Friday, July 29, 2011

My New System and a quiz!

Moving forced to me pack, unpack and organize all of my sewing supplies and I was amazed at the number of unfinished projects I had crammed into some drawers. I also have at least twenty patterns that I have never even unfolded. 

My new plan is that I must do this in order:
1. Make a fun project of my choice
2. Make curtains for one room of the house
3. Finish an unfinished project. 

When I run out of rooms, that will become make up an unused pattern. So, for example, I made my interview dress (1), then I made kitchen curtains (2), and then I dug through my drawer to finish something. I had long ago bought these two panels of fabric at garage sales, meaning to make pillows. Of course, I never did. 

 Scary owl on canvas. The back is unbleached muslin, which I had on hand.
 Crazy parrot. The back is bleached muslin. I secretly love when people write muslim instead of muslin- it makes me giggle every time. Talk about spelling changing the meaning of your sentence! "I made a muslim of this pattern." You what?
Time: Less than 2 hours

Notions: White thread (already had)

Fabric: Muslin and pillow panels

Cost: Less than $5

Here were some home decorating fabrics that I liked for the bathroom. I am making a curtain to cover the door-less closet and a shower curtain cover. It will need a lot of fabric.
Boats were 10.99/yd, the circles were 19.99/yd, the green with flowers is  10.99/yd. I did get the Jo-Ann app on my phone, which is great because you can save coupons in it, and then I always have them with me. 
I love this one, but is it (gasp) 39.99/yd. But it's so cute!

So vote which one you think is best. Our bathroom has that rental "charm" of having been painted cream color 96 billion times. The counter and tiles are also beige. I want something that is soothing, yet will distract you from the ugly bathroom.
Which fabric should I use for the bathroom?
Tomorrow some friends of Andrew's family are giving us two suede sofas! How nice is that! So I baked some peach pies to give them one as a thank you. I finally mastered good crust using Crisco. Crisco itself is repulsive, but it makes flaky pie crust.

The middle one was my leftover bits, that's why it's so ugly. We ate it last night and it was delish!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Curtains 2-8: Lemony Snkitchen

My next curtain project was the kitchen because we needed to cover the window on the back door. The lemon yellow fabric really brightens up the kitchen and makes it very festive. 
 I gave the door curtain tabs because I didn't think the tiny, cheap curtain rod could withstand very much gathering. It serves its function by letting in some light, while freeing the neighbors of seeing us drink beer in our underwear.
 These are three piece curtains, just to frame the windows and look cute. These two windows look out onto brick walls, so no one can see in. I love them, they're so peppy!
 The smaller window is in the same style, with three pieces.
 Time: About 2-3 hours.

Fabric: Quilting cotton from Jo-Ann, the selvage said  "juicy" by Alexander somebody...
 Notions: Yellow thread, which I already had

Cost: $30, which is great since I got seven "panels" out of it. You know that trick at the store, where the package picture has a nice window with two curtains but each pouch only has one panel, if you read the fine print. Sneaky.
This picture is a little blurry, but I wanted to showcase my lemon tree yarn embroidery from a garage sale. It's pretty 70s out, and spectacular.

Next, I am making navy blue shorts. I felt the need...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The "Interview ME" Dress

Well, I have finally finished this dress! Maybe it will be a good sign, and someone (anyone!) will call me about a job. I hate job hunting- it's depressing and no one has called me. I think part of it is that I haven't taken any of the endorsement tests yet, because the next one is on Sept 10 and the last one was on July 9, the day we were driving a moving truck across the country. Until you take one, you aren't considered qualified to teach your subject area. So, I will take the French test, the history test and the LBST I, which is for special ed teaching assistants. But, unless someone miraculously calls me before school starts after Labor Day, it seems I may end up spending some time waitressing and substitute teaching....Wah! But I did that while I was getting my Master's degree and it paid the bills, so.... I am trying to stay positive!

Anyways- here is my pattern.The picture on the right, with the collar. 
Time: I made it over several days, maybe 3-4 hours. 

Fabric: light grey pinstripe "summer suiting", lining is a pinky skin color, both from Jo-Ann

Notions: one 14 inch zipper

Cost: I am sure I used a coupon, but it all cost less than $20. 

Picture were taken on the back staircase because I didn't feel like tottering around the neighborhood in heels.
 The collar got an extra pressing, and it doesn't flip up like that anymore.
 I did a side zipper and the hem by hand, while watching Law & Order.
 Our backs.
 Tiny T-Rex.
 Here's my whole interview outfit. Banana Republic jacket from two years ago, off white patent leather shoes from Dillards, and the white bag was from K-Mart of all places. It came with a tiny white umbrella inside. :)
Fully lined, a rarity in Molly Land!

So, it's good for an interview and hopefully I will get one, so I can wear my lucky white jacket and become employed! Woot woot! Wish me luck, it seems like I need some!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Curtain 1- Bedroom

This will be the first in a million part series called "Curtains." Hmm, did not notice the lack of mini-blinds in the rental before moving in. Obviously, the bedroom curtain was deemed the most important. The neighbor's house end just before our bedroom, so the window looks out onto their yard, six windows of the next house over, and the back of an apartment building. That's a lot lot of potential eyeballs spying on me. 
 I am still working on hanging up pictures.
 Here's the before window. Piercing sunlight.
Also, I was nice (for once) and gave Andrew the big closet. HWHAT?
 So, as you can see, I really made a curtain, not curtains. Meh. I bought the last of this bolt of fabric, which was 2 5/8 yards. I made a tube at the top and hemmed the bottom. I turned the long sides under once, because I doubt the selvages will fray. It is just wide enough- yay! Total cost- $12.
 It has multicolored bikes all over it. It's nice and dark to block out the sun. I tricked the dog into sleeping until 9:40 today! Hahahahaha, he thought it was still night!

 I also made two ribbon ties, so you can have some light if you want. That would be my Molly's Ew for this one; I thought I was being all careful and precise and then we hang up the curtain and one tie is about a foot higher than the other. Did I go back and fix it? Oh, hell naw!

Have a great weekend! Our horrific heat wave has now passed to the east coast, so if you live there- sorry, but not really!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My NEW Sewing Room!

I am quite pleased with the dining room, aka my sewing room. Not only is it bigger than before, it has that awesome built-in buffet along the wall. The light is pretty good and I have already made one curtain for the bedroom and half of my "interview dress." 
 Plus, I have the ironing board right there. Before, I walked across the house to the laundry room to iron things. But, I did. I am an advocate of "sew, trim threads, press seams". The back door leads to the back porch (yes, there is a front porch too!), so if anyone classy was coming over, I could throw my ironing board and dummy and tub of patterns back there for a bit. Fortunately, I don't know anyone classy.
 Also, I have the little tv hooked up in the corner. This solves the problem of sewing to the sounds of Andrew machine gunning people down on some Xbox game. Lol.
 Like I said, the cabinet is built-in and I not only have a place to store my Wedgwood china, but I have all these drawers to tuck my things away in. I also have the top to toss things on so we can actually eat at the dining room table like real people. It's shocking, I know, but we have managed it two nights in a row!
 Here's my dress in progress. It is going to be fully lined, so it's about half done right now.
The dining room is open to the kitchen, but I cleverly cut it out of all my pictures. It is really messy, and it's too hot for me to care. It's 98 degrees and all I have is a fan! T-Rex and I have just been lying on the floor in front of the fan, panting and sweating, respectively. Yipes!

Curtain pictures tomorrow. You like my sewing room? Jealous? I hope so, I am quite pleased about it. Toodles!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Flouncy White Dress- First Pix in Chicago!

Just to recap, this was my pattern inspiration. An Azzaro cotton dress that cost $2,741. Lol. I "drafted" my own pattern for this one, sort of. I used the bodice of the pattern I am going to make my grey interview dress out of, to test for fit. That turned out to be wise, since I really need to shorten the bodice at least an inch. The sleeves I drafted on paper to be five lump scallops. The skirt is just a drindl, a big rectangle gathered at the waist and the ruffle is the same. 
 On to construction:
It was easy to make. I originally did the side-boob darts, but this fabric was a pain. It really likes to stretch out on the diagonal. So I ended up with some wildly pointing uneven lines. I took them out and left it loose. Instead of waist darts, I made small gathers like the inspiration dress. It's not very obvious, but it makes the bodice looser. The back has waist darts. Pictures were taken walking the dog to the river, which sis a few blocks away.
 All layers of this dress are doubled up because the fabric was so sheer. I thought it would be pretty lightweight, but it is rather heavy. The bodice and back were done first and turned right side out because the fabric also frays terribly. I then made the sleeves (again, doubled) and just top-stitched them down. They are floppy and cute.
 The waistband is about an inch wide and drops a little below my natural waist line. Fortunately not to the "dropped waist" point that I hate so much (and Lisette- I know I am not the only one!)
 The skirt was easy to make. It is double layer rectangle that I gathered at the waist to the appropriate size. I then added the bottom ruffle to it. The ruffle was easy because it is just folded in half and attached, so there was no need to hem! Yay!
 Below you can see the Molly's Ew for this project. I put in the metal zipper in a very half-assed, on-the-machine-with-no-basting fashion, and you reap what you sew. (Edit- I went back to spell sow correctly, but I made a pun! By accident! It stays.) So I have an incongruous, semi-exposed zipper on a girly dress. Meh, at least it's a side zipper. Maybe the lump of hair on the back of my head will distract you!
While slightly warm for today's 93 degree weather, I am sure it will get a lot of use. The ruffle bounces while I walk and it looks very nice. Overall, pretty nice and I'm glad to be finished with it.

Is anyone else obsessed with the weather on their phone? I have New Orleans (77 rain), Chicago (93), Salem, Or  (parents- 67 rain) and Ulsan, South Korea (brother- 75 nighttime). I find it really interesting to compare the weather in my four places of interest. I would add Paris, but the weather there remind me very much of Oregon- gray and rainy.

Anyways, I made a curtain for the bedroom, so soon I will have some of the house to show you. I am also reading a play in French to try to improve my French, since I have been applying to French and History job openings. More on that later!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Oh, hai! 80s pants refashion/ Goodbye New Orleans!

I originally bought these pants at an estate sale in May. I thought it was more recent, but I had to go way back on the blog to find a link. They were terribly 80s in the worst way- high, tight waist, peg legs, poofy hips. In a word, sexy. Ha!

Stephanie and I have spent too much time discussing that extremely short shorts seem to be "in" right now, based on how many I see everywhere. I thought this would be an excellent refashion, to make these pants into short, sexy shorts. As a joke, obviously. We also wore our matching Oscar the Grouch shirts, bought at Walmart on a beach trip. I made them into shorts by hacking them off about 1 inch below the crotch and then fancying them up with my pinking shears. Oh la la!

We went to a colorful, local playground to highlight the delicious colors of our outfits. 
Oh hai!

This is by far the best picture- in the air and we even managed to touch hands!

This was the "try to slide without burning the flesh off of your legs" picture

All in all, it was a fun last photo shoot in New Orleans!

I am now officially in Chicago and setting up the house. Bleh moving is un-fun! We now have an enormous apartment that is pretty great, but it has no mini-blinds. Also, there is an enormous Jo-Ann about 5 minutes away. Yay! So expect to see many before/after curtain posts over the summer. I am starting to sew cold weather clothes already. I doubt I will need any more sundresses. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Dress In Progress...

Once again, I am copying a dress from a magazine. It is hard to see in the picture, but it has little scalloped sleeves and gathers at the waist instead of front darts, plus the three tier skirt. If you can read it, this cotton dress sells for 2,741 dollars. Oh my lord! Cotton? Maybe if it was made out of clouds and silver, lol. 
 Anyhoo, my fabric is rayon so it does not have the stiffness to do the scallops on the skirt. I am doing a side zipper, so the waist will be more fitted, it just isn't pinned shut. I self-lined the bodice, so that is isn't completely see-through.
I ran out of fabric, so I had to buy more. Then I hit a mental block. I just haven't been able to get motivated to finish it. Plus all I have been doing is cleaning the evil bathroom and packing boxes. That is both boring and tiring. I have also read a book a day since I went to the library on Thursday. They are all sappy chick-lit books and are pretty ridiculous!

Maybe if I take a nap I will feel peppy and ready to sew!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Garage Sale Loot!!!

Stephanie and I went to some garage/estate sales today. I only found three good ones, probably because it's a holiday weekend. We went to a "moving sale" that was really an estate sale. There were a lot of cool lamps, but I am moving so I did not need to buy them. Stephanie bought a parade chair. Hmm, that's what I call them- people use them for sports events and camping, etc.

The next one was people who buy storage spaces that people have stopped paying rent on and then sell the contents. We went because there was a ton of teacher stuff. Stephanie got a bunch of checkers games and a ton of stickers. 6th graders LOVE stickers- even the boys. I love the 6th graders and I will miss teaching them!

The last one was a real estate sale, run by a company, but the prices were reasonable. Stephanie saw a cute set of china for 75 bucks. It was a brown pattern with different views of houses, like a farm house, or a French Quarter house, etc. There were about 3-4 different images. This was the cutest:

That's just the picture, there was no coffee pot. So she decided to think about it while we looked at the other stuff.

This was the awesome wallpaper in the kitchen!
 Stephanie found a really old-school stapler that she was incredibly excited about. It seems a former teacher of hers had one and she was always very envious.
 I only bought this. It's maybe 4 by 6 inches and the mouse is a thumbprint and it says "There's nobody else like you!" and all of the little colored shapes have other nice compliments. It's cute.

By the time we were done looking, Stepanie decided she liked the china and made me go make an offer. But some lady had bought it, WHILE we were looking around! Stephanie was sad. Lesson learned- there is no time for thinking at estate sales, you have to snatch up what you want asap! 

Angie, a reader, sent me an email and suggested I should do a post on how to find good garage/estate sales. I would like to, if anyone else is interested, and then we could have a discussion and you could leave your tips in the comments! Anyone down for that?

Have a great 4th of July weekend!