Sunday, November 30, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 11/30/14

I think I've worn this dress on the Sunday after Thanksgiving every year since 2007.  A slinky knit dress with no waistline is the perfect cover for the indulgences of the holiday week... and the burgundy color is so spot on for November.

So I went Sewing Workshop today...the new Ann's Cardigan, and a very old Cityscapes dress.  In gray rayon jersey and burgundy slinky, respectively.

Hm.  Maybe I'll wear one of my other Cityscapes dresses tomorrow...would be comfy...

Monday, November 24, 2014


I sat down when I got home and suddenly realized that my outfit for the day...Lee Jeans, Lands' End Turtleneck and cardigan from Coldwater...was totally from retail. Nothing me-made.   And I,  that really is kinda unusual.

Then I realized, no, I'd worn the Epic Trench Coat over it all against the forecasted drop in temps. 

And the scarf I wore was a hemmed remnant.

I really do almost always have on at least one thing that I've made...


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 11/23/14

Bugundy, yellow and gray are the colors for November...and I'm back to old stuff.  

It's the Burda 3116 wool/lycra trousers again,  this time paired up with my burgundy/gray brocade Sewing Workshop Tribeca top, which is, um, 7 years old and surprises me that it still fits well enough to wear.  It does tend to be a little gappy if I don't stand straight, though, so I've got a gray Jalie 965 on under it, just for insurance purposes.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is Thursday??? 

Just in case I don't get another post up between now and then, I hope everyone has a wonderful day of family, friends, food and content reflection!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why a fabric stash is a good thing...

...because you never know when the economic axe will catch you ....

We've dodged that bullet for over 35 years...but this time My Sweet Babboo got caught out on the wrong project at the wrong time and was one of the 50.

So.  We shall see.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 11 16 14

Hey, I finished a project...that wasn't just a t shirt...made from a recent purchase... in one week.


The skinny pants are Neue Mode 21670, made in 2002 from gray rayon/lycra double knit that would no doubt be labeled 'ponte' today.  They're old and fit much better when I was 20 lbs lighter, but,  hey, under the tunic no one can tell the pockets are gaping, right? ;-)

The tunic...well, it's supposed to be a Butterick 5244 and hot off the Janome. It's comfy and looks way better than I may turn into my Christmas day outfit. Who's to know the whole deal is just a glorified sweatsuit anyway, right? ;-)

If you click on the photo to look closer, there is a shadow on it that looks like I dribbled my water at lunch.  I didn't ...I've no idea what it is...but the camera battery died so that's the photo I'm stuck with today.

A couple of  hours later...Ok, I had to log back in because I wanted to share something...

This morning as we left for church, it was raining and about 42 degrees F.  I commented to My Sweet Babboo...'If this were last year, I'd really be wishing I'd have made that trench coat!...but it's THIS year, so I'm wearing the trench coat!'...and I reached into the closet and pulled it out.

I may not have tons of yards out, but having that trench in the 'Done' column is QUITE gratifying!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Lot Has Changed in 26 Years...

(This probably should be two posts, but I don't want to break up the story.  Just be warned. ;-) )

You know, I don't even remember how I found out about Sew News magazine back in the late '80's.  I do remember that I decided to subscribe  as part of my 30th year 'time to grow up and get good at something' resolution.

So much came from that decision....

Sew News introduced me to the home serger...and I bought one.  Sew News introduced me to Fashion Fabrics Club, pre-internet when they were mail-order only, and I became a swatch subscriber and my fabric stash became a reality and then started growing.

Sew News introduced me to Threads Magazine, and I subscribed in 1991.

A few years later, after internet came to our house,  one of those sources mentioned Pattern online place to buy patterns produced by folks other than the Big 4.  I would read and re-read the pattern reviews listed there, delighted to  hear even indirectly from folks who were sewing garments and doing it really well and sharing the experience.

I bought a few patterns, inspired to try something new, and an email announcement of an upcoming live chat led me to Pattern Review .  A whole site for sewing enthusiasts!  I was in Hog Heaven.  I joined up in May of 2002, although a server crash updated the start date on my profile to August.  My first pattern review, the Sewing Workshop Hong Kong Vest, was review number 470 (I just checked; the most recent review listed as of this moment was number 105,262). 

Pattern Review opened a whole 'nuther level; I found Sewing World, which has since been replaced by Stitcher's Guild at Artisan's Square.  Online fabric shopping sites, Sewing Expos, special events...ohmigoodness, places I went,  the tools I acquired and the things I learned (and the fabric and pattern influx that has really only  recently begun to subside a bit...).

And, you know, it was via those discussion boards that I discovered blogging...and, ultimately started my own blog.

I can pretty much trace it all back to Sew News.

The irony is that, after a number of years of subscribing to both Sew News and Threads Sew News began to change to be more of a chatty ladies magazine with crafty DIY articles...and I let my subscription lapse.  Reupped  a few years later, to see if it had improved and...not so much.  So I didn't renew.

However, a couple of months ago I won a subscription from a giveaway on Rhonda Buss's blog and the first issue of my gift subscription arrived this week.  In a weird coincidence, this week I also stumbled upon a file box that contained articles I'd cut from Sew News back in the day and kept.

The very first article I cut out had a dress alteration that looked similar to this...a wide Ultra Suede midriff.  This is NOT that first article...not sure why I couldn't find that...but it is one of the oldest I have (The date on it is December 1988; I later found an article on using a serger to decorate a sweatshirt from August 1987).

Note the format change... Sew News was a newspaper-like product until 1991 or 1992.

I found the original instructions for an outfit I'd made for my older daughter in 1990; she wore out the leggings and I think I made another set, but by the time my younger daughter wore it the leggings were gone and she wore the top with jeans.  There are several Sew News - inspired outfits sprinkled through out our photo albums of those growing-up years.

And...showing fashion repeats...from March, 1991, instructions for a lace top that would be right on trend today.  Maybe I should dig through those folders a little more...

And the new magazine?  Well, an early perusal is hopeful.  More sewing and less fluff than I remember.  I think I'm going to enjoy the subscription...Thanks so much, Rhonda!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

9 Year Blogiversary Give Away

I threw the names of the 15 commentors (who did not specifically request not to be in the drawing) into a box, and My Sweet Babboo drew three names:  Here are the three winners:

So, Kris C., Rita (yes, with an 'i', just for clarity...) and Sew Ruthie... if you ladies could email your address to tig77LW at yahoo, I'll get your pattern pack off to you ASAP.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on the blog this week!  It's always fun to see who's actually reading it...sometimes I kinda feel like I'm talking to myself.

I'm already thinking about what I can do to celebrate ten years next fall... :-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sewing ADD

...what happens when plans are made, new projects are cut, bagged and in the queue...

And an off-the-wall inspiration sweeps through and suddenly another project shoulders its way to the front of the line.

Somewhere around the end of last week, I decided I had to use one of the pieces of burgundy double knit that I recently received from Fabric Mart and make a new something for choir this month.

The knit is actually double-sided, with black on the reverse, but for my purposes that didn't matter.

I settled on Butterick 5244, after much deliberation, intending to use the shorter length as a tunic.

The deciding factor was the pockets.  It has pockets.

So I cut it out Saturday and began the ol' ten minutes here, ten minutes there approach to construction.

The pockets are on.

They are ugly, if you look closely, but they're on.

I'm pretty much counting on the fact that it is very unlikely that any one is going to look at them closely.

Single welt pockets in a soft stretchy double knit.  What on EARTH was I thinking?

The directions are a little disaster-making, too, as there is no instruction to actually interface the dress in the pocket area.

I did that...and thought that I could get away without the specified stay-stitching, since I had fused on the interfacing.

Um, I really think you need both.  Were I to do it again, I would do both.

So I needle-and-threaded the wobbles on the ends of the welts; not perfect, but not visible from a distance and this IS for choir, so it will only be at a distance.

Assuming, of course, that I don't put it on when it's done and think 'UG!!'.  This is a little out of my normal style comfort zone.

But I'm hoping that over gray leggings or at least gray skinny pants, it will look kinda cute.

We'll see.

(Have you entered the giveaway?  Just leave a comment before midnight tomorrow and I'll throw your name in the hat...)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 11 09 14

How often does the choir wardrobe and a classic old hippie concert intersect?

After church yesterday, we got ourselves something to eat and then hit the road for a little jaunt up to Nashville to attend a James Taylor concert....still celebrating My Sweet Babboo's 60th birthday.

We enjoyed concert...nice mix of old stuff and some new stuff, very nice lighting/video work along with the music, and, the best part, time spent with my favorite guy.  Our seats were in front row of the balcony of the arena...not good for someone who tends to acrophobia...but I managed.

But, wow, the concert didn't start till was after one AM when we got home.

He actually took some time to sign autographs at the start of the second set...which was utterly charming, but I found myself thinking, 'People!  Let him sing!  You're cutting into my sleep time!'

Old Hippies.... lol...

So...with gray, burgundy and yellow to choose from, I went with gray.  Well, silver is gray, right?

The dressy CWC jeans, the Jiffy Pop top, and woo/lycra blend Loes Hinse Bolero Jacket that's, like, 10 years old... It was fine for both church and concert, although to be honest, pretty much anything would've done for the concert.  Folks ranged from t-shirt-and-ratty jeans to some pretty snazzy dressy clothes.  I was pretty much in the middle.

Oh, and I wore the Epic Trench Coat on top of it all to walk around downtown Nashville.  It's working great. ;-)

Don't forget to leave a comment somewhere on the blog this week to be entered in the 9 Year Blogiversary pattern giveaway...I'm drawing this Thursday...

Saturday, November 08, 2014


I guess because I'm celebrating the 9 year blogiversary (You have entered the celebratory giveaway, right?), I found myself wandering through the archives of the early years.

I'm kinda jealous of the blogging time I had then.

Part of me, reading that, was like, 'Wow, you posted a lot of non-sewing drivel, didn't you?'

And another part was a little proud, 'Look at how many posts you wrote!'

And yet another part was, 'Oh, you were much more open and free back then! You talked about so much more than just sewing!'

I really did do my best to post every day.  And I just about did.

But that was kinda when I had the 'one blog fits all'...trying to cover sewing and life and faith and all in one place.

But when I created the faith blog,  I didn't double my blogging. My intention was to really  just talk about the aspects of faith that were too deep for this side; do some online Bible studies and such.  But somehow more and more of the topics I used to talk about on Sew Random ended up there.

Because this was the sewing blog, you know.

I didn't even realize I had really cut back on the 'random' part of the blog until I reread the old stuff and saw how much 'random' there really was.

The 'random' really came from the challenge to write a blog post every day.  When life got too demanding (read: paying job entered the equation), I let myself off the 'blog daily' hook.

Instead of writing to write, I began to write only when I had something pertaining to sewing to talk about.  Or something pertaining to faith issues on the other blog.

Random life stuff kinda fell by the wayside.

So, in the blogiversary week, I'm going to make myself a little challenge...

Get the 'Random' back in the game. ;-)

A random bit for the day:

As I was typing away, Frisco (the sewing assistant kitty) came up behind my desk chair and commenced to meow.  Took me a minute to realize she had brought me a pipe cleaner (twisted into a circle -- one of her favorite toys).  I threw it, she retrieved it.  I threw it, she retrieved it.  Repeat several times...then she carried it off and I went back to typing.  A few minutes later, she was back rubbing on my leg, meowing, and the pipe cleaner was at my feet again.  Repeat entire scenario.  Go back to typing.  Repeat again 3 minutes later.

Life's more fun with kitties. ;-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

It's Been 9 Years...

Sew Random was actually birthed as a place to share the frantic costuming journey for the Rock Family Worship Center 2005 production of 'The Gospel According to Scrooge'.  I'd set up the costume shop in October and nearly monopolized the costuming thread on Pattern Review as I described the first projects...

But,as my life was consumed by that massive assignment and I felt compelled to share it with folks who might 'get  it' just a little...two things happened.  First, my older daughter made some comment about something, stating, 'Oh, that's so random!'  and Kathleen Fasanella sent me a PM on Pattern Review rather out of the blue,  encouraging me to start blogging.


'Sew Random' first appeared on Nov. 4, 2005.  I did really, really well at it for a while, blogging nearly every day until I returned to the workforce in early 2009. In 2008, I created a second blog, Beer Lahai Roi, to discuss more in depth topics about faith that I really didn't feel fit well here.

It has been a wonderful journey; I've been challenged, made new friends, found sewing resources, gotten crucial help...and documented the creation of stage costumes, ministry costumes,  special event costumes,  SWAP wardrobes, an epic garment or two, lots and lots of knit tops, and a wadder or two, outfitted myself for church choir...and learned a smattering of HTML and whined about the impermanence of web photo hosting.

My sewing production has dropped dramatically since I started back to work, as has my blog posting, but it's still a wonderful place to connect and share and, while I may hit a point where posts are few and far between, I don't think I'll ever quit blogging entirely.

So now's my opportunity to thank everyone who stops by Sew Random...whether you subscribe or not or comment or not...I really and truly appreciate each and every one who comes by.

So....drumroll...a little reader appreciation.  I dug out 9 patterns that I decided to give away...mostly because I have more patterns that I can reasonably expect to make in my lifetime...and because, you know, patterns should be sewn instead of occupying space in a drawer.

I pulled some oldies but goodies, some indies, some that are nearly duplicates of other patterns I own and some that I just thought would be nice to put in a giveaway.  Last year I put 8 patterns into a bundle and sent them all to one person, this time I've got three  three-packs and I'll draw three names.

So, if you want to be entered in the drawing for a 3 pack, just leave a comment anywhere on the blog in the next week. Since Wednesdays are really, really busy, I'll take any comment that is entered between now and midnight CST on Wednesday the 12th.

You don't have to be in the US, or be on a any kind of list...just say 'hi' and you're in.

Because you took the time to stop by, and I'm grateful.

Here are the three-packs; I'll pick who-gets-what, just to keep things simple. ;-)

Monday, November 03, 2014

Chop Job The Second

Something was wonky with the light settings...and the cat hopped into every picture...but here's the second T I chopped.  I didn't take a 'before' picture of the XXL original, but here's what I had after cutting it apart and reshaping it.  It is the original length...if I get brave and trendy, maybe I'll wear it with leggings or skinny jeans... ;-)

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Choir Wardrobe 11-02-14

November has arrived with some blustery weather and new colors for the month.

The combo for this month is burgundy, yellow and gray.

So, for me, that pretty much means burgundy and gray.

The knit top came from Lands' End, but the jacket and the pants came from the sewing  room.  That's the Jalie Denim Jacket, from 2011, and the pants are wool/lycra...perfect for chilly weather...from Burda 3116, which I made in 2004.

They came out too big back in '04; I put 'em in the back of the closet and kinda forgot about them.   When I pulled them out again a couple of years ago, I was surprised to see that they pretty much fit...Middle age spread has now made them one of my favorite pairs of pants...sigh...  I suppose I should make more.

But I do need to adjust the hem a bit if I'm going to wear them with flat shoes.