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 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. ;-)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Twin Shirts...Delivered

Last night,  several of us made the trek (about 2 hours worth) down to the state Royal Ranger Campsite to see the Frontiersman Camping Fellowship call out for the Alabama district.  They told us this was the largest recruit class ever for the Alabama FCF; My Sweet Baboo was among those called out, as was our Senior Ranger Commander and two of the boys (twin brothers) from the Tuesday night Urban Ranger program.

Urban Rangers (and the related girls' ministry, Urban Mpact), is the outreach to kids in low-income neighborhoods.  The church sends vans and busses round to pick the kids up, brings them in and feeds them pizza or burgers/chicken sandwiches and takes them through the same curriculum that the regular classes teach during church on Wednesday. The National Royal Rangers even did a video on the program at our church:

My Sweet Baboo was one of the guys instrumental in starting that ministry (and the Senior Commander in this video is now our Men's Ministry pastor, so the Senior Commander who was called out with Bruce has stepped into that position since the video was made), so it was very cool that he and the first two Urban Rangers to earn their FCF level were in the same class (not only were they the first from our church; they are the first Urban Rangers in the state to earn their FCF).

In FCF, the guys are given nicknames and expected to dress in frontiersman/historical garb from (I think) pre 1850.  They are encouraged to do research and build a character based on someone from that time period.

Every FCF recruit must be sponsored by an active FCF member, and it is traditional for the sponsor to give the recruit appropriate gifts at the call out.  Since the Urban boys are, well, urban, the expense of the dress requirement could be an issue, so one of the gifts their sponsor wanted to give them was appropriate shirts.  I know I grumbled about the last minute developments on that, but the truth is that I'm quite honored to make the shirts for these boys and it did give me an opportunity to pray for them, specifically, as I sewed up their shirts.

Now, to be truthful, for the shirts to be authentic they should've been hand sewn.  But the authenticity is really only an issue for the guys who are into competitions about such things; basically, so long as it appears more-or-less authentic it is acceptable.  So I made small  buttonholes (neither of my machines will do eyelets!) in the shirt plackets instead of using metal eyelets, which were not used until right at the end of the designated time period, and I made sure the buttons were cut from shells instead of plastic.  The lacing is deer hide cording that MSB found.  The fabric is uber nice linen..but after seeing them on the boys, I'm wishing I could've made them a bit longer, but I was a little short on fabric for that.

They put on their shirts as soon as they got 'em; for now, anyway, they'll do just fine.

The tomahawks were also part of their call out gifts; their sponsoring leader has a forge and he and the boys made them.  

Can you believe I've already been asked how much I would charge to make those shirts for others?  Um, right now, you can't pay me... although there are likely to be references to future costuming for My Sweet Baboo, once he decides what type of character he's going to portray.

I foresee more costuming research in my future...but I found myself looking at the guys in costume, thinking "I have that pattern...I have that pattern...oh, I'm pretty sure I have that one, too...." ;-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Twin Shirts

...which are actually for twins, believe it or not.  They're from Butterick 4486, made from a piece of linen that I ordered from Michael for a song several years ago for some costuming and then decided it was a bit too lightweight for what I needed.  I meant to turn it into costume shirts for The Actor and The Flute Player, but, well, these shirts needed to be finished by tomorrow so I had to use what I had.
I left work early yesterday and stayed home from work today; I had to teach my class at church tonight so I actually finished 'em at 12:15 AM; thank the good Lord for a part-time job with very flexible hours 'cause I might be a bit late going in tomorrow as well...

Hopefully My Sweet Baboo will get a picture of the shirts on the boys;  I'll tell you the story when I post that...right now, I'm headed for a date with the sand man...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Box Arrived

...and it was a pretty big box, too...containing 22 yards of fabric, plus a couple of chunks of interfacing.  'Course, six yards of it was in a free bundle...anyway, first the yardage I ordered:
The star of the whole box is that coral linen; it's actually a deep rose pink cross woven with orange.  Gorgeous.  Next up is some stretch broadcloth; it is actually a little lighter than I had anticipated, not sure now what I will do with it. I wanted a smart little black and white dress, but, well, I think it's too thin for that. Gonna hafta study on it a while.  The black and white solids are both poly-rayon-lycra gabardine; it feels very nice but the white is a trifle on the translucent side.  I'd thought of making a dress or skirt, but it'll need to be lined.  But, hey, it was a dollar a yard, so I can use it for muslin and toss it and not be out anything, really.  The black will definitely be pants...nice pants...

The freebies...well, sometimes you hit it and sometimes you don't...

I have a powder blue poly micro-crepe that drapes beautifully, but is a color that really doesn't do much for me.  It might look good on The Flute Player, though, and she needs a dress to wear to her cousin's wedding in a couple months.  This might do it.  The white in the middle actually has black crossweave pinstripes; it's a crinkly chiffon.  It's sheer.  It'll either be a floaty overblouse or a scarf for me and a couple more to give away. The black is a dog.  It's poly crepe-back satin that feels yucky and has some damage from tape.  I may not even use it for muslin...

However, I was surprised to get it this quickly.  It came Fed Ex all the way.  For $8.  I won't complain about the icky fabric. ;-)

On the Charitable Sewing Front, I came home from work early today and went to work on the linen shirts.  I cut them out yesterday and got them about 2/3 done today.  I reckon I'll have to come home early again tomorrow...or maybe I'll just go in late...they MUST be done by noon on Thursday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 061012

The, um, 'Never say Never' edition.

Or at least, never say 'I do not think I will be....'

'Cause, of course, I just did what I said I didn't think I would be doing.

Color blocking tangerine and purple.

I had a little tannish crocheted sweater to go over my Tangerine Vogue 8669 top, but when I put it on just before walking out the door I noticed one of the buttons was dangerously loose.  Then I noticed that another one was missing altogether.

So, I had to punt, and the only suitable thing I had handy was a heathered purple sweater knit cardigan from Coldwater Creek.

It was a cool, rainy day, so it was ok. Sort of, anyway.

This was after all three services and a leisurely lunch; the kitty was feeling very friendly after being left alone....

And the weekend has passed and I still haven't cut out those charitable shirts. 

So you know what I'm going to be doing for the next two evenings.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Staccato Night: Fabric In

After a rocky start, my fabric purchasing for the year leveled off.

I was actually feeling a little proud of myself.

Then along came, Fabric Mart...with a dollar a yard special.

On interfacing.

I've bought that from them before.

It's the good stuff.

They also had some creamy poly-rayon-lycra gab on sale for a dollar a yard.

That's cheaper than muslin.

Caroline's ten yard project has inspired me.

And FM is giving everyone a '20% off entire purchase'  coupon to use to celebrate the opening of the new website.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

So much for smug self satisfaction.

Not counting the interfacing, but counting the free bundle that I qualified for, I now have something like 22.5 yards of fabric heading my way.

That will nearly double my 'fabric in' for the year.

I guess that means I need to double my sewing time.

Ha ha and ha.

On that note, I have cut out everything but the interfacing for the khaki jacket.

That's now in the queue. But it will wait a bit.

I have some charitable sewing that must be done in the next 5 days.

Two 'pirate shirts'.

Or 'Frontier' shirts.

Or 'colonial' shirts.

Take your pick.  Full cut laced front linen shirts.

I'll 'splain about them later.

That deadline has totally snuck up on me.

Did I mention that we are having out of town guests this weekend?

Or that My Sweet Babboo and I fell victim to the Nasty Digestive thing going around early in the week?

So, like, everything is behind?

But those shirts will far as I know at the moment...the LAST of the charitable sewing for the summer.

Then I can get to the stash busting.

That should be about the time that Fabric Mart order gets here.

Since they Fed Ex it to Atlanta and then mail it from there.

But for 8 bucks shipping for 22.5 yards of fabric I shouldn't complain.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 6-03-12

Yikes.  June already.  Amazing.

Choir colors this month are an eye-popping combination of tangerine and purple, with tan/beige for the neutral, with jeans as usual.

I do not think I will be color blocking the tangerine and the purple.  Some folks can get away with that, but me...well, not so much. So I will be combining the colors with the neutral this month.

Or just wearing one alone.
The Loes Hinse Sweater Set , rendered in a yummy rather beefy grape bamboo/lycra jersey, with Lee bootcuts.  Simple. ;-)

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Next Up: Tan Jacket

Ok, well, khaki, but it'll pass for tan.

We've had a number of months in which 'tan/beige' has been one of the choir colors and I've kind of danced around the edges of it because, really, it's not one of my more flattering colors.

But, well, having a tan jacket would certainly go a long way towards improving my choices.  And I realized this week that I had a large piece of khaki stretch sateen from which I could probably squeeze a jacket AND a pair of I decided to use it to test out a jacket pattern that's been in the 'on deck' box for about 2 years now (and, I just discovered, is listed as 'Out of Print' - boo!), McCall's 5860.  So, yesterday I pulled it out, traced it off, and made the following alterations:

1) added 1/2" to all vertical seams except center back and center front.  High bust size is 14, the largest size in the envelope, but as I've said before, I'm, um, over that size everywhere below my high bust measurement. ;-)

2) made a 3/8" square shoulder adjustment

3)Lowered the bust shaping 1 1/2 inches and added a 1/2" FBA

4) Shortened the sleeves 2"

All of those are pretty much standard adjustments for me; however, when I cut out the cuff for the jacket and checked how much circumference it had, I found that it would be a whopping 12 1/4", buttoned up.  So I whacked THREE INCHES off the cuff side seams, and then narrowed the lower edges of the sleeve (on the graded seam) to match.  Yeesh.  The sleeves on the envelope photos do not look nearly that floppy. Sigh.

Oh, I also did the Louise Cutting modification to the collar AND the collar band...trace the pattern, split it on the center back, tape the front edges together, overlapping the seams, and add a seam allowance to one of the cut  center back edges.  The other CB edge goes on a fold.  That'll eliminate a bunch of bulk at the front edge...I may even tape the facing to the jacket front to eliminate that seam as well.  

I'm debating adding side seam pockets, and I have just about convinced myself that it would be a good idea.  Small ones, you know, just to hold a kleenex, 'cause you never know when you'll need one during worship...

We have a wedding to attend today, so I don' t know if I'll actually get any fabric cutting out done.  My project for next week...if I have time. 

Standard rant:  this is a P/P Perfect Pattern, which means it does have things like the bust point marked, waistline marked, etc, BUT...those markings are only on some of the pieces.  Would it be too much to ask for the waistline and bust point level to be marked on ALL body pieces?  That would make alterations SO much easier...sigh...