Hope everyone had a great holiday!
The big news around here is snow snow snow! Princeton U had an 11am delayed opening, but after checking the Rt 1 traffic cameras, I decided to take a vacation day instead. Wish it could have been a true snow day instead of a vacation day, but I'll take it!
I dug my car out by myself, and I felt incredibly ALIVE while doing so. Shoveling gets the heart pumping! It felt good to dig myself out and my back doesn't feel any different than before I started shoveling, though how I feel tomorrow morning will be the true test. (Various neighbors dug me out last winter because of my back problems). It also helped that the snow is the powdery kind, not the heavy wet kind (which means no snowballs, snowmen, or trees covered in snow!) Snow pix are at the end of this post.
I had a difficult time deciding what to sew this afternoon. Finally I settled on making the shirt I wanted to make during fall, using a Stretchy McStretcherton knit leaf print from JoAnn's. Here's Vogue 8151:
It's a Sandra Betzina pattern with fitting tips, and letters instead of numbers for sizes. I made size D for delightful, but the shoulders are too wide. I could probably make a size C for cute next time. The bust dart is also too low; size C might fix that. (Sandra mentions checking this before continuing, and I checked but I didn't do anything about it).
I bound the neckline using my usual method of sewing the binding rt side to rt side and then folding the binding over, and topstitching it down, leaving it raw on the inside, instead of Sandra's method which involves folding the binding in half first, then sewing it rt side to rt side, and then pounding the neckline flat.
I sewed the bodice with 1 inch seam allowance as she recommends since all knits are different, which was perfect, and graded to 3/8 in the arm. Sandra mentions using two pins to keep the underarm seam perfectly aligned while sewing from the shirt hem up to the underarm and then down the arm; instead I aligned the underarm seam and sewed down from the underarm to the bottom of the shirt, then sewed from the underarm seam to the edge of the arm.
I added 4 and 1/4 inches to the sleeve length to make the sleeves long, but I had a hard time easing the sleeve cap in that I basically just cut an inch off the sleeve cap. Sandra's directions say to set the sleeve in flat and finger ease in there, but I had to take off about an inch. (Kathy Ruddy at the ASE mentioned how to check to see if there is too much of a sleeve cap before cutting the pattern; I have to look through my notes). This meant the arms were the perfect long length but now there's no extra length for hemming. I broke out the brown double fold elastic I bought at the ASE but really am clueless on how to use it. Any hints? Am I supposed to cut it a little smaller and stretch while sewing? How do I keep it straight through my machine when the presser foot wants to roll off the edge? Here I winged it and the stitching isn't so great (this is the best example, below. Believe me, this shirt is never being worn in the presence of any Sewing Pattern Review member, ever!)
Anyone care to read my palm?
I think I might have had an easier time with the elastic if I had either interfaced the edge of the sleeves or used a more stable fabric. This fabric is incredibly stretchy. I only got the neckline to look like that above after a good press (I could have interfaced the neckline, I suppose). This is a sleep shirt so it's not seeing the light of day. Also the jersey needle didn't work with this fabric at all; I used a size 11 stretch needle instead (and a stretch twin needle on the hem).
Ok, back to the snow! Here's my living room this morning:
It didn't look so bad, but that's actually a three foot drift in the middle of my back yard. left to right. It's like there's a crest of snow in my back yard. The air conditioning unit is on the right:
The garbage can:
The screen of my sliding glass door:
Looking out my front door (I already moved my car for the snowplow):