Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back from Blogcation

Ahhhh, that was a nice break.  I was getting overwhelmed with daily posts for Me Made Month so I took a week plus break from my blog entries although I did keep up with the photo posting on the Flickr board.  I'll show you a summary of the week's outfits at the end of this post.

Last week Mr. Lucky was away on a SC golf trip with a few dozen fire dept. retirees.  He was having fun his way and I was having fun my way....sewing, catching up with local Maryland friends, reading long into the night, watching In Treatment episodes via my new Netflix subscription, doing water aerobics and taking long walks in the beautiful spring weather that finally showed up after days of rain.  Of course I was also steam cleaning the rug up after a sick dog, weeding like the dickens and dealing with FL condo board duties but it can't all be fun.  

As for sewing, I'm making progress on the jacket with the bias fringe trim.  Cut out and sewed together the lining into the jacket.  Gosh I hate sewing jacket linings.  I'm never 100% happy with the results and this jacket is no exception.  I added a 1" pleat to the center back seam  .  I'm using the Susan Khalje bias raw edge trim technique all around the outside edge of the jacket including the hem area.  But the lining was pulling against the body of the jacket so I hand hemmed the lining to the jacket body and moved it up about 3/4" for a "jump hem" like edge.  The majority of the trim I am using is cut 1 1/4" wide but for the inside of that hem area I'll cut the bias 1 1/2" wide.  Makes more sense in person, trust me.  Overall I'm quite happy with the jacket, just getting it done quite slowly.  If the weather permits I plan on wearing it to NYC for a day trip next week.
Lining was cut same length as jacket but I'm hemming it 3/4 inch above that edge

Strips of raw bias will be stitched sandwiching the jacket edge between them 
Other sewing projects from last week will have to wait for another post.  But I will share about one of the engrossing books I was enjoying.  Do any of you read Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley mysteries?  I fell in love with her from book one and this latest is terrific. I was annoyed, as so many fans were, when she killed off a major character a few books past and held a grudge through some subsequent releases.  But this one reminded me why I've enjoyed her for so many years.  Thoughtful characters and a wonderful sense of place and motivations.  

In the meantime, for those of you who are interested, here are the MMM photos from last week.  

If you're curious about the almost 200 people partipating around the world, here's the link to the full photo gallery of Me Made May fans:
Now I'd like to make May a month when I actually finish some sewing projects rather than just post about ones that are already in my wardrobe.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lightweight Sewing and MMM Days 11 and 12

Jalie 2788 Twist top
After an early morning trip to the dogpark in a Jalie 2788 twist top it was another day of heavy gardening at our home yesterday. Trust me, dear readers, my garden grubbies are just as awful as yours and the only thing saving you from having to view my outfit is that I did not sew any part of it.  

When we finally did quit the hard labor I was able to tackle a small sewing project.  This is another silk chiffon poncho in colors that should work very well for me this summer.  

Here's the previous post which explains how to sew one for yourself. inspired by RTW blouse poncho

When I serge a rolled edge on silk chiffon, I use water soluble stabilizer to keep the thread attached to the fabric....then soak it out afterwards before assembling the two panels.
soaking away the stabilizer

rolled edge with Sulky stabilizer
Our treat for hours more of digging, mulching, chopping and planting was dinner at a local diner that was featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.   Diner, Drive-ins and Dives Please be aware that even looking at the recipes on the site might raise your choloesterol and Body Mass Index overnight.  Mr. Lucky and I thoroughly enjoyed the decadent sandwiches at The Broadway Diner and then made up for that indulgence with a trip to the farmer's market for fresh veges this morning.  Here I am dropping off books at the free bookstore in Baltimore before we head to the market. I'm wearing a lightweight polarfleece topper   poncho directions  Since there was an early morning chill....or perhaps my blood has just thinned from winters in Florida.  OK, MMM posting done for a dozen days in May.  Almost half way there.....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gardening Day

Thank you, Katie, Amy, and Grace.  I'll be able to recreate that post since somehow it made it to your web readers.  Guess you must have good internet karma.
Today was the first day of sunshine in forever so Mr. Lucky and I took full advantage by making a big dent in our gardening work.  That meant I spent the entire day in grubby clothes and when I quit at 6:15 pm, finally had a shower and cleaned up for dinner....and ibuprofen.  Gardening....good exercise but lots of digging, lifting, bending and carrying.  I'm about a third of the way through our major spring clean up and plantings.  Blogging and sewing will have to wait since we're on Mother Nature's schedule this month.

Knip Mode top April 2008 
Here's the picture of MMM day 9.   The top is one of my first internet sewing experiences.  It's from the April 2008 issue of Knip Mode. Knip Mode I saw Melissa at Fehrtrade sew up this fun version of a twist top....really just a gathered top.  She translated the Dutch directions and had wonderful diagrams on her blog so I bought it on Ebay and make one or two each season.  
We're going to veg out in front of TV tonight but I bet it won't be for long.  Hope your day has been just as productive.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Post Deleted, Expletive Deleted

I imagine you just heard the screams as the Blogger post I took one hour to write just disappeared.  Must not throw laptop across the room....must get glass of wine....must post today's MMM picture (the lengthy picture filled tutorial will have to wait) and call it a night.  

Pamela's Patterns Draped front Cardigan at the garden center today

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 8...

Is this about the time that photo fatigue sets in?  Those of you who have done Me Made May challenges before might never tire of taking and then posting daily pics.  I'm not one of you.  I like the dressing in self-made items but for me, the daily photo shoot is getting tedious.  Thank goodness I get to see so many other terrific outfits and happy faces on blogs and the Flickr group.  That's what kept me in self-timer mode today.  
So here's my take on today's pic.  I wore these Gloria Vanderbilt straight leg jeans with a McCalls 4652 top from ITY knit to my women's group at church today.  We had a deep, thoughtful, honest, and caring discussion about being a mother (which I am not) and being a daughter(which I have been.)  
McCalls 4652 top
Little inside joke in this shot.  I've been busy enough over the last few days that I haven't touched either of the two Sunday papers sitting in our house.  Yes, I'm still a die hard newspaper reader, just like my dad was.  He commuted to work and stopped and got the New York Times at a little corner store each morning about half way to his job.  My parents also subscribed to the local daily evening paper and one of my earliest reading memories is kneeling on the living room rug to read the comics.  On Sundays we added one more paper, The New York Daily News which had the really cool comics such as Brenda Starr and Little Orphan Annie.   My parents also made sure we subscribed to Sports Illustrated and Time.  This could explain my childhood love of comic books as well as my 6th grade current events award.  I have enormous respect for real journalists and I think a free press is one of most valuable liberties.   So I get a daily local paper and the wonderful weekly NY Times which gives me plenty to savor for more than a week.  Maybe I'll actually finish this entire issue before the next one shows up in the driveway.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Kwik Sew 2895 jacket
Most of today was spent in dog walking or chilly weather exercise clothes and neither outfit contained anything made by me.  But I got a shot going out the door on the way to a meeting tonight and I'm wearing a Kwik Sew Jeans jacket 2895 with self-made shrinky dink buttons.  This is one of my very first TNT patterns and I've been sewing one or two of them annually for almost five years.   The buttons were made with a Paris stamp on sheets of shrinky dink plastic and then they shrink when you bake them in the oven.  They were fun to make and I'll have to do a tutorial sometime since they really can customize a garment.  And yes, Gwen, I will also do a photo tutorial of the flowers on my teal cardigan, thanks for the suggestion.  I finished the handsewing today so more will be revealed...  It's late now and I'm just making the daily deadline for MMM posting.  Off to read and sleep....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Me Made May Lessons So Far

Wrapping up the first week of MMM and here's what I've learned so far.  

  • Posture counts.  Note to self: stand up straight, jus like your mother said.
  • Flickr is still new and unfamiliar to me but wow, thanks for the comments on there, I didn't know that was possible.  
  • I like being a little "dressier' than usual but I don't necessarily like the "Gosh you're so dressed up..." remark.  Sort of like the "how wonderful you look after losing weight"....but there is the implication that I wasn't looking too wonderful before?!  (Dogpark friends, of course, are exempt since they never see me dressed up:-)
  • Whenever friends my age start to moan about no young people sewing I'll tell them I know better.  There are lots of young people sewing all around the world.  Fabulous!!
Today's cool and cloudy so when my girlfriend, Ann,  showed up for a visit we enjoyed the wonderful curried chicken soup that I'm heating up in ths picture.  Ymmmmm, must get this recipe from her.  I'm wearing Simplicity 3678 as a top, jeans and my new Ecco red shoes that I brought north from Florida.  Comfortable as can be and bright red patent leather, what's not to love.

Now Ann is doing some quilt piecing while I sew beads (and take a break to write this post) to my wool jersey cardigan.  With any luck I'll get to wear the finished cardigan before the weather turns too hot.
Flowers attached with small seed beads

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Little of This, a Little of That

Big shout outs to those of you who emailed me or made comments and shared about the Thundershirts Thundershirt on Amazon for Sam.  It reminded me of watching the movie Temple Grandin (hope you see it if you haven't already) and her discovery that animals are less frightened when they feel constrained around the torso.  I'll give the shirt a shot since there's a money back guarantee.  Thanks for such useful advice.  I know there are a bunch of other animal lovers out there who don't want to see our pets suffer if they don't have to.

Simplicity 2603
Continuing my month of pictures, here are two Me Made May outfits for the day.  It was warm and humid this afternoon so I wore my Simplicity 2603 top for my exercise walk.  (That's my ipod I'm holding and hoping that the automatic timer will work on the camera posed on top of a box....yes, there's a tripod coming from Amazon next week.)  
Pamela's Patterns Magic Pencil Skirt
Here's dinner with friends at a local Indian and Nepalese restaurant.  Fun and delicious time together and I'm wearing one of my many Pamela's Patterns Magic Pencil skirts.  

In between a visit to the dog park and having FL condo board business to conduct long distance I did get in some actual sewing time also.  I finally cut out the lining for a tweed jacket I started at the January sewing retreat.  I attached the patch pockets using a technique from Louise Cutting in Threads 121, the wonderful Chanel jacket issue.  
Cut and interface the patch pocket.  Iron down the top hem and then baste (she suggest gluing with Steam a Seam 2) the patch pocket onto the jacket front.  There's no lining to the pocket, just that fusible interfacing.  
Can you see the pocket?
That's the pocket basted in place on the jacket front.  Without a lining or seam allowance it lays very flat on the surface of the jacket.

Cut 1" bias strips of the fashion fabric, in my case a silk, rayon and cotton tweed.  Curve the bias strip right along the seam allowance of the pocket.  Stitich in place with two lines of stitching 1/8 apart down the center of the bias strip.
left side unfluffed, right side fluffed

Use an old toothbrush to fluff up the edges of the fashion fabric bias strip.
Finished pocket in place, still flat but with the raw edge texture that I like so much.  
Both pockets sewn to the jacket front.

I also spent about an hour today finishing this very interesting book.  This is the sequel to Lisa See's previous novel, Shanghai Girls.  In this one the young daughter, Joy, is angry at her mother and aunt for a long time secret about her birth and runs away to become a supporter of the Chinese revolution.  It's full of drama and historical details about China in the early days of the communist revolution.  Highly readable and quite educational as well.  
Now I'm calling it a night and settling in with Season 3 of HBO's In Treatment series and a glass of wine.  I just started a Netflix DVD trial subscription and I can see how dangerous that queue list is.  I've already added some British and Canadian TV series to my lists.  I'm missing Mr. Lucky tonight but he's doing a good thing visiting with his family.  
Here's hoping you have good things in your life this weekend. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Accessories Make the Difference

Simplicity 2409 in dress length
After exercise this morning I had a meeting to attend and am wearing this denim tencel dress that I made from Simplicity 2409, a pattern for a top that I merely lengthened maybe 24" or so.  I seem to get compliments whenever I wear this dress but it appears to me to be rather plain and boring on its own.  However those simple lines and a neutral color do mean that I get to have fun with the accessories.  This is a goldtone Chicos necklace and those are a pair of my favorite Naturalizer shoes.  
Mayland had a record hot summer in 2010 which is what inspired me to make a dress that would touch the least number of body parts.  The tencel is lovely to wear since it has some of that cool breathable rayon factor.  I may revisit this pattern and try the cowl neckline this summer.  

Speaking of hot summers, last night we had another strong storm come through late in the evening.  Our older dog, Sam the basenji, has become very nervous during storm in the last year.  In the previous eleven years they didn't bother him a bit but now he gets up, paces, tries to find a safe place to lay down.  Our second to last night in FL he went down the hall during a big storm and peed in the guest room, something he's never ever done.  Last night I was reading while the storm swept through and he finally settled next to me on the floor but was trembling most of the time.  (Lucky the rescue dog was in his crate and must feel safe there, as he should.)  I know enough not to "comfort" him in any way and I'm not nervous about storms but I would like to figure out a way to change his reactions.  Today Sam can't eat because his stomach is still upset.  He always hated, hated, hated the crate when we used it initially 12 years ago but looks like I might consider getting one and putting him in it if we leave for an evening and there's a summer storm in the forecast.  Maybe hating the crate will annoy him enough to get over his fear!

As a matter of fact, I just recalled that I posted this picture of Sam during a storm last year when Lucky was crouched under a sewing machine cabinet to be safe.  Do you think maybe this is a sign of some mental changes now that Sam is 13 1/2 years old?  Poor guy, getting old isn't always the easiest thing to do gracefully.
Slept right through a storm in 2011 without a whimper

Thursday, May 3, 2012

MMM Day 3

Kwik Sew 3096 jacket
It's not even noon on the east coast of the US and I'm already posting what self-sewn item I've been wearing today....might be a new record for me. The Lucky household was up at 4am this morning so I could drive the dogs and Mr. Lucky to the airport for his flight to visit his dad and sister and niece's family in CA for the next five days.  We had rain and a cool night and even some thunder and lightening this morning so I dressed in some lightweight layers.  St John's Bay (Penney's brand) thin wale cords, a Jillian Jones silk nylon knit top and my Kwik Sew 3096 felted jacket.  I love how this jacket turned out when I finished it 1 1/2 years ago Kwik Sew jacket post and was happy that it's cool enough to wear it again today.  It's also a good reminder that I should make more use of that felting machine while I'm here in Baltimore with it.  But after walking the dogs and a morning trip to Trader Joe's it's time to change into garden grunge clothes and pull weeds out of that damp soil.  I intend to get in some good garden time while Mr. Lucky is away but also some great sewing room time as well.  Hope you have an equally good time working on your sewing projects.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Private and Public Dressing

A lovely older woman from my church, a long time widow,  moved into a high rise senior community about a year ago.  We had worked on our church newsletter for years and would go to lunch afterwards.  When I asked her about the change in living from a small home and yard to the high rise life she said that overall the change had been of great benefit.  She was 86 when she made the move and acknowledged that even a small house and yard required constant upkeep and vigilance.  But the change she didn't expect was that she had to put on her "public face" as soon as she left her front apt. door.  She noticed that she had more "public" encounters with people just going to the elevator or running downstairs to mail a card and said that it was a little more tiring than she had expected.  We felt a common camaraderie about enjoying our own private space, private time and hobbies without having to "make nice" to the outside world except on our terms and schedules.
Here it is, only day two of Me Made May and I'm thinking about the concept of our private dressing versus our public dressing.  Ah, the private wardrobe idea....I wish it were as glamorous as those wonderful black and white thirties films when slipping into something comfortable meant satin mules and a silk charmeuse robe and gown.  Yesterday I was feeling out of sorts, low grade fever and achy and stayed in my much rattier private clothes all morning.  Luckily I didn't get worse (seems to be short term allergy more than a full blown cold) and I made myself get dressed in "public" clothes so that Mr. Lucky and I could run some errands together.  Now that I am retired I spend large chunks of my day in "private" clothes....clothes I wear to walk the dogs, work in the gardens or do my own daily exercise.  I end up scrubbing down, prettying up and changing before dinner and an evening social outing...book group, evening with friends, movie, etc. Sometimes I miss the lovely dress for success suits that I spent hours wearing each day, back when I had a huge wardrobe of public clothes.  My wardrobe is still large by any standards in the world but far more sporty and casual.  Even if my style has changed I still like putting together a mildly coordinated outfit when I do go public.
Enough random ramblings. Here are the outfits for days 1 and 2:
Me Made May Day 1
Day 1 I wore these LL Bean brown jeans, a brown sleeveless knit shell and a cozy Sarah Spencer sweater with the infinity scarf that I made from wool challis.  By the time I left the house the temps had risen rapidly yesterday so I took off the scarf and added this lightweight ribbon/yard scarf/necklace.  My creative friend, Michele, had sent me one of these back in March and I fell in love with the colors and textures.  That one is happy in Florida and this one I made over the weekend.  62" long, about 14 or 15 strands of mixed ribbon and wool strands, knotted five times and it makes a lightweight accent piece.

 Day 2 and I'm wearing a silk jersey Simplicity 2364 top (you might get tired with how many versions you'll be seeing of this top) with my Lee jeans and these made by me earrings
Me Made May Day 2 

Pics posted so now it's off to book group this evening.  More to come tomorrow....

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Making Me Made May 2012 Work for Me

'I, Jane of LuckySewandSew.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear/use a self-made item each day for the duration of May 2012'   

Gonna do it.  Just to make myself a little nuts and to push myself.  For me, the push is not so much wearing what I sew, I love to do that.  No, I need an external challenge to get me to post more regularly....and I've been mulling over this type of a challenge for a while now.  So yes, I'm participating.  I'm including accessories and jewelry and don't promise daily pic of me in my outfits but I do commit to daily postings for this month.  Of course this morningI feel myself coming down with a cold or flu so maybe this week will be filled with bathrobe and nightgown and polarfleece sock posts but it's only a self-competition.  I'm inspired, last minute of course, by a conversation with a friend on Sunday evening.  She's preparing her thesis defense as she is finishing up a demanding graduate degree in Cultural Sustainability which combines her interest in communities, the arts, history and the relationship among all of these.  She's really pushed herself and has inspired me and also sent a message to her grown sons that learning never stops at any age.  So this is my very small step to upping my game on this blog and in this creative sewing community.

What do you think of contests and challenges such as these?  It's not too late to join this one:

Zoe's Sewing and Refashioning Blog