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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Off-white Faux Fur Coat

2017 - Audrey Hepburn Inspired Hat 

Three years later, I finally had the chance and inspiration to make this hat from the left over material from this off-white faux fur coat. Oh what fun!

Happy Holidays everyone! I can’t believe this week with everything going on, I finished making this coat. This coat comes with an interesting story. It was originally bought at a thrift shop about a year ago. The fabric was all beaten up. I bought it for the beautiful faux fur. I had the coat cleaned and took it all apart. I used the old coat as a pattern to make this new coat and used the original faux fur collar as is. The fabric is high end fleece that I purchased in bulk many years ago. I always wanted an off-white coat and never really got around to making it. This coat wasn't all that hard to make. What gave me some trouble was sewing down to fur to the coat. It required some tough hand sewing. Even so, I’m really excited how this project came out. The original design is from (Albert Nipon). I googled this designer, it appears that at one time this coat was an expensive piece. I’m glad I restored the faux fur. I think it was worth the effort. I lined it with off white satin. The only thing I changed in the design was the pockets. I simple added side pockets. Easy! I wore it last night to our City Council Christmas Party. It was a big hit. It’s such a light coat to wear. Fleece is a great easy fabric to wear. It felt super special. Very old world glamour. It’s the perfect time of the year to wear these kinds of luxurious coats. Well, that’s it for now. I don’t know what I’m up to sewing this coming week, if anything. Who knows? Meanwhile…I want to wish each and everyone of you Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Official City of New Bedford Christmas Tree Lighting

Official City of New Bedford Christmas Tree Lighting

Hello everyone! This week I made this coat from  fleece material from Joann’s Fabrics. I used vogue pattern V8164. It’s a fairly easy pattern to use. It’s a fun coat which I hope to make at least one more of. The lining of the coat is actually dress material. I wanted a fabric that would slide easy with the fleece’s outer layer. I thought the dress material was a good choice and I really like the print. The fur collar I've had for several years now. I collect fur from thrift. I don’t purchase any new fur, however I believe in restoration projects. I think old restored furs are worth the time and effort to re-use and bring new life to them. I  enjoy wearing the old glamour look. They are very warm and add incredible texture to coats. The hat is my original design. I love making hats and decorating them with whatever excites me. I like having fun with sewing. I’m not afraid of experimenting with different ideas.  I wore this outfit last night to the official Christmas tree lighting in New Bedford. It was such fun. Cold, but fun. It really puts you in the Christmas spirit. All the families come out and the kids just love it. This is another huge Christmas tradition here in our city. I hope you enjoy some of the pictures and as always thanks’ for sharing in my sewing journey. Have a great weekend everyone! Debora

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Festival of Lights

Hello everyone! This evening I attended the Festival of Lights Celebration at Clasky Common Park in New Bedford. Each year out city fills this beautiful park with Christmas displays and thousands of dazzling lights. This is our tradition. The kids just go crazy over it. Tonight was the official countdown for all the lights to turn on at once. It was actually very cold. But everyone was just as excited to be there. I just love it. Really fills you up with the holiday spirit.

I made and designed the coat and hat I‘m wearing. It’s the first time I wear it in public. It’s warm, cozy and light. I worked the coat with a Vogue pattern of which I can’t remember right now. The hat is totally my original design. I made a few of them actually. I love warm hats, especially those that cover the ears. I’m all about covering the ears. Well It’s a great time of year to wear fun things. I hope your inspired to create some fun hats and coats of your own. Enjoy! Debora

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Under The Stars

Good evening everyone! The Holiday season has officially begun. There’s so much excitement going on in our city of New Bedford. The New Bedford Art Museum had their annual Under The Stars Holiday Party last night. It was just spectacular. local artist displayed their work for Christmas gifts. Our city is a great growing hub for so many artists. I meet the nicest people at these parties. In case your wondering what I wore…I wore a sequin dress probably from the 1980’s, art deco style dress. I bought it at flee market and completely restored it back to life. First of all, it was full of dust, stains and attic damage. The sequins were coming apart and needed some serious restoration. I cleaned it all up and sewed missing sequins and torn seams back together. I was very pleased with the way it came out. I thought it was a perfect dress to wear to the under the stars anything. I only got one picture of myself with my beautiful friend Daniela. Even so, I thought it would make a nice holiday sewing post. The jacket was a good match with the dress. I wanted to tone it down a bit. It was a lot of fun. Life is always great amongst artist. Enjoy! Oh, by the way the dress cost me a merely $20.00. Crazy? Isn’t it? Oh the power of sewing! You can mend anything!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Restoration Project

Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since my last sewing post. It’s such a busy time of the year. Even so, I’m happy to have beautiful dresses to wear to all the holiday seasons events. Last night I attended the New Bedford 125th Annual Policeman’s Ball. I made the gown earlier this year. Some of you may remember it. It’s a restoration project from an old beaded dress with a whole new skirt. I’ve added the original post for those of you who are interested in the details. This gown is really special. I love making old things new again. In the upcoming weeks as the holiday season continues I’ll be posting some restoration projects from years past. Stay tuned. Have a great week everyone and thank you for sharing in my sewing journey.

Original Post

 When I had my bridal shop, I did a lot of alterations on sequin, beaded and pearled gowns. Some of these sequins or beaded gowns were mass produced. Some others were delicately sewn by hand. The zippers are almost impossible to sew by machine. As I worked with these gowns, I could always tell which were mass produced and which were sewn by hand. Sometimes, I would find a blood spot as small as a head on a pin in-between the layers of fabric. I wondered who’s little hand had worked on the gown and how hard they work on their repetitive sewing, day in and day out. I imagined some little hands of possible child labor in some third world country. I became very aware as to how difficult it is to work with beaded dresses. I worked on them for a couple of decades. I too, would prick my fingers, bleed and break countless needles on my sewing machine. Sometimes, I would break the sewing machine altogether. So, needless to say I have a great appreciation for beaded gowns. I also like to go to thrift stores to see what dresses people depart with. I always head directly to the gowns section. I don’t look at sizes or styles. I look at fabric. When I spot something beautifully beaded, I grab it. I can’t stand to see them there lifeless. They need to breath. They need hope. It’s too much of waist of human labor. I don’t care how old or outdated they are, they can always be made into something new. I buy them and bring them home. After cleaning them, I store them until I have time to do something with it. Last year, I made an incredible collection of beaded clutch bags. I sold a few and donated the rest for auction to some of my favorite local organizations. This week, I brought out a beautiful black beaded dress. It is a mix of both machine beaded as well as some hand sewing. The fabric is 100% silk. I cut it all apart into the same Butterick B5209 dress. This will be the last time I will be using this pattern for now. This is where I take all the experience of the past three dresses and go for the gold. This gown is looking remarkable. I have tried it on and it fits beautifully. The skirt is from Vogue V8470. The skirt is extremely flared and circular. I made it tea length. I will post the process as I go along. As a warning, please do not try to sew sequin gowns on sewing machines. You will break them. I sew them on my industrial sewing machine. However, I have learned to lift and hold the needle up just enough to clear the beads. Even so, I have already broken countless needles on this project. Is it worth? You bet! I do it for restoration of the hard labor that goes into beauty.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Simple Wrap Skirt

Simple Wrap Skirt - New Bedford Lifestyle Post
Hello everyone! Hope you had a good week. I spent some time de-cluttering and organizing my sewing room. Not only does it provide for better utilization of space but also allows for more creativity. It feels great!
Last night I wore my new “Simple Wrap Skirt” that I made last week. I wore it to one of my colleagues event at this incredible restored old mill, Howland Place. New Bedford is famous for it’s old mills restoration re-developments. Some are used for luxurious lofts, artist space, antiques dealing, elderly assistant living and of course different types of businesses. I took a few pictures of the building and the event itself.


This picture is from their actual site. It gives a nice overview of what the building offers. It’s a great gem in our community.
Howland Place was originally constructed as a 20th century textile mill. In the 1980s it was converted into a designer outlet shopping center after spending over 16 million dollars in renovations. The building was recently revitalized in 2000 and has since been operating as mixed use professional office space. The building has approximately 160,000 sqft spread out over four floors. A utility elevator and an outside glass elevator provide ease of access to all corners of the building. Ample parking makes the building a very convenient alternative to "downtown New Bedford" locations.
As the business sector of New Bedford's South End continues to expand, Howland Place gives businesses the visibility and amenities they desire. Feel free to visit the building and explore the possibilities.

I had a wonderful night. I especially enjoyed wearing what I made. In addition to making the skirt and the matching bag, I also altered the sleeves on the jacket. I purchased the Faux Leather Scuba jacket at Dress Barn. There’re very affordable and I like the look of combining dress up with these kinds of moto like jackets. They are fun and easy to wear.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope your enjoying the new lifestyle posts. I thinks it’s a nice way of not only sharing what I make, but also how it works into my life and best of all it give me the opportunity of showing you our beautiful city of New Bedford.
Have a great weekend everyone and thanks for visiting my sewing blog. I hope your enjoying it and it’s always nice to hear your thoughts and suggestions. See you all soon!


Friday, October 31, 2014

Simple Wrap Skirt

Hello sewing friends. Here’s my latest project. Just another simple wrap skirt that I just finished today. I had fun making the matching clutch bag. I used the left over zipper for a designer strip along the middle flab. I thought it would add a nice golden touch and add a richer texture to the bag. Overall, I used the same pattern from last week. The fabric is wool from Bedford Fabrics in Fall River. I love the color of the lining too. Bright and cheery for the long cold winter ahead. The turtle neck sweater is store bought. No big deal. Just something I picked up this week. Well, that’s it for now. I hope all of you have a great weekend. See you all soon! Debora

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lifestyle Feature “Southwestern style skirt”

Hello everyone! I hope your having a wonderful weekend. I have a couple of things I’d like to share with you today. First, I’m excited to share with you the “Southwestern style skirt.” I wore it today to a special brunch to support my friends from the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Inc. There’re such an amazing organization that provides a great service to our community. It was held at the Wamsutta Club, one of New Bedford’s many beautiful landmarks. And speaking of New Bedford, I’ve decided to add some lifestyle features of our city to my sewing blog. I figured you should have the opportunity to see the many events, fundraisers and beautiful places and wonderful people I share my life with. I’ve edited my introduction on the Google account to include my public service life and introduce you to the beautiful city of New Bedford that I so proudly serve.

Here is my official introduction:

Hello everyone! I’m Debora Coelho from New Bedford, Massachusetts. I serve in our local government as a city councilor at large. I love my city and even more so, its people. New Bedford is a great diverse city by the sea and home to America’s #1 fishing port. As a public official, I’m privileged in attending many worthy events and meeting so many wonderful people. I consider myself a natural advocate of all things New Bedford and to better serve my constituency, I host a local government access television program on channel 18.

I’m currently pursuing a masters degree in Public Administration at Bridgewater State University. I consider myself a lifetime learner and believe that everyone has the potential to follow their dreams at any age. Speaking of age, I’m 47 years old and happily married to Tony, who is supportive of both my career as well as my many hobbies. I enjoy photography, cooking, gardening, and I especially love sewing and creating new things.

In my past life, at the age of 19, I was a professional seamstress and ran my own small business for over twenty years. Currently, in addition to being a public servant and a student, I’m experiencing the greatest role of my life, I’m my mothers’ caregiver. She is 80 years old. She remains the greatest blessing of my life. Everyday, I’m reminded that the greatest force in our life’s is love. She too, was a professional seamstress. Since she moved in two years ago, I started sewing again. I do it as a connector to our past. She loves to watch me sew. I wanted to share our beautiful sewing story and so this year I started a sewing blog. I hope you have the opportunity to check it out and more importantly, I hope it inspires you to connect to the people you love, with the things you love to do. Thanks for visiting!