Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tangerine for Choir

After realizing I couldn't make the Vogue 1250 yesterday, I mulled over my options for getting SOMETHING sewn on the holiday and decided to make a top for choir.  I'd purchased some VERY NICE poly matte jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics earlier this year and, as I need tangerine for June, decided it was time to sew it up.

Only I could NOT decide what to do with it.  Finally, I pulled out one of my new pattern purchases...Vogue 8669 and realized that it has somewhat in common with 1250.  And the sleeveless top takes 1 yard, which was what I had available.

So I looked at the reviews for it; there aren't really very many yet.  And I noticed that the cowl is quite high, as opposed to the 1250, which drapes very low.  I really didn't care for the high edge of the cowl, so I decided to reverse what I did for 1250 and rotate the shoulder AWAY from the center front in order to elongate that top edge.  And, while I was at it, I decided to add a deep self-facing to the front as well; 8669 calls for a 5/8" narrow hem.

 Also, the drape is just gathered into the shoulders on the 8669 top; I converted the drape ease to pleats.  This is not a great photo, but here's the original pattern and my modification side-by-side:

So I cut it out of the orange jersey and made it up.  It was very, very quick:

I should've done a FBA.  I thought about it, but decided to try it without first.  Next time I'll add that.  I'll also tweak the armholes a bit; they're too far forward at the bottom and flash lingerie if I'm not careful.  This top will be worn as a bottom layer, though, so I should be ok.

I have another piece of orange fabric that I may get sewn up: but there's another 'oh, what pattern shall I use?' decision to make...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Altering 1250

Everybody in the WORLD has made the Vogue 1250 Donna Karan Dress.  At last count, there were 86 reviews of the dress up on Patternreview.com.

Everybody but me.

See, I have looked at that red silk-jersey looking envelope cover photo, and a goodly number of the photos posted on PR and sort of concluded that this is a dress for slimish young things, at least as drafted. It has very little ease through the hips (although that does greatly depend on the stretch of the fabric), it has a rather revealing drapey cowl.  It doesn't have pockets.

So, well, I decided it wasn't for me.

But I bought it anyway during a sale.  Lemming traits manifesting, perhaps.

It ought to be a good investment, no?  Years later, when it's out of print and this style comes back around, it should be one of those golden goodies.

Um, yeah.  Whatever.

Then, earlier this year, I bought a piece of fabric online  that turned out to be a border print.  I don't know if that was missing from the description or if I just overlooked it, but I have this uber stretchy, uber drapey rayon jersey LOUD border print.

And the only pattern it will agree to play nice with is Vogue 1250.
 So I have spent hours today overhauling the pattern.  I'm sure I've spent more time slashing, pivoting, spreading and taping than it will take me to cut out and construct the dress.

I began by tracing the size 14 dress, using the size 6 lines through the shoulders and neckline (I have absurdly narrow shoulders).  Then I

1) did a 3/8" square shoulder adjustment

2) Shortened the cowl.  Hopefully that will raise the bottom of the v just a bit. (There is a line on the alterd up pattern's self-facing that represents an almost boo-boo...almost cut that off to shorten the cowl before I realized that, duh, that's the FACING and I need that!) To do that I
      -- cut off the self facing and set it aside.
      -- slashed from the new neck edge over to the circle on the sideseam (the armhole match point) in         two different places
      -- clipped from the armhole edge to the circle to create teeny paper hinges.
      -- Overlapped each of the slashes 1" at the neck edge and taped it all down.
      -- Put a piece of paper behind the now zig-zaggy edge, to fill in the gaps
      --  Taped  the facing back on the neck edge, matching at the shoulder seam point.
      --  Cut off the excess facing at the center front and redrew the 'place on fold' line.
(In a nutshell:  I shortened the front neckline edge by pivoting the shoulder back towards the front)

3)  I added length to the facing as recommended by about a bazillion previous reviewers over at PR.

4) Added a Full Bust Adjustment, pivoting the dart up into a second pleat at the shoulder.  I think I remember that Debbie Cook did that; I also added about 3/8" to the bodice sideseams

Flat pattern measuring indicated I was still going to be short on ease in the hips and tummy area, so

5) I copied Kay Y and split the skirt along what would be the side seam, if there had been a sideseam, added about an inch and a half, blending to the already adjust front bodice side seam, then taped it down and  redrew the dart, using the original pattern as a template.

After I had the front/skirt altered, then I started to work on the back.

6) Also copying Kay, I added a little wedge to the bottom of the armsceye in the back, to give it more of a straight bottom, hopefully high enough that I won't worry about flashing bra bands.

7) Added to the bottom edge of the back bodice so that it matched the adjusted back skirt.

Now, the proof will be in the sewing.  I'm rather guessing that I haven't over-eased the amount of stretch in the fabric; but the fabric was on sale and I only got a little bit, so if it ends up not fitting me it should fit someone.

I'm just hoping I don't end up with unfortunate print placement.  Since I only got a little, I don't have a lot of leeway in putting the pattern down.  We'll see. ;-)

POSTSCRIPT: Later that day...turns out there is NOT enough fabric for the Vogue 1250.  So my loud border print is just going to have to accept that it MUST be something else. I'm going to have to send it to The Stash and let it contemplate that for a while...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 05 27

I finished the mattress pad and...honestly...slept much better last night.  I think we've got a few years left before we have to start worrying about a replacement now. ;-)

So, I had my sewing plate cleared.  And, just because it was the first time in ages my sewing plate was cleared, I cut out a new top and made it.

And wore it today. :-)

I bought that fabric last summer when we were wearing hot pink and gray, but didn't get it sewn up.  I was determined to sew it up for this go-round.  It's the Simplicity 2603 top, which I've made about 5 times now.  Goes well with the much-worn gray modal jersey Jalie 2919 drapey cardigan.  You'd almost think I planned it that way.

Wait.  I think I did.  A year ago...

Lee bootcuts and ring toe sandals and I'm set.

All I need now is a bit of time to give myself the spring pedicure.  I usually do that on Mother's day, as a treat for me, but I didn't get to do it this year, so my toenails are still winter bare.

I'ma gonna hafta do some sewing this week; we have new colors in June and I need some stuff...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Almost there...

I am within spitting distance of having all the non-wardrobe sewing caught up...do you suppose I might actually get to spend a little of the holiday weekend doing a little personal sewing?  Maybe?

Finished...all the costume pieces I have had assigned to me so far.  There may be a few more before the kids go to camp...after all, camp is pretty much the epic high point of the summer theme...but at the moment, I'm done.

Finished...a little sewing room organization project that's been languishing for about 2 years.  I had some remnants from sewing a table cloth, and I got the brilliant idea of making a long skinny sack with a pocket on it to store my rulers.  Ignoring the still out-of-place-due-to-home-renovations clutter around my little cart, and you can see the finished product:

The cording is a remnant piece, and is probably just a little too long; the bottom of the bag is on the floor, but it is sufficient for the task of keeping my rulers handy.  I didn't make a pattern, and I didn't even really make a plan...just made it up as I went.  But those pieces have been cut to size and floating around my sewing room for a LONG time while my rulers wandered about on their own.  So glad to have that finally put together and put to use!

The other long-languishing project is a salvage job on a mattress pad.

I've talked before about the difficulties of finding good bed linens for our waterbed; I've made the last 4 or 5 sets of sheets, just because I can't find them ANYWHERE.  The mattress pad is a similar story.

We bought a pad when we bought the bed back in 1980; after a number of years it began to get thin so we replaced it.  Now, the original pad was just a flat piece of quilting with strips across the corners; you lay the pad on the mattress, reach between the pad and the corner strips and grab the corner of the mattress, pull it through, then flip the strip under the corner.  Easy and anchored.  But the new pad that we bought was not made that way.  No, the head and foot edges were elasticized, and there was a tricot knit side piece, all of which was supposed to be wrapped around the mattress.  It wasn't easy, it wasn't secure, and after a ridiculously short amount of time the tricot side panels began to split.  So we went back to using the nearly worn out older one.  But, I had the brilliant idea of using the old pad as a pattern and cutting the new pad to size, using the remnants for strips and...ta da...new pad that actually worked.

But, well, I never really got motivated to do it.  Until I laundered the old pad for the last time and the worn spots just became large gappy holes.  So.  Last week, I pulled out the newer, useless pad, cut off the tricot, unpicked all the elastic, and laid it out under the old, shredded pad and did some whacking.

It was fortunate that the newer version was meant to wrap around the mattress somewhat; I had plenty left over for those corner anchor pieces that you can see on the old pad on top.  I have now serged all around the cut-down pad and corner strips and sewn the corner strips on.  All that remains is some bias tape binding just to make sure it's not going to fall apart on me too soon.  Not sure what I'll do if this one shreds...but, in all honesty, at this point it ought to do us until we decide that things like acid reflux will have made the waterbed a thing of the past...

But tonight, I hemmed a dress for a friend to wear in, um, let's just say a special event coming up very soon.  My only request for compensation will be that she doesn't tell ANYONE who hemmed her dress.

So...I'm breathing just a bit easier now that I'm nearly to the end of this tunnel...trying to decide what I'm going to sew next.  Choir clothes, I'm sure...I got no Tangerine for next month... ;-)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh. I Put It Away.

I found the missing Vogue 1100 pattern.

It was in the 'to file' basket.  I'd put it where I would've put it had I been done with it.  Imagine that.

So, I dug out the altered pattern pieces and came to the conclusion that the skimpy hem WAS my fault; when I trued up the lengths after doing the FBA I neglected to make the side and back longer than the front. So...that explains the 5/8" hem.

And I wrote up the review and posted it.  So far, I have exactly 1 (one) comment.

I think I've dropped off the Pattern Review radar. Y'know, there are folks who are prolific and are recognized and others take the time to read their reviews.  But I've been so inactive for so long...only occasional reviews or board posts...that I'm basically unknown by the large part of the membership.  So I am not going to get a lot of readers and/or comments.

That's just the way things work.

But...the review is there, and, when/if I make that jacket again, I can go back and remind myself that I need to add an inch and a half to the side and back pattern pieces...and put the long edge of the collar on the jacket.

It may not help anyone else, but it will help me. ;-)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 0520

May's colors being gray, navy, and hot pink, I teamed up my Coldwater Creek knit boot cut jeans with  the Jalie 2919 cardigan, an oblong of  pink poly chiffon that has been run through the rolled hem foot and the hot-off-the-press and not yet reviewed  Jalie 2566 cap sleeve T, which is woefully unseen under the cardi and the scarf.
So I had My Sweet Baboo take a photo of just the T, and for some reason (maybe the dark t shirt read as just 'dark'), the flash went off and, well, the top really isn't as translucent as the flash makes it look; the Lycra content makes it just a bit reflective, especially when stretched any at all.  But, as to the pattern, that's a combination of a couple of views shown, just mixing up the neckline and the sleeve, and I do believe it's going to be a TNT.  Love that the neck is not a jewel and not overly scooped; love that the top is long enough I didn't feel like I had to tug it down all day.  And, of course, love that it took less than an hour to make.  Yes, DEFINITELY added to the TNT options.

On another note, just after third service today I popped into our childrens' area and snapped a photo of the set for the summer theme.  Our children's ministry team cut out and fused the emblems to the banners on the 'turrets'; they more closely resembled the plain ones hanging from the rafters when we handed them off.  I was amazed that they intend to cut out and fuse a bunch more of those emblems on other banners...they're not using some fancy die cut process; those are traced from a template onto paper-backed web, hand cut out and then fused.

I was really impressed, not only by how good it looks, but by the fact that they were willing to do that part themselves.  That's just the kinda folks we work with. ;-).  More banners will be going up as the week progresses.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Knit Tops!

So, last night I thought about those knit tops that are sitting in the queue and I thought...those'll only take 30 minutes apiece or so to sew...

So I pulled 'em out and put 'em together while I was doing laundry.    Two more Jalie 965 tank tops, one aqua and one navy,  (I've quit counting how many of those I have...alot...), an aqua Simplicity 4076 scoop-neck T, which is replacing the first top I made from that view of the pattern as it is getting pathetically pilled up, and a navy T from a previously untried T pattern, Jalie  2566.  That's the same envelope with that great cardigan; I actually combined a couple of the views to get a cap-sleeve, scoop-neck t.  I may wear it for choir tomorrow to get a real photo...but it's definitely going to be a TNT T-shirt option for me now.

So, yay!  Four new tops with an evening and a morning of off-and-on sewing! 

Next up: a little necessary sewing for the home and an alteration project for a friend (just a hem...), then I can focus on the fun stuff again...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Slipped up on SWAP

Oh, last fall I really thought I could participate in the SWAP contest at Stitcher's Guild.  I made an excel spreadsheet with a rough outline of what I'd need...and that's as far as I got.  I mean, so far this year I've managed to make myself exactly, what,  3 garments?  And I just saw today, when I finally made it over to the SG site after all our internet connection problems, that the voting is even over and the winners announced.

Lovely collections, all, and I'm delighted that there were a number of ladies that participated this year.  SWAP is alive and well, which is a very good thing.

But I *really* do need to sew a collection for myself.  I need to get some more go-to patterns developed...I particularly need a jeans pattern...and so many of my wardrobe staples are beginning to really show some age.

But...ain't it always the case...there is just more to do than I have time in which to do it.  The lack of sewing is not the only place where this is manifesting itself.  Even if we hadn't had the electronic issues that we've been dealing with, my blogging...on both blogs...as ground to a crawl.  I'm doing good to post an occasional status on Facebook...and we won't talk about the appearance of my house. 

But I have great job security, as more and more things come to light that need to be addressed with the data base.  The children's ministry has costumes for the summer,  and the Girls Ministry classes are going forward.  Things are being accomplished.  Just not stuff that I can see when I look around me.

So, back to the SWAP...or, at least, making a plan and sewing it...that's something I need to, somehow, move up the priority list.

Shoot, getting in the sewing room, period, needs to move up the priority list...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 051312

The choir sang in all the services this weekend; we're changing up our worship service schedule and discontinuing Saturday evenings, at least for a while.  So, to go out with a bang, we had a full worship team last night and ice cream after the service. ;-)

 I kind of got out of my fashion box, just a bit, for Saturday night...and we went out for pizza after church (not a good idea, my tummy reminded me most all night...), so I'm rumpled.  The only bit of the outfit that I actually made is the top...a sparkly gray jersey sewn up into Simplicity 2603 .  The blue linen jacket was from the clearance rack at Coldwater Creek a year or two ago; those aged Gloria Vanderbilt mom jeans are the closest thing I have to skinny jeans, which would be truly scary on me.  The scarf is from Talbot's, a silk square with a gigantic chrysanthemum graphic folded so the green part doesn't show much, as the colors for May are hot pink, gray and navy blue.  With jeans.  The white canvas oxfords are the whimsey part...

For Sunday, I teamed up the tank top version of  my gray rayon/lycra jersey Double Twin Set, comprised of Jalie 965 and Jalie 2566 with the rayon jersey knit Simplicity 4076 .  With Lee bootcut jeans.

I will confess to a rather discomfiting moment during the third service worship today; we were really short on gentlemen (the service is at 12:30 and I think all the guys took their moms to lunch...), so I sang tenor with My Sweet Baboo.  As the tenors are in the center, I ended up being in the middle of the front row, just in front of him. Which meant that at odd moments I could see myself in the monitor on the back wall...but I was behind one of the ladies who was singing on microphone, so that several times what caught my eye was just my head, the only part of me visible over her shoulder.

Only with my hair pulled back and the bright lights glinting off the lenses of my glasses, I didn't see myself. I saw The Actor (who, btw, is on a missions trip to Guatemala and cannot appreciate the irony here). Um, yeah.  I was rather startled.  Every time I caught that shot on the screen it made me do a double take.  I actually wondered for just a second if I could reach back and pull the clip out of my hair so it wasn't pulled back quite so tight...but, being on the center of the front, there was just no way to do that.  So I just kind of blinked and tried to ignore the weird feeling it gave me to see my kid's face where mine should be.

Maybe it's time for a haircut. ;-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Not Ironmongery...

We have been having connectivity issues with our internet for the last few days...down more than it's up.  Trouble shooting has not found the issue, since it is so sporadic.  But that facilitates sewing!  Here's a glimpse of the 'chain mail hoods' ...I made 10...for the summer theme in our kids ministry.  The Actor rather grudgingly  good naturedly agreed to model one so I could show my internet buddies what I've been doing.  This is a sparkly meshy knit...and it left silver glitter all over EVERYTHING.

I'm down to adding the waist ties to the tabbards...I think I have 8 left to do and then I'm done, except for the remaining hoods that I haven't figured out how to do yet...they may just get made from white knit and dyed...

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Choir Wardrobe 05-06-12

Sometimes, you just can't take me anywhere.

I had a little feeling that I should take today's choir wardrobe photo before we left the house but, as usual, we were on the edge of being late (and, for reasons I won't go into now, being late is a problem!) so we didn't.

Then The Actor called me while I was in my office working on the data entry at the end of 3rd service and wanted to know if he and his sister could go with a group of friends to get some lunch and see Avengers.

Um, and leave me and My Sweet Baboo on our own for lunch? To quote The Artist, "Heck yeah."

I happened to have a $25 Red Lobster gift card in my purse; that'll get ya a couple of bowls of soup and some grilled shrimp bruschetta and  have a bit left towards the tip.

Only...I discovered when I got in the car...the tomatoes on the bruschetta are apparently a bit drippy.

Yup.  Right on the middle of the front of my top. Sigh.  Fortunately, the resolution on the photo is not that great so it doesn't show in the picture, but, well, I know it's there.  I hope it comes out.

Anyway, May's colors are hot pink, navy blue and gray and that pink top is one of those 'Ooooo, pretty' deals I ran into at Coldwater Creek last summer, and I grabbed one when it went on sale.  I had to take up a pretty hefty chunk at the shoulders since I'm not 5'11", but it's kind of a fun top...a jersey knit w/a chiffon overlay w/applique'd and embroidered flowers over the front pleats...and it's the right shade of pink.  Those are CWC jeans, too...I'm a regular CWC commercial today...and my wardrobe staple gray rayon jersey Jalie 2919 cardigan.  I opted for closed shoes, rather than sandals, because it was raining this morning and I hate wet squishy sandals....

Now to see if I can get the little dot of...vinagrette dressing?  Maybe?...out of my floaty top...

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tempted by a Sale...

Determined to be more fiscally responsible this year,I have been diligently deleting the sale emails, but for some reason I didn't delete this one from Gorgeous Fabrics.  The Flute Player and I had discussed the blue cotton knit w/the note motif before and decided that it would make the best PJ pants, so when it hit the sale I hit the 'add to cart' button.  And, since no fabric can travel alone, I scrounged around and bought 3 one-yard pieces of jersey knits to make some quickie tops. The stripe and the purple (which is a very rich purple, not the very brown-burgundy looking color it appears in the photo) are both rayon/lycra; the orange is a poly/lycra.  Yeah, I know I have sworn off poly knits, but tangerine is one of our colors for choir this summer and I need some tangerine in my wardrobe.  So I'll deal with it.

Now to head to the sewing room and work on the costume pieces that are keeping me from sewing stuff from the stash...