Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The Actor got into the car at the bus stop last night announcing that we needed to do a little shopping run because he needed a mask for drama today. I'd ended up at work for about 7 hours yesterday and I was completely worn out, so I told him we'd just have to make do with something from home. There are a few masks around, so he could satisfy his requirement without the exertion of a trip to a store.

He wasn't crazy about the options and, well, one thing led to another and ended up with me deconstructing an orange Lands' End polo that had resided in the sewing room since he'd ripped it beyond repair a couple of years ago; the plan was to make a hasty 'orange ninja mask'.

However, in my haste to get it thrown together I apparently had my left index finger hanging ever-so-slightly over the edge of the ruler as I zipped along it with the rotary cutter. Thanks to my sewing buddy, Miss A, who made a run to the Atlanta Sewing Expo while she was in the area visiting family, I had a nice new blade in the Ergo cutter.

There's now about a quarter inch divot missing from the side of my finger.

My Sweet Baboo bandaged me up, making use of the paper tape I normally reserve for pattern alterations.

Makes typing and sewing rather difficult. I guess I'm gonna be sat down to rest one way or another.

I did manage to get him a mask of sorts put together; not sure if it's exactly what the teacher has in mind or not. It's not very high quality, for obvious reasons, and I didn't get a picture last night.

He did, however, say that he intended to use it if it passes muster...since it cost so much. ;-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Playing in the Stash

There is fabric ALL over my living room.

In some ways, it's depressing...so much nice stuff; I want to sew it all up...immediately.

Of course, I can't, that's why I'm trying to get it sorted and stored as efficiently as possible; so it's not 'out of sight, out of mind'. I'm swatching and cataloging and even purging a little bit...if I touch it and think, 'Ick!' it's going out...

Some things are not really 'ick', but aren't wonderful either and they're being put aside to use as muslin.

I found spongey-feeling black fabric that was listed as being from the dollar table at Wal-Mart; when I originally bought it back in '03, I wasn't nearly as fabric savvy as I am now and I put down that it was 'Poly? Blend?'

Turns out to be wool gab that went through the washer and dryer. The house reeked all evening last night from the burn test.

I look at the pile of juvenile-appropriate fabric and wonder - should I give it away? Or save it for grandkids? Odds are...it gets saved...

I've found a couple of spots of moth damage. I gotta find a better way to store the woolens.

I'm almost through all the bins; the tough part's gonna be figuring out the best way to get it arranged and labeled so I can find it.

I need to make a strategy so that this stuff gets sewn. I really don't like accumulating fabric; when I buy fabric, I've got at least a seed of a dream of something that's going to come from it.

Time to see some of those dreams actually come to pass.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Here we go again

I wanted to check fit on a couple of jackets to compare with my latest muslin...I thought the quickest way to do that would be to just look at the photos with the reviews.

So I went to one of them and clicked and...the Photoworks link was broken. Again.

Sigh. I clicked through and started to look for it, when suddenly a phase that had flashed by on the home page registered.

'Photoworks is closing. But we've found a great place for your photos!'

(*Beats head on desk. No! No! No!...*)

They have a transfer to Shutterfly all set up and ready to go; I had to create a Shutterfly account and then hit transfer. The photos won't be available for a couple of days whilst the transfer is taking place.

But the issue is...I've got to relink all those photos. Again.


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One more shipment...

I have received the last of the fabric orders...and the next one will be wedding-related! Period! I'm cutting myself off 'til then...

The only reason I succumbed to this shipment from Fashion Fabrics club is that, included in the recent 50% off sale was a dark fuschia knit that I thought would be perfect for jammie pants to go with that pink flowered T shirt I made in January. And, of course, no fabric can travel alone, so...

I ended up with 4 pieces of fabric. The khaki was described as a fine line twill; it's actually a cotton/lycra stretch sateen. Very nice. It's a staple item...khaki will get used, sooner or later.

The other two pieces are tropical weight woolens. I know some people say wool and summer in the South are not compatible, but the tropical woolens are no heavier than cotton and they're much nicer than polyester. I *love* tropical wool...particularly when so many places (including my office) are air conditioned to the point of refrigeration (we recorded a temp of 63 degrees in the office last summer...). So, I bought these pieces for pants; but I got almost a whole yard more of the grey glen plaid than I ordered, so I might be thinking about maybe making a sheath dress. We'll see. The hand/drape on it is nothing short of FABULOUS. The black one has shadow striping with some very faint blue threads. Yum.

The quality on all these pieces is very, very nice. I know Fashion Fabrics Club gets some bad press but, by and large, everything I've ordered from them has been really lovely, and at rock-bottom prices. I got this exactly a week after I placed the order, which really isn't even remarkably slow.

Sigh. Now I'm wondering if my level of sewing inspiration is at all compatible with my actual need to put my feet up and rest...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Biting off more than I can chew...

Or, 'Whatever Made Me Think This Was Restful?'

For those who are joining us late, I'm spending as much time as possible at home, supposedly resting up and recovering from mononucleosis.

However, I don't feel particularly ill. I just have no stamina, and an annoying low-level sore throat.

I'd be better off if I were miserably sick. At least I wouldn't be tempted to work beyond my strength level.


Now, I have been puttering about in the sewing room. As in, the last day I sat down at the machine late last week, I sewed the continuous lap on a sleeve. I didn't press it over and topstitch it down, I just sewed it on. That was all I could manage.

But my recent fabric acquisitions have been filling up all the available space in the sewing nook. It has been a while since I swatched and cataloged and put away...so I thought, Hey, that's just sitting at the table with some scissors and index cards; I can do that without expending too much energy!

So, little by little I pulled fabric out of the cabinet that I have down there. I pulled fabric out of boxes that were making it difficult to access the ironing board. I *didn't* get the fabric in box on the sun porch where my cutting table is...I'm still under the delusion hopeful that I can get something made from it soon.

Turns out it's been something like THREE YEARS since I last cataloged my fabric. I was slack-jawed when I saw the pile that I have:

I'm astonished and chagrined that I have so much fabric piled up...and now I had to do something with it.

Now, when we moved into this house I claimed the near end of the attic over the garage as my fabric storage area. I had everything arranged neatly, and I could find stuff.

But about 2 years ago, we re-roofed the house and My Sweet Baboo installed a skylight over my sewing nook...and the reflective tube passed through the eave space behind my fabric storage. He moved all my fabric stuff to other areas of the attic so he could access the eaves, and after the skylight was installed, well, things didn't get put back in any kind of order, and all kinds of other stuff was mixed in with my stash. It was depressing.

So, I had the bright idea that, since I have all this new stuff that needs to be organized in with the old stuff, AND the attic needs a good cleaning anyway, the guys in the family could bring the stash bins downstairs, I can slowly file away all my new stuff and give everything a good shaking out. AND, whilst all that is out of the attic, there's room to do some cleaning/purging of stuff up there to make room for, well, stuff that actually needs to be up there that isn't (just an aside...oh, to have a basement...).

Anyway. They brought the stash bins downstairs last night. I'd forgotten how much stuff was there...

Obviously, some of the mixed-in stuff got brought down, too, but not much. This is about 25 years of fabric accumulation....maybe more, actually, as a bit is from my Grandmother's stash.

Aside from the emotional impact of seeing all these dreams and hoped for projects, which is probably another post, whatever made me think I could do this while I'm recuperating from mono?

But it DOES need to be done.

Sigh. I think I'm going to be looking at that pile in the living room for waaaayyyy longer than I'd like.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Cringing Just a Little

So the Princess has agreed to 'let' me make the bridesmaid's dresses, since she was afraid that Her Dress wouldn't look right if I made it.

Really, that's ok, because I would hate for the girls to have to fork over bucks for a 'bridesmaid's dress' that ain't worth it.


The dress The Princess has chosen is Simplicity 2692, view D, for the bridesmaid's and the same dress, minus the shoulder tie, for her maid of honor.

The Reviews for the one-shoulder version are less than complimentary, by and large.

I'm looking at it and thinking 'Blousy drapey off the shoulder bodice...hm...I wonder what is supporting the top edge of the bare-shouldered version?'

And most of the reviews stated that it ran big.

So...I think I have an idea. I told the Princess if she would get herself some fabric, I'd make a version of the dress for *her*, just to see how it works up.

If it's as beastly to make work as I expect, we may compromise. ;)

Thursday, March 03, 2011


My 3rd box of the year from Gorgeous Fabrics arrived yesterday; buying fabric over the internet is always a bit of a guess-what. And, as I've admitted before, this mono stuff has made me just a little denser than normal, so for some reason when I read the description of the blue jersey I pictured something a little different. Anyway, here's the photos:

(I didn't even notice the white thread on the black cotton/lycra jersey; I was focused on trying to get the blue rayon/lyrca jersey to come out right...) The natural light in the sun porch really washed these out; they're NOT faded in the least. I tried taking a closeup of the blue...that turned out to be a better representation of it.

Anyway, when I read 'It has a sheen to it that looks like silk jersey.', I pictured the silk jerseys ...few and far between they have been,too!...that I've seen, and thought I'd have a matte-type jersey with the barest hint of silky shimmer.

Um, this is a shiney fabric. It's very, very drapey; it behaves very much like slinky, although it isn't.

Now, mind you, the description fits the fabric; I just didn't read it right.

It's still gorgeous, still a marvelous rich fabric, but I don't think it will suit Vogue 1027. Or maybe it's just not matching the picture I had in my head.

In any case, I'm back to the drawing board on this one. I need a dress from it, fairly soon, and I'm not sure what will suit.

Oh, it is just the teensiest bit sheer; I've got some black knit lining that I'll likely line it with, regardless of the pattern.

So...think, think, think....