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.