Saturday, August 28, 2010

Non-Sewing Stuff

Well, not all non-sewing....My linen dress made it to the Natural Fabrics Fashion Show at the sewing expo in Michigan! Yay! I'm going to try my best to make it there IRL, but just don't know if I can. I don't even care if I can't wear the dress I just want to meet some online buddies! We'll see what happens.

I made it through the first two days of school. Another, Yay! Lots of improvements going on in my building because we are almost doubling the numbers of faculty and students. Somewhere in all the improvements all the desks and chairs in my room disappeared! Hmmm. Luckily after 15 years in this district I'm prepared; found folding chairs and already had clipboards for the students to use. But, the BIG news about the first day is that since there are three high schools merging into one (my) building this year, it is kind of in the spotlight (this is my way of telling you what's happening without all the the nitty gritty details - and they are gritty!). So, during an assembly on the first day we had the district CEO, a local DJ and graduate from the district - Basheer Jones (he was FANTASTIC, I was so impressed, and the students absolutely listened to every word he said), and Trey Songz! Ok. I'll admit it. I'm a music teacher and I had to Google him to find out who he was. But that's not that important. What is important is the students knew him, went crazy when he walked on stage, and were absolutely attentive when he spoke. He purposely didn't not perform so the students would absorb what he said. Very few people in the school even know this, but in one of the classrooms, that just happened to be next to my room, he autographed the whiteboard. I just thought that was so cool! Of course, I immediately snapped a picture with my phone! I'm sure it will be erased soon.

Forgot to mention earlier that my DD broke another Pennsylvania. It didn't require surgery but was bad enough that 1. everyone knew it was broken, no questions, 2. one of the counselor's threw up after she saw it (no blood, just a really abnormal shaped arm!) 3. it required an ambulance ride from PA to Cleveland. She weathered this one much better than the last one (in November, just in case you forgot) but now she's really afraid to get the cast off - afraid her arm's not going to be strong enough. Well, we'll deal with that in two weeks!

Must stop now. I had no idea how long my last post was! Way too many words-lol! Hopefully sewing, or at least blogging, will be worked into my routine soon and I'll have a few sewing-related items to share!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sewing Is Going On!

I once owned a long, straight, white skirt with pockets and I wore it to death. I’ve been meaning to replace it for years. I’m hoping this skirt is the answer.

Patterns (I think both are OOP) Vogue 8424 (for pockets only) and Vogue 8427 – I’ve made the long version of this about three times and with that slit, it’s one of the sexiest skirts ever! Just watch it when you sit down ;)
Fabric - Can’t remember where the fabric is from but it’s a mid-weight cotton with a little stretch and it’s lined with a poly from JA’s.
Design – I decided to keep the waistband because I knew I would want to wear it with a belt. Just kind of winged it with the belt loops and I think you can see, they didn’t fit the belt, at least not this belt…or three others I tried. I knew I had to be careful with the slit so I lowered the opening 1-1/2”.
I just love how the pockets are almost invisible on this when they’re not being used. The openings just happen to fall right in line with the hip line or something. And, they’re nice and deep.
Construction – This was my chance to follow along the article in the current Threads issue 150 to follow the method for lining a skirt with a vent. Even though my vent wasn’t the same, that’s not really what intrigued me. When I read the instructions and saw they attached the lining to the hem before sewing the side seams, I knew I had to try it. There were two things that got me mildly frustrated; 1. I had to read all the directions, sometimes twice! I’m a visual-learner and there weren’t enough pictures for me. 2. I didn’t think it was very clear about when to insert the zipper. After much gnashing of teeth, I finally put it in before working on the lining and that worked. At this point, the method didn’t save any time but once I get used to it, it might, meaning I will be trying this method again.

I entered a contest! About halfway through the construction of this dress on Friday, I realized that it qualifies for PR’s Natural Fabric Contest. I haven’t done any contests for such a long time, I don’t really think it has much chance of winning, and have no idea if it were selected to be modeled, if I could make it (even though, I’m not that far from Michigan) to the show. So, I decided what-the-heck! That gave me some extra motivation to finish it too.

At first I thought, oh I’ve made it before I’m just going to put it together without instructions. Well, Murphy was listening. Here’s my first seam. That’s right I enclosed the wrong side of the pieces, and trimmed my corners too! Sew, rip, and read. Fabric – 100% Linen (Liz Claiborne) from EOS last year.
Pattern – Simplicity 3773 (This is labeled as an “Easy To Sew” probably because there are no closures to worry about but IMHO, the collar construction on this is not a beginner technique. And, I’m not just saying that because I messed up on mine!)
Construction – I didn’t include the pockets because of the lack of fabric. I did create facings for the sleeves because, I guess I’m in the minority, I love facings. They just work better for me most of the time. Here’s what they look like attached.
I added the facings to the collar facing pattern piece before cutting.
I took Carolyn’s suggestion from the comments when I posted (scroll down) about cutting out this pattern and fused strips of interfacing along all of the seamlines. I then cut an underlining out of a poly lining I had in the stash. I serged the underlining to the sides and centers of the front and back pieces, then sewed it together. (Just read my posting on this dress from last year and noticed that I added to the width of the shoulder seam. Also, the first time that dress was put in the wash it came out with blue blotches everywhere and hasn't been worn since. :( )

This came home with me after a trip to Goodwill. I thinks it’s kind of like the Lutterloh system.

This was gifted to me today from a neighbor that’s moving. Just look at all that binding!! That’s something I’ve wanted to start using a more often but, man, that stuff just never goes on sale anymore. Woohoo!

I’ve got more, so you might actually need to visit again before the month is up! In the meantime here’s some fun I had before taking the "serious" pix.