Monday, April 25, 2011

It's done

No pictures of todays work as it's a dull rainy day here today but I'm happy to's done!
The gussets are in and they worked out well; the Villager can stretch for her dance. I'm very happy with it and hopefully the teacher will be too.
Here's a bonus pic of the Villager dancing.....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Villager Costume progress

So today sees the villager costume virtually complete!
In fact it would be complete if it wasn't for the fact that said villager is dancing during the play and apparently needs to raise her arms above her head.
So today I've been researching gussets. I've done gussets before in T-tunics so I'm starting from scratch (thank goodness). As of right now I'm tending towards the thought of a football shaped gusset rather than a square; just seems easier. I've taken the seam apart and asked Miss S to raise her arm and a 1 1/2" gusset is looking like what I'll need.
For now it's time to let the brain work on it while I do something else like watch Amazing Race. Yes, my Sunday night guilty pleasure.
Here's a picture of all the trim done though I think it makes a real difference. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Progress

Wow! It's been just over a day since I posted on the dress and I can't believe how much I've gotten done.
I'm not a fast sewer so this has been a real journey for me. I think the difference here is that I've made this dress before which isn't something I do very often. It has really helped.

So, what have I gotten done?
Yesterday the main parts of the body got sewn together and then I took the back and inserted the zipper. I figured it would be easier to do that while the back wasn't attached to the rest of the dress - less material to cart around. After pinning I decided to pick stitch the zipper in. Call me a perfectionist but the thought of having an obvious zipper in a "medieval" dress just irked me. I knew though that I don't have time to do lacing so....a fairly innocuous zipper seemed the solution. Plus I like hand sewing.
The sleeves got their cuffs on and then I hand stitched the ribbon on while they were still flat. To me it seemed only logical and easier to do that before the sleeve seam went in. The ribbon looks really nice and stitching on the flat allows the ends to be hidden in the seam.

Today I started with sewing the back to the front and doing the first official dress try on. It looks pretty good but it did need to be let out a bit. I was actually expecting that so it didn't bother me since I'd already planned it out in my head.
The reason I was expecting it is that the first dress was made out of a knit that we found on the clearance rack so it's fit was a bit looser and more forgiving. It was so forgiving that the first dress actually has no zipper at all!
I got that done and approved by Miss S and then moved on to the sleeves. The sleeves and facing are all attached now but I need to play with the sleeves a bit. They're a very close fit and hence don't have a lot of reach to them. When you're dancing you need 'reach' so I'm going to add an underarm gusset in a bit. My brain is currently thinking on that.
While my brain simmers I got the facing sewed on and pressed and understitched and pressed again. I don't know that I've ever understitched before but I have to say I will certainly do it again! It made the facing look so nice.

Right now it's time to walk the dog again and then I'll work on hand sewing the ribbon around the neck line. I want to do that before I tack the facing down so the facing can hide all the stitches. We have a bunch of movies for the long weekend that I borrowed from the library plus HP and the Deathly Hollows Part 1 that I bought so I'll have lots to pick from when I do the handsewing.
That's it for today although I'll try and add a picture later today too.


Presenting picture!

If I was really going to give in to my perfectionism I'd be worried about the bodice wrinkles but frankly I haven't got the time. Probably a good thing, don't you think? lol

Friday, April 22, 2011

Villager Costume Friday

Allrighty! here's todays update on the villager costume for Miss S.
First a picture to show the colours;

The green isn't really showing up well, hopefully when the dress is done I can get a better picture but the ribbon is pretty darn close (at least on my monitor!).
I got 4 m of ribbon and right now I'm not sure where it's going to go. The pattern has it at the neckline and the join of the sleeve/cuff. I'm not sure if I like the sleeve/cuff thing. I'll probably make it all up and then decide. Especially as the ribbon is something that may get done after the first deadline.
Mrs B wants the costume by Tuesday but the play isn't until the 4/5 of May so.....what she sees on Tuesday may not be the final version LOL

So far I've gotten the pattern redraft done (the neckline needed to go up a touch and I had CRAZILY thrown out or lost the bits of the bottom the straightens the hemline!)

All the cutting out is done and all the serging is done as well.

I always serge the bottoms of facings so I don't have to finish them another way and I also serged the bottom hem (in case it's not hemmed for Tuesday) and the bottom of the sleeve (ditto).

Not bad for not even noon here.

Time for a break now and the dog needs a walk.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bi-polar Seamstress?

A little while ago the Sew Weekly question of the day (to win one of the wonderful pin cushions!) was three words that would describe your approach to sewing this year. I said "little bits, regularly". I then explained that I need to try that out because I seem to go in fits and starts with sewing; sewing like a crazy woman for a period of time and then not touching sewing for an age because I's burned out. A bit bi-polar in the sewing am I. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground and I know that's something I need to work on because I know I'll be happier that way.

Sadly it doesn't look like it going to happen right away.

In Miss S's school they do a musical every year. This year is The Princess and the Pea and Miss S is a villager. Villagers are to wear a floor length, long sleeved "medieval" dress. Really the teacher isn't  all that picky except for sleeves and skirt length but um.....I'm a bit of a perfectionist and a bit of a costume snob so I couldn't exact take Miss S's 1909 skirt and add a ruffle or something >shudder<
Nope, just couldn't do it!

Instead I decided to use a pattern from Miss C's 2008 Hallowe'en costume.
Here it is made up as a pink and black witch;
I know, doesn't seem particularly medieval but if you look at the pattern envelope;
 You can see how medieval could be used to describe it. I'll be doing the long version but without the yoke and collar and decidedly no angel sleeves this time around! The material is a sage-y sort of green and we found some lovely plum (?) velvet ribbon to oomph it up. I'll do pics tomorrow if the sunshine holds.

So now that we have the teachers okay, that's what I will be spending my holiday weekend doing.....sewing like a maniac...again! Costumes are due Tuesday. >sigh<


Monday, April 18, 2011

A Winning Scarf

A while ago Sally over at Already Pretty (one of my favorite blogs - check it out if you don't read it already!) did a give away for a 360 scarf from Winter Scarf. I thought it was a neat concept and since it was open to international entries, entered and forgot about it knowing I'd never win.

Ha! Shows you what I know!

I did win, got to pick my colour and my size (yep they have sizes, because of how they're made) and once I got it...fell in love!

It's a really neat concept in that it's kind of like an old fashioned ascot sort of thing with velcro. Go to the site, they explain it MUCH better! LOL

Here's what it looks like (picture is from the website and hopefully I'll be forgiven for borrowing it for my little review )

Bottom line is that I got it, thought it was interesting, wore it a couple of times and became a complete convert to it. I totally love my scarf and I wear it pretty much every day. I especially love to wear it walking the dog because there's lots of bending over for the picking up, dog poop! Which is the LAST time in the world that you want to scarf to untie and drop down onto the ground! Or worse, miss the ground. Ewwwwww.
That's never a problem with the 360 scarf. It never falls or untucks or gets into my face when I'm bending over or wrestling with the dog. It's total heaven. Plus, since I got mine in the plum and pink it's a lovely pop of colour up by my face too! And we all know how that can make you feel better...about walking a dog in freezing rain...okay, it might not make you feel better then, but the colour is great and when it's horrible out you can tuck your chin into the folds of the scarf and keep warm! LOL

Anyway, I love this scarf and if you're tired of scarves untucking or flopping in your face you should think about getting one! Plus they have cool matching accessories. I think I need to treat myself to the hat for next winter since (theoretically) this winter is over (if you ignore the snowfall last Thursday!!!!!)


(PS - I didn't get this scarf in trade for a review, I won it fair and square and just love it so much I wanted to share!)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mending and Winning

When I first thought about this post, as I was driving to work (I do a lot of writing in my head at various times, driving alone being one of them) the original thought was that it was about 2 separate things; the mending I had done on the weekend and the neat prize I won a couple of Monday's ago (being that I take forever to post things.)

But as I continued to drive it occurred to me that my mending was kind of like winning too. Hmmm How? Well, I'll explain in a bit.

This weekend I decided to get some mending done that had needed doing for a while. First up was Miss S's pj pants that she got for Christmas a couple of years ago. The girls both wear those pj pants a lot so they're already wearing thin and Miss S caught hers on something and gave them a lovely tear.
I also had her jeans to fix...again! I swear I will never buy jeans from Sirens again! Never never never! I have no idea how many times I have fixed those 2 silly things but I swear they're going to drive me nuts. Then I decided that maybe I should do some mending for myself.

I know! What a concept!
A mom that actually does something for herself every once in  a while. LOL It's so rare I just had to write about it.

I have a t-shirt I bought quite a while ago that is a lovely colour and even has some visual interest with embroidery/surface work. It's a good colour for me and much nicer than most of my wardrobe (or at least so my kids tell me) because of the embroidery. The problem? The backside of all the embroidery and stitches Drives Me NUTS! It itches like crazy and I can't stand to wear the thing for more than about 1/2 an hour. So it has sat in the sewing room since the first time I wore it.

Saturday I found some very light weight knit that came from...well, ...goodness knows where! I honestly don't remember when or where I got it (yeah, I'm a sewing hoarder, does that surprise anyone? Not anyone that knows me, trust me lol). Anyway I took that and basted some pieces on the back of the embroidery area just basting around the general area leaving lots of room around the design to work with.

Then, while watching some TV I did some very tiny stitches from  the right side to really sew it down. When that was done, I went around to the back again, took out the basting stitches and trimmed the "embroidery cover" a little closer to the little stitches.

It doesn't look like anything great from the back but I wore it to work this week, a couple of people noticed the "new" shirt and complimented me on it AND it didn't itch a bit!

Yay! So I won there for sure; a new shirt to wear that didn't cost me a penny and time spent watching TV that I didn't eat. That's a huge thing for me and something I always have to be careful of. Win and win!

Now on to my winning something from somewhere else (rather than my closet).

If you read the Sew Weekly (and if you don't, you should!) then you've seen the amazing pin cushions she's been posting about for people to win. I have to say that it totally blew me away the things that people have thought up and done for pin cushions. I thought there were maybe 2 kinds and I can't be happier to have been proven wrong! There are some increadible, gorgeous, funny, cute and/or adorable pin cushions out there folks. You'd be amazed. Even more amazing for me.....I won one! Can you imagine?
This is the gorgeous one that I won;
Beautiful huh? I love the colour especially. A good 1/3 of my wardrobe is red so it's kind of obvious I like it, wouldn't you say?
If you want to see more of Jane's lovely creations check out her Etsy store Jane Foster Designs
I really like her Doves here.  The detail is divine!

Now I can't give you a review of Jane's pin cushions but I will as soon as my little parcel get's here.
In the meantime I'm going to work on a review of a scarf I won earlier this year that richly deserves the glowing review it will get. Stay tuned for that!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

That Dog!!!!

I swear the dog is either going to kill me (stress) or himself if we're not careful.
As you know, (at least you do if you've been reading this blog lately) Scooby is still getting out. Even though we fixed the crappy fence on the east side of the house, Hou-doggi was still turning up outside the back yard.
Last night we thing we think we figured out how.

Yesterday we resurrected his old lead line that we put him on when we first got him. We stopped using it because he managed to tangle himself around anything and everything he could reach in the backyard and then howling about and driving the neighbours nuts. For this version we planned on just having him on it only when we were home and checking him regularly to make sure he wasn't tangled.

It was a good thing we had that plan because last night when Miss S went to check on him she found him virtually hanging himself on the gate on the west side of the house!

I hadn't thought to check how far the lead line would let him go on that side and apparently Scooby figured it would let him go out over the gate.
Well, it didn't so he ended up hung up "on" the gate instead of outside it. Poor guy. He doesn't seem to be hurt but he was sure upset last night and so were we. He's all safe now and his lead line no longer let's him get to the gate.
Now at least we know where to start with the continuation of the plank fence re-make.....yay.
Yeah, I'm one of those crazy people that tries to find the good in things.

For this weekend though I'm going take some time off from fencing and try and get some sewing done. I still have my swing jacket to finish and the pile of mending isn't going away on it's own. :-(
Wish me luck!