Monday, April 19, 2010

Sewing Karma: Week 2 April 12-18, 2010

April 12-18, 2010
Total points earned this week: 21
Total points spent this week: 5
Total accumulation: 22

Lint trap skirt – Sewing Projects |
(This should have been counted last week)

Darning my first sock

Learning a new skill
Blogging about it

Darning the toes of 2 pairs of tights I wore this week

I started a new job this week and my time management skills are a bit off while I get used to my new schedule. There was also some much needed socializing with some friends. Regardless, my free time was at a premium and mostly devoted to eating dinner and keeping up with my Google Reader and so very little got done in the way of sewing. I am designating Monday as my sewing day. Which is sort of failing as I have spent half of today blogging...

I had brunch with my mom yesterday at The Blind Faith Cafe. It is a fabulous vegetarian cafe and bakery that also has lots of vegan options as well (though I am a die hard meat eater). I had a Brie and Apple sandwich with cranberry chutney and Mom had peach crepes with corn, ricotta and a yummy maple rum sauce. We meant to go look in some of the cute shops in the area and wound up only going to Vogue Fabrics. Mom was laughing at me the whole time because I was a little kid in a candy store. "oh! Look at this!" " Oooo. Look at this one. This would be a great blouse!" Selfish Seamstress also paid a visit to Vogue on her recent trip to Chicago. I have always preferred the Evanston location because of the location and also because I felt like they had more stuff. It has been a while and I will have to re-check out the downtown location. She also does not share with you the amazing wool wall. It is my favorite. There is also an entire interior decorating room that I have found some awesomeness in. The remnant room is the crowing glory. I like it because the remnants are actually usable lengths and they have EVERYTHING there. Fancy silk to wool suiting to poly blends to interfacing and quilting cotton. Needless to say I lost some self control

Vogue Remnants

I found four 1yd bundles of this nautical cotton print. It had my name written all over it. At first I thought a blouse but I also found a bundle of navy blue stretch silk that would be even better as a blouse with this as a skirt. Mom suggested a dress and I immediately thought of Sunni's naughty Secretary Dress. I think I like it as separates better because it will be more versatile. I am thinking a vintage pattern for the blouse and something simple and a-line for a skirt. But I am definitely open to ideas.

Mom also bought me a present of this fantastic cotton. I was obsessing and coveting it.

It is very light and drapes nicely but has a bit of body because of the weave. The triangle on the bottom corner is the wrong side of the fabric. It is actually a bit brighter in reality. The dots are yellow, orange, pink and olive green. I was thinking a cute sheath style dress with a wrap made with the wrong side out. The light neutral-ness is not usually something that looks good on me, it washes me out, but the dots are bright so Mom was thinking of using some of that on the neckline to bring more brightness near my face. They also have a dark medium blue version that was also great but I thought this was better. I am open to ideas for this as well.

Wow. I just got super excited just thinking about it. I am such a nerd.

And this perfectly describes what it felt like upon waking this AM.
funny pictures of cats with captions
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I can't resist a good lolcat.

Friday, April 16, 2010

darn it

Ever since Susannah posted about her Speedweve Darner I had to have one.

This is the Canadian version, The Darn Easy.

It goes nicely with the mending wool I recently acquired. And darn easy it is. I was able to darn my sock in about 5 nanoseconds and that includes me having to look back at the directions the whole time. Way easier (and cheaper) than running to target to get a new pair.

And it looks super neat and tidy. I just need to figure out exactly how to tie off the ends so that they look just as neat.

And have I ever mentioned that darning is a good skill for me to have?

My toes eat hosiery for breakfast.
I think I am going to be getting a lot of use out of my new gizmo and doing a lot more darning. Why did we stop darning in the first place?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

processing backlog...

I have started making a spreadsheet for all my patterns and I want to do all the fabric stash as well as one for projects I want to make. complete with images and sizes and fiber content and date. I am having a few glitches with excel, like how to you put an image IN a cell, on a mac? I love this project for times I need a break from creating and i think it will help with my 2010 project goals but it kinda feels like this sometimes (like when I spend an inordinate amount of time futzing with excel and still not getting what I want)

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Sewing Karma: Week 1 April 5-11, 2010

April 5-11, 2010
Total points earned this week: 6
Total points spent this week: 0
Total accumulation: 6

Corduroy jumper into skirt finished April 7

Lint trap skirt – Sewing Projects |
(Please excuse the ridiculously horrible picture of myself in which I have no waist and should have worn heels. I am experimenting with taking pictures of myself with a self timer and tripod and no assistant. As my current assistant is horrible at assisting. Gotta do everything myself. sheesh. And then my waist got camera shy for some reason and took a vacation. I had quite a difficult time fitting the waist of this skirt. I had a difficult time with the jumper as well. The pattern is for a waist 26 and I am a 28 so ok let out waist 2 inches. I did that with the jumper and then wound up taking it in again. Then I took in the waist on the skirt another 2 inches. The actual measurement of the skirt waist is now 28 which means it has no ease which make absolutely as much sense as ancient Greek to me. Needless to say I think my goal of learning how to fit is a worthy one. I just wish I had someone to help me pin.)

Sewing new buttons on Black Jacket finished April 8

(I 'heart' these buttons. They are this double layer thing that makes them look folded and flower like. This is the second time I replaced the buttons on this jacket. It originally had large self fabric covered flat buttons that were hideously ugly and cheap looking. I found these buttons a size smaller than the originals (and these) and had used those. Then I randomly found the larger ones when I hadn't been able to find them before and they have been waiting to be attached to the jacket. now they are.)

***Also, the beautiful and delightful Amanda Atkins is celebrating over at her blog and having a contest in which you can win one of her gorgeous prints. Just scope out her Etsy shop (and while you are there check out her and her mom's vintage shop, Stella by Star), pick your favorite, and comment on this post on her blog. Winners will be announced on Sunday April 17. My personal faves are Zelda, Remember when i loved you, A new beginning 1953 and I am saving up to buy all her paper dolls for my sewing room. ***

Monday, April 5, 2010

the 2010 project: Sewing Karma

So now that last year is behind me lets move on to this year (only 4 months late but that is ok). So far this year I have completely cleaned out my childhood bedroom (my mom has begged me to do this for years and I have avoided it because it was a HUGE undertaking), moved 3/4-7/8 of all of my stuff out of my apartment, prepared myself (mostly mentally) to live out of one just bigger than carry-on sized suitcase for an unspecified period of time, and then moved all my stuff back into my apartment 2 months later. And now I feel like I have too much stuff. We all probably live with more stuff than we realize and more than we most likely really need. We do this because the items that we own define us. They represent who we are and what our interests and hobbies are. We also define ourselves by what we own (or what we don't own). Our belongings act as a sort of character map for who we are both for ourselves and for others.

I enjoyed my 2 months of living with less. I liked the extra space in my closet. I liked the simplified choices (except when I didn't). My goal for 2010 is to use the supplies that I have before I bring in new. In sewing as well as in knitting I tend not to buy yardage or yarn without a specific project in mind and so my stash of those things is not very big. I have collected quite a bit of clothes to be repurposed or refashioned. I also have a stash of half finished projects or projects that have materials set aside but were never started. I want to continue pursuing projects that push me a bit, help me learn new skills and make me a better seamstress. The best way, I have decided, to keep me on my path as well as allow myself some rewards for good behavior is a Sewing Karma Point System. By using up some of the materials and supplies that I have as well as doing something new or challenging I earn points. I can use these points towards buying new material or a new pattern or for something I can't really make myself. It is not completely fleshed out yet but this is what I have so far:

2010 Sewing Karma Point System (I have based my points relative to what I have and what I think my weak(er)nesses are.)

+5, using a pattern I already own
+10 to 15, drafting my own pattern
+10, using fabric or clothing that I already own
+10, completing a 1/2 finished project
+5, completing a project and then blogging, ravelling, burdastyling about it
+5, completing a project with new skills building elements
+3, misc. darning, mending, altering
+5 to 15, misc. projects (for example, building myself a stand for my giant roll of brown paper for patterning)
+10 to 15 misc. book/research projects (because I want to get used to thinking critically and writing about it in prep for grad school)

-10 to 15, buying a new (to me) pattern
-5, buying new (to me) fabric from the remnant room
-10, buying new (to me) fabric from the bolt or yarn

I haven't figured out how I am going to keep track of my points. I am thinking a jar with buttons in it. As I am still working this out and I would love your input if you have any. Does this sound like an interesting idea or just silly? Are there projects or ideas that you would like to see me explore?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

have you met Gloria?

Gloria was my high school graduation present. She is a Uniquely You dress form. The concept behind her is that she is a foam body, so she has some give and squishiness like a human body, with a fitted dress cover. The dress cover you fit to yourself or whoever and make the adjustments and then zip the dress over the form. There are 2 sizes you need to choose: the size of the foam body based on your hip and waist measurements and the size of the dress based on your bust measurement. I am kind of between sizes. I bought a small foam body with the smallest dress cover size. I should have bought the petite foam body size with the largest dress size. Needless to say Gloria is much bigger than I am and has earned the nickname Fat Gloria. I have never attempted to actually fit the dress cover partially because time and an assistant is needed and also because I was never really able to get the cover on her, unaltered, in the first place.

I have since lost the fitting instructions but I called Atlanta Thread where I originally bought Gloria from and asked if it was possible for them to send me another instruction sheet. So one should be on it was to me shortly. And then we will see what happens. I know some of the corset makers have taken an electric knife to the foam body to reduce the waist more. Any sculptors out there who want to assist me with this project???