Sunday, May 21, 2017

A New Dress for a Special Service

Thursday night, I came home with the beginnings of a cold.

Friday night,  it was even showing signs of a sinus infection.

Lotsa rest and lotsa water on Saturday, and it seems to have held off getting worse, at least, but...I have no singing voice.  Croak croak.  So I wasn't in choir today.

But, well, I had to be at church nonetheless.  The 'graduation' for the folks who have done the school of ministry classes at church was this morning, and, since it is covered by the same online school that I did my master's coursework through, I got to participate.

We really didn't have time to do the whole cap and gown thing, so we were told to just wear dressy clothes for the ceremony.

So I needed something truly dressy in the choir colors.  Because, you know, I intended to sing in choir before I lost my voice.

Last year I'd bought a length of black rayon twill with the intention of making a Style Arc Tori Designer Dress...and, black being an acceptable color for choir, I decided this week to make it.

Problem was I didn't have time to start working on it until Thursday.  Which was when I started feeling punky.  I cut it out Thursday.

And I had a little debate.  I'd remembered the collar being a bit tricky...and I was short on time...and it was black fabric, so it would have been really hard to see exactly where the start and stop points I bailed and decided to just face the existing V neckline.  I could fill it in with a pretty necklace, right?

The dress went together pretty much as I remembered; except this time I thought I should like to have added a cut on facing to the armholes; there's really only enough to turn it back once. Not as nice a finish as I'd like, but it's black so it doesn't show.

I think I used what was meant to be the wrong side of the fabric; one side was a bit shiny and had a slightly more pronounced  twill; the other side was more matte.  I decided I liked the matte side better, but I had a time keeping it straight; there really was only a slight difference.  I didn't actually sew any pieces together wrong, but I spent a lot of time flipping and comparing as the pins I used to mark the right side somehow kept falling out.  And I wasn't feeling particularly sharp either.

Aaannd...when it was finished, the neckline was much too wide and deep to be comfortable.  I didn't realize how low the point of the V is; the collar piece fills it in a lot more than I expected.

So the dress will be worn with a cami under and, very likely, a scarf over.  The scarf I wore today was actually something that would work for the choir...but I actually chose to wear it because it once belonged to my grandmother.

It's probably not the most flattering dress in the closet...but it's sure comfy.

And, here's a funny...when I applied for the Master's program, I selected the Master of Religious Education degree.  Just as I was about to start, I got word that the school was changing up the structure of their degrees and the MRE would just become a Master of Ministry.  So I spent the whole year believing I would receive a Master of Ministry, using #mastersofministry on all the Facebook posts as I chronicled the journey.

Welp, guess what the diploma says?

Master of Religious Education.

LOL. #itfigures

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 5.14.17

Random patch of light from the'd think the photographer would notice things like that.

And, we had a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago; long story about how that happened but My Sweet Babboo and I  were schooled a bit on taking pictures.  The photographer kept telling me to 'pop your knee'.  So I had to try it for a Choir Wardrobe picture.

At least it makes me laugh.

So, there was no choir photo last week; I simply didn't have time to get a photo.  We had a special service Sunday evening, with a choir, in dressy black, so that meant an early call with barely enough time to eat something and change clothes between 3rd service and the 4 PM call. So this is the first glimpse of May's colors...what I'm calling hydrangea blues (grayed blues ranging from light to a medium dark; no navy or royal) w/ black and/or white.  The top is fresh out of the sewing room; it's a crinkle rayon remnant from, I believe, Textile Fabrics' (Nashville) moving sale a couple of years back.  The pattern is New Look 2672, a pattern I've been working with for a while to see if I could get a TNT easy fitting woven T shirt.

Over the course of about three iterations, I added a bit of a FBA, pulled in the neckline somewhat (the first one I made was definitely not bra-strap friendly on my narrow shoulders), eliminated the back seam/snap closure, and used a self-bias strip to face the neckline. I may have lengthened it a wee bit; I'll need to see if I made notes.

  I really like it in the drapey rayon and it does very nicely for a quick pop over; the only problem with it is that the cut-on sleeves don't play well with a topper.  Any jacket pushes the shoulders in and makes the neckline kind of gappy.  But with a pretty fabric it stands alone very well.

I really should review it one of these days.

Skinny jeans from Talbots.  They don't fit terribly well, but they honestly don't look too bad if I'm not popping my knee. LOL. I've worn them mostly with long tops and boots; it was a spur of the moment choice to wear them today.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Choir Wardrobe - 04.30.17

The last day of the month.  Went with a 'column' and a jacket in the more-or-less appropriate mauvish color.  Loes Hinse Oxfords in pinstripe tropical wool, a Jalie 2566 T in black rayon?  Cotton?  I don't remember!  And the as-yet unreviewed New Look linen jacket.  Which would be perfect if I could figure out way to put some small pockets in it.    The dark flecks in it are actually navy blue, but they read 'black' so it's ok.

Next month is a range of blues...from a periwinkle to a medium royal.  With black and white.  I probably have enough to get by, but I take advantage of a sale to get some jersey for a t shirt.  I don't have a suitable solid blue t shirt... :-)

In other news, I pushed hard all weekend and submitted the last assignment for the Master's degree last night.  Just waiting now for the final grade...and instructions on what to do to get the diploma.

My immediate goal is housecleaning...and I honestly think it's going to take a while to get it back in shape.  It's been neglected far too long by far too many...sigh.

So I'll sew a bit here and there but I want to be able to have drop in guests without feeling completely humiliated. 

All my domestic talent landed in sewing, I'm afraid....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 04.23.17

A rather chilly, drizzly day today...wearing the blush pink that was so overwhelmingly worn by my fellow choir members early in the month as being in the mauve range, with black and, um, near-black.    McCall's 6844  cardi (still unreviewed; hm, I've made it 4 times now, I should review, black ponte; Vogue 9057 relaxed fit T, blush pink rayon/lycra jersey, also still unreviewed Sewing Workshop Helix Pants, 'black denim' ponte knit.  The cardi was just warm enough for the quick little walks across the back parking lot so I could skip the children's ministry check in bottleneck between services.

I'm coming down to the wire on the online Master's degree work; got an email last week from the folks who are adminning the  group  seminar/correspondence classes they're doing at church  for undergrads through the same online institution.   She said that they'd been in touch with West Coast, who have told them I'm nearly done, and invited me to participate in the 'graduation' ceremony they're hosting next month...if I finish that last class.  I was surprised; I didn't think anyone was tracking it.

So guess what I'm going to be working on for the immediate future.  But it is the last class.  And my calendar is *fairly* open this week.  My original, personal goal was to finish by the end of April.  I just *might* make it.  At the very least...I should finish by the first weekend in May.

Then I am going to attempt to catch up the long-neglected housecleaning.

Then I can see about making myself a badly-needed SWAP wardrobe. Which of course, will be too late to be a participant in this year's contest.  But at least I can make up my own 'rules' ...LOL.... ;-)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Choir Wardrobe: Easter 2017

Confession time:  I bailed on the lace.  I had a pattern out, working it over, to make a long vest.  Now, I think it would have been...ok...but it was a make-do and my heart wasn't in it.  And I was making it up as I went...with very little time...I think it was a disaster waiting to happen.  So I folded up the lace and went stash diving.

And found a tweedy linen that I bought from Michael back in...2003.  Now, I hadn't exactly forgotten about it, but I had misremembered the color. I thought it was a peachy pink, but it turned out to be completely mauve and a great color for this month.

So I pulled it out, grabbed the New Look Jacket pattern I used for last year's SWAP (so SWAP is influencing me, even if I'm not working on a SWAP collection), tweaked it a bit and used 1 1/2 yards of the tweedy linen on an unlined, single-layer jacket.

Which I finished after church on Saturday and wore on Sunday.  There still being two more Sundays in April, I'll likely wear it again soon.

So here's what I ended up wearing for the three days of services we had for Easter, with the colors being mauve (a range of dusky pinks and lavenders) and black:

 You will notice (now that I've pointed it out) that I have a STRIKE THROUGH on the WIP list on the sidebar...a UFO bites the dust!  I started this pinkish shirt back in September of TWO THOUSAND TWELVE, which was the last time we wore anything close to mauve in choir.  I didn't finish it before the end of the was down to hem and buttons/buttonholes but there was something odd about the front.  Then I gained weight.

I thought several times about finishing it and putting it in the good will bag, but I never got around to it.

Lost a bit of weight earlier and, lo and behold, it closed.  So I fixed the weirdness on the front neckline...or at least most of it...and finished off the shirt.  Probably not going to get a lot of wear, but...hey, finished is finished.  And it works for this month.  So I wore it Friday with the often photographed striped modified Loes Hinse Oxfords and the even more often photographed Burda Style 'westcoat'.

 For Saturdays' service, I wore last week's make, the rayon/lycra jersey Marcy Tilton/Vogue T, with Loes Hinse's Bistro jacket, in black poly herringbone suiting and Sewing Workshop's Helix pants from a RPL 'denim print' ponte.  And the only mauvey-pink necklace I could find when I poked around the mall last week.
Sunday I wore the new jacket...that I finished Saturday night.   With a linen 'My Hearts A Flutter' shell, which is in the color we wore last year two years ago that we called 'Lavender Herb', but is very, very close to the lightest shade of 'mauve' in our sample photos.  With the pinstripe Loes Hinse Oxford/European mashup.  I strung the necklace from beads I found at Hobby Lobby, which matched the jacket fabric dead on.

Y'know, I really should train myself to go stash diving earlier in the process...

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 04.09.17's the Vogue 9057 top that is fresh off the sewing machine as of 10 PM last night...which is something, considering the flat fabric arrived on my doorstep about 2 PM yesterday afternoon.    The color is terrible to photograph...a pearly dusky pink.  Which is pretty much the standard interpretation of 'mauve'.  But it looks washed out beige in about every photo.  Worn with the Burda vest that I wear All. The. Time. and the pin stripe tropical wool modified Oxfords from last year's SWAP collection.  Interesting thing about those stripes...I think they're tan and gray, but, being only two threads wide, they can read as other colors...including mauve and lavender.

That same box contained 2 yards of  a mauve-ish lace yardage as well, but it was something of a disappointment.  The color is perfect and the pattern is lovely's very stiff, being embroidered/couched on fine nylon net.  I had rather anticipated some drapey lace and had something in particular in mind.  But it's not at all drapey.  Whatever I do with's going to be kinda like wearing denim, as it's about that stiff.  And there are odd spots in it here and there where the filler in the cording shows through...and it's a kind of odd, oh,  greasy-sewing-machine-lint color.  I may be able to satin stitch over it and cover it up, but it's rather annoying.  Why did they use such a yucky filler for the cording?

But it is pretty at a distance, anyway.  I thought about making a denim-style jacket out of it , but I really don't have time for anything that involved. I'd like a long vest, but I'm not sure if it will hang or stand, if you know what I mean.

My own personal sewing challenge...make something I can wear by Friday this week.    So it's gotta be ridiculously quick.


Saturday, April 08, 2017

Something for Choir

I had nothing, really.

I went into work late on Thursday...ate junk on Wednesday and paid for it on Thursday...did a bit of work from home before I went to the office and, just before I shut the computer down, I checked a few online fabric vendors.  Because, like, I need some mauve in my life.

Found a knit and some lace yardage; click click and they were ordered before I left.

The box arrived this afternoon.  The lace...well, I'll talk about the lace later.  But the knit is spot on perfect.  I threw it in the washer, worked on my homework, put it in the dryer,  ran a couple miles down the road to Chick fil A and back to pick up a quick supper for The Flute Player and myself and, as soon as the knit was dry, took it up to the cutting table.
6:43 PM.  It shrank a quarter yard in the wash; I'd ordered 1 1/2 yards and measured exactly that before I threw it in the washer.  Plus, it was cut a bit crooked.  So I went with the TNT relaxed fit Vogue 9057 T, with my modified cap sleeves. 
 It took 9 minutes to whack it out with the rotary cutter.

 I had to change out the thread on the machines; plus I ditched the needles that had sewn the metallic-printed poly scuba knit.  I could tell they were getting dull before I finished that  jacket and I wanted fresh needles for the rayon/lycra 4-way stretch jersey;  I kinda expected some trouble. But at 7:14 the machines were set.
Short break to get a photo of a lovely sunset and switch the laundry.
Hashtag no filter  ;-).  But I hung out on the porch a bit to get to the full color...
After I hung up the dry clothes and got a new load in both machines, I trimmed some scrap interfacing to reinforce the shoulders and fused them down at 7:59

 I ran the teeny neckband seam through the sewing machine, then pressed it open.  While I was at the ironing board, I went ahead and pressed up the hem on the sleeves at 7:59..
 Shoulder seams were quick; the neckband went on at 8:17.   Match the centers, then mark and match the quarters and serge it on.
 Gave it a bit of a press and at 8:24 we're ready for sleeves.
 The sleeves are on  and it's ready for sideseams to be sewn at 8:44.  Had some trouble with skipped stitches and had to reinforce a couple of spots with a bit of straight stitch.  Neeldle Lube helped a little, but jersey is tricky and I didn't have stretch needles for the serger.

Switched laundry again.
 At 9:17 I'd switched to the double needle w/ wooly nylon in the bobbin to do the hems.  And had more trouble with skipping stitches and shredding thread.  Had to unpick about 3 different spots...that took more time than actually sewing the hems.
At 9:56 I have a shirt that just needs some thread tails buried and a bit of a steam and...yay! I don't have to wear all black tomorrow! :-)