Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pleats me

For your viewing pleasure I now present you new look 6868 - a work in progress. No before pictures, sorry :(

{Tie Detail}

Last post I was complaining about my latest project and the sack like qualities it had. I didn't want to have this project turn out as a bust, so all I could do was try to make it work.

I deemed the problem to be the mid weight fabric I was using. The pleats at the collar just weren't laying down as nicely as I would have hoped for. After doing some general fussing around in the mirror I decided to sew those suckers down. A second later I had tossed the shirt on my home made dress form and began basting the pleats in place, down to about my waist. I tried on the shirt again and it seems to have made quite the difference in the fit of the shirt. However, I think I need to continue the pleats further down on the shirt due to their extreme puffiness.

{ Far away}

{Close up puffiness and loose threads}

It is starting to look more presentable, looks much better on me than on my dress form, but it still needs more work.


Friday, February 20, 2009

New shirt or bust?

As I am posting this I'm in the process of making my new shirt for work, work for me. When I first thought about making some shirts from work I was thinking about using some knit fabric that I had with simplicity 3790. Later I remembered that fabric had been set aside for a specific non-sewing related purpose. No sweat I thought, I'll just use some different fabric and pattern. The pattern I used was New Look 6868 view D.

Initially I was really drawn to the tie detail. However, after completing it I was left with a big sack like shirt that had a tie.

{Artist's Rendition}

The fabric that I used was a mid-weight cotton blend, which I think attributed to the sack like look of the shirt. The pleats along the collar don't drape as nicely as they should. So here I am, taking a brief break from my attempt to restyle this shirt. So much for having a new work shirt for tomorrow, maybe later in the week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now for something completely different

I've been seeing this quiz posted a lot so I figured why not jump on the band wagon.

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Audrey!


You are an Audrey -- "I am at peace"

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me
  • If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure

  • I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this

  • Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit

  • Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally

  • Ask me questions to help me get clear

  • Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery

  • Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings

  • I like a good discussion but not a confrontation

  • Let me know you like what I've done or said

  • Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life

What I Like About Being an Audrey

  • being nonjudgmental and accepting

  • caring for and being concerned about others

  • being able to relax and have a good time

  • knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around

  • my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator

  • my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now

  • being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being an Audrey

  • being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive

  • being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline

  • being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally

  • being confused about what I really want

  • caring too much about what others will think of me

  • not being listened to or taken seriously

Audreys as Children Often

  • feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant

  • tune out a lot, especially when others argue

  • are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

Audreys as Parents

  • are supportive, kind, and warm

  • are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective

For a two question quiz its not bad, I can't really argue with the results with the exception of

  • * Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery

  • I don't know how to handle compliments on my personal looks, so I'd prefer not to get any at all, especially comments from strangers at the bus stop. However, feel free to compliment what I'm wearing if it's something I made.

    In sewing news I've cut out the pieces for my new work shirt and did some prep work (basting) yesterday night. I changed my mind as to the pattern I was going to use, but I'll post my reasons why in my next post.

    That is all for now, take care

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Mini vacation plans

    Today is the first of my four days off from work, which is music to my ears and sewing machine. Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy working at the portrait studio, but Valentines day was ridiculously busy and left me longing for some nice, personal, quite time at home.

    So what to do? My main goal for this mini vacation is to make a shirt for work, most likely using simplicity 3790 since it comes together so quickly and easily. No interesting fabric choices, just some stretchy knit black fabric that will suit the studio's dress code and cover my backside while bending over.

    Lately I've really been aching to show off what I can do, what I can create. I love being asked, "where did you get that" and being able to proudly respond "I made it". It's the best ego boost ever. A co-worker recently complimented me on one of my fabric cuffs and suggested selling them. Oh if only...

    I can't deny that the thought hasn't crossed my mind, or that I've designed logos and such for my potential entrepreneurial endeavor. It's just that there is a lot of paperwork and legal things that need to be considered beforehand. It takes time and money, both of which I seem to be lacking an excess of.

    Ah, to dream

    { The Complimented Cuff}

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Spring fever

    It's over 50 degrees here today, yay!

    I doubt this nice weather will last much longer, but it is helping fuel my need to sew, specifically my need to sew new spring/summer clothes. A recent visit to my fabric collection unearthed about three yards of this black fabric with white floral silhouettes and plenty of stretch. I don't remember where it came from, but I do remember it being quite the deal. It didn't take too much time for inspiration to hit. Using simplicity 2852 view c, I was able to make this sweet little tank top/tunic with a bubble hem.


    This top came together pretty quickly. I did most of the prep work the night before (cut out pattern pieces, fabric, applied interfacing, all that good stuff) and was able to sew this up in a an afternoon.


    After seeing the pictures I will be looking at the actual garment to see is one shoulder is longer than the other, or if is just my typical schlumpy way of standing that is making it appear that way.

    Thats about it for now, I just want to go outside today and take advantage of this early spring-like weather before it's gone.


    Saturday, February 7, 2009

    In Remembrance

    No crafting updates today, instead I would like to take some time to pay tribute to a very near and dear animal companion, Ron T. Hamster, who passed yesterday.

    Now most people might say "its just a hamster", but Ron was more than that, he was a mascot for the apartment, an escape artist, and a friend. He was with us for two years, and I like to think that he had a good time with us. He loved to go and ball around the apartment, following us around and knocking into our ankles, just to let his presence be known.


    He was a friendly hamster who loved attention, and would scratch and gnaw at his cage whenever we had company over so he could come out and say "hello".

    He was never a biter, sometimes a nibbler, he just loved coming out and spending time with us.

    So here's to you Ron, we will miss hearing your late night runs in the wheel as we get ready for bed, the sight of your cheeks all puffed out after diving into a fresh bowl of food, your love of healthy bites.

    We hope wherever you are now, that you are feeling better, and that there is an unlimited supply of food without corn kernels (we know how much you hate them).

    We love you and we miss you little buddy.
    You'll always be our "Ham-Star".

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    See my vest!

    It's done, it's complete, it's snazzy, it's my vest. Using simplicity 4079, I made view E, minus the false pocket flaps and ties in back. The pattern wasn't very complicated, the most frustrating thing about the whole project was being bounced around while reading the instructions, a big focus breaker for me.

    I think if I were to make this again I'd make my own straightforward list of instructions prior to even cutting out the fabric in order to save time and patience. After trying on the finished vest I would consider making it a size smaller, as its just a bit too roomy for me.

    Now on to the pictures.

    First up is a shot of the lining (which I'm still amazed I made). All in all it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The process of finishing the vest required that I learn the slip stitch in order to finish the lining. I'm debating top stitching along the edge of the vest due to poofyness that occurs around the shoulders and bottom of the vest while being worn.

    {Side View}

    {Princess Seam}

    {Front Open}


    It looks uneven in the picture, but I'm actually just twisting slightly.

    {Picture of my background for part of the shoot}

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    January equals loss of sewing mojo

    The title says it all. January was an uninspired month fueled by a lack of hours at my current job and fruitless search for a 2nd job. My days were spent staring at numerous job posting sites, and my evenings consisted of an anxious/uneasy feeling mixed with moderate amounts of self loathing.

    January sucked.

    There was a silver lining though, the last week of January I found out that I would be getting hours next month. I was nursing my job search bruised ego that last week, reading the craftster forums and exploring new and uncharted territories in blog land. And then it happened, I found inspiration.

    This woman is amazing, her name is Carolyn and I've been addicted to her blog for the past few days, devouring her extensive blog archives, taking notes on techniques, and coveting her fabric collection. I highly recommend Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. I felt invigorated reading her blog, ready to take on new challenges, and so it began.

    What to make though? I had a few things in mind before my January blues kicked in, so I did a little research on pattern review, and decided on making Simplicity 4079, a very at the moment hip and trendy lined vest.

    I was lost in some sort of fantastical sewing trance all day Saturday and managed to cut, everything out, and assemble the majority of the vest, pressing every seam not once, but twice. I love the lining I can't believe I made it, its that amazing. Pictures will come but not today as I hope to finish the vest some time tomorrow, and I have an awful lot of slip stitching to do if I'm going to reach that goal.