Monday, December 31, 2007
And the girls definitely need to clean the mirror in their room! And, of course, simply clean the room itself! To think it was straightened up last week--you'd never know.
Here's the dress so far...
Now, to work on the matching jacket. That's what I'm going to do this coming week. I'd really like to wear this to church next week.
1. Sew one classy/dressy outfit a month. Use my Lucky mag as an inspiration.
2. Organize my stash better.
3. Sew down my stash and use up half of my PR Weekend fabrics.
4. Clean my bathrooms and kitchen EVERY week.
5. Actually paint my kitchen and living room this year and put up new baseboard molding.
That's the completed list.
One thing I will NOT do, but would like to do, is a SWAP. Honestly, I see so many wonderful SWAPs and don't know how people do it. Some have jobs, some don't, and I'm in the don't group, but my four kids keep me so busy that I would just get incredibly disappointed if I did plan one. So many days I'm starting my dinner at noon or 1 p.m. so everything is ready by 3 so we can start our late afternoon/evening sports schedules. We never really get a lull, and by the time 9 p.m. rolls around it's bedtime. There's just not enough time and my SWAP would take two years to complete.
Back to my New Year's Eve agenda, we are a boring, but fun, bunch ;) . I'll be making margaritas and have the Smirnoff's coolers chilling. The dips and assorted crackers and chips wll be set out on the table, there's a movie to watch, then we'll watch the ball drop on TV. I'll be putting the final touches on my dress, too. Gotta get a little sewing in the mix pre Margarita.
Off to work on the dress.
Friday, December 28, 2007
So glad it is underlined in cotton batiste and not Ambiance too. I've tried it on several times for tweaking and the cotton feels...so warm. Every time I put it on, I think of Ambiance and get the chills. Great for summer, but NOT for winter, at least for me.
Almost forgot. I have to get my 80's shoulder pads out of my supply box. Way back when (and I do mean way back when!), I bought at least 12 pairs of shoulder pads sometime in the mid to late 80's. What was I thinking??? Must have thought big shoulders would be forever. The naivete of a late teen/early 20 something. How I so wanted to look like Krystal and Alexis Carrington with those elegant clothes and "beefy" shoulders. There's even a Dynasty pattern still in my stash LOL! The dress pattern I'm using is from the early 90's and still requires those 1/2" pads. I can tell there was extra room in the dress design for them. But it's not ridiculously big in the shoulders so it will be okay. (Or so I think.)
And when I finish, I can back to my jacket. Tonight I got sidetracked by finishing a Christmas present for my daughter's friend. We're going to see her tomorrow night and DD#2 forgot to add her name to my pillowcase sewathon for her friends.
Gosh, I still have to catch up on blog reading. Hopefully tomorrow. I just saw Cenetta's/The Mahogany Stylist's absolutely AWESOME coat on her blog when doing a quick check. Didn't have time to post an comment, but DO check out the coat she made for her daughter. Think Designer Knockoff contest for sure!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It was a great Christmas where we were able to stay home most of the day, and I made much progress on my Christmas dress (okay, so now it will be a New Year's dress :) ).
The zipper is done, the neck facing done, side seams are basted and just a little more tweaking in the upper thigh area is all that's needed to complete the seams with some permanent stitching.
Tomorrow I will work on the sleeves, the next day maybe the hem, and it will be given a final pressing so it can be worn to church. I'd get a picture of the WIP, but it doesn't fit on Phat Chick because she's too fat. I really need to slim her down because I got a little zealous with the fiberfill when stuffing her.
It's bedtime now, but I can't wait to work on my dress tomorrow.
Monday, December 24, 2007
My favorite Christmas tree ornaments are the ones that take center front at the top of the tree every year. My SIL gave us the First Christmas Together pillow ornament for our first married Christmas together (well, actually our second ). That goes right at the top center. To the left is the groom, the right is the bride. Those are Hallmark ornaments and I had to buy not only the bride and groom set, but an extra bride because the bride in the set was a brunette. That just wouldn't do because they had to look like us so I bought the extra blonde bride to match the brown-haired groom. They *had* to match us. Right below that trio is the Hallmark Ornament of the Grand Theater. On our first date we went to an old time cinema just like the one portrayed in the ornament (even with a balcony!) and it was also called The Grand. When that came out, I knew I *had* to add that. It was calling my name. It's a very nostalgic ornament for us.
Of course, there are plenty of other wonderful ornaments like the kids' first Christmas ornaments, the sports figures, cars, trains, Star Wars, Barbies, etc., but the ones in the pic just have so much meaning and wonderful memories attached to them.
Just thought I'd share something special on this warm and cozy Christmas Eve :) !
Our First Christmas Together and matching Bride and Groom
Our "First Date" Ornament
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I feel like Cinderella that has a mountain of cleaning/housework tasks to do before going to the ball. And that is not a good feeling.
Friday, December 21, 2007
No time for working with my dress or jacket. What a bummer. Tomorrow and Sunday are big family cleaning days with a few errands thrown in between. Although I plan on doing something sewing related tomorrow night. And more cookies and pies must be made but DD#1 will make the cookies. I'd like to get to the gym at least one more day, too, because two big eating days are coming up on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Time to hit the sack.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Oh. I almost forgot that I still have to cut three more pattern pieces as well as the lining. But that's okay. Anything but what I've been doing the past 5 days. And to top it off, it seems that every time I go to an appointment, I have to go back for more. DS#2 now has two ortho appts. tomorrow, one in the morning, one in late afternoon. And I still haven't finished Christmas shopping, nor have I worked on housecleaning this week. But I'm not worried. This year I will not stress at Christmas time. Stress is not in my nature and I will not let this holiday season get me down with everything that doesn't get done.
I am going to stay a happy chick and not a grumpy one.
The bottom corner of the dress shows the black cotton batiste underlining. After contemplating the issue of lining, underlining, or both, I decided to just go with underlining. For the type and style of dress, underlining just seamed easier. I'll probably use a HongKong finish on the seams. The zipper was going to be handpicked with seed beads but I couldn't find the shade of red beads that was needed so it will just be a regular centered zipper. And why cotton batiste? Because I'm ALWAYS cold! Batiste doesn't feel cold like Bemberg rayon. So that completes my Progress part 3 for today.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The bad news is the kids have dentist and orthodontisit appts. again today and tomorrow. And tomorrow's ortho appt. is a long one because DD#1 gets her braces off. I have to do *something* today so I can take it along for whatever hand sewing/basting/marking that needs to be done.
I'll probably work on some block fusing and cutting the lining.
ETA--heading down home stretch with block fusing. Oh man! I can't wait to get this dreaded chore over with. A nice BIG press board would make things so much easier.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
DD#2 is quite perplexed though. After all my raving about the beautiful serger stitching on the pillowcases, she couldn't understand why the machine doesn't backstitch. She does know how to use the regular sewing machine so I think she is kind of befuddled why a serger is such a wonderful thing to have. She wanted to wrap them up right away, but I told her I had to bury the thread chains. There were three on each one so it took about about 20 minutes to get them all done. I guess for all my raving, she can't understand why I could call a machine that doesn't backstitch wonderful.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
It was great to see Barba and Shura again as well as meeting Annette. And it's all thanks to Deepika, founder of Patternreview.com, which is what brought us together in our area.
So what did we do today? We talked about the focus of our group and our current projects. Annette modeled her lovely top with EOS fabric (SO soft yet substantial by the way--I can easily see what it's dubbed "Linda's favorite"), Barb's top in such a pretty Gorgeous Fabrics knit along with her awesome purses, Shura discussed the progress on her skirt (we can't wait to see it!), and I wore one of the tops from S4076, one of my fave patterns. We shared the patterns with each other and discussed muslins and other sewing/fitting activities.
It doesn't really get much better than that. Starting off the weekend bright and early in a sewing group talking about fashion sewing. I get SO excited about it being the true sewing geek that I am and that is said with an enormous amount of pride. It's that pride that "binds" us together...the common "thread"...and I'm such a nerd with the puns LOL.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Then I have to stop at a ribbon and craft store that carries nice cottons for the pillowcases for sports and horses. Hopefully, the ones I want will still be in stock. Off to get started on my busy day...
ETA..and here are the pillowcase fabrics. 3 girls will get softball, 1 a kitty cat because there were no soccer or field hockey prints, 2 tennis, and 2 horses. One of the tennis pillowcases will be for DD#1--astounding! She actually asked for a pillowcase. Like something made by me would actually be kind of cool???
Oh...and another thing. I looked lovingly at a Babylock Evolve serger/coverstitch machine while choking on the $1990 price tag. But what a machine!!! WHAT A MACHINE!!! D***, that is THE machine, isn't it?!?!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tonight, I'm hoping to cut out the first four pattern pieces for my jacket, and tomorrow (hopefully!) I can cut out the lining pieces. Anything but the sheer boredom of block fusing! Maybe if I can rent the new Harry Potter DVD tomorrow it won't be so bad.
ETA...adding pics...I'm done cutting the four pieces!!! Three are shown below--yeah!
The downside of block fusing! Look at all the high quality wasted interfacing :( . All that good stuff down the financial drain. That really stinks.
And some more good stuff. The first batches of cookies. I put some in little baggies for me for the weekend. I don't eat junk food during the week and if I don't stash some (they're under the veggies in the produce drawer in the fridge so no one will look there) there won't be any left for me. Shhhh!
This weekend is our second "future ASG" meeting! We have five definites who are interested and trying to spread the word. I can't wait to get through our mini "agenda" and hear about everyone's recent projects and favorite notions. The sewing gods are smiling on us too! The weather is bad today and will be bad Sunday, but looks we'll be spared Saturday morning. Maybe we can get some pics of our fab group sewing meeting.
Monday, December 10, 2007
No. 1 Reason: I feel like I'm constantly being interrupted and I need solid chunks of time to think things over to avoid making silly and stupid mistakes. Just as I was placing pattern pieces on my fabric and working with the layout, my girls got off the high school bus. I was just getting ready to cut the fabric into two separate pieces for block fusing and "knock, knock, knock!" Train of thought interrupted. Pretty soon the boys will be home. Tomorrow I have to get a minor surgical procedure done, and on Wednesday the girls need ortho and dentist appts. By the time I get back to my fabric, I'll forget where I left off!
I remember the glorious sewing days pre kids! Having entire days here and there to sew work clothes. The summer of my first pregnancy (it was the first trimester) I made an entire maternity wardrobe in two months. I went back to work in September and my co-workers were amazed at how many nice-looking maternity clothes I had. It sure was nice to have so much time to sew!
The No. 2 reason is expensive fabric. Years ago I didn't buy fabric that would worry me if I made a mistake. Disappointed, yes, but not gasping and choking for breath from making a mistake on $20-$30/yard fabric or thereabouts.
So my sewing is VERY slow going. There is no way I'm going to make a dumb whopper-of-a-mistake on this jacket fabric. Right now I'm going to see what I can do in a 20-minute chunk of time before the after school chaos begins of DH and the boys coming home.
Progress is being made on the dress and jacket. The jacket pattern has been traced and altered. Today I will double check the alterations on every piece, then proceed to block fusing. I highly doubt I will get to cutting out the jacket in the next two days. The kids have a 2-hour delay today so that means the absence of a clean kitchen table this morning.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
So the other day I cleaned off my kitchen table and put the machine back on the cart with its cover. The cart was organized according to my original intent. And *finally* my kitchen table is free of "stuff"! The purpose of this was actually twofold: get a little more organized for our Christmas Eve dinner and get a good cutting surface back for my Christmas outfit project. Cutting is my most disliked aspect of sewing and I put it off with a lot of excuses. However, I'm trying to commit to more intensive sewing projects rather than the quick and easy ones so the absence of a machine means I'm getting down to serious business.
Thus far, I've cut out the red silk dupioni for my dress as well as the interfacing to underline it and the cotton batiste for the lining. Ambiance would have been more luxurious but it feels way too cold next to my skin during the winter so cotton batiste is a must. Now I'm going to cut and trace the pattern pieces for the jacket and work on block fusing the interfacing to the wool. That will probably take me a day or so. I was thinking about underlining the wool to make it warmer but am not sure at this point. Today I bought some 100% cotton black flannel at Walmart today of all places! It is hard to believe how hard it is in my area to get solid colored flannel so about 5 yards were added to the stash. So, who knows at this point if I'll use it on this jacket. If not, there are two other jackets in the cue that will need underlining.
Friday, December 7, 2007
On to sewing stuff...I made the trip down to JoAnn's today and picked up some goodies. I had a long list of McCall's and Vogues, but narrowed down the McCall's to two and the Vogue ones weren't my size range. If the pattern doesn't include 10/12/14 sizes, then I really think about it. If I can wait, I will. That is a good size range with minimal alterations for me and it just makes things so easy to blend the sizes as necessary.
So what were my goodies? Check out the pic below! :)
There's a lot of marking pens, an extra seam ripper, point turner, thread, microtex and stretch needles, blue satin backed crepe and a fancy lining fabric for my black/white herringbone Christmas coat/jacket, and two McCall's patterns. The crepe was on sale for $2/yard, the lining was $10 with my 50% off coupon, and all the notions were 50% off. The McCall's patterns, of course, were $1.99/pattern. A heartfelt thank you to Lovely for pointing out this sale in her blog! She saved me a bundle on this trip. Even the ladies at the pattern table weren't aware of the sale and were happy when I mentioned it to them. Gotta enable when you can, right?!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
(DEAR HUSBAND-- This is where you can stop reading because I will bore you to death!!! Proceed to my last paragraph so you know my schedule tomorrow :) .)
The front of this classic style has princess seams curving in toward the neck on the front, but not the back. The pattern back only has a CB seam. You would think this would be great for my curvy back, but it is not. In fact, the "traditional" thought is to curve the CB seam to reflect the shape of one's own back curve, thereby getting a better fit. However, *as usual* , it seems that I am the exception to the rule--what else is new... Which kind of gets me going on the issue of "seam integrity" as I was reading on Carolyn's fantastic blog. What exactly *is* seam integrity and when does it apply. Does it apply to all seams? Or just specific ones? Does it depend on the pattern? I don't know.
This is where I want to dissect the concept of seam integrity because when I look at a pattern, that pattern is fitted to a perfect size 10 fit model. When that fit model turns 40 and has several kids with the force of gravity at work in several places, she too will need some alterations. And those alterations can come from slicing/dicing/pivot and sliding, correct? But her basic overall shape is essentially the same, unless she has put on a drastic amount of weight. So I presume she probably wouldn't need to touch her seams to make the necessary alterations.
I, on the other hand, am the one using the pattern that was made to fit her perfect body. And trying to FIT *her* perfect pattern on my imperfect body. So this is where the issue of seam itegrity falls apart for me. For example, let's say my waist is 28, my hips 36 1/2 on a given day in the month. Let's say hers are 25 and 36, respectively. The side seam curve is actually a dart into the waist. If I don't futz with the shaping on that seam that's made to fit the perfect size 10 model, it's not going to fit me. My curves are different from hers. On a commercial pattern (let's say a skirt), I will need to alter not only the crotch length, but will need to adjust the width and depth of the front and back darts as well as the shaping of the side seam.
Another issue to examine here--my duct tape skirt sloper pattern doesn not resemble most commercial patterns. The duct tape pieces (shown below) came right off my body to develop my own sloper. First the pattern on my body, then the pattern cut into quadrants, then the pattern tested/developed as a sloper (back pieces are shown). Since this sloper/pattern was created right off my body, I don't mess with the shape of the seams. It is true to my body and I'm not messing with seam integrity because this sloper was made to fit one person--me.
I'm not trying to poke holes in the seam integrity concept, just trying to understand it. I'm a question person. Always asking about things until I understand. And although my brains nods and accepts the concept, in practical terms I don't understand how and/or when it applies. I've got so many "what ifs" in my head.
...getting back to my issue with M5007... if I try to curve a CB seam on my back, I get the dreaded "X" foldlines in fabric starting at the CB at my waist and pointing to my shoulder blades and hips. This is *the* moment that tells me, "Don't mess with this seam!" Hence, seam integrity, I presume. Thus, the lightbult moment occurs and I realize that my CB seam doesn't need adjusting at all. What I need to add are princess seams in the back. So I create princess seams on the back piece of M5007 mirroring the ones in the front (curving into the neck). Why did I do this? Because the area of the curve in my back starts at the shoulder blade which is prominent, then curves in sharply to the small of my back, then back out to my rear end. My CB is actually quite straight with little curve. Thus, any form-fitted shaping on my back pattern pieces must be done at the shoulder blade point down, not at the CB seam.
This also brings about another thing that will tickle my brain. When we talk about darts, for example back darts, does seam integrity apply to darts? Because many times I'll split the back waist dart into a shoulder dart and make a princess seam. So from this perspective I think seam integrity does apply to darts. Ah...so many questions! I just love to pick the brains of my favorite fitting gurus too. They've always helped me understand these issues so I'm filling up my notepad of questions again. If anyone can shed some light on the things for me, please do so. I like the seeing the bright lights, rather than feeling light a dim bulb.
DH--this is where you can begin to read again...
Christmas shopping! I haven't done any yet. But tomorrow my agenda is set. I'm going to the gym first, down to JoAnn's, then to several places to pick up gift cards. I have to make my list and check it twice today. My JoAnn coupons are ready and the sale starts tomorrow. Just a few patterns, thread, and a couple of other things written down on a to-do list that I can't seem to locate right now. Guess that means I need to get up and do some housework now. (And read more about seam integrity when I get the chance :) . )
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
In a few days, I will go down to JoAnn's and pick up a short, boxy jacket pattern, one with fancy sleeves that is so popular right now, and make up a short jacket with remaining wool piece that is only 2 yards. I have some great buttons to match with that wool so whatever pattern I use must have buttons. Does anyone have any suggestions on cute jacket patterns? It has to be a McCall's or Vogue because those are the ones on sale in the next few days.
Now I'm going to get off my rear end to finish up some evening chores and maybe have some time to start cutting out my dress.
Monday, December 3, 2007
I'm trying to recreate the model's look on the front of Simplicity 4047, although my red dress is going to be a little longer. The waist inset on the dress is flattering on my figure, and it's one I've made many years ago when I was working. I just tried on my dress made from this pattern a few days ago to check the fit and the only alterations made to it way back when were lengthening the sleeves and skirt portion. Other than that, I was surprised how much I loved the fit. Now and back then. (Well, the inset across the tummy is a little more snug than it used to be...) A few minor tweaks here and there (which I've done already) and it's good to go. I'm going to go with the collarless dress w/long sleeves. Hmmm...on second thought maybe not--forgot about my gloves. Darn thing is, there's only 23 days left until Christmas. Hopefully I can swing it, but I'm not going to get upset about it if I can't. Gosh, I'm still working on my pants muslin and there's still so much shopping and housecleaning to do before the big day. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
But I got to thinking. I would share my figure flaw because it illustrates what I can't wear--too short tops. I am very shortwaisted with very long legs. It is easy to disguise this flaw most of the time, but occasionally if I make a top too short, it just looks--Blech! It makes me cringe when I look in the mirror because it looks like my boobs are sitting right on top of my waist. Here goes this blasted photo:
The pic doesn't look as bad as the top does now because it has suffered progressive shrinkage through subsequent wash and dry's, but it got me thinking. What are everyone else's figure flaws and how do they compensate for them. And what are your figure assets? So if anyone reads my boring blog, please share what you think are your figure flaws, what shouldn't you wear so they are not noticeable, and what do you wear to create the illusion of a more perfect figure.
For me, duro tops are perfect. Low-rise jeans are great--the illusion of a longer torso. V-waists are especially flattering. Empire waist dresses and sheath dresses are flattering too. What is DEFINTELY NOT flattering are normal waist jeans with shirts tucked in. I NEVER tuck my shirts in with jeans like this. And I don't like normal waist jeans because they scream Mom jeans, not sexy jeans, on my figure. Shirts must be closer to my hipline than to my waist. If I go above a certain point, it shouts, "Look at my short waist!"
So now that you know my figure flaw that nobody is *supposed* to know, I will share with you my figure assets which I try to emphasize. Long, shapely legs, nice shoulders and arms, and a full bust. I swear by Wonderbras for many of my sewing projects and highly recommend them for the 40 and over group like me :) . Husbands like them too LOL!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I think dressing nice comes and goes in spurts. There are stages of life that affect this, and even genetics takes over at some point in time and makes things even harder. I remember back in my early-mid 20's at my first *real* job as a high school teacher. Beautiful wools suits, classy dresses--yeah, it was my style. Then at 25, baby no. 1 came along. I learned very quickly to cover up my dress clothes before heading out the door to daycare. Spit up is not very kind to dress clothes. Same with using a big absorbent towel on my lap so the suddenly very weight diaper "spot" wouldn't appear on the lower half of my work clothes. When I was home, my clothes were lackluster to say the least. Drab and dumpy to be exact.
It only got worse when I turned 30 and decided to resign to raise my growing family as a SAHM. Big oversized men's t-shirts and turtlenecks and bland jeans were my uniform. It's what I felt I had to wear. Little kids have a tendency to wipe their noses along with their big hugs on mom's shirts. Dirty hands sometimes turn my boring solid colors into prints. And the darn thing is, having a full bust and a smaller waist, I didn't always look past my boobs when going out. There were definitely several occasions where I walked out door with "booger spots" and "paw prints" on my lower half!
So, it's really hard to dress nice with little kids. Not impossible, but I just didn't feel up to the challenge with havng four kids somewhat close together. Once they all got out of toddlerhood, I wanted to look better and dress nicer. Take my life back so to speak. And this is really the hardest part of all for most women. By this time, their bodies have dramatically changed. In my case, I've been somewhat blessed by "thinner" genes, but still have to work hard to keep off 20 lbs. that would love to sit on my body. But so many have it hard, and I think the fashion industry for the middle class isn't exactly kind. As a SAHM, our family lives on one income. That doesn't leave much extra money for the finer stores. Walmart, Kmart, JCPenney, and Sears are my usual hits for shopping. That is, when I go because I hate clothes shopping and would much rather stay home and make my own. But the average Jane isn't so lucky. The spandex-y styles can be rather shapeless, and so many woman are looking for comfort. The generic department stores cater to the masses and this doesn't exactly include the cute Anthropology or runway knockoff styles I see on websites. Stretch knits with less shape are what I'm seeing in the stores and on the streets to accommodate the ever increasing American girth.
So overall, what I'm trying to say is, dressing better is do-able, but there are so many things that work against us as women. Instead of concentrating on an entire wardrobe or looking great everyday (which is sometimes a daunting task), it's nice to have a few outfits set aside for when we go out. Whether it be to school for parent pickup, sitting at a sports event, going to a parent/teacher conference, etc. I think taking baby steps can make a big difference. Heck, I even dress up now to go to the batting cages with my kids!
So fellow ladies like me, go easy on yourself. Start with a couple of nice pieces, and build from there. Maybe a nice wool coat, a jacket or two, a pair or two of nice shoes, a pair of sexy "non-Mom" jeans and build from there. We CAN get our fashion forward lives back, one piece at a time :) !
Monday, November 26, 2007
The Internet has been a godsend to me as far as fit is concerned. And it has taken time, not something that has happened overnight, in a month, or even a year. The more I do it, the better I get. So far I've been able to nail down a decent fit for a top or jacket and a skirt. But pants is my last frontier. I've been busy working on mine and my daughter's over the last several months. Since May actually, when I took Shannon Gifford's Make a Pants Muslin class. I start working on it, take a few fitting pics, stop, work on something else, start again, stop again... You get the idea. Right now I've been concentrating my efforts on my daughter's pants. They're almost there. Above are pics of her first muslin. The back looks bad, I know. Deep folds and creases from way too much fabric. Can't do much with those pants as far as alterations are concerned, so I just finished them up so she could wear them. Nothing worse than what I see at school anyway. My second try I was happier with, but it still needs work. On this pair, a few lightbulbs went on as far as pants fitting is concerned. But the deep folds and creases have been replaced with light folds and creases. She also wants a narrower leg and narrower hem. Done. Working on her third pair soon.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Today I will continue sewing her second pair with the pattern alterations to take care of her baggy butt/back upper leg. She was happy to learn that the number of fittings on this pair will be cut in half.
Some bad news on my own though. Dummy me forgot I was using two fronts and two backs to account for my asymetrical body #*(@U(*#U@*( !!!!! So I have two left backs and two right backs. At first I thought it was a total loss, but maybe that's not so. I think I can cut a left front and right front from the two extra backs by piecing the side seam with a long extra strip of denim. Think design element here. It just makes me mad though because it's extra work on a pair of pants that is taking me months to perfect the fit. *Finally* I get the alterations done and have a cutting error. So disgusting.
So maybe I'll finish mine over Thanksgiving. Today is a big pie-making day for me so if I'm lucky to work on DD#2's second pair of jeans, I'll be that much closer to working on my own and fixing the boo-boo.
Monday, November 12, 2007
The weekend started for me late Friday packing my suitcase and other goodies around 6 p.m. I had to take DD#1 to baseball later and didn't get back home until 9:30 p.m. Checked my emails and had to respond to Sue who couldn't attend with me this year due to a very unfortunate and heartbreaking loss in her family. Sure hope her family was able to get through the weekend okay.
Saturday morning I was up bright and early at 3:15 a.m. to be out the door at 4:15 to catch a ride with my friend's husband at the gas station. He works in NYC and was able to drive me right to my sister's apartment doorstep! What a gem. I tried to offer him some money for the trip but he wouldn't take it. Such a nice guy and was good enough to listen to my boring early morning babble on the way. My sister and I had a small breakfast at her apartment and we were off at 8 to meet everyone at 9:15 in the hotel lobby.
We broke into two groups soon after and my group was headed to the leather store. Mmmm!!! Smelling and feeling all those skins!!! Absolutely incredible. I bough some red leather for a purse and some black for whatever. My sister was simply smitten with some goat skin and bought 3 skins to make a black jacket. It is going to be gorgeous when it's done! Then we went to Mood. Didn't buy anything there because our next stop was where I REALLY was itching to go--Metro Textiles. I bought about 5 knits from Kashi and had them shipped home. Can't wait for them to arrive. Then it was lunch at the Times Square Deli. Thanks goodness as I was starting to get the afternoon cranks. A lunch of a toasted chicken panini, terra chips, chocolate cake, and a Fresca made everything right again for more fabric shopping. After lunch we went to Paron's (gosh I love their wools!) and picked up a blue/black wool and a dark green wool. After that it was a walk to the trim shop (can't remember the name) where I picked up some cotton thread for my leather as well as a few buttons to match my green wool. Spandex House was next on my hit list and I picked up a knit there too. So did my sister. Then a few more stops here and there and we were done.
After shopping we went back to the Milford Plaza lobby to rest our weary feet for about 45 minutes before we were to meet again for our evening party. We took a 20 minute subway stop with a short walk to the office building and we all met in the conference room for pizza, drinks, good conversation and the gift swap. Around 9 p.m. there was a lot of yawning and the party broke up with everyone saying goodbye until our next meeting, whether it be fabric shopping or a PR retreat of some type.
That is basically a summary of my overall awesome day! Saturday night was a little difficult LOL. While my sister's bed is certainly very comfy, it was very hard for me to sleep at all with the strange NYC noises going on outside. So Sunday was very exhausting. My sister accidentally set the alarm clock an hour early (not that it mattered, of course) and I was up at 4:45 a.m. We left her apartment around 7 and went for bagels and then to the Port Authority to wait for my 8:30 a.m. bus. I was supposed to leave on the 3:15 bus, but our PR group decided the night before that we would forgo the Sunday breakfast, so I was able to leave early and be home with my family. Truly it was another awesome PR Weekend, and I can't wait to do it again.
This year it was wonderful to get the opportunity to talk more with people I didn't get a chance to speak that much with last year, like Mina. She's incredible and so funny! I loved her dress story (or maybe I should say lack thereof LOL!). This year I met Cindylou and she is the epitome of a southern belle! Warm, inviting, and cheerful with a delightful light southern accent. Karen amazed me again this year with her ability to pick out fabrics that amazingly match her skin tone. What incredible taste! JodiB was so kind and complimentary to me about the fit of my shirts in my reviews, but I was equally inspired by her SWAP plan. She had the fabric swatches in hand as she shopped the stores. She has the most amazing skin tone too! We were at Metro and she had this fabric draped on her which was not only a great color on her, but it just makes her skin glow even more than usual. She was also so kind to wait until my sister made her final decision on her leather skins to guide us to the next store. (That was actually quite dangerous because I know how long my sister can take to make decision! Luckily she didn't take forever.) I loved talking with Ann and think she has a great sense of humor. She picked out this gorgeous print at Kashi's with purple and red. After leaving the store I was kicking myself for not buying some too. Can't wait to see the top or dress that she makes from it! As for Cidell, I didn't get a chance to talk with her much, but she is incredibly beautiful. She looks terrific in her pics, but even more gorgeous in person. TomP was there with his contest-winning coat. Amazing work. Equally amazing was the coat he made for his girlfriend--the same pattern/coat that Mary Cargill made and was wearing that night. And don't even get me started on Mary LOL! She makes amazing coats and jackets. Her evening outfit was equally impressive. I absolutely LOVED her idea for the loop/carriers on the front and back of her black top to insert a scarf. It just makes for an incredibly classy look. It was so nice to actually meet several others like Cindy, Mimi, Jaeng, and Mariela although I didn't get to talk to them that much this year. Kim wasn't in my group either, but you know...there's always next year. Even my sister commented on the great time she had and what a great group it was!
The only drawback to my weekend was my crummy, cheapo digital camera. I only got 9 pics because for some reason the camera wouldn't save to the SD card. I was afraid to reformat it for fear the pics in internal memory would be lost. Da** camera! But I will try to post what I do have as well as fabric pics during the next few days.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
1. Sew the inseam and side seam on DD#2's jeans with topstitching and transfer her baggy butt/leg alterations to the flat pattern for her next pair.
2. Finish tidying up my sewing studio (Gosh, I LOVE calling it a "studio"! Makes me feel rich LOL.) It's really a small room in our house but it houses most of my sewing stuff, except for most of my stash. Will take some pics of it too.
3. Outside errands--food shopping and post office. The bathrooms will have to wait yet another day.
4. Pick the girls up after school, go to the gym, then eat and take DS#2 to football practice.
And that is my boring list! Oh yeah, add the mundane housework kind of things like vacuuming and doing the dishes. And DH wonders what I do all day! However, even he was amazed at how something simple like taking the car in for a wheel alignment and oil change will wipe out most of the day when he was off from work this past week. Really, items 1 and 2 are the *most* important :) .
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
DD#2 is on her third fitting as of tonight. At this point I'm tweaking the upper/mid thigh so the side seams hang perfectly straight and are a little looser. I got a little over zealous taking out some fabric and need to adjust as necessary. She really hates fitting. Getter her to stand still for five minutes while I do some measurements is pushing it and that is very annoying to me. She'll bother me to make them, but then doesn't want to the the absolute minimal effort of simply standing still for several minutes every couple of days to get a decent fit. And let's face it. She probably will make some excuse about how she doesn't like the feel anyway once they're done. However, I probably should be grateful. Getting the boys to stand still even for a second to take a pic is almost too much for them! But I'm working on that Kodak moment.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
She comes home, arrives at the front door, and I ask her, "Where did you get *THAT* outfit???" (She was wearing a royal blue, thigh high dress with a black belt and black heels.) It did look very nice. She replied, "It's yours!" It turns out she took a dress that has a matching black and royal blue jacket, a belt from my black/white suit, put them together and got the look she wanted to for Spirit Week at school. However, the dress was mid thigh, and I know my dress is knee length. So I ask her, "Why is my dress so short?" She proudly (yes, I did say proudly) turns back the hemline to the reverse side which reveals clear plastic packing tape holding the entire hem in place. Yikes! How tacky. IMO, that's bad as stapling your hem in place. I told her that someone had to see it. Geez, didn't it crinkle when she sat down? Maybe they even heard it. Guess I should be happy she didn't get some insane idea and cut my hem.
She was promptly sent to her room to remove the packing tape from my dry-clean only dress, checky for dirt and oil spots, and put my belt back on my black/white suit. IMO, that is definitely a fashion faux pas. Taping a partial hem in an emergency is okay. Taping the entire hem on someone else's dress is not.
Anyway...DD#2's jeans are going fine. She had her first fitting yesterday, and I pinched out some vertical darts where some fabric needs to be removed. The crotch area (at this point) looks fabulous. I was so pleased. Currently the legs are being redesigned with some flare as per her preference. So far so good. DS#1 and DS#2's jeans are cut and ready to be stitched. Mine still have to be cut, but all the alterations have been transferred to the pattern. The only thing I want to double check is the front crotch area.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Case in point: my daughter's pants I'm working on. I matched up the front and back jeans pattern pieces at the crotch point seamline and made sure the grainlines were perfectly parallel. The result? A very narrow body space that maybe Barbie could fit into. When I put her crotch curve/body space overlay on top it was a Wow! moment. There was no way her body was going to fit into these pants. Something has to be done with the body space issue. I looked for an old Threads issue that had an article specifically about this (the 12/05-1/06 issue, pp. 40/41) and soaked up the info like a dry sponge.
Tomorrow I'll edit to add pics for an illustration of what I'm working on. Right now, I'm going to sleep on this fitting dilemna before proceeding with her pants alterations.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
So here I am. Typing about it while taking a break from drafting a pants pattern for her. DS#2's 3rd pair are cut out. The alterations have been transferred and/or completed on DS#1's and my pair. Now I'm working on hers. Here's to hoping the draft will be complete tonight to cut out a muslin tomorrow.
This is when sewing sometimes doesn't pay off. DD#2 hates virtually all jeans. In fact, I'm sitting in a pair she asked for last Christmas. We wear the same size and they fit me like a dream. Fit her like a dream too (IMO)! Why doesn't she like them? She doesn't like the feel. It's too snug, cuts into her here or there, so what makes me think mine will be any different? I don't. Plain and simple. This is a labor of love because she'll probably say she doesn't like the ones I make either. There is one thing in my favor. The jeans will have an elastic waist and mock zipper stitching on the front. Maybe, just maybe, the tide will turn.
Here's to hoping, but I'm not holding my breath. Stay tuned...
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Just finished S4076, the wrap version. Don't know why, but I've never owned, nor worn, a wrap top before. But this version is definitely to my liking! The fabric I used was an embroidered, black Slinky--LOVE IT!
I'm definitely in love with Slinky fabric. In fact, this morning I bought 1 1/2 yards of this beautiful teal Slinky over at EOS to make another wrap top, maybe for PR Weekend in a few weeks. And I had to take a peek over at Gorgeous Things and ordered a black/white/gray art deco print, maybe for the Christine Jonson Wrap top. Once it got down to 7 yards left, the decision had to be made.
I was cautioned by a recent review of the wrap version over at PatternReview. A reviewer mentioned that her wrap version (in the flat pattern stage, I think) definitely did not have the same finished measurements as it should in the bust. Guess Simplicity chalked this up to an error, but there were no fit issues for me by simply grading from a 10 at the shoulders to a 14 mid armhole down. Those darn full high hips of mine needed a little more on the back piece from the waist down, so I added a 1/2" extra in the seam allowance starting at the hem on the back piece only, tapering to 0 at the waist. This is a constant bugaboo for me--broad shoulders, very small back, and full high hips. It makes for a very curvy back which necessitates either A: back darts or princess seams or B: Make the back more boxy and loose. I opted for B on this top, although if made again I think the back piece wil be redrafted for a shoulder princess seam so the small of the back can curve in and mold the body better.
Here is a pic of me wearing the top:
There were lots of alterations for me as usual. They are found in my review of this top at Patternreview (well, when I get to write it :) ). I think the style is flattering, although I added 2" of length below the waist and probably shouldn't have with the Slinky. The 4-way stretch tends to pull down and add length anyway. Right now the top hits me right at my widest point, but that isn't a deal breaker because I simply like the fit and feel of the top. The top is tacked closed at the v by stitching in the ditch of the neckband.
Overall, I'll get a lot of wear out of this top. It's comfy and can be dressed up or down.
The next few days I'll be taking a break from tops and working on jeans. Cutting out mine because I'm finished (well, at least I *think* I am) with muslin alterations, cutting out DD's for her muslin, finishing DS#2's third pair, and starting DS#1's first pair! Better make sure there are enough good denim needles in my stash!
Here's to hoping my muslin alterations will pan out!!!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Aside from this aspect, I did get to put the final alterations on my first wrap version of (yeah, it's my fave again!) Simplicity 4076. Perhaps there will be a chance to cut it out today from the embroidered Slinky fabric. I finished up DD#2's second pair of jeans too. He's thrilled with the side pockets, but next time will make the opening a little longer for him. Tomorrow his third pair will definitely get cut out. I'm going to take a little ease out of the waistband of his master pattern because the gathering at the waist, IMO, is a bit much.
Off to cutting.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Once those jeans are done, DS#1 needs 3 new pairs of jeans too. As I start his, I will *finally* work on cutting out a casual, close-fitting trouser pattern that I've been perfecting the last three months. The alterations just need to be transferred to the pattern and it will be good to go. DD#2's jeans pattern needs to be drafted as well but at least that is half done. So...I'll be working on pants/jeans for three people over the next two-three weeks--myself, DS#2, and DD#2.
Busy, busy, busy!!!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Here are the current pics:
As for the "matching skirt", it will be a straight skirt made from some fruity fabric with black godets. Check this out--
I can't wait to see how it turns out, although DH will probably not want to be seen with me when I'm wearing it LOL!
My second completed project this week was my Pamela Tank Top converted into a tank dress. I've morphed this pattern into a bunch of different styles and love the summer dress version. It's so hot in NE Pennsylvania today that I'm wearing it out. Probably the last day to wear summer clothes since it's supposed to get a bit cooler later this week. Even had enough fabric to make another tee (yep, S-4076 again :) ). The fabric was a pretty knit found at a local fabric store.
Here's the front and back: