Sunday, January 30, 2011

We HAVE A Winner!

Thank you people for your votes - obviously it's the keyhole neckline. Please always feel free to be brutally honest with me so I don't walk out of the house wearing something that makes me look droopy. When I go back and look at the pics I'm surprised I even entertained that idea. And here's the fabric - it's actually purple but looks kind of blue-ish in the flash.

The crinkle from Gorgeous Fabrics wasn't stretchy at all, and the other fabric with holographic "sequins" only had 1 yard left, so there was no choice but crushed panne from Hancock's.

Speaking of Hancock's, I WON the fleece contest! Yippeee! I had called on Friday and was told they were calling the winners Saturday and I could pick up my item Sunday, so after I didn't get a phone call yesterday I went to get my jacket. I told the woman at the register I entered an item in the contest that I wanted to pick up and she interrupted me and said, "And you won." I said, "No, I didn't get a phone call yesterday," and she said, "No, I'm telling you that you won - I was going to call you today. I've been out with the flu." (Now didn't I feel guilty for all that whining about how long they were taking!) Then she high-fived me. (Have I washed my hands yet?)

Shockingly, there were 5 entries, 2 of which were hats. The Daphne store had 3 entries from 3 friends who made capes and a coat. See, I went to Daphne to see if they had a better selection of panne, and also to sneak a peek at their contest entries, which they had hanging by the register. And I should feel lucky I got notified today, because Daphne hasn't chosen a winner yet. (Don't they know the national contest is on February 5th?)

Anyway, my $100 gift card will arrive in late February. Now the waiting begins to see how the national contest goes - aaaarrrrrgh!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can We Have a Vote?

Okay, remember this will be in a panne velour fabric - which neckline looks better?

I'm kind of liking the keyhole because I don't have to worry about the cowl, but I'll have to pull the side seams in tighter at the back to keep it from sagging.

And I did a 1" swayback adjustment at center back tapering to nothing at side seams - clearly need to remove some more.

I should really try it with Mardi Gras beads on to be totally realistic - you probably won't even SEE the neckline when I get loaded up (with beads, of course!).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fleece and Holographic Knits

So here's the total package - Lucas actually slept in this last night! Note the pockets he insisted on, which were slapped on and included in the elastic casing - yikes! He could care less about the gathered neckline, but this will NOT be going to anyone's house for a spend-the-night! Oh, and he's now asked for zippers to connect the top and bottom, and when I told him that was impossible he asked if buttons would work. So apparently I've got to put buttonholes in the shirt now. Weird kid...uh, I mean, so creative!

And here's the muslin of my Mardi Gras dress - I did a short knit thinking I could sleep in it, but not with that cowl neck hanging open! Forgive the frowny face - I had seen the previous shot and was dismayed at the hippage.

Obviously I need to loosen the side seams at the hips and do a swayback adjustment - never done that before, and this is one piece, so I bet it involves cutting out a wedge or to research this later!

And what to do about a cowl? I love cowl neck stuff, but they're so awful to wear when you have to bend over. Here it's not draping at all - the fabric's not very drapey, so I'll have to make sure the real stuff drapes better than this.

And here is what I get when I tuck it down myself. I'll have to tape it to my bra I guess, to keep it from flipping open. Any suggestions?

And this is what I found yesterday at Gorgeous Fabrics. It's a polyester knit jersey with square holographic "sequins." (Now when they put sequins in quotations like that, what exactly does that mean? I don't see anything sequiney looking thing in the picture.) What do you think? I almost bought it on the spot yesterday, but at $14/yard I wanted to think about it for a minute. I like it better than the other swatch I ordered, which isn't here yet, and I don't think I have time to wait for another swatch to arrive.

I was sort of thinking I could use a gift card to Hancock's (if they ever decide to award the prize, that is) to buy the crushed panne fabric, but after seeing the muslin pics I'm thinking that I need a print to break up the hippiness. I also thought about trying the keyhole bodice since there's no cowl to worry about. I may whip that up today, since the first one took a total of one hour to do. Off to the machine!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

Okay, so I couldn't find a pattern I loved for Mardi Gras, but last night I was cleaning out my pattern drawer (do I really need a maternity dress from 1990? No.) and ran across Simplicity 5093 that I bought last year and totally forgot about.

I remember the keyhole seemed like a terrible idea on a pear, but I think with the right fake boobage I can pull off the tank version (view D - the red one on the envelope). And I visited Ely's, Joann's, and Hancock's today (still no word on the contest - did it really ever exist?) but only liked the same purple crushed panne. I went to, but nothing grabbed me there, then I hit Gorgeous Fabrics on a whim and ran across this (let's keep an open mind).

I've ordered a swatch, but I have no idea how big this repeat is or what the whole design looks like - anybody order a print from them before? I may call and ask somebody, because I have a feeling a little swatch is only going to help me see if I like the feel of the fabric. As I told Robbie yesterday, I am fabric-challenged and have no idea what "crinkle panne velvet" will feel like. And what's the difference between panne and panne velour, anyway? Joann's separates them but they looked the same to me!

So keep your fingers crossed, or if you think it's awful let me know that too - I'm not attached at this point. I went back and read the fashion editor's Mardi Gras article and apparently big loud prints are IN this year - hopefully big hips will be too!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hallelujah - It's Raining Fabric!

I attended my first ever trunk show today. (Seriously, I've never been to one - I picture people pulling stuff out of a foot locker, but I bet that's not how they do it.) No, this is Robbie K.'s trunk, and look at all that fabric!

She's culling her stash and graciously asked if I'd like to partake in the pants fabric goodness. Golly would I! There are so many wonderful fabrics here and I'm not good at photography, so you're missing the charcoal corduroy at the top that I want to attack first. There are just YARDS of pants fabric, plus some for tops, so I'm ready to get crackin' at work clothes again.

It's so cool to meet somebody from Pattern Review in person - we had lunch and I could talk about sewing ad nauseum without the other party rolling their eyes and yawning (as happens at home). My mother will also be delighted that I wasn't kidnapped and shipped to a foreign country as a result of my blog (yet), which has been her constant concern since I started this thing. (When your first comments ever are from a guy who believes in aliens, you do get a little worried.)

Thanks again, Robbie - it was great meeting you, and I hope to bring the fabric honor and not create a wadder. (Was it me or did that rhyme?)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Knew This Would Happen

Yep, I figured I was finally done with this pattern after my fourth fleece jacket, but just as I thought, Lucas has requested one. He just couldn't stand it when Drew wore his jacket through dinner. (Do you know how hard it is to type a blog while your 14-year-old is telling you how Euclides hypothesized about atoms and quizzing you about mass and energy, and telling you how you can't surpass the speed of light because you gain mass as you accelerate? I did have the wherewithal to make a joke: "But I thought they said a rolling stone gathers no mass." Bahahahaha!)

So Drew was between a small and medium, and I wanted him to wear this jacket a long time and went with the medium, which is too large in the shoulders. Oh well, his nice storebought jacket fits like this too. I have no complaints.

I just wish I hadn't used the oldest elastic in my drawer which doesn't recoil, so I may have to redo the sleeves and make them tighter. They apparently are supposed to be really long since the model on the envelope looks exactly the same.

He wanted me to embroider "Derpification" on it, but my machine is not so good at text.

And this was just a cool picture of Lucas in a tree with a tiny dog under him.

OH, I called Hancock yesterday and said I entered a jacket in the contest - when were they going to give the results. The girl said they're picking winners (note the plural) Monday and will notify people then, and by the way it's a beautiful jacket. Now does that mean it's the only entry if she knew it was mine, or just the only jacket? I'm really sweating this - I thought it was a sure thing if I was the only entrant, but that plural threw me.

And on the Betzina front, because I know you're worried about prices of plane tickets going up, May 4th is a "sit and sew" pretty much all day, and May 5 there are 2 lectures from 9-12 and 6-9 on her new book. Price hasn't been determined yet.

Okay, if anybody else entered the fleece contest, let me know how it's going for you, and if anybody has recommendations for Mardi Gras dress patterns, let me know those too. Off to have some family time!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Big News!

You are not going to believe what I found out today! No, it's not that I won the contest - I haven't heard a thing from Hancock. I went by there yesterday to casually saunter around and see if they had a display of Fleece Contest winners, but it's like the dang thing never happened at all. (You know, I thought I should wear my sunglasses and a scarf in case I was mobbed when I walked in - "It's her! It's her! She's the one who made that fabulous jacket!" Yeah, borrow a word from Sheila...nerp!)

No, what I found out today is.....take a big breath.....sit down.....get ahold of yourself: Sandra Betzina is coming to town!!!!! I'll wait till you regain consciousness, or stop screaming, which is what I almost did when I saw that. I'm still giddy with excitement, and you better believe I've already taken May 4 off!

I get monthly emails from my locally-owned store, All About Sewing, and she's coming Wednesday, May 4, for "Let's Make a Shirt," and on May 5 she's doing "Power Sewing Toolbox Lecture and Demo." Are you screaming again? Now how did she know I've been researching her shirt pattern and getting ready to make it?! I knew God had a hotline, but I didn't there was an extension to San Francisco! This is just unbelievable to me. Now I don't have firm details like price and times because Sue was out today, but I'll be checking in again tomorrow and I'll let you know (because I know you want to start looking at plane tickets and reserving a hotel).

So now I'm free to save the shirt till May and I can work on the Mardi Gras dress without guilt....once I settle on a pattern. Alright, back upstairs to finish cutting out Drew's fleece jacket. I'll leave you with a little ray of sunshine:

Because you can never have too many pictures with Sandra.

And isn't the woman patient to let me get my face straightened out!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Electric Blankets, Collar Stands, and Mardi Gras Dresses

So first off, who remembers electric blankets, and do they still make them? We had them, and I remember how I'd wake up in the middle of the night with my legs burning, so they were sort of scary. I bet people up north still use them, or maybe they went the way of everything else - too unsafe for the public and now regulated out of existence.

My next garment will be Drew's fleece jacket (he wants me to sew "DERPIFICATION" on the right overlay...this has replaced "FAIL" as the term to use when something goes wrong - wait a minute, he's not referring to my sewing is he?), then MIL's pants, then maybe I'll have time for that buttoned shirt with collar stand I've been researching. Or it may be time to consider the Mardi Gras dress, though I haven't settled on a pattern yet.

Here are the possible shirts patterns:
I'm liking the Vogue Betzina shirt because of the collar application, but I'll have to taper it because I want it to be more fitted.

This one was noted to have princess seams that are too far forward, but someone commented that this was actually better for less-endowed women (We HAVE a winner!). I just don't like the puffy sleeves.

And this one looks great, but I'd want a shorter length - not a tunic.

And when I was in Hancock the other day entering my fleece jacket in their contest, I spotted these 2 possibilities for a Mardi Gras dress.

Purple is supposed to be a good color this year, and the local columnist mentioned "bejeweled" dresses were hot, so I thought the sparkly one could be fun. Wonder what kind of needle to use with this?

And this "crushed panne velour" if I remember correctly, looked luxurious in the store, but less so in the picture. (Do you think anyone will mistake me for their grandmother's couch and try to sit on me?)

And yes, mine was the ONLY entry in the Hancock contest as of Wednesday. It ends tonight at midnight, so if you have something fleece, run down there and enter long as you don't live in Mobile! RobbieK - the Hancock in Daphne is definitely closer to you, don't you think? I'm just trying to avoid competition, although Lucas actually said he was sorry no one else entered. When I asked him why, he said, "Well you won't feel very good if you won but you didn't beat anybody." Smart kid - I hadn't thought of that! (I was just thinking of that $100 gift card, frankly.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sticking with it...

I have now attended 3, yes 3, Pilates classes at the YMCA! And I walked on the treadmill for 1.7 miles another day, so the exercise resolution is holding in this second week of January. My whole body is sore, including my platysma (ooh, you'll have to look that one up!), so I must be doing something right. Okay, just wanted to gloat a little bit there.

And don't you love it when your 14-yr-old son says, "I was bored yesterday, so I looked up Einstein's Theory of Relativity," then proceeds to explain it to you. (It involved light and space - no wait, it was time - bending due to gravity...frankly, I don't get it.) Such a delightful conversation compared to the merits of Global Agenda vs. Halo.

Oh, and my mom's Riccar Serger has been de-rusted after something like 15 years in the closet. It was in the shop all week "soaking" after it "froze up" on the repairman. He kindly asked me not to let that happen again because it was such a fine machine. I pick it up tomorrow and then hope to take a class later this month on how to actually use it. Woohoo!! Now, where will I put it?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Weekend Rundown

Well it was quite a productive weekend. Dean was on call, but the boys and I bicycled, watched the new Tron (now I gotta rent the old Tron), got haircuts, and fitted my MIL's pants, which was kind of hard to do because she was at her store and an elderly female customer had to watch the whole procedure and make comments in Japanese (now did she just say, "What a nice pair of pants!" or "You're not really going to wear those are you?"). We cleaned out the aquarium and the gerbils' cage, and the boys raked the yard. I hemmed 3 pairs of school pants for Lucas - the only productive sewing this weekend. And we had a den meeting where Lucas built a toolbox (How is it that I'm the one with the swollen thumb? And I was holding the hammer myself?)

Are you enjoying my recitation of weekend events? Do you find that this is a "woman thing" to do? I notice when I talk to female friends and relatives on the phone, the conversation is frequently a listing of things to do or things already done. I personally find it helpful to lay out my day to someone else to identify conflicts, for example: "So I've got to get Lucas at 3 then go back at 4 for Drew, then get Lucas to karate at 4:30...oh crap, Drew has soccer tryouts at 5." (My mom will recognize this conversation; this is where she jumps in with offers of picking up children, God bless her.) But I digress...

After an hour of listening to 10 kids hammering at the den meeting, I splurge at CVS for some Olay products - I need a big bottle of night cream, but now it's all super-special wrinkle reducer with exotic ingredients that cost a lot of money. No more plain Oil of Olay. So I pick out a reasonably-priced daytime moisturizer and one for night...ooh, that one is cheaper and has a little bottle of eye makeup remover to try for free - what a bargain! I swear I studied the packaging and compared it to the others, but look what I ended up with at home.

You got me, CVS! Now if my face is red and blotchy in the morning, I'll be adding a dermatology appointment to the list of daily activities.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Kwik Sew 3813 Says War Eagle!

So this is quite the versatile jacket pattern! Here's the Auburn version, which will be worn proudly at the National Championship on Monday night by my mom.

We made it extra-large to accommodate the Auburn sweatshirt and other paraphernalia which might be underneath (there's room for pom-poms, a cowbell, a giant foam finger, you get the picture).

It might even fit Cam Newton, if she should run into him and trade it for an autograph or a picture, perhaps.

Next up, MIL's pants muslin is getting fitted this weekend - wonder if she'll let me get her picture for the blog!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Look Ma, No Glue!

Well the year is off with a bang! I sewed all day yesterday and actually FINISHED my camo fleece. Shocking! (And I did actually eat with the family, though that was about the extent of my family time till about 8 PM.) Now I have to say that I don't know what I was thinking when I bought this material. Sure, I think it's cute and snuggly, but I wasn't thinking about where I would wear it. I was going to do a neutral nylon overlay, but then I realized this purple fabric was not blue - I got it to go on my mom's Auburn fleece - so I decided to use it for my jacket. Yikes - should've gone with a dark gray.

I think it would be nice to wear to an Outdoor Woman weekend for sure, though I wouldn't want to skin a deer in it. Maybe if we go eat at David's Catfish House...or Longhorn Steakhouse...or definitely the restaurant in Bass Pro Shop.

But this time I overcasted all the raw edges and this didn't ravel nearly as bad as the other stuff. So the inside looks better plus there's no scratchy glue. Junior, we can still trade if you like this one better! And I worked out the elastic cuffs as you can see. I attached the casing to the sleeve and left an inch opening to insert the elastic like you would for a waistband - much easier for me.

So today I got my mom's fleece started with a navy blue twill overlay on orange fleece (I'm all about obnoxious fleece, huh), and I even whipped Lucas's fleece pajama shirt together in 10 minutes. Alas, that was the pattern with the neck that is way too big, so it'll take some creativity to rescue that one. Let me just say that gathering a neckline sure is pretty, but not very masculine... especially when your fabric is covered with sweet rubber duckies. This may have to mysteriously disappear.

Here's to continued productivity in 2011!