Saturday, July 26, 2014

Don't Cut Corners

I have learned my lessons.  I am stitching those corner motifs at the same time as the fun, new center design.

Because I am using fabrics from the stash, I have become increasingly more concerned that I won't have enough of the fabric that I have been using for the corner leaves and buds since I only have a fat quarter of each of those fabrics.
The first 6 blocks have the same corner bud fabrics, but 7,8,9, 12,13,14, 17,18,19 will have buds in similar, but different fabrics.  If I was ...(cooler, more organized, OCD) I could have made that even more intentional.  Meanwhile I am pleasantly optimistic that it will all work out.  Back to stitching.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Caught Up

I am finally caught up on the Benjamin Biggs Applique.

This block 6 reminded me how time consuming making nice circles can be.

When I fell behind before, I quickly made the centers.  But it took just as long to add the corner buds this weekend.

Lesson learned.  Not calling it "done" until the buds are finished.

Started block 7, but at the rate I'm moving, will likely take me a couple weeks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Aaaah Applique

At long last I had a few hours to spend on some applique.

I finished 4 of these corner motifs on one of the Benjamin Biggs blocks and prepared a few more. Those bumpy leaves take more time than I remembered, making the curves as smooth as possible.

I really must finish the corners before moving on to the next block.

I also finished the double leaves and 3 of the 4 center stems on block 6.

We had 2 back-to back vacations on the motorcycle where I was well behaved and drove right past known fabric stores.  With one exception.  When we stopped in Dillon, Montana I thought it seemed like the kind of place that would have a nice quilt shop.  Turns out I was right.

Looks like we'll be home for a while now, and with the 100+ F temps we're having, I'll be spending evenings inside doing applique.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Purple Mumu

Despite the fact that I didn't like how the dress turned out, I wore it to the 30th class reunion.  Here's my twin brother from another mother, Rob.

Jana was his other date.
He bought wrist corsages for his sister-wives.

Since we rode over, we had to take the curvy mountain route. 
(Stanley, Challis, Salmon, Dillon, day-trip to Jackson)
 Here are some bonus shots of booze & spectacular backdrops.  
Sawtooth Mountains, Stanley Idaho
Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole Wyoming

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Not quilting

No quilting for me lately.   I've been hand stitching all the pleats on this cocktail dress for my 30th class reunion.

Unfortunately, things did not work out quite like I planned and it is unfolding to be a sheer mumu.

It won't be sexy, but it will be comfortable.

My hubby gets time off for good behavior.  I'm going to the events with my gradeschool BFF Rob.  This is us from the 3rd grade class photo.

I bought this to wear to the mixer.  Rob is also planning on plaid so we can have a proper reunion photo.

And my other reason for not quilting, is that I've been doing this.  With more on the horizon. 6 days on the bike and not a single fabric store.  OMG.  What is the world coming to????

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Sewing Clothing

Can I start by complaining that sewing 3-dimensional objects is unreasonably difficult.

I finally managed to make a basic tank top pattern that fits my curves and hides my bra.

It took several hours and many tries.

It started with my favorite bra.  A Victoria's Secret that has an option to hook the straps together at the center back.

And in case you are wondering.... it's being modeled by Bertha Belle.   I followed some on-line directions on how to make a personalized dress form with duct tape.   I was later offered a free dress form, so the duct tape one is over the real one, picking up some of my lumps and bumps, but not really an accurate representation.

This dress is a RTW that is one of my favorite knit dresses.  It nearly covers the bra and is loose and comfortable.

So last night I had it and my custom woven tank dress pattern laid out, trying to figure out how to combine the best of each for a nude knit under-layer for my Class Reunion dress.

At this point I opted for another glass of wine and bed.

This morning I started drafting a pattern.  I took the t-shirt pattern I nearly perfected last year, the tank dress pattern that fits pretty well, and my best prediction of the distance and angles representing adaptations to match the bra configuration. Then I pinned it on Bertha, added some lines and then drew out a pattern.

I volunteered an old t-shirt for the job.

The neck line was close, but still too wide at the shoulders.

The underarm was a complete mess!!!!

Too much fabric.

Too flared.

Just plain awful.

And the back in no way covers the bra.


Next round of correction attempts included taking 1" off the back straps, removing a 1"  wedge from the underarm on the back.

The problem with the front is completely about the boobs.  I learned to sew when I was a 34 A.  I am now a 38 C.  After a half dozen other attempts, I concluded that this was only ever going to work with a dart.

A second t-shirt was called into service.
I made a series of changes to the pattern and tried again.
There was one post sewing adaptation to get the underarm seam even.

I may try making the dart a little shorter so it's less noticeable.

That 2" is critical to a form fitting design.

 I also ended up raising the back neck-line to cover the bra.
And, here it is on my real body.
Clearly, I need to pump up Bertha's hips to match mine.
Hmmmm... what's with those wrinkles?

Looks like I might want to add some bootie volume.

But the arm-pit / boob issue is a success!

Wait?  how can the shirt look even across the front with the straight on view, but rise up from the side?

Ug.  I hate 3-D sewing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wed WIP 6-11-14

Last weekend I finished UFO #6 for the year.  I know that should be a point for celebration, but instead it's time to decide where to put my next focus.   Things are never as simple as they appear.  This photo represents my dilemma.
1) Seasonal:  My cherries are ripe.  I should be picking them instead of making this post.  My garden needs a lot of attention, more than I have time to give to it.  I would at least like to give priority to growing food, and will let the neighbors judge me by my poor weeding attitude.
2) Events:  3 major events over the next month will be altering my plan from normal.
A) 30th Class reunion.  This involves time off from work, travel, and a wardrobe I've been planning for months but haven't started sewing (or buying).   I'm only behind on outfits for the 2 main events, a formal dance and a Turkey Trot.  It's Idaho.  That's code for a cowboy themed cocktail party.  (Sorry, I don't make this stuff up, just report on it.)  Good news is that the logistics are all worked out, and I guess I could always show up in flip-flops and cut-off jeans.
B) Ride: A 6 day long distance motorcycle ride with the Motorcycle Club.  Last week I took my longest single day ride (350 miles) and started to panic.  I ordered an extra set of pegs for a 3rd foot position on my highway bars that arrived today.  I also ordered (not pictured) a USB port charger that fits on my battery tender wiring so I can charge my phone and music while I ride.  I ordered it on Amazon and needed 1 more thing to push me over to free shipping.  Thus the Aunt Millie's Garden pattern that was on my "wish list".  Now it's just another Bright Shiny Object to distract me from the UFO list.
C) Drama:   I have a 20 year old daughter.  That is probably a complete story without details.  Short version is that the latest transition involves the end of a boyfriend, moving out of an apartment, and moving with a (girl) friend hopefully closer to work.  Bad news is that there is at least a 2 week gap in which her stuff and self will be with us.  Sewing room becomes a guest room and garage a storage area.  Happy to help.  Hopeful it really goes as planned.
3) Projects:  With all of the above, I'm trying to think about all low volume hand work projects.  The "bad mustache frowny face or masked man evil eyebrows" (depending on the angle) project on the bottom right is actually the June block from the Benjamin Biggs Quiltalong.  This is one of the few projects I consider a legitimate WIP as compared to a UFO.  I'm keeping up! (ish).  OK, there are some missing buds.  Don't judge.  I'm thinking about transitioning the Esther Aliu Love Entwined to a baby quilt.  Sorry.  I get excited about certain aspects of her projects then wander off distracted by more bright shiny objects.  May move this up the queue just to remove it from the WIP list.  I'm also considering dropping the William Morris Quilted Skirt from the plan, considering it a "proof of concept" project and turning it into a rather dull baby quilt.  (grey??? maybe with some fuchia or teal).