Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A dumb story about a dumb girl*

I came home last night to find my daughter working on her holloween costume. She tells me my sewing machine is "chewing her fabric up" and also, that the stich selector lights are no longer working. Neither is the needle up/down button. Fantastic, right? Well, I cannot be without my machine, so I dutifully packed it up and took it into the shop. The nice man plugs it in, then tells me to close my eyes, snaps his fingers and fixes it in about two seconds!! Miss J had left the bobbin winder in the bobbin winding position. I really had no idea this would render all the electronics in the machine inoperable. I have had this machine almost ten years and this issue has never come up before because when I'm done winding a bobbin I take the bobbin off the little spindle and you have to move the spindle back into the neutral position to get the bobbin off!!!
I really don't need to know the explanation for the fabric chewing.

*I am being careful to not identify the dumb girl as either Miss J or myself!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

R.I.P. Vogue 2232

We had our struggles, didn't we? I tried to make it work, but your personal demons often rebuffed me. I'm sorry to say I was relieved when I put you in the garbage can.  I hope you are at peace now.  I am, but I will never get that week or that two and a half yards of fabric back. Time to move on.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pants? Really?

I don't really wear pants much. But I do play racquetball once or twice a week and I try to get to the gym when I can. For the gym you need pants.

Judging by these pictures, I've obviously been spending too much time at the sewing machine
 and not enough time at the gym.

It just kills me to pay 30 bucks for a lousy pair of stretch pants just to sweat in. Plus, they never fit me right: the hips, thighs and butt are always too big. I've only ever sewn a few pants patterns before, but I figured  even I could handle sweats.

I already had this pattern-- Butterick 5539--I've made the skirt at least a dozen times, so I knew to start with a size 12.

I read the reviews on PR and some reviewers noted that view B and C indicated that they sit 1 inch below the waistline. Which is a bit strange for elastic waist pants. At least I think so. Of course we've all seen some girls "sagging" their sweats, but I just don't think its practical for exercising!

So added 1 inch to the top of the waist, even though I'm not quite 5 feet tall. I'm glad I did, though, because they did need it. I also shortened them about 5 and a half inches and shaved a half inch of the inside back leg from the crotch tapering down to nothing at the knee. This is the flat butt adjustment & the absolute only thing I know about pants alteration! I made both the straight leg (C) and the tapered leg (B). Last night I thought I liked the tapered leg, but in the light of day, I don't. The camera and "What Not to Wear" don't lie! Tapered legs are not good, but both are good enough to sweat in!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The last sleeveless blouse of summer

Its a pity, because I like it alot. I will certainly be returning to this one in the spring. Who knows, maybe I'll make some sleeves for it before then. The pattern is Textile Studio's Monaco Shell. I was pleasantly suprised that the neckline didn't turn out as high as it looks on the envelope and though the straps are narrow they ended up in exactly the right palce for me.

The pattern is really super quick to make and I like that too! I made a size medium and added 2 inches at the bust with an standard FBA then eased the difference in the side seam at bust level instead of sewing it into a dart. I cut an extra half inch insurance on the side seams but only used a quarter inch and really don't think I needed that either. I didn't shorten it but will next time. I used steam-a-seam and a twin needle on the armhole edges and hem. The neck facings are simple stitched-in-the-ditch at the centers and shoulders.
The one really strange thing is that the pattern instructions direct you to finish all the raw edges before construction. I guess that was some ol' timey fear of raveling people had back when they first got knit fabrics to work with!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet the newest Geraldines

I watched a lot of Turner Classic Movies, made a big mess of the sewing room and made two new Geraldines. More about these later.