Monday, November 30, 2009

Month of Tops #4 and #5 with a brief mention of #2 1/2 and a plan for #6

All my last minute plans to have a top #6 have been foiled due to the Flu. (Not THE Flu, I don't think, but an annoyance all the same.) I managed to finish #5 yesterday before my symptoms hit with full force. (And have these not so flattering pictures taken before I hit the Nyquil.)

#4: Vogue 8581

I am assured that this is an awful picture and that the real garment is much more flattering. Go check out the pattern picture to see what it is supposed to look like. The sleeves are still unfinished because I haven't decided whether to just hem them, or insert the elastic that the instructions call for.

The fabric is an ITY knit from Fabric Mart and I used my serger for the body, and my regular machine for the hem. The hem really doesn't look that good, but has elastic inserted and tucked under to create a little bubble shape, so no one is the wiser. If I decide to just hem the sleeves, I am probably going to try a fusible web like steam-a-seam to keep a clean look. I've yet to be successful using my regular machine with this type of fabric.

#5 2614

This is the same pattern I used for Top #3 except with the longer tie. I do love this top, but I wish I could get the pooling out of the back. Swayback adjustments are just working for me. I liked this fabric better though. It doesn't have the stiffness that the flowered fabric does. (It is awfully stiff for something labeled cotton lawn.) I also like the longer tie better.

#2 1/2 Simplicity 3789

This would have been my third shirt, but it just didn't work for me. I have a completed version, but could not get the fit right. We'll see if I decide to go back and work them out.

Plan for #6

Had I not gotten sick today, I would have tried to complete top #6. Remember top #1 that I wasn't so sure about? (Simplicity 3786) Well, I wore it and felt really cute. So, I am going to make it again in a lightweight black stretch cotton.

I just want to give a shout out to Faye. Thanks for getting us all going. I feel that my sewing desire is back, and I have 5 new tops to show for it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Colette Patterns

Colette Patterns has their new patterns listed today, and I am in love with them all. Which is why I ordered all the new ones except for the coat. (And one of older dresses that I don't have.) I love their retro styling, clear instructions, and modern sizing. This is my favorite of the new patterns.

(BTW, I have no association with Collete Patterns. I just am very excited.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simplicity 2614

Simplicity 2614

I've made this shirt before, so it only took a couple of hours to complete after I cut it out. Technically, this is shirt number 4, but shirt 3 is in the wash. I'll photograph that one tomorrow.

I love this pattern, except for the pooling in the back. I made a swayback adjustment and took out about an inch, but the pooling is still there. Totally annoying. But I love this shirt and I will still wear it. The fabric is a cotton lawn from Fashion Fabrics Club. I also messed up by having 2 large flowers over my bust, but the tie breaks it up, so I don't care.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Month of Tops #2

Simplicity 2931: View F

This is a summer top that I had cut out and sitting around for months. It was super easy to put together and I wonder why I waited so long to make it.

Things that went wrong:
  • What is up with those sleeves?
  • Once again, tunic length. So unflattering.
  • As patterns go up in size, the shoulders just get farther and farther apart. People, not so much. I am not the same size that I was when I cut this out; so I had to take in the side seams a lot. If I were to make this again, I would take it in on the fold, which would make it smaller and take out some of the width of the neckline.
Things that worked:
  • Cut off a couple of inches. It's amazing what a big difference the right length makes.
  • Style works for person who is losing weight. (The next shirt up, not so much.)
This is not the most winter-appropriate style, but it will layer just fine under a sweater. It may also be cute with a long-sleeved T-Shirt underneath. And yes, that is a black velvet pirate painting in the back.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gratuitous Baby Picture

This is my niece Alice. Holy crap is she cute.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Month of Tops #1

Well, I finally finished a top for the month of tops. Simplicity 3786.

I am not in anyway enamored of this top, but I don't hate it. Sometimes I need to wear something a couple of times before I figure out how I really feel. I've bought something I was totally in love with in the store, that just didn't make it after a few wears. (Fit was weird, fabric was itchy etc.) And the reverse has happened. I'm willing to give this a fair try.

This was the first time that I have made tucks (that I remember) and while the second side turned out much better than the first, I kinda like them. They add an interesting visual detail. For more info on this shirt, please check the Month of Tops site. (I have different blog entries for each site.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

If You are in Seattle

If you are in Seattle, please consider coming down the High Dive this Friday at 8:00.

50 Shows in 50 States

A Fundraiser for the Girls Rock Camp Alliance and Girls Rock! Seattle. Click here for more info.

Your $10 will go to a good cause and there will be a raffle where you will have a chance to win (among many other things) one of the scarves that I made for this event. (See, this post was craft related.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

On Not Sewing

I, like most of us, go through periods where I am less interested in sewing. I haven't got much done in the past few months because of illness, and now that I am feeling a little better, I don't have much drive. Sewing is a being in the groove thing for me: I need to be in the habit of doing it in order to want to do it. I sort of enjoy it and I sort of don't. Because I have been sewing since jr high school, it's just something that I do. I also hate most of the clothes in stores and can't imagine having to rely on them to dress myself.

My no sewing mojo problem is exacerbated by the fact that that I have recently lost a lot of weight and am still going down. (Ah, the benefits of a mysterious stomach ailment. Honestly, I would rather be big.) I have two skirt projects that no longer fit by the time I finished them. They are still wearable, but the Twinkle skirt does not look so good. I am having better luck with tops right now, because they seem to last longer over a range of sizes. (I am rather tall, so I don't go down as many sizes when I lose weight. This is a blessing, or I would have no clothes at all right now.)

Because I am having better luck with shirts, I joined Faye's Month of Tops, hoping to generate some interest in sewing again. I'm still struggling to want to sew, but I have cut out two things (Which is something.) I like that there is no quota to this sew-a-long. It makes it feel more achievable to me. Wish me luck!

(I tried to upload some pictures from the Simplicity website, but both blogger and preview told me the images were corrupted. It would be really silly if they were doing this on purpose. Who doesn't want free advertising in a down economy?)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

If You Have Ever Wanted to be a Rock Star

As many of you may (or may not) remember, I volunteer for an organization called Girls Rock! Seattle. It is a non profit group that fosters leadership and self-esteem for girls 9-16 through music. The girls take up rock instrument instruction, form a band, write an original song, and perform a concert at a real venue. In one week. It is awesome!!!! Really awesome.

There are several affiliated programs across the country like this, but the mother camp is in Portland, Oregon. Rock-n-Roll Camp for Girls. My daughter went here the year before she entered high school, and not only had a blast, but really built up her self-esteem at a time when she needed it. As a fund raiser, they have a Ladies Rock Camp twice a year, where women 19 and older can have the same experience as the girls, but crammed into 3 days.

IT WAS AMAZING. I cannot recommend this camp, and others like it, enough! AND, Girls Rock! Seattle will be hosting their own Ladies Rock Camp in 2010. How cool is that! If you have ever wanted to be in a band, be a rock star, or meet other cool women, this is the camp for you. (Or any ladies rock camp, for that matter.) There were women in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, and 60's. There were even a couple of mother daughter pairs.

As an added Bonus: Here is a video of my band Dollywould. On Friday, none of us had ever played our instruments. On Sunday, we played our original song at the Satyricon. (We decided to focus on being funny rather than super good. Given the time constraints and our fears about remembering the song, it was a good choice.) I am the drummer.

Ladies Rock Camp - Dollywould from Kelly Hinkle on Vimeo.

From the Girls Rock! Seattle Website:

"Nine years ago, Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls was founded in Portland and has since become an overwhelming success, serving 300+ girls a year. As a result, similar programs have emerged across the country and overseas as part of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance (GRCA), a program of the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls, created to provide accreditation, resources and networking opportunities for it's members. In 2009, Girls Rock! Seattle will be added to this growing coalition of like-minded organizations with hopes of embodying the core values of the GRCA:

. We value the power of music as a means to create personal and social change
. We value efforts that actively expand opportunities for girls and women
. We value positive approaches to fighting sexism
. We value integrity, honesty and respect
. We value appropriate sharing or resources, cooperation and collaboration
. We value using our collective voice to further the mission
. We value diversity"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Month of Tops

Ack! I need shirts. I am going to join Faye in her month-long shirt-making festival of sewing. So expect tops. My first effort will be to rescue a failed Cynthia Rowley shirt. (If I can.)