WIP Wednesday: SO DONE

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We are having a sleepy, drizzly day here.

WIP = Work in Progress

I really should find a better name for these mid-week posts, considering how often they get written on a non-Wednesday.  :/

I got home from jury duty on Wednesday afternoon (did NOT get seated on the jury, thank goodness), had lunch, and tried to remember what it was I was supposed to be doing at that moment.  OH RIGHT, I’m supposed to be writing a blog post.  But I don’t have anything to show for the week!  I’ve been working away, slowly, on my quilt blocks, but that blouse still isn’t finished.  I’d better get moving!

So I got to work finishing this up:

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You’ll recall this blouse was almost done, but needed to be taken in a bit.  I brought the side seams in 2″ on each side, and shortened it 2″ in the front and 3″ at the back.  I’m still undecided on whether I took it in enough, though.  And it’s a little longer than I usually go with tops, but I like that it’s long enough to wear over leggings.

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Still lots of room in there.  Can’t decide if that extra fabric is comfy or annoying.

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Pooh helpfully points out that my version is probably LESS roomy than the one on the pattern envelope.

I think I’ll have to live with the blouse a while before I decide.  One consideration is that I might want to wear a layer under it as fall moves into winter and it gets chilly here.

In the meantime, it’s very comfy to wear and the neckline isn’t too wide or too low, a perpetual problem for me.  And I’m loving all the rich colors in this!  I have the distinct impression my partner doesn’t like it–most of what I make is too colorful for him–but that’s okay, as it’s for ME.  🙂

Also, my 6-strip black and white units for the quilt are coming together.  I’m fairly busy right now, but I’m trying to work on them a little every day.

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I am loving them!  So many cool fabrics in there . . . .

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Still a bunch more to go.  Then they’ll all need squaring up and cutting in half (podcasts definitely required for that step).  I think I’ll starch them to add some stability to the triangles I wind up with.

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Also up next is cutting out my Vogue 8954.  Forest green mystery knit!  Should be an interesting project and GREEN, too!

STH

 

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WIP Wednesday: The Bright and the Boring

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WIP = Work in Progress

Well, it’s been a pretty difficult couple of weeks here.  I’ve put myself on a news diet again, as the constant stream of awful has made it hard to function.  And lots of pressures and stressors are happening all at once over here . . . ugh.  I’ll get it all handled, but things are going to be difficult and scary for a while until I do.

So let’s talk about sewing, just for a minute, and forget about all that other junk.

I spent most of last weekend working on my quilt blocks.  I’m chain-piecing the black and white strips like mad, and I’ve also put together the blue and orange blocks.

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I am seriously in love with those orange blocks!

This kind of pretty mindless piecing is sort of, I don’t know, pleasantly boring?  Relaxingly tedious?  If you’re in the right frame of mind and ready to settle into the rhythm of it, it’s kind of peaceful and soothing.  If you’re thinking about how long the whole process is taking, it will drive you bananas.  I find it a bit more boring than something like embroidery, so I think I need to find some podcasts or something to listen to while I do it . . . or maybe just resist the urge to marathon it and get my butt out of the chair once in a while.

I was a little discouraged after I cut all the pieces for the colored blocks and realized my scrap piles didn’t seem to be any smaller.  But then I realized that this is the perfect project for a pieced backing–that ought to make a dent!

Also!

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And the back!

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You can’t really tell in the pictures, but this has a back vent (like a skirt), plus side vents, so plenty of room to move.

I did finally get this top done, but it gave me a little trouble on the trip there.

As I mentioned before, cutting this was complicated, as two of my fabrics were knit in a tube so they didn’t have a selvage, and two of them are directional.  To get the spaceships going up and down, I cut the front piece crosswise.  To get the back yellow piece out of the small cut of fabric I had, that was done crosswise, too.  I was able to get away with all this fudging, though, as my fabrics are pretty stretchy both ways.

The first time I put the neckband on the top, I thought the neck looked a little small so I tried it on.  It was so small that I had a hard time getting it over my head.  I debated for a while with myself as to how much to cut it down, but in the end I decided to be conservative about it and just cut the band seam off.  I lengthened the band a little bit (yes, I was THAT precise about it), put it on, and the neck now is just right.

The other issue was that the sleeves were very tight at the forearm, especially the yellow sleeve.  I unpicked both sleeve seams and re-sewed right at the edge of the fabric–perfect!

The only other change I made was to leave the pleat on the front open, rather than sewing it down.

And now a question for you, oh wise sewing folk:  what the heck is happening with the wrinkles on my upper arms?

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I also wonder how I get my photos to list like this–but only occasionally!–when my camera is on a tripod.

This isn’t a function of me changing the sleeve seam allowance, as it was this way before I tinkered with it.  It’s not a result of pushing the sleeves up, either.  I know the wrinkles are supposed to point to the problem, but I’m not finding that knowledge to be terribly helpful here.  Any ideas you may have would be very welcome.

In the meantime, though, I’m just going to enjoy my new top.  I wore it today and it was so comfy and cheerfully bright!  I was worried that it would be too much and I’d feel self-conscious in it, but it just felt right to me.  I can’t tell if I’ve changed or if I just got the right combination this time.  The combo of the larger print with two coordinating solids always works really well in quilts, so why not here?

Have a great week, folks, and be sure to save some kindness for your lovely selves.

STH

WIP Wednesday: Fall Color

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WIP = Work in Progress

Happy Wednesday, all!

Apologies in advance for the super-sad nighttime photos this time; I was distracted today and didn’t take any pictures during the daytime.

It’s been harder than usual for me to get sewing time recently, as I’ve kind of had the fall cleaning bug.  And the problem with cleaning is that once you clean a few things, you start seeing all these OTHER things that could use a tidy as well, and then you can’t really relax until THOSE things are clean, but then there’s that OTHER stuff over there . . . .  It’s a little bit addicting, and then of course nothing ever actually STAYS clean, either, so there’s no such thing as being finished with it.  So that, and ferrying my mother to all of her appointments, is taking up some of my sewing time these days.

I have managed to get Simplicity 8052 near the finish line, though.

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I am LOVING it, but if you’re looking at that picture and thinking it looks huge and shapeless, well, you would be correct.  The bodice is okay, but the bottom half is mammoth–and LONG, too.  So I need to take the sides in, hem it, and sew the buttons on the sleeves, and it will be done.  The size issue is all my fault–for some reason, I didn’t check this out on Pattern Review until after I’d cut my fabric.  If I had, I would have seen all the reviews that helpfully note how big the pattern runs.

Oh, well.  A little tinkering and I think it will be great.  I’m loving the rich colors on this blouse and for some reason, they really feel like fall to me.  I’m looking forward to wearing it soon.

Which also means that I’m thinking about what I’m going to make next.  Because I need fall tops and I have a bin of knits to be used for that purpose.

So today, I cut this out:

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This is kind of the Camaro-you-buy-at-midlife-because-you-couldn’t-afford-one-at-16 of tops.  This cotton/Lycra jersey that I bought from Minerva Crafts is obviously meant for kids, and–let’s be honest here–MALE kids.  I was a space-and-dinosaur-crazy kid who would have totally murdered somebody in order to wear a fabric like this.  Because I was a girl, though, I wore pink rosebuds.  So now that I’m grown up, I’m belatedly fixing that and am finally going to wear the damn space ship fabric.

My original plan was to make the two-fabric version (bottom right) with the space ships and this very ’70s textured yellow knit I got from SCRAP.  But then I kept admiring that three-color top on the top left and decided to add in the orange, also from SCRAP.

This is going to be one bright top.

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This combination is really reminding me of blocks, for some reason . . . .

I’m glad I didn’t try to cut this out last night, as I had thought of doing.  It was a bit challenging to figure out which part of which pattern piece goes where so that I could grade up at the waist and hip (despite the way it looks on the envelope, this top has nine pieces and its construction is not simple), plus figure out how to lay out the pieces on my limited fabric to get everything to fit.  My orange and yellow knits were spun in a tube, which complicated the cutting as well.  Some pieces had to be cut crosswise, but there’s plenty of ease in this pattern, so I should still be okay with limited stretch in some of the pieces.

I hope to get some sewing time in on Friday to work on these.  Tomorrow will be taken up with going grocery shopping with my mother and volunteering over at SCRAP.  They have decided to close the store at the end of the month, so I’m going to help Rachael clean up.  You will be missed, SCRAP Tri-Cities.  😦

Have a great week, everybody, and I hope you’re finding some time to do what you love.

STH

 

 

WIP Wednesday: Rain

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I was trying to catch them having a kissy-face session, but managed to take their CD cover photo instead.

WIP = work in progress

Well, it has been a week, my friends.  Some ups in there and some downs, too.

Autumn arrived this week, which has me feeling a bit melancholy.  All four seasons have their pleasures, for sure, but I wasn’t quite finished with summer yet!  We’ve had a little rain, which I know is very much needed, but I can’t help but feel a little gloomy when the weather is gray.

And then yesterday, this happened:

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Not my fault, but it was a hit and run, which my insurance doesn’t cover.  😦

Sigh.

I’ve been fretting about it–because that’s what I do–but I’ve decided it’s time to move on to the rainbow part of the rain business.  YOU HEAR THAT, BRAIN?

Because some other stuff happened this week, too.

Like this:

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Made some good progress on cutting strips for the quilt.

And this:

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B5948 in ALL the colors.  Life lesson:  if you don’t have blue skies, sew some.

You can’t see them here, but I put vents in the sides of this like I did on the tank from this pattern.  Vents always complicate the seam finishing issue–French seams, my favorite seam finish, just don’t play well with them–so I zig zagged the seam allowances on the side seams.  This fabric doesn’t fray much, so I think they’ll be fine.

This took longer than it should have, simply because I was being terribly indecisive about the length of the top and of the sleeves.  I wound up leaving the top a bit longer than I usually do (more of a tunic length) and cutting about 6″ off the sleeves to get them to about a 3/4 length.  (I really should do all my woven blouses with 3/4-length sleeves so that I don’t have to keep rolling them up.)  I wore this yesterday and I think I made the right choice in both cases.

It’s also been raining patterns over here!

I picked up some patterns on sale at Joann’s recently.  I am particularly obsessed with the vest (V8954) and I have a piece of FOREST GREEN mystery knit from SCRAP that I’m going to use for it.

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Totally not a Tilton sisters fangirl.

And then I met up with my buddy Heidi last Saturday and she gave me these for my birthday!

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We had a lovely lunch and then a walk on the Yakima Greenway.  Highly recommended if you’re in the area.  This part of the path leads right to the door of the animal shelter–a seriously genius move, if you ask me.  I would sure walk a lot more if every walk involved PETTING ALL THE DOGS.

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So there’s plenty of good stuff happening in between the stuff that isn’t so great.  I’m basically taking Jenny Lawson’s approach to September:  sit under the sunlight lamp, read a fun book, and pet all the animals.  Plus sewing.

Have a great week, and I hope you’re making time for some good stuff.

STH

ETA:  I have linked up this post to the Splash of Color Quilt-Along over at Busy Hands Quilts.

WIP Wednesday: Inside and Out

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Up in the hills outside Prosser, scouting out a new cycling route.  As my partner said, “My God, there really is fuck all out here.”  Yep.

WIP = Work in Progress

Happy Wednesday!

Since we last saw our heroine, she has done, well, this:

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It doesn’t look like much, does it?

That’s actually something in the neighborhood of 680 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles for this quilt:

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There was also this, for the black and white wall quilt:

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I tried my best to get Ms Wiggly in the picture, but she wasn’t much interested in color-coordinating with my fabric.

The lap quilt was supposed to only (ONLY) require 576 rectangles, so I cut them and was happy to be finished.  Then I got to thinking about how nice it would be to have this queen sized for my bed, and how a border would get it almost there, and I decided to add another column of blocks.  Which meant another 96 rectangles, so much that I used up almost all of my black and white scraps and had to buy a couple more fat quarters to finish up.

There’s a lot of time to think when you’re cutting 680 rectangles.

I did a lot of thinking about the most efficient way to cut my oddly-shaped bits of fabric, of course.  And about how I learned to entertain myself with my own thoughts as a child, when the consequences of not sitting still in church or school were pretty severe, but there wasn’t much in the environment to entertain me.  And I worked on some ideas for my ideal fantasy home in the woods–you know, the one with the $20,000 long-arm quilting machine, and the massive garden that doesn’t require any weeding, and the cabin that I fix up FABULOUSLY and maintain all by myself despite having none of the skills required to do so.

This is what got me started on that: it’s an abandoned cabin built on the friends’ property where we stayed for the eclipse.  Apparently, it started life as a picnic shelter and just sort of grew from there.

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Rustic yet cute.

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OMG.  I wonder if my friends realize they NEED a quilt artist in residence?

Sigh.

I hope to make some good progress on my blouses this week, as the weather is turning a bit cooler (YAY) and they’ll be perfect for it.

Have a great week and find yourself some fun wherever you can.

STH

WIP Wednesday: Zero to Sixty!

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(WIP = Work in Progress)

So last week at this time I was happily dawdling over patterns and fabrics and ways to combine the two.

Then I finished my fabric inventory in Evernote.  And panicked a little bit.  And realized I really needed to get off the damn computer, quit spinning ideas around in my head, and SEW SOMETHING.

So Saturday became Pattern Cutting Day.  I cut Simplicity 8052 (the colorblocked version) out of these:

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These actually work better in real life; the knit looks a bit more reddish here than it should.

The one on the right is some sort of drapey synthetic from SCRAP.  I suspect polyester, simply because of those gorgeous colors.

Now here’s the interesting part.  I had wanted to use the poly for the center panel of this blouse, but couldn’t figure out another fabric to match with it (drapey blouse fabric isn’t something I keep around).  I was able to use the “1-2 yds.” tag on my fabric inventory to bring up all the possible candidates and came up with this purple knit that I hadn’t even considered.  I checked the pattern envelope and jersey was one of the recommended fabrics, so I used the purple knit.  That inventory is turning out to be pretty handy!

I also used this pattern to cut my fabulous turquoise curtain fabric:

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You may recall this is the pattern I used for my plaid tank; this time, I cut the version with the long sleeves.  I was half a yard short on fabric for that, but I was able to squeeze the pattern pieces on there by changing the cutting layout a bit.  Instead of folding the fabric in half to cut on the front and back pieces on the fold, I just folded it up enough to fit the pieces; that left me enough width to just about cut the sleeves (I didn’t want to piece them because of that big bold print).

Things are also happening on the quilting front.

I recently had to go to the local quilt shop to get a gift and I also managed to come up with a little something for me:

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SO VERY ME.

I have two favorite quilts in this book, but decided to start cutting pieces for this one last night:

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Is this cool or what?

But I kept hearing this voice in my head telling me how efficient it would be to actually cut BOTH quilts at the same time, since they’re both going to be from my black and white scraps.  And that lap quilt would use up SO MANY scraps . . . .

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That’s a whole lotta scraps in there . . . .

I’m a sucker for that whole efficiency nonsense–especially when you combine it with the promise of scrap-busting–so it looks like I’m going to be cutting TWO quilts at the same time.  This is either my best idea ever or my worst.  We’ll see.

Anyway, gotta run.  I have 569 black and white rectangles to cut for that lap quilt, so I may be a while.  😉

STH

UPDATE:  My tube fabric came!

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There might also have been a yard of some fun flannel.

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!!!

ETA:  I am linking up my Jubilee quilt to the Splash of Color QAL.  I can get that done by January, right?

WIP Wednesday: The Not-Sewing Part of Sewing

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WIP = Work in Progress

Happy Wednesday!

I have been busy doing everything sewing-related that doesn’t involve actual sewing this week.

I’ve more or less finished my fabric database in Evernote (I thought I was finished, but then happened to look over to my left and notice a couple more yards I’d put in a project bag).  89 pieces of fabric!  No idea how many yards that is yet, but will update my Excel spreadsheet this week and figure it out.

Stashbusting has taken a definite hit lately, what with being out of town and that $2/lb. fabric sale at SCRAP right before we went on vacation.  And then there’s that fabulous turquoise batik in the photo above–that was a curtain that I got for free from my Buy Nothing Facebook group.  I do love me a bargain, but my stash closet overfloweth.  The plan for September definitely calls for more sewing and less acquiring!

I also sorted and organized my stash as I catalogued it.  This is the bulk of it right here:

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As an aside, I tried REALLY HARD to buy some fabric while in the UK and just had a terrible time managing to do so.  I went out on three separate excursions to find quilting shops that Google assured me were there and couldn’t find any of them.  The fabric store I did find in central London didn’t have anything that grabbed me, though my partner and I did spend a minute admiring the gorgeous £100/meter tweeds.  It wasn’t until our day trip to Cambridge that I stumbled on a quilt shop by accident that had some fat quarters that I could bring home to my sister for taking care of my cats while I was away.

I brought three meters of this home for me:

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I’m saving this one for spring fever sewing next year.

So now I’ve got all this fabulous stuff in my stash, and I’ve been pondering what to make next.  It’s still plenty hot here, and will be for at least another month, so something for hot weather makes sense, but what?  A drapey tee with that lovely rayon jersey?  A dress out of that raspberry linen?  Or a shirt out of the turquoise batik?  I spent way too much time on Pinterest yesterday considering possibilities . . . .

While I play around with ideas, I’m working a bit on the dreaded mending.  Tonight’s job was hemming a pair of pants and putting patches on my partner’s kikoys.  He acquired them on a cycling trip through Africa a good 25 years ago (!!) and the fabric they’re made of is on its way out.  He loves them, though, and wears them daily, so I’m trying to patch the tears as they happen.

Someday, both kikoys will be covered in patches and he’ll be set for another 20 years or so.

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Some of my patches.  I have so much fun stuff hiding in my scraps!

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More patches.  He may not appreciate the fish, but I enjoyed it.  🙂

Three items out of the mending pile.  Progress!

By the way, if you’re in the market for indie patterns, many sales seem to be happening right now in order to benefit Texas hurricane relief efforts.  If there’s a company you particularly like or a certain pattern you want, this would be a good time to sign up for the company’s e-mails or Facebook page to get their sale code.  Love Notions, Muse, and Schwin are three indies having sales that I’ve run across just this evening.  Time to sew that stash!

Have a great week and may your path be ever strewn with bargains.

STH

ETA:  This appears to be a public post, so hopefully the link to it will work.  This is a list of pattern companies participating in the sales; sale codes are in the comments.  Some of these sales are short-lived (I think the Love Notions one is only for 8/31), so don’t dawdle!

Further ETA for Chic Mona, and anybody else who might be interested:  On Monday, Craftsy is allowing members to view their classes for free.  Here’s a link that explains how it works.

 

WIP Wednesday: Home Again!

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London, captured.  Picture taken at the Museum of London.

I’m back!

So happy to be home and chatting with you all again!  Travel is wonderful, but so is coming home.  🙂

We actually got home from our London trip on August 12th, but then had to turn around and get ready for an eclipse camping trip in Oregon the following weekend.  Still plenty to do and many errands to run, but things seem to be settling down a bit.

As for London, well, three weeks of adventures there is a lot to process!  We went to museums, ate lots of great food, hung out with friends, and went on three walking tours.  I took many, many pictures, just a few of which I’ll share here.  Be sure to check out Flickr for more.

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I just may have ordered some London Tube map fabric as soon as I got home . . . .

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From the Balenciaga exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  X-ray shows the corset built into the dresses.

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The altar at St. Mary Le Bow Church.  Tradition holds that you must be born within the sound of its bells to be a true Londoner.

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Leadenhall Market in the City of London (financial district which has a weird, semi-autonomous status–its own mayor, for example).

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From our walking tour in the City, which is a strange mix of ancient buildings and modern skyscrapers.

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The Barbican.  Wandering around this concrete miniature town on a sunny summer day may almost convince you that Brutalism can actually work as a style for residential building.  I suspect it feels like a damp, gray wind tunnel in November, though.

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Cambridge, the river Cam, and the famous punts.

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Highgate Cemetery, on a gray, wet day, which seemed very appropriate.  Our tour guide told us “there are no bad pictures in the Cemetery” and I think he was right.

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Dinos (and many, many people) in the Natural History Museum.

And a few from our eclipse weekend in Oregon.

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Our friends have 30 mostly-untouched acres near Willamina, OR, which just happened to be right in the path of the eclipse.  I took this with my back to our tent; that’s a rather green pond just beyond that tall grass there.  I was hoping to see the elk that come down here to drink, or maybe even the local bobcat, but the only wildlife we saw was a massive slug.  Welcome to Oregon!

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Eclipse watching in the meadow.

I’m hoping to get back to doing some sewing soon, though right now I’m pondering what to make and enjoying the feeling that I can sew anything I like with no deadlines.  We’ll see what idea gets me moving first.

I hope you are all well, enjoying what’s left of the season you’re in, and looking forward to the next.

STH

WIP Wednesday: Friday Edition

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(WIP = Work in Progress)

Hello, everybody!  I’ve missed you, and missed writing to you, but it has been GOGOGO here and I’ve found it hard to stop, think, and write.  Whew!  Let’s give it a try, though, because I have such pretty things to show you!

Early last week, in the midst of my sewing-planning-todoing frenzy, my partner reminded me that we were scheduled for a 2-day trip to Portland.  We’d booked this a couple of months ago around a work-related seminar that he wanted to attend, and I had completely forgotten about it.  Not an optimal time to be away from the sewing machine, but okay.  But then I checked where we were staying and discovered it was a walkable distance from SCRAP PDX!  Yep, let’s go!

So Friday morning, he went off to learn things, and I went off to find the Motherlode of Random, SCRAP PDX.  I didn’t remember to take pictures, but what a fun store!  Leather scraps!  Plastic glasses frames!  More buttons than you knew existed!

My haul:

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I think the one on the left is rayon; then there’s eyelet, some quilting fabric, and another yard of green fleece (I already have two remnants of this fabric).

Plus this, which deserves its own picture:

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It was labeled “Matisse panel,” so I immediately thought of quilt possibilities, but it’s actually a knit.  The selvage says “Matisse in Morocco” and if this isn’t summer captured in a fabric, I don’t know what is.

I also got a bag of black and white fabric scraps.  I know, I know, me BUYING scraps?!?  But I’ve had a hankering to make a black and white quilt for a while, and these were such cool fabrics I couldn’t resist.  (I don’t have a pattern in mind yet for these, but take a look at the first photo in this post; can’t you just see a skyline of Art Deco buildings all made with black and white fabrics with white sashing between the pieces?)

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A small portion of the bag, all washed and ready to go.

So that’s all my future sewing.  Let’s see how I’m doing on my current sewing projects.

The cycling jersey is coming together.

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I had hoped for a fitting session this morning, but the Resident Supermodel dashed off early . . . .

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He wanted the pockets to be different sizes, and I honestly thought it wasn’t going to work, but I love this!  The blue one is just perfectly sized for his phone, and deep enough so that it won’t fall out.

I had all kinds of problems with the front zipper on this, all of them completely my fault.  I have this frankly terrible habit of coming up with an idea on how to do something, not thinking through the whole process, and just figuring I can make it work somehow.  On the one hand, it’s great that I’ve got some confidence in my own sewing skills (finally); on the other, every time I do it, I’m aware that one of these days I’m totally going to sew myself into a corner, probably using the world’s most expensive fabric.  That didn’t happen here, but I did spend a lot of time I didn’t have making that zipper installation work.  :/

All that’s left to do is side seams, hems, finishing the collar, and redoing the front pocket–I have been informed that it needs to be half an inch deeper.  There was some mention of how nice it would be if that pocket had a zipper, but I quickly shut that ALL THE WAY DOWN.  No adding items to my to-do list at this late date!

Also, the hoodie is ready to go!

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I’ve been trying, but I haven’t been able to get a non-ghastly picture of the front, so here’s the back:

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And the side:

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Yes, I do look a little bit like an extra from “Lord of the Rings,” but I’m okay with that.

A bit of a fiddly project.  There’s some sort of problem with the pockets–the pieces don’t fit together the way they should.  I more or less forced them together, but it was another time-waster and a bit of a dispiriting way to start a new project.  And the instructions have you cut strips of your fabric, press under the long ends, and sew the strips over the seam edges on the hood, neckline, and front facing.  I do love me a nice, neat seam finish, but this kind of finish isn’t that easy to do on a knit that doesn’t press well; if I had it to do over, I would probably hunt down some wide braid and use that on the seams instead.  I suspect the lesson to be learned from this project is to not take on a Vogue pattern when time is short.

This was my first time working with ponte, and it was a lot less stable than I expected.  I keep hearing how easy ponte is to work with because it doesn’t stretch much, but this poly/rayon/Lycra ponte from Girl Charlee felt like a heavy, stretchy jersey (and had all the challenges associated with that).

Whining aside, I do love how this came out, though.  Instead of the sensible 3/4″-1″ buttons called for, I used these nifty 1 1/4″ buttons and put big snaps underneath.

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The hoodie is very comfy and cozy to wear, and I’m sure I’ll get plenty of use out of it, so that’s the important thing.

Okay, that’s it for now.  We’re off on Monday and won’t be back until August 12th.  I’m going to see if I can post some pictures as we go along.  Either way, I’ll be back mid-August with more pictures of the UK than you ever wanted to see.

I hope you’re all planning some summer adventures of your own.  Take good care of yourselves, make something that you love, and go sit in the sun when you can.

STH

WIP Wednesday: Stops and Starts

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(WIP = Work in Progress)

I’ve been feeling a little stuck and overwhelmed thinking about all I need to do in the next couple of weeks, but some progress is still being made.  As Stephanie and I were discussing yesterday, slow and steady wins the race, so that’s what I’m focusing on right now.

Let’s take a look at the list:

1.  Quilt for my niece:  done!

Isn’t that spiral quilting fun?  I love all the movement in this!  I read several tutorials (best one here) about spiral quilting, then ignored most of what they told me to do.  I used a regular presser foot, regular thread (white on top, turquoise on bottom), and kept the left edge of the presser foot 1/4″-3/8″ from the last line of stitching.  The key thing is to draw the start of the spiral, sew very slowly around it, then go from there.  I don’t think I quite realized how dense the quilting would be, though, so it took a LOT longer than I anticipated.  A bit boring, frankly, but not hard at all.

Right now, this is my favorite of all the quilts I’ve made, but I tend to say that about everything.  😉  This will go out in the mail to my niece tomorrow, and I hope she loves it.

2.  Black hoodie:  cut out and waiting.  You know I love you, Marcy Tilton, but 12 pattern pieces for a hoodie?  Seriously?

3.  Sew-along dress:  Getting there.

Here’s the picture I was too lazy to take last week:

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The pleats at the shoulders are just because those seams up there are only pinned.

I was grumpy about it, so I’ve set it aside to work on next week, which is appropriate as it will be the bodice week of the sew-along.  I’ll tackle the peek-a-boo problem with the back keyhole then.

The good news is, though, that I went back and looked at those shoulder seams I had hastily pinned and realized my seam allowance was too narrow.  When I corrected that, it was just enough to hide the bra on the sides.  So that’s one less problem I have to deal with.

3.  Pant hems and pockets–one set of pockets done, will finish second today.  You’ll recall these are the RTW pants I bought that had fake pockets and needed hemming.

I went looking for a tutorial on how to turn fake pockets into real ones, but was surprised to find there isn’t much out there (where are my fellow pocket people??)  I started with this very basic one, but then tried to improve on it.  I’ll see if I can’t get some better pictures and write up a quickie tutorial.

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It’s not pretty, but I was determined to not have to disassemble these pants to get those pockets in.

Also–and I will have to try them on again and confirm this because I hardly believe it myself–the pants appear to have shrunk a solid 3-4 inches in length in the wash.  And not at all in width!  I may actually be able to wear pants that I don’t have to hem.  Independence Day miracle?  Sign of the apocalypse?  Who knows, but less hemming is a good thing.

4.  Mondrian-inspired cycling jersey for my honey–better than expected!

The company I ordered the fabric from is supposed to be closed until 7/10, but I received notification yesterday that the fabric had shipped.  Current tracking predicts Wednesday delivery, which would give me a week and a half to sew the jersey before we leave for London.  I can do that.

5.  Navy blouse–probably won’t happen, and that’s okay.

Okay, so my new goal is to get those pants and the hoodie done by early next week, then fix the dress and start on the jersey.

Have a great Thursday and, because I don’t say it enough, thank you so much for stopping by and reading about all my fretting, list-making, obsessions, and general goofiness.  I appreciate your company (and your comments) so very much!

STH