Friday, February 29, 2008

Ready to sew...sort of...

I worked at the cutting table yesterday and added to the queue the Oxford pants, the Pajamas and, because it had been pestering me to get to it, the McCall's 5191 jacket, from a cotton/lycra sateen, to test it out before committing to my uber expensive denim/lycra eyelet.

About halfway through the jacket I got smacked with an ailment. In interest of not posting TMI, let's just say my immediate reaction was to drink lots and lots of water and cranberry/blueberry juice. A trip to the dr this morning netted me some meds, both of which listed dizziness, nausea, and other unpleasantries as possible side effects (anybody else read those inserts and think 'I do not want to take this stuff!' ?).

So I'm still pushing fluids and feeling yucky but hopefully the meds will kick in and I'll feel better soon. If I can manage, I hope to sit at the sewing machine a while...but first, I plan to spend some quality time with my sofa.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

While the Table's Out...

The cutting table was used and used for the costuming stuff; before I put it away I thought I'd make use of it a bit. Yesterday I traced and tweaked about 4 patterns, and I cut the top from Vogue 8305 from the last piece of rayon knit I purchased at Hancock's a few weeks back, the white-on-black polka dot. I *almost* didn't use that pattern...when I first pulled it out, I discovered that the directions were missing. I've had the pattern over a year; I honestly don't know if I pulled the guide sheets out to read over and somehow misplaced them or if they were missing them from the start. So I rather disgustedly put it back in the 'file' basket. Then, just before I gave up and cut out a TNT turtleneck, I thought about Marfy patterns...and how they don't have any directions at all...and how so many folks are managing to make lovely garments anyway. I thought about how many crossover front tops that I've made from other patterns and realized that,doggone it, I should be able to figure this one out. So I pulled it back out and traced it off w/my alterations and cut it out.

I've got my striped wool from Michael on the cutting table now to make a pair of Oxford/Euro morphed pants (i.e., the Oxford pants w/the darts and zipper from the Euros), and I will cut out my lavender brushed-back satin into classic pajamas.

Then I will put it away and see how many of the WIP items I can finish up to knock some yards into the 'out' column before leaving for the Atlanta Expo next week. I'm 6.75 yards behind parity right now, and I've got about 8 yards coming from Gorgeous Fabrics. Time to do some sewing for me. ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Costume Inspiration

This is the lattice-print black velvet that caused so much trouble w/the troupe boys' breeches; it was also used on several other pieces in the production (For scale: that's about 2" on the straight sides). It looks amazing on stage...very much like chain mail. Very cool.

And it got me thinking. Our angel costumes at church are really in a bad way. They weren't made terribly well to begin with, they're fraying out and kind of stained. NOt to mention just cheap lightweight satin that kinda looks like a night gown. Replacing those costumes has been on my list of things to do for a while now. But, well, we currently have no budget, but someday...

Anyway, looking at that fabric, I wondered if it was available in gold on white. And if it is...and if I can find it...(I *think* the black came from Hancock's) I'd like to do a totally different sort of angel costume. I'd like to put our angels in something that looks like a medieval knight; complete w/scabbard and sword. And use the theoretical gold-on-white velvet. Wouldn't that be cool??

So, anyway, here's an APB...if anyone actually sees some of this velvet stuff in white, could you let me know? I might just buy it myself and stick it back for the day when I can get some new things done... ;)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saga of the Troupe Boys' Pants

Originally, the troupe boys were wearing the gold metallic lattice print on black stretch velvet pants. The pattern was one of Simplicity's, I *think* it was the 'pirate family' costume from a few years back (I can't find it on the website). The pants were loose fitting pull-on pants sized from XS to XL. We needed 2 smalls, two mediums and two larges, cropped a bit to go into boots.

It wasn't too hard; we got them made up fairly early on. But in the costume check on Wednesday the verdict from everyone after seeing them onstage was that they were way too glittery (that fabric did look amazing onstage...I've been inspired to see about doing something for church, which I'll talk about some other day). So, the decision was that we'd just make six more pairs of pants from the doe suede we used for the chorus boys.

But, someone had gone through and 'cleaned up' all the accumulated scraps and clutter and thrown away the original pattern tracings. So I started again, tracing the patterns. Midway through tracing the first one, I asked if the boys could turn the pants inside out. Ok, the metallic would be rough and uncomfortable, but at two days before the show opens, with no patterns...well, would it work? Turns out two or three others had suggested it, too, and since the pants were serged the seam allowances wouldn't show much. They wore cummerbunds that would cover the reverse on the waistband; the decision was made: they can wear them inside out.

However, the directors wanted the character Louis to wear the glittery pants, so that night I traced off a size small pattern and brought home fabric to make him a pair of pants from the glittery stuff (I was remaking that mesh vest on that assignment, too; they told me if I could just cut them out someone else would make them). Because Mr H wanted the pants a little snugger, I was going to see if I could trim the legs down a bit (I ended up just using one of my own pants patterns, but that's not really germane...what's important was that I had a small pants pattern tracing). After I traced the pattern, I couldn't find the envelope that the master pattern was to be returned to so one of the other ladies said she'd take it and file it in her box until she could put it away.

Well, I finished the vest and had time to do the pants to the waistband, so when I went in Thursday I handed that off to one of the ladies to finish. When I got back from choir, I found that the ladies were french seaming the Troupe pants; apparently the little seam allowance stuck out enough to be noticeable and, well, they wanted the pants to fit a little closer anyway.

So I sat at a borrowed machine and helped enclose the seams. The kids did two performances Friday (one for a school assembly), and on Saturday I got a call to bring in my cutting mats when The Actor came of the boys was apparently allergic to the gold stuff on the pants and his legs were chafed and bleeding from the inside-out pants. So, we were just going to have to make new pants.

So we changed our plans to see the show on Saturday, and I went in with cutting mats and serger. And found that the lady who had the patterns had had a death in the family and wouldn't be in.

So I got to freehand grade the small pattern I had up for the mediums and the larges. I was guessing. Normally I'd've done that with my reference books out, or at least another pattern to see where the grading was done, but I had none of that. So, I eyeballed it and hoped it'd work.

The first pants to be cut were for the young man with the bleeding legs; as soon as we cut those I turned my rotary cutter over to another mom to cut the other five and I went to my serger. By the time I got those pants put together and handed over to someone with a conventional machine to put the casing and elastic in, she'd cut more, so I just serged pants most all night (we did get that first pair done in time for our suffering Trouper to wear the new ones from the beginning). After the show started, it was just the two of us, since the other moms were watching the performance (hey, their kids were seniors). The two of us ducked into the balcony to watch the opening number and then went back to work.

We had the pants finished by intermission; a couple of the boys went to the trouble of changing in a hurry, glad to have something more comfortable to wear.


Monday, February 25, 2008


I didn't get to see the show Saturday after all; we went to yesterday's matinée. I ended up sewing through Saturday night's performance instead (I'll write about the Saga of the Troupe Boys' Pants tomorrow).

I'm not sure when they're going to give the notes for yesterday's performance, but The Actor's definitely going to be called upon the carpet. In the opening number, there is a bit where all that is visible is gloved hands waving...then lights go up and the actors come from behind the scrim and begin to dance.

My sweet Tigger of a son did not have his gloves on. Oh, there was a reason...or rather, a combination of events that caused him to go on stage barehanded, which began with him forgetting to get makeup on until it was nearly too late. He'd've been fine, except the face masks that they also wear were not preset back stage where they were supposed to be and, after barely getting his makeup on, he had to run 'round to the other side of the stage to get his mask. When he came back to his place, the lights were down and he was fumbling to try and get the gloves on. He just didn't get 'em on before the lights and curtain came up.

Now, I didn't notice bare hands in the opening moments, but it was very, very obvious in the dance portion of the opening number; he's on the front. The people in front of me even whispered, 'that kid on the end doesn't have gloves on!'

He felt terrible, and wants us to go see the show again next weekend when he 'won't mess up so bad!' If there's anything left of him after his upcoming chewing out.

But the show was beautiful to watch and the plot was kind of...thought provoking. Lots of analogy and symbolism.

Maybe we'll go see it again. ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Choir Sunday 08 #7

This Month's Colors: Black and white

Vest:Out-of-Print Simplicity 5919, made from a poly stretch lace in 2002. It's a little small, but I still wear it anyway ;).

Blouse: Really out-of-Print Mcall's pattern from a creamy poly jacquard. I made this blouse in the days before Pattern Review (I'm guessing 1995?), so I can't even link to a review for it. But I still have the pattern; one of these days I'll make it again and review it w/a scan of the envelope.

Pants: The Loes Hinse Oxford/European pants morph. They're a little on the snug side at the moment,too, but I can get away with it with a longish vest. There's a black Ultrasuede sash over the pants waistband, but it doesn't show in the photo.

My Sweet Baboo calls this my 'Paul Revere and the Raiders outfit.' I guess it does sort of have a 70's rock look to it. :D

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sleeve Reprieve

The Actor came home after opening night (he's still sleeping @ 20 after 11; he'd been up till one or two AM several nights this week) and said that they decided not to change the sleeves on the lame' shirts. So those shirts will remain intact and useful for something in the future, maybe. I know I shouldn't care -- it's not my show -- but I was glad to hear they were staying as is.

We may try to go tonight. I was sort of thinking we'd watch the last show, but, well, if something came up so we couldn't go the last night, we'd've missed it. So if we can work it out, we'll go tonight.

Meantime, I discovered a fairly serious sale going on at Gorgeous Fabrics. Oh, I was at a weak moment, having done almost no fashion sewing since Pippin hit, and she had a couple of things I've been looking for. No guilt about those, but there was also a black-and-silver brocade piece that ended up in my shopping bag, for which I have no explanation other than I must've been so dazzled by all the glitzy stuff I've been sewing that I kind of automatically picked it up?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Go Figure.

Have you ever held a garment that *must* be manipulated in some fashion in your hand and prayed for guidance? I did yesterday. The vest that needed alteration was made from black mesh knit; my intention was to carefully slit the trim at the bottom, open up the side seams and insert a godet.

But I discovered that the seamstress who had made the vest had used the dreaded 'stretch' stitch (y'know...the one that goes two stitches forward and one stitch back?) on the side seams. There was no picking it out. I tried for 20 minutes and managed to get an opening about 1/4" long. I couldn't see the thread, I was afraid to make holes in the fragile knit, and I only had until about 5 PM yesterday to get the whole deal finished. It Obviously Wasn't Going To Work. So I prayed.

And I ended up using some fusible bias strip interfacing to stabilize the seam and cutting it open. Then I saw how silly it was to fuse that stuff on the pressed open seam...that meant it was fused to the seam allowances, which were cut off in the process of cutting up the seam line through that nasty triple stitch. So I had lots of bits of fused seam allowance strips dangling from the opened seam. Well, it made me feel better to stabilize it.

So, no seam allowance meant I really couldn't insert the godet as planned. What to do, what to do...

Steam A Seam to the rescue again! I put the SAS on the wrong side of the godet, then carefully overlapped the vest RS down and fused it. Then I just zig-zag topstitched the whole business, going from bottom to top on both sides. That worked.

But it still wasn't enough flare; I'd made an extra godet 'just in case', so I sweated out finding the vertical center back, added the bias fusible strip on that line and carefully cut up it and repeated the process.

Then I made a little 'fleurchon' (fabric yo-yo)from the remnants of the velvet and added some dangly strips to it and pinned it to the top of the triangle to kind of mask the top edge.

The young lady who wears this vest is a teeniny little thing; obviously, I'm not! But you can kind of see how it worked. I had to just drop it off at school when I took The Actor for dress rehearsal last night so I could go to choir practice, but when I got back to school after choir I heard that the vest was a hit with the directors. Whew.

The lame' blouses, on the other hand, had issues. First, the facing wants to flip out (probably because the stiff fabric was interfaced...but, as ravelly as it is, I didn't dare not interface it). Some Stitch Witchery is to be applied today after the morning middle school performance to see if that will hold it down sufficiently; if not, then I guess we'll spend tomorrow topstitching them all down around the outer edges. But the big problem is that the directors believe the sleeves are too big and blousy and detract from the rest costume and They. Want. Them. Shortened. To a shoulder-roll deal. Next to the jacket shoulder-roll...???

Now, I sat in the theater a little last night and watched a bit of the show and, in my as-unbiased-as-I-can-manage opinion, the shirts looked luscious and fabulous. I'm really not seeing that they detract from the gorgeous jackets. But, it's not my show so I guess we'll do what the directors say. But I strongly encouraged the ladies to pin those sleeves up on someone after the show this morning and parade them across the stage to make *sure* that's what is wanted. 'Cause once they cut 'em, there's no going back.... Not to mention the show opens tonight.

Sleeve issues aside, I was really impressed w/how the show looked on stage. And the talent level of these kids is amazing. If you like theater, and you live anywhere around the Rocket City, try to catch a show.

But for me, I'm home all day today being cook and general lackey for DS. And maybe doing some budget, laundry, dishes...dare I say personal sewing...while I'm hanging around.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Makin' it Work

Just a couple of shots from the costume checking process that went on all night last night, so you can see how the lame' shirts are to be used. The knit shirt that I made yesterday was, I guess, judged good enough; I saw it worn. The printed velvet pants turned out to be too busy; the guys are going to have to wear them inside out (that saved making 6 pairs of plain black pants). But I've got a 'make it work' project that I brought home...a girl's vest, long and straight, made from black mesh and bound w/the velvet, was made with no side slits and no walking ease. So, while it it beautfully sewn, with the loveliest puffy shoulders (like the jackets in the photos, which I did NOT make! They're actually constructed from tapestry wall hangings!), it needs godets inserted into the side seams so that there's some room to move. So I get to cut through the border, open up the seam to just under the arm, and add some of the foil-printed knit, bound in the velvet. I've got the godets done, now I'm at the point where I've got to start the, um,unsewing process on the vest. I've been told the mesh is horrific to sew on. I'm thinking I may pull out the Solvy...

But that's not the least of it...DS the Elder had his arm surgery yesterday and is now home snoozing on the couch for at least the day, The Actor has not yet learned the fine art of completing homework whilst cast in a major production and we had a big parent-teacher conference this morning to hopefully salvage the grades before the end of the term. The teachers who were there, and the counselor, were really supportive and encouraging, and his Drama teacher and ROTC instructor both looked him in the eye and said, 'You will do this!' And they moved his locker so it would be more convenient for him to get to his books in a timely fashion. I think that encouraged him more than was at the remote end of a hallway and a great source of frustration to him. Tonight is the LAST rehearsal, though, so it should be the last late night (he got home at 1:30 AM from last night's practice). Tomorrow it starts being fun.

And hopefully the costumes will be done.... ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Foxy Vest

I was mistaken; last night was the second tech rehearsal. Tonight is the first dress rehearsal (um, note to self: I need to get The Actor some Febreeze...). So, we're still sewing...

When I showed the finished vest to the Mr. H, the Costume Designer, last night, he immediately pulled out an unbelievable fox tail collar that he found for five bucks at a thrift store and had me tack it to the vest. Now it *really* looks all Ava Gardner. Or Liberace. But it turns out that's exactly right. I was mistaken again; I thought we were looking for a rich medieval garment. Nope...Louis is being costumed as almost a drag queen. So over the top campy it is. But Mr H was delighted with the final product.

But, ya do a good job on something and what does it get ya? Something else! I left with a chunk of the gold lattice print stretch velvet and a Kwik Sew pattern; now Louis needs a turtleneck. But the pattern, KS 3186 is for a sort of relaxed fit shirt, and Mr H wants a *tight* shirt.

So I came home and traced off the turtleneck in Christine Jonson's Basewear Two. I noted when I reviewed that pattern that it was shaped the same front and back; the fitting was pretty much done by the fabric. Now, the velvet has only about 50% stretch, while the BW2 pattern specifies 100% stretch, so I sized up, removed most of the shaping at the sideseams by straightening the curve, and lengthened the sleeves. By trial-and-error, I found that the collar needs to be a minimum of 19" long to go over my head, which is pretty close to his, and I'll trim the neckline out to fit when I put the collar on. I lengthened the top a couple of inches, too.

So long as he can get it on and off and breathe while wearing it, it'll be ok.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I *Heart* Steam-A-Seam

Well, I'm not the young man who plays Louis, but I'm about the same height that he is. He *says* he's wearing boots w/heels, so I'm hoping the vest won't drag the ground. I think the fabric's a little too lightweight to move richly...actually, it reminds me a bit of something Ava Gabor might've worn on Green Acres...but I did what I was requested to do. There was not enough time to line it so it'd move better anyway.

I kind of made it up as I went; had some false starts and frustrating boo-boos. One of the front bands, which were cut the whole length of the piece I had, was a bit short after I narrowed the neckband; there's a little piecing going on there. It doesn't show from more than 5 feet, but it bugged me. The velvet stretched and crept under the presser foot; ultimately I pulled out my aging, not-very-sticky-anymore roll of Steam-A-Seam and fuse basted all that binding stuff down. It took a while but it was worth it.

BTW, this pattern, Simplicity 4795, was obviously drafted for the ease of the pattern drafters and conservation of printing resources rather than the convenience of the folks actually making the garments. Same pattern piece for the vests, the cloaks, the robes...everything is to be cut on the fold, with the front of the vests slit carefully along the CF after the shoulder seams and side seams have been sewn. Yeah, right. Cut the back on the fold, cut the front on the selvedge. Much easier....

Monday, February 18, 2008

One to Grow On

So I'm just hanging out at school, doing a little rotary cutting of pieces that only need cutting on Saturday, running a little behind my 'I need to leave at noon' timetable because I wanted to *finish* the job, when Costume Sewing Head Honcho Miss R came around.

"I know you just finished all those shirts, but do you think you could do one more thing?"

Turns out the lady who was sewing the costumes for one of the secondary characters, Pippin's half-brother Louis, had had a series of family crises and simply couldn't get in to pick up the fabric for the last thing she was making. Mr H, the Bone Fide Genius costume designer, was in the building, if I could talk to him about what he wanted for this garment (she said 'cape' and I had visions of a long, wide thing that would require crawling around on the floor to cut out), perhaps, well, I could say 'No' if I needed to, but, maybe...could I talk to him?

Feeling apprehensive, I agreed and went to see what was needed.

Turns out it wasn't a cape but a sleeveless cloak...a Bible Costume vest (Simplicity 4795, top row, lengthened to the floor) with trim around all the edges. Ok, I think I can do that.

The fabric was a foil-printed knit, and the trim was to be the same metallic-lattice printed stretch velvet we'd used on the Troupe guys' pants. I brought it home, traced the pattern yesterday and then began to try and figure out the best way to add the trimming. He actually wants all the edges bound 'the width of the selvedge'...well, the selvedge is 2 1/2 wide.

I cut the vest pieces out and sewed them at the shoulder seams; I'm thinking I'll need something like double facings for the neckline and armholes; I ran out of fabric and had to get more when I picked The Actor (AKA DS the Younger) up from rehearsal. I laid the trim out just to get an idea; I'm thinking it's almost too wide on the neck and arms; I may reduce it a bit.

Oh, and I really need to have it done by the end of rehearsal today. I think tomorrow night is Dress Rehearsal; the show opens w/a middle school performance Friday morning; first public performance is Friday night.

So maybe I can have my sewing room back tomorrow. Maybe.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Choir Sundays 08 #6

This month's colors: Black and white

Jacket:Vogue 8043 Today's Fit, from a wool blend boucle

Top:Textile Studio 'Monaco Shell' funnel neck, from creamy white poly/lycra slinky

Pants:Loes Hinse Designs 'Oxford Pants' from black wool gabardine. I do love those pants!

Believe it or not, that outfit was borderline Too Hot in choir this morning; the sanctuary was unusually warm for some reason. I guess the thermostats weren't set to compensate for the warm muggy weather we've had this weekend, and when you fill up the room w/people...well, it got warm. Rather.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

C'est Fini!

There's one of the gold ones! Or at least, there it is as good as the reflection allows....

I finished them up before supper last night and began cleaning the sewing room; you've no idea how wrecked it is. I hope to work on it some more today; the sewing team will be working until 4ish, but I haven't touched laundry all week and it is mountainous, so I'm hoping to scoot out around noon.

Hopefully, I'll get a couple of photos if the kids really do put the costumes on for check today.

P.S. Mom, tell Dad his card's in the mail...I'll call later. Meantime,


Friday, February 15, 2008

Lame' Shirt Home Stretch

That's five of the six gold lame' shirts; they all still need velcro on the cuffs and the narrow hem at the bottom.

Although, since they're going to be worn tucked in, I might be able to get away w/o hemming them; they're serged.

Nah, I'll get it done.

I have one more shirt to put together today, then I'm going to run them all through for the remaining work assembly-line style. I should have them (correction, *must* have them) done by tomorrow morning.

One more day,then I can have my sewing room back! Projects are percolating away in my head...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

An Essay for the Day

I'm going to be slogging my way through gold lame' shirts again today; maybe I need to lower my standards in order to finish up? Try as I might, I can't seem to sew this stuff quick.

So, in honor of St. Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share a little...randomness. I have no idea when I wrote this or what inspired it, but it was sitting in my 'Writing' folder and seems somewhat appropriate for the day.

Just some 'Observations on Marriage'

Some people expect marriage to be an interstate highway.

The routes are wide and well paved; blasting crews and earth moving equipment have already passed through to make hills and valleys a little more uniform; curves are gentle and well-engineered, so as to not slow down the traffic flow. Obstacles such as railroad crossings or secondary roads are bypassed with bridges and do not impede progress. Ramps and acceleration and deceleration lanes make moving on…and off…easy. Travel on such a highway is ideally eventless, because the goal is reaching the destination.

But marriage is more like a two-lane state road.

It meanders through the countryside, up hills and down into valleys. It stops for trains, crawls for farm equipment, and slows for towns, cities and school zones. In some parts of the country, the state road hairpins its way through mountainous terrain with little more than a guardrail between the travelers and disaster. It wraps around town squares, counter-clockwise, and crosses one-lane bridges. Traveling by state highways, one expects slower progress, delays, and even detours for closed roads or missing bridges. It is necessary to commit to the journey and deal with the problems. As a reward, the travelers find themselves much more involved with the terrain and the location through which they are traveling. They will encounter people and places bypassed by the interstates, and they understand that the goal is to have enjoyed the journey when the destination is reached.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today's Lesson

The cool thing about sewing is there's always, always room for learning.

I learned something this week about'd think I'd've known this by now, but since I *really* try hard to keep the really big costuming efforts at church (which is really much more efficient than hauling stuff back and forth), doing a big costume project at home was something I hadn't done in a while.

So I added a new dictum to Lisa's Rules for Sewing Costumes:

Always bring home extra fabric.

I had to dig around when I picked up DS after rehearsal at school last night to find some remnants of the gold lame' so I could cut the cuff pieces I forgot when I was cutting. That fabric had been used for some other stuff and the nice, marked bag of remnants that I'd left was nowhere to be found. But we did locate a bit just floating around in a bin w/other scraps and remnants, so I'm ok and I can do the cuffs properly. But I learned the lesson; next time I find myself hauling stuff home like this I'll be sure and grab a bit extra...just in case.

But I'm behind where I wanted to be, and My Sweet Baboo just called to say they're having his 30-year work anniversary luncheon today (somehow he'd been left off of the notification; too funny). If I go, that'll shoot the whole sewing day. But how can I *not* go? Arrrggh... ;)

Life's full of tough choices, idinit?

ETA: Whew. MSB just called to say that the anniversary luncheon has been postponed till next week. So I'm cleared to sew. ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Workin' on the Gold Shirts

Not much to say; just plugging away. I'm hoping to have two done to take to school tonight; barring major distractions I should be able to do it.

Having nothing great shakes to report in the sewing area, I thought I'd give an update on DS. He saw the orthopedic guy yesterday, and, after explaining over and over again to various technicians and nurses how he broke it, and enduring an unbelievable number of comments about 'break dancing', he came out with another temporary cast. Turns out that the bone was broken bending in, which means that it could continue to bend in over time and eventually even fuse to the ulna (the other forearm bone). So the Doctor says he needs surgery to put a metal pin/plate in to splint it properly. He wanted to do the surgery today, but DS was determined to go to Phoenix. So the surgery is scheduled for Wednesday next week, and DS will be dancing in Phoenix on Friday.

I know dancing as ministry sounds kinda strange to some folks, but it is a highly effective ministry tool to young people today. Nonetheless, if anyone had told DS 5 years ago that he would be one of the dancers in the ministry we ALL would have hit the floor laughing. He's even done some of the choreography on this. The song they're dancing to is 'I Want it All Back' by Tye Tribbett (the song should start when you click on the link; if it doesn't, you can click on it on the little MP3 player on the right), and it includes the lines 'If you only knew what I was gonna be/After the storm you would/ not 'a bothered me!'...somehow, that seems appropriate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Halfway There

I finished the silver shirts Saturday at virtually the moment I needed to leave to go get DS from rehearsal; I pulled the last one off the machine, grabbed the stack and headed out; I trimmed the threads after I got there. But...I didn't get a photo of the whole stack. Rats.

But they're DONE and now I can move on to the gold ones. I ironed on all the interfacing last night and discovered that I was short a couple of sets of sleeve cuff pieces. And I didn't have the sense to bring home any scraps 'just in case'. So I'm either going to modify the cuffs a bit so I don't need the other pieces (i.e., make them fold-over instead of faced) or I'll have to pick up some scrap fabric somehow.

These shirts will be a little harder to make in a big batch; every one of them is a different size and I don't want to risk getting the sizes mixed up. So I'll probably do them two (or *maybe* three) at a time, just so I don't have so many parts floating around. We'll see how the day goes....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Choir Sundays 08 #5

This Month's Colors: Black and white

The bad thing about hopping down between songs in the pre-service practice is that everyone is fellowshipping instead of being all sharp and choir-y looking. But you can get an idea of how the whole colors thing works,right?

Since we were also serving at our periodic information lunch for folks who have recently visited the church, I didn't go real dressy today. In fact, I went for 1)comfortable and 2) washable.
Top: Kwik Sew 2900 from a tweedy knit of undetermined content that I inherited from my grandmother. This shirt has been hanging in my closet since 2002. I didn't like the low armholes when I made it, but for some reason I keep wearing it and wearing it and wearing it...
Pants:New Look 6101, from black rayon blend "4-way' double knit from EmmaOneSock.

I caught DS in the hallway; he's got a backpack slung on his back, not a back brace or anything like that. He's determined to dance his little heart out when they do the dance at the International Master's Commission Conference Friday. Wish I could see it...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Them's the Breaks (ooo..bad pun alert)

I kind of resigned myself to cooking and cleaning yesterday once I figured out I couldn't split myself into three people. We were having a dinner guest, after all, and I couldn't feed him finished silver shirts. DS the Elder was supposed to join us for dinner also, but had to cancel because Master's Commission was working on choreography for a dance they were to perform at Conference in Phoenix next week. "It's an insane dance" He text messaged me (that's code for 'freakingly awesome'). "I may even get tossed in the air."

Well, at 9:30 we got a phone call; the final time through, something had gone wrong on the toss; he'd landed on his arm instead of his feet and they were on their way to the ER to get it X-Rayed.

That broke up our little soiree in a hurry; the guest said good-night and My Sweet Baboo headed to the hospital to meet them. I decided I might as well sew, but it was a challenge to keep myself on task.

Well, he'd broken the radial bone in his right arm (yes, he's right-handed) clean through, but it was a clean break and the ends were still together so they put a temporary cast on it, gave him instructions on how to keep it still and some pain killers and a referral to an orthopedic for follow up on Monday and sent him home. He decided he'd rather go to his apartment. He's got five roomates to watch him and didn't even have a toothbrush at the house, not to mention when he's here he sleeps on the top DH drove him over and got him inside to his buddies and then got home at about 1:45 AM, just as I was applying the second sleeve to the last blouse.

DS was not in a lot of physical distress; it just so happened that one of the other guys had some prescription pain killers with him (there's been at least two other ER visits w/Master's this year...they're a fierce bunch...) and made him take one as soon as they got him off the floor. He's more upset that the 'insane' dance is not going to work as planned, or at least he's not going to be doing the part that he thought was so cool.

They're supposed to get on the bus to head for Phoenix Tuesday morning. So he's going to have to pack up with one arm, scheduled around what could be a lengthy orthopedic visit (I've never had a visit to an orthopedic that didn't last about three times longer than my most pessimistic estimate), assuming he can get in on Monday. I really hope he can get in on Monday; it would be a far more painful thing for him to miss the trip.

But My Sweet Baboo said that while they were waiting on the techs to come to put on the cast, DS was up on his feet, practicing the dance steps. Yeah, he's that intense...I doubt I'll be able to talk him into coming home so his mama can take care of him; he's got too much to do.

So, while DS the Younger is at his all-day rehearsal, I'm going to be finishing those silver shirts (side seams and hems are all that's left). Maybe even get a decent start on the gold ones...which have to be finished by the end of the work session Thursday night...and doing a little praying. ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008

I Need Three of Me

Household duties (ok, trying to keep the budget semi-current) caught me yesterday and I didn't get into the sewing room until about 2:30. With a hefty interruption for cooking supper and eating it (I did get some help w/the dishes), I didn't get as much done as I wanted. I thought I could push it through, but the lame' simply will not be pushed. But I did get the collars on all the silver shirts and the sleeves prepped, so today all I need to do is put on the sleeves, sew up the underarm seams and hem them.

Definitely do-able in a day, if we weren't having a dinner guest tonight. So I need to do some housecleaning and a fair bit of cooking, and I need to make a quick grocery run.

Oh, and the laundry needs some work, too.

It's going to be a busy day.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Back at the Lame'

After a couple of days in which it seemed like I did nothing but run errands, I'm going to be home again w/o a car, so I'm headed back to the sewing room. On Monday, I got all of the silver shirts to the point where the neckline is gathered and the collar is attached. I managed to put ONE on in between errands yesterday...and put it on backwards (i.e., the undercollar is up). No, it won't be noticeable from more than 10 feet away. But it bothers me. However, I can't frog stitch (rip-it, rip-it) the lame', so it's just going to have to be what it is.

I don't know what's up w/me and collars of late...that's the second time I've done that in a month. Maybe I should get my glasses checked (or get more sleep).

But the sleeves are already hemmed, so once the collars are on I should be on the downhill side of THIS part of the project.

I am taking a few photos of the process; I'll review the pattern once I get them all uploaded.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Expo 08 Classes

I wasn't sure I was going to get to go to the Expo this year; there was a possible schedule conflict w/a church event. But the church event didn't work out, so I sent in my registration Saturday evening, with my fingers crossed that I wouldn't be too late to sign up. My traveling buddy Miss A couldn't leave till Friday this year, so all the classes had to be after noon on Friday. I registered for 4 classes (one is a multi-session class; I had to pay for an extra session on the five class package) Saturday night and crossed my fingers that I'd get in.

Last night I had an email that said my registration was confirmed, so apparently I'm ok! Here's my list:

Louise Cutting, Cutting Line Designs, Fri 1 PM
Cynthia Guffey, Perfectly Fitted Sleeves, Fri 2:30 PM
Cynthia Guffey, Tricky Gizmo Sewing, Fri 6:30 PM
Peggy Sagers, Designer Finishes, Sat. 12:30

There were a couple of other classes I considered, but decided that I didn't really want to spend the entire day and a half in classes...I need *some* shopping time!

And Miss A and I have recruited another friend...who is also a Miss come along.

Now all I need to do is book a room.

And decide what to wear. ;)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Plot of Pippin

DS the Younger brought home his script a few weeks ago and I read it; you can read a summary HERE. That's not the Lee Lyric site, which hasn't been updated for ages; someone did a site just for this year.

Do you's the story of The Preacher from the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes? Who tries all sorts of things looking for significance and meaning in life, and then finally concludes that it is best to enjoy the life one has, the wife one loves, and to do one's work well. (Well, The Preacher adds 'fear God and keep his commandments', which is not mentioned in Pippin...but then, in that quasi-medieval setting, hypocritical church leaders imposed legalistic religion on the folk who had no other means of learning faith, so Pippin only found the emptiness of religion when he went to the local church for significance.)

Now, I don't know if the play was intentionally modeled after The Preacher or not, but the resemblance is striking. And the lesson...that it is better to be simple and happy than to destroy oneself looking for not a bad thing for young people to consider. Or older folks, either.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to actually seeing the production!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pattern Mania

As I mentioned Saturday, Hancock's had Vogues on sale for 75% of the list price last week...and Buttericks were $.99. It took stopping at both Hancock's in town, but I got most of the patterns on my list.

I only had one Butterick, 4869, since it hadn't been that long since the last Butterick sale. I'm not sure I'd've bought that pattern at full price, or even the regular 40% off price, but I'm kind of on a wide-collar-kick and it was worth a buck.

But I came home with seven Vogues. The first one is not real exciting; it's the do-it-yourself shoulder pad pattern, 9723. It was recommended on one of the sewing boards, and I thought it might be handy to have around...ya never know...

But the rest all get my creative processes dangerously agitated...I dunno why these great sales always seem to coincide with a costume crunch of some sort. Anyway, I'm resisting the siren call of:

8259, the Claire Shaeffer does Coco Chanel jacket that has been made with such great success by so many. Will I make it couture-style? Hmm...maybe...I've got an aging wool blend plaid in the stash that could look very, very good if I did it right. If.

8473. I'm not sure I like the jacket and the dress together...the flare of both of them in the back looks kind of, um, matronly. But that jacket over a pair of skinny pants would work, I think, and a shorter jacket could make the dress more wearable. The seaming on the jacket is...interesting....

I love the Badgley Mischka 1040. What a great back that jacket has! I ended up having to get it in my 'hip' size instead of my 'shoulder' size, but I think I can figure out how to grade the shoulders the very least, I can use a TNT shoulder princess as a template and go from there.

Sandra Betzina's patterns always catch my eye; the rest are Today's Fit. I picked up 2935, seduced by those strong vertical lines. Wait...there's some creamy white wool crepe in the stash...

I didn't get Sandra's earlier jeans pattern, but I picked up the new one, 1034. I liked the options of either boot cut or straight pants, even though I'd have to lengthen the straight ones from cropped to full length. I'm not sure I'm crazy about all the fiddly details, but those could be edited out to regular ol' five-pocket styling.

I also picked up her new jeans jacket, 1036. It really strikes me as being a very feminine take on the classic. I've still got my expensive denim eyelet that's waiting to be a jacket. I'd omit all the sleeve detail if I used that fabric, though. Too fussy for eyelet, but it'd be great in plain ol' dark wash denim.

Now that I've got myself all inspired, all my spare time in the sewing room today will be spent sewing silver shirts....and after the silver, the gold. And after that, who knows...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Choir Sundays 08 #4

Well, we have a huge ministry team off doing street ministry/building projects in New Orleans this weekend, so our choir was, um, not a really good representation of this month's colors today. I'll get a full choir shot next week ;).

But this month's colors are black and white, and I'm wearing the shirt I finished Friday (see yesterday's post ;) ), and the black poly herringbone suit that consists of Loes Hinse's Bistro Jacket and a morphed version of Loes Hinse's European Pants and Oxford Pants

I don't know when I'll get a shot at a personal project again...probably not this it kinda helped to wear a new top this morning. ;)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

How Fast Can I Type?

I've got to load up and head out to school in about 20 minutes...but yesterday was a Significant Sewing Day and I want to get the details and pictures up before I go, so...if the grammar and spelling are neglected, I'll fix 'em when I get home ;)

The significance wasn't in the sewing I did, but in the sewing related things I did. A fellow Pattern Review member, Peggy L, was in town to celebrate the opening of a new Jason's Deli, which is managed by her son-in-law. It just so happens that the new deli is just around the corner from one of the Hancock's stores in town, so Peggy and her daughter and I decided to meet up there to take advantage of the Vogue and Butterick pattern sale. (I bought a bunch of patterns; I'll talk about those in detail next week). Whilst we were perusing, I found a batch of really nice rayon/lycra jersey knits that were on sale for 1/2 price. Now, I had just been lamenting to myself this week that I needed a few more really nice long-sleeved knit I bought three two-yard pieces:

Yeah, they're all black and's Black and White for choir this month; incentive to not let them sit around. ;)

Then we met Mr. L at Jason's for lunch (which was excellent; I'll go back w/My Sweet Baboo sometime) and Peggy's daughter snapped a photo before we left:

We had a lovely time; it's always great to meet an on-line friend in real life ;)

I came home, threw the knits in the washer and dryer ran some other errands and took care of other laundry; then, last night while My Sweet Baboo was attending a symposium, decided I *must* make one of those knits up. I was near to distraction, anyway, since I couldn't seem to get a stitch in edgewise on one of my own projects.

So, after a couple of false starts w/patterns that weren't ready to cut for one reason or another, I defaulted to my TNT Vogue 7799. I think the print is slightly off grain; hard to tell, with a knit, because you can't just check a crosswise thread to see, but it behaved as if it were off grain. I kind of struggled to get the lines straight (evidenced by the misaligned motifs on the underlayer at the left shoulder. Oh well.). And there was no way to avoid having *some* print element right at the bustline. I finished it at 12:15 crazy is that?...but it sure felt good to have something wearable. My Sweet Baboo was still up, since he'd been out late anyway, and I got him to take a photo.

Hopefully, I'll look better in the top in a future choir Sunday photo...maybe even tomorrow!

Ooops! Time's up...gotta run...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Slow Motion

I took the cutting mats to the the rain...last night and managed to cut out all of two (T-W-O) guys' gold lame' shirts. The six guys are all different sizes, so they have to be cut one at a time. Groan. But, I've seen what some of the other ladies are doing and, truthfully, I'm getting off easy w/the lame' shirts. This is going to be an unbelievably visual show.

I managed to get a photo of one of the can see how the gold-on-black scraps were used:

Believe it or not, this is a guy's headband.

I'm planning to work on silver shirts and laundry today, with a bit of a mid-day break to meet a fellow Pattern Review member who happens to be in town for lunch and a trip to Hancock's (Vogue patterns are 75% off through tomorrow. I have a list.) That will be fun, but I can't take off too long. Dress rehearsals begin in 2 weeks...(eek!)

On a different note, five years have gone by really fast...

Just remembering.