Wednesday, October 31, 2007

More Queue Jumping

Arg! Our DSL line was down all morning...and I promptly got myself into trouble.

I got a stack of burgundy things cut yesterday (you can see the queue, but I'll mention them in a minute), along with my interfacing. Last night I laid the interfacing on the first set of straps, on the ironing board, so I could jump right into fusing this morning.

Aside note...I used cloth diapers when my kids were little, and the few that are left are now my very soft, very absorbent, nicely translucent, and completely irreplaceable pressing cloths.

So you can imagine my frustration when I pressed one of the interfacing strips on the second set of handle straps to the pressing cloth instead of to the fabric.

I tell ya, I gotta go to bed earlier.

So, in disgust I walked away and found that my computer is talking to the internet again and I'll catch up on what I did with my burgundy, drink a cup of tea, then head back with (hopefully) a better attitude and a clearer head.

I was mulling over which of Loes Hinse's jacket patterns to use with my brocade when I pulled it out of the cabinet and looked it over one more time...and realized that the fabric was too flimsy to make an unlined, uninterfaced jacket like any of the LH patterns I have.

What to do, what to do. I didn't want to fit a tunic...

Suddenly, I remembered I have Sewing Workshop's Tribeca Shirt waiting on the right fabric. Oh, this is sooooo the right fabric. I got on Pattern review and read up on the reviews to see if there were any fitting notes (specifically, I wanted to know if anyone had dropped the darts). The folks who might have mentioned the kinds of fitting I wondered about had altered the jacket style enough that it didn't tell me what I was looking for, but I did see that everyone commented that it was a bit broad in the shoulders. Since I measure pretty much Medium on SW's size charts, I traced off a Medium, morphed to Small in the shoulders and neckline. yeah, I know, I love the fabric, but it was only $2.99/yard and I'm not going to sweat it. It should be wearable...even if it's not Perfect.

I had a bit left over, so I also cut out another shell top from the bodice portion of Loes Hinse's City Dress pattern.

Then I moved on to the burgundy slinky...I cut Sewing Workshop's Cityscapes dress (that is such a cool pattern!) and Textile Studio's Funnel-neck Monaco Shell, and I've still got about a yard and a half left...maybe I'll do Loes Hinse's sweater set at some point in the future.

So, I've got a shirt/jacket, two tops and a dress all from I-can-wear-it-next-month burgundy.

Once I fix the fusible and get that Weekender bag done, I can start on 'em...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Still Stalling

I've got to pull out the cutting stuff to cut interfacing for the next Weekender.

So I might as well cut the burgundy stuff I want to wear next month.

Which means I've got to make up my mind immediately about what pattern I'm going to use for the black/burgundy brocade jacket.

I pulled out a couple of Simplicity patterns last night and messed around with them (mostly just cut the pieces apart), but they really weren't speaking to me. And I don't want to take the time to fit another pattern. Trouble is, I don't have the shoulder-princess-mandarin-collar style I have in mind in a TNT pattern...shoot, I don't even have a morphable shoulder princess jacket TNT pattern.

So I'm about to come up with a second best...I'm thinking the Loes Hinse Bistro. I've gotten some really nice comments on that, and LH jackets make up Very Quickly. As I recall, there's only a couple little tweaky things I want to do to that pattern.

However, I do remember that it needs some front easing that doesn't play nice w/polyester, and I suspect my brocade is mostly poly.

I'm counting on the jacquard pattern camouflaging any poly puckering.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Light and Color Question

Ok, I'll admit it...I'm stalling.

I got MY Weekender finished, and now I have to turn around and do another one...a Christmas present...before I change the thread in the serger.

And I decided that I really, really should add some interfacing to AT LEAST the straps of the next one. My straps feel a little flimsy. It probably wouldn't hurt to interface the bag facings, either. Or the bottom.

More cutting...tedious cutting at that.

So I'm Not Real Enthusiastic about the next up item...but it must be done, that's Christmas.

Maybe I should just put on a recording of 'We Are Santa's Elves' and sing along whilst I make it?

Anyway, I've got a question for everyone...

Last night was our quarterly Night of Worship at church. It's an awesome service...two hours of singing and praying. No preaching, just worship.

But the choir was instructed to wear jeans with black shirts. And something interesting happened with the lighting. Every time the lighting guy hit the choir with just blue lights all our black shirts turned deep red! I had on a black microfiber charmeuse blouse (Silhouette Pattern's Pam's Blouse, if you're interested) that turned the most GORGEOUS shade of burgundy...I'd buy fabric that color in a heartbeat. To complicate matters, it was interesting to note that my black leather jacket that I wore during rehearsal before the service (it was chilly in the empty sanctuary) stayed black no matter what color of light was on it.

We had no good consensus on why the fabric changed color, let alone why the fabric did and the jacket didn't, and My Sweet Baboo joked that I'd probably blog about it to find out.

Why not?

Anybody know why blue light turns black fabric red?

I have a theory, but I'm going to wait and see if anyone posts a definitive answer before I post it. I don't want to appear to be a doofus. (Maybe it's too late for that?)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Choir Sundays # 9

This month's colors: Black w/tan or orange

The sweater is a RTW purchase that's a couple of years old (it dates back to the first time we had to wear tan in choir);

The pants are Vogue7881, from black cotton twill. I've got some black wool gab I *really* need to cut into and make another pair of these pants.

And, just so you know, I strung the necklace from a bulk bag of mixed black glass beads that came from Hobby Lobby.

I'm sure you're noticing the repeating garments over the last couple of months; that's just the facts of choir!

New colors next week; I've got some 'queue jumping' to do again this week...I really want to get my this-years-burgundy-fabric-purchases made up in time to wear them. We'll see how the week goes.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Finished and in use

Whaddya do when you finish the bag? Load it up and use it, of course!

It just so happened that our girls' ministry 'sleepover' was last night, so I packed my hot-off-the-sewing machine Weekender and headed off.

Where I did NOT sleep!

So that's what I'm going to do...Right Now!


ETA after a good long nap...yeesh, what an awful photo. Well, that's what ya get when ya work w/teen girls sometimes! I was obviously dressed for comfort. Anyway, you can see the Weekender bag in use...that's the point, not how an all night event affects my appearance. ;)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pattern Haul

Oh, yes, I did get the zippers and two very nice buttons for the WIP Weekender bags.

And a pile of patterns. Yes, indeedy....

All Vogue patterns were $3.99; Buttericks were $.99.

I came home with ten patterns pour moi; eight Vogues and two Buttericks. I saved $183.44 off the printed retail prices of all those patterns. Of course, nobody in the States EVER pays full retail price for any of those patterns, but it looks good to say that I saved $183.44. In actuality, I saved about $71.75 from what Hancock's regular price is for the patterns, so that's still not too bad.

But I've been accumulating a list for awhile; I didn't get everything on it, but I got all the ones that I've really been wanting...and a few that I was kinda wishy-washy about. The beauty of those pattern sales...if they didn't exist I *might* have purchased 3 of those patterns. Maybe.

Anyway, here's the list:

From the 'I probably would buy this pattern at full price if there were no such things as pattern sales' category:
Vogue 2987. I love the details on this jacket, and I also really like that graceful little top that's with it. The pants are pretty I probably won't bother with them.

Vogue 2912 If you look beneath all the frou frou, there's some blouses with really good bones here. Three completely different styles, not just variations on a theme. I don't expect to make any of them as pictured, but I may very well mix around the sleeves and collars and come up with some nice blouses. I've got two or three pieces of silk waiting on a good blouse pattern; maybe this is it.

Vogue 2980 There's been some mixed reviews on this...some folks love it, make multiples, others found it not worth their time. I think it's interesting...and DD came home with a RTW version of this exact top a couple of weeks ago that looked really cute on her so I decided it was worth getting. Maybe I've found a pattern that I can make for her.

From the 'Oh, it's four dollars...and I like it' category:

Vogue 8189. I'm doing 'shoulder princess peplum' jackets now...just kinda collecting them for future consideration. Actually, it that Cold Water Creek influence; several of their jackets had peplum-like lines, only with a much less fitted waistline seam. And a simpler collar/neckline than this one has, but that would be easy to change.

Vogue 7937. I've thought about modifying my Hot Patterns Trouser Skirt pattern to incorporate all the cool hemline details in this pattern, but I decided that, for $4, I could have a pattern to use as the basis instead of doing a day's worth of math and drawing.

Butterick 5080 I have no idea if I will ever have an occasion to wear a dress like that, but it looks so pretty and feminine I decided it was definitely worth a dollar.

Vogue 2988. This is another one with kind of mixed results. As of this post, there aren't any reviews up for it yet, but a couple of ladies on Stitcher's Guild have made it up. Aside from the jacket, which has me kind of mesmerized for some reason, I really like the skirt that's in this envelope. I'm afraid the pattern as a whole is way too sophisticated for my lifestyle, but that probably won't stop me from trying it anyway. I've got a well-aged piece of stash fabric in mind for it already....I think I could squeeze the jacket and dress on it...or at least the jacket and a straight skirt.

From the 'Seduced by the Sale' category:
Butterick 5088. Those weird sleeves on the white jacket are a detail that I can't decide if I hate or want to try. It's everywhere... I'm almost afraid to do it because I think it's going to be Over before I get there. But this might be a good candidate for something cheap and cheesy like polar fleece. Make it quick, wear it a little while, send it off when it fades. However, the purple jacket has me thinking it might not be so bad...I'm thinking a single breasted version with the darted sleeves will have a little more fashion staying power. I also discovered someone did review this on Pattern Review just this week (Vonnevo, I think. I'm too lazy to open another tab and go look) and it looks fabulous. The reviewer did make some substantial changes to the pattern to get that fabulous look, but the changes didn't look too difficult. We'll see if inspiration strikes.

Vogue 7764. This one has been in the store's cabinet so long it doesn't have the 'V' in front of the number! It wasn't available in my shoulder size, so I bought it in my 'everywhere else' size and I'll have to see if I can do the reverse adjustment. Vogue calls it an unlined jacket, but it's almost a shirt-jacket, I think. Anyway, should I want to torture myself with close fitting military details, this will be the pattern I pull.

Vogue 8131. Another mixed-review pattern. Erica B got great pants from this one, though, which is what prompted me to put it on the list. I know, I know, you'd have to be eight feet tall with 4" platforms to pull off that deep cuff, but I have no intention of trying. I'm looking at the plain hem's got a yoke and pockets! I may try narrowing the leg if it proves too overwhelming. But, this is another pattern that DD might be conned er, convinced to let me make for her. I would like to get a pants pattern fitted for her; if there was one that we knew fit well, it might be an opportunity for her to advance her sewing skills beyond quick cheap costumes.

I also picked up a See & Sew gaucho pattern for younger DD...she was pleased.

Now, how long before any of these make it to the tracing table...let alone the cutting table or the sewing machine? Who knows....

Back to the Weekenders. The zippers ARE in, btw. ;)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Zipper Stall

I've been working on the Weekenders...well, on one Weekender, anyway. I'm using the red and yellow upholstery fabric I talked about Here. Didn't pre-wash's polyester, right?

And I have discovered that the yellow threads (just the yellow ones, mind you) shrink when I press them hard w/the iron set on polyester. They're melting slightly. So I'm making one bag, which was going to be mine from the beginning anyway, to work the kinks out of sewing this stuff, then I'll do the other one, which will be a Christmas gift. I've got mine done to the lining, and it doesn't look too bad, shrinking yellow thread notwithstanding. I've got the design running three different ways (horizontal on the bag, vertical on the straps, and diagonal on the external pockets I added) that it kinda keeps the bumpies from the uneven shrinkage camouflaged.

I'm *really* glad I didn't try to make a jacket out of it. (shudder)

But, the first thing that's done on the lining is the zippered pocket. And I have two 7" red zippers and one 22" red zipper. No yellow zippers at all. The pocket needs a 9" zipper. looks like a trip to Hancock's today to pick up a couple of zippers, and I'll shop for the buttons too.

Oh, and Hancock's just so happens to have Vogue and Butterick patterns on sale right now.

I've got my list. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bonus Post: Happy Birthday, Honey!

Today is My Sweet Baboo's birthday...and he really doesn't look his age!

I guess his wife keeps him young.

I really need to work on my life-as-it's-happening photography; this is about the only picture of him I could find in this year's folder!

I wrote this for his birthday five years ago; it's still true:

The Tenth Man

Father’s Day, years ago…
Pastor’s sermon on being
A godly man.

Nine out of ten men,
He said,
Come home from work
Flop in the chair
Flip on the tube.
Nine out of ten men
Schedule their lives
For their comfort and convenience
And leave the rest
To their wives.

As I listened, I realized
I married the tenth man.

The man who participates in
Raising his children
Maintaining his home
Building a legacy of faith
Even when it is not comfortable or convenient.

I marvel at such a blessing
And I thank God for my husband
The Tenth Man.

The Thread is Red!

The swagger pennant drapes are done, folded and ready to be handed over tonight; I'm moving on with red thread.

Does everyone have an, um, pile in their room (closet, laundry room, sewing nook, whatever?) of stuff that's almost right but needs a bit of attention? Maybe a loose button, or it needs a bit taken off the hem, or some other thing that keeps you from being happy when you wear it?

Mine migrates around, and when I was sorting laundry yesterday my gaze landed on the current location of the Pile...the quilt rack in our bedroom. A bit of red was visible, and I pulled out my boiled wool jacket.

It was a Christmas gift from my DMIL about 8 years ago; a classic Tyrolean boiled wool jacket from Lands' End. Knitted trim, knotted buttons, the whole deal. In a size 10 petite, it fit really well everywhere but my shoulders. I just have way narrow shoulders, and the jacket kind of hung off. Well, I wore it anyway, but it bothered me a little. Once I found internet sewing sites and started really working at fit, those shoulders bothered me a lot. I don't know that I've worn that jacket 5 times in the past 5 years. I couldn't part with it, though. I love the style and I thought it should be fairly easy to move the sleeve caps in...boiled wool doesn't ravel, the jacket is unlined. But I was afraid to take a seam ripper to my Very Nice Jacket.

Until yesterday. When I pulled it out of The Pile, I happened to think 'I have red thread in the sewing machine!' I carried the jacket downstairs with the laundry, and, before I had time to think too much, removed the stitching on both sleeve caps. The sleeves had been eased; I released a bit of the easing and hand basted them in about 1/2" farther into the shoulder seam and tried it on. The left one was still a little droopy, so I pulled out the hand basting, moved in another 3/8" or so in and basted it again. That looked good, so I sat down at the machine and sewed them in. Pulled out the basting, the jacket fits perfectly. I didn't even have to trim the seam allowance; that extra bit works kind of like a sleeve head.

It took maybe half an hour.

Did you hear me smack my head? As in 'Why didn't you do this YEARS AGO?!?'

It's in the closet now; I'll be wearing it to death this year. On to those Weekenders.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mixing the Swags with the Queue

I've got one casing left to make on the blue swag/pennants and I took advantage of having the royal blue thread in the serger to do the royal blue layer of the 4-layer pants. This is the top or outermost layer, so I did sort of modified French seams so they'd look reasonably neat. Now I only have to do the fuschia layer and I can put them all together...THAT will be interesting. Anyway, one pass through the sewing machine and I can switch to red for the other set of banners.

And yes, I do have some 'red thread' stuff in the Queue...the Weekender bags. So I guess that'll be next!

Which is good...I need a tote bag ;)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Doin' the Math

So I woke up Saturday morning thinking about long skinny triangles. Specifically, the pennants our Children's Pastor asked me to make for him to use in the kids sanctuary. He gave me 4 yards each of blue and red fabric, and asked me to make two pennants from each color one layer thick (so he could shine lights through them) 1/2 the width of the fabric wide on the fat end and tapering to a point. He said they could be three- four yards long, whatever worked best. But as I kind of drifted out of whatever I'd been dreaming, I had a feeling that would be really hard to cut accurately. Then I started thinking about how long that pennant would be...and how skinny.

So while I drank my coffee before I hopped off to church for more costume sewing, I pulled out a piece of scrap paper and My Sweet Baboo's old HP calculator and did some math.

I drew up the sample, assumed it would be the shorter version (3 yards = 108" long) and exercised my rusty trigonometry to discover that the angle at the point would be 12 degrees; 10" out from the point it would be 2.06" wide and 2 feet out it would be all of about 5" wide. Waaaaayyyy too skinny to either be reasonably easy to cut and sew or look good when it was done.

So I came up with a new design; a swag that's a 3-yards-long rectangle with a pointy section at the end. I can put rod pockets on the swag at the square end and where the angled section starts; the rectangle will then be drapeable, with a one-yard long pennant hanging at the end.

The scrap paper with all the angles and arrows and thetas and 'sin theta's and 'tan theta's' and equations looked really impressive. Not bad for a SAHM. Unfortunately I forgot to take it with me to church yesterday to propose the alternate design, so no one but me saw the inner mathematician emerge. So, despite the hard-to-scan pencil marks, here it is for you (if I made a boo-boo, don't tell me! The only thing I *think* I might've done wrong was forget that the angle I was working with was half the whole angel at some point. It has been a *really long time* since I regularly worked with these things). I darkened the scan somewhat; pencil doesn't scan well.(My 7th grade math teacher refused homework that wasn't done in pencil so now I have a permanent aversion to using anything but a pencil for math).

But Pastor Dave was amenable to the suggestion just the same. So I took about half an hour yesterday afternoon and tore the fabric into four half-width lengths, then folded each width in half and stacked them carefully to cut the one-yard-long triangle out of the end with one pass of the rotary cutter. So now all I need to do is serge the edges and fold and stitch the rod pockets.

I just have to change the serger thread first.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Choir Sundays #8

This month's choir colors: Black w/either tan or orange
Jacket: Cutting Line Designs Anything but Ordinary Jacket, made from a chenilley-type cotton blend houndstooth jacquard from Hancock's upholstery remnants table.

Pants:La Fred's Modified Daphne Pants, black cotton/lycra twill from FFC.

I've got a black cotton/lycra Lands' End t-shirt on, too, but it doesn't show ;).

PS Happy Birthday, Mom! :D

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2nd Stint down...

And so ends the second three-day Preschool costume sewing marathon. One more three-day effort *may* finish them. We made some pretty good progress, considering we had only minimal notice. We got more than half way through the 'sew with grey thread' pile, which was the biggest one, I think.

However Dear Pre-School pastor said he really, really needs at least one complete set ASAP.

I have no idea how we stand on being close to having a 'complete set'. That's 8 costumes...a Wiseman/Priest/King, a Jesus/Angel, 2 adult men, 2 adult women, a boy and a girl. With all drapes, vests, sashes, etc.

I haven't made any boys robes yet, although I've got the vests done;I've got one women's robe about half done. I thought I was only short 1 'Wiseman/Priest/King' costume of having them all cut out, but it looks like there may have been a bit more. I guess we'll just keep sewing and see what we've got.

Now I need to put my sewing room back together and see if I can finish DD's jumper this evening ;)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Next 6 monts of Choir

Now that I know what's coming down the road, I can make some wardrobe plans! Maybe even a SWAP...we'll see...

Anyway, the colors are:

November - Black and burgundy
December - Black and red
January - Black and royal blue
February - Black and white
March - Black and green (that's a mossy green)
April - Black and either lavender or purple

(See why I sew so much black?)

The most expensive of my Sir's Splurge purchases was a black/burgundy $2.99/yd (it's on the far right in the fourth photo down at the link). As soon as I saw that yes, we really were going to use burgundy next month I threw it in the washer. I was guessing it had some rayon in it, but it wasn't the least bit boardy when I pulled it out of the washer, so the rayon content is little if any. It fuzzed up slightly in the trip through the laundry; not enough to matter. I'm probably going to make some really quick little jacket (I'm thinking Loes Hinse; dunno which one) with it Very Soon. I also picked up some burgundy slinky that I may turn into another Cityscapes Dress; I've done just a wee bit of tweaking to the shoulders and it'd be fine to check it w/that inexpensive piece (on the far left in the fourth photo down on the link).

But...royal blue in January! That's my favorite color in the whole world; I've got a BUNCH of royal blue in the stash that I haven't made because...well, I needed other stuff for choir. Now I'm just hoping I get the chance to sew up a couple of things before the new year.

And, oh yeah, somewhere in there I've got to do the Trench Coat...

And I'm off today and tomorrow to sew at church. Oh, well, I can think about what's coming while I'm cranking out Bible robes... ;)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just the Facts, Ma'am

-- Found out last night that we were ok'd to use the room at church today, tomorrow and Saturday to work on the kinderchurch costumes, so I'm off for the day in just a bit. I may be working by myself...short notice and all...

-- Our children's pastor(elementary school; the costumes are for the pre-school dept.) has asked for some banners for the kids' sanctuary. I almost panicked, but all he wants are long skinny triangles with a rod pocket on the short end that are serger rolled along the edges. I think I can squeeze that in in the next week.

-- I managed to find a zipper buried in an UFO bag; DD's jumper is well under way. I'll serge finish the rest of it so it can be assembled w/the sewing machine that will be left home; hope to finish it by Sunday

-- The list of choir colors for the next 6 months has been published amongst us and I'm doing the happy dance! I forsee a bit more queue-jumping in my near future. You'll hear more on this!!

-- Gotta Run!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Still Thinkin' Jackets....

Blogger's cooperating now; here's the OOP pattern I talked about yesterday. Obviously, I'll need to add some shaping to the jacket...probably by adding front darts and a center back seam...and I think it's a bit long for me; just above the knee would probably be a better length. But it approximates the CWC jackets very well.

I've pulled two or three more patterns that look very much like jackets in that catalog, too...there are several mandarin-collar styles that I think I could approximate with Simplicity 4601, and one of my new Butterick patterns, 5066 greatly resembles a number of the offerings in there, also. So, *IF* I could find the time to play around with fabric and patterns, I think I could knock-off a number of those great styles. If.

But first the Queue. DD's pants still need hemmed. I may just do those with the blind hem on the machine; not too pretty, but these are cheap test-the-pattern pants that are just going to be worn while she's doing puppetry anyway, so it'll do. I'd do her jumper next, but it needs a purple zipper. I thought I had a purple zipper. Really. I'll hunt around one more time; otherwise, the jumper will have to wait until I get a chance to run by Hancock's.

So, I may be sewing the last 'black thread' item in the queue...the Hot Patterns Trouser Skirt. Then I've got a handful of pink thread items to go and I'll be close enough to the end to start on the Trench Coat.

I've pretty much decided that, unless it's an urgent need (or I make the SWAP purchase from Timmel Fabrics), I'm probably NOT going to purchase any more fabric this year. But at the rate this year is going by (it's mid October!!! I can't believe that!), that shouldn't be too hard.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Heading into SWAP Season

Now I'm trying to decide if I'm going to do the challenge this year. I skipped last year and, to be honest, while I missed the camaraderie of it, I don't have a clue how I would've fit it in and amongst the costuming I ended up doing last March. It was a good thing that I hadn't committed to doing the contest; it just wouldn't have worked. But who knows if I'll have to do anything like that again in '08.

And I'm not sure my wardrobe *needs* another full-out SWAP wardrobe at this point.

But I do have a TON of stash fabric I need to use up, some of which coordinates very nicely and could easily be the core of a SWAP. Actually, I'm not sure what I would purchase from Timmel Fabrics for the 'participation fee'...I've got so much stuff here that needs using.

But 'Julie's Twist' -- the element that every group must have -- is a very interesting one this year. Everyone must use a 'wardrobe' pattern -that is, one pattern envelope that has patterns for at least three different garments-- and make three separate garments from that one pattern (i.e., a jacket, top and pants). I have several patterns that would fit that requirement, and this would be a great opportunity/inspiration to pull one out and get it all tweaked into a really good wardrobing resource.

IN fact, I pulled a pattern last night that I'm mulling over. I got a new Coldwater Creek catalog in the mail, and I was looking through it for inspiration...normally, I can spot garments that I could make very quickly/easily from the patterns in my cabinet. As I was looking, I finally put into words something about CWC clothes...they use garments w/simple lines in beautiful prints and colors. What really jumped out at me were the jackets and I told myself to not be afraid to use vibrant prints for jackets. CWC uses prints/patterns for jackets that I'd be hesitant to use...mostly because I want Really Useful jackets. But over and over again in the catalog the outfits are solid color tops/bottoms with a jacket that pops.

Maybe I need some popping jackets.

However, for a classical SWAP, the jacket should be a solid color, not a print. Yet my most successful SWAP wardrobe was keyed from a tweedy plaid jacket that served as the print element.

I'd have to make a really good choice for that print.

I'll have to upload the pattern pic tomorrow; it's OOP and Blogger's not doing photos at the moment ('We are aware of the problem and working to fix it'). I'll just say that it's a passable pattern for this jacket, this jacket, this vest or, with some shaping added, this jacket. 'Course, I'd have to do some reworking on it anyway, to get it morphed from an 8 in the shoulders to a 14 or so in the hips, and I'd have to almost totally redraft either the pants or the skirt (or both), since the pattern only goes up to a size 10. And I'd definitely widen the straps on the cami so I could wear a regular strap under it.

But it's a thought, it's definitely a thought...

Monday, October 15, 2007

More Line Jumping

DD2 and I did manage to get through her box of fall/winter clothes on Saturday after I finished those stirrup pants (no photo; fashion they ain't, and since they're black it would be kinda pointless anyway. But they'll suit their purpose well) and as a result, I've kind of done an 'emergency cut' of a jumper (AKA 'pinafore dress') and a pair of black slacks for her; she's in sore need of dressy clothes. And jeans, too, although the problem with the jeans is just that they've gotten too short. Actually, her wardrobe is very needy in several areas; I may have to spend this week cutting and sewing for her.

Ah, well, that's still 'yardage out' ... ;)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Choir Sunday #7

This month's colors: Black with tan or orange.

Jacket: Loes Hinse's Bistro Jacket, from black poly herringbone weave suiting
Top: Jalie 2005 T-shirt from very nice printed cotton/lyrca knit from Emma One Sock
Pants: Loes Hinse's Oxford Pant, morphed with the zipper application from the European Pant, made from the same fabric as the jacket.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sewing through the Queue

I'm just plugging away with the black thread; after the FTA skirt, I decided to do the 'black thread portions' of a couple of multi-layered projects that need black thread for *part* of the garment. So, while there's no finished item yet, I made progress on the faux wrap skirt and the 4-layer NSS pants.

Then I started on the 'Very OOP DK Vogue cotton interlock stirrup pants.' The copyright date on this pattern is 1990; I'm sure I made it up the first time in 1991...16 years, two babies and 30 pounds ago. I think I made three different pairs of pants from it, worn mostly under big tops...sometimes belted, with Very Big hair. One pair managed to hang on in the wardrobe, and over the last few years I found myself using it as athletic gear...specifically, as a layer under sweat pants when My Sweet Baboo and I were really and truly pursuing fitness and were getting out of bed before 5 AM to go running on the dark and chilly track over at the middle school. Didn't matter that they were made to fit a body smaller than mine actually happened to be; they were hidden and they were warm. Oh, and one thing you can't tell from the photo...they had slant pockets. (Gotta have someplace to stash tissues and cotton balls; my ears HURT if cold air hits them for very long. I guess it just whistles through and chills everything down to the painful point...anyway, the cotton balls stop it)

Unfortunately, they were also shredding beyond repair. So I'm replacing them.

I was surprised to see that even back in the day, I actually cut this pattern on the size 10 lines. Size 10!!! But I knew I could squeeze into it well enough for its purpose, so I charged ahead.

However, I do plan to use 1/4" seam allowances.

Nope, it's not Fun Sewing...but it'll HOPEFULLY get worn a bunch. I want to do something about that '30 pounds'... ;)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Black thread now

The first thing I did in the sewing room yesterday was attach a snap to the final outstanding HMC costume brought in by one of my super helpers...and I discovered that I really need to do some more tutorials on Bible costumes; my serger-based ones aren't helping the ladies who have to finish the seams with a conventional machine. I've got one choir-person costume sitting around waiting its turn; I guess I'll be making it up shortly and taking some photos of the process. Let's just say I did a little more on that costume than attaching a snap. ;)

Since I had to change the serger thread anyway, I went ahead and loaded up black when I was done. I'll catch those white shirts later; I was ready to see something finished quick for a change! ;)

About 2 hours later (I did some laundry along with the sewing and didn't really watch the clock) I had a finished Farewell to Arms skirt:

It's embroidered rayon/linen from Hancock's...and I don't care if it is traditionally a summer fabric, I think it rocks with boots! I really, really like that pattern.

The T is Sandra Betzina's Vogue 8151...another pattern I need to use some more ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Filling Space :D

I haven't sewn a stitch yet this week. My serger still hasn't been plugged back in after I brought all my stuff home on Saturday. I'm beginning to feel just a hint of 'I need to sew' vertigo.

That means I don't have any fabulous anything to report today. No progress, no plans,nothing, nada, zilch.

And it's time, according to the calendar, to switch the warm weather wardrobes for the cool weather wardrobes...but we're still in the 80's in these parts. A cool front came through yesterday and I turned off the AC and opened the windows. Fall clothes? Just not ready yet. Maybe next week.

And thanks for the hair comments! I'd been contemplating that for a while; every time I posted a photo of a new garment or choir outfit, I found myself thinking, with a wince,'Oh, the hair...' Remember those Vidal Sassoon commercials from the late '70's, in which the model had a very sleek and shiny page-boy bob which she shook side-to-side so we could all note how every hair then fell back into its place? That was always my ideal hairstyle. I've always wanted Neat Hair. Now, I know there are products and tools that can tame thick, wiry, wavy-curly hair into submission, but I don't have the time or the money to invest in that. My stylist, Miss DA, laughed at me. "Girl, you need to stop fighting it. You have Romantic Hair, and you need to go with it." I think she cut as much *out* as she cut *off*...when I wash it, it feels almost sparse now. I found my diffuser and I actually recreated the look all by myself. That's a very good thing.

Romantic Hair. That sounds so much nicer than wild, unruly, unmanageable; maybe I just need a paradigm shift here....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Time for a Change

My scales read a pound lighter this morning...wonder how much of that was hair?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Exercising Resistance

Sunday night, I cut a coupon for '50% of regular price of any fabric' from the current Hancock's flyer. It was good only from 8 - 10 AM yesterday morning, as part of their 'Early Bird' Columbus Day sale. I winced a little...I've still got something like 11 projects listed on the queue before I get the true green light to purchase needed fabric, but 50% off...and I would like some stretch black velvet for a project for DD... I didn't *have* to go, I told myself just before I went to bed, but if I got up in time, well, we'd see.

Fortunately, yesterday was a rather lazy start to the day. The kids are out of school for the week (Fall break? Nobody ever heard of such a thing when I was in school...) and My Sweet Baboo is out of town; I let myself be lazy and sleep in. When I came downstairs and looked at the coupon, I yawned. Yes, I still had time to get to the store, but I just didn't feel like leaving the house. So I tossed the coupon and stayed home, feeling very smug.

Then I got an email from Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics. She's having a sale and it almost did me in. She's got some fabulous fabrics, of the very sort I told myself I would be allowed to stash (good quality basics at good prices). I emailed her 'Ann! You're killing me!' And tried not to look any more.

So far I've resisted that order. But it's hard. Please, if you're not on a fabric moratorium, go buy that nice fabric to help a sister out. I can only resist so long... ;)

BTW, just in case someone's wondering, I have no affiliation with Ann other than pleased past customer and blog reader.

Now to go Far Away from the computer and sew or do laundry or wash dishes or something....

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend progress

Well, we didn't get quite as much done as I'd hoped...I think. It's hard to tell, because we ended up making all the pieces that needed cream thread instead of complete costumes. Plus we nearly finished the odd blue ladies' robes. None of the robes are are *totally* done...but there are 7 that only need the snap hammered on. We'll try to get another sewing stretch scheduled later in the month.

Whilst the serger was at church, I decided to work on the non-serger project when I was home, the simple top that ain't. I zig-zagged the lace to the lining and sewed the seams, but decided that, as it was covered w/zig-zag stitching anyway and it was a less than 5 dollar investment, I'd just zig-zag down the hems as well, rather than hand catchstitching all that lace. So it turned out being simpler than I originally thought.

It's also borderline too small. All that stitching to support the lace caused the base to draw up just a bit. Fortunately, it's firm enough that you really don't see it just feels a little, um, corsety. It looks good under a jacket, though.

But it was a great learning experience. Next time, I'll sew the lace to the lining BEFORE I cut the pieces out.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Choir Sundays #6

This month's colors are black w/either orange or tan. It's interesting to see the various interpretations of color, but overall it seems to work. The gap in the center of the back row is where I was standing before I hopped down to take the photo!

I wore one of my favorite tan (ok, I'll admit's almost brown, although it really isn't quite as dark as it looks in the photo) and black outfits, made for SWAP Challenge 2005; the jacket is Vogue 7914, shortened about 3" in the back; the pants are Stretch and Sew 704 (no-side-seam pants w/POCKETS!).

The fabrics are two colorways of Hancock's embroidered rayon/linen blend and are very, very soft. I love wearing this, even if it's not the most figure-flattering outfit in the closet. It's just so doggone comfortable!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

99 Cent temptation

I did well to avoid some very tempting fabric when I stopped for buttons Thursday (BTW, the buttons I decided on were black faux-braided-leather; I thought that classic style would suit the houndstooth pattern), but I couldn't ignore the 'Butterick patterns 99 cents each' sign and got four. Of course, two of them were the See & Sew line, which never go on sale, but at their $2.50 regular price, I figured that was ok. They'd both been on my list for a while.

Anyway, I got:
5066; I like the jacket shape (I'll need to add a lining and possibly switch the sleeves out for 2-piece) and I think the dress is good, and could be easily split into a top and a skirt. Or it may just go into the bin waiting forever for me to play with it....

5065; I may be Too Late for that Duroesque styling, but I've been looking for a tunic pattern that wasn't too flared under the bust and I think this could be altered. Again, possibly a permanent resident of the 'to be edited' bin, especially as I got the wrong size range and will have to grade the shoulders/upper chest down to an 8 from a 14. The bonus is that I won't have to grade the waist/hips up to a 14....

For some reason, I was taken with 5109. I'm not much of a bag lady, but those looked like something I could make for Christmas gifts. Mabye.

Finally, I got 5087. That's very similar to the Vogue jacket 2984, except that the Butterick has princess seams...easier to alter...and, while it's unlined, it wouldn't take a great deal of effort to add a lining. I think I could even play around with it and get a peplum in the back, but, given the fact that my wool is moth chewed I might just need to settle for lenthening and flaring it just a bit. I'll use less fabric that way...

But, none of that will happen this week; I'm off to church for a day of costume sewing and when I get home, the Prodigious Queue awaits...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Houndstooth Jacket!

When I was testing my buttonholes,I decided I really didn't like the way the wooden buttons looked against the fabric, so I made a quick stop at Hancock's on the way home from church yesterday afternoon and picked up buttons that I liked much better (and a few patterns; that'll be tomorrow's post). Then I sewed the buttonholes and fraychecked them well before I went back for the evening sewing session. Being so close to 'done', I just sat up last night and put the buttons on.

I'll probably do the review on the pattern this afternoon, but for now here's the photos of my very COMFORTABLE, very WARM Anything But Ordinary Jacket!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Target: 4

(ok, wow, I don't know why it posted after I typed the title. I must've hit a control key instead of a shift key...anyway...I'm editing it so bloglines will hopefully pick up the whole post)

I'm packing up and heading to church in a bit for a three-day sew-a-thon; I've got at least one lady coming in to help w/each of 5 shifts I'm going to be working (10 - 2:30 and 6 - 8 today and tomorrow; 10 - 2 on Saturday). The goal is to get four costumes done each day; that'll be half the children's church costuming. I may not make four today; I've only got one lady for each shift, and we've got to start by setting up the room, so today could be a little slow.

But I think I've got two or three down to help Saturday, so we should be able to catch up then.

On the home front, the hem is done on the ABO jacket; only buttonholes and buttons to go. I may have to use my back up Kenmore, with its oval button templates; I'm not sure the little bartack-and-zigzag buttonholes on my New Home are quite sufficient for the thick ravely threads in the jacket. I'll need to do a little testing to see...and it could be next week before I get there. But, progress is progress, even if it's measured in centimeters... ;)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mom's Taxi

No, it wasn't enough that I had places to go and things to do of my own yesterday; there were other folks to get to destinations and pick up, too.

And there were mis-figured times, missed busses, and cell phones on silent ('I didn't know you'd sent me a text!')

Needless to say, there was NO sewing accomplished yesterday.

Today I'm the one without wheels...and while I'd love to spend my Day At Home sewing, I've got laundry to do, a kitchen that's a wreck and a lesson to prepare for the Jr High Girl's class that I'm teaching tonight.

So there may be no sewing today either.

And I'm *that close* to having the houndstooth jacket finished...I think I'll have to allow myself a couple of housework breaks today to see if I can at least get the hems finished; then all I'll have left is buttons/buttonholes.

I think I can, I think I can... ;)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sewing in the Odds

Odd moments, that is.

That's what I'm doing this week; I got the buttons on My Sweet Baboo's shirt whilst waiting at the dentist; my houndstooth jacket (I promise pictures when it's done) is going to get finished out in about 5 - 10 minute increments. I'm just on the go this week.

But Thursday-Friday-Saturday will be spent with the machines at church, working on the now-binned-up children's church costumes. If we can make 4 a day, we'll have half of them done by the end of the week. One more three-day session in 3 - 4 weeks and we should have them done. Whew.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Line Jumping

I ended up with a whole evening at home last night to myself.

I should've gotten a good start on those white shirts in the queue. But I was sick of the queue and not ready to make another shirt just yet.

About 6:50 the fever hit, and under its influence I pulled out the cutting table and mats, the large houndstooth on top in the photo (from the upholstery remnant table at Hancock's!) and Louise Cuttings Anything But Ordinary jacket, which I'd traced last weekend, and started cutting.

It went slower than I expected; the houndstooth is large enough that the pattern needs to be at least lined up. The fabric is actually jacquard weave, so the wrong side is a negative of the right side, so I was continually reminding myself I had to match a tan 'tooth' to a dark 'tooth'. I even resorted to counting threads in the pattern! Plus, I decided to cut it single-layer to make sure it stayed lined up, then I goofed on the first pattern piece I laid on the fabric and cut it with too much waste space. So I had to finegle to get the rest on, and ultimately I sewed a couple of chunks together (matched carefully at the seam, of course...took three tries...)in order to have a strip long enough to lay the collar on. I put the pattern's fold line on the seam, so the seam is in the CB.

It ended up taking about an hour and a half to get it cut out.

But it went together fairly well, even though I had extra seam bulk at the center back. The only problem I had came from the shredding edges of the fabric, even though I handled them carefully. I learned that with a bulky, raveling fabric it would be better to draft a pattern for a back facing, rather than do the campshirt-style back neck finish that's indicated. If this were made from a nice linen, like the ones I saw in Louise's booth in Atlanta, that probably wouldn't be necessary.

And that fabric is really, really shreddy. It's very large horizontal yarns woven together with very fine vertical threads, and the yarns just about fall out of the fabric near any cut edge. I ended up stitching, serging and topstitching, or serging, stitching, pressing open and double topstitching all the seams.

Anyway, if it had been a cooperative fabric I think I'd've finished the jacket easily before everyone got home from the events of the evening around 11:30. As it is, I've still got the jacket hem, final topstitching and buttonholes and buttons (I found some cool wooden buttons in my Grandmother's box that I'm strongly considering) left to go.

Not quite the quick project I intended, but it was fun to try it! And the fabric is very malleable, cottony and warm...I'm going to enjoy wearing it.

Not to mention it's houndstooth...which is hot-hot-hot this fall. I'm amazed that I'm actually going to be on trend. ;)