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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Feeling hot

Another weekend and no time or energy to sew apart from hemming two pairs of moleskin jeans for my DSis. Instead we got the house waterblasted and sprayed with the masonry waterproof sealant. We cleaned the paths, swept up alot of debris, cleaned the gutters, started weeding and shifting dirt and went across town to collect (and cut and split) 2 loads of firewood. Phew. No wonder I'm tired. And it was HOT all weekend. Too hot to think about or do anything. (28 deg in our house at 9pm Sunday! Ugh!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New Ottobre

The new Ottobre Woman preview is up here. (The all designs pdf is here ). I'm desperately trying to look past the fabrics at the designs. I have to admit that if I wasn't subscribed I probably wouldn't have bothered buying this issue. There's not as much here for my body shape. Having said that, one or two designs could be promising. #8 looks like it could be good. Perhaps I could take #1 and morph the neckline details to my TNT Ott tee. #5 might have potential, otherwise most of the pants are too wide in the leg for me. My legs are the slimmest part of me, no need to mask that too much! I like #10, but I don't know how that gathering would go over the girls. Hmmm, I will reserve final judgement until I have looked at the magazine in person. Sometimes it's hard to be wowed on the net.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Temporarily misplaced that mojo

The last few days I've been sidetracked with other things so I haven't got any sewing in. This morning I came home determined to get something, anything done. I pulled out the calico pieces for my jacket. And I do mean literally pulled them out - I'd left them on the table and hubby had kindly put other things on top. Grr.

I marked all the darts (all 10! of them) and machine basted the back darts, centre back seam and the shoulders. Then I pinned the side seams and front/bust darts in case they needed adjusting. It looks to be a pretty good fit. I think. I mean, there's sure to be some more tweaking that could be done but the calico itself is way better than RTW so it's already a winner. The sleeve looks to be ok. Lets be honest - I'm still learning this fitting stuff so my sole guideline is "It's better than RTW" which isn't hard. Still, baby steps eh?

I am also prone to Analysis Paralysis. And that is what has struck I've realised. By lunchtime I should have/could have been cutting out the good fabric. Instead I talked to my sister on the phone, started looking at the 2007 notes for one of the papers I'm doing at uni (quite handy that I found those and downloaded them before they deleted them ;) ) and really just plain distracted myself. (Didn't distract myself with housework though, lol) Tonight I was thinking about that and why I hadn't just dug into sewing. After all, I really need that jacket. And I think that's the problem. This pattern looks promising BUT what if it looks awful? What if I need to do an fba, change the shoulders, let it out, bring it in.....Which fabric should I use?.... The promise of what it could be is scaring me off finding out the reality. Sheesh. Ya'know, I need to listen to my son and "take a chill pill".

Right, I'm off to drag that mojo back.....

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A lot of plans

Well, I've braved the queues and I am now officially a uni student and I have the unflattering ID photo to prove it. It'd be nice if we were allowed to provide a photo we liked..... then again, I need that ID this year.

I have a few more days before classes start up so I might even get that Ottobre jacket started and even possibly, finished. I've found a stretch denim I like and want to use and coward sensible sewer that I am, I've pulled out some calico to doublecheck the fit before I cut into it. Maybe tomorrow.

Also on the plan this week - scraping and washing the exterior of the bedroom window frames and replacing the window putty (is it called sash putty?). The plan is to spend Easter painting the new extensions and the South wall so it's all weatherproofed before winter hits. (You can stop those rain dances now, Belinda ;-) ) Oh, and the garden really needs some attention. Sigh. I wonder what apartment living is like.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fitting woes and they're not mine!

Tonight I was amusing myself surfing online shopping sites. I could have been sewing. Perhaps I should have been sewing, but I was feeling mojo-less and decided to get some inspiration. In my web travels I came across these -
"Emerge Stretch Satin Pants
Style Number: 37856Polyester/elastane. In-leg 84cm. Centre back invisible zip. $59.95"



Now I'd never wear these anyway. They just wouldn't be a good look on my body but, if they look this bad on the skinny model, what are they going to look like on someone who's eaten in the past year? Surprisingly they have stock still available, go figure.

Anyways....

Back to my sewing and fitting issues.

The weather has turned and I need jackets for those autumn days. Sure, the Metservice has promised fine weather for the week, but we all know how reliable they are, don't we? Time to turn my attention to something other than tee-shirts.

I had jacket #17 traced from Ottobre Woman 02-2006 and I had used easy-trace from Spotlight (which is similar to lightweight sew-in interfacing.) The great thing about easy-trace is that you can pin-fit a bit more easily than with tissue. I finally got around to adding generous seam allowances and cutting out to try. The initial "tissue" test looks positive so next up a muslin (i.e. calico) version.

While I was at it I pulled out the traced and pinned version of Simplicity 4302. I had started on this about 6 months ago. Why I put it away I'm not sure because it seems to be pin-fitted fairly well. So now I have 2 choices and tomorrow afternoons' task will be hunting out some calico and possible fabric for the real thing(s).


Saturday, February 16, 2008

See Hubby, there is an excuse...

I found this on the Fabric Fast thread over on Patternreview and loved it. It explains so much. :-)


A recent study indicated that fabric gives off certain Pheromones that actually hypnotize women and cause them to purchase unreasonable amounts. When stored in large quantities in enclosed spaces, the Pheromones (in the fabric) cause memory loss and induce the nesting syndrome (similar to the one squirrels have before the onset of winter i.e. storing food), therefore perpetuating their species, and not having a population loss due to their kind being cut into pieces and mixed with others. Sound tests have also revealed that these fabrics emit a very high-pitched sound, heard only by a select few, a breed of women known as "quilters". When played backwards on an LP, the sounds are heard as chants, "buy me, cut me, and sew me". In order to overcome the so called "feeding frenzy effect" that these fabrics cause, one must wear a face mask when entering a storage facility and use ear plugs to avoid being pulled into their grip. (One must laugh, however, at the sight of customers in a fabric store, with WW2 army gas masks and headphones!).
Studies have also indicated that aliens have inhabited the earth, helping to spread the effects that these fabrics have on the human population. They are called FABRIC STORE CLERKS. It's also been experienced that these same Pheromones cause a pathological need to hide these fabric purchases when taken home (or at least blend them into the existing stash), and when asked by significant other if the fabric is new, the reply is "I've had it for awhile."
Written by Kathy Smith


Meanwhile, back in the Ottobre world......

2 weeks and counting


Here's the cover of the new OTTOBRE design® woman Spring/Summer issue2/2008 that will be published February 29, 2008.This issue includes twenty (20) patterns for women (European sizes34-52) - a neat spring coat, wide-leg linen pants, a sweet blouse, a special-occassion dress, a tunic, leggins plus other casual wear sewn from knits. Also fitness and exercise apparel for active women and a fresh collection for mothers-to-be.

Hehe - I know Judyr will be wanting to borrow this one.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In the pink

Here's one of the two new Ottobre tees.



This was a printed Valencia from Spotlight. It's lovely and soft to wear and breathes well.
I was initially uncertain about this colour. It's paler and pinker than I normally wear but the fabric is so soft that I figured I could always use it as a pj top (blatantly stealing that idea from Debbie. ) Hubby didn't help with his comment that the fabric looked like an old ladies nightie, hah! although now it's made he reckons he does like it. Men! Now I've seen it on, I've decided I do like the colour. I've even worn it twice already. So, no pj top yet.

The other tee is waiting to be hemmed. I was disappointed with the result even though the fit was better than the above tee. I used white cotton lycra Seaspray from Spotlight. Unlike the Seaplay I've used before, this is thinner and doesn't seem as good quality. :( Consequently it's a bit less opaque than I'd like. I'll wear it - but under a jacket.

There was no sewing at my house today. Instead I spent the day at the beach with E, my youngest daughter. Her school's junior classes were having Beach education and I was volunteered to be parent help. It was a lovely day to spend at the beach, even with 60 kids in tow. Unfortunately I forgot my camera but you can see where we were here.

No sewing tomorrow either. I'll be spending the day at the hospital with children. In the morning S has x-rays scheduled to check for scoliosis and that is supposed to take at least an hour. Hopefully it will run on time because in the afternoon K, my DS, has his appointment to hopefully get the cast off his arm. I think I'll take a good book. A big one.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Planning more Ottobre

The past weekend passed in a blur with errands and attempting to whip the house into some semblance of order (ha!). By the time that was done and I'd finished playing psycho mum nagging the kids over the state of their bedrooms, I more than resembled the proverbial dish rag.

I recovered by flicking through Sandra Betzina's "Power Sewing Step-by-Step" which I found at the library. This is a great book with a lot of tips and techniques. For instance, on page 128 I found a slightly different way of doing an FBA. SB has you merely add 1.3cm length at the bust point and then curve the side seam out by 6mm, which you will ease into the seam. It seems to have a similar result to the Ottobre tees. Hmmm. Something to think about.


Sunday evening, kids and their rooms tamed, minimum housework level achieved, it was time for some more tracing. Ottobre again, naturally. I made another copy of the plain tee 02-2007-3 unsullied by fba's and sellotape. I also finished off un-maternity-izing the surplice top #20 from the same issue. Then, because I was on a tracing roll, I went on to trace off the hoody jacket #19 from 05-2007 and the jacket #17 from issue 02-2006. So plenty of projects lined up.



I have 2 gathered neck tees cut out with the short sleeves from #3. It feels a bit optimistic given todays weather but I'm sure we'll have another warm day or two at some point. Even if I have to wait until next summer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Laughing at myself...

Last night, as I lay in bed, I had an AHA! moment. No, not the band, but one of those moments when you just want to jump out of bed, shout Eureka! and race off to check if you're right.
And what was this amazing epiphany? Well, I was laying there planning what I was going to sew next, what I was going to do about the bubbly side seams, (coming to the reluctant admission that under some of that bubbling is me, aka floobies).... when IT occurred to me. I don't have to lower the bust gathering.... I have to get the girls back up where they should be. Yup, my new Ottobre top was suffering 'saggy bra syndrome'. Sure enough, the best bra on, a bit of adjustment and the problem is pretty much solved. Where's that blushing emoticon again? :-)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

One with sleeves, one without

Remember that little problem I mentioned with the tank top neck binding? Ummm, I thought I knew what had happened...... I had put a 1 cm seam allowance on the neckline which, of course, is bound so doesn't need seam allowances. Where's that icon for embarrassed blushing? I don't know why I did that. It must have been the shock of having the house to myself when I was tracing. :) Anyway, the long sleeve tee neckband does have the seam allowance cut off and the bound edge is still rolling out a bit. I think I'm going to be un-sewing this and shortening the band again. On a good note - at least I didn't overlock the edges this time.

I did a small FBA on the tee front and used the same fabric so that I can judge the difference the fba makes. This one is a long sleeve tee and more for autumn/winter, ( although I could have got away with it on Monday). The fba gave me the needed room but I've ended up with a bit of bubbling on the side seam. It's almost like I need to lower the bust gathering about 1 - 2 cm. Hubby and DD1 claim it's not as noticeable as I think but I''ll run it past a few sewing friends for an opinion.

In this photo I haven't hemmed the sleeves or hem yet: (or done my hair or make-up, lol)




Here you can see the neck binding rolling out and it's tricky, but you can just make out the poofiness under the arm.
There are also a lot of wrinkles on that sleeve....

And the tank top, also still unhemmed. There is gaping at the front armhole (full bust adjustment needed) and it hugs the extra padding fluffiness a little bit closely, I think.


Both wearable, but I'll look at moving the bust gathers at the side seam down a bit on the next top. The tank top I'll only wear under a top with sleeves.

Monday, February 4, 2008

A little bit of sewing

My kids went back to school today. I had planned on spending some of the day doing washing, weedspraying and general gardening but, what a terrible shame, it rained, so I'll have to postpone it for another day.

This left me with a little over 5 hours without a plan. :-) I spent it catching up on last seasons finales of Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and ER (all of which I'd somehow missed or totally forgotten) while I sewed the test tank top. Then I stopped and watched the first episode of this seasons Grey's Anatomy. Gosh, I'm a tv junkie at times!

This evening I showed the tank top to hubby. He thinks it's fine as is, I'm debating a small FBA to put in a wee bit more ease in the bust area. I also unpicked the binding on the neckline and re-did it. I had to shorten the binding strip by about 5 cm to pull in the neckline enough and stop the neckline flipping outwards. I've never struck that before and I think it must be a fabric issue rather than pattern.

I rounded out the evening with a quick pencil case from fake fur for my 11yo daughter. We had bought one and it didn't last a day at school before the zip broke and the stitching on one side came undone. I promised to see what I could do. Having looked at the purchased case I knew I could make a sturdier, better job of it. Off down to the stash cupboards, out with a piece of zebra fake fur and 20 minutes later I had a finished barrel pencilcase. I think the hardest part was trying to remember the formula for the circumference of a circle, lol. As I said to Hubby - this is why I have a stash!

Photos tomorrow when I can cajole someone into it.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A whole lot of tracing going on

After the focus I've had lately on kids clothes, I went to bed last night thinking "what next?" And woke up late this morning with an urge to whip up a pair of leggings from red Seaplay (cotton/lycra) from Spotlight to go with the pinafore for Em. :-)

Leggings out of the way, I decided it was about time I did something for me. After all, I did, ahem, buy more fabric for tops for me yesterday. Oops. It's a good thing I'm not in the Fabric Fast over on Patternreview.

Hubby co-operated by taking the kids out to the beach for a couple of hours and I excavated the dining room table. Then I had a quiet afternoon tracing. I started off by making a mastercopy of my favourite gathered neck Ottobre tee pattern (02-2007-04) because the paper version is starting to show signs of wear. Then I moved onto tracing off #5 the Rose top and #1 the tank top from the same issue. Having compared the pieces with the gathered neck pattern, I'm thinking I may have to do an FBA as shown by Belinda on her blog. I'm still not sure though. I might just make up a tank top as is and check it out first. If the fit does turn out well then I have the mesh from a few posts ago lined up for the Rose top. I've also traced off #20 the wrap bodice maternity top. I like the idea of the wrap bodice but I'm contemplating the best way, if possible, to un-maternity-ify it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Some photos


I finished the pinafore for Em at last. This pattern is from Topkids 49 #12. Originally the pattern looked like the sketch. I didn't want to do the teddy head so I squared the front bib.










Here's the front -


And here's the back -


It looks very wide so I hope it fits.



While I was banging away on domes, I finally got around to putting the domes on the jacket for my other niece. This has been sitting buried on my desk an embarrassingly long time waiting for the domes. I haven't put any domes on the mock pocket flaps as it just looked too much for a wee jacket, especially with the embroidery. If DSis wants them after all, I can always put them on. After waiting so long, I think she'd be too scared to risk it though. :-) Lori already has the trousers that match.

This is Burda 9749.


I still have to put the band on E's top. That's a job for tomorrow night.