Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Flypaper thoughts New York edition

  • Five days here and having a blast
  • Zippers cut to fit and hardware at Botani
  • Nice dinner with Carolyn from Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
  • Time in the FIT library reading about fit, which I have decided I am really interested in
  • Seeing more about drafting is instructive
  • But's what with the "ideal figure"?
  • You tell me one high hip from carrying babies around isn't ideal
  • Or legs gone veiny from those 12 hour shifts
  • Or bent necks from seeing what the kids have written at their desks
  • Or earning a living over a keyboard
  • Or pounds that came with the genes
  • The same ones that gave you your smarts
  • And your common sense
  • Ideal figure, go figure
  • But I did find out that I need to get a flexible ruler
  • Been meaning to do that
  • Spent time with the kids looking at new places with them
  • Hope you don't mind this he said
  • This isn't the sights
  • Are you nuts?
  • Don't they realize once they are off in the world
  • All you really want is chances to be part of their real lives
  • You can buy a farm in some places, a good one
  • For a NY apartment
  • However I am noticing there are a few things around here 
  • You don't have on the farm
  • Just a few
  • Turns out another mother from home is here visiting
  • I know her from a sewing class and she has never done the garment district
  • That will change tomorrow

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Flypaper thoughts early morning edition

  • Reading the best book
  • Joy Emery's The history of the paper pattern industry
  • Can't put it down
  • Had me at "the tissue of dreams"
  • Not many blog comments my husband said
  • Maybe you shouldn't have talked about aliens
  • Listen I could have got into the senior who is a guide at the Jello museum
  • Or how my grandfather once had a drugstore up north called Gateway drugs
  • Miss Scarlett said I should publish a book called True stories you shouldn't tell children
  • The racoon hand was a present Birdie brought in and left under a cushion on the couch
  • Talk about big surprises
  • Am going to NYC Saturday for five days
  • So excited
  • This means of course that I have to make a black top today
  • Looked in the closet and realized I needed more black if I was going to the big city
  • Wore a favourite blouse into tape an interview at the radio 
  • Journalist looked at me and said, "couldn't decide what colour to wear so wore them all"
  • Listen it is radio
  • When in doubt go cheerful
  • But I do know a uniform when one is required
  • Wouldn't dare go out in Tennessee without lipstick
  • Reminds me to go to the uniform exhibit at FIT
  • In my black top
  • Being obsessed with fit lately too
  • And hems
  • Re-hemmed one pair of pants three times
  • Wider pants are harder to figure
  • Break at the shoe is out
  • I watch TV and figured out that the pants that look like they need to be hemmed is important
  • Even on men's suits
  • Question
  • Are they so long they bunch up because that's the style?
  • Or because no one at home can hem any more?
  • Daughter's friend cut off too long jeans and asked me was there anything she should do with the edge
  • Said she seemed to remember there was something she should do
  • Best thing about New York is the nice zippers
  • Love having my niece in the basement
  • Good to hear about tests being written and to remember all the time and energy spent on thinking about relationships
  • Makes me glad that my own love life involves hearing about how someone can drive five hours
  • With the mouse from his laptop out the car door and banging on the road
  • And it still works
  • Like us
  • Now off to serge

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Podcast : Wardrobe planning

And here we go:

Podcast two: wardrobe planning

On having been around a while

This is a birthday month for me and it has occurred to me that one of the things that happens is a person realizes how many stories she has in her head, and how many of those stories still influence her as she has watched the world rotate.

Obviously in no relevant order here are some of those things:

  • I had grandmother who says she had a cousin who was abducted by aliens in Alberta
  • Gone for two weeks 
  • You have to watch those empty roads late at night my grandmother said
  • Particularly in Alberta
  • I once made a bathing suit out broadcloth with a zipper in the bottoms. I was just following the pattern
  • Looked pretty baggy when wet I can tell you
  • I remember being a kid and going to the farm and the phone on the wall was on a party line
  • Different rings for different houses and if you were quiet you could keep up to date
  • A background where my mother said "you know Eldon's wife lost her leg to cancer
  • But she got in the wheelchair and she still got her canning done"
  • Of course she did
  • My mother is on Instagram now 
  • I am old enough to remember my dad saying no woman could be president
  • Come her period she would blow the world up
  • No one argued because he was a pharmacist and obviously had the inside medical scoop
  • Plus he had no idea of how much goes on after the menopause
  • Glad I have come this far

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stylerc's Margaret pants

Despite my current love affair with Jalie's pull-on pants I always keep my eye open for something new from Stylearc.

Stylarc has nailed my crotch curve and it is sooo nice to be able to make a pants pattern right out of the envelope.

So this last week when I discovered some grey Bengaline fabric on my shelves (alert finding fabric you can't even remember buying is not a sign of early onset anything, just a symptom of what "add to basket" can do to a fabric collection) I decided to try a new pattern for stretch woven.

Here is the lineart for the Margaret's:

 A nice simple pant with darts in the back to reduce the elastic bulk.

These are obviously as easy a sew as you can get. I made the 12 right off the printer.

Here is my version. Due to the stretchiness of the Bengaline these are really comfortable. I would note too that compared to other Stylearc pants the crotch is cut high and close to the body, much like a jeans fit, which actually helps the pants move well.

The bengaline is pretty stiff of course and that shows in the creases, but really for everyday pants, to be worn in this very kitchen as illustrated, I think they are great

The internet is the place where you put up pictures of your backside and consider this useful
So another pants pattern to add to the rotation, although definitely you would need a very stretchy woven (Stylearc recommends 20-30%) for this pattern, so you can get the slim fit without feeling captured.

I am not going to bother showing you all my pairs of wide legged Jalie pull-ons, not much different, but I am going to show you one pair again so you can see the contrast in leg widths between the two patterns, and different fabric types - the Jalie's are drafted for wovens and as a consequence there is are more gathers around the elastic and more drape.

IMO a girl needs more than one style of pants in her repertoire:

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Well where is the world has Babs been?

 I know, I know.

The last few weeks got away from me.

We had back to school and some extra child minding requirements. I lucked into a windfall of 25 pounds of crab apples and you know I can't pass that up. That and the fermented cucumbers (yes you are able to can them at 15 minutes in a boiling water bath once the fermenting is complete), plus we had my son's in-laws here in Nova Scotia for a lovely visit and some golf around Cape Breton.

I am by far the worst golfer in the bunch (understatement of the 21st century) but am the sort of golfer who enjoys herself a lot just because it's outside and it's just a game right?

Not like I am putting in welt pockets or anything.

Here are some pictures of that trip and one of the golf courses:

When I got home I took some time to do some sewing, a pant suit, four pairs of the Jalie pull-on pants and a new pattern, Stylearc's Margaret stretch woven pants.

First the pant suit. 

I watch enough news to be thinking about these as a concept and when I saw some nice faux suede at the local Fabricville I decided to make my Jalie pants again, I just love that pattern, I am feeling loose pants these days after all those years of skinny pants and a not skinny body, and this pattern for a jacket:

The basic shape was fine but in one of those bone-headed attempts to make a pattern "easy" the front facing was eliminated and this jacket is lined right to the edge - pretty tricky to do this without the front flipping around.

I actually made this and wore it for a day and then went back in took out the sleeves and reinserted them by moving the shoulder seam in 1/2" for a better fit and moving the front seam at the opening below the collar further in 1/2" to move the lining back. I really wish I had used my common sense and drafted a facing for this jacket but hopefully now it is wearable - I go by the comfort factor - if it's not right enough I won't wear it and this one I know will.

It was one of those things that takes time and you hate giving it that time but not doing it will make you crazy every time you wear it.

I always say that the only real difference between a good sewer and a really fine sewer lies in the ability to go back and take out and fix mistakes.

Sometimes even I do this.

So here are the pictures, starting with the jacket and then the pantsuit:

Impromptu photo shoot when babysitting, pardon the lack of styling, I probably wouldn't wear polka dot socks with this outfit
Now the pantsuit. Not an impractical concept at all really.

I think you can see here why I redid the sleeves and changed the front show the lining was not as obvious

Who says I don't do action shots?

Back on track now, hopefully Daisy and I will be podcasting again before the week is out.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Flypaper thoughts, the I should be doing something else edition

  • Before we go any further read this from Tim Gunn
  • If you read it already this week, isn't he right?
  • And this is another reason why we sew
  • Have almost finished making an imitation suede pantsuit
  • Haven't worn a pantsuit since the last century
  • And that's not just me
  • That Jalie pants pattern is the bomb 
  • Cut one size smaller because the fabric stretches
  • Really enjoying my niece in the basement
  • Smell of garlic cooking at 11:00 p.m.
  • Sound of washing machine at 3:00 a.m.
  • Love having a kid in the house again
  • It's the right background noise
  • Miss Heidi's first week at big school
  • "Get me a book"
  • "See I don't know one word, they didn't teach me to read"
  • Her big sister was asked "How was school?"
  • "I went, I am home."
  • She's learning the ropes
  • I am fermenting pickles in the spare room closet
  • They should have taught me to do this in school
  • The front of my house has been attacked by grape vines
  • Think we are moving way past possibly the jelly possibilities
  • On to vineyard scale
  • How do you think Sewing on the Edge would look on a label?
  • I can see small feet crushing grapes in the bathtub
  • Why is it just when you decide to cut out sugar someone brings home a variety pack of squares?
  • Me who can't be left alone in a house with chocolate chips in the cupboard
  • Is there such a thing as grape squares?
  • What tops go with a pant suit?
  • Where do you wear a pant suit?
  • Nice fabric though
  • New idea for career counselling
  • Decide what clothes you want to wear to work and find a job that matches
  • I can hear the loons flying over my house
  • What are they telling me?
  • Maybe that I should go put in the washing
  • And hem those sleeves on my jacket
  • Read that big trees actually send out favourable vibes to their little trees
  • I had suspected as much
  • I am doing that for my sister in my basement
  • Never underestimate the connections