Category Archives: Indygo Junction

Paralyzed

I am paralyzed.

(Warning: a really long run on sentence follows)  I have over 20 patterns, probably around 30 yds of fabric in the stash (not including the 50 yds of muslin), a couple of different kinds of paper for tracing, my first Burda issue, I’ve taken 4 sewing classes, read tons of sewing blogs every day and bought a serger but still can’t bring myself to actually make anything.  (The wrap skirt I made for Puerto Rico doesn’t count – don’t ask me why, but in my mind, it just doesn’t.)

I have heard of people being scared to cut into their fashion fabric and thought they were crazy.  But now I can’t even open up a pattern.  I’ve already made an incredible investment in this new thing I want to do, sewing, but I am paralyzed.  (see above for my list of purchases made and time spent) 

How do I get out of this initial stage?  Any suggestions?  I’m beginning to think I am a wimp.

Speaking of the Feb 2009 Burda issue…  I jumped in whole hog and bought a six-month subscription.  Apparently, a lot of people are finding a whole bunch of patterns in this particular issue that they want to make up.  I perused it as soon as I received it and completely agree;  there are at least 5 or 6 patterns I want to make up, not the least of which is the lace pencil skirt.   I don’t have the issue in front of me, otherwise I would give the pattern number.  I have black lace and a deep red silk charmeuse that I want to make with that pattern.  I will underline the lace with the charmeuse utilizing all the new techniques learned in the last class I took on PatternReview. 

Hopefully writing this blog will keep me on track.  Stay tuned for progress with my paralysis…

P.S. A shout out to my mom: Happy Birthday!!!

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Picture of the year award… Not!

Well, I am back from my weekend in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which I enjoyed mightily.  My friend Victoria was the perfect traveling companion and we couldn’t have been better paired as drinking partners.  😉 

Here’s an action shot of the final wrap skirt. 

wrap-skirt1It’s pretty darn blurry as it was taken with a blackberry camera, as opposed to a real camera, but it will have to suffice for now.  I am going to attempt to hand wash it and see how it fares.  I wore it every day to and from the pool and for our daily walks on the beach.  It fit all my needs for a beach cover up, meaning it covered my thigh area inconspicuously, and was sufficiently drapey.  I did manage to get it wet a few times, but it didn’t seem to do any damage, hence my bravery to attempt handwashing. 

I am presently taking an underlining class on PatternReview with Sarah Veblen so I am working on the half scale garment assignments for that class.  As I was away for four days and my full time job keeps getting in the way of my sewing, I haven’t really been able to work on them yet.  Hopefully I will be able to work on the assignments this week. 

 

Happy sewing!

It’s a Wrap! barely in time…

Well, I finished the wrap skirt.  There were several problems encountered along the way, but all in all, I think it turned out all right. 

Problem 1: Monday night, I spent 4 hours trying to get my serger to do a rolled hem.  Lesson learned: read your instruction manual.  It saves you time and frustration.  I don’t know what a stitch finger is, but apparently it must be removed for the roll hem stitch.  The manual also said to use the right needle, not the left, and gave the stitch length and width settings.  The funny thing is, I already had the length and width set to those settings.  Go figure.  Solved: So then I tested it out on my fashion fabric.  Beautiful. 

Problem 2: So I started to roll hem all along the outside edges of the skirt.  I made it about 1/2 way through the entire skirt when I noticed that about 2 inches of the fabric was not covered with the rolled hem.  Confound it!!!  I just kept going and finished off the rest of the skirt.  I went back and tried to stitch that section again, but it took me about 6 or 7 tries to successful hem that section.  By the time I was done, it was a little shorter than the rest of the skirt.  Solved: BUT the fabric is really drapey and when I tried it on, you really don’t notice it in the folds of the fabric drape. 

Tuesday night I was so busy making dinner for Jack, doing laundry, packing, etc. I didn’t have time to sew on the waistband/ties.   I set my alarm for 5am (first time setting it since Jack was born btw — he’s an early riser, like 4:30am early!!!) so I could finish packing, do another load of laundry and finish the skirt before leaving for work at 7:45am.  No problem right?  Wrong!

Problem 3: At 5:15am I start cutting out and ironing the waistband/ties and then attach it to the waistband.  I remember that this is the point where I diverged from the instructions on the pattern the last time I made this skirt.  But I am so tired, that I can’t think about it.  I even looked up my review on PR, but couldn’t “wrap” my tired mind around it.  (hehehe)  So I just did as directed.  The rayon chiffon was a little difficult to work with here.  I have to admit that, with the time crunch, I wasn’t as careful with my cutting and didn’t spend a lot of time pressing the creases.  These issues combined with “don’t want to stay put” fabric made it difficult to keep a consistent 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I had to topstitch the waistband part twice, because  I noticed that the first pass didn’t catch the underside completely due to the wonky seam allowances.  Whatever.  This skirt is a thigh beach cover up, not a ball gown.  It would have been nice if everything went perfectly, but it didn’t and I’m ok with it and how the skirt turned out.  Solved.

My apologies, but I didn’t have time to take a picture of the finished skirt.  I promise to take some while in Puerto Rico.  I leave tonight, can’t wait.  Although it was tough to leave my little Jack this morning.  He doesn’t really understand that I am leaving for a few days.  He probably thought I was just going to work.  😦  I have no idea how I am going to react to being away from him for the first time ever.  Or how he’s going to react for that matter.  Wow.  I really need this vacation and the opportunity to sleep in for the first time in 20 months.  I have a deep psychological need to sleep past 6:30am now.  It’s funny, because I used to wake up at 5am or 6am all the time on my own being a morning person naturally.  But now that I’m a single parent, I find that I stay up much later to sew, knit, surf the internet, watch tv or whatever, so I really need to sleep in now.  I know I’m doing it to myself, but I think it will be good for my psyche to sleep in a few days. 

Anyway, I won’t be posting until I get back, so have a great weekend and happy sewing!

Quick update – IJ769

So I cut out the wrap skirt yesterday.  Sandra Betzina recommends cutting chiffon in one layer, not on the fold.  Unfortunately, when purchasing the fabric yesterday, I went against the advice of my psychic self and bought only 2.5 yds, when I should have bought three.  Also, the cutter gave me the beginning yardage of the bolt which included some lovely adhesive stains.  Any advice as to how to get rid of traces of adhesive from chiffon? 

Long story short, I was forced to cut the pattern on the fold and lacking a suitably large area to cut, was also forced to move the fabric and pattern around on the table in order to cut.  BAD BAD BAD!!!  Needless to say, there will most likely be a slightly to moderately wonky hem on this skirt.  But as the fabric is drapey and it’s only a beach coverup, I don’t think it will be too noticeable or worrisome. 

Tonight it’s on to practicing rolled hems before finishing the skirt with rolled hems and hopefully I’ll have time to make and attach the waistband.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Found a fabric!

Ok, I ran over to P&S Fabric today while my sis watched Jack.  I had only an hour and didn’t think I would need the entire hour.  Well, when I said that it was a cheapy fabric place I wasn’t kidding.  They have a totally random selection of fabrics.  I must have looked through their entire selection 3 times, before settling on what I eventually bought.  I wanted a drapey fabric and something washable.  Well, I had to settle for drapey, but not washable.  I bought 2.5 yds of 100% rayon (chiffon, I think).  Their fabric guy doesn’t work on Sundays, so they only had a cutter who knew nothing about fabrics.  So one person who knows nothing + me (who knows nothing about fabrics) = no knowledge about fabrics!  According to Sandra Betzina’s “More Fabric Savvy”, rayon chiffon is not really washable.  She says not to pretreat it.  So I guess I am going to hand wash or dry clean this puppy.  She also says, “Do not attempt to work with this fabric when you are under time pressure.  You and the fabric will end up in a standoff.”  LOL.  That’s exactly what I am going to do.  Leaving on Weds you see…

Here’s some pics of the fabric pre-cutting.  It goes with my suit, pictured with said fabric.  It’s not exactly what I was looking for print-wise, but I think it will work.  Wish me luck!

swimsuit-and-fabricfabric

Last minute wrap skirt

I am leaving for sunny Puerto Rico this week and finally bought my bathing suit.  I have been putting it off due to the beached whale status of my body.  Post baby, the workouts have been scarce (as already noted in my first blog post).  I found one with enough shirring to hide most bodily sins of over-eating and under-exercizing and boy did I pay through the nose for this swimsuit.  Dawn is making her own suits for her trip to Hawaii.  Maybe sometime in the future, I will be confident enough in my sewing ability to attempt it myself.   I also paid through the nose bought a matching skirt to wear on my way out to the beach from my hotel room  so as not to embarrass myself until I get to the beach.  

But tonight, as I was doing yoga with a yoga dvd (the gym was closed, but I didn’t know it until I got there — If I worked out more, I might have known that already), I was thinking I could have made my own skirt to hide cover up my thighs instead of paying through the nose like I did.  Have I said I paid through the nose yet?  I have the perfect pattern for it.  I have even already made it.  It’s Indygo Junction’s “It’s a Wrap” skirt, IJ769.  I have previously made it up in a 100% cotton which ended up being a little too stiff (see my review on Pattern Review).  I was thinking of making it up in something with more drape this time and it obviously needs to be washable.  I’ve already lined up my sister as babysitter tomorrow so I can hunt out some fabric at this cheapy fabric store in my hood, P & S Fabrics.  I might change up the pattern a little because I am feeling like an expert already.  LOL !  I was thinking of doing a rolled hem on my serger.  Oh did I tell you I invested in a serger for Xmas?  I bought the Brother 1034D.  I’ve been taking a Serger 101 class on Pattern Review the last two weeks and digging it.  I have to practice my new found skills, right? 

Anyhoo, let’s see if I have time for it.  I have to make a spicy pumpkin pie tomorrow night not to mention making Jack a bunch of meals this week before I go. 

Oh and the parenting thing?  It’s been going a little better lately.  He’s such a sweet little boy.  I admire his zest for life.  I wish I had a little of that energy.  And I just love that he loves to jump…  just for the hell of it.  What a wonderful thing to watch. 

I guess I should show you a picture of my “It’s a Wrap” skirt.  You’ll have to pardon the photography, my BIL took the picture.  He’s taller than me so the angle is not great, but you can still see the skirt.  Hopefully future pictures will be much better for this blog.  Interesting  sidenote: I picked the fabric so it would match a specific t-shirt I had in a deep cranberry red, but the styles didn’t suit each other AT ALL!!!  Luckily, I had the teal t-shirt already and there were some teal bits in the skirt fabric to pick up on.  (uh oh, I just ended a sentence with a preposition — I hope my dad doesn’t read this.)

(post edited for better grammar)

It's A Wrap Skirt