Thursday, June 29, 2006

Go with your instincts (and not your fatigue)

Plan A was the button/buttonhole. Plan B at 2:00 in the morning of became the Velcro closure. As DH was handing me the birthday shorts during laundry collection today, he asks if I could sew a button on the waistband. Seems he keeps popping the Velcro when he sits. :-) So I fessed up and admitted that a button closure was my first choice too but the hurry-up factor had set in and I decided to substitute the Velcro.

Which is silly now that I'm thinking about it because I think it took all of 15 minutes total to rip out the Velcro from both sides of the closure, sew the buttonhole and attach the button by machine.

They're in the washer now and hopefully the old stitching holes will close up, never to be seen again. But the good news is that obviously DH is planning to wear these again. If he was just being polite, the closure problem never would've been mentioned.

The jury's still out

So this, the free preview & premier issue of Blueprint (a Martha Stewart Living publication), arrived in my mailbox on Tuesday. At first glance, I'm not sure what to think. I will say that my overall initial impression is that it's hard to tell the content from the advertisements and the layout is a bit too cutesy for me. Why I'm mentioning it here, though, is one of the editors, Katie Hatch, is a sewer and her bio blurb says she makes most of her wardrobe herself. So maybe there's hope for the fashion portions of this new rag?? We'll see. I don't know how many others will read the "fine print" on the editors or if there'd be any impact at all even if they do.

There's also a free dress pattern download (designed by Katie, natch) for a grown-up version of what I've known as a pillowcase dress. Blueprint refers to it as "elegant." I know I'm not a fashion plate, but somehow a sack belted in the middle doesn't meet my expectations of elegant. Cute, comfy, casual -- now those are the adjectives that come to my mind and this would work for a fun summer frock on a slimmer figure than mine. I also found the cost breakdown of the outfit interesting. The fabric and cord were $76 (the fabric is $35/yd. silk twill). The belt is $150, the earrings $50, and the bracelet $449. For a total of $725. Hmmm ... maybe that's why the Blueprint editors dubbed it elegant??

But go ahead and download it, even if you know you'll never sew it. Hopefully Blueprint will be tracking the downloads and if this one is popular, maybe there will be a next. And maybe that one will be elegant. We need to encourage all the home sewing promotionals we come across.

ETA: Drat! I had links which should've put you directly at the magazine contents, editorial, and download pages, but they're not working as they should. You should be able to find everything easily though once you're on Blueprint's site.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Birthday Shorts

Technically, I finished these before DH's birthday since they were wrapped and waiting when he woke up. But in actuality, I was still sewing long after midnight. I called it quits sometime around 2 a.m. WHY do I always get these Bright Ideas at the last minute?? I never did get to measure his RTW shorts inseam so these were wrapped with serged but unhemmed legs. It only took 10 minutes to finish them this morning and DH has been wearing them ever since.

I should've just hemmed them because I had guessed correctly -- adding a 1.5" to the length and then sewing a 1" hem seems to be the perfect length. Oh well, better safe than sorry and DH really didn't mind. (He's great that way.) Since I was running behind, I also made the Executive (time-saving) Decision to just go with the Velcro waist closure instead of a button. DH doesn't seem to mind that either and since I had some No-Snag Velcro, I'm hoping I won't mind come laundry day.

All of the details and more photos can be seen in the review for Pattern Review, here. Oh, and in case you're wondering, that's my older son in the photo with DH.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Next up on the cutting table

As I mentioned earlier, DH's birthday is Tuesday. He's already getting concert tickets to see one of his favorite bands from the 70s/80s (Little River Band) but I thought I'd add something he can use a little sooner since the concert isn't until August.

Tonight, I've cut out Kwik Sew 2936 from a khaki twill that's been aging in the stash longer than I can now remember. I wanted to measure the inseam of his favorite similarly-styled shorts but of course he was wearing them today. So instead, I guessed my best and added an inch and a half to the length and I'll hopefully be able to sneak a measurement tomorrow (or at least sometime before I have to hem them).

Pattern changes I have already decided on include leaving off the eyelets and drawstring at the waist and using a button/buttonhole closure instead of the Velcro recommended by the pattern directions. I hate what Velcro does in the washer/dryer when males (at least the ones in *this* house) forget to stick it to itself before tossing into the laundry bin. The pattern has side cargo pockets and one rear pocket. I may need to enlarge the rear pocket because DH's wallet is the larger bi-fold type. Another measurement to sneak in when he's not looking.

Now, off to check the thread and zipper supply to see if I need to make an early trip to Joann's before starting.

And they're off!

No, not the panties shown above -- I'm just continuing on the racing theme title from my first test post.

So, here I am, too, writing a sewing (and probably other stuff) blog. Do you think it's too crass to start off with a photo of my underwear?? Well, maybe if you're a diva, but I'm not. It's just my latest project and I had to start somewhere, right? Hey, at least they're clean. ;)

I'm not sure where this blog will go and I can't believe I'm looking at HTML code again, which I used to do all the time before I decided I'd rather be sewing. I'm hoping to chronicle on a (semi?) regular basis my sewing projects, thoughts about them and other things, and to maybe instruct, inspire and entertain along the way. As I arrange the virtual furniture in this place, certain layout features may change (or not, if I'd rather be sewing). I hope it doesn't make you dizzy.

So, back to the undies. Yep. I sew my own underwear. Five years ago I would've bet the farm that I'd never utter that sentence, nevermind that it would be true! But then I decided, well, why not? I always have plenty of knit scraps because I seem to regularly buy at least a half yard more than I need and what's better under the street clothing I make than a foundation that really fits.

My TNT (tried-n-true) undies pattern is Kwik Sew 2908. There's a variety of styles (and sizes) although I haven't made any view other than View A. I reviewed this pattern on Pattern Review if you'd like to read all the details. (I sure hope these links are working the way I plan. If not, stay tuned and I'll sort it out eventually.)

Speaking of five years ago ... that's when I became obsessed with sewing. I think I'll save the "About Me" stuff for another post because right now I have a pattern and fabric waiting to be cut, and well ... I'd rather be sewing! My DH has been especially nice the last few days so I'm going to sew a new pair of casual khaki shorts for him. Oh, and his birthday is on Tuesday so maybe I'll even get them done by then. More on those later too.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Let's see if this thing is really working ...