Brother SE-400 . . . Yay!

I am sew excited.  Last week (April, 2018) my Brother SE-400 arrived.  One of my bestie’s exclaimed, “It’s just a sewing machine, Lyric!”  Excuse me!!!  We won’t even talk about her telling her dog “Auntie Lyric is on the phone!!!!”   I told her she’d “better watch out, watch her mouth saying such things as “it’s JUST . . . “, for I would tackle her, jump on her, tickle her navel and give her a big wet kiss if she didn’t watch it, girl”.

Seriously, it has been YEARS since I last purchased a brand spanking NEW sewing machine.  Truth be told I have been kinda bagging on computerized and newer machines opting for vintage models.  Oh, don’t get it twisted, they are still my fave with their luscious, hard, metal bodies and innerds; but, I decided to take advantage of the moment and get what will probably be my last “new” sewing machine for a while.  The “SE” stands for sewing/embroidery.  I chose this model for pricing and because two features that I required:  one-step buttonholes and automatic thread cutting are included in this model.

I tell you, my hat goes off to photographers.  I attempted these photos and an unboxing video and ay yi yi . . . lighting ain’t no joke.  There is even a regular sized window right next to my sewing table.

 

 

 

 

 

Amongst my top choices were a Janome and I forget the other one.  Anywho, obviously this Brother won out.  As far as I am concerned the embroidery is a bonus.  Of course, I’ll have to start monogramming everything since, after all, it is included with this model.  Oh, that also means I’ll now have to begin amassing embroidery threads.  Oh darn!  Well, we wouldn’t want to be wasteful, would we; having a feature and not using it (Lyric, vigorously shaking her head).

 

 

 

 

 

Shucks, it’s now 5/11 and I still haven’t completed reading the manual.   I’ve even started a way cool vintage styled summer dress; still on Charliezl, my vintage Singer.  I need to quit being skurred and just get busy with Paradise.  🙂  I promise, after I complete my vintage dress this weekend I’m going to break Ms. Paradise in.  Yessssss!

If any of you are experienced with Brother in general, or the Brother SE-400 in particular; let’s talk.  Chime in with your .02.

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

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Be Still My Beating Heart 💟

Oh, my gawd!!  I stumbled upon this and finally decided to watch.  I done died and went to heaven.

I absolutely LOVE dance!  This speaks to my heart, my soul.  Look at these ladies.  I want to dance, dance, dance!!!!

Yes, “Dance like no one is watching” people.  Just let it go.  Go for it.  I know I will.

Namaste,

💕💖Lyric 💖

Sewing BIG Blunder

Unpressed view; of course!

 

I should be shot, shamed, and disgraced for the disrespectful way I mutilated this beautiful fabric and project.  I was attempting a version of Oona Balloona’s Vogue 1239 creation; and oh my gee did I ever mess it up.  The weird thing is as I read the pattern instructions before investing in fabric and time it did not seem difficult (still doesn’t).  Golly, I do not know where I went wrong.  Wait, yes, I do. . . . everywhere!

I mean, how hard could it be to get a smooth underarm seam in a kimono style sleeve?  Seriously?  Look at this . . .   I did not have enough fabric to line the whole thing so I got this great idea to use black and white lining fabric.  Ah, yeah, genius.

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Lining, underarm section

Here is a total back lining view for your edification.  Sorry for the blurry photo, but what the hey, everything else about this project went wacky.  Somehow I got the lining backwards.  It’s inside out.  The instructions had this funky way of attaching the lining then reaching in and turning it inside out or some such business. I spent hours trying to figure it out, installing, ripping and re-installing.  Then, as time became a serious factor I said forget it, nobody going to see the inside anyway, just get it in and keep it moving.  Nooooottt!!!!!

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To this day I still do NOT know how to do that lining properly.

From the looks of the neck area, I guess I had totally given up at this point.  Look at the twisted serged seam.  Shouldn’t I have used pinking shears or SOMETHING for that frayed edge?

This is the outside underarm area that should have been smooth as a baby’s bum.  I don’t know what/how to correct that?  Perhaps snipping, maybe that’s it.

Same thing happened on the other underarm.

For some reason I am not ready to concede that the pattern was above my skill level.  A friend said perhaps I rushed.  I didn’t feel rushed.  But I think I started this a week before the Memorial (event to which I wanted to wear this maxi dress).  The pattern comes to the knee area I wanted to make this a maxi like Oona.  I definitely did not know how to elongate the bottom of the dress.  Perhaps I should show you the pattern.  Does this look difficult to you?  It still doesn’t to me.  Am I in denial or what?

I was so livid when I finally forced myself to concede that I literally wanted to throw this expensive pattern in the garbage.  Then, I decided to sell it. I wound up tossing it in a pattern bin. I still love, love the design.  And it would be stunning in Ankara just like Marcie’s.  Truly, I have been traumatized by this experience, people.  For real!!!!!

Showcasing this beautiful ankara print

Suppose I had sense to give up before totally finishing the project.  Besides, if I recall I needed to get to sleep that night.

For a while this thing graced Riyaz my dressform. That is, until I needed her for another project.  Then it wound up hanging in the Ladie Lair Studio closet.  I was thinking maybe cut up for a quilt.  The project pattern pieces are such that it’s a shame that I can’t repurpose the fabric. All I come up with is a quilt.  Yeah, right, as if.  Oh, of course I could make African earrings.  But, I am going to do that with the uncut scraps.  This was/is simply a *&^%() shame.

I promised sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.  So, there ya have it.

Lesson(s) learned:

  • Yes, Joi Mahon’s pattern fitting principles should be incorporated EVERY time!
  • Make sure I can afford (have all fabric/supplies necessary) to successfully complete a project.

No cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Getting My Sewing Mojo Back

After our recent traumatic move and all that it entailed getting my sewing mojo back is a priority TODAY, right now!  This morning I have been touched by the hard hitting words of MJ Harris relative to what I do with my time and what I choose to do as a “career”.  I was moved, captivated and motivated by this young man’s message and it’s been a long time coming.  Listen to his message if not for yourself then for the someone in your life that needs to hear what he has to share. It is not a long presentation and won’t take up too much of your time.

To that end my new calling cards have arrived. There is something about having calling cards that lends itself toward service legitimacy in my mind.  Nothing worse than explaining what you do to someone, they ask for a card and you don’t have one.  Then again, I am always impressed by folk who state they do not have a card because “all their business is by word of mouth”.  Must be nice.

On the immediate horizon is getting a dot com and web page up and running to show what it is that I am offering.  Marketing and locating “my tribe” is at the top of my list of most necessary things to do.

Thanks to you for kind words of support over the years with my sewing projects.  A big giant hug to those who have supported and are supporting my venture, SkirtingIt!  Here’s to the future, here’s to success and women dressing like ladies.

 

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

Inspiration for the Yasmeen Skirt

Oh yes, I will be in Lady Lair making an Ankara version of this baby for starters.

JUST PATTERNS

The Yasmeen skirt was born from our desire to have a statement skirt that introduces a hint of the the over the top feel of the 90’s runway shows into your every day wardrobe. Its design lines celebrates women’s curves, in a way that we hope is reminiscent of the King of Cling, late Azzedine Alaïa.

While the skirt has definitely a special occasion feel to it, your choice of fabric and styling can transform it completely. For a very dressed up version of Yasmeen, choose a fabric with a sheen to it. The drape will dramatically affect bottom of the skirt looks. In a taffeta the flared bottom will tend to stay out and give a very formal look, while in a more fluid fabric such as silk, the volume will only appear with movement.

There are also plenty of ways to make your skirt more casual. In the…

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Pen Mightier Than Sword – Journaling

Chic Sparrow Creme Brulee
Crème Brulee

It is said that writing is cathartic.  Certainly it is enjoyable and so I will be taking up journaling in a travel notebook, affectionately known as a TN.  Specifically, I will be using a bullet journal format.  Lo and behold there are communities of folk who use the TN for all sorts of things like keeping lists, collecting junk (yeah junk), writing their thoughts, budget, habits, you name it.  If you have been following me you know what we have been dealing with.  Too bad I didn’t start journaling before all that happened.

Let me tell you about the anatomy of a travel notebook.  It is a piece of leather with elastic string that holds notebooks inside.  They may be made of any material; but, there is nothing like a leather journal.  Artisans that create them are as numerous as the different styles on the market.  Videos explaining how to make your own are available too.  Why even the smell of a leather TN is devine; not to mention durability.

Artemis 2

My cute TN above is being used as a wallet.  It is an Artemis Nano by Chic Sparrow that I picked up last month.  Add a wallet insert and a lined notebook and I was good to go.

Nano Artemis
Artemis Nano

I vowed to only purchase one TN.  And here the Artemis is actually my second.  Got it on sale after buying my first one which is to be used as a bullet journal.  This TN is an A6 and after it arrived I knew I would need more room to write all the things on my mind and heart.  So, this journal, called Isabeaux, is going to be a surprise, written to my daughter and granddaughter for the first six months of 2018 and then I am going to present it to them.  In my mind it will be a beautiful testament; a legacy if-you-will.  I am going to write to them about my love for them, thoughts of peace and good will for them, and anything that comes to my mind and heart.  Oh, and I made the charm on the spine.

creme brulee

But, that means I still needed a TN!  A company, The Leather Guy was mentioned at a Facebook group and I ordered pre-cut leather to make my own TN.  Yes!!!!!!  The leather is $6.95 versus $60.00 plus.  Did I say, “Yessssss?”  Get this, I ordered a piece of leather to make a size B6 TN.  When the leather arrived I just knew, again, it was too small for what I have to say.  Back to the drawing board.  I then ordered another piece of leather to make a size A5.  Let me give you some perspective:  an A6 is 4″ x 6″; the Nano is 3.75″ x 2.5″; and the A5 is 5.8″ x 8.25″.

Then, guess what . . . I saw THIS:

Crisdori Autumn TN
Crisdori Autumn Travel Journal

I done fell in love all over again.  Click the photo above to check out Crisdori Studios.  Their leatherwork is gorgeous.  I can just feel the softness of this leather through the photo.  If you like hefty leather they have those too.  She comes with stitching and extra pockets inside.  Oh my goodness I am so glad I stumbled upon Crisdori Studios while visiting Dawn at Enthusiastically, Dawn.

I have no idea what I will name this TN; but, it’s got to be something special.  For now I am thinking she will be dedicated to all things Sew Modest Styles, my cottage venture where I make garments for women and teens that want to dress like a lady.  Truly, she will be a chunky monkey.  Many journalers put all sorts of stuff inside their journals.  This one will have ephemera galore.

Autumn openLook at the color – gorgeous!  I ordered the Personal size at 9.50″ wide by 7.50″ tall.

Autumn TN Flat

Check out that reinforced spine.  And Christine, one of the owners, has choices in the elastic of brown, black or white.  You know what, thinking about the measurements, I just may make my Crisdori my EDC (that’s “every day carry” in journalese), make it a chunky junk journal so I can look at it and feel it up daily, LOL.  Then, the one I make from the pre-cut leather can be the one for my Sew Modest Styles that no one will see but me.  Yes, that sounds like a plan.

Can you tell I am excited about journaling?  If you ever thought about writing, even a little bit, check out travel journals, visit a group online about it or view a video that can motivate and get you started.  I am telling you anything goes when it comes to bullet journaling.  I can’t even paint, but I have gone and purchased water colours after visiting Ali Brown’s You Tube Channel and saw how there is no wrong way to watercolor my journal pages.  I can not WAIT to get started.

Keep me posted if you decide to jump down this rabbit hole with me.  It’ll be fun!

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

What Can I Say – Speechless!

 

I gotta tell you some “stuff” since  my last post.

You may or may not know that not quite a year ago we relocated from the sunshine state to southeastern Georgia.  Long story short, a friend’s husband went on to glory after 20 plus years of marriage.  This was his hometown, she sojourned with him back here after his retirement.  She did not want to live in the marital home any longer and desired to return North.  Seeking a better living space, thinking it would be our last; we contracted to purchase her home so she could vamoose.  This was all done on an owner carry contract.   Wait, I digress, one of the first questions I asked her was “Is there ANY children that would be interested in the house?”.  She stated, “No, none of them wanted to live here”.  The agreement was so amicable we just knew it was a prayer answered.  Even she thought her prayers had been answered because she desperately wanted to leave and go back North.  The weekend we visited to look at the property and talk turkey she stated another couple was to come, but they did not show up.  She said she had been sitting on the side of her bed crying wondering what she was going to do and then here we come!  Blessing on both side she says.  This was November, 2016.  I said long story short, didn’t I?

Fast forward August, 2017.  An attorney contacts us and her, representing his daughter from a previous union, with mumbo jumbo about her husband’s estate (which we were told by several people had been settled).  We attempt to find legal counsel.  No Legal Aid for probate cases.  We simply did not have an extra $3,000 – $5k.   We go, get a copy of the will which states wicked step-daughter to receive four parcels of land elsewhere, the marital residence [one sold to us] was to go to the wife, and the wife was made executrix.  There was a court date.  I could not bring myself to attend for fear my mouth would say something not cool.  The husband attended and did best he could in speaking on our behalf.  The seller nor her power of attorney showed up (they both live up north).

September, 2017 we get a notice from said attorney to vacate the premises by September 29!!!!!  Oh, yeah, er ah, we spent ALL our resources to leave Florida and relocate here.  Not as simple as “get out”.  We stay put.  True ’nuff, within two weeks the sheriff’s deputy delivers a summons or whatever it is called saying things like we are “holding over” the wicked step-daughter’s property!!!  Excuse me?  My friend, married until the death of her husband, lived in the marital house that SHE PAID FOR WORKING THREE JOBS, and now all of a sudden it is the wicked stepdaughter’s!!!!!

We answered and another court date was set for November 14.  She had attorney, we did not.   This time I went to court to take notes and I was more than a little curious as to what law/scheme these Georgia (I won’t go there as a Christian woman) __________ would come up with.  On that date we were given seven days to leave the property!  Something about “tenants in common”, my friend not having the right to sell HER property; blah, blah, blah.  Since we were in a contract agreement with the owner, paying a mortgage to her, the house (4 bedroom brick home, 28 acres) has been stolen from my friend and us as party to the purchase agreement.

Oh, and to show you what a work the wicked stepdaughter and her attorney are, the first court hearing . . . he had my friend removed as executrix of her husband’s estate and gave it to the wicked stepdaughter.

Now, you know I had just started a small cottage venture hoping to somehow support myself.  I have yet to find a job (I am only master level degreed, that’s all) and still unable to find permanent employment here.  I work PRN in the medical field and substitute teach with the county schools.  The one pays $8.00/hour the other even less. :-(.

At this point I want to leave this place and return to the north.  I am fed up.  The husband loves the country and wants to stay.  Sigh.  Besides, I now have a three year old granny that I want to hang out with, take roller skating and a heapa buncha other stuff.  Maybe even teach her how to sew.

For 20 years that my friend has lived here she said NOTHING endearing about this place which is why I never visited and would only call.  Truly, I thought she may have been exaggerating.  Well, guess what, she wasn’t.  The main city’s claim to fame is a public square in the middle of town where negroes were sold as slaves.  they are quite proud of it.  😦

The only thing I like about this area is my congregation.  They are so loving and welcoming!

The husband wants to continue this fight.  I am done . . . emotionally and mentally.  Ready to move on to other things like returning my attention to the building of my brand.  Not looking to be a mogul or the next big fashion designer.  Simply want to sew modest garments for a few females.  Enough to quit wasting my time with this $8/hr. job and definitely to quit substitute teaching and give more attention to my Bible education ministry.

And, I have a new hobby.  Gotta tell you about that!

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

Life Update

 

lyric

It has been a while I know, ladies.  SkirtingIt! has me sewing at a whirlwind pace.  I have not been idle.  Much time is being spent getting the word out and putting my product “out there”.  Publishing photographs of my garments on social media, blah, blah, blah.

I was of the opinion that when I could afford to get my dot com up and running (I do own the URL; however, hosting is another matter) that I would discontinue using FB as a medium to advertise.  Well, recently an advertising director told me I need Facebook in addition to my webpage.  Rolling my eyes for I truly am spending entirely too much time on social media.  Initially I only joined Facebook to keep up with my family in other states.  To date I have two customers.  Okaaaay, I did meet one on social media.

Anyway, I thought I would bring you all up to snuff with what is going on in the Lady Lair and what I have been sewing in the name of SkirtingIt!.

White Rita
Rita Blouse

This top is one of the two patterns offered by the new indie pattern company Charm Patterns by Gertie.  It is a peasant style top with a fitted waistline.  And, here’s the cool thing . . . it comes with several cup sizes.  Yessss!!!   All patterns should have a variety of cup sizes, that needs to be standard.   I’m jus’ sayin’!!!  Right now there is a sew-a-long going on with this pattern.  I have clocked three of these babies over only a few days and in between other projects.  That’s how easy peasey it is to make.  Check it out on Facebook and Gertie’s blog.

Trumpet Skirt

I can not believe what a hit this outfit was last weekend.  It was also easy peasey to make.  Well, then again, the skirt was ill-fitted but, giggles, no one knows because it’s under the peplum.  I swear peplums are my new best girlfriend for they cover a multitude, did I say a multitude of sins.  The reason the skirt was so hit is because I semi-drafted a pattern.  Ladies, I don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to that sort of thing.  I use patterns.  Doggoneit, why reinvent the wheel if there is a pattern.   I needed this outfit when I needed it though and a nice cyber gal/friend helped me with how to do it.  The wait is humungous though.  The thing is I have this “stuff” below my waist but above my hip.  Have you ever heard of that baby pouch or whatever it is called?  Well, mine is humungous, ginormous.  I need lipo, sumptin’!!!  Anywho, this skirt is kinds slim at the top for lack of a better explanation.  So, anyway, the waist is too big but its hidden, snickles.  I have since purchased a trumpet skirt pattern and that won’t be the case next time.

Black Challis Rita

Okay, this Rita Blouse was featured in an earlier post but I believe it bears repeating.  This is my first Rita Blouse with a fabric I have had for months awaiting Charm Patterns launch.  It is made with rayon challis and is seriously comfy.  I see maaaaany a Rita blouse coming from the Lady Lair.

Absolutely I feel in love with this Ankara print.  So far everyone that has seen it has also.  My first customer ordered a Maxelle midi skirt in this print also.  I think it goes well with my black and white hair.  Definitely many more of these coming up perhaps with a larger sash like MimiG.

That ought to hold you for a while.  I just didn’t want you to forget about lil ole me.  At this point I am thinking along the lines of separating my personal blog from the professional website when I get http://www.skirtingit.com hosted and up.  That will mean more time publishing than sewing so time management really needs to be implemented.  I have not abandoned my love of vintage style for daily wear but I have a conundrum in that I also need to wear what I offer.  Either way I shall be stylish, yes?

Cheers,

lyric-siggie-purple-cute

 

My Deer and Doe Luzerne Trench Coat

Er ah, I see another trench coming up in some cutesy, girlie color. yup!!!

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EN: A few weeks ago I was walking around the top floor of the Bullring in Birmingham, when I came across the most amazing blush lace trench coat by Burberry, needless to say it was way out of my budget, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I was in dire need of a new trench coat, my old one is 8 years old and way too small… so I started looking at different patterns from Burda to McCall’s to Vogue to the Robson Coat, but none of them really appealed to me. I think one of the reasons was, that thy all looked a bit too classic (and some looked a bit dated, to be honest…) Then Deer and Doe and wonderfully chic French sewing label released their new spring collection, and would you believe it, they had a cute, modern trench coat that ticked all the boxes for…

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