Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Angel Two: Done!

It took 15 hours to make the cape, about 7 of which were neck-numbing hand sewing. I spread it out on a table, which helped but didn't entirely prevent the neck creaking. I put the cape on the hanger with the dress, then decided I'd put it on so you could see the hood. I'm about 4" shorter than Angel Two, so I had to stand on tiptoe and DS, who took the photo, is not yet sufficiently educated in fashion photography to know to look for things like a flipped up hemline. But you can get the idea!

Today's agenda: Determine what Dickens meant by his description of Bob Cratchit's wife as 'brave with ribbons'...leaves much scope for the imagination, doesn't it? Time to figure out what to do with Mrs Cratchit's dress...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flying Fur

Got Grandma Cratchit's skirt done; she can wear a sweater under a cape for the parade and no one will be the wiser. So I have moved on to Angel Two's cape, which is from THIS Butterick pattern. It is mostly a deep forest green robe velour...the poly kind that just sticks to you when you get out of the shower. Feels really icky but the color's great. I did find fur, after all. The Hobby Lobby nearest me had just gotten a bolt of some kind of silky fur that is very soft. It looks like fur on one side and curly lamb fleece on the other. However...after I cut it and worked with it to get it on the robe last night, I looked like I'd lost a pillow fight. It shed little feather bits EVERYWHERE. I've got to take the lint roller in today!

I've still got to line the robe...I think. The lining is a grass green (only green they had on the dollar table); I didn't think it would show so I went ahead and got it. After I tried on the unlined robe last night(it's about 4" too long for me...Angel Two is tall), I'm not so sure the collar won't roll back a bit and let the lining show. Gotta make up my mind on that one today. Also have to add the trim around the edge...hand stitching time. Finishing it could yet be an all-day project.

I try to remember to take in the camera and take a picture of the whole thing today.

Monday, November 28, 2005

DeTails on De Coat

Ok, so no tails anywhere to be found; while at church yesterday I picked up the little bundle of scraps left from the jacket that we'd folded together and held on to, thinking it could make good patches on Cratchit garments. I was hoping to find enough fabric to piece together to make the tails, but at least I knew I could use a scrap for matching the fabric if I had to go buy more. But...folded in with the scraps...there were the tails! One of the other sewing ladies and I had team-cut the jacket, so I don't know which of us folded it up. Doesn't matter -- I was just glad to see them! I got them lined and attached yesterday; all I have left to do is put on 6 buttonholes and I can hand it off to Mr Sewing Cast Member to finish up.

But, just for the record, I did switch out the trash can in the sewing nook; I now have a trash can with a lid on it in there. ;)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Missing DeTails

I worked hard yesterday. Put the lining together, got the lining into the jacket and hung the jacket up to make the tails. And hit a brick wall. I had the lining for the tails, but the tail pieces themselves were AWOL. I tore my sewing nook apart and still no tails. Either a) I took them back to church by mistake or b) they fell into the trash can which, having not been emptied since we moved into the house in July, was overflowing and I had DS empty it about a week and a half ago. So if they fell in there, they're gone. I'm hoping to find them at church, but I suspect they've gone to the city incinerator.

The irony is that I happened to glance at the trash can before it was emptied, noted its proximity to the serger table and thought, "It would be really easy for something to fall in there and I wouldn't know it." But there's no other space for it, so I told myself I needed to be careful about what gets left where....

The fabric came from the dollar table at Wally World; I'm already praying that there is one yard left.

I spent the rest of the day boning my bodice, so it wasn't time lost. Just not spent on what I had planned.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Back to the Machines

Well, the turkey dinner was scrumtious, the tree is up and's time to get sewing again. Today's agenda is simply to get the lining in, tails on, and buttonholes made in the Victorian Gentleman's Jacket, Butterick 3648. If I can get it done to the handwork, I can give it to fellow castmember and sometime sewing gentleman at church tomorrow and he'll finish it. He bought the fabric; it's his jacket anyway. I've got the jacket shell finished and shoulder pads in; I have hopes of getting it done today. I'll post a review and a photo when the two of us jointly have finished it out!

Friday, November 25, 2005

No Shopping Here

There are those who love to shop today; more power to you. As it's the only free weekend between now and Christmas, we'll be putting up Christmas in the house while we nibble leftover turkey.

I'm hoping to do a little sewing on either the costume jacket I'm to have done to the handwork by Sunday or my own dress bodice, but the holidays approacheth and the sewing's got to give way now and then or the family revolts ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

DH did fine yesterday; I got Young Ebenezer's hat and Bob Cratchit's jacket patched. Didn't finish with all the turkey prep until 1 AM, though...short night! But it's nice to have the turkey deboned and carcase rendered and disposed of before the major cooking marathon begins. But it's just us'ns today, so we'll just eat when I get it ready. No rush. I have much for which to be thankful and I intend to enjoy the day. :D
Anyway, I'm off to bake pies and chop potatoes and tear stale bread with the Macy's parade in the background. I wish everyone good food, good fellowship and much contentment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hand Sewing Today

Well, DH is scheduled for one of those 'Oh-you're-past-50-we-must-check-things' invasive health maintenance procedures today; I've got Bob Cratchit's moth eaten jacket and Schoolboy Scrooge's moth eaten hat to patch and repair with needle and thread whilst I wait around with his stuff. The trick is to patch the holes so they look patched, but neat. As usual, I'll be making it up as I go along.

And sometime today I've got to cook a turkey, too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Schedule Lessons

I've learned something this year; we shouldn't take on custom costume projects after September 1, or at least after the cast is set. There have only been a couple of folks who have brought in fabric and asked for their own costume, which is ok and I don't mind doing it, but it has thrown us off just a bit. But, since one of those people is me I'm going to have to include myself in the 'do it early or don't do it' list.

My dress from last year was just too short waisted. Last year, I was happy enough to have it done and wearable that I ignored the short waist issue, but when I pulled it out of storage in October and tried it on I realized it was going to bug me no end. If you look closely at the photo, you can even see the waistline seam above the belt. Sigh. Not good. So,I found some sort-of coordinating fabric (depends on how the light hits it), took the skirt off the dress, removed the center front panel and replaced it with a panel of the new fabric,cut off the hem allowance and replaced that with a horsehair braid facing. I used the hem allowance to make a waistband for the skirt and then had half a dress. Sunday I finally got a new bodice cut out of the salvaged front panel; it JUST fit. I will need a Bertha collar from the new fabric to pull the skirt and top together a little better, but fortunately the Belle dress pattern includes a Bertha collar (which I'll use for at least one other dress besides mine). That, and the jacket I mentioned in the Band Aid entry comprise my Thanksgiving weekend sewing, when I'm not cooking or eating, of course!

But I intend to announce to everyone that, if they desire their own costume for either Scrooge or the Easter production (that's Biblical costumes), I'll be happy to make June and July.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Parade Priorities

The parade entry will feature the Cratchet family, Angel 2, Scrooge and perhaps one or two townspeople on a float with about ten or so townspeople walking, mingling with the crowd along the route. So that has determined my sewing priority for the little bit I will do this week and all of next week. Grandma Cratchet, having no costume at all, is at the top of the list. If I can at least get the skirt portion of her dress done, she can wear a blouse and a cape w/bonnet and no one will really know the bodice and pelerine are still not done. Miss M sewed the hooks and eyes on the back of the bridal dress to bustle the train up out of the way, so Angel 2's dress is finished...but I still have to find the fake fur trim for her cape. I'll probably go looking at the Hancock's on the other side of town, then check Hobby Lobby. The Hancock's by me did not have white fur in a large enough (2 1/2 yds) piece. There has to be some, somewhere in Huntsville...right?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Please Pass the Humble Pie

Today's lesson is from Rom. 2:1c, NIV " who pass judgment do the same things."

Bloomer party yesterday; we (a crew of 6) made 12 pairs of bloomers, plus a couple extra 'false bloomers' (I'll 'splain that later). Now, we had just kind of estimated the amount of fabric we'd need, not knowing when we went shopping exactly how many pairs we needed or how big they were to be. And we came up short of fabric on the last pair. So, we pulled some eyelet-looking fabric out of the remnants from last year and cut the last pair. Since the fabric was so fancy, we decided to make these Schoolgirl Belle's bloomers and put multiple rows of lace on them, so we left sewing them for last, so we'd know how much lace we could use. After much squinting at the embroidery and discussion between those who needed reading glasses but didn't have them handy (um, that being me), younger eyes prevailed and we marked the 'outside' sides as the wrong side. One of the other ladies started putting the lace on row on each leg, then two rows on each leg, and so on. The plan was to put all the lace we could on them; after all, according to our script Belle's family was somewhat wealthy (I know that's not the case in the original story, but this is a based-on deal). Anyway, the lady who started it had to leave before she was finished, so I took over. Put the rest of the lace (a total of five rows) on, sewed up the inseams and proceeded to *try* to sew the crotch seam. Whoops. One leg had been trimmed wrong-side-up. I grumbled, I sighed, I found someone who preferred ripping to sewing and got her to unstitch it all while I started another project. When she was finished taking it apart, I carefully compared the untrimmed flat leg to the correct trimmed and finished leg, marked the wrong side and put on the first row of lace, then handed it off to another volunteer, who put the rest of the lace on it. I sewed up the inseam, put them together to sew the crotch and discovered that (you guessed it)we had two left legs. It was sewn with the wrong side out AGAIN...and this time it was MY fault. How could I have done that? I have no idea. Arg!!!

Before we took it apart again, we all looked at it and pinned an "X" on the wrong side of the fabric. Once more, from the top, with feeling... Before I sewed the first row of lace back on, we checked it again. Held my breath while I sewed, but the third time was the charm. Whew!

I repent me of the grumbles and the sighs.

After that, we checked the bloomers off against the costumes and discovered that we were two pairs short...two of the girls were listed on another list, but not the one we were working from. And we were out of fabric. So our solution was to make two pairs of false pantalets...tubes w/elastic at the top and one row of lace (we had enough remnants of other pieces) at the bottom. Under the long skirts, no one will be able to tell they don't go any higher than the knees. Ah, costuming is such great 'outside the box thinking' exercise.

But we did get bloomers for everyone! That's a biggie down!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bloomer Party

We're going to try to get 12 pairs of girls bloomers made today from ironing the yardage to finished product. Miss A and Miss M, my costuming co-conspirators, will join me, of course, but there are about three or four other ladies who have also indicated they will come. It's a stack-and-whack and sit-and-sew; hopefully we'll get 'em done.

Wouldn't you know, there are about 4 other things going on at church today...we're heading in Very Early to hopefully snag enough tables that we can have at least two cutting stations.

And for some strange reason I stayed up WAY late re-reading (well, skimming) Dune. I kept asking myself, 'Why don't you go to bed?' but I didn't have a good answer. The best I could come up with is that it was nice to have some free chill time...even if it was when I could have been profitably sleeping. So it may be a sit-and-YAWN-and-sew-and-YAWN for me.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Band Aid Time

I have a poster I got from Nancy's Notions somewhere in the neigborhood of 10 years ago featuring the 'Sew A Holic' - Y'know, one of those ditzy things with labels. Now, the hat wrapped w/my favorite fabric and the skirt with the button motif will probably never appear on my body, but the rest of the poster...sigh. One thing that was labeled was the Band Aid on the finger. Always. I just ditched one day before yesterday, then yesterday...

Fitting a jacket on one of the guys in the cast, I had the shoulder pads pinned in. Somehow in tugging on the jacket to get it to hang right (it's not lined yet and was hanging up in places) I snagged my pinkie finger on one of those pins. Ripped her good. The guy I was fitting (who actually sews a bit himself and is going to do all the finish handwork on his jacket for me, bless him) heard the pin catch and tried to lean with the motion so I wouldn't stab it too badly, but the damage was already done. Ouch. Since it was a rip and not just a stick, it bled like nobody's business. So much for working on the Angel 2 dress, which I'd been doing before he came back to be fitted. I left it on the sewing machine, needle down, which is something I HATE doing.

I had one bandaid left in my purse; once the bleeding slowed I used it but it was time to go to rehearsal. Gotta remember to restock before I head out again today...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Um, Look but don't Touch, Please

I got four slightly-sewing-experienced Master's Commission students for 2 hours yesterday afternoon; they cranked out a good day's worth of tedious tasks for me and I'm EXTREMELY grateful! Big help! One of the girls sewed the small amount of sparkly (green sequins) that I'd pinned to the Angel 2 dress down for me; left the dress hanging on the end of one of the rolling racks that are now resident in Ye Olde Dresse Shoppe (aka sewing room). As I've mentioned, this room is basically a thoroughfare between rooms and it's smack in the middle of the area in which the girls have their Wednesday night club classes. All the girls who walked through the area had to stop and google at the dress. After about the fifth time it was handled and admired I finally wised up and moved it to the center of the rack, where it wasn't quite so obvious. It is (or was at one time, anyway) a sort of white dress, after all.

But it's kind of gratifying to see all the oohs and aahs...nice to know other folks think it's pretty. I've pinned on a circle of the green trim at about knee level on the front of the skirt; it looks a little better balanced, I think. If the director agrees with me, I'll sew it down and I think I'll put some of the sequin trim on that, too, but that'll be it. I don't want to overdo it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Heat is On

Literally; the cold front has gone through and our 80+ temps have probably left us for the season. It feels a little more like turkey and Christmas Carols now than it did last week...

Figuratively; the costumes need to be pretty much done for most of the characters by the first Saturday in December; that's the town's annual Christmas parade and one float from church will feature the Scrooge cast. I sort of forgot that until just a couple of days ago; hopefully I'll find out today who MUST be ready for that event and prioritize the sewing for the next two weeks accordingly.

There's still an awfully lot of work to do...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Sewing Exploits

To help battle the overwhelmed/panicky feelings that do crop up from time to time while working in the costume room, I hung several encouraging Scriptures about the room. One of them is Daniel 11:32b, KJV... "The people who do know their God shall be strong and do exploits." The dress for Young Adult Belle, Simplicity 5724 is definitely in the 'exlpoit' realm for me. The role of Young Adult Belle is double-cast, which means two different girls will be wearing the dress. One is a size 10 and the other is a size 16. Believe it or not, the skirt (which is a separate garment from the bodice) uses the same pattern pieces for all sizes, except for the waistband. The grading is done purely by gathering up more or less fabric to the waistband.

I've already modified the skirt pattern a little; this is pre-hoop, so I am not making it quite so full, and the tier of ruffles on the underskirt has been replaced by one deep ruffle. And I'm going to use an elastic waist treatment, supplemented with a drawstring. The good part about that is that I only have to make one skirt; the girls are close enough in height that we can make up the difference in shoes. When I first saw the pattern, I suggested using one skirt for both girls, but the (non-sewing) Powers that Be were not receptive to the idea. However, once I got into the pattern and discovered that the pieces were identical, I made an Executive Costuming Decision: One skirt will be made. If the directors are not pleased with that, I can always promise a second be made *If* we have time.

I'm making the skirt first so I can fit the bodices over it. Boned and highly fitted. Yeah, definitely exploits.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pattern Envy

Well, maybe 'envy' is a little strong...perhaps 'wistfulness' would be a better word. :)
I wasn't one of the hundreds who swamped Hot Patterns with pre-orders; I knew my late fall sewing time would be consumed by Scrooge and there just wasn't any reason to order patterns that would sit around and sing a siren song the whole time I was busy with other things. And, in all honesty, perhaps the person who will receive the patterns that I might have ordered will get them made up quickly and be happy. But I am watching the reveiws begin to trickle in and I'm wishing...just a little...that I had both a pattern and some time to play with it. Right now I'm leaning toward getting the Pirate Queen Swashbuckling Pants Suit and/or the Wong-Singh-Jones Sari Tuxedo Shirt. There are a couple of things in the Miss Moneypenny collection that really appeal to me, too, but I suspect I've got some things very similar to those already in the pattern stash. DH was shaking his head, wondering what the big deal is with these patterns, and my reply was that they are highly fashionable, which is one thing, but the really big deal, to me, is that they come in three size ranges for three body types. It's going to be interesting to see the reviews to see how well these patterns really do fit the body types for which they are marketed. Personally, I'm a Glamour Girl with narrow shoulders...I think.

Ah, well, something to look forward to trying after the holidays have come and gone and life has settled down somewhat. Maybe by then, the Hot Patterns people will have cleared out the backlog and be taking orders again.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Frump City

The fabric with the adolescent tendancy to argue had been brought into submission; I finished the blouse from it last night and wore it to church today. The blouse itself worked fairly well; I thought that fabric was just playing control games and I was right. However, a look at the photo I posted with the review on PR reveals a hairstyle that makes me look frumpier than any old blouse would. Sigh. It's just that icky in between stage; I'm letting it grow out so that it won't be so difficult to deal with when Scrooge hits the stage in a little over 4 weeks. (Deep breaths, Lisa, don't panic!). As soon as the show's over I can get it cut into something a little more fashionable, I hope. However, it has occurred to me that if I get it cut I'll just have to go through this growing-out bad hair season all over again next year. Maybe I'll just buy a hat and let it grow on out. Either way I'll be a resident of Frump City for some time.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I Get it Now...

Pants fitting has been an ongoing struggle for me, as it is for just about everyone who sews their own clothing. It doesn't help any that so many of the 'experts' seem to offer diametrically opposed advice, including some absolutes like 'never scoop!'

I'm sorry, I just don't think there are any such things as absolutes in fitting. There's waaaayyy too many variations in shape of the human female form. Since I've become, um, highly concerned (that does fall a bit short of obsessed, you know) with fitting, I've become a people watcher. There are women with huge cabooses and there are women who must surely sit absolutely on their hip bones. If a pattern was originally drafted for a flat seat, with very little curve in the back, simply adding on to the crotch point and the waistline is not going to correct for a fanny that curves. Ya gotta scoop it out.

Now, I don't have an excessive backside, but I apparently do have more rear curve than the average sewing Jane. My common sense told me that I needed to scoop the rear, but it didn't work. The resulting pants were always too tight at the low hip. I didn't want to add to the side seams; I had visions of jodphurs. So I kept adding to the ends of the back crotch seam; it worked...sort of.

Then arrives issue 122 of Threads. In it is an article on pants fitting. An excellent article, I might add, with wonderful visual aids (I'm wondering who made those teeny pants for the wooden doll models, but I digress). The author writes about scooping the backside and adding the amount removed to the side seam. Suddenly, I saw my error. I had been removing fabric from the curve itself; the recommendation is to remove the fabric from the curve all the way up to the waist..then add that whole bit onto the side seam. Bingo! No jodphurs! The addition goes all the way into the waist!

I think I've found my answer. Now, to find some time to make another pair of Oxford Pants and try it out!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The "AHA!" Moment

Someone on Sewing World asked what everyones 'Aha!' moment was in sewing...a realization that caused a paradigm shift. Some mentioned discovering the fit of European patterns, others when they realized they could cut between or outside of the lines on a real 'Aha' moment came when I realized didn't have to rely on a pattern to tell me how to do something.

Back in 1982, I bought a pair of Liz Claiborn raw silk pants on sale and wore them for probably 10 years...until they really looked bad. They had the zipper in the pocket, which I just thought was the coolest thing. I looked long and hard for a pattern that had a zipper in the pocket. There were a few patterns that had a hidden open seam in the pocket, which provided plenty of room for entry but they tended to be drafty. Then one day it hit me: The zipper's IN THE POCKET! No one will see it! Who cares what it looks like!

I played with the pocket just a little, came up with a way to stick the zipper in it (no, it doesn't look wonderful, but who cares? For anyone who's curious, I've got a photo album of the process HERE), put a blue zipper on a pair of black pants and never again considered the pattern guide to be The Final Word on how to put a pattern together.

Which I suppose was the foundation for the waaaayyy out of the box thinking I now find myself doing to put costumes together.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Two Birds with One Post

Ok, I was so pleased with the way the two dresses I talked about yesterday were coming together that I decided I'd post a photo of them as WIPs and also experiment with photo posting. Now I'm wishing I'd taken 'Before' photos of these dresses, too...but I didn't realize what I did to them would make them look so different. Oh, well, I'll remember that next time! Anyway,here goes: First up is the Wedding Dress, I'm guessing that it's from around 1976, in the process of being redesigned to be worn by the Angel of Christmas present. I think I will also take the motifs of the trim and use them to make a wreath CF on the skirt. Dear Director wants some sparkle on this dress, too; I'm going to have to see what I can find. Bad sparkle would look worse than no sparkle!

I also have the magenta dress, trimmed with the lace that came off of one sleeve from the wedding dress. There's a faded out spot on the front of the skirt of this dress; I've got a huge lace applique that was salvaged off of a hopelessly stained skirt that will cover it nicely.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Costuming 'Coincidences'

One of the coolest things about doing the costumes is the little coincidences that seem to accompany the process. For instance...

The very petite lady who had the role of Angel Two (the Present) made a drop-dead gorgeous costume for herself last year, but that family moved to Memphis. So we needed a whole new outfit for the fairly tall lady who has the role this year, as not only would last year's costume not fit her, it was the personal property of the lady who made it. Dear Director decided to take current Angel Two around to thrift stores in search of an old wedding dress that could be the basis for her costume. Now, we received a shipment of costumes from a church in Florida who did this prodution 15 or so years ago (there's a long story behind that, too, but I'll save it for another day). In that shipment was one wedding dress and veil. One. Well, the thift store shopping trip hadn't happened yet, so it was worth a try, right?

It fit our Angel Two as if it had been made for her. A lovely (ahem) late 70's dress with long drapey sleeves. I'd also been requested to make a green velvety cape with fur trim for this character. In the shopping trip to the fabric outlet in Tennesses, I managed to find (for cheap!) a poly robe velour that feels icky but has a really rich green color. Looks good with the dress. However,the dress itself still needed some, um, *something* to make it look a little less overtly bridal.

Now, last year someone had purchased a goodly amount of dark green and black floral trim that hadn't been used, being too dark on the costume for which they'd purchased it. I dug that out and held it next to the velour for the cape...dead match. I pinned it all around the sleeve edges, then along the lace trim on the bodice and the front of the skirt. I had enough, with a wee bit left over. And it looked GOOD. The only other thing it wants is bit of sparkle and it'll be exactly right.

So, I carefully removed the white lace trim from the edge of a sleeve in order to sew the trim on; the lace was rather bulky and I didn't think the Kenmore would manage sewing the thick trim over the bulky lace. No sooner did I have the lace off of one sleeve than a brainstorm hit...I had another dress for one of the Fezziwig's guests that was a very plain magenta satin. Nice lines, but no oomph. I took the lace from the sleeve and, starting at the backwaist, overlaid the princess seam, took it over the shoulder and down the princess seaming on the front, around the v-point at the front waist, and back up and over the other side. I had three little flower motifs left over when I got back to the back waist seam. Perfect. And that little bit of lace made a huge difference.

Just two dresses out of several with similar stories. This part is fun. :D

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Do You Not See What I Don't See?

Back to church around 6:30 PM for the second costume work session yesterday; Miss M. and I had 'sort and organize' on the agenda. We'd just been there that afternoon and pulled 'action items' from the racks so we'd have all the costumes that need fixing, embellishing or altering in the sewing room and now we were going to get 'assigned' costumes separated out from the 'unassigned' costumes in an attempt to get some more rack space available. We walked around the sanctuary to the back hallway where the costumes were in temporary storage, walked through the black curtain that separated the end of the hallway from the restroom area ('What a great idea that curtain is!' we'd commented to one another that afternoon) and beheld an empty hallway. About 4 hours after leaving it full of costumes. We found them in just a few minutes; they'd been moved into the loading dock area at the end of the hallway (once upon a time, our church building was a Service Merchandise and we have a loading dock). That's also the set buiding area...not the best place in the world to store costumes. We pulled them back into the hallway, contemplated leaving them there but thought better of it. We did the sort and organize thing, put what we were fairly certain we wouldn't need up in the attic storage and then pulled everything else back around to the sewing room (which is on the other end of the building). Unfortunately, the sewing room is actually a room-shaped hallway, so it gets a lot of traffic. I guess everyone will get used to walking around them! At least the gremlin will have to work harder to hide them from there; there's no handy stashing spot.

I did take some photos and I've decided to leave them posted on photoworks for now. I like the 'view photos larger' option that's there, even though it is kind of a pain in the patootie to click through the album. The dresses are 'before' shots; I'll take new photos after they're Dickensed up.

Scrooge photos, part 1

Monday, November 07, 2005

Still on the Learning Curve

I managed to find a little time over the weekend to work on the 'blouse made from opinionated fabric' that I mentioned on PR...the discussion started about half way down this page and continues over the next page or two. I can report that, after attaching the sleeves and sewing up the side seams, it appears that the fabric was lying; I believe this is going to be a nice, classic looking garment. Of course, I still have collar, cuffs and closure to do, but so far so good.

I think I'll take the digi cam in with me to 'Ye Olde Dresse Shoppe' (the sewing room at church) today and get some photos of things I will be working on. Last year I really wished I'd taken 'before' photos of a couple of the dresses, this year I intend to do that! I haven't looked at photo posting at all yet; I need to find out important stuff like how much space is available for a freeloader like me to use for photo posting. I may just have to load them up to Photoworks and include the link; we'll see if I'm ready to learn something new or just stick with what I already know.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Alors! I'm an AUTHOR!

Hey, any time something appears in print for the masses, it counts, doesn't it? And the fact that I was paid a small amount of moolah for the material makes it official! Not that the masses will see this; it's a tip in the current issue (#122) of Threads magazine. And I missed it the first time I glanced through the magazine, being distracted by the ad for the new Loes Hinse pattern on the opposite page. Still, a paycheck is a paycheck... :D

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Frets and Fumbles

One of my favorite worship leaders is a guy named Leonard Jones, who is affiliated with the Morningstar Ministry folks. I've watched him, both in person at a conference and on TV broadcasts, move effortlessly among various stringed instruments. From a sitar, with its huge neck and widely spaced frets, to both accoustic and electric guitars to the teeniny-fretted mandolin to a violin, which has no frets at all, he plays them all, often more than one in the same musical piece. Amazing. I can't even switch from an alto recorder to a soprano recorder without fumbling to hit the differently spaced tone holes. And my teenage son is greatly amused every time I attempt to put our newly acquired small car into reverse and turn on the wipers instead...the wiper lever is mounted on the steering column, where the gear shift lever has been on every other car I've driven since 1992.

Now I'm dealing with the same issue when I'm sewing. I took my backup machine -- a 25 year-old Kenmore-- into church and left it in the room we're using for costuming. It's just enough different from my primary New Home that I'm fumbling. Fumbling for the reverse stitch lever and the presser foot lever on both machines, and upon finishing a seam I routinely, uselessly, rub the thread tail on the backside of my Kenmore, which does NOT have the thread clipper that's mounted there on the New Home. And I marvel all over again at Leonard's ability to always remember exactly which instrument is in his hands.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Ok, one more thing off the 'things I want to do someday' list...start the blog. Now, if I can figure out where to put info in the Profile, we'll be all set to go.

Some will know me from Pattern Review and/or Sewing World, but I suppose a few surfing souls may just have picked this up at...random... so, until I get the profile located and up to speed, here are the basics:
I sew. A lot. And I love to write/talk about sewing with other folks who also enjoy the creative process. I've got four kids, ranging in age from 9 to nearly 20 (ack!) and a wonderful hubby, and there will no doubt be references to them. We moved this summer into a much larger house than we'd lived in for the last 20+ years, and my sewing nook is in the laundry upgrade from the garage, where I had the sewing stuff all set up for several years. Now I get to be creative in a space with actual heat and AC...even if it is a little small. Someday I'll clean it up and post a photo.

Current major project: Costuming 'The Gospel According to Scrooge', which is being presented at our church, The Rock Family Worship Center in December...lots of discussion about that in the next few weeks! I've got a few little side projects going, too, but that will be the Main Thing. Actually, I bit the bullet and started the blog because the costuming discussion thread on the PR discussion board was a bit, um, one sided? Anyway, I'm off in a bit today to (hopefully) finish tracing off dress patterns for the garments that must be made from scratch this year.

Anyway, this should be a fun adventure...not much time to work on the blog learning curve but at least I won't be monopolizing the Sew Along so much!