C4 Winnipeg, Shatner, and Star Trek Costumes

This past weekend, my improv troupe, the Dandies, headed to C4: Central Canadian Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to open for William Shatner with Star Trek improv. In true Andie fashion, I had to make some new Star Trek costumes for the event.

My inspiration for my costume was the dress uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

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I have been feeling a bit body conscious lately and felt that the shape of my current uniform and these would not make me feel quite comfortable. So I adapted the look into a fit and flare dress with a wrap front and the gold trim. I chose M6887 as my base pattern and planned out my costume with that in mind.

I made flat pattern alterations and just cut right into my fabric since I knew the pattern already fit me well. The first step was to raise the neckline. I did this using M6696 and used the collar piece from that pattern for the costume. After raising the neckline, I took the center front and back and slashed for a yoke piece. I used the sleeve piece from my test version of the Auberley dress pattern since I knew that is was close to fitting. I made a 2 inch large bicep adjustment and narrowed the sleeve toward the cuff so it wasn’t a bell sleeve. I may have narrowed a bit too much since I like rolling up my sleeves and am unable to for this dress. For the back shoulder piece, I traced and cut a triangle from the sleeve head that matched with the yoke, added a seam allowance, and then topstitched the pieces on before putting in the sleeves. They *almost* match up. One side is off on each, but that can be solved by trimming off a bit of excess seam allowance before sewing the detail on. The dress has a wrap front and sew-on snaps are put in along the princess seams. I will be replacing them, however, with velcro tape since the snaps don’t really provide a very clean look. Because of the curved princess seam, they do show off some bumps and pulls that I don’t love and are a direct result of the snaps not being quite in the right place/matching up correctly. Velcro will make that a bit cleaner and take out all the guesswork. I will replace the snaps with velcro now. However, it being last minute and needing to pack meant that I just wore it as is all weekend.

My dress is made with blue polyester fabric (I got a huge bolt of this so expect to see many more things made with it), black cotton rayon, and gold lame bias tape.

For my husband’s jacket, my inspiration was Kirk’s admiral uniform from a few different movies.

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I really wanted him to wear a jacket that was an homage to Kirk since we were meeting Shatner himself.

I didn’t make many changes from the inspiration for this except in very tiny details such as adding the black bias tape to trim the inside white panels or adding a thin gold strip on the sleeve above the cuff or on the cuff itself. It was a result of not enough time and realizing that it wasn’t really worth the trouble.

I used the same pattern as his Picard jacket, M7216, as the base for this costume. I lengthened the jacket by 7 inches and turned the fronts into a wrap style. I raised the neckline using the M6696 pattern, but for this one I finished the neckline with red bias tape using the twill from the body. Other than that, I only added a cuff, a white rectangle at the shoulder, a belt, and belt carrier at the back of the uniform. The white turtleneck underneath is a dickie using white rib material. I also made the belt buckle and cuff pips using polymer clay. The fronts are closed with snaps and the belt is closed with velcro.

This costume is made with red and white twill, black cotton rayon for bias tape and the belt, gold lame bias tape, and white ribbing.

In the pictures below, I made all the Star Trek uniforms that our troupe is wearing because I am freaking amazing.

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

 

Star Trek Costumes

Star Trek Costumes

We had a great time. Other than opening for Shatner, we got our first paid gig at a private birthday party and we had a show in a local board gaming cafe called After Dark. It was a great time for bonding with the troupe as well. Now for a world tour. Errr, after our monthly home show tonight. 😉

Other than that, C4 was a lot of fun. I got my picture taken with Mark Pellegrino who plays Lucifer on Supernatural.

And I got my picture taken with the first blade and an impala to round out my Supernatural love:

I saw some great cosplay.

Shatner is sad it’s over:

That being said, con exhaustion is a real thing. I didn’t get con flu, though, but I’m ready to sleep for the next week! Ha!

If you want to check out more from that weekend, check out the troupe facebook page here. Here is the wicked video of us singing Shatner on stage:

Laugh long and prosper!

That feeling when…

…you are just ready to hibernate and it’s not even winter yet…

So far June has not been good to me!

I began gardening the back patio planter and then came out the day after I got the soil perfect on one side of the planter to this destruction on that very same side:

Planter destroyed!

That hole is through to my neighbor’s patio and all the soil and rocks for drainage is now under HER patio. Great fun. She is having her patio redone and the people doing it ripped it out and destroyed that portion of our fence/ planter. So bye bye newly rejuvenated soil and a bunch of rocks for drainage!

As I was doing that side, there were a ton of roots that I dug out. Turns out a tree is growing off the patio into the property behind us, which is a store. You can’t see a lot through the fence so it just looked like a tree on the other side, but it’s coming out of our planter and is making a nice big hole in it. Fun times.

Bad things come in three… The faucet for the hose in the back needs a part replaced as well before I can use it. For now, I am carting water back and forth from the kitchen. When my landlady replaces that and the hose is on, I can also wash the deck.

I scrapped my idea of having a nice garden in the planter this summer and will focus on it next year. The fence will be fixed and the soil replaced by the builders next door. They promised me and my landlady and best follow through… Then my landlady will have to negotiate the tree removal with the store behind us to get it removed. By-laws in Toronto are pretty strict about a tree crossing property lines. I figure it will take a while to get it out and get the roots removed. Then the faucet will be fixed.

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I put all the plants into pots and used the soil from the planter since I will need to remove it anyway to get the root system out. I posted a photo and Megan had some great tips on adding interest with levels since all her plants are in pots around her house. For now the recycling bin and other plant pots are temporary. I’m going to keep an eye out for pallets and cinder blocks and curb side tables for better looking things to put the pots on. I already found two steal plant pots. I also thought up some other great ideas and hope to eventually have lots of flowering plants, herbs, and ivy, etc. I will put everything in pots this summer and then maybe next summer I can refocus on the planter. That deck area may also need to be replaced next summer, too. Such a bummer.

I am not a fan of the back patio, but am really determined to make it into something lovely where I want to hang out back there. It may be a place that we rent, but it’s our home and I love every other part of it. Our landlady treats us like family, as well, and I really can’t imagine living anywhere else in Toronto. I got the patio furniture all cleaned up and ready for sangria back there. It’s slowly coming together. The plus side of planting so late is that you can get a ton of discounted plants right now! They will be a little worse for the wear in some cases, but can come back without too much trouble.

Patio furniture

Other than the patio nightmares, I’ve had horrible health! The weather went from 30 degrees to 15 degrees and then back up to 20/22 degrees celcius. I got a week of migraines last week as a result and my allergies are nuts right now. My shoulder is still bothering me and my lower back is now too.

I sound like doom and gloom right now. I’m planning on taking some mental and physical health time and treating myself to quiet nights at home. I also decided not to participate in Indie Pattern Month over at the Monthly Stitch. I love it. Last year, I wasn’t able to participate because it was the month before my wedding and I had planned out several things for it this year. But it wasn’t to be. My serger broke and that cost a mint meaning I couldn’t buy the fabric I needed for the swimsuit I had planned in conjunction with CSC’s swimsuit sewing month. All plans out the window!

I was in the middle of working on a Cashmerette Concord Tank top when my serger broke. I did manage to get it done on my sewing machine, though. I made two Concord Tank tops:

Concord Tank top!

Concord Tank top!

Nothing much to say about what I did here. I didn’t add sleeves. Made bands for the armhole instead. The pineapple top was cut a bit more narrow in front to get it to fit on the fabric and I think it worked out a bit better for the cotton lycra. The cherry top was a bit wider and didn’t need to be narrowed, but I think the fabric actually needs a size down due to stretch. I still love both tops. Used the same size as before and serged the raw hem.

While my serger was being repaired by Sewing World (took all of 48 hours btw. And incredible customer service so I recommend them as a repair shop. They are also a Janome dealer so they might be the place I go when I am ready to buy a new sewing machine), I reorganized my fabric stash and managed to fit it all into my cupboard again!

The sewing craze before our honeymoon really helped my stash go down. I worked a bit on a muslin for an Upton dress. My size is all over the map right now so two muslins later and still no good fit. It’s all my error with choosing a size, though.

I went through my UFOs since the reorganization meant they weren’t covered in fabric and found a vintage floral linen M6696 from last year that got tossed aside during the wedding and post-wedding blahs.

 

I finished the vintage floral linen M6696, though! I’ve made the pattern several times before.

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

Look at those lovely vintage buttons! And look at it on me!

Vintage Floral Linen M6696

I remember doing an extra inch FBA on this bodice last year and I need another one this year. The waistband was also increased by an inch. I just put in the collar stand and not the collar. I like the look. I made shoulder tabs, too, but neglected to take a picture of them. They are orange and have green flower buttons on them. Pretty cute. The sewing on the tabs isn’t the best, though.

I also found my failed apple print M6887 dress and plan on tackling that again, too. It’s so pretty, but just didn’t look good on me. I’ve taken apart and plan on adding a mint waistband. The apple material is slightly stretchy so using a stable non-stretch cotton will help it look better at the waist. I’m also trying to figure out how to add more volume to the skirt, but I will first bast it on the waistband and see if that improved the look on me. I have only a metre left of the fabric. Luckily, the bodice fits quite well. No alterations there.

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After the apple print M6887 dress is done, I think I might revisit M7084, which was the pattern I used for my wedding dress. I plan on going with the same length from my wedding dress and sleeveless, but I think I will add a waistband since it really cinches me in at my underbust and I find the look flatters me. I will also be tackling my Upton dress again and making a muslin for the Decades of Style ESP dress since I have some lovely Wonder Woman fabric from Tanya that I need to sew now! I also have some awesome nerdy Hello Kitty fabric from Alicia that might also become an ESP dress.

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It’s a summer of dresses! I have many other plans, but for now all I can focus on is making all the dresses.

Who else feels like making all the dresses?

 

Second helpings

With a little over five weeks until the wedding, things are getting pretty busy! I still have a ton of time to sew oddly enough. But not time to take pictures and blog. I just finished my wedding dress this weekend and will blog about it soon with the final reveal waiting for July after the wedding. I have just the sash left to make. I am also making a sash for my sister’s dress, which she bought, and a dress for my little flower girl, my niece. My niece’s dress will be red like the sashes and the vests for all the tuxedo wearing people. We’ll be quite the gorgeous wedding party!

On to the non-wedding stuff!

This month I made several seconds, thirds, and fourths of things. There’s nothing better than making up a pattern that you’ve made several times before and know what to do. None of them are perfect in spite of the fact that I have made them all before. You would think I would have all the fitting issues worked out, but nope! Sometimes that is down to fabric differences, like in these cases, but often it’s just down to not getting the technique completely down, like in the case of my floral bomber jacket.

M7100 Floral Denim Bomber Jacket

I made this jacket at the beginning of May. There are a couple of issues with it. The fabric is heavier weight from my first version so it ends up being a little tighter than the previous version. I think I will be doing an FBA for future versions to have it fit a little better through the chest.

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I also messed up the waistband….er….again. The instructions for this are pretty vague, though. It’s basically: “and then attach the waistband.” Not much direction for that meant that I fudged it up again. It’s not super noticeable to the non-sewist eye so I am not going to fuss over it.

I am pleased with the welt pockets, though!

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I really love the jacket, though, and have been alternating between the two jackets all Spring. It was incredibly sunny and very humid during all these pictures. So enjoy the progression of me melting. LOL.

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Two Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte tops:

These tops have been cut out for a while, but I had fitting issues on my white one in the same cotton interlock fabric so I had been putting off making these two tops. After my post about what I need to fill wardrobe gaps, though, I immediately got to work on these two. I took some length out of the neckline in the front. The result is a much higher neckline, but a lot flatter and it sits better on my shoulders. The neckline also isn’t as curved as it is in the pattern. I am okay with that. I actually really like this style and have been enjoying wearing them. The resulting tweaks, however, make for a short top. I’ve made the changes in the pattern and will be lengthening future versions based on the changes. I think I may unpick the white version and cut the neckline in a similar fashion, as well, because this worked out quite well.

I also lucked out by having buttons in my stash that matched perfectly with the fabric!

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Don’t you love when that happens?

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Long sleeve shirts plus leggings on a hot and humid day made me rather melty….

Purple M6696:

This dress has also been cut out for a while (since writing my Spring sewing plans). Other than switching out the pockets for the straight skirt version pockets, I made no adjustments from my nautical version to this version, but perhaps should have remembered to cut the waistband a little longer (by about an inch) and to pivot and shorten the bust darts. Oops. There are always a million future versions for these adjustments! Not much else to say about the dress. I love wearing it. I also tried a little different thing for the buttons and am not pleased with what I did! Oh well. I thought I was getting the horizontal buttonhole in the middle of the band, but sadly it’s a little too far over and too close to the edge of the band. If I had started at the bottom of the dress, I think I would have done the others differently, but I started at the top. I tried unpicking, but it looked horrible so I just went with it. It looks fine, but the buttonholes are dangerously close to the edge of the band. I don’t have any more fabric or I would just have cut a new button band and redone the whole thing. Oh well! There’s always a million future versions! The fabric for this is quilting cotton that I stole from my mother’s stash a few years ago. Check out my other three versions (including the skirt version).

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I need sunglasses. And a tan…. I’m brighter than the sun!

Seasonally Inappropriate Nautical Shirt Dress

Since Mary extended the last day of Fall of 1000 Shirt dresses, I managed to finish this M6696 in time. When I bought the pattern, I had some lovely polka dot cotton fabric (hello, January Sewcialist theme!!!) in mind for a nautical version of the dress. I picked up some red and white striped cotton for the contrast. Although, sadly didn’t pick up enough and didn’t get my dream of having the striped for the button band and waistband. Instead, I used white cotton from my stash.

Of course, the dress is incredibly seasonally inappropriate.

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Look at how thin that fabric is! I likely won’t be wearing this outside until the weather really warms up in May.

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Here she is inside out, right-side out, and styled with a red tie (not sure how I feel about it, but it was in my closet….so….). I did my usual french seams on the dress and hand-stitched the button bands, collar facing, and waistband on.

Instead of pleating the skirt, I gathered it. I used self-made bias tape for the armholes and made button tabs for the shoulders. This picture is before I put on gold buttons (same buttons from my gold/pink Jenna Cardi):

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All of the red and white striped fabric is cut on the bias, except for the details in the collar.

I did a small FBA (1″) on the bodice and graded the waistband up a size (extra 2″). I still think the top needs a bit more in the FBA department and I might go up another inch to reduce the pulling in the button band completely.

Not much else to say about the dress. I adore this pattern. I might make it once more before Spring, because I have some lovely purple flowery cotton and purple/white gingham for contrast that is calling out to me… “Andie, make me into a shirt dressssssssss…..ignore the piles of dishes and the floor that needs to be vacuuuuuumed…..Aaaaaaaandieeeeeeeeeeee.” Man, that fabric is persistent. 😉

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Since it’s super cold here, I did this photoshoot last night in my sewing room and created a disaster zone there. I am still working on indoor lighting, but I am pleased with the result, especially with the lighting in the top two photos. That is much closer to the lighting I want.

Of course, this seasonally inappropriate dress got me dreaming about tropical paradises and suddenly….

 

 

 

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Yes, those are sequined and feathered pineapples. Yes, I had this lying around my house (lying in our costume bin….yes…we have a costume bin).

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In other news…….

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Jane Eyre now has a Rochester!!!

My wonderful fiance who is wonderful and does wonderful things for me wonderfully researched sergers for sale on kijiji and came across a wonderful Janome MyLock 204D! And it’s mine now! I need to seriously clean it out and oil it, but it’s mine! The woman who sold it also gave me a bunch of thread, too:

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You can’t really see very well, but other than white and black, she gave me forest green, blue, and purple. 29 cones in total, including the ones in the machine already. And she gave me the machine threaded so I can just do the trick Brooke taught me and tie the ends to the other ends for the cone.

I’m so very happy. Thank you to my wonderful fiance! He’s wonderful! I think I’ll marrrrrry him.

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Wonder Woman!!!

I had the theme song in my head the entire time I made my outfit. In actuality, I never watched the show. I was born in 1980 and didn’t even get to see it in reruns. I saw the original Batman series with Adam West in reruns, though, and grew up on other DC Comics. It wasn’t until recently that I started getting heavily into Wonder Woman through image sets on tumblr. I follow a lot of comic book feeds along with my various other interests/fandoms.

My first DC Comics love will always be Harley Quinn, but I already made cosplay for her back in 2011:

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I’ve only started reading Wonder Woman comics and only what I’ve been able to get my hands on so far. I won’t pretend to be the biggest Wonder Woman expert, but I really adore her.

Few super heros would blind themselves to kill Medusa (warning: image is graphic):

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She’s cool. She’s tough. When Monthly Stitch announced their December challenge as g33k out, I knew this was my girl. I’ve been wanting to make casual cosplay for various fandoms for a while. Outfits that I could wear to cons and not feel all dressed up. I love costumes, but there is something to be said about not wearing a huge costume to conventions and just chilling with other fans.

Enter my casual cosplay of Wonder Woman.

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Merciful Minerva! I know, technically, I am posting this in January, but I do have evidence on Instagram that I finished the shirt and skirt in December. 😛 I feel like Wonder Woman wouldn’t be super upset about the slight delay in the post.

The top is a Jennifer Lauren Vintage Bronte top. I graded up to a size 24 (the top only goes to size 20) and it fits perfectly. I may have been okay to leave it at a size 20, but I didn’t want to chance it. You can always alter things to be smaller, but making them bigger is a little tougher. The top is made from red jersey ordered from Joann fabrics. The star buttons on the top are from Kraftysian on etsy.

Suffering Sappho, the Bronte top was incredibly easy to make. I think I sewed it up in slightly over an hour and I find the style to be very flattering and the details in the neckline make me giddy. I already have three more of these tops planned out (white, black, and blue). I’ve been needing new tops for a while, especially since I’ve been going nuts for skirts lately.

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The skirt is very similar to the Cressida skirt from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. Unfortunately, I didn’t use that one. I feel kind of bad for choosing one that is very similar but not it, especially when paired with the Bronte top. Does anyone else get weirdly guilty for strange reasons?

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I used the skirt from McCall’s 6696, the popular shirt dress pattern this season. It’s the skirt from view A, but the pockets from view D. I am definitely making this skirt again, because I am in love with it. I will probably make a tutorial on this hack in the future. I want a million of these skirts. The skirt is made from  blue bottomweight canvas from Joann’s and the star details on the pockets are iron on applique from Joann’s as well. All purchased during the Cyber Monday sales. I really went nuts this year with them.

The only slight crisis I had in making the skirt was cutting the button bands too short. Unfortunately, the button bands aren’t quite on the grain because the portion of fabric I had left to recut them was off the grain. It doesn’t really change the skirt, because the bands are interfaced and are given extra support that was, but I will be interested to see if there is any issue with the shape after a few wears.

There are french seams throughout the skirt and I kicked butt on the pleats. They are so pretty, I can’t even.

I made a few accessories for this outfit:

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I bought a necklace from ebay. I used a printout of the Wonder Woman logo to embroider the headband onto felt and made the rope belt out of braiding jersey. I wasn’t happy with the quality of the jersey. Originally, I was going to make a belt that was a little more interesting, but this belt does work out as a lasso of truth as well.

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Careful, bad guys!

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Great Hera, I adore this outfit! 🙂 (Check out the matching nail colour)

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Kitty Chronicle

When Erin announced the Cat Lady Sewing Challenge over at Miss Crayola Creepy, I was pretty jazzed about it. I starting looking up cat prints and scouring the interwebs for ideas. I found this lovely print, which I had lusted after in the past:

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The Kitty Chronicle print was available on etsy through Custom Creations, which is located here in Ontario. I messaged the owner for a cut of three yards knowing that I would be using black fabric from my stash for the collar, yoke, button bands, and waistband. The almost simultaneous announcement of the fall of 1000 Shirtdresses by Mary over Idle Fancy cemented the pattern I would use for the challenge: McCall’s 6696. The pattern is making its round in the sewing blogverse right now and I figured I would try out this apparently amazing pattern. This is also part of my FESA 2014 fabulous frocks.

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I chose View D for my cat lady dress.

My muslin went really well:

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I didn’t bother making the button band, but knew it would fit well. It was my first woven dress in a really long time and I wanted to make it perfect. I did french seams and handsewed the waistband rather than use my usual method of topstitching on the right side and hoping it works. I may have reverted back to that method for the button bands and the collar, but my future version of M6696 will all have handsewn collar facings and button band facings, because it just makes for a much neater and stronger finish.

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Look at those sexy sexy insides. 🙂 This is before I sewed the buttons on.

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My buttons are from another etsy seller, Krafty Sian. My favourite thing about my cat is her adorable paws that look like jelly beans. I got pink little paws to sew on the dress:

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So adorable, right?! 🙂

Okay, so by now, you probably want to see this wicked dress, right?

Well, heeeeeere it is! *drum roll*

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Psyche! It’s me and the cat. Trinity is NOT an outdoor cat and was pretty upset at being wrangled into my arms and then dragged outside into the outdoors that she calls “the netherworld” (I assume she calls it that). She spent the entire time clawing at me to get away and back inside to her scratch pad, which she sleeps on and doesn’t use to scratch (duh, she has two couches for that!).

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Much happier.

Okay, here is the dress sans kitty cat.

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I sewed up view D. I usually sew fuller skirts and future versions will definitely be the fuller skirt version. The width of the fabric and the weight (quilting cotton) meant it would never look quite right as a full skirt and really the concept wouldn’t show off the print. Considering I am still trying to sew a perfect pencil skirt, I figured a figure hugging skirt for a shirtdress would look very cool with this print. And I love it.

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I love this dress. Although, confession time: In a race to get pictures taken before the sun set (which it does now at unreasonably early times), I basically just pinned the buttons in place and then took the pictures. I still have to sew them on. The magic of the camera. Also, I am not barefoot. There are just tons of leaves that I should sweep on our back deck. Fall is in full swing here and I’m about to make a 1000 shirtdresses for it.

Other technical parts: I sewed up a size 24 in a D-cup. I made a large bicep alteration to the sleeve and didn’t add the cuff to the sleeve, because I did not like the look after I pinned it on. I also graded up to a size 26 in the butt, because I got junk in my trunk.

For future versions of the pattern, I will be making the fuller skirt. I do love this view and it definitely works best for a heavier weight fabric. I can see it in a lightweight floral denim with contrasting bands and collar again. Hmm….. Maybe….. I feel great in it, but I know I would be more comfortable in the fuller skirt version. More me.

I would also make more button holes than this (I totally ignored the pattern…listen to the pattern, people! I was just in a rush to finish the button holes). I find that I always need a few more buttons to keep the girls inside my shirtdresses. I’ll follow the pattern next time. 😉 I didn’t even look at it. :-S

I see there is some pulling in the bodice buttons which would likely be solved by doing a small FBA in the d-cup pattern. I think I just need about an inch more room to make it a perfect fit.

All in all, I loved making this dress.

A final note, I haven’t posted in a while here. October was insane for me. I plan on making a ton and blogging a ton in November with my bra-making class on the 28th (my birthday!!)/29th at Bra Maker’s Supply. There will be tons to talk about including the round-up of Bimble and Pimple’s sewvember photo challenge. Check me out on Instagram if you miss my posts. I am a frequent poster there and you can often get previews of my makes and adorable shots of my cat and food (mmm, food). Also, the Instagram sewing peeps rock my world.