I’m working on revamping my shirt while watching a rerun of the Levi’s challenge on PR. And, once again, loathing Christian. He’s just so bloody whiny! Though I have to laugh at his comment about how deconstruction “just isn’t how fashion is”. Because deconstruction has become a staple of my wardrobe. So he and his permanent bedhead can just bite me. I’m really beginning to suspect Christian’s going to win, though. Which really annoys me. I’m also beginning to suspect that Jillian won’t last much longer. She’s beginning to move into the realm of mental breakdowns. And the claws are beginning to come out on everyone else.

Past the point of no return on the top now– I just cut off the lower portion of the front so I could make darts. Here’s hoping my idea works!

Update at 11:13: I tried putting in a second set of darts on the dummy. Tried it on myself. Looked awful. Currently have the shirt pinned around myself–literally–and just took out another pinning of the second set of darts. It’s making the neckline go wonky. Obviously, this silky fabric was not meant to have such structure. But I think it might work to just use my tieback idea to get the fit I want. Now to just figure out the neckline (which was going wonky anyway) and actually add in the charmeuse. And, um, get myself out of these pins.


It’s a good thing I haven’t gotten very far on this shirt. I’ve gotten just enough done on the front to realize that as is, this isn’t going to look good when it’s done. It’s going to look like a shiny metallic bag. And probably like something that should only be worn by someone twice my age. That, and the darts absolutely suck.
So I went to Joann’s this afternoon and got some chocolate brown polyester charmuse (so silky, and just the right weight to go with this) and a zipper. And I’m taking out the darts so I can rework them into a better placement. So I guess I should just think of this as reconning before I start, hmm?

The green brocadeish skirt…

….which I need to come up with a better name for. Let’s call it the Eowyn skirt for now, since the colors and weaving of the fabric kind of remind me of some of her costumes in the LotR movies.

Anyway, I finished it yesterday. Had to do some adjusting on the sides, ended up re-sewing part of the zipper by hand, and hand-hemming it. But I’m quite pleased with both the look and fit of it.

And a really bad shot of me wearing it with a sweater that doesn’t quite match. At a bad angle. But there ya go.
What I’m not so pleased with at the moment is the shirt I’m making, mainly due to the serger being a pain in the butt. I’m also having serious questions about the darts with the silky fabric– they don’t seem to be laying right. Fortunately, they’re not the type of darts I had to trim. So I’m thinking I might just pin it together before sewing (I’m afraid basting would make me mess it up taking it out) and try it on to see how that part actually looks on me. If it’s no good, I’ll just have to rip the darts out and try again. We’ll see what happens.

A crafty week in review

I haven’t been a very good blogger this week. So here’s the rundown.

Monday: Finished reconstructing my reconstructed green shirt. I suppose I should say repairing. Anyway, it looks really good, I think, minus a few tiny bits of previous seams that show up on occasion (the problem with velvety fabric). That, and a little tiny bit of bunching on the lower back zipper section where I attempted to close up the back seam. I may need to redo that. No pictures yet, because for some reason now, I can’t get it on my dummy. (It fits me just fine– a bit snug around my ribs/waist area, but it was always like that. But it wouldn’t go over the shoulder section on the dummy, and I didn’t want to force it lest I undo everything I already did.) Only problem with it now is, with the edges all zig-zagged for reinforcement, it makes it a wee bit itchy inside. 😦 I’m hoping that’s something that a washing will cure.

Tuesday: Don’t think I did anything that day.

Wednesday: Had originally planned to cut out a skirt. Discovered I didn’t have enough fabric to make it the way I wanted it. Cut out my Butterick 6831 shirt instead. Also watched Project Runway, and rather than rehash it all in a longer post, I’ll just say I loved that they had to chop up jeans to make things. And I’m surprised that Ricky outlasted Victorya (even though I really didn’t like her jacket this week.) Also don’t think Ricky should have won– yes, it was well-fitted, and better than his other garments, but it just didn’t do it for me. I absolutely loved Sweet P’s dress though. I’d be seriously tempted to copy that. Yes, the hippie 70s vibe does it for me.

Thursday: I was determined that this fabric should be a long skirt. In order for it to look right, it pretty much had to be cut on the bias. So I went to Joann’s in hopes that they had more of it. They didn’t. Fortunately, I had already found some black tone-on-tone brocade type fabric in my stash, and several calls to my mom from the store (she was at home with the fabric) later, came up with a solution. I got McCall’s 4258 , which is long and bias-cut, but had a more narrow skirt view, and some olive velvety rickrack.
Then I cut down the centers of the narrow solid black stripes, inserted the brocade, and began to serge it back into a longer piece of fabric.
Friday: Finished the serging, and ended up with this. Doesn’t look too different from before, but it added just enough length that I was able to cut out the front and back pieces. Plus add a little extra at the bottom so I could have an ankle-length skirt. I cut the facings out of the leftover black.
Today: My friend Nicole came over and we had a Shrek trilogy marathon. She worked on some artwork while I sewed. The good news is, I got the skirt all sewn together. I added the trim to the wider black stripes, and will need to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Had one of the easiest times with an invisible zipper that I’ve had yet. The more annoying part was working with the serger, in which one needle persistently came unthreaded. I finally gave up on that. So the facing is in, and I’m letting it hang so it can stretch out for hemming purposes. I did try it on, and it fits pretty well– a little big at the waistline, as the size persistently is on me (the next one down is too snug), but it settles well enough as a hiphugger skirt. I do have some bubbling as it curves out over both hips, and will need to do something about that (at first I thought it was just the zipper, but it’s on the other hip too). I also began some work on the Butterick shirt, but didn’t get too far– I decided to add some tiebacks, and the bias strip is very, very ripply. I may need to recut that one. But that’s basically all I did there.

a scrap-happy weekend

Such a good weekend, both in terms of productivity and friend time.

Got about 18 1/2 scrapbook layouts done (2-page spreads for all). Ran out of page protectors to put the finished products in. Nearly ran out of refills for my tape runner (had 3 that I just brought, went through over 2 of them.) Doing the journaling in advance was such a good thing.

Also went to the thrift store, watched a lot of Doctor Who/The Dresden Files/Peter Pan/Robin Hood: Men in Tights/the Disney Atlantis movie, went to the movie theater and saw The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, drank lots of tea, had a lot of fun with the girls. They both got a lot of crocheting done too.

Too tired to finish that half a page tonight. But that’s ok. I’m feeling totally accomplished.

Been a busy little girl.

I ended up deciding to hand-write on a couple of the scrapbook pages, for ease of assembly with odd papers/shapes. With that, if I counted right (since it was quickly), I have 20 pages available for working on this weekend. So we’ll see how many I can blitz through! I’m excited!

Now I just need to hope I remember to pack all that other less significant stuff I need, like my hairbrush and underwear. 😛

Project Runway 4:8: "On Garde!"

Haha, a challenge inspired by hair. I love that. And team challenges are always fun to watch because of the explosions. And throwing a last-minute “second outfit” challenge in was brilliant!

Keeping my review simple tonight, since I spent the majority of the show working on journaling for the scrapbooks, and so I’m sticking with just the results. (Writing this just after the runway show.)

Jillian/Victorya– LOVE that coat. Jillian rocked that. Love that whole plaid punk/Victorian thing she’s got going. And the detail is incredible, like the back of Victorya’s blouse. The RTW look was a good translation of it too. I really want them to win. I’d totally wear something like that. Despite their time-management issues, they pulled it off remarkably.

Chris/Christian–they definitely pulled off “avant-garde”. It was definitely the most out-there look on the runway. Though I don’t think Christian’s RTW outfit was quite a translation of what he did, color-wise. The skirt’s off.

Ricky/Kit— all I could think of was the “layer cake” dress that Kaylee wore in Firefly! But with more flowers. Not really into those old-fashioned floral prints.

Rami/Sweet P— I’d have to agree with Tim. Didn’t really look like anything different than what Rami usually does. Sweet P’s dress is cute though. Kind of reminds me of the BurdaStyle Azalea, though with a belt (which I think is how I’d have to do it if I ever make that one.) It’s really obvious that they didn’t work well together.

And now for the results…
The winning team: Chris/Christian. (Rats. That also means Christian’s guaranteed on for the next two weeks. I can’t deny they had a great look and worked well together, but still!)

Auf’ed: Kit. I’ll be sorry to see her go, since she seemed to have one of the better personalities on the show. Rami’s outfit was better for certain, though.

Looks like next week might be another trash-to-fashion challenge. Could be interesting. 😀

A writer is me!

Couldn’t resist the title… despite the bad grammar, such phrasings always amused me back when I was playing Kingdom of Loathing. (Such a great way to mindlessly entertain myself for a bit while I was in grad school!)

Anyway, I decided to forego the sewing today in favor of prepwork for this weekend’s crafty fest with Cassie and Tracey. So I’ve been doing a lot of writing, in the “type up the journaling on the computer” sense, today. You have no idea how grateful I am that I kept a LiveJournal during the majority of my grad school-and-on life. (Even though I know it’s probably bad form to link to another blogsite!) But that’s where I’ve kept the more personal blog for years now, and it’s been a world of help in trying to figure out what I need to write for things that happened even recently, let alone 3-4 years ago! What I’m really hoping to accomplish this weekend, though it’ll probably end up being more a case of scrapping as the muse leads, is to finish up the last couple of layouts that need to be done for my two albums from my grad school days. I’m on my third year out now. They need to get done. Though, admittedly, at the rate I tend to go when I have these scrap-dedicated weekends like I’ve been doing, both here and with Nicole, I just might attain my dream of catching up. At least, until trying to finish my two travel albums get me behind again.

I’ve been able to get stuff written for about 13 layouts so far. Some of them are slowing me down quite a bit, due to that end-of-season roundup habit I mentioned in the last post, so considering that, not too shabby. Then after that comes the fun part, which I have to admit I’ve already done on several of them–playing with fonts!

On a random and not-so-fun note, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to completely reorganize my fabric stash so I can effectively use some of it up. I keep stumbling across fabrics I forgot I had, and being unable to find the ones I think of. That’s gotta stop. It’s going to be such a pain though!

The Elf shirt, revisted

Obviously, I did not get the shirt sewn together on Sunday. It took longer than I thought to finish the edges, once I got them cut out (which, to try and counteract the problem of a woven sheer over top of a knit velvet, I ended up pinning the sheer to the pieces and cutting around them, rather than using a rotary cutter. Probably better anyway, since I remember from the first time I made this shirt that the sheer likes to shift around under the ruler when being rotary-cut.) So it ended up being this whole big process that I just finished tonight:

First I zig-zagged around the edges of the sheer.

Then I pinned the sheer on top of the velvet and zig-zagged the two layers together. I had five rectangles of various lengths to do this on. I did get the torso pieces sewn back together, using a fine needle to try and avoid punching too wide holes in the sheer– I think that was another contribution to the fraying in the seams. I would have done more, but despite the heater, it was really cold down there and my hands were going numb, so I made a strategic retreat to the upper floor of the house. I still have to figure out whether a second row of stitching would do more harm than good anyway. But I still think, now that the contrast panels are prepared, this shirt should go back together rather quickly. Unless the half-sewn-in invisible zipper decides to cause me problems (I didn’t want to rip it out all the way because right now, the top is actually matching up! I’ll hand-sew it if I need to. Actually, that might be the best way to handle it, period.)

And since I ended up not taking the pictures on Sunday either, these are Tracey’s pillows. It was nice to be able to use up this fabric. Though I have to say, in this case and in the aforementioned shirt, my pack-rat tendencies when it comes to larger leftovers has really come in handy!

On the scrapbooking front, I do have journaling typed and in the fonts I want for, I think, five layouts. I do have more to make than what I thought, because not all of my recent photos had been matched with paper (this is what sidetracked me from sewing and pictures on Sunday…my hands were getting too cold in the basement then, too.) So now I just need to format the pages and print them out. I’m hoping to do some more writing on those tomorrow.

Going back to sewing now… I think I have patterns picked for the next few projects! The first one being that green striped fabric I’d mentioned on my mini-goals list. (See fabric all the way to the left here.) I’m going to use McCall’s 2029— though, figures, the picture on the McCall’s website is wrong! The drawing to the far right should be a long, bias-cut skirt (like the floral one but longer). It’s actually perfect for what I wanted to do, because there’s no darts to mess up the stripes and the zipper is in the side so no back seam. I do want to modify it a little to make it longer, though– with this fabric, it really needs to be nearly sweeping the floor! Then for the blue-green floral next to it, I’m going to use McCall’s 5050, I think with view B. I’m strongly considering modifying it so the gathering is at the waist instead of under the bust, though, and maybe making some kind of fabric belt to conceal it. (My waist is small for my pattern size, so if I’m not really careful with empire-waist and hippie-looking shirts, they look like baggy maternity shirts on me.) I haven’t chosen a pattern yet for the gold-embroidered teal, but for the multicolored print on the right, I’d like to use Butterick 6831. (Simple pattern for a busy print.) At this point, I think I’m going to combine the body of the cream one with the sleeves of the pink one, and am considering adding a tieback of some sort.

I also got a few fabrics for Christmas–my mom is really good at picking out things I like! I got a printed knit that I think I’m going to use to try out BurdaStyle’s Lydia top, and an embroidered brown suedecloth that I’m pondering Simplicity 7090, the greenish version with the asymmetric seams. I also got a brown striped fabric that’s much like what I used for my Emily blouse (ok, it’s the exact same fabric in brown.) Obviously I don’t want to use the Emily pattern for that since it would look too much the same. I’m kind of thinking about trying something like this with it– I really like that asymetric button-front, as well as the different stripe directions, and I’ve never done an asymmetric button-front so that would be an interesting design challenge. I’m just wondering if the stripes are too wide!

So now that I’ve bored anyone who might possibly be reading this out of their mind, I will say that all these patterns (at least the major manufacturer ones) are subject to change– I’m going to look at to see what other people have said about these first. I’ve known it’s out there for awhile, but haven’t ever tried using this resource. So if the patterns are said to suck, I may reconsider my choices. Even if it means buying more patterns.

pillows, destruction, and amendments

No pictures yet because I ran out of time– will add later today.

Anyway, I spent yesterday on a couple of my sewing goals. Got two pillows made for my friend Tracey, as a birthday/Christmas/condowarming gift. I helped her do some of the painting in her condo just after she bought it, and discovered that her bedroom color scheme fit perfectly with the curtains in my bedroom. So, since one of the things I’m hoping to do this year is use up what I have, I used the leftover fabric from that to make them. So one piece down, oh, I don’t know, probably around 500 to go? (Obviously counting those “too big to throw out, too small to make another piece of clothing and I already own one anyway” pieces, since that’s a huge part of it.) I’m calling it “Weird Fishes” pillows– they’re not really fish, of course, but the pattern kind of has that ocean waves look to it, and she likes Radiohead, so there ya go. 😀

I also finished tearing apart that shirt of mine. So now I need to recut the sheer, pray really hard that organza-like fabric will serge, and hopefully I can get it reassembled today.

Went to a Creative Memories party with my friend Cassie last night. They had neat stuff, to be sure, but as is typical of me, I thought it would be best to spend my money on something I’d get a lot of use out of. (As in, not paper.) So what I ended up splurging on a bit is a Power Layouts Kit –basically, you just lay out the paper and photos and such ahead of time, and then store it in here until ready to use. It’s supposed to make for quicker assembly. I’m hoping this will be more effective than my current practice of storing things in page protectors (and less likely to bend.) Also, I figure it might be helpful for the big themed albums, like my road trip one, because part of my problem with the yet-unfinished Chile one is just sorting through what photos go on what page and such. Cassie and I are also splitting some paper– we decided awhile back to make a scrapbook for Julie, since she went from single to engaged at pretty much warp speed, and had made the comment to me shortly before getting engaged that since it all happened so fast, there were things she’d liked about being single that she kind of missed. (Not that she’d go back by any means.) But anyway, we’re making her a scrapbook to celebrate her single days and all the fun she had– kind of a final tribute before she moves on, and a bachelorette gift of sorts. We were going to just use some stuff we had, but then decided it would be easier this way than trying to coordinate supplies from our stashes. And, if there are gaps to be filled, I’m sure I have something that would fit the color scheme of the paper. (We just got the papers, and not all those title stickers and such.)

And now comes a reason why I decided I need to stick to simple and a few craft goals at a time: I need to amend my scrapbook list. I’m still keeping the original two items, but I’ve decided there’s no way I’m going to have that paper done in time for Tracey’s this weekend, since I wasn’t able to work on it at all this past week. So instead, I’m going to focus on getting journaling written and/or typed up and printed for as many of the pages from my regular scrapbook as possible this week. It looks like I have 21 of those layouts I can put together (though one of them is entirely done except for journaling, because it was from the batch I did at Nicole’s back at the end of December). Several of them are going to be very journaling-heavy… when I first started scrapbooking back in high school (one of my craftier aunts got me in the cousin name-draw for Christmas one year, and guessed rightly that I’d probably enjoy something like that since I liked taking pictures and collaging things) I got into the habit of making “leftovers” pages– stuff like movie tickets, party invitations, things I only had one picture of, whatever random stuff at the end of the school year that just didn’t fit into a regular page that I had. Once I got to college, it started turning into more of a semester thing, since they lined up so nicely with the seasons. I’ve been out of school long enough that I’m now trying to do Jan- Dec albums instead of June-May (so whenever I finish the layouts from last year, it’s going to be a ridiculously huge album since it will cover June ’06 to December ’07. I would have just rearranged the others, but for my first year out of grad school, which was up to May ’06, I had a really nice closing page that, unlike most of my albums, was actually done. So I didn’t want to mess with that.) But anyway, I do have several of these “leftovers” pages from grad school on to put together, and therefore they need a good bit of journaling (especially for things I don’t have pictures from.) I’m hoping that I can get a few pages done today– we’ll see, since I’m also hoping to get my green shirt sewn back together today.