Monday, November 30, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #44

(Yeah...I know this is Monday. I was gone virtually all day yesterday, and The Actor was on the computer working on an overdue English assignment until midnight. So, yeah...anyway...)
This month's colors are black and/or burgundy with blue jeans...but dresses are okay, too. ;).
So, this is the burgundy slinky knit Sewing Workshop Cityscapes Dress, worn with the rayon/lycra jersey Vogue 8305 Cardi-wrap. Every year I say this...the Cityscapes dress is the perfect Sunday-after-Thanksgiving attire... ;)

And here's a 'parting shot' for you, just because I'm behind the time w/the post...while The Actor was slaving away trying to build a bibliography for a research paper, I decided I'd do a little work. The Flute Player must have black pants that actually cover her ankles by the Christmas Concert on Thursday, and, well, since I was cutting out black fabric I thought I'd do a muslin on a Burda T-shirt...I've picked up some rather pretty glitzy striped lycra blend knit from the buck-fifty table at Wal-Mart to test fit it before I cut into my nice rayon/lycra stripe. My Sweet Baboo got tickled a the 'help' Frisco Kitty was offering as I was trying to trace/cut out the Burda pattern...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hamlet's Jerkin

Despite the fact that the cat wanted to eat both the gold trim and the leather lacing, I had a jerkin ready to send in in time for Monday's school performance. The Actor tells me that his director and the young lady who actually plays Hamlet both liked it.

I don't know if you can tell from the photo of the back, but I added 3/4" to the back seam and finished it off w/the lining, then used Velcro(R) to close it up. The costume changes are pretty quick, so the only way that lace-up vest was going to be useful was if it had a quick entry.

I used black moleskin (faux suede). Not as fancy as velvet would've been, but not as expensive, either... ;).

The pattern is Simplicity 4059; if I can get a picture of it on the actress I'll post it w/a review... ;)

For anyone who happens to be in the Rocket City area, the kids are doing a fundraiser performance on Monday at Lee High School at 7 PM. No admission charge per se, but they are requesting a $5 donation...trying to cover the expenses of going to the state competition (which is next weekend). Just FYI. ;)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 # 43

(Yes,I skipped a week; last weekend was our turn to serve elsewhere so My Sweet Baboo and I did not sing in the choir.)

This Month's Choir colors:Black and/or burgundy w/ blue jeans
I wore my Tribeca set again...that's the Sewing Workshop Tribeca Shirt over a Loes Hinse City Dress Shell Top, made from a rayon blend brocade I picked up in May '07's stash-surging trip to Sir's Fabrics.

And I just realized that this was what I wore in the last Choir Sundays post two weeks ago *egg on face*.
At least it wasn't two weeks in a row...;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Back Among the Functional

It's been over 5 years since I had anything close to the kind of bug I had Monday...and I seem to remember being fairly normal in a couple of days after that bout. This one...well, I still don't have much of an appetite back. But at least I can sew now...

This is Your Basic Dickens Skirt, in something like antique satin from the buck-and-a-half table at Wal-Mart. I'm kicking myself now for not taking pictures as I made it; it would've been good to put them with the explanation of how to make one. I was doing good to get it made, though, so I'll just have to wait and photograph the next one. Anyway, The Flute Player's middle school drama class is doing A Christmas Carol in about 3 weeks and she needed a costume. I have an old cape (24 years old, to be exact...purchased so I'd have something warm to wear in November and December before her older sister was born) that I used in our church Dickens productions, and we'll borrow a bonnet for her from church. All she needs is a white blouse and she's set. Whew.

And don't you know all those dangly gathering threads (dental floss, actually) was an attraction to the Frisco Kitty?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We Continue Costuming...


Sunday I ate something that had been in the fridge for longer than I realized; yesterday I got flattened by a truly violent ailment. I felt fine when I left the house; three hours later I was lying on the bathroom floor at work hoping I could make it home (special thanks to Miss A and Pastor J for making sure I did!)

Yesterday was a total washout; I'm up and moving slowly today; pushing fluids because I did get somewhat dehydrated. I'm hoping once I get rehydrated I'll feel good enough to sew because...

The Flute Player needs a Dickens costume; her drama class will be performing "A Christmas Carol" the second week in December and she is one of the Solicitors and a Caroler. I checked at church for a costume she's used before for a school project, but the costume area is in such disarray that I couldn't find it. So I stopped at my favorite Wal-Mart and picked up a goodly length of burgundy antique satin from the dollar fifty table to make a skirt and perhaps a short cape. If I add a good deep hem to the skirt, it'll be useful when/if we ever do 'Scrooge' at church again.

Plus I still need to make the extra costume piece for 'Compleat Works'...haven't had a final 'go' on that yet. The pattern *I* liked best is a McCall's...and I just discovered McCall's patterns are on sale at Hobby-Lobby this week.

I may have to run in and get one, feeling puny or not....

Friday, November 13, 2009

Found the Door...

Who knew The Wall had a door?

Wednesday I came home from work to find that my kids, who'd had the day off from school, had CLEANED THE KITCHEN! Even damp-mopped the floor! And they'd neatened and vacuumed the living room and den!!!

After I recovered from the swoon, I thanked them profusely and went to work on the material for the sixth-grade girls class I teach on Wednesday nights at church; it was a 2-lesson night (we're on a really tight syllabus to get three units in before Christmas...). And class went well. I came home and went to soon as My Sweet Baboo and The Artist got home from a late-night MRI session inspecting the Artist's knee (verdict: ACL reconstructive surgery; Thursday next week...).

My frazzled nerves were considerably less frazzled when I got up, so when I got the phone call from Our Costume Mistress that the red dress was a bit too long...could I come in and fix it because everyone else is trying to finish off other costumes?...I was able to offer to bring my serger along after choir practice with a good attitude.

So, 'long 'bout 8:30 last night, I pulled into school, unloaded the serger, and finished the edges of the red dress (another sewing volunteer had already trimmed it to the right length). Then I found another project... a suit jacket that needed Every Bit Of Length removed from the sleeve hems. I opened the lining in the topstitched bit of the sleeve lining seam (thank you whoever told me years ago that that access was there!)...both sleeves had 'em...and took everything out, then faced the bottom w/bias tape to turn a minimal hem up and put it back together. I didn't get the buttons put back on, but anyone can do that at any point today.

Today, My Sweet Baboo had one of those diagnostic procedures that requires anesthesia, so he's home sleeping it off, and The Actor is keeping him company with 'flu -like symptoms'.

So I'm making chicken soup and swabbing things w/disinfectant wipes. Who knows...if I catch a minute, I might even sew something. ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Wall

I can't remember hitting The Wall like I did last night; when I got the dress done to the zipper and realized that the only way I was going to get a zipper into that dress was to hand pick it, I nearly broke down and cried. But, with the boning in already and the extreme bulk of the gathered drapey band...well, there simply was no way my sewing machine was going to even come close to being able to sew anything close to a passable zipper. It was a wrestling match to even do it by hand. But it did, eventually, get done, and I got it to school about a quarter after 8 last night.

The actress wearing it said that it felt just a little loose at the top; one of the other sewing moms pinched the back and said there wasn't enough there to justify trying to alter it; it didn't *look* too big...and she did her next scene onstage with it on, just so we could see how it looked under the lights...and, to tell the truth, it looked fabulous.
But I was absolutely at the wall. I didn't even take in my sewing stuff to hang out and help. I gave my recommendations as to how to attach the little ruffle to the top edge, if they decided they wanted it (they did). And I came home and went to bed.
The anointing has lifted for the moment....

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not much for 8 hours...

Especially when you consider that I began w/the bodice partially sewn...the lining was sewn, RST, at the top, then pressed to the back, the netting trim was applied and then all the vertical seams sewn. Sunday night I put on the boning and covered it; last night, I added the satin drape. Since the boning was already in, I really couldn't sew it on by machine, over the boning, I adjusted the drape to fit the adjusted bodice, pressed the top edge under (a little Steam-A-Seam helped) and hand stitched it in place. The gathering stitches had to be left in at the sides; I hand tacked that down.

I think I am resolving to insist on starting from scratch myself. I understand why the lady who started this dress did what she did; I even understand why she was told to do that. It seemed like a good idea. But it just doesn't work for something like this, and we'd been better off to do it the right way.

And there is a ruffle that should've been caught in the lining/bodice seam along the top edge, but that couldn't be done since it was finished as it was. I don't know if we'll add the ruffle later or'll just have to be sewn to some bias tape and hand applied to the top edge.

Anyway, I've switched my work days, so I'm doing the skirt and the zipper today. I need to get it to school by sometime this evening....

Monday, November 09, 2009

Trying not to panic...

The Simplicity 3878 red dress is scaring me; I basically have tonight and tomorrow night to make it (maybe I'll swap my off day this week and work Thursday instead of Tuesday?). It *was* all cut out...the pieces I couldn't find were wrapped in a second bag in the bottom of the first one so I didn't spot them at first.

But the bodice was flat-lined...sort of...instead of being done as instructed (in which the bodice lining is like, the last thing to do). So the boning could not be inserted as instructed. Last night, I made the fitting adjustments on the bodice, then added the Ridgilene boning by stitching in the ditch on the seams. Then I covered it w/bias tape using some very ugly, fast, git-er-done hand sewing.

That was the evening. Fitting and boning. Tonight is adding the drape...which was supposed to be shirred into the side seams but obviously cannot be. (all this variation of method was to facilitate dress alterations in future performances; rumor has it they are going to make this a once-every-four-years production...). I'm *hoping* that really won't take too long; there's a lot of skirt to put together (lining, skirt, overskirt and interior crinoline).

Did I say dress rehearsal is Wednesday? Hm...maybe I'd better switch my days...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #42

This Month's Colors: Burgundy and/or Black w/blue jeans

These are the Coldwater Creek bootcut jeans again, and a Loes Hinse City Dress Shell Top invisible under the matching burgundy/gray brocade Sewing Workshop Tribeca Shirt

My camera is getting flakey; My Sweet Baboo took a couple of different shots, but this is the only one that showed up. Dunno what's up with that... Anyway, I didn't have a choice of 'better photo' this, the top looks tight and way pinker than it is. Oh, well.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Compleat Works Goes to State!

Wish I'd taken my camera for the awards ceremony...

5 plays from our district were selected to go on to State competition and Compleat Works was one of them! So there is much rejoicing!

And, this mama has to brag just a minute...The Actor was selected to the District All-Star Cast, along with his fellow cast member, the Wearer of the Orange Pants. ;)

The Director/Tech Director took the comments to pore over; we'll see if any costume changes will be recommended. State competition is the first weekend in December.

Meantime, I have brought home a partially assembled Simplicity poly satin and finish out for 'White Christmas', which opens Friday. I say partially assembled; the bodice has been assembled and alterations pinned in, but I'm not even sure the entire skirt has been cut out yet.


Guess you know what I'm going to be doing every available moment for the next 2-3 days...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Slippin' it in...

So, after I had the orange pieces done and before the purple was dyed and ready to sew, I took advantage of the orange thread in the machines and knocked out the orange things in the queue. Mine was just another Jalie 965 tank top, but I also made a top for The's basically the mock turtleneck from Jalie 2566, only we wanted long sleeves, so I borrowed the sleeves from Jalie 2682.

She's happy. She's very happy. The only thing she is not happy about is that the length of the shirt and the sleeves are spot on perfect. 'I'll outgrow it too soon!' she lamented.

No matter. There can easily be more where that came from. In the next size up. I am *loving* Jalie patterns, not only for me, but because it's so convenient to just keep moving up the size range as the kids grow...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Dress Rehearsal Photos

Out of about 11 photos that I took (with no flash, of course!) This is one of the only two that weren't horribly out of focus...and the other one had blurred hands.

The Comedy section... ;)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Last Minute Switch

Sometimes I just wanna smack my head.

The basically red skirt I made for The Actor to wear as all the girls in Compleat Works looked great w/his basic costume...but I failed utterly to consider how it would look onstage alongside the very orange breeches of one of his fellow castmembers.

When we finally got everyone on stage in costume today I got the report...the red skirt Did Not Work. Ish. One of the drawbacks of just winging it instead of doing a show palette, I suppose.

So, our intrepid director raided the costume workshop and located a piece of fabric in colors that work w/all the costumes AND was long enough for a replacement skirt, not only for The Actor, but for the MiniMe doll that has to come in at one point.


Yeah, I know it's ugly. That's the idea...

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 # 41

Being the first of the month, the colors have changed...for November we're wearing burgundy and/or black w/ blue jeans. So, I'm wearing the burgundy slinky knit Butterick 5185 over a black slinky knit Loes Hinse Sweater Set shell top, with the Lee bootcut jeans.

I know the brown/tan/orange combo looked very seasonal, but I'm glad to be moving on to burgundy... ;)