really just to mess around with articulating plates and some not so successful filigree. It has no purpose. One of my friends called it jumbo shrimp armor. Wink

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope you guys like them!  I had a lot of fun making them, and nobody to show them to Sad Sad Sad  Thanks! Smiley


6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Bacon Stuffing Balls! on: November 26, 2007 05:40:50 PM
I found this recipe in one of my grandmother's cookbooks from the 70's. Whipped it up for thanksgiving and it was DELISH! ... and I don't even like stuffing! Wink Give it a try!

6 slices of bacon
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped (more if you'd like)
2 eggs
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
1 tbsp parsley flakes or fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
6 cups dry bread cubes

* In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet. Crumble bacon & set aside.
* Cook celery & onion in bacon drippings until tender, not brown.
* In bowl, combine egg, chicken broth, parsley, poultry seasoning, crumbled bacon, cooked celery & onion.
* Add dry bread cubes. Toss lightly until well mixed.
* Add more broth if the mix is too dry. It will dry out a lot in the oven.
* Form into balls. Put in greased muffin pan.

Bake @ 325 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Makes appx 9 stuffing balls.

Since I haven't posted enough to post images, here's a link to the photo of the stuffing balls we made: http://www.randomology.org/thanksgiving072.jpg. We didn't ball these up well enough. These are more like half serving stuffing balls. Smiley We did another batch and they came out perfecto! Don't have pictures of those, though. We ate them up :\ This will have to do. Smiley
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Soupily challenged on: November 18, 2007 05:43:45 PM
So I'm soupily challenged. I only like chicken noodle! I have been trying to find different kinds of soup to try, but so far I haven't come up with much to work with. I like warm, salty or savory soups... ya know, something that'll warm you to the core during a snowstorm. I'm allergic to cow's milk, so heavy creamy/cheesy soups are questionable.  I can substitute milk with soy milk, and can easily tolerate peccorino (sheep's milk cheese) or goat's milk cheese. So there *are* options.

Anyone have any ideas? I'd be in your debt! My devotion to chicken noodle will remain forever strong, but I've gotta spread my soupy wings!  Cheesy
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / No Knead Bread on: November 11, 2007 11:13:09 AM
Here's a recipe for no knead bread I came across recently. Apparently, it tastes *wonderful* - artisan bread quality...and no kneading! Time does it all for you, so as long as you're patient... Wink



3 cups/375g bread flour
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 5/8 cups/13 oz water, warm but not hot

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients to combine. Add the water and stir until its a blended and shaggy dough. It will be very wet.

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 12 -18 hours.

Dump the risen but still-sticky dough onto a well-floured surface and turn it onto itself once or twice to deflate. Drape with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Heavily flour your hands and a cotton dishtowel or silicone sheet. Form the dough, as best you can, into a ball and place it, seam-side up on the towel. Cover with another floured towel and let rise about two hours, until doubled in size. [I lift the towel a bit after an hour to make sure its not sticking.]

Place a large covered pot in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees/ 230 C/ Gas Mark 8 for at least 20 minutes.

Dump the dough into the hot pot, seam-side down, and shake to distribute, if necessary. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15-30 minutes until bread is browned.

Cool on a rack.


Here's where I found the recipe: http://foodpluspolitics.com/2007/11/08/that-famous-no-knead-bread/
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