Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am Washing my Sheets in my Own Apt!!

The boys came and installed my washer and dryer today. I am having so much fun! Load #2 is in the washer and I am waiting for my sheets to dry so I can make up the bed. I LOVE this.

edit a few hours later:

OH CARUMBA!!! The drain hose fell off the back of the washer and I am still mopping up my apt. The water went all the way to the living room and luckily, I was able to move the boxes of photos out of the way. They were stored where the hook ups are so had to move them out and I put them on the floor in the dining area, which also flooded. All my KK and now Sam photos are in there plus some weddings etc.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sunshine on the Cloth

The sun is peeking through the blinds and shining on my fabric. I received my last box today and Spunky is happy because it is a box and not a sack. The red and turquoise are RPL as is the pale mint. The pale mint is so lightweight that it is going to have to be a nightgown for summer. This online shopping is hit or miss. This "Vera Wang Designer Woven Jacquard Circles Navy" looks nothing like the picture at Fabric dot com either. The little thumbnail is what was on the site but it looks very black in person even though I can see the navy along the selvedge.

Yesterday I received a trial swatch packet from Vogue Fabrics online and I loved some of the swatches. I did join FabricMart swatch club for a year so will be looking forward to that. Since I have forgotten so much about fabric and there is so much new, I thought that the swatch clubs would not only prevent big surprises, but they describe the fabric content and label the fabrics so I can learn from that too. The little swatches can be kept forever and I can refer to them if I can't remember what a twill or a jacquard or an RPL is. There is a cherry colored wool twill at Vogue fabrics that is TDF. I need a slap long side the head.

Will be preparing fabric all Sunday and Monday, I hope. My new washer and dryer will be installed. Yay!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fabric and Books

Another bag of fabric came from Fabric dot com. They used to send everything in a box but the last 2 shipments have come in sacks. They arrived safely so no harm but my sewing assistant Spunky is miffed since he prefers boxes. First of all, on recommendation of that Sewing Fanatic Carolyn, I bought some designer stretch wool that is TDF. I ordered black and navy but they ran out of the navy. Carolyn is so right. It is beautiful. Then, curiosity got the best of me and I ordered 3 lengths of slinky. I mean, what is slinky?? It's sort of shimmery on one side. Actually, it looks like lingerie fabric to me and I've heard it can be difficult to sew. Why did I need 3 lengths of this stuff to find that out?? Oy...

Since the navy stretch wool was sold out, I bought some cotton/rayon faille from the Vera Wang collection in navy and it is very pretty. It has a "crispy" hand, for an unlined jacket or maybe pants? I will be curious to know what it feels like after I pretreat it..... which will be after I find out how to do that? That gold hammered silk is from a different order. I love the colors of these fabrics and am getting anxious to sew. I think of all the fabrics, faille is my favorite. When I was a little girl, I had a peach colored faille dress with hand embroidered tiny flowers (think heirloom roses) at the neckline for dress up that I loved. When it was handed down to my younger sister, I remember being so sad because it was too small for me. I LOVED that dress. I wonder if it was rayon? We are talking ca 1950?? Did they have rayon in 1950? I know nothing about synthetic textiles.

In addition to fabrics, I bought another book....Power Sewing by Sandra Betzina. I am hoping it will help me remember some prior skills and add some new ones.

Soon there will be projects to look at. My plans for Matilda were put on hold this weekend, but soon she will have her cover. And, I will be sewing up several pairs of pants. I also plan to alter my old TNT pants pattern because it is so fast to stitch up and I like the shape. There is another Burda pants pattern I want to use from the January 2010 issue too. Now that Marla has shown me what to do, I think my pants will fit from now on....famous last words.

Cheers............Sew Happy!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pants Fitting Class with Marla Kazell

Wednesday evening I went to my pant fitting class (otherwise known as "bottom half Reality Check) at Josephine's Dry Goods. (photo from website)

Marla's website:

The only request Marla made was that we bring a Burda pattern. It was OK to trace one out of our magazine, so that is what I did, with my sewing assistant's help. (see below)

First, she took our measurements. Then, we compared those measurements to our pattern. I used a size 40 pattern and because I have never used a Burda pattern and have not sewn for myself for many years, I had no idea really if I had chosen the right size. It turns out I did. All my life I have had a short rise so I was very surprised when we had to lengthen the crotch on this pattern by 1&5/8", or about 7/8" on front and back pieces. I think it is because of my shape which now has an out of proportion tummy.

Then we strengthened the crotch curve on our patterns with tape along the stitching lines. We pinned in the darts to the outside and pinned the leg seams together and tried on our patterns.

Marla fit each of us in turn. As you can see by these photos, we made several adjustments to my pattern in addition to lengthening the crotch. The first thing we did was raise the knee point. I don't remember seeing a pattern that marks where the knee should be. Wow! What a great reference point.

Then, Marla pointed out to us the shape of the center back seam on our pattern piece. Mine was very slanted but my body is she straightened out that back seam from the point where the crotch curve ends to the waist. The dart in the back waist was OK so she left that. But, she added to the waist by straightening out the center back seam and also at the side seams. The red dotted lines are the stitching lines. Then, in the back, she folded out about an inch at the center back crotch, gradually diminishing to nothing at the side seam. So, this removed the amount I had lengthened the crotch on the back piece. I still have a flat bottom even though my crotch had to be lengthened overall due to my tummy.

On both the front and back pieces, we had to straighten out the hip curve and take the pants in there by quite a bit but then kept the line straight, which increased the waistline by almost the same amount. Whatever curves I used to have on the sides are gone. Oh well. As long as I am comfortable and my pants are attractive and fit well...that's ok. (sniffle sniffle)

My pants have pockets, so when we lengthened the crotch on the front piece, we had to do it in 2 separate places so the pocket wouldn't be effected. You can see the zig zaggy cuts in the pattern. Then, she figured out total length. My inseam has always been 30". Oops....On these pants it is 29" and I am thinking I have shrunk. Eeeeeekk!!

Marla is a wonderful teacher and I am looking forward to trying out this pattern. The other 2 women in the class were nice and it was an altogether enjoyable experience. I have some nice white rayon/poly gabardine to use for a wearable (I hope) muslin. If you are in the Portland area, I heartily recommend this teacher. I have taken 2 classes from her so far and have been very satisfied and had fun too. Do go to her website. Woo Hoo!!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Over the Hump Tracing Burda

I am finally over the hump tracing Burda patterns out of the magazine. The avoidance behavior, in which I have been engaging for more than a year, is OVER. I spread this out Monday, and there it sat until yesterday. One look at the criss crossing lines about did me in. Eeeeeeek!!! But, I perservered and have now actually traced a pattern, with more to follow. Spunky the Sewing Assistant is keeping me at it. hehehe

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Yippee Skippee!! The Better to Sew With....

Yay! I bought a new (to me) washer and dryer today, which KK is showing off. It is SO HARD to sew when you have to cart your fabrics out in the weather to the laundry room or to the laundromat. And, you don't want to share a washer & dryer with people who might be putting who knows what in the machines you are using. DSx2 will come and install in 2 weeks since DS#2 will be out of town next weekend.

I am so thrilled about this. ;-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

It's goodbye to 2009, which is fine with me. It wasn't all bad though. Our precious Sam came in 2009, almost 40 years to the day after his Daddy came. AND, I got a sewing room. And, my New Years resolution for 2009 was actually get rid of 30 pounds. But, I am really looking forward to 2010. My projects are on hold because I have a cold so am going to sit back and watch the Rose Bowl today and cheer for Oregon. Go Ducks!!

I hope everybody has a wonderful 2010 and that whatever goals you have for this year will come to pass. And most of all, Good Health.