Monday, May 30, 2011

Last one for Taya

I couldn't help it - had to make one more skirt for Taya to add to the box that was being packed with all the stuff that's being sent, because it didn't fit into her suitcases.  (May-be I should have bought her a bigger suitcase?)  Couldn't resist this fabric either.
A little while back I walked into Joyce's to teach a class, and there was a whole table full of new fabrics (cottons for quilting) in the most amazing prints.  And the price was so reasonable.  And...  After class I picked 5 (notice - only 5, not the whole kit and kaboodle), and I took a metre and a half of each.  (Turned out that a metre was a little skimpy for Taya's skirt - you didn't think I was going to actually use these for quilts, did you?)  Taya was still here, and this is the one she chose (I knew she'd like this one).
I made yet another New Look 6018, just like the previous cotton skirt, while I still remembered what adjustments I had made to the pattern.  Don't think I mentioned earlier - I have been lining all these skirts.  Makes them sit better and easier to wear, I think.
My pet peeve lately (pet peeves change periodically) are hooks at the tops of zippers, especially on skirts.  They're a "pain in the back".  I think that you still need some "insurance" (zippers have been known to malfunction), especially on a skirt, so I've been playing around with button applications.  On this one, it's a tab with a buttonhole.  How lucky to have one perfectly matching button just lying around - like orange is a colour I sew so much of (ha!).
I'm not so selfless.  I have been adding to my wardrobe, too.  (Albeit a little more slowly than I would like - due to other necessities of life, like weed pulling, window washing and various other assorted boring duties.)  I'm just behind in the picture taking and blogging department.  Eventually I'll get caught up and report in real time.  (I hope.)

Monday, May 23, 2011


For a while there my number of posts and my number of followers were neck in neck.  Now it seems that the number of posts are lagging.  Must do something about that.  I'm sewing.  I'm always sewing something - it's just that at times things don't get quite done, and then they don't get photographed and then...  Well, you get the picture.
My grand plans for the start of spring and summer sewing did not get off to any kind of a start.  My daughter's wardrobe benefited - mine didn't.  Then there was that slight problem of losing my "jacket closet" while my daughter was here.  She did have to hang her clothes somewhere, and I had to move my stuff.  I get somewhat discombobulated when things aren't in their proper place, and that and the continuing cold weather didn't inspire me to pull out and sort through the summer wardrobe.  Hence - I have no idea where to start.  I know there are things that I absolutely need - but what those are I have no clue.  When I look at my fabrics, I'm haunted by ghosts of summers past.  I start to remember what each and every piece of fabric was purchased for, all the ideas I had, and I'm overwhelmed.  Where to begin?
Not to lose sewing time, there's always a smaller project that needs to happen, like this apron.
Kindly modeled by my mother, but only once I promised that only the apron would show.  It's a gift for a friend who moved to Toronto recently.  I made her one earlier, and she asked for a second one exactly the same style.  (The previous one was a pea pod print.)  This is Kwik Sew 3547.
Quite obvious which view I chose.  I made the size medium.  The fabric is a quilting cotton that I had on hand.  (Can never seem to resist the temptation of buying up those lovely prints - more about that later.)  I purchased the bias binding, though I probably should have made my own.  Problem is, my sewing machine refuses to keep a decent tension when I sew through purchased bias.   I have tried everything under the sun to remedy this problem, and nothing seems to work.  Best I can do is to crank up the tension to its maximum and pray that the underside won't be too bad.  The stitches seem to hold alright, despite the rather sloppy look of the wrong side.  I hate the way it looks!  I don't seem to have any problems when I make my own binding with prewashed fabric.  Could it be the sizing in the purchased binding?  Any ideas?
With the Victoria Day fireworks going off all around us this evening, we're staying in the basement either at the computer or the sewing machine, where we can't hear the noise too clearly.  "The great (four-legged) protector" feels the need to sit on top of me (or any facsimile thereof) when the noise is too loud.  So - more sewing is definitely happening. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skirt marathon

What can I say?  Life got in the way of blogging, and sewing for me.  My daughter arrived in March for a long visit.  She left yesterday.  My son was home for Easter.  He left - my daughter's fiance arrived for a few days.  We had a lot of sorting out to do, issues to deal with, etc., etc., etc.
My jacket did not get done for Easter.  I tried, but it needed super concentration and care, which was quite impossible under the circumstances.  I did take pictures as I worked along, so eventually, when I do get to it - I will have the whole process to show.  I was sewing an hour before heading off to church - "slightly expanding" the waistband on my son's suit pants.  (Must be all the tasting that he does as he cooks!)  That was not fun.
While waiting for my daughter to arrive for her visit, I had this fantasy in my head, how I would sew her lovely things while she took care of household duties.  Then reality hit.  What was needed, was not a few lovely things, but an entire wardrobe.  Lack of funds, hanging on to things for far too long, resulted in a rather sad look.  My baby needed a "What Not to Wear" makeover!  Yikes!  Impossible to sew so much in so little time.  We had a tight budget, but we did it.  We scoured clearance racks and sales and put together a very workable wardrobe that (mostly) fits Taya's lifestyle.  Okay - she probably didn't need another pair of high-heeled party shoes - but they were only $20.  The Easter dress was also purchased.  (Less headache for me.)  Problem with sewing for Taya - she won't stand still long enough for things to be fitted, and she is not an easy fit.  That was always the case.  Mind you, she has no problem trying on 20 items of RTW at the store.  I don't get it.
I did sew a few things.  First was a remake of a formal dress into a skirt that was worn for Palm Sunday.  Taya loves the fabric, but she outgrew the dress (at least the top), which was made when she was about 15.  We purchased a cami and a cardigan to make an outfit (sort of a "vintagey" look?).  I bought the belt a few years ago and never wore it - works much better on Taya.
Somehow, pictures didn't get taken on the day this was worn, so this and all the other pictures were quickly snapped as things were getting folded into the suitcase on Monday.  Couldn't do without the fuzzy helper!
A few summer skirts were needed to round out the wardrobe, so these were whipped together in two days.

A straight (very slightly flared) mauve cotton print from New Look 6018.
Then it was elastic waists and ruffles at the hems with Butterick 6944.
Red polka dots in a nylon knit.  Mauve shoe print in polyester georgette.
Then I really sped things up by combining the two patterns - layed one on top of the other to produce straight skirts with elastic waists.  Both the lime green and turquoise are a seersuckery polyester.  Leftovers from both of these were made into sarongs for beachwear.
Last but not least - a princess print in sheer nylon knit.

No time for styling outfits, so please excuse the non-matching Audrey t-shirt.  Yes, we bought all sorts of t-shirts that will go with these skirts - cardigans, too.
The lime, turquoise and mauve cotton print fabrics were purchased - everything else was from the stash.  And if that wasn't enough - there was the Wizard of Oz fabric that followed us home.  What could be done with that?

For these I used Butterick 6837.  Love pyjama pants with no side seams!  They zip together in a flash.  Trying to place the print was quite a feat, and I ended up cutting these single layer, so that the pictures were at least lined up straight across.  Oh well, they're only pyjamas.
Now there's somewhat of a mess back by the sewing machine.  Somewhere in between the shopping and the skirt sewing I had to finish a cassock that had been promised ages ago.  No pictures of that.  Cassocks are big, black and a real pain to sew.  Enough said.  We're trying to get back to normal around here (whatever normal is).  I have a depressed dog to deal with.  All his company left, and he's not very happy about it.  The ants have invaded the kitchen and refuse to leave, despite my best efforts to convince them that staying is definitely hazardous to their health.  The weather is miserable, and I'm seriously considering to continue winter sewing, because I'm not in the least inspired to sew summer clothing that I might never be able to wear.