Friday, July 3, 2009

Yesterday, I needed to sew and finish three tops to be photographed for my website Flickr Gallery. I got a late start and was concerned that I would not be able to get them done in time to get them uploaded before we had scheduled the e mail to be sent.

I was glad that I was working in a clean and organized studio, due to the fact that I had a sewing class last week and have another scheduled for next Thursday. I at least had that going for me-usually I can't see the table top, and that kind of clutter slows me down.

Anyway, I trimmed my patterns with my brand new scissors, choose the fabrics and started cutting! In the meantime, I heated up my gravity feed iron that was already filled with water, saw that both the serger and sewing machine had the proper color thread, and remembered that I had just put in new needles and oiled both machines! Great!

After all the pieces were cut out I sat down and got started sewing. I was in a hurry and had no time to waste! I soon realized that even though I designed and wrote the sewing directions for the tops, I had already made a sewing mistake! Good grief, I didn't have time for this! So, after I pulled out the stitches (grrrr!!!!) I decided that I had better read my own instructions! Good idea!

After that, the tops went together very well, and I enjoyed working with the fabrics. It was fun! I finished in record time, photographed and uploaded them with time to spare! Whew!

After the e mail was sent and I could breath again, I thought about how well the day went. I realized that it was due all the things I have mentioned. I had room to work, was not frustrated trying to find things, I didn't have to fool around with my equipment, and after I read the sewing instructions even the garment construction was easy.

So, was it was one of those days when the planets were aligned perfectly, or did I actually make that happen? All I know is that I will try to keep the sewing studio clean, read instructions before sitting at the sewing machine and remember to have fun!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Here are photos of another one of my sweet little dresses. This one is especially cute because the organdy pinafore is separate. It buttons onto the front of the dress with little pearl buttons.

The workmanship in this dress is beautiful. I would not want to sew this, it would take me forever to accomplish this kind of detail work, especially on such a small scale. I have such appreciation and respect for people who sew.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am really looking forward to spending a long weekend with two girlfriends at the tip of the thumb of Michigan. Just remember that Michigan is shaped like a mitten and you will see! This gorgeous sunset is one that I enjoyed there last September and I am happy to be going back again. My girlfriends that I am going with I met because of sewing.

This is yet another reason that I love my job! I may always struggle to get the bills paid, but the friends I have made through sewing are priceless. My girlfriends (you know who you are!) and I will spend our weekend walking on the beach, cooking and eating great food, drinking good (ok, great!) wine, enjoying beautiful scenery, contemplative sunsets and talking about what else....sewing, fabric, clothes, fit, patterns, magazines, books....and life in general. How nice it will be to hang with like-minded people! And, this is just what I think might happen! Oh, the possibilities!

I am so happy and grateful to be in a business that gives me the chance to meet and make friends with the nicest people in the world. The fun time I look forward to this weekend is brought to me by great is that?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How cute is this dress???? I am glad that my mom saved some of my baby dresses. I had so much fun today pressing them and fussing over them. This is just one of a half dozen adorable dresses that I will post.
I have always known that underneath it all, my mom has had an enormous impact on my life. I always tease her that my underwear matched my outfits, and although she denies it, I still beleive it to be true!
It has been her influence from an apparent early age, that I have an eye for beautiful things. I am so grateful for that, because that is why I am able to do what I do. And from what I understand my grandmother had it too!
So, when I explain to people that I just have to have that piece of fifty dollar a yard fabric, all I can say it that I come by it naturally!
By the way, my dress is silk organdy! Naturally!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I love to knit! Socks are a favorite of mine and I usually always have a pair on the needles. This is a pair I knitted for my friend Owen. They are knitted using a wonderful cotton/LYCRA yarn.
I had a little trouble getting gauge because of the stretch in the yarn, but once I got used to it it was great fun!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This week I have learned that things don't have to be so complicated.
Being the independent type (to say the least), I was recently suprised to find myself very dependent on others. I realized that I was relying too heavily on other people to do certain tasks for me that I had not wanted to do myself in the past.
Having my own business means that I have to wear many different hats, most of which I like...when I have time for them. Over the last ten or so years, I delegated jobs to a variety of support professionals, ie. book keepers, graphic designers, web designers, illustrators, IT guys, computer techs etc., so that I could spend my time on the creative end of the business. I used to be able to do just enough of that type of work myself to get by.
Well, anyway, all of a sudden, like the light bulb coming on, I realized that a few of these jobs were not being done with my best interest in mind.
I understand everyone needs to make a living, and no one wants to shoot themselves in the foot by giving out too much information, but...
To make a long story short, I took over some of the jobs that I paid people to do for me, and I realized that with a little effort on my part, I could accomplish the tasks quite simply myself! Not only that, but it is empowering to know that I am in control of certain things again.
I was always proud of the fact that I had done every job that I ever hired someone to do for me. I felt that part of my success was based on that fact, so it really upset me that I had let things get so out of my hands.
I am glad that the time between my paralyzing realizations and my awareness of self was short lived. I am very lucky to have good friends that came to my emotional rescue and set me back on safe ground. You know who you are!
Simplicity within the details is my mantra for the creative end of my business, and now I will strive for it everyday on the other end.
Check out my website.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This is my best friend in the studio! I have had this Brother serger for more than 25 years, and it is still going strong, just like new. It is very dependable, and consistently does beautiful 4-thread stitching.

Being an industrial serger the clutch motor is underneath the machine. It sits in a large table, which makes it difficult to move, but a machine like this is SO much cheaper/better/faster than the home sewing market sergers. If you have a permanent home for one you will love it!

It has a small presser foot that allows you to see what you are sewing. Best of all, it enable you to turn and serge a 90 degree corner without cutting off the fabric first! You can, of course, serge with 3 threads/one needle, and do a rolled hem. Another great feature is that it is very quiet and smooth running.

The next time you need/want a new machine, think about purchasing industrial equipment. Used industrial equipment is very dependable and serviceable. You will not be disappointed, and you will have $$ left over for fabric!!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Good Monday

Today in the studio, I took pictures of new print fabrics for my spring/summer collection. These fabrics are very fun, unique and wearable. View all the fabrics on my website

They are Rayon/LYCRA "ITY" fabrics. The ITY stands for Interlock Twist Yarns. All we need to know about that is that it makes these fabrics drape incredibly well. It won't cling, does not wrinkle and will feel wonderful on your body.

The garments you make with this fabric will be the same ones you see at Saks for hundreds of dollars. It feels rich! A wrap dress comes instantly to mind.

There are also two very unique ruffled, block print fabrics from a new resource in Quebec. The one draped on the mannequin above is a beauty. They are just a taste from this fabric source that will be a main supplier for my fall/winter fabric collection. Their fabrics are beyond gorgeous and the quality is impeccable.

I am looking forward to being a part of the redesign of my website this Friday. I will learn to make changes and updates myself and hope to make the site look and feel more like "me"!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What To Wear

Here is the cover illustration for my newest sewing pattern called Travel Trio One. I make my living as a clothing designer and pattern maker for the home sewing market. This is the first in a series of patterns designed with style, comfort, and ease of sewing in mind.

These patterns, as with most of my patterns, are designed using LYCRA blend knit fabrics. The fabrics that I sell are the same, awesome knit fabrics that you find in your favorite stores.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's all new to me!

It is exciting for me to be at the beginning of a new project. Having my own blog will be a way for me to keep track of my experiences, both in my work as a designer/patternmaker and my personal life.
I have never been good at keeping a diary or writing things down for that matter, so I am hoping that this format will intrigue me enough to post often.
So, check in often to see what's going on in my design studio, and out in my world!