School Update 013113

So hooray for Clothing Construction Class!!!

I’m thoroughly enjoying everything about my class.  My teacher passes out wildly useful bits of information like smarties on Halloween.  For example, did you know that it is preferable to cut a piece from a pattern after you iron on interfacing rather than prior?  Or, use tracing paper and a tracing wheel to accurately and quickly transfer pattern directions/designs.

When I go to class I’m very focused on what I’m doing.  My classmates…..not so much.  One classmate – I’ll call her Jo – is a strange bird.  For example,

  • I believe she has blonde hair but dyes it black (always an interesting root grow out)
  • Goes to COSplay events…If you don’t know what it is, you’re missing a very interesting sub-culture.
  • Carries around a handmade-1 foot-red felt dinosaur in a noose.  Yes….you read this right.

Oddly, I actually like her quite a bit, but yesterday, her work ethic, along with everyone else’s, kind of sputtered out.  Mine did not.  I’ve discovered what I thought to be true, and that is I love sewing.  I love making things.  And I love that I have 3 hours where all I have to worry about is focusing on one thing.

I’ve always thought that people would appreciate college and class more after they’ve gone through the corporate world.  When you understand what it’s like to have deadlines, the stress of meeting revenue and expense budgets, wondering if you will be the next person laid off, hoping you won’t have to lay one of your employees off.  After all of that….you realize that sitting in a classroom is a luxury.  Not to be squandered on texting and conversations about Starbucks and the color pink!  I only hope that they catch up, but since they haven’t yet….

It leads me to my next point.  My teacher, who owns a dress shop, will be helping me with adjusting patterns to measurements by using muslin…a skill above and beyond what she is teaching the other students.  Sometimes persistence pays off!  Gotta love it when you get a deal for your money.


Lao Tzu

My dreams were anxious this weekend – each morning I woke up with a feeling of gloom over me. Then i read this on pinterest New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings– lao tzu Here are some of the precursors needed to travel to the new beginning rather than linger in the painful ending…. A. open an etsy store and/or stand alone ecommerce site. B. Write down the store’s business plan and post it on a site like kick starter. C. Strategize and create inventory D. Get a job in the retail industry, near the house. Tonight is another clothing construction class. I neared to fill you guys in on it later-there has been many snags and slight drama! I made the skirt you see below over the weekend (not related to class project). Has zipper, darts, and button closure. I really enjoyed making it, and learned what I’d do differently in the future.


Back from blog hiatus

So I had a brief hiatus due to a family gathering in Lake Geneva.  Had a great time, but became lax on my blogging. 


However! That doesn’t mean I haven’t been moving.  On Sunday I went to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston.  Ann, my clothing construction teacher, met us there to walk through the fabrics and etiquette.  I walked away with fabric and notions for all three projects in class -sticking to a navy/grey palette.

The designer room has fabrics that come from design houses – it’s inspirational to pick through them. For the first time, i started touching fabric imagining how I’d design with it

The rest of Sunday had me prepping my fabric.  Truthfully, I never realized the fabric should be washed prior to sewing, but it makes sense in hindsight (wish I practiced that prior to some of my home projects) – the little things I’m learning in this class are invaluable.

Can’t wait to see the fabric my classmates picked!  My guess is that at least one picked neon.

Small Business Info from Lesley

A wonderful friend to have when you’re starting out is Lesley Ochoa at

The below is all resources she’s found from research!  I’ve bought the Etsy Shop for Dummies book and am starting to comb through it.  

Not only that, but she made me an AWESOME necklace, those who see me at work have seen it often.  I will take a nice pic in the future and post.


This book was helpful – a step by step guide but also tells you stuff to think about/do:
Here are some links/info I have in my own project list (haven’t’ checked them all out: 
·         Research if I need to get a license to sell
·         Steps to setting up biz (legal): do this:
·         Running a corporation
o (this has the minutes)
·         Online business law (review) :
·         Starting an online business (got this from SBA):
·         Women’s businesses resources:
Taxes & Banking
·         Sales tax –
§  Register with the state of Illinois:
o   **Charge 9.25%*** (Source =
·         Create corporate bank account and get company credit card and checks.  Need EIN.
 Chicago Etsy Shops for Networking

Lots of awesome Information

Just finished my first class and let me tell you, lots of awesome information.  Such as these handy-dandy beginner notes:

  • Better to use cotton w/ a hint of lycra
  • Silk amazing for linings.  Polyester and Rayon good for linings.  Acetate really really bad for linings
  • Using light lining for pockets, fat quarters a good alternative

Some great links for Clothing Construction as provided by my teacher… – the teacher’s blog -shameless plug, lol – patterns for busty women and great fusi-knit interfacing – supplies – good fusible tapes, nice price – fashion patterns, trends, blogs & & & – all good fabric spots – notions, great prices – lots’o’silk

Also, on Sunday I may be going on a field trip to vogue fabrics in Evanston.  Apparently they service the customer like an old school department store (they run and get everything for you).  I’ll be picking out my fabrics for all 3 projects (skirt, dress shirt and dress)…My mind is headed in the emerald color direction – but not sure yet.


First day of school

I told Katie this morning that I’m taking my first step to my calling.  She said her calling was to go home and be back in bed.  I said that wasn’t a calling, but a comfort.  We agreed to disagree…

This evening, at 6 pm, is my first day back to school in a very long time.  Although i don’t have typical first day jitters, I’m going through a logistical nightmare.  Between train schedules, parking lots and meetings, I’ll need to pray to the scheduling coordinator goddesses that they help me out!  thankfully, too, my Mom is my right hand woman, i couldn’t have a better one.

Over the weekend I dabbled in crafting and plan to put these on Etsy. I welcome feedback.  Top pic is hair clip, bottom is bracelet/choker.