Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Project of 2011

Alas, I finished at the end of the month and so it will not be worn for choir this year.  But it will get worn nonetheless.

The Mock T is from Jalie's Twin Set (2566).  I made it sleeveless, and the armhole needs some tweaking to be perfectly gap free as a sleeveless top, but since it will be worn under a topper virtually all the time I can live with it.  I'll work on it before I try it sleeveless again. 

This is my 4th Jalie Pleated Cardigan (2919)...and would you believe that, as I put the pattern away yesterday, I noticed for the first time that those tucks should be on the OUTSIDE of the garment?  In my head, they should be inside, and I never even looked at the directions to see that my head wasn't in agreement with the Jalie designers. But...even knowing they should be outside, I think I prefer them inside.  At least on fabric as bulky as this (it's a poly/rayon/lycra jersey).  They would stand away from the garment a bit and add visual weight, I think.  If I were using a very thin, limp fabric...well, maybe I'll do it right someday.

However, this is my second major alteration to the pattern.  I worked the armsecye/sleeve head over a bit, moving the sleeve cap up and into the shoulder so that it sits more on my shoulder instead of down my arm, and I moved the shoulder seam forward at the shoulder point, adjusting the curve on the sleeve pattern as well, so now the back sleeve cap is longer and shallower than the front sleeve cap and the ease has been reduced in the sleeve so it's pretty close to a 1:1 ratio with the armsceye.

(Just realizes I should've taken photos of my changes.  I'll try and remember to do that next time I pull the pattern out). But the big change was a style change in the back:

I added a seam at the waist, and made a gore for the lower back, lengthening it at the center.  It might be a teeny bit more flattering if the back waist seam curved down as well, but it's not bad. 

I really wanted full length sleeves, but I was literally ONE INCH short on having enough fabric to squeeze that full length sleeve on.  So I went with the tabbed 3/4 length that I used on my last two versions.

So, how many pleated cardigans can my wardrobe hold??  We'll see...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Goofy Shirt for the Artist

The only other bit of holiday sewing I did this year was what amounts to a joke.  I saw a sweatshirt in a catalog that was customizable with "(NAME) The Man. The Myth. The Legend." as the graphic.  For 42 bucks plus shipping.

I immediately knew that my older son had to have such a shirt.  If you knew him, you'd know why.

However, I wasn't going to spend such a sum for what was essentially a gag gift.

Fortunately, I had some long-stashed white cotton french terry fleece in the bins and a long out-of-print Palmer/Pletsch  multi-sized sweat shirt pattern ready to use.  Light fabric transfer paper from Hobby Lobby and my minimal graphic arts skills were all that I needed to come up with a truly memorable Christmas gift.

After all, not many presents generate a reaction like this:

So here's the shirt, with his name in Icelandic.  I may never actually see it on him:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Stocking for Prince Charming

Twenty-six years ago, My Sweet Baboo and my large pregnant self made the trip to family in  Northern Indiana for a baby shower to welcome our soon-to-arrive firstborn.  Driving 8 hours at 36 weeks meant that we stopped at every mall along I - 65 so I could walk around a bit.

At one (on the north side of Nashville near Goodlettesville...can't remember the name off hand), there was a shop with cool appliqued stockings.  We decided we'd get some, since we weren't going to go to our parents' for Christmas that year (the baby was due Jan 3).  I selected a stocking w/ Santa, MSB picked a rocking horse and, even though we didn't expect the baby before Christmas, we picked one for him/her anyway.

Back in the day, routine ultrasounds were not done and we did not know the gender of the imminent arrival, so we got a gender-neutral teddy bear.

Of course, the Princess showed up two weeks early, so we were glad to have a stocking for her.  However, we neglected to imagine having MORE kids at that point, as other kids came along we adults relinquished our stockings to them...The Artist got the rocking horse, and The Actor got my Santa stocking.

At some point, I made a pattern from  the stockings and made Mr and Mrs Snowmen stockings for My Sweet Baboo and me , and, when The Flute Player came along, I made a stocking for her with a little girl mouse on the front.

We were all set at that point.

Until this year, when we added a son-in-law to the mix.  I thought I would just buy a stocking somewhat similar to ours, but I couldn't find anything that didn't look...tacky.

Then I found out that the Princess thought it would just be LOVELY if he had a teddy bear stocking like hers.  Unfortunately, my stocking pattern has been AWOL for a while.

No matter.  I retraced it last night and used odds and ends of fabric scraps and snippets of yardage in the stash and, behold, the sort-of-matching set:

I omitted the green toe and used blue accents instead of green, but it's reasonably close.  The bear really isn't's a beige velour.

Except it apparently came out a fuzz smaller.  Not sure why...unless it's just not lying quite as flat as the quarter-century old stocking.

The Flute Player's comment: "Well, you messed up his mouth, but he's still cute."

It'll do, anyway.  At least it looks better than what I could find retail. ;-)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 12/18

...and I'm late again.  Well, we were celebrating a birthday yesterday and, while I did get a photo taken before we left in the morning, I didn't have a chance to write it up.

I fudged a bit yesterday and wore a DRESS instead of blue jeans! (It is ok; I just usually don't have a dress that works).  So I felt rather posh.  Funny how different a dress feels.   ;-)

Anyway, the colors for December are black, silver/gray and red. So I wore my red/silver/black plaid wool/lurex/faux suede Silhouette Patterns'  Robin's Jacket with my black poly/lycra slinky Sewing Workshop Cityscapes dress.  That Edwardian hobble silhouette is showing up more and more; and let me just say that this dress, made in slinky, is one workhorse of a wardrobe player.  I've got 3 of them, and they see a LOT of wear.

Particularly since they are so forgiving re the whole middle-aged middle. ;-)

This is the last Choir Wardrobe post of 2011, now that I think about it.  Next week we will not have choir; we have special services on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Not sure if we'll be choiring on Jan 1 or not; may depend on how many folks are out of town.

But that's next year. ;-)

Therefore, while I intend to do some sewing and posting this week, we all know how my intentions have been playing out of late, so I'm going to wish everyone a Merry Christmas...just in case I don't make it back to Blogger before Saturday.

And, if you don't celebrate Christmas, then I hope December 25 is a particularly lovely day for you just the same.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 12 11

It's really sad that I'm only managing the choir posts at the moment; as I've lamented on Facebook, I seem to be more behind on my Christmas prep than I've ever been...and I'm not even involved in any big projects this year. At least the Choir posts are keeping me from totally neglecting the blog... ;-)

Anyway, December's colors are black, silver gray and red.  So this is the Lee bootcut jeans with the saved-from-disaster Vogue 7604 rayon blend sleeveless blouse under a Lands' End boiled wool jacket that I received for Christmas in ...I think...1996.

That jacket sat in my closet for the longest time; I loved it and wore it now and then but it was way too wide on my shoulders.  Finally a few years back I got brave and opened the top part of the armscye seams and moved the sleeve caps up into the jacket about 3/4".  I could get away with that as there was a pinch of ease in the sleeve, which I eliminated, and boiled wool stretches a bit so I could kind of manipulate it into the new armsceye.  Anyway, the jacket is now making more regular appearances ;-)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 12 04

I know, I know, I'm a day late here.

But I was chaperoning a school trip and got back abut 12:45 AM Sunday, was at church from 8 AM to 1 PM, came home and fixed lunch (salad and shrimp from the deli and some leftovers...) then went to a Christmas party, so, well, it's been a busy weekend.

Somewhere in there I threw the camera at My Sweet Baboo and got him to take a photo.  (Note to self: do not stand in front of the sofa for choir photos. It totally absorbs the blue jeans.)

So, it is not my most flattering photo.  Ah, well...

Anyway, December's colors are red, silver/gray and/or black w/jeans.  The jacket is Robin's Jacket from Silhouette Patterns, crafted in a sparkly holiday red wool/silver Lurex plaid and trimmed w/faux suede.  It's one of my favorites for this time of year; you may see it again before the month is up.

I'm wearing it over a black microfiber charmeuse Pam's Blouse, also a Silhouettes Pattern.  I have an on/off relationship with that blouse; somedays I put it on and love it, other days I can't get it to drape right.  And it's polyester, microfiber notwithstanding.  I need to make one out of black silk, and make a couple of changes to the pattern to reflect the fact that I'm not quite the same shape I was when I made this almost 7 years ago... The weird looking wrinkles in the front are actually pleats that just didn't photograph well.  It really looks better under a buttoned jacket, but, well, the jacket doesn't look quite as good snapped up as it might've looked a few pounds back so I just decided to embrace my frumpiness and go. ;-)

I am wearing it all with the CWC knit jeans, which just happen to be almost the same color as my sofa.

But I have been hit w/inspiration for another variation on that Jalie draped-front cardigan...stay tuned and see if I get it put together or not.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

One for the 'Donate' Bag

This was my very first go at Vogue 8634.  This one is headed for the 'Donate' box; but I am going to do some revisions to the pattern and try it again.  One of the issues is my fault; the others are due to the pattern.

First and foremost, I dropped the empire seam too much.  I think I assumed the front raglan seam and the collar would join at the shoulder and used that for the basis of how much I dropped that seam; it's about an inch too low, which is about how much that seam intersection is offset from my actual shoulder.  I'm not sure why I made that assumption, but it did throw that seam off way too much.  The print does hide it, though, and if it were not for other issues I would probably not let that keep me from wearing it.

The other glaring issue is that the top is just too short.  I made the shorter length to conserve fabric, but it really is too short for my comfort.  For a regular (not tunic) length, I need to add about 2" to it. 

That might help the next issue just a bit; the sleeves are supposed to be 3/4 length but they are more like 7/8.  That's an awkward length in and of itself, but it also so happens that the sleeves and the lower edge of the hem are almost in a straight line, making a strong horizontal right where I don't need it.  I need to either lengthen the sleeves to full length or shorten them about 3" so they are truly 3/4 length on me.

Finally, I'm hoping this has taught me for the final time not to buy polyester knits.  My machine did NOT like sewing it, and it feels cold and clammy to me.  I've just GOT to remember this the next time some of those pretty prints tempt me to ignore the fiber content.

So, this one goes into the donate bag, and I'll make the afore-mentioned corrections to the pattern and give it another go in the not-too-distant future.

I will also reduced the seam allowances through out; it was probably due somewhat to the poly jersey, but the 5/8" seams were twisting all over the place.  I did a FBA and rotated the dart into the empire seam; that shaping rippled a bit and I'm hoping a smaller seam allowance will help with that.  I think I'll raise the underarm just a smidge, too; it's just a little droopy.

I'll hold off on  the review until I've made a keeper top... ;-)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 11-20-11

Well, this month we have gray/burgundy and mustard yellow w/ jeans; I've got my CWC knit bootcuts, a Textile Studio Monaco Shell, crafted from burgundy slinky knit (which was a remnant, actually) and one of my modified Jalie 2919 Cardigans, which is in a gray lycra/rayon knit. 

I really like this color combo and have been known to wear it when I'm not even in choir! ;-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 11/13

This is going to be a short month for choir posts; we didn't have choir last week, and My Sweet Baboo and I will have our semi-annual prayer ministry gig Thanksgiving weekend, so we won't be in choir that weekend, either.

So this week and next week will pretty much be it.

Which is rather a pity; I love the burgundy-and-gray combo that were' wearing this month.  Mustard yellow is also an option, but I don't think you'll see me in that. ;-)

Today I wore a Lands' End turtleneck, Lee bootcut jeans and a Loes Hinse Designs Bolero Jacket, made from a marvelous wool-lycra blend I purchased from Emma One Sock and made up something like 6 or  7 years ago.

Wow. six or seven years ago... I just went back and checked.  The review is dated January 2004.

Time flies.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank You

To all US service men and women and all law enforcement officers...those who are serving and those who have served...and all their families:  Thank you for the sacrifices you make every day for this great country.  Words can't express my appreciation.  God bless you all.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Wear whatcha want ...if it fits...

We didn't have choir today; there was a rather large wedding at church this evening and the stage drapes for it that were put up earlier blocked the choir risers, so we had the day off.

I thought about taking a photo of what I wore today, just because it was whatever I desired, but I didn't because I had to face the fact that all my clothes are basically too tight. I managed some camouflage, but I was rather uncomfortably confined..mostly because the shapewear that made wearing my too-snug pants possible rolled into a thick wad of elastic just above that pants waistband.  It really didn't show, because of the loose top over it, but I'm still feeling the effects around my middle.  Oy.

I have weighed (slightly) more than I do now, but I don't think I've ever been as squishy as I am now. 

Now, there's no sense in whining about it.  I need to either suck it up and do what I need to do to lose weight or suck it up and make some clothes that fit me now.  Or both. 

It's not my intention to be the wispy little thing I was when I got married; I'd settle for being the healthy, I feel-good, reasonably sized thing I was at age 35.  Heck, at this point I'd be happy to be the size I was after my last kid was born and I thought I was pudgy. (age 37).

In all honesty, it's not just about fitting into my clothes.  There are unpleasant things that start happening at a certain weight, and right now I am over that line.  Even five pounds down makes a difference in how I feel.  So.

But that will take some time.  And meantime, I need clothes.

Methinks I need to pull out my stash and start Making A Plan...maybe two plans: one for sewing and one for eating and exercising...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Lovely day...

It was pretty foggy this morning when Miss A. picked me up and we headed south, but the sun soon came out and it was a lovely drive through near-peak fall color.

But we spent the day indoors, getting our sewing inspiration tanks filled up by Louise Cutting.  I came home with  about 4  1/2 pages of notes, a booklet and a pattern.  I browsed the fabrics that Louise brought, thoroughly enjoyed petting all that lovely stuff, but ultimately did not purchase any.  There were lovely tropical wools; but I have several pieces of lovely tropical wool already in the stash so I really couldn't justify getting any more.  Most of the fabrics were in a warmish color range, and since my personal color palette runs to the cool side I wasn't tempted by them. But there were nonetheless a couple of pieces that were very tempting...if I hadn't already been over 100 yards fabric in for the year, I'd've probably given in to temptation.  But I decided to come home and sew up one of my tropical wools into something this week in honor of the seminar.

Not exactly sure *when* that will happen, but I'm gonna try...I've got to take the fabric I swatched yesterday up to the, um, fabric storage zone so perhaps I will pull out a piece of wool and bring it *do* have an extra hour tonight, don't I?  ;-)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Happy Blogiversary To Me!

in which she looks at the calendar and does a facepalm, because not only have I just realized it is Sew Random's sixth birthday, it is also my Dear Mother-In-Law's [somethingieth] birthday.  How does the calendar do these amazing overnight jumps of multiple days???

Yes, my dear friends, it was six years ago today that I wrote my first post and began the blogging journey.

And I completely meant to do a giveaway to commemorate the day, but, well, I can't find the item I was going to give away.  It's around here somewhere, honest, and, well, maybe when I find it I will dream up some cutesy little reason to give it away.

Cause I totally cannot give away something I can't find.

So I'll just say I'm celebrating by going to a seminar with the ever-inspiring Louise Cutting tomorrow, sponsored by the Birmingham chapter of the ASG. 

Rumor has it that she will have fabric available...I will let myself buy ONE PIECE, if it something I NEED.

I've been swatching the stash today and, wow, the size of it hit me all afresh.  If I could just sew up the yards as quickly as I can buy them....anyway.  One...1, do you hear??...piece.  Ahem.

I'll report on the seminar tomorrow evening. And show you my 1 piece I could not come home without. :-)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I smell a SWAP coming on...

I haven't done a SWAP wardrobe in 5 years (Sewing With a Plan - annual contest begun by Julie Culshaw and now hosted by Stitcher's Guild  that involves making 11 coordinating garments in approximately 3 months).  Either I was in over my head on another project, or I just didn't need that many clothes in my wardrobe right then, or the specifics of the online contest just weren't practical for me, but this year...the rules are pretty much set up to tweak some patterns to TNT ( Tried-N-True) status and make a well-fitted 11 piece wardrobe.

I've mentioned the, um, weight that crept up when the hormones shut down.  Not to mention my last wardrobe is 5 years old and showing its age.  I need to do this.  I need some TNTs that fit the body I currently have.

In fact, there are so many pieces that I need, and so much nice fabric lurking in my stash, that my problem will be to choose one color scheme/plan and stick with it.  I need some black things (boring) for right now, but I really, really need to have some brown stuff so next fall's choir colors don't seem so hard to pull out of the closet.  But the SWAP timeline runs into spring...and who wants to be sewing black and brown when spring is peeping around the corner? I'll be ready for some color....

I really need to determine what I need and get on it.  Maybe I can make a black jacket to test the pattern for the brown... ;-)

Anyway, last time I did the SWAP I was a stay-home mom.  Now I have a (sorta kinda) paying job.  It has cut seriously into my sewing time, as my loyal online buddies have no doubt noticed.  I don't know that I can do it in the time frame allotted.

But, as a wise friend recently said to me, 'Every ending has a beginning.'

Even if I don't finish, if I get a couple of patterns tweaked I'll be eons ahead of where I am now.

That's worth it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 10/30/11

I really am not crazy about how quickly the year is winding down, but I have to admit I'm somewhat relieved to be at the end of the brown/orange/oatmeal month!    Hopefully I can get a couple of things made before it rolls around next year...

But I did manage to scrape by.  Since the temps have dropped into the fallish range, I pulled out a brown rayon/lycra turtleneck that I made so long ago I can't remember where the fabric came from or what pattern I used.  I *think* it's a modified Loes Hinse Cowl Top, but it might be a Christine Jonson Basewear 2 top.  I'm gonna say it's the Cowl Top, frankenpatterned w/an oop Kwik Sew turtleneck.

The jacket is from Coldwater Creek (and yes, someone asked if I made it!).  It's a great jacket, but it lacks pockets.  I pondered it pretty hard before I bought it last year, but I was in urgent need of a brown jacket to wear for choir and I just didn't have time to get one made.  So it has filled in the same role this fall.  But I still miss the pockets.

The jeans are also CWC bootcuts; I actually bought these a couple of years ago during one of their serious online sales; I was losing weight and so I bought the size below what I was wearing so I'd have something when the current ones got too loose.  Well, about that time the mid-life hormone shift hit and the scale reversed itself and hasn't come back down.  But I discovered to my dismay today that among the loads of laundry I *didn't* get done this week were my 'machine wash cold' jeans...i.e, all the jeans I wear for choir.  I found these hanging in the back of the closet, and pulled them out mostly just to convince myself they didn't work.

Let me tell you, they are not pretty around the midsection (hence the cover-it-up top and jacket), but the lycra in them was sufficient for the purpose and I wore them.  And now I'm going to go change into sweat pants.

I will be doing 'wash cold' blue jeans ASAP.

Bring on the Burgundy and Grey next month...LOL...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Burda 2/09 108 and the Animal Not Found in Nature Print

Can't remember the last time I actually sewed up a piece of fabric in the same month it came through the door.  This is one of the 'trendy' knits that a couple of online vendors were selling like hotcakes this summer; I grabbed this from one of the final clearances.  Not something I'd usually go for, but the color suits me much better than the usual gold/brown leopard/cheetah/other big cat print so I thought I'd make something fun.  The vest is from May '08 Burda (I think); that has been a true wardrobe staple that is not shown at its best angle here. 

I need to make more vests.

I've got the sleeves pushed up; they really do cover my wristbones.  And I still need to tweak the neckline a bit; it *still* wants to buckle a bit.

But it'll do, it'll do.  It was kinda fun to wear today...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 10/23/11

October colors are burnt orange, brown and oatmeal, and with one Sunday left to go in the month, I finished the second top for our 'burnt orange' color.  This is not something I would ever have chosen, had it not been for our choir colors, but I guess it worked; I got several compliments on it today.

It's my second go at Simplicity 3624; this time in a very thin and drapey rayon/lycra jersey.  I used the long sleeves this time; I think they worked better for me than the weird cap sleeves I used the first go-round, for all that these turned out to be full-length instead of the 7/8 length shown on the pattern.  It's over the brown Jalie 965 tank, both for color and for, um, church suitability.  Actually, church or not, I doubt I'd wear this without something under's pretty low and wide.

Lee bootcuts this week...someday I WILL make myself a pair of jeans... ;-)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 10/16/11

So. Despite a really busy week (including an all-nighter at our Girl's Ministry Sleepover on Friday)  I managed to complete ONE of the three tops I cut out on Thursday, so I at least had something burnt orange to wear today.  Add one more Jalie 965 Tank Top , this one from burnt orange rayon/lycra jersey, (I've lost count...that makes somewhere between 12 and 15 of those tops in my closet) to my wardrobe.  I've matched it up with an oblong scarf made from the remnants of the Threads scarf I wore last week, and my heathery brown Jalie 2566 Cardigan, all with the CWC knit jeans I keep raving about.

I actually have another top cut from that same orange fabric; maybe I'll get that one put together this week...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Fabric that Haunted Me

Been meaning to post this for a week or so now...

A year or two ago, I purchased a bundle from Fabric Mart that had some fabulous tattersal tropical wool in it.    I marked it 'gorgeous' and added it to the stash, sending it off to the bin w/a fond memory of how lovely the colors were ... and particularly thinking of some golden hash-type marks that lit up the fabric.  I distinctly remember sitting on my sofa, holding the fabric just so the light hit it perfectly.  Such a nice fabric would require a special garment.

Sometime after that, this wool fabric showed up on Gorgeous Things.

I was SURE it was the same wool.  It was uncanny how similar it was.  I smiled, thinking how fortunate I was to already own such a lovely piece.

But...this winter I sorted and organized my fabric stash.  I thought I'd pull that piece and compare it to the photo on the website and see if they really were the same piece.

And I could NOT find the fabric I recalled so vividly.

I did find the piece of fabric that I'd gotten in the bundle from FM...and it was nothing like the piece I remembered or the piece on the GT website.  Not the same pattern, not the same colors.

I hunted through all my records of past fabric purchases.  I could find no record of purchasing any wool that I didn't have physically in front of me at that moment.  And I record EVERYTHING.

Weird, huh?

So from that moment, I was fascinated by the fabric on Ann's site.

And, at the last sale, I finally succumbed.  I bought 3 yards. It's in the 'fabric in' picture at the bottom of this post.

No, it's not a dead ringer for the fabric I must've dreamed about handling.  It's heavier and the pattern is larger.  But, yeah, it is still marvelous and will still make something great.

I just gotta quit hearing the Twilight Zone music every time I look at it...

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 10/9/11

This was a last minute throw-together; I couldn't seem to make *anything* work this morning...October colors (burnt orange, oatmeal and brown) are not plentiful in my wardrobe.

One of these days, I'm going to do that and realize as I'm walking out the door that I'm wearing all RTW.  I don't think I've sung in choir without wearing at least ONE garment (or scarf!) that I'd made in a long, long time.  Not that that would be a horrible thing, I suppose, but it would make for a rather sheepish 'Choir Wardrobe' post.

In this case, the one thing is the brown rayon/lycra jersey Jalie 2682  top, worn with  Coldwater Creek (jacket and knit jeans).

I have fabric in a burnt orange color, for at least one top, and some brown Zegna wool from Michael that needs to be used before the moths find it...if I can just get myself to the sewing nook this week, hopefully I'll do better next Sunday. ;-)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

What's up, Doc?

I am heading back into the sewing room; but first, I had to take care of a few things that had accumulated.

We had used some random chunks of fabric from the decor room at church for the wedding reception.  They had obviously been used for other things, as there were chocolate spots on them when we pulled them out.  They also had not been cleaned because they were just cut yardage...and the poly-organza type fabric was raveling out like crazy.  So I brought them home, serged the ends and washed them. And, while I had a 3-thread configuration on the serger, I also took care of a couple of other things:

-- a friend had purchased a bit of silky poly print that she wanted to turn into a scarf.  A bit of ripping, a bit of cutting, and a little decorative thread roll-edging and it's done.

--The Princess purchased a lacey floor-length dress that she wore for her 'departure' from the wedding.  She'd wanted me to hem the bottom for her, but I wasn't sure the serger would feed it evenly, since it was a textured melange of lacey bits and managed to talk her into just wearing shoes w/ a bit of heel.  Well, there was an incident with the escalator in the hotel when they arrived and suddenly, well, you can see for yourself, as I'm in the process of trimming off the chewed up bottom:

Once it became a salvage job, I wasn't nearly so nervous about serging it.  I cut off about 7", so it is now a  lacey tea-length dress.  And the serger did just fine...

--And, we have more weddings coming up at church so I brought home a dress that will be worn by one of the other office staff young ladies who is a member of one bridal party; it needed to be shortened about 2".  Poly shantung, straight skirt, poly lining.  Took maybe an hour and a halfish.  And I was astonished to find 5/8" seam allowances used in that dress...I thought that was the mark of a home sewn garment...which this most pointedly was NOT.

Anyway, my chartitable sewing done for the time being, I can focus on my next project(s).

And I had a brainstorm for one of them.  I'm going to use the pattern I just adapted for the MOB dress and 1) change the neckline to bateau and 2) add 3/4 length sleeves.  It's a princess's very close to ideally, Carolyn, I'm heading over into your 'alter the TNT!' camp; we'll see how it works!

And, you know, there were sales last week.  And the second box of fabric just arrived, so I piled all the 'yardage in' onto the sofa and took a picture:
The two pieces on the right came earlier; the stripe is a cottony-feeling rayon/lycra blend, and  the taupey-looking piece is actually a multicolored houndstooth plaid.  The other four pieces came today (and my living room now has that lovely new-fabric smell...); the white, black and green are cotton/lycra poplins and the spotted piece is one of the 'trendy knits' that have been dispersing themselves around the country for some time now.  I know it's an Animal Not Found in Nature, but the normal print colors of yellow/brown/orange do NOTHING for me; this one is black/grey/red and I will wear it just for fun.  Might even turn it into that popular Burda Style funnel neck shirt really, really soon...

I had a scary moment today; I hit Hancock's Big Pattern sale and came home to enter my new acquisitions in my PatternReview Pattern Catalog; when I entered the Chado/Ralph Rucci dress (Vogue 1239) I was informed that it was already in my stash.  I couldn't believe I'd duplicated it...but it turns out I didn't.  I have a Vogue/ Perry Ellis skirt pattern from something like 1990 that has the same number.  So, yeah, you know you're a SERIOUS pattern stasher when the numbers start to repeat...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Shopped and Dropped

Since the school system is currently in a 3-days-surrounding a weekend version of Fall Break, I took the Flute Player up the road to the new discount/department store that opened a bare 4 miles from our house.  She has grown like nobody's business in the past six months and was in need of jeans and at least one pair of dressy pants that covered her ankles.  And I just haven't had time to get any patterns adjusted for her;  she's been growing faster than I could get the adjustments made so we were going for emergency rations.

She took up residence in a fitting room while I ran around the store bringing her various styles and sizes.

Which means I got a pretty good look at the merchandise in the juniors and misses sections of the store.

O.Mi. Gosh.  What a bunch of...dreck.  Cheap, thin, wonky, card-boardy and EXPENSIVE.  We did find two pairs of jeans, one pair of (thin) RPL pants (that will need to be hemmed up a couple of inches) and some loungy/sweat pants.  All on sale..and it still rang up at about $120. 

I want to clear my calendar, take two weeks off from work and just sew that child a wardrobe. Quick-like, before she grows more.  And then make one for myself.

At least our fabrics will feel nice.

On a more positive note, I found out a few weeks back that Louise Cutting will be teaching a one-day seminar for the Birmingham chapter of the American Sewing Guild on the first Saturday in November (and she will be bringing fabric!!).  Miss A and I are making plans to go; I sent in my registration today. 

I haven't done a sewing event in a really long time; it'll be nice to see Louise again and get some inspiration.

But I really, really want to spend some quality time with my sewing machine...unfortunately, I've some mending/alterations that need to be done before I can really get there.  Sigh.

There are no big events scheduled for this weekend; I think I can at least knock some of those out.  I hope.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 10 02

I am totally laughing at this picture; all I need is a 10 gallon hat and I look ready to ride the range.  It didn't look that way in the mirror!  
Anyway, October's colors are brown, rust orange and oatmeal.

So, I've got on straight-legged Lee jeans (all my bootcuts are in the laundry. Still.  They were at the bottom of the mountain; I'm almost there...), a taupey Coldwater Creek sweater that might be considered oatmeal in some lighting, my brown rayon jersey 965 Jalie Tank Top and the made-for-choir orange/brown/taupe Threads smoke ring scarf, for which I have at least two more pieces of fabric earmarked only I canNOT find my pattern.  So I've got that issue of Threads pulled out so I can, at some point, re-create it.


Thursday this week was my FIRST day at home since the Wedding, and, while I intended to spend some time working on new sewing projects, pretty much all I did was laundry.  You'd think I coulda managed some tracing or cutting or something while the machines were running, but, alas, I seem to have done something else.

I just can't remember what. ;-)

But, I did promise a winner for the Galaxy dress pattern.  Since I only had two (count 'em ...two) folks identify themselves when they left comments since I announced the giveaway, I flipped a coin:  Heads would be my friend Felicia, Tales would be my friend Jess...and the coin landed on Heads.

So, I will be handing the pattern to Felicia on Wednesday night.  Hopefully it will inspire her to pull out her sewing machine and get reacquainted ;-)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Mysterious Laundry problem

For the last few months, I have noticed, from time to time, some discoloration on woven garments.

But only on POINTS of woven garments.

Latest example:

I had pre-treated similar spots on shirts in this load and washed them, then checked before they went into the dryer and I didn't see anything.  But these two shirts came out of the dryer with spots; one on a collar point, one on one of the lower band points.

So the dryer seems to be implicated

But I don't know why this is happening or what is causing it.  So I sort of crawled in and took a look.

We purchased this dryer when we bought the house in 2005.  There is one odd spot on one of the vents that MIGHT be a rust source; I can't tell really what it is. But it wouldn't explain why the spots are only showing up on points, not other parts of the garments; I had some rust spots in my old dryer that would leach if damp clothes sat in it.  But those spots would show up anywhere, not just on points, and besides, these shirts were put in, immediately dried and removed.

Could the points be slipping down into the juncture of the turning drum and the back (or front)?  Why/how would they do that...and how can I either clean that part or prevent them?  I suppose I could make a really big mesh bag to hold them...

Anyone else ever had a problem like this???

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A 'What Was I Thinking' Giveaway

Now that The Wedding is past and we can begin to head back to what passes for normal life around here, I decided I'd just stay in dressmaking mode for at least a little bit and began the search for the next Serious Dress.  I want a (possibly bateau neckline?) sheath dress w/ 3/4 sleeves that will be good for dressy fall events.  I purchased some deep red wool tricotine just because I loved the color last February, and I'm determined to get it made into something wearable for this fall/winter season.  Since I just ordered some burgundy rayon lining from Gorgeous Fabrics current sale (along with a couple of other pieces that have been literally haunting me for months...more on that when the fabric arrives ;-) ) I thought I'd get rolling on the pattern search.

 In the course of digging through my stash of patterns, I pulled out the famous Vogue 8280 'Galaxy' dress and discovered, to my utter astonishment, that I' purchased the smallest size range - 4/6/8.

But, my stupidity has turned into my reward for one of you dear folks who drop by here, because I decided to give it away.  Just leave a comment on any post on the blog between now and, say, noon central time on Sunday, and I'll throw all the comment authors' names into a  hat and post the winner on Sunday's Choir Wardrobe post.

Meantime, I'll be checking my Hancocks/JoAnn's sale flyers for the next Vogue sale so I can pick up the pattern in a more reasonable middle-aged spread size range. ;-)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 9/25/11

First, a bit of news:  the decision has been made to not use the full choir on Saturday nights; our pastors felt it was beginning to be a little too much to ask of the volunteers; we were having problems keeping a full choir on both Saturday and Sundays.  So Saturday night will just be a small praise team, like the 8 AM Sunday service, and we will just be using the full choir on 2nd and 3rd service Sundays.

So the upshot of this is that I will only be posting one choir photo per week instead of two for at least a while.  That takes a bit of the pressure off; while it didn't bother My Sweet Baboo to wear the same thing on Sunday morning that he had worn for a couple of hours the night before, I just wasn't feeling good about that.  So my wardrobe requirements have just been halved.... LOL...
So, for the last weekend of muted green, cream and brown, I wore the mossy green rayon/lycra jersey  Jalie 2682 top, Lee denim bootcuts and a tweedy linen jacket that was very likely my first mail-order Cold Water Creek purchases about 10 ish years ago.  It has some black in the mix, but the other colors in it are spot on, so I fudged and wore it today.  It just looks taupish from a distance anyway.

This may be the last time out for that green top; the fabric at the bottom of the v really is wearing out; it's ripped through the stitching, even though you have to look Very Close to see that!   I have some olive green rayon/lycra jersey to make a replacement, but I'll still be very sorry to see it go.  The new fabric is a little more yellowy than this is; this color has been good to me and I'll miss it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thowin' up some photos

...because I'll link to these from reviews later! LOL!

I put on the MOB dress last night...sans makeup, jewelry and P*ntyhose, just so My Sweet Baboo could snap a photo that I could use for the review.   The just-barely-visible bruise on my right leg just inside below the knee is, I think, from climbing up and down and leaning on the big aluminum ladder on the platform at church, using a steamer to get the wrinkles out of the background curtain.  Prince Charming joined me with a second steamer after a while, and the two of us got that thing fairly wrinkle-free in about an hour and a half.  But the bruise made P*ntyhose a necessity for the wedding...

The Butterick top pattern lines the garment to the edge on all the edges; I thought the neckline would stand open enough for the back side to show, so I made facings for the neck edge: 

All in all, the dress worked, although I didn't think about the petite adjustment I made through the upper chest and upper back also raising the waistline and the hem.  I'd've caught that in a second muslin...and if I ever make the dress again (and that's quite possible; I love this basic pattern), I'll add that length back in between the bust and the waistline.

And I just *might* aim for the length to be mid-knee, rather than the top of my knee.  Not sure I'm wild about that short of a length on me.

Here's another photo, which is not a very high-quality picture, but I love the composition once I cropped it.  It makes me smile...

The other wedding -related sewing I did was a surprise gift for the Princess's L*ingerie shower (such trouble I'm going to so that creepers won't land here with creepy searches!).  I hustled (and failed to have a clean house for the weekend) to make her a tap and cami set from Vogue 7837, from raspberry-sherbet colored silk charmeuse and some fancy lace I'd picked up a number of years ago at a serious Hancock's sale.  The only problem was shaping the lace to the edges; I ended up cutting the motifs apart and reconnecting them to fit the necessary curves.  Plus, the lace had no vertical symmetry, so it is just a wee bit uneven from side to side.   I had to shorten the top about 3 inches to get the lace to work right..but, to be honest, I think it was probably longer than she would've liked anyway:

Unfortunately, due to some glitches and goofs, she didn't actually GET the set until they were in the ready room preparing for the ceremony.  So I don' t know if she liked it or not or if it fit or not.  Guess I'll find out when they get back from the honeymoon...I don' t even know if it made it to the suitcase or if it got sent back to the apartment.

So, now to find some time to write the reviews! ;-)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Then and Now

I thought I'd do a little reminiscing...the first dress I reviewed for the Flute Player (she was, I think, 6) and the most recent dress I reviewed.

Sigh.  Time flies.

I will post more about the things sewed for the wedding as the week progresses.  Unfortunately, I did not manage to get a good shot of the MOB dress at any point Saturday, so I'll need to put it back on and have someone point the camera at it.  The pictures I did see, though, revealed some fit issues that the mirror did not.  I really could've benefited greatly from one more muslin; it's a pity I didn't have time.  But I did learn some things about drafting and fitting...and it probably fit at least as well as something bought RTW would've fit.

I read back over the wedding posts and realized I never mentioned what happened with the bridesmaid's dresses.  At the very point at which I was ready to dig in and start the manufacturing process, the Bride decided that it would be easier on me if each of the girls all just went out and bought a grey dress that she liked.  So long as it was sleeveless and knee length, she was happy with it.  So we had an eclectic mix of dresses in a couple of different shades of gray (one had some black accents, which went with the overall color scheme) that actually looked very nice together.  Made the guys, in their rented suits and matching ties, look kind of cookie cutterish in contrast.

And I suppose the best thing is that none of the girls will ever wear their dress in an 'Ugly Bridesmaids' pageant...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 9/18/11

September colors are muted green, cream and brown or oatmeal but, due to the festivities yesterday and enjoying the company of our  out-of-town guests, we skipped church last night.  And this morning, I skipped contacts and makeup and went for easy with the CWC knit bootcut jeans,  Christine Jonson's Sleeveless Basewear 2 top from olive rayon/lycra jersey, and my ever-useful heathery brown rayon jersey Jalie 2566 cardigan and my creamy balsa bead necklace and plastic door-hanger earrings from the late '80's. 

It has occurred to me recently that we in our choir were color blocking before color blocking was cool...never been ahead of a fashion curve before... LOL!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Even the Mascara Survived

I may have to put on the dress again for a proper photo for reviewing, but you can sort of see the finished product.  It was a lovely  day for a wedding, and a lovely ceremony, and I think I want to sleep for two days now...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pictures and Reviews are Coming...

Crunch time on the wedding now; T minus 39 hours (give or take...) and counting.
I have finished the MOB dress, after making every. single. bone-headed mistake. in. the. book.

That puts my wedding sewing at:
1 bridesmaids dress (jersey knit...not too tricky)
1 bridal veil (very very very plain and simple)
1MOB dress (simple does hair-pulling)
1 surprise present for the Princess's bridesmaids/bachelorette party/lin*gerie shower...a Vogue 7837 tap-and-cami set.  She didn't know I was making it and I snuck it over to the hostess this morning; wish I could see her open it but, well, maybe it's just as well I'm not.  I did get a 'floor pic' of that and I'll post it in a bit, too.

After things settle down. :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Moment of Silence

I am not posting my choir wear this weekend.

Instead, a moment of blogging silence in memory of September 11, 2001.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

'Rock of Eye' drafting

All I have to report on the MOB progress is that I have obtained the necessary zipper and hope to get the dress cut out this afternoon before the leadership meeting this evening that precedes our  women's conference, which starts at 9:30 in the morning.

So I thought I'd share something that showed up in my burn feeder today.  I've subscribed to Thomas Mahon's blog, just for the fascinating glimpses he gives into the life and business of an English bespoke tailor, and to my delight found he'd linked a video of himself hand drafting a jacket front.

Like many Americans, I enjoy listening to the accent, but the video (imbedded in his post) is fascinating.  Using the previously drafted jacket back, a tape measure, chalk, and at one point a 'stick', Thomas drafts the basic outline of his jacket in about 12 minutes.

I was especially intrigued by the shape and placement of the armsceye.

Definitely worth a look if you're interested in such things.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The MOB Dress - part 2

I spent most of Labor Day working on the muslin.  Unfortunately, because the cheap fabric I was using was far too sheerish to put up on the world wide web, I don't have any photos to show you.  But I
1) Petited the upper bodice on both the front and back

2)shaved a wee bit off of both the side front and the side back where they went into the armhole, to reduce some gaping there

3) Added a bit to the armsceye; the raw edge was about where I wanted the seamed edge to fall from the bottom all the way around the front to the top, so I basically just added a seam allowance

4) took a bit off of both back princess seams below the high hip

5) shortened the length 1" (I plan to use 2" hem allowances) and

6) drafted neckline facings; I think the wrong side is going to show a bit and I'd much rather see the face fabric than the lining.  I also plan to reduce the seam allowances on the neckline so that it stands a bit higher.

I may not get back to it until Thursday...and this weekend is our annual Women's Conference , so, while the conference will be wonderful and I'm really looking forward to it, it's going to be a wash as far as time available for sewing.

And I don't think I have a suitable zipper in the stash...looks like a Hancock's run is is the works.

You see why I decided I wanted a simple style. ;-)

Monday, September 05, 2011

The MOB dress - Part1

I fully planned to make my dress last, after everything else was done, because I figured that if I had to wear a dress hanging in the closet already the world wouldn't end.

However, the tulle that the Princess had purchased to make her veil has been determined to be too yellow, and I've placed an order for some 'light ivory' tulle from fabricdotcom that will hopefully match her creamy white dress better.

But, it's a holiday weekend, and even with FdotC's typically speedy delivery, it'll be the end of the week before it gets here.

So...I figured I'd start on my dress.

I pulled down the Vogue Kay Unger dress pattern that I'd had pinned to my bulletin board for ages and found that I just didn't have the oomph to do it. I wanted something simpler.

However, I had this picture torn from a Coldwater Creek catalog (who knows HOW long ago) also pinned to the bulletin board:
That features one of the most flattering necklines I can wear; I've been looking at it and looking at it and it's been growing on me.

And it looks Very Simple...especially as I have Butterick 3843 in my stash, which includes a sleeveless top that is basically just the top 2/3 of that dress.

So I've pulled that out, traced it off, and added length to make it 22" long from the waist.   I traced a larger size than my heart wanted to trace, and my gut tells me it will be too big, but it is a VERY slim style and I definitely wanted room to move, sit and breath.  So I pursed my lips and went with the larger size.  The first alteration I made was to lower the bust point, which is just a requirement, and then I redesigned the armhole, following Alexandra's example.

It looks a little odd to me, but I'll give it a go and see if it makes a difference.

Now to make up the muslin and see how much I need to adjust before cutting the Good Stuff...

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 0904

With the new month, the colors have changed.  September colors are muted green, cream, and oatmeal or brown.

Last night, I decided to go with an old Loes Hinse City Dress shell made up in a crinkly rayon print, and topped it off with Jalies 2566 cardigan, made up in that yummy heathered brown rayon knit that I would love to have in about a dozen colors.  I put them with Lee bootcuts that, even though they are labeled 'short', need 2" heels if I'm going to wear them.  They are definitely Saturday night pants...

 Today, I pulled out my original Jalie 2682 green rayon jersey top.  I made it to wear in choir over 3 years ago and have literally worn it to death; the fabric at the v of the neck is beginning to rag out a bit.  I've got some green fabric to replace it...after the wedding! ;-)

It's teamed up with Coldwater Creek: a taupey sweater that was close enough to 'oatmeal' to work, even though it looks grey in the photo, and the knit jeans again.

And flat sandals.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 08/28

Ok, I confess, it's 10:30 something and it's time for this one to be heading upstairs for some shuteye. We had a guest at church tonight...comedian Tim Hawkins had a jam-packed house laughing so hard we couldn't breath for a good hour and a half straight. He is one very talented...and very funny...fellow.

But, we had to squeeze extra chairs in for the event, which meant most of our nice wide padded chairs were removed from the sanctuary and replaced with narrow plastic folding chairs. My Sweet Baboo and I, having had a miraculous upgrade from the general admission (plastic) seats to the VIP section (wide plush seats), felt obligated to return the favor and joined the crew to help break down and pack up the white chairs and reset the purple ones.

It took an hour after the show.

Of course, that has nothing whatever to do with the choir wardrobe, but perhaps it might explain things if my narrative wanders off into scrawly gibberish.

Last night, the clock snuck up on me and I really had to dress quick. I ended up in Coldwater Creek boot cut denim jeans and linen jacket, and a white interlock Vogue 8151 t-shirt. I had to smile; a friend asked me how long it took me to make the jacket and was suitably shocked when I told her I didn't make it but bought it for a song.

This morning I tried very, very hard to make a sleeless silk print blouse work. I've lost a smidgen of weight,so I was a little hopeful, and I picked compacting undergarments, and actually found that it didn't look too bad when I put it on.

However, after walking around in it for a bit I found that movement made it ride and wrinkle and it is still Too Small. So, I had admit the truth to myself and change clothes just moments before we walked out the door. Once more, it's the CWC knit jeans, my white twill Vogue 8045 jacket, the yellow sweaterish knit Simplicity 2603 top, a vintage plastic beaded necklace (from 1984 or 5) and, for fun, my white canvas oxford shoes.

I'd love to chat with you some more, but...good night! ;-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ready for Fitting

Four hours from throwing the lining fabric on the cutting table I had the dress to the 'try on' stage; I need to put it on The Flute Player to adjust the shoulder straps before I go farther. Unfortunately, four hours later ended up being around 11:30 last night...too late...and the next three nights are BOOKED (not to mention the fact that we probably should pick up Suitable Foundation Garments beforehand); it may be Saturday before I actually get to see this on her.

However, once that's done, assuming it fits otherwise, all that's left is to clip/understitch the upper flounce seam and this dress is finished.

The Princess had cleaned out her small fabric stash and given me a couple of pieces of a slick, semi-sheer dark gray poly knit; she made herself a wrap from it sometime in the past. She doesn't remember where she got it, only that it was exceedingly cheap.

It was perfect for lining this lightweight jersey.

My serger skipped a stitch about every three or four inches on the whole garment; on the seams, I did a narrow zig-zag stitch to fill in the skips, but there are teeny loops on the rolled edge that I don't think I can really do anything about. I showed the dress to The Bride this morning and we decided that, since someone would have to look embarrassingly closely at the dress to see the loops, we'll leave 'em alone.

Gotta get that machine in for a tune-up one of these days.

(The Bride...AkA The Princess...was happy with the dress, thank goodness...)

Since I 1) lined the garment, 2) eliminated the empire seam and 3) used a rolled edge on the flounces instead of a narrow hem, I paid very little attention to the directions. But a quick glance at them had me shaking my head.

Why - why- why do pattern companies persist in instructing folks to sew knits together with two passes through a straight stitch machine??? A teeny zig-zag is the way to do it if a serger isn't available. So simple. So why isn't that in the guide sheets???

Next up: The Veil.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 8/21/11

Ok, this is another one of those days when it just seems so trivial to write about what I wore to church. We had an incredible service; I wrote about it on my other blog; you can click through and read the story if you like.

But, for the sewing blog, our colors for choir are navy blue, (mustard) yellow and white. Both last night and this morning I wore variations on Vogue 8045...denim last night and white twill this morning.

Last night, I teamed the denim jacket with my bootcut Lees; I have recently learned that denim jackets with jeans are a fashion no-no, but, well, a blue jacket is a blue jacket and I wore it anyway. I've got a creamy white RTW sweater shell and a cheapo yellow scarf from Wal-mart with it.

Today I wore, again, the knit CWC blue jeans (I know you're seeing those every week. But I am washing them regularly; I promise!), with the yellow knit Simplicity 2603 shell top and a scarf that was made from a rayon print remnant from a blouse I made years and years ago. The blouse has long since been retired as too small; fortunately scarves aren't outgrown...

Just before I did my blog post, I found that someone had uploaded a video of the choir from second service this morning; the song was written by our worship pastor, with input from one of the pioneers of contemporary worship music, Lenny LeBlanc.

If you'd like to see the choir in action, here 'tis:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall Colors

I made one last purchase; this may Be It for the year, unless some unforeseen need (or unbelievable sale...) arises.

Or I do a bunch of sewing. :-D

These all colors needed for choir for the rest of the season. They're from Fashion Fabrics Club and all listed as rayon/lycra jersey knits; however, the green and the yellow both feel a little beefier/loftier than the cream and the orange and they're wrinkling much less; I think they've got at least a touch of polyester in the mix.

I *hope* to use themvery soon, since knits sew up so fast. But there's a lot going on in the next month; we'll see.

I ordered a total of 7 yards; the FFC cutters must've been feeling generous (although one piece is damaged and may account for the extra goods) because I ended up with 9 7/8 yards.

The colors look really nifty together, don't they? The flash washed them out just a bit, but it's a great 'Color Me Beautiful' Autumn Palette.

Trouble is, I'm a Winter.

But you know, those colors looks so nice as a group, and I have extra fabric in each cut...I may color block a Madison Avenue dress...Cream on the shoulders, yellow midriff, orange upper skirt and green lower skirt. Or something like that. In my spare time...LOL...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Overdue Photo

I actually finished this dress back in the first week of June and just didn't manage to get a photo. I wore it for my anniversary dinner date and remembered to get a photo. Of course, this was AFTER the amazing mega meal, and I'm stuffed like a sausage. I don't know why I can't seem to get a picture when I'm going OUT the door and am relatively fresh. But oh well.

It's Textile Studios Madison Avenue Dress rendered in Fabric Mart's amazing bamboo knit.

I had enough fabric leftover to make Loes Hinse's Sweater Set, providing I made 3/4 length sleeves on the cardi. Astute readers will remember my lament about mis-cutting the cardi back, so that it has no buttons, but it works with the dress *almost* as well as it works with the sweater set shell.

After My Sweet Baboo snapped the photos, I saw that I had a choice of posting photos w/ glasses glare or with the kitty.

You got the kitty. ;-)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 8/14/11

This month's colors are navy blue, mustard yellow and white. I think the blues in my tops were more 'marine blue' than 'navy', but since everyone's eye is different we have a range of shades of blue, so pretty much any darkish blue is working.

Same with the yellows...we had some dijon yellow (which is really the color), some French's yellow, and some just plain light yellows. So close is good.

Saturday night, I felt like doing some thing different and I pulled out an ancient top...does anyone remember when Emma OneSock was selling 'buttermilk' knits hand over fist? I bought some...a lace-and-denim print, and made a skirt and top set.

I don't know what happened to the skirt. It has been missing for a long time. I may have donated it because it was too tight...I don't remember. But the top, a variation of one of my old TNTs, Vogue 7799, is still going strong in the wardrobe.

I'm wearing it with another longtime closet resident, a navy blue poly tricotine Evan Picone jacket purchased sometime years ago from JC Penny. The sleeves were too long, and I tried to shorten them (being shocked at the untidiness of the inside of the jacket), but somehow I got them whopperjawed and the hems don't want to hang nicely. So it doesn't come out and play often.

The jeans are regular denim bootcuts from Coldwater Creek.

The tank top in today's picture looks more teal than blue on my monitor, but the color is something Lands' End called 'bright navy' when I ordered about 3 of these deep scoop tanks from the clearance pages. I've got on my original mystery knit Jalie 965 tank under it, for both color and coverage, and the white Vogue 8045 jacket...with some French's yellow plastic beads and the knit CWC bootcut jeans (which are holding up to weekly wearing and washing very nicely...)

On the Wedding prep, I finally ordered some silk organza to underline my MOB dress today. I hemmed and hawed and finally decided that the rayon jacquard would wrinkle less and hang better with a little support. So it's on its way. Soon I'll be sewing it...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bridesmaids Dress, Pt. 1

The Flute Player has been promoted to the position of Bridesmaid, so the orange dress I planned to make her for the 'Sister of the Bride/ Guestbook Attendant' role has been relegated to another time and place. She needs a silver gray dress.

The Bride (aka The Princess) took her shopping, and they came home with a maxi length dress that needed to be shortened to knee length. They were both happy with it, but it just didn't look at all flattering on The Flute Player, to my eye. It was a was pretty much a column of gray jersey, with a blouson waistline and tie and double flounces at the neckline; the bottom flounce reached almost to her waist. The edges were merrowed, not hemmed.

The Bride and I had a 'discussion' about the dress, in which a number of other issues were raised (civilly, I might add), but I offered to make her sister a dress and then we'll see which one looks the best. So, a quick scan through the bookmarked online vendors turned up one Tencel jersey knit in the right color, which was quickly ordered and dispatched to the house.

Yes, observant readers will discern there are two pieces of fabric in that photo; the vendor from whom I purchased the jersey had some stretch lace on sale and I purchased a brown-and-cream version of the stretch lace that I used to make the 70's rocker vest, which I have loved but is, um, getting a little small. A brown/cream will work with fall choir colors, I think.

And everyone knows fabric needs a Traveling Buddy.

And, it just so happened that the pattern I'd picked out, Butterick 5313 was on sale at Hancock's this week, so all I need now is for JoAnn's to have some silver gray perle thread for the rolled edge and I'm set. And I have to make a trip to the shop next door to JA's later today.

We're planning to do the flounce/spaghetti strap bodice w/the a-line single flounced skirt.

I think it will suit her much better... ;-)

Testing a Sundress

Since acid reflux has reared its ugly head and is preventing sleep tonight, I might as well catch up on a little posting. I finished the Burda 6/2010 top pattern a few days ago and got some pictures, but haven't had time to write it up for either the blog or Pattern Review.

As I'll state in the review that's written but not posted yet, this is actually a test for the maxi dress that is basically the top lengthened, just to see if I think it's going to be worth using my long piece of rayon challis purchased LAST summer for a maxi dress. (insert sighing).

The jury is still out. I'm thinking this has possibilities, but I need to:
1) tilt the front neckline in to dart out a bit of bubbling
2) raise the neckline a good inch and a half to two inches if I don't want to have to wear a cami under it (and this is to be a height-of-summer dress... I don't!)
3) fold out about 1/3 of the pleats in the pattern before I cut the top out, to reduce the fullness in the center front and
4) add inseam pockets if I make a dress from it.

I did find that, perhaps due to omitting the back darts, I don't need a zipper for access, so that's something, and it is the closest thing I have to a ready-to-sew maxi dress pattern.

But, we are past the focal events of the summer, school has started, and we have about 5 weeks go to to the Princess's wedding. Time to clear the calendar and get cracking on the short list of things I need to make: my dress, the Flute Player's dress, and The Veil....

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Choir Wardrobe 8/7/11

Neither one of these photos is 'fresh'...Saturday, I dressed for church before leaving the house at about 9:30...we had to meet the contractor to pick out floor covering, windows and doors for the renovated sunroom, and there was a live stream of the Houston prayer meeting at church that I wanted to attend AND a Royal Ranger GMA celebration that went right up to choir practice. Sunday...the kids had a meeting after church that was supposed to be done at three; My Sweet Baboo and I got a lunch date and then went back to church and sat in the sweltering parking lot before an exchange of text messages convinced us we'd be better off waiting for them in the air conditioned lobby. By that time I was completely wilted.

Of course, no pictures were taken until AFTER we got home both days. But, well, you'll get the idea. ;-)

August's colors are navy blue, mustard yellow and white. My 'mustard' is more French's than Gray Poupon, but I figured as long as not much of it shows I'll be ok.

So, last, well, yesterday, I wore straight cut Lees and a navy doubleknit Kwik Sew 2948 twin set. That was one of the earliest knit garments I made, and I didn't realize then what a wonderful knit that was. It came from Fashion Fabrics Club and today, something like 9 years after I first made it, the fabric still feels marvelous to wear. The top is getting a pinch snug, though, but since it still feels good and is wearing like iron I doubt I'll get rid of it any time soon. Better to hit the gym. ;-)

Today I wore the knit CWC jeans, and a linen herring-bone weave jacket that I also bought from CWC for a song...something like $15. I could NOT have purchased the fabric for that. Under it is my (French's Mustard) yellow knit Simplicity 2603 top, which is made from a fabric that is wearing like cheap nylons. This is only the 2nd or 3rd time I've worn it, and it's pilled like crazy. Fortunately, it is not one of my wardrobe least in months when Yellow is not a choir wardrobe color. ;-). We'll see how long it lasts...

I've got on my old white poly square scarf with both outfits; I took it off when we were waiting in the car today and hastily retied it w/o looking in the mirror for the photos (had to grab a photographer quickly...). So, yeah, next time I will be checking the mirror for that. ;)

I have some blue knit and some blue chiffon print that I HOPE to get turned into something wearable for this go-round, but with the cutting room (AKA the sunroom) totally disassembled I don't know if it will get done or not. Plus, once all this fixing up is done, that will be one of the nicest rooms in the house; I think its days as a catchall/ crafting area are over. Sigh...and the light is so good out there...

Monday, August 01, 2011

My Birthday Present

I've been waffling over this for a long, long time; Fashion Incubator was one of the very first blogs I read with any regularity. Sometimes it is technically way over my head, and sometimes it deals with aspects of marketing that I really don't have a Need to Know, but I'm finding a garment-industry view of making things quite interesting and educational.

And I wanted The Book.

But I couldn't convince myself that a book written for Sewn Product Entrepreneurs would be worth the hefty price to a (using the industry term) hobbyist or (nicer industry term) a home sewing enthusiast. So I dropped hints to those near and dear that it would make a great birthday/anniversary/Christmas/first day of summer/Valentine's Day/etc gift, but I guess I wasn't shameless enough in dropping those hints because it never appeared.

So, this year I pooled the birthday cash that came from folks who'd rather send money than a gift and ordered it for myself.

If the only thing I get out of it is the right way to draft a sleeve, it will be more than worth the price.