Friday, February 27, 2009

Please don't feel sorry for me

I made mention in an earlier post this week about going through something right now...well that something is that at 9:51 a.m. yesterday morning I was informed that I have breast cancer. I had a breast biopsy on Monday. I've been home all week waiting by the phone for the results and when do I get it? about the same time I locked the keys to my new Cadillac in the car in my purse. I could see the keys through the window. Excuse me! You're not supposed to be able to lock the keys in the new Caddy's! Did I mention I was in the parking lot at the bowling alley! WTF! And yes I do have Onstar. Yikes! There's a recall on the unit in my car and it's on backorder. I might as well be using public transportation! Oh, got the call from the Imaging Center while I was talking to roadside assistance! When it rains it pours. But you know what...please don't feel sorry for me because I have a wonderful life.

What has kept me going through all of this is sewing, blogging and reading sewing blogs. I want to thank, Omega, Lisa H, Carolyn and especially Faye. I check your blogs frequently. Faye thanks to you I now have perfect fitting slacks. Since Monday I've made six pairs of slacks--one muslin, three pretests and two finished pair! The photo of your slacks looked so good it made me want the same.

The jacket I recently finished matches the pants.
I'm also working on the muslin for Butterick 5138. Since sewing keeps my mind off of my plight, I expect to have the blouse done in a few days and then it's on to other projects. I might have cancer but I still gotta look good! In the meantime you all keep on blogging but remember...don't feel sorry for me because I have a wonderful life!

Friday Gadget review...Tilt'able sewing platform

The Tilt'able™ is a moulded sewing platform that tilts the machine forward and allows you to maintain a better posture when sewing. It comes with extra little feet to allow for height adjustments.

At first I was skeptical when I saw this at our local sewing expo. Even after I sat down for a test run I waited another year before I bought it. I think the price was right around $100 and although I had the cash...I wanted to be sure. So I simply stuffed a book under the backside of my machine. It wasn't the same so at the same expo a year later I bit the bullet and I am not sorry I did. I love this thing! No more sore back and shoulders from craning my neck . It also comes with a neat little mat to place under your presser foot to keep it from sliding around and another accessory to place your left foot on so that you are sitting upright.

If you get an opportunity to get one, run don't walk

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Scissors Row

I made a comment about "scissors row" in my blog yesterday. Here's a picture.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A little of this & that and a giveaway

This has been an interesting week for me(more on that some other time) but I have been sewing. Am putting the finishing touches on the jacket I've been working on forever and a day. I love sewing and machine knitting and I am passionate about the tools of my trade. I've one particular pair of scissors since my college days (eons ago) but honestly, I never imagined my life without them. They've been with me through countless relationships, at least 6 moves, and several sewing machines. They're so dull they probably couldn't cut air, but they are the perfect pattern trimmers. They've fallen on the floor at least a thousand times or more and until now have been indestructible. They have their own designated hanging spot on "scissors row." The other night I accidently knocked them off of my cutting table and on impact I heard a sound that was totally foreign to me--I knew it was bad. When I retrieved my beloved pattern trimmers...this is what I found...join me in a moment of silence please...

I can still use them but if I pinch my fingers even once, in the trash they are going and I'll be in search of some new ones!

I love my fiance' to death and tell him all the time. I would certainly be reluctant to replace him like I'll easily do my beloved pattern trimmers. After all, how many guys will sweep and mop your little piece of heaven (sewing & knitting space) and will do so around all of the crap you have on the floor...we don't even live together...whatta guy!

Last but not least, I found two dozen of these bobbins in my sewing room. Haven't owned the machine they are for in quite a few years. They were for a Singer Creative Touch machine. Several other Singer machines used them also. If you or someone you know know can use these just say so. First come, first serve. I also have an embroidery unit and 4 or 5 cartridges for a Singer 6268 machine. If you can use them, just say so. They're free. I'll pay the postage for the bobbins but you'll have to pay the postage for the embroidery unit and cartridges!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday gadget review...Ring Pincushion

On Fridays I'm going to try and give a brief review of a sewing or knitting gadget that I have in my stash. I've got lots of them and hope the info will be useful and fun!

I picked this ring pin cushion up a couple of weeks ago at Joann's. I bought it because it was on clearance for $2.97 regularly $11.97. I certainly wouldn't have paid $12 for it, but for $3 I absolutely love it. I've used the wrist pincusions but always wind up putting too many pins in it and ultimately stab myself repeatedly. This little cutie is just perfect. It's adjustable and can be worn on any size finger and wearing in on the pointer finger is in the right place at the right time. It sometimes gets in the way if for some reason I have to have my hand underneath the garment in the construction process but all in all I'd give it an A+!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I hit the jackpot!

Can you believe that my fiance' was getting ready to throw these out. Is he nuts? I have confiscated them and in a few hours they are going to house my unruly stash of patterns. Finally I'll be able to get them all organized.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sleeve woes

I spent the weekend redoing the sleeves of my jacket. I decided the sleeve was too tight because the cap wasn't nearly wide enough. I started with a totally different sleeve pattern did I full arm adjustment. Next I cut it out of muslin and sewed onto my actual garment.

In the beginning the sleeve cap was wide enough but not nearly high enough and the entire sleeve was extremely twisted when I lined up the underarm with the side seam. I get that twist with RTW as well...obviously my arms are weird. Six sleeves and adjustments later--yes I acutally sewed and removed six different sleeves--I wound up with what I need. Thank goodness for muslin. I had to rotate the sleeve seam about 1" forward to get rid of the twist. Another stumbling block was that I hade to remove the left sleeve another five times to get it in with out puckers and wound up lowering the armhole a little and trimming the cap height a little. The second sleeve went in without any problems. Now I just have to decide whether I will leave the sleeves long or make them 3/4 as the pattern called for.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I love this sweater

I finished my sweater and wore it to work today. I love this sweater. It's made of 3 strands of 14/2 cotton on the Passap DM80 machine. It's extra comfy. I got lots of boss even suggested I make one for her...NOT! I'm going to be too busy digging through my yarn stash for yarn to make another one. The only thing I will do different next time is to not make the neckline as wide. Because the sleeves/yoke is knit sideways and the yarn is 100% cotton, the neck seemed to get wider as the day went on. I'm going to thread some thin elastic through the cut and sew casing and cinch it up a bit. Other than that I love, love this sweater. Check me out in my new threads!

P.S...I've already accomplished one of my monthly goals...knit one sweater a month!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Am I lucky or what?

The jacket that I made last week and was only 85% happy with was really weighing heavy on my mind. I decided my satisfaction level could be much higher if the sleeves weren't so tight. Although I purchased the fabric from JoAnn's in about November I decided to just purchase more fabric and redo the sleeves. Of course, to my disappointment, neither store in my area had any.

Today I took a 30 mile drive to the location most likely to have the fabric I needed. They didn't have any either but they did have a listing of all the JoAnn's in Michigan and gave me a copy. Sitting in the parking lot and with trusty cell phone in hand, being put on hold for more than 10 minutes--I hung up, called back and demanded to speak with the manager and made a point of saying I wouldn't tolerate being put on hold--I found a store another 20 miles away from where I was that was pretty sure they had some. Did I mention I didn't have the SKU#? Driving at the speed of light, nearly, I got there and sure enough they had it. I got an additional two yards...on sale of course. I figure I can now make a matching skirt. I'm on cloud 9! Driving 100 miles round trip was worth it.

In the meantime, I waiting to get my latest knitting project out of the dryer. My Red Sweater Knitalong sweater came out better than I imagined. I can't wait to wear it. Here's a photo of it before I put the neckband on. Everybody is wearing red at work tomorrow so I'll be finished with it just in time. My goal was to have it ready for Valentine's Day who'da thunk I'd get it done and worn before deadline! And yes...I'm still going to wear it Saturday.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Foray to fit

Since about 2006 I have been on a journey to make better fitting garments...that's easier said then done. Actually I haven't made any woven garments for quite sometime because I was so unhappy with the fit of the pattern I'd been trying. I've made a few jackets out of machine knit yardage and have sewn with Slinky quite a bit. Anyway I am more determined than ever to get to the bottom of my fit issues. Mostly I'm waiting for the Connie Crawford workshop. In the meantime I've said I wouldn't try on my own...but that is just not my nature.

Although I have a pretty extensive sewing library, I've been fretting over Vogue 8151, since at least December. I guess I should say that I absolutely love jackets /suits. Whether it be skirts or slacks I like having a coordinated outfit that I can pull right from the closet, throw on with matching shoes and be fabulous. So far in my foray to fit, I've made two muslins,and two out of fabic I just had laying around. For the last couple of days I've really been itching to sew something for myself but stressing about the fit. Last night I threw caution to the wind and got some decent fabric out of my stash and "went for it." After scrounging around for all my altered pieces I realized that I didn't have quite enough fabric. Not a problem, the sleeves are a little shorter than the pattern called for. I cut and marked the fabric and fused the interfacing in place. This morning I put it all together and other than some minor changes, I'm okay with it. I don't love it but with a little work on the pattern I could get there.

I think I need to make a high round back and a sleeve width adjustment. I'm about 85% pleased with the fit. As far as the pattern I liked it fine until I got to the collar. It didn't have a back facing. I don't know if I lost it or not but I don't like that extra bulk that is added when you have to snip into the upper collar at the shoulder seam and do a lot of folding back etc. then stitch down. The next time I make this jacket I'll make a back facing and eliminate that problem. Of course if I had been able to locate the instruction sheet that might have helped too!

Then came buttons. Like more sewers I've got a stash that will last me to the grave. Dug through it and found the perfect button. Perfect until I realized I only have four. The pattern called for only four but I would rather use five because I like to make sure that I have a buttonhole at the fullest part of my bust so that there won't be any gapping. Try as I might, I couldn't located a fifth one. Maybe I'll just omit the top most button...I'm very flexible.

In all I've learned a lot. I was very surprised that the armhole I've worked out almost matches exactly the one for Connie Crawford's Butterick 5300. Then again the jacket does fit more like a blouse! Not really a problem because I didn't realize how lightweight the fabric was that I chose. I don't usually wear a blouse under my jackets anyway but a little looser fit might be better. It all a learning process.
I'm also still hammering away at my handknit discloths. I've made two this week.