Sunday, July 23, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 7.23.17

The reduction of the turquoise in the stash continues...

And the photographer was in a hurry.  Can you tell? :-)

This is a Jalie 2566 Tshirt in a nice,firm cotton/lycra jersey, cut out and sewn up in the last couple of days.  I have two sizes traced off...one for loose floppy knits that seem to grow and one two sizes larger for firmer, stable knits.  This was the larger size.

Modified Loes Hinse Oxfords...basically, I just shaped the legs into a more bootcut style, which I like very  much.

Purchased lacey vest.

I have one more top cut out to the neckline binding (the fabric is jacquard silk charmeuse and the binding is cut on the bias; I was working on it late at night and decided for the best chance of accurate cutting I'd wait till a better, more alert time.  Which hasn't come yet).  It might or might not get worn next week; after I pulled it out and compared it to the rest of my turquoise, it almost looks jade green.  Except, of course, when I put it next to something green.

I don't know yet what the August colors are. But  it doesn't  matter much as I will be tied up in other stuff and will only actually be in choir one Sunday in August.  I can probably wing it with the existing wardrobe, whatever it turns out to be.  I'm likely going to have to sew some stuff for September if my hunch on that is correct.

I'm missing my sewing time.  I really need to get into the sewing room.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 7.16.17

So, this month's colors are still black, white, grey and turquoise.  I will freely admit that the color I'm wearing is more cerulean than turquoise, but, well, I'm not the only one wearing it so...it blends.

And the only thing I'm wearing that I actually made is the Jalie Cardigan that I've worn over and over this summer.  But I can mix it up, so, yeah.

Gray RTW...the brand escapes me at the moment... jeans and a white Lands' End tank top.  And a loopy scarf type deal that is really just a massive crocheted ring, doubled upon itself several times.  It was a Christmas gift a few years back from my sister, who made it.

It works. :-)

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 07.09.17

I said I had some of the bright turquoise knit leftover from the Jalie Cardi you've seen a couple of times this summer.  I found it and used a bit to make up a rather altered version of Hot Patterns Fast and Fabulous La Strada T.

I made it last right after I bought the pattern, back in 2015.   It was NOT compatible with my short narrow shouldered self; that version was worn for PJ's a few times and then went into the donate stack.

I hacked up the pattern a bit...narrowing the top, widening the bottom, shortening it and making the front-facing a cut-on instead of a sew-on.  And I rather arbitrarily selected a spot at which to quit sewing the side seam to allow for armholes, as the pattern did not have one marked.  The armsceyes are snug.  Not uncomfortable, but not flowy like shown on the pattern envelope.  I may add a bit of a wedge to the yoke to give them more drape without drop...

I'm much happier with this iteration.  It's not quite perfect but it's certainly wearable, which is more than I can say for the original.

Anyway, for the June/July choir wardrobe colors of white, black, gray and turquoise,  I put my new top with some 12-year-old embroidered linen/rayon Stretch and Sew 704 'Quick 'n' Easy Pants'  and, of course,  the ever-present Burda waistcoat.

I confess, I had a MOMENT when I was ironing the pants last night, recollecting making them during the time we were renting a smallish house between the house we had lived in for 20+ years and our current abode, and suddenly realized that it has been 12 years since we moved  to the current address...which means the pants are 12 plus years old.  In actuality, they were part of the first SWAP I completed, back in 2005, before I started blogging. (goes to look for photos... finds them...)

Most of this no longer fits, or has gotten worn out and is long gone.  :-(.  But, the rayon/linen embroidered pieces..the black pants, the brown lantern skirt and the color-blocked shirt/jacket, are still in the closet, still getting wear.

But it made me think...maybe I should do a serious closet purge.  If I'm still wearing 12-year-old garments, I could, possibly, be just a tad out of fashion...lol.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 07.02.17

Choir colors for June-July are black, white, gray and turquoise.  There will no doubt be more repeats from June, as we had the same colors for June.  I have found some turquoise in the stash but...haven't managed to get to the sewing machine.
So, it's the same Jalie cardi I wore two weeks ago, with a black-and-white stripe Simplicity 2603 gathered-front tank top...with RTW black jeans.

Hoping to get into the sewing room this week, even if it's just for a wee bit.  I have some plans...lol...

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 06.25.17

Hm.  As I typed the title...which includes today's date...it hit me:  exactly six months 'till Christmas.
The days are already getting shorter.
Why can't I make time slow down to the pace it was when I was a kid???

Sigh.

Anyway, today was a full day at church, with services in the evening as well.  Great services and, well, as per the usual when it feels exceedingly shallow to talk about what I wore...please see the post linked on the side bar that explains the choir wardrobe posts if you wonder why I post this stuff.  Usual disclaimer that church is NOT about what I wear, but this is a sewing blog, so...

Today was pretty much an 'if you see it, I made it' kind of day.  Two pieces from the 2016 SWAP wardrobe...the gray Pamela's Patterns Draped Cool Cardi and the pinstripe gray RPL modified Loes Hinse Oxford Pants.  Worn with the turquoise Jalie 2682 top that JUST made it off of the UFO list after a relatively short two year stay. Again, the flash washed the color out some, but this is really not a high-contrast outfit.

And I just looked at that photo again and wondered what on earth was making those weird baggy boxy things just above the back knee and...there are large candles sitting on the hearth and I just happened to stand right in front of them.  It's an optical illusion; the pants are fine.  Whew.

Got a new costuming project in the works; I'll give you the skinny on it in the next day or two...rather interesting creative stretch...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 06.18.17

Colors for the summer (well, June-July anyway) are Black, Gray, White and turquoise.

I pulled this very intense turquoise out of the closet...it's not exactly the shade specified, but, well, it's one we've worn before and I hoped I wouldn't be the only one stretching the envelope a little.

I wasn't.  There were at least 5 others there today with this bright turquoise color (and the photo, leaning slightly to yellow, is not showing the color very accurately.  But you get the idea.)

It's the Jalie 2919 Pleated Cardigan and Vest; I think it was the 4th or 5th iteration and it is the ONLY one I've done with the pleats on the outside...which is actually the way it's supposed to be made.  Up to this point, I  put them inside because I misread the instructions. 
When I realized I'd been doing it backwards, I felt really foolish and the next one I made the right way out.

But I  found that I much prefer it with the pleats turned in.  Takes visual weight off.  Really.  So the one or two I've made since then have had the pleats inside...on purpose....

Modified La Fred Daphne pants (I added a waistband and pockets, then put the zipper in the pocket)from black stretch twill really need a bit of heel to not bunch up so much, but, well, I was not in a heel-wearing mode today, so they're bunchy.  Guess I could've rolled them, given the current style, but I didn't think about it. 

It's a RTW scoop neck sweater...from the old Coldwater Creek.  So you know that wasn't fresh, either.

As I was puttering about in this cardigan today, I suddenly remembered I had a sizeable chunk of fabric left over.  Probably going to see that made up into one of  the TNTs sometime soon...lol.  Once I find it.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

More fabric in...

In Which She Scores Something She's Been Looking For For Ages...

I have fallen off of Fabric Mart's mailing list.  I'm not sure why, but I have.

Which may actually be a good thing.

But somehow I happened to just wander by last week...you know, just to see if anything was on sale.

And, wow, I hit gold.

See, I've been wanting to add an Ei1een Fisher-esque long black linen cardigan to my wardrobe for ages.  Found an actual EF cardi in my size on a serious sale at a local department store a year or two ago...and it was still something like $120.  Just. Couldn't. Do. It.

But linen knit is not easy to come by.  And, when I've ordered in the past, it's been floaty and fluffy and not the nice heavy drape of the fabric used in those pricey cardigans.

And then came the sudden urge to just have a peek at Fabric Mart's page last week.

On the deep, double discount page were linen knits.  One of them was black.  It was only 42" wide, so I'd need two cardi lengths, plus sleeves, but the price was only $7.50/yard.  Even if it wasn't *quite* the same, it was worth a shot.

And, of course, fabric HATES to travel alone, so I found a couple of other pieces to keep it company...and bring down the shipping price per yard.

The package arrived today:
A garnet red 'slubby textured' cotton jersey,  some 100% cotton knitted (crochet-look) lace yardage and...the black linen knit.  Which is a substantial, drapey perfect-for-the-cardi weight. So I will have my cardi for about 25% of the sale price of the inspiration piece.  YESSSS! 

And they're all generously cut.  I almost wish I'd ordered the linen in additional colors...but, well, that really was enough of a splurge.

I'm still wanting to sew my '2017 SWAP' wardrobe...it probably won't look like the original plan I made back in January, but I really need to get some stuff put together.  Meantime, I've been chipping away at the UFO list...another one down this week.  Something I *could* wear for choir...that helps...lol.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 6.11.17

We're going to keep the same colors for June and July this year, black, gray, white and turquoise. 

It's  been a few years since we wore turquoise.  I either need to lose some weight so my old turquoise stuff fits or I need to make some new clothes.  :-(

Meantime, I'm happy there's lycra.

I hit the 2016 SWAP wardrobe  for the Pamela's Patterns Gray cardigan and the Sewing Workshop 'black denim' ponte Helix Pants.  The turqoise top is a crepe-side-out stretch silk charmeuse...and I *think* it's a modification of the bodice of the Loes Hinse City Dress.  It's been in the closet a long, long time...and, were it not for the Lycra content, would not have been worn today.

Steamed veggies for lunch this week. :-D

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pirates 2017

Arg, Mateys, 'tis time again for the pirate costumes...

Not because Captain Jack is back on the big screen, but because, in our 6 -year rotation of summer themes in the children's ministry,  Pirates of Paradise Island has come back around.  And, as it so happened, this year we did a Family Crusade instead of kids camp.

So, that meant we were pirating from ages 0 to whatever. (We have to beat the villain to the treasure...which turns out to the Bible....)

Twelve years ago, just before I started the blog, we did the Pirates theme and did a family crusade with it.  My older kids were helping the then-youth-pastors with the Red Team efforts, so we all joined up.  The Artist actually wanted me to make a shirt for him; I found a DEAL on rayon/acetate at the dollar table at Wal-Mart (pause for sad reflection as that source is no more) and I made a shirt for him and also one for myself (still my favorite pattern review).

It just so happened that My Sweet Babboo and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary right in the middle of it and we got a family photo:

                                                                   (August 2005)

Well, in the intevening years I made a shirt from the same pattern for My Sweet Babboo, as the Royal Rangers did a pirate theme for Pow Wow  about three years later.  So when we were coming up on this event, I realized that everyone in the family had a pirate shirt...except the two kids who work in our children's ministry every week.    I looked through my fabric stash, but didn't have a piece suitable for pirate shirts.  I had used the piece I'd intended for shirts for them for a charitable cause and never managed to replace it.

But, I had to run some errands on Friday and made my way to the opposite corner of town to the only fabric store left in The Rocket City...Jo Ann's.  I'd only been in there about 4 times since it opened several years ago and wasn't hopeful.  But...they had a rayon/linen blend in creme that was right at the top of my price range (sale price at that) and there was exactly what I needed for two shirts...5 yards...on the bolt.  So I brought it home and ran it through the washer and dryer.

Whilst it was preshrinking, I poked through my collection of patterns.  Keep in mind, this was Friday afternoon and the event started Sunday evening.  I didn't have much time and I really didn't want to do twenty eyelets  in a hurry.  So I pulled out an as-yet untried pattern, Butterick 5008, which is apparently out of print.

No Eyelets....very basic.  I picked view D, with the front seam and flounce, for The Flute Player and view C, minus the sleeve ruffles, for The Actor.  I figured I could trace the pattern in less time than it would take to hammer on 20 eyelets anyway.

I read the reviews on PatternReview and decided to use buttons on the cuffs instead of the ties and just cut the ties for the neck.  I *thought* I was cutting the ties twice the length stated on the pattern, intending to cut the number of tubes to turn in half.    I also altered the collar pattern for a one-piece collar, ala Nancy Zieman and Louise Cutting.

Got up Saturday morning but got a slow start and really didn't get to sewing until around noon.  But I figured it should only take about 6 hours to make the two shirts, so I wasn't worried.  I could do it around the laundry....

I started by making the fiddly bits first... the ruffles, the collar and band assembly, the sleeves and  cuffs, and the ties.  I used my rolled edge foot..the skinny one...for the ruffles.  It wasn't hard but it was tedious slow work.  Not as slow as any other method of edge finish, though, I'm sure!  I fused the interfacing on the collars, bands and cuffs, and ran the ties through the serger.  

And hit problems.  The tie pieces were only an inch wide, and I thought I'd be slick and run  long serger chain,. then fold the strip around it and sew the edge so I could use the long chain to turn it.

Well, the strips were cut on the straight of grain and with a 1/4" serger seam, I COULD NOT get the first strip turned.  Finally broke the chain trying.  I decided that 1) the strip is too narrow to use a 1/4" seam 2) the straight of grain had no give in it and 3) it was too short for me to cut it in half.  I don't know if I misremembered the measurement when I cut it or if the measurement was just skimpy to begin with.

So I went upstairs and cut 1 1/4" bias strips out of the remnant of the fabric.  I couldn't cut these long enough to split them, because I only had a wee bit of fabric left, so I had to cut 8 ties.  I sewed them on my conventional machine with about a 3/16 seam allowance...and fought to get them turned.  I finally went to my ancient beauty supplies and pulled out a roller clip...essentially a giant bobby pin...cut a slit in the end of the tie and managed to get them all turned with the bobby pin.

But I lost something like TWO HOURS messing with those stupid ties.  And I had to keep stopping for a bit to switch laundry out and fold stuff.  By the time I got the ties on the bands, it was time for a dinner break.  The Actor and the Artist were both involved in the big Opening Sword Fight and were at rehearsal all day Saturday;  The Artist came by the house to work a bit on his costume.  He wanted a peg leg for at least part of the week and needed a crutch, so he came by to make use of the woodworking tools in the garage.  The Actor had to stay behind to do some janitorial work, so he didn't come home until later in the evening.

I went back to the machines, making the cuffs and sleeves and attaching the flounces to the front of The Flute Player's shirt.

The Artist got his crutch assembled and put a layer of stain on it...then came into the house and pulled up the original Pirates of the Caribbean movie on the chromecast.

Arg, matey, it was hard to sew and listen to th' movie in the next room.  It'd been a few years since I last watched it.  I confess to making much less progress than I might've otherwise.

When The Actor got home, he told me he was using a shirt from the church costume wardrobe so he didn't need one for the next day.

I ditched his and began to work solely on the flounced shirt.  I finally got all the pieces ready and began assembly.

I was putting the collar on at, oh, eleven thirty?  Somehow I got confused and ended up putting the collar on with the wrong side out.  I didn't notice it until I'd trimmed the seam.  I used the one-piece collar...that meant the collar back had a seam on it.  Disgust...but, you know, it's in the back.  No one will know that it's not supposed to have a seam.  Costuming, not couture.  I kept going.
Finally finished it at one AM.  She was still up and good-naturedly put it on for a photo.  She was very pleased.  Oh, btw...I shortened it 4" before I cut it out.  It's a long shirt.


I was running registration for the event...which is rather complicated, as we had to track points the kids earned  all week for some big prizes at the end.  The Flute Player was helping with some of the registration tasks, as well as some of the technicalities of the production, so we were both in costume.  My Sweet Babboo just dressed to add to the ambiance.
The Princess was the only one in the family who didn't make it to the event.  She wanted to bring her nephew but couldn't get it to work.

But we did get another family photo...this one will make the Christmas letter!
 I sat down at the machines this morning and finished the Actor's shirt.  He's not as pleased with the shirt as his sister was with hers; he's worn my shirt in several different events and  he much preferred the lightweight rayon/acetate.  And he liked the lace up front.  I may yet have to add some eyelets to his shirt, if only to keep the kinda skimpy facings in place.
Should have a choir post tomorrow; we didn't have choir last week because of the pirate set and I was too congested to sing the week before.  But I'm gonna try it tomorrow!

(If you're curious, here's the picture of The Artist with his 'Peg Leg'...lol)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A New Dress for a Special Service

Thursday night, I came home with the beginnings of a cold.

Friday night,  it was even showing signs of a sinus infection.

Lotsa rest and lotsa water on Saturday, and it seems to have held off getting worse, at least, but...I have no singing voice.  Croak croak.  So I wasn't in choir today.

But, well, I had to be at church nonetheless.  The 'graduation' for the folks who have done the school of ministry classes at church was this morning, and, since it is covered by the same online school that I did my master's coursework through, I got to participate.

We really didn't have time to do the whole cap and gown thing, so we were told to just wear dressy clothes for the ceremony.

So I needed something truly dressy in the choir colors.  Because, you know, I intended to sing in choir before I lost my voice.

Last year I'd bought a length of black rayon twill with the intention of making a Style Arc Tori Designer Dress...and, black being an acceptable color for choir, I decided this week to make it.

Problem was I didn't have time to start working on it until Thursday.  Which was when I started feeling punky.  I cut it out Thursday.

And I had a little debate.  I'd remembered the collar being a bit tricky...and I was short on time...and it was black fabric, so it would have been really hard to see exactly where the start and stop points were...so I bailed and decided to just face the existing V neckline.  I could fill it in with a pretty necklace, right?

The dress went together pretty much as I remembered; except this time I thought I should like to have added a cut on facing to the armholes; there's really only enough to turn it back once. Not as nice a finish as I'd like, but it's black so it doesn't show.

I think I used what was meant to be the wrong side of the fabric; one side was a bit shiny and had a slightly more pronounced  twill; the other side was more matte.  I decided I liked the matte side better, but I had a time keeping it straight; there really was only a slight difference.  I didn't actually sew any pieces together wrong, but I spent a lot of time flipping and comparing as the pins I used to mark the right side somehow kept falling out.  And I wasn't feeling particularly sharp either.

Aaannd...when it was finished, the neckline was much too wide and deep to be comfortable.  I didn't realize how low the point of the V is; the collar piece fills it in a lot more than I expected.

So the dress will be worn with a cami under and, very likely, a scarf over.  The scarf I wore today was actually something that would work for the choir...but I actually chose to wear it because it once belonged to my grandmother.

It's probably not the most flattering dress in the closet...but it's sure comfy.

And, here's a funny...when I applied for the Master's program, I selected the Master of Religious Education degree.  Just as I was about to start, I got word that the school was changing up the structure of their degrees and the MRE would just become a Master of Ministry.  So I spent the whole year believing I would receive a Master of Ministry, using #mastersofministry on all the Facebook posts as I chronicled the journey.

Welp, guess what the diploma says?

Master of Religious Education.

LOL. #itfigures

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 5.14.17

Random patch of light from the skylight...you'd think the photographer would notice things like that.

And, we had a photo shoot a couple of weeks ago; long story about how that happened but My Sweet Babboo and I  were schooled a bit on taking pictures.  The photographer kept telling me to 'pop your knee'.  So I had to try it for a Choir Wardrobe picture.

At least it makes me laugh.

So, there was no choir photo last week; I simply didn't have time to get a photo.  We had a special service Sunday evening, with a choir, in dressy black, so that meant an early call with barely enough time to eat something and change clothes between 3rd service and the 4 PM call. So this is the first glimpse of May's colors...what I'm calling hydrangea blues (grayed blues ranging from light to a medium dark; no navy or royal) w/ black and/or white.  The top is fresh out of the sewing room; it's a crinkle rayon remnant from, I believe, Textile Fabrics' (Nashville) moving sale a couple of years back.  The pattern is New Look 2672, a pattern I've been working with for a while to see if I could get a TNT easy fitting woven T shirt.

Over the course of about three iterations, I added a bit of a FBA, pulled in the neckline somewhat (the first one I made was definitely not bra-strap friendly on my narrow shoulders), eliminated the back seam/snap closure, and used a self-bias strip to face the neckline. I may have lengthened it a wee bit; I'll need to see if I made notes.

  I really like it in the drapey rayon and it does very nicely for a quick pop over; the only problem with it is that the cut-on sleeves don't play well with a topper.  Any jacket pushes the shoulders in and makes the neckline kind of gappy.  But with a pretty fabric it stands alone very well.

I really should review it one of these days.

Skinny jeans from Talbots.  They don't fit terribly well, but they honestly don't look too bad if I'm not popping my knee. LOL. I've worn them mostly with long tops and boots; it was a spur of the moment choice to wear them today.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Choir Wardrobe - 04.30.17

The last day of the month.  Went with a 'column' and a jacket in the more-or-less appropriate mauvish color.  Loes Hinse Oxfords in pinstripe tropical wool, a Jalie 2566 T in black rayon?  Cotton?  I don't remember!  And the as-yet unreviewed New Look linen jacket.  Which would be perfect if I could figure out way to put some small pockets in it.    The dark flecks in it are actually navy blue, but they read 'black' so it's ok.

Next month is a range of blues...from a periwinkle to a medium royal.  With black and white.  I probably have enough to get by, but I take advantage of a sale to get some jersey for a t shirt.  I don't have a suitable solid blue t shirt... :-)

In other news, I pushed hard all weekend and submitted the last assignment for the Master's degree last night.  Just waiting now for the final grade...and instructions on what to do to get the diploma.

My immediate goal is housecleaning...and I honestly think it's going to take a while to get it back in shape.  It's been neglected far too long by far too many...sigh.

So I'll sew a bit here and there but I want to be able to have drop in guests without feeling completely humiliated. 

All my domestic talent landed in sewing, I'm afraid....

Monday, April 24, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 04.23.17

A rather chilly, drizzly day today...wearing the blush pink that was so overwhelmingly worn by my fellow choir members early in the month as being in the mauve range, with black and, um, near-black.    McCall's 6844  cardi (still unreviewed; hm, I've made it 4 times now, I should review it...lol..), black ponte; Vogue 9057 relaxed fit T, blush pink rayon/lycra jersey, also still unreviewed Sewing Workshop Helix Pants, 'black denim' ponte knit.  The cardi was just warm enough for the quick little walks across the back parking lot so I could skip the children's ministry check in bottleneck between services.

I'm coming down to the wire on the online Master's degree work; got an email last week from the folks who are adminning the  group  seminar/correspondence classes they're doing at church  for undergrads through the same online institution.   She said that they'd been in touch with West Coast, who have told them I'm nearly done, and invited me to participate in the 'graduation' ceremony they're hosting next month...if I finish that last class.  I was surprised; I didn't think anyone was tracking it.

So guess what I'm going to be working on for the immediate future.  But it is the last class.  And my calendar is *fairly* open this week.  My original, personal goal was to finish by the end of April.  I just *might* make it.  At the very least...I should finish by the first weekend in May.

Then I am going to attempt to catch up the long-neglected housecleaning.

Then I can see about making myself a badly-needed SWAP wardrobe. Which of course, will be too late to be a participant in this year's contest.  But at least I can make up my own 'rules' ...LOL.... ;-)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Choir Wardrobe: Easter 2017

Confession time:  I bailed on the lace.  I had a pattern out, working it over, to make a long vest.  Now, I think it would have been...ok...but it was a make-do and my heart wasn't in it.  And I was making it up as I went...with very little time...I think it was a disaster waiting to happen.  So I folded up the lace and went stash diving.

And found a tweedy linen that I bought from Michael back in...2003.  Now, I hadn't exactly forgotten about it, but I had misremembered the color. I thought it was a peachy pink, but it turned out to be completely mauve and a great color for this month.

So I pulled it out, grabbed the New Look Jacket pattern I used for last year's SWAP (so SWAP is influencing me, even if I'm not working on a SWAP collection), tweaked it a bit and used 1 1/2 yards of the tweedy linen on an unlined, single-layer jacket.

Which I finished after church on Saturday and wore on Sunday.  There still being two more Sundays in April, I'll likely wear it again soon.

So here's what I ended up wearing for the three days of services we had for Easter, with the colors being mauve (a range of dusky pinks and lavenders) and black:


 You will notice (now that I've pointed it out) that I have a STRIKE THROUGH on the WIP list on the sidebar...a UFO bites the dust!  I started this pinkish shirt back in September of TWO THOUSAND TWELVE, which was the last time we wore anything close to mauve in choir.  I didn't finish it before the end of the month...it was down to hem and buttons/buttonholes but there was something odd about the front.  Then I gained weight.

I thought several times about finishing it and putting it in the good will bag, but I never got around to it.

Lost a bit of weight earlier and, lo and behold, it closed.  So I fixed the weirdness on the front neckline...or at least most of it...and finished off the shirt.  Probably not going to get a lot of wear, but...hey, finished is finished.  And it works for this month.  So I wore it Friday with the often photographed striped modified Loes Hinse Oxfords and the even more often photographed Burda Style 'westcoat'.








 For Saturdays' service, I wore last week's make, the rayon/lycra jersey Marcy Tilton/Vogue T, with Loes Hinse's Bistro jacket, in black poly herringbone suiting and Sewing Workshop's Helix pants from a RPL 'denim print' ponte.  And the only mauvey-pink necklace I could find when I poked around the mall last week.
Sunday I wore the new jacket...that I finished Saturday night.   With a linen 'My Hearts A Flutter' shell, which is in the color we wore last year two years ago that we called 'Lavender Herb', but is very, very close to the lightest shade of 'mauve' in our sample photos.  With the pinstripe Loes Hinse Oxford/European mashup.  I strung the necklace from beads I found at Hobby Lobby, which matched the jacket fabric dead on.

Y'know, I really should train myself to go stash diving earlier in the process...

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 04.09.17


SO...here's the Vogue 9057 top that is fresh off the sewing machine as of 10 PM last night...which is something, considering the flat fabric arrived on my doorstep about 2 PM yesterday afternoon.    The color is terrible to photograph...a pearly dusky pink.  Which is pretty much the standard interpretation of 'mauve'.  But it looks washed out beige in about every photo.  Worn with the Burda vest that I wear All. The. Time. and the pin stripe tropical wool modified Oxfords from last year's SWAP collection.  Interesting thing about those stripes...I think they're tan and gray, but, being only two threads wide, they can read as other colors...including mauve and lavender.

That same box contained 2 yards of  a mauve-ish lace yardage as well, but it was something of a disappointment.  The color is perfect and the pattern is lovely but...it's very stiff, being embroidered/couched on fine nylon net.  I had rather anticipated some drapey lace and had something in particular in mind.  But it's not at all drapey.  Whatever I do with it...it's going to be kinda like wearing denim, as it's about that stiff.  And there are odd spots in it here and there where the filler in the cording shows through...and it's a kind of odd, oh,  greasy-sewing-machine-lint color.  I may be able to satin stitch over it and cover it up, but it's rather annoying.  Why did they use such a yucky filler for the cording?


But it is pretty at a distance, anyway.  I thought about making a denim-style jacket out of it , but I really don't have time for anything that involved. I'd like a long vest, but I'm not sure if it will hang or stand, if you know what I mean.

My own personal sewing challenge...make something I can wear by Friday this week.    So it's gotta be ridiculously quick.

Think...think...think...

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Something for Choir

I had nothing, really.

I went into work late on Thursday...ate junk on Wednesday and paid for it on Thursday...did a bit of work from home before I went to the office and, just before I shut the computer down, I checked a few online fabric vendors.  Because, like, I need some mauve in my life.

Found a knit and some lace yardage; click click and they were ordered before I left.

The box arrived this afternoon.  The lace...well, I'll talk about the lace later.  But the knit is spot on perfect.  I threw it in the washer, worked on my homework, put it in the dryer,  ran a couple miles down the road to Chick fil A and back to pick up a quick supper for The Flute Player and myself and, as soon as the knit was dry, took it up to the cutting table.
6:43 PM.  It shrank a quarter yard in the wash; I'd ordered 1 1/2 yards and measured exactly that before I threw it in the washer.  Plus, it was cut a bit crooked.  So I went with the TNT relaxed fit Vogue 9057 T, with my modified cap sleeves. 
 It took 9 minutes to whack it out with the rotary cutter.

 I had to change out the thread on the machines; plus I ditched the needles that had sewn the metallic-printed poly scuba knit.  I could tell they were getting dull before I finished that  jacket and I wanted fresh needles for the rayon/lycra 4-way stretch jersey;  I kinda expected some trouble. But at 7:14 the machines were set.
Short break to get a photo of a lovely sunset and switch the laundry.
Hashtag no filter  ;-).  But I hung out on the porch a bit to get to the full color...
After I hung up the dry clothes and got a new load in both machines, I trimmed some scrap interfacing to reinforce the shoulders and fused them down at 7:59


 I ran the teeny neckband seam through the sewing machine, then pressed it open.  While I was at the ironing board, I went ahead and pressed up the hem on the sleeves at 7:59..
 Shoulder seams were quick; the neckband went on at 8:17.   Match the centers, then mark and match the quarters and serge it on.
 Gave it a bit of a press and at 8:24 we're ready for sleeves.
 The sleeves are on  and it's ready for sideseams to be sewn at 8:44.  Had some trouble with skipped stitches and had to reinforce a couple of spots with a bit of straight stitch.  Neeldle Lube helped a little, but jersey is tricky and I didn't have stretch needles for the serger.

Switched laundry again.
 At 9:17 I'd switched to the double needle w/ wooly nylon in the bobbin to do the hems.  And had more trouble with skipping stitches and shredding thread.  Had to unpick about 3 different spots...that took more time than actually sewing the hems.
At 9:56 I have a shirt that just needs some thread tails buried and a bit of a steam and...yay! I don't have to wear all black tomorrow! :-)

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 04.02.17

 I know, I know, I missed last week's post.  But cut me some slack; My Sweet Babboo and I actually went on a (gasp) VACATION.  To a place we'd never been before, where we had NO RELATIVES LIVING.

Those time share points we were awarded as a bonus for drinking the kool-aid, er, purchasing a time-share were about to expire, so we kinda backed ourselves into using them up.  And, as it was spring break season, most of the resorts within a day's drive were booked.

But we managed to get 5 nights at Myrtle Beach.  We left after church last Sunday and got back home around 7:30 last night.

So I didn't post a photo of last week's choir wardrobe...but it doesn't really matter, I didn't get any more sewing done so it was a repeat of something I'd worn earlier in the month.

But, being gone all week also meant I didn't get any sewing done for April's colors, either.

April colors are black and mauve.  We were asked to chose something within a 'range' of mauves...the samples posted on our facebook page range from what looks identical to the 'Lavender Herb' color we wore last year, through a kind of dusky lilac to a muted raspberry.  None of which would be a color I call 'mauve'.  So I went really safe today with a black-on-black-on-black, and a fringy polyester burnout scarf in what looked to be close to the lighter color samples on the FB page.

Black poly Loes Hinse Bistro Jacket, black knit  sleevless Jalie 2682 top and RTW black denims.

And, lo and behold, the bulk of the 'mauve' on stage was a dusty pink that, to my eye, looked nothing much like the colors on the FB page.

Maybe my monitor is out of adjustment?

But, that does mean that the dusty pink New Look top that's been a UFO for forEVER will do nicely, and a kind of dusty pink-retro 80's silk jacquard in the stash might work well also.

'Cause, you know, this is Easter month, which means extra services, and it also has 5 Sundays.  Imma gonna be wearing a lot of this.

But, I'm still working hard on the Master's class.  I took the textbook for class number eleven...the next-to-last one...with me and got it almost completely read.  I should finish the work on it this week.  Which will give me about 3 weeks to do the last class if I want to meet my self-imposed target of finishing by the end of April.

And, of course, I have something on the calendar Every. Single. Night. this week.  Nothing like hitting the ground running after vacation.  So I'm going to be doing really well to finish the last assignments for class number eleven.

IOW, I may wear all black with my kinda-sorta-right-scarf again next week, LOL.  We'll see.

But here's a photo of sunrise on the beach last Wednesday (we had not walked on a beach together since 1989...we were DUE), just to share a Happy Place:



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Puttin' on the Glitz...

Well, for the second month in the last 8, we're wearing black and metallic gold for choir.

The first go round, I bought one RTW t-shirt, which was not entirely successful, and otherwise made do with a few oddball things I had about. But when it came 'round again, I thought, 'Ok, I guess I need to put some gold stuff in the closet'.  So I ordered a couple of pieces from fabricdotcom.

When the box arrived and I opened it, I had to grab the sunglasses.  There was some serious glitz there.

And, after as much dithering as I could allow myself, I made the serious glitz up into McCall's 6884, the short peplum view.  I've made that cardi 4 times now -- two with the peplum and two of the longer straight cut -- but still haven't reviewed it.

It's still serious glitz.

Worn with a RTW sweater shell and RPL ponte knit Loes Hinse Oxfords.

I think I need to tack down the reverse bits; the whole collar assembly wanted to flip to the outside, which exposes the seam.  Not a good look.

I didn't do a single-layer cutting layout;  the knit is not pricey and the jacket is basically stage wear and I didn't have much time.  So the zigs could've met up with the zags much better in a couple of places.  It's a foil printed scuba knit which was much more comfortable to wear than I had anticipated (I really expected it to be icky and clammy and plasticy, but it wasn't).  Still...this is not likely to be worn much outside of choir.  I'm not that blingy in real life. ;-)

I actually did something I HATE doing...I pulled the thread off the machines for the WIP white blouse and bagged it up before it was done.  So the white blouse is still going to be on the UFO list for a while longer.  I need to sew up some of the other pieces of fabric that have arrived already this year.  I'll get to the white blouse...eventually...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 03.12.17

The blingy gold and black zig-zag scuba knit (see previous post) is still laid out on the cutting table; I was suddenly seized by an attack of indecision on which pattern to use.  I had in mind a peplum style, but then thought about those zig-zags and remembered a dress in which the changing grain on zig-zags just looked kind of...drunken.  Not the look I was going after.   I really just need to pull out something and go for it; I don't have enough time to be wishy-washy about it.

But in my wishy-washy trying to make up my mind, I am working on the white blouse, so at least something's getting done.  Slowly.

Meanwhile, I still had to come up with something black and metallic gold to wear today.  I do have a RTW Tee, purchased from jaydotcrew, hanging in the closet, mostly to remind me why I sew.  It was about $30,  it's cut off grain, the neckline's indecent and it's too short.  But it's shiny gold. So it gets worn...carefully.

In this case, I've got a black rayon/lycra jersey Jalie 965 Tank as a bottom layer, helping with the too-short-hem and the too-low-and-wide neck.  Good enough.  Black poly/rayon/lycra ponte knit Loes Hinse Oxfords, and a cashmere blend cardi from Lands' End and I'm all good with the black-and-gold for today. 

Hm.  Black and Gold.  Boiler Up.  LOL. 

Now to ponder some more on the gold zig-zag print. 

Monday, March 06, 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking

We had a big conference at church last week and the stage had not been reset for the choir, so there's  no choir wardrobe this week.  So I will share with you my ridiculousness.

 I still have not sewn more than a couple of seams in all of 2017...and I ordered more fabric.  Is that optimism, or what?

Because the choir colors for the next two months are pretty much conspicuously absent from my wardrobe.  So I ordered a bit...


We have metallic gold and black for March, and mauve/gray/black for April.  The sheerish knit on the left has metallic stripes in it and I intend to turn it into a little cardi that caught my fancy in an old Burda magazine.  The chevron gold stripe is printed on a scuba knit; I'm pretty sure I'm going to make that ubiquitous  McCall's jacket that I've made up a few times, because what else would you do with something so over the top as that?  The Dusty Purple on the end might work for the mauve...I haven't seen a sample yet to know if we're talking dark mauve or light mauve.  But it's a pretty bamboo that will make a nice top, even if I can't wear it next month.  And the black and white stripe because...well...it's classic.

The upside is that these will all be very quick things to sew up.  Once I manage to actually get to my sewing machine.

No more  fabric in until I've sewn up the 20 yards I bought (or an equivalent in already-stashed-goods, lol).  And I mean it.  Even if that means I wear the same outfit four Sundays in a row...

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 02.26.17

Y'all.  I have seriously got to make myself do some sewing, even if it's just in 15 minute chunks.  I have a nice white blouse about 1/4 completed and it would have been SO NICE to wear today.  But, instead, I wore a cheap white blouse that doesn't fit terribly well that I got at an outlet just so I could have a white shirt that wouldn't grieve me if it got a small stain or two on it to wear for our annual Thank-You banquet, in which the church staff becomes wait staff for children's social service workers in our area and must wear black pants and a white shirt.  But, well, it doesn't have gravy or coffee stains on it yet, so, might as well get some good out of it, right?

The oft-repeated black and white stripe RPL modified Loes Hinse Oxford Pants, my even MORE oft-repeated black twill Burda 05/09 waistcoat, and a hemmed rayon/silk chiffon burnout scarf.  First time to put these together in combo; I think I like it.  Will like it better with the blouse-in-progress instead of the cheap blouse with the floppy faux-french-cuffs....

The scarf is pretty and I don't wear it enough.  I bought two or three pieces of the burnout silk on sale a few years back; 2 yards at 45" wide.  Cut off the selvedges, squared the ends and then split it in half lengthwise.  Rolled all edges.  Kept one, gave one away....of this fabric, anyway.  The others were Christmas stocking stuffers.

Next month we're wearing black and metallic gold.  I actually have half a calfskin that is gold foil finished, obtained a couple of years ago specifically to make fronts for a vest.  Thought I'd use that Burda waistcoat, but then I got afeared the collar would be too bulky in leather.  Not sure it would be as appealing without the collar, so trying to pick another style.  Not placing any bets on whether or not it gets done by the last Sunday in March....and I might have a couple of pieces of gold-metallicy-knit coming in the mail this week.  I *might* actually get something made from the TNT knit patterns.  Which would be great; currently I only have ONE metallic-y garment and March has 5 Sundays...


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A perfect surprise...

So, yeah, there was no choir post last weekend.

Instead, there was a conspiracy.

My Dear Daddy had a significant 'ends-in-a zero' birthday, so my sister, who moved from Northern Indiana to upstate New York just before Christmas, flew in.  All four of my kids  rode with me (My Sweet Babboo had a statewide campout that weekend that he was somewhat responsible for, and Prince Charming was returning from a business trip too late to hitch a ride with us) and we drove up.  We got to the home place about half an hour after the New York contingent.

Dad, of course, had no idea we were coming.  My two brothers had just told him they were taking him to dinner, and his sisters and their hubbies joined us.  We all had dinner at an eatery in Thorntown, IN, that has some of the best onion rings you'll find anywhere.

Dad's not a birthday cake enthusiast; in fact, on a Facebook meme a few months ago I answered the question 'It's your dad's birthday!  What kind of cake will you make  him?' with 'Pecan pie!' I baked 3 pies and took them up, only to find that my mother had also baked some fruit cobblers, because, you know, Dad wanted pie for his birthday and she kinda had to make some because she couldn't tell him I was bringing pie...we ate pie all weekend...

The  next day, my niece, her hubby and 15 month-old, the only great-grandchild, flew in from Pennsylvania.  And, of course, Dad didn't expect that, either, although enough of us slipped up that if he'd  been paying strict attention he'd have known.  But that didn't really matter.  The baby was the icing on the cake. I don't think Dad stopped grinning all weekend.
And me...well, it's always something of a respite to walk around on the farm just a bit.  I breathe a bit deeper there...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 02.12.17

Happy Valentines' Day!

I am having trouble getting to the 'post' button lately (hence the delayed choir post); even more trouble getting into the sewing room.  Still no progress on the white shirt, so February's black-and-white wardrobe is still pulling from old stuff.

A black slinky Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress (which is out of print but, I believe, re-released as a downloadable PDF) and Sandra Betzina's  Vogue 8043 jacket.  Mixing the 'little French jacket' with an Edwardian hobble skirt was kinda fun; I don't think I've put those two together before. In any case, it's a  notch or two up from my typical choir wardrobe.

But, in other news, the lack of sewing/blogging is directly due to other stuff going on; just finished class number eight of the online master's of ministry program I'm doing through West Coast Bible College and Seminary;  plowing straight on to class number nine (out of twelve).  My goal was to finish by the end of April but class eight was a toughie and took longer than I'd planned.  So now it's going to be a bit of a push.

It's messing with my sewing time but the goal is in sight... ;-)


Thursday, February 09, 2017

Looking for a blog reader...

Unfortunately, I've run into a difference of opinion with bloglovin and I have closed my account there.  You can still follow my blog(s) there if you do already; but I want to find a new place to read.

I tried just using the follow function on Blogger, but I had to cut and paste each URL and that got old FAST.

So I made a quick account on Feedly and migrated over there as best I could.

It was still rather a pain as I could not find any way to just export the whole lot from bloglovin'.  So I did it one at a time, and was rather surprised to see how many blogs I'd subscribed to that hadn't been updated in a year...or two..or three....  But at least I could type the name into a search box and, generally, it found it without having to type in the whole http line.

But it has some limitations.

Feedly only allows 100 feeds on their free account, so I moved the active ones over there; was still a few over a hundred so I had to drop all of them that I can read via the author sharing their posts on Facebook; that put me under the limit.  I had to combine some of my categories, as they only allow three on the free account.  Nowhere could I find the button that says 'follow my blog on...'

So...anybody have a feed burner that they love?  Cause I'm not sure I'm going to be happy over on feedly, but I wanted to get off of bloglovin' NOW.

I am not one to hop up and down and insist folks agree with me on things, but there are lines I will not cross and BL crossed that line. 

So.  Back to the hunt for a (free) easy to use little feed burner...

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 02.05.17

The usual wardrobe colors for February are black and white and this year is no exception.

And, as I have not managed to get ANY thing into the 'finished' column yet this year, the garb of the day is, well, old.    And my photographer didn't alert me to the fact that the t shirt could've used just the slightest tug into position.

But, whatcha gonna do?

I actually had this t-shirt show up in my Facebook memories page; I posted it as complete  on Sew Random 5 years ago today.  Oy.  It's from the February 2010 Burda mag...can't remember if it was still BWOF then or if they'd made the switch to Burdastyle.

Which just goes to show that a C+ garment is still gonna get some wear.

Once more, that Burda Vest from 2009, which is even older.

And baggy black Lee jeans.

All in all, adequate, but just.

I have a white shirt in pieces on the ironing board; mayhap I can finish it in the next 3 weeks and at least have ONE new thing to show for the year so far?


In other news, I ordered a couple of patterns from PR; with Hancock's gone my access to patterns has dropped somewhat.  There is a Jo Ann's on the other side of town, but I don't get over that way very often and they've dropped me from the mailing list, so I don't know when the sales are any more.

So my pattern acquisition has slowed considerably.

As in, the last time I bought patterns, it was from a clearance bin at Sir's Fabric on July 11 of last year.

But there were two recent Vogue releases that I just Had. To. Have.

Even if they are only for the collection and not for sewing...lol.

I will make the Betzina vest.  I will I will I will.   I will probably make Paco's blouse...I'd LOVE to make the coat but not sure I'm brave enough.  Maybe.