Flights, Trips and a Denim Observation

Oh its been a fortnight or two!  There are too many reasons behind my absence.  If I can offer a word of advice don’t blog from conference without the permission and blessing of the organization as well as the presenters.  It can put you in a long-term blog freeze.

I do have great news, I’m heading west; way west actually.  I’m pulling my itinerary and hope to find some really great shopping opp’s in SAN FRANCISCO!  Yes, it will be a quick trip and I’m sharing my time with others, so I need to have my shops and list ready to go before I leave.  My list is not coming together as quickly as I thought.  What am I in the mood to sew?  The answer is probably everything.  I know knits are always a good bet and a staple I like to pull from.  Fall is on my mind and I’m also thinking about linings for several garments I’m going to start soon.  My sleeper option right now is denim.  Have you guys seen the fall denim options in Burda and Vogue?  Even the options at my local JoAnn’s are pretty great-o.  I am finishing a pencil skirt for a RTW class, which we had to use denim  and I’m so impressed with its durability and composition.  Truth be told, it is not a fabric I consider sewing with.  What I didn’t realize is that it gives you great versatility.  One side can be very utilitarian, but the other can be quite the opposite.  Here is a swatch from a project I’m working on..

Side A & Side B of my green denim

Side A & Side B to Green Denim

Conference Bound!

Hi Friends,

As I write this I’m doing my final preparations before heading to Washington DC.  It is finally time for the annual American Sewing Guild Conference.  Packing for this conference has been an event, its like vacation, but it’s also like a conference.  I find that I need more packing space and I’m not even at the conference yet.  Aside from packing, work and the business are thundering on and have gotten busy.  Our front hallway is a mess of reminders and stacks of things I have to do before we leave.  Does anyone else do that?

I am super excited about the conference because, I will be photo blogging!  Give me a day to set up, and I hope to be feeding back pics and tips from some of the great presenters.  In true Sew Beginnings form, I hope to squeeze in a couple of side trips to check out the local fabric scene.  I just can’t wait.  As my niece says, “Is it tomorrow yet”??

Fun to Follow,


New Find: Betsey Johnson for Butterick

Betsey Johnson for Butterick

Betsey Johnson for Butterick

After taking a class on costume design this spring I have a new appreciation for fashion!  I love knowing what drives style, especially from a historical perspective.  In all this reading, I’ve developed a fondness for fashion from the 70’s; the mod inspired styles in particular.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that Betsey Johnson had designed a pattern line for Butterick at this same time.  Have you seen this line?  An image search with Google will pull up most of the designs in the collection.  I could look at these things for minutes on end.

I’ve done a ton of research n the pieces in the collection and purchased my first pattern from the line a few weeks ago.  Thank you eBay! As I checked my mail Friday I noticed that the pattern had arrived.  As things go, I had no time this weekend to open it and look at everything.  I knew I would need a good 20-30 minutes of quiet time to look through the pattern.  My curiosity finally peeked this morning and I brought the pattern with me to look at over lunch.

Opening the pattern, I notice that it is wonderfully preserved, with factory folds and instructions intact.  I love when product descriptions match the item you buy.  At any rate, I’ve opened it, run through the sizing and have a few projects already in mind.  My pause right now is that I don’t want to cut into the pattern, so I think I’ll use tracing paper or vellum to trace around the pieces that I need.  More updates to follow!

Sew & Tell!

In Texas, football is a big deal, but so are fashion and art.  The past two weeks I’ve had an opportunity to help local photographer Laura Scarlato get ready for Market; Dallas Market that is.   Dallas Market Center is the world’s largest wholesale showcase market.  It’s market days are legendary and cater to a variety of interests including fashion and apparel, gifts, and decor.  This year Laura will be among the artisans at Dallas Market!

My part in all this is quite small, but I found it very rewarding.  My task was to create a carrier for the canvases Laura will be selling at Market.  From concept to creation, wSlide1e cycled through a few prototypes and tested a variety of materials that would be suitable to carry the canvases.  The winning design was a felt back pleather carrier that I ended up serging.  It was the first time for me to use pleather on the serger and I was completely impressed with how well the serger took to the pleather.  Here are a few shots of the creative process and some of the prints she will be taking.

More on the artist:

Blog Updates

Mailing it out!

Mailing it out!

May, you’ve been a lion!  I mean that in a good way, because  I’ve been immensely productive.  Memorial Day weekend marked the selling of the serger and a few bundles of fabric, hooray!   A friendly sewer in Rhode Island bid and won the serger auction I posted on E-bay.  We are both so excited for the other to get the serger.  I feel great about it finding its way to a good home.

Other updates; the fabric giveaway continues!  We are up to 4 comments, which is awesome.  Yes, you can comment multiple times.  I’m excited to reach 10 posts.

I’m working on a great Sew and Tell story for the next entry.  The story revolves around the question; isn’t it amazing how you can help people in such a small way with sewing?

Happy Trails!

Fabric Shops in Newark, NJ; Say What?

Flying and staying in Newark for a fabric shopping trip isn’t too bad.  There are several fabric shops on the New Jersey side that have as much to offer as the NYC shops.   The excursion I’m quiet proud of was a few weeks ago when I ventured to Halsey Fabric Shoppe on Halsey Street in Newark, NJ.

There are two ways to get to Halsey if you don’t have a rent car; cab or NJ Transit.  My first trip I hailed a cab, which was $30 one way.  On my return trip back to my airport hotel I walked a mile from Halsey Fabric to Newark Penn Station and rode the transit back to the Newark Airport Terminal and then caught my hotel shuttle from the P4 area.  The second trip was $6.00 and I have to say more enjoyable than the cab ride.  The walk is great, very safe and a strait shot to Newark Penn Station.  Halsey Fabric is a local shop, with incredible finds.  On my visit I found wool suiting for $7-20 a yard, depending on content.  They also had wonderful satins, velvets and trim that were totally fashion friendly.  The piece below I fell in love with for a dress I want to make later (3 yards for $5 a yard).  Halsey doesn’t have a formal website, but they are on Yelp, and the reviews hold their weight when you visit the store.  DSC01326Fabric cuts are generous and conversation is great.  I can’t wait to get back there!

Halsey Fabric Shoppe, 91 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ

Give Away

Ever feel like you are drowning in fabric?  That would sum up my month.  I have a pattern of the month picked out; its ready to be reviewed.  The problem is that I can’t get to it due to the wall of fabric that is occupying my own studio.  Not that I’m complaining, there’s just no place to work.  This wall is mostly my inherited fabric, but also a few pieces of my own.  I feel like I’m ready to start parting with some of this, especially the inherited stuff.   I’ve taken to eBay to sell down some of this stock as well as donated some to charity.  Fabric is flying out of here, but there is still more to go.  In the spirit of finally starting my blog I’ve decided to give away a select piece from the collection as well.  Up for grabs is a cut of orange chevron fabric; 100% cotton.  Be the 10th poster below and I will send it your way.