Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Benedict Arnold Buttonhole Function

So apparently the buttonhole function on my sewing machine decided to ingest mind altering substances.  Or something.  Happily I figured this out on a test piece of fabric as opposed to my project.  Currently my machine in in the custody of the local repair place for a general overhaul and some diagnostics.

Because the brocade project should've been completed by now, I figure I should go ahead and show where it is for the moment.  I think that I should mention that we're going to a Steampunk-themed wedding in October.  This will explain many of the next sewing projects...and pique the interest of certain big and mini people.

So without further ado:

A new waistcoat for FH!  The lining and one more card of buttons are absent in this picture.
 Love, love, love the way this fabric shimmers in the light.
 It's always interesting to watch waistcoats and vests beings turned right side out after sewing.
Showing off the functional welt pockets.
 The pins are marking where the buttonholes will eventually be.

Oh and that gold thing around the hanger...
 A gentleman cannot be properly dressed without his cravat.
 Crawliest fabric I've worked with to date.  Ugh.  But the effect is gorgeous.
Next up (once the machine is back) is his linen shirt and then my clothes.  If I have time when my things are done I'll make his frock coat. 

I've also got plans for a simple linen dress to wear with the green jacket to my niece's wedding and six friends are having babies between now and February.  Expect nothing but things for the weddings and the babies for a few weeks. ;-)

Friday, August 26, 2011

In Memoriam

Today I need to take a moment to say good-bye to a friend.  A fine needlewoman, artist, dressmaker, and photographer.  I will miss our random lunches and learning new things from you.  Most of all I will miss your intelligence and dry sense of humor.  It was an honor to know you.  Requiescat in Pace.

In accordance with a promise I made while she was still alive, I am refraining for ever putting her name on the internet.  Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Green Print Jacket

I was hoping to have a different post ready for today, but that didn't happen.  (Sorry Miss. Kitty, but the brocade shall remain a mystery for a couple more days.)

I needed something for myself that was quick and sprinkled with a bit of instant gratification.  Whilst rummaging through my stash of fashion fabrics I found several (5) yards of a floral print on a green field.  FH had bought it for me when we were back in college as compensation for me doing some sewing for him... back before we were even dating.  Yeah, so it's moved with me three times.  *sigh*  Time to do something with it.

Armed with a pattern my mom picked up for me after I "squeeed" over her copy, I decided that this would become the quick thing for me.  Sorry about the glare in this picture, but this was the best of the lot.  If you poke it to make it bigger, you can see the longer-sleeved version in the lower right corner.  That's the view I chose anyway.

 Because there was a warning on the pattern envelope about the printer goofing and the size 24 needed to use the size 22 lines... well lets just say I take no chances.  I did a quick muslin to be sure.  There was enough ease in the garment to let me not worry about adjusting anything.

Then came the fun part, and of course I had help.  Isn't he helpful?
This jacket is self-faced, basically like a kimono.

I really like the way it hangs.
 As you can see, I still need to slip stitch the collar down and hem the sleeves and bottom.
But I haven't had a chance to sit down and do that yet.  I'm hoping to finish up with the brocade today and then sit and do all the necessary hand stitching this evening.  Then tomorrow I will start the second phase of yet another project.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Special Helper Helps

It's hard enough ironing 60" wide linen that has been washed, but when you have "help"...

He didn't stop with just the linen either.  The brocade was apparently in need of some kitten hair.

 I have discovered that Artan doesn't enjoy the camera flash, so I kept snapping away.  Finally he retreated and I cold continue working.
 Somehow I believe sewing will take longer than usual...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Minis From My Neighbor

Weeks ago (notice I'm still playing "catch-up?") my neighbor went out of town for several days and I happily fed her two sweet kitties for her.  She happened to be going to a town with a mini shop and decided to bring me a few things for the little girl's nursery from the Twin Nurseries that I started a while back.  The girl's room will be bunny-themed.

I think I'll make this bunny look like Tempie. ;-)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Very Late Pictures of New Minis

Soon after Castor passed away, but right before all the insanity with my parents begun, I received a package from N.W.  If you recall N.W. is the wonderful lady who made and sent four waves of minis for the Panda Nursery.  I still wish she'd do a blog so you all could see more of her work.  It's absolutely breath-taking.

Look at the tops of the soda cans!  You can see the pop tops!
And the spaghetti:
And look inside the box of microwave popcorn!
As always N.W. has an incredible eye for detail.

I'm thrilled to have these fun minis for the big dollhouse's kitchen.  Now to get through a few projects so I can get back to it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The First of Three Wedding Samplers

This one is for my niece and soon-to-be nephew.  Their wedding colors are black, white, red, and champagne.  The chart came from the May 2011 Cross-Stitch and Needlework magazine.

I'm looking for a hinged frame to mount this in.  I want their wedding photo to be opposite the stitching.  Both the cross stitch and the photo I'll mat with white.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

How to Embarass A Teenager

Simple.  Sing "Happy Birthday" badly and pull out a camera.
You may wonder why on earth her cake is purple, aqua, and black... and you may also wonder what it tasted like.  So here's the story:

My best friend in this area had to move away.  [You may recall this she is one of the few people outside of my family to receive multiple stitched gifts over the last few years.  She is one of those people that loves handmade things and cherishes them... hence one reason we're friends.]  That's what I was doing all last week actually.  Her new home is 115 miles away.  Her kids haven't started school yet, or had the chance to make new friends.  Her daughter's birthday party was canceled. 

So then I find out what she wants for her birthday.... a new comforter set and the other bits and pieces that make a bedroom nice.  Great!  Then I saw it and thought twice... and remembered it looks like what I wanted in my room when I turned 13.  Ok then.  Another friend and I put our heads and wallets together to make it happen.  A third friend supplied the paint.  Here's the result:
So then I got the bright idea to match her birthday cake to the room.  And have a little fun with food coloring/visual perceptions connected with taste.  All I needed was my trusty checkerboard cake pan.  It worked great the first time, so why not again?

I used the Buttercake recipe from Wilton's.  Moist, flavorful, and simple.  Can't go wrong there.
Then I made a strawberry buttercream (1.5 sticks butter, 7 c. confectioner's sugar, 2 tsp. vanilla, 0.25 tsp salt, and just a little more than 0.33 c. crushed strawberries) and dyed it black.

Once the three layers were baked I assembled it all and had a chuckle.  This had to be the ugliest cake I've ever made to date. 
But when we cut into it...
And it was delicious!