Saturday, October 21, 2006


See you in 11 days!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tuxedo wear

Tom is now outfitted for the cruise. Although I didn't get to make him new shirts, I finished the vests and bowties. While the first vest was finished over the course of several days, the second vest was sewn in the early morning yesterday. Funny what a difference experience and easier fabric make!

After Judy Barlup spoke at the last Portland ASG meeting, I decide to purchase her Japanese Tailoring DVD and book. It was worth the price even if just for her welt pocket technique. Her method simplified the process and I easily created the best single welt pockets I've ever done.

The wine fabric is silk douppioni. The gray fabric a taffeta. Both were bought at Mill End.

The bowties match the vests - in spite of how the colors may appear.

Snack time

It seems a girl can't even have a snack without prying doggy eyes.

Mandy puts on the cute face.

While Cody "prairie dogs." This is Cody's self-taught trick.

And, yes, I probably did give in.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


The red carpet dress is now a dress.


I ran into an issue with the cruise version of the reunion dress. Interestingly, the pattern envelope for the dress didn't have a real model. Could it be that the designers never really tried to make the dress or perhaps they ran into the same issue I did - the lightweight silk on the bias paired with the not so flowy zipper created a serious right hip bulge. After consulting with the Fiberly Friends, I decided that an alternate closure was in order. So the plan is to close with covered buttons and button loops. However, it may not make it for the cruise only seven days away because 1) the "bloom" has gone off the project at the moment and 2) there are vests and bowties that must be made. It's possible I'll get to it...but I'm not going to get stress out of it when I now have a back up dress.

Back up

I haven't been dress shopping in a very long time. It was quite an experience. I was sorely disappointed in Nordstrom. The selection is minimal, and very, very spendy. So I forged ahead to formerly-Meier & Frank-now-Macy's, where I found not only a good dress department, but a one-day dress sale. So I piled a dozen dresses on my arm and headed to the dressing room. The dress that hands-down was the best fit was really on sale. So end the end I got a $185 silk dress for 70 percent off! The only issue was that quite a lot of the beads had fallen off, but with some silk thread, a small needle, my trusty needle threader (my very favorite notion),the beads and sequins provided, and extra beads from my stash, the dress is now fully beaded.  

Waiting dogs

Pre-Dinner naps

Closer to dinner time - closer to the door

...Even closer

Knit Nite

Thursday I spent a very pleasant evening with some knitters at Connie Knepper's house.

Here's what Dianne wrote about the group:

Here is who I know will be at the knit night. I am looking forward to it!

Connie Knepper - learned to knit when she was a teen and has returned to it. She is consistently finishing projects and has just finished a sweater

Patty Hudson - mostly retired at 40 something so she knits or sews all the time and has saved me and encouraged me regularly on her blog.

Jean Rodway - my mother who specializes. First she did over 500 baby hats for a hospital. Now she is knitting socks on tiny little needles, usually with pretty self stripping or Lorna's Laces yarn. I especially love my light denim colored ones with the tree pattern.

Lydia Kim - a work associate of mine, who learned as a child and has returned.
She has knit numerous scarves and likes to "play" with the yarn. She wants to move on now to another.

Me - I like to buy yarn, look at blogs like Patty's, yarn sites and dream. Haven't knit in weeks since I spent 3 days and nights knitting over Labor day and now have tarpal (sic) tunnel syndrome to baby along. Am proud that I finished a wool vest for John for his July heat of the summer birthday. (It was supposed to be for Christmas previously). Several of the above would say I spend more time "frogging" than knitting.

Stephanie - a former work associate of Connie's, who started 1-2 years ago. I have seen some of her nice work, but haven't seen her for 6+ months to know what she is knitting.

Additionally, there was Angela, Stephanie's friend who had never knit before.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ambitions redux

It's October! Where does the time go? (I think I've asked that before...)

Red Carpet Dress progress
I received the balance of the La Luz yarn from Chez Casuelle on Saturday and piece one of the 2-piece red carpet dress is done. I'm quite pleased with the results. Now on to the top. I've made a few false starts. I've decided to use Soleil for the shaping, using the original pattern (zigzag and eyelet lace). Soleil is knit in the round so there was the obligatory twisting the row (twice) - I frogged 10 and then 4 rows. After knitting the parasol lace for the bottom, I decided it would be too large so zip! went all 14 rows of the pattern. I reknit the bottom on one size smaller needles changing to the larger needles for the body. Next I had to figure out where to shift the sides, since the zigzag needed to start in the middle of a pattern repeat. But the decisions have been made.

Other crusiewear
Carolyn wrote in her blog that there seems to be a slowdown in sewing. She attributes it to striking sewing machines. For me it's pattern layout avoidance. I think it's due, in part, to the reluctance to cut into such nice clean pieces of fabric. It's also due to the knowedge that if I screw up on this step, that may be it for the project.

But time is slipping away and if I plan to fulfill my ambitions, I need to just do IT! A few weeks ago, I did start the cutting phase and got two shirts for Tom cut. Then I started on the chiffon for my dress and stopped. I'd pinned it to paper, but clearly not used enough pins or the right cutting tool and the first piece was very askew. So thinking it through (for a couple of weeks), yesterday I laid out the rest of the pieces with lots of pins and used the microserrated shears I bought in Scotland, and had at it.

The dress is now well and truly on it's way. I've got the top chiffon pieces gathered and pinned to their respective crèpe pieces. That just leaves the midriff and skirt pieces to underline. Next I'll hand baste all pieces together and then I can sew. I'm feeling more and more confident as I think this through.

Then I'll work on two tuxedo vests and bowties for Tom. Seems the ones I made in a previous life have found their way into a black hole along with my Threads magazine collection, so I extended my ambitions. I just figure that if I don't get to the shirts, Tom can wear the reunion shirt and an RTW shirt for the "informal" evenings.

Finally, there are the buttons on the sports jacket we bought for Tom that need to be replaced. Not a big project, but a project nonetheless.