Destash Challenge

Ah, every crafter’s dilemma.

There are so many beautiful yarns to be bought and knitted with, but you have so much room in your home.

I’ve always thought I had it under control–Since May 2013, I have not purchased any yarn…until this month, when I accidentally saw 25% off total purchase coupon at Michael’s, and actually went to Michaels on my own volition, and bought 7 balls of Patons Classic Wool, and 12 balls of Patons Kroy Socks. #fail

Our home is in the (SLOW) process of re-organization and purging, in order to make room for the new HUMAN member of our family. I’m not the one to go crazy with re-decorating an entire room/house for a baby, but I know that I would still need a lot of space for the baby’s STUFF. We will be re-purposing a lot of our own furniture for the baby, like emptying out my yarn stash shelf and put it on its side so that we can store baby’s things on there, and use the top for the changing station.

And that means, that yarn stash need to go someplace else.

Along with my 3 sewing machines, and all the fabrics I have accumulated over the last 5 years, cutting boards, a cutting table, not to mention all the notions that go along with sewing and knitting.

Don’t even get me started on spinning because my spinning wheel and fiber stash found their home in the living room already.

I have decided to move the sewing station out to our Home Office area, and bought a sewing cabinet on Amazon last night (with wheels!) so that I can safely stow away pins, needles, and sharp scissors.

But here’s my situation with yarns. I have, not one, not two, but THREE 20-gallon Rubbermaid plastic container FULL of yarns + one Ikea Shelf full of yarns + 3 fabric baskets full of yarns. #sigh

SO! Here’s my Destash Plan. This will continue over the next year or two, as we will definitely be needing more space for the baby as the baby grows into the toddler years. The guest room/my studio will eventually become Logan’s room in the next 2~3 years. My goal is to bring down my yarn stash down to just 1 Rubbermaid plastic container (…until maybe we find an excuse to move into a bigger home?????? MAYBE??)

1. Knit like crazy. But only using yarns at home.

2. For every 10 skeins of yarn used, I reward myself with: 1 skein of sock yarn; OR 4 oz of spinning fiber; OR a book.

3. Keep track of this process with #DestashChallenge, starting today, 11/17/2014!

This, of course, excludes any yarns that I receive for my designs. That’s work. :P

A new dress made for SF trip

Last month, my husband and I put the doggies in boarding, and took a weekend trip to San Francisco for a friend’s wedding. We both grew up in the Bay Area (Cupertino!) so going back to norcal is always a treat for us.


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I bought this fabric from Fabric.com about 2 years ago. I’m not sure, but I wanted to turn it into a dress ever since I bought the fabric. But procrastination got the best of me–I even finished tracing and adjusting the pattern in the previous week before actually sitting down to sew.

 

 

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I love the brightness of yellow, and big bold print.

 

 

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Colette Patterns “Lily” dress

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Introducing.. Colette Patterns Lily dress!

This took just ONE day to make it. I loved the pattern and I”m glad I decided to do contrasting side panels instead of contrasting flaps.

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Fabric: (solid) light gray cotton/poly poplin, 1.5yds; (print) cotton quilting fabric “Asian” print, 1.5 yds

Last Saturday, I made a trip out to downtown LA and did a little fabric shopping in the Fashion District. One of my usual stops is of course, Michael Levine store. I came to know the store because they also carry a decent selection of yarns. But since I started sewing, this has been one of the first stops I make in Fashion District. Yes, the fabrics here aren’t as cheap as other places but they have really good selection and they’re all labeled, priced, and organized. And there are cutters everywhere. you pay a little premium for the service. If you know exactly what you need, try exploring other places but if you’re looking to be inspired or you’re in a hurry, go here!

 

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as always, Colette Patterns offer really great instructions and clever way of sewing things. I loved the flap detail on this dress. It’s a small bit of retro in a otherwise very functional dress. I can definitely see myself wear this to work on Casual Fridays with a cardigan or to someone’s wedding (OMG I think all my friends decided to get married or engaged this year! Happy for them, but I need outfits!)

 

 

My 29th birthday with Diana Vishneva!!

Well not exactly. I went to SEE Diana Vishneva’s performance which was DEDICATED TO ME by my wonderful husband. :D

For months, my husband was telling me that he bought a BIG birthday present for me, so big that it should cover Valentine’s Day, my Birthday, Thanksgiving (do people give presents for Thanksgiving?! haha), and Christmas for 2 years. And that he doesn’t even really know what it is. I was confused but didn’t press it so that I can be properly surprised.

And surprised, I was.

After a modest but delicious sushi dinner, we went to the Center, and upon entering my husband just points to a nearby poster without words.

And it said:

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My heart skipped a beat. For a second, I thought wait, how did they know it’s my birthday? And then I thought, Oh do they do this to everyone who has birthdays this month? So I looked around but every poster around the entire Segerstrom Hall had MY name only.

Not only that, after the preview talk, my husband led me to the upper level, I was still focused on the blue posters, when a lady greeted us. At the private donor’s lounge!

We hung out in the lounge, took some photos, and met wonderful people from the Center.

 

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Side Note! Can you see what I’m wearing? My handmade faux leather dress and handknit shawl!

 

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Diana Vishneva was wonderful. Modern ballet pieces are always difficult for me but even if I didn’t understand 100% of the material, I didn’t really have to. Diana’s movement was the art. For each of the 30-something minute act, I was totally mesmerized in her movement, couldn’t even breath big. I can’t believe I’ll be getting her autograph soon!


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and the Center sent us home with this goodness.

This morning, I woke up with a smile on my face. I felt like I was waking up from a really sweet dream. It was such a special day. I dreamed about seeing Diana Vishneva since I heard that she was coming to OC. It was on my birthday, and to top it off, my husband made the whole experience extra special for me.

You win, husband.

 

My First Handmade Leotard!

Instant gratification #2 — Sewing leotard.

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Fabric: 4-way stretch fabric from FIDM Scholarship Store.

Pattern: Jalie 3136 View A, with cap sleeves.

I got this fabric few months ago, from FIDM scholarship store. FIDM is a famous fashion school based in LA and SF, and I happen to work very close to the LA campus. They have the scholarship store, where they sell clothes, fabric, shoes… to help fund the school’s scholarship program, and to employ students who need that extra financial help.

So I got this lilac 4-way stretch fabric for $1 a yard, thinking I would make either swimsuit or comfy dress. At that time, I wasn’t back in ballet class so I had no intention of making this into a leotard.

Few weeks ago, my in-laws came to visit from Taiwan, so we cleaned out our guest room. In the process, I found this fabric under my stash!

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it was pretty easy to make. If I didn’t get sick, it wouldn’t have taken me 3 days to make it. if you’re more an experienced sewist, you can probably make this in a day.

I finished the hems of the sleeves and neckline with a twin needle in my Janome sewing machine. I also attached the elastics on the leg opening with my regular sewing machine. The other seams (shoulders, sides, and attaching bodice to the yoke) were done on my Brother serger.

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Attaching the sleeves — I followed the directions, but I think if I made this again, I would do my regular method, which is to seam the sides of the body and the sleeve, and then insert the sleeve into the body on the wrong side, pin and stitch. Because when I followed the direction the first time, the fabric slipped and I ended up skipping a small section on the serger. I had to pick the stitches again and re-do that section.

There’s also an instructional YouTube video for this pattern: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BQzOR-WCgE

I watched it briefly for the elastic directions. I think after this project, I can go back to my first swimsuit I made for that Knit Construction class. I totally winged it that time, because I was mainly graded on the design, not the sewing.

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As you can see, I have to re-do the leg openings and the arms/neckline. FIrst.. I have to find it again. =D

What dress to make.. that is the question…

So they’re not ALL dresses but.. the point is that I need something to wear.

Either to the 10-year high school reunion that I’m attending in a couple of weeks, or the holiday parties. So something like a cocktail dress or something to go OVER the cocktail dress.

I pulled some patterns out of my pattern stash box….

1) Anise by Colette Patterns

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I bought this from Sew L.A. when Colette Patterns had their party there back September. I saw two samples made with this pattern and they both looked very “me”. It has that school girl look flair but depending on what fabric you use it could look really upscale. And I just bought some awesome beige-white wool boucle suiting fabric on Black Friday…

 

2) Butterick 5824 Long Coat by GertieDSC02022

I joined the sew-along at Gertie’s blog, but with my crazy travel schedule in October, then the intensive knitwear construction class this semester, I have yet to even pick out the fabric for this project. I think it’ll look great over whatever dress I’d wear for the parties. I get cold really easily, and yes I know I live in Southern California but I don’t care! I get cold! I still own and wear a down jacket on a regular basis!

 

3) Simplicity 1873 shantung dress by Cynthia Rowley

 

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I love Cynthia Rowley’s line at Simplicity Patterns. But while this is a gorgeous dress, I don’t know if I wanna wear it for winter holiday parties…. I get cold just looking at the photos.

 

4) Vogue 1302 Kay Unger Dress

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This is a strong contender dress. I have challis fabric that almost looks like this one, in different colors. I might actually make it. We’ll see. I’ve always admired Kay Unger dresses. It’s about time I own one, even if it’s not made by her factory.

 

5) New Look Workroom “Project Runway” 6070

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I already made this dress in black faux leather fabric and love it. I’ve already worn it a couple of times and I get compliments on it all the time even from people who have no idea that it’s handmade. I might make it again in a fancier fabric, or just get lazy and wear the one I already have and then try to match a jacket with it.

 

I have a lot to think about! And then make a decision! Then fabric shopping! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yesterday was the American Thanksgiving day and my husband and I had a lovely time hanging out with friends. This is kind of time of the year that we wish our family members were nearby instead of across the ocean.

My sister just uploaded this wonderful video of her singing on Youtube. She’s a professionally trained singer, at one point she had a record deal before college but she decided that getting education was a bit more important so she declined. I’ve always been proud of my sister but this humble video of her singing on a humble stage at UCSD, her alma mater, made me thankful for such a talented one in my family.

So today is BLACK FRIDAY, y’all!!! Has anyone gone shopping early today morning? I saw my Facebook friend’s status around 6 AM that he’s just done with shopping and finally going to bed. :D My shopping hasn’t really begun, but I found some great deals online so I’m tempted to just stay home and sip hot chocolate since the morning fog is absolutely beautiful outside right now.

 

Colette Patterns Thanksgiving Sales

COLETTE PATTERNS is having a 30% off all patterns just for 24 hours! I’ve made a lot of stuff from Colette Patterns designs and love all of them for clear instructions and great fit. I already put a couple of patterns in my shopping cart.

 

Shoemint.com

 

I’m a huge fan of all the mint sites (Shoemint, Intimint, Jewelmint, Stylemint) for their prices and styles. If you sign up today, the new members will get a huge discount! Check them out, especially these stunning studded heels from Shoemint.com

 

Fabric.com

For sewing enthusiasts, I love Fabric.com. You can’t beat “Free shipping all orders over $35″ deal, the usual. And for Black Friday, they’re offering tiered discount deals, so the more you buy, the more you save. It ends tonight as well so hurry up!

 

Black Friday really marks the beginning of holiday shopping season so I’m gonna try and get some gifts as well!