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 http://www.lionbrand.com/knitting-pattern-cuddle-tight-baby-blanket-3.html

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...



Monday, July 23, 2018

Back to the drawing board

I have to say I'm loving Suzy Furrer's Craftsy class. I sure wish I'd done this a while back! She is an excellent teacher, and if you have a less than typical body and are interested in getting clothes that fit you, plus you're willing to take the plunge into drafting your own patterns instead of spending thousands of dollars on patterns that don't work, I can't recommend her classes highly enough. You will wind up with couture garment fit to go along with your bespoke clothing!

The bodice was done Friday and I got Dale to help me by pinning it together and taking some photos for me. I'm going to show the front only!


Have to say skin tight on a chubby body isn't all that attractive! The front isn't bad other than the waistline is a bit low, which puts everything below it off. I re-measured and it's at least an inch too low in the front. That will solve some of the issues I think. There are some other measuring issues that need to be addressed and then I'll redo the moulage draft and redo the muslin moulage. I was expecting this, so I'm not upset that it will take me more than one to get it right. 

Dale did fairly well measuring me, but there are some obvious places where he missed the mark besides the front waistline. The back armholes go in way too far, and the back waist is lower than the front; it appears to my eye to be about 2 or 2 1/2 inches below my waistline, which means the upper back is fine, but about an inch or two above where the waistline SHOULD BE, it starts to wrinkle up, and about the middle of the high hip, the back seam doesn't come together. 

When I rechecked as well as I could on my own, it appears he has the high hip and low hip measurements about an inch and a half below where they actually fall on my body. That's an issue for sure. 

Before I make up the next muslin, I'll be getting a 30" long zipper so I can put that in and zip it up to have an easier time figuring out where things should go. Although if I get my measurements in the right places, it may be that I don't need one quite that long. Oh, well. IMO, longer is better as far as zippers go!

So moving forward on multiple projects. I have a quick and easy baby blanket in the process of being knitted; I'm starting on a baby quilt with really big squares; :-) and still have one pair of navy linen shorts partially done, and another pair in a navy twill ready to start cutting out.  

Then there is the Jalie Rose pattern to put together and muslin, and a few more items I'd like to get done over the next five weeks or so. 

Wish me luck, and I'll be back with more soon!



Friday, July 20, 2018

Bodice Underway!

As part of my June-July-August sewing to do list, my #1 desire was to complete the Suzy Furrer Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper.

I REALLY want to have a current made-to-measure sloper (or toile for my international friends,) drafted to my measurements. Not a tweaked "one size fits all" but a made-to-measure that actually fits my shoulders and shoulder slope, my bust line, my back, my armholes, arms, and all the rest.

Well, I'm very pleased to report it's underway. This week all week, my sewing time has been devoted to watching the lessons on Craftsy, following through with each lesson, and as of today, I have completed Lesson 6, and am starting on Lesson 7.

The first six lessons include how to measure, and the drafting of the moulage, plus cutting the completed draft into a "princess seamed" garment, cutting it out, and sewing it together. I have the first draft of the front and back completed, and at this point in time, it is cut out and ready to be sewn out of muslin for the first fitting. As my body is so very far off the "typical" fitting model, I expect there will be more than one draft before I've gotten the moulage completed.

Here are the fronts and backs (back slightly visible behind the front) as per the original draft. There are a lot of steps in each draft, with the front having something like 52 measured points with lines all over the page. You start with a Capital A, and go through the alphabet with capital letters, then lower case letters at each point, and end up either at lower case y or z. Towards the end, it gets kind of confusing. At the end, you cut it apart, and as you can see from the photo, I used a heavy duty Sharpie to mark the lines to cut so I wouldn't be confused. There is also some waist shaping, not marked on this draft that gets cut apart so you have two upper bodice and two lower bodice pieces for the front and for the back.


It's taken me most of the week in my spare moments here and there to get this far. Today I'll be cutting out the muslin for this first draft and putting it together for the first fitting. 

More later!



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bronze Shorts completed

My latest pair of shorts is done.  And picture is included.

I used a Steven Alan Medal Bronze Stretch Japanese Cotton purchased from Mood. on June 20 of this year specifically for these shorts. https://www.moodfabrics.com/steven-alan-medal-bronze-stretch-japanese-cotton-twill-304437

It's a lovely fabric that sews and presses quite well. I used the same Burda #6613 pattern that has now become my TNT, but again made patch pockets versus the typical pockets for further alterations as my body eliminates excesses. I also attached each waistband to the corresponding individual shorts pieces so I can alter at seams without having to do a lot of ripping. The waistband is drafted as four pieces with four additional facing pieces, so each front and each back has its own individual waistband piece with facing.

I SHOULD be able to just undo the waist facing seams for a couple of inches beyond each seam line, take them in, then reattach the waist band.


I started cutting these out in my spare time on July 7. I completed them this morning, July 15. Due to a question from a friend, I've been trying to keep track of the amount of time it takes me to sew these from start to finish. I've been sewing in increments as small as 12 minutes up to increments as large as an  hour and 15 minutes. A couple of the time frames may be off by a few minutes as I'm not really used to tracking my sewing time. It took me just under 5 hours from cutting to attaching the hook and eye. Not bad, but that included a fair amount of ripping and re-sewing due to ridiculous amateur mistakes on my part. I figure I have about an hour or more of "frog stitching" included. 

I have the next fabric, a dark navy stretch cotton twill from the same order in the washing machine right now.

I am now going into the Sewing Room to begin the draft on the bodice from the Suzy Furrer Craftsy Class. Wish me luck!


Friday, July 13, 2018

He doesn't represent the majority of Americans!

I'm watching the appalling news of the most recent trip to Europe of the Donald. I can't call him the President, because he is so far from presidential it would be laughable if it wasn't so horrific!

I just want to say to the rest of the world that he does not represent the majority of United States Citizens. He's so embarrassing and such a blow hard! His favorite pejorative of "fake news" just means he doesn't want what he said or did to be reported. Statistics show he lies on average 6.5 times A DAY!

He's trying to take away our First Amendment rights. He has in the past insisted that reporters and others should be fired for not agreeing with him! For those of you not aware of them, the First Amendment to the US constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion, impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, infringe upon the freedom of the press, interfere with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. 

No one I know agrees with him, his views, his elitism, his xenophobic sentiments, his racism, his bigotry, his objectification and disdain for women, his anti-feminine ideas, and most of the rest of the baloney that comes out of his mouth! 

I am afraid that he is ruining the United States reputation with the entire rest of the world. This puppet of Putin is so narrow minded and seems to most of us to be attempting to destroy the United States, and all of the rest of the free world. He finds dictators and authoritarian regimes to be "really great." He finds true democracies to be lacking. We can only assume that Putin is blackmailing him.

I find his ghastly habit of bad mouthing women in power behind their backs and then contradicting what he said to their faces ludicrous.

All of the rest of the world, please accept my apologies for this buffoon!

Don't want to be political, but cannot avoid apologizing for this man, his ideas, his lies, and his actions. Please spread the word that the vast majority of the US Citizens do not agree and are ashamed and disconcerted by this man.

I'll be back to sewing in my next post!