Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Belated Birthday, Pattern Give Away, and PR Promotion?

So, here are some of the thoughts I meant to post on Monday for my birthday. But first, a gratuitous shot of the incredibly decadent brownies (recipe here) that I baked for myself as a birthday treat...

Mmmmm.... brownies... my one true weakness. Well, aside from silk.

OK, now, about my birthday! And sewing! It was almost exactly four years ago that Mom Muse gave me my first sewing  machine as a birthday present. Can you believe it?  I was looking back at my very first sewing post - here - and I have to admit that not a lot has changed other than...

...instead of sewing an elastic waist a-line skirt...

 ...I'm now hand picking zippers on silk dresses.

But my love of fabric, obsessiveness with details and lack of camera skills are essentially intact. That said, I posted a Pattern Review for the red dress yesterday (here) and a few commenters suggested that it's time to give myself a promotion from Advanced Beginner to Intermediate. What do you think? On the one hand, there is sooo much I still don't know or have never done, and even more that I have done but don't consider myself truly skilled at (um, button holes is the glaringly obvious one here. There are just so many good hardware solutions to button holes that I haven't worked so hard at perfecting my skills.) On the other hand, I've really upped my game in the last year. In fact, I've...

...tailored a coat,
...worked extensively on bust fitting,

 ...and done my first project with boning and a waist stay.
 Oh and lets not forget that since my last birthday, I conquered my fear of welt pockets.

Who's afraid of the big bad welt? Not me!

I'm also feeling good about zippers, fitting my body and hand sewing. So, why am I hesitant? Maybe it's that my sewing is always such slow going compared to others. I tend to stick to a few big projects rather than sewing a lot of quicker things. And Intermediate seems like a big jump at a time when I really feel like I'm in the snarky adolescent phase of my sewing hobby - some days I'm a spoiled brat know-it-all; some days I feel like I don't know a thing. Please share your thoughts - is it time for a promotion? How did you decide you were ready to move up the PR ranks?
So, back to my birthday! I always feel full of plans and goals for the coming year. This time around - birthday number 36 - is no exception. Maybe it's my way of gearing up for another year of life, maybe it's how much I love and feel alive during my birth month (hooray October!!!), or perhaps it's the nearing holidays, but I can't help being joyful and thankful at his time of year.

And now, because birthdays traditionally involve gift giving, I've decided on another give away. The theme is Beautiful Dresses. Just holler in the comments before Friday at midnight EDT (NYC time) and let me know which pattern(s) you'd like, if not all. I'm happy to ship to wherever your Craft Lounge may be.

Gorgeous Dress Pattern Give Away
First, Simplicity 3823, a halter style classic party dress. Or with Halloween coming, this could be the perfect pattern for a Marilyn Monroe costume.

"Happy Birthday, Mr President" in Size 14-22

Next, I've always been a big fan of "That Dress" - the Roland Mouret Galaxy dress - and this Vogue pattern is clearly a knock-off of it. Also, it's got a similar feel to my red dress, but without the labor intensive sleeves and pleats. And like the red dress, I think this would be great on pear shaped figures - the strong sleeves/shoulders really balance out the hips visually. I could see this done up in a really dressy fabric for some sex appeal or in a more tweedy fabric for an office chic vibe.  

Vogue 8280 - sizes 16-20
And finally, Vogue 1162, my red dress pattern.

Size 14-20
Just a few caveats with this pattern. This is the pattern I used for the first muslin, which was too large. I had to go down to the size 12, which was not in the same pattern envelope. I didn't cut the pattern, but did trace it with a wheel. So this pattern is NOT in factory condition. However, all the parts are there, as are the instructions in a somewhat beat up envelope. This is an advanced pattern, but I hope I've convinced you that it is worth it - I'd love to pass this pattern along.

More tomorrow on the boxer sew along I'm participating in. Have a great day everyone!


Debi said...

Happy belated birthday! I just adore all your outfits! I didn't realise you did the red rose dress--it looks ABSOLUTELY amazing! This pattern has been on my wish list for some time so definitely count me in!!!

Rachel said...

Even if you do feel like a snarky adolescent, the triumph of your exquisite red dress should elevate you to intermediate. Your body of proof presented verifies the claim to this new title. Embrace it.

As a pear-shaped girl myself the office chic V8280 is right up my alley.

Faye Lewis said...

Your red silk dress is simply beautiful! Congratulations on the advancement of your sewing skills (your Lady Grey was one of the BEST ones produced in the challenge), and of course HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

AllisonC said...

I'm astounded you have only been sewing for 4 years, clearly you are pretty fearless when it comes to trying new things which is probably the best way to learn. Of course you should promote yourself to at least an intermediate!

lakaribane said...

Happy birthday! And GREAT DRESS!!!

MySummerTouch said...

Brownies are good for mood lifting! Happy birthsday!!! I wish you all that you wish to yourself!!! Love your red dress, you look gorgeous!!!

Redrockcity said...

The red dress is incredible as are all the other items in your portfolio!! Absolutely, promote yourself!

Keri said...

You are amazing! Your version of this red dress is spectacular and you put the patter model to shame! Intermediate ahoy!

Karin said...

Happy birthday! You've sewn some really gorgeous clothes. Your strategy to sew quality over quantity gives me pause for thought. I think you are definitely an intermediate sewer now, but I do understand your hesitation. All the best people are humble:-)

On an unrelated note, I had to delete my blog due to an attack by malware! You can now find me a

Marina v.K. said...

I followed a link to your blog from Facebook - beautiful outfits and great sewing! Congratulations and Happy Birthday!

Julia said...

The red dress is gorgeous!

leather bags

Anonymous said...

Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful article.
Thank you for providing this info.
Here is my page ... tatoo removal

Anonymous said...

of course like your website but you need to test
the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them
are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth
nevertheless I'll surely come back again.
Here is my blog post skin bleach