Monday, August 30, 2004

A/C is back

Our air conditioner is back on line ... sorta. We have to flip the breaker to turn off the fan. The thermostat isn't working right, but at least we can turn off the compressor at the thermostat. We have to go outside to turn off the fan. It's been over 100F/38C, cooling to the upper 80s/lower 30s at night. So the A/C really helps sleeping.

My serger is back from the shop again. I really missed it. Having it and having the A/C back (so I could use the iron and my sewing lights) made me want to sew again. I worked on Kwik Sew 2565 with a french dart. I sewed the darts on my third attemp at Simplicity 5098. (This time for sure!) I edge finished Kwik Sew 2743.

It is now possible to use the serger with Boobla in the room. He no longer tries to pull the cut off bit of fabric out from under the knife. He likes to grab the wheel while it's going around, and he pulled the right most cone of thread off it's stand, but he put it back as soon as he realized I was watching. It was cute because he knew he wasn't supposed to be doing that. The guilt ridden look on his face was priceless.

Goosey sorted my pins in my pin cushion. They are now sorted by size, pin head type (none, ball, flower), and color. I think I will get out her button collection and work with her on sorting those. She hasn't been ready to do that until now (4 years 8 months).

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Sick Kid

My daughter was home sick yesterday, so I stayed home with her. I was able to work with my Artista software. I have downloaded a lot of the freebie designs on the internet, but I hadn't done anything with them except maybe convert them to .ART format.

After digitizing that lily, I thought I would take a look at one of the designs that I downloaded. The eagle to the right is from Buzz Tools. It was terrible. There were jump stitches all over the place, travel stitches, in a terrible order. So I decided I would fix it.

2 hours later, I finally figured out how to delete the first object. This project started with one stitch in the center of the design, followed by a jump stitch to the first filled object. I don't see any need for a center starting point.

I persevered, and after about 8 hours, I finally had something to send to my embroidery machine. Now to stitch it out.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Lily Magic Wand 1

Here's the first sample digitized using magic wand in the Artista embroidery software. The fabric is a cotton/lycra twill. I used Sulky Totally Stable which is not stiff enough to manage the stretch in the fabric. The green and varigated threads are Superior embroidery thread. The pink is Coats & Clark rayon embroidery thread, and the black and yellow are Isacord.

The navy fabric makes it tough to see the details in the image, but this is a better embroidery than the first one. I reoriented almost all of the fills. The one petal that looks different is 90 degrees off; I'm not sure what happened. I like the way the varigated thread came out in that petal better than the others. Overall, I don't care for the varigated thread in this sample.

I also learned that you have to specify jump stitches. See the line in the lower righthand leaf?

Autodigitized Lily

The fabric is a lightweight cotton. I used Sulky Totally Stable which I don't like and won't be buying again. The green/leaves and the blue/petals are Superior embroidery thread. The navy/underpetal is Coats & Clark polyester embroidery thread. The yellow and black/outline are Isacord.

I think it looks crappy because of the autodigitizing. However, I have not had great results with the Totally Stable.

I used the AmazingMiniBox (AMB) to transfer the design from the computer to a card. They don't tell you on the box that the AMB can write .ART format, but it cannot read .ART format from the computer. So I saved the design as a .PES and had to have the AMB convert that to .ART. I'm not sure that I would have bought AMB if I had known that ahead of time. As it is, I'm going to have to buy a card and cardwriter from Bernina, and that is going to be big bucks.

Too busy to blog

My younger brother, the one going to New Zealand, has been in town. Last Wednesday, we took Goosey to Chinatown. She had so much fun looking in the shops. She doesn't like dim sum, other than her orange soda, tho, so that part was tough. Having some forethought, I did bring things for her to eat, and we got some frozen yogurt on the way home.

So how does that relate to sewing? I'm always intrigued by the fabrics that I see in Chinatown, so I browse them. The thing is that they are expensive ($25/yard), and the fiber content isn't noted. So I never buy anything. I wish Silk Road Fabrics, Oakland, or Thai Fabrics were closer to me.

On Thursday, I had my Artista software class. We repeated the class from last time, which was kinda a bummer. But since I'd forgotten it all in the past 2 months, it was okay. They are going to change the class to every month, and that's going to be much better for me. I might actually retain some of the stuff I learn. I dropped of my serger to get the presser foot lifter fixed. So no sewing, but when it comes back, I might actually finish some projects that are done except for hemming/coverstitch.

Friday was my day off from work. I had big plans until Baloney Boy came home with a fever of 102F/39C. That put an end to getting chores and sewing done. The weekend was typically busy with the kids. We had a going away party for my younger brother and his wife. I found out that he's coming to visit in December. I keep promising myself that I'm going to send him an e-mail everyday, but I haven't started yet. I'm so sad that he's going. I wish we could move there, too.

I did sew the darts on my french dart t-shirt. They do add shaping over the breasts. They were a huge pain to sew in the slinky. I didn't have troubles with the french dart in the cotton lycra knit, so I think it's the fabric.

So today, I stayed home from work. I was supposed to fold laundry. I haven't caught up with the laundry from our trip to New Hampshire. It's starting to take over the family room. Have I folded any laundry? Of course not.

I did do some of the homework from my Artista class. I autodigitized and stitched out a lily. Hm. Maybe I'll scan it in. I also did the magicwand digitizing with some editing of jump stitches and stitch orientation.

Monday, August 16, 2004

What was I thinking?

I really like Kwik Sew 2565 with a full bust alteration (FBA) and bigger sleeves. A scoop or v-neck neckline would probably look better on me than the crew or jewel neckline, but right now I'm very happy with the t-shirt.

So, do I just leave it alone? No; I'm intrigued by french darts. While this alteration won't help with shaping over the breasts like the side seam dart from the FBA, I think the french dart will help to pull in some of the fabric over my upper abdomin. I made a t-shirt from Burda Plus magazine with a french dart. It didn't come out well, but the problems were numerous: too big in the shoulders, neckline had facing, neckline funneled, too long for me, and I didn't move the french dart over when I did the FBA, so it doesn't point to my breasts.

Do I give up? No. I decided to move the dart on KS 2565 to a french dart. That part was easy. Now, comes the "what was I thinking?" moment. I picked a blue 100% polyester slinky knit to make the t-shirt out of. A french dart is curved, and it's @#$%ing hard to sew it in slinky! While I was very gently picking out a badly sewn dart, I started to think that a slinky t-shirt doesn't need a dart, even on me. So that's 2 things that I label "what was I thinking?"

I'm wearing a new skirt from my favorite skirt pattern, Kwik Sew 2743. I made a top out of the same fabric as the skirt, but it was a wadder. I wanted to wear it with a top from one of my favorite top patterns, New Look 6106, in 100% cotton interlock. They do not go together, at all.

All I can think is that I must have swatched the aubergine silk jersey with the aubergine-orange-pink -fuschia-grey (YOWZA! ) print. I know that I have a knit that matches that aubergine perfectly.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Too Hot to Sew

And I'm too tired to read about sewing. I fell into bed last night at 9:30. Boobla slept much better last night, so I got a pretty good night's sleep. He woke up at 6:30, but he wasn't ready to get out of bed. We were able to cuddle for a few minutes.

But I'm thinking about sewing. I like the idea of wardrobe capsules. On Sewing World, we had a contest designed around this idea call SWAP or Sewing With A Plan. I'm more in need of Sewing With A Clue, but SWAP is an ideal to which I aspire. I have lots of prints in my stash that I really like, but I don't have many solids. SWAP helped me to define navy as my primary color. I still haven't figured anything else out from SWAP, but at least it's a start.

Another aspect to the wardrobe capsule is the idea of a travel wardrobe. I don't travel much. For business, it's overnight trips, so that really isn't a problem. For vacation, I need a childproof wardrobe for Lake Winnepesake, NH, very, very casual. But I read about these travel wardrobes, where you can wear several items together, mix & match, and where you have reversible garments. Am I the only one for whom this concept doesn't work?

First off, I have never been able to wear shirts or pants twice. A reversible garment gives me nothing over a non-reversible garment. And I wonder how this really makes things easier to pack. I mean, if a reversible garment has one inside the other, it's still twice as thick as a regular garment to pack. And since I'd only be able to wear it once before washing, even without the kids' contributions, I find the reversible garment a detriment.

Please, check the Amber Alert. It's 2 postings below this one.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Cooling Off ... NOT!

The high today was 102F/39C. It has cooled off to 100F/38C.
Why are my titles showing up in regular text? Hm.

It's so hot.

The forcast was for a high of 96F/36C, but it's 101F/39C. The temperatures are still rising. And we still have no A/C!!! Sewing is out of the question ... like I'd have time.

We took the kiddos swimming in our neighbors pool last night. Goosey is getting really good at swimming. She can't stroke freestyle and breathe yet, but I think she'll learn that one soon. That's pretty darn good for a 4 year old. Boobla is a wildman at the pool. You've got to keep your eye on him because he will launch himself off the steps with no warning. He's gotten so good at putting his face in the water that he can pick up rings off the steps. They both love the water.

I went swimming today at lunch. It was hot enough for me to get sweaty walking to the car, but it was really nice in the pool. I swam for about 40 minutes before my form deteriorated from muscle exhaustion. That's better than I was expecting since I haven't swum in several weeks.

My darling little brother and his wonderful wife arrive tomorrow (I think). They are going to be here for 2 weeks. Yippee! But then they are off to New Zealand. :( I only have 3 days of vacation left for this FY. It's a good thing that we can go 2 weeks into the hole.

Please, check the Amber Alert in the next post. The little boy has been missing for more than a day, and I cry when I think of what he and his father are going thru.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Amber Alert

I've decided to post this when I don't have anything to write about sewing or anything to rant about.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Are smokers stupid, or just unable to read?

Non Sewing Rant

I've had asthma for the last 10 years. Cigarette smoke is one of the triggers. Plus, I have 2 small children who are much better off not being exposed to second hand smoke. California is generally intolerant of smokers; Oakland is really restrictive, and I bless them for that. In Oakland, you can't smoke within 20 feet of a building entrance. It's clearly posted at the airport, and they even painted it on the sidewalks. Too bad the sheriff deputies didn't ticket them. It would be a nice source of income.

So now I think that smokers are dirty litterbugs, inconsiderate of other's health, and are either stupid, illiterate, or blinded by the cloud of smoke that follows them everywhere.