Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thag You Very Buch

Once again, no choir post today, as our otherwise excellent visit to the homefolk for the holiday netted me a most miserable respiratory virus.  Like Bilbo at Laketown, all I can manage is a stuffy croak.  Staying home and drinking many cups of various liquids to try and keep things loose and draining...you know the routine.  We normally have our Christmas gift exchange on New Year's Day, but that is still a question as I'm not sure I'm going to be up to a party on Tuesday, but we'll see.

But I did want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for hanging with me in my most non-sewing year in recent memory; you all have stuck with me as I've just photographed stuff that I've had hanging about in the closet for ages and ages, which no longer fits as it did and is beginning to look rather ratty and worn.

And I have visited your blogs and seen lovely, inspiring things that have kept the flame alive, even when I couldn't fan it myself.  Thank you all for taking the time to photograph and document your creations for all to see and share; I've truly enjoyed seeing what others have made, even when I felt a twinge of jealousy that I couldn't seem to get to my sewing machine.

I may or may not get my 'end of the year' stats posted and reviewed, pitiful as they are (no finished garments since September!  If I felt better, I'd wing a quick knit top just to have SOMETHING to show for the final quarter of the year besides more stashed fabric, but that's not likely to happen).   Perhaps by the end of the week I'll feel up to moving the current numbers to a post and clearing the sidebar for a fresh start.

Here's to a great start to 2013, and more sewing time for all of us!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts on Middle Earth...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Sew Random

Once more, nothing to do with sewing...

Since I admitted to seeing The Hobbit last night,  I thought I'd have a little literary discussion and post my reaction.  (disclaimer:  I do not pretend to be a high-falutin' movie critic.  This is not intended to be any kind of formal review.  Just my thoughts. YMMV.)

I am a huge Tolkien fan; I think I've read the Middle Earth saga through every other year since I graduated from high school.  Which was a pretty long time ago, so I've read them a LOT.   My reaction to the LOTR movies lost momentum as the series progressed; I was pleasantly surprised by Fellowship, understanding the need to consolidate characters/events to get the movie to a manageable size.  I was disappointed in Towers, because the editing began to include the characters themselves...their motivations and attitudes were different than what Tolkien wrote.  Whole scenes were created, drama inserted, where they did not exist.  Now it was not a matter of consolidating an epic book into a movie; it became a question of the director's version of the story over the author's.  The trend not only continued but increased through Return of the King; in many places the characters were scarcely recognizable as Tolkien's. I left that movie angry...to have had such a great opportunity to tell Tolkien's story and then not tell it seemed beyond wasteful to me.

So it was with some trepidation that I went to see The Hobbit.  I couldn't miss it; you understand.  But I was afraid I would be disappointed; that I would not see Tolkien's story but someone's interpretation of how Tolkien should've told his story. 

By and large, though, it was ok.  New Zealand absolutely matches my mental pictures of Middle Earth, and it was delightful to look at the scenery.  Bilbo was supposed to be 50 when he left on his adventure, and he looked it (although his birthday-party characterization in the beginning, the Bilbo of the opening of The Fellowship, hardly warrants Gandalf's remark that 'You haven't aged a day.'). Frodo was still too young, (he was supposed to be 33 when Bilbo disappears) but the dwarves...with the exception of Thorin...and Balin...all seemed right.  Thorin is much too young and good looking...and much too likeable.  The exceedingly proud Thorin of Tolkien's world would NEVER have embraced Bilbo.  It will make the ultimate ending even more tragic, I'm afraid.  Balin, IMHO,  is a bit too elderly and scholarly.  If he were not to be the Dwarf that leads the next attempt to reclaim Moria, beside whose tomb the Fellowship will first encounter the orcs there-in, he would be fine, but...I'm not seeing in his character the fire that would fuel such an endeavor.   He is an entirely wise and likeable fellow; just not quite as I envisioned him.

The only other comment I would have is that the whole lot of them are extremely sturdy, Bilbo included.  There's an awfully lot of serious falling and knocking about that seems to do nothing more than shake them up a bit.  Stretches the believability  just a hair that anyone...even a stocky son of earth dwarf...could endure such without breaking a bone here or there....

The subplot about the council w/Galadriel et al  and the dealings w/the Necromancer is actually alluded to in The Hobbit; Gandalf's affairs about which he tells the dwarves next to nothing.  I am not surprised that it would be expanded in the movie; the timeline appendix in The Return of the King has obviously been studied, even if it has been somewhat amended.

All in all, it's definitely worth seeing and I wouldn't mind going again while it's still on big screens.  And it's kind of fun to speculate where the breaks in the movies will come...I expected the first one to end w/the party catching their breath w/ Beorn; didn't miss that by much.    I'm guessing the next movie will end with the death of Smaug, leaving the third movie to begin with the battle at Dol Gildur so that Gandalf is finished with that business and the narrative can follow him back to the Elvish camp in time to see Bilbo arrive with his solution to the stalemate.  We shall see.

Which brings me back around to...if we could stretch The Hobbit into three movies, could we not have taken time to tell The Lord of the Rings trilogy properly?  Sigh....

Hopefully I will sew something one of these days and talk about THAT for a change... ;-)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 12/16/12

Finally, I get to sing in choir again!  One of two times this month...busy, busy, busy... But this is old reruns, I'm afraid...still haven't had the least chance to sit down at my sewing machine.  

Colors for the month are red, black and gray, so I've got on  Lee bootcuts w/ my 2006 rendition of Silhouette Pattern's Robin's Jacket teamed up with my black rayon/lycra Jalie 965 tank, as it was something like 60 degrees outside, even if it was raining, and I didn't want to roast.

Alas, the jacket needs a FBA it did not need in 2006 and I don't care for the way it looks all snapped up.  But unsnapped, it still looks great and gets compliments.  Definitely one of my more successful projects!

We had a birthday dinner today for the Princess, whose actual birthday is tomorrow but, you know, once kids have a spouse they'd rather spend the special day with the boo than with mom and dad, so we did her dinner and festivities today.  Which means I got to spend 3 hours this evening in Middle Earth... but also means I'm so sleepy right now my ears are buzzing... ;-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Work Wear 3 - so soon!

Hey, the tripod was still set up and I had a couple of minutes to make sure I remembered what My Sweet Baboo told me so I took some pics of today's Work Wear.  And just because I can, I'm gonna put up more than one.

The picture on the left is the best one of the cardigan, Vogue 8305.  That has been a real surprise...it's one of the few garments that is flattering in virtually every choir wardrobe photo it appears in. I really wasn't crazy about it for a long time, but once I looked at the photos I realized this is something that I am going to wear until it falls apart...and then I'll make another one.

The second photo was the only one I got that shows the little hem slit in the pants.  Another wardrobe surprise; I made these years ago from Burda 3116, after altering it up a bunch.  While they were very comfortable, there was something odd about the way the front fit, so I would only wear it under long tops and they eventually worked their way into the back of the closet and out of the rotation.  But after the Big Hormonal Shift extra poundage, I pulled them out and was surprised that they still zipped and buttoned fit reasonably well yet.  They are wool/lycra and rather spongy, sort of like moleskin.  Great winter pants...so long as I wear a long top. ;-)


The third picture is the best one of the top, the ubiquitous Burda boat neck from the Feb. 09 issue.  I really did use fusible tape on the neckline, but the rayon/lycra jersey really did stretch out just the same.  Next time I'll use clear elastic. ;-).  This print was absolutely fabulous when it was new, but it has faded a bit and stretched out.  I really, really like the colors but I'm not sure how much longer it's going to be a viable part of the wardrobe...

I thought about wearing an outfit that included a scarf...then I remembered that we were celebrating a birthday at work and there were rumors of a chocolate fountain being part of the gnoshing and, well, me being me I decided a scarf would NOT be a wise wardrobe choice today.  This worked well, even if the heat was turned up and I ended up shedding the cardigan for a bit in the afternoon...

This self-photography stuff is...interesting...

Monday, December 10, 2012

Work Wear 2: Dressier Edition

Well, last weekend I was chaperoning a school trip; this past weekend the laundry was piled high and our water heater fried itself (on Saturday, of course).  We were able to get it fixed over the weekend ($$$) but that meant that no laundry got done.

So that means I was pretty well left with just dressy stuff to wear today.  So I revisited the SWAP 2006 wardrobe...dug out the tripod and played around just trying to get a photo in which I actually appeared more or less vertical. This is not a great photo...but it's the best of the lot that I did in a hurry.  Hopefully, now that My Sweet Baboo has actually explained the intricacies of the tripod, I'll do better and quicker next time.

So, the workwear today was Vogue8043 Today's Fit jacket, in a tweed that I loved when I bought it, loved when I sewed it and still love when I wear it,  black double knit modified Loes Hinse Gored Skirt and a Textile Studio Monaco Shell, made over 9 years ago from a used-to-be-textured slinky knit.  The texture is gone but the color is still fab...

I got asked today why I dressed up; well, I was tired of blue jeans; besides...as I said, this is what was clean...

BTW, after reading a blog post and comments about those captcha verifications, I have turned mine off.  So far, I've just gotten one spam comment per day since I did; I think that's bearable if it means more folks will be able to comment.  If I get slammed w/spam, I may have to go back, but with comment moderation turned on I think I can manage one or two a day.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Work Wear - Post 1

In an effort to analyze what does and doesn't work in the wardrobe, I decided to take some photos of stuff I'm wearing to work...sorta like the Choir Wardrobe posts, only without the limitations.  I don't know how often I'll actually get to post to this...it might be in spurts...but since The Actor was up and about when I was ready to go to work I enlisted his photographic assistance (I guess I'm gonna hafta find our tripod...)

Anyway.  One of my personal rules for what I wear to work is that I try very hard not to wear something that is the month's choir colors, so that means red is out for December.  But I wanted to look a little festive, as it is the first of the holiday month and all, so I pulled out this green Neue Mode jacket, which I teamed up w/ a cream RTW shell sweater and some black straight-leg Lee jeans.

The jacket has gotten a little snug since I made it.  It does button w/o looking Perfectly Awful, but if I make this pattern again I will need to do some altering.  The sleeves really are a bit too short; that's unusual for me.  I don't remember if I shortened the sleeves or not; need to go back and check my notes.  I do know that the blouse from the same pattern had sleeves that were way too long, so I must've shortened the jacket sleeves.

In terms of styling, I've got on a sparkly green necklace that fills in the neckline nicely but leaves a big expanse of white.  I threw a long necklace on just to see how the lines worked; it broke up the white but didn't work w/the jacket lines...and the neckline looked bare. A scarf might've been a good choice, but I don't think I've got one the right color.  The straight legs on the jeans are not bad, but these are 'Regular' length rather than 'Short', so I have to wear a shoe w/some heel or they drag the ground.  Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't...depends on the state of my back.   

Overall, I think a longer jacket would work better; at the very least the sleeves should not end at the jacket hemline (a detail I hadn't noticed until I looked at this photo...).

The jacket itself is made from a very attractive fabric and usually gets compliments.  I think it's going into the 'keep until replaced' category. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Two more weeks....

Still no singing voice this week, although I did make it to church.  Next week I have meetings during both the services I normally sing in, so I won't be in choir then, either.  Hopefully by the 16th I'll have my voice back. 

There is going to be a definite scarcity of choir wardrobe posts this month.

Actually, as I've mentioned,  I've been doing some studying of old choir wardrobe posts and decided  I really need to do some more wardrobe photography; I wear me-made clothes to work probably 80% of the time but I don't have any photos of non-choir-color-coordinated dressing.  Makes it kinda hard to really see what works from my wardrobe as about all I have photographed is tops/jackets with jeans.

But that would mean that I need to figure out a way to take a photo of myself somewhere other than the bathroom mirror, which kinda works for tops and jackets but certainly not for an entire outfit.  By the time I actually get dressed and ready to go out the door, most of the rest of the family has already flown the coop for the day.  Requirements are:

Full length mirror

Good natural light, 'cause the flash causes problems

A place that does not reflect the unkempt state of the house. ;-)


I'm gonna work on that...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Squeaking in Under 100

At least, I will if I can resist the temptation that's sure to be offered in the end-of-the year sales that are sure to show up.

You'd think I'd learn to reserve some fabric buying for December.  Not this year.

Anyway, my most recent purchase arrived today.  I really didn't plan to buy any more fabric this year, but I've had a failure on a couple of my most worn garments and replacing them has gone to the top of my sewing priority list.  The modal/rayon fabric used in my Gray Jalie Cardigan is giving up the ghost...as in, there are actual holes in the drapey collar.  Ish.  Well, it was excessively cheap...and it shows.  Likewise, the top I made from the gray Tencel jersey remnant left from The Flute Player's Bridesmaids Dress   (which she has never worn since the wedding) is visibly disintegrating every time it's laundered. I just made that in March; didn't have a photo of it by itself, but here it is in a choir post. I wore it out and about probably at least twice a month, but it shouldn't have died so soon.  Again, cheap fabric.

Gray is a key part of my wardrobe; not only do I like it, but it shows up repeatedly in our choir palettes.  It's on the schedule for both December and January.  So I've been watching for the last several weeks for a suitable silvery gray jersey...and finally found one in the Thanksgiving sales.  And, you know, every piece of fabric must have a traveling buddy, so I also nabbed a length of black rayon matte jersey, just because it's a staple that will get used.  And this was NOT cheap stuff... it feels and drapes great.  Color me happy.

I'd show you a picture of the new yardage, but it's already in the washer.

Now I just need to decide if I'm just going to recreate the Jalie cardi or if I'm going to do something a little different.  I'd like to make it as it should be made...with the tucks on the OUTSIDE...but, despite the fact that I've made 4 versions of that jacket, when I did my  little tour through the past photos it seemed that silhouette was not particularly flattering.  But I do get complements on those cardis about every time I wear one, so...hm...

Chaperoning an out of town trip this weekend, so there will be no sewing until at least Monday.  By then...yes, I need to have my mind made up.  I need some gray stuff. ;-)

And I AM DELETING every potentially tempting fabric vendor email for the rest of the year.  I am, I am, I am....leaving it for the rest of y'all ;-).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Church online today

*cough*  *sniff* *honk honk*  *sniff*

bleh.

one reason to love the internet...
Online Campus

9, 10:45 and 12:30 CST.  But you won't see me in choir today.

*sniff*  *honk*

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Organizing, organizing....

Taking advantage of the long weekend to get myself back into sewing...not that I'm actually DOING any to speak of, although I have worked a bit on the mauve New Look blouse I cut out in... September?  I have decided I'm going to put the second sleeve on it and then bag it until spring.  I mean, you never know, I might get serious after Christmas and lose some weight (or, God Forbid!  Go wild at Christmas and gain some that takes up permanent residence) and the thing not even fit when the weather warms up and it's suitable to wear.  So I'll hold off on the hems and the buttons and change the thread and get on with other stuff.

As I've lamented of late, part of the reason I'm not sewing is that there is just too much unorganized chaos around me. (or, for the SHEs and FLYbabies, C.H.A.O.S.). Chaos and clutter are something that this Tigger can completely ignore...up to a point.  I hit the 'Oh, that's bad!' point back in the summer, I think, and it's been bugging me, but it took the approaching holiday season to make it hit the Unbearable Point.  So.  Yes.  I'm working at it.

One of the organizing things that needed doing was putting away the fabric that had meandered into the house in the past few months.  As always, there was more than I realized, so putting it away also involved some redistribution among the storage boxes.



And, as I was doing that, I pulled six pieces of fabric that I really, really am going to try to turn into garments before long. I need the clothes, the black and the gray (actually a black-and-white mini-houndstooth) are wool, with moth damage, and need to be made up and worn; the bin the cotton blend black-and-white suiting should go in is full so there was nowhere to put it and the knits are colors for choir in the next two months.

And the budget needs me to sew some so that I can move money from the 'clothing' envelope to the 'fabrics and notions' envelope, if you get my drift.


I already feel my my familiar 'Oh, which pattern?' infinite loop trying to kick in but I am determined to get these sewn so hopefully when the time comes that I can actually cut them out I'll have the intestinal fortitude to just pick a pattern and go with it. ;-)


 But, as I was putting the fabric away it came to my attention that I had been neglecting the stash documentation, so I whacked some swatches as I was binning, then came down and spent a couple of hours matching what was in the swatch box with what is in the Access file.  It's not done yet, and I missed some swatches, but I've made some good progress and weeded out all the records of stuff I'd sewn but not pulled. Even with that, though, the stash is outgrowing my box.  Another reason to sew some stuff.


Finally, I went through my nearly 5-years-worth of Burda pattern magazines and pulled the instruction booklets out to put in the zipper bag with the pattern sheets and reboxed the zipper bags, so they're in a bankers box with a lid that kinda sorta fits (I think I'm going to get a plastic file bin so the lid WILL close...)  I've decided not to renew this year; I have plenty of patterns to keep me busy and I'm beginning to think I need to concentrate on basics for a while.  I may come back 'round to trendy at some point in the future, but right now trendy is just distracting.

So there's $90 that won't be leaving the bank account. ;-)

The next area on the declutter list is the computer room/office area.  I'm not really sure when I'll get around to actually straightening out the sewing cave.  But that's not terribly public, so I can grit my teeth and deal with it for a while.   I gotta get some order around the desks...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 11 18 12

It's been a long day, and I'm pretty frizzy and rumpled, but I had on the CWC knit jeans, with a sleeveless gray rayon/lycra jersey Christine Jonson Basewear 2 Turtleneck and my rayon blend brocade Sewing Workshop Tribeca top.  This was the first version of this top that I've made; the second one was a green silk dupioni (the cheap slubby dupioni from Hancock's) that just doesn't fit nearly as well.  Hard to believe the fabric makes that much difference, but I guess it does. 

And I'm still needing a haircut in the worst way.  Not sure my stylist got the first message; I haven't heard from her.  I may have to try again ... ;-)


In other sewing related news,  I have come to the conclusion that I probably am not going to be starting any new projects until I get some serious cleaning/regrouping/ housework done. I will be whittling away at the WIP pile, so I *might* have something to report every now and again, but it won't be anything major.  I thought about putting the blog on hiatus until I got some level of order and organization established again, but in all honesty I haven't been posting much anyway, so I don't think there'd really be that much difference.    I finally just decided that, while I'm not exactly pulling out the dust covers, I'm probably not going to be showing up in the feed burners very often.  It's ok.

But I did have an epiphany about housework yesterday that, after much personal debate, I decided to post over on my faith blog instead of here.   So if you're curious...you can check it out.

Thanks for hanging with me. ;-)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Style Musings

Still no sewing happening.  I've hit a brick wall and come to the conclusion that I've just got to do some sorting and reorganizing of the house in general before I'm going to feel like I'm free to sew again.  It's been almost 8 months since The Artist moved out and left a sort-of empty bedroom, which has been used for guests a couple of times but is basically unused.  The Flute Player may be moving into it shortly...although her brother has made noises about preferring to move into that room, as it is painted a more masculine color than the room he is currently occupying.  I told them to have a discussion and come to an agreement as to who is going into what bedroom, 'cause I need to move at least SOME of my sewing gear...the part that was out in the sun room prior to the no-end-in-sight renovations that had to be done out there... into the leftover bedroom.  It is just randomly spread around the whole main living area and I have GOT to get it OUT before I try to make the house look all Christmassy.  I was hoping to get the moving done before Thanksgiving, but unless something miraculous happens next week it doesn't look like it's going to happen.  So we may be moving things on Thanksgiving weekend.  We'll see.

Anyway, in my not-sewing state, I'm reading blogs and looking at projects and considering what I'm going to do once the atmosphere shifts and I can get creative again.

And in the course of all of this, I find myself wondering if I have a personal style; something I can sort of use for my cornerstone of creating.  I've been less tossed by the winds of fashion in the last few years than I was when I was younger, but I still don't think I have a handle on what my style should be.

I cruised through the last couple of years of Choir Wardrobe posts, just kind of looking at the lines and the silhouettes and trying to decide what looks good and what doesn't.   Of course, that is rather limited, based on the fact that we wear jeans in choir pretty much all the time, but I did see some things

The first conclusion that I came to is that I need to decide what I should do with my hair.  The hairstyles are all OVER the place; mostly just looking frazzled, no matter what I did with it.  But I may not be entirely objective on this, as I have been frustrated with my hair for pretty much my entire post-adolescent life.   I have a friend who is a very sharp lady, about the same age as me, who has had basically the same hairstyle since I first met her about 8 years ago.  It's striking on her, but I don't know if I could keep the same hair...no matter how flattering...year in and year out.  I don't know if that is because I get bored easily or if I really just don't have a good idea of what I should look like...I haven't found my definitive style yet.

The second thing I saw I will mention and then go on...I need to lose 20 pounds.  Got a good start on it this year, then I got sidelined somehow and the weight crept back.  I know what I need to do...just gotta do it.

I noticed a couple of my wardrobe pieces need to Go Away...they're not flattering in ANY of the photos in which I am wearing them.  Several pieces looked really good before the post-menopausal weight gain (see the previous paragraph) but look kinda skimpy now.  I need to consider remaking them a size or two up.  Because even if I lose 20 lbs., it's not gonna happen overnight.

My last absolute conclusion is that I look better in dresses than I do in blue jeans. ;-)

I'm sure I'll have more to say on this...since I'm thinking way  more than I'm sewing...but that's probably enough for one go.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Choir Wardrobe Eleven Eleven Twelve

So.  Yes, we have Lee Bootcuts, which means there are POCKETS in today's choir selection. Which is good, because the Loes Hinse Bolero Jacket has none.  I opted to wear the burgundy from the color options this month (purple-burgundy-mustard yellow with gray).  This is one of the few months in which I have a plethora of garments to choose; purple and burgundy are both colors I really like.  This is a Land's End rayon turtle neck from a couple of years ago; I love this color.  I think that deep red really looks good on Women Of A Certain Age, for some reason...

Got a call in to my stylist for a haircut; hoping I'm in time to get in line before Christmas.  I'm ready for something a little different....

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Choir Wardrobe Nov. 4 2012

Just realized I hadn't done this yet today...and my body thinks it is 10:30 so I am fighting to keep my eyes open.

Anyway, November's colors are burgundy, purple, mustard yellow and gray in whatever combo.  I decided it was TIME to wear something other than jeans so I went outside my fashion comfort zone just a little.

It's my purple bamboo/lycra jersey Madison Avenue dress, worn with a purply poly/rayon boucle Loes Hinse Retro Jacket.

This is out of my comfort zone in the following ways:
1) The purples in the jacket and the dress are near matches, but not dead on.  Normally, I insist on things being pretty doggone exact.  Breaking out of the norm here.

2) I'm wearing boots with a sleeveless summer dress.  Normally, the summer stuff gets shunted off to the attic storage; wearing boots with summer stuff is not even an option.  But I'm incredibly late in switching over the summer/winter wardrobes and just thought I'd give it a try.

And I didn't realize the third non-standard quality until I got to church; neither the dress nor the jacket has pockets.

I spent an entire half day at church with no pockets.  Nowhere to put a kleenex, my office keys, or the little sealed up cup of weird grape juice with it's flat styrofoam-like wafer of something akin to a cracker, since we had communion today and the choir uses the prepackaged set instead of the fresh elements that are passed through the congregation. We grab one in the back hall as we are heading to the risers...most folks stick them in the jeans pocket.  I managed by setting my little cup down on the step behind me, but, wow, I think from now on I will make sure that if my first layer doesn't have pockets, the top layer does!

Friday, November 02, 2012

I Won a Prize!

I still haven't managed to sit down and do a lick of sewing or pattern tracing or ANYTHING in the past way too long, but I do have a teeny bit of sewing news to report.

Jan hosted a little giveaway last week; normally I don't enter giveaways but the item she was going to ship to a lucky commenter was something I'd dreamed of finding somewhere...a ruler designed to add seam allowances to curvy pattern pieces.

So I left a little comment and, lo and behold, she drew my name!  The ruler arrived safely today, despite the fact that I'd had a brain hiccup when I emailed my address to her.  Didn't notice until she replied 'I put the ruler in the mail today', and I saw on the attached original email that I put my address down with the ZIP code of the house we used to live in...like, 8 years ago.  We lived there for more than 20 years, but still...I told her if it came back, I would send a check for the postage. Feeling very foolish.

But the USPS surprised me, and if I could, I'd take a batch of home made cookies to whoever marked out the wrong ZIP and wrote the correct one. 

Here's the little beauty:
I'm so glad Claire had the wherewithal to manufacture this!  I have wished for one ages.  Thanks to Claire for offering the rulers and Jan for hosting the giveaway and paying the postage on my ruler.  I am looking forward to giving it a try...as soon as I can.

'Cause I am seriously missing my sewing time.  Besides, I hear the rules are posted for the 2013 Stitchers Guild SWAP contest and I am in sore need of some new wardrobe pieces.  I would LOVE to participate this year.  Maybe my new ruler will save so much time that I can actually git 'er done this year... ;-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 10-28-12

I still haven't really switched the seasonal wardrobes yet, but I did pull my rayon/lycra Simplicity 3624 out of the winter bin to wear over the brown rayon/lycra Jalie 965 tank top (I have totally lost count of how many of those Jalie tanks I have made.  Pity the pattern is OOP...it is the perfect wear-under-a-low-cut-neckline top...).  With Lee bootcuts.

I gotta mention that I made the orange top...last year?  Wore it a few times last winter and then pulled it out to wear today, and it's nearly done in.  The knit is very thin and has really lost its shape (which makes it the equivalent of stylish RTW); fortunately the pattern needs a thin drapey  knit so I can get away with it for a bit more, I think.

The knit I used in the Jalie tank, though, is still as wonderful as it was when I sewed it up 3 years ago, and it has been a workhorse in my wardrobe.  Both knits were purchased online; both were 'rayon/lycra jerseys', although the brown one did have the word 'designer' in the mix somewhere.

I actually don't care if I ever buy another knit like the orange one, although I  would stand in line in the rain somewhere to get more knits like the brown.  If I could.

I wish I knew the magic words to find more knits of the quality of the brown tank.  "Designer" really doesn't always guarantee quality...


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Review that has Nothing Whatever to do with Sewing

...because it's been WEEKS since I've been able to sit down and sew something.  I've moved some things around and filed some patterns (because I can't begin to purge until it's reasonably organized...), but the sewing just hasn't happened.

So I thought I'd share the results of trying something new, just so ya'll don't forget me. ;-)

Anyway, I love potatoes.  I honestly think I could eat a baked potato every day....I love 'em with all the trimmings, but I am happy with just a potato and butter.

But you've got to plan ahead to eat baked potatoes.  About an hour in the oven is required for the proper texture and flavor.  I've tried 'em in the microwave, and it's disappointing on both counts.

Anyway, I've seen these in the stores:

The promo blurbs all say things like 'Perfectly steamed potato in minutes!'    'unique FlavorWrap'!  etc etc etc.  The idea is that the shrink wrap somehow makes the microwaved potato comparable to the oven baked variety.

I would not have tried it, but my hubby bought a couple for a camping trip, intending to pull off the plastic wrap and roast them in the coals of the open fire, but, well, somehow that didn't happen and he brought them home.

And I'm feeling just a touch under the weather today and working from home and a baked potato sounded like it would hit the spot and not upset anything.

So I followed the directions on the wrapper and microwaved a potato, just to see if it would make a difference.

Um, nope.  Not a substitute for a real baker.

So.  If you're a potato purist, stick to the oven. ;-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 10-14-12...sort of...

See, this Sunday and next are also our 'Children's Ministry Fair' weekends...in which we have displays set up promoting the ministries we have available to kids.  Since I'm rather heavily involved, I wore the official ministry fair t-shirt, which says 'Ask me whyi serve' .  So I kinda got a bye on dressing in the official colors, although I did add my Smoke Ring Scarf  so that I could blend in just a little...and then ended up talking to so many folks between 2nd and 3rd services that when I heard the bass rumble and turned around to look at the service monitors, expecting to see that the countdown to the next service had begun, lo and behold the worship team was on the platform and the service was starting. 

*egg on face*

At least I *did* manage to make it to the platform for 2nd service choir.

Anyway, My Sweet Baboo nabbed a cell phone photo (he has a smartphone, which takes much better pictures than my stupidphone) of the display my high school girls put together for the fair.  Wish it showed up better; anyone looking at those photos would think that we have  a pretty good time...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Choir Wardrobe Oct 7 2012

We are hitting the 'old stanby' section of the calendar; the one where the colors are repeating from years past and  in which I am much more likely to pull stuff out of the closet...that's been there awhile...than I am to make something new.  Case in point:  Lee Bootcuts, w/ Coldwater Creek RTW jacket and  the  brown rayon blend knit sleeveless Jalie 2682, worn with a scarf made from a remnant of fabric left from another scarf.

I need to pull out the fall/winter clothes and do the semi-annual wardrobe switch...maybe next weekend... ;-)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Revelation...

The Artist's knee surgery went well yesterday;  there was no actual repair work needed, just some cleaning up.  We were at the surgery center for about 4 1/2 hours.

Unfortunately, when I reached into my bag o' stuff to keep me occupied, I discovered that I had placed my scarf panel, scissors, and the two remaining Very Nice Handsewing Needles in the project zipper bag, but somehow omitted the thread.  I considered running down the road to the Bernina dealership and getting a spool, but I didn't want to loose my parking spot, so I sighed and pulled out the book I'd picked up (the new, non-science-fiction, release from Terry Pratchett, Dodger.  I'll let you know what I think when I finish) w/a good-this-weekend-only coupon from B & N and read whilst I waited.


Actually, part of me thought that might be just as well; that would give me the chance to pick up a finer microtex needle and see if I could get a guide line stitched w/o putting pull lines...I was that nervous about keeping the hem even.

So, when I took the Artist back to his apartment today after keeping him under observation for the recommended 24 hours, I stopped by the Hancock's that was just around the corner to pick up a pack of needles.

The Columbus Day Weekend sale was lying in wait.  Three pattern companies with patterns on sale for $1.00 each.

I thought I did pretty well to limit myself to 6, although the truth be told I was looking for things that were different from things already in the stash.

Then I came home and entered them into my online catalog at Pattern Review.  When I finished, I happened to see the total number of listings.  I almost fell out of my chair.

Y'all.  What am I doing with SIX HUNDRED AND NINETEEN PATTERNS???? (And that doesn't count 3  um, 5 years of Burda Style magazines or the costuming patterns...)  When will I ever use them? 

Methinks a pattern purge must be in the near future.  I need to get a grip and pare them down to patterns I will actually USE.  Even if it's only a detail....

Wonder what I'll have left if I eliminate all the patterns w/similar garments??

Wonder when I'll find the time to do that....

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Squaring Up

A while back, I threw a silk scarf panel into one of my online fabric orders.  It was ten bucks, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to practice my hand rolled edges.  One of the very first classes I took from Cynthia Guffey was her hand stitching class, and it included a marvelous technique for doing hand rolled hems.  Of course, it has taken me 8 years to get around to actually trying it...

The first step, though, is trimming the scarf panel down.  There was actually a little  void in the weave indicating where the panels were to be separated; that I can tell you it is there indicates that the fabric was NOT cut on the mark.  So I measured the narrowest bit of border and discovered that I needed to trim that black down to 2 1/4". 

Here's a tip I stumbled across...the panel was somewhat wrinkled when I laid it on the table, so I thought it would be smart to iron it out smooth before I tried to cut it to exact edges.  However, I found that the wrinkles were very stubborn...and I was afraid my steam iron would leave waterspots.

So, I quickly gave the panel a very gentle bath in some cool water and baby shampoo, blotted it with a towel and began to iron it again.  But I noticed that, damp, it didn't slip around nearly as much as it did dry.  Inspiration hit, and I laid the damp scarf out on my cutting table and trimmed it down.  MUCH easier to work with!

I took one of the long scraps to practice the hand stitching.  I didn't exactly remember how it was done, so I did an internet search for techniques, thinking I'd spot something similar.

Nope.  Not so much.  So I dug out my binder with my collection of Expo notes and found the notes I'd taken in the class.  Played around with it a bit and saw what I had to do to make it work, technique wise.  But it was tricky to do it by guesstimate;  all the tips recommend machine stitching a guide on the fold line.  I had skipped that step to just practice the technique itself

So I took one of the scraps to the sewing machine and stitched a line 1/4 inch from the edge so I could see if having a stitched line as a guide made a difference.
 
But, when I sat down to actually roll and stitch the edge, I was alarmed to see a very subtle, but noticeable, pull line at every single stitch.  So I pulled out a brand spanking new needle (60/8 Universal), stitched a bit on the other strip and...got the same thing.  The Universal needles apparently are not right for this fabric, and the smallest Microtex needle I have is  an 80/12, which I think would be much too large for the silk.  So I'ma gonna do what I did on the first sample and carefully eyeball that baby at 1/4" and see how it goes.  I just can't see putting those pull lines in my scarf...

'Cause I intend to start on it tomorrow; The Artist has managed to damage his knee again and will be having a bit of a procedure to try and correct it once more.  This is a minor outpatient arthroscopic deal, but we will still be at the surgery center for 4ish hours.  I expect to get a good bit of scarf hemming done while I'm waiting...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 9-30-2012

It's a humid day...GREAT for frizzy hair...

Last day for the mauve/dusty rose/brown combo.  Got the knit Cold Water Creek jeans being coated in fur by the Sewing Assistant, and something that doesn't look like a twinset but is...Jalie 2566.  I never reviewed the crew neck top (shame on me)...I should do that soon, 'specially since I've made it twice now.  This is the purported-to-be-rayon-but-isn't knit print I got early in the month made up into the cap sleeve crew neck, and my wonderful really-is-yummy-rayon-and-lycra heathery brown jersey knit cardigan that I've been wearing forever.

I have a mauve blouse about half done; it's not going to get worn for choir but at least it will be a check of the pattern tweaks.  I've got some cream and brown sewing up next, I hope, since that's gonna be on the list for the next two months.

Is anyone other than me totally amazed to realize tomorrow is October???

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Choir Post Today...

I actually got up and dressed in my new cream/mauvey floral knit top (yes, the one that was Most Likely to be Sewn actually was...) and brown Jalie cardi and went to church and taught my two classes, but I happened to wake up with symptoms of a little recurring problem I've been having for the last 3ish weeks, so after the second class I cashed it in, came home by myself (leaving My Sweet Baboo to catch a ride with the Actor, who'd driven separately) and began downing cranberry juice.  Looks like visit to the dr is in my immediate future.  I don't think the antibiotics I've taken have quite kicked the bacterial tail yet...

So, no singing and no photo.  But I will share one thought that occurred to me whilst at the Sewing Expo Friday....

Cynthia Guffey made the statement that ladies give up sewing for themselves when they can no longer fit into patterns without alterations; we try, more or less trial-and-error, to fit ourselves but give up when it doesn't work and start quilting.  She didn't say, but either someone else did or I thought it (I actually can't remember, isn't THAT scary...), that the final process in aging as a home sewing enthusiast is to become a quilter.

So I decided that, to avoid aging, all I need to do is to keep sewing garments and resist quilting....d'you think that'll work??? ;-)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back from the Friendly Neighborhood Sewing Expo

It's been 4 years since I last was able to go to the annual sewing expo's stop in Atlanta, GA.  There was just too much on the plate...in more ways than one...for me to make it work.  But I missed it; missed the camaraderie, missed the learning experiences, missed the break in the routine, missed the sewing geek shopping opportunities.  Every year I watch the info pop into my in box and look at it wistfully, hoping I can go 'next year'.

Then I got an out of season notice...and was surprised to see that the Expo was coming to Birmingham, a mere two hours away!  My traveling buddy and I filled a day with classes and went yesterday.

Now, this was the first time the show had been to Birmingham.  It was a fraction of the size of the huge Atlanta show, both in terms of venue space itself and vendors exhibiting/ teachers teaching.  But I did get to see Carolyn.

I had basically a full day of fitting classes from Cynthia Guffey, with an additional class from Louise Cutting.  Most of it I had seen before, but it's been 4 years and the reminder didn't hurt.  Besides, some things came with a lightbulb moment that I don't think I'd had before.    Louise came to the Birmingham ASG last fall, so I had heard her much more recently, but the chance to look at her garments made up is inspiring in itself.

I bought a piece of ivory silk/linen from Louise, and a top pattern from Cynthia.  Not much by way of shopping, but, given the current financial season, even that felt like an over indulgence.  But I need ivory for choir; it will get worn.

The question now is...will I get the chance to jump into sewing before I lose the fresh inspiration?  Or will that lovely silk linen blend just get regulated to the stash for another season? 

I commented to a lady who was purchasing some raw silk from Cynthia while I was waiting on the credit card to clear that I had a goal of wearing one year's Expo purchases to the next Expo.  Cynthia responded, 'That's a very good goal.'  I replied, laughing, that I don't think I've ever actually done that, but she shook her head. 'It's still a good goal.'

She's right.  It is.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Face Palm Moment

I've been subscribing to Burda's style/patten magazine for a little over four years now.  I haven't actually sewn from very many of them,  but I do enjoy looking through them and dreaming about what I might sew...if I could just get to it.

Anyway, early in the game I decided what I needed to do was copy out the two-page line drawing spread from each magazine  and put them in page protectors in a 3 ring binder, so I could sit down and dream conveniently.  I also emptied my kitchen of gallon zipper-seal bags to put the pattern sheets in, and filed the magazines in one set of bins and the pattern packages in another bin and cross-referenced with the binder.  It worked.  Sort of.

Fast forward to about last week, when I was copying the line drawings from a small backlog of magazines from the last few months. I decided it was annoying to have to look  up both the filed zipper bag w/the patterns AND the filed magazine, so I could have both the patterns and the directions.  I decided that I'd pull the instruction set out of the magazine, too, and put them in the bags with the patterns...I had to work with my short stapler a bit to staple the instruction pages together, but it was worth it.

I did that with the last two or three magazines that hadn't been filed yet, and then I thought it was a good idea so I started pulling the magazines/pattern sets out of the files; thinking that if I do a few a night, it'll eventually all get done.

After the second or third set, I kinda dropped the directions insert and cringed, expecting the pages to all fly apart.

They didn't.

It's all glued up.

Apparently, this is what one is SUPPOSED to do with those pages...pull them out of the magazine.

D'uh!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 09 16

Wow.  I wasn't standing bowlegged; I promise.  Not sure how that camera angle happened but, well, c'est la vie.

Anyway, the choir wardrobe colors are cream, tan, brown, mauve and/or dusty pink.

I pulled out my well-aged McCalls 5191, done up in brown eyelet on stretch denim, breaking the 'no double denim' fashion rule, but oh, well. It has the brown element.  ;-).  The top is my new and as-yet-unreviewed Simplicity 2599 shell, made from a poly-lycra charmeuse I picked up on sale from Hancock's.  I really and truly intended to make it with the matte side out, but, well, old habits are hard to break and I had it sewn with the shiny side out before I realized what I'd done..

 Lee bootcuts and a self-strung brown wooden bead necklace and I was good to go, frizzy hair notwithstanding. (Trying to make it to the holidays before I see about a New Hairstyle...3 more months of growing ought to give me enough back length to do something different.  Maybe)

At least I managed not to dribble anything on my top  today...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Open weekend ahead

Good thing, since I indulged in a few pieces of fabric from a recent clearance sale.  I'm determined that at LEAST one of these will be a garment to wear by Sunday...
The one voted Most Likely to be Worn for Choir This Week is the floral rayon knit (ETA- pretty sure this is not a rayon at all, since there was not a trace of 'woodiness' when I washed it...but it is soft); not sure which knit shirt pattern I'll use but that can be transformed into something wearable within a couple of hours.  The mauve cotton/rayon broadcloth just barely visible behind it *could* be sewn up; that's going to be a matter of whether I can pick a pattern quick enough or not.  There is a diagonal print at 12:00 that is not getting fair treatment by the camera here, either; it's silk crepe de chine and will be going into the stash for a bit; I'm not sure whether it's going to be a blouse or a stunning jacket lining.

The panel print that is pretty much dominating the photo is also silk crepe de chine; this is going to be my 'learn to hand roll edges' project.  I'll trim the borders down to size and use the scraps to practice, then I plan to hand roll all of it and have a pretty snazzy print scarf.  However, that is not likely to happen this week, either.

I think I'm done buying fabric for a while, anyway.  It's going to take a pretty phenomenal deal to get me to invest in something.

Oh.  Except I'm going to the Sewing Expo in Birmingham next week...where I just might find a pretty phenomenal deal... ;-)

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 0909

Our colors for September are usually chosen from the palette used for the decor for our annual women's conference; this year we had tan/brown/mauve/dusty pink/cream.  The mauvish top I made last week came out of the dryer needing an iron, and, as this was the weekend of said women's conference I didn't have time to to that.  So I  grabbed the tube I'd sewn, kinda on a lark because it wasn't enough for anything else, from the remnant of the top fabric and put it on over a Coldwater Creek silk/nylon v-neck sweater shell. I intended to wear a cream RTW jacket with it, but I've got some smudgy something on it (I suspect dry erase marker, actually), so I punted with my khaki stretch cotton sateen McCalls 5860 over Lee bootcuts.

I'm really not happy with that jacket...it just is too swingy in the bottom. Way too much ease in the lower front. Pattern flaw or alteration goof?  I've no idea; could be either or both.  The scarf was almost a joke; I mean, the end is just the kinda fringy selvedge. I felt rather frowsy and thrown together today.  But I got compliments on the outfit... which really surprised me.  Funny how often that happens...and when I wear something I'm rather proud of ...nothing.


But a compliment is a compliment, right?  ;-)

Sunday, September 02, 2012

..um, yeah, well, ....

The promised photo did not happen today because I am a silly vain thing.

My Sweet Baboo had the camera in hand, and we were about to go get set, when he pointed out that I had a spot on the center front of the shiny top.

Well, I thought I'd just been splashed by the water I'd used to rinse the broccoli, so I went into the bathroom and hit it with the hairdryer.

Only it didn't go away.

I suspect it is a dribble of coffee that got by me when I was working on the data entry during the last service.

I could not bring myself to pose for a photo with an unalterable spot on the top.

So no photo of the only thing I have sewn in the last six weeks.

I will, however, share a photo of one of the difficulties I had in sewing the top; she jumped up there the moment I put it on the table:
"I is holding ur fabric hostage!"

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Posting woes


Aside from the fact that I sewed absolutely nothing in the entire month of August, we've been having internet connectivity/ filter issues.  I am up and running on the 'net again, but 3/4 of all photos on blogger are currently blocked, so not only can I not see the majority of my own photos, I cannot see most of the photos on anyone else's blogs, either.  I have, however, been down this road before.  I think this is what happens...blogger dumps all uploaded photos into one of four bins...1.bp.blogspot.com, 2.bp.blogspot.com, etc...and I think they do it rather randomly, probably depending on which bin is available first.  Anyway, the photo links have the corresponding prefix on them, depending upon which bin they're in.  Apparently, blogger does not differentiate between the blogs that are listed as 'adult content' and those that are not as to what gets posted in the bins, so when someone stumbles across an offensive image and complains about it to our filtering folks, they block everything in that bin.  Which means everything with that prefix is blocked. 

I have unblock requests in.  Hopefully we will not come to the place where I have to request an unblock for every.single.picture....although the customer service tech seemed to think that would be what is necessary.  Surely not; this has been fixed before...

Anyway, I can see all 1.bp.blogspot photos but none of the rest of them.

Puts a dent in the inspiration file.

But I did actually get some sewing done today...I made a first go at Simplicity 2599.  I'll likely wear it for choir tomorrow, as it is the ONLY garment in my wardrobe in the dusty rose/mauve family, but it's barely a keeper.  I need to rotate a small dart out of the neckline for it to be really wearable, but, well, I'll deal with it.  Under a jacket, it may not be so noticeable.

That's the first time I've made one of Simplicity's multi-cup size patterns; I used the D cup front and, per my normal alterations, lowered the bust point by about 1 1/4" before I cut it out.  When I tried on the top after sewing together the shoulder seams, I laughed at myself and ripped the darts out and moved them right back to their original location.    I just didn't expect that.

But I think this is going to be a very good 'blank' top; something I can play with ...changing up necklines and such.  And there's all the frou-frou included in the pattern if I want something, well, frou-frou.  I left the frou-frou off this time and just made the plain tank top.

Our church women's conference begins Thursday;  we have some very good speakers coming in.  I'm looking forward to it...but it will consume the ENTIRE weekend.  The following weekend is the only weekend in September that does not have something going on. And I SO hoped to make myself a nice jacket this month....

I need to get myself ready.  I think we have begun the downhill run to the holidays, and it's only going to pick up speed until then.

I should start my Christmas shopping .   ;-)

Pictures tomorrow. I hope.  Even if I can't see 'em. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Print Phobia

I have had to constantly remind myself all day today that I didn't have time to sew a dress.  Oh, I did, but I had other stuff that needed doing and I couldn't do both.

So, as I did the other stuff, which included driving around and sitting around waiting on appointments and such, I spent a good bit of mental time puzzling over my lack of decision making skills.  And I think I figured out my problem...or at least a good chunk of it.

The fabrics that I have pulled to turn into dresses are prints.  Lovely prints.  And I realized that I am afraid to turn a print into a dress...afraid it will have placement problems, look too girlish for my, ahem, current life stage, just afraid that it will look home made, as a dress that is beautifully constructed out of a poorly chosen print tends to do.

I will make a top from a print.  I will make a skirt from a print.  But making a dress from a print is, for some reason, now outside of my comfort zone.

Meantime, it is somewhat ironic that the dress I will be taking to wear to the festivities is a print (Textile Studio's Madison Avenue dress, which is unfortunately a bit snugger now that it was when I made it and wrote the review.  I will be packing shapewear). And it works for the pattern.

One of the fabrics is a stretch woven...a rayon-and-lycra blend.  It stretches as much as a knit; it's as drapey as a knit; I'm thinking I should just treat it as though it were a knit...just add a zipper and go on.  Maybe.

But these are summery fabrics, and when I get back from the wedding I'll be ready to start sewing September choir clothes.  In fact, I must...I have nothing mauve or dusty pink in the closet at the moment.  So the summer fabrics are going to get packed back up into the stash for another season.

Maybe by then I will have worked through my phobia.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Paralysis of Analysis...

My niece is getting married this weekend, and the Princess and I are roadtripping up to the ol' stomping grounds for the festivities.

I'd *really* like something new to wear, but, well, this is a busy week and it's not likely to happen.

Not because I'm so short of time, necessarily, but because I can't make up my mind.

I have a several nice pieces of fabric that I've purchased over the last couple of years, intending to make dresses...maxi dresses, knit dresses, sheath dresses...yeah...yet I just can't commit any one of them to a particular pattern.

I can make a knit dress in three-ish hours...but not if I spend two of those three hours pulling out patterns, mulling over patterns, and looking for alternate patterns.

The real problem is that I don't have a TNT for what I want.  And that's the truth.

So, instead of making a decision and cutting something out, I made a necklace and earrings that will coordinate with next month's choir wardrobe.

Not terribly happy with this, either, but I can always cut the wire and restring the beads if I get a better idea (or if I learn to finish off the ends better...)

So, yeah.  Still not sewing....

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 0812

Wow, that looks awfully...um...balooney?  I think it's an optical illusion; it looks like the purple scarf is on top of an empire waist top; actually, that's the Jalie 2919 cardigan over the Jalie 695 tank top, both made from a tealy blue rayon blend knit.  And it looked a lot better in the mirror.

Wait, you say, that's an odd color combo.  Well, we have an entire palette of colors to choose from for choir this month; I'd post the photo that we were given on our private Facebook page, but I couldn't get to the original source and I didn't want to repost something I couldn't attribute.  The colors on the palette were aqua, dark tealy turqoise, purple, mossy green  and a taupey cream color.  With the exception of the purple, they all look rather muted to me.  But our director called them 'peacock colors'...and I always picture jewel tones when I think about peacock feathers.  So it was with some trepidation that I chose things to wear with the CWC knit jeans today...I wasn't 100% sure what the colors were.  But, since I haven't gotten ANY laundry done since we got home last Monday (something going on every.day. this. week.  And most evenings...), I kinda had a limited selection from which to choose.  Hence the ...different....combo.

Although I kinda like it.  ;-)

I'm actually contemplating September's wardrobe, brown, mauve and cream; I have another short out of town trip coming up at the end of the month, and we have some duty assigned to us next week that could easily preclude singing in the choir...so in all honesty, this may be the only post for August.

If I could manage to get any time at all w/ the sewing machine, though, I could use some stuff for next month...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Successful Fundraiser

I didn't manage to sing in the choir yesterday.

The Teen Girls Clubs (Friends, grades 6 - 8, and Girls Only , Grades 9 - 12) spent all day Saturday in the church kitchen baking cookies.  We baked well over 1,000...we had 500 bags, each of which had 2 - 6 cookies in it (depending upon the size of the cookies and who was bagging them...)



We set up a table in the church lobby/fellowship hall and sold the cookies for a suggested donation of $1/bag to raise funds for a young lady who is in Moldova for a year, working with the Stella's Voice ministry.

At the end of all three services, we had 12 bags of cookies left and I'm pretty sure we cleared about $500 for our missionary.

Then I came home and started doing the backed up laundry, which all has to be done ASAP as we're trying to get out of town to visit our parents.

When I get back, I get to work double hours again to make up for being gone.  Not that the bosses are expecting that, but I'm only part time, so if I don't work I don't get paid.  Not good for the budget.

So, maybe about the middle of August I can slow down a bit and catch my breath. And do some sewing... ;-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

No Singing Voice Today

Somehow, I came home from Girls' Ministry camp with a cold; today is Day 4 and I'm coughing and croaking.  So no choir wardrobe post.

But I did a first pass muslin on the Vogue 1250 dress.  A friend gave me a couple of pieces of black and white knits from her stash for my birthday; I decided I'd whip up the 1250 dress from the poly matte jersey.  I expected something wearable.

Um.  Not so much.

I had some problems with the neckline/shoulder seam intersection; not quite sure what I need to do to fix it.  I see that it is designed to slash to the intersection point on the front; I think in my alterations I assumed that the cowl would wrap around w/o slashing. When I modified the cowl on the Vogue 8669  top; I did NOT need to slash the cowl facing and I tried to make the 1250 work the same way.  So I think my shoulder seam on the facing is at the wrong angle.  I need to work on that...either redraft the facing so the shoulder seam is at the correct angle or redraft the back neck so that it is wide enough that I don't have to slash it.

And my attempted correction on the underarm  to avoid the too-low lingerie flashing some of the reviewers mentioned resulted in an armhole that was downright tight.  I actually had to slash the side seam  open about an inch under the arm just to get enough ease to move (making this attempt an actual not-to-be-worn muslin), but it still felt tight going over the shoulder.  I thought I'd forgotten the square shoulder adjustment, but when I checked the pattern I saw that I did indeed do it. So I'm not sure why the top of the shoulder was pulling so badly.  I may need a hyper square shoulder adjustment here.

But even that wasn't the worst of it. The dress looked AWFUL on me.

Part of the problem may have been that the knit was a kinda beefy jersey in a kinda scratchy polyester and just didn't have the drape necessary to look good, but it emphasized all the bad things that have happened to my body since the Great Hormone Shift a couple of years ago. It wasn't tight anywhere other than the armholes, but it did some weird draping just above my upper abdomen and cupped under my lower tummy. 

It was truly scary.  Ugly.  Bad.

So I think it's going back into the envelope and back into the cabinet.  If I can get myself motivated to lose some weight, I may try it again and work on other issues, but for right now, it Just Isn't Going To Work.  Time to move on.

Sigh.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 07/15/12

I still can't find my yellow top.  It's not really that big of a deal, since I have plenty of coral and gray, but it would be nice to know where it's disappeared to.  I've looked in all the usual lost garment haunts and all of the unusual ones I can think of...no luck yet.

So, I'm just using the alternates.    The Jalie 2919 cardigan, Jalie 2682 v-neck top, aging Gloria Vanderbilt straight leg jeans (the closest I'll come to skinny jeans!) and the yellow plastic jewelry again.

And...a report on a finished project.  This upcoming week is dual camp week. First the annual Massive Youth Group Trip to Florida (last count: we have 17 other churches coming to our camp this year.  Wow.), which my three unmarried offspring will be attending; one as a camper and two as workers/counselors.  Secondary to that, it is the State Girls' Ministry camp, and I actually have five girls who, for one reason or another, didn't go to Youth Camp and who are going with me to the Girls camp.  We all leave bright and early in the morning.

The youth group actually did a pre-check in today and all the kids had to have their luggage in to church this morning; they were loading it up in a HUGE Ryder truck.  So all the packing had to be done before we left the house at 7:30 this morning.

Well, a couple of days ago The Flute Player pulled out her swimsuit and the elastic cracked and broke when she stretched it (well, it IS at least 3 years old...).  So, I figured it was faster to make her a suit than to traipse around town late in the season looking for one that was conservative enough for church camp.  Plus I still had a goodly chunk of nylon/lycra left from the last suit.  However, last time I made a girls' suit; this time, it's a Small in the KS misses' range.  And we needed bra cups.

So, I made a quick trip to Hancock's for bra cups and spent exactly as much on them as the remnant of fabric I had at home for her was worth.  A basic swimsuit is pretty simple; however, I had a time trying to figure out how to arrange the bra cups so that they were even and right and...I sewed them onto the lining backward and had to take them off and do it over.  But I did it while I was doing laundry, and I still think it was easier than shopping. ;-)  However, I finished it about 12:30 this AM and it's already on the truck, so I don't have even a hanger shot.

And I did have a bit of fabric arrive from a sale last week and a friend gave me a couple of pieces from her stash as a birthday gift; I think I'm actually going to do another variation of that Jalie cardigan again from one of the new arrivals.

After camp. ;-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Why not...

I've been crazy working this week trying to make up for the time I took off last week; next week is the girls' ministries camp so I'll be crazy working the next week again to make up hours I'm off at camp.  Ah, the joys of the part-time job...

But The Flute Player is in need of a new swimsuit for youth camp next week (they're going to the beach...I'm not...) so part of our errand running today included a trip to Hancock's to pick up some cups to insert in a new swimsuit for her, which I can make in much less time than it would take to find one at a store.

Turns out Hancock's has McCall's patterns on sale this week, so I went ahead and purchased the dress pattern that is the darling of the internet at the moment...McCall's 6559 .  There are, at this moment, 34 reviews  for it already on PR. 

Will I make it for me?  Um, the jury is out on it at the moment, but I thought I would go ahead and get it, since I was there...

Monday, July 09, 2012

PJ's for for the Flute Player

So, church youth camp is coming up next week and The Flute Player did not have suitable PJ's.  I got the note-printed knit from one of Ann's significant sales, and used my modified Loes Hinse City Dress pattern for the top and the good' ol' Burda No-Side-Seam pants for the britches and...happy musical daughter.  The only fly in the ointment was that she has grown more than I realized and the pants are very nearly too snug.

But they'll do.

Incidentally, I cut out a second pair of the Burda pants in my size; PJ bottoms for me, from what was left of the note fabric too.  Working on a fuschia tank top for the top...literally made from scraps...to go with 'em.  I'm going to camp next week, too, although it's not the same one.

I put different colored ribbons in the backs of the pants so we can not only tell the front from the back easily, but tell whose is whose...

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 070812

Yup.  It's the Adri jacket.  With the near-matching Vogue 2925 shell top underneath.

And a yellow crinkly cotton scarf from Wal-Mart.

And Lee bootcuts.

Coral, yellow and gray.  Only I skipped the gray this week. ;-)

The frizzy hair is starting to get to me.  Maybe it's time for a haircut.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Adri jacket done


Twelve teeny mitered corners later, and I have a jacket.  Actually, it's more of an overshirt than a jacket, but for summer choir wear it'll be just about perfect.  Once I decide I can live with the inevitable linen creases. ;-).

I finally decided to skip the bias binding on the neckline; if I'd had the time and the inclination I could've made some samples and figured out a way to miter a binding-meets-hem corner, but the linen was stable and pressed very nicely so I decided to just turn the seam under and go.  Here's a detail shot of the collar/neckline/mitered corners; you can click to make it big enough to actually see.

This will probably show up in tomorrow's choir wardrobe post.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Mitering Away

I'm making good progress on the Adri jacket.  It's really a simple thing to put together EXCEPT...all the seam allowances are pressed open, then they are turned under and topstitched.

Except for the neckline seam, which has a single fold bias binding over it.

And I'm fussy when it comes to points that show like that, so I'm doing little bitty mitered corners.

Counting the front lapel, there are 12 mitered corners.

Except I can't figure out how to miter that front lapel corner.  It's a double turned 5/8" on the front edge, and the single fold bias binding on the  neckline edge.

I have Linda Lee's little booklet on miters, which covers several different corner arrangements, but bound edge meeting hemmed edge is not one of them.

I may skip the binding and just fold under the neckline seam, too.

Pondering that while I do the other 10 corners....

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Choir Wardrobe Jul 1, 2012

...the 'Egg on Face' Edition...

And, of course, all email history has been deleted so I can't go back and try to figure out what happened.

However, somewhere in the last 6 weeks I was convinced that the colors for July had changed from coral, yellow and gray to coral, yellow and oatmeal.

So yesterday, My Sweet Baboo and I happened to have an errand to the far side of town, over in the Coldwater Creek neck of the woods.  I had a partially used CWC gift card, and I decided I needed something oatmeal.  So we scooted around to the fancy schmancy shopping center where the store is located, and I thought I did pretty good...picking up a jacket, a lace trimmed t shirt (both oatmeal) and a necklace and some complimentary earrings on a pretty decent sale.

But I didn't mean to wear any of the new stuff right away; no I had a plan for this morning.  The only problem was that I could NOT find the yellow top that was a crucial part of today's plan.  Anywhere.  So I had to make a plan B, quick, which was the new oatmeal jacket, knit CWC bootcuts, and a top from about 4 years back, the tankish  top from Vogue 2925, fashioned in a coral modal/lycra knit. With the yellow plastic beads, it looked ok.


Until I got to church and saw that most everyone had on shades of gray with their coral and yellow.  Um, oopsie.  I stayed in the middle of the pack today. ;-).

But it's ok; oatmeal is really the new white, as white does bad things to the lighting and the shaders in the AV room have asked us to please avoid white.  So I'll be wearing it, I'm sure.

Just not for the rest of this month.

Now, where is that missing yellow top....

Postscript...the heat wave has finally arrived in Alabama.  This is  up on the north-facing front porch, on which the sun does not shine until late in the evening.  So, yup, 98 in the coolest spot outside...


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Starting from Scratch

"Oh," says the lounging kitty,"Were you working here?"
Thursday morning, My Sweet Baboo headed out the front door to go to his early morning men's Bible study, and to his surprise he found our strictly-inside; no-front-claws kitty sitting on the front step.  She bolted into the house...leaving behind her break-away collar and shredded tufts of fur all over the front walk.  She had to have slipped out of the house Wednesday night amongst the goings-and-comings of the family;  I know she was in the house when I left around 5:30, but after that we just don't know.

I heard a noise in the bushes beside the front door when I came home around 9ish, but I assumed it was a possum or a squirrel and didn't investigate.  It was dark so even if there had been fur tufts on the front walk then I'm not sure I'd've noticed them.

She was unusually subdued all morning; I saw a small scratch on her nose and another just above her lip on one side, so I called the vet and ran her by before I went into work.  They found a couple of nasty scratches and one puncture wound on her back and she was running a fever.  Two shots and an oral antibiotic later we were headed home.

She is just now beginning to move more like her old self; I suspect she had some pretty sore muscles along with the scrapes and bites.  Hopefully she has learned her lesson and won't be so quick to try to dart out the door now.

But she must be feeling better; she has plunked herself down on the pattern I'm trying to trace for the coral linen jacket.  I've settled on Vogue 1055 (I've no idea how long that link will work; it's currently OOP), an Adri designed wardrobe pattern.  The jacket is constructed in one layer...no linings, facings or under collar....  But I haven't made it before, and the reviews on PR only discuss the skirt and one of the shell tops, so I'm actually debating a muslin, although I want to get it put together next week.  If my typical Vogue alterations work, I'm ok.  I hope. ;-)

But first I've got to move a pitiful kitty...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 06-24

Ayup.  This would be the New Stuff...McCall's 5860 khaki jacket, and the purple rayon jersey Vogue 8669, worn w/ the knit Coldwater Creek bootcuts.  Khaki as a color doesn't do a thing for me, but, well, it blends with everyone else in choir, so it will do.

And now I can get rid of that annoying tan crocheted sweater, for which...wouldn't you know...I found the spare button in my button box.  So I can sew the originals back on and drop it into the 'donate' pile with a clear conscience. ;-)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Selfish Sewing Day



Well, I did do some laundry and cook supper, but by-and-large, I spent the day communing with my sewing machine.  The khaki jacket is done; it will be a good tan top layer, even though it looks seriously like it should have a 'Carhart' or 'Dickies' label on it.  I was hoping for an Aussie bush vibe...oh, well.

Then I decided I needed a quick project or two.  The border print Vogue-1250 wanna be fabric was still annoying me; I decided to just find something that I could use that fabric for.  In the end, though,  I had to ignore what the fabric wanted to be and just make a pattern that would work.  Turns out I only had 1 3/8 yards anyway; and there was that striking graphic that would only work if laid out carefully.

So it ended up being another Simplicity 2630 top.  And it worked...more or less, anyway.  I'm not sure how that flower thing looks with the drapes in it; it kinda loses its floral appearance and resembles...well, something else.  But at least I can quit stewing on it.

And, tomorrow is the last day for purple in choir, at least for the foreseeable future, and I had some gorgeous deep purple jersey that was calling to me (It really is much darker than the flash shows; but without the flash it looked royal blue...).  I carefully cut out another Vogue 8669 sleeveless cowl, and, if I'm lucky, I may be able to squeeze one more top from the remnants.  But that will have to wait.  I raised the underarm on this iteration and it feels much more secure.  Next time I'll do the FBA; this fabric was much stretchier than the matte jersey I used for the first top so I thought I could get by without it.  It's ok, but I think it will look better with just a pinch added.

I'm guessing it will be the purple top and the khaki jacket tomorrow... ;-)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 0617

Well, needless to say I got nothing at all done on the khaki jacket last week and I found myself in need of a top layer again.  So I pulled out the sweater that I vetoed last week, hunted everywhere I could think to look for a possible spare button and, finding none, I cut off all the other buttons.  To be honest, they were really ugly buttons and no one will be able to tell from anywhere anyway.  It really was not a smart purchase, as it's never hung right and the shoulders fall off and annoy the stew outta me, but I got it from Kohl's when I was desperate for some kind of tan topper, and I pretty much only wear it when I have no other options.  As soon as I get a replacement made for it, it's going in the donate bag.  Enough already.

Is it sad that I'm starting to think like a costumer regarding my choir outfits?  The rayon/lycra Jalie 2682 top is pulling out at the bottom of the V, too...only you have to look REALLY close to see that.  Still, its days are numbered.  This is the second 2682 to tear like that on me.  Hm.Maybe I should start reinforcing that area just a tad.

But, I threw the deteriorating orange top and the buttonless aggravating sweater on with Lee bootcuts and a purple cotton scarf from Coldwater, and, well, it worked.  More or less, anyway.

The sewing deck is cleared.  On to the khaki jacket. ;-)