Friday, April 26, 2019

Another Project Due May 1....

Well, well, everything always happens at once, right?

Our church will host the Holocaust Memorial service this year in our auditorium, and the drama team has been asked, by the organizers of the event, to present a dramatization of Martin Niemöller's short poem, 'They Came for Me':

First they came for the Socialists, but I did not speak up, 
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, but I did not speak up,
Because I was not a Trade Unionist. 
Then they came for the Jews, but I did not speak up, 
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me...and there was no one left 
To speak up for me.

So we have, on stage, a character representing Niemöller, and groups of folks who represent the socialists, the trade unionists and the Jews.  And the Bad Guys, who I am not going to name.

One of the young guys in the worship team has created an incredible audio/video piece w/ music, newsreel footage and photos, and a voice over w/ Niemöller's poem, quoted line-by-line, first in German and then in English.  We were going to go rather abstract, just using different colored t-shirts to indicate the different groups, but apparently the imagery on the video is so compelling that the leaders felt abstract costuming would detract from the narrative rather than enhance it. So it's a last-minute change of direction and we are scrambling for costuming. Other team members are scouring thrift shops at this moment to find suitable things.

So my job is to make the armbands for the, um, Bad Guys, with their well-known pinwheelish Symbol That Shall Not Be Named, and gold stars to pin on the Jewish characters.  The others will just be in somewhat period suggestive garments and identified by the voiceover.

I hit Hobby Lobby yesterday afternoon to get the bits of fabric in the right colors.  Including the Wonder Under for the applique, it was less than 10 bucks.  ( And I'm not running this through the yardage in/yardage out...not worth it...)

So I'm interrupting my dash to the finish for the SWAP and the 12-months-12-outfits challenges to do a little bit of fiddly sewing.

An update on the cropped pants...I wasn't happy with the way they looked.  They are still too loose in the leg to be what I envisioned, and I should have started the flare  about 3" higher than I did. I also didn't like the way the deep hem looked.  So I'm probably going to do a little hacking and re-sewing on those.  The black and white striped mariniere  top will take a couple of hours, start to finish, so I'm not really worried about it...much. 

But the Holocaust service is May 1st, and we have two rehearsals between now and then.

So, yeah, gonna be sewing. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Sometimes it works.  I experimented with my Loes Hinse Oxford pants, sort of tracing the flared legs of a Neue Mode pattern that just did NOT fit right in the torso, and I got a pattern that works really, really well.  I have two pairs of striped flared pants that almost always get compliments when I wear them.

And once I've lost a few more pounds...I will be able to wear them again, lol.

Anyway,  I was dithering (again!  After I said I wouldn't!) over the cropped pants for this month.  The Vogue pants that intrigued me are going to be more work than I have time for at the moment, although they may show up in the wardrobe at a later date.  I traced the side fronts, moving the placket bit to the outseam, and then put it away. No time.

So I went back to the Hot Patterns Weekender Chinos that I traced off earlier.  Pulled a couple of decent fitting patterns out and compared them.

Whacked a full half inch off the width of the entire leg on the back inseam.

And they were still going to be pretty loose fitting through the legs.  Hobbit pants are not what I'm going for at the moment.

So I pulled out my trusty Sewing Workshop Helix pants that I've made...4?...times already.  The fabric I'm going to use is a white cotton blend stretch denim...emphasis on 'stretch'.  I decided it's stretchy enough to use on the Helix pants.

And then I created a template to overlay the bottom of the legs.. Six inches below the knee was the finished length; I drew a line on grain from the knee straight down on both the inseam and outseam, then I marked 1/2" outside of that line and curved that up to the knee.  And added a 1.5" hem, similar to what is on the HP pants.

I folded the lower part of the legs out of the way, overlaid them with my template, and cut them out.

Got them to about  the halfway point last night; dunno if I will finish them tonight or not but I should be close.

With Easter weekend data entry behind me, I've worked enough hours that I think I"m going to get a short workday on Thursday, so I'm hopeful I will get the crops and the planned stripe top done well before May 1st.

I have a couple of black tops that I made along the way since Jan 1 that will fill in the holes in the SWAP wardrobe, since we are not required to make any particular number of tops, bottoms, jackets, etc.  I don't have any expectations that my little wardrobe will finish anywhere respectable, but I am going to be pleased that I finished and it all works according to my plan, whether or not it works according to the official SWAP rules, which I found really confusing in the interpretation discussion.

But I will have 11 garments for the SWAP wardrobe, and they will include everything I've made so far for the 12-months-12-outfits challenge as well.  It won't be a 'dress in the dark' wardrobe, which is my idea of perfection, but it is new stuff that I can wear.  Win.

No pics

Saturday, April 20, 2019

He is Risen!

Normally, I would post my Easter thoughts/ greetings over on The Other Blog, as that's the one that I use for discussions of faith.  I posted thoughts on Ps. 113-118 this week over there, in honor of the conjunction of Easter and Passover this year, so it would be fitting to just go right into the celebration of the Resurrection.

But the community of sewing bloggers lost Faye this past week....and she would always post a pretty Easter greeting.

So, in honor of Faye, who is celebrating Resurrection in a way we can't being to imagine, thought I'd post a flashback...a song that takes me back to my youth, singing in a multi-church traveling youth choir.  This was one that we did, and it ALWAYS gave me chills when we sang the choir arrangement of it.

So...if you celebrate the Resurrection, enjoy the glimpse of it from the Apostle Peter's point of view.

And whether you celebrate the Resurrection or not, I pray you have a sweet and blessed day just the same.

(He's Alive -- Don Francisco)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

I Think I Found The Wild Goose...

I happened to spot Ann's post reviewing these pants and did a double take.  Except for the buttons being on the front seam instead of the side seam, they were nearly identical to the pants I'd spotted at lunch the other day.

So, of course when I had to make a trip to the other side of town to feed The Princess's kitties for her whilst she was away for the day, I added an additional loop to swing by JoAnn's and pick it up.

I spent last week tracing off a Hot Patterns pants pattern...the exact name has escaped me and I'm too lazy to run upstairs and check...but I have never made up any pants from their line yet and I was guessing where to start for the size.  I was at the point of finding some junk fabric for a muslin mock up when I spotted Ann's review and threw the brakes on that project.  I at least have a clue of what I need to do to a Vogue pattern.

And, besides the usual fitting tweaks,  I will do a lot.
1) Move the placket to the outseam
2) Add Pockets
3) Add a waistband with at least some elastic (I am losing weight...very slowly...)
4) Move the zipper to a more accessible position.  Who EVER thought undoing a zipper blind and behind you under possible urgent duress was a good idea I do not know.  I may just put the zipper in the pocket that I will be adding.

So, basically, I will not be making THESE pants but I will be making pants based on these pants.

Oy, I have a lot of work to do lol...

Saturday, April 06, 2019

A Wild Goose Chase...perhaps...

I am trying to decide what style of cropped pants I want to use this month...and Thursday at lunch I spotted a young lady wearing some cropped pants that gobsmacked me. They were very fluid; fitted through the hip, slightly flared, and they had a deep buttoned placket on the outside of the legs running from the hem to about the knee.

So I went Googling for 'side button cropped pants' and 'ankle button pants', hoping to find the retail outlet.

Alas, I didn't find exactly what I was looking for. 

I pinned a couple of close approximations to my Pinterest board; these are the closest I could find:

They are from Urban Outfitters, and they are sold out.  But they are a linen blend and I don't think they would be as fluid as the ones I saw, which appeared to be heavy rayon or Tencel.

In any case, I'm thinking it couldn't be THAT hard to add a placket w/ buttons to a pattern, could it?  Especially as it is on the seam....I'd basically just have to add width for it to the outseam.

Of course, there's always the challenge of finding the buttons...sigh.

I'm leaning towards a marinere-style top to wear with my crops, whatever style pants I end up with.  That would be a classic, and I have a couple of candidates for the fabric in the stash, one black and white and one blue and white.

I have denim crops; if I weren't participating in Stitcher's Guild SWAP contest I'd just pull those for this month. But, SWAP is challenging me to go beyond the staples already in the wardrobe.  It's why I made the culottes last month instead of just pulling one of my black skirts from the closet.  Black crops might be a good, versatile addition to the closet.  As would white.  Hmm.....

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

February and March on the Hoof...and the 12-Months 12-Outfits Assignment for April

I'm kind of playing catch up here; I wore my Feb outfit to work last week and the best I could do was snap a bathroom which I covered up most of the color on the scarf with the cell phone.

I never claimed to be a stellar photographer....
 So, this week I decided to enlist a photographer.  And, since everything looked so dark and grainy in yesterday's pics, I turned on the autoflash.

Which washed out everything...kinda like I expected it would.  The lycra shine in the green top doesn't help any.  It still photographed way more teal colored than it really is.  It. Is. Green. Really.  It's much closer to the green in the scarf than it appears in the photos.
And, yeah, it's  not terribly flattering.  But it was terribly comfortable.  And it was kinda fun to wear...I broke my own style rules and pulled out some dangly abalone earrings that I've had for a while and just went with the big-scarf boho vibe.  I still think boots would have worked better over all than the Black Keds, but, well, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  One of my co-workers observed that the culottes would be great to wear traveling and...she's absolutely right.  They are as comfy as my earth mother maxi skirts and they wouldn't trip me going up the stairs at Mom's.  So you never know...I may make another pair just for traveling.  Someday.


HERE is Janice's 4/1/19 post with the outfit selections for April.  Being as she is in Chicago, I totally get her 'spring sweater' choices, but I have a whole shelf of sweaters that I don't wear because it is just too hot in my office.  So I will be looking for an alternative to the sweater again this month.  Crop pants ARE something I wear, at least on run around errand days, if not to the office.  I have some straight-legged cropped khaki denim britches that I, um, refer to as my 'Hobbit Pants', so I probably will be looking through my patterns to see what I can find that doesn't look quite so Bilbo Bagginsy.   4 of the 6 cropped pants selections are the main neutral for that wardrobe, but the last two are alternates so I might pull in my secondary neutral ...denim...I think....for the capris.  Just depends on what pattern I find.  Janice used the same Lands' End cropped knit pants, just in different colors, for 3 of the wardrobes but I think I want to go a little more uptown than those.  They look perfect for walking on the beach on a coolish spring morning....but I don't get to the beach often so I think I'll look for a little more tailored style.   I may have something in my jewelry bin that will fill the earrings-and-necklace requirement, but the shoes are likely to give me fits again.  Woven mules or ballet slippers.  Neither of which are particularly kind to my rather picky feet.  Maybe some espadrilles?   If I could find them in my size...

So.  Now to go dig through the patterns in search of smart

Monday, April 01, 2019

12 Months 12 Outfits -- March

Just for a reminder, HERE  are the Vivienne Files wardrobe picks for the Month of March.  As you have no doubt deduced from all my dithering and wild goose chasing and wrong tree barking, this month was a struggle for me.  Partly because I just don't wear skirts well...I like wearing them, but when my waistline disappeared I just didn't like the way skirts looked on me much anymore.

Just bein' honest.

But I think part of the problem was that I was trying to make a trans-seasonal outfit...a long sleeved top and kinda fuzzy acrylic scarf to be worn with classic Keds...which pretty much call for a sockless ankle.   It just didn't feel...right.  But, this is also about breaking myself out of my wardrobe ruts somewhat, so I will go against my grain a little bit.

And, in all honesty, if it weren't for the SWAP participation, I'm sure I would have pulled stuff from the closet for this month.  But for the first 4 months, I'm pretty committed to making everything so that I can participate in the SWAP...since it's based on an 'Inspiration piece', it just fit too well with what I was doing.  However...I do believe I have complicated my life a bit.  Because I didn't want to make something I already  had in the closet...I needed to add something different.

And I was struggling with the, twinset.  I made up a sort of wearable muslin of a sleeveless shell top (Pamela's Patterns Versatile Twin Set Shell) from a remnant of a not-very-nice black knit that rubs off onto whatever I wear it with (hello, gray bras...).  The pattern needs some tweaking to really work, although it's wearable it will look better after a little shoulder and armsceye work.  And, to be real with ya, I was running out of time.  My final sewing weekend suddenly evaporated with  a couple of appointments, a meeting, a worship team workshop day and an extra service on Sunday.

I pondered the situation and realized that a better substitute for a sweater might just be a long sleeved knit top.

I pulled out the humming bird scarf and laid it over the dark green knit again and, yes, that green is in there.  Boom. Decision made, I cut it out really quick before I could change my mind.

Which means I'm back to the green-and-black acrylic scarf instead of the lighter scarf I had pulled for the gold and green twinset.  With my sockless Keds, lol.

Anyway, I stayed up till midnight Friday, cutting out.  I started sewing at at 4:20 Saturday afternoon...after the choir workshop and a stop at the grocery store.  Took a dinner break around six and finished at ...midnight.  But I finished.

I could have been done two weeks earlier if I had just been realistic with myself, lol.

Then I have to photograph the pieces.  It's hard; I pull out an old bedspread and lay it print-down on the bed, then put the 'outfit' on it, climb a step ladder and hold my camera almost at the ceiling.  And still didn't quite get all the corners and edges.  And I'm thinking I should have at least tried the flash instead of assuming it would wash everything out; the greens aren't quite right in either the scarf (that green is almost indiscernible in the the grainy photo, and it looks olive-y for some reason. It's not at all.) or the top (which is a little more green and less teal than it looks).

Anyway, Jalie 2566 Twinset T, with a frankenpatterned long sleeve length, made from rayon/lycra jersey that has been in the stash since Feb 2012 (and I still have a yard and a half-ish left); the McCall's 7131 Culottes, made up in sandwashed Tencel twill...which has been in the stash since 2003.  Really.  And I have enough left for a pair of drapey pants. Black Keds, a green-and-black acryllic scarf that I *think* I bought at Hancock's for emerald-and-green choir wardrobe month sometime in the dusty past, and my Fitbit, with a nice leather band, playing the part of the watch.

Here's everything so far:

I've had a sneak peak at Janice's April wardrobe picks; enough to know that she is not deviating from past years.  I'll post about that tomorrow.