Saturday, October 30, 2010

Birthday wrap up, cards, & elastic

happy birthday to me! were all too polite to guess how old I am. Now you know! My classmates at the gym guessed 23, 25, and 26. So that was pretty uplifting!

Thank you for all of your comments and encouragement about my jacket. I will probably write the SPR in the next week or two, though for this project I have a lot to say, and writing the SPR is a lot like writing a lab report for a project like this. I wore the jacket to work and had lots of nice comments on it. I even showed off the interior pocket to those who were interested. (the picture was taken before I added the running stitches).
Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done

I received lots of nice cards--you guys really "get" my love of cupcakes, cats, small animals, flowers, Hawaii, and glitter!
birthday cards

Pete made a fantastic pop-up card from scratch. If you are a long time reader of this blog, you may remember all the wedding plans and the fantastic Hawaiian invitations and the Elvis sign for the card box Pete made and the Hawaiian placecards with our wedding logo. I never blogged this, but in January I decided not to get married and we broke up. He's still my best friend, and we still talk on the phone (he's back in England.) Anyway, I am happy we are still friends. And his card is phenomenal!

Pete's handmade birthday card!

Here are the Farmer's Market flowers for this week, though I had to buy them from a different farmer since my favorite farmer didn't come back this week. The white flowers are eustoma, I love how they look like roses. The pumpkin is one my mom bought for me, already painted.

farmer's mkt flowers; pumpkin

I'm not sure what my next sewing project will be, probably something simple like undies. I placed an order with SewSassy and it arrived yesterday. I'm in elastic heaven! This is what $32 of lingerie elastic looks like (including shipping), er, actually that's not even all of it!

lingerie elastic from sew sassy

I bought the multi pack of 5 yards each of their basic lingerie elastic in 10 colors, plus zebra striped foldover elastic and turquoise stretchy lace elastic. After my jacket, which was probably a 20 hour effort, I think a quick pair of underwear is just the thing to make. I'm also interested in making a simple knit shirt for work, but I want a long sleeved one that is fitted, without gathers and without a v-neck or wide neckline. Any suggestions??

Good night!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Simplicity 3628 day 6: done in time for the big day!

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions for the birthday jacket. (I will try steaming the jacket later--and maybe when I write the SPR I'll include all the flaws!)

Finally it is done!!!
Simplicity 3628:

Simplicity 3628 done

Simplicity 3628 done

Here's a close up of those running stitches. They're not turquoise! I had acupuncture tonight and was telling Karen about the jacket, and she suggested brown running stitches to go with the brown buttons. I wasn't sure if I had brown embroidery floss or not, but turns out I do, so there you go:
Simplicity 3628 done

When I was at the ASE, Leslie in Austin was telling me about tiger tape to help with spacing running stitches. I made my own version as shown here, spaced 3/8. Wow, that was way easier than what I did this summer (initially eyeballing, then marking with tailor's chalk).
Simplicity 3628 done

I wish I had asked for tomorrow off from work. I'm kind of worn out from working all day and sewing for several hours at night for 4 nights in a row! Saturday I'm sleeping in and spending the day with my parents. Sunday I will be at home, maybe ordering a dress form! If you use a dress form, do you like yours and which do you recommend? I'm thinking of getting a professional form, but then it's not adjustable and wouldn't adjustable be more practical? I definitely want a form that I can pin fabric on it!

Good night!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Simplicity 3628 day 5: brown buttons won!

Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done
By a vote of 5 to 1, the brown buttons won on the birthday jacket! (Sue, I agree, I wanted matching buttons too but Joann's didn't have any and I didn't think about covered buttons til later on. I'm trying to stay out of Joann's for a while so I went through my button stash and came up with these. :) )

Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done

So it can officially be worn now!
Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done

Here it is on Emma; she's much smaller than I am, but you can see some flaws (you can see them in the second picture of this post, too):
Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done

Gosh, that hem. it's bad. But I'm going to wear it to work on Friday! I have 4 more jackets I want to make this winter, so I better figure out the jacket hemming technique sometime soon. Though it did take me about 4 years to figure out dressmaking and knits, maybe it will take 4+ to figure out jackets!
Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done

These are some scraps that I sewed together for buttonhole testing.
Simplicity 3628 day 5: almost done
I also did a bit of running stitch testing. So tmw night is the running stitch extravaganza, and then I'll be done!


While I was taking pictures I was sweating. It's been so warm this week--I *love* the warmth! It's like an extra special present! And on my birthday it will turn cold again so my jacket will be perfect.

Thank you to RiAnge Creations for sending me Simplicity 2766--thank you so much! and thank you for your kind note!

Tonight at the gym the birthday celebration continued with a special birthday toning class for me. This led to a classmate asking how old I am, and I made her guess. Do you want to guess?? I'll let you know on Friday!

Good night!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last rose of the season; Simplicity 3628 day 4; more cake; more corduroy

A post in 4 parts today:
part 1: The last rose of the season
So I thought the last rose of the season was last week? 2 weeks ago? But here, I present you with the last rose of the season. It had started to bud when it suddenly turned cold, but a warm spell the last few days has made it bloom, hurrah!
now this is the last rose of the season!

Part 2: the birthday jacket.
Tonight I finished the second sleeve hem by hand. I then tackled the jacket hem. I tried the instructions but the hem came out ugly. I used that as my starting point for a hand stitched hem. It's not great and it's starting to feel Becky Home Ecky but it will do for now. I definitely need more practice with jacket hems!
Simplicity 3628 day 4 in progress

Tomorrow night is button and buttonhole time.
The pattern calls for three 3/4 inch buttons. Which do you like better:
3/4" brown:
Simplicity 3628 day 4 in progress
1" mother of pearl:
Simplicity 3628 day 4 in progress
3/4" aqua-ish
Simplicity 3628 day 4 in progress

Then Thurs night will be the running stitches and Friday I'll wear it to work!

Part 3: cake story continued:
Yes, my coworker thought there was a lot of "left over" cake and that I must have baked a lot for there to be two whole cakes leftover in the fridge. We laughed about it again today.

I have learned that Sally's mom calls the cake "ice box" cake and makes it more of a log shape than a square like I did.

Laurie's mom would make it for Lincoln's birthday and called it a Lincoln Log.

Part 4: corduroy
Thanks everyone for sharing your corduroy love (or lurve for one Mary Nanna who is so deeply in love, it's lurve).
I wear cords almost every day in winter except when I want to wear a cord jacket (so I wear velveteen pants those days because a cord jacket and cord pants is just too much corduroy, even for me).
When I bought my new couch I contemplated buying a corduroy couch, but it didn't come in red, just brown, which was a bit too much like the corduroy couch growing up...take a nap and wake up with wale marks on your face! Good times.

Good night!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday cake, love of corduroy and one sleeve hemmed

A post, in three parts.
Part 1: birthday cake.
Where I work, when it's your birthday, you bring in the celebratory item.
Last night I made 2 refrigerator cakes. They are ugly cakes that taste great because it's made from a pint of heavy whipping cream (with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla) and Famous Chocolate Wafers.
famous chocolate wafers
The wafers soak up the cream while in the fridge and it becomes cake-like. and very, very delicious. I actually made two, but here's the one on the cute cake dish.
refrigerator cake
I sent the email to my coworkers this morning that cake would be at 2:30. One coworker misread it and thought the cake was this morning and that she missed it while at a meeting. After lunch she took a slice from the cake thinking it was leftover. and then when she went to email me to tell me how good it was, she re-read it and realized that cake wasn't for another hour. Oh, how we all laughed!

Part 2: love of corduroy.
Mary Nanna commented on my choice of corduroy for my birthday jacket. I love corduroy, always have, always will, though velveteen is coming in a close second lately.
Just look at all the corduroy I have bought in the last month alone. (some of it is "uncut" corduroy, or without wales. Neat, huh? Well, yes, if you like corduroy.)

corduroy love

Part 3: sleeve hemming.
I spent too much time playing with the collar tonight (which had been fine, with one tiny flaw, which I tried to correct, which has created a larger flaw which I will now overlook, lesson learned, leave well enough alone). So I only hemmed one sleeve; the other is pinned though.
da sleeve

Judging by how long it took me to hem the sleeve by hand, I was thinking of giving the instructions for hemming the hem a try with the machine, as per the instructions. I'm going to try it tmw night. If it works, it will save a lot of time.

Good night!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Celebrate Simplicity 3628 day 2, still in progress

Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

Thanks everyone for your birthday wishes! My birthday is this Friday so this is a weeklong celebration!

Ok, I spent waaay longer on this jacket today than I meant to. Waaay longer.

I put in this cute little pocket inside. I saw on this Sewsterhood blog post that she added an interior pocket and I thought it was a very cute idea. After reading about labels at Couturesmith, that linked to Kay's blog posting about labels, which linked to this blog for a company selling labels, it got me thinking to some labels I bought at Joann's and Michaels. I chose this "Celebrate" one out of my little selection. I had one that says "It's your birthday" but I wanted it to say "It's my birthday" instead. So celebrate it was!

The lining is partially installed. What's left: attaching lining at hem. attaching lining at sleeve hem. buttons and buttonholes, or snaps with fakeout buttons? Running stitches.

I like to turn the lining inside out and try it on...

Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2
You can see some button candidates on the shelf, the cat is guarding them.

Both lining pieces were Joann's remnants that I've had in stash for a while. Pretty cool pattern, huh?

So here you get an idea of what is going on:
Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

Here's my flasher pose:

Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

Here's more of the lining and all its satiny-style goodness (I mean, it's polyester)
Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

Getting closer to the finish line:
Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

For the running stitches, there are two candidates. I think I'm going with the one on the bottom. Michaels didn't have the color I was looking for, but I think the one on the bottom will do.

Simplicity 3628 in progress day 2

I don't know if this will be done in time for my birthday. I'm having a button dilemma. I'll probably use brown buttons.

I made 2 refrigerator cakes tonight. You'll see them tmw.

After writing about how good my back was feeling yesterday, it's all annoyed today. SIGH!

Good night!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Simplicity 3628 view B in progress and signs of fall

My birthday is this week. I know some of y'all make birthday dresses. I'm making a birthday jacket. Oh, it has its issues but here's where it's at right now, without a lining, buttons, buttonholes, cuffs, running stitches:
Simplicity 3628 in progress
The fabric is 100% cotton thin wale corduroy which goes against my "no wrinkle" rule but I just LOVE this color and decided when I started that I would live with the consequences. One of the problems is the thin fabric and that it's showing every seaming flaw. Ironing the seams seems to help a bit.

I think the main issue right now is that it may be too big but I'm not going to tweak it too much. Also the sleeves are the perfect length now. I guess I can do a small small small hem with the sleeves. But the larger problem is the chest. I think if I had cut the 12 instead of 14, it probably would have been perfect. I might shave off some of the bust from the princess seams like to do a small bust adjustment. But I don't want to tweak it too much and then it turns out to be too small. It feels perfect across the back.

Here it is on Emma, but Emma is much smaller than I am.
Simplicity 3628 in progress

Now time for the other stuff and some signs of fall.

My new dishwasher, in bisque, was installed today. Doesn't it look like it's winking?
my new dishwasher:  doesn't it look like it's winking?

Halloween goodies that I have collected over the years:
Halloween goodies from prior years

My mom likes to decorate gourds for Halloween. Orange gourds are pumpkins, white gourds are ghosts. She gives them to everyone she meets, and even people she doesn't meet (like ALL of my coworkers. I wish I had taken a picture of that group of gourds!)
pumpkin and ghost, as decorated by my mom

Apple cider donut with cinnamon and sugar from Terhune Orchards. They sell them 6 at a time; I have eaten one a day for the past three days and gave away the other 3 when I bought them:
Terhune Orchards apple cider donut with cinnamon and sugar, yum!

Last batch of flowers from my favorite flower farmer at the Princeton Farmers Market:
Princeton Farmer's Market flowers

The flower farmer was a recipient of one of the donuts; he gave me these ornamental peppers for free and thanked me for buying from him all season long:
ornamental peppers

I haven't talked about pain for a long time. My knees are doing great, better than they have for years. My back still flares about once a week, but it's mainly under control and I still look forward to my first back pain free day sometime in my near future. I haven't seen Len for 5 weeks and I don't have any appts booked with him. He had told me if I could get to 6 weeks, then I'd only have to go back when I need him, no more scheduling! So just one more week to go for that. I still see my acupuncturist every 3 weeks but that's more for stress relief now than pain relief. I still do the guided imagery CD at bedtime at least once a week and sometimes more frequently than that. I haven't gone back to the meditation class but I might. I think I feel better when I don't take all my supplements and so I'm going to try to figure out which ones I don't need to take anymore. I am able to go to the gym 3x a week. I think the toning class especially helps with my pain. I still stretch every night and most mornings.

Oh, I have finally gotten to the point where I can touch my toes again--it took 6 months of stretching with the yoga strap to get there! And 90 year old Judy at the gym doesn't even know she was my inspiration. One day I realized that, when we all lie on our backs and the instructor tells us to put one leg up into the air and pull it towards us, I was the only one who couldn't touch her toes. I was inches away. I realized that the oldest member of the class could do it too, and felt if she could do it, I should be able to do it too. Now I finally can!

Well, that's enough about that! Good night!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Simplicity 2766 view B: a vision in purple

I took today off. It was the perfect day. Woke up when I wanted to, read in bed, ate a leisurely breakfast, cut out a shirt, had lunch with a friend, bought a new dishwasher (finally!), talked on the phone, ate some Halloween candy, sewed half of the shirt, went to my favorite gym class with my favorite instructor, sewed the other half of the shirt, had dinner, and now I'm writing this blog posting while drinking an Airborne cocktail.

Does life get any better than this?

So here's Simplicity 2766 view B. Yes, it's the blue Superman dress, only in purple and tunic length:
Simplicity 2766 view B done

Above it's with a purple cloth belt I made for another shirt, below it's with the brown belt, Mary Nanna style.

Simplicity 2766 view B done

This pattern is great; set the sleeves in flat, NO gathering required. Easy peasy.

Tip I used from the ASE: I cut each sleeve separately instead of cutting both at the same time. That is supposed to avoid errors in cutting because knits are likely to shift. I think it helped. I used the same technique on the aqua jacket a few posts back. MushyWear had already pointed this out in one of her posts a while ago.

Tip I didn't use from the ASE: Do not cut any piece on the fold for knits; either trace out the entire pattern or buy two patterns and tape the pieces together and cut as a flat piece. That's also supposed to avoid errors but I didn't do that....I cut on the fold.

Those tips were from Rosebud of Islander Sewing Systems.

So, previously when making the dress,I had cut the shoulder, armhole and neck as a 12, the bodice as a 14 and the sleeves as a 16 grading to 10 to avoid too much poufiness. While I love the Superman dress, and will wear it again when the weather is warmer, I felt it was a little too snug in the chest. So this time I took a guess and cut out a 14 for almost everything except for the bodice as a guessed 16 and the sleeves, still 16 grading to 10. I think it's much better fitting around the chest. I was really guessing where the lines for 14 and 16 would be as I don't trace patterns like this, I just cut through them and throw away the other sizes. I had tried to buy this pattern again during the 99 cent Simplicity sale but JoAnn's in Colonia was out of that pattern.

Here it is on Emma:
Simplicity 2766 view B done

I'm not as proud of the neck binding as I have been lately on other shirts and dresses, but I'll show it to you anyway:
Simplicity 2766 view B done

It's rib knit fabric in a deep purple. Since I didn't have purple that was a close-enough match, I used black thread instead.

Oh, and I used Kathy Ruddy's tip about interfacing the hem for knits to prevent waviness due to the knit stretching. It does make it a bit stiff for a shirt; she taught the technique in terms of a jacket and it does seem best suited there.

And I am itching to make another pair of undies using this fabric and pink lingerie elastic from joann's. But maybe it would be better to wind down and finish reading the novel.

Parting shot: goodie bags for the training class I'm teaching on Wednesday. I train a lot but this one is a special class that's only once a year!

Goodie Bags Oct 2010

Good night!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Look 6321: cherries sleep shirt

So yesterday I made the owl sleepshirt with all the gathers and the 3 inch cuffs, and today I made a very plain jane style long sleeved sleep shirt using New Look 6321. It's view E, but cut to t-shirt length, and I made it with longer sleeves. This cherry knit fabric is from Joann's. It's a 12 grading to 14. I've made a few nightgowns out of this pattern, but a while ago, pre-blogging.

I actually wear these sleepshirts under my flannel shirts. I've already turned on the heating. Oh, and I have a fire in the fireplace tonight, second of the season!
New Look 6321 view E-ish done

Instead of using the binding that came with the pattern, I cut a strip of fabric 1.75 inches wide (like the owl shirt) and sewed that on. I think this kind of binding is my new obsession (I continue to obsess with piping and double needle stitching--in fact, I double needle stitch all knit hems now, standard).

New Look 6321 view E-ish done

I had enough fabric left over to make a pair of underwear using Antoinette's fantastic and easy to understand "make your own undies" tutorial. I could make two pairs but I don't have enough of that black lingerie elastic. I never realized how much elastic was involved in underwear. It's a lot, a little over 2 yards for me. I bought the elastic 9 months ago or so at but they don't sell it anymore. Have to find a new source for it.

cherry undies

I really had a long think about whether or not to post a picture of underwear, but then I got over myself. It's not like I'm modelling them or anything.

I'm taking tmw off from work and I'm trying to decide if I will sew or not. I'm reading a fantastic novel, You Lost Me There, and I might finish it tmw. It's the first novel I've read that is set with a science background (the main character is an Alzheimer's disease researcher at a university.) I also recommend How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else. It's a fast read and quite good.

Good night!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Simplicity 2971-ish: Who gives a hoot?

Simplicity 2971-ish, view A-ish, done

So I had made this pattern before, back in Sept 2008. Today I broke it out for a nightshirt I wanted to make with some owl fabric I picked up at Joann's.

I did not put the elastic in at the bottom; I did not keep the sleeves as full as they were; I lengthened the sleeve; I made the 10 instead of the 12 this time.

Somehow when I lengthened the sleeves to make long sleeves, I didn't lengthen them enough. After initially deciding to use piping and add a regular cuff and failing because the knit fabric stretched out too much, I wound up making 3 inch cuffs, gathering the end of the sleeve to fit in my new cuff. That worked out very nicely. Thank goodness too, because I was feeling frustrated!

Simplicity 2971-ish, view A-ish, done

In order to take that picture above, my hand is actually holding up the sleeve (the shirt is on my dressform) and so it creates a very weird looking effect! as if the sleeve is still too short (it's not).

Here's a closeup of the binding. I feel that I have this particular type of binding down pat now. In this shirt, the entire neckline is gathered, all the way around. I used to shortcut gathering by only doing one row of basting. Now I do two rows of basting and it works out really well.
Simplicity 2971-ish, view A-ish, done

Simplicity 2971-ish, view A-ish, done

I know I said I would work on a jacket this weekend, and by the quantity of uncut corduroy I bought at Joann's this week, I should, but I think I'm going to make another sleepshirt tomorrow; this one is more basic, no gathers, no funky sleeves. Just a bread and butter raglan sleeve pattern.

Here's the Princeton Farmer's Market flowers for this week:
Princeton Farmer's Market flowers

Good night!