Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Free Sewing Patterns

Leko is offering free sewing patterns through the end of September. I can't remember where I originally saw this, but I had to share.  The only downsides are that the sizes available for free are only Burda sizes 42-44 and there are not very many English instructions. I definitely found some that I liked so I downloaded them onto my computer. I recommend checking them out. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Shopping: Purl Soho

I was very excited to see Purl Soho... I've seen all the wonderful stuff on their website and their blog. It's a beauty!


I do like to knit occasionally, but it's just so slow compared to sewing and I easily get bored of it. Plus my hands get hot easily and knitting makes them sweaty.... eww! :) Well... Purl Soho has lots of yummy yarn!



There are also designer quilting cottons in the back.


They have a whole bunch of crafty kits and books, too, and their decor is so cute!



It's a cute little place that has lots of crafty stuff in it. Their blog has tons of inspiration and tutorials as well. If you're in the Soho area, I definitely recommend visiting them.  If you're not in the area, then I recommend that you visit their online store and blog. :) Happy Crafting!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lady Grey Sew-A-Long

Along with many others, I'm participating in the Lady Grey Sew-Along that's hosted by Gertie. I'm not very good at sticking to a SWAP (see I trailed off or has just been left hanging my Summer Sewing Essentials, 2009 Fall Wardrobe, and 2009 Summer SWAP)... I apparently have some committment issues, but I'm going to do everything I can to stick with this one.  ^_^


Pattern: Lady Grey by Colette Patterns
Fabric: winter white 100% wool from Joann @ $12.50/yd, silky watercolor flowers from Joann @ $7.00/yd

Rooibos and Lady Grey

Lady Grey coat
These pictures are Sarai's (she is the owner of Colette Patterns) pictures from here.

I just fell in love with pattern when it was released... isn't just beautiful?! I was determined to find the right winter white wool for it, too. When I was at Metro Textiles, Kashi pulled a lot of winter white wools for me but they ended up being either too yellow, too thin, or too thick. I know I know... I was being super picky, but I knew if I wasn't happy with the fabric I wouldn't use it or worse I wouldn't like the finished garment after all that work. Believe me, I had been looking for the "perfect" fabric for quite some time now.

I thought it was a hopeless cause and maybe should use something I already had in my stash... but lo and behold the fabric I was looking for was at my local Joann!


Now with my fabric choices set, I'm pretty excited about the sew-along. Plans for the weekend are pre-treating my fabric, finding something in my stash to use as muslin, and tracing the pattern. I'm also creating a Fall 2010 SWAP around my Lady Grey coat... but you know how those SWAPs go... nevertheless I love planning! Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shopping: M&J Trimming

Chugging along to my next store is M&J Trimming. It's a BIG store with lots of stuff! This store to was overwhelming but so much fun... they have all kinds of stuff and their walls were filled to the top!


I didn't buy anything from here just because I didn't know what I'd buy and how I would use it. You definitely need to know what you're looking for or at least have some kind of idea. I haven't used trim before so I didn't even know where to begin.




Everything was neatly organized. I wish I lived there just so I can pick up trim when I finally had a project for it... at least they have an online store, too. :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Shopping: Metro Textiles

Continuing on my review of stores in NYC, my next stop was Metro Textiles. As I mentioned before, this was my first time in New York. I had a difficult time looking for this place... I luckily had my phone to sort of help me out... which led me to the general vicinity of store. Unlike Mood, it did not have a sign in the window. I had to guess which building it was and look at the directory to find Metro Textiles. Then you take the elevator to the appropriate floor (I can't remember which one it is... you have to look at the directory) and then around the corner... POUF... there it is! :)

Kashi, the owner, is very inviting and helpful. He coerced me into buying more fabric and than I wanted to buy... hehe... but I love every piece! He even said he would ship it for me so that I didn't have to worry about my luggage. :) It's a small space, but the store is filled to the brim with fabric. Like his website says there all sorts of different types with a great selection.

Unfortunately, I was too busy purchasing fabric that I forgot to take a picture with Kashi and his store. Instead, here's a glimpse of my fabric purchases...


There some wools, rayon knits, cottons, and silks... for a whopping total of 26 yards! Eek!

I totally recommend stopping by. He also has a mailing list that you can join, where he sends you swatches. I'm glad I was able to stop by!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shopping: Mood Review

While I was in New York, I said I had stopped by some well known sewing related shops!  Lindsey T has a very good garment district guide along with reviews here and a map. She is an awesome resource! (Thanks so much~!)

First up... Mood Fabrics. I saw the store signs on the 2nd floor windows of a building, but no store front on the street. You have to take the elevator to the 2nd floor. It was a very old school, cute elevator... there was an elevator attendant who had to close the doors and take you to the floor you needed.

The store itself is very overwhelming... there are three floors of fabric, and they have quite a selection.


Inspiration boards with swatches were everywhere...


I saw many associates helping people, and they seemed very knowledgeable. I didn't purchase anything due to time restraint and was just too overwhelmed. I did have fun walking around, and it was a great experience. It is a bit on the pricer said of things, but not as much as I anticipated. I don't know how the Project Runway people get all their supplies here in 30 minutes though... that's insane!

Travels: NYC

I recently ventured to the Big Apple to just hangout with friends. It was my first time there, and I loved every minute of it! It's great to have public transportation or just being able to walk somewhere. I did have a little bit of spare time to run around to some sewing places, but I'll review those in individual posts.

One thing I miss are all the wonderful places to eat!! I wholeheartedly recommend all these places. However, these are not representative of all my favorite places...

Penelope's One Night Stand Waffles... IMG_1485.JPG

Donut Plant's donuts...

Luke's rolls...

Stumptown's cappuccino... 

Eleven Madison Park's beef tenderloin...

Not that you would be interested or would even have the time... but if you do, the rest of my 900 or so photos from the trip can be found here. ^__^

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

FAIL: Vogue 1151 Dress

Pattern: Vogue 1151 Dress
Fabric: Stretch matte jersey from

There are just too many "wrinkles" on this dress! I should've used a more stable knit... this fabric was too thin and had a little more stretch than I needed.

I tried to finish it by just chugging through it, but I know I won't wear it. All that was left was the hem and slip stitching of the collar. I think the fabric choice was the cause of failure in this dress... and the fact that I probably stretched the fabric will trying to neatly sew the curves and darts... but it's just easier to blame the fabric. =P I really like the style and may give it another go when the right fabric comes along but for now... I don't know what I'm going to do with it.

What do you think? Is there any hope in this dress? I've already resewn all the seams to try to make it less wrinkly, and the drag lines are much worse when it's worn, too. I'm not sure if the lines stand out but they're mainly near the darts in the middle sections as well as the armholes. There are also shiny iron markings on the collar. Oh well... at least it was only a loss of about $5.

Bye bye... dress!