Saturday, February 13, 2016

Window Shopping...... My trip to the Fabric Store

In the movie, The Preacher's Wife, there was a mother and daughter scene where Whitney Houston said it's o.k. to window shopping as long as you don't have any money in your pocket.  Well that was my quest for today on this below freezing Saturday.

My son has been getting on me about getting myself ready for our Holy Convocation in August. Although I am a planning at heart and by nature, when it comes to doing things for myself, I am the biggest procrastinator!!  I seem to work better when I'm playing beat the clock.

So this time I decided to take a little bit of heed in planning for August for my wardrobe.  Last year I made all my outfits and it seemed to be  huge success.  So this year, I'm going to plan a little bit more in advance.  A few weeks ago, I took the time to surf through IG (Instgram) and check out some of the fashion pages oriented towards church wears.  I put together my fashion vision board of what I would like to wear and I emailed it to my children for the Yes or No.

In going through my fabric stash, I see that I have no fabric that would be ideal for making any of these garments. Ugh!!  Now that means that I have to make a fabric run.  So the thing about this fabric run is.....  Since it's not fabric spending time, I'm only going with my pics, pen, and notebook to shop out, price out - the type of fabric I will use and the amount it will cost me.  That's it!! NO purchasing allowed.  I'm not even taking my credit card.  Just my license and my bus pass in the event that my car fails me.  Already this is hard and I haven't even left the house.  In my head I'm trying to figure out, what if I find fabric for under???????????  NOT THIS TIME!! I can do this... So with this determination, I'm off to Gaffney's in Philadelphia, PA. Wish me luck!

Ok I'm back!!!  That was a hard task, but.......... I WON!!!!!  I didn't buy a thing!  I went with an agenda and my phone and I conquered the urge to spend.

Here's what I did:

I took the pictures that I set up for my wardrobe for convocation.  I sought out which fabrics would be great in that style.  I first took the pic, labeled it in my notebook, wrote down the price.  All is left is for me to calculate how much I need and the cost.  I did a little extra for future projects as well, but I never passed the register! #proudmoment  So now I have it all mapped out in my sewing journal, so when I'm ready to buy, I'm prepared.  Besides August is far away. I may change my mind 5 more times before I sew the 1st stitch.

I really like this method of shopping.  It allows you to plan and schedule your budget.  I have it all in my head that every paycheck I have to set aside my coins to finance my new passion.  I think it will work!! (fingers and toes crossed).

So for all my Sew Sistas, try this method versus running out and buying out the fabric store and using your mortgage money to purchase your sewing addiction.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Just Do it!! My Nike Moment!

So I've been sewing for 2 years now.  I'm more consistent now than in the beginning.  When I first started sewing, started off with a small item such as skirts.  In between then and now, life happened and I fell off the sew wagon.  Now that I am back on the wagon, I have been sewing my Sunday attire for almost a year now. Friends and Family have often seen me post pictures on social media with the hashtag, #4mebyme.  While I was tickled by the tag, those that wanted me to sew for them threw me a loving side eye.

In August I decided to make all my clothes for our annual church convention.  I received a lot of compliments for the outfits that I made.  That was a proud moment for me.  I felt like finally I've arrived and became an official member of the sewing world.  Since then, I have been getting requests from people asking me to sew for them.  I continued professing that I sew for myself only.  Can I be honest here?  I was terrified to sew for other people.  Even though I now had an audience, I knew that I was not a professional and I had a long way to go to get there.  I was ok with how I made my clothes.  The outside looked store brought, but underneath did not have that Macy's look.  I didn't have the professional look equipment such as a serger and I didn't want a customer to return a garment or call me and say she no longer wanted the item.  People can be picky and harsh when spending their money.  I get it, but I'm a new seamstress and one thing I was not.... was ready for the world. 

A few months went by and I continued to sew for myself.  When I say myself I mean not even my children or grand baby.  When my son asked me to sew a button back on or restitch a hole, I gave him the side eye and tried to get my daughter to start sewing herself.  Requests came via text and email to make a skirt for various occasions and I continued to state my motto - #4mebyme.  I even went as far as recommending other seamstresses to a fashion stylist. I know, I know........ I wasn't ready.  The recommended seamstress did an excellent job though. Way better than I would have at that time.

With the number of people asking for my services, I began to think maybe I could start a small sewing business.  After watching Eryn's video of Style Sew Me on Starting a Business  ( ), I slowly leaned towards the yes side of things.  I'm still not at the professional level, but I am more skilled then when I first started.  Eryn made starting a sewing business seem less scary.  I watched the video a few times and then on New Years Eve, while in church, I finally said a full yes, I'll start small and just stick to one type of garment.  I got home about 4:00 am New Year Day and fell asleep with a grin on my face from all the compliments on the Regal Maxi skirt I made for myself.  (That skirt gave me grief, but I conquered it - See my blog, Regal Maxi Review).  From 4:00 AM I slept until about 10:00 AM, I logged in to Facebook and what did I have in my inbox?  A request to make a skirt!!!!  Sheesh!!!! Was God listening to my conversation with myself? 

All I could do was laugh!  I know God has a sense of humor, but He didn't give me a chance to back out on this at all.  I made contact with my new potential customer, who happened to be a former high school classmate, and shared my that I was trying to get up to par. Immediately she said, I'll send you a picture of the skirt I would like. Low and behold she sent me a picture of MIMI G'S REGAL MAXI SKIRT!!!  The very same skirt that I had just made for New Years.  I took that as a sign for 1 things. 1) God really have a sense of humor and He moves fast for a reason.  2) It was meant for me to share this new talent that God has allowed me to partake with.  I really had no reason to say no, I had just made the skirt for myself.  So I drew up the customer agreement and gained my 1st customer.

The entire time I was creating her custom skirt, I was nervous.  I even prayed while sewing that everything would turn out right.  I came across a few obstacles while making the skirt, but because I wasn't sewing for myself, I had to push through it and get it done.  The fabric choice was a delicate Satin.  It was soft, pretty, and elegant.

We encountered a major storm that gave me more time to really give more attention to the details.  At the end, I was proud of my work.  I now wanted one for myself.  Since I wasn't going to be at the event, I had to get my client to take a million photos for me.  I must say, I think she looks beautiful in it.  See for yourself!!

So I now encourage anyone who's afraid to step out of the box to be like Nike and JUST DO IT!!!

Happy Sewing!

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