Thursday, May 31, 2007

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The Rocket City has been smoked out...literally. We live at the bottom of one of the small mountains that run along the east side of the city, and for the last couple of days I would easily believe there were wildfires raging on the back side of the mountain. Smoke that was smellable, tasteable, and visible.

But the wildfires are in the swamps of southern Georgia, about 500 miles away. You can actually see the smoke move up to our neck of the woods in satellite images.

It's just amazing that the smoke has stayed so...concentrated...for such a long distance. I can't imagine what the poor folks who live in southeast Georgia must be dealing with.

We need rain!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

'Trixie's' Skirt...Making it Work

Next church costuming project: a skit that will be videotaped and shown during an upcoming service. This is a 40's detective at work (it will be in black-and-white), and we'll all be costumed accordingly.

Which is kinda fun...the 40's is one of my favorite fashion eras. I'm the underpaid wise-cracking secretary, Trixie, so I won't be wearing the fancy suits, but I do get a skirt and blouse appropriate to the era. Yesterday I decided it'd be simpler to just make a new skirt than to try and make one of the skirts currently in the wardrobe work; so I started digging through the pattern stash and the cheap fabric bin to see what I could come up with.

I had three or four reproductions of 40's era patterns, but found that one of them already had the skirt pattern traced and adjusted, so it won the's an out-of- print Butterick:

I found a yard-and-a bit remnant of black herringbone-weave poly suiting and squeezed the skirt on. Then, when I sat down to serge the edges, I saw the piece that had been cut from the folded-under portion of the fabric had a slight problem ...there was a roughly-quarter circle chunk missing from the upper left front side seam/waistline corner. Aaaiiiieee! Wait,'s shaped like a shallow pocket opening! Quick, back to the cutting board. I traced off the cut edge, and used the skirt pattern and the boo-boo shape to draft pocket yokes and facings, then installed them. worked! And, bonus...I get a skirt with pockets!

The skirt also had a side zipper; not my favorite zipper installation but I was going to go with it just because I didn't want to take the time to put a CB seam in the little narrow back piece. But, guess what...I had no black zippers. And it was too late for a Hancock's run. Now I finish it to the zipper? But, hey, now I've got pockets! And I had cut the waistband extra-long, just because ya never know, so now I *could* do my favorite zipper installation in the pocket! I removed the serging and the stitching on the inside edge of the left pocket so I could get at the left pocket yoke and stuck a blue zipper there-in. No one'll ever know....

It was a fortuitous circumstance all around.

All that remains is to put a hook/eye on the waistband and hem it. Now I need a blouse. I looked around a bit online at 40's fashions and have two or three blouse patterns that would do just fine, with the right fabric. I really wish I had some black-on-white polka dot fabric in the stash for that, but I don't. Maybe a plain white blouse w/black rick rack trim or something.

I'll puzzle it out while I hem the skirt. ;)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

They're Baaaaack....

Is it the difference between the genders? Or the difference between a phlegmatic and a sanguine? DS came home, moved all his stuff to his bedroom and put it all away. Last night. DD (who, to be fair, is sharing a room with her younger sister and does have to deal with *her* stuff, but still...) dropped everything in the living room while we try to find a place to shoehorn it all out of sight. Sigh.

And I did a bit of sewing yesterday...I have one garment that was a test that I might keep, and one that, well, print placement is an issue (Not my fault! the pattern didn't have the bust point marked!!!). So, well, the jury's still out on it. I'll post pictures as soon as I can find a reasonable place to take them; the living room obviously is not going to work.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Must Sew Project 4: The Mantles

Last Sunday, Pastor Angie, who is one of the directors of Huntsville Master's Commission, asked me to do some sewing for them. 'I know you're busy,' she said, 'but I was wondering if you could sew six choir robe stoles...for our third year graduates. Would it be too hard, do you think?' I'd made choir stoles years ago...using a pattern taken from a disassembled one...but I wasn't sure I could remember how it was done. And I had to make the green dress that week, too.

But...this was the first graduating class; the inaugural group of students who had gone through all three years of the program. And one of them was my oldest daughter.
I waffled, wanting to do it, but...

I said I wasn't sure I could come up with a pattern...and she said that she had a pattern for them and she'd get all the materials needed; I'd just make them. 'But I can ask someone else if you're too busy.' Then she went on to explain, 'We want the pastors to put them on the students...they're actually stoles, but we're going to call them mantles. It will be symbolic of passing the mantle on to the next generation of leaders.'

Suddenly, I caught the vision of what she wanted to do. And she was asking me to be part of it. I did some calculating in my head; I thought I could finish the dress by Wednesday and make the mantles on Thursday and Friday. I literally fought back tears and replied,'I would be honored to make the mantles for those kids. If you can get the fabric and pattern for me, I'll manage it.'

Well, I picked up the fabric and pattern Wednesday night...I've already told the Green Dress story, so you know that I really didn't get started sewing on the mantles until Friday afternoon. I'd made a request from Miss M, who has a Memorycraft, to make some name labels for me; she'd left ribbons embroidered with the first names of each of the students at the church and I picked them up Friday morning when I dropped off PJ's dress.

The pattern is Butterick 3819, view F (the scarf with the tassels). I really think that the directions for it will result in a very 7th-grade-home-ec-class-project looking thing. I added some interfacing, changed up the sewing order completely (details in the review), and probably spent twice as much time at the ironing board than I did at the sewing machine...but that included fusing on interfacing and then fusing on the letters and numbers at the end (boy, was I wishing I had a press!)

The pastors wore the mantles white-side-out through the service, and, when the third years students were presented, they came up and stood behind them, laid hands on them and prayed over them (each student had chosen which pastor they wanted to impart to them). After they had prayed and the kids had received their commission, then the mantles were reversed and placed on the students by the pastors. I thought there'd be a photo op when the students stood with their mantles, but that didn't happen. There was more to do in the service...and they each left the stage when their selected pastor had finished praying for them. DD is on the far right...these are the only photos we ended up with that showed anything at all of how the mantles were used. In true HMC fashion, the kids laid aside their special designations and went right back to ministry for the rest of the evening.

But the cool thing was that, since I'd put the names in them right at the beginning, I knew which mantle would be given to which student, and I could pray over them as I was making them. Oh...I finished at 2:10 AM Sunday morning...they took a little longer than I expected. But it was SO worth it!

Thank You

Memorial Day, 2007
In honor of those who gave their lives in the past so we could live in freedom today....

In appreciation of those who are putting their lives on the line today so our children can live in freedom tomorrow....

There are no words to convey the depth of appreciation and gratitude which these people have earned from each of us. Simple words will have to carry deep meanings.

Thank You.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

*Now* It's Done...

I took the sleeves off of PJ's green dress, let the seams in the sleeve/ drapey over sleeve out about 3/8" or so, took the trim off the upper sleeve and put new trim on while s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g the fabric. After I had the new piece on, I compared it to the trim I'd removed and found that I'd added about 1 1/2" to the bicep area. So I was reasonably hopeful that that would fix the problem and I put the sleeves back in.

Truth is, I did each sleeve separately...since the notches had been trimmed off, I wasn't sure I wouldn't mix up the sleeves and put the left sleeve on the right armsceye. By doing one, then doing the other, that was not a problem, although it took longer.

But I ran the dress down to church and PJ put it on and pronounced it 'So much better!'. So it is finished.

Then, I stood in PJ's office and had a lovely conversation with PJ and her hubby Pastor Dave, first about medieval history but ultimately about how they ended up in children's ministry. If I hadn't messed, um, forgot to stretch the sleeves, I'd've missed out on that. And it's a wonderful testimony of God's grace and patience.

So anyway, I got blessed! Then I came home and dove into Must Sew Project 4, the details of which I will share Monday...partly because I'm still sorta making it up as I go.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Not So Fast...

The Green Dress has been recalled.

I looked the original dress over well to verify just exactly which seam allowances I had let out a bit at the final fitting, and altered the pattern accordingly before I cut the green one out. But, as I was constructing the sleeves, something seemed small. Even on my arms, it seemed snug. I knew I'd used the same construction, though...same stretch velvet, same I decided I must be imagining things and forged ahead.

Well, the sleeves were too small. After much head scratching, I decided that I must've stretched the sleeve as I applied the trim piece to the original dress...I don't *remember* doing that, but that's about all I can think of that could've varied.

So, the dress is back, the sleeves will be removed, the sleeve seam allowance reduced a bit and new trim (good thing I overestimated the amount of trim I'd need; I have plenty to re-do it) will be applied as the sleeve is stretched tautly. Then I'll put the sleeves back in.

Meanwhile, Must Sew Project 4 has been cut out, but it will have to wait until I get the green dress signed off... ;)

Hey, I have until Sunday morning...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Must Sew Project 3: Done and Delivered

Well, this is dress two for our children's pastors' family ministry...they're doing a camp next week and she wanted a second dress to wear, since they'll be there several days. I made a slight adjustment at the bust/waist (I had just let the side seams out a tinch on the first dress), and added 1/2" back into the length. She didn't have time to put it on last night, but it should be's the same pattern and same fabric as the first one.

And I *Love* that color!!!

On to Must Sew Project 4...but I can't report on that one until next week...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Simple Decadent Yumminess

I had to run by the grocery store yesterday, and didn't get it done until I had to pick up DD from school (she'd hurt her knee over the weekend so I gave her a couple of days of transportation). Anyway, somehow along the way I forgot to eat lunch.

Bad timing.

Whilst walking down the cookie aisle (why was I there? I don't remember...), I spied a package of Keebler Royal Grahams...not that the brand matters, that's just what these happened to be. Chocolate covered graham crackers. Suddenly, I developed an intense craving for a treat we'd eaten as kids. So, to DD's delight, I bought a pack.

So, here's the treat:

In a cup or a small glass, break 8 - 10 chocolate covered graham crackers in halves or quarters (depending on the size). The cup should be about 2/3 full, loosely.

Pour cold milk over cookies.

This is important: wait 5 minutes (this makes the graham cracker mushy and the chocolate firm).

Eat with a spoon. Yum.

You'd think such a simple thing would be a light snack, but I read the label on the cookie package and had a shock...there is nothing light about it! The package says a serving is 3 cookies and has 140 calories; 60 of which are from fat. But the little recipe use about three times the suggested single, 420 calories, 180 from fat...before adding milk. Yikes.

So this will remain an occasional comfort food snack. ;)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Must Sew Project 3: WIP

Yesterday I got the green medieval dress made to the point at which the zipper is in and neckline facings are on; I think I will sew up the side seams this morning and take the dress to church around noonish so PJ can try it on before I put on the sleeves and the waist trim. I think it's going to be a very pretty dress when it's done; cursed curling panne velvet notwithstanding... ;)

And DD has very suddenly no school shorts. Last year's are just, um, a little too skimpy for wearing anywhere other than the back yard. So it looks like I've got my next project picked...after I finish Must Sew Project 4, for which I will likely pick up the fabric and pattern today (another urgent church sewing that assignment Sunday....). But, there's only one and one-half days of school left...maybe the shorts aren't as critical as I thought.

Or maybe I should just do laundry.... :eek:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Must Sew Project 2

While I was sewing the Bible costumes at church in March, the church receptionist mentioned that she and her family were heading for California immediately after her son's graduation. Turns out one of the places they would be visiting is Carmel-By-the-Sea...home of Loes Hinse's boutique. I laughed about how much I would love to visit that little shop and gave her the web site and headed off to work.

A little bit later, she stuck her head in the door of the room I was working in. "I found a bag on that website that I love!" she said. "It'd be perfect for me to take on the trip...could you make me one like it? I'd pay you and everything..."

Well, of course it was The Weekender Bag. I laughed and told her that I'd made a few of those already...she had even seen one of them, but didn't realize what it was. She said she'd like hers in denim, and I said we'd talk after Easter... ;)

Well, ya gotta know this lady. She is one of the most gracious people you'd ever want to talk to, and has the ability to make folks feel like they are among her dearest friends...valued. She even took a big stack of robe sashes and headband tubes and turned them inside out for me whilst we were frantically trying to finish the costumes up. And, I just happened to have a large chunk of well-aged denim in the I didn't say anything to her, I just made it.

Graduation is Tuesday, and they're leaving on Wednesday, so I gave her her bag at church yesterday. She was surprised and was cool.

This is a *heavy* bag, though...the denim is substantial. The flowered tapestry I used for the pockets (I put one on each side) is the last bit of remnants from a coat I made myself back in, oh, 1989?

I gotta make one of these for myself one of these days! ;)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Must Sew Project 1

DD was getting extremely short (pun intended) on things that fit well enough to wear to church; the first 'must sew' project is intended to give her at least one thing to throw in the mix. I couldn't get her to dress up and model it for a'll have to take my word for it that it fits well enough.

It's another modification to the skirt in Kwik Sew 3056...the same skirt pattern I modified back in December for the Black Choir Skirt. I let her take her choice from the knits I got last week; she surprised my by choosing the black and turquoise knit.

This time, I folded out a fair amount of the length of the upper skirt (I've no idea how much...just eyeballed it); cut two; reduced the amount folded out by about half; cut two more. Then I traced the flounce, shortening it about 3", and cut two of the original flounce and two of the new, shorter one. Then I made the skirt twice with the short flounce on the short yoke and the long flounce on the long yoke. I sewed the two skirts together at the top, with the longer one on the inside, added elastic and serger-rolled the flounce edges.

She's happy with it, and I'll hopefully get a photo of her wearing it tomorrow ;).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Inspiration Overload

I *know* I am not the only one who suffers from this. Most of the time it's fairly mild, but right now it's at the full-blown,acute, feverish, distracting phase.

And someone over at Stitcher's Guild just posted (scroll down) a photo of a Nordstrom's Jacket that sent me off again...I've got the Geisha Girl pattern that would only need a bit of lengthening...I've got a lovely drapey bit of black triacetate that came in a Fabric Mart Bundle last summer that would be lovely and elegant...

And I've got Must Sew things in the queue right now. And a pile of new fabric singing songs of seaming.

I think I need to PUT IT ALL AWAY and stay off the 'net entirely until I've got the Must Sew projects done...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tracing and Cutting

Ach, I had plans...
But I forgot we'd signed up to do our volunteer stint at the local listener-supported-Christian radio station's annual fund drive this morning. So, I'm running be hind what I'd planned. I've got a stack of patterns that I'm tracing/altering/tweaking (including the Vogue wrap dress and PJ's dress pattern); I expect to spend the evening cutting out...

But, whatever gets cut today will be the queue for the next week or so. I gotta hit the machines tomorrow. I've got PJ's dress and a surprise for a friend that both need to be cut soon and finished quick. ;)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Super Information

(ok, I'll admit it, that's a Really Bad'll see why in a minute).

One of the more technically interesting blogs to which I subscribe is The English Cut, the blog of a young Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon. Thomas doesn't post often, but his work is marvelous (well, duh...he's a bespoke tailor!); I feel like a Little Leaguer (and a bench-warming Little Leaguer at that), peeking through the knothole in the fence at a Major League game....

Anyway, my perusal of better-quality fabric internet sources has led me to a passing acquaintance with the numbering system used to describe pieces of wool fabric...Super 100's..Super 120's...Super 150's...and the Super Prices that usually go along with them. I just figured that the numbers represented the finer grade of wool fiber; with the higher numbers being finer fibers. I wasn't *too* far off the mark; yesterday's English Cut cited this little article, which goes into the details...and lack of details...about those numbers.

Not that any of it will likely find its way into my stash anytime soon...but it was kind of fun to read ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Green Dress

PJ told me she'd have her gold Medieval Dress (McCall's 4889) at church today; I'm going to run by around noonish and take a look, just to make sure I'm correct in remembering what I let out at the end. Then I will be cutting! I'm planning to cut today; PJ's green dress for sure, and if I'm moving well I may cut a couple of the pieces I bought over the weekend. Or at least see if I can get the pattern that's in my head drafted for one of them, but that'll be a post for another day, if it works... ;)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day Sewing

Isn't that what EVERYONE wants to do on Mother's Day? I decided to go ahead and do one of the projects in the queue...the Stars in Heaven tunic. It's quite comfortable, and I think I'll probably throw it on quite a bit...I could see this being a great top to wear with fun and funky belts, necklaces, etc....

Anyway, here 'tis with black jeans and a sassy attitude, then also with the matching In THE Trenches skirt...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day all the Moms and Stepmoms who stop by here!

especially to one mom named Sally who checks in from central Indiana... :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

So much for parity...again....

Miss A and I are headed up to Sir's Fabrics this morning, where they reportedly are running a '$1 off per yard of any fabric over $2.99' sale for the month of May.

I'm mostly looking for linings, but I'll report back on new purchases later... ;)

Wow. So much for parity is right...I almost DOUBLED my fabric in column today; I added 49.25 yards. But, wow, it was good!

First, I have to own up to a purchase from Hancock's on Thursday. I got all the fixings for PJ's new medieval gown (everything but the thread and the zipper was on sale...32 bucks and change for the whole thing. Can't beat that with a stick), and I had to go check out the upholstery table, since all the upholstery remnants were on sale for $3.50/yd (half price).

The brown/tan piece on the bottom is the one I'd looked at last week and passed up. At 50% off, I couldn't pass it up again. It will probably be either/both a Loes Hinse Weekender bag or/and a HotPatterns LaRue bag...but I could turn it into a topper coat. We'll see. The green jacquard already has interfacing fused to it and will be a jacket (I think), and I believe the large houndstooth will also be a boxy little jacket. It's cottony and drapey.

The first thing I grabbed at Sir's was three pieces of very nice, drapey poly chiffon. Louise Cutting had an interesting pair of One-Seams on her rack in Atlanta...three layers of (silk) chiffon, in highly contrasting colors. It wasn't reversible, and when I asked her about it she said that two layers of chiffon were transparent, but three weren't, and the varying colors were for the moire effect. I think I'm going to try to make a reversible pair, with the black in the middle. At $1.49/yd, it's worth a try, no?

The next set is the fancy stuff (well, sort of fancy). A big piece (over 5 yards) of deep red acetate slinky. The good stuff. I have two or three ideas for it...and, if I cut creatively, I may get all of them ;). Then a piece of printed blue cotton or cotton/poly oxford...a nice piece for a wearable muslin. The next one is heavy grey rayon-looking lace...a yard and three quarters, 36" wide. Not sure what I'll do with it yet...but it's gorgeous. Finally, a piece of black/burgundy brocade, the only piece from the whole haul that cost more than $2/yd before tax. It was $2.99.

But the cream of the haul was the knits! Such lovely, trendy poly/lycra matte jerseys...the likes of which I've seen several places on the 'net for anywhere from $8 - $18/yd. These were $1.49. A DOLLAR FORTY-NINE!!!! I kept pulling out pieces...Miss A pulled out pieces (I need to study her self-restraint; I think she only got 2 lengths).... For some reason, I kept hearing Gorgeous' Things in my head saying 'Oh, Kittens!' as I pulled out one after another. In the end, I got six pieces, ranging from 2 3/4 yards to 3 5/8 yards. I'll probably make some things for the DD's from this...not just me. But I will get at least ONE Vogue wrap dress from this! ;)

I did get one piece of, for the green upholstery jacket. Most of it felt pretty yucky.

I know, I know, I dug myself into a real hole that I'm going to have to work really hard to climb out of by the end of the year, but oh, was it fun!

Friday, May 11, 2007

I Shoulda Made a Muslin

But in all honesty I thought I knew what alterations I needed to make to Vogue never occurred to me that length might be an issue.

Anyway, here's the completed Vogue 8379 wrap dress. It's too short waisted (the whole story's in the review). It's kind of aggravating to feels funny. HOWEVER, My Sweet Baboo actually likes the dress, so I suppose it will see some daylight. At least until I get around to making another one with the waistline adjusted to be in the right place. ;)

On a positive note, the Hexagonal Print knit from Gorgeous Things was perfect for the dress! Man, I shoulda made a muslin....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

He made it

We got a letter yesterday to inform us that DS2 has been accepted to the city school's drama magnet program...since yesterday happened to be his 14th birthday, that was kinda cool.

He was one of the Three Scrooges in The Gospel According to Scrooge 2005; (the other two are Josh Walters as Young Scrooge, and Tim Wead as the lead).

What can I say? The kid loves an audience, and, if he can't find one...he'll provide his own. So he's a natural.

Now, to jump through the rest of the hoops to get him officially transferred and registered...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's Be a Blessing Month...

What can I say? This isn't about making a's about being a Body.
I took the last bit of costume laundry I'd done back to church yesterday, and was just about to leave, when two of the teen girls came round a corner and saw me.

It's pretty, um, affirming to be the recipient of such delight to be seen. Apparently, they'd just been talking about me, wondering if I could help them, then...there I was!

Their Jr/Sr Banquet is tomorrow night. They are being escorted to the banquet by two of the Icelandic HMC students. The guys had just gone to Burlington Coat Factory to purchase suits and discovered that suits are sold with the pants unhemmed. Could I please, please, hem the guys pants?

Now, who among you would look into two pairs of big pleading eyes and give that little S&K speech? Not me. Fortunately, one of the guys was at church and had his pants with him, so I got him to put them on and I marked the hem. White linen, underlined in poly. So it was a wee bit more involved than I expected...but I finished them up yesterday evening...late yesterday evening, after our monthly women's meeting (about which I can only say 'Wow'). During the fellowship time at the meeting, I ran into Pastor Jackie..."PJ" from last summer's 'Medieval Costuming' project. They're about to gear up into their conference/camp season and will be needing some more costumes. For the moment, she just needs another dress from the pattern I used last year...McCall's 4889. In green, preferably the same type of fabric as the first (crushed panne velvet...shudder). Well, I've got a little jaunt up to Sir's Fabrics already planned for this Saturday, so I'll see what they've got. The last time I saw panne velvet at Hancock's was about a month ago...on the clearance table. *Maybe* there's some left...I'll check when I'm out today, returning the hemmed pants and collecting pants pair 2. But making the dress shouldn't be difficult, since it's already fitted.

And my friend the bride will be bringing her shoes over Friday so I can mark and hem her dress.

I guess any 'for me' sewing done this week will be the Vogue wrap dress; it will need the white/cream serger thread that's on the machine....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My head is spinning....

Flickr is a lot different from yahoo.

It's almost like myspace, I think, with pictures and forums and friends and groups and I didn't know all of that was available and I've already received an invitation to be a contact from another sewing enthusiast, which is cool, but I haven't a clue what to do with it. I'm not just at the bottom of the learning curve, I'm down in the well...

So, I poked around a bit on Flickr's site and found a topic on the message board about Yahoo closing and I learned that I may have 'blown it' by signing up already, rather than waiting for the 'official announcement of how to move your pictures'. Apparently, the folks at Flickr are not ready to transfer the photos, won't be ready until later this summer, then the freebie 'pro' account will be available to new customers only. By then I will not be a 'new customer', since I signed up over the weekend.

Bummer. Why don't they print the fine print when you actually need to read it?

Along the way to finding that information, I discovered that there are a number of Flickr participants who are Serious About Photography as Art. They don't sound happy that folks like me, who use the pictures simply to share a non-photography-related aspect of life, will be clogging up their bandwidths.

I'm just a *little* overwhelmed by it.

All I want is a place where I can post pictures so they can
1) be linked individually (I even *prefer* a clickable link...not one where the photo always shows up in the text) and
2) be viewed in different sizes; it's nice to be able to look at details up close and personal.

Oh, and it's Greatly Desirable that these simple services be free. ;)

Photoworks originally allowed both of those things; it required a little hoop-jumping but it was possible. Then at the end of 2004 they reformatted all the pictures and their whole site (leaving the photos unavailable for something like 8 months) and eventually their new system has eliminated both options. However, the picture you see when looking through the album with the 'full screen' option is a little bigger than the one you can see through Yahoo.

Sigh. I guess I'm just going to have to poke around on Flickr a while to learn what's what and how to do the whole community thing. I wonder when I'm going to have time to do that...

Anyway, I have moved a couple of batches of photos to Photoworks...things that won't need individual pictures, like last years' SWAP group and the little photo tute on how to put on pseudo-Biblical head drapes...and deleted duplicate photos and such, so I've only got 51 pictures on Yahoo that will need to be transferred.

But still.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Photo Woes Once More

If you go to Yahoo Photos, the login page comes up, with solicitations to sign up for a free yahoo photo account...but, once logged in, this little message appears in the lower right hand corner:

Yahoo! Photos will be closing this fall so we can focus our efforts on Flickr

That means all those pictures and links will be going away!!! (So why are they still inviting people to join up???)

And I was JUST getting used to the New Yahoo Photos...which has been up and running for what, 4 months now? I'd even begun relinking last year's pictures to their respective reviews.

The Yahoo people are recommending everyone move to Flickr (or Photobucket or Kodak or one or two more that I don't remember). I went ahead and opened a Flickr account, and I'm pleased that the one photo I have uploaded so far looks very sharp, and it can be viewed in more than one size, but there are bandwidth limits with the free account, and only the most recent 200 photos can be viewed (although they're still there...I guess they're archived? That wasn't really clear). So obviously Flickr is not going to be the Final Answer.

I think I'm just going to have to use Photoworks as a backup...they still don't allow linking to a single photo, but if I link the whole album with a note as to which photo is the one that goes with the review, at least the picture is there. It works for the older reviews (the ones from '02 and '03) if I just use Flickr for the new pictures and Photoworks for the old ones I should be able to keep everything linked to a photo.

But it's going to be a pain in the patootie all the way around. And, although Yahoo says that all we have to do is request the new photo host to transfer our Yahoo photos, I couldn't find anything anywhere that told me how to make that request.

Grumble, grumble....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Fabric In, Fabric Out

I had a coupon for 10% off a total purchase at Hancock's so I had to make a trip. I needed some more Peltex for Weekender bag bottoms, some serger thread, and DD is going to need a white dress for an honor event this summer. 5 yards of double-edge eyelet ought to make her *some* kind of nice white dress...haven't decided what, yet.

But, after reading the article on sewing w/upholstery fabric in the current Threads, I went back to look at the upholstery remnants. I have one of my niece's names for Christmas this year, and thought I'd just glance over it to see if I could find a funky print to make a Weekender for her. Sure enough, there were two or three pieces there that might do, and I probably should've gotten one, but my hands were full and I was having trouble juggling my already-cut Peltex and eyelet to look the pieces over good (I should've grabbed a shopping basket). But one piece demanded my attention and...I admit it, I was smitten...I got it for me. It's 100% polyester, so I can wash it, and I found out that one of the clerks had just put it on the table a few minutes before I got there:

I've got 2 3/8 yards of it. Now, to be completely truthful, it looked very orange in the store, and I was thinking I could use it for choir this month. But once I got it home, in different light, it really is more red than orange. I thought I'd make a jacket from it...and I still might...but it would make a smashing Weekender, too. Decisions, decisions....

But once I got home, I went to work on the Wild Butterfly Thai Coat, just to keep as close to parity as I can...and because I need to wear it this weekend! It *is* orange enough to work, if it is a little on the boisterous side:

This is our anniversary weekend at church, so we are having an extra service tonight. HMC is joining the choir again, so I'll likely be next to DS of the Rolling Eyes once more. This coat is sure to generate some eye-rolling from him....

Friday, May 04, 2007

The Surprise Garment

Has anyone ever had something that you made that really surprised you by how wearable it turned out to be?

Almost two years ago denim jackets came round as choir wear. Most ladies already had denim jackets; but not me. We had about 3 weeks notice, and we had just moved; I had neither time nor finances to go running out to find a denim jacket that would fit. However, I did have *several* yards of denim in the stash, and a Vogue Pattern that I'd just made and tweaked. So, feeling a bit stressed and grumbly, I pulled out the denim and made the jacket; it took about 2 days of sewing; but everything...including the buttons and the topstitching thread...was already in the stash ( Review here, if you're interested).

And I have *loved* that jacket.

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of photos of it. This one is from the 'try to get one nice picture for the Christmas Card' shoot from 2005, and is about the best I've got. But the plain truth is that that jacket goes with almost everything and cranks the chic factor up about two notches. I get compliments on it just about every time I wear it.

I need more clothes in my closet like that... ;)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What're Friends For?

I almost feel sheepish after my mini-minor-rant a couple of days ago, but I'm altering a dress for a friend. I'm not putting it in the same category as the rather presumptuous requests I get to 'fix stuff'...she's very, very petite and is remarrying at the end of the month, on a tight budget. She found a very nice Isaac Mizrahi dress at Target that is simply too I'm going to shorten it. Take it up at the shoulders and hem. Of course, it's bias cut crinkle poly chiffon, so it won't be exactly a cakewalk, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I can do it for her.

And, even though she doesn't sew, she has come and helped with non-sewing/hand sewing costuming issues at church in the past. So I really don't mind helping her out here.

But I will be holding my breath a lot ;)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last Week's Sewing

My Sweet Baboo returned from his business trip (yeah, that was the Hawaii trip and no, I didn't get to go...he didn't have quite enough Frequent Flyer miles to take me along) Saturday night, but it was yesterday evening around 10 before I got a chance to put the camera in his hand and show off, er, record what I'd done while he was gone (excepting the Frankenpattern tunic that DD photographed already).

I need to do a little work on Pattern Review about these, but today's a Very Busy Day and I probably won't get to it...maybe tomorrow. But, here's the work I finished up while I was trying not to think about not being in Tropical Paradise:

The Pink Tweed jacket languished so long in the WIP column that I have almost forgotten what I did. Fortunately, I've got a post somewhere in the archives with a picture of the pattern alterations and I'll dig that out when I update the review. It's the Sandra Betzina jacket, slightly modified. And why I didn't cut it out with one of the little tufty threads on the CF line I'll never know...

Second, the T made from Really Ugly Cheap tie-dye cotton jersey. That Vogue princess T pattern works really well; the fabric has, well, Concert T recovery (ie, none), so the shaping of the pattern really made it wearable. That's Orange Top number 2 for choir.

Finally, Cutting Line's 'Farewell to Arms' skirt...Louise calls this the 'Almost Bias' skirt, because it has a nearly bias-flare below the hipline. I switched out the pocket and used the piece I'd modified for the In the Trenches skirt, and this was the fabric I bought from Louise at this year's Expo. I really, really like this skirt. Gorgeous colors and gorgeous drape and movement. I expect there will be a number of these skirts hanging in my closet before too long!

I'm now working on The Wild Butterfly Thai Coat...more orange...hope to have it done by the end of the week!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

If Sewing were Cooking (An allegorical grumble...)

If sewing were cooking, I bet I'm not the only one who would've heard the following:

'Oh, you cook? I used to cook but I don't any more. I made all my kids' meals when they were young, but I just don't enjoy it any more. My stove quit working and I just never got it fixed.

But, you know, I've been looking for someone who could cook! I've got a favorite dinner that we haven't had in a long time, and I was wondering, could you fix it up for me? I mean, since you've got a stove that works I'm sure it wouldn't take you very long.

I'd even be willing to pay you if you would do it for me.'

My reply would be that I'd be happy to show them how to use a new stove so they could do it themselves...

'Oh, no, I don't want to get back into cooking. I just don't have time for cooking. I just need a couple of things fixed, you know, just this once. It's my favorite.'

Oh, you're giving up eating after this? You'll never need anything fixed again as long as you live? Tell me...what's your secret....

(end of allegory)

That's been stewing for a *really* long time...friends of long acquaintance who are backed into a corner are one thing, but when someone I barely know asks if I could fix something before I've even got their name committed to long term memory, well, it just gets under my skin a wee bit.

I need to stand in front of the mirror and practice saying, with a straight face, "I'd be happy to hem your pants for you. S&K Menswear charges about $75/hour for five minutes of pants hemming...I don't have their overhead, so I'll do it for half. But I'll have to do it by hand, since I don't have a blind hemmer, so it'll take an hour. It'll be $37.50. I prefer cash. Are you *sure* you don't want me to show you how?"

Hm. I wonder if it would work... ;)
(end of grumble)