Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Draping Diva!

That is her new name!  Monkey Girl is now the Draping Diva.  Three times since the last post I have gone down into the Sewing Room and found a length of fabric (usually my bamboo) wrapped, pleated and pinned in place on Mindy.  Don't know when she does it, although I suspect it is done when I think she is watching TV or playing on the family Wii.  Sometimes there is a note pinned to Mindy asking if she can use the fabric for her design (THAT WAS FOR THE OFF LIMITS BAMBOO!) or she then will join me and ask if the design is something she can wear.  Now seeing as she is draping on a form that is my size and bust and that she has not yet shown her potential for needing fitting, it is hard to tell.  But she loves to play with the fabrics, so I let her do so.  I have warned her off certain fabrics as they do not survive random pinning and being left to hang on Mindy, especially when some of it inevitably ends up being on the bias!  I need to thank Darrell for this new talent of hers.  you see, he has numerous forms throughout his shop with fabric artistically draped to showcase the fabrics to their best potential.  She fell in love with the idea when we last visited.  Makes me want to hunt down a cheap form for her to play with until she grows into mine.  Christmas is coming ...

So design divas!  I need your help and I need it fast! I have an important meeting next week with an VP of a Bank.  I need something appropriate to wear ... I want to wear a dress if I can pull it off in the next week (so the Claire Schaeffer mock wrap couture pattern is out due to time).  I have some suiting intended for a shirtdress, but again, time is a factor.  So, it will have to be either a sheath or an empire style, unless I do a surplice knit.  I have this fabric from Darrell that I bought with the intention of using it for one of the HP Three Graces tops (the cowl was the preferred), but now I am thinking of it as a dress.  Simple in doing, but it is the fabric that worries me.

It is an bias printed argyle pattern in grey, blue and black with silver thread shot through. The cowl drapes nicely according to Draping diva and Mindya doesn't look too bad in it full length, the issue is whether I will.  I want to push my envelope a bit beyond the obvious argyle top or twin set, but is a dress really the way to go?  My figure is not the most willowy and I am now in my 40's, so age appropriate is important.  I do so want to leave a good impression ...

Idea #2 was to take the top with the cross over front (the Grecian one) and use black for the cross overs and the argyle for the cowl center piece, but that would take soem creative drafting of the pattern pieces to balance the bottom off.  This really appeals to me as it will be most unique but still not be too much argyle as it would only be on the cowl and the center front.  What fabric I would use on the back is open for debate: black or full argyle?  What say you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monkey Girl Jacket Update

This is a quick update on the progress of the current projects on the table.  The table currently has two jackets on the go, one is mine, the other belongs to Monkey Girl.  I have set up my Mom's old machine (now Moneky Girl's) on the table back to back with mine.  That way we can work at the same time on our jackets.  We are both using hte same thread colours right now, so that makes it easier for me to help her out.

As I believe in learning by doing, she is doing the majority of the work on her own.  She cut  and prepped the pattern while I cut the fabric (that is due to her height not being quite up to reaching across the table and me not wanting her touching the Kais!).  She pins the pieces together as she goes through the pattern, learning about how the pieces match up.  She then stitches them together (reminding herself to backstitch) and tried her best to keep the seam allowance as close to 5/8" as she can (there is a masking tape line on the machine for her to follow).  She now knows how to properly press the seams flat using my iron.  Yes, Darrell, she even uses the clapper!  The top stitching, button holes and collar I am doing for her but I think I will let her do the sleeve insertino as it is on the flat this time around.  She may even do the cuffs as well.  So far the bodice and the back is complete and stitched at the shoulders.  I have to do the topstitching there and then we are off to assemble the sleeves.  We have the collar and cuffs put together but not attached yet.  She has stitched, trimmed, pressed and turned and then pressed again.

She wants a navy blue topstich for a real subtle contrast to the black.  At least it would have been subtle had I not let her loose on Darrell's button wall last weekend!  My Monkey took one look at the variety and went for BLING!  Not just any bling, mind you, oh no, my darling diva went directly to the designer buttons!  Of course, I have to admit, Darrell did have a lot to do with it!  It was great fun as she tried the various buttons styles on her Wal Mart remnant fabric.  She loved the Fendi buttons and almost went for major crystals and rhinstone flowers until we had to reign her in with a reminder that this will still be worn on the playground.  Designer bling is too good for the playground.  That was a close call but very fun to watch!

The next thing she did was to head directly for Darrell's silk samples.  She fell in love with those from the first time in his shop.  After fondling those for a bit, she went over to the display of garment Darrell has on sale.  He chooses fabrics from his supply and then sews a number of his own designs as inspiration for his customer base.  This way we can visualize what a garment will look like in a certain fabric.  She fell in love with a couple of tops and proceeded to talk ME into buying one for her.  The drama that ensued as she tried the various sizes on was quite hilarious!  Darrell and I agree, there are some serious DIVA tendencies emerging in her personality!  Will she be the next generation Sewing Diva?  We will have to wait and see if she can bring her skill level up to THE Sewing Divas ... until then, I am not quite sure what to call her ... Monkey Girl is still there but there are occasional flashes of something bigger that I cannot quite identify.

One unforseen effect of teaching her how to sew, is that I have to reduce the directions to the most basic points.  In teaching her how to do a project like this one, there are few shortcuts.  Each step needs to be read , discussed and understood before we go on.  She sees how things are put together step by step.  This has slowed my sewing down somewhat, but I think that is a good thing for me.  I am now looking at the details again as I stop my sewing to help her with her next step.  I find myself explaining things to her.  It has brought me back to why I started to sew in the first place.  I like the construction of the garments.  I love taking flat fabric and turning into a 3Dimensional object.  I love that she sees what I see.  The potential in every piece of cloth ... expecially the silks, right Darrell?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

changes ...

School is now in session for the kids.  Dino boy had minor stomach cramps last night; not sure if it was nerves, excitement or both.  I think it was the latter. You see, he started Jr High today.  Grade 7.  Wow.  Not only is he only one inch shorter than I am (YIKES HE IS ONLY 12), he is now at a combined jr/sr high.  He gets up with his father and goes out the door at almost the same time.  He will be home before anybody else in the afternoons.  He is growing up (literally!).  He is maturing in so many ways but still believes in embracing his inner child.  He still wants a toy for Christmas, even if it is a small one.  Just because it is Christmas and that needs a toy.  I think that this change needs a new name.  Dino Boy who used to grab his little dino toys and leave them in my bathtub or shower is no more.  In his place?  RUGBY GUY.  This is more appropriate now.  His new self confidence and height has earned him the new moniker, I think.

Monkey Girl is about to head off to school as well.  This is her first year without Rugby Guy at the same school.  She will be going alone now.  What that means is that I won't let her leave quite so early as there is no early supervision at the school without big brother along.  She is turning into a bit of a girlie girl, with her talk of clothes, earrings and her new summer obsession - nail polish. I like seeing these glimpses young woman she has the potential of becomming.  Monkey Girl will need to change soon, too, I think.  But not yet.  I am not quite ready for that.  Let me have my little girl for a little bit longer ... even if she is as proportionally as tall as her brother!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Labour Day Project

So, what are you doing this Labour Day?  As was my practice years ago, I spent it sewing.  Saturday I took off and went shopping with Monkey Girl.  We spend a lot of time discussing body image and fashion vs trends as we shop.  We try on everything just for the object lessons.  We try not to laugh too loudly at what we affectionately label "CALL CLINTON moments" after her favorite show "What Not To Wear".  I like these times together.  She is growing up so fast and so tall that I need to have these discussions more often as she is soon to be out of the little girl sizes ( a feat she reached in her shoe size already!).

I think I may have mentionned in one of my posts last year that I have my mother's original SINGER machine now.  We gave it to Monkey GIRL FOR Christmas last year with the promise that I would teach her to sew.  The majority of what she wants to sew are knit projects, which that machine will not handle well.  So, we are trying something different instead. She is making a jean style jacket.  We are doing it in tandem, meaning that we have two machines on the same table with both of us working on jacket patterns.  I am finishing a UFO (another HP project - the HP Sportive Skirt Suit Jacket).  Hers is KS 3136.  We are using a black peachskin fabric from Wal Mart for her first project. This is a great project for us to do together.  It has many smaller straight seams which will allow her to get used to the machine as well as pinning, pressing and stitching.  I have marked out the 5/8" seamline with masking tape on the machine bed, and am marking the seamline on the fabric for her as well. She cut and prepped the pattern on her own, and I cut the fabric and interfacing as required.  She sews the seams, we press together and then I top stitch for her.  We are lucky that we are both sewing the same colour fabric right now!

It is going really well!  Her first seam had to be ripstitched, as she wanted to try to stitch it without a line to follow.  She was a bit upset until I told her the story of my first Home Ec project do-over (the night before it was due in!).  She laughed and started to rip as she kept giggling!  We have the back assembled and have the fronts half done.  We are at the stage of putting the chest pockets on.  We will see how far we get tonight.  She won't be wearing it to school this week, anyway. I promised her a trip to the Button Wall of Fame at Darrell's so that she can choose the buttons.  Yup, the buttons will cost more than the jacket, but seeing the pride will be worth it!  It is a neat feeling, seeing her across the table working on a project at the same time.  Who says that sewing has to be solitary?

On my end, I have the body of the lining assembled, leaving the facings only to be attached.  I am working on assembling the body of the jacket as well.  I am using a black pinwhaled bamboo corduroy with an ambiance lining in a navy blue.  The skirt was completed before the sewing drought started and was the last actual project completed before the Big Sulk started.  I made this up in a cheap knit 3 years ago for an interview for the job I now have.  Now, I am getting around to making the actual as the cheapness of the muslin is now showing.  I took the rainbow zipper off the muslin and am using that in the jacket.  I was originally going to use a rhinestone zip but think I may use that in another project instead.

So, this Labour Day, I engaged in a Labour of Love.  I have started my 9 year old on a journey of sewing for herself.  The feeling I get in sharing my space with her is so deep that I cannot find the words.  I remember sitting at my mother's knee playing in the button box and wanting to sit on her lap and sew.  I can't remember ever doing that, but I always wanted to.  I played in her sewing room all the time when she worked on the various projects.  Now Monkey Girl gets to work with me.  As a new sewer emerges in the family, I am rediscovering the basics through the teaching process.  I am rediscovering the love of the build and the satisfaction of the final product.  May you all be so lucky as to be able to pass on your skills and love to a new generation ... I now know that my grandmother's thimble will be well loved and used by another young girl as she begins her wardrobe build!

Challenge Complete!

The dress is done and I even have photos ready to post!

The project was the HP Plain & Simple T SHIRT DRESS (See here for pattern link) (not to be confused with the P&S Shirt Dress of a previous pattern release!). I chose it as it was an easy style to make and wear for Sunday Mass or for those days when I just don't want to wear pants.  This should have been an easy project as it is basically a longer version of a Polo shirt with a hidden button placket with the addition of a self tie belt.  Designed for good quality knits, it ws perfect for a stash project as I have a good supply on hand.

HP designs are not for the beginner.  Trudy has said that from the day she launched her line.  She assumes a certain amount of knowledge in her sewer.  I am not a beginner.  I would say that at my peak two years ago, I was close to being advanced, and had I not stopped sewing, I would have gotten there (and will get there)with the completion of that tailored blazer I started with Darrell.  Rebooting a lapsed sewing brain with a hidden placket on a pattern that has minimal instructions and drawings was probably not my best choice.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that the hidden placekt part of the patten really didn't register until I was too forgone in the cutting to stop.  It was at that point that I started the book searches and the internet searches to try to find help.  The first incarnation of the placket had me following the directions, but I must have missed something.  The placket did not lie flat.  It could have been something as simple as me using a knit that was a bit too bulky when layered three times.  Maybe I missed a step somewhere.  After all, I have made so many of these tops, that I confess I really didn't give that in depth of a look at the instructions.... ahem.  yup.  got cured of that real quick on this project!

So, I recut the bodice out of the remaining fabric and started over.  I thought that I could modify David P Coffin's placket design to include a hiddne placket and use that method instead.  Works in theory and in the paper mock up.  Once put into practice, however, there was just too much fabric at the bottom of the placket.  I just didn't like it.  So, I tossed the whole thing in the fabric scrap bin and went to bed.  I do my best redesign work as I am in bed at night while the Pilot is snoring.

Inspiration struck two nights later. I went downstairs and grabbed the pieces and scraps and cut out the offending placket.  I cut it on the line where a shoulder princess seam would lie (or thereabouts) and took it down below the placket bottom.  I then took some black fabric and pinned it in as a cowl neck inset.  I liked it a lot!  Then I thought the black migh tbe a bit too dark for late summer early fall, so I grabbed some scraps of the original fabric and played.  I took the piece I cut out and laid it in half on it's CF.  Then I traced the bottom of it and then rotated the piece to the left to allow for the cowl neck.  There is my new pattern piece.  I cut it out and then added it in.  Love it!  It does not have as much cowl as the original drape and the inset is also a bit wider, but I am happy with it all the same.  Rather than tying the belt, I found a belt buckle that matches colour wise and simply thread it through.  I may eventually sew the buckle on and shorten it.  For now, I like the way it lies flat on a body that is not so flat anymore.  I did have to take the dress in a bit on the side seams, but that is because I added some in the cutting phase "just in case".  The only thing I haven't improved on yet, but plan on doing, is to shape the CB seam below the yoke.  It is straight.  I am not.  It needs some shaping to rid me of the extra fabric at the back.

So, here it is.  The inset could have been a tad bit wider to allow for the twins as I see some stretching there, but that can be eliminated by wearing a different bra as well.  There is too much fluff at the hips (both on me and the dress) so I think any future renditions will need a bit more flare at that point to make it more flattering.  Will I sew this again?  Maybe.  I may try a different pattern version as I have one in an older WOF mag that I haven't tried.  I am trying to use as many new patterns in the stash as I can for now.  I may just use one of my TNT polo patterns instead and add a more A Line skirt to it. Will have to wait and see!

Sorry for the photo layout, I am still getting used to the laptop buttons and the lack of a mouse.  Give me time ....  My collarless version of the P&S T Shirt Dress:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When Life Gives you Lemons ...

I am well on my way with my last challenge assignment.  The task was to make a simple dress.  Despite having meetings and back to school shopping and starting Monkey Girl on her project, I have managed to get a dress cut out.  This is where the lemons come in.

As I have a stash of Sophia knits, I wanted to get through those for easy fall sewing projects.  That was why they were bought after all (almost 2 years ago, sigh!).  I chose a simple T shirt type dress from Hot Patterns.  Yes, I LOVE Trudy's designs.  Not all of them are to my personal taste, but she manages to get current trends as well as the classics into her line.  The other main reason is that her sloper is NOT Twiggy or a look alike.  Her slopers are built on her.  She has a shape that is full figured, has hips and a real life bustline!  So, there is not much fitting in her lines for somebody like me.  So, when I want an easy project I usually pick one ofher patterns.

The pattern is a simple polo style shirt dress with a rugby style hidden button front placket.  Easy peasy, right?  Warning: here be lemons... As Trudy assumes a level of sewing knowledge and experience, her instructions are very basic.  Usually I do not have a problem with this as I have enough time behind my machine that I can figure most things out or research them online if need be.  That being said, I have never done a hidden button placket on a center front application that wasn't a shirt.  So, a new skill, I thought.  I read the instructions briefly and didn't see anything that surprised me and visually I thought I had it made.  Then I cut it out and started to assemble.   This is where things started to go sour.  The pattern calls for you to cut the CF section BEFORE you apply the placket and then flip and stitch.  The placket is two pieces and it just didn't lie right.  (more details when the project is finished when I do the full review).  So, being short on patience and being long on fabric, I cut out a second front piece and then tried to fashion my own placket based on David P. Coffin's CF Placket design, but incorporatingt a hidden placket.  The mock up of the ploacket went great, but once it was sewn into the second bodice front, there was too much fabric for it to lie flat.  I had done something wrong again.  By this time, the CF had been cut to allow the placket insertion and I was out of fabric for a new front.

This is where two nights sleep and many a thought about how I REALLY wanted that dress and how I did NOT want to start completely over led to the lemonade.  The front bodice is a single piece.  I am using a solid colour.  Can I remove the aggravating CF opening portion and insert a coord colour piece to add a design element?  I searched the stash and found a basic black that obviusly will go with the basic dark blue of the dress.  Then I took some chalk and started to draw lines from the shoulder, extending down around the horrible part.  Then I took some black SEAMS GREAT and pinned it in place to get a feel for the lines.  Liking what I saw, I grabbes the black and started to pin a length down.  The way it was lying, it had a CF cowl shape to it.  I kind of like it.  I added the self belt to the dress form and am now thinking overnight about it.  I always wanted to try draping .... maybe this is an opportunity to ease myself in by draping the cowl!  So, I left it pinned for now and will think on it some more.  I also want to check out some of the prints I have in the stash.  This might be a great way to incorporate some shorter lengths of woven prints to give a "fooler" type look to it.  If I have enough, I may even add a faux cuff to the 3/4 length sleeve.

I know there are no pics, but I want to leavethis up to your imaginations!  I have taken some, but will leave them for the final pattern review.  There is only one review online that I have found, so I am going to post mine when the dress is complete.  That reviewer also had some problems with the placket, but she managed to pull it off.  So, just as a teaser, here is the pattern:  HP 1013 Plain and Simple Iconic Shirtdress and here is the link to that review:Heatherrique Review on Pattern

Stay tuned ... I love a challenge and I do have the challenge deadline, plus one more evening meeting and Dino Boy still needs new jeans and sneakers for his first year in Junior High and we are going away for the long weekend.  ThinK I can pull it off AND get Monkey Girl's jean jacket cut out?  Not unless I live on caffeine and don't sleep!  Wait and see what happens this week!  any chance of an extension, Darrell???  :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So, the first shots are of the pre-challenge garments to show that I actually did sew something! The shots are not the best, but I can't find the tripod and the Pilot is already in bed for the night, so you have just me! SO, remember, the angle is wonky and the lighting not the best ...

First up is a redux of a DKNY shirt that I made into a knit top by leaving off the collar/band and the cuffs. I also shortened the sleeves. The pattern is an OOP Vogue DKNY 2742. It is a loose fitting knot front shirt. By using a smaller size and a knit I was able to use the Rayon knit in the stash quite nicely. I used a slightly lighter thread to have some visual interest in the hems.

Next up is the semi self drafted wrap dress.  I used a simple wrap style raglan sleeve top as a basis and then made the fronts a bit narrower.  The original pattern has the wrap stitched into the side seams.  The fabric is a pure poly silk weight knit bought years ago as part of a Fabricmart bundle.  As the neckline is a bit low, I threw together a quick tank from stashed Powerdry that happened to cllosely match the green in the print.  The side ties are temporary in brown bamboo.

Now, the homework assignment!  I wanted to make a bunch of nice knit tops that weren't T shirts when I bought a bunch of Sophia Knits from Ressy's coop a few years back.  It is lovely to sew with ... drapes beautifully, wears so soft and still holds it shape nicely.  Good thing I have more left!  I mentionned that I had ordered a number of new patterns from my fave indie pattern line, Hot Patterns.  I had been waiting for the right time, and August was it!  First off the block was a unique loop front view of the basic T.  The newer knot/loop combined with the lower necline and the French Dart on the side gives wodnerful shaping!  I made the top a little longer in the front to give that shirt shape to it.  Because I was shopping the stash, I did not have the match rib knit cuff called for.  I used a dark forest type green Sophia knit once again. Here is the link to the pattern: Hot Patterns 3 Graces T shirts.  Here is the top:

The lay of the neckline is not as smooth as I like in the shots, but that is due to me taking the photo and also to the height of the camera for the full body shot.  It really focuses on the lower body, so the perspective is off somewhat.  I will wear it to Darrell's and he can give his own opinion in person!  The unique loop treatment was a bit of a challenge to visualize as the pattern instructions are somewhat sparse (as is normal for HP; they assume a level of ability that allows for that).  My spatial sense did not allow me to picture it, but Trudy @ HP always thinks ahead.  She has done a number of You Tube videos showing construction and tips for her patterns.  Without that video, this could have been a UFO ... I must also add that the pinning of the loop and the darts was made much easier by pinning on the dress form.  Laying it on the flat table was a bit troublesome.

So, there you have it!  First installation of the actual sewing challenge is done!  Tomorrow Monkey girl is going to cut her pattern out (we are using a KS jean jacket) so that will be her first step in her project as well!  I am nervous and excited at the same time.  I am passing a skill on to my daughter that my mother and dear aunt passed on to me.  The challenge of doing it right makes me nervouse, the excitement comes from having something that we can share and that she will use for the rest of her life!  Watch out Darrell ... she may only be looking and fondling those samples now, but soon enough she will be buying it!  SEE YOU IN A WEEK, DARRELL!!!!

homework update

A quick update on my howmeork! I know I am a couple of days late but I was teaching all day Saturday and the weekend before I was at a company conference for 4 days. When you lose the weekends, you lose a lot of sewing time!

The good news is that I have started and finished a new top. I am going to take pics after the kids are in bed and I have the ability to do quick changes without fear of interuptions! I had ordered new patterns from Hot Patterns and they arrived just in time for this challenge.

Another new toy arrived today as well that will help with getting the posts online! I have been dond extra hours at work for all of August (almost full time hours!) so I rewarded myself with the purchase of a laptop! That means that I no longer have to wait until Dino Boy and Monkey Girl and now the Pilot have all had their turns at the computer. I now have my own! I have spent the evening setting it up with all my software and this is my first non-set up function! What a way to christen it! I can now have it in the sewing room for easy access to video tips and pattern reviews. No more stairs!

So, two tasks down and only one more to go! An sinple dress was the next assignment, I believe. I have two different styles of T shirt dresses, a kimono style wrap dress and then there are the woven patterns to choose from. I think that the stash of Sofia knits and bamboo needs to be dealt with. Since the nights are starting to cool off, would a stylish nightie work as well for the next assignment? I am thinking no. The dress will get done then Monkey girl is keen to start her own back to school sewing. We are going to do a quick jean jacket together on her grandmother's very forgiving old Singer. So, since school starts in 2 weeks, I will get going on those tomorrow night. Tonight is all about the camera!

Monday, August 09, 2010

One Year Later ...

I was reminded by a dear friend today that it has been over a year since I last sat and shared my projects with the world (so to speak). To me, it seems like so much longer. I wish I could say that I have been madly sewing away and that my wardrobe is overflowing with completed projects that are absolutely divine!

The reason? I wish I could say that I was just too busy but that is not the reason. The past has seen me burn midnight oil many a time as that was the only time avail to me to sew. The truth is that I just didn't want to do it. I had such great hopes for a classy working wardrobe and had invested in some excellent quality fabrics to accomplish that goal. I had the patterns and the storyboard ready to go. Then the work dress code changed, making everything irrelevant. I could not justify sewing up clothes that would not be worn. My logic was, if I sewed them up and kept the work outs going, then I woudl have to spend all that time altering so why not just wait until I needed them and fit them once.

As you may remember from my last post, I work at a women's gym as the Club Administrator. Up until this point last year, I was wearing trousers and nice shoes with a semi fitted yellow cotton blouse (OK, by the time I was done with it, it was tailored to fit me and was not too shabby all things considered!). I had images of pinstriped shirtdresses, tailored pants and jackets, maybe even a vest for winter warmth. Then the new policy came in. The polo shirts are made of a dry fit type fabric in a red with lots of piece work and angles and white accents. I am still supposed to wear dress pants with it and then finish it off with quality sneakers to give the "casual recreational professionsl image". Let me say right up front .... the prospect of wearing sneakers with a pair of trousers made of an Armani wool does not sit well with me! So, all those nice plans went out the window and all that fabric (Armani included) are in stasis. Yes, I have spent the past year basically sulking.

For all the sewing I have done, it took a lot of mental preparation for me to start such a collection of tailored, professional looking clothes. I started with a tailored blazer in a class at my friend, Darrell's. It hangs unfinished (yes, Darrell, it is not finished) in the shop. I initially stopped as the fit changed when I lost weight and then was bulking up in muscle across my back. That affected my sleeve and back fit and then, well, I gave up. Why bother when it would never be worn at work? More sulking ...

Don't despair, though, all is not lost! I started sewing again last month. I made myself a promise that for every UFO I finish, I get to sew something new. First off the table? I finished a knit version of a DKNY knotted top that I have made in the past. This time, instead of leaving the bottom of the bodice open and just overlapped, I changed the pattern somewhat to allow me to stich the CF seam up to the under bustline seam. I shortened the sleeve as it was originally a fall project and then left off the collar and neck band. This lightened the look a bit as well as allowed me to finish it more quickly. One down!

We had a heat wave that had me wishing for summer dresses, so I pulled out a poly knit in a Pucci style print and threw together a semi-self drafted wrap dress. I started with a wrap top that I had made quite a few years ago and then changhed the shape a bit and lengthened it into a dress. I don't yet have the button for the side, so as a temporary measure I have added a wrap belt in a coord colour due to not having enough scraps for a belt. I am not happy with the way the solid belt cuts my silhouette in half (this depsite the fact that I situated the belt as an empire level tie) so I will have to see about finding just the right button for the closure. This is where I discovered that the dress form needs adjusting ... it fit nice and decently on the form, but on me it was a little lower than I liked. So, out came the power dry stash and I threw together a fast tank to go underneath it. I was very lucky to have PD that matched the lighter colour in the print for the time being anyway ...

We had a plumber in to replace the faucet outside in the back of the house last week. When the plumber looked in the ceiling to shut off the water he discovered that the piped were swollen and looked like it had one time almost burst due to freezing. Considering we shut the water off each winter, it had to pre-date our purchase. The Pilot did the only thing he could do ... protect my machines as the pipe was directly over my sewing table!!!! "Move the tables and replace the pipe!" he says. ME? I would have have looked at the tables and said "let it burst, then I can get new machines LOL!" So, now the room is a mess again as we have to put it back together and do some heavy vaccuuming before I sew in there again.

I have to give a very big cyber hug to the dear friend who e-mailed me a sewing intervention today. Knowing I work on deadlines each day and that I thrive on external challenges, this is the gauntlet he threw down:

You have 7 days to make an update to your blog
You have 14 days to make yourself a simple skirt or top
You have 30 days to make yourself a dress.

Well, task one is almost complete. I will say it is done when I have taken and posted pics of the top and dress. As for the project two weeks form now, I saw a top at Mass this week that I am mulling over in my head ... I think I would love to knock it off. It had saddle shoulder lines to it, but the sleeve was more like a very heavily ruched shaped band that went over the shoulder. It was not a full sleeve, but had shaping to it to follow the line of the shoulder. I have an old WOF pattern that I can start with ... but my version has band at the underbust level and maybe a crossover upper bodice. Of course, I will also have to finish a UFO before I can start cutting the top. So, it looks like the bamboo cord jacket will be ready for fall after all! It was originally going to be the rhinestone Riri, but I think I am going to rip the rainbow Riri out of the jacket's original muslin and use that instead. While I am sewing that, I can decide on the fabric for the top. Will it be bamboo knit or a Sophia knit? Both are in the stash ... Blue, green or teal? Burgundy is too dark yet for this time of year, I think.

What say you all?