Sunday, February 26, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 02-26-12

Well, I got No Sewing done this week at all; been a busy week at work (the training session I led on Thursday seemed to go well, however, so it was a profitable week).

So...more old stuff for the last Sunday of silver/black/purple.  Lee bootcut jeans and the silver silk scarf again, this time worn with the botched-up Loes Hinse Sweater Set that I made from bamboo/lycra knit last summer.  Mostly I don't mention the wacky boo-boo I made cutting the back and no one notices the slant to the side seams... ;-)

Monday, February 20, 2012


For two out of the last three years, I've made The Flute Player's fancy dress for the kids' ministries service awards dinner at church.  In '09, it was The Pink Dress, which I totally threw together in about a day; in '10, it was the Masquerade Dress, which just about cleaned my clock and took every available second to finish.  Last year, the banquet was the same weekend as the Drama Magnet's production of Romeo and Juliet, so they didn't get to go the banquet.

This year, the quick dress pattern that I wanted to make needed alterations and style changes to make her happy; I didn't have fabric in the stash (imagine that!  The theme is 'black and white'- no fancy black fabric that I was willing to sacrifice for a dress of few wearings) suitable for other options, and I have something going on every day this week after work.

The dinner is Friday.  I just could NOT get my sewing/creating anointing flowing for a critical deadline.

So I bailed; we took advantage of the school/work holiday to drop by the mall and, after merely two or three armloads of  black and black/white dresses we found one that she really, really liked that wasn't all strapless and short.

It was on clearance; with tax it came to just a little under $70.

She's happy and I'm relieved.  It was worth it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 02 19 12

...and she admits defeat.

I had hoped to wear my new LH Milano jacket today, but last night as I was wrestling with the sleeves I realized it was a wadder, would never be anything but a wadder and the sooner I admitted that to myself and tossed it the less stress would be in my life.

Now, if you've been around Sew Random for any length of time, you know that I absolutely HATE wadders.  I've been known to disassemble, recut, and reassemble a garment to salvage it.   At the very least, I will finish it off and drop it in the Salvation Army donation bag.

But there was no salvaging this fiasco.

It began with fabric choice.  I had ordered stretch poly charmeuse from an on-line vendor, thinking I could use it as a lining.

What I got was a HEAVY stretch satin. Very polyestery at that.  So I decided I'd just us it for trim or for muslins or some such thing.  IOW,  I wasn't crazy about the fabric but just didn't want to hassle with complaining about it.  Early this year, I realized that it IS a color we're wearing a lot for choir (silver gray) so I decided I'd just whip up one of Loes' quick little jackets from it.  No big deal.

I picked the Milano jacket; I'd made it before from poly/lycra moleskin with moderate success, but wanted to see if I could tweak it a bit.

Why I didn't go back and read my notes and look hard at that first jacket I'll never know.

I did a FBA on it, which had the result of making the jacket boxy.  My bad.

I tried to rework the armceyes a bit but was too chicken and didn't go far enough.  I also failed to compare the final sleeve cap seam length to the armsceye seam length.  I had something like 2 inches of extra ease in that sleeve cap.  I thought I'd messed it up, until I pulled out the moleskin jacket and saw the telltale wavers around the sleeve cap; I believe there is just too much ease there to begin with.  After I set in the first sleeve (I first tried pleating in the extra...there is NO easing that heavy satin!) and saw that the armsceye was cutting into the front too much  with something wierd going on in the back, I took it out and whacked away at the armsceye, lowering it and cutting it deeper in the front.  Then I whacked away at the sleeve cap, shortening it and sloping the back more into the cap, as most of the extra ease was in the front.  After I'd chopped enough to get rid of the extra ease, I set it in again and looked at it hard.  It was better, but there was still some weird pleating going on at the back, and the funky little lapel thingy would NOT stay folded flat; the facing kept pulling away.  A button/buttonhole might fix some of that, but I remembered that I'd actually tacked down the lapel on the first jacket to try and get it to stay put...but given the extreme body of this piece, I wasn't sure it would work.

And it was boxy and unflattering.  Not something I would enjoy wearing.

So into the trash bin it went, and I'm trying to decide if the pattern should go with it.  I didn't ding it too badly in the review after the first iteration, so I'm thinking it was just an extreme mismatch of pattern and fabric that made the fiasco.  A natural, spongey, ease-able fabric would no doubt work much better.  But IF I try it again somewhere down the road, you can bet I will give special attention to the armsceye/sleeve cap before I ever put scissors to the fabric (which, I just noticed, I mentioned in the first review.  Yeesh.).

So...where does that leave us?  Wearing old stuff...

February colors are silver, purple and black with jeans, so I ended up wearing my boot-cut Lee jeans, a Cold Water Creek black sweater shell and an ancient silver silk scarf, along with one of my favorite jackets that will fit better once I loose about 10 more pounds...Textile Studios Florence Jacket , which dates from early 2003 and is made from an unbelievably gorgeous textured purple boucle and lined with silk charmeuse. 

Definitely one of my favorite things to wear in the winter time. ;-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

40 Days Later...

A lot can happen in 40 days.

You can, for instance, take advantage of the time off from blogging to give the blog a new look.  I've been meaning to update the template for a long time, but the last time I ventured into the layout builder I had problems getting it to cooperate so I gave up and reverted to the old template.  Apparently Blogger has updated things since then; I found it to be just a little contrary and with patience and persistence  I was able to add all the sidebar stuff I wanted to add.

The background picture is from 2006.  My sewing room hasn't been that clean since the Silver Lame Shirt Sewing Marathon of 2007.  It's pitiful now.  Maybe someday I'll clean it out and rearrange it and take another picture and not shrink it, like I had with the '06 photo, which is why it is tiled. (Now all the feedburner readers will click through to see what in the world I'm talking about, right? ;-)) could make an  unplanned trip to the Emergency Room and embark on a weeks-long journey to figure out what happened.  Final verdict:  Superior V*entricular T*achycardia, and  a six-month round of meds to see if that will control the problem.  The meds seem to be long as I remember to take them.

OR...the fix up project to the sun room could turn into an unbelievable series of uncovered bad construction and the resulting consequences and drain all the resources  allotted for the entire project before it's half done.  Who knows how long it will be before the room is actually useful again...

AND...40 days of highly restrictive eating does,usually anyway, result in some weight loss, so the sewing project started at the beginning was too big before the end.  The Tribeca shirt has been bagged up; I will trim it down at some point and have another go at it.  The Milano Jacket, being less fitted, is going to be ok, I think.  It just needs the sleeves inserted and a button /button hole to be on the 'completed' list.

The sewing I did accomplish was a royal blue Burda 9/10 funnel neck top.  Wore it for choir, but didn't manage to get a photo.  Maybe this week...

And, The Flute Player had a birthday party to attend.  One that had a video-game theme; all attendees were encouraged to come as video characters.  She set her heart on Wind Waker Z*elda...with an ocarina.  Despite all my protests that she did Not. Have. Time., she forged ahead. Using fabric from the stash (mostly, anyway), and paint and craft foam and styrofoam balls drilled through, she came up with a plan.  And I sewed 90% of the skirt, taken from OOP McCall's 3296.   We have some disagreement about the success of the hot pink vest-thingy; I think it should've been made from something fairly stiff, but, well, given our time constraints it was Definitely Good Enough.  Especially since there were no prizes or other rewards for the effort. Happy teen daughter has to be reward enough....and she was VERY happy.  ;-)

Now to go figure out what I'm going to do with the 862 blog posts that have accumulated in Google Reader while I was gone...