Monthly Archives: March, 2014

Under the Gunn – Episode 11

Only a couple more episodes to go and Season One of UtG will be history. Who will win? Since Natalia was sent home, we here at SODesigns are rooting for Oscar and he performed last week in a very big way.

The challenge was to create a look for a “real” client and the look of horror on a couple of the designers’ faces was very telling. I find it amazing that at this point in the competition they are so surprised to find themselves asked to make clothes for actual people instead of hanger-skinny models.

Oscar, however, was not at all intimidated. His client, a very petite blond pixie, is a pageant contestant and lamented that she can never find a gown that fits and doesn’t make her look like a child – right up Oscar’s alley! He delivered his most amazing gown yet:

Dani did a pageant walk down the runway and it was obvious she loved her gown. The color was wonderful, the sewing and styling were perfect and Oscar should have walked away with the win.

The emerald green gown fit like a glove, Dani looked like an Amazon and the details were astounding. Oscar turned his tiny client into a statuesque queen and she was over the moon. Oscar delivered exactly what she wanted, which was the goal of this challenge, yes?

Not according to the judges. They were all like, “Yawn. Yes, Oscar, you can make a gown. Big deal. You should have taken some risks and done something different. You’re safe because we’re bored.”

I was stunned. Yes, he made a gown, but they totally ignored the fact that he made his client very happy by creating the look she asked for.

Blake ended up going home even though his client was happy with his creation. Asha submitted another badly sewn outfit, but her client was happy with the results and she ended up in second place. Whatever.

Nick’s Take can be found here.

Weekly Update – Issue One

I’m having a lot of trouble composing regular posts for this here blog. Time is just flying by, the ideas and inspiration coming fast and furious. I find myself with no time at the end of the day to even get the laundry and dishes washed, much less compose a coherent blog post! These updates will (hopefully) fill in the blanks between FOs and document some important ideas before they are lost to the ether. I do read back over past posts on occasion ๐Ÿ™‚

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERALast weekend found Sabu and I in Yachats with some free time. We walked on several beaches, including this particular spot where the sand appeared to be black. Upon closer inspection I discovered that it wasn’t sand at all but tiny little stones, worn smooth by the sea. I took several pictures and collected some especially pretty samples for inspiration later. It was warm behind the rocks and Sabu decided to lay on her back while I mucked about taking pictures and sifting through the fascinating rocks.

The weather was perfect and I got some great pictures which I’ll post tomorrow.

Awana came over and we did some Project Planning. Whenever we get together the new ideas flow fast and furious. Thankfully I take notes ๐Ÿ™‚

The regular Wednesday night gathering at Knitty Gritty was even more exciting than usual. Kristin brought a hooked rug to work on and was instantly besieged with questions. Silly girl! She thought since the majority of us bring knitting or crochet projects to work on that we would have no interest in rug hooking. Ha ha! By the time it was over she had agreed to teach a two-day class and had six signed up. More on that when it happens in May.

Thursday was Laundry Day and I spent the evening at the Laun-dro-mat, washing fabric, felting sweaters and washing clothes for like three hours ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s all done now, but I hate such an ordinary thing taking so much valuable time.

Many new ideas swirling around my head and I hope to bring them to fruition soon. I’ve always been interested in rug hooking but figured it wouldn’t fit into my already tight “hobby” schedule. Now that I know someone who can guide me, well, it’s become a bit of an obsession. Being a drafter by trade, it just seems logical to design my own patterns and fill Towanda with hand made rugs. I may have lost my mind (again) but it feels like a good fit with the other things I like to do and there’s plenty of wool fabric in The Stash that can be dyed and used up. Seems like kismet, right?

Don’t tell me if you think I’m crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

Under the Gunn – Episode 10

I’ve been too angry to post about last week’s UtG episode until today, waiting to see what’s being said around the interwebs, deciding if my anger was justified. I think it was. As you all know by now (unless you live under a rock somewhere, in which case, good for you!) Natalia was sent home last week.

The challenge was to work in three teams of two and collaborate on three designs – a mini collection for hip retailer Francescas. Natalia was paired up with Asha and Asha was not a bit happy about it. Sam and Blake moderated their comments about Natalia on this episode, but Asha made it very clear that she was pissed at being paired with Natalia and, IMHO, she went into this challenge with one goal in mind – get Natalia sent home – and she did a wonderful job. She was likely guessing that she could survive (another) Fashion Fail, while Natalia could not, and she was right.

The trouble started at Mood where Natalia’s fabric choices were flatly turned down by Asha and continued into the work room where Asha took over and dictated exactly what Natalia would be allowed to do. The result? A cute dress that had a lot of potential from Natalia –

The front had some fit problems, but the back was great and totally Natalia –

We got only a glimpse of the cute, well fitting shorts underneath Asha’s hideous dashiki and we got a lot of finger pointing by Asha on the runway, making sure the judges knew what Natalia was “responsible” for – way to look like a Team, eh?

The judges rightfully hated Asha’s awful outfits and asked which of them should go home, their team being in the bottom and one of them having to go.

AshaNataliaAsha started to cry and plead with the judges, telling them how much she wanted to stay, when Natalia spoke up and said that she should be eliminated so that Asha would not blame her for getting sent home. And you know she would have moaned all over the interwebs!

Natalia showed amazing grace under pressure – you know she wanted to stay but felt bullied and disliked by the other designers and mentors. She looked so tired and just ready to go home. I love her parting line, “Under pressure, I’m a good person.” And she is.

If you’re following Natalia on Facebook or Twitter you know that she’s designing and creating like crazy and that at least one of the dresses embellished with my yarn is now in Europe being worn by someone fabulous – more info as she’s able to share ๐Ÿ™‚

Oscar and Shan were a wonderful team, working together seamlessly and turning out the winning looks, models of sewing perfection, as we expect from both Oscar and Shan –

Oscar_Shan1The blazer and maxi dress are in Francesca’s shops and online for purchase and each of them won a $5000 prize. Well done, gentlemen! We here at SODesigns are still rooting for Team Nick – good luck tonight, Oscar!

Read Nick’s Inside Scoop on his blog.

Tim Gunn asserts that Natalia was not bullied by Asha or anyone else, but what I saw was most certainly bullying. Tim said that Natalia’s poor time management made everyone crazy, but we didn’t see any of that on ANY episode, except what Natalia said about herself. One has to wonder why there was so much time to show Isabella’s craziness (and there were many more designers to cover way back then) but nothing at all was shown about Natalia’s supposed “issues.” Doesn’t make for unbiased TV now, does it? Click the pic to read Tim’s full statement and enjoy the comments, too.




Tim Gunn on WhoSay

Under the Gunn – Episodes 8 and 9

Wow. Just. Wow. I know “reality” shows are edited to showcase drama and boost ratings, but Episode 9 of Under the Gunn was harsh.

It all started with Episode 8 and Natalia’s Beach Themed Unconventional design –

She chose to use grass to create an overlay fabric and it was ah-mazing. The judges were a bit mixed on her look, but she made it through safe. I don’t quite understand the animosity of the other designers over this design, especially seeing as how Stephanie (Natalia’s team mate) went home, but there it was.

I thought Natalia’s design was unique (not a fan in sight!) and if she’d had a bit more time it would have been over the top lovely. It did have some construction issues, but the idea and execution were uniquely Natalia and the judges saw that.

Oscar won with a dress made of fans, and it was a justified win:

Oscar’s execution was flawless. Dude can SEW!!

Episode 9 was a “Transformation” challenge. The designers were to create a look that would go from day to evening. The models would show both looks on the runway and it promised to be interesting, to say the least.

Natalia’s design was, once again, very different from every one else’s –

Lemme just say that any day look that has sleeves to keep a person warm in the office is a Great Thing! I hate, hate, hate sleeveless outfits that have to be covered up with a sweater or jacket for the office – what’s the point of having a fabulous look if no one can see it?

The Evening Transformation –

The knit cowl/sleeves transformed into a purse! The body-hugging dress was appropriate for any occasion so Natalia’s Girl could go from office to wherever without having to carry an extra bag. I thought it was wonderful and so did the judges, awarding Natalia second place behind team mate Oscar who designed this little number:

It would have been better, IMHO, if the Day look didn’t have slits in the skirt, but I’m not rich and famous, so what do I know?

The real shockers were the designer interviews where everyone but Oscar ripped on Natalia’s design skills, sewing abilities and her penchant for crying. Really? I hadn’t noticed her crying until you guys started being assholes!

It was everyone against Natalia, including Mondo and Anya once the judging was over. The judges asked Mondo and Anya if they disagreed with the final decision and they were pale and trembling with rage. It was shameful. While neither one of them insulted Natalia personally (I understand they’ve gotten some negative feedback for their harsh words from the online community) I thought it was in poor taste to air their grievances in front of the cameras – it would have been so much more professional and interesting if they’d taken their opinions to their blogs, Twitter feeds, etc. and sparked a reasoned debate instead of spouting off like a couple of petulant children in front of the world.

I did disagree with the judges about who went home, however. Asha’s design was a Hot Mess. There is not a woman in the world who would buy an outfit that makes a model look pregnant both coming and going. The sewing was atrocious and the whole look was just ugly. Her fabric choice was good, but as soon as that skirt was turned up it was a disaster – the print was All Wrong and left me shaking my head. It was so bad I’m not even going to link to a picture. The sewing alone should have sent her home – she knows better and has shown that she can sew. It’s like she was phoning this one in.

The judges sent Michelle home because her look was “boring” and they didn’t like the color palette. Huh. Taupe for the office – that’s always going to be a winner. Her tunic dress was very well made and the silhouette would have flattered many body types –

Go ahead and eat lunch, Girl, this dress won’t make you look fat! The evening look didn’t do it for me (too bulky around the hips) but the idea was sound. I don’t understand why she went home while Asha was safe, but I don’t get a vote, either.

Nick’s Take on Episode 9 can be found here and judging by the sneak previews and commercial snippets, this week promises to be full of drama as the designers are paired up for this week’s challenge. Natalia is paired up with Asha who went into the challenge with a very bad attitude if the commercials are to be believed…

Go Team Nick!


Studio Sunday

I’m so far behind with my blogging that the following was taken last Sunday:

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThree Use it Up/Use it Again projects on the cutting table. They’re all finished now but it’s too dark to get good photos. Tutorial and details to follow.

The last two weekends have been busy, busy, busy! Sewing and a lot of traveling around. Saturday found Sabu and I in Corvallis all morning shopping (banjo parts! Thrift stores!) and washing everything that could be washed. Spring Cleaning is nearly done!

Yesterday we visited the dog park (Eight dogs! Sabu was out of her mind with joy) and a visit to Alpaca Alley. Pics to follow.

Now I need to go peel the cat off the wall and try to get something to eat.


The Opal X-Large socks are finished!

Opal Socks

Actually they’ve been done for almost a week, but I wasn’t able to get a picture of them to post.

Opal yarns were all the rage ten or so years ago, and I even knit a few pairs, but the only option was sock-weight and 72 stitches per round on US #1 needles is not something I can knit quickly – I never fell in love with it. I much prefer thicker socks that can be knit in a few days. Or less. I’m an Instant Gratification sort of gal when it comes to my socks ๐Ÿ™‚

Lemme just say that Opal X-Large is a delight to work with. The colorways are lovely and who can resist a yarn that makes its own patterns while the knitter cruises along, knitting on auto-pilot? It’s a little splitty, but nice and soft to knit. If it wears as well as the original Opal it will have been a great investment. I’ve already bought yarn for the next pair and am contemplating some sort of simple allover texture pattern to add a little variety.

I’ve always loved a plain stockinette sock for my own use and because of that generally save sock knitting for those times I want a “mindless” project, but lately everyone around me is knitting something a bit more…fancy isn’t quite the word I’m looking for, but you know what I mean – something more than Plain Vanilla socks, and I can feel the tide of peer pressure lapping at my toes…

I’ve left the socks at Knitty Gritty on display for the moment along with some hats until more of the Regulars get swatches and items knit up. I imagine it will be a rotating group of items for a long time to come.

ChainLinkIn other sock-related news, the first of my “old” sock patterns has been updated and is now for sale on the website and on Ravelry – I’m SODesigns over there if you want to add me to your friend list ๐Ÿ™‚

Looking over the “old” designs it’s clear that some of them will need to be knit again so I can take better photographs – what seemed Just Fine then is Outdated and Boring today. A few of the ladies at Knit Night have volunteered to knit samples for me and I guess that means I can procrastinate no longer – gotta get moving on that project.

Keep an eye on the Knitty Gritty Class Schedule if you’re in the area and looking for classes – I’ll be teaching sock knitting, chart reading, knitting lace and maybe a hat class or two.

What class would you take if you could take anything your heart desires?