So, Zo… for My Sewing No-Jo

Big Thanks and a Round of Hugs

First off I wanted to thank everyone for your encouragement and tips on getting through my no sewing mojo aka sewing no-jo slump.  I wasn’t sure about announcing my pity party on my blog because… well… there are a gazillion worse things than having a major case of no-jo.  I’m glad that I did because everyone’s comments really lifted my spirits.  Looking back at my blog posts I looks like I lost my sewing mojo over 2 months ago.  Though it was at a low level for about 5 month prior to that.  Aleah, you’re probably right that I coincided with our move.  I’m getting back in the saddle with some quick projects that I can enjoy immediately.  Thanks everyone!

So Zoe Camisole Front

So Zoe Camisole Back

So, Zo… Vest/Camisole/Singlet

From everyone’s suggestion the remedy for no-jo was to pick a simple project.  What could be more simple than the So, Zo vest, camisole, singlet or whatever you call it in your part of the world.  In the US we call them camisoles.  It has 2 pattern pieces, and very little fitting aside from getting the circumference right.  A warning on the sizing: it is a camisole so it’s has very little ease, think Spanx-like ease.  So I went up 1 size because I wanted mine to not be so figure hugging.  I should probably have gone up another size or 2 in the waist and hip areas.  I picked the bicycle print from my recent swap meet shopping because the small amount of yardage I had was perfect.

I lined the camisole with a nude lightweight knit because the bicycle fabric was incredibly see through.  Like see through to my belly button, see through.  To make the lining I cut the front and back the same as the fabric but just a smidge less ease but not at the very top where the layers meet.  I put the layers together with the seam allowances facing each other.

Insert Lining

For the straps I only had enough fold over elastic yardage in white or black so I went with black.  Unfortunately it’s a skimpy 1/4″ when folded which looked really unbalance.  I ripped it out using my unpicking a cover stitch tutorial and ended up not folding the elastic.  I placed it on top and did a triple cover stitch.  I’m definitely not the neatest sewer.

Fold Over Elastic

Lastly since there was already a lining, I attached some bra cups to the lining for another no-bra-needed garment.  I was too lazy to take out the machine so I sloppily handstitched the cups in.  Mr. Detective Houndstooth did a great job pinning the straps on so that it would blend in with my bra straps if I chose to wear one.  I like option of not having to worry about if my black bra was in the hamper or not.

 

 

Jumping for Joy (Literally)

To work on my modeling skills I decided to add some action poses.  It was really hard to time it correctly and keep my face from looking horrid.  It ended up being pretty fun and good exercise.  Here are some tips of you want to try this.  I used a self timed shot with the camera on a tripod.

Tip #1:  Start your timer a few times to figure out when the picture was taken.  My camera had 7 slow beeps and 7 quick beeps, snapping at the 7th quick beep.  I would start my jump at the 6th quick beep.
Tip #2: Look down.  Since you’re higher up, you need to look down at the camera or you get that unflattering up-you-nose shot.
Tip #3: Let your hair down.  I think if my hair was down it would have given the photo more dynamics and movement.
Tip #4: Have fun.

I use to be a dancer but I’m way out of practice so I went with an easy jump.  Here is my best take.

Jumping for Joy The walls of my sewing room is a leaf green.  It reminded me of a green screen, so I decided it would be fun to add some fun backgrounds from our vacations.

Canada

This is me over a glacier water lake in Canada.

Versaille

This is me in Versaille.

If anyone else wants to put me jumping somewhere fun, here a pic of just me with a transparent background. Right click and save as.  If it doesn’t download as a .png with a transparent background, e-mail me at detectivehoundstooth at gmail dot com and e-mail it to you.

Cut out

I hope that was as fun for you as it was for me.  Anyone have any other super simple patterns I should explore?

Happy Labor Day Weekend (for those in the US)
and Happy Sewing to everyone worldwide,

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Link to my pattern review.

Fabric Shopping at the National City Swap Meet

Swap Meet Fabric Stall

I was visiting a friend in San Diego over the weekend.  Once we got our fill of sun, sand and cool ocean air we decided to explore the local swap meet for a change of pace.  While I was looking up info on the nearby Kobey swap meet I stumbled upon the National City Swap Meet that has about a dozen fabric stalls.  What!?!  Fabric! Trims! Notions!  I’m in and so is my non-sewing friend who I forced to drive me there and help me dig.  She’s so sweet.

**Tip #1:  Bring a friend for extra muscle and moral support**

 

 

Digging for Treasures

I’ve shopped fabric stalls at swap meets before in Torrance.  The fabric there were on tables, bolts and somewhat nice-ishly organized.  The National City swap meet was a whole other story.  The fabrics are basically thrown in piles on a tarps on the floor.  There are sometimes skinny aisles for you to walk through.  If there wasn’t an aisle I just had to walk on top of the piles to get around.  Most of your time will be spent on all fours tossing cuts of fabric around.

*Tip #2:  pre-wash all your fabric.  Who knows where it’s been.  Or in this case, you know exactly where it’s been.**

Swap Meet Fabric Stall

Prices

Prices were great if you compare it to the local options of Yardage Town, JoAnn’s etc.  If your reference point is like mine where you can buy similar fabric for $2.50/lb it was good but not a bargain.  Prices were $1.50-$2/yard.  One of the stall was $5 for whatever fits in a medium size bag.  Buttons, zippers, elastic, lace and other notions were not a steal of a deal either.  The bra elastic was $0.50/pair.

Swap Meet Bra Elastics

**Tip #3:  Ask for the prices before you spend all that time digging.**

**Tip #4: Ask if they will cut what you need.  One place won’t cut anything under 5 yards so you have to take the whole piece. I sense a fabric swap in my future.**

**Tip #5:  Bring cash in small bills. $1 and $5 bills.  You don’t have any haggling cred if you whip out a $20 bill when you’re haggling over $0.50.  Even if you’re a non-hag, they may not have small bills to make change for you. **

**Tip #6: If you can’t get them down on the price, sometimes they’ll throw in extra fabric**

 

 

Quality

I would say that the quality is on par with what you’d find that the Micheal Levine’s Loft aka much better than JoAnn’s.  Most of it is good quality, quite a bit of knits and sheer polys.  There was a stall with a handful of denim.  I didn’t see much linen, silks etc but nothing is labeled so I may have missed it.

**Tip #7: Check fabrics for holes, tears, sneaker prints (LOL) and other imperfections.**

Some of the zippers were from reputable brands like YKK.  Unfortunately the ones that I wanted where no one brands and I didn’t want to chance it.  Failed zippers are not attractive.

Swap Meet Zippers

 

 

 The Score

Here’s what I scored. Lots of striped fabric.  No surprise considering my recent obsession with the Kristen Kimono Tee.  From top to bottom.
– My favorite is the bicycle print knit.  It’s a really short width maybe 38″ and there was writing on it from a permanent marker so I don’t have too much to work with.
– The mustard and white striped fabric is a nice medium weight very much like the fabric I used to make my Burda ballet wrap.  I think it would make a nice cardigan.  Maybe McCall’s 6844 also known as THAT Cardigan Pattern.
– It’s hard to see by the way I folded the fabric but it’s a teal, grey and white large striped fabric.
– White with thin black stripes.
– Yellow and white stripes.
– Bra straps in purple, pink, yellow, camo and glittery silver.  The silver was a sad loner so I got it for free.
Any suggestions on what I should make with these fabrics?

Swap Meet Fabric Score

I spent $11.75 + $0.50 for admission to the Swap Meet.  I got 8.5 yards of fabric for $9.75 for an average of $1.47/yard.  And of course the fun of digging for treasures is priceless.  Have you shopped for fabrics in unusual places?  I’d love to hear about it.  Leave a comment in the comment section or drop me an e-mail at detectivehoundstooth at gmail dot com.

Happy shopping,

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