Monday, April 30, 2007


Julie has posted the top five vote-getting SWAP wardrobes for 2007...Women from the US, Canada and Romania! Have a look: SWAP 07 There were also wardrobes completed in England, Germany and Australia! What fun it it to sew along with women from all around the globe! I should go look...did the sun ever set on the SWAP? All the ladies are to be congratulated, and I know they all will get much use from their new wardrobes.

Fabulous work!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Squeezing the Pattern

Yup, I added two more projects to the WIP list...the Donna Karan tunic (and I've got enough of that gorgeous fuschia knit to make another top...hmmm, what'll it be...) and the Vogue Wrap Dress.

Cutting the dress was an exercise in creativity and patience; I'd originally ordered two yards of the knit, with just a vague idea of making a top. Ann sent 2 1/4 yards...possibly because the print doesn't quite go all the way to the has a scant 58" of workable width. But as soon as I saw it, it said 'Wrap dress!'.

And doncha know the pattern says it requires 2 3/4 yards of 60" fabric.

Well, I've had lots of practice squeezing pattern pieces on fabric (see The Encouragement of Minor Miracles for the most recent example), so I started playing with the layout. Because the front skirt is a full pattern, cut twice, I had to use a single fabric layout for that piece, so doing a whole trial layout really wasn't practical. I took a deep breath, and started cutting. I figured if I were short, I'd just make a sleeveless dress.

But, since the fabric is the same coming and going, I could use a 'without nap' layout and I got it all on there! Barely...this is the totality of the remnants. Whew...

But I did have a real bummer happen during the cutting process...the little red thingy lying on the far side of the cutting board is a piece from my nice Martelli rotary cutter; it fell off the table and I stepped on it (I didn't hear it fall!) broke. It's the piece that holds the spring that holds the blade guard in place; I've had to tape the guard back now, just to keep it out of the way when I'm cutting. It will no longer guard the blade...yikes...

So now a new rotary cutter is on my list of Things to Get at the Atlanta Expo Next Year. If I can wait that long.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Beginning the Donna Karan tunic...

Not that I'm feeling like I'm about to run out of's just that I left the last batch of fabrics that arrived out and they're singing to me so that I decided to just go ahead and cut them out and get them in project much to hush them as anything. So, yesterday I pulled out the Vogue Donna Karan wrap tunic pattern and started comparing it to the TNT Jalie 2005 T and decided that, on the whole, I could let the uber stretchy rayon/lycra jersey handle any fit adjustments that I might need to make; it looks Close Enough for Knits. So I just cut out a straight size 10 (the largest in the envelope I had...).

Then I proceeded to pin the pattern sections together as instructed. For some reason, the right shoulder seam is eliminated by pinning the back (full back) pattern to the (large, due to the draping) right front, overlapping at the shoulder line. I did it, but discovered that this resulted in a pattern piece that was too wide to lay out on my cutting table. I tried staggering the cutting mats to make it a bit wider, but it was no go. But, as the seamline/overlap line is marked on both pieces, it's easy to add the seam allowance and cut them separately, which is what I ended up doing.

I also substituted Jalie's 3/4 length sleeve for the extra-long, meant-to-be-scrunched sleeve that was included in the Vogue pattern. When I overlapped them and saw the sleeve caps were virtually identical (again, Close Enough for Knits), I decided that a 3/4 length sleeve might make the top a little more, um, trans-seasonal and maybe slightly more on trend.

I got the top about half cut before choir last night; I'll finish it today and probably cut the wrap dress while the cutting table is set up. Don't know when I'll get to them, but I'll be glad to get them moved from laying around the den to actually in the sewing queue... ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The DVF dress

I know I planned originally to modify and use the mock-wrap Simplicity 4074 pattern for the hexagonal print, but, y'know, Hancock's had Vogue patterns on sale last weekend for about 4 bucks each, so I picked up the real McCoy...Vogue 8379. Traced and altered it 8 through the shoulders, and a 14 plus everywhere else. It was really depressing to add so much to the waistline; I'm hoping that it doesn't just look frumpy.

I'll definitely be basting-and-fitting as I go...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Frankenpattern and Hothouse Flowers

Yesterday, having finished the Tweed jacket and the cheapo cotton jersey princess t, I decided I *was* going to at least cut out the Hot House Flowers fabric, if only to get it out of the stew pot. At first, I thought I'd just go with my original intention...the Sandra Betzina top, which I traced and cut out. But, while moving some patterns around, I came across Butterick 4604 and a lightbulb went off...I could morph the too-low neckline with my TNT Vogue 7799 (which I had morphed with the shoulders/sleeves of the Loes Hinse Cowl top right from the beginning). So, beset with enthusiastic inspriation, I put the nicely traced Betzina pattern away and began morphing.

First, I matched the CF and the waistline of the altered Vogue pattern to the left front (underlap side) of the Butterick pattern and discovered that the shoulders of the Butterick pattern extended a long way (about 1 1/2") above the shoulders on the Vogue pattern. That kind of shook me for a moment, but, hey, the Vogue is a TNT so I took a deep breath and traced the armsceye, shoulder and neckline of the Vogue, then cut away the extra. I did one of the back pieces next, again, matching the CB and the waistline mark on the old pattern and the new pattern; the shoulders were a little higher on the Butterick, but not as much as on the front (first hint that there may have been a drafting error in the Butterick pattern). Then, I traced the new back piece off onto the other side of the back, matched the seam lines and taped the two pattern pieces together to eliminate the back seam and the zipper. Finally, I traced the left front armsceye/shoulder/neckline onto the right front armsceye/shoulder/neckline, and found out that the center front mark on the right front is not vertical; it's not on a 45 degree angle to the marked grainline (the garment is intended to be made from a lightweight woven fabric, with the fronts cut on the bias). I really think that's a boo-boo; I pretended it was vertical and matched it up to the underlap layer as if it were. I made an actual pattern for the neckline band I've used on 7799 (normally, I just use my straightedge ruler and cut it to just a little less length than the foldover collar) and finally I just traced another copy of my Cowl Top cap sleeve to put in the envelope with the new whacked up Butterick pattern; put the fabric on the table and began cutting (after noting which side of the fabric should be up...the palm trees need to be upright!).

Except for the gathering on the side, this went together pretty much just like I would assemble the 7799 top. I used clear elastic to gather the side up; I thought it would give me more even gathers than the baste-and-pull-thread method. And, because the fabric was so lofty it did NOT want to press, so I hand basted all the hems down before I double needle top stitched them.

But...when sewing the sideseams, I found that the back was an inch longer than the front! Somehow, the weirdness at the shoulder seams threw the length off. There was nothing for it but to whack the back to match the front, and my top is shorter than the ones pictured on the front of the envelope.

The gathers on the side of my top (and, I think, the one photographed on the front of the Butterick pattern) are not as pronounced as the pattern illustrations or the line drawings show; it just looks sort of fluffy along the short side. This may be because there aren't enough gathers, or because the fabric is a little too light and lofty. But, it'll do for the purpose for which I need it. Orangey tones are not particularly good for me anyway, but I need Orange Stuff for choir next month so I'll wear it at least a little!

And I will remember to walk the seam lines of all morphed patterns before cutting anything... ;)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

SWAP Voting

SWAP 2007 is officially over; there were 31 ladies who each made coordinating wardrobes of 11 garments. I didn't participate this year...although I have the three previous years...but, as a member of the Stitcher's Guild forum, I get to vote for the prize recipients (I started to say 'winners', but, really, every one of those 31 ladies is a winner). In fact, anyone who is a registered member of SG is invited to vote, so please take a little time and check out this year's SWAP wardrobes and see the SWAP discussion at SG for instructions on how to send in your vote. And, even if you're not an SG member, the wardrobes are definitely worth the time to look through them.

But how on earth does one decide which three are the best? And then rank them?? You'll know what I mean when you look; they're all amazing displays of talent, creativity and tenacity! And they have gotten better every year.

I don't know how everyone else comes up with their top three, but I have made an effort to be objective. When the first SWAP voting happened (I participated in that one but didn't finish on time), I made an Excel spreadsheet with some criteria on it to which I could give a point value, depending on how well I perceived that that wardrobe had met the SWAP criteria. NOTE: this is not a suggestion as to how everyone else should do it; it's just the only way I could be happy with myself that I was being as fair as I could.

The first item...can I see the garments in the photos? This is more a tie-breaker than anything, but some of the wardrobes are shown kind of bunched up and it's very difficult to tell what's what. Some are styled and some are just kind of hung on doors...that's not the big point. I just want to be able to see what I'm supposed to be judging.

The second item...does this follow the SWAP guidelines? There are two wardrobe options, recognizing that folks have different lifestyle needs, but they both have criteria as to what should coordinate. For instance,the traditional SWAP wardrobe consists of four bottoms (skirts or pants...or shorts or culottes, whatever), six tops (at least two of which need to be more than mere t-shirts), and a jacket (that could be a shrug, a vest, a duster...just a top layer), and must incorporate at least one garment that has a print or pattern. The second year I did the SWAP, my wardrobe contained a shirt/jacket. It worked well with all the bottoms, but I couldn't wear the wardrobe jacket over it. That's worked for my lifestyle and actually gets worn a lot...but it doesn't meet the SWAP guidelines. It's not a value judgment; but a wardrobe that has a jacket that can be worn with all the tops will score higher here than one that, like mine, has a top or two that really doesn't work with the jacket. So...I've got points awarded for how well the jacket works with the tops, and another for how well the tops work with the bottoms (that's modified a little for the dress swap...)

The third item involves 'Julie's Twist'...that is, she always includes some little requirement that pulls a little more creativity out of the participants. This year's requirement was that one garment had to be reversible. I get two point values out of for creativity and one for execution. Reversible garments can be really 'loving hands at home' looking if they're not well executed.

The next criteria is on the use of a print (or a plaid or a stripe...fabric w/a pattern of some sort), a requirement for the SWAP. Does it go with the solids? Is it there? Is the garment suitable for the print?

Finally, I throw in points for my overall impression...are the colors good together? Does the style of the garments all work together?

I used a 7 - point rating system: 0, the element isn't there or isn't visible; 1, it's there, but it doesn't really work; 2-3, ok, that works ; 4 -5, that's good and finally 6 - 7, wow, that really looks good.

Out of 49 possible points, I ended up with 10 SWAPs scoring from 44 to 47 when I went through them yesterday...and I had to be very picky or I've had a handful of perfect scores. Obviously, this isn't a magic formula! I'm going to go back over the top 10 again...and I'm going to have to eliminate some very, very good work based on some piddly detail, which makes me sad...but, ultimately, this isn't about who can do the fanciest stitching on the most elegant fabric, or who has the technical know-how to post fabulous's about who creates the most wearable wardrobe.

That's probably going to be the tie - breaker...wearability....

It is great to get to take such a long look at some very excellent sewing; I just hope folks aren't overwhelmed by the idea of trying to select and rank three swaps as the most outstanding and give up. Please, please vote if you're a SG member! How you pick is up to you...but these ladies have worked hard and are certainly deserving of a little bit of objective consideration from the rest of us. Last year's SWAP was written up in Australian Stitches; it's a good promotional tool for home sewing to see that ordinary women can dress themselves...and do it well.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's Monday...

If I were writing another blog, and were someone else, with a totally different lifestyle, I might say I was hung over. But, being me in my life, I think I'm fighting off some kind of low-level viral thing. Ick. So, despite the long 'to do' list for the day, I may not get much accomplished.

But I did get some work done over the weekend! All the pink jacket needs now is buttonholes/buttons and c'est fini! DH is out of town on business, though, so I'm not sure if I'll get a postable picture from one of the dkids or not. We'll see.

And I'm still waffling over what to make from the Hothouse flowers knit. While the fabric type and drape would be really good for the Betzina top I'm leaning towards, I'm starting to think I want a simpler style, to let the print sing. Maybe a simple asymmetric hemmed tunic? (I know, I know, asymmetry is supposed to be Out...but I like it!). I need to make up my mind; I will be making the orange stuff soon and this qualifies.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Resurrection Sunday 2007

I finally got the photos...of course, I'm seeing every little incorrect detail when I'm looking at them, but in the flurry and motion of the moment, I don't think they were as noticeable. I hope. ;)

There's also a photo of the combined adult/Huntsville Master's Commission choir; that's a glimpse of what we look like in this month's colors...lavender and black...on the temporary stage at the civic center.

All photos courtesy of Jerry Strickland...thanks, Jerry!!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Making Progress

...on the pink jacket. The lining's done, and the shell is done to the sleeves, which are constructed. A couple of more hours and I'll have a new jacket! Hopefully I'll get at least an hour in later today.

Then it's on to the ORANGE STUFF...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fabric IN...

It always comes in lumps, for some reason. I made a trip to Hancock's yesterday to get some orange thread and catch the Vogue Pattern sale (brought home three: 2966, 8398 and 2925) and found a 3 1/4- yard length of B. Black and Sons black wool gabardine marked 60% off. Contrary to Erin's Rules for Buying Fabric, I like to stash black, as I need to have so much in the closet for choir from the September to May each year, and I never know when something's going to come up with a problem (like my favorite black textured Tencel Oxford pants, in which the fold of the hem suddenly split at Christmas) and need to be replaced, or if I'll just suddenly get Sick to Death of what is currently in the closet and need something new to perk things up. So I've learned to buy quality black fabric whenever I find it.

Then I came home and discovered that both outstanding mail-order purchases had arrived....and both vendors (Michael and Ann) had sent VERY GENEROUS cuts of the fabric I'd ordered; one was nearly double. Was I pleased! Of's marvelous fabric and it *will* get used. And, to my wonderment, the green I ordered from Michael (which is currently in the washing machine and therefore not pictured) looks pretty good with that lavender and green hexagonal print from Ann. I smell a jacket...

Anyway, the brain at once went to work to see what pattern would go with what fabric at the first available opportunity, and I think I've got the knits matched:

The orange/red hothouse flowers knit is an *amazing* piece of fabric; it's very lightweight and floaty, not knit-like at all, yet it drapes very nicely. I'd follow Ann's suggestion and make a skirt if I didn't need it to be a top for choir. But I think it'll make up very nicely in Vogue 2945. I'm going to check how it drapes just a little more before I cut it out, but that looks like a real possibility.

The hexagonal is a poly/lycra matte jersey; it's destined to be Simplicity 4074; the pattern is for a mock-wrap dress, but I think it would be easy to make it a true wrap; just do the right front twice.

I *think* I'm going to use the fuschia rayon/lycra jersey to make Vogue 2064 (the one w/both shoulders...). There's been some chatter about this pattern on the boards, and I've been meaning to make it from *something*...that fabric should be about perfect in weight and drape. But the pattern needs some, um, serious adjusting before I tackle it.

So...I've got to get busy and sew now to get back to parity...(and I still haven't counted a big piece of fabric Miss A gave me a couple of weeks ago...maybe I'm afraid to see how much is there...)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

To Nashville and back

The kids arrived back from Iceland last night; there was a glitch in the system, though, and the four who were on different flights (including The Eye Rolling Teen Son) ended up w/a delay that put them later than the rest of the group. So, DH being approaching sick, I got elected to drive to Nashville and pick them up. They got in just before midnight, minus their luggage, and ravenously hungry. So, including the time spent dealing w/luggage that didn't make the connection, a slight detour (couldn't see the road sign because I was behind a semi and missed an exit) and some time at Steak N Shake while they fried up some to go chow, then delivering them to their apartments on the other side of town, it was after 3 before I made it to my bed.

On my way out of the Rocket City, I stopped at Starbucks and ordered a double shot Grande (the big one) Vanilla Latte. The barrista asked if I really wanted a double shot, since the Grande already had two; double would be four shots.

Yes, I really wanted the double!!! And needed every drop of it...

But DS has kept me up w/delivery issues before; he was born shortly after 5 AM 19 years ago today...didn't get much sleep that night, either ;)

April 19,1988

Nov. 2006

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Not Again

My heart goes out to the student body, faculty, staff and alumni of Virginia Tech and all their families.

No words sound right; only prayers.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Next project dreaming

It just never fails!
I cut out a BUNCH of stuff...have a nice queue waiting to be sewn...and I can't get to the sewing machine because, well, life maintenance is behind.

So, whilst I'm trying to catch up what has been undone, ignored and postponed, what do you suppose I'm doing? Thinking about those lovely things that are cut and ready to sew?

Nah...I'm planning NEW STUFF!

I have some knits on order from Gorgeous Things (there was a glitch in shipping, but I think it's ok and should be here today or tomorrow), along with one of the pieces of printed slinky that I got at the Expo this year, that I really don't have more than a vague notion of what I want to make. Suddenly, I got a brainstorm...wouldn't any of those knits look absolutely smashing made up in Textile Studio's Manhattan Dress? The only problem is that I do not have this pattern.

Now, given the fact that I've got a ton of sewing ready and waiting, ordering the pattern really wouldn't be too much of a problem; it'd likely be here before I was ready to start cutting anyway. But the frugal, challenge-loving side of my brain has kicked in and, instead of ordering the pattern, I'm seriously considering turning the v-neck shell from Loes Hinse's Sweater Set into a Manhattan Dress knock-off; all it really would take is about 20" added to the length of the top.

From reading all the reviews for the Manhattan Dress, I believe the neckline finish on the dress is different (and less's not topstitched) than the turned-and-stitched neckline on the V neck shell, but that's a minor difference. I can forgo the invisible neckline in favor of the pleasure of doing a dress myself.

Maybe I'll make one my way, then order the dress pattern and see how much different it really is... ;)

Monday, April 16, 2007

It'l be there when I get there

After my cutting marathon last weekend, this week will likely have very little sewing; I've GOT to spend hours at the computer doing budget related stuff(I'm not even going to tell you how behind it is...and we're switching to a new budget program, so there's extra stuff to do). I got a message that there is a cd w/photos from the Easter service waiting for me at the reception desk at church; I've got to begin the 'clean the costumes' process, so I'll hopefully get that picked up and have some nice pictures to show you in the next couple of days.

I managed to get a little sewing done on the lining of the pink jacket over the weekend; the back's done, the sleeves are done; if I can find 30 minutes or so to sew today I'll get the lining finished off, then it's on to the fun part. ;)

It's nice to know that I have work waiting on me, when I catch a few minutes here and there...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Bodacious Queue

Yesterday, I looked at the pile of fabric that I had waiting to be cut and I thought about picking up everything...y'know, neatening the house up...before I cut it out. But that would mean putting away the cutting set up, too, and who knows when it would get back out. And I had begun sewing the last thing in the queue...I needed something to move on to, or I'd be stuck mending when the pink jacket's done. And, on top of that, I need orange for choir in three weeks.

So, I decided to spend yesterday cutting; then, I could put everything away and clean house today.

Boy, did I cut:

-- 2 Jalie 2005 T's from (um, traffic cone)orange cotton lycra; one for me, because I need it for choir next month, and one for DD, because orange is her favorite color
-- Sewing Workshop's (discontinued) Thai Coat from the orange/yellow/ multi butterfly batik/tie-dye cotton twill purchased from Vogue Fabrics at the Expo last month
-- Cutting Line Designs Stars in Heaven tunic from the remnants of the teal rayon/linen left from the In the Trenches set
--Vogue 8323 princess-seamed t from some really cheap orange/pink/yellow tie dye-look cotton jersey
--Cutting Line Designs Farewell to Arms skirt from the gorgeous floral rayon I got from Louise, also at last month's Expo
-- Loes Hinse's City Dress, from some Batik Butik rayon purchased two years ago from Timmel Fabrics.

I'd say that will keep me busy for a while. That's seven garments, totaling 12 3/8 yards. Whew!

I've realized that the cutting is key; if something's cut, it will get sewn...eventually...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Adding Labels

Since the move to new Blogger, I've been slowly updating my early posts and adding search labels to them. For some reason, some of them get flagged as updated and others don't...for instance, yesterday I added the label 'literary efforts' to three posts, but only two of them got picked up by the syndicator as updates. Weird, huh?

Anyway, those of you (um, thirty something?) who subscribe to the blog will notice (or probably have noticed) some old posts showing's because I've added labels to them.

To complicate matters, as I've added the labels, I've almost decided that I don't like some of them and they may get changed.

Anyway, just a heads up that the feeds may show a lot of activity on old posts over the next few weeks or so while I take care of some blog housekeeping ;)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Pink Tweed is coming off the WIP list!

Within a week or so, I hope! So what if all I managed to do yesterday was change the thread and sew the center back seam (and pleat) of the lining...and I'll do good to get about that much done again today...but at least thread is going in!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Resisting the Siren Song

You'd think the last thing I'd want to do right now is sew.

But it's what is tempting me and calling me away from all those things that got behind and neglected while we got ready for the Easter service.

Tomorrow will be my first 'no pressure, no excursions' day in absolute ages, and I need to spend it scrubbing and sorting and folding and organizing and throwing away and disinfecting. *Pout*. What I *want* to spend it doing is tracing and cutting and dreaming and maybe even actually running the machines a bit.

Anyone with me on this?

I'm looking at the SWAPs as they're coming in to land and, oh, my, what inspiration!

And I'm looking at some fabric I pulled and put on the cutting table a lifetime ago...what inspiration!!

And I'm looking at the muslin for my FSG 1945 jacket...the one I did last fall that is still awaiting its transfer to the pattern and the first real jacket...what inspiration!!!

And the cut out, fused, ready-to-sew tweed jacket has been calling to me even longer...and that's past inspiration onto frustration ;).

Focus, Lisa, focus. DH will be camping with Royal Rangers this weekend; that's prime sewing time.

I promise myself I'll sew SOMETHING semi-frivolous over the weekend...(i.e., something not needed for church at all).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What about that Pink Tweed Jacket?

It's been in the 'WIP' column since, oh, July? Ever since the choir colors changed and I didn't need it...but it's cut out, the lining is cut out; I think I've even got the interfacing fused on.

So I'm actually thinking I might pull that out and see if I can get some progress made here and there whilst I do laundry and work on the budget and prepare my Bible study lesson and scrub the kitchen floor and...and...

After all, ya gotta take a break sometime.

I finished off the sleep pants/shorts/tank, mostly just to get them out of the way, before I changed the thread and mended DD's jeans yesterday (HMC is heading to Iceland today; first thing on their schedule, after a bit of sleep, is meeting the mayor of Reykjavik. Well, now! They'll be ministering with/at a church called Krossin). Anyway, after I finished, I looked at those pants that DD pronounced ridiculously, embarrassingly small and, just for grins, tried them on. I expected something that looked like leggings, but they really didn't. Ok, the panty lines were quite pronounced, but that was about all that was objectionable. They're knit...they stretch...and they're for sleeping in.

So I put them in my drawer. I guess I'm just not as picky about my sleep clothes ("Mom! We hang out in our PJs all the time!").

Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Regroup

It was a good service.
It was an exhausting weekend. Move out, setup, rehearsals, service, tear down, put away...Saturday was from 9 AM - 8:15 PM, Sunday was from 7:30 AM - 2:45 PM.

But, oh, my goodness...the service. The VBC set up 3500 seats. I expected them to be about 80% full. I did not expect them to have to bring in extra seats. It was a full house. The dramatic bits all worked...costume changes, remote dressing areas and all.
Kudos to Miss A, who made liners for 12 offering baskets at the absolute last minute (there is a bit of a story there!).

I didn't get my camera to anyone to take pictures, but I did talk to one of the amateur photographers at church who had brought his camera; hopefully, I'll get a few of the photos he took to show here. But DH did manage to get a photo of DD in her new top. The picture looks more wrinkled than the top did in person; at least some of the wrinkling is because the knits of her two tops are adhering a bit. I'm not sure I would've layered it like that, but, the colors were black and lavender and it was COLD yesterday...

Today I will be mending; she has brought me about 4 pairs of jeans with inconvenient holes that must be fixed before she goes to Iceland so that she actually has clothes to take. So the next batch of sewing...which will likely be orange stuff, as I've not heard that we're changing from the original plan...will get put off until the weekend. Gotta catch up on all the stuff that got dropped while we sewed.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

He is Risen!

Belated Resurrection rights, that should come first thing in the morning. But, as the reality of the Resurrection did not really hit the disciples until that evening, I guess I'm not too late to extend my wishes for all who stop by here to experience the joy of that reality.

He is risen, indeed!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Sewing IS Fashion"

Sewing for your (older) children is SO rewarding...(snort).

I talked to DD at lunchtime yesterday, telling her I'd like her to stop by the house in the evening so I could test fit *my* flannel Burda one-seam pants and have an idea of whether I should size down for her or not, and she told me that she'd been thinking...she had planned to take her (exceedingly ugly, IMHO) basketball shorts as goof-off wear, but there is snow forecast for Iceland next week, so she decided to just use her basketball shorts for sleepwear. End of sleep pants problem, for the moment.

That still left us with her need for a lavender shirt to wear Sunday morning as part of the combined choir. I had cut out and begun assembly of the scoop neck version of Simplicity 4076, but she didn't sound at all optimistic that it would work. So I persuaded her to come home so we could check it; I mean, if it didn't work she was going to have to go shopping today.

Wonder of wonders, she said it 1) fit and 2) was kinda cute. But I could not get her to put it on for a review photo. She argued that she wasn't made up for a photo; that we could get a *good* picture Sunday, when she had the shirt all accessorized and fashionable.

I rather exasperatedly offered that this was a sewing photo, not a fashion photo, so accessories really wouldn't matter. She gave me an equally exasperated look, and uttered words worth quoting, if surprising coming from her..., "Sewing IS fashion!"

So the best I could do was put the top sorta close to her. I don't know if we'll get a good picture of it actually on her Sunday or not; it's going to be a very busy day, and I'll probably give my camera to a non-choir friend (I hope) so we can get some pictures of the costumes in the dramatic bits.

I told her she really needs to let me sew for her more often, so I have a good idea of what size she needs and what adjustments I need to make. She just rolled her eyes....

Friday, April 06, 2007

An Aggravating Knit

I got both DD's one-seam sleep pants and my sleep shorts done to the hems; held up DD's and thought, wow, that looks small.

So I took it to drama practice with me last night; she was working on another project for HMC so I was able to get her to try them on.

She said they were too small, she wouldn't even walk out of the bathroom so I could *see* how much too small. I guess I'll hem them later and stick them into the box of clothes that younger DD has inherited from various sources and will grow into someday. Well, I thought, I just underestimated her size. She's not two sizes smaller than me after all.

Then I came home and tried on my shorts...from a pattern I've made several times, which fits fine. Those doggone shorts were, um, pretty snug. I think I can sleep in them, but no way would I wear them anywhere where I'd be *seen*.

Wazzup with that?

Now, the striped jersey was not nice to play curled and twisted, and I had a hard time laying it out so the stripes matched/ran straight. I think I must have stretched it out in trying to get it square and, after it was cut, the fabric relaxed back.

ETA: After thinking it over,suddenly, she remembers...the fabric was just a little too narrow when folded in half for me to place the one-seam pattern in my TNT size on it, so I fudged it in a half inch or so, thinking the stretch in the knit would allow me to cut it slightly smaller. HA!!! WRONG!!!

So maybe it wasn't completely the fabric's fault after all, and in my head I'm hearing the song lyrics,'Stupid, that was one could say that that was smart....' :rolleyes:

I think my pj's will end up with something usable, if not as cute as I had thought, and DD's will eventually get worn by her younger sister, but that doesn't solve the problem of getting DD something to take to Iceland. So, today I will pull some plaid flannel from the stash and try again...with a larger pattern. I may just lengthen my size; better a little big and baggy than too snug ;)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Just Keep Sewing

So, I'm rolling the edges of the altar blankets today.

Then I need to start sewing up the cutting I did yesterday; I cut a pair of jersey Burda One-Seams for DD for her sleep pants, and also the scoop neck version of Simplicity 4076 from a lightweight lavender cotton/lycra. When I told DD I'd cut out a lavender top for her, her response was, "I'm not going to lie...I'm afraid." If it fits, it'll be cute, but as she rarely allows me to sew for her I don't have a good feel for what fits her. I cut a ten, and will use 3/8" seam allowances for a bit of ease and lengthened it 2 1/2", but I'm crossing my fingers. Her overwhelming confidence in my ability to actually make something cute is *so* encouraging...(koff koff). Anyway, she needs that stuff really quick, so it'll be first up after the rolled edges.

And, while I was cutting, I went ahead and cut the rest of those two fabrics into garments for my wardrobe: I cut a banded-neckline, cap sleeve version of my TNT Vogue 7799 from the lavender, and I squeezed a much-needed sleep set (NSS shorts and a cropped tank top) from the remnant of the jersey I used for her sleep pants. I still need to cut the floral print skirt; if I can manage to get that cut out, it'll be sewn the moment the last stitch on the stuff for DD is in.

But all deacons are expected to help with the load out of the church/load into the civic center/set up Saturday morning, so things will be ready for the rehearsals in the afternoon...first choir, then drama. And the two younger Dkids are planning to dye eggs sometime this weekend, too.

So I may or may not get the skirt done. But I suppose it's not that big of a deal; I'll only be in street clothes for choir; then the rest of the service will be in costume.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Next Up

I've got the altar blankets distributed; one of the bolts was a bit short of what was labeled on the end (Wally World had just done their inventory and I told the lady I'd believe the end labels...well, one was right and one wasn't) so now I'm trying to decide if I need to get a bit more fabric or not. We were asked to make 26 - 30, and we will have exactly 26, so I guess we're good. I'm going to roll the edges tomorrow and then, hopefully, I'll be done with church sewing for the week.

But...HMC is going to Iceland next week for 10 days of ministry. If I can find out exactly where they'll be, I'll post it...I know I have had at least one person from Reykjavik drop by here from time to time. I know they'll be doing a TV broadcast for Gospel Channel Europe while they're there, but I don't know when it will be aired. (GCE airs our church services at 10:30 pm on Sundays and Wednesdays...but I don't know what time zone the '10:30 pm' is in ;) The Easter productions should be aired in the next couple of weeks or so). But I digress! My point was that she needs some PJ pants really bad, since they will be staying with host families while they're there and her PJ pants are, um, seriously worn. So I spent what time I had yesterday tracing the Burda One-Seams in a size or two smaller and a couple inches longer than I wear and I plan to get her some knit sleep pants made in the next couple of days. Plus, HMC will be joining us for choir again,and this time they are asking them to wear lavender. DS hasn't said anything to me about needing a shirt, but DD has expressed a need for a lavender shirt. So I'm thinking Jalie 2005 in some lavender cotton/lycra that's in the stash...

*Maybe* I'll get my multi-floral-on-black print that I got from Louise at the expo turned into a skirt that I can wear by Sunday...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It Was Inevitable...

How many trips have I made to the fabric store since March 12, purchasing *only* stuff for church sewing??? I don't even know...but I do know that each time uses a bit of resistance and willpower, and sooner or later all of it will be used up and...fabric comes home with me. Yesterday it was a crisp fuschia linen-look that was labeled as poly/cotton, but certainly *felt* like it had a bit of linen in it. I got enough for a sheath dress (at 2.95/yd, I didn't feel too bad), but I'm going to wash it well first to see if the crisp goes away with the sizing. If it does, well, I'll do something different.

Add to that the kind of background frustration that builds when I'm looking at fabric and patterns in my sewing room...that I can't sew because I'm sewing other stuff...and the availability of lovely stuff on the computer that I somehow keep looking at (bad, Lisa, bad)...and somehow it turns into 'I've been working so hard, I've earned a pretty piece of (fill in the blank).'

Or maybe three pretty pieces of knits, from Ann at Gorgeous Things. (Should I include the link? Be an enabler? Oh, shoot, why not... Gorgeous Fabric)

On the way to my house now are two yards each of Hot House Flowers Red acetate/lycra knit (orange is required for choir next month...), Fuschia rayon/lycra jersey knit and Stylized Hexagonal Print Jersey. That's a poly/lycra blend, which I normally don't care for, but the print was so pretty that I decided to try it.

So that's a total of 8.5 yards that will be taking up residence in the stash, which will bump me up over parity...unless I sew something quick.

Maybe I'll indulge that urge to cut and sew for me whilst I'm finishing up those altar blankets...can't let myself fall behind parity, right? ;)

Monday, April 02, 2007

The next hot project....

I think I've mentioned this before, but, being a Pentecostal-charismatic sort of congregation, there are times when people fall down in services...usually at the altar, when they are receiving personal ministry . (I'm not wandering off into the theological implications or whether or not it's a good thing; but it's a fact that it happens). So, we use small blanket-type things to cover these folks until they feel like they can get up. And, sometimes folks(guys and gals) come up and kneel, not realizing that the garments they're wearing become a little more revealing in the back side when they kneel and lean forward. So the blankets get used there, too. we have a need for blankets. And do you know, we apparently have an altar blanket black hole alongside the costume black hole...I've no idea how many of these things I've done (my guess is somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty) in the past five years, but once again they can't find more than just a handful. So, in the interest of being prepared for whatever might happen in our special Easter service, we've been asked to make 26 - 30 more this week.

These aren't difficult...45 or 54 inch fabric, ripped to 45 inch lengths and serger rolled along the raw edges. But they do take *some* time, and doing 30 would be a substantial effort. So I've sent the word out to the sewing ladies; I'm hoping I'll get three serger-owner/operators who'll volunteer to do a few; if 4 of us work on them, that would only be 8 - 10 apiece, which is one afternoon or a couple of evening's worth or work.

And, I still need to go out in search of another 8 or so packages of 1/4" eyelets to finish out the rest of the soldier costumes, so it shouldn't be impossible to find some appropriate fabric (I need about 36 total yards, but it doesn't all have to be the same).

So...the sewing of the Expo fabric will get postponed just a little longer...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Palm Sunday

Yesssss!!!! Everyone was onstage, in costume, at the appropriate time! And, judging by the comments I heard, it was a good presentation.

I gave my digi camera to a friend to take some photos of the event...but the camera got stuck in 'review' mode and she wasn't able to get any.

I do have one photo that I snapped of the back hall in between services. It's not very informative, but you can see the rack with the soldier costumes in the foreground:

Next Sunday we will be having one service at the civic center; dunno if I'll manage to get photos there or not. We'll see.

And we have another 'hot project' to do this week...but I'm NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT until tomorrow ;)