flummoxicated: (upset)
*sigh* I bought my serger because it was easy to thread. I havent been able to get the tension right without my mechanically inclined spouse, who today had time to futz* with it. He got it working great, and I was happily finishing seams when I noticed a weird clicky noise happening every so often. Broken needle. And I couldn't find my serger box o' stuff - so no needles. After a trip to JoAnns for needles, it turns out that the needles I bought were too short (?). Grumble. I bought the machine in the Big City; I'll have to see if anyplace around here sells the recommended brand.

Phooey.

BUT - between yesterday and today I finished the sleeves and assembled the bodice for the wrap dress. It's going together very nicely - it fits great with no effort on my part beyond the original pattern. It's just this serger nonsense delaying progress. I may just finish the rest of the seams the old fashioned way so I can complete the thing. I'm considering doing a decorative topstich in a contrasting color on the collar and cuffs...though that's the sort of thing that, if not done just right, really looks bad, so I may try that on another project. Since my luck has been so mixed with regards to sewing lately, maybe I'd better not tempt fate.

I also worked on one of my UFOs from last year, a skirt (McCalls 5591). This is in a ladybug fabric; nice design, not twee at all. Ladybugs, skulls - my wardrobe is going to be funky.

*Did you know that the original meaning of "futz" is literally "to fart around"? Truefact!

I suppose I should do some dissertating now.
flummoxicated: (sewing retro)
(More than) a few years ago, I took a quilt class. The name of the class was "Fabulous Fifteen" and, as you may have guessed, we learned 15 patterns - they were related, each week we selected one of the assorted patterns for that class. For a variety of reasons, I didn't finish a single quilt from the project. This unfinished-ness started bothering me, so I dug out the quilt parts and the directions and decided to do something about it...Here be details and pic )
flummoxicated: (camera)
While grad school has altered my sleeping patterns somewhat, most mornings I wake up early. As I was reading my FList this morning, I happened to look out my window to see this:

I'm not sure where all that color went; now it's just so gray.

flummoxicated: (Pirate crafter)
Anyone interested in a group order from Smiley's Yarns? Silly name, yes, and an ugly website - but some great yarn at great prices. The problem is, they have a $40 minimum order and shipping is $12.95...a bit high for just me but if a bunch of us split it, it would still be a bargain.
flummoxicated: (Pirate crafter)
Things that Make Me Go SQUEE:

A patchwork wool and silk cushion from the mid to late 1400s. The colors are stunning, the piece looks like it's enamel work, not textile.
flummoxicated: (MA cakes)
While they are only 99 cents, I snagged Simplicity 3635 and 3637. I was wondering if any of you fabulous costumers had any thoughts as to the authenticity of these? The gown calls for twenty yards of fabric, which boggles my mind (and wallet)...
flummoxicated: (sewing)
Hey, seamsters and semstresses -

What kind of sewing machines do you have? Do you love it?

I love my Bernina 830 - it's old school, sturdy, reliable, I never have to set the tension, though it does need a tune-up every couple of years. Which usually costs me $60+ at a Bernina dealer.

I do wish it did some fancier stitches though, maybe something that would look like blackwork, and automatic buttonholes. I hates making buttonholes. I was looking at some of the fancier machines at Target in the $150-$300 range. Is it crazy to get a machine just for a few pretty stitches and automatic buttonholing?
flummoxicated: (clean house dreams)
I admit it. I'm a clutter person, I'm not good at keeping stuff organized and definitely not good with managing paperwork. I have to be in a certain mood to part with things, and I hate throwing things that might be useful away, I'd much rather find a good home for those. Add my predilection for having more than one project going and you've got a huge mess in my office / sewing room. So this morning after watching an episode of Mission: Organization, I decided to take on the disaster area. One of their techniques is to move stuff out of the room that's being worked on, so since the in-laws' visit is over, I've done that. I moved my cute but poorly-placed end table (it's decoupaged with postage stamps!) , it was too close to the door and I've injured myself on it more than once. I need more storage space so Big Lots provided a plastic chest of three drawers - one contains yarn
(because I just had to try to learn crochet, didn't I?), another contains regular clothes in progress and the third contains costuming projects. I hope I can maintain this, I have a bad habit of cutting out, say, a skirt and then abandoning it for several months, during which time it becomes separated with patterns and instructions. The drawers aren't quite big enough to contain a large quantity of velvet, so I'm going to have to find a place to keep larger pieces of projects. Looks like under Grandma's sewing machine cabinet may be a good place.

The floor clutter is mostly cleared up, I hope to finish this task before bedtime today.  That leaves the desk and sewing table {shudder}. Dealing with paperwork is my weakest point. I can do things like organize (and even maintain the organization) of sewing supplies like trim and laces and ribbons. But paper? I just shove it all in the file cabinet, or worse, pile it up under my desk. It's an L-shaped desk, so there actually is a decent amount of space there, I'm thinking another set of drawers perhaps.

I need to make curtains for the kitchen and bedroom, so if I can finish that project, that will get a couple of fabric piles off the floor. And then, once this room gets taken care of, it's on to the library - sigh.

One of the up sides to my efforts today is I found my vintage green bead necklace from the 50s! Yay! Lately I've been drooling over vintage dress patterns from that era, and have picked up a couple already. Of course, they will require a bit of redrafting - but they are so wonderful! I love those big skirts...
flummoxicated: (Pirate crafter)
I took a three hour intro to crochet class at the local yarn haus yesterday. I'm a lefty, a bit uncoordinated, and a slow learner, so the odds weren't in my favor.

I struggled with the chain stitch. In fact, I forgot how to chain in the one hour between the end of class and when I got home after picking up some groceries (had to figure it out with a booklet and help from [livejournal.com profile] shipbrook). And I forgot again this morning.

Another problem I'm having, once I remind myself how to do a chain stitch, is working the first row of stitches after the chain stitch. The instructor eventually took my test piece away and worked a row of crochet for me onto the chain stitch...while it was nice to get to crochet, now I'm having issues doing it on my own. Oh, and we didn't talk about tension so I'm playing with that too.

My big heart break is discovering that those super fun eyelash furry yarns are about impossible to crochet with [cries] - I just wanted to be able to sit down and make funky scarves while watching TV, is that so wrong?

Oh yes, we did get a big 15" blanket of snow, school FINALLY closed at noon Tuesday and stayed closed until Thursday - though I took the initiative and canceled my first-year comp class before that. Sorry, I don't drive in blizzards, it's not my scene. Though the snow is warming my Ohioan heart. I'll try to post pictures soon.

Back to school work.

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