Sunday, June 28, 2009

Pattern give-away! (or, Cleaning up in prep for move)


The patterns all have homes!  Thanks!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Work in progress and an interesting meeting

Here's Elanor modeling my drawstring skirt pattern, version 2.0. I'm trying to work up a beginner-friendly pattern that's easy yet flattering and figure if I get a few nice things to wear in the process then, hey, bonus! It's made up from some rather icky linen from Joann's (that I didn't realize wasn't part of the LINEN SALE!! until AFTER it was cut - grr) that I really should have cut out on the bias rather than straight grain since, as is, it's got all the drape of a feed sack. Oh, well, sew and learn. I have a little over a yard left so trying to decide if I want to add deconstructed ruffles for weight or cut another on the bias (need to check if there's room) or something else so at the moment it's unhemmed. But I do like the shape and it is quite comfy so if it's never anything beyond a test and swimsuit coverup then it's done it's job.

In other news, yesterday I was chatting with my parents who are back in the DC metro and about five topics of conversation in dad mentioned that they had an interesting time last weekend. Apparently they went out golfing and just as they were about to hit the greens (or whatever the appropriate term is for getting started) the whole place went into lock down and men in black with little earbuds were everywhere. See where this is going? A few minutes later Obama walked by, gave my dad a wave and hopefully went on to have a lovely, relaxing day golfing. It was another hour until the security perimeter around him allowed my parents to go on with their game but, hey, they got a story out of it. And I got to tease my staunchly republican dad since he keeps having these sorts of random run-ins with democrat presidents. Never republicans. Just democrats. It amuses me. Mom's only comment was that Obama's shorter than she thought. Just another weekend for them... Life in the DC area, how I miss you!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Update on wall and projects

Some of the damage to our frames. Ick!!

Our apartment became the exhibit of the week today as first six guys from our head of housing to some maintenance guys who (it seems) tagged along to see the Mysterious Bending Wall came by to check it out and then later a few more people from maintenance popped in just to see our little curiousity. In fairness, our light fixture has some rust running from it that looks like dried blood so it is kinda a neat thing to see - bleeding walls! Now just need stuff to start flying around.

Fortunately no holes were opened up today - since all concerned asked just when we're moving out fingers are crossed that they're waiting until then to do the messy stuff. Of course I was kinda looking forwards to the excuse to avoid at least part of the move out inspection - so whether they do or don't punch a hole in the wall we win.

Unfortunately the reason we didn't get a holey wall is because they found MORE water damage in the apartment above us, home of a policeman working night shifts and his 8-month pregnant wife. So while things are quiet down here they lived through an unexpected day of deconstruction. Sorry!!

In the project world it's a small list of UFOs. I apparently haven't fully conquored the fear of buttonholes I built up with my first machine (and fully justified, I assure you) and a top and skirt are both sitting in the pile waiting for those last details. I also started knitting a sweater out of some beautiful yarn that just hasn't found it's purpose yet. It's been the start of three different cardigans, a wrap, and at least one other false start and each time it just wasn't right. This time it seems to be working. It's a veeery basic cowlneck sweater based on a lionbrand crochet pattern. And by "based" I mean I'm using some of the measurements and the overall idea and that's it. Instead of crocheting I'm knitting in rib stitch using fairly large needles (size 13) so it's fast, the fabric is sooo soft, and hopefully it'll fit. If not then, by this point, I'm very good at unraveling projects. :) Once it's done I'll try my hand at writing a pattern - it's about as simple as it gets (which I need, knitting's still new to me, I'm a sewer and crocheter first).

Here's the start - it's larger than it initially looks since the needles are so large. Thus the hand and magazine as size references. And the color's not quite right - it's richer and less sparkly than it looks in the picture. Oh, well. I like it. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

That's ... not good.

So we're eating and chatting with friends last night at our place and I notice the one nice picture we have (most are just my own pics printed off at Target and slapped in Ikea frames) has condensation inside the glass. Hm. Go over, pull it off the wall and notice the back cardboard is severely damp. Hm again. Pull the next picture off the wall and ... wow. MOLD on the back. And pull another, more mold, and another ... in all four picture frames with mold on the back and another half dozen that were badly water damaged. What in the world?

Now everyone's gathered around the wall and one notices that when you touch it, it bends in easily. Not normal at all. And it's warm right where all the water damage happened, while the rest of the wall is nice and cool. Hm.

Our building apparently had some "quality" issues when built and water damage has been a bit of a constant for some rooms, but it's always been the windows that were the issue. Not interior walls. And this is definitely interior. But tracing it back, we did notice a few small things right after the big rainstorm a week ago, so it fits. But wow. Our apartment manager and a building guy (not sure official function) came by today after we sent him an email and from how he reacted it seems this is a new problem to add to his already long list of problems with the building's, well, building. Since, you know, storing water in walls isn't really a good idea. At least not this type of storage.

So tomorrow maintenance is coming by and odds are we'll be partially wall-less by the time they're done. Sigh. And we're just a few weeks from moving out, too. Oh, well... life! Guess I should make sure my fabric is nice and stored away from flying whatever that's behind that wall!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sewing Classes!

I've just solidified my Summer sewing class schedule so if you are or know of a Dallas-area beginner or advanced beginner looking for lessons, I've gotcha covered. :)

Classes are $125 for all 6 hours of instruction while micro-classes will be $45. Full-time students get a sympathy discount. :) All classes are held at my apartment (low overhead cost!) near Baylor hospital. Precise directions along with class materials list will be sent out after registering for a class as I'm not so keen on posting my home address online for any to see. Just in case.

If you're interested email me at alicia.marshevans AT (replacing "at" with "@" - doing it this way snags up the spambots) and I'll get you signed up!

You should have your own machine though I do have a couple class machines if you need one, whether because yours is too heavy to bring in or you want to take this with your child/parent/spouse/roommate/etc and you only have one between your or whatever. Just know that all classes past 101 have homework and you will need a machine for it!


101- Learning to Love Your Machine
For beginnings. Learn the basics of threading, tension, and sewing through making a number of small projects.

Session 1 - Mondays, 7-8:30pm, June 22-July13th (4 sessions)
Session 2 - Saturday 10am-1pm, June 27, July 11 (2 sessions)

201 - First Pattern (Apron)
Learn to read a commercial pattern while making a beautiful and practical apron. Cutting and marking will be covered.

Session 1 - Tuesdays/Thursdays, 7pm-8:30, June 30, July 2, 7, and 9th.
Session 2 - Saturdays, 2-5pm, June 27 and July 11

202 - Perfect Fit Pencil Skirt
Learn to fit and sew a pencil skirt that's perfect for your figure. Darts, zippers, facings, and basic drafting will be covered.

Session 1 - Tuesdays/Thursdays, 1pm-2:30pm, June 30, July 2, 7, and 9th.
Session 2 - Wednesday/Fridays 7pm-8:30pm, June 24, 26, July 1, 3rd.

In addition I have some elective classes and micro classes (one session classes) that I'd like to do, if there's interest. Please note if one of these sounds good and if there's a general time that works best for you!

Possible "elective" classes (all need 101 experience - 102 very helpful but not necessary)

Full Classes (meet 4 times over two or four weeks)
- Sewing a maternity skirt (emphasis on making one pattern up in different ways)/maternity wardrobe (top and skirt)
- Sewing a camp shirt (buttonholes, collars)
- Little Black Dress

Microclasses (Meet just 1 time)
- Next Step Techniques - setting in sleeves, darts, zippers, and different hems
- Mending
- Fabrics - different properties, choosing the right one for a project, intro to knits, etc.
- Sew a Knit Top - it's really easier than you think!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Two new garments from May

The end of May I participated in the Wardrobe in a Week contest and, while I didn't finish all I'd planned, I did get two garments out of it and that's two more than I had before!

Here's the outfit together...

The dress is from McCall'ss 5576 and this is my second time making it. The first time I went by my measurements and sewed a 14 - yeah, shouldn't have. The only fitted part is the shoulders/neckline and I'm really a size 8/10 at that point. So for the first version the neckline was huge. I pulled it in through the back (the only place I really could) and while it now looks alright it cuts into my arms if I've got less than perfect posture. So for this version I went with a size ten grading to 12 at the hips and it's MUCH better. Moral - flat measure, pinfit, or make a muslin, just check before cutting!

The fabric is pure linen with border embroidery bought at my wonderful little local Joann's.

I made a few alterations for this version - first I changed the cutting layout so I could take advantage of the fabric's border print. Second, instead of gathering the neckline I took advantage of the fabric's linen crispness and sewed little darts, topstitching them to help them hold and to give a little added visual depth.

I also made the dress sleeveless. This must be the ONLY dress in McCall's arsenal that's doesn't have a sleeveless option - usually the problem is finding a dress WITH sleeves. The dress, in it's natural, sleeved state has a high armhole so I didn't have to modify that at all. I just redrew the facings to include the armcyc and sewed up as usual with this configuration. I had planned on putting a side zipper in but the dress slips on without any opening needed so I just ditched it altogether. I prefer having the zipper in the side rather than the back but I prefer not having to deal with a zipper at all, if possible. So there you have it, one summer dress/jumper!

The top is from my TNT knit top pattern, an out of print Butterick that's no longer on their site. Sad! I snatched the sleeve from Simplicity 4076. I used the flared sleeve, folded out some of the flare, then gathered into a band that's just a little larger than my bicep. I also gathered the neckline to match the sleeve. I like how it worked out. :)

Anyway, hope to have more to show you soon - tonight is DH's guys' night so I've got the place to myself and I plan to use it to sew along to all the music that annoys him. :)