Feb 20, 2009

Fashion Week and Project Runway

Again I had a few people sign up for class only to be a no show. This gave me some free time today to sew and see what's going down the runway.

I've been real excited all day wondering what "is" going down the runway today. I've hit Blogging Project Runway a few times today. You can go there to see season 6 of Project Runway designs - if you want to see them. As in every year some designs are good - some I just don't like. Just by looking at the design you can see who has talent and who doesn't. You know how this show is a hit or miss with people and their knowledge of clothing construction.

Christian is back under the tent. Go check out his designs. He has grown in his style. Some elements he used I really liked a lot. He does make some beautiful dresses. He didn't have that much pleated things like his last collection seamed to have, more draping. He liked the hat - I'm sorry - it just looked stupid to me like some of his things. But I must say - the boy can construct and he does know how to sew.

Christian Siriano Fall 2009 Collection

All images courtesy of WireImage.
Click here for more images.

You can find more coverage at Newsday. And the video below is courtesy of our friends at Newsday.

The fun thing about Fashion Week is running the designs through your head figuring out what they did to make it.

I'll always love Big old Chris sending human hair down the runway. Now being a hairstylists in a past life I really enjoyed seeing that walk down.

Keep an eye on Gorgeous Things' Blog - Ann went too. I can't wait to see her pictures. :)

I did get to sew today - more about that later. I'm too excited about what's going on in NY.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 17, 2009

Time for Celebration and Smiles

This post isn't about sewing. I've been tagged by Nani to list 6 things that make me smile and to tag 6 others to make a list.

My husband and I have been together for 29 years. It took us many years to have children. When I was 36 I got pregnant with my son. His arrival date was Feb. 9, 1998. My little man decided to come late to life. After waiting for so long to hold a child he arrived on my birthday Feb. 17. My little angel had arrived and the bond we share in having the same birthday has made our relationship stronger. (picture was from a couple of years ago - I love this pic)

Happy Birthday to my Dean -O-Bambino. It's hard to believe you're 11 yrs old today.

1. The first thing that makes me smile are my children. I'm in awe of them when they don't drive me crazy :) and if your a parent you know what I mean. Everything I do - I do for or because of my children.

2. Sewing when I find the time. It's my yoga. It's a time when I can tune the world out. And creating things that others ohhh and awww over is a wonderful feeling.

3. Opening my business and teaching people to sew: I can't tell you how rewarding it is for me to watch what people do with the knowledge I give them. To see them start business and make a living from this knowledge. It's very rewarding for me.

4. Having Obama as our President: I protested and fought to change the last administration. I have friends who's children have died in Iraq and I've seen first hand how our government treats the military their families and the gold star families. I cried for 3 days (tears of joy) when we all showed up to vote in the past general election. Usually we only get 20-30% show up to vote. This time we had 85% at the polls. I think this was "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more" election. Thank you all for voting and please keep showing up when your country needs you. And many smiles on January 20.

5. Watching my TV show's I love so much. Project Runway, Gray's Antimony, Desperate Housewives. And I really miss Boston Legal. I usually try to wind down at night - crash on the sofa and go where the shows take me.

6. Being Alive. Life is a precious gift with moments that are to be enjoyed with lots of smiles. I often have a smile on my face without knowing it. I have people smiling at me all the time because they think I'm smiling at them. Take the good each moment has to offer you. Don't feed the bad because when we are at our last breath and look back on our lives we can leave with a smile knowing we lived the best that life had to offer us.

Who am I tagging? All of you. Pass a smile along. When you're having a bad day try not to have others control your attitude. Make the choice to look at the good things the moment has to offer. Live your life in the moment because they are treasured gifts to you. How you use your gift is up to you.

With many smiles and until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 16, 2009

Sewing is Growning Among Us

I love getting articles about sewing. This one just came across my screen. Meet the Threadheads from the NY Post.

In a building on the Lower East Side, a labyrinth-like hallway opens to a narrow, cheery space. It's home to Make, a sewing studio. In it there are sewing machines, turquoise Ikea chairs—and owner Diana Rupp, who patiently takes keen sewers through the machinations of making something from scratch. "Five years ago, it was all about knitting," says Diana. "These days, I can't schedule enough sewing classes."

Today, it seems there's a crafter whipping out a sewing machine on every corner. The Sewing & Craft Alliance boasts that there are 35 million home sewers in America, up from 30 million in 2000. In New York City, sewing groups are cropping up everywhere. Over on Park Avenue South, sewing tutorials are broadcast online at Threadbanger.com, a site that gets a million views a month.

So why is sewing so hip right now? Put it down, in part, to the Project Runway effect. "These girls I teach, they are obsessed with Project Runway [the reality TV show that features wannabe fashion designers]," says Diana, who hosts an Intro to Sewing Machine class ($80) at Make twice a week. Patti Gilstrap, who runs Home Ec., a sewing space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, concurs: "We have a lot of Project Runway fans. They discuss it in the middle of class."

Sewing has taken off among us. Many of us have a great desire to create things with using our sewing machine. The lost art of sewing has returned. I know this because of the (almost) three years I've been open the more time that passes the fuller my classes get. I have taught more people this January than I have in the years past.

Project Runway and all the "do it yourself" shows have planted the sewing seed in many. We talk about these shows all the time in class. When I ask people if they watch them everyone get's a big smile and shakes their heads yes.

After reading this article I've realized I do offer great prices to my classes. I want to make it affordable for everyone to learn. I also run a machine class twice a week but charge half the price they are getting in NYC.

More of the article:

One thing sewers do need is space, something that's at a premium in Gotham. Such logistical problems are solved by places like Home Ec.—a warehouse-like space on Third Avenue with vintage wares and fabrics for sale at the front and eight Kenmore sewing machines at the rear. At its Build A Bag workshop ($95), one brisk December evening, a group of would-be sewers are hard at work. Emily Geanacopoulos, 24, in skinny black jeans and a hoodie, is finishing a tote for a friend. "Working here is just so much more peaceful and relaxing," says Emily. "At home, my sewing machine is under my loft bed, and my room is so small."

Faygie Andrusia, who works as a doula in Crown Heights, has selected a cotton stripe for her bag. "I don't have any sewing skills," the 23-year-old says. "I decided I just really wanted to know how to do it." Across the room, Christine Scott, 38, and Jill Dowling, 38, are laying out patterns for their bags. "I'd prefer to make stuff," Christine says, "rather than buy more cheap things I don't need."

The sewing scene is not just about making new items. One of the most popular classes at Home Ec. is Altered States ($125). In three sessions, students learn how to make their wardrobe new with what they already have, by taking up hems, adjusting seams and adding found fabric.

Home Ec. teacher Patti says that Etsy .com, the online marketplace of all things handmade, has also contributed to the recent interest in sewing. Etsy's 1.5 million crafters buy and sell millions of items each year, and sales are thriving despite the shaky economy. (In 2005, the site had sales of $166,000; in 2008, its sales were worth $87 million.) "Right when the economy tanked at the end of September, we had a huge spike," says Adam Brown, Etsy's publicist. Rob Czar of Threadbanger.com says sewing's popularity is linked to the eco movement—and New Yorkers' wallets. "The economy is a huge factor," says Rob. "Making clothes means one less trip to the store."

I think the economy is a big factor why people want to learn the art of sewing. I also think the reason why the teens and 20sometings have the desire to learn because their grandparents did it for a living and wanted better for their children thus not teaching them the art. Some tried to teach their children but at the time the kids saw it as not being cool. Now it's a cool thing to do with the youth. Their parents didn't learn for the grandparents and sometimes the grandparents are too old to teach them.

I can say I've probably taught well over 500 people the art of sewing in the past few years. I'm not getting rich at teaching but the rewards are many for me when I can see what my students do with the knowledge I give them.

Keep sewing - and don't forget you can make your own schedule at Learn 2 Sew and the classes are very affordable. If you know how to sew and you don't need any instruction you can join any sewing class when seats are available for only $5 per hour.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 9, 2009

4 times Recycled - Pants to a Lunch Bag

A few weeks ago my daughter came home with the zipper that had broken out of her Camp Rock lunchbox. Since we only have 4 months left of school I didn't want to buy a new lunchbox - next best thing to make one. I asked her if I could make her a new one. One that would fit all the things she liked to take to lunch. She said it was OK with her.

First time recycled: I've already told you about my last recycle project with my son's pants. I add fabric at the bottom hem to give him some more time to wear them. He grows tall not wide so I'm always adding fabric to his pants midway through the school year.

Second time recycled: By the end of the school year I'm cutting off the pant legs to make shorts.

Third time recycled: I'm always saving fabric. When I cut the pant legs off to make shorts for the summertime I saved the legs and made pin cushions during last years summer camp. I made a bunch of them that I use all the time when I'm teaching. I'm real picky about people putting their pin's away somewhere in a catcher or a cushions.

Forth time recycled: Making a lunch bag out of the pants. I cut the inseam out of two pant legs. I used the bottom of the legs as the top of the bag. I had to cut some off each side because I didn't want to make it as wide on the sides as I did on the front.

I also held the seams together on the outside to run a stitch line down to make a better corner of the bag.

After I sewed both sides making a square I decided how big to make the bottom of the bag. I cut a square and with two right sides together pinned and sewed the bottom of the bag pivoting around the corners.

I took another pant leg and cut both side seams off. With two right sides together sew the sides and flip the flap. Sew one side of the Velcro to one side of the flap and the other side of the Velcro to the bag. Sew the flap to the top of the inside of the bag.

Pick a strap you want to use. My daughter went to my stash and pick an old belt (because I keep everything in my sewing supplies). I don't think I would have picked the brown and white strip belt for the strap - but - she liked it and that's all that matters. Pin and sew in the strap at the top of both sides of the bag. Set the bag aside while you cut and sew the liner.

Decide how big you want the liner. Cut a front and back with two sides and a bottom.

Sew both sides to the front then add the back to one side leaving one side open.

Pin and sew in the bottom of the square pivoting around each corner. Sew up the side of the bag you left open.

Find anything you can to put between the two layers of the fabric to make it stronger and stand up. I used the plastic with the holes in it - that you can find in the craft section of the store. I cut out the sizes I needed. Took some yarn to sew the edges together so they wouldn't move around in the bag. I dropped in down in the bag.

With two wrong sides together drop in the liner down in the back. Fold up the top edge of the fabric to finish the top edge of the liner fabric. Sew the liner to the top of the bag holding everything in place.

Add what ever you want to the outside of the bag. I added my daughters name to the back side. You could put any kind of patch, lettering, iron on transfer. It's all fun.

My daughter loves using her new lunch bag. It holds her water bottle where her old one didn't. It also holds all her plastic containers she likes to carry cut up fruit in. And it feels great to use fabric in 4 different recycle projects.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 6, 2009

Easy 15 minute Sewing Project

My son who will soon be 11 yrs old has out grown one of his favorite t-shirts. I thought I would surprise him by doing a little recycle project. Make a pillow out of his old t-shirt he loved so much.

First thing you have to do is pin and sew together the neckline, sleeves and the bottom of the shirt leaving a little opening to stuff.

One thing I do when I want to leave an opening is always put in double pins to remind myself not to sew in between the pins. If you do things the same way all the time you have less chances of making mistakes.

Stuff your shirt with polyfill or old scrap fabrics cut up. Sew your opening closed and....there you go. A pillow.
My son loved it when I brought it home last night. I made it in 15 minutes after my class was over. It was great to see him smile when I gave it to him.

Last week I made a lunch bag for my daughter. I couldn't see buying her another one since we are more than half way through the school year. The next best thing was to make her one. This project was a 3 time recycled fabric. More to come next post...

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments - make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 5, 2009

Students Sewing Projects

Great news! I remembered to take pictures this week of students projects. Now if I could just remember to write down the pattern number if you wanted to make the projects too.

Aly has been coming to sewing class for a few months now. She has made several projects, mostly clothing. She wanted to sew a "cat house" for her kitten. This is a not so easy project to sew. Once you start putting all the panels together with the 1"foam it's hard to sew the seams on the machine. We ended up finishing the project by hand. There's a few more steps (putting trim on the roof of the house)

Next up - April's vest. She decided to do something different to the back and cut out a big square with contrasting fabric in the square. She learned how to do buttonholes and add liner inside to hide all the seams with this project.

Maggie came in to make costumes for a play she's involved with. She bought several different dresses at the thrift store - cut them apart and came up with some very creative garnments. This is a work in progress. I'll have more pictures to show you in the future.

Randy wanted to get creative. She brought in a yard of denmin fabric and an old button down shirt of her husbands. She used the back of the shirt to make the top of the skirt, used the button holes at the bottom of the hem, used the pocket from the shirt and the buttons at the hipline of the skirt. This was a very creative project and tons of fun to sew. Randy - you did a great job! You really are learning so much. I'm very proud of you.

Hazel made this beautiful dress for her daughter. It's an easy pattern with only a few pieces. She learned how to gather and do ruffles, install a facing at the neckline, bias tape to finish off the arm holes. She added the pink to the bottom instead of just doing a hem. I think it added a lot to the dress. It's so much fun to sew kids clothing. For me anyway...

Molly came in to last nights class to sew another bag. She loves sewing bags :) She bought the pattern off of etsy for $5. Again, she blogged about it like she did her last bag if you would like to see more pictures. She already had it cut out before she came to class and only took less than 2 hours to sew. It's fun to sew bags with liners in them. You have a chance to learn how to hide all your seams which I really like to do an a lot of my projects.

Time to go pick up the kiddies from school and do homework..yippe!
Until next time.
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,

Feb 2, 2009

Material World at Miami Convention Center 4/21-4/23

Miami Beach, Florida April 21 - 23, 2009
Strategically timed to showcase Spring/Summer 2010 trends, Material World Miami Beach offers sewn products industry members a one-stop global resource for sourcing, fabric, trim and trends. Here private label retailers and branded apparel buyers have direct access to global and local channels of commerce.

Entering its 10th year, the Miami Beach event capitalizes on the city's undisputed position as an international trading hub and United States gateway to Latin America. It's a city that draws traffic from all over the US, Canada and Latin America. In fact, many of the country's largest sourcing groups have set up their sourcing operations in Miami. For Latin America, in particular, this venue offers a centralized tradeshow offering the largest fabric product and sourcing opportunities, technology and fashion information.

Showcase introductions and innovations from leading companies from around the world in every sector of the apparel and home industries, including fabric and textiles, trims and components, full package/contract manufacturers, service providers, technology solutions, equipment and machinery.

Attract key decision makers, including presidents, general managers, chief information officers, manufacturing vice presidents, sourcing executives, product development executives, designers, manufacturers, purchasing agents, marketing executives, branded apparel companies and retailers, including mail order, private label, and e-business, importers and others.

Garner support from leading associations, trend forecasters and experts including the American Apparel Producers Network, National Textile Association, National Council of Textile Organizations, Pantone, Stylesight and Canadan Apparel Federation.

Held in conjunction with Material World Miami Beach

Technology Solutions is the premier exhibition and conference for information technology enabling today's sewn products industry.

Technology Solutions gives attendees the chance to explore solutions from the industry's leading innovators and attend an unrivaled schedule of case studies and presentations providing the latest information on today's most important technology issues and opportunities.

Technology Solutions Expo will address specific technology needs of an organization in the supply chainm including: CEO, CTO, COO, CFO leadership; sourcing executives, logistics managers, product development executives; design/merchandising managers; IT Personnel; department and manufacturing managers.

This is a wonderful convention to attend. You have to preregister before you go so hit the link to the website to find out more about this great event.

Until next time,
Enjoy your moments ~ make them "sew" much fun,