Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sneak Peek

I've experienced a crazy burst of energy over the past two days. It must have something to do with no marking and finishing my course (and not starting the next one yet).

Yesterday, I...

* moved all the furniture around in my office at school
* painted a room
* went to kettlebells class
* stayed for yoga

Today, I...

* put the second coat of paint on the room
* finished my Sew Serendipity Ruffled Skirt (which was supposed to be my first Summer of No Pants project)

Here's a sneak peek at the skirt. Full pics to follow.

I will be wearing it tomorrow for the Last Day of School! Yippeeeee!

Monday, June 27, 2011

So I failed...

at the whole Summer of No Pants thing. Sadly, I didn't even get one skirt or dress made before the June 17 deadline. I finished my first and only item on Friday. Sigh.

But, as I promised, here is a picture of my Frayed Tunic Dress from Sew Serendipity.

I had my sweet friend Erminia snap this photo with my cell phone just as we were heading out to lunch today (like real grownups - quite a treat).

There are a couple of things I did different from the instructions, of course. For one, I have less raw edges showing. All the ruffles - on the sleeves which you can't see, the bodice and the hem - are supposed to be sewn with raw edges exposed on top and bottom. I sewed the edges in on the tops of the ruffles.

I also applied Fray Stop to the lower edges of the ruffles. They were fraying madly as I was constructing the dress. I couldn't imagine the mess that would occur when I wore it, let alone what would happen in the wash.

It's really quite a comfortable dress and fits me pretty much perfectly (although Mr. P alluded to the fact that it makes my - ahem - boobs look big and I think there's just a lot of gathering up there). I love that the zipper is in the side and not right in the middle of the back. It's completely invisible. I also love the fabric I chose for this dress - Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2. I am hoping to incorporate the scraps into a quilt, although there's not much left!

The pattern wasn't too difficult to follow, once I got my special email from Kay Whitt; however, it's necessary to flip back and forth in the book which can get a bit annoying at times. Now that I've figured out the system, though, I'll definitely be making more from Sew Serendipity. In fact, I started making my skirt yesterday. It's all cut out and I have ruffles made.

It might be a Summer of No Pants, after all...just a little bit of a late start. And anyway, I live in Canada where it usually doesn't get warm enough for summer skirts until July so I think it's okay.

Three days of work left and then:
* another masters course (I got an A+ on the course that ended yesterday)
* writing learning materials for next year's classes
* a spare bedroom to paint (started taping and filling holes tonight)
* a skirt and another dress to sew
* a trip to San Antonio for a conference
* my next quilt project...?

Yay Summer! Stay tuned...

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Forever Dress because it took me forever to get it made.

But I finished it earlier tonight! I will, someday, have pictures to show you but not yet. It's cute - trust me.

Instead, I'll show you another project.

I'm going to make A - short sleeves and a sash. The fabric store had a pretty dismal selection of knits but just as I was about to give up, I found this fabric.

(So, if you were wondering how my trip to the fabric store for thread went...well, actually I did just buy thread the first time I went but then I went back a couple of days later because there was a BIG sale. The pattern, thread and fabric for this dress cost me $17.00!)

I still need to make my ruffled skirt from the Sew Serendipity book. That's next on the list, but it's nice to have some summer sewing planned...and some time to sew!

Four more days of work!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I ran out of thread

For Friday Night Sew-In, I spent the evening working on my dress from Sew Serendipity. It was slow going, as I was watching movies on my laptop at the same time but I was making some progress until...

I ran out of thread!

So, I still have the sleeves to put in and the ruffle to sew around the bottom.

But here's a totally goofy, in-the-mirror shot of the body of the dress, complete with correctly-installed invisible zipper (that gave me a LOT of trouble earlier in the week).

I think a trip to the fabric store is in order...just for more thread, of course...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A dirty word

I know lots of dirty words. My father was a sailor, after all, and sailors are known for their "salty" language. The dirtiest word around lately doesn't have four letters; nor does it start with an "F".

The dirtiest word in my vocabulary is a seven-letter word beginning with M. It's what has been keeping me from finishing my dress, from sewing a skirt, and from picking out my next quilting project.


But it's almost over. Tomorrow was the last day for students to hand in work or write tests and exams and today I worked and worked and marked and marked and now I'm almost done. Just a little bit more!

So...there's no way I won't be participating in tomorrow's Friday Night Sew-In.

I've earned it!

You can join in too. Just head over to visit Bobbi at Crafty Vegas Mom to sign up.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And finally, something creative

I checked back in my posts, and discovered that I have been talking about making the Frayed Tunic Dress from Sew Serendipity since February.

February! Wow, I am such a go-getter.

Today, the stars finally aligned and I got the pieces cut out.

But the day wasn't without its trials. I had work to do today. Not marking - I finished that yesterday - but work for my course as well as some learning materials to write for classes I will teach next year. But, technology let me down and I couldn't open up some files. I took that as a sign that I should be doing something sewing!

I got out my book, fabric, pins, sewing shears and took it all downstairs to the entryway where there is a fairly big, open space. I laid it all out and... Confusion! My foggy little brain just could not figure out this pattern, and I never cut until I'm quite sure I know what I'm supposed to be doing. (Okay that's a lie - and those who know me are probably laughing now. Right, Mum? But I didn't want to ruin this fabric because I love it so much!)

Oh, I was frustrated.

You know what I did? I emailed Kay Whitt, the author of Sew Serendipity. And you know what she did? She emailed me right back. Within minutes. And she solved my problem. The fog cleared, the sun came out, angels sang...well, not really, but I did manage to get my dress cut out. And here's proof:

Bernice has new grey thread, I've cleared some of the clutter from my sewing table, and I think I'm ready to go.

It's been so long. I wonder if I've forgotten how to sew...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The UgliQuilt

So, it's Sunday night and I spent the better part all of this past weekend marking. And there's more coming like an avalanche tomorrow because it's the last day for my grade 12 students to hand in work and write tests. Gee, I can't wait. And then next week brings the deadline for my grade 11 students which means more hastily-done work being handed in at the last minute and yet another weekend spent getting cozy with the red pen.

I hate this time of year!

Needless to say, Bernice is still lonely and she's been gathering a fairly thick coating of dust these days. I hope hope hope to spend some time with her next weekend, but there are no guarantees.

And since I have nothing new to show you, I thought I'd give you (and me) a good laugh and bring out The UgliQuilt.

This is something I put together a few years ago, probably when I was in between projects and just messing around. Sadly enough, I had a plan when I "designed" this (I use that term very loosely), and you may be able to see what I was attempting to do if you look closely. But don't look too closely; I will not be responsible for any temporary blindness that results from the viewing of this quilt top.

Are you ready?

Okay...all together now... EWWWWWW!

This one doesn't even have potential. It's hideous!

Should I slap a couple of borders on it and give it as a gift to my mother-in-law? Ha!