Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pausing the Green Shirt

All the pieces are accounted for; all it needs are the 'buttonhole patches' added and the edges finished, then buttons and buttonholes.

But I've *got* to get on with those knit dresses, so the patches, which are made, are in the little baggie w/the thread and I'm moving on.

I'm gonna try to finish cutting the replacement skirts tonight...tomorrow, being Wednesday, will not see much sewing. But Thursday and Friday...yeah, I'm gonna be On The Machine.

Deep breaths.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Canceling all engagements...

...for the week. I still need to
1) finish the green silk Tribeca top. I got a lot of work done on it yesterday evening while the young fry of the family indulged their video game itch. Can't hear it as much in the sewing nook....

2) Finish cutting the replacement pieces for the last two knit dresses

3) remove the original, unflared skirt from the test dress so it can be replaced with the new flared skirt

4) make the five dresses I now have in my care. Dear Costume Mistress is going to try to convince one other person to make the other five.

All this by Saturday, if at all possible.

So, I will not be going to the monthly Scrabble (R) party tomorrow night. I will be sewing.

Hm. I may settle for just getting all the pieces attached to the green blouse, to finish the edges and add buttons/buttonholes later....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #12

Are you sick of this outfit by now? Truth is, I haven't worn *exactly* the same thing in this month's photos...the jacket and the bottoms have changed. This is, again, the Brown Paper Patterns Basic Shell in green silk dupioni from Hancock's, Loes Hinse's Bistro Jacket in herringbone weave poly/rayon suiting and, this time, the black cotton twill Vogue 7881 pants.

I just couldn't get to the sewing machine for the Tribeca. But I intend to push that hard in the next couple of days...I want it finished and out of the way before I start sewing the Aida dresses.

No more missing garment pieces!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still Cutting Knit Dresses

Not much to talk about; I'm going to be cutting (and doing laundry) all day today.

So I thought I'd just show a photo of the altered-up front skirt. I taped the addition to the center seam, but the addition for the side seam is marked so I can just overlay it to whichever size cutting line I need; it's just pinned in place. When I cut the 8's and the 6's, I'll move it in. Saved tracing whole new pieces....

This particular dress was cut before the alterations were made; so the skirt is getting re-cut, and we ditched the filmy knit we were using for the bodice lining and will self-line instead. I've got two additional pieces of fabric for each dress that has to be recut...enough to get bodice/skirt front on one piece, and the bodice/skirt back on the second.


Off I go....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why are my brain cells scattered?

Must have something to do with the 'nearly max commitment' level of life at the moment...

I haven't been able to get to my cutting table to work on those knit dresses until around 10 pm any day this week before today.

And today I discovered I'd made some mistakes in what I'd done. I looked at the wrong numbers...put the wrong numbers with the wrong girls' dress...arrgghhh! Guess it's because I was working tired. It's fixable, but it means redoing some cutting. Grumble, grumble.

At least there is Nothing On My Schedule tomorrow; I'm really, really hoping to get a serious amount of cutting done.

'Cause I *still* want to wear my Tribeca shirt Sunday....and I've only sewn one dart...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March Fabric In, Part 2

Another 4.5 yards in, courtesy of an on-line sale. These rayon jersey knits (I think there's some lycra in the blend), and they are for knit 'wear-to-work' shirts (I think...one or two *could* end up being dresses...). That raises my fabric in total for the year to 35 yards, with no 'personal sewing' time in sight. I'm glad I really like these pieces...it's going to be all I'm going to get for quite a while, I fear.

I am so far behind where I wanted to be on cutting the costume knit dresses it's not even funny...and I've something going on Wed, Thur and Sat this week.

Hm. Looks like Friday's gonna be an intense cutting day...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Comment Moderation a Must!

So sorry to do this, but I'm going to have to turn on comment moderation...at least for a while. Someone from Turkey posted about 30 comments on posts from Nov-Dec last year that were just huge lists of links...I don't EVEN want to speculate on what those links would go to; I just went through and deleted them.

Like I had time for that.

I guess the world is full of crazy people with way too much time on their hands.

On the sewing front, I managed to get the fabric for one of the knit dresses laid out ready to cut. It was spring break last week and, well, we did some spring breaky stuff. ;)

Gotta get myself focused on those dresses now!!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #11

This month's colors: clover green and/or yellow with black.

I had other duties at church today, so I wasn't in the choir. But I did get a picture of 'this month's' look! ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What's Up With Wordpress?

After unsuccessfully trying several times in the last couple of weeks to leave comments on various Wordpress blogs, I've come to the conclusion that Wordpress just doesn't like me.

Everything looks good as I type the comment...all my info is in the appropriate blocks...but when I hit 'Post Comment' the comment goes away. Never to appear anywhere. No error message, no instruction, no nothing. It appears to have 'taken' ok...but it just isn't there.

So, all y'all with Wordpress blogs...am I doing something wrong?

Friday, March 20, 2009

March Fabric In, part 1

Yeah, I succumbed to two internet fabric vendor sales this month; the first one arrived yesterday and I received notice that the second one shipped yesterday.

Hence the jump in 'Yards In' for the year.

To be truthful, the three orangey pieces on the left are intended to be garments for The Flute Player, who loves orange and who is in increasing need of tops that aren't ratty t shirts. I allowed myself to scarf the last two yards of the fine rib knit on the right. Now I just need some time to get to them.

I'm finding myself getting just a litte whiney about this...I've done so much costume sewing since the first of the year that I'm not finding much time to work on the projects the closets around here need.

I just thought of a very apt description for the situation but I will refrain from using that description because it, um, has another connotation that isn't so pleasant. Let me just say that the blockage (costume sewing) must be removed in order to see regular movement in the sewing room. Ahem.

I need to just take a deep breath and hit those knit dresses; I really need to get them cut out over the next two or three days.

Maybe I'll let myself sew a little on the Green Silk Tribeca top in between each dress.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where the Expo Money Went

I'd been to the Sewing Expo for five years in a row when My Sweet Baboo got the opportunity to go to a class taught by a master craftsman who makes knives and tomahawks for collectors and re-enactors. We couldn't handle both expenses in such a short period, so, since I've been the last five years, it seemed only fair that I stay home this year and let him go.

He really enjoyed it (for a point of comparison, it would've been more like spending a weekend in a small group with, say, Cynthia Guffey than going to the Expo) and came home with a knife that he's been told by People Who Know These Things is worth twice the class fee.

He actually only did the finish work on it...the forging of the knife blank had already been done before the class started. It's Damascus steel, folded something like 260 times. The picture doesn't do it justice:

The problem is, we have two sons. He needs to do it again to have a knife to leave to each of them.... ;)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

To Recap: Aida knit dresses

The next project I'm working on is a set of nine 'bathing dresses' from Simplicity 4577. They are to be made from poly matte jersey in various muted pastelly colors like seafoam, mint green, peach, aqua, etc.

I cut out two dresses; two more got cut by others last week when I was tied up with other things and couldn't make it to the work sessions. The largest dress was quickly stitched up and tried on, with the following notes:

We don't need the zipper in the back, but we do need some elastic across the top of the back bodice

The skirts were too long; 2" above the knee is the new target length

The skirts were too straight. Godets measuring 12" at the bottom were inserted into the seams of the test dress and that was deemed adequate. However, the seams don't look good and the flare is too concentrated at the bottom.


Costume Mistress purchased an extra 3/4 yard for each of the dresses and I picked up all the pertinent materials from her yesterday and last night I altered the skirt pattern to have 6" of flare on each seam of each piece, starting just below the waist.

And discovered that the dresses already cut will need an additional 3/4 yard; the skirt is too wide to fit the pieces side-by-side. I *may* be able to squeeze it on the fabric for the uncut dresses; that's tonight's assignment.

I'm starting to think fondly of last year's lame' shirt project....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bringin' It Home

I tried really hard to keep those costumes at school. But it just wasn't gonna happen.

The knit 'bathing dresses' have issues. The skirts are too long and too narrow; the mesh sold as 'swimsuit lining' at Wal-Mart is too thin to work as a lining. So, after some discussion, we will self-line the tops and alter the skirt pattern so that it has more flare (one sample was made using godets to flare the skirt, but it just didn't look right). So.

I brought home the patterns and all the fabric we have, with the plan to spend my evening altering the skirt pattern and then figuring out whether the extra 3/4 yard our Dear Costume Mistress purchased will be enough (we will just use the 'already cut' skirt pieces for the lining). We will need to recut the skirts for four dresses; that's all that have been cut so far.

Did I say 'We'? Um, that's my assignment for the week. I'm hoping to get the pattern drafted and the fabric call made tonight (there's only a limited amount of one of the fabrics left at Hancock's), then cut one dress a night for the rest of the week.

Sigh. Now that it's in the house, every minute that passes is a minute I Should Be Sewing Costumes.

Gotta pace myself.... ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 # 10

This month's colors: Black w/clover green or bright yellow

Basically, I'm wearing the same thing I wore last week, substituting my black cotton/lycra sateen Daphne pants for the skirt.

I think the skinny pants look better with the jacket and top; point to remember.

I really hope I can get the Tribeca shirt finished up in March! We won't be in choir next week (other duties) so I've got two weeks to get 'er done....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sheesh, Life is Busy...

So, I decided to skip blogging on Wednesdays...then found myself with not a moment on the 'net to blog yesterday. Errands, errands, errands all day and kids on the computer doing homework all evening. It may just be a while before I can get a good rhythm established.

But I got on the 'net this morning and found that...there's a sale going on on rayon/lycra knits over at, um, one of my fave fabric vendors. Now, the two knits that I was ga-ga over last month are long gone, but there were three on sale that were just as nice. So I grabbed 'em.

The working wardrobe, you see, could use some more knit tops.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :D

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just Being Practical

Well, in the adjusting to a paycheck process, I have come to a conclusion regarding blogging.

I'm going to take Wednesdays off, as well as Saturdays. We have a *bunch* of stuff that goes on on Wednesdays, and I'm just not home enough to get on the computer.

I can just about guarantee there will not be any sewing going on to talk about on Wednesdays, either, so there really isn't much point in trying to sweat it out anyway.

Wonder how long it will take for me to find the new 'normal'.... ;)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Squeezing Time In

Last night I cut a couple of the Aida knit dresses, but tonight we had our monthly ladies' study at church, so I didn't go to the sewing session. One of the other ladies watched as I cut last night and made note of how the knit dresses were cut out,so she'd know more or less what to do. They were hoping to get the other 8 dresses cut tonight, although no one else had cutting mats/rotary cutters. I'll miss Thursday night's work session, too, since that's choir practice.

I expect to receive a couple of the dresses to put together next week, which is spring break. We won't have any group sewing sessions, but there will be sewing going on!

The plan also included sewing up one of the dresses I cut out last night and checking to see if the girl could get into it without a zipper. Hopefully that will work; I'd hate to put zippers in those knit dresses. But, if we have too, we have to.

But, the upshot of this is that I have a bit of time to hopefully catch up on some things that are waayyy behind, given the fact that I've been sewing as much as possible in the last three weeks.

And I've still got to put together my green silk Tribeca. I'd *really* like to wear that to church Sunday... I'm eyeing Thursday for that task.

Meantime, I'm trying to decide which Burda pattern I will trace before I put away my tracing paper and pens. I promised myself I'd do one...and I'm taking too long to decide which one. I think I'm about ready to just randomly grab an issue and pick my favorite out of whatever it happens to be....

Monday, March 09, 2009

Only a minute...

Home from work, grab a bite and the sewing supplies, and then I'm off to school to cut some more! I got the pattern traced for Simplicity 4577, the pattern for the second set of 'bathing dresses', to be fabricated in poly matte jersey.

I'm hoping we can leave the zippers off; the fabric has some pretty substantial stretch. We sized down for everyone so it fits snuggly, and plan to alter the back neck and back darts for individual fitting.

But...whew...I'm off... ;)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #9

This month's colors:Black w/'dark bright green' or bright yellow.
I managed to finish the green silk duppioni Brown Paper Patterns Basic Shell. I figured out that the neckline on that pattern was not terribly flattering, so I trimmed it so that it was 1 1/2" lower in the front. Then I found I didn't have enough fabric to cut the generous facings and I used a bias binding on the neckline...which raised it back up by about 3/8". I also found that, um, since the hot flash season left me with a few extra pounds last fall, it doesn't fit quite as nicely as the other one in my closet that's made from a cotton/lycra blend. Rats. But it's wearable...and it really looks better without the jacket, but sleeveless tops are a no-no in choir. So there must be a jacket.

The jacket is Loes Hinse's Bistro jacket in a poly/rayon blend herringbone suiting.

And I was just in a skirt mood today, despite the fact that a fabric cutting- related achy back has nixed high heels. So I pulled out the black cotton eyelet Cutting Line 'Farewell to Arms' skirt

So, between hair that insisted on going 'Pouf!', a snug top, flat shoes, and wanting another hour of sleep, I felt just a little, um, dumpy today. But...it ain't about me anyway, right?

Naptime. ;)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Cutting Up

I managed to get two tops from the green silk...the Sewing Workshop Tribeca shirt and Brown Paper Pattern's Basic Shell. Love it when I can stretch that yardage into two useful things! Makes the $$ spent on the fabric not so bad.

Then I met the our Fearless Costume Mistress at the high school to begin the costuming process for Aida. The first project was nine 'bathing dresses'...costumes the 'Nubian women' are wearing when they are captured. We began with Simlicity 8589...a maternity pattern. (I didn't pick it! Neither did Costume Mistress! The director thought it would be a good loose dress pattern....). Anyway, other than a little extra ease in the bust, it was basically just a tent dress, not shaped for maternity (larger front than back, extra length in center front) after all. So we just took some of the fullness out of the skirt and lumped sizes 6-8 into 'small', 10 - 12 into 'medium' and 14-16 into 'large'. One girl is very short; her costumes will all need to be truly petited; the lead girl is very tall...her costumes will all need to be lengthened. But we had four girls who were all about 5'3" and in the 'small' size range, so I shortened the small pattern slightly to use for them.

The fabric for these dresses is mostly very gauzy and sheer; one piece was loftier but loosely woven. So, the dresses will need to be lined. We had a goodly chunk of very nice muslin to use for the lining (no, they will not be washed. Ever.) (No comment), so we folded and cut and refolded and cut and managed to get the four small/short dresses and linings cut before I had to leave to go to church choir practice. I was a bit late to choir, but a crew was to come in with sewing machines just after I left and we wanted them to have something to sew. I used all the muslin we had on those four dresses, so we couldn't go any farther in any case.

There's another work day scheduled for tomorrow from 9 - 3 while the kids are rehearsing; if more muslin is procured today we should be able to finish those dresses and move on.

The next project is another set of 'bathing dresses', but these will be in poly matte jersey and be much more fitted. I have a sneaky suspicion those dresses will turn into the 'lame' shirt project' for this show...we'll see...

But for today, I'm going to see if I can get one of those green silk shirts put together! Gotta have something to wear in choir on Sunday!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Sewing Sisterhood

I've been very remiss in this...

Claire from 1 Seam at a Time and Amy from Shirts and Skirts Galore both awarded me the 'Sisterhood Award', which is designated for blogs that show 'great attitude and/or gratitude'. I'm honored and amazed when blogging buddies connect my name with any award, but this one is special. Thank you, ladies, very much!

According to The Rules, I'm supposed to nominate ten more bloggers for the award.

But this award has been flying around the sewing blogsphere, so I'm going to take it upon myself to deviate and just recognize one blogger who has so moved me in the past threeish weeks that I am in awe.

The Rusty Bobbin's Inklings was, I think, the very first sewing blog I read with any regularity. Beth inspired me in many ways: her garment sewing, her regular chatty blog posts, her fitting adventures, her church banner production, her amazing dolls. We've even met in real life at the Atlanta Sewing Expo.

But The Rusty Bobbin is on indefinite hiatus. Three days before Valentine's Day, Beth's hubby (whom she always referred to on the blog as 'Mr. H.') experienced a severe stroke. Now, Beth's daily updates are found on Caring Bridge, and they reflect a journey much more demanding and much less certain than fitting pants.

Yet, Beth has maintained her attitude and her faith through this. And the Sewing Sisterhood award is given to encourage her and let her know that I -- and many others -- are praying for Mr. H's full recovery.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Looking for Blogging time...

This workin' thang is definitely crimping my blogging time!

Hopefully I'll have time tomorrow to do something with the awards I've been given in the last couple of weeks; I'm honored by them...just haven't had time to think about it yet!

But I've done my three-day stint at work for the week so I'll have some sewing time tomorrow. Gotta cut the green silk in the morning; I'm going to the high school in the afternoon and I've got to take the mats/rotary cutters/other cutting tools with me. Here we go!

And I'm going to try Real Hard not to think about the Atlanta Expo that I'm missing...ya'll have fun if you're going.

Hopefully I'll see you next year.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lookin' for Numbers - Need a bit of Help

I'm going to make "mantles" for our HMC graduates again this year, but I'm having a difficult time finding the letters to applique to them. I thought I had a source, but, while the 2" letters were beautiful, the numbers that I ordered (zero and nine), which were described as being 1" tall, turned out to be only 3/4" tall, and proportionally smaller in general. Too small to work opposite the letters.

And I spent a chunk of money on shipping a handful of featherweight letters in a box via UPS that could've easily been shipped via Priority Mail in a padded envelope for a much lower cost. In communication with the vendor, I found that they do not ship their own merchandise...it's drop shipped from a warehouse and they had no control over how it was shipped. Furthermore, when I requested a shipping credit on a set of twos and zeros, so I could put '2009' opposite 'HMC', I was told I could return the too-small letters at the company's expense, but they could not waive the shipping charges on a new order. I didn't object to purchasing additional numbers; I just didn't want to pay another ridiculous shipping charge for something that literally would fit in a regular envelope; if the description had been accurate I would've ordered everything together. But the company preferred processing a return...and paying return shipping...to just issuing a credit for shipping on a new order.


But I had pulled the numbers from their original packaging, trying to arrange them to see if they would work, so they are not returnable.

For obvious reasons, I do not want to order numbers or letters or anything else from these folks. But I can't find ANYONE else who sells white script-style embroidered letters/numbers fusible appliques.

Does anyone have a source?

Monday, March 02, 2009

New Pattern

Not from the fabric store or the 'net...this is a new life pattern, and it's going to be a while before I find out what 'normal' is.

As of today, I'm back in the workforce.

Oh, it's just part time...while the kids are in school, three days a week. But that's three days of potential sewing time gone now. And the musical costuming is just getting cranked up.

So. This is going to be an interesting spring.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #8

This Month's Choir Colors: Black with 'bright dark green' and 'bright yellow'. But, since this is as far as I got with the green silk top:

I had to go with what I had, which is a shawl scarf that has green in it that is close to the right color, but it is so mixed with the black that you almost can't tell. I've also got on a RTW turtleneck sweater and my favorite black wool gabardine Loes Hinse Oxford Pants. Hopefully next week I'll have a green shirt finished!

And, as you can tell by the landscape outside the window, we had a touch of snow last night, so I anticipated a small choir and didn't take in the camera for the choir photo. Next week... ;)