Friday, April 25, 2008

Squeezing in a little sewing

I debated whether to hold off on posting, but the only thing I'm putting off at the moment is snoozing so I thought I'd go ahead and share my latest project:

A little sewing here...a little sewing there... I've been greatly frustrated w/sewing this month (that'll be a LONG post when I get back), so I wanted something quick. I still had the second of the two 'I made parity!' celebration fabrics left to sew up, so a little puzzling over adding a lining and a little sewing and bingo! A new Textile Studios Madison Avenue Dress!

Details are in the review (link on the sidebar...sooner or later).

I think this dress calls for a Night Out w/My Sweet Baboo... ;)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Checkin' In

Thought I'd drop by with an update...

My hiatus is being very productive; I'm not sewing much but I'm getting some other things taken care of. I've done quite a bit of personal growth-type things, and part of that has led to a new blog (Beer Lahai Roi), to talk about some aspects of life that I don't feel are entirely appropriate in this context.

I'm planning to come back to Sew Random (and the other blogs and sewing boards) after next week; next week is going to be a 'no outside the house appointments' week so I can really focus on doing what needs doing in the house. We never really got things situated after we moved in nearly three years ago; there's a LOT that needs doing. Even working on it all week will likely only get a dent made in it.

But I wanted to let everyone know I'm ok and I miss you! And I will be back!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Choir Sundays 08 #12...and the 'Pause' button

First, The Choir Sunday: It's a new month...

This month's colors: Black w/either purple or lavender

Jacket: Textile Studios Florence Jacket, from textured wool crepe

Top: Christine Jonson Basewear 2 sleeveless turtleneck, from a black/purple/lavender rayon/lycra print jersey;

Pants: Black wool gabardine Loes Hinse Oxford Pants

And...the Pause Button....

For some time now, I've been feeling rather restless with the time consumed by the internet. I spend too much time checking and rechecking for comments, opinions, looking for sewing inspiration...nothing bad, you understand, but seriously out of balance. I've been confronted again with a question of priority this morning and I realize the time has come for me to take a bit of an Internet hiatus. Oh, I'll still check email, but I'm going to be taking a break from the blogs and boards for a little while. Time to do a little refocusing.

I'm not sure how long I'll be gone (maybe the rest of the month?) or what might change when I come back, but I don't want my cyber friends worrying...this is not a bad thing. It's a growth thing.

If you need to get in touch, you can reach me at tig77lw 'at' yahoo dotcom.

Thanks to all of you who have traveled with me on this journey so far...I value your friendship very much.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hit by inspriation...

Well, maybe I've been hit by inspiration about four times, and the fourth time was the one that pushed me over into actually working on the project.

The fourth smack was the One Fabric - Silk contest that's currently running at Pattern Review. I haven't entered a contest for ages...and, to be honest, the prizes of gift certificates from a quilting-oriented vendor aren't highly motivating to me. But the entries have to be made this month; THAT is highly motivating!

I have some silks that I purchased...I dunno...twelve years ago? make one of Sandra Betzina's silk-underlined-with-flannel jackets.

And then I couldn't find a pattern that I thought would work. So the fabrics sat in the stash for years...waiting...

Then, last month, Phyllis C posted a review of the Hot Patterns Geisha Girl Jacket and I got smacked with inspiration again. What a gorgeous, reversible jacket she had! I had that pattern in the stash, and I recollected my languishing silks and started to think about how to make the Geisha with them. But, as one was a lightweight crepe and the other a pretty sturdy shantung, I wasn't sure what to do.

The third inspiration came as I pondered how to do what I wanted to do. I wanted it reversible, with the shantung on the facings on the crepe side... and, from the far reaches of my brain, I remembered a cover article from an ancient Threads by a lady named Bird Ross, who used rather unique construction/finishing methods for her jackets (that article was voted either number 2 or number 3 in the top 100 articles list a couple of years back). And I realized that the black-and-white print silk I got at Atlanta this year would work with the ancient silks in the jacket. I could use the two silk crepes as the fabrics for the two sides, and the shantung for the edge finishing and the sash. And I'll probably have enough shantung left for a sharp straight skirt.

SO...when the 'One Fabric - Silk' contest finally caught my eye, I realized I have a potential entry.

So yesterday evening I traced off a size 10 Geisha Girl Jacket and today I'll make a quick muslin, just to check the fit.

This will be cool.

PS> Thanks to everyone who posted/is posting your 12 TNT picks! I've enjoyed seeing the lists so far...

Friday, April 04, 2008

Fun First Friday: A Year of TNT

It struck me that it might be fun to do the 'what would you...' kind of thing on a regular basis, so I'm sort of playing around with the idea of doing this on the first Friday of each month...

But the question for this month is:

You have to move for one year to a very small space that does not have access to retail or internet pattern sources. You have only room to take 12 TNT patterns with you. So, what patterns would you take to meet any wardrobe needs in the next year?

I had to make my list twice; I lost it the first time! But here's what I came up with...

La Fred's Daphne Pant; These are good pants for wearing under long floaty tops; they also make great capris. I modified them to have a waistband and pockets.
Vogue 7881; Claire Shaeffer's contour-waist pants (I added a pocket to these, too). Very good, very basic pants when an elastic waistband is NOT indicated.
Loes Hinse's Oxford Pants I've tweaked these to almost perfect, and I've done some modifications with them, too. I think I could (in fact, I'm planning on it) make a decent pull-on shorts pattern from them, and I *believe* I could, in an pinch, turn them into no-side-seam pants if I needed to for some reason.

Straight skirt: Kwik Sew 2581. This has options for pleat variations in three lengths; I could get several very different skirts from this if I needed a serious skirt.

Flared skirt: Cutting Line Designs Farewell to Arms. This is a beautiful, easy-to-wear, easy-to-make skirt. I modified the pockets so that they were free (not stitched to the skirt front) just because that's my preference, but I love this skirt. Bonus: the envelope also contains patterns for an unstructured dress and a pull over top; I have used the skirt portion of the dress before as a straight skirt and it worked well, too.

Tops: This was a hard category to choose. I ended up with mostly knit tops; I don't have a good supply of TNTs for woven shirts at the moment. But I have:

Cutting Line Designs In the Trenches. That's a shirt that can be easily modified w/ sleeve length and trim details variations. It looks pretty, well, trenchy as illustrated, but if you look past the drawstring and the back shield, there's a very nice basic shirt underneath. Oh, and a bonus here...a pegged skirt, too.

Loes Hinse's City Dress; I know, I know, that's a dress pattern. But I've modified the bodice into a very nice little scoop-neck shell and made it a bazillion times. It's a good basic. And, the bonus is, I've got the unstructured dress as well.

Jalie 2005 Choice of T's; Of course.

Jalie 965 Camisole and T. This is the best knit tank I've covers everything and looks great as a base layer under about anything.

Kwik Sew 2948 Twin Set; my favorite KS pattern. I love-love-love that set.

I've only really got one TNT Jacket:
Vogue Today's Fit 8043; I *think* I could modify it a bit for variation if need be (I already have one done...). But the boxy Chanel style is timeless, so it should fill a jacket need ok.

Finally, a dress with some shape:
Vogue 8379; the DVF knock-off wrap dress. I still need to make that up w/my tweaks, but I'm pretty confident they'll work.

There are other patterns that I wish I could take, but they're not TNT yet so they don't qualify. But I'm pretty sure I could get a year's wardrobe out of those...assuming I wouldn't need a MOB or MOG or other Special Occasion outfit.

But, hey, I bet if I got creative enough, I could maybe even pull that off with the little jacket and the shell top and a straight killer fabrics... ;)

So! There's my picks! If you want to play, post your picks in your blog and leave a link in the comments and we'll all come look!

And if you're not ready today, you can list your picks tomorrow....

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Finally Pippin Photos

We ordered the DVD of the Thursday night performance along with the photo CD, and DS brought them home Tuesday night. There were over 700 pictures on that photo CD! So, just so I can pass along what the costumes really looked like, here's just a few.

These were taken by Jeff White (you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them)

The Opening Number

final pose after curtain calls

'Louis' and 'Fastrada' in the choir-like number 'Morning Glow'. I made virtually all of Louis's costume (glittery pants, glittery shirt, foil metallic cloak trimmed w/the glittery velvet...and doesn't that glittery velvet look amazing? I'm still looking for the gold-on-white colorway...if anyone's seen anything like that, let me know!); Fastrada's cloak is the one to which I added the godets. Unfortunately, there were no side shots of either of these, so the details really can't be seen.

Here's a posed photo of the Troupe...I did the lame' shirts; the guy's pants are the final doe suede version.

And, just for Grandma, a photo of The Actor... (yes, that's him in the front).

Whew. This oughta be the final post for this year's musical...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Bonus Post:: I want to thank the Academy...

Well, actually the thanks goes to Mary Beth at The Stitchery, who awarded Sew Random the 'Excellent Blog' award.

The award was started by Project Mommy in January and is wending its way through the blogspere.

Now it's my turn to pass the award along to ten others...and I'm trying not to name folks who have already been nominated (although I don't know how far the meme has gotten; some of these could be duplicates just the same). Here are my picks for 'blog excellence', in, well, Random Order...

Belinda at Sew-4-Fun
Charity at Vintage Threads
Lisa at Sew On and Sew On
Angie at Quality Time
Isabelle at Kitty Couture
Beth at The Rusty Bobbin
Linda at Patterns and Fabric and Thread, Oh My!
Pirouette at Krustallos
Julia at Julia's Sewing Blog
Annika at Annika's Atelier

Not to mention the many excellent blogs on the sidebar who have already been awarded the "E"...

thank you, Mary Beth!

A Little Joke

Ok, I put two clues in yesterday's (y'know...April 1) post that it was, um, inspired by the day. The first was that 'April Fool' was in italics; the second was that the label for the post wasn't 'Stashing: Patterns' or 'My Space' or anything even remotely related to cleaning things out; it was 'The Calendar'.

I was really surprised that folks took it seriously. Not just in the comments...a friend who reads the blog said something in a telephone conversation about me throwing out so much stuff.

Ok, I admit I need to cull the stash somewhat, but down to 12 patterns????

I'm a more convincing fiction writer than I thought, I guess. (LOL)

But it did raise some interesting questions. If, by some bizarre twist of fate, I *had* to cull down to 12 TNT (that's 'Tried 'N' True'...patterns that you've tested, tweaked and made more than once) patterns for a year, what would they be? As Alexandra pointed out, that would be a terrific personal challenge.

So, whilst I'm thinking about it, I've got a question for any sewing bloggers looking for some content in the next few days...Ya wanna play along? What 12 TNT patterns would you take with you if you had to move into a small space w/no access to retail or internet pattern sources for one year?

Post it on Friday and we'll all have fun reading each other's picks. You can leave a comment Friday so we'll know who's playing.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I really don't know what came over me.

Maybe it was trying to cram the new pattern purchases into the cabinet and realizing that, to get them to fit, I was going to have to pull ALL the patterns out and rearrange the whole system, but I kind of snapped.

"Who am I kidding!" I thought, "There's absolutely no way I can sew all these up in my entire lifetime, even if I dedicated myself to it from now on!" And, in a burst of frenzy, I started pulling patterns out to get rid of.

First it was just a few. But then, as I realized I was pulling not only excess tissue, but releasing myself from the guilt of projects I'd never make, I started just cleaning out the drawers.

Then, quick before I could change my mind, I hauled them off to Good Will.

I've a bare dozen TNT patterns left now...and a wardrobe challenge to see if I can use just 12 patterns to clothe myself for a year.

But now I'm feeling a little like Linus without his you suppose anyone will be running any April Fool's day sales?