Saturday, June 30, 2007

Yesterday's sewing

The great thing about a sewing queue is that, although it may seem like there's a long time when nothing gets done, suddenly, things get finished.

I finished the Batik City Dress yesterday; I actually purchased the fabric to make this dress two years ago, and, although I was tempted, did not change my mind! I know this is not an on-trend design at this moment in the fashion world, but it's a comfy summer dress and I'll wear it a lot.

I also finished the skirts for my nieces. Without going into details, I'll just say that life has thrown them a serious curve ball and they're growing up in a difficult situation that really is nobody's fault. But my mother, who seems to be the one who sort of oversees their wardrobes, has lamented that it's difficult to find age-appropriate clothing for them, and, while neither one wear skirts or dresses very much, there are times when something a little dressy is in order. They're a year apart in age, but virtually the same size...a little bigger than DD. At first, I thought I'd use the KS pattern I modified for DD's black/turquoise skirt, but quailed when I realized I'd have to trace a larger size and redraft the flounces. Hancock's pattern sales to the rescue...I picked up McCall's 5134 for a dollar, and found that the measurements Mom sent were spot on size 12. So I just traced off the skirt in a size 12 and made two w/no alterations (well, I left off the bling) from a couple of the mod knits I picked up at Sir's last month. I'll *try* and get photos of them on the girls when we're up north next will be interesting to see how this long-distance sewing works out.

DD, however, was most intrigued w/the scraps. No sewing here...just some creative fun. But I have been informed that 'It's time for you to give me another sewing lesson, Mom!'

Hm. I guess so. ;)

Friday, June 29, 2007

Photo Woes...part umpteen...

I logged onto Yahoo photos yesterday and discovered that they were encouraging folks to move the I clicked on the little box and moved everything to Flickr. Flickr was most appreciative and gave me the three months pro account, which is good, so I've got a little time to do the housekeeping that will be necessary as I don't intend to pay for that account unless it hits the point where I just have too.

But, of course, it broke over a year's worth of photo links to my reviews, which I need to go back now and correct. It probably wasn't a good idea to do it just before we leave town for vacation, but, oh well. I'll try to work on it a little at a time, starting with the most recent and working my way backwards. Then, hopefully I'll meet myself somewhere in the middle, where I'm still working from oldest forward to replace all the broken links from Photoworks upgrade a couple of years ago.

And I'll cross my fingers that, once it's finished, no one will dump the links on me again... ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Gotta Sew...

No, I'm not done with any of the household stuff, but I'm planning to 1) finish the City Dress and 2) cut out a couple of skirts for my nieces...maybe even get them largely sewn

Partly because I want to take the skirts with us when we head to Indiana next week, and partly, because, well, if I don't get a stitch sewn in something soon I'll start getting very grumpy.

So I gotta work it in amongst the backlogged housework somehow...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Random Diversion 2

Still working on the house; thought I'd dig up another one of my 'literary efforts' to share. I wrote this in's very similar to the first one I shared; giving my take on a Biblical character who is frequently, I think, misunderstood and maligned. Anyway, for those of you who have time for a cup of coffee, here's...something different:

Dear CJ,
We found the following diary or journal on the third week of the dig. Bronswell and I both believe it to be significant, if not authentic. It was inscribed on clay tablets, with bits of decomposed papyri lying about that it seems to have been copied from, or perhaps was being copied to. The translation was done by Tim Norbert—he said he made an idiomatic translation rather than word-for-word, to try and catch the flavor of the manuscript; I hope you find it as interesting as I did. Read it over and let me know what you think.
Yours, Bettina

2 Ziv -- J. conducting business with Bildad. Last of the sacrificial sheep slaughtered; J. to go day after tomorrow to select next batch. Bebai very excited to have permission to join his siblings in Adin’s feast tomorrow. Have been invited, but J. needs to finish business and I have beginnings of a head cold and need to see to the bread baking. Think we’ll stay home. Weather hot for this time of year.

3 Ziv -- O horrible day! Such a day should not be! Must make the effort to tell this; no one will believe the catastrophes that have befallen us today...Saw Bebai safely off with Uthai to Adin’s and began baking bread. After noon meal, Bildad and J. completed business and B. left, then the news began. First, it was Shimei, terrified and bleeding, who burst into the house and announced that the Sabeans had attacked while they were doing the plowing and had stolen all the oxen and the donkeys grazing in the next field. His coworkers were slaughtered. He was wounded but managed to come home to tell the news. Just as he was saying, “I alone have escaped” -- unbelievably, we would hear those same words three more times -- Ahimaz came in crying “Master! Master!” He was near hysterics and it was all we could do to calm him enough to hear his tale. He said that fire of God (I have never heard of such a thing) fell from heaven on the pasture where the sheep were grazing, and the sheep and the rest of the shepherds perished. “I alone have escaped” he said with a sob, but before the words were out of his mouth, Jalam staggered into the room bleeding even worse than Shimei and fell on the ground. At length he managed to tell us that three bands of Chaldeans had attacked the camel caravans and slaughtered all the servants and stolen the camels and the goods they were carrying. As he was gasping “I alone have escaped,” Elizear came in with his garments torn and ashes on his head, grieving, with the worst news of all. “Oh, my Master and Mistress! Great distress has fallen upon your house! As your children were all feasting with Adin, an incredible wind blew hard and,” he gulped here and began to weep anew, “ The house fell with all the children inside. I was in the yard, and I saw it all. Everyone died. I alone have escaped.” Then he wailed, “Oh, my Master and Mistress! It is an evil day!” J. and I sat still for a time as he wailed, then J. stood up, tore his robe and fell face down on the ground. He was weeping as he said “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked will I go out of the world. The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away -- blessed be the name of the Lord!” I have wept and wailed all day, but it will not bring my children back to me. I don’t understand why God should decide to destroy all we have or hold dear. J. is no help. He shakes his head when I ask him “Why?” and says we should be grateful for what we have had and enjoyed. He has gone with half of the household servants to excavate Adin’s house to collect the bodies -- Ah, God, my children! -- so that we may have a proper burial for them. Ahimaz has taken the rest of the servants to bury what bodies of the servants they can find; I have been tending Shimei and Jalam; S. will probably mend well enough, I’m not so sure about Jalam. Not one of our neighbors has come to sit and grieve with us.

4 Ziv--The men worked by torchlight last night and managed to recover all of the bodies of the children. I worked today to wrap them with the burial spices. A more horrible thing I have never had to do. They were all so mangled and broken. The maids helped, or I could not have done it. None of the neighbors have come by. Zilpha says that the gossip at the well is that we are under a curse and they are all afraid of angering God by showing mercy to a house he has condemned. Angering God! If anything we have done has angered God, then all of humanity should have been wiped from the face of the earth long ago. I know my husband and my children -- there is nothing that should have resulted in this kind of judgment. I would like to know why. Just one question -- WHY??? We lay the children in the burial tomb tomorrow. May God give us strength to do it, especially as he has left us with little else. Shimei some better today, Jalam feverish.

5 Ziv--J. and I and the servants laid the children in the tomb; the professional mourners would not even come to our aid. Even two of the house servants begged to be released today for fear the curse will extend to them. J. says that we are nearly penniless now and may have to sell some of the ground to get ourselves back on our feet and pay the creditors for the goods the camels were carrying, along with the wages for the hired servants. I do not feel we need so many servants with so little to care for, but perhaps he is right. He says there is still more to life ahead of us and that God is faithful and we will be restored. I do not know why God would strike such a blow if he intended to restore it all to us. I cannot conceive of going on with life as it is. What is there to live for? Our friends have abandoned us, the servants are nervous and the God we have served so faithfully has proven himself either unfaithful or uninterested. The children are all gone...why bother? I fear Jalam dying as well.

(here a piece of the tablet was broken and some of the words are missing) noon today. We wrapped him in the cloths and gave him to his people, who hissed at us. I wept after they left, but J. scolded me and said we should be willing to let God have that which he had only lent to us. What glory does his God get if we are bereft of everything and our name is only a hissing in the street? J. went to the city gate to sell a piece of ground, but no one would buy it, calling it cursed. We have had to dismiss as many of the servants as could find a place to go, which was nearly all of them. Only old Ammihud and his wife Keturah are left to us. J. has no animals from which to choose a sacrifice, but he had the weekly worship today anyway, calling on God and thanking him for his blessings to us. I left. If we have had God’s blessing, I think I would rather be cursed.

9 Ziv--Oh, God, what has your servant done that you inflict him so? J. began to break out in boils today and the townspeople drove him out, saying he would bring calamity on them as well. He has gone out to the garbage pile to sit and mourn, scraping the boils when they pain him too much. I went to the well for water today and was nearly driven off. I have decided to go at an odd hour from now on. I sit and weep for hours at a time. Only Keturah speaks to me with any sympathy. It’s as if we were suddenly a household of lepers. I see no future for us.
What shall I do if he dies? Oh, that I could die myself and be done with it! Life is evil, evil!

10 Ziv--This is a living nightmare. I took some pottage to J. at the garbage pile; he is boils from head to toe and looks absolutely miserable. His face is swollen and he is scarcely recognizable. It broke my heart to see him so, and I couldn’t believe his God is allowing such a faithful servant to suffer so. “Why?” I said, “Why? Why? Why?” J. said God must have his reasons, which made me absolutely furious. There just can be no reason for this.
“How can you say that?” I demanded, “Where has it gotten you? Sitting in a dung heap covered with boils! Curse God and die! Give it up! Then I can lie down and die, too, and be done with this whole mess.” I don’t remember what else I said, but J. got really angry with me. “Watch your tongue, woman!” he scolded, “You’re talking like an idiotic pagan woman. Listen to me...we will not accept just good from God, but also whatever adversity he sends our way. Do you understand me?” I think his illness must have addled his brain. I wish I understood why all of this is happening...

11 Ziv--J. even worse than yesterday; blisters in his mouth making it difficult to eat. What is the use of anything?

12 Ziv--Weather turning very hot and humid. J. still miserable.

13 Ziv--Hot. Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar came from their cities, having just heard of our misfortune. They brought Elihu with them and have all joined J. at the garbage heap, weeping and wailing and throwing dust on themselves. At least someone cares enough about us to come and mourn.

14 Ziv--Still hot. Bildad and friends still with J., nobody is speaking...or eating much, either. I’ve made two trips to the well today; I think they will need plenty of water, sitting out in the sun like that. It’s such a difference from the hospitality we offered them the last time any of them were here.

15 Ziv--Heat merciless. No change in anything.

16 Ziv--No relief in (it looks like water has been dripping on the tablet; the rest of the words on this tablet are obliterated)

19 Ziv--There must be some break in the weather soon. Thunderheads have sprung up around us again today, but there has been no rain. The men at the garbage pile are nearly ill from the heat. Still, no one is speaking. I wonder how much longer this is going to last...

20 Ziv--Well, the silence is broken. When I took the men their water at noon, they were engaged in a heated discussion. Seems they are trying to convince J. to confess the secret sin he must have hidden from everyone but God. So they, too, think that all this has been some sort of deserved punishment. Even now, I can hear them all yelling at each other out there. Thunder still in the distance; heat still oppressive.

21 Ziv--Incredible things happened today. Began with continued heat. Elihu was speaking when I took the water at midmorning; shortly after noon, a tremendous storm broke. Neither I nor the servants have ever seen anything like it. It went on forever with thunder that seemed about to shake the house apart. We cowered in a corner and wondered how the men at the garbage heap were withstanding the storm. To our surprise, after the storm they all came in smiling and amazed. They said God had spoken out of a whirlwind of the storm and said that Job had done what was right, and had commanded the others to bring him seven bulls and seven rams so that J. could make sacrifices and pray for them. Job washed himself -- the boils are much better -- while the others went to the town to buy animals for sacrifice. Just before evening Job called us all out for the sacrifices and we had quite a worship service. People from the town came out and sat with us: at least the testimony of Job’s friends seems to have put us back in favor with the townsfolk. While the sacrifices were being made, all of J.’s brothers and sisters arrived, bringing bread and other food. We had a feast of sorts with all the guests, and everyone mourned with us and consoled us for the evil things that had happened. Then, when everyone left, each household left us a gold ring and a piece of silver. Job retired this evening making plans of how to invest the small fortune we now have. I do not claim to understand God, but it looks like things are turning around. I don’t think I will ever again take my blessings for granted.

(Here the clay tablets end…the remaining fragments were too fine to reassemble.. However, according to Job 42:12, we must suppose that Job did quite well investing his ‘small fortune.’)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mind the House

Ok, when I start dreaming about cleaning house it's time to hit 'PAUSE' on the sewing machine and resurrect my housewifely skills...or at least try. So I'll likely not get much sewing done today. I've got SERIOUS budget catching up to do... we're switching to a new accounting program and it's backlogged from, um, January. But I think My Sweet Baboo finally got the last kink out of the transfer last night and now all I have to do is back balance Jan and Feb, then spend a couple of days entering the next 4 months. Not fun, but it'll be SO NICE to actually know what's what in the budget. After Feb is balanced out, I can drop the old system and just go with the new one, so it'll go a little faster. Once it's Caught Up, a little weekly maintenance should keep it it good shape.

Meantime, I've got bathroom cleaner working away in the master bathroom and laundry inching its way through the machines.

And an orthodontist appt. for the two younger dkids in the middle of the day.

But, if I'm a good girl and work hard, I *may* let myself sew a bit this evening while My Sweet Baboo is working with the Urban Rangers at church. I'm finally working on the Batik Butik rayon I got from Timmel Fabrics about 2 years ago. It's going to be the Loes Hinse City Dress. I figured I'd just do that one next, since the fabric has a black background and there was black thread in the serger... ;) Anyway, all I have left to do on the bodice is hem the second sleeve, then I'm ready to start on the skirt. It really won't take long to finish it up; Loes' patterns are pretty quick to make.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Eyelet's in the Closet!

I think I like these! I really had my doubts when the skirt was going together, but it really does hang and move nicely when I'm'll definitely get worn! It's going to be a good 'warm weather' choir skirt.

I like the little jacket too; I *won't* be wearing it w/a white tank top...I just did that because it didn't show up well in a photo w/a black top underneath. DH rolled his eyes and shook his head a bit over it...when I asked him if he thought it looked silly, he just kind of smirked. I bet he'll like it better w/a black top underneath, too ;).

I posted the review at PR, for anyone who's interested.

BTW, a big "Thank You!!!" to Carolyn for suggesting the blue/black color combo!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back from 'Camp'

Was that really just a day and a half? Much doing, little sleep...lots of was our first year but it won't be our last. And I bet we take more girls next year...

Spotted this beauty during free time...nice of it to hang around long enough for a photo...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Off To Camp

(and I'm counting my blessings that it's only one that pitiful or what?)

Anyway, I'll catch up Saturday morning... ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Black Eyelet In Progress

What a difference in sewing frustration levels the underlining makes.

For the skirt, I'm using a semi-sheer drapey crepey probably poly fabric from a Fabric Mart Freebie bundle. This drapes beautifully, so I thought it would soften up the fairly crisp eyelet. Besides, it was the only even close to suitable black in the stash and I'm NOT BUYING FABRIC IN JUNE! (Yes, I'm yelling at myself...I'm still wandering over to the Roll Ends page on Emma One Sock...and I hear Michael has Zegnas at rock bottom prices, but I am holding FIRM. Only 10 more days...)

Anyway, I didn't realize how incredibly unstable that crepey black was until I tried to keep it square on the cutting table. I probably should've soaked it with spray starch and pinned it to tissue and the whole nine yards to keep it square, but I was trying to squeeze the project into the timetable anyway and I just fiddled and fiddled trying to keep it straight.

I sort of suceeded; but it is kind of whopperjawed in places and wants to shift dramatically as I'm sewing it to the eyelet. I tried glue basting it, but the eyelets are so big that the glue leaked through them and made a mess, so I just zig-zagged the two layers together. The eyelet is uber stable...first, because the cotton base fabric is stable and second, all that embroidery has really stabilized it. But that crepe...!

Anyway, I've got it underlined, pocketed, and the center seams sewn. All that's left is sideseams, waistline and hem. And I'm going slowly, holding my breath, and using the seam ripper a little more than I had anticipated. All because of the underlining.

The little jacket, though, is going together easily. The cotton shirting I'm using for the underlining on it is nice and stable and stays put beautifully.

Dunno how much I'll get done this week; tomorrow I go for my stint with the older girls at Missionettes Camp. Fortunately, it's just an overnight (actually, they call it 'retreat', not camp), so I'll be back Friday evening. The guys will still be at Pow-Wow (the Royal Ranger camp) until Saturday evening; I may take the two DD's on a girls night out (mayhap we'll go see Nancy Drew). Depends on how much sleep I get on Thursday ;)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Time for a New Bag

We did have a nice dinner! My Sweet Baboo needed to work a bit late last night, so we didn't have time to catch a movie...but the restaurant wasn't at all crowded when we got there (I guess there are some benefits to going out on Monday). Surprisingly, his salmon was waaaayyyy underdone in the center (it was a thick piece), so he got a fresh plate and they took his dinner off the tab. Upshot: we have enough left on the gift card for another dinner somewhere down the road.

Then we decided to take a walk around the mall, since we were on that end of town. I was in sore need of a new backpack...

The one on the left is about, oh, five years old? Five years of constant use has really beaten it up; you can't see it in the photo but the leather covering the piping has worn through and split in a couple of places. Sad...that was a good, fairly roomy bag.

There was ONLY ONE STORE in the whole mall with leather backpack-style bags...and there were only two styles there. At least I didn't spend hours agonizing over the choice...I just got the bigger one.

Which is not as large as my old one, but it does have some better organizational sections, so maybe it'll be ok.

I'll switch bags for Very Formal occasions, but that's about it. Otherwise, this is my bag. I know, I know, backpacks are clunky, anti-diva, and Not At All stylish. But I can carry it freehanded and it doesn't fall off my shoulder.

It works for me. ;)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Date Night

Ok, maybe Monday isn't the top of the list for nights to Go Out...but the younger kids are at camp and the older kids will be attending the college/career ministry tonight.

So My Sweet Baboo and I are actually going to use a restaurant gift card and have an evening out. We won't have to worry about anybody at home; we can stay out as late as we want.

Or as late as we can manage ;)

We might even see a movie. I think the last movie we saw on a 'date' was the original Pirates of the Caribbean... we really don't get out enough...

Hm. Wonder what's playing...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bonus Post: The White Dress

I thought I could, I thought I could... :D

I'll post a review directly. Next up: the eyelet skirt...

On a Break

I got up this morning and hit the white dress; suddenly remembered I also have to sew the rest of her badges on her sash, and there were a couple that we were out of so I sent an email to the coordinator to see if they came in this week. Figured I might as well do today's post while I was away from the machine...

But I've made a fair amount of progress. I got the collar made last night, and by the time I turned the computer on I'd gotten the collar on the dress and the lining on the bodice; the only tedious bit left to do is the zipper, which must come last because of the lining (my least favorite sewing order, but, alas, it can't be helped). I discovered that My Sweet Baboo had a stash of unwaxed dental floss that he's been *trying* to use up (!!!!), which I confiscated so that I have some good gathering thread again (anyone know of a good source for unwaxed dental floss?). Gathering the skirt and skirt lining shouldn't be too bad.

I really do think I can finish this today. :)

Meanwhile, I've got a bandage on my thumb...I used a surgical steel seam ripper to cut the 'fur stole' from the faux fur yesterday...following the recommendation to cut only the knit backing, to prevent 1)having a weird cut edge on the fur and 2) cut bits of fur flying like feathers all over the place. Unfortunately, I got a little careless while cutting across the knit at one point and cut towards my stabilizing hand and ended up stabbing myself in the thumb. It was a little achy last night but it's ok today.

And I even lectured myself on being careful before I started...guess I didn't listen to me any better than my teenagers do.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Put that cutting table away!

I finally finished cutting out the lining for the jacket from this pattern; I've cut the body of the jacket from the green jacquard upholstery fabric I got from Hancock's last month; the lining is a bit of rayon bemberg-like lining I picked up at Sir's. I thought it'd be a quick cut, but it wasn't. Even with the fabric already interfaced (typical of a lot of upholstery cuts), it took what seemed like forever.

Of course, the pattern has 12 pieces, some of which are cut for both lining and shell, so I don't know why I thought it'd be quick.

But now the only thing on the cutting table is a length of faux fur; one of the other ladies in our '40's detective skit needs a fur stole type thing to throw around her shoulders, so I'm carefully cutting the knit backing with a surgical steel seam ripper. It's tedious but not difficult. OH, and one of our black biblical robes is going to stand in for a judges' robe in a skit Sunday, and needs some quick mending.

Fortunately, DD's dress *should* be very straightforward...I think it will go together quickly, if I can EVER get it to the sewing machine! ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Oy, I'm Late!

Errand day run amuck. Tried to register DS for the magnet school...missed the little line in the midst of the paragraph of fine print about making an appointment. Assumed that the instruction for final transcript meant that the middle school was to send a full transcript over to the high school. Wrong. It meant I was to bring a copy of his final report card (which seems to be missing). Paid Discover. Purchased gift for a party DD will attend tomorrow. Spent too much time in a bookstore, came home with more than just the summer reading books. Quickly skimmed one book DS is to read for advanced freshman English...shook my head at what The Powers That Be determine suitable for fourteen year old children as I used my sharpie on two paragraphs graphically describing an intimate encounter between unmarried people (not to worry; it was totally unrelated to the development of the plot and therefore unecessary. I don't deface books easily; this was blatantly gratuitous). At least it's somewhat more reasonable; I don't care for some of the language but at least that doesn't create mental pictures.

And my Neue Mode jacket is still on the cutting table with the upper sleeve, front facing and entire lining to cut. Not a stitch on anything.

And DD's dress has to be in a suitcase by Sunday night.

And I have suddenly developed 'I can't stand this mess!!!'-itis.

So I'm late posting...maybe I'll have something a little more sewing-related to report tomorrow? After I find that doggone sheet of paper that is DS's final report card

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Committed Now

And the winner of the 'what'll be my eyelet skirt pattern' toss is...

Cutting Line Designs FarewellTOArms skirt!

Yeah, I know...that wasn't even on the short list. But I was checking skirts made from my two 'gores w/godets' patterns, sort of thinking that I'd leave the godets un-underlined if they didn't come up too high, and saw my FTA skirt in the closet and realized that was perfect...only four pieces, nice I cut it out, with a black crepe underlining.

AND I had enough eyelet left to cut out Vogue 8398; view A w/o the collar, with the blue cotton as the underlining. I altered the pattern and made a quick muslin. It's Really Ugly...and hard to I'm not posting a photo. But all I needed to do was take a bit of the curve out of the shoulder and I was good to go.

I have one more pattern already altered and ready to cut so I think I'll cut it out, too, before I put away all the stuff. But I'll have a good long queue ready for sewing!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Still Ruminating on the Eyelet...

I finished cutting DD's dress yesterday, and decided to take advantage of the, the cutting equipment being out and up and cut some more. I *need* a denim skirt in the worst way (we're casual in church choir for the summer; a denim skirt is an approved alternative to nice jeans, which are the base for the next three months) and, inspired by Gorgeous Things, I altered and cut out Vogue 2872 from my long-stashed denim. It's really just an 'inspired by' Ann's skirt, not a knock-off, and denim really is Not At All what is suggested for the pattern. But I think it'll look cool top stitched along the style lines (which are totally not visible in the envelope photo; ya gotta look at the tech drawings).

But amidst all the figurin' and cuttin', the back of my brain was still mulling over the eyelet. I'd like to cut that out before I put the cutting table away. So now we're down to the wire.
I Googled images of eyelet skirts, trying to see if I could pin down the illusive vision I'd had of what I wanted and didn't really see anything that I thought worked. So I mentally went back to the inspiration...a friend's skirt, which was long, flowing gathered tiers. But, in a bit of a lightbulb moment, I realized the reason I was struggling is that I was trying to meld two inspirations that were not compatible. My friend's skirt was more of a traditional eyelet, only in black...cottony, small holes. But the cool, trendy eyelet that I got has GREAT BIG holes, and lots of 'em. Gathering will not work with this eyelet. And I don't think it would pleat well, either, which rules out Simplicity 4186, which was the skirt pattern I'd sort of had in mind when I ordered the fabric.
But, Kathryn's yellow eyelet skirt has also figured into my eyelet mania; that skirt does have the big eyelets like's not gathered or pleated...but I don't have enough to do the full circle. Nevermind; it's helped me focus down on what I want. I thought I wanted a cute litte flippy eyelet skirt...I don't...I want a long, flowy eyelet skirt. So now the two top contenders for the project are Simplicity 4189',view e, Kwik Sew 3108, view B, and Loes Hinse's Gore Skirt, 4-gores-with-godets. I haven't made the Simplicity pattern yet, but both the KS and the Gore Skirt are TNT's. And I love wearing my skirts from both patterns. SO... I think I'm about to flip a coin... ;)
As to the fabrication, I've had the eyelet laying in my bedroom wrapped up with the blue shirting (posted a draped photo a couple of days ago). I really like that combo. But, to be honest, this skirt will get worn the most as a solid black piece. Then I could wear it with a variety of tops in choir...for any of the months when the colors are 'Black and (whatever)'. If I put the blue in the skirt, I could only wear it when the color was black and blue. So, as much as I liked the blue, I want to WEAR this skirt and I've decided to put black under it. Black on black will be less trendy anyway, so hopefully it'll have a longer style life.

Now, if I have enough remnants, though, I've got an idea for something trendy...that'll be an extra bonus garment I'll either use the blue or white to make an 'inspired by' version of This Michael Kors Jacket. We'll see how much eyelet is left...

And that's enough links for one day! ;)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Trixie's outfit

I finished Trixie's secretarial attire Saturday; *I* think it's wonderfully homey for a poor spinster secretary. The blouse is an OOP Simplicity pattern, and I used a serger rolled edge to simulate piping. I need to work w/a hairstyle; after My Sweet Baboo snapped this photo, I played with my hair some more and got a much more convincing style; I just hope I can recreate it for real.

Due to technical difficulties (um, it would take more time to tape and produce than our production team has available), we'll be doing it as a live skit on the 24th.

Which means we won't get multiple takes...

But in all honesty, I kinda like that skirt (OOP Butterick that I mentioned here). It's got five gores; two in the front and three in the back. The center back gore has some nice shaping in it and the skirt skims my backside very well. It's more A-line looking than the envelope picture shows, but I think that's because the poly doesn't drape well. I thought about taking the sideseams up so that it was straighter, but I'm afraid I wouldn't have room to walk if I did that. So it'll have to do. But I may make it again to wear in real life...from a nice drapey something. ;)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Another Wadder Salvaged

I intended to be going well w/DD's white dress, and I got the eyelet part cut...but, when I pulled some stashed cotton broadcloth for the underlining, I had a glitch: it had never been preshrunk. So, to make the 'laundry time' productive, I went back to the process of replacing the front on my Simplicity 4074 surplice top. I'd already pulled the original front off and recut the new one, so it was just a matter of finishing the neckline on the new front and plugging it back into the shirt.

I freely admit I *hate* doing stuff like this, but, as I've mentioned before, I hate wadders, too...with such a passion that I'll do anything to avoid one. Even replacing the whole front of a finished princess-style knit top.

I suppose I might add that this top *really* wanted to be a wadder. The almost icing on the cake was that it somehow jumped under the serger knives (it's been, oh, 4 years since I had a garment do that to me?) and got a nick in the body. Fortunately, it was in the underwrap side, and just a few tack stitches should hold that boo-boo safely hidden away. Tension problems w/the sewing machine (could've been User Error; I was doing it at night...) means that the hems are a little wavy. But at this point I'm not going to redo them, although if it bugs me enough I could redo it at some point in the future.

But at least I have a top that's wearable now!
Um, one or two people expressed an interest in seeing the original front, so here 'tis. I'll just say that 1)the bust point is not marked on this pattern and 2) it occurs lower down on the front than you'd think. Those two open flowers, with the circle...were centered only about 1/2" below the full bust. It looked *really bad*, but I'd finished it off, thinking I'd make it a Donation (there are folks who don't care about stuff like that...remember the t-shirt w/the fried eggs on the front from the late 70's?), before I realized I could cut another set of front pieces from the remnants. I was going to make another top, but, well...I *hate* wadders... ;)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Movie Night

We'd been promising the kids we'd do it for weeks; last night was finally a 'nothing on the schedule night', so we did Dominoe's for supper and watched the latest addition to the family DVD collection (a movie that we did not manage to see in theaters)...The Incredibles.

We are so behind the times.

But it's ok...we had fun. It's a cute movie.

And I LOVED Enda Mode... ;)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fetch the Blue Card

A Necessary Errand...DS's Blue Card (Inoculation Record) expires about two weeks after the next school year starts, so we're planning to go down to the Health Department today and get it updated. That means at least a DT shot, and possibly an MMR too...I've lost track of all the updates to the requirements. Anyway, I'll be working on This while we wait...and that could be a while.

Then we can stop by the magnet school and get him registered for his freshman year.

We'll get to start the class scheduling process later in the summer; we had HORRIBLE experiences w/that with our older kids, but that was largely due to the fact that they could not just transfer to the magnet school, due to the fact that they were the racial minority in the zone we were in. We have since moved, and that is not a problem in this we'll only have to deal w/one school and he will not have the problem of two schools each offering the required class when he is at the other one. The registration process is just a little more involved because of the transfer.

When we get back, I'll start cutting out DD's white dress...the pattern is now altered and traced (a size 7 in girth; size 10 and a bit in length), so I'm ready to get going on it....

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I had some great suggestions for the eyelet! I'd considered doing multiple separate linings as Kathleen suggested, and that's still a remote possibility, but I really wanted an underlining instead of a lining (although if I change my mind about the pattern, I might change my mind about that, too). Summerset suggested a bright red or orange...but that would mean a trip to the fabric store, and that's disallowed in June! ;). But Carolyn suggested blue...and I have a lovely yummy blue shirting from Michael that's been aging in the stash for something like 4 years now; that's a *serious* contender.

I'll give myself about two days to percolate over which pattern I *really* want to use; I've still got Trixie's blouse to sew; (our taping got moved to Tuesday) and DD's white dress for the Honor Star service, which is not EVEN traced yet and must be done by a week from Monday. But I want that black eyelet to be next ;)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just one more piece of fabric...

I've joined the Stitcher's Guild Fabric Moratorium pledge to NOT purchase any more fabric for the month of June, so this should be it...for a while...

But lookie what arrived yesterday! . I've been looking for eyelet like this since, oh, February...and is it ever terrific! Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics had it on sale over Memorial Day and I just *had* to get some. I'm planning a skirt, like, say, Simplicity 4186 , but I'm waffling on the underlining. I have some drapey black georgette-type fabric that came in a bundle from Fabric Mart last year that I'd planned to wouldn't be at all bulky and so would be good, but now I'm thinking that maybe I'd like a little contrast to make those pretty flowers pop. Somewhere in the stash I *think* I've got some brown mystery woven that is almost batiste fact, it's one of the longest residents of the stash bins. But I don't remember the last time I saw it. It must be buried pretty deep...unless it was a purge victim, which is possible. There was a mini-purge something like 10 years ago; I don't remember what all departed the bins at that time. (Yes, it is time for a Fabric Moratorium...)

So I guess I'm soliciting opinions...who votes for black? White or cream? Something else?

I need to make it quick before eyelet is Over.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Finally a Photo: the first true self-draft

I made this skirt a couple of weeks ago; it's been waiting for a photo op before I wrote it up. DH was taking ebay pictures last night and I jumped in and made him take a picture.

This is my first truly self-drafted pattern; something that came from math and rulers and didn't have any elements traced from another pattern. My inspiration was Loes Hines' Tango Skirt, which is a pull-on ten gore skirt with a bit of trumpet flare at the bottom (you can't tell that from the photos at the website; you've got to click on 'Line Drawing' on the right side of the skirt page to see how the skirt is made).

Anyway, I's one piece, no zippers, no hard can it be?

I added what I *thought* I wanted for ease to my estimated hip measurement, (it'd been awhile since I measured and I was too involved to strip down to the skivvies for a new one) and divided that measurement by 10. Then I added 3/4" (for 3/8" seam allowances) and I had the width of my gore....I'll call it 'X' inches. 'X' inches turned out to be a measurement that ended in '.9', so I fudged it up one tenth of an inch so it was easy to measure. I drew a rectangle that was the new 'x' inches wide, and the length was my waist-to-just-below knee measurement, plus 1 3/8" for the elastic at the top (1") and the hem (3/8"). At the bottom, I marked the center point, so I'd know where to balance the curve. I measured to the top of my knee, since that was about where I wanted the flare to start, and eyeballed how wide I wanted it (I think I added 2 1/2"; that'd be 1 1/4" on each side; I'd check but the pattern piece seems to be AWOL at the moment). A French Curve ruler to true up all the curves and angles, and I had my pattern piece! I angled the seams back towards the center at the hemline, to help pull out extra fullness in the hem allowance (I have a Kwik Sew flared skirt pattern from which I learned that little trick). I cut ten of them from one of the knits I picked up at the Sir's Spree last month.

Sewing it was a snap...10 seams, elastic waist and hem. I did try it on before I added elastic or hemmed it, and I found that it really was much too full in the hips. It wasn't just an inch too big (the addition resulting from rounding the gore measurement); it was nearly a whole gore too big; I think I'd overestimated the amount of ease I needed (2" of ease comes to mind...I think that's what I estimated). So I just took the skirt back to the serger and re-sewed each seam 1/4" deeper, then tried it on again. *That* was right (for a lightweight stretchy knit, anyway), so I finished it out w/elastic and hem and it's done!

You really can't see the flippy hem in the pictures; it just looks sort of pleated at the bottom.

I'm not sure the length is dead perfect; it feels a little short for this forty-mumblemumble something female, but I think I'll just pass it off as a summer skirt and it'll be ok. But for a fun exercise in pattern drafting it worked great!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Same song, second verse

I was planning to post a tutorial about how to put the zipper in the pocket, but I discovered that the photos I have taken of the process are not in my files on the computer, so I'm going to have to round them up and do it later.

Meantime, I have taken the front off of my Simpicity surplice top...the one with the, um, badly placed flowers (No, I did NOT take a photo...just trust me that the little outlines of the flowers with the circle in the center were *almost* in the worst possible place on the front of the shirt). I'd never have worn it as it was but, aside from that little problem, the shirt is really cute and I liked it a lot. Well, I just so happened to have enough fabric left to cut two new fronts, so I will replace the offending pieces with something cut with the flowers as far away from the bustline as I can manage...

Replacing the already serged pieces will be tedious, but I'll end up with a top I'll wear, so it's worth it!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Seeing Stars

This has certainly been a learning week!

DD#2 is in the Missionettes (in the process of being renamed to M-Pact) program at church, and this is her final year in the 'Stars' class. There are badges and awards given for completing units; and girls who complete 27 units in three years, along with doing a list of other requirements, get to be Honor Stars, with all sorts of special perks.

We really are just getting ourselves chartered into the M-Pact program at church, and we're ALL learning about things. Anyway, the past two days have been spent checking and rechecking to make sure she's got all of her ducks in a row, all of her requirements checked and all of her signatures listed so she can qualify for the Honor Star recognition at camp this summer (also the first time we've done camp) She'll need a dressy white dress for the occasion (I have fabric and pattern in'll hear more about it soon), but right now we're just focusing on the paperwork.

But what has really caught me is that I help teach the next older group...the middle school 'Friends' class. And it's a bigger deal to be an honor Friend at the end of those three years. And we have done a mighty poor job of keeping up with the records this year.

So today I've been making spread sheets and checklists and we'll have to spend some of the summer working with the girls to make sure they're on track...we want their ducks in a row THIS year, not down the road when they need the records...

Meantime, I think we've got to re-do a couple of DD's projects from ages ago; no one can find records of them doing them...