Monday, May 20, 2019


So, let's say you've got a trip coming of those tour group type things, on which you will be rooming with someone you've never met.

Are you going to want to wear the ratty nightgowns with the ripped off lace and snaggey spots?

No, you are not.

And, if you follow Martha on Now Sewing,  you know that she has used the Sewing Workshop Eureka Top to make some superfantastic PJ's.

So of course you will copy her shamelessly.

Not quite as superfantastic as Martha's, but they'll do.  I used a wide-legged  OOP New Look pattern for the pants; I cropped them a whopping 9" and added a 3 1/2" band at the bottom, squeezed out of the remnant of the treble clef-printed rayon jersey (I only bought one yard) from EmmaOneSock.  The gray jersey from another vendor doesn't quite match, but, well, it's PJ's, so who's going to be looking THAT close?  Oh...and there are sideseam pockets in the pants, which probably doubled the amount of time it took to make them but is totally worth it, even for Jammies.

I did lengthen the Eureka by about 3".  And, since the tour is related to songwriting and creatives, I thought it was a good theme. ;-).  Don't think I will cuff the arm/sleeve bands...the rayon knit is rather floppy and I'd have to basically tack it up in about 6 places to get it to stay.

As I'm heading out on the first leg of the adventure in less than 2 days...I got other things to worry about now... LOL.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

12 Months - 12 Outfits: May Assingment

So, Janice's May Picks have been up on Vivienne Files for a week, and I am just now getting around to talking about what I'm going to add to my wardrobe following her suggestions.

At a's shorts, a tank top, a cardigan,  earrings, sandals and a bracelet.

Well, I'm not much of a shorts- wearer...not outside the house, anyway.    So I am likely to substitute other summery pants, like another pair of capris or linen pants or....white jeans. 

A tank top...or sleeveless shell...well, I made two different styles of sleeveless tops that I used in the SWAP wardrobe; one of those could be used here, easily.

A cardigan top; hm.  I have a solid selection of knit cardigans (thank you, choir wardrobe).  I would *like* to make a denim jacket to wear as a summer topper, but I don't think I'm going to have time.  I've only got two weeks left before I leave town for the rest of the month, and I've GOT to make myself a decent pair of PJ's to take on the trip (they are partially cut out at the moment).

I did the usual over-analysis of the color selections; in four out of the six wardrobes, the shorts are the main neutral.  In the fifth one, the shorts are what is identified as a second neutral for that wardrobe, and the other, the shorts are one of the main accent colors. 

Two of the tank tops are striped, the other four are solid accent colors.

Also in four wardrobes, the cardigan is the main neutral...but not in all the wardrobes in which  the shorts are the main neutral.  It's an accent in the other two. is my main neutral, denim (which I haven't even introduced yet) is the secondary neutral, and the accents are royal, green, white and red.   

I could totally pull this month's wardrobe from clothes already in my closet; we'll see how much time I have after I finish the PJ's.  ;-)

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

SWAP 2019 Photoshoot

So, I stood in front of the fireplace and my hubby patiently snapped pictures.  It was after 8 PM, so no daylight, and I got my 10,000 steps on the Fitbit running up and down the steps, lol.

12 photos is the max, with one photo to be a pic of the wardrobe inspiration piece and one pick being a photo of all garments together.

So, this is what I ended up with...

I've talked about them all quite a bit, so I'll just put the pics up...

Lisa's TBH Swap 2019.... (Ted Baker London Highgrove Scarf)

 The green is right in the bottom picture, lol.  The cell phone pictures of me wearing the green top didin't come out at all...had to go with the tealish camera pic.

So, that's the 2019 Wardrobe.  I don't know if  the SWAP requirements made the 12 Months 12 Outfits challenge more difficult, or if the 12 Months 12 Outfits wardrobe made the SWAP sewing more difficult, lol.  I probably would not have made the culottes except for the fact that it was the only thing I could come up with that met both  requirements. 

This is, I think, the 5th SWAP wardrobe I've actually completed (4th in the allotted time frame...the first one was late, but I finished....the original Timmel SWAP back in, oh, 2004? I think?).  There's something really satisfying about making a capsule wardrobe and seeing everything work together.  Not to mention that it makes packing for trips way easier, lol.

But, as I'm doing the 12-Months 12-Outfits challenge,  I'm going to continue to add to this wardrobe for the rest of the year.  This is a really good foundation, I think.

Monday, May 06, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits - April

The Zappos box arrived today, so I finally got all the pieces for the 'outfit' for April.

If you recall, Janice's picks were basically capris, a pullover sweater of some sort,  a necklace, earrings and sort of casual shoes.

So, my interpretation, based on my wardrobe needs...and also sewing for SWAP...

Black and white boatneck T...frankenpattern of a Burda T shirt neckline with a Jalie T shirt body.  Bamboo/lycra 4-way stretch jersey...nice stuff!
The capris are creamy white cotton/poly/lycra twill made up into (another) frankenpattern...started with Sewing Workshops Helix pants, added pockets, shortened to capri length and added a flare and a deep hem.

 The necklace and earrings are summer staples from the wardrobe; I'd probably wear these 3 days a week in the spring and summer if I could get away with it.  The necklace is straight up something that would have suited my grandmother; I think of her every time I put it on.  She would have worn it with white button earrings instead of hoops, but, still.  I honestly have no idea how long I've had either the necklace or the earrings or where they originally came from, lol.

The shoes are Taos Mock Stars. I have a pair in gray that I've worn quite a bit, but the white ones were not in stock in my size for the longest time.  I was just going to give up and put something else with this outfit, but Friday night I got a notice that the white was back and the UPS guy brought it to my door shortly after I got home from work tonight.

AND...just because I had to take the photo for the SWAP photo shoot, here's the April outfit actually on me:

So, here's the total summation of stuff, so far.  I did replace the picture of the green top, once I realized my phone camera would reproduce the color better than either of my little ancient Cannon you can see the real color.

I'll post about the May assignment later this week....

Saturday, May 04, 2019

First Go at Pics for SWAP 2019

...and they are pretty pitiful.  I have an old camera, with a 10 megapixel resolution, but I still would expect better pics than these.  I am going to reshoot tomorrow with a different camera and we'll see if it comes out better.  But, just for grins, here are the grainy first looks:

First, the two Wild Card garments... the Burda Shift dress from the February outfit, and the Burda trench coat that was the SOLE garment completed from my SWAP plan back in 2014 and I'm using as the Allowable Previously Made Garment.  I've worn it a bunch and it's still going strong, albeit with a stray ink pen mark or two, lol.

Next up is the 9 Core Wardrobe pieces.... L to R, the April Outfit, both frankenpatterned garments;  bamboo/lycra 4-way stretch stripe top and  cotton/poly/lycra stretch twill capris.  Next, is the January outfit; Sewing Workshop's Helix pants, made from Telio Jockey doubleknit (same as the shift dress), a white cotton/lycra Jalie T and the McCall's cardi in royal ponte.  The March outfit...a Jalie T that is GREEN; not teal, but refuses to be photographed in anything close to it's real color, and the Tencel twill McCall's culottes.  Finally, two spare tops that I made along the way;  Pamela's Pattern's twinset shell, and a Marcy Tilton Assymetric Tank top.

Per The Rules, every garment in the Core wardrobe has to work with at least two other garments in the wardrobe.

The only two things I don't feel like I can put together at all are the assymetric tank and the culottes.  The culottes  are just too full.  It might be a stretch to put the long cardigan with them as well, but I think I could make it work.

The  assymetric tank can double as a topper of sorts.

I will try to get less fuzzy pics tomorrow....a photo shoot with me actually wearing stuff doesn't look likely until Monday. Everyone's busy all weekend...

ETA on Saturday....the next batch of photos turned out *slightly* better; I took pics with both my slightly newer camera and my cell phone, which is known for taking out of focus shots.    BUT...the cell phone DID get the right green for the top-that-photographs-as-teal...even if it is out of focus in every pic it's in...
See???? It's GREEN! LOL.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

I did finish...

I managed to stay up Tuesday night and finish the striped's a hanger shot:

My eyes were crossing with those stripes, let me tell you!  But it's done.  It's a nice bamboo/lycra 4-way stretch fabric and I should get LOTS of wear out of it.  I frankenpatterned the neckline on a different shirt; it sort of worked and I sort of had to manhandle it a bit where it didn't quite line up.  Not sure what happened...something must've shifted when I adjusted the two patterns to only have the lines I wanted to cut along on the outside. wouldn't notice if I didn't point it out so I'm staying mum. LOL.

 The Capris...well, after spending a couple of nights in the magic closet, they are not the lost cause I thought they were. They would be better if the flare started just a smidge higher, but, all in all, they're good $12 pants...which is what they actually cost, lol.

(Aside...does anybody know why I can't put these pic side-by-side?  Blogger refuses to allow me to put two pictures in the same vertical space, even though there's PLENTY of room here.)

I used a dusty pink knit to line the pockets (that I added) so there wouldn't be a noticeable pocket showing through the white fabric.  It was the most opaque white I had...a poly/cotton/lycra twill...but it wasn't completely opaque so I thought I'd give that a was a tip in Threads magazine years ago.

And you know what?  It worked....

I fear the knit may not be the best'll probably deteriorate and get holes in it...but I really, really like the way it looks.

So that basically just means I need to get some nice sturdy cotton in a dusty pink to use for pockets in light colored pants, lol.

I will get the official 12 -months-12-outfit pics tomorrow. Not sure when I'm going to get the SWAP pictures, as this weekend is another busy one.

I think I have until the 8th to get them posted, although with the gallery glitches on Stitcher's Guild we might get a bit of a reprieve.  We'll see.

Also, I did get the yellow stars and the, um, bad guy's armbands (I ended up having to make 8) finished for the Holocaust Remembrance last night.  I have to say, sewing the armbands actually creeped me out.  I was ok until I put the black...symbol...on the white circle that was sewn on the red armband.  And then it just was unpleasant sewing.  I thought about the folks who had to make those things for real back in the day...who was sewing the uniforms?  Were they conscripted labor, or prisoners?  It was really hard to separate the evil represented from the bits of red, white and black fabric...which, in and of itself...was perfectly innocent.

But we made the guys who had to wear them walk with their hands over their arms when we were headed backstage.  We didn't want to subject anyone to it randomly.  The dramatization...with everything in context...was sobering enough.

We may do an expanded version of the drama next year.  We'll see.  And we'll keep those creepy things in a bag in a box far away from lights...

Friday, April 26, 2019

Another Project Due May 1....

Well, well, everything always happens at once, right?

Our church will host the Holocaust Memorial service this year in our auditorium, and the drama team has been asked, by the organizers of the event, to present a dramatization of Martin Niemöller's short poem, 'They Came for Me':

First they came for the Socialists, but I did not speak up, 
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, but I did not speak up,
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, but I did not speak up, 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me...and there was no one left 
To speak up for me.

So we have, on stage, a character representing Niemöller, and groups of folks who represent the socialists, the trade unionists and the Jews.  And the Bad Guys, who I am not going to name.

One of the young guys in the worship team has created an incredible audio/video piece w/ music, newsreel footage and photos, and a voice over w/ Niemöller's poem, quoted line-by-line, first in German and then in English.  We were going to go rather abstract, just using different colored t-shirts to indicate the different groups, but apparently the imagery on the video is so compelling that the leaders felt abstract costuming would detract from the narrative rather than enhance it. So it's a last-minute change of direction and we are scrambling for costuming. Other team members are scouring thrift shops at this moment to find suitable things.

So my job is to make the armbands for the, um, Bad Guys, with their well-known pinwheelish Symbol That Shall Not Be Named, and gold stars to pin on the Jewish characters.  The others will just be in somewhat period suggestive garments and identified by the voiceover.

I hit Hobby Lobby yesterday afternoon to get the bits of fabric in the right colors.  Including the Wonder Under for the applique, it was less than 10 bucks.  ( And I'm not running this through the yardage in/yardage out...not worth it...)

So I'm interrupting my dash to the finish for the SWAP and the 12-months-12-outfits challenges to do a little bit of fiddly sewing.

An update on the cropped pants...I wasn't happy with the way they looked.  They are still too loose in the leg to be what I envisioned, and I should have started the flare  about 3" higher than I did. I also didn't like the way the deep hem looked.  So I'm probably going to do a little hacking and re-sewing on those.  The black and white striped mariniere  top will take a couple of hours, start to finish, so I'm not really worried about it...much. 

But the Holocaust service is May 1st, and we have two rehearsals between now and then.

So, yeah, gonna be sewing.