Tuesday, September 27, 2011

American Sewing Expo Day 3: meetup with Lynnelle

Previously on Vacuuming the Lawn, I blogged about day 1 and day 2 of the American Sewing Expo.

Day 3 
My first class of the day wasn't til 9:45, thank goodness! Finally a chance to sleep in a little and not rush. I had taken this class last year but felt I needed a refresher. It was about the hinge and pivot method of pattern alteration.
Then at 11 I went to Angela Wolf's class about t-shirt construction and collar variations which I totally need to try out sometime.
Then it was time to meet up with Lynnelle from You Sew, Girl!
Lynnelle from You Sew Girl and me
So awesome to see her again, and to meet her friend who used to sew then one day gave away her fabric stash and donated her sewing machine. Can you imagine?

We had lunch and walked the vendor floor. I picked up, ahem, some more elastic and a pair of Kai scissors. I restrained myself from buying any fabric at all, even though I was enthusiastically encouraged to buy some!   I visited the pink double knit fabric at Vogue.  I will place an order with the vogue fabrics website, methinks.

Kai scissors; some fun elastic, BurdaStyle free gift
The "free gift" for filling out the expo survey at the information booth was a pen and measurements card from BurdaStyle.  Kai scissors are in the middle, and some fun elastic is on the end (though it looks boring in this picture)

The funniest moment was when we visited a booth that sells supplies for making bras.  The vendor actually lifted up her shirt to show us her hot pink bra.  You don't see that every day!

Lynnelle is in the market for a new serger, so we stopped by the Sandy's Sew and Vac booth which features Baby Locks. We had a demo of a BabyLock serger that, ahem, threads itself! It's like magic, you press a button and woosh, the upper looper is threaded. Woosh, the lower looper is threaded. and almost-woosh, your needles are threaded. Pretty amazing!!!

But then I had to say goodbye to go to my class on making zipper flowers. Once again I was the only student who had trouble keeping up. The glue did not want to stick to the zipper so I fell behind. I think the glue and the content of the zipper fabric tape were not getting along at all. The glue was definitely hot (and it was my glue gun--I was packing heat all the way from Jersey)!   I felt a bit like giving up.  It started to work better when I used a different zipper. Eventually I caught up. here are the 4 zipper flowers I made:
zipper flowers I made (guess which one was my first)
Go ahead, guess which one was my first!
and here are the flowers the class made as a whole:
zipper flowers the class made as a whole
I wound up wearing the last one I made on my dress:
NewLook 6909 and my new zipper flower NewLook 6909 and my new zipper flower
The dress is New Look 6909.

Then it was time for the dream sewing room drawing. I did not win. but on the way out, one of you dear readers called out to me, "Vacuuming the Lawn!" and we chatted for a few minutes about sewing, cooking and blogging. I'm sorry I don't remember your name!

Some gorgeous flowers outside the hotel:

flowers outside the hotel
There were also two wedding receptions at the convention center Sat night and they were setting up for cocktail hour
someone's cocktail hour decorations at the convention center
This is the best I've felt in a LONG time. I'm hoping you're feeling good too!

Be well and good night!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

American Sewing Expo Day 2

sewing to the left, guns to the right
Sewing to the left, guns & knives to the right. 

Previously, on Vacuuming the Lawn, I wrote about Day 1 of the American Sewing Expo .

Day 2, Saturday
I took a class taught by Project Runway Season 5 semi-finalist Suede and Nicole from Simplicity about incorporating classic, edgy and flirty looks with the SuedeSays collection of patterns. For one of the looks, they had applied velcro to a skirt so they could easily switch out different trims on the skirt--which I think is a great idea not just for demos but for real life too!

Back at the Simplicity booth, we posed for more pix.  This time I'm wearing NewLook 6000 and Suede is wearing a jacket from his brand new Simplicity Suede Says men's line.   I'm also wearing those super cute mary janes.

me with Suede at the Simplicity booth.  I'm in NewLook 6000
Suede is so incredibly nice and friendly, which he says is his midwestern upbringing.  He autographed the SuedeSays pattern I bought, and said my parents must have been funky "in a good way" to name me Kyle.

SuedeSays autographed pattern!

All of the Simplicity folks were nice; I spent a LOT of time chatting with them in the booth and they must have been wondering if I was ever going to leave!

There was a fashion show of the new fall Simplicity and New Look patterns.
Simplciity fashion show
Simplciity fashion show
I wound up buying quite a few patterns based on seeing the garments at the show after seeing the garments in motion. What's so cool to me is the garments are THE ones pictured on the pattern envelope. So fun! Simplciity fashion show
The highlight of the day was when the VP of Simplicity Judy Raymond said that she liked my dress and I did a great job sewing it (I believe she said it looked like it was off the rack) and then later on gave me the new Simplicity book "Fabric Guide: The Ultimate Fiber Resource" for being such a supporter of Simplicity and New Look. How AMAZING was that? Thank you! I'm looking forward to perusing it and learning from it. The book is in this picture of other things bought/collected at the Expo, mainly patterns but also serger thread from the Friday serger class, patterns, needles and the surgical seam ripper which I LOVE. my haul from the weekend (not pictured, some double fold elastic and Kai scissors, which I bought today)

I also took some other lecture classes, one on bias binding and using bias tape makers (now I totally want to make my own bias tape, but failed to buy the tape maker, hrm), and a class with Sandra Betzina about her Power Sewing Toolbox.

The Passion for Fashion show was at night. It's like a mini-Project Runway. 12 designers are chosen from hundreds of applicants. They don't know the challenge til they show up on Friday morning at the Expo. This year they had to make a dress inspired by one of 12 movies. They are given $100 and buy the fabric and notions from the Expo vendors, then make their garments on the Expo floor, where anyone can stop, watch, and talk to the contestants. Then on Saturday night they have the runway show with three judges.

This year we were able to talk with the contestants afterward which was very cool.
Here's Third Place winner Gertie from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing:
Gretchen and her garment at Passion for Fashion
Write your own caption:
Fan Favorite Lisa Simpson:
Lisa Simpson and her garment
Second Place winner Cheryl Zemeke:
Cheryl Zemeke and her outfit.  I LOVE for that collar
Cheryl made this clever hood that zips down the middle to open up into a shawl-collar style effect:
I love that hood, which unzips down the back
Passion for Fashion 2008 winner, PR columnist and teacher, PR Chicago weekend guest speaker and all-around sweet person, Angela Wolf.  Loving the slits in her sleeves.
Angela Wolf and me
I also met another Project Runway Season 5 contestant Joe Faris. Since PR, he started up a jeans company called Motor City Denim Co.
with Joe Faris from Project Runway season 5
So sad my double chin decided to make an appearance...

Such a fun day! I need to pack so I'll write about day 3, hopefully tmw, when I'm back in Jersey!

Be well, healthy-healthy-healthy, and good night!

Friday, September 23, 2011

American Sewing Expo day 1: I met Suade from Project Runway!!!

Highlights from the American Sewing Expo, Day 1:

The number one highlight was meeting Project Runway Season 5 semi-finalist Suade  at the Simplicity booth.  Yeah!!!!

Me in Simplicity 2406 with Suade from Project Runway!
I'm wearing Simplicity 2406 and Suade is wearing menswear from his SuadeSays collection.
I wish I had fixed my dress...

He is SO nice.  Greeted me with a hug, asked me what my name is, and we chatted about his tweets about last night's Project Runway.   We also chatted about his SuadeSays pattern line at Simplicity.  I asked if he'd mind a photo, and it turned out the Simplicity booth was already set up for that with the "SuadeSays" posters in the background.  A Simplicity rep took a separate picture and posted it on their Facebook page.  Then he said goodbye with a hug.  How nice is that?    He is the third PR alum I've met. Tomorrow morning I am going to a workshop of his, plus the lunchtime Simplicity runway show and Passion for Fashion tomorrow night.

I also chatted with some of the Simplicity reps; they are so nice too.  I just love the Simplicity booth as I am SUCH a Simplicity and New Look sewist.  One of their reps recognized me as the person who takes front, side and back views in the mirror and says I sew up a storm (though she's made 14 dresses this summer; I've made 7).  I told her last night I posted my 99th pattern review; which one will be #100?  Possibly one of these that I picked up today:

new simplicity patterns I bought today

Simplicity has a line of hats; am I too old to wear this one:
I *love* this hat.  Am I too old to wear it?
Bibs and hats:
hats and bibs from the Simplicity booth

Here's the wristband for today; much better than a handstamp!
Yes, I'm tough with my American Sewing Expo wristband

Vogue Fabrics has a booth; here's their Sophia knit section.   This is the GOOD, soft, buttery double knit stuff that I will have to order online when I get home...especially that heathered PINK.  I am wanting that pink something bad. 
Sophia fabric from Vogue Fabrics

Isn't this dress awesome?  It's one of the entries of a Passion for Fashion finalist (but not a dress they are making onsite as part of their Project Runway-style challenge).
hello chevrons

I went to three classes today, one on zippers, Angela Wolf's class on denim topstitching and distressing (she is so entertaining, plus such great tips!), and a 3 hour hands-on serger class this morning.   Part of the class fee included the serger thread, which I totally wasn't expecting!  And it's Maxi-Lock thread too, in 5 colors.
my serger this morning

Here are my samples.  As you can see, some are better than others!
samples from today's serger class, some better than others
But now I know how to do a lettuce edge which is something I've always wanted to learn.  After that, the instructor made us clip our serger threads and thread the machine from scratch.  I, however, was the only one who couldn't thread properly and the instructor said we'd have to move on so while everyone else learned rolled hem I was threading again.  LOL.  When I teach my software classes I know what that point is like, being an instructor, where I can't help students anymore, I just have to move on for the benefit of the rest of the class, and it was funny to be on the other side of that!

So tomorrow it's not just the sewing expo, just like last year the Gun and Knife show will be going on.  Guess my glue gun that I need for Sunday's class will fit right in.  Yup.
my glue gun will fit right in?
Be well and good night!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Look 6000 view C done; care for something to drink?

New Look 6000 view C done
Finally, it is done!!! New Look 6000 view C (sounds like Hal's cousin).  I recovered my sewing mojo at the NYC shopping weekend yesterday and finished it today.

New Look 6000
To recap:
  •  I saw it at the Simplicity fashion show last year at the American Sewing Expo and I believe I bought the pattern then and there.
  • Shannon from MushyWear and Kristy Lower Your Presser Foot both made it and I loved it on them.  I especially loved how Kristy said it was swayback friendly without needing a swayback adjustment.
  • I love the retro styling.  In my fabric (navy blue) and with those sleeves, cuffs, and collar, I think it looks like a flight attendant uniform from the 60's.
  • BUT I ran into this problem:
Ah yes, the weirdy bulging invisible zipper at my upper back!! I asked you guys here in this blog post and also in this post on the  pattern review message boards what to do, and I got a lot of suggestions, thank you for all of them!  Here are all my attempts to fix the problem and subsequent alterations:
  • zipper attempt 2 (as zipper attempt 1 is above):  As per Lisette, made sure the SA was consistent throughout the CB seam--it was.  I then ripped out back zipper and basted up the back and tried to get it on over my head as per Carolyn and whirrlclunk's suggestions.  Sadly could not get it over my shoulders.  If I made it from a normal knit with crosswise stretch, I think I could have gotten the dress on without a zipper.  However this fabric is an odd woven with stretch with the grain, so no dice.  However I was pleased to see the bulge went away, so  that gave me hope.
  • zipper attempt 3:  put a side zipper in the side seam, as per whirrclunk.  Ironed and interfaced the SA first as per the suggestion of many.  I made sure to ease it in with the curve as per spottedroo.  Sadly, I used a 9 inch zipper and the zipper pull wound up at my bust line, not a good look.
  • zipper attempt 4:  as per many suggestions, ripped out CB seam, steamed and interfaced the SA on the CB seam.  Inserted zipper.  Zipper was broken, could not get it to zip all the way up.  :(  I don't know if I broke it when I ironed the coils flat or what.
  • zipper attempt 5:  tried inserting a different invisible zip in the CB seam (after re-ironing the area with interfacing).  The zipper zipped, but the bulging zipper returned!
  • zipper attempt 6:  Ripped out the 9" side seam zipper and tried it again, this time with a 14 inch invisible zipper.  Made sure the zipper pull ended up around my armpit.   This time, I was successful!  I then ripped out the 22" CB zipper, and removed  the kick pleat as well, and then stitched the CB seam.
  • Cut 2 inches off the bottom of the dress (thus I don't need the kick pleat).

So here you can see the side view of the dress; not too bad! No more hump. There probably is some extra fabric lurking back there but I'm going to leave it be.  The front of me looks lumpy from those waist pleats.
New Look 6000 view C done
  • Looked through my button stash for the right buttons.  I didn't have too many matching buttons, so I went with these plain blue ones.  Instead of sewing one BIG button on the collar I used 3 smaller buttons.  I thought about using the sailor anchor buttons again as pictured on the card below but did not, as they did not match the 60's flight attendant vibe. You can see the button I used sewn on the cuff, and also see the pleating detail at the waist.  Those pleats were easier than I thought to sew.

The dress is navy; the buttons are a touch lighter than that though in some of these pictures they look like a much lighter blue.
New Look 6000 view C done
Here's a closer-up view of the collar:
New Look 6000 view C done
Kristy had noted the collar was floppy but I ignored her. Wish I had interfaced the collar as it is floppy and prone to deflating.
New Look 6000 view C done
Here's the back.  I think the wrinkling is from how I'm standing?  maybe?
New Look 6000 view C done
Aren't these shoes adorable????  You know I love running stitches.
my new shoes to wear with New Look 6000 view C
I plan on wearing them with the dress.  Can you believe, they were from Sears and were $30? 
Some more shots of the dress:
New Look 6000 view C done
New Look 6000 view C done

I wish I could get the dress on Emma but I can't.  She's just a mannequin and doesn't have collapsible shoulders.  However I have learned that for my shoulders it is easier to get into a dress with a side zip than one with a 22 inch zipper.  I have been scared of side zippers having struggled with them in the past but I think I learned a lot this time, and the invisible zip was easier than a traditional zip.  Of course you have to be sure of the fit....

Ok, so....if you are going to the American Sewing Expo next weekend let me know so we can meet up!!!

In other news, it is starting to feel like fall around here. Normally I dislike fall and winter but I am ready for a new season and a new beginning.  I did not have any doctors appts last week nor this coming week so that is great.  I still feel the numbness/weird feeling off and on and like someone suggested I wonder if it is diet related?  Well, I see the neurologist again the 27th.  My back and shoulder hurts a little from the shopping yesterday (I overdid it with the fabric purchases) but my ab is feeling pretty good.  And ever since I started meditation and did the MBSR meditation course I have several days a week without any back pain at all, yea!  I have started to get my sleeping back on track with Belleruth Naparstek's Healthful Sleep CD.   Highly recommend.

Be well and healthy, healthy, healthy! Good night.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

NYC Shopping day hosted by Elizabeth and Robin

Today was NYC Shopping Day hosted by Elizabeth from Sewn and Robin from Yarn Crawl. I didn't take many pix of this shopping day, sorry!  But I had fun.

I hopped on the bus this sunny morning and arrived fashionably late.  The two stores on the official itinerary were Elliott Berman and Metro Textiles.

But first I stopped by the garment worker...

The garment worker
He treadles!
The garment worker treadles!
Then I went to Elliott Berman where I didn't buy anything.

Here's the scene inside Metro.  I'm not sure how many people were at Metro; maybe 20?  Kashi had some help today.  And I bought way more fabric than I should have. 

I didn't know Deepika would be there, and it was fun to meet her baby, even if her baby didn't think fabric shopping was fun!  And I enjoyed seeing many PR members again including Andrea and Karen.
Inside Metro Textiles 9/17/11

After Metro we had lunch and then split up. Some of us went to Mood, which was very busy compared to my visit with Antoinette.  Still no sign of Swatch the dog.

Then I parted ways and made my way to Pacific Trimmings:
zippers at Pacific Trimmings
And then I went to SIL thread to buy invisible zippers.  Since I arrived late anyway, I wish I had bought zippers and trims first while I didn't have 20 pounds of fabric to carry.  I could have browsed around more if I didn't have so much fabric.  I did go back to Paron to see if the fabric I am STILL thinking about from June was there; it wasn't.

So I made my way back to the bus station and was in line at 2:15 (Antoinette, the bus arrived and left from a different gate than usual because of construction.  I was certain to pay attention to how to get back to the gate this time!)

Here's my haul in my PR shopping bag while in line at the bus terminal.  I wound up sitting on the ground writing postcards (yes,  I bought NYC postcards!) because the bus arrived with a flat tire.  So the bus didn't get on the road til 3:09.   Some people in line with me were extra crabby about the wait, but I was ok with it.  I'd rather the flat tire be at the terminal than on the turnpike. 
 waiting for the bus....with my bag of fabric!

So here is what $135 looks like:

This is what $135 looks like
Oh, and "Rose in SV" this is for you:
for "Rose in SV"
On the ride home, check out the "numbers" on this clock, and you'll know what town the bus was passing through:
New Brunswick clock
It was a fun day; I'm glad I went; thank you to Elizabeth and Robin for organizing the day!

Princeton Farmer's Market flowers for this week:  millet, coxcomb, sunflowers.
Princeton Farmer's Mkt flowers 9/15/11
I am STILL working on the NL 6000 dress. It currently has a side AND back zipper. But that deserves a whole post of its own.  I'm going to try to finish it off tomorrow.  I have spent SO MUCH time on that dress.  I'm not giving up on it.  The light IS at the end of the tunnel.

Also, note to self, next time don't try to stuff too many items into the freezer because the door will just pop open during the night ruining all the home cooked food you made and froze to be eaten over the week.   Really, self, you should know better.  

Be well, hope you are healthy, good night!