Monday, May 31, 2010

Feedsack Frenzy!

A while ago Anne let me paw through her antique feedsack fabrics and pick out what I liked. I picked this unusual print because a) I had never seen feedsack printed with butterflies, and b) they were pink. By playing around with the placement of my TNT skirt pattern, I found I could get a skirt out of one feedsack:
Of course, you can't worry about a "with nap" layout. Here you can see that the back pieces are opposite from the front; the butterfiles are flying down instead of up:

I don't think anyone will notice. Or care. Also, I was concerned when I cut this out because I had to lay out the pattern pieces on the crosswise grain, rather than the lengthwise. I usually prefer to layout out on the lengthwise, so that the slight extra stretch in the crosswise grain goes horizonally around my body, given me that little extra give in the waist and hips. But even being on the crosswise grain, the skirt fits fine.
So I have great plans for all those feedsacks I bought at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival this year! (Except for today - my AC isn't working; why does the AC always conk out on a holiday when the expected high is 95 degrees????) They will all be turned into summer skirts which, I have found, never seem to wear out.
I, not suprisely, wore this skirt yesterday to Anne's family's annual Memorial Day fishing trip in the Chesapeake bay. The Carpenter went too, and you can see that he really loved the t-shirt VickiW tie-dyed for him which he got for his birthday:
Parting Shot: I caught a fish! Well, the Carpenter caught the fish - he just let me reel it in. I'm pictured with said fish and the first mate of the boat, Kenny.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Great Day!

It's my birthday today. My age doesn't end in a zero or a five, but it was an extra special birthday this year, all because friends made it so. Eileen, weeks before, gave me a fab purse which I haven't photographed because I'm, you know, using it. Thank God for my friends who can accessorize because somehow I missed that particular gene in my DNA. Eileen's speciality is purses, and now I have reaped the benefit of her talent.

Aimee, knowing of my admiration for the Selfish Seamstress, got me the "I just don't want to" t-shirt (in blue), the "you bloodsucking leech" mug, and the "glad I could help" tote! But her biggest gift was loaning me her brand new Toyota Highlander for the weekend while she was out of town so I could pick up Tammy from the airport. My Miata can transport two, but only if the only luggage involved is a carry-on. Tammy was flying in from Chicago for pleasure/work and she brought the big suitcase. It was by Aimee's magnificience that allowed me to squire Tammy around town.

And quite the time we had. There was shopping, there were manis and pedis, and there was definitely food! I loved having her all weekend:
And one of her gifts to me was this, which I can't wait to read: But the surprise of my life came from the new BF a/k/a the Carpenter who gave me a dining room table. Actually he made a dining room table.

This is a 7 and half foot (90 inch) trestle table made from solid cherry with no stain, and finished with teak oil.

I was stunned. About three years ago, I went to the oldest house in Glasgow, Scotland and saw a trestle table that I loved. I thought what a great idea for a sewing table - no legs to get in the way. I have a small townhouse, so I do everything on the dining room table - I eat and sew. So I became obsessed, of course. I looked at all kinds of testle tables. I consulted with my forester brother, who advised to go with cherry. And that it would be a sin to put stain on cherry wood. I found instructions on the web, and I tried to talk said brother to making me such a table, but no go. I found a furniture maker in New England who made them, but charged enough to buy a used car.
When I started dating the Carpenter, I enthusiastically shared my obsession with him, and it must have took. He showed up last night with this magnificient piece of furniture and I have never been so overwhelmed in my life. I cannot photograph it well enough to do it justice because it is just so beautiful, and well, long. Here is a shot of the breadboard at the end:

Some of the Carpenter's work:

I am humbled and overwhelmed. Is he a keeper or what????
Parting Shot: The Carpenter putting it all together at my house:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Burda's Heidi

I finally made the Burda Heidi dress which Erin has made, like, fourteen of: I got it done in time for Anne's garden party in April. This was quite the experiment as I had never used a Burda pattern before. I decided to make size 38, since it seemed to be the closest to my measurements. I wanted to use this sky blue and white fabric, though, and I realized how reckless it was to be using fabric I paid $ 9.00 a yard as a muslin. But then I thought, Wait, I have a dress form! So I cut out the bodice lining first (yes, Vicki, I used the bed sheet for the lining) and tried it on my dress form. It looked okay:
So I proceeded to go forth and experience the World of Burda. After I had it cut out, I realized that I had NOT cut the bodice back or skirt back on the fold. DOH! But still, the dress form lining assured me that I had plenty of room in the bodice. I wasn't so sure about the skirt. I decided to continue forward.
I got the dress together despite Burda's instructions which I didn't use because they were unintelligible. Fortunately, I have made a skirt with these kinds of pockets before, or I would have been totally lost. Here is a photo of the dress on the dress form with the back seam only pinned:

Pinning the back on the dress form made me realize that a 5/8 inch seam in the back bodice wasn't going to do.

I ended up sewing a 7/8 inch seam at the top of the bodice, a 3/4 inch in the middle of the bodice, and a 5/8 inch seam when I hit the waist. By not cuting the bodice on the fold and by putting the 7/8 inch seam at the top, I figure that I took 2 and 1/4 inches out of the back of this dress and it is still big. Clearly, I don't wear a size 38 in Burda's sizing, despite what their sizing chart says.
Here is a close up of the pocket:

Here's a back view:

The busy print of the fabric doesn't really show the design lines of the dress. Another of the pocket:

One change I made was to take a small hem so as to lengthen the skirt about 5/8 inch so it would cover my knee. I like my skirts and dresses to either cover my knee or hit above the knee - right in the middle of the knee looks weird on me, like my skirt is too short.
This is the first garment I have ever made using my dress form and it kept this project from becoming a complete wadder. Without it, I would have never figured out where, and how much, to take it in. I decided that when I make it again, though, I need to start with a smaller size and basically begin from scratch - but then it dawned on me like a biblical revelation that I don't have to make it again. If I'm not totally in love with it there is no law that says I have to whip up another version. I think I subconsciously believe that I have to keep making a pattern until it fits perfectly. I think it is time to let that go!
Parting Shots: My yellow rose bush is in bloom! With all the rain we have had in the past year, it is particularly stunning. I don't know what variety it is, but the flowers have a sweet, spicy smell that just makes you want to stop and sniff the roses.