Sunday, September 30, 2007

Choir Sundays #5

This month's colors: Black and Light Blue
Jacket:Textile Studios Florence Jacket; black poly-rayon crepe.
Tops: Jalie 965 tank-style cami and Simplicity 4076 twist top, both from greyed-blue modal rayon/lycra knit from
Pants: Vogue 7881, black cotton twill from the dollar table at Wal-mart that I am *still* upset over because I only purchased enough for one pair of pants, instead of getting the whole bolt. That fabric would've definitly been worth stashing!

New colors next week....

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Soliciting Eyelet Opinions (again)

This is the wonderful eyelet-embroidered denim/lycra fabric I purchased on my last fabric buying day back in July. I've got 2 yards and it's 72" wide, with a bit of give due to the lycra, but it is embroidered denim and so is not really drapey.

I know it must be a jacket but I'm having a terrible time deciding which pattern to use. On the one hand, I don't want a lot of seams because I don't want to break up the eyelet pattern...on the other, it's denim, so it needs seams to fit right. I want it to be usable for a long time (it was pretty expensive), so I don't want something very trendy. At the moment, I'm considering a jeans jacket like McCall's 5191, for a twist on a classic; Loes Hinse's Bolero (longer length, maybe?) to let the fabric take center stage, but part of me would like something with a little more, um, shape.

Obviously, I can't use'd show through the eyelets. I do have some brown poly/lycra satin that would work for a lining, I think, if I opted to do a lined jacket.

This may be dicey, as I've heard rumors that comments has not working well on Blogger lately, but I'm curious...what would you do?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Enough (for the closet)

So I finished out My Sweet Baboo's shirt to the buttonholes/buttons yesterday, and decided I'd ask him if he'd wear it.

I showed it to him and gave him the challenge "Is the boo-boo obvious to you?"

First he said, "There's no buttons."

Well, yeah, ignore that. I'll put the buttons on while DS2 is at the dentist Monday.

"Um, the sleeves are huge..."

Yes, honey, it's a relaxed fit style. Same size as the mini-check one I made for you to wear in choir.

Well, he didn't spot it. Still didn't think it amounted to much after I pointed it out to him. So I guess it's good enough.

Then he rather sheepishly admitted that he's come to prefer to wear knit polo shirts instead of button-ups; "They stretch when I move and don't get rumpled."

OK. Well, I guess my stash of shirting cotton from Michael will now be available for me ;).

Dunno how much sewing I'll get done this weekend; it's Big Spring Jam weekend in the Rocket City, and this year our church is the sponsor for the Christian Music Stage. My Sweet Baboo and I are scheduled to work in the autograph/meet and greet tent first shift this afternoon and closing shift tomorrow night. Basically that means we keep the crowd in line and hold the caps for the sharpies (tip: If you want your pen back, pull the cap off, keep the cap and hand the pen to the artist. After the autograph session's over, they'll realize they don't have the cap and hand it back to you instead of absentmindedly sticking it in a pocket. That way, the sharpies will remain for the next set of autographs... ;) ).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It ain't perfect

And I am bummed.

Oh, the thing is going together just swimmingly...everything is stitched beautifully.

It's the cutting that's the problem.

95% of folks looking at the shirt won't realize what's wrong...but they'll subconsciously recognize that something's a little off:

There are actually two cutting errors here. One is my fault...the other is the pattern's. My fault: apparently the collar pattern shifted very slightly as I was cutting it. I was so pre-occupied with getting the stand neat and the points even that I failed to notice until it was all done that the stripes at the point are uneven. One side barely has a dark blue stripe visible; the other has three right at the point. It looks lopsided. The center back is positioned correctly, but one side or t'other slipped a bit. That's what happens when I cut in a big hurry.

But the other problem is due to the fact that both the right and left fronts are cut from the same pattern piece. Then the fronts are finished off differently, which means that the CF is 2 1/2" from the raw edge on the right front...and 1 7/8" from the raw edge on the left front. And the CF is not marked at all on the pattern. But I used the marks on the pattern (which are fold lines) to line up the plaids. Consequently, the CF on the right side is perfectly centered on the blue pattern as I meant, but the left side is offset by about half the blue dominant stripe. The two previous times I'd made this shirt I used an even stripe and an even mini-check; it didn't matter. I looked to see if other reviewers on PR had noticed this and apparently something happened to the other reviews (I *know* I read other reviews for this before I got it). So...note to self: make a second copy of that pattern so that I have left front and right front piece and mark the CF line on both of them. It really doesn't matter on a solid shirt, or a shirt w/even stripes...but on a plaid like this, it matters.

I'll finish the shirt more hour should have it done to the hand sewing. Then I'll show it to My Sweet Baboo and see if *he* notices the problem. If he does...well, it'll make a nice donation, I guess. If he doesn't...maybe I'll let him wear it keep it in the closet until I can make him a second shirt, correctly cut. I've still got about 6 yards of that fabric.

Edited to add: The more I think about it, I realize that maybe this isn't a suitable front finish for an uneven stripe or plaid. The tuck taken on the left front which would throw it off a bit; even if the CF were spot on, there'd be a bit of the pattern missing on the side of the tuck. A better choice for a plaid would be a front w/a sewn-on band; that way, everything could be cut nice and symmetric. Hm....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Design Dreaming

Currently, the 'cream thread in the serger' project is a short-sleeved version of Jalie 2111, from the same plaid cotton as the bias tiered skirts, a project to which I believe My Sweet Baboo has been totally oblivious. I really hadn't planned it to be a surprise, but, well, his birthday is in about 4 weeks, so maybe it will be ;)

But, this is just 'put your head down and sew' work; it's not really getting my creative side engaged. So, I'm doing new projects in my head...things that might or might not get made once the queue is down. I've been noticing the great high-waisted skirts (like Laura's and Erica's and Summerset's) and started thinking about high-waisted skirts I'd made years ago. I actually found one of the patterns still in the cabinet...I seem to remember making view A from denim:

(copyright: 1987). There's another Vogue pattern that may or may not still be about the place in a box somewhere that was an 8-gore skirt, with a high, faced waistline that I remember making from white linen-look fabric for Easter 1990 (hah! Found a was the Spring of the Sailor Outfits:)

I have since learned that that skirt probably would've maintained its appearance much better if I'd've boned that high waist, but, well, that was beyond me at the time. Now I'm thinking next time I'm in the attic I need to see if I can find that box of outdated patterns, but I fear it has already gone to Goodwill.

Anyway, what has been percolating in my head has been to use those patterns and redraft the skirt into a much straighter style. I think that'd look good w/the Perry Ellis cinched-waist design (view C). Actually, I don't think it would be too terribly hard to do.

The bigger problem will be grading the pattern up from a 12 to a 14/16/18 to fit my now middle-aged middle.

Which begs the question...'Does a middle-aged middle really look good in a high waist?' Erm, maybe that's the wrong question...perhaps it should be 'Does a high waist do anything to minimize the middle age middle?'

Wish I had time for snoop shopping...I'd try on a couple and see...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Broke 100

One of my former pastors said that I was 'an old hippie that just never grew up'. I don't know if he realized I was all of 10 years old in 1969 and so just a little behind the hippie phenomenon, but perhaps he was referring to my tendency to be slightly unorthodox. But all I need w/the bias tiered "Earth Mama" skirt is a peasant top,some beads and a scarf tied 'round my head and I'd look truly retro. Minus the wrinkles and the age spots, of course ;)

Actually, this is exactly what I wanted from this skirt...long, floaty, cool. Perfect for traveling by car in the summertime. I cut the yoke part on grain, with about 3" hip ease, long enough to accommodate side seam pockets then made the tiers each roughly 1 1/2 times the size of the previous level, so that it was just gathered somewhat. I'd write it up for Patternreview, but, to be absolutely honest, I can't remember exactly how I came up with my measurements. And I think I goofed and used some of the tiers which should have been on my skirt on DD's and vice-versa. And I'd accidentally put one set of tiers back with the uncut fabric and had to go hunt it up. It's a wonder this even turned out.

But it used 4 1/2 yards of fabric...that puts me at over 100 yards out for the year!
And about 1/4 of the way through the Queue....

Monday, September 24, 2007

Progress (at a Snail's Pace)

I *did* manage to get the book explosion cleaned, the vacuum exercised and the sheets in DS's room the guest bedroom washed and back on the bed; nope, not nearly everything that I wanted to do but we got through the weekend and had a very nice visit.

I even escaped into the sewing room for a few minutes while college football played on the newly-moved TV and made a wee bit of progress on the tiered skirt.

I put my stranger-than-fiction-looking ruffler attachment on that I'd gotten for Christmas a few years ago and forgot about until last week, adjusted it, and ruffled up the bottom tier.

Only I don't think it ruffled up enough. I still have to sew the middle tier, so it'll be a couple of days before I know how close I was/wasn't. Still, the ruffler's a neat, if rather noisy, gadget and if I'd just take the time to learn how to adjust the thing (and the tiered skirts are perfect for that...wish I'd remembered it when I was making DD's) I'm sure it will be a welcome and useful occupant of my gadgets drawer. ;)

Anyone else have potentially useful gadgets in your drawer that you've forgotten, or am I the only one?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Choir Sundays #4

This month's choir colors: Black and light blue
Jacket: Loes Hinse Bistro Jacket; black herringbone weave poly/rayon suiting;
Top: Jalie 2005 jewel neck t; striped poly/lycra peachskin knit from Hancock's
Pants: New Look 6101; 'Linda's Favorite' black RPL doubleknit from EmmaOneSock.

We also served at a 'visitor's luncheon' today...our bi-monthly opportunity for new folks to learn about the church and have a Q&A session with the it's the almost worn out but uber comfy shoes for today!

ETA: I have no idea why this picture looks squished. It's even worse on bloglines...I must've had some setting messed up when I resized it down to fit on the screen...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The 'Sweatsuit Alternative'

Or, when do you wear a sweatsuit?

It's been interesting to see the chatter on the boards about the 'sweatsuit alternative' Tim Gunn includes in his Top Ten Wardrobe Items list. No one knows exactly what that's supposed to mean.

Me, I wear something akin to a sweatsuit in two scenarios...1) I am exercising in a chilly environment or 2) I really want to crawl into my pajamas but it's too early in the day.

So, do I really need an alternative to that? I suppose I could come up with some nice veloury-plushy-comfy thing to use as pre-jammies loungewear, but I don't think I want to sweat in anything other than a sweatsuit.

So, what's the alternative? Casual weekend wear? Does anyone really know?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Super Sensible

On my list of 'possible blog topics' for this week, I've got a note to talk about Shannon Gifford's Sensible Sewing Newsletter, which comes out quarterly. The most recent edition arrived in my inbox over the weekend, and it is *so* timely for what I've been thinking about it's almost scary. You'll have to take my word for that at the moment; I meant to write a post about 'Top Ten' lists before I jumped into this one, but, well, it didn't happen, so unless you check the link to the discussion on Stitcher's Guild the little box on the front of Sew Sensible about Top Ten garments won't jump out as 'oh, wow, that's what Lisa was thinking about' to you. But it sure smacked me upside the head.

But what makes this edition so pertinent isn't just the Top Ten list, it's the approach to wardrobing...which is kinda my take on Top Ten at the moment (see above link). Shannon is writing about developing Tried 'N' True (AKA "TNT") patterns, with emphasis on fitting and using a basic button front shirt pattern. She shows a dart finishing technique that I had to read twice, because it sounded so, um, different; but once I 'got' it I realized 'I've got to try this!' And then she shows examples of how to alter that basic pattern into different styles...even how to use it to fit a different pattern. Lots of good information here!

And that was all I intended to write. But, in cleaning up Wednesday's explosion of books (dangerous task, rearranging books. You can find an old friend and get lost for an unmeasured amount of time...over and over.... No, I didn't get it cleaned up quickly :rolleyes:) I found one of the Sensible Sewing newsletters from December 2006. It was somehow separated from the rest of the printouts, and so at first I thought it was the current issue. But I did a double take at the photo on the front and realized it wasn't the current was about sewing coats. With a long detailed tutorial on sewing a trench coat w/a button-out insulation layer. Talk about timing!

I'll be referencing that newsletter quite a bit once I get the Queue sewn down to the 'pink thread' and I can cut my trench coat. I might even try that button-out layer....

NAYY, just someone who's gotten some real benefit from Shannon's expertise!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ka - blooey

Have you ever had what you thought would be a small-to-middlin' project blow up in your face and turn into A Nearly Overwhelming Job?

Yesterday, I decided I needed to re-arrange the furniture in the den. It was pretty much where we put it when we moved in 2 years ago and not only was I tired of it, I need to redirect the traffic patterns that are wearing into the carpet. I knew that 'rearranging furniture' really might not be a good idea when I have a deadline for A Clean House, but, well, the inspiration was irresistible.

It started off well enough. I pulled things out, threw away piles of candy wrappers that had somehow accumulated in strange places (of course, no one has any idea of how they got there), vacuumed away stringy cobwebs and generally spiffed things up.

The trouble started when I wanted to move the TV six feet down the wall. We have been cursed, er, gifted with a surround sound system, which means we have ugly speaker wire semi-buried in the carpet all along the baseboards and around the front of the brick hearth. Certain people in the family seem to think TV isn't worth watching unless it's audible in front, beside and behind...oh, sorry, that was teetering on the edge of a rant. Anyway, the speaker wire for the 'behind' speakers had been passed behind two bookcases that flank the fireplace. Now, I had no intention of doing anything besides dusting the bookcases, but in two years the wires had crept down between the bookcases and the brick wall facing and become Wedged. Stuck Tight.

So I had to empty the bookshelves in order to tip the bookcase out slightly so that 14 YO DS could pull the wires through in order to have enough slack in the lines to move the TV to what I'm sure will be a better place than it was.

Then it was time to get ready for church. I'd've cheerfully skipped, but I had four different commitments at church last night, at least two of which were Fail Not jobs.

So, today I have an explosion of books all over the den, speaker wire pulled loose into spaghetti knots and I've no idea if I can return the speakers to any kind of proper acoustic placement. Not that I care that much, but it would be nice not to endure complaining from the folks who live here who do. And the rest of the house hasn't seen the duster or the vacuum or the mop yet. And my company will be here tomorrow afternoon.

Sewing? Not a stitch..although I did decide that I need to make up my blue-black/tan large-houndstooth-cottony-upholstery-fabric acquired back in May into Louise Cutting's Anything but Ordinary jacket ASAP. Choir colors next month are black w/either tan or orange...I think that jacket would work. And it'd be quick...

Back to work.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Bit o' Whimsey

Arg and Ahoy! Thought Oi'd be passin' along that today be Talk Like A Pirate Day. If ye be wantin' a serious dose of sewing-related pirate-speak, ye can be readin' me personal favorite o' all me reviews. Arg!

But me own schedule 'as been subjected to th' passin' pattern tracin' whimsey; 'stead o' doin' th' much-needed 'ousecleanin' what Oi meant to do yestern, Oi jest kept tracin' an' alterin' patterns. Oi got a fair poile o' 'em now what's ready to cut, an' one what's ready fer muslinin'. Oi even got the alterations on that there FSG jacket pattern muslin, what's been 'angin' in th' sewin' room fer nigh on a year, moved over to th' sewin' pattern so's that 'un's ready to cut out 'o th' good stuff. Aye, 'twas a goodly productive day in that respect:

But Oi'll be walkin' th' plank come Friday if me in-laws arrive to accommodations what resemble the wreck o' the 'Esperus, doncha know. 'Tis toime, mateys, indeed 'tis past toime fer me to be swabbin' th' decks...


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What's with the Pouf?

Has anyone else noticed that there's a lot of pouf in this season's fashion?

Pouf in the sleeves from bubble flounces(for want of a better term)at the elbow; pouf in the body from gathers or pleats at the neckline; pouf at the hips from funky pleats in otherwise straight/pencil skirts....

I don't do pouf well. I'm fairly short, rounder than I'd like and well over forty. Pouf doesn't really work for me.

However, I've looked at some fellow sewing enthusiasts who've done pouf and work it well (Erica B comes to mind). On them, it looks trendy, cute, hip, with it...and I'm none of those things. I'm afraid if I made pouf I'd just look...silly.

But, hey, I've got no room in the sewing schedule to make anything with pouf right now anyway. Maybe by the time I get caught up again it'll be over... ;)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Tracings

I'm just not excited about the tiered cotton skirts. Oh, I wanted one really bad this summer, when we were taking long car trips. A pull on long crinkly cotton skirt is one of the best, coolest, most comfy things to wear when traveling by car on days when the temp is approaching 100 degrees F (if my math is right, that's what... 38 degrees C?). And it did consume a lot of fabric from a near-full bolt that had been in the stash for years. But I'm not having fun making it now.

So it wasn't hard to set my skirt aside after I finished the one for DD (dunno if I'll get a photo or not) and do a little pattern tracing.

I traced off the trench coat pattern; I think the only change I made was to add walking ease to the front. I did trace off one size larger in the shoulders than normal, because one of the previous reviewers mentioned it was a little snug when worn over a sweater. I intend this to be a honest Southern-winter coat, not a fashion item, so a little oversized will be good. I'll wear it over sweaters and maybe even light jackets. Normally, I would shorten the sleeves, but more than one of the reviewers noted that the sleeves seemed short, so I didn't alter those. I decided to leave off the pocket flaps, which meant that I have enough buttons for the double-breasted version. The fabric's prepped, the pattern's traced, and I realized I have almost a whole 5-yard package of Peggy Sager's knit interfacing, which will work great on the gab. So that project is Ready To Cut.

But, hey, the table was up and I was in the tracing zone, so I kept going. I altered the Vogue Wrap Dress pattern, adding 1 1/4" to the bodice length and tracing sleeves two sizes bigger.
I also taped together the free Burda pants download, but I didn't trace it. The sample square, which is labeled as being 4" on a side, actually printed at 3 15/16" on a side. So I need to take into account that slight variation...on 40" of hip, that's 5/8" that's missing. Anyway, it's taped together and I'll get to it eventually.

I kept tracing; the knit top from Vogue 2925 and an oop McCall's jumper for DD. I've got one more pattern lying on the table...McCall's 5460 city shorts (crops? knickers?) for DD, then I'm putting everything up until I feel like I can cut again.

Looking at the queue, I've got my skirt, a shirt for My Sweet Baboo and two blouses to do with cream thread in the serger, then I can switch to black. There's a BUNCH of black to be sewn, then I've got four pieces than need fuschia thread and just a few that need something else. So I think once I get to the point where I switch from black to pink, I can cut out new projects.

And, yeah, those costumes for children's church are still lurking about; I'm working on getting a chunk of work time at church to assembly-line those with some of the other sewing ladies. But I'll likely work on some of the oddball items along the way. We'll see.

But for this week...I'm just going to make myself finish that skirt. I've got 4 days left to get the house clean....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Choir Sundays Number 3

September Choir colors: Slate blue and black

Jacket: Textile Studios Florence Jacket, black poly/rayon crepe suiting from Hancock's
Top: longtime wardrobe resident Sleeveless t-neck cotton sweater from Coldwater Creek
Skirt: Cutting Line Designs Farewell to Arms skirt; black cotton eyelet from Gorgeous Things underlined w/semi-sheer rayon crepe from a Fabric Mart freebie bundle.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Good Intentions Kick Start

Because I am in desperate need of a good trench coat (which is good for most of the winter here in North Alabama), and I look horrid in the yellowy-brown khaki color from which most RTW trenches in my price range are fabricated, I bought Simplicity 4084 sometime last spring. And promptly forgot about it.

It was *after* I'd spotted a wonderful taupe wool gabardine on the sale table at Hancock's that I remembered I had that pattern waiting for the perfect fabric. So I took a deep breath and committed myself to sewing the coat by buying the fabric. I also made myself buy a quality heavy rayon lining from the high-class indy fabric store in Nashville. Because I AM GOING TO MAKE THAT COAT THIS FALL.

But the whole coat...pattern, lining, fabric, buttons, thread, etc, was just sitting in the Hancock's bag, waiting for me to dig through all the WIPs first. What, really, were its chances?

Then Eme started The Great Trench Coat Sew Along on the Patternreview boards and I realized that could provide the accountability I needed to actually get going on the coat. So, I joined up, emptied the Hancock's bag and took a photo (the colors are off a little; the wool is more taupe than gray and the lining matches better IRL than it does in the photo):

Then, even though I plan to dry-clean the coat, I soaked the fabric and the lining in warm water and hung the wool to dry; the lining went in the dryer. (Don't you *love* the smell of wet wool? 4 yards was too much to do the wrap-in-a-sheet thing).

So, today I have promised myself that I will trace/adjust the pattern. Which means I have to DECIDE which view I want. My heart wants the double-breasted version, but I don't think I have enough buttons for that (I bought all of that style on the hook).

Given the fact that I've got so much on the plate, it may not get cut out for another three weeks. But at least I will have taken the first steps!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Free Patterns

Did you know there are free patterns on the 'net????
One is a conventional pattern... Vogue Patterns Online is offering a free pattern to anyone who visits their website. It says it is a 'limited time offer', but there is no indication of how 'limited' the time is. There are some can't use that offer to get a free designer pattern, or a free OOP pattern,etc., but, hey, it's a free pattern. You only have to pay shipping. I haven't ordered one...yet...

The other freebie is a little different. Burda Mode has a website in which they offer downloadable can either download a file that you can take to your local Kinko's and have printed, or you can print the patterns off on your printer at home and tape/glue them together. And did I mention it's free? You do have to sign up and sign in,'s free. I downloaded and printed this very nice basic pants/shorts pattern. Of course, it's still just a pile of paper sitting on the corner of the computer desk, but I'm promising myself some pattern-working time tomorrow so I hope to get it taped together and a clean copy of it in my size combo (44 in the waist, 42 everywhere else, shortened considerably) traced off.

I want to have about 4 patterns ready to go when I get close to the end of the Current Queue...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What I said....

about not buying new stuff didn't apply to patterns on sale.

Hobby Lobby has McCall's on sale this week for $.99, so I took advantage of it to replace the torn, chopped and quite abused set of the 4 often used sizes of 2339, which is, In My Humble Opinion, the best basic Bible robe pattern available, although it does need a little adjusting. I'll use the new ones to correct the eroded cutting lines on the current set, and then I'll cut the old set to the shorter length so we won't have to keep folding the pattern up on the misses' cutting line for length (resulting in nicks and slits along that fold from the repeated use of rotary cutters). Or, you know, on second probably would be quicker to just make clean copies of the shorter sizes from white exam table paper; that'd be easier to tell the women's from the men's at a glance, too.

I'll think about it.

But, just before I left, I spotted a discussion of McCall's Patterns on Stitcher's Guild and Doris W. from Tennessee had posted about 5323. The white view really jumped out at was very similar to the sketch I'd come up with in Diane Ericson's Fashion illustration class at this year's expo:

So I had to get it. And then when I got home with it I read the fine print and saw that it is one of McCall's 'Made-For-You' comes with separate pieces for the front for each cup size. Wow! No FBA! All I'd need to do to get a top that is *really close* to my sketch is lengthen it a bit; I kinda like the wrap sash.

Something else to add to the bin of Patterns to Make Really Soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It's Cream

I looked at the Queue, and decided to take care of the tedious and the least appealing first. So the cream thread...which is being used to make tiered skirts for me and younger now in the serger, and I've been gathering. And gathering. No, it's not *difficult*, just tedious.

And thread consuming. I think I'll need to get more when I go out today and do the errands I didn't do yesterday.

But, those tiers are bias-cut, so once those skirts are done my 'yardage out' number will jump up a bit.

However, I didn't use a pattern for these...just arithmetic. I know what I cut seemed fairly straightforward and obvious to me when I was chopping; now...I'm looking at those pieces thinking things like 'why did I cut five of this size?'

I think I've learned to make notes for myself.

But I may be too late, wardrobe-wise. Summer's finally on the wane; the temps have just dropped below 90...I think I can turn the AC off and open windows today. But then I'll have to deal with the results of not having opened the windows for AGES....

Can you believe that beastie built that web in LESS THAN ONE DAY? It wasn't there when DD got home from school yesterday, but it was there last night! Eww!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Despite ear-buzzing sleepiness all day yesterday, I managed to swap the bindings on DD's PE shorts, finish out the Bible costume and get the shoulder pads and lining installed on the green jacket. I had to sew the button on three times, though...the first time, I found that the vintage button I'd used as the template for the button hole was too thick and wouldn't go through the button hole. So I had to hunt through the stash for a button that would not look bad w/the jacket and would fit through the button hole. The clear one w/the gold trim works, sort of, but it's not as classy looking as the antiquey-gold button from my grandmother's button box. Then I proceeded to sew the second-choice button on about a half inch too low and had to redo it. Did I mention I was sleepy?

Anyway, here's the finished product!
I like the jacket ok; I don't think the sleeve/shoulder/armsceye really fits any better than any other jacket, though, although the stiffness of the fabric may be affecting it a little. But it's fine for an $8 jacket! Too bad I didn't finish it last month, when the choir was wearing green! Ah, well, it'll be ready for next time. Here's the review, if you're interested.

I've got several errands to run; it's quite possible that the only thing I'll get accomplished in the sewing room today is switching the thread in the serger Change of plan...I'll be home again all day today; laundry is overflowing but I'm hoping to change the thread in the serger and get some more work done on the Queue. First I've got to make up my mind whether I'm going to do the things that need black thread or the things that need cream thread. I could get several projects done quickly if I put in the black thread, but the cream thread projects are kinda summery and if I don't do them quickly they're liable to sit in the bags until spring. Which I don't want...I'm not buying fabric until the Queue is sewn, and I don't think I could wait that long! The plan is to get either the black or the cream projects done before I pull out the next bin of church-sewing. Dear In Laws are coming for a visit in less than two some point prior to next Friday, I need to to some SERIOUS HOUSE CLEANING....

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sad News - Bonus post

We finally began a new read-aloud at the supper table tonight; I picked one of my all-time favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time. When My Sweet Baboo saw the book, he pointed to the cover and asked, 'Did you see that she passed away?'

NO!!! I hadn't read any newspapers for the last 4-5 days because of the conference and I missed it! So I googled her and found the following official press release.

I have many of her books; I even had the opportunity to meet her about 12 years ago. She is one of my author heroes; if ever I publish anything it will be largely due to the influence of her writings...both fictional and autobiographical.

Tomorrow is 9-11; Lynn Johnston is retiring and Madeleine L'Engle passed away.

I'll sleep with a heavy heart tonight.

Unacceptable Shorts

DD is required to have two sets of PE clothes for school. Of course, the recommended uniform is sold by the school and costs something like $15, but the kids are allowed to bring in an alternate uniform consisting of a plain white t shirt and plain black or plain blue shorts.

Wal Mart has cheap knit stuff; I bought two sets of PE clothes for a TOTAL of about $14, considering that a fair exchange for the time I would otherwise have spent hunting out the fabric and patterns, let alone sewing up two t shirts and two pairs of knit shorts. But there was only one pair of black knit bermudas in DD's size, so the second pair of shorts is what I'd consider gym shorts. There was a white knit binding on them...big deal.

Well, that white knit binding spoils the 'plain black' and so the shorts have been deemed unacceptable by the PE teachers. *AFTER* she'd worn them for about a week and a half. Turns out the other girls complained that if DD got to wear trim on her shorts, they should be able to wear (fill in the blank) on theirs.

Give me a break.

I tried taking the short cut (ha-ha) here and just coloring the binding w/a black Sharpie, but it doesn't really work. Next step is to remove the white binding and replace it with black bias tape. A pain in the pincushion, to be sure, but not too difficult.

I'll need to do it today; I didn't get to take care of it last week because of the full schedule and now she needs to switch her PE clothes out. I wonder how much time I really ended up saving over making her a pair from scratch...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Choir Sundays Number 2

This month's choir colors: Light blue and black.
This week's choir outfit:
Jacket: Vogue 2686, blue linen;
Top: Loes Hinse Sweater Set Shell, black slinky
Pants: modified Loes Hinse Oxford Pant; black and white stripe Poly/Rayon/lycra

Saturday, September 08, 2007

No Time to Sew

Yesterday's (and today's) conference sessions were 10 - 3:45 and 7 - ??. Being part of the team of speaker aides, I have to be early and stay late so I was only in the sewing nook for about 4 minutes yesterday, looking for a safety pin; I don't expect to get in today, either. has been good. The conference theme is 'Living as Daughters...becoming Mothers', about recognizing our position as Daughters of the King and our responsibility to mother/mentor the next generation.

Very timely! But there's not even sewing in my head to talk about at the moment.

I'll hit the Prodigious Queue again next week

Friday, September 07, 2007


Well, sweet Mary Beth of The Stitchery has actually awarded me the title

the history of which you can see HERE.

Me? What a hoot...

But, this really is just a fancy game of tag, because now I'm supposed to nominate 5 other Rockin' Girl Bloggers. And it's kind of silly that I haven't paid more attention to who has been awarded this, but I haven't. So I'm going to nominate 5 ladies whose blogs are in my blogroll and whose posts make me smile, make me think, or make me run to the pattern and fabric stashes in sudden inspiration. They may or may not already have been designated Rockin' Girl Bloggers, and, so far as I'm concerned, are under no obligation to find five more people each. This is just a shout-out of appreciation, in no particular order, to:

Cidell of Miss Celie's Pants,

Carolyn (cmarie12) of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic,

Ann of Gorgeous Things

Beth of The Rusty Bobbin (Beth's blog was the first one I checked daily, back when I discovered blogs)

Angie of Quality Time

Um...I finished the jacket lining yesterday and I've got about a half hour left to do on the costume. I *will* finish it before I go to bed Sunday...even if I work on it 10 minutes at a time between now and then. I'm conferencing virtually all day today and all day tomorrow....and I'm not even going to try to describe what's going on inside me from the conference. How could you describe a good wrecking?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pushing it through

Today's the last day I'll have for sewing this week; our women's conference begins tonight and as I'll be at every session, I'll only be home long enough to fix supper and leave again on Friday and Saturday.

So I'm in a quandary...which project shall I get done today? I *might* be able to get both done...or at least close to done...but I *really* wanted to get the green jacket lining put together before I make the last HMC Bible costume (it'll need a thread switch), and I absolutely promised myself I'd have all the HMC costumes done before the conference.

Let's see...if I work straight through the lining, and have no glitches, I could have it assembled (not installed...I'll do that next week!) in an hour and a half, maybe? The costume should take about 2 hours, working steadily....

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

where's my coffee...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Close, um, Call....

Yesterday, in the interest of perhaps getting a little exercise, I decided to ride my bike along w/ DD to school, then scoot across the street to pick up the local greenway walking/bike path and make a big loop down the greenway to the next intersection, and back up the road to our street...probably a total of about 2 1/2 miles. DD was ecstatic to have company on her ride to school, and I stuffed my keys and my cell phone in the pockets of my shorts and we left.

My Sweet Baboo called just as we were crossing the street outside our subdivision; I rather awkwardly talked to him as I walked the bike across the intersection, answered his question and stuck the cell phone back in my pocket and finished out the ride.

Have I mentioned before that we live at the bottom of a mountain (or what passes for a mountain in this part of the country)? Upshot was I was really huffing and puffing by the time I got back home. I was embarrassed at how done in I was, actually, and I kinda staggered into the house and, despite knowing better, flopped down in front of a fan to recover. But I did get my wind back finally, got up and went about the day's business.

It wasn't until I needed to ask My Sweet Baboo a question about an errand I needed to run just before leaving to pick up DS at his bus stop that I discovered that I couldn't find my cell phone. Funny. I tried to remember what I'd done with it when I got home, but I couldn't remember what I'd done with anything at that moment. When I found my keys on the counter, without the phone, I started to worry. Picked up the house phone and dialed my cell phone's the receiver, I heard my phone ring and roll over to voice mail. In the house I heard nothing. Uh-oh.

Just at that moment, DD arrived home on her bike; we decided we'd better go retrace my route from the morning. I went upstairs and told still-unemployed-oldest DD to go to the bus stop and get her brother while youngest DD and I got our bikes back out and began the hunt. We looked carefully along the route from the house to the main road, then hopped on the bikes and rode to the point at which I'd stuck the phone back in my pocket, got off, and began walking again. I really hoped to find the phone near that spot, but it wasn't we slowly made our way, eyes downcast, back towards the school.

Flashback: in 2001, older DD's drama class was shooting a video for the Army Corps of Engineers about unexploded ordnance in decommissioned Army installations that are now open for recreational uses (I'm told that this is the video shown to anyone who is going to camp/hunt/etc on these properties). Both the younger Dkids and I were also involved, as they needed a wider range of ages than were in the drama class. In one scene, kids are playing frisbee in a meadow. After that scene was shot, several kids were selected to portray hunters and the crew headed over the hill to a wooded area to shoot that scene. At that moment, one of the kids noticed that his car keys...or, rather, his dad's car keys...had fallen through a hole in his pocket while they were shooting the frisbee scene. All the kids scattered, looking helter-skelter through the meadow of six-inch high mowed-but-not-raked grassy stubble. I watched the erratic search for a bit, then began walking, head down, towards the area where I'd seen that particular kid for a moment during the shooting. "Lord," I prayed, "The only way we're going to find these keys is if You show us where they are." Step by step, I walked a straight line for about 50 yards, then, without really knowing why, turned about 3/8 of a turn to my right and took about 3 steps. And saw keys right at my feet. The kids were just glad to get the keys back but I got all goose-bumpy. I knew it was a miracle.

So, back to 2007, I recollected finding those keys and started praying, 'Do it again, Lord!' I'd called the cell phone twice; both times it had rung then rolled over to the voice mail. So I knew it was still on (and not, say, ran over by a car). Since no one had answered it, I assumed it had not been picked up. But it could be anywhere.

DD asked me why we brought the bikes, since we were walking them while we looked along the sidewalk. "So we can ride them home after we find the phone," I replied, hoping we wouldn't push the bikes the whole 2 1/2 miles for nothing.

But, wouldn't you know, just in front of the school, where I'd gotten off the bike to wait for the clearance from the crossing guard to cross the street, I spotted a cell phone lying on the verge between the sidewalk and the street.

I had 3 missed calls; one from My Sweet Baboo at about 8:30 and the two I'd done trying to find the phone. It was no worse for having spent the day lying in the grass. Amazing that no one had picked it up...

We got on the bikes and breezed back home. Whew.

He did it again.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Lecture to Self

Hello. We are NOT startin' nuthin' new!

Do you hear me?

I don't care how much that new pattern is tempting you, I don't care how loudly that pretty wool fabric is singing its siren song, you have a full sewing plate, with leftovers in the fridge and you are NOT STARTIN' NOTHIN' NEW!

And we are not buying nuthin' new, either. Yes, I saw that post from Michael. And I know you went peeking over to EOS, 'just to see'. Now you're trying hard to forget what you saw. I'm telling you, you're just making life difficult for yourself.

You have about 15 marvelous projects cut out and waiting to be assembled.

You've got at least a hundred and sixteen different pieces to sew for church (ok, so I'm exaggerating just a *little*...but still. It's a lot).

You have about three patterns than need serious alterations before you even pull out the fabric for them.

You do not need anything new!!

Hello? Are we listening?

Back away from that bookmark list....

Monday, September 03, 2007

Green Jacket Shell

It still needs the hems catch-stitched up and thorough pressing, but it's done! Very interesting fabric...I got it from the upholstery fabric remnant table at Hancock's and it already had some sort of icky black interfacing on it. It's very light weight, but quite stiff and lofty. What looks like puckery wrinkles on the sleeve cap really aren't...there are no puckers; it's just the stiffness of the fabric not draping well; I hope between a good pressing and addition of shoulder pads that will go away. The interfacing is sticky, so beyond basic fit I can't tell much about how it will hang on my body until I get the lining in.

But I've got a Bible costume to sew up first, then the lining. ;)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

New Series: Choir Sundays

Thought I'd try something a little different; since I talk so much about sewing for my church choir wardrobe, I thought I'd do a variation on the ladies who post 'what I wore today' things and do a series of photos about what the choir is wearing.

This month: Black and light blue (blue lights make some of the tops/shirts look white) :I jumped down during pre-service rehearsal to take the photo.

Here's what I wore today (I have no idea why I look like I just got off a horse...optical illusion from the shadows, maybe? I was standing w/my weight on one leg, but not crouched!):

That's the Vogue 8398 eyelet jacket, the shell top from the Kwik Sew Newman Blue Twinset (which I just noticed this morning was an exact match for the blue in the and the just-finished black modified La Fred Daphne pants.

I'll probably only do one choir photo per month, but at least it'll explain somewhat the rather peculiar wardrobing I do sometimes!

I'll do it for at least the rest of the year; we'll see how it goes after that.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"Another Crazy Thing"

That's what My Sweet Baboo said when I asked him to take the photo of the Simplicity 3775 dress. Not the dress itself, mind you, it's the fabric.... Yeah, kinda wild. I'm not terribly happy with how it looks made up; to me, it just looks like a cheap dress. Something about the way the prints almost match up at the midriff seams; something looks a little wonky. Which may be because that really is a Dreaded Diagonal Print...something I didn't really think about at the time. When I first tried it on, I figured I'd finish it and donate it...this really was a test, after all. But when it was done I decided it might be ok. Anyway, I put it in the closet. If I don't wear it in the next few months, then it'll be a donation. There are slightly more details in The Review, if you're interested.

Now I'm working on the green Neue Mode jacket. I finished a green Bible costume yesterday and have another to make (different shades of green, all, but they work w/grey thread in the serger loopers); I'm squeezing the shell of the jacket in between them. I'll line it after the second one is done.