Friday, March 30, 2007

Why posture really does matter ...

The mess on the floor next to Mindy the dressform is actually a pile of rib knits and lining pieces that are destined for the new drawer unit that I purloined from Hamster Boy. He needed a new Lego box as his collection is fast outgrowing the drawers. So, he nicely offered to donate the drawers to the workshop if I would buy him a large and flat Rubbermaid. Who am I to turn that down? Now, to those pants ...

Why did these pants suddenly have so much more wrinkles in the photos then in the mirror? I know that there have been many almonds and some surgery under the belt between the last fitting session and this photo, but I am not liking these pants too much on screen. The pockets are gaping a bit as well, now that I look again. Taking digi photos of the "reverse" view was very humbling... where did that wonderful fit that I saw before go to? It took me about 4 shots before I figured it out.

When I started to re-jig the workshop, I bought some mirror tiles and placed them in the corner, giving me a more all around view when I fit. Better, but not perfect. I would need to change the angles I think to achieve what I really want. I made a discovery today ... When I fit using the mirrors, I must have shifted my posture to get the view of the back of my pants. When I take the pictures of the finished product, my posture is proper, so I discover more wrinkles that disappear only if I adopt a pose similar to that of Carol Burnett's secretary character, Mrs Wiggins! (I so wish I could find a screen shot of her walking, she is one of my all time fave Burnett characters!) This shift is most likely a result of my having to twist a bit to view the mirrors ... but definitely not how I normally stand or walk. So, I am posting these pants, wrinkles and all, knowing that my routine should now be tweak and click rather than tweak and twist! I know that if I lift these up at CB, a lot of those pesky wrinkles disappear but truth be told, I just don't want to have to rip out all that top stitching again! So, I am going to live with them and see if I like them better after a couple of weeks without almonds and lots of time on the Elliptical. Because right now, I am not too hot on doing any further pattern tweaking on these! I need a complete break from Dragons ... St George I am not!

Even though I said I was going to focus on the other projects in my family, I started a top the other night as I felt the need for a burst of speed sewing to improve my mood. I figure it was better than eating almonds ... So, I cut out the Butterick 4347 v. D in a nice poly knit crochet type fabric in a wine colour. I am going to underline it with a nice coral silkweight powerdry from the previous EFQ spellbinding. This project was perfect for me as I needed to think about layouts due to the knit being really narrow. I ended up piecing the crossover pieces at the underbust point. I am going to sew it up tomorrow morning. The Scouts are off to the Library tomorrow night, so no prep time for me for a change! That means I get to sew all week in the mornings! WOOHOO!! I promise to post updates ...

We are down to 88 days till the Pilot moves back home ... Hamster Boy is really bummed out tonight after saying good bye to Dad tonight. They had a great Boys' weekend while Monkey Girl and I went to a sleepover with her Beavers (this is what we call the youngest age grouping of Scouts up here in Canada) and then bought her a new bike. He misses his Dad so much ... Pilot didn't want to leave either. 4 more sleeps till he comes back for that long Easter weekend! We are so counting days!

The Dragon Unleashed ...

First a bit of snarky soapbox time ... there is another run of HP patterns out, this time with instruction sheets courtesy of McCall's. Kudos to a small Indie company for reaching for the big guns wrt getting help. Congrats on pulling it off! Makes me smile in pride that I have been a supporter of Trudy and Jeremy in my own small way! Now for the soapbox.

It has been said by others before, and I just have to say it again. Why is it a crime to have to make a muslin for an HP pattern but it is considered par for the course for other companies? Nobody blinks an eye at muslins for Marfy or Burda (don't get me started on their instructions, BTW!), but the minute somebody recommends a muslin for HP people get upset saying for the amount of $ the patterns, cost they shouldn't have to do muslins ... Sorry. I wasn't aware of the fact that HP gave out custom sized patterns that didn't require a fitting session. Get over it people, Trudy designs her patterns her way and just because it may require you to do alterations that you may not have to do in other lines doesn't make her patterns bad. Custom fit takes work. IN ANY PATTERN LINE. So, come on, if you order the pattern, bite the bullet, make a muslin and enjoy the journey .. you just may learn to like muslins when you see the quality in the final garment.

OK, enough of that. Last night I finished altering the Pilot's shirt pattern and actually hemmed the Dragon Pants. Yup, I am wearing them as I speak. Any of the extra ease that I was thinking of tinkering with is gone (no doubt thanks to all those chocolate almonds), but they are still very wearable. The drape is not as nice as I like, but that is due to the fabric, I think. Now that it is warming up, I will sew these up in a lightweight brown crepe I got in a Fabric Mart bundle last year. I think the legs are a bit too wide, but I will see how they lie in the crepe. It amazes me how fabrics change a pattern! I am off to take pictures and post the final product!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm free ... almost!

Some of you know that I am a leader with Scouts Canada (thanks to my kids). For the past 2 months I have been working on homework given to me on my last session of advanced leader training. I have been slowly plodding my way through a homework assignment that had me make a 3 year plan and then 3 months of detailed plans and topped off with a plan for a weekend camp. All for 5-7 year olds ... Last night I finally submitted the last part. You see, I didn't have a lot of prior experience to draw on for this as I have only been at this for 3 years. That is what made this such a challenge.

What does this have to do with sewing, you ask? Now my evenings and mornings are once again free for me to sew. To emphasize this, this afternoon, I went to the workshop and took out all the winter fabrics that had been untouched all winter and banished them to the Trunk. I took out all the remnant buttermilks for Monkey Girl and my meager collection of shirtings and blouseweight fabrics. While digging, I found a beautiful emerald green linen look fabric that had been cowering in the Trunk. I think this might just be what I want for that Marfy dress ...I like green and it likes me back! It also coords nice with a floral print that will become a blouse, so if I have enough, it might just become a flirty skirt/skort when the weather warms.

To satisfy my need for a short term task prior to beginning supper preparations, I altered the Pilot's shirt pattern IAW Darrell's directions. In the continuation of my Lenten giving of self, I am going to cut and sew his shirt before I do my own Easter dress. I am going to do the next version in some wonderful shirting that The Stitchery sent up my way. I have enough to make another one if this one doesn't work out quite right. Monkey Girl picked out some fabric for an Easter dress, so that will come next on the machine before the Marfy get sewn. If I don't get it done, there will be 40 more days of Easter to work on it, right? I still have a dress only worn once or twice in the closet that I can wear ... let them come first for a change in the shop.

It is sure nice to think about lighter fabrics for a change ... I even pulled the Jean Jacket out of the Closet to wear this week. I still needed gloves with it this morning, but at least I wore it without boots!

I also borrowed the Pilot's drill and mounted a dry erase board and two sets of hanging baskets on the wall next to the cutting board. I then removed my "To Do" pile of patterns and removed a number that aren't going to get done for the spring and summer and pulled out a few others to add in. I sorted and then listed them and their chosen fabrics on the dry erase board.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

At First glance it's always easy, right?

Well, I had to do it. Even though I have a muslin that needs redoing for the Pilot's dress shirt, I had to take a peek at the Marfy pattern. After all, I know what needs doing for the shirt, and he won't be home till Friday anyway, so what is the harm?

I was having a hard time visualizing the how the pieces would look. After reading through the Armstrong book and seeing all the variations of darts, I was positive this would be some weird combination of darts, after all, this is a Marfy, right? It can't be straightforward ... can it? Well, the dress is made up of a one piece darted bodice which is sewn to a 3 piece skirt plus the godets. It actually does look very easy to put together! The outer skirt panels have an angled section at the top that attaches to the bodice above and to the center panel below. All three of the skirt panels meet at a point. The godets are stitched in at that point. This is the place where I am anticipating having problems. I forsee hand basting in my future ... and this is why I am making the first version purely for technique.

I am going to cut out a muslin as is (even though I know I will need to fit it) just to test my ease of construction theory. Just to make it really funky, I am going to use some nice white and orange gingham in the throw away stash for the first couple of trials. I ordered 10 yds of muslin from vogue fabrics as I could not pass up the $1.69 per yd price tag. Can't get near that locally, so even with the shipping, it will be still a good deal.

I probably won't have time to order the final fabrics from Vogue without paying a mint in shipping, so I think I am going to have to go downtown to Darrell's. He can always be counted on for great fabric! First, though I will do up the muslins so that he can see the drape of the dress and suggest from there. Who knows what colour he'll talk me into! You will all have to wait and see! I may even decide to use the floral silk anyway ... a girl can change her mind, right? OR is it all that housework that is influencing my judgement ...

Of course, when I did take out the pattern, I heard a lot of grumbling from the ironing board. I thought I smelled some smoke, too ... I think the dragon is awake from its nap and was mumbling about hemlines. Good thing the Coat is still in it's bag from it's visit to Kay's. Lord only knows what it would retort with. And now that there is a man in the mix, I am sure if the dragon speaks up any louder, that shirt will get involved ... So, in the interests of peace and tranquillity in the workshop, I will hem the pants while watching TV tonight. I have to get that fire breather out of the shop. Fabric is flammable and I am sure he has been threatening the stash if anything should think about jumping out and crying "I AM MARFY! SEW ME NOW" Dragons can be such bullies! And it would serve that coat right if I make it wait until the Cherry Blossoms actually come out to finish it, the way it has been egging on those UFOs ...

The Votes are IN ...

The general consensus by e-mail and comments is that I should sew up the Marfy for Easter. I guess I have to get on this fast as there is only 2 weeks left till Easter! So, I started looking at various online stores last night and found some nice ones on Vogue Fabrics. The first one is a mini faille in a wonderful colour that reminds me of a robin's egg. As it seems a bit bright on the monitor, I asked for a swatch. The second one is a linen blend that is a bit softer. I am anxious to see how they look against my skin tone.

I found loads of nice silks, but I want this dress to be wearable in a number of occasions, so I don't want to go too fancy. Using cotton pique had been suggested, but when I looked at what was available online, I didn't find any colours that I liked. The greens were too yellow and way too bright for my taste. I would have liked a nice emerald green or a sage instead, but I couldn't find any, so I will have to deal with what I have available.

I have lots of homework to finalize today and the inner domestic diva in me is demanding that I clean the house. Of course, having a sister come visit for a night encourages that darker side of me. I don't let her out that often ... she tends to be boring and give me lectures about thread clippings and snips on the floor. The nerve ...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lenten Checkpoint

Well, Carolyn asked me how I was doing on my Lenten projects today, so I thought I would check back in and let everybody know. The first thing I wanted to do was to use my sewing for a cause. So, I contacted my Parish and a friend who also is an Anglican priest for help. I was led to a couple of options. After having my first child, I sewed maternity clothes for Birthright, an organization that helps young women who decide to carry their babies to term and, if they then keep them, help them along in their new lives as mothers. This was one option that was given to me again, but the only chapter in this huge city is across town, beyond my ability to easily reach them in my limited free daytime hours. Similar for another organization downtown. So, option three was a church community near by (about 15-20 mins away) that sews layettes and such for preemies and still borns. I really liked this idea and have sent many e-mails, but alas, have not received any response. So, my sewing project has not come forth to what I had hoped. So, I focussed inwards instead.

I speak often about my husband, the Pilot. He has been away since August, taking a military senior staff course in a city about 6 hours from us. While he comes home weekends when he can, the kids and I are alone for the rest of it. It has been tiring and emotionally draining, so I tend to withdraw from my kids when I am feeling low and tired, so that they don't see Mommy at her worst. What that has led to is less meaningful interaction with them. So, my actual Lenten project has been to offer more of ME to my kids. I am spending more time with them, giving and getting more hugs, kisses and snuggles.

I have homework time before or after I cook supper, so that I can actually be right there when Hamster Boy needs help remembering his 6 times table. I found a computer game that helps him do his multiplication and I watch him play and cheer him on. I have more snuggles with Monkey Girl as she watches the Pink Panther and have her read to me as she is starting to be able to do that now. Scout night pizza has gone from order in to custom made so that it is more of a family night with the extra speed of fast preparation so that we can get to Scouts on time with full bellies! Hamster cleaning time is now a family event. He washes the tubes and the cages, while I empty the bedding and old food and then dry it all. She watches over the Rodent in its ball while we work. Then the two of them bath the Rodent. All in all, the kids are a bit happier. When I do have a really bad day, I have learned that I can tell Hamster Boy that Mommy is really missing Daddy and I need some quiet time. He then stops fighting Monkey Girl and plays nicely while I have my little cry and sleep. They then wake me up with either a bounce or by throwing all their stuffed animals on my belly.

It has not been easy. Often, after a busy period, I just want the world to stop for a few days and do nothing. So the dishes don't get done right away and the laundry doesn't get put away by me. But now the kids have discovered that if it isn't in the cupboard, to check the dishwasher. They have begun separating their own laundry while we watch TV at night. They get to "throw" mine back into the basket after they take their own up. They love playing basketball with Mom's socks and T's!

So, I guess this Lent has been a rediscovery of my kids and of my husband as well. We really appreciate the time together that we do have and make the most of it. This year really has brought us closer. Only two more weeks till Easter and less than 100 days till he comes home to stay. But what I am doing will last forever ...

Now, Carolyn has told me what she is doing ... has anybody else tried to do something?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Easter is Coming ...

Knowing that the weather is calling for double digit temps ABOVE ZERO (Celsius) tomorrow, my thoughts of sewing are running far and fast from the Cherry Blossom coat and thinking of Easter dresses. I love dresses but don't have much chance to wear them other than on Sundays and with Monkey Girl still in the wriggle on Mom's lap at Mass stage, they aren't always practical! So, my dress pattern selection is somewhat limited as I tend to be somewhat picky.

There is a lot of talk over at the Stitcher's Guild about the new batch of Hot Patterns. They are nice patterns, but I am in the minority in not being a fan of the styles. There is much too much gathering for my tastes. I prefer a more fitted look, I guess. Maybe this is due to over caution owing to my relatively substantial bust size. That tends to dominate my choice of patterns somewhat. While I am not plus size having a bra that is larger than a DDD (US sizing) with a smaller waist, makes them a bit, well, obvious. So, having all that fabric tends to make me think that they would look even larger. Even in my HP Patchoulli Dress, which called for underbust gathers, I used the optional darted bodice that Trudy so nicely thought to design and include in the pattern. So, do I remake the Patchoulli? I have a nice silk chiffon that would be beautiful in it, but I don't think that I have enough for the Bias skirt and the ruffles. That is out.

Option 2 is a Marfy pattern I fell in love with due to the waist detailing. It looks like it might be a challenge to sew, but to be honest, I have not even taken the pieces out to look at yet. It might be easy for all I know!

Option #2 is this Marfy pattern I fell in love with. If I use the silk chiffon (assuming I have enough) it will be quite flirty and will take me into the humid summers of Ontario. It would even do for the Pilot's Grad ceremony/garden party if I find the right hat to go with it. The only downside would be that the lovely darting would be lost in the floral design of the pattern. I need something that will travel and sit well. So, what to buy instead? I know I don't have anything else in the stash that would suit this pattern. I am not sure if I should buy until I try to fit the pattern. I think I will be safe and just get some muslin and go from there. But it sure is nice to be thinking of dresses ...

Spring Has Finally Sprung ...

We are back from Spring Break up here. The Pilot was home for half of it and then we joined him at "Hotel Daddy" for the other half of it. We played tourist with the kids and went to the CN Tower for a day. Hamster Boy and I watched as Pilot and Monkey Girl jumped on the glass floor, looking down to street level. You have to understand that this tower is 1,815 ft., 5 inches from the ground, so the prospect of looking straight down that amount did not appeal to my son and I, so we just stood and shook our heads. The glass elevator was enough for us, thank you!

We had great plans to do other things with the kids, including a huge indoor amusement park that was a great deal moneywise, but halfway there, Monkey Girl went very pale and started to cry. She had a head cold, but to make her ask to go back to the tiny suite that is Hotel Dad, she must have been feeling awful. So, back we went. Hamster Boy actually took this extremely well considering he was relatively healthy. I am really impressed with how he didn't melt down when told he was not going to Wizard World.

That night brought snow (just what a family who didn't pack boots needed) and earaches. A quick pharmacy run brought home lots of Advil and Triaminic for the kids and other stuff for the Pilot (How dare heget sick!). Every 3 hours we were woken up by her earache and tears. We managed through it for 36 hours before she couldn't handle it anymore. She had had a shower, you see (no tub in Hotel Daddy) and had tried to get the water out of her ear. I am sure the whole floor heard the scream! We found a clinic that took walk ins about 30 mins walk away. We got everybody dressed and headed out with Monkey Girl on the Pilot's shoulders. Now I am a fast walker. I had a old Sergeant who called me Paulette Bunyan on our route marches as I was the lead and nobody could keep up. But even at my best pace, I could not catch the Pilot. He was about a block ahead at all times. Parental adrenaline is something, isn't it?

The good news ending is that the fresh air seemed to help her out quite a bit as the pain went away and her nose started to drain big time. But the Doc still said the ear was quite red and gave her some antibiotics. We are not fans of antibiotics and ear infections in children as they become so immune, but I think that she had peeked and if she hadn't tried to get the water out on her own by hitting her head with her hand, she probably would have been OK. That and all that fresh air. But now that her body has done her part, we figured giving her some drugs would help speed things along. So, the rest of the week went nice and quiet in the big city. We spent lots of family time together drawing cartoons, watching cartoons and making Dad laugh. He and I actually got paperwork done as well. Less than 100 days left till he comes home for good. We are so happy about that ... it has been a long 8 months so far. But I have to keep in mind that I am blessed that he is not overseas like so many others I know. That too, shall come to pass, I am sure. I hope not yet, though ...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Catching up...

I enjoyed a wonderful cup of tea and conversation with Kay Young, a fellow PR member last night. We evaluated a pair of stretch cords of hers and then we had some fun with the Cherry Blossom coat. Her pants fit well enough, but we came to the conclusion that a fish eye dart is warranted in both front and back. One thing that came to me on the way home is that she could also use some reshaping of the s.s. below the hips ... they seem to bag out like jodpurs almost. When it came to the coat, we both agreed that the pockets have to come off. As designed, they give the coat a homemade look, vice a quality image. Also, we figure that I can afford to take a good inch out of the s.s. and that I need to cut off the hem allowance on the lining as the coat hem length is just right once it is turned up. So, thanks, Kay for an enjoyable evening out and for an objective pair of eyes!

The dragon pants only need hemming to be completed. Tonight they will be done and a review posted before I go to bed. I still have some issues, but I think most of them are related to the fabric choice and slight sewing errors. More on that later!

The Silhouette trousers are cut out but in temporary holding pattern as I had to throw together a quick shirt muslin for the Pilot. I have spoken about my quest for a better fitting men's shirt before in a previous post, so I won't go into that part again here other than to give an update. After cutting out a size 42, I added 1" to the CB of the bodice and then sewed the rest as is. I knew that there would be places that were too small, but wasn't sure where to add, that is why I took the Pilot and Hamster Boy to Darrell Thomas Textiles where Darrell and I spent 20 minutes writing in marker all over my first attempt. He also corrected some of my misconceptions about men's shirts. I will never see the "perfect fit" that I get on my shirts on the Pilot. Turns out those wrinkles I hate at the armscye are actually needed. Ditto with the slightly lower shoulder seam. Yup, I let the Pilot actually say, in public, "I told you so!" I figure that I have to let him say it once in a long way to keep him content (hey it has worked for 18 years so far!).

With respect to the back pleats, Darrell told me that it would look better on Brian's broad back to have move the pleats from the sides (as stated on the pattern) to a single inverted pleat at CB. He says it would be so much more flattering for his back. The neckline will fit nicely on the Pilot's neck once I add a further 1" to the front of the shirt. Right now, the front is too tight. Why didn't I cut a larger size to begin with? Because the next size up on this pattern is only 1/4" larger at CF and the neckline and still would not have been enough for him. The next size range would result in losing the best fitting shoulder and necklines I have seen to date. So, Darrell, after rightly chastising me for not flat measuring my pattern, told me where I needed to add and how much (1" to the front, neckband and collar, 1/2" to the sleeve length, 1" in length @ CF, tapering to nothing at s.s.). The adjustments are fairly minor and this pattern fits so much nicer than the KS pattern I have been using. There is some nice s.s. shaping and the body is somewhat narrower in look but not in shape.

So, I have to do muslin #2 in a lighter weight fabric than the throw away piece I chose with the changes and then go for fitting #2 next weekend when the Pilot is home again. We looked at fabrics as well and the Pilot has chosen a few of Darrell's nice Italian cottons for purchase once we have the fit down. Once we get Darrell's nod on the fit, I will buy fabric # 1 and spend a day in May with Darrell at my side as we sew up this shirt. Although I have made a few shorts before, I am looking forward to his supervision for technique and quality. He is a perfectionist who loves quality and he is such a wonderful teacher that this will be so worth the $! This muslin is not worth a photo, but # 2 will get shots and a further review.

So, that is what I have been up to! Tomorrow we are off for the second half of Spring Break with the Pilot before he heads back to work. I see wizards, towers and trains in our future ... see you everybody later tonight for the Dragon!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Must have mags?

There has been some discussion about the new Taunton Press mag, Sew Stylish, on a number of sites that I visit. I ordered the first issue as I was curious to see what would be inside. I also signed on to their Blogsite for a while as I wanted to see how/if it would compliment the magazine and also to see if this was something that I would really be interested in.

The initial issue is nicely laid out, but it really reminded me of Sew News. Sew News was the first magazine I had ever subscribed to, and when I was younger, I thought it really neat that I could actually buy a volume wholly devoted to sewing where even the ads were sewing related. I found that as I expanded my skills and knowledge, I "outgrew" it. And eventually, I grew to be miffed at the percentage of ads to content. I see Sew Stylish as being very similar. While the content is basic in nature, I don't see it as strictly a beginner's magazine. The articles that were in both were of value to all levels of sewing. What it comes down to is whether or not you want to read articles that are at that level each month. I decided that I did not. The daily read of the Blog was not my cup of tea either. So far, most of the info I had already seen in past issues of Threads. What I want in any magazine I buy is to learn something or to be challenged in my thinking (that is why this year's new subscription is to "The Smithsonian" and the frequent purchases of "Archeology"). The one mag I subscribed to but reluctantly cancelled was "Catholic Digest". I liked the content, but found the junk mail that resulted from that subscription was enormous and at that time there was no way to opt out of receiving it. So, the sub was cancelled. The junk mail stopped only when we moved ...

I have been buying issues of Australian Stitches at Wal Mart of all places each month. I like what I am reading. There has been a series of articles on wardrobe planning that goes beyond the SWAP concept to the broader idea of a whole wardrobe. There is also a series on fit that has been very informative as well. I like how in depth they go for their articles. And I like seeing the same authors as I see in Threads. This sub is more expensive than Threads, but seeing as I no longer buy each issue of WOF, I think that I can swing it for a birthday present to myself this summer.

The reason I stopped buying WOF is that I just can't see myself sewing all the patterns I like in the issues I already have, let alone future issues. I still browse the styles online, but to be honest, I only need so many pant patterns and skirts aren't in my personal style right now, so really it is only tops that I am interested in. And I have so many patterns that I can't justify buying any more issues on a regular basis.

So, Threads and Australian Stitches are my must have sewing mags. I don't NOT recommend the others as I believe that each person has their own needs and wants in their reading. So, what mags (sewing or non) are in your mailboxes each month and why?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's not Procrastinating if you have a Plan ...

I know, I promised the coat would be photo'd and mostly rip stitched, but I have to confess that I have not touched it other than to try it on again. BUT, I have a plan, you see. Stop rolling your eyes, this is a great one! You see, I have a date with Kay Y. a friend from PR that lives here in Canada's National Capital. We are going to have a mini fit fest in two weeks! I am helping her fit a pair of pants/jeans and she will help me with the coat. She has made a few coats, so this will be a big bonus! So, I have a plan and it is actually achievable. So, in the business plan world, I am set! So, you just have to settle for the pants shots once I get a chance to upload them.

I have been thinking about those Jalie pants that I altered a ways back. The CB really, really drops low due to the removal of all that excess fabric. I found some extra fabric in the stash today. In order to bring that CB up to the proper placement, I think I will rip the waistband off from the s.s. and then add a back yoke to fill in the space. The will make them wearable again. This is a pressing matter as I need a pair of blue pants for a Scouts Canada medal presentation next weekend. I am one of the local recipients of the Scouts Canada Centennial medal and although I usually wear jeans with my leader's uniform, they would not be appropriate for this instance. The Dragon pants would have been perfect for this occasion had I not fused some iron on flowers on the back pockets. Although I could remove the pockets and replace them with plain ones ... it is not too late. But the alterations to the Jalie pants are still needed anyway. Time to flip the job coin ...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Spring is coming ... somewhere!

Earlier in the week the Monkey asked me to BBQ hot dogs for lunch. As it was a wonderfully sunny day and the deck had been cleared of snow by the sun, I went outside. I even opened the deck umbrella for a bit to provide some shade for the kitchen as it was really warming up in there. It was a huge surprise when a fly took wing from underneath the umbrella. IT had been hibernating, I guess along with a half dozen lady bugs. So, despite the fact that March definitely came in like a Lion this year, spring is coming! I am now on robin watch! When I see the first one I will know spring has arrived!

I went back to the sewing room this morning. Before I took that last hiatus, I had trimmed and then repinned the Dragon pockets, both front and back. I then abandoned the sewing room for a couple of days that magically turned into a couple of weeks. Some of it was for medical reasons, but now there are no more excuses. I only have the cargo pocket to add and the inseams to stitch before doing the waistband, so they are almost done. There shouldn't be any more tweaking until I get the lighter weight fabric from the EFQ (ordered a week before Lent began). So, hoping that Monkey will let me finish these this aft, I will have them done for the Pilot's arrival tomorrow noon.

In light of the spring like atmosphere, I have some worries about the Cherry Blossom coat. I have been staring at it, wondering why it doesn't appeal to me. I am of the opinion that it really is not a flattering coat on me right now. I wonder if I made it too large? IT is supposed to be a loose fitting design, so I wonder if I made it too big? Seeing as I no longer need the warmth factor, I am going to rip out the lining and replace it with a layer without any fleece. Maybe a layer of flannel instead. I have more lining, although it is not silk. I also think I will take the seams in at the s.s. and armscye to see what that will do. And shorten it some more. So, once the Dragon is domesticated, I will do my round of rip stitching and then pin it all and post for help. I have always been lucky that the majority of my readers have the knowledge and tact to give me what I need to hear and to provide good solutions. I really don't want to give up on this.

Last week, Diva Phyllis posted a shot of her wearing her HP Sportive Suit Skirt. While I love the skirt and have it in my to do list for Spring, I fell head over heels in lust for her blouse! I commented on it and Phyllis was nice enough to brainstorm the construction of it for me. She even found a pattern for me/us. I went to the local Fabricland yesterday and bough the pattern. And (mea culpa) some fabric to go with it. The colours in this fabric will lend itself to many items in my Closet, so I think it will be a nice dressy blouse for spring.

I also picked up this little gem of a top. I made a formal top a few years back that had similar lines to view D. This photo is not flattering as I see that the Twins are a bit droopy and hindsight being perfect< I should have widened the bodice piece a smidge ... but oh well, it was good for the price of the silk! The point is, I like the wrap over styling of the bodice, but was uncomfortable with the lie of the crossover. This new pattern eliminates that problem by having an under layer to the wrap. Now, I just have to choose the right fabric for this top. I have a Pucci type print that I think would hide the wrap detailing, so that is out. Same with the lace. That leaves me with powerdry and some Sophia knits that are coming with that box from Ressy. And some summer weight jersey's that are too light for Canada's early spring. So, do I make it in the caramel silkweight powerdry? Or the white cotton lycra that I was going to use for the twisted turtleneck? I think I have enough for both, but do I need 2 white tops?

I think I have finally found a use for that red gabardine that has been harrassing me so loudly! I think it will become a HP Sportive Suit jacket. I have a nice summer floral print with a matching red in it that would do well in the skirt of the suit. Or do I have it backwards ... should the print go on the top and the solid on the bottom? I can never get that straight! Anyway, I think that the print would make a nice spring/summer skirt as it is a nice weight cotton with some lycra to it. A jacket would not be right for this fabric, but I could sew it up in this zip front blouse. I know this is a flattering look for me, so it would be great for this. Maybe with the red skirt? I am determined to use that red ... I have to purge it from the stash this spring!

Anyway ... enough time typing for now. I need to get back to finishing off the Dragon so that I can get to that coat!