The Luscious Feel of Fabric

Hello there friends!

I am working on a Pendrell blouse with some fabric that I bought at fabric depot in Portland, OR last time I was home visiting my parents.  The other afternoon while I was running the fabric through Elphaba (who was doing a marvelous job of seaming), I got to thinking about how luscious the fabric felt in my hands.  It was soft, with just enough thickness in it to tell me it wasn't quilting cotton, just enough stretch to tell me that it was going to feel marvelous on my body, and just enough texture to make my fingers hum with excitment!  Do you ever let yourself completely drown in the tactile experience of exploring your fabric?  Does just the feel of a certain fabric make you dream up particular garments or projects or memories?

The fabric that has me gushing about texture

When I pre-washed it, I debated whether or not to use fabric softener in the wash.  I ended up using the fabric softener, but it did get me to wondering if my online sewing cronies had any thoughts.  Softener?  No softener?  What do you do with yours?  I love using it to help my fabric become even softer right from the get-go, but I am curious to whether or not it is a bad idea, especially with a very first wash.

So what are your thoughts?  Recommendations?  Horror stories?  Please, do share.



Sunday Style Set: Greener Grasses

Hello Friends!

The Grass is Always Greener

The Grass is Always Greener by miss-mt featuring leather shoes

I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate with the "grass is always greener on the other side of the fence".  I can be gloriously happy with the spring sunshine, cool breezes, and flowers popping up everywhere, and inevitably one day, I will catch myself thinking "gosh, I can't wait until fall!  The boots, the scarves, the sweaters!"  It's not that I'm wishing for cold weather... oh no!, I just love wearing boots and scarves.  So here is my, glad-it's-spring-but-wish-it-was-fall inspirational board.

What is your favorite season to dress for?



Yellow Chalk, White Fabric: A little of what not to do, and how to fix it!

Hey Friends!

So, I had a dilemma.  I was using this pristine white fabric for a project that I am still working on, but when I was first tracing the pattern onto the fabric I couldn't see the white chalk, so I chose to use yellow chalk.  The fabric has a wonderful, intricate pattern on it, (white on white of course) and I tried to be really careful to mark only the "wrong side".  I was trying to squeeze a Pendrell blouse out of only one yard of fabric, and because I had to get tricksy with the cutting and folding and laying out of my pieces, I ended up marking the "right side" on two of my pieces.  (It probably didn't help that I was marking and cutting at two in the morning...) 

Anywho, I was stuck trying to figure out how to get yellow chalk out of my beautiful white fabric.  I had some scraps left over, so I decided to try a few different things, and luckily, I took pictures so I could share with you. 

So with much pride, and very little humbleness, I introduce... my first tutorial!

Working on a Pendrell Blouse

If you look closely, you can see the white pattern on the fabric.

My yellow Tailor's chalk.

Step One: Yellow chalk on white fabric.

Step Two:  I tried to use a toothbrush on the fabric, to try and brush out the chalk.
I saw this tip on the internet.  No such luck. 

Step Three: I even tried (on a different scrap) dipping the entire thing in non-diluted bleach.  Again, no dice.

Step Four:  I got my fabric wet and scrubbed on the chalk mark with the toothbrush.  Small progress.

Step Five:  I added a little Dawn Pure.  I happened to have this, because it is what I use for dishes, and in hind-sight, the pure (with no added coloring) is probably the best choice anyways.  Scrubbing with the toothbrush, Dawn, and a little moisture showed definite progress in getting the chalk out!

Step Six:  After seeing that I was able to get the yellow out (at least I thought so), I decided to see if ironing the scrap would a) not ruin the texture, and b) make sure that the stain was out and that it didn't set any color into the scrap.  I couldn't see the fabric well enough to tell if the stain was out while the fabric was wet.

Success!!!  The iron dried the scrap, there didn't appear to be
even a trace of the yellow, and the fabric texture was the same as when I began.

Suggestions that I would give...  Well, first I would obviously recommend that you not mark your white fabric, on the "right side" at two in the morning!  But, if you are as silly as I am, I would suggest trying a scrap first!  

When researching on the internet, prior to my little experiment, I found several fixes for several different types of chalk.  I am using the tailor's chalk triangles, and I don't think they are wax... I'm not really sure.  But either way, the other suggestions I found online didn't work (other than dry cleaning... I didn't try that one).  But this method seemed to work well!

Hope this helps at least someone out!  I know I learned something and had fun in the progress!



Serging the Day Away!

Hello friends!

This week, I have felt like I've done hours of prep work and no sewing!  Does it ever feel that way to you?  The frustrating part is that I have so much more prep work to do!  I still have to cut my pattern for the truffle dress for Sew Colette, and I'm on a Pendrell blouse kick right now, and I'm trying to make a couple more, but add some fun design details so they aren't all the same!  Gah!  So much.  

But speaking of prep work... I recently started doing something that the pro's have probably been doing for a long time and I'm just late to the party.  I used to pre-wash my fabric straight from the store, just throw it in with the correct wash cycle and off we go!  It was very frustrating though, to pull out my pre-washed fabric and have so many strings and tangles from the cut edge.  Only very recently did I think... "huh!  why don't i serge (or zig-zag) the edge and then wash it."  Genius.  I felt pretty proud of myself.  I'm sure this is in many sewing books and it seems so common sense after doing it, but I thought I would share.  Just maybe I'm not the only newbie out there who hasn't quite thought of this simple idea yet!

Dorota doing what she does best

Hope your week is going well!  Are you stuck doing prep work right now?  Or are you sewing away, happily creating your next masterpiece?  



Emma Pillsbury Inspiration

Ok friends,

Truth time.... who watches Glee?  Miss Emma Pillsbury has the cutest freaking clothes!  I know, there is even a blog devoted to What would Emma Pillsbury Wear.  Proof enough that she is adorable.  Well, late the other night, while catching up on some Glee goodness, I stumbled upon this little number.

I couldn't find a good picture of the entire dress, but if you haven't seen it you'll have to take my word for it.  I'm pretty sure that you could use the peony pattern as a base, change the neckline, add a peter pan collar.  Throw in a box pleat like from the sorbetto, add some ruffles, some pearls, make a full skirt and add a belt from the same fabric.  A-dor-able!  I'm seeing this in my future.


Sunday Style: Outdoor Style

Outdoor style

Hello Friends!

I am getting ready to go on a vacation!  I'm so excited, the boyfriend and I are going to go galavant around california; some theme parks, some beaches, a little yosemite action.  So in preparation for getting some outdoor time, I thought I'd make this style set for you.  I have a few posts planned so that my blog won't be completely dead while I'm gone.

Hope you all are having a lovely weekend!



Because I Truly Feel It is Important

Hey friends.

I am going to break from my usual sewing hype to post something that I feel is important.  Some may be critics and say this is not appropriate to share on my 'sewing' blog, but I figure, this is my personal blog that I chose to focus mainly on sewing; and today I am choosing to share something that I feel is important.

This video was put out by Invisible Children, an incorporation that I have been following and supporting for quite a few years now.  They started as a couple of kids that went to Uganda, saw the child soldiers and decided they could do something to stop it.  This idea is huge, and everyone can help.    This year, 2012, they are really trying to push a huge change.  I know that I have some readers in the US, and I also know i have some readers in the UK.  This applies to everyone, so please, if you feel impressed, watch the video and just see what you think.  If you are not interested in watching, that is fine. I hope I won't lose some friends through posting this, but I feel it is definitely worth that risk.

The video is about 25 minutes long, but worth the watch.  Thank-you all for understanding and I hope that this video moves you to at least think about the world around you and how you can make a difference, no matter how small.


*Update 3.7.12*
I want to state, that by posting this video, I'm not asking or suggesting that you donate money to this cause, that is a very personal decision.  I feel they are bringing the story of Ugandan children to light when a lot of people were unaware of what was going on.  But I also feel that they are taking a very simplistic view.  I'm reading more and more about it, from sources other than Invisible Children; I just felt that this was a good starting place if anyone was interested.

My Closet: Plum Peacoat

Hello friends!

So, remember back a ways, when I was telling you about some of my favorite pieces from my own wardrobe, a la Colette Sewing Handbook?  I told you about my Hunting Skirt and my Bikes & Top Hats Sorbetto.  Well, next up, my favorite Plum Peacoat from Macy's.  

I first saw this coat in the Macy's window while strolling down Main St. one early fall afternoon two years ago.  I drooled.  And then I drooled some more.  Then I took my roommate to see the coat in the window.  Then I showed the boyfriend.  Then I gushed about it some more to my roommate.  Then my roommate dragged me into the store, made me try it on, and then made me buy it.  True story.

As I mentioned in my last post, the boyfriend (he's so great!) he generously helped me take some photos around town while we were on a nice little saturday afternoon walking date.  So, while I show you pictures of the coat, I thought I'd show you a few fun pictures from around my adorable little town.  You don't mind, do you?

Plum awesome!

Ok, how fantastic are those buttons?!

A 'bikes & top hats' underneath for good measure!

The boyfriend (who oh so wonderfully took these photos for me!)

So hard to get a non-blurry photo when no one is behind the camera!

My favorite part of this coat is the second hem!  I love how the coat ends, and then 'surprise!' there is another bottom waiting to peek out! (Oh, and I'm standing in front of one of the winery tasting rooms)

Our great little candy shop, Brights!

More candy

Gigantic lolli!

The local record store

So there you have it!  My favorite peacoat, and a few little glimpses of my home :)


One Week, One Pattern!

Guess what?!  Another fun group to join in on!  This genius idea was put into motion by Tilly and you can find all the details here!  I am trying to decide if I can actually make this date or not, and also trying to decide on which pattern I will use.

Have you joined this sew-venture?  What pattern are you going to use? I want to hear about it?  Are you worried that you won't be able to make enough in time?  Or do you already have several made in your closet?  Hmm...

Sunday Style: Satsuma


P.S.  I haven't died.  I'm trying to actually get some sewing done, and I'm also working on getting some photos for you that are half decent :)  They boyfriend is helping me!