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.