Thursday, July 29, 2010

with apologies to those who suffered... I LOVED MY BURDASTYLE BOOK PROJECT

as you know, since moving back into it, our home has showed its intense dislike of us leaving it for three years by acting like a small child throwing a large tantrum. a surprisingly strong child breaking everything in its path. i think we may need to buy our home a pony to make amends. this kid also did not care that i was recuperating; we had to unexpectedly vacate the premises for a week to get away from the toxic fumes that would finish the job (it sounds like we're killing the child, really we're not), so i suddenly found myself in a sewing predicament. of course i hadn't begun my burdastyle book project. so i packed as much of my studio as i could into a bag, and we jetted to r's mom's house on top of a mountain.

relaxation-wise, this was the best thing that could have happened. i mean, this was my view:


joke's on YOU, kid!

sewing-wise (complete with Deadline), it was maybe the most stressful thing that could have happened. but wait: enter the computerized machine...

and every inch of sewing stress flew out the window to play happily with the flocks of hummingbirds buzzing on the deck.

i know! what?! i haz fallen in love with a new fangled computer-marized machine! i swear i wasn't trying to cheat on my vintage guy, but i couldn't lug my kenmore along with me, and well, who knew? on the day i met this fancy stranger, ruggy laughed dismissively when i found i could lift it, one handed, without bending my knees. cause vintage sewers know it has to weigh at least 80 pounds to work.

joke's on me.

this machine is all kinds of awesome. it automatically threads the needle. it politely lets you know what foot, stitch length and width you should be using. it always leaves the needle in the down position. an LED light saves your eyes. the bobbin is in full clear view. it does eight thousand stitches. i mean, IT HAS A STRETCH STITCH, FOR GOD SAKES!

i didn't know this stitch existed. would you look at how purty that is? and the seams fall nice and flat. this shot is pre-pressing, which took 5 seconds. i didn't have to worry it with an iron for half an hour, as i'm very used to doing with my kenny. 

as far as my project went, i loved the process from start to finish. i've been reading a lot about peeps who had issues... didn't like their fabric, had to buy notions, wanted to just get it over with... but i had a really excellent time. it didn't hurt that i received pretty much all i needed: the most perfect 70s shades of luscious bamboo stretch jersey and matching thread. if i was making a bag or a coat and had to buy my own notions and lining, i would admittedly have been peeved. yes, there were challenges, and my head hurt from time to time... my two shades of green were different weights, so matching up seam ends took some trickery, and creating my variation required a LOT more math than expected (r's mom punched numbers into a calculator while i counted hash marks on a ruler... in the end we both threw up our hands and i cut away).


i wish i could show you the Best Thing I've Ever Sewn, but that has to wait till next year. i can tell you that i abandoned part of my variation: a hood, upon realizing it would turn my sleek creation into something you might wear in an elfin battle.

oh, and speaking of battles, Kid Home is not done yet. we came back to find that the kitchen had flooded. 

i really have to get that pony.

Friday, July 2, 2010

the first time ever i saw your :burdastyle book: face


three years ago i was sitting in a little tree house apartment in LA, stuck in the middle of a town obsessed with itself, about to pull my hair out (and i've got a LOT of hair), searching for something to do that had nothing to do with lalaland. equipped with a featherweight sewing machine, a dress form, vintage spools of rainbow thread and the misty memory of sewing a large stuffed pig back in the 6th grade, i set out on what i assumed would be a futile search for free patterns on the internet. i had resigned myself to making the ever present throw pillow.

i think i actually gasped when i stumbled across burdastyle. i raced to hook up the printer, and like the pack rat i am downloaded everything they had. i was terrified to tape my first pattern together. i didn't know how to convert inches to centimeters (seriously). i think i only had a godzilla size 18 machine needle. two days later, my first dress, a sleeveless danielle, was done up in joann's quilter's cotton. (i know! but it came in so many happy and bright kalkatroonan colors...)


it's safe to say i wouldn't be sewing garments today without burdastyle. i heart burdastyle. and i don't care who knows it. oooooh, wellz, okay actually i guess i DO cause they asked me to be a part of their very first burdastyle book! and so lotsa peeps will know it and it makes me dance around in gLeE!


rachel, our fearless project manager and all around cool chick, gave me two pattern choices, and i got my first pick of a beautiful blouse pattern by alison. in true burdastyle fashion, you're meant to build on the patterns and change them up. (the lovely nora says it much better than i can.) i had to sketch out the variations i'd make (another first burdastyle pushed me into, i've never sketched on a croquis before and now i LOVE it). i can't tell you which variation they chose, because it's still secret, but i CAN show you the most amazing bamboo jersey i get to work with, from britex fabrics --->





(apparently, when i do occasionally choose solid colors, i go for green.)
and now, it's time to finally break my new vintage serger in...
thank you burdastyle! you make me happy!





 are you doing the book too? i'd love to know!