Monday, April 17, 2006

The hardest part is over

I'm in the midst of a new sewing project - I'm making this dress (the style shown in pink) to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks. I know that's not leaving much time, but the hardest part is over and now I just have to sew. I made a muslin of the pattern to check for fit and found that I had to add a little here, fold out a 1/4 inch there, drop the bust dart, add some more here...whew! Then I passed the next big hurdle of cutting the fashion fabric. I hate that part. Yes, there is something nice about smoothing out the fabric over my big cutting table and appreciating the loveliness of it, but I tend to fuss and fuss and FUSS over getting the grain lined up and the pattern pieces positioned correctly. Fortunately this fabric, a rayon, could be ripped to establish a grain line. I did a sort of "pre-layout" of the pattern pieces because I feared not having enough fabric. I had 3 yards of 54 inch fabric but the pattern called for 3 1/4 yards of 60 inch width fabric. It turned out that I needn't have been concerned. I had 1/4 yard left over. My worries didn't end though. I scrutinized the fabric to see if there was a direction to it. I've made the mistake of either assuming it didn't or actually cutting the pattern pieces out upside down. Then there's the issue of which side is the right side - on my fabric it's very subtle and I suppose either side could be correct, but mixing the two would be noticeable. After all the fussing and planning, I took a deep breath and cut. I narrowly avoided a major mistake when I realized I'd forgotten to add to the back pattern piece seam allowance. Crisis averted. All the pattern pieces are cut out, notches clipped, and markings transferred. Now the easy part begins. Well, we'll see about that.

Another good thing about making a muslin is that you get to practice the construction. I checked out and found two reviews of this pattern. One reviewer was disappointed that the horizontal gathers at the waistband failed to defy gravity and were rather droopy on her. I'll be sure to keep this in mind and see how those gathers behave for my fabric and make changes if need be. Hopefully the dress will go together without too many late nights and I'll be able to wear it to the wedding. If not, I have a couple other backups. It's definitely a good idea to have a backup plan when sewing to meet a deadline!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Today I...

Worked out - this is week #3 of going to the gym in the morning. I figured I might as well get up and do something good for myself since the cats were already waking me up before daylight and I can't usually fall back asleep (and they only meow and knock stuff of the dresser again anyway).

Gave blood - have you given blood lately? I hadn't done it in quite a few years and was surprised at the amount of work they do before you even lay down. I'm glad they check for bad blood (very glad) but my goodness the questions took a while. And they took my blood pressure, temperature and checked my hemoglobin level. I remember giving blood in high school and they just laid you down, took the blood, and gave you juice and cookies afterward. Of course this was before AIDS, hepatitis B and C, West Nile virus, Mad Cow disease... My husband can't give blood anymore because he lived in England for a semester abroad program in the early nineties. It's a shame too because he has one of the less common blood types. He doesn't have Mad Cow disease. He may be a bit silly sometimes, but he's not crazy.

Read blogs - Why of course I read blogs today. I've been seeing this on a number of blogs, so I thought I'd join in:

Do a Wikipedia search of your birthdate, minus the year; list three interesting events, three people who were born, and three people who died on that day

  1. 1503 - Michelangelo begins work on his David
  2. 1906 - First airplane flight in Europe
  3. 1994 - Ulysses probe passes the Sun's south pole


  1. 1857 - Milton S. Hershey, American chocolate entrepreneur (d. 1945)
  2. 1903 - Claudette Colbert, French-born actress (d. 1996)
  3. 1971 - Stella McCartney, British fashion designer


  1. 1759 - James Wolfe, British general (b. 1727)
  2. 1998 - George Wallace, American politician (b. 1919)
  3. 2004 - Luis E. Miramontes, Mexican chemist, co-inventor of the contraceptive pill (b. 1925 )

Monday, April 03, 2006


I finally uploaded some of the pictures I took of a very snowy Yosemite to Flickr. Here are a few of my favorites:





Cold Seat

And here I am, aka the Michelin Man, in my winter parka. I'm wearing a hat I knit out of Sinsation yarn, though you can't see much of it.

A lot of snow