Saturday, September 26, 2009

October Burda has Arrived!

I read the end of books before I get to them, so it shouldn't be a big surprise that I can't keep from looking at the Burda previews online before I get the magazine. It really spoils the enjoyment of getting a new issue, but I can't seem to keep from doing it. I had already incorporated a blouse from the new issue into my yet again revised wardrobe plan for the Pattern Review contest. It came today, and aside from the rather lame, again, crafts, it's a pretty good issue. You know how designers often use strange accessories on the runway for showmanship? Well most of us wouldn't wear them even if we could afford them so why choose to make them into a craft project? How young do you have to be to wear pompoms? I know my 23 year old dd wouldn't wear them.

As you can see I have made a couple of changes. Again. I went back to my tnt pant pattern which I refitted anyway. I am a little anal about fit. I am making two versions of it, neither of them having the side front pockets. (I do not need any more width in the hips!) I narrowed the legs, added a contour waist and front welt pockets for the black denim trouser. I'll sew it as a faced pant for the gray silk and wool in the wider width.
Most directions for narrowing pants just have you draw them narrower. This doesn't always work well, leaving excess fabric below the front and rear crotch. Threads had a terrific article on a better way to adjust pants width years ago and they have reprinted it on their website.
I am going to sew one of the 3 Graces t's and the white blouse is next to it above.
I know that I am really behind, but I decided to do all my pattern alterations before I started cutting out and sewing. I do a lot of pattern alterations. It must be wonderful to not have to make adjustments. Sigh. I have the two blouses to trace and fit and that's it for patterns.
I also decided that there was no way that a straight waistband, which the McCall's jeans have, will fit me, so I used a contour waistband from an earlier Palmer Pletsch jeans pattern.
It is now 4 pm and I have spent the entire day working on pants patterns. I am exhausted.
How extensive are your pattern alterations? Do you make a lot of changes for fit or style or both?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still no Sewing going on

I am still working on patterns for my wardrobe. The jacket is ready, as are the jeans. I am reworking my formerly tnt pants pattern, the HP Razer at the moment. I also broke my little toe yesterday. How? I walked into a chair without shoes on. Painful to say the least.
I am enjoying having Alex home and spending time with her. She is sort of gimpy right now too, having fallen in Taekwondo and re injured the ankle she hurt last fall in a fall while rock climbing. She was complaining about being bored with inactivity and I said "you need a hobby". So what did she do, being 23 she googled hobbies and decided on scrapbooking. She is planning on taking the boxes of memorabilia from her travels and making a multi media journal out of them. Perfect.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Midget Returns

The Midget is how our older son refers to his sister. He is 6'2 and she is 5'3 1/4"(the 1/4" is very important!) tall. She never thinks of herself as short though, especially not after a year in Korea where she is often taller than her students mothers. But, even before, she has a large, strong personality and most people are surprised to realize that she is actually short. I picked her up at JFK on Thursday afternoon and I don't think I stopped smiling the whole drive home. The only problem is that I don't know what she's going to do with herself here. When she asked me what she used to do, we looked at each other and both of us said homework. There is not a whole lot to do on Long Island without driving other than shopping(well shopping too needs a drive), and she can get most of what she wants cheaper in Korea. Her two good local friends moved away and her college friends are, if still in the NY area, working. She is going to take the cheap China town bus up to Boston to visit a good friend for a few days. At least when Jes is working she'll have museums to explore. It's good to have her home.
I am working on patterns. The jacket is ready for a second muslin. I have two pairs of pants ready to cut out too and need to make a muslin for the leather skirt. It's good to have a plan, not only on what to make, but the order I am going to work on it. I am trying to make the most time consuming things first and saving the easy, tnt tops for last to hopefully avoid stress at the end. I also still like my plan, a major accomplishment.
I am of course cooking. Alex has to have "Mommy food". Though she loves the food in Korea, she misses my cooking. She could cook you say, but she'd rather not. It actually costs them less to eat out than to cook. Kind of strange.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yes! Alex is Coming Home!

Our daughter Alex is coming home from Korea for a few weeks. She didn't find a job she wanted to take and so now she needs to come home to keep looking and also to do her paper work for a new visa. If she had found a job before the end of the last one, she could have just transferred the visa. We are thrilled that she didn't get a job and has to come home. She has also decided that she'll go fabric shopping for me before she comes home. This is a big deal for she who hates to fabric shop. She has ADD and it is kind of overwhelming for her. Someone on PR and written detailed instructions on how to get there, but she couldn't find it. It moved and it's not open on Sunday. But, a friend of hers sews and she's taking Alex on Wednesday.

I did not have to wipe my computer! Or rather Dell didn't. Friday was the day from hell, let me tell you! I was typing and the blue screen came up again with the same stop code that I've been getting. I call Dell. I wait 20 minutes for a human to take over my computer and do a scan, only to have them tell me my computer needs to be wiped and that it's a a software issue and to call another number. Of course, software is not covered under the warranty. I back up everything that I haven't backed up, call my son to ask him how to back up itunes which he does. I had lunch and then called the number. I wait another 20 minutes for a human being. The guy talks in a monotone with a lisp and an accent. Can I understand him? Not so well. I explain yet again what the problem is and he starts telling me how much and we are cut off. I call again and another 20 minutes later I get another human, but this time it's a woman who is absolutely fabulous. I explain to her what the problem is and what has been suggested. She asks me lots of questions, she does a scan. The blue screen happens again, so she asks me more questions. She takes my number in case we get cut off. Nothing, so she sets up this long scan and tells me that it will take quite a while and that she will call me back in an hour. She does, it's not done yet so we wait. I have her on speaker phone thank goodness! Nothing is wrong. To make a long story short, she is unwilling to accept the conclusion of someone else. She says she thinks its my usb hub that's bad and has me plug all my usb devices into my computer tower. So far so good and she'll call me back in a few days. She also gave me a direct number for her and that while I'll get her voicemail, she'll call me back because she doesn't want me to have to start all over again with someone else! Well all this took hours to say the least and her supervisor wants to talk to me. I tell him how she has saved me a weekend of aggravation because she can actually think. She was just wonderful, and I hope that her boss appreciates her. She was so pleasant and patient. A bad situation made a lot more palatable by a thoughtful woman.
Sewing going on! Well pattern manipulation and drafting. The jacket is going to be fabulous I think. I think that the sewing will be a lot easier than the pattern making!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Gorgeous Leather!

Wednesday was the perfect day to go into the city. It was a precursor of fall; sunny and crisp.
DH dropped me a couple of blocks from Leather, Suede and Skins which is on 35th. I chose them because they were the only one who responded to my question about samples and Karen said that she had bought her leather there. I had traced a full pattern and brought it with me. The saleswoman was happy to lay it all out for me to get the most efficient layout. Three skins, in varying sizes of gorgeous lamb leather are now mine. Black of course, but if you want color or printed leather, or exotic skins they have an amazing selection. They also have leather trims and cording. Want to make a round handle for your handbag? They have it in a large number of colors. Want the same lazer cut leather that Donna Karan used for tank tops? They have it. Very nice and helpful. I didn't buy any more fabric, but I bought invisible zippers at SIL I think, or maybe Daytona, but anyway they are a regular brand at half the price you pay at Joann's. What's the difference you ask? No packaging. I also visited Botani Buttons for the first time and bought great plastic oversized snaps in a great mottled black. I'll use it for the DKNY sweater coat. I stocked up on some other notions too.

My jacket pattern is coming along, albeit slowly. There are 15 pieces in this pattern and I am combining them to eliminate the separate upper, lower and waist panels. I have everything traced but the left front panels, and the facing. Wheh! I normally don't have issues with tracing Burda, but this is a plus sized starting at size 46 which is 2 sizes too big for me. On the top at least. It's fine on the bottom. I usually cut a 42 in the shoulders and upper body and blend to a 46 in the hip for the back. The front I cut a 42 all the way down and use my fba as the extra room I need. It works with maybe a little bit extra at the hip. But, it is a complicated pattern to see on the pattern sheet and I am grading it down on the sheet first and then tracing it. I walked away a lot of times! I really find that walking away for a bit helps me mentally to see it better when I come back to it. One size is easy, but 2 really made me have to think about it. Obviously I will make a muslin. I also shortened it about 3" so far. I have to make a lining pattern as there is no lining, but I always do that anyway, even if one is provided, after I do my pattern alterations. It's easier than starting from scratch.
I was planning on having a total sewing weekend, but I am going to have to reinstall all the software on my computer after Dell wipes it and re installs the operating system. Don't ask, but after 6 hours on the phone with them on 3 separate occasions and having my motherboard replaced(that was perfectly fine) they have not fixed my problems and have decided that this is what has to be done. Can I say that I am not looking forward to this?
Have a great holiday weekend.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sewing plan

Here's a more concise sewing plan for my wardrobe.

I'm going into NYC to buy leather tomorrow. I was going to wait and go in with dd, but my husband is driving in tomorrow, so I'll save train fare. She and I will go in regardless, to go do some museums, but she hates to fabric shop.
Karen was good enough to recommend a place where I might even be able to use my bargaining skills for the leather and a fabric store that is going out of business on the same street with some good bargains. I may avoid that store depending on how much the leather costs!
I am also making a list of notions and zippers that I need. I need some good shoulder pads too for the jacket. I am going to make the shoulders a bit stronger than it was designed. I don't think that the pattern called for shoulder pads, so I'll have to check that. Back to tracing patterns!