Big Gypsy Fashion

Thelma Madine

It all started over in the United Kingdom with dressmaker, Thelma Madine.  I got a glimpse into the world of Gypsy weddings.  And I was hooked!

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Each week, I’d tune into TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and considered running away in hopes of getting an internship with Thelma.

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Although I loved the enormous blinged-out wedding dresses she made, I was head over heels about her children’s creations.

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Her Communion and Flower Girl dresses rivaled those of even the tackiest ones here in Staten Island, New York.  The more tulle and Swarovski crystals, the better!  Her Christening dresses were breathtaking!  If you’ve never seen the show, you can buy My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding – Season 1 and 2 on DVD!

Thelma Madine and her workers in her factory

Thelma’s newest show is called, “Little Shop of Gypsies.”  She takes on 10 Gypsy girls to teach them how to make fabulous dresses.  It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these girls who rarely get to finish high school.

Thelma has recently published her first book, “Tales of a Gypsy Dressmaker.  She has an incredible story which includes a stint in prison…LOL!

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Not to be outdone by the UK, enter the fabulous Sondra Celli, dressmaker of TLC’s My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding and Bling it On!

MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING

Her creations are spectacular!  That woman and her crew can make dresses that dreams are made of!

 MY BIG FAT AMERICAN GYPSY WEDDING

The wedding gowns are over the top…hundreds of yards of tulle, thousands of rhinestones and enough fabric to cloth half of a large city!

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But she doesn’t stop there.  She’ll bling anything from shoes to

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baby strollers!

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Sondra has a team of girls who are called, “Blingettes.”  They spend hours upon hours applying crystals to her creations.

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Channel Guide Magazine did a great interview with Sondra.  Great read!

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All this BLING reminds me that I need to order more Hot Fix Crystals from my friend, Suzie aka The Hot Fix Queen!

With friendship,

Lisa

DomesticDivaBannerAD

Quick Sewing Room Clean-Up

fabricshoppingxmastree

Don’t laugh…This is the current disaster in my sewing room.  I’ve completely neglected it over the last few months (yes, that’s my pink Christmas tree that I never got around to decorating).  But now with the new year, it’s time to get my act together.  You know your sewing room is in the same state of disorganization, so let’s get it cleaned up quickly.

A few years back, I wrote The ABCs of Spring Cleaning Your Sewing Room over on SewMamaSew.  There’s even a printable PDF for your convenience.  I know it isn’t Spring yet, but heck, you’ll be getting a jump start on it!

fabricshoppingjoanns

While going through the piles of crap on my cutting table, I found lots of treasures I had forgotten about.  Yes, the bags of fabric from Joann’s Black Friday Sale were yet to be unpacked.  It’s mostly more flannel that I don’t need.  I know…don’t judge me.

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I did find all the goodies I purchased during a recent NYC shopping adventure with my dear friend, Sara Norris.  Sara and I met online about 7 years ago while sewing children’s custom boutique clothing.  When she told me she was coming to New York City for a few days, I just knew I had to show her my fabric playground (aka NYC’s Garment District).

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Sara and I had a ball while her husband, Mike, waited patiently as we went treasure hunting.  Our first stop was Pacific Trimming—an old favorite of mine for rhinestone buttons and buckles.

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We discovered a trim shop, Hai’s Trimmings Inc.,  I had never visited before.  This place had more high-end trims than the other shops I usually go to.  I was even able to finally find 24 row rhinestone trim to recover my bathroom switch plate!  This place was AMAZING!

fabricshoppingspool

Sara surprised me with the cutest spool of velvet trim she found at Antropologie.  Love it!

Now it’s time to find a home in my sewing room for all these sewing things.  Hopefully, once I get my kid back to school tomorrow, I’ll get back in the groove!  Hoping to sew a lot more this year than last!

lisasiggie2

Sew Gifts for a new Baby Boy – Bibs, Burp Cloths, Blankets, Clothing and More

BabyGarritano

Sewing for a new girl is so much easier than a boy.  So I figured I’d share some ideas on simple sewing projects to put together a great baby boy gift basket.

Boy Fabrics

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Gone are the days of being limited to bright primary colors and clown prints for boys.  When making gifts for a new baby boy, I choose either a base color of black or brown and then pick fabric prints to coordinate.  Here are some great prints I ordered online at the recent Fabric.com children’s print sale.

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Black Color Base

 CX4867_Charcoal CX4871_Black geeksgonewildpacman geeksgonewildspaceinvaders  CX4061_Black CX4388_Spice MMDC3893_BlackPPKAHERGYEMMCX4061_LagoonMMCX4388_TurqMMCX4305_TurqMMCX4376_Lagoon  MMCX2897_LagoonMMCX2897_Gray MMCX4253_LagoonMMCX3137_LagoonMMCX3755_StoneMMDC4133_LimeMMDC3890_AquaPPMMDC4159_Blackpp MMDC4151_BlackPPMMDC4153_GrayPPMMDC4153_BlackPP MMCX3745_Clementine CX4759_Brown CX4767_Black CX4892_Haze CX4869_Haze gail-c8397-multi  ETK-11005-49

Brown Color Base

AAK-11270-237 AAK-11271-167 ACY-10753-169 ALP-10770-169 MMCX1500_SpaMMCX3295_SkyMMCX2732_AquaAAK-10392-167 RKAMN-9873-193Z RKAMN-9871-193Z  CI2897_Boy KNIT CX4528_Linen  AAK-11271-167 EIP-11018-215CX4529_Linen EIP-11174-167 AIT-11860-169 ALP-11341-192 AKQ-11539-16 AKQ-11547-16

So, let’s start by figuring out what type of items to put in your baby boy basket.  The possibilities are endless—you’re only limited by your fabric stash and your time.  Here’s some ideas:

BURP CLOTHS

millie7

There are a several different kinds of burp cloths you can make.  I’ve made them all.  However,  this tutorial is by far my favorite.

Bottom Band

Crap I’ve Made Boutique Burp Cloth Tutorial

Fabric Covered

Prudent Baby’s DIY Burp Cloths

Center Band

Chickpea Sewing Studio Burp Cloth Tutorial

Diary of a Quilter Burp Cloth Tutorial

Just Another Hang Up Easy Burp Cloths

Fat Quarter Burp Rags by Diamonds, Fur and Laundry

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A while back, I came up with an idea for a better burp cloth.  I drew out the pattern, but never tried it.  I’m lazy like that.  Perhaps you can use it and then patent it.

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Oh, and how clever is See Kate Sew’s Bucket O’ Burpees?  Love it!

BIBS

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Bib come in so many different shapes and styles.  There are small teething bibs, large square bibs, and appliqué bibs.  Also there are several ways to fasten bibs—tie strings, snaps, buttons, and Velcro.  Or you can simple make one that slips over the baby’s head with either ribbed knit fabric or enclosed elastic.  When I’m pressed for time, I just embroider cute sayings on purchased blank bibs I pick up at the discount children’s store.

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However, when I have to do something for a special occasion (such as a Christening), I take out the silk shantung fabric…even if it’s for a boy…LOL!

Tipnut’s Baby Bib Patterns and Tutorials

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Appliquéd Bibs from a Spoonful of Sugar

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Lots of Pink Here’s Boutique Style Bib Tutorial

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Sew She Sews Bib Tutorial

Zaaberry’s Scrappy Bib

Just Another Hang Up’s Pocket Bib

Catch-All Laminated Bib by Make It and Love It

Bapron (Baby Apron) from Craftiness is Not Optional

Easy Make – Easy Clean Bib from Sew Can Do

Fold n Go Travel Bib from B is for Boy

BLANKETS

Three Blankets from Sew4Home

Simply Blanket from Feathered Nest

Monogrammed Baby Blanket with Mitered Corners from Pink Suede Shoe

CLOTHING

Crap I’ve Made Appliqué Onesie

Baby Sleep Sack from Running with Scissors

Perfect Diaper Cover from MADE by Rae

Little Gentleman’s Faux Vest Onesie from B is for Boy

DIY Necktie Onesie from Haute Apple Pie

Newborn Overalls from Mad Quilter

Top Knot Baby Hat from Prudent Baby

DIY John John from Growing Home

Reversible John John from Growing Home

Baby Kimono Wrap from Bettsy Kingston

ACCESSORIES

Binky Clip Tutorial from Baby Night Night Boutique

Binky Clip Tutorial from Creations by Kara

Binky Leash from Sew4Home

Pacifier Clip from MADE by Rae

Changing Pad Cover from Prudent Baby

Changing Pad and Wipes Holder from Cluck, Cluck, Sew

Simple Changing Pad from Blissfully Content

Infant Scratch Mittens from Home Sweet Homebodies

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Hope this gives you some ideas for the boys!  Now get sewing!

With Friendship,

lisa2

Show Me Your Sewing UFOs and PHDs

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Source:  PhD Decal

An article from Threads Magazine got me thinking about Sewing UFOs (Unfinished Objects) and PHDs (Projects Half Done).  l recently reorganized my sewing studio and came upon a bunch of sewing projects I didn’t finish for one reason or another.ufocart

I had to decide which UFOs and PhDs might actually get completed.  I had a pile of over 30 different projects.  There was absolutely no way I would ever tackle them all.  So I sorted them into 3 piles:

1.  FINISH – These projects would be my sewing projects for the next few months.  Most of these were either important or nearly completed.

2.  REUSE – Most of these projects were barely started.  The fabrics for these could be put back in my fabric stash and used for another project.

3.  DUMP – These projects were ones that went terribly wrong or no longer held any interest.  Out in the garbage they went.

Once I sorted through my pile, I evaluated each of the 13 projects that made the cut.  Here’s what I ended up with:

ufo1 

UFO #1

Project:  My Godchild’s Bedding which includes a Queen Size Quilt, 2 Pillow Shams, Dust Ruffle, Throw Pillows and Doll Bedding.  This is a massive project that I started at least 2 years ago.

Problem:  This project was first delayed, because the fabric had been discontinued and it took me more than 3 months to locate enough yardage.  But that was only part of the problem.  See, I don’t know how to quilt, nor do I really want to learn.  And then there’s the Queen Dust Ruffle:  ‎630 inches aka 52.5 feet aka 17.5 yards = panel of fabric I had to sew together to make the Queen Dust Ruffle. Did I mention it’s a one-way directional print?  That’s 14 sections. And honestly, the thought of having to gather 630 inches is a bit overwhelming to me.  Lastly, I have to find some oversized sheeting material for the Dust Ruffle deck (base) that is at least 80 inches wide.

Progress:  So far, I’ve only completed two throw pillows (a ruffled one and a print one) and some doll bedding.  This week, I managed to cut, serge and sew all 14 sections of the fabric together for the Queen Dust Ruffle.  I smartened up and solved the oversized sheeting problem by purchasing a Queen Dust Ruffle for $13 to use for the base.  I ripped off the tailored bed skirt and serged the raw edges of the base.

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Plan:  Once I gather the 630 inches of fabric, I’ll attach it to the base for the Dust Ruffle.  For the Queen Quilt, I found a great tutorial on Sew4Home for a Queen Duvet.  I’m going to use the diagram to make the quilt top.  Then I’ll send it out to be quilted and bound (because if I don’t, it will never get done).

Probability:  High.  Serious Guilt Factor.

ufo2 

UFO #2

Project:  Four Embroidered Bath Towels and 4 Embroidered Hand Towels for my Sister-in-Law.  This project started 5 years ago when my Sister-in-Law asked me to make her some embroidered towels for her bathroom.  I finally purchased the blank towels this past Christmas.  Gave her them all gift-wrapped and then took them from her.

Problem:  My son busted my dongle (necessary key) for my embroidery software, so I had to order a new one from Husqvarna Viking (which took about 3 months to receive).

Progress:  Washed towels to shrink before embroidering.  No other progress.

Plan:  Need to design a monogram in my embroidery software, test it and then stitch it out on the towels.

Probability:  Medium.  Will become a high priority as we get closer to Christmas.

ufo3

UFO #3

Project:  Silk Curtains for the Bagel Store

Problem:  This project is stalled until my BFF decides what height she wants to hang her curtain rods.

Progress:  All that I need to do is sew the headers and bottom hems.

Plan:  I’ll sew the headers while I wait for her to hang the curtain rods.  That way all I have to do is sew the hems when she’s ready.

Probability:  High.

 ufo4

UFO #4

Project:  Baby Ruffle Pants, Baby Shirt and coordinating Burp Cloths.

Problem:  After spending time on this project, I find out the recipient is having had a BOY!  FML.

Progress:  I finished these Baby Ruffle Pants.

Plan:  To figure out what to make for the baby boy.  Something Blue.

Probability:  Pink – Low.  Blue – High.

ufo5

UFO #5

Project:  When my 9-year-old son outgrew his favorite Yankee shirt, I thought it would be perfect to make him a simple pillow out of the fabric.  That was more than a year ago.

Problem:  I could not bring myself to throw out my son’s $27 NY Yankees baseball shirt.  Only problem is I’m too lazy to just get it done.

Progress:  None.

Plan:  Cut out a square and sew it up next time I have Gray thread in my serger.

Probability:  Low.

ufo6

UFO #6

Project: In order to get my sizing perfect for this Christening Dress, I made two other silk bodices.

Problem:  I simply couldn’t throw the unused bodices out in the trash…so they need to become baby dresses.

Progress:  None.

Plan:  None at the moment.

Probability:  Very low.

ufo7

UFO #7

Project:  This turquoise silk was supposed to become a beautiful little girl’s dress.  I dyed the purchased entredeux and some vintage lace bright orange. 

Problem:  I was new to sewing entredeux, so it didn’t come out perfect like I had pictures.

Progress:  I recently purchased a beautiful soft orange netting to use as an underskirt for this dress.

Plan:  To daydream some more about this magnificent creation in my head.

Probability:  Someday I might finish this dress, but don’t count on it.

ufo8

UFO #8

Project:  I started this silk baby jacket back in September 2007…umm, that’s 4 years ago to match the silk baby bottoms.

Problem:  I got the pattern from the Baby Couture book (and no, I don’t recommend buying this book–it’s one of the worst I’ve seen for children’s garment construction).  The collar pattern was so wonky that I trashed it.

Progress:  The base of the jacket is sewn.

Plan:  Hem the sleeves and the bottom of the jacket.  Then draft a new collar pattern and finally finish this jacket. 

Probability:  Yeah right.

ufo9

UFO #9

Project:  Started these two pairs of girl’s capris probably more than 5 years ago.

Problem:  Took so long for me to get them half-done that they no longer fit my daughter.

Progress:  Solid black pair needs waistband casing, elastic and bottom hem.  Polka dot pair only needs elastic in the waist.

Plan:  Complete them for another recipient.

Probability:  Medium.

ufo10

UFO #10

Project:  Started this peasant top for my Godchild when she was a size 2T.  She’s now a size 6x/7.

Problem:  The arm elastic was too tight for her.

Progress:  All I needed to do was gather the ruffle, attach it to the bottom and topstitch it. Complete!

Plan:  To give this top to another little girl.

Probability:  DONE!

ufo11

UFO #11

Project:  Three pair of boys pants done with the exception of the inseam and bottom hem.

Problem:  Too many projects.  Easily distracted.

Progress:  Inseams done on two pair now.

Plan:  Finish 3rd pair of inseam and hem all 3 pants.

Probability:  Medium.

ufo12

UFO #12

Project:  I started this boy’s beach shirt in May 2007.

Problem:   It’s done…only need to add 5 snaps.  Talk about lazy!

Progress:  None.

Plan:  To attach the 5 snaps.

Probability:  Low.

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UFO #13

Project:  Silk Christmas dress for my Godchild.

Problem:  She didn’t like it.  That and I hate doing buttonholes.

Progress:  Need to make buttonholes and attach rhinestone buttons.

Plan:  To wait to find the right recipient before attaching buttons (to ensure perfect fit).

Probability:  Medium.

Ok…so there you have…my shameful UFOs and PhDs.  So tell me, how bad is your pile?  What keeps you from finishing yours?

lisasiggie

Cake Push Up Pops and a Prom

CAKE PUSH UP POPS

pushuppops

Had to get together a quick dessert for the Pre-Prom party.  Quick like as in within an hour.  I had ordered some disposable plastic push-up pop containers a month ago and figured it was time to test them out.

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Here’s a list of places to find them in larger quantities.  However, head on over to Etsy.com or Ebay.com if you just need a dozen or two.

JB Prince

Laguana Wholesale

Culinary Direct (I think they have the best prices)

Martellatousa

Cake Deco via Amazon

Push Pop Containers

Pastry Chef Central

cakepops

Now you can bake little cupcakes in mini muffin pans, but I took whatever shortcut I could.  I went into my local supermarket’s Bakery department and asked them to give me a small vanilla sheet cake without frosting.  I also picked up Jell-O Vanilla and Chocolate Pudding, some fresh Strawberries and a few cans of Whipped Cream.

Brought it all home and used my cake leveler thingy to slice the cake in half.  I then used the round part of the plunger of the push-up pop as my template to cut out small circles from the sheet cakes (got the idea from Kathy).  Worked like a charm!

I was about to put the pudding in a Ziploc bag and cut a hole at the end to fill the push-up pops.  But then I remembered I had a nifty Pampered Chef Easy Accent Decorator in my arsenal.  Yeah me!  You could also just use a disposable pastry bag.

I alternated layers of cake, pudding and strawberries.  Then I put them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Right before I was walking out the door to the party, I added a little whipped cream on the top and some sprinkles.  Done!

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Here’s some ideas for your Push-Up Pops:

Triple Rainbow Push-Up Cakes

Gourmet Mom on the Go Fireworks

Sugar Bee’s Frozen Yogurt Pops

More Gourmet Mom on the Go

Firefly Confection’s Watermelon Pops

Party Animal’s Rainbow Jello

Party Animal’s Hot Fudge Brownies

Cupcake Project Cupcakes

Cupcake Project’s Key Lime

Love From the Oven Peeps

Brandy K’s Rainbow Push Cakes

Laguna’s Recipes

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Now you could buy expensive push-up pop holders like these:

JB Prince

Culinary Direct

Pastry Chef Central

But unless you are really fancy, there just no need!  You can have your handy husband drill some holes halfway into a piece of wood.  Or if you don’t have a handy husband, just get a piece of Styrofoam and poke holes in it with a screwdriver (like I did).

If you have a lot of time on your hands, you could easily cover the Styrofoam with either shredded paper grass or wrapping paper.

The cake push-up pops were a hit!  Next time I will make cute decals for them with my Silhouette Electronic Cutting Machine and even tie some pretty bows on them.

Oh and in case you didn’t know, these push up pop containers are WASHABLE and REUSABLE.  But how do you stop guests from NOT throwing them in the trash?

PROM PRINCESS

marielleprom1

Grabbed a few quick pics of Marielle leaving for her HS Prom.  The dress fit like a glove.  So glad it all went smoothly.  Between her arguing with friends and dumping her boyfriend two weeks before the prom, I didn’t think it was going to happen.  But luckily, everything worked out and she’s having a blast down the NJ Shore over the next few days.

promzilla 

Between the dress, hair, make-up application, jewelry, prom tickets, limo costs, tanning, waxing, new teeth, NYC party, NJ shore party money and eyelash extensions, it’s lucky I didn’t go broke.

When I graduated high school, it wasn’t cool to go to the Prom.  My friends and I chipped in for a keg of beer and partied down at the beach.  How times how changed!

lisasiggie

Sewing Here and Around the Web

SEW PARALYZED

Good news…darling daughter decided she didn’t need me to add a slit to her lined sequined prom gown.  Whew!  But I still had to hem it…both the lining and the dress itself.  Easy enough, I thought.  Wrong again.

Now-Panic-and-Freak-Out

See, I have a habit of “imagining” I have these advance sewing skills.  In my mind, I tell myself, “No problem.  I can easily do that.”  But then reality sets in (usually the night before a deadline) and I panic.  Often I am paralyzed with fear of screwing up.  I have thoughts of ruining the fabric with a slip of the rotary cutter, hemming something too short, or any number of things that can’t be fixed.  Truth is I’m usually winging it…trial and error (with mostly errors).  But last night, I had to suck it up and get it done.

The satin lining had a scalloped rolled hem.  I needed to take off about an inch.  Being that I’ve never perfected the rolled hem, I opted to finish the raw edge with a 4-thread overlock stitch, press up the hem and do a simple edge stitch.  It came out decent enough for a slip (no one is going to inspect it, I hope).

sequinfabricnightmare 

Next dilemma…trying to mark a cutting line on the sequin/beaded gown.  You simple cannot mark this fabric with anything…I tried chalk (which just made a mess of my cutting table) and  tape (I couldn’t curve it).  Neither solution worked.

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Then I got the bright idea to baste the cutting line on my sewing machine.  I used blue painter’s tape to mark the 4 inches distance for the basting.  Basting such thin fabric just ended up making it gather randomly.  I tried doing it on the sewing machine, but kept breaking needles (even metallic/sharp needles).  At this point, all I wanted to do was stick a needle in my eye.sequin4

I decided to just “eyeball” it.  Not perfect, but good enough.  I cut away all the sequins and beads in the path of the needle and did a 3-thread rolled hem on the serger. Worked pretty good.  And she’ll only be wearing the dress for 3 or 4 hours.  Then the gown will be thrown in the bottom of her suitcase never to be worn again.sequin5

I have to spend today cleaning up the mess the darn sequins and beads made.  They are everywhere!  Never again will I sew with this type of fabric.  I detest it.

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But really…it could have been so much worse.  Originally, she wanted me to alter this teal sequin gown (pictured above) from my wedding (20 years ago!!!).  It’s fully sequined, lined and has boning.  Thankfully, she picked out the brown sequin gown and it’s done!  I’ll post pictures of her in the brown gown tomorrow after prom.

SEWING AROUND THE WEB

giant scissors baileys home and garden dot com

Here’s an easier way to sew an elastic casing:  Elastic Casing

Luvininthemommyhood posted about How the Heck to Buy and Choose a Sewing Machine

Wildflowers and Whimsy has a great Bustle Back Dress Tutorial posted.

Pam Enry (one of the most talented shirt makers around) shows us how to sew a designer elasticated casing.

Laurie Anderson shares a great Lace Insertion Tutorial.

Check out Dawn’s (Olabelhe) new sewing room!!!  WOW!

Happy Sewing!

With friendship,

Lisa

inchetap

Sewing Mojo Continues

THE SEWING MOJO CONTINUES

dianacurtainshem

Trying hard to keep the sewing momentum going!  So far, so good.

Tuesday I spent most of the morning in the sewing room trying to put a dent in the silk curtains.  Pressing up side hems and stitching them down.  Boring.  Yep…but it’s got to be done.  Sewing isn’t always glamorous.  LOL

I still need to I finish the top headers and will have to wait until the curtain rods are hung at the store to determine the exact length needed.  I put the silk curtains in the UFO pile.  They’ll just have to wait for another day the deadline.

rufflebutt

On Wednesday, I decided I needed something fun to sew.  Those silk curtains were sucking the life out of me.  I purchased this cute Baby Ruffle Pants pattern by Bettsy Kingston.  I like that there was an additional additional technique on her website.  However, because I’m a genius, I decided on a completely different construction technique.

elastichem

I first serged the pant leg openings, stitched on the elastic, flipped the pant leg seam in and stitched it down to the wrong side…all the time stretching the elastic while I sewed.  I thought it would be much easier to sew the elastic in the pants legs while flat.  Not easier…just faster.

I then made the ruffle strips (rolled hem edges) and gathered them to fit the pants.  It was then I realized the ruffles were not full enough.  That’s probably because I didn’t bother measuring exactly how long I would need them. Typical Diva disaster.

ruffler

No big deal.  I’ll use the first ruffles to embellish a matching baby top or dress.  So on Thursday,  I made another bunch of ruffles on my sewing machine using my ruffler foot and made them extra long so I’d have plenty of ruffles to fit.

rufflesfinsihed

See…now that’s some ruffles!  I had to admire them all day Friday.

bloomers

Then today, I once again, deviated from the instructions.  Instead of stitching the top ruffle first, I opted to start from the bottom ruffle and work my way up to the top ruffle.  The reason being, both long edges of the ruffles have rolled hems and it’s not necessary to attach right sides together, flip and topstitch.  If I was working with an unfinished edge, I would have followed the instructions.  Well, probably not, because I’m a rebel like that.

I was pleased with the way the ruffled bloomers came out.  Aren’t they stinkin’ cute?  My feeling is one can never overdo ruffles.

brownsequingown

Now onto the next sewing adventure.  I really need to get serious here.  My daughter just handed me her lined sequined prom gown and requested that add a slit up the leg and hem it 4 inches.  That would be good and fine is I knew how to do it.  I am so going to have to wing this.  Anyone have ANY experience working with sequins and linings?  I’m desperate.  Oh and she needs it for Wednesday.  Yep.  That’s a mere 4 days from now.  HELP!!!

SEWING AROUND THE WEB

The Train to Crazy’s Children’s Summer Clothes Tutorial Roundup has tons of great links!  Check it out!

seamallowanceguide

Look at this clever sewing invention…it’s a Seam Allowance Guide for your scissors!

rty-guide

Did you know about the Olfa Rotary Arm Guide for rotary cutting?  I must live under a rock.

With friendship,

Lisa

divawelcomemat

Everyone Went to Quilt Market, But Me. However, you can WIN a FREE SEWING BOOK!

CONTEST CLOSED!  WE HAVE A WINNER:

Enter a number:

I want a number between 1 and 87

Result:  17

AUSTINA BOSCO WINS A COPY OF MARY’S NEW BOOK!  (Austina – please email me your mailing address so the publisher can get your copy out to you!)

Thanks to everyone for your kind words and playing along!

dressg

I really wanted to go to Quilt Market.  My Mary premiered her new book, Little Girls, Big Style and I wasn’t there.

mary2

With just 4 patterns included in the book, you can sew 23 little girl boutique garments!  How clever!

marya1

I may have missed Quilt Market…BUT then last week, two packages arrived from Mary.  The first, some Bangerang Cupcakes in a Jar!  YUMMY!

marya2 

But even better, an autographed copy of the book from Mary!  I thought I’d died and gone to Heaven!

marya3 

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, I see Mary has mentioned ME, “Acknowledgements:  The amazing Lisa Carroccio (aka The Diva) was with me every step of the way.  Her guidance, input, and advice were invaluable, and I am blessed to have her as a mentor and a friend.”  Awww!  Love You, Mary!

dressf

I immediately knew exactly what I was going to sew first—a hot pink Silk Shantung party dress!  Seems she knew I would make the party dress, too…LOL!  Mary primarily works in 100% cotton fabrics, but I was up for a challenge.  Anyway, nothing screams “party” like Silk Shantung and tests the accuracy of a pattern.  Silk is not so forgiving.

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I used the pattern for the Perfect Party Dress.  However, instead of cutting just 23 inches for each skirt panel, I pushed the limit and cut 53 inches for each.  Yeah, I’m a rebel.  That gave me a skirt circumference a whopping 106 inches!!!

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I made some citron green silk spider web roses (tutorial HERE), attached them to a matching sash (which ties in a big honkin’ bow at the back) and added sparkly rhinestone button centers.

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The sash was easy to make.  I measured the width of the entire bodice, added the length of the skirt and then doubled that measurement.  I took that measurement and cut a 3 inch wide strip of silk.  I interfaced the center of the sash to give it strength to hold the roses.  Then topstitched the entire sash and added the roses and rhinestone buttons.

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The dress went together so easily.  I think it took me under 2 hours!  What a simple pattern.  The instructions were a breeze to follow! 

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Whether you use silk, cotton or a flat bed sheet like I did for another dress I made, you are only limited by your own imagination and creativity!

Ok…you’ve been patient letting me ramble and gush over Mary and her new book.  Now for the good news—C & T Publishing/Stash Books is giving away a FREE COPY of Mary’s book EVERYDAY until December 15th!

To win a copy, just POST IN MY COMMENT SECTION BELOW.  I’ll pick a lucky winner’s name on Thursday, December 9th!

And if you don’t win a copy on my blog, be sure to do a little blog hopping to enter to win a copy at the following blogs:

 

12/7 Susan http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com
12/8 Jessica
http://juicy-bits.typepad.com
12/9 Penny
http://sewtakeahike.typepad.com
12/10 Daria
http://boutiquecafe.com
12/11 Rashida
http://iheartlinen.com
12/12 Kristin
http://sewmamasew.com/blog2
12/13 Jona
http://jonag.typepad.com
12/14 Kim
http://trueup.net
12/15 Bari
http://barij.typepad.com

If you aren’t one of the lucky book winners or your just too impatient, you can BUY the book from Stash Publications/CT.

Happy Sewing!

lisasiggie

Sew Reliable Iron Velocity V50 Review

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Last month my Conair Craft Iron had to be retired.  I was quite fond of it as it was one of the few irons which had an auto shut-off override.  However, after a few short months, it started leaking on my beautiful silk shantung fabric.  It was time to shop for a new iron.

Off to the store I went where I found a mid-priced Rowenta iron.  Nice and heavy.  Brought it home, plugged it in, filled it with water and within minutes all the water started leaking out of the handle!  Not sure if I got a defective one or not.  How disappointing!  Right back to the store it went.

Then I remembered how Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator raved about her Reliable iron.  She even blogged about how to buy commercial pressing equipment here and here.  Now granted, her pressing set-up is something I drool over hope to have someday, but that someday is not just yet.  I needed a solid household iron that didn’t ruin my fabrics.

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Off to the Reliable website I went in search of an iron.  I was debating between the Reliable Velocity V50 and the Digital Velocity V100 irons.  I Googled the irons to see reviews from consumers and came across Reliable’s Facebook Fan Page.  Reliable was having a contest to win a Velocity V50 iron!

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To enter, you simply had to post a comment to finish the sentence, “Ironing…”  After deep thought, I posted, “Ironing takes the wrinkles out of my day!”  And guess what?  I WON!!!

My prize arrived a few days later and I immediately put it to the test.  What’s cool about it is it has two heating elements which give you continuous steam! And they are not kidding.  This baby steamed like no other household iron I’ve ever owned.  Holy Cannoli!  I felt like I won the lottery.

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The Steam Ready feature allows you to iron continuously without the auto shut off feature.  This is a necessity for those who sew.

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Now you’re thinking to yourself…this iron only has 7 steam holes, right?  Don’t be fooled into thinking the more steam holes the better.  Nope.  These 7 holes put out more steam in a concentrated area than those that have 3 times as many holes.  We’re talking some serious steam action here.

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Being a Southpaw Left-Handed Diva, I was happy to see this iron has both Left and right hand steam activation buttons.  Smart thinking Mr. Reliable.

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The V50 has 4 temperature settings.  All you do it push the center button to select a specific fabric setting.  It blinks while it heats up and then gives you a solid light when it has reached the desired temperature.

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My freshly laundered Halloween placemats never look good enough to put on the table right out of the dryer.  Because they are made with thick cotton, the corners tend to curl up.

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A quick pass and the use of the continuous steam feature were quite impressive.  Tada!  Watch out Martha!  Oh wait…Martha is still using that vintage Mangle ironing contraption.  LOL!  Maybe I should tell her about this awesome iron.  Nah…she can read about it in the September issue of Oprah’s “O” Magazine.  It made the “O List!”

I wonder if Jessica Jones (How About Orange) has one of these Velocity V50 irons.  She really should.

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No matter how much I steamed my fabric, not a drop of water leaked.  Not one single drop!

There is only one thing I’d change about this iron…it should come in PINK to match my sewing room.  Only kidding.  Well, not really.  LOL

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lisasiggie

Disclaimer:  I won the Reliable V50 iron from entering a contest on Reliable’s Facebook Fan Page.  I was not asked to review or promote said prize.  My opinions and reviews are that of my own free will.

Sew Red

After my post, Sew You Need a Personal Shopper, last week with all the PINK goodies, Lynn asked for REDAnyone who knows me, knows I can’t stand RED.  There is absolutely no RED in my garden, wardrobe, home and even at Christmas time.

However, being the wonderful sewing friend I am, I’ve collected all the great RED sewing items on the web.  Enjoy!

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Check out this adorable Vintage Red Child’s Sewing Machine!

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Ooooh!  Here’s a Miniature Vintage Sewing Machine, too!

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Heck, bet you don’t have a Miniature Sewing Machine LIGHTER!

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Found this Vintage Red Spool Holder (even thought I think it’s really a poker chip holder).

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What’s a sewing room without Vintage Red Scissors?

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You could use this memory card case to store sewing machine and serger feet!

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This Red Tupperware Case would always work!

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Check out this awesome Red Metal Doll Accessories Trunk!  You could store your sewing notions and trims in it.

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Or if you wanted something smaller, these Vintage Red Sewing Tins would be perfect.

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How about this cute Red Velvet Cake Pincushion?

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Or an adorable Red Velvet Tomato Pincushion?

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Even better, a Red Velvet Shoe Pincushion with a secret storage compartment for thread.

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Of course, you’ll need Red Pearl Pins for your pincushion

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and Red Heart Pins for your bulletin board.

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Although a Bingo Chip Collector would do the same as this Red Magic Pin Collector, this is made by Singer (so you’re supporting the sewing industry).

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What’s a sewing room without a Red Sewing Tape Measure which reads, “LIVE LARGE!”

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And you can jot down all your measurements or design a new quilt with this Red Quilt Happy Notebook!

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This Red Train Case / Sewing Box could store all your hand sewing projects.

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Even better, this Vintage Red Sewing Box would hold the mother load of sewing items.

needlegrabber

Of course, you’ll need some Red Needle Grabbers for hand sewing.

recordbox

What about a Vintage Red Record Box?  You could use it to store your sewing patterns!

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Singer even makes a RED Dress Form!

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Look at this luscious Red Silk Velvet Fabric

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and this Red Silk Dupioni!  I could think of a hundred things to make with these fabrics!

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You’ll also need some Red Velvet Gathered Trim,

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Red Velvet Trim with Sequins

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and some Red Gingham Elastic Trim, too!

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If you’re a fabric hoarder, these Red Storage Crates would be perfect!

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What sewing room is complete without a Red Crystal Chandelier?  You’re welcome!  LOL

Oh…came across a post about Things I’ve Learned From Sewing at 2:00 a.m. that I just have to share with all of you. Hilarious!

lisasiggie

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