Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ready to Pack

The Family Day tee is done and as of today I have a new pair of RTW jeans that fit, so next up will be packing. I don't think I'm going to make a new Sunshine Top unless I get a wild hair tomorrow, but I may toss an old one into the suitcase "just in case." ;-)

I ordered tees for the whole family from a great Mom & Pop internet store ( and since they do their own screen printing, I was able to request that the design on mine be printed a few inches lower than normal to make it easier for me to lay my pattern on top and not have to worry about cutting off the design. I've usually had to fudge things a little when I've remade football tees in the past.

Here's the Before:

And the After:

I think it came out perfect!

I re-used the ribbing from the tee instead of binding the neckline. It was the perfect length for my new vee-ish neckline. Karma.

This is the tee under the jacket. I'll be wearing this and the new jeans for Family Day on 11/23. Notice how the jacket collar and flaps match the color of the Drill Instructor cover (that's hat in civilian-speak) on the tee. Karma again.

I also bought a little "jewelry" to wear on the jacket, and probably everything else I wear that week.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kwik Sew 3369: Finished

Finally! It's actually been mostly done for a few days, but I had to make a trip to Joann's for more coverable buttons before I could finish it all the way. I lucked out — it was Buy 1 Get 1 Free on the Notions wall, where these buttons are in this store. I even remembered at the last minute I still needed a drawcord for my fleece jacket and got that too.

There are pockets in two of the front princess seams. You can sorta see them if you look hard. Look for the bartacks. (These photos can also be enlarged if you click on them.)

Back view:

I was sweating it out on the last of the topstitching thread because I have no way to buy more of this exact brand/color since it was part of a free bunch of thread I received a few years ago when I complained to Maxilock about some defective serger cones. Yes, it really is this shade of green, but it looks neutral on the red.

Luckily, I realized early on that it was going to be close and switched to a non-matching bobbin color on the seaming that's covered by the lining on the wrong side.

One thing I was not so lucky about — forgetting to interface the hem when lining and jacket were still separate. There was no getting around it because the hem wanted to curl the tiniest little bit, so I had to bite the bullet and go back inside the jacket/lining so I could fuse some interfacing to the hem allowance. But it made all the difference and the hem is great now. Doing the right thing is usually the right thing. ;-)

Tomorrow, I'll be working on re-making my Parris Island Family Day tee, and then I'll be done with the trip clothes, I think. But I still might cave and make myself a new Sunshine Top. How can I travel without any of those? ;-)

Just about a week to go before we leave. All of a sudden, it seems like the time flew. Was it really almost 3 months ago that I was a blubbering fool? It almost seems like yesterday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

To all who've served, Thank You.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy Birthday!

235 years old today — Semper Fidelis!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cleared for Take-off

It looks like he was doing all the work in this photo, but we actually shared equally. I needed his brute strength to get the lug nuts and wheels off, and to break the initial grip of the bolts on the calipers. I'm sure I could've done it, but why strain when he was right there! He was amazed at how easy it was. Of course then I had to throw in an "I told you so." ;-)

We were done in an hour. I think we would've spent more time shuttling the car to/from a repair shop. We definitely would've spent a ton more money, and been "advised" to spend more. And we wouldn't have had such a fun (yes, fun!) mother-son bonding morning.

Kidding aside, if you have a jack, stands, a socket wrench, a big C clamp (for pushing the caliper pistons back into the casing) and a teenaged boy/strong person for the grunt work, anyone can replace brake pads. Sheesh, brakes pads are a no-brainer compared to Burda WOF instructions! Only a few years ago I probably wouldn't have ever considered doing this job until I was sort of forced into being a brake assistant by my older son. At that point, I realized just how easy it is to replace the major brake parts and how ripped off you are at brake shops. Seriously ripped off. At the very least, inspect your calipers and rotors yourself from time to time before you go into a shop. You can see them without taking the wheel off. A little education could save you hundreds in repairs you don't actually need because those brake shops love to scare you into thinking you need the whole shebang when you don't. Still don't believe how easy it is? Check out this video.

Side note: That little green chair in the photo? Playskool circa 1983. Best money ever spent. We bought a new table and 2 chairs set when the boys were little, which was used all the time back then and we're still using the chairs for odd things like this. It's amazing how useful a tiny chair can be.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kwik Sew 3369: Progress Report

This was just thrown onto Zillie for the pic so it's looking kind of messy and frumpy at the moment. I had hoped to be finished this weekend, but other errands and chores conspired against me. I don't have too much more to do, though. The 2-piece sleeves are joined and topstitched but still laying on the cutting table. The lining and collar are done too. I just need to attach them all and do the buttons/buttonholes. The jacket sleeves are the red print. What you're seeing above is the lining.

For the pocket flaps and collar, I used this faux seude. I'm going to cover buttons in 2 sizes with the faux seude, for the flaps and front closure. I think. It might be too much going down the front of the jacket so I reserve the right to change my mind on that. Plan B will be to cover the front buttons with the print.

I ended up using two different threads for topstitching. On the jacket itself, I'm using a light green, which reads neutral on the print but is light enough that the topstitching actually shows. But that thread actually reads as green on the faux seude. So, for the flaps and collar, I used a medium gray. Both are upholstery threads.

With all this topstitching, I have to again sing the praises of having a separate mechanical machine set up as a topstitching station. This will be the first jacket I've topstitched since acquiring my vintage Vikings. What makes me extra happy is because topstitching shows on both sides at once on a jacket (where the lapel flips over), for once I don't have to worry about what the underside will look like since I can use the upholstery thread in the bobbin too. (Whew, that was a bad sentence!) I think I'm as happy with the old Vikings as I am with my coverstitch machine. And, trust me, that's saying a lot!

We leave for Parris Island in less than 2 weeks, so it's time to step it up! Our Family Day tees arrived on Saturday, which means after the jacket, I'll be re-making mine into a female shaped tee. Two weeks, people! Two weeks, until I see my son again. Wooooo!!

But before I pick up on either of those projects, I'll be replacing the brake pads on my car today with Son #2. Son #1 is usually my mechanic for maintenance jobs like this, but he's otherwise occupied at boot camp. However, all his tools are still in the garage, and I've done brakes before with him. They aren't hard, just dirty. New brake pads cost $20 and about 1-2 hours. Replacement at a chain shop is at least $100 before tax and hidden fees. You do the math. I'd rather take my savings on our trip. I just hope I'm not eating my words tomorrow and I'm glad I haven't had my manicure yet. ;-)

Friday, November 5, 2010


I expected to have a progress post this past Monday after a weekend of sewing my red denim jacket. As you know by now, that didn't happen. Instead, my employer went off and decided to merge with another company last week and I ended up working about 35 hours in lieu of sewing. But it's finally calming down a bit and so I started working on the jacket tonight.

Here's a refresher:

I've cut out all the denim pieces. Tomorrow, I'll cut out the lining. And then, fingers crossed, I'll be able to sew it up over the weekend. I swear, I'm not going to check my email lest work try to sneak into my plans. I already have something like 546 messages in my Inbox already. No lie.

During a work break over the weekend, I caved and ordered some RTW jeans which arrived today. I shouldn't have bothered. They are HUGE, and I can't believe I was actually contemplating altering them, for a minute. I also ordered some shoes and was sent the wrong size. So that order was a bust all around. Sigh. Everything will be packed up and returned tomorrow. I'm debating whether to go down 3 sizes in the jeans and try again. Yes, they are that big. Thank you vanity sizing. I ordered by measurements and not size number and they were still off that much. Pffft. Can you tell I'm PO'd? I don't have time for this!

Speaking of time, it's down to 18 days now until I see my son in South Carolina. I won't say the time has flown because it mostly hasn't. But it did start picking up once we were past the halfway point and I did finally stop crying at the drop of a hat. LOL

And here's something from the Really Odd Coincidences Department. My best friend from high school and I keep in touch via phone and email intermittently. We haven't actually seen each in person in a very long time due to distance and family obligations when our kids were younger. Well, we hooked up again after my son had left for boot camp. Turns out hers (a few years older than mine) was already there. It also turns out he had a few minor medical issues (broken hand, gall bladder) that kept him in the Medical Platoon for two extra months (as if 13 weeks isn't bad enough!). But the best part? It turns out he was released from Medical two days ago and picked up by my son's company. I don't know yet if they're in the same platoon. But even if not, it means they are graduating the SAME DAY and we'll be seeing each other in South Carolina. You can't make up a story like that!

Keep Delta Company in your thoughts November 15-17 as that's when they'll be doing "The Crucible," the hardest part of Marine basic training. They will get only 2-1/2 MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat) the whole time, at best 4 hours sleep a night, will have many planned obstacles to overcome, and will end up marching a total of about 48 miles with full packs on their backs. Once they complete that, they will have a private Eagle, Globe & Anchor ceremony with their Drill Instructors and will then officially be Marines. Family Day and Graduation will be the next week and because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the ceremony will be on a Wednesday instead of Friday and they'll get 2 extra days of leave, which thrills me to no end!

And one last thing: Mondo was ROBBED!!