Fabric Purchases

A few posts ago, I talked about creating a core wardrobe including some nice boring pieces for work.
Right after that Fabric.com had an incredible sale and it just so happens that it was my payday as well.
This is what I got:

Nice and plain, right? The top piece is 5 yds of black wool stretch suiting material that I think was about $5 a yard.  The second piece is 5 yards of a Ralph Lauren chino fabric that I have been stalking since they got it in a few months ago. It had been marked down to $1.95/yd! There is still some left, but don’t everybody take it all!  The third piece is about 2 1/2 yds charcoal grey wool stretch suiting – same as the first piece.  The last piece is a couple yards of black poplin probably for a button down shirt.  I only wanted to spend $40 and with a 30% off coupon and free shipping under $35, I was able to stay within budget!  I ordered it on Friday and received it on Tuesday – even with that Monday being a holiday.  Plus they send you some motivation:

Forced Mojo

I need to force my sewing mojo out of its deep sleep.  When I started this blog a couple of years ago, I named it Sew Transformed.  After reading blogs like Carolyn’s, Adrienne’s & Erica’s, I was inspired and wanted to dust my sewing machine off and tell y’all about it. That’s the “Sew” part. The “Transformed” part was to focus on what I was reading, because books can transform our lives. As you can see, there has been way more transforming than sewing happening around here.

One of the reasons has been my fit issues. I’ve said here before that I have gained weight in my adult years and I don’t have the sewing skills or the patience to alter patterns to fit this new body. I’m working on it though. Another, and possibly more important, reason is that the stuff I want to make doesn’t fit into my current lifestyle. A lifestyle that entails going to work and then coming home.  At work I have a dress code, which is basically the uniform of a barista at a popular coffee house:

This is what I wear to work every day!  I work in a bookstore that has a cafe in it, and while I am not a barista, as a supervisor I have to be prepared to work over there if needed.  Yes, I can make you a mean latte, but my cappuccinos suck!  I hate wearing the same thing everyday and sometimes I sneak in an orange or turquoise polo just to shake things up and to get compliments. On the non-work front – nothing.  I rarely have money to go out and when I do it is to the grocery store or the movies by myself.  Those are t-shirt and jeans times.  Not much need to sew nice things.

Recently, the crashing economy has made me realize that I need to start working on Plans B, C, D.  Retail has been hard by the recession and we aren’t bouncing back at all yet.  Those plans require a more versatile wardrobe than I currently have.  I have a whole library of fashion and style books and they all have the “must have” lists in them.  Reading over them just reminds me that I have nothing on those lists in my closet! I don’t have a little black dress, or a pair of black pants or a trenchcoat.  If, God willing, I got a call for a job interview tomorrow, I don’t have one thing in my closet that I could wear!  I don’t have an updated resume either, but that’s another story.

So, I need to get moving and make some basic pieces and will start work on them this week. I also need to free some money up to buy some fabric because the fabric on these shelves are good for accent pieces, not the foundation for a wardrobe.

I collected most of that fabric (and the many boxes you don’t see) when I didn’t have a dress code and I did have more of a social life.  So wish me luck as I pull the rug from under my sewing mojo and force her to get to work!

On The Sewing Front…

Yes, I completed a garment. Yes, it was the easiest top in the world. Yes, it took me a couple months to do it – my mojo disappears as fast as it arrives. No, it doesn’t look good on me – yet. It might when I lose a few more pounds.

Vogue 8581 – Very cute. I will make the long sleeve version later on.

Even though my closet of currently wearable clothes is so empty, I had a couple of bins of items that I really loved that I couldn’t wear anymore. It’s especially hard to let go of things that I made with my very own hands, but I’ve gotten rid of some stuff. One of the dresses that was so hard to let go of was this knit dress. The knit was a cheap dollar bin fabric from Hancock’s with not much give. I lined it with tricot. I made it about 7 years ago and have never worn it, but I love it like I gave birth to it. I released it to my friend Camille, and she looks awesome in it:

It fits her perfectly and with her social life, she will get way more wear out of it than I ever will! (Excuse the wrinkles, it has been in that bin for years!)

Best Intentions

It has been a whole month since I’ve blogged!
Believe me that has not been my intention.
Every day I have ideas of things that I want to blog about. Crazy customers. What I’m reading. What I see out in the world.
But work has been so crazy & stressful, that I have no energy when I get home. I just want to unplug from everything.
Most people would never think that working in a bookstore is stressful but this economy has made it more so. Less people shopping mean less payroll hours. Less payroll hours mean less staff. But the workload stays the same, so you have to do twice as much work in the same amount of time that you had before. Also, customer’s expectations stay the same and for some reason (even though they read the same economic news stories that we do), they expect the same level of service they always had. And they are upset when they don’t get it.
That disconnect sends me home with a headache most days.
So anyways, still not sewing, but my reading is picking up and there are a lot of great books being released this summer!
Hope to be back on here more frequently!

On the Sewing Front…

I was making a skirt out of the same fabric as the cargo pants, but the style wasn’t right on me and then I screwed up the waistband. All of that equals a wadder.
So I took the opportunity to clean and oil my machines and then I set up a reminder on iwantsandy.com to do it once a month.
Next up I will sew a bunch of black garments because I want more options in my work wardrobe and also so I can sew a lot and not have to change the thread!!

McCall’s 5633

The Good Lord (herself a seamstress, I believe) sent me the perfect pattern to get my back on my sewing horse.

I didn’t have to make any adjustments – at 5’9″ I usually have to lengthen the legs and my hips usually are a size larger than I want to admit – just sewed it straight out of the envelope.

I made View C because I am a cargo pants fanatic and currently can’t get into any of the ones that I own.

Also, using this tan (almost green) fabric, it kind of fits in with the dress code at work.

The fit isn’t perfect. It whiskers in the front and is a little snug around the hips, but it has a touch of stretch in it and will loosen up with wear.

Sorry for the bad pictures, but at this time, I am my only photographer!

Next up is a straight skirt with the remaining twill fabric.

My goal is to add basics to my wardrobe as it is pretty pitiful. My budget doesn’t allow for any fabric purchasing so I am currently shopping from my stash. However, the fabric that I own is all over the place, stylistically! We’ll see if, by the time I am finished, any of the garments that I make actually go together!

McCall’s 5388

So, I finally finished a sewing project. I am in the process of converting a pair of jeans into a skirt (one of my specialties) and wanted a breezy casual top to go with it. I wear a sort of casual uniform to work and just realized that I don’t have regular casual clothes to wear on my days off.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t make me look pregnant! The fabric has a nice shiny thread running through it, so it isn’t as plain as it looks.

This is a nice, blurry shot of my tags. An old roommate of mine ordered these for me about 15 years ago and I haven’t run out yet.

“Mshoni” means dressmaker in swahili (and it rhymes with Toni).
So, there you go, my first finished object (aside from the 4 scarves that I crocheted for friends) of 2008. Hopefully, the streak will continue!

I Was Gonna….

I finished sewing a little top yesterday (not knit, Cennetta, but just as simple) and took pictures of it and everything. I was going to do a little blog about it and do a little work on the jeans that I’m converting to a skirt when I got home from work today.

But when I turned on the television they were airing the first three episodes of
And You Don’t Stop: 30 Years of Hip-Hop, a documentary on the creation and rise of hip-hop.

Sorry, but hip-hop trumps sewing at my house. I will try again tomorrow (as long as they don’t re-run it)!

What I’m Not Sewing

This blog, if you can’t tell by the title, was originally meant to be a sewing blog. Unfortunately, because of my current body image and fit issues, I haven’t been sewing at all. I am hoping to change this soon. But in the meantime, take a look at:

I am not sewing any of this fabric that I have painstakingly organized in this fabulous, ghetto shelving system (cardboard boxes):

I am not using any of these patterns (I have more; these are just the ones in my current size), to sew the above fabric:

I am not using these machines to sew the above fabric using the above patterns:

I am not using this “Wall of Inspiration” to inspire me:

I am not finishing these U.F.O.’s (unfinished objects, for the uninitiated):

I am not turning these jeans into a skirt:

I am still buying patterns:

(off subject – I got a signed copy of the latest Alexander McCall Smith book from Susan, it came the same day as these patterns from Vogue)
I am still buying fabric, too, but there are no pictures.
So, hang in there with me and I promise to have at least one completed project before the summer is over!