Sunday, November 15, 2015

kid stuff

Babies...I love babies.  One of my nieces and her husband are expecting, and of course they will be getting a handmade gift.  

I found these two patterns for infants-I like the little romper and hat shown on the cover of 5585.  The sleep sack on 5583 looks like a nice addition to the layette also.  

I heard that the parents may not say what sex they are expecting so I bought neutral fabric.  I love the dog print, and also really like the stripes.  All three play well together and I think the two prints may work in concert in small amounts.  

My brother Jim and his wife Nancy will be first time grandparents.  I have a strong suspicion that this baby will be showered with attention in this big family!

One last look at that adorable doggie fabric->

Monday, November 9, 2015

Seeing Red

                             8 yards of red knit in 2 shades

I must admit I went a little overboard, but I have not worn much red for years.  Every time I made something in red, my husband would say something honest like "It's a nice design but it's so RED".  

The man apparently doesn't like the color.

I love red for its fiery accent to grey, and it is a wonderful color for my horse, who is black.  I think Big Nick and I will make a very striking pair with a little red in our trail outfits.

I normally wear breeches if using my english saddle and jeans with the western saddle.  Either way, Nick and I would bring some holiday cheer with his red biothane bridle and me in a new red scoop necked long sleeved tee.  I have this pattern for the neckline and a self drafted pattern for the rest of the tee.  
Red saddle pad might be nice too!
Finally, here is an action shot of my reunion dress:

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Power of Intention

Here is my list which I have tackled recently, and by doing so, have had little time for social media--->
Desert landscaping,  fitness, weight loss, riding bareback, bound buttonholes, woodwork restoration, painting trim, fitting an expanding waist and dropping boobs, making new friends, using my serger more often, finding a tile setter, DIY grout cleaning, teaching Big Nick to self load in the trailer, choosing and buying light fixtures.  

I am tired, but satisfied.  

Intention is interesting.  Many people say things like "I could never do that"  or  "I am no good at that."   If I were to only do the things I knew how to do, and do only those things I was proficient at, my list would be much shorter.  I like this about myself, and my life is richer for this.  The downside is that I sometimes bite off more than I can chew, and I must be patient until someone can help me, or I need to allow lots of extra time in order to learn and practice a new skill.  

A neighbor recently said to me "You've lived here for a year and a half and you're STILL painting?"  I didn't match her sarcasm (my Dad would be proud) but did say we like to do things ourselves.  Most everyone around us has handymen and gardeners and probably computer geeks on call.  The comment set me back for a day or so (I wonder if she is aware of the effect of her rudeness?) and I needed to take stock. 

We bought this house fully aware of what needed to be done. It will be a showcase in a year or two and even now is beginning to sparkle.  Here are some quick pics of my house, both good and bad.

sand, fill, repeat.  Coat #1
Fall wreath still to be finished after a trip to Michael's

 Wall paint=Sailcloth
condition of baseboards through much of the house
Entryway all done!!
 Trim paint=Mission gold
 Trim #2 for doors=Melt with you
30 years of neglect

Besides sanding and painting, I have been sewing.  I just made a gigantic order at Fabric Mart and I will be sure to post when it arrives.   Let me close now so I can finish these shorts--->M7165 in cranberry twill.  Look at that zipper and pockets!  Beautiful :-)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

50th high school reunion

No, not husband's.   We will be traveling to Los Gatos and staying at the Los Gatos Lodge.  The event has a get together on one night, and then the main dinner the next.  

I am practicing smiling and nodding.  My DH and I have composed a list of what we won't discuss with others:

how we met (hitchhiking)
why we are childless (choice, then fate)
drug and alcohol use (yes, it was the 60s-70s for goodness sake)
family dynamics (everyone's family is screwy)
money (our retirement pensions were tradeoffs for good salaries while teaching)

Thanks for letting me tell the truth I can smile and nod, make socially acceptable jokes, and try not to yawn. 

We will also be in Santa Cruz visiting our friends, and maybe going to an event at UCSC.  Then, over to Willow Glen (San Jose area) for dinner with one of my brothers and his wife.   

What I am really excited about is my dress for the dinner.  I quickly pulled this one together using B5749OOP-

I love it, but I found it difficult to make using the jersey I chose.  A zipper is called for, and I needed it as I am curvy.  The dress looks really nice FROM THE OUTSIDE.  I will never show anyone the fact, I may make the dress again in a better fabric just to redeem myself.  Here is my dinner dress-I have some turquoise heels and some sparkley jewelry :-)

When I return, I will write up the details of this pattern.  There is lots to love about the dress, but it is not easy to sew well. 

Until later, Mary

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Those gams

I made some shorts.  

I began with my measurements, and then took an extra anti-depressant.  Using B 6061, a size 14+ and extra length on my waistband, I sewed View A exactly as drafted.  These shorts are semi-fitted and tapered...and cut rather long for shorts.  

I ended up with some shorts that were wearable, and some practice in a fly front and a waistband.  My track record for those skills is poor, so I was happy to use a pattern and fabric I was not invested in.  Using my measurements, I ended up with shorts which could be taken off without unzipping!  So, I altered the waistband, removed the button and sewed over the buttonhole, chopped off 2+ inches of the hem.

Now they stay on my hips!! (note for other frugalistas-the tee is an old LLBean turtleneck I remade.)
Feeling pretty sassy, I bought some other shorts patterns and planned a new attack.  This time I used some twill form Hancock's and M 7165 ViewA.  

Why did I cut sizes 14 and 16, except that is what the measurements indicate.  After basting, I saw that a 16 gives me enough room through my hips, but is too big near my waist.  Again, lots of alterations to make the waistband fit...and then adjust the pockets which got pulled off grain. 

This length is good for my height, and I like the fabric.  I did a much better job on the fly front and waistband, though I still need to be more precise with edge stitching and stitch in the ditch.  

It's fun to work on technique and have some samples which ae wearable. :-)
These 2 patterns fit me as well as can be expected without a muslin.  The crotch is good, the waistband doesn't cut into me and the overall shape is nice.  Tight clothes do not feel good in desert heat so while I could go a bit more fitted, I don't want to.

Here is something interesting-I don't know what to do about that dent in my right butt cheek (thanks Woodrow, for dumping me onto lava rock and then running back to camp).

Finally, here are the interior shots of the zipper etc.  

Take away knowledge: fly front mastered, waistbands better, love both pocket styles, both shorts hemmed at 13" outseam with 3 1/2" inseam on B6061 and 2 1/2" inseam on M7165.  

I highly recommend taking the time to PRACTICE.