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Monday, December 22, 2014

Biking Down Memory Lane...a non-sewing post.

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I have been feeling kind of nostalgic lately, whilst updating picture albums and working on my scrapbooking projects.  Sorting pictures and seeing all the fun times really makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
My sister treated me to a vacation in San Francisco a couple years back during December.  I was so excited to actually see all the wonderful things that San Francisco is known for, especially the "Golden Gate Bridge", which I discovered was not golden....duh!!!  Anyway, we had the opportunity to ride bikes across this beautiful bridge and experience it up close and personal.  
Sis is trying to control her bike..lol.  She was too short for the smallest bike.
We rode "electric" bikes on a tour of the side of the city to the bridge and across.  Of course you are forbidden from using "powered" devices on the bridge....but, every once and a while, we did hit the power button to give us a little push.  That was work riding all that way.
Based on the tour guides comments, we were really lucky to visit during a time where there was absolutely NO Fog to interfere with our view and the grander of it all.  I understand that San Francisco, especially the bay area, is prone to extreme fog/smog and so seeing the top of the bridge is a sight not even locals enjoy often during this time of year.
Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco, CA
We did complete tours of all the city had to offer, along with other areas outside the city, including visiting the wine country of Napa Valley.  This is where I realized I was actually interested in knowing and understanding wine, and learning how to drink it properly.
I was so intrigued with the whole process, that I even became a "club" member, and now receive regular wine shipments!!  OOOh I feel so "grown up!"  
Madonna Estates Winery Napa Valley, CA
I hope you have enjoyed this small trip down memory lane with me as I work on loading my online scrapbook in prep for all the upcoming sales that will be happening on Shutterfly after Christmas.  I'll be ready to press checkout as soon as the sales emails come rolling into my email box.
Alcatraz Prison, Alcatraz Island, CA
Touring Alcatraz prison.
I personally have only done one small digital photo book in the past.  This will be my first large scale project.  I want to give one to my sister for the entire trip.  I'm curious to know what type of scrapbooking you all do...digital or hardcopy?

Monday, December 15, 2014

My first Video Pattern Review: The StyleArc Amber Top...

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Okay, now this is when you will really know whether what I have to share is worth your time.  Will you last to the end of the video?  Will you fall asleep less than halfway into the saga...or will you be so enthralled with the material that you are asking for more by the end of the first taping?

Red sequin Christmas top by www.sewtofit.com (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
Lights!!! Camera!! ACTION!!!
(For those of you who just hate hearing my voice, or don't have time to watch the video..a short pattern review snippet is at the bottom.)  Thanks for your support.  
Be kind y'all, because I had a lot of fun doing this video.  Way more fun than I had actually constructing the top.  Well, actually, thats a lie..cause I really like dealing with details.  I just get moody at times, and put things away for indefinite lengths of time.  Until, one day, I ran across it and realize this was something I actually wanted at some point or another.
sewing sequins on the Red sequin Christmas top by www.sewtofit.com (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
I was taking time to clear my photo files, trying to clean my computer, when I came across this picture....What is this? my question to myself.  Where did I hide it?  Who was it intended for?  Shoot!! I didn't even remember I had been working on something so pretty.  I checked the date on the picture...JUNE! you say.  What?  Now, I remember!  
Red sequin Christmas top by www.sewtofit.com (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)
Side seams undone, bust darts badly located. A UFO!! Why did I not finish this?  The video will explain it all.  I hope you enjoy the lessons therein. 

Pattern Review:
Red sequin Christmas top by www.sewtofit.com (StyleArc Amber Woven Top)

StyleArc Amber Woven Top has decorative overlay on neckline and down center front with optional piping color block.  
Fabric:  Polyester for the body, ponte knit covered with plastic squares that look like sequins from afar.

I cut a size 14, but it was way too big in the waist, so I needed some sort of dart shaping to make it not look so boxy.  After finishing the top, I had to go back and insert a zipper and several darts to get it to fit nicely.  

I really don't have a clue what style or body this top would look good on the way it is cut, without using a knit.  I just does not do the body any justice.

After an exposed zipper and some darts...this is one my most beautiful holiday tops.  Well, actually, my only holiday top.  So you may see this one more than once before the end of the year.

Friday, December 12, 2014

StyleArc: The Cassie Pants

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If you want a new take on the boring leggings...these pants would be them.  I'm always looking to get a cute design detail, something out of the norm.  
StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
The fabric was this new stuff that has been showing up all over the place, "Bengaline" sold by StyleArc, JoAnns and also Hancock.  I got mine at Hancock.  It really is extremely stretchy.  Not easy to topstitch if you go across the "grain" or across the direction of the stretch.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
This fabric is so new to me.  It takes some getting used to, in order to stable on the different cross seams and topstitching.  I'm really not too fond of it right now.  But, we shall see.  I got a little more for some other projects.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I know you couldn't wait to see the back!!!  That is the main reason we read about peoples pants post..to see if the butt fits.  LOL...yes, me too, I have no shame.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I cut the size 16, but the waist again, as has been with the last 3 pair of stylearc, had to be taken up by 6 inches.  These things are drafted for juniors or something, to have the waist measurement so close to the hip measurement.  I don't understand.  
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
The pattern is your basic leggings, but cut with the front and back which has the side seam...not the quick version.  The knee is sewn with a couple pleats on the outer and inner seam to give it the padded look.  I had to sew out most of the ease.  However, I could do too much, I had to leave the pants slightly loose, otherwise, I would not be able to walk because of the cross seaming over the legs and knees.
Texans Fan wearing StyleArc cassie pants by www.sewtofit.com using bengaline fabric from Hancock
I may make them again after a tad bit more tweaking in the legs.  The back leg seam cuts into my leg, and the calf section is too tight.