Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Can You Say TNT?

Sometime after school started and I started drifting away from my consistent summer blogging, I remember Carolyn asking us about whether we use patterns once or over and over. I never had a chance to respond but guess which category I fall into? Which I don't really understand because I think of myself as a creative person, open and willing to try new things. Someone that almost always has a plan for a pattern when it's purchased. Okay, in my mind I fit into both categories. When I find a pattern that fits me and my life I make it more than once (wool skirts, summer skirts). But you have to try new patterns to see if you want to make them again, right?

Well, this is Butterick #3344 I made The Original last year with the leftovers from another top. It's the original because it's the only one that follows the original pattern (view D with long sleeves). That means it has a gathered neck with a zipper in the back. The others I decided to try without the zipper. I didn't decide this until I had already cut them out and I cut them all out at the same time, so they all have a CB seam. My criteria for the zipper was whether I could keep the tight high neck and still get it over my head without all the seams pulling out. The answer is yes, but...we'll see how it wears. There's a lot of pulling to get them on and I noticed that the fusible knit interfacing is showing through - like where it's really stretching. Click on the PR review if you want all the other sewing details.

Guilt, guilt, guilt over neglecting my blog. No wedding dress, no 2008 summary, no updating my links, yikes. I'm reading, I'm trying to comment, I'm sewing, and I'm thinking about all that I'd like to write about! Have a happy and safe New Year!

P.S. Yay, found out my sister's reading my blog - Hi Deb!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thank you bloggers for providing me with a year's worth of inspiration, a perfect "chill" time activity, and fun!

I'm terrible about sending out Christmas cards; ask anyone of my close friends or family members. One year I spent hours putting one together, printed several color copies and never mailed it. Not one. I have no explanation except that I procrastinate. Well, this year I may break the cycle. All that I need to do is put on the postage and drop them in the box. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they go out this weekend.

(If you're a friend or family member don't look any further, at least for a week, because you're getting one in the mail.) For all blog readers, Merry Christmas!

Thanks so much to all of you that continue to read and add your two cents when I have the time to post. And thanks to all of you that diligently blog on a regular basis!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Vibrations

Wish me luck, my students are performing here tomorrow night. I'm not directing and were not listed on the flyer but it's a very important and inspiring night.

And equally important, I'll have more time to post about my new coat and gloves once it's over ;) !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Capsule Anyone?

Just ran across this RTW challenge and thought it might inspire some of you SWAP and Wardrobe Capsule fans. Check out some of the participant's capsules.

Hmmm, anyone feel the need for a similar seamsters challenge???? Instead of just sewing the wardrobe, let's see if we can wear it in a week. I say use the same criteria as workthatwardrobe except all the garments must be something you have sewn.

Monday, November 24, 2008

15 Years in the Making (con't.)

From the beginning, this suit was always intended to be used when I'm directing (currently, that would be H.S. band). I chose it for all the interest on the back since that's what most people will see during a concert. It took so long because everytime I looked at it all I could see was pleats, pleats, and more pleats! I finally cut it out last year and it was one of the key pieces that sat in pieces for an entire year. The fact I've done so many fast and easy garments lately, and have settled in to a comfortable sewing schedule gave me the energy to finally put it together.

You're going to have to be satisfied with headless shots and "silhouettes" for the pictures of me wearing it. (I'm still not feeling 100%.) Detail shots are on the dress form.

My original plan was to have the long version of the skirt, but I was missing my short black skirt earlier this fall and sacrificed this one. (I mean, I cut off the excess when I got ready to sew it up.) I think the longer version would be a little more flattering. Oh well, just another excuse to buy more fabric!

My button problem was that originally I didn't place the top button high enough. So I switched to smaller buttons (tacked the ends of my button wholes to shorten them), added a three more buttonholes (one above, and two in between the existing two). I'm still not perfectly satisfied with their placement, but it's better than it was.

Thought I'd try something new and put the pictures of my construction details in a photobucket slideshow. Tell me what you think.

I'm so relieved to have this jacket done. I'll let you know how it works in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving-time sewing to all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Winter Coat Saga

(Details of the black suit are coming, but I've been sick for two days and am not ready to get a picture of the entire suit yet.)

I had these grand illusions of sewing-along with all the GCSA participants and happily trotting out in my new garment the minute the temperature went below 40 degrees. Okay, I knew that was really not going to happen and my beautiful coat fabrics have been hiding all summer...and fall.

Guess what? The temps have dropped and I need a new coat, now!

One reason I haven't cut into it earlier is because I kept changing my mind about the pattern. I want an updated version of a tan wool coat the I've had for...dare I say, decades? At least one decade, more like a decade-n-a-half. First, it was going to be this OOP Vogue that I've had for some time. Then, everytime I turned around I saw a vintage pattern I wanted, including the one I used on the coat I was replacing. (Believe me, I was tempted!) I love the oversized feel of Vogue 9931 and the buttons all the way up to the neck (I hate it when the wind sneaks into that spot!). Then I saw Butterick 5078 and loved the silhouette, really loved the raglan sleeves, and the big pockets. Then a couple of weeks ago I was checking out the new Butterick patterns and fell in love with this.
Even after making the last purchase, I was still undecided. Until last week. I took my scissors to the fabric with the new Butterick pattern.

Did I make the right decision? Check back after Thanksgiving break and let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

15 Years in the Making

It's the black suit! (Made the skirt a month ago.)From the first day I purchased this pattern in (ahem) 1993, I intended to make a black suit. Well I just, almost, finished. I thought I was finished but I messed up the button placement - and I never mess up the button placement! There is a Plan B, but I'm done working on it tonight. More details to come.

Why'd it take so long? Here's a hint:

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Needle Does Matter

This is what I wore to church today.
This is what I wanted to wear to church last week.

I couldn't wear it last weekend because of sewing machine, well, umm, operator error. Last weekend I was on a roll, really living up to my blog moniker. (The bulk of my work was on a jacket that won't be blog ready until next week.) You know how you kind of envision all the steps to making a garment in your head? Well, I figured that I had just enough time to sew a knit top and skirt, probably long before we had to leave for church the next morning. Top goes together in a snap and is soooo comfy! Skirt goes well until I'm ready to sew the side seams. At least a half hour of frustration ensues. The bobbin is a mess every time I sew. So I put it away and started trying to figure out when I'll could bring it in to be serviced. That never happened. Yesterday evening I tackled it again. This time the bobbin thread wasn't even locking with the top thread! As a last resort before packing it up I changed the needle and got the most beautiful stitches I've ever seen (okay, that an exaggeration but - what a relief)!

That's the story behind the garments; these are the actual sewing details. The fabric is a poly knit jersey and both patterns are for woven fabrics. I used this pattern for the top. The center seam is visually distracting but necessary for the dolmen sleeve. I extended the turtleneck (cause I like 'em tall 'n tight), eliminated the opening in the back and made the separate tie/bow. I interfaced both sides of the bow. It turned out way too bulky and the bow itself just got lost in the print - instead I used it for the skirt waistband! The neckline has enough give to fit over my head without a back opening, but I will probably go back in and make the turtleneck a little tighter, it's still a little loose for me.

I've been looking for a flattering knit skirt pattern that wasn't the usual gored skirt. And I have to say, I'm not a big fan of an elastic waistband - just one of those things. This pattern is from 1995, and yes, I'm the original owner! Honestly, I don't even remember making it before, but it was cut so... Anyway, I'm intimidated by how a bias skirt looks on me but thought this would be okay in a knit. I didn't cut it on the bias and ended up (a little short on fabric) cutting it with a CB seam. Originally I cut it to have an elastic waist, but when the bow didn't work out on the top I decided to add the waistband. I did move the zipper to the CB since the seam was already there and a side zipper in an a-line knit, well, I just didn't want to deal with that. I interfaced the seam allowances at the zipper opening. I also basted fusible web at the hem, pressed the hem into place and then used my blind hem stitch to secure.

Hopefully, I'll be posting again next weekend with my completed black suit! I've been so busy with school - and having so much fun - just can't seem to make room for blog posts!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I think I’m going to do it. Join the SWAP (sewing with a plan) contest at Stitcher’s Guild , that is. I was pretty sure that with all the fabric and patterns I was purchasing for the fall I’d have all the required pieces to put together at least one wardrobe plan. And, I was right! This plan took me about one evening to put together and I’ve already purchased all the patterns and fabrics – woohoo! The twist this year is that is must be “A wardrobe which reflects a week in your REAL LIFE”. For me this will mean clothes for work, which is 95% of what I sew anyway.

The SWAP discussions have been reorganized too. I think it will be much easier to find a discussion thread.

Here’s a quick summary of the plan. (I need to draw out my pattern pictures when I’m organizing a plan. I just can't seem to visualize it as easily with a pattern envelope. The computerized version with the pattern line drawings is coming soon…)

Here are this year's rules:

  • Each SWAP must consist of 11 garments, which all work together to form a basic wardrobe. All garments must be handmade. You may knit, crochet or weave if you please, but they must be your own creations.
    4 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
    6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles.
    1 jacket - a tailored blazer, jeans-style jacket, sweater or shawl will do, as long as it looks right with everything else.
  • All garments must be made between November 1/08 and April 30/09
  • No purchase neccesary anywhere; this contest is open to anyone with a needle and thread, regardless of budget or availability of items.

Anyone else out there considering or already committed to this?

Oh yea, Gorgeous Fabrics , Hot Patterns , and Sew Organized are all donating prizes!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trying to Catch Up

Monday gave me the perfect time to get caught up, well, mostly caught up.
Before I start does anybody know why my Outlook Express doesn’t work? (The error says: The connection to the server has failed. Account: 'OEmail', Server: 'yahoo.com', Protocol: SMTP, Port: 25, Secure(SSL): No, Socket Error: 10060, Error Number: 0x800CCC0E)Or, why when I try to respond to blog questions through e-mail, it automatically goes to Outlook Express? I really want to get back to you but I have a TT (temper tantrum) everytime I see the OE box pop up.
Here are answers to some recent blog questions.
Summerset, of course you can steal the idea. And, I can’t believe that two of you noticed my box of plastic bags was the tiny sandwich size! I’m not so particular about the size anymore, just happened to have these on hand.
And, a couple more non-sewing, sewing items that I forgot to include.

I use the brush to clean out my machine instead of the one that came with it. The press and seal – I use for everything! I read about this in a PR review and have used it for all sorts of things. I cut it in strips and use it instead of tape on my pattern adjustments. I used it to stabilize gathers as I was attaching them. I used it to hold buttons in place while I sew them on by machine. It’s great because it doesn’t gum up the needle when you sew through it.

C_fabrication, I don’t remember where I got the binder but yes it’s small, just the right size to fit a Butterick, McCall’s or Simp. Pattern. The others are put in sideways and folded. I 3-hole punch the envelope. I used to use the clear plastic sleeves but when I got the smaller binder it just wasn’t necessary. I too fold my patterns the way they came from the factory but I keep them folded up inside the pattern instructions so the smaller bags still keep everything together. This seems a little OCD but when I fold the pieces into the instructions, I keep the pieces I didn’t use in a separate “fold”. That way, if I want to make it again, all the pieces I cut are separate from the pieces I didn't cut.

Here are my recent vintage pattern purchases. Sometimes when I come home I’m so exhausted I just want to veg out in front of the computer and the vintage pattern sites are so much fun. I’ve been checking the daily listings now instead of going to a certain era. The pamphlets that I ordered last week haven’t arrived yet but I’ll share them with you as soon as I can.

The story of the black skirt. Once upon a time I made a basic black ultrasuede straight, knee-length skirt. No matter what my body did, that skirt looked good. I wore it to death. Last year I was forced to retire the skirt before I had made a replacement. This resulted in many anxiety-ridden mornings staring into my closet. Very sad. Finally, I have a replacement!

My favorite design feature on the skirt is the combination of a pencil silhouette with multiple pleats instead of a slit at the back. Here’s the detail on another skirt from the same pattern in a dark gray. It’s so easy to do! I’ll try and diagram the process in another post because you could easily add it to any skirt pattern that is designed with a slit.

For the black skirt I attached a waistband, but for the gray I went back to an old standby – the grosgrain ribbon facing. Can you see how I did it from the pictures? I learned the process years ago. One of the keys to getting the ribbon to lie flat is to press a curve into it first. Who knew that grosgrain ribbon was flexible? (Sorry, I hate to throw things out there without and explanation but any details are just going to have to wait for a different post.)
As for the turtleneck, yea, so I bought this pattern and made a muslin on my quest for the perfect turtleneck. Then last weekend I got out my winter clothes and found this turtleneck, which I love! The only flaw is that there is a zipper in the back. I cut out three more on Monday and will play around with the zipper. Meaning; I’ll probably try at least one without the zipper to see if I can stretch the neck opening so that it's wide enough to fit over my head without breaking stitches but still holds the shape of the turtleneck.

Kristine tagged me ages ago! Finally, I have a response :)
Rules to the Game of Tag:
1. Link to your Tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. (See list below.)
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a post on their blog.

  • When I eat, I only eat one food at a time. You know, salad, turn the plate, vegetables, turn the plate, meat, turn the plate. Most of the time I don’t even realize I do it!
  • I was once mistaken for my mom...by her brother!
  • I got married (for the first time) at age 39. (Just so you know, prior to getting married I was perfectly happy being alone, not lonely.)
  • I’m terrible with numbers. (It’s possible I was 38 when I got married. No wait, I think it was 39.)
  • Two years ago, two weeks before my birthday I was in shock because my husband pointed out that I was already 47, not just turning 47. Honest truly.
  • Guess it’s redundant to point out that I never remember anniversaries. After filling out so many forms for my kids I think I have their birth dates correct. Just don't ask me how me how much they weighed when they were born!
  • After the first two weeks of work/school I realized I hadn’t worn the same thing twice. I kept it up for a total of 3 ½ weeks. (Well, somewhere around 3 ½ weeks.)

Thanks Linda for the Premio-2008 award!

Rules are:
Paste the rules on your blog.
Select 6 to 10 bloggers to whom I would like to give this award to. You're all nominated and tagged - how about that!
Curly Crafter
For Me by Me
Nibbles and Bytes
The Amazing Ms. O
Weekend Designer (Wow, I haven’t visited in a while and I just saw another project to add to my list – instructions for drafting a pair of jeans – cords for me. You must check out this site.)

Write 6 of your most important values:

Happy sewing to all!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Vintage Alert!

This just in: Sheila at Out of the Ashes is offering 10% off all purchases. Just use the coupon code LEANMEAN. Thanks Sheila! Enjoy your shopping!

No time to chat, but if you're a vintage fanatic you've got to check out the items posted on Out of The Ashes yesterday. Mine are already in the mail.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What Does That Have To Do With Sewing?

I've been meaning to do this post for awhile. Then Summerset asked the question, "what do you keep on hand that you use all the time?" That's just the motivation I needed. I decided to show you things I use that are not necessarily considered sewing items.

1. Binder for pattern envelopes. This one is a perfect size for pattern envelopes and if the envelope is too big (like Vogue) I just fold it in half.
2. Twin sheet set – my new fabric source for a crisp white blouse. Depending on the style of blouse, one twin flat sheet is probably enough, but this set was on sale.
3. Sandwich bags to hold the contents of my patterns, which are then filed in numerical order.
4. Fabric sizing (light starch) – My new BFF! I read a tip about using this while constructing your garments – even knits – and I LOVE IT! (I didn’t realize it was a light starch until I came home. Next time I’ll go for the real thing.)
5. Padded shelf liner. Originally purchased to keep my sewing pedals from moving. It hasn’t really made a difference there but has worked miracles on stabilizing my serger.
6. Pattern paper (actually vinyl). This is a tip that I sent to Threads (and got published :). It’s a roll of tablecloth vinyl that I can get at a local craft store for about $10, and it’s huge. I mean, it will last a loooong time. (Michael's craft stores probably carry it too.)
7. Crayola washable markers. My new fabric markers, from a tip on PR.
8. Glue stick; used to attach all the pattern pieces for the Neue Mode patterns I downloaded this summer.

Lastly, my sewing sanctuary treasure. This was purchased from a local antique store that was going out of business. I'm convinced it was originally made for storing and displaying patterns. So, that's how I use it.

That's it for now. Kristi tagged me, but that post will have to come later (when I can think of some witty answers)! And, Carolyn asked us to share our vintage pattern purchases (BTW, just got an email that momspatterns is running a sale, use the code "momsweekender"). I've had another recent delivery but that will also have come later. AND...I made a skirt last weekend! Finally, the basic black wool skirt that never got done last year. Not only that, it's part of a suit...stay tuned!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Here they are, the poor summer projects that didn't get any attention. Constructed with tender loving care, but in the end something is just a bit off. I don't have the heart to part with them...yet. But I fear their home in my closet is only temporary.

Maybe by next spring I'll be excited at the possiblities these misfits have to offer!

Happy Sewing!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hi, I'm Dana. It's been 12 days since my last post. Feel free to respond in your best monotone voice, "Hi, Dana."

Yikes, life has gone from 0 to 50 in 12 short days. I may not be making many comments, but you can trust that I'm out their getting my daily sewing blog fix. Thanks, to all you bloggers that post on a regular basis!

Just a quick post about Project Runway. I was just catching up on Tim's Take and found that the SIX remaining contestants all showed at Bryant Park today. I understand the logistics of having everyone show, but why do they keep advertising that as one of the prizes for the top three?! (Okay, sometimes I miss the finer details when I get worked up, so maybe they don't do that anymore.) Does that bother anyone else?

So, here's the link but don't feel obligated to visit if you want to be surprised. IMO I think Jerrell, Korto, and Leanne's were the most innovative. And I just have to add, Suede - yikes! Maybe he made the clothes that bad on purpose because he wasn't (isn't going to be) one of the top three. Care to share your opinion?

Maybe I'll get some sewing done this weekend - I need some quality time in my sanctuary (sewing area)!

Monday, September 1, 2008

More Plans

Summer's really over. In the past week my daughter had a tonsillectomy, my husband had emergency surgery to remove his gal bladder, my 6-year-old son was sent to the Principal's office (the second day of school) to discuss what scissors are used for (as in NOT cutting your hair!), and school started for me too. I'm currently enjoying what will surely be one of the few quite afternoons on my lovely porch that are left.

Here's the result of my little wardrobe challenge (the plan, anyway) using Butterick 5258. If you click to enlarge the picture, I've written a key to the pieces that match the pattern envelope.

As part of the challenge I wanted to reproduce the exact garments on the envelope just as the designers had put them together. But as I realized once I got the pattern, the skirt and pants don't have pockets. So, with the black pieces I will add side seam pockets. The purple set I'm going use a different pattern, at least for the pants. Wow. That looks awfully ambitious, hmmmm...

Time to break the peacefulness and go announce to my little girl that we really and truly are not going to the air show today. It's tough to be tough.

Happy sewing to those of you that are actually doing some!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Threads and Ranting

I got my new issue of Threads and it looks so exciting!! I've only read the cover and half of the editor's note. A tour of Ralph Rucci's atelier from Claire Shaeffer and Judith Neukam, and how to grade a pattern for the perfect fit - how does this sound? Anybody else as excited about this issue as me?

Now the ranting. About Fashion Fabrics Club. I've been trying to match a knit jersey with some purple wool crepe. When I started my search they had a huge selection of purple/eggplant/burgundies. Past experiences have taught me that the colors are not always as they appear, but I decided to take a chance anyway and ordered one jersey knit. No match but I decided to keep the fabric because it does go with other pieces. Next, I decided to order samples. While being a logical decision the super-ultra-mega slow cutting and shipping process was driving me insane!! I wouldn't go anywhere when it was time for the mail to be delivered. And, everyday that it wasn't delivered was another day that my perfect fabric may be sold out when I was ready to order it! AAARGH! The 1/8-yd. samples come - no match.

Now what. I do a little "Dana math" in my head: 5 1/8yd samples + minimum shipping of 4.95 + 10 days of stress-filled, sold-out fabric fear = I'm not doin' that one again. Hmmmm, next equation: Order the desired length of the two remaining purples (if I have a match, I'll have enough for a garment) + return the piece/pieces that don't match for the cost of shipping = well, I don't know what it equals, but that's what I did. It took the stress out of waiting for my fabric. And, I've got a match!!

Dear Fashion Fabrics Club,
Why does it take 5 days to cut the fabric? Why does it take another 5 days to ship the fabric from St. Louis to Ohio (the actual route is St. Louis, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Ohio)? I love the selection, I love the prices, I hate that the fabric swatches don't match the actual fabric, and I hate the time it takes to receive the order.

Anyone else care to share a little FFC venting?

Friday, August 22, 2008

Everything But Sewing

Two weeks ago, sick for three days.
One week ago, started painting our bedroom, at most a two day project and I was right on schedule. Then DD got sick and had to stay home. The day she stayed home I got sick. She recovered quickly (thank goodness because the tonsils are coming out tomorrow!). Me, not so much. I've spent most of the last four days in bed. You know you're really sick when you can't even sit up at the computer!
Next week, yikes. School starts on Wednesday for my children and Thursday for my students.

Luckily, none of this has totally prevented me from thinking about sewing and wardrobe planning! About a week after the new Butterick patterns came up (I actually found a few that I liked) the JoAnn's flyer showed they would be on sale in two weeks. I've been going crazy waiting for the sale, in particular for 5258. Last year there was a lot of discussion on Stitcher's Guild about wardrobe patterns. Honestly, I had completely tuned out the fact that someone actually planned out one pattern that could work as an entire wardrobe until I started reading about last years SWAP requirement. I made it a secret goal of mine to find one wardrobe pattern that I would copy for my own wardrobe. THIS is the pattern. I've been analyzing it and figuring out fabrics choices all while waiting for the sale. Finally yesterday I picked up the pattern and realized I won't be able to completely meet my goal. The problem - Pockets. There are no pockets on any of the three pieces. I can't do that. I'm a pocket gal! I'll keep you posted when I've worked everything out.

I also picked up these.

It's not much but I've been investing in non-big four patterns lately.
Looks like a nice basic raglan T.
Like front, love the back!
Looking for something besides a basic gored skirt for knits. We'll see if this slight variation works.
Yep, you're going to see bowed blouses from me (I never got it out of my system last year and I still love them)! I got this one because it's for knits.
I purchased these as downloads from sewingpatterns.com and it was so much fun! Within a couple hours of ordering I had the patterns and instructions in my e-mail box - without ever leaving the house! I had a minor setback because we haven't had a functioning printer all summer but the following day all was good and I printed my pattern pieces. I'll have to share more of that story on another post - this one is getting way to long.

Thanks for all the muslin advice. I did indeed shop the $1 table specifically for muslins and will be tossing them when I'm done. No guilt now that I know others do the same!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Muslin Mania

So, I was just wondering, what do you guys do with your muslins? I’ve been sewing up several test patterns and now have another pile of stuff (the muslins) that needs a home, at least temporarily.

My sewing area (sanctuary) is divided into uncut fabric, patterns envelopes, patterns (filed numerically), and drawers with cut fabric, pattern, and notions waiting to be sewn. Where do the muslins fit into this system? My first instinct is to toss them, but I hesitate because I haven’t made or cut out the real garment yet. Then there are some that just didn't make the cut. Do I keep them as a reminder? Do I keep them just in case I run out of other things to do and I want to try again? Help they’re taking up valuable space!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Karma Alarma!

Here they are, the Master Disasters (You're going to have to click on the pictures if you want to see all the gruesome details.)

New Look 6813 This is the canned muslin from last week really, it’s not the pattern, I didn’t interface the neckband and that’s a pretty crucial element to get the top to fit correctly. This is made from a very stretchy knit. I’ve read several reviews with this type of neckband/sleeveless style and the shoulder areas look really good. What are you guys doing that I’m not? (Besides taking your time and basting to make sure things are accurate. lol) I think I cut a 16 instead of my normal 14 to see if that would remedy the pull lines I seem to be getting at the bust line. Lesson learned. I’ll brush up on the FBA.

Jalie 2787 …I just have to laugh! First, I tried finishing the edges a couple of ways…most of which stretched out the fabric. Second, I’m thinking – it’s a knit I shouldn’t have to worry about my 1” LBP alteration. Oh wait, where the heck is the crossover going to cross over? Third, I’m used to just putting my garments together and using the instructions as a reference – I had to rip out the side seams more than once because the layers are wrong. You may not be able to tell but they’re still not right. As I’m typing this and wearing the top. I can feel that the armholes are too small. (In my defense as I was sewing this it was the kid’s bedtime and a wonderful thunderstorm hit all at the same time. Kids are up, kids are down, kids are up, kids are down…get the picture?)

Excuse me, while I go read the directions and work on some woven fabric. I haven't given up entirely on my white "sheet" blouse quite yet. Or, maybe it’s time to step away from the sewing area for awhile and tend to some of those household chores I’ve been ignoring. Better yet, maybe I need to do a little Karma Go Back To The Farma dance!

Hope you had better luck than me this weekend!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sewing Log

(kid-less) Week 1
1 Blouse (cut out in the spring using a high thread-count sateen sheet) – first had to find fabric for blouse fronts because I ran out of fabric (found pillow cases at Target, didn’t realize until it was put together that the whites don’t match), then as I’m ready to put on the collar I can’t remember how I cut the pattern to accommodate buttonholes because I didn’t want to use loops. Collar doesn’t fit neckline. Project on hold until I feel like draggin' out the pattern pieces to figure it out.

1 Knit jersey top – canned. Doesn’t fit, might look good if it did fit. Waste of time and my fault because I just threw it together.

Sewing machine and I are not speaking.

Made pattern alterations and muslins for a skirt and jacket originally planned for a pink, spring suit. I’m pleased with results. I’m making muslins - hooray!

Realized that my "My Pattern" review was the most viewed pattern on PR last week and has been shown periodically on the home page. Wow, I don't know how it happened but that's kinda cool.

Purchased four Neue Mode patterns from SewingPatterns.com. Very excited as I purchased the download-only version and had access to them within one hour. Or so I thought. Printers and program are not cooperating. Have message that they’re working on it.

Traced my three new Jalie patterns.

Think I’ll be ready to work things out with my sewing machine tomorrow.

A large part of my problem is mental. I now have the time and solitude to sew (kids have been at day camp and are going back to day care next week). But, then the guilt sets in – at 2:00 the breakfast dishes are still on the table, the weather is beautiful and I should be outside gardening or rollerblading, the laundry hasn’t been touched all week! I usually tackle two or three painting projects (a dresser, our bedroom, etc.) in the summer. This year – nothing. I’m losing much of my excitement about going back to school. Found out this week I’ll be the only music teacher at my high school – again. Twelve years in this district and I’ve only taught with another music (vocal) teacher for 2-1/2 of those years.

Well, as my kids would say, “blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah” (yes, they learned that from me). Life goes on for pete’s sake!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened...

...on the way to my Y class. I was wearing this skirt and a women told me she had a dress made out of the same print that she just loved. I immediately thought I'd met a kindred sewing spirit. No, she bought the dress at Talbots! I checked out their site and couldn't find it but I did run across the fabric here. Or, if you're so inclined you could contact Cutting Room Fabrics with a picture of the fabric and order it there. (I say with a picture because they don't have many fabrics posted online.) Actually, their price in the store is low enough that I'd contact them first. When I was there last week they still had some in stock.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I Love to Plan!

Oh, the possibilities when you start to plan a new wardrobe, the wonderful expectation that everything will get finished, the anticipation of friends admiring the creative effort that goes in to each outfit! After my mega-fabric shopping I spent a few days just looking and planning. Today I've decided that I'm just too late to join any of the August contests on PR, but I'm going to pretend. So, if I were participating in the Mini-Wardrobe contest (something like 4 pieces with 3 different types of garments that make 4 different outfits using 3 different colors.) this is what my entry would look like:

If you read the fine print you'll see that only the pants pattern is current and I refuse to refer to any fashion after 1980 as vintage! So, there is one truly vintage pattern, one current pattern, and all the rest are OOP. (The pattern combination for the charmeuse may change.)

And if I were entering the lined jacket contest my entry would look be this (another OOP, but this one is still available in the Vogue OOP section):

In the same golden/ yellow wool flannel as the skirt in the mini-wardrobe.

Now I'm off to try and plan the entire fall/winter wardrobe, well after a bit of sewing. I got too frustrated trying to plan my clothes around the SWAP instructions so I'm building my plan like a family tree starting with three suits in Gold/Yellow, Dark Heather Gary, and Black (cut out from last year). Then I'll start adding other pieces to match the suits, then more pieces to match those and so on, and so on, and so on. Right now the plan is looking like a family tree. I'll post it when I'm satisfied with the plan. Once it's done, I'm going to go back and see if it fits into the original SWAP instructions.

Happy sewing to all!