Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Still Around but Not for Long

I have been not a very good blogger and I am only back for today. For that reason, this is a long post with many pictures. We had graduation, then a few more end-of-school programs, the last day of school on Thursday, off to Kansas City for weekend softball tournaments. Now back for one day.

First, thanks to the brave men and women. Look at the flags for those who have served from our small town. This is just a fraction of the flags (I would need a super-wide angle lens) and it continues to grow as more names are added (those who have served in the armed forces). It is a breathtaking tribute and helps to remind me of the price many have paid.

We have had so much rain. This is tough for the row-crop farmers, they cannot get their crops in but my flowers are growing a mile a minute. A few pictures:

Isn't this a pretty color of rose?


Flower bed at the back of our home:

A rose, garden phlox and ornamental grass burm. This seperates our yard from the barn yard. I love this burm more and more, it is filling in so nicely. Plus, wonderful textures and colors.

Sewing - yes a quick Simpliciyt 4076, I pleated the neck edge instead of gathering.

Neck edge:

A friend has opened a gift shop and wanted me to make some purses for her to sell. Here are 4 of them. I apologize for the photo quality, snapped four quick pictures before heading off to work.

Beginning o pack bag - early idea with patchwork of the charm

Now off to finish laundry, heading out in 10 hours for a trip. I will be back on Sunday, hoping to get to my sewing room. I had to buy some clothes for this trip, oh, the horrors!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thank you

Thanks all of you for the kind comments on my daughter's accomplishments. We are so proud of her.

This daughter is the very athletic and participated in three sports and will be playing softball in college. The brains and athletics are helping to pay for part of college - hurray.

A funny story. In 6th grade, the language teacher had them write letters. These letters were to be opened when the graduated. The students were to include their goals, the price of gas at that time and then when they graduated, what they thought they would be doing, etc. Also, on this paper the parents were to write a short letter with their dreams and hopes for their child. Well, my daughter brought hers home. She stated in 6th grade her goal for valedictorian, yes, she is very driven. The price of gas at the time $1.83, she thought is would go down by her senior year. Her guess - 88 cents! So funny, isn't it? I thought this was a great idea on the part of the 6th grade teacher.

Oh, Mom2fur commented about dd's speech. The valedictorian(s) do not automatically give a speech, students wanting to give the speech have to "audition" before the speech and language teachers. They write their speech and then give it, the teachers then select 2-3 speakers. My dd did not care to do this.

Design dreamer asked if it was a surprise, no we have known every semester she was ranked 1st, it is printed on their grade card. And yes, this is the daughter that does well in track, in fact, she has two state medals from Friday and Saturday. It was a busy weekend.

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments.

What have I been sewing? Purses, I will take some pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Proud Parents - Incredible Day

See the medal around her neck? My daughter was valedictorian of her class. A three-way tie with 2 other girls, all having a 4.0.

My husband and I are so proud.

I am wearing the dress, it was so comfortable but the picture doesn't show it the best.

Now, this is our second valedictorian, 3 years ago our oldest daughter received this honor, she had a 4.0 and was in a three-way tie.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Simplicity 3678

Pattern Review

Description: Misses’ knit dresses with neckline and sleeve variations.

Sizing: 8 to 16, I made a 12. I couldn’t find finished measurements on the pattern pieces. I am not sure if I was in a hurry and didn’t see them or they were not there. I should have made a 10.

Instructions: The instructions were good but it was pretty straightforward construction.

Likes/Dislikes: I liked the style and the quickness of construction. This is for #2 daughter’s high school graduation on Sunday. I needed quick and cute. I love the shaping of this dress. Take a look at the line drawing, there is a band piece between the bodice and the skirt but the skirt pieces have a very nice waist shaping. Flattering style.
I also like the sleeve - it is cut out double. They have the piece mirrored at the bottom but you could cut it out on the fold. The sleeve seam is sewn, pressed and you fold it right sides together and ta-da no hemming. Here is a picture.
This is such a great idea and easy to incorporate in other patterns. I do think you will have to consider youre fabric and fabric weight.

Changes: I did not cut out the pattern piece for the binding. Instead I measured the pattern bodice pieces subtracted seam allowances and another 3” for stretch. Cut the binding 1-1/2” wide and applied this. I turned in the binding used my coverstitch machine to stitch down the binding, trimming away any excess binding. I added 1” to the bodice for my long torso. The view I made has the crossover bodice, I lapped my bodice an extra 1/2” since I cut a size too big.

The skirt section was too big for my tastes, I took in each side ½” from the waist down. After trying on my garment, I felt the back of the skirt stood away from my body too much. There are gathers in the skirt and I didn’t want to disrupt the look of these. I marked a dart placement and put a 4” dart just below the back band. This dart was 4-1/2” each side of center. This really helped with the fit of the dress and you can’t really see the dart with the paisley print. A picture of this - I added text to show the dart placement:

For you sewing experts, does this mean I need a sway back adjustment? Or is it just the style of the dress?

The dress was long, too, I only added the 1” to the bodice, yet I took 4” off the dress.
Oh, yes, one more. I added 1-1/2" to the sleeve length. Cap sleeves aren't flattering on me.

: A wonderful knit from Ressy’s coop

Conclusion: Just what I needed for my daughter’s outdoor graduation. I couldn’t of asked for a nicer dress, which didn’t require a lot of time. I would like to try the rounded neck version for winter.
In case it is a bit chilly, graduation is outside:
Gotta have new shoes:
I will post a picture of me in the dress on Sunday.
Graduation preparation update:
House is clean, food is purchased, dress is made. I didn't get the windows washed, might get to that this morning, we will see.
DD#2, Erin, runs state track today and tomorrow, senior scholarship night also is tonight. That will be a problem, as she runs one event at 6:30 p.m. and scholarship night is at 7 p.m. The problem, the state track meet is one hour from home!
What a great way for her to end her high school career. I am wishing her good luck and fast legs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pattern Review 1/2008 #108

I am not going to do a full review of this blouse. The construction is just like #107, and you can read about it here

Take a look at the Burda World of Fashion picture. I did eliminate the tie.

I loved Laura Lo's version with the piping and thought I would use it, too. I did use the piping in different areas.

The only thing to check is the sleeve band. You might want to measure your bicep and make sure it isn't too tight. I added 1/2" to my band.

This morning I cut out Simplicity 3678 from very pretty red-cream paisley knit.

Knitting magazines will be mailed tomorrow. I just divided them up the best I could, hope everyone is happy with their package.

Off to move college daughter now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day and More

This is my Mother's Day present and I love it.

Now for the story, a couple of weeks ago, I dropped my small Canon point and shoot, broke it beyond repair. I was disappointed, I liked the little camera to stick in my purse. I have a digital SLR, Canon Rebel with 2 additional lenses. This is great for photographing sports, flowers and other items (when I want to haul my big bag), but I like the little one to have in my purse or pocket and also use for my sewing.

Well, on Wednesday, I bring the twins home from school. Hubby tells them to put on their softball clothes, they have to go to hitting practice. Today I find out this was all a set-up, they put their sweats on over their clothes and head to the camera store. As soon as they were out of sight off came the sweats. Meredith tells me she was so hot in the house with all those clothes on waiting to leave! Isn't that the sweetest? I feel like one special mom.

The kittens name - well, the light color one is Tess, the red one was Jane (the sisters on 27 Dresses) then it was Twizzler (like red licorice) know it is Runt(not flattering but a perfect fit). It is so small and always has been according to the original owners. So the kittens are Tess and Runt.

I just came home from Erin's Baccalaureate, a very nice service. Now one week left until graduation and it is a very busy week. Move college daughter to the city for her summer internship, senior scholarship night and two days of state track meet.

Buttons - white ones are the winner, I liked those the best, too. Now to change the bottom one and take pictures again. I am entering it in the Creative Machine email list contest. I will review the blouse tomorrow.

Tonight I am maybe going to cut out my graduation dress.

Finally, Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Blouse and new kittens

A quick post - heading out for a track meet.

First, do you like the white buttons? I put a different one on the bottom one to show a comparison.

Here it is BWOF 1/2008, review later.

See our new kittens, they are so small

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spring Cleaning Continues

Another room is clean and ready for graduation. During my cleaning, I found a stack of knitting magazines. At one time, I thought I would knit more. After some thought and knitting a baby hat, I decided no more new hobbies. I barely have time for the ones I have now.

So if you are interested, leave a comment in the blog. State which magazine you would like and I will take care of mailing it to you. I will just go in the order of comment posts. Also, send an email to lori_michael@hughes.net with your mailing address.

I must of really liked this issue - I have two!

Sewing: All that is left is sleeves and buttonholes. Then to the graduation dress.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sewing, Cleaning and Flowers

Graduation is 11 days away. Here is my to-do list
  1. Spring cleaning, 4 rooms done, 3 to go.
  2. Windows to wash
  3. Front porch to clean
  4. Plan the Graduation party menu
  5. Sew my dress, I do have a pattern in mind.
  6. Feed 14 on Friday night, pasta dinner to give the track athletes energy for the sectional meet.
  7. Record a podcast.
  8. Plus all the other end-of-school activities
  9. Move college daugther to the city for her summer internship.

I think that is it for now, I am sure I will be adding to that list.

I have been getting up early a few mornings to sew. Currently, I am working on BWOF 1/2008, #108. I have made #107 and it is very similar. I plan to enter this blouse in the Yahoo Group, Creative Machine's blouse contest. My very first ever contest!

We have had plenty of rain, every few days. Great for my garden, not so good for the farmers in our area needing to get in the field. As I was spring cleaning, I looked at my garden, while it was raining.

This rose bush and garden phlox is growing by the minute. A couple of weeks ago, the garden angel was taller than the plants, now it is hidden.

A spring bloomer:

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Skirt, I Feel Better

My wadder has been saved, I feel much better about the project and my fabric.

I added darts to the back of the skirt, used the black waistband from the dress as the facing for the skirt and that was it.

My skirt in a dressy outfit:

Red knit tunic - more casual, you don't see the welts here:

Very casual and summery.

The welts do hang better on my body, they are hitting at the end of the dressform and it is making them look a bit funny.

I am off to sew a bit, working on a blouse for the blouse contest on the Creative Machine email list on Yahoo. I cut it out last night and the deadline is May 12th.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It was a Dress

Okay, I love this dress, BWOF 4/2008 #118 but it didn't love me! First, I think it was my fabric combination, second, some of my alterations from the muslin and third, my zipper for the front and fourth my many mistakes and I would think of them each time I would have worn it (and that would have driven me crazy).

Here it is:

I added too much length to the bodice as you can tell. I love the fabric but it is too busy for this dress design, at least in my opinion.

If you are going to make this dress things to look for:
  1. The bodice pattern piece does not have as much length as it appears in the finished garment's photograph
  2. Check the zipper length for the bodice.
  3. If you add length to the bodice, add length to the front band (I forgot and didn't have extra fabric, I just pieced the black band but you could see the seam)
  4. The welt pockets have a pleat on the bottom, I didn't see this and my skirt would not line up, then I took a good look at the pattern pieces in the instructions and realized my mistake.
  5. You need 2 zippers, the front one and an invisible one in the side seam.

So that is it, I think. My dress wadder and now nothing to wear for my daughter's graduation in 12 days. I have a very pretty red and white knit, I will look for a nice, simple dress pattern. I need simple!

What about the title? Well, like Linday T Sews reinvented a dress into a tunic, I reinvented the dress into a skirt, I just had to do something, the fabric is just too wonderful. Pictures coming soon.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Pattern Review 3/2008 #113

Pattern: Burda World of Fashion 3/2008 #113

Description: Fitted wrap-over blouse with gentle neck flounces, butterfly sleeves and a pretty little peplum.

Sizing: 36 to 44, I made a 38

Instructions: They were pretty good, this is a fairly simple top to construct. I did use Cabin Baby’s (from Pattern Review) tip on her blog to finish the neckline a bit nicer.

Likes/Dislikes: I like the flounces and peplum, just a fun summer top. I really liked the lettuce edging and was so happy to finally accomplish a nice lettuce edging. Until this point, my letter grade for Lettuce Edges 101 was a “F” for failed miserably. I set my serger up for a 3-thread narrow hem and this was just the right setting. I had it in my head I needed a rolled hem. Yea, I will not have to repeat Lettuce Edges 101, I am ready for the 200 level classes!

Changes: Other than the neckline finish, no changes.

Fabric: Knit from Gorgeous Fabrics.

Conclusion: Another BWOF winner and another summer top for my wardrobe.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Quick Post and Picture and Catch-up

I am going to try and post each day in May (for the rest of May), as I have been such a bad blogger these last two weeks.

First, my latest project, BWOF 3/2008, #113, I will write the review tomorrow.

Today, I went to my 4th track meet of the week. Let's see, two for the twins, today for my niece, one for senior daughter and then senior daughter has district track meet tomorrow. That will be track meet number 5! I am tired but the twins are done and senior daughter can be done anytime. She has to place in the top four of her events to advance onto sectionals.

I did swing by a Hancock's today and did some shopping. I bought 3 different fabrics, some serger thread, two zippers and Kwik Sew 3558. I bought some silk wool at Hancock's to make the short sleeve version. Check out the back. I noticed this one in the latest Threads.
Thanks for the kind comments on Erin's prom dress, no I did not make it. We purchased it way back in January, she tried on several and didn't like them too much. Then she tried on this one and she knew it was the one.