Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm 44 today. And I just celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary yesterday. A very nice weekend to boot.

I love my age. I love my husband. Life is good. Can't ask for anything more (except some time to sew)!

Happy Sewing...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chunky Chick Designs

Thank you, Mary, Melissa, and Uta!!! I appreciate your comments VERY much. As I checked my blog this morning and my husband saw my outfit from my last post, he said, "Get rid of that pic FAST! It makes you look fat." He's not being mean, he's being honest. He has dubbed the last pic, "Chunky Chick Designs". The outfit is NOT working. I'm miffed, but not at him. It's putting work into a project that doesn't work for me.. I've actually lost at least 4 lbs. from doing a lot of extra mileage and workouts the past three months but you'd never know it from that outfit.

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

TNT for Quick Gratification.

I needed to sew something--FAST. A no thinking, no fuss kind of project. So I whipped up another CJ Wrap Top in a black, panne velvet fabric purchased from a PR Weekend a few years ago. I'll detail the construction in a future review, but here it is:

The skirt was a self-drafted one I whipped up in January. My feeling was that it needed a close-fitting top instead of the loose style black sweater knit top I was wearing with it. Also, after looking at the pics, perhaps the skirt could be a wee bit shorter. My Babylock serger is still on layaway, and my original hem was a rolled, serger hem. I'll continue to mull over the hemline length while paying off my machine.
*ETA*, my husband doesn't like this outfit. He said it makes me look, well, "chunky". There is something that is off. I'm trying to follow fashion advice and not end the hemline at my widest point, just a little bit above. The problem is, I'm short waisted so there's not a lot of room to play around with above the hipline. Please do a critical analysis and let me know. Maybe the skirt should be shorter? That was my initial thought. Maybe the hemline of the top is simply too high. It appears my entire outfit is cut in half, but I'm not sure of the right fix for a good look. Opinions wanted, please.
The top was supposed to be a dress, but I just didn't have enough fabric. It's just as well. I have a black velvet, Textile Studio Madison Avenue dress in my closet anyway that I forgot about.
On to my next projects...the skirt for my daughter which I temporarily shelved due to exasperation and a Simplicity pattern pulled out of my stash for alterations and sizing decisions.
Stay tuned on those and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Good Mail Day.

Hey! Guess what came in the mail today!!! Yes, the new PR book below.

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

The Swimsuit's Done!

With Jake's "help", my floral swimsuit is done. I'm really liking this one, and it's thisclose to TNT. I lowered the front neckline a 1/4" on the pattern for the next version and will try B-cup sized swimsuit bra cups. I'm normally a C, but feel the C-cups could fit a little better. Very acceptable, but trying the B that's in my stash will provide me with a good comparison. When I ordered the cups, I just didn't know which size to get so I got both the B and the C.

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

Jake and the Coverstitch Machine

It's late, but I had to post this. I know the post title should be, "Don't Let Your Cat Do this!" or "This is Dangerous for Cats!", but it was also cute when it happened. I have since put everything away. Nothing can happen to my little boy, Jake, because we all love him so. Cats and sewing don't always mix well but...

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:

Exploring the nooks and crannies...

Discovered his own use for the telescopic bar :( ...

As well as finding pleasure in the cone holders :( ...
He was redirected toward a nice, plush piece of fleece that he can burrow into. He LOVES to burrow, so he lost interest in my Coverstitch. But I loved that he at least took an interest in it.
Nighty night!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maybe I Should Live in Florida

Hot weather and humidity are the bane of my existence. Both do not agree with my skin, nor my hair. But...I sure love making swimsuits. So maybe if I ever did move to Florida, I could forget about making clothes and just make and wear swimsuits all the time :) .

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!

The Family Model

Yesterday I mentioning what was keeping me busy, and it started with sending my daughter off to college. She was in the happy pic with her cousin who is also a Freshman and attending the same school. In the same post I was posting about making my swimsuit (which is almost finished BTW :) ), so it was quite ironic that a little while after I posted on my blog, I saw the picture below. It's my niece! Same girl next to my daughter in yesterday's blog post. She's been doing a bit of modeling the past couple of years, but here she is in a US company catalog for competitive swimwear. Congrats to her!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Busy Woman's Guide to Sewing and Blogging

First off, thanks to all for your comments in my two previous blog posts. I have a low to zero tolerance for snooty people and that point came through loud and clear. It is nice to know there are others out there that have the same disdain for these types of people. When my love of sewing gets bogged down by "snoots", I feel the need to tell the snoots to buzz off. So if my posts accomplished that, all is good.

The title to today's post is the obvious: The Busy Woman's Guide to Sewing and Blogging. If you have the guide (I'm being facetious), please post it on your blog or be kind enough to email it to me. You see, life has been so busy, and not the sew busy that I'd like it to be. My husband has been handling the softball side for our daughter who has to juggle a schedule being on three teams, and I get the boys' schedules of Cross Country and Football. Throw in the activity of highest priority in my day which is going to the gym and three lengthy chiropractor appts every week dealing with car accident issues from last January. Add in the usual motherly responsibilities and it's hard to find quality sewing time.

One would think having one less child at home would mean being less busy, but my oldest still keeps me busy with having to send something to her at college on a regular basis. A little over a month ago we packed her up and shipped her off :) . Here she is with her cousin who is also a Freshman at the same college. Um...she's not short LOL. It's just that her cousin is SO tall.

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...

Unfortunately, lately I've been doing my sewing at night if I have any little chunks of time. Did you know I hate sewing at night? I'm tired and constantly make mistakes. For example, let me tell you about DD#2's skirt that she requested from me. She told me the style she wanted, I drafted the pattern for it. She tells me she wants the waist in the weirdest place on her body. I said, "You can't have it THAT low! It's just an inch or two above your hips!!! It's going to look bizarre." Anyway, I made it the way she wanted and she says, "Why is it so low???" I need the head shake emoticon. "Because YOU wanted it that way!" Then she proceeds to tell me that she doesn't like the back. Too much fabric at the hemline.

So...I tried to make the fixes, but there's only so much I can do with taking things in with a side zip on the skirt. The entire skirt had to be taken apart, and a new back was cut with modified side seams and two princess seamlines so I could mold the skirt to her backside. Everything was just about right when I sat down at the Ott light to handstitch a little part on the skirt and discovered my latest evening snafu. I CUT THE BACK PIECE FROM MY BLACK FABRIC AND NOT THE NAVY BLUE!!! (*@#(*@#$#$*(*&@# . I couldn't tell the difference under my kitchen light at all when cutting the fabric out. So I will seam rip the entire skirt again and cut the back from blue. It is terribly frustrating so I set the project aside, made some drapery tie backs, and am working on finishing up my swimsuit that was started two months ago. A break from the skirt-from-you-know-where project is in order.

Anyway, my tie backs came out nicely. I need to buy an L-hook and some rings and am hoping to do that today. Once I get the tie backs up, I will take a pic of them.

My swimsuit is looking good. All it needs right now is a fitting session, final stitching, and elastic application at all openings. I'm getting pretty good at stitching the bra cups in the swimsuit lining fabric. The key is to zigzag stitch on the cups through the cups and fabric. Don't let the zigzag stitch fall off the cup edge into the lining fabric. What I'm not good at yet is getting even zigzaging when attaching the elastic to the bottom of the bra lining. I like a snug fit and really need to stretch the lining to fit the elastic while maneuvering the machine and project effectively. Maybe my coverstitch machine would do a more effective job with this. Perfection is key because I'd like to enter a swimsuit or two in next year's local fair.

Here is the swimsuit front and back thus far:

Check out those swimsuit bra cups too! They're essential, IMO, for good lift and support in a swimsuit. I'll post the source when I do my swimsuit review because I can't remember where I purchased them as I type this post.

Last but not least, here I am in my Amy Butler Halter Top (converted to a dress) that I reviewed a month or two ago. I was supposed to be a maxi style length, but it didn't turn out that way. It's okay. It's still a comfortable dress, and I like it. Shown are the front and angled to show the side slit.

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.

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Swimsuits Rule!!!

But they only rule when you make them :) . Bye bye, way overpriced, minimal yardage, RTW swimsuits. *MY* swimsuit looks and fits WAY better!

There's a big disadvantage to DD#1 waitressing for her college money: working until 12 midnight, 1 or 2 a.m. in the morning.

There's a big advantage to DD#1 waitressing for her college money: working until 12 midnight, 1 or 2 a.m. in the morning.

She doesn't have a license yet (she doesn't have the extra money to pay for her car insurance), so I drive and pick her up--a personal chauffeur. Yeah, I'm really tired and lose good sleep time, however, I gain a lot of sewing time late at night.

Therefore, I was able to work on my swimsuit last night and finish it tonight. Here it is:

It doesn't look like much, but all I wanted was a simply one-piece Baywatch style swimsuit and that is what I got. It looks good on, and fits very nicely. Getting ready to make swimsuit no. 2 out of a floral print. I'm behind on taking photos so maybe in the next week or so. Still need to get a pic of my Amy Butler Halter dress too.
Gotta go and pick her up...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Third Time's a Charm!

For about an hour last night and an hour today, I've made much progress on my third try at my swimsuit. I tried it on tonight and really think third time's a charm! This one will be a wearable swimsuit. There's a pretty floral print in my stash so I'm going to make another one right after this one. Just minor tweaks from here on out like a little more lower bum coverage, tighter side seams from the waist up, and slightly deeper shoulder seams.

Good thing is, I'm right on track. Here are some pics of my progress last night and today. Now it just needs some permanent stitching in the basted areas and elastic at the armholes, neck, and leg openings.

Hand basted the front lining to the front:

Working on the bra lining and cups:
Front is finished with bra shelf and everything's in place for final stitching lines:

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

Painting Day 3 and 4

Today we completed our goal of having 2/3's of the painting job done. It took every extra bit of our time, we still need another gallon of paint and the baseboard trim, but it should really look nice when it's all done. I think another week should do it.

Here are some pics of what DS#2 and I have accomplished over the past 4 days.

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

Painting Day 2

Every spare minute today was spent painting. Football camp ended early because of storms, I hurried at the gym to finish my workout, and the rest was with a paintbrush or roller in hand.
Here's the update...
DS#2 painting the chair rail.
Working ont the first wall:

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 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

The Swimsuit: Round 2

Here's where I am on Round 2 of my swimsuit. Round 1 was last year when I did the muslin and halfway finished the "wearable" second try. Don't think I'll actually wear my second try, and it might be destined to become a second muslin. However, I'm learning much from my swimsuit attempts and will get it right. This is new territory for me, just like making bras and panties.

Here is the muslin I created in the Summer of 2009. It ended up being obscenely low cut in the front when worn. Totally NOT wearable. I made the appropriate alteration by raising the neckline. Black elastic would have been better too.

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

Swimsuit (UFO) Update

Sorry, again no pics. But I pulled out my swimsuit UFO from last year. I did a muslin, then was working on the real deal. Tried it on today, but the bra lining wasn't long enough. Last year, I must have accounted for length and width when creating the bra lining piece, but the depth issue eluded me. I seam ripped out the basted bra lining, recut a new piece with the bra cups adding a bit more length, and will try it on once DD#2 gets out of my bathroom.

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

A New Summer Dress!

I finished my halter dress and am fairly pleased with it. Pics maybe today or tomorrow. I cannot find my one-and-only halter bra and am cranky about it so that puts me in a little pickle. Can't wear the dress without that bra so I will need to go on a hunting expedition today.

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

Progress on the Halter Dress

Progress is being made on my Amy Butler halter dress. These are pics from last night.
The front top and front skirt:

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. 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

Marriage of Pattern and Fabric

Yesterday I posted about my lack of sewing due to not knowing what to make with the fabric in my stash. But with these horribly hot temps in the NE, I have decided I need a halter dress! I'm going to take my already-altered Amy Butler Cabo Halter top and convert into a dress. The fabric I've chosen is the purple/cream/brown paisley print knit purchased a few years ago from Metro Textiles during a PR NYC Weekend.

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

What to do next???

That question pretty much sums up my sewing the last month! I have a nice fabric stash and need to use some of it, but what to make??? That is the question.

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

HS Graduation and Mad Dash Sewing

Last Monday I was catching up on blog reading and read a post by Debbie Cook. She had posted about making a graduation dress in the nick of time, and I thought, "Oh my gosh! I have nothing to wear for DD#1's graduation!" So the 'ol noodle got a hummin' about what's in the fabric stash.

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

Here are the SGA group students, 2nd row of students to enter the field. DD#1 is second in from left. The valedictorian is on the right, salutatorian is second in from right.

DD#1's in her spot and looking!
Partial view of the graduates on a beautiful June evening:
Right after the ceremony and ready for pics:

Final seconds of graduation video:

To end this post, here's a few pics of our little boy Jake. we love him so! So soft and cuddly. He's growing and sleeping more like an adult cat. His August birthday is fast approaching, and it's hard to believe little Jake is going to be 1. He's sleeping, but we really know he's begging for hugs and kisses. Or maybe a soft belly rub.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I. Did. It. :) :) :)

Last week I took my 1992 Pfaff serger in for a tuneup. I've rarely been using the 'ol serger lately because fitting and serging do not always go hand in hand. My Janome Coverstitch, however, has been getting a nice workout!

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

CJ Patterns Wrap Top Done!

Here it is. I finished it over the weekend and even after recutting a side/back panel due to the drilled hole issue, there was still enough fabric for long sleeves.

Added to my Fall wardrobe...yes, I did say Fall. Review to follow in a few days. Don't look at the basement draperies! They've only been hanging there waiting to be finished for 3 years now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Who Loves Leopard?

I do. My cat does. DH did too, and so did the fireman collecting money at the coin drop.

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.