Monday, January 21, 2013

Mama said there'd be days like this!

Okay, not to complain, HOWEVER, ahem. Some days I feel like I have lost my mind. I now know not to cut out my patterns early in the morning without checking and double checking what I'm doing! Senior moments happen more frequently when I'm not fully awake. :P}}

I spent last week working on my next SWAP garment, a pair of trousers in a nice brown wool from the stash. I was quite careful and did an excellent job if I do say so myself. All the top stitching was good with no wobbles, and the pockets were as close to perfect as I could get. Photo below:

So this made my third garment, and it was the end of the third week in January. Good. I'm keeping up and that's wonderful. I may actually get through this with flying colors. Since it was my TNT, self drafted pattern, I never even thought to pull them on until they were completed. Then... WHAT? I can't get them zipped. I know I'm a little bloated, but come on.
Panic sets in. What the heck. I run jump on the scale. No, I haven't gained 20 plus pounds in the last week. So what's going on? I am frustrated and confused. I pull out another pair of pants from the same pattern, in a similar wool fabric (from last year's SWAP) and they are fine. Scratching my head, I finally pull out a tape measure.
OMG! The proverbial light bulb went off. I was cutting out early in the morning to get them done so I could sew in the evenings. My pattern was drafted without seam allowances, as I can more readily adapt it to other designs. I CUT THESE SLACKS OUT WITHOUT SEAM ALLOWANCES, and then proceeded to sew them together. They may fit if I loose between 20 and 30 pounds. But not now.
Lesson Learned! I either have to add seam allowances to each pattern when I draft it, or check, recheck, and recheck again. A whole week's worth of sewing, and a lovely wool pair of slacks, which I need, going in the give away bag.
I have the next espresso brown wool for the next pair of slacks and a tweed for a jacket at the cleaners right now. They will be ready for pickup tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm starting on the next pair of slacks. A heavy charcoal/brown very subtle pinstripe in a cotton. I think I may add extra seam allowances this time just in case. LOL
Hope you all are having a wonderful time and getting great garments fit to your unique bodies!
More later!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Onward and upward!

Not a huge week for sewing around here. We have been fighting the bug that's going around. The flu hasn't hit yet Northern California as dramatically as it has the East, but that's not to say it isn't here.

As an Appraiser, I am absolutely flabbergasted that someone who is too sick to go to work would have me come to inspect their house while breathing their germs all over me and expecting me to shake their hand.

I am a firm believer in Zicam and seem to be abusing it somewhat because I don't have the time, or the desire to become ill. If you haven't tried it yet, think about it. For both Dale and I, when we notice a cold or flu coming on, we instantly start taking it. It generally will either prevent or lessen any symptoms almost immediately. I'm not in any way affiliated with the company, but heard about it from a Pharmacist many years ago and have been a die hard fan ever since. That said, I have been Zicamming a lot more than usual, and sleeping a lot more than usual, but didn't go down completely. So I'm happy!

In my spare time, around working, sleeping, and all the rest, I did have a few minutes this week to work on my second SWAP garment. It's my TNT Pamela's Perfect Tee shirt pattern, this time with a round neck and long sleeves. It's in a luscious silk/wool jersey from Mood this time. I love it and will get a ton of use out of it as it's the right weight for Spring and Fall as well as winter with a jacket.

And thanks to Caroline from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic for the hint about the knits. I only wear natural fiber fabrics and it's hard to find sweater knits that are attractive and don't have either poly or acrylic or some other such fiber mixed in. This one is as soft as can be, and I have enough to also make a tank for wearing under jackets in the warmer months. Woo Hoo!

Lying on my cutting table right now is some brown wool from my stash for slacks. Again, my TNT self drafted pants pattern will be used. Now debating on whether they need a separate lining or if I'll make a "pant liner" which to me means a pair of Bemberg rayon slacks with an elastic waist. I think it's a good option as I don't much like to pay dry cleaners, and if the slacks don't have a stain, generally I can get away with just steaming after wearing and airing. BUT, the pant liner can be washed much more frequently. I think it's a win, win.

I'm feeling encouraged that it's the end of the second week in January and I have two SWAP garments already done. I've made so many pants that those are almost second nature, so they will go quickly. I may actually finish a SWAP this year! WOW.

More later!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tah Dah!

Just a quick moment this morning. Getting ready for work. Here's a picture of the aqua and brown floral. It's a silk/cotton/spandex stretch woven from Gorgeous Fabrics. I love it and it will fit well with my Chocolate Dreams SWAP.

Have the brown silk-wool tee cut out and on the sewing table to start this evening. All threads have been changed and a new needle installed in my sewing machine. Serger has brown thread and is ready to go. The 15 minutes per day seems to be working out rather well.

Yesterday afternoon, another of my goals was started. I hope to spend more time with hubby instead of just working all the time. We need to relax together. So we went to see a movie... first time in I don't know how long. Parental Guidance. Cute movie. Good comedy. Great actors. Lots of giggles!

More later!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Working It!

Today is Saturday here, and I'm trying to keep my blog posts up as well as do my "15 minutes" per day that usually turns into an hour every few days. But it does progress the projects and gets more clothing into my closet. That's the really good part.

I was not as successful at the 15 minutes per day as I'd hoped this first week in January. I started the week behind with the Holiday in the middle, and continued to work pretty long hours all week, usually finishing at 6:30 or 7:00 pm. That means after I fix dinner, and we eat, I'm usually all in. AND I've been getting up at 6:30 am to start work at 7:30 am. Just long days overall.

I don't like the early mornings in the winter much. As a San Diego girl, I love the sunshine, and winter darkness and cold doesn't get my mojo working the way I like.  I also believe I have a bit of the Seasonal Affective Disorder, which means I get down in the dumps when there isn't enough sunshine. Oh, well. I live in Northern California which most people still think is California with sunshine all the time, but in winter, I am cold, and it rains too much for me!

Moving on, I'm working on a tee out of a lovely rayon print, cream, aqua, and browns that should be done later today. I'll post a picture when it's finished. Not much to say because it's my TNT Pamela's perfect tee shirt pattern, this time with 3/4 sleeves so I can wear it most of the year, and I could probably make in my sleep. But the fabric is lovely and it will actually go with my SWAP.

The really good news is I have enough left over to make up the sleeveless shell too. I was looking at the one Sydni made over at Stitcher's Guild from the Burda pattern with the cowl, and I'm pretty sure I can alter my Ala Mode Margarita top that is already fitted to have the same type cowl neckline. I'm loving the look of cowls on almost everyone, and since I can, why not. It will make a nice spring top for under jackets, and a great summer top on its own.

I need to finish up an appraisal this morning, and then hope to finish the rayon top, and get my next project cut out for sewing this weekend. It's a gorgeous silk/wool blend in a dark almost expresso colored chocolate from Mood Fabrics. It's going to be another Pamela's tee with long sleeves this time. I figure even though I'm not officially throwing my hat into the ring, I do want to work on the SWAP and see if I can actually get enough garments finished.

On another note, I bought a new little Embroidery Machine! Saw the article in Threads about the Brother PE 500 Embroidery machine for under $300, and have been wanting to get something inexpensive for monograms. My really old Pfaff (circa early 1980s) did script, but it is failing after all the years of heavy use, and I only use it as a backup machine now. I wanted something that I could actually do large monograms if desired, and also that I could do my own personalized sewing labels. I'll get it set up later today too! I doubt I'll ever do a lot of embroidery because that's just not my style, but having the ability to do beautiful monograms makes my day!

Hope your day is fabulous!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Simplicity 9825, First Garment 2013

Well, as promised, here's my first garment of 2013.

I made a skirt for my granddaughter, fits well, and she liked it very much. Will be a nice addition to her work wardrobe.

I'm sorry I didn't get any pictures of it on her, but she refused to pose since she was still in her jammies and hadn't showered, etc.
It's a virgin wool from my stash bought in Sicily several years ago. Grey with a fine white pinstripe, and a bemberg rayon lining.  The pattern is quite easy, and sews up nicely. I started at a 12 waist and a 14 hip, and it was just right for her. I eliminated the front and back seams and installed a side invisible zipper.
Not much else to say, but I'm hoping my sewing productivity is way up this year. It gives me joy and relaxes me from the stresses of work and tight deadlines.

Hope your year is off to a great start!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Just a quick post this morning. Happy 2013 to everyone!

I hope to let the tides wash away all the unfinished business of 2012 and start 2013 with a great attitude and wishes for all, (including myself!) for happiness, health, prosperity, and the time to enjoy them all.

My goals for 2013 are to find more time to relax. More time to sew. Get out more and work less. Take the time to run energy so I can stay grounded and get my brain out of monkey mode so things will progress faster. I hope to blog more frequently. AND I'd like to complete the 2013 SWAP whether or not I officially throw my hat into the ring.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Day and a phenomenal 2013!

PS... I'm already sewing for 2013. I have a skirt on the table now that I hope to have pictures to show you later today. Not for me, but for my wonderful, accomplished, granddaughter for her new Corporate position.