Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time to catch up....

I'm still here! I didn't fall off the face of the Earth or anything. I just got distracted by life for a bit. So much to do lately...and so little time :-) When I last left you I was working on the School House Tunic. I finally got honest with myself about that one and realized that although I love the pattern it just may not be a design that loves my particular figure type. So, for now, I've set it aside. I may come back to it. However, it did get me started on a series of clothing sewing experiments that were very successful. I joined the Jamie Dress sew-a-long a bit ago and made two of those dresses and a top using that pattern. The first dress I made was pink and I cut it over the XL according to my measurements but that one ended up so big I had to use clothespins in the back to get a good picture. The second one I made over the L. It was snug in the bust but fit well everywhere else. So, when I made my top...I cut over the L with the extra piece added in the bust area and that worked great. So, Mom got the pink dress, I kept the brown and the mushroom top. I should say this is a GREAT pattern suitable for all sizes and body types. Very well written pattern and easy to put together. Love the zipper instructions!!

Sometime during all this my hubby left for 8 weeks of training in Alabama. So I was Mom and Dad for a bit and that kept me busy :-) During this time my computer died from some horrible virus. So, I had limited time on the computer. (With hubby home now and no longer in school....I'm stealing his! LOL!) My son kept me busy getting him ready for graduation. My daughter had a Birthday. For her birthday I solicited donations from the ladies and gents in several flickr groups I'm in. In two weeksI managed to sew a large spiderweb quilt and completely redo my daughter's room for her birthday. I was hoping it would put an end to her filthy room....alas I was wrong. It did look nice for a little bit tho. Here are the before and after pics.

I spent lots of time making and selling pins and pincushions online. Went with a friend and held her hand while she got tattooed. I collected sweaters to make a fairy sweater coat. I cleaned up and destroyed my sewing area many times. Then my hubby came home. The week after that my son graduated and during that same week with all those graduation preparations I was asked to bring my pins to a LQS to sell on commission . Only...I had nothing made! So after an intense 2 days with little or no sleep I had 65 items to take to the LQS for the big upcoming shop hop! I dropped those off the day my son graduated. My house was trashed that day but with much help from family and friends we whipped the house into shape for my son's impromptu graduation party.

 I wish I could say things calmed down after that but....they didn't. The next day I spent all day making a tutu for a Roller Derby friend (Go Racketeer Rollers!!!) Then that Sunday I taught a fascinator/hat class at my house! There were good vittles and tons of hats made. Each of us four gals left with 6 new hats or fascinators :-) It was toooooo much fun and I'm dying to do it again soon. So a nutshell we are kinda caught up! LOL! Till next time- Hats off to ya!! LOL!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Giveaway Of My Pins At SewtakeaHike !!!

Penny of SewtakeaHike is doing a giveaway of some of my pins today! I'm so excited cause Penny is famous to me and its wonderful to see all the great feedback on my pins :-) Hurry on over there for a chance at 2 great sets of pins. Her giveaway ends tomorrow. Here is the link:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Muslin: A Love/Hate Relationship

In January I took a class with Heather Ross and Anna Maria Horner in Palm Springs. With their help I made the Liverpool Tunic by Amy Butler. I started with a muslin. A muslin is a garment made of inexpensive fabric (muslin) to test the fit of the pattern and make adjustments on before you cut into the good fabric. You see I'm a very curvy girl and I wear a larger size. My bust and hips are the same measurement and I have a tiny waist. I'm very hour-glassy. The problem with this is that patterns are not generally made to fit people with my shape or people that are my size. Now, in a department store I generally wear a 12/14 or L/XL depending on the garment. In an AB pattern I was a modified XL (14/16). Parts of that pattern I made smaller to get a better fit. Anyway, I recently got the Sew Liberated Tunic pattern and according to my measurements I'm an 18/20. Sigh, how do I go from a 12/14 to an 18/20? Serious ego blow...but I've been sewing for myself since I was ten so I do know this happens. Its just a number right?

     Anyway, I was really excited to get started on this pattern but past knowledge had me wary of this one. It has an empire waist and box pleats....2 bad things for a person with large breasts....instant pregnant shirt! I'm not prego and I don't want to have a prego shirt!! LOL! So, to begin I made an 18/20 per the pattern directions in some cheap white stiff cotton I already owned. (I tried to buy muslin but the price is up to $4.88 a yd for muslin....when did that happen? I could buy designer fabric on sale for that!  Also, my Walmart no longer carries muslin at all.What??) Ok, so 1 am last night test muslin number one done. My first issue was the empire waist was almost at my bust line instead of below. When it is below, sitting closer to the narrower part of you, you get the illusion of a smaller figure. Too high and its an ill fitting prego shirt that makes you look larger. The next problem was the pleats....tooooo bulky and toooo close together. My solution for the bulkiness was to sew them down 3 inches on all the pleats. Gave the illusion of a flatter waistline. However , it still wasn't good I chose a floral print fabric that was headed to the Goodwill. So my disclaimer on the picture should say," No, I will NEVER wear this. I wouldn't even use it for a quilt. It was going to Goodwill. If muslin didn't cost so much I would've used muslin." I'm paranoid someone will think I intend to wear this shirt. Can you tell?

     So, Muslin two in purple floral....made the top longer by 1.5 inches,  accidentally mismarked the pleats and moved them waaay over, sewed the pleats down 3 inches, took the sides in 1/2 inch. Its getting better but is it there yet? Do I need another muslin? Is three too many to get the fit right?
In January Heather Ross said I'd be so happy I made a muslin. I'd do it from then on. The truth is I had made muslin's before for formalwear, clothing etc. I've been sewing for 28 years.I stopped sewing for myself because of the muslin. The bigger and curvier I got the harder I was to fit. The thing I hate about the muslin is the time and effort wasted getting the fit right. I've now spent an entire night making basically two tops I won't wear. I've ruined 4 plus yards of fabric and I'd still like to fiddle with the pattern. Sigh. So, I have a love hate rellationship with the muslin. They are a necessary evil. I need them in order to get a good fit....I hate them because they waste of time and fabric....Anyway, for this pattern I guess I'm back to the drawingboard for a third go. What do you think? Do like one better than the other? Do you have muslin issues too?

Ps. The pics are awful! LOL! It was early am, I just woke make-up and my 12 y.o. took them in a hurry before school :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hi Mom!

Aren't you always supposed to give props to your Mom when you do something great? Like get on TV or win an award or something? Isn't a computer kinda like TV? It looks like one right? LOL! Ok, maybe not.

Anyway, Hi Mom! I'm sure you'll be the only one reading for awhile anyway :-) That and my two followers....who have followed faithfully for months despite the fact I have posted nothing. Aren't Flickr friends great? Speaking of which, it was those Flickr-y friends that encouraged me to get this blog as well as an etsy store to sell my polymer clay pins. I'm not there yet....the learning curve is great....any tips, tricks or help for both blogging and etsy is appreciated!!

I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Christine. I'm a 38 year old SAHM. {Why does this feel like a personal ad? I don't want a date. I promise!} I'm married to the most wonderful man in the world ;-) We have two kids ages 12 and 17. I love to sew, quilt, craft, make things.... (Did I mention I love ellipses? I think I have a punctuation commitment problem....ellipses solve all that! I use them correctly, incorrectly, and way too much! Just FYI. I also can't spell.) I collect and hoard fabric in an organized fashion. (No hoarders show for me!!) I start many, many crafty things. I'm a great "beginner" of quilts but finishing isn't always my strong suit. LOL! Lately, I'm into making polymer clay pin toppers for straight pins. They are fun and a small enough project I can finish them :-)
I am in the midst of a remake of half my garage. I'm turning it into a studio. I live in Base Housing it is kinda like building a fort when you were a kid. It has to be really cool and functional but you need to be able to take it all down and return it to its previous condition before you leave. I did paint the whole garage aqua tho....much to my hubby's dismay ;-) It is an inspirational color for me. But we will be painting it  before we leave!
I guess here is where I put some eye-candy for you to ooooh and aaaaah over. I guess I better go figure out how to do that....hope you can edit these things! LOL!