Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Scarf Number Two: The Sassy Fox

Ok, even though I broke my piggy bank for the hummingbird scarf, I still kept an eye on the first scarf that got my attention.  There was just something about it....and when it went on sale for 30% off, I found some more quarters hiding in the corners and ordered it, too. 

It got here today.


Y'all. The colors on this one were better than I expected, too.  That's a really nice garnet red on the fox.  And the flowers that look corally are actually shades of pink.  Much better for my closet.

So now I have two superfantastic scarves to choose from.  I think every color in the fox scarf shows up in the hummingbird scarf... so if I started w/the fox scarf, I could wear the hummingbird scarf with any of it, right?

But I'm more likely to already have colors in the hummingbird scarf in the closet. And it does have royal blue, which is my, like, most favorite color in the whole world.

Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Fitting Fail

Ok, item number one on the denim cotton knit...

I decided to go with McCall's 6844, the popular cardigan from a few years back.  I'd made the long straight version and the short peplum version  with some success; I'd done a cheater FBA on it just by adding a bit of length to the front but, um, well, the scales have crept up again so I decided I'd do a real FBA, since I was going to do the short, straight version and I didn't want to mess with the shaping on the bottom.

And, you  know, FBA's are not that tough.  I did, however, mark the bust point at 1.5" below the pattern marking because, well, that's what I do routinely on McVoguerick patterns.

Or at least on Vogue and Butterick.  Maybe I need to rethink McCalls.

After I got the jacket assembled to the hems, I tried it on.

Now, mind you, I'd done the 'hold it up and check' thing several times and was expecting a very nice fit.  But...well, obviously I wasn't holding it up at the right spot.

The arrow points to the end of the (very nicely executed, I might point out) dart.

Which is a good 2" below my full bust.

Um.

Now, I thought about wearing it as is, on the assumption that 90% of the folks I encountered would just register the cardi as being slightly frumpy.  But, you know, I think I can rotate the dart up a bit.  Might not fix it entirely, because, well, you know, fabric was added  at what I thought would be the place it was needed, but at least it will be in the right line.

But as it turned out, black is allowed as a base color this month, along with the denim and mustard gold, so I'm not in quite the wardrobe dilemma I thought I was in.  Generally, we don't wear black in October because it looks so Halloweeny, but this year we had a change.  So I wore black with my jeans and some gold jewelry and I was ok.

So I'm doing some frog stitching (rip-it, rip-it) today and I'll resew the darts and have another go later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Scarf Arrived

It's bigger than I expected; I read the dimensions but it just didn't look that big on the retail site.  Maybe you can get a sense of its size, laid out on the king size bed, lol.


And, wow, omigosh, it's GORGEOUS.

So. Many. Colors.  And all of them SO much more vibrant than they looked on the retail photos. Turns out there's a lovely denimy blue, and quite a bit more brown than I thought.  The gray is more of a taupe; I do have a drape front cardigan sweater that color that I NEVER wear because...it looks brown when I try to put it with gray garments and gray when I try to put it to brown garments.  So maybe I'll figure out how to pull it into the rotation now.

But, I gotta tell you, that scarf is intimidating.

"Do not wash.  Do not tumble dry. Do not dry in direct sunlight.  Do not use products containing bleach.  Dry Clean Separately only.  Warm iron on wrong side"

All of which I take to mean the colors are prone to bleeding.

Aaaiiiieeee...Imma gonna be skeert to wear it....

But there's a very good chance I'll use this for the wardrobe basis next year. And I've been thinking about the Plan.

Janice posts one complete outfit...clothes and accessories...per month, based on the Hermes scarfs she's selected, as an exercise.  So, here's what I'm thinking:

Look at the posts that come out on the first of the month.

Whatever she's posted (ie, pants, t-shirt, cardigan or skirt, sweater, scarf or dress, necklace, shoes, etc) is my assignment for the month.  Obviously, I'm not going to make every bit of it.  Things like jeans, sweaters, outerwear...not gonna try to make those.  BUT, since the desired end result is a coordinated closet, I WILL allow myself to select items I already have that fit.  But I can only use each item once throughout the year.  So, say I use a pair of black jeans in January...if jeans or pants come up again before the year is over, I can't use the same pair of jeans.

So I'm not really going to sewing a bunch of stuff each month; some months I'll make three things but some I'll only make one, I'm sure.  If I don't have it and can't make it, then I'll go shopping.

And I bet I have an easier time making things than buying them.  But we'll see.

I kinda doubt I find a scarf I like better than this one but I will keep looking.  You know, just in case.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Mending is Better than Spending

So, The Flute Player's employment is with the onsite daycare the church runs for staff.  Her job is toy/playroom sanitation.  Not just for the daycare, actually, but for the rooms used by the pre-school ministry during Sunday and Wednesday services as well.

This means she spends a lot of time on her knees, cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces...tables, chairs, indoor play equipment, etc.

And, those of you who have read the blog for years will remember that, growing up, she was the WORST of my four kids for putting holes in the knees of her britches.

That has not changed.

She had three pairs of pants she wore to work that were worn through.
One of them I have mended THREE times.

One I'm not sure is salvageable, due to the fact that the fabric has a high lycra content that appears to have pretty much disintegrated.  I've gotten the seams opened for mending, but I haven't actually tried to see if something sewn down would actually stay.

I finished off the third repair on the first set of jeans, and I managed to catch the third pair before it got to the flapping knees stage of the other two.  So two of the three holey pairs are at least wearable.

As mending jobs go, those are pretty ugly, but, hey, it's good enough for scrubbing toys.  Hopefully this will keep her from wearing her good jeans to work and putting holes in them...

How long do you suppose they'll hold up???? LOL.

In other news, I'm trying to make myself pick a pattern for the denim colored knits.  My first choice didn't work; wanted a cardigan out of the beefier of the two organic cottons but 1) it was cut slightly short of two yards and 2) I believe it shrank a bit when pre-washed and my first choice didn't quite fit.  So I think I'm going to trace off the shorter length of the McCall's cardigan that I've made two or three times already and go with that. 

I may have to make up a quick top first, though, to wear with my denim jacket Sunday.  So I have SOMETHING to put on, lol.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

I think I found it...

The scarf for the 2019 Wardrobe challenge: Using a scarf for the color choices, add one complete outfit per month to the wardrobe.  Janice over at Vivienne Files has been doing this challenge theoretically (she finds stuff online that would work as an exercise, using six different scarves and building six different potential wardrobes each year) since Jan 2016; here's the First Post she did on it; she calls it '12 Months, 12 Outfits Capsule Wardrobe'.

I've been looking for scarves all month; had several in a wish list at Nordstrom's that I'm watching and finally decided to order one as a very likely candidate for the basis of this experiment.

It's a bit...just a little bit...over my price range, even at 40% off at Nordstrom's, but I took a deep breath and ordered it just the same:

(Scarf: Ted Baker London Highgrove)

I think it has a combination of colors that I can work with; black and grey and white, for sure, for the neutrals, and various shades of pink/red and blue/turquoise and light green for accents.

I may find one I like better between now and Jan 1, but this was a beauty and I decided to go for it.

Especially as one of the other scarves I was watching sold out already (not the fox scarf; I'm still watching that one and might get it, too, if it goes on sale).

I'm actually kinda excited about this adventure.  Haven't done anything like this before; I hope I can pull it off. LOL.

Anyone else looking for a scarf?

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Little Fall Challenge

So, word has come that, after two months of black and white, our choir wardrobe colors for October will be gold and denim.

As in, mustard yellow.

Now, you all KNOW that mustard yellow and I are not on speaking terms.  I have one pair of knit pants in that color and that's pretty much it.

This is a major departure from our normal October colors of brown and burnt orange.

Whacha gonna do in a case like that?

I hit up one of my online suppliers and got four pieces of various denim-colored jersey knits.

Left to right...a cotton/poly/rayon/lycra blend of striated blues.  Might not be entirely the right color, but it has a surprisingly nice hand.  The next two pieces are organic cotton; one is slightly heavier and has a touch of lycra in it.  The last piece was labeled 'Heavy rayon jersey'...but somebody was smoking something when they picked that label because 1) it ain't heavy...I can see my hand through it and 2) I don't think it's got much rayon in it; it's not the least bit woody when wet.  But it was cheap, lol.

Here's my challenge...to turn each one of those pieces into clothes in the next two weeks. 


Which may be a bigger challenge than I really want, given that the serger has not been playing nice with knits lately.

But, be that as it may, that means I can't overthink what I'm going to make these up into.  I need to pick patterns and sew.   At least one needs to be ready to wear by Oct. 6.  'Cause otherwise, I got nuthin'.

Monday, September 03, 2018

So ...Waddya do about National Sewing Month?

I decided I need to spend SOME time in the sewing nook. Every day.  Even if it's only 5 minutes, changing the thread on the sewing machine and serger.  Which is what it was yesterday, lol.

And I'm thinking about next year.  Crazy, I know, but if friends can take their 'college football opening game day' photos in front of a fully decorated CHRISTMAS TREE, I figure I can start thinking about sewing projects for the new year.

And here's what I'm thinking....

If you, like me, follow Janice Riggs on The Vivienne Files you know that she's been repeating a series she did last year...building wardrobes around Hermes scarves.  One outfit...generally 3 items... a month...taken from the colors in the scarf.  At the end of the year, she's got a fully coordinated wardrobe.

So, I've begun to scout the internet for a suitable scarf from which to do likewise.  I may or may not make each of the three items in the months' additions, but I'm going to make that my goal.  Starting in January.

If I CAN find a scarf I want to build a wardrobe around...in my price range...lol.  I slop stuff on scarves so easily that I'm skert to spend a bunch of money on one.

Anyone interested in joining me next year?  You've got four months to find a scarf that suits YOU. ;-)

Meanwhile...life continues and the sewing space is, um, evolving a bit.

We've had a 'guest bedroom' since Son Number One  moved out on his own in 2012.  I moved my cutting table to that room and the fabric/patterns/etc have kinda taken over.  I go in and do a mass cleaning/hiding of stuff on those rare occasions when we have guests.

But it's been QUITE some time...like, 3 years...since we last had overnight guests as our parents have gotten past the roadtrip stage of life.  So that room literally has not been straightened out/organized in 3 years.

Um, it's a MESS.

And, well,  the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.  Of...why Lisa's back can no longer tolerate the much-loved waterbed.  The one for which I've made multiple custom sheet sets.   If you've ever owned a waterbed, you know that, periodically, you have to add water as some evaporates into air bubbles that get bled out about once a month.  If you don't add water, the support level drops. Significantly.  Now, we've known for some time that we need to do something about the water bed so that we can elevate the head of it to alleviate GERD symptoms, so it had been a while since we'd added water.

And last week I had a day with back spasms so excruciating I thought I had a kidney stone.  Only I had no other kidney stone symptoms AND...the spasms cleared up completely after I spent the night in the guest room bed.  After I rather slowly and painfully moved all the patterns, fabric, scraps, etc off onto the cutting table so I could get into it.

That implicated the waterbed as the culprit.  I haven't slept in it since.

So...this is all SO complicated...we did some cleaning in the room that Son Number Two vacated when he moved to Florida back in May.  I need to move the cutting table and all related sewing paraphernalia into that room so I can move the guest bed (queen size) out into the middle of the room so that it's accessible enough for two people to use it (IE, there's room for the hubs to put his CPAP machine), as it's going to be a process for us to take down the waterbed so we can move the bed we bought today into its place (delivery scheduled for the 14th).  We'll both be sleeping in the guest room for at least a few days.

You see the chain of events here?  So...I'm planning to sort and organize stuff as I move it.

Hence why I may only get to actually sew for 5 - 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks.

Ultimately, I want to turn that recently vacated bedroom into the new sewing cave and move the machines up there and everything, but there's more work to be done first. Not to mention a set of bunkbeds that need to go...somewhere else.  And the pin-sucking carpet has got to go.

Who knows when that will happen.

So, lots of handling of sewing stuff and dreaming about future projects, but not much actual sewing.

Maybe I'll get those washer linen pants done before time to put them up for the season...