Friday, March 27, 2009

I'm Off!

I can't believe that I'm leaving in about 12 hours! I'm flying out of Fresno and then to LAX. I'll fly to MN by myself and meet up with the director of the project there. We will fly to Amsterdam and meet with about 4 others who will be on our team. (I don't know any of these people.) From there, we fly into Entebee. I will be staying the first week with an American family who live in Kampala. This is a fairly big city I think. They did tell me that they have a security guard who protects their compound with a bow and arrow! I cracked up about that. Travel time is long. I leave here at 5:50 am on Saturday, and arrive there at 8:30 PM on Sunday. There is a 10 hour time difference though.

The following week we will travel to a small village called Busanna. It is outside of Kayunga. I have yet to see this village on a map, so it must be pretty small. I will be working with ladies in Kampala sewing choir robes. I have no idea what I will be doing in Busanna. I'm very excited and, of course, a little nervous. I'm totally packed and ready to go. I'm just getting some pictures of family together to take with me.

I may have some internet access the first week, but I'm pretty sure I won't the second week. It is so expensive to use my phone there ($3.60/minute) so I probably won't. Even text messaging is something like $2.00/text. From the sounds of what I've heard, I probably won't have time to even think about it anyway.

So, I'm sure I'll have a lot of blogging to catch up on when I return, and I will be posting lots of pictures! Thanks again to those of you who have given me support and those who are praying for me. I've been healthy so far, so keep praying that I stay that way while I'm there! I can't wait to share with all of you when I get back!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

T shirt Remake

Wow, I feel like I haven't posted or read a blog in forever. I've been super busy with work and getting ready for my trip. I'm leaving a week from today! I'm very excited and a little nervous. It's a long way from home and I won't be with anyone I know. I know it will be great, but the unknown is always a little scary.

One of the things International Messengers asks it's missionaries to do is to wear the IM Tshirt when traveling. This makes it easier to meet up with others in your group since I will be meeting someone in MN and the rest of the team in Amsterdam. I'm sure someone will be picking us up in Entebbe as well, so if we're all wearing IM garb, we'll definitely be noticeable. That and the white skin LOL! Any way, I am not a big T-shirt person. In fact, this is the only one I own. As a rule, Tshirts look terrible on me unless they are the fitted womens Ts like from Banana Republic or Old Navy. But concert Ts, logo Ts, any classic T-shirt - No Thanks. Well, I sort of HAVE to wear a Tshirt this time. I remembered seeing a pattern for a T shirt remake from Pamela's Patterns reviewd on PR. After trying on my original IM T, I immediately got online and ordered the pattern! I didn't take long to get here and today I finally got around to doing the makeover. The first thing you do is cut the sleeves off the orignal shirt, so that was a little scary. After that, I was ready to cut away! There are two pattern pieces, one for the body and one for the sleeve. The directions tell you what size to start with and even how to adjust for a fuller bust. I cut an XS in the shoulders and went out to the Small at the side seams. I didn't use the pattern hem line because my shirt wasn't long enough. Also, for the neck, I just cut a wider and deeper neckline and then finished it with fold over elastic.

From travel wear

There are adjustment lines on the pattern to raise the armscye and shorten the sleeve. Next time I will do this alteration. This pattern works best if you have a Tshirt that is bigger than your regular size. In fact, two sizes bigger would probably be ideal. Mine wasn't, but it still worked. I'm much happier with this T than I would have been with its original look.

I did finish the skirt that I wanted to make for my trip, but don't have pictures yet. I'm disappointed in the fabric. It is a cotton lycra blend and wrinkles terribly! I think it would have been less prone to wrinkle if it were e100 cotton. I will try to get pix because I do like the way the skirt turned out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Vest of a Million Errors

OK, maybe "million" is a bit of an exaggeration, but it took me forever to make this vest because of all the mistakes I made, and now it is too big! Of course, none of these errors are the fault of the pattern. It is all because of the FBA!!! First of all, I made the FBA on the princess the way I always do (or so I thought) You have to change the side front the most, and the center front a little. THis seemed fine, and according to the pattern measurements, I was really hoping it would be big enough. It seemed OK when I checked the tissue. I figured, with it being a vest, if it was a little small, it would be OK, since I wasn't putting buttons on anyway. Then I went ahead and did all the pockets according to the directions.

When I got to the pockets on side 2, I realized that nothing was lining up. The pockets on side two have to match up with the side front of side 2. I hadn't made the same alterations on the pockets that I did on the side front! So, I had to take out the zippers and recut the pocket pieces and do that whole deal over. But, I liked the way it turned out, so I figured all was well.

Now, when you make a lined or reversible vest, the side seams are the very last thing you do. So I have all of these pockets made on the two sides and everything sewn together and turned right side out and am ready to sew the side seams. Hmmm.... my fronts are about an inch longer than the backs. What happened??? I go back and look at my pattern pieces and realize that when I did the FBA on the side fronts, I added 1" all the way across instead of cutting in a wedge. I can't believe it. I have done this alteration many times, and of all times to screw it up, I did it this time. Now what to do? Everything is sewn together except the side seams. Well, guess what, I now have gathers at my side fronts! Oh, well. So it goes. Not only that, but the whole thing is really too big. I will still wear it, but I have already made the adjustments on the pattern pieces so I don't make the same mistakes next time. I really like the idea of this vest and a lot of the pocket creations are pretty clever.

I have never made a Saf T Pockets pattern before, but I thought it was pretty cool the way the whole thing went together and I really enjoyed making it.
The skirt is done too, but I still need to sew on the darn hook and eye. I bought some, but now I can't find them!

The cool thing about this vest is all the pockets
Side one has a credit card pocket that is hidden under the lapel. There also are 2 inseam pockets on this side. Side two has pockets with invisible zippers. You can see all of the pictures on my Picasa album.

Well, at least I finally have something finished for my trip. I have so many things I want to make before I go, and I had a migraine all day today and did not get any sewing done! I still hope I can make a tan colored skirt and a white blouse before I go.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Saf T Pockets Vest

I finished my skirt, well almost. I still need to sew on a hook and eye. Will get pix soon of that. Right now I am working on the vest. I knew this would not be "quick and easy" and here are the reasons why

  • It's reversible
  • there are LOTS of pockets
  • princess seams
  • collar
I am making View 1 with the shawl collar.
There were a lot of pattern pieces to this one, so in doing a FBA, I had to make adjustments on 2 front pieces and the facing. Actually, it is coming together more quickly than I expected and I am already finished with side one. Here are some of the inside details
This is a credit card pocket that will be hidden under the collar

These are inseam pockets that are in the princess seam on each front.

I have been really busy getting things ready for my trip. Last week I ordered all of the fabric. We will be making choir robes by their request. I ordered the fabric from I decided on a cotton/poly broadcloth because it will be lightweight, breathable, not wrinkle too badly and be washable. They're expecting us to make 20 robes in 10 days! We'll see how that works out, since there will only be 2 machines, and nobody has used these machines before, nor do they know how to sew! It will definitely be a challenge. Hopefully we can get a few done and they can do the rest on their own after I leave. I just don't think there is going to be that much time because I'm sure we won't be sewing from dawn until dusk!

I need to order all of the zippers today. I need separating zippers, but havn't decided whether to go with nylon, metal, or molded plastic. Any suggestions? I have never made a choir robe before and I've never used a separating zipper before.

Well, I guess I better get ready for work. I don't think I'll get any sewing time today since I have bible study tonight. Maybe tomorrow..