Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This post isn't about sewing and doesn't have any pictures.

Are you ok?  I mean... you can stop reading if you need to.  Just wanted to warn everybody... I think the post is still worthwhile.

What the post IS about is the amazing game that I invented.  The Game.  Seriously, it's awesome.  And I'm going to share it with ya'll for free.

So here's how it goes:
You take turns saying extremely boring things to each other. 
You lose the round if you repeat something you previously said, if you accidentally say something interesting, or if you laugh at what the other person said.  The loser gets to start the next round.  You feeling this?  For example, a typical round might run something like:

Player 1:   Yesterday morning I made my bed, but this morning I didn't.

Player 2:  I have a pen at my desk and it has a lid on it

Player 1:  Every day when I get to work, I pick up my badge and clip it onto the front of my jacket. The badge has my face on it."

Player 1:  I just lost.
Player 2:  Awesome.  I rock at this game.  Your turn.

 A couple of other zingers that I've dished out (or been dished) include:

"Today I brought lunch to work in a small tupperware. Around noon I took the tupperware down to the kitchen and put it in the microwave.  When I first took it out, it wasn't hot, so I stirred it and microwaved it some more.

"This morning I made myself tea by taking a bag out of its package and putting it in a cup, and adding hot water"

"I walked back to work after lunch, but upon arriving at the building, I found that the door was locked. I took out my key, put it in the lock and turned, and then opened the door and went in."

 I've only done this with two players at a time, but it could be extended to multiple players.  It's mostly an internet/chat/text type of game - I don't know what happens if you try to play it in person.  Probably you lose more often.  But I mean that's the best part, right? If you win, man, you WON!  And that's awesome.  If you lose, it's because you accidentally had fun. Who can be sad about that? 

If you don't "get" the game... well, I can't explain why it's funny.  Not everybody's kind of humor, I guess.  But it sure makes me happy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kona Color Cards

are back in stock today at Pink Chalk Fabrics!  I've been waiting to order the color card and the Emmeline Apron at the same time and the day has finally arrived!

Patience, my pretties.  I will see you soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Upholstery Quilt

This quilt was almost a disaster.  I arranged the upholstery pieces over and over again, taking out pieces and putting pieces in and trying to make it into something that I liked.  I mean... I love the fabrics, but when I put them all together, I would look at it and think "Mess.  Mess, mess, mess."

I tried taking out the brighter colors:

I tried putting in more colors:

I even took everything to the Modern Quilt Guild meeting in the Bay Area and asked for advice.  The lovely ladies there suggested that I sash the blocks in a darkish color, maybe matching the blue solid.  I ended up finding a lovely dark green to use, but... it just didn't solve the problem.  It was still just a big mass of activity to my eyes.

I spent the afternoon last Saturday rearranging pieces again, repeatedly calling my s.o. in from the other room to find out "Do you like it?  Do you like it more or less than the previous version?"  He was very patient with me (although not particularly helpful... after the third arrangement with different pieces removed each time, it turned out that his judgments were based on how evenly spaced the pieces were, not on the colors that were present).

Finally came the moment when my brain snapped into action - the problem wasn't which pieces I added or removed.  The problem was that I just assumed that because I hadn't picked out and cut the fabrics myself, because they were random patterns, random sizes, and random shapes, I had no choice but do to a ~random~ layout.  I just assumed that I couldn't impose a speck of order.  I did one more adjusted layout and it was finished.  Perfect.  Bye-bye fabric vomit splatter, hello beautiful quilt.  I sewed up most of the top that afternoon and added in the sashing last night:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I made a pattern!

Yes, yes, I am amazing.  I wanted to make something that looked like this piece of beauty from Alabama Chanin's Denim Look Book:

(Can you tell I'm really obsessed with Alabama Chanin lately?  I've spent hours pouring over her website and books.)  I wanted to make a shirt like that, with the many vertical seams, but she hasn't released a pattern for that dress.  Soooo... I decided to draft my own (shirt version, that is...)

I started by putting on the corset top that I made earlier, then using tape to mark where I wanted the lines to be on my new shirt.  Then I took off the shirt and cut paper pieces using the marked shirt as a guide.  I sewed a muslin from that and used that as a starting point to draft changes.  5 muslins later, I was ready to make the shirt.  FYI - while the line-marking part of this worked really well, I should have used a NON-stretch shirt that fit perfectly.  I had to do quite a few extra iterations because the starting point was a stretchy shirt, which hid imperfections with the fit (and also resulted in my first muslin being ENORMOUSLY over-tight).

The material for the shirt is from a thrifted pair of men's jeans (which looked a lot like a new pair that my s.o. just bought... he saw me on the couch with the pants and the scissors and started to fuss.)  I hemmed most of the shirt by just folding the edge under and topstitching, and then put a bit of maroon bias tape to cover the raw edge at the neckline.

I love the shirt, and I'll definitely make it again. (Doesn't the back look great?)  Next time, I'll try a stretch material and tighten things up to get rid of some of the funny spots and make it really come in under the bust.  Plus, I really need to figure out how to emphasize the seams more.  I want them to really be a strong feature and you can barely see them in the pictures.

(Oh and P.S. that is the WIP skirt that I finished up with a bit of hand sewing.  The other WIP skirt - I took out the gores and replaced them with green, found that it was not significantly improved, and took no small amount of satisfaction in placing it neatly in the kitchen trash can.)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pattern Challenge update

Soooo an update on the pattern challenge -

I looked into the WIP skirts that mentioned and oh man oh man:

This one was supposed to be a swirly style skirt with gores - I decided to make the skirt green and the gores yellow and the effect is very "circus tent."  Plus the way it falls is totally wrong.   Honestly I should have just tossed it a long time ago, but I had this idea that I was going to take out the gores and replace them with green.  Or take out the skirt and replace it with yellow.  I'm so crazy sometimes.  It's a shame that it looks so bad... I did a beautiful job putting in the zip.

The other one I had one that was a pencilish fitted wrap skirt; I put that aside because it turned out a little bit big for me and it was all lined and everything, so I didn't want to take it apart.  Well, lucky lucky me, a year of sitting in the sewing drawer took care of that little problem (and no, the shirt didn't shrink, sadly) so it fits fine and just needed finishing touches.  I hand sewed on some frogs and a snap and it was all done... picture to follow when we get some sunshine.

I also remembered some shirts that need fixing, so I've added that to the list.  Pluuuuus I saw this:
Ceylon dress from Colette Patterns, sewn by Tessuti

I couldn't resist it.  It's been added to the list even though it looks like it will be pretty hard.  It's just so lovely.