Thursday, September 16, 2010

ASG Neighborhood Meeting 09/14/10

I had a great time at our ASG neighborhood meeting Tuesday night. After almost a year I am beginning to feel like I belong here. (Good thing since I am co-leader.) My co-leader surprised me by announcing that she will not continue next year. (No comment how much we talk, my co-leader & me. It's one of my pet peeves.) Laura has been a co-leader for 10+ years. No one volunteered but there are still a few months left in the year for someone to step up. 

We spent most of the meeting ironing out all the details for the Chapter Annual Meeting & Tea. Our group is in charge of hosting it in November. I feel like the whole planning process has been a scene from The Three Stooges. I thought all the major decisions had been made, but apparently not so. Tuesday night we discussed things I thought were decided months ago. Grrrr. Drives me crazy. I really dislike doing things at the last minute and that is what is going to happen here. I can read the writing on the wall. 

I really didn't mean to turn this into a rant, but as long as I'm venting—it also drives me crazy how some women just talk irregardless of who else is talking and what is being discussed. There are a couple women in our neighborhood who do this. I am going to find some way to nicely tackle this issue. It is so rude!

OK. Enough ranting. I really did have a great time. There was sharing and laughing and camaraderie. I know Dr. Ron would be happy to see me attending and participating in this group. I took my Loes Hinse jacket for show-and-tell. I wonder about timing Riley's kimono dress so I can take it in next month. Hmmm. Have to think about that. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Loes Hinse Experience

Loes Hinse Bolero Jacket   I made View A.
Loes Hinse Bolero Jacket
Description: Softly fitted, v-neck front jacket with insert collar piece. Two length styles included. Two closure options.
Sizing: XXS-XXL  I went down one size because I like my jackets to fit rather than be oversized. 
Fabric used:  Soft, drapey woven fabric from Textile Studios. (Stash fabric) It is berry and navy. 
Instructions: Ridiculously simple. I believe the tips that Loes includes as part of the construction really make the difference between a home-made look and a designer jacket.
Changes:  I added and 1-1/2" in length because the measurements on the pattern envelope would have made the jacket about waist length. I measured one of my very favorite jackets and added the extra length. I should have also measured the actual pattern pieces. The extra length wasn't necessary and I will remove it when I make this jacket again. 

Likes/Dislikes:  Very easy, goes together quick. Despite this quick &easy construction the jacket looks very classy—not the typical "2 Hour" garment.
Conclusion: I really like this jacket. The fabric is divine. It is so soft, but still holds the shape of the jacket. The fit is good. I think this style would look great in a jacquard fabric.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weekend Sewing

I had a very productive sewing weekend even with the ASG Fashion Show on Sunday. 

I finished the casual skirt I was working on. Oops! I forgot to take a picture. It is KwikSew 3098. I made view A but shortened it and used snaps in place of the buttons. It turned out pretty cute. A great hanging-out-at-home kinda skirt. The fabric is a Ralph Lauren cotton stretch twill, khaki colored background with very small purple, lavender and yellow flowers. I bought the fabric at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston IL back in 2001 for around $6.00 for 3 yds. 

I also made a Loes Hinse jacket, The Bolero Jacket. I just need to finish hemming both the jacket and sleeves and it will be finished. Pictures and a more complete review to follow.

And then, there is this 2-piece dress. I made this back in July. It was a "project" from Peggy Sagers at Silhouette Patterns. I bought the Cowl Neck Top and Yoga Skirt patterns and 2 yards of this surface embroidered slinky fabric for $29.95, I think. It's o.k. It's a lot of print for me and the color is not my favorite, but I like the patterns. They were ridiculously easy to sew. I can't believe they cost $15 each. I don't like the sizing model Peggy uses. There are no body measurements, only finished garment measurements. I find that makes it hard to figure out a size. The finished garment measurement of this really stretchy slinky knit is different from a woven silk cut on the bias. And she also has 2 size groups—one for "regular" sizes (1-4) and then what I guess are "plus" sizes. They are numbered 5W-8W. It seemed to me there was an overlap in the sizes. Oh well. The outfit turned out o.k. It's an easy fitting, casual garment I can throw on and feel good in. 
Why Do I Always Look Like I'm "Biting my tongue" ? 

Fashion Show

Our ASG Chapter had a luncheon and fashion show of member garments yesterday. The Chapter does this about every other year. I have never attended in the past. This year not only did I attend but I modeled not one, but two garments I made. The Threads circular vest and a creative  sweatshirt jacket. The afternoon was fun. I rode to the event with a couple of ladies in my neighborhood group. It is entertaining to listen to other women talk about their lives. Plus, I always come away with good feelings about my husband, my life, my kids…Listening to other people reminds me how good I have it! 

So back to the fashion show—There were lots of really interesting garments and other items. One thing I really like (and suggested we do in our neighborhood group) was the 1 yard Challenge. One neighborhood group picked a fabric and each member had 1 yard to create something. Several ladies made vests; there were several bags of various sizes; a set of placemats & napkins. I thought it was a very cool idea. 

Another neighborhood group did a mystery quilt challenge. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but each lady ended up with a quilt of the same design, but very different because they used their own fabrics. All looked really nice; some were outstanding!

I think the most intriguing garment was a jacket made from a shower curtain. A shower curtain? Yes. And it was beautiful! A lady found this beautiful embroidered shower curtain at the resale shop for $1.00 and cut it up to make a soft, feminine jacket. It was lovely.

The kids, of course, were all really cute. 

There must be a back story to one lady's entries. She entered her 2 wedding gowns. She had 2 ceremonies so she had 2 gowns. Don't get that. And the other puzzling thing was both gowns were short and beige, almost light brown. Another part of the story was that both gowns incorporated the same fabric. Fabric she bought extraordinarily cheap-one gown cost $20 and the other one $14. Yeah for her, I think. 

All in all, it was a fun afternoon.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cheap Thrills

This is my latest favorite sewing tool. I got it from Londa's-Sewing
Collin's Point Turner

I loved the time I recently spent sewing with Londa. I learned so much from her. And, I also got to see which tools she used, why she used them, and how to use them. This point turner is a result of that experience. I've used a lot of different tools to help create perfect points and corners including the tips of scissors and chopsticks. But this little plastic point turner is the absolute best. And, at $2.85 it's a cheap thrill! The point has just the right amount of point to gently push out the corner but not put a hole in the fabric. It's a great shape to hold in your hand. I can even leave it in place and press the corner or point in place. I love it!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sewing for the Grandkids

Here are the most recent projects for the youngest grandkids. 

The Princess's new PJ's
Pillowcases for DGS. He loves Hot Wheels!

I have another outfit for The Princess in the works. The skirt is the 2+2 skirt from Oliver + S and a knit t-shirt. I'm going to add a self-ruffle around the neck, similar to this.

I had quite an experience in The Studio last night and this morning. I was getting ready to cut into 2 of the fabrics from yesterday's post. I could not find one of the patterns. I searched hi and low. I searched through all the piles. No luck. Did I refile it? I pulled out the pattern catalog. Nope, not there either. I looked through the piles again. Seriously serious it wasn't there. I searched through the pattern box. Couldn't find it. I felt like I was going crazy. I knew I had studied the pattern. But where the heck was it? I went to bed feeling frustrated. In the sewing studio this morning I searched again. Piles? No. Pattern catalog? No. Pattern box? No. So I gave up and moved on. And as I walked out of the Studio about 30 minutes later there it was! Taped to the mirrored closet door. You know, right where I would see it! Whew! I'm not crazy. I did pull it out and set it aside. I knew it. Boy did I feel better. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Remembering a Sad Time

Saturday evening I was in my sewing studio "puttzing" around, as my dear MIL would say. I had sewed all day and needed a break from actual sewing. But I still wanted to be in my studio so I was looking at patterns, moving stuff around, stash dreaming…you know, "puttzing" around. 

As I was rearranging a couple of the many piles I have in my studio I found 3 pieces of fabric I purchased from Textile Studios in January 2005. For some inexplicable reason these 3 pieces of fabric have never made it into the "official" stash. I knew I had the fabric. They were purchased for 3 specific garments, but I hadn't cut swatches to add to my stash file, nor had I included the yardage in my stash tally. (It would be +10 yards.) But here is what made me sad when I found this fabric.

I went through a very difficult period starting in the late 90's. I was falling apart emotionally from the inside out. For a long time I didn't realize what was happening. Looking back I see that one of the ways I tried to cope was by purchasing fabric. I was obsessive, stashing away hundreds & hundreds of yards of fabric. Truth be told, I wasn't stashing, I was hoarding. I sewed very little during this period. I just bought fabric and stashed it away in boxes I hid in closets & under beds and any place I could find where I hoped  The Love wouldn't notice. I racked up pretty high balances on several credit cards due to my hoarding. 

The best thing I can say about having all that fabric is this. During that time I would periodically go in my sewing studio, close and lock the door, literally wrap myself in several pieces of fabric and take a nap. I would feel safe locked away from the rest of the world wrapped in long lengths of beautiful fabric. For a time, the anxiety I felt inside would dissipate. A good thing now about all that fabric is that now that I am much healthier emotionally, I have a wonderful selection of fabrics to sew from.

Finding these 3 pieces of fabric reminded me of the dark period in my life; the pain I caused the people who loved me, especially The Love Of My Life. It reminded me of the years of therapy; the hard, painful work I did to climb out of the abyss I had sunk into. It also reminded me how much The Love stood by me and how grateful I am for his love, patience, understanding, empathy and friendship. 

I am ready to cut into these 3 pieces fabric now. Patterns are traced off, fabric is pre-shrunk and on the cutting table. My journey to an emotionally healthy adult continues daily. Sometimes I take small steps, sometimes I leap forward. Sewing these 3 garments will be like vaulting over a high fence. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ready for the Runway!

I just finished the 2nd garment for the upcoming fashion show hosted by ASG-St. Louis. I will be modeling these 2 garments.
(I am going to add a hook & eye
closure to the front of the circle vest. ) 
Hot Pink Sweatshirt Jacket

I am pretty pleased with how both garments turned out. 

The sweatshirt jacket is from the Genesis Too pattern from Londa's Creative Threads. Londa asked me to participate in filming her latest DVD, Creative Jacket Journey. I was thrilled to be asked and spent 3 wonderful, sewing-filled days in her studio. On the last day, she received a shipment of duppioni silk and I absolutely fell in love with the hot pink. The photo didn't capture the true color of the silk. It is a bright, hot pink, bordering on magenta. It is gorgeous! So I paired it with this interesting cotton batik print, added some bright blue silk duppioni for a  little contrast and "plopped" it all on a navy sweatshirt base. I am really happy with the results. Here is a picture of the back. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sewing for Riley & Me

I cut out a couple of garments this morning. Two for my DGD, RileyRoo and one for me. 

PJ's from a pink & purple flowered cotton with the Barbie logo on it are by the sewing machine as is a 2+2 Pleated Skirt from Oliver + S. The skirt fabric is a stretch cotton twill, khaki background with very small purple & yellow flowers. I cut a casual skirt for myself from the same fabric. With the Labor Day weekend almost here, I hope to finish these items by Monday. 

Then, it is on to some sewing for The Chef. She rescued some fabric I was selling in a yard sale and asked for 2 pairs of slacks and skirt. 

In addition, I'm knitting a purse for The Coach and I still have 3 bread cloths to cross-stitch for her also. 

For the first time in my life it seems that the more creative things on my "plate", the more creative ideas I have in my head. It's actually kind of cool because I never really think of myself as "creative". Yes, I can sew really well, I knit and cross stitch about average. But I have always had to have a pattern by my side. I always followed the directions to a letter. I just didn't seem to have an original thought. But lately, there have been a lot of "what if I did this?" and "hmm, I wonder how that would look?" percolating in my brain. It's kind of nice.