Monday, November 26, 2007

Instant gratification

It's a snowy, blustery night. My plans for the evening (practice with my singing partner) were cancelled, "My Mike" is in Alberta celebrating his brother's 50th birthday (Mike brought his mother - isn't he sweet!), and I do not feel motivated to work on my sewing projects.
Sooo I took a visit to some of my favourite sewing blogs, and saw that Cidell made some uber cute mittenettes. I had admired them when I saw her in New York City, and re-admired them on her blog. "What the heck" I thought.
An hour later I had three pairs!
Two grey pairs with some beading I had laying around. I used the sleeves and the body as well to get two pairs.
And some striped ones. I unravelled some wool to make some freeform flowers.

Thanks Cidell!!

Bontje ladies- Claim away, the fight is on! ... Erica I could make brown ones to match your coat...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Is seaweed beneficial?

Erica - you may well skip reading this post. You and I will butt heads over this one!
Lululemon® is a yoga inspired athletic apparel company. It is a Canadian company, however I see that it is available in some American cities, as well as in Sydney, Australia.
Around here you are not considered "dressed" for any excercise class, walking your dog, hanging around the house, reading the newspaper (I think you get it), unless you are wearing Lululemon®! Our children were counting down the hours until a store opened in London, Ontario. My niece visited the store twice-or was it three times?-the day it opened. I will admit to owning one workout top that has the Lululemon label. Hey, I wanted to see how it was constructed!
You can understand the following. Young people (and not so young people) want to jump on the latest bandwagon. Want to be in the it crowd. Want to be seen wearing overpriced, under designed clothing made of the "newest and most innovative" fabrics. Unfortunately too many people blindly follow "labels" often never thinking about questionable claims.
The Lululemon® label is fresh, although the designs to my mind are boring, boring. Their biggest hype lately has been the exciting offerings of fabric. Yes they have hemp and bamboo, but the newest claim is SEAWEED.
Here is what a hangtag proclaims... 24 per cent seaweed content, reduces stress and provides anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, hydrating and detoxifying benefits.
Apparently when you wear it and work out, the beneficial seaweed is absorbed by your skin providing those exciting benefits. So what happens when you wash it? In my mind, those benefits would be washed away after a couple of trips through the washer!
Apparently I was not the only one to think that. Here is an article that was in our local paper this morning

Lululemon prompts probe

Wed, November 21, 2007


TORONTO -- The federal Competition Bureau is examining the entire industry of eco-friendly materials and how they are promoted.

The probe was announced following a controversy at Lululemon Athletica Inc. that pounded its stock.

The yoga wear retailer was forced to drop its seaweed-related health benefit claims from its VitaSea line of clothing.

Late last Friday, the federal agency revealed Lululemon had agreed to remove the tags with the claims or cover them with a sticker until it could produce scientific evidence to back the assertions.

Bureau spokesperson Larry Bryenton says the Competition Bureau now is focusing on all firms that make health, therapeutic or environmental claims about sustainable fibres such as bamboo and soybeans.

"We'll certainly keep a careful eye on where the industry is going," Bryenton said in an interview. "It's certainly something that's caught the bureau's attention . . . Lululemon happened to be a situation where they made unsubstantiated claims that happened to relate to one of these new types of products out there."

Robert Meers, chief executive officer of Lululemon, said in an interview he doesn't plan to re-institute the seaweed-fabric health claims. "I don't think they add anything."

Bryenton said the bureau is satisfied Lululemon has removed the labels on its VitaSea shirts, which cost up to $69 for a long-sleeved men's top.

The tags said the clothing, with 24 per cent seaweed content, reduces stress and provides anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, hydrating and detoxifying benefits.

Think about it before you purchase any product that touts almost mystical beautifying properties already wouldya!
As a footnote- the accompanying photo featured the "Pose" tank,

which looks eerily like this BWOF tank right down to the crossover back!Now for some seaweed fabric!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oh the frustration of it all!

I wanted a nice quick and easy project for the weekend. Enter Burda WOF 10/07 and the cute jumper dress.
At least I thought it would be quick!
It was the age old story of more hurry, less speed- or is that less speed more hurry- it should have been less of both I am afraid!
I had the pattern (albiet in Spanish. I know 3 words in Spanish- none of them are used in pattern directions!)
I had the fabric- striped stretch suiting from Paron's in NYC.
I had the vision - Jaeng wore the dress in NYC
I had the time.
I also had the "connie you are an idiot" bang myself on top of my head experiences that only a rank amateur should have!

This is what happened. I cut out the fabric...with the stripes going the wrong way....twice! Which left me no fabric for a belt. Micaela - there will be no belt unless it is black.

I did a good job on the bodice- the understitching is perfect. I used self fabric for the lining. Yay me

I put the sleeves on backwards - only once though!

I sewed the back lining on backwards - and left the stupid thing that way!

I sewed the bodice AND the facing to the skirt instead of only the bodice then hand stitching the lining on. And I did not notice that until I double stitched, and also sewed some grosgrain on for stability as the skirt is heavier than I thought it would be. I would not have done that when I was 12!

Then - to add insult to injury...

I looked at it this afternnon and DDUUHH I sewed both the sleeves AND the skirt to the WRONG side of the bodice- and now of course the understiching is glaring me in the face on the (now) right side of the bodice! It is too late in the game to rip it apart so the only fix is to take out the understitching and hope it will roll to the (now) inside. I won't be able to undertitch that - I may have to topstitch.

Sometimes I wonder why I sew!

Almost forgot a Vintage pic
Mike and I on our wedding day over 26 years ago (yes I made the dress)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Work Clothes

Does what you wear to work say anything about you as a person? I sure as heck hope not, although I am afraid it does!
When I work, I get dirty..and smelly..
Over the years I have gotten in the really bad habit of wearing the oldest things I have to work. Old sweatshirts that the kids have discarded, old pants that have definately seen better days, or are too short or too big. In the summer I have been known to hack off old sweatpants to shorts levels.
I work at home, and I always wear coveralls in the barn. We do however have an increasing amount of people- salespeople, friends, repair crews- who come around. They always seem to appear when I am outside=looking less than stellar.
They don't make a lot of work pants for a womens figure. Lauren (18) looked for a loonngg time last spring looking for work pants that fit nicely. She found exactly one pair, and that one was a men's pant. One of her biggest beefs was that there is very little availability for a nice fitting "fashionforward" work pant.
Is that counterindicated? fashion forward and work? I should hope not!
She also notice that in the "Dickies" line the marketing label for the mens pants showed a rugged guy type man, the womens marketing hang tag featured a stick thin wonan holding up a wine glass. Now what is with that?
All this does have a point!
I came across a video about nursing scrubs that echoes the same theme. You can view it here. I believe it is the middle video on the right hand side "Scrubs for Scrubs" Madame Erica, if you can figure out if I can save the video clip to my comupter then I can post just the video here.

So the point is, I don't want heavy clothes for work. Wouldn't it make sense for me to make "work scrubs" for myself? Using the right fabric, and styling I can see this making sense to me.

I am going to start posting "vintage shots" of me and mine.
Here is one of my parents when they were dating- over 50 years ago!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wedding Photo's

Thought I should add some

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pattern Review and Pattern Reviews

Just came home from an absolutely wonderful couple of days in NYC with some very special friends. No Mike not Virtual Friends- real friends! Too tired right now to share anything, but I was reminded - not so very gently!- that none of the clothes I was wearing had been reviewed. Yes I am lax.
So here is a list of the reviews I promise to post on Pattern Review and here in the next week- or as soon as the desktop computer monitor gets replaced...

1. The only pants pattern that I use - Vogue something or other
2. A jacket that is either Vogue or MC Calls
3. The fabulous vintage dress
4. MOB dress
5. Wedding dress #1
6. Linen Dress and Jacket- Vogue

I cross my heart, stick a finger in my eye promise that I will get them up - I even wrote most of them on the 12 hour train ride!!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Lauren and I saw a great jacket at a wedding last weekend. I keep a notepad in my purse especially for design moments like that!! Today I saw this Butterick pattern on EricaB's site and had a - "That's it" moment!

Take this jacket, cut the sleeve off above the elbow, add a 1" band (embellished) and the bell shaped sleeve from this McCall's Blouse, and do it up in a metallic tweed.
I will look for the right fabric in New York this week!

Just so you know - I love making jackets! I hate hate making blouses! I am half done the silk blouse and have to drag myself to work on it. It looks good, and is going together fine. I don't know what it is about it that makes me hate the blouse process- a jacket is exactly the same. More finickity if you think about interfacing, lining and all that. But I still hate blouses!