Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pattern Swaps & Vogue 8571

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Not too bad!

Thank you for all your kind comments on my last post!  I am super excited about this dress.  So much so, that in a very unusual move for me, I worked on Vogue 8571 after work tonight.  I bound the left
armhole with biastape and then cut out the skirt portion and pinned it to my dress form. I will write more about the binding soon.

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Yes, the color of my dress and the color of the dress on the pattern envelope are the same.  Now, if I only had Brooke Shields' hair!

I don't know if it's possible to be passionately in love with a dress that is half sewn, but I am with this one.  Suddenly my sewing mojo has returned and there are a bazillion things I want to sew.  YAY!

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The skirt is just pinned to Izzy.

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Back band is looking less wonky tonight

The origin of this pattern is MPB Day 2013, where there was a pattern swap.  I've participated in a few pattern swaps where my rule is generally "Donate but do not take any patterns, good gawd woman you don't need any more, think of how many you have at home."  Also my philosophy for several years now has generally been "less stuff more experiences" (i.e. spend money on experiences, not things) and more recently, buy no more fabric than what fits in the fabric closet.  Adhering to limits, setting boundaries, and all that.

The first time I broke this rule was for a $20 indie pattern that popped up at PR weekend 2013, the second time was the pattern above and the third time was PR Day 2014 for a pattern that I have seen many many PR members make but have never bought myself.

So do you have rules about pattern swaps?
Give but don't take?
Take but don't give (ha ha)?
Do you set limits on how many you donate and/or take (like, only take as many as you donated)??

Be well!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Vogue 8571 now in progress

I am really loving where this is heading.

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Front

I was obsessing over the gathering last night so I told myself I had half an hour tonight to fuss with it, and wherever it was at a half hour later was what it would be, sort of Project Runway style.

I'm binding the armholes on this stretch woven with bias tape as per Amanda S's tutorial.   One armhole is bound in this shot and the other is about to be bound.  It's a bit unusual to bind a stretch fabric with a woven but it's working out ok so far.  I made myself stop at 9pm though....



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Ok, that back band is looking a bit wonky, but let's hope that's just the angle of the pic, ok?

 Be well!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Look 6843 view B-ish in black eyelet

New Look 6843 view C

My life is somewhat stabilizing after the big software release on 7/1.  I feel like everyone needs something from me at work, and some days I'm getting over 100 emails, and I still have a boatload of documentation to write and data cleanup to do and I have office hours/support labs.  However, I'm no longer working weekends (though I am tempted to put 2 totally uninterrupted hours from home this weekend, just to get a leg up).  I'm back to the gym 3x a week.  I'm reading books again.   (10% Happier (non-fiction, meditation) and All Fall Down (Jennifer Weiner's latest).)  I'm working less nights.    And I sewed a whole entire skirt last weekend!

New Look 6843 view C
I have sewn view D/E from New Look 6843 many times before. That's the A-line version.  I love love love how the skirt sits at the waist!  It is *so* difficult to find skirt patterns that sit at the waist, which is the most flattering look for me and my pear shape.

New Look 6843 view C
Apparently I sewed view B/C once before in 2006 (as per my envelope notes) but who knows what skirt that was.  I pulled out the pattern last weekend and made view B, minus the slit, and with the zipper on the side, and the CB cut on the fold because I used this fabulous 100% cotton black eyelet that I've had in my stash a long time, from Joann's.  It was in their remnant bin years ago, and wasn't quite 1.25 yards.  Usually all their remnants are under a yard but this one wasn't.     I decided to go with more of a pencil shape because the eyelet runs straight up and down the fabric. It seemed like the pencil shape would "go better" with this fabric.

I decided to use bias tape (also from stash) for the waistband and for the hem.  Basically folding the fabric in half meant that my skirt length was about 1.25 inches above the cut line for view B.
New Look 6843 view C

I lined it with black fabric that feels like rayon challis--but I remember buying it from Rag Shop (RIP) when I was a college student, probably summer of 1996 or '97.  It feels fabulous!
New Look 6843 view C
I noticed on Carolyn's blog, one of her interior skirt shots, instead of sewing a dart she sewed in a pleat in the lining instead, which makes a lot of sense. So that is what I did here too.

bias hem exterior, narrow hem on lining interior
Here I've flipped up the hems to show what it looks like inside. I used my narrow hem foot to hem the lining (on the right) and think it looks great!  (though the basting stitch for the bias tape doesn't look so great--I suppose I could remove the basting stitch but it only shows from the wrong side and probably is providing some stability...)

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Because it is 100% cotton, and I had driven to work wearing the skirt, it is already wrinkled for the ivy shots.
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My work photographer calls these "mug shots"
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Could you identify me in a lineup?


sweet william
Sweet William from the Princeton Farmers Market

Be well!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Actual sewing has occurred!

New Look 6843 view C

Sneak peek at actual skirt I sewed this past weekend!

More tmw!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What I've been up to


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Celebratory cake on 7/1/14.  We had fruit tart and brownies too!

So, I'm going to indulge in a totally non-sewing related post.

I'm a bit punchy.

My big work project, which started in earnest for me 21 months ago, went live on Tuesday.  I had seen the go live date of 7/1/14 for so long now written in so many ways for 21 months:
7/1
7/1/14
7/1/2014
July 1, 2014

and on Tuesday morning, when my eyes popped open at 4:30am, and I turned on my laptop and looked in the bottom right corner of my laptop screen, there it was.

7/1/2014

I am SO happy, SO excited, SO relieved.  There is still plenty left to do, but the heavy lifting is over, the analyze, design, develop, customization, spec writing, configuration, business process, testing, initial data cleanup, data conversion, data validation phases are all over.    I have been teaching folks on the new system, and there more training to be done and documentation to write. I will run some labs. There will be more data cleanup.  There will be better data checking.  There will be a phase 2.   I doubt that phase 2 will be as much work, as intense, as stressful, or as meeting filled as phase 1.  There was a week where I had reached my personal record of 21 meetings in 4 consecutive days.  Could it ever be that busy again?

I have been working 6 days a week for a while now.  I worked the last 18 days straight, some of them were 12 hour days.

I feel like I just graduated with a masters degree in PeopleSoft Grants.  Or like it was Christmas morning.

We had an amazing session with the university president on Wednesday morning.  I felt so proud to be on this project.   A project that I did not volunteer for.  A project that was not in my job description.   This project was one of the most difficult and stressful things I have ever done.  There is a school of thought that anything worth doing is hard work.  This was hard work.  It was worth doing.   I have learned and grown so much, been challenged in many ways.  And I'm so glad the project is released!

I'm taking these three days off, but afterward I look forward to reconnecting with you, my blog readers, doing some sewing again, and posting here actively again!!

Be well.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

First time with Sashiko (in progress)

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Though my thread looks white in the pic, it is actually baby blue.  I just have to stitch the border.  The stitch lines are printed on.  I think my stitching looks better in the photo than in real life, ha ha.

May 2012:  I first heard about Sashiko at PR Weekend 2012 in NYC.  Diana Rupp was one of the guest speakers.  She had patterns with McCalls that featured Sashiko, in particular a tunic with Sashiko on the bottom.

August 2012:  ATP and I go to Perl Soho so I can buy Sashiko supplies (needle, thread)

(some other date):  I buy some Sashiko coaster  kits at The City Quilter in NYC

June 2013:  Velosewer and I go to The City Quilter.  I buy this book.

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Tonight:  I find myself with 90 free minutes and think, should I sew a pair of UW (yes, it really takes me 90 min to sew a pair of UW) or start a sashiko kit?

You can see my choice.

Wow, it is a *lot* different from cross stitching.

The book recommends a special thimble I don't have, ha ha, but I could see how it would be super useful.

The instructions with the kit are in Japanese so I don't know how many strands I'm supposed to use (in cross stitch there are 6 strands in the floss and typically 2 strands are used--though its been ages since I've done cross stitch--maybe it was 3 but I think it was 2).  Based on the amount of blue thread in the kit, I figured it was to use the entire floss, not to split it, but it is so hard to pull the needle through that I had to use my pliers. It makes me think the floss should be split into strands.

Have you ever done Sashiko?  Any recommendations for books or videos???

15 days til my work project goes live.  Then there's the stabilization period.  Then let the sewing begin again!!!


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Leafy green richness in Princeton this afternoon, with my dad, on Nassau Street.

Be well!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New Look 6843 as a knit!

New Look 6843 as a knit
Look at that side seam matching!  When I serge the elastic to the top (right now it's zigzagged on), I think it will get rid of that little white bits poking up at the top.


New Look 6843 as a knit
The inaugural wearing/test run was yesterday!

I used my TNT New Look 6843 A-line skirt pattern, but it's meant for a woven.  This fun and fantastic knit fabric is from "Stitched Fabric" at the Austin Fabric Co-op, purchased during PR weekend Austin 2014. It is cotton and feels fantastic.  I'm wearing it with a slip because it's very see-through.

I folded out the front pleats and half of the back pleats on the pattern piece, then cut out the skirt  I had only bought a yard of the fabric, so I had to position it carefully.  This was as long as the skirt could possibly be!
New Look 6843 as a knit
I used Pamela's Fantastic Elastic and applied it to the outside to make it look like a band, like I'm wearing a belt with it.  I will say that I made two muslins (yes, TWO muslins for this very simple knit version of my TNT woven skirt pattern, I was not taking any chances messing up this fabric!) before cutting the real fabric.

Muslin #1:
 For the first muslin, I cut my front and back pattern pieces including the darts, but I did not sew the darts.  I followed the directions that come with the elastic, which says to cut the elastic 2-3" smaller than your waist, then overlap a half inch. Ha ha ha ha ha, I cut it 2" smaller and it was just too tight.  I also had not removed the darts and did not sew the darts, so there was a lot of, you know, gathering, which was not the look I wanted.  I wanted a very smooth look on the front.

Muslin #2.   
On my next muslin I cut the elastic 1" smaller than my waist and it was still snug so on my last version I basically cut it the same size as my waist and that was MUCH better.  Pamela's Fantastic Elastic is pretty fab, by the way, it is very sturdy and actually you can cut down the width, which I considered doing but haven't.  I ordered more of it this morning as I would like to make another knit skirt very soon!

Also on muslin version #2 I folded out the front pleats and half of the back pleats before cutting, which gave a much smoother look.

When I applied the elastic for version 2, I divided it up into quarters and it was more "gathered" in some places than other, still not the "generally smooth" look I was going for.

The Real Deal
So when it came to the real deal, I cut the front out first, folding out the darts of the front pattern piece then cutting.  But when it was time to cut out the back, I realized I could not do the pattern matching unless I cut out two fronts (i.e. they had to be cut one on top of the other to match the pattern pieces).  So that is what I did!!

Then I fused interfacing onto the lower edge of the fabric, and used my rotary cutter to cut under the white scallops. That seemed much better than trying to officially hem it.  I figure the interfacing will keep it from curling, and who doesn't love a scalloped edge?

Then I used my walking foot (for the second time ever) to sew the side seams.  I must say I found the walking foot much nicer this time around and I enjoyed the clack-clack-clack sound it makes.

Then I serged the side seams.

Then I threaded the serger tails into the side seams.

Then I sewed the elastic to the top of the skirt.  Instead of dividing it into quarters, I divided it into eighths, so that the fabric was more evenly distributed and more smooth.  I zigzagged the edge, with the idea of if I hated it, I could easily remove it.

I am probably going to serge it on the top and call it a day.  :)  Does anyone have experience serging the elastic band to the top? Any tips? Is my serger going to hate it????



New Look 6843 as a knit
The Debbie Cook pose.

New Look 6843 as a knit

The back
New Look 6843 as a knit
The Carolyn pose (I should have borrowed the neighbor's dog).

It's a new summer so you know what that means....
New Look 6843 as a knit
Time for leaping!!!

Fresh look for summer
I redesigned my blog --do you like it?  Do you want to hear about how I did it?

Public Service Announcement
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This is what happens when you don't drain the water out of the pipe that leads to your outside spigot. It doesn't matter if you remembered to do it every fall for the first 8 years you live in your townhouse, if you forget choose not to do it because you have other things to do, the ninth year you will turn on the hose in the spring and half of the water will come out the hose and the other half will be released into your bathroom wall and seep out from underneath the wall onto the floor and nine bath towels later, it will be mopped up.  Nine bath towels are also handy for sopping up your tears as you clean up the water.

It is a highly effective way to be forced to clean your bathroom floor, but I don't recommend it.

You're welcome.

Be well!!