Monday, September 05, 2022

Sewing Proceeding at a Snail's Pace...

I am not sewing these things in order at all; I need button-front shirts so I skipped ahead and made an Easy, Ageless, Cool campshirt from a recently acquired cotton lawn... I think the pattern matching is pretty good, if I do say so myself, lol.

I had one bugaboo in that I can NOT find my lightweight white fusible interfacing.  I thought I'd ordered some more, but when I opened the package I found that it was actually midweight.  A bit heavier than I wanted.   But, doggone it, I wanted the shirt so I forged ahead.  Upshot...the collar is a little puffier than I would like in a perfect world, but no one is likely to notice it.  I have since received an order for the actual lightweight stuff.

I thought that would be the completer for the..June?  I think? Set, but when I pulled the white campshirt from my closet to photograph I discovered it had some spots on it.  I'm hoping they were from the last trip through the dryer...we've had the dryer fixed lately as well...and they'll wash out.  Otherwise I'm going to have to replace it. :-(.

But, I have been doing future planning; the August set for the wardrobe contained a jacket and an outerwear scarf.  I didn't have a topper scarf to wear in anything close to these colors, so I went hunting. Couldn't find a scarf (that wasn't redonckulously expensive) that came close, either, so next I started trolling fabric sites.  Found a double-faced cotton/wool blend flannel...on sale, no less...and got two yards.  I hit the fabric jackpot and got the end of the bolt...about another 3/8 yard...thrown in.

It's fantastic.  I cut 12" off of one side, trimmed off the selvedge (which was lovely, actually, but the other edge wouldn't match), straightened the ends and fringed it all around, mostly whilst on a video call.   This is a great winter scarf now...and it could easily have cost $60 if I had bought it at retail.  Now I've got about 2 3/8 yard of 47" fabric left...pondering options for that.  A waistcoat and a baker's cap (aka a newsboy cap) are both high on the list.

 I've also cut out and STARTED the blue skirts; I may sew a bit more on them today but we are doing family stuff later on might not happen.  But I am determined to get these things made up.

I'll probably post several sets really quickly once I get the 'April' skirt done, lol. We'll see...

Saturday, August 06, 2022

In Which She Most Likely Ruined a Dress But Oh Well

 So, still not being able to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup, I decided to try a little project.

Earlier last month I bought a dress from Lands' End on a massive clearance markdown.

Pink and green.  I think I got it for less than the fabric would have cost.  But...alas, it has no pockets.

Which means it likely would just hang in the closet.

But I had some pink knit...what about putting in some pockets?

A quick little task, no?    I had the seams opened up really quickly.  Cut a generic on-seam pocket  from the knit and proceeded.

Unfortunately, 1) I couldn't interface the pocket because I'm still not handling an iron.  Knowing what I know, a RTW pocket likely wouldn't be interfaced anyway.  I did a quick look around for something suitable for a sew-in reinforcement but found nothing so I soldiered on.

And as I had so little seam allowance, I decided to modify my favorite pocket application and just curve the ends of the opening instead of doing a square turn.

Um, that might work but I didn't think it through enough and I ended up not leaving enough seam allowance on the pocket.

I did some ripping out and restitching but, well, there were a couple of, um, unstitchable areas (aka, holes in the fabric) when I was done.

No problem, I'll just do a little bar tacking to reinforce things.

Um again...somehow, the bartacking turned into a satin stitch on the seam on one side. Had no idea I  had sewn that far until I took it off the machine. It felt like it was hardly moving; I half expected a thread nest.  Nope...just some crazy stitching.

Yeah, it looks pretty bad on that side, but it was the one with the worst, um, weakness in the seam.  The other one looks like much more normal bar tacks.

That is the bad side. Just keep moving, right?

Actually, that is the first time I have ever attempted to add pockets to ready to wear.  I did too many on the fly alterations to my normal pocket construction process, but I did learn a bit.  # 1...don't clip anything until You Are Sure.  #2  Interfacing.  #3  don't forget the seam allowance, silly.  #4) There's a reason it's a corner and not a curve.

It may just get worn around the house...but it will get worn.  Which is more than would have happened had I not given pocket augmentation a try.

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Ice is my friend...

 So, ten days out and I'm out of the sling and back to ten fingered typing.

I'm moving my  arm fairly well, if a bit slowly.  At least, so long as I'm raising it straight in front of me, lol.  Lateral motion is not quite so far along.  And my arm is still pretty much purple and green above the elbow. Hence the ice pack, lol.

But I've been told not to lift anything heavier than a coffee cup for at least a bit longer, so, while I think I could manage to do some stitching,  manhandling an iron is still beyond me.  So I think I will work on patterns/ cutting for the weekend, anyway.  Mayhap by next weekend I'll be able to push the iron around and press seams and hems and such.

But, you know, I was extremely blessed in this whole thing.  Not only that we caught it early enough that it was a simple far as orthopedic surgery goes, that was probably the least invasive, most minor procedure I could have had, but the surgeon told me in my post-op visit that he was glad we'd gone ahead and done it, because 'there was bad stuff going on in there'.  I had two small bone spurs that were beginning to saw away at tendons and such.  He cleaned up the 'frayed' bits, but no major repairs were needed...yet.

But beyond that, I realize that I was extremely fortunate to be able to get it taken care of. We have fairly good insurance, and I have a job that is flexible enough that I can take off time/ work from home so that I could actually get the repairs done.  I know there are many, many folks who don't have that option.   My Sweet Babboo can work from home so he can take me to my therapy appointments until my arm is up to driving...maybe next week. And that's a blessing, too.

I did a little checking to see what causes bone spurs...basically, it's the body's response to osteoarthritis/ thinning cartilage in the joints.  Now, I've been told for years that our bodies are basically very smart and can heal up but...can't it tell the difference between cartilage and bone?  If I'm losing cartilage, that's what it should be making...right?  (Insert laughing emoji). 

So, not much sewing will be happening in the immediate future, but I might be able to get a queue of sorts lined up and ready to go once I feel like I can do all the stuff.  Janice has been releasing the August wardrobe picks piecemeal this week because she's had trouble finding suitable garments.  The Hydrangea picks will be in Friday's post, but the four that have been released already are quite heavily leaning to fall.  I'm not sure I'm going to follow suit; down here, I've got at least 8 more weeks of full on Summer before things even start to cool down.  I am not ready, in so many ways, to start prepping for fall.  So I'm thinking.

Which is good, because I can't do much

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Start with a Scarf 2022...I am behind, can I catch up?


Just some musing today... 

We are 7 months into the wardrobe;  that's 8 sets if you count the core set that was introduced in December.

And I have done the core set and three I've done half of them so far.

And, having a bum shoulder (which is recovering nicely so far) I can't really do anything for at least another week.  So I sat down with the computer and looked over the Vivienne Files picks for April - July...recognizing that August is going to drop in 4 days and I'll be another set behind, lol.

Is it feasible to actually do this at this point?

I made a spreadsheet, looking at each month's choices...not just the ones for the Hydrangea Scarf.  I had been following the Hydrangea Scarf wardrobe additions pretty closely,  because, you know, I had the exact scarf, but looking at the April set...I had to make some decisions. Janice likes to use cardigans as button up stand alone tops; I'm just not comfortable doing that.  The stretchy buttonholes in sweater cardigans don't feel secure enough to me to be worn without an underlayer. The Hydrangea Scarf is the only wardrobe with two cardigans chosen for April, and I'm pretty sure they're meant to be used as stand alone tops.  The other five wardrobes just have pullover tops or sweaters.  So I am going to wander away from the strict application of the Hydrangea picks, starting in April, and look at what all the wardrobes had added.  Which, being honest, is pretty much what I did in 2019 when I tried this the first time.

Once I gave myself permission to more loosely interpret the additions, I took a fresh look at my closet.   What did I have that could work?  

Once I did that, I'm down to needing to sew pretty much just ONE thing for each set.  Which is perfectly doable...if I make it a personal priority.  For instance, there are two navy skirts in the sets and...I couldn't believe it, but I don't own a single navy skirt.  So I'll make the two skirts at the same time...while I have blue thread in the serger, lol.  

Anyway, the upshot is that I decided to press on and see what I can get done.

And I'm actually curious to see how Janice will transition this very bright, springy wardrobe into fall.

So, hang on, we ain't quitting yet....

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Start with a Scarf 2022 - 3rd addition

 What!  Did I get the next set made up overnight?  No, this I could pretty much pull from the closet..

Here is what Janice selected for March over at The Vivienne Files...two basic T's, a cardigan, a second scarf and a bracelet.

Here is my take:

The T shirts came rom the SWAP wardrobe, cut from the same fabric as the already-included longer sleeved t's.  I bought the scarf at Talbot's a year or two ago, thinking it would be a good candidate for a wardrobe base scarf.  I actually ordered the Resourceful Lynx bracelet from Fierce Lynx Designs right after I decided to do the project, because it was my colors.  I expected it to show up in the wardrobe picks at some point.  The sweater came from Lands' End and I love it...very soft and perfect for an over-airconditioned event.  It's the only piece I acquired specifically for this set.

So, everything now looks like this...

We will be stuck here until I get my right arm back, lol.  My first PT is tomorrow...we will see what I'm allowed to do after that...

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Start With a Scarf 2022-- 2nd Addition

 I squeaked out the last garment in the set before shoulder surgery, but I didn't have time to post the set before the timer ran now I am painstakingly typing with my left hand.  I will try to catch all the typos before I hit post, but it's quite likely that I will have to make a few edits as I find blunders over the next few days...

Anyway, this is my interpretation of the Vivienne Files Start With a Scarf February wardrobe selections for the PJ Studio Accessories 'Hydrangea Scarf'... which I had just happened to have purchased on a deep discount sale about a year ago.

I made two garments for this set...amongst making a mess out of some gifted diapers, which I was too disgusted to blog about, and making the third trip to Florida since February, lol.  The pink shirt is Burda 6908, crafted from a rather hefty twill.   The blue pants are Vogue 8712 , funky lantern pants; if you click on the photo you should be able to see the bottom angled band and the round pocket.  The green shirt is 4 years old...specifically dyed to match the choir color of the month (I actually wore it to work with the Hydrangea Scarf and white jeans last week).  The earrings are from Novica and the blue ballet flats are from Rockport/ Cobb Hill.'s everything so far...

I have to admit, I love looking at those colors together.  And I am really bummed that I will not be able to sew for the next few weeks whilst my shoulder recovers.

A little creative problem solving

 I was rather dismayed to find that if one has shoulder surgery, the sling/ immobilizing brace apparatus is applied while still in the OR, and is not to be removed before the first physical therapy visit.  

Which means it must be worn under the clothing for the first few days.

Those things are BULKY, y'all.

I did a few test runs, first under some of my really loose under a couple of my hubby's t shirts...also fail.  I could stretch them over the brace but t was a chore and they were awkward.

So I picked up a three pack of men's 2X (I wanted 3X but they were sold out) t-shirts from Wally World to do a little hacking.

Found a chunk of cruddy black knit that I had made two tops from that turned my bras black when I wore them.  My idea was to put a godet on the right side so there would be enough room.  Wasn't sure how to go about it but I wasn't after making a snappy looking garment...I just wanted to be decently covered, lol.

So I cut one shirt up the side to about an inch and a half below the sleeve and measured the length of the cut and added an inch for a seam allowance and a hem, should I feel ambitious enough (and have time) to do one.

Then I measured that distance out from a lengthwise fold of my icky black jersey, measured along the fold the same distance +4", to allow for the vertical uptake of the brace, and connected those points with a shallow curve.  Cut two of 'em, because I had two black shirts and I was feeling brave.

So for the first go, I sewed the straight edge 1:1 to the slit in the shirt, then put it on over the brace.  It wasn't horrible, but the slit actually needed to go up into the was tight across the top part of the strapping for the brace... and I had a lovely (koff koff) drape on the side.  It would do...but I thought it could be better.  So for the second shirt I cut the slit up into the sleeve about 3", flipped the godet and sewed the curved edge to the shirt, gathering the excess at the middle top 1/4 or so of the curve.

Much better.  I hemmed that one and took it with me. The nurse who helped me get dressed after the procedure was impressed, lol.

But as it turned out, we caught the bone spur(s?) before any serious damage was done to tendons, etc., so there was no soft tissue repair needed and I don't have to wear the immobilization brace...just the industrial sling.  So there is plenty of room in these shirts, lol, and I should be good until therapy.  And maybe I will have the use of both hands much sooner than anticipated...

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Funky Pants for the Wardrobe

 The 'February' selections for the 'Start with a Scarf' wardrobe included a pair of 'ankle pants'. I wasn't sure what to do but I stumbled across a Vogue Marci Tilton pants pattern (8712) that I had started altering up...sometime back in the past... and decided to give it a go.  I had some very drapey rayon 'denim' that I'd purchased to make a shirt back about 8 years ago, but it was not quite right for what I wanted so it just went into the stash. Bingo.

I had to go back and review the alterations I'd made (and undo some of idea what I was thinking at the time) and I cut them out back in May...and they waited whilst I made diapers and the pink shirt.

But they were rather quick to do, and I finished them up today.  They are a bit longer on me than on the envelope models...I can't remember if I shortened them or not.  (update...I shortened them one inch) But they hit around my ankles, which is exactly the brief for the selection, lol. 'Ankle pants'...

Of course, I will NEVER wear them with a top tucked in, but you can kind of see the lantern shape and maybe, if you can zoom in, the interesting pocket.

The pattern guide called for a narrow hem; I wanted a little extra weight at the bottom so I cut the angled cuffs twice and used the extra ones as a facing. If I were going to just hem it, I think I would use some bias tape as a narrow facing because it is pretty sharply angled and curved.  Just my opinion, lol.

They are very comfy and I'm going to enjoy them.

Since my hubby was handy to take a picture, I put on the pink shirt for a quick shot as well.

Lawdy my hair!  The humidity has froofed it...even in the AC, lol.  I didn't bother putting any product on it today since I wasn't going anywhere.  Wasn't expecting to have to take a picture.  But this is about the duds anyway, right?