Saturday, December 31, 2011

Going nuts here!

As promised, here's the fourth tee. It's an organic cotton knit from Near Sea Naturals in a Prussian Blue. It looks pretty much like teal to me, but I guess we can call the colors whatever we like. I'm not as pleased with this one as the others. It looks like it will need ironing every time it's laundered. I'll have to be careful to hang it to dry instead of tossing it in the dryer.

My internet was down for about 36 hours, when I had scheduled not my usual one, but two appraisals. I only got about half my research done, but did the inspections anyway. That means today and tomorrow instead of hiding in my sewing room, I'm typing appraisals. BIG SIGH. Well, income must come before fun.

My cardigan type jacket "wearable muslin" isn't going to be out of the French Terry after all. I don't know what the deal is because I always buy 2 1/2 yards of everything, but I think I must have lost my mind and bought less. It's also too small for what I wanted to do. BUT, here I come to save the day... I had a navy wool crepe that had been cleaned and was waiting to be something... don't remember what right now, that will get to be my wearable muslin for the cardigan jacket. It's partially cut out now.

Once I finish cooking and eating dinner, I'll finish cutting it out and start putting it together. I do have a perfect and gorgeous silk charmeuse I can use for lining. I'll handwash it tonight so it's ready to get cut also. I will have to do some minor drafting of the linings before they get cut out though. I'm going to try Kathleen Fansella's lining process so I don't wind up with a wonky place at the bottom of the front facing.

Off to dinner now!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Moving slowly

Got way too busy between work and the Holidays. I did get the fourth tee shirt and the grey sweater done, but not much else. I'll post a pic of the sweater, but the fourth tee is in the laundry. It'll have to wait to get posted.:P}}

I'm so excited to read about every one else's SWAP even if I haven't got to start on mine yet. For whatever reasons, probably interest rates went down again? I have received a ton of orders, so will be working some long hours between now and the end of next week. No rest for the wicked I guess!

I do have the cardigan jacket drafted and ready for my "wearable muslin" to be made. I was going to make another sweater out of my Prussian blue French terry, but didn't have enough fabric. So I know the cardigan jacket takes less fabric, and doing it as a wearable muslin will move me along on both fronts. Another warm sweater type thing for work and seeing if my alterations for the jacket are right. Makes me happy.

I've been doing a lot of contemplation as I drive around, thinking about resolutions versus goals. Resolutions are things you don't generally accomplish, while goals are always there in front of you, perhaps not quite attained at the current moment, but still attainable in the future. So this year, no resolution to lose weight and exercise. Instead:

Goals for 2012:

1.Get on the healthy lifestyle track.
I think the physical problems with thyroid and the not officially diagnosed but recognized Celiacs disease, have been solved, so now all I have to do is get on with the E word, and also do some portion control. I have a gym membership that I haven't been using because I badly sprained my knee ligaments when we moved in July, and it's not healed yet. But I do know that getting with healthy eating will help eliminate some of the weight, which will help. I think if I at least go to the gym, even if I can only do 15 minutes on the elliptical or sit in the Sauna. I also want to check out their water aerobics if I can find a bathing suit that fits. If I at least go and get started... we all know 27 days makes a habit... I will have a habit, which will motivate me to keep going. And for me motivation is key.

2. Complete the SWAP and upgrade my wardrobe.
I'd like to get this 11 piece SWAP completed. In my mind, I have two more lined up behind this one. Ideally, I'll get the full "core" of about 4 or 5 coordinating base colors that Nancy Nix Rice talks about and have about 20 or 30 garments that will make an infinite number of outfits.

3. Get the meditation going again on a daily basis.
I know if I meditate every day it relieves stress, helps me stay focused and I get much more accomplished every day. It also connects me to my spirituality and helps me be a nicer person I think.

That's probably enough. All take time which is always at a premium around here. I don't know how I did everything that needs to be done when my kids were home. My house was always clean, I worked full time, turned out a couple of decent people, cooked good meals, and still had time for me. Now it seems pretty hard to find the time to just sit and sew. Although when my kids were younger, computers were used pretty much just as a work thing because the Internet just wasn't out there. Communication was done in person, by phone or by letters. No facebook, no blogs, no email jokes.

Well, if I want to get anything done this evening, I need to stop typing and get pinning. Hopefully you will see the Wearable Muslin of the cardigan jacket in a day or two. Here's the grey sweater. Happy sewing!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As promised!

Here are the latest three tee shirts. I'm working on the fourth. Expect to do a lot this month as business is typically slow throughout the holidays. Once the fourth is done, I'll start the cardis. Then on to pants. :P}}Oh, and a few Christmas gifts thrown in, as well as another wool jacket for winter that will be one of my core items.

Sorry all shirts are on Lulu, but I don't think my work camera has a timer, and Dale's been running around a lot, and is at work again.

We're doing car repairs now. YUK! His truck needed servicing, bearings, shocks, etc., and I got new tires. AND found out I need brakes in the next 30 days. His big check went flying into cars, and a good chunk of the next one will too. BIG SIGH! I hate having to pay for car upgrades! Oh, well. That's definitely one thing you can't live without, and since my car has just reached 100,000 miles and they're rated for 350,000, I expect it's worth the money.

Hope everyone has a fabulous day!
More later

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Some instant gratification sewing

After doing the two jackets and knowing I will be doing production sewing in the next several months, I decided to do some "instant gratification" sewing to not only have some quick and easy sewing, but also because all of a sudden winter is here, and I needed long sleeve dressy tees for work. So far I've got two print tees done and the third will be finished up shortly. I have another solid Organic Cotton from Near Sea Naturals that will be either a long sleeved or a 3/4 sleeved tee with a matching French terry cardigan. Then I have fabric for two other cardigans too if I like the way the French terry turns out.

Pictures this afternoon.
More later!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My story board for the Artisan's Square SWAP

Taught myself Adobe Illustrator to do this. Not bad if I say so myself!

More later.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The next jacket is done.

This one now has a lining, and is complete. I'm okay with it, but do want to figure out a better way to connect the lining at the bottom of the facings. I think Kathleen Fansella has a tutorial on her website to make this work so you don't have icky things there. In the past, I just used a Hong Kong finish along the edge of the facing, so it was okay. But that's not as nice as I'd like it to be. So that will be one of my projects for this weekend. Find the tutorial, figure out how to do it, and get my lining/facing patterns fixed up so they are completed nicely. :P}}

Well, and I'm going to do some instant gratification sewing with a few tees and an French Terry cardigan, and also make up a sloper to try on Cathy Friday. She wants a dress, and I've been promising to make her one for a long time, so I need to get her fitted so the dress will not be a total waste of time. Shouldn't take too long I don't think. I'll draft the skirt from measurements. Torsos I'm not so good at, so will use an old Burda fitting pattern I have here to compare the draft I've made to be sure it resembles a bodice when I'm done.

Can you tell, work is slow this week? this is the first Holiday in many years I won't be working at least part of the day. Woo Hoo!

Here's the jacket. Unfortunately, I'm bigger than the form now, so it looks a little baggy. It's not. :P}}More later!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The first "muslin" for the SWAP

I've been working on getting a jacket pattern fitted well enough to be a TNT. This jacket started out as Simplicity 4273. It's an easy jacket that I initially made unlined so I could wear it during the summers to "dress up" my work clothes without getting into stuff that couldn't be washed easily.

This version is my third one, and it's definitely getting closer to being what I wanted. I did make a lining pattern for this one, and it is made out of a rayon-linen blend from Joann's with a Bemberg lining in a color I LOVE! I may have it at the point I want it to be as far as fitting correctly.

I just have the shoulder pads, hems, and buttons and buttonholes to finish up, and it's done and ready to be worn. I'll finish them today and start on the next project. I need clothes badly and next will be a "twin set" from Petite Plus Patterns with a cardigan out of an organic cotton French Terry with a matching organic cotton knit tee shirt from the Pamela's Perfect Tee Shirt pattern. Then it will be multiple pairs of pants. I do want to get the Hot Patterns shirt fitted too before the SWAP starts, and am doing a fitting muslin for my daughter as she wants some knit dresses for work. Should be quick and easy items!

Well, off to the sewing room. More later.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Excuses for buying fabrics

I'm rather excited at this point. I've made the decision to join the Artisan's Square 2012 SWAP. It is something that totally fits in with my wardrobe concepts that I've culled into a tolerable and doable idea with the help of Nancy Nix Rice's newsletters.

The 2012 SWAP is to make a wardrobe using TNT patterns that you will use over and over again for wardrobe staples, being sure that you are very conscious of fitting your current body. Right up my alley. The idea is you make 11 garments that work together, four may be repeated garments from the same pattern, or one garment each from two different patterns.

I'll be doing 2 blouses, 2 tee shirts, at least one of them the cowl neck I want to perfect, 1 overshirt, 1 pair of jeans, 2 slacks, 2 jackets, and one other garment that I haven't decided on yet. Two garments can be made before the official start date of December 26, and the finish date is April 30. I may make either a button down shirt, or a vest, or a skirt depending on what happens towards the end. I may not finish if work gets too crazy, but having the plan in play will help immensely with the planning and goal setting.

At this point I need to go through all my fabrics and pick out what's going to get made, but I have been doing a small amount of shopping for fabrics...LOL Have several new pieces here that will get entered into the "pick me" for the SWAP. And I've purchased a few more fabrics keeping in mind my SWAP colors. I should have a very extensive wardrobe with relatively few garments that interact when I finish this up.

I need to go through my boxes of fabrics that haven't been cataloged yet and get them into the binder so I can quickly and easily find what I want. You can also get the muslins made and the SWAP garments cut out and fused before start day, so that's on the schedule along with everything else.

My move is becoming more permanent. One of my clients is still sending me Sonoma County appraisals, but the others are now sending me Solano County appraisals. I didn't realize until it stopped just how much driving I was actually doing. Santa Rosa, although only 55 miles, takes between 1 1/2 and 2 hours. Petaluma is a good 1 hour. I did one in Suisun City last week that took 10 minutes to get there. Much better. By the time this gets settled, I'll have more time for my sewing obsession!

Off to finish my teal green jacket and get started on the first "muslin" of a sweater that will be used frequently around here in the winter!