Sunday, August 30, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #33

This Month's Colors: Brown, purple, and/or mustard yellow w/blue jeans
Yay! I finally finished another item for the closet! The twinset is from an amazing heathery brown rayon/lycra jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I originally ordered just a yard to make the Jalie 965 tank top, but the fabric was sooo incredibly nice that I had to order another piece to make a matching cardi. I decided to try Jalie 2566, and I finally got the buttons on the cardigan last night.

The jeans are the Lee bootcuts again; I've got the Jalie bootcut pattern; maybe I'll get to it one of these days. It would be *so* nice to have a TNT jeans pattern that won't ever be discontinued by the manufacturer... ;)

Oh, just so you know...I have an 'unscheduled' blogging break next week (reasons will be explained on the other blog...not to worry, just a break); so I'll see you back next Sunday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Jester-ish Costume

Most of the Jester hat patterns I found were either for knitters, or called for craft foam and glue. And neither of the two sewing patterns were created by folks who actually sew...they were created by people who wanted Jester hats and got creative enough to try them. One was, as I said earlier, incomplete in the directions and incorrectly diagrammed. The other, which was the the one I actually adapted was for plastic. But at least it gave a direction.

I probably goofed by making the crescents smaller than were diagrammed; I didn't want a mammoth jester hat; this is for a little skit and it only has to suggest a jester. So I reduced the measurements a bit...and ended up with a hat that didn't have enough room for the top of The Actor's head.

'Costuming, not couture!'...I opened the seams at the top for about 2", folded the points back and added a hexagonal gusset. Laid the scrap of purple on top of the Actor's head, put the opened up hat on top and just pinned it all to fit; then I zig-zagged around the fold and trimmed all the excess away underneath.

Not at all precise but it worked. I stuffed the crescents lightly w/ can see how Very Excited The Actor is with his new hat:

He didn't like the stuffed points at all; after some discussion I let him pull the poly fill out and he was happier. 'Happier' still not meaning pleased, you understand...just less disgusted...

The tunic was easy...a modification of my favorite Bible costume pattern, McCall's 2339. It might've been better a little longer...or if I'd've cut the ragged edges a little more shallow, but I think it'll do.

I'm sure I have some jingle bells around somewhere but I've looked everywhere I *think* I should've put 'em and I haven't found them yet. If I find 'em, I'll sew a bell on each point on the hat.

We'll see what The Director says...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Never Fails

I get the biggest shot of inspiration when I can do nothing about it.

My little jaunt to Coldwater Creek yesterday didn't just net me a new jacket; I saw some great clothes that I'd love to sit down and knock off.

Jackets w/short sleeves...or just little cap sleeves. Shirts w/ruffles. Knit tops w/stretch lace lower edges.

I wish I'd had time to visit the dressing room and take phone pictures for future reference.

But. I have a week to make the jester costume. I've got the Bible Costume pattern pulled out for the tunic; I want to at least cut that out first, so I know how much fabric I have left for the hat.

And the directions for the hat that Nancy found for me online are, um, incomplete. I also think they've shown sewing the incorrect sides together...all the pieces are connected, then the instructions say to 'try on the hat'. But at that point, it's a flat thing. No hat to try on.

But it is a starting point...I think I'll get some scrap fabric and play around w/the shapes to see if I can get it to work.

Oh...and I tried looking at other patterns for Jester Hats, but the next place I checked had one of those 'hijack the computer' pop-ups (doesn't take 'no' for an answer) and I had to CNTRL-ALT-DEL to kill it. Now I'm scared to look farther...Yeesh.

Anyway, with my jacket purchase I received a coupon good for 25% off an entire purchase anytime next week. If I finish the jester costume, I may treat myself to a little snoop shopping spree. There's a JJill and an Anthropologie in that same complex...maybe I'll take the digi cam along...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Twinge of Guilt

But not for what you'd think.

Ya'll, I actually went out and bought a denim jacket today.

I don't think I've bought a jacket for myself since the Amazing Jacket and Dress Deal I found on the clearance rack at Dillards...6 years ago?

But I got an email advertisement from Coldwater Creek featuring a denim jacket that I had to go check out at the local CWC shop. The one that opened...a year and a half ago?...that I hadn't been in yet.

Anyway, I had an errand to do that was sort of near the fancy shopping center where CWC is located, so I went ahead and ran over while I was in that neck of the woods.
It took me a while to find the denim version of the jacket; they also had it in two jacquards (orange and purple), but denim was what I wanted.

A size 12P fit fairly well and looked good. Knowing how much I've worn my Vogue Denim Jacket, I figured I'd wear this one bunches and bunches, too. And, looking at all the details on it, I will tell you straight up that $40 is worth not sewing it myself. I didn't feel the least bit guilty over that. In fact, I was congratulating myself because my sewing abilities allowed me to recognize a great buy when I found it.

But after I got home with it, I looked at the care label and found that it was made in China. And I wondered...who made my lovely jacket? Did I just contribute to an abusive system?

I don't know...and I can't do much about it at this point. But I can, every time I put that jacket on, pray for the unknown sewing machine operator and his/her co-workers. It is the least I can do, when she/he made such a nice little jacket for me to run around in.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Jester Costume Coming Up

Made a stop at the 'Wal-Mart that still has a fabric department' today to pick up jester costume fabric. The Drama Teacher wanted Mardi Gras colors -- purple, green and gold. I looked over the buck and a half table; there was a nice dark yellow poly fabric, but nothing to go with it. So I ended up getting three pieces of poplin from the $2 shelf.

I hope to git 'er done this weekend; he'd really like to have the costume by Sept. 3 or 4 (the performance date is Sept. 9)

Now, all I have to decide I want to use the green and purple for the body, with the gold on sleeves and accent, or do I want purple and gold for the body with green for accent, or shall I use green and gold on the body and the purple for accent?

The Actor would probably prefer the garment to have as little purple on it as possible.

Hm. Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #32

This month's colors: Brown, purple and/or mustard yellow w/blue jeans

The bootcut Lees were clean this week ! ;)

So, with them I'm wearing the Vogue 2975 top from brown poly blend crepe and the brown denim eyelet McCall's 5191 jacket.

I did some sewing yesterday and got my brown Jalie cardi done to the buttons...then discovered that I only had 4 brown buttons; I need 6. So I'll have to make a Hancock's run before I can finish it...

Friday, August 21, 2009

First Costuming Request of the School Year

The Actor is going to play a Jester in a little skit the class is going to perform at some elementary/middle schools next month and he needs a tabbard and hat.

The tabbard/tunic won't be a problem (modified Bible costume!) but I'm not having much luck finding a pattern for a hat. Simplicity has a pattern, but the Simp. patterns won't be on sale at Hancock's again before the performance date and I really don't want to spend 6 bucks on the pattern.

I looked around a bit on the net but haven't had any luck yet. Does anyone know of a good, simple Jester hat pattern? It doesn't have to be authentic...just visual enough to make the point.

Here we go...

PS. Um, I've got a serving of humble pie on my plate because, after stating that I believed my new assistant was a girl, I have had to reconsider the issue and now I must confess to an error...this is a boy kitty. He still has no name....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Slow and Steady...

Even if I only trace off half of a pattern piece a day, the pattern will eventually get traced...

I did swing by the Dollar-fifty table at the Good Wal-Mart earlier in the week and grabbed 4 yards of some kind of poly-blend suiting to make a muslin of the jacket. I'm gonna hold off on tracing the lining pieces until after I fit the jacket...especially since the lining pieces are pretty much drafted from the shell pieces. I'll get the shell pieces altered up first, then I'll do the lining.

But. Sigh. That puts my fabric in at over 86 yards...and my fabric out is still in the 20's. Unbelievable. Between working and costuming, I just haven't had as much time as I'm accustomed to to sew. Unless I get a MAJOR sewing focus going this fall, I am not going to finish the year anywhere close to parity. But that is unlikely, with the afore-mentioned costuming looming ahead.

So I'm dropping my 'Parity Plan' of giving away twice the overage. It's just not feasible this year...I'm just gonna do the best I can and then re-think the whole thing. Whatever I sew this year may be my benchmark for next year...if I only sew 35 yards, then that's what I'll limit myself to buying next year.

Who knew a little part-time job would sap the sewing time so much? But -- it is precisely the sewing time that turned into time at work. So I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Just gotta change my paradigm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

School Sewing Around the Corner...

We had a meeting of drama parents tonight; things are going to be a bit different this year; this year's high school musical will be a fall production. And, there is a new magnet director, who is not requiring students outside of choir to audition. So The Actor will not be in this year's musical.

Which is actually good, because it will be performed slap in the middle of the one-act play competition season. Auditions for that were today; it's a small cast, but I rather expect The Actor to be in it. There will be costuming....

And, since the musical will be in the fall, there's a gap in the performance calendar in early spring, so the Drama dept. will be doing a play in the late Feb-March time frame...they're looking at Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. But the BIG production of the year will be the complete MacBeth, done as originally written, in period costumes, about two weeks before school is out.

This is the kind of schedule I'd expect from a magnet program.

It's gonna be a busy year.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #31

This month's colors:Brown, purple and mustard yellow w/blue jeans.
Along with the straight-leg Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, I'm wearing my McCall's 5191 Jeans Jacket, made from stretch denim eyelet, and Vogue 8323, from purple cotton/lycra.

Sigh. I wish I looked better in jeans. Probably doesn't help that we had a feast of a dinner out today to celebrate 29 years of marriage...and this picture was taken *after* a huge meal. Ooofff.

I'll exercise tomorrow. ;)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Meet the New Assistant

We had two cats before we had kids. The cats never quite forgave us for bringing children home to torment them, but we all enjoyed the furry friends. At least, most of us enjoyed them. My Sweet Baboo sort of tolerated them.

But, kitties don't live as long as kids, and, not too long before The Flute Player's first birthday, our second kitty went to Catnip Heaven.

That was a little over twelve years ago. Even after all that time, and two household moves, I still found the occasional cat hair.

But I figured it was a matter of time until we got another cat. The kids have been asking. But I wasn't ready.

I'm still not sure I'm ready, but this kitty needed a home; she was found in a parking lot, but the family who found her couldn't keep her and she was headed to the animal shelter in a couple of days.

So now we have a cat. Hopefully, but the end of the weekend, she'll have a name.

Meantime, I'm trying to remember how to train a cat to stay off the kitchen counters and table...sigh...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Plannin' a brown jacket

I dug through the entire pattern cabinet and all my BWOF magazines trying to decide what I wanted to use for a brown jacket.

I have some lovely brown Zegna wool from Michael, so I knew what fabric the pattern must work for.

But I had some criteria...I didn't want to use my lovely wool on something that would be dated in a season or two; it had to have Staying Power. It also had to work w/a number of different shirt necklines. Shoulder princess lines were preferred, for ease of alteration.

And it had to work w/my body type...Middle Aged.

I compiled a short list of about 5 patterns, but ultimately decided upon Jacket 116 from BWOF 12/2008:

I've got 4 yards of the brown wool, so I might make pants, too.

Anyway, I expect it to take about a week to get the pattern traced (I think there are something like 12 - 13 pieces, some of which will have to be adapted and traced again for the lining).

But it's out on the Project Table to be traced...who knows, maybe I'll get a TNT out of it...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lookit Him Sew...

I had to take pictures.

Last March, My Sweet Baboo went off for a long weekend and took a knife crafting class taught by a master craftsman in Missouri. He came home with a pretty fancy knife in a case, but he wanted to make a sheath for it.

Sir Senior Ranger Commander happened to have some leather scraps about, and, last weekend, MSB put it all together:

And here he is with the finished project:

Technically, he cheated by pre-drilling the holes for the needle in the leather before he started sewing it, if he really wanted it to be Authentic for the frontiersmen's fellowship group...but he's not that picky. There are three different pieces of leather involved, ranging from Stiff As a Board to Lovely and Soft in hand. It was interesting to see how he did it.

For being a relative novice at these things, I think he did pretty well!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The White Campshirt

Doggone it. I knew those drag lines would jump out in the photo...they don't seem nearly so obvious IRL. Ah, well.

I actually upped the size on this just a bit; perhaps I needed to do a FBA as well to get rid of those lines. But, hey, this is *still* better than RTW.

It's Louise Cuttings 'TownANDCountry' campshirt...and it has great details. I put the pocket and tab detail patterns on the home scanner and reduced them in size by about 5%; I think that works better w/the proportion on my frame.

This one has been on 'The List' for quite a while; can you believe it is now the *only* short sleeved white blouse in my closet?

There are so many things on 'The List' that I have a real problem trying to decide which thing to do next...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #30

I almost didn't get to do this! Didn't get a turn on the computer until bedtime...and My Sweet Baboo shut the thing down before I could get on! Had to reboot just to post. ;)

Anyway, this month's colors are purple, brown and mustard, with jeans. I'm avoiding the mustard, but the purple and brown are ok with me....
So, I'm wearing the straight leg Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, my purple boucleLoes Hinse Retro Jacket and, just barely visible, my fairly new brown rayon/lycra jersey Jalie 965 tank top.

I'm about to decide I need to make a brown jacket; I know we'll be wearing brown again in October. Got some nice brown wool from Michael; a bunch of jacket patterns...I just need to pick one and sew, eh?

Friday, August 07, 2009


I've been sewing...and doing; with any luck I'll have my camp shirt finished up by tomorrow evening.

So I'm going to vent just a little about nothing whatever to do with sewing.

Somebody who's been there...please tell me that this mental fog that I'm experiencing is hormonal and will clear up when everything finally settles down.

Case in point: The Actor came to me tonight with a question about a large twisty lollipop. I intended to tell him to wrap it in cellophane and whack it with a hammer to break the candy off the stick.

What came out of my mouth was 'Wrap it up in chocolate.'

Something similar happens on a daily basis. When I don't lose the word I want altogether.


But I'm hoping it is temporary....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Snail paced sewing

So, if I sew in daily 20 minute increments, I *will* eventually finish something. But it's frustrating after years of being able to spend entire days in the sewing room.

I will adjust. I will, I will, I will.

And, maybe one day I will adjust enough that the housework won't be demanding so much time and I can up my 20 minutes to a bit more.

But, in the meantime, I've traced a couple of patterns (and lost a piece somehow...guess I'll just have to trace it again) and sewn a bit on my white campshirt.

School starts Monday, though, so I'm hoping that with the return of routine I can get a little more time.

Fabric and inspiration abound! But...time...oh, that's precious...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #29

or, AAAAAiiiiieeee!!! It's August!

This months colors: Purple, mustard yellow or brown with blue jeans.

This really was a case of just grabbing something that worked and going. I pulled my heathery purple poly/rayon Kwik Sew 2948 twin set that dates from January of '03 out and climbed into my long boot cut Lee jeans and left.

Simple and adequate. ;)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Equipping an inspiration....

Ok, I haven't had a chance to get into the sewing room for, well, a while now. I thought I'd get a chance today, but a sale flyer from Hancock's indicated a sale on McCall's and Vogue patterns, so I used my sewing-room time for some sewing-shopping time. (bad, Lisa, bad...)

It was pretty much a bust. The new Vogues weren't in the drawer yet (I had 4 on my list...), but I did pick up a couple of 99 cent McCall's patterns... 5662 and 5929...both kinda similar to things I have already, but worth $1 not to have to draft the details.

I also picked up some fat quarters:

The Flute Player has some jeans that still fit good around the seat but are getting too short; I thought I'd try Angie's Hippie Chic jeans and see if I could extend the use of them just a bit. The Princess shuddered to think I would try to make them longer by 'adding some ugly fabric'(she hasn't YET seen the FQs), but I think I'll give it a try.

After all, the jeans really aren't wearable as they are anyway...:)