Monday, May 22, 2023

So Much for Productivity...

Pulled out the veggies to start prepping dinner tonight and realized the knife that I'd thought I'd cleaned last night still had some dried bits of shallot stuck to it.  Those were stubborn little boogers; I started scrubbing at them with the nylon scrubber and...suddenly my hand slipped off. The momentum of the movement didn't stop, however, and the result was that I slammed my index finger right into the cutting edge of the knife.

About an hour later we were headed home from urgent care and  I had four stitches.  We were literally in and out in about 20 minutes.  THAT is miraculous right there, lol.  I was able to make an appointment and fill out...well, have My Sweet Babboo fill out...the registration paperwork online before we left.  When we put in the reason for the visit...'Cut accident" we got a pop up message that this could be a life-threatening situation and I should consider going to the ER. 

Um, I think it's gonna be ok....

Fortunately it hit the side of the knuckle first, which probably is the only thing that kept me from severing things like nerves and tendons.  I don't know that it cut to the bone but I can't imagine that it didn't.  It was a very sharp knife, I hit it hard and there isn't much meat there to begin with.  And it bled like nobody's business.  But, since the cut is at the knuckle, I have to wear the splint at least until the stitches are removed next week. Bending it could pop the stitches.

So.  Looks like I'm going to be reading and catching up on streaming programs for the next couple of weeks.

I had gotten the jacket muslin put together but it was too slim through the torso.  Altered up the pattern...good ol pivot and slide...and was ready to give it another go.  But that's gotta wait now.

And you wouldn't believe how many typing errors I had to go back and correct...some SEVERAL times.  Gonna be a fun couple of weeks at work...

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Change of Plan...

 Well...Easter has passed, I have collected the traveling sewing supplies and moved them home; I rather randomly decided to accompany My Sweet Babboo on a weekend road trip; sat in a hotel and hemmed a pair of RTW pants to length whilst he did some training so we could have dinner together in a different city and am on week THREE of a dysfunctional dryer.  So, yeah, been hauling the essentials, a couple of wet loads at a time, to the laundromat to blast them with the industrial - strength quarter-devouring dryers.

I wanted to get some personal sewing done, so I pulled out some stashed cotton/lycra and whipped up a t shirt.  Well...cut it out one night, sewed half of it another and finished it a week later. Only problem was I pulled out the 'floppy rayon jersey' sized tracing of the Jalie pattern instead of the 'firm cotton lycra' sized tracing of the pattern without realizing it fits like a sausage casing.

Bummer.  Maybe the current calorie-counting will pay off and I'll be able to wear it in a couple of months.

But I have been reflecting on the Hydrangea wardrobe...aka the 'Start with a Scarf 2022' wardrobe, for which I was working on a crinkle velvet Hippie Earth Mother Skirt for the 'November' set.

And I had an epiphany.

See, the schtick for the November set was that each heroine walked into a store and bought herself a new outfit.  All from the same retail establishment.

Now, I knew that wasn't a go since I was sewing stuff so I just thought I would add something my wardrobe needed, but over the, ok, months...since that prompt was released something percolating in the back of my head finally surfaced.

What if I made all the stuff from one designer's patterns?

I have a few that I had enough of a variety to use...Sewing Workshop, Cutting Line, Jalie...  but I actually thought I had TNT patterns for pants, a jacket and a top or blouse from my Loes Hinse patterns.

Well, sort of TNT.  They fit 10 years/ mumble mumble pounds ago and will need tweaking.  Ok, I will need to trace a larger size.  But whatever.

I did some stash diving and, while I could find some kinda sorta almost might work fabrics, what I really wanted was something I could use for pants and a jacket...have a 'suit', so to speak.  I bit the bullet and ordered some fabric online.  It's a 'rayon blend'...which almost certainly means polyester is in the mix, but it's a 'double woven' fabric and it drapes beautifully...and weighty, drapey fabrics are exactly what Loes Hinse recommends for most of her patterns.

 It is, however, waiting on a functional dryer to be pre-shrunk.

Then I pulled the patterns I have on hand for consideration:

The first one is the obvious one, and it's why I decided to go with LH...I have a pants pattern that pretty well fits and have made multiple times, the Oxford Pant:

Straight legs are classic no matter where we are in the skinny leg/ wide leg/ flared leg pants fashion cycle.  

Next, I pulled the jackets that I am considering.  I have made the original Bolero a couple of times, and I have also made the Bistro (just realized I didn't get the name of the pattern in the frame. Oopsie.) and loved wearing that one.  But I picked up the princess-seamed Paris Jacket not too awfully long ago and have been itching to try that one.  Decisions, decisions.

Finally, I need to pick a top.  The knit tops are very fast and I have some garments that have been in the closet forEVER and are still worn from those patterns.  But I kinda would like a nice dressy the long sleeved Italian Blouse.  I've made the short sleeved version a couple of times...but it's been a while.  I *think* I have some drapey white rayon crepe that would do nicely for this.  If I am remembering right...If not, I might look at some navy blue slinky knit for the Sweater Set.  That little v neck shell is extremely versatile.

Being as how I have at least TWO more weeks before the dryer is back to functional (I don't even wanna go there), I'm not likely to get the pre-washing done on the suiting for a bit so I have time to noodle around, trace patterns and maybe even throw a mockup together for the Jacket.

Because I really think I want to do the Paris Jacket. I can at least muslin it up and see how it might fit, right?  

I pulled it out and started tracing.  

And almost immediately noticed that the closure for this jacket is something Loes Hinse likes...a button on the edge with a thread loop.  It's what she used for the original Bolero...and it's not something I'm terribly fond of.  If my jacket is to be buttoned, I want it to BUTTON, lol.  But look at the Bolero Multiples...which is just a set of alternate center fronts for the Bolero Jacket.  I haven't checked yet, but I bet I can morph the front/collar from the Bolero Multiples onto the front/ collar of the Paris Jacket and get my button and button hole closure.  

I got one piece traced before I had to go do other stuff and didn't manage to get back.  Such is my sewing life right now, lol.

So the velvet skirt...which isn't going to be suitable for wearing for another 6 months going on the shelf and I'm pressing on with my, ahem, 'November' wardrobe.

Stay tuned for updates, lol.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

One last Malleus post...

It's still available on You Tube  as of today; the production starts at about the 15 minute mark.

  I finally got a copy of the cast photo...

Now, I have to admit something.  I hadn't really gotten to SEE everything all on stage at once.  And I was flabbergasted at how well all of those randomly chosen old costumes coordinated on stage.  The dancers, most of whom are seated, were all new costumes; we made the tunics for the tiny dancers but we made use of fast fashion sources for the cropped pants and the adult tunics.

What can I say?  We pulled it together in 4 weeks.

See, that's what grace does.  Grace isn't there to excuse indulgence...grace is there to give us the power to do that which we coudn't do otherwise.

Like costume a production in 4 weeks that ends up looking like everything was coordinated.

I should finish the data entry from the weekend tomorrow. I stayed after work today to clear out my stuff from the sewing room.  I'll likely go back in on Friday to pack up the remaining costumes and extra fabric and such.  The theater is rented out very soon and the room we used for costume holding and construction...which is actually used as a dressing room...has got to be cleaned out.

Still don't know where we're going to put the stuff but I am sure someone will come up with something.  We still haven't found a workable place for costume storage.  The theater is rented too much to keep stuff anywhere there.  The home ec sewing room is much too centrally located and is pegged for the expansion of another ministry.  Which is a pity because it would be perfect.  But...location, location, location. Costumes don't need to be right off the public spaces.

We've got about a week to figure something out. Or rather, someone does.  That's above my pay grade, lol.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Problem solved ....more or less...

 But it took a couple of tries.

After the first dress rehearsal, the costume comments were that the floof on the red drapey thing (which our dancer referred to as 'the affliction') was a little too much and needed to be toned down.  And the magnets just didn't hold it toghether well enough; she actually had to try and keep it hung up in the skirts as she danced.

So, on Thursday, I  worked part of the day and then clocked out and went back to the sewing room looked it over.  I took off all of the pieces that weren't actually sewn down, moved them around and actually left one off.   The result was something that had longer, less floofy loops; notably, the bulky bit in the front was now gone.  Good enough.   My sewing cohort Miss K. brought me some larger, stronger magnets and I switched them out.  These were STRONG...'get the ends within a half inch of each other and they jumped together with a click' strong.

Thursday night's dress rehearsal ran through the presentation twice.  The first time, the magnets were too strong and 'the affliction' didn't even come off at all.  Before the second run through, I recommended that the magnets be hooked together  on the opposite side...the one that had all the turned back fabric, so they were connecting through (she counts) 10 layers of fabric instead of two. The bond there was not as strong, so that should work.

And it did...but somehow, in the movements of dance and dramatic crawling, she managed to actually step into one of the longer loops, despite it being on top of the underskirt.  Which meant it caught on her leg, nearly tripped her and had to be pulled off to finish the dance.

So...I tied a couple of knots in that puppy on Friday.  More than one way to shorten a loop...

We were going into the Friday night service without that contraption actually working correctly once yet. My townsperson character wasn't just jockeying for a place to see what Jesus was doing...I was actually trying to see...praying...that it would work.

It did.

Afterwards, several folks told me that that moment brought tears.


I took a couple of  pictures backstage so you can see the costume:

Here's our dancer (an official church photo), before the affliction is removed. You can just see glimpses of it through the layers.

And just before we started tonight, she showed me that the shoulder seam on the brown over tunic was starting to come unstitched.   So I have a wee bit of mending to do tomorrow.  Probably will just needle-and-thread it.

Two services tomorrow...and then it's all done but the laundry.  And the data entry.

Just for grins...I made My Sweet Babboo wait to change after last night's service so we could get a picture.  Our costumes are OLD...but so are we, lol.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

Problem solving

 Ok, firstly, I need a picture for Facebook's thumbnail ...cause I don't want the one below to be  pasted up with just the middle bit showing, lol.  So here's a gratuitous kitty pic.  Hard to believe it took her 8 years to decide it was ok to relax on a lap.

Ok, so.... here's a thing I made to go in between some layers in a costume for a dancer who will play the part of the woman with the Easter production.  The two layers over it are slit/  slashed, so the red peeps through as the lady dances.  I meant it to be ugly, and lumpy, and knotted, and twisted, and uneven.  All highly symbolic.

It fastens with magnets, so it can be quickly undone at the appropriate moment.

It's very lightweight poly crepe de as to not overwhelm the magnets.

But it's so lightweight that it doesn't just kinda hangs up in the layers.  So the dancer, 'Jesus' and I conferred. I reconfigured the streamers a bit and I put a very slight weight into one streamer end, so our dancer can kind of throw it out as she kneels, and 'Jesus' will step on the  that bit when he speaks to her so when she stands up it stays on the ground.

I finally saw the whole event put together tonight at tech rehearsal.  I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with what the team has done.  If all the variables come together, it should be moving.

But...just bein' honest, I'm tahred  (Southern for weary to the bone; I've 15K steps on the fitbit and didn't do any fitness walking.  Just what I needed to do to get stuff done today).  I have just about decided to use some of my comp time for a day off next week.  I think I've earned it. 

It will be live streamed ...6:30 CDT on Fri and Sat, 9 and 11 AM on Sunday.  The Rock Family Worship Center on You Tube.  If you are inclined to see the costumes, lol.  We made about a dozen for this production...the little dancers, the prisoners, the magistrate.  And the woman with..the issue.  Although, to be honest, I'm not sure how it will come across on the live stream.  Not like watching a made-for-TV edited production, but it should get the point across.

I may or may not get another costume post up before the weekend....we'll see...

Friday, March 24, 2023

Well, it's a thing...

 I should be sewing right now but I am letting myself take a bit of a break; I spent most of the day at church sewing and I need to think about something else for a minute, lol.  I wasn't expecting anyone to show up to help sew today; one lady said she might come by later in the morning, so I didn't rush this morning and rolled in about 15 minutes late.  

To find that the 'maybe later' friend actually made it earlier and was waiting on me.

Ain't that always the way?

She brought a steamer and worked on making the costumes a bit fresher...noting needed repairs we'd missed and trimming threads and such as she went.  The detail work that often gets overlooked.  I was really glad she came.

Me, I worked on the Magistrate's robe.  Nearly 7 hours of work, it's not done yet...and this character has one speech that will last about 45 seconds, lol.  Again...ain't it always the way.

I had to modify the pattern for our standard Bible robe.  We wanted a squared-off neckline and a shorter sleeve.  The shorter sleeve wasn't a problem, but the neckline had me puzzled a bit.  Then suddenly I realized I could just draft the FACING and use that as a template to cut the actual neckline after I had rough cut it out with the pattern.

Winner winner chicken dinner!  That was a quick fix.

I actually sewed it mostly on my Old Faithful Kenmore.  Since we were using a compact car for transportation back when we were first married in 1980, instead of getting a bulky something for Christmas I got cash.  It covered most of the cost of  that sewing machine, which I used for 14 ish years before purchasing a new machine.  Not because I was unhappy with the Kenmore, but I wanted some specialty feet that I couldn't get for that high-shank machine.  I think maybe there might have been an adapter available for sale somewhere, but I never could locate anyone who sold it.
The Kenmore became the backup machine; it weighs a freakin' TON but got hauled around to  sewing days at church...made all the Scrooge costumes back in the day  (it's visible on the pictures that used to be linked to those early posts, but Google has started dropping the old pictures from the albums.  Guess that happens when you blog for more than 15 years...)  I have one of my other machines in, but the newfangled electronic Janome didn't have an adjustable pressure presser foot.  The Kenmore does.  Went right over bulky seam intersections without bogging down.  

After I got the back sewed up to opening, I realized that I probably did not need to include the opening at all...the neckline will be wide enough as it is.  Oh well, it gave me a good start/stop for the trim.   Tomorrow...hem and lower trim, and a blue drapey wrap to kind of make up for the fact that the fabric is a wee bit sheer. Strategic drapery should take care of that.
Normally I can crank out a basic bible costume in about 4 1/2-ish hours, but this one ain't basic.  I added pockets in the seams so there will be a place for the mic pack.

I like that Greek Key trim; but it's cheap Offray and pretty much says it's not washable, dryable, ironable...LOL.  I'm going to write on it w/ a sharpie  (on the facing behind the trim on the back) to 'hand wash drip dry'.  Maybe that will work...

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Starting with deconstruction

 So, part of the task for the costume for the woman with...the issue...who will actually be a dancer is to deconstruct a skirt that was used in an Easter production 20 ish years ago.

The lady who sewed it was enamored of the new-fangled elastic in which the backing was sewn to the garment and the elastic threads pulled up and sewn down.  

Well, the elastic has degraded and deteriorated and is useless at this point...not to mention that I need the skirt, which has a matching top that fits, more or less,  to be much more flowy...and featuring strips...than the straight up-and-down with an elastic waist.  So I am taking it apart.

It's taking about four times as long as I icky, tedious business.  Once I get the elastic off the second piece I have to finish the edges and run the fabric through the laundry to get the residue off of if.

Word up...if you are ever sewing costumes for any kind of production, for the love of all re-purposers down the road, PLEASE do not use a teeniny stitch length.  

Just sayin'.

On the 'here's a tip' front,  some time ago I was watching you-tube clothing historian Bernadette Banner draft a pattern and she was using Christmas wrapping paper.  DING DING DING the lightbulb went off.

I think I paid a buck and a half or so for some REALLY STURDY ugly wrapping paper at Hallmark's after Christmas sale and used it to draft the gore pattern for the skirt (I think I will get ten gores).  Y'all, the grid marks made this an absolute BREEZE.  10/10 Highly recommend.  

No good for tracing, but if you a drafting from's great.

Got another sewing weekend in front of me but I don't know if anyone else is going to show up.  That's ok...I know there are a couple of ladies who are doing alterations/ mending at home.  I think we only have two more costumes to make...the dancer being one of them,  I'll work on the other at church since that's where the fabric and trim is currently.