Friday, November 30, 2007

Brown Jeans (Dirty Mirror)

ETA: OK, I see this is a known issue and we'll just have to wait for Blogger to fix the problem. Help! Blogger is doing something weird with my photos. If you click on them to enlarge, please tell me if you're getting a download warning dialog box instead of just being taken to the page with the bigger photo.

Yes, I really need to clean this mirror this weekend. Ewww. And I was too lazy to set up the tripod, so what I ended up with was this dark, blurry, can't-see-anything-photo. So, imagine the best-fitting, most-flattering pair of brown jeans you've ever seen. LOL! Seriously, after the fiasco with the first rendition of the back yoke, these turned out very well. I like them a lot. I'll like them even better when this past Thanksgiving leaves my waist. We won't even talk about the Thanksgivings before then that really need to leave the waist & hips as well. ;-)

Nothing fancy for the topstitching. I'm feeling kind of blah and boring this week. I did one row of regular straight stitch and then two rows of triple straight stitch on front and back pockets, inspiration for which was stolen right from one of the photos/drawings in a recent Ottobre Woman.

The waistband facing is a brown & aqua polka-dot cotton. The fly facing (not shown) doesn't match, but it does coordinate. I used scraps from this skirt fabric.

I'm going to cut another Onion top tonight. It's all ready to go. It's just me and the dogs here tonight so I might even sew too.

I should also cut another (or twenty) Ottobre tee like the one I'm wearing in the photo above. I wear this one and my other Ottobre tees ALL THE TIME. I haven't worn the first make of the Onion top very much because the weather turned too warm again. It just hangs in the closet waiting for the temps to drop below 80. Don't feel too jealous if you're in the cold climates — some of the humidity has returned too. Ugh. Living in Florida has a lot of perks, but I'm really ready for some long-sleeves weather to stick around more than a week.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Sewing

I'm finally over the turkey slowdowns and am almost done with the brown jeans, just some topstitching, hemming and the button closure left to do. The Eagles were so close to serving the Patriots a slice of humble pie that I was glued more to the game than my sewing. But during commercials ;-) I took a few pics.

First up, how I add twill tape to stabilize stretch denim. I know I've mentioned doing this before but I don't recall showing photos.

In this pic, I've already sewn the waistband to the top of the jeans and to the right of the needle is the seam allowance for that. The twill tape is laid just inside the stitching line on the seam allowance, waistband side up. I move my needle a few blips to the right and sew the twill tape 1:1 to the seam allowance, with that stitching line being very close to the original waistband stitching.

The seam allowances are pressed up and the waistband facing covers them, with the twill tape encased inside. This simple little step keeps the waistband exactly as I've fitted and sewn it and prevents my jeans sliding down by mid-afternoon. (Do this at the end of the day when the tummy is fullest or you may wish you did!)

Next, a comparison shot of my yoke goof. On the right is the corrected and finished yoke. I decided to go ahead and correct/redraft it this morning. On the left is the much-too-long first try yoke. I wish I had thought to measure the yoke of a pair of RTW jeans before just eyeballing the first one, since I do have one or two pairs in my closet. I would've saved time and a replacement fabric purchase. Live and learn. But the yoke is the perfect size now so all's well that ends well.

If you click on that pic to enlarge it, you can see that I also changed the grainline for the yoke, so that the striping would chevron. I caught this uh-oh too late on the first yoke but let it slide because I knew it wouldn't really show. I'm glad I didn't bother with it since all of those pieces ended up being trashed anyway.

The final photo shows the knit I have out for after I finish the jeans. It's either going to be another Onion top with shorter sleeves or another Ottobre gathered front tee. If I decide on the Onion top, I'll need to buy some buttons. (The sticker on it reads "Prewashed," which should be self-explanatory. I use these because I don't overlock knits to prewash them.)

Now off to bed since it's back to the real world tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I had hoped to have some sewing to show but I've been a turkey/tryptophan slug and have barely seen the sewing room. The turkey is almost gone now. The turkey leftovers soup above is for dinner tonight with this bread, which used up the leftover mashed potatoes. I threw in some onion flakes and dill too and it is yummy stuff with a wonderful crust (see all those crumbs!). The rest of Thursday's leftovers are nearly gone too. Three big males in the house plus three dogs means a 23 lb. turkey and side dishes don't last as long as I thought they might. I should know better.

I haven't left the house since Wednesday night. The thought of hoards of people shopping yesterday didn't interest me in the least. I'd rather pay full price than to deal with that mess.

The Godfather I/II remix is on the tube right now and I always glue myself to the TV when it is. I don't know why, since we have the DVDs. It's just one of those things. But I think I'll move up to the sewing room and turn it on there and maybe make some progress on something. My replacement brown denim arrived Wednesday and it's been prewashed so what I really need to do is rip out the wadder back legs from the jeans I started a few weeks ago. We'll see. That tryptophan is some powerful stuff. ;-)

Hopefully the next time I post I'll have something other than another food photo.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I started the day's kitchen duties making this apple pie, crust from scratch too (which I don't usually do since the refrigerator crusts at the store are pretty good, but I forgot those. Oops.). The lattice isn't the neatest and the apple filling ran over, but it tasted quite yummy — which goes to show you that looks aren't everything. ;-)

After the pie, the turkey went into the oven. Every time I make a turkey, I am so grateful for the double ovens here at the Money Pit. I can put the big bird into the bottom oven, forget about it until it's done and still have a full oven's worth of space above. I may not yet have a real floor in the kitchen, but I love it all the same.

Once the turkey was underway, I continued with 18 dozen of 3 different kinds of cookies. Those are for DH to take when he goes back on the road, and for the teenage eating machines during the coming week. I figured I was already trashing the kitchen, so why not. I think 2 dozen have already been vacuumed up. I had to hide the rest for a couple of days.

After the cookies, it was potato peeling time. White potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for a casserole with pecans, brown sugar, butter, condensed milk, and cinnamon. I don't make a traditional pumpkin pie because this casserole takes its place and we like it better. The pecans, butter and brown sugar are mixed together (with a bit of flour) and folded into the whipped potatoes to bake up crunchy and streusel-like.

Then it was time to put together the perverbial green bean and french fried onion casserole (DS#1's favorite) and sautee onions and celery and apples for the stuffing.

Everything came together on time and we stuffed ourselves like most other Americans today. The feast leftovers are now packed away and taking up every spare inch in the fridge. I won't have to cook again for days.

I hope your day was as peaceful and full of family & love as ours.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Frayed Pieces

This is what happens when (1) you leave pillows unattended, (2) the DH isn't keeping an eye on the dog hooked up to the outside line, and (3) you rearrange the furniture so that the sofa backs right up to your desk.

The white snips on the table are the plastic insides of pillow welting. Yes, Dani snagged another one. By the time she outgrows this, the pillows will be round instead of square as I keep sewing the corners inward. She has a thing (whatever it is) for plastic. She chewed the (plastic) zippers. I sewed the pillows permanently shut. Then she must've smelled the plastic cording inside the welts around the pillows. I sewed those nibble holes shut. But she keeps finding the rest of the cording and nibbling. I keep fixing them. There's no way I'm about to buy or make new pillows until she's over this. Any visitors to the family room will just have to deal with the lopsided pillows for a while. ;-)

The black pieces are one of our leashes and the harness we bought for Dani for hooking her up to the zip line DH put in last week. DH was outside this morning relocating two bushes from right in front of the dining room window to either side of our front door so the (spoiled rotten) dogs can see out the window better. He had the pooches out with him but wasn't really watching the whole time. Dani is a fast chewer. The leash was only in two pieces so easy enough to zigzag back together, almost as good as new. The harness, however, needs webbing replacement. I'll head to Joann's tonight or tomorrow and buy a couple of yards. But as I type, I'm thinking I should get enough to do this twice, going on Dani's track record.

The nose is Chili's. He now delights in getting onto the back of the sofa and walking straight onto my desk/table. It's behind me as I type on the computer so when I hear papers rustling, I know he's peeking over my shoulder. Silly dog. We really do not allow our dogs to walk on the furniture (save for the family room sofas and my bed). But how can you yell at that face?

I'll be busy over the next couple of days …getting ready for Turkey Day and all and maybe sewing myself a new tee … and I'm not sure if I'll remember to post on the actual day. So, if I don't, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates. Happy November 22nd to those who don't.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Metza Metz

That's my childhood Italian slang for so-so (which you say while rotating your hand back and forth), and my general opinion of the "blouse" pattern from Connie Crawford's Butterick 5053.

CC stresses that her patterns are designed, sized and graded so that you should pick your blouse/top size by your full bust measurement. My full bust is 47-48" (depending on the hour/day/week!) so I chose the 1X, which is one size larger than the pants pattern I made up yesterday. I made it up with no alterations whatsoever. Clearly, this bust circumference isn't working for me. My chest is being smushed and there are all kinds of unsewn dart folds radiating around the girls.

To more clearly illustrate that point, here's what happens when I lift my arms and don't immediately pull the top back down. It gets stuck on the "terrain." Nice, eh?

A good thing about this pattern, though, is that it does not have the linebacker shoulders you see when commercial patterns are graded up to larger sizes. My shoulders are on the narrow side. I always chop off at least 1/2" from other patterns (even after reducing for the linebacker factor). This one is fitting pretty well in the shoulders. And, as I guessed a few days ago when preflighting the pattern against one of my TNTs, it is definitely drafted for more square shoulders, as I have. I don't think I'd need to make any further "squaring" adjustment. I would still need to take in the shoulder width but that's my body, not the pattern in this case. If you do not have narrow shoulders, it should fit you here great.

Here's a shot of the side. The sleeve is a little too snug, and waaaay too long, but that's to cover up my unattractive arms, right? ;-) I've cut the sleeve on the hem line so this is the finished length. All of these problems are easy fixes. It is hanging pretty well on grain, though, so that's good. The armhole is a bit low, but not nearly as low as I see with Big 3/4 patterns. Again, another easy fix.

The back has problems too. It's too long between shoulder and waist, which is a problem I have on most other patterns as well. It's probably also too long in the front in the same area but it's harder to tell since it's too tight across the girls. It's not as snug as it looks here while I'm trying to take a back angle shot but since I chose a pattern that is one size larger than the pants I just made, I expected to have a bit more room at the hips. Wrong. It's at the verge of too tight. Why wouldn't the sizing be consistent across pieces in the same envelope? Speaking of envelopes and hips, this pattern in the smaller size range includes a side seam vent at the bottom with pattern pieces that jut out at the bottom, if you know what I mean. Not hard to make up myself but why doesn't the plus size pattern include this same detail as the smaller range? For heaven's sake, if anyone needs a vent at the hips, it's us with the bodacious booties.

Here I've pinned out a 1/2" tuck across the back. If I wasn't trying to juggle a camera and mirror, it would look a lot better and the neck wouldn't be gaping.

Now that I've covered the fit issues, I'll address the style problems. This is not sold as a tee shirt pattern. It's a "blouse" pattern for wovens. As such, it's way too plain and tent-y. It's almost a swing silhouette, which just billows out from a full bust. It would have even more of a tent factor if I went up another size, instead of doing an FBA, so it actually fit around my bust. The narrow scoop neck is frumpy and, frankly, any more narrow and I couldn't get it over my head. A more open neckline would be much more flattering on nearly any woman, plus or not. In a woven, this top needs sewn bust darts. All those wrinkles around the armhole are distracting and do not flatter full busts. The bottom hemline does have a slight curve, which actually is a flattering detail. Finally, one flattering thing. ;-)

Here's my TNT tee pattern on top of this blouse pattern. Yes, my pattern is for knits but it does not have negative ease. It's not too far off overall, but I don't need another basic top so I won't be fiddling with it. Because the shoulder area does seem to be a better fit than usual Big 3/4 patterns, if you don't already have a TNT, maybe it would be a good jumping off point for you?

And here endeth my experimentation with Connie Crawford patterns.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Butterick 5053 Pants (With a Side of Snark)

I reviewed the pants portion of this pattern on Pattern Review here, where you can read the details. The bottom line (no pun intended) is that it isn't a miracle pattern or anything close. It fits no better or worse than other pants patterns I've tried. But other than that, it's a really boring, frumpy style. Inseam pockets on plus-sized hips? Puh-lease! Tapered legs? Hello … 1985 called and they want their pants back.

Sorry, I'm being snarky but after a week of reading on that email list about how wonderful Connie Crawford's patterns are for plus-sizes and how all the other patterns are wrong, I was expecting (hoping for?) a little more. I mean I *am* the demographic body type she designs for. Or so she says. And says. And says. This lady certainly knows how to toot her own horn. ;-) Oops. Snarky again.

I like the drawings on her patterns and they are tempting. But the drawings are nothing like what you really get. And I just don't think CC knows what looks good on plus-sized women. I think she can make patterns large enough to fit well enough out of the envelope. But they do not flatter. Elbow-length short sleeves add width just where we don't need it. She says she makes her short sleeves longer to cover up the "unattractive" arms of larger women. Excuse me??

Baggy, undarted tops? Otherwise known as "How To Add 15 Lbs. in An Afternoon" and without the benefit of chocolate. A waist tuck on a boxy top is not the same thing as a bust dart, and the armhole will tell the truth. Now I'm just going by the photos on her website and on reviews on PR since I haven't actually tried the top from this pattern yet, but I'm really not holding out much hope. (If, however, I'm wrong about this top—and I will try it in muslin—I'll be the first to admit it.)

But really, look at this one. This lady is actually not very large under all that fabric but she's gained 40 lbs. just wearing this top. And this top is from Frumpville too. The chevroning is going in the wrong direction for someone with boobs and hips. The armhole is dropped and droopy, adding folds and width at the bust. And that straight hem makes it look like a maternity top. I'll snark on one more … this is the fashion drawing. This is the actual top. Notice any differences? Where is her waist? Her stance tells me she does have one. Well, at least she's covered up those unattractive arms. ;-) (These are all CC's garment photos on her website.)

CC is just not doing plus-sized women any favors. Her styles and her comments are reinforcing the tent effect many plus-sized women seem to gravitate towards in an effort to hide themselves. Instead, she should be designing and promoting more fitted styles which flatter so much better and encouraging her customers to stop hiding in those tents. And she shouldn't be telling us to cover up our arms. Unless we're cold. Hmprf.

Another Off the Honey-Do List

DH was a busy man this weekend. Not only did he finish my cutting table, he also washed down the windows outside and put up a zip line for Dani.

Dani's favorite thing to do outside is chase squirrels. She's actually caught one and then was surprised when it didn't "play" anymore. She tears off after them and turns completely deaf when you call her to come back. It would be OK if she stayed in our yard but she doesn't. She always, always heads right for the neighbor's yard and sometimes keeps going from there. Other than building a fence which we may do one day, the only option has been to take her outside on a regular leash. That's fine a lot of the time, but she and Chili love to play tag and wrestle all over and keeping them (and me) untangled and my arm in its socket is tricky.

I'd been spying two trees in our front yard which are about 100 feet apart from each other without a lot of anything in between. The dog trolleys I could find locally are only 30 feet long. I found a 100-foot version online last week and ordered it. It got here on Friday, just in time for DH and the weekend. That was great, but there was still a problem. I really wanted a retractable drop line for it so that Dani could have more space side-to-side without dragging a line on the ground that would tangle her and Chili. I can't believe these dog trolley things don't have retractable leads but I couldn't find anything anywhere. So I improvised.

We cut the drop line so the hook is about 4 feet off the ground. Then we just loop her regular leash through it. With her harness on so she's attached at the back and not the neck, it's perfect. The leash follows along on the zip line and stretches/retracts as necessary. The harness prevents the lines from swinging around her neck and getting trampled and tangled. We'll never leave her on it unattended, but this rectractable set-up means we don't have to walk over to her every 5 seconds and unwrap a line from her legs. She's not very coordinated so "every 5 seconds" isn't an exaggeration. ;-)

Here a shot of the two trees and the zip line between them highlighted in yellow:

Here are the wrestlers, and you can see the leash hooked onto the drop line:

And a little video that was much better quality before YouTube got ahold of it. You can see the handle of the leash swinging by as they move around. The main objective of this game is to trip each other, by nibbling legs and tails. Today Chili is playing the submissive. Other days, he's the aggressor on top. They have tons of fun together and play this game in the house too, incorporating zooming up and down the stairs as part of the play. Sometimes even Pepper joins in. Read: Herd of Wild Elephants

* * * * *

Sewing related, I've cut and sewn the Connie Crawford pants. I was out of camera memory card space so I had to process the dog photos first. I'll be back later with an update on the pants.

At Last

This is the very quick sketch I gave DH to work with:

And now I have this:

I have achieved sewing room bliss!

DH dragged the pieces into my sewing room last night and reassembled it (inside the room this time). The top from my old cutting table is actually just laying on top of this one with my cutting mat on top of that. We had planned to use construction adhesive to attach the old table top to the new base but once the top was in place, it didn't move and so I didn't see any point to gluing it down.

I've still got some more reorganizing to do (because of course this has started a domino effect throughout the room), but I've already started loading 'er up. On the upper shelf is the stuff I use for altering and cutting out patterns. Things such as pens, chalks, scissors & rotary cutters, pattern weights, tape dispenser, and a few other odds & ends that now live here too. The bottom shelf holds the on-deck fabrics & projects and things I don't want to put away yet because they're reminding me of something or are inspiration. In the middle of that bottom shelf is also one of the pillows Dani can't leave alone, still waiting for me to sew up the corner. Even though the shelves look full from this angle, there's still a lot of room left. At least for a little while longer.

I hammered some high-tech nails ;-) into the side of the table to hold my rulers, squares and curves. A few more that I don't use often are hanging off the back side of the table. Still accessible and near the others but not in the way of the favorites.

Having this table and its shelves means that my ironing board surface should now remain free and clear. Right?? I still need to do something about organizing/hanging the pressing tools which are now in a plastic bin under the board and/or on the shelf to its left. I think I want a slatboard or pegboard on the wall. And I keep meaning to make myself a nicer cover for the board. One of these days …

Once again, a BIG thank you to Melody for making her table first and inspiring me & DH! It took a little longer than planned because of DH's limited weekend time to work on it but it was well worth the wait. I am SO trying it out tomorrow!

Friday, November 9, 2007


Before I go on, be assured that I *have* learned my lesson about trying new pants patterns and being optimistic. I have my TNTs and I'll stick with them. But that doesn't stop my curiosity and experimentation.

Last night, I went to Joann's to pick up a few supplies. While there, of course I made a stop at the pattern books. I was by myself with no time limit so this was a rare luxury, even if I was only mainly "window shopping."

On an email list I belong to, Connie Crawford has been the guest host this week and, naturally, talking about her patterns and her drafting methods which she claims are more aligned with modern, mature bodies and RTW sizing. I take all of that with a grain of salt. Plus, I have "issues" with CC after meeting her at a sewing Expo a few years ago. But I'm still open to looking and maybe even learning. So, I decided to pick up one of her Butterick patterns, 5053, just to have a look. It's fairly cheap entertainment for me.

I compared the pants pattern pieces with my TNT. There are some things that I like about what I saw and others that I think may not work. A muslin will tell the truth.

Here's a general overview of her pattern and mine. The back hip is curvier on hers and while the back crotch curve is close, mine is a little snugger … but part of that is because mine is for jeans. What you can't see because of my poor photography skills this morning is the angle of the legs. I think this may be the sticking point since it's where I usually have a problem with other pants patterns. But it's close, so maybe it will be OK or only need a little modification. Yeah, right. ;-)

This is a close-up of the back crotch. You can see my stitching line on my white pattern piece, but the rest is very close.

This is the top of the back piece. CC's pattern is dramatically higher at the center back than most other patterns you'll see. Keep in mind that mine is already angled up at CB. (CC's pattern has a cut-on waist, which is why it is so much longer than mine.) This tells me it's cut for those who have a generous tushie.

This is the front crotch. I see the most difference here. CC must draft for extremely full thighs. And I *have* full thighs and there is a lot more room here than even my pattern. Again, part of this will be due to the difference between a jeans pattern (mine) and a pants/slacks pattern (hers). CC does draft for a tilted waist, good for us plus-sized girls. I think I wouldn't have to take out much, if any, at the front rise.

I also compared the undarted blouse (really a tee) pattern in the envelope with one of my TNTs, but I ran out of memory on my camera card so I don't have any photos of that yet. Overall impressions: The armhole will be too low for me, but not nearly as low as other Big 3/4 patterns. The shoulders looked to be narrower than your "standard" Big 3/4 larger sized patterns. And they look to be much squarer, which is good for me but may not be good for others w/o my square shoulders. I think this may be because CC claims to draft for fluffier shoulders which would have more flesh at the end whereas mine are really just bone.

I do need to make some new PJs so I'm thinking this may be a good way to test CC's patterns. Two birds, one stone, and all that.

So, this will take a spot in the sewing queue while I wait for my re-order of brown fabric to finish up my jeans that I'm obviously NOT wearing tonight. Sigh.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Well, I've now found out that I really should've tested my back yoke in something other than the good fabric. It's too low and it feels like it's cutting the cheeks in half. Not because it's too tight but because it's in an odd spot that is fleshier than where it should be hitting.

I just ordered more of the same fabric so I can re-do them. I haven't decided yet whether I'll re-do everything or just cut new backs without a yoke. Which is worse? Ripping out the sideseams which have been serged and topstitched? Or cutting all the pieces over and sewing them again?

Time to take the dogs out, clear my brain, and then off for my haircut. And, yes, I checked. My son took the Mustang today so I have my own wheels.

ETA: OK, back from the dog walk. I've decided to put the pants on hold until the new fabric arrives. If it matches perfectly, I'll just recut the back legs. The temps have dropped but my internal thermometer is still on summer because I couldn't wait to get my feet out of closed shoes and my flip-flops back on. So, I don't think it'll kill me to wait for the fabric and much cooler temperatures.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


So, did I do either of the two things on my list today? NO!

My 18-year old son left for work about 8 a.m. I took the dogs out for a mid-morning romp around 10 a.m. and noticed my vehicle was gone and his was still here. With a flat tire. After I told him last night that I had a hair appointment at noon. Grrrr! And let's not forget that he actually has TWO vehicles! The first, a Jeep, the one with the flat. The other, a 1965 Mustang, perfectly driveable. By him. Except it was parked in the garage and blocked by the Jeep so he couldn't easily get it out. I don't drive the Mustang because it has manual steering and no A/C and, well, I'm spoiled. And besides, I couldn't get it out of the garage today even if I wanted to.

My hair appointment has been rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon and I did at least make some good progress on my brown jeans. I'm to the point of sewing in the zipper. The front pockets are sewn and topstitched, as are the back yoke pieces. Tomorrow, I'll finish up the fly, sew the in/outseams, back pockets, and hopefully get the waistband on and the jeans finished. I'd work on them more tonight but I think I'm feeling a cold coming on so I'm going to go vegetate in my bed under the covers with my new Threads. Maybe I'll get a second wind. But at least with a TNT pattern, the whole process is a lot faster and I don't procrastinate through it which makes me optimistic about wearing these Friday night, even if I do pass out at 9:30 tonight. ;-)

On Deck

There are only two things that really have to get done today. One is a haircut for me at noon. The other is a trip to Walmart for some more fire ant killer. We go through that stuff at an alarming rate. I sprinkle the mounds when I'm out in the yard with the dogs. I'm not sure if the ants are actually dying or just moving to a new "neighborhood" in the yard. Probably both. But it makes me feel better to at least be trying to eradicate them. Fire ants are one of the worst things about Florida (and the southern U.S. in general).

So, in view of my lighter schedule, I'm going to start on yet another pair of jeans for me from Simplicity 4068, my TNT fly-front pants pattern, which I noticed yesterday is now out of print. I'm going to use the brown denim from FFC that I just bought/received/prewashed, and I'm hoping to have them finished in time for the (last!) football game on Friday night since it's supposed to be cool temps and my usual mom uniform capris will look silly and feel chilly. When I re-traced the pattern last month (was it last month or the month before?), I also made pattern pieces for scoop front pockets instead of the slash front pockets. My preference is for scoop so I'm looking forward to this little change. ETA: Oh! I just remembered that during that re-tracing session, I made a back yoke for this pattern. Yay! (I tellya, the brain is Jello these days!)

Also on the "on deck" list is some sewing for my sons. I think it's been almost a year since I last sewed anything for either of them. Sheesh. Bad mom. For DS#1, I want to make him Simp 4287, View C (also out of print) and for DS#2, a morph between his TNT Burda pattern and Simp 3891. The morph will just be the tucks at the front knees, as I don't want to do the rest of the cargo styling of the Simplicity design. Belinda gave me some great ideas after my ramblings to her via email about how to accomplish those tucks. I don't yet have the Simplicity pattern, but after seeing Belinda's sketches I want to see how Simplicity drafted the front leg pieces. And then I'll probably just do what she suggested anyway. ;-) I'll wait until the 11th when Simplicity patterns are on sale again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cutting Table Interruptus

Remember how it looked last weekend?

This is what it looks like after Sunday night.

It was done. All except bringing it upstairs and putting the top on. I hate to say "I told you so," but I told DH he really should assemble it *in* the sewing room because I didn't think it would fit through the doorway.

Guess who was right? ;-)

Sigh. I may get to Home Depot and buy some more honkin' big wood screws so DS#1 and I can work on it during the week. Or I may not. I have more than enough other tasks to keep me busy no matter how impatient I feel about the new table. I'm just glad we didn't separate the top from the old base yet so I still have a working table.

I'm sure we'll be laughing about this next week.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Answering Comments

First, the "bad" news is that I won't be showing the costume from yesterday. It left the sewing room after the ruffles were done and DS's girlfriend will be finishing it. It's a baby outfit (big size), for a play she's working on. She's a drama major and it's another student's original play for which she's doing some of the costumes. Nothing for Halloween, even though I did post on Halloween. That was just a coincidence. But really, it wasn't that exciting. Trust me. ;-) A pink Walmart tee with ruffles around the bottom and around the sleeves. It just took a LOT of flat strips to get enough length of ruffled strips to go around it and when she was here one day talking about it, we brainstormed together and ended up doing the ruffles on my machines.

Onto the questions …

What would I look for from the Ebay gadget guy in generic fellers for my Janome CS?

Keep in mind that I've never actually used any of these generic fellers since I bought actual Babylock fellers before finding the Ebay guy, but this looks like the equivalent, even though it's described as a Juki sewing machine attachment. When looking at all the choices from this seller for fellers/folders, the important features to note are whether the folder/feller is downturn (like I showed), upturn (which flips the edge UP), single (one fold under or up) or "clean finish" (two folds down). I like the swinging out feature of his generics, which would let me move the attachment out of the way without actually removing it. Also, I don't think his prices for these particular attachments are any great savings over what I paid for mine, which I think was in the neighborhood of about $20 per. They're reasonable, just not a big bargain.

Do you have any tips for using a hemmer on a regular sewing machine?

You have to start with the leading edge pressed under twice, the same width as the hemmer will fold. You stitch for about an inch with the edge not yet in the hemmer foot. Then you stop with the needle down and work the edge into the hemmer. After that, you've got to hold the fabric feeding into the hemmer at a slight angle (toward your left) and up, and keep even pressure on it as it feeds into the hemmer. It takes practice. And patience. ;-)

On your latest Ottobre top, looks perfect for the season....where do you purchase your bindings?

Thank you! For the binding, I just cut strips of knits I have on hand. Nothing that is specifically a "binding." Those knits come from all over.

When you do the wedge alteration, and the grainline *is* thrown off, then what?

You have to redraw it. Fold the bottom hem in half to find the center and then square a line up the leg from the hem.

(About my cat) DON'T SCARE ME LIKE THAT! You heifer! :D I just KNEW he was going to die (LMAO at "he wasn't going to off himself" tho!!)

Angie, you always crack me up! Gizmo is doing great. No more limp at all. Nothing to show he was ever injured. He's back to his usual routine of hanging around outside, sleeping in the garage, drinking the dogs' water, and eating yummy (not!) cat food.

I have a question about your sewing dummy. Have you padded it or how do you make it work for a full bust?

Yes, I've padded it. For the bust, I stuffed one of my bras with fiberfill and she wears it under a camisole. I took photos of the process, here, but since then I've removed the lower padding because it looked strange and lumpy under some tops and skirts. I've been meaning to re-do it smoother, but I haven't gotten my round tuit yet. But that's because I've been sewing mostly TNT (tried-n-true) patterns lately. When I need a better fit model, I'll be more motivated to re-pad.