The Chanel Mission – part 1

Step 1: Get a new job that let’s you travel back to Britex fabrics again (I visited the first time after the interview)

Step 2: Buy Chanel

Step 3: Party on Halloween (pictures unavailable for now lol)

Step 4: Get home safe and post on your blog

A Spooky Scramble

We have some great friends in NYC who host a Halloween party every year. They know about my sewing and they told us at least a month ago about their plans for the upcoming party. That said… I’m writing this draft on Oct 12th and we have not made our costumes yet – nor do I even have the fabric! (I am holding off posting some things until I have officially left my old company)

This delay and slow down in sewing has mainly been due to my job search and wrapping up work at my old job. Balancing and preparing for interviews was really intense on top of my normal responsibilities and I’ve also been working to improve some of my computer skills now that I have the new job.

I am also finishing the Dangerous Polka Dot dress first as I want to wear that for some work stuff. Work Sewing > Halloween Sewing.

I am also waiting for the week I have off between jobs to try and do this project… and it may be a scramble!

Here’s the plan:

There is an anime series called One Punch Man that D and I really love and right now we are thinking of going as the two main characters for Halloween.

The bald guy is so strong that he beats everyone with a single punch, and with such easy victories being a hero stops being fun. The cyborg behind him is his student who takes everything really seriously.

Except for in the most intense battles, the bald guy is drawn like below. He is a normal dude who is a hero for fun. He trained so hard, his hair fell out. Talk about a Growth Mindset!

I want to be this bald man for Halloween and D can be the cyborg. I feel like I have the giant head shape already down.

But, this scene from Mean Girls makes me have some slight concerns (watch the first 1 minute 6 seconds, sorry I know this is clearly someone recording their TV): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBySfz_w3YE&feature=youtu.be

Will this be too weird? It is a very popular show, but are you probably hearing about it for the first time right now? haha we’ll just have to learn the hard way! Also, by the time this is posted, I will probably already be sewing a bright yellow jump suit, so it’s too late for alternative ideas in the comments 🙂

ALSO an even bigger risk is that at my new job, they will have a Halloween costume lunch on the 31st. Do I reveal this much about my hobbies and media preferences three days into a job? I think I will use the party as a test drive and then bring my pirate costume from last year to the office in case I chicken out. I am pretty certain I will chicken out unless I can learn in the first two days that people at the office know and like this show.

Things to do for this and my game plan:

  • Sew a yellow jumpsuit for the first time (it’s really just attaching pants to a shirt right??)
  • make my first cape (big rectangle in something flowy?)
  • make some red gloves (I figure I’ll get a stretch fabric and trace my hands)
  • make cybord arms out of cardboard (we’ve been saving some amazon boxes for months)
  • repurpose black clothes (probably attainable)
  • prepare to be labeled the “weird girl” or “the coolest girl” (call my mom after and tell her it was all okay)
  • relax after all of it at the Korean Spa (I have found one in SF already too)

It will all be great! or at least fine!

Secret Sewing Trips

Well, I have been waiting and waiting to share this post. I decided it was time to take a risk and pursue a career change. I made it to the final rounds of a remote nyc job for a company in San Francisco. With the interview I got to fly out and once the interviews were over I had time to explore. I am REALLY enjoying visiting fabric stores in all the cities I get to visit (Tokyo, Chicago, & Vancouver). This time it was time to visit Britex fabrics. Oh My it was amazing. It reminded me of the library in Beauty and the Beast but with fabric!!! Why is this the only picture I took? They had huge walls of fabric stacked like this to the ceilings with sliding ladders going back and forth.

All I can say is that I was FOCUSED on the fabric instead of taking pictures. When I walked in I was on the phone with my husband and the store assistant saw me say “WOW” and then promptly wrap up the call to get to step inside.

The entire staff was SO NICE!! I also immediately said something like “Hi I’m here from NYC for an interview and I just wanted to visit so badly! It’s beautiful here!” The bottom floor was all wool folded on the walls and the silks, very fancy couture beading, and brocade were on tables. It was stunning. There was also a TABLE stacked with Chanel tweeds. They were so detailed and glimmery.

The staff was so nice. There was a woman who showed me all around the main floor and she was very complimentary of my dress and explained a few of the fabrics to me. There was additionally a really nice man who was wearing a very colorful dress shirt with a vest and slacks (I stalked him on instagram so you can see how great his clothes and style are). He definitely represents my future menswear sewing goals. He was also complimentary of my dress. Wow – these folks sure know the way into my heart: talk about tons of fabric and sewing, compliment your sewing in a totally genuine way, seem to be truly nice. I also got to meet the owner of the store. She was so nice too! I really can’t believe she came over to say hi to me.

Upstairs there were also all of the cottons, linens, stretchy jersey, trims, bridal lace trims, buttons, and tools! I got sucked into the linen and cotton shirting. D agreed that I should get something fancy… but I dont think he could imagine how fancy this store was and I made myself at least temporarily resist the Chanel table.

Here is a red and blue striped shirting I picked for him

I found a shirt design that can hopefully replace the best shirt (RIP) and then I saw these pink flamingos. Oh man I didn’t know I needed this in my wardrobe until suddenly I had no other choice! This reminded me of the vancouver dress and so I think I can do something similar.

It was a WONDERFUL trip and I got to see old friends in the area too. I have not convinced then to sew just yet 🙂 Now D and I can match:

All in all – I am also excited to announce that I will be returning to SF with some frequency for training! I got the job! Look out Chanel fabric…

Dangerous Polka Dots with a Dangerous Pattern

First let’s be clear, this is sewing so everything is fine.

Second! This fabric has been very runny so it is a danger to avoid converting to a pink wardrobe in the future.

Third, I’ve decided to try a new pattern. This could be considered dangerous because it will require new fit adjustments and breaking away from some of my standard designs. I think I’ll be able to make a nice dress if I extend down the length of view D

I also managed to cut everything out and this is always the point where I feel a second of hesitation regarding whether the plan will work out. But! It’s not the time to give up – it’s the time to start sewing!

Sewing with Friends!

Recently my downstairs neighbor visited and brought her sewing machine! She has a heavy duty singer and it will be exciting to work through this project together. She made a t shirt quilt in the past but now it seems like she’s really interested in starting to be able to make tops for herself that will fit better than store bought. I am so excited to help support this!!!

Today we picked out a simplicity pattern and took our measurements. We are going to make this dress (one each)

From there we cut out the pattern and copied it because I’m a slightly bigger size. Copying took a while!!!! Oh man. This is always the slow part but she hung in like a trooper.

We will work on it a little next weekend and chip away bit by bit. Stay tuned!

I really enjoyed this because this was one of the first times I’ve been able to think about everything I know and try to explain some of my decision making based on things I learned in the past. It was really fun! We may try knitting in the future too. So much fun!

What to make next? Project plans!

I have been listening to the Love to Sew podcasts for a few weeks now and I continue to really enjoy them. One thing they reference a lot are our fabric stashes or aka fabric collections. These are all of the fabric we’ve bought ahead of time with something planned, but haven’t planned yet.

I try really hard to keep my collection of fabrics reasonably small and manageable but right now I do feel like I have a few more things than usual. I am planning to work through these with a few quick wins and then I’ll hopefully be ready to move on to some exciting fall projects (and new fabric!) Some may also get moved out towards the summer of 2020.

First, I am going to finish a wrap dress for my mom by taking in the arm holes. I fit this with when I was in Vancouver and it was too big. Stay tuned for a dedicated post!

Then I have these random PJ pants planned in fleece for D. I think this will be really easy because I’ll make a gathered waist with a pull string.

Then I have a sewing team project! This is totally TBD but my neighbor and I are going to make colorful culottes! Stay tuned.  I may use this striped cotton.

Then I have other pending items

Red shorts for D in a nice cotton

Small circle dress shirt

A shirt for my dad without- I need his measurements though so this has been on hold.

Possible ruined white fabric for dress shirt (photo not included – I may dye this with Avocado pits or tumeric!)

New Chicago plaid short sleeve dress shirt & silk for something…

Then I have my remaining Tokyo cottons which as still TBD for a project

And last but not least I have this linen from Vancouver!

Time for some fun!

Vacation Sewing – Exploring Chicago and Vintage Machines!

We headed to Chicago to celebrate the 4th of July and while we are playing some tennis, most of the time is pretty relaxed and I have some free time for a unique project!

This all kicked off with a trip downtown for lunch with friends. We had lovely Giordano’s deep dish pizza. Here is a picture of the “D Special” – bell pepper, mushroom, and pepperoni.

From here we went over to a few streets that had fabric stores! We visited Fishman’s fabric that had an amazing clearance section and a wide array of upholstery as well as garment fabric. 

This is the garment fabric half of the store

I got a cotton for a shirt for D and some tie silk – all for $2.50 a yard!

We then visited New Rainbow fabric and Joann’s. At Joann’s I also got a simple navy polka dot cotton for my mother in law.

Her husband was the sewer in the family and they have a vintage 1970’s Singer! I decided to put my Moodu pattern making skills to the test and draft her a dress.

This is HEAVY!
Getting all the measurements right!
Ta da! Skirt block complete
Top and back bodice done too!
Using all the tools from this other helpful vintage sewing basket
Oh boy! Aren’t we all on the hunt for the perfect pattern!

Stay tuned to see the dress! Hope you all had a great Canada Day and enjoy celebrating the 4th with families in the States. To other international visitors -I hope you’re all having a nice week too!!