Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thank you Phyllis

Just a quick post. Phyllis, from Coudre Mode suggested double thread at 3.5 length for my topstitching, a topstitching needle and tightening my tension. I did another test and it was the best one of the bunch. I now have the front and back princess seams beautifully topstitched. Thank you Phyllis!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which topstitching should I use?

I am finally getting down to sewing my tan linen Burda jacket. First I am making topstitching samples for which I bought a Schmetz double holed needle to use for topstitching. There are two holes one above the other. Unfortunately, my Viking doesn't seem to be able to pick up the upper thread. I made sure that the needle was seated properly, but no luck. So, I pulled out some 80/12 topstitching needles which I can double thread, but I am not sure that I like the results. I decided to use an off white Gutterman thread for contrast. I am not in love wtih the topstitching my Viking Platinum 750 does. It is not perfectly straight, so I don't know if I want to use the doubled thread, which just seems to accentuate the issue. Take a look and give me your opinions please.

I asked (reminded) my dd, Alex, to visit the fabric market in Seoul before she comes home to buy fabric for me. I figure I have to give her plenty of time; she comes home in September, this is her reply.

Dear Mom,
You make me want to cry. You know how overwhelming I find stuff like that. Tell me what you want and I'll buy it. I know nothing NOTHING about fabrics.
p.s. how much money do you want me to spend on all of this?
p.p.s. start thinking about what you want from china though i refuse to go fabric shopping in china, especially if i'm traveling without everett (ie no one to carry my bag). here at least i can bring Everett and have him help me carry stuff.
p.p.p.s. i think you are slightly evil. OBVIOUSLY THE BEST SOLUTION IS YOU START USING YOUR CHANGE JAR/WEIGHT WATCHERS MONEY WHEN YOU GET TO GOAL/SPARE 5 BUCKS TO SAVE UP AND VISIT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...i will go shopping for you. but plan on hearing me whinge about it. WHINGE i tell you.
p.p.p.p.s. i really miss you guys. like, not homesick ilke i Want to go home, i just miss you guys a lot. i'd like to see you. i can't wait until september.

I reminded her what a great mom she thinks I am and all the things I've done for her over the years. A little guilt can't hurt.
Here's a picture of Alex walking on the street in AnYang. I do love this one.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I came home from my walk this morning to a package on the doorstep. I couldn't for the life of me remember what I ordered. Buttons and trim from M and J Trim. When you order online you always take a bit of a risk; will it look like the picture, be the right color etc. I love them. They are bone with brass trim and they aren't as varied as the photo looks. The only question I have is, will they look ok on the epaulets for my linen jacket? The fronts, the pockets yes but the epaulets, I don't know. They are sitting on the tan linen for the Burda jacket.

Sewing? Less than I had planned because of the dust issue! I came home from a Costco run on Saturday to a house filled with dust from Seth's spackle fest, no sewing could be done until he finished sanding. He decided that he didn't like how the the paint looked in the back hall, that the lines of spackle showed as shinier lines in the eggshell finish paint. He decided that a skim coat of spackle would be just the thing. He is not a plasterer and spackle isn't plaster. It all needed sanding. We live in a house where the only doors are on the bedrooms and baths. My sewing room and studio were covered in spackle dust. So, instead of sewing I dusted, swiffered and then did it again. I went to sit down in the upstairs sitting room, and when I moved a pillow it was 4 shades darker under it. I wiped down my computer monitor at least 4 times. It took hours for all the dust to finally settle! We have two more wall, fortunately the windows and doors and the fireplace take up a lot of wall space.
Sorry about the rant, but it was really bad. My black pants which were out, were gray on the exposed side.
This is what remains to paint. Of course this doesn't include up the stairs, or the ceiling or the loft. It is all connected so you will see a division between old and new unless the entire loft is painted too. Saturday we move the furniture to the other side of the room. Except the coffee table which has a thick glass top and must weight 200 lbs.

There has actually been some sewing going on. I am almost finished with the pants, but in all the extra alterations I made for fit, they are too short. I headed over to Jo Ann's to pick up hem facing. Here are some detail shots.
Here are my single welt pockets before removing the basting. I made 2 samples before I made these. The sample was perfect. Not so the finished welt. This is so irritating as it happens to me all the time. Perfect sample, and not so perfect in the real thing.
I usually finish with serging, and the seams and crotch are finished that way, but the fly, pocket lining and waist facing are bound. There was a fly facing, but I hated it and took it out. Even lined it was too bulky for my taste, or my stomach!

Today I have work and an appointment with a prospective client in early evening, so no sewing today. I am seriously doubting whether or not I will finish in time to enter the wardrobe contest. Ah, well spring, even in these bad economic times is really too busy for me to enter contests.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What do you wear out to dinner?

The weekend was pretty nice even though the house is still a disaster zone. (see above) Seth made a lot of progress in his peeling and scraping paint and spackling. He's made it around to the south side of the living room. Any further and the furniture needs to be moved across the room. Time for sanding, priming and painting this half first. More dust. Seth sealed off the den with plastic and the living room rug is covered in furniture and plastic, the poor dog, who will be 17 next month, was so confused. There was no way to get to his usual spots, poor baby. Seth felt sorry for him and unsealed the den, as you can see in the photo.
(which also has a pink strip across the top. I have a bad feeling that a new camera may be in my future)

We went to the Star Trek movie Saturday night and then to a late, cheap dinner. It's a blue collar Portuguese Mexican restaurant. The owners are Portuguese and the cooks are Mexican. The grilled chicken is the only concession to Portugal, oh and the bread comes from the Portuguese bakery. The rest is Mexican. It's cheap and delicious.

Dh and I are old enough to have seen and loved the original show when we were in high school. The movie was fantastic! It was great fun and the new Jim Kirk is a hotty. I loved the references to the original series and the new actors in old roles managed to bring a freshness to familiar characters. Seeing Leonard Nimoy was a treat. Alex saw it in Korea on Saturday night and loved it too.

Mother's day was dinner at our favorite upscale restaurant. Great food, excellent service and plenty on the menu for Seth to eat. They will cook up anything up for me without butter. I wore my yellow Bottega Venetta knock off that I made last summer from Knipmode
and my new gladiator sandals and felt tres chic. I and the other middle aged or older women were dressed up. All of the younger women wore jeans, nice ones, but still jeans, heels and nice tops. Not great tops, no chic jackets, just knit tops. Most of the young women who post reviews on Pattern Review make lovely dresses and skirts or nice trousers. They make gorgeous jackets. They must wear them somewhere, so why not out to dinner? I love to get dressed up to go out. After all, where else am I going to wear the things I make? I certainly can't traipse around constructions sites in my good clothes! Mentioning this to my bff this morning, who is a Hebrew School principle and often fills in for the cantor or the Rabbi at services, she said that more and more women show up at synagogue in jeans these days. I feel weird even wearing pants to synagogue, much less jeans! My children still observe the dress up for the Sabbath rule. What is it with people these days. In synagogue or church it seems like a lack of respect, but what about going out to dinner, why don't people want to get dressed up any more? What do you wear to a nice restaurant? By the way my husband looked chic too, in black DKNY trousers and a white with black pinstripe dress shirt. A jacket would have been way overdressed. No sneakers either!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Michelle Obama on Burda Website

Has anybody seen this yet?
I love it. Burda is using Michelle Obama's style sense to sell patterns. The editors of Burda, or at least at their website have linked pictures of Mrs O to Burda patterns that can be used to get the look. I think Jackie Kennedy was the last First Lady to influence fashion in any way. Her style is still talked about. I doubt that Mrs O will have as lasting a fashion reputation. It's not that she isn't as memorable, but fashion just moves so much faster these days. I know that people are very vocal about what she wears, either hating it or loving it. It doesn't matter to me so much what she wears but how she wears it. She is so comfortable with her body and in her body that it is a joy to see. She is a tall woman who is proud to be tall. She is comfortable with her hips and rear end and she is a wonderful role model for our daughters.

My daughter says that it's a good thing that she has a great body image, because other wise she'd feel really fat trying to buy clothing in Korea. She is a thin, but curvy girl. Korean girls have no hips or bust. She's had it with trying to buy clothing in Korean stores, but through the grapevine heard about a Forever 21 store that has US sizes! She was thrilled to be a size small or medium again.

When you hear 8 or 10 year old girls talk about dieting it's sad and disturbing, and yet we have more childhood obesity than ever before. Of course, that's another topic.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fabric Photo

Alex berated me for talking about fabric without any pictures. This is the only one worth photographing. Basics are a little hard to photograph. Here is the Betsy Johnson block print silk. I have 3.5 yds and I might even make the summer dress I have planned this year. That would be novel now wouldn't it?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fabric Purchases

Don't you just love a sale? Several fabric sites have had sales in the past week and I've partaken. Not over the top, but I've added some basics, and some not so basic, to my 'collection'. One that came today is from Marcy Tilton who has been adding some interesting and if this piece is any indication, high quality fabrics to her site. It is just a basic black cotton lycra sateen, but the quality, especially for $8 yd, is fabulous. It is silky smooth and the perfect weight for pants and very black. She seems to put things on sale as her stock gets smaller I think and hasn't had a site wide sale.
I also scored a gorgeous piece of silk from Textile Studios final sale, the only one I managed to get. I bought some basics at Gorgeous Fabrics sale too. A tricot lining for my gray vest, a piece of black silk jersey for the t shirt in my mini wardrobe and a piece of white cotton lycra sateen. I love animal prints and I am resisting the one in silk charmeuse that's on sale at Emmaonesock. I already have 3 different animal print knits and one coated cotton for a skirt that I have yet to sew. I have that cardigan in a crazy animal print that you can see in the photo on the left, and the zebra print t shirt. Now, really, how many animal prints does a girl need anyway? I have also resisted a very cool cotton coating in black and white animal print at Manhattan Fabrics. I try to keep my animal prints to smaller items in my wardrobe. Too much of a good thing is just a little young for me I think and a whole coat is probably past the limit of age appropriateness. But, that silk charmeuse is really calling to me.