Monday, February 27, 2012

Words of Wisdom?

I think the funniest part may be "When you sew, make yourself as attractive as possible". 
So... no sewing in your underwear then? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Look what I found!

And our logos are similar to boot. See Kate Sew suggests using Spoonflower to print a fat quarter of fabric with your logo, cutting it and sewing it to whatever you like. Why didn't I think of that?? So smart.

The ski trip was fantastic. My niece is fantastic. She's only 6 years old and had no trouble spending the day with her uncle and auntie and their 4 adult friends. I wish I had pics, but true to form, we brought the camera and then didn't even take it out of my suitcase. BOOOO! Oh well. One of our friends is a shutterbug and just got an iphone so there we can just steal his pics on facebook. 

Right now I'm working on a second polo shirt for B, but I have an awful lot of tv to catch up on that has been distracting me from sewing. I do enjoy television—not reality tv mind you—except for The Voice-which makes me cry every episode. I sing, and even went so far as to get a university degree on the subject. I know I'm not a career singer but the passion for it never went away and I really get caught up in some of the contestant's origin stories and get very emotional when they do well. It's silly, I know.

Up next in the cue is either finishing copying my bathing suit or Simplicity 2191. I started the bathing suit back in the fall, but lost my nerve when I had to pick out the stitching about a million times when sewing the elastic to the top pieces. What a pain in the a$$. I've had fabric picked out for S2191 for a while as well, and may even use it as the basis for a bunnyhug (Saskatchewan for hoodie) Cidell pinned on Pinterest: 

I asked Suzannah from if she had any suggestions for patterns to base this on and many of her readers had some helpful suggestions, then I remembered that I already had S2191 which already has cut-on sleeves and might work better with those princess seams for shaping (I need all the help I can get). I haven't quite worked out how I'm going to manipulate the pattern yet, but in the end, I want to try ombre dyeing it. I've already bought a tan sweatshirt fleece and dark brown and purple dye. I've mocked this up to illustrate my idea: 

That's what I've been thinking (obsessing) about for the last month or so. How about you?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Look

This isn't quite what I had in mind for the look of this blog, but it will do. I design for print so I'm pretty lost when it comes to the technical structure of web pages. The next step is to translate my masthead into some sort-of label design and finally treat myself to some sewing labels.

Sites I've found that offer custom labels:

I may just pick up some t-shirt transfers and use the ribbon I bought a couple of years ago for this very purpose and make my own, followed by some heavy hints at the husband for a gift idea (he checks my pinterest for gift ideas—clever boy).

Does anyone out there have any experience with purchasing their own sewing labels? Where did you go?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may be able to offer!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm back!

It's been a long, busy week (and a half).

First off, I've finished week 1 (and a half) of Insanity and let me assure you, it is very difficult—it's hard to stay motivated. Getting it over with in the morning is definitely helping. On the eating front—I've already slacked off, but that's how it goes. I'll just start again and do better tomorrow!

Secondly, I've finished a couple of sewing projects:

#1: Burda 7431 featuring the sheer goose printed fabric I obsessed about.

The instructions on the neck were tricky for this one, and weren't made simpler with the fabric I used. I did a little research into interfacing sheers on the internet before I got into this project, and decided on using another single layer of my fabric sandwiched between the folded neck binding. I did not "interface" the sleeve cuffs: too much bulk to make nice ties.

All of the seams, save the arm holes are french seamed. I was going to do a false french seam (see previous post), but decided enough was enough when it came round and just serged them.

I'm happier about this top than I appear. I'm trying the timer on my camera for the first time, and the lighting looks better. I had a pic of the back, but it turned out blurry, but you've seen it before here. FYI, yes, those are our Christmas stockings still hanging. We made them for each other (i've got sequins on mine... jealous??). 

I'd like to try this top again with an easier-to-handle fabric.

Pattern review for Burda 7431 here.

#2 Simplicity 6429

De-70's-ifying this pattern was pretty easy. I just shortened the ridiculously long front placket and took about a 1/4" off the hight of the collar and 1/4" off the collar points grading to nothing at the neck edge so it would still match up with the neck opening.

Luckily, I didn't have to change anything for it to fit. This will be a go-to pattern for B, and I have fabric for another one ready to go the next time I get mad at something I'm sewing for myself and need a break involving a positive sewing experience.

Since the shirt is so simple, I wanted to make things more complicated for myself and do the topstitching three times. (Yes I unpicked it twice—it's amazing what I can find to do to procrastinate doing a workout).

I had these vintage buttons in my stash that worked great. I also had the woven black fabric in my stash and the grey knit was most likely no more than $3 or $4 a metre, so it was a pretty inexpensive project.

I finished off all hems with a serged edge folded over and stitched with a twin needle. Incidentally, the twin needle was used for the first pass at the topstitching, but was ripped out because of the messy backside (and I thought I was saving time!)

The pattern review is here.



Closeup of topstitching and cool-ass buttons:

We're going skiing this weekend. SUPER EXCITED. We've been going once a year for the last 5 years. Here is Saskatchewan, there are no hills. Literally. No hills. So we have to drive over a province to partake. B's got family there, as well as good friends. It's going to be a LOT of fun.
So, no sewing, but I'm fine with that!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Technicolour Bacon

This is what else I've been working on when I don't feel like being by myself down in the lady-cave (our basement that is being renovated where all of my sewing and work-out stuff is).

I call it my Technicolour Bacon Scarf. Truly disgusting. B says he likes it, but he's wrong.

I started this thing 3 times—three different patterns. I can crochet, but do it so infrequently that I have to relearn how to do it every single time. My mom crochets, but since I am heinously impatient, there was no way I was going to traipse over to her house to have the simple directions for a scarf demonstrated to me. I have a degree. I should be able to figure out a stupid scarf. But I didn't. Instead I ripped it out and started another pattern, then ripped it out again. Then made up my own pattern... that turned into this hideous interpretation of crochet. 

I WISH I could knit. I've tried. I'm not good at it. It's the equivalent of running as exercise to me. I'd love to be good at it, but I've conceded defeat. 

In lieu of knitting needles, I did some research a few years ago which produced this product: 

Is it possible to knit a sweater on this contraption without needles??
No. Nothing I'd wear anyway. 

This board creates a double knit. Before B so thoughtfully gave it to me for Christmas a few years back, I foolishly thought I could convert it's purpose to that of these (which can create a single-layered knit:

Not so grashopper!

And so, after about an hour of experimentation on Boxing Day 2009, it went in a closet, and hasn't been broken out since. 

Until now...
I have to say, I'm lovin' it. 
I got a book from the library which looks to be published by the creators of the knitting board.
Next project?? An afghan to replace the old comforter B hates I have on the couch for watching TV.

On another note, I think I'm going to start Insanity today. Wish me and my lungs luck.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's been a long time

I've been absent from blog posting for a couple of weeks which disappoints me because I was starting to get on a roll. But, as I'm sure all of you bloggers out there can attest, life sometimes gets in the way, and if you don't make it a priority, it doesn't happen.

Good news is, I have no shortage of entry ideas, but they pop in my head throughout the day, and I have no time to get them out. I should really work out some sort of system for that.

There are a few good reasons why I've been neglectful:

1. B is back in University and working at a job that requires him to be there at 6:30 am. We are not morning people, and I usually roll into work at about 9:30, so it's been an adjustment. We are a one-car-family and his work is on a bus route that would take at least a half an hour from our house (vs. a 5-10 min drive), so I drive him just after 6:00 (in my fuzzy pajamas) after which I come home, work out for 45 min, get ready and go to work. All of you out there who regularly get up this early are giving your computer screens a sarcastic glare, but the point of this story is that we are SO TIRED, that all I can do at the end of the day is watch TV and try not to have a nap so I can fall asleep at 10:30. I know...wah—I will not get any sympathy from you.

2. We both auditioned for The Producers which is being put on by our local theatre company. B and I both have music degrees (which means that we both had to go back to school to get a real job and sing/perform as a hobby in our spare time). We were both cast in the show: B as the German (Will Ferrell character), and myself as Ulla (Uma Thurman in the movie). I am super pumped!! Auditioningtook up a lot of time. I'll probably be sewing for the show as well—not sure what yet, but I doubt there will be any posts as I get busier.

3. For above mentioned role, I am challenging myself to loose about 7 lbs, so I've been lowering my caloric intake a little (smaller meals more frequently) and watching what I eat (no chips!) which means that I've been going through carbohydrate withdrawl which has contributed to my overall lack of energy. The first week is the worst for this and I've been pretty steadily hungry all the time, but this next week should be better. I'm just finishing up a round of Chalene Extreme/Turbo Fire and am thinking I'll try Insanity just to see if I can do it. Normally, I'm pretty happy at the size I am, but I'm going to need to feel comfortable in the equivalent of a bikini on stage in front of 300 people every night. You had better believe that after the last show I'm going to Fudruckkers and downing one of their giant cinnamon buns. It's going to be awesome.

Despite all of my excuses, I have actually been working on some projects. I did finish those purple pants, but I will not be wearing them. The fabric is horrible, and waist band is not really what I would call "good". I need to figure out how to take pictures of them in my dark house so they don't look like a dark blob attached to me at the waist. I did alter the pattern, lowering the rise and adding a normal waistband, changing the shape of the front pockets as well as flaring the bottom of the legs which has been documented on film—I just have to sort through it.

I moved on from the pants to this:

Don't let the ridiculous ruffles on view B make you run screaming—view A so far is a dream.
I fell in love with this sheer a while back and coveted it every time I went to the fabric store for like... months. Finally, it was crazy-sale-day so I picked some up. At the time, I wasn't sure what I was going to make with it until the was another crazy-sale-day on patterns and I picked up about 6 which will eventually make their way into posts in the future.

Here is said fabric:

Here is the top so far (front and back constructed, sleeves and hem left)

I did make a muslin (sort of) in a size smaller than I should have and sewed the shoulders, sides and one sleeve together. I found it snug and went straight to cutting one size larger. The sizing on this is dead on—you don't need to adjust for extra ease in the pattern. I also didn't bother with a broad back or prominent shoulder blade adjustment because of the pleat in the back. I've been sewing french seams and got hung up on what to do with the set-in sleeve seam. I could just serge it, but I didn't want to disrupt the beauty of the french seams inside and found this online: 

Sunni also posted about seam finishing on her blog. This false French seam will work out great, and I don't mind a little hand sewing. 

After that, a couple of polo shirts are in the que for B. I'm going to use another 70's pattern I picked up for .50 cents at the Salvation Army store. There will be some altering of the collar and placket so it doesn't look so clowny, and I'll need to use one of his old shirts to compare measurements (that worked really well for getting his tiger shirt just right). 

Can we have a close up??

Ummm... gross.

I got a couple of knits (one grey, one olive and brown) in the discount section (of course), and I have coordinating fabrics for the collars from my stash. There's something about sewing for B that is less stressful than sewing for myself, and these 70's patterns are so simple. There's only one cut line, so no tracing and the instructions are extremely clear. I'm excited to sew these up!