Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hand Basting Blues

Whoda thought I'd spend so much time on a $2 top?

There is a reason that blue fabric was in the dollar pile. It's a BEAR to sew.

But it's a pretty color and it drapes nicely...it's like slinky, only a finer/denser 'nap'. So I'm not only learning about how the Cadeau fits, I'm learning how to tame the wild slinky beast.

The answer is hand basting.

At least, I think it's the answer. So far I have hand basted the neckband together on the outside curve and I have pinned it to the top preparatory to hand basting the band on the top. Hopefully that will hold it well enough that it won't shift and twist when I put it through the serger...and I'm going to try the serger, hoping that the interfacing in the band allows it to actually make a stitch.

If I had a walking foot for either machine I'd use that, but I don't. So I've just got to hand baste, sew slowly and hope for the best.

Well, it's only a $2 top...the real goal is just to see how it fits. So I suppose if I have excessive trouble with ugly seams, if it holds together enough for me to try it on and look it over good it'll be worth the $2.

Dunno if it'll have been worth 2-3 days of work, though ;)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Monday, Monday

You'd think with the 'fall back' time change, I'd have lots and lots of energy...

Note to self: remember to take those iron supplements...

I finished up the sweater coat over the weekend and will post a photo if I happen to have a moment when someone's home with a camera. It was pretty flimsy fabric for a sweater coat, actually, but it was loosely knit enough that I couldn't figure out anything else to do with it. But it's surprisingly warm for something so lightweight and floppy.

And I've been working on the Cadeau muslin. So far, all I can ascertain is that I was crazy to allow that fabric to follow me home. My serger is flat refusing to make a stitch on it, it's crawling all over the bed of the machine when I try to sew it...I'm to the handbasting point now, just trying to keep it lined up enough that I can tell how the top is going to fit. And I've got 3 more yards....

I'm registered for a class that meets on Monday nights (it has nothing whatever to do with sewing), starting tonight and running though November, so I'm going to lose my prime pattern fiddling/fabric cutting time for a little while. I've got a few already-cut projects hanging around, so I'll have enough to keep occupied for a little while. Maybe I'll do something radical, like straighten the attic, if I sew up everything before I get a chance to cut more... ;)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

No-Fail Fabric Parity Plan

I don't know if I will try to implement this this year; my inner brat stasher is screaming "That's not enought warning! No fair!" So I may cut myself some slack this year; there are, after all, only 9 weeks left in 2006. But I will definitly do it in 2007.

Here's the plan: at the end of the year, if I have not made fabric parity, I must go through my stash and cull out/give away yardage equal to the amount I went over. So, if I buy 15 yards more than I sew, I have to find 15 yards to send to the Salvation Army or another stashing friend or the local school home ec class.


Y'know, it just might work...

Friday, October 27, 2006

More Fabric Coming....

Where, oh where has all my resolve gone...
Oh where, oh where can it be?
To sew mostly what I've had all along
Keeping myself 'New Stash Free'...

12 yards from fabric.com should be here early next week.

Ok, 7 yards are flannel sheeting for new warm bedsheets; greatly needed, and, as it is the same color as my waiting-to-be-sewn cotton sheeting, I can do both sets at once and (hopefully) pretty quickly.

The rest are wardrobe needs for both me and DD.

But I have such a short time to make parity and so little time to do it in...

I've spent an awfully lot of time working on the muslins; BTW, I'm not going to count the muslins as 'done' until I've transfered the changes to the pattern.

And I still don't know yet what we'll be doing for Christmas costumes. There is potential for a lot of sewing, but we've got a big community outreach that we're doing next week and Christmas plans have kind of been pushed to the back burner until that's done.

So I guess I should sew while the coast is clear...maybe even make some Christmas stuff...

I basically have 60 yards to sew to get to parity, including the yardage on order.

I *could* sew 7 yards a week...if I did nothing else... ;)...so I guess it's not unthinkably out of reach.

Just close.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Remembered....

Ok, so it's not the wittiest post EVER, like I let on yesterday...but it'll do... ;)

DH attends a huge conference for engineers every year in the spring; one of those "Come and attend committee meetings and listen to papers presented on various topics such as 'The Use of Inflatables in Construction of Space Vehicle Components'" conferences; not something where anyone hears anything nearly as entertaining as Cynthia Guffey discussing reasons why you may opt to make a dress with a higher side slit than the pattern originally called for. But he's on one of the Technical Committees for his professional organaization and so he has been known to chair one of the sessions during the conference. So he kinda has to go.

This conference used to be held in Palm Springs, CA every year, but some time ago the Powers That Be decided to move it around the country, so that now the meeting rotates from the East Coast, to the West Coast, and then Somewhere in the Middle. Next year it will be in the West...really west. The meeting will be in Hawaii.

When DH found out, he told me 'Ok, you need to come to this one'. Now, we have tried to arrange it so I could go on other occasions...most noteably when it was in Atlanta a few years ago. I thought it would be *great* to go to Atlanta; we could drive over, so I could load up a TON of sewing projects, machines and supplies, and sew laundry-free, cooking-free, guilt-free for the whole week while he was in meetings, and when he was free in the evenings we could go to nice restaurants together. Unfortunately, there was no one to watch the kids for us so I stayed home and he went. To be honest, I don't see how we could get around that same obstacle. If the kids weren't in school, it wouldn't be so bad, but being's how the conference is held while school is in session, it's not likely we'll find someone who can stay with the kids, make sure they get to and from school and tend to their homework.

But that's not the only issue w/a trip to Hawaii...the thought of sitting in an airplane that long gives me the heebie-jeebies. I don't fly well. It's not a fear factor thing; I have a tendancy to motion sickness. To put it bluntly, I don't like throwing up in public. I'd love to go to Hawaii with my sweetie. But I don't want to fly. And I don't want him to go without me. It's a serious Catch-22.

So, I complained to him about the Powers that Be having the thing in Hawaii. Why not somewhere on the mainland?
DH replied, "Believe it or not, it's cheaper to host a conference in Hawaii than anywhere on the West Coast".

That surprised me. From folks in the family who have been to Hawii, I've always believed Hawaii was a pretty expensive place to do anything. I guess that it is a SOP to have really low rates for things like conference room rentals and such in order to draw conferences, so that the conferees then must come and spend their dollars in places where the prices aren't cut. Just a guess. But it *was* cheaper for the sponsoring organizations...anyway, it's in Hawaii.

"It's too bad they didn't do it in, say, San Franciso." I was still stuck in whine mode. "We could visit your brother..."

"Yes," he agreed, "That would've been nice."

"And, oh, while you were doing the conference, I could've gone to Britex and Stone Mountain and Daughter and...."

He interrupted me, "Well, like I said, it's cheaper to go to Hawaii..."

The man has a point... ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A word from Trudy

I emailed Hot Patterns with my questions about the Trouser Skirt; Trudy very graciously responded that yes, the back waist is *supposed* to be slightly higher than the front waist; mine is a little higher than intended, for whatever reason. Also, the panels are supposed to quarter the skirt, but the drafting software they have doesn't like doing it for the different sizes. So, depending on how far removed one is from the original draft, the panels will be proportioned differently.

That's not necessarily bad; it just different than the illustration and I'm glad to know which way was the 'intended version'. Now I can decide which way I want my version...

Actually, this morning I had a brainstorm for today's blog topic but, being Wednesday and Bible Study day, I didn't have time to type it up. Of course, my mind is completely blank now and I have no idea what it was I intended to write about. I should've put a sticky note on the monitor (amongst all the other sticky notes on the monitor). So Trudy's response saved my entry today by giving me something to say...

Maybe I'll remember what my Brilliant Post Topic was...eventually.

(like the Fisherman's Lie: oh, you should've seen the one that got away...)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The London Shrink

Since I only had 1 3/4 yards of the sparkly red, I decided to prep it by doing the 'London Shrink'
1)run a bedsheet through the 'rinse only' cycle, so that it's damp
2) carefully spread the sheet out, then lay the fabric out flat on it. Roll/fold the fabric and damp sheet together and let them rest overnight.
3) lay the fabric out flat to dry
4) steam press the fabric well, being careful not to stretch or distort the fabric while pressing (I have also read that you should allow each section to dry thoroughly after steam pressing before moving on to the next).

So...I'm at Step 3; I adjusted the pattern last night, taking 1/2" out of the shoulder width at the princess seam and dropping the shoulder height by 1/2". Hopefully, the two adjustments canceled each other out at the armsceye and I should not have to adjust the sleeve, which fits and hangs very nicely.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Putting it to Work

Last night I decided to look through my jacket patterns and see if I could find one that cried out to be made up in my new festive red plaid. I knew I wanted one with some shape, because I already have a boiled wool boxy-style red jacket, and it needed to be fabric frugal, because I got the minimum amount of fabric to make a jacket (well, it *was* $28/yd)

I pulled out a jacket that I'd made and reviewed a year and a half ago and gotten tons of compliments; it's Silhouette Patterns' Robin's Jacket.

The black/silver on red mini-plaid would look great w/black binding and black snaps, which I have on hand. I'd already decided I need to lower the shoulders a bit...they're designed for 1" shoulder pads, which feel a bit linebackerish to me. But, when I put on my original jacket just to check the fit otherwise, I realized that the upper chest/front armsceye looks almost identical to the original FSG muslin!

Here's the photo from the review (no, I haven't redone my hair; it's from April '05):

Now, this is not to be a tailored jacket by any means; it's one layer construction. So it will need to be a little looser fitting, just to allow for the fact that there's no lining under it to help it skim the body. But all the same, I believe that when I lower that shoulder, I will trim out a bit of the front armsceye...Oh, wait! That jacket has true shoulder princess seams...I could alter it there! Hmmmm.....

Wow. I didn't expect to use my lessons quite so soon... ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The OTHER Muslin...

I haven't just been mulling the jacket; I also cut out a muslin of the Hot Pattern Classix Nouveau (Ain't that a BEAR to spell???) Trouser Skirt. After doing and undoing a boo-boo every bit as dumb as mismarking the notches in my FSG jacket sleeves, I got it sewed up and tested. I have tweaked it just a bit at this point...I let the CB/Side back seams out just a little going over the rump and took it all the way down, and I sort of smoothed out some of the excess curve that showed up around the inseam darts on the front. So far, that's it. You can see from the photos that the skirt fits fairly well (ok, pretend I'm wearing some Really Good control top pantyhose) except for the rise in the back waist. That's a drafting issue; I noticed it when I was tracing the pattern and wondered about it. So I'm going to have to go back and lower that CB about an inch or so. I marked it with a red pen, but since I was going by where it *felt* like it should be, in the photo it looks like the mark is just a little low. But the side seams are nicely perpendicular to the floor, and the hem looks even, so I think it's just a problem with the waistline draft.

There's another thing I noticed, too. If you look at the pattern illustration, it looks like the seams should divide the front/back equally into fourths. But my skirt appears to be divided into thirds, with the middle third divided again. I'm not sure which way I'd prefer it to be. Perhaps I'll retrace the pattern (not too many pieces...it wouldn't be hard) and alter those seams so that it divides it up differently and make up another muslin; or, since I know it'll fit reasonably well, a test skirt in each modification and see which one I like best.

But, to be truthful...I'm ready to FINISH SOMETHING AND WEAR IT.

I may have to go back to the 'WIP' queue and get something done. ;)

Friday, October 20, 2006

One More for the Road

Shannon offered one more suggestion to eliminate the diagonal lines; a tuck between bustline and waist. I thought, 'Well, that's a simple thing,' and sat down and did it last night, before I started disassembling the jacket to mark the pattern changes.

When I first looked in the mirror, my reaction was 'Wow! they're gone!' I made DH take a photo.

When I looked at the photo, my reaction was 'No, they're still there.' And it's beginning to look a little over fitted. So I took the tuck out; we'll see what, if any, difference interfacing and lining make.
Meantime, I've been reading up on fold lines in sleeves and think I need to reshape my sleevecap slightly for the forward shoulder thing...hopefully that will eliminate a lot of that drapey stuff that's going on in the sleeve.

Disclaimer, just in case someone's thinking I'm going to too much trouble: This is not my normal fitting routine; I'm being extra picky here because I intend to use this jacket as a basic pattern. I've made...and worn...and been happy with...other jackets from other pattern companies that fit no better (or even worse) than this one did originally. Part of the reason is that I really, really want a well-fitted jacket; part of the reason is that I just felt ready to tackle and learn some more about fitting and I can't afford to spend a week with an instructor. So all you 'Internet Friends of the Lisa of the Laree' (:D) have been taking the Instructor's place.

For which I thank you from the bottom of my Janome. (Gee, if I used a Bernina it would've been so much more poetic...)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Extra Post: Muslin Update

The shoulder pads came today; I gave DS a quick lesson on fashion photography and took some pictures:

The shoulder pads really did make a difference. (Keep in mind, I have altered the right side front and back, but left the left side alone for comparison.) I cut in the front armsceye a bit more; putting the vertical portion on the straight of grain as best I could. It still looked a little saggy on the right...not in the same way as it did earlier...farther down. I thought about taking up the princess seam going into the armhole, but decided perhaps I'd overcompensated on the full bust adjustment. So I stitched the vertical portion back up.

Better, but now the diagonal pull lines are back. Perhaps half the orignal adjustment is what I need.

Anyway, it's looking very, very close. I think I'm ready for the linen tweed.

*Gasp* More Bible-Era Costumes...

Word is leaking out that our Christmas Event this year will be...

a Living Nativity in our parking lot.

With animals and everything.

I *think* we've got enough Bible costumes to pull it off (especially if we put the newly-costumed Master's Commission students in the cast), with the exception of The Three Kings.

Now, technically, the Magi were not at the manger at all. They didn't show up until a couple years or so later. And we've no idea how many there were. However, Christmas card art and holiday music have so ingrained the public that I expect we'll do the Traditional Thing, and at least show three of them on their way.

Since all our Bible costume productions have been Passion Plays to date, we have no fancy costumes for Eastern Sages. These will be fun to do, I think. More about trim than fabric, probably.

Although, if truth were told...they probably weren't all that wealthy and splendid-looking. They were, after all, astronomers, not kings. Ah, tradition....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's Officially Fall

I've made a batch of 'Russian Tea'.

Why it's called 'Russian Tea' I have no idea. I've heard similar things called 'Spiced Tea' and 'Christmas Tea'...but the recipe that I've been making for ages and ages says 'Russian Tea', so that's what I'm going with. My original recipe came from one of those fundraiser compilation-type cookbooks, so I've no idea where it really came from.
But here's my recipe (and I'm going to use Brand Names...NAYY)

2 Cups Orange Tang
1 Cup Instant Tea
2 Envelopes Kool Aid Lemonade
1 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp ground cloves

I dump all the ingredients in a small Tupperware container (it has a permanent spicey smell), put the lid on the container and shake it well. 1 mug of hot water + 2 tsp tea mix + sugar to taste = the taste of fall....

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Monday Night Cutting

On Monday nights, DH and Dkids go to Bible Study Fellowship (I'm a BSF grad myself), and we have an early dinner...so, once they leave, I have the table available for large projects for the rest of the evening. So, Mondays have become my pattern tracing/altering/garment cutting nights. Last night, I finally altered the Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress (which has apparently been discontinued; it's not on the SW site) so that it was 4" shorter...not difficult, just kind of tedious...and cut the dress out of some teal slinky I'd purchased from SewKeysE at the Atlanta Expo for this very dress (oh, I'm so proud of me...it only took 7 months, and it's the intended pattern!). I also finally cut out a muslin (that's what I'm telling myself, but if it fits I'll wear it) of the HotPatterns Cadeau T-shirt pattern that I printed and taped up last December (it was a free download available for a limited time; you can see the reviews for it HERE, if you didn't see it before). The fabric is the cornflower blue slinky-type knit that followed me home from Wal-mart a couple of weeks back; if it fits, I'll have a cool top for $2.70; if it doesn't, I'll have learned what adjustments I need to make on the top.

Building the queue, building the queue... ;)

Monday, October 16, 2006

We're taking a break

I think I mentioned that there was some hesitation over whether or not we would do Scrooge this year; we went ahead with auditions, but participation from the congregation was down from the last two years and, after more prayer and listening, the decision was made to let everyone have a rest this year.

So -- wow, what shall I do with my time? Finish all the 'house moving/settling' tasks that have been put off, organize/sort the costumes at church (but that'll be a one-day-a-week thing)...maybe even sew down my stash.

I decided to treat myself to a holiday jacket; I ordered some of Nancy Erikson's 'Lurex Boxes'...a red wool with a small black/silver Lurex plaid pattern. Not sure which pattern I'll use, but I intend to make it quickly...I'll even put it ahead of the already-cut projects in the queue.

And I think we'll try to have a holiday party this year.

But I may be getting ahead of myself; just because we're not doing Scrooge doesn't mean we won't do anything at all...but whatever we do, it will be smallish and low-key. So life will be more-or-less normal for the rest of the year.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One Serving of Humble Pie, Please...and supersize it

Did you ever do something so absent-brained that, when you remembered, your gut turned to ice and your heart hit the ground with an audible *thud*?

I did yesterday.

It's fall break...the kids are home from school and I've been discombobulated all week. And last night, about 8:45, I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to have taken dinner to a family in our church who have been going through some difficulties. And I have no real excuse.

Of course, people are sweet about stuff like that and offer all kinds of comforting words like 'Oh, don't worry about it, everyone does that at one time or another', but it doesn't make me feel better. I messed up.

Can I have a dollop of whipping cream with that pie?

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm Dreaming of a Pink Muslin.....

Literally. Dreamed about it all night, so, even though I'd planned to work on other stuff today, I got up and started working on the muslin. I incorporated a number of suggestions from various folks, on the right side only, and I can tell a huge difference.

But part of that may be due to the fact that I corrected a serious bone-headed mistake I made that resulted in the sleeves getting inserted, um, backwards. (oh, I'm SOOOO embarassed!) I pulled the original pattern and the tracing out and, sure enough, I had traced two notches where there was one and vice-versa. Why? Who knows? When I put the sleeves in, I really thought they should've been the other way...but I followed the notches. And wondered why that seam was in the front on the arm.

So, the sleeves really do fit better now ;)

But, aside from fixing the Stupid Mistake, I raised the shoulder seam by 3/8" at the armsceye and shortened it 5/8"; I took a deeper sideseam at the armsceye; I took a deeper seam on the side back only from the curve into the armsceye, eliminated the bumpy curve in the front/middle front seam, took up about 1 1/4 inch from the middle front/side front seam from about the waist down, tapering back into the original just below the bust and did a minor FBA at the front. I still need to move the shoulder seam about 3/8" towards the front at the armsceye and see about doing a slight rounded back adjustment (I need DH at home for that). I think I need to raise the whole armceye about 3/8", too.

I tried taking photos of myself in the bathroom mirror...um, it didn't work, but it was good for a chuckle.

But those adjustments look to me to make the jacket fit much better; at least as good as RTW, so after I look at some *good* pictures I may just transfer all the adjustments to the pattern and go for it with the test jacket.

ETA: Well, I did get DH to take a couple of pictures before he headed out to an evening meeting. Dunno how much better it really looks...some of the pull lines on the right front are gone (the right side is altered, the left side is not). I'm a little leery of overfitting; at this stage, with no interfacing or lining, I know the muslin is not a 100% accurate picture of what the final product will be like. I do think I could move a little more fabric out of the armsceye area, though; now that the FBA is in place, there's some extra again. I think.

And I don't know if it's a lack of lining that's causing the wrinkling in the back, or if I still need to do some work on it. Whatever that adjustment will be, it will be small (I think squaring up the shoulder helped; the almost-bump at the top is less prounounced on the right side.)

I have RTW jackets, dating from before I began learning about these things, that fit worse than this. ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lunch with Shannon

You'd never know it, but the Rocket City happens to be the place where internet sewing guru Shannon Gifford grew up. She happened to come to town today for a family event, and I was privileged to eat lunch with Shannon and her lovely parents. It was fun to talk sewing over the corner of the table, and you should've seen the adorable jeans jacket Shannon was wearing...the Kwik Sew pattern (I'm too lazy to look up the number), made in a black-on-white print denim that she got at the dollar table at her local Wal-Mart (I think I need to stop at that Wal-mart next time I'm traveling through her neck of the woods).

She drew a little schematic on a napkin which verified some of my thinking on the pink jacket muslin...I was afraid the most correct fix would be to go back and start with a smaller size, and it looks like I was right.

I shoulda paid for her lunch... ;)

Thanks, Shannon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Seasonal Switch

It happens about every six months...roughly corresponding to the time change. The current season's clothes are pulled from drawers and closets; the upcoming season's clothes are pulled from the storage bins and they switch. Outgrown kids' (well, hopefully kids')clothes go to the Salvation Army, lists are made of what is needed, and a huge pile of laundry works its way through the system.

Even though we could still have temps in the 80's for a few more weeks, it's time. DKids are home from school...the evenings are chilly...and I'm about to get busy w/Scrooge.

So...out come the bins. Maybe I'll get something sewn this week. Maybe not....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Muslin Help

Thanks so much for the folks who made suggestions here and via PM's...I really appreciate it! I'm not sure when I'll get back to it; as I told one lady, I view muslins kind of like getting teeth filled...not much fun, but it will save much pain and expense later on. And I'm determined to get this wearable. I may try comparing it to my already-tweaked Today's Fit jacket (the one I did for SWAP). I didn't try that earlier because the pattern pieces are not at all alike, but the more I've thought about it the more I thought it might give me a little more insight as to what I need to do.

Next up on my list of things to make is the other set of waterbed sheets...and I WILL make something quick and wearable for myself sometime this week, too.

I hope. ;)

Monday, October 09, 2006

FSG 1945 Muslin

I had a little time to myself yesterday evening, so I whipped together the Fashion Sewing Group 1945 jacket muslin. When I put it on, I was surprised at how good it looked in the mirror, but now,looking at the photos DH snapped for me last night, I'm not so sure. It looks pretty baggy in the upper chest/armsceye area. I've already pinched out something like 1 1/4" in that area and my seams are beginning to do funny things, so I'm not sure I can easily remove much more. I think I still need to move the bust shaping down about 1/2"; there's just a little fullness above the bust, although the turned-back collar covers it up.

Length (it will be 2" shorter when hemmed) and pocket placement looks good; the shoulders themselves look good; I think some of the ripples in the back are because the unlined, uninterfaced back fabric is sort of flannelboarding to my knit pants. There's really plenty of room through the hips/tummy. But there are a couple of diagonal folds just below my arms that I'm not really sure about.

Y'know, not so very long ago I'd've been happy with the jacket if it buttoned without straining....amazing how picky I've become ;).

So now I'm trying to decide if it's good enough to go to the test garment stage; how much of that bagginess in the armsceye is just due to the unsupported fabric syndrome...will lining/interfacing help there? Or do I need more altering?

I think I'm going to ponder this for a couple more days. I feel like doing a little frivolous sewing; I guess that's a reaction to all the production work I've been doing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Big Project Status

HMC Costumes:
Done! Done! Done and Delivered! (doing the Snoopy Happy Dance)

I spent the last two days doing the robes up to the point where all the serging on them was done, and serging the edges of the vests, and finishing off all the head drapes/sashes/ties, so that all we would have to do today, by and large, would be straight stitching. Miss M had two costumes that she'd taken, but hadn't gotten to, so I thought we could also work on them. I figured I'd be happy if everything got done to the snaps and maybe the hems on some things.

Then, last night, DD called to ask 'How many costumes have you got done?'

I thought that was kind of an odd question...but, she continued, "We need them tomorrow night" (tonight is our monthly Uplink service...actually, the last before the new year, since we will be busy getting ready for Scrooge the next two months).

Gulp. Well, I sent out another "HHEEELLLPPP!!" message to my sewing buddies at church, and today 5 of us worked from about 9 - 2:30 and FINISHED THE LOT. I even took in my hammer and snaps and put all the snaps on. So...we left the costumes in their zip-lok bags in the HMC room, I called DD and left a message on her cell phone that they were there and came home.

DH and I have some other responsibilities tonight that will pull us out of the service for a little while; I don't know if I'll get to see the costumes on stage or not. If I can, I'll take a photo...

(ETA: I got the photos...from the sound booth, with no flash, so they're very poor. At least one costume in the photo is not one we made, and this is only about 1/3 -1/2 the group, but they are there! I talked to one of the program directors tonight and we will be doing a 'costume workshop' for the kids sometime in the next couple of weeks so they'll know how to wear the headwraps and such...)


Scrooge '06 - still not sure who/what we'll be costuming; cast list should be up soon. Meantime, I'll try and get some time to go and sort costumes. But, DKids are on Fall break for the next week, so I probably won't do much on that this week.

Maybe I'll work on my muslins... ;)

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Newman Blue Twinset

I finally caught DH long enough to take a photo of the Newman Blue Cotton Rib Knit Sweater Set:

(The hair just kept getting frizzier as the day progressed...probably because I kept fussing with it.)

Its...ok. The cotton rib has virtually no recovery and stretched out pretty badly in places during construction... especially the armholes on the mock T. I washed it to see if any of it would shrink back out and the double needle stitching tunneled in the wash! I don't think I've ever had that happen before. I pressed it, but it's still got a little bit of a trapunto look to it.

I have a little trick that I've used before to pull in a stretched out line in knit fabric: Thread a big-eyed needle w/ wooly nylon and anchor it well to the seam at one side of the stretched out area. Carefully run the needle through the hem/seam allowance/whatever until you get to the other side. Pull the wooly nylon so that it is just a *teeny bit* shorter than the seam you're trying to 'fix', then secure it well and trim the ends.

This has worked pretty well for me in the past...I may give it a shot at those armholes. But, in all honesty, if I only wear it under jackets/cardigans, it won't matter that much. As long as I don't take the top layer off.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

New 'Do

My friend DeeAnn finally rented some booth space in a local shop and began taking new clients...I saw her on the second day and she cut my hair to work with the curl. Unfortunately, I can't find my diffuser, so this photo looks frizzier than it really will be when I do it right:

It's a little different than I have had, but it's long enough that I can still pull it out of my face if I need to. I think I'm going to like it...DH and the younger DKids do. Dunno what the older kids will think...I haven't seen them since it was cut. But I feel perkier now!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Unintentional Muslin

There has been a discussion on the Pattern Review boards of late about What makes a wadder? that got me rumbling over something in my head, and I came to a rather startling conclusion.

Premise: a wadder is a garment that may or may not be finished but either is or is obviously going to be unwearable due to either sewing difficulties, mismatch of fabric to pattern, poor fit, or other factors. Personally, I consider something a true wadder if it is only good to be cut into something else or thrown away; something that is finished but doesn't look good on me isn't a wadder...it's a donation.

Fact: a muslin is a garment that is a test of a pattern; frequently not finished and definitely not wearable. Its purpose is to check fit, design details and style. I consider a 'weable muslin' to be a 'test garment', since it's made with the intention of being worn. A real muslin is made out of ugly fabric and is not intended for wear.

Therefore: Muslins are intentionally made wadders. Now, we consider the muslin to be a worthwhile investment of time and fabric because of what is learned; I propose that we eliminate 'wadders' from the vocabulary and, instead, call them 'unintentional muslins', putting the emphasis on what was learned in the process of making the garment, not the end result.

All in favor, say 'aye'... ;)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Link Updates

Farewell, Sewing World, you will be missed greatly....

And I added a couple of links to blogs of fellow sewing enthusiasts. There are more in the Creative Fashion Sewing Ring link...including several that I check frequently. More people have taken up blogging in the past few months and it's interesting to see how everyone's approach to sewing and talking about sewing varies.

I'm trying hard to catch up on some very much procrastinated housework this week, so I'm not making my way out to the sewing nook very much. But it's nice to know that I have some projects ready to go as soon as I can squeeze a couple of minutes out to do something.

A recurring question on blogs and message boards is, "How do you find time to do all that sewing?" My question is, "When does one find time to clean house and fold laundry and yardwork?" ;) :p

Monday, October 02, 2006

Who ya gonna call? Stash Busters!

Two years ago I decided I urgently needed a pink suit. I ran to Hancock's looking for some pink suit fabric...and ended up getting a pink poly/rayon linen-look. I've used that stuff in the past and had told myself ages ago not to get it again...it just doesn't stay looking nice very long. But it was all they had in the right color, so I got some.

Needless to say, I did not get the pink suit made in the time frame I needed it in...and the pink poly/rayon just took up residence in the stash.

Until this weekend. I needed something more-or-less suitweight to use as a muslin for the FSG jacket, and when I pulled this out I thought, "Perfect!". However, it was a little over $4 a yard...which, to me, is pricey for muslin. I hesitated. Then, my newfound inner stash buster pointed out that I *hate* this fabric, I should never have purchased this fabric, it had already begun a kind of streaky fade out (or maybe the original dye job just wasn't very good)...in other words, I was *never* going to be happy with a suit made from this fabric. So the money was a moot point.

I thanked my inner stash buster, took it to the table and cut the jacket.

And had enough left to get a muslin of the Hot Patterns Trouser Skirt.

And took 2 3/4 yards of fabric out of the stash.

So I'm happy. ;)