Sunday, January 25, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 01 25 15

AND...the number one compliment of the day was for the straight hair.  I replaced the flat iron I broke two weeks ago and am finally kinda getting the hang of using the thing.  Not sure I want to do it all the time, but it is nice that I can do it the day before and it will still look I don't have to wash it again in the morning and leave the house with damp hair. 

Options are good.

Last Sunday for royal blue and black; I fudged a bit and wore a Today's Fit/ Vogue 8043  jacket made up in Fall Sky Tweed offered by Nancy Erickson about 10 years ago,  which has a good bit more white than black, but it blends well so I got away with it. ;-).  Repeated the royal blue bamboo jersey Burda Style funnel-neck top that I still haven't reviewed; I think the pattern was in the Sept. 2009 issue but I won't swear to it.

At-the-waist Coldwater jeans, since the jacket is short.

And an actual matched pair of shoes. ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Working on the SWAP

Justa little.

I have finished the muslin for the black denim jacket; actually, it's not too bad, aside from the bit that's really bad...

Here's the OOP pattern...
 I don't remember when or where I got this; but it's been in my cabinet for ages.  I really like the little pleated back peplum and have thought it would make a great denim jacket.  When I went digging through the stash for a suitable pattern for the black denim from Miriam, this one came out on top of the stack.

The shoulder looked wide and the armsceye low, though.  But, hey, it's an illustration.  The actual pattern, once made up, might not fit quite like that, right?

Well, maybe if it was a Big 4 pattern.  In this case, I believe the artist was spot on.... (Pardon the awkward bathroom selfies...)

Yup.  That combo of wide shoulder and deep armsceye means I can't lift my arms.  But it seems to fit well otherwise, so I'm going to go back to the table and 1)raise the armceye at least 1.5" and 2)tip it 1" back into the shoulder. 1".  There was excessive ease in the sleeve cap; I trimmed the front of the cap a bit (There was 1" too much ease in the front, 1/2" too much in the back) to get the muslin to work; I'll reshape the sleeve once I see how big the resulting armsceye is.

I think the bagginess in the back is due to the lightweight muslin clinging to the t shirt underneath...I didn't notice that going on when I did the mirror over the shoulder look...we'll see if sturdy denim does better. So much bagginess from the shoulders; it's hard to tell what will be left once that's gone.  It will be as good as RTW in any case, probably better....

And, for an update on my Hubby's job situation...he started a new job today.  Pretty amazing events...the story is over on the faith blog, if you're interested.  Thanks so much for all the prayers and encouragement!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 1/18/15

This is another one of those times when talking about what I wore is just...pitiful.

We had a leadership conference at church this weekend; our speaker was Wellington Boone.  He also spoke for all three church services yesterday AND a special Sunday night service last night, which lasted 4 hours and capped off 8 days of prayer and fasting.

I can't begin to tell you what this weekend has done in my spirit.  Phenomenal word and paradigm shifting.

But.  Sewing blog and all.  January colors are royal blue and black; I pulled out one of my favorite shirts ever...the silk dupioni Sewing Workshop Chopin Blouse, put it over jeans and called it good.  Kinda tricky to put on the leadership badge w/no top layer, but I just ducked into the bathroom when I needed to put it on after choir, or take it off before we went up on the platform at the start of each service (no choir for the evening service...just the on-mike team).  Awkward but do-able. 

I've finished the first muslin for the potential black denim jacket pattern; I need to rework the shoulders but I think I like the overall style.  Photos tomorrow.  Hopefully.

Meantime, I'm still processing the weekend...probably will post more to the faith blog later...

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Can't I just buy something?

There are a lot of my fellow sewing bloggers who are determining to go a whole year without purchasing any  Ready to Wear (RTW) clothing...committing to making every new garment that goes into the closet this year.

I think that's terrific.  But I'm not going to do that.

In fact, I'm trying to go the OTHER way...give myself permission to actually buy a RTW garment from time to time.

After years of making most of the clothes I own, that's a hard one.

Oh, I don't have a problem buying things like blue jeans or sweaters.  But stuff that's easy to make, or at all fitted...I just can't get myself to do it.

But, I want to change my paradigm from 'I have to make all my clothes' to 'I choose to make some lovely clothes', so instead of just looking at the pretty clothes online for inspiration, I've actually started clicking through to look at them as possibilities. 

Man, y'all. Clothes that are anything close to well made (and some that aren't) are expensive.

Scarves?  I cannot fathom paying $450 for a scarf.  Sure, it's pretty and a work of art and all, but one bad dribble at lunch... because I know I'll forget to take it off to eat...and, oy.  I have a scarf with a small hole in it because the first time I wore it, it got a chinese noodle drip.  Off to the dry cleaners, where they...I kid you not...put one of those plastic tag ties through it.  And, as if that wasn't bad enough, when I snipped the thing off at home, the tie rolled a bit and pulled a bit of the fabric up into the scissors.  So the little snaggy hole has an actual teeny oval cut right next to it. 

Nope.  Not paying more than $50 for a scarf.

Today I looked through the offerings of one particular upscale label on the Nordstrom site, found a pretty shirt-tail sweater...and then noticed that the curved bits on the hem rolled to the outside.  Or tried to, rather, and ended up just winging out. 

Any of us could've thrown it in the bin in frustration for an issue like that.  But there it was, offered for $127.  On sale.

I decided to try a service that sends a box of goodies to you for $20 after you fill out a size/style questionnaire.  The idea is that you look through the offerings and send back what you don't like.  The $20 is applied to the purchase price, and if you get everything in the box (5 items),  there's another discount.

It was kinda fun, I'll admit.  The box arrived yesterday and I had one hour before I had to leave the house so I thought I'd see what they sent.

A black knit dress...cute, but too small.  Had a stiff elastic cinched waist that would only look good on someone who actually HAS a waistline.  Not a pudgy post menopausal lady like me.  So I obviously would not be keeping the whole box.

There was a silver cuff bracelet.  Whoops, I should've checked 'Bracelets' under the 'don't send' header...they annoy the stew outta me when I'm typing on a key board, which is pretty much what I do all day.

There was a pullover sweater w/ a kangaroo pocket and a hood.  Taupe and white.  The color was a bit odd, and the sweater was just tight enough that the V-neckline...which plunged low enough that a cami underlayer would be a necessity...rippled and gaped and looked stretched out.  It wasn't, but...1/2" more girth on it and it might've been a keeper.

There was a pair of boyfriend jeans.  The cut on those was really, really cute; the length was spot on and the denim was butter soft.  But they had distress lines on them...and I am NOT a fan of the artificial distressed look...and they were just a hair too big.  I could actually pull them off and on without undoing the button/zipper.  Having lost 5ish pounds in the last month or so, and hoping that more will follow, I wasn't sure what to do with them.

The final garment was a burgundy blouse.  Pretty color, and burgundy is an annual color for the choir wardrobe in November. It had an interesting neckline w/ plether trim and the cut was good; the shoulders and bust actually fit pretty well.  But it was a poly crepe blouse (I had requested no polyester) and the sleeves were 2" too long.  But maybe I could move the button and cinch the cuff a bit....

Then I looked at the prices.  The dress and the bracelet, which were for sure going back, were $78 and $30, respectively.  The hooded sweater, which I was pretty sure was going back, was also $78.  The burgundy blouse was $68 and the jeans blew my mind at $128.  About twice as much as I have ever spent on a pair of jeans.

 Now, if any of those things had been truly wonderful I believe I would've paid the stated price for them and added something new and different to the wardrobe.  I might even have gotten the jeans if they'd been a hair snug instead of a hair loose.  If they had also been a good dark wash I probably would've gotten them. If the blouse had been rayon instead of polyester, I might've gotten that.  If the sweater had just been a pinch bigger around, or been more definitely either brown or gray, I might've kept that as well.  Aside from the two that didn't work at all, it was a box of near misses.

So, I ate the $20 deposit and sent it all back.  Left feedback so that if I decide to try again they have a little more data to work with.

And it occurred to me that the things that bugged me, bugged me because I sew.  My standards may be impossibly  high.

Back to the sewing room. ;-)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 1/11/15

...The goofball edition.

At first glance, there's nothing really wrong with today's outfit...modified Loes Hinse Oxford Pants, a funnel-neck top from Burda magazine...Sept 2009, I think, but I somehow didn't ever get a review written...and the Vogue 8305 drapey cardigan.

But look close.  Look real close.

You know you were distracted when you got dressed in the morning when you look down and see this:
The funny thing is that I didn't even notice until almost the end of 3rd service today.  I was trying to make up my mind which shoes to wear...the sturdy cushy shoes or the cute shoes...and apparently got sidetracked before I made up my mind. 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Looking back...

2014 Stats:

Fabric In: 89.625 yds
Fabric Out: 36.875 yds
Last fabric added: 12/10/14
Garments made for me: 15
Garments made for other family members: 1
Muslins:  2
Misc. Church Sewing:
1 Girls Only Grad stole
Mystery Christmas gifts: yes. ;-) (actually, a set of waterbed sheets.  7 yards out...)

Truly abysmal...I bought nearly 90 yards, but did not get quite 40 sewn.

The one true, redeeming factor for the year is that


I will totally absolve myself of all quantity issues...that represents 3 months of sewing and I've worn it and worn it this fall.

Wiping the stats and starting over for the year now.

I've already resisted a couple of tempting sales...just because, really, I don't need anything at the moment.  I need to sew what I already own.

I really want to do a SWAP wardrobe this year...and my plan includes several garments that were in *last* year's plan.  But we're going to be launching a new data base application for an affiliate ministry in the next few months, so once again, sewing time may be hard to come by.

But I'ma gonna try. ;-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Work Wear 14

Sigh.  I'm never really happy with the 'jump in front of the camera on a timer' photos, but, well, ya do what ya gotta do.

Actually wore the fuzzy cut-from-a-panel vest to work today; styled up with a RTW sweater and black jeans in boots it kinda sorta worked and I got a ton of compliments.   It does look better in person than in that photo.

I actually was considering cutting away the fuzzy edging and binding it, but every single person I mentioned that to vetoed the idea.

So,well, I guess I'll keep it.

If I'm doing caveman chic, I might as well do it all the way. ;-)

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 1/4/15

2015.  Can. NOT. Fathom. It.

But...ready or not, it's here...and our January colors of royal blue and black are pretty much repeated from Januaries past...which makes me happy, since royal blue is my Favorite Color In The Whole World.

I had a rather inexperienced photographer today; I didn't realize my scarf was so uneven and she didn't know enough to tell me.  But it's get the idea.  Lee jeans and a Lands' End sweater shell, under a blue wool flannel Silhouette Patterns Robin's Jacket...with the aforementioned scarf, which was pieced together from remnants.  

I did get one sewing related Christmas present...Edna Mode is probably my favorite Pixar character.  We have a little half wall, which is slowly being taken over by the talking Hallmark Ornaments that really have nothing to do with Christmas and just stay up year-round.  We  have 3 or 4 Muppet ornaments (Two of them belong to The Actor...), a Star Trek ornament w/ Captain Kirk up to his armpits in tribbles, and now...Edna.

She makes me smile.

You have my attention, darling.  Now speak before you lose it.

Happy New Year!