Sunday, February 9, 2014

Buying Online: 2014 Prom Dress Wisdom

I'm really surprised but I'm already thinking about prom dresses.  Maybe it's because someone just asked me where they should get their grand daughter's dress.  My friend Barb specifically asked about online dresses.    Buying a prom dress online is a gamble, some win, some lose.  Yes, the photos, websites, and prices are stunning, but really, you don't know what you're getting.  Remember modern day sizes are relative and mean very little.  What is most important are body measurements, accurately taken.  Even this done well, doesn't guarantee you a great fitting dress coming to your mail box.  However it does reduce your risk. Online companies usually have measurement charts that correspond with generic sizes.  They will want at the very least a bust, waist, and hip measurement.  To get an accurate measure, place the tape at the fullest point of the bust, parallel to the floor. The waist can be located at the side to side bending point or the smallest measurement between the bust and hips.  The hips should be measured at the place where your backside is the fullest, again parallel to the floor.   If you choose to order a prom dress online, I hope, with good measuring techniques, your dress is a winner! Good Luck!

Oversized jacket makeover

This is a jacket purchased at thrift store. Originally it was over sized with wide shoulders, too short sleeves and gaudy buttons. To fine tune the jacket to fit my model's body, I made several changes. First the buttons were removed and an old sleeve hem let out. Next the sleeve placement at the shoulder was narrowed 1". At least 2" was taken out of the circumference of the sleeve it's entire length. Finally to better fit the torso, side seams, princess lines, and center back seam were equally taken in. The result, a better fitting, more attractive jacket.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Smooth Flat Finish on Stretch Knits

Stretch knit fabrics require some special techniques to prevent over stretch or waviness in the the seam line. I use facing tape inside hems to give structure and foundation. A walking foot and double machine needle also prevents a rippled seam. When I work with stretch knits, I produce a smooth flat finish. This is especially true for athletic and stretch pant and dress hems.

Relining a Coat

A coat lining protects the main shell of the garment. It protects a coat's foundation and structure. It stands up to many putting ons and taking offs. A lining experiences the most wear and therefore can wear out. If you love your coat and the lining is in tatters, the lining can be entirely replaced. This is better than patching a lining because once a fabric starts to shred and deteriorate, it doesn't stop because of a patch. If you love your coat, extend its life by relining.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mentoring at the Vermilion Academy

I'm happy to engage in the opportunity of mentoring students at the Vermilion Academy.  I carted my sewing machine, iron and board, and tool box to the school board office to get started teaching basic sewing skills.  Two students learned how to sew on a button, the blind hem stitch, the crossover hem stitch, and the machine straight and zigzag stitch.  One of the students was making a necktie collage pillow at home and asked to bring it in to work on.  This week I'll be collecting neck ties so others can make similar pillows.  This project is perfect to teach basic sewing skills and a sense of accomplishment.  I'm really glad to share my skill with students who have an interest in sewing.
The Vermilion Academy is a high school, self-paced, competency-based educational opportunity with an open entry/exit policy and flexible scheduling. This makes it possible for motivated students to earn a diploma by working one-to-one with licensed teachers outside the traditional classroom environment.  The vermilion academy is a workforce development  program accomplishing their goals through mentoring, employability and support services .  It is an honor to participate and work with students in this setting. For more information about the academy go to

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What Not to Wear

This weekend I had a great conversation with my sister about what not to wear, the tv show. Then when I returned, I found this wonderful newsletter article from I thought it was appropriate to share on my blog. "What is your Uniform? The word uniform is from Latin unis and formus meaning one form. The original purpose of the uniform was for soldiers to be able to identify friend from foe. Today uniforms extend beyond the military to various businesses and often private schools and are used for identification as well. Each of us can create our own uniform or brand if we so desire. We all recognize the uniforms of the UPS driver, our favorite sports teams, police officers and the post office, to mention a few. The rest of us have "informal" uniforms which send signals to those around us. So what does your dress signify? Since the dot-com era, casual dress has become common in the workplace. Today in many companies, it is difficult to distinguish the executives from the mailroom staff. The goal of informality in the workplace was to make workers more comfortable, and therefore happier and more productive. The actual result might be debated to be the opposite. Studies have shown that casual dress can reduce individual productivity. Comfort is important, but where is the line drawn between casual and sloppy? Many companies are encouraging their employees to sharpen up their dress because it reflects on the organization. Even with the widespread casualization in the workplace, people still associate dress with position and power. We received an email from a reader who shared an interesting story. He used to travel extensively in casual clothes. On one trip, he did not have time to change clothes for an important meeting, so he traveled in his business attire. When there was a problem with an airline connection, he noticed that he got very courteous and special treatment from the airline employees while the other travelers didn't fare so well. The contrast was so striking that whenever he travels he always wears his formal business attire. He gets much better service from the airline, rental car, hotel and restaurant employees. Even though they don't know who he is, because he is dressed like an important person he is always treated with respect and courtesy. So when you get dressed, think about the treatment you want and image you want to portray. If you dress like you mean business, people will generally treat you with respect and dignity. Dress like you're ready for leisure and people might not take you very seriously. So where does the uniform come in? Your daily dress sends a message of how you feel about yourself and how others view you and your roles. Be certain to be consistent with your message and image. (Marketers know that consistency is the key to branding. It takes time to establish a brand - especially a visual one. If you are consistent in your dress from day to day and if your dress is consistent with your role and your personal image, people will begin to treat you the way you want them to. It may take time, but the results will be well worth the bit of extra effort that you put into dressing for the job." Specializing in proper fit, alterations and tailoring 440-967-8799

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day Work

Today is the perfect day to work on this Naval Aviator Flight Jacket. I was asked to place all the patches on this 1st Gulf War Veteran's jacket. Thank you Veterans for your service!