Sunday, June 28, 2015

New Territory

No choir post this weekend...we were out of town, so no choir. ;-)

But the time has come for me to face up to some sewing that NEEDS doing but that I have not been enthusiastic about.

Home dec stuff.

I've been accumulating the various required goods and such from Hancock's during sales in the past year or so, and it's all big and bulky and needing to be out of the way.  So, with plenty of items to wear for the next couple of's time to face the giant and tackle my fears of wonky seams, lumpy corners and ill fitting covers.

The first item up is a cushion for our porch swing.  I got a foam slab from Hancock's...on sale, and with an additional small discount as the foam was damaged on one end.  But it was well oversized so the damaged area is easily avoided.

I pulled out a utility knife and hacked it down to the correct size.  It wasn't beautifully even...I had to cut each side 3-4 times, so it's a little jagged...but it'll do.  I made a slipcover out of an old sheet so that I can slide the cushion in the cover once I get it made.

I got some outdoor fabric from Hancock's last year; I probably have way more than I need but I'm allowing for goofs and re-dos. ;-).  I got two 22" zippers, which I will tack together so that they zip from the center to the edges, and install that whole assembly on the back side.  I need to get some bias tape to use for ties, so that I can secure the cushion to the swing; I thought I could use the same fabric but the upholstery fabric is really stiff so it's not going to make nice ties.

I've also got some square pillows to cover for the chairs we have around a table on the porch.  Mostly because I'm a shrimp and without a cushion on the chair it feels like I'm a little kid pulling up to the table.  I'll use the same fabric, and I'll make envelope-style covers, for which there conveniently are instructions in the current issue of Sew News

I also have foam slabs and some upholstery hopsack style fabric to replace our dinette chair cushions.  The table and chairs was a flea market, not used...back in 1996 and, well, it wasn't terribly high quality furniture.  The cushions have gone flat and the fabric just looks tired and faded.  I don't think there's going to be much sewing involved with those...just cutting the foam to size and then wrapping fabric around the foam-and-chair-seat and fastening it down with a staple gun and screws.

So it should spruce/comfort things up considerably when I finish it, but I have to admit this is not my preferred kind of sewing.  So I'm gritting my teeth and, with the exception of the fabric I have en route from a sale-I-couldn't-resist-because-I've-been-wanting-that-fabric-for-ages, I'm not going to let myself get anything new until it's done.

I find that is usually sufficient motivation to stay on a long term tedious task...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Workwear 19 - New Pants

Photographed late last night : a brown rayon blend jersey Jalie 2682 top , which is a great basic, and a rumply denim jacket from the original Coldwater Creek that, to be honest, I've never really connected with but wear because I don't have another white denim jacket...yet...are teamed up with the newest addition to the wardrobe:  striped linen Stretch and Sew 704 Quick and Easy pants.  This is the 3rd pair of pants I've made from that pattern and, once you get the welt pockets in, there really is nothing to them.  But this is a 'no side seam' pants pattern and, to really see what happens w/ NSS pants that have a tapered or narrow leg, you need to click on the picture to make it bigger.

You can see how nice and vertical those stripes are above the knee, but, wow, check out the tilt on the lower part of the leg.

That's because the grainline is being pulled in by the bias cut inseam.  The stripe runs vertically down the outside, but the only way to taper a NSS pants leg is to  angle in the inseam.  There's a little bit of baggy that happens right around the knees on these pants as well, and, as it's not visible from all angles, I think it has to do with the skewed grainline. 

Now, this isn't necessarily awful...just something to be aware of.  It would not be nearly so obvious in solid or randomly patterned fabric.  And it's not even terribly noticeable here...unless you're looking for it.

These are actually very, very comfy pants.  The fabric came from last month's trip to Textile Fabrics in Nashville; I washed it in hot water and dried it 3 times before I cut it.  The selvages frayed a little in a couple of places and I had a ton of lint in the dryer screen, but the fabric is wonderfully soft and drapey now.

I bet I wear these a lot this summer...twisty stripes or not. :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Choir Photo 062115

June choir wardrobe colors are black, gray and hot pink.

Black/white pinstripe pants that are a modification of Loes' Hinse's Oxford pants, black poly suiting Bistro Jacket, also by Loes Hinse, and one of my go-to summer knit patterns, Simplicity 2603 in hot pink rayon jersey.  All of this is more than a couple of years old, but that's ok.  I kinda feel like the wardrobe is working when I pull out lonGstanding wardrobe residents. ;-)

I finished my brown stripe linen pants yesterday and are planning to wear them to work tomorrow.  They may be a bit rumpled by the time I get a photo, but I'm going to try to post two days in a row ;-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Workwear 18

Because I just plain forgot to take a choir photo on Sunday.

But this is a better 'me-made' photo anyway; I wore a print jacket that I'd made on Sunday, but the rest was RTW.  Today, it's a totally me made outfit.

And it's, like, old.  But I have never put this combo together before.

The pants are New Look 6203, and yes, that review is 12 years old.  They have hung in the closet so long that the wide drapey pant is back in style.  These are made from a crinkled lyocel and are cool and breezy.  Paired up with a Jalie 965 tank top  in a grayed blue rayon/lycra jersey ...and that was only the second top I made from that pattern in, oh, 2006?    My old faithful gray Jalie 2919 cardigan to ward off the air conditioning chill and I'm in about as comfy an outfit as can be imagined.

Good thing those pants were a smidge on the big side when I made 'em in '

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Blast off!

Whew.  Long day...and three more coming.

But we successfully finished the data entry before the end of the evening, so I feel pretty confident that we'll be able to do it all on Wednesday when it must be done before the bad guy repents and the ice cream melts...

With The Actor, who is a member of the Omega Squadron, codenamed Owl, who is wearing the shirt I made to wear in the pirate-themed crusade ten years ago.  You can see the  'punking up' I did to the brown suit.  Not extreme, but it worked really well alongside the others.    The children's sanctuary where we were doing our data entry got progressively cooler as the night went on; I was really warm as things were cranking up but by the time we finished I was glad of the jacket.

And then I went to the sanctuary where everyone was waiting for the final points announcements and the final assignments for tomorrow.   Where it was quite warm.

I left my costume pieces kinda spread out in my office to air out before I have to put them on again tomorrow. 

The kids are having a ball.  And I think the grownups are, too. ;-)

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Unadorned Suit

Here's the steampunk costume with no steampunking yet.  The Jacket is Vogue 1132, and the skirt, well, I started w/ Folkwear's Walking Skirt and made it actually big enough to fit and, in a questionable move, added front inseam pockets, as there is no sideseam and the thought of making an entire outfit w/no pockets in it made me feel claustrophobic.  But I set them a bit low and they're not as invisible as I'd like.  Still, it would do to hold a kleenex in a pinch.

The jacket needs more structure.  There is interfacing in the collar, and on the front facing, and, with the shoulder pads, that's it.  I thought about adding more but given the time constraints and knowing that this jacket will not see much actual wear...costume not couture...I just went with the instructions.  Were I to actually make it for real life, I would interface the entire front and add a bit to the upper back and possibly put a floating shield in the front upper chest to eliminate the drapey business that shows up  in the photo.

And I would insist that the photographer make sure the pepblum is arranged nicely before photographing it.

We have no choir tomorrow; the set for the family event takes up the entire platform and there's nowhere for us to stand.    But I will hopefully have a photo of the whole outfit all costumed out for the data processing chief, Agent Abacus.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Choir Wardrobe 5/31/15

...a day late.  Yesterday was a jam-packed day; I barely managed to get a photo during the 90ish minutes we were at home.  And the light washed the color out completely; I thought I'd have a good photo of the lavender linen top but it just looks pale pink.

Oh well.

Lavender Herb, black and gray were the colors for May,
I have embroidered rayon/linen Stretch and Sew 704 pants, Vogue's 8305 cardigan in black rayon/lycra jersey and the Cutting Line Designs My Heart's AFlutter shell top from what is actually, really, lavender linen.

The last time I wore the cardigan, I pulled it off and got a glimspe of daylight showing through.  There were some places that the seams had popped (it's pretty stretchy) but the fabric is just honestly wearing out.  It's really thin in some places and some of those seam holes were fabric failure.  I did some quick and dirty mending on it but it is now on my 'replace asap' list...

The costume jacket is finished to the button and buttonhole.  I think I"m going to hit the skirt next before I switch up the setup on the sewing machine.

Or maybe I'll just pull out the Kenmore and make a substantial cam buttonhole...