Sunday, May 31, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #21

This Month's colors: Turquoise and black
Jacket: Textile Studios 'Florence Jacket', in black poly/rayon crepe suiting.

Top: Modified Loes Hinse's City Dress, in silk/lycra charmeuse, matte side out.

Pants: Black cotton twill Vogue 7881

Next month we go to blue jeans. I have Jalie's Stretch Jeans pattern on order from Pattern Review...the Reviews on it have been pretty favorable...and I've got some cheap white stretch twill from the dollar table at Wal-Mart to use as a muslin. I intend to get jeans that fit for both me and The Flute Player....soon...

And, for those who are interested and have time, the Huntsville Master's Commission graduation (for which I made those mantles) will be broadcast live on the web starting at 6 PM Central...just click on the 'my church' link on the sidebar...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Me Project...

I pretty much just grabbed the top piece off the 'new acquisitions' pile and made an from-the-gut snap decision as to what to make from it.

It was one yard of a graphic printed rayon/lycra jersey, and in pretty short order it became a scoop-neck Simplicity 4076 T.
I didn't think about how the neckline gathers would affect the print, so the curve-emphasis was something of a surprise.

But it's a comfy t for errand running...days when I need to be out but not dressed up much.

It was kinda fun to just whip something out. I need to do more of that. ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stage Photos

On the last make up day of the school year...The Actor brought home the CD w/the photos from Aida. So I can finally share the costuming photos!

Note: All Photo credits are to Jeff White

First up are the bathing dresses that we began with...first, we altered a maternity jumper, then cut the dresses and linings. But the linings were struck, and the dresses narrowed significantly even beyond the original alterations. We added the side slits so the girls could walk. I altered the patterns and cut all these out, but I did very little sewing on them.

Then, the matte jersey dresses (there are two more that weren't in the photo). The ones that we made, then had to redraft the skirt. I made the brown one and the three in shades of blue, and I applied the trim to the front of Amneris's robe (it was embroidered organza).

These are the chiffon skirts that I hemmed. I can tell that some of the girls didn't get the 'back' of the skirt in the 'back'! You can almost see the cummerbunds I contributed to for the two guards that are standing on the 'floor' level; the girls' arms are exactly in the wrong place! Oh, and check out the silhouettes of guards on either side of the throne; there were a number of scenes that utilized that silhouette look, with different lighting and was very effective.

I cut out all the wedding attendants dresses and made 4 of them; I also did the gold lining on the train, although someone else did the hand stitch finish work on the top and bottom edges. I'm still blown away by the fabulousness of that bridal gown!

And, for Grandma, one of the Actor singing his little heart out in 'Like Father, Like Son'. I didn't make any of his costume...that was one of the 'ministers' costumes, but the costumers (There were 35 listed in the program!) all referred to them as 'Jedi Jackets'.

So...that's this year's labor! Who knows what we'll be doing next year; there's a changing of the guard at the magnet school so about anything could happen....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mantles Done!

I have to say, playing Scrabble while stitching away was a whole different experience...I didn't spend my opponents' turns hoping none of them would use 'my spot'! Maybe I should take a hand sewing project to every Scrabble night...

Anyway, I sewed all the turn openings closed and put tassels on two of them while playing two games; I finished sewing the tassels on the other four after I got home. I was close enough to 'finish' that I had to keep going.

And now, for the first time this year, I do not have a volunteer sewing project due date looming (that could change quickly if the word comes that we will be doing a Dickens production at Christmas, though).

I'm ready to do some wardrobe building!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's down to hand sewing...

I finished the Mantles last night to the hand-sewing...closing the opening through which I turned 'em right side out and adding the tassels to the bottom point. I'm working today, and tonight is our monthly Scrabble party, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.

I am planning to take 'em with me tonight, though, and stitch while I await my turn...instead of shuffling letters around to make words on spots that probably won't be available to me by the time it gets back around anyway. :-D

I also made a trip to Hancock's yesterday to take advantage of their Memorial Day sale. Didn't come home with a huge bag, but I did get a chunk of fabric and three patterns, in addition to just some generic notions. I'll talk about that another day!

And many thanks to the ladies who gave me the 'Attitude of Gratitude' award; I'll have to pass that along later in the week too!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

Memorial Day can sometimes get lost in the relief of 'a day off'...for some, like My Sweet Baboo, it's the first 'day off' since New Year's Day and a much welcomed break in the routine.

But it is not just a 'holiday' is a solemn time of remembrance of those who have sacrificed their lives and their loved ones so the rest of us could live in a freedom that a large portion of the world's population cannot comprehend.

We can worship in any church of any denomination without fear of legal consequences.

We can choose our own government from virtually the entire population...not just rubberstamp the candidates the ruling party chooses for us.

We can then criticize that government freely without fear of reprisal.

We have rule of law, not rule of a dictator's whim.

Each of us can choose our own occupation.

I could go on, but the truth is that we are very, very blessed in this country...and we have maintained that blessing largely due to the bravery and sacrifice of men and women who have served and are serving in our country's military services.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you and God bless you.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #20

This Month's Colors: Black w/turquoise

I finished the New Look 6407 blouse in cotton/lycra poplin last night so I wore it today. This is the last turquoise piece in the queue, and it's not even the last Sunday of the month....

I do have a cami top on under it; that top button really is pretty low. I'll comment on that in the review...

I'm also wearing my sandwashed microfiber Sewing Workshop Plaza Pants. They're beginning to show their age (5 years?) and really need to be replaced soon...

Friday, May 22, 2009

I Missed It!

Arg, I've been on the 'net less than I realized!

I didn't participate in SWAP competion this year; the calendar was just too full. But I did look forward to looking at all the wardrobes and voting. I dropped by Stitcher's Guild every once in a while and took a peek at some of the wardrobes, but basically I just thought I'd look at 'em all at once when the voting started.

I went over and found out that the winners had just been announced! And I didn't vote or anything!

Wow. Time flies when you're...really busy...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sewing ahead...

My buddy The Embroidery Queen brought the mantles to me last night; the letters/numbers are GORGEOUS and I'm so happy to have that TAKEN CARE OF!!!!

I was able to return the unuseable appliques to the company from which I purchased them; I don't know if they'll give me all the money back or only a portion but at least I don't have to look at them anymore. I learned my lesson on that one! holiday weekend sewing will include finishing the mantles (I'm guessing I've got about 45 minutes - an hour's worth of work to do on each one yet; there are 6). Graduation is a week from Sunday (and will be broadcast live on the 'net, so, Yay! the Artist's grandparents can watch!); if I deliver them on Tuesday that will be plenty of time.

And, just because I am forever the optimist, I've got some turquoise cotton/lycra poplin laid out on the cutting table for my first go at the very popular New Look 6407. I'd like to wear it in choir on Sunday....

Well, we'll see...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tryin' to get the beat

I'm finding it really difficult to post when I'm not sewing. That's kind of new; I did a daily post for so long that it feels kind of, oh, weird and disconnected to skip posting.

But when I've said all I can say about the last project, and the new one isn't ready to talk about yet, I'm having a hard time putting words together for a post. I've actually missed one or two days other than the intentional Wednesday and Saturday 'days off'...and I don't like that.

Somehow I've lost my rhythm; I don't know if I'll ever get it back or if I'll have to learn an entirely new one.

I kinda suspect it will be the latter.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Shoulder Query

I posted the review of the Burda Top I wore yesterday, and mentioned that I thought the drafting in the shoulder was rather odd. Some discussion ensued, so I thought I'd post some photos of what I was talking about.

So, I did a quick copy of the bodice upper front and upper back pieces straight off the pattern sheet w/no seam allowances. You can see how far offset the front shoulder is from the back shoulder:

Now, there may be an entirely rational reason for this. It may be a stroke of pattern drafting GENIUS to draft this way. But I have extremely narrow shoulders which also happen to be pretty square, and I have lots of trouble with front necklines draping and gaping. And this looked to me like a prime candidate for neckline droopage. So I whacked away on my piece to pull that shoulder up...and ended up using what I'd added as facing as filler so I wouldn't have a huge kink in the neckline. You can see my altered piece (which does have seam allowances and has also been lengthened an inch) compared to the original here:

Here's a better shot of the altered-up front piece:

And a photo of what I did to the back to make it all match:

Anyway, what I did worked great for me; the shoulders are very nearly spot on and the neckline is fine. But that may just be due to my particular set of fitting issues (narrow square shoulders). So I will no doubt continue to alter my BWOF tops this way.

But, because I'm curious... can someone enlighten me as to the rationale of the offset shoulders?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Choir Sundays 09# 19

This Month's Choir Colors: Black w/turquoise

I finished the BWOF top last night! Wow, it feels good to make something and wear it ;). It's 103A from the May 2009 issue, made up in some of the poly/lycra matte jersey that blew up my stash two years ago. I've got my black rayon/lycra Jalie 965 cami on under it, just in case, since it *is* church choir... I need to make more of those camis...

Still getting great use from the black cotton/lycra La Fred Daphne Pants. Gotta make more of those too.

All I need's a little time.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Inchin' Along

I made a wee bit of progress yesterday...

Interfacing fused on 2 out of 4 remiaining mantle linings. Gotta cut some more to finish.

Got most of a knit top cut out. The contrast band is left for today...then the sewing machine.

Can I get it made by tomorrow?

Hm....let's see... ;)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thinkin' Positive

Gone all day yesterday...gone all day today.

Laundry and such to do tomorrow, but...

I intend to do SOMETHING in the sewing room. Dunno if it'll be creating or cleaning or just advancing a project a little, but SOMETHING.

It's so frustrating to have projects that are calling my name and no opportunity to answer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not a blogging break!

Not a planned one, anyway! We had out of town company over the weekend and a concert last night. I just couldn't get to the computer...or the sewing machine, but that's not anything new.

The Embroidery Queen still has the sashes, so I'm not exactly behind on that, although I haven't got the rest of them done to the point that I can put the lining on yet. Looking at the calendar, it may very well be Friday before I even get a half an hour of unscheduled time to work on 'em.

But we had a nice visit with my DInlaws, and celebrated both Mother's Day and the Actor's 16th birthday (yikes!)

Um, you really can't put candles on cherry-covered cheesecake....they fall over....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #18

This month's colors: turquoise and black

I think I'm liking the layered look; I need to make some more Jalie 965 tank tops. This one is from black rayon/lycra jersey and I'm going to wear it to shreds if I don't get it some help. It works well under a lot of my lower-neckline tops, including the turquoise Simplicity 4076 Scoop neck top.

Likewise, I need more pants from Vogue 7881 pants. The black cotton twill from the dollar table at Wal-mart is amazingly long-lived, as those of you who've been following my Choir Sundays posts for a while have no doubt noticed!

We go to blue jeans again next month, though, so I suppose the black pants can wait a while.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Y'all, this work thing is tough.

I am really disappointed in the lack of sewing I've accomplished so far this year...I've only finished about a third of what I'd done by this time last year.

If this keeps up, I'm just going to have to curtail all fabric purchases for a really, really long time.

I'm telling myself that it's really just a season...I had some costumes to make for church (the Frontier preacher...Pastor N. has *promised* me photos, but he wants to clean his suit first. It rained HARD the weekend of the camp out to which he wore the costume, and he says it Must Be Cleaned before any photos), then I started work and started sewing costumes for Aida; housework got horribly behind and there's been so much going on outside of the house that I haven't gotten to it.

And my in-laws are coming for a short visit on Saturday.

Well, you can only do what you can do. I have a couple of errands to run tomorrow, but I should be able to Stay Home and Clean for the better part of the day.

But I don't think I'll get any sewing done.

Sigh. Maybe next week.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

To the Embroidery

I spent most of yesterday cutting and doing laundry. The low back issues are giving me fits again, so I'd cut until it started to hurt, then take a break, then cut more, then take a break...but I did get all the scarves cut. Somehow, when cutting the interfacing, I miscounted and was one set short, so I'll have to pull out the interfacing and cut another set of pieces before I can finish them all, but I had enough cut that I could interface all the black pieces. That's a long stand at the ironing board (oy, my back! My next major sewing purchase will be a press!), but the black sides are all done and sewn together and ready to hand off to my friend the Embroidery Queen for embellishment. I don't know how long she'll take to do 'em; I'll be surprised if she has 'em for more than a week.

And the internet vendor honored their offer to send me a return label so I could return the appliques that Just Didn't Work. I don't know if I'll get a full refund or not, since the appliques are all removed from their little six-pack bags, but anything will be better than nothing and they'll be out of the house.

And, while I was at it, I traced of Burda WOF 05/09 #103A, with the intention of making it from a turquoise-black-grey-white abstract print poly/lycra jersey knit. It's some of the 1.49/yd stuff I got at Sir's two years ago and I thought it would be a good test fabric...and if it looks good, I can wear it for choir this month!

I'm ready to make some quick wardrobe additions....

Monday, May 04, 2009

A Day Gift

After a very busy weekend for our church's 10-year anniversary, the staff was given the day off today.

I wasn't one of the folks who were working really hard cleaning, trimming, serving over the weekend, but I get the day off just the same. Wow.

Top on my list of things to do today is to get the mantles cut out. I need to have the black portion sewn on all of them so I can give them to my friend to embroider when I see her on Wednesday.

Then I can cheerfully and without guilt sew on some other projects while she's doing that...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #17

This month's choir colors: turquoise and black.

My regular fashion photographer being out of town on a business trip, The Princess pinch hit. And took a photo while waving the camera over her head at an odd angle. I did get her to take another with a more conventional angle, but she still insisted that 'overhead' shot would be more flattering. This one was actually the better of the two...and two is all we got before the battery died again for the moment (gotta get those batteries changed!) I will say the wear wrinkles in the pants don't show *quite* so much from this angle, maybe? We took the picture after lunch, which was after church...

Can you tell I'm telling her to straighten the camera?

Anyway, it's the black poly/rayon crepe Textile Studio Florence Jacket, my black cotton/lycra sateen La Fred's Daphne Pants and the new, hot-off-the-machines turquoise silk charmeuse Loes Hinse's City Dress (Modified for top). I actually used the matte side of the charmeuse for the blouse. The shiny side was pretty, but it looked a little lingerie-ish to me so I went with the matte. And I used bias strips to bind the neckline and the armholes. I forgot to trim the seam allowances off of said edges, and I think the shoulder/underarm area would fit a little better if I had remembered, but since it will be worn under a jacket 98% of the time it's ok.

Today we're celebrating the church's 10th anniversary; John Bevere was our guest speaker this morning with an amazing word on 'Honor' (I sat in all three services); tonight we're having a celebration; Master's Commission will be doing some things, the choir will sing (black tops w/jeans tonight...I probably won't try to get a photo of that, give how the above photo turned out), and we'll have a praise set from Lindal Cooley.

It'll be live on the 'net...drop by if you're not doing anything at 6 PM central time... (I'm predicting we'll still be going at 9... ;))

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Fabric In (again)

You'd think I've been sewing up a storm since I'm still allowing myself to buy fabric. But one of the online vendors had a sale I couldn't resist...some pieces I really and honestly have been looking for for a while now arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

One of the things I've been wanting to make for like, years, has been a pair of silk charmeuse pajamas. But a pair of classic PJ's takes four yards of 45" wide fabric, so I needed a serious sale on silk charmeuse. And a color I liked. $5.49/ yard made it possible, and I thought the red would do. Now that it's actually in my possession, I find I don't like that red...I *love* it and I'm not sure I want to use it on PJ's. (But I think I will...Christmas PJ's, maybe?) I also got 2 1/2 yards of what was called 'sage', but I think it's more of a dark olive green. Actually, almost a dark gray with a green cast to it. I don't know if I'll use it for a garment or for lining...

And I had just decided I wanted some more black and white stripe knit tops, so I ordered 2 yards of the black/white cotton/lycra fabric in the middle. Either I missed it in the description or it wasn't noted, and it doesn't show in the photo, but there's a gold metallic thread on the borders of the white stripes. It looks very, very cool! I'll have to make that one up pretty quick.

And, just because it's noteable, you can see the scraps from the turquoise silk/lycra charmeuse top I cut out yesterday and hope to finish in time to wear for choir tomorrow. It's our 10 year anniversary celebration; I'd like to wear something a little more uptown than the rather washer-worn top that's in the wardrobe.

Finally, we had a dinner party to go to last night and I wore the new Tribeca. As reminiscent parties tend to do, this one ran very late and the picture wasn't taken until after we got home. Then the battery died in the camera. So it's not such a great photo. Oh well. ;)

Friday, May 01, 2009

Maybe There's Hope...

The Princess saw the incoming mail pile earlier this week and picked up a sale flyer from a local discount store, pointing at a dress on the front that appeared to be made from two large scarves. "Hey!" she said, "I saw a dress just like this in [I forgot! Burlington?] and I thought, 'I could *so* make that!' I looked at it and it's just two scarves sewn together! The front is sewn along the edge of the scarf and the back is seamed straight down!"

The last time she tried to make something she ended up so frustrated that she declared that she would just buy what she wanted, so I was a little surprised to hear her express an interest in sewing again.

I was more surprised when she came home yesterday and pulled two identical printed silk charmeuse scarves from a Target bag. "Look what I got! I can make the dress!"

Late yesterday evening, she had me help pin drape it so it would be properly fitted. She wanted to start sewing right away, but I still had to put the buttonholes on the Green Silk Tribeca shirt and I wouldn't let her change the thread in my machine until I got that done.

She acquiesced, and went upstairs declaring, 'I'm so excited! That's gonna look so cool!'

Hm. She's starting to Get It. There's hope.

It will need a zipper in the back (which I do not have on hand), so she really can't do much beyond the front seam anyway. ("Um, will you help me with the zipper?").

But I have a pile of cutting out to do, so I suppose the machine will be available over the weekend for her to play with her scarves. I'm crossing my fingers that it works...I don't want to deal with another episode of Frustrated Beginner in Over Her Head.

The plus side is that she kinda pushed me to putting the buttons and buttonholes on the Tribeca shirt, so that's finished now. I'll get a picture when I can.

(If she reads this post she'll be ticked. But I don't think she'll read it...)