Monday, April 28, 2014

Guns Ablazin'

I'm running on so much adrenaline right now, I feel I have the heart of a gerbil. Honestly, who needs cocaine when you have my natural predisposition.

Lord, where to start?

Well, everything on the planet arrived by post today. That hideous bridesmaid dress redo from my sister? Check. 63 swatches of fabric? Check. New fabric from Fabrications? Check. New jeans (story to follow below)? Check.

Then there's the fact that y'all are fantastic and you've made my foray into leather (does that sound dirty?) a super-fun, totally relatable experience. I've got a lot to tell on this topic, but I just want to say thank you to every person who's taken the time to tweet, comment, email or call. It's because of your support that I have every intention of making not only a skirt but also a bag!

The Leather Files

Last night I researched the best prices (not that there are so many options with a refurbished machine from 1978) for a walking foot and a roller foot for my Viking 190. I've now got both on delivery. Etsy, peeps. It's your friend.

I also bought cold tape (on Gail's advice) it's an adhesive twill tape, made for soft leather, to stabilize seams.

Many of you have suggested great sites for bag patterns. Hot Patterns and Bag'n-telle are two great places to start, as are your Pinterest pages. Um, apparently I wasn't a member of Pinterest until yesterday. I think I got it mixed up with Instagram (which I also don't use).

Sara and Gail told me I'd have to sign up for Making Leather Bags (Don Morin) on Craftsy. I'm not known for my frugalness, but after having spent a bomb on everything leather, I told them it would go on the list for the next sale. Um, the Craftsy peeps, who are always trying to get me to buy, sent me a 12-hour sale coupon this afternoon and I got the 50 dollar course for $19.99. The website pleasantly informed me that it's a savings of 61%. It was hard not to buy every other class that Craftsy teaches, but really, I don't get enough use out of them in general.

Now, while I love the idea of making a bag, as you can see, I do not think I'm going to do it with the very soft electric blue lambskin. I don't think that fabric will have enough stability; it's perfect weight for a pencil skirt and really, I know how to make a skirt from my TNT. I need to put in the time with some other leather (and vinyl to start!) before I think of spending material of that quality on a bag of my own making.

Mind you, if I have a knack with bags, I think we may have a new compulsion to write about.

The Bridesmaid Files

How little can I say about this? The dress arrived. It's horrid. The fabric from India (extra to remake the bodice) still isn't here, but this is a start. I've got to pick the dress bodice from the skirt (which is fortunately so big that I can reuse it) but I don't think I'll start till the other fabric gets here.

The Jeans Files

OMG people, OMG. OMG. I did something crazy - bought jeans, sight unseen from America - both an expensive and crazy experiment - and I won!

I did send them to my mother for delivery to me in TO, because Nordstrom - while they like to tell you they're in it to win over Canadians - charges 30% more (for shipping and non-refundable brokerage) and they cannot tell you how much it will cost to return an item until you've bought it. Yeah, you read that right. I was told there would be a brokerage-determined restocking fee, that they'd be able to advise me about when and if I were to undertake the return process. Um, fuck that, Nordstrom.

This is the post that convinced me I had to try. (Note: I discovered afterwards that blogger is 6'2".)  Look, that woman is the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen, but I have to say, I think the jeans look better on me.

I DO NOT KNOW how they can make me a willowy sexpot?! My ass is awesome. My stomach flat. My legs are elegant pins. The denim is fantastic. The construction is better. If I can say all of this given how I feel 80 per cent of the time these days, you know these things are a must-have. Really, I might need to try another style soon.

OK, TO ladies, do not despair. There's a new store that opened up on College and they sell the full, fabulous line. Alas, the price tag is $160 pre-tax in our town. But, had I known, I would most definitely have bought locally. At the boutique (the name of which I cannot remember), I did try on the same style I bought online (Lauren)- and I was pretty pleased to see that I'd called it right on the size. This was a very enjoyable online experience.

The Fabric Files

These are my newest woven fabrics (meant to simulate the burgundy fabric I used to make the original Rosie Top muslins) which I'll use to make the next versions of the fledgling Rosie:

Garnet Silk Rayon from Fabrications

That online thumbnail does not do justice to this beautiful (and not dissimilar) fabric. And the natural stretch content is perfect.

Patterned Rayon from Fabrications
This rayon fabric is also lovely, but the stretch content and drape are not the same. Since this was my muslin fabric option, I suppose it'll be fine, but I'm not going to be able to extrapolate as well from it, fit-wise, as I would like.

Oh, and really, nice rayon is great fabric, but it has nothing on silk crepe.

Given that I'm not into reds, I find it interesting that I've gone for 2, predominantly red fabrics. I wonder what that means... Note: They're reds that work with my complexion.

The Swatch Files

I wish I had the energy to photograph the ZILLIONS of gorgeous swatches I have to consider. I never intend to be without adequate stash again (muahhahahaha). I'm sure more to come on this topic.

So that's me today. I'm happily overwhelmed by creative endeavours and things to learn. And I didn't even tell you about the new sweater I started knitting over the weekend!??!??!? Well, that's what the next post is for.

Today's questions: Have you tried IT Collective denim and, if yes, what did you think? How do you like my new fabrics? What do you think of my idea to get new leather for a bag? Let's talk!


  1. Yay for Happy Kristin! All your news sound good today!

    1. I know - happy Kristin doesn't make too many appearances these days :-)

  2. Whew, I'm so glad the jeans worked! I never, ever spend that kind of money on jeans - but now you have me thinking I need to do it! And yay for making both a skirt and a bag, and for buying more leather!

    1. Gail - you just need to walk to the Nordstrom and try them on! No worries about buying and returning. Let me know how it goes!

    2. I had the same thought, but when I checked the website, they are not available in store! So I'd have to order them after all. Going to have to wait til I get back from NYC - or check over there :-)

    3. That's ridiculous. How can that be?? It's America! NYC will have them. I'm sure. (And then they'll be even more fun to buy.)

  3. Hey Kristin:

    Ralph Pink newsletter just popped up, and there is working with letter!


  4. I think your leather would be aterrific Ziggy (from StyleArc). I think there was sew along held that could be useful too...

    1. Oh, great idea. Alas, I don't know that I'm up to fitting of that magnitude and working with leather all at the same time. But I love that pattern and it's on my list for when I have a bit more time, patience and skill...

  5. Jeans shopping is so hard - that's why I don't have any jeans in my closet anymore. :| Perhaps I can give these a try but I am soo pear shaped I fear only my ankles would look good in these. heh

    So happy for you that these work out and sounds so perfect. :D

    1. Give them a try Liz! No harm in checking it out. And the denim is very flattering. Let me know if it works!

  6. College and which street? Do they carry J Brand? I need to replace my skinnies.

    1. College around Grace Street (a little bit West). I think the place is called Aria (and it's got a crap logo so I didn't really pay attention to it). I don't think they carry J brand.Only IT denim?! Go to Over the Rainbow or Body Blue or Holt's or TNT (in Hazelton Lanes) for J Brand. Oh, or to Jonathan and Olivia on Queen. I don't know anywhere to get them cheap, alas...

  7. Those are the jeans you told me to try. I haven't tried them yet because I was worn out after my last jeans try-on, but I will one of these days. I'm glad they worked so well and I am even more intrigued.

    1. They are! Don't worry about trying them now. I'm sure they'll be there when you have more energy. I'm not sure if they have a tall version, but look into it. These fit me perfectly in the leg. I'm not short in the legs, but I'm not tall. And I did notice that the woman whose post I linked to (the one who's 6'2") had a cropped length. I thought it was the style, but maybe they're just too short for her.