Thursday, September 20, 2018

Jalie Rose...The first of many!

A Jalie Rose!

I’m enamored of this pattern for sure. I have been looking for a pattern for a woven, sleeveless shirt with a collar and collar stand for quite a long time. Finding a pattern that works with my curves is difficult to say the least. Jalie won the gold cup! The pattern went together well, and it may be the nicest shirt collar I've seen in a long time! 

I put together a quick muslin and determined that other than adding a 1” strip through the back yoke to make up for my gravity affected shoulder posture. I did also shorten it by 3” as I’m only 5’2” tall, and their fit is designed for 5’6”. I may add back another inch, but not sure of that. I didn’t need any other alterations! What a thrill.

For my first of hopefully many to come, I used a luscious cotton lawn from the stash. Depending on your color sense, it’s in a creamy white and either turquoise,  aqua, light teal, or mint green, but I love it and it will go well in my wardrobe with multiple items. I took my time, and made sure it all went together well, even doing hand basting to be sure I had things right. It'd been a long time since I did a woven shirt collar. 

I’m not sure where the fabric came from or when, but perhaps in 2013 when I was putting together the fabrics for the teal collection, perhaps not. I had purchased 2.75 yards, and it’s 58” wide, so I have a nice remnant for who knows what.

For the collar and under-collar, I used a fusible tricot from Fashion Sewing Supply, and the buttons were in a bag of various shirt buttons from the stash, possibly also purchased from Fashion Sewing Supply. They are awesome!

Without further ado...

Completed 09-19-2018.

This morning I cut out the A-Line skirt from the teal blue denim remnant that I used for the pants back in February. This will work with some of my core items for tax season along with many items for the Spring and Summer. 

I hope to have more to show later in the week!

Happy sewing!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Definitely moving into Autumn around here

Happy week! I finished both swimsuits and they're going to fit in nicely with my exercise classes. As I said in last week's missive, the Berry fabric was from Fashion Fabrics Club (online) and the elastics and linings are from Sew Sassy. The bust cups haven't arrived yet, but are anticipated tomorrow. I'm pleased with both, and overall they fit well.

From old stash fabric, and Jalie 3350 Swimsuit pattern

From Fashion Fabrics Club fabric and Jalie 3350 Pattern

I finished my sloper and am quite pleased with it. I don't know that I've ever had one that fits quite this well, so that's huge in my book. I've already got it lined up to check fit on my Jalie Rose that was taped together and traced off last night. I'm hoping to get it cut out and started this afternoon. 

I did get the job I interviewed for, so I spent a good bit of time this week using some tools from Nancy Nix-Rice and the Vivienne Files to do wardrobe planning. I haven't worked in an office with multiple other people for many years, so I do want to look smart while fitting in, but remain true to my aesthetic and still be comfortable. In this area, everything is "business casual" so I went through the closet, looking at what I have, and what I need to fit in. A few items will need to be altered, and a few items are on the "to make" list, but overall I'm in good shape. I ONLY purchased about 5 yards of a rayon print from Fashion Fabrics Club, (on sale!) in an ocean/teal and the rest is already owned, and a lot is already made and ready to go. I used Vivienne's latest four by five grid to put together a "wardrobe plan." Without further ado...

Column 1 or Cluster 1 includes a royal blue linen unlined jacket, which is currently being altered to get the shoulders correct. A navy short sleeved tee; a navy long sleeved tee to be made; I actually have 3 pair of navy slacks; and a navy denim skirt. 

Column 2 or Cluster 2 has a teal blue (both items the same fabric) cardigan and short sleeved tee, previously blogged; a cream and teal paisley tee and teal and camel floral tee, both previously blogged, and a teal blue denim skirt, color IRL closer to the top photo. 

Cluster 3 Aztec print sweater from 2015 with red; teal; grey and black print; red short sleeved tee; a cream/red/black and grey linen blouse that will be made soon; and tropical wool slacks in both charcoal and light grey. 

Cluster 4 A RTW teal and royal blue heavy knee length sweater; the ocean/teal rayon shirt and skirt to be made; a RTW red cardigan gift from Hubby; and a pair of black wool and/or linen slacks to be made. 

There are other jackets that will work with the plan also and once this is put together, I'll probably start a new cluster with browns, tans, and the like. 

I'm pushing the pedal to the medal as I start tax classes the 24th of this month, which will take up 3 mornings a week with at least 9 hours a week of homework along with my Aqua Aerobics classes. Those will run until November 9, and then I have about 3 days of tax updates for the new laws put in place for 2018 returns. After that, I'll have some downtime until January 2, when I go into real work mode. 

I'm excited about the job, about the wardrobe, and also about having some extra income. I'm eyeballing a Baby Lock cover stitch machine for my "reward" for all my hard work. So in my book, it's a win-win-win!

I hope your autumn plans are working out well also! More later! 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy Holiday! And this week's projects

For all my friends in the US, it's Labor Day. Hope your day is lovely and you have time for food, family, and whatever makes your heart full. For those not in the US, Labor Day is a public holiday designed to honor the American labor movement and the contributions made by workers to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. (Wikipedia)

As a child, in my hometown, it was always the day before the first day of school, so we attempted to grab every last bit of summer we could. As an adult, it was always a three day weekend that allowed one tiny last minute weekend getaway or celebration before we headed into the fall season with no breaks until Thanksgiving. At the current time, I think most schools around here start in around mid-August, this year the 13th, so those kids are enjoying a three day weekend.

In my family on Labor Day, my dad would barbecue, we'd have potato salad, macaroni salad, fresh watermelon and sliced tomatoes from our neighbor's garden, and sometimes, if we were lucky, some home churned ice cream. Today I have a rack of baby back ribs that will go into the crock-pot while I spend the day sewing. Sides will be a bit more healthy and less caloric.

I finally have my moulage set and ready to move on into making it into a sloper, so that's on the list for this week. After the first 1 1/2" sway back adjustment, I had to do an additional 5/8" tuck on both the upper and lower back at the waist seam tapering to nothing at the side seam. Now it looks just about perfect.

I'll be moving on with getting some things made with my sloper to check fit as soon as I've got that together. I do still have to take the sleeve class and get a sleeve that fits into my bodice and still works with my bodacious biceps! But first I'll be making up the Jalie Rose into a sleeveless shirt. Around this area, it can work on it's own, and then under a lightweight jacket or cardigan for at least a couple of months yet.

I'm also finishing up two swimsuits that I started earlier in the week. One from a very old Rose Marie Reed stash fabric, blues, aquas, light purple, and similar colors, possibly purchased in the 90's when Stretch and Sew would bring their fabrics to town once every few months and another in a relative new fabric from purchased in March in purple, turquoise, and berry. I hope to have them done today. Still need to put the darker one together, and sew the elastic around the armholes/back and legs to the lighter one. I've used the new Jalie 3350 pattern for these, and I think they will be great for my Aqua Aerobics. 

For both of these, I've used the front from View A and the back from View B. I did enlarge the straps as the directions call for 3/8" elastic with the fabric wrapper over it, and for a larger woman, a 3/4" elastic works much better, especially in a class where we're jumping and running, and really moving around a lot. While I won't be strutting my stuff in public at the current time, they're going to work perfectly for the intended use. I've been trying to work out a custom bust cup that will fit my body, and think I may have an idea that will work. These have a double cup ling so you can install "removable cups." I did buy a couple of pair of molded Wacoal cups yesterday that should be here this week. We'll see if I'm going to need to use them in the future or if my idea works well.

Although I've purchased several Jalie patterns over the years, I hadn't actually sewn any up until now. I have a friend who had purchased one of their patterns and was quite pleased. It was her first PDF, and having the ability to only print the size you want, was an eyeopener. It made an awful lot of sense to do that! I'll be using more of them in the future for sure! 

Since August is done, I'm checking in on my Sewing to do list for the last three months. I did amazingly well IMO. I have the Suzy Furrer bodice class almost completed, with the bodice fitting now. Hooray! The next few lessons are how to convert the moulage into your sloper, and truing it up, transferring to tag board, and some design options. I will have to carefully follow the instruction to change the moulage into the sloper, but the rest I have done in pattern classes before, so nothing earth shattering for me. I got the two pair of shorts completed, finished the first quilt and made another for the new grandson. Made some receiving blankets, and a baby shirt, and am working on swimsuits. No lingerie got started this month, but that's on the horizon I believe. I figured the swimsuits were more urgent as the ones I've been wearing the last year and a half are getting pretty sad and worn looking. 

September-October-November goals will be to complete the sloper on tag, make the Jalie Rose, perhaps get the McCalls 7575 shirt muslined and fitted, along with a couple of pair of long pants for winter. 

I also made a decision that in order to avoid any dementia or Alzheimer's I need to exercise my brain more, and along those lines decided to sign up to complete taxes for next year, which includes taking a 60 hour tax class. I signed up, took their assessment test, and passed, so have an interview tomorrow for the job. Because I passed both their initial assessment tests, I'll be starting as a tax specialist versus the initial tax assistant. It's a step up on the ladder, and comes with a slight edge. 

The tax class starts the 24th of this month, and will be three mornings a week until mid November. There will definitely be homework also, so that along with my Aqua Aerobics classes and whatever sewing I can squeeze in should keep me busy over the next few months. I'm looking forward to it! AND, if I decide it makes sense I'll use some of my earnings for a stand alone cover stitch machine. We'll see. I believer there is a dealer here in town that sells the Babylock, and if so, I'll be checking them out. 

So that's my week in review. I'd better get busy on my next week. Wishing you all a sew special week!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Lovely thoughts and what I'm working on.

One of the things I do when I"m not sewing or doing aqua aerobics or cooking. I read. A LOT.

I read this the other night in the current cozy mystery book and loved it. Yes. a real book with pages that turn and everything!

"Imagine, if you will, the horror that engulfs a modern family when they realize they cannot charge their electronic devices. Their mobiles, tablets, laptops, and desktops are useless! Panic sets in. Without a screen to watch or keys to tap, all harmony is at an end. The ties that bind are on the verge of snapping when someone recalls a dim and distant memory of...the original virtual-reality device! A wondrous device that will allow them to go anywhere at any time with anyone they choose. A device powered by the imagination, a device gravity cannot shatter, a device that decays organically, leaving no toxic sludge behind to poison our precious planet!"A Book!

Hug your librarian and read a real'll make you happy or smarter, or just take you to another place!

In sewing news, I did the first alterations on the moulage #2, but my sway back adjustment of 1 1/2" was not quite enough. I need to do another and try again this week. Other than that, it's looking pretty good IMO.

I'm also working on a new swimsuit with a pattern from Jalie. This may be my first make with Jalie patterns, although I do have several I've bought over the years. The new Jalie Rose shirt is waiting to be muslined and completed too.

I hope to have something to show soon. More later.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Quick update of the last ten days...

I got the second baby quilt made in a short amount of time. I'm liking that this one was quick and is still cute, and I'm really happy with the fact that I'm learning how to do these nice mitered corners that are good on both sides. This one isn't perfect yet, but it's not bad if I say so myself!

The front is cut out of 8 1/2 " squares, making them 8" after sewing. It's approximately 40" X 50" which is just about right for crib size. I just alternated the "very hungry caterpillar abstract dots" fabric with "sock monkey sports" pieces I had auditioned for the binding on the first quilt. If I'd been paying more attention it would be more symmetrical but Dale keeps reminding me that in the "olden days" the Navajo always made some mistakes in their rugs so they could prove they were handmade! 

The back is a one piece fabric that has jungle images all over it in primary colors on a white background. 

I'm also working on some baby clothes, and my friend Lupe who is learning to sew had an idea for a tote for swimming that we worked on Wednesday. I don't have any pictures yet, but will get some before too long. 

More later!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Midweek Update

I'm rather on a roll right now, and excited about it. I look up at my June-July-August "to do" list posted above both my sewing machine and my computer, and I see that I've partially completed Item #1, just waiting on the zipper to get the initial bodice fitted so I can get the critique and whatever minor adjustments need to be done. My sewing friend indicated that she thinks it fits well when she was here last Saturday, so we'll see once I'm able to actually get the zipper in and try it on zipped up the back.

Item #2 is to sew 2 or more pair of shorts. These are both from my now TNT Burda pattern. The bronze stretch cotton ones were shown a few posts back, and yesterday I finished the navy linen shorts. Nothing new other than I did a decorative stitch along the top of the pockets for some tone-on-tone interest. They've been finished, pressed, and are in the closet ready for wearing.

So here they are in all their glory:

The third item was to finish A.J.'s quilt. Which was done and shown a few posts back. He's got it now, and I heard an adorable tape of him saying, "I love it, it's beautiful!" Warmed my heart no end!

The fourth item is a general category of Baby Clothes. I have the knitted blanket underway and a patchwork quilt underway as shown in the previous post, and I've pulled out of the stash some baby themed cotton knits and cotton flannel for a few onesies and a few receiving blankets. I don't think you can have too many of either of those.

So I'm excited to be moving ahead with my listed projects and hopefully am going to exceed my self assigned tasks for the quarter. Hooray!

Now to get the September-October-November project sewing to do list put together. More later!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Moving Right Along

It was a very long week, but I was able to distract myself a bit with my projects. Thank goodness.

I'd been doing reasonably well with all of my goals, but a health scare, thankfully nothing, did me in for a little over a week. Add in some fairly healthy family drama, and instead of hanging tough, I blew it. That eliminated 3 weeks weight loss and added another .8 pounds, darn it. Despite doing everything I could to contain the stress, I am nothing if not a stress eater. Between comfort foods and ice cream, it wasn't my finest goal action week.

As far as the goal of the Suzy Furrer custom bodice, I ordered three 30" long zippers from zipper stop, so I will have a couple on hand moving forward. But because I want to have the zipper installed to better critique the back of the moulage, I'm waiting on any further work until those are here.

Since I hadn't knitted anything for about 30 years or more, and wasn't sure what I was doing, the initial blanket turned out to be a mess and in a fit of pique, I tore the whole thing out. That one is going to be saved until I have done more knitting and am better able to concentrate and follow a pattern. It was pretty complicated for a novice (again) knitter.

But, I am moving forward rather quickly on a new knitted baby blanket. One of my friends who goes to a knitting club told me about free patterns on various yarn websites, and talked about a shawl that some of the ladies have made that is a great re-entry project. I found a super easy pattern on the Lion Brand yarn website. It was free, and it's all just knitting! Hooray. You start with a cast on of only five stitches and add one stitch each row until you have 99 stitches, and start to decrease one stitch every row until you're back to 5 stitches. It took me some mulling to figure out how that was going to wind up in a 30" square blanket. Then a light bulb went off...duh! You're starting at a corner.

I didn't have the proper yarn or the right size needles, but I went barreling forward as is my wont. I actually like the blanket a lot! The yarn is kind of a chenille type and the needles used are a size 15 instead of the 13 called for in the pattern. I decided if it turned out crap, it could be a trial piece, but it's not. Since it's so easy, I purchased the right size needles and the right yarn to make another. This one is kind of lacy, so will be good for a summer baby, but with the correct needles and yarn, it's going to be much heavier, and will be perfect for a Christmas gift. The pattern is

Here's a preview about half done...

That wasn't quite enough to distract me, so I also decided this baby needs it's own quilt. I did a very easy and quick patchwork using 8" squares. It went VERY quickly, and it's now clipped together with the batting and backing ready for me to start doing the quilting. Here's a preview:

I used some fabrics I'd purchased for the other quilt to audition for the bindings, and added in a "caterpillar" fabric to get a quilt approximately 40" X 50". The backing fabric is a jungle themed with a white background, so they can have primary colors or a little less bright. I'm hoping to get both the knitted blanket and this one completed this week. 

My friend was over for another couple of sewing lessons this week and when she heard I was knitting a blanket, (she also wants to learn how to knit) the second day together, she brought some yarn and needles given to her by her granddaughter. She picked up crochet in nothing flat, so I expect starting with an easy knitting project she'll surpass my skills in no time. She not only learns how to knit but how to knit left handed just by watching! She is bright and quick and learns a lot each time we're together. She's now got a pair of shorts and two tees completed. She doesn't have my OCD, but is doing fine for initial projects. I'm trying hard not to make her tear everything out that is less than perfect, as I don't want to discourage her forward progress. Next up will be a simple-ish sleeveless A-line dress from an Octobre magazine. It should go quite quickly once we get the pattern traced off. 

We also decided that we need to do a Hatha Yoga class together in addition to the Aqua Aerobics, so we've got our initial foray planned for next Friday. My pain is gone from the knees, but the muscles have atrophied after 10 years of not walking correctly, so I'm thinking the yoga will help get them stretched out. I figure it's never too late for yoga! I do know my practices will take a lot more effort and my progress will go much more slowly at 71 than they did at 35! But always moving forward is the way to go IMO. 

So my week was a lot of reading, knitting, and sewing, with some visiting and teaching added in. Thoroughly enjoyable! 

The goals for next week are to finally finish my navy linen shorts, finish up the knitted blanket, finish the quilt, and start on some baby clothes. We'll see how it goes! 

Hope you're enjoying your summer! More later...