Saturday, January 5, 2013

Great Reads

Many people have the tv on when they sew - something about the drone keeps us company when we're doing the work.

Through the years when I've been sewing, I listen to audiobooks.  I've read biographies, self-help, novels.  And lately, although I haven't been sewing, I've been listening.  Audiobooks are great for long drives and tearing out drywall as well.

Local libraries have "Playaways," which are little MP3 players that hang around your neck.  Each one is a specific book.  All you have to do it put in an AA battery and a pair of earbuds, and you're all set.  Audiobooks are also relatively easy to download from your local library.

Lately, my obsession has been with Young Adult novels, particular the Dystopian genre (think Hunger Games).  Although I just finished Justin Cronin's "The Twelve," (which I cannot recommend, sadly), I also just finished "Reached" by Ally Condie.  Of the two, I preferred "Reached," since it's a love story.  No vampires, black evil villains, or blood and guts.  I had no idea there were so many great novels out there masquerading as young adult novels.  Some favs of mine - the "Skinjacker" series, the "Chaos Walking" series, the "Matched" series, and my best of the best, the "Delirium" series.  All of these book series' have 3 installments.

So if you pick any of them up, you'll be happy to know that all 3 books are out for each series - save one.  The last "Delirium" book will be out in March.  You can win an advance release copy (ARC) from Lindsay Cummings.  She is a young adult author as well, and I'm anxious to read/listen to her novel, "The Murder Complex."

Let me also say that while I loved "The Host" by Stephanie Meyer, I am not a fan and will not read books about vampires, witches and warlocks, evil demons, angels, or werewolves.  No thank you.  The only exception I have made have been Justin Cronin's "The Passage" series.  His vampires are sci-fi mutants created from a virus, which makes them ok because they're genetically engineered monsters.

I think I've "read" about 50 books since last spring.  That's more than I read in the past 10 years.  There's a lot you can learn and enjoy while you sew - check out your library and have a listen.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homecoming Dance 2012

The mission:  find a killer dress for the Homecoming dance.

The budget:  not much

The result:

From this

To this!

The dress is a poly taffeta that I found at Goodwill for $5.99.

After a bit of shortening and a neckline re-do, it was perfect.

Mission accomplished.  For really cheap.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Losing Weight

I am working through my UFO's.  It is killing me!  I want to sew something new.  This is like being on a sewing diet and I do not like it, Sam I Am.

The latest thing is this skirt:

Which came from this pattern:

Please note that it's a little girls pattern in a size 7-10.  Since I'm also on a food diet, it is imperative that the fact that I can fit into a little girls size 10 is loudly proclaimed from every rooftop.

I had already cut the 10.

Here's the backstory -- when Emma was in 4th or 5th grade, I told her I would make her some things.  One of them was this skirt.  She and I traced off the pattern, and she cut it out.  Then I set it aside -- 


It seemed big for a size 10 little girl, but I decided to put it together anyway.  She hadn't wanted the large ruffle at the bottom, and it was just a little elastic waist skirt.  I decided to go ahead and see if she wanted it, and give it away if she didn't.

So I put most of it together just as it was.  Emma, now 21, said she'd never wear it.  So I looked at it, decided that I do love the print, and I'd just finish it up for me.  I couldn't get over how big it was.  I guess it's because it's just a little elastic-waist skirt . . . anyway, I added pockets, cut off the long hem and made a little ruffle, and then turned down the top and made it a drawstring/paper bag waist.  I can't get over how cute it is!  Who knew?

I'm also finishing up another little girl's dress from -- GASP! -- 17 years ago!  Holy cow!  Makenna and Mia affectionately called it "The Doll Dress," because the print on it is paper dolls.  

I know now why I never did finish it.  It has MILES of gathering.  See?

It's a tiered skirt.  These are the last two tiers.  And that's probably 15 feet of ruffle.  As of this moment, I have the longer piece gathered into the blue one, and I'm trying to get the blue one gathered into the other two endless ruffled layers I did a few days ago.  Then I just need to attach it to the bodice.  

At least I found it with the bodice done and sleeves attached.  I may have given up altogether had those not been done.

It really is such a darling dress -- and I know this because I already made one all those years ago!  I always made 2 of each dress because I had twins.  But this one . . . well, it was a lot of work, and I had a lot of little kids at the time.  I'm pretty sure I still have the other dress, so maybe I'll just give it one to the twins to give to their own kids.  Which may not be that far off in the future at this point, although they'll probably all have boys. Murphy's law.  We'll see.

I will post photos when it's done.  After that, it's just a black sundress and then I'm home free.  I have a pair of shorts to do for Makaela, and then I want a robe, and Jenna wants more sundresses, and Makenna wants dresses, and I have a couple of YouTube tutorials in the works . . . 

The moral of this story?  FINISH YOUR UFO'S.  They will come back to haunt you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easy Fix

Today, I pulled a skirt out of my closet that I hadn't worn in awhile.  I like it a lot - I got it thrifted and it's a departure from my standard blue/white/denim/flowered-little-skirt.

I also got the belt thrifted, and when I put it on, I didn't really like it.  So I tried some other belts in my closet, and nothing looked just right.

I decided the original belt would look fine - it just needed a bit of detail.  I remembered Judy from YouTube saying that she occasionally attached charms to her necklaces and belts.  Hmmmm.  I didn't have any charms, really . . .

So I took a couple of earrings I had and attached those.  What a difference!  Much better, and just what it needed.  Thanks, Judy!

Angela Kane Again

I just got this in my YouTube subscription to Angela Kane's channel.  Although I don't represent her in any way, and I'm not even a paid member of her site, I think this is worth noting.

I'm not a paid member for 2 reasons:  I have a pattern collection of 800+ patterns, and I'm on a very tight budget right now.  But if I were not on such a strict budget, I'd subscribe for the tutorials.  Her tutorials are absolutely fabulous.  And being able to download a basic pattern any time is a wonderful option.  I think this would be a good investment for any sewer.

Just another option for your sewing:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Tour

Want a look at my new sewing room?  Want to hear me confess how I'm somewhat of a FAILURE when it comes to UFO's?  Well, here you go:

I promise, I promise, I promise I will finish those projects and put up photos just to prove it.

Yeah, well, we'll see . . .