Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oh, JoAnn's

If you’ve kept up with your sewing bloggers, you surely read about the deplorable condition of some of the JoAnn’s locations. I had no idea that it was even possible that they wouldn’t have a pattern stocked – or even in order in the drawers until I read Lindsay T’s rant. Wow. Luckily both stores that I frequent locally are the exact opposite. In fact, lately at both locations I’ve noticed younger sales associates that seem genuinely interested in garment sewing. Having said that, last night I made a discovery that I need to share. I had two bolts of presumably 60” wide fabric. One bolt didn’t have enough fabric and I said something to the sales associate about the width. She looked at the end of the bolt and told me it was 50”. 50”??? Then I looked at my other fabric and noticed that it was the same width. Then I came home and measured another fabric that I purchased two weeks ago, thinking it was 60” – nope 50” wide!!! (Then I started remembering a rayon/cotton blend that I bought over two years ago and was shocked when I thought it shrunk over 4" in width...maybe it really didn't shrink!) Not 54, not 52, 50 inches wide! Sheesh, the fabric companies don’t even put the yardage for that on their envelopes, do they? I sense a company-$$-saving conspiracy. If you’re a JoAnn’s shopper – check your widths before you buy. And if it’s 50” go to the back pages of the big 4 pattern books and study the conversion chart so you get the right amount the first time.

As a follow-up to my daughter’s wardrobe rant, there were a couple of recent successes!
Here’s a dress I made that she put on without a single complaint or criticism. I even heard her proudly announce, “I love it!” followed by a big hug. Of course, she hasn’t worn it since (rolling my eyes).

Then she got this little gem for her birthday (mommy’s proud ebay purchase :)). Somewhere before her birthday someone asked me if she liked to sew? Uhhh, uhhhh, uhhhhh … she better! Well, even if she doesn’t I’ll use the machine! Since the big reveal she’s said, “I’m going to be a seamstress just like you!” and after two enthusiastic sewing session “You know mom, sewing’s really not my thing.” Both comments were made on the same day – so I’m not too concerned.

I’m gearing up for a serious project – the jacket that will match the gray pants from my previous post. This is the biggest obstacle for my Stitcher’s Guild SWAP. Now that I confirmed it doesn’t need to be done until the end of April I think I’m ready to devote some quality time (i.e., tailoring, and hand sewing) to this project.

Happy sewing to all!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quick Post?

I'm not sure if that's actually something I'm capable of, but I shall do my best!

First, here's a pic of the gray *&%@!! pants. I wore them today and they weren't nearly as uncomfortable as I thought they'd be. However, I won't be wearing them without a jacket, 'cause the waistband business is yuk! I've also decided that the "sits 1" below waist" is just not a flattering look for me. Next pair of pants I go higher or lower. And I've got patterns ready for both ;)

Second, thanks to a new fabric store (!!!!) I've overcome my frustration of the pants. I visited this store yesterday and came home and got right to work on a nice cotton blouse. So far it's looking very polished. This store just was just what I needed to recharge my battery. Do they have nice fabric you ask? Well, of course, or why would I be so excited! Good or bad I will quickly be known as one of the regulars. I realized this morning that it's only about 5 minutes out of my way as I go home from work. This could be dangerous. Here's the damage from Saturday. And you can read my review on PR for all the juicy details.

Lastly, a picture of my purple pants. (The ones I mentioned in the blog-e-o that were to big to hold up to the camera!) Surprisingly, I've worn them often. Who would have guessed that I needed a pair of purple pants?

Happy Sewing to all!

Friday, March 13, 2009


I just finished (except for the hook and eye) a pair of pants that should have taken about three hours to make. I wasn’t keeping track but it had to be at least 6 hours of sewing time to get to this point. And they don’t even feel good. I want to pull them up so the crotch fits and pull them down so the waist fits, and this is after I’ve adjusted them more than once. The biggest problem is that, thanks to this book,
I realized that I should be making the “protruding seat” (read: big butt) and protruding front thigh (this is definitely not from exercise) alterations AFTER I’d already cut them out. These are not alterations that can be made after the garment is cut. Okay, that was the biggest problem. There were so many other little problems that I can’t even remember what they were! All I know is that I probably should buy a new seam ripper because these pants have worn out the old one.

The pattern is Simplicity 4366 which I made successfully last year. I’m making a jacket of the same fabric and they are both pieces of my SWAP for Stitcher’s Guild. The jacket is cut but I’ve been putting off sewing because I’m debating about the sewing method. Every time I see one of Tany’s beautifully tailored jackets I get a little more confident about making one myself.

So, I’ve kind of been thinking that I should try it on this jacket. But after these frustrating pants, I’m losing my courage for doing something so meticulous. Stay tuned. I’ve got a blouse cut and a knit skirt to make in addition to the jacket then my SWAP will be complete.

P.S. I highly recommend the pants fitting book! I purchased it recently at Half-Priced Books and it's really helpful. It shows ill-fitting pants on real people, identifies the problem, shows the pattern alteration, and the result.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Takk Så Meget!

That's the extent of what I remember from taking Norwegian I and II in college. That's right, I went to a college that taught Norwegian. My sister went to a college in MN too, but she learned Swedish so we never could carry on a conversation!

Speaking of sisters, thanks for the Sisterhood award, Sharon!!

The Rules are:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

The bloggers I've nominated truly feel like sewing sisters. I'm sure that if I just called up and said, "I'm in town, let's go fabric shopping." The response would be something like, "Just let me get my keys!" That includes you Sharon! (So now, you've all been warned.) This is the third time I've tried to finish this post and I know many/all of you have been recognized already. Just consider this one more pat-on-the-back.

Lindsay T. (The ultimate fabric shopping friend!)

I truly have been trying to post more sewing, pictures are ready they're just waiting for the words! Here's a hint: jumpsuits, purple pants from the blog-e-o, monochromatic outfits including gloves, SWAP's almost done, and of course some vintage patterns. Someday...

Have to share this parting shot that I discovered after my kids were in bed. All clear for take off!