Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

We are fine, completely 100% fine. Our power stayed on. The car, parked on the street, was fine and our cable/internet held till around 9:30.  A small miracle since it normally drops if someone sneezes next door. Even our windows were open for the majority of the day. We were lucky. The photo I posted the other day, of my bag sitting on a bench?  That Dumbo bench was underwater last night. My office building suffered some flooding from the horribly toxic Gowanus Canal, but our space, on the second floor had no damage. I normally walk to work and will do so tomorrow, not sure when the subways will be fully operational. The marathon is this weekend, a very small problem compared to the devastation that effects NJ and the 5 boroughs, but I can't help but feel for those coming (or trying to come) to NYC right now.

We stayed in yesterday, Rire trying to work from home as one by one his coworkers dropped out as their power went. I started sewing assuming the power would go at any minute. Just hoping it wouldn't be mid seam. I roasted a chicken, still assuming the power would go and our last meal should be a good one.

I had no sewing plan, but the longer the power stayed on, the more focused I became on finishing this in one go. The Oliver + S Ice Cream Blouse. I used bits and pieces leftover from other things. It looks like an unintentional homage to my alma mater, which incidentally canceled classes for today for weather related reasons for the first time since I was a student there in 1998. And considering the pummeling Syracuse gets from snow, that's saying a lot.

The front. With stubborn wrinkle that wouldn't iron out. And polka dot lining

The back. With button loop. I like this pattern and think the dress version will need to be made. My intention is to set what I've been making lately aside for Christmas. But I think I need a mini fit model...

Monday, October 29, 2012

tova top, version 2

Tova Top, number two. Wrinkled from wear. And made from remnant fabric found in the depths of Jem's basement. I'm happy with an $8 shirt. I cut the fabric for this on Friday and managed to finish Saturday night. All I had to do was stay up till nearly midnight! That said, it came together quickly (for me) without any major missteps. The small fits me well, the shoulders hitting in exactly the right place. I'm pretty sure my hem is straighter than it looks - no promises though. I took care to finish the interior seams neatly and am rather proud of that. I may fiddle with the collar on a future version.  I can't leave well enough alone. 

And now it's time to figure out what to make next while we still have power.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Friday Saturday Sunday

Amelia is now under the impression I make all of her clothes. While this is widely inaccurate, I hope no one corrects her. Friday I finished the Oliver + S Sailboat Top with fabric from my Gramma's stash. This top was my first time making button holes. Not perfect, but not terrible. Attaching the inside hem piece stumped me for ages. I read, reread, read again. And then finally it makes perfect sense and you feel mighty dumb. The arms seem long and wide at the wrists, so I rolled them for the photo. This is when it would be handy to have the niece living locally, so I could figure out if things fit or not.

This I finished awhile ago, intending to add sleeves. Which I did. But they restricted movement so off they came. I'll make adjustments and try sleeves again another time. It was also crammed in my dresser drawer, excuse the wrinkles. This top sews up so beautifully.

To briefly recap the weekend... Friday morning at Local 61 with Renee. Brainstorming and taking a few photos for an upcoming project. Very excited. Saturday Rire and I headed to Dumbo, lunch at Superfine and then walking around the waterfront. And the photo I have to show for it?  My bag on a bench. I also managed to sew a second Tova, photos coming.

This morning uptown, celebrating Charlotte's 4th birthday. Now home, wondering if Sandy will pack the punch the news promising.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

fall colors

A rat darted out from under a garbage can, directly to my left while I waited to cross the street this morning, in broad daylight. Unacceptable. It ran right into the street and proceeded, Frogger style, to stop and start it way through two lanes of traffic. Somehow it made it and disappeared into the garbage can on the far corner. I hate rats. The rank marginally higher than mice, only because mice want to live in your house. They want to settle in and have their names added to your mailbox. While rats, for the most part are fine living outside in the secrets Nymh tunnels.

In other news, I watched Julie and Julia and realized I still have no idea how to chop onions.

I've also started hoarding fabric.  I finally understand my grandmother.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

big love sewing

Switching gears and back to sewing something for myself.  While watching Big Love. They go surprisingly well together. I'm on season 1. Only 6 years late.

So, the Wiksten tank. This was the first pattern I tackled after taking my brand new sewing machine out of the box. 2 pieces (plus binding) and beautiful French Seams that have forever ruined me because pinked or zig zagged edges now look messy. I raised the neckline slightly for this one, I don't like wearing tank tops under tank tops and the first two flash more bra than I generally like to show anyone that's not my husband.

It's current state is hemmed with a finished neckline. This capped sleeve version has been on my mind since the first time I Google image searched the tank top and I love it...so I'm going to roll the dice and attempt sleeves without a pattern. This could go either way. It's also why I yanked the bolt off the rack and clutched it tightly at P&S Fabrics last weekend.  Plaid!

On a side note, I talked Rire into going to a Relaxation & Meditation yoga class last night. We walked in and someone was already standing on their head. What I had I gotten us into? The instructor glided (seriously, he didn't walk, he glided) over to us and asked in a whisper chant if he had been before? 
But you have yoga experience? 
Just watch closely, only one part moves swiftly, watch me and others around you.
OK.  (Copy off the people next to me? Done.)

It was all going fine, but every time he reminded us to have "no thoughts" I realized my teeth were clenched and I had so many thoughts ping ponging around I didn't know which one to clear first. I don't think that is how it is supposed to work... 

After all that wholesome yoga we got takeout and poured ourselves some wine - to clear our heads.

Monday, October 15, 2012

the good stuff

This was waiting for me when I arrived at work. A splurge for sure. My fabric budget is still decidedly $6/yard and under. Here is the exception. And it's so pretty I'm afraid to actually make anything. Knits and I finally started seeing eye to eye over the weekend. Made by Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee pattern is everything and more. There is a reason it's so popular. Aside from the farmers market we stayed in, lazy like, all weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2012

a workweek's worth of sewing

Elsie Marley's kcwc inspired me to focus just on kids clothing this week. Which by default means clothing for the niece. The fabric requirements are small and the fabric I have on hands lends itself to girly pieces.  Not so much for the 11 year old nephew.  I'm recapping my first 5 days now, while I'm home during daylight hours and can use a proper camera and natural light. Instagram can only do so much.

I finished the long sleeve Ayashe. I really like this pattern. I really wish I had enough of the yellow fabric to make longer ties. Moving on...

Next up a simple elastic waist skirt. Which is simple unless you are me. I wanted pockets, mainly because I thought it would be cute to line them with Birch Organic orange polka dots. Right? That would be so cute! And while I loved the idea, I didn't like my execution. The pockets had to go because now I wanted French Seams on the inside. While the Ayashe looks nice on the outside, I think it's a little messy on the inside (my own doing, not the fault of the pattern). I could avoid all that with the skirt. So I cut off the seams I had sewn and redid it pocketless with tidy little French Seams (not thrilled I lost skirt volume by doing that). The elastic waist does not have enough give, I was oddly stubborn about using the fat quarter width and not adding extra fabric. I have Amelia's waist measurement and this should fit her for about 5 minutes. There was also that time I sewed the waist band in facing the wrong side, but let's not talk about that.

And that brings me to knit fabric. I tried earlier this week and it wasn't pretty. I promptly ordered a walking foot and that was a game changer. Finally! A use for my countless boxy mens fit cotton race shirts. I turned the Al Gordon Snowflake 5K and Staten Island Half Marathon into a 3T pajama top.  I used Made By Rae's Flashback Skinny Tee.  Great, great pattern. I used the existing shirt hem and managed to not sew anything backwards or inside out. It was a good Friday.

Monday, October 8, 2012

KCWC day 1

The day 1 of KCWC plan is to finish my second Ayashe. Things of note, the top stitching on the cuff shouldn't slice straight through the middle.  I know this. And the too short bias stings. Sure to do nothing but annoy the wearer. But I had the worlds smallest piece of fabric (from my Grandma's stash) and I was determined to use it. Amelia may never get to meet her GG, but she will be wearing clothing made of cloth she picked out. I'm even toying with quilting (my Grandma's passion). I'll need a tutorial from my Auntie Karen for that.

As for the rest of the week. Knits. I shall tackle knits. Which thus far has done nothing more than waste a whole lot of thread. Tension? I think? I called my mom for advice. I went to Purl Soho yesterday. To touch the Liberty of London prints in person. So pretty! So not going home with me at this point. I did buy a tiny bundle of Birch Fabrics. Who doesn't love elephants?