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Sunday, December 31, 2006

A year in review

For 2007, more sewing, knitting and crocheting!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Warm up January!

Even though the month of January is usually cold, the 2007 Ebony Fashion Fair will heat things up by bringing the "hottest" styles to Birmingham on January 14th at the Wright Center at Samford University. The design theme this year is "Stylishly Hot"! The designers presented will be Bob Mackie, Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy, just to name a few. This is the 41st year (out of 49) that this show has been brought here and is sponsored by the lovely ladies of the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta.

This is what I decided to wear.
This is Vogue 7852, and I'll be making view A, the shorter version. I know that it will be black and I will make the final fabric choices right after the new year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Movie Review: Dreamgirls

I hope everyone is having a fantastic Christmas. To top off our great day, the family and I went to see Dreamgirls. This is one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, not to mention the fact that the cast provides a stellar performance. Contrary to belief, this movie is not the Beyonce' Knowles (Deena Jones) show that many people felt it would be. In my opinion, Jennifer Hudson (Effie White) stills the show. Her performance as Effie was so passionate that it is difficult to even comprehend that she is a novice to the silver screen... she is an absolute natural. Even though Beyonce's acting abilities have been questionable in the past, her acting lessons paid off and she can now consider herself an "actress". Jamie Foxx (Curtis Taylor, Jr.) is like I've never seen him before: a slick-talking, used-car salesman willing to do anything and step on anyone to make his mark in the music industy. Eddie Murphy (James "Thunder" Early) is fantastic and does his thing in delivering comedic relief... he has the funniest scene in the movie. Anika Noni Rose (Lorrell Robinson), who won "Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical" at the 58th Annual Tony Awards for "Caroline, or Change", has been an underrated star. Her character is kind of the cute, bubble-head member of the group that eventually finds strength and character. The movie also starred Danny Glover (Marty Madison), Sharon Leal (Michelle Morris) and Keith Robinson III (C.C. White). There were also small parts and cameos by John Lithgow (Jerry Harris), Loretta Divine (a jazz singer), who played Lorrell in the original and Dawnn Lewis (Melba Early), who suprisingly didn't have a speaking part, unless it ended up on the editing room floor. I highly recommend this movie to anyone wanting to see mindblowing performances!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Armani - Knocked Off!

I've been enamored with this coat since I saw it on Joy Bryant in the August 2005 issue of Instyle magazine and lo and behold, Vogue Patterns came up with a version.

Instyle, August 2005

Giorgio Armani, Fall 2005 RTW

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 8307, View A
Body - Melton 100% Wool
Lining - 100% Polyester
Notions: 1/2" shoulder pads, one 3/4" button, 3/8 yd. of cording, three 2" buttons

Description: Lined, fitted, hip length jacket has asymmetrical collar and front closing, princess seams and shoulder pads.

This pattern is rated easy and it went together a lot easier than it probably looks. I cut view A, in size 14, according to my high-bust measurement (36"), and about 2" below the waist I graduated to size 18 to compensate for the "child-bearing" hips. I also did a FBA (full bust adjustment) according to Debbie Cook's "FBA on Princess Seamed Bodice" . I added 2" to all of the body pieces because according to my measurements from neck to hip, I knew this was going to run short on us girls over 5'6". I was also concerned whether I would have to lengthen the sleeves but they were perfect. I probably could have cut this in the size 12 (for a "perfect" fit), but I wanted to leave the necessary ease to wear over a bulky sweater. I couldn't find any 2" buttons that "did it" for me so I decided to use the Dritz Half Ball Cover Buttons with some nubuck PVC that I have in my stash and this was the result. I will probably add a hook and eye to keep the collar in place.

There was nothing at all that I didn't like about this pattern. The instructions were very easy to interpret. What I liked most about this jacket is that even though I've seen a lot of peacoats this season, this was based on the same style but with much more flair. I like that it has waist shaping and the collar is serving up drama.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tell me something good!

I don't have anything completed right now to share. I haven't had a lot of actual sewing time... I've gotten caught up with "LIFE" again... y'all know how that goes! However, even though I haven't been sitting in front of the machine, I still bought fabric, that's sewing related right? I'll share these pieces with you because this is next up and soon to be finished.

This is for Vogue 8307, the Armani coat from the Fall '05 collection that I've spoken of before. I'm doing view A, the jacket because (1) I have enough full-length coats; (2) I'll get more wear out of a jacket; and (3) It will probably hardly ever get cold enough here for more than 2 or 3 consecutive days to really enjoy wearing it.

So, what are you guys up to? Tell me something good!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Caliente! - Vogue 8251

Project Details

Pattern: Vogue 8251 - View C
Fabric: Rayon/Lycra Jersey with 2-way stretch

Description: Close-fitting, pullover top has neckline and shoulder strap variations. A, B: front ties and ruched with elastic at sides. C, D: front tucks and front band.

This is a Vogue Easy pattern that was very "easy" to me until the time came to attach the the upper front and back piece. I think it may have been me and the fatigue of trying to get this top sewn in one day. After I used safety pins, played with the construction and tried the top on, it made since to me and I was ready to stitch. The back didn't quite look like the line drawing, but after some finagling, I managed to get all of the pieces turned to the public side. What I like most about this top is the tucks on the front. This design feature is very flattering to the d├ęcolletage. I was originally unsure about this even though it is rated easy, because I could not find a review for this particular view and the envelope only showed the line drawing. This is a great enhancement to your wardrobe that can be worn alone or as a layering piece.