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Archive for February, 2008

A First!

It’s always fun to have a “first” come around in your life, and I just had one of those memorable experiences a few weeks ago. I had my FIRST book signing! My Style, My Place has finally hit the shelves (it takes 18 months from the time you write a book for it to be published), and Patches, Etc., a local shop here in St. Charles, Missouri, hosted a trunk show of projects I designed for the book. It’s a cute store, along Main Street, in a historic part of town. Ann Hazelwood is the awesome owner, and she has been so sweet, promoting me in her newsletters and at her store even before I got there. On the day of the signing, several people expressed surprise to see “such a young author” at the shop. By the way, the even younger girl in the photo is my little sister, who stopped by to see me at the day of my big FIRST book signing.

Being in a quilt shop is a bit different than a fashion fabric store. Since I primarily do fashion sewing, this was a fun twist to sewing that I usually don’t get to experience–especially from the customer side. It was interesting talking to people about quilting vs. sewing. Who knew they were not the same thing (or at least that’s what THEY think)!! I did sell a few books, and met lots of people with different sewing (OK quilting) backgrounds. And being around all that fabric gave me loads of ideas for making new things. Maybe a next project will be a quilt… after I’m finished with tailoring, designing my junior collection, fashion show production, computer-aided design… well, OK, maybe this summer. :)

Bye for now!

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Hey there,

Cindy and I took a day off, about a week ago. You know, lunch and a little shopping. We saw some really fun and exciting ideas for new projects! We visited boutiques and then headed to the mall. I tried on some clothes…some good, some not so good. Oh, then I saw this skirt…loved it! I was feeling rich that day, so I brought the skirt home. I tried it on several times…I liked the way it looked.

Wait!!! What was I thinking??? The skirt cost me muchos dolares. So, when reality set in (reality being…I’m not rich!) I headed to the thrift store and found a plain black sweater, changed the buttons from boring black to sparkly rhinestone buttons, bought a length of rayon fabric, a pattern (of course, McCall’s) and whipped together a new skirt. Totally loved it!

Next day, still feeling inspired, I went to “the stash” and grabbed fabric for another skirt, made this one even faster than the first. Then, I got another sweater from the back of my closet, outfit number two! And then to make things even better…you know all those clearance sales this time of year, well, I picked up a pair of black patent leather shoes for $2.50. Yes, you read that correctly I said $2.50. So, at that price I had to bring home the metallic faux snake skin pair as well for only $2.50. O.k., I had two new outfits for under $45.00!! Including the shoes!!! You know where the original skirt is going? You guessed it..right back to the store! Cha-Ching in my pocket.

All the stores are showing skirts for the next season. There are a lot of very pretty skirt patterns in the pattern books, take a look. Or, I really liked how McCall’s pattern #5591 fit and looked. It went together easily and worked well with different types of fabrics.

So, come on girl, show those legs…make a couple of new skirts for spring!

‘Till next time,

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Critic update

This week I’ve been working on more designs for my junior collection, as we are required to make two full ensembles this semester. The first one is a pant or skirt suit with a shirt underneath, and second is a tailored dress that could be worn to work. The garments had to be geared to a defined customer and market. My mood board represents all the inspiration for my designs as well as who my customer is. We always have to keep that in mind before we start designing.

We started with a hundred sketches and our professor narrowed our sketches to fifteen ensembles. We sketch those garments on fashion figures and then we narrow down to four in each category, and do those in full color. Along with our fashion figures we do a front and back flat of each of the garments where you show the seam lines, darts, and details. The theme of my designs is solid suits with hints of color, and I wanted to really emphasis trim details on my suits.

I love the idea of creating your own custom trims. My swatch board has example of just that. I wanted to needle punch wool roving into the side seams of a jacket and skirt suit. That would give the suit a subtle touch of a really unique detail. I also planned to use leather trim and to sew it around the seam of my jacket and skirt to make it look like the trim is holding the seam together. My favorite (and the critic’s favorite) was the hand cut leather circular trim. I cut leather in the shape of number 8′s and interlocked them to form a trim for my suit.

So, some great news! My presentation with the critic went well. She really liked the ideas of creating unique trim details. Theses are the outfits that she picked… It will take me months to cut out all the number eights to get enough for my garment. Better start now!


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Get the goods!

Our machines have been whirring away almost nonstop these past few weeks, creating (and recreating, and then ripping apart, and totally revamping) sewing projects for episodes of DIYStyle vodcasts. For all these projects, we’ve been on a super easy-to-use machine: Baby Lock’s Creative Pro. And now, ta-dah! We’re offering a chance for you to nab one for yourself. Enter our My Style, My Machine giveaway (click on the button on our homepage, or go to, and YOU could be sewing on your very own Creative Pro in a few months’ time. One lucky winner will win this hot machine, which has plenty of decorative stitches (hmm, we’re partial to the zig-zag, wonder why?) and tons of other great features.

You’ll need to register with a username and password to enter the contest, and answer some questions (your responses will help our team as we content to our website and vodcasts). THEN you can come back and enter AGAIN every day, once a day until March 5, 08. Next time you come back to enter, just pop in your email address, scroll down, and hit ENTER NOW! It’s easy, so go for it, and please forward the link to your sewing and crafting friends.

We can’t wait to find out what you want to see on DIYStyle. Our team has some great ideas for things to come, and some really neat additions to the website will be around the corner. We aim to give you the best sewing community experience possible, so talk to us!

Enter now. Tell your friends. And good luck! :)

Creative Chick

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