Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Close One

Before I could actually start sewing the ITT outfit with a good conscience, I needed to finish off a bit of detail work on some, um, unusual puppets for the kids' puppet team at church. I'd had these a rubbermaid bin which occupied a fair percentage of my very cozy sewing nook...since before Christmas, with the knowledge that they really weren't needed until the end of February.

Ok, since it's the end of February...

It wasn't difficult, but it was rather fiddly and tedious and made a little more awkward by the fact that the well-meaning puppet master had already stuffed the bodies of the victims. Overstuffed, actually...they had kind of a rigor mortis look about them. So, I unstuffed them substantially, added the details that were necessary, then stuffed them reasonably. And had two large zip lok bags of polyfill left. Now the rubbermaid bin will be leaving the house when the kids go to puppet practice tonight, and I'll have another couple of square feet of space regained.

But, that put me rather late changing the thread and such to start on the ITT.

And I discovered I couldn't find the thread that I really believed I had. I found one lowly little bobbin that was the right color...but nothing else. So I had to make a trip to Hancock's at 6:45 last night. I went ahead and picked out buttons...that took a few minutes because the only buttons in the right color and size were on a different display than the button wall (they were also more expensive than the ones on the button wall. Sigh.). While I was dragging my little fabric swatch across the rack of Metrosene thread, an announcement came over the PA: 'Thank you for shopping at Hancock's Fabrics. We are now closed. Please bring your purchases to the cash register.'

Yikes! I thought Hancock's closed at eight! I spotted the matching thread and grabbed two spools and hotfooted it to the cash register.

The clerk said that they'd had the new hours for a little while now; the corporate offices just rather abruptly notified them that the hours of operation would be cut back. 'It's nice for us', she said, 'We get to go home a little earlier.'

But the lady who let us out just shook her head. 'They'll change it back one of these days...probably with no notice then, either.'

But, knowing that Hancock's is in financial difficulty, it kind of scares me just a little that they have whittled the hours a bit. I pulled out after procuring my thread and buttons in the nick of time, just as some folks with out-of-county license plates parked and walked up to the door. Guess they hadn't heard about the new hours yet either.

Anway, Wednesdays are pretty full days but I'm hoping for 30 minutes or so of sewing this afternoon. We're leaving for the Expo a week from today...and I'm determined to wear this ;)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Sew AHolic

I had a request for a detailed photo of the Sew A Holic poster I've got hanging in my sewing nook. I got it from Nancy's Notions; a little blub on the bottom says that it was printed by 'TLC Greetings...a division of the McCall Pattern Company' (I've also got a couple of mugs w/sewing related themes from these folks). I'm doing my best to remember when I got was back when our two oldest DKids shared a room, and I had the smallest bedroom for my sewing space. That would have been before DS2 (that would be DKid 3) came along in 1993; so that poster is pretty old. When I had to move the sewing out of that bedroom, the poster went in a tube and stayed there until we landed here in July of '05.

I need to get it framed or something.

Now, I realize that none of US would look anything like the crazy crafty lady in the poster, but there are some things that ring true...the bandaid on the finger (always! I've got one now, in fact, although it's not sewing-related), the pile of scraps, the next project already selected.... ;)

Oh, it's really not yellow; I had to turn the flash off because the poster paper is reflective enough that I had a big shiny spot over about 1/4 of the poster. But you can at least get the gist of it!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Wearing Bamboo

I thought I could, I thought I could! Cut it out and made it in one evening! It's the shorter view of the Loes Hinse Cowl Top, with the neckline and turtleneck collar from Christine Jonson's Basewear Two. I *think* that short top pattern was traced with a 2" hem allowance instead of a 4" hem allowance, which seemed excessive on a short top, but I only turned up 1"...since I'm not sure what the lifetime shrinkage of the bamboo will be.

This is the bamboo/lycra knit from Hancock's and, after making up one top, I'm ready to go buy bolts of this stuff. (Of course, I won't...but I'd like to!) It was easy to handle (if a little tricky to get laid out straight), and it feels marvelous on. It's going to be a perfect top to wear under jackets, which was exactly what I wanted.

I hope they sell this stuff for a long, long time. ;)

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Pink Shirts

A good sewing day; two projects done! I should be ok on pink blouses; I'd like to make a couple of other pink things but that'll have to wait and see how the time allotment works out. I may have to do some sewing for church soon; we'll be doing Bible-costume drama stuff at least 3 Sundays that month and we *still* have a number of missing costumes.... Anyway, I can probably get by with these if I have to. Actually, the knit top looks and feels better than I expected; I may have to make this pattern again one of these days. The jury's still out on whether or not I want to try and figure out what's funky about the neckline on the KS top.

I wanted to get the photos of the white capris, too, but I discovered that they'd picked up a black smudge somewhere, so they're going to have to run through the laundry before I can get a picture of them. But I will...I want to update the review to show the capri-length modification.

I think I'll throw one more quickie project in before I tackle the ITT; that brown bamboo has been singing to me all week and I think I could turn it into a Loes Hinse Cowl Top in pretty short order ;). Monday evening, though, I'm planning to CUT!!!

Friday, February 23, 2007


So why'd it have to be THIS WEEK that the challenge goes out to post a photo of your sewing space exactly as it is at the moment??? I've made noise about needing to clean it, but haven't managed to do it, and now everyone wants to see it? *sigh*

Well, never let it be said I failed to meet the 'tis, in all it's, um, disarray. As you can see, I have a long, narrow space that serves both as laundry and sewing space; the only window in the room looks into the garage (I don't understand that, either...) I have a ridiculous amount of scrap and remnant fabric clogging the works; but some is worth keeping (Bible costumes), as it's big enough to use for sashes or head wraps. But it must be sorted...and there's the rub. Haven't managed to do that yet.

If you want to see what it looks like when it's neat and orderly, check Here....

So, anybody else brave enough to share their sewing room...right now? ;)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Preliminary Pink Tunic

When I cut the tunic out, I considered trying to match the fabric across the front, but the print was so large that I decided I probably didn't have enough fabric; it was random enough that I didn't think it'd matter.

What I didn't really notice were the green and white ovals scattered about the print.

So, here's the tunic, prior to cuffs, hems, and buttons/buttonholes (Sorry for the horrid photo; I *hate* taking self-portraits!):

I put it on Tuesday and asked DD if she could see anything 'wrong' with the shirt. She considered it to be surpassingly ugly, but didn't notice the 'cafe' sign at the left bust until I pointed it out to her. It is not 'quite' at the apex...but it's awfully close.

Print placement aside, I'm not really sure about this. The neckline is's too high in the front. There's no problem with the circumference; it's well able to go around my neck comfortably...there's something wonky with the draft, I think. The first time I made the blouse, the neckline *was* too small (that's a common fitting problem for me), so this time I made sure it was big enough. But it still feels like it's choking me...the thing is riding back, as if I had a round back. But none of my other shirts fit this way; I think it's just drafted too high. So that's something to check when/if I make this shirt again.

I'm assuming the weird stress lines in it are because it's just pinned up in the front; it's really difficult to pin a fitted garment closed by oneself without getting it even slightly twisted.

Anyway, I kind of suspect I'll finish this out, hope no one notices the print issues...and, after I've created enough pink tops to fill the need, I'll cut this one down for a shirt for DD.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Love those gift cards

I looked at my current Hancock's flyer last week and saw that both Vogue and Simplicity patterns were on sale on President's Day. Oh, joy...I made my list out, but some budget inspection over the weekend threw cold water on the plan to get them, and I ended up being too busy with kids Monday to go anyway. However, yesterday I woke up remembering that the craft table DH got me for Christmas came with a $10 gift certificate...and the trip was on. I missed the Simplicity sale, but I got three Vogues. Two are new Sandra Betzina patterns: 2945 and 2949. I had three more on my list, but two I looked at and changed my mind and the third wasn't in my size. So, I took the opportunity to get a pattern that has been calling my name for several months now, 8305.

Of course, while I was there I cruised around the fabrics, looking for either/both hot pink knits and orange knits. I knew I was a fuzz over $10 for three patterns, but I have to get some tops for choir in those colors any way. I'll be looking for some at the Expo, but I can satisfy myself that I did look for cheap stuff at Hancock's first. ;) Anyway, I found two pieces:

They're very definitely cheap knits; the one on the left is a boardy cotton jersey with a printing flaw and the one on the left is a crepey poly double knit that will probably be stifling to wear and may be pick-prone. But the colors are fabulous and the price was right ;). Hopefully I'll get the pink one made up this week; I'll be mulling over which pattern to use whilst I finish up the pink tunic (that one has some, um, issues...I'll try to get a photo up tomorrow). Two pink tops in the closet will be enough for me to feel like I can turn my attention to Expo sewing...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Peter Wimsey and Church Drama

I have been a Lord Peter Wimsey fan for absolutely years; imagine my delight when, not too long ago, I discovered that the heirs of Dorothy Sayers had authorized a writer by the name of Jill Paton Walsh to undertake a couple of additional Wimsey family novels, both based on the writings of Dorothy Sayers. The first of them, Thrones, Dominations, is a novel that Ms Sayers had at least started well and then set aside to collaborate on the staging of Busman's Honeymoon. She never got back to it, and Ms Walsh picked it up and finished it out. If it is a little overly concerned with referencing earlier Wimsey novels, it's still quite a good read, taking place right after Peter and Harriet finish their nuptial journeying and take up residence in their house in Town. Historically, it occurs during the same time period of the death of King Edward, the scandalous courtship of his son with Mrs Simpson and the events leading up to WWII.

But the bit that caught my eye and motivated me to actually mark in my book was a little discussion between Peter and Harriet over Harriet's future as a writer of detective fiction. Harriet is somewhat at odds with it, considering that heretofore she had done it to earn her living and, as Lady Peter Wimsey, she is no longer obligated to write for survival. Furthermore, she considers that her creations are neither Great Literature nor edifying non-fiction, and she wonders if it is a worthwhile way for her to spend her time. Peter, however, is convinced that the work she does is worthwhile...not because it is Great, but because it is idealistic. And not because it is intellectual, but because it is popular. "Detective stories contain a dream of justice," he tells her, and continues that "...they feed a need for justice, and heaven help us if ordinary people cease to feel that."

Then, on the next page, "You get under their guard," he said. "If they thought they were being preached at they would stop their ears. If they thought you were bent on improving their minds they would probably never pick up the book. But you offer to divert them, and you show them by stealth the orderly world in which we should all try to be living."

That struck me as remarkably similar to what I had posted about doing drama back in June on Costume Musings: That entertainment can reach a place inaccessible to other means of communication. What Peter said about Harriet's writing also applies to the ordered silliness that we sometimes do in our dramas at church: it gets under their guard.

Which is kinda cool.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Back in the Pink

The white thread is so yesterday ;) ...I've got the pink stuff loaded up and ready to get back into it.

And I just read Louise Cutting's Expo schedule on the Cutting Line thread at Stitcher's Guild and realized that, if I'm going to get any sewing done for the Expo, I have to do it NOW.

But I have no hot pink ready to wear in choir...

So, I'm going to finish my current tunic project, see what will be the next quickest thing to do (probably a double-layer shell from the fuschia hankie linen) and then hit my In the Trenches pattern; if I get nothing else made for this year's Expo, I want to get that done to wear to Thursday night's dinner at La Madeline's...after all, that's what the little story blurb on the envelope is about (really!).

But I promised DS that I'd take him and a buddy to see Eragon today; not sure how much I'll get done. Time to pull out the ol' speed sewing techniques and sew like the wind.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

That Malt Shoppe in the Sky....

I *did* get the capris done in time...unfortunatley, Other People in My Family managed to occupy the computer the whole day yesterday and I didn't get to post them. I thought I'd take a picture of all six of us 'Angels', but I forgot the camera, so I'll just have to have DH take a photo of mine own pants later. Rats.

Anyway, one of the other ladies FOUND THE RIGHT TRACK at Best Buy, of all places, so we were able to sing the Broadway/movie arrangement of the tune, written for Frankie Avalon instead of the re-written for High School casts version of the song, which was a higher key for a girls' ensemble. They'll return the ordered-from-the 'net disc when it gets here tomorrow.

It was a hoot. Especially in the second service, when our 'Frankie' forgot the words and kind of ad-libbed for a bit, but it worked with the whole ridiculousness of the bit (didn't I say earlier it was a parody of a spoof?). Anyway, I'm wondering how long it's going to get me to get all the teasing worked out of my hair.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Zoom zoom

The pattern was altered, the fabric washed, laid out, and cut and the thread is changed.

I'm ready to hit the machines.

I should start the timer and see how long it takes...but I'm multi tasking today and won't sew straight through. I do hope to finish those capris today, though...

And I just had an email from our Fearless Drama Leader, who just learned that the tracking info on the finally-found-at-the-last-minute Karoke version of the song we're parodying, which was supposed to arrive today according to the information she was given when she ordered it, shows delivery on Monday. AAAiiieee....we may need to do a plan B, which is a slightly different accompaniment to a modified version of the song in a key about 4 steps higher than the one we've been practicing.

This could be interesting. *shudder*

Thursday, February 15, 2007

White Capris or Bust

Ok, it's 20 degrees Fahrenheit today in North Alabama...which is okay with me; I like a little cold weather in my winters...but I have an assignment to make myself some white capris before Sunday for a parody of a spoof of a Big Musical Production Number. I'm not even going to try to explain it...I've just got to make the britches.

And I've just barely gotten a Good Start on my pink print tunic.

Which means I need to...gasp...change the thread in my sewing machine and serger from pink to white.


I've already put the project off by a day just for that reason (well, I was pretty busy yesterday doing other stuff, but I could've done a bit).

Why is it so doggone hard to make myself spend five minutes tying on and pulling through??? :rolleyes:

Actually, I still need to alter the pattern; but that's a quick project, and I still need to wash the fabric a couple more times (it's cotton twill; I want to be reasonably sure it's done shrinking), but I'm doing laundry today so I can just throw it in the appropriate loads as necessary.

So, here's the goal: pattern and fabric prepped and pants cut out today; sew them up tomorrow. Shiver and freeze in the underheated back hallway Sunday morning... and hopefully send the point home with much laughter when we actually do the foolishness onstage.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Personality Test

This is one that might actually be useful...or, at least, the logic behind it kind of helped me deal with people. Years ago I read a book (and it's sad that I don't remember the name; it was either Personality Plus by Florence Littauer, or Why You Act the Way You Do by Tim LaHaye...,or, now that I think about it, it might have been both). Apparently the ancient Greeks came up with labels for personality/temperament types to describe the differences in behavior of people, and these books describe, explain and expound upon them. In the group of folks I tend to hang around with, these are common descriptions folks give of themselves and others. And, believe it or not, it kinda helps recognize that folks relate to the world in different ways, and Suzie Q's abrupt manner may not mean she dislikes you...only that, well, that's her personality.

Anyway, the four types are:
Choleric...these are people who are most comfortable when they're in charge. They are very good leaders who are not afraid to take risks and they're good at inspiring folks to follow and support their vision. They can be narrow-minded and blunt spoken. Think of Rabbit or Lucy VanPelt.

Melancholy...these folks are motivated by order. They like details and having their ducks in a row. They are creative and introspective. They can also be overly sensitive and analytical. Examples are Eeyore, Piglet and Linus.

Phlegmatic...these are peace-lovers! They don't like to rock the boat and are very stable, calm and laid back. They get stuck in ruts easily, though, and sometimes have a hard time making decisions. Charlie Brown and Winnie-the-Pooh are both phlegmatics.

Sanguines just wanna have fun. Outgoing, friendly, frequently popular, Sanguines are also disorganized, forgetful and sometimes irresponsible. Peppermint Patty, Snoopy and Tigger are good examples of Sanguines.

The books have tests in them to determine your personality type; when I read them, I came out as strongly Sanguine with a healthy dose of Choleric. Perfect combination for a youth leader....a fun loving person who bosses other folks around...and I did youth work for years.

But, waiting backstage for our cue to do Sunday's drama, I had a conversation about personality types that got me to wondering if there was an online version of the test. And, lo and behold, I found one: Personality test. It does ask for your email, but that's to send results and there's an 'opt out' button to check if you want ONLY that email. (I DO hope they're telling the truth...). This is pretty much the test that is in the books, not a cutesy quiz. Anyway, I took it and discovered that, while I still test as mostly (48%) Sanguine, I have now become more Melancholy (25%) than Choleric (20%). I guess my artsy side has developed over the years...or, having left my youth leader position, those leadership characteristics have receded a bit.

Anyway, it was an interesting diversion!

Oh...Happy Valentine's Day (or, as my Very Sanguine son called it, "Singles Awareness Day")

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Whacha gonna do?

We're in a very active drama phase at church...we haven't quite geared up for Easter yet, but the pastor has been using drama as sermon illustrations all month. So far, costuming has not been an issue, but we're doing a song parody involving cheesy angels next Sunday, and, well, I need white capris.

Which are not in my wardrobe.

I explored some different options, but finally just broke down and spent $4.44/yd on some hefty white cotton twill from Wal-Mart last night. I'm *reasonably* confident this is not going to be excessively transparent, as white fabric is wont to be, so I don't mind...I'll have a pair of white capris for about $10 (counting the zipper), and I'm sure I'll be able to wear them some this summer.

So, I'm going to run that cotton through the wash a couple of times while I alter my Daphne Pants pattern to be capri-length.

So, it's two yards in the 'fabric purchased' column, even if I intend to get them made this week. Ah, well, couldn't be helped...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Time Warp: Ritual Cloth

Enter the Time Machine with me and travel back to June of '06, and heed the (then-on-Blogger) Sewing Divas' Call for Posts on Ritual Cloth. At that time, I scrounged around in boxes looking for a particular shirt that had been made by my grandmother and completely failed to find it. So, instead, I posted about my sewing grandmas,here and here, if you missed those posts. But, lo and behold, I did find the missing shirt and thought I would rather belatedly share it.

Grandma made shirts like this for almost all her grandchildren sometime in the 1975-1976 time frame. This shirt was meant for my sister and me to share, but it fit me better so I ended up with it. On looking at it more closely today, I can see that some of my assumptions about how she made it were not correct. I thought she'd done a variation of the stitch-and-flip crazy patch, but, since there's only one row of zig-zag stitching visible on the underlining, I believe she cut the shirt front and back pieces from the backing fabric (which, knowing Grandma, could've been old bedsheets...but the thread count looks pretty low for sheeting), then cut the scraps to size, pressed all the raw edges under, and zig-zagged them to to the underlining. The sleeves were not underlined; she cut rectangles of fabric and straight-seamed them together, then pressed the seam allowances to one side and topstitched it with a zig-zag stitch. I believe she did that to create the 'sleeve fabric', then cut the sleeves from the resulting yardage. (She may have sewn yards of that together and cut all the sleeves at once...hard to tell, now. I know she made somewhere in the vicinity of 10 shirts. It's a pity we never all wore the shirts to one of her regularly scheduled Sunday Family Dinners and took a picture.) The buttons are all the same half-ball shank style, but they are different colors.

I (and my sister...a time or two, anyway) really and truly wore that shirt in the late 70's...didn't get any strange looks, either. A few years later I used it as part of an outfit I wore as a clown for various church activities; it didn't get truly retired until the mid 90's when the preggy fluff I gained with baby #3 took up permanent residence on my body and the shirt no longer buttoned comfortably. So it could easily have been 15 years since this shirt was last actually worn on a body.

But, even though the underlining is shredding and disappearing, this is one garment that will likely hang around for a long, long time... ;)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pink Projects

I had a sudden inspiration yesterday involving this fabric, which I purchased from Louise Cutting's booth at last year's expo:

(It's not a great picture; there's no moire look to that fabric)

It was one of those 'this fabric is calling my name' deals and I had to get it, although I really didn't know what I'd make from it. It went into the stash, awaiting the siren call. Last night, as I dug through the pattern stash looking for suitable shirts for the linen and silk jacquard, I pulled
Kwik Sew 3027 and heard that call. I had made that pattern up in 2003, and found it to run a little small, in addition to needing the bust point significantly lowered, but I'd really liked it. I made the changes, then put the pattern up. When I pulled it out last night, I suddenly saw the tunic made in that busy hot pink Paris Cafe print, and I grabbed the fabric and cut it out...quick, before I changed my mind. (Anyone else do that?)

The last piece I cut, though, was the sleeves, and as I was running the rotary around the cap it suddenly struck me that it looked a little odd...then, I remembered that I'd raised the underarm about 1/2". Now, back in '03, I was just beginning my climb up this here fitting learning curve and, to be honest, now I'm not sure I did it right.

But, as I didn't even notice it until I was virtually done cutting, I guess I'm stuck with whatever I did.

I may be Very Glad this particular fabric has a generous dose of Lycra in it. ;)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Meet Gertie

Gertrude (or, as Dad called her, Gertie) arrived with my folks over the weekend. She had belonged to my grandmother, and had resided in the basement at my folks for the past 5 years or so. I don't remember Gertie; so I'm assuming Grandma got her after I moved away in 1980. She has a label scotch-taped to her shoulder that states that she is a "Tru-Shape Dress Form by Singer", Size B. I haven't had time to play with Gertie much yet, other than to tighten the nut in the base so that she was standing up straight instead of leaning over. Her front...assuming I can, er, get things to level up, so to roughly my shape, but her back is waaaayyy more curved than I am. She has a system of sliding bars and wing nuts to adjust and support her shape; don't know if a little WD-40 will make them moveable or if they're wopperjawed out of shape so badly that she's more or less what she'll be.

And, she's a little short; a good height to use while sitting in a chair, actually, which may have been what Grandma did. There appears to be a height adjustment in the support bar; I'll have to get some WD-40 on that, too, before I know if it really is an adjustment spot or just an assembly joint.

Her panels are muti-ply cardboard, and have de-laminated a little in places. I'm not sure whether the tube knit is supposed to cover the whole thing or just the lower portion...or even if it came with her originally; it doesn't quite match the fabric that covers the top panels.

But, even if I can't get her adjusted to my size and shape, if she stands up straight she could easily be the inner support for a future Duct Tape Double...hmmmm....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

*Will* There "Always be More Fabric?"

I'm feeling kinda 'Chicken Little-ish' today...

For a long time, I had a quote from Michael's Fabrics' Michael Bearman taped to my monitor to help dissuade me from making spur-of-the-moment fabric purchases:

'There will always be more fabric'.

But, now I'm beginning to wonder.

There are discussions about the demise of the Wal-Mart fabric section on both the Pattern Review boards and Stitcher's Guild, but Julie Culshaw of Timmel Fabrics had an interesting...and kind of on the Stitcher's Guild thread. In summary, she said that, since both fabric and garment manufacturing is heading overseas, fabric availability in North America is declining. Julie knows; she's in the fabric business. If the retailers are having difficulty finding fabric, it's apparent that the home sewing enthusiast could be faced with a real procurement problem in the (maybe not so distant) future. Despite the fact that fashion sewing is apparently enjoying a bit of a renewal (thank you, Project Runway!), there are still far too few of us sewing up our own garments to be anything remotely close to a market influence.

So, now I'm beginning to wonder if my anti-stashing mindset is not, after all, a Good Thing. Budget-wise, yeah, I can't continue buying fabric at the pace I was at a couple of years ago, when I first discovered the power of the Internet...but it is a little sobering to consider that it may not be there at some point in the future.

And my local Good Fabric Wal-Mart is going to go fabric-less also, although when I stopped by last night the clerk told me that they'd been told they'd be one of the last ones to close. So I don't know if I need to go in every week or so and buy up fabric (at $1/yd) for future costumes while I can still get it...

I did buy 3 pieces last night...two lengths of stretch lining, in blue and brown. The brown is for a stretch cotton twill jacket...doesn't match, but it won't clash too bad, considering it's the lining that's ok. The blue is...well, because stretch lining is hard to find and this is pretty nice. She even commented as she cut it that it was really nice stuff (Incidentally, I count lining as notions, so that didn't add to my 'fabric in' total'... ;) ) The third piece, a blue/white poly pinstripe, will be a tablecloth...and maybe something else; I just took what was left on the bolt, which was almost 3 yards. Maybe gauchos for DD...

I'll have to check in there periodically; stash moratorium or no stash moratorium...after all, what if yard goods really do go away?

Anyway, I'm *really* hoping that's just an acorn.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Connection Issues

Nothing dries up blog inspiration faster than a non-cooperating internet connection.

The video card issue prompted us to upgrade to a new box; but, since the upgrade the (dial-up) internet connection has been extremely temperamental. Like, it'll work for about 3 - 5 minutes, then suddenly quit. It doesn't exactly disconnect...everything still appears to be connected...but there is nothing coming in. Eventually, I'll get a timeout error, but I have to physically disconnect/reconnect to get the connection moving again...for another 3-5 minutes.

Which means I can view about 2 pages before going through the routine. Sure makes doing anything on the internet long and tedious.

This is, however, intermittent. I may spend a day disconnecting/reconnecting every 3 minutes, and then sit down that evening or the next day and read everything, post pictures, in general, run uninterrupted for 2 hours or more.

DH has been in contact w/our ISP people two or three times; their best guess is that somehow we've picked up some kind of virus or spyware that is hosing our connection. I've run Spybot, which didn't seem to help any; the ISP folks had DH attempt to run an online program but it wouldn't stay connected long enough to finish it.

Not sure what the outcome is going to be; this is really getting annoying. Not to mention it's cutting into my sewing time. ;)

We may have to wipe the hard drive and start over.

Grumble grumble grumble

Maybe I'll be less aggravated tomorrow ;)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Expo Happy Dance

I got my tickets yesterday for all the classes I requested and amused my visiting parents by doing the little happy dance. The only problem is that Peggy's jeans class info says "Class Supply List: bring your favorite jeans to class"...and I don't *have* favorite blue jeans; I have acceptable blue jeans.

Maybe I'll just sit in the back and watch ;)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Got Company

My folks are here; passing through on their way to visit friends in sunny Florida...I'll post pictures of my Super Bowl Sewing in a day or two. But I did finish my blue-gray tops, being one of the apparently few people in the country who would rather do about anything than watch a football game on TV (can't stand the hype...).

I've got two more knit tops in the queue to do whilst I ruminate about which pattern I'll use for the hot pink jacket; hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have made up my mind...even if I don't get to work on the knit tops ;)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

New Choir Colors

Last night, I was all ready to post a rant today about Yahoo photos and their so-called 'Smart' albums...that are virtually useless to me, as I discovered the hard way that they cannot be made public (posted the link in a review and then had folks report that they couldn't see the photos. I *Hate* that!). So I made a 'Stupid' album that could be made public and all is well...

But I got an email last night that kind of soothed the ranting spirit. The ladies will be wearing hot pink/fuschia in choir next month!!! I will get to sew some of the fabric that has been languishing in the stash, to wit:

The lighter pink is a silk/linen/rayon blend from Emma One Sock; it'll be a jacket of some sort. The other two pieces are from...guess where...Fashion Fabrics Club and will be shirts. The linen is really a hanky weight; I'm thinking The Sewing Workshop's Chopin Blouse; it has a double layer on both the front and back above the waist and should be a good candidate for a semi sheer linen. I made the blouse from a heavier linen a few years needs a little tweaking; I made a straight Medium, which is really a little big in the shoulders, but it would work. Or perhaps Hot Patterns' Purity Blouse, which is self-lined. The silk jacquard was actually purchased...10 years ago?...for an OOP Kwik Sew pattern; I might use that or I might change my mind; who knows.

I have two weeks to make up my mind, and two weeks to get something made.

May's color for ladies, however is orange.

I am slightly less pumped about that. 'Orange Fabric' is now on my Expo Shopping list...

Oh, BTW, I posted about my stash organization almost a year's here, if you're curious about how I store and keep track of the swatches.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gift Bags are DONE!

I told myself I couldn't post today until they were finished; I had to really coax the sewing machine to go through those last few bulky steps, since that stripe fabric is a bit textured and lumpy (the white stripes are woven with bulkier yarns than the blue stripes) and it took a LOT longer than I expected. But they are done...and I can surprise the rest of my friends this weekend with their long-overdue appreciation gifts. Won't that be fun!

I'll write a review of the pattern later today...right now, I'm rushing to get DS2 out the door for a winter camp-out (Brrr! Not *MY* idea of a good time...)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

*Almost* a Snow Day

We were *SO* hoping for an official 'Do Nothing Productive' day, but, alas, it was not to be. The local TV station reports that we had 1.5 - 2 inches of snow on the ground at 3 AM this morning...but then it changed over to rain and by the time it was light enough to take a photo this was all that was left. School even started on time. Now it's 34 degrees and raining...yuck.

And I've got to be productive after all... no popcorn/movies/games with the kids. Hopefully I'll finish the last two gift bags and get the review written....

This is the first visible snow accumulation we've had in Huntsville in four years; the last time it happened, DH was in Houston working the Columbia mission; the kids *did* get a snow day then.

Which brings to mind the fact that this is the four year anniversary of the loss of that ship and crew.

Just remembering.