Saturday, October 22, 2011

look at me...

i'm sandra dee!

introducing the newest help in the sewing room, my dress form, sandra dee. here, she is modeling one of the two patriotic penny lanes that i am so proud to say will adorn one of two sweet little girls when their daddy returns home from overseas. swoon.

i have been wanting a dress form for quite some time. however, i have been holding out trying to find an adjustable (chest, waist, etc) toddler form and i just have not been able to find one. of course in 5 minutes after i post this blog i am sure to have someone email me that they know of someone who sells them, but it just wouldn't be the same without my good friend murphy (as in law).

so, i now have help in the sewing room. i no longer have to lose my patience with a sweet, tow-headed little mess that refuses to stay still when i ask and wiggles and squirms and squeals when she sees the pins when i am working on pattern drafts. sandra dee will take lou's place in that regard - making that a fore-mentioned tow-head quite happy.

i will say she will take some getting used to. i have her in my sewing room and will admit she keeps freaking me out every time i walk by and she catches my eye. i keep thinking there is someone in my sewing room (and that is quite possible considering what a disaster it is at the moment, yikes). but none the less, she skeeeeeeeers me right now.

hi-ever (i used to have a teacher in nursing school that always pronounced it that way and it makes me giggle), i have no worries...sandra dee and the girl behind BG will be BFF 4-eva soon. real soon.

PS - you can make this dress. promise. this is the tutorial that spawned the idea of the penny lane.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

i shouldn't sweat when i sew

now, the title of this blog post has absolutely nothing to do with the temperature (although i will say we turned the heaters on for the first time yesterday so the house is still in that 'heaters on for first time of the season so it smells like the house is on fire' phase) NOR should it be confused with 'i shouldn't swear when i sew' since we all know better than that.

it is what it is. i shouldn't sweat when i sew. but i do. and i did for REAL this morning when i was working on a knit that has since been chucked out the door and halfway (well, as far as my arm can throw) across the backyard.

i notice that the last few blogs have mentioned sewing issues. truth be told...i am trying desperately to get out of a sewing funk. it happens to the best of us. my problem right now is mostly that i have toooooooooo much shiz on my mind. when i should be focusing in daydream, i instead am thinking about the next line, whether or not to take the plunge and order some fabric from overseas, where i see BG in the next few years (this one is weighing heavily), putting my house on the market, cleaning my house, packing, real estate in athens and of course my sewing shop in athens (hehe, remember to never give up on something you cannot go 24 hours without thinking about). oh, and sick chirrens. i mean, i simply cannot sit down and sew daydream believer. what is wrong with me??? that is a rhetorical question in case you were wondering. ;)

well, this week i have allowed myself to have a 'catch up' week to hopefully get me back in the mood. so, i have been working on auction/donation items, birthday gifts, personal gifts, new ideas for lou, etc. and everything was going great...until this morning.

i sat down to some knit this morning for a project for a personal gift. nothing that i will profit from (of course...those always seem to be the worst times!) and nothing that i gain anything from. the fabric was brewtiful. usually with knits, i order a swatch before i jump (if it is online since i cannot feel it) but this was a piece of vintage fabric that i could NOT live without. i 'needed' it. it was pricey (of course) but i simply had to have it and i knew exactly what i would do with it. so i ordered, and then fell head over heels when i got it, imagine that.

i should have known after it giving me a fit just cutting it that it was going to be a bad experience...but i kept on with my stubborn self. i put it on louise, my serger and it all but jumped straight off the side. so, i made some adjustments to all my settings and tried again. it still acted a fool. i thought, maybe i should take it to myrtle (my machine) and sew my seams first and then serge over so that i have a little more stability. well, i put it on myrtle and it all but chomped and chewed the side and made that AWFUL sewing machine noise that sends chills up your spine. so, i decided i needed my walking foot to keep it from going down into my feed dogs. well, i put my walking foot on, made sure i had my ballpoint needle in and tried again. chomp, chomp, chomp and CHAAACHHAAAAAACHUUUUUUUUNNKKKKK (that is my best attempt at putting letters to the sound of your machine eating fabric). i was speechless, i have NEVER had my machine act up with my walking foot on. i mean, it is like the equivalent of the best seamstress ever holding your hand while you sew.

well, the sweating (and swearing) began and i got mad. i ripped seams, tried again, ripped seams, changed settings, ripped seams, changed needles, ripped seams, turned all machines off and re-threaded, ripped seams, etc, etc, etc.

i was FURIOUS. i was sweating, and i shouldn't sweat when i sew. this is supposed to be fun. so, i decided i need a break. i got up, turned off my machine while talking sweetly to it for i know it wasn't her fault and then turned to the fabric and had a come to Jesus meeting with it. then, i came to the computer, and treated myself to some retail therapy with some new amy butler i had been eying to make a skirt for myself. i then got a styrofoam cup and filled it with diet coke and finished off the rest of a bag of chips.

with a new outlook on life (diet coke in a styrofoam cures all disasters) i walked back in the sewing room to try it all again. i thought surely everyone just needed a break and a breather. well, chomp, chomp, chomp and CHAAACHHAAAAAACHUUUUUUUUNNKKKKK later...i opened the door to the backyard, grabbed the fabric and used every bad word i could muster up while stomping on it on the floor and then hurled it across the backyard. i am convinced that the fabric itself and the components of it have somehow dry-rotted over time. bless it's antique heart. or at least, it is making me feel better knowing it is a flaw of time. ha! i can honestly think of no other reason that it acted the way it did. i have sewn with some pretty hairy knits, but this one definitely took the cake.

so, i am giving the stink eye to my sewing room at the moment. i need to get in there with some good old-fashioned quilters cotton and get on with it. but in my tempered tirade (who me with a temper? never...) i also made a big ole mess. gargamels...and the sewing funk continues.

humor me sewing buds - what makes you sweat in the sewing room?

Friday, October 7, 2011

gargamels, fiddlesticks and other PG bad words

wow, 3 blogs in 3 days. can you even believe it? this is a sure sign the wheels are spinning.

unfortunately what happens when the wheels spin is that i kinda become this out of body personality that has a hard time focusing on anything BUT what is going through my mind at the time. you can talk to me, but there is a very good chance that i don't hear a thing.

bad, isn't it. yes...but from what i have heard from other creative folks - it is completely normal. this is the time that i call my 'manic state.' i get this odd headache that doesn't really hurt, but makes me unable to focus on ANYTHING but textiles, fabric, designs, lines, etc. it is kinda crazy.

when i should be focusing all of my energy on finishing up inventory for the second upload of daydream believer, i am instead dancing in la-la land designing my next line. crazy, i know. but i cannot make it stop. i have visions. (haaa, famous last words) kinda weird, huh?

are you still there? or are you thinking, may be the time to give up on this crazy lunatic known as the girl behind BG. well, if you stick around...i promise it will be good.

i just cannot help all the turning wheels. mostly because i got my hands on some amazing old patterns that were my grandmother's. and then i got one of the most delicious (and expensive) fabrics in the post. the texture on it brings me to tears. and all of these fabulous buttons that keep coming from Little Red Cottage in the most fabulous of colors. and then the songs. shame on me for listening to my golden oldies, they make my head spin. and now i cannot help but to look in my sewing room and find color and fabric combos that i never thought of before. ooohhh, it is dangerous.

but yesterday, i MADE myself get in the sewing room and work. on daydream...and not just daydreaming. hehe.

well, to say that i ran into a minor snafu with the boys shirts would be an understatement. i now have half of the shirts that i ordered, am so fed up with the supplier that i canceled the rest of my order and am now trying to find substitutes. gag. so, to burn off some negative energy i headed to the sewing room to create. singing along to tommy james with crimson and clover, i drafted, cut and sewed some lucky stars pants. i was feeling good. then, disaster occurred when i went to measure.

you see...i could not stop those wheels from spinning all the while i was working. and i tend to be one of those personalities that cannot do more than one thing at a time. so, while daydreaming about opening a small fabric store and sewing school when i move to athens...i somehow did not pay close enough attention to the super-organized measuring charts that i have. see below, count them.

yes, 1...2...3...4. one would think i would have compiled them and organized them by now for when i go to draft patterns, but i haven't. and i made a big mistake. now see this...

yep, that is 4 yards of out of print fabric that is gone. all of the pants i constructed yesterday have the wrong inseams. bad, bad, bad words were said. and pants were thrown. buttons were flung and scissors speared into the cork floor. and then i did what needed to be done. i turned off the lights and shut the door and walked away from the sewing room before it got worse.

well, i have managed to beat myself up pretty bad about it all. but i am just having the HARDEST time focusing right now on the task at hand. i need to go and draw out some of the next line that is in my head and put it away for just a while. then, i need to stop thinking about this fabric store/sewing school that probably wont be (but i have heard that you should never give up on something you cannot go 24 hours without thinking about) when i return to the beautiful state of georgia. but oh my word, how fun? i mean, i already have the design planned out and how i can bring my doggies to work and have fun tunes playing and open sewing nights, etc. sigh...

i told myself this morning that i would focus and get my work done. i would go shopping for substitute shirts and get a move on. well, of course the shirt shopping didn't go as planned, but instead of being bummed...when i got home, i smiled. a big, fat girly grin. know why? not only did i have two of the most fab-a-lous pairs of jeans sitting on the porch in the post from an amazing boutique, and really...i am a girl that can have a complete change of heart with a good pair of blue jeans.

but i also had a happy (a sweet one at that) from a customer.

and then, 14 yards of joel. swoon. i cannot show a picture of that because a girl does have to have her secrets. :)

and on that note...i will go into my sewing room and first things first - get my measurement chart organized. then, i will redraft all of those pants and get started again. i cannot guarantee my mind will stay where it should, but i guess tis better to have a wandering mind that a wandering eye?

cheer up sleepy jean. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

going once, going twice and SOLD

Okay, this is about to be the most fun.

Here at BG, I love to contribute items to auctions when I can. So, when a sorority sister of mine posted on facebook about a live auction, I jumped.

Want to know why? Well, you should meet Heather. I know her as Heather Kaney, but she is now Heather Burge (funny how we girls always remember the maiden names) the owner of two FABULOUS boutiques in my hometown of Savannah, Ga. You see, she has always been uber-stylish. In fact, when I lived in the ADPi house with her in good ole Athens, Ga she was my GO-TO for style help. Unfortunately, I have always been S.T. Rugglin' in the fashion department. Super ironic considering my choice of hobby/home-business, haha. Anyways, I would walk down to Heather's room and she would give me the hook-up on clothes, what I should or shouldn't wear, etc. And she was always so nice about it although I am sure there were times when she probably should have just laughed at my ensembles. :) And, I will say one night she did my make-up (for I S.T. Ruggle there too) for a formal and I all but fell out when she told me that yes, eyeliner goes on the top lid too! One would think 4 years at an all-girls school and 2 years in all-girls living I would have caught on by then...

Anyways, the girl is awesome. Not only is she uber stylish and has the cutest stores (if you are ever in Savannah, Ga you must check out Bleu Belle and Bleu Belle Bridal) but as long as I have known her she has also been super helpful. She is now a celebrity in the low country and will be one of the dancers in the upcoming Dancing With Savannah Stars, an event that benefits the non-profit organization of Savannah CASA (an organization geared towards the health and well-being of children that have been neglected or abused). This is where the auction and BG comes in.

Tonight she is hosting Fashion For the Kids. It is going to be a fabulous event with a runway presentation and a live auction. Enter the BG.

This is the beauty that will be on the blocks (towhead model with a sour face not included):

A BG Original that knocks my socks off. The top is made of a super soft knit (it almost feels like a bamboo it is so soft) and features a curved boat-neck with a strip of mustard corduroy and fabulous buttons (but of did see my last post, right?). The sleeves are full and sort of 'winged' (I have NO clue if that is the correct design term or not, but that is what I call them...they are full, flared and flowy) with an empire waist and gathered skit. The pants are made of a cross-hatched denim with the signature BG ruffle on the bottom and button-tabs on both legs. This pant is super close to the Sleepy Jean that sold out like crazy in the first Daydream Believer upload. The top is a size 2-3 while the pants are a 3T. I mean, love it. In fact, I may have to bid to get this one back for Lou!

So, here are the details...this is how you can have a go at this super fun outfit.

I will post the photo of the outfit on my brownie-goose facebook page and will open bidding at 5 pm CST. To place a bid, comment under the photo with your bid amount. At 6:30 pm CST (since the auction will start at 7:30 EST) this BG Original will hit the auction blocks at Fashion For the Kids. This is where the fun begins. Heather will start the bidding in Savannah at the amount it is on the Facebook page, and people in the audience at the auction will place bids live, and Heather will enter them as comments on the photo (most likely coming from BleuBelle Boutique). This is where the bidding war commences. Remember...ALL proceeds go to benefit children. After a minute has passed and bidding has stopped (no one has commented in over a minute) Heather will close the auction and the outfit will go to the highest bidder.

So, who is excited?? Let's show our support for the sweet kiddos out there!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

my newest love

it is no secret that the girl behind BG can fall madly in love with some sort of a sewing notion. it is the inner sewing nerd in me. whether it is fabric, trim, elastic, thread, lace, etc. when i find something i like, i fall fast and hard. and once i have fallen, i stay very loyal. take for instance my sweet joel. as in dewberry. yes, i feel as though we are on a first-name basis even though he has no clue who i am. i have emailed him once, but granted...i never heard back. sigh. oh well, i still love just about anything that comes with his name on it. however, i have been forced to get creative with joel lately. you see - one of the reasons he is my fave designer (other than his brilliance) is that no one used his fabrics often. at least, not in the arena of children's clothing. however, that has changed all too quick. his latest lines of modern meadow and heirloom have been so spot on and amazing that people have picked up on him. so now, i find myself getting creative and coming up with ways to incorporate joel with a little spin. but that still makes me happy, mostly because it is who i am here at BG...adding my own little twists.

well, my newest fascination/obsession/border-line hoarding beginning is buttons. i prefer the vintage variety (check out the lovelies in the mason jar here that a friend surprised me with)

- but found myself becoming heart-broken as i could never find enough of the ones i loved, mostly because they were vintage finds. well, one day i stumbled across a girl in california that has just about knocked my socks off lately.

you see...i really, really, really was going to keep her as one of BG's dirty little secrets, but the more and more i look at this lovely right here...

i realize i need to share. because it is right to share, right?

well, michele. she is the fab lady behind little red cottage. phew, secret is out. she has recently become my favorite enabler. you see...she hand dyes buttons. i have no clue how in the world that happens as it is above my chemisty-lacking-brain, but she does. and let me tell you...i squeal when i see that there is a package with her happy little red cottage sticker in my post. the colors and the variety, all of it just makes me smile. and then, the brain goes into over-drive thinking of all of the ways that i will use these beautifully colored buttons.

if you aren't head over heels for buttons yet, but maybe you have a love affair with trims...still go meet michele. she has the hook-up on that too. you will not be sorry that you did. she is sweet, she is fast and she brings all sewing nerds like me happiness.

go visit her little red cottage. and smile. :)