Sunday, February 27, 2011

Skirt in Progress

This post could also be titled RIP mirror. It has been lovely weather lately and we had all the windows open. Then, the door blew open and slammed the mirror face down on the ground and it shattered. Boo.

It is nearly finished, and a bit wrinkly.
I did the button-holes in grey, so they are barely noticeable. It will have ten buttons down the front, when I get around to doing that. Ick. This is when I wish I had a fancy sewing machine that would sew on buttons for me!
Plus it has pockets, woot woot!
Maybe I will sew on the buttons in the airport- Anna's wedding is on Sunday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Dress Photos!

Andrew and I went to Cochon, a nice restaurant downtown. It was excellent and all of the food was delicious! Plus, I got to wear my birthday dress, which is great! I should start making fancy dresses more often and make Andrew take me to nice restaurants! Hee hee.

Again, it is not quite so shiny in real light, with no flash. I also wore the shoes I plan on wearing with my bridesmaid dress- conclusion: maybe for the ceremony, but they are very pinchy!
The only changes I made to the pattern were to shorten the length dramatically, make the waist about 1 inch bigger, and to add the bra strap carriers for the boat-neck.
Here, you can see that the back has a V neck, which is pretty.
All in all, I really like this dress. It is pretty, but more importantly, comfortable enough to enjoy a nice dinner without being pinched like a sausage! Yay!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mappy Mirthday Mo Me!

As a child, I used to force my mom to sing me happy birthday over and over, starting every word with a different letter each time. I am pleased she never strangled me, and I was able to turn 27 on Wednesday.

Andrew and I will be going out to dinner on Friday night, so hopefully I will have pictures on my birthday dress soon.

Here's my important birthday thought:

Never did I imagine that I would begin my 28th year on this planet with tiny wrinkles growing on my forehead and a face FULL of zits!!

And that it all.

Have a good Friday!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Birthday Dress Complete!

It's really shiny in the sunlight and keep in mind the dummy is not wearing her bra.

Front, with a wide boat neck.
Side. The side seams doesn't match up because I used one big strip of fabric and The Ruffler to gather the skirt. Oh well, who will notice but me?
The back has a V neck.
I put in the zipper by hand, and the puckers are much less obvious in reality. I can't even envision how ugly it would have been if I had tried it on the machine!!
I attached shiny green ribbon and hemmed it by hand; it took one episode of Rome.
I am going to add bra strap carriers, like on the yellow dress. With the wide neck, it will be very beneficial. The Fray Check is drying right now, but I will try to finish them today.

Next, I am making a skirt.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A valuable trick to know!

I sadly can't take credit for having made this dress, because it's really pretty. I bought it on ebay in my obsessed-with-ebay phase in 2005. I think it cost maybe 15 bucks? It's cotton and a pretty spring yellow.
It has this great senorita ruffle on the collar.
It is made for someone with far more impressive proportions than I have. The waist fits at about 26 inches, but the bust is probably for a 36 or 38 inch bust? Luckily, the ruffle covers how deflated the top looks one me. ;)
As you fasten it up, it has two snaps on the skirt, two hooks and eyes at the waist, six fabric covered buttons and three snaps at the neckline. Impressive! The seams are pinked and the facing and the skirt hem are covered in ribbon and hand sewn.
But here is THE TRICK you should know!! It has bra strap carriers!
What a quick and easy fix so that you can wear a bra, but not have tacky straps slipping out all the time! Two snaps and a little piece of ribbon about an inch long. I used them, and it has the added bonus of holding a slippy top in place so it doesn't move around.

Pretty awesome, right?

Anyone else like inspecting vintage things for sewing tips?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Look at this awesome valentine I made for Andrew today at school. I sound like a child! Anyways, I am sooo proud of how awesome it is!

It says, "Andrew, I love you like... zombies love BRAINS!"
I felt inspired by the LeeAnn Rimes song I heard on the radio this morning that goes "I need you like water like breath like rain..." lol. Enjoy here.

I also made this EXQUISITE drawing during a teacher meeting last week. I love to doodle.
It's a zombie chasing two children with giant, delicious brains. Did you notice how I cut it out in the shape of a brain? I was giggling while I made it, it was so awesome.

Have a happy day! We're going bowling, if we can get a lane.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Reading Books II

Two weeks later and I have read five books, and returned them on time! I usually forget and return them late, paying my 25 cent fines happily. Still cheaper than buying books!

Bad:
None

Meh:
Fleur de Leigh's Life of Crime by Diane Leslie. It wasn't bad, but I just didn't like it very much.
Good:

I really like series of books, as you will see.

U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton. I have read all of these as she works her way through the alphabet. It was interesting and she is trying to give the main character's family life more depth as she wraps up the series. 5 more books!

Jass and Chasing the Devil's Tail by David Fulmer. These are set in New Orleans in 1910-ish in Storyville, which was the district of legalized prostitution, following a private detective as he tries to solve crimes. They were both very interesting and the author does a good job of not over-romanticizing the time period or prostitution; the characters seem like real people.

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson. This is the third in a trilogy, so I wanted to finish it. I would say they are interesting, but not great, as far as crime fiction goes.

That's all I read recently, but I checked out seven more books.



Check out my super-hipster outfit for today. Also a very cheap outfit: glasses, dollar tree; shirt and pants (not leggings, just too tight corduroy skinny jeans)- target; shoes, K-mart, and jacket- Forever 21. I do love this jacket and it fits very well. Isn't my vintage bike awesome? It's super heavy and slow, but I am no speed demon.

We rode to the racetrack and bet on some horses and then rode home. Of course we had to have one a**hole driver incident- some truck passed us easily and then when we were all stopped at the light flipped us off, and peeled out, spraying Andrew with gravel. I just don't get stuff like that. I hope karma gets him and a big rock shatters his windshield or something.
Have a good work-week!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A pause, and a new project

This dress is being put on pause for a while. I did a hem test on the machine and it looked terrible and puckery, so I guess I will be by hand- boo. The sleeves and the skirt, I mean. I might fiddle with the tension and stitch length to avoid that dire fate.

Now it is too loose through the waist and hips, too, so that will need to be taken in as well. I bought dark brown velvet ribbons for the bands, instead of black. I also bought silver buttons instead of flashy gold one. I am not entirely sold on them yet. I need a break, and an easy, fun project.
Therefore, I am making the view on the left in this fabric. It is some kind of polyester and I plan on using the shiny reverse, rather than the dull front. It is very teal blue and pretty. I want a pretty, non-work dress to wear to dinner for my birthday, which is the 23rd.
Hopefully, I can bust it out this weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Military Dress Progress

This was my inspiration. It is a coat, but I wanted a dress.
Sorry for the terrible lighting. It's always dark when I want to take a picture of something. The general shape is good. Since the fabric is not wool, the skirt drapes a bit differently. I plan on adding the velvet ribbon and buttons in the same way on the front. The skirt has a lot of crossover, so I might just use a snap at the waist to hold it up.
My dummy and I are slightly different in shape, so trust me that it looks better on.
Again, better on a person.
I am pleased with the back. I made adjustments on the center seam above the shoulder blades and in the small of the back. It fits really well.
So I need ribbon and buttons for the detail, it needs button holes, and some hemming of the sleeves and skirt and a snap.

This has taken sooooo long and I am ready for a quick and easy pattern! Drafting it took some time, of course, and sewing it, but my biggest drawback is the thought of having to think and puzzle out problems. School has been very tiring lately and I think I like having easy and relaxing projects when school is in.

TGI(almost)F!!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Garage Sale Loot

The light was too bright, but I picked these up yesterday at some estate sales. I had been wanting to go for weeks, but this weekend was the first to have any.

I picked up the shawl, in yellow and orange; the book Costumes of the East, which has some great pictures of native clothing from all over Asia; and a set of sheets. Not too exciting, except for the insanely rude cashier lady at the sale where I bought the shawl.

Encounter:
Woman in line in front of me asks for prices on a figurine and a book, since nothing was priced.
B****: 3 dollars
W: So would that be 1.50 each, if I wanted to put one thing back?
B: (Ignore) (Answers question of woman across the room) The book is two and the figurine is one. (Glare)
W: Ok, thanks.

Me: Hi, I wanted to know how much these were since they don't have prices.
B: I KNOW they don't have prices. The shawl is one, five total.
M: Does that mean each book is two, because I don't want the paperback if that's the case.
B: (Open hardback) This book was FIFTEEN dollars when it was new!
M: But it's not new, it's old and yellow. (Hands her a 20)
B: (Looks past me and ignores my money.)
M: (Lifts money into her line of sight.)
B: (Snatches away money)
M: You know, it would save you a lot of trouble if you would just put up prices; then, people wouldn't bother you with questions.
B: I COULD NOT possibly do that because some of these books are worth a hundred dollars!!
M: Well, every other estate sale manages to do it. (Walk away)

So I was mildly rude, but she was first. Crazy lady.


I am making some progress on my dress. I put together the whole back. I have made a muslin, torn it apart and cut out the fabric. I keep getting lazy and then making no progress. Oh well, I hope to have it done by Saturday to take some pictures.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reading books?

This school year is so much better than last year, which was my first year teaching, without a classroom (on a cart :( boo) and two subjects instead of one. I actually am really organized now and have free time and a life, which is such a relief!

Thus, I have been reading again, as well as sewing. From the library. I also discovered last weekend that I can check out books in Jefferson Parish using my Orleans Parish card, so now I have a giant, new library to go to as well!

Bad:
Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell. It was the kind of book where you keep thinking it will get better, and then it never does.

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott. It was too old-fashioned, and I was a history major!
Andrew checked out The Search for Modern China and I thought it sounded familiar. Yes, because I read it for a history class on China and own the book. Duh.

Good:

Fragile Beasts by Tawni O'Dell. This was good about two orphan boys and a old woman who takes them in. It sounds cliched, but it wasn't.

Neighborhood Watch by Cammie McGovern, about a librarian who goes to prison for a crime she did not commit and then is later acquitted. It was slow paced, but an interesting perspective.

The Binding Chair by Katheryn Harrison. This is set in China around 1900, following the life of a woman with bound feet. It was very interesting and the plot was excellent and unpredictable. I do think the sex scenes were added for shock value for some reason, and I don't feel like a a prudey prude.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. This book was sweet, about two estranged sisters who are reunited and grow closer as adults. I liked this one the most, by far.

I really only read fiction, and I especially love historical fiction and mysteries, or even historical fiction mysteries- oh! I also read very fast, so I read these in about two weeks.

What do you guys read and how often?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sewing Club

Sewing Club is down to three girls this time, but that's cool. We actually got a lot done. Two are wrapping up their pajama shorts and one is working on a headband pattern.

The old Necchi machine is starting to run better with use. It gets going half the time without having to spin the wheel that moves the needle and is sewing faster than before.

I need to take some pictures next time!

I talked to my brother on the phone instead of cutting out my pattern, so maybe tomorrow!

Closer to the weekend! Woot!