Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Waiting on buttons...

Ha! I found my cuffs! Turns out all I had done to them was fuse on the interfacing; so when I found the little rectangles of fabric on the floor under a box of patterns waiting to be filed, my first thought was 'Hey...is this the same fabric? I wonder if I could make new cuffs from this...' Then I noticed the interfacing and did the happy dance. So the Kwik Sew blouse is done to buttons/buttonholes.

Only I don't have any buttons in the stash that work. It needs something a little bigger than a standard shirt button, which is what I'd planned to use. A trip to Hancock's is in order. Yikes.

And the silk blouse is also done to the buttons. I have the buttonholes in and slit, so all I have to do now is sew on, um, 14 buttons and it's done.


So, now I'm trying to decided what's up next...

More queue sewing, long put off winter outerwear projects, much needed pants for The Flute Player, or a quick gratification project?

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Blog Award!

I know these awards have been making the rounds, but it still surprises me to be nominated by Ann of Gorgeous Things She is one of my sewing inspirations (not to mention suppliers, since she began her mail order fabric business, Gorgeous Fabrics) So I'm really honored that she'd pick my blog for this! Especially considering other fabulous folks she nominated (Me? In the same list with Paco?).

Anyway, like all blog awards, they have, um, rules.

The first ones are easy... post the award images and a link to the person who gave it to you.

Usually, the rules then skip to nominating others and notifying them, but there's a catch here; there's a request to list '6 of your most important values and 6 negative points you condemn.'. (Who writes these things, anyway?) It looks like there's a lot of leeway for interpretation here...is this six values I consider key to myself, or six values I consider important in others? Does it really matter which way I interpret it?

Well, I'm going to list six things about myself that I think are foundational to who I am, and six things I wish I could improve upon. I don't know if that meets the requirements or not, but it seems fair and in the spirit of the award, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. NOTE: These are in No Particular Order.

1) I'm a tightwad. I really hate to spend money on frivolous things; I justify my fabric purchases by telling myself it really is cheaper in the long run. And, sometimes I'm right...like the time I had an urgent need for a denim jacket, and made one from denim (purchased on sale several years earlier) in the stash...the only new outlay of cash was about $5 for buttons.

2) I'm a Pentecostal-style evangelic Christian. That conjures up a lot of weird images for some folks, I know, but it's the truth. My life values all come from my faith...and I can't separate that out from who I am. It probably comes through on the blog, although I know there are many folks with different beliefs who stop by here and I try very hard not to offend anyone, I cannot go back on what I believe because someone else disagrees or does not understand. That's part of the reason I started the second blog...so I could discuss that side of my life without freaking the people who come by for sewing stories.

3)I try to be really honest at all times.

4) I love tradition...things all tied up around special events like weddings and holidays.

5) I am very loyal

6) I'm determined to make things work...why I have so few wadders... ;)

Now, 6 things about myself that I'd like to improve:

1) organization organization organization! I'd count that as three but that wouldn't be fair.

2) I have distinct packrat tenancies. I wish I could get rid of useless stuff easier than I do.

3) I hate confrontation. Some things need confronting.

4) I wish I could keep up with sending birthday cards and such in a timely fashion. Maybe that comes under #1, but I don't like it that folks may think I have forgotten them...that's not true.

5) I hate calling folks on the telephone. I'm not sure why, but I do. Again, people think I don't care, and that makes me sad.

6) I also have an unpleasant tendency to speak before I have completely considered how that might sound to the other person...let's just say I get misunderstood a lot and end up offending folks when I didn't mean to. It sounds reasonable in my head...but then, no one else is in my head and they didn't hear the background music, I guess.

Ok...now for my own nominations. These folks are supposed to do what I just did, but I'm not going to fuss if they don't. This is all about sharing the love, anyway, right?

The Rules say to nominate 6 - 10 people; I'm not sure how many I'll end up with.

I'm going to limit myself to blogs that I have recently discovered: if I just found them, it might be that some others might enjoy finding them, too!

Bubblegum for Breakfast. I've seen Birgitte's work on Pattern Review...she has an amazing eye for design and construction. Go be inspired!

From the Stash. Gry designs and sews wonderful things in Denmark.

The Princess Seam. Adriana posts as 'Eli' on Pattern review and does some truly amazing things. She calls herself an 'intermediate' level sewing enthusiast, but I think you'll agree that her garments are well above that level.

After the Dress. Gwen blogged her way through constructing a friends wedding dress, then started ATD to chronicle her sewing for herself. She has an interesting structure...on Fridays, she 'confesses' something, and then on the following Thursday does a little synopsis of the replies she received. Sort of an informal poll; it's kinda fun!

Amands's Adventures in Sewing. Amanda has been doing some pattern reviews of some really sharp things; have a look!

Ok, now I'm going to break with my sewing buds for my last one and nominate a blog that is not about sewing. It's about faith in the real world...

Bring the Rain. This is a real-life, real-time story of one mother's walk through extraordinarily difficult events. Angie is married to Todd Smith of the Christian band Selah, but that really isn't a major part of the story. How she and her family are walking out their circumstances is the story. Go to the first post and read the story from the bottom up. Have a box of kleenex handy.

Um, let's see...the last of The Rules says that I now have to leave a comment on the above blogs so they know they're nominated. So...I'm off!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Choir Sundays '08 #29

This Month's colors: Hot Pink, charcoal grey or black w/jeans

Top: Brown Paper Patterns Basic Shell, made from the remnants of the fabric left from the top I wore last week...printed cotton/lycra from Cutting Corners at a past Atlanta Expo. I think I decided this morning that I need to scoop out the front neckline of this pattern the next time I make it...it'll fit better and be more flattering, too.

Jacket: Same Ol' Vogue 8045 jacket, from fairly hefty denim.

The jeans are my long-legged Lees...again w/boots. I need some shoes w/heels that aren't sandals...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Literary Indulgence

No, I'm not writing today...I'm reading.

There is sometimes a downside to fostering avid reading amongst one's offspring.

Someone gave The Actor Eragon for Christmas several years ago; he read it and pronounced it marvelous...I read it and laughed all the way through at the blatant use of ideas, themes, even names from classic science fiction/fantasy. It became kind of a challenge to identify what elements were borrowed from Star Wars,The Lord of the Rings, The Dragonriders of Pern, The Earthsea Trilogy , etc. The Actor purchased the second book of the trilogy...excuse me, series...when it came out and read it in a hurry, then wanted me to read it. We've discussed various plot possibilities while he waited with baited breath for the third book (now NOT the last book), which was released over the weekend. He raced through it in a couple of days, crowed with glory that he had correctly predicted some plot developments, and urged me to read it because he wanted to discuss it. However, as these things go, I was too busy to do any reading yesterday. The Flute Player nabbed it the moment she came in from school, though, and began reading.

The Actor hopped in the car when I picked him up from his bus stop last night, the question coming before he had his seat belt fastened. "So, Mom, how much did you read?" and his face fell when I said I had not touched the book all day. Then he noticed his sister was reading it.

And, yes, I had to intervene on her behalf to get him to grudgingly agree to let her read it when I wasn't. We agreed that she can't take it to school, so I sat down and read today...instead of sewing, which was my intention. Hopefully I've gotten far enough that he can talk about some of the things that are stirring around in his thoughts.

The sacrifices parents make for their kids. (lol)

I think it would probably have been a fairly good book with some true editing. As it is, I'm finding myself fretting over the excesses and fighting the urge to just skim through it. Even The Actor commented on the true cheesieness of it in places. I don't often roll my eyes when reading fiction and that's happened several times here.

Maybe I'll get some sewing done when The Flute Player gets home and grabs the book.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Testing my Resolve

Got another sale email today...this one from Fashion Fabrics Club. There are a lot of folks who, um, don't care for FFC, but I have to confess that they're responsible for a LARGE percentage of my fabric stash. Occasionally I've gotten something that didn't live up to my expectations, but usually the fabric from them has been very nice. And cheap. Now they're doing a big sale, with lots of fabrics deeply discounted, and, um, I'm not buying, I'm not buying I'm not buying....

This isn't a 'no purchase 'till parity' deal (although I'm farther behind parity than I'd really like to be at this point) it's a 'I gotta conserve the cash' deal.

And I don't know when that particular qualifier will lift. Maybe by the end of the year...maybe not.

Sigh. I gotta go delete that email.

Note: if I don't get some sewing done soon, I'll find myself talking politics, which I refuse to do on my blogs. I've mentally declared my blogs to be 'politics free zones', and I'm not gonna go there.

So I really, really need to do some sewing.... :D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Fun Sewing

I hate it when sewing becomes a chore instead of a delight. It happens from time to time. Usually, it's stuff w/a deadline, so I can kind of grit my teeth and plow my way through it, but right now, the only deadline I have is 'when this is done I can start sewing from fresh inspiration again!'

Ya'll the only sewing I did yesterday was pull out the silk Chopin Blouse and set about figuring out how to cut a replacement lower back piece, seeing as how I apparently threw the original one out.

The remnant of fabric I've got is about 2 1/2" too short to cut one. So I'm going to have to make this fit, then retro-trim the front to match. The pattern piece is currently lying on the fabric remnant on the cutting table. That's as far as I got.

And the blouse has not been going together well from the git-go. I sewed the collar on the wrong side of the blouse. The shirred bias cuffs/collar refused to shirr in a straight line. I lost the back.

Sigh. Working on it is not fun anymore. But my conscious will not let me cut anything new until I finish it.

Not to mention the white Kwik-sew blouse, which is done to the (still AWOL) cuffs. I know I made them; there's a blog post to that effect to shore up my rather shaky memory of it. So those cuffs should be...somewhere.

And Fabric Mart has four ply black silk crepe on sale for $10/yard! I've been looking for affordable 4-ply silk crepe...in black...for years.

But, my budget is COMPLETELY depleted. I deleted the email real quick before my fiscal responsibility flew out the window. The budget tightening has got to start being Real Serious.

All of which contributes to a lack of sewing fun.

So...I need to pull myself together and Finish That Blouse, Find Those Cuffs, and get Inspired by the Stash.

Deep breath, now...it'll be ok... ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Blogger's instituted what looks like a new feed collector...their 'following' options. Apparently, you can 'follow' a number of blogs...even put a widget on your blog so that folks can 'follow' along with the blogs you're 'following.'

I'm not sure I'm ready to dump Bloglines for it, though. It would be nice to have the widget there, but I've got something like 100 blogs I subscribe too...it would be a real mess on the sidebar. I even took the list off and put it in a post so that all that is in the sidebar now is a link to the post. Bloglines generates the list in the post from the blogs I've subscribed to; I don't have to think about it. It's accessible, but it's not cluttering up the sidebar (I may have to do something similar with the archive files one of these days).

Plus, if I want to display the 'following' widget, I'd have to convert to layouts. Now, I'm using the classic 'template' version. I tried the layout version w/my other blog when I first set it up, but I had all kinds of problems getting the layout to allow me to insert new links and I finally gave up and converted it over to classic like this one.

So, no widget for me.

But it is kind of neat to log on to the dashboard and see some smiling faces of folks who will see my posts. So I guess it's a good thing.

(Yes, I have no substantial sewing to report and I'm grasping at straws for content. But I thought I'd explain why the 'following' widget won't be showing up on my sidebar...).

Hopefully I can talk sewing tomorrow. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Groovin' with the Ugly Bog COMC

For the curious (and determined), there is a video clip of the UBCOMC up on our church website. It's at the tail end of the 'weekly announcements' video, so you have to click on the 'video announcements' in the upper right hand corner and wait patiently through all the happenings of the week and upcoming events. But, if you're determined to see it, you will see the UBCOMC worn on our hip Joseph, dancing with a sheaf of wheat.

And you can't even tell that it's Truly Ugly... ;)

The whole series of little videos, which will be used as 'sermon spice,' should be a real hoot.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Choir Sundays '08 #28

This month's colors: Hot pink with black or charcoal grey and blue jeans

Shirt: Kwik Sew 3027, from a printed cotton/lycra shirting purchased from Louise Cutting at the '06 (I think) Atlanta Sewing Expo. (I've recently seen this same fabric at Textile Fabrics in Nashville...).

Lee straight legged jeans; wildly audacious (for me, anyway) belt from Target and, as the temps were not projected to go above 79 today, my boots.

Bring on fall... ;)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Publishing Changes

No, I'm not going to Wordpress or anything like that; I'm a girl of simple needs and the good ol' low tech Blogger and ubiquitous Scribe template work just fine for me.

I've just decided to take Saturdays off.

Part of the 'see what stress I can remove from life' program. I haven't talked a lot about it here, but it's been a major theme over at my other blog. Here, I'll just say life has been waaayyy too busy for the past ?? months and I'm trying to pare down and pull in just a bit for a while to avoid overdoing to the point of being overdone.

Besides, taking Saturdays off will give me more time to sew... ;)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ahead of the Curve?

I've been seeing a lot of posts on the boards and such about sewing with lace; I thought for a moment about rummaging around for some lace to get on board with it (that sidetracked sanguine trying to assert itself over my recent determination to work on the queue) when I remembered something: I've already sewn some lace garments...

The first was the Fashion Sewing Group 1964 skirt; I made this in 2005...and worn it only once or twice.

The second was last year; the modified Loes Hinse City Dress Bodice, which I have yet to wear.

I love both pieces...they're unique and, apparently, to my surprise, very stylish right now.

But...a SAHM just doesn't have much opportunity for wearing dressy lace garments!

I gotta watch for a chance to put those on in the next couple of months....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

News from the Dollar Table

I happened to catch the department manager working at my favorite Wal-Mart dollar table last week when I was looking for cheap multicolor fabric and we had a bit of a chat. I told her that I always come there for costuming and rarely leave without finding something that would work.

She responded that she has three different fabric sources that she works with, and she orders from them (I think) weekly, to keep her table stocked w/different styles of fabric.

Both of us lamented Wal-Mart's growing lack of support for home creativity; she said it has affect more than just the fabric department; said they also no longer carry DMC embroidery floss as an example of the whole cut back in that area. What was the notions wall a few years ago has been reduced to a cabinet. The zipper stock is about 1/3 of what it used to be; there is a corresponding limited thread selection. She said that their fabric department has so far missed the real cutbacks, but she is afraid that its coming.

I commented that she should open her own discount fabric shop if WM shuts theirs down. She looked at me and kind of grinned.

"You know, several people have said that. I just might."

Oh! Joy! Perhaps it *won't* go away!

I pointed out that she already had the contacts and sources...if Wal-Mart closes down, that will be a lot of folks in our area who will need a place to pick up what they'd been getting there.

"Well, we'll see," she commented. "I've got a few ideas...it might work."

There's hope....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Queue Busting

I've pulled out the pink jacket fabric, the lining, the pattern, the tracing paper...and I just don't have the oomph to make it. We have two Sundays left in September; I could push it through but my heart's not in it.

To my surprise, what I *want* to do more than anything else is sew the stuff in the queue. Most of those projects have been in the WIP pile for a year or better; it's getting depressing. I can't enjoy cutting new stuff until I clean that out.

So, even if I wear the same pink stuff I've already worn this month, I'm giving myself permission to go back and finish. I'm putting the pink jacket stuff away for now.

After I've cleaned the queue, I won't have that 'unfinished work!' song playing in my head and I can have some fun with something new!

So, back to the half done Kwik Sew white blouse which is still missing the (sewn) cuffs. They gotta be there someplace.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Picking Up My Teeth

(Note for folks not familiar w/American idioms: "I dropped my teeth" is an idiom meaning I was profoundly surprised).

There's been a little discussion over at PatternReview about designating some awards for contributors. Nominations have been accepted for the past month or so in several categories, and today the nominees were posted for voting (note: you may have to be a signed-in member of PR to view that page; I'm not sure).

I was flabbergasted to see my picture in the list.

I haven't been terribly active in PR this year and I really didn't expect to be nominated for anything. But, I suppose if I were going to be nominated for anything, 'thinking outside the box' makes sense.

It's a huge honor to be nominated; I'm...I'm...I'm typing and erasing a whole bunch of goofy sounding stuff here. The other nominees in the list are all fabulous at what they do; I'm pretty much speechless to be in that list with them.

And it's going to be really, really difficult to vote on one per category.

At least I've got all month to think about it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lost My Rhythm...

Conferences tend to do that...several days of intense, out-of-the-normal-schedule focus leaves it just a little difficult to pop right back into the routine.

It's especially difficult if 'routine' is not a strong suit...which it isn't for this little sewing blogger.

Mondays are a volunteer day, anyway, so I've been gone a bit. Did a bit of laundry. Strung a couple of necklaces that I could wear w/hot pink tops. Sewed a wee bit on the white shirt.

And I went to the stash bins and pulled the pink rayon/linen and the matching lining. I may just take the plunge and cut that jacket out this week.

If I can find the rhythm...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Choir Sundays '08 #27

This Month's Colors: Hot Pink or Black or Charcoal Grey w/jeans

Jacket: My old favorite Vogue 8045 denim jacket. My photographer failed to notice that the collar was slightly flipped...

Top: Printed silk charmeuse Modified Loes Hinse City Dress Shell. The flower is kind of a mix of red and hot pink...it was close enough.

Gloria Vanderbilt 'Mom' jeans this time. After a fabulous but exhausting conference, I wasn't up to wearing the heels required by my boot-cuts... ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Whose Pants?

The Actor came downstairs this morning dressed considerably nicer than his usual school attire...he had on a white polo shirt and a pair of drapey black dress pants.

I asked him what the occasion was; turns out part of his grade in his Business Tech class is to dress appropriately for an office on specified days...the first of which is today.

"I like these pants!" he said, "They're really comfortable."

But...I looked again at those pants. The dress pants that I bought him last spring were khaki and blue cotton twill... I couldn't think of any pants his brother might've handed down to him that would drape like those. And, they looked a little too long. His shirt tail was out, so I couldn't see the top of them.

Finally, I gave up. "Come over here!" I wanted a closer look at that fabric.

I couldn't believe it. Herringbone weave black rayon/polyester.
They were my Loes Hinse Oxford/European Morph, seen in this photo from last fall (and several other Choir Sunday Posts). He said they were just hanging in his closet.

I'm thinking he picked them up from the laundry room by accident some time ago. Since we've been wearing jeans for choir, I haven't missed them.

Anyway, he wanted to know if he could wear them! My pants! No way, Jose'!!!

Then, he wanted to know where I'd gotten them. Well, THAT'S kind of a dumb question...

Now he wants me to make him some dress pants from a similar fabric.

I guess he really liked them.

Oh...he wore his blue twill pants to school today.

Publication notice: Our women's conference at church is this weekend; as I'll be conferencing from dawn 'till long past dusk both tomorrow and Saturday, I don't plan to try to post, too. I'll catch up next week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Ugly Bog Coat

The ol' Ugly Bog was a hit at the videotaping last night. Thank the good Lord.

The taping was very interesting...and costuming it was a bit of a challenge, since they were doing it against a green-screen so they could add the scenery later. That meant that no one could have a costume that was any shade of green (I was told the splashes of jade green in the UBCOMC would be manageable). At first, I thought, ok, no problem, but when I began to pull costumes for Joseph's eleven brothers I found something out: We've used an awfully lot of green fabric of one shade or another in our costuming! We were rather scraping to get everyone in something...but, since the shots were all pretty tight, it was ok if some of the costumes were way short; the jeans underneath won't show in the finished product.

Ah, the benefits of video vs. live on stage....

But the '70's twist' made it an absolute hoot to watch. We, of course, made no real attempt to be any kind of really authentic...for instance, the Egyptian baker wore a calico apron. We had some Afro wigs, a shaggy rock star wig, glue-on mustaches, side burns and, um, chest hair. And the 'mood music' that was playing while the taping was progressing was 'Dreamweaver'...which is going to be used in bits and pieces as Joseph's liet motif in the finished video. It just so happens that that song was the theme song for my Senior Prom many years ago...I was having flash back goosebumps all night long.

I got all the costumes put back together and reorganized after they were finished, but I didn't feel like making six trips up to the attic to carry it all up last night; I've got to run a couple of errands today anyway, so I'll run by church and carry the costumes and the rack back up sometime this morning.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ugly Bog

Is it just me, or does this look like it needs a snap tape closure and labeled as a 'duster dress'?

It's not enough that the print is garish...this has to be some of the most off-grain fabric I've ever worked with. Nothing I could do would get it to hang straight.

I self-lined it, hoping some weight would help...but it's so off kilter I had problems getting the two layers to cooperate; I still need to re-do the bottom a bit. The outer layer bubbles on one side; the inner layer bubbles on the other.

And it was supposed to be a quick garment...

Oh, well, the video clip shot of this should only be about 10 seconds long; I'm not going to sweat it too much more.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Time Out

Hold that personal sewing for a day or so...

Breaking news is that Pastor will soon be preaching a sermon series about Joseph, and we are going to be shooting some video to use in his sermon in very small clips.

The costumes are to be 'Biblical with a 70's twist'.

But, having virtually no budget, we're going to have to Make Do with what's upstairs.

With one teeny exception...we have no 'Coat of Many Colors'.

If I'd've had time, I'd've tie-dyed something. Unfortunately, the first taping...the one that needs the COMC, is tomorrow night.

So, I hit the dollar table at my favorite Wal-Mart (and had a very interesting discussion with the department manager; likely another post this week if I don't get any other news-worthy sewing-related stuff done) and found ONE wildly-printed fabric. It really is a great mish mash of color, but it's voile (or voilish...it's dollar fabric: basically just Real Thin). It'd be too flimsy for stage; however, since it's for a very, very short video clip, I think it'll work.

So...it's another Bog Coat in the works!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Choir Sundays '08 #26

This Month's colors: Deep Hot Pink or charcoal grey or black w/blue jeans. The stage has been kind of redesigned; the choir is on new risers (with lights!) in the middle of the stage, with the band split on either side. It's different...

The only thing I'm wearing that I made is the Jacket; it's the McCall's 5191, from printed cotton/lycra sateen. I misread the fabric description when I purchased the fabric from Fabric Mart two years ago; consequently it wasn't what I was expecting (my fault totally). So I changed my mind two or three times before I finally used it as the test for the Palmer/Pletsch jeans jacket. It turned out cuter than I expected, and I was, um, tickled pink (couldn't resist!)that the pink in it is this month's choir pink. I was even more tickled that it was a dead match for that absolutely ancient Lands' End sleelveless mock-t-neck.
Need I even mention the Lee jeans anymore? ;)

Oh, I just noticed that this post starts the second year for Choir Sundays! My first Choir Sundays post was 9-2-07. Hard to believe I've been doing this for a year...even harder to believe that I wore something I made every Sunday I was in choir during the past year! I wasn't sure I could do it, but I did!

And, I guess since I'm in the habit of doing this, I'll keep it up for a while longer, anyway...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Trying to make a plan

It's too bad the SWAP competition (now being hosted by Stitcher's Guild, since the retirement of Julie Culshaw and the closing of Timmel Fabrics) isn't gearing up to start soon; I could really get into planning a SWAP wardrobe right now.

And I'll probably be doing too much costuming to commit to it at the start of the year. Oh, well.

But I am trying to get a direction on what I'm going to do. Part of that requires some real assessment of what I *need*.

I need some white shirts, really bad. I have one that was well started before I had to start sewing Piratey things, and I pulled it out today to see how far I can get. Then I discovered that the cuffs (I'm pretty sure I made the cuffs!) are AWOL. I *could* cut more, but I'd really rather just find the ones I did in...May?

I really, really, really need to clean that sewing nook!

Hancock's still had the buttons that I'd originally purchased to put on my pink silk/linen/rayon floppy weave suiting, so I grabbed a couple more cards, which means the Vogue 1040 is a real possibility. I like that jacket a lot; I'm going to trace/alter it as soon as I get a chance and see if I'm still as interested in it...whatever I need to do, I need to cut the pink jacket out no later than a week from Monday if I hope to finish it by the end of the month. I've also got some pink double-faced satin in the stash that I believe I'm going to see if I can turn into a top from a Burda WOF pattern; I've got the pattern traced but I want to pin-fit it before I proceed any further. I've only got a pinch over a yard, so I don't even know if it'll work or not.

That'll be the only pink things I try to make for this month; there's too much else that needs doing and, to be honest, I'm not sure whether I'm going to put them into the queue or not.

The Flute Player (DD the Second) and I both need black pants; so that's going to have to be in the queue soon. It looks like the choir will be wearing jeans through October; I need to do a couple of muslins and get some that are right.

And I've still got my trench coat project in the wings...and there are those things in the queue from earlier...

I really need to Make A Plan....I'm thinkin', I'm thinkin'....

Friday, September 05, 2008

So Much to Do, So Little Time

Confession time.
I'm almost at mental gridlock again. Normally, we're really busy sewing costumes for various church folks at this time of year, but we had a light load of requested costumes and, wonder of wonders, I'm finished (all but some new Angel costumes that were totally my idea and really have no particular deadline at the moment). Now, I actually have some time to do some serious personal sewing, which is something I really haven't had since February (First, Pippin, then the Pirate Costume Project, then a busy traveling summer, then the annual fall sewing blitz).

Now, with some actual time...I'm having a hard time getting my plan down to do something productive.

I've still got a bunch of stuff in the queue to finish up...both from this year and last.

I've got the opportunity to make and wear some of my stashed hot pink fabric

I've got some lovely new things that have arrived over the past few months that I'm dying to get turned into clothes (some of those things are actually real wardrobe needs, too)

What to do, what to do?

In all honesty, I should probably start by cleaning the sewing nook. I got it about half organized before the Pirate Project started, but it quickly disintegrated again, since things weren't really in place when I started.

Sigh. No fun, that....

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Thinkin' Pink

Next month's choir colors are deep hot pink and charcoal grey or black w/blue jeans (yeah, blue jeans one more month...). I've probably got enough stuff in the closet that I could squeak by without making anything new.

But I have two or three pieces of fabric in the stash that have just been languishing because I've been busy sewing stuff in the colors I needed.

So I'd really like to take the opportunity to make them up.

One is a piece of silk/linen/rayon blend suiting that came from Emma One Sock SEVERAL years ago. My intention was to replace a one-button blazer jacket that hadn't really fit since baby three (who is now 15). But the fabric is very loosely woven and floppy. I don't think I want to beat it into a tailored out blazer. But I do have the Fashion Sewing Group jacket muslined, tweaked and ready for fashion fabric. And the folks on Stitcher's Guild are doing a sew along on that pattern that I've been following whilst doing the most recent round of Church costuming...I'd sort of like to join along.

But there are a couple of other patterns I'm looking at, as well. One is Loes Hines' Milano Jacket, but my fabric would have to be fully interfaced (that floppy loose weave...) and I think it will therefore need a lining, which of course is not a feature of any Loes Hinse pattern. Vogue 1040 is also on the short list...I'd leave off the fringy trim and I'd need to get different buttons than the ones I have currently intended for that fabric (I don't have enough...but maybe Hancock's still has some). And I have made enough Vogue patterns that I pretty well know what my alterations need to be. But there's one more that's caught my eye...the Burda World of Fashion September issue, which arrived Tuesday, has a nice jacket, number 129, that I definitely want to make at some point, and it's very similar to the Milano...only it does have at least a nod to putting in a lining in the directions.

So, I've got some decisions to make...and pretty soon. It'd be nice to finish it in time to wear in September, and if I've got to start w/a muslin (which I'd need to do for the Burda jacket), I need to get on it.

Maybe I'll just go ahead and trace and muslin the BWOF jacket while I make up my mind?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Fabric In...

Is there anyone who managed to resist all the Labor Day sales that were flying around the 'net?

I succumbed to one...because I really, truly needed some black cotton/lycra bottomweight fabric for pants, and Gorgeous Fabrics had a really nice black cotton/lycra sateen available. Plus, she had some silk/lycra charmeuse for sale...in the color I needed for choir last Easter (the top I made was merely ok...cheap fabric purchased just because it was the Right Color. Now I can make a pretty replacement from silk/lycra!). And there was one 'I can't resist this while I'm already paying shipping!' fabric...the knit Ann used to make this top. I'm a sucker for nice rayon/lycra knits...and, with a black-and-white theme, that'll get used in choir, too.

Sigh. The 'yards in' total is creeping upward; time to do some stash-busting sewing...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Finishing a UFO

Two years ago, we were swamped w/costuming for our Easter production at church. A number of costumes had disappeared, so we asked any choir members who could to bring in fabric for us to make them their own costumes. However, we hadn't planned on doing a huge batch of new Roman Soldier costumes as well. The costume fabric came in...and there were a few that were just not acceptable. A pair of sisters brought in very large, loud prints that I had to send back to them. One brought in replacement fabric; I managed to find a costume in the church attic storage for the other. One lady just brought in something the clerk at Wal-Mart had told her would be a great color for her.

It turned out to be swimsuit lining. Totally transparent.

She told me to keep it, as she had no use for it, and we found her a costume upstairs. But I hated that she'd purchased something so...wrong.

One day, it occurred to me that I could use swimsuit lining to line mesh tops or skirts...anyway, I went to the dollar table at Wal-Mart and found some other fabric that would go with the pieces she'd brought in for the head drapes...at least, sort of...and traded.

We cut her costume out of the new fabric last August, but we had so many costumes to make for the children's church that I didn't get to it.

Yesterday, I pulled it out of the bag and sewed it up.

Won't Miss K be surprised when I give it to her at choir practice Thursday night?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Pattern Count

Note to self: Don't take a list of patterns with you to a fabric store when a sale is in progress if you don't want to come home with a bag full of patterns...

But...Vogues were 3.99 and Simplicity was 1.99, limit ten each. I even bought some patterns that I'd been on the fence about for a while...

First, the Simplicities. I hadn't caught a Simplicity sale in a while.

I wanted a good basic pants pattern for DD the Younger; she's growing so fast I'm having trouble keeping her ankles covered. Simplicity 4839 looked like a good basic to me; now to get it fitted for her and made up before she outgrows the alterations. ;)

I got a couple of patterns that I thought DD the Elder might be interested in...she says she can't envision them made up, so she doesn't know if she'll like them or not. She was intrigued by the whole 'be your own fashion designer' page in the Project Runway pattern envelopes, though, so we'll see if she plays with it. And, ya never know, I might opt to make one of these for myself:

Simplicity 2927
Simplicity 2848

I got a PR pattern for me, too...Simplicity 2807. I love the ribbon trimmed blouse and will be on the lookout for suitable material. But, I ask you, why would anyone put a picture of a skirt cut off-grain on the front of the envelope? Doesn't that just scream 'home ec class!!!' Perhaps it's the print on the fabric that's off, but all the same, it looks bad at the waistline...

Then, there are the Threads Collection patterns:

Your basic shirtdress: Simplicity 2996. I would make a self-fabric belt w/buckle rather than the kinda dumpy sash, but doesn't that brown eyelet look kewl?

Your basic pants: Simplicity 4366. Wide legs, boot cut, tapered, capris...a whole wardrobe of pants in one envelope. Definitely worth the fitting work!

And a coat: Simplicity 3562 I have the best intentions of making a great coat...someday....

I also got 4 Vogues, but these are mostly patterns I've been waffling about for a while, and decided that at $4 each, I could get 'em:

Vogue 7693. A (faux) wrap dress for woven fabrics...and it has that high-in-the-back V neckline that I've decided is so flattering to wear.

Today's Fit 1058 I'm not wild about the cardi, although it could be nice in the right fabric. I decided a good darted sleeveless knit top pattern was worth 4 bucks. Once tweaked, that could easily see a lot of use.

Vogue 8299 Cropped jackets. Shoulder princess seams...I could fudge it out into a longer jacket if I decide crop is over. I like the asymmetric collar, too; that might get morphed onto some other things.

Finally, one for the wild side: Koos Van den Akker 2971. Dunno if I'll ever make it (although I do like the wrap top), but it's a worthy collectible, no?

I wonder if I made one pattern a week for the rest of my life if I'd get through the whole collection... ;)