Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a joyful, peaceful Christmas. May it be filled with dear friends, loving family, good food to share, and many blessings. See you in 2012!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Still Alive!

I have not fallen off the face of the earth!  But I cannot believe how fast the last 2 weeks have gone.  It has been a busier than normal December, with - y'know - stuff that interferes with sewing time.  I laid out the fabric for a pair of Linda Pants, but haven't even come close to cutting yet.  The lady who cleans my house (yeah, I'm pretty lucky that way!) actually dusted the fabric off today.  Bad sign.  Don't know if the pants will be a reality before Christmas, but I'm not stressing it.  If they get done, they get done.

Speaking of stuff that interferes with sewing time, there is way too much of that 'stuff' going on, but I am really trying to keep the balance.  Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow, y'know?

This weekend we are hosting another dinner at my house.  This is a continuation of the series where a group of ladies gets together to teach one of our mutual friends to cook.  It is incredible fun, and great therapy.  We laugh hysterically all night, and eat wonderful food in the midst of wonderful company.  We are having a 'White Elephant' gift exchange, which will, I'm sure, make for more laughs.  We will be having trays of Christmas Cookies for dessert.  My fabulous daughter, who is off for Christmas break already, has chipped in to bake for the party.  She is awesome, truly, and I love having her home.  DD is training for a road race that is after the holidays, so baking all those goodies is torture for her.  So nice of her to take one for the team.  ;)

At some point, there will need to be some Christmas shopping going on.  All I can say is thank goodness for online shopping and UPS.  An angry hip means no mall shopping for moi.  But that's ok, I am well versed in the art of online shopping.  : D

I'm definitely enjoying living vicariously through all the sewing blogs I read, mostly as I am falling asleep at night.  So, thank you to all those bloggers and pattern reviewers out there who keep sewing.

I have asked Santa Baby to bring me one of these.  Josephine is great, but she makes my pins sticky.

Tomorrow my girl is making cutout cookies on a stick and decorating them as gifts for some of the little ones in our lives.  I am sure they will be adorable, so I will post some pictures.  And perhaps an old, all-time favorite recipe.

Hope you are having a wonderful December!


Monday, December 5, 2011

The "Big" Tree and an Amazing Concert

Yesterday I spent the day decorating, then cleaning.  There was lots of glitter and debris to dust and vacuum after putting all those glittery ornaments on the tree!  And our dishwasher failed for the third time, full of dirty dishes, of course.  So we had to hand wash it all, as sometime today a new dishwasher is being delivered.  

I had so much fun decorating that I was still smiling when I was vacuuming.  I didn't realize it until my husband asked me while I was smiling.  ;) This morning I snapped a cell phone picture of our big tree.  It is in our music room, right in the center of the house where there is no ceiling.  I just love all the lights this time of year!

The evening was spent with friends.  We went to dinner and the Andrea Bocelli concert.  I snapped this pic with my cell phone before the concert began.  Our seats were great.  The concert was amazing.  Andrea Bocelli has a wonderful, graceful stage presence.  It was a full house at the Forum where our Lightning play, but once he started singing, I felt like I was the only one in the room.  His performance of Amazing Grace was particularly moving, as was Con Te Partiro.  The latter, also called 'Time to Say Goodbye', was sung by my mother's favorite local Tenor at her funeral.   The orchestra and conductor were also excellent, as were his guest female singers, one a Soprano, and the other, Heather Headly (? spelling) a woman I had never seen perform, who had a powerful, yet soulful voice.

Saturday afternoon we had family pictures taken outdoors, downtown by the river.  There was much giggling and cutting up, and I can't wait to see how they turn out.  Since we were all dressed nicely, we had to go out for dinner.  ;-)

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.  I hope yours was as well.  


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vogue 8323

I can't believe it is December. It's been such a crazy busy week so all I've done is look at my new Style Arc patterns and stroke my new fabrics from Emma One Sock. While doing the laundry, I came across this top and realized that I hadn't blogged about or reviewed it. So here it is.

  Vogue 8323, a shoulder princess knit top pattern,  has been fairly popular, and well reviewed on PR.  I made View A with View C long sleeves.   Above is a front and back view on Josephine. I am not thrilled with the result, partly because of the pattern, partly because of my fabric choice, a cream Ponte from Hancock's. It's a poly-rayon-lycra blend, heavy on the poly. It's a great fabric, just not for this pattern.

I cut a 14, then did a FBA, adding in a full 6" to the front, evenly distributed between the two front pattern pieces on each side. This is 3" shy of my usual FBA, because I erroneously thought there would be enough stretch to account for the 3". Negative ease, if you will. There is a reason Ponte is classified as a "stable knit". Duh. So, for starters, there is too much pull across the bust in front. The side seam is perfectly straight, but you can see the distortion in the front princess seams and bust area. Also, the shoulders are too big - my fault. Should have done a narrow shoulder adjustment. The sleeves fit nicely, but really need more room for movement in *this* fabric. They would be fine in a stretchier knit.

So onto the pattern issue I am not loving. I do not like the way the back neck fits and comes around to the front. It might be OK in a fabric with more stretch and better drape, but the back neck is so high, I think it would just scrunch down and affect the way the front lies. I will have to make a point to read some reviews to see how other folks handled this feature.

I took some photos in the daylight, and did my best to show some of the issues.

The inside back neck.  As a rule, I don't like unattached facings. If I make this again, I would change how this is done.

High neck on Josephine.  She isn't wearing her stuffed bra here, so she is slightly smaller than me in the bust..

Neck view on me.

You know you're old when you take pics of yourself with your head tilted back looking through the 'reader' portion of your glasses.  See where the shoulder is too big? 

Shoulder too big, back neck lays funny.

Besides a shot of my ear and freckles, a tilted back shot.  

Sitting view.  

I have a hard time getting back shots.

I do intend to use this pattern again, but most likely a different view and in a better fabric choice. The silver lining is that DD likes it and it fits her better. Her shoulders are a smidgen wider than mine and a different shape, and the bust is just fine on her.

On a sad note, it looks like the hard drive in my beloved MacBook Pro is taking it's last agonal breaths. It's been making an ugly noise for some time, so I was warned. It's all backed up, so that's all ok. It's just a bummer. I love my MBP!

It's been a non-sewing weekend, but we managed to get some family pictures taken this weekend. Maybe I can squeeze some sewing in tomorrow, Style-Arc style!