Thursday, January 14, 2010

Project Runway

Are any of you out there in blog land fans of Project runway? I love, love the show. Season seven starts tonight. I am giddy with anticipation. I have gone on line and watched all of the designer's videos and it looks to be a great season.

I have always loved fashion. My mother taught me how to sew at a very young age. I made my first 4-H outfit when I was 8 years old. It was a turquoise gathered skirt. I have sewn ever since.

When I was in high school I spent my noon hours in the Home Ec. room looking through and drooling over the patterns in the Vogue pattern book. (Could explain why I didn't have a boyfriend.) Yep I was a dork!

We NEVER bought Vogue patterns they were way too expensive.

Simplicity and McCall's were the brand of choice.

We could buy these right in town

in the basement of the Chozen's Department Store.

Once and awhile we would travel to Fairmont

where they had Butterick patterns.

Buttericks were my favorite- well of the ones I could afford.

Then along about the late 70's all of the apparel fabric stores started shutting down. Living here in small town Iowa I had no source for material. (Back then it was called material - not sure when it became fabric??) Also some of you cannot remember this, but there was a time when you could not surf the web to find whatever it was your little heart desired, therefore, my apparel sewing went by the wayside.

This was one of the Vogue patterns that I REALLY wanted when I was flipping though the pages of the Vogue pattern book during my noon hour.

A couple of years ago I finally bought the pattern on ebay.

I made it to wear to Quilt Market.
(I chose not to wear my hat and gloves :)

I made this out of orange wool for my Sophomore homecoming.

This was one of my favorite dresses.

I made it in navy blue just like on the pattern cover.

Sadly it was stolen out of the locker room at school.

I am currently looking for this Modes Royale pattern.
Does anyone out there in blog land own this pattern?
I have some great vintage buttons that would work perfectly for this dress.

Thursday nights are going to be wonderful for the next couple of months.
Mac'n cheese, a cherry Coke, complete control of the remote and Project Runway...Heavenly.

From my heart,



  1. Sandy! Thank you! I'm going to go make sure that it is set up to record. I love that show! I'll watch for you next season!

  2. I am too a huge PR fan-have been from the 1st season and have my DVR ready to record the whole season. I always watch each episode at least twice-sometimes more of at least the runway portion!
    I have such a similar sewing background to you, I really had to laugh-and yes the Vogue patterns were too expensive for us, too! I sure don't have any of my old patterns though or even remember too much of what I made.
    By the way, I took Home Ec in the 10th grade in the Early 60's (shudder) and the teacher threatened to lower our grade if we said material instead of fabric!
    Love the Vogue you made for quilt market! And it would have been stunning with the hats & gloves-though I'm sure you would have gotten lots of strange looks.
    Thanks for the great post!

  3. You sounds like a little girl anticipating a parade coming around the corner, too cute.

    I, too, started as a garment seamstress - many moons ago and I love it to this day. But it's SO hard to find good garment fabrics. Thank goodness for the internet.

    BTW - The Vogue pattern you found on Ebay does you justice, perfect dress for a perfect lady.

    Enjoy your evening while sipping on Cherry Coke with remote in hand.

  4. I am so looking forward to the new season of PR and having it back in New York. The LA season was, well, lame.

    I used to make most of my clothes but haven't in several years. When I retire I plan to get back into garment sewing again.

    My Mom still calls it "material" but in the South it sounds more like "maturel".

  5. I too love Project Runway. I am all set...dinner done...clothes folded and put away... Oh...I need some stitching...

  6. Awesome - those patterns are great and the dress to the Market was fabulous. Sadly in Canada Project Runway doesn't air for a few weeks- so we are always way behind and then we already know who wins because everyone talks about it online. Either way I love it and can't wait for it to start.

  7. I, too, love PR and I can't wait for it to start here in Canada (usually follows a few weeks after your season starts up). I will be on the lookout for it in our local TV guide.

    I have been sewing since 16 yrs. old and even took a drafting course; but haven't used it to draft my own patterns.

    Last piece of clothing was a quilted jacket a few years ago and I just love it.

  8. Oh I remember so well going thru the pattern books starting very young... One of the first posts on my blog was a photo of me looking at a little Simplicity flyer when I was a year or two old...sewing started very early as the youngest of three girls. It is still fun to sit down and go thru the books at the store...even my little boys like too.

  9. That was a walk down memory lane! Thanks for the fun. Kristy in Ohio

  10. Did you know that the casting director has a quilting blog? Here is the link:

  11. I am READY! I am a remedial seamstress at best. My best success has been with these NEW patterns of NEW patternmakers: Amy Butler, Oliver and S, Little Things, etc. The directions are written for people like me who don't really have a background in clothes making. That said, I am in awe every year watching Project Runway. My favorite? Seeing Jay (1st season) looking out the window and seeing the Empire State Building and then making that fabulous art deco dress. I am so glad they are back in NYC.


  12. Great show!! I used to sew all my clothes before quilting took over, and now I find it more economical to buy an outfit, but still occasionally sew a garmet once in a while. I still have tons of patterns, and yes a few vintage ones - I'd have to look thru to see if I have the one for the magic buttons - LOL!!
    Good to see you back!!

  13. I am crazy about Project Runway and watch all the episodes. I have never been successful with sewing garments, although I have attempted many over the years. When I took home ec in middle school, it was a shorter course that did not include sewing. My grandmother had a sewing machine (as did my mom) and they made clothing for us kids. Grandi let me play on her machine and so patiently rethreaded it for me time and time again.

    I will be right there with you watching the drama unfold on PR!

  14. Loved your post. Sweet, sweet memories. Home-ec, material...sigh.
    Do you remember those little things on the counters that they ran the material through and it measured it for them then they pushed a button and it made a cut?? I'd love to have one of those. :D Your dress is wonderful. I hope you find your pattern.
    I have never seen PR. :(

  15. I'm racking brain to remember where we bought material when I was a kid. I think the dime store had some fabric in the basement, but we had to drive about 70 miles for a real fabric store. I haven't sewn clothing for myself since sometime in the '90s!
    I watched PR over and over when Bravo had re-runs on during the daytime. It comes on too late now and no DVR :(
    Love that dress on you!

  16. I agree, Project Runway is my guilty please. I just started watching the new one on Bravo (that replaced runway)...Launch My can never get anything to replace an original. I am sitting with my coffee now getting ready to watch it. I like to DVR it the night it runs and watch it in the morning when kids and hubby have left for the day and I can enjoy it totally uninterrupted.
    Love the patterns, I collect vintage patterns also, and will check through my stash to see if I have what you're looking for.
    Happy Sewing,

  17. Sandy,
    I am also a garment sewer from my early teens. I joined 4-H at age 11 when we moved out the the country. I sewed most of my clothes in high school and college, when good fabric was still available in local stores. To think of those jackets and pleated skirts done in plaids - how did I do it?
    A local designer from my town, Allentown, is in this year's PR. I'm rooting for Ms Ptak. She also teaches at a local art school. Maybe it's time for me to go back to sewing clothes.
    Love reading your blog,
    Kathie L from Allentown

  18. Now you have really made the memories kick in! Buttericks were my favorites. I had a room mate in college who only used Vogue patterns--she was a great seamstress. My talents were so so in comparison, but at one time, everything in my wardrobe was a garment I had made myself.
    Watched PR last night. I love the Southern gay black guy--I want him to be my new best friend. His sense of humor is adorable.

  19. Love Project Runway Tivo is always set for it so I can watch it uninterrupted but then when it is 9 pm I can´t help myself and watch it in real time. Yesterday´s show was great, she deserved to go home, but what was with the 20 yards of fabric on that poor model of Ping´s? I can´t believe that the judges liked it.
    See you next week Sandy, have a great weekend.

  20. Thanks for the reminder! I watched it too last night!

  21. When I shop for material I'm making clothing or something like that. When I shop for fabric I'm making a quilt. I never realized that I call it two different things! :-)

  22. In my small home town in Wisconsin, we used to buy material at the J C Penney store. My favorite part was to watch the clerks measure the fabric by pulling it through that thing with a dial that was clamped onto the table and then pressing the little lever to make a cut. Then they would rip the fabric at the correct length. I always hated in Home Ec sewing having to pull a thread to get the straight of grain.
    Leslie S. in MN

  23. Can I just say that you have great taste for fashion and I love love love everything you design. It is wonderful for sewers like me to have such creative beauty.

  24. How delightful!! I learned to sew in 4- H also. My first project was a turquoise apron & potholder. Enjoy your Thursdays!! Your dress looked fabulous on you!

  25. I love PR too. I went to Fashion Institute of Technology and the show reminds me so much of a design students life. Jay Mc Carroll is a local guy. It was so awesome when he won season 1. Our whole family watches the show, even my dh!

    I used to sew all my clothes, don't know why I got away from it....wait yes I do...QUILTING!

  26. I, too, love Project Runway! Have started the new season and have even been watching some of the reruns they have shown on Lifetime lately. Sadly I am not a garment sewer...other then Stretch and Sew many ions ago! I do love seeing how they create....without a pattern, no less!
    Loved your trip down memory lane...were those late 60's early 70's fashions?? Your version for Quilt Market was darling!

  27. Did Abby get her love of Mac and Cheese from you? Funny!

  28. Love Project Runway too! Some of those peeps are WAY over the top but its fun to watch every week.

    Our local fabric store was called "Fashion Yardage" and I vividly remember the first time I went to look for a pattern (age 12). I didn't know you looked through the book first and then went to the drawers; I just opened a drawer and started pawing through. I was there for an hour before I realized ladies were looking in pattern BOOKS.

    Love the coral dress, you moderned it up beautifully! Hope you find the other pattern you want...

  29. I am sooooo jealous ... here in Canada it doesnt start for a while ... my all time fave show, i watch all the reruns .... have fun with your Thursday nights!

  30. Sandy,
    I was so glad to find your blog and your explaination of how to design fabrics. I would like to design fabrics, and would like to find out who and where to send my ideas. I have been crazy about fabrics and sewing almost all my life. My mama made all 4 of us girls' dresses and most of the time they matched hers, at least in fabric. Thanks for your help. Sherry

  31. Oh so did I enjoy your comments about sewing and enjoying all the pattern book shopping! I did that same thing and made all my clothes in high school.
    The best thing ever and what you really took me back to is that I taught Home Ec. for 30 years in a high school in Ky. No career could have been more fun as I was able to continue enjoying sewing and dreaming with all my students. As I read your blog, I can go back to our lunch time at school and see my wonderful girls thumbing through the Simplicity & McCalls books.

  32. Hi Sandy, I remember going to Helen's Fabrics in our small town and looking through the pattern books for hours. It was my favorite thing to do. I was hooked on material (we called it that too)way back then. In college I worked in a fabric store and it was all I could do not to bring some material home with me each day. I rarely had a store-bought dress. The most fun was prom dress! What fun to see your post!

  33. Sandy, I, too, love Project Runway. My husband makes fun of me, which irritates me just slightly as this is only show I ever watch as a new show (with 2 young boys I seldom get to pick the TV shows before 9p; he'd be really upset if he saw how my boys will sit enthralled of the TV when it's on, though I think thy just like looking at the pretty models!) so I'm always eager for the new season of Project Runway and have watched all of new season episodes so far!

    Love your patterns and color choices. I have an AP&Q mag featuring you and there's a great antique cupboard in one of the pictures. I hope someday to have my hubbie make it for me (or maybe learn to woodwork and make it myself!).
    Amy R (Galesburg IL)