Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poppies, Poppies, Part IX

Still no pics that I can show... just a report...

I'm going to take off the next two days of work to sew; hopefully I can get at least what I have with me sewn up.  Skirt 3 is about half done...I'm not sure how many petals I have cut in my bag for skirt 4.  We ran out of fabric and, so far as I know, the fabric we ordered...three weeks ago??...still has not come in yet.

But I played around with the hat petal shapes tonight, made a couple of prototypes and fired a photo off to our Costume Mistress, who approved.  So I copied that pattern a couple of times, listed out the steps for constructing the hat petals (which are much simpler than the skirt petals) and will likely take all my scraps and the patterns in to school so any available volunteers can at least cut them out...we need 58 more (each petal requires a lining, a face, and two interfacings.  Lots of cutting).

I'm really missing the time I had back when The Actor was in the musicals...when I got everyone out the door and then just sat down and sewed.  Not that I would want to give up my job and go back to that, you know, but it was really nice when we were crunched...

Costume parade is next weekend.  Really hoping that fabric comes in soon...last I heard, Fed Ex had it.  They must be giving it a tour of the country...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Choir Wardrobe - 03 24

I was photobombed by the cat.  She hopped up and rubbed on my leg while we were taking photos, then disappeared immediately. 

Anyway, March, emerald, grayed jade and cream/tan.  I got dressed at 7 AM and the photo was taken about 8 PM...long day, which is rough on cheap silk duppioni.  This version of the Sewing Workshop Tribeca Shirt has never fit quite right through the shoulders and tends to bind in the arms, but it's such a great shade of green that I wear it anyway.  As I said, it's cheap Hancock's duppioni, so I really don't expect it to last too awfully long. The sleeveless shell top that I made to coordinate is already beginning to disintegrate.

So, layered over a blue rayon knit Jalie 965 tank top I hit the colors pretty well. 

We have 7 services spread over 3 days next weekend; I have to do laundry sometime so all my green and blue is clean.  I'd love to make something new, but I don't think I'll be able to squeeze it in between the poppy skirts...of which I have finished 2 and have the third one about 1/4  - 1/3 done.  I may take a day off of work this week and sew...I have 2 weeks till the costume parade.  Not panicking...yet...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Poppies, Poppies...part 8?

Just a break...

It takes 20 - 30 minutes to wire a petal.

Depending on how many text messages I have to answer and how many needles I break.

Needle count so far : 4.

Petals wired so far: 8.5 (yeah, I walked away in the middle of one.  Just had to stand up a minute...)

Petals left to wire: 20.5

Yeah, I'm gonna run it right down to the wire....*baDUMdum

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Going back to work now.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Choir Wardrobe 03 17 13

Straight leg jeans with my 'other' green silk blouse.  This is the pattern I actually purchased the fabric for;  almost-vintage OOP  McCall's 5199.  I have a cream silk blouse cut out from this pattern, too, for when I can get back to sewing me-stuff.  I actually wore the same blazer as last week to church, but it was so warm up on the platform that I left the jacket in the choir room.  I don't often do that; I like the security of a top layer.  But, since it was a woven and not a clingy knit, and I was solidly in the middle of the group, I figured it was going to be better not to roast. ;-)                                                                                           I'd hoped to do at least a little sewing on the poppy petals today, but I just haven't had the opportunity to do any until right now and I'm fighting to keep my eyes open.  So...maybe not tonight.  Don't want any fatigue-generated boo-boos...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Poppies, Poppies, part...7? I'm losing count...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Sew Random

Well, this has been an interesting day.

Planned to haul all my stuff to school shortly after lunch and sew till rehearsal was over at 4, then head over to church for a planned work evening with my teen girls classes.

My Sweet Baboo was to take The Flute Player to her rehearsal, then he was going to go to work for a while.

However, just as I was beginning to collect the things I would need to haul around with me for the day, I got a call on my cellphone from MSB.

'Hi...we just totaled the Cavalier.  But we're ok.'

NOT the way to start a day.  About a block from the school a little gal on her way to work just turned left right in front of them.  Apparently she didn't see them coming right at her...she was preoccupied somehow.  Fortunately they'd just gone 'round the corner so they were not up to even the 40 mph speed limit, but it was enough to trash the old clunker car.  The only injuries appear to be some scrapes from the air bags, so we'll deal with the inconvenience of carpooling it for a while.

Anyway, that totally scrapped my planned workday.  I had finished the skirt last night and took it with me when I picked up my stranded Sweet Baboo (the Flute Player had started walking to school so as not to be too late for rehearsal; one of the other moms recognized her and picked her up and took her on to school).  We went to school for just a bit; this time we put the skirt and crinoline on one of the actual poppies and it looked VERY cute.

But I can't show you any photos because the curtain has come down; all costumes are under wraps until just before show time.  You'll just have to trust me on looks cute.  :-D

I picked up enough of the remaining cut out pieces to make a second skirt, brought my sweetie home and spent the day sewing at home.  Didn't get as far as I'd like, but it was a rather interrupted day.  Actually, though, until the rest of the fabric that we ordered arrives, I'm kind of stuck.  If I get the skirt finished before we can cut more, I'm going to start working on the petals for the hat.  The more I look at those, the more I think they actually may be trickier than the skirt...they need much more support...

Anyone have any idea how to add a half a dozen hours to a standard day??? I think I'm going to need it...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Back Captcha

Sigh.  A few months back, wanting to facilitate comments, I turned the 'please prove you're not a robot' word verification off.  Everyone hates it, and the general consensus amongst the blogging community seems to be that it inhibits free commenting from real people.

I moderate the comments anyway, so I decided I could deal with eliminating the daily spam-bot posts from folks posting near gibberish wanting me to 'visit my site' if it would mean that real commentors could leave messages easier.

But I did not see an increase in real comments.

I would be ok with that, too, were it not for the fact that the spam bots have gotten nasty.

I love you, my faithful, real, occasionally commenting fellow sewing enthusiasts, but I do not want that garbage before my eyes.  The latest one didn't even land in the spam file, but in the regular comment section.

So, in the interest in keeping my blood pressure down, I have turned the captcha back on.

My sincere apologies for the inconvenience...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Work Wear 5

The Rumpled Pants edition...I am attributing the bagginess to the end-of-the-day factor and static electricity; sitting at my desk all day has obviously bagged them out.  I didn't notice the baggy until I looked at the photo.  Sigh.  La Fred's Daphne pants, made from a fairly light (for pants, anyway) cotton/lycra sateen.

But this is another 'I never put this together' moment.  The top is Butterick 4387, which is assuredly out of print, made from a 'slinky' knit I got from Emma Seabrooke about a hundred years ago at the Atlanta sewing Expo.  It really isn't what I'd call 'slinky'; it's kind of a crepe-y poly knit.  I loved the colors but, you know, circle prints are really difficult to wear due to the 'bulls eye effect'.  I did the best I could when I was cutting it out, but clothes do shift somewhat as they're worn and I just didn't want to end up with circles where I didn't want 'em.  So the top hung in the closet long enough that I was beginning to consider putting it in the donate bag.

Then, this morning, I had a flash of inspiration.  I could put a vest on...and then who cares where the circles happen to be at any given moment? 

I declare, that Burda WOF vest is probably my single most worn wardrobe item...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Poppies, Poppies, Part 6

In Which She Has Help

Got word this morning that a handful of ladies that had sewn costumes for musicals in the past would be coming to school tonight to help with the poppy skirts, so I loaded up everything I had and took it to school.

Unfortunately, my cohort who took home fabric and patterns last night was not able to come.  So we only had the fabric I had with me and the one pattern I managed to trace off before I left.

I cut petals all night as fast as I could to keep the ladies with something to do.

But they DID get the prototype skirt disassembled, and we found a spindle with a bit of floral wire that was judged appropriate for the petal edges.   One lady couched the wire to the seam allowance of two of the petals (that was all the wire we had).  I need to get some more and finish up the other three top petals and put the skirt back together for final approval.

I'm not sure I'm happy with the result; yes, it bends and holds its shape, but the nice clean lines of the petal are now not-so-clean; the wire makes the lining buckle at the edge.   Perhaps that will not be noticeable on stage...

Meantime, I cut out 12 petals from the fabric and the nylon net, and about 6 from the lining.  Used up all the fabric and lining I had....and most of the darts in those petals were sewn up.  So the petals for skirt two are well started.

I immediately iced my low back when I got home.  It feels better now. ;-)

It's going to be Friday before I have another chance to sew at all, I fear.  Sigh.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Poppies, Poppies...Part 5

I took the prototype skirt into the costume shop today; I wanted to see how it looked with the crinoline under it.

We found the box with the red crinolines in it and were quite disappointed when we pulled them out and found that they were basically just nylon net real pouf at all.

But there was a green crinoline...mutiple ruffly we pulled that out and put it under the skirt.

Yes!   One of the other ladies on the poppies team is going to go online and see if she can find 5 more green crinolines.

However, the consensus was that we need some wire support along the edge of the top layer petals.  I looked at one of the local big box hardware/lumber/home stuff stores but couldn't find something fine enough.  Hancock's didn't have anything, either, although I did get some Peltex (R) to reinforce the waistbands.

The costuming leads also want a little more pouf under the center part of the petals; not sure what we'll do with that just yet; gotta get the petals themselves engineered out first.

However, the general pattern shapes got a thumbs up, so one of the other ladies took a copy of the patterns and an armload of fabric to do some cutting out.

And...well, since there was no practice tonight (strep throat has hit the cast hard), there were no castmembers available to model the skirt, so I pulled the crinoline on over my jeans, then wrapped the skirt around myself, holding the back we could see how it looked.  I'm sure I was a SIGHT.  And, wouldn't you know,  the theater director came in with some guests, who saw me in the whole getup.  They all laughed, and the gentleman in the party said, 'That had better be a flower!'  

Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me, so I can't share that sight with you.  Here's the skirt laid out on the floor, proving that it was all together before I take it apart to wire the top petals...

But, alas, I have overdue office work home with me tonight; I'm going to be playing data entry catch up instead of sewing tonight...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Choir Wardrobe 0310

March choir colors are navy, tan and a range of greens (officially anything between Pantone's  'Emerald Green' and 'Grayed Jade", but, in actuality, anything with a greenish tint seems to be fair game);  I pulled out my green silk blouse #117 from the Aug 2009 issue of Burda magazine and put it with RTW  Navy Jacket and jeans.  For some reason I decided to let my hair do it's own thing's really not cut for that; I need layers if I'm going to let it go natural.  Otherwise, it's Frizzville.  But, on the plus side, it was quick to do and on Daylight Savings Sunday, that's golden.

And...lookie, it's a completed project!  The first garment to come out of my sewing nook since something like September.  I had been working on it, like, ten minutes at a time for forever, and it was close enough to done that I just went ahead and finished all the machine work before I switched the thread over to red for the poppies, and I put the buttons on last night.  It's Westcoat 108 from the May 2009 Buda.  It's made from a 'What???' fabric bought online, which was listed as a stretch poly charmeuse.  Well, it was a heavy satin...and I do mean heavy. Every time I flipped it onto a sewing table it hit with an audible slap.  Not pleasant to sew.   I'd already had one wadder from it a year ago; this was my attempt to get SOMETHING wearable from the rest.  It has lycra in it; I lined it with a blue poly/lycra charmeuse and put it together with the matte side of the fabric out, using the shiny side for the lapels.  Of course, I decided to do that just before I sewed the darts on the fabric, so the facings were all sewn shiny side out, too, since I put the facings together first.  And I sewed at least one of the construction seams with the shiny side as the good side and had to unpick it.  But perseverance finally paid off and it is DONE!

And I've probably got another 40ish minutes of work to do on the poppy skirt to get it to an evaluateable state, so I'm off.  Hopefully I'll have photos of the prototype tomorrow...

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Poppies, Poppies, Part 4

Assembly line production today; 10 petals.  I started with the most tedious part...putting the nylon net on the petals.  You'll see that I did not cut the dart out of the net; I didn't want more raw edges to snag and I had the idea that the extra net would add support to that area.


 You can see how I pinned the dart out, with the extra net  present.  After I stitched the dart, I slashed the net, pressed the dart open, then sort of rolled the net up and stitched it more or less in the ditch to the skirt seam. I used a zig-zag, as I want a bit of definition along that line.  I don't know if I will do any more quilt stitching; we may just do the other veins w/ paint.

Here's the the pile o' petals; hopefully you can see that each one has a rather bowlish shape.  Next step:  attaching them to the waistband...

I actually messed up one of the petals by sewing the lining on wrong side out; rather than undoing all the serger stitching around the edge and making a mess, I trimmed the dart really close to the stiching, folded it the other way and did a 'french dart' to enclose the wrong one.  It pulled a bit of fabric up, but all it would do is make the top bubble a bit more, which is fine with me.

Costuming, not couture.... ;-)

Friday, March 08, 2013

Poppies, Poppies Part 3

My Sweet Baboo had some minor surgery today; nothing serious but it did result in me spending most all of the day lounging around waiting rooms and not working on any of my urgent, behind and/or overdue projects.

So, after I got him settled down for the evening with a dose of pain reliever, I finally headed into the makeshift cutting room and began the process of cutting out the prototype skirt.

The first thing I had to do was convert the newspaper sample into a useable pattern.  So I pulled out my roll of examination table paper, taped a bit on to make it wider, then laid the newspaper pattern over it.  The only seam allowances I added went on the dart legs; 3/8", to be exact.  This was the first time I got to use the little freebie ruler I won and...WOOT!  that is one great little tool (I forsee much easier Burda Magazine pattern prep in my future).  Then I trued up everything and cut out my new pattern.

Then I wrote 'ARCHIVE' on that pattern and traced another one, which I used to cut out 10 petals w/lining and 10 sets of nylon net underlining.  I was stackin' and whackin' with a vengeance and managed to get the skirt cut out before midnight.  Barely.

Now comes the real test...will it sew up to look like I hope it looks?

By Sunday night I should know the answer to that one....

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Poppies, Poppies pt. 2

Here's the pattern I came up with for the petals on the poppy skirt.  I found a few more images of the costume thanks to internet searches and I decided that the skirt really *isn't* made of separate petals, but of a circle skirt that has been scalloped at the bottom.

I met Madame Costume Mistress at the local Hancock's on an, um , extended lunch hour today and we looked at fabric and discussed mathematics and the necessity to be at least somewhat frugal and, wow, a double-layer lined circle skirt was going to run into some yardage.  MCM had a flash of brillance...that we could cut the pieces cross-grain on the poly shantung we found and 1) the slubs on the shantung would be running 'down' the petal and 2) we would use the least amount of fabric.  So...petals it is.

I think I will add a 3/8" seam allowance to the dart, but I'll just use a 1/4 seam around the outside of the petal; it will be lined to the edge so there's no reason to worry about a big seam allowance that will only need to be trimmed off later; and the pattern is long enough and wide enough that I can afford a seam allowance out of it.

We bought all the pertinent fabric in stock at the local store and put in an order for bunches more.  I brought home what we had and have the assignment to create a prototype skirt by the first of next week.  Fortunately, this looks like it's going to have a lot of small processes so it will be an ideal assembly-line project; the fiddly paint/trim work will be done by folks who adore doing that sort of thing.

But...I brought actual job-type work home with me tonight, since I missed 2 hours of work today; I may or may not get anything cut out.  We'll see.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Poppies, Poppies...

So, I have my first assignment...I am on the Poppy team.  The lady who is the team leader perused the web last night and came in  today with a printout of the photo of a lollapalooza of a poppy costume.

It so happens to have been taken from the website of a lady who makes floral costumes for art pieces. 

The poppy is on Jenny Gillies' website cover page, you MUST click through and see all of the costumes that she has made.  Ooo and ahh over them, then click back to the cover page and have a look.

Our director and the costume mistress both were smitten with that.

So, the question is, how can a handful of high school costumers come up with something passably close?

My job is the pattern drafting for the skirt and possibly a bodice, as our costume director does not want strapless costumes; we will likely have a simple fitted back-zip bodice on the top with a large bustier/cummerbund type deal with all the wavy black/gold pieces...although ours will probably be green, not black.

In looking at the skirt, it appears the underlayer is...or can be approximated with... a circle skirt w/a scalloped hem, possibly over a crinoline; the second layer, though, is 5 dart-shaped petals supported underneath by netting and possibly some wire.  We are in agreement that the fabric should be poly taffeta.

Once the skirt is assembled, I'll work on the bodice and then the petals for the hat and then I will move on and leave the painting and detailing to someone else.

So, tonight I have to come up with a paper model of that darted petal.  I'm going to do it from an 8x10 piece of paper first, then I'll see what I can do about enlarging it.

Gonna put those math skills to work.

And, of course, I am going to watch the comments for any suggestions! :-)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Choir Wardrobe 03 03 13

Goodbye to February grey!  The colors for March are emerald green (Pantone's color of the year), grayed jade, navy blue and tan/beige.

If you click through to the Pantone site, you'll see that 'emerald green' covers a lot of ground...from something that looks like a deep jade to something that looks like kelly green.  Will the real 'Emerald Green' please stand up?

So I decided I'd play it safe and wear tan and blue.  Just to find out how 'emerald green' is interpreted by other folks in the choir.

It helped that I had a square rayon scarf w/ a beige floral print on a navy background (another made-from-remnant freebie; the blouse is too little but the scarf still works).

The scarf is matched up with a navy rayon/lycra jersey Jalie 965 tank top and the re-crafted khaki cotton sateen McCall's 5860 jacket.  It's pretty rumpled; this is the AFTER three services photo.  I probably should've modeled it unbuttoned, so it could be better compared to the last time I wore it so you can see the difference 4" out of the bottom front makes, but it was a chilly day and I kept it buttoned the whole time.

I do have some green in the closet that will blend with what everyone else was wearing, so maybe next week I'll pull it out.

On the costuming front, we measured kids Saturday and I spent a couple of extra hours helping our Costume Mistress pull costumes from the disarray of stored costumes (did I mention that the school moved into a new building over the summer?  I don't know what happened to a large number of the costumes...I think there is a good bit stored off site...somewhere...).

I'm assigned to the Poppies team, and I may well be part of the Yellow Brick team before it's all over.  My name is on the purchase order letter, so I am an Authorized Buyer.  Sigh....I'd much rather just put my head down and sew...but, ya do what ya gotta do.