Thursday, May 31, 2012

Girl, Those Legs Are BLINDING Me

So, if you can look past the glare that is my fish underbelly legs, here's some outside tripod shots of the finished dress. I'm wearing cream colored shoes and they are darker than my legs. Oy.

I removed the tie at the neck, which means I now have a buttonhole that leads to nowhere. Oh well, it gets hidden in the elastic gathers.

I also elasticized the sleeve hems. As they were last night, they just seemed frumpy muu-muu to me.

And yes, I am sucking in for all it's worth, why do you ask? ;-)

Here's the back view.

I think I'll go unpack a couple of boxes and then buy some self-tanner.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First Make in the New House

I think it's been like 2 months since I've sewn, but I'M BACK!! I obviously need to practice on the mirror shots again, at least until I dig out the tripod and find a good spot for self-timer photos. Did you forget what I look like? ;-)

Here's the dress on Zillie, where you can see the print better. This is a thoroughly aged buttermilk from Emma One Sock.

It felt good to have a sewing day, even if it was interrupted by a visit to the dentist and then 5 hours of numb face. And I didn't unpack even one box today which felt great too! But holy cow on the numb this time. Not only was my mouth numb, but I couldn't feel my nose or my eyeballs. My appointment was at 1:30 PM and I could feel my face again around 6:00 PM.

So, back to the sewing stuff …

Overall, this was a good pattern to jumpstart me back to garment sewing but I'm not head over heels in love with it yet. It's OK, though, and it will probably get a good amount of weekend wear since it's comfortable and easy to throw on. And it will likely grow on me after some time in the new magic wardrobe. It's not completely finished either. Still need to hem it and it's going to lose the ties hanging down from the neckline (too twee) and gain a belt/sash. I'll take more pics when it's completely done.

I read many of the reviews for this pattern (Vogue 1224) on PR and most of them advised to add length to the bodice as well as noting that the skirt was very short out of the envelope. So, like a lemming — a lemming too lazy to make a muslin — I went ahead and added an inch to the bodice length. I wish I hadn't. I think I'd actually prefer this waistline to be more empire-ish.

I didn't add length to the skirt because I didn't use the actual skirt pattern pieces. Since my Magic Pencil skirt pattern was handy, I got it out to lay over the Vogue skirt pieces for comparison. When I saw that my MP was an exact match for the size 16 skirt pieces, I decided to use the MP instead since I already knew it was the length I wanted. I cut a mostly 16 for the bodice but morphed to a 14 at the shoulders. Or what I think a 14 would be since this pattern didn't include an actual 14 in the envelope. It was pretty easy to just wing it based on the outward grading for the bigger sizes.I do like that the skirt is snug since peasant-all-over is not the way to look slimmer.

If you're familiar with this dress, you know about the weird sew-in interior elastic casing at the waist. Uh, no thank you. I just used the bodice/skirt joining seam allowances for the casing, folded upward and stitched down. I also did not line it, as the pattern calls for. No need for that either. Finally, I initially used the neckline elastic length per the pattern but ended up cutting about 6-8" off of that after seeing it was not nearly snug enough. I'm glad I went with the 14 shoulders cuz anything wider and my bra straps would be on display.

Parting Shot: The view out of my new sewing room window. It's very green and tropical out there, with a cute concrete table and benches. Kind of like the old McDonald's style. Plus, I can keep an eye on the dogs and their lizard hunting.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The threadracks were hung by the chimney with care …

… in the hopes that St. Butterick soon would be there.

But what to my wondering eyes should appear, but TWO MORE BOXES OF FABRIC … oh dear!

(Apologies to Clement Moore.) Where in the world did these come from and, more importantly, how am I ever going to squeeze them into the stash closet?? Will the boxes NEVER END?? ;-)

Looks like I'm going to have to sew them away. First up tomorrow, Vogue 1224. Should be a good fast and easy project to get me back into the groove.I hope I don't eat those words.

Tonight, I'm sipping a chocolate martini and luxuriating in the knowledge that I'm officially ON VACATION for the next 5 days, and I'll hang one picture in my bedroom and unpack the sewing books into the bookcase. And then tomorrow I'll get up early and hit the cutting table. It won't be all-sewing-all-the-time for the next 5 days, especially since I have to go to the dentist tomorrow for an unscheduled appointment due to part of my filling breaking off during lunch today and while I'm there I'm going to have the other two small fillings done that I've put off too long. It will be my first time using my dental insurance. Yay dental insurance and yay flexible spending account deductions! But at the end of my 5 days, I do intend for there to be new clothes to wear next week come hook or crook. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like …

… my sewing room!!

It's done, it's done!! Well, except for  hanging up my 3 thread racks. 

The room is set up pretty much like my former sewing room, although this one is a skootch smaller so my ironing board is proving to be a PITA. But I'll get used to it. And it certainly could be a lot worse, like not having one at all. Sheesh, I have a LOT of stuff. ;-)

I brought my really big mirror from my former bedroom, which I know I will enjoy having in my sewing room, once I take some Windex to that sucker. You can actually sorta see me in the mirror but the flash is obscuring most of me.

One thing I did, which I'd been wanting to do for years, was to spray paint my pattern cabinet white. While it was empty and in the garage, I took advantage. So glad to be rid of that ugly commericial beige.

And, as you can see, we were able to wrestle my cutting table inside after all. Didn't even need to take it apart, but I do have to replace the casters since they bit the dust in the move. As you can also see, my fabric closet is door-less. Oops. Don't tell my landlord. There's a few possible solutions, but none of them are high on my list at the moment. Frankly, I'm enjoying the view of the stash again.

I still have some other boxes in other rooms calling my name, so I don't think I'll actually start sewing anything until mid-week but it's nice to know I can if I want to.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Slow But Steady

It still looks like a mess, but I'm making progress in here. I expect I'll have it 99.99% finished by the end of the day. Which means I might even be able to sew something soon. But that's putting the cart before the horse.

The Ikea shelves are back together, in place, and halfway loaded. The good news is the bins still to be unpacked take up a lot of room in a box so the remainder of the boxes should go fairly quickly.

Machines still in their boxes, but on my sewing table waiting their turn.

Fabric closet coming along. Here's a tip – if you're going to be moving your fabric closet, take a pic or two before you pack it up. That way you know approximately where the piles should go back to and, more importantly, what's still missing. All I had to do was look back in my blog and I had a road map to start from.

Unfortunately, what you can't see from these few pics is that there is still plenty of sewing room stuff still outside of the sewing room. Oops. My cup overfloweth. ;-)

My biggest concern is my cutting table. It's still on the front porch (yes, really), where it was parked on moving day because it's too big to fit through the door easily. We already had to take one shelf out of it to get it out of the old sewing room. It wouldn't be a huge deal to take it apart outside and put it back together inside, but I'm not sure yet if that will actually work. Since STBExH made it, who knows how it's really put together, and I already know for sure he painted over the screws. I don't know how much time/effort I'm willing to spend on it vs. just replacing it. I'll let you know.

My long weekend will be spent unpacking. I also only work on Tuesday next week and then I'm off again until the following Monday, by which point I'm DETERMINED that EVERYTHING will be put away. I may still have some pictures to hang, but I'm so tired of the boxes that I'm willing to spend "vacation" dealing with them once and for all.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Do you know what this is?

It's exciting, but …

I still have a LOT of work to do in here. Sigh.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Discombobulated Tour

First, Happy Mother's Day to all the moms. We're not doing much to "celebrate" here. Right now all of my boxes are my new children and we will be getting a lot of one-on-one time today. I think later, I'll force ask Alex to walk the neighborhood with me and the dogs, to check things out on a lazy Sunday.

Not a whole lot of unpacking has been happening yet. All of last weekend (it seems anyway) — and then some — was taken up by kitchen remodel, pool set-up, changing locks, and other miscellaneous get-ready tasks. I wasn't doing any of that, but having people here working did take away from my unpacking time. And then I had to go back to work on Tuesday. I've made some progress and I'm plodding along, but it's definitely going to be mid-June before I feel done. That's OK. I'm not in a race.

I just walked around the house and snapped some BEFORE pics. Everything is a disaster right now, except my bedroom which is OK. I've got a ton of Tyler's boxes in there but only because there's no designated spot yet for them either in the garage or in the attic.

So, here we go …

This is my bedroom. Or the dogs'. Depends on who you're asking. I still have books somewhere to unpack and pics to hang, but this room is 85% done.

My bathroom and closet, both of which are really double the size they look in this pic. There's double sinks (like I really need them!) and behind where I was standing is the potty and shower, and a door out to the pool. The cabinets and granite are new. Handles/knobs going on the cabinets soon.

My really big laundry room, which is a very important sewing feature. :-) At some point, I'm going to add a counter but for now, Tyler's old welding table does the trick. Yes, welding table. Don't ask.

One half of the kitchen. The eat-in part, with a big window which overlooks the pool.We haven't actually eaten anything in there yet. I just (mostly) cleared the table for the first time last night.

The other half. It's not my dream kitchen anymore, but it'll do. Especially now with new cabinets and granite. Like the baths, knobs/handles to come soon, plus finishing the backsplash, hanging the microwave, and switching fridges.

One half of the family/great room. This is a HUGE room, and I haven't quite decided on furniture placement yet, except my computer/desk will likely stay …

… right here in the corner since it fits perfectly next to the doors.

Here's another angle. I'm just unpacking knick-knacks and sticking them anywhere so the bookcases look like a thrift store at the moment.

From the other side of the family room, the hallway to the front door. The formal living room is on the left, between here and the front door. Alex's room is the half-open door to the right, where he's still sound asleep. ;-)

The living room, which is 100% disaster. The dining room is at the other side, and circles back to the kitchen from your left as you're looking at this pic.Anyone recognize anything sew-y in here?

Looking back toward the family room from the front door/living room area. My Ikea shelves from my sewing room are dissembled and on the floor at the right. 

Still in the same spot but looking more to the left. The first door is a bathroom, the second is a linen closet, and you can see a small sliver of my sewing room. I showed you that room the other day and nothing has changed yet.

The dogs' favorite feature — a doggie door from the lanai to the yard. It needs to be re-attached in one corner, but it's doing the job right now and fixing it is a lot lower on my list than other things.

The wonderful back yard. I have no idea what that box on the tree is. I just noticed it today myself. It's something electric because there are wires running from it up both trees.

The grassy area is only half of the yard. Beyond the grass, there are still separate plant beds but the path is dirt. There's a little bridge over a "dry creek" as you go deeper back, and beyond that it's more wild. The dogs love it. I love it. Very private, very serene. Yes, I'm in a neighborhood now and there are other houses around, but there's plenty of space between them so you don't feel crowded at all.

I think we need to plan for a sewing/pool party soon. Who's coming?? :-)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Is it nap time yet?

I'm back to work today, where I can finally get some rest. LOL

I haven't sat on my butt this long since last Wednesday. I'm actually writing this post from work too. During my lunch hour people - it's OK. (One thing about being the firm's graphic designer, you get access to all sorts of websites and software that the rest of the peeps don't get. Hahaha!)

I'm still plugging away at unpacking, and will be for weeks to come. The shot of my sewing room the other day, with a sewing machine front and center, was completely impromptu — that's where the machine was just dumped by someone (not me!). I found my Featherweight in the garage yesterday. At least I found it.

I think I'm over the pain enough to share that my moving day was a complete disaster. First, they showed up more t han an hour late. Next, they "somehow" tripled the price. Needless to say, my bank account did not spontaneously triple in response. I was between a rock and hard place and frustrated beyond belief. The short version of a very long story that also involves the stupid company actually calling the POLICE on me (who, BTW, just laughed with me and stayed for a grand total of 45 seconds), is that I hired two of the moving company's way underpaid workers to work for me privately, along with Alex and his friend, and a 26' truck I rented at U-Haul. It took all freakin' day/night (because by the time we actually started, it was already 2 PM), but we got it done. And without me having to give that crap company a dime.

That's Alex and Chili, my two red-headed boys, in the pool Saturday. I'm hoping to dive in tonight after work. I wonder, will my chocolate martini float?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We're here. With a TON to do.