Cleanup!

Last night, I wrapped up a second version of Lekala 4420 minus the sleeves and with some contrast bands and a pocket that I literally traced from my Jalie 2908 jeans pattern. It’s in the wash right now, so we’ll see what happens when it comes out, but no matter what I’m sure it’ll be fine for a summer work shirt, which is another hole in my closet that needs some serious filling. (Let’s put it this way, it’s summer, and the only things in my closet besides a half dozen less crappy t-shirts are the long sleeved shirts/sweaters that I’ve made over the last couple of winters, and that isn’t even an exaggeration.)

After finishing that though, I started doing some cleanup in my disaster zone that I lovingly call a sewing room. I filed away the pattern pieces for the McCall’s maxi I made for the wedding, cut up a bunch of knit scraps into undies, fixed a couple of missing buttons on an old Kwik Sew blouse, sewed down the facing on my velvet Jetson’s dress, and sewed on some patches for my son’s Cub Scout uniform. Sometimes I’m amazed at how much I can get done in a short period of time when I set my mind to it. I think that all took about an hour and a half. And bonus, now I’m not stepping on it or tripping over it!

P.S. on my Making in May challenge, I’ve got two shirts, some bibs and burp rags for my coming-any-day-now niece, and by tomorrow I hope to have some new undies and a t-shirt. Progress is being made, just slower and more crammed into the end of the month than originally planned, HA! Procrastination should be my middle name…or maybe my first! 😀

I’m bored…

With basically my entire aesthetic. I have no idea what I want to replace that with though. I’d like to step into something a bit different, but not drastically so. I’ve done the t-shirts and jeans thing for the better part of a decade, and I’m bored.

Not so bored that I want to suddenly start doing my makeup every single day (!!!) or wear frilly dresses (!!!), but small changes. Something to change it up a bit and get me out of my comfort zone before I turn into one of those people who wears yoga pants everywhere. OK, actually, I’ve been more of a ratty t-shirt and jeans person, but you know what I mean. 😉

So, in honor of MeMadeMay, instead of a daily roundup of stuff that I’m wearing every day, I want to see how much stuff I can make to replace the things that I’ve had to throw away. My goal is to make at least 4 new shirts that aren’t just a boring t-shirt (though there might be a couple of those too!) to replenish my dwindling clothes that are fit to be seen in public. (I threw out a bunch of old holey ones, so now I’m forced to take action.) Given my time constraints, I don’t forsee them being super elaborate or all different patterns, but I need nice wearable basics. I feel like one a week is a reasonable amount, where I can still spend time with my family, help with house projects, and whatever else we have going on before summer break hits.

Anyone else ever get bored with their closet? What sort of things do you make when you have “nothing to wear”?

Plugging away

I’ve been trying, but the progress is slow and the blogging even slower. The quilt top is done, and thanks to Stacy from StacySews, I even have a strip with Scotch’s name and the date embroidered on it. But I’m procrastinating on getting the backing put together and quilting it. No, I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because there’s things that need planning–like a wedding shower and a baby shower (I’m going to be an aunt!! Huzzah!! And she’s having a girl, so there might be sickeningly sweet little girl clothes for my future niece featured soon!!! 😉 ) to plan. Or maybe it’s just because I, frankly, hate quilting. I get all excited about planning the quilt, but when the rubber hits the road I’m just not interested. Oh sure, the first few squares are exciting to see come together, but suddenly it’s tedious and I just want to shove it aside and do something else. But I can’t, because it’s so damn expensive to make a quilt. I honestly don’t understand how anyone can afford to make these as a hobby. The fabric requirements are huge and pricey, the batting isn’t exactly cheap, and then you have to either pay someone to quilt it or wrestle with it yourself. And I don’t even make complicated quilts!!

I’ve also got a dress that I started for Christmas, but didn’t finish until just before the first weekend of January. It’s kind of funky, but I kind of love it. You really have to see it as a whole outfit though, otherwise it’s maybe just a bit too weird. I’m going to try and get pictures so I can blog about it soon, because it’s way out of my comfort zone in a very cool way. I wanted to participate in Jungle January too, but I’m not allowing myself to start something until that damn quilt is finished and on my son’s bed, so I am probably not going to get to make anything by the deadline. 😦 Oh well. Hubby says I have too many “jungle” prints in my closet anyway…I didn’t even know such a thing was possible! 😉

Make do and mend

So many of us say you can’t save money sewing, but sometimes the combination of good quality materials and workmanship that sewing your own clothes provides pays off, like when I can put new elastic in the waistband of these pants for a second child to wear. Amazingly, they still look pretty much as good on the outside as they did way back then (though the lining has faded with many washes and wears!), and I have 3 pairs of lined winter pants for these extreme temps (it was -7*F this morning!) for less than $3 and 10 minutes worth of unpicking. Supplex is the bomb, and if I ever find the stuff again, I’m buying the whole stock! 😉

Update on the Tetris quilt: Progress has been made! I’m finished with piecing on 15 of 26 rows. Since I seriously injured my tailbone (possibly broken, but no x-ray to know for sure) in a fall down some stairs a couple of weeks ago, sitting in my sewing chair has been painful so I try to keep it to a minimum. I’m on the mend though, so I can hopefully get everything finished on schedule, even if it means a few late nights toward the end. Anyway, the quilt is crazy bright, but also kind of gorgeous if I don’t say so myself.

quilt-in-progress

But then again, it might be the kind of quilt that only the maker (and hopefully it’s recipient!) could love… 😉

 

Christmas crunch time, or why do I do this to myself?

So it’s December. I’ve been hearing Christmas music on the radio for at least a couple of weeks now, but it’s never really “real” to me until the first of December (or the second, that works too. 😉 ) And immediately following–relatively speaking, of course–is Scotch’s 3rd birthday. And I realized this year that Scotch does not yet have his own quilt like big brother does.

*Cue frantic planning of said quilt.*

I’ve been dreaming of a Tetris quilt in varying shades of blue for a long time, but somehow I ended up letting Scotch choose his own colors, so there’s a little bit of everything in there. Scotch is a big fan of orange and purple, so it’s going to be red, orange, yellow, purple, and a kind of ocean green. Fairly traditional Tetris colors, or at least in my memory they are.

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This is the current plan, but I’m actually going to have to rework it a bit because the bottom 1/4 has too many of the same pieces touching each other, and that can’t happen on the final quilt or it will lose the effect. I’m hoping I can just redraw those few lines on the bottom and match them up with the rest so that I don’t have to redraw the whole thing. 😮

I even bought the fabric this morning, so it’s really going to happen. !!! I’m not 100% convinced about this, but the colors are very pretty, and somehow they work together. And even if they don’t, my son loves them and is super excited about his quilt, so I’m not going to argue.

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The colors aren’t quite right on my screen, the purple is a bit more faded and a bit less blue, and the red isn’t quite that dark either.

I’m also not sure why I keep saying “never again” to quilting and then am sucked back in to making another quilt. This will be my 3rd, so it should go together flawlessly–or at least I shouldn’t bungle it too badly. It’s got to be easier than the queen sized one I made for our bed a while back! I can still remember the horror that was shoving a queen sized quilt through my regular sewing machine. *shudder*

Also in progress: a couple of things for me for wearing over the various Christmas celebrations and I just finished the PJ shirt I started for Scotch like a month ago. I’d make him a couple more, but even as quick as they are I think I need the time for other things. What do you suppose the odds are of being able to finish the quilt by the first week of January? Slim to none? Or can it be done?

New wedding outfit…or not…

I’m terrible. I was so excited about that jumpsuit. But, life (and a bit of bad luck) seems to have gotten in the way.

Last week, I started to feel like crap, and since we had a big event coming up, I went to the doctor. I got a flu test and had my chest x-rayed, and…I have pneumonia*. I took the antibiotics, frantically lysol-ed everything I ever touched for a week, and sent my children and husband away with stockpiles of vitamin C. I didn’t want anyone to get sick–especially not with the wedding coming up this weekend.

* I feel a bit silly saying I have this. Aside from a cough that hits at random (unless it’s bedtime, then it’s fairly constant–grrrr) and some exhaustion mid day, I feel pretty normal. I did feel crappy the first couple of days, but after that, it’s mostly just the cough.

The other thing that held me back was that I bought an exceptionally beautiful dip dyed rayon (double-crepe? is that a thing?) that they didn’t happen to have quite enough of. The pattern called for 3 yards, but I’m a pattern tetris whiz, so I felt fairly confident that I could fit it on my 2-3/4 yards without too much issue. Turns out I was wrong. If I hadn’t chosen that type of “print”, I’d have had fabric to make a whole nother project, but because of it I needed at least another yard. Which was sold out everywhere, even though the website said that they had a one yard remnant that I tried to order twice over a two week period and which was canceled both times…grr! And by then, I was stuck on this kind of fabric because it seemed perfect–thick enough to not be see-through, lovely drape, that tiny amount of mechanical stretch that rayon is known for and I just couldn’t find anything else that seemed right. And in true Joann style, they only buy a limited quantity of anything that a person might want and oodles of rubbish that hangs out on the shelves forever. Which is the opposite of what I’d do if it were my store, but then, what do I know?

So anyway, all of that to say that I’m giving up. I’m just going to wear my fancy maxi dress instead. I did make all the adjustments to that jumpsuit pattern though, so I’m still planning to make it. One does not simply tape together a PDF pattern, make all the adjustments for it, and then just walk away…though finding an occasion to wear it might be tricky. 😉

Wait! Where did June go?!?!

Since my last post it has been crazy here, and in that whirlwind of activity I have done some sewing, but it’s all boring stuff like pillowcases and pajamas for Scotch and a couple of “neck coolers” because it’s been fucking A HOT around here. Mostly though, I’ve been doing planning–I have a brother in law getting married in early September that I helped with a shower for the bride to be, and then there was a milestone birthday party for Irish and that basically ate up June. And of course, we can’t forget harvest and swim lessons! I always tell people “we’re pretty much home whenever”, but then I look back and that never seems to ring true. It feels like we don’t have anything going on, but when I look back, it feels like we haven’t stopped “going” for….I don’t know, ever. Know what I mean?

Anyway, so when I was at my in-laws on Sunday, they were all bothered about getting hotel rooms reserved in this tiny town where the wedding will be. At first, I was all “pshh”, but then I realized that we’re basically halfway through July and I’m not sure where June went. So it got me to thinking about the fact that I have no idea what to wear to this event. I’ve been told that it’s bad juju or something to wear a black dress to a wedding, so that eliminates my Christmas Dress. I ruined my Easter dress in the wash (*sob*), it might be salvaged for less “dressy” occasions, but… 😦 I have this maxi dress, but it’s kind of itchy to wear for long periods of time (but so pretty!). And that pretty much is all the dresses I own.

Honestly, I don’t even know if I want to wear a dress or not. This isn’t helped by the fact that September on the plains is notoriously unpredictable. It could be blazing hot or windy and chilly. Well, it’s nearly guaranteed to be windy, I suppose. 😉 If I do go for a dress though, I waded through Lekala’s website for ideas and came up with these:

Lekala 5962. Not in love with the weird hem, but otherwise it’s OK.

Lekala 5960. Another halter dress. Not totally sold on the color blocking, but I think it could be cute–I struggle with line drawings sometimes.

5463. OK, so I know I’m crazy, but I’m envisioning this with long fringe at the bottom instead of a flounce. #Redneck 😉

4451. This one almost feels like the “safe” choice. I just worry about my belly pulling those pleats open unattractively…though, it is supposed to be made to measure, and my little 3D gal is scarily accurate…

4437. This one might be my favorite of this bunch. That neckline is scandalously low for an event with such a religious group of people though. On the other hand, I have a pretty awesome rack that won’t last forever, so maybe should I flaunt it while I still can. 😉

I don’t know, at this point nothing is set in stone. I tend to be more comfortable in pants, so maybe I should find a nice blouse pattern instead. I just wasn’t seeing anything that screamed “wedding”. What would you do? Like any of the dresses above? Think I should find a nice blouse and rock some slacks?

Things that tick me off Thursday

I realize it’s Friday, but I didn’t get this post finished last night. Sorry!

Maybe I’m the only one who is bothered by this, but I’m throwing this out there anyway.

I hate all the extra stitches and complicated menus to find said stitches on new sewing machines. There. I said it. I have no need or desire for dozens/hundreds of fancy stitches that I’ll never use. I want a basic machine that does all the important stitches and buttonholes, and that’s it. All those extra stitches do is make it harder to find the one you want in the menu. I’d rather have a simple machine that does a select few stitches flawlessly than a fancy machine that does a mediocre job on dozens of stitches. Why is it so hard to get a basic machine with all the buttonholes, adjustable presser foot pressure, and a knee lift? Are there seriously that many people who want to stitch lines of wobbly pinecones or deformed maple leaves on their garments?

As an example, my current machine is a Pfaff that I bought in 2009-ish. I’ve had issues with it from the beginning because it’s buttonhole feature isn’t worth a damn. I’ve used the decorative stitches maybe 3 times, and each time I’ve been slightly disappointed with the quality of those stitches when they were done because they weren’t perfect. Yes, I’m a perfectionist, but then, aren’t most people who sew their own clothes? Isn’t that kind of the point? If we weren’t perfectionists, we’d wear just whatever in the hell we could find on the rack and be done with it. I’ve always felt that if it were a few less tricks of a pony, it might do a better job on the critical bits.

Anyone else with me on this?

Nope.

#Sewcialists will understand. 😠 Kwik sew 3672.

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Did some work today on Kwik Sew 3672 pattern, only to discover that I chose a poor fabric mate for it. It happens. It’s annoying, but I’m not devastated. To be honest, I’m not sure that it was realistic for me during exercise anyway, but it might have been ok for sleeping in or lounging in the evening. Basically the fabric felt icky on my skin, it was too lightweight, and too stretchy for the pattern. I might try again someday, but I don’t have anything suitable and I’m trying to minimize my new fabric purchases since we’re hiring contractors to replace our windows and siding* (yay!!!!) instead of doing it ourselves. Because of that, it’s going to be a bit lean and I’ll need to focus on making do with what I already have. And believe me, I have plenty, I just need to focus on it instead of checking out the new and shiny. 😉

*This is the first time we’ve let someone else come in and do a whole project. The DIYer/control freak in me is probably going to struggle a bit. But I’m mostly just excited about our house looking nicer and being able to open the windows easily! 🙂

Sewing Plans?

If you follow me on Twitter or IG, you probably already know that I had LASIK done last week. It was a “traumatic*” experience, that while I never want to to do it again, I’m SO glad that I did! I’m still getting used to not having glasses or contacts, and adjusting to what my vision should be like–even though my glasses and contacts made my eyes see, it was different somehow. Hard to explain, even to my eye doctor.

*Read as: I’m an excessively whiny baby. Though, I’m sure it’s not exactly “fun” even if you’re not as much of a baby as I am.

Anyway, so I haven’t had the courage yet to try my hand at sewing (although I did just finish reading an excellent book on my Kindle, so any day now) I’ve been trying to come up with a plan. Before my surgery, I started on Kwik Sew 3672. I haven’t finished it yet, so I don’t know for sure, but I’m not sold on the built-in bra concept, and some of the finishing feels a bit dodgy. Maybe I’ll change my mind when it’s finished though, I’ve been known to do that–both ways! 😉

It certainly looks cute on the envelope!

Anyway, after that, it would seem that I need to get back to work on some lingerie. You may have seen my Elomi Betty clone on IG:

Here’s the original, isn’t it cute?

It’s not quite perfect, my fabric is too stretchy, some of my sewing is admittedly dodgy, but it’s very close. I’ve had a harder time breaking it in than I thought I would though, so I definitely think there’s room for improvement. I’ve already altered the pattern pieces to move the straps in more and given myself more of a scoop in the armscye to minimize chafing, it’s just a matter of finishing up one project before moving to the next.

I also downloaded the Maya bra pattern from AFI that’s been all over the internet because someday I want to tackle a strapless and hate the saggy boobs you get with a non-foam version. I want mine to be a push-up! 😛 I went with my RTW size though, because I wouldn’t have even come close to the right cup size if I used her measuring method. Confucius say: My wires are narrow and my cups deep. 😉 Anyway, it looks like it should be somewhat close based on placing it with my pieces from my Elomi clone. Hard to tell exactly when my clone is a 3-piece lower cup and the Maya is only a 2 piece lower cup.

Other than that, I’ve been dreaming of making some simple, cool, blouses for summer. I’m planning to revisit Simplicity 1598, since I wore my Jungle January 2015 version to death last summer. Literally, it’s falling apart, but I haven’t had the heart to throw it away, which may be good since it was completely the wrong size to start with and I remember cutting like 6″ off of it to make it fit. So maybe that old version can perform one final service in helping me choose the new size. 🙂 I’m also trying to decide if I want to revisit Lekala 4420 with some short sleeves of some type. Lekala offers a lot of sleeves for free, and I would assume that they would fit the pattern without too much work, but I haven’t been able to make up my mind yet.

So yeah, not much going on here ATM, how about you?