Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sometimes I am soooo stupid....

I pulled out the fabrics for the HMC Mantles and put them on the cutting board and began to pull out the various other things I needed that I had been throwing into the box as I accumulated them.

And discovered that those stupid applique letters really aren't going to work at all.

I ordered 'white' letters. But somehow, I didn't notice until I had them in the bright light of the sunroom that the letters that came are actually an ivory color.

The numbers that I have been frantically trying to match *are* white. I can't put them with those ivory letters!

I think I'm just going to chalk it up to experience and throw the whole mess out and let my friend embroider the scarves. At least it will look better.

A $40+ lesson in....something...

Actually, perhaps I should just send 'em back to the folks I bought them from.

I can't get credit...they're opened, after all. But I can't use 'em and maybe they should see that 'white' isn't 'white' across the board.

Sure wish I'd noticed it before I'd pulled 'em out of the little bags.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's Dark Turquoise!

That's the Choir Color (along with black) for next month. I've got one top that color that I made for Easter last year (that was the color for just that Sunday), and I've got some stretch silk charmeuse and cotton/lycra poplin in that color, as well as a poly/lycra jersey print.

The problem is, of course, making the snap decision as to which pattern to use. I'm thinking another little Loes Hinse City Dress shell top from the silk...I've only got 1 1/4 yards...but I haven't got a good idea for the stretch poplin.

And I've come to the conclusion that I need a black denim jacket. But I can't find any black denim. Has any one seen any lately?

I'm going to be cutting and sewing several things this weekend; there's stuff going on but hopefully I can squeeze some sewing in around the corners! ;)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to 'Normal'

But, being as how the new job started the same week the costuming hit, I'm not sure what 'normal' is anymore.

I'll figure it out.

Meantime, I'm starting to think about actual sewing for the closets in this house. The Flute Player needs some things, and I've only got one top that works for choir next month. So there's work to be done.

Not to mention the HMC mantles, which I hope to at least get cut out and interfaced this week! That'll pretty much be the halfway point on those!

But, back before I took the blogging break, I picked up some Simplicity patterns and they've been sitting on the computer desk for a week so I could post about 'em.

So, I need to talk about 'em so I can put 'em up!

Believe it or not, aside from the monthly BWOF magazine, these are the first patterns I've purchased this year. They were just a dollar each...

Anyway, I picked up one pattern for The Flute Player, 3771. She needs capris; I thought this pattern would work w/a little modification (converting the zipper to a fly front, adding a waistband and putting the pockets on the back. Yeah, it's a lot of work, but there's not a boatload of patterns in her size range....). And the top is cute, too.

For me, I picked up 2648. What a great LBD pattern! Or a LRD, as shown on the envelope. Either way, it's a 'Yowza!' dress. Dunno if I've got any occasion to wear a 'Yowza!' dress any time in the future, but I thought it was worth the price. You know. Just in case.

My Sweet Baboo has expressed approval for any and all wrap tops in my wardrobe, so I also got 2977. It'll probably be a cami-required top on all but a few occasions, but that's ok.

And I'm intrigued with the front pleats on the top and dress of 2938. The pleats on the sleeve and back of the jacket are interesting, too. If I find the right fabric...

So, now I can put them away! ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #16

This month's colors: Purple or lavender w/black

Jacket: Loes Hinse's Retro Jacket, fabricated in a poly/rayon (mostly poly) boucle-type woven suiting. It wasn't very nice to sew with, but it *is* the right color and it's very comfortable to wear.

Top: The bodice portion of Loes Hinse's City Dress, modified into a tank top, made from silk/lycra charmeuse purchased from the JoAnn's in Duluth, GA (one of the few JoAnn's Etc! stores that I've been in that actually is arranged such that the fabric is the first thing you see when you walk in).

Pants: Not Loes Hinse! It's Claire Shaeffer's Vogue 7881, made from black cotton twill from the dollar table at Wally World...a rare and fortuitous find and I should've bought the whole bolt.

I probably won't be posting any more photos of the whole choir now that they're going to be putting the videos of the whole service on the church website. It's just awkward to catch that picture in the two minutes between the choir coming on stage and the beginning of the service. The video is so much better than a poor still photo anyway!

I didn't get much done around the house during my blogging break; I worked M-W, then was out of town Th-Sat, so there wasn't much time to do anything. But I had a great time on my trip and I got back *just* in time to catch Aida's closing night, which was great. I will post photos of the costumes on stage when I get them; that'll be the last HSM '09 post.

After the show is over, the frustration and stress kind of recedes and is replaced by relief at how well it looked on stage. And I'll miss my sewing buddies. And, I'll be honest, it stirred up my acting blood again...there are rumors that we may do 'The Gospel According to Scrooge' again this year (it's been 4 years since the last production) and, as stressful as that gets, I really kinda hope we do. ;)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #15

This Month's colors: Purple or lavender w/black.

Jacket: Loes Hinse's Bistro Jacket, in herringbone weave poly/rayon suiting.

Top: The sleeveless mock t from Kwik Sew 2948, in a printed cotton/rayon knit I purchased from Emma One Sock several years ago. I squeezed two knit tops from that piece, and I love 'em both.

Pants: My favorite black wool gabardine Loes Hinse Oxford Pants. It's B. Black and Sons wool I picked up on sale at Hancock's a couple of years, is it nice to wear!

But, today marked a significant milestone...the Artist turned 21. Hard to believe...

And, on another note, my calendar tells me it's time for my quarterly internet break. It's pretty good timing; I've got a LOT of catch up housework to do...and I have an out of town trip late in the week. So, I'll catch up with everyone next week!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Opening Night Sucess

Considering last week's grueling rehearsal schedule, and the fact that there had already been a performance for middle school students earlier in the day, the show went very well. I could tell the kids were tired, though. After last night's performance, the director called the cast in and, instead of giving notes, told them to go straight home and sleep for 12 hours.

Which The Actor was most happy to do. Me, I think I slept about 10. Which was probably too much, given what I need to do today. It's our annual Father-Daughter banquet at church; I'm wimping on the set up though, in an effort to get laundry within reason and groceries in the larder. I'll be there at 4:30 to serve and clean up, though.

Also, tomorrow is the Artist's 21st birthday, so I have some cake baking to do.

We will be ordering the photo CD, so I'll post pictures of the costumes on stage as soon as we get it. I counted...according to the program, there were 35 people who helped sew/craft costumes.

And every one of 'em was essential!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Looking Ahead

With Aida opening tonight, I'm pretty much considering myself finished. I know there will be repairs and such to make, but, unless I get a call w/a specific request, I'm keeping a low profile and moving on.

'Cos there's LOTS of sewing ahead. The next urgent project will be mantles for this year's HMC 3rd year graduates. I've finally got all the materials collected (found the last three sets of tassels at Hancock's yesterday), so I can get going on those. A friend is doing the machine embroidered nametags, and next year she will also embroider the letters/numbers on the sashes themselves.

I am *so* kicking myself for not thinking of that before I spent somewhere around $40 for fusible appliques that don't quite work.

My blessed friend is going to attempt to embroider a set of twos and zeros so that I can make use of the scrawny numbers sent; we'll have to glue them on but at least they will work. Sort of. I hope.

If they don't, I'll have to swallow my angst and reorder the matching ones from the folks who were *so* not-customer-service-oriented. But that will be the last time I will do business with those people. Ever.

Anyway, that's the Next Thing. But our choir colors for the next two months have been announced and I only have one top that works for May, so I've got to get going on that. I've got one piece of silk charmeuse in the right color in the stash, and, while getting tassels at Hancock's, I found some cotton/lycra poplin in the right color, so that will hopefully turn into a shirt soon as well.

Oh, and I bought 4 Simplicity patterns, since they were a buck apiece. I'll post about those next week.

Right now, I need to go do excavation in my laundry hampers... ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bonus Post: Choir Sundays Video

Ok, it's not Sunday, but there's actually VIDEO up of our Easter Sunday service and it includes the choir singing.

Even though it's pretty low resolution, it's still lots better than a still photo snapped in a hurry, don't you think?

I don't know how long it will be up so I wanted to get the post up while the video's still there.

The Rock Family Worship Center

There's a box in the middle of the page that says 'latest message' or some other such thing; there's a clickable button that says 'video' in the middle of the box; that'll get you to the video of the whole service. For at least a little while.

Oh, you do have to click the little 'play' triangle when the video screen pops up. ;)

The Best-Laid Plans...

often don't work out so good.
My plan was to go to choir practice, then go to school to sew tonight.

But, if you notice the time stamp on the post, it's 8:11 PM and I'm at home.

No wheels.

The Princess had a meeting tonight; My Sweet Baboo had to make a sympathy visit to the next town over after choir. I was going to go with him, but The Flute Player is a bit under the weather and stayed home by herself all day. I just couldn't go off and leave her alone all evening too...especially since she really hadn't eaten anything.

My sewing stuff is in the momvan, which, when last seen, was being driven by My Sweet Baboo. There was an attempt at a car switch; dunno if it will work or not. The guess is The Princess will be home first,so MSB was going to switch cars w/her on the way out of town so she'll bring the sewing transport vehicle home with her. Eventually.

So I still don't know if I'll make it to school for any sewing or not. I wasn't in the middle of a project, so I guess the world won't end if I don't make it.

The flared skirts for the knit dresses were found; those were fixed by other people yesterday. I was making sashes...something a couple of the costumes were deemed to need once they were seen on stage. But I left copious notes on what needed to be done to them since I thought someone might want to work on them before I got there.

Opening Night is tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing the show; I know what the costumes were that I worked on but I've only seen glimpses of things other than that stuff.

I'd go to bed, but *someone's* going to have to get The Actor after tonight's I might as well stay up and head to school as soon as someone gets home with a vehicle.

We are definitely developing our creative problem solving skills... ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Murphy's Law at Work

So, I went to the ladies' study night at church, took my daughters home and loaded the momvan w/sewing equipment and headed back to school (learning in the process that Starbuck's closes at 9:30, not 10 PM as I thought. Rats.)

And what did I find out?

1) The chiffon swirl skirts are uneven.

Well, duh. They have elastic waists; the girls had them on as I pinned around them. They were supposed to be on their hips, not their waists, but you know when you push something down to low hip it's going to sit higher in the back than in the front. Not even considering that more length will be required to go over the booty.

So, the simple elastic waist skirts now have a definite front and back.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it....although I may need to whack the longer bit on a couple. I *was* pinning them in the dark theater. And it is bias cut poly chiffon. ;)

But that's not the worst thing. D'ya remember those knit dresses? The ones that needed a redesigned skirt? Four of them had been cut with the narrower skirts, and two of those four were in the batch of dresses that I handed off to another mom to sew. Unfortunately, by the time I handed them over I'd completely forgotten that those two dresses had two skirts cut. So I didn't give her a heads up to make sure the fuller skirt pieces were the ones she used.

You guessed it.

2) The wrong skirts were put on the dresses and we didn't realize it until all the girls were onstage last night. And we can't find the remnants of fabric that *should* contain the correctly cut skirt pieces.

Surely I didn't throw them away...I didn't throw many of the scraps away at all; just the teeny useless pieces. I don't think. But, well, it was a long time ago and I was cutting those out at night; in fact, those were the skirts I had to re-cut the re-cut because I'd made a boo-boo on my math and didn't get them short enough. But if they don't turn up, we'll be cutting new skirt pieces.

Just goes to show it's always somethin'....

Oh, someone found a little rule in the City Schools Handbook that said if kids were kept at school past midnight for a school function they were automatically excused from the first three classes the next day. So the kids were dismissed at 11:45 last night. But I was taking apart one of the knit dresses, so by the time I got to a decent stop point and loaded up it was 12:30.

Which was still earlier than I expected.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

'Week of Intensity" 2

Last night was a surprisingly early night; the kids were released shortly after 10. Tonight, however, has already been pegged as the 'come ready to stay late' night.

I did finish my assigned task last night, though...I had to shorten 5 skirts that are worn by 'ex*otic dancers'...they're swirl skirts (aka 'banana skirts'...those long skirts with the curved gores), mostly made from poly chiffon. They were about 6" too long, since they were drafted to fit at the waist and these are all worn at the low hip.

Originally, the lower edges were just pinked, but with them actually dragging the ground the pinking didn't deter the raveling at all. So I put them on the girls, marked them at ankle length, cut 'em off and rolled the edges on my serger.

They're still woefully uneven...but I think part of that may be that the back of the skirts required more length to go over the backsides. So they'll have to pay attention and put them on with the longer part in the back. Does it look good? Not on your life. Will it work? They'll be moving around for the all of maybe five minutes they'll be onstage in these's Good Enough!

But now that that's done, I have no idea what I'll do when I go over after our ladies' night at church tonight. Guess I'll be surprised ;).

Monday, April 13, 2009

'Week of Intensity'

Well, the official unofficial nickname for what is officially 'Tech Week'...the last week of rehearsals before the show 'H*ll Week'.

Today I thought, "I don't need to speak that negativity over the process."

So in my vocabulary, anyway, this is going to be 'The Week of Intensity'.

I probably won't post much; my projects are not going to be big, noteworthy items anyway. They'll be things like adding 1 1/2" and some wiggle room to a fitted jacket or sewing on snaps.

And it'll all be late; except for tonight, I'll be heading over to the school after some other evening event. But, rehearsal won't be over till 12ish anyway, so I might as well sit at school and sew on snaps and whatnot as sit around home waiting on The Actor to call before making the 20 minute trip to school.

For those who are interested, Here's the article in our local paper about the production and the director.

I'll drop by when I can... ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #14

He is risen! Christ is risen indeed!

This month's colors:Purple and/or lavender w/black

The jacket is from the first time we wore lavender in choir...4 years ago? It's Butterick 3398 and it photographs HORRIBLY. Actually, in hindsight I probably shouldn't wear it in the choir, as I'm sure the shaders in the video room have a problem with it. was pretty and it was Easter, so...oh, well...

The tank top and the scarf are RTW purchases from about 4 years ago, too; the pants are the black cotton/lycra twill La Fred Daphne pants

BTW, I did finish The Flute Player's Dress...

After tracing the next size up, I ended up whacking it back down to the size I cut last year, except for the length I added. Difference between a woven and a knit I suppose. But she's happy...and she refused to put her shoes back on after church for the picture ;).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Another Last-Minute Dress

The Flute Player has a real knack for needing dresses on short notice. Thursday we got an email that the 'junior ministry team' for our children's ministry need not wear their official 'uniforms' - jeans and logo t-shirts -- for Easter. They were encouraged to dress up if they wanted to.

Well, I pulled out her Easter Dress from last year (also a last-minute creation) and found that it was hopelessly too small.

So I pulled out one of the pieces I'd purchased for her last month. I had two or three options in mind for it; she finally decided she wanted another version of last year's dress. So I've traced it off again in a size bigger and several inches longer. This is a knit, so I'm not worried about her being able to pull it on.

I'm skipping the costume work day tomorrow to put it together. Shame on me, right?

But this cobbler's child will have shoes... ;)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Return of Lame'

I sewed at school Tuesday night and finished my share of the knit dresses; even got elastic threaded through the backs. Each one needs to be adjusted to fit the girl, and they still need either snaps or buttons (Placement to be determined by a fitting), so I've got them as done as I can get 'em.

So it's on to a new project. I *wish* I'd had the camera with me the day they were fitting the costumes initially...this is a heavy white satin wedding dress that was found at a local thrift store. It had some stains on it (you can see where they've been, um, 'whited out' if you look closely), and it has already been embellished a bit (the gold and white sparkly stuff...the lace is original), but, ohmygoodness, what a fabulous dress this was in its day! It fits the actress like a glove; fitted with french darts that begin very low on the hips and curve up; there are about 3 darts at the elbow of the sleeve for ease there. There's no label in it; I don't know where it came from.

It also has a watteau (did I spell that right?) train...attaches to the shoulders. It's the same white satin, pleated into the shoulder attachment and underlined with nylon net on the back to give it enough stability and structure to stand out. But the back side was just that net. No lining. The job *I* got was to line the train w/gold lame'.

I didn't have a good cutting surface, so consequently the bottom of my 'lining' isn't as even as I'd like (sorry I didn't get a photo! We were rushed right at the end of the evening). I folded the train along the CB seam, then put the hemmed side edges on the selveges of the folded lame' and trimmed away a wedge of the lame', angling out to the bottom, following the seam on the train. Then split the lame' on the fold from where the angle ran off the edge to the bottom. From the wedge I'd cut at the top, I cut a godet that I inserted into the bottom on the on-grain cut portion. That made enough flare for the sweep. (ETA: In hindsight, that was pure luck that it fit; I didn't do any math on it. Whew.) I machine stitched the sides together before we had to clean up and head out, but I think the top and bottom edges will need to be hand finished, because of the pleats at the top and the uneven lining at the bottom. I don't know if I'll do that or if someone else will do that.

Gotta do some laundry sometime...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

On the Run

My mother tells me she can tell from the tone of the blogs that I'm feeling rushed.

Imagine that.


I worked at school 'till 10ish last night, worked at work today and will head off momentarily for another evening at school. Rehearsals are going till 10 this week; the show opens a week from Friday.

Next week's rehearsals will likely go till Midnight or later. It's known as H*ll Week...for cause...

Anyway, I got dress 4 finished last night and got a significant amount done on dress 5. I probably would've finished it, but my sewing machine was acting funny.

Don't suppose it had anything to do with being dropped last fall... I meant to take it in for a check up, but never got around to it.

So it was just a little...whiney...last night.

Monday, April 06, 2009

3 Down Now

I finished a second dress Saturday morning and took the two completed ones in to the costume decision-makers; I wasn't happy with the way they draped on the side. But the girls tried the dresses on and everyone was well pleased so...good enough.

The lady who's making the other five came over Saturday afternoon and I walked her through the parts that I've changed in the sewing order and shared a couple of tips for working with this pattern and shortly thereafter finished the third dress.

Dress 4 is about 1/2 done...I should've worked on it yesterday but, well, sometimes ya gotta catch your breath, if you KWIM.

So, my breath is caught and when I get home from work I hope to put my head down and sew so I can take the finished dresses to the sewing work night this evening. Hopefully to just spend the evening doing jobs I can spend my at home time doing at home things, like laundry and vacuuming and dish washing and maybe even a little sewing of my own...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #13

This Month's Colors: Purple or Lavendar w/Black

Jacket: Textile Studios Florence Jacket, made from a lovely lofty purple textured wool and lined w/silk charmeuse. Yummy!

Top: Loes Hinses' Sweater Set Shell, from black poly/lycra slinky knit.

Pants: Ye Olde Faithefull Vogue 7881, in black cotton twill.

I forgot to take the camera this week, so I didn't get a photo of the choir. I probably won't try for a photo next week, as it will be a very busy Sunday. But I'll have one before the month is over ;).

(ETA: That's not exactly a feather sticking out of my head; there's an eagle-in-flight sculpture on the shelf behind me and what you're seeing is the wingtip. Gotta pay more attention to things like that in this fashion photography business...LOL)

Friday, April 03, 2009

One of Five

Sorry for such a poor photo; I don't have any means of displaying this in a vertical position (gotta get me a decent dress form one of these days!)

This was actually the sample dress, so before I could make it I had to take the skirt off and take the bodice apart.

Severe weather kind of messed with the evening; it was close to 9 PM before I got the dress apart and ready to put back together with the self-lining and the new skirt.

I was greatly encouraged to only take an hour and a half or so to get it as far as I can take it.

It needs elastic, which I don't think has been purchased yet, across the back (I just made the casing), and we're still not 100% sure how we're going to fasten the back neck. Buttons are the most likely closure, as they'll be fairly quick to do and pretty secure (can't have it coming undone in the midst of the dance! Oh, no, that wouldn't do at all!) down and four more to go.

ETA: I am *SUCH* an idiot

When I hit 'view blog' after I posted, I saw the photo and realized with a HUGE cold knot in my stomach that I forgot to put the drape on the dress!.

There's supposed to be a scrunchy drapey thing with ties on the front. I totally forgot it. Guess the whole storm discombobulation just messed me up.

Looks like I'm going to be spending some more quality time with the seam ripper.



Ok...this is the THIRD time this dress has been assembled; that should be IT.

Moving on now...and this time, you can bet I don't forget the drape! ;)

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April Foolishness (not for the squeamish)

Not *exactly* a choir post...

The three of us who teach the jr. high girls class on Wednesday night decided to have a whacky night to commemorate April Fool's Day. That included weird snacks like blue soda and our attempt to dress as crazily as possible. So, well, if it clashed, I put it on.
Maybe I should apologize to the pattern designers for this? Sewing Workshop's Thai Coat, Sandra Betzina's drape neck top and the good ol' Burda No-Sideseam Pants never looked so, um, April Fool-ish.

Particularly accessorized with a blue visor, stripey toe socks and nubuck slides, don't you think?