Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick Sewing Updates

I really like making Q&E panties. Using my KS-2075 panty pattern, I've whipped up a few more pairs using knit fabric remnants in my stash. (Yes, if you look through my slide you'll see garments made from the same fabric lol!) Yes, a few alterations have been made to the pattern like fiddling with the crotch seams by moving the crotch piece forward (shortening the front piece/lengthening the back) and widening the lower back piece for my 40ish bum. The result? A great fitting pair of panties that provides good rear coverage, higher-cut leg openings, and a waistband that sits at the high hip as opposed to the waist. Here they are:

These Rita's Ice panties were made for DD#2 from her old work shirt that was stained. The t-shirt seaming made exact placement impossible, but I thought they were pretty cute. She has yet to wear them, but I told her they're going to be stolen away if she doesn't get use out of them.

I've been using black and white, plush/picot edge lingerie elastic from Sew Sassy -- . Great stuff, easy to use.

I used my Babylock serger's elastic foot to apply the elastic. There is NO MEASURING/NO QUARTERING when using this foot. It is "Da Bomb"!!! One of the better inventions since the wheel. Simply adjust the screw on the foot to the desired stretch of elastic. It does take a few samples, but it works fabulous. Even if you can't adjust the screw at exactly the same place every time you make a pair, a minor change doesn't matter. I've experimented with different tension placed on the elastic via the screw for different pairs and they all fit great.

All cotton crotch linings are used from old 100% cotton t-shirts. Some are old ones in my drawers, or I look for the Hanes sales for mens' cotton tees in those 3-pack bags.

Movin' on. I'm working on a quick holiday dress using McCall's 2401. It's been sitting unused in my stash F O R E V E R. Did the alterations and am now stitching it up. It's about 2/3's done. I shopped my stash and was looking at the the 3 fabrics on the left for the dress:

The blue won out! Here it is from a few days ago as I was cutting out. More pics soon of the finished garment.
Hope you all have some time during the busy holiday season to accomplish some sewing!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Got Bit!

It's like somebody gave me a sewing shot. Or I definitely got bit by the sewing bug on Saturday night. I've been having a case of the Christmas grumps, then on Saturday night perhaps I figured out why. How long has it been since I've whipped up a garment for myself? Far too long. Oodles of panties don't count.

I pulled out a basic McCall's sheath dress pattern yesterday and went to work with pattern alterations and whipped up a muslin. It's good to go. In a few minutes I'm going to shop the stash for fabric. There are definitely a few possibilities. All are fabrics from PR Weekends from a few years ago. Let's see what I come up with.

My guess is I'll whip up two quickie dresses. One might be a sexy, short black lace number with a nude stretch lining, and the other will be knee-length as shown on the pattern. Figure if I spent a few hours with pattern alterations, the pattern has to get used twice right away.

Let's see what I come up with in a few days. And it's cold here all right! Here is one of my cozy sidekicks that knows how to stay warm on a very cold, December morning. The same guy that sleeps in a cozy blanket near my head at night, and wakes me with warm breathing and kitten kisses to let me know he wants to snuggle under the covers in the morning!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Venting about a Personal Pet Peeve

I know this post is US specific. Countries around the world do not handle some service jobs the way we do here. My personal pet peeve is really bothering me because of the holiday season.

It has to do with Holiday Tipping. On my FB post, I called it Holiday Tipping 101. For those of you not familiar with being a waiter or waitress in the United States, wait staff here earns a very low base wage of $2.85 (give or take a few pennies)/hour. This barely covers car expenses to get to and from work. Forget it if gas prices go up again which they eventually will do. Wait staff earn the bulk of their pay via customer tips.

Wait staff here earn most of their money via tips. The standard tipping chart (that I was taught) is:

10% Poor service
15% Good service
20% Excellent service

One thing is for sure! I NEVER leave 10% unless the service is awful. Rotten. Extremely terrible. It has to be an "I never want to come back to this restaurant" issue for me. That has only happened once in my life, and I didn't even get the chance to tip because the waitress let us sit in a booth for a half hour and never even got around to introducing herself to start our order. My mom and I ended up leaving and went to another restaurant to eat.

Another thing is for sure. I leave a minimum 20%. Always (unless the service is absolutely rotten, you know!). During the holiday season or near any holiday, I leave 25%, 30% or more. It is, after all, the holidays! Tis the season to give.

Anyway, this was my recent FB post:

"Holiday Tipping 101: Remember this season to be kind to service people, especially the wait staff and bartenders in restaurants. Wait staff earn a paltry hourly wage, something like $2.85/hour (which barely covers car expenses to and from work). During the holiday season, I like to be extra generous and leave 25-30%. Please remember they are working hard to give you a pleasurable dining experience, and tip them accordingly. If you stiff them, may karma bite you in the a$$. And unless you have truly rotten service, leaving 10% (or 10% + $1) is just incredibly rude. Really, if you can't afford the tip, just stay home.

Note: The tip is figured BEFORE using coupons too. Likewise, if you have a complaint about your meal and management gives it to you free, you still tip on what would have been the cost of the meal."

My daughter has been a waitress for the past 2+ years and has worked in the food industry for five years. She has told me stories. There are a small handful of people that say, "Oh, I left your tip on the table." Guess what. They stiffed her royally, and, no, her tips weren't stolen. Others who complain endlessly why the restaurant ran out of a particular food taking up 10 minutes, causing her to lose tables, only to get the minimum 10% tip which wasn't calculated by including the charge of the "free" meal they got from the manager. The wait staff doesn't have control of running out of a particular menu item. Occasionally, she's the target of reverse discrimination. Like the time a lady asked, "Where's that nice (person of a particular ethnic origin) boy who got my leftover box for me?" She wanted to give him most of the tip, leaving my daughter with virtually nothing for everything she did for them. Or how about the late arrivals. The people who arrive at 9:58 when the restaurant closes at 10 p.m. Don't these people know the wait staff has to stay at least an extra hour for them??? They're not making any money off other tables because everyone has left. So you arrive late, the menu item you want ran out, and you leave 10%...why? While the waiter or waitress gives you personal service so late at night, c'mon!

My daughter has stories. Weird stories. Like the one time a party came in and this one girl had to parade around the restaurant with what looked like no pants. She walked around 4X. I'm sure other patrons were rolling their eyes. Then she proceeds to tell (not my daughter) her waitress that they don't have to pay tax on the meal because they are an "indigenous people". My daughter asked, "Does she even know what the word means?" Because, my readers, last time I checked "white" people are not indigenous to our country. "Black" people are not indigenous to this country. American Indians? Yes, they ARE indigenous to our country. And do you know what? The manager took the tax off the meal!!! Unbelievable.

Or how about the patrons that come in on a usual basis to complain about their meal and get it for free. It happens more than you think. Or the parents that come in with kids in tow and the restaurant ends up being out of chicken nuggets or something. The parents carry on like it was the end of the world and state, "My child ONLY eats chicken nuggets!" Sometimes I want to shake my head and ask, "Is that why your child is at least 50 lbs overweight?" Believe me, if a kid is hungry enough, they'll eat. They're not going to starve. And BTW, why don't you just go down the street a 1/4 of a mile and get some chicken nuggets at McDonalds. Why hassle the waitress with your endless rant?

I don't know, everyone. But waiting tables is one of the hardest jobs ever. You deal with all types of people. Everyone should have to work in food service for at least three months. The world would be a better place for it. But please tip well this season, and every holiday season. These are good people doing a hard job. Not everyone can wait tables, not everyone has the right personality. But one thing is for sure. Wait staff see and deal with it all.

Hats off to them!

P.S. And don't forget to tip the bartender too!