October 29, 2006

Top Dog Prize

Please excuse this break from normal blogging. I have returned from my vacation. I promise that my next vacation will be spent on a beach, knitting, drinking fluffy drinks with umbrellas! No whinny nieces and nephews! No sister who thinks I'm not good enough and don't fit into her image of what a 43 year old woman should do, wear & say!! I did get to drive to Cary, North Carolina and meet my virtual friend Yvonne. She was wonderful - however I had a very long day leading up to the visit and forgot to take my camera into the house - bad blogger. The title to this post refers to my group of friends - some virtual, some I have met in person who have all been communication on the Weight Watchers Challenge Boards - some for as long as 3+ years! Yvonne is one of those friends. Anyway through WW we have a challenge about walking our dogs and losing weight. During 2005 Yvonne walked her goldens every single day of the year. Just think about that for a minute - EVERY SINGLE DAY! This in itself is remarkable. What comes next is too. As a group - we elected Yvonne as Top Dog of 2005. The girls all sent me checks and I purchased a $150 gift card to REI with the money. Then I put together a bag full of stuff - stuff I would like, stuff a dog lover would like, stuff a dog would like - this is what the gift looked like: The other side of the lining is remarkably similar to this side, however, instead of having the little pocket at the top, this side has just the lower piece divided into two pockets. Above the pockets is lettering done in pink - done with my sewing machine which says Yvonne Sunny, Jackson & Beau (Her dogs) Dog Walkers of America (The name of our WW Challenge group) Top Dog 2005 Across from that inside pocket is the one seen above - with the little pocket added. This pocket was added for the sole purpose of holding the gift card. The lower piece of fabric is divided into three pockets. This is the leash that Marsha made! It is beautiful and apparently something that Yvonne has always wanted. She is quite happy with the idea of walking "Nut" (a nickname for Sunny) on the leather leash. Stamped into the leather is the words Top Dog 2005. Finally ~ this is everything out of the bag on my kitchen table. Included in the bag, was the following stuff: Fake Fur bear for the dogs; 2 handknit cotton washcloths (one blue, one purple); 2 bars of handmade soap (lavender & oatmeal, once can been seen on the purple cloth); next to the bear is a picture frame that has dog charms on it; next to that is a box of tea; there is a mug which says "Bone Appetite" on it. The chef is a dog and he's serving up dog bones. The purple cloth and soap is in front of the mug; there is a wooden picture frame with a dog on it; behind that is a red shoe squeaky toy; the leash is in front of the shoe; under the picture frame is a box entitled 97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile; under that is a photo album with a very cute golden puppy on the front. Under the blue washcloth is another photo frame - this one is magnetic and has 3D goldens around the edges. Finally - there was a green lace scarf that I knit. Since Yvonne's favorite color is green - it fit the bill!

October 19, 2006

I'm All Packed!

I finished the nephew blanket. I finished the bag for the virtual friend, the teddy bear for her dog and some toys for my dogs who will be horribly neglected while we are gone - not! I finished the pink skirt on Thursday morning. I got all the work done on my desk. I went shopping and bought (oh, the horror!) tops to go with my new cute skirts. I'm off to North Carolina for the next 10 days or so, where I will ge the priviledge of watching my neice and nephew play soccer, touring the Biltmore Estate, travelling all over the countryside looking at B&Bs for sale in preparation for a lifestyle change, and the thing I'm most excited about - I get to meet my longest, dearest virtual friend. I hope we get along as well in person as we do virtually :) I'll be back and posting soon :)

October 16, 2006

Seriously Stressed

I am a tried and true procrastinator. While I was a single mother in the late 80s with 2 small children going to school full time and working 3/4 time - I would always wait until the evening before a paper was due to write it. ALWAYS! I don't know why, but I seem to work better under pressure. With the upcoming vacation - I have lots of things planned that I want to get finished. I'm just now starting to stress that it won't all get done. Our plane takes off (yea right!) at 10:40 a.m. on Friday, October 20th. Here's the current status: *Handknit afghan for nephew - have 6 1/2 rows left, ran out of yarn, picked up remaining ball yesterday at JoAnns. Will hopefully finish on Monday. *Bag for DWOA friend - have been purchasing more stuff to stuff it with :) the shell is complete and a picture has been taken. The lining bottom and pockets are assembled and one side of the lining is complete with pockets attached, including an added pocket to hold an extra-special gift card. Photo of the empty, unassembled side taken. The lettering has been programed into my super duper sewing machine and samples were stitched this morning for centering purposes. So, about 85% done - will hopefully finish tonight. *Clothing for moi **Brown faux suede skirt - done **Other brown skirt - done **AB skirt - done **Pink print skirt - skirt is done to zipper installation, lining is cut out - hope to have time to work on Monday night. **Blue twinset - no progress other than the fabric has been washed **Pint twinset - see above **Sage t-shirt - see above Travel Knitting - has been decided upon. I'm making kitchen sets for the holidays which will include a felted oven mitt, felted potholder, 2 warshrags - ala MasonDixon knitting, and a dishtowel made from the burbcloth pattern. I have 2 oven mitts done, I just need to find coordinating cotton yarns for the warshrags and towels. Planning on heading to Michaels at lunch today. Better get to work, so I can actually leave the office at lunch :)

October 12, 2006

Debut of the Brown Skirt

Yesterday I wore the brown skirt to work. It was comfortable, but as I've whined about before, I really need to get back into the habit of working out. Apparently my slightly round and protruding tummy was causing the skirt to inch up into wrinkles all day. The front of the skirt was completely wrinkled by the time I got home from work. JB said, "It's cute, but not as cute as the one from the other day. It's all wrinkled!" I replied that I wore it all day. His sage comment was that I wore the other one all day before he saw it, too. MEN! As with the AB Skirt it was very comfortable and doesn't feel tight at all. I'm not sure what's up with all the attitude in the photo though. In fact, the skirt was so cute that my boss is actually thinking about taking up sewing so she can make her own clothes! That's totally a positive. Happy Sewing everyone.

October 11, 2006

Another Skirt Finished

So, last night I finished the brown print skirt. This is the really cute tonal brown print with blue flower centers. I made my favorite KS skirt - 3098, View D. This is the 4th time I've made this skirt. This time, I wanted it a little bit fuller, so on the side seams I measured out 1" and then tapered this back in to the original side seam about 9" up from the bottom. I had Blue cotton thread that was a perfect match to the flower centers and I topstitched the seams with the blue thread. It's very subtle, you can't tell unless you're really close. I turned up a small (3/4") hem and sewed on the machine with a blind hem. I drafted a lining pattern that attached to the facings. However, since the main fabric is rather heavy, I ended up finishing the edges of the both the facing and the lining on the serger and then used a lapped seam to connect them. I also used a little double stick fusible to make sure they stayed put while I sewed the seam. I then added some blue lace to the hem of the lining. I finished this skirt last night. This morning I took it a-l-l the way upstairs (our house is 3 stories and the sewing room is in the basement) to our bedroom to try on. Better late than never right? While I was digging in my dresser for a turtleneck to wear with a different skirt, I happened to see a 3/4 sleeve blue turtleneck from Old Navy. This sweater is 2 years old, but a great match to the blue flowers - so guess what I wore to work today? Yep! The new skirt and blue turtleneck. Also this morning before getting ready for work, I took the center front gored section of the Amy Butler skirt, placed it on the fold - letting the cut edge of the pattern piece hang over the fold by 5/8". I made this work, because the top of the pattern piece is basically straight, and then it flares out. Doing this I was able to lose about 4" of the width at the hem. I basted the new center front piece into the previously made muslin and I like this so much better. So tonight a pink and brown print will be cut out and hopefully sewn. I'm feeling like I'm actually accomplishing something these days! Happy Sewing.

October 9, 2006

I Found It!!!

The camera cable that is. Here I am standing in the entry way of our home having JB take a couple of pictures.

I'm not really sure that I like the fold that is happening right in the center front of this skirt. But it looked good all day and was comfortable to wear.

It isn't obvious from the line drawings, but the skirt is 3 pieces - front, side and back. Each cut out twice. The fronts are seamed right down the center. Maybe narrowing the front section and cutting it on the fold wout do away with that funky little flippy fold. Then again, you might end up losing some of the fullness that makes it so fun. I'll take it to my ASG this weekend and see if they have any ideas.

Off to bed now. I've had a busy week (and it's only Monday!)

Well Isn't This Just a Fine Mess?

Remember this fabric? And how about this pattern? Well the fabric has now been made into a lined View A from the pattern. I made a muslin, took it in a little bit in the front so it wasn't so "pouchy" (that's the technical term for the extra fabric just under the belly). Today I wore the very cute cotton skirt to work with brown tights, shoes and a brown rayon jersey t-top made a couple of years ago that still looks great! It even passed the hubby test. He snapped a couple of photos of me in the great outfit - only now I can't find the cable to download the pictures. So, they are stuck in the digital camera. Isn't this a fine mess? Been working on the brown print skirt. I wanted it to be from the same pattern, but I didn't get enough fabric. After prewashing I needed 3 lengths and I only got 2. So, I cut out the old standby favorite KW skirt. I gave it a little bit of extra flare. There are some light blue flowers in the print, so I'm topstitching the seams with blue cotton thread, I inserted a blue invisible zipper, and I'm adding some pretty blue lace to the hem on the lining. Just little touches of blue that you will have to be really close to me to see :) Off to get more sewing done - that vacation is coming up fast!!

October 7, 2006

Amy Butler Skirt - Finished!

Well except for a hook & eye, it's done. Photos this week - I promise. Next up, a great brown, cream and blue print skirt which is cut. I just need to make a pattern for the lining so it connects with the facing the way Connie Long says it should in the "All about Linings" book. I also have a great brown and pink floral print that I bought today to make another skirt. The tentative plan is to get the two brown print skirts finished, move onto a couple of tops then get the bag done before we head out to North Carolina - We'll be there 2 weeks from today. Oh, and I cast on for the afghan for my nephew. So far, I've used 1 ball of each yarn. I'm using really soft acrylic yarn on bamboo needles and it's killing my hands - the yarn doesn't move on the needles at all. Need to go get some inexpensive plastic needs for this project or I'll hurt myself trying to get it finished.

October 5, 2006

Finished! But still no new photos

I pressed the hem in the suede skirt last night. I'm not thrilled with it, but it looks fine. Nobody is looking that closely at my hem, but I see little dimples. Not sure why. The Amy Buttler print is coming along. I inserted the invisible zipper last night. Now I'm trying to attach the lining. Trying being the operative word. When I took my machine in for a recall and update in August, the tech told me that a critical screw in the timing mechanism was missing. Apparently there are 3 screws, one was completely gone - gone! Nowhere to be found, one was loose and the third was just fine. They buttoned the machine back up because it was sewing just fine. And has been since then, until last night! So, today on my already full day off plate, I now get to run to the dealer who finally has the missing screw in stock and promised to stop whatever he was doing when I walk in and fix my machine. So, until that's done all I can do is cut stuff out! Since I tend to get really bored with stuff that is cut out way before I sew it - see the cute denim jacket for an example - I usually don't cut too many things before I'm ready to sew. So, off to start getting ready to run.

October 3, 2006

It's Funny

the little things that will trigger a memory. This morning I had a frozen waffle for breakfast. As I was spreading peanut butter on it, I clearly remember my Grandmother telling me about one of her first dates after she was widowed. It was a double date and they went to the local Waffle House. Once they were served, it was a race to see who could get butter into each and every little waffle box first. That made me smile this morning. On the sewing front - I finished hemming the suede skirt this morning. Still needs to be pressed. Last night I changed the threads in both the sewing machine and serger. I got both the cotton Amy Buttler skirt shell and the lining put together. Tonight I hope to insert the zipper, attach the waistband and hem both pieces. This skirt is very full and the print is busy, so a small machine hem it will be :) I say hope, because last week I had a root canal and yesterday I broke the tooth. Tonight I have an emergency dental appointment to get the rough spot on the tooth taken care of and keep food out of the tooth until I get the crown installed at the end of November! UGH! If I had known I was going to end up putting this much money into my mouth - I never would have paid for braces. I'm glad I did, I smile more, but this is ridiculous!!! Happy sewing everyone.

October 2, 2006

It's almost done!

I just ran through the house taking photos. Close ups of the fabric, the skirt hanging on the closet door with the hem looking like it needs a good pressing and Beauregard James who is upstairs pouting because I wouldn't share my breakfast with him this morning. Only to find that the computer software hasn't been installed. Last weekend the mother board in our old computer died, just as we got all high speed and into the current century with our electronics. I thought all of this stuff had been installed. Guess I was wrong. We also can't currently print and I have to figure that out too!!

{edited to add the folowing real post}

Above is a close up of the fabric. It is a really rich chocolate brown faux suede. Totally polyester, but I loved it! I was at Joann's for a pressing tool and bought 5 lengths of fabric. My goal is to get them all sewn up before vacation. Anyway, the paisley design is created by a ton of little lazer cut holes. There is a knit backing on the fabric so you can't see through however I lined it anyway.

The patterns started as the Carolyn skirt. I say started because this was the jumping off point for my white summer skirt which never got made! The hip curve of the Simplicity pattern didn't like me at all, so I overlaid this pattern with a Kwik Sew pattern that fits well.

As you can see over above, the skirt is hanging on the closet door. It's hard to see the pattern in the fabric, but it's there and it's really pretty. Last night while JB was watching the Seahawks get mauled by the Bears, I did the hand sewing. I sewed the lining to the zipper tape, tacked the waist facing down (although I think I'm going to need to stitch in the ditch through the facing to keep it down), and sewed the hem sections. This skirt has 7 panels. I sewed the hem of each gore separately since the skirt is long, I didn't want to catch a heel in the hem and have to redo the entire thing. This way only a section will come out. It still needs a good pressing. I think I'm going to press it over my velva board using self fabric as a press cloth. Hope to be able to wear it this week to work, but we're still having beautiful early Fall weather - I still have the top down on my convertible!!

Finally, here's Beau. He went upstairs to lay on a dog bed because I wouldn't give him the yogurt container after I finished. He was insulted and refused to sit in the same room with me. And now I've lost the photo of Beau which was here ealier!!! Frustrating. Thanks for all your help with this project this weekend.

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