Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stepping Away from the Shopping Cart

Ok. I'm at over 100 yards in...and a pitiful 34 1/2 yards out.

So what was I doing over know who...filling my cart w/ ridiculously cheap rayon challis? That I don't have room to store and won't have time to sew anytime in the foreseeable future?

I had something like 12 yards of fabric in the cart. For about 30 bucks. Crazy.

But I don't need it right now. I probably don't need it, period. It'd just be more stuff to stash.

So I took a deep breath and closed the window.

But it was hard...HARD! Rayon challis was just Not Available for so long; I'm really fighting my inner brat on this one.

If I can just hold out a few more days, they'll be gone...

Time to turn off the computer and go work on clearing out the sun porch...


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Peanuts (R) Big Heavy Drippy Sigh

That's what would be over my head at the moment. I was SO looking forward to this week; it's youth camp week at church, and, due to the amazing awesomeness of our annual Youth Camp at the Beach, nearly our entire pastoral staff manages to go down and be a part of it.

So the business office is pretty unbusy. I planned to take off a couple of days and actually (gasp) SEW!

However, the time has come to pay attention to some home repair issues; we fixed part of the problem but hadn't had a chance to look and see just how bad the damage was from the leaky roof (the fixed part) and poorly set windows and ineffectively drained in-wall air conditioner unit.

The AC unit died and had to be replaced and, oh, wow, when we pulled that sucker out we couldn't hide our heads in the sand any longer. There is Work To Be Done. Serious Work.

Fortunately, it is not actual living space that is crumbling, just the sun porch.

Where I had set up my cutting table and staging area for upcoming projects.

Now I have about a week to get it all emptied.

I don't know where I'm gonna put the stuff, or how I'm gonna sew with it all discombobulated.

I'm thinking I'm just going to give up the living room and computer room for the duration of Phase 1, 'cause I can't NOT sew.

My kids need pirate shirts for the finale of the children's church summer theme.

I have a wedding in about 7 1/2 weeks...and I'm going to be making at least my dress and the Flute Player's dress, and likely some of the bridesmaids dresses, unless they each have a miracle happen as they're shopping for a 'silver gray knee-length dress that does not have sleeves but is not strapless'...which I think is the specs sent to them by The Princess. One of the girls has already called because she has had no luck in finding anything like that. And she lives in the Boston area, and will not be arriving for the wedding until the day before. So, wow, long-distance fitting, here we come.

The contractor tells us that he's pretty sure he can have the essential repairs made by the wedding. It won't be pretty, but at least it will no longer be rotting and moldy. I don't know how many 'phases' of reconstruction are going to happen before we finally have that room pretty and useful. At least three.

I am dreaming of finding the house inspector that came so highly recommended and passed our house w/only minor issues and sending him a gift card for a visit to an optometrist...

Anyway, my plans were based on not being needed at work, and that has rather fallen apart too...the final stage of a really big project (as in, we're at 9 months and counting now) just came back to my desk yesterday. So I'm working at least a bit every day.

And how's this for the starts a week from Monday. Good-bye, summer, I hardly knew you... ;-)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 7/24/11

The 'I'm barely holding my eyes open' edition...

Our Teen Girls retreat was this week; it's only Thursday - Saturday morning, but we had out of town company passing through on Saturday night and 4 church services to do and, well, I mostly just grabbed whatever I could and wore it.

And I pretty well looked like I just grabbed something and threw it on. Oh, well. I'll plan and iron and put on make up and stuff next week.

Oh, wait. We've got Other Duties next week; I won't be in choir. So I can wear whatever.

I'm stalling because I don't want to post these pictures. Sigh.

So, Saturday it was straight-legged jeans with the almost-ready-for-retirement turquoise Scoop neck Simplicity 4076, under my who-knows-what pattern Six Year Vest. The lady who stood next to me in choir looked at her bright turquoise shirt next to my more muted colors and lamented that she wasn't wearing the right color. Nope. She was right...I was fudging. Most of my stuff needed ironing and I just didn't have time to do it...

This morning I pulled on the knit bootcut jeans again, and added the turquoise (yes, the right color!) silk shell top from the Loes Hinse City Dress bodice, an old (I remember wearing it to work in 1979) square polyester white scarf and a new (as in, this is the 2nd time I've worn it) white denim jacket from a Coldwater Creek sale. The first time I wore the jacket I got some spot of something on one of the sleeves and it had to be washed...and then ironed. So I hit the ironing board before I headed off to church today, but didn't get the photo taken until we got home and I was all rumpled again.

My Sweet Baboo failed to mention I still had the leadership badge on. Oopsie.

Like I said, today was not my most photogenic day.

Hopefully I'll catch up on my sleep and be better by the next time...which will be August, with different colors...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 7/17/11

This month's colors are turquoise, oatmeal and white (with blue jeans), and I fudged a bit on Saturday, using a top w/a print that also had black (which is always allowed unless otherwise specified) and gray...which I hoped wasn't terribly noticeable on stage.

It's Burda 5/09 #103, made over two years ago for a turquoise/black choir wardrobe. I've got on my original Jalie 965 tank top as a bottom layer, and my straight-legged Lee jeans.

For Sunday, I got bold and wore a white jacket after all; our choir director wore a white jacket last night and said she considered it to be 'an accent', so I decided it would be ok. I think I was the only white jacket in choir...

It's Vogue 8045, made from white poly/cotton twill. I gotta confess, when I linked the review I was surprised that no one else has reviewed that jacket. It's such a flattering design; I get comments on it frequently...especially the denim version, because the top stitching stands out so much on that. I gotta make another one, I think...

The jacket's over my TNT sleeveless shell top, the Loes Hinse City Dress bodice, made from silk/lycra charmeuse (wonderful stuff!!!) and, of course, worn with my Coldwater Creek knit bootcuts.

My Sweet Baboo gave me a CWC gift card for my birthday...I'm watching for a good sale. There may be more knit jeans in my future. ;-)

PS (added after I realized where we were on the calendar)'s time for the Quarterly Blogging break, so I'll be pretty much off the 'net for a week... be back w/next week's post.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Breakin' 100.

And I'm not actually talking about the weather, although I could be. Trying to remember those snow days back in January...

Anyway, after being SO GOOD last year and keeping my fabric acquisitions under 80 yards, this year I broke 100 before the end of July.

So I'm gonna hafta start deleting those sale emails.

And I really need to block some serious sewing time off; I've got so many projects I want to make that I just can't seem to get to.

Anyway, what is hopefully going to be the last 'fabric in' for awhile arrived yesterday.

Between a sale, a coupon and generous cutting, I got two pieces of silk charmeuse for under $8/yard, including shipping. I ended up with almost 7 yards of the purple, and it is 54" wide. So...I WILL have some silk PJ's some day! ;) The colors are a bit off; they really are darker. The blue in the middle is actually another bamboo/lycra knit, but it feels slightly less yummy than the purple that I got previously, which was extraordinary. This is just nice.

Do I sound spoiled?? LOL.

Now, if I could just get a little uninterrupted time with my sewing machines...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 7/10/11

The Goofy Photos Edition
Our colors for this month are turquoise, white and oatmeal; white is actually supposed to be an 'accent', as the cameras don't handle it well. But that was a late word to us; I had two white jackets that I was planning to wear and now I'm scrambling to make up the difference.

See, one of our choir wardrobe specs is 'no sleeveless tops'. So the sleeveless shells/tank tops that I was *going* to wear under my white jackets aren't really available, unless I figure out some way to get some sleeves on my arms.

BUT...there were a couple of things going on this week. Saturday I was out running errands and got home with barely enough time to change shirts. So I grabbed a turquoise Girls Ministry T shirt and just made do with my errand-running Gloria Vanderbilt Mom jeans and a vest that I made so long ago (10 years, maybe?) I don't remember the pattern number...or even which pattern company it was. It's white lace over white taffeta and, being how it's 10ish years old, it's too little, but I made it work over the T. Sort of, anyway. I rolled the sleeves up on the t-shirt but by the time we got home and got the photos (like I said, we were way short on time before church) the sleeves had unrolled and I didn't even realize it.
It looked way cooler w/the sleeves rolled, but you'll have to trust me on that.

I was also playing around with stance and pose, trying to, in Louise Cutting's words, make a 4 cushion sofa look like a love seat. Mostly I just looked like I had to go potty really bad. I even succeeded in making my favorite jeans look weirdly wrinkled. Ah, well, it's all on the learning curve.

So, today I had on the afore-mentioned fave jeans (yes, the Coldwater Creek knit boot cuts), and I used my beigy linen tank top modification of Loes' Hinse's City Dress bodice. This was part of my 2006 SWAP set and, well, it's on the snug side, too. Plus it is sleeveless. So I kind of experimented by throwing my turquoise New Look 6407 shirt that I wore last week on over it. The weirdness at the neckline of the New Look shirt didn't matter, since it was just a top layer.

It's interesting how a last minute shift in the wardrobe and limited sewing time are making me a little more creative in what I put on...I probably wouldn't have EVER worn either of those combos had I not *really needed* to come up with something that fit the criteria. Good outside the box challenges...

Friday, July 08, 2011

You know it's time to put away the Credit card when...

The fabric that arrives is less than you expected.

Twice in a row.

The heavy satin that was represented as charmeuse was disappointing but still usable...possibly, anyway.
But one of the pieces that arrived yesterday in a box from one of my favorite online vendors was so horrid that I've already made inquiries about sending it back.

It's the piece on the far left. The other three are pretty much what I expected; a turquoise/orange rayon/lycra knit for a top for The Flute Player, black and red swimwear knit for, well, a swimsuit, and a sueded poly/lycra knit that I just plan to have some fun with.

But the stripe. Oh, my.

It's supposed to be 50% Rayon/46% Polyester/4% Lycra.

I am not believing the Lycra part, at least.

It's flimsy...I can see the grid on my cutting mat even through the red stripe.

It feels horrid...the dye almost feels painted on, and it cracks when stretched.

And, btw, once stays. No recovery.


So I fired off the inquiry last night. Still haven't heard back; I'm wondering if they may be swamped w/similar inquiries, as there were several colorways of this fabric on the website.

Most of the time, my internet fabric purchases are delightful. But every once in a while, there's a dud...and I think I've had at least one dud from every vendor I've purchased from. This one was just the worst.

I have one more order from Fabric Mart outstanding; I hit that 'sale plus facebook coupon' and used it for some silk charmeuse...I'm still determined to have some silk pajamas. This time I ordered 6 yards of goods that's supposed to be 54" wide...I should have PLENTY. ;-).

HOWever, I do believe that will be it on fabric acquisition for a while. I need to sew what I've got. ;-)

ETA: I just realize the fabric that prompted the whole order, blue silk chiffon w/a spatter paint design, was somehow not in that picture! Ah, well, you'll see it soon's for next month's choir wardrobe. ;-)

And I've been finishing up the baptism robes a bit here and there...It only takes me about 20 minutes to do the side seams and hems (and that's including the pressing and time out to pet the sewing assistant, who has to come and hang out when I'm sewing). I should finish those up and get them off my conscience soon.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Office wear

I didn't get the gray Jalie cardigan done in time to wear for choir this go-round so I thought I'd wear it in to work... yes, we have a casual office; specially since I'm rearranging my furniture/hanging pictures this week.

I goofed a bit on the sleeve tabs and didn't put them on high enough. I should've checked the coral version (scroll to bottom)to see how high I put 'em, but I thought I remembered.

I increased the size of the godet in the back, and trimmed it a bit more to reduce the point on the hem. I'm liking this

And, oh yeah, I got new glasses. The Actor was with me when I picked 'em out and he laughed at them. He just didn't dig the retro vibe.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Blue thread up

I finally finished the gray Jalie cardigan; no pictures yet because it is soaked with starch and looks all waterstained. So it went from the sewing machine into the laundry.

That fabric was not at all cooperative in sewing, but at least I know how to more-or-less tame it now. Good thing; I've still got three more pieces of that knit, in other colors, to turn into garments.

And I finished up the tablecloths; just set the serger for a rolled edge and whipped 'em through.

Then I put blue thread on the serger. I brought home the baptism robes that have been sitting under my desk needing side seams and hems since...gee, I don't remember when. They really do need to be finished, if just to get the guilt off my shoulders for taking so long ;-). I have a Burda pattern cut out ready to go,'s a top, but the pattern is one of those 'top or dress' deals, depending upon how much length is added. I actually want a dress from it, but figured the top would be a good test of the fit. Think I'm gonna take a quick break from sewing choir-related stuff and do a test; I'll be wanting that dress before long, I think.

On the Wedding Front, The Princess has just decided that it will be simpler all around if each girl just goes and purchases a dress she likes in the prescribed color. So she will be mailing color swatches off to them soon and I am not going to be making any dresses.

'Cept mine and the Flute Player's. But I'm not even going to do the muslin until after we get back from Girls' camp in a couple of weeks. Then I'm actually going to start working on my dress.

Hm. Maybe I should order the underlining silk organza one of these days soon...

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 7/3/11

New month, new wardrobe colors. The colors for July are Turquoise, white and 'oatmeal', which I guess is a light tan. I've got a couple of white jackets, which I thought would do nicely over turquoise tops, but last week we got a reminder of the color switch, and were instructed to wear white as 'an accent' only, since it does not play nice with the color settings in the TV monitors.

I had a bit of a panic, as I didn't have another top layer that fit the criteria, although I do have a turquoise jacket cut out. I asked our choir director, and she told me that a white jacket would be ok...she just didn't want the whole choir in white shirts. But I decided to hold off and see if anyone else wore a jacket as 'an accent piece'.

No one did.

Guess I'd better get crackin' on that turquoise Vogue jacket...

Anyway, my doesn't-need-a-jacket wardrobe for this weekend was:

For Saturday, I pulled out the Original Turquoise Choir Top, the scoop-neck version of Simplicity 4076, made from a rayon blend knit I picked up at Vogue Fabric's booth at the Atlanta Sewing Expo many moons ago (like, oh, 3 years?). It's beginning to look a little pillish; I should probably replace it soon...Anyway, it's over a white Land's End tank top (picked up on sale) and the Lee bootcuts again.

For Sunday, I teamed the wonderful, marvelous, I-will-stand-in-line-to-get-more-at-the-next-sale knit Coldwater Creek Jeans (have I told you how much I love these pants?) with the cotton/lycra poplin New Look 6407 and a very nice Talbot's scarf (can't seem to find any garments at Talbot's that fit my body, but the scarves are lovely). The scarf is a necessity because I had some, um, issues with the neckline on that first go at that pattern and the scarf makes good camouflage ;-).

I need to finish up my grey knit Jalie cardi (starching the daylights out of the to-be-seamed edges helped TREMENDOUSLY with the skipped-stitches issue, but it has slowed the process down to a crawl)...then on to that turquoise jacket...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Hope for the Ol' Stompin' Ground

I grew up in Hendricks County, just west of Indianapolis, and made many trips into Indy to shop for fabric at Cloth World, which is long...long...long gone. For several years, a trip home with a side trip to town to look for fabric resulted in just finding a new location for Jo Anns.

And you all know what kind of wonderful fabric there is to be found there. :rolleyes:

But today I stumbled across a link and discovered that a new, fine fashion fabric store has just opened:

The French Seam

It's on the north east side, rather a stretch for a jaunt into town when I'm up visiting the family farm, but I'm excited nonetheless. It's not THAT far from one of My Sweet Baboo's favorite side trips...a toy/model train store. So I'm thinking I should be able to stop in at some point and check out the new fabric.

For any of my readers who live in the Indy metro area...I'm just a little jealous... ;-)