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 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' 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 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...