Sunday, December 11, 2011

Styling Advice Please

I finished Silhouette #311 yesterday. Today, I tried various pieces of jewelry with it and, finally, decided on a simple gold necklace and red earrings. To me, the shoes are perfect although they don't show very well in the pictures. I'm in love with the fabric. I'm pleased with the fit although it may be a tiny bit too tight. The jury is still out on that. Usually, I don't wear tops that are this fitted. I plan to wear it to a casual Christmas party. Once I put it with the pants that I plan to wear, I wasn't sure whether to wear it buttoned, opened, or partly buttoned. First, the closed version:
This is a side view of the closed version:

Then, I tried the blouse opened since the camisole matches it pretty well.

Then, I tried partially buttoned the blouse:

Although I am leaning toward the buttoned view, I'm not sure. What do you think?

I love the small sizing in the Silhouette patterns and the cup sizing. (I know it doesn't matter but it still feels good!) I used the C cup with size 3 for the top tapering to size 4 at the hip. I didn't make any other alterations to the pattern. That's pretty amazing for me! This was a quick, easy pattern to sew. I cut the buttom of the blouse body and sleeves on the scalloped edges. Yea! There was not any hemming! I didn't even do my usually sway back adjustment. I think that the fit of the back is fine without iit

I guess I should have moved the hose for the pictures. It's been so dry here that I just keep it out on the patio and didn't even notice it. My puppy, Roxy, managed to get into a few pictures. She's always close by. I don't think that I could find a sweeter dog. I have a few other garments finished and planned to take pictures of me wearing them. The camera battery died at the end of these pictures. I have some poor pictures of them on Dolly. I think I'd rather wait until I have some decent pictures.

I haven't blogged for a while because DH was in the hospital again. Poor guy is miserable and in pain. I'm not sure that I'm happy with my new role as "Nurse Rose". I never wanted to be a nurse and have minimal skills in that area. Now, I can even change the bandage over large surgical areas. Please don't laugh. There is a lot of skin prep with my hyper allergic husband. I discovered there are special skin pads and tape that can be used. It's so important to have the right tools for nursing as well as sewing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

First up is the good. This is Jalie 2806 Scoopneck Top. I've made it before and will make it again. I especially like the fabric which is a very comfortable cotton knit from the old Fabric Fairy. Roxy seems to like it, too.

The part that is expecially good is the back. bunching!!! I didn't even pull the top down. I finally have a TNT back knit top that I like. That is an accomplishment for me. :)

Then, there is the bad news, Burda Style Magazine 08/2010 #120. There is nothing wrong with the blouse except that it looks terrible on me. I love the fabric. I was dressing to go out and DH sent me back to closet to find another top. I really tried. You are looking at 20 pintucks around the neck and sleeves (had to add 2 more on the front and back to fit the neck) where I had to measure, sew, and pull through threads. The top is ENORMOUS. The finished version is big after taking 3 inches off both sides. Normally, I make a 38 top tapering to a 40 hip with a Burda pattern. This time I made a straight 38 because I was concerned that it would be too big. It's going in the Goodwill bag. I just hope someone will enjoy wearing it.

You can see jacket #5 sitting on the bench. It has one button and requires 5. I really need to get those 4 buttons on the jacket. I'm dragging my feet because it is a spring/summer jacket. With only a few buttons to go, I don't want to put it on UFO shelf. (There's not any room anyway.)

The ugly part is my own sewing skills. I seem to be making everything twice these days. I don't mean sewing 2 versions either. That definitely is slowing my progress through the sewing list. I thought that I could make the Jalie top in my sleep. Well, I must have shut my eyes when I sewed the neckband. There was a big gap in the front. I had rip the neckband off, regather the front, and sew the neckband again. I never like frog sewing, but doing it with a knit is a slow process for me. The neckband on the pintuck gapped also so I ripped it, added pintucks and sewed the neckband on again. Hopefully, I can get the neck correct with future sewing. With the orange jacket the binding came loose in a number of places. With that one, I made an eye appointment. My eyes are fine. I guess I need to sew a little slower so I can get it right the first time. I'm going to work on a sheathe dress muslin now. The jacket buttons will be there tomorrow!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Roxy

It's a ducky day. Roxy is one year old and still a puppy. She's growing more lovable everyday. When I was shopping the dog toy clearance rank at Petco, I saw this duck. It looks like the same one that Shannon's dog, Hartley , received for his birthday. I use many ideas that I get from Blogland, even buying dog toys! This idea was a definite winner. She loves that duck and continues to shower it with kisses. I tried to get her eyes in the picture, but she won't take her eyes off that beloved duck.

If I can stop watching her, I might get some sewing done.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Lost Jacket

No, I didn't lose my JAM #4. I'm referring to the TV Series "Lost". Actually, I sometimes felt like I was mentally losing it while working on this simple shrug. It's the Sewing Workshop e-shrug. Here's a view of the back:This jacket started back in April when I saw Robin's version of this pattern. I copied her sewing techniques, including watching episodes of "Lost" while doing the handwork. There is no copyright on blogs, right? I'm not planning on selling the shrug, selling the techniques, or even doing it again! I do like the results and certainly enjoyed watching "Lost". It took me a while to finish because I was doing more watching than sewing and, of course, I had to watch the Japanese subtitles. I got to the beginning of Season 2, but there probably won't be a Season 3 in my future. The series is starting to drag for me and is getting a little too weird. That's good because I started doing more sewing.

Now, I'll get back to sewing process. I used a bamboo knit rather than a double knit. Yes, that caused me problems using techniques that were done on a double knit. If you are interested in the entire process, check Robin's blog. She did not say how wide she cut her binding. I decided (just to make life interesting) to cut a narrow binding. The lesson learned was: drapy bamboo knit interfaced with pro-sheer does not turn easily. I almost got it all done before the interfacing started to tear. The only solution was to serge the jacket edges or make a new, wider binding. In my usual manner, I took the more challenging option. I cut my binding 2 1/2" wide. It was still slow going while turning the binding. Then, I got lots of practice doing a fell stitch. Yes, I do a decent rolled hem which will appear on future jackets of this type.

Many thanks to those of you who e-mailed me about the jacket muslin in my last post. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of caring from bloggers. I do have the back fixed to my liking. The front fits, but the sleeve area does not look just right to me. I'm going to let it set a bit and then look at it again. Overall, I like the jacket. I learned a lot about fitting my body in this extremely tedious and frustrating process.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Can this be fixed?

I have this possibly crazy desire for a fitted jacket. My favorite is FSG 1945. This pattern offers a number of style changes using the basic pattern. The fear of fitting kept the pattern sitting in my pile of "one of these days". Then, I discovered that NancyErickson offers an internet fitting service for her pattern. My Fitting Adventure began with a size 12 which is much too large for me. Although I measured a jacket that fits to determine the size, it's still hard for me with a totally new pattern company. After several weeks of trying to get it to fit, we decided to trash and start with smaller size. Here's the back of Muslin #2. Actually, it looks reasonable compared to my first muslin (not shown to avoid appearing ridiculous). This is size 8 which is the smallest size. It's still too big in the top although I had to squeeze into the hip area.

I took a tuck in the top area, took in the back and side back, and let out the front/middle front seams (gotta have room for the tummy). Here's the adjusted muslin that I'm working on now.

The old winkles disappeared and new ones appeared! I just that's the life of fitting garments. Can it be fixed? I hope so. I'm taking in the back around the waist area and taking a larger seam in the armscye. We'll see how that goes. I'm not showing the front because I haven't worked much on that. I hope that it will look like this:

I also am working on the 1945A front. If all goes well, it will look like this:
While waiting for responses from Nancy, I've been working on two other jackets. I'm 95% done with one (lots of hand sewing) and 1/3 done with another. With an ailing husband, there is limited sewing time around my house these days. I'm going to have to sew like a maniac to catch up with my JAM commitment.

For now, I'm back to my jacket fitting adventure.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

T-Shirt Time

A couple of my recent t-shirts are post worthy. If you look closely, you can see the embroidery around the neckline. I wanted to do something simple and a little different. Now I know that embroidery on a light-weight bamboo knit is anything but simple. It's an excercise in patience and many pre-samples.

I used this particular knit because it was a perfect match to my paisley jacket. I also did a pair of pullon pants the same color as the knit. The pants are made out of tropical weight wool garbardine. I won't be wearing or modeling them until the temperature goes below 90 F. It's just too hot!

The second t-shirt is my first attemp at Frankenpatterning (Is that a word?). The top is KS3156 and the bottom is KS2694. It worked pretty well but I should have used my TNT for the top. It fits better. The other thing I learned is the need to ALWAYS shorten the back above the waist. I normally do that but I forgot with my focus on matching the two patterns. As I look at the photo, I also think this top needs a bit of pressing. That one can be fixed easily! I wish all construction problems could be fixed that easily. I'll definitely do more frankenpatterns in the future. Fitting is a big issue with me. I need to use parts of patterns that fit. Otherwise, I'll spend my life fitting patterns instead of sewing. Yes, I love patterns and love variety.
With this t-shirt, I used the banded curved neckline method in Lynda Maynard's Dressmaker's Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques. I don't think the method really is "couture", but I sure like the way it looks.

I'm back to working on another jacket muslin. I'm dreaming of a TNT jacket!!

Parting Shot:

My sewing companion, Roxy is growing! (You can see some of my project bags, too. I forgot to close the closet door.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Burda Style 4/2011 #115

I've been a terrible blogger. The weeks seem to go so fast! I do have one legitimate excuse. I've spent a lot of time trying to be a nurse to an ailing husband. For a while, I was cooking 3 meals a day. That's amazing for me since I never cook anymore. I guess I did all right because he's a lot better now and back to his role as the family chef. I tried to work on my April jacket and seemed to make a mess of everything in this simple jacket. It's close to being finished now so I'll save that tale for another post. I also have been working on muslins for May, June, and July jackets. Do you think that I've had some problems focusing? I know I did! I did finish fitting one jacket. Hopefully, I can catch up with my JAM project this summer. At least, that's my plan.

I was able to wrap my mind around a simple dress that I love, Burda Style Magazine, 4/11 #115.

I added a neck band and eliminated the pockets. I don't use pockets on a dress and certainly don't need any extra stuff on my hips. The back is simple. (Please forgive the tilted tripod. I'm out of practice with it.)

I've chosen the fabric to make a top version of this pattern. I probably won't make the dress again, but I like the neckline for a top. This top goes with the pants and jacket that were planned for June. I wish I could get my sewing to keep pace with my plans!!

Originally, I planned this dress to wear for our 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Paris. I wanted a style and fabric that would pack well. This poly satin worked well for the intended purpose. Of course, that trip was cancelled. I still got to wear the dress. My thoughtful children took us to dinner at a local French Restaurant. We had wonderful food and a great time. That evening was so special that I don't regret our missed trip. We may make it to Paris sometime in the future. I'll even sew another dress for the trip!

Meanwhile, I'll try to concentrate on jackets!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

JAM #3 Vogue 8675

The jacket was almost finished in April. I had a little motivation problem doing the last bits (pulling through threads and final pressing). It's so hot here that I wanted to work on brighter summery fabrics. It's too close to the final product to go on the UFO shelf (There's no room for it anyway!) Finally, a long self-talk got me to finish it.

The jacket was quick and easy to sew. Actually, it closer to a wrap than a jacket. I did shorten the length and the sleeves a couple of inches. That's it. I plan to make a LBD to wear with it, but I won't push the black outfit motivation too far. I doubt that I'll wear this until cooler Fall weather. Usually, I crop out the mess around a garment in photos. This mess consists of the patterns and fabric that are in my dreams and will, hopefully, become a reality soon.

This picture shows the jacket the way it is suppposed to be worn. At least, it's closer to the pattern envelope (see last post). Most of the time, it'll swing open like the first picture. I will wear something a bit more appropriate than the brown that's on Dolly. (Reminder to myself: I need to get that dressform covered properly in the white fabric already purchased.)
This is a photo of the back:

Here's a closeup of the trim:

So, I haven't posted in two months. I've been a bad blogger, but I have good reasons. I finished tax season with minimal stress and took off for my usual week at the beach. We went to Daytona Beach Shores which is less than 30 minutes away. Yea, we didn't have the stress of driving. It's a great place to just relax, read, enjoy the beach, and watch the sunset. All the action occurs in closeby Daytona Beach. We had plenty of that in our younger days but prefer a quieter atmosphere now.

Soon after that, I spend a very long Saturday night in ER with DH who was having severe stomach pains. He had to have emergency surgery and is still in the hospital. He is doing much better now. Hopefully, he can go home today. I keep watching the phone. I know that doesn't make the call from the hospital come any faster. Somehow, I feel better just looking at it.

Most of my sewing has been done in periods of less than 15 minutes. I've kept it to simple projects and am amazed at how much I accomplished. I've made pull-on pants to match the paisley jacket and t-shirts. A couple of the tops are worthy of a post, but those are long sleeve. I seldom wear long sleeves in the summer, but I'll do a post later. Right now, I'm working on the Sewing Workshop e-shrug. This is another simple project. One day last week I decided to forget the world and just sew. It was great except the shoulders were finished and bound on the right side rather than the wrong side. I bound them with the knit fabric and the look was c***. It took a while to rip those seams and fix them with a better looking rayon binding. I didn't even get upset at my stupidity. I just sewed. I was so happy to have a block of time to sew!

Monday, March 21, 2011

JAM #3: The Planning

Although I'd like to start sewing yellows and corals for Spring/Summer, I have a wardrobe for a more conservative outfit. Honest, there are times (not too many) when I want to just look like a lady. So, it's time for a LBD and a matching jacket. The jacket will be V8675 which has some swing (can't be tooo conservative!). I plan to make view A (the red one) without the pockets.

The fabric is a drapy RPL that I bought from Timmel's years ago. I need to add something to break up all that black and think I'll add this trim. I tried my entire stash of trims and this was the only one that looked like a possibility.

Now, I have a dilemna about the direction to turn the trim. I could do it this way.

I could turn it around and do it this way.

What do you think? Maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing.

First, I have to finish the pants and top to wear with the paisley jacket. They are a camel color. Fortunately, I can wear the jacket with lots of other colors. Yea! I love the idea of adding some versatile jackets to my wardrobe.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

JAM #2

I finished M3750 over a week ago. It's tax season for me so I'm just getting to posting about it. I like it although it's not in style (according to the fashion magazines). I'm really not too worried about the Style Police. What do they know about MY style anyway? First of all, I like paisley. I don't give a hoot if paisley is out and florals are in. Besides, there are some little flowers in the design, if you look closely. I understand that pink is the New Red. That's nice for those people who can wear pink. There are very few shades of pink that I can wear. Usually, pink makes me look like I'm going to my own funeral. That's not exactly the look that I hope to achieve. The pink that I can wear is more of a coral color. Hmmm...good idea there for a jacket in the near future. Anyhow, I like red which supposedly was the New Black last year. Maybe I'll make a black jacket,too. I'm not sure but I don't think black is one of the "Season Colors".

The jacket is loosely fitted. It does fit well in the shoulders and neck. Geez, I think I finally got that fit right so I can start moving down my body for a more fitted look in the future. I'll probably wear this jacket opened most of the time. Here's the back:

I made the jacket from a cotton twill. It's super simple to sew. Of course, I have to complicate it by drafting a lining. I'm very glad I did. The cotton would be difficult to slip on and off. It's getting hot here in Florida. The jacket probably will come off as soon as I go outside.

This is the pattern envelope:

I may make it again in a suede for Fall, as shown in the large picture.

Now, I'm working on pants to wear with the jacket. I'm using a light weight, tropical weight garbadine. I'm afraid they might bag if I don't underline it. I always seem to add a complication to simple garments. That's just the joys of sewing I guess. :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

JAM #2 is Coming

Unfortunately, it's still February in my sewing room. I'm still working on my #2 jacket, M3750. It's a simple, loose fitting jacket. If I hadn't decided to add side pockets and a lining, I would have been wearing it by now. I like the additions so I week late is all right by me. This picture was taken on the last day in February. I had the lining and buttonholes/buttons to finish. As of today, the lining is finished. I drafted the lining using Claire Shaeffer's "High-Fashion Sewing Secrets". Thanks Rachel for directing me to that resource. Claire's directions worked like a charm.

The most difficult part of the jacket was matching the print. I don't brag very often, but I will this time. This is a picture of the front. I barely can see the pins.

I'm off to do buttonholes! I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

JAM #1 S2508

I finished the first jacket of 2011 last weekend, S2508. It's sat on Dolly while I tried to figure out what is wrong. I knew there was something that I probably could fix. Finally, it dawned on me. The buttons are too small. I tried Jo's which is the only local place that I can buy buttons. There was nothing that I would put on this jacket. So, I placed an order for buttons that I think would look great. I decided to go ahead and post about the jacket. It's been too long since my last blog entry. Also, I'm beginning to wonder if it would be worth the work to replace them. Sewing on the buttons is easy enough to do. I'm afraid that I will have to lengthen the buttonholes and hand sew to finish them. That's a scarey thought!! Maybe, it doesn't look that bad after all. I like the jacket as it is and would wear it. Also, my fellow Floridians can be assured that there will not be anymore cold weather. All I have to do is finish a jacket and the weather is beautiful with 78 degree (F) temperature.

I think that the sleeve tabs and ruffles are so cute! I like the belt in the back. I even managed to figure out how to add a hanging chain.

I enjoyed making this jacket. I can see why so many people enjoy sewing jackets. That's good because I have 11 more to sew this year. Even though I'm behind and bringing up the rear in the JAM group, I think I'll accomplish my goal or come close. Still, I will admit to jacket insanity with this one. I did so many stupid things with this jacket adventure. The following is a list for my future reference and, maybe, for someone who wants to embark on this exciting experience:
1. Pay attention to the fabric choice. I'll remember this one when I'm trying a lot of new techniques. I've made a simple jacket but have no experience with tailoring or anything this detailed. I've never been successful with princess seams. So, what did I do? I gave myself plenty of challenges with fabric that ravels a lot, stretches, slips, and generally talks back to the sewing machine. (The conversation was ugly!)

2. Check the lining fit before cutting it. I followed the pattern and the lining did not fit very well. It was too long or slightly too short. I could have taken a little bit of time to adjust the pattern for lining. As it was, I spend a lot of time fiddling around with the lining.

3. Use a heavier interfacing with fronts that have pockets with flaps. Probably, I should have just eliminated the pockets with this fabric. I ignored that realization because I love having pockets to stash my stuff.

4. If I do 4 messy buttonhole samples and, finally, do one that looks good, that doesn't mean the jacket buttonholes will look good. I need to have consistency in the sample or I can expect the same results on the jacket. I did several messes and pulled out a lot of my own hair in the buttonhole process.
5. Pay attention to the jacket style BEFORE cutting the fabric. I originally cut a double breasted jacket. When I did the pin fitting, I realized that the style would look like crap on me. Naturally, I didn't have enough fabric to recut the front and the collar for the style that I made. Ever try to stay on grain when you are recutting jacket pattern pieces? I don't want to think about how long that mistake took to correct.

Overall, I worked my way through underlining and sew-in interfacing with pleasing results. There was no way that I could fuse interfacing to this fabric. Believe me, I tried. Fortunately, I did pay attention to those samples. (If I didn't I wouldn't be showing you a jacket!) I was inspired by the jacket that Gigi made and followed a lot of her construction tecniques. Take a look if you want to see an awesome version of this jacket.
JAM #2 is cut out and ready for sewing next week. This weekend we have lots of family plans. I'll be playing until Tuesday!
Have a great rest of the weekend!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Lot Done A Lot to Go

The month is over half over. At least, I'm a little more than half done with my January jacket. Despite the bumps along the road, I'm enjoying jacket sewing. That's good. I still have 12 to finish for the year. I just keep chugging along. As of this morning, this is what I have completed. I like it! I'm following "Jackets for Real People" which is opened on my bench. For the first time, I'm pin fitting the fabric. There are a lot of minor adjustments needed. It's a lot easier to move pins than use the seam ripper. Here's the front. I thought I had the front pinned straight until I saw the photo. Oh, the magic of pictures!

The back needs more work. I'd say those seams are not quite straight. (LOL)

The side seams are not straight either. I guess I was just having a crooked day!

First, I went to the dress form. I'm not flexible enough to work on the back while wearing the garment. I do believe that I see some winkles.

A few minutes work and it looks better to me.

Next, I finished the sleeves next. I think that they hang better and are super cute.

It's a rainy, dreary day in Central Florida. Roxy doesn't think much of peeing in the rain and is exhausted. She's busy taking a well-deserved nap (in her viewpoint).

My answer to such a dreary day in "sunny" Florida is to check out the new patterns. There's a BMV sale today and tomorrow. Then, I'll work on the other jacket front. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Last of 2010

I finally have a Jalie Sweetheart top! Now I know why everyone loves it so much. My only regret is waiting so long to sew it. I wore it for our family Christmas Eve Celebration. Despite sticky fingers and crawling around on the floor, the top still looks fine. The sewing was easy. I like the fit. I like the style. I just plain like this top and will make it again many times. Before I make it again, I will check those diagonal winkles and see what's going on. I didn't notice them before. I'm amazed at what photos will show!The next garment is M5970, a Comfy Blanket for DH. Although it was supposed to be a Christmas present, I gave it to him in November. It was so cold here. I took a cute picture of him that was, unfortunately, corrupted in my computer. He has a face rash and doesn't want a picture taken until it clears. Meanwhile, I want to finish documenting my sewing for 2010. The front pocket is stuffed with fabric for the photo. Normally, the pocket holds his snacks as well as the remote.The most difficult part of this project was cutting it out. I made the L size. It's so big that I had to crawl around on the floor to accomplish that task. The sewing only took a couple of hours. I just serged the edges rather than folding over and stitching. With this heavy fleece, it was too bulky. I also added a foot pocket which he never uses. DH is over 6 feet tall and this blanket still drags on the floor when he stands. If I were to make this again,I would measure the length before finishing. I won't cut this one because he does enjoy wrapping it around his feet.
That's it for 2010! I haven't made much progress on my first jacket for 2011. I'll get back to that tonight.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The First White Shirt

Actually, I should say the first practice shirt in the blog title. I'm embarrassed by the poor workmanship and considered not posting at all. Hey, I don't pretend to be an expert seamstress but I sure am working at it. I did commit to sewing one white shirt with Barbara's white shirt sew-a-long. That mission is accomplished (sort of). Here is Ottobre 5/2010 #5. I like this pattern a lot and think I tried too hard to do a professional job. Maybe the wires in my brain were just loose. I made the collar three times with only a little bit of improvement each time and ended with a stretched neckline! First, the things that I like about this pattern. There are separate upper and under collars. The yoke is nice. The shape of the side seams is great for someone with no waist (like me). It has a slight curve that keeps it from looking like a box. Somehow, I managed to make it a tad too small. It fits but is too tight for my liking. IF I wear it, I will wear it opened over a shirt. I didn't even do the buttons and buttonholes on the front. I'm amazed that DH said he likes the blouse a lot. He's painfully honest about his critiques so I don't think that he was being kind. The awesome cotton fabric helps a lot. It has a light gray toned stripe that adds more than I expected. At least, I got the stripes straight. The fabric came from Timmel Fabric. I wish that I had bought more before Julie went out of business.

Other than my limited skill with a collar and stand, the major problem I had was the fit of the back yoke. When I gathered between the notches, the back bottom didn't fit. I released the gathers until it fit properly. The crappy gathering job is a result of not doing the gathering stitches again. In the front, the gathering thread broke and I didn't bother to do them again. As a result, my gathering is sloppy. I'm pretty good at gathering most of the time. Yep, I will take the time to redo, if necessary, in the future. Originally, I planned to do a placket cuff opening and wish I had. Probably, I didn't need anymore frustration at the time. The pattern instructions have you do a narrow seam for the placket opening. I don't even like them in RTW.

The gathers at the back collar are a result of the neckline stretching. THAT is not part of the pattern. The gathers in the sleeve back are Dolly's fault --- My fault because I haven't gotten around to fixing her too fat back biceps. That part does fit better when I wear it.

It's been a couple of weeks since I finished the shirt. I don't feel better about this shirt now, but I do feel better about sewing shirts. I've already chosen a fabric to make this shirt in a print. It's a good pattern. I just have to add a little width to the side seams. Also, I will make another white shirt sometime soon. I still have that wardrobe need.

Frankly, I just think that my brain has been muddled for the past couple of months. I'm hopeful that explains my poor sewing results. Certainly, it is the reason that I haven't done any blogging. Here's the "highlights" of what has been happening. All the nasty difficulties occurred while we had on and off company and lots of holiday happenings (That part was good!).

In September, I had to make the decision to put my 16 year old cat, Harry, to sleep. He had kidney failure and was suffering so much. I believe, along with my vet, that I did the right thing. I've lost cats before but never had to decide about their living and never owned a kitty more than four years. I knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how hard it would be. I still feel like there was a part of me removed. In some sense, there was because we were so close for so many years.

DH has wanted a puppy for years. I wouldn't allow that because I knew my beloved cat would be cruel to any other animal. Well, Roxy joined our family in October when she was two months old. She's pretty good but still a puppy. I'll have to say that puppies are more demanding than kittens. I had a lot to learn (and still do). Although it may have been to soon for me, I'm glad now that I have her. She obeys most of the time, has only an occasional potty training accident, and is super affectionate. The main problem that I have now is her love for everybody. She tried to wade through the marsh to get to some people in a boat. Her "come" command didn't work very well, but I did catch her finally.

I live in the lighening capital of the world and have all kinds of protection --surge protectors and lightening rods around and on the house. In one of our storms, I lost my wireless router. DH decided he would order a new one and fix it. That was sweet of him but he is more technology challenged than I am. Two weeks later, I was still trying to get internet. In the meantime, I could use his computer. I don't know how he coped. That computer was so slow that I think I could have run a marathon while waiting for the internet connection. Yes, his computer went to the shop. For $50 he got his computer up to a reasonable speed. As soon as I got internet and email working, my keyboard decided not to type a "R". Okay, keyboards are only $10. Naturally, this occurred on Christmas Eve. DH fought the crowds to buy me one and, yes, that one didn't work at all. The replacement one did. I'm back in business for the time being.

There were a few other unpleasant events: DH developed a rash that is a mild form of cancer and itches like crazy, all of our tomatoes and peppers were lost in a hard freeze after we spent hours covering them, the pipes froze twice during our numerous hard freezes (We spent an hour at 4 AM with a hair dryer defrosting the second time that it happened.) Then, We spent New Year's Eve with the plumber trying to locate the water pipe that apparently burst during the freeze. I probably have forgotten a few things, but I'm glad that I've forgotten.

So far, 2011 has been much better. I feel like the wires in my head are reconnected. In the sewing area, I joined the jacket-a-month group. I'm excited about it and am making some progress on my first jacket. I've done all the little pieces: collar, tabs, pockets, and sleeve ruffles. I think they look pretty good. I'll pin fit this afternoon or tommorrow - just to make sure that I don't have any fit surprises.

My puppy, Roxy, kept looking at me while I was working on the white blouse. I'm sure she wondered why I wasn't having fun playing with the fabric. Isn't that a confused expression?

I had just downloaded pictures of a couple of things that made when we had that surge and lost power. I had to stop because company was coming for dinner. We had electricity in time to save dinner, but the pictures I took were corrupted. Of course, I was efficient for a change and deleted the pictures off my camera. I have retaken the pictures so I'll post the last of 2010 sewing later this week.