Friday, August 31, 2012

Labor day weekend work!

Well, my sewing table has gotten to be such a disaster I can hardly sew. It's also in the dining room right now, which my mother doesn't like. This weekend, my goal is to fix up my sewing area, including moving it upstairs into my bedroom. And also clean out that hermit crab tank, because my brief stint of hermit crab keeping has taught me that perhaps I am not meant to be a hermit crab keeper!
This is what my sewing table looks like right now. Note the giant pile of stuff stuffed behind the hermit crab tank. That has to go too.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I really need to learn how to alter. I have very narrow shoulders and a small bust, but wider hips. I've basically taught myself to alter pants and skirts, because those are pretty easy--I go by hip size and take in the waist. It has worked well in the past, with a few exceptions usually caused by other problems (like the time I cut out a pair of pants off-grain and decided to sew them up anyway...).

But where tops are concerned, I'm pretty hopeless. If, by chance, the pattern were to fit in the shoulders and bust, I could make the waist wider. But this has yet to happen. I have tried many different ways to wing my alterations. I've made it too big and ignored the loose fit. I've muslined, and altered that as best I could. I've made it as-is and then altered that.

I've really only had two successes, and neither of them really counts. One was the spaghetti strap top from my inaugural ball dress, so it didn't really *have* any shoulders to alter. The other was NL 6807, which I altered by taking a giant pleat in the center front. I love that shirt, but adding a giant pleat isn't really a sustainable or widely-applicable option.

I think I need lessons. I can't decide if I have the mental discipline to take a course online while working, going to school, and commuting, or if indeed a course for people who have ridiculously tiny shoulders even exists. I'm toying with the idea of trying to find someone to give me private scheduled lessons. It's probably more expensive, but it might well be worth it. Anyone have any thoughts? Have you ever had private sewing lessons? Were they worth it? Alternatively, anyone know any good online courses?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

From one kind of crazy to another

Well, home from NYC, and freshman orientation at college is over. I have to say, orientation is less fun as a junior than as a freshman! Oh well. I'm currently working on organizing my room (including my sewing space) for the upcoming semester, which starts, um, tomorrow. Yikes! Pictures post-organization will follow.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Home again!

Well, we had quite the roadtrip! We drove to Maine, and spent a few days there. Then we drove to Montreal to visit my grandfather. Then we drove all the way to Notre Dame to drop off T and M for M's freshman orientation. Then we drove home. Thousands of miles, tens of hours on the road, and many more nights in motels than is usual for me, we are home. At 3pm, I leave again for a short trip to NYC, but at least that's only four hours or so, and the rest of my family is staying behind.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A different kind of productivity

We have been relaxing these past few weeks, and I have learned a new skill: making jelly! Eight jars down, four to go. I am making grape jelly with the grapes from my grandfather's back yard, which is really a lovely feeling.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wedding dresses

No, don't get excited/horrified, I'm not engaged. But a very dear friend of mine is, and it got me thinging about wedding dresses. Specifically, about what I would want in a wedding dress, should that time come around. I started to browse the David's Bridal site for ideas. There were really two dresses that stood out to me.

This is the first. (Sorry, I'm too technologically incompetent to figure out how to get just the picture here.) I really like the shape of this gown, and it's super cheap. However, it would require extensive alteration, because strapless dresses are not flattering to me (or, IMO, anyone--but that's another can of worms) and I am not wearing one into a church, anyway. But the main details--very simple, and with princess seams, are definitely something to keep in mind.

This is the second. I like this dress because it is modest, while still being simple, and it has short sleeves. A lot of modest dresses have long sleeves, which, while not inherently wrong, is not something I'm looking for in a wedding dress. And again, this one is A-line.

In terms of where I would get a wedding dress, I see three major options: Buy a dress, make a dress, or get someone else to make a dress. Buying a dress would probably require extensive alterations which I'm not competent enough to do, so that would also involve finding a seamstress. I am not sure right now which alternative I would prefer. As I'm not engaged, I guess it doesn't really matter!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cosplay skirt

Well, you didn't think I was going to leave you hanging after my near disaster, did you? I would never do such a thing. Here are the pictures of my cousin's skirt in action!

Neither photo was taken by me. The credit for both goes to someone named Ollie Oberg. I believe this is his website, should you be interested in cosplay photography.

The fit is not perfect, but given that we had one fitting and it was over a pair of shorts, I can't say I'm disappointed in how it turned out at all! It was definitely a learning experience, both in terms of what I can do and what I can expect other people to do. Now that the stress of worrying I might not finish in time has worn off, I am very glad I did this project.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just a heads-up!

I will be spending the next few weeks away from my sewing machine. Life has intervened, and sewing is going to be very sparse. I will have my embroidery project, so I will try to keep you all updated on that, but my internet time will also be reduced. Regularly scheduled programming should return by the end of August at the latest.

My apologies to all!