Sunday, August 26, 2012

Working on KwikSew 3949

I have actually been working on this dress.  Here is the envelope with my "cheat sheet"

The pattern suggest using two or three fabrics, but I did not feel like visually cutting my body in two at the waist, so I am using all the same fabric.

I finished all the pattern tracing over a week ago, but I got a lot done just today.  I cut out the skirt pieces and set them aside:

My neckline to shoulder adjustment resulted in pointy shoulders, as you can imagine from the tracing:

I had to trim off the points after sewing the shoulder seams:

I think the most interesting part was what I did to the make the long bias strip for the neckline trim.  One long bias piece would have wasted lots of fabric, so I cut it into two pieces which I attached near the middle (click the picture to enlarge):

I have laid out all the parts related to the bodice.  This gives me two advantages, neither of which has precedence:

  • The next step of this project is ready to go.
  • Nobody had better put any crap on My Flat Surface!

The big piece on the left shows the front pieces attached to the back bodice at the shoulders.  The longest piece is the neckline bias trim.  The pieces towards the back are for the waistline assembly, and two pieces to the right are the armhole trim.

I am glad to finally get to work on this dress project.  I need to balance out my wardrobe, which has too much red and purple, but not enough blue.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Updating "the list"

I have finally updated the list of Big Men's Patterns.

This list is connected to the tab above labeled "Big Men's Patterns."


I hope you find this list useful.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Weed Smoothie

No, I don't mean That Weed, silly.  I mean This weed:

Chickweed is prolific in my yard.  In fact, in Florida's wet season, chickweed grows much larger than you would suspect from the picture.

Here is a picture of chickweed growing in my yard in February, so it's not very thick:

I know that it's a very nutritious herb, even though it's most commonly known as a weed.

Click on this sentence for more information about the nutrition and benefits of chickweed.

Here's a picture of chickweed taken in April, which was dry this year, so it's not very big here, either:

Here's a picture of it in June, just as it was starting to get bigger:

After harvesting and freezing, here's what it looked like when I pulled it from the freezer.  For reference, the bag shown is gallon size:

My basic smoothie recipe is to place the ingredients in the blender in the following order:

  • something green - spinach or mild herbs
  • something wet - coconut water or iced tea made with stevia
  • three apples - pared and quartered
  • spices - apple pie spice or cinnamon or fresh ginger pieces

Here are the assembled ingredients in our VitaMix blender:

Here are the blended smoothies:

This is very tasty.  The chickweed makes it milder and less bland than a spinach smoothie.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Peek at My BlogRoll - August 2012

I would like to introduce you to a blgger on my Blog Roll:

Sewspicious Minds - Sewing is one of my favorite hobbies. I enjoy sewing with current and retro clothing patterns.

I found her at Pattern Review a long time ago.  Her internet name is Heatherrique, but her real first name is Louella.  She's a teacher - when she's not sewing, that is.

Many of her blog posts read like rewritten golden oldies:
Surfing Sew-Fari
The Fifth Dimension
A New Ten-sation
Clover and Over
Frock-sy Lady
Just Pleat It, Pleat It

Aside from her oh-so-cool way with words, she makes really nice clothes!

She often makes something similar for her daughter, too!

I hope you will visit her blog!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pattern Tracing

I finally decided on the pattern and fabric for a summer dress.  I selected this blue quilting fabric because I have plenty of dresses in various combinations of black, red, and purple - even pink and fuchsia - but no blue dresses!  You may have seen this before:

I will probably use the same fabric for the entire dress, instead of contrasting fabrics, but I have not decided yet.

The pattern I chose was KwikSew 3949.  I chose this pattern because this is the only version of the style I considered which has not yet been reviewed at PatternReview:

What kind of model has such sloped shoulders?  I knew I would have to adjust the pattern for my pointy shoulders - almost as pointy as my elbows.

I traced the pattern last night.  I traced size L for the entire garment except the neckline, which I traced in size XS.  If this covers too much, I can always widen the neckline.  In the back bodice tracing you can see how I went from one size to another across the shoulder, thus adjusting for my shoulder non-slope:

So, that's a little bit of sewing progress for me!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I Don't Use Shampoo

... much!

There is a sort of no-poo following, which is people who don't use shampoo.

Well, I'm one of them - mostly.

I don't use shampoo, but my hairdresser does.  That's how I can be honest that I don't use it.

What do I do, then?

When I take my shower, I massage my head as if I were shampooing it.  Besides, a good massage is worth a million bucks or so, and my masseuse (that would be me) knows what I like!

I brush my hair several times each day.

Both these activities spread my natural oils through my hair, and make it look shiny and clean.

About every six or seven days, I put a heaping teaspoon of baking soda in an empty ketchup bottle.  I take this with me into the shower, and add one to two inches of warm water.  I mix this well and sprinkle it into my hair.  I don't add it all at once, but I do massage it into my hair.  I do this until all my hair has been massaged with it.  It gets gritty and oily, but I think that's part of what makes it work.  After I've gotten all my hair this way, I rinse it out.  My hair feels slick and soft.

My hair is very short, so I guess that someone with more hair would use more baking soda and more water, too.

When I get my hair cut, my hairdresser shampoos my hair.  That's how often that happens.

I mentioned my no-poo methods to someone at work, and she said, "Oh, yeah, that's what you do when you want to get all the 'product' out of your hair."  Gee, I didn't know that.  Did you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Three Weeks to Two Sheets

YES!!  I finished the blue bed sheets.  I can blame Marco for the top sheet being crooked:

It's such a relief to finish this project.  I worked on the top sheet a little bit almost every night this week after work.

There is a bed sheets article on my Tutorials page (see the link above).  Now that I've finished another set of sheets, I should probably update the words that explain how I make bed sheets.  I want my tutorials to be helpful to you, so please ask any questions you have about how I make bed sheets.

I have some fabric to make pillow cases, but it's so new that it hasn't been properly aged yet.  The cotton fabric has, however, been laundered three times.

Now I have to decide what I want to make next.  It will probably be a summer dress.  I have two choices for fabric.  One is the red flower fabric which served time temporarily as a top sheet:

The other fabric choice is a blue flower print that I found at JA's:

It will be a long dress and it will have an empire waist.  I have not decided yet what the other style details will be.  It could have a cross-over bodice and cap sleeves, or it might be a peasant style.

I do not like having to make such important decisions!