Bra rub off can sound dirty, it’s when you make a sewing pattern off an already constructed piece of clothing. I haven’t tried to do this with currently wearable bras, but I hear it is totally doable. This is about is about when good underwires go bad. As a skilled seamstress I know working on a pattern could take anywhere from three to five makes to get the fit right. With a RTW one that already fit well I knew that number could be reduced.
The long overdue love letter, postponed due to moving but it’s all good.
I don’t know about everyone’s experience with sewing or crafting functional items with their hands but for me it’s a form of therapy and helps me process difficult topics like body image or life changes. It has also on occasion brought our family some income, which can also be a tricky thing, to tie in something that brings you joy with something that creates income. But I think I’m loosing my train of thought.
If you’ve never heard of Craftcation, it is the most exciting, joy making and functional marriage of crafting and business world, ever.
I began hearing about the weekend of making while still a bath and body maker but pregnant with my second child, I later closed my shop and chose to focus on my first love sewing. I kept up with the yearly retreat and added it to the “one day” file. Fast forward to now (where I sew for my family and others, test patterns and make a general mess in our guest room) I heard from a friend that they were going to be teaching at Craftcation18. What a great time to make it happen! A few emails later and was able to join in the fabric fun with Kimberly of Straight Stitch Designs and two other new to me sewing friends. Our first stop was fabric shopping in DTLA with Katie of Threadbare Fabrics and then a quick stop at LAX to pick up Melissa of A Happy Stitch and we off like a herd of turtles in LA traffic to Ventura for CRAFTCATION!
This was my first conference in quite some time and I wasn’t sure how or what to do, but the organizers and volunteers thought of everything.
Upon registration your welcome package has not only amazing goodies from very generous sponsors but a thorough booklet covering all the classes, locations, off site experiences and teacher bios. If that wasn’t enough there was a New attendee and Introvert meet up in the lobby, where I am told many friendships were forged as well as first time jitters soothed. I had a long exciting afternoon and decided to forgo the mixer and get to bed early (after a quick trip to the pier for fish and chips and the market for hotel refreshments). The next morning bright and early I was ready to jump in.
You know that instant “I like you” that happens when you see someone who is just as excited, maybe even as nervous as you are? That was what it was like going to Erin Wilder’s class. In her class we built polymer clay moon phase mobiles, she taught us a marbling technique, oh and then we had a 5.0 something earthquake.
You know, to UP the excitement!
While my creations were baking away in one of many toaster ovens I was able to venture out into the sponsor area where I won a great set of markers from Darice, wanted everything in the maker shop and borrowed an Instamix camera to take some quick photos. I learned new weaving techniques with another LA local Nicole Kent and had a blast trying them out and talking Airstreams and tiny houses with Angie of Bobo Design Studio. Made new friends Carmen of RealeGirlDesigns and Lori of Olive and Bo to go to the key note dinner with. Fan girl’d a bit while introducing myself to two of my crafty icons Jennifer Perkins and Vickie Howell and Biz hero Lela Barker. Then we all listened to our key note speech from the editor of BUST and Crafty author Debbie Stoller.
That was only day one! There were printing classes I cannot wait to try out again on my own, more lunches and dinners at great spots around Ventura CA. I FINALLY learned how to make a french knot with ease thanks to Robert Mahar’s class and have a super cute commemorative cat (in my favorite color no less!). I went to a few business classes but my main goal was to recharge my creative batteries at this conference. I recharged for sure but feel like there was some cosmic realignment going on as well, Laurie Wagner’s Wild Writing class broke me open in a way I was not prepared for but sorely needed (seriously she held space for us that had many of us in tears we didn’t know we needed to shed). Everyone is like you in some way and it makes it much easier to break out of your comfort bubble and say “Hi”. There were so many resources, like the one on one office hours with business coaches and crafty icons to classes that I wanted to experience but since I cannot be in two places at once I will just have to make it to next years offerings.
There was a Iron Craft like Iron Chef, It was fabulous! Here is Amy Tangerine’s video of Craftcation and IC at 22min mark
It is more than just a conference, it has built into the experience time for reflection, camaraderie, learning, and making. It’s like summer camp and business conference in one. I can’t wait to go back. Thank you, to the organizers Nichole and Delilah of Dear Handmade Life the Patchwork shows and so much more, and to all the volunteers, teachers, presenters and vendors ya’ll truly rocked the maker vibe and helped create a great experience.
Once upon a fabric shopping trip to downtown Los Angeles to meet up with other Cashmerette loving sewists I picked up this amazing olive green gold sequin fabric. It was slinky and an earthy iridescence I couldn’t resist. Have you ever picked up a fabric and loved it so much only to second guess yourself when you got it home. Most fabric purchases are non refundable. This should give me pause in what I purchase, but not this time. I immediately thought bolero or cocoon cardigan.
Truth time, I had never sewn with sequined fabric before. It was so beautiful I couldn’t resist, I’m fearless at the register, once it’s on the cutting table the flop sweat starts.
when your sewing project has to be put down for a little while.
Have you ever “failed” at a sewing project? Sometimes your project comes together all at once. You find a pattern then the perfect fabric (not your muslin but final garment fabric) then notions are easily procured. Sometimes it’s user error, sometimes its poor pattern fitting, this time it was a notions fail.
a cautionary tale
We all make mistakes, in sewing it can be hard to handle. Perhaps it’s because you have to destroy what you’ve just created. Here is how this outfit started out great but took some perseverance to get finished.
The event: a birthday party in a suite at the racetrack, with highs in the 80’s or 90’s I can’t remember (I ended up sick with a fever and didn’t get to wear it, whawha). Our going out usually consists of jeans and a nice shirt so this required a bit of a dressier outfit but also something that wouldn’t be too hot in this So Cal heat. I immediately knew what I wanted to make.
I had tested both patterns the View Ridge by Straight Stitch Designs and Cleo Skirt by Made by Rae, for these designers and shopped for fabrics with these specific patterns in mind. I knew what I wanted to use on them before I even paid for them so it seemed like a win before I even began. Oh how pride goes before a fall.
Reading to kids stories about sewing is more than just needle and thread.
I still read bedtime stories to my kids, they share a bedroom so sometimes the books we read start with board books and end with a few pages of Harry Potter. I love books and the library, while I no longer horde books like I horde fabrics, books give me a comfort and soothing similar to sewing. I wanted to share some of my love of sewing with my children at bedtime, I found an extra bonus because some of the books gave us some history or dealt with overcoming fears. Continue reading “Reading to kids stories about sewing”
How I made stretch pull on jeans out of one of a kind ice dyed fabric.
I ice dyed some Cone Mills Denim natural color with a 20% stretch for these jeans you can read all about it here. Since I was essentially cutting into a piece of art, I made the fit version out of black denim also with 20% stretch from JoAnns. The quality in the two different denims was VERY noticeable.
The Cindy Swim Suit by BurdaStyle or my peek a boo suit
I made this swim suit long before I started blogging my sewing adventures so I have no photographic evidence, I’m pretty sure it was while I was still operating RitualBath, so blogging was natural bath and beauty related. However this swimsuit showed up in my inbox this morning and I wanted to write it a quick love note.
The Cindy from BurdaStyle, when that website was my only outlet for pdf on demand sewing patterns. Oh how far we have come my indies! First off I did have to grade this a bit as I was a size 16-18 at the time. I made it in a gorgeous burgundy swim lycra from JoAnn’s because I didn’t know any better at the time. Before I go into the problem areas and how I think they can be fixed let me just say, I felt SMOKIN HOT in this swim suit.
My experience and set up for ice dying a two yard piece of denim for making bespoke jeans.
Disclaimer: The substrate I am dyeing on was a gift from www.sewhere.com all other materials were purchased from the listed suppliers.
Too many months ago my friend Mallory gifted me some Cone Mills Stretch denim in natural to “do something fun” with. She suggested pants or a denim jacket and I knew jeans were where I would be heading. I live in jeans and tee shirts. Maybe it’s my up bringing, Grandaddy used to wear “dungarees” and denim work jackets while he taught us how to grow orange trees in the FL heat. Athletic wear on my body everyday seems like a broken promise, and I have enough mom guilt.
Back to ice dyeing I took my sweet time figuring out the how and what, gathered many pinterest pins and finally settled on something that could read more floral and less Electric Daisy Carnival. I have shopped with Dharma Trading Co. before, picked up my indigo and some dye fabrics there and I love their website and customer service. I went with four colors: a turquoise, sage green, amber yellow, and orange. When dyeing with ice having a variety of light and dark colors as well as some contrasting colors (colors across from each other on a color wheel) can really enhance the outcome.
Curvy So Cal Sewists and Cashmerette invade The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA!
On Cashmerette Pattern’s Facebook group, Jenny Rushmore the creatrix behind Cashmerette put the word out that she was planning an escape of the frozen tundra in Boston and heading to sunny Los Angeles on a buying and defrosting trip. She would graciously share her work vacation time with any So Cal sewing ladies wanting to join in a retail shopping excursion to The Fabric Store LA and Mood LA.
I don’t know about anyone else but sewing keeps me away from the outside world, and most times it’s a good meditative practice, so I don’t mind. However my immediate family doesn’t understand the excitement of a well threaded double needle or the reason behind the “WOOHOO” I yell out when the finished stash busting shirt fits well.
So the call to join for an afternoon, with others who know the joys and trials of sewing for a bodacious body, I was in.
If you have never been to Los Angeles, it’s big, like takes 30 – 45 min to get anywhere big. I live in what could be called the suburbs or “the Valley” if you are old enough to remember those movies from the 80’s. Really it could be a city of it’s own hovering at about 1.8 million people (Los Angeles counts that 1.8 in the over all 3.8 million people in the county and city). We came together from surrounding counties some driving an hour to meet up.
It was a great time, swapping stories of pattern makes, alterations and just ohhing and ahhing over all the fun things we were running our hands over.
I highly recommend finding an in-person group to sew or shop with, I know this won’t be my last.