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 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,

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*


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 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 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, 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 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... ;-)