Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last project of 2017

Back in, oh,  September I managed to find some kind of Christmassy-themed upholstery cotton and ordered 3 yards for a tablecloth for the round table in the sunroom.  Because, you know, I wanted a bit of Christmas cheer to go with the ancient kitschy aluminum tree with the color wheel.

But nobody makes cotton upholstery fabric in greater than about 54" widths, and trial-and-error has proven that a 62" diameter circle works best for the tablecloth.  So piecing is in order.

Sometimes I can get an invisible line...sometimes not so much.  This time is not so much, but the little trees (those are green trees with red trunks.  Actually they are lime green trees with fuschia trunks, but at a glance it's red and green) are kinda eye-swirling anyway so I don't think it's going to be too noticeable.  Green wooly nylon serger rolled edge.  The trickiest part is the piecing and the cutting.

I've got half a yard...ish...left over.  Eventually I'll make a little totebag out of it.

While I had the serger set up for a rolled edge, I decided I'd tackle another quick project.  Last year, I found a 70" red jacquard tablecloth and tried to make it work.  But it was so long it drug on the chairs and got in the way and...anyway, I decided to cut it down to a 62" circle and serge it up.

I was really surprised when I cut it out; I folded it on the lengthwise grain (easy to see due to the jacquard pattern), then folded again on the crosswise and the hem was way uneven going much as 3" off in one spot.  Cheap construction, I thought.  I marked the arc and cut the circle down, changed the thread in the serger and took off.

I checked the progress after about 6" and found that the weave on the fabric was so loose that the rolled edge just pulled off.  Oy.

So I put my wide rolled edge foot on the sewing machine and began to sssslllooowwwllly work my way around it.  I didn't do too badly until I hit the first part of the circle in which I was sewing against the grain. Oy oy and double oy.  The fabric just opened up.  The edge frayed like crazy and the hem suddenly got really ugly really fast.  I stopped and ripped and started again and stopped and ripped and got frustrated and just kind of gritted my teeth around to the cross grain bit, which worked better.   Went pretty good again until I got to the opposite side where I was going against the grain again and...after starting and stopping a couple of more times, I pulled the whole side off and zig-zagged the edge, on the off side so that I was sewing with the grain, to stabilize it.  Then I went back and ran that quarter through the rolled edge foot again.  Still not great but  much better.  When I looked at the first rough was bad.  So I ripped that out, trimmed the crazy thread tails and zig-zagged it on the right side and then ran that side back through the rolled edge.

Oh yeah.  On that first side I forgot to switch back to a straight stitch so I actually zig-zagged the rolled edge.  Which laid so much nicer than it did the first time that I also zig-zagged the second side when I re-did it.  So two alternate quarters are straight-stitched on the hem and the other two are zig-zagged but I'm OK WITH THAT.  At least all the edges are secure.  If anyone looks close enough at the hem to see the inconsistency...I'll think they're really

And when I folded it up to put it away, I saw that the edges were not at all even.  I have real empathy for the poor stitchers that had to sew it in the beginning.  It was ghastly.  But I have a dressy-festive table cloth to put on the round table if I want to.

And if I'm not at church or a party tomorrow, I'm going to be cooking, more sewing this year.

Gonna do some thinking...hard ...about sewing priorities for 2018.  There may be a paradigm shift coming...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 12.17 and 12.24 2017

I didn't even realize that I hadn't managed to post last week until I posted the note about the lace top.

Which I actually didn't wear today; we were to wear 'dressy', kick it up a notch from our usual casual laid-back style.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Better back up and talk about last week first.

 Choir colors for this month are burgundy or something close, lol, black and gray.  So I've got some Land's end black jeggings under  my Butterick 5244 Muse dress, made up in a (reversible, actually; the wrong side is solid black) rayon/poly doublknit.  It's kind of a fun retro thing to wear and it almost always garners comments from folks.  Even though, if you read the review, you'll see it's far from a perfect effort.  And there's a flaw in the back that I never noticed until I'd worn it about a year.  Looks like someone put tape on it and pulled off some of the top layer of burgundy, letting the black shadow through some.

Keep moving.  LOL.

Actually posting this between Christmas Eve services today;  we split our usual 3-service schedule into two in the morning and one in the late afternoon, and did family services (IE, no child care above 2 years; the kids were with their parents for a one hour service).  The choir did a regular worship set, with some Christmas themed-songs mixed in with contemporary arrangements of Carols, then returned at the end of the service in robes (yes, we borrow them for special events from time to time) to do Eddie James epic 'He's Here'

I actually posted the question on the choir FB group last night...would we be partaking of communion on the platform?  Because if we were, I needed to make sure to wear something with pockets, for the little sealed package of wafer-and-grapejuice.  But, no the choir was not going to be on the platform during communion, so I was safe to go pocket-less.

So.  The garnet red (oh, did I say garnet red?  Of course, I meant slinky Sewing Workshop Cityscapes Dress, which fit better 15 pounds ago, but that's the beauty of slinky, no?  BTW, that pattern is out of print but it is, I believe, now available as a PDF download.

Also with the nearly-worn-out-and-needs-replacing black jersey Vogue 8305 cardi-wrap.  Which I peeled off before I put on the robe. LOL.

Off to the final service of the day; choir call is in about 20 minutes; gotta run or I'll be late. :-)

A Merry and Blessed Christmas to all my sewing friends!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Yes! I made something!

Last night, I had the thought that this is becoming less of a sewing blog than a 'Hey, I'm still wearing clothes that I made ages ago' blog.

So I stayed up late and made a top in the current choir colors.

It's a stretch lace that I bought because it was black and burgundy, a combo that is worn most every November.  We didn't wear it in November this year, but it's the nominal color for December.

I don't know if it'll work for me to wear it for Choir, but I might wear it for Christmas or New Year's.  With a Jalie 967 tank cami under it, of course.

Took me  a couple of hours, all told, but I didn't stick with it solidly.  And I had a little trouble with the hem; I used a zig-zag that was too wide the first time and it tunnelled up pretty badly.  A little unstitching and a much narrower zig-zag and it was much nicer.

There's a wee bit of sparkle in the fabric; it won't be warm but, hey, this is Alabama.  And it will be kinda festive.

Vogue 9057/Marcie Tilton, View A.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 12.10.17

I'm a day late...the church offices are MOVING and this weekend, my office is broken down and scattered betwixt the old and the new...which meant I came home and did the weekly data entry all evening and did not get a choir post done in a timely fashion.  At least I managed to get My Sweet Babboo to take the photo...

So.  We still kinda sorta don't know what color we're wearing this month, with our standard black/gray, lol.  The swatch on the facebook group page is  pretty much the same color we wore last fall and called 'garnet red'.  But the word description for it is 'crimson/burgundy'.  And who knows what that is???

Most of the choir is going off the word 'Burgundy', so we had a lot of near-purple in choir on Sunday.
But, hey, the lights kinda make it all work somehow....

I wore more old stuff... a gray rayon/lycra jersey  Christine Jonson Basewear 2 turtleneck shell,  Black RPL ponte Oxford Pants, and a Sewing Workshop Tribeca Top  that I made in 2007?  I think?  from a piece of GORGEOUS brocade jacquard that is, depending upon the light, deep red on gray OR fuschia on denim blue.  I typically call it red-on-gray and go with it.  I generally wear it as a topper, because the buttons are spaced a bit far apart for true security (explained in the review) and the sleeves are a little too dropped for good arm mobility; something that I do need in our praise-and-worship style choir.  But it's a good beefy fabric and works well as a topper.  It always gets compliments....

I should wear it more. :-)

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 12.3.17

Wow!  Something I don't think you've seen before... ;-)

Choir colors for December were listed as 'crimson/burgundy' and black.  We weren't sure if that meant we were supposed to wear crimson OR burgundy or if some folks were considering that to be two names for the same shade of deep red.   So we had a range of colors.

I decided to wear the ancient-yeah-you've-seen-these pants that I really don't like, except the colors in the stripes (red and white) on the black makes them so doggone useful.  It's the first modification of the Jalie Classic Pants, made eaons ago, and if I really want to make use of the pattern I need to do some adjusting.  But this actually was cheap Wal-Mart fabric; I just didn't expect to like the colors so well.

Of course, I'm watching for replacement fabric in something nice to the touch and not so poly/lycra-y. 

Very Nice black ponte McCall's 6844 cardigan, which you have seen before, and a red washed silk charmeuse New Look 6762 shell top that you haven't  seen yet, for all that I made it early this year.  Just didn't have the right occasion to wear it.

And, while that top is in a wardrobe pattern w/ a jacket, I've found that it works better w/o a topper, because it has cut on-cap sleeves which get pushed in by a jacket, resulting in some drapiness in the upper chest.  That completely goes away if I don't have a jacket on.  But, well, I needed a cardi today so I just dealt with it.    I did work the pattern over a bit...moving the neckline in at the shoulders to be more strap-friendly and adding a bit of a FBA.  I've made three or four tops from it now and I really do like it.

None of these patterns have been reviewed yet, shame on me.  I need to dust off the ol' templates and get some reviews up.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Choir Wardrobe 11.26.17

Of all the choir wardrobe posts I've done, this one seems to me to be the most inane. 

But there's a lesson in it, I think.

We did not have a normal service today.  In light of the loss the church staff sustained Friday morning, there just was no way for business to continue as usual.  Today's service was a reflection on the life and ministry of our children's pastor, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly early Friday at the tender age of 50.

Pastor Dave was a huge Captain America fan, so word went out Friday night that the choir was going to wear either Captain America shirts or, if that wasn't possible, royal blue and red today.

Well, I didn't have a Captain America T shirt.  My kids had had trouble finding them at retail...they were selling fast as folks who knew Pastor Dave all bought them to wear in his honor.  My hubby is still convalescing; I hate Black Friday weekend shopping.  I really just didn't have the oomph to go on a t-shirt hunt.

So I had the brilliant idea to go to Hobby Lobby and pick up some transfer paper and a T shirt and download an image from the internet and create my own.

I even found a really cool Captain America shield that looked battle worn, so that if the transfer wasn't perfect it wouldn't really show up.

But I didn't click through to the source and just as I closed the window after downloading a copy, I saw the phrase 'deviant art'.

Suddenly I had the sinking feeling that I hadn't downloaded an open source image but someone's personal artwork.  I went back to the search page and hunted it down and, sure enough, it was an image created by an individual and shared on his site.

Using his image on a shirt w/o his ok, not to say compensation, would be patently against everything Captain America...and Pastor Dave...would stand for.

I couldn't do it.

So, today, I was in royal blue and red.

Old Coldwater Creek knit jeans;  an old Coldwater Creek sweater shell.  And a modified Jalie 2919 Pleated Cardigan..  Also old.

And a clear conscience, if a bit of regret that we did't brave the crowds to track down retail shirts.

I will say that this mornings services were hard but amazing.  Pastor Dave's son spoke briefly on behalf of his family, and made the following statement, 'I know two things.  One, that this is unfair and I will never understand.  Two, that I will trust my God and not lean on my own understanding, but I will acknowledge Him in all my ways and I know that He will direct my path.'

As I said, hard...and amazing.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Godspeed, Pastor Dave...

I debated which blog should host this.  It deals with church and faith; so perhaps it should go on the faith blog.  But I recently posted a memorial to someone I'd only watched on TV;  this is much, much closer and dearer.  If I could write about one, I should definitely write about the other.

And I have posted about working with our children's pastors many times over the years; sewing costumes and set pieces.  You might remember the costuming ....the  gold dress with the white oversleeves and both of the boys' tunics in the above flyer, for instance.  Pastor Dave added the studs to the tunics, making them more ruggedly squire-looking.

That was just a bit of the awesome eye for detail that Pastor Dave would exhibit. I never failed to be amazed and inspired by his vision and genius, all with the goal of using that creativity to share the gospel in a way that even little kids could understand that they are loved.

Today, I woke up to a text message that our beloved Pastor Dave had had a massive heart attack in the early morning hours.  Of course, being a person of faith, I believe he's currently walking around heaven enthusiastically reacting to the beauty and the creativity in abundance.    But also being a person who loved him and his family,  enjoyed working and creating with him and just plain liking him as a warm, kind-hearted, caring person....well, I had to read the text three times before I comprehended that it said what it looked like it said.  I can't fathom the effect on his wife and three kids (all pictured in that flyer, but the kids are now grown). They have been in my heart and prayers all day.

He was a colleague on church staff; that meant that, as the DBA,  I was involved with the Kids Quest team for registration for the big summer theme events as well as volunteer costuming. But above and beyond that, he was a pastor to my kids.  He pastored them when they were young, educated them in ministry as teens and mentored them as young adults.  My two youngest are now lay adult staff members of the children's ministry team.  We've seen the ministry up close and personal, from the backstage, and I can tell you that it is authentic.  The pastors lived what they taught.  They set high standards and challenged the kids to...for those in leadership, insisted that the kids... meet those standards.

He created all the puppets himself;  designed the stage for our children's sanctuary, designed the sets for the children's theme every summer...ranging from medieval castles to steampunk labs to dinosaur enclosures, pirate ships and more.  He even did some sets for local high school productions and community theater groups.

But, also, in times of crisis, both national (think 9/11) or local, it was Pastor Dave that the church turned to for guidance in helping our kids process and deal with the harsher side of life.  He had the ability to break something down to a kids' level and help them understand.    He truly loved the kids...and they loved him.

He was also a huge Captain America fan; his office is FILLED with figurines, posters, and other memorabilia.  Facebook profile pictures have been converting to Captain America references all day long in honor of Pastor Dave;  my older son actually stopped at Target to pick up a Captain America t-shirt and found a nearly empty display.  The clerk commented that she'd filled that to absolute capacity just yesterday.   I expect to see a sea of Captain America T-shirts at church Sunday.

There's no way to estimate the number of lives he has impacted.  He will be sorely and deeply missed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Late night thoughts...

Doing the mom thing and waiting up on a kid to get home...might as well dust off the 'new post' page, eh?

I actually finished a top over the weekend;  I wasn't in choir this week since I was home playing post-op nurse for My Sweet Babboo.   He had a cyst removed...the CT scan showed it on his bronchial tube, but the surgeon said it appeared to be more connected to the pericardium (sac around the heart).  It also was lymphatic in nature, but the pathology all came back benign.

He looks like he had a tussle with a shark.  Pain meds are keeping him tolerably comfortable, but come with their own set of we'll be glad when the soreness abates and he can back off of them.  But he's on the mend, and I really  have not noticed the persistent cough that started this whole line of investigation.  So hopefully that was the culprit and he can remember what  it's like to feel good.  Sometime around Christmas.

Anyway.  Sewing.

I had an olive green jersey knit in the stash waiting for that to roll around in choir; almost missed it this go round but I will be able to wear it this Sunday, if all goes well and I can leave MSB at home for a few hours unattended.  I used Vogue 9057, the asymmetric long sleeved view that I have loved so much in the dark brown version I made a couple of years ago.

I had a time.   The presser foot on my sewing machine doesn't allow variable pressure adjustment (which probably would have been a deal breaker had I thought to ask about it when I was test sewing); it ate the first mitered corner I tried and I had to fudge it a bit in the end to cover the resulting holes.

On top of that, my serger wasn't trimming the seams cleanly; it was just kinda chewing them. By the time I sewed my last seam on the serger I was so frustrated I was ready to throw it in the car and haul it to the dealer for some maintenance. The chewing was dragging on the seam and making it waver; I couldn't stitch straight.  I got through it and pressed it and thought, well, I'll keep moving.

Then I happened to HAD been a while since I gave the serger a good cleaning.

Found the oil, found my lint brush and went at it.  And found a sizeable chunk of lint in the spring that holds the moveable blade, which was probably pushing it just a hair away from the fixed blade.

Once I got it cleaned out, I ran a test seam on some scraps.  No problems.

Which just goes to show...everything needs a little TLC* from time to time. :-)

I'm going to be cooking tomorrow; turkey and apple salad and pie, in preparation for the feast of Thanksgiving.  My favorite holiday; probably more of what Christmas was like before it became such a consumer-fest.  Family and food and thanksgiving.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you joys as you reflect on your blessings; if you live elsewhere and it's business as usual on Thursday, I still wish you a day of joy and maybe a little TLC somewhere along the way.

*if you're not up on the acronym, that 's Tender Loving Care  :-)

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, 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

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 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...Bible 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 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

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 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
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's very

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

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

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 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

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 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

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...