Friday, August 31, 2007

Christmas is (up in ) the air...

So...we are not doing 'The Gospel According to Scrooge' this year; I don't know whether I'm relieved or disappointed. It would be difficult, to say the least, to costume the show without at least a for-the-duration room to sew in, and I do have piles and piles of stuff to do -- both current sewing and backlogged household maintenance -- a couple of big personal projects to get ON with. To name two: I really, really need to get back to that FSG muslin so I can get my good wool sewn before any more moths find it and I have all the fixin's for a trench coat in a bag...something that my winter wardrobe needs desperately.

But...oh, it is SO much fun, SO rewarding...I'm going to miss it.

There is a rumor that we will be doing 'something else', but I don't expect to hear any more on that until after next weekend's women's conference.

Meantime, I've got plenty of church sewing to do. I finished one of the queue projects this morning (I'll post about it after I manage to get someone to take a photo), so that means next up on the list is a Bible costume.

Just keep sew-ing, just keep sew-ing....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pattern Acquisiton: Guilt free?

The decision of the Simplicity Pattern Co. to close their old plant in Michigan and relocate their facility to another state to cut their cost is pretty old news by now and I'm sure everyone here has read various discussions on it on the boards. There basically seem to be two schools of is that the pattern companies are being run into the ground by the deep discounts offered on their products by the big chain stores; the other is that pattern sales are good because they result in more patterns being sold (my view). However, I'm sure there are complex economic interactions going on about which this little sewing blogger is clueless, so my conscience twinges a bit, wondering if my reasoning is valid or if it is merely rationalization.

Case in point: Hobby Lobby has Simplicity patterns on sale for $.99 this week. I had another craft-related purchase to make (two large bags of pony beads for a teen girls craft project), so I bought the (not on sale) beads from Hobby Lobby, since I also wanted to go there and get some patterns. On the way out, I spotted the current issue of Sew Stylish magazine, which has been getting rave reviews all over the sewing corner of the 'net, so I picked it up, too...also at full price.

The pickin's were pretty slim; about a third of the patterns on my list were either not in the drawer or not in the drawer in my size range...but I ended up with five patterns:
3640, for that great princess-seamed lined hoodie...view C, without the frou-frou embroidery and the animal print weirdness, thankyouverymuch;
3690, for the tunic blouse...although I think I'll modify the neckline a looks a little gape-ish on the photo. Loops and buttons, maybe? The D view vest has good lines, but I don't like it swinging open from one button. Definitely needs about 3 more;
3747. This is probably one of those "I was seduced by the photo" patterns...that pink-and-white dress just looks so trim and neat. Maybe if I lose 30 pounds I could consider it. Maybe I'll make it for DD. Maybe she'd wear it.
3882. I *know* DD would wear that bubble dress...she purchased the Free People version from Dillard's...or maybe it was Parisian...last year, then complained because it was not cut straight. I think view C would make a fair-to-middlin' night gown, too. The stylists did a disservice to the bubble top by showing it with low-rise jeans. Ick.
And finally, 4886, just for that split cowl collar. I want to morph it onto my TNT Loes Hinse Cowl Top and maybe lengthen it into a dress. I figured I could spend a dollar for a collar. However, that pattern may be better than it looks; the longer sleeves and a funky belt would help that photo somewhat.

So...five patterns at a dollar apiece. If there were no such things as pattern sales, and I had to purchase them at their regular price, how many would I have bought?

Probably only the hoodie pattern. Maybe. But not till the sewing queue was seriously reduced. So, in all honesty, had there been no pattern sale I would have bought my beads on the next trip to Wal-Mart, stopped at Books a Million sooner or later for the magazine and not stepped foot into Hobby Lobby or purchased any patterns.

Did I help or hurt the home sewing cause? Who knows....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Control Issues

Or, maybe, controller issues?

We're a game-playing family. I well remember a summer several years back, when the older DKids were middle-school age, when it seems like we did nothing but play Monopoly. Full-length games. But...Monopoly is one of those games where there's a point at which everyone knows who's going to win long before the game is over and there really isn't anything that anyone can do about it. The rest of the game is one long grind-everyone-else-into-the-dirt process. It really isn't my game style; I don't much like playing Monopoly even when I win, let alone when I'm one of the people ground under the heel of the real estate mogul. But, I figured the kids were learning critical thinking and developing their math skills so I went along with it....

But Monopoly has been replaced now by Nintendo. And I *really stink* at those eye-hand coordination things. I stink so bad that I've been known to get completely incapacitated, gasping for breath with tears running down my cheeks from laughing so hard at my inability to just get that little character to simply run across a platform and jump to the next one. I'm telling you, it's truly pitiful.

But I'm still playing games w/the this point, it's a question of spending whatever time I can with them. When my Tuesday drama was canceled last night, the two older ones and I decided to play a Mario Party game (also a game in which the players are basically powerless against whoever has the Huge Lead).

But I thought I'd be *somewhat* productive and sat down with my game controller and my black pants. I could hem them and sew on the closures while waiting on my turn. Double tasking! Yes!

Well, not only did I come in dead last in the game (beaten even by the computer character), but I had multiple thread snarls...once it even broke. I sewed the socket end of a snap on upside down and didn't realize it until I tried to snap the ball end into it. I cut thread way too short and pulled my needle off more than once.

Maybe double tasking like that is not such a good idea.

But, I did get the hand sewing on those pants done. And I finished out one of the Bible costumes. And I sewed up a Jalie t for DD that was in the Queue. So it really was a productive day.

In a frustrating sort of way.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More Tweaking needed....

Well, the Personal Queue project that's currently going through the machines is the black stretch twill modified Daphne pants. I wore my first pair of modified Daphnes to the Atlanta Expo this year and Cynthia Guffey pinned out a flat seat adjustment for me; I was kinda anxious to get them done early on, hoping to have a Perfect Fitting Pants pattern to compare others to.

Well, I think I lost something in the translation from pinned up to written down to steeping for 4 months to pattern adjustments. There are still some drapey things going on in the back, and the seat feels just a hair snug across the cheeks. I'm tipping the scales at two pounds less now than I did in Atlanta, so that's not the issue.

I'd post a photo, fabric and'd be impossible to see anything. I barely can make it out in the rather dim light of the full-length mirror location. Maybe I'll try to get an out-in-the-daylight picture and see if that is any better.

Don't get me wrong, these pants are definitely wearable (the lycra content ensures that). In fact, they're better than any RTW pants I've purchased in the last ?? years (hm....not counting jeans, I think I've only purchased ONE pair of RTW pants in the last ?? years). In times past I'd've been delighted with them, but now, after reading/learning/watching/etc, I want PERFECT. I make 'em, I should be able to get PERFECT...or at least doggone close.

I need to go back and re-read all my pants fitting notes from the Expos past.

Hey! Website idea! Wouldn't it be cool to have a site where we could post,say, 'pants: bias drape in back thigh' into a search box, and the result would be photos of various types of bias drapiness, a little explanation of what causes said drapiness, and the pattern fix for it? Hmmm.... ;)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Juggling Act Begins

With one church conference behind and one looming in two weeks, I've kind of given myself these in-between weeks to get the rest of the HMC costumes finished up (five robes to go; Miss M has volunteered to take one home and sew it this week; there are a couple more ladies who have indicated they'll help, if I can manage to make contact with them). I think I'm going to try to alternate working on a costume w/working on the Prodigious Queue...coordinating the projects based on what color thread is in the serger.

I'm still pondering that blue jacket, too. Shannon Gifford pointed out in the comments that the original designer jacket was crafted from doublecloth...hence the 'self-lined' construction. As if self-lining would end up looking anything like double cloth when it was finished! (rolls eyes and shakes head) And, in looking at that no-sideseam, no-fitting opportunities pattern, I've been wondering how on earth I'm going to do my usual pear body alterations. The upshot is that I'm probably going to add side seams. And the more I look at the picture, the more I'm wondering about those low armsceyes and fairly narrow sleeves. Hm. That looks like potential bindage to me; I'll probably work that over some, too.

Will the finished product bear much resemblance to the garment on the cover? Well, it'll have that big collar and the peplum....

But I'm likely to not even pull out my tracing paper to start work on it until after conference number two.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Saturdays are good days to post memes, eh? Especially Saturdays that fall on conference weekends; My Sweet Baboo and I attended/assisted (um, that means we helped w/product sales, registration and other such things, not that we had any place on the platform! ;) )at a marriage conference with Leo and Molly Godzich for the past day and a half; it's nice to see that I have today's post subject already picked for me! Thanks, Linda!

Anyway, this meme asks 'What crafts fall into these categories at your house?':

1)'Love it!! This is my thing!!'
Well, um, I dunno, maybe...sewing? Clothes, not quilts or home dec! :) But I'd also enjoy playing my clarinet (I know, I know...not a craft...), if I could manage to practice often enough to maintain SOME sort of embouchure!

2)'I do it or have dabbled in it'
I have done a wee bit of scrapbooking...but only for special, specific events. I cannot fathom putting my entire photo history in scrapbooks. I enjoy embroidery and counted cross-stitch, although I've given away almost every project I've finished (I have recollected that I received a small counted cross stitch kit for Christmas YEARS ago and now have the resultant little wall hanging adorning the guest bathroom)'s a good 'carry around' type project to be worked on while waiting in dentist's offices, at school practices and the like. Also in this category are photography, jewelry making, stained glass cutting and calligraphy.

3)'I'll give it a try'
Y'know, I've always wanted to do one of the Bob Ross painting classes and I've been intrigued by sculpting w/clay. And I do have 'Make a quilt' on my List of Things To Do In My Lifetime.

4)'I have absolutely no interest'
(Maybe a better title for me would be 'I don't have the money or patience for') Gourmet cooking, flower arranging, macramé, woodworking, doll making, most home dec sewing, machine embroidery.

I'm tagging anyone who reads my blog who's ALSO named Lisa; just leave a comment if you play along! :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mulling Over the Intriguing Jacket

Since I'm so swamped w/costuming and other misc sewing, I really can't jump into sewing up Vogue 2984 that's being discussed on various boards and blogs. I picked the pattern up at the last Hancock's sale (I probably won't make it to the one this weekend...bummer) and I've been studying it. I have some royal blue flannel (the piece with the moth damage, actually) that I'd love to make up in this, if I could squeeze the pattern on it. But it's not going to be an easy task.

Firstly, the jacket is designed to be self-lined. I've really been scratching my head over that...why would anyone want a self-lined wool jacket? Even in the 'lightweight wool flannel, lightweight wool crepe and lightweight tweed' recommended on the envelope? It would be itchy, it wouldn't slide over any kind of top well, and it would be really, really warm. But, self-lined it is...even the sleeves.

But, not only do I not like the idea of a self-lining, my flannel is more of a mid-weight and too heavy/bulky for that. And I don't have enough anyway. So I'm going to have to alter it for a lining.

I'm holding my breath that this isn't breaking any copyright laws, but here's a scan of the front/back piece:

Not your typical jacket pattern! The little football-shaped piece is the gusset that forms the back neck stand; there's a slash made at the 'inside corner' of the shawl collar/ shoulder seam intersection where it is inserted.

I'm thinking that slash will be the beginning point of the line that will be the seamline between the lining and the front facing and will curve around to intersect the back/peplum seam at the side.

Sort of like this:

I'd have to use a facing at the bottom of the sleeve for the turn-back, too, but that wouldn't be hard to draft.

The neck stand gusset would have to be from the wool for both layers, I think.

Anyway, does that look reasonable to you? And would you line the peplum or do two layers of flannel? Just looking for opinions...what I do may end up on how well the pattern fits on my rather chewed up piece of goods.

ETA: Obviously, I'm a newbie at posting things like this. Next time I'll get rid of that white space...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Too Many Rabbits

How do you know when you've started too many rabbits? (For those not familiar with that idiom, it's a reference to dog racing...the rabbit is what the dogs chase, to get them to run fast in the right direction. Too many rabbits confuse the dogs, and they don't run as well as they might. I think that's where it comes from, anyway...) I've got that 'I'm trying to do too many things at once' feeling... I'll just give you the sewing part of it:

-29 costumes, plus extra pieces, cut and ready to sew
- a huge queue of personal/family projects cut and ready to sew
- a wrecked sewing nook that not only must be tidied, but I've got to put it together after hauling machines and notions to church and back
- stash swatch updating and re-binning in progress in the attic; can really only be worked on in the morning, as that space gets uncomfortably warm as the day progresses

All of these projects will be rectified a little at a time (well, maybe I should dedicate a CHUNK of time to the sewing nook clean up), which means I'll likely have very little progress to report on any of those items for the next...month? We have two conferences at church in the next three weekends, too; maybe it'll be two months before I get those things back under control again.

I'm going to try and focus on the individual tasks...such as completing a single garment, or working in the attic until I start to sweat...rather than think about how much there is to do.

I think I'd go bonkers otherwise.

But...there is a silver lining to this...I'm not the LEAST BIT tempted to browse the web and increase the stash! ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Back to the house...with work...

Yesterday's progress: 2 1/2 guys' vests done. But I ran out of time to haul everything home...DD had an orthodontist appointment after school. Fortunately, the ladies didn't need the classroom after all, so I was able to get everything packed and least one of the older DKids will go with me to church today to load it into the Caravan. (I offered a Starbucks to whoever was willing to go and help). I took stuff in over three days...the cutting boards and such have already come home, but the rest is there. Plus all the fabric that was brought in...two Rubbermaid bins and several small bags worth.

I joked w/somebody that I've been fasting laundry for a week...we've had things just about every evening when I wasn't sewing and the housework is a little behind. So I'm doing laundry and such today as well as making the trip to church and back.

But I've heard a rumor that the decision has been made on what we will be doing for Christmas Drama this year...all I know is that the drama coach at church was told 'You're gonna like it'.

So that means *something* is going to be going on. But it might be another week before the news actually gets to me...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Haulin' it Home

Today is my last work day at church...I need to be out of the room for a class that meets in there tonight. Six Master's Commission students have brought in fabric and I'm giving them the priority in sewing; my goal at the moment is to get all the 'extra pieces' (sashes, vests, head drapes, etc) finished so that I can just send the basic robes out with other volunteers (hello? other volunteers?). All I have left to finish up in that category are 2 and a half guy's vests, which I think I can do today.

I believe I have all the main garments for our pre-school ministry cut out except for one final cream-colored men's robe, which is to be worn by a Jesus character, a wise man, or a king, depending upon what the 'extras' are. The 'extras' have been kind of hit-and-miss, as it's been difficult for the designated costume fabric buying person to procure enough of the same fabrics to make three of each. So we've decided to not buy any more fabric until I/we (hello? We?) make what we've already been given...which is a pretty sizeable batch of stuff.

But the first thing I did when I went in yesterday was to finish up the last bit of the mending that I'd pulled. I feel pretty good about the condition of the Bible costumes now...we shouldn't have any unpleasant surprises about ripped out seams. I still need to go back and add neckline tabs and snaps to a LOT of those costumes, which are currently being closed w/a safety pin, but that'll be a project for another day. (not to imply there hasn't been help...but by-and-large my usual crew has been pretty quiet. This project must've hit everyone's vacation time or uber busy time or something)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Still in the Learning Process

Amongst the costuming, I've been doing a smidgen of work on the Bodacious Queue and I finished up the first item last night...a silk charmeuse version of my modified City Dress shell.
I purchased this fabric at my first-ever Atlanta Expo back in 2004...Louise Cutting had it in her booth and it sang to me the whole time I was there. But at $20/yd I just couldn't see myself getting much. Finally, on my way out on Friday evening (I had to leave on Friday), I stopped to pet it one more time and Louise took pity on me and told me she'd pay the sales tax if I wanted to get one yard for a shell top. I decided to forgo dinner on the road on the way home and I bought it.

Then it came home with me, and I proceeded to do nothing with it, wanting that top to fit PERFECTLY before I made it up. Well, in the Cutting Marathon I decided I'd tweaked that pattern enough and it was time to make the shell. So I very carefully placed the front on w/one of the big roses in the center (I remembered well my lesson in print placement). I wasn't really sure I wanted to do the turn-and-stitch necklline/armhole finish on this lovely silk, but as it turned out, I had enough left to cut some bias strips. So I tried a new-to-me technique: I bound the neck and armholes w/bias strips.

And I learned some things, chief amongst them being that silk charmeuse stretches and skinnies a lot more than I expected. I wanted the binding to finish out at a 3/8" width, so I multiplied 3/8" by 4 and came up with 1 1/2" for the width. Then, to compensate for the 'turn of the cloth' thing, I added another 1/4" and cut the strips 1 3/4" wide.

That still wasn't wide enough. Even though I handled them very carefully, they skinnied out so that I had to use about a 1/8" seam allowance. Which meant I had to unpick all the 1/4"-from-the-edge staystitching I'd done on my top. Which means that I have little perforations visible at very close range. Oh, it'll be under a jacket most of the time anyway...I doubt if anyone looks that close. But still.

Anyway, I sewed the strips into a circle the size of the opening, then folded the WS together and sewed them to the RS of the top, rolled the fold to the WS and hand stitched it down. I didn't press it until it was all done, because I didn't want the wrong fold pressed in.

And, in the above-mentioned fiddling, the neckline apparently stretched slightly (oh, I was careful! Really!) Or maybe it was just hanging up a bit's a shade snug. That's a puzzle, because this is a TNT pattern that has always fit well.

I'm hoping it was just the 'I'm wearing a knit top today' bra that I was wearing (y'know...those foam rubber cups designed to maintain a 'smooth profile' under knit tops? That add girth to the bustline?), but it could be middle age spread ;) No photographer has been available yet, so here's the on-the-hanger view:

Anyway, it's wearable, it's even's just not quite the breathtaking garment I was hoping for. But I learned it's ok in the long run, right? ;)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Now they're trickling in

I had two HMC students bring me costumes yesterday; I was expecting costumes from them. Another wasn't sure he needed one; I assured him that they all did and he's bringing fabric today. There's one more that I've been told will be bringing fabric...I've dropped strong hints that they need to bring it in today or tomorrow. Once we break the room back down, I'm not sure when I'll get to go in and process the next batch. They'll likely have to wait a while.

I feel kinda reluctant to make that kind of statement, but this year is different than last year. Last year, at my suggestion, the kids were instructed to bring in their own Bible costumes. Since there was such short notice, we on the sewing team offered to make them for anyone who needed one. It took us till October to finish and we ended up making 35.

But this year, the Bible costume requirement has been on the list all along; this should not be a last-minute surprise for anybody. So, we offered to make them for local kids (as we figured they'd ask for help anyway), but I am expecting folks who come in from out of town to bring their own.

With 24 costumes in the works for the pre-school ministry, we've got our hands full at the moment. I'm afraid that any HMC student that doesn't get the fabric to me in time to be cut on Monday will just have to wait until we've finished the current pile.

And here is how the current pile looked about 2 PM on Thursday...they're bagged by fabric, not garment; some bags have 3 garments w/attending sashes and ties. I'm trying NOT to think about how much work there is to do...just start working and keep at it until it's done.

Friday, August 17, 2007

If it applies....

My Sweet Baboo and I had a nice...very filling...dinner, then popped across the parking lot to the mall so I could pay a bill and then we could walk a bit. We stopped in the Hallmark shop, where I saw a little door hanger with the following sentiment:

"I have three sizes in my closet:
'Normal Days,' 'Splurge Days' and 'Those Were the Days'"

No, I didn't get it...but...omigoodness, ain't it the truth? I also spotted a mug w/a declaration that made me laugh:
"Note to self: Stop saying 'Yes' to all this volunteer stuff"

I'm hoping to finish the cutting out today, which I will do unless a boatload of incoming HMC students bring fabric in. So far, I've only gotten fabric from one person; I KNOW there are more kids that need costumes but I'm running out of time in my makeshift sewing studio and therefore they're running out of time to bring stuff in. At this point, they may have to wait until we're done w/Pastor Norm's costumes before we take on any least, by then we should know if we're doing a big Christmas production or not. I hate to make them wait, but I did specify that they needed to bring in the fabric by the first of this week...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hearing Little River Band in my head

Y'know...the song that starts out 'Happy Anniversary, Baby, got you on my MI-ind'
If I remember right, though, that song was about a relationship that had ended; I'm feeling very blessed today that the first line of the song is the only one that applies to me. We're planning Dinner Out this evening to celebrate 27 years of said blessing ;)

Meantime, I'm still going to be chopping at church. I was actually caught up for about 10 minutes yesterday, before one of our pre-school pastor's assistants brought in the second batch of costume fabric. So...more cutting today.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Power of Two

After I hauled in tables and set up to cut, I started the ol' stack-and-whack; by the time My Sweet Baboo got there with a Chick-fil-A sandwich at lunchtime I'd cut out two ladies' robes completely and was about 2/3 finished w/the third one, but just as we were finishing up Miss A Two came in to help. In the next 2 hours or so the two of us finished up the third ladies' robe, then proceeded to whack out 3 men's robes, three boys' robes and three girls robes.

AMAZING how much more work two people can do than one...having one person on either end of the fabric to pull and straighten really speeds up the process.

I'm nearly half done now with the fabrics I've got so far; our pre-school ministry has asked for 24 costumes, but I haven't gotten enough fabric from them for that many yet. HMC costumes are trickling in...I've only gotten one yet, but I've heard that I have at least 3 or 4 more coming.

Another day like yesterday and we'll be in good shape!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Beautiful Rattiness

And I forgot to take a photo of the whole vest once it was, more or less, finished. But you can get the idea here...

The fabric was very coarsely woven...almost like a large cross-stitch fabric. Large threads that didn't stay secured in the stitching. You can see, sort of, how it's raveled out from the photo of the side seam, and how I just mended by the seat of my pants on the shoulder and neckline. I don't know how visible all that will be from the stage, but it should be obviously less than pristine.

It'll work for a prisoner, a slave, or a beggar just fine.

I'm hauling in my cutting boards today...the chopping begins! ;)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Reflections on the weekend

Ooo!!! Thanks, everyone who said 'Hi!' It's been so fun to see who's reading! A lot of the names I recognized from other sewing sites, but there were a few new ones. And, if you didn't check in over the weekend, it's still ok to add a comment and say 'Hi'!

Me, I'm kicking myself for not carrying the camera to church with me to document a bit of what I'm doing. The work I did Saturday went beyond mending to salvage... there was a vest amongst the costumes that I almost threw away last summer, when I was cleaning things out, because it was on the edge of complete disintegration. But I stopped myself because it occurred to me that it would make an excellent ratty garment for a beggar, or, say, the Apostle Paul in prison. So I folded it over a hanger (the shoulders couldn't support it) and marked it as a very fragile costume for those uses.

Sure enough, this spring we had a young man cast as blind Bar-Timaeus, and I assigned that to him, warning him to be very, very careful with it. I believe he was, but it was really excessively loosely woven and simply couldn't tolerate being worn. When I picked it up Saturday, there were only two long pulled out threads still holding one shoulder together. It was dire.

So, I cut some backing fabric and began zig-zagging. It doesn't look really good, but then, it's not supposed to. I got both shoulders and both underarms reinforced, and one fraying-out armhole somewhat stabilized. I've still got to do the other armhole, the neckline and couple of long frayed out areas on the side seams.

I'll take the camera today...hopefully it will get enough detail to make it worth sharing a photo ;)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Who's from where weekend

Gotta run to church for more sewing momentarily, so I don't have time to post much, so I thought I'd do the blogging thing and ask the Big Question:

Who are you guys?

(see how I'm clinging to my Midwest roots? If I were truly acclimated/assimilated to The South, I'd've asked 'Who are y'all?')

I subscribe to the freebie part of Sitemeter, but that just tells me where someone checked in from and how many pages they looked at.

So I'm seeing folks from Really Interesting Places, and my curiosity has totally gotten the best of me now.

Who lives in Surprise, AZ? (that just sounds fun!) Prince Edward Island? (I've wanted to go there ever since I read Anne of Green Gables as a kid)? Someone works at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville...where one of my best buddies from high school spends her work days (but she's not reading the blog).

A few have posted comments enough that I've figured out where they're from, but the majority just leave me wondering, "Wow, who is that? Is it someone I know from Pattern Review/Stitcher's Guild? A friend who got the URL from the Christmas Epistle and now checks in?"

And, sometimes Sitemeter shows the location of the server from which the connection is made, not the location of the person who actually looked at the blog. And AOL users don't show up with a location at all.

So, indulge me this weekend...say 'Hi!' and let me know where're you're coming from. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Costume Mending In Progress

Miss L Cubed and I worked yesterday bringing down items that needed work and actually made a bit of progress in a room that just kept getting colder and colder all day (in direct contrast to the oven heating up outside). Not sure why, but I will NOT be wearing a sleeveless top and sandals in today!

We've found some interesting things...but I think the one that takes the cake was a robe that Miss L Cubed repaired. The first year we made costumes, we cranked out a lot and asked the folks who were wearing them to hem them, please (I wasn't lead costumer then...this was our first go at it...we weren't real knowledgeable or real organized!). Several were 'hemmed' with Stitch Witchery, which is now coming unstuck. Plus, not all the seam allowances were finished, and there's a good bit of raveling out going on. The afore-mentioned robe was one of these; Miss LC pulled out the rest of the hem, zig zagged the edge, then topstitched it back in place. The first sleeve was cut on the cross grain, with the edge on the selvedge, so it only needed to be stitched. But the second sleeve...not only was it not cut on the selvedge like the first one, but it was about 2" longer. Strange. Stranger still was the fact that this sleeve had been turned up about 4" and fused down with another strip of stitch witchery. The extra length was safety pinned in place (thank goodness it didn't get cut off!)...which meant that sleeve 2 ended up being about 2" SHORTER than sleeve 1. We just looked at each other and laughed. I don't recall any cast member being obviously asymmetric; I've no idea who pinned it up/ironed on the second batch of fusible. And I hadn't noticed it before, so I don't know how long it's been that way or why no one who's worn it has complained.

Well, the sleeves are even now. We'll never know what happened there. Weird.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pattern Acquisition again

One of the things I made sure I made time for last Thursday amidst the school orientations, laundry and general day-before-we-leave-town busyness was a trip to Hancock's to take advantage of the pattern sale. With all Vogues for 3.99, and no limit, I thought I'd pick up some things.

One was the Galaxy Dress that I've been waffling on forever. I just haven't seen anyone...including some ladies whose shape is similar to mine...who hasn't looked smashing in it. So what if I don't have anywhere to wear it. I'll think of something.

I also picked up The Red Jacket Anne Klein pattern. That's what I'd decided to use my now moth-eaten royal blue wool flannel on. However, it's interesting that the entire jacket is two-layer...self-lined. That'd be awfully bulky in my flannel, I think, not to mention Really Warm. I think I'm going to see if I can draft a lining for it. Assuming, of course, that I can squeeze the pattern on the fabric around the chewed up places. :(

I've been looking for a ruffly front blouse, too. My Sweet Baboo mentioned that he thought those were pretty, so I'm determined to own one...even if I think a ruffly front would look just a little silly on me. He so seldom expresses an opinion...especially a positive opinion...on clothing that I need to act on it. Anyway, I got 8252, then realized when I got home and looked over the guide sheet that the ruffles on that pattern have raw edges. hm. Trendy, yes, but I'm not sure that's for me. I'm thinking about it.

Finally, I indulged my vintage wishing. Maybe it was doing the '40's skit that pushed it over the edge, but I picked up two patterns that have been on my yummy list for a long time: 2354 and 2787. I'm thinking I could make one of those up in black and white drapey polka dot something as a wearable muslin/costume, just in case we do another skit in which I have to portray the 'faithful secretary Trixie' again. The only problem w/those vintage patterns is the available sizes; 2354 is available in single sizes only, and the size ranges for 2787 are 6-10, 12-16 and 18-22. I need an 8 in the shoulders, a 12 in the bust, a 16 in the waist and a 14 in the hips. So I'm just going to have to do a heap o' alterin' and those, um, stylish seam lines are going to make the alterations very, very interesting...

I picked up a couple of McCall's patterns at .99 for DD the younger, too, as she needs city shorts to wear to school. Middle school is being much more picky about things being 'approaching knee length' than the elementary was. I let her look through the book while I collected my list from the Vogue cabinet and she picked out a couple of Hilary Duff patterns. I'll be raiding the remnant bin very soon.

Or at least relatively soon; I'll be sewing at church and working on that extremely ambitious queue for the next couple of weeks anyway.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Bonus Post: Helpin' a Sister Out

I posted a few days back about some friends who were in China adopting a little girl. They're back now, and working the adjusting thing, but they put out a request for help to bless their older daughter (I'm thinking she's in 5th grade), who went with them and helped them like a trooper. Chik Fil A is running a contest, with a $1,000 savings bond as a prize, for the most interesting photo of a kid with a Chik Fil A Cow.

Well, Sophie took the little cow with her to China and got her photo taken with the cow on the Great Wall. How cool is that?

Anyway, Here's the link to their blog with the whole story. I'm shamelessly soliciting votes for Sophie; she dealt with a lot for a kid on that trip and it would be really cool for her to win a savings bond. The voting process is kinda tedious, so be warned, and be sure you uncheck the 'send me more offers' box at the bottom of the page if you don't want on Chik fil A's email list. For those of you who persevere and vote for Sophie...thanks!!! Thanks bunches!!! ;)

Hitting the Ground Running

The '07 - '08 school year has officially begun; for the first time since 1991 I do not have a child in elementary school. One began high school; the youngest began middle school. The two older ones...well, let's just say they're getting educated in the school of life at the moment ;).

I have today to run all the clothes through the laundry and pack up my traveling sewing kit; tomorrow I head to church, where I'll be during business hours until the 21st. I've got a bunch of costume mending to do...the Bible costumes are really showing their age. Some I believe I can mend; some, it'll just be a make-do until we can replace them. I suppose I really should go to Pattern Review and talk about some of the Costume Patterns that Don't Work.

But we'll also be making more costumes; any incoming Master's Commission students have been invited to bring fabric for their costumes, along with anyone in the choir who wants their personal costume, so as to not need one of the church costumes. Plus, our children's ministry has asked for some costumes to use in kinderchurch. So I expect to have a busy 9 days of sewing; we may end up spending most of next week cutting, then send everything home w/the volunteers to make them. We're taking advantage of the fact that next week will be our Royal Ranger advancement service; hence everyone will be in the sanctuary on Wednesday night and the room will not be used next week. Seize the opportunity! ;)

Which means I *may* use the serger a bit today on some of the WIPs; it'll be going to church for the duration tomorrow. Fortunately, I won't need it for a couple of the projects (including the official First Up green jacket), so I'll bump a couple of the 'serge it quick' projects up the queue and work on them today...while the serger's here.

No official word on what...if anything...we will be doing drama-wise for Christmas this year. That's still a big question.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Coming off the nitrous...

I used to get teased by my dentist because I actually *looked forward* to getting a filling; the time spent on the nitrous was likely to be the only nap I'd get all week. But nitrous has kind of a strange effect on time; often I'd kind of dream about things long past while waiting for my jaw to turn numb, and had to quickly reorient myself to the present when the procedure was finished and I was breathing the oxygen to purge the nitrous from my system.

That's not unlike coming back from reunions. I'm feeling a little disoriented today, having spent time with people who knew who I was but really don't know who I am...people that I once knew but now have to reorganize my thinking to reflect who they are. People change a lot in 30 years...and it was great to get to see everyone and reconnect.

But there's precious little time for reorientation; I'm teaching a Bible study and leading a couple of different discussion groups today. The two younger kids start back to school tomorrow. I'm starting a sewing project at church on Thursday.

But I'll talk more about that later. Right now I'm just taking deep breaths.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Reunion Weekend

We're off for a quick trip up to Indiana for this weekend; it's the annual family reunion at Lebanon Park, and this year includes my, um, 30-year high school graduating class reunion (Tri-West Class of '77).

I debated making something new for the event, but figured if I didn't have something suitable in my closet after all this time of earnest sewing, I was a pretty sad wardrobe planner.

But I couldn't make up my'll depend on my mood. I'll be wearing my black slinky Loes Hinse Sweater Set shell with either be the white denim suit I made 2 years ago, or the flippy self-drafted skirt from earlier this summer. I'm leaning towards the suit, just in case the golf course clubhouse is highly air conditioned; none of my jackets looked quite right w/the little flippy skirt.

But either way I'll feel chic ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Hazards of Stashing

While putting away and reboxing (rebinning?) the stash yesterday, I pulled all my wools out of their bin to shake and refold them...something that should be done periodically. Imagine my dismay when I found this:

There's a couple of other chewed up spots, too.

It's some Armani wool I purchased from Michael 4 years ago. Please pass the Pepto.

I got enough to make a longer jacket and a pair of pants...hopefully I can still salvage a jacket and *maybe* a gored skirt (to cut around the damage).

Only one other piece was damaged (I held EVERYTHING up to the light as I shook it); a piece of royal blue flannel from Hancocks' remnant table...probably predates the Armani. Nothing else showed any sign of trouble.

I stuck the two damaged pieces in the washing machine to soak in Eucalan; I shook everything else out, refolded it, wiped the bin down and replaced it for now...

I guess those bins don't seal up as well as I'd like. It probably didn't help that that bin spent almost a year in storage while we were between houses, although I did do the shakeout and inspect thing not too long after we finally got settled. It's probably been longer than I realize since I *last* did it...I remember doing it, just can't remember when it was. I guess I need to mark it on my calender every three months or so (it's just one bin...doesn't take too long).

Another reason to slay the stash monster...I need to be at the point where I don't buy a fabulous piece of fabric unless I know I'll make it up. I don't want to find another chewed up treasure.

Hopefully I can check the silks box later today as the 'clean up' continues....


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Ok, clean up is going to take a while; I'm swatching and trying to catch up my stash list (it's been a while since it's been updated) while I PUT AWAY all the recent purchases that weren't chopped, er, turned into WIPs.

Not to mention all the routine household duties that have been woefully neglected.

So, for your Sewing Entertainment, I thought I'd pass along something really cute. I actually remember seeing this a couple of years ago, but it's been resurrected at PR and it really is a hoot. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out (it's short! Text w/photos...not a video)

Barbie Sews