Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Zipper Replacement Part Deux

Way back in 2011, I replaced a zipper in one of k-ster's winter jackets.  Go see.

It wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be.  Which was a good thing because during this past snow storm, his very large Nike parka zipper bit the dust.   The jacket is in fine condition though it's at least a decade and a half old, so throwing it out wasn't an option. 

But, it's a really long, puffy jacket, like football teams wear on the sidelines, so I didn't think I could handle the zipper.

I thought the zipper was like 48 inches long and I've never seen anything longer than 36" at the fabric store.  I asked the local cobbler who does weird things other than mending shoes.  He told me that he only does leather jackets and that the nearest tailor won't do zippers if the coat is down.  Which I thought it was.

Down, as in down feathers.

When I got home, I measured it and was shocked to discover it's a regular 36" zipper.

But, remembering the great parka redo of 2011, I didn't want to rip out that many seams to replace it.

So, I enlisted the help of k-ster himself and for about an hour, we each took a side and ripped out many seams to get that zipper out.

It turns out it's not down, so I guess I could have taken it to that tailor.  But I hate paying money for something I can actually do.  And the worst part was the ripping out and I got help, so off I went.

It was a little scary to see all of the open seaming, worrying that I might not get it all back in the right way.


I had to push all of this aside and change my thread to make this happen, but I'm waiting for more shirts for the band uniforms so I had time anyway.


They didn't have as many parka zippers as I expected and for a moment, I was afraid I was going to have to get some wild color and really upset him.  It needed to be one that releases at both ends because it's so long, when he gets in his truck, he needs it to be more open or he'd never climb up there.

Luckily, there was a 36" black.

In the process of ripping out the old zipper, k-ster got a hair brained idea that I should make an inside pocket so he can put his phone in there.  And it would need to be strong so it wouldn't rip, and big enough that he wouldn't have to wrestle with getting his phone in and out.

At first, I said no, but I gave it some thought and decided it might not be pretty, but I could probably do something.

Determined not to spend a penny on that part, I got some drapery fabric that I have (for durability) and some fleece for the lining.

 
Making that part was the easiest chore of the day.  Putting in the jacket was scary and I don't love how it look.

I had to cut into that puffy nylon/batting layer and make my own opening.  I know nothing about putting in pockets, but I do know that I probably needed to do something on the edges where I cut that nylon so it won't rip.

I'm not proud of this part of the project but a) it's inside and no one should be looking and b) I'm pretty sure it's damned secure and won't rip.

I put a little velcro at the top of the pocket so he won't lose the phone when he leans forward.

That's inside the lining which no one will ever see now that the zipper is back in.

After stabbing myself pretty hard with a pin and then shoving a lot more pins into that very spot, I managed to get it all put back together.  I'm so impatient that I made it more difficult than I needed to, putting pins in the wrong way and stabbing myself left and right. 

But, it's ready to go and has a fine zipper that is very securely sewn in.  I don't do the many, many seams that a factory does when they do a zipper, but I don't expect he will have this for another 10-15 years, so I think we're good.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Because I'm Sure You Don't Know What Snow Looks Like

WARNING:  what follows is a series of pictures of snow.  Like everyone else on the interwebs, I'm posting pictures of snow because my snow is special.  No one has snow that looks like mine.  No one is in the same snowy boat.  You must read my post and see my amazing pictures of snow. 

Or maybe because I know you're nosy and you'll bother to look!

They called it Snowmageddon.   This storm was going to go in the history books!  Get to the store quickly for all the bread and milk!!

And we New Englanders kept one eyebrow raised as we skeptically took it all in, got a little extra gas, milk and supplies and wondered who was telling the truth.

Ok, maybe I didn't get the gas I meant to.  But I had gone to the grocery a few days before and was hard pressed to find the half gallons of milk I wanted.  And unbelievably, in a house where sometimes the milk turns before it's gone, during the 3 days of the storm, we went through both quarts of milk that I bought!

Much to my delight, they cancelled school Monday night, assuming it would be bad on Tuesday, so I went to bed with no plans and got up to this.

Whenever I can't see outside from my bed because of snow,  my first thought is ALWAYS back to the Little House On the Prairie books that I read.  I think in almost every book there would be a terrible storm where the snow was up to the roofline and Pa would have to string a line from the barn to the house so they could feed the animals and not get lost in the storm.

That is one of the most vivid images I have ever had while reading a book.  We had a barn that was just far enough from the house that if we were in that situation, a rope would have been necessary and I could just see Michael Landon walking in that storm, holding onto the rope as he walked between the giant walls of snow that he'd shoveled through.

Into our thoroughly modern house where we had electricity and indoor plumbing, but I could see it.

I read those books 30 years ago and STILL, that's my first thought!

My second thought nowadays is "thank God we don't have farm animals to go feed, water and worry about!"

It snowed, the wind howled and all morning I wondered what would come of it, wondering if school would be cancelled Wednesday too.

No school day #2 and it's amazing what you can get done when a) you didn't make plans for the snowday so it's really a free day and b) you know you don't have to be anywhere the next day.

There's something very different between snowdays and vacation days.  Whether I mean to or not, I end up planning out my vacation days and fill them with things I never get done during the regular week.  But when I think we will have a snowday, I don't give a lot of thought to what I will get done the next day.  Afraid to get my hopes up.

It's amazing the freedom you have when you can't drive anywhere and you didn't have any real plans.  And you aren't sure if the power will go out, so you can't do laundry or lengthy cooking.

I didn't even step outside Tuesday.  A VERY unusual thing for me.  I stayed inside and got caught up on a lot of things and then I spent a good portion of the afternoon working on these.
I figured I'd work until the power went out and then leave it alone.

The power never went out so I got a bunch done and surprised myself by cutting out the next size down.

The storm stopped some time during the night and I was greeted with this site when I was eating breakfast.  That's a 10 wheel dumptruck STUCK in the driveway between my parents' house and mine.  This driveway has been plowed thousands of times but the drifts were such that this truck was stuck like a matchbox car.

So the big guns were brought in and it was truly a loader job. 

I knew I wouldn't attempt to go anywhere because I couldn't even get out of my driveway.  I thought about putting on my snow pants and laying in the hammock.  The hammock that was supposed to be brought in many months ago.

The snow had left a nice empty patch right in the middle where you see bare dirt, but both ends were high and blocked with plowed snow.

The patio was interesting because there were completely bare parts where the wind swirled the snow but the shower and table were full of drifts.

After k-ster left to snowblow, I got to work on the door.  The back door had blown completely clear of snow thanks to Mother Nature but this one couldn't open with the drift.  It's a light snow but there's so much of it that every shovelful gets really heavy!

One of my secrets is to do laundry so I can use the dryer and melt a lot of the snow on the path.  See the dryer vent right under the window?  Genius.

I went to my parents' house to attempt to clear a path to the front door.  Theirs was also block with a huge drift.  The driveway had been plowed straight to the garage so I was able to walk into the driveway, but cutting the path over to the door took about 2 hours.

Technically, it didn't need to be done because the garage door opened just fine and they could get in that way.  But it's what I do and I couldn't break with tradition even if I thought it might break my back!

By the time I was done with that, some joker had plowed the one end of my driveway that was somewhat open and blocked me in, so I had to get my shovel and get to work on that.  I saved it for later in case yet another plow went by and pushed it in even more.

The greenhouse always stands firm in these crazy wind storms we get and this time was no exception.  That thing amazes me with hits sturdiness every time.  The heat from the sun will probably melt a lot of what's in front of that door so I won't bother shoveling.  Little is growing in there right now thanks to the frigid frigidity of early January.

No gardening this week.  I have some Brussels sprouts out there that seem thrilled after the crazy cold snap we had at the beginning of the month.  I'm curious to see what they think of this heavy snow blanket!
 The guys normally plow out the driveway as they go out to sand and plow but not this time.  In addition to being happy we don't have a farm this week, it's  also the time of year that I am so glad we are not open year round. I can't even imagine how we'd clear out the roads to each trailer!  And the danger of being trapped in those trailers or having the heat go out.

No thank you.

 No one was washing their cars.  I wonder why?

There's something about the crazy amount of white, the depth of the tire tracks and the quiet that really tickles me when we have a storm like this.

And the cool drifts that happen and then push back from houses so it looks like crazy frozen surf.

3 snowdays and this place looks like another planet, with more predicted this weekend.  It's all fun and games until you really have to be somewhere or have an emergency, neither of which were the case for me.

So it really was all fun and games!

And more productivity than I can explain.

Linking here:
http://www.myturnforus.com/

Monday, January 26, 2015

I Was Just Trying To Be An Honest Citizen

And I'll never do that again!

Here's what happened.

I'm currently in the midst of making these:

The high school Winter Percussion has enlisted my services once again and charged me with creating something close to this picture, without the whole bodysuit thing.  Here's my version:

They gave me a black t-shirt, the red fabric and some horrible gold organza or somesuch material that I can't work with and said have at it.

I bought the silver and gold and got to work.

They deemed it completely worthy of their performance but chose to forego the red because it looked too much like a military uniform. Which is what I said the minute I saw the sketch. 

Sad, because the hanging part was my favorite, most clever part.  I had left a channel so it could swing freely back and forth.

But, without the red, my time will be much more streamlined and the cost will be far less for them.

Once I had the shirts and sizes, I did some wild math and went off to my local Joann fabrics to get the gold and silver.  Thankfully, they were right where I had left them.  No pressing need for gold and silver performance fabric this week around here, I guess.

As always, the dingbat at the cutting counter wanted to know what I was making.  I never think fast enough, so I always mumble whatever the project is.  In hindsight, saying something like "men's underwear" or "kitchen curtains" or "infant swaddling cloths" would have entertained me to no end and left the girl ( and any neighboring customers) with much to contemplate. 

This fabric is rather itchy so underwear and swaddling cloths would be torture. 

There wasn't as much of the gold as I wanted, but I don't know if I did the math right, so I wasn't too worried that it was less than I thought I needed.  I'm sure there's some foreshadowing happening right here since I haven't finished these costumes as I write this post. 

Always creating blogfodder, am I.

So, with about $60 worth of gold and another $60 worth of silver, I collected more thread and off I went to the register to check out.  I had a grand plan of using a 40% and 30% coupon on each and saving a substantial amount of money for the band.

Anyone who shops at Joann knows all about the coupons and their crazy rules and it's like striking oil when the planets align and you can actually use the coupons you have.

I had to wait in line for way too long to make me happy (my second time that trip because I had returned something first) and when I got to the counter, the girl could not have screwed it up more than she did.

As I watched the prices go from $70 to $120 to $45 and back and forth and the machine beeped all over the place I thought the girl was either sick or out of her mind.  She must have tried scanning the coupons like 10 times each, while the register beeped away and the prices flashed like crazy.

She finally decided she was done and told me the grand total was $45.  I know I'm not a math genius, but 40% and 30% off of what was about $120 couldn't be only $45.  Right?  PLus, there was some thread to contend with so there's close to another $10 right there.

"Umm, really?  I think you skipped something."

"No, no, I have everything.  I might have skipped my brain, but I didn't skip anything."

"Really?  Because that doesn't seem like enough."

The people in line behind me knew something wasn't right and they were like "gee I hope I get that lucky when it's my turn."

SO, I took my receipt and my things and as soon as I stepped away, I realized she didn't charge me for one of the pieces of fabric, thus the missing $60 or so on my receipt.

I turned to get back in line and what transpired at the register when it was my turn again can be summed up in one sentence:  Not one thing I ever do goes smoothly.  Ever.

A running theme.

The woman didn't remember my order, or, apparently, me.  It had been less than 5 minutes.  I had a green vest and a baseball hat on.  I really stood out from the put together looking women and men in the line with me.

She couldn't find the cutting slip from which she was supposed to scan the barcode so everyone is kept honest.  This meant she had to bend over and dig through the trash and pull out every cutting slip and ask me no less than a dozen times "was it a purple chevron?  black?  lace?".

And she had a million tramp stamps across her back that I was treated to for 10 minutes.

And every time, I'd say "no, it's gold.  This one here is called Wood silver so I assume that is called Wood gold.  It should be about $60"

Over and over.  "Is it 4 items?"  No, it's 2.  "Is it multi colored cotton?"  No, it's gold, just like this.  I assume it's called WOOD GOLD.

The manager was helping another woman and I was making sure to speak just loudly enough so she could hear the whole thing and eventually, she too started digging through the trash.  I explained that it had been less than 5 minutes, so surely it wasn't way down in the trash.

Oh, and I needed to use that coupon that she wrongly used on my thread because 30% off of $60 something is really a big deal.

For at least 10 minutes this continued and I finally said "Look, I'm trying to do the honest thing here but I'm about to just leave with everything I have because I really don't have time to be standing around like this."

The manager finally snapped to it and rerang the sku and managed to produce a 40% off coupon which was even better.

And all the while, the other cashier kept saying things like "should I void the transaction?"  NO, there wasn't a transaction for that fabric.  "do you want another trash bag?"  No, it's called a bag and I already have one. She tried to hand me the whole roll of Joann Fabrics plastic bags.   "Oh, should I void the transaction?"

My eyes were bleeding.

My biggest concern here is that either the woman isn't well (I go there a lot and see her and she isn't this peculiar) or she is scamming the system and they need to know.  I'm afraid I'm leaning toward option #2.   When you get fabric, you go to the cutting counter and they produce a bar code that you take and they just scan at the register.  How she managed to scan it and get all of the correct details for one cut of fabric but complete delete the other is a mystery.  This isn't the old days where the cutting counter writes it on a slip of paper.  And these cashiers don't seem to have a lot of control over things without calling in a manager.  She somehow deleted an entire cut of fabric.

We don't have any other choice when it comes to fabric stores around here.  There are some quilt shops that only sell quilting materials.  I know of nothing else anywhere in a 1.5 hour radius from me.  So they've got me!

And I had quite an ethical dilemma in those 20 seconds before I got back in line.  I had spent a pretty good amount of time standing in line and then watching her magic with the numbers and it was her fault that she skipped charging me for the fabric. 

But, this is a band uniform, not quilts for homeless people.  The band can certainly afford to pay for it. 

And it's not like I had no idea, got home and realized my great fortune a week later.  Everyone in that line knew something wasn't right before I even took out my credit card.

But it took every ounce of willpower not to just glide on out of there after the 5th "was a it purple fabric?"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Little Surge of Hope For My Serger

It's a sad week in my sewing room.  On that messy table, which you'd think I'd clean up at this point, there's an empty spot where my Bernina Funlock serger usually sits.  I say usually because while I was threading it to make this:



it broke.  In this diagram,#13 should be in front of #14 at all times as they move back and forth like scissors opening and closing.  As I was almost done threading, the only part of serger use that makes me want to throw it out the window, #13 suddenly smashed into #14 and nothing would move.  It's like it completely jumped the track!

I was so shocked and immediately devastated that I just sat and looked at it for a few minutes, speechless.  When I started really looking, I was beyond mystified.  I still don't know what happened.

It could be the fact that in almost 20 years of ownership, I've never had it serviced.  Because if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Who can be bothered with yearly cleanings?

Once I collected myself, I called the nearest store that has a repair person and they put me in touch with the repair woman herself.  She was so nice on the phone and seemed to know exactly what I was saying.  She said that over time, the vibrations from use make things loosen and they can slide around and it sounded like that was what happened.

She thought she could just unscrew things and put them back where they belonged.

So, I trudged out on an hour long trip to leave it with the hope that I'd have it back within the week.

I have 22 of these to make, after all.
After 5 days of waiting with baited breath, she called to say that the looper  is broken but for $30 she can replace it and all should be well.  But that means ordering it.  And waiting some more.

And I have 22 of these to make!

After my trip to drop off the machine, I had collected myself enough that I sat down to make the prototype of the costume to pass it by the judges.

I should have cleaned up my serger area, but who has time for that?

It's a long sleeve t-shirt, minus one sleeve, with gold, silver and red.  And then a terrible hood that I can't convince them to get rid of.

My grand plan involved cutting the side and shoulder seam so I could open the shirt and sew on all of the accoutrements with ease.  Then I'd sew the side and shoulder seam back up.  The hood would always be a separate piece and if I proved that I couldn't make it work, maybe they'd drop that idea.

And when all was said and done, the only thing I'd used the serger for would be the side and shoulder seams.  Everything is stretchy costume/bathing suit material so none of it needs serging.  It's so funny to use a material that doesn't fray!  I can't sew them to the shirt with the serger.  And really, I could just use my regular machine to sew up the seams, which is what I did in this case.

Having using a serger for seams since 1996, it seemed like a raw, crass way to sew when I did it with  my good old Bernina 1001, but I suppose those less fortunate souls who don't own sergers get by just fine, and so will I.

But I sure would love to just whip out those seams with my serger and tidy them up.  I'm losing my mind with all of the stray threads and jagged seams.

Oh, and that hood.  That is simply one piece of material with a seam to join it and they managed to do a double wrap so the hood did what they wanted and it stayed on.  Again, a beautifully serged seam would make that sooooo much better.

The costumes are due in February.  The serger might be another week in the infirmary.  I'm not one to leave things to the last minute.

So, I'm currently chewing on my options.

And in the process, this is what I did.

Not too shabby, I'd say.


 Of course, a black unitard would have saved the day but they don't want that.

Linking here:
http://www.withablast.net/2015/01/freedom-fridays-64.html 
http://www.flamingotoes.com/
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/01/clever-chicks-blog-hop-123-with.html 
http://www.thesitsgirls.com
http://www.skiptomylou.org
http://www.sewcando.com/

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Penny Trifecta

The big day has finally arrived.  I know all 3 of my readers have been DROOLING with anticipation.

What could these two sisters have come up with????

If you've had a chance to visit my sister www.callajaire.com 's website over the years, you'll see that she sews.  A lot. 

Almost everything in beanster's wardrobe is self made. 

And sometimes, she takes the time to make herself some clothes too.  This is how I discovered kitschycoo and the marvelous pleasure that is sewing with knits.  She told me to get one of kitschycoo's patterns and try it out for myself.

And now, I'm a dangerous knit-sewing machine.  Just when I thought I had exhausted the knit options at Joann fabrics, I've managed to make a few more things.

AND, I ventured into the world of altering patterns and mashing up two patterns together to create the ideal top for myself.

So, my sister thought it would be fun to do a mashup together, with the same patterns, but with our own versions of putting two patterns together and seeing what we'd get.

 TA DA!!

We took kitschycoo's Trifecta Top and mashed it with the Penny Pinafore.  I planned to do the exact same thing my sister did, but I just didn't understand how to do what she so carefully explained.  We even put our heads together over my parents' kitchen island, and she moved the pattern pieces this way and that and showed me where things would line up but I just didn't get it.  Now that I've done both patterns, I might be able to understand the plan better, if she reexplained.

So, my mashup is the V neckline of the Trifecta Top with the tunic style of the Penny Pinafore.



I used a very lightweight, but not see through knit.  I liked the colors a lot but had no idea how staticy it would be.  The bottom picture shows  how it clings 99% of the time.

I had the best plans for this. Instead of a tunic, I wanted to make a long dress like I did here with the Lady Skater.  For that one, I had used every inch of the 3 yards I bought, so I assumed this would do the same thing.

When I found the fabric, it was the only bolt of it in the store and didn't measure 3 yards.

It's brown with all kinds of colors running through.  It's either neat or it looks like a dirty rug.  You decide.

I took it anyway and figured I'd do a tunic if I had to, but maybe I could squeeze out a dress.  It wouldn't have such a full skirt, so it might work.

Said sparkling as she fell into a trance.

I did something I've never done, and laid out the pieces as best I could imagine before I cut anything.  I had the grainline right every single time.  The stretch was marvelous.

And to my shock and amazement, I had just enough to do what I wanted, so I busied myself with figuring out how to extend the pattern to make the dress.

And then my serger bit the dust.  I'll blame the rest of the post on the dying of my serger.  And I will explain the latest with that tomorrow.

That meant that I had to go back to my regular machine, which isn't the way I like to do knits.  And even though I do a very careful 3/8 inch seam on  my machine, I think the reality is that it's even smaller than that on my serger.  So, this  might end up tighter than  my original Penny Pinafore.

The seams have nothing to do with why there is a tunic in the above pictures and not a dress.  The seams have to do with the snugness of the top.

But I came undone when the serger croaked and didn't think clearly again for the rest of the day.

Or the week.

See, when I laid it out, I must have done something different than when I laid it out for real.  So after cutting everything except the two last pieces, I discovered I didn't have enough length to do what I so desperately want to do.  I was just slightly short on fabric.

So that meant cutting the other pieces back to tunic length, because that was just the right length for my remaining fabric.  BUT, it also meant that I had to cut two back pieces because there wasn't enough to make a fold.

Thus, a back seam that isn't really meant to be in the pattern.

Honestly, if I made one pattern to its specifications just once it would be a miracle.

Because I didn't mention that one half of that back is going in the wrong direction because that was all I had left.

No one would notice, possibly not even the trained eye.

The overall effect is snuger than my Penny and Trifecta by themselves, but not so tight that I won't enjoy wearing it.

The V neck is once again not quite how it should be, but I have come to accept that I am defective in this arena and rounded Vs are my thing.
I did a lettuce edge on the hem because I didn't want it to go any shorter and this knit was light enough that a lettuce edge was totally appropriate.

And I love how the princess seams line up on this one, like I did in the Penny Pinafore.  I don't have a good butt shot, so I'll show you my boobolas instead.

Princess seams intrigue me.  Patterns always make them sound so hard because you have to ease the seams, but on of my first dresses when I had no skills involved princess seams and I managed to do them well.  The one compliment I got on my pink Penny is that someone liked the way the seams fell.


So, while I expected this to have the swing of the Penny Pinafore, it missed the mark a little because of my spontaneous seam in the back.  And possibly my 3/8 inch seams. 

If you've ever thought of putting the best of two patterns together, I totally recommend it.  If you like each part, there must be a reason, so that pleasure will make merging them together that much more pleasant!

You can link up your own mashup here!

Linking here too:
http://www.thesitsgirls.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making A Trifecta

Leading up to the wild fun my sister and I are revealing on Thursday, I made my first attempt at a Trifecta top by, of course, kitschycoo.  Before you think I've become a puppet for Miss Kitschycoo, I'll tell you that I tried another online pattern company.  And compared to the details in the kitschycoo patterns, it was like watching a black and white tv vs. color tv.

And if you're wondering what a black and white tv is, you're too young to be reading my blog and I'm going to tell your mom if you don't go away right now.

Anypattern, I've just about exhausted kitschycoo's collection now that I've completed the Trifecta top.  I hear there's another one in the works, so we all have something to look forward to.

The biggest change in the Trifecta from the million Lady Skaters and the Penny Pinafore I've been doing is the sleeve.  The Trifecta has a raglan sleeve.


Like a baseball shirt, which is exactly what k-ster said upon first viewing this top.

Working with a raglan sleeve is totally different from the regular set-in sleeve of her other patterns, but as with everything she does, she explained in detail with pictures and words and the markings on the patterns were a tremendous help.

As I said in my Penny Pinafore post, I don't like to mix up fabrics in my clothes.  BUT, my sister strongly suggested I make a trial Trifecta Top before embarking on the plan we are revealing tomorrow, so I went through what I had for fabrics.  I didn't think I'd like this top, so I didn't want to invest in more fabric.

I almost used some completely ridiculous fabrics because I didn't think I'd wear it in public.

I was pleasantly shocked to find that I had two complimentary grey fabrics from these two dresses that I made.  I had just enough of each.

The scary part of this pattern was the v-neck.  As with all of kitschycoo's patterns, there are many options with sleeve length and there were some interesting features for extra fun that I didn't care to try.  But I liked the idea of a v-neck.  There are other neckline options if the V isn't for you.

I'm fine with how the V itself came out, but to the trained eye, it's obvious that my topstitching didn't match the V.  And try as I might, because I had to do it twice because I'm grain of the fabric blind, it just couldn't make it follow the V.

To the untrained eye, it's fine.  Right?  I like to tell myself that it's fine.  Right???

The sleeves were easier to do than I imagined.  However, I'm not  a huge fan of the look on me.  Maybe it's the two toned feature.  Or maybe it's that the seams make me feel like my bra straps have fallen down.  I never wear shirts that have seams where these are, so it was very odd for me.

As usual, I made a major faux pas that seems to be OK but I will have to pay attention not to do it  next time.  When I used the center grey, once again, I didn't lay the pattern with the stretch properly, so it's not so giving.  It's fine and I have to be a little careful when I put it on. It's not skin tight.

One of these days, I will learn.

And since we all know how I feel about leggings pretending to be pants, I found it hysterical that I thought I could wear leggings with this top for the pictures.

It's all because I was modeling some tunics and had leggings and then remembered I needed some pictures of the Trifecta.

Enjoy the ever present butt shot.

And come back Thursday to find out what the big deal is!!

p.s. for the experts who keep noticing that my back views show a lot of weird fabric displacement across the middle of my back:  I'm sure it's driving you crazy but I think it's the way I stand rather than a flaw in what I did.  K-ster says I jam my shoulders back but that's my natural stance, so I think I'm just a freak.   I apologize if you wish I could straighten it out.

Plus, I'd rather show some wrinkles in the fabric than a tight knit across the back.  I never find that look flattering!

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Penny Details

As promised yesterday, more pictures and better details of the penny pinafore from kitschycoo.


Many of the pennies I've seen on instagram and all over the internet involved two fabric choices to really highlight the princess seaming.  That's not my style.  Rather than pick two fabrics, I clearly prefer to pick a color that borders on Madame of the Bordello.  I really thought this pink would add some pep into the otherwise sad color scheme that is January in Massachusetts.


Yep, let's stick with "pep".

I wanted to go with a length that was longer than the typical tops I see people wearing with leggings, but not knowing for sure how long the pattern would be, I kept it at the  length of the actual pattern for this first trial run.


The length is fine.  It covers my butt, which is the cardinal rule with leggings and tops.

But I'd like it about 1 inch longer just for a little more security.  With winter comes static and I hate the look of bunched fabric riding one people's butt shelves.

Don't tell me you've never  noticed that before.   Butt shelves totally exist.

A slightly longer length lets me think it would be able to withstand any static that might come its way.

I like the princess seaming and in my opinion, it hits right where it should on the bust.

Or at least, that's where any princess seams I've worn have always hit me.

Want to see it again?

I also really like the neckline.  It's very similar, and might even be the same as the Lady Skater I am so fond of.  It's low but not too low.

As always, I didn't lay the pattern piece out for the neckband properly so there was no stretch and I had to do it twice.  That might be my new signature:  always doing a complete neckband TWICE.  Doing when it's already been serged is even more fun.

Now, as for the fabric, I will never use crushed panne again.  It drove me crazy because as soon as I tugged on it, it curled, so I spent twice as much time uncurling and flattening the the curled edges.

Before you tell me the easy to fix that would be to iron it, for the first time, I IRONED AS I WENT.  And it didn't help with the curling one bit.

The one redeeming feature of the fabric is that it is stretchy.
I really like the cuffs in the long sleeve penny too.  It's the same kind of cuff I raved about with the Lady Skater.  I tried making a narrower version and it was horrid, so I went with this and ended up really liking it.

While some of you are on a quest for the most perfect fit on self made clothing, I am OK with the slight looseness of this pattern.  I don't like anything snug, especially in the middle area because I can only suck it in for so long.  The slight swing to this is something that really pleases me.

The one thing I want to fix is my issue with the tunneling on the hemline.


It lets you see the very specific line of the hem and I want that to disappear.  I've tried the tricks mentioned in the pattern and I've played with the tension but on all but one of my pieces, I haven't managed to escape that look.  It could be the fabrics I keep using but I suspect it's the operator.

I know you come here every day and I have some great stuff to show this week, but you MUST come back Thursday to see what my sister and I area up to.  You can even play with us!

I've also been inspired to join BerryBarnDesigns in her 4x7 Sewing Challenge next month.  While a lot of what I've been doing lately is sewing for me, I like the idea of sewing specifically for myself every day in February.  I have a couple of things I've been wanting to make but I never seem to get there and other projects end up in their place.  30 minutes every day is a big deal in my schedule but let's see what happens! 

I might even use a few of those minutes to organize my sewing room.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. 
Click here and join in the fun!
Berry Barn Designs

Linking up here:
http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2015/01/clever-chicks-blog-hop-122-with-chicken.html
http://www.sewcando.com/2015/01/share-your-crafts-its-craftastic-monday.html
http://www.skiptomylou.org/2015/01/19/made-monday-10/