Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Inequalities of Crotches and Rights

Okay, I lied about cutting out a top. You have to strike while the iron is hot (or is it press?), so I jumped back into the Betzina Vogue pants I was previously muslining.

Remember, that worked out great with my adjustments to the seat, so I tried to true my pattern and move on with real fabric. Well, the crotch didn't quite true up because I had taken out a wedge in the back. I added that amount to the length so my pants wouldn't be short, but now the front and back didn't match. I got kind of stalled, because if I did the "take half from one and add to the other" rule of her Craftsy class, then that might mess up my front crotch which I had perfected with another adjustment.

Fast forward to today, and I kind of forgot where I was in the whole process, so I just went ahead and cut out the pants. All was well until I went to sew the inner leg seams front to back, and behold the badness:

Yes, she certainly does say to make the back inseam a tad shorter than the front, then stretch the 2 to match so you'll have a nice tucked-under tushy, but she didn't mean it should be 2 inches shorter! I did try to stretch and ease these together just for funsies, but of course it didn't work. I think my problem was that I matched the notches on the legs, which of course don't match anymore since I took out that wedge and added length to the bottom. And that leg still came out 1/2" shorter, dangit. Back to the drawing board...tomorrow!

In other news, we saw Oblivion and Lincoln over the weekend, and I liked both of them very much. Oblivion is like Omega Man (the original one) and The Matrix smashed together, but it has a new twist.

And Lincoln was awesomely written, although Lucas said at one point, "I have no idea what they just said." He and Drew both bugged out after 30 minutes of non-comprehension, which was a shame because Lucas had a test in History today on that very topic (Quick - what was the Missouri Compromise? Hint: It had nothing to do with Missouri!). And on the literary front, I'm about a quarter way through Anna Karenina. Anyone else read that? See the movie yet?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Knitted Shrug - Done!

Yet another picture of my Butterick dress, first. I tried a green scarf I had in the closet for a belt.

Back to the regular belt. And my shrug doesn't work with this dress because this collar is so big.

So from the back, why is my rear-end so wide in this picture....

And much slimmer in this one? Is it the color of the fabric, the cut of the skirt, or the shrug creating a narrower waist?

And behold the shrug...which hasn't been blocked yet.

This is how it's presented in the book, The Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits for All Seasons, with the ends tied loosely, but they're a little thick for that.

I have no idea why one side is so much longer than the other when they hang free. Hopefully blocking will take care of that. Speaking of, do any of you ladies use special blocking pins, or do you just use your regular sewing pins?

Next up is the Sorbetto top by Colette Patterns. Already got it printed out, taped together, and pieces cut out. I've got to get some more sleeveless tops to go with these skirts and shrug!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Crappy Pictures of a Fabulous Dress

I love the pattern, and I love the dress, but I don't like how the pictures turned out. Of course I don't have the right shoes to wear with it, so I went for the blue suede ones which have never been worn outside of the house. The light's too bright.

Next time, I'll get rid of the front darts, but I couldn't ask for a better armscye. I was tempted to overfit it, but remember I'll be getting down on the floor in this.

These are the more practical, less sexy Teva sandals that will probably be worn with the dress in Japan. This is me chasing a takushi (taxi - isn't Japanese funny?!).

The crappy iPhone camera with my bathroom lighting did more justice to the fabric. What a nice fit over the back where I usually have swayback wrinkles, and ignore the other wrinkles - I sat in the dress for an hour. (Oh yeah, ignore the mismatched collar - heehee.)

I made the tiny self-fabric belt, but nobody had a decent buckle, so I'll be looking for one on the internet. These are just D-rings in the other pics. I plan to take better pics before I post the review at PR. Hey - have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lining an Invisible Zipper in Pictures

So that link I found was for a one-piece dress, apparently, because I ran into trouble at the waist seam (bodice and skirt are treated as 2 different items in this pattern). She recommended leaving the side seams open, and you have to leave the center back seam open for an invisible zipper, so what was I to do with my skirt lining? At first I forgot to put it in, then I figured I'd just sew the pieces together at the waist seam. But the whole thing about turning the lining inside out falls apart when you have a separate skirt lining. You'll see what I mean...

So here's the dress with one side of the zipper already applied to fashion fabric, right sides together. Note teeth are away from the raw edge because the zipper will be flipped over. Lining is inside.

Now I've turned the lining out so right sides of lining and real fabric are together. Line this up and stitch along zipper again.


Here's the trouble - the skirt lining is a separate piece. OHHHH! It just occurred to me that I should've sewn the bodice and skirt linings together just like the dress - DOH! Then I could flip the whole thing. Okay, live and learn.

So I folded the bodice down and flipped the skirt lining over as best I could so right sides of lining and real fabric were together. Sew this together.

Here it is turned rightside out with the gap between my bodice and skirt lining, which I just handsewed as best I could.

And here's the beautifully enclosed (and out of focus) zipper at the collar!

Of course, I was so attentive to lining up the waist seam that I didn't think to line up the bottom of the collar, so my gathering doesn't match up on either side of the zipper. Whatever...there's so much pattern to this fabric that I'm okay with one boo-boo. It's like the mole on that chick in the book I had to read in high school, The Birthmark, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Seriously, have you read this? I had no idea you could read classics online, but that link takes you to the very story, which is short. Loved it!)

Okay, off to Hancock to buy a buckle for the belt, then I'm DONE! Stay tuned for pictures tomorrow...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Invisible Zippers in Lined Dresses and Biking

Well first, the thing I'm most proud of this weekend: I've pedaled 15 miles this weekend! There's a big community push for sidewalks to make the area more walkable, and Lucas's friends were on the news because they raised some money for it, plus one of their moms is in charge of fund-raising, so he's all fired up about riding his bike to school - 2.5 miles away with some busy streets. The good news is that there is a sidewalk all the way and the busiest intersection has awesome crosswalks and signals. The bad news is that a lot of the sidewalk is narrow and about 6 feet away from the traffic, and one cross-street is a weird intersection where you have to walk the bike across and avoid people turning there who don't look. The ride takes 26 minutes (we've done 3 practice runs so far), and he's determined to get up at 5:30 if necessary to do this thing. Despite the look of pain, he was thrilled when we got there yesterday.

Our last run was with a loaded backpack, and we stopped at a local hardware store to buy bike locks, then had lunch at the local burger joint. He said he felt like we were homeless people, which sheds light on what a lousy city this is for walk-ability, and he said that lunch was the best he'd had all week because we worked so hard for it. So many lessons in this one weekend!

Which brings me to my sewing lessons. And why is this new to me - I just made a fully lined Mardi Gras dress with invisible zipper! Anyway, here's the rough draft.

I should've lengthened the bodice, but I adapted by redoing the waist seam with 1/4" bodice seam allowance and regular skirt allowance. Plus I fixed the puckers.

And why do all my darts poof these days? So here's the new waist seam, but I tried a belt that was lying around to see how it looks (obviously the wrong color).

I love the Helen Crump collar, but I'll have to press it down once I get the folds just right.

So I looked in a Sew News that had an article on perfect-fitting skirts, and guess what? Their darts poof too!

I think they told her to pose this way to cover up the poof.

Oh, so here's a really great tutorial on linings and invisible zippers, and I'm trying this out tomorrow. Right now Lucas wants to go for a fourth ride. And I have to go to bed early, because I'm riding with him tomorrow for his first run - whee!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Collar Decisions

This is Butterick 5314, and I was going for the gathered collar anchored with a loop on the side - the floral view A in the picture.

Problem is, my fabric is so busy that you lose the details. Now obviously it's messy because I've just scrunched it up and pinned it to get an idea, but you see what I mean?

So I thought about using the solid lining...

I think this may look too homemade, and possibly too dressy with this satiny fabric. There's only one review at PR where they didn't make the view C collar, and she made view B, which stands up a good bit on the neck. I don't want to look like I'm wearing a turtleneck sweater, though. Hmmmm...I'll have to play with it today...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Food for Thought - Literally!

Since both boys are now in Boy Scouts (yay - no more pack meetings with poorly-behaved Tiger Cubs!), Dean and I get to have a date night once a week - woohoo! We went to a Japanese restaurant and had the sushi for 2. Check out that carrot butterfly.

And since we're going to Japan next month, Dean's been cooking some more traditional dishes at home too. This would be tonkatsu (breaded pork) over cabbage....

with tofu and cucumbers in soy sauce. YUM!

And here's what's next on my wardrobe list - a Butterick dress in this cotton. Pay no attention to the wonkiness of the print - I put the darts in then hung the pieces on the mannequin while I cut out the collar. Maybe I'll get that finished this weekend - my productivity hasn't been this high in a while!

OH - and here's episode 3 of the Great British Sewing Bee. I hate that the very end gets cut off on YouTube. Drew watched some of it with me, and believes they edit it to make it look like they're under the wire time-wise more than they really are. They made it look like Lauren wasn't going to finish her jacket, then suddenly it's beautifully lined, etc. Makes it more exciting, though, doesn't it? Here's a secret - I've been pretending I'm in the show, too, so I rush around and act like I've got a deadline - :) Oh, and I've got to finish watching Project Runway from last night. They certainly are more catty about each other than GBSB. Don't they know these little private comments will be watched by the other contestants when the show airs?! Maybe it's all a setup...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Nibanme Sukato (Second Skirt)

Yes, the Japanese word for skirt is sukato. And dress is wanpisu (sounds like one-piece - neat!). Here are a few more interesting words - sound them out:
dainingurumu - dining room
basurumu - bathroom
Emeeru - email
deskutapu konpuuta - desktop computer
I apologize if my spelling is off. Anway, here are some quick pics of it. Issues: front darts suck. I put them in, took them out, put them in differently, changed them, and tried to press the hell out of them to get rid of the poof. Whatever!

Love sewing with fringed fabric - no hemming! And I moved the back zip to the side - first time I ever did that.

Check out my matching up of the white chain thingy!

Okay, tucked in to show more details. I'll wear this with a shorter untucked shirt probably. Gotta find one of those...

Does it look like I'm wearing an apron over a skirt?

It's a little roomy, but I'm not going to snug it up for one reason - I can kneel on the floor and get up without ripping anything. I also made it a little longer than usual so that when I'm sitting on the floor it won't ride up too high - gotta be modest in Japan, I hear!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Great British Sewing Bee, Episode 2

I'm behind, but here's the second episode. I can't believe they gave them like 4 hours to make a pair of men's trousers! The only positive thing was that they didn't have to fit anything in particular. The judging was on successful fly zipper, etc., and they didn't comment on fit at all. My favorite comment was Mark saying, "I've got a proper pair of trousers!" with that accent. And the youngest girl seems to have a Scottish accent that's different from the rest. Oh, and I laughed out loud when the host said, "Ring-a-ding-ding! This blouse and a cocktail. Mr. Brad Pitt, would you care for a pretzel? Yes, I would....yes, I would." WTH does that even mean? But hilarious. Why aren't they showing this on BBC America?

Hopefully I'll have a skirt made from the Japanese fabric to show you this afternoon or tomorrow!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Great British Sewing Bee

I'm jumping on the bandwagon - this show is great! Sort of like Project Runway, but more down to earth, and with charming British accents! Thanks to Ann and Gwen for pointing me to it.

And I snagged a couple of more pictures of my first skirt with the shoes I found at DSW. I was looking for comfortable walking flats that were somewhat stylish to wear around Japan. I ended up looking like an LPGA golfer.

Drew asked why I would wear a skirt with tennis shoes.

Dean said I looked like I was "getting it done," whatever that means. (I took it as a compliment.)

A man at Mellow Mushroom came up to see if I was Nancy Lopez, and when I wasn't, he acted like he was just getting a newspaper from the bin...but I know....I know.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Couple of Funny YouTube Videos

Drew shared this one with me yesterday - good stuff if you've ever had a cat or dog.

Dean shared this one that's also funny, with a bit of political commentary as well.

And let's round out comedy and politics with some religion, shall we? I love Beth Moore, and my sister sent me this one - also funny but with a tear at the end. If you've never seen Beth Moore and you're not religious, start around 2:50 and watch for a minute at least - she should really be a stand-up comedian.

Okay, enough controversial videos...off to work, then a costume meeting to see how 4 moms and 1 dad (yes, I'm curious too!) are going to sew up costumes for 50 kids in 2 weeks.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Japanese Fabrics

So my Japanese MIL brought me 2 hand-dyed fabrics the last time she went to Japan. Now the edges are finished, so I'm thinking this is for a table or some such, but she told me she thought I could make something with it, just to be careful washing it because the dye might run. Well, they both made it through a cold wash and even a dryer. Here's one...

If I knew how to drape, this is what I'd do...

Here's the second one, which has fringe on all the edges.

So that looks weird as a skirt - I was trying to preserve the fringe as a border.

What would you do with them? They're a moderate-weight cotton from what I can tell. Too heavy for a shirt, and they may be too hot to wear there this summer. But I don't have a table they'd fit, and they're not quite like blankets. Any thoughts?

Also, I finished Stranger in a Strange Land, the sci-fi book I read over Spring Break about a man raised on Mars coming home to Earth. Definitely worth it, but the action and excitement of the beginning led to some sagging in the middle as they discussed religion, philosophy, and then sex ad nauseum. (Yeah, he joined a circus, if you can believe that, and started sleeping with everybody - but it was written in the 60's, so what did I expect?) Luckily, it all wrapped up to my satisfaction and had a killer ending (literally - ha!). Overall quite good. Next up is either Anna Karenina or Catch-22. Heckuva choice there.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

An Updated Skirt and Lots of Zippers

Looka here - my skirt matches my blue suede heels!

I'm ready for a dinner out...but my intention was to wear this during the day in Japan. Looks like I'll be shopping for comfortable yet stylish flats. So it's overall pretty good, but a couple of things went wrong. First, I couldn't get the back darts exactly right, so there's a little poofiness on the right especially.

Second, I'm pretty sure you do something else with an exposed zipper when you have a waistband, but I didn't think of that at the time. (I've pulled the sweater up to show you - it's not really this slouchy.)

Anyhoo, I still like it. And I was happy that it sits down on my waist when the fit is right - not up on my ribcage like the vintage ones did. Oh, one other thing - here's the shrug I'm knitting to wear with it...but it doesn't quite match. Maybe they'll be far enough away that it's okay?

Okay, some gratuitous shots of our yardwork this weekend...make that yard-nap.

Love these irises!

And now some zippers.

So many choices...well, maybe not these exact choices...

Okay, back to Celebrity Apprentice.