Monthly Archives: August 2012

Jamie Christina Mission Maxi #2

Hi All!

I’m not dead… no, far from it! After finishing the Bombshell I needed something quickly to wear to a client meeting, and since it’s been super duper hot here, I wanted something comfortable, so I made a lovely black version of the Mission Maxi. I banged this baby off in just a few hours, including a serger mishap that took me an hour to figure out, (entirely my fault, more on that another time LOL)

However that being almost two weeks ago, we didn’t get around to shooting this dress ’til just the other day, and I’ll tell you why, before I unveil this photo to you.

Readers, I HATE getting my picture taken. Why? Because I guarantee, without a shadow of a doubt, I am absolutely the LEAST photogenic person on the face of the earth. I am not exaggerating, or being modest. I don’t think I look bad in person, but the camera would have you believe otherwise. The camera, my friends… HATES me with a burning white hot passion! Not only do I end up looking ten years older, and twenty pounds heavier than I actually am, I am always being caught making the most horrific faces, or doing something ridiculous. I know everybody says that, but I have the proof!!! Hundreds of totally embarrassing unusable pictures mocking me, and every time I anxiously go to look at pics of a holiday or a new make, I’m constantly disappointed and sometimes even depressed.

Now I know what you’re thinking… “but Amanda, we’ve seen some decent shots of you!” That’s true…. but these shots are not taken without a considerable amount of effort on both mine and my partner’s part…. often (I admit) there are tears involved, and always frustration. Sometimes dozens are needed just for one decent one, and then often they require shopping (that’s Photoshop for you non-designers LOL) just to make them presentable. I’m not talking about changing my features, making myself skinnier, or anything like that (I know I ain’t perfect but as tempting as it is, (because I totally could) I’m not gonna pretend I am just to totally scare someone who might meet me in person one day LOL) … I’m talking stuff like.. there’s a giant chunk of my hair sticking straight outwards or I’ve got the freaking crazy eyes going on… and I swear to you that there is nothing at all, even with my considerable Photoshop skills, i could do to salvage most of them.

That said, even though this dress is pretty darn wonderful, as usual, I couldn’t find a single decent shot of me in it. This one of me getting totally exasperated is the only one and I blew out the exposure and did some shopping on my crazy eyes just to make it halfway decent. I still look like a bitchy old fart. LOL


Readers, do any of you have any suggestions for me on how to get a better picture? Body wise, I know all the tricks, though I rarely use them LOL… it’s my face I have issue with the most. I always have these wide eyes or a stupid look on my face, or look like I’m smelling something bad. Or if I smile I look demented…. HELP?? ^__^

Musings of a bombshell

Hi all! I wanted to share some of my musings from my time making the Bombshell Dress with Gertie 🙂


I’ll start by saying, this class was a huge deal for me, as I only had a handful of basic garments under my belt prior to taking it, and by all accounts, had no business taking on something so advanced. But Gertie’s teaching made it very clear and understandable, and as a result, I have a beautiful garment & a whole pile of new techniques, not to mention a huge elevation of confidence in my skills!

The biggest revelation I had was how much I LOVED the hand sewing!! I loved it so much I opted to sew the zipper in by hand!! It is slow, meticulous & methodical, and made me appreciate every stitch, which I found deeply satisfying.

Although I’ve done pattern adjustments, this was also my first experience with draping/redrafting, and I really enjoyed the process, although I really do wish I had a dress form! lol

I really loved the process of adding my own seam allowance & thread tracing (another first for me!) – it’s just not possible to get this level of accuracy with regular techniques. In addition, I found the couture method of applying underlining very slow, satisfying and beautiful.

Overall I loved the precision and attention to detail, even in the things people don’t see; I hid all these pretty red details inside my dress, just for me! It also opened my eyes to how I could add couture and vintage techniques to other patterns, and not to always be so reliant on instructions.

A brief rundown on my firsts in making this dress and new skills learned:

1) adding seam allowance to a pattern without SA included
2) thread tracing
3) hand basting underlining to main fabric
4) draping/redrafting bust cups
5) shaping & structuring fabric
6) fell stitching
7) cutting & tipping steel boning
8) sewing boning channels
9) making/adding a waist stay
10) lapped zipper
11) hand picking zipper
12) installing zipper guard
13) making button holes (yeah lol)
14) making skirt vent
15) hand stitched invisible hem using seam binding

This experience has definitely taken my sewing to a whole new level, and I plan on carrying the things I’ve learned forward, to make garments I LOVE… not just passable ones ^__^

Bombshell Promaballoona

It’s Promaballoona! And what better way to celebrate than to don a bombshell dress and hop on a cruise with your sweetheart?

I’ll save the commentary on the making of the dress for another post; this here post is for fun and eye candy lol



We started off our evening with class: a 1 hour ride via public transit; it was 32 degrees out and we were a little more wilted looking than when we left! 😛

A couple Bellinis at a local restaurant while waiting for our boat to board helped with that, then it was off to sea! 🙂

(gratuitous pic of my sexy prom date)


As it got dark and we sailed around the harbour, we watched the finale of the Festival of Light – a spectacular fireworks exhibition ^__^

However, the boat was having troubles anchoring and we ended up crashing into two parked boats, making it difficult to concentrate on the festivities lol. We were outside but here’s a pic of the damage incurred down below:


Nevertheless after being escorted back to the docks by police, waiting for a cab, and getting home at 3am, we still had a pretty entertaining evening!


Happy Birthday, Oona! Hope you had a great birthday & as much fun (but less cops lol) than us!!

It’s Finished!!

And just in time for Promaballoona!

Of course we can’t be in L.A. for the in-person party but my hunnie and I have an AMAZING prom date planned on Saturday! So you’ll have to wait ’til then to see it in action but here are some pics of the final stages of this long, long project!

(as an aside… I’m kinda in disbelief about it all right now – I haven’t had any free time for a month!! now what am I gonna do with myself?? lol)

My first ever buttonhole, and one of the inside buttons holding on the halter strap:


Hand stitched hem with seam binding at inside of back vent:


And the final stitches on the dress (more nostalgic than interesting lol):


New look for Symon Sez!

As you can see, I updated my blog header!

As I’ve recently been designing my identity, logo etc for professional purposes, I thought it would be nice to extend that to my personal endeavours as well, since let’s face it… as a professional artist, sometimes the lines between the two are a bit fuzzy ^__^

I’ve also got business cards and fabric labels with my logo coming soon!!