20 December 2008

I'm sewing...really I am...

Yeah, so updating my blog has obviously not been a high priority. I redesigned it several weeks ago and posted a couple of random things. But adding sewing related stuff...stuff about which the blog was supposed to be? Yeah, see, what had happened was...

Anyway...despite the silenced blog, I have actually been sewing something. I made three sets of pillowcases, a pair of pants, two knit tops, and more recently a really nice skirt. Details of each project will be added...soon...maybe...hopefully...=)


20 November 2008

I am *so* Bette.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

29 May 2008

The Merry Month of May - Gray Clouds with Sterling Silver Linings

Well, we are nearing the end of May 2008 and boy what a month it was! This month has presented remarkable challenges in every sense of the word.

7 May: A relative bursts a pipe (with unusual force which probably needs more explanation) in the main bathroom, causing water to flow in the bathroom and down into my sewing room.

9 May: My dog undergoes an emergency spay because her uterus was infected (pyometra). This procedure cost over $1000 - an amount that I ended up charging on a credit card that I *JUST* paid off on 2 May.

14 May: Got the damn dreaded 'friend speech' from I guy I used to dig.

21 May: Sick. Sick. Sick. I forged a new bond with my toilet!

25 May: I tried to explain to other family members the severity of a mentally ill relative that lives with me - only to be told that they basically do not see any problem and hence do not believe me.

28 May: On the way to the hardware store to get supplies to fix above mentioned busted pipe, the clutch cable on my car broke - rendering my car temporarily useless. As I sat in the middle of the road, angry drivers speeding around me, I could not help but be calm. After all that has happened this month, I do not think I had any more anger or frustration left. I actually had a really nice conversation with the tow truck driver.

Yeah, so May was a pretty crappy month. But it DEFINITELY could have been worse:

o The water from the busted pipe could have fallen on my computerized sewing machine.

o My dog, who has been (and continues to be) a most loyal companion and wonderful friend, could have died.

o The guy, a complete jackass, and I are still friends.

o I could have been sick for more than one day.

o People who do not understand what you are going through can only do so if they experience the trial themselves. No love lost here. They just don't know.

o I could have been stranded 30 miles from my house instead of 7. It could have been raining, freezing cold, and in the middle of the night.

The stress was hard to deal with at times, but in the end I can truly say that


22 May 2008

Mini Wardrobe: Update

I've made some changes to my mini wardrobe plan. Since this is my first time working with a very stretchy knit, I decided to make a muslin out of the same fabric with a different print. It turns out that I really like the muslin and will now include it as part of my wardrobe. So, the criss-cross knit is out, for now. Also, time is running out if I am to submit my entry by 31 May. I still intend to make the pants, but it won't happen before next Saturday. Besides, lately I have been feeling quite ill and have not had much energy to do any sewing.

So, here is my new mini wardrobe plan:

As stated, I finished the black floral print top and will write details of its construction soon. I am still working on the pencil skirt (stinkin' zipper issues), but should finish rather quickly - provided that I feel better.


05 May 2008

Update: Fitting M5471

UGH! Yep, it went just like that. I sewed the new muslin of M5471 today and boy does it NOT fit. I traced a size 14 at the shoulder, neck, armscye, and up to just above the waist. From this point on, I morphed into a size 18. When I tried on the muslin, the center front was about 2.5" off! I would post pictures...but...yeah...gonna leave that one alone. =)

My sewing buddy Melody suggested that I add about 0.5" to both the side front and front pieces to see if that gives me the width that I so desperately need. So, after quite a disappointing session with this blouse, I will again put it down for a few days and rejuvenate my interest by sewing something else.


04 May 2008

Mini Wardrobe (Spring 2008)

Life, work, and fit challenges are partly to blame for my inability to complete this year's SWAP on PR. Well, at least that's the excuse I'm going with now. =) This month, PR is hosting a mini wardrobe contest and I am D.E.T.E.R.M.I.N.E.D to finish. I know...I know...I say this every time. Really, this time I will do it. My previous attempts certainly did not lack determination. I think my non-sewing life just (in)conveniently carried more weight.

Anyway, the plan is to create four garments: two bottoms and two tops.

The first top is Kwik Sew 2694 View B. I made this top last summer, but the fit was not great. It was my first time working with a knit and the top was entirely too big. Since then, I have learned a great deal through trial and error and a class. I plan to construct the top out of this really nice onion skin.

For the hem finishes, I think a rolled edge maybe with some gold metallic thread will look really nice.

The second top is Christine Jonson 426. I made this top a couple of months ago as part of a class.

I used a medium dense cotton interlock and cut a size large. The top fits great, but is a little dippy in the front. I don't mind it so much, though this is not something I can wear to work. For the wardrobe, I want to make the same top again using this criss-cross knit jersey. This time I will cut a medium since this material has considerably more stretch than the cotton interlock.

The first bottom will be made from a pseudo tried-n-true pattern, Simplicity 5259 View F. I say it is pseudo TNT because a recent muslin fitting showed me that it does not fit like it used to! I made a couple of versions of this skirt before (about 3-4 years ago), starting with a size 18. When I sewed it up, the 18 ended up being way too large. Taking a larger seam allowance was the easy remedy. I made a quick muslin just to check the fit and whoa! The 18 is almost tight! When the hell did that happen?! Ugh. More on re-fitting this puppy in a later post... I plan to make View F out of a dark tan stretch twill. Hopefully the stretch of the fabric will give me some relief!

Finally for the second bottom I will use a TNT pants pattern, Vogue 8157 View B. I made three pairs of these pants so far and am pretty comfortable with the construction. The fabric I want to use doesn't appear to have quite the same stretch as the previous pairs. So, I think the fit will definitely be different. I will use a striped stretch twill:

Based on the current pattern layout, it appears as if I will have enough of this fabric to squeeze out another pencil skirt. So if I have time, I will make another version of S5259 but view D instead. I do not know how the split will look with the stripes.

I am really excited about these four garments. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I should be able to get these done. Also, I have found some wonderful sewing buddies, Melody and Elnora. Sewing with them has been so rewarding and productive. Thanks ladies! RSH =)

Ok. It's time for me to make some progress on these garments. I am going to finish up a project I started a couple of weeks ago, NL 6729. I started this because I was getting frustrated with fitting M5471 and I needed to feel some success. =) I traced new pattern pieces for M 5471 and performed a full bust adjustment. I already cut the pieces out of muslin and need to sew it up.

Until next time...L8A!

20 April 2008

Fitting M5471

Lately I have been having the fits with M5471. This garment was *supposed* to be part of my SWAP 2008. Yeah, well, nice going on that one. I managed to get one item finished and have been stuck with this blouse ever since.

The first thing I noticed when I tried it on was that the neckline was WAY too high. The collar bunched up quite uncomfortably at the nape of my neck.

Next, the front is a bit snug as the D-cup size still does not provide enough wearable ease.

The neck-to-waist length is still too long even though I took out 1.25 inches of length.

The shoulder seam is miles away from my shoulder joint (orange dot).

Finally (??), the armhole is too high because I can not comfortably lift my arm without taking the whole right side of the blouse with it.

Wow, so many problems with such a simple blouse. I suspect the source of these problems stems from my decision to start with a size 18 bodice front. I've tried using my HB measurements to determine my start size and found that there were other areas of the blouse that were too small. Clearly, the size 18 is not the way to go. What to do? I have decided to try a combination of sizes. I will cut a size 14 along the shoulders, neck, and armhole on the bodice front and back. I will then morph into a size 16/18 along the side seam starting...under the arm or just below the bust...hmm...not sure about that one.

I am determined to get a blouse out of this pattern. Though I am getting very frustrated, I am not ready to give up yet.


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