Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sacrifices to the Gods

The sewing gods, that is.

At one point during the Hairy Vest construction, I struggled with pinning the hood properly where it met the neck opening. Finally!!! I got it just right- and pinned my fingertip in the fur sandwich, too. And not just that fleshy outer skin, either. After a split second's contemplation, I just ripped that sucker right off - praying in the meantime that I could escape the fabric before the blood appeared. I chuckled as I blotted, remembering my side-seam scars from making Beth. I wonder what other crazy sacrifices people have made out there in the sewing gods' domain... Apparently the sewing gods are a bit bloodthirsty.

And needle-thirsty. I broke about 5 needles during the hairy vest. At one point my machine grinded to a halt and I had to use pliers to break the needle and extricate my fabric. Much praying during that episode. Things got a bit... hairy.

This is the official fur-working tool of the trade: And as is my wont, I got S I C K right before Christmas. This was on the heels of the kids being sick the week before. Loosely translated, this means 36 hours of pure unadulterated sewing time were completely lost. And that means I finished the handwork on the Hairy Vest in a side room after the Christmas feast while the others exchanged their gifts, and my sister received it with one measly snap basted on about two minutes before she left for home. It also means that The Tie (s) will now be making nice father's day presents. *note to self: Start gifts before December next year.

And Beth is splitting seams again after her nip and tuck. Time to bust out the masking tape and the running shoes. Jeez- Beth, me, Oprah... it's like an epidemic.

I hope everyone is enjoying xmas recovery as much as I am in my NEW JEEP!!!!!! woohoo :) And guess what Karen? It's got cargo space!!!- so we don't need to debate leaving a passenger at Jomar in order to fit the bags :)

Peace and Light to all :)
see you next year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Honey! Bring me the pliers, the carpet knife, and the merlot!!"

oi. Fur.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Method to my Madness

These ladies peek over at me as I sew. I wonder if I could incorporate those dress details into my coat...


The first vest is complete (can you hear that Halleluiah chorus?) I didn't know what to expect with the fur, but it wasn't all that bad.

I feared pressing it, not only because the lining material morphed disturbingly under heat, but I noticed on my test fur piece that pressing took away some of that great swirl the in the nap (is that a shearling-look?). I used my grandmother's crystal ashtray as a press- you've got to lift it with 2 hands- to weigh down the darts and other protruding seams. My sewing machine looks like a lazy girl's legs in winter, but I'm waiting until the entire tribble invasion is over before I bother with too much cleanup.

The second, much hairier version is underway.

The Tie and I are still not speaking.


When I was little, my favorite thing to do was to sneak out to the living room at night and put the tree lights on. I'd fall asleep on the sofa staring at the tree. I loved the stories in all the ornaments.

My daughter calls our tree "The Memory Tree". More than a few of them aren't really "ornaments", just momentos we fitted with a bit of string :)

One of my favorite ornaments is this Christmas bell ringer, engraved "Elizabeth" on the skirt and "1979" on the bell. I think her little face is precious.
A week till Christmas...
Just keep sewing :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

A blog without photos

Honey, maybe you should just get me a camera for Christmas

... except for a crude sketch.

This coat (or something like it- I'm still looking for a pattern) has been on my mind since before the Say it ain't so Cloak. We're talking months.

I had a change of heart on the plaid wool I was searching so diligently to make it in (*sigh* will I ever find a color combination I love?). I found a smokin' slate blue-grey twill at Jomar (insert photo here). I think I bought what was left on the roll, which was a considerable length (2$/yd!). I originally planned it to be a coordinating professional wardrobe- fitted jacket, long skirt, pencil skirt, pants- the kind of stuff a stay-at-home mom in the 'burbs wears all the time.

When the wardrobe pieces I picked didn't fit the twill, I put it away and daydreamed about it being something else. It has a great stretch, and I had looked forward to having a very fitted sassy business jacket- something almost Edwardian. Then it struck me that I could turn it into a long coat. And line it in fur :)

The search began for a pattern, but I'm not having much luck. I found Butterick 4954 but it's not calling to me. I'd combine the jacket and the skirt and make one long coat.

The coat pattern search continues. I'm also rethinking the fur lining (maybe cashmere?)...


Vest #1 is almost done, just need to attach the hood (insert photo here). Vest #2 I'm thinking might just become a 3-hour apron :)

I blew apart the tie. don't ask. I had to rip the lining completely out and replace it. oi. And in the mess of it all the fold point got a bit skewed. We are spending some time away from each other right now.

gift making continues...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

They're baack

Tribbles, that is.

And they've adapted. No wonder the Klingons destroyed their homeworld.

The source is this surprisingly luxurious faux fur I found at a JoAnns that was going out of business.

The end of the invasion will be this vest from Butterick 3311:
It's going well so far- but my entire sewing room will need some serious hair removal after all this.

I love those little pockets in the front dart seam.

And the tie is coming along. I've still got to work out that liner issue- it still needs some tweaking and the long stitching up the back.

Darn blogger pics. It's really not that round.

***** *****
This is a great length of silky feeling wool I picked up at Jomar with the girls not too long ago...

I'm sorry I can't be more specific than I know it's wool. I am soooooooo fabric dumb.

I'm using it for piece number one of the plan- Vogue 2956, the jacket.

but I'm trying to finish those two vests (oh yeah, there's another one) before I pick it up again. New Year's eve is suddenly looking very close...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tie Me Up

If I ever finish with this tie I might not hang myself with it.
It seemed so simple at first- just a few folds, a little liner, hand stitch the folds together down the length....

I'm stuck on the damn liner. I can't seem to get it to turn properly. It looks straightforward enough, but I'm afraid I may have to cannibalize a few more of the old Snoopy ties from way back when DH actually wore shoes to work. Or my dad might have to settle for another scarf this year :)

And how's this for a nice pair?

Butterick 4945 view B and view C/D
My brother's girlfriend bakes- she's awesome! Check out this cake she sent with him to Thanksgiving dinner:
And from the way my brother was talking about cooking reality shows, I gather he spends alot of time with her in the kitchen.

I wonder if anyone will get my husband a sewing machine for Christmas now that I've got him talking about Project Runway to anyone who will listen :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Little extras

I found this nifty tutorial sheet when I dug into my new french curve ruler:

Is this standard with all rulers? What a golden nugget of info! I feel like this is the kind of little extra that just brightens my day :) This is the Project Runway edition 4 in 1 ruler that BigBox sells- regular $19.99, black Friday price: $7.99.

And perhaps you'll recall the PR lined jacket un-contestant? I added a little extra buttonage.

(notice that little guy in the corner of the pic? He's waiting for me to turn my back so he can run to my sewing machine and play with dangerous things...)

I'm showing on Lizzie, because Beth is currently having a little extra stress on the side seams- much like her real life counterpart.

I'm going to cover the whole thing in masking tape. It doesn't give like the duct tape. She's already expanded like an inch and a half everywhere.

Speaking of PR contests, I was thinking that my wardrobe could use a little extra oompf in the coordinates department. I also notice that there is an "endless combinations" contest running right now, and there's nothing like a PR contest to get that little extra motivation.

So to do all this sewing, and get all these presents done, all I need is a little extra time :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday at BigBox

I'm almost ashamed to admit it. The bottom of the receipt actually said "You saved $171.32". Let's just say I went with a C note and came home with enough for 2 pairs of shoes (yes, new ones).
And it must be told that this was the most pleasant shopping experience I've ever had at a certain Mt. Laurel JoAnn's. Everyone was super friendly, the red tags were neat and organizedish, and they had most everything in stock. I even got brave and went in the quilting section.

Let the giftmaking commence.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Out of this world

The GalaxE Dress

aka Vogue 8280. I had the fabric cut by Sunday night and wore it to Thanksgiving dinner :)

I have to say that Vogue left much to be desired with these instructions... check out number 7 here- they didn't even finish their sentence.
The lace was scalloped on both edges and had beautiful body- not stiff at all. Just a bit of stretch.

It was a Jomar $1/yard special. The underlining is a cotton linenish blend with a beautiful sheen on the finished side. It was on the "designer" table at Jomar, a 4 yard remnant for $2/yd. I'm so glad I thought to use it under something, because it wrinkles like a bee otch. I cut my own belt and recycled a used buckle I had on hand.

It's everything I dreamed it would be :)

************ ***********

Ah, family holidays... loving reminders of why we are the way we are. Take this for example :

me on my grandmother's sofa, circa 1977

That beautiful blend of bodacious prints was the calling card of my grandmother's style, and heavily influenced my sense of fashion. Oh, I know what you're thinking. You have no idea.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours :)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

MYmar is Jomar

This is my "get me out of these winter blues" winter wardrobe fabric. I hope I can get it all done before winter ends :) This is all from Jomar, and with the exception of the metallic, all $2/yard or less. The metallic was $4.00. I was so good.
Hidden in that fabric is the Galaxy dress, a sleeveless patrones top (Karen we need to talk), at least 2 skirts, a sassy little skirt suit (with lining!), and possibly a capelet.
I originally planned to make this sweet forest green suede into a betty shopper.

When I showed it to my husband , he said, "You gonna make a skirt? :)"

Sure sweetie.

So I'm thinking of the 117 skirt from the recent November Burda.

I need that sheer "lipstick" blouse, you know it.