Saturday, September 30, 2006

Big Project Status

Bible Costumes for HMC:

I know I've been talking Very Much about the current Big Project, the HMC Bible Costumes, and therefore everyone pretty much knows we're on the last lap on it. But I thought I'd share a revelation we had about the pattern we're using... McCall's 2339. I intend to update my review of that pattern once I have some photos, but I thought I'd go ahead and share our insight here first. :)

It wasn't until I actually saw the costumes I made last spring on the guys that I realized there was a problem with it...for all I like the nice curve on the front of the vest, the thing is humungeous. Even in the smaller sizes it looked like it was swallowing the guys whole. So, before we cut any vests for HMC, I made some adjustments on all the pattern vests. This is the medium:

Basically, I slashed from the midpoint of the shoulder to nearly the hemline, then overlapped the cut edges about 4" at the shoulder and trued the seamline. In all honesty, I should've traced the pattern and pivoted that extra out; the big dart in the paper pattern has made it a little difficult to cut accurately.'s costume, not couture, (thanks, Ann, for that's been my mantra) close enough is good enough. Maybe when I've got a little time to fiddle I'll trace off nice flat copies. (Ha! Ha ha ha!)

I haven't actually seen any of the adjusted vests on any of the guys yet, but all the responses we've gotten have been very postitive...they're pleased. So I guess it works.

When the costumes are all done, I'm going to have a 'costume workshop' with the students and show them all how to wear them (especially the headpieces...and the girls will need reminders that the sashes go around their actual waistlines). That should be a good photo op for the whole project.

Costuming Scrooge 2006:
Cast list still isn't up yet...but I picked up some patterns that I'm sure will *eventually* be useful for $.99 each at Hancock's sale yesterday:

Simplicity 4923 (if you ignore the Jack Sparrow clone, there really are some great pieces in that pattern)
Simplicity 5042 and
Simplicity 5041

I got them each in all the size ranges available, so now we should be able to costume the schoolroom scene more appropriately...whenever that becomes financially and logistically possible. I still need to get some Jane Austen -era patterns, since that's really the time period for the Fezziwig's party, but that's not going to get redone for a few years. There are plenty of ladies' costumes out there; I haven't got such a great feel for what the guys were wearing (other than yards of linen wrapped around the neck) then yet...but that's just a matter of looking around at movie pictures. We'll get there, eventually.

But...actual status for this year is still up in the air. The decision has made to do one more day of open auditions before they set the cast...and we're still waiting to see what kind of arrangements we'll have for sewing space. I typed up a 'pros and cons' list of *all* the options I could come up with...and there were about 5, ranging from day-tripping in, like we've been doing for HMC, to booting the occupants of one of the nice new classrooms to another space for the duration of the production and setting up shop there...which I intend to submit early next week. So, we'll see.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Three down

Miss A and I worked today and got two of the Heavenly Robes and one other...that is, all the robes that needed cream thread...done today. All they need is the snap hammered on and they are ready for delivery.

At the moment, I'm planning to sew at church again on Thursday and Friday of next week, but Miss A has snagged a part-time job and may not be available. So I will send out the plea, and if no one else can help I'll just brew myself a pot of coffee and work here.

There's only ten more to go... ;)

But DH is off on a Royal Ranger camp out tonight; I think I'm going to see if I can get the muslin for my FSG 1945 jacket cut out while he's away....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

And the total is....35!

We cut the last batch of costumes for HMC today; with the additional costumes that will belong to the program, and counting the costumes that I made for my own kids, our total costuming effort stands at 35 costumes...of which we still have 13 (I think)left to put together.

The good part is that it has demonstrated very well how inefficient it is to sew without a designated place...and another good thing is that this should be the only time we'll have to crank 'em out like this. Next year, everyone will know well in advance that they'll need a costume and we can designate the month of August to make them, with a definite cut-off date. Plus, only new incoming students will need them from now this should be the tail end of the bulk of it.


While at church, Miss A and I scouted around one more time looking for a place to set up Ye Olde Dress Shoppe. There is one area we hadn't considered...the large open area used for our fellowship hall has a balcony or mezzanine area...over the bookstore and some closets...that isn't used. The only problem is that it is only accessible via two metal spiral staircases. I had rejected it outright, trying to imagine manuevering an ironing board around one of the staircases, but today one of the associate pastors mentioned that we *do* have an hydraulic lift unit that is used to replace lightbulbs and such...we could, just possibly, use the lift to move stuff up there. It certainly wouldn't be ideal, but it just might get us through this season. There are enough outlets on one end of it to support several sewing machines, so it would be possible.

We'll see....

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Shopping with the guys

I met DD and 4 of the guys from HMC who still needed costumes at the dollar table at the local Wally World today...yes, we managed to get fabric for all of them, plus another guy who didn't come. It was quite an interesting experience. Three of the guys are from Iceland, so explaining that they needed to get 4 yards of fabric was kind of complicated...they didn't have a mental image of 'yard' so they thought I was telling them to buy four garden's worth :D Once I explained that a yard was a little bit shorter than a meter they were ok. So we dug through the (three-tiered) dollar table and had some interesting discussions about fabric colors and what goes together and what doesn't...anyway, I think they were all reasonably pleased with what they picked out.
So -- we'll have 6 robes to cut out tomorrow; if you add that to the 7 robes that are spread out amongst me, Miss A and Miss M, we've still got a stack of sewing to do...but one cutting day and three dedicated sewing days at church and we *should* get them done. I hope ;)

Somehow, six yards of a drapey, steel blue slinky-type knit followed me home...

Scrooge auditions went well last night; I expect to be cast as a Bird (one of the unpleasant thieving charwomen), which is ok; the Birds are pretty much the comic relief in the Angel of Christmas Yet to Come scene, so it will be fun to do. I don't know if I managed to 'sell' the revised script or not...time will tell on that.

But, if my observations at the audtions are to be trusted, I'm thinking we'll need about 3 new costumes, as the people who played those roles last year are quite differently shaped than the ones who will be playing them this year. But I may be casting ahead of the directors...

In any case, the cast list should be up soon...I don't know if they're going to do callbacks or not.

First, the Bible costumes...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Audtitions tonight....

And, given the fact that we probably are not going to be making a ton of costumes this year, due to the still-unresolved lack of sewing space, I'm actually going to audition for a couple of speaking parts. It's fun to dance w/hubby, and, depending upon what role I get (if any), I may still be able to do that, as the parts for which I'll read are both second act and the Fezziwig party is in the first act. DD did that last year...danced at the party, then turned herself into one of the tacky charwomen for the second act. They are so altered by costumes and wigs that it wouldn't be a problem to do both. But I'm also going to (gulp) read for the Angel of Christmas Present (AKA Angel 2). This is kind of a long shot...I know how our director wants her portrayed (think of Glinda the Good from MGM's 'Wizard of Oz'), but I want to do her as a whole different sort of character; as a much more practical angel with a broad Cockney accent. So I really don't expect to do much more with that than have fun at auditions. But, more than audtioning for the role, I've got a re-written script for that Angel from which I'd love to see at least some lines after the audtions are done, we're going to take a few minutes (if it's not too late) and do a reading of the altered script. There's some neat stuff that could be put into that scene...and, to be honest, some of Angel 2's lines seem a bit...non I wanted to see if I could come up with something that flowed a little better, as well as bring out some elements that are really only sort of hinted at now. Truth be told...I'm more anxious about the script rewrite than audtioning for a role.

As oi told one o' th' laydees at chuch Sundaey, oi'll just pull out me imitayshun 'ol English accent an' 'ave a go a' it! ;)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thumbs-up patterns

I was thinking over the weekend about 'Thumbs Up' patterns. Pattern Review puts a little 'Thumbs Up' symbol next to any pattern that has five or more reviews, and for some reason I began to wonder what *my* 'Thumbs Up' patterns would be...patterns that I've actually used 5 or more times. I'd consider anything that I've made 3 times or more to be a TNT pattern, but the 'Thumbs Up' ones would be the favorites; the wardrobe workhorses; the ones I'd re-buy if I lost them. Not counting costume patterns, here's my list (to the best of my recollection, anyway), in no particular order:

Loes Hinse City Dress, which I've actually used more as a shell top than an actual dress. I modified the bodice a bit...basically just curving the bottom and tweaking the fit...and now it's my go-to pattern for a woven shell top.

Loes Hinse Cowl TopI've made this in a bunch of different combinations...long length w/long sleeves and cowl, short length w/long sleeves and cowl, short length with long sleeves and jewel neck, short length w/cap sleeves and jewel neck and finally a shell version...short length, jewel neck, no sleeves. I've even morphed on a regular turtle neck, which makes a great approximation of my favorite Lands' End t-neck tops. When I first made it four years ago I was blown away by how nicely it fit; every knit top I had made previous to that had been way too big/baggy in the shoulder/underarm area. Now it's my shoulder fitting template for new patterns.

Loes Hinse Sweater Set This looks very elegant in stretchy, drapey knits. I've got two or three made from slinky, and I've used the shell part of the pattern to get a wearable top out of remnants. The shell needs just a little fitting help...lengthen the bodice at the CF hem by about 3/4" (more if you're busty)...and it's a workhorse.

Loes Hinse Oxford Pant. I make it with pockets, of course...and I've borrowed the pockets from this pattern for other elastic-waist pants and skirts. I have tweaked the crotch curve a bit, but it really didn't fit too bad right out of the envelope. I like to add a little at the sideseams when using a very drapey fabric...very elegant, comfy pants.

Another great 'use the last remnants' pattern is Textile Studio Monaco Shell. I've made both the funnel neck and the v-neck versions and love them both. The v-neck is a great tank-top substitute...just be careful that the knit you chose isn't inclined to curl when stretched. (Yeah, that limits the choice somewhat...but you won't like it if you have a curly knit! Trust me...)

Kwik Sew 2948. The mock-turtleneck collar piece needs to be cut taller and skinnier a bit to fit like my Lands' End sleeveless mock t's, but, worn with the short cardi it looks every bit like a classic RTW set. It's what the In Progress Newman Blue cotton rib is cut from. :) It's my favorite Kwik Sew pattern.

I've actually got one from the Big 4: Vogue 7799. I used the Cowl Top pattern to 'fix' the shoulder/sleeve fit, and I've made a bunch of variations on the wrap version of this pattern. As shown, or with moprhed-on cap sleeves and just a 1" band instead of the high shawl collar, and a couple of them I made just by turning-and-stitching the neckline (be sure to stabilize it first... perhaps even use very-slightly-stretched clear elastic). A great alternate to 'just wearing a t-shirt'.

So...anyone else have any 'thumbs up' patterns?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Big Project Status

In progress: HMC Costumes

The team has made, I think, 20 costumes so far. I have one costume cut for a student, and the two sets of Heavenly Robes needed for the program. I did the red and purple shoulder drapes for the Heavenly Robes yesterday; Miss A has volunteered to take one set of the HR to do this week, so that will only leave me with three robes left to do before I'm caught up. I'm *tentatively* planning the last, final, if you snooze you looze cutting day on Thursday of this week; but the guys from Iceland still have not, to my knowlege, purchased fabric yet. I *know* they've been busy...they worked at the Women's conference two weeks ago, then they went to Atlanta, then this week is our annual multi-stage music festival, Big Spring Jam. Our church and First Baptist are co-sponsoring the contemporary Christian stage, but there is a lot of volunteer work to do and HMC is heavily involved (DH and I have volunteer spots, too). Anyway, they have barely had time to buy groceries and do laundry since the program started fabric. Hopefully they can grab it next week; we really need to get 'em done.

On Deck: The Gospel According to Scrooge 2006
I have a request for a meeting in with the directors of Scrooge; auditions are tomorrow and Tuesday and I expect the cast list to be up by two weeks from tomorrow and we can start costuming. Actually, I've been working amongst the costumes just a wee bit, trying to get them organized somewhat. Our storage is almost...but not quite...gridlocked, so it's slow going but I am making a little progress. Once the HMC costumes are done I expect to spend two or three days in the attic, sorting and labeling and such. Once I find out who has what parts, and what our costuming priorities are for this year, I can make a plan of sorts. It may be curtailed by our current lack of workspace...we'll just have to see.

Off to the Jam!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Blue Thread Next

Doesn't everybody plan their sewing queue around what color of thread is in the serger? The Bible costume sewing required black thread to finish up one of the projects, so I switched to I sewed the two black mourning robes I had...then I changed the left needle to brown, left the rest black, and made a dark brown robe, then I switched to red thread to blend with the salmon-colored (a couple of the kids have brought me...unusual...color combos) fabric that became the vest to go with the robe, so while the red thread is in I'll do the red sashes that go with the heavenly robes. Next, I'll swtich to blue thread to do the other sashes, which are dark puple...and after that, I've got cream and white.

So, whilst the blue thread is in the machine I think I'll slip in one of my cut-out sweater projects. Yeah, I'll have to switch thread after all; the navy is too dark for the 'Newman Blue' sweater rib, but since I'd have to switch thread to cream at that point anyway it's no biggie.

If the sweater set goes together quickly, I might just go ahead and do the sweater coat, while the medium blue thread is in the serger, you know... ;)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random Diversion

The following has nothing whatever to do with sewing; it's just a glimspe at one of my other creative outlets. Since I have nothing new to report on the sewing front...just plugging away at the Bible costumes and hoping to have a chance to get some of the backing up personal sewing done before I dive into Scrooge, I thought I'd offer it up as a complete change of pace...a cleansing of the palate...a random diversion.

Walk to the Well

She stepped out into the midday heat as she looped the long rope over her shoulder before hoisting the empty water jug to her shoulder as well. At least it was a legitimate excuse to get out of the house. She didn’t want to be there when Zophah returned…the bruise on her cheek wasn’t quite faded from the last time he wandered in at noon after drinking all night and didn’t find some odd thing to his liking. She thought a moment and realized she couldn’t even remember what had upset him that time. Not that it really mattered – when he was drunk there was no telling what would set him off. But if she wasn’t there, he would stagger off to his sleeping mat and snore away the rest of the day, returning to his normal sullen apathy when he awoke. If she’d timed things right, there’d be no bruises today.

As her feet turned onto the rocky path to Jacob’s Well, she felt despair wash over her. Nothing about her life satisfied the least of the dreams she’d had when she was young. Dreams any young girl would recognize – a husband who cared for her, provided for her in a home that heard children laughing and welcomed friends and family. --Where did I ever get the notion life would be like that, she thought bitterly. The plainest and most awkward fifth daughter in a poor family, she was fortunate that her father even found her a husband, although when she raised her barely fifteen year old eyes to gaze upon her groom at the wedding feast and saw a fat, toothless man only four years younger than her own father, ‘fortunate’ was not the word that came to her mind. She was Gera’s third wife, his hope for offspring after his first two wives had died childless. Not that he treated her badly, so long as she was available to him for the almost nightly attempt to sire a child. She sighed, thinking how she used to welcome her monthly courses, as that was the only time she could count on a night to herself. However, for whatever reason, despite all his efforts, those courses continued to flow and there was no child.

Then Gera had died suddenly after only eighteen months of marriage, simply collapsing in the vineyard he tended. As he had no near kinsmen she’d returned to her father’s house, much to his disgust. He had assumed she’d been too proud to allow the older man to share her bed, and her failure to produce a son for her husband became her shame. Daily her father reminded her that she was a reproach to the family, a burden that they could not get free of. For who would marry a cold widow woman who would not give her husband the child he wanted? And what would become of her if she didn’t marry?

But there was an offer of marriage. After the mourning period had passed, Bered the butcher arrived on her father’s doorstep, proposing marriage. He had two children already, his wife had died birthing a third, stillborn child. Bered needed a young, strong woman to help him keep house and tend the children. Her father was enormously relieved…not only would she have a good husband, but she would have all the fresh meat she desired! What a match!

-- Yes, she thought, passing the last house of the village and through the south gate – that was a good match. Bered was a good man. He told her he’d chosen her for his second wife because she knew what it was like to be bereaved. An intelligent, thoughtful man, Bered was well able to carry on conversation with any who came into the shop for meat. She had listened to the conversations, learning many things herself. It was probably as close to happy as she’d ever been. But it was such a brief time. The fever that swept through the village two years after they married took not only her newborn son, her mother, three of her sisters and their families, but Bered and his daughter as well. Bered’s brother took her stepson into his house but refused to take her. She felt her sister-in-law was mostly responsible for that decision, as she tended to be a jealous woman, but it didn’t matter now. --Nothing matters now, she thought with a sigh as she sat on a large rock, more to postpone the inevitable return to the house in which she dwelt than because she needed to rest. Only a few insects droned about in the merciless sunshine and she smiled to herself, admitting that it was worth venturing out in the blistering heat to avoid meeting anyone who had an opinion about her. No one knew what had really happened in her life…or seemed to care.

After Bered’s death, she had returned once more to her father’s house, grieving, lonely, and weak, having barely survived the illness herself. She expected to spend the rest of her days caring for her family in her mother’s stead. However, her father soon remarried and his new wife, Serah, scarcely older than she was, was determined to be the woman in charge of the day to day running of the home and began at once to demand that her husband find a suitable match for his now twice-widowed daughter. A good match wasn’t the goal…any match was acceptable. After the fever had decimated the town’s population, there were several widowed men who would’ve certainly been at least as kind to her as Bered had been, but the first one to ask was the one to whom she was given, and he would not have been her choice.

Ashvath was a big man, strong and, to her father’s eyes, well able to protect and care for his daughter. But Ashvath was violent and prone to jealousy. He frequently reminded her that she ought to be more grateful that he took her out of her father’s house, as homely and unlovely as she was. She often wondered why he even bothered with her…and wished he hadn’t. His wife had also died in the epidemic, and Ashvath held her up as the standard of perfection that the weary and worn young woman could not begin to equal. At first, his temper tantrums were only verbal, but little by little they began to include physical violence. He began frequenting the brothel in the village, telling her simply that she was too ugly to satisfy him. He did spend the occasional night in her bed, however, and eventually a child was conceived. The worst beating she had was when she informed him she was pregnant…cursing her, he declared that she had defiled his bed with another man while he was away. He’d slapped her against the wall, then pushed her backward over a low bench and stomped off into the night, leaving her unconscious on the floor from the violent crack of her skull against the beaten earth. How long she lay there she had no idea, but when she once more became aware of herself she was bleeding profusely. The infection that followed the miscarriage apparently rendered her infertile, for she never conceived again. She endured seven years of hell with Ashvath before he lost his temper with the wrong person and died in the brothel with a knife in his belly.

Since Ashvath died with no offspring, she found herself bound over in marriage to his brother, Aniam, as was the custom, in order to provide an heir for the family. Unfortunately, Aniam was no less cruel than his brother. He had sent his first wife away with a divorce decree, stating that she had repeatedly burned his meals. His second wife had died giving birth to a son, who had only outlived his mother by two weeks before he died of milk fever. Three more years of misery as Anaim’s wife passed before it became apparent to them both that she was barren. Declaring her an unfit wife, incapable of producing an heir for either him or his brother, he’d given her a divorce decree and pushed her out of his house with only the clothes on her body.

She sighed, realizing she couldn’t spend all day on the trip to the well and stood, hoisting the jar once again and turning down the hill toward the well, which was in a small grove of trees ahead of her. As she slowly descended in the shimmering heat, she remembered the humiliation of standing in the street, holding the small scroll that damned her as useless. In almost unbearable shame, she forced herself to return to her father’s house. There was simply nowhere else for her to go. Her stepmother had stood in the doorway, refusing to let her in. “You’re thirty years old!” Serah had hissed. “Go and make your own way!” Her father had unexpectedly taken her part, stepping into the door and pulling his wife back. “There is no other way for her,” he’d bitterly commented. “Would you have her go to the brothel?” Serah had looked at her with distaste. “Let her go to her sister’s house. She can care for her!” She’d watched as her father looked from her to Serah and back. “You could help Gomer care for her children. Perhaps that would be best.” --Yes, she thought, imagining what life would’ve been like living with Serah in her father’s house, --Perhaps that was the best.

Not that life in her sister’s house had been anything to rejoice over. Gomer had eight children, one of whom had been born with deformed feet and had to be carried about. She’d worked hard for her keep, never forgetting that it was her sister and her brother-in-law’s charity that gave her any semblance of respectability. But it was at least somewhat peaceful…until her brother-in-law began to take notice of her in uncomfortable ways. Dropping hints that she could certainly show him a little more kindness, since he’d shown her such kindness. Furtively touching her when he walked by. She began to be frightened that her sister would accuse her of attempting to seduce him and turn her out, but her attempts to avoid him seemed only to make him more insistent. In desperation, she went once more to her father to ask him to find her a husband, saying only that she wished for a home of her own. Surprised, he told her he had actually had someone ask about her that very week. “Who is it?” She inquired, hopeful. Her father had hesitated a moment before answering, “Jalam.”

Jalam was the town fool, the carcass collector. The butt of all the jokes and the lowest man on the village social ladder. She’d found out later that he had been lamenting to a group of men sitting in the town’s dung gate that he’d not been able to find a wife, and one of them – he wouldn’t say which one – had suggested that she might have him. Although Jalam didn’t tell her they’d all laughed when the suggestion was made, her step-mother made sure she found out. But keeping house for Jalam, as foul as it could be at times, was still better than avoiding her brother-in-law’s attention. Jalam was child-like, and she felt more like his mother than his wife. She smiled slightly as she remembered some of the more foolish things he’d done…things that had made her furious at the time, but now, after he’d disappeared, seemed comical.

The smile quickly faded as she suddenly saw that she was not alone on the path. About a dozen men were emerging from the grove around the well and heading up the path toward the village. She took in their manner of dress as she realized they had not yet seen her. Looking around in a panic, she saw a large rock between two large thorn bushes about ten feet from the path. She quickly ducked around behind it before the men had gone twenty feet, and peeked out at them through the branches of the thorn bush to verify her first impression. Jews! What were Jews doing in that part of Samaria? Jews never walked through Samaria! They considered the Samaritans so corrupt that they would have no dealings with them whatever, lest their lives be somehow tainted with the Samaritan bad seed. She had absolutely no desire to encounter any Jews. She peeked through the spines of the thorn bush again to see that the men had stopped, looking back toward the grove as one hurried back as if he’d forgotten something. She moved away from her vantage spot to make herself less likely to be noticed from the path and nearly held her breath until the man returned to the group and they continued up the path, past her hiding place and on up the hill. She waited a full five minutes after the world fell silent again before she drew a deep breath, picked up the water jug and crept back out to the path.

Thinking of Jalam, she wondered again what had happened to him. Eighteen months ago, after talking mysteriously about some plan he had to become wealthy, he’d walked away from the house at his usual time and never returned. No one knew what had happened to him. She hadn’t worried at first; he’d gone off before for days with expectations of finding treasure, or pursuing some wild plan that he expected to make him wealthy and the envy of everyone in the town, but he’d always returned, rather sheepishly admitting that things hadn’t gone as he’d expected. But as the weeks passed she began to suspect that some horrible thing must’ve happened to him. After a cursory search in the area, the townspeople gave up looking for him…or even caring what had happened to him. The general opinion was that he’d decided to leave the village and the carcasses and pursue his crazy schemes in some far off place.

That meant she was alone, in Jalam’s house. She knew she could glean in the fields and perhaps hire herself out as a laundress in order to survive, but it was more difficult than she thought. Zophah began coming by the house, insinuating that he’d take care of her, if she’d let him move in. She resisted him for about five weeks, then the tax collector came and told her he would turn the house over to Jalam’s relatives in the next village if she couldn’t pay the taxes. She found herself in a desperate position again. Without proof of Jalam’s death, she couldn’t marry again…and she couldn’t return to either her father’s or her sister’s house...and she was hungry. The next time Zophah asked her if he could move in and take care of her, she swallowed hard and said yes.

She honestly didn’t think her place in society could drop much lower than it was as Jalam’s wife, but she quickly found out that there was a much lower place to be. Living with Zophah made her the village slut. The women nearly stoned her the first evening she came to the well for water after he moved in, so she began coming at odd times…like noon, when no one else ventured out. Once again despair washed over her. If only there was some way she could go back and start over…be happy….

Suddenly she stopped as she rounded the first tree in the grove which shaded Jacob’s Well and saw the well itself. To her horror, there was a man sitting on the ground next to it with his back to her. From the look of him, he was Jewish, like the others who had just passed her. She felt tears rising as she realized this could mean the others were returning…but it could be as much as an hour before they did so. Would the man sit by the well that long? There was nothing to do but get her water and hope he left her alone. She squared her shoulders, took a deep breath, focused on the side of the well opposite him and walked as quietly as she could toward that spot.

When she was no more than two feet from the well, he suddenly turned around and fixed amazingly kind eyes on hers.

“Will you give me a drink?”

-- Lisa Willis, Jan 2005

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Beta Blogger

Wow! I'm finally in the 'create post' window....

I intended to post about blogger woes anyway; it's kind of funny that I should have had so much trouble getting into it today. I know that there's a new version of Blogger in Beta testing; I haven't switched to the new version yet (am I alone in wanting to wait till the bugs are out before I try something new? That's a big part of the reason I didn't order any Hot Patterns until July). pretty flowered background is gone; all it is solid brown now. And it's not just my blog...every one else with the Scribe template is missing their nice flowers, too. And the pretty italics are gone as well; I don't know why, unless the file those images are taken from has been corrupted in some way by the switch. I saw on the dashboard link that I should receive 'an invitation' to switch to the Beta version; I'm assuming that will be an email message, which I haven't gotten yet. I also saw that eventually I will have to switch; hopefully all the bugs will be gone by then. I just hope my old version doesn't gasp and die before then.

Has anyone switched? Have you had any problems...or am I right to wait?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Scrooge Approacheth....

It's official...there was a bit of hesitation over whether we would do it this year or not, but the decision has been made and auditions are this coming Sunday and a week from tonight.

And we have nowhere at church to set up Ye Olde Dresse Shopppe. Literally the day after the show closed last year, a work crew began ripping out the walls in the area of the church where our costume sewing room/hallway was. It is now a proper carpeted hall with offices on either side...and no sewing space. All the classrooms and offices that were created in the remodel are occupied...there's nowhere there any more. The sewing/cutting that we have done for HMC have all been day projects...carry the stuff in, work like a bandit, then carry it all out. If we have to do that for the duration of the production, it is SERIOUSLY going to limit how much new costuming we can do. We could probably get by with just what we had from last year if we had too, but many of those costumes, being hand-me-downs from a church who did the production several times 15 years ago, are not in very good shape anymore. I *think* they can make it one more run...but they are going to need replacing sooner than I care to think about.

We need a sewing room. I've been over the church a couple of times trying to scout out a place and right now there just isn't any. Our best bet is to clean out a corner of the attic and add some electrical outlets up there...but that's not ideal. Besides the obvious problems of having to carry equipment upstairs, there are large transformers up there that HUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM incessantly. I suppose we could just keep a boombox going with music to cover it up (the old Olde Dresse Shoppe was next to the food pantry...which had an electronic rodent repellant that emitted a BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP all the time...constant music made *that* bearable...). But if we have to set up and break down on a daily or every-other-day basis it will cut dramatically into our sewing time. The HMC costumes could've been done by now if we could've set up at church and stayed set up until they were done; it just takes so much longer to carry stuff home and do it. Not very efficient, that.

So here we go...maybe major sewing, maybe just make-do for now. We'll see...

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Double Posting Day

Editorial Note: I’ve been debating which of two posts I wanted to do today; both have been tumbling about in my head and both are responses to recent happenings. But they’re very different thoughts…one is a sad observation, the other is a warm fuzzy. Finally, I just decided to do both of them…and I’m going to put the warm fuzzy second, so that you won’t feel all *meh* when you leave today. So make sure to read both posts. ;)

Support Your Local Sewing Enthusiast

This is National Sewing Month. So all us Superfantastic Sewing Enthusiasts should be celebrating our craft, right? And what better place to do that than in the great online communities that have sprung up around sewing in the past few years? Do you hear the irony dripping from my keyboard?

Sewing World, after declining for some time from apparent neglect, was hacked to death about a month ago and, despite hopes that the site owners might revamp it and relaunch it, as has happened in the past, it appears to be left for dead. I’ve decided I’ll leave my bookmark …and the sidebar link…alone until the month is over, and then if it’s still not back I will delete both. But not without a little sigh for the things I learned and the contacts I made there.

But, not to worry, some amazingly fore-sighted ladies took note of the decline of SW and began a new forum, Sticher’s Guild. And last week some troll signed up under a bogus name and proceeded to send nasty links via the personal message system to as many members as possible. Fortunately, this site is well patrolled by moderators and it got caught early on and steps were taken to minimize the damage. Yes, I got an email notification that I had a PM from the troll, but the site owner had been busy and that was all I got…the notification. Since I knew what it was, I deleted it without opening it. Dragonlady had already deleted the PM itself. But it really is sad that a sewing site would be abused like this. Incidentally, another sewing site that I haven’t visited was also hacked that week, according to reports on the SG forum. Also sad.

But probably the saddest of them all is what has happened on the Pattern Review boards. PR has grown from a start-up in November of 2001 to around 70,000 members now…that’s a lot of people. And anytime you get that many people together there are bound to be some with…issues…. There have been growing pains there in the past; I learned early on that it was usually counterproductive to join in a controversial discussion (on any board) and have, by and large, just stayed out of anything that looks like it might involve opinions about things that aren’t directly sewing related….although I will confess there have been several times I had a reply all typed up and then didn’t post it. And was glad…no, I was relieved…later to have stayed out of the fray. Yes, people type some unbelievably nasty things (it happened on Sewing World, too) and yes, some folks (understandably) are hurt by those things. So some of the folks whose posts and expertise I have particularly appreciated have decided to post about their sewing exploits elsewhere. I can’t fault them, by all reports the latest round was Not at All Nice. It started out as a legitimate discussion about finding the appropriate balance between freely sharing information, which everyone wants, and shameless self-promotion, which everyone finds exceedingly annoying. Stitcher’s Guild has been having a similar, albeit more civil (it’s a new site – no past history to drag up—and a smaller site—fewer, um, issue-oriented people), discussion, trying to find the right balance. It’s not an easy task. Unfortunately, what fits one Sewing Enthusaist’s definition of free sharing of information appears to be another Sewing Enthusiast’s definition of shameless self-promotion. And there began the problem. I quit reading the thread after about 2 posts that seemed to be heading towards dissent and I’m glad…I didn’t see what actually happened that caused the rift. But now I am seeing the aftermath and it truly grieves me that some fine…human…Sewing Enthusiasts have decided ‘enough already’ and won’t be back.

PR was my first experience into the world of Sewing Sites. I joined in the spring of ’02 and my first review was number 470 (my latest one…I’ve done 147… was number 15,747), so it has a special place in my cyber heart. And I think it still serves an incredibly useful function…the searchable pattern review collection. No place else has anything like that. If I buy, say, a Simplicity pattern, I can enter that pattern into my Pattern Review catalog and it will automatically link to any reviews for that pattern. How cool is that? Sure, some reviews are really helpful and some are, to use a term I picked up on A Dress A Day, lint, but overall it helps tremendously to be able to read other’s experience with a pattern I want to make. With independent pattern lines it’s indispensable…how else would I know that I should get Hot Patterns Slinky Girl size range? Going by the measurement chart on the HP site, I would’ve ordered Glamour Girl. But after seeing the other reviews for Hot Patterns, I realized I need to get a SG and alter it. Now, some of the more prolific and informative reviewers will not be putting reviews in the searchable data base; they’ll be in blog entries. I don’t blame them…there will be no controversy over ownership of their work, and no one can fault them for any links there-in. It’s much safer, from that standpoint. But it will make it harder for all of us to find the kind of info that a simple PR search yields now. And that makes me sad, for my sake…and I know that, for these folks to have walked away they had to have been hurt deeply, which makes me sad for their sake.

I know most of these ladies stop by here from time to time…I just want to publicly say ‘Thank you for all the knowledge you have so freely shared with me, the inspiration you have provided me and the encouragement you have frequently given me. My sewing ability and confidence level…and my fabric and pattern stashes… would not be where they are today without your influence.’ ;) Hugs to all of you.

And Happy National Sewing Month.

Warm Fuzzy

Sunday morning, I put the next finished batch of costumes for the HMC students in DD’s car (they were returning from the Atlanta ministry trip sometime during the day), and last night I got a call on my cell phone. It was G., one of the HMC guys from Iceland. G. has been in HMC since the beginning 2 years ago, so he is in the 3rd year also; he was 16 when he first came (Icelanders graduate from high school at age 16), all by himself, so he’s kind of special to everyone. Apparently, HMC had gotten back into town and DD had handed out the costumes I left in her car. G. was just calling to thank me for making his costume. ‘It’s beautiful!’ he said, ‘Thank you so much!’ I was afraid I’d made it a little too long for him, so I asked him how it fit. ‘It fits perfect! It’s the best-fitting Bible costume I’ve ever put on. Thank you…I really appreciate it!’

I smiled the rest of the evening. It’s nice to be appreciated.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Big Project Status

HMC Costuming: Made so far...12 complete costumes, plus the two for my own kids. I have two more in progress at the moment...they need back seam, hems and closure. There are 8 more cut out, and I still have to get fabric from at least 7 or 8 more students.
Lots of work still to do.

But last night I cut out a twinset from some cotton rib knit I got from Nancy Erikson just before we began the whole moving thing; it's been languishing in the stash for more than two years. I just had an urge to have some quick project ready to go, to slip in between the costumes when I'm changing thread. I've got another sweater coat more-or-less ready to cut from a piece of Emma One Sock linen sweater knit, also from about two years ago. Having something to do fairly quickly as a break from the big stuff will keep me from feeling totally frustrated in my own sewing progress...I hope... and both of those will be relatively quick; at least compared to the pink jacket that's in the queue and the muslin of the FSG jacket that is on the 'cut it out' list. Muslins are fast, but they don't give (me, anyway) much of a feeling of accomplishment when they're done. Just a green light to really start....

Ah, too much fabric, too little time... ;)

Have a great sewing weekend!

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Dickens of a Pattern

Shannon Gifford's newsletter, from Sensible Sewing, arrived in my inbox this morning. I've only had time to glance at it so far, but on the next to last page she shows the line drawing of Burda 7986. I gasped when I saw it...a Dickens Frock Coat for ladies! Being cutaway, it's probably not exactly what the gents wore in Chuck's day, but the back view is awfully close to it. The vest/sleveless blouse is kinda cool, too...I think I'm going to have to invest in this one, just for fun. ;).

As a side note, the 'what will I do with this' lime green boucle from the Fabric Mart bundle has found a new home...Miss A will use it to test a pattern that she's earmarked for some silk tweed. The color will suit her much better, and that moved 5 1/8 yards out of the stash...I'm determined to make Fabric Parity this year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cutting again

Tuesday night, DD #1 called me. She's in the third year of Master's commission, which makes her one of the group leaders. Part of her assignment for the first two weeks was to get all the first and second year guys from Iceland together and take them fabric shopping for their costumes. So that explains why she started the conversation with, "Mom, can you do another cutting day next week?"

Turns out the group has been so busy since their planes landed they haven't had a chance to go shopping. "It's almost 8:30, we've still got to pack and we leave at 8 AM tomorrow" (HMC is currently in inner city Atlanta, doing both ministry and light construction at Rescue Atlanta).

So, our big major cutting day turned out not so major. We cut out costumes from the two students who had brought fabric and we cut out the satin heavenly robes. 6 total.

Miss A and I finished in time to 'do lunch.'

I guess we'll cut again next week.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Frog Stitching (Rip it...)

Maybe I shouldn't joke that I can sew Bible costumes in my sleep?

It *was* a late night last night...DH works in a program for some boys from a low-income neighborhood on Tuesdays, so he tends to be out late, and DD had a boatload of homework; anyway, it was a late evening and a short night. I thought I'd do a little work this morning before I headed out at 9:20 to teach Bible study (we're doing John, Gospel of, this school year), so I picked up DS's vest to finish off the front edges. I sewed all of one side and half of the other before I noticed that I'd folded the fabric towards the right side.

I had just enough time to rip it all out before I left.

Now I'm off to do it right...I hope!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I'm still processing everything I heard over the weekend at the women's conference; I needed that shift of focus more than I realized. Fret not if my daily posting isn't up first thing in the morning; I need to do some revamping of the personal schedule so I (hopefully) won't get caught in the blogsphere quite so easily. I'd been logging on to update the blog and losing myself for a couple of hours....not real productive. So, to better use the mornings and preserve evenings for family time, it looks like the best time to update the blog will be noonish...around lunch. According to Sitemeter, most of my vistors come by in the evening anyway. Not sure how that's going to work when I'm gone at noon...I'll probably post when I come home in the midafternoon. It'll be there...eventually ;).

I have finished all the costumes for specific kids that I had cut out; I cut out DS's costume last night, which was a good trick as the pattern pieces for the robe were longer than my table. I'll need black thread in the serger for his vest; that'll give me a good lead into the black mourning robes that are cut out and waiting to be made for the program to keep. We're cutting out again on Thursday...if everyone who has asked for a costume so far brings me fabric, we'll have 12 more to cut.

That's do-able in a day, with a little help. Miss A is coming; not sure about anyone else. But just having one person to hold down one end of the fabric while I tug and straighten the other end is a huge help.

Note to self: change the blade in the rotary cutter before Thursday... ;)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nine Eleven

Five years have gone by really fast.

Somehow, it doesn't seem right to jump into posting about life as hasn't been normal in five years, not really.

But there's nothing I can say that hasn't already been said much better by someone else.

So consider this a moment of silence in memory and prayer that such a thing doesn't happen again, anywhere, ever.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Big Project Status

Bible Costumes for Huntsville Master's Commission:

I have nearly all the costumes that we cut out finished; I only have one robe and one vest for specific students, and the four 'mourning' robes that will belong to the program. Two days' worth of work, if I focus, although Miss M said she would take a couple of the black robes to work on after the conference is over.

All the ordered fabric has's all great. So we will have another cutting day...likely Thursday. If everyone who has asked for help will bring me their fabric, we'll be cutting about 14 robes; it'll be a busy day. If we don't get done Thursday, I may go back Friday to finish up.

Stage Drapes:
They look really good on stage; I wanted to take a photo but the lighting is very soft; it looks good in person but doesn't photograph well.

Off to the last full conference day...yes, it's been incredible... ;)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tissue Frustration

In Fit for Real People, the Palmer/Pletsch team state that yes, you can tissue fit yourself by yourself, although they recommend having a sewing buddy.

I went into the sewing room yesterday to work on costumes and saw the still-pinned-together FSG 1945 pattern and thought, "I'll just go ahead and make that bust/upper chest'll be quick...then I'll put it away."


Moving the bust shaping down really didn't take much fullness out of the upper chest area...I pinned out two fishtail darts in that upper corner and then fussed for the greater part of my available sewing time trying to figure out how to get those darts into the seams. The tough part was that the shoulder seam itself was the right length; I couldn't just shave off the seam allowance. I marked where the excess needed to come off and struggled to get a decent, smooth transition from what was ok, to what needed to come off, to what needed to be added at my actual bust level.

Then after I put it all up I had a gnawing suspicion that I didn't do it right...I took some off of the front piece, which I probably should not have done. The rest came off of the middle front...each seam; and it was a problem getting things lined up and I was more frustrated than I want to be when I'm sewing. I worried about the problems I'd had keeping the pinned together pattern hanging straight when fitting it because the back wasn't supported and I began to wonder if I had overfitted...if the pattern had been on my body correctly...if I needed to trash what I'd done and start over. I just decided to go with what I had and make a muslin to check it. I keep telling myself once this pattern is fitted I will have a gem I can use over and over and over, so it will be worth the !!!! moments.

But I did get a little work done on the costumes...I changed the thread in the machines... sigh.

I won't do anymore sewing until at least Sunday evening; this is the Radiance Women's conference week...always a refreshing time and I can sure use some refreshing!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Confession Time

Check out the 'Fabric In' total...yikes.

I was naughty yesterday.

While out and about on the other end of town, I decided to see if the rumours I'd heard of fantastic sales at Hancock's were true. I thought I'd see if I could find a knit with the 'spa blue and chocolate brown' combo that is so popular...but didn't figure it was very likely.

It wasn't...but what I *did* find was a 2 yard piece of B.Black and Sons taupe wool gabardine on the $3.95 table. That stuff was originally priced at $12.95/yd...I grabbed it (top middle of the photo) and I believe I'll be using it to make the Hot Patterns Trouser Skirt. But, you know, fabric is relational, much like a girl, and never wants to leave alone, so I had to get a couple of other pieces to keep it company: a Main Street Fabrics tattersal menswear wool suiting (on the top left in the really is black/grey/olive tattersal) also at $3.95/yd, and (on the other side) a piece of a poly/lycra print jersey for $2.95/yd to make a wrap-style dress.

Then I got home and found that my Fabric Mart order had arrived...

I'm NOT counting the 10 yards of cream satin in my stash; that's for church costumes. It cost $22.46, which I'm transferring to the 'Super Bundle' for accounting purposes and so it was free anyway. The 12-yard 'super bundle' actually had more yardage in it than I expected, and there was one outstanding, creme de la creme piece: a two-inches-short-of-three-yards length of mauve silk charmeuse jacquard. Wow! The black triacetate was semi-sheer, and I got 3.5 yards of it. The miscellaneous suiting is a piece of light lime green/white boucle...and they sent 5 1/8 yards. That's not a color I would normally wear; I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I'm guessing it's acrylic or an acrylic blend...maybe I'll do a burn test to find out. The rayon print is also semi-sheer, and I got almost 4 yards of it. I'm thinking I'll layer the black and the rayon print somehow...the boucle would make a very nice suit, but I'm not sure about the color on me. It *might* work...

Anyway, there was a total of 15.375 yards in the 12-yard bundle...

I can see I'm going to have to sew really hard to achieve parity this year. The bundles have done me in... ;)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Really Random Day

Yesterday was a Personal Sewing opposed to a Costume Sewing Day...and I made the brown linen pants and got all the interfacing fused to the pink tweed jacket. It's ready for sewing...when I get a chance to put some pink thread in the machine.

I also tissue-fit my 1945 jacket and think I will need a muslin, after all. The bust point was about 1 1/2" too high and I had a fair amount of fullness in my upper chest, due to the bust shaping being off. But it *looked* like it fit fairly well otherwise; however I'm not very good at tissue-fitting myself; can't reach/see the back well enough. Hence the muslin... and I actually *need* the first jacket I will make from the pattern, a linen tweed, so I should get on it as best I can, amongst the costume sewing. I'll be running around town today, so I *may* get the thread changed for the next two costume pieces, but that's probably all I'll manage. I should get 3-4 hours of sewing time tomorrow, though, before our women's conference starts tomorrow night. After'll probably be Sunday before I'm even home for more than an hour or two at at time.

But, as I hemmed my linen pants yesterday afternoon, I watched Episode 2 of this season's Project Runway. Miss A surprised me a couple of weeks ago with a video tape she'd made for me of the first three episodes. Of course, the two dkids still at home had to wander in and watch with me. It was very interesting to listen to their comments...especially as neither one of them has developed any kind of fashion sense as yet (they are 10 and 13). DS, the 13 YO, routinely puts on print shorts and t-shirts with graphics that DON'T match...shudder...but his comments about the designs were surprisingly on target. His favorite designers are Laura, Michael and Kayne (after watching 2 episodes). DD did not like Angela and was upset that Mahlon (did I spell it right?) left at the end of the Miss USA challenge.

Perhaps the two of them will begin to pay attention to how their clothes look now ;)

Finally, I found something last night that I've just got to share. Re-reading Madeleine L'Enlge's book The Irrational Season, I found this poem, which, as Madeleine states, was written from the perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but really applies to mothers everywhere. Thinking of all of us moms who are confronting the clean, empty rooms of our offspring who are taking their first steps into adult independance, I'll offer it here:

Now we may love the child,
Now he is ours,
this tiny thing,
utterly vunlerable and dependent
on the circle of our love.
Now we may hold him,
feeling with gentle hands
the perfection of his tender skin
from the soft crown of this head
to the sweet soles of his merrily kicking feet.
His fingers softly curl
around one finger of the grownup hand.
Now we may hold.
Now may I feel his hungry sucking at my breast
as I give him my own life.
Now may my husband toss him in the air
and catch him in his sure and steady hands
laughing with laughter as quick and pure
as the baby's own.
Now may I rock him softly to his sleep,
rock and sing,
sing and hold.
This moment of time is here,
has happened, is:

give me the courage
for the time
when I must open my arms
and let you go.

-- Madeleine L'Engle

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


It rained yesterday.

I finished the two brown costumes...then I played video games with the kids.

I'll sew up the pants this morning after everyone leaves. ;)

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day Sewing

Of course, the plan is subject to change w/o notice, should DH and DKids decide on a play day... ;)

But I'm nearly finished with the two Bible costume pieces that need brown thread; I'm going to finish those out and then sew up my brown linen pants before I switch the thread in the machine. Then I'm going to fuse the interfacing to my pink tweed jacket. Then I plan to tissue-fit my tracing of the Fashion Sewing Group 1945 jacket...just to check for obvious problems. If I need to, I might cut a muslin of the jacket, but if the tissue fit looks reasonably good I've got some linen tweed in mind to make the first version. I don't expect to get that far today.

Ambitious plan, no? ;)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Project Recipients

Today the 2006-2007 Master's Commission students were presented to the church. These are the students for whom we are making the costumes and I thought I'd post some pictures so you can see what I've been talking about.

These are most of the students(Along with our senior pastors and the program directors) the camera didn't really take a wide enough angle to get them all. But I am partial to two :

DD is doing her third year; she has experienced so much personal/spiritual growth in the last two years and I am excited about what she will do the next year. But, DS of the Rolling Eyes is also now a Master's Commission Student.

You'll remember he was Valedictorian of his Senior class; he had a full tuition/fees scholarship to our local university. His plan was to study engineering, participate in the co-operative education plan, live at home and graduate with no debt.

However, as the summer progressed he began to feel more and more drawn to Master's Commission and less and less ready emotionally for college. He really surprised us about the third week of July by stating that he wanted to do HMC instead of college this year. He applied to and was accepted into the HMC class, but at our first inquiry, the local university said that they normally only allowed Mormon students to defer scholarships for this kind of program, but they agreed to review Master's Commission and consider it. After they checked it out, they contacted us to say they would allow David to defer his scholarship for one year. Wow.

Now his problem was simply money. He had all the money he needed for college...and zero money for Master's. He sent out inquiry letters, not so much asking for support at that time, but asking if anyone would be willing to support him. The fact that he neglected to put any contact information in his letter may have had something to do with the fact that he had only one didn't look good. We told him if he managed to get enough funds for the initial move-in expenses (about half the year's total tuition), we would agree to him going to Master's. BUT...UAH started classes a week and a half ago. However, he could withdraw during the first two weeks without penalty and still keep the scholarship.

So, he spent $400 on books (well, he put $400 on the credit card...hopefully he can use them next year...), started classes, and prayed hard.

Thursday night, he got a phone call from the HMC directors and learned that there was a $3000 scholarship available for him. On Friday, he cashed in some savings bonds for the other $300 he needed, withdrew from his classes, carried the necessary paperwork over to the Financial Aid office, and packed up his clothes. Saturday, he moved out (all HMC students board in an apartment complex across town; it's part of their training to learn to work together). And I don't know if he or his sister was the most excited.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked by his room and noticed that the ceiling fan was still running. "Well," I thought, "That's not necessary," and walked into his neat, clean, very empty looking room and pulled the chain to turn it off. Then I just stood there a while....

At least I have enough fabric left from DD's costume to make one for him, too...they are going to have an amazing year...we are going to experience leftovers at mealtime again.

And keep praying that the rest of the financial support comes in. ;)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Big Project Status

Bible Costumes for Huntsville Master's Commission:

It's looking more and more like we're going to be making them for about all the students; I'm getting about one phone call a day from someone who hadn't read the emails or the 'What to Bring' list closely enough and just learned that they need a costume. Our women's conference is Thur-Sunday next week; I've put the word out that anyone who wants a costume MUST get their fabric to me by Sunday the 10th; I can only guarantee one more cutting day as Scrooge auditions are looming on the horizon and I'll have to start working on those costumes.

But I do have one cool thing to report: The HMC directors asked me to make some specialty robes for the program to keep; 4 black ones and 4 shiny white ones (there are going to be multiple traveling teams this year and each team will need a set). I was able to find enough black on the dollar table at Wal-Mart, but finding white satin in large quantities at discount prices kind of befuddled me. I did find some at Fashion Fabrics Club for about $3.50/ wasn't true satin, but it did kind of shimmer and so would work, but after I put in the order I got an email that said they only had about half of what I ordered...did I still want it? Well, I could get two robes out of that, so I said 'Yes' and started planning a trip up to Sir's to see if I could find some up there...I still didn't think I could find a large chunk on the dollar table.

But, while cruising the Fabric Mart site, I noticed they had some items that, while not fabric, would make nice Christmas gifts and I ordered about $60 worth of these things, then decided to check their two-for-one fabric list. To my amazement, they had midweight ivory poly satin on sale! And they had plenty for what I I ordered it. Well, that put my total over $80, so I could order the free 12-yard 'Super Bundle'. Since I'll use the bundle fabric, I decided to switch the satin for the bundle in my home budgeting...that is, I'll pay for the satin, count it towards the bundle, which makes the satin FREE for the Master's Commission! Since that makes the fabric in the bundle cost only about$1.85/yd I think that's still a good deal.

Course, that'll add 12 yards to the 'fabric in' total...I think that may be my last non-imperitive fabric purchase for the year.

Oh, anyway....I have made and delivered 5 complete costumes; we had a sewing day at church this week and I helped one lady make costumes for her two daughters who are in the program, and a third lady and I teamed up to make 2 robes, a vest, and several sashes/headbands. So I've got about 5 more costumes done and ready to deliver...and hope to finish off one or two more sets today. So...things are progressing!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Time Flies

Aiieeeeee!! How can it be September already! I'm still -- no joke -- writing 'March' on checks.

So much for the fresh summer sewing I wanted to do...the white linen bias skirt, the Duro dress, the pink print skirt...

Ah, well, there will always be next year ;)

But my fall sewing plans may change; the announcement came this week that choir colors have reverted to our previous fall rotation. The khaki/pink combo which was on the schedule for September has been replaced by the first combo of last fall's and slate blue (the basis of my SWAP, actually). So the pink tweed jacket's priority has just plummeted. But, I'm good on black/blue so I won't be frantically sewing to catch up. The problem is...I don't remember what the rest of the schedule was. I'm, burgundy/black in November, red/black in December, black/white in January, blue/black again in February. I think. I can't remember what October was. And I'm still half expecting either October or November to get replaced with brown/teal.

But, in any case, this is the third year for that rotation so the wardrobe is getting established now. So I will have a little time to sew 'just for pleasure' between costuming, anyway. So I'll get the pink jacket and the brown suit...and probably another jacket to test the suit jacket pattern...maybe I'll even get the InTHETrenches set made before the 2007 Atlanta Expo ;).