Saturday, June 30, 2012

$25 lingerie sale continues...

Surprise! My show was extended! I'm now the entire gallery at Gaartdensity, as the other artist took down her work and my lingerie now covers an entire wall, with my embroidered work on the other. Feels great to know when Stephanie opens the gallery, she's only presenting my work. For those that can't make the show, any piece you buy on my Etsy page, lingerie only, I'll honor the $25 sale piece and refund the difference after it is purchased. 

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 29, 2012

DIY: Drab to fab 90s jumper reconstruction

The second DIY jumper reconstruction coming to you from Rachael's visit last weekend. She had bought this at a thrift store, for just a few dollars, but it was quite outdated and frumpy. With shoulder pads, sleeves that were too long, and while it looks like a skirt, it's separate pants legs were way too long. 

Use this tutorial to alter a similar 90s jumper!

You will need:
  • jumper
  • chalk
  • scissors
  • matching thread
  • rolled hem foot attachment
  • straight ruler
  • rotary cutter

1. Remove shoulder pads. 2. Lay out garment flat. I have a bad habit of working too much on my ironing board, so head over to your cutting table! 3. Mark from the bottom of the arm hole to a few inches in from where the sleeve begins. Be careful not to mark the mark too narrow as to prevent the facing from showing. Cut on chalk line. 4. Take the sleeve you have just cut off and lay it on the other sleeve. This is a great way to be sure of symmetry. Trace the line you have cut. 5. Cut other sleeve. 6. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, shorten the pant legs a few inches.

7. On all the perpendicular seams of the raw edges you have cut (two arm holes, two leg holes), back stitch to reinforce the seam and trim the edges. This helps with your next steps. 8. Switch out the regular foot on your machine for a rolled hem foot, left. 9. Sew the pant legs. I start and stop the new seams on the inside of the pant leg, close to the center line of the garment. 10. Sew the sleeves.

Voila! New jumper that is perfect for summer and trips to the ice cream shop! We drove across the bridge to South Carolina to our favorite little ice cream shop, the Pink Dipper. Augusta is right on the state line, separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River, about two block from my house. This little mom and pop store has the BEST ice cream!

I love my silly sister. Rachael lives too far away! I wish she lived here and we'd have these fun photo shoots all the time. When we were roomies, we used to try to work on a blog entry of mine every Sunday. The only day in common we both had off.

Two peas in a pod. It was so funny going around town with Rachael and friends seeing us together. They'd either freak out and say "OMG she's a blonde Sally!" Or "No way, you two don't look at all alike!" I think the older we get, and as my hair has gotten extremely long (for me anyways) I see her in me so much more. I'll make a face in a photo and exclaim "wow I look like Rachael" and she'll do the same. So funny.

Notice the mint green finger nails? Rachael is in the Navy and can't have painted finger nails at work. Every time she is on leave or comes for a visit we go and get our mani-pedis. She always gets a crazy color on her finger nails, knowing she'll have to take it off in 48 hours. Can you imagine being told you CAN'T paint your fingernails?! Thank you Rachael for serving our country and putting up with the strict rules. Lord knows I couldn't.

And even though I am lactose-intolerant, this chocolate ice cream was amazing and so worth it!

Hope you all find this tutorial helpful! Happy Friday everyone! Stay cool through this heat wave that is hitting most of the the states. Georgia will hit 107 degrees today! 107?! I'm staying indoors and sewing all day with the windows closed to keep all the cool air from last night in. Hoping I won't have to turn my AC back on. Fat chance!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fringe Satchel from Bird Trouble

I did it again. I bought another Bird Trouble handbag. I just love Alexz's work and I had to treat myself to another purse. For years I would only wear handbags and clutches that ONLY I made. But a few years ago, my handbag production drastically declined when I started lingerie and I had no choice but to break out my vintage collection, and then start ogling over some handmade bags on Etsy.

Whenever I have a show or reach a career milestone, I splurge and buy myself something handmade. This satchel I bought for my art opening; it's made from a vintage blanket, leather from vintage chaps, scrap cotton, and antler bone. The interior has two little pockets I use for my roll-on perfume, lip balm, hair pins and other small cosmetics.

Bird Trouble is Alexz, a Chicago based designer of recycled textiles. I first discovered Alexz's work through another blog; it's been a few years so I don't even remember which one. This is my third purchase from her shop, first a skirt, then a handbag, and now this one. She has been featured on my blog herehere, and here.

You should really check out her amazing purses a on Etsy and read her blog. This satchel was one of three like it, and there is just one left. Buy it here.

Had to show you this picture of my dress minus the belt. It's amazing what a belt can do. This dress was in my fabric pile until I was organizing the other day. This dress was probably there for years, who knows with my hoarding, and something made me throw it in my closet in the bedroom, with a mission to wear it soon since it was a super hot 96 degrees in Georgia today. Adding a belt makes size almost not even matter. This dress is a 1XL. I am definitely not even a large. And the cotton is super comfortable with the heat!

Matt was making fun of me when I wanted him to take the picture sans belt. We had just finished lunch and took these next to a random shop. People were driving by and giving me odd looks. Ah well. Have a great day everyone!

Spring lingerie photo shoot

They're here! I got the pictures back from the photo shoot before the Spring Fashion Show, and whoa! These girls look amazing! Check out the album on my Facebook page for all 50 shots! And the lingerie is available for purchase at AND you can get 30% off using the coupon code "springcleaning".

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Exhibition winding down

Photo by Fred Swindell.

Last night, I went to the gallery since all my lingerie was available to locals for only $25. I wanted to catch some people while they shopped. It's my favorite to see my things being bought and who buys them. Online sale are odd, items are purchased with no real communication. I like to meet people and see which items they chose and why. Then I can tell them the back story of the fabric. It gives me a warm fuzzy feelings and a great sense of accomplishment. The sale was a huge success, and I'm excited to clear out my inventory to make room for new things.

As my month long gallery exhibition is coming to a close, I'm having an overwhelming sense of pride! Stephanie gave me the final count yesterday of all I've sold and I can't believe it! I sold almost half of my art and a ton of lingerie. 

Straightening a clothing rack at the opening on June 1st.

Matt and I on opening night. See more pictures from the opening night on my Facebook page.

I'm still organizing my work room, and it's very close to being done. I'm having a hard time because I save every small scrap piece of fabric and never throw anything I can reuse away. You never know what you're going to need, right?! 

Have a great day everyone!

Opening night gallery photos by Callimino.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Drab to Fab Dress reconstruction:
School teacher frock to summer dress
Starring Rachael

I'm so excited to have Rachael in another dress reconstruction on my blog. Watch for another fun one later this week. The dress we reconstructed has been in my closet/work line for years, and it's something I've been putting off but never able to get rid of. The embroidery on the dress is amazing and the best part of the dress. When I was working on some sewing for Rachael, she saw the dress on the clothing rack in my sewing room and was immediately drawn to it. I figured, sure Rach, you can have this dress since it will finally push me to sew it!

Before, boring, long, old and dated. After, hip, cute, short, breezy, fun and flirty. 

For this reconstruction you will need:
  • dress with a gathered waist
  • scissors
  • elastic
  • rolled hem foot
  • thread
  • chalk hem marker
  • measuring tape
  • straight pins

Start by putting on the dress. 1. Get a chalk hem marker and mark the desired skirt length. Remember if you are marking the actual length or where you want to cut. While you have the dress on, unbutton the top few buttons and pin them open to give the dress a V neck. 2. Cut off sleeves. 3. Cut off skirt, allow for seam allowance, so cut beneath the chalk marks! 4. Back stitch all the perpendicular seams on the skirt and sleeves. Trim the edges at an angle so they don't clog up the rolled hem foot. Switch the foot to the rolled hem foot. Sew the skirt and the sleeves. 5. Take down the new neckline. This is a fun and super easy way to change the neckline without much sewing! 6. Because the arm holes and cut of the dress were a tad big, there was a bit of gaping with just removing the sleeves. Cut three piece of 1/2" wide elastic and sewed it along the back, in descending length from top to bottom. This will pull the back together and make for a better fit.

Stunning and a world away from it's original cut! Rachael looked so gorgeous in this dress I'm so glad I sent it home with her to Florida. And I'm thankful for my hoarding. This would have gone to Goodwill five times over if I hadn't thought, "someday I'll sew that."

Closeup of the elastic on the back. 

It isn't an outfit shoot without big dummy. Zeus was confused why I didn't have a hold of the leash. Silly pup. He loved Rachael so much though. Zeus and Rachael's rambunctious cat, George would be the best of friends.

Hope you all enjoy your Monday! I'm currently rearranging my sewing room, again. Hoping to get done by  lunch so I can run Zeus to the dog park then sew a few handbags. Then tomorrow I'll be headed to the gallery to take down my exhibit. Tomorrow will be sad. This past month has really flown by! I can't believe it's almost July!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

They're BACK!

After a two year hiatus, cassette wallets have returned to my Etsy shop. This is huge news, everyone. Because for the first time ever, Sally Ann is no longer just ME. My sister, Rachael is now a part of the shop, making the cassette wallets. I stopped making them almost two years ago, and back then they were about half of my workload. I decided to focus on clothing and sewing instead and these were the first to go, then I stopped making handbags as well. I know many people ask about them, as well as handbags. Rachael, herself, still carries her cassette wallet everyday. 

So I'm fulfilling both wants of my fans and customers. Juggling all of them. Clothing, lingerie, purses, accessories, AND cassette wallets. I'm so glad to be working with Rachael. I'm sure we will but heads once in a while, but being a business venture, I think we will be very successful together. I have these funny little fantacies that once she is out of business school in a few years, after she gets out of the Navy, we will be an unstoppable power house sister duo, like Emma and Elsie. Haha. Crossing my fingers. I will definitely use Rachael for her business advice. 

Be on the lookout for more new things in the shop. It's quickly becoming a more "recycled goods" shop rather than lingerie. Something I think I really like. Not just a one stop shop, I want to be a powerhouse of all things recycled. Who knows, maybe there will even be some menswear soon. I've had some requests for repurposed bow ties. Hmmm... 

In the meantime check out the shop for new wallets. I'm also working on some fold over clutches. And new lingerie, in orange and blue! Maybe some shorts soon too. 

Happy Wednesday everyone. I'm off to the hospital at lunch time to meet my friends new baby that was just born last night at 8 PM! Yay babies!! I'm so unbelievably excited! About so many new things going on in right now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My 'new' vintage Brother Festival sewing machine

The newest machine to be added to my collection. A Brother Festival. Made in the 1960s, I purchased it at Goodwill for only $15 the weekend of my spring fashion show. It had NEVER been used, still having the factory practice starched fabric, showing it can sew all of the programmed stitches. I was also lucky enough that it came with the original manual!

And the light bulb still works! My first brown sewing machine. I've owned a few new Brothers, but I have broken them all. Well, I've broken all the new ones anyways. All plastic machines I have owned break in some way. I had another vintage Brother, that was also thrifted, but I gave it away to a young girl in need of a machine. I'm very hard on machines, and new sewing machines just don't cut it. This marvelous lovely lady is going to be my close friend for months, while my Kenmore takes a little nap from making two lines of lingerie in the past six months.

The stitch selector. Since the machine is so old, it is quite difficult to change the stitch selection. One has to push down the button on the left to turn the knob on the right. It doesn't like to move very easily, but that is fine. I never make button holes or use these stitches, so the stitch on the far right is selected, manual. 

In the manual setting, one can choose the needle position on the left, center and right, the dial reading L,M,R. The zig zag stitch is controlled with a 0-5 selector above the L,M,R. The small silver circles are a sort of clamp. When you push them in they slide left to right, keeping the lever in place to secure the selection of your zig zag stitch. The top controls the stitch width, and the center button on that dial is reverse. 

Don't you just LOVE these colors?! This is going to quickly become another favorite machine.

Still in the original case. Ah. Such a beauty. Who could ever get rid of something so amazing!? I found a great deal on this machine! And it even had the manual included, so I was able to oil it properly.

If you haven't already noticed, I added a new page to my blog, "My Vintage Sewing Machines", "sewing machines", up on the top navigation bar under my banner. I want you share my machines with you all since I love them so much. The machines on which I sew are very important to me. I believe it is important to build a relationship with your machine, loving it and taking care of it. Servicing and cleaning it. I have a deep love affair with vintage machines. Just last week I sold my only "new" machine I purchased brand new in 2008. From now on I will only use vintage machines!

Coming soon: the importance and how-to's of servicing, cleaning, and oiling your vintage sewing machine!

What kind of machine do you sew on? Is it vintage? Tell me your favorite thrifted sewing machine story!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

DIY band t-shirt reconstruction

Have you ever gone to a show, and fall in love with the band, but they only have extra large or large shirts available, and you need something smaller?! Not to worry. This tutorial will solve all your problems. Matt and I went and saw the amazing band, Ponderosa, at Sky City last month and we HAD to get t-shirts. I took it home and went to town, creating a bat wing t-shirt with cuffed sleeves. Read on for tutorial.

Before it was just way too big. Using a single seam, you can do this very same alteration to a cotton t-shirt. Be sure you change you needle to a ball point needle, specifically for stretch fabric! You can alter the shirt in other ways, and a more technical way would be to take in the sleeves and the sides separately, then reattach the two, but that's too much work in my mind, just for a t-shirt, and I love the bat-wing look.

Clem and Stella were also big helpers. They helping in that they laid on everything that touched the ironing board. Cats always know how to get in the way, don't they? It's bad enough with Zeus always at my feet. Anyways, back to the tutorial...

You will need:
  • t-shirt
  • chalk
  • pinking shears or scissors
  • sewing machine
  • straight pins
  • matching thread 

 1. Try on the shirt and see how much you want to take it in. Make a mental note of the measurement or use straight pins. Carefully remove the shirt if you used pins (and always point pins down!). Mark the path you will sew with chalk. 2. Sew. If the fabric is really stretchy, sew with a slight zig-zag stitch. This will allow the fabric to stretch without the seam ripping. I'll say it again: be sure to change that needle to a ballpoint! It makes a huge difference! 3. Trim excess edges with pink shears or regular scissors. 4. Cuff the sleeves twice, using the original seam as the width of the cuff. Pin every 1/4 of the sleeve. Take to your machine and stay stitch the cuff where you pinned.

 Notice the awesome new cuff? It's so easy to just stitch back and fourth, about 1/8-1/16 of an inch on the top, bottom, and center front and center back of the cuff. This "stay stitch" will keep the cuff but still appear very casual.

 The shirt is stamped "Stella Approved!"

And all done! This alteration takes about 15 minutes, maybe less. It's always a bit longer for me since I'm snapping photos and moving around my tripod. But it's a great way to revamp some old t-shirts you never wear because of the fit! Save some shirts from hitting the Goodwill pile and make them more versatile with your wardrobe! I'm not really a t-shirt kind of gal, but on slightly chilly days, there's nothing better than a t-shirt and skinny jeans.

On a chilly day a few weeks ago, I caught Matt and I BOTH wearing our Ponderosa shirts. I wore mine to work at Stillwater and he came in for a few beers. I just HAD to take a picture and post on Instagram. It's one of those cheesy lame couple things that just makes me giggle, matching as we did. 

So whatcha think? Thoughts? Input? Questions?!
Comment here or email me at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rachael's visit!

I'm sad my sister just pulled out of my driveway, headed back to Florida. She came up for the weekend and we had a blast! We went out dancing, shopping, to the salon, to Ihop, to get ice cream, worked on some craft projects, and I even did some sewing for her. Here is just a few pictures from the weekend. Two DIY dress reconstructions starring Rachael are coming soon as well as our spaghetti dinner! The jumper she is wearing, above, and the dress below. Wait till you see the before pictures! They were both terrible pieces and I sent them back to Florida with Rach to show off and wear.

 Photo shoot of her new dress with Zeus. I'm sad she can never stay for more than a few days. I miss the days when we used to live together, even though we were always at each other's throats. Oh sisterly love. Hopefully Matt and I will get down to Pensacola this summer for a nice long weekend visit.

Walking Clem on her harness. I look like a crazy cat lady! For the record, the scarf was to keep away bugs, and Clem loves rolling around on the cement.

Matt and I the night of our spaghetti dinner. Jonathan and I cooked the best meal ever! It was my last big carb dinner, except for leftovers last night, since I'm starting P90X this week. Time to get buff and slim down!
Tomorrow I'll have an awesome t-shirt DIY reconstruction for you all. Happy Monday!