Friday, January 28, 2011

My Custom Dress Form

Formal Introduction of Miss Morgan

Please meet Miss Chesty Morgan, my custom made dress form.  She told me she has been humiliated by my posting of her without a formal introduction.  Furthermore, she told me she was so mortified that I have been posting her pictures in only that 'horrible grey slip'. You will see that I have put her in a black pencil shirt in the hopes of restoring her dignity.  I guess that by now you see that I anthropomorphize many of my objects.  This is a word I learned from the Big Bang Theory - So ha ha contrary to what my high school English teacher said - you can learn from TV and it does has some socially redeeming value.

Several years ago about 10 adventurous ASG members signed up to participate in a 4 day work-shop to make custom dress forms.  One member very graciously volunteered her large three car garage for the event. 

The First day we were wrapped in wet cast baggage material whilst wearing only undies! Yikes. We had to stand for app. 30 minutes until it dried on our body.  I was so lucky that I did not feel claustrophobic, fell down or needed to use the water closet!

Second day, we returned to the garage and put the form together, painted the inside with a substance that enabled the cast to release the foam filling; and filled the cast.

Third day the real work began.  We had to take the cast off the foam filling.  Again, Yikes!  First to see your body in all its glory in foam - not a pretty sight.  After the tedious job of taking the cast off - we had to file the foam with a wood rasp.  Much harder than one would think!  As usual I got in trouble with the Teacher.  As I was admiring my form, I was horrified to see that my little back fat rolls were there for all to enjoy.  I decided right then and there to perform rasp liposuction on myself.  I just filed all those little rolls off.  The Teacher had a conniption!  I told her it was my form and I was the one who would have to look at it for eternity and I did not want to look at those rolls!  She reluctantly let me proceed all the while mumbling under her breath at the vanity of some gals!  This little surgery turned out to be the best thing I did as now my dress form works for me and the others in the workshop said that their form was a bit too big.  The form is rock hard and our bodies are soft (especially mine) and squishy so clothes fit better on a slightly smaller form!

The last day we returned and put on the final touches to include the cover.  We had several neutral colors to choose from, but NO I thought I would be original and use teal.  Not thinking that this would be the canvas of all future garments and not everything goes well with teal!  Oh well, I still love it!

Here she is modeling the partially completed Hot Patterns I started at the retreat

When I brought her home, Dr. P said she looks just like Chesty Morgan!  A little background; for his bachelor party his buddies took him to Nashville to a 'gentleman’s club' and the headliner was Miss Chesty Morgan that professed a 52" bust.  Now you know the origin of her name!
Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back From Retreat

Sewing  Room before the chaos starts!
 Well, I did not finish anything!  No big surprise to my BFFs.  It seems that I spend more time chatting than sewing.  I did however get a good start on all of my projects and one that was a surprise.  We always have a give away table and I found some great fabric to make a circular needle case.

This is Chef Petey
He made us a sewing machine butter cake!

My BFF Jane that came all the way from warm FL
Check out her blog Lucky Sew and Sew

My BFF wearing a sweatshirt I made several years ago

Love this saying
My BFF Barb with just a little project

I will resume T-Shirt Tuesdays next week and hope to post the needle case soon.

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Off to Retreat

I am off tomorrow to the Northern VA Chapter of the American Sewing Guild's annual retreat.  For the past few years we have had our retreat a 4-H camp.  This year we decided that we could no longer face the institutional food and plastic covered mattresses so we are really stepping it up and going to the mega star hotel The George Washington Wyndham Hotel!  I feel like breaking into song and what comes to mind is Off to see the Wizard, Get Your Grove On, and a few others that are not blog worthy.

These are my projects I plan to complete!

1. this bag kit from Stephanie Quatrinni

HP 1114 Deco Vibe Mighty Aphrodite Draped T-Shirts
2. this top from Hot Patterns

3. This hat for a baby gift

4. Several UFOs (unfinished Objects)

I laugh as I type this list and say to self - really?  If I get one these projects done I will be happy.

I hope to post lots of pictures of the retreat.

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

T-Shirt Tuesdays

New Weekly Post

I am going to commit to posting every Tuesday a new T-Shirt that I have completed.  Most of these will be inspired by J-Crew, Anthropology, other blogs, and occasionally an original idea.

This is one of the few original designs I wanted to show you. This design came to me when I was working on a top made out of the black & white knit.  The knit really curls so I decided to go with it and use two strips around the neck and an additional one for the serpentine.  This is a purchased t-shirt from Target. I love bows so I had to add a big one right on the shoulder!


For the cuffs I used a traditional French Cuff pattern and added the grommet circles from my scrap booking stash. 

Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Slip Cover Totes

I had an A-Ha moment as I was reading my good friend Julie's award winning blog From These Hands, that I too have been making mostly craft projects rather than major sewing projects.  I suppose that I needed projects that are quick to completed during the crazy Christmas season.  Now that the holidays are over and things seem to be calming down, I plan on completing my numerous UFOs and work on my "spring 2011" line!

I call these slip cover totes because the process feels like a slipcover. I have made many of these for myself and as girlfriend gifts.  This is the first one I made.

The major challenge in making a slip cover tote is finding the tote.  When I find a style I like I purchase all they have.  
Close up of the embroidery

I made this "logo" by stacking black linen, embroidery, then two trims stacked.

This is the latest Slip Cover Tote

Again, I made the "logo" by stacking two colors of linen (yellow and pink) then the green w/pink embroidery and topping off with purchased trim. Add the tassel trim, flowers, and purchased handle and you are almost done.

Lastly, I added a little tag just to shuze it up.  This wording was on the selvage edge of the pink animal print fabric and I think it was the name of the fabric print.  So appropos.

Have fun with it!
Michele P

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Jacket of the New Year

Look What Purchased Trim Can do!

I usually do not make raglan sleeve jackets ( not great for large bust) but this one works as the neck has so much attention.

The fabric is luscious boucle that I purchased at Mood on one of the ASG bus trips to NYC. 

I embraced the raw edge craze on the hem and the belt.  I wear it belted when I feel skinny - which is rare these days!

This trim is so great.  It is stitched to elastic and therefore makes it so easy to apply.

As for the lining - I used petersham for the neck facing and this 'what was I thinking when I bought this silk for a blouse' silk charmeuse for the body of the jacket.
Happy Sewing,
Michele P

Monday, January 3, 2011

Update for my Studio

 One of my many New Year's resolutions is to update my sewing studio.  Doesn't that sound chic - my studio.  So much more grown than my sewing room!  Still the same space - but sounds so much more professional.

My first project is to make covers for my machines that I leave out. This one is for my true love - my Janome sewing machine. I decided to use fabric I had in my stash.  This black and white was purchased  to be the back of a quilt.  Well, no quilt so yeah - love these covers!  They were so much fun to create and gave me that instant gratification that we all
Janome Sewing Machine Cover

Oh how I love my name in embroidery
 The second one I completed is for my Janome Cover stitch.  I wanted all the covers to match but not be identical as each machine has its own personality!

Janome Cover Stitch Machine cover
I have two more in progress and will post them soon.
Happy Sewing
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