Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fun At Mood Fabrics

What's more fun than getting together with fellow sewers?  Getting together with fellow sewers to participate in a focus group, the subject being how to revamp Mood's website to be 'the' destination website for sewers.  There were some old friends there, Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic , Elizabeth from SEWN and a couple of people I had met on PR shopping days.  There were also people whose work involved them in social media for their jobs.  Meg formerly of Lindsay T Sews was the moderator.  Many of you may know that she now works for Mood and she organized the group.  

Readers know that I have bitched loudly about Mood's website.  I love the store but the website is a frustrating experience.  They listened to our gripes and to our ideas on what the perfect website would look like.  Be patient, it's going to take about 6 months to get it up and running.  They aren't just revamping but starting from scratch.  There are some great fabric sites online, but no one has the resources that Mood does.  They want the website to be the destination for online shoppers, just as the store is a don't miss stop for out of town sewers and locals alike.  It was a fun time, unfortunately I couldn't stay to chat  but rushed off to catch my train or I was destined for the milk run if I missed it.  
BTW, the store has been getting revamped as well over the last year or so.  If you shop the garment district you know that most stores don't carry patterns or notions.  In other words you can't buy thread, zippers or buttons to match that fabric you just bought.  Mood has expanded to carry all the buttons, trims, zippers thread and almost any notion you'd need to complete your project.   
Of course I didn't  go in just to attend the focus group. It's about 2 hours door to door for me to get into the garment district.  I buy a lot of stuff online but there are a couple of places I like to visit in person that don't have websites.  I hit SIL to refill my zipper stash.  They have YKK zippers at about half the price of buying them at JoAnn's  You aren't paying for packaging so they can be a lot cheaper.  They have added a higher end metal zipper line in Excel.  Nice quality.  They also strangely, redecorated that aisle to look like a high end boutique in the midst of the bare bones of the rest of the store.  I found a mesh tape invisible zipper which is lighter in weight but they only have it black and white.  This is the place to find separating invisible zippers if you are in the market for one.  I also splurged and bought a gross each of hooks and eyes, in black and silver.  These are the heavy duty ones you put on pants or a skirt.  I have some that are no sew but I have a love hate relationship with them and would rather just use sew on hooks.  Of course I bought a few pieces of fabric.  I hit Metro Textiles which is not usually one of my regular places, but I was looking for inexpensive summer fabrics and I found two. Kashi of course would have liked me to buy more, but two was enough. On the right is a bottom weight cotton teal and black snakeskin for pants. You know how much I love an animal print!  It's pretty subtle though, which I like.  The white is a linen and rayon blend.  The black and white knit is from Elliot Berman is for a summer dress.  

Keeping these lovelies company are my sale purchases from Michael's half price sale.  The gray silk is much more gorgeous than you can see in a photo; that I'll put away until fall and the royal blue Zegna cotton will be another pair of pants for my blue collection. 

 By the time I got to Mood I was a bit shopped out, but there will always be another day.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

Do You Wear White Jeans?

I saw this post this morning on the website Keep It Chic on loving white jeans.  The images struck me as fresh and appealing.  Of course the pictures show two size 0's or there about wearing these white outfits.  I like Gwyneth's look better. It's less studied and more practical for the mother around town.  White cotton is good since I'd need to bleach these on a regular basis being a wear my food type of person.  But the question is really can you wear these at any size?  Probably not in this skinny extreme, but in a style suited to your body?  Are a pair of white jeans in your future? Would you wear an all white outfit or wear them more casually like Gwyneth?  

I liked Peter's blog yesterday commenting on pinups. Real women  with more meat on their bones like most of us, certainly as we age.  It's been hammered into us that we need to wear dark bottoms to 'hide' our hips.  Well these hips are hard to hide no matter what the color.  I am really considering buying a pair of white jeans, or making a pair if I ever get my jeans pattern worked out!  How about you?  Are you so concerned about looking thinner that you would never wear a pair of white jeans or are you ready to embrace the body you've got and damn the fashion magazines?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sewing Outside the Box

With color that is.  Almost everything in my wardrobe can be worn with black or gray.  I have one pair of brown tweed pants and a few things that go with them, but that's it.  Last year or maybe it was the year before I bought this lovely blue and white herringbone bottom weight  cotton from Zegna at one of Michaels fabulous half price sales.  The only problem is that the only thing in my wardrobe that it would go with are a few white knit tops and they are pretty shabby.  Since I really wanted to make a pair of pants with the fabric I needed to build a plan around it.  A capsule wardrobe would do, and  all of the tops will actually go with other things in my wardrobe, so double duty.  
Color blocking is big news this season and that was my starting point, that and everything except the paisley below was in my stash.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Do You Staystitch?

When I get a new pattern I immediately, well as soon as possible, start reading the instructions.  I know sewing nerd here.  I don't always use the instructions but I like to see if there are any surprises or I make notes on how I want to change things. Usually I make notes on where I will change sas on Vogue patterns. I trim the enclosed seam allowances to 3/8 and add in case sas to the side seams. Then I note the sewing order, not necessarily writing it down but I never sew in the order they advise.  I like to group details and sew everything I can before I get up to press.  The first one I looked at  is this Vogue  top.
I knew from the notions list that they call for packaged bias tape.  I'll make my own.  Wouldn't it be nice if they mentioned making your own and how to do it?  But, no this is an Easy Vogue pattern and I guess they deem it too hard.  But I digress, the topic of this post is do you stay stitch and before they  get to the binding, they tell you to stay stitch the neck edge.  I don't do this anymore.  I used to when I remembered and then for the most part I just stopped.  I still  do it for opposite curves like a very curvy princess seam that I have to clip, but mostly I don't stay stitch anymore.  I don't think it keeps a seam from stretching.  I'd be more inclined to stay a bias edge with tape, interfacing or a piece of thin 
fabric.  I also see directions for stay stitching a knit neck edge.  This I really don't get.  I do do this with Lynda Maynard's knit binding method, but I use interfacing on the neck edge first and the stay stitching is a placement guide for the binding.  
If you've been watching Peggy Sagers webcasts she is vehemently opposed to stay stitching and other archaic home sewing methods.   I feel vindicated in my laziness!
How about you, do you stay stitch and if you do when do you do it?