Monday, December 31, 2018

The Sewing has started for SWAP...

At least, it's started on the Stitcher's Guild site.  I'm not going to even decide what I'm doing first until I see what Janice's picks are for the January wardrobe sets.  Pants and cardi in the main neutral with an accent top?  Accent pants w/ neutral top and cardi (twinset)?  Or will she do something other than pants?  I kinda doubt that...she has long maintained that a good basic pair of pants is the best first garment in wardrobe building.  But she has used a different neutral/accent combination every year so far...and with three pieces in the January set, she's pretty well exhausted the combos already.  So I'm not sure what we'll see when the posts go up.

But I've been digging around on the SG site and found that there have been some more definition/explanation added to the rules, one of which has me wondering if I can actually meet the requirements AND stick to my 12-months 12-outfits plan.  See, I'm required to pick two neutrals...which isn't at all hard, but I can only use 5 total pieces of additional fabric for the accents.  In other words, I couldn't have black and gray for my neutrals and then have two royal blue pieces made from different fabrics...if I had two royal blue pieces, they would have to be from the same fabric.

So that means a MINIMUM of six garments from the two neutrals, unless I manage to squeeze multiple garments from a length of fabric.  Twinsets R Us and all.

This may complicate things; if the picks for the month happen to be all accent pieces I could be in trouble.

But I have decided on ONE Epic Trench Coat from 2014 has never actually made it into a SWAP wardrobe; it was the only piece of the plan I actually finished that year.  And it will work well with the color scheme, so it's going to be my pre-made garment.

Which means I can't use the taupey brown again, as I don't have any more fabric to use for even shorts or something.

So more pondering, with decisions to be made this week after the new scarf inspirations and the January choices are up.  I'm kinda curious to see what scarves are chosen this year; I confess, last month I did a pretty thorough look through the Hermes site and picked out six scarves that I think met her criteria for wardrobe I'm curious to see if I guessed right.

Just so Facebook has a pic to put with the post when I link it up, here's a reminder of the inspiration scarf for this year's new wardrobe:

In other news, I ordered some more dark green fabric in case we use it again in choir next December.  A piece of poly/lycra stretch velvet, which I hate sewing and am not fond of wearing, but the COLOR was just gorgeous.  A yard of sequin-encrusted lace and  some forest green poly chiffon.  No pictures, because my cutting table is currently in use as a Christmas wrapping station (oh, yes, we traveled for the holidays so our family Christmas gathering will be January 1st...the 8th day of Christmas, for those who track such things.  I still have the trees twinkling and the Christmas music playing and everything.  Bucking the culture, but it works for us.... ;-)

2018 sewing recap post coming sometime soon...not that there's that much to recap, lol.  Next year should be different...

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Another top done...

Hanger shots are pitiful...but, I probably won't get this worn till next week, and then the festivities will prevent a true blog post.

Last January, I ordered a couple of pieces of forest green knit...a 4-way jersey and a ponte...because we had been using that dark green color in choir in December and I had, like, nothing. 

Sure enough, the forest green came up again this year.

So I pulled out my jersey, and discovered that it had a serious void running all the way across the fabric about 7" from the end.

Then I remembered...I think this came from the roll ends page, and had a note about a flaw.

So, well, I cut it off at the void and then had to pick the pattern based on the length of fabric I had left.  I had intended to make Vogue 8691with the flouncy bits because I thought it would move so pretty, but, well, there just wasn't enough.  I played with some other patterns, but it pretty much boiled down to a plain T...or I could make 8691 without the flouncy stuff.

So I squeezed the 8691 onto the fabric and had enough, since I was cutting the neckband from the waste bit past the flaw.

But, the season being what it is and all, it laid on the cutting table for a week and a half or so before I finally cut it out...and I made myself cut it out before I started wrapping Christmas presents (the cutting table is also the Christmas wrapping station...isnt' it?).  And then it sat on the sewing machine table for another week or so.

I wasn't in choir the first two Sundays anyway; last week I made do with basic black and a black and green scarf.   I won't be in choir next week, either, and I don't know if I'll get laundry done in time to wear it on the 30th.  But I have it now.

And it would look better a bit longer.  But there just wasn't enough fabric for me to add even an inch and a half to the pattern, so I just went with what I had.  Maybe I'll hunt around and add lace or something sheer to it later....but it'll do for now.

I clicked through on Janice's links from the December Outfit-a-month post and, based on her recommendation,  splurged on a Lands' End sale and got a pair of dark green stretch velvet jeans and, except for being a little long (I didn't order petite), they actually fit well.  And they look good with the sparkly gold print on forest green long sleeved T I bought to go with them.  And, I believe they will work well with this top also.  So I've pretty much got the Christmas party outfits set, even if I don't wear the dark green for choir this month.

Maybe I'll clear the Christmas prep off the cutting table and see if I can squeeze in one more top...ever the optimist...

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Bravery required....

The Alabama State Royal Ranger Leadership retreat was the last weekend in October; always a nice break to get away to the state AG conference center...which is a beautiful spot a couple hours south of us.
Every year, missionaries come in to share their ministry; this year, we had both home and foreign missions represented....including a young couple working in India.  One of the areas they are working in had a lot of women with very little opportunities, so they began a small business, employing the ladies to sew from home making Kantha quilts.  They taught the ladies how to sew the quilts and now these ladies actually have a marketable skill and can help their families.

They  had some small and medium blankets with them for sale, plus scarves and headwraps.

I got excited.  I'd seen so many GORGEOUS projects made from Kantha quilts.  It was quite a challenge to go through the pieces they'd brought to find something that I could use.  The largest blankets they  had with them were medium, which are about 40" wide and 6 feet long.  I could get a jacket front and back from one piece, but I needed another piece for the sleeves.  Finally I found a medium blanket and  a  small blanket with comparable pinks and close-enough greens.  The  larger piece is 5 saris thick (two outer ones plus three layered inside) while the smaller one is 3 saris thick (only one inner for batting).

They have a website, with quilts available, as well as a link to meet their artisans and learn their stories:

 ReMade India

The blankets have labels with the names of the ladies who made them.  Whatever I make, the labels are going to be part of the finished product.

First issue:  deciding on a pattern to use
Second issue: Placing the pattern on the quilts to best use the fabric design
Third issue:  Being brave enough to cut into it.

Not sure when this is going to happen...but I gave myself the challenge to finish it so I can wear it to next year's conference. ;-)

Monday, November 19, 2018

A little charity sewing...

One of the featured elements of any gathering related to Alabama Royal Rangers (Boys ministry program similar to Boy Scouts, only more faith-based) is an auction to raise money for missions.  Items range from gear for the 18-century frontiersmen auxiliary group to Ranger collectibles (patches, etc) to home decor and jewelry (because we need something for the ladies, too) if it's a wives-included event.

The annual sectional Thanksgiving dinner is one such event, so I made a TSW Tamari Apron for my contribution:

It's terrible to can't hang it up, because it's worn on the diagonal....head and right arm through the loop on the right side, and it ties to the other end in the back.

The fabric was leftover from my first attempt at a circle table cloth, so it's upholstery cotton canvas.  Which means it's Scotchgarded and stain resistant...perfect for an apron, yes?  I made the ties out of bias tape instead of the canvas, which I felt was too heavy to tie easily.

It got $25 at the auction (I did pull a friend up to model it, lol).  A fair price.

I'm off from work this week, but not much sewing is likely to get done. Too much pre-holiday housecleaning to do.

The Actor is coming home for Thanksgiving (maybe I should change his moniker since he's not that involved in theater...still, children's ministry IS largely performance art, so maybe it still works...) and the married kids will be with us this year.  We're totally traditional...the Macy's day parade, turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  No football here...we watch the old black and white Miracle on 34th street to usher in the holiday season.  I may even start pulling out Christmas decor this weekend, even though it's still November.  Next weekend is booked up, as is the weekend after, so, well, this may be the only chance before the middle of the month. to see how much cleaning I can get done in the next two days. 

Wishing all my US friends a blessed feast of Thanksgiving, however you celebrate!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Hit a sale....

What possessed me to click on Fabric Mart's website a couple of weeks ago?

And discover that they were in the midst of a 60% off everything sale.

So lookit what landed on my doorstep last Thursday...

4 pieces...the most expensive of which turned out to be $6.04/yd, after taking into account the discounts, the generous cutting, and flat rate shipping.

Gray cotton/poly/lycra suiting...for next year's wardrobe, the gray is good with the scarf, as is the creamy white of the denim-like stretch cotton/lycra twill.  Spring/summer, probably, as light as the colors are.  The royal blue and white was a bit of a's REALLY thin and sheer.    Not sure what I'll be able to do with it.  Not what I'd planned, that's for sure.  But the brown/white/blue print is a nice weight rayon jersey.  Haven't put it up against the scarf yet to see if it will work with the colors, but even if it doesn't it will be a good knit top.

And that's pretty much all the sewing anything I've gotten done in a month, lol.  Well...not quite.  We did a scene from the Gospel According to Scrooge at a small town 'tree-lighting' celebration last Friday, and it was, well, chilly for these parts.  I found the renmant of the army blanket I'd whacked ironing board pads from, squared up the dangly bits and made a stout wrap to keep me somewhat warm whist we haggled over Scrooge's fine linen shirt and bed linens wot we took off 'im whilst 'e was lyin' I also found one of the first attempts to make skirts for the charladies...a straight draw-string skirt that didn't work for the era...and sewed up the bottom to make a bag for 'aulin' th' spoils'....So maybe I did get a bit done   Kind of appropriate as last week (the 4th, actually) was the 13th anniversary of the day I logged on for the first time to talk about costuming the 2005 production of  Scrooge.  The plan was to just do the scene for the Friday night event, but rumor has it that we will be doing it again for a Sunday morning service in December as a 'teaser' for the revival of the show in December, 2019.

Hm.  I may have blogging material again. LOL.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

SWAP 2019 -- Pre-swap musings

The Stitcher's Guild 2019 SWAP Challenge Rules are up, pretty much anything goes.  I mean, well, there are some guidelines but they shouldn't be hard to work with. a cohesive wardrobe of 11 garments. (For the unfamiliar, SWAP = 'Sew with a plan')

So long as you start with an inspiration piece...artwork, photograph, natural object, or...scarf...

Lawsy, lawsy, if I don't participate in the SWAP next year it will be a shame, as I'm going to spend the year making a wardrobe based on a scarf.

I think I've decided to go with the hummingbird scarf.  It has more options, including gray and royal blue (which I didn't swatch...I swatched the denim-y blue), which are not in the fox scarf.
The colors in the photo are quite muted, compared to the actual scarf, so the tiles are muted, too, but at least that is something to work with.  And I may not use those accent colors....those are just some I pulled for the practice of it.  I hope to get a better that really shows the color saturation...and then I can pull the swatches better.
Now, sewing the 12-months-12-outfits, I would only have about 8 garments by the end of April...and that's if I make EVERYTHING.  Now, the SWAP rules do allow for one purchased garment, one garment made prior to, well, this week, and one garment made between now and the official start of SWAP sewing, Dec. 26.

This is going to be way more structured than the last SWAP wardrobe I did...which was all about sewing fast.  This one...I'm going to have to do some real planning and disciplined sewing.

Not my strong suit, but, well, I need clothes, so we'll see what I can manage.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Scarf Number Two: The Sassy Fox

Ok, even though I broke my piggy bank for the hummingbird scarf, I still kept an eye on the first scarf that got my attention.  There was just something about it....and when it went on sale for 30% off, I found some more quarters hiding in the corners and ordered it, too. 

It got here today.

Y'all. The colors on this one were better than I expected, too.  That's a really nice garnet red on the fox.  And the flowers that look corally are actually shades of pink.  Much better for my closet.

So now I have two superfantastic scarves to choose from.  I think every color in the fox scarf shows up in the hummingbird scarf... so if I started w/the fox scarf, I could wear the hummingbird scarf with any of it, right?

But I'm more likely to already have colors in the hummingbird scarf in the closet. And it does have royal blue, which is my, like, most favorite color in the whole world.

Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Fitting Fail

Ok, item number one on the denim cotton knit...

I decided to go with McCall's 6844, the popular cardigan from a few years back.  I'd made the long straight version and the short peplum version  with some success; I'd done a cheater FBA on it just by adding a bit of length to the front but, um, well, the scales have crept up again so I decided I'd do a real FBA, since I was going to do the short, straight version and I didn't want to mess with the shaping on the bottom.

And, you  know, FBA's are not that tough.  I did, however, mark the bust point at 1.5" below the pattern marking because, well, that's what I do routinely on McVoguerick patterns.

Or at least on Vogue and Butterick.  Maybe I need to rethink McCalls.

After I got the jacket assembled to the hems, I tried it on.

Now, mind you, I'd done the 'hold it up and check' thing several times and was expecting a very nice fit.  But...well, obviously I wasn't holding it up at the right spot.

The arrow points to the end of the (very nicely executed, I might point out) dart.

Which is a good 2" below my full bust.


Now, I thought about wearing it as is, on the assumption that 90% of the folks I encountered would just register the cardi as being slightly frumpy.  But, you know, I think I can rotate the dart up a bit.  Might not fix it entirely, because, well, you know, fabric was added  at what I thought would be the place it was needed, but at least it will be in the right line.

But as it turned out, black is allowed as a base color this month, along with the denim and mustard gold, so I'm not in quite the wardrobe dilemma I thought I was in.  Generally, we don't wear black in October because it looks so Halloweeny, but this year we had a change.  So I wore black with my jeans and some gold jewelry and I was ok.

So I'm doing some frog stitching (rip-it, rip-it) today and I'll resew the darts and have another go later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Scarf Arrived

It's bigger than I expected; I read the dimensions but it just didn't look that big on the retail site.  Maybe you can get a sense of its size, laid out on the king size bed, lol.

And, wow, omigosh, it's GORGEOUS.

So. Many. Colors.  And all of them SO much more vibrant than they looked on the retail photos. Turns out there's a lovely denimy blue, and quite a bit more brown than I thought.  The gray is more of a taupe; I do have a drape front cardigan sweater that color that I NEVER wear looks brown when I try to put it with gray garments and gray when I try to put it to brown garments.  So maybe I'll figure out how to pull it into the rotation now.

But, I gotta tell you, that scarf is intimidating.

"Do not wash.  Do not tumble dry. Do not dry in direct sunlight.  Do not use products containing bleach.  Dry Clean Separately only.  Warm iron on wrong side"

All of which I take to mean the colors are prone to bleeding.

Aaaiiiieeee...Imma gonna be skeert to wear it....

But there's a very good chance I'll use this for the wardrobe basis next year. And I've been thinking about the Plan.

Janice posts one complete outfit...clothes and accessories...per month, based on the Hermes scarfs she's selected, as an exercise.  So, here's what I'm thinking:

Look at the posts that come out on the first of the month.

Whatever she's posted (ie, pants, t-shirt, cardigan or skirt, sweater, scarf or dress, necklace, shoes, etc) is my assignment for the month.  Obviously, I'm not going to make every bit of it.  Things like jeans, sweaters, outerwear...not gonna try to make those.  BUT, since the desired end result is a coordinated closet, I WILL allow myself to select items I already have that fit.  But I can only use each item once throughout the year.  So, say I use a pair of black jeans in January...if jeans or pants come up again before the year is over, I can't use the same pair of jeans.

So I'm not really going to sewing a bunch of stuff each month; some months I'll make three things but some I'll only make one, I'm sure.  If I don't have it and can't make it, then I'll go shopping.

And I bet I have an easier time making things than buying them.  But we'll see.

I kinda doubt I find a scarf I like better than this one but I will keep looking.  You know, just in case.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Mending is Better than Spending

So, The Flute Player's employment is with the onsite daycare the church runs for staff.  Her job is toy/playroom sanitation.  Not just for the daycare, actually, but for the rooms used by the pre-school ministry during Sunday and Wednesday services as well.

This means she spends a lot of time on her knees, cleaning and disinfecting various surfaces...tables, chairs, indoor play equipment, etc.

And, those of you who have read the blog for years will remember that, growing up, she was the WORST of my four kids for putting holes in the knees of her britches.

That has not changed.

She had three pairs of pants she wore to work that were worn through.
One of them I have mended THREE times.

One I'm not sure is salvageable, due to the fact that the fabric has a high lycra content that appears to have pretty much disintegrated.  I've gotten the seams opened for mending, but I haven't actually tried to see if something sewn down would actually stay.

I finished off the third repair on the first set of jeans, and I managed to catch the third pair before it got to the flapping knees stage of the other two.  So two of the three holey pairs are at least wearable.

As mending jobs go, those are pretty ugly, but, hey, it's good enough for scrubbing toys.  Hopefully this will keep her from wearing her good jeans to work and putting holes in them...

How long do you suppose they'll hold up???? LOL.

In other news, I'm trying to make myself pick a pattern for the denim colored knits.  My first choice didn't work; wanted a cardigan out of the beefier of the two organic cottons but 1) it was cut slightly short of two yards and 2) I believe it shrank a bit when pre-washed and my first choice didn't quite fit.  So I think I'm going to trace off the shorter length of the McCall's cardigan that I've made two or three times already and go with that. 

I may have to make up a quick top first, though, to wear with my denim jacket Sunday.  So I have SOMETHING to put on, lol.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

I think I found it...

The scarf for the 2019 Wardrobe challenge: Using a scarf for the color choices, add one complete outfit per month to the wardrobe.  Janice over at Vivienne Files has been doing this challenge theoretically (she finds stuff online that would work as an exercise, using six different scarves and building six different potential wardrobes each year) since Jan 2016; here's the First Post she did on it; she calls it '12 Months, 12 Outfits Capsule Wardrobe'.

I've been looking for scarves all month; had several in a wish list at Nordstrom's that I'm watching and finally decided to order one as a very likely candidate for the basis of this experiment.

It's a bit...just a little bit...over my price range, even at 40% off at Nordstrom's, but I took a deep breath and ordered it just the same:

(Scarf: Ted Baker London Highgrove)

I think it has a combination of colors that I can work with; black and grey and white, for sure, for the neutrals, and various shades of pink/red and blue/turquoise and light green for accents.

I may find one I like better between now and Jan 1, but this was a beauty and I decided to go for it.

Especially as one of the other scarves I was watching sold out already (not the fox scarf; I'm still watching that one and might get it, too, if it goes on sale).

I'm actually kinda excited about this adventure.  Haven't done anything like this before; I hope I can pull it off. LOL.

Anyone else looking for a scarf?

Monday, September 24, 2018

A Little Fall Challenge

So, word has come that, after two months of black and white, our choir wardrobe colors for October will be gold and denim.

As in, mustard yellow.

Now, you all KNOW that mustard yellow and I are not on speaking terms.  I have one pair of knit pants in that color and that's pretty much it.

This is a major departure from our normal October colors of brown and burnt orange.

Whacha gonna do in a case like that?

I hit up one of my online suppliers and got four pieces of various denim-colored jersey knits.

Left to right...a cotton/poly/rayon/lycra blend of striated blues.  Might not be entirely the right color, but it has a surprisingly nice hand.  The next two pieces are organic cotton; one is slightly heavier and has a touch of lycra in it.  The last piece was labeled 'Heavy rayon jersey'...but somebody was smoking something when they picked that label because 1) it ain't heavy...I can see my hand through it and 2) I don't think it's got much rayon in it; it's not the least bit woody when wet.  But it was cheap, lol.

Here's my turn each one of those pieces into clothes in the next two weeks. 

Which may be a bigger challenge than I really want, given that the serger has not been playing nice with knits lately.

But, be that as it may, that means I can't overthink what I'm going to make these up into.  I need to pick patterns and sew.   At least one needs to be ready to wear by Oct. 6.  'Cause otherwise, I got nuthin'.

Monday, September 03, 2018

So ...Waddya do about National Sewing Month?

I decided I need to spend SOME time in the sewing nook. Every day.  Even if it's only 5 minutes, changing the thread on the sewing machine and serger.  Which is what it was yesterday, lol.

And I'm thinking about next year.  Crazy, I know, but if friends can take their 'college football opening game day' photos in front of a fully decorated CHRISTMAS TREE, I figure I can start thinking about sewing projects for the new year.

And here's what I'm thinking....

If you, like me, follow Janice Riggs on The Vivienne Files you know that she's been repeating a series she did last year...building wardrobes around Hermes scarves.  One outfit...generally 3 items... a month...taken from the colors in the scarf.  At the end of the year, she's got a fully coordinated wardrobe.

So, I've begun to scout the internet for a suitable scarf from which to do likewise.  I may or may not make each of the three items in the months' additions, but I'm going to make that my goal.  Starting in January.

If I CAN find a scarf I want to build a wardrobe my price  I slop stuff on scarves so easily that I'm skert to spend a bunch of money on one.

Anyone interested in joining me next year?  You've got four months to find a scarf that suits YOU. ;-) continues and the sewing space is, um, evolving a bit.

We've had a 'guest bedroom' since Son Number One  moved out on his own in 2012.  I moved my cutting table to that room and the fabric/patterns/etc have kinda taken over.  I go in and do a mass cleaning/hiding of stuff on those rare occasions when we have guests.

But it's been QUITE some, 3 years...since we last had overnight guests as our parents have gotten past the roadtrip stage of life.  So that room literally has not been straightened out/organized in 3 years.

Um, it's a MESS.

And, well,  the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.  Of...why Lisa's back can no longer tolerate the much-loved waterbed.  The one for which I've made multiple custom sheet sets.   If you've ever owned a waterbed, you know that, periodically, you have to add water as some evaporates into air bubbles that get bled out about once a month.  If you don't add water, the support level drops. Significantly.  Now, we've known for some time that we need to do something about the water bed so that we can elevate the head of it to alleviate GERD symptoms, so it had been a while since we'd added water.

And last week I had a day with back spasms so excruciating I thought I had a kidney stone.  Only I had no other kidney stone symptoms AND...the spasms cleared up completely after I spent the night in the guest room bed.  After I rather slowly and painfully moved all the patterns, fabric, scraps, etc off onto the cutting table so I could get into it.

That implicated the waterbed as the culprit.  I haven't slept in it since.

So...this is all SO complicated...we did some cleaning in the room that Son Number Two vacated when he moved to Florida back in May.  I need to move the cutting table and all related sewing paraphernalia into that room so I can move the guest bed (queen size) out into the middle of the room so that it's accessible enough for two people to use it (IE, there's room for the hubs to put his CPAP machine), as it's going to be a process for us to take down the waterbed so we can move the bed we bought today into its place (delivery scheduled for the 14th).  We'll both be sleeping in the guest room for at least a few days.

You see the chain of events here?  So...I'm planning to sort and organize stuff as I move it.

Hence why I may only get to actually sew for 5 - 10 minutes a day for the next couple of weeks.

Ultimately, I want to turn that recently vacated bedroom into the new sewing cave and move the machines up there and everything, but there's more work to be done first. Not to mention a set of bunkbeds that need to go...somewhere else.  And the pin-sucking carpet has got to go.

Who knows when that will happen.

So, lots of handling of sewing stuff and dreaming about future projects, but not much actual sewing.

Maybe I'll get those washer linen pants done before time to put them up for the season...

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

At the end of a busy month...

August 5 was the day that we celebrated the 'grand opening' of the new church auditorium...the gymnasium of the school that we bought...that had been gutted and rebuilt.  We had special services every Sunday this month in celebration.

From the back office/data entry position, it was like having a month of Easter.  Awesome, amazing weekends, but a lot of work.

Plus, we had a trip home for  my folks' 60th wedding anniversary, My Sweet Babboo's 45th year high school reunion, and the 104th annual Pippenger reunion.

Needless to say, no sewing happened. At least, no personal sewing.  A team of us did make something like 50 sashes to be embroidered to wrap on the chairs to reserve them for ushers/pastors/ leaders w/ duty, etc.  That happened right before we left town.  God bless the lady who did the embroidery.

I've barely kept laundry caught up.

So I'mma just gonna talk about some plans that I've got on percolate but haven't really gotten to.

I did cut out the gray Brussels Washer Linen pants.  They are sitting on the ironing board, right where I put them after I cut them out.  First step is to reinforce the crotch curve; I've heard that Brussels Washer linen tends to stretch out when worn.  I've got some fusible tape to put on it.

I should put it in the 2018 projects list...since this is like, the first thing I haven't just cut out and sewn up.

Plus, I happened to wander in to Charming Charlie (one of the few that hasn't closed) early in the month...or maybe it was late last, the selection has dropped considerably.  But I did find an interesting navy/white rayon/lycra jersey tunic that came home with me for probably less than I would have spent on the fabric.
It actually was a pretty close fit, but the shoulders are wide and the armholes low, as is usual for these things,  so I took the sleeves off and opened the side seams.  I need to raise the underarm somehow; I can't just recut it because the armsceye is about an inch below all my patterns.  So I may have some piecing.  And I want pockets in it somehow.  Thinking I'm going to do some color blocking with solid navy godets and pockets in the side.  Maybe.

I have an aunt (I would say elderly aunt as she's in her mid 80's, but elderly doesn't do her justice.  She hasn't slowed down a bit) who had some fabric she said she wouldn't use, so she gave me two garbage bags' worth while we were on the farm.

I glanced through it there but didn't really dig into it until I got home.  There were a couple of pieces that went straight into the donation you remember that 80's poly stretch terry that we all made athleisure stuff out of?  Yeah, that went in the bag, as well as some yellow poly linen look.  But the balance of it...maybe...
There are a couple of pieces that might make tote bags...or corn hole bags, lol...but there are some linings that I'll use to make pockets, some nice wool remnants that I'm going to have to use carefully, because there's not much, and one gorgeous bit of rayon challis that I'm guessing is from the late 80's...jade green, hot pink and royal blue paisely on black.  I had a whole capsule wardrobe based on those colors back in the day.  There's 3 yards.  Lots of options for that.  Oh, and there's also two yards of gold lame'...the same stuff I used to make all those Pippin shirts.  No idea what to do with it.  Can't imagine what Aunt Wilma got it for, unless it was some crafty thing. There's a bit of gold-and-white lace that may have been intended to go with it.

I haven't tallied this up for the stash; not sure what I'll do with it.

Because I haven't sewn,  part of my recreation has been filling up my shopping cart at online vendors, dreaming about it a bit...and then deleting it.

But one piece managed to actually make it through check out.

I've been looking for a rich red denim for a denim jacket for the longest time and when I found that Ann had some, well, I actually bought it (the photo is off; it's not nearly as orange-y as it looks).  It's already pre-washed and ready to sew.  Whenever I can manage to get to it.

Hopefully September will be a little more forgiving and I can get to the machine.  It is National Sewing Month, after all...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Inspired by...part 2...

So here's the new top, after a day of work.  Something that didn't occur to me when I drafted the facings...the neckline is meant to have a small neckband.  I should have taken that into account and actually raised the neckline about 3/4" all around, THEN drafted the facings.  That's probably a major reason why the top feels a little big.

And, to be honest, it's a little longer on me than the original inspiration top (see yesterday's post.).  But any shorter and it would fail the 'Praise Check' so I'm ok with it being a little long.  That means I don't have to wear a safety cami under it.  And not wearing extra layers is a good thing under stage lights.

The knit this is made of is perfectly yummy...very, very soft and  comfy.  I've got another yard-ish left.  Might could get a more fitted cap-sleeve t out of it.  Maybe.  Or maybe I'll just use it for trim and accents on things.  Stripes are good for that.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Inspired by....

Wow, two garments in one month!  (hashtag sarcasm).  But still...sewing a bit at a time is better than not sewing at all, LOL.

This was a sudden inspiration.  I don't follow a lot of fashion just seems that so many are hung up on the latest latest and designer labels and...I don't know.  Just seems kinda silly to me.  And expensive.  BUT...of the two or three that I do follow, my favorite, by far, is one I'm sure is familiar to everybody.  Janice Riggs 'Vivienne Files' is a practical style blog.  Sure, she throws in some expensive things (I will never own a Hermes scarf. Ever.  $60 is my top scarf allowance, and I would have to ABSOLUTELY BE SMITTEN with a scarf to pay that much for it. But whatever), but a lot of the stuff she uses comes from places like Lands' End and Eddie Bauer.

But, in her recent series, she posted a top that caught my eye.  It's Eileen Fisher, and so out of my price range, but....

So simple, so elegant.

And it's just a slightly modified Sewing Workshop Eureka Top:

Substitute a facing for the neck band, leave the sleeve bands uncuffed and lengthen it just a hair (it runs short on me) and...

Wouldn't you know, I had some white on black stripe knit in the stash.  A little narrower than the stripe on the EF top, but, hey, it's inspired by, right?

It's funny...I've made this top 3 times before and this one feels really big.  Guessing it's the extra length. But if I want to wear it in choir (and next month is gray,white, gray), it has to pass the 'praise check'...that is, it can't hike up past my waistband if I raise both arms.  So I needed the length.

If I wear it to work next week, I'll take a mirror selfie. ;-)

Oh, the fabric is a really, really nice 4-way stretch rayon/lycra that I got during one of Fabric Mart's big sales.  So the top cost a whopping $10.37 US.  About $120 US less than the organic cotton EF version.

hashtag why i sew... :-)

Monday, July 16, 2018

A little testing, a little sewing...

Well, a few months back I got some Brussels Washer Linen, in a nice light cross-woven gray, for some drapey, comfy summer pants.

I  knew, though, that I'd need a fairly loose style.  And I didn't think my TNT Oxford pants were quite drapey enough.

I thought about just altering that pattern, but, goodness gracious I've got something like 600 patterns stashed in an old Simplicity cabinet; SURELY there was something?

Well, I pulled out this OOP Simplicity pattern, copyright 1996:

 Y'all.  That's the year the Flute Player was born.

But that top could be in today's pattern books.  And the pull on pants...well,  it was a possibility.  Unlike 85% of the patterns in the cabinet, which were purchased when I was a much smaller me, this one had a wide enough range of sizes that I thought I could make it fit.

But I didn't trust it enough; didn't want to use my nice rayon/linen on an unproven pattern.  So I went rummaging through the 'bottom weight cottons' bin and found a 1.25 yard remnant and cut out the shorts.
I trimmed a pinch off of the front and added the wedge to the back as a compromise low-butt alteration that, surprisingly, worked.

Sorry for the flat photo.  I've no idea when I'll actually get to wear them.  Certainly not on a work day.

These are an otherwise unaltered Medium.  MEDIUM.  I didn't even use my cheater adjustment of using skinnier seam allowances; full 5/8" on these puppies, because of the inseam pockets.

I will say this:  were I  a skinnier me, there would be ENTIRELY too much fabric collected around the waist.  But, being post-menopausally absent a true waistline, these work just fine.

I can trace off the longer version (I'll probably just trace the legs and overlap the pattern, lol) and cut away.

And, you know, I may look for some drapey something woven to try that top.  Just for fun.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Making one post work for two...

Not sewing related at all...although I did wear something I made...

We spent last weekend at the ol' stompin' ground, celebrating my In-Law's 70th wedding anniversary.

Rather than re-write the post and re-load the photo...I'll just link it up to the Other Blog.


Tuesday, June 26, 2018


The first sewing publication I subscribed to was Sew News, back in the 80's, when it was a large format, newsprint deal.  Before long, I had discovered and subscribed to the Sewing Update Newsletter, the Serger Update Newsletter (anybody remember those?  I still have mine in binders...) and the creme-de-la-creme of sewing publications, Threads Magazine.  My first copy was issue number 37, from October 1991.

The Update Newsletters eventually closed down; I don't remember if I subscribed to the end or just until I decided I had to pick amongst the subscriptions.  Sew News changed formats...and dumbed down its content to the point that it was like reading a women's magazine that had crafty discussions.  I didn't save those, but I do have a folder full of articles that I cut out of them. I gave it another go a few years back when I won a subscription in an online contest, but I was disappointed to see it no longer was a monthly publication.  And, while the content had improved still seemed more basic than creative and it didn't really seem worth the expense.

But Threads has rolled on and on.  Not too long after I subscribed, (maybe a year?) they altered their focus a bit from all-things-fiberly to strictly sewing.  I missed the interesting articles on making buttons from polymer clay and felting wool into hats, but since I wasn't likely to really use that (although I do have some aging Fimo somewhere...) it wasn't tragic.

But today I got this in the mail:
I haven't renewed yet.  I'm dithering.

The content has dropped over the years; those first issues were over 100 pages; this potentially last one has 82.  The quality of info has kind of vacillated; it's better now than it has been.  The decline in the printed product is a reflection of the times more than anything else, I think.  I mean, we haven't had a daily newspaper in these parts in's all online.

And, to be honest, that's my biggest beef.  I'm a print subscriber, but I have to fork over more dough if I want to see the online content they call 'Insider'.  Maybe it's just me wishing for a perfect world, but it seems to me that the print subscribers should have access to the online content.  I don't even click most Threads links I see on social media anymore...what's the point if it's likely to be 'Insider only'?

And...then there's the fact that I'm simply not sewing as much.  It just doesn't seem justifiable to keep up the subscription so I can flip through it, smile at the end page story and put it on the shelf.

Maybe 27 years' worth (that's 162 magazines, all stashed in custom slipcovers) is enough.  Maybe.

Or maybe I'll put a check in the  mail next  Can I really pull that plug?  Do I really want to?  Do I have good reasons not to?

Hm, hm and hm.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Butterick 5925 - slightly modified

This is just a fun top.  It's swingy and comfy and I may make more.  Maybe with cap sleeves, maybe with the ones in the actual envelope.

I need to find some largish scraps that kinda sorta go together and do the color blocking shown on the envelope.

Because I can always use more fun tops.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Another choir top...

I'm slowly sewing through the fabric up was the medium blue bamboo/lycra jersey.  Since the decision came down that we were not going to change our colors for June, I had a little more time to get the blue in use.

I bought 2 1/2 yards, with the intention of making a Pamela's Patterns Cool cardi and a shell top.  But, try as I might, I was about 4" short of having enough fabric for both the cardi and the top.  I didn't re-measure the fabric after I pre-washed it but I really think it shrank up a good bit, just based on how much I had hanging off the end of the cutting table.

But whatever.  The fabric feels great on...but the serger didn't like sewing it.  I had LOTS of skipped stiches, and it kinda fed through unevenly.

I am seriously thinking about taking the serger in for a check up.

But, I just did a narrow zig-zag on the serging to catch the missed stitches so, it's ugly on the inside, but I won't tell.

Anyway, I ended up making another Butterick 5925 ... the Katherine Tilton tunic-y T top w/ pocket gores in the sideseams.  Only I borrowed a cap sleeve from another pattern ...summer and all.  And I cut my own neckband, just because I don't care for the floppy neckbands the Tiltons seem to love on their knit tops.  To each her own...

The hanger shot is pretty boring, but it's very comfy.  Ugly seams and all.

Maybe a photo of it on tomorrow....

I need to find the scraps from the light blue top and see if I can patchwork up a little top from the leftovers.  I'm SURE I kept them...even though there wasn't much.  I'm just NOT sure what I did with them, lol.

In other news, Number Two Son, AKA The Actor,  has found himself an apartment in Jacksonville, Fl, so My Sweet Babboo and I will be heading south with a vanload of his stuff shortly.  I haven't been to Florida since...2004?  Probably going to go a little more frequently now.  He seems to be doing well in his job.  They did their summer day camp event last week, which seems to have been a success.  Their children's ministry is very similar to ours, so he's fitting right in.

Lotsa road trips on the docket for this summer, as well as the final push to the remodeled-gym-turned-sanctuary.  Official first service is August 5.

It's gonna be a busy, busy summer....

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Top Number 4

Crazy.  One tablecloth and four tops is all that I've managed so far this year.  Where has my sewing time gone? 

This is the lighter blue knit that arrived in the last indulgence.  In a modified Hot Patterns LaStrada top, after church last Sunday:

I pretty seriously hacked that pattern, fit-wise, but it's been brought to heel. One of these days I'll get it written up for Pattern Review.
  This is not my best color,  but with a topper over it it's not bad.

We went straight from a long, lingering winter to a full-on summer in about a week.  I'm finding myself looking for cool tops...the A/C in the old school building that is now our church is taking a while to get up to speed.

It's a long weekend; maybe I'll get some sewing done.
Or maybe I'll do another project that 's urgent.

Or maybe I'll make ice cream and hang out with family.

We'll see.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Bailed again

...but I did finish something, lol.  I realize that, since I had a MOUNTAIN of laundry to do, I wasn't going to be able to focus on cleaning out the sewing nook as the laundry would be in the way.

So I sewed instead.

From the Gorgeous Fabrics re-start...a One-Yard shirt:

This was my second choice on the fabric; the first choice literally sold out the order before mine.

But, hey, it's a T-shirt, right?  So long as the colors work, it's good. 

Vogue 9057. tweaked a bit.

It's not perfect; I didn't want to put a dart in it and skew up the graphics so I just eased the side in.  Only I didn't run the easing out far enough so it's kinda bunchy.  But so long as I put a vest or topper one would be the wiser.  Dunno if I will try that trick again or not.

Got a sky-blue top cut altered-up Hot Patterns La Strada T.  If I can just keep one thing in the pipeline to work on a bit...maybe I'll see some progress....

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Old habits are hard to break...

Well, that and nothing in my closet fits.  Sugar binge  + schedule change that made the routine 2 mile daily walk nigh impossible and...well, I'm pulling stuff out of my closet saying 'I can't wear that...I can't wear that...I can't wear that...'.  Stuff that I could get away with last year I can NOT pull off this year.

So, despite my determination to make the choir wardrobe work w/ accessories, defaulting to sewing it is.  And, sometimes, that means a visit to the local neighborhood online webstore.

This time, it was, in search of gray and hydrangea blues for May's choir wardrobe.

Two bamboo/lycra knits  for tops/ cardis and a 3-yard piece of chambray gray Brussels Washer Linen for some nice relaxed fit floppy pants.  I'll look like a tree trunk but I'll be comfy.

7 more yards in.  I gotta get to the sewing machines....

But I'm gonna see if I can manage to get the sewing room cleaned out this weekend.  Maybe.  I will likely be scheduling it around a viewing of  'Infinity War'...just so I can talk to my kids, who saw the movie on opening day but are refusing to discuss it until I've seen it.  I expect it to be bodaciously depressing, because I know people die, but I need to just see it and get it over with.

I'll be going with the Actor, and I might even skip choir practice to make sure we do it, because...drum roll...the youngster has actually been offered a REAL JOB, with, like, benefits and insurance and everything, as part of the Children's Ministry team at New Life Christian Fellowship Jacksonville, Florida. (Backstory Here, on the other blog, if you're interested).  He's gonna leave the week after Mother's Day.  So my time with him is limited, and next week is his birthday, and friends are throwing him a goodby party...and ...and... anyway, it's looking like Thursday might be the only chance.  The Flute Player says she can't sit through it again.

But seeing it Thursday  would leave ALL DAY Friday and ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday afternoon/evening for dejunking cleaning and reorganizing the sewing nook.  I *might* be able to get it done....maybe with an eye to moving it to a vacated bedroom, when it actually is vacated...

So.  Life is about to get different.   Again.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Arcadia Green Top

 I actually finished it week before last, but we  had some tasks that pulled us out of choir last Sunday so I didn't wear it until today.

Vogue 9057; I added a front seam and topstitched it just to give the solid fabric some visual interest.  The sleeve length was determined solely by the amount of fabric I had; that was as long as I could make 'em.  Which, given the fact that spring is very slow to get in gear this year, is just fine.

That's the first time I made that view; I kinda like it and may use it again.  The only tricky bit is mitering the front corners;  I don't know if the instructions are to miter them or not; I didn't look. LOL.  Mitering corners is just what I do.

All in all, I'll call the experiment a guarded success.  It took two tries, but I did get something the right color.  I may very well try it again if I have a hard-to-match color....and I used a white knit that was just too grayish (literally, it looked like it had been washed with dark colors and took some dye) to use as it was, so just finding a purpose for that was good.

 I kinda like that green.  It's fresh and springy.  

Thursday, April 19, 2018

30 Years...

The Artist turned 30 today.

Just doesn't seem possible.

But, you know...he's a pretty cool dude.  I'm kinda proud of him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Well, in the last post I invited enabling with regard to fabric used for those really soft, really stretchy, really expensive leggings sold by direct sales.  If you're on facebook, you've probably been added to at least two groups by folks selling said leggings.  My daughter bought me a pair for Christmas and, while they are super comfortable, the print on them is, well, a cartoon character and more PJ/loungewear than I'm really good with wearing in public.  So I was looking for some more, um, useable prints.

Nurse Bennett corrected my misconception that the leggings fabric was cotton -- it's actually a double-brushed polyester -- and put me on to Cali online vendor I was not acquainted with.  I went to the site and poked around a bit.  I settled on two prints for the double-brushed poly jersey, and a rayon/lycra jersey in a dark dusty rose color that I'm always short on when it comes up in the choir rotation.

They arrived  yesterday.  I was very impressed with the packaging; they were double-wrapped in plastic, well protected against any USPS foibles.  The prints were lovely and the cuts generous:

I was surprised that the abstract had a bit of the rose color in it; it didn't show in the little swatch on the website.

But...the floral print is too thin for leggings. It's going to make a wonderful flouncy shirt, I think. The abstract is a bit thicker; not as thick as my Lul@R03 leggings but I think it's substantial enough to work.  And, because I had to order in whole yards and it was generously cut, I'll have enough for a T shirt as well.

I'm on Cali Fabrics' mailing list now.  Sigh.  Another opportunity to, um, exercise my willpower.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Giving in to temptation...

The arcadia green top is in progress...I would make better time on it but for some reason the kitty has decided that the chair in front of the sewing machine is the perfect chair for me to hold her and pet her and scratch her chin and ears while she purrs loudly.

So my progress has been somewhat delayed.

But I have actually succumbed to the siren song of the internet fabric sources...and two orders have arrived since the start of the year.

Just two.  Really.

First was a sale, the second was, well, an indulgence, plain and simple.

Up first, two pieces from EmmaOneSock...

I have a t-shirt made from the sparkly gray; I didn't realize it was the same fabric until I got it home and compared it.  I got some for a cardigan...guess I'll end up with a twin set.  The green knit is darker and blue-er than it looks in the photo.  That's mostly for the next time we get assigned dark green for Choir.  We got surprised with it for Christmas a year ago and I had NONE.  Now I have a couple of pieces...this is a four-way-stretch rayon/lycra; I've also got a ponte that I picked up last year.  That ought to be enough to get me by, should it come up again.

And, you know, I had to show some support for the  Gorgeous Fabrics re-launch.   The two bottom pieces are rayon/nylon/lycra ponte, very, very nice.   I aim to make Sewing Workshop Helix Pants from them, but that could change.  The top pieces is a crepe-y ITY knit; it's a substitution, the print that I wanted sold out just before my order popped up.  But that's ok, it's just going to be a t-shirt, so it'll work as well as the first choice.  It's really nice...not slick like other ITY jerseys I've gotten in the past.

So, my yards in has surpassed yards out.  I'm done buying for a bit.

Unless I come across some really nice cotton/lycra what is used in the leggings sold by direct sale in multitudes of Facebook groups.  I got a pair for Christmas...still haven't got a black top to wear with them, but it's coming...and I'd LOVE to find knit like that.

Anyone found a source?  I give you permission to be an

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Arcadia Green: Attempt 2. Maybe.

So I had to do a little creative hunting to get the second dye batch.  Between Wednesday night last week and Saturday afternoon, Hobby Lobby completely shifted stuff around and the whole notions wall, including the shelf w/ the dyes, had moved.  I finally had to ask an employee...and it turned out she was working right in front of them.

And the aquamarine, of which an entire bottle is required in the mix for Arcadia Green, was out of stock.  Bummer. I bought some emerald green and a dusky blue, mostly because that's all they had, to see if I could approximate it.  I was plenty nervous about it, but didn't know what else to do.

But I had to pick up some milk, and, wouldn't you know, Publix had a decent selection of Rit dye.  Including Aquamarine.

So I mixed up another dye batch, intending to leave it in longer.  But this time I also put in a chunk of the 'too-gray' white cotton lycra knit.  One way or another, I was gonna get Arcadia Green.

I agitated it for 45 minutes instead of the prescribed 30, and when I pulled the fabric out of the dryer...the rayon/lycra was still too yellow, and I thought the cotton/lycra was too light.

But when I put the Pantone color swatch against it (the top one on the card)'s about spot on.  Funny...the color on the choir facebook page looks darker.  And it's a dead match for the aqua post-it notepad.

Y'all, we wore this color three or four years ago and called it 'Lucite Green'.  Wore it two or three years before that and called it 'Seafoam'.  Sometime in the past, we just called it Mint Green.

So maybe I have  a couple of pieces somewhere that will do.  And I can make up a Jalie T from the cotton/lycra.  The Rayon...I'll put that back for another day.  Or another dye bath.  I honestly don't know if the yellowish cast to the original fabric is what is giving the yellowed results or if it's just not taking that dye due to fiber content.

BUT...wouldn't you know...yesterday I got slammed with a nasty sinus infection that sent me to the Dr this morning for antibiotics and had me napping under warm facial compresses all afternoon.  I may not have a singing voice this weekend anyway.  And I don't feel much like sewing.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Arcadia Green Attempt One: Fail

According to a Google Search on Arcadia Green, it is Pantone 16-5533.

So I had a standard against which to check my dye results.

Which were abysmal.

Granted, the color rendering in the photo isn't spot on, it really is slightly less yellow, but still.  Not gonna work.

The gluey dots applied along the selvage for, I suppose, stabilization took the color just fine.  But the rest of the yardage...not so much.  It is *supposed* to be a rayon/lycra blend but now I'm wondering if that's quite accurate.

So, I will try again, and I will leave the fabric in the bath for a bit longer with less yellow in the mix.

And I'll throw in a second piece...if I can't get past mint green on the first one I should still get something useful.

But first I gotta make another run to Hobby Lobby for some more Aquamarine dye.

And maybe I'll check my bead stash to see if I have some Arcadia green beads so I can just make a chunky necklace.  If it weren't Easter Weekend, for which we have services spanning three days, I'd make do like I did this month (I will have worn the same top 3 out of 4 Sundays...)  But there's not a chance to do laundry between Saturday night and Sunday morning and the stage is HOT, so...

I'll try again this evening.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A little weekend project...

So, the choir will be wearing something called 'Arcadia Green', along with black and gray, for April.

But Easter Weekend services start Friday night...with April colors.

And I have ONE thing in my wardrobe that is close to the right color...kind of a dark mint green to my eye.

I did peruse my usual suppliers but didn't find anything that really looked right.

Then I got a wild notion and did a search for Rit Dye Color charts...and found

Rit Dye formula for Arcadia Green: 
1 Bottle Aquamarine
1⁄4 Cup Teal
1 Tablespoon Lemon Yellow
3 Gallons water


Now, I have several pieces of white fabric that I have ordered online through the years.  Some are...thinner...than I had anticipated, so they will be undies, someday.

Others were kinda off on the color.  Too gray, too yellow...

Anyway, I pulled the 'too yellow' piece; I have about 2 1/2 yards or so.

It's gonna go in the dye bath tomorrow.

If it works...I might keep that little trick in mind for the too-gray piece next time an oddball color comes up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Workwear 35

Because, you know, if you get multiple compliments on an outfit it's worth a post, right?

Specially when there's been precious little sewing happening...

I discovered one of the ladies' rooms at the new-to-us church building in which I work has a MIRROR. So, if I can figure out how to do it better, there might be more workwear posts...

This is a pair of RTW gray jeans, a Vogue 9057 top from olive knit (purportedly rayon/lycra but, well, I kinda doubt that it has much rayon...) and a gorgeous silk/wool blend scarf from Novica.

That just happened to match the green in the top dead on.

In all honesty, I think the scarf was the attraction, rather than the outfit as a whole, but it's worth documenting because it works.

I really like that Vogue pattern, too.  Maybe more of them will show up someday...

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Not the week after all..

I have a long, skinny laundry room that really was just a closed off side of the garage.  The sewing nook is on the far end; past the sink, the washer and dryer and clothes rack.

The area at the bottom of the steps down from the main floor of the house was a horrible, horrible mess.  I think stuff got dropped there when we moved in and never moved.  No, I didn't take a 'before' photo of really and truly was too embarrassing.

But that's the only bit of the laundry/sewing room that got cleaned.  My hubby came down with a nasty sinus infection which turned into bronchitis that had him coughing so hard he was actually whooping to get his breath back.  I was scared that he'd somehow contracted whooping cough.  But, no, he was just coughing really bad from the bronchitis.  He's had a z-pack and is better...but not completely back to normal.

So, anyway, he didn't go on his camping trip.   And I didn't get to the sewing nook.  Now I'm trying to decide if I want to just piecemeal the cleaning or wait for another clear weekend.  Problem is, I want to haul everything out of the room into the den, which is a bad idea if there are other people around.

The kids have been hosting a movie night every Sunday, watching all the Marvel movies in order to prepare for the premier happening at the end of next month.  So I don't think I can spread out the sewing room contents for an extended period.  At least not until the end of April.

So maybe I'll just suck it up and keep sewing in the chaos a bit longer.  You can see just a wee bit of it in the background of that photo...We'll see.  I still need a long black top to wear with those Tigger leggings...

Meantime, the bottom of the stairs looks SO MUCH BETTER....

Sunday, March 04, 2018

No pics...but at least something's done!

The Princess gave me leggings for know, the direct-sales, super soft,  a Facebook group for every rep trendy leggings.

They are printed w/ Tigger all over them.

Black, white, yellow, orange.

I didn't have a single thing I could wear them with. Not being of the 'Leggings are pants' mindset, I needed a nice long top that coordinated.

So I finally pulled out a chunk of black jersey knit last week and cut out a top I've been wanting to make for a while; Butterick 5925 , one of Katherine Tilton's loose designs.  Not the one with the pocket-bags-below-the  hem;  that just looks weird.  But the other one, with the pockets in the godets.

I traced it off last week, did my usual raise-and-shorten the shoulders and cut it out.  Took a couple of sewing sessions, but I finished it last night.

And tried it on with the leggings today.

It's a cute, comfy top...but it's about 4" too short to wear over leggings, I've decided.  As My Sweet Babboo agreed (he thought it was about 6" too short), I will be pulling out another piece of black knit for a different style at some point.

'Cause, you know, if someone gives you something cute and trendy, you  ought to make an effort to wear it.

I don't know if I'll get a photo of the latest top; it's black, it will be hard to photograph.  I'll probably wait and take a picture the next time I make it up out of wacky knit print remnants.  At least the seams will show up, lol.

I have made next-to-no progress on the sewing room clean up; My Sweet Baboo came down with a nasty respiratory infection and missed his camping trip.  So I had somewhat of a distraction when I had planned to be home alone cleaning.  We'll see if I can get it done in the next three days. Or at least well started.

Gonna take a social media break; maybe that will help focus! :-)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Steeling my nerve....It's Time...

After a  crazy couple of months getting ourselves moved into a facility-in-renovation and getting enough of it functional to hold Sunday and Wednesday services, our leadership has done an amazing thing:  Everybody on staff is getting a week off.  Not all at once; we've been split into 4 groups, with  1/4 getting a break so 3/4 of the staff is on hand over 4 weeks.

My turn is next week; I've got enough hours in this week that I can leave around noon tomorrow; offices are always closed on Friday.

And my hubby has a camping event this weekend.


This is the weekend I tackle the sewing room.

I'm ready for some order.

I can do this.

Um.  Yeah.

I'll post before and after when it's done, lol.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Loss of a Landmark...

Saw this on the news last night....logged on today to find that the fire had re-ignited overnight and there is literally nothing but a portion of a shell left.

I've been to Sir's is a 45-minute to an hour drive away...and the stock varied greatly; one visit would yield very little worth bringing home while a visit in 2007 saw me hauling home nearly 50 yards of deals; a good bit of which is still in the bins.  It was THE place to go to find costuming fabric; especially after the deterioration of the fabric department at Wal-Mart.

It was a place that still SMELLED like I remember fabric stores smelling as a kid.  The good ones.  With real fabric.

It was a family business; who knows if they'll try to rebuild/restock.

I can hope, but given the current status of the retail fabric business...I fear they're gone for good.

Glad I have a stash....

Monday, February 05, 2018

A Rather Inauspicious Start to 2018

Sometimes, the urge to MAKE SOMETHING just gets irresistible...

Even in the midst of the crazy...hubby out of town, the church, which is also my place of employment, moving into a new facility that's still in the midst of renovation...packing, moving, unpacking, cleaning, cleaning,

Last year, I bought about 4 pieces of fabric to make tablecloths.  I love using upholstery cottons; they're usually treated w/ a stain resistant finish and they're drapey and washable...what's not to love?

Oh, yeah.  They're usually only about 52" wide...and my round table on the porch is about 55" around.

But I came up with a plan.   

1. Buy extra length.
2. Straighten one edge; measure off 62" and pull a thread and cut.
3.  Split the remnant in half lengthwise
4.  Remove all selvedges
5. Match the cut pieces to the center of the long piece; sew the seam and then serge it.
6.  Fold carefully into quarters
7.  Mark an arc 31" from the fold point
8.  Cut on the marked arc to get a circle
9. Use the serger to roll the edge.
10.  Fray check the tail and trim after dry.

Simple, no?  It really doesn't take long.

And the Sewing Urge hit, so I thought I'd sew up one of the pieces of tablecloth fabric.

But I had a problem with this particular piece of fabric....

The first time I made a circle table cloth, I didn't pay any attention to the placement of the motifs on the center line.  As a result, the large motif is slightly off center vertically.  It's not terribly wrong, but it bugs me.  So this time, I picked out the prominent motif and measured out of the center 31" on both sides.

Unfortunately, I had a fairly sizeable chunk on the end that I would otherwise have just evened up to square.  Which meant that, after I matched up the long end to the sides and folded it into quarters, the extension quit about an inch too soon.

Sigh.  I guess I'll just have a slightly short drop on the cloth.  I didn't want the off-center motif thing going on again.

So I folded it up into quarters, with the shortest side up, and made the arc 30" instead of 31" from the center.

And it sat there for about a week before I could get to it again.

When I had a chance, I trotted upstairs and cut along the marked arc.
Gave the remnant a tug but it didn't seem to move right.  Oh, the rotary cutter didn't get all the way through the layers.  Not unusual, just give it a quick little slice.

But that slice seemed awfully thick.  Did it really not go all the way through?

No! Gasp!  I had looked at the thing cockeyed and for some reason CUT UP THE PIECED SEAM .

I'm still not sure what crossed my wires, but I had a 6" gash on either side.

I don't often cry when sewing, but I confess to shedding a few tears at that point.  I really, really liked the fabric.

But, it's either fix it or consign it to tote bags, so I scooped up the circle and went to the sewing machine, where I zig-zagged those gashes shut.  They're on the drop...they won't be noticed...right?
Someone's gotta look close to see it.  One is right on the seamline, the other is just off a bit.

But, whilst suturing the gashes, I noticed that I DIDN'T have the shortest side of the matched pieces up.  There was a healthy divot missing off of one end of the arc.


What to do, what to do...

Y'all, I unpicked the seam a bit, whacked a square of the remnant (it was a trick to get my brain around matching that on two sides) and pieced it in.

It's not invisible, but it's not very noticeable, and, given the patching already done, perfectly serviceable.

In hind sight, it probably would have worked better, matching wise, to have put one of the smaller motifs in the center.  It would have at least still been balanced. is what it is, and it'll do.

And I just realized I'd knocked it about an inch off center before I took that last pic.  Oh, well.  You get the idea.

But, given how hard I tried to ruin that, lol, I'm kind of skeered to tackle anything else until I've gotten my calm back, lol.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Dismal 2017 Stats...

Finally clearing the slate for a new year.

I just didn't manage to get to the sewing machines much last year.  Partly blaming the on-line Master's degree, which pretty much consumed the first 5 months of the year, but I can only partly blame that.

To be honest, I think the current jammed-up, cluttered sewing room is as much to blame as anything. That, and re-gaining the weight I lost in 2016 kinda killed my sewing motivation altogether.

But, as they say it's a new year and a new day.  Cleaning the sewing room is on my radar...after I get a few other things caught up...(and I'm making progress there) so maybe I can post not-so-dismal stats this time next year...

Fabric In: 74.875 yds
Fabric Out: 31.625 yds
Last fabric added: 11/15?/17
Garments made for me: 15
Garments made for other family members: 2
Home Dec Items: 1
Misc. Church Sewing: 12? 14? Nine-patch squares for table decor;

Still, the fabric-in total was the 3rd lowest for the year since I started keeping records of such things back in 2004; and it was just 3/8ths of a yard over the 2nd lowest total, which was in 2010 (in 2015 my yearly total was 72.625 yards; that's the most disciplined I've managed to be... but that year I sewed over 62 yards, so I only added about 10 yards to the stash.  I'm way off of that this year).

I'm not going to totally restrict myself from buying ANY fabric...there are some gaps in the stash, and if I need Brussels Washer Linen I'm going to buy some, but it's gonna have to be something I NEED and will SEW when I get it.

Back to the old paradigm that I lived with until something like the fabric when you're going to sew it.

I can hardly remember what that was like...the excitement of going to the fabric store, coming home with the new fabric that I could hardly stand to wait to run it through the washer/dryer before slapping the pattern down and attacking it with the scissors.

Now, of course, that kind of immediate gratification just doesn't happen.   I had a good 4 or 5 stores a short drive a way then...that had things like cotton and linen and there's just Jo-Ann's World of Quilting, Polyester and Crafts.  But I digress...

So, this year I intend to Shop the Stash.  I might make things for choir...or I might make things I'll never get to wear in choir.  I might make aprons and tote bags.  I might come up with a SWAP plan.  Who knows.

But I want to get my sewing room cleaned out and somewhat organized.

Then I can have some fun.  Shop the stash...slap on the pattern...make something new...