Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wardrobe Finished!

Finished! My final review is here and it has links to my photos and progress notes.

Now, which dress will I make next - because I'm really wanting to make a dress now. Another BWOF dress I forgot to post the other day is this one.

It is from BWOF March 2007. I have some great white fabric with a really fine orange stripe that would look great. It also has these barely visible diamond shapes. Hmmm.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yay! I finished the white pants (and more-importantly,the stressful work-related issues) for the wardrobe contest. I can enter everything the way it is, but still want to try to finish the jacket before the deadline. I'm going to cut it out this morning, but then am going off to Three Rivers to help out my dad with some paperwork.

I like the way the pants came out, but I had to do some major adjusting. I had laid my grey shorts on top of the pattern to make sure that I had made them as I traced it, but noted that I neede to make the seam allowances only 3/8" in order to allow for my big hips! So, I made the pants, but only basted the side seams for fitting. Good thing! THis is stretch twill, so I needed to take in an additional 1/2" on each side seam and the CB seams. That's a total of 3"! I also made the darts bigger in the back and added stay tape to the yoke seam to eliminate any further stretching. I could still take them in a little bit. THe next time I make pants or shorts out of stretch twill, I will definitely cut them at least a size smaller.

Well, I spent some time this morning updating my online photo album for the swap. Heres the link to the progress album and another for the finished garments. I still have to take pictures of different combinations, and one picture of all garments together. I don't have photoshop or anything like that, so I will have to figure out a way to get all the garments into one shot. I'm waiting on that one since I'm still hoping to finish the jacket and a black knit top. I think I can do it.

My daughter suggested that I take the pictures in my closet. That would mean to take everything out and then have to put it all back in. Since I don't have double doors, I didn't even know if I could fit the picture in one frame. So I took a practice shot. Yes, I guess I do need to clean my closet.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I'm inching toward the finish line. I finished these gauchos last night from Simplicity 4237
I have made these as long pants twice before, but never been completely happy with them. I looked up my old review on PR and looked at all my notes. I decided to make a few alterations

First, I cut a 14, but added about 1/2" at each hip seam to accommodate my saddle bags. Then I lowered the crotch curve by 5/8 inch. I also shortened them quite a bit because I wanted them to be just below the knee. I also did Sandra Betzina's method of full thigh alteration by adding 1/2" to the front inseam only, tapering back to the regular size at the knee. This really helps eliminate the crotch "smile" or "whiskers" that I usually get with RTW.
I used pellon interfacing, which I normally hate, but I thought it would help with the yoke. I hope I don't regret it after I wash them.

Only one more pair of pants to make for the wardrobe contest. I was going to make BWOF 120 from 4//2007, but after all the problems Cidell had with them, I think I'll try them when I don't have a deadline. Instead, I will use the same pattern I used for the gray shorts (BWOF 103 7/2006) and just make them longer. I'm making these out of white stretch twill. (I think - it's been so long since I bought the fabric!) I've already done all the fit info on those, so that will make it quicker. I don't have to make the black jacket, but I really want to. I also would still like to make the shorts in black, but the gray ones will work for now.

Unfortunately, I have had a (not so small) crisis come up with my credential that is totally out of my control. Why is it we stress the most about things that we have no control over? Anyway, I may have to take a couple of days to get this all straightened out and not be sewing :-(. OH, yeah, and there is that small matter of chapter one of my thesis that must be turned in in four days....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

New Wishlist

McCalls 5480. I really like this coat, and I have some wool in my stash that I could use.

Marfy dress and jacket from Spring Catalog

Things I'd like to get started on:

I bought some reversible twill fabric that I'd like to make a shorter version of this coat from Fashion Sewing Group

Burda Dress: I've been wanting to make this for a long time and already have the fabric to make it and a jacket.

I have some beautiful ivory boucle to make this BWOF jacket

And a turquoise boucle for this one:

I already have the fabric and trim for this blouse. I love it.

I have fabric to make both of these:

And this:

And, I still want to find something perfect to make this!

Contest Deadlines loom

Only a few days until the end of two contests at PR that I need to finish. I'm usually driven to complete these kinds of things, but now am trying to decide which one, if either, should I finish. I like the one pattern contest more than the wardrobe contest and would rather finish that one. However, the wardrobe contest has a sweet prize - $300 gift certificate from Textile Studio Patterns. Realistically, though, there are a couple of wardrobes I've seen so far that have much better chances of winning than mine. Also, I think that you have to really be active on the boards to compete, and that board is too overwhelming for me. I can't keep up with it. I can probably get by by completing only a couple of more things, but the main thing I wanted to make on that contest is the Jacket, which I have not started yet. Also, the shirt that I was making out of my inspiration fabric is anything but inspiring. I may just go to JoAnns, buy some more (If they still have it) and make something else. I think contests are too difficult for me. I think I would rather jump around and make this, and then that, or whatever feels right at the moment. I think planning too much spoils my creativity. I liked the whole planning part of the wardrobe contest, but now I am sick of it! LOL
Best Laid Plans: I had planned on sewing for half of the day yesterday and all day today. What did I get done? A big fat zero. I've had a terrible migraine since I woke up yesterday, and I can't even read or talk like that, let alone sew. Today, I discovered a wonderful thing: SHIATSU. A friend suggested that I get a massage, which I had already thought of, but usually it takes several days to get in anywhere. She told me about this shiatsu clinic that takes walk-ins. Andy and I went there this afternoon (when I was finally able to drive) Man, did it HURT. Not all the tine, but it was one of those things that you know hurts, but will make you feel better. After about 20 minutes, I felt human again. When it was over, my headache was gone - and it hasn't returned yet! Praise God. I will definitely go back - soon. I may be sore all over tomorrow, but don't care as long as I don't have a headache. Maybe I can even get some sewing done after church.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Computer Fatigue

What a busy week this has been! We got back from our vacation late on Friday night. We spent most of Saturday and Sunday dealing with "issues" of things that went on while we were gone (when the cats away...) Monday I started my tech fest class, which is basically sitting in front of a computer doing research from 8-4 every day. The first day wasn't too bad, but by about half way through the second day, I was sick of it. I could not work a job where I had to sit in front of a computer all day long. Monday and today, I went straight from class to physical therapy, so didn't get home until about 6. Monday night my brother called and asked if we wanted to go out to dinner. we have a new Tahoe Joe's that just opened, and they have the best steaks. I really didn't feel like going out, but my brother rarely wants to do something, so we said yes. I'm glad we did because we had a good time. We are also going there again tomorrow night with some friends of ours who just got back from an Alaskan cruise. I did get a little sewing done last night and this evening, and finished this skirt. I have a review at Pattern Review I've also been working on a blouse from the same fabric, but I'm not liking much of anything about it. I don't like the way I changed the neckline, I don't like that I left the vertical darts out in the front, and the sleeves are too tight. I tried doing some pintucks on the front of it, and I like that, but I think I will have to rip out the under arm sleeve seam and widen the sleeves a little. This fabric is hard to rip out stitches from, and black is so hard to see what you're doing anyway. I still don't know what I will do about the neckline. I will try to take pictures tomorrow and post them.

There's less than two weeks left on the SWAP -I mean Wardrobe contest - and the same for the "One pattern, multiple looks" contest. I hope I finish them both.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Shopping in Mazatlan

We had a wonderful time on our trip and enjoyed every minute of Mazatlan. I will have more pictures on my Picassa site. The resort was beautiful, the sunsets picturesque, and the beach clean with warm water.

We took a trip to a few old cities near Mazatlan, visited an old tequila plant, and even did a little shopping in down town "Maz"- that is where I found La Parisina - a fabric store. Shopping for fabric in Mazatlan is different that in California. Since I didn't have a dictionary with me, I didn't know the names for things like wool, silk, and cotton, but many things were easy to figure out. For example, shifon was obviously chiffon. All of the fabric at the THREE stores I found were on rolls or flat-folded. Most of the fabric was on long tubes. Nothing is marked on the tubes and you have to go by whatever it says on the sign above the tubes. You must remember where you got each roll of fabric, because that is how they know how much to charge you. So, you pick out your fabric and take it to the cutting table and tell the girl how much you want in meters. After she cuts the fabric, you show her where you got each roll so that she can return them and write down the prices. Next, she gives you a ticket and you take it to the cashier. The cashiers are in a little boxed in area like a bank teller and you slide your money and the ticket through a glass window. The cashier gives you a receipt and you take that to another window where your fabric is already bagged and ready for you. The first store I went into had a lot of trim and craft items as well as fabric, but no patterns. The lady told me there was another "La Parisina" a couple of blocks over that did sell patterns. We walked to that store, which is where I bought the fabric. They had one spiral wire rack with a few Simplicity patterns on it, and that was it. By then, we were getting tired of the crowds, and on our way to find a taxi, we ran across another fabric store named something like Telasmodernas, which would mean, modern fabrics. I only went in there to ask if they sold Patrones magazine (which they did not), but it looked very much like the othr two stores. One thing that I saw that was different was that they sold dishcloth fabric on large bolts. All of the fabric was inexpensive. Many fabrics were only about $2.00 a yard, and most were under $5.00 a yard. Much of the fabric was very stiff, so I don't know if it would soften up after washing, or if that was just the quality of the fabric. My spanish is not good enough for me to have asked many questions. Next time I will be more prepared with a list of questions! All in all, it was an interesting experience. We had already had a fairly busy day. and it was very hot, or I may have spent more time looking at, and buying, fabric. I think next time I would like to spend more time checking out the trims as well. There were many people in all of the fabric stores and I remember noting several women with nice looking dresses that they probably made themselves. I did not discover these stores until the next to last day of our trip, so I didn't have a chance to investigate as much as I would have liked to, but I'm really glad I got to experience a little bit of it. Here are my finds

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Off to Mazatlan

Well, this will be my last post for awhile. We are leaving at 4am tomorrow for LAX, then off to Mazatlan. This pic is of the resort we are staying at called Torres Mazatlan. I called Verizon today and I will have no cell service there. No cell service and no internet access. I'll probably be in withdrawal all week! My son is going to drive us down (3-4 hour drive) and pick us up, so that will be nice. I'm sure he's thinking this will be his prime opportunity to have the keys to the BMW for a week! I'm already missing my sewing machine and was daydreaming today of how I could pack it and a few projects to take with me. I don't think DH will go for that!
Why is it that whenever you plan to go somewhere everything falls to pieces? DD and serious BF broke up and DD is heartbroken. Last night around midnight, the garage door broke and jumped the track. We can't fix it. We can't close the garage door. We are trying to get someone out today to get it fixed for us! I'm looking out my bedroom window and notice that there is a beer can on my front lawn. Hmmm.... Well, at least no one can call us while we're gone, so whatever happens - we won't know until we get back!
Oh, I almost forgot. We had a great day yesterday. My brother's band played at the festivities in the town where I teach and we were able to go with our good friends Steve and Maureen to spend the day in the park. It was a blast. My friend Maureen is a great photographer. She snapped this candid of my brother with my new digital. We had to try it out.
Well, hope you all get a lot of sewing done this week - Hasta la vista...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vogue sundress - finished!

Yay! It's finished, and I love it. Half and on the old machine, half on the new. I have to say, I love sewing on my new machine. Everything is so much easier. Except - the bobbins.
I have never seen worse looking bobbins in my life. I've double checked how I'm threading and I'm doing it right. This is actually the worst one, but even the good ones aren't that good. I am impressed, however, on the good job my camera did taking the bobbin picture! Haha. Oh well, I WILL get this bobbin issue resolved...

Back to the dress. I really like how it turned out. Even though I lost the directions, I did get it all together, but I'm sure there is an easier way. I did add the bra cups and have made a little picture tutorial here I did also line the skirt with a lightweight poly (Posh, I think) I think I will tack the top of the bodice where it goes up to the strap because it wants to slide down and toward the middle, but I like the way it looks up higher to the shoulder. All in all, I think this is a great dress and would like to make it again. It's perfect for summer.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Another New Toy

Today my friend, Maureen, came over and we did a little camera shopping. My poor old camera has served me well, but I'm having to edit all pictures now because it is overexposing everything. Also, many times I have to hit the shutter botton 2 times before it will take a picture! Some of the shopping was a fiasco, but finally, I ended up with this HP. It is very cool and has tons of features. I hate that you have to charge a new camera overnight before you can play with it, but I am patiently (?) waiting until tomorrow.

I have also done a little sewing this weekend with my new machine. I have been making passport/boarding pass bags for DH and myself. DH's is finished, but mine is not quite done since I had to go buy some ribbon for the strap. I had some trouble when I turned the first one inside out and it crinkled the plastic covering on the ID window. I think this time I will put a credit card in the slot and baste it closed before turning to prevent that from happening again.

Also, I have been working on my dress and it is coming together. I lost the directions, so I know I am putting it together all wrong on the inside, which basically just means that I'm having to do more hand sewing. I think it will fit. All I have left to do is the zipper on the side and hemming the skirt and lining. I want to finish this dress so that I can take it on our trip. Did I say "TRIP"? Yes! We are going to Mazatlan for a week, leaving this Friday. We have been there once before and I absolutely fell in love with the city. Of course, we went in December that year and the weather was perfect. It will be quite hot and humid this time of year. Also, we are staying at a different resort this time called Torres Mazatlan, which is about 10 miles outside of town. It is on the beach, so it should be fun. I'll have to post pix when I return.