Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Got a New Gizzie

Let me lead up to this in a round about fashion...

Years ago, I remember seeing commercials for a 'hand held blender' -- a whizzer thingie that you held in your hand and dunked up and down in the large container of whatever food item being pureed.

I thought it was the silliest kitchen gadget I'd ever seen.

But about a year ago, I had a gift card for Bed, Bath and Beyond, and a coupon and, well, I went in looking for something to use the two items on and came out with a hand-held blender. I wasn't really sure why, other than there really wasn't anything in the store that day that looked like an urgent need, and the coupon was about to expire.

It is one of the most used appliances in my kitchen. I LOVE that thing.

Now, when Simplicity came out with the little bobbin winder gadget, I thought, 'That is the silliest sewing gizmo I've ever seen.' Since the spool of thread had to go on the winder, I could not see how it could possibly be that much of an improvement over the machine's own bobbin winder.

You guessed it...I got one (actually, the Dritz version) for Christmas.

And I do see a picture on the side of the box showing it operating with thread still on the sewing machine, so I am withholding judgment and trying to keep an open mind. Perhaps it will be the sewing room equivalent of the hand-held blender.

Um, yeah. Maybe.

So...here's a question...do any of my blog buddies have a bobbin winder? Do you use it? Any opinions to share?

I'm listening... ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Last Fabric Purchase of the Year

Um, I think...

Gorgeous Fabrics is having a sale; I perused the fabrics and found two pieces that will do nicely for choir in March, when we're to wear a deep bright green. The silk duppioni I got last year really has not held up well (not the highest quality, I fear...yes, it came from the local Hancock's...)so I was looking to augment the wardrobe a bit.
I got some Kelley green rayon jersey and some Brilliant Green silk charmeuse jacquard.

I told My Sweet Baboo what I was doing yesterday morning before heading to work...and his only comment was, 'Be sure you get enough.'

Um, I may have grumbled about a fabric shortage sometime recently... ;)

Anyway, that'll be my green for March. *Surely* I can find time to make a couple of tops...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not In Choir Today...

And I just realized that we won't be in choir next Sunday, either...so Choir Sundays is finished for this year.

Sometimes I feel like I'm really overdoing the whole thing...especially since I keep listing some of the same garments over and over again. But, I know there are folks who check out the Choir Sunday posts; they do get comments. And, in my crazy, too-busy-to-blog-lately life, it does pretty much guarantee at least one post a week.

So, despite the fact that I feel a little overly self-promoting doing them, I'll probably keep them up next year...

I already have a project in mind to do for January, in which the choir colors will be royal blue and black; a new (well, one I have had for ages but haven't made yet) Loes Hinse pattern, to be made out of some burnout velvet that landed in the shopping cart when I was buying tartan scarves at Fabric Mart...I think it'll make a great Venetian Vest...if I have enough fabric.

I'm still smarting over the shortage of ruby charmeuse.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So Bummed.

I finally got my gorgeous ruby red silk charmeuse on the cutting table. I had 4.25 yards; 45" was the width...I thought...

I've cut this very pattern out of 3.5 yards of 45" fabric before; had to piece the front facing, but I made it.

You can see where this is headed, can't you?

I cut out the shirt back, back neck facing, pockets, sleeves and leg band, then moved the fabric to cut the rest...and found I was a good 3/4 yard short of having enough.

I was bumfuzzled...how could I have been so far wrong?

I measured the width; it was 42 inches wide. Not 45.

I tried and tried to get the rest of the pieces on there...but I had 3 big pieces left to cut and I just could not get them all on.

So, I folded it all up together and put it away. There's enough there for a nice blouse; I *can* recut the folded PJ back piece. And I'll like the blouse. But...I really had my heart set on charmeuse jammies.

Why on earth didn't I buy about 6 yards??? It was on sale...

Oh, well, maybe it'll happen again some day...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Breathing a little

Last night was the last evening event...I've got time at night to do things now!

And, of course, among the 'things' I want to do is dust off the sewing machine.

I did get my muslin of the scoop-neck, raglan sleeved Burda magazine (can't say BWOF anymore, can we?) tshirt pattern put together. I raised the neckline considerably, and the first guess for the neckband length was too long, so I took the neckband off, shortened it 3" and put it back on.

It was still too long, and, in all honesty, the underarm is too low; raising my arms also raised the top. I was debating trying to fix it again, when I had a sudden and freeing thought:
This is a muslin!.
The fabric is off the buck-fifty table at Wal-Mart. So I can cheerfully toss it and try again.

I've adjusted the underarm on all but one of the pattern pieces; as soon as I can get the last one done I'll cut out another iteration.

But I have another project I want to do this weekend...

Silk charmeuse PJ's. Ordered the fabric way back in the spring when it was on sale for $5/yd so I could have some luxurious PJ's for Christmas. However, I hadn't figured on the Hot Flash Season hitting me; I'm not sure my Laura Petrie Jammies pattern will work right now. I really don't want to sweat up nice silk PJ's.

But...that *is* what I bought the fabric for...

gotta do 'em this weekend if I want 'em for Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Choir Sundays '09 #46

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
The Choir's in Red and Black...

If I worked on it I could probably parody the whole song, but I think I'll leave it there for now. Anyway, it's The Layered Look today...and I'll declare, those reds looked a lot more matchy in the mirror than they do in the camera! Wonder how they looked under stage lights? Maybe I'm better off not knowing...

So, this is the black wool gab Loes Hinse Oxford pants again, this time with the red/black/silver wool/Lurex plaid crepe Silhouette Patterns' Robin's Jacket, worn over my black rayon/lycra matte jersey Simplicity 4076 surplice top (Hm...I just noticed I never updated that review for the surplice view...), worn over a red fine ribbed cotton knit Jalie 965 tank top.

I think we'll always wear red/black in December; I really should pull out my red wool crepe that's been in the stash for, like, forever and make something...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top Picks

Linday T. asks the sewing blogging community the question, 'What's Your Favorite of 2009?'

My sewing production has been pretty abysmal this year...but I do have a couple of things I really, really like. My personal favorite of the year has to be the Jalie Cardigan and tank top twin set. I love the way that fits and the fabric feels marvelous (I even ordered two more yards; it's that good...).

But the garment I'm the most proud of (aside from costume sewing, which I'm not even going to THINK about) is probably the fancy dress I made for the Flute Player last winter (Simplicity 4271).
I put that together, from a run to Hancock's with only a vague notion of which pattern I'd use, to the finished dress going out the door on the way to dinner, in a fuzz over a day.

So here's to a little more personal sewing and a lot more stash reduction in 2010!!! I have beyoutiful fabrics...and I want to sew them!!!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Choir Sundays 09 #45

It's December! Time for something Festive!

So, this month we give the blue jeans a rest and our choir colors are red and black. No jeans. And I pulled my black wool gab Loes Hinse Oxford Pants, an OOP Kwik Sew blouse made up in red poly microfiber peachskin, and an embroidered black velvet RTW vest that I believe has been in the wardrobe since, oh, 2000?

This was state drama competition weekend; I have to brag and say that I'm extraordinarily proud of our Compleat Works cast...they put on a show that was at least two notches above what they had done in the past. The nearly full theater audience was rockin' and rollin' right along with them. It was fun to see. However, 3 out of 5 judges apparently failed to see merit in the show, and the only award that the troupe earned went to the young lady who played (among other things) Hamlet. She was named to the All-Star cast.

Still, the kids did really well and they had the cheers of their peers; the opinions of five particular individuals really can't touch that.

Oh, I did get the Flute Player's pants done before I left. Now I think I'll see if I can actually sew something for my closet...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Back to the In-House Projects...

It almost feels odd not to owe anyone a costume...except that the Flute Player has a Christmas concert on Thursday, and her one pair of black pants are waaayyyy too short.

So I got out the pattern Sunday evening, lengthened it about 4" (so it has a deep hem. More room for growth...) and added a pinch to the outseams because the too-short pants are also bordering on being too tight. I did manage to get them cut out of some very nice black cotton/lycra sateen from Gorgeouse Fabrics, purchased for this very cause earlier this year.

Wish I'd taken a photo of the pasted-up pattern before I put it away...

Last night, the night of 4 different events happening at the same time (we could only get to one...), I changed the thread on the serger and put the interfacing on the waistband pieces.

At least I'm *ready* to sew tonight...I think I can get 'em done in a couple of hours.

I hope!