Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28 Update - End of Year

The Simplicity 5190 autumnal floral dress is finished! It looks exactly like the little illustration from a few posts ago! I will wear it tomorrow and hopefully get pictures taken then.

The Grainline Moss skirt has not been cut out. So it will be 10 in 2012 after all. I'm not bothered about it at all because since it is not cut out, it will not count as an unfinished object (UFO). I will start the new year fresh with three muslins that I can then sew right off the bat. Sounds good to me.

My last projects of 2012 are two fleece dresses and one fleece sweatshirt for two children in my extended family. As of this moment they are not done but hopefully will be by Saturday afternoon when I will see them in Maryland. I guess I'm just not me unless I'm stressing myself out!

Currently reading: Wish You Were Here: The Official Biography of Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame) by Nick Webb and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson.

Listening to: Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine, pretty much all the time.

Most recent movies seen: Skyfall, Hitchcock, Les Miserables

Have a Happy NEW Year!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays To One And All

This past year:

Wow, what can one say. 2012 had it ups and downs. Unfortunately, it is ending on some truly tragic negatives. Which I can only hope means that 2013 will be our salvation: that real change and responsibility will be put in place to benefit all and not just some. This sentiment amazingly, refers to so many things this year, not just the obvious. We are in this together; that's the only way we prosper, as a world, a country, and as individuals.

Hug your family and friends, let them know you love them, and look forward to a new shinier year.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16 Weekend Update

I had a very productive weekend, sewing-wise*:
I have completed my Grainline Moss skirt muslin, incorporating the new pattern alterations. It wasn't perfect but it is at the point where it will only need small adjustments in the final fabric. This time I even completed the waistband to see how it will really look, and I liked it.

I am about one third through Simplicity 5190, which will be my holiday dress this season. I like to complete garments in pieces if possible so I stitched up the sleeves, leaving the hems till later. I also completed the belt ties. Right now I'm working on the neck bands which is probably the most difficult part of this dress. With a five-day (!)** weekend next week and not celebrating the holiday with family until the 28th I believe I will have time to finish both of these completely.

*Unlike Sunni, I just couldn't work on one project at a time, this just worked better for me.

** Normally would be a good thing, but I'm paid by the hour! : (

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No Sewing Here...

I’ve decided that maybe once a week I’ll write about non sewing-related things. This blog originally was for everything but has been sewing or fashion focused for quite awhile. So here’s some not-particularly-sewing-related stuff:
  • Sometimes I try to take a short nap after work, always less than an hour. Yesterday, I got in bed, turned on NPR, and set the alarm for 7:45 PM. Well, I awoke at 5:30 AM!  Yup, I slept all night! Well, I HAD planned to dye my hair or either work on the Moss skirt pattern or cut out my next dress project.

    However, since I didn’t have to be at work until 9AM…within the next 3 hours I successfully dyed my hair (perhaps a bit too dark), deep-conditioned it, did some web surfing, and laid out the pattern pieces for Simplicity 5190, view A. I did not start cutting because I don’t actually have enough fabric for the view I want and will have to get creative.
  • Somebody save me from Pinterest! I just noticed that I have 669 Pins, and 245 Likes. That’s a lot more than I meant to accumulate. With that many, if you can't keep track of them, how can you use them? Especially the free patterns and the recipes.

    So my question is, if you start to edit your boards and delete images, how does that effect the people who have linked to them from you? Do they suddenly disappear from their boards? I’d like to know because these pins are making me anxious. Anxious, like the way I get with too many unfinished sewing projects. Not good, not good.
  • I’m really loving The Mindy Project. Have you seen it? I’ve linked to that tracks down the female cast's outfits by episode.  However, I want to know about that brown lipstick Mindy wears. I think this is it but I will not spend $48 on a lipstick! Anyway, we need more minority led TV shows. By the way, also loving Scandal. Did you see that Oval Office love scene last week? Wow.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Unique Sewing-related Boo Boo...

Last Friday night, I tested out my newly sharpened pinking shears. I grabbed about six of my completed garments and finally finished the seams satisfactorily. I had a bit of difficulty with the thicker corduroy pieces but just applied more pressure to power through the layers. At the time, I did feel a bit of numbness in my right thumb but I just kept going until done.

Three days later, the middle and interior side of my thumb still feels numb. Not completely numb but about 50% of it is. Sometimes I think it's healing and I have more feeling and then suddenly it's numb again. I've tried warm to hot water, shaking my arm around to boost circulation, and trying to keep weight off of it but nothing has worked. I did a Google search and loads of people have the same issue but no one has found a definite explanation or a surefire solution. It's not carpel tunnel but consensus is that the nerve has been bruised and that time is the only healer. As this is my right hand that I use for typing, hand sewing, cutting (scissor or rotary) this is a bit of a problem.

Update: I realize from the comments that I should have said I'm not feeling any pain. I can use my hand (and thumb) like normal, it just feels weird.

Updated update: It took a little over a month for full feeling to come back to my thumb. Strange.
Has this happened to any of you before?

Sunday, December 09, 2012

VA/DC/MD Blogger Meetup - Part 2

Here are the goodies that I brought home from the meetup, along with a roll of 18" wide tracing paper.


1 2/3 yards red Lycra knit in a chain link fence print
30" brown wool plaid with 30" Bemberg lining - just enough to make a lined skirt!
3 yards blue, pale yellow, black, green, and cream polyester print
3 yards navy, brown, rust, white, blue, and red color-flecked wool tweed coating
2 yards blueish-green double knit
2 yards green, purple, orange, and khaki madras plaid


Simplicity 5289, Vogue 2747, Vogue 8652

  Vogue 8606, Vogue 2002, Vogue 1654

Vogue 2453, Vogue 1649, Vogue 1540

I love Vogue Designer patterns and I made out like a Bandit! Check it out: DKNY, Claire Shaeffer, Calvin Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Donna KaranMariot Chanet, and Claude Montana!

So, yeah, no fabric shopping or pattern sales for me any time soon.

Fabric images created with fd's Flickr Toys

Thursday, December 06, 2012

VA/DC/MD Meetup - Part 1

Sewing meetups have become commonplace in places like New York, Scotland, and England. However, reading about a recent one in Birmingham gave me a sudden idea. How many sewists exist in my particular part of the world? Starting with the few that I already knew of in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, I started checking blogrolls and About Me pages. I was amazed at how many I was able to find; a cursory search came up with eighteen!

Would they be interested in meeting in person? I sent out a post on October 16 and most of them were interested. Among these women, it was a diverse group of ethnicities, ages, skill levels, length of time sewing, and also a variety of projects that they devoted their time to creating.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that received strange looks when they told people, "I'm going to meet with a group of women I met on the Internet." I know I did. However, it was more like a meeting of pen pals than complete strangers. As bloggers we communicate through our blogs and know each other from what we share there. We may have followed people through career changes, relationships, child rearing, and the steady development of our sewing skills. Some have collaborated or assisted on projects (by email, phone, or in person), enabled serious $$$ fabric shopping, and became friends in real life.  During our meetup two separate pairs of women found out they were neighbors!

To say I'm happy that this worked out would be a huge understatement. However, without the gracious and generous offer of Robin D. to open up her beautiful home as a comfortable and cosy space for us to meet this might have just been a trip to G Street with far fewer people. You see, more wanted to meet than to actually shop. I know. Shocking.

BeeBee, Lisette, Cidell, Lauren, Sue, Paula, Trena,
Audrey, Robin, me, Allison, Sophie, Elaine

Fabric sorted by fabric/fiber type

Pattern table with window seat overflow

More patterns! I myself contributed about 65 of them.

Elaine, Alison, Lauren, Cidell, Sue

Lisette, Anna, Sophie, Mary*, Trena, Audrey

Audrey, BeeBee, Paula

Robin (our hostess), Cidell, Sue, my haul*

Thank you everyone for coming, it was a pleasure and honor to meet you all!! We must do this again!

*Thank you so much for bringing that huge box of 1990s Vogue Designer patterns!

*Yes, that's my huge takeaway pile on the couch next to Sue. Details forthcoming...

Images: Top photo is c/o of A Little Sewing, all other grainy cell phone pictures are by me.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My G Street Cheat Sheet UPDATED!

First off, today was a total blast! I just got home three hours ago and thought I would write something. However, I can't possibly write about everything now. So, I am starting with the jaunt to G Street first and the VA/DC/MD meetup/swap will be second. Mostly because I could just update this same post and the time at G Street is just easier to process at this time. In a few days, I think I will be up to writing about the first half of the day and perhaps even have some pictures to show you. Oh, yes, pictures were taken. Now, on with the recap...

Okay, this is what I am looking for at G Street Fabrics this weekend:

Foldover lingerie elastic in brown, white, pale blue, lavender, or orange:
  • Not a lot of variety available, I ended up with 5 yards of a white and black stripe ($.89 per), 3 yards of a pink, purple and white stripe ($.89 per), and one yard of lavender seersucker ($4.95) foldover elastic. None of the vibrant solid color ones that I wanted.
Lycra knit prints, especially stripes in all widths and color combinations:
  • I did receive one red/black/white print Lycra knit at the swap though!
Lingerie guards:
  • I will make my own before I buy them for $4.99 for just one set!
Get my fabric scissors and pinking shears sharpened for $15:
  • After getting scared because of a random comment about the quality, I only had the pinking shears done. I am very happy with the job, as they were exceedingly dull before.

Specific fabric and lengths to look at (and dream of):

Textured, multi-colored wool for a Simplicity 6529 short sleeve jacket:
  • Received a 100% wool tweed that may fit the bill at the swap!
Some yardage of black double knit or Ponte (one yard for a New Look 6977 skirt (view D) or two yards for the Vogue 8712 Marcy Tilton pants, view C):
  • Not quite, but did receive yards of a scrumptious dark green double knit at the swap. There's too much for just one skirt. However, I'm not sure if I really want green pants so instead, I might make Butterick 5672, or vintage Vogue 7164 (sleeved version of both) out of it.

I also want to check out (but not buy):

Swedish sewing tracing paper:
  • I can wait, I received a roll of tracing paper at the swap. It cannot be stitched on like the Swedish type, but it was free.
Stretch lace for lingerie:
  • They did not have a lot of variety. There were only four different wide ones and in none of the colors I like.
Lingerie elastic:
  • They had the same kind that Joann and Hancock carry.
Check out patterns from independent pattern companies in person:
  • No can do! They now only carry the Big Four. Can you believe that? That was what made them unique back in the day, along with carrying all the great sewing books, including imports.
G Street zippers:
  • They looked great but I had no specific zipper needs and already have a healthy stash of vintage ones from the Ruth Harvey collection.
One 5/8 to one inch blue button for my Grainline Moss skirt:
  • Still no luck. This skirt has been hard to coordinate with because of the color. Maybe, if I had looked at the buttons stored behind the counter; however, I didn't want to go to the trouble or the expense, only wanting to spend $5 or less.
If any of the fabric can be found on their $2.97 discount table, all the better!
  • The discount table was three levels high and at least 20 feet long; however, most of the fabric was in piles on the floor. You couldn't even get close to the actual tables without moving or walking on that fabric. By the way, plenty of people took that last option! Sigh.
Too bad I didn't see something I couldn't live without this trip because the G Street downloadable coupon combined with the current sale totaled 35% percent off! I made out so much better at the just wait and see! I will get around to photographing my haul for you to see at some point.

Thank you Audrey for driving and being a great travel buddy!

Thank you Robin for hosting a truly fabulous meetup/swap! Oh, the food! Check out her post on the event here.

More details forthcoming after I get some sleep and process all that went down.