Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Last radiation treatment....yipppeee

Today at 2:30 p.m. I will be having my last radiation treatment and I can't wait. I can't wait for the balloon and the catheter to be removed. Frankly I don't like walking around with a weird "Herman Munster" boob. It is the size and weight of a small cantolope and is so tender if the wind blows hard it aches along with my arm down to the elbow! It leaks all the time and I am miserable not to mention absolutely exhausted from the treatment. Okay enough whining...onto sewing...

I'm taking the Set-In Sleeve class on Pattern Review because I thought it might be interesting to try an online sewing class and could use some help on better fitting sleeves. I've chosen McCalls 5471 as my project.

Last night I cut out and stitched the fronts and back. The pattern offers different cup sizes so I used the D cup front and did my usual wide back and high round back adjustments. So far I love it and it's a perfect fit. It was really refreshing to not have to do my usual FBA. I'm making the size 14 but I always cut the largest size from the underarm down and pin fit later and thank goodness I did. The pattern has size 14-20 and I used 5/8" seam allowances. I don't know if it's because the monster boob or because the pattern is running small. Usually I start the side seam at the 14 for the bust, and gradually go out to the 18. This time I started and ended the seam as for the size 20. Glad I did a muslin first! As I said I love it so far. I might try the sleeves later tonight just for the heck of it.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I want to sew but...

I've got several projects in mind to sew but can't. I've been having radiation treatment for three days and it seems that there is a side affect. I can't seem to keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time and was told I have "radiation induced fatigue." I don't know how long it's going to go on but I will be glad when it's gone. I just woke up a few minutes ago and I'm already yawning. It's also giving me the shakes so sewing just might not be the thing to do right now. As soon as I can I'll be back at the machine. One good thing is that I'm getting plenty of sleep and not having wild fantasies about cancer!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thanks for the prayers

I want to thank everyone for the prayers. The surgery was Thursday and I came home Friday. All went well and was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I had my first radiation treatments today and have eight more to go. My fiancee's support has made me love him every more. He changes the bandages everyday and goes to all of my appointments with me. Of course the surgery has hampered my sewing a bit. Because the radiation treatment requires a balloon and a catheter be inserted in my breast, my right breast is much larger than normal. No way can I think of fitting a pattern for myself so what's a girl to do?? I used my TNT to make another jacket.

I did use five buttons as the pattern called for but I added the pocket flaps and the little "belt thing" in the back. It's going to look perfect with the brown slacks I made with the welt pockets. It may seem that I just sew to be sewing but I do so with a purpose. I make things to match other things that are already in my closet.

Currently I working on a dress-McCalls 5752 (I think). It's a knit dress and my sweetie picked out the fabric. I can't sew as much as I did before the surgery but I still try to squeeze in a few minutes here and there. The dress is cut and I've sewn the bodice. I'd like to finish it by the weekend. It's been so long since I make a dress it's actually exciting seeing it come together. Luckily I did my pattern alterations before surgery! Again, thanks for the prayers and don't stop. I've still got a ways to go!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's the day

Have to be at the hospital at 6 a.m. One night in the hospital and hopefully it will all be over. Sewing and blogging have helped me keep my sanity. I've got cancer but cancer doesn't have me. Thanks to everyone that has helped me through!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Another Walmart fabric creation...S3634

As if I need more fabric, I can't seem to get enough Walmart fabric. One way I increase my fabric stash without going to the poor house is by taking my winnings from bowling and buying fabric. I have won money every Friday for the last three weeks and have been buying ungodly amounts of $1.50 and $2 fabric. I bought is fabric last Friday and was there again today to buy the rest. I'm going to make a summer dress with the rest.

Pattern Description: Misses'/Women's pants, skirt and knit cardigan in two lengths and tops. I only made the cardigan and the sleeveless top.<

Pattern Sizing: 10-28W

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? It would have if I hadn't made changes

Were the instructions easy to follow? They would have been had I used them and I should have used them. Would have saved myself some time not having to rip out some mistakes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I didn't dislike anything about this pattern

Fabric Used:I love this fabric. It's an interlock knit. The design is not woven in but rather painted on. Doesn't it look like lace? It's another one of my Walmart $2 a yard finds. I just bought it a couple of days ago and went back today and bought the last 4 yards on the bolt. I can see it as a summer dress. Although it is rumored that Walmart is fazing out there fabric departments, the department manager assured me that their store will be doing no such thing. She says the fabric department does really well.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I added bust darts to both the cardigan and the top. I also did a FBA as well as wide and high-round back measurement to both pieces as well. I wanted to make a traditional looking twin-set so I shortened both the jacket and the top 3 inches.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would certainly sew this again and would recommend it to others but be sure to sew in the order the instructions say!
Conclusion: I love this set and can't wait to wear it.

My surgery is still scheduled for Thursday and I am steering clear of aspirin! I hope to be able to make a jacket tomorrow. If all goes well I might be able to make a garment Wednesday as well. I'm a lean, mean, sewing machine...LOL

Thursday, April 9, 2009

V8133 Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Unlined, long sleeve jacket with combined collar and lapel
Pattern Sizing:8-22
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Exactly
Were the instructions easy to follow? Extremely
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I like that it only had five pieces and was unlined. I also like jackets that I don't have to wear a blouse under. I didn't dislike anything about it.
Fabric Used: A polyester blend for Walmart that I only paid $1.50 a yard for! I also made matching slacks and skirt but used a different pattern. Total three piece outfit cost a little more than $10 including zippers and thread.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I did my usual FBA, and wide and high-round back adjustment. For a high fashion twist I added an embroidered design that I downloaded from the Threads website a couple of years ago. The embroidery was added before construction. I also added the faux pocket flaps with embroidery that I mirror imaged to get the exact same look and therefore had a left and right pocket flap. Finally I added a back neck facing.
Would you sew it again? I love this jacket and am sure I will make it again!
Would you recommend it to others?I would highly recommend this patterns for others. It sews up in no time
Conclusion: I've had this pattern for a couple of years and can't believe I waited so long to use it.
It took me using four machines to get this jacket done but it was well worth it. I started out sewing with my backup machine for no particular reason. Next I used my serger to finish the seams. Then I used my 4x4 embroidery machine to embroider the back neck facing that I added. When I tried to use the same machine to embroider the lapel it kept jamming. After breaking 5 needles I finally gave up and took out my main machine which does sews and does embroidery. Was able to embroider the lapels and the pocket flaps! Now it's on to the next project.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Surgery rescheduled and embroidery

I went for the pre-admission testing today and the surgery is rescheduled forThursday, April 16th. While I certainly try not to complain about it, I haven't really felt like myself since early November. Since then I always seem to be tired and have a low-grade fever. While most of the doctors say that Stage I cancer doesn't have any symptoms, last week my primary care physician said that the fever is probably caused by the cancer. The fever gets increasingly annoying and debilitating. Last weekend I just couldn't take it anymore and after a really difficult Saturday, on Sunday I took a total of 8 aspirin--2 every four hours. At pre-admission I mentioned that I don't normally take aspirin but that I had taken quite a few since Sunday. Well that was an absolutely no-no. It seems that aspirin thins the blood and should never be taken be prior to surgery. Yikes! I guess they should have told me that when they first scheduled the surgery! So it's off until next week. I'm disappointed because I had prepared myself for it to all be over and done with tomorrow. Oh well, guess I get another week of sewing pleasure.

I haven't quite finished V8133 because I got a little sidetracked. I decided I wanted to add some embroidery to the jacket. With my embroidery software, I created an embroidered label. I added a back facing to the jacket and embroidered the label on it. What do you think?

For the jacket lapel I used a design that I downloaded from the Threads website a few years ago.

I'm also addding faux pocket flaps accented with the same design.

The jacket just needs the flaps finished and attached, sleeves inserted and hems finished. Slacks need waistband, hem and a minor crotch adjustment. Since I thought I would be laid up for Easter I didn't actually make anything special so this outfit will do nicely.

Thanks for your prayers and say some for next week.

Monday, April 6, 2009

There is a method to my madness

Well only 2 days of sewing left before surgery so I've got to make the most of it. Laundry is all done and house is clean.

The project I was going to work on with the polyester shantaung and the silk skirt redo got shelved because after I made the pretest garment I didn't think the jacket is quite what I wanted for the skirt. The value of a pretest can NEVER be discounted! I decided to use some Walmart polyester suiting from my stash instead. Yesterday I cut out the jacket and my TNT slacks pattern. As my time is limited, I pulled out all the stops. Remember this?

I've had it forever. I bought it brand new at a place called the Goodie Barn. They sold some of everything. I think they bought and sold manufacturer's castoffs. I was there looking for a cheap laundry tub and fireplace screen. I did find the fireplace screen but I also found this little beauty. It's great for fusing interfacing and the price was right...$25. Although it was about 20 years ago I still remember the feeling of having hit the lottery! It sure made fusing all the interfacing a breeze. So after cutting, marking and fusing the necessary pieces I moved on to the sewing machine. These are the steps I plan to follow:
  1. Sew all darts

  2. Sew all seams that don't cross other seams

  3. Press all seams seams opens and darts flat in proper direction

  4. Serge all visible seams

  5. Insert zipper

  6. Sew side seams of jacket

  7. Sew collar and lapel

  8. Press side seams and lapel

  9. Insert sleeves

  10. Sew waistband and press

  11. Mark and hem jacket, sleeves, and pant legs (by machine invisible hem)

  12. Final pressing

I'll post photos tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My latest project

Last night or rather at 2 a.m. I was up readying my pattern for my next project. I made my usual FBA and wide, high round back adjustment. Did I mention I needed to be at work at 8 a.m. You know how it is when your sewing mojo goes into overdrive. I'm making the jacket out of the fabric on the right which is a polyester shantaung. The fabric on the left with all the ornate embroidery is 100% silk and will be used for the skirt. But wait...the skirt"fabric" is actually a skirt that I purchased two years ago at Avenue for $5. It's a size 26. I wear a size 14 so I am just going to use it as a piece of fabric and make a skirt. There is no way I could have bought that "fabric" cheaper than $5. Aren't we sewers resourceful ? The bottom better shows the actual color. I'll be working on my test garment tonight and tomorrow and cutting the fabric Friday. I'm a woman with a plan!

Tip: Forty-one cent buttonhole

Have you ever tried making a buttonhole when the button would not easily fit into your buttonhole attachment because of shape or thickness? Do what I do. I keep forty-one cents, a quarter, a nickel, a dime and a penny on my sewing table. When it's time to make a buttonhole I grab the coin that is closest in size to the button and insert it into the buttonhole attachment. The coins are flat and fit perfectly. I've been doing it for years without any mishaps.