Sunday, April 29, 2007
I will work on the flower girl dress in the morning and keep the evenings to my personal projects. That way I can try to simulate a regular work day. I hope that this becomes a habit ... having to sew for a living in the daytime, I mean! A gal could get used to that, especially if it brings in enough for me to expand my workshop "supplies" (otherwise known as better quality stash!). See you all tomorrow ...
This will be the last incarnation of this pattern, regardless of how they turn out. I think that if I really need this pattern, I will take my Silhouette pant and re-draft from there. Why didn't I do that to begin with? Because I want to keep learning how to alter the patterns I have. That is a totally different skill set and although I do want to be able to draft my own patterns, I am not yet ready to start from scratch. That might just be a summer project for when the Pilot is back home and is settled into his new position. An ideal project to take on when it is too hot to garden and working in the basement shop is the coolest thing in town! I have been wanting to draft a pant sloper from scratch using the Armstrong book that I got for my birthday last year. I also have a pant drafting kit that my DMIL gave me years ago that I have never used. The name escapes me for the moment, but it has a number of templates that are used to draft the pattern. Not as exact, but it would be a neat experiment to try.
Well, I am off to bed. Sewing pants and watching/listening to hockey into 2 periods of overtime (OK, one period of overtime and almost 2 minutes of a second overtime period) only to see a beautifully worked for goal by the team I was not rooting for makes one tired. My Dear Father had his favorite teams in hockey, but he always gave credit where credit was due. New Jersey, you earned tonight's win. Just dont' do it again ...
Friday, April 27, 2007
The Pilot didn't make it home this weekend, so it is just the monkeys and me. We start with dance class in the morning and then progress to a birthday party at an indoor Mini Golf for 2 hours for a friend of Monkey Girl. The older siblings of Birthday boy is a classmate and Scout mate of Hamster Boy, so I think we will tag along and do some glow in the dark golfing ourselves! Then, once we get home, it will be time to dust off the Domestic Diva costumes as we all work together to clean the house. All the nice temps have caused the trees to bud out, releasing massive amounts of pollen, so I have been laid up with allergies this week. Tomorrow while she is dancing away, I will buy some Claritin! Three days of this is quite enough, thank you very much!
A little teaser ... I went to visit Darrell today at his shop and fondled his silk samples. Let's just say I am super motivated to get these pants done and to progress to the client work this week. I hate being at the mercy of the postal system and customs, but I am for one project so I just have to work one project at a time. That means, the pants then the flower girl dress. Salon work can't start until the fabric arrives.
I am very motivated to get this final version of the pants done tonight as I have a client project on the go. A flower girl type dress. The challenge will be in the pattern itself. The pattern was chosen from my stash of patterns, but the measurements of the girl are for the size range down from my pattern. As a result, I have to grade down the pattern. In case this doesn't work out, I found a copy of the smaller size online. It should arrive next week sometime. The client has already bought and dropped off the fabric, so I can get started this weekend on a cotton muslin. I also am awaiting delivery on some rip stop nylon for a group of 3 salon capes and matching stylist aprons for 3 stylists at the salon where I get my hair done. Once that arrives, I can whip those out in a couple of days. My business is starting up slowly, but nicely, I think. These two projects along with some private sewing lessons I have been asked to give over the summer will be a nice little start to Newman's Needle. Now all I have to do is set up a price list and print off some business cards ...
Eventually I would love to have a commercial embroidery machine to expand my client base a bit more ... but that will have to wait a year or two, I think. I need to earn quite a bit before I get to that point! I don't want to finance the whole purchase, so I would like to have at least 50% of the cost in hand before I buy.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
My first thought of these women in the change room? "Hey this must be a group of girls trying out to be a new Pussycat Doll" My second thought? "Is there a Madonna's Material Girl reunion in town?"
I guess you can tell where I am going with this ... I don't think this is a flattering look. Yes, it shows the legs off, but it also cuts them off visually. And what type of a line does it give the body? Too many conflicting shapes ... baggy tops hide whatever shape is up top and some of the tanks being worn were a tad too snug, showing every wrinkle in the skin. Don't get me wrong, I lovedAudrey Hepburn in her back tights, ballet flats and black jacket. It is a look that can easily be pulled off if done well and if you have the body for it. While the majority of these women did have bodies that could wear all of these elements separately, I am of the opinion that they should not be combined like this. At any age. I think that Ms. Hepburn would have agreed.
Friday, April 20, 2007
A family note, Hamster Boy turns 9 today. He is growing up so fast, but still has some "little guy" tendencies. I took him out for lunch today (a tradition in our house) and sent Monkey Girl to a friend's for a lunch play date. He inhaled his food as best as his manners would allow and then asked to be taken back to school so that he could play with his friends. Tomorrow the party happens. WE reached a compromise, it is a "non-sleepover" slumber party. MEaning, they arrive at 3:30 and stay till 9:00 pm. We will have 2 movies, pizza and popcorn and maybe an obstacle course outside. Instead of "loot bags" they will paint T shirts with dragon designs of their choosing. I bought 4 packs of white T's @ Wal Mart. I have iron on sheets for the printer, so I will print off some outlines and then they can pick and choose and paint them in their own colour schemes. By the time they go home, they will be dry. Fun in the sun ... and they all have a cool T shirt!
I am off to brave the Closet and the capris, I hear them giggling from here. Then I have to wrap presents before it is time to go get Monkey Girl. The Pilot will be home for supper, at which point the "ripfest" will begin! It will be a toss up what the favorite will be ... the Zoo Tycoon extension for the computer, the water gun (look out PIlot ... you're the target of champions!) or the extra tubes for the Rodent cage (Hamster Boy stated that they will officially share a birthday, so he needs to get something, too!) or the 2 archeology mags he wanted.
Friday, April 13, 2007
A good thing today, on impulse I entered the Lion's Den at Wal Mart, otherwise known as the bra department. It has been many a year since I Have been able to find proper fitting bras at a non specialty store, which is why I began sewing my bras. The thing is, I need a new bra and can't find powernet locally and can't stand the underwire poking me through the casing on my sports bra. I just don't have the patience right now to sit and repair it. Nit picky work I am not in the mood for (says the person who is back at altering the Dragon Pants!). So, I went and tried on a couple of bras from the "Just My Size" label. I found 2 that fit beautifully! The girls are sitting nicely where they belong and the strap is level in the back where it is supposed to be, just as snug as it is supposed to be. I could almost say the I am in love with RTW! I will still sew another bra, but right now, it was nice to find them when I needed them!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I trimmed the vertical s.a. to the size 14 as the last version seemed so large on me, (even once I took out the extra 5/8" I had added to the s.s.). I left any horizontal seams at the 16 as the length of the blue version is perfect. I left the dart shaping in at the front seamlines as well. The first fitting had the front zipper not closing at all. Obviously I needed some of that size 16 above the hipline! To get a better idea of where I needed to add, I slashed the waistband to the vertical seamlines on the pants (front and back) and then added a wedge of paper underneath to trace off the area that needed filling. I then stitched a similar piece of fabric in to test my theory. Worked wonders in the front. The side seams still hang straight and the front lies flat and the zip closes. I still need a bit of ease across the belly fluff, though. To do that I will add 3/8" at the s.s., I think. The back I did the same thing, but it doesn't lie as nicely, but it does give me an idea of how much I need to add. I am wondering if I needed to add a wedge at all or if just letting out the s.a. a smidge would have been enough.
I am going away for the weekend, so I won't get anymore work done on them till next week. I took some flat photos of the wedges. The fitting session I am not up to taking live shots of yet. I'll post the photos tomorrow before I leave just to leave everybody hanging in suspense. I am off to bed ...
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I am determined to not just bike the 2 blocks to school (and that is the long route) and then park the bike. Yesterday I left early to pick her up and did a couple of blocks beyond the school and then doubled back and did a circuit around the school track. Today, I dropped her off and took another long way home. It felt like it was forever with the wind in my face on that last part of the trail. But I felt like I was getting a workout. I figured that since I had not measured out the mileage, I should wear my pedometer tomorrow. I must have been going for about 30 minutes or so by the feel of it ... Then the bubble burst. Just as I was approaching the turn that would take me to the bottom of my street, I see another mother from the school. I know the distance she had to walk, including a drop off of another child at a neighbouring school. She is fast walker, but she has 2 other kids in tow, so she is limited in speed somewhat. But not limited enough to mkae my ride the 30 minutes I thought it was. When I got home, it turns out I was only out for an extra 15 minutes ... Talk about deflating my ego! Oh well, at least I know that is a good baseline. Now I can plan a longer route to get me that 30 minutes each morning (except coffee Thursdays!).
I posted my Dragon Pants review over at PR. Debbie C. seems to have picked something up that I missed, that being the back waistband dips, more so when hiked. She recommended I revisit my curve and add more length. I have not yet done this, but have seen how others have had success looking at this. Also, when I put them on today (fresh from the dryer) I really noticed the dip. I also noticed that they are too big all over. The new curve I am not sure on, but I am willing to take another look. I think that once the younglings are in bed, I will head to the workshop with the tin foil and check my crotch curve. I think that in order to put the Dragon to rest, I am gong to have to pull out that Tencel and sew up another pair in a smaller size with a new crotch curve, made from the foil experiment. I have some fabric in the washing machine that I bought from Ressy just for these pants, in a nice Khaki green and also in a dark tan colour. She called them "Misty" and here is her description:
50/50 cotton/microfiber Water Resistant....soft with nice
drape..could be used for light weight jackets, trench coats (with
interlining), sportswear, jogging outfits etc..etc.. Very breathable
while being moisture resistant.
That should do it drape-wise. Can't wait to see how they feel once they come out of the dryer! As I like the green better, I think I will use the tan as the next muslin, without any topstitching.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Two years ago I made this pair of pants from WOF. What caught my eye at that time was the seamed legs and the facing. The crotch fit leaves something to be desired, but I didn't know then what I know now! I think that the overall look on this pant is much better than the Dragon Pants. The line of the legs flatter me more than the fullness of the Dragon. I think that when I am mentally ready to make another pair, I will play a bit and see what a good morph will do for them.
That this pattern didn't work for me has nothing to do with the design of the pattern or the instructions. It just doesn't flatter my figure. Perhaps on somebody taller and slimmer ...
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I thought that I had rid myself of that blasted Murphy's luck having read over at Gorgeous Things that Diva Ann's sewing life has been as bad as mine of late (only with much better stash and skill!). I was almost sure that Murphy was off visiting Ann and the Boston Irish when today, after Mass, I found that the sleeve piece for the Marfy dress has gone AWOL. I have searched but can't find it. So, just to spite Murphy and show him that he can't bother me anymore, I am not going to worry about it. I am going to be resourceful and use the armscye from a Marfy top I have already fitted and use that sleeve as a basis for the dress.
Here are the pattern pieces (minus the sleeve) laid out on the green linen look fabric I am using. The pieces are laid out to give an approximation of the finished product. It is not laid out on grain, as you can tell by the bodice piece, which is supposed to be on a CF fold. The side panels will be angled when laid out properly.
I am playing with the FBA on this one. I have to do one, that is without question. I also know that I don't want to sew the new dart, so do I close it out and leave it or do I rotate it to the existing dart and make it even bigger? I am going to do one bodice in each style and see which one I like better fit and style wise. Stay tuned for more!
As an aside, I went browsing for patterns online while the ham was cooking and found these two patterns.The first one, the mock wrap, has gotten rave reviews over at PR. I have been resisting the dress as I have other wraps in the pattern stash already. But a closer look showed me that this one has princess lines to it. That gives me many more options for customization. So, it is back on my buy list.The second one is a very close to being a knit version of the HP Bollywood dress (which I love and am going to be starting in about 2 weeks). I love that this is for a knit and the variety of looks in this one pattern. I can see me wearing this dress in most of its versions. What drew me to this dress was the waistline inserts. It can be plain, ruched or even have a waist twist on it. What is not to love about that? Sleeved, sleeveless and a wrap front option. I see almost my whole summer knit wardrobe for tops and dresses in this one envelope! All I need is some city shorts and bottoms and I am ready for summer! I have a number of woven projects on the board right now, but after those are done, this pattern is going to be on the table in all it's glory. Now all I need is some nice summer colours and prints ...
Saturday, April 07, 2007
You are The Tower
Ambition, fighting, war, courage. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin.
The Tower represents war, destruction, but also spiritual renewal. Plans are disrupted. Your views and ideas will change as a result.
The Tower is a card about war, a war between the structures of lies and the lightning flash of truth. The Tower stands for "false concepts and institutions that we take for real." You have been shaken up; blinded by a shocking revelation. It sometimes takes that to see a truth that one refuses to see. Or to bring down beliefs that are so well constructed. What's most important to remember is that the tearing down of this structure, however painful, makes room for something new to be built.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
This hits very close to home for me for a number of reasons. What I don't understand is how the questions I asked got me here ... That is a programming question, I guess. Oh well!
The Easter Bunny had delegated some last minute shopping to me which I had to do this morning. And Murhpy has been sighted in my bathroom this morning. He messed up my electric toothbrush. So, even with new batteries, it doesn't work. Off to get a new one ... then Monkey Boy tells me his needs replacing as well. ARGH!!! That Murphy is really starting to get on my nerves! Anyway, the eggs are on the stove now and the Pilot just walked in. Soon the house will be empty but for the sounds of the machines down in the shop. Monkey Girl has approved the design changes made last night with the resounding cry of "Wait till Amelia sees me in this at Church tomorrow!". My little fashionista has spoken!
Friday, April 06, 2007
The rayon is quite lightweight and wrinkles at the slightest glance, which may be the reason why it stayed in the stash! That and the fuschia colour (it was the early 90's what can I say?)! Anyway, to firm it up a bit, I am underlining the bodice with a coordinating cotton calico and making a separate underskirt as well. The skirt will be free floating, attached only at the empire seams. I also lengthened the underskirt so that it will show. The intention is to make the rayon lie a bit better, not be so wrinkly and also give some more shape to the dress.
As it is almost midnight, I am off to bed. The dress is 90% done. The bodice is constructed and the outer skirt pieces are stitched to the bodice. The underskirt if constructed and hemmed. Following my rule of no facings, sleeves or closures prior to bed, I stopped for the night.
Tomorrow will be time enough to finish this up and then attack my Marfy. I have a nice rayon jersey in a wonderful turquoise that is waiting to be sewn up! Hopefully I will be able to get the pattern fitted and done tomorrow. I am hoping that with a neckline change, I can get away without a CB zipper! Wich me luck!
1. not buy ANY fabric at all; I almost managed to not give in on fabric purchases. Any fabric that arrived during the past 40 days had been ordered much earlier via Ressy's co-ops, so they didn't count (especially as this was a first day of Lent resolution). The only purchase that occured in Lent was a small one for Ultrasuede from Ressy that matched the double faced wool earmarked for the final version of the HP Lacy Wrap Cardigan. I paid for it the other day. In the spirit of honesty, I had signed up for her powerdry as well, rationalizing that it wouldn't have to be paid for till after Easter. But intent counts, so I cancelled my order. I am sure that I can do without it.
2. not buy any new patterns; I only bought 4 patterns, one of which was for a client, so that didn't count. Out of all the others I definitely could have done without 2 of them, but I had to get that Butterick pattern to knock off one of Diva Phyllis's tops! It was on sale, you see! And I did go in and leave without any fabric at all ...
3. no caramel muffins at Coffee; I know, most people give up chocolate, but my kids are selling chocolate almonds right now and the Pilot did bring back all that Belgian chocolate, so that was NOT an option! The gals and I all go out on Thursday mornings each week for coffee and a caramel muffin at our local indie coffee shop. For the past 4 weeks, I bought the muffins with the intention of bringing them home to my kids. I bought them both muffins for the past 3 weeks. And I had breakfast before I left the house. So, that was the most successful project.
4. sewing for others; didn't happen. Not one response from any of the requests I put out there. Seems like I have to find my own niche and just do it on my own. I am determined to keep looking on this one, though. I need some balance.
5. more of me to the kids; Some improvement has occured, I must say. We managed to make pizza for half of Lent but schedules threw the other half to the delivery man. But we did have more laughs together at night. Being together so much has also left some residual sibling rivalries, but I think that is natural for their ages (5 and almost 9).
All in all, a good Lent. I have done more personal reflection this year than in prior years, so I think I have accomplished what I set out to do. How about you?
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I serged the edges of some fabric I am going to pretreat tomorrow and then I sat down to work on my crocheted crossover top. I managed to serge the powerdry to the crochet (except for the extensions which will remian unlined) and also to attach the lower bodice piece to the upper crossover extensions as well. When I put this piece on Mindy, a glaring need for a dart emerged, so I pinned one out on the outer edge of the extension at the bustpoint and it fit beautifully! The zipper is in the back and the underbodice is darted and ready to be attached to the back. I should easily have it finished tomorrow.
The crossover is not attached to the neckline of the bodice at all. It is stitched into the side seams only and appears to be completely separate from the back. I am not sure how this will wear. I forsee it shifting up my neck and strangling me at some point, so I am going to have to think about how to fix that. This top is also a more closer fit than I had thought it would be despite the fact that my fabrics have more than enough stretch to them.
Tomorrow morning I have to have a meeting with the Easter Bunny's suppliers for the weekend and then I have to pick up some groceries as well. A dear friend whose eyesight is failing needs me to sew on some uniform badges for her as well, so I will go over and have a cuppa while I stitch. Relaxing day, all in all, as long as Murphy stays away!
CAVEAT: I am not a fan of Martha Stewart. I respect her skills in the public showing of her domestic domain and her business savvy. I am just not a personal fan of her style and her penchant for making everything so over the top ...
There were a couple of lines in the press release that caught my eye. The first one is a quote from Martha:
I’m delighted that sewing is enjoying a national renaissance. Really? I wasn't aware that it had really faded away ... granted there are those people who have stopped sewing for whatever reason, but really, wasn't it only that the media awareness of our craft had almost disappeared?
The next quote that got me was this longer one from SVP is this one:
The most extensive consumer research ever conducted in the history of SINGER, HUSQVARNA VIKING, and PFAFF for the past two years shows that prospective and beginning sewers are looking for a sewing mentor. A former fashion model-turned-entrepreneur, Martha Stewart is widely recognized as the leading how-to expert in all areas relating to the home, including crafts. Sewing enthusiasts of every skill level will benefit from the ideas, patterns, projects and templates featured in the company’s family of magazines—including Martha Stewart Living, Blueprint, and Martha Stewart Weddings. They are also able to easily access extensive sewing content and patterns at www.MarthaStewart.com/sewing (http:www.marthastewart.com/sewing). In addition, sewing projects are regularly featured on The Martha Stewart Show, a nationally syndicated daily television show distributed by NBC Universal and carried by leading broadcast TV stations.(emphasis added) Will this result in a Martha Stewart line of machines? Will having her name on the machines or even the boxes result in a price increase?
Most importantly, do we really need a national figure as a sewing mentor? There are many sewing experts out there with advice to give and lessons to teach. Does garment sewing really need a Martha Stewart type figure? Granted, having the Martha put sewing on the national map will give sewing a boost as she does reach millions of houses each day. And if she can convince us all that we really need Kitchen Aid mixers, then maybe she can convince those without machines that they need to buy one and get sewing ... but what then? What will she do to earn her status as our mentor? Inquiring minds want to know and I may even start watching, just to see what comes of this. Personally, I don't need a mentor, I need a range of resources that I can reach out to depending upon what project I am working on. I don't use any one person's methods exclusively. I use the FBA of Palmer Pletsch, the fly zip of Sandra Betzina, the welt pockets of Gorgeous Things' Ann, the welt buttonholes of els, shall I go on? Personally, any sewing advice I take has to come from a credible source. I want fit advice from a person whose garments actually fit and flatter (hear that, Martha?).
OK. I am off my soapbox now. Forgive the rant ...
Monday, April 02, 2007
Some time ago, using a kit and a custom drafted pattern, I sewed up my first bra. Constant wear had finally resulted in the elastic loosening enough that I went about making another bra. Great, now I have those two plus my wonderful sports bra to wear with my strapless on stand by if absolutely necessary. Good to go and sew other things, right? Murphy must subscribe to Bloglines or have an RSS feed, cause he knew that now would be the best time to come and pay a visit. First, he took the slight tear in the lace of the first bra and must have stuck both his thumbs in, making it a certifiable hole. Not satisfied with that bit of mischief, he then took my sports bra and poked a hole in the underwire casing, making it just big enough that when I do any exercise, I get poked! Now I am down to my new bra and my (of course) BLACK strapless! Not only do I have to put everything else down and "throw" together a bra, I also have to repair that casing on the other bra so that I can exercise in some semblance of comfort!
The seamstress/adventuress in me is wondering if I should take the sports bra completely apart and draft a pattern from it and make a new one. The sane part of me is yelling "ARE YOU NUTS?!" It is only a casing ... the rest is still practically brand new (that tells you how much exercise I actually do, unfortunately), and then, in the background, I hear that Murphy, snorting as he tries not to laugh too loudly. I bet he was the one who roused all them UFO's from their sleep last month! I wonder if they got sick of him and kicked him out of the workshop and that is how he ended up in my dresser ... or maybe he followed Hamsterboy as he carried all those pants I had been meaning to shorten for him upstairs to his room? The pants don't need shortening any more, BTW. Hamsterboy has done a growth spurt now that the sun has warmed up. The UFO pile is much smaller now that I have gleaned the too small and the just rights and the I'll never wear it even if I do finish it from the pile. I wonder where he will strike next ... maybe he''ll see something more interesting on somebody else's Blog and leave me alone for a while so that I can sew some bras!