Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for Technology

So if my last post was nearly incoherent I would like to apologize. As my friend Janel pointed out, I really should sleep before posting. The twelve hour days I put in leaves my brain fried and when you add the "I just finished the week" drink to that... Well, I'm surprised I make any sense to myself.

Anywho.  How was your Thanksgiving? If you aren't in this country, did you do something anyway to celebrate and be thankful?  We threw together something at the last minute, all my husband's immediate family and my father made an item or two and we did it pot-luck style.  The cousins climbed trees and played Wii, though somehow my son managed to avoid photos.  So did I, for that matter.  We played Raymond's Raving Rabids and Wii Bowling.  Dad wasn't sure what to make of the cow tossing. Oh wait, not that link. This is the cow tossing one.

I have a blouse and a pair of pants cut out. Both of them Colette patterns.  I ran off and left my thumb drive at home so I don't have any sewing photos for you.  I do, however, have  a photo of my son completely mesmerized by the new washing machine that was delivered Sunday morning.

Can I wash clothes, Mom?  After you take a shower!
Amazing, isn't it?  I get a matching dryer in two weeks.  I broke my "no shopping on Black Friday" rule to get them half price after my old one died on me for a third time in two years. We've come a long way from this:

Could you imagine? They were amazing for their time.

and this:

Cause this sucked even more.

P.S. For those of you interested, more info on the new toy here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bi-Polar Weather

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the weather in this neck of the woods.  But to give you an idea we have a saying here in Atlanta  "If you don't like the weather, wait an hour".

Last week we had our first major frost. Due to the nature of the wonderful building codes of the '80s, my house has a permanent draft. Kinda like a castle but not nearly as defensible. However, thanks to the trees that fell on my house a couple years ago (and gave me a new roof and septic system), I now have an over abundance of firewood. Only half of which is in fireplace sizes because the huge pile is half buried under a pile of dirt thanks to the flooding of 2009. (My personal favorite photo of that here)  I'd like to add that the trees and the flood happened in the same year.  The year before I had a tree randomly fall on my car. In my driveway.

Seriously, I can't make this shit up.

More photos here

So anyway, for about a week my fireplace was like this:

But then another weather front came through and it warmed up. And guess what we got? FOG!  In fact, it was such a grand fog that after I got home from work yesterday morning I ran out in a t-shirt and underwear to take pictures.  My neighbors LOVE me.
My land actually ends at that yellow tree. The rest is "overflow control" for lake Allatoona.

Poor abandoned club house. Soon, its on the long list of "things to fix".

So after my somewhat indecent exposure I decided to go to bed.  But in sewing news, I think my mojo is starting to return.  The kids have been complaining about lack of sleep wear. Felicity has been sleeping in her  jeans and I'm like NO!  So I'm probably going to do some stash busting of old knits and make the kids several pairs.  In the meantime I pulled a UFO out of the "box of shame".  I cut this robe out with the intention of making it LAST Christmas. Its a size eight and  its HUGE. Turns out Felicity is inbetween a six and seven and I have to lengthen it just a bit.  This is the robe off of McCall's 4646.

I love this fabric.

Simon has this irritating habit (which I think he got from his father) to run around the house in his underwear and then complain about being cold.  I went looking for robe patterns, asked him if he wanted one and he said "A warlock robe? That would be cool!".  I said no, like the one you have and he gave me a disappointed "Oh.".  So I asked if he would actually wear the robe around the house if I made one like that and got a resounding YES!

*sighs*  Maybe I'll make myself a Morticia like dress/robe and my husband a smoking jacket. My roommate could be the butler and then all I need is "Thing".

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I seem to be unable to find my sewing mojo. And every time I say mojo, I think of the "Power Puff Girls".  I really am a geek for pop culture.  But really what this post is about is to say that I'm trying to get my will to sew back. I have lots of lists, and plans, and good intentions.  But instead I have insomnia, bouts of grief induced crying, and frustration.  It probably doesn't help that my mail-order pharmacy fubared the shipping of my anxiety meds AFTER I paid extra to have them overnight them. But they sent me my anti-inflammatory instead. The one I DON'T NEED.

And that just made me do this:

I did manage to make a blouse. If I can get some sleep and not look like a zombie I'll see about getting picks up.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finding Inspiration

So after my last failure I've felt a bit melancholy. Then I got my shiny new Colette Sewing Handbook in the mail.  I confess I ordered it so I could get my hands on the patterns, in particular the Truffle.  I think my favorite chapter of the book is "A Thoughtful Plan".  It ties into Colette's wardrobe challenges in really think about how to make things that work together. And knowing what works for your lifestyle and your body type. Which brought me back to what I was thinking about last post. Don't try to stick my square peg self in a round hole (or round peg in square hole? eh, whatever, you get what I mean).

And honestly, that got me to day dreaming. And poking around on Pinterest, which I'm sure everyone here has heard about right now. I stumbled up on this dress.

dress found here
Which, honestly, I was like OOO!  I love the black and white houndstooth with a pop of red.  Originally I had planned to use the below August 2011 Burda Style dress, but the sizing and instructions made reticent. Not to mention I wanted more sleeve and less... neck thing.
Please excuse blurry photo. 
wool/rayon houndstooth
 So I went looking for an alternative and found the following Vogue V8413 and the perfect rayon/wool blend houdstooth.  Match made in heaven!

Vogue 8413 View C
Now I have one thing to think about.  The other place inspiration has struck is in the form of impulsive fabric purchase.  But I don't feel one iota of guilt. This fabric screams NERD, but is posh at the same time. Pixalated charmeuse print  with random beading anyone?

I made the photo big because it totally deserves it. I've got a Laura Ashley pattern in my stash already that will be perfect for this. Its basically a lined princess seam sheath dress. 

Both of these will take a little time and a few muslins to get the fit right.  So to start I'm going to do a few knit-wear pieces that i know fit, just to feel some satisfaction. First will be this Vogue top:

Vogue 8649

In a slate blue bamboo knit.  And the second will be a pair of yoga pants out of some black sweatshirt knit my Mom left me that has tiny white high heals all over them. 

So... that's what I've been musing over when not contemplating all the crazy news going on here and abroad. Tell me, what has inspired you recently?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Living in Wadder-rita-ville

Wader-rita-ville is like Margarittaville* except there's more vodka and less tropical beaches.  And a lot of wadders sitting in the corner as everything I seem to be attempting to undertake for me lately has turned into a frustrating waste of fabric.  So, Lesson number I've-lost-count-at-this-point:  I have curves and no matter how hard I try to make it fit, garments like this one will look like over-sized sacks made out of pretty fabric. I seriously didn't even want to take pictures with it on, it was just that sad.  Non-poly fabric won't help any.  I need more 'shaping' in my garments, and that's that.   Here's some photos of some of the mods I made:

Hastily snapped photo
As you can see, there is a significant y-bust alteration that added a dart.  I also added a quarter inches to all the seems.  I FORGOT to cut it out with seam allowance so it was tight through the shoulders. something I could fix.  What I could NOT fix is the fact is that its suppose to be a slip-on blouse. I might have been able to "tuck it in" and make it wearable. But to make it not pool up over my backside would have required widening at the hips an amount that was just absurd. And then take a sway back adjustment.  In other words.. too much damn work for a style I shouldn't be wearing anyway.  So back to plan A.  Wait for another Vogue Pattern sale and get this one:

Vogue 8722
OH HEY THEY ARE ON SALE!  I tried to get this one at JoAnn's during the last 3.99 sale but they were out in my size.  This is what happens when you don't descend upon them as they  open of the first day of the sale.  POOOP.

So after this rather disappointing failure, despite the fact I managed to churn out a halfway decent looking project, I sewed up  a bat-wing blouse from this free burdastyle member pattern out of some gauze knit i got at for some absurdly stupid cheap price.  As a side note, don't stick rayon gauze knit in the dryer.  It shrinks, but only on one side and its... weird.  Lets just say to get "on grain" i had to cut it at a 45 degree angle and I had given up hope before I started.  Wouldn't you know I kinda love it and now I want a bunch of them to lounge around in with my yoga pants. 

Sooo.... yeah. I'm feeling kinda discouraged on the "things I can actually wear out of the house" front. I'm sure I'll pick up again and move on. So in the meantime, I give you the most awesome heaping pile of bizarre I've seen in a while.
You can buy her hat here.
You're welcome.

*As a funny side story, I am allergic to Tequila. It sort of took a while for two and two to connect as I thought it was just the mix of alcohols in a Long Island that made our designated driver stop the car so me and my best friend could hurl over the side of the I-75 overpass.  (Another side note, the propensity of goths to wear corsets to dance in makes vomiting physically problematic.)  AHHHH... the days of misspent youth.    In any case, it wasn't until later when I started breaking out into a rash every time it was time to do shots well... that ended that.  Then Dad happens to mention he has the same problem, and oh yeah, don't eat any guava products.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet my Nemesis

Curse you poly charmeuse! *shakes fist*

See that stuff up above? Its poly-charmeuse. Polyester charmeuse is pretty much the bane of my existence.  However,  I have yards of the stuff thanks to my lack of fabric knowledge In The Beginning. I'll take silk or rayon over polyester any day because, for reasons I'm sure I could find out, it just behaves so much better. YES the  natural fiber is still fussy and finicky, but at least I can iron the ever living mess out of it.

So, the project above is one I started, um, a couple months ago I think? Or maybe it was later, but I know it was about the time everything fell apart at once. Its the tie-blouse pattern from Burda 10/2011 .  This is suppose to be my 'wearable muslin' trial run, since ultimately I want to make it out of the Liberty of London lawn I got on my NYC trip. Have I posted my fabric haul from there?  Its on flickr, but here's a photo of the LoL (has no one else noticed that acronym?? cause its geek-tastic)...


Anyway,  I had to add a half inch of width to the back of the pattern and then do an FBA of almost three inches, which added bust darts to the front.  I also added 1/4 inches to the side seams of the blouse and the arms,  after also doing a large-arm adjustment.  The sleeve is suppose to be loose and flowing, which means I need about 18 in circumference as my biceps are 16 inches. I swear its not all flab, there was a time when I did all the wood chopping in the family (no, not kidding, i did. ask my dad).  Probably one of my favorite things about this pattern is the sleeves are not set-in sleeves.

So um...  I would also totally love to rant about work, but I'm contractually obligated to NOT. That and its usually a bad idea to do such things in this internet age, specially when you have co-workers that follow the blog (though none of THEM are my issue...).  Right.

I've noticed I've lost several followers the last few weeks. Probably because I've not been posting much at all. Hopefully that will be changing and I'll actually have something to blog about. Oh, yeah, THE GARAGE IS ALMOST DONE!  The end is in site and soon we will have a third bedroom. There will be pictures soon.

Oh, and I have a couple cool, semi-big announcements in the world of Internet Recognition soon. But now its time to crawl into my coffin go to bed.