Monday, December 31, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away

PLEASE come again some other day. OK. I know it rains in Hawaii - but it hasn't stopped raining since we got here! It's been windy and rainy, and NO sun! BUT, still, it's been warm and we can see and hear the ocean right from our balcony. Last night we slept with the sliding glass door open all night and listened to the surf.

The night before last we went to a luau and it was fun, but WET. They ended up passing out rain ponchos to everyone because it was really raining. At least in Hawaii when it rains, it's no colder than when it doesn't. So, you''re wet, but not miserable.

Click on any of these photots to get a bigger picture.

And I'm just wondering - how in the world do you do a FBA on a coconut?

Gotta love these men in grass skirts!

Today was whale watching and it was awesome. I didn't get many good shots, but we saw a lot of whales and there was a female with two male suitors. She obviously wasn't interested in them because she decided to hang out next to the boat instead. The captain said this is what they do when they are not interested in the males, because they won't come up to the boat. It was awesome because she came up less than 20 feet from our boat! We were on a Zodiac, so we were right down on the water. It was very cool. You can see more pictures in my photo album.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


WE arrived in Maui Thursday afternoon and it has been overcast and WINDY since we got here.

But, 76 beats 56 any day of the week in my book, sun or no sun! Actually, it is sunnier on other parts of the island, but Ka'anapali is pretty overcast and windy right now. We did get a little sun this morning, but DH and I were tied up in a meeting, so if all continues like this, I'll return as white as when I left!! I'm a little worried b ecause the water has been incredibly choppy and the two boys and I are going snuba diving on New Years day - it makes for a really rough boat ride when the weather is like that. Also, there are lots of whales here right now, so Tuesday we are planning on a whale watchng trip, which should be really fun. The two girls are opting out on water trips since poor DD gets extremely ill from motion sickness. We are going to a luau tonight, so that should be fun for all.

Yesterday we took the kids to the Queen something-or-other mall in Kahalui. They loved it because it had many of their favorite shops, but I had an ulterior motive - yes, you know, they have a FABRIC STORE there. It was mostly all cotton Hawaiian prints, but I did find these 2 pretty pieces.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Well, not really at my house. Because I have been sick for the last two weeks, there are no decorations, and not even a tree. OK, I take that back, we do have a tiny table top tree, and that will have to suffice this year. I usually go all out (I think I have about 30 trees of various sizes) and decorate most of the rooms of our house. This year, I just couldn't deal with it. The other thing is, who will take it all down? Me, of course. And since we are leaving the day after Christmas to go on vacation, I made the executive decision not to do it this year. It wasn't really by choice, but out of necessity this time. I hope next year will be different.

But, all Scrooginess aside, now that I feel human again, I have been making some Christmas presents. I made one pair of flannel PJ pants for my son and am cutting out another tonight.

Yesterday I completed this bag for my daughter.

I made one almost exactly like it last year for a friend of hers, and she has been wanting one ever since. You can see more information on my review at PR.

I made a vest for my brother, and as soon as I get the buttons sewn on, I will take a picture of that. For his girlfriend, I made this jacket.

They are both (local) rock stars, so I figured these are things they can wear when they play. I also have a review for this at PR.

I want to get Nicks other PJ bottoms done tonight so I can make a dress for NY's eve. We are going to be in Maui, so I wanted something fairly casual, but glitzy at the same time. I am going to make the Madison Avenue dress (Textile Studios) out of a charcoal colored knit with glitter on it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stuffed full of Joy

This week I gave my students an invaluable present. I taught them how to sew. I saw this cute pattern for a bird in the book Quick Patchwork Gifts (I'll find the link later) and decided that this is what I would do for our Christmas project/ It was a little more work than I thought it would be, but a lot more rewarding, as well. The kids loved it. Those who caught on quickly were wonderful helpers for the rest of the class, and best of all, no one stuck anyone else with a needle!

On the home sewing front, I made my first bound buttonholes for my jacket. They're not perfect, but passable. I tried a few different methods in different books, but decided to go with the "organza patch method" found in my old Vogue sewing book. This was the easiest, but would look most perfect if you have organza that is the same color as your fashion fabric. My jacket is lighter weight than I had expected and I'm wondering if I would have liked it better had I fused it with a different interfacing that had a little more body. We'll see when it's finished. I kind of got hung up on the pockets because they were pulling the front, so I am going to baste those on by hand and see what I think before I sew them, which will also be done by hand so that they won't show through on the lining. I'm ready now to do all the finishing (sleeves, lapels, collar, hem,) but have put it aside until I get some Christmas projects finished!

Friday, December 14, 2007

SNF - moving along

I stayed home from work today because I was too sick with a silly cold. I slept most of the day. But during the few hours that I was awake I did make some progress!

Here is a picture of the lining that I cut out the other night. This fabric is printed in panels, so there are pattern interruptions throughout. I decided to put this one on the sleeve where it wouldn't show.

Today I sewed all of the vertical seams, trimmed, pressed, and topstitched them. (OK, I also ripped out a couple of seams a couple of times each where I had made mistakes!) Here are the outside and inside pictures.

I'm wondering how we will do the shoulder seams since the lining and fabric are sewn together almost like an underlining, but with finished edges. Also, I'm wondering how the shoulder pads will fit under the lining.

There will be no more lessons until Monday, so I'll have to wait. I can make the pockets and sew them on. I hope I'm feeling well enough this weekend to do some sewing of Christmas presents. I really need to get busy on that and was counting on this weekend to get a lot done!

Enough blogging for tonight. I'm off to get some NyQuil and meet Mr. Sandman.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stitch and Flip progress - List

1. 3 muslins down and fit finally achieved
2. Cut out pattern - all nine pieces
3. Cut out lining pieces - same as jacket except for collar and facing.
4. All pattern pieces marked - which was stupid since the underlining and interfacing covered up almost all of my pieces.
5. Interfacing and underlining cut -
under collar
side, back, and sleeve hems
sleeve cap
special shoulder piece for front
armscye fused with fusible stay tape
6. All pieces fused except front (I did have to go to work this morning!)

What's next??
1. finish block fusing front pieces and shoulder stay
2. mark pocket placement (these pockets cross a vertical seam, so I will probably sew them on by hand. Otherwise, I will need to sew them through the lining, and I really don't want that stitching to show on the inside.

Tomorrow is the first "chat" and I think tomorrow morning we will be getting the lesson that gets us started with the actual sewing of the jacket. I wish I could stay home and sew (especially when I'm coming down with a cold)but I guess I'll have to wait until evening.

I'll post pictures of my progress next time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

How To Wear a Hat

1. Get a great looking hat
2. Put it on your head.
3. Look in the mirror and say "I look great!"
4. Go out and get compliments all day long.

I love hats. I've found that the best hats for me are the "bucket" style, or anything with some kind of brim. This balances out my narrow face and wide hips.

A week or two ago I saw this cool video on how to make a hat.

I loved it and thought it looked like fun.

I wore this hat out to lunch today and got many compliments. I'm going to post directions because I found I needed more information than what was in the video.

Many thanks humble bumble bee! You've given me another great hat inspiration.

You can see more pictures here

Sunday, December 09, 2007

It takes a Village...

I have been thinking about all of your comments when I went out to dinner with my husband this evening (I guess I was a little distracted - poor DH) because I could just not figure out why this thing would not hang right. I kept thinking about NancyK's comment about the full part of the bust not being in the right place. Then it dawned on me! In Sandra Betzina's book for FBA on a princess seam, she says to split the princess line and spread it, then add the coreect length to the front pieces. Well, I had added the length to the front, but it wouldn't line up at the princess seam. I hadn't split the seam (think "dart")

So, I did this quick fix using steam a seam and just cut my muslin. What a difference in the way the whole thing hangs. Now I can take out some of the extra I had put at the CB. I have FBS (flat butt syndrome) so it just didn't seem right adding width there in the first place.

I will add all these changes to my pattern pieces first thing in the morning.

Better - but still not right

This is muslin 3.

This looks a lot better on, but the pictures don't lie! I still have a lot of wrinkling. this is a much thinner weight muslin than I used before, so some of the wrinkling is due to that, but I need to get this fixed! The hem looks uneven because I trimmed off the sa and did a crooked job.

Here's what I've done so far.

Cut a 12 in the shoulders and arms
increased all side seams by 1/4" above the waist and 3/8" below the waist\/
Shortened the back and side back about 5/8" above the waist.
Increased the bust 1/2" at the princess seam

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Calling all fit/jacket experts

Today I cut out the muslin for the Mc Calls jacket for the flip and stitch class. When I put the muslin on, it felt like it fit pretty well, but just a little snug in the bust. Well, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! I cut a size 12 and did the following adjustments: I have already lowered the shoulder 1/4", and increased the side piece by 1/2 inch at the bust. I also narrowed the shoulder by about 1/4"

ETA: I did take out each of the front and back side seams by .25 inches and what a difference it made. The whole jacket shell hangs better. I then took in the upper back by 1/4 inch on each center back seam. I'm hoping to put the sleeves in tomorrow to get a better idea of the overall fit.

I can see the following fit issues:

1 I need to increase the bust more
2. The waist is also a little to tight
3. The jacket needs to be about 1" longer
4. The upper back looks too big - but I need to put in the sleeves before I decide to cut that down.
5. Do I need a sway back adjustment - or do I just need to increase the hips a bit?
6. If I do do a SBA, do I just shorten the CB or also the SB seams? (there are no side seams on this jacket, it is a separate side piece.)
7. I think the neck fits OK

Any suggestions?
(I'm using the brown wool herringbone that matches the skirt I made from Oct 06 BWOF)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just when you think...

Just when you think you've got it all figured out, something comes along and changes everything. well, that something came in an email from Nancy Erickson today. Somebody came by her shop and dropped off about 3/4 of a yard of the exact fabric I needed. She is sending it to me tomorrow. Now I will have enough to do the 1945 - but I won't have it in time for the class to start. And, the lining I have will not be enough for the 1945.

OK, plan B - or is it up to about "Q" by now? Anyway - last year I made this skirt. I love this skirt. I love the fabric. I lined it with pink Ambiance and love that too.

THe only problem is that I don't have any jacket that goes with it. I had about a yard left over, but not enough to make a jacket. I ordered more fabric to make a jacket last year and was going to make the HP Miss Money Penny Prim and Proper jacket. I had started making it in a black basketweave linen. Well, that pattern was such a fiasco for me, I finally ended up throwing my half sewn jacket in the trash. (The sleeves were WAY too narrow and at the time I couldn't figure out any way to save the jacket. I probably could do it now, but not worth the effort.) Anyway, my brown and pink herringbone has been sitting in Box C just waiting to be reunited with it's other half. Maybe it's time for a reunion.

If I use the McCalls 5149, I think it will look good with the skirt, and I can still use my brown and pink silk charmuese lining.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's a Done Deal - I think

Indecision can paralyze progress. SO. I've decided I'm making this pattern

with this fabric

with this lining

for the stitch and flip class. I will stay with my original swap plan. I will make the 1945 jacket out of the Latte Tweed and the black wool (someday. soon.)

BUT first things first. I was just looking at the Lists blog and decided to make a list of my own
Sewing things to do before Christmas

1. cut out jacket for stitch and flip class.
2. cut out vest for my brother for Christmas - oh wait - I already did that!
3. make jacket in stitch and flip class
4. make brother's vest
5. cut and make jacket for quazi-SIL
6. I can make two SWAP items before the start date of JAN 1 - I plan to make the 2 BWOF blouses.
Now will I get this done? I better - because after Christmas, this is where I'll be

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

8.5 minutes and totally worth it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

not off to a good start

I am SO disappointed! I spent all evening trying to lay out the 1945 on the mulit boucle. I got all of the lines of the fabric lined up perfectly straight (I was so proud of myself) but no matter how I try to lay this stupid thing out, it will not fit! I even took 8" off the length and it still won't fit. I only have 2 yards (actually it's 3" shy - I actually did not order enough) of 58" fabric. I thought it would work for the shorter version, but that's not going to happen. Well, it will make a nice jacket. Maybe I'll try one of these.

I'm leaning toward the Vogue pattern with the collar variation in the middle picture.

BUT I have to make something that fits well before the stitch and flip class, so I'll have to see what I DO have enough of. I hope I bought enough of the other 2 tweeds. Or, maybe I won't make the 1945 yet, and do something else for the stitch and flip. I have all of these patterns, so I'll just have to pick one.

Of course, I do have the 1945C, and that should be the right amount for that pattern

Beginning 1945 - Here I go!

My plan was to do Christmas presents this week, but instead, I'm beginning the 1945. It took me most of the afternoon yesterday to trace the pieces and do the alterations. I only did FBA and lowered the waist by 1"

Here I am trying to pin the tissue together to avoid making a muslin! Nancy Erickson actually advises against making a muslin, and after pinning this pattern, I can see why. There are so many seams, you can let out or take in in many places.

I tried the paper pattern on and also put it on Myrtle. It looks like the fit will be good. I may have to do a sway back adjustment, but haven't decided yet. The shoulder looks a little wide, but I measured the shoulder seam on the BWOF jacket that I did and it is exactly 5". This shoulder seam, minus the seam allowances is exactly 5". But. incase it is too big, I can always narrow it before I put in the sleeve.

Also, my second package from Fabric Mart came the other day. I got a couple more silk charmeuses and a couple of chiffons. Two of the fabrics are silk scarf panels and I had planned on using them for lining. They are awfully thin, so maybe they will work better for a dress or blouse lining rather than a jacket lining.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why am I Afraid of this Pattern? FSG1945

I have had this pattern for quite some time, and for some reason keep putting off making it. It is the 1945 jacket from Fashion Sewing Group.
I made the FSG coat, and it was really easy. So why do I keep postponing this one? I have already bought fabric 4 times to make this, and yet, it is still unmade. I have a black wool flannel and 3 expensive (anything over $20 /yard is expensive in my book) pieces from Nancy Erickson.

this is the first fabric I purchased to make this jacket. It is called "Latte Tweed"

This is the "multi tweed" and it is very pretty, but kind of has an orange cast. I'm not sure how much I like it or how well it will fit with other clothes I have. I still think it"s a great fabric for fall.I just signed up for the stitch and flip class from Shannon Gifford and want to make this jacket. The jacket must be already fit before we start the class. I'm hoping to make the shell out of the multi colored tweed to get the fit right

and then make the jacket in the olive and black tweed for the class. This fabric also came from N.E. It is a beautiful 100% wool and I have black ambiance for the lining. This one also fits into my SWAP, but then I will need to change a couple of things. The original Jacket for my swap was also my qualifying purchase from Timmel Fabrics. So I may have to re think that whole thing.

Anyway, I'm anxious for the class.