March 29, 2010

The Elements Jewelry Series, part 2: Earth (and an informal poll)

Let's do the informal poll first, to get it out of the way. I'm still having absolutely no luck with fixing the sidebars, and the creator of the template doesn't seem to be answering my blog comment to ask about it. So I wanted to ask those of you that are kind enough to read this blog in the first place what you think I should do about it. Are the ridiculously long link lists in the sidebars too annoying to deal with? Would this be more reader-friendly if I went back to a regular Blogger-created template and tried to customize it from there? Or, to keep the look, should I put a limit on the number of finished projects links, at least? I still like the look, but the sidebars are kind of bothering me. As is the fact that I have to double-space all paragraphs to get it to read right (at least on my computer.)

Ok, on to the crafty fun stuff. I finished this up last week, but didn't have a chance to take photos until today.


So this is my "Earth" set. I knew I wanted it to be kind of chunky-looking, and to use a lot of stone beads. I mixed in some copper, too (the "earthiest" looking of the metals I could have used, I thought), and some glass beads because it needed a bit more brown.


Isn't this pendant great? It's been in my stash for awhile--I think I was subconsciously saving it for something cooler than the fake suede cord that came with it in the kit. These chip beads were pretty much the perfect color scheme to go with--a mix of tans and browns and greens (hey, plants grow in the earth, it counts, right?) I did buy the copper beads, just because I didn't have any in the stash. And I'm particularly proud of that coiled bit of wire that holds the pendant on--I had to DIY it, because my original plan of stringing the beads on a very thin leather cord so I could knot it through the hold didn't work at all! The chip bead holes were just a little bit too small, and I was having to hand-drill them all out with a reamer to (mostly) get them to fit. And then I discovered that I'd rubbed the reamer smooth (and therefore useless) before getting a third of the way through the necklace! So it was time for a plan B.


I had to cannibalize a pair of earrings to go with. I'd bought these cool stone drops that were the same type of stone as the pendant--I'd thought that since there was a rather large hole in the middle of the teardrop, it would make them light enough. But when I tested one, that wasn't the case. Now I have to figure out what to do with four of those things...rats. Anyway, this was a pair I'd made to go with a necklace that I gave to my mom for Christmas one year. Since then, she's stopped wearing earrings altogether, so she gave her entire earring collection to me. I didn't change much--the beads at the bottom were originally smaller and black. But maybe now I'll actually get some use out of them!


I have been sewing, too. I got a pretty good chunk of the darker green previous test version of the Burda shirt serged together on Saturday. But I wanted to make this one look different somehow, so I wouldn't have two virtually identical shirts in two different shades of green. So this is part of how I'm (hopefully) going to make that happen. A bit tedious, doing all of this hand-pleating, but I'm hoping the results will be worth it!

March 22, 2010

Pattern Review: Burda 6/09 #102

Finished it up on Sunday morning, technically...I had to hand-sew the bindings on, and had one left to go when I got home from a friend's party around 12:45 in the morning. So I finished it up before I went to bed because I already had the outfit planned around it for church in the morning! So here's the pattern review.
Pattern: #102 from the June 2009 issue of Burda.
Pattern Description: A pleated knit shirt with waistband, v-neck, and 2-piece raglan sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: Burda sizes 36-44. Mine is 38.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Mostly. (Judge for yourself.)

Were the instructions easy to follow? Honestly, I kind of disregarded much of the instructions-- I did most of the construction on serger and did things in a different order to make it work with that kind of seaming. And I pretty much ignored the instructions on their pleats entirely, since I stitched them completely down. (On the plus side, this made it easier to follow than Burda instructions usually are!)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the styling of it, and I think it looks pretty flattering on me. No particular dislikes.

Fabric Used: An organic cotton knit from JoAnn's.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Besides a couple of fitting tweaks: I raised the neckline a bit, I took the magazine's suggestion of topstitching the pleats down (when I tested it without, it looked so balloony and awful on non-flat-chested me). The major one was that I left the front lining off entirely-- I think it was fine without it, and it just would have added extra bulk and thickness that I wouldn't want in the summer months. I also added bindings to the sleeve edges, but that was to cover my own mistake of forgetting to add hem allowance instead of just seam allowance. ;-)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'll be sewing this at least one more time, since I like the fabric I used for my basted-together test version. But I'll probably modify it somewhat in the front detailing so it's not identical. I would recommend it for an atypical t-shirt pattern.
Conclusion: Overall, I liked this one very much. (And I'm very glad that I took the Pattern Review knits class first! )
 
 
 And since I liked the outfit that I put together yesterday, showing that off too. I was really happy to find out that the new shirt goes very well with my sunflower skirt that I made last summer. I wore that with a pendant that's usually on a chain (but I stuck it on a wire choker for this time since it fit the neckline better), and the denim jacket that I just picked up last week. (Even though yesterday was actually pretty nice, and I was able to wear the shirt without it in the afternoon, my church is always cold!) Also wore it with silver flat shoes. 

So what do you think? Is that wardrobe project research paying off? ;-)

Trying to figure out what to make next...I'm thinking that since it's all cut out and still on my machine, I should probably do the green shirt that I tested this pattern with first. Though I'd like to figure out something a bit different to do with the pleated part so it's not an identical shirt in a different shade of green! I have some ideas in mind, and am probably going to do some research on Anthropologie to get some other possible ideas. I'm thinking perhaps this black skirt will be next on the menu after that, just because it'll go with lots of stuff. And it'll remind me that Butda magazine has some good stuff, since I got the new issue today and so far, frankly, I'm kind of bored.

I also finished a necklace last night, but still need to make the earrings to go with. So expect another post before too long.
 

March 20, 2010

A few updates

      1. Still trying to get used to this layout-- I like the look of it, but I'm not sure if I can keep it. I still haven't figured out how to get the scrolling element back into the sidebar, and I'd like to keep the "Finished Projects" list intact, at least. Of more concern at the moment is that I've discovered (from posting and re-posting this particular post) that a lot of the word-processing doesn't translate well. Like, say, italics. And bullet-point or numbered-lists. Or paragraphs that I don't put multiple line spaces between. Any suggestions from some of you more html-savvy people would be greatly appreciated!! Or should I just go back to a Blogger template? (They're so boring, though....)

      Ok, on to the crafty stuff.
      1.  I've been (slowly) working on the next necklace in the Elements series, for Earth. It's taking awhile because I'm having some trouble with having to enlarge holes in quite a few of the beads as I go. So I've just been working on it a little at a time. I hope the result is worth it!
      2. I haven't had a ton of time to sew this week, but I did get the real fabric for the Burda top cut out. (Of course, I remembered later this week that I completely forgot to adjust the pattern for the fitting adjustments I made to the muslin....need to do that.) I did get the pleats sewn into the front, so since it's not a major fitting adjustment, I'm kind of hoping I can get it sewn together the rest of the way this afternoon. I swapped a good portion of my wardrobe out for warmer-weather clothes this morning, and realized it'll go pretty much perfectly with the sunflower skirt I made last summer! So if I can get it done today, I can wear it to church tomorrow while we still have lovely 70-degree weather. (It's supposed to get cold again next week. Boo.)
      3. Also did some shopping earlier this week, since Kohl's was having a pretty big sale. For the most part, I did a good job of sticking with my list of wardrobe holes...
           --Though I'm mostly making work-friendly short-sleeved shirts, I did splurge on one with a fun-colored print and embellished waistband. (And some jewelry to go with the bracelet I won. I didn't really have anything antique gold. Oh, and I got some free wide belts--one on a pair of pants I got, and one from a pair of pants that my mom got. She doesn't like belts, so she passed it on to me. I'll need to add some extra holes, but I've been wanting to try that belt-over-clothes look anyway!)

            ---For some layering options, I found some shorter-sleeved cropped cardigans in white and chocolate brown. (Also found a nice, non-boring long-sleeved black cardigan for cooler spring days and next winter on the clearance rack. Nothing for spring there, but I have an idea to reconstruct something I already had to cover that.) I've seen a lot of ads lately with denim jackets layered over things (often with rolled-up sleeves), and I do love my jeans, so I did also get one of those. Yeah, I could make one, but the sleeves were actually long enough and it was on sale anyway, so I figured that this time it would be better to focus my sewing attention on other things.

             ---I failed to find a pair of khaki pants that worked on me, but I did find two pairs of black. And I do wear black pants the most, and they were somewhat different silhouettes, so I'm covered there for now. And I did pick up a new pair of chocolate brown capris--my brother and sis-in-law talked me into helping out with the tech crew at my church, and I need to make sure I'll have some options for things to wear that aren't skirts for the weeks I get put on camera--it's on a raised platform, so probably even long skirts wouldn't be a good idea for that! (I already have a nice black pair, too, so hopefully between those two things I'll be covered. I can still wear my skirts to teach in, at least.) Didn't even try looking at jeans or skirts--I'd still like a boyfriend-cut jean, but the more recent Goodwill runs have left me with enough bootcuts that I won't be hurting for things to wear on the weekend. And even though I ditched the patterns that I tried for the last jeans attempt, I haven't given up on the thought of sewing the perfect-fitting pair of jeans. I just need to do a better fitting job with the muslin next time. And maybe use a pair of jeans that don't have wonky things happening with the fly for my basis. As for skirts, those are quick sewing projects...and I need to test my sloper sometime, right?
                ---Though this wasn't on the Kohl's trip, I did find a couple of pairs of sandals on sale at ShoeMall.com--a flat black one (which, so far, is quite comfortable), and a silver gladiator. Yay! Also attempted to get a pair of boots...they were having an email-only sale discount, which was actually my motivation to order them from there. But the curse of the wide feet struck again--the foot actually fit fine on this pair, but the part around my calf was ginormous! So I returned them to try another pair that specifically said on the site that it has a normal-sized shaft. (Unfortunately, that means I have to pay full-price on the boots, which, of course, is about a hundred dollars more than the combined price of the other two sandals. Sigh.)


        So that's what's going on in my corner of the crafty world right now. And I'm pretty much done lunch, so off to sew! Happy first day of spring!

        March 15, 2010

        Under construction (again)

        Playing around with a new blogger template...wanted something a little more creative than the standards they have to offer (preferably with a background that wouldn't clash with all my pictures!) Liking this one so far...unfortunately, I didn't realize that doing this was going to entirely kill my links lists and whatnot! Guess I have some work to do!

        (Also, I didn't create this layout at all... I believe credits are at the bottom of the page.)

        Edit: Ok, got the finished projects link list transferred, finally... I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to get the scrolling widget back in, though! It doesn't seem to be working with this template. :-( I think I'm going to take a break and cut a shirt out, because at least I know how to do that!

        March 13, 2010

        the calm before the storm

        That's what this weekend is feeling like, anyway. Due to a fluke in my scheduling (I only have one student each on both Mondays and Fridays, and both of those girls canceled this past week and for this coming Monday as well) and a lack of social plans, I'm having basically 3 days completely off. (Being yesterday, today and Monday. Between church and flute orchestra practice, Sundays don't feel like a free day at all!) I'm trying to take advantage of it as much as possible, because between going back to work at the garden center next week, upcoming music things with Saturday rehearsals, and other miscellaneous stuff, my free time is going to be seriously cut back again.

        Yesterday was my sewing day, I guess...I spent most of the day making a muslin for the Burda knit top I want to make for this spring. I wasn't going to originally, but spontaneously decided to yesterday. I'm glad I did...true to my normal thing, I had to take it in some at the waist, and that would have been a pain in the butt to try and fix once it was all serged together. Plus I raised the neckline some, which I think is going to work ok (I didn't check it with the facing, so hopefully it will be!) And this way I got to test it with the pleats left open and stitched down, which is also a good thing, because stitching them down looks way better on me! (Since I don't have a picture of the moment where I had it half stitched and half not, let's just say it was very, very unflattering up top. And I kind of like the sleeker pintuck look of it stitched down better anyway.) The bonus is that this means I'm basically going to get two shirts out of this--since the cheapest knit I was able to get at Joann's was a regular interlock with a 50% off coupon, and the basic cutting out and construction really didn't take very long at all,  I'm just going to unbaste this one and then sew it together for real. Let's just ignore the fact that I'll have the same shirt in two different shades of green, ok? My kelly green t-shirt needed replacing anyway because it's too tight up top and more low-cut than I'm really comfortable with for teaching. And I can chalk it up to expanding on my knit class, to see if there's any real difference between this interlock and the jersey knit I was originally planning on using. Yes, I know what the difference is between interlock and jersey now.

        Since my plan of making a wearable muslin meant I had to wait for the knit to go through the washer and dryer with the rest of the laundry, I also had time to more-or-less successfully alter a skirt! I made this one (original pic) back in 2006, from a wrap skirt pattern I drafted myself. It wasn't completely awful...I was successful in getting a skirt that didn't gape open horribly when I walked, and used the too-good-to-pass-up Indian border print to full advantage. My fitting up top was pretty bad, though. I'll admit it. You can't see it too closely in this before pic, but the fabric bunched up really badly above the wrap ties. Kind of the effect of one of those paper-bag skirts, but a lot worse-looking. (Not that I think that style would look very good on me anyway.)   Plus I kind of overestimated the width of the inside front panel, and part of the skirt also had to pull through the buttonhole for the wrap tie to make it fit.

        Now, normally I'd just either chop a project like this into something completely new, or consider it a lost cause and give it to Goodwill. But in going through my stuff for my wardrobe project, I discovered that I do have a bunch of things that, with a little bit of alteration, can still be good for me to wear. Usually I'd rather just sew something entirely new than make alterations, but I still really like this fabric. So I took off enough of the facing to get to the back (couldn't do it entirely due to the buttonhole), added a couple of darts, changed the angle of the front underwrap so I could move the tie over, and then made a new seam in the back facing to get rid of the excess fabric and sewed it back on. It looks like it's going to fit soooooo much better now! So I guess all in all, it was worth the couple of hours.

        Today, I was originally going to cut out and sew together the for-real version of the Burda top. But I reluctantly came to the conclusion that my sewing area needed some serious tidying up intead. You know, seeing as how I can't get to anything, all my bobbins are tangled together, and every time I reach for a spool of thread I start an avalanche of patterns and Burda mags. So I'm doing a good bit of reorganization today. So far, I've managed to move the contents of my scrap bin to a less-readily-accessible bin (to free it up for things I'll need to get to sooner), and I sorted through the other bins there so I could put the fabrics and patterns that I have definite plans for in the next couple of months together in an easy-to-get-to place. I'm also probably going to put the ones that I'm very strongly considering for fall/winter clothes this year in a slightly less but still easy to get to place. And I've got all of the orphaned pattern pieces in an envelope to sort into their proper places later, which is better than having them randomly shoved onto shelves in crumpled wads. And I also managed to clear out a bin to put the pattern envelopes in....just need to figure out what to do with the Burda mags and the couple of sewing books I have. I'm also getting rid of a significant chunk of my to-be-refashioned pile--either clothes that were mine or my mom's or things I got thrifting with no specific plan for that have been sitting here for awhile. (Well, ok, not everything I don't have specific plans for....but I really do need to use or lose a good bit of this before I can thrift more!) The big mess is going to come once I go back downstairs, because that's when I have to deal with the piles on the floor and the sewing table and the ginormous mess that is my box of bobbins/trims/miscellaneous doohickeys.

        I probably also need to deal with my room some too. I'm just getting tired of being surrounded by piles and clutter, especially in my room since it's never gotten entirely put away since I moved into it. But I also hate cleaning--I'd much rather be making some kind of creative mess than cleaning it up! Oh well....I'll just keep telling myself that this will be worth it once I have all of this mess straightened up and then I can spend my time sewing instead of hunting for bobbins or shuffling piles around! Maybe I can sew on Monday...

        March 10, 2010

        ....and there was much rejoicing!

        That's right... I sewed clothes again, for the first time in about half a year! And it looks good, if I do say so myself! (Which is a relief, after the total fail that was the last dress I made.)

        So here's my pattern review...
        Pattern: Simplicity 5595

        Pattern Description: An empire-waist top with V-neck, tieback, and sleeve variations.

        Pattern Sizing: Mine was 12-20. (Made size 12.)

        Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, though I didn't add the trim. (I made view C.)

        Were the instructions easy to follow? I thought they were pretty straightfoward.

        What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the fit a great deal--the empire waistline is at the perfect place for me with no adjustments. And I love the sleeve variations. I don't really care for their trim options, but that's easy enough to leave off.

        Fabric Used: A crinkly embroidered lightweight polyester

        Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I slightly modified how I did the neckline facing-- I didn't want to just fold it back and have the raw edges there, so I ended up hiding the seam allowances under the binding and hand-stitching it down in the very front.

        Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? This is actually the second time I've sewn it-- I made view F several years ago.

        Conclusion: I don't think this will be the last time I make this pattern--the bodice silhouette is basic enough that I think there's room to customize further, and the tiebacks make it quick to throw together with minimal fitting issues.

        Other Comments: I really like the effect of using the crinkled fabric with this one--the one I made back in grad school was also a crinkly fabric, but that one was more of an all-over random crinkle, and this one was more or less a vertical crinkle. So it makes the gathering at the bodice blend into the waist seam very nicely without it being too obvious, and gives a nice puffy sleeve effect without being too little girl-ish. And look how great the crinkling looks in the back!

        I was quite happy that I was able to get this one together so quickly--even with finishing the seams on the serger, I got the whole thing cut out and entirely sewn together (minus the sleeves) in about 4 hours. The sleeves took about an extra hour the next day. I was also quite happy to get this fabric out of my stash--Mom gave it to me for Christmas about 2 or 3 years ago, and it's just been sitting there mocking me ever since! Plus I'm thinking teal is my go-to color for this year-- I keep finding myself drawn to it.
        Not the best of lighting (thus the reason Donna--my dummy--is the main model instead of me), but I think this shows that it fits me pretty well, too. The neckline does gap a liiiiiitle tiny bit, but given the crinkly-ness of the fabric, I think it's actually pretty minimal. I'll probably end up wearing a cami under it, since the neckline is right on that borderline of being too low-cut for me to be comfortable without one. That, and the embroidery did leave some big needle-holes that might benefit from having something underneath other than my skin. Now the weather just needs to get warm enough for me to wear it--I've managed to venture into the 3/4-sleeved portion of my closet as long as I have things to layer over top, but short sleeves are pushing it for me right now, seeing as how we've barely cracked 60 (if we have at all!)

        So I think this was a good welcome-back project for me, and now I'm excited to sew more things for my spring/summer wardrobe! Though I'm completely torn as to which thing to attempt next...do I try to apply what I learned in the skirt class to make the February Burda skirt--a needed basic? Or go for last June's funky Burda t-shirt? (I'm leaning towards the T-shirt, since if I get on that in the next couple of days and get stuck, I can still ask for help on the knit class boards!)

        March 8, 2010

        Curtain Call! Act 2: Success!

        As of last night, both sets of the window curtains are done! I'm not completely off the hook with curtains yet, as I still need to make a pair to function as the doors for my closet (and probably a much better backdrop for my finished projects than what I've had!)

        This is what the inside of the curtains look like--I was flipping through a book about sewing curtains at Joann's one day while waiting in the cutting line, out of boredom. And there was this one set of curtains where they made them as tab curtains, but with the tabs on the inside instead of coming out of the top. I really liked that idea--figured it would be a much nicer finish, and it would be more likely to block the light at the top of the curtain rods. (Plus the added bonus of it not being quite as crucial if the tabs weren't totally evenly spaced. Which they're not-- I couldn't quite make it work in the middle, since I had to go with an even number of tabs.)

        And the finished product, with a bonus: I finished sewing the binding on my quilt tonight (needed to keep my hands busy during the chat for the Pattern Review class, since it wasn't constant typing), which means that the quilt is also finally done!!
        I think the interior tabs make the top of the curtain pleat very nicely, actually. And while it's not a total light-blocking effect like the curtains in my old room were (sort of...didn't help that my bed was adjacent to the window and therefore I got hit full-force with the light at the edges), it is so much better than just having the shade there! (Especially since the shades are just a liiiiiiiiitle bit too short.) Actually, I think they also brighten up the room a good bit, since they're overall lighter than the shades. And the stripey pattern is so clean and fresh--it makes me think of the sort of thing you'd see at a beach cottage.

        Also liking the quilt with the curtains--it's harder to tell in this lighting, but there's just enough blue in the quilt (especially around the borders) to pick up on the blue in the curtains.

        I guess technically, the curtains aren't entirely done, since I think I am going to have to make tiebacks. But I'm going to let that sit for a few days to see.

        And a bonus shot--closeup of the block with some of the quilting. It's hard to tell in spots with the variegated threads, but it's kind of a freehanded swirly design.

        I desperately needed a break from interior design, so since I had a good chunk of free time today, I cut out and mostly sewed together a shirt! It needs sleeves still, which I just might be able to add tomorrow before my teaching run. But this is my easy get-back-to-clothes project, since it's a pattern I've made before. And in a fabric that's been sitting in my stash for at least two years, so I'm feeling quite happy to finally have a chance to use it up!

        March 6, 2010

        Curtain call! Act One: Math is not my friend.

        So my main goal for this weekend was simple: knock out the curtains for my bedroom, preferably today so that I can use tomorrow to catch up on my homework for my knits class at Pattern Review, and then take Monday (which will probably be my last full day off for awhile, since I'll be going back to work at the garden center soon and my only student of the day will be on vacation) to do something wild and crazy like sew something that I can actually wear. Simple, right?

        Of course not. It's now around noon, and guess how much I've gotten done? The tabs. That's it. And I did most of that last night. Actually, I'm kind of at negative work done on these curtains, because I basted the tabs onto the curtain fabric and have to remove them all. Turns out that the lining fabric I broke down and bought for them earlier this week is nearly 4" less wide than the curtain fabric. And of course, I based the tab measurements (which took me a good 30-45 minutes to figure out in the first place, since I had to keep shifting things around to get them about even) on the outer fabric. So now I have to not only rethink my entire method of construction in order to get the tabs even with the edges, but I'll have to do the spacing math again. Arrrrgh!

        (And here tab-top curtains are supposed to be one of the simplest ones to make... I think I've officially decided that I do not like making curtains.)

        So I'm taking a break as I write this to eat some lunch and regroup. Then it's back to trying to get as much work as possible done before I meet up with my best friend this evening to go see Alice in Wonderland

        March 4, 2010

        Dear Express Blouse...(a breakup story)

        We've been together for awhile, you and I. From the moment I first laid eyes on you on the clearance rack at Rugged Wearhouse (or was it one of the beach outlets? The details are a little fuzzy in my mind), I knew I had to have you. There's so many design details about you that I loved--that I still love, really. Like your double princess seams in the front.
        And the little bit of lacing you have in the back, the wide fold-back cuffs, and your lovely sage-ish coloring. You make my hair look redder, and such flattery always works on me. Which you probably knew.

        But, as much as it pains me to admit it, I'm beginning to think that perhaps we're just not right for each other. After all, I was always a bit too tall for you--I've never been able to wear you without another shirt underneath of you. I knew that when I bought you, but I was able to ignore that because of all of those things I loved about you--you weren't perfect, but you were good enough. As our relationship has gone on, though, I'm finding those flaws harder to ignore. Like the fact that your last button stops just above my navel. Or that your hem barely clears the waistband of my pants at the side. And especially your sleeves...I know that my arms are a bit longer than the average girl of my height, but your deal of being too short for a long-sleeved blouse and too long for a 3/4 sleeved blouse is really beginning to drive me nuts. I don't know what season to wear you for anymore because of that.

        So, I think today is going to be the last day I'll be wearing you. I can honestly say that it's not you, it's me. It's going to be hard for me to let go of you completely, since I really do like your style...I hope you'll forgive me for wanting to make a pattern from you before you go, so I can make a (longer) version of you that's better for me. Please don't feel like I'll be abandoning you when I take you to Goodwill...it's for your own good, really. I'm hoping that you'll be able to find someone better for you, too. Somebody shorter, perhaps.

        Love,
        Me

        p.s. I really will miss your color. I don't know if I'll be able to replicate that.

        (In other news... I'm hoping that, given that I have almost all of tomorrow and Saturday free--just one lesson tomorrow, and going to the movies on Saturday night--maybe, just maybe, I can get those window curtains all sewn together. And then I can make clothes again!! I still need to make some pillows and closet curtains, but those can wait. It's been way too long since I've sewn anything I can wear, and I'm starting to get antsy. Also, I've decided to be intelligent about a couple of those upcoming projects and make muslins first. Like for the two things I'll be making from the plaids I bought recently. I've also decided that, since I haven't found any fabric yet that I really love for it, I should probably make the effort to test this pattern before I expend too much energy on hunting some down. I hate to admit it, but given that this is more of a mod-era 60s remake and I certainly don't have the figure of Twiggy, there is potential for it to not look very good on me at all. But I'm definitely going to make something else first-- I don't want my first post-clothing hiatus project to be a muslin!!!)

        (Also, expect some changes around here soon... I'm thinking the blog is due for another makeover too.)

        March 1, 2010

        Yeah, so you know that bedroom redo I've been doing since, oh, October?

        I actually made some progress on it over the last few days. Imagine that!

        First of all, I finally finished the ottoman recover that I started back in October. It involved a lot of unwieldy fabric-pushing and a resulting number of self-inflicted stab wounds from pins, but hey, it's done. Admittedly, not my best sewing job ever. But that's why it gets a corner spot, next to my bookshelf....because then no one can see the bad spots.

        I've also made some progress on my quilt binding, though I didn't take a picture of that. I'm maybe a foot or less from finishing the third side, since I spent a good bit of time working on that last night after finishing the ottoman up.

        And then today, I worked on cutting out my curtains. (If slicing fabric into 2-yard increments counts as "cutting out".) I did get the fabric and lining pieces all cut out...I wasn't going to add a lining, but after holding it up to the window this morning, I decided it probably would help. I'm hoping these won't take long, because one of the windows faces east, and I'd really prefer to not be woken up any earlier than I have to by the light that leaks in at the bottom of the shades! I do still have to cut out the tabs and tiebacks for this, but I need to do the math first. (Yuck.)

        And because I can....gratuitous kitty cuteness! I stuck the fabric on my bed after checking it against the window, and she decided it would make a good tent. Fortunately, she got tired of it before I was ready to cut it out, because she's really not as sweet and innocent as she probably looks here!