Monday, August 30, 2010

The Return of The PLEATANATOR/ Hobnobbing with The Docs


Well every year the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation has a fundraiser and “Gala Evening” so I decided to donate a jacket for the Silent Auction. Cause I’m that kind of good citizen.
 And it’s tax deductable.

I used a tweed linen for the jacket. Cause it’s what I had laying around and I didn’t want to go buy new fabric when I was just going to donate it.

It has big self covered buttons which complement the retroness of the coat beautifully.

I used several rows of black topstitching around the color and cuffs and back belt to add some visual interest.

I went ahead and lined the bodice in a striped silk so it would look more luxurious. We are trying to raise money to educate nurses or something equally noble afterall.

Plus I happened to have this fabric left over from another coat project.

I used the Hong Kong Seam finish cause it looks pretty.

And check out that mitered corner. Except you can't see it in this picture. But trust me, I’m good at those suckers. Some lucky lady is going to be the proud owner of this puppy.

Well I whipped this little number up at handed it over to the folks at Pres and that’s why they call me.





Erm what?

That does not work so well.

Maybe they should call me


Well it rolls off the tongue a little better but still odd.

I think I shall settle for:

Melisa, Goddess of all things Charitable.

Yeah, that’s it.

Go ahead and call me Goddess for short if you wish.

Well anywho, I decided it would be a good business decision to go to the charity event to schmooze with all the young, rich, cute, single doctors.
Erm um, I mean all the wealthy potential clients.

And Miko’s dad (you remember Miko of the ceramic pots-- you can read all about her here) bought me a ticket so I found myself in need of a new cocktail dress.

You know, for free advertisement and such.

It’s good to be your own walking billboard.

I decided to use this fabric which I picked up on my recent trip to San Francisco because I wanted something that would stand out from all the little black dresses, and cause it manages to look sophisticated despite it’s bold print and color.

And then it was just a little snip snip here and a stitch stich there and I ended up with this little bombshell number.

I defiantly drew some inspiration from Rosie’s wedding dress which is evident in the pleated bodice.

Look at all those pleats!

This is why they still call me





And yes, I have officially been called the Pleatanator.
By Rosie.
After I told her to.
But we shale overlook that little minor detail.

This is what the dress would look like if you were 2 feet tall and had to look up to it. I don’t know why it seamed like a good idea to take a picture from this angle. I’m going to blame my father who has spent 25 years telling me to get on my knee every time I tried to take a picture of him.

See dad, I do listen!

Here I had to take a picture of the back seam cause I did a good job of matching the print up. See there is a seam and a zipper in there. Promise.

Well now that I had a fancy little dress and somewhere to wear it, it was time to get all gussied up. But as usual, I managed to get zero pictures of me or Miko in our finery.
Although I did get this shot of Miko showing off her bling.

And this one of me looking absolutely, positively, professional and grown up.

Oh, and don’t forget this little number where I am standing next to the coat.

Too bad I didn’t have the good sense to put down my drink first.

~Happy Schmoozing
Melisa & Cordelia

Monday, August 23, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday?

Meet Miko“Hello Miko,” says Cordelia
“Hello Cordelia” says Miko

Miko is one of my best buddies and she’s cool because she is a potter.

 Or is it a ceramicists because she makes ceramic pots?
Whatever you call her she plays with clay and that is awesome.
Check out her work, you’ll like it and if you don’t, I will have to kick you in the shins cause that’s the kind of friend I am.

Well anyways, sometimes my friends have birthdays and sometimes I make them stuff for their birthdays cause I’m that kind of friend.

And that’s why they call me




The Giftanator Dun dun dun.

JK, no one has ever called me that.
I can’t imagine why not.

Anywho, Miko had a birthday a while back so I went ahead and made her this pencil skirt.

The fabric is Japanese and was her grandmothers. How cool is that? No one ever did anything with it, so I decided I needed to get a hold of it and cut it up a bit. Being a skirt is a much better use for the fabric than sitting in the back of a closet all day if I do say so myself.

I went ahead and put in a European turned underlining so the skirt would be as pretty on the inside too.


Well then I decided the skirt wasn’t enough so I made Miko this crown to complete her outfit.

This crown is amazing. It’s at least a foot tall and it’s covered in silk flowers.
It’s a true masterpiece; an example of millinery structural genius.
Or something like that.

I think Miko looks fantastic in it.

 but for some reason she didn’t want to wear it in public.
 I can’t imagine why not?

Then I got Miko all dressed up and took her to the bars. Cause it was her birthday and it was the right thing to do.

And then we went home and went to bed like all good little girls.

Happy Birthdaying
~Melisa & Cordelia

(She left THE CROWN at home. I simply can't understand why?!?)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fun in Atlanta

Every summer the American Sewing Guild gets together for its national conference which consists of 4 days of sewing ladies gathering for sewing classes, fabric shopping and talking about sewing machines.

It’s a blast.

Well this year the presidents of the Albuquerque chapter of the sewing guild couldn’t make it to the conference so they offered to send me in their place (cause I’m the vice president). And I said,
 “you want to pay to send me to Atlanta for the conference?”
And they said, “Yes.”
So I said, “I’m in!!!”

I’ve never turned down a free trip in my life.

So that’s how I ended up in Atlanta, in August.

One day I played hookie from the conference and rented a car and ended up here:


Gail K Fabrics is my new favorite fabric store. It was jammed packed with fabric from floor to ceiling. I bet I could have spent a week in there and not seen all the fabric. And their button selection was to die for.

Well I picked up these little numbers.

The birds are going to make a cute little flowy blouse.

And this is gona be a great little sundress.

But I can’t decide which side I like better!


I will just have to design something that uses both sides.

And this silk will be the lining to a coat at some point.

The Mama Hart got some good stuff too.

She picked up this silk dupioni for me to make her mother of the groom outfit out of.

And this quilted silk dupioni is going to make a great little tailored jacket to wear over her mother of the groom dress.

And then she got this basket weave wool for me to make her a coat.

As well as this lace:

And we got these buttons:

As well as these:

And these:

I also picked up this fabric from Linda Lee who had a booth at the conference.

 For those of you who are not familiar with Linda Lee, she makes the Sewing Workshop patterns and is sponsored by Bernina.

Check out her website.

She also has a thing for lime green which is why when I showed this fabric to the ladies at the Bernina store where I teach, they all knew exactly where it came from.

Then it was time to get back to conference because I was signed up to take a
class from her:

And I didn’t want to miss it.

If you have never taken a class from Coni Crawford you should remedy this immediately. This lady knows her stuff and she is HIL-ER-IOUS. Plus she calls her dress form Miss Perky.

She has a line of patterns that you can find in the Butterwick catalogue, and while I’ve not used any of them, I hear they are amazing to work with—especially if you are of the fuller figure body type.

I also recommend you check out her book Fashion Sewing.

She has really clear, easy to fallow directions and shows some tricks other books leave out.

Her pattern drafting

and draping

books are also handy to have around.

Anyways I was taking a class on bustiers from her and the class started out tamely and then Coni got onto the subject of draping/ drafting a bustier pattern and one lady asked what to do for a large busted woman.

Well apparently Coni has a weakness for full busted women who cannot find patterns that fit so she stopped class and pointed to one woman in the middle row.

“Do you wear a G cup?” she asked the unsuspecting woman.

“Um, Yes?” replied Madam G Cup timidly.
She was silent for a moment and then said,
 “my husband doesn’t know my cup size and now I’ve told a room full of strangers!”

I giggled.

Meanwhile, Coni Crawford had pulled Madam G Cup to the front of the classroom, ripped her shirt off and within minutes had draped a custom pattern on her.

Don’t worry, I have Madam G Cup’s permission to use these pictures.

Then Coni took the completed pattern and laid it on the table and said,
“now you can see her laying down.”

To which a rambunctious classmate replied,
 “That’s her husband’s view!!!”

And this is why I enjoy hanging out with sewing guild ladies.

Anyways this lead to the downfall of the class and before long all the larger busted ladies were stripping off their shirts and standing in line to get a custom Coni Crawford draped pattern. And those who weren’t in line for a custom draped pattern where stripping off their shirts to show off the bras they had made in the bra making workshop.

I just sat there and quietly observed.

Meanwhile, Coni had talked her assistant into modeling this bustier top for us.

Well it turns out the assistant had worn the top to a fancy dinner the night before and had been informed by a strange man that she “Made him salivate.”

So what did I learn form this class?

A. You can make a bra in a couple of hours

B. Bustiers are fun.

C. They make men salivate

D. I need to go home and make a bustier dress immediately.

And then conference was over and I headed home to sew.

Happy Conventioning
~Melisa & Cordelia
Someone has a thing for teal.