Sunday, August 14, 2016

Charity Sewing, Garment Labels, and Vacation

I don't have my new camera in operation yet. Partly, that's because we had major house construction and vacation as soon as tax season was finished. Mostly, I have put off dealing with it. That's sad because the camera was expensive and the backlog of finished projects is increasing steadily. My quest for better pictures has, so far, resulted in no pictures. I'd just prefer to sew. :)

Anyhow, one finished project  was photographed on my dress form. My hubbie belongs to a charity group and asked me to make 3 aprons for women who were going to sell raffle tickets at a fund raising dinner. Sure, I say. Really, aprons can't be difficult. So, I go off to spend some time with Mr. Google and found a beautiful apron that appeared easy to sew. Then, I asked him what size I should use for the aprons. Naturally, he didn't know. He had only met one of the women and never met the other 2. He just said that the one woman was "bigger than" me. That's great. I'm 5'1" and weigh 115 lbs. There are a lot of sizes "bigger than" me. Also, he didn't want anything as "complicated" as the apron I picked. In addition, he wanted 3 pockets - one for raffle tickets, one for sold raffle tickets, and one for money. I finally decided to just create my own one size fits all sort of apron. He wanted to buy the fabric to make sure the fabric was something that showed up in the room. So, he went off to JoAnne's armed with 50% off coupon. He came home saying that he couldn't believe how much he saved with the coupon. The best part of this project is his understanding of how I am a sucker for discount coupons The fabric is gorgeous - just ravels when you look at it. Yes, it was a beast to sew. I'm grateful that I have a serger that hung in there with me for three of these gems.

To make the aprons, I cut 2 yards for each apron and cut a hole in the center that was big enough for 2 of my heads (My head is small- I buy hats in the tween shop.) Then, I serged around the hole and the outside of the fabric.  For the pockets, I serged around a rectangle, sewed it on when I thought hands could reach, and sewed 2 straight lines to make the 3 pockets. It worked out just fine. In fact, everyone had a good time buying raffle tickets from the "golden girls". The group made a lot of money!!

Yea!! I finally have garment labels from The Dutch Label Shop . That's thanks to Lori  who had a discount code for the shop. Y'all know how I can't resist those discounts codes.

The top is Grainline's Willow that I will blog about one of these days. It's a great pattern.

Finally, here's one of the photos from our May vacation. It was taken from our hotel room in Ormond Beach, FL. I love the beach and can't resist sharing this relaxing view!!

I'm off to cut batting for a back pack. The fabric is due to arrive next week. Then, I will print that camera manuel and, maybe, even look at it.

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Seamwork Oslo

Well, it's been almost 4 months since my last post. I do have pictures from my Oslo that I sewed during the Christmas holidays. My aim was to work on my editing skills with the photos. The result was no editing and no posts. Instead of waiting any longer, I'm showing the pictures without any editing. I haven't given up on improving my photography and editing skills. I've just decided that I'll wait until I have more time for a concentrated effort. I got through a challenging tax season, took off for a wonderful vacation week at the beach, and went straight into renovating a number of rooms in my house. The renovations are still going on, but my part has slowed down a little. I did manage to sew a cardigan and 3 tops. During stressful times, it helps me to do a little bit of sewing. I'm amazed at how much I got finished just sewing a little here and there.I have a new camera and want to get that working before I take photos. The plan is to work with the camera next week.  I miss blogging!

I wore my Oslo so much this winter that I've almost worn it out. I'm glad that I did take pictures in January. The cardigan is a copycat from Lori at Girls in the Garden. The fabric is a plush sweater knit from StyleMaker Fabrics, one of my favorite fabric sources. The fabric was a breeze to sew and the pattern is fast and easy to sew. I finished it in a couple of hours and I am a slow sewer. I made size large without any alterations needed. It is a tad too big, but perfect to wear over a variety of garments.

The sleeves can be pushed up which is the way I usually wear the cardigan. The last picture shows the way I wore it during the cold weeks we had in Florida, It is not hard to hold it closed. I haven't gotten around to sewing my long-planned coat so the Oslo came to the rescue! The fabric is super soft, cuddly, and warm.

I plan to be back soon. Until then, happy sewing!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Grainline Lark Tee: Christmas/Valentine's Day

I made this version of the Grainline Lark Tee before Christmas. I'm just posting now in time for Valentine's Day. Opps! I've been busy but not THAT busy. So, what happened? The delay in posting occurred because I decided to do indoor pictures with some serious editing. It's pretty sad when I read through Photoshop Elements for Dummies and still couldn't get it. Then, I started a  Adobe Lightroom 30 day trial. I opened Photoshop once and haven't been able to open it since. I cleaned my computer  C drive- that didn't help. Adobe technical support just sends me download information. I did the update for the program- that didn't help. So many people love lightroom despite the $8.99 a month charge. I'm not paying for something when I can't even open one of the programs. Talk about technical/editing challenged!!  After tax season, I'll give may editing skills another chance. I will get it even if I have to ask my grandson for help.  Of course, that remote wire has to go since editing it out probably is impossible. I do have a new camera that uses a lens and wireless remote. That will help with the need for editing (I hope!!). Meanwhile, I have a backlog of posts to do. You can see my poor editing attempts and unedited photos.

Now, let's look at my Lark Tee, V necked version.

I wore this top a lot during the Christmas holiday season.  I probably will wear it for Valentine's Day unless a dress makes more sense for what we do.

At the same time, there are some fitting issues for future Larks. I'll get out my tape measure and consider using a smaller size at the top. If I keep the same size, I'll raise the shoulder 1/2" and reduce the side seam a bit just under the armhole. The armscye is too big! Definite changes are 1" sway back adjustment and 1" shorter in length. The long sleeve needs to shortened 2 and a half inches. When I have red thread on my machine, I'll make the adjustments that I can on this version. Meanwhile, I just enjoy wearing it! It's such a comfortable top.

The tee shirt is a simple make. I continue to look for a pattern that fits like I want. I definitely will give the Lark another try. I need a TNT Tee pattern. I wear tee shirts a lot. They are a quick make. Once I get the fit, I'll make a bunch of them.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Top 5 Reflections of 2015 and Goals for 2016

Top 5 of 2015

1. When looking at fabric for a project, I think about color and color combinations. IMHO, I'm pretty good at that. In the process, I forget about the texture and drape of the fabric. I need to consider both.

2. My ability to fit has improved considerably since I first started sewing garments. I still tend to over fit which results in a tight or slightly skewed garment. I need to remember that my aging body requires a looser fit that skims my body.

3. Overall, I am pleased with my sewing in 2015. Considering the amount of time that I spent traveling and being a nurse to a sick husband, I was productive. I made a lot of garments that I enjoy wearing.

4. I didn't try many new techniques, but I did try some.  I am pleased that I used my serger to completely sew a knit top.

5. Most of my sewing was fairly easy. Perhaps, it is take to make more challenging garments.

2016 Goals

As usual, I didn't meet my 2015 goals, but I did work on them. I did make wearable garments, but not many that I can wear day-to-day. While I believe that my knitting has improved, I didn't finish anything wearable or worthy of bragging. I did make a cardigan that looks pretty good, but ran out of yarn. I worked on my 3 quilts, but never finished a one. My bra making course remains a dream. I either lacked  enough focus or made my 2015 goals too ambitious. I will try again this year!

1. Make 3 pairs of pants or jeans.

2. Make 3 white blouses or tops.

3. Make a coat.

4. Make 12 separates that are mix and match.

5. Finish the Craftsy bra making course.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights of 2015

Top 5 of 2015
No, I don't sew all the time as you probably can tell from my finished project productivity. In keeping with the "Top 5 project", I've listed some other things that I do.

1. Family Time

My day starts somewhere around 6 to 6:30 AM with a big lick on my face. My dog, Roxy, is ready for breakfast. I love her so much that I usually don't mind that she wakes me earlier than I would like. After eating, I watch her romp around the backyard or we go for a walk. Hubbie is a television addict so most nights I watch a show with him. I work on my knitting during the show because just sitting goes against my Type A personality.

2. Travel

While I'm happiest as a homebody, that man of mine likes to be on the go. We joined good friends for a cruise to the Panama Canal in the Spring. I've wanted to see it for a long time and was not disappointed. During Thanksgiving, we went on another cruise with my son, grandchildren, and extended family. I loved spending the time with the family. In September, we spent our regular week at the beach.

3. Unplanned Nursing Job

Work in the medical field was never a career option for me. During October and November, my guy had 2 surgeries. The first was outpatient for a hernia removal. The second was a major emergency because the hernia surgeon nicked his small intestine. He was in the hospital for 10 days and barely could do anything by himself for almost a month afterward. I did a lot of cleaning up messes, laundry, bandaging,etc.  Hubbie normally does all the cooking and was gouchy about my sincere attempts to provide non-gourmet food. The nursing job continued somewhat on our Thanksgiving cruise. We could not have gone except for the help from my son. Let's just say that I am grateful that I am retired from nursing and cooking for a long time- I hope.

4. Reading

I love to read and spent a lot of time in the library before the invention of Kindle. Normally, I read while I eat breakfast and lunch and, again, before I go to bed. I won't  list all the books I've read in 2015, but one of my best recent reads is "The Short Drop" by Matthew Fitzsimmons. Currently, I'm reading the first book in the Mitch Rapp series, "The Transfer of Power" by Vince Flynn, It's a good read so more books in the series will go on my reading list.

5. Taxes

I did taxes professionally for a number of years. I love the challenge of paying the lowest taxes legally possible.While I am no longer doing taxes for pay, I spent a lot of time doing the tax returns for family. My son owns a limited liability corporation that became extremely successful in 2014. His taxes kept me busy January through March in 2015 and several times during the year for accounting reports. Since I have reviewed corporate taxes and learned a lot about his business, I'm hoping that 2015 taxes won't require so much time in 2016. I did enjoy learning new tax information. On the rare occasion that I have trouble falling asleep at night, I'll read the IRS tax code. That works better than any pill on the market.

Top 5 Sewing Misses

Top 5 of 2015

This post is hard to write because it means looking at my poor sewing decisions. When I look at most other posts of "sewing misses", I think that their "misses" look pretty good. At least, they look better than mine IMO. I learned at an early age that one needs to deal with problem or the same problems will rear their ugly heads. So... I'm doing the post so that I can, hopefully, avoid the same problems and move on.

1.So Sew Easy Cowl

Looking at this picture sent me to my weight lifting tape. At the same time, I realized that one of the basic rules of sewing is to sew for your current body. I made the top in a clingy rayon and/or made it too small. The pattern is a good one, especially, for beginners, and the cowl is nice. I do wear it as a layering piece, but would never take the jacket off. The post is here.

2.Silhouette 350

I like this pattern and the combination of colors. I worked on fitting the muslin for a while. I still missed with a poorly fitted blouse as a result. While the colors worked, the solid was too heavy for the lightweight knit. This is a good plan that was poorly executed. I'll never wear the blouse. I did save it so that I can work on the fit issues one day (seems like one day never comes). The post is here.

3.Grainline Hemlock Tee

I'll make this pattern again. For a loose fitting top, I'm satisfied with the fit except for a small swayback adjustment . The fabric is comfortable. I do wear it around the house despite hubbie's "jailbird" comments. I simply do not like looking like a jailbird. The fabric was a mistake. The post is

 4. Silhouette 195

I want a white t-shirt! Without success, I tried twice to get this pattern to fit like I want. The long sleeve post is here.  I did not blog about the short sleeve one. I think that it is time for another t-shirt pattern! I did make a Grainline Lark before Christmas (not blogged about yet). I'm happy with it although I haven't taken pictures. I'm hoping the pictures look all right so I can use that one for 2016.

5. HP Fast & Fabulous T

I like this top, but it is more of a beach kind of garment. Since it isn't my style, I don't wear it often. I took pictures, but never blogged about it. That's my bad.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 5 Sewing Hits

Top 5 of 2015
1. V8805 Red Knit Dress

Normally, I don't wear dresses. Perhaps, I just didn't like the dresses I had. I wore this dress  a lot and always received compliments.  

2. Papercut Rigel Bomber

This jacket is my favorite make of the year. Since I live in Florida, I didn't wear it as often as other lighter weight jackets. The weather did permit me to wear it often last winter. Usually, I wear it opened which looks better. I do like it closed because it shows my favorite feature, the zipper.

3. Grainline Morris Blazer

I love this blazer and wore it a lot.  On a whim, I entered it in the Girl Charlee July 4 contest and won  a $75 fabric prize. The fabric is so  comfortable and goes with many other garments in my wardrobe. The pattern is great with clear instructions. There will be another Morris Blazer soon!

4. Blue Prints Saltbox top and Sew It Over Ultimate trousers

This outfit ranks as the most often worn, particularly the pants. Yes, I did hem those pants after looking at the pictures. The pants are starting to show wear now so I definitely will be making another pair.

5. Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I have another dress in the top 5 which surprised me. After trying numerous unsuccessful wrap dress patterns, this one went together like a dream with only a SBA as an alteration. The fabric from Mood sewed easily and is soft and comfy.

I pleased with my successes this year. Next up, I'll show my misses.