Sunday, June 18, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 06.18.17

Colors for the summer (well, June-July anyway) are Black, Gray, White and turquoise.

I pulled this very intense turquoise out of the closet...it's not exactly the shade specified, but, well, it's one we've worn before and I hoped I wouldn't be the only one stretching the envelope a little.

I wasn't.  There were at least 5 others there today with this bright turquoise color (and the photo, leaning slightly to yellow, is not showing the color very accurately.  But you get the idea.)

It's the Jalie 2919 Pleated Cardigan and Vest; I think it was the 4th or 5th iteration and it is the ONLY one I've done with the pleats on the outside...which is actually the way it's supposed to be made.  Up to this point, I  put them inside because I misread the instructions. 
When I realized I'd been doing it backwards, I felt really foolish and the next one I made the right way out.

But I  found that I much prefer it with the pleats turned in.  Takes visual weight off.  Really.  So the one or two I've made since then have had the pleats inside...on purpose....

Modified La Fred Daphne pants (I added a waistband and pockets, then put the zipper in the pocket)from black stretch twill really need a bit of heel to not bunch up so much, but, well, I was not in a heel-wearing mode today, so they're bunchy.  Guess I could've rolled them, given the current style, but I didn't think about it. 

It's a RTW scoop neck sweater...from the old Coldwater Creek.  So you know that wasn't fresh, either.

As I was puttering about in this cardigan today, I suddenly remembered I had a sizeable chunk of fabric left over.  Probably going to see that made up into one of  the TNTs sometime soon...lol.  Once I find it.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More fabric in...

In Which She Scores Something She's Been Looking For For Ages...

I have fallen off of Fabric Mart's mailing list.  I'm not sure why, but I have.

Which may actually be a good thing.

But somehow I happened to just wander by last week...you know, just to see if anything was on sale.

And, wow, I hit gold.

See, I've been wanting to add an Ei1een Fisher-esque long black linen cardigan to my wardrobe for ages.  Found an actual EF cardi in my size on a serious sale at a local department store a year or two ago...and it was still something like $120.  Just. Couldn't. Do. It.

But linen knit is not easy to come by.  And, when I've ordered in the past, it's been floaty and fluffy and not the nice heavy drape of the fabric used in those pricey cardigans.

And then came the sudden urge to just have a peek at Fabric Mart's page last week.

On the deep, double discount page were linen knits.  One of them was black.  It was only 42" wide, so I'd need two cardi lengths, plus sleeves, but the price was only $7.50/yard.  Even if it wasn't *quite* the same, it was worth a shot.

And, of course, fabric HATES to travel alone, so I found a couple of other pieces to keep it company...and bring down the shipping price per yard.

The package arrived today:
A garnet red 'slubby textured' cotton jersey,  some 100% cotton knitted (crochet-look) lace yardage and...the black linen knit.  Which is a substantial, drapey perfect-for-the-cardi weight. So I will have my cardi for about 25% of the sale price of the inspiration piece.  YESSSS! 

And they're all generously cut.  I almost wish I'd ordered the linen in additional colors...but, well, that really was enough of a splurge.

I'm still wanting to sew my '2017 SWAP' wardrobe...it probably won't look like the original plan I made back in January, but I really need to get some stuff put together.  Meantime, I've been chipping away at the UFO list...another one down this week.  Something I *could* wear for choir...that helps...lol.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 6.11.17

We're going to keep the same colors for June and July this year, black, gray, white and turquoise. 

It's  been a few years since we wore turquoise.  I either need to lose some weight so my old turquoise stuff fits or I need to make some new clothes.  :-(

Meantime, I'm happy there's lycra.

I hit the 2016 SWAP wardrobe  for the Pamela's Patterns Gray cardigan and the Sewing Workshop 'black denim' ponte Helix Pants.  The turqoise top is a crepe-side-out stretch silk charmeuse...and I *think* it's a modification of the bodice of the Loes Hinse City Dress.  It's been in the closet a long, long time...and, were it not for the Lycra content, would not have been worn today.

Steamed veggies for lunch this week. :-D

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pirates 2017

Arg, Mateys, 'tis time again for the pirate costumes...

Not because Captain Jack is back on the big screen, but because, in our 6 -year rotation of summer themes in the children's ministry,  Pirates of Paradise Island has come back around.  And, as it so happened, this year we did a Family Crusade instead of kids camp.

So, that meant we were pirating from ages 0 to whatever. (We have to beat the villain to the treasure...which turns out to the Bible....)

Twelve years ago, just before I started the blog, we did the Pirates theme and did a family crusade with it.  My older kids were helping the then-youth-pastors with the Red Team efforts, so we all joined up.  The Artist actually wanted me to make a shirt for him; I found a DEAL on rayon/acetate at the dollar table at Wal-Mart (pause for sad reflection as that source is no more) and I made a shirt for him and also one for myself (still my favorite pattern review).

It just so happened that My Sweet Babboo and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary right in the middle of it and we got a family photo:

                                                                   (August 2005)

Well, in the intevening years I made a shirt from the same pattern for My Sweet Babboo, as the Royal Rangers did a pirate theme for Pow Wow  about three years later.  So when we were coming up on this event, I realized that everyone in the family had a pirate shirt...except the two kids who work in our children's ministry every week.    I looked through my fabric stash, but didn't have a piece suitable for pirate shirts.  I had used the piece I'd intended for shirts for them for a charitable cause and never managed to replace it.

But, I had to run some errands on Friday and made my way to the opposite corner of town to the only fabric store left in The Rocket City...Jo Ann's.  I'd only been in there about 4 times since it opened several years ago and wasn't hopeful.  But...they had a rayon/linen blend in creme that was right at the top of my price range (sale price at that) and there was exactly what I needed for two shirts...5 yards...on the bolt.  So I brought it home and ran it through the washer and dryer.

Whilst it was preshrinking, I poked through my collection of patterns.  Keep in mind, this was Friday afternoon and the event started Sunday evening.  I didn't have much time and I really didn't want to do twenty eyelets  in a hurry.  So I pulled out an as-yet untried pattern, Butterick 5008, which is apparently out of print.

No Eyelets....very basic.  I picked view D, with the front seam and flounce, for The Flute Player and view C, minus the sleeve ruffles, for The Actor.  I figured I could trace the pattern in less time than it would take to hammer on 20 eyelets anyway.

I read the reviews on PatternReview and decided to use buttons on the cuffs instead of the ties and just cut the ties for the neck.  I *thought* I was cutting the ties twice the length stated on the pattern, intending to cut the number of tubes to turn in half.    I also altered the collar pattern for a one-piece collar, ala Nancy Zieman and Louise Cutting.

Got up Saturday morning but got a slow start and really didn't get to sewing until around noon.  But I figured it should only take about 6 hours to make the two shirts, so I wasn't worried.  I could do it around the laundry....

I started by making the fiddly bits first... the ruffles, the collar and band assembly, the sleeves and  cuffs, and the ties.  I used my rolled edge foot..the skinny one...for the ruffles.  It wasn't hard but it was tedious slow work.  Not as slow as any other method of edge finish, though, I'm sure!  I fused the interfacing on the collars, bands and cuffs, and ran the ties through the serger.  

And hit problems.  The tie pieces were only an inch wide, and I thought I'd be slick and run  long serger chain,. then fold the strip around it and sew the edge so I could use the long chain to turn it.

Well, the strips were cut on the straight of grain and with a 1/4" serger seam, I COULD NOT get the first strip turned.  Finally broke the chain trying.  I decided that 1) the strip is too narrow to use a 1/4" seam 2) the straight of grain had no give in it and 3) it was too short for me to cut it in half.  I don't know if I misremembered the measurement when I cut it or if the measurement was just skimpy to begin with.

So I went upstairs and cut 1 1/4" bias strips out of the remnant of the fabric.  I couldn't cut these long enough to split them, because I only had a wee bit of fabric left, so I had to cut 8 ties.  I sewed them on my conventional machine with about a 3/16 seam allowance...and fought to get them turned.  I finally went to my ancient beauty supplies and pulled out a roller clip...essentially a giant bobby pin...cut a slit in the end of the tie and managed to get them all turned with the bobby pin.

But I lost something like TWO HOURS messing with those stupid ties.  And I had to keep stopping for a bit to switch laundry out and fold stuff.  By the time I got the ties on the bands, it was time for a dinner break.  The Actor and the Artist were both involved in the big Opening Sword Fight and were at rehearsal all day Saturday;  The Artist came by the house to work a bit on his costume.  He wanted a peg leg for at least part of the week and needed a crutch, so he came by to make use of the woodworking tools in the garage.  The Actor had to stay behind to do some janitorial work, so he didn't come home until later in the evening.

I went back to the machines, making the cuffs and sleeves and attaching the flounces to the front of The Flute Player's shirt.

The Artist got his crutch assembled and put a layer of stain on it...then came into the house and pulled up the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie on the chromecast.

Arg, matey, it was hard to sew and listen to th' movie in the next room.  It'd been a few years since I last watched it.  I confess to making much less progress than I might've otherwise.

When The Actor got home, he told me he was using a shirt from the church costume wardrobe so he didn't need one for the next day.

I ditched his and began to work solely on the flounced shirt.  I finally got all the pieces ready and began assembly.

I was putting the collar on at, oh, eleven thirty?  Somehow I got confused and ended up putting the collar on with the wrong side out.  I didn't notice it until I'd trimmed the seam.  I used the one-piece collar...that meant the collar back had a seam on it.  Disgust...but, you know, it's in the back.  No one will know that it's not supposed to have a seam.  Costuming, not couture.  I kept going.
Finally finished it at one AM.  She was still up and good-naturedly put it on for a photo.  She was very pleased.  Oh, btw...I shortened it 4" before I cut it out.  It's a long shirt.


I was running registration for the event...which is rather complicated, as we had to track points the kids earned  all week for some big prizes at the end.  The Flute Player was helping with some of the registration tasks, as well as some of the technicalities of the production, so we were both in costume.  My Sweet Babboo just dressed to add to the ambiance.
The Princess was the only one in the family who didn't make it to the event.  She wanted to bring her nephew but couldn't get it to work.

But we did get another family photo...this one will make the Christmas letter!
 I sat down at the machines this morning and finished the Actor's shirt.  He's not as pleased with the shirt as his sister was with hers; he's worn my shirt in several different events and  he much preferred the lightweight rayon/acetate.  And he liked the lace up front.  I may yet have to add some eyelets to his shirt, if only to keep the kinda skimpy facings in place.
Should have a choir post tomorrow; we didn't have choir last week because of the pirate set and I was too congested to sing the week before.  But I'm gonna try it tomorrow!

(If you're curious, here's the picture of The Artist with his 'Peg Leg'...lol)

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 were...so 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 skylight...you'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....