Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Telltale 30 before THIRTY

I've been wanting to make a "30 before 30" list for a while but I just kept forgetting. Now that I'm 26.5, I figured I better get to it if I want to be able to put down some big BUT tangible plans out there. I'm pretty sure I will be able to do most of them, I just want the list to keep me accountable. So let's get to it!

Friday, January 13, 2017

I finally made McCall's 6886

A few months ago I was invited to attend the wedding of a friend of mine and I knew I wanted to make a new dress for it. I already had 3 weddings to attend that I was wearing handmade garments to, so why not this one too?! I knew I wasn't going to have time to do a lot of fitting or work with a pattern with tons of style lines and features so I decided I was going to go with a VERY simple pattern and use a standout fabric.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A story about "Hot Needle &Thread" - Ometa A. Bowen

My grandparents! Grandma wearing a dress she made :-)

When I first started sewing in 2013, I was under the general impression that I was the first one in my family to really pick up the trade. My mom alluded to having done it in the past and told me she had a machine somewhere in the basement (that we found and I use) but I had never seen her or anyone else in my family ever sew a stitch. The more I got into it and started bring my machine to my aunt's house, my grandmother would just observe me, make a comment here or there mentioning that she used to sew, and then go back to observing.  It wasn't until I started walking in the house with dresses I made, affirmatively answering someone who would ask, "Tasha, did you make that?", that she started giving me "Back in my day" stories! She would say "I used to sew alllll my clothes!" and I would give her this "yea, okay" smirk and keep it moving. lol Little did I know, that my grandmother had mad skills before generations after her were even a thought!

My grandmother, Ometa, was raised in the Canal Zone in Panama when the US had control of the Panama Canal. She and her family grew up with little to no money so she was no stranger to the "make do with what you have" mentality. She used to tell me about how they would eagerly await packages from America with food and school supplies and that is what they lived off of. Even after meeting my grandfather in Panama City and starting a family, they were still living in poverty and had to do what they had to do to survive. I came to find out, she did in fact make ALLLLL of her outfits. Mostly because they didn't have money to buy clothes. Basically, if she didn't make something to put on, she wouldn't have had anything. She became so skilled, story has it that she would get some fabric in the morning and have an entire party outfit ready by the evening to go out! She picked up the nickname "Hot Needle & Thread" because of her speed.

My mom tells me that every Easter, my grandmother would get the fabric on Saturday and sew up outfits for her 5 kids AND herself to be ready by Sunday morning.... all from scratch! No patterns, just measurements. All of her children attest to the same thing. I can't even IMAGINE being able to do that, but she did what had to be done. It sounds shocking but in those times, in that place, that was common. What an amazing legacy to be a part of.

My grandmother made all of the girls dresses in this photo for Easter... the day before! Can you guess which one my mom is?! lol

A month before she passed, I stayed over the house with her for a week while my aunt went to visit Panama. I brought all of my sewing stuff because I wanted to get a few projects done that week while I was there. I already had them cut out so she mostly saw me putting things together. The first out of 3 that I brought was my Red Bomber jacket. I will admit, I'm a pretty slow sewist- but she made sure I knew it! hahaha After the 2nd day of constructing it, she said "Uh uh! You too slow! If that was ME I woulda done sew it up, put it on & gone!" loool What made me feel good, though, was when I finally finished, I went to her room to show her and she said "WOW! If I didn't see you sit right there in front of me and make that I woulda said you nah make it! It look like it from the store!". Such a humbling compliment from an amazing seamstress-and a lady that wasn't too easily impressed (haha)!

Although my grandma isn't here anymore, I'm happy that I can follow in her footsteps and cling to this trade I love with her in mind. (Now I know why I was her favorite grandchild ;-))

Forever stitched on my heart

Grandma and Me (wearing my Christmas Refashion)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

14. Dream the Impossible Dream - Vogue 9192 | #sew16in2016

A few months ago, I booked a cruise with 14 other folks and what was bound to be a fun and interesting vacation in the midst of the cold, unpredictable weather that the nation's capital is apt to bring. At the time of booking, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a new one-piece swimsuit to take on the trip. We were to be stopping in Grand Turks, Jamaica and the Bahamas so I was ready to jump at the chance for some beachy blog photos lol. I originally wanted to make a Sophie swimsuit but figured that wouldn't really be feasible seeing as though I lacked MOST of the materials for it. I remembered Vogue 9192 and decided that I would go for it. After going through my scraps and remnant bags, I realized I not only had enough fabric for ONE view of the pattern, but that I could make TWO separate views!

Everything was great until days started passing by so quickly. Then days turned into weeks... and weeks turned into months! Next think I knew, I had one week to make 2 swimsuits AND during the week of Thanksgiving! I had two free nights during the week so I resolved to make one swimsuit on each free night. Talk about dreaming the impossible dream! lol I figured this debacle would work for number 14 on the Sew '16 Challenge. 1 pattern, 2 swimsuits, 2 nights...Let's go!

The first suit I made was View B. I used scraps of fabric from my first handmade swimsuit. I got the fabrics from Fabric Mart. The lining was from JoAnn Fabrics. I recycled the same design concept from the first one and used the print for the front and solid back for the back.

Friday, November 25, 2016

15. Nostalgia - Linen Floral Skirt | #sew16in2016

Keeping on track with my seasonal plans (even though it's 40 degrees while I'm typing this) and #sew16in2016, I got a chance to make up a skirt that was inspired by a picture that I saw on Instagram in January 2015! The "Nostalgia" category for the Sew '16 challenge is to "Look back through your old sewing notes, doodles or pinned ideas. Pick one of the earliest ideas and make it happen" .I have a "sewing inspiration" folder on Dropbox and this picture may be one of the first ones I ever took a screenshot of to mimic later.

Check out Me:


My Inspiration:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

8. Stash Stretcher - McCall's 7100 Brick Red Bomber | #sew16in2106

It's getting closer and closer to the end of the 2016 so I'm trying quickly to get in my submissions for #sew16in2016. Some will probably trickle into 2017 but that's fine with me. This post will be dedicated to Stash Stretcher: sew something entirely from stash materials, patterns, notions and all.

Back in August McCall Pattern Company announced that their next sewalong would be "The Bomber Jacket". They offered participants to sew-a-long with either Butterick 6181 or McCall's 7100 and I chose the latter; 1. Because I already had it , and 2. because I didn't want that casing of elastic. I wanted real ribbing. I cut View A in a size medium.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

October's Sewing Accumulations

Howdy! I just wanted to come share some goodies that I accumulated last month. And no I'm not doing this because I haven't been sewing lol I have been sewing and have about 3 garments so far to share but I don't know when I'll be able to get pictures so... soon come.

**Nothing in this post is sponsored
Anyway, last month I shared about some new knits I bought that broke my fabric fast. Well everytime I break a monetary fast, it's like I have spending built up in my bones that I have to get out lol. I went easy this time, though. The first thing I got wasn't even a purchase. Last month, The Tunic Bible released and there was a book tour around the sewing blogs. Each participating blog hosted a giveaway and I happened to win the giveaway over at HouseofPinheiro. I'm excited about this win because I think it will really expand my creativity and selfless sewing in a really positive way.

On to the purchases.... I have been wanting the Fabric For Fashion: The Swatch Book since Feb/Mar2015 when I visited McCall's in NY. They had one in their fabric room and I fell in love. When I came home and looked it up, I could only find one on eBay for like $1,000 and I was like heeeecccckkkkk no! lol I kept looking online from time to time seeing different prices and keeping it on my wishlist. I even used it as my wishlist pic for September's #SewPhotoHop on Instagram! After I let the grip go on my wallet last month, I took another quick look and on Amazon it was only $65! I put it in my cart SO QUICK. lol I haven't taken it out of the shrink wrap yet because I haven't really been home but I am sooo excited to get touchy feely with all of the swatches! (Now I'm mad because when I just looked it up again to link it in this post, I see a $44 option for Barnes&Noble -____-)