Tuesday, November 14, 2017

RIP Nancy Z....

I know, there are memorials all over the blogsphere today, but what kind of a sewing blogger would I be if I didn't acknowledge the huge influence Nancy Zieman was?

In the days before internet, her Saturday afternoon PBS show inspired me and taught me shortcuts.

Pivot and slide rocks.  I may not always agree with exactly how it was taught (dividing the necessary addition by the number of edges...um, if I need more in front, that doesn't quite work.) but the strategy of sliding and swinging those pattern pieces made so much more sense to me than cutting things apart.

That one-piece collar that Louise Cutting has made famous in her patterns?  I saw it on Sewing with Nancy years ago.  Not to say who was doing it first...but, before internet, Nancy showed it to me. 

A couple of the oldest books in my sewing library were authored by Nancy.  I have her pants pattern and pants fitting book; I made, I think, two wonderful pairs of pants that fit from it but have not done the start-from-scratch that would be necessary to refit the pattern since the big M  gave me a big Middle.  But I know I *could* do it.

I recorded-as-I watched most of the shows back in the late 80's and early 90's, until she moved more into quilting and such, which wasn't my area of interest.  Of course, I still have those in a box somewhere but they're unwatchable as our ancient VHS player can't be trusted not to eat video tape anymore.

Nancy's Notions was a go-to source for things I couldn't buy locally.  Again, before the internet, that was amazing.

I still use the exam room table paper to trace patterns.  I think I'm on the last roll I purchased some time ago.  I wish I had started tracing patterns earlier.  Not because the patterns were expensive, but because...they went away.  The Big 4 retire patterns before they hit their stride, I think.  Even a pattern that I paid $1 is priceless if I can't replace it.  Thank you, Nancy, for teaching me how to trace patterns so I can fit them without spoiling them.

Nancy was a steady, dependable source of information and encouragement, as well as an amazing example of courage.  Her messages to the public during her illness were ever positive, even the last one that related the fact that the cancer could not be treated and she was stepping out of the public to spend her last days with her family was not sad in tone.

She was an amazing woman and the sewing community will miss her.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.12.17

In Which She Actually Wears Nothing that She Made.

Really.  It does happen on occasion.

Colors for November are brown, tan, burgundy and olive green.  The vest is probably not brown enough for tan, but it is a kind of ecru in real life so I fudged it.

Brown jeggings from Wal-Mart and a burgundy T-shirt/tunic from the Women's Ministry Merch Shop. 

See, November happens to be Adoption Awareness month and the women's ministry offered a set of T shirts, tunics and dresses w/ various names of God in Hebrew script, with all proceeds benefiting the ministries that we partner with to care for widows, orphans and foster kids.

The name on my top, El Emeth (Strong's 571), means 'God of Truth'.  We were supposed to take a photo of ourselves wearing the shirt of our choice and explain why we chose that name.

I first picked the top because, well, to be honest, it was the style that most suited me.  And the color is more-or-less right for choir this month.  But if I were choosing according to the graphics, I still would have chosen this top.

I had a epiphany during a lunch-time prayer-and-journal session back in January in which I realized my core value is truth.

Once I realized that about myself, a lot of things fell into place...from why I want to make sure our stage costumes are correct to why I teach Bible classes.

Which is kinda odd, considering that, as a kid, I would tell the most outrageous stories (one I remember...'I walked in my sleep last night and woke up curled up under the high boy cedar chest.').  Probably for attention, I think.   It quit when I was in about the 5th grade and got called out on my fancy by someone whose opinion I valued. 

Perhaps the value of truth took root at that point.  The concept that there is truth and there is...not truth.  And I learned that it didn't matter how much I wanted something to be true, if it wasn't true, it. wasn't. true.  Opinion did not sway the needle from 'not true' to 'true'.

Which pretty much flies in the face of the current trend to consider all truth relative to point of view.

But a core value of mine, nonetheless.
(oh, yes, the top has pockets...lol...)

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.05.17

November colors are Burgundy, Olive Green, Tan and Brown.

I suppose, if you want to get technical, the slinky Textile Patterns Monaco Shell is closer to Garnet than Burgundy, but it's in the right family.  Brown wool jersey Pamela's Patterns Cool Draped Cardi, and wool/lycra blend black-on-brown stripe Loes Hinse Oxford Pants.

The newest thing is the cardigan...and that's from, like, three years ago?  Four years ago? (Checks date on review.  4 years ago.)

I have fabric in all four colors.  Must find time. LOL.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

It's been Twelve Years...

Hard to believe that twelve years ago today I launched Sew Random, to blog my way through costuming a production of 'The Gospel According to Scrooge'.

I looked, and, so far as I can tell, the first photos posted to the blog (it took me a bit to figure that out) were these, on 11/10/05:

The 'Google Archives' don't go back that far; I had to search through the early posts  to find the first photos  (and I had to upload them again).   Angel 1 and a Townsperson...work in progress.  The white lace on the pink dress came from the wedding dress sleeves...removed to be replaced with the green trim.  And it just fit; I think I had three little lace motifs left.

Since that time...Easter costumes galore, baptism robes, school productions, mother of the bride, SWAP collections, both finished and not finished...not to mention items made in the 'choir wardrobe colors' and the occasional pillow cover or table cloth.

Normally, I'd do some kind of giveaway to celebrate the blogiversary, but this year I'm bailing on that, mostly because the next 6 weeks are going to be absolutely crazy and I'm not going to commit to any more than is necessary for survival at this point (writes and deletes long detailed boring explanation.  Maybe later.).

But I didn't want to let the day get by without a mention; as always, I really appreciate everyone who stops by and takes time to follow along with my ramblings...especially when there's not much sewing happening.   Or blogging, either...I wrote more posts in 2005 (and that was just November and December) than I've done so far in all of 2017.  Sigh.

Thanks so much to all of you!!  Big hugs all around. :-)

Friday, November 03, 2017

The Last GF Purchase...

You will possibly remember the stern talking-to I gave myself regarding a going-out-of-business sale.  With way more fabric in than I've been sewing...I couldn't really justify adding more, just because it was a good buy.

But then I happened to click on the page with the laces and specialty fabrics, instead of my normal jersey knits.

Y'all.  You know you can't just walk into Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's and find stuff like this.

I'm, by an large, a sewer of practical garments.  It's really outside of the box for me to get something like this, and I'll be stretching my creative boundaries to actually come up with garments for it.  I don't really have a good track record of knowing what to do with lace yardage.

But I'm not going to rush this.  The blue lace might even become a Mother Of The ______ garment; and none of the three eligibles are even dating.

But it's nice to know I've got it...and when I do sew it it will be with fond memories of a friend who supplied me with wonderful stuff for a few years.

Godspeed, Ann!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 10.22.17

So, I asked My Sweet Babboo if everything was straight.
He had me adjust the sweater just a bit and pronounced it good.

I'll have to remind him to check the hems of my pants in the future.

I managed to switch out the closet for fall/winter...and then it was 75 degrees today.  and I had my heart set on wearing this fabulous vest from Coldwater Creek's brick-and-mortar store, back in the day.  Burnt orange?  Brown?  Yeah.  Something like that (it looks red in the monitor...it isn't).  LOL.  It was purchased to wear in choir in October, and it's October, so I have to justify it being in the wardrobe...lol.

Anyway, I didn't have anything to wear under it but a baby cable sweater.  And it was too warm today for a sweater.

Then I thought about that gold linen knit t shirt mail ordered from...New York and Co?  I think?  It was expensive and it's not well fitted or well made but it's a killer wardrobe piece. And it's basically...tan. :-).  I lose the sleeves under the dropped shoulders on the vest, but it's ok.  Better than roasting in a sweater.

Worn with a brown Jalie 965 cami/tank top and brown doubleknit Loes Hinse Oxfords.

It may not look faboo, but it sure is comfy. ;-)

Not gonna be in choir next week; but with another month of tan and olive green I may see if I can get a bit of sewing in before the end of November.

And, I'll be honest, I'm kinda agonizing over something.

I have purchased way more yardage than I've sewn this year.  Again.  I've talked Very Sternly to myself about more fabric purchases.  I've nearly got a small personal haberdashery, y'all, and it's getting out of control.  So I told myself...no more.

And then one of my favorite online vendors announced that she's had fun but she's done and she's doing a clearance sale prior to closing up shop next month.

I. Don't. Need. More. Now.  I really don't.

I am bummed.  She had nice stuff and it was always well packed and shipped; the gorgeous rayon/lycra jersey fabric used in the brown tank top I'm wearing in the photo came from her webstore.  I'll miss that spot on my bookmarks list...

Friday, October 20, 2017

How'd it get to be Friday already?

My Sweet Babboo did actually take a photo on Sunday...and I even managed to get it off the camera and cropped.

But then I got busy doing something and it's been go-go-go since.

So I'm just now posting what I wore last Sunday...lol...
October colors are burnt orange, tan, brown, and, a new addition, olive green.  But I only have one olive green top...and it fit way better 15 pounds ago.  So, we stick to the stuff that kinda works when the scales are not nice.

I pulled my brown wool jersey Pamela's Patterns Cool Cardigan out of the Fall/Winter storage...I still have not switched the closet over, and that needs to happen really bad 'cos it's gonna be getting chilly up in here next week.  But, ya'll, I haven't had time to post a picture...when am I going to get my closet switched? 


An orange stretch lace Jalie 2566 and RTW brown jeans that claim to be a size 12 but lie.

The November colors have been posted and we're just going to swap burgundy for burnt orange and keep the others.  I've pulled the one piece of olive green knit from the stash...I've got more than I thought; almost 3 yards.  I may do something Tilton-esque with it.  If I can get to the sewing machine...

And the SWAP 2018 discussions have started over on Stitcher's Guild.  I really need a closet purge and revamp.  I only  managed to get one top done that I wanted to do for SWAP 2017...and I haven't had the occasion to wear it.  But I pull  it out and look at it from time to time...it's very pretty..lol.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Fabric In

No choir today; the remnants of a respiratory infection made an embarrassing coughing spell way too likely so I sat in the rear and practiced what little bit of ASL I know.

So instead of a choir wardrobe post, I thought I'd share a bit of the fabric temptation that has landed on my door....there have been sales...

This is a result of Fabric Mart's latest sale...two pieces of nylon/viscose/lycra ponte (cobalt blue and forest green) and a cotton lawn print that is absolutely divine.  I don't know for sure what I'm going to make of it; it's 45" wide and I have 3 yards.  Maybe a nice breezy summer tunic next year.

Or maybe that will turn out to be the feature print of a SWAP combo.

Cobalt (royal) blue is a fixture of the choir wardrobe in January, and last year we got surprised by switching forest green for red in December.  So the green is...just in case. ;-).

Anyway, I'm just over 60 yards for the year, so I think I need to shut 'er down, unless I get to do some sewing. We'll see how things go.

I did finish a small project; I'd cut out another Jalie 2566 T shirt, from a salmon/navy stripe, just before the nine-patch project hit.   I got as far as the hems and then had to sew up the squares.  Friday I walked into the sewing room and found it in a little pile and remembered...oh, yeah, this still needs hemming.  So I threaded up the double needles and ran 'er through.  I'd only gotten, like, 1 3/8 yards, so a cap-sleeve t was the best I could do from the yardage; I really wanted to use it for a Tilton top but there just wasn't enough.  But at least it's in the closet now and will look great with my navy ponte Helix pants and the navy Jalie pleated cardi.  Maybe Thursday's workwear...lol.

This is the first of several moving weeks;   we have to be completely out of our current building into the in-the-process-of-being-transformed school by January 31.  So it's jeans and t-shirts for the first three days this week while we hopefully move a bunch of stuff from storage here to storage there.

We'll add a service for three months; the sanctuary is not slated for completion until May.  So...four services on Sunday in the theater will hopefully shoehorn everyone in.

Gonna be an interesting start to 2018....

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 10.1.17

 Good grief.  It's October, y'all!!!

All potential photographers were occupied today, so this is another one of those 'set the timer and jump into the picture' photos.

October colors are burnt orange, tan and brown.  My orange Jalie 965 tank may not be quite done enough, but under a RTW gupier lace topper it's toned down enough that its ok.

I wanted to pull out a longer cardi, but apparently my brown wool jersey cardi was packed away back in the spring and, as temps are still well into the 80's, I haven't switched the seasonal wardrobes yet  So it's the Jalie 2566 cardi that fit way better 15 pounds ago.  RTW brown jeans.

I've succumbed to a couple of fabric sales but the packages arrived while we were out of town last week and I haven't got them officially added to the stash yet.

In other news, I've spent some time reliving the past just a bit this week.
Our church is moving...we've purchased a decommissioned high school and the time to begin the shift of stuff has arrived.  We're starting with the storage areas...which means costumes.  I was involved just a bit last week in the initial haul-down-from-the-attic and the early bit of sorting/culling (I think we actually got rid of some stuff that we had because folks thought they could bring their closet-purged goods down for costumes...) but, well, the volunteer work night was after we hit the road so I'm not entirely sure what's in the bags/boxes.  And I don't know what we're going to be doing with it over at the new building.  I think they have a room designated for costume storage...we'll see.
But it was a trip down memory lane looking at all the garments created for past....long past...productions.

But there's a 750 seat theater in the school.  I think the arts ministry is about to experience a revival. :-)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 9.24.17

September colors are black, white and gold, so I went with Black and White and gold earrings/necklace.

But it's all old stuff...the most recent edition to the wardrobe is the black ponte McCall's 6844 cardigan, which I made for SWAP last year.  The striped sleeveless/cowl-less Loes Hinse Cowl top and the modified black stretch twill La Fred Daphne pants have both been in the closet for years and years.

And the glasses are still tinted because I'd just come into the house.  It was a busy day; we were only home about 30 minutes to eat and then back out the door again.

Still haven't heard what colors we're going to wear for October...hopefully it's something already in the closet because I'm not going to have time to get anything made this week....

Saturday, September 23, 2017

More T Shirt Alterations...

I have pictures of the process for one shirt...but I haven't taken any 'finished' photos yet.  The second shirt...I only have a 'finished' photo, no 'in process'.  So maybe it averages out? LOL.

We saw the eclipse at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee last month and, of course, I had to get a T shirt.  And of course, I wanted a purple one...and they were nearly gone.  I got a 2XL, with the intention of cutting it down.

I used a boxy Kwik Sew T-Shirt pattern, and cut it down to size. I left the length; I'd like to be able to wear it w/ leggings so the extra length is a bonus.  I removed the sleeves, cut up the side seams, folded the shirt in half (still connected at the shoulders) and laid the pattern over it, overlapping the shoulder seams and just cutting straight down through the hem.  The sleeves are a little shorter; I put the peak of the sleeve cap on the peak of the (stacked) sleeves and let the pattern hang off below the hem.

Sewing was just a matter of putting on the sleeves, serging up the sides and tucking in the thread tales.  Haven't had an occasion to wear it yet...

For the Sisterhood shirt...well, it was one of the shirts that was in the product area for our recent women's conference.  Sort of.  When the shirts came in, there were a couple that had seams that had slipped when sewn and the fabric hadn't caught.  So I brought them home, unpicked the bit of seam and then serged it back up.  I bought one of them...so I had it early enough to wear it to the first night (one of the perks of being willing to fix things...).  But it looked like a nightgown, I thought, and the slits on the side were high enough that I had to wear a cami under it.

So, after the conference, I ordered some gray corded lace yardage, which arrived earlier this week, and played with it a bit.  I shortened the front 5" to get some hi-lo going on and hopefully making it look a little less nightgown-ish, then put the lace on to edge the bottom.  I zigzagged around the motifs and trimmed away about 1/2" of the t-shirt underneath around the curvy line of zig-zagging.

Good practice for when/if I decide to try some Alabama Chanin techniques...lol.

Then I put a bit of the lace on the strip that I'd trimmed away and zig-zagged it down, then put triangles at the top of the slit, to, um, cover them a bit.  That lace is laid right on the hemline and is not trimmed away.   I zigged-zagged along the edge of the hemmed slits, then again along the hem stitching line.

And discovered that it looked slightly askew when I put it on.  Took it off and compared and...one of the slits started about half an inch higher than the other one.  Silly me, not to have checked that.  But, as my mother would say, no one will see it on a galloping horse; you really have to look closely.  I'm just going to call it a quirk of the shirt (after all, I got it because it was defective anyway) and have fun wearing it.

An aside...I looked at it and thought it looked a bit familiar.  I pulled out my Sewing Workshop Eureka Top pattern and laid it over the Sisterhood shirt and...lo, and behold, it matched up perfectly, allowing for the fact that this is tunic-length and the Eureka is a high-hip crop top.  So now I have some ideas for the Eureka shirt...lol...

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 and...no 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 quickly...so 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 colors...black, 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 month...black, 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 HUGE...it'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 tops...one 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 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???


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)