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.