Monday, January 26, 2009


Thank you soooo much Angelia for nominating me for theKreativ Blogger award. The rules of this award are as follows:
1. Copy the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
4. Link to those on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

I would like to pass this award to the following 7 other bloggers whose names I haven't seen listed yet and definitely deserve this award:

1. Gaylen at GMarie
2. Alicia at AliciaJeanae
3. Shawna at Whatwouldyoudowith25hourdays?
4. Shannon at FrogsinaBucket
5. Emily at ALittleSewingStudioonTrowbridgeSt
6. Marji at FiberArtsAfloat
7. Adrienne at RealLife:Live&Unscripted

There are many, many other excellent sewing blogs out there. Some of them I haven't discovered yet. I read the post from Carolyn who broke the rules of the Kreativ Blogger award and nominated everyone who read her blog and has their own blog. She said that we all could display the award and state that the nomination was from her. Carolyn really understands that feeling of anticipation as the awards are posted. So, I decided to create my own award. My award is the Hug Award. This award does not have anything to post on a blog because it is just a very special feeling that is sent through cyberspace. It can be passed on to someone else, but there is no rule that requires it. This award is not only for excellent blogging and excellent sewing skills. This award is for understanding and encouraging the newbies in blogging/sewing and making them feel special. So, Carolyn is the first recepient. Thanks for being there in blogland, Carolyn.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dreams of Spring

It's sooooo cold here. I'm sure that most you won't think that 52 degrees is that cold, but we do have heavy wind. The wind chill counts, right? We are expecting a hard freeze tonight and tomorrow night. I've been out in this dreadful weather covering plants, flowers, and herbs. The good news is I have flowers all year but it is a bit of work to protect them during our cold days. Please remember that I was outside in 80 degree weather on Sunday so this is quite a drop in temperature!

It's definitely time to think of Spring. That always improves my spirits. With each new issue of Vogue Pattern Magazine, I pick my 3 favorite new patterns. Sometimes I make them and sometimes I don't. These are my picks for Spring 2009:
V1092 I love this skirt, don't care much for the top.

V1087 I love this dress. It's the perfect LWD for my Spring/Summer Florida lifestyle. The only negative (that I can see now) is the advanced fitting and sewing skills required to make it. I'll see how my sewing goes. I'd like to take on the challenge of making it.
V1099 The jacket definitely will go on my Spring sewing list, not so sure about the pants.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Blouse Saga Continued

The three weeks that I designated to work on sleeve fitting turned into six weeks. In the process, I have stuck myself with pins a thousand times (got my ear once really well), used 1/2 a bolt of muslin, a roll of pattern paper, 6 rolls of tape and 2 sharpies. I kid you not - that's not much of an exageration. This weekend DH was away at a conferance so I planned a blouse fitting marathon. I almost got the 2 muslins finished after doing a detailed study of my arms. Isn't that exciting? Actually, I did do my weight lifting-toning tape once. The only incentive I need is taking a close look at me. One of the blouse muslins fit perfectly -- no wrinkles (well, maybe one or two), the sleeves were smooth and fit my arms. Sooo--I quickly went for my sharpie which was 6 inches away - wanted to mark those seams right away. The only problem was that I couldn't move. Actually, I created a pin orgie. Pins were flying everywhere as I tried to move my arms. My "Armor Blouse Fitting" was lost forever. I came to the conclusion that I fitted it too tight. Ha! I did some smart thinking there. Unfortunately, I lost so many pins that I couldn't just ease the seams looser. I was back to the drawing board. I had to zigzag more fabric on the sleeve muslin and start fitting again. By the time DH came home Sunday afternoon, I had it. There was no more working on blouse muslins. I didn't sleep well Sunday night which is unusual for me. I kept trying to figure out where I went wrong. Monday was a new day. I started by really looking at those arms of mine. I have such skinny arms that it never occured to me that I might have large biceps. I guess all those swimming laps did something. The very top of my arm is pretty big in proportion to the rest of the arm. I finished both muslins on Monday. I finally accepted that they are as good as I can get them right now. I'm sure that I'll continue to consider the sleeve/bodice fit issue for the rest of the year. We'll just see how those blouses look in real fabric. I'm tired of sewing ugly muslin fabric. Enough is enough! Actually, I did pull out a jacket pattern with a two piece sleeve. I'll be trying that in the near future, but not right away. I've started sewing one of the blouses and hope to have it finished this week.

During one of my breaks, I read Shannon's post about learning and perfecting a new skill every year. That post got me to thinking. Shannon is restudying calculus this year. I'm not going to do that - never took calculus and never wanted to take it. I do have a whole laundry list of things that I would like to learn. My sewing skills goals will remain top priority, but I'd like to do something else to add some variety. There are periods of time when I just get burned out with sewing. Right now, my choices for 2009 are learning Adobe Photoshop Elements, Knitting, and Zumba. I'll make a decision after at least one blouse is done.

This weekend I did pull out the skirt that I cut out earlier. I sewed a bit on it - just had to work with some real fabric. This fabric is sueded microfiber. I thought that it would be hard to sew, but was pleasantly surprised. Ironing is impossible because the iron leaves marks even with a press cloth and low heat. I sure am glad that I tested it first. Often, I forget that step. I have to hold the iron above the fabric, steam it and finger press. I didn't get very far but I'm happy with the way the pleats fall. They are on an angle so I had some concern about the microfiber fabric. Please ignore my sloppy tailor tacks. I can be accurate with tailor tack markings but don't have the patience to do them neatly.

Here's a picture of one of my sleeve muslins. There are a couple of things that I learned that are so helpful to me in fitting. The first I learned from Marji I mark the center and horizontal lines and, then sew over them with a basting stitch. It only takes seconds to do and I easily can see if the garment is hanging straight. The second I read in a magazine somewhere. I put a couple of round sticky dots (from office supply stores) on the wrong side of the fabric. I put more than one because sometimes the dots fall off. That way I don't have to think a lot about the right and wrong side and avoid sewing a right side to a wrong side. Ask me how I know about that possibility!

I'm off to sew some blouse seams. Yea!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bloggers are Terrific!

Thanks to all of you who gave me suggestions for my animal print fabric. All of them are great with many ideas that I would never have considered. I plan to use several of them in the future. Meanwhile, I am still plodding away at my blouse muslins. The three weeks that I planned to work on sleeve fitting has turned into 6 weeks. I'm still not done, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I've fitted the bodices for the princess seam blouse and the side-dart blouse. The left sleeve is done for the princess seam blouse. The right sleeve is giving me a bit of a challenge. I'm so assymetrical that I have to fit both sides - double the fun (lol). During breaks, I've cut out a skirt, a knit top, and am close to finishing another knit top. This fitting process is so tedious that I have to stop and get back to it in an hour or two - sometimes the next day! Hopefully, this will all be worth it although I'm sure that I'll be tweaking the fit for some time. Anyway, I should have some things to show soon!