Thursday, August 27, 2009

What Not To Wear...The "Fair" Version.

Believe me, I'm certainly not one to be pointing fingers at fashion faux pas. I have quite a few myself. However, at least I *try* to dress nice. My figure flaws and imperfect body proportions are quite evident when I see my underwear clad body in a full length mirror. And I make every attempt to cover them up with the right clothes.

Funny thing is, when I go to an amusement park or community fair, I think I see the absolute worst of the worst, perfect examples of what NOT to wear. Do people not care or do they simply not know?
This year, the amusement park had some of the worst "fashion" ensembles I've seen in a long time! Maybe it's because we haven't been there in two years or I had the four kids with me last time with no opportunity to look at anyone else. This year, I went with my very fashion forward, beautiful friend who always dresses impeccably with a fab figure to boot. With three kids and is 44! Ah...sometimes we just have to sit back and envy the gene pool of the lucky ones. I took my two boys and she took her 3 kids. Now that my boys are older, I can actually enjoy going and have time to actually walk around, relax, check out the scenery so to speak.

Tonight I went to our community fair and although there were many fashion blunders, there weren't as many as the amusement park. However, I saw one that was so poor that I actually caught the person's outfit with my camera.

This is the look I absolutely loathe. It is so unflattering, all I want to do is run to her with a towel and cover her up. I want to take her by the shoulders and say, "Hey kid! Have you looked at your outfit in the mirror today??? Please, go home and tell me what you see."

What you're not seeing is the front and back views were even more unappealing than the side view. Anyway, cropped shirts are best left for the slim and trim. Did this girl even look in the mirror before she left? I can't imagine she did. She could add a nice supportive bra and rid herself of those cut off, sausage casing jeans. Is she pregnant? I seriously doubt it. But this look screams of Mr. Blackwell's worst dressed list as well as questions of is she or isn't she. The only thing I like about her outfit are her spanking white clean shoes. Must be for back to school. And if she's showing her muffin top, at least her belly skin is nice and smooth. After all, my belly skin will never be shown for public viewing post 4 kids without a tummy tuck.

As you can see, my sewing activities have been almost nil as of late. School starts Monday and I'm cramming in appointments left and right, doing back-to-school shopping, among last minute fun activities for the kids. However, that leaves me plenty of time for clothing choice/fashion analysis of the general public. Not that I have any right to be judging fashion, but some of the outfits I'm seeing make me want to choke. They're really bad. And I thought teens liked watching Project Runway and What Not To Wear. At least my girls do. Oh...shaking my head! Did her mother not see this outfit? Did she not say anything? Is her mother wearing the same "get up"?

Hmmm...I guess these are the musings of a sewing-starved woman. Nothing else to do but analyze at this point in time.

Next post to be worked on--comparison of a kid's "name brand" sewing machine and a "name brand" low-end computerized machine. Sometimes I simply can't understand how a company can put their logo on a machine that has the potential to frustrate a rank beginner as well as lure unsuspecting consumers into buying such a machine. I tell you, it has to be damn good marketing including a beautiful box. It makes me think that all companies should do away with overpriced kiddie machines considering all the issues that have the potential to cause sewing nightmares for newbies with a market niche that needs to be encouraged. After all, we want to turn on a new generation! Not turn them off to the world of sewing.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Other New Baby and Sewing Activities

The other day, DD#1, DD#2, and I took a 1 1/2 hour plus trip to visit our new baby. His name is Jake.

Here's a pic of baby Jake OR what baby Jake will look like:

Jake is either the middle kitten OR will look like the black one on the left from a new litter. I have to call the breeder tomorrow because she said we could have the champagne-colored one if the purchaser did not send in the deposit in a timely fashion. If not, we have picked out a little black boy kitten from the newest litter since the current 2-month olds are all technically sold. Either way, we will be so happy.

Our baby is a Devon Rex. We were looking into a cuddly, social cat that is low allergenic due to DS#1's asthma. We had 4 Persians at one time and he tolerated them well, but to be on the safe side we're going with a minimum fur coat that is supposedly well tolerated by cat allergic people and asthma sufferers. Do you know what the fur of a Devon Rex feels like? MINKY!!! I didn't know it at first, but I am embroidering a sample of Minky for my great nephew's embroidered blanket and it feels just like the Devons at the breeder. The adult Devon's fur is very short, a little wavy, and oh-so-soft!!! They are great little cuddlers and like to sleep with their owners :) . DD#2 is so excited about this.

So our "adoption" date is either the beginning of September or the beginning of November depending on which kitten. We are currently preparing for his arrival. I have to make sure my sewing supplies are stored well and my patterns are in a safe place. Cat lovers know how much cats love all things paper!

Back to sewing. As mentioned above, I'm working on sewing an embroidered blanket--Minky on one side, cotton flannel print on the other. It will be embroidered with my nephew's name, birthdate, length, weight, etc., the usual baby vital stats. Next up is working on a tree stand cover for this guy I know who is a hunter. He bought the fabric and I'm going to make it for him. I was going to have in pay me, but perhaps I'll barter and ask him to make me a tall cat stand. I'll buy the supplies and carpet, he's good at making things so maybe he could create a nice one for our new baby.

One quickie summer top is ready to be cut out, maybe shorten a previously made wrap skirt, perhaps make a simple elastic-waist skirt from a great EOS ITY-like print fabric. Then work on some summer capris that I was supposed to make last summer, and of course my bathing suit which will be finished in (probably) December! In between I keep working at my bra and panties. The panties are a quick project and I'm still working on a better fit. The bra takes a bit more time and I need a nice block to work on bra #2. Will bra #1 ever get done? Currently it is a no. I seam ripped enough that now I have little holes in the fabric here and there. It's okay, that's how we learn, from the mistakes we make.

I did have time to enter my Madison Avenue dress I made a while back in the PR Top 10 contest. Of course, I don't even expect to make the finalist stage, but it's nice just to enter. I've already been inspired by several who have posted the creations they have entered. Many of the patterns I wouldn't have even given a second look by the pattern covers/illustrations, but the work of PR members is, of course, amazing! I just loved MelissaB's, LonestarLady's and VeryPrairie's interpretations found in this thread. I'm hoping all will be posted soon.

That's it for now. Hope everyone got some sewing in this weekend!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My New Baby!!!

There she is! Isn't she a beauty?!?! My new Janome CP1000. I've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting to bring her home! Since last October in fact. She was on layaway at the dealer and they took care of her during that time.

She took her first baby steps today working on DS#2's travel baseball shirt. RTW sizing is so crazy. The Adult Small t-shirt I ordered for him for his tournament was just the right size, but all were on the smaller side of the range. The kids that got Youth Small or Medium looked like they had a baby's shirt, no kidding. So the new baseball jersey was an Adult Small and the sleeves were between the elbows and wrists, and the hemline of the shirt was between his crotch and knees, closer to his knees actually. So I pinned a new hemline and sleeve hemline to his liking. I took off 4" of length on the sleeves and 3 1/2" of length on the shirt hemline. I have to be careful not to take off too much because the shirt has to stay tucked into the baseball pants.

So here is the shirt:

It really looks much better on him. He was beaming when he put it on after coverstitching the new hems and felt great. My new baby did NOT disappoint!

Below is the closeup of the coverstitch on the sleeve hem. Isn't that exciting! Some pretty stitching indeed. I can't wait to look into the binders and fellers. I checked out Debbie Cook's tutorials on the accessories so maybe with some birthday or Christmas money I'll splurge and get some accessories. Sometime during the next 3 weeks I'm going to sit down and review Debbie's tutorials and try some things with my CP1000. The fact that it has narrow, wide, and triple stitch is just a super thing to me.


ETA...End result. A happy boy!

That's it for machines. Maybe I'll save up for a new serger at some point in time, but my current serger is doing it's job. Jet-air threading really appeals to me though. One thing about my new machine-- I was very surprised to find that the CP1000 has tiny screws for the needles like my serger. Hmmm...that's not my fave feature by far. Those screws are so tiny. Oh well, I'll get used to it.

Okay. Enough gushing. Back to housework but the break to post this so worthwhile! No longer do I have to lust over Karen's and Robin's coverstitching endeavors. I've joined the club :) .
ETA #2...All right. So what was I doing this evening? Geek stuff. I read the Coverpro manual for about a 1/2 hour and studied the pics and text. Good night type of reading for us sewing lovers :) .

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Mini "Maxi"--McCall's 5893







Here's my mini version of McCall's 5893. Previously I made the maxi dress--love, love, love it! I like the short mini version too. DH says it's kind of retro? Think 1960's.

I don't know about that. But it's cool. It's breezy. Feels like I'm wearing pajamas just like the maxi dress. My kind of outfit :) . If only all outfits could be like this! Here are two pics of the front and one of the back. Even picked up some little flats on clearance. Not the prettiest, but far better than what's in the shoe department in my closet. The fabric is an ITY print from Spandex World in NYC, and it's a dream to sew up.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Numbers!

52, 34, 33, 32, 22, 16, 14, 11, 10 !!!

Yes, that's right. Numbers! I've never liked them, never cared for math, Algebra, Geometry, etc. And at my age, they still bog me down. What is the significance of those numbers I have posted? They're the number of blog posts needing to be read in some of my blogfeeds!!! It's the same feeling like when you get behind on a project and feel like you'll never catch up. Or the thought of a delicious weekend, only to find you don't want to step on the scale and face the music. It's why I don't own a scale and haven't owned one in 20 years LOL.

At some point in time I'm going to catch up. Slowly but surely I've been reading and muddling my way through blog posts.

All while working on a second swimsuit muslin (this one might actually be wearable!). The first one was obscenely low. The inner bra is what bogs me down. I need it to be just right and I'm very particular about it.

Yesterday I wore my second pair of panties to assess my pattern modifications. They're a little loose in the back, that was after I tweaked the pattern. At first, I was thinking the back was just too big so I took out some length. Now what I think is that the front is simply too long at the crotch as I've examined some RTW panties for the front crotch seamline. It seems like it falls 1.5-2" farther back than it should. I think I'll add back the length I took off on the back and simply shorten that front crotch area. This will be for panty no. 3. If I find that it simply isn't too my liking, I'm going to drop down a size. I've found my measurement for my KS bathing suit points to a Medium, but there's no way this size worked on my figure and I dropped down to a Small which is much better. I'm thinking the panties might be the same way. I used a Small panty size but think an XSmall might work better. We'll see.

Three days ago I whipped up another dress from my McCall's maxi dress pattern. This is the mini dress version. Pics are forthcoming but my camera battery died :( . Must purchase a new one.

More later.