Good morning, good morning, people. I am having church up in here today (the Lady Lair; i.e., my sewing studio). I stumbled upon Mr. MJ Harris on my daughter’s social media page and by golly he is hitting home runs in his assessments.
Perhaps you or someone you know may benefit from his motivational words. I know I will.
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.
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…
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!.
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.
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.
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?
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…
Lovelies, there is a new girl on the block. Charm Patterns by Gergie. I am so excited to witness the launching of this new independent pattern company. Notice that my pattern is signed! Gertie had a kick-off for her pattern company where people were invited to donate for start-up. If I recall, her goal was something like $8,000 by a certain date. Check it . . .in about a two week span her friends and fans donated something like $32,000. Yesss, talk about a blessing. Different levels of giving received thank you gifts. For a $25 donation in addition to helping Charm Patterns get off the ground I received the Rita Blouse pattern signed by Gertie! Click on the link and see what else Gertie has going on. I won’t spoil the secret.
Gertie is chock full of designs, professionalism and style as she features modern vintage with class and pizzazz. Truly you will feel ultra feminine and ladylike in her designs.
Let me dish the tea on this Rita Blouse. Miss Rita is a peasant style blouse. The kicker is . . . . the waist area is fitted! None of that blousy, baggy look as with normal peasant blouses. This adds a sleek, classy look to what I always felt to be a casual top. Gertie has taken the peasant blouse to a new high. For the daring gal in you try wearing this top off-shoulder.
It is super simple to make with less than two yards of fabric even with a 45″ wide piece! And, you know I’m a big girl. If I had to guesstimate it probably took about two to three hours to make this. It is difficult to tell when a body is doing more watching of Austen style videos than sewing.
The chosen fabric for this top is rayon challis purchased via eBay. There is a side invisible zipper that goes in oh so easy. I tell you I have fallen in love with the invisible zipper. Finally after all these years this morning I ordered the special foot for installation. I am wondering if the install will be picture perfect every time. Sometimes with my regular zipper foot I must rip and make adjustments (usually from me rushing or not paying attention).
The bottom line: Yes, I will be making more of the Rita Blouse. Oh, there is a sew-a-long being formed as we speak. You have GOT to get in on it.
A blessing was received last week that I just must share. Yaw’ll know I am feverishly working to get Skirting It! off the ground. Well, I set up a Go Fund Me account which is a platform where you may ask friends, family, whomever to support your dream. Well, while sitting around one day it occurred to me a couple of family members who are not on social media and whom I had not contacted with my Go Fund Me link. My big brother came to mind and I decided to ask him for some money to help with my venture. Then, I promptly forgot about it.
Some weeks went by and two weeks ago I sat down and wrote him a letter telling him my situation (described at the original post) and thoughts. I made sure to tell him this was not a pity party; no, that I have plans! Years of research has led me to know I would do well with a dressform and gravity feed iron. Therefore, specifically, I asked him to please send me the money for them and told him the price range.
After waiting a very short period of time I remembered that I had made the request, but I had not heard anything. Then, I got chicken so called a cousin to ask her opinion. “When I call him, I said, do I get right to the point or beat around the bush, make small talk, before asking IF he had read and is considering my request. Did he feel like being philanthropic?” She felt like me, “Don’t beat around the bush get to it”. Then, LOL, I made the comment, “If I were him I would have read the letter and immediately sent the check in the mail; or sent a declination letter.” Sew, I got up the nerve and called him . . . NO ANSWER! Geeesh, then I got really nervous.
What do you know about THE NEXT DAY a letter came in the mail WITH a check and his best wishes for my venture!
All praise to Jehovah God and thanks be to my big brother for his love and kindness. Now, I want to get a photo with “Riyaaz” (the dressform) and my unnamed gravity fed iron (a boy) and send it to him. He’s 81 so don’t know if he’s into getting photographs via his cell so I am going old skool and printing out a photo to send to him AND to place one in the Lady Lair, my sewing studio.
I am so happy, excited, and can’t wait to bring you pretty, lady-like, way cool skirts and more from Skirting It!. And, did you check out the motto/by-line? “Modest excess within control!” Yeah baby.
Much to-do is going on over here. My Precious ones I have some good news, no better than that, great news! But first, let me tell you the how and why of it all. Me and hubby left Florida to begin anew in southern Georgia the end of last year. He loves rural living so we went from one country town to another an even smaller kuntry town. Cost of living, okay. Jobs, not-so-much.
Imagine, having played the education game, earned a masters level degree, moved to the south, can’t even get a JOB at McDonald’s. It’s been 8 months and I am underemployed, working less than part time at a local hospital for . . . ready for it? Drumroll . . . $8.50/hr. Less than PART TIME!! Yeah, I’m screaming. No pity party here though. I absolutely refuse!
For years various ladies have been in my ear about the inability of finding modest garments to wear. And, for years various people have inquired about my sewing for hire. A concept I fought vehemently, LOL. Why even a couple of months ago my daughter asked what I would charge to make her a maxi skirt. With all the discouragement I could muster I turned that job down. Guess what, she went to a local to her woman and paid $80.00 for an Ankara maxi skirt! Between that, the promptings of a friend, and my pitiful prospects of self support where we now live, I have been persuaded to sew as a means of support. “Skirting It!” at your service.
I am at the beginning of this cottage industry venture. Busy researching web hosting (that won’t charge me for a year or more up front; ain’t got it like that yet), the dot com is in place, and just purchased a dressform and gravity fed iron so my garments will look crisp and professional. Keeping an eye out on what ladies are wearing. A strong presence on Instagram will be developed. Etsy is looking out of the picture for now because they would own the shop, not me, and that’s not the direction I want to go. Also researching and meditating on paid hobby vs. business status. No money for a tax attorney (right now) before anyone brings that up.
I am thinking of offering up to nine pieces, made in standard US sizing to ladies, teens, and little girls. Mommy and Me lines seem big and that is definitely something I can do. I will displaying a variety of fabric swatches from my suppliers for customers to choose along with the style garment they desire. Each garment will be handmade individually, expressly for said customer. Meanwhile I am building up my wardrobe of samples for daily wear so that local people can see what I offer.
The hope is that the styles I choose will be evergreen; i.e., skirts. Skirts are my chosen IT to feature. I will offer an accessory or top or two here and there as a little something-something extra for flavor. Have you seen an Ankara Obi belt? Lovely! I found this one online and went gaa gaa. Thought it might be a nice accessory to offer.
But, seriously, I want to focus on skirts. I will be the skirt lady! After Skirting It! gets off the ground I will add vintage style dresses in Ankara to the mix. That will be a special look for sure. Oh, I forgot to tell you Skirting It! will feature Ankara/African fabrics, Indian fabrics and Middle Eastern (if I can find them) textiles.
Here are two skirts I found on Pinterest. Personally, the one on the right has got me swooning. I must make one to show off. In case someone did not know what Ankara is and why I am crazy about it I thought I would share these.
Here is an Ankara garment I made for myself last spring. The fabric was given to me by a Christian sister of mine whom I have yet to meet face-to-face. We somehow got together via social media. Wasn’t that kind of her?
Here is my latest acquisition. She shipped today and I can NOT WAIT to sew her up.
This photo does NOT do the fabric justice. When I complete my garment I will have to do better! Anyway, I just wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come with Skirting It! fashions. How can you not be happy with such gorgeous, colours that pop?
I’m excited, a tad nervous, but on I forge. Any helpful suggestions are warmly welcomed as I embark on this creative venture.
I hate ironing. Don’t we all? I’ve avoided buying everyday clothes that have to be ironed because, ultimately, they end up at the back of the closet. It’s also tough when you’re used to apartment dwelling without enough space for a full sized ironing board. A few years back I bought an upright steamer which made the situation a little easier to manage. However, with frequent sputtering, I think the life of my steamer is coming to an end. So I needed a new solution. I immediately though of making a new ironing board. I could control the size and had a lot of the materials on hand already.
First things first, I needed slab of wood. I set out to Home Depot where I found a 2 ft. x 4 ft. board and had them cut it down to 2 ft. x 3 ft.
Check out my $8.00 score over at Etsy! Two way cool Marian Martin shirtwaist patterns. Two, mind you!!!!
Yaw’ll know I have a love affair going on with shirtwaists. Now to transfer that into a wardrobe of my own dresses. Actually, I have made a couple of them and sadly they both bit the dust. That is, I wound up giving them away to various thrift shops; no more! I am going to make a slew of these to wear as day dresses versus the sloppy cut off shorts, jersey sweat pants and the like that I have been subjecting myself and my dear husband to. Pair my shirtwaists up with some nice leather flats and I will be good to go with shopping errands, library runs, or even home duties. Yes!
9369: Shirtwaist day dress with contrasting collar and cuffs, short or three-quarter sleeves, and patch pockets.
9306: Marian Martin Mail Order 9306; circa late 1940s or early 1950s; Collared dress with button front and shoulder / sleeve yoke. Bodice is gathered along the front yoke and sits flat along the back. Bottom of dress has inverted pleat and large patch pockets located on hips with buttons. Self fabric belt. Here is a better photo:
Both my finds are vintage sized 14. Needless to say I will be enlargening this pattern a heapa bunch (as my cousin would say).
Every now and again I run into Marian Martin patterns and they intrigue me. Upon Googling information about the company I found this at Bizapedia:
Marian Martin Pattern Service, Inc. is a New York Domestic Business Corporation filed on July 29, 1931. The company’s filing status is listed as Inactive – Dissolution By Proclamation / Annulmen and its File Number is 41128.
For the most part I like most of the patterns I have seen by them. Too bad they are not still bringing us their style of vintage patterns. Then again, perhaps they would have updated with the times and not even be offering these type patterns. Hmm?
Move over June, your Mini You – The black June Cleaver is on the loose! Excuse me, let me get my pearls.