Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A simple trick to cut waste when cutting!

After too many years of trying to reconcile Burda's insistence that all fabrics come in metred widths of 140-150 cm, when Thai Silks and other emporia of delicious luxuries sell 45 inch fabric ordered by the yard, I devised a simple way to measure how much I'd need to order, without unnecessary waste or customs duties.
I bought three metres of cheap but sturdy muslin at IKEA and marked off the whole length in washable pencil at the 45 inch width point (bottom photo with finger) and from one end, the yardage at intervals of quarters, thirds and half yards, (middle photo.)  Now I can lay down a pattern, plan the cutting layout, and then buy only exactly what I need.
These photos are pretty drab, but perhaps you can see how handy a pre-measured layout cloth is, not only for those of us ordering long distance, but anyone trying to use a Burda pattern in a 45-inch world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nabbed the last two metres!

I had a hunch that the faux fur I wanted for the big-collar Burda December coat was going to sell out. I got to the store Friday night just in time to nab the last length in a soft, soft grey. Now I can stop obsessing, and  will be a good Mrs Santa, and get some Xmas presents, knowing that my present is in the bag, waiting for a little downtime.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full December Burda, a few lurvely items.

Oddly enough, I like some Burda designs for December that didn't make the preview. For one thing, there's a great tea dress in the first design, and the importance of tea dresses was a feature of this fashion video from the Guardian last weekend.
Tea Dresses.  I adore the "I'm your Xmas present" style of the big bow on the next one, and the flapper effect on the third.
As for the fourth, I'm going to make that fur coat. Watch me. Just watch me!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A temporary offer of $1.50 mystery e-books using Smashwords coupons

Dear Sewists,
It's holiday time coming up, and if you click here on Smashwords Booksthey're offering a 50% introductory offer on the first volume of The Handover Mysteries, available in all e-reader formats for everything from PC's to I-Pads including Kindle (or you can use amazon and cough up $2.99) using this coupon number XV42W.

There's also a special coupon PP37D for Chanel No.6 readers for the A Visit From Voltaire e-book in all formats including Kindle. 

The coupons expire first week of December.

And all The Handover Mysteries can be ordered now in paperback by clicking here to The Handover Mysteries in good old-fashioned paperbacks!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

December Burda preview

Well, I don't want to declare the Burda December issue a dog just yet, but I've looked:

while this blouse is one Tie-on-Steroids, one to shame and mock anybody (your future sister-in-law?) showing up for Christmas lunch in a normal tie blouse like the one I sewed two posts back, but this one is  destined for the dry cleaners the first time Auntie Hilda asks you to pass the gravy bowl. It's the kind of style that belongs at a Big Event where you want to stand out but not around the Christmas Tree when you're meeting the boyfriend's parents. (Also kissing the moldy ornaments that Cousin Boris just unpacked from the attic might not be wise, either.)

But I am interested in the new quality of the fake furs I ran my hand across down at our Nyon fabric store. A whole new world of softness and credibility. I am tempted. There are a couple of evening dresses, Burda Generic, without the oomph of our Heidi Barbara a few issues back. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guest speaker at a Feb. writer's conference—so what to sew?

I'm really excited because yesterday I was asked to be a panelist at a writer's conference early next year. Hundreds of other writers will be there, as well as guest publishers and literary agents. Having attended these things before, I know that they are really, really fun and after another year of working alone, (especially with the husband in hospital for more than six months) it's a bit of a jolt to be surrounded by other mole-like authors blinking into the glare of real social interaction that for once involves actual human beings you didn't make up.

Pretty scary for some of us. You may have noticed that most of my social activity involves me sitting in a safe seat and watching other people play music, a fairly unthreatening excursion for somebody who hides in her head for years on end. I'm not so good when the tables are turned.

So, one wants to look good, (or at least clean and sane. Help!)

You'll notice I didn't ask, "What should I wear?" or even, maybe, "What should I say?" because it goes without saying, right, that with a lead time of months before I have to appear at a writers' conference, I'm only thinking about what I should sew.

I know—sick.