Mpressive Threadz Studio Blog

Sharing my love of sewing


The Science of Me

Last week I purchased the buttons for my black linen outfit.  I wore the top and pants with pearl accessories.  I liked the look, but I wasn’t totally in love with the top.  Today I finished the dotted linen dress.  I tried it on and again, I liked the look, but I wasn’t totally in love with the dress.  I’ll post a picture of me in the dress when I can get my “photographer” to take some.  I now know why I am not in love with these last two outfits.  My body has changed!

Friday, I stopped at the library and while browsing the sewing section I came upon a book called “The Science of Sexy” and checked the book out along with books on making handbags.  Well I just finished looking through the book and now I know why I am not loving the outfits. 

Here’s the linen outfit with short sleeves.  I should have made the top with 3/4 sleeves.  See the difference.

As for the dress, I made it a shift and I should have made a fitted sheath with an a-line silhouette.   

Over the years my shoulder have become broader, my bust fuller and my waist less defined.  Over the years I have gone from

Such is life.  So I’ve written out a style plan for my current body that I will refer to as I make things for myself. 

My Body

  • Shoulders slightly wider than hips
  • Undefined waist
  • Full bust
  • Good legs
  • Shapely butt
  • On the shorter end of average height
  • Medium-full size in weight
  • Inverted triangle-rectangle

 I must remember to play down my shoulder and add curves to my hips and bottom to make my waist look smaller in comparison.


  • V-neck, U-neck and low scoop neck
  • Tailored dress shirts
  • Wrap tops
  • Tunic tops at the hip
  • Drop waist with band at the hip
  • ¾ sleeves or long sleeves look best


  • Thick straps
  • Corset waist
  • Drop waist
  • Fitted bodices
  • A-line dresses
  • Wrap dresses
  • Empire dresses


  • Straight leg, slight flared or boot cut
  • Cropped and capri pants hit at the knee


  • Semi-circle skirts
  • Gored skirts
  • Pleated skirts (pleats sewn to the hip)
  • A-line skirts
  • Medium sized prints and patterns
  • Lighter colors
  • Medium to thick textured fabrics
  • Medium to heavy weight fabrics
  • Hem just above, at or just below knee
  • Limit pencil skirts to tapered shape, wear with a shapely jacket


  • Princess seam
  • Peplum jacket
  • Jacket at hip
  • Low  or high stance
  • Chanel style worn open


  • Trench coat belted to cinch waist and tapering outward to create hourglass
  • Empire
  • Princess seam
  • Flared hem


  • Sizeable pendant necklaces
  • Large dangling earrings
  • Cuffs or bangles
  • Bags hit at the hip


  • Pointy toed heels
  • Peep toe heels
  • Cut away arches
  • Sling back heels

Color blocking

  • Light top with light bottom
  • Dark top with dark bottom
  • Dark top with light bottom
  • Wear dark color in the middle to create illusion of waist

 This will be an interesting sewing season.


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Woke up this morning and as people say, “Any morning you wake up is a good morning.”  I was looking forward to going fabric shopping with my cousin Nicole.  Her husband is a Que and his fraternity is having a formal dance.  I am making a gown for Nicole.  This morning I tried to think of the last time I wore a gown.  I remembered as a child my mother getting dress for fancy dances and weddings.  I remember the beautiful gowns, sparkly jewelry and if it was winter, the rented furs. 

What happened?  Where are the events that allow you to put on your finest?  Today, people don’t think they should dress up for weddings anymore!  The last time I wore a gown was 14 years ago when a best friend got married.  I was one of the bridesmaids and I made the wedding gown and dresses for that wedding.  I remember the dress vividly because it was a hot dress, RED!  A long sleeveless sheath, with princess seaming and a high slit on the front left thigh.  The neckline was scooped front and back, and we wore long red chiffon scarf draped across the front of our neck and hanging down the back. 

We looked and felt glamorous.   And that’s the point.  Did glamour die and no one bothered to tell me?  When was the last time you wore a gown?  When was the last time you felt glamorous?


Making of Doris’ Dress

One day recently I asked my love ones to critique my blog.  My cousin Shina suggested that I talk more about what inspires me when I’m creating something.  I like her suggestion and will start using it with this blog entry. 

I’m making a dress for myself to wear to a bat mitzvah.  I am using an old pattern as a starting point.  I lengthened the midriff by an inch so it would fit higher under the bust.  I did not cut the midriff on the bias because I want a firmer fit.  I am using the front of View C, but modifying the center of the bodice to look like the center of View B so that I am not showing so much cleavage.  I am using the back bodice and sleeves of View A because I haven’t worked out in a while and my upper body and arms are not as toned as they should be, so I want my back and upper arms covered.  I drafted a gored A-line skirt to give more detailing to the skirt.  

I brought a refurbished Brother SE350 embroidery machine a month ago in order to experiment with machine embroidery in my designs.  I am thinking of using it to do a tone-on-tone design on the dress at the skirt hem and on the midriff if I decide to use a solid color.


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Quality vs. Quantity

The mornings are now a little cool and I love it.  It means fall, my favorite season, is coming!  I updated my inspiration wall this morning, replacing the summer fabrics with some fall fabrics.  I see that my color this season will be beige. 

My eldest son and I spend 4 days a week riding to and from work/school together.  The conversations are all over the place, from funny to serious.  We recently had a conversation about clothes, quality vs. quantity.  I have had a similar conversation with my teenage daughter. 

Let’s you and I have that conversation:

You have 10 bottoms (pants, skirts, jeans, etc.) and 10 tops.  Any top can be worn with any of the bottoms.  How many outfits do you have?….You have 100 outfits.  Now add 10 jackets (sweaters, hoodies, etc.) which can be worn with any of your outfits.  Now how many outfits do you have?…. You have 1,000 outfits! You have 2 years and 9 months of outfits! This doesn’t include your various accessories which are used to dress an outfit up or down.  Got the picture?

When I was younger and single, I made all my clothes.  Any clothing that I had that I hadn’t made, I’d brought at sample sales at a STEEP discount.  It was not usual for me buy a pair of shoes, designing and sewing an outfit specifically for that pair of shoes.  Image what my closets looked like.  I am older; still love designing and sewing, but also want to do other things.  I am also into a simplified life, so when I was house hunting, a walk-in closet did not turn me on.  We brought a house in which my husband and I share a closet that is 8-feet wide.  I know you could not do that, but it works for me.  It makes me strategic about my sewing and shopping.  This is where the quality vs. quantity comes into play in my sewing.  Time is precious, space is limited, and money is both.  At this point in my life, my sewing will be about quality. 

What’s your goal, quality or quantity?


Perplexity – continues

I started working on Perplexity again.  The piecing work is almost complete. I think perplex adequately describes my current state of mine. 

A prospective client chose another person because that person just seemed to match her style more considering what she wanted.  I found that interesting because in the past my customers did not choose me because of my style; they chose me because I could deliver their style.  I should say that the prospective client never met me personally, nor was she referred to me personally.  This is part of the current social networking/social media way of doing business, upon which my style is based on the limited information provided in this blog and my Etsy shop.

That I supposedly have a specific style is enlightening and frightening at the same time.  I never thought I had a specific style.  I have always dressed and created based on current situations. For example, yesterday we took a car trip to New York to attend a cookout.  I wore a short sleeve brown t-shirt from Target with a long cream-color chiffon embroidered skirt my sister gave me years ago and tan “earth-mother” slip-on sandals.  Friday, I wore dark bootleg denim jeans and a white scoop neck t-shirt with a navy double knit short-sleeve jacket.  Both the jeans and jacket are from Ann Taylor Loft, the t-shirt from Target.  I completed my look with red patent-leather high-heel pointed-toe pumps that I purchased because they are sexy, and a large Swarovski crystal brooch that was originally my mother’s.

Currently, I am growing my hair out after years of chemical relaxers, so my hair is in twists.  According to my family you never know what my hairstyle will be each time you see me. I have never worn wigs or weaves.  One day my hair is long and hanging down my back. The next day, I may have cut my hair into an extremely short natural.  I am comfortable with my hair at any length.

Some mornings I put on the 2-minute face, some mornings it’s the 10-minute face.  Some mornings I won’t put on any makeup although I have plenty of time. Like India Arie sings, “it really just depends on whatever feels good in my soul.”

I am perplexed and need answers as I expand from the traditional word-of-mouth business model into the digital word-of-mouth business model.  What is my style?  And do I need to change it?