Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Just Marched on By

Well, it's the last day of March. There's not much to report as far as finished projects go. I finished the caramel knit "pajama pants" and a pair of brown twill V1051 pants that I love. Those pants take a little more time to complete but the fit and feel of the pants are great. As I think about my goal of completing an 11 garment SWAP wardrobe for winter, I think it is an unrealistic goal for me. Certainly, I finished more than 11 garments since I started in October - just not all in the wardrobe. This probably will be the last full SWAP that I plan. Planning is important and, certainly, I agree with the SWAP concept. The great news is now I have some good, wearable basic clothes that form the foundation of my wardrobe. I just don't stay focused on an 11-garment plan. This year I've finished 7 garments, have a blouse to hem/sew on buttons, and another blouse muslin-fitted and cut out. I should get those two blouses finished in the next week or so. As for the other 2 blouses in the plan, they probably won't get done right away. I've done my 4 garment Spring Plan (will post that later) and have a number of other things I'm excited about sewing. The bottom line is: I have to be excited or I don't stay focused! On the positive side of March activity, I've traced patterns, pretreated fabric, and finished all the tax returns, including mine! Usually, I'm working pretty close to the April 15 deadline. I'm hoping that life gives the sewing time that I'm dreaming about right now!! I'll do what I can to make that happen.

Just so I have something to show, here's a picture of the last major quilt that I made. It was a challenge and took 3 months of pretty steady sewing. If you look closely, my beloved cat, Harry, is sitting on the corner of the bed. He's mostly white so he blends in with the quilt. He's 14 years old and becomes more loving everyday. He's such a sweetheart.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pants Party

Well, the "party" for the past two weeks wasn't particularly exciting. I've been working on tax returns and the quest for finding reasonable health insurance. At least half of my time was spent waiting for the computer to locate tax info I needed and hanging on the phone to speak to someone about insurance (usually involves 20 or so options and talking to just about everyone in the particular company's office). I am atypically obsessive about both of these topics - gotta have the least, legal taxes possible and the lowest cost insurance with the most benefits for me. I have "almost finished" (two words you see a lot in this blog for various reasons) with the taxes - just waiting for info from one of my family darlings. I've made the decision about health insurance and just have one (I hope!) loose end to tie up on Monday. My sewing machine is next to my computer so while I was waiting on the computer or listening to telephone holding music, I sewed. Of course, the sewing had to be the kind that didn't require a lot of thought so I could stop and start. Sewing pants was my answer there.

The first pair was Vogue 1061 which are described as "fitted, pull-on pants, above the ankle have waistband and stitched hems". I would describe them more as Pajama Party Pants. I made them in a carmel RPL doubleknit. The fabric is the greatest thing about the pants: It is very comfortable. The fit was not very good. Of course, that could be corrected but, hey, I already have two TNT pull-on pants patterns that fit well. These were one-seam pants. I think I need two seams to adjust for fit. I dunno. I know a lot of people love one-seam pants. The above ankle length looked like my pants got caught in an over-heated dryer. The look was comical so I made them longer. Also, I couldn't quite wrap my head around putting a waistband on pull-on pants. I can pull them on all right, but elastic waists are more comfortable and less time-consuming to sew. The bottom line is I won't wear these p.j.-looking pants outside the house except, maybe, to go walking for excercise. Hey, the whole idea of this sewing gig is to have clothes that fit and look polished (that's the goal anyway). Here's a picture of the pants:

The other pants at my "party" are turning out much better. There's a lot to be said for TNT patterns. There is a brown twill pair from V1051 that is "almost finished" - just have to finish the waist band, sew on hooks & eyes, and hem it. I also worked on a couple of pull-on pants from Loes Hinse: a white pair and denim pair. I added back pockets to the denim pants and used a couple of decorative stitches from my machine. Here are the pockets before attaching:

Next up if my sewing goes close to as planned: the Vogue brown twill pants and the LH Bergman Blouse

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Sisterhood

I've felt a part of the blog sisterhood for several months now. Thanks so much to BackPorchBlessings and Jackie for recognizing me. I am amazed at the sense of community that is present throughout the blogs. I don't have a sister of my own although I do have 2 sisters-in-law who I love dearly. I now have many sewing and crafting sisters. This award means a lot. I love It!!!

The rules of the award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post

2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!

3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4.Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

There are many, many blogs that meet the criteria of great "attitude and/or gratitude" and many, many bloggers with whom I feel a sense of sisterhood. Many of them are like big sisters because I learn from them and am inspired by them. Most of these big sisters already have received the award so I won't list them. They are listed in the sidebar link of blogs I read. My biggest concern in listing just 10 bloggers is the ommitting someone who deserves the award. My list includes sewers as well as other crafters whose blogs I enjoy.
Angelia at SewMuchtoSew
Shannon at Frogsinabucket
Alicia at AliciaJeanae
Becky at SewandSo
Michaela at TheCraftFarm
Jennifer at FancyThat
Salinda at Salinda'sBlog

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

S2971: A Great Top!

I don't care much for the picture with my mouth opened - giving photography instructions to DH. I do love the blouse though. Saturday was a warm day so I had a chance to wear it. The top is cool and comfortable. The fabric is a RPL from Sewing Studio. I didn't make any pattern alterations which is unusual for me. Next time I make it I will shorten it a bit and take a little off the width off the band so that it will hang straighter. Actually, I don't have any real problem with it as is and received lots of compliments when I wore it. We went to my GS#1's basketball game and, then,out to dinner. I plan to make the version with longer sleeves next. Actually, this white blouse was a wearable muslin that I figured I could wear doing errands or around the house. I had no idea that I would be able to wear it so soon or would like it so much.

Well, this blouse is garment #4 for February. That's not bad for a short month with so many other things happening. It was one of those months where every time I started to do something I found a "worm". For example, I spent about 5 hours piecing together the cost of stocks I sold. I am quite organized with taxes and had all my costs and other stock info together in a file folder. Unfortunately, I kept them in a file cabinet in DH's office. One day he decided to get rid the file cabinet and pitched everything in it that HE didn't need. Fortunately, I caught him in the act and retrieved lots of critical stuff but missed the stock folder. That's the last time anything I really need goes anywhere close to his black hole of an office. I won't bore you with the other joys that I experienced, but trust me, I'm amazed that I actually got any sewing done.

March is a new month. Spring is acoming! Of course, there's frost on the ground here and lots of snow in the Northeast I hear. I still have tax returns to finish but, hopefully, I cleared out the problems last month. While I'm thinking of Spring, I am trying to use some discipline to complete my winter wardrobe plan. I'm working on a couple of pairs of slacks and trying to finish the Loes Hinse Bergman Blouse that I started in December. I have the left sleeve in with an acceptable fit. It's really become the blouse that won't get finished!