Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Blingy Jacket and the Urgent Project

 September's Choir Wardrobe colors are Black, White and Gold; I decided I might as well put that blingy McCall's 6844 jacket to work...the one made out of the foil-printed scuba knit...with my black modal/rayon knit Jalie 2682  and (faded) black RTW jeans.  It's at least the 2nd...and maybe the 3rd...time I've worn the jacket for choir but for some reason I got a boatload of comments on it this time.  It is attention-getting, that's for sure.  It's also kinda hot.  But, hey, it's polyester.

Spent most of the evening working on some prototypes for a sudden church decor need.  Our women's study groups have decided to use a quilt theme this year...or at least this semester...and they need some appropriate table toppers.  Another church group was supposed to make them, but, well, sometimes life happens and suddenly the studies are about to kick off toppers.  We need 30 for all campuses.

So I've gotten pulled into the project, and sent an SOS out to the church sewing volunteers.  The original plan was to just use fat quarters sewn together and serged but, well, we're using donated remnants and I'm not sure we're going to have big enough pieces.  I dug into my scrap box (been a LONG time since I did that) and pulled out several pieces.  The bigger ones I cut into 18 1/2" x 18 1/2" squares (included 1/4" seam allowances), smaller ones I cut into 9 1/2" x 9 1/2"  squares and the pieces that weren't 9 1/2" long  on all sides I cut into 6 1/2" squares.   Then I started serging them together.

They wanted them left unfinished, so they could, in theory, be sewn up into a quilt later.  I did serge the edges, so they wouldn't fall apart, but I left the tails at the corners.  I kinda like that look.

It was interesting; some of the scraps brought back sweet memories of the garments I made; a few I looked at and thought, 'What did I use this for?'

I really only pulled out the larger chunks; I've got a lot more smaller pieces that I could even cut into  smaller squares to nest a nine patch in a 4 patch square or even in the nine-patch square.

It's pretty obvious the largest part of the task will be cutting the fabric to size.  It goes together pretty long as I don't sew the wrong sides together.  Or end up with matching fabric side-by-side....I could've finished considerably sooner had I not repeated those mistakes in my haste.

Three out of thirty down...unless the word is that they don't want the pieced interior blocks.   Or we may use those as backup, in case we just don't get enough half yard remnants.

ETA...after posting the pictures, I discovered that we had a communication breakdown; the finished toppers were to be eighteen inches square.  So I will be disasembling the toppers and  finishing off the 4-patch and 9-patch blocks. Which means I have 4 done instead of 3 and the total amount of work we need to do has just dropped by 75%.  So I think this is going to be a simple quick sew after all.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Choir Wardrobe9.10.17

September Choir colors are black, white and gold.

Stuff I made: The vest (Burda Magazine May 2009) and white-pinstripe on black pants (modified Loes Hinse Oxfords). Both of which are in the starting lineup for the Choir Wardrobe. For what it's worth, I kinda sorta made the necklace too...that is, I added a chain to the floral bit,which came all in one piece from Hobby Lobby.

The stuff I bought would be the white cami and the metallic gold linen knitT... which I thought was rather overpriced when I bought it a couple of years ago, but I needed gold something and couldn't find fabric.  Which is a pity; had I made it, I would have made the neckline wearable w/o an underlayer and made it bit longer.  And cut it on the grain.

In other news, I got a new toy a couple of weeks ago and inaugurated it tonight with a double batch of chocolate chip cookies:

I had Christmas gift money and Birthday gift money and Costco put it on sale.   Gonna be a paradigm shift; my mom has never had a stand mixer so it's not part of my cooking habit.  But it made short work of the cookies tonight, which would have had my hand mixer smoking.

I planned to take them to work to share tomorrow, but apparently Irma is going to come our way tomorrow and the Governor declared a state of emergency.  So schools closed, which  means our office has closed.  Which probably means we won't get more than a bit windy rain.  

But we have a boatload of fresh cookies, so I think we'll do fine.

Maybe I'll sew. :-D

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 09.03.17

Made a grocery stop on the way home from church this afternoon; the kids requested burgers for the Labor Day grill out instead of the pork chops that I'd planned to defrost.  So we needed some hamburger.

Just as we were getting into the checkout line:

'Excuse me?  Ma'am?' 

I turned around to see a lady who was probably five-ish years older than me.

'Where did you buy your pants?  I've been looking and looking for pants that color and I can't find them.'

Um....I made them.

'Did you really?'

Yeah.  The fabric came from fabric dot com.

'You got it online?'

Yep.  (Nodding).

'Well, you did a good job!'

Thank you! (Smile)

September, white and gold.  I intended to wear my black jeans, but discovered they were still crumpled in the suitcase.  Sigh.

At least the gold doubleknit Sewing Workshop Helix pants were clean.  And I'll be honest...I never ever expected to be stopped for a compliment on them.  And I realize it wasn't the pants, but the color of them, which is even more ironic as I like everything about them EXCEPT the color.  But it serves when gold/mustard is required.

The striped top is a sleeveless/cowless Loes Hinse Cowl top, actually made from a remnant.  The armholes aren't really suitable for sleeveless but so long as I keep a topper over it (RTW white denim jacket today) it looks just fine.

And next time I'll check the light settings on the camera before I hand it over to my photographer.  :-)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 08.26.17: Super Fuzzy Photo edition

Ok, that's a crummy fuzzy photo.  But everyone in the family was off doing other stuff today, so I had no photographer.  Which means a  'set the timer and jump in front of the camera and then crop it down to the wee image' pic is the best I can manage.

Oh well.  At least the dribble from the bobbled spoon at lunch is not visible. LOL.

So, for the only Sunday in August I managed to be in town on Sunday,  the wardrobe colors are gray,  navy and 'ballet pink'. What I happened to pull out of the closet was.Jalie 2566 T in floppy rayon/lycra jersey; Sewing Workshop Plaza Pants in dark dark blue tropical wool and New Look 2672 jacket in a mauvy pink/ navy flecks linen tweed, which I'd spent about 20 minutes ironing a couple of days ago.  All of which you can just sort of make out.

And the t shirt and the jacket are in the laundry now.

Next, white and gold.  No forest green, which kinda surprised me.  It was about all I could do not to type 'Boiler Up!' in the comment box on the facebook post w/ the color samples.  But, as I would not appreciate a 'Roll Tide' when we wear red and gray...I held my peace.

Do unto others and all that.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Home again, Home again, Jiggety- Jig

It's been a few weeks... and I freely acknowledge that this is the kind of blog post a lot of folks skim or skip.  But I feel like I've been gone for ages and need to 'splain!  LOL...

In that few weeks, we made a trip to visit family, which also turned into a bit of a tour of Hoosier history...

 Prophet's Rock at Battleground.  A turning point in history...a tragic conflict that should not have happened.

A bit of the restored Erie-Wabash canal in Delphi.  Hard to believe the barge will actually fit under that arch.  There's quite a nice park there...and a very chatty blacksmith.

Learning Nine Man Morris at the general store at Connor Prairie's Pioneertown.  That was a fascinating day...all the costumed folks are one hundred percent in character for 1826.  Hope to go back and stay longer.

We also hit the family favorite, Turkey Run State Park

 Headed for the boulders on Trail 9

 The famous ladders of Trail 3

And there was the epic high school reunion...Four class  years ( '76, '77, '78 and '79) all together.  It was awesome.  So many folks I hadn't seen in, well, forty years...

Me and my BFF BJ...who could only stay a few minutes as she had to beat it across town to play in the pit orchestra for a production of Annie!  I have SUCH talented friends!  And, btw, she sews better than I do... ;-)

There was also some work going on, as my mom had had bypass surgery about two weeks before we made the trip and she was still in rehab.  So I did a little cooking and kitchen cleaning and laundry for Dad while I was there.

Once back in the Rocket City, we had just enough time at home to get a few work hours in and laundry done, then My Sweet Babboo and I hit the road to celebrate our 37th anniversary and, incidentally, see the eclipse.  Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee has been on our 'we need to go' list for years and MSB made reservations in APRIL OF 2016 so we could be there this weekend.

The park is's really intended for folks to drive around to the various (spectacular) views, but we did some hiking (a large portion of it along the road, which is not so much fun) just the same.  I had over 18,000 steps recorded on my fitbit both Saturday and Sunday.  
Fall Creek Falls, from which the park gets its name

I'm telling you, if you've never seen a total...put it on your bucket list.  I don't think I've ever seen a black as absolute as the moon completely covering the sun...which, of course, doesn't really show in the photo at all.

We ended up staying an extra night, just to avoid the projected traffic crush, and drove back Tuesday morning and went into work a wee bit late.

Hopefully I can get the laundry, et al, caught up soon and get back in the sewing room...I've a pair of Helix pants that have languished about 1/3 done the whole month.

NOW I feel like fall can come! LOL.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 7.30.17

The last of the turquoise for this year...I think.

We still haven't heard what August colors will be....

But, this is all repeated.   The Jalie 2682 top that finally made it off of the WIP list back in June,  Sewing Workshop Helix pants and Pamela's Patterns Drapey Cool Cardi.

I actually finished a top yesterday; back in 2014 I went to the Sewing Expo the one and only time it was in Indianapolis and came home with three pieces of silk for was turquoise.  Or so I thought.

I made up the New Look shell that I've become enamored of in this lovely jacquard charmeuse...and then put it up against my other turquoise garments only to discover that it really isn't turquoise; it's more of a muted jade green or teal.

I wanted to wear it today, but, well, it just wasn't the right color.

But at least I have another pretty top in my closet!  I'll try to get a photo soon.

Posting may be very sparse for the next few weeks; we've got some stuff going on (nothing bad, just, well, when it rains, it pours; I'll post about it later), I won't be in the choir for nearly a month.  But don't fret...I'm not going anywhere.  Just gotta spend time elsewhere for a little bit. ;-)

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 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 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

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 06.25.17

Hm.  As I typed the title...which includes today's 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???


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'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  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 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' 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

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'

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 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'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, 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 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'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'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'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.


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! :-)