Friday, May 25, 2007

It's the Long Weekend!!

Yeah, I'll have time to really get going on this SWAP. Tonight I plan to sew up the two jacket muslins I have cut out. If time permits, I will fit them, if not then that will be done tomorrow afternoon and hopefully, I will also be able to cut them out in the fashion fabric, too. I don't plan to line my two jackets, but rather I want to underline them in silk organza to cut down on the wrinkling, but still keep them cool. I also want to finish the seams with rayon seam tape which will give the insides a more finished look.

Ideas in my head are to topstitch the living daylights out of both of them, possibly eliminate the pocket flaps and the cuffs on the black linen jacket on the left (Burda 8483), just lengthen the sleeves a bit and finish them off with a slit. On the light mustard cotton jacket on the right (Simplicity 4328) I plan to have 3/4 sleeves and have added to the front of the jacket to allow me to button it. I have buttons already picked out for the Simplicity jacket since I had originally planned to make this last summer. I will have to go through my button stash to see what I have for the Burda black linen--since I have a whole box of various black buttons, I'm sure there is something that will call out to me.

Hopefully, I will be able to get these two out of the way by the end of the weekend. I need to complete these first in order to see how they work with the other pieces, especially the necklines and sleeves of the other garments.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I have been working on trying to download my storyboard from MSWord which was created on an IMac. Since I'm not very computer literate, this has been totally done through trial and error. Today I have finally had success. I have spent more time on this endeavor than I have on my SWAP. I would have my first jacket done by now if I knew what I was doing with these downloads.

But so much for my problems--on with the SWAP sewing. I have traced off the two jacket patterns, the two HP blouses and the MT blouse. Hopefully, I will at least fit one of the jackets this weekend. To top fitting problems off, I have been following Weight Watchers since January and am down 18 lbs to date-hoping to lose at least another 20 by year end. Because I carry most of my weight in my hips, I have started with the tops since these will be least affected by any weight loss and my shoulder fit should not be impacted at all. Nothing I am sewing is tight fitting anyway. I will work on the bottoms towards the end of this project.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Got No Time

This past week work was crazy as usual, but at least I haven't been putting in extra hours. Jeff is here, so we have been enjoying his company when he is not out with his friends. Right now at 9 o'clock at night, he is out fishing with his friends. It appears that there is a dock at Hough's Neck jutting out into the ocean. He plans to be there all night on the dock attempting to fish and socializing. If I can ever figure out how to upload old photos, I'll post pictures of him with the big fish he caught when he was 5 and 11.

Last night we had our Cub Scout finale banquet. This was the first time in the past 10 years that I was not part of the planning--I'm loving it--it's about time others started taking over the planning. Maybe they got sick of my agenda, which is fine with me--I'm burnt out anyway. The Cubs had a great time and I wasn't stuck in the kitchen this year.

In spite of going out to dinner three times this week, plus spaghetti with the Cubs, I lost 1 lb when I weighed in at Weight Watchers this week. Positive thinking and being good the rest of the week sure helped. Ken reached his 10% this week, too.

Oh, the SWAP, well I certainly have been thinking about it. I spent too much time trying to convert a file to jpeg so I can upload it onto my photo site. The problem is we have a Apple computer, which complicates things, since jpeg is not an option in the files I used to create my storyboard. If I had spent the time working on a jacket instead of the storyboard, I would have one piece done for the SWAP. I did wash and prepare my fabrics and they came out great--thankfully. Hopefully, next week this will get off the ground--out of the planning stage and into action.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day, I'm giving my brain a rest. We are off to New Hampshire to visit my mother and the rest of the clan. I'm in charge of appetizers. Jeff suggested shrimp cocktail. Yes!! Yes!! Expensive, but easy--I need easy these days. I also picked up smoked salmon spread (this is a culinary orgasm, I tell you) and will make a grapes with cheese & crackers plate.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

2007 PR SWAP

I'm up and running with the SWAP. First here are my fabric choices:

I spent last Sunday night figuring this out. What fun this was to go through my stash figuring combinations, editing and planning for future sewing. I still haven't figured out how to set up a storyboard, but here are my choices for my SWAP :

Simplicity 4328 view D (light mustard cotton pique)
Burda 8483 view B (black linen)

Material Things Fearless Shirt #106 view C (2 shirts, 1 white, 1 light mustard)
Hotpatterns Deco Vibes Tango Blouses (green bubble print)
Hotpatterns Miss Moneypenny Pussycat Blouse (black, tan, white print)

Dress: Deco Vibe Cosmopolitan Dress (black, white, green, beige print)

Burda WOF 4/2007 143 skirt (green linen)
LaFred Iris Skirt view B (black silk)
JSM Pant 1 (2 pants) (1 black silk, 1 tan cotton stretch)

I am really psyched about this SWAP. These ideas have been kicking around in my head for awhile--this contest has made me put my thoughts into action. I still have fabrics which coordinate with this SWAP, but first I have to concentrate on getting through this. I'll save them for next spring, since by the time this SWAP ends, I'll be ready to start thinking about a fall SWAP.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

My Baby is Home

My youngest son, Jeff, is home on leave until May 13. He graduated from job school (Public Affairs) at Ft. Meade Defense Information School on April 25 and will begin his assignment at Camp Pendelton on May 15. We love having him here, and it may well be over a year before he is back. He has made us proud of his accomplishments in his short life.

Jeff was always an easy kid, but that is his nature, not so much his parents' influence. We hardly ever had to punish him while growing up. His politics are different from his parents'--so we were not totally responsible for his thinking. Little did we know what an athlete he would be--he started crawling at 5 months old (how do you tell a baby that he is too young to crawl). When his older brother, Kenny, became a Cub Scout Tiger, Jeff was only 3, but loved being at our den meetings. He was the best behaved boy there. When it was his turn to be a Tiger Cub, he asked me to be his den leader. Since his dad was now the den leader for Kenny's den, this was doable. Jeff was always very interested in the outdoors and camping. So after crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts, Jeff rose through the ranks and became a Boy Scout. He has camped in eight states and Canada, climbed most of the Presidential Range in New Hampshire and backpacked for two weeks in New Mexico at Philmont Reservation (Boy Scout Mecca). I feel because of Scouts, he learned a great deal about leadership and also reliance upon oneself. Jeff is an Eagle Scout and thankfully, became one at 16 sparing his parents and troop the agony of trying to beat the deadline of an 18th birthday to complete all the requirements.

He also is a terrific runner. When he entered 8th grade, he changed schools. The gym teacher encouraged him to join the track team. He knew he could run and was fairly fast, so he gave it a try. He never placed while in 8th grade, but he always finished somewhere in the middle. In high school he was fortunate to have a couple great coaches his first two years. With each year came improvement in his running. He would practice during the summers getting up by 7:30 in the mornings to run rather than sleep until noon like many of his friends. People all over the city would tell me they saw him running in different locations. By Senior year in high school he was always placing in the top three in all his meets. Perseverance, strategy, lots of practice and setting goals for himself are what got him there. Evidently, his teammates liked him, too, and made him captain of cross-country, winter track and spring track that year.

Jeff looked at colleges thinking he would major in English. The Marines won out over college. He said if he went to college, from his observations of the guys he knows, all he would learn is how to goof off and drink. Profound thoughts for a 17 yr old. There will be time for college later and he would be earning credits anyway at Public Affairs school . Our older son, Kenny, is a Marine and plans to go to college when he gets out this coming December. But it appears that for now Kenny is at least getting the experience of living with a group of guys without going to college.

Jeff graduated with honors from high school and while waiting to go to boot camp at Parris Island, he got up almost every morning to run to keep up his skills. He also worked out at the gym most days, so by the time he entered the Marines, he had a perfect PT score of 300. He managed to maintain that score all through Boot Camp and graduated with honors, was an Expert in rifle and earned the Leatherneck Award for the highest physical fitness score in the class of 619 graduates. He then went to Combat School for a month, then on to Public Affairs School at Ft. Meade. Jeff did quite well and really enjoyed his time there. While at school he was tested for physical fitness and scored a perfect 300 just prior to graduation and was again honored for his physical accomplishment. A week later he was promoted to Lance Corporal. Not bad for someone who is still 18 years old.

At this moment he is off with his friends, but it is still good to know he is in this house for now. We will miss him when he is gone. He will be at Camp Pendelton until early December, then he will be deployed to Iraq. I just pray that the situation there drastically improves during the next several months.

Friday, May 4, 2007

This will be a learning experience

I need to become more computer literate. I want to communicate my ideas with more than print, I want to use pictures and links.

Sewing is my passion. I entered the Pattern SWAP contest and plan to develop a storyboard and track my progress over the next three months. But also I want to use this as a vehicle to express all my thoughts.