Feb 202014

I have plenty of sewing projects queued up, but unfortunately I’m still in no condition to tackle them.

So in the interim, I’m screwing around on the web and shopping a bit too much. These are not what I was looking for, but they certainly caught my eye:

Screen Shot six inch cavalli heels

Not that it’s relevant, but the size equivalencies for these shoes do not even account for my size. Huh? 36= US 6, 37= US 7? That doesn’t seem right at all, but maybe Cavalli wasn’t banking on many picky petite customers… That, or whoever wrote the size equivalencies was wearing a pair of these, and concentrating too hard on trying not to topple over.

I pointed out the lack of 6 1/2′s to DH. His reply: “Meh. It’s not as though you’d be going for comfort in these anyway.”

He also noted that, for the price, one could buy two iPad minis (one for each foot, of course). (For the purposes of full disclosure, why, yes! He does own Apple stock.)

Me, I’d skip both the masochistic shoes and the gratuitous iPads, and let the hypothetical spare $893 ride for a bit…

OTOH, a week or so ago, when I was toying with the idea of spending my unexpected birthday money on something ridiculously out of our price range, I had my eye on these, among other things:

I’ve never actually tried this brand, but I like what I’ve seen online so far.

Sep 092013

Since I haven’t been sewing, I ordered a bunch of lounge clothing from Victoria’s Secret.

Included was a pair of Long Jane pajamas:

Screen shot long janes

Cute, right? That’s the model, btw, not me.

Unfortunately, either I chose the wrong size, or the waistband is just ridiculously wide. I suspect it’s a little of each. At any rate, because I neglected to try on the PJs before washing them, it’s my error, so I’m not going to return them. Besides, I’d like to see how they fare over time (aside from the waistband, which is hopeless). Maybe I can try a pair of a smaller size later on.

So, I thought I’d try to remove the waistband and either shorten it or replace it altogether. I knew it wouldn’t be easy with all the stitching. But boy, what a mess. A seam ripper just won’t do. The thermal knit fabric is stretching and shredding a little, I think.

I’m thinking of cutting the waistband off. I don’t know whether the elastic could be salvaged if it’s cut, but I have more. I might also have some fabric suitable for a new waistband covering. But I’ll wait til tomorrow (at least — no hurry) when there is more light, and maybe reevaluate. Maybe I’ll even ask the gals at PatternReview.com for input.

Surprisingly, the pants might actually be high enough in the rise to be salvageable after the inevitable loss of the seam allowance during the removal process.

Or there’s the trash, but they were a little pricey for that, and I actually have the time to experiment before resorting to that.

A dress?

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Aug 142013

I’m not stashing fabric these days, but it’s still fun to look. This new arrival at Emma One Sock almost makes me wish I still wore dresses… and sewed better, or at least faster… and didn’t have a backlog of fabric and projects. Oh heck, I haven’t touched my sewing machine in far too long.

Purely hypothetical then, but I think it might look pretty groovy as a long- or elbow-sleeve minidress. Would have to be lined, of course.

Otherwise, the print is far too large for me, so a top is out. And my mini-dress days are long since over (she thought, primly). ✁

Sew recklessly

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Jul 252013

Weaned on environmentalism, I have historically had trouble throwing things away. While this type of thinking has its merits, it has also hindered me. Late in life, I am learning to compromise. I do try to be careful about what I acquire and how I dispose of it, but not to the point of paralysis.

I had been thinking that as soon as I am able, I should start sewing through my stash with reckless abandon. After all, I need practice, and I have a lot of fabric I don’t love. Who knows? Maybe if I chuck them in the Goodwill bin, some of my practice projects will actually find a loving home one day. In any case, the fabric is not doing anyone any good aging in the closet, and it’s making me anxious.

So it was encouraging to run across this quote from Kenneth D. King:

perfectionism is a disease, and a form of fear! When learning the craft of sewing … you should expect to destroy several acres of fabric before you get good.
Jul 182013

Cropped from photo on emmaonesock.com

While I’ve started to look at fabric again online, I don’t plan to buy anything in the near future unless I can somehow convince myself it is a must-have, one-of-a-kind find that I will actually sew into a garment before I die. That’s a pretty much impossible bar.

However, I came upon this stretch cotton twill at Emma One Sock, and wanted to make a note of it, just in case it’s still around when I’m ready for more pants fabric. I don’t care for stretch cotton wovens in general, but I have a hard time finding pants fabric I like, and this one is billed as having “just a teeny bit of stretch in the width only.” She has what appears to be the same design in gray as well.

Jul 032013
crop red white and blue ikat cotton_34445-04

Photo cropped from EmmaOneSock.com. Click here to see the fabric in their online store.

Here is a lovely cotton print recently posted on EmmaOneSock.com. Lucky for me this was not added a few days earlier, or I might have been tempted to buy some, with the ridiculous fantasy of whipping up a blouse in time for tomorrow. Hah. I’m not even sewing these days, and it’s not for lack of raw materials. So this little beauty will have to decorate my blog, not my stash.

They also have a similar — or perhaps identical — design in two other colorways ✁.

Dec 222012

Finally, the purple sweats are finished. I had put off hemming them for good reason and for a long time, but suddenly could use a less ragged, more modest pair of sweats to bring on the annual Christmas trip.

The thick organic cotton french terry curls at the cut edges, or at least some of them. Ironing did not seem to help. Anyway, I think the more I handled the bottom of the pants in preparation for hemming the more they curled, but it’s all a sad blur at this point.

If it weren’t for the awkwardness of the seams and a silly idiosyncratic fear of unfinished curly hems that is too embarrassing to specify, I might have left the bottom leg edges raw. It would not have looked stellar, but likely no worse than what I ended up with, at least viewed up close. Then again, it’s quite possible that I never backstitched the bottom of the leg seams, since I had planned on hemming them. So I would have had to go back and fix those.

At any rate, I am not in the least bit happy with how they look, but they are done and I can bring them with us, and maybe they’ll be a little less weird after a trip through the washer and dryer. That won’t, of course, erase the wandering stitching line, nor the tunneling between the twin needles. If I’m lucky, nothing will come undone, because when I started to hear something go wrong with the machine, it was just at the end, so I never got to backstitch. Heck, not even sure I got to actually finish. But hey, I did what I could with the time I had available. It wasn’t going to be my best work anyway. Good practice, I keep telling myself.

I’m just a little embarrassed lest my over-achieving in-laws get a hard look. But oh well. I’m not them. And now if anyone accuses me of perfectionism, I have solid evidence to the contrary.

I’ll just say this: if I had paid $30 for these at a store, I’d be shockingly pleased by the fit, and furious about the shoddy finishing.

Maybe I’ll write more later about the challenges of doing all this. But for now, it’s time to pack.

Note to self: before the next twin- needle hem that matters, PRACTICE. A LOT.


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Nov 192012

ETA November 21:

Sawyer Brook is also having a Thanksgiving sale.
Too lazy to record details here, but downloaded file to my hard drive for future reference.

Likewise, Elliott Berman currently has sale info on their home page.

Finally, Doodlebug Yarn‘s e-newsletter announced yesterday what appears to be a site wide, “early bird” Black Friday sale. That is, while they have a “sale/closeout” section, other items are on also on sale through midnight, November 26. “Up to 25% off;” no coupon code is necessary.

Original post:

I’m not actively seeking sales, but these were mentioned in my inbox this morning:

Fabric Mart:

Get your Black Friday Shopping in early. 25% Off Entire Web site.
Exclusions: Julie’s Picks, Bundles.
See discount in cart subtotal
Clearance Fabric included

Gorgeous Fabrics:

  • “20% Off Sale Continues”
  • “…if you spend more than $200, you can get an extra savings bonus! Just type in the code TDay2012 at checkout, and get an extra 5% off your order!”
  • “*Sale runs through Sunday, November 25, 2012. Sale does not include the newest fabrics, muslin, shoulder pads, buttons, swatches, bundles, Yard Sale fabrics or gift certificates. No other discounts apply during the sale. Coupon applies to fabric sales over $200, and we can not apply it after checkout. Sale prices may not be applied to prior purchases.”
Nov 122012
Hard to see in this picture, but that is almost certainly the same 6" hem gauge regularly seen in EOS fabric photos. So those are some large blooms.

So there was this Cavalli brocade I first noticed a few months ago when EOS advertised a roll-end. I couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. The roll end sold out (of course), but they had some left at full price. Elliott Berman Textiles had something that appeared similar at a higher price. When that went on deep discount, I ordered a swatch. But by the time they processed my request, they had sold out. However, they sent me a swatch for the fabric that was replacing that one. The new fabric wasn’t online, so I gave them a call. They do have the new fabric, but did not say why it is not online. The price is $45/yard, but when I said that was too much for me, Eugenia quickly said she’d give it to me for $40. I thanked her (I hope), and said I’d give it some thought.

The new fabric, it turns out, is a bit different from the old one. I believe she said it’s heavier, but am not sure about that part. She also says is has less lurex, and that is has chenille, unlike the previous one. I love less sparkle (I don’t know if it’s actually lurex; EOS referred to “metallic threads,” and that seems more like it to me. But then I don’t claim totally clarity on the definition of “lurex”). At any rate, except for the chenille-ly black background, I was pleasantly surprised by how the swatch looked held up against me. So I wonder whether I would be just as happy with the original version, in case that’s what EOS has. Maybe that one would be too sparkly. Or maybe there is another difference to explain why I liked it so much better in person than online. Or maybe EOS already had the “new” version that EB now has, and I just like it better in person because sometimes that’s how things are.

In fact, EOS sold out as well, with just a scrap remaining. I can’t help wondering whether she can thank my discussion about the fabric on Pattern Review coupled with Elliott Berman’s special and subsequent sell-out. At any rate, when I saw EOS had sold out as well, I asked whether they had any left. They turned up a piece of about .9 yards. Hum. That’s hardly enough for my original plan, which was an evening jacket. But it occurs to me that, even though skirts with texture are a bit of a turnoff for me, it might actually be a good idea to make a dressy skirt out of that brocade, and then pair it with a simple black top. For a beginner like me, it sounds loads less intimidating than a fitted jacket. As for how it would look? I don’t get out much, but that seems to me to be a “valid” holiday party outfit.

In fact, my original idea, when I first saw the roll end on EOS, was that it was the kind of fabric I’d love to use just a scrap of as a panel in a jeans jacket. So maybe I should just get the fabric, stash it, and see what happens. I only hesitate because I have so many small pieces stashed. Oh, and because we don’t have money to burn.

As it is, because I ordered from the EOS sale that ended last night, my order should be totaled and shipped at any moment. But I think Linda at EOS, ever kind, is holding off as a courtesy until I decide on the roll end. I emailed her to ask what she thought of using it as a skirt, and am waiting to see what she says. I ask her so many question DH suggests I open an iChat or some other constant comm with her. I’m sure she’d be thrilled, ha ha. But seriously, she is really efficient about answering emails, as long as they don’t get stuck in her spam filter.

Stupid fabric obsession. I wish I had not ordered the swatch, because before that I was lukewarm. My plan was to buy some at EB’s next annual 50% off sale if there was any left. I certainly didn’t expect to be this disappointed that it sold, or this conflicted about the replacement. Truly I need another mission in life.