Weekly Photo Challenge: New

Masterpiece

New Season of Masterpiece Theater: Downton Abbey

 

Thrifty alternative to going out: watching the new season of Downton Abbey at home, relaxing in the La-Z-Boy.

For more Weekly Photo Challenge: New look here.

For the Blogging 101 Challenge, I changed my tag line…I think it more precisely describes this site, still focusing on the thrifty but allowing for other creative media besides only sewing and crafts.

Are you curious about Blogging 101, a WordPress Online Course for improving your write-site? For more Blogging 101, click here.

For Me??? I Shouldn’t Have! :) and Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth

I did a minuscule amount of holiday sewing, mostly for me. Why me?

1) I’m not offended getting a homemade gift 🙂
2) If I mess it up, I totally understand.
3) I, as giver, will not be hurt if I see that the givee (also me) has re-gifted the item to another person or institution.
4) I can chalk it up to experience.
5) I can chalk it up to having a bad day.
6) If it doesn’t fit, I can ask my daughter if she wants it. Also, she likes weird styles and things anyway.
7) If I’m going to spend a lot of time making something, at least I know I will appreciate that.

Star Trek fleece blanket

warm Star Trek fleece lap blanket

As you may know, I like to knit while watching TV at night. Of course I have other lap quilts and blankets, but this one, my gift to me, is special. Why special?

1) It’s fleece, very warm and fuzzy (my other usual TV-watching lap quilts aren’t fleece)
2) It has a TV show theme, ideal for…watching TV
3) I like to think it is the Original Star Trek. Actually, it obviously is the Star Trek animated series, which I like to think is based on the original Star Trek: William Shatner as Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy as Spock, etc. I love the new actors too…but the old school series shaped me into the adult I am.
4) It fits the area of me as curled up on the loveseat upon which I perch to watch TV and knit.
5) The fabric was a remnant, so 50% off the regular price.

Marcy Tilton Vogue V8497

Remnant Marcy Tilton top

Next is the remnant top I made for myself.

Vogue pattern

pattern

top

top

The pattern shows this Marcy Tilton Wearable Art top, three views, all made in a solid-color medium-stretch knit. My expectations from the pattern photo did not lead me to the top I created from this pattern. Why?

1) I used two remnants that have greater than medium-stretch quality. And for the neck band, I used a rib-knit, not a piece of the overall fabric. The two remnants I used have the same colors, but vastly different patterns. I wanted to make the fronts and backs half of each fabric, but I couldn’t because the back pattern pieces are longer than the front, and the fabric I used for the front wasn’t long enough.
2) The picture on the front of the pattern appeared to have the z-shaped seams lapped under. According to the directions, the seams are just sewn, leaving the edges on the top piece exposed to the elements. So after wearing, washing, etc., these unfinished seams will curl up. Also, according to the instructions, the neckband is only sewn on the bottom edge to the neck of the garment, leaving the top edge to fray, curl up, whatever. I didn’t like the look of it on my rib-knit band, so I sewed the top edge of the neckband down onto the bottom edge.
3) I do like the look on the pattern envelope, so I may decide to sew a solid-color top according to the directions some other time.

Meanwhile, other quirks I noticed with this pattern:

1) The directions tell you to glue the seams together with spray-on fusible adhesive prior to sewing or top-stitching. Why? It can’t be just to affix the seams together and keep them from moving while sewing, because you’re also directed to pin them together as well. And you’re still directed to stay-stitch the neckline, and to reinforce the shoulder seams by stitching them on top of a piece of tricot interfacing. I think the idea is that the knit fabric won’t stretch during sewing and therefore pucker, if it’s glued together.
2) I didn’t enjoy using the spray-on adhesive: it’s extremely messy and irritating to the skin around my fingernails when I’m trying to position the hems, etc. But I have to admit that the hems didn’t pucker, they stayed flat as could be, and I was able to use a nice top-stitch, and not the usually-called for serger cover-stitch hems. (Good because I hate to re-thread the serger).

spray adhesive

gunky spray adhesive

Speaking of hand-made, my friend Aura is fabulous at making beaded jewelry. Here are some examples of earrings she has made recently:

beaded earrings

Aura’s beaded earrings

Hope everyone is still basking in the light and warmth of happy holidays! For more Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth ping here.

A Size 18 Tee from Sightly Less Than .9 Yard

Yes. Well, now I know I can do it, but it’s not the best top I’ve ever made for myself!

tee shirt

Remnant tee top

First: the SIZE issue. A mature woman with a size 40 bust measurement can have a number of designated sizes. In ready-to-wear, lately a 14 does it for me. But when you make the jump from young, lean and lithe in figure to…ahem…mature, weighty, gravity-affected, your bulk may not be located in the same area as others who fall into the same measurement slots. I have relatively wide shoulders, and not a voluptuous cup size. My waist measurement is never what the patterns say it’s supposed to be compared to my bust measurement. And I’m shorter than the average woman, too. So according to sewing patterns such as Vogue, Butterick, Simplicity, I should be a size 18-20. My Jalie pattern size would possibly be a Y. Burda size: 23 Petite (best case scenario) or a 46 (adjusted for height). For this tee top, I used Emma Seabrooke’s SewkeysE Claire pattern in a size A: her size 10 shoulders with CD cup size.

remnant tag

remnant info tag: end price was 50% off this

Next: the FABRIC. To make a top with set-in sleeves out of less than a yard of fabric, the remnant has to be pretty wide: this one is 57 inches. And the sleeves are very short. The last top I made with this pattern was from a knit remnant that had some lycra in it, so it looks and fits differently than this one and is stretchier. This fabric, a Nipk Caviar Glitter Tie-Dye in shades of yellow, orange and peach, is 100% polyester and the label says it must be hand-washed. That’s because it has thousands of little glued-on metal dots and hearts cascading over the fabric, that glitter in rainbow colors when the light hits them. Really pretty, but once I tried it on, I didn’t so much like the color on me. It’s also more see-through-ie than I thought it would be. 😦 I feel good in peach and orange, but yellow does not flatter me. See what you think from the picture.

tee shirt

Claire Tee in remnant Caviar Glitter Tie-Dye Knit

BTW, this is my 200th post on this blog! I think a celebration may be in order!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring, as in Handspring!

Gymnastics, the collegiate sport version, ended in late April, with three Gator girls in the NCAA finals. We’ve been able to go see some Gator Gymnastics in the past few years, having a couple of granddaughters who love everything about tumbling, balance beam, uneven bars, the works! But we’ve been crazy busy this year, and the season just sort of passed us by…

I did get a remnant project going: girls’ tumbling leotards from remnants!

Jalie leotards

Jalie Choix de Léotards

I love this Jalie 2792 pattern, because … it’s cute, versatile (22 sizes in one pattern, 3 necklines and 3 sleeve options), the directions are very clear and understandable, and it gives a method for sewing stretchy knits without a serger (which I tried and I think I like it even better than if I used the serger). The sizing is a little different than what I normally expect. But if you use the subject’s measurements, you are all set up to make an item that will fit. I hope anyway. The seam allowances are supposed to be 1/4″; if I sewed them larger than that, I might have a problem…Anyway, I will let my little models try on a prototype before I make them a second leotard. Another plus is that super-stretchy remnants always seem to be found in the remnant bin at JoAnn’s. You can make a girl’s leotard from a rather small length of spandex-infused fabric. And with these great patterns that have contrasting color yokes, you can use up lots of smallish pieces of remnants with very cool results! I bought some glitter elastic to sew on as an embellishment, on top of where the white yoke connects with the gold body of the suit. I could have bought some stretchy sequin trim as is shown in the pattern view B sleeveless, but it is recommended to be removed before laundering, and I didn’t want the girls or their moms to have to fuss with that.

I copied the pattern view I wanted in the size I wanted to make, onto Pellon Easy Pattern. I had some 3/8″ elastic, which is called for on the arm and leg openings. I had clear elastic and white braided elastic. I decided to use the clear elastic, until it snapped in two without much pull, then I realized why I had a lot of that around: because it’s not worth using. The package says “good for infant wear”–ah yes, because the infant will outgrow the item before it’s even worn two times. I would not advise using the clear elastic for anything that gets stretched, and why would you put elastic in something unless it was to be stretched? 💡 Regular elastic, good stuff!

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

is this the costume of a future Gator Gymnast?

gator gymnastics

Go Gators!

Fear of Sewing

Sometimes I am paralyzed with fear when it comes to starting a new project.

Many options

Many options

Being an analyzer, I try to find reasons to explain it away. Is it due to 1) retirement, 2) menopause, 3) stress, 4) lack of confidence, 5) an attack of the “shoulds,” 6) a feeling of disempowerment that is characteristic of females in an older generation who have been brought up in conservative households, 7) feeling bombarded by too many influences?

I think, the older I get, the less time I feel that I have, so I need to fill it with something important. When I retired, I felt that I needed to pursue all those interests that had been shoved aside while I was logging 8 hours a day working for The Man. I wanted to go further into many of those interests, but I had the nagging feeling that they weren’t very crucial in my overall development as a person. Now they are represented by the nine-tenths of my daily emails that I delete without even reading. Most of them require that I spend money, which actually furthers their agenda more than mine.

Which brings me to a realization I had yesterday, Easter Sunday. I listened to Kerrie’s talk in church about how repentance isn’t a punishment. It’s a way to disengage from all that frantic scrambling to get our needs met at any cost. Oh, it’s true. I need, need, need, a “do-over” often. Let me turn around, rethink this thing. I am sorry that I’ve missed the mark. I want to try again. And it’s beautiful that I have another chance. The whole concept of the Atonement of Christ has lots of facets, lots of applications in everyday life.

One time I went to a Relationships Anonymous group. Yes, it’s just like AA, a 12-step program for people who have been in addictive relationships. We all sat around a long table in a conference room somewhere and talked about “my name is _____ and I’m a….Relationship Addict? I can’t really remember, but one lady was just overwhelmed with everyone’s story, she always said she was sorry to everyone. Why? She just seemed to feel responsible for everyone’s awful situation, failed marriage, or even just a bad day.

I go to yoga class every day, and it’s mostly exercise, asanas, but occasionally some principle of yogic wisdom is bandied about in class or in my personal study. Like the yama aparigraha, not focusing on things to prop up our egotistical sense of what it is. But even Mahatma Ghandi spun and wove and made his own clothes. At some point, I know that I can stop frantically asking the Lord for things all the time when I pray, because I realize that I already have all I want and need.

I wonder sometimes, when I see someone who’s really unhappy, just miserable, mean, confused, or wigging out…what would it take to make that person happy?

Paying it Forward at the Grocery Store

rainy morning

Rainy Morning

I ran into the grocery store this morning, still dressed in my gym clothes. I was going to get some quick deli food to give someone that I knew was going to be very busy around dinner time. In a hurry, I strode toward the entrance, when I heard a little voice say “Ma’am…ma’am!” I looked over to my right and saw a little white-haired lady about 4’8″ beckoning to me. As I got closer, she said “Would you like a store coupon? I just realized I forgot to use it when I checked out. This is the second time I’ve done that lately!”

“Oh”, I said, “you can just use it next time…”

“No!” she said. “It expires tomorrow.” Then she faltered, “I mean, it’s five dollars off fifty, if you weren’t going to spend that much…” her voice trailed off.

“OK,” I said, “thank you very much!

Her eyes sparkled.

I hadn’t planned to spend fifty, but there were a few other things I could stock up on…

As I breezed through the store imagining what someone would like to eat for a quick meal, the shopping cart filled up quickly. Then, at the checkout, that pretty young mom we took an iPhone pic of with Santa last Christmas (DH plays a few Santa gigs in December) took a book of coupons out from under the counter and, right in front of the manager, scanned one that gave me another $2 off my order! The manager offered to carry my groceries out to the car in the pouring rain, but I thanked him and said it wouldn’t be necessary…

I’m thankful for sweet, kind people. ❤

Beautiful Spring Day Goes Creepy

tree

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood

palm tree

a beautiful day for a neighbor, would

you be mine?

you be mine?

University Ave

University Ave

We drove out of the city, out of suburbia, past the prairie

We drove out of the city, out of suburbia, past the prairie

cemetery monument

The pet cemetery on 441

cemetery monument

RIP Prince and Benny

dead butterfly

On the path lay a butterfly, chopped in half

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