Saturday, October 30, 2010

Not Sewing. Is. A. Bummer.

Haven't wandered near the machine for a couple of weeks now.

See, we're doing a photo directory at church and, well, somehow it landed in my office.

So, I suppose the good side is that I'm working extra and so bringing some extra cash into the exchequer...bad news is that there is no time.

It's almost like costuming a show.

My black-and-white striped blouse has had all the fusible interfacing applied, and that's where it's been. And I really need to get it made...if it fits well, I may make another one out of solid white (with the ruffles!) for our picture...which is scheduled for Nov. 15.

But before I can sew a stitch, I've got to dig my way to the bottom of Mount Washmore...we're almost completely out of clothes.

Sewin' ain't the only thing that ain't been happening...

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. We'll get through this... ;-)

Sigh. I've been looking at fabric sources...of course!...but have so far managed to not buy anything. Why add more to the stash since I can't seem to get anything at all sewn?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Costuming the One Act

It is The Actor's Senior Year; to my surprise he elected to be the student director of this year's competition piece rather than audition for it.

The piece is The Metamorphosis. I do understand his reluctance.

Last year, the one act was a hysterical comedy that was a tremendous hit with the audience...but the judges didn't like it. So, this year (under a new drama teacher, btw), the play selection was of a genre that seems to go well with judges...dark, broody, depressing. Yay.

However, I am not responsible for the cockroach costume; I believe that is actually falling under the tech crew/set design/make up folks. My only assignment was to repair one dress that was aged and falling apart.

I spent Monday evening working on it and it's done. I don't know how well it will hold up...the fabric is nearly brittle...but it's repaired for now.

So I'm done.

Other than finding some pieces The Flute Player needs for her tights (shouldn't be hard) and 'character shoes', whatever that means. She plays the first maid/housekeeper. We'll find something at Shoe Carnival.

However, as soon as we get back from Christmas break, they're going to begin production on their major drama production, which will be Romeo and Juliet. Not done in Elizabethan garb is all I know about the costuming at this point...

But, it's 'funny' how things work out. I have a big project going on at work that will run through at least the end of November. Sewing for a show would be nearly impossible at this point...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Something REALLY different

I normally play along with the Random Dozen Meme on my other blog...the one that talks about faith and other things that I don't feel quite free to talk about here. But...I'm feeling a little adventurous tonight, and sewing Will Be Mentioned, so...

Just for grins I'm answering the questions on this side of the dashboard. For newbies, welcome to Second Cup of Coffee's Random Dozen (minus one this week).

You can click the icon to see the original prompt and the linked up answers:

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing? By the way, that's not "foax pass." (I know you know that. Just jokin' with ya.)
I pronounced 'Sword' as 'swoard' for years and years, to distinguish it from 'soared.' Finally I looked it up in a dictionary and found that 'swoard' is not even an alternate pronunciation and ate humble pie and stumbled over the pronunciation for years. But Terry Woodrum saved me from total humiliation in my 10th grade Driver's Ed class, when, while reading aloud from the textbook,he read the word 'Yosemite' and pronounced it 'Yo-sim-i-tee,' thus saving me from a thousand deaths when it was my turn to read...I totally was going to say 'Yose-mite.'

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: "I've got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morow.")
You won't believe this, but I actually spell words out in my texts. I only use those shortcuts for dramatic effect...which is usually totally wasted.

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.
Just because this IS the sewing blog, I will point out that I made the jacket in my senior photo from blue polyester doubleknit crepe from Ben Franklin's in Brownsburg, IN, back when Ben Franklin's was a variety store. It was part of my ORIGINAL wardrobe capsule sewing, although I didn't know that at the time. I also bought some navy and white houndstooth poly double knit, and I made the blue jacket, a blue skirt, a houndstooth skirt, a pair of wide-waist trousers from the houndstooth, and a reversible vest using both fabrics. You can't really tell from the photo, but the jacket has short, puffed, banded sleeves (I *think* there was a long-sleeved view, but I'm not sure). This was the second jacket from this pattern; my mom used it to make a cream linen-look jacket for me, too, my freshman or sophomore year. As I recall, she has not sewn anything for me since that, although she has done a wee bit of sewing for my kids (remember the napsacks, Mom?). Um, I *have* been actively resisting stalking vintage pattern sites for that jacket.

4. Since Linda left off number 4 I'm making up my own. *Clears throat* What is your favorite variety of doughnut?
Dunkin' Donuts (would someone PLEASE open a DD franchise in the Rocket City again? Pretty Please?) vanilla creme filled. Yum. Powdered sugar everywhere....

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.
My high school consolidated w/another high school my junior year. That was also the first year for our varsity football program. We Never.Won.A.Game. Every away game we went to was the home team's homecoming. I wish I had a sawbuck for every time I heard 'Sweetheart of Sigma Chi' before I graduated.

6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"

7. Lea at Cici's Corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"
See the Northern Lights

8. Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind ponders, "If you could come back [in another life] as an animal, which would it be?"
Some rich lady's pampered poochie.

9. Joyce from The Other Side of the Pond is curious: "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.
10 years ago my kids were 4, 7, 12 and 14; the four of them were attending 5 different schools. We were still in our denominational church, although we were beginning to pull out. We were in a cramped little house...and I had not yet discovered the online sewing community.

10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious discussion, do you gloat?
Who, me? Um, depends on with whom I am in contentious discussion. ;)

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel?"
Caramel turtle brownies.

12. From my 17 year-old daughter to you: "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?" (She's so cute. And clever.)
I think this is a life-stage question. When I was a kid, I thought it would be neat to be part of the Jetsons, because robots took care of everything. Then I thought it would be neat to be part of the Ingalls family, because they were so close. When I was in my late teens, I wanted to be part of the Murray family (A Wrinkle in Time), because they were close AND brilliant. Now, I think I'd be one of the Incredibles...I need to stretch reeeaaaaallly fffaaaaarrrr...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back from the Mountains...

...and trying to figure out how to get the dozen or so pitiful cell phone pictures off the cell phone and onto my computer (It's a very old, very basic flip phone).

The battery on my actual camera died before we even got to our destination and I'd forgotten to bring the charger. Lesson learned.

Actually, we went to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg with the leaders from our girls and boys ministries at church for a getaway. We had a fabulous time and did things as a group that I don't think I'd ever have tried on my own.

For the sake of not tripping internet searches, there is a famous female country western singer/actress who's made quite a brand for herself in the entertainment industry that I'm going to refer to as 'Polly'. Her name, face, and trademark are all over that part of the country.

I'm not dissing her; she's been very successful at what she does and I applaud her business savvy. And there are some very worthwhile charities that benefit from her business savvy. So more power to her.

Anyway, we did spend some time at some of Polly's entertainment ventures...namely, the theme park and the horse show dinner theater.

The amusement park was very nice; we'd been there before, years and years ago, and been very impressed with the artist/craftsman areas and with the eagle sanctuary. Plus, My Sweet Baboo is quite a steam engine enthusiast, and there are a couple of historic steam engines that pull the 5 mile excursion train. So we enjoyed our day at the park.

The horse show dinner theater...different strokes for different folks, I guess. A number of our friends who have been say it's really good, and most of the folks in our group agreed. I must be a rarity in that I kinda don't find food eaten in a barn with animals moving about and...well, doing what animals do...all that appetizing, even if it is roasted game hens and cream of vegetable soup and other yummy stuff. But I'd barely eaten all day, and we saw the late show, so I was HONGRAY. I tried to ignore the fragrance in the air and ate anyway (in all fairness, a number of folks in our group expressed surprise that they hadn't noticed the, um, fragrance. I had a headcold...and I noticed it. It wasn't strong, but it was there).

I'm not really comfortable in large crowds, either, and the show looked to be sold out, or close to it, so there was a CROWD to manage. In a weird way, it was fascinating to see how they marshaled everyone about and then served up the food from buckets and huge pans. And the folks there are really good at squeezing the dollars out of the audience! (yes, we bought the photos because the only way to get the nice picture of the entire group was to purchase the whole $20 package. But perhaps the photos of MSB and I that were also in the package will be enough incentive for me to get serious about the weight loss thing...).

But I will say this about the show...the animals were amazing to watch, and the costumes were really fabulous. Especially the ones that lit up. The costumers are obviously very talented and very busy, with 2 - 3 shows a day. So I'm glad I've seen it...once... ;)

MY high point (that's a pun...) of the trip was our spur-of-the-moment decision to accompany the group that went up to Clingman's Dome. We *barely* had enough time to make the trip, but 8 or 9 of us in two vehicles wound our way 20 miles into the park and up to the parking lot at the Dome. I wandered around drinking in the amazing views, and then pointed to a paved path heading past the gift shop.

'Where does that go?' I asked MSB.
'That goes up to the observation tower,' he replied, just as I spotted the sign that said the tower was .5 miles up the path.

'Well, let's go!' I said, 'It's only half a mile! We can do that!'

Um, what I didn't process in my glance at the path was that it was about a 30 - 45 degree slope for that whole half mile. We started off at a good clip, then slowed and slowed and finally sat down a bit a couple of times to catch our breath. But we made it to the top and climbed the observation tower for the incredible 360 degree views. Wow wow and wow. We took some cell phone pictures then quickly went back down to the parking lot, where the rest of our group was rather anxiously waiting for us to return (we had dinner reservations to make).

One of the pastors had purchased Clingman's Dome patches for us, saying we'd earned them...LOL.

I wish I'd had time just to sit and look out over those mountains for a while...they were beautiful.

You don't want to hear about the incredible bumper-to-bumper traffic we had leaving at noon yesterday so I won't mention it. ;-)

All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed hanging out with our co-workers in the ministries very much. I'd like to take a trip again sometime, when we actually have time to stay until we're ready to come home.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wherein the Stash Begins to Resemble the Great Salt Lake

as comes in but it doesn't flow out.

I'm trying reeeeaaaly hard not to buy fabric since my sewing time has dropped so dramatically, but sometimes, well, it happens.

Two more pieces from Fabric Mart:

The fabric I couldn't pass up was the black and white... I had a bold black and white checked jacket that bit the dust a long time ago and left a so-far unfilled gap in my wardrobe. I thought this cotton blend suiting would make a good replacement...finally.

And the blue...well, fabric needs a travelling buddy, so this got the nod as the description said that it would make a good tunic, and I have a Simplicity tunic pattern that I love and have been hankering to make again. But when I got it, it turned out to be lighter and not as drapey as the tunic needs.

No matter; I need a Dress That Fits Now...and I think this is PERFECT for a sheath dress that I can wear to weddings and other fancy events. The generous cutting team at Fabric Mart even sent a bit extra, so I think I can get a jacket out of it too.

But...I have a beef w/ the packing team at FM. This is the second time that I've gotten a package that was packed so tightly that I actually snipped my fabric while opening the box. The first time, it was just interfacing, so it wasn't a big deal.

But this time I had to put a safety pin in the yardage on the black and white check so I can avoid the snipped place when I cut out the coat. Grumble grumble...

I need to be wary of bulging boxes in the future...

Friday, October 01, 2010

To Ruffle or Not to Ruffle?

I had a really big 'Duh!' moment a few weeks ago...

At some sale in times past, I picked up McCall's 5522; I liked the lines on it.

I've pulled it out a time or two and thought about giving it a go, but the thought of altering it gave me the shudders. Then, after I finished up my Labor Day projects I picked it up and suddenly noticed something that I'm sure I knew when I bought it but had completely forgotten: It's got different pieces for B/C/D cup sizes.


Suddenly, the whole alteration thing got much simpler and I began tracing the pattern and altering for my non-standard measurements.

About 10 minutes at a go. I've been working on this ONE pattern since Labor Day. And I'm ALMOST done cutting it out of some black-and-white striped shirting.

If I decide to put the ruffles on it, that is.

I cut out the ruffle pattern pieces and marked them to be cut on the bias; I thought that would look cool with the stripes.

But as I was cutting the main body of the shirt out, I suddenly got cold feet about the ruffles. Would they make it look to costumey? I didn't cut 'em.

Now, however, I'm swinging back the other way...ruffles are IN, they're different from other stuff in my wardrobe, My Sweet Baboo likes ruffles...what to do, what to do...

I think I'll cut 'em out for now; I've got some a couple of other things I want to cut out today and tomorrow before I head for the sewing room, so I've got a question for all my loyal bloggy buddies...

What do you think? Would the ruffles be Too Much?

Oh, and here's part of the reason I've been so slow at this: