Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Mary and Melissa, I will follow your advice. Wear the top with sleek pants or skirt and pair the skirt with a tailored blouse in a nice gold or brown. I wore the top with jeans yesterday, but I still don't think it is very flattering. Maybe it's something to do with side gathers. Or like you said, Mary--the variation in the nap and the gathering. Or what Melissa said, gathers going one way on the top and the other on the skirt. Too visually distracting. Add the "frosty" nap of the top and the print of the skirt, well yeah, it's just not working. From the moment I put it on, I was taken aback and thought, "This makes me look wide." Very different from when I tried on my swimsuits and thought they looked good and flattering.
Chalk this one up to a Q&E mediocre project. And again, thank you, for the comments. I want brutal honesty--so refreshing. If it's not working for me, I want to know from other fashion oriented women. Good fashion sense and what works for me has always been hit or miss so your help is most appreciated :) !
Maybe I'll just save this top to wear under fitted blazers. That would work.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I did exactly as Deepika recommended: picked my drink of choice and sat down for a good read. I'm old school. No Kindle for me since a book in hand is my preference for book reading much like a photo album and flipping through pages. I'm up to page 19 and the rest will wait for later.
Also, today was my Google Reader day. So glad I remembered to export my blog subscriptions to a file a few days ago. Now I just have to catch up on much-neglected blog reading.
Mulled over my next sewing project too. I was going to open up a "new" (old) pattern in my stash but decided to sew up another garment from my CJ Wrap Top pattern instead. My most recent version is my black/green ITY print dress on my sidebar PR widget. I'm going to make a fall/winter dress out of a panne velvet type of knit. Instant gratification from a TNT is needed so pulling out a yet-unused pattern and doing pattern alterations will have to wait.
On the home front, good news! DD#1 made the club tennis team at her college (can't remember if I mentioned that before), and DD#2 won both of her tournament softball team games at their tournament today. DS#1 got "Most Improved" Cross Country Runner this season by his coach two weeks ago too. As for my youngest? He's playing football. Neither loving nor hating it, but he started going to the gym with me at the beginning of the summer, and I'm proud of him for that. Start 'em young and hopefully it will be a lifelong committment to fitness.
Happy Sewing and Good Night :) !
Friday, October 1, 2010
Here is the swimsuit all done:
And here is a pic of a leg opening using my coverstitch machine:
I loved using the coverstitch machine because it will eliminate the tendency to "pop" because of the inherent stretch in the coverstitched hems. A conventional sewing machine is simply adequate for swimsuit contruction, but the coverstitch rules with topstitching.
I'll try to model it in a week or so.
Thank you, everyone, for the comments on Jake. I could blubber on about him all day but have to keep it under control :) . Kim, I always wanted a black cat too! My second choice was orange. We've had white, black and white bi-color, a seal point, and blue/grey Persians for many years until they all died of old age. This time it had to be black or orange.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
This just was so darned cute. I got out my Coverstitch machine to work on topstitching my swimsuit and guess who suddenly took an interest in my machine!?!? My little baby. Before I got him interested in something else, I snapped these pics of him:
He was batting the threads and rubbing the telescoping bar while I was trying to rethread:
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
All I have to do is topstitch the neckline, armholes, and leg openings on my current suit. Pulling out my Coverstitch tomorrow and setting it up in matching thread to do just that. Then I can model it and throw it in the drawer for next summer. A few matching pareos would be nice, too, and the perfect mesh is in my stash just for that purpose.
More later. Happy Sewing!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
She was busy unloading and getting her room organized last month, and then we were off.
She is currently a very happy and well adjusted college Freshman! She also made the college's Club Tennis Team and is playing weekend tournaments. On to sewing...
Here is the swimsuit front and back thus far:
Today it's pouring like crazy, but it's a good thing here. Good for sewing and good for the drought-stricken Poconos. Maybe that swimsuit will be done today. I'm off to work on it.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Hand basted the front lining to the front:
I used 1" non-roll elastic at the bra shelf bottom. I need something heavy duty and secure in this area, and the swimsuit elastic wasn't cutting it. I'll need to check some online sources for a better bra lining elastic that will hold up well.
Off to work on some permanent stitching and measuring elastic...
Friday, July 23, 2010
Near our front door. I have to keep a piece of cardboard on the bottom of the wall until we get new trim. The drywall doesn't extend right down to the floor, and Jake is WAY too much interested in that hole!
Looking down the hall. I still need trim for the walls and ceiling of the entryway to the hall where the chair rail ends. The hall needs another coat, then sponge painting with the glaze.
The other main wall. I couldn't put up my main pic collage on the wall because the glass broke. Darn it! It's always something.
I really like the changes. What you don't see yet is the window wall. The paint, sofa, and loveseat match the draperies nicely since they are a wine/green color scheme print.
Time to go. We're under a tornado watch and we're all beat.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Almost ready for sponge painting on the lighter part:
We almost finished the wall below but were too pooped to finish. I wanted to work with my sponge and glaze but know better than to do at at 11:30 pm. We're off to bed.
Tomorrow we will try to get baseboard trim at the lumberyard. We'll need to paint that, pry off the old, and nail in the new.
This is for Kim: Oh Kim...no one has ever complimented me on my home dec skills or lack thereof LOL. My sister inherited my gene in addition to hers and that's why she's worked in the Interior Decorating business for the past 15-20 years. All I know is, the color matches my living room carpet, it will be much different from what I've lived with the past 22 years, and I'll like it even if no one else does ;) . I remember the time my MIL told me she was painting her walls a peach color, and I was thinking, "Peach?!?!" But it looked great! She had a teal carpet and the color combo blended so well together. So much for my thoughts! All I know is I need some color in my house, and color I will get :) . I think tomorrow we'll have one wall finished with the glaze and chair rail so that will be a good preview of the overall look of the room.
Connie, I will be more than happy to send my son over. He would love to go on a Canadian vacation and might find farm life a lot of fun. He'll paint and do the manly stuff. He loves it. However, he needs to mow the lawn first ;) .
Thanks for the comments, everyone. It's keeping me going with my paint job until it's finished. I'm motivated to see it done!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Below is the swimsuit I originally intended as wearable (no elastic inserted into the openings yet). I learned a few things along the way while making this second one. I drafted my own bra lining. Um, let's just say I alotted for length and width but no depth LOL. The lining was too short. I cut a second lining. Again, it could have been even longer because of the shape of the bra cups. Another thing about bra cups. The U-shaped ones that are inserted like an upside-down U into the lining are shapeless. Let's just say I was wondering where my C-cups went LOL. Luckily, I bought three pairs of nice, padded swimsuit bra cups along with the generic ones last summer. Guess which ones I will be using from now on.
Also, I bought swimsuit elastic for the openings and also used it at the bottom of the bra lining. This does NOT work for me. It's just too darn stretchy and narrow. Really, do I want what I've got to fall below the bra shelf elastic??? Yes, it's that flimsy for a bra lining. Fine for other areas of the garment though. Check out a quality swimsuit or a tank with a built in bra shelf and you'll know what I mean. The elastic is about 1" in width. Same with sports bra elastics that go around the torso--about 1". I'm just going to use good quality 1" elastic for the bra lining bottom edge. It's not like I'm going to be swimming all the time in my swimsuit 'cuz I don't love to swim. The swimsuit will see minimal water wear.
Also, I nixed the high cut legs. I took a really good look in the mirror today, a REALLY good one! It was a day of reckoning for me. Nix the high-cut legs! Once upon a time I could do high cut well. My figure is still good, but it's not *that* good. The moderate leg openings will look better. Also, I'm still tweaking the bum coverage.
So back to the drawing board so to speak. I made more alterations to my swimsuit pattern. Raised the neckline even higher to accommodate the shaped bra cups better, redrafted the lining yet again, and gave the leg openings a more modest look. Here's the pattern so far:
Last but not least, here's the KS pattern I'm using and a Threads mag as a reference. Very typical for me, the KS pattern ran HUGE when using the measurements closest to my own. I had to alter from the M down to a S or XS in certain places. I know some people love KS for fit, but not me. The KS patterns always run so darn big on me.
That's it for now. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have something to show for my effort. The second "wearable" one will likely end up unwearable. I can't get past my mirror experience today with the high-cut leg openings 'cuz I'm not 23 anymore.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
DD#2 needed a new swimsuit because she's going to beach for a softball tournament soon. Most clearance priced bathing suits were at least $40! What a ripoff. Isn't it wonderful we sew!!
Friday, July 16, 2010
My only issue is that it turned out to not be as long as I wanted it to be. In fact, I left this ITY type of knit unhemmed and the edge was cut with my rotary cutter so it's not going to matter. IF I had my new serger, I would have just done a rolled hem on the edge, but a clean-cut, unfinished edge is similar to some RTW hems I've seen as of late.
Today highs are in the low 90's. I think I'll get out my bathing suit UFO from last year. Of course, I'd like to make an LBD and enter it into this year's local fair. Maybe enter both? We'll see. My lingerie set is a fine piece of work, and I'd like to enter that too, but it might be a little "racy" for the judges? I don't know. We'll see...
Pics are coming in a couple of days...
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The back. No zipper as called for in the pattern because I'm using a very nice knit with good stretch. I did run clear elastic in a casing on the upper back edge to prevent "loose droop". I did this on my previous halter top from this pattern--a necessity IMO. Even with altering the back to fit, I think it still needs some elastic snugness to look and feel just right.
Here's a closeup of the edgestitching on the front. The knit won't hold a press well, so this stitching was a must.
I did get an hour's worth of time to work on it this afternoon. Right now I'm tweaking the side seams and may pull up more elastic on the upper back edge. It's pretty close to done, and I think I'm liking it. Don't know for sure because DD#2 backed up into my full length mirror and it cracked it several places. Gee...it was just months old! Not have a full-length mirror for sewing is the pits.
I'll leave you with pics of our sleeping beauty--Jake. He falls asleep in strange positions and has the neck thing going on in each one. Either falling off the edge or hanging down from his tube on his tree. His first birthday is quickly approaching, and we're planning a little party for him :) . Cake, special cat treats and cat toys.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Yes, the halter is for a woven, but I altered this pattern to work with both fabrics. The dress will be long, but not maxi length, and lean with a side slit. At least that was my original thought. It is possible to go with an A-line, but still leaning toward the long, lean look with this. Most halter dress styles I see have fuller skirts, however, my brain is geared toward a different look with the halter style.
Any input would be appreciated!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Right as I typed this blog post title, I was hit with the notion of making a halter dress. It's probably because there was a lovely pic of Drew Barrymore in a summer frock with pretty heels in some newspaper, maybe a recent edition of one of the NY ones? So I've decided I want a nice summer dress. It's going to be a knit because I have a paisley print that's a possibility in my stash.
I'll try to run it by my Internet audience tomorrow. When I do, please tell me what you think about the style/fabric combo.
Of course, my bathing suit is currently a 14-month UFO! You'd think I'd want to work on that, especially when tomorrow might be the hottest day of the year with temps approaching 100 degrees!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Last year I bought a nice black/green/white ITY print from Spandex World for my maxi dress pattern but it never got made. So I pulled it out and thought about using it for a dress from my CJ Wrap Top pattern from last week. The top was such a nice fit and style that it seemed a natural for a dress.
Here is a full pic of my dress and a closeup:
This was truly mad dash sewing! I cut out the pattern on Thursday night by lengthening the pattern 15 inches and adding an inch at the front and back side seam from the hipline down. I created princess seams for a better back fit and a CB seam in case I needed a slit (not necessary). On Friday, I worked on it for about 45 minutes right after the boys got on the bus, but had to stop for Bring-Your-Pet-To-School day. (BTW, Jake was okay with it, but doesn't particularly care for dogs.) Then I picked up DD#1 at the high school, had a snack, took her to the mall for her last-minute-Susie activity of picking out a graduation dress and shoes. I got home at 12:30, ate lunch, and worked on my dress from about 1:30 - 3:30. Then I had to go out and pick up pizza and take her to CVS for mascara.
The total sewing time for the dress was about 2 1/2 hours. I lost time in the morning because my machine was fussy with skipped stitches. I switched needles, then switched to Mettler thread which worked like a charm. It was truly the fastest dress I've ever made, and yes, it was hurry, hurry, hurry! The neckline and armholes were turned under and coverstitched. That really saved heaps of time. I put in a temporary hem for the evening to make sure it was a suitable length. I pegged the hem on each side seam, but will probably peg it a little bit more. In the next few days, the permanent hem will be coverstitched.
Some people thrive on sewing on a deadline. I find it somewhat stressful. However, it was truly sewing like my sister. When I was a kid and she was in high school, I was truly in awe how she could wake up, know she wanted a specific garment, cut it out and sew it up to wear that evening by 6 p.m. My own sewing has never been like that. So it was really nice to know that I could pull off this mad dash sewing like my sister did many years ago.
This dress is really one of my faves. I love the style and print. The only thing about the print is that it hides the wrap and gathering detail. Do you know what my thoughts were on this? Maybe black piping down the princess seams would give it an edgy look. The seams and gathering detail get lost, but I don't think it detracts from the dress, but a contrast piping would enhance it, at least the princess seams that is. What do you think dear readers? I'll probably try that when using a print next time around.
On to DD#1, we have our first high school graduate! One down, three to go. It was a lovely graduation, perfect weather, and here are some pics from the event. We are so proud of her! She will be attending school in Philly as a Pre-Med Major. You can see in her pics she is wearing her National Honor Society cords, her Summa Cum Laude medal, and Student Government sash. She has a long road ahead of her in her preparation for her goal of becoming an Orthopedic Surgeon, but I know it will happen. It's an exciting time for her! It will be a long road, but I told her to savor every moment of the journey. It will have its highs and lows, but in the end it will be well worth all the hard work.
My only rants about the evening were:
1. You wait 18 years to hear your child's name announced when they receive their diploma. The microphone had issues for about 7 or 8 kids and mine was one of them--ugh! All the audience heard was her last name.
2. In the graduation booklet, they forgot to list National Honor Society next to her name. They also forgot to list her friend's scholarship. I'm sure there were errors for other people, but it's annoying when kids work so hard and there are little mistakes like this.
Here's a video link and pics for the last moments of graduation. The formed the traditional Blue and White Line at the end of the ceremony around the track. She was in the last group of 5 girls to exit the field near the center podium. It's sure to bring back memories of one's own high school graduation. She graduated on the same day and date as me, same time 26 years later. Even identical right down to the weather.
Here is a pic of her before leaving for the Graduation Ceremony
DD#1's in her spot and looking!
Partial view of the graduates on a beautiful June evening:
Final seconds of graduation video:
Monday, June 7, 2010
My Pfaff Hobbylock is/was a wonderful machine. The stitches it produced were fantastic. The only problem? You know what it is, dear readers! Fiddling with tension to get just the right stitch can make a 5 minute job turn into 65 minutes. Every time I want to do a rolled hem, I change my threads, change the foot, set the tension, run a test stitch, reset the tension, again, again, and again. It's another reason why my serger doesn't get used as much as it should. Many times I have said to myself, "So much for a 5-minute hem!"
If the tuneup was going to be over $100, I was going to use that as a downpayment on...A BABYLOCK IMAGINE!!! It's on layaway at the dealer. I also used the serger as a trade-in. The time has come. My eyes aren't going to focus any better, my time is always at a premium, so what the heck.
Jet-air threading here I come. Tension headaches are a thing of the past. I can live without a serger for a while. Not fun, but do-able. I'm hoping I can get it paid off by Christmas/New Years. I'm SO looking forward to 2011. The last quarter of the year should be interesting anyway because then I'll know if surgery is a must from the car accident that keeps on "giving".
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The leopard I'm talking about is my Textile Studio Capris Jacket in leopard print fleece. When I originally purchased the fleece from Fabric Mart for a chemo hat for Stacey, I purchased extra because I wanted something "leopard" in my wardrobe in addition to my leopard print skirt made several months back. I finished this jacket a little over a month ago but haven't modeled it, nor have done a review yet. Hopefully I'll get a review done tomorrow or Tuesday.
Here is the jacket front:
Jacket front different angle:
And now the back:
The pattern style wasn't changed much from the pattern, but it does look different. The first time I made this jacket was for my lingerie ensemble for the Lingerie Contest. I used a black panne velvet with lots of drape. However the fleece gives the jacket an altogether different look. One of the things I don't like about fleece jackets are the facings. They tend to flop around if not tacked down, so I took a tip from Nancy Cornwall (auther of the Polarfleece books) to turn the facings to the outside. I think that really makes the jacket. I trimmed the edges of the fleece with black lycra in my stash. The sleeves are long, but I can turn them up to a cuff as shown in my photos or worn down to cover the top part of my hands when it's chilly outside.
DH gave it a nod and said he liked it. The fireman at the coin drop growled at me and asked me to show him my "claws". I must admit, it was the first time I've ever been embarrassed about my short, stumpy nails. He was disappointed that I didn't have ones to match the jacket LOL. Jake LOVES my jacket. When he sleeps, it looks like it was made just for him. And as for me? It was exactly the jacket I wanted. I was thinking it would just look okay, but I loved it when it was finished.
Next up, I'm working on my CJ Wrap top shown below
. It's been hanging out on my sewing center in my kitchen for a week since I've been busy with prom dress alterations. I have to cut the sleeves for it, but they will be 3/4 length because I'm short on fabric. This velour stretch knit from Spandex House in NYC has been in my stash for maybe 3 years? Possibly more. The only thing I don't like about it is that it "changes color" depending on the angle. The colors in the pic look really bold (that's to my liking), but it changes to light and frosty coloring from a different angle. Love the intensity, not the paleness, so this chameleon fabric is not my fave.
The fabric does not have the recommended stretch so I had to use smaller seam allowances too. It's about 20-25% stretch. I'll probably end up taking in the waist side seams a little but I'll need to alter with a swayback tuck above the waist before cutting out another top from this pattern. The sewing side of my brain envisions a LBD from a black knit from this pattern. Lengthen it, tweak it, and voila! It would make a perfect dress. Gotta love those princess seams too.
More later. Or hopefully sooner.