Friday, April 30, 2010


So, how am I supposed to do the million things I need to do today? Sure wish I could squeeze about 6 more hours in the day...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Mediocre Picture of Mediocre Pants

The Flute Player played photographer for me this afternoon and this is the best photo of what she took (i.e., *all* of the pants are actually in the picture). Because of the stripes, you can see the ripples at the hip where the pattern (Jalie's 2909 'Classic Trousers') curves higher than I do.

There are some other issues with this pair that I won't go to the trouble of pointing out. I tucked in my top so the problems would be visible specifically for the sewing blog; I won't EVER wear these pants with a tucked-in top.

But they're wearable, and, with a layered black-on-red-on-black look, it worked.

I'll review them when I get the next iteration sewn up. ;)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Slipped again

Once upon a time, I decided I would declare one week out of every three months to be my 'home focus week' -- I'd stay off the internet, not schedule any appointments or volunteer activities and work on some project that needed attention at home.

Then I got a part-time job, and, while I still manage to stay off the internet, the 'stay home and accomplish things' part of the plan sort of went away.

And I did a BUNCH of running around town last week...I put about 110 miles on the car on Thursday and never left town.

And I didn't get much sewing done, either.

I've been working on a test garment of Jalie 2909 (the 'Classic Trousers') from a poly-lycra blend suiting I nabbed off the cheap table at Wal-mart. I got them to the point that all they needed was a trouser hook and the legs hemmed and determined that I needed to:

1) move the hip curve down about 2". The sideseam ripples a bit above the fullest part of my hips.

2) Add a pinch of ease to the whole garment. To my mind, in woven 'classic' pants, stretch in the fabric should be for ease of movement, not for fitting. These are pretty snug.

3) scoop the back crotch a bit

4) angle the back seam of the waistband in a bit and, after a bit of deliberation

5) put the center front seam on grain.

I'd also drafted pockets for the pants, but they were too deep and the opening was too long.

I pulled the pattern out and worked it over to accomplish those five things, plus I overhauled my pocket draft. Then I pulled out some black-and-white stripe printed cotton/lycra I got from Ann...last spring?...and cut out another pair (I still need pocket linings and interfacing).

Then I finished up the first pair. I'd give the fit about a C+ on that pair, given the items mentioned above. I like the color combo on the fabric, though, so I think I'll just make sure I pair 'em up with a top that's long enough to cover the too-high-hip-curve ripples and wear 'em for a while. With a longer top on, they really don't look *too* bad.

I'll do a full review w/photos when I get the second pair made.

So, while I didn't *finish* a Gorgeous Things garment, I made some progress on one.

Oh, and I decided I'd use the rest of the black and white stripe to make another McCall's 5191 jacket.

But I won't wear the pants and the jacket together. Just so you know. ;)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Choir Sundays 2010 # 13

Choir Colors for March: Black, gray and yellow w/blue jeans

I've got on those same ol' bootcut Lees, with a modified version of Textile Studio's Monaco Shell, in a gray poly/rayon knit that I *think* I found at Wal-Mart, and the Vogue 8305 cardi-wrap, fabricated in a black rayon/lycra jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Plus the yellow plastic jewelry.

April's colors will be turquoise, black and white with jeans. 'Cept for next week, which is our anniversary weekend, so we'll be dressing up just a bit and wearing black on the bottom instead of jeans.

I'm so ready to be done w/yellow... ;)

'12 Weeks' update tomorrow...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Caught Up

12 Weeks of Gorgeous Fabrics - garment #10

Squeezed a Jalie 965 top for The Flute Player out of the remnants...literally! I pieced the neckband and somehow the back is off grain...didn't notice that until I was matching the stripes on the side seams. I don't think I could've fit it on at all if I had actually folded it square (I thought I did...dunno what I goofed on) it JUST BARELY fit; I had to trim the back armholes out a bit to get past the notched place on one side. But, as the only place the offgrain is really noticeable is at the back hem, and this is intended to be a knock-around-the-house summer top, it'll be ok.

For that reason I'm not going to take the white armhole band off and flip it, either...didn't notice *that* until I looked at the photo. I meant to put the orange side out on both bands....:rolleyes:...

And I just looked at the calendar and realized that this is the 3rd week of April, which is *supposed* to be my quarterly Internet break. So I'll be off the rest of the week...hopefully I'll have Garment 11 done by Sunday... ;)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Choir Sundays 2010 #12

(A pretty day...breezy...but pretty!)
March colors: Black/grey/yellow w/blue jeans.

This is the Jalie 965 tank top and Jalie 2566 Cardigan, both from the charcoal gray yummy 'designer rayon knit' that came from Gorgeous Fabrics, with the Lee bootcuts and the plastic yellow jewelry again.

Also, got the official word today: we are adding another service in June, on Saturday nights. There's talk of a rotation w/the choir, so that everyone will not be singing all 4 services, but splitting into teams and rotating through somehow. Not sure yet how that will affect Choir Sundays...we'll see...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gorgeous Fabrics Week 10

Since the Flute Player has outgrown a number of tops this this spring, I figured I'd better get a few things made for her if I could. I pulled out the last of several orange-based pieces of fabric that I ordered from Ann about a year ago specifically for her, as orange is her favorite color, and looked for a pattern to use.

I decided to try something a little different, and traced off the boat-neck version of Jalie 2005, in a size S this time (I think the last tracing I had for her was a 'P'...she's really shot up in the past year), and I used the cap sleeve from Jalie 965.

I had to take a sharpie and write 'BACK' on the turned under portion of the back neckline...*I* had trouble telling the front from the back, and I knew which way I'd flipped the shoulder seams!

She's happy.

I had a fair sized chunk of fabric left...I'd only gotten a yard of this, but it was 70" wide. So I scraped and pieced a Jalie 965 tank top for her out of it; that may be my 'catch up' garment early next week! ;)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

From Pillar to Post

As in, running from one to the other.

My Sweet Baboo is out of town this week; the annual SDM conference has taken him to Orlando this year. I count the days he's gone in terms of mornings that I have to make sure the two still-in-school kids meet their morning timelines...ordinarily, MSB takes The Actor to his bus stop on his way to work; it throws a bit of a glitch in my morning when I've got to get him off and then come back and get The Flute Player out the door.

Hopefully, next year they will be at the same school, and life will be much easier.

But, aside from that, it's been a busy week. The only evening I *didn't* have to be somewhere else I spent running errands. sewing so far this week, although I'm very close to having the-next-size-up Jalie 2005 traced off for the Flute Player so I can crank out a couple of tops for her soon. Seems like I just get one traced and then it's too those multi-sized Jalies!!

Anyway, in the evening phone conversations with My Sweet Baboo, I inquired as to where the SDM conference will be in the next few years. He told me it will be in Denver next year, Honolulu the year after, and in Boston in 2013.

I want to go to Boston with him.

There are *lots* of sewing blogger/sewing board buddies in the area; there's great fabric stores in the area and it's a day trip to the NY Garment district...right?

I could have such fun while he's sitting in stodgy conference sessions!

Better start saving my pennies now ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Choir Sundays 2010 #11

This was another one of those marathon days at church...and the photo was taken afterward. So, yeah, I look pretty tired. And my *usual* fashion photographer wasn't available, so The Flute Player filled in. I definitely need to give her some pointers about taking pictures. But, well, it is what it is. I had to wait until the computer was available to post the photo (homework takes precedence!), and I'm waaaayyyyy sleepy (as in my ears are ringing) wouldn't believe the typos I've made just this far. I hope I catch 'em all before I hit 'post'...

March colors are black, charcoal gray and yellow, with blue jeans. In addition to the dark wash boot cut Lees, I'm wearing a black silk/lycra charmeuse modified Loes Hinse City Dress shell, my gray wool/lycra Loes Hinse Bolero Jacket, and a $5 crinkled scarf from Wally World.

The rest of the month will probably be some variation on what I've worn already. I suppose I ought to just break down and make myself a yellow tank top so I can layer it under black, since it really looks like yellow is going to show up in the rotation at least once a year.

I'll think about that tomorrow. ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gorgeous Fabrics Week...9...

Yeah, I missed week 8, so I'm a garment behind.
But, since the spring play has completely fallen through, I may be able to catch up next week. We'll see. ;)

Anyway, this pitiful hanger shot is Burda 05-2009-108, from black cotton/lycra sateen. The vest really looks a lot more polished in real life; the only real problem is that it is a lint magnet!!! Must keep lint roller handy...

I don't know when I'll manage to get a photo of it actually on me; I don't have any tops to wear with it for choir this month, although it'll probably get worn quite a bit in future months. Maybe I'll wear it to work this week and get a photo then.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Scatch That

Once the dominoes start falling, they just keep going...

After 2 rehearsals, Six Characters has also been scratched...besides the impossibly tight schedule, it turns out that there are some issues raised in the play that are, well, inconvenient for the student body at large at this time (an alumnus committed suicide a couple of weeks ago; the play ends with one of the characters shooting himself).So.

The kids are to consider over the weekend and come up with either monologues or small group skits to do for a showcase night.

It'll give them something to work on, and hopefully by next year there will be order and purpose in the house once more.

I don't handle roller coasters well; I'm feeling a little dizzified...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Tragic End of Macbeth...

Tragedy takes many forms...some are devastating, some merely discouraging.

The production of Macbeth has had a rather sudden demise...a multitude of factors contributed to it, not the least being that, in this uncertain economic climate, with school funding at critical levels, our director/drama teacher found an opportunity for employment in a well-funded private school and took the opportunity.

Who can blame him? He has a mortgage to pay like everybody else and he didn't have tenure.

But that left Macbeth quite without direction.

So, the magnet coordinator, our tech theater teacher and a young lady who was helping with Macbeth and who has completed her bachelor's in theater teamed up to produce another play; the kids auditioned last night, the cast was set today, and they will rehearse virtually every day this month to stay with the original opening night of April 30.

The new play is Six Characters in Search of an Author...not something I recognized, which I suppose shows my ignorance as I'm told it is a classic piece, written early in the 20th century. It is a bit abstract and cerebral...not the kind of theater that *I* particularly care for, but the kids are excited about doing it.

Which is good, because they're going to be working awfully hard.

I, however, am not going to be doing nearly so much. The costuming for this show is going to be via procurement, not production. It's going to be costumed in contemporary garb, so the kids will likely have a good bit of stuff in their own closets. I'd rather sew than run around looking for things, but, well, you do what you gotta do.

I probably won't post much about it; mostly because I have a distinct feeling of not knowing what in the world I'm doing.

But I might have a chance at getting back on track w/my 12 garments in 12 weeks plan...we'll see...

Monday, April 05, 2010

Praying for Shannon

If you recall, I mentioned that during my 12 weeks of sewing Gorgeous Fabrics, I meant to use the time to pray for Ann...and, just as I was starting the challenge, I learned of another sewing friend who was battling cancer, so I've been using my sewing time to pray for her, also. I didn't mention her name, because she said she was not being very public about it.

However,the news has now gone pretty public, so I thought I'd share a bit about my friend.

Most of the folks in the online sewing community know and love Shannon Gifford; Shannon has taught numerous online classes at PatternReview, written fabric sewing tips for Emma One Sock, written articles for Threads magazine, published the online sewing newsletter 'Sensible Sewing'...she's been visible online, and always helpful and gracious.

But beyond that, Shannon grew up in my neck of the woods and I've had the privilege of meeting her In Real Life on her trips back this way to visit family. She is just as helpful and gracious in person as she is on line. It has been a treat to know her.

I knew she was in a battle; I didn't know the scope of the battle until I happened to stumble across a chat that pointed me to a discussion thread on the Pattern Review boards that lead me to the blog about her battle.

I haven't been very active on the boards for quite a while; I'd missed a lot of earlier discussion, I think. I found the info just in time to read today's post that the doctors have pronounced the cancer no longer treatable.

Both Shannon and her husband have displayed remarkable faith and courage throughout; you can read the whole story on their blog.

I've got 4 more garments to make from my Gorgeous Fabrics; as I'm sewing them, I will of course be praying for Ann...with the fabric being a direct point of contact to her...but I'll also be holding Shannon in my heart and praying for her as well.

I'd like to encourage my friends in bloggy land to pray for them, too.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Choir Sundays 2010 #10

Colors for Easter weekend: black/charcoal gray/yellow w/black pants

Not very Easter-y, I know...after I got to church, I suddenly remembered that I have a lovely black eyelet skirt that would've been very nice to wear today, but, I was stuck in a pants mindset for some reason.

They're my black stretch cotton sateen LaFred Daphne pants. These pants always look better in the mirror, I think. Every time I see a photo of them I make a mental note to pull them out and tweak the fit a bit...anyway.

I've also got on my gray rayon/lycra Jalie 965 tank top and my black rayon matte jersey Simplicity 4076 Surplice top. And the yellow plastic jewelry again. ;)

You may very well see that yellow plastic jewelry every Sunday this month. ;)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Choir Saturday?

Well, in order to accommodate all the folks we anticipate coming to church this weekend, we added a Saturday night service just like the services on Sunday. So the choir sang and we were in black/gray/yellow. This is 2/3 of my new Double twinset...the Jalie cardi and Christine Jonson's Basewear Two turtleneck shell, made from yummy rayon/lycra jersey knit from Gorgeous Fabrics. And, since it's Easter Weekend, we're wearing black pants (or skirts!) instead of jeans. I have my old reliable Vogue 7881 pants from black cotton twill, one of my best Wal-Mart dollar table finds ever.

The yellow plastic jewelry is my nod to the color; I just *couldn't* do Easter weekend in black and gray. I snagged a scarf at Wal-Mart that I may wear tomorrow...haven't decided yet. Yellow and I generally are not on speaking terms. ;)

And I have a confession...I am not going to get my 8th Gorgeous Fabrics garment done before midnight. It's all cut out, and the interfacing is on, but, well, I knew it'd be dicey once we started cranking on Macbeth. Incidentally, we started cranking, then one of the gears stripped out, so I'm rather on hold on that at the moment. But I did get all the kids measured; I should know by Monday what direction we'll be heading.

But, throw that AND Easter weekend preparation/extra services in my week and I just flat ran outta time. But I did manage a garment a week for 7 straight weeks; that wasn't too bad! I *will* finish all 12's just going to take a fuzz longer than 12 weeks now.