Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cutting Myself a Little Slack

Does anyone notice how close I am to parity for the year?
Four measly yards!
And I have hardly sewn a stitch all month...just a wee bit of emergency sewing for the Flute Player. Oh, and the Big Christmas gift...a set of flannel waterbed sheets for my Dear In-Laws, which consumed 7 yards.

Oh, I have plans; I have fabric. I even have a pair of pants well started. What I don't have is time.

Now, according to my personal parity rules, if I go over for the year, during the first two weeks of January I have to donate twice the overage to charity before I can purchase any new fabric.

Fair enough. And I probably have eight yards of 'Why did I buy THIS?' fabric hiding in the bins upstairs anyway.

But, in looking at how much sewing I did for other folks this year...much of it rather unplanned for...I think I can cut myself just a wee bit of slack here.

So I'm giving myself through the weekend before I 'close out the numbers' for '08.

Not that that's a huge amount of grace; the rest of the week looks pretty busy and I don't know if I'll get much time in the sewing room anyway.

But I at least want to get all the '08 projects finished!

So...Happy Sewing New Year, everyone, and may you meet your Sewing Goals for 2009!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Last Choir Sunday Post for 08 -- number 40

This month's colors:Red and black

Jacket: Silhouette Patterns Robin's Jacket, made from silver/black/red plaid wool/lurex crepe and bound w/faux suede. It's over a black RTW fine gauge turtleneck sweater.

Skirt: Kwik Sew 2581, from black rayon crepe.

This is the last choir post of the year, since we won't be in choir next week! I likely won't get to the blog for the next week or so, so I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas...may you have many happy returns of the season! ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toasted, Fried AND Burnt....

I received an email today with the following request:
We at NowPublic are working on coverage of the top ten worst fashion trends of 2008, and we are putting together a collection of photos. We came across your amazing photo on Flickr and it would be a great addition to our story. We would very much appreciate its use, with proper credit to you of course. It was followed by a link to a page at which I could grant them the use of this amazing photograph.

So, you ask, what was this amazing photo that would fit into the TOP TEN WORST FASHION TRENDS OF 2008???

The (I thought) wearable muslin of Simplicity 4366.

I'll be the first to admit this is not the most flattering, stylish photograph, but I wasn't trying to take a flattering, stylish photograph; I wanted a photo of the fit of the pants. Probably the folks at 'NowPublic' didn't even realize that.

But still.

What were they thinking???

Here's the text that very likely would accompany this amazing photo, quoted from the above link:
5. Plaid pants

Ahh...popularized in the 1970's, and re-appropriated by grunge kids in the 90's. Leave plaid pants in your youth with that ratty old chain wallet you wore with them.

If you need plaid in your life, I wholeheartedly suggest you invest north of the waistline; a button-down shirt, fitted equestrian blazer, or tunic are all acceptable alternatives.

Thank you very much for your advice.

I did send a reply:
I would prefer that you do not use this photo.

Thank you very much.

Um, just a suggestion.... if you are looking at a photo posted for the purpose of displaying the fit of a home-sewn pattern, it *might* not be terribly considerate to ask the seamstress if it could be included in an article about Fashion Faux Pas. It, um, could ruin her day.

Just a thought.

I need some ketchup with my fries....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Choir Sundays '08 #39

This Month's Colors: Red and Black

I'm wearing...
A RTW black wool flannel Requirements jacket that I've had for something like 10 years

A likewise ancient red poly microfiber blouse from a looooonnnng out-of-print Kwik Sew pattern. I remember getting that fabric when microfiber was a brand new exciting thing. But it's still polyester...and one day I'll replace it with silk. ;)

My black wool gabardine Loes Hinse Oxford Pants

Our fearless leader gave us the heads up about colors for the next two months...royal blue and black next month(Yay! I can wear those things I made last year too late to wear!) and black and white in February. So -- no panic sewing in the immediate future, anyway!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas '08 Project Number 2

I *really* don't think the intended recipient of this little appliqued stocking will stop by here...but just the same I'm not going to say whom it's for.

I used the reverse side of some sweatshirt fleece for the fuzzy look... ;)

Friday, December 12, 2008

One Down

The biggest home-crafted Christmas present to come out of my sewing room this year is finished...that's a sigh of relief! Unfortunately, due to the very slight possibility that the intended recipient will drop by, I can't post any pictures or say what it is.

Pictures wouldn't help much anyway and I'll spill the beans after the gifts are opened.

I'm just glad I can move on to the next project! ;)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Crying 'Uncle'

I'm looking at the next two weeks and seeing a mountain of stuff to do; so I am going to do something I haven't done in the three years I've been blogging on Sew Random: I'm going to go to sporadic posts for the rest of the month.

I've done straight up blogging breaks, but I've never just said 'I'll post when I have something to say'. But, given the amount of things I have to do (we have FIVE Christmas-related events THIS WEEK) and the scarcity of time in which to do it, something's gotta give.

So, when/if I have somethings sewing-related to post, I will, but in the meantime I'm going to be working hard to get everything done that needs to be done!

Thanks for hanging with me!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Oh, My Achin' Back!

I'm not making much progress on the sewing queue...we've had a busy, busy weekend and I didn't even get into the sewing room.

And, if you've been following the choir Sunday posts (the choir didn't sing for Sunday morning services yesterday...we had a special presentation instead), you might have noticed that I've mentioned low back problems a couple of times. It finally got to the point that I had to do something, and one thing led to another and I ended up at the chiropractor.

Not going into whether chiropractic is good or not here...but I will say that it is helping somewhat.

Only I have to go three times a week until Christmas. Let me tell you, that is cutting into my sewing time.

That's really frustrating, but I was at the point that the back pain was interfering with my life so in the long run it's probably good to get something done about it.

But I have Christmas sewing to do so I will get going in there as soon as I can. I *don't* want to leave it all till next week!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Concert Attire

I finished the pants at 5 pm last hour and a half before we had to leave.

And discovered that the pants pattern that I made her last month is now nearly too short! These pants have a scant 1/2" turned up at the bottom for a hem...I'll have to add length to them next time I make them for her.

It didn't help that her flat dress shoes were also discovered to be too small last night; she's wearing her boots, which have a bit of heel. Ah, well. A trip to Shoe Carnival will be in order for new dress shoe next time an occasion arrives for her to wear them. But since it's December, the boots can fill that position nicely for a while.

I intended to take a photo of her with the cummerbund and tie, but the teachers collected them before the kids even left the stage. And the Flute Player was behind a music stand in the second row, so I couldn't see her at all when they played. So no 'concert photo'.

And the concert...well, it was a junior high band concert. It was fine. ;)

There were some kids there with shirts from formalwear shops...they were noticeable because they had studs on the front of their shirts instead of shirt buttons. But there were a number of kids who obviously were wearing the Hobby Lobby shirts and a number of them were not all that big. So perhaps there *was* a smaller size available than what I found? Oh, well...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Must. Find. Inspiration.

Yesterday was a Very Interrupted Day...and I didn't get a single stitch sewn on the black pants. All I managed was to change the serger thread to black.

Have I mentioned anywhere that the concert is tonight?

So I need to, like, spend all day sewing black pants.

Now, we do have black pants in the closet that are borderline too small and quite Not Liked, so if the effort fails, there is a Plan B; the world will not end.

But the Flute Player will not be happy...


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tux Shirt: Good Enough

She hadn't combed her hair yet this morning...and when I suggested it to her, she shrugged and said not to worry about it. So. THAT attitude will so change in a year or two!
This really is just a form of costuming; once I got my brain around that things went faster.

It's not wonderful; the armsceye was cut so low on the original shirt that I couldn't do much about the fullness under her arms. But the shoulders are higher -- I took about 2 1/2" out of the shoulder width -- and the sleeves are a much better length at 1 1/2" shorter. I was stressing over the hem; for some reason the back was about 1/2" longer than the front at the sideseam. My first thought was to whack it off and hem it, then I thought, hey, it'll only be worn tucked into pants anyway, why not just serge it?

But she tried it on this morning and tucked it all in with no I'm calling it 'done' and moving on to the black pants...

And we will not have to worry about her shirt tail coming untucked. ;)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Tux Shirt...progress

Well, it's cut and ready to baste back together.

I had a time deciding how to go about reducing that shirt. My thought was to get a shirt pattern in her size and just overlay it to cut down the shoulder seam/armsceye/sleeve cap.

But it didn't fit; the bottom of the armsceye of the pattern was off the edge of the lower curve of the armsceye on the unconstructed shirt.


Finally, I just trimmed off the portion of the shirt and the shoulder seam that I had noted needed to be trimmed; I'll put the sleeve back on and pin fit the rest of it. It was a continuous underarm/side seam anyway, so I can just kind of keep stitching it up until we're satisfied.

Oh, it's not going to fit as well as a custom made shirt, but it's saving me the trouble of doing all that pleating...not to mention figuring out how to do it, since I haven't seen a kid's pleated front/tux collar shirt pattern. I suppose there *might* be one for boys in the Vogue catalog...I didn't look there.

This is going to have to work for now; her concert is Thursday...and I still have to sew her black pants (which are cut out).

So, aside from a couple of errands today...I'm sewing....

Monday, December 01, 2008

Refashioning Exercise

The Flute Player has a required outfit (I can't really say 'uniform' -- it isn't) to wear for dress pants and a tuxedo shirt. To this outfit are added a red bow tie and cummerbund, which belong to the school.

The band requirements expressly prohibit substituting a regular dress shirt for the tuxedo shirt.

So...who knows where you can obtain a tuxedo style shirt in a girls size 14?

The teacher suggested we try the local formalwear shops. I shudder to think what such a thing would cost there.

So, I cut the '40% off any one regularly priced item' coupon from the Hobby Lobby ad and got myself over there and purchased the smallest size they had.

Um, no.

The shoulders and upper chest are too big on ME, for crying out loud!

But, having invested ten bucks in this shirt, I intend to make it work.

The cuffs have been removed, the underarm seam undone, and the sleeves taken off. Now all I need to do is cut down the upper part of the shirt and reshape the shoulder cap on the sleeves and put it back together.

Have I ever mentioned before how not fun this kind of sewing is????

But at least I can do it. And it won't be a bad shirt for ten bucks and a little time.

Assuming, of course, that I don't mess it up...