Friday, April 24, 2009

Shortened Tango

[Edited to change the picture!]

I shortened the Tango skirt. I don't think this picture shows the difference as well as real life. It feels so much better shortened.

I've only worn really long, hippy-style skirts for years and years. Wearing a short skirt is new to me. The Tango was a bit too long, making me look (and feel) frumpy.

One thing I must do: stop taking pictures late at night, when I look so worn out and tired.

Hard to imagine that just one week ago I was rushing my son to the hospital for what turned out to to be an emergency appendectomy. I'm thankful that all turned out so well. So many things came together (including him being here with us instead of 14 hours away at college) for his good (as well as being the only one in the emergency room last Friday night!).

Unless my daughter needs an emergency appendectomy tonight, I'll be sewing muslins tomorrow, working on a variety of FBA's, while the guys watch the football drafts.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Remnant's Rumbles

Today I hiked up a wooded knoll, enjoying delicate wildflowers in yellows, purples, white. It was a beautiful spring day spent with new friends.

Spring has put me into a mood for light and flowery material. I found myself in Tennessee yesterday, where there is a Hancock Fabric shop. I found several fabrics to satisfy my cravings. Joys!

These will probably be skirts.

And this might be a skirt/top combo of some sort.
I really didn't want to iron so I'm posting
crinkled. (I should have more pride!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Full Bust Adjustments

I have been depressed since I posted the last blog entry. The pictures I took of myself in my new tango skirt did not at all look like the mental image I had of myself. Can you relate?

In my mind, I'm more svelt. I'm more toned (after swimming three times a week for a few months). My hair is perky and cute.

Reality says otherwise. Or maybe I'm just not photogenic.

When I sat down last night to make my very first FBA (full bust adjustment) on a pattern, I had several tutorials opened on my computer. I took measurements and decided I needed to spread my pattern an inch and a half! In all the FBA's I've seen photographed on sewing blogs, I've never seen one so large! One tutorial said if you need more than an inch, you should make two separate slits to take care of the full bust.

To say I went into a tailspin would be an understatement. I did complete the FBA and made a muslin and it did fit in the bust (but not in the back - so I think I need to consider making a sway back adjustment as well). I'll write a post later on about the actual sewing of it - this post is dedicated to my angst over my body image.

Today, I visited a foundations store a few towns over from here. Let's just say that my need to expand the pattern by 1 1/2 inches was not an error in my math. It was quite a learning experience, but needless to say, my full bust has made some dramatic adjustments after the visit.

Although it's been a full day, and I look as tired as I feel, I'm happy with the effects. Oh, sew happy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tango, anyone?

I completed a garment! And I'm very satisfied with it.

I made Loes Hines' Tango Skirt (#5010) in a teal floral rayon which I found at Hancock Fabrics in Kingsport, Tennesee. You can't really tell from the photos, but this skirt swings so beautifully (as those who have made it attest). The movement of this skirt is unique and very feminine.

(I took the picture using a timer....I'll have to work to find a better angle to use but I did want to post a pic tonight.)

I took the advice of several ladies at the Stitcher's Guild Sewing Forum and made a muslin. I'm glad I did because I realized that I needed to be quite a bit more careful and deliberate with my cutting. I was tempted to zip through the cutting because the pattern pieces were simple and the same piece was repeated so many times (5 times, double layered for a total of 10 gores). I also realized I don't have as much cutting control using the rotary cutter as I do with a scissors, so I'll be sticking with scissors from now on.

The muslin fit well so I didn't need to make adjustments to the pattern for my fashion fabric. I didn't bother to finish the muslin waistline as the skirt is finished with a simple elastic technique. I really needed to make sure the skirt would fit my hips. Sewing the muslin had the added benefit of helping me adjust to the feel of the new machine.

I originally thought I'd need a lining, but decided my fabric didn't need one. Summers here in southern Virginia are HOT and I thought a lining would prevent me from wanting to wear this skirt in July and August. Without the lining, it is lightweight and cool.

I liked Loes' method of attaching the elastic. The elastic is sewn directly to the raw edge of the waistline, then both the elastic and waist are folded over and stitched again, rather than making a casing and inserting the elastic afterwards. I just might use this simple method again. And again.

This close-up was depressing as I realized how ill-fitting my favorite white linen jacket is. I think I'll work on shortening the sleeves.

I envision this skirt with a sheer fashion fabric and coordinating lining for formal events. I'll keep an eye out for something to use for this effect.

I took my time and enjoyed the process rather than rush from one task to the next. I love to see an idea come to fruition.

Sew satisfying.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Settling-In Photos

I had a sweet chat with a couple of women at my College for Older Adults class I attended today on Health Topics (today's topic was hypertension). They invited me to the Newcomer's Club which meets next week. I'm starting to like this area. After yesterday's class when no one spoke to me, I was relieved to find friendly folk today. This area has a plethora of unusual activities.

Speaking of area: here are a few pictures of my sewing area.

Here's a close up of the sewing corner. I found the little sewing machine table at Walmart as well as the ironing pad. Notice that I set myself up with the best view outside. Once a week, there will be cattle a mere 10 feet off the deck.

Cattle field.

Oh, wait. Can't forget the pets. Murphy the Cheweenie (mother was a tea cup chihuahua, father a miniature daschund. Latte cat.

Not too bad for a temporary home.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Settling In Week

I "moved" to Abingdon, VA three days ago with son, daughter, dog and cat to be with husband who has been here (mostly by himself) for 3 years. I again brought the cold chill from NY as we had blizzardly snow whiteouts on and off during the day yesterday, complete with blustery wind. I did not bring winter clothes. I want flannel. Or fleece. Brrry cold.

I've accomplished much but no sewing yet. I laid claim to the dining room area of our corporate townhouse (read: furnished rental) for my sewing room. I bought a sewing table, took my machine to the repair guy yesterday and will pick it up tomorrow (the repair guy works fast - hope he's good). I'll try to post pictures tomorrow of my sewing corner.

I joined a ladies' Bible study yesterday for the study of Esther and today I attended the first of three College for Adult classes I plan to take. No tests involved! Today's class was "Know Where You Are," an apropos class for me as I just breezed into town. After this class, I'll know the geography of the region and will probably be able to name several mountains seen on the horizon as well as have a good handle on where I am (glad someone can tell me). Tomorrow, I attend two more classes: Health Concerns and Psalms. I'm only taking a few of the many offerings (I gave up the chance to take Indoor Plumbing Repairs in favor of the Esther study) - I could take up to 3 or 4 classes a day, three days per week, all for a one-time $35 fee. This is an amazing asset for this community and a quite unique opportunity, I think.

I also swim at least three times a week at the wonderful (read: clean and bright) recreation center which is less than 5 minutes from the townhouse. A year ago I could barely walk due to back injuries and pain. Today, I can work out in the water doing core training for an hour, including swimming 15-20 laps, and am mostly pain-free (except that right now I can hardly walk as I think I seriously over did my workout today).

Not a bad way to start off life in a new town.

Now to find time to sew.