Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quick update

Things are crazy busy and my camera is broken and I'm out of underwear so I am off to do laundry and then back to work.

I will admit that I miss sewing and I haven't gotten anytime to knit with meetings and everything. I am hoping for a little extra time once the kids get here and I will not be scheduling and ordering as much as I have in these first few days here on camp.

One thing that I am regretting is that because of my schedule here at camp and with my camera being broken I am having some trouble with my Me Made June '11 challenge. Today was my 1st slip up, but I was working in an icky shop full of dust, dirt and spiders. I also Don't have pictures of what I wore the last few days. Even if I can't photo document my me made challenge I will still finish it, no more slip ups for me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Me Made June '11 Update: Day 12-15

Training is winding down for me and I finally have time to give you an update. Hopefully I will be able to update more often now that the intense training weekend is over.

Day 12

I Finally got a photo from Sunday. (Thanks Jamie!)
Top: Altered softball tee, I added the contrasting cap sleeves
Bottom: Navy blue, double knit athletic shorts, made by me!

Day 13

Top: Altered Men's Tee Tunic
Bottom: Black leggings
Braided Belt

Day 14

Top: Cotton Anchor Tank
Bottom: Go To Shorts

Day 15

Hey remember this dress? (Don't worry that's not what I wore!)

Now it looks like this! I finally finished altering that horrid pink thing. I took in the straps making it an empire waist. I also brought the hem up and finished the edges with bias tape. Ta-da a dress!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

At Camp!

I am here at my summer job and its head training weekend. I am super psyched to be here and am excited to be working with awesome artists. The sad part is I will only be blogging three days a week, but I am planing on having lots of photo updates.

Tomorrow I will have a photo update of Me Made June. TTFN!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lists and More Lists

I am very organized and deliberate when I pack. This is great having traveled abroad with a back pack and a carry on sized suit case. (One of these trips was the three months I spent in Oz.) I have a process and my packing takes about three to four days because of my process. Since I am leaving for my summer job tomorrow I have been packing and am almost done. I thought I would share a bit of my list, and my process.

For working at a summer camp you pack what you need plus a bit more, plus anything weird or fun that might come in handy. My first step is to make a list of what to pack and by what to pack I don't just mean cloths and toiletries I mean everything from linens, to knitting supplies, to the tools I take with me. Here is a sample of my master list.

Camp Packing
-2 pair work shorts (by work I mean what I wear in my classes, I teach technical theatre and we get messy and painty.)
-1 pair work jeans
-2-3 work tanks
-3-4 work tees
-1 pair nice jeans
-2-3 pair shorts
-1 pair "other" pants
-1 skirt
-3 sun dresses (Me Made)
-1-2 rompers (Me Made)
-4-5 t-shirt (Me Made and Ready Made)
-1 knit top (heat wave)
-2 cotton sweaters (hand knit)
-2-3 pj bottoms
-2-3 pj tops
-3-4 tank tops (Me Made and Ready Made)
-2 "Nice" dresses
-straw fedora
-Rash vest
-2-3 bathing suits
-sparkly tam
-cotton tam
-2 summer scarves
-1 pair athletic shorts
-2-3 long sleeve shirts/sweat shirt

-plaid cons
-flip flops
-1 pair of heels
-two pairs sandals

-2 towels
-1 beach towel
-2 pillow cases
-1 set sheets
- comforter
-throw blanket
-1 pillow
-2 hand towels

Tools (all in tool bag)
-speed wrench
-wirer strippers
-screw gun/ charger
-tape measure
-sharpies (2-3)
- Small flash light

Fun Things to bring
-stuffed koala
-stuffed tazzie devil
-laughing kookaburra
-squeekie chicken
-deck of cards
-deck of uno cards

This is just page one of two and a half. So after my list is made I gather up the things I need to pack, but I don't pack them just yet. I tick them off my list and then go through and decided whether or not I need 3 or 4 tank tops or if bringing my spinning wheel is really necessary (I think it is) or if I can get away with two pairs of shorts instead of three especially if I bring 1 romper and three sun dresses. This is the step I finished yesterday, which means today I will finally actually pack.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I Am Starting to Hate My Ready Made Clothes

Last night when I got home I changed into jeans. This seems like a benign thing to do. Go home put some jeans on, relax with the husband. What I realized though as we walked through the Italian Market was that my pants were uncomfortable and maybe not as flattering as I once thought they were. They cut into my waist line weird and the seam in the crotch was too high. I was a very unpleasant companion because of this (and I was hungry too). (It is interesting that I had my pants revelation while at the start of making my first set of pants. Which compared to my jeans are polor oppisits and I am expecting my pants to be comfy and fab all at once.)

One thing that making my own clothes has done is made me realize how hard it is to find Ready Made clothes that actually fit and are made well. I'm not even going to go into affordable at this point in time. I thought these jeans fit me, I thought they looked good on my tush, but the truth of the matter is I settled for something that kind of fit me. No wonder so many women hate to shop for themselves. Even some of my favorite things I've purchased over the years are not a great fit, I have a dress that I love and while it fits my bust it's too big in the waist, I also have a plaid button up that fits my bust, but is too short in the arms. I feel that sometimes producers of ready made clothing have proportions all wrong, or try to distill the vast diversity of the population down to a Small, Medium, and a large. How is this even possible?

How do you deal with ready made clothing? Mine was to stop buying ready made clothes all together. What fit issues do you have? What do you wish clothing producers realized about women and their bodies?

I'd love to hear your opinion.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Me Made June '11 Update: Day 10-11

I had an unexpected day off from work on Friday so what does one do when they have a beautiful day and no where to be, go the fabric store and sew! I leave for my summer job in three days and have been sewing furiously to make sure I have what I need. I guess I should start packing soon.

Here is what I wore this week end
Day 10

With a day off and plans to go out it was time to finally pull out and pull on a dress.
Dress: ruffle strap sundress.
I made this dress with out a pattern and just my measurements. I think it was a success.

On our way home from the bar Simon decided to try planking this mail box while Antea was trying to mail her student loan.

Day 11

Saturday is a lazy day or a surf day in our apartment and since the surf was only ankle high and not worth the hour drive we stayed in Philly.
Top: 1 piece kimono top (shhh I made mine in two pieces)
bottom: gray leggings from target.

I'm missing Sunday's Me Made outfit, but I will post it as soon as I have a picture. Here is what else I was up to this weekend.

I finished this sun dress on Friday. This is loosely based on Burda Style's Jane langerie top. I am excited for this dress and it's cute tie straps.

This is the second dress I finished this weekend. I really like DixieDIY's one shoulder knit dress, but my computer won't let me open the PDF so I took my measurements and my trusty chalk and I came up with a pattern that fits my measurements and my tastes. I raised the bodice section so that it was more of an empire waist, and made an A-line style skirt with no gathers. It fits like a glove, and its on of my most favorite colors, TEAL!

Now that I have the casual dress issue taken care off I am going to have a go at pants. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Put A Bow On It, A Knit Bow Headband

This is a great pattern to use if you have small amounts of yarn hanging about in your stash, or if you have any yarn left over from your latest projects. It is also a quick knit if you are in need of a gift or just want something to spruce up your outfit for the day.

Gauge and fiber are up to you in this pattern, all I would suggest is that you use the appropriate needle for the yarn you choose, and if you use a cotton or another plant fiber you might want to feed some elastic into the I-cord of the head band. Just remember that the thicker the yarn and the larger the needle the bigger your bow will be.
The yarn I used was a dk weight silk wool blend I had left over from making my mom a scarf. I used a size 5 needle.

Put A Bow On It
CO 11 sts
Work in seed stitch till bow measures 4 inches
Seed Stitch
Row 1 & 2: K *P, K* repeat *to* to end of row
Bind Off
Weave in ends

Bow Center
CO 6 sts
work I-cord for about 5 rounds or till the tube measures about 3/4 inches
Bind off
Weave in ends

Pull the 4 inch piece through the small I-cord tube you have just made. Center the piece of I-cord and arrange gathers on the 4 inch piece to form a bow. Set aside.

I-cord head band
Using a provisional cast on, CO 4 sts
Work I-cord till it measures the circumference of your head minus one inch.
DO NOT bind off
Assembling the head band
Feed the I-cord through the bows center I-cord. Take out provisional cast on and graft live stitches together using kitchner stitch. Arrange bow on head band to a desirable position and look. Now you have a fab hair accessory!

Me Made June '11 Update: Day 6-9

I am loving MMJune'11, well except the part where Philly had another heat wave this week. But that's not Me-Made-June's fault. Because of the heat, and our apartment being equally hot as the outside a few of my outfit choices where not tops.

Day 6

This has been my favorite out fit of the week so far.
White tee from old navy
My Maria skirt in this fun teal stripy cotton (there are silver diamonds printed in the space between the whit pin stripes). The Maria is a free Burda style down load. I leaned my pleats all the the left than leaning them into the center like the pattern suggests.
Leather belt

Day 7

This is when things started getting hot and humid in Philly
Gray tee
Altered dress pants to high waist shorts
Leather braid belt from Oz

Day 8

Lacey Cami from target
Heat wave top knit in 100% bamboo (this was teh prototype for the pattern)
Go to Altered jean shorts

Day 9

I got called into work early and for the whole day. Thank goodness that meant I got to sit in air-con all day.
Blue cotton cami, old navy
Variegated knit cami with lace detail 100% bamboo fiber
Brown shorts, thrifted

The heat wave finally broke last night with a spectacular storm that rolled in at 8pm. Things are now not unbearable with out air conditioning and I feel up to doing things other than sit around in my skivies sitting in front of a fan.

Because I got called into work early and for the whole day I was unable to post Thursdays blog post so today you will get a double dose of Blue Betty as yesterday's supposed post with become today's extra surprise post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fabric Finds

I love my fabric shop, mostly because it's like searching for buried treasure. It is filled to the brim with all types of fabrics and the are constantly getting new stuff in. Because of this they have a huge dollar bin where you can sometimes find a yard of a hidden gem like the 60" wool cotton blend denim I found one day. (There is enough for me to make a pair of trouser jeans for the fall!) They also have barrels of fabric for $1.98 a yard, which yes has a bunch of crap in it, but also has a few bits of fabric gold it you just take the time to look and touch.

I usually make a trip here at least once a week, mostly because I need buttons (they have a whole wall of buttons) or elastic or trim or thread. Mostly I can manage to not over spend, but when they are having a $3.98 silk sale how can you pass up looking to see if there are any treasures up for grabs.

This is what happened a few weeks ago when I went in to buy elastic and I left with three and a half yards of fabric and elastic. The romper and the sundress i recently made were all fabric from that trip (the romper was in the $1.00 bin and the dress fabric was from the cotton prints section and was $4.25 a yard). But like I was describing above the shop was having a $3.98 silk sale and in the bin along with some upholstery silk and some taffeta in a horrid taupe color was this:
The photo doesn't do it justice, but I found 100% duponi silk in a beautiful navy blue and bronze. I immediatly snatched the bolt up and bolted for the cutting counter. I bought two yards, enough for something although I'm not sure what. I couldn't believe i just bought two yards of duponi silk for under ten dollars where everywhere I have seen it it's been $18 or more per yard. It's tucked away in my stash waiting for the perfect project.

This is not the end of my fabric finds. I had an unexpected day off from work on Monday and went to the fabric shop, just to look, (yeah right). They had all new 100% cotton jersey in in some wonderful summer colors. I had to have the turquoise, I also found some cotton print and a very special find in the $1.98 bin.

From the top down:
The cotton print, floral, of course! It has an interesting color combination of greens, red, orange and lavender.
Turquoise cotton jersey.
Cotton silk blend in an interesting color, the above picture does it no justice, its a deep forest green. It is 60" and was in the $1.98 bin. I wasn't exactly sure what it's fiber content was. I figured cotton and rayon. When I asked the woman cutting the fabric she said it was defiantly a cotton silk blend. I bought a yard, but I'm thinking of going back and buying some more. I want to make wide leg pants out of some of it, and I might get a yard or two for a dress or at least my stash.

I have already started a casual dress from the cotton print.

Here's a close up of the print.

I still haven't decided what the cotton jersey is going to be. I'm thinking a dress. After this I need to start thinking about what I am going to need for the fall.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Technique Tuesday: Beginner Guide to Knitting Part V, Binding Off

The final step in learning to knit is binding off your knitting, or casting off. This takes your live stitches and secures them from dropping and unraveling all you hard work. It is as simple as the knit stitch.

1. Loosely knit two stitches, you want to make sure that you are not pulling your stitches too tightly while you are binding off.

2. Insert you left hand needle into the 1st stitch of the row.

3. Next you are going to slip the first stitch over the second stitch. Leaving the second stitch on the right hand needle. The First stitch will now be secured around the second stitch.

4. Remove left hand needle from stitch. You have know just bound off 1 stitch.

Continue with this process by knitting one and passing one over the second stitch till you have no more stitches left.

Now you can wear you newly knitting Item!

Binding Off Resources
Learning to Knit: Cast Off, Video Tutorial
Knitting Bind Off, by theknitwitch, A great example of binding off and English style
Binding Off with Stitch Diva

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekend Update or Day 3-5 of Me-Made-June '11

I had a very prolific week I finished two graments and went to a music festival and saw a sheep shearing demo. I was a irresponsible blogger and left my camera at home so sadly I have no pics of the sheep shearing or the music festival.

Firstly I made a romper with pockets! My first attempt at pockets and the were supper easy and came out great!
I used some scrap from another project to make the pockets.

I think the trickiest part of sewing the pockets was figuring which way the right side of the fabric needed to get pinned to. Once I pinned them wrong once I figured it out.
I loved this fabric. It was in the dollar bin at the fabric shop I frequent and I just had to have it. It was a little over a yard, cotton and has this neat leaf motif.

This past week I also made a sun dress. Which is one of the gaps in my me made wardrobe. I found the fabric at the same fabric shop and only got a yard thinking that I could at least make a top, or another romper. Well, after I made the romper I laid out my other fabric and decided on a dress. Three days later and after much fighting with some elastic and a ruffle I have a dress!
It took one yard to make this dress and it isn't even scandalous. I was a bit worried that my decision to make a dress would end with it being way too short to be worn out of the house, but it is a great length. I can't wait to wear it.

So know we come to my me made outfits for the week end.

Day 3

Top: Altered silk, cotton, linen blend dress shirt. (It use to be long sleeved and a lot larger!)
Belt: From a shop in Australia
Bottoms: Olive brown shorts, thrifted.

Day 4
Festival Day!

What I wore: My new romper!!! Oh, and my straw fedora.

Day 5
(The day I rolled out of bed at 5:50am to go to work)

When one has to get up at 5:50am and be to work at 6:30am, one does not really worry too much about what they are wearing. But I did manage to still follow my pledge to MMJune '11.
Top: teal cotton, rayon blend knit jersey. This material is my new bestie. This top was made from a failed dress attempt.
Bottoms: my olive brown shorts.

Today is an unexpected day off from work, and I am planning on a trip to the fabric store to pillage the dollar bin and maybe start some pants and defiantly another sun dress.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Me-Made-June '11 Update

MMJune '11 started while my computer was in for repairs, but I have started and have some photo updates on how it is going. I know it's only been two days, but I am very excited about this challenge.

Day 1

Day one was the hottest day we had had in the city this spring...summer, I'm not sure what season it is. I apologize for the sweatiness, but it was 95 and really humid, and we don't have air conditioning.

What I wore.
Top: Altered T-shirt into tank, I call it my cowboy tank.
Bottoms: Jean shorts altered from jeans, these are my go to shorts.

Day 2

The heat wave had finally broken!! I decided to celebrate by wearing a hand knit garment.
Top: Heat wave top, hand knit with love and a cotton modal blend
Bottoms: My go to shorts. I<3 them.

There you have it the first two days of MMJune '11. Over on "So...Zoe, What do you know she has posted an inventory of her me made items and aims for the month. I decided to do something similar. I love lists and lists of things are one of my favorites to make.

My Me Made Items.
*3 nice dresses (floral, Yellow seersucker, blue coffee date)
*1 cocktail tent dress with ruffle
*1 purple sundress
*2 pairs of altered shorts (jeans shorts, blue high waisted shorts)
*3 Jersey knit tanks (black, Teal, Cowboy)
*1 Kimono Tee
*2 skirts (Teal, and purple floral)
*2 knit Tees (heat wave and gray top with tie neckline)
*1 knit bamboo tank
*2 cotton cardigans (long sleeved lavender and gold striped, and short sleeved light blue)
*1 boat neck pull over (white and blue striped)
*1 woven cotton tank (anchors)
*1 Pair of leggings
*2 altered button ups (1 long sleeved, 1 short sleeved)
*2 pairs of pj shorts
*1 pair of long athletic type shorts
*1 Romper

I can defiantly see gaps in my me made wardrobe. I need to make some more tops and not just tanks and tees, I need to try making some more structured items. I also have never made any pants, or really made a pair of shorts I've only ever altered pants into shorts. So, along with wearing hand made items daily I am also going to try and make a pair of pants, and a few more tops. I also noticed that I love making dresses, but I seem to be lacking casual sundresses. So I mighty make one or two more of those.

I made all of this!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Welcome Home!

My laptop has returned to me!! I have missed it so much. I hate to admit how much I am attached to this piece of technology, but it is important to me. Simon even felt its absence and admitted he missed it too.

The heat wave that hit Philly has finally broken and our apartment isn't an oven anymore. It was awful the last few days, it felt like we skipped right over spring and landed smack dab in the middle of July.

I have a lot of catching up to do. I have a deadline coming up really soon, and I think there is a submission deadline for today. I will be busy busy busy. I must be off to do all that catching up. Its great to be back.