Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A little work, a little indulgence

Hope springs eternal.

Even though my sewing is proceeding slower than a snail on Benadryl, somehow I manage to justify fabric purchases.

Behold the latest acquisitions:
4 pieces of knit...left to right...

Cream rayon/lycra jersey.  On sale from a vendor I haven't tried before, the service and quality were fine but, oh, my, the shipping.  Took that piece of fabric from the listed price of 8.96/yd to 13.89/yd, once the math was done.  Sigh.  Don't know if there's an optimal amount to purchase to minimize the shipping cost...may or may not try them again to find out.

All in search of a white or near-white knit that is not translucent.   Still searching.

The rest are from Fabric Mart's recent knit sale.  The first, a cotton/lycra interlock knit in a bright cherry red; thinking comfy tunics but we'll see.  The other two pieces are a true windfall...I ordered 2 1/2 yards, but as it turned out, my order came in just as the bolt of poly/rayon/lycra double-sided doubleknit was at the end of the road...and they did not have 2.5 yards in one piece.  So they sent me 2 - 2yd pieces.  Black on one side, burgundy on the other.  It feels wonderful.

I see something colorblocked in my near future from this. ;-)

But I am working away on a project...little bit by little bit.  You can see the pattern behind the fabric; I'm tracing/doing the first-pass alterations on McCall's 6436, looking for the Basic Shirt TnT pattern for the white shirt that was supposed to be in the SWAP in the early part of the year.  I've been tracing about one-two pieces each time I can grab a minute...I'm about done tracing.  I'm going to pull out some of the inexpensive shirting I've got stashed and make a test run on it.  So far I've shortened the sleeves, narrowed the shoulders and adjusted the curve on the front hem slightly.  I will have to reduce the circumference of the sleeve cuff; true to what I have observed with the Palmer/Pletsch patterns, the cuff is HUGE.  It looks like I'll need to shorten it about 1 1/2 inches, and adjust the sleeve accordingly.  But I'm almost ready to put fabric on the table.

This fall is shaping up to be really, really busy; I think all Saturdays in October are booked.  I'm beginning to despair of getting my last SWAP plan finished before the next one kicks in...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 9-28-14

Last Sunday in September.

My head is spinning....just doesn't seem possible...

So, this is the end for the gray, black and turquoise color combos.   And I've got on RTW jeans,  a Jalie 965 tank top made from a not-really-very-stretchy cotton knit under  Burda magazines' 5/2009/103A top in a graphic black/gray/turquoise/white print poly knit that fit a HECK of a lot better 10 pounds ago, and my black rayon jersey Vogue 8305 drape front cardigan that was not loved when I  made it, but about 2 years later it suddenly became a core wardrobe piece.  It will wear out soon; I should think about replacing it.

I'll be out of town next week, so October's orange/brown/tan/fancy-mustard yellow combo will show up in a couple of weeks.

I think I have enough orange and brown that I won't need to do tan or fancy-mustard yellow.  Maybe. ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 09 21 14

Yeah, I know, I know.  But the monitor on the computer died Sunday afternoon, and this is the first chance I've had to post the photo since we got it replaced. :-)

September colors are gray, black and turquoise...and the temps have been Alabama-fallish, that is, it didn't get above 80 on Sunday so I could get away with wearing a long sleeved T. 

Anyway, I'm making good use of the new Ann's Cardigan, with  a rayon knit print 2-2009 Burda magazine 108 boat neck top.

And somebody's jeans...Coldwater, I think.

I love, love love that print on the t...the colors are just perfect.

But...the fabric has fuzzed and pilled, the neckline has stretched out...I think this is going to be its last season.  :-(

And I definitely need to work on the upper chest/shoulder on that cardi before I make it again.  It's as good as Ready to Wear, I think...but I sew.  I can do better. :-)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Trip Coming Up...

As part of the whole transition thing I've been walking through (I've only referenced it here...the bones of the story are over on the other blog), I've got the opportunity to spend a week at Rita Springer's DIVE school (no, it doesn't involve large bodies of water; it's a week-long worship intensive).

It's something I've wanted to do since I first heard about it something like 6 years ago, but I didn't have the time or the resources to do it. But, since I'm not teaching teens at the moment, I have the time, and I had some Christmas money that had not yet been spent and My Sweet Babboo had some Frequent Flyer points available and...so, I'm going.

All the deep introspective details will be dealt with over on Beer Lahai Roi; here, I'm going to be practical.

I want to pack a week's wardrobe in a carry on bag.

I am not a traveler, truth be told.  Last time I took a plane trip it was 1999.  I'm not even sure I know how to do it anymore.

I'll learn.

Anyway, this is where the wardrobe concept comes into play.  Can I really and truly put enough stuff in a small bag to get me through a week?

It helps that this is not a fancy event; we won't be doing much that requires a range of gear.  Casual is the word.

Oh, yeah, it's in Dallas, so I don't have to worry about it being cold.

So, I'm thinking I'll pack black and gray and a few brights that will work with them.  Take my grey denim jacket and wear one of my knit cardis.  One pair of pants on the body and three more in the bag.  6 knit t's.  Necessary underpinnings; shoes and socks on the plane and sandals in the bag. PJs.

I don't know if I'll have time to sew any new anything before I go...it's in just two weeks...so it's going to be a little bit of a personal challenge to see if all the wardrobe-thinking I've been doing is going to pay off with a workable travel wardrobe.

Woo Hoo!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 09 14 14

This month's choir colors are turquoise, gray and black...but this is all about the jacket.

Jeans and a gray T under the jacket are not even worth noting; but I love love wearing that jacket.

Vogue 1100 , in a tropical weight wool that I got for a song from a Fabric Mart sale several years ago.

Even though there is nothing the least bit figure-flattering about that jacket, I get compliments on it every time I wear it.

It sure doesn't make me look skinny...but it's fun to wear just the same. :-)

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 09 07 14

First Sunday in September and the choir colors have changed to black, gray and turquoise.  So we have black jeans, a black sleeveless RTW sweater, a scarf cobbled up from scraps about 15 years ago (really...there's a piecing seam in it that shows if it's not turned right) and the hot off the machine gray cardi, that's so new I haven't even published the pattern review yet. [ETA: here's the review]

Still figuring out the new hair.  So far, the best approach has been to wash it, goop it up with product and then...don't touch it.  The more I fuss with it the frizzier it gets....

So it's an exercise in self discipline. :-)

And I  need to clear out the cobwebs in the foyer.  Again.  yeesh...

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Still needing that gray cardi...

I decided last night it was time to get on it and make that replacement gray cardigan.

I used a different pattern than the one I was replacing; I've made 4 or 5 of those pleated Jalie cardis and thought I'd try something different...this was Ann's Cardigan from The Sewing Workshop.

Now, I traced and altered this pattern back before the trench coat, so...yeah...

Note to self...make notes!!!

I'd washed the fabric and discovered, to my dismay, that there were holes in it.  Mostly fairly near the selvedges,  but there were a couple that were pretty much in the center.  I cut it out, more to make sure I could than anything else.  I was able to squeeze the pattern on around the holes, which were only on half of the piece...one end was fine.

So I was saved from complaining to the vendor about it...it was ok.

And, having gotten it cut out, I decided to just sew it up...choir colors include gray for September, so I can wear it tomorrow.

However, there were issues.

I altered up one thing with the cardi; it is designed to have a single-layer collar.  The guide sheet is not illustrated correctly, as it shows the right side of the collar rolling out.

If you sew the collar to the body right sides together, as shown, then it is the WRONG side that is flipped to the outside, not the right side as illustrated in the guide.

Which means the hem allowance will show.

Now, that will not matter to a number of folks, but I didn't want the hem allowance showing on the front like that.  So I altered the collar piece...I doubled the width, and added a seam allowance at center back.  That meant that I have a double-thickness on the collar, which is fine with  me; that's the way my old standard Jalie cardi is constructed.

But I forgot to make a note of how much of a seam allowance I allowed at the bottom.  The hem is 3/4"; I just assumed that I had not changed it and I sewed a 3/4" seam allowance on the bottom edge of the collar.

Wrong.  I apparently allowed a 3/8" seam, because I have some easing happening at the lower edge where the drapey front bit meets the collar.  The collar covers it up, but it would've been better had everything matched up properly.  However, I really believe that is my fault and not the pattern.

Then, when I pressed the sleeve cap after putting the sleeve in, I found a small hole in the very top of the left sleeve cap, just a pinch outside of the seam allowance.  And I dabbled on a wee bit of Fray Check on the inside, hoping it would not soak through and stain the outside, because I had to do something to keep that hole from growing.

Wrong there, too.  There's a spot.

And, apparently the other sleeve hit the card that I was using to dab the Fray Check off of, because there's  also a spot on the lower part of that sleeve.

Now, so far as choir attire goes, none of this matters, because it's not going to be visible at all from the stage.

But the upshot is that the new cardigan isn't really in much better shape than the old one it's supposed to replace.

Arg, arg and arg...  (the spot that is visible in the photo on the left sleeve is a smudge on the camera lens, not the Fray Check spot).

So...I'll wear it for choir, and keep an eye peeled for more gray jersey.  Someday I'll have a good one...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Time for a change...

But maybe not a HUGE change...

 I was really waffling on the whole hair thing.  This has pretty much been the style for the last 2ish years, and I did basically like it...but it was hot and heavy and I just wanted something lighter.

So a trip to the hairdressers left a pile of hair on the floor:
And I've got a new 'do!

I think this is kinda similar to a haircut I had about 6 or 7 years ago...she took off about 4" of length but whacked a BUNCH out of the heft of it with the thinning shears and razor.  It feels SO much lighter...

Monday, September 01, 2014

Two more in the 'done' column...

From some knit that I picked up from the flat fold table at Hancock's earlier this year... I had 1 5/8 yards, and I managed to get two tops from it, by careful cutting.

Very careful, in fact, because the fabric was flawed...somehow it was knitted tighter on one side than the other in a couple of areas; the black stripes were quite noticeably narrower as they approached that side and the fabric was rather puckery in places.

So I decided to use a single layer layout, so I could make sure the stripes were square all the way across.  Which meant I needed whole pattern pieces for the front and the back.  I'd been putting off making those, because I was going to have to tape things up and, well, it was going to be something of a nuisance.

But then I happened to think of the rolls of Swedish tracing paper I'd bought at the Expo last spring...I could fold it, then trace the front and back on the folds and cut out a whole front and a whole back.

And, with a whole pattern...I decided I could do the long-pondered alteration for my asymmetric shoulders and cut the left shoulder a half inch narrower.

Don't have a photo yet, but that left shoulder is spot on.

And the stripes are reasonably straight. ;-)

I made the Jalie Twinset T again, and Simplicity 2603 .  I decided to cut the neckline bands on the cross grain for the Simplicity top, for accent, so I interfaced both the band and the band facing to stabilize it.   Still had a little distortion, but it was minimal and I don't think anyone but me will really notice it.

I'm so pleased with the shoulders on these that I might use those whole-piece patterns and a single-layer layout even if I don't have to match anything...