Wednesday, February 25, 2009

House of jewels. I like the Art Nouveau sense of this photograph.

Photo and plants are Lyman's son, Michael's, work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I hate to think what will happen to these two. Young men, do not pull your guns during Mardi Gras.

That worked out so well, let's do it again. Again, $2 a yard at Walmart.

I want some larger, flashier prints. (And new patterns. I can set in a sleeve, I'm sure.) Something more "young and vibrant," as Girl has said. The texture of the Hawaiian poly/cottons is too "hard" for the purpose, much to my disappointment. They are 65% poly/35% cotton. The Walmart fabrics are 50/50, from India. Is there a technical problem?

Just because she'd like something soft and wrinkle-free doesn't mean that she's lost her senses of color and drama. She liked Elvis Presley and Paul Newman. And she's still alive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mercy, what has happened to us?

Do you know what my older sister got from her gentleman friend on Valentine's Day? A new helmet and leather gloves for riding the Harley.

And I'm sewing geriatric clothing.

But then, pleasing Girl might be the wilder ride.

The hem is not sewn in yet, but this blog needs some visual relief.

The pockets are used for tissues, so I stuck one in there because they disappear into the print. And this photo's tint is a little green on my monitor.

Compare to this one.


She does want the sleeves shortened a bit, but that's no trouble. And next time I'll draw that neckline just a little tighter, but it's not an alteration issue on this garment.

She loved the fabric and the colors. And something new.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alrighty, then.

I've gathered and bound the neckline with a self-fabric tape (I hope, bias) -- forgetting, like the rusty sew-er I am, to measure the distance from front sleeve seams to back sleeve seams, and front sleeve seams to front. It's plain good luck that I'm only about 1/8 inch off, which is invisible in a garment like this. Not so in flat construction.

Now I have pockets, snaps and a hem to finish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I bought a "gripper snapper" today. (I paid $8.22 at Wal-mart.)

It worked fine for me with a little practice, but I have small hands. Lyman would throw it across the room before a minute was up.

I do think that if this dress is successfully received, I will spring for the Snap Source snap setter. And just look at all the snaps!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I have a question, seamstresses.

Instead of using elastic in the neckline of the dress (view A), I'm doing stationary gathers, with a bias binding.

Shouldn't those gathers over the shoulders be a little looser than those on the front and back?

And, (I should have thought of this earlier) shouldn't I stitch the left front facing down an inch or so from the edge to help support the base of the snaps?

Monday, February 16, 2009

I spent a day oiling my sewing machine and adjusting tensions to accommodate that soft fabric.

I have one sleeve in, and the other ready to go. I'm not really having trouble, just flipping a bunch of switches in my memory to move this project along.

People sew wedding dresses faster than I am making this little ten-seamed thing.
Let's link here for this:

That might be something homeschoolers would like on President's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My sister sent this today:

This little guy has "feather duster syndrome" and won't live long. The feathers don't stop growing and cause wasting. Poor cute birdie.
I don't get around much, you know, so I was fascinated by the moving electric candle flames in the chandeliers at the restaurant earlier this week. (Could be some other company, I didn't ask.)

Apparently, they jiggle in response to air currents. Realistic effect.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It's a little more staid than I wanted. The background is a little bluer than this picture shows, but in a large swath, like a dress, it will be cheerful enough.

I've spent the afternoon figuring out the proper size to cut the dress. (The pattern I have runs from 8 to 14 on different lines, I've settled on a 12 based on her bustline, which is at least two sizes up from any ready to wear that she would buy. For goodness' sake, don't tell. It's the way patterns go, and one of the reasons I don't have a clue how to sew anymore.) And just where I need extensions in the pattern, etc.

I'd warn neighbors to keep all young children at least a block away from this house for the next several days, or longer. Language restrictions apply.
Okay, then. Some people think I shouldn't shop at Wal-mart.

So I go online and check through hundreds of patterns of material looking for an appropriate poly/cotton print to make a woman's duster. From one place I receive five samples, and none will do.

So I trot over to the local fabric shop, and poly/cotton prints are thin on the ground.

I visit Wal-mart, and find about 10 possibilities, some as low a $2 a yard. So I buy a cheerful little blue print for two bucks a yard to practice my rusty skills, launder it, and have just the soft wash and wear fabric I wanted in the first place.

What's a girl to do?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mmmm. Bacon and tomato sandwiches coming right up.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

My favorite pose in the heart opening sequence was something like this, with the legs spread wider, the elbows on the ground, and the hands clasped together in front.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I "unwound my spine" from 5 to 7 last night. Did that ever feel good. Today I have an "absolute beginners" class from 12:30 to 2:30.

I think I'll nix the "slow deep stretches" this afternoon, opting instead for "heart openers" from 1 to 3 tomorrow. I tend to slouch at the computer. I always tend to slouch. I think those yoga postures would be more beneficial in the short run. The inside stride postures will help me balance in the long run, but that's not tomorrow.

UPDATE: Speaking of postures, how do you like the pigeon posture?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I like this fabric, but look at the size of the print! That little woman would be all eat up with birds. No go, but I like looking at it.

Do any readers have recommendations for shopping for fabric online? I'm looking for lightweight wash'nwear cotton/poly blends.

And what about these 97% cotton 3% lycra blends? I read that they resist wrinkles, but they don't qualify as washn'wear, do they?

UPDATE: This might be a good choice.

And I sort of like this one. A little cutesy, but not too childlike.

This one might look better made up than it does here. I do like the tiny white flowers. But lavendar gets on my nerves.

This one is cheerful. Though it might do better for kitchen curtains. I like the little blue morning glories.

There are tons of batik prints out there that would be fun, but they're almost all 100% cotton or rayon and would wrinkle too badly, I'd think.

And there are some Hawaiian fabrics. This one might be pretty for the purpose. I haven't even looked at their shipping costs.

UPDATE: I went shopping before thinking of sewing, and for her size, I could find this, and these. She has been bitching about the offerings in petite sizes for years, and with cause.

UPDATE: And I like this little group to no purpose at all.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I love these fifties styles.

How about a nice forties brunch coat?

Attention shoppers!

This is one of my MIL's dusters. A favorite. I just put the hem back in it. You can see how worn it is. She needs new ones.

Note the short raglan sleeves, the open neckline and the snap closure. The label on this one reads Smart Time. She doesn't like anything up around the neck, and has a hard time with buttons because of arthritis in her hands. Nothing that goes over the head. It might mess up her hair. I don't think I could sell her on a zipper, either.

But petites are hard to find (and I mean 4'10" here), I'd say a size eight. So if you have a clue, let me know. Please.

I'd like to find a pattern so I could sew them as needed. They'd be easy to stitch up and fun enough to make.

UPDATE: Could I adapt this blouse pattern?

And can I remember how to use what we called in my mother's house a "gripper snapper"?

How to sew a shirt placket.

She'll be 89 on March 5. She wears these at home. When she goes out, she's in full makeup, proper hair and street clothes.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Ahem, the tree posture. My balance needs work -- lots of work. (Not watching hard, I picked her out of a hundred models. Our body types are the same right down to those skinny ankles and long feet. So, it can be done.)

Getting the hang of some of the complex sequences will take some time, too.


UPDATE: Remind me take a thick towel or a small blanket next week. Yoga mats are thin, and I have the bony knees.