Thursday, November 25, 2010

The importance of being precise

I just have to make this confession.... I rush! And it is not because I am Russian, I just have very little patience.  So there is me being so proud of my perfect curved seams I totally messed up the zipper and the whole side seam!!!!  It just looks wrong and pulling badly under the zipper. Or should I BE TOTALLY HONEST  and say that the initial zipper insertion result was so bad that I decided to simply have a fully exposed zipper- thankfully it is acceptable in garments these days. 

Where do I go from here? There is a seam ripper beside me and this is definitely one way to do it, but then what about all of my work on the waistline, the hem,  etc etc ????

Or I can just leave it, and move on with a disgusting feeling of being a loser and giving up so quickly again.

It is 22.30 and my husband is working late tonight....

SEAM RIPPER- HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!!  or not?

Perfect Curved Seams

I had my eyes on this skirt from Burda Magazine 9/2010. Beautifully structured, the curved seams make the silhouette just perfect and fantastically slim. Today I decided to share my tips on how to sew a curved seam without stretching the fabrics for a great result. 

I learned it from Sandra Betzina a while ago.


Always make sure you stabilize the inner curve!!!! Use the fusible stay tape (straight grain is perfect, but if you have a bias one it is ok too. The straight grain is better as will not stretch at all). Lay the stay tape over the seam line and fuse with a hot iron.

Lay out the two part and determine which curve is an outer and which is an inner one. On this picture the top side of the bottom part is an inner curve in the skirt design.

Carefully clip the fabric on the seam allowance towards the seam line, but not all the way, just about 3/4 of the way. Clip at every inch or a couple of cm. This will help manage the seam when connecting it with the outer curved seam on the other part, without stretching the fabric

Pin the seams of the inner and outer curve together, inner curve on top, slightly "opening" the clipped side to follow the outer curve seam. Pin quite frequently

Sew the parts - Inner curve on top, sew directly over the middle of the stay tape (with should be fused over the seam line anyway.)

Pressing the curved seam, carefully press the seams open first, try not to use much steam, then turn around and press on the right side for a perfect finish- remember to follow your fabric pressing guide and protective cloth if the fabric "shines" from pressing. I am making my skirt in black and this picture doesn't show how smooth the seam really is, but take my word- there is no stretching at all!!!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More "Idol" Changes: Can We Handle It?

When FOX does reschedule that conference call with “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, there will be much to discuss…

In two separate interviews last week, Nigel dropped clues as to how different the show will look this year. And it’s VERY different.
And you guys know how I hate change…

In an interview with the “New York Post,” Nigel revealed the Top 24 round will be completely eliminated and the show will go directly to the Top 12.

Nigel told the “Post” about those middle rounds: “The middle rounds will disappear, but the judges will still be bringing [the number] down," he said (The middle rounds have changed from year to year with as many as 34 finalists.). When you're showing viewers 34 people and asking the country to judge 34 people, you don't know who's talented—you only know the ones who've had a bit of their stories shown in the auditions. It's much easier to say, ‘Here are the Final 12, now here are their stories, and start figuring out who you like.’”

Am I the only one who REALLY doesn’t like the sound of that? I mean, won’t we be more manipulated by the producers than we’ve ever been?

In an interview with, Nigel revealed that the contestants will need to do more than just sing.

From the post: “Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe tells that the finalists will face new challenges, including contests to make the best music video, to promote themselves, and to work with a band and dancers for an awards show-style performance.”

I’m not sure I like the sound of that either…

What do you guys think? Post your comments below or send an e-mail to

I’ll have much more as we get closer to January…

Photo Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

"The X Factor" Hype Begins!

Here's an interesting morsel for you on this day before Thanksgiving. The first promo for Simon Cowell's new show, "The X Factor," courtesy of

You can see it here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cute little cotton blouse for work and thoughts on recession

I will be honest, I HATE finishing my projects! No, I am not talking about the work involved, the hems or buttonholes (with I do think are a nightmare)...... I hate when the garment is ready to wear and I am left with nothing to do. Some seamstresses I know always have a few things going on at the same time. They'll tell me :" oh, yeah- and I have this little dress traced and cut and then the skirt from that magazine as well, and I have this blouse half finished..... blah, blah, blah..." Well this is not me. I am a "hamster"- the wardrobe full of fabrics and the head full of ideas, but to put two together takes ages, and sometimes even results in not using the fabrics I have, but checking ebay fabric stores for hours in search of inspiration. Then I buy it. With my credit card (of course). Then I get it..... and put it away together with the other 50 000 fabric pieces.

Well, this has to stop! My new resolution is: BEAT RECESSION WITH CREATIVITY AND INSPIRATION. In my personal interpretation- use the f*cking fabrics you have and stop spending the money you don't have! Use your head- not your wallet.

We'll see if that is going to stick! )))))

My latest project is something to wear in work- the uniform requirements are the top part being red, my choice fell for a cute little blouse from Burda 07/2010, the fabric is a simple poly cotton, very easy to work with. I love the ruffled details along the shoulders- that will give some volume to the top, and works perfectly to balance the hip area (unfortunately, being a slight "pear" I need to constantly worry about that. )
here is this blouse gallery from Burda Fashion Photo Forum 

 The pattern seems to be very straightforward, the ruffled parts took the most of my time. I should say that if you use a softer fabric, it might work better with this  model as cotton is just a bit stiff.

ruffles on the sleeve - my pride of the day!!!!

almost done- just needs a trip to the Crafts shop for some cute buttons...

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Remix Continues As “Idol” Moves Nights

I had planned to have some good scoop for you tonight from a media conference call with “Idol” executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. I figured we’d finally learn the premiere dates and maybe just how this season is going to work. But the call was cancelled at the very last minute.

However, FOX decided to release the big news anyway, just a little over an hour ago…

“American Idol” is moving to Wednesdays and Thursdays.

According to the FOX press release, “Idol” will premiere with a two-night event Wednesday, January 19th at 8 p.m. and Thursday, January 20th at 8 p.m.

And if I’m reading the schedule correctly, “Idol” will air two-hour episodes on Tuesdays from February 16th to April 6th, when the performance episodes will go to 90 minutes.

Are they trying to kill me?

And, unfortunately, it appears the results show will continue to be an hour-long. But let’s be honest. We have no idea what those will consist of anymore.

I’m hoping we’ll get lots of answers during that conference call with Nigel the first week of December.

As for the answer to the question you’re all asking, I can answer that right now. Why did FOX move the show? One word: “Glee.” FOX has got a great thing going with “Glee” on Tuesday nights and they didn’t want to mess with it. Plus, with “Glee” handling Tuesdays, FOX could try and tackle Thursdays, the biggest night on TV.

It’s a risk, but I think it could seriously pay off. But it will definitely take some getting used to…

What do you guys think of the move? And what about this family show ending up on a church night? Think it will have an effect?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dress 1969

I recently found an old Burda edition (9/1969) and fell in love with those little mini dresses, so sexy yet so innocent. There were a few interesting numbers there, but my eyes were caught by this gorgeous blue high neck dress - I just love the architecture of the bodice , the decorative stitching along the seams, the waist accentuating detail and a girly a-line skirt.

Blue dress on the right
For my choice of fabric I have a couple of options for this projects, but I feel that the scarlet red bi-stretch suiting fabric could be a great choice- just to give this lovely dress a bit of a kick. The only glitch is that the patterns for each dress come only in one size, but they had a tendency to make little dresses in small sizes rather that bigger ones, so wish me luck. It won't be an immediate project to get into as I do tend to brainstorm a lot before anything like this, and quite often even decide against it in the end. But whatever is in store for me, I still feel that this dress is worth sharing with the world.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lee DeWyze CD Review: What Do I Say?

There were many times during this last season of “American Idol” that I was left not knowing what to say.

And now that same feeling has extended to the first CD release from a Season 9 Idol—winner Lee DeWyze’s “Live it Up.”

The reason I’m struggling with what to say is that Lee’s CD took me completely by surprise. Singer-songwriter was never a vibe I got from him. But that’s exactly the kind of CD he’s put out, co-writing 10 of the 11 tracks, including the first single, “Sweet Serendipity.”

It’s obvious why RCA released “Sweet” first since it’s the best track on the album. But if you’re looking for an album full of songs just like it, you’ll be disappointed. “Sweet” is really the only truly up tempo song on the CD. The rest are slow to medium tempo tracks, many of which sound like they’re straight from the John Mayer catalog.

So the question is, is that good or bad? And that’s where I’m stumped. I was just so surprised by the overall tone of the album, I’m honestly not sure…

Lee sounds great with his very recordable voice with “Sweet,” “Beautiful Like You” and “It’s Gotta Be Love” as standouts. However, “Live It Up,” which sounds like it should be a peppy kickoff to the album, instead sets the whole mellow mood of the CD (I would’ve started the CD with “Sweet” to pull people in.). “Dear Isabelle” sounds like it came off the latest Plain White T’s album. “Stay Here” picks up the tempo a little, but the chorus comes off a little silly. “Me and My Jealousy” has a good chorus, but it doesn’t quite connect with the verses. And I swear I’ve heard “Weightless” somewhere before (even though I haven’t).

But honestly, even with all that being said, the CD is not bad. I could see myself listening to it while writing or studying or some other task needing some mellow music behind it.

But I just can’t see myself blasting it in my car. And that means “Live It Up” ultimately comes up short in my book…I think…

“Live It Up” hits stores Tuesday, November 16th. You can hear it for yourself here. Be sure to let me know what you think by posting a comment below or by sending an e-mail to my new address at

Photo Credit: RCA

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Harlequin "Wrap me up" top

This was my inspiration for today. A blouse with a wrap from Burda fashion magazine 9/2010 model 111.

I didn't alter pattern much, apart for my height and I used a knit fabric in diamont/harlequin looking pattern. It was a very straightforward item to sew. I love the draping on the collar and the gathered on top sleeves. Here is the result of my efforts:

and here is the same blouse made from sliky/sateen fabric ( I am not sure of exact type) In this one I added the belt in the front- going throughopenings in side seams, which looked great, but the shoulder line seemed too low, and the sleeve caps were too big for a smooth setting- they looked a bit raised ( not visible on the collage), so I actually got rid of this blouse straight away- I believe there might be somebody out there who will find a good use to it, but it won't be me- so it is gone to charity.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Salute to Veterans

In honor of Veteran’s Day, here’s a beautiful song from one of my favorite Idols—“Old Glory” by Phil Stacey…

Thanks to all of the men and women who have served and are serving. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten…

The Details on Crystal's CD...

Today, Jive Records released all of the details on Crystal Bowersox’s CD…

It’s called “Farmer’s Daughter” and will be released December 14th. The CD features 12 tracks, eight of which were written solely by Crystal, and two of which were co-written by Crystal. The other two are the Kara DioGuardi-Chad Kroeger penned “Hold On” and a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

“Holy Toledo,” the original song we heard on “Idol,” is on the album. The title track deals with Crystal’s personal experience of dealing with child abuse.

The album was produced by David Bendeth (Paramore, Breaking Benjamin)…

Photo Credit: Jive Records

Ruched up fashion (from

    Ruched clothing is extremely tricky terrain. If properly executed, the technique can magically flatter all body types and make for some cool, avant-garde texture. However, if not, it can create a seriously tacky eyesore. That’s why I’ve pulled together some figure flattering and fashion forward ideas for how to incorporate ruching into your garments, as well as a few patterns that utilize the look in a simple, non-distracting way.
    Give these four patterns, each with different ruched detail, a try:
    The Dress with Side Gathers helps camouflage your mid-section with both a cross over bust detail and ruched sides.
    If you want to err on the side of simplicity, both the Jersey Dress and Jersey Top incorporate only subtle ruching from the neckline down through the waist.
    Or if you want to be a little more daring, the Draped Knee Skirt is a more creative way to incorporate the ruched/draped look on a simple silhouette.
    Images clockwise from top left: dresses by Catherine Malandrino, Michael Kors and Alexander Wang, sweater by Surface to Air, skirt by 3.1 Phillip Lim, BurdaStyle’s Draped Knee-Length skirt, top by Rick Owens DRKSHDW, dress by Burberry Prorsum.

    article courtesy of Burda Style website

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    A Reminder About the CMAs

    Tomorrow, Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley will co-host the 44th Annual CMA Awards.

    Carrie is scheduled to perform, as is Kelly Clarkson. Kelly will be singing “Don’t You Wanna Stay” with Jason Aldean while Carrie will perform “Mama’s Song,” as well as the show’s opening number with Paisley and Keith Urban.

    Carrie is also nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for “Play On.”

    The 44th Annual CMA Awards air Wednesday, November 10th at 8 p.m. on ABC…

    Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

    You Sexy Mother F***er - Simply Ought To Be Made (Burda 12/2010)

    nice corsage dress - can be made from a statement fabric probably with a little jacket to match/ compliment

                                     Something for those coffee morning/lunches with my loving fiance

    yet my favourite: and this one is officially THE DRESS OF THE DECADE: super sexy and super stylish- will be my number one priority as soon as the magazine arrives.


    all images courtesy of Burda Style 12/2010

    Backless Dress

    Here is a dress I made recently for my holidays. I simply adore high neck sleeveless garments and this time I needed something summery yet glamourous. I had a very stretchy spandex in cream with golden shimmer. The pattern roughly drafted from an old sleeveless dress I bought in Spain years ago, but it has become too old and too short for my figure. I used double layer of fabric as having just one layer revealed too much unnecessary detail around the bust and the tights ))))
    Easy to make- only took me an hour or two.

    Welcome To My Blog

    Align Center
    I am starting this new blog by celebrating the birthday of my own sewing workshop. It will be the place for my creative outbursts, delights and disappointment, learning and sharing my knowledge with the others (gladly, I have a 10yo daughter to pass the family tradition to.)

    About the workshop:

    So I have a little space with a folding table for cutting and sewing, a book case to keep my magazines and little boxes with all utilities, beautiful hamper baskets I use for myfabrics and scraps, a bodyform and a big wardrobe to keep larger items and finishing projects. I just ordered a set of plastic dividers to keep everything neat and tidy in my little boxes ( and yes, I do have a particular fond of good organizations))).

    My latest projects:

    • Von Trash Launch Dress

    I was inspired by a dress in Burda 10/2010 but I didn't like some of the real models made from this pattern, so I used the idea of leather side parts and added some on the bottom of the sleeves, which I kept quite narrow. The dress pattern is from Burda 1/2007, which I used before and found excellent. For this dress I used Suede look lycra fabric for the main parts and wet look lycra fabric for details. Love the standing collar, which i took from the original dress. Overall it is a lovely dress to wear and I am very happy with it.

    • Basics: A Dress in Neutral


    Another recent project is a bodycon 60s dress in cream rayon blend, Burda 1/2007 - 106. Veeery nice basic model for dressing up with different jewerly pieces and jackets- every time it looks different. Love it to bits!
    • Cocktail dress - houndtooth print

     An older project of mine, just shortened it a bit for a more youthful look. Pattern is again Burda Style  Magazine  11/2007, model§105  Material- wood blend in black and white houndtooth print and the front detail and the straps are made from a beautiful satin pleated trimming with pvc ribbon running across.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    J-Hud Sings One for Quincy

    Jennifer Hudson has contributed her voice to a track on Quincy Jones’ new album, “Soul Bossa Nostra.”

    The song is called “You Put a Move on My Heart” and it was originally recorded by Tamia. Quincy has jazzed it up and quickened the tempo for this version.

    You can hear the song here. The CD hits stores Tuesday.

    Carrie Pays Tribute to a Country Icon

    Carrie Underwood has recorded a track for the Loretta Lynn tribute CD, “Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn.”

    The song is “You’re Lookin’ at Country” from 1971. You can hear it below.

    The CD hits stores Tuesday…

    Tim Urban Returns

    Tim Urban is releasing a digital EP on iTunes, “Heart of Me.”

    Tim will release one song a day beginning Monday, November 8th. The songs are called “Heart of Me,” “P.S.,” “Blur,” “Lullaby,” “Wheels Touch Down,” and “I and You.”

    Photo Credit: Patrick Ecclestein/FOX

    Crystal's Album Title

    Crystal Bowersox’s debut CD will be called “Farmer’s Daughter” and it is scheduled to be released December 14th.

    Ten of the eleven songs on the CD were written or co-written by Crystal. The eleventh is actually her first single, “Hold On,” which was written by Chad Kroeger and Kara DioGuardi.

    Crystal’s been making it known via Twitter and other sources that she’s not happy with the choice of the single—especially since she had no part in writing it. I’m thinking she may want to cool it…

    By the way, Crystal’s duet with Melissa Etheridge from the Hard Rock’s “Pinktober” September 24th, “I Run for Life,” is now available on iTunes. Proceeds from the single go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

    Thursday, November 4, 2010

    CBS Sets Paula's Return to TV

    CBS has set the premiere date for Paula Abdul’s new show, “Live to Dance”…

    The show will have a two-hour premiere Tuesday, January 4th at 8 p.m. Then it will move into its regular timeslot Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on January 5th.

    The first two nights will focus on the auditions. Beginning January 12th, the show will go live and six dance acts will compete against each other with two acts advancing. After three rounds, the six acts who have advanced will compete in the grand finale.

    Paula will serve as executive producer, mentor and head expert for the show. She will be joined on the expert panel by Travis Payne and Kimberly Wyatt. Andrew Gunsberg will host.

    Now’s where I point out the very interesting twist here. The “American Idol” results show is scheduled to air Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. If that schedule holds, the shows will be competing against each other.

    Also, FOX has not yet announced when the “Idol” premiere will be. If it’s January 4th…

    Stay Tuned…

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Congratulations Chris Sligh!

    Congratulations to Chris Sligh and his wife, Sarah, on the birth of their first child, Keira Lennon Sligh.

    She was born October 31st at 6:01 a.m. in Nashville, weighing 7 lbs., 12 oz. and 21.5 inches long.

    In a statement from his label, Word Records, Chris said Lennon was in honor of John Lennon since Chris is such a big Beatles fan.

    Photo Credit: Warner Music Nashville

    Kelly Goes Country Again

    Carrie Underwood won’t be the only Idol performing on the Country Music Awards this year.

    Kelly Clarkson will be dueting with Jason Aldean on “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The song can be found on Aldean’s new album, “My Kinda Party,” which hit stores yesterday.

    You can hear the song here. It’s really good and make me wonder once again about the possibilities for Kelly in country music…

    The CMAs air Wednesday, November 10th at 8 p.m. on ABC…

    Tuesday, November 2, 2010

    Carrie and Kellie Step Into the Spotlight

    Tomorrow, Robin Roberts will take us behind the scenes with a number of country stars on “In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: All Access Nashville.”

    Two Idols will be a part of the show as she takes us on tour with Carrie Underwood and gives us a look inside Kellie Pickler’s new home…

    “In the Spotlight” airs Wednesday, November 3rd at 10 p.m. on ABC…

    Photo Credits: Amy Gutierrez/ABC & Katherine Bomboy/ABC

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Carrie Travels to Narnia

    Carrie Underwood has recorded the end title song for the upcoming film, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”

    Carrie co-wrote “There’s a Place for Us” with David Hodges and Hillary Lindsey. The song will be available for purchase on iTunes beginning November 16th.

    The movie hits theaters December 10th…

    Photo Credit: Matthew Rolston/Sony Music Nashville