Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Now THAT'S a Queue!

I wouldn't let myself post today until I finished cutting...I actually got FOUR more tops out of the two pieces of fabric I had left to cut(although I had to piece the silk jacquard a bit for the second one from that fabric).

So the final WIP total is 49.875 yards...which is 3/8 yard MORE than I bought on that parity-destroying trip to Sir's. Once I realized that I was close to cutting as much as I bought that day, that became my goal. After all, that's what parity sewing is about, right...what comes in is what goes out.

But I've never had more than half a dozen or so projects in the queue at any given time (costuming excepted, of course...that's always a team effort). This is going to be very interesting, as I've told myself NO MORE FABRIC until I've sewn all this stuff.

The only exception would be if it's a choice between buying fabric and making something quick or going out and getting something from RTW. If I *have* to have a garment, I might allow myself some slack. But no more stashing!

Now to clean up the mess, organize the sewing room, and put green thread in the serger. I need the green jacket for choir next month, so it's First Up. ;)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Still Chopping

But I'm almost done! There's a silk blouse on the cutting table...this fabric was purchased for this specific pattern in 1998!

High time it was made up, doncha think? :rolleyes:

Then I'm cutting the Neue Mode Shirt (the spread collar view!)from white cotton/lycra shirting I got from Timmel Fabrics last year, and I'm calling it a Full Queue.

I confess, I have given priority to garments that use a lot of fabric...I have two skirts cut from bias tiers. That ate a lot of a cotton shirting I bought years ago to make Family Outfits. Needless to say, at this point, the 21 year old and the 19 year old would rather wear barrels than Matching Family Shirts and Jumpers Made by Mom. So now it is a tiered bias skirt for me, one for DD the Younger, and a shirt for My Sweet Baboo. And there's still several yards of it left. I'm starting to wonder if it might make a nice tablecloth, too... ;)

And there's the 8.5 yard pants I mentioned yesterday...a faux wrap skirt, Butterick 4803, that I cut from 1) the pink fabric I found from Miss A and a pink/red/multi on black floral semi-sheer rayon crepe that I got in a Fabric Mart bundle last year.

There's more stuff I'd like to cut, but I'm getting down to things that need pattern alterations so I'm going to quit with the white blouse and clean up my (very big) mess.

Right now, I'm at 44 1/4 yards cut and waiting to be sewn; I'm thinking it'll be another 5 yards when I'm done. Assuming I don't buy anymore fabric, when that's all sewn I'll be less than 3 3/4 yards from parity.

WHEN that's all sewn...

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Ok, whaddya do when there's TONS of fabric to be turned into clothes and accessories? The recent acquisitions were rapidly taking over living space; time to do something. The answer, to quote Redhead is to CHOP!

And chopping is what I've been doing this week.

The criteria were simple...fabric and pattern must both be prepared (although I fudged it just a bit by quickly making the adjustments to my Daphne pants that Cynthia Guffey pinned out in the Pants Tweaking class at this year's Expo).

Most of the garments were things that I've been intending to make for ages but just haven't gotten around to. But...if it's cut, it'll get sewn.

Current total: 25 5/8 yards In Progress. That's well over half the discrepancy between 'yards in' and 'yards out'. I still need a white blouse...and I have a patten and fabric both prepped for it...so I expect to cut a little more before I call it quits and clean the cutting area, er, family room.

I'm taking the queue building to extreme here, but I'm tired of looking at fabric that should be wearable garments by now. ;)

ETA: still cutting; I found a chunk of fabric Miss A gave me back during Easter Costume construction that I kinda forgot to count. So the 'In' column is up by 7 yards. But I've cut out a pair of one seams...four times...from layers of chiffon. That's 8.5 yards for one pair of pants. The sample that inspired me was in Louise Cutting's booth in Atlanta; she'd made hers from silk chiffon. Beautiful, but my budget couldn't handle silk. At least I managed to get some nice quality poly... ;)

Anyway, with a skirt on the table now, another one waiting to hit the table and my white blouse still to go, I'm up to 36.5 yards in progress.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oldie but Goodie

The Copyright date on this pattern is 1986; I'm not sure when I purchased it, but I actually made it in 1989...in fact, I purchased my serger when I was about halfway finished. The fabric is a denim tapestry-type weave from Piece Goods Shop; it was about $10/yd, which, to me at that time, was a HUGE fabric investment. I remember having the most difficulty trying to decide which side I wanted 'out'...I finally compromised by using the dark side for the body of the jacket and the light side for the lapels and pockets (The line on the pattern represents where I whacked it to better suit my 5'4" self). I've made the jacket about 4 times, but only the denim one has stood the test of time. The others just plain wore out.

Believe it or not, I still wear it...1" shoulder pads and all...and frequently get compliments.
Makes me feel a little better about my most recent novelty denim purchase...at $35/yd, that's a HUGE fabric investment now. But, if I'll still be wearing it 18 years from now, it'll definitely be worth it!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The PR Quilt Square

I'm postponing the report on cutting a little...as the WIP list grows incrementally ;)...
Pattern Review recently passed the 100,000 member mark, and to commemorate the event, there's a quilt being voluntarily assembled and quilted by one of the members from squares submitted from any PR member who has a desire to do so. It will be given as an appreciation gift to Deepika, PR's founder. The deadline for sending the squares off is July 31, so yesterday I decided it was time to do mine.

Now, although I really do want to make at least one quilt someday,I'm not a quilter. And,I don't have any embroidery capability on any machine, but I wanted it to kind of be unique.

I also have a personal quilt philosophy that quilts should be 1) made from scraps and 2) look hand crafted.

I think I succeeded on both points... ;)
My square is made from scraps from the Eyelet Projects...the blue base fabric is from Michael's and the eyelet is from Gorgeous Fabrics, both sources that I never would have found had I not joined up at PR 5 years ago...it was my door to the internet sewing community. So I figured that would be an appropriate square from me...

And about the embroidery...well, before I stuck it in the envelope I twice tried to pick up my initials from the square, thinking that little squiggly black line was a loose thread!

It'll be fun to see what the finished product looks like.

OFF TOPIC: If you need some Happy News, I have some dear friends who are in China right now at the culmination of months and months of prayer and preparation to give an abandoned Chinese baby a home. They've been posting daily about their experience, with photos of their new addition. Just thought I'd share it with anyone who's interested...Journey to Sadie Beixi

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I know that smell....

So, I'm on, like, a cutting frenzy this week (more on that tomorrow). You can check out the list of WIPs on the side to see what I've been up to.

But I'm also engaging in the eternal pursuit to have the budget and the laundry caught up(I'm sure one of those things was the inspiration for the Sisyphus myth). So several pieces of recent fabric acquisitions have been moving through the laundry...some more than once...so they'll be all needle-ready by the next cutting marathon. One of those pieces was the black and white micro-houndstooth remnant (the one that was sold by the pound) that I picked up at Baer fabrics. I thought it was a poly-rayon-lycra and washed it accordingly. It went through with several other pieces of 'wash cold/delicate cycle' things. Imagine my surprise when I opened the washer and was confronted with a very strong...kinda familiar...odor. I pulled each thing from the washer to see if it was causing the odor, all the while trying to identify that smell. Just as I was pulling the houndstooth out, I remembered.

It's the smell of wet wool.

That 'poly-rayon-lycra' fabric was a WOOL-lycra blend. I dried it on low and ironed it out...it's beautiful! And still cheap...at under $4/yd, it would be ok to use as a (hopefully) wearable muslin from a financial standpoint. But now I'm thinking I like it waaaayyy too much to use as a muslin. I'm gonna have to think about this one. (And hence the stash, if you know what I mean). I'm actually starting to hear a faint whisper from the fabric that it wants to be the Galaxy Dress. There is enough fabric, but I don't have that pattern...yet....

I wonder what that fabric was actually priced at full retail...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Blogroll is functional!

It turns out that what I thought was my user name was a default...I hadn't set one up.

I was surprised that I could open an account without a user name, but, well, ok. So I assigned myself a user name and now the blogroll works.

So...all the almost 50 links to the blogs to which I subscribe are there, and it will automatically update every time I add a new one.

Much easier than maintaining the sidebar list... ;)

My Vintage Sewing

First, Carolyn posted some several-years old still-in-her-closet garments she'd made, then Marji, while thinking about participating in the Pattern Review Vintage Sewing Contest, reminisced about sewing in her teen years...and challenged her readers to also post about their years-ago sewing. Summerset kicked it up a notch by modeling the drop-dead gorgeous dress she made and wore for her high school prom...and still looked drop-dead gorgeous in it. Sigh. Jealousy is a sin...jealousy is a sin... (just kidding. I think.)

Well, I can't even get into these two garments any more, but I thought I'd show them to you anyway. The red dress was made for my first high school dance...back in December of 1973. I still marvel at how well I matched the plaids, given my sewing skill level at the time. I think I wore it at least once after I got married, and somewhere there's a photo of my oldest daughter (now 21) wearing it for a school function when she was in middle school. Pattern company and number? Surely you jest...

The skirt was made from a Jessica McClintock/Gunne Sax pattern in 1982, after marriage but before kids. Blue denim w/lace overlays and ribbon trim. I think the last time I wore it was sometime after Baby 1; I'm not sure I ever skinnied down quite enough after Baby 2. (It has a 25" waist). DD pulled it out last fall, looking for some costumy something for a church event, and marveled that I'd ever worn it. "Good grief, Mom, you were a Twiggy!" Well, maybe. That was a long time ago...

Lisa at The Hem Line has recently posted TWO patterns that I remember making back in my teens: I made View 3, w/o lacing from a pink/puple swirly poly print, and I think I also vaguely remember doing those loops for lacing on another dress, but I can't remember anything else about it. That would've been my Freshman year also. In the spring of my Senior year, the traveling multi-church youth choir I was in used a floor-length version of this one, made out of several colorways of a floral poly print, as our group outfits. In the puffy poly, it wasn't terribly flattering on anyone...sorta like a bunch of bridesmaid's dresses (I guess that WAS the beginning of my choir clothes saga...).

I wonder whatever happened to those patterns....

Oh, I do have one garment that I made more than 10 years ago that I still wear; but that'll be for another post. ;)

Monday, July 23, 2007

I goofed

I shoulda listened to that little inner voice...

I decided it was high time I updated my pitiful little list of links to blogs of fellow sewing enthusiasts...I mean, I only had about 10 links on my sidebar, and I subscribe to blog feeds from almost 50 blogs. Obviously, the easiest solution would be to just put in a link to my subscription list. So, I went to bloglines, generated the html and put it in to my template.

Then, despite the little voice to the contrary, I saved the changes instead of previewing the changes.

Well, it didn't work. Apparently my blogroll was set to 'private' (I really thought I'd made it public when I set it up). And I can't get Bloglines to let me change it...even though I'm logged in, it requires my user name. Fine. But when I type in my user name, I get an error message telling me that it's already taken. Well, duh! It appears that, for some reason, I can't get out of 'create new account' into 'update existing account'.

I've sent an inquiry to the folks at Bloglines...but, meantime, I lost the links I DID have.


Anyway, you can still access a fair number of my sewing buddies through the Creative Fashion Sewing Ring that's in the sidebar and still works fine.

Well, it IS Monday....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I've been tagged

(Quick,Lisa, answer the poll while you can say 'yes!' to question 6)
Angie tagged me, so now I've got to answer the following 10 questions that I'm sure everyone in the blogsphere is dying to know my answers to. Then tag some other folks.

I'll answer the questions, but last time I played tag it didn't work so well, and this *has* been going around for a few days, so I'll just tag anyone who reads this and who needs material for their next blog post... ;)

1. What kind of Seam Ripper do you use?
Oh, I NEVER need a Seam ripper!

(chortle. sputter. snort. ROTFLOL...) Ok, I'll 'fess up. I usually use a heavy straight pin and unpick the stitches. Really. But on those occasions when a seam ripper is unavoidable, and assuming I can find one, I use one of my surgical-scalpels-with-a-handle that are now sold as seam rippers. You could also use them to cut pigs, if necessary, but I won't go there (any other Midwest hog-farmer's daughter will understand what I'm talking about).

2. What do you use to snip threads at the sewing machine?

Why, the thread cutter doohickie on the back of the sewing machine head, of course! At least I can always find it.

3. What do you use to cut out patterns/fabric?

Patterns...any pair of sewing shears will do. I've got 4 pairs, ranging from the 'cut the vinyl with these' black-handled Mundial's to the 'I will cut off your hand if you touch these' Kai shears I purchased at the most recent Atlanta Expo. Fabric...well, I have an Ergo cutter that I love, but I dropped it and stepped on it and broke it about 6 weeks ago. It still works...sort of.... A replacement is on my Must Purchase list at the Atlanta Expo next year. Unless I find one before then.

4. Do you stash zippers?

Um, sort of. I've got a few that I purchased for projects that got, um, derailed, but my Big Batch of Zippers is actually part of a UFO...someday I'll go into details on that, but not right now. (ah, the suspense...)

5. Which takes up more space in your stash...knits or wovens?

Definitely wovens. Good knits are too hard to find and I tend to make them up very quickly.

6. Are you wearing anything that you made today?

Oh, I hit the jackpot here! I'm wearing the Meh! Denim skirt and a black-and-white rayon sleevless, cowl-less Cowl Top. Being Sunday, earlier today I also was wearing the Surprise Denim Jacket. I'd even made the necklace I was wearing...strung black glass beads. (It's 'black and white w/denim' for church choir this month... ;) ).

7. Does anyone else in your family currently sew?

Um, I'm working on that.

8. What is the last $$$ sewing-related (non-fabric) item that you bought?

I guess that would be the books/notions I picked up at the Atlanta Expo in March.

9. Cutting out, pressing, hemming. Which do you like the LEAST?

Hemming. Definitely hemming. There's lots of positive creative energy going into cutting out, and pressing is done just a little at a time, but hemming is the last grunt up the hill, when I'm tired of this and just want it DONE!

10. Do you have any non-chain garment fabric stores in your area?
Well, I've heard rumors of one or two that I've not been able to verify...I don't suppose Sew Sassy counts, because that's mostly lingerie-sewing needs. Sir's is a fabric outlet that's about 45 miles away; usually worth the trip. And there're some Very Nice fabric stores in Nashville (see yesterday's post... ;) )

Ok...there's my ten. Anyone who's left to answer...feel free! ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Road Trip Report

Well, Miss D (a newbie to our church sewing team) and I went up to Nashville today to catch the tail end of Textile Fabrics annual 50% off sale. Was it ever a delightful day!

We left really early, and got into town just a bit after nine. First on the program was "Find Muna Couture". It was just a bit of a tricky assignment...Muna Couture is on the SECOND story of a little strip shopping center. But we only drove by once; spotted it on the second pass. What a charming shop! I'd love to go just hang out for a day and watch a master couturier in action. Muna had photos all over the place of pictures her clients have taken of the garments she made for them...is that devotion or what? And...oh, my, the fabrics!!! TO DIE FOR!! Silks and rayons like I have never seen anywhere...even on the Internet! But we caught it at a fortuitious moment; all her cotton fabrics were 50% off. Even so, I had to stretch the budget to get the one piece I'd promised myself I'd get, but it will be a classic and I'm pleased with it. It's the brown embroidered denim eyelet...yes, the same fabric that was available in a popular newsletter/swatch service last year. Muna's price was a little higher, but I consoled myself with the fact that it sold out quickly last year and I didn't have to pay shipping... ;) If I ever need to create a garment from some truly wonderful high-end fabric, I know where to go now to find said fabric. Anyway...it'll be a jacket...but I've got to decide which one.

Then we went on to Textile Fabrics, which really was not too far away. I know Miss D had a HUGE pile of stuff she carried up to the counter...mostly batiste and ginghams, I think. She's embarking on a home sewing business, doing heirloom things for children, and so she got stuff for that. Me, selfish fabric oinker that I am, got fabric for my own closet. First, the necessaries...lining for the trench coat. While I was at the lining rack, I saw Ambiance that, at 50 % off, was $4.50. I wish I'd taken a list of colors I could use! I got two pieces that I *know* I have an immediate use for. Then, the fun stuff...a piece of purple wool crepe (75% off) and a piece of printed rayon/linen, also 75% off (they were in the clearance room). And...the piece of fabric I couldn't leave in the store...a gorgeriffic piece of royal blue, grey and white striped silk duppioni. Oh, is it beautiful! and it's my absolute favorite color in the whole world...the photo doesn't do it justice:

While at Textile Fabrics, Sarah, who posts as Redhead on PR and Stitcher's Guild, dropped by and shopped with us and joined us for lunch. We had a grand time getting acquainted for real!

Then, Miss D and I ventured over to Jo Ann's; I wanted to look at Burda patterns (I got 3) and, as the Buttericks were on sale, I got a couple of those, too.

As I said, we had a delightful day!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Simple Top that Ain't

So I thought I'd pull out one of my 'simple' projects that have been recently added to the 'make it now' pile...when at Sir's in May, I picked up a nice piece of rayon lace for a ridiculously cheap price...I think it was like 2.14/yd, tax included. And I had some nice shiny rayon cross-dyed faille that matched it exactly. So I might as well go ahead and get my intended simple City Dress Shell (a modification of the bodice of the Loes Hinse City Dress) cut out and stitched up, no?

Well...I cut the front and back (only pattern pieces) from the rayon underlining, then centered those pieces on the lace yardage and basted vertically through the centers and around all the edges, then cut the lace larger than the rayon. I'm already intending to do massive amounts of hand-sewing, tacking down all the edges, so I want to leave lots of seam allowance on the lace. It looked good, laying on the table.

But, when I picked it up, I noticed a severe case of the 'honeycomb effect' (So named because of a skirt we made for our first Scrooge production, from a honeycomb-netted lace. It worked fine the first year, but over the months in between, the hanging weight of the skirt caused the honeycombs to collapse vertically...that is, they got longer and skinner. That skirt grew EIGHT INCHES! So...now, the 'honeycomb effect' is my phrase describing what happens when a fabric with gaps woven or knitted in changes shape under the effects of gravity). In the case of my top, when I picked the front (all nicely basted around the edges) up, the lace collapsed and I had extreme puddling going on just above the basting on the bottom edge.

So the top pieces went very quickly back to a horizontal position on the table, and now I'm basting chevrons out from the center to the edges. I'll have to stitch the two layers together (that's why I had to go get some grey thread yesterday...didn't have an Exact Match in the house). There's a nice vertical line I could use to baste, but I really think the diagonal will hold it better...if I can stitch it and keep everything dead flat.

Once the two layers are secured together, construction is a snap...but I'll have a sizeable amount of hand sewing to do to get the finish work done.

It's a lot of work for a $4 top, but it'll look like a million bucks when I'm done...if I can keep it all square.

Simple it ain't. ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

If You Keep a Pattern Long Enough...

...the Right Fabric will show up. And, maybe, it'll even be on sale.

Remember last week, when I was so proud of myself for leaving Hancock's w/only one zipper? Well, I did peek around a bit and found a nice piece of grey B. Black wool gab on the clearance table. However, the marking was ambiguous and I couldn't tell what the discount was. I figured it was probably at least 50%, but, without a definite price I passed it by.

After I got home, somebody's post on one of the sites reminded me that I had Simplicity 4084, a trench coat pattern, in my stash waiting for an appropriate fabric.

Duh. You can't get much more appropriate than wool gab. So, today when I had to run in for some light grey thread (more on that another day), I picked up 4 yards of the wool...at 80% off. Wow. So the wool cost, like, 3.45/yard, including tax. And the buttons were 30% off, too, so I found some really lovely buttons to go on it.

Now all I need is lining...and time... ;)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Birthday Present

Well, actually this represents our birthday and anniversary presents to each other for this year.

Can you believe this is the FIRST brand-new bicycle I've ever owned? We got Schwinn Skyliners...got our inaugural run night before last, down the greenway to the Tennessee River.

I'd forgotten how much fun riding a bike can be.

We should've done that years ago...

*Just for the curious...I still haven't cashed in my 'three days of uninterrupted sewing' certificate that was my birthday present LAST year. :rolleyes:

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Another Birthday...

The Birthday Girl wearing the 'party hat' provided by her older sister, to be worn all day. I believe I am to make 'dirt-cake style' Mississippi Mud cake, which is a standard Mississippi Mud cake w/crushed chocolate wafers and gummy worms on top. At least she didn't want a kitty litter cake. I don't care how it tastes...I don't think I could eat that!

11 years have gone by really fast.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Denim Skirt....Meh...

There's a reason most of my skirts and pants have elastic waists... my waistline changes shape without notice, which renders a truly accurate measurement a thing of dreams. I haven't figured it out, but I suspect it has something to do with hormones (that's SUCH a wonderful thing about being in the late 40's...hormones can be blamed for almost anything...).

Anyway, my great fear was that the denim skirt would be too small. Holding it up during the construction process, it looked really questionable. When I tried it on, before I added the topstitching to the sideseams and put on the facing, I was just relieved that it was going to zip. Yeah, it felt a little loose, but I was afraid to overfit, still needing to add the denim (and hence rather bulky) facings and wanting the OPTION of tucking in a top. So I trusted my measurements and didn't change anything.

And it sits about an inch below my waistline, being too big to stay up, even with the facings and a tucked-in (albeit very thin) shirt. So yeah, it's long...pulled up at my waist, it *is* about the same length as shown on the envelope. Actually, I think it's only too big in the back; when I grab the back and snug it up, the sideseams still look to be fairly centered on the side.

I'm *not* going to rip out the topstitching to try to fix this skirt; it's denim, I can get away with wearing it a little low. It's wearable...just not wonderful. And if I lose any weight (a girl can hope, right?) it'll have to hit the 'donate' pile. But...it's a good 'wearable muslin' for the time being (the denim was cheap and has been in the stash for at LEAST 10 years) and I will be altering it if/when I make it out of something nice.

I posted the review with all my thoughts on this more or less consolidated ;).

I just wish there was some way to make a faced waistband, um, adjustable... ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Skit that Almost Wasn't

Our 40's detective skit finally made it onstage today...after much rescheduling and shuffling. One of the castmembers was playing bass guitar during worship when this picture was snapped, just a little before we went on, but that's our Detective, a couple of clients, and his 'faithful secretary Trixie', which would be me. The fake furry thing on one of the 'clients' is just a piece of faux fur, cut in the rough shape of a fox pelt. I'm really glad we got to do it...I'd stabbed myself in the thumb really well cutting that and I'd've been sorry to have bled for nothing ;).

But the skit went well...actually, it was one of the most fun things we've done. Talk is that this could become a series.

I need a black-and-white polka dot rayon for the next one ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Denim Skirt Progress

It's done enough to try on...and it fits fairly well. It's LONG, though, the Petite adjustments notwithstanding. Unhemmed, it very nearly brushes the top of my feet. I guess it will look good w/boots in the fall, though!

However, my pocket draft leaves much to be desired. Oh, they'll hold a kleenex, which is really all I need, but the angle's all wrong to park my hands there comfortably. I'll have to redraft that if/when I make the skirt again. I definitely learned something about drafting pockets...the marked line would've been a much better pocket! Next time....

Really, all that's left on the skirt is the waist facing and the hem. So I should finish this weekend!

Friday, July 13, 2007

A Shopping Day

The only sewing related thing I have to report from yesterday is that I stopped by Hancock's and picked up a zipper for the denim skirt (wasn't sure I had one, and, well, I was driving right by). And that's all I got there. Really. One zipper. I'm holding off till we go to Nashville next week.

Mostly I was birthday shopping for DD (her birthday's next Tuesday), but I did pick up some things for me...I don't remember the last time I actually bought clothes for myself, but I got a pair of blue jeans and a brown cotton rib-knit short sleeved sweater. The blue jeans were necessary; the sweater was a bit of a splurge, but it was on sale and a good basic.

I also picked up a copy of The Lucky Shopping Guide. Not as cheap as I could've gotten it from Amazon, I'm afraid, but I was at the bookstore, so...

I'd picked it up on several previous occasions and put it back, but this time I decided (maybe the recent birthday had something to do with it) that I could use some guidance on wardrobe building. I've just kind of flipped through it so far; I don't know how much it's going to help me by telling me what to do, although I do think it's going to be a help in looking at my current wardrobe with fresh eyes. I'm amazed at the numbers of (totally foot-torture-appearing) shoes are recommended; and some of the advice just won't work for me, such as the following thoughts on swimsuite style: ...too much modesty can work against you. Full coverage can make your butt look bigger -- even matronly. Revealing a bit of cheek is more flattering. Can I offer up that whether or not that is flattering depends on the appearance of the cheek? For someone in her 20's or well-maintained 30's, that may be the case, but, well, I'm 48. I'll keep mine covered, thank you very much. ;)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Workin' on the Denim Skirt

I did some sewing yesterday (after 9 days away from the sewing room, I was due!); worked on my pink print top, since I could sew it up with the cream thread left in the serger from the green linen skirt. It's done to the handsewing, which I'll do when I next get the urge to watch a movie with the kids. Next up was the denim skirt.

It's from Vogue 2872, an Anne Klein pattern that's gotten some bad press because the folks at Vogue elected to photograph it in black...which shows none of the details of the pattern and looks something like a Mission Worker's Uniform. And, of course, denim is NOT listed as a recommended fabric on the back of the pattern.

But I thought the skirt would look great made up in denim; and I thought that yoke detail on the pocket could be very cleverly morphed into pockets.
So I sharpened my drafting pencil and pulled out the tissue and went to work, using the original yoke pattern as my basis.

It really wasn't too hard to draft; the only tough spot was trimming out that uber sharp corner so that I could turn my facing (a soft microfiber twill) cleanly.

Oh, I guess the topstitching is a little tricky; I'm doing it with the bulky jeans thread in the bobbin, so I'm doing it from the wrong side with my virtual fingers crossed. So far, so good. ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kudos to My Parents

For being a great Mom and Dad for exactly 48 years today... ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Skirts for Nieces

They liked them and they fit! DD is also in the photo, with the improvised tiered skirt I did from a straight Kwik Sew pattern. I really think I like the McCall's pattern better than my draft...it's a little fuller; more 'twirly'. Anyway, I expect to make more of these!

Here's the review if you're interested! Oh, even though I just purchased this pattern at Hancock's last month, the McCall's website lists it as 'Out of Print'; just thought I'd pass that along....

Monday, July 09, 2007

Home Again, Home again, Jiggety Jig Jig

Ah...my own bed, my own shower, my own computer with all my bookmarks and logins...

It's good to be home.

Got a couple of photos I'll share tomorrow, but thought I'd at least check in! I missed posting...but foreign computers and I don't get along. I did get to read some of my sewing buddies' blogs, but couldn't comment for some reason...

Finally, I got to step foot inside of Baer Fabrics after driving past it for years and years! Unfortunately, I only had a scant hour or so to spend, and I never even made it to the third floor (home dec), but I did get a nice piece of be-yoo-tiffle red rayon/linen that will be a long-awaited red dress. Not sure which pattern I'll use; I've got a couple of possibilities right now. I want to get some of my queued-up sewing done; I'll mull over the options while I sew on the denim skirt that's Next Up. I also picked up a remnant of what appears to be RPL mini-houndstooth suiting that I'm going to use as a muslin for the Hot Patterns Razor Sharp Pants. The fabric was $3.50/lb...isn't that a clever way to price remnants? My piece appears to be 2 yards of 60" wide fabric...it weighed in at exactly one pound, so that was about $1.75/yd. I should be able to get the RS Pants just fine, and if it fits well, they'll be, um, sharp pants. ;) The third piece was a chunk of nice black bridal satin (Sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it?) that I'm going to use to replace the lining in my 20-year-old winter coat. I don't want to spend the time doing it, but, since I can't find a coat ANYTHING like that one and I'm tired of putting my arm between the sleeve and the sleeve lining, I'm going to bite the bullet and give it a whirl. But that's notions and it doesn't count against the stash (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

So I didn't fall TOO far off the 'sew the stash!' wagon... ;)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Off to Hoosierland!

Um, is it possible to travel while in the doghouse?

Oh, about Friday, I got the urge to make another summer skirt. I wanted a cool, elastic waist, easy-to-wear skirt to take on the trip. Y'know...something that would be quickly made Saturday afternoon...


Well, I grabbed the green linen that has been sitting around looking at me accusingly since it arrived from Michael in mid-April and some yucky coarse transparent white cotton something to use as a lining and an (gulp) untried Vogue pattern.

Everything was going along swimmingly until I tried on...or, tried to try on... the skirt yoke.

It wouldn't fit. Further investigation revealed that the pattern was drafted for, um, stretch knits only. (The *Pattern illustration* didn't LOOK like knit fabric...). Anyway, you can read the whole story...or at least the highlights of it... in the review. I'd added enough to the pattern to adjust the size to fit at the hips, assuming that, for a pull-on skirt, that would also take care of the waist (no finished measurement available there). That'd work for a woven...not so much for a negative-ease knit pattern. And that was just the first of several goofs, missteps and blunders I made.

Anyway, my theme song for the weekend was 'Rip a little, sew a little, Rip a little, sew a little, PICK PICK PICK Rip a lot sew a little more...'

All the while, I was SUPPOSED to be getting things for us and the two younger DKids organized and in suitcases for the trip north.

Well, in the long run, the skirt turned out well and is in the suitcase.

But the packing's only about half done, and My Sweet Baboo wants to leave at 8 AM. I am feeling some definite grumbly vibes here.

I didn't know it was going to take so long to make a simple little skirt...there is a Sewing Twilight Zone, and I wandered there-in for a bit. Now, I don't have done what should've been done and, well, I'm setting the alarm for early in the morning.


anyway, we are bravely leaving DS in charge of the mail, the paper, the lawn, the recycling/trash and the house for a week.

I'll catch up sometime around the 10th...

Have a safe and happy Independence Day, everyone!