Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm an Inverted Pear, Apparently.

(9:49:40 AM) me: apparently I'm more of an hourglass with a V shape than a pear shape
(9:50:03 AM) me: which is uncommon
(9:50:08 AM) me: pear shapes are MUCH more common
(9:57:38 AM) hubby: right
(9:58:54 AM) me: why do i have to be different???
(9:59:16 AM) hubby: cause we don't need more barbie dolls
(9:59:50 AM) hubby: they get churned out fast enough... botox on a $#@$& preschooler is what happens when homogeny is worshiped.

Ok, so you are probably wondering what precipitated this conversation (we'll get to the social implication of his statement a bit later) . Its the fact that I'm sending back my SECOND dress form. It turns out that the industry that makes them does not account for people like me who have a seven inch difference between their full bust and under bust measurements. Or 4.5 from full to upper bust. And I PROMISE you I'm not bragging, honest. I have been cursed blessed with a huge rack. Mom says its all Dad's fault, ya know, according to science.

So anyway. Quite a few people have pointed out that I could make a duct-tape dress form. Except those are bad for using with delicate fabrics. And you can't really stick pins in it. There's some casting methods but mounting them in some stable and elegant way is somewhat difficult. Though I guess I could just put a doppleganger me over the mannequin on the back porch.

Oh yeah, did I mention I have a display mannequin with two left arms on my back porch? One day I'll tell you that story. But for now lets just say its a great way to scare away robbers on a dark night. More likely it just makes the neighbors wonder what brand of weirdo I am.

IN any case. On the that last comment. This story about a Mom who injected her daughter with Botox. Um. What? Now, I admit I don't watch the news for a reason but my boss walked out and told me about this. I think mostly because he knows it would get me riled up. As a mother of my own eight year old and having had my own body issues growing up, this just makes me want to scream. I am making the best effort I can as a parent to make sure that both my children are comfortable with who they in their own skin. I don't want them to be anything else but themselves. I know I have a few other mother's out there. What do you think about this?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Ralph Lauren Obsession and NYC

Seriously. I covet this 'duster'. I want to make one but maybe out of a dusty purple cotton sateen, something with a bit more shine but still light weight. Don't get me wrong, I adore this just as it is and if I thought spending EIGHT GRAND on a jacket was a good investment of money...That and a purple version would fit with more of my wardrobe. Or I could just make a wardrobe to go with it. Maybe I'll get my brother-in-law to make me a pair of hot pants out of leather. He's punk-rock like that.

But just look at these details. The tailoring is beautiful. The embroidery is done by hand AFTER the garment is assembled somewhere. The seams are french seams. Its unlined apparently to keep the "floating feel". Honestly this is somewhere between wild west Victorian and Steampunk.

This makes me wonder if Mom would be willing to do the embroidery. It looks to be a fairly simple repeat pattern in candlewicking. I'm thinking I can modify this free pattern on burdastyle (though I believe this is the origin of the pattern, burdastyle has the print at home PDF).

It might take me a year, but I will have something like this in my wardrobe. Maybe I can find suitable fabric in NYC next month. OH YEAH! I'm going to NYC to see the Alexander McQueen Exhibit for my birthday. Anyone wanna meet up for coffee and go with me? I only have a day or two and I'm staying with a friend up the Hudson Line, so I have to take the train in town.

And another exciting tidbit, I ordered an adjustable dress form. My duct-tape form bit the dust after my one and only foray into corsetry permanently modified the form. Which would be fine if I had planned on continued with my steampunk costuming obsession.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Serger Tip with a side helping of The Beatles.

Hello! I know I have been missing in action (or possibly just content) for a week now, hope you'll forgive me! I thought I'd share a little piece of info I picked up a while ago and has made me and my serger get along so much nicer these days.

Its a little cheat on re-threading if you aren't one of those ever-so-lucky people to have a self-threading one. First thing you do is cut the thread from the currently used spools, leaving yourself a good long tail.

Then, you take the new color and tie it in a square knot to the tails of the old color. This works best if you use a square knot. Then you set all your tension dials to ZERO. This is a rather important step because otherwise your thread might break while pulling it through.

Slowly and gently start pulling the thread. I've had to untangle it from the sharp bits before. Of course you want to have the machine turned off/unplugged when you do this. I don't always, but I like to live dangerously.

And that's it, pretty simple, yes? I haven't gotten much sewing done but I have been able to tackle parts of the huge pile of mess my house had become while I was trying to help my parents settle things. And plan birthday parties. And take care of issues with kids' school. And the extra work load at work.. and and and.

I'm working on an outfit for my daughter. Trying to get it done before this Saturday. So in the mean time, here's a song to help sooth and calm everyone's frazzled nerves.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What I Did (or need to do) Instead of Sewing

First! And most importantly, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! Because a Mom that sews is an awesome Mom. (i'm not just talking about myself, either)

First thing I did was snoopervise my husband and roommate putting together our new bed frame. Which was immediately tested out by my daughter, as evidence shows below. Also in evidence is a dire need of new curtains. Much like the fact our mattress was on one of those stupid metal frames that come with the bed for the last 10 years, those curtains were made by my mother about as long ago. Maybe its time I moved up in the world. And not just a couple more feet off the floor.

So that was that, and also keeping me from sewing is this mess:
(My attempt to organize things that don't actually have a home)

And this pile of unopened mail:
(I'm sure there's forgotten bills in there somewhere. But obviously not the important ones cause none of my utilities have been shut off. Or my internet... And I still have a roof over my sewing machine.)

Other fun things include having gone to see Thor: The First Avenger (AAAWESOME!) and the brakes going out on one of the cars and a dead battery on the other. Wait, that second thing was 'fun' not FUN. Yeah, you get the difference.

And I have to go back to work tomorrow, it being Monday and all. I don't really want to. We just have a "REORG" and there's all these "managing change" back patting and [we're sorry, the rest of this sentence has been deleted due to the 'save lady k's job text editor' brain software kicking in]. Dang.

Oh, and I have to make birthday invites for my daughter's BD party. We're doing a Mad Hatter Tea Party. I need to make her something fun to wear. And I think I shall pursue the shorts too.

OK, that's all from me for now. Later gators!

p.s. I need a webcam before I can jump on the Tanit-Isis bandwagon of dialect filming. So you are safe... for now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Successfully Made Granny Panties (and other reasons I'm not perfect)

Inspired by Gertie's "Defense Of..." post I decided to splurge on the Nutmeg pattern and make my own dainties. Instead of cutting it out of fine silk FIRST I did the sane thing and made it some out of the 8 yards of white cotton batiste I recently bought (ya know, 'to have on hand'). This turned out to be a GOOD thing as it seems that even with knickers I'm going to have crotch fitting problems. Good to know, considering I'm working on fitting a pair of shorts from a 1950's pattern. I thought I was going to have them done in time for going to the Renaissance Festival this weekend, but that was a pipe dream. Both on getting the shorts done and actually going to festival.

I can probably make some adjustments for a slightly more form fitting fit and less 'smile' in the crotch area (that's where you get those wrinkles that look like smiles... you know?). But I do not think THIS PARTICULAR pair can be rescued in any way to make them not look like glorified white boxers. At most they'll look like boxers with too much lace. Maybe I'll tie-dye them and turn them into hideous lounging shorts for my husband. "Look honey, JUST FOR YOU!!" (No, I don't think he'll buy that either)

Which leads me to UFO box. For the uninitiated this means, in sewing land, 'unfinished objects'. I do not keep a box of small alien ships in my sewing room. Though if I did I could probably make MILLIONS MUAHAHAHAHAAA !! *ahem* So yes, on to The Box.

(For a split second I thought that black thing on top was my cat. She has a habit of looking like a pile of cloth. This makes for scratches in odd places when you reach for/sit on whatever she's on)

This box includes, but its not limited to;

  1. Flannel nightgown for my daughter
  2. Steampunk vest for my husband (from like, 3 years ago)
  3. A organizer thingie as a present to Jennifer (also 3 years ago)
  4. A badly fitted pair of trousers that I'll probably just throw away (The pile confirmed not to be my cat).
  5. A purse
  6. and a first attempt at a blouse before I knew how to fit things properly
And NOT in the box is the muslin for my Lady Grey sew-a-long that became more than overwhelming. Then there are the "planned projects". One day I might even post some of my early attempts at making clothes before I knew ANYTHING about fitting, pattern modification or what have you.

But in more recent attempts I'm not entirely happy with, I tried making my TNT cowl neck out of some leftover cotton lawn from my Chantilly. I'm... meh about it. And my lace blouse? The neckline just isn't all that. I could not figure out how I wanted to finish it and I tried sewing on ribbon but its just doesn't feel right. I did wear it out with my black pencil skirt and my husband said it was lovely and no one but me was going to notice.

(wonky neckline...)

But that's not the point, right? Photo evidence of MEH, complete with no makeup and unglamorous backgrounds.

(yes, I used lace to tie my hair back)

The hem is not finished and the purple surging around the neck and sleeves is intentional. Upon seeing it in photos I might like it a smidgen more. Its suppose to go with a cami and the shorts (which will be made from a purple linen blend).

I might give up and just make something for my daughter. Her birthday is rapidly speeding this way.

And I still have my Ready-to-Wear tailoring thingie to do, of which I want the end product just not the journey to get there.

Who Gets the Stuff?

Ok, as stated I couldn't figure out how to get the random generator to KEEP the number when I posted. Which made it look like no winner was picked or that I had just picked someone. It just seemed... wrong somehow. Also, I didn't include Ilanka in this drawing since she just wanted the applique' and she lives like 15 miles from me so she could always come over here and mug me for ask for one of the other ones.

So without further ado, I shall ask my roommate to pull a name out of a hat:

LADY CHERRY! Congrats! Email me at ladykatza (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll get it out to you.
Again, I'm sorry for any confusion. I was trying to make it fair as possible, I shook the hat really well.

*P.S. Funny side note, I had to crop the 'pulling out of hat' photo cause I realized that I my bra was sitting on the table in plain sight. DURRRR. While those that know me are accustomed to my leaving clothing (specifically, bras) in random places, I didn't really want to show the entire internet. Though its not really random because its important to have the correct bra for the outfit, particularly when fitting, so they have a tendency to end up on my cutting table... right. anyway.

Technical Difficulties

Since I can't seem to make the random number generator thingie to work in a way that seems fair, I'm going to do the old standby method (since it was only seven people) and draw names out of a hat.

Cause I'm 'special'.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Give-a-Way Clarification

Cause sometimes I'm 'special' I forgot to add that I'll be using a random number generator to pick the winner of the Haberdash once its closed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The 40's Dress!

Not only is this part of the "Great Vintage Sew-a-Long" it also keeps with my Spring Palette. I promise I will do a detailed construction post but this has been going on so long I just HAVE to get the photos up here now. Click to make them bigger!

Some of the modifications to the original pattern include piping, and a more of a flutter sleeve. I also whacked off six inches of length. I used a scalloped machine stitch to finish off the sleeves. My original inspiration had been from the below dress from the Ralph Lauren 2010 Spring Collection.

Also, don't forget to sign up for my Haberdash Give-a-Way. Tell all your sewing friends!

Oh Haberdash, a Give-A-Way!


(The ball of elastic is the draw-string type, perfect for yoga pants. Not shown, black 1inch wide elastic)

(There's two yards of the black lace and a couple of the gold)

Hello! This is a little later than I expected, but here it is. I have a plethora of notions and other haberdashery taking up space in my house. I'm going to give some of it away! There's some zippers, elastics of various types (including lingerie elastic), and a bit of trim and appliqué lace.

What to do? Follow me and comment on this post. Or if you already do then just leave a comment. And if you want to tell all your friends, point them in this direction and ask them to leave a comment. You have until Midnight on May 5th. (Cinco de Mayo!)

I may even throw in a vintage pattern. Possibly some vintage buttons, too. And stay tuned, my 40's dress is a hem away from being done and then its off to take some photos!

Stay Fab!