Fabric Shopping in Tokyo

Konnichiwa! This summer, my husband and I went on an adventure to Tokyo and we loved every minute of it! The people are incredibly kind and the city is very easy to navigate. The street signs and subway lines are in English. Many people speak English but some do not. When we met non-English speakers, there was usually someone nearby who offered to translate. Side note: whenever my husband and I visit a foreign country we make a sincere effort to learn some key words and phrases in their language. We believe it communicates respect and shows our genuine…

Fabric Shopping in the NYC Garment District

Before I set out for the day, I entered the addresses and phone numbers of the stores I planned to visit.  Last Christmas, my husband and I wandered around looking for a few specific stores only to find out they relocated.  Google maps didn’t have the updated information so I called the store directly to get directions. If you know the names of the stores you want to see, I suggest logging their contact information in your phone. There are so many stores and it can be overwhelming.  It’s also a lot of walking and we…

Sit and Sew with Kenneth King

I recently had the good fortune of taking sewing lessons with Kenneth King in his NYC studio!  This was a dream come true for a self-taught home sewer! Check out his studio!  (Click photos to enlarge). Working with Kenneth is such a rewarding experience. He has the perfect combination of talent, technique, and teaching ability.  I don’t want sound like a groupie but I must give credit where credit is due! Simply put, Kenneth King is a master at his craft.  I marvel at his expertise.  Given his extensive list of qualifications, the craftsmanship of his work…

I Have a Moulage…Now What Do I Do With It?

At the end of the moulage class at The Sewing and Design School, I had a complete set of custom master patterns.  They are priceless! The blue indicates the moulage, the pencil indicates the bodice sloper, and the green indicates a jacket sloper. These master patterns can be used to design my own patterns or alter the fit of commercial patterns.   My current goal is to learn to draft a few basic bodice styles. Then I can mix and match those with different skirt styles to create a variety of customized dress patterns. First, I traced the bodice from the…

Customizing My Dress Form

I did a lot of research on dress forms before making a purchase.  For my price point, PGM seemed like the best buy.  I chose the 601 model with hip in a size 2. It’s slightly smaller than I am in the bust, hips, and waist. The size 4 didn’t match my measurements either so it made sense to purchase one that was slightly smaller then pad it out to my exact measurements. Kenneth King wrote an article for Threads magazine (Issue 161) that describes one way you can customize your dress form. When I attended…

The Sewing and Design School

  I was a self-taught seamstress…until now.  In an effort to improve my skills, I searched Google for “sewing schools” hoping to find something in my area (online classes are great but I wanted access to a real person).  My search revealed nothing close to home so I began to consider the idea of a sewing vacation.  That’s when I stumbled upon The Sewing and Design School in Tacoma, Washington.  It didn’t take me long to secure my spot in the moulage class by Kenneth D. King.  As a Threads Magazine…

Finlayson Sweater

This sewing project is special for two reasons.  It was my first finished project after a 10 year hiatus and it was a special Christmas present for my love. Before considering what pattern to use, I made a plan.  The design had to be comfortable, work-appropriate, warm, and casual with the option of dressing it up.  A shawl collar sweater was an easy decision. It’s as comfortable as a sweatshirt but it’s more fitted and has a bit more style. INSPIRATION:  Click on each photo for details.     I perused patternreview.com for ideas…

Lena Hoschek

One of the things I love about sewing is designing my own wardrobe.  I can create things to wear that are otherwise unavailable to me.  But when I’m selecting my next sewing project, I often limit myself to items that would be most practical.  Unfortunate but pragmatic.  I work full time so my professional wardrobe supercedes street wear.  Knits, cardigans,  black pants, and simple shirts are my wardrobe staples. Solid colors and layered neutrals tend to dominate.  Doesn’t it make sense to fill my closet with these items? But if I sewed the things I really…

Giving and Receiving

I wanted to give my husband something special for Christmas, something that would make him feel loved.  So, I made a Finlayson sweater and presented it to him Christmas 2015.  It was my first finished sewing project in 10 years!  You see, I started sewing when I was 10.  I used my allowance to purchase a pattern and some fabric from Wal-Mart.  I thought I would make some khaki cargo shorts.  No sewing machine meant that I would have to sew them by hand.  Those shorts look like a brown paper bag and never left the house.  At age…

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