Monday, December 31, 2007

No Happy Pants Here

That pic just cracks me up. Alex looks so mad and it's a totally fake face he's making, just because the camera was out. But it *is* an actual representation of how he feels about Simplicity 3891.

Did I mention earlier that I was going to sew for me again? Well, scratch that. I couldn't get motivated on starting a project for me and well, I've been wanting to try this Simplicity pattern for my guys. Too bad the pants are ridiculously baggy since they had some promising design features that you never find in the meager offerings for men's patterns.

I don't think I've ever made a muslin for anything I've sewn for the men in the family. But something told me to do so for these pants. Maybe it was the 27+" hem circumference?? Sheesh. Yep, the legs are as wide as that hem measurement indicates. And much too wide to be taken seriously by my teenage son. I'm so glad I didn't just plunge right in with the good fabric.

There's also something going on with the back besides just too much leg width. Yes, Alex has definitely inherited his mother's ample derriere, but these pants make it look more like a woman's rear end than anything else I've ever seen him wearing. That just ain't right, and no, I'm not going to tell him I said this. Nevermind that I said it for the entire world to read. LOL!

But seriously, as I was cutting out the pattern tissue, I was already thinking that the curvy shape of the hip/waist looked more like a woman's pattern than any other men's pattern I've seen or made. Now I know why.

I could alter the heck out of this pattern and end up with something wearable or I could just make a note of the knee pleats, keep the pockets that I liked and toss the rest. Guess which is my first choice? ;-)

Although I keep looking at the rear view pic and wondering if maybe *I* should try on the muslin …

In the Bag

I finally started, and finished, mom's by-request purse today. All of my Christmas sewing is now officially done. Hey, at least it's still 2007.

I made a few of these purses about 5 years ago, when I first started sewing. Vera Bradley bags were really "it" then, and a local sewing machine dealership offered classes for making Vera-clones, based on Simplicity 7098 (OOP).

The class pretty much followed the pattern but the instructor showed how to add pockets inside and outside since the Simplicity pattern does not include any. I was hoping I had taken some notes. But I didn't. So I had to really dig into the memory banks to try to remember what I did. Luckily, I took pics of two of my earlier bags so I could refer to those. Also luckily, nice pre-quilted fabrics are more readily available now and I didn't have to quilt the main fabric myself like I did years ago. That takes forEVER. (Mom picked out this fabric so I know she'll like it.)

I changed some of the construction for this bag to reduce bulk at the seams, and I fully enclosed the top zipper. It's hard to explain without being able to show you what I did before and what I did now so you'll just have to take my word for it that my construction knowledge improved enough since I last made one of these so that I could "engineer" it much better. ;-)

Here's the inside. Lots of pockets, which I did always really like about this bag. I also added a small zippered pocket to this bag, which is hard to see since the fabric is mostly black. It's the pocket that's closest to the "front" in the pic. That's something I remember wishing I had when I was using one of these bags myself.

When I was making this, I completely forgot that I needed to match the stripes at the top. Oops. I ripped out one of the panels and re-did it again to match stripes. Those notes I didn't take would've helped me avoid that goof.

This is the first one I made, in that class. (See, those stripes are lined up so I should've known better today!)

And this was the second. It looks saggy because it was fully loaded!

Both are long gone now. I never did take a pic of the original purse I made for my mom. I did take a pic of another similarly-styled tote I made for her in 2002 (different custom pattern from the same instructor). Amazingly it's still in service, as mom is using it on her current trip to Florida. And, it still looks pretty darn good. ;-)

Mom will be back over this way in a couple of days and then she can collect her belated gift. Meanwhile, I can think about sewing for ME again. ;-)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Still On Holiday Hiatus

My mom and her "beau" left this afternoon for her beach rental about an hour south. My sister and brother-in-law are due in a few hours (about 2 AM!) after a straight drive-through from Richmond, Virginia. I just now finished the shirt above for my BIL (KS 2935). And you thought YOU were cutting it close for Christmas presents??

What's even worse is that I still haven't started the purse for my mom. But she's going to be in Florida for 2 more weeks so I still have time. ;-) I'll work on it over the weekend and early next week and give it to her before she leaves for the frozen north again.

Our Christmas Day was low key. We didn't even open presents until just before lunchtime, when my mom & Bob arrived. What a difference having nearly-grown kids makes. Sleeping in on Christmas — how nice! We had a very casual, light lunch and then a full-blown ham Christmas dinner with the usual trimmings, but still very casual even if we ate in the formal dining room with the good china and silver.

My older son gave me a DVD board game called Scene It, which is sort of like Trivial Pursuit but for movies and with a television component. Since the guys see nearly every movie and multiple times when it's on DVD or cable, they answered most questions quite easily. I think this is why DS picked that game, knowing it is one of the few chances they do have to beat me at some sort of trivia. ;-)

Yesterday morning, we all took the dogs to the dogpark and enjoyed the sunshine and warm breeze for a few hours. The dogs ran and ran and ran (well, not Pepper) and collapsed in sleepy near-comas for the rest of the afternoon and evening (this Pepper did participate in).

We started playing Dominos around the kitchen table in the late afternoon. Mom & Bob are regular players and brought them on their trip. We took a break for dinner, and then continued playing until after 1 AM. It was fun. But I still can't believe how long we played!

Now off to dig out the wrapping paper again so I can have these gifts ready before the next houseguest shift arrives.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

For BeckyW

Here's the pic that was missing from yesterday's post. It's today's lunch and I'm eating it now so I'm not baking on an empty stomach.

Becky, I don't really have a recipe but I'll try to reconstruct what I did. For soups and stews, I tend to inventory what I have on hand and go from there.

I started with a little olive oil and chopped garlic in the bottom of a large pot over medium heat. I sautéed 1-1/2 onions (the other 1/2 is in the bread), carrots and celery left over from finger food during last week's football games and cut up soup size (about 2 big handfuls of each). Those continued to sautée while I was cubing 3 boneless chicken breasts, which I added to the mix and continued to cook until the chicken was fully-cooked.

I added some dried dill (about 2 T), salt (1 tsp) and pepper (1/2 tsp) and 3 peeled, cubed white potatoes (peeled). I let all of that simmer a bit and then I added 6 cups of chicken broth and another 6-8 cups of water (my pot is a big pot!).

I looked in the fridge to see what else I could empty and toss into the soup. I found about 3/4 cup of corn (I had used the rest for quesadillas on Wednesday) and 2 green onions so I tossed them in too. I also found some leftover cooked elbow macaroni, which I put on reserve to add at the end.

I started the soup after I had the bread dough going in the machine and then let it simmer until the bread was finished baking.

Before serving, I poured about 3/4 cup of cream and 1 T of cornstarch into the blender, whipped them together so the mixture wouldn't be lumpy, and then stirred the mixture into the simmering soup. After that, I added the macaroni and turned off the burner. The macaroni was already cooked and the hot soup heated it up almost instantly.

So, that's it.

For a recap of ingredients:

3 cubed boneless chicken breasts
1-2 yellow onions, sliced
a few green onions, sliced (optional)
diced carrots, about 3/4 cup
diced celery, about 3/4 cup
olive oil (about 1 T)
3/4 cup corn (frozen or canned)
3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup pasta, precooked and drained
chicken broth/bouillon (enough to equal 4-6 cups)
garlic, chopped (1-2 tsp)
1 T dill (or more, to taste)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 T cornstarch
water (4-6 cups)

The amount of liquids depends on your pot size and how much soup you want.

The soup is even better today. But now I'm done with my early lunch and it's time to mess up the kitchen again. I didn't really gain any space in the fridge since I have a big container of leftover soup in lieu of smaller containers, but we'll be eating it today and tonight and by tomorrow it should be gone. Still, this week I'm particularly glad I have the second fridge out on the back porch. ;-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Plug for Sidewalk Shoes

I've had Sidewalk Shoes in my sidebar for a long time. It's one of my favorite blogs to read. I love what Pam puts together in her kitchen and her writing style, and her photos always look so darn appetizing. IOW, don't read when you're hungry. ;-)

This morning I took a peek at the latest entry and resistance was futile. I had already been thinking about making soup to empty out some space in the fridge in anticipation of Christmas Dinner preparations and leftovers. Her foccacia bread pushed me over the edge. Soup and foccacia for dinner it would be.

Although I didn't realize it this morning when planning, my foccacia would be the "poor woman's" version since I later found out I was very low on Rosemary and completely sans sea salt. (Already added to tomorrow's shopping list.) I subbed some thyme and tarragon and a pinch of chipotle.

When the bread came out of the oven, DS#1, who works at The Cheesecake Factory, couldn't get the plate of olive oil & ground pepper prepared fast enough — trying to impress us with his presentation knowledge. ;-)

Anyway, my point (yes, I do have one) is that this bread is absolutely delicious! And incredibly easy to make with a bread machine (Belinda, are you listening?). I made it this afternoon in the middle of holiday baking. Just a few minutes to toss the ingredients into the machine pan, and then later a few more minutes to turn the dough out into the pan. The machine, yeast, and oven do all of the hard work. I am definitely making this again next week when my mom, sister, and spouses are here.

The creamed chicken soup was very good too, but I forgot to take a photo of that while we had some in bowls. A shot looking down in the pot wouldn't do it any justice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Groovy Scrub

One more gift is done on the to-make list. This is another scrub top for my sister using Kwik Sew 3201.

In the past, I've had questions about how I do the neckline so I took some pics while making this one.

In this pic, the two neckband strips (the polka-dot fabric) are sewn together at the bottom of the vee, which you can see in the second pic below. The vee of the neckline has been staystitched and clipped per the pattern instructions, and the seam allowances for the entire neckline are pressed under. The neckband strips are laying under the neckline, stuck in place with Collins Wonder Tape. (Remember to click the photos to enlarge them.)

This is the wrong side of the pic above. You can see the stitching at the intersection of the neckbands. No stitching to attach the neckbands to the neckline has been done yet.

To attach the neckbands, I serge the raw edges of each neckband strip and corresponding neckline seam allowance, one at a time, moving the body of the top out of the way so that only the straight edge of the neckbands and neckline pass through the serger.

After the two passes through the serger, I turn the top to the right side and press the seam allowances toward the body of the top. I then topstitch the neckline, catching the overlocked/pressed seam allowances as I do so. I also stitch a diamond at the bottom of the neckbands to hold the cross-over together.

Not much to it, eh? But I find it a lot easier this way than to align dot marks at the points, pin, etc., etc.

Tomorrow, more baking, working on my brother-in-law's shirt, and boxing up some things for a Post Office pick-up.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Unenthusiastic Model

OK, so it's dinner time and he really wanted to be eating lasagna instead of modeling, but I twisted his arm.

As promised, DH is modelling the outfit I made for my FIL. It was now or never as it must get packaged up and sent off on Monday. Keep in mind that my FIL is 3-4 inches taller than DH and has longer legs and arms. And the "Redskins" on the front really isn't crooked. It's DH who is standing more slumped than straight. It must be the hunger. ;-)

Dani had to see what was going on, of course, so she's front and center.

I haven't sewn a stitch since my mad-dash white tee but I have cut out a few gifty items. I'll sew those tomorrow during the football games. Tonight, I'm starting the baking marathon. After the lasagna, of course. ;-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Answering Some Comments

Thank you EVERYONE for all the nice comments you leave for me. It's really nice to read them and I appreciate it very much.

Some answers to some recent questions:

Nancy K: "What pattern are you using for your jeans? They look great."

Thanks! I'm using Simplicity 4068, OOP (link to my review on PR). The pattern has back waist darts, not a yoke. I added a yoke for my last make.

Gaylen: (On the shirts for my FIL and DS) Can we get more info on the fabrics - where purchased, etc.

Believe it or not (I still can't), the fabric comes from Joann's. It's a cotton/poly blend jersey with some body. Perfect for loungewear. It was a recent purchase (I bought white too, and that's what I used for yesterday's Ottobre tee) so it should still be available.

Kat: DH has just requested a Dolphins shirt in the same style. Do you use Embird for the embroidered letters?

Actually, I used my HV "VIP Quick Font." It's an older program now, but I don't do nearly enough embroidery to warrant upgrading it. I have Embird for editing and have thought about the Font Engine because I hear it does a pretty good job. But the program I do have does OK too, so I just keep using it.

Laceflower: Please share how you made the iron on logo for your DH.
Julie: How did you make the iron-on logo?

First, I already had the font from a project for a local client or else I probably would've spent hours looking for it. But that's not really what you're asking, I think. The iron-on is easy-peasy. You just need transfer paper for dark fabrics. It has a white base, instead of clear like you usually find at places like Office Depot, etc. Then you print on it with an inkjet just like regular printer paper, peel off the backing, arrange it on the tee/whatever, cover it with the parchment paper/vellum that's included in the pack, and press with a dry iron for 20-30 seconds. I buy mine from It lasts pretty well, although after a lot (think teen sons) of laundering, it does begin to crack a little. Not bad though, and it doesn't flake off and the colors don't fade. You just end up with a "distressed" iron-on, which is still very fashionable. ;-)

Jodi: What pattern is your jacket? I looked at your earlier entries, but I couldn't find it. I really like it.

Thank you! It's #128 from the 04/2006 issue of Burda WOF. My review is here. If you click on "Jackets" in the Labels in my sidebar (scroll down, down), it should bring up all the entries related to making it. I don't make many jackets so those entries shouldn't be hard to single out.

Teddylyn: My youngest DS is a Redskins fan too and would love it if I could figure out how to digitize the logo like you did!

Send me an email to djc at cedesign dot com and I'll send it to you. It's for BIG hoops. Let me know what format you need.

Carolyn: And exactly how many Ottobre tees do you have now?

Counting the PJs I just made, I think I'm up to 10.

bishopfamily: May I ask what Ottobre you use?

All of my recent tees are from the 02/2007 issue of Ottobre Woman. It's still available on the Ottobre website here (click on English) and I think The Woolly Thread sells them too.

kasizzle: Wish I could get away with doing laundry only once a week!

Me too! I meant one load per week of *my* colored laundry which I separate from any of the boys' things out of self-preservation. ;-) BTW, I looked at your profile and if I'm not mistaken, you are in Valrico too? Is that right?

And now for some really old questions which I forgot to answer earlier:

Could I ask you whether you do a 'standard' FBA on your tops or do you have to start afresh with each and every one?

I'll quickly tissue fit a new pattern and make an FBA based on that, so yes, pretty much a new one for every pattern. I also use TNT patterns for comparison and will sometimes do the FBA based on that.

shorty: Oh one more thing about those chevrons, can you elaborate more on which direction they should go?

I think chevrons on a plus-size figure should be oriented so that the vee points down. That way, the illusion of the widest part of the chevron is not opening up and making waist & hips look larger. Instead, it's opening up at your face and creating the expected hourglass female figure. But that's just my 2 cents. ;-)

* * * * *

Chili has poked me in the leg with his nose at least 50 times while I was writing this (it's so darn cute, too). It's time for their walk and they know it, so that's what I'm off to do. And yep, Dani seems to be good as new. It's been one week since she was spayed and her incision is healing nicely so I'm going to let them run and run today. Maybe she'll exhaust her energy chasing Chili instead of on my patterns. ;-)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Was Your Day?

6:00 a.m.

DS: Mom, can you help me with this tie? Oh, and you don't have to come to the (wrestling) match tonight because there's no one at that school in my weight class so I'm not wrestling.

Me: Are you sure? (While really thinking, whew, I don't have to drive 45 minutes to that school tonight!)

DS: Yeah.

Me: OK. Call me when you get back to school and need a ride home. Have a good day, see you later, good luck to the team, love you, bye. ;-)

7:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Finishing up my PJs, taking pics, writing the blog entry, puttering around.

10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Shower, nail appointment, hour-long telephone call with my mom, take dogs for a walk, sort through old PJs, arrange new ones in closet, read email/blogs/etc. Fold clothes. And … throw in a load of my laundry.

3:31 p.m.


DS: Hi. Um. Coach said he called the other coach last night and there is someone in my weight class so I'm going to have a match.

Me: (Gulp.) OK, that's great! I'll see you there.

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Scramble madly through the closet for something to wear tonight. Casual, but not messy. Crap. I just put all my favorite clothes in the wash. Capris are out because it's going to be cooler temps tonight. Hmmm. I'd really like to wear my new brown jeans and my denim jacket I made last winter. But I have NO SHIRT to wear underneath it. Every darn tee I own is a print/pattern or green. Or in the washer.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Cut and sew a plain white gathered front Ottobre tee, grab brown jeans out of the dryer and give them a quick press. Belinda, do I have you beat on Ottobre tees yet? ;-)

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Throw together the lasagne I was planning for dinner, stick it in the oven, set timer, and give DS#1 instructions for when to remove it, letting it sit, etc.

Change clothes.

6:08 p.m.

Out the door and off to wrestling

7:25 p.m.

DS wins his match! (Woo hoo!) All that scurrying around for 45 seconds (yes, seconds) worth of wrestling is actually worth it.

7:35 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Run out to the McD's on the corner because DS is now complaining of being hungry/thirsty and this school's concession stand isn't open for whatever reason. Come back, toss hamburgers and a Coke at DS, watch the rest of the match, watch DS get on the bus, and then head for "our" school.

9:15 p.m.

Arrive back at DS' school, pick him up, and head for home.

9:25 p.m.

Wearing new PJs (after snapping dark blurry photo of tonight's outfit)!

* * * * *

Apparently there's a reason I don't have a stock of plain white tees:

I don't even know when I did this. Time to do laundry again.

Assembly Line

I'm happy to report that the Ottobre patterns are alive and well. ;-)

The reason I had them out to begin with was for a marathon PJ sewing session on Sunday. Needing to piece together and re-trace slowed me down a bit though and I didn't get all the PJs done on Sunday. I finished everything except waistbands for the pants by Monday night and this morning I completed those. I now have a selection of new pajamas to choose from at bedtime tonight (and tomorrow, and the day after!).

First up, a rayon/Lycra turquoise and green jersey print top with turquoise interlock pants and matching turquoise binding on the neckline. While I was re-tracing patterns Sunday morning, I also traced the 3/4 sleeves.

To wear with this top, green interlock pants:

Here's a close-up of the sleeve vent (coverstitched, of course!) for the 3/4 sleeve.

Pink/white rib pants, white jersey with matching print sleeves and neck binding. I have PJ pants from this same print but they have seen better days. Now I can toss them. And I still have enough left for one more pair in the future. Why did I buy so much of this?? It must've been really cheap. (And yes, it is, but just fine for PJs.)

Blue rib print with coordinating periwinkle rib top, neckline and sleeve hems bound with the print.

And a 3/4 sleeve top from the same print:

Close-up of the neckline binding and sleeve vent:

All tops are the gathered front tee from Ottobre Woman 02/2007. I added an extra inch in length to the tops since I like longer tops for sleeping. All pants are Kwik Sew 2779. KS 2779 is a no-sideseam pattern for knits. It takes very little fabric and with only one pattern piece it sews up in a flash.

I goofed when cutting some of the tops because I wasn't paying attention to my notes on my tracing. The short story is some of the necklines are wider than intended. But no problem on PJs since I won't be wearing a bra with them anyway. In other words, no worries about straps peeking out. I caught my mistake about halfway through cutting so some are as intended and a couple are not.

All fabrics are from stash so it was nice to put a dent into it. I still have quite a few fabrics earmarked for PJs that are taking up room so maybe after the holidays, I'll do another PJ marathon. You'd think this would be enough, but much of my current "wardrobe" of PJs is looking rather worn and I like to have a new pair for every night without needing to do laundry more than once a week.

Up next is more Christmas sewing. I think I'll do the scrub for my sister before starting in on mom's purse.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Dog Ate My … Patterns!

And not just any patterns. My absolutely positively most favorite patterns. Yes, my Ottobre tee shirt patterns!!!

When I walked into my sewing room last night to turn off the lights, etc. before going to bed, I found shreds of Swedish Tracing Paper at the doorway. My first thought was that Dani had done her usual deed of pulling stuff out of the trash basket. But before I could even finish that thought, I remembered that I had emptied the trash earlier and there was nothing in it for her to pull out. And then I panicked.

My heart sank when I recognized that the shreds were my Ottobre tee patterns because it wasn't going to be as easy as simply re-tracing them since I had blended between sizes. I gathered up all the pieces and laid them on my cutting table. As I started smoothing them flat, I saw that, with some work, they could be salvaged enough for me to retrace. I also saw that only the 3 torso pieces were damaged and that all of the sleeve pieces were untouched. I went to bed.

This morning I got out the Ottobre pattern sheet, laid the main torso pieces on it and tried out the various shreds as you would with a jigsaw puzzle. My favorite of these patterns (the gathered front tee) was the worst damaged. Almost the whole shoulder area — a spot I always modify on any pattern — was missing and there was a good-sized chunk out of the neckline. I felt lucky that I had marked my blending between sizes very well, which made it so much easier to re-map what I had done.

I pressed the little shreds flat and with some trial and error got them back to the most important areas. Then I taped them in place, slid some more STP underneath where there were still holes and retraced those areas.

This is what the pattern pieces look like at the moment, with the leftover shreds sitting in the middle:

I'll retrace those onto some fresh STP and I'll be back to good as new. It was totally my fault for leaving the pattern pieces rolled up on the easily Dani-accessible botton shelf of my cutting table in anticipation of cutting today. Lesson learned.

At least it wasn't my TNT pants pattern.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Quick Pics

Here's the finished shirt for my father-in-law:

A close-up of the embroidery (with chalk lines still showing):

The near-duplicate shirt for DH from the fabric leftovers:

I took the easy way out on this one and made an iron-on Bucs logo instead of embroidering. I remembered that the Bucs embroidery design I used before is quite dense and I didn't want to distort the shirt and then wish I hadn't.

The pants for my FIL are done too. The lighting was really bad so details aren't showing very clearly and colors are off. I'm hoping to get DH to agree to a modeling session before I ship these off.

I added gray flat piping down the outseams:

And I changed the pattern to a full elastic waist with drawstring elastic. The fly has a real overlap but no zipper and so is for show only. It is sewn shut at the CF seam under the flap.

The shirts are Kwik Sew 2561 and the pants are Kwik Sew 2776. I've made this shirt pattern a number of times. It's definitely a keeper. This is my first make of the pants pattern, which is now a keeper too. It's really a pattern for wovens but I wanted to make knit lounge pants with front pockets and sideseams (vs. the no sideseam lounge pants I've previously made my FIL and DH) and the style of these fit the bill. I didn't make any modifications for using a knit except as noted above for the waistband and fly. If they're extra roomy, my FIL will like that just fine. I also added an extra inch of length to the legs and arms for my tall FIL and left off all but the front pockets on the pants.

I'll write up a "proper" review when I've got better pics.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Loungewear Factory

All of the machines are whirring away today. I've got the embroidery unit going on my FIL's shirt:

While that machine is embroidering, I used the serger and coverstitch machines to put together the sleeves and back of his shirt, Kwik Sew 2561:

This pullover from the NFL store is my inspiration:

And it dawned on me that the Tampa Bay Bucs are basically the same colors so DH is getting a shirt too from the fabric leftovers. The beginnings of his is laid out on the table waiting its turn in the production line. I think I'll use an iron-on for his instead of embroidering. First, I don't think I have the patience to make another logo and then sit and watch another big embroidery stitch out and second, he's really hard on clothes and it would irk me to see all that time end up as a yardwork shirt. ;-) Except, hmmm. I just remembered I already have the Bucs logo digitized. This is a hoodie I made for DS#2 a few years (and inches) back. Decisions, decisions.

Dani is feeling almost back to her self today, as you can see by her checking out the trash basket for something fun to dig out and carry off. She's still moving slower and is napping a lot, but the devilish gleam is definitely back in her eyes. Heaven help us. ;-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Poor Pup

Dani had her big surgery today and this is how she's feeling after being home about 20 minutes. They usually keep them overnight but I wanted her to be home with her family instead. The vet may be good, but I know we'll look after her much more carefully and lovingly.

Poor baby. She can't even walk straight right now. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. Hopefully by this time next week, she'll be back to her squirrel chasing, paper shredding, pillow chewing, Chili wrestling, sweet self.

Between trips to the vet today, I did trace the pattern for and cut out my FIL's pants. I still have to cut out the (previously traced) shirt, which I'll do in just a bit. Maybe I can even start sewing the outfit today. On the other hand, taking a cue from Chili and Pepper with a little nap snuggling next to Dani is sure tempting …

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Feeling Selfish

I really need to start working on some Christmas gift projects for a few family members. These are relatives that request and/or really appreciate the effort so that part is OK because I know the gifts will be well-received. It's just that I'm feeling selfish and want to keep sewing for me. OTOH, I don't want to be scrambling at the last second so I suppose I'll turn my attention to those gifts. Well, at least *some* of my attention. I still want to whip up some more Ottobre tees for me.

For my FIL, a lounge outfit in a Washington Redskins (a pro football team for non-U.S.'ers) theme. He really appreciates handmade gifts and since he's tall, he also appreciates that I can make him things with extra length where he needs it. I'll start his first since it has to be mailed.

For my mom, a by-request purse. I made a few of these Vera Bradley style purses years ago and she keeps hinting at how worn out hers is and how she'd love another one. I hope I can remember exactly what I did to make those. It was based on a Simplicity pattern but it was also a local class and I know we did some things differently. I hope I took some notes. I also hope my guess as to fabric requirements was close and that I'll have enough.

For my sister, a new scrub top or two. These are always on her list, no matter what the occasion. Hmmm. Maybe I should make her an Ottobre tee too.

My sister and mom will be visiting here (separately, and with their significant others) just after Christmas so I have a little extra time for their pressies since I don't have to mail them. All are patterns that I already own, which is good for the checkbook, and all fabrics have already been purchased. All I need now is a kick in the pants for some motivation.

Oh, BTW, in case you don't know … Blogger has a new feature where you can subscribe to comments for a particular post. This is a good way for me to answer if you've asked a question. So if you ask something, check that box and I'll reply via the comments. Then my answer will end up in your email Inbox. The only downside is that everyone else's comments to that entry will also end up in your Inbox. ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2007

The O Tees Finis

The tops are done. I took the pic of the Onion tee this morning and the Ottobre tee this afternoon. As you can see, the pants got progressively more wrinkled as the day wore on. And, yes, I am in North America and wearing capris and flip-flops in December. Hey, it was 85 degrees here today. I've been hearing about the snowstorms happening in the U.S. and I feel little jealousy pangs as I'm sweatin' walking the dogs. The grass is always greener (or whiter!), isn't it?

First up is the Onion:

A close-up of the buttons:

And, on me:

Next, the Ottobre tee. I think I've already said it, but it bears repeating. This fabric is so nice. Wonderful drape, easy to work with, and half the weight of EOS Buttermilk. Poly isn't my usual first choice in fabrics but this is obviously a modern poly and will be quite comfortable, even on a hot day like today. I know I'm going to be wearing this one often; it just plain feels good.

Look ma! No brown binding!

And on me, with a goofy smile:

Now off to edit my pattern reviews on PR to get those u-g-l-y Butterick muslins out of the sidebar widget queue. Or at least moved down.