Saturday, July 10, 2010

Where do I begin?

It's been a crazy month but I'm back. I attended the opening of a haute couture fashion exhibit in Nashville, wrecked my car, attended Susan Khalje's week-long sewing school, partially finished a classic French jacket (faux-Chanel), bought a new car, and went on vacation...twice.

I didn't post much initially because I was trying to finish Nancy's muslin before my trip to Nashville for a 6-day couture sewing workshop. Wednesday as I'm driving home from work thinking about errands to run, a white Lexus appears out of nowhere headed for my passenger side front bumper. Next thing I know, I'm upside down skidding across the road. My car's totaled and now I'm making car payments again because some kid was chatting on her cell phone while driving rather than watching for traffic.

CRV accident 060910

CRV 060910

I'm currently looking for a bumper sticker that says, "Hang up the phone!" Seriously, when did we become so obsessed with these things that you can't even make a 5-minute drive without calling someone. I challenge everyone to spend just one day not using your cell phone in any way while you are driving (this includes sitting at stop lights). I'm amazed at how badly people drive and I never noticed because I was on my phone, playing with the radio or eating/drinking. Once you turn your full attention to the road, you will discover what a scary thing driving is. (stepping off soap box)

Nancy's muslin wasn't ready for the start of class on Monday so I started from scratch on a Chanel-style jacket for myself. $550 in fabric/notions later and this is what I've finished so far.

Nashville Chanel right side 061910

By the end of the class, I was at the point where I needed to clean up the shoulder seams.

Nashville Chanel inside 061910

Here are my fabrics up close:

Nashville Chanel fabrics

I've always wanted to make this type of jacket for myself; even planned one for a sewing contest last winter. I'm glad I got the benefit of making one with face-to-face instruction from someone who can do these in her sleep. Here's a look at some awesome buttons and trim I found for this jacket. (The trim is actually 2 trims that will overlap.)

Nashville Chanel trim with fabric

Nashville Chanel trim

I think it's so cool that I found buttons with a design that matches the weave of the fabric.

Nashville Chanel buttons with fabric

Nashville Chanel button closeup

I enjoyed Susan Khalje's class for many reasons. You will learn about other techniques not included in your project. I'm a visual learner and some of the couture techniques I've read about were difficult to understand. Now I understand exactly how to use these techniques. I also learned some hand stitches.  So much better than my usual make-it-up-as-I-go method.  It was also great to meet other TN-area sewers. Sometimes I think I'm the only person in Memphis that sews clothing. It was really nice to get a fitting from someone else.  DH is terribly patient while I bark orders at him as he pins my bodices but they never seem quite right.  Now I have a great muslin pattern with shoulder princess seams that I can use to alter any paper pattern.  DH was thrilled when I told him the news. 

I finally got to see inside Textile Fabrics. I didn't end up buying any fabric there because: (1) I was overwhelmed by the selection, (2) I had already seen the perfect boucle for my project from Helen's stash, and (3) I just didn't see anything I wanted--did it finally happen? Am I officially fabric-overloaded?  By the way, the owner of Textile Fabrics is very generous.  Several people in the class needed additional supplies for their projects but we didn't want to sacrifice class time to shop (class ended at 5:30 pm and the store closes at 6 pm).  The owner agreed to stay open late for us so we wouldn't lose any class time.

Ramble alert!  I think I'm pattern-overloaded as well.  I've looked at the new McCall's and Simplicity early Autumn collections and I couldn't find a single thing I wanted.  Probably a good thing because my pattern drawers are packed to the max.

Anyway, I haven't worked on my jacket since returning home 3 weeks ago.  Last night DH wanted to know why I haven't worked on the jacket?  He wants to know if I've lost interest and won't finish it.  I could've slapped him.  I've been on the phone with car salesmen, insurance agents and banks for 2 weeks.  What spare time I did have was devoted to catching up with my course work for my degree.  What have you been so busy with? (As if he didn't know.)  I've been busy trying to find this:

Outback 2011

I've never had to work so hard to spend money in my whole life.  I called 5 dealerships before I finally found someone willing to make me a decent deal and then we had to drive 3.5 hours to get the car.  In the end I'm very happy with the result and even happier to put this whole wreck behind me. 

Another ramble!  My best advice for car buying (if you want to buy something off the lot) is to do tons of internet research on the MSRP and dealer invoice prices, all the hidden fees and then search the inventories of all the dealerships within a reasonable driving distance.  Contact their internet sales managers and play the "can you match the deal I just got" game until you get a price you can live with.  Get the buyer's order written up before you go so there are no surprises when you show up to pay for the car.  Apologies to any car salespeople reading this but offering me MSRP and acting like I'm stealing from you is extremely infuriating.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're having a great time in Susan's class. Your jacket is coming along well. I like the colors and the buttons. I'm so sorry about your wreck and am happy you weren't seriously injured. But it's good you got a great deal on your new car. Thanks for the car buying tips!!!


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