Saturday, June 30, 2012

Random Saturday Thoughts

1. This is mainly to say I'm still alive. ;-)
2. Tropical Storm Debby was not as nice as Real Life Debbie but we didn't fare too bad.
3. Lost power all of last Sunday and into the wee hours of Monday.
4. But it was back in time for me to get to work just fine.
5. Went to the store after work Monday for a few things.
6. Came home and was locked out because the power was off again and I was counting on the power garage door to get in.
7. Oops.
8. Stuck freezer stuff from store into a cooler we had on the back porch.
9. Watched the pups watching us through the window.
10. Drove to landlord's house to pick up a key.
11. Got home and power was back.
12. Figures.
13. Key now hidden outside.
14. Yeah, I could just put one on the keychain but that's not me.
15. Due to no power and then no motivation, no sewing has happened.
16. The sewing for today will be purses I'm behind on.
17. I need to take down my purse-selling website because I feel they suck the life out of me.
18. I like the extra money.
19. But I've decided I don't like it enough.
20. So the site will be coming down.
21. When I get the motivation to do it all.
22. Just got done re-creating my embroideries for the purses.
23. Because out of everything for the move, I can't find my embroidery disks.
24. All I can think is I threw them out unintentionally.
25. Or they're still at the other house.
26. Can I sew three purses today? (Already cut out last weekend before the power went.)
27. Because what I REALLY want to be sewing is a top for me to match a skirt that's been unworn for a while.
28. Cover me, I'm going in.

Monday, June 18, 2012

McCall 6032 Photos

Here I am after a long day at work, pretending to be a supermodel. (cough:cough) Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE my job? Yep, still do. This door leads into my bathroom from the pool. Hopefully, the pool will warm up soon and I can actually use it (the door and the pool). And the new Walmart shoes? Completely comfortable all day long. Love 'em!

I did actually make some bra keepers last night while watching Drop Dead Diva. I kinda love that show, even though it's kinda dorky. But then, so am I. It's good mindless Sunday night entertainment. Anyway, the bra keepers not only kept my bra straps in check but eliminated the need to tape down the neckline.

As you can see, I went with the sash. It's just a length of the border looped around the waistband and through the gathering loop (you'd have to be familiar with the pattern to know what that means), and then tied in a double knot. I had a nice compliment on my dress early in the day and I said, "Thank you, I made it." And she said, "WHAT?" lol And then at our weekly department meeting, my coworker announced that I had made my dress and we all had a little conversation about that, ending with me saying, "Nope, no wedding dresses," to my coworker who just recently became engaged. She didn't ask, but I wasn't leaving anything to chance. With age comes wisdom. ;-)

Here's the back view. The neck is still a vee and it looks floppy only because of my posture for this pose. What the heck was I looking at?

Here's the trippy pup staring intently into the plant, willing a lizard to appear. I think he's addicted now. It's easy to joke now that I know he's OK.

And Dani, who would spend every minute of every day and night out here if we let her. She prefers to hunt the squirrels but has been known to nab a lizard. Or 50.

I had this idea to take pics of all the flowers currently in bloom in my yard but it was going to take me an hour to resize and upload all of them so you get just one. Hibiscus. You can see my bathroom door above the back bloom in the center of the pic, to give you some idea of where I was standing in the first pic. It's a really nice yard. I hope I get to stay here for a long, long time. It's even nicer because it comes with a yard service.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

McCalls 6032 First Look

This dress took me far longer to sew up than I anticipated so I'm not entirely feeling the love right now, although I am planning to wear it to work tomorrow. Mostly because I spent more time sewing than doing laundry. ;-)

Apologies for the blurry pic, but it's probably just as well since I spent most of the day in loungewear (OK, it was my PJs!!) and my hair is sticking out in all directions. I'm hoping to get a full complement of outside pics after work tomorrow.

I resized the pattern down to a 16 and cut/sewed that with the only other alteration being to move the underbust seam/gather hole thingie down 1". I didn't do an FBA and there's plenty of room for the girls. The shoulders keep wanting to slide outward so while I'm watching TV tonight, I'm going to "whip up" some bra keepers to hold things in place. I think I really need no bigger than a 14 in upper bust these days so some more resizing will be in my future if I stick to my pattern stash.

I'm going to need to stick on some Hollywood tape at cleavage level because even though I raised the front neckline about 2", it's still hovering in "look down to see my belly button" range. Nothing shows, so it's technically not too low, but I want to keep it that way and the tape will do that. I also raised the back neckline mega inches and it's OK now. The pattern notes as drafted it's something like 9" below the back neckline. Uh, no thank you. Not for work, anyway.

The front waistband is supposed to be twisted, but when I tried it, it collapsed onto itself and looked wimpy so I left it straight (still gathered into the sideseams). The "belt" is just a length of the border sewn into a tube and tied around the waistband. I'm still deciding on it, but it does cover the CF seam running down the skirt, which even though it pretty much matches across the seam, still looks weird to me.

I also added a back waistband, which I like, and I cut the back pieces on the fold so there's no weird seam. In a knit, I didn't need a zipper so I didn't need a seam. If I ever make this dress again, and I probably won't, I will cut the front piece on the fold too. There's really no reason not to.

This dress is supposed to be lined at the bodice. I didn't bother. I just turned the neckline under 5/8" and coverstitched it in two passes (due to the vees front and back). Lastly, I cut the armhole seam allowances to 3/8" and subbed in my TNT Ottober tee sleeves (after walking the stitching line to be sure it would work).

Thanks to Eljean for suggesting I look at Walmart for toe hose thingies. I found some and I think they will work fine. Some of you seemed to be confused - I'm not going to wear them with open shoes where they would show. They are for my closed shoes that will feel funny with bare feet and they won't show with those, I tried 'em out already.

Speaking of shoes ... these cheapies fell into my cart while I was Walmart. They will probably only last a season, but they are priced to be pretty much disposable anyway. At least now I have a pair of black heeled sandals to wear with the new dress.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A scare and a reward

Before I get to the scare, here's the status of my dress (M6032). I've inched my way through spending about an hour a night after work. The pattern downsizing and adjustments are done and it's nearly all the way cut out.

I decided NOT to cut on the cross grain to take advantage of the border because there's not much stretch that way. Instead, I'm cutting the border off and will sew it back on at the hem. A little more work, but this way I get the stretch where I want/need it and I can decide on final length at the end. A good trade-off for extra steps.

The scare was last night around midnight, right as I was getting ready for bed. I went to round up the dogs for a pee outside before bed (the dogs, people, not me!) and found Chili laid out flat on the area rug in the family room and not really moving. Now, if you knew Chili, you'd know that him laying on the floor instead of a sofa or a bed is strange enough, and that was an immediate flashing red light to me. And upon further inspection he was lethargic, not using his back legs at all, and was very twitchy and jittery. Gulp!

After a rush to the emergency vet (thankfully only 2 miles away), we still don't know exactly what was wrong but the vet's best guess was that he ingested some sort of animal or chemical neuro toxin, and to quote her, "was tripping his brains out." Poor baby. I elected to let them inject fluids under his skin (think Jack Russell Camel hump)  in an effort to dilute whatever it was and for me to take him back home instead of leaving him for observation.

We got back home around 1:30 a.m. and I stayed up with him for a couple more hours. I had emailed work and let them know the story and that I'd be in late. I woke up around 6 a.m. and he had moved spots on the bed, which was a good sign. When I woke up for good around 9 a.m. he was back to normal. Whew! I made into work around 10:45 a.m., so not too late.

That little guy sure knows how to give me a heart attack! No more psychedelic mushrooms for him.;-)

Now for the "reward." Well, at least that's my justification after a hard month of moving and unpacking and then the trippy dog adventure last night. You KNOW what this box means, right??? It's the first one to me at this address, and I fear not even close to the last. I'm sure Zappos is relieved that I'm back in business. :-) I may be on a fabric semi-diet, but shoes? Never!

Here's what I got. I'm giving the no-hose and self-tanner a go and I need some shoes that feel OK without hose. (Which reminds me, where can I get those "toe hose" thingies and do they really stay put in closed shoes?)

I thought I'd only be keeping one pair, but I love them both. And these below were on sale for $47, so how could I even think about sending them back? That's right, I can't. Plus, with that cushy platform, they are as comfortable as wearing flats.

Of course, I really need some new black heeled sandals too ...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where Did the Weekend Go?

So here it is Sunday evening already and I have NOTHING to show from the sewing room. Well, nothing finished or new. I kept meaning to get into the sewing room but then I'd be distracted by reading on my Fire (still L.O.V.E. that little bugger) or unpacking some boxes (on the homestretch now) or hanging some pictures or changing area rugs or vacuuming 10 lbs of dog hair off said area rugs (only a slight exaggeration) or shopping online for a new vacuum (not decided yet) in lieu of buying some replacement parts for my Kenmore canister the hose of which somehow STBex flattened to nearly pancake status or blog reading or ... a million and one other distracting tasks.

But I did just press out the tissue for McCall's 6032 and decided on the fabric for it. I'd like to use the border both at the hem and for the twisty waistband. This is another pattern from my stash that is now too big so I will have to size it down. It's not a complicated pattern so that won't take too long, and my goal before the night is over is to finish the resizing, raise the neckline front and back, and get the pattern laid out on the fabric. If I'm lucky, I'll even get it cut out tonight and then I can sew in spurts during the week after work.

One of my piddling-around tasks this weekend was to cram those two "found' boxes of fabric into the stash closet. Good god, I have too much fabric. Not too much as in hoarder status because, really, is there ever such a thing as too much fabric? ;-) But too much to need any more options for a good long while. I have lots and lots of nice garments waiting in there and it's time they started seeing the light of day. So, I'm putting myself on a loose fabric diet, which means I will still look and may even buy, but I want to be darn sure I don't have a good stand-in already waiting before I do. I LIKE my fabrics and I want to use them.

Same thing for patterns. These two baskets are crammed full and that's just my "on deck" selections - those that I want to make in the near future. The pattern cabinet the baskets are sitting on are also crammed full of patterns I still want to make too.

Parting Shot: The Marine made it to Japan safe and sound. He's been relieved of all of his hair, as is the custom for first deployments, and is complaining about a sunburnt head after a day of sightseeing but other than that, he's doing great. And I actually got to talk to and see him in real time thanks to Skype and the laptop he gave me. I'm SO GLAD since I was definitely sad contemplating the reduced communication, and now it seems like we're actually going to be having MORE. He and his roommate are splitting the cost of internet access in their barracks room and Tyler has actually called ME twice now. He's 13 hours ahead of me, which will work out good. I'll be home from work just as he's starting his day and we can have a quick chat then. Technology ROCKS!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back In The Rotation = New Dress

I stopped wearing this dress months ago because it became a tent, but I loved the fabric so I didn't toss it. Today, I put it on, pinched the sides to see how much it needed to be taken in (5" per side), and went for it. (Great early morning no make-up look, eh?) And now I have another "new" dress.

I was extremely lazy and didn't rip out the hems, just took it in straight down. No one is ever going to see the seam at my armpit, or inspect it (but it does actually line up very nicely), and since I shortened the length 1-1/2", the original bottom hem didn't matter either. I just turned it up and coverstitched on top of it. The hardest part of this project was changing thread color. Hah.

Here's the result. I'm very happy with it and will definitely be wearing it to work sometime this week. I'll also be putting this pattern back in rotation, but will have to recut it smaller before I make it again (Butterick/See & Sew 5593). I'm still experimenting with indoor tripod locations. This is in my bedroom, with yet another mirror that needs to see some Windex action. The dress actually hits right at the knee now but the camera was pointing downward.

For reference, here's the original version on a pudgier me. The difference in my face alone shocks me. :-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Butterick 5001 Finished

What's a current photo without some boxes in the background? That's my dining room, where NOTHING has been unpacked yet, hence the empty china hutch behind me. Hey, it's not like I'm having a dinner party anytime soon. It's also not like I have any china anymore. In a weird turn of events, STBex decided he wanted it, and since I ended up with nearly everything, I didn't object. I'll find some someday at a yard sale or something. Or not. Realistically, I'm probably over it.

So anyway, the dress. I like it. I'll probably wear this to work on Monday. And, I'll probably make it again since it goes together really fast and there were no fit issues. I sewed a straight "16" (see my tracing post from yesterday) and did not do an FBA or make any other adjustment. Gotta love knits. ;-)  Because I had slightly less fabric than the pattern calls for, I did add a seam down the middle of the back skirt piece. I forgot to take a pic, but you can't see the seam anyway because of the randomness of the print. The other slight deviations from the pattern include serging clear elastic to the neckline and then turning it under twice, which resulted in a 6/8" foldover instead of 5/8".  I also took a 2-1/2" hem along the bottom. I will probably remove 1" at the shorten lines for next time just to keep a little more of the swish. I also added a 3" wide (6", folded over) interfaced self-fabric tie belt. Which is completely hidden by the print in the photo but IRL adds that certain something.Or at least I think so.

Parting Shot: Tyler is deploying on Tuesday and will be mostly out of modern communication for 6 or so months. Sob! I was actually supposed tobe  up there visiting him one last time before he leaves during this time off I've been enjoying but it just didn't work out. He did get to see his dad in Virginia last weekend so at least he had some family time before deployment. He bought himself a new Macbook last week for his trip, loaded it up with movies and whatnot, and this arrived in the mail for me today. (His "old" Dell.) Nice kid, eh? I'm typing this blog entry from my back porch ... er ... lanai. I feel so Floridan. Hah.

In more Tyler news, he received a meritorious (and early) promotion to Corporal a couple of weeks ago, which goes into effect tomorrow morning during his "pinning." And he is currently Marine of the Quarter for his squadron, and as part of that honor also received a set of official photos which he sent to me (below). I'm quite proud of him, and will miss him so much. Keep him in your thoughts for a safe trip. While he's not going to The Bad Place, he's still going to be half a world away for a long time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grading Down Butterick 5001

I've been wanting to sew this dress for years. Today, when I finally got around to it, I discovered that I had shrunk out of it. The smallest size in the envelope is 18W, and I need a 16 at most on top. And by the way, since the smallest size for this pattern in any envelope is 18W, there's no freakin' way that either of the drawings below are representative of that size. Just sayin'. But it is nice to see an actual plus sized model rockin' the dress in the photo.

So I mentioned that I had to go smaller on the Vogue 1224 dress I just made but that's all I did — mention it. Today, I thought to snap some pics to show how. I know for some of you this will be old news, but for those who have never graded a pattern up or down, pictures help.

Here you can see the uncut pattern piece with the different cutting lines. I just used the offset between the existing cutting lines to create lines where the 16 would fall.

As you can see, the spacing between sizes differs depending on the particular section of the pattern. Just be sure to duplicate the existing spacing/offset all around.

It's pretty easy. I freehand it around the curves and use a ruler for the straight lines because it's faster.

So far, so good. Sorry for the shadow. I didn't notice Zillie was half in the closet. I'm still testing spots for her while I sew.

Back tomorrow with a finished dress. I would've finished tonight, but it seems my puttering around wasted more time than I realized and it's time for bed already.