Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodbye HaloScan

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I've had several people mention lately that they couldn't comment on the blog, and after a bit of research the problem was tracked down to my comment service HaloScan.

I checked their forums and looked for fixes, but all I found were other people having the same problems and no solutions. I tried to patiently wait for HaloScan to work out their issues, but after several weeks I couldn't take the erratic behavior anymore, and I've switched back to Blogger's comment system.

Unfortunately, this means that all the comments that were left on the blog over the last year have disappeared. They're not gone forever (I looooooove comments, and made sure save them all in a safe place), but in order to get them back I'll need to manually add them to each post. Yippeeee! This might take a while.

If you tried to post a comment recently and couldn't, I hope you haven't lost the will to go on commenting and you'll give it another shot.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sewing Scallops by the Seashore

About a week ago Davis and I drove north to go on a flea-venture. The pickings were rather slim (has anyone else been having that experience this year at their favorite flea markets/thrift stores/junk shops?), but I did come home with a couple of cute aprons.

Unfortunately, I hadn't noticed that one of them was begining to disintegrate at the slightest touch. Seriously, it looked fine when I was at the stall, but when I looked at it in the car it had a couple of tears, and my attempts to try it on at home left it in shreds.

It had a really nice scalloped shape that I hadn't run across before, so I decided to make a pattern from it while it still had a couple threads holding together. I didn't want to lose momentum, so I bought some retro fabric and started sewing the next day. What a ginormous pain! I think it will be quite some time before I even consider sewing a scalloped edge again.

When I first tried it on I was pretty disappointed - it just kind of hung there with the scallops jutting out strangely from deformed little folds. It certainly wasn't worth all the extra work, and I wrote it off as yet another failed sewing experiment (my success rate generally hovers around 50%).
Then, the next day, it came to me that I should try it on with....wait for it... my petticoat! Yahtzee! It suddenly became a cupcakey-cute sugary confection that was sweet enough to require an insulin emergency kit to be kept nearby (not to toot my own pixie stick or anything).

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The problem is that now I need ANOTHER petticoat-friendly skirt to wear under it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Details

I thought I'd post some of the skirt details for those of you who like to sew.
I drew up the pattern using directions from Sew What! Skirts. I've read really good reviews on the book and I plan to make a couple more skirts from it, but I found that the circle-skirt instructions left a lot to be desired. For one thing, the skirt was HUGE when cut out as instructed. At first I thought I had just been sloppy, but when I pulled out my trusty calculator I found that their formula would make it come out over 4" larger than it should be (I finally got to use the pi key for something other than figuring the square footage of pizza!). I think they forgot to put the waist's seam allowance into the equation, which wouldn't be a big deal with an a-line skirt but it adds up to a lot with a circle. It took a lot of tweaking, but I was finally able to get it to fit.

The design for the applique came from a picture I found online (unfortunately I can't remember the website, so I can't give the artist the credit I should). I then traced the image onto Pellon Wonder Under (an iron-on adhesive), ironed it onto some lightweight iridescent fabric, cut out the design, and then ironed it onto the skirt. I should really stitch along the border to make sure it doesn't lift when it gets washed.
Here's a picture of how it looks from different angles (the shine doesn't show in the pictures, but I'd imagine it's enough to make Julia Pequlia happy).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

It's Finished!

Things got a little hectic at the end, but I finally got it done.
I ditched the pocket ideas, and ended up doing a bird applique which I'm fairly happy with. The one issue I have is that it's a little too close to the center, and now when things swish just right it appears as if the bird is trying to look up my skirt. I'm considering adding a few more birds to distract from the effect, but I'm worried it could end up looking like a whole flock of fowl perverts.
I meant to put up this post hours ago, but I had no idea it would be so hard to photograph a pouffy skirt. I'd set the self timer, run to the corner, and then frantically try to make sure the skirt wasn't all smooshed to one side or the other. The "artistic" pose I finally went with has me looking down to make sure that I covered the big water stain on the floor with my foot.
Gina may not have sewn a skirt, but she definitely followed through on the bet. She's showing off her petticoat with aplomb, and looking downright festive.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pies and Petticoats

I'm afraid I haven't made any further progress on my petticoat-friendly skirt. If I'm able to show you anything other than the plainest pale green circle-skirt tomorrow, it will only be because I worked very hard on it tonight.

So what have I been doing (other than making and discarding another pair of pockets)? I went to see Waitress and loved it. It was funny and sweet, and yes, I did have to dab away a tear or two. It was also really pretty, with a twist of a 1950s esthetic. I'm quite sure there was at least one petticoat involved in the making of this film.

The only real problem I have with this movie is that it made me desperately crave pie (the main character is a "pie genius"). Now I want to open my own pie diner, invent dozens of pies and then sample all the goods. My clothes have been really tight since our vacation, and I'm pretty sure that pie is not a solution to that problem. I'm considering just letting myself go.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Peonies and Petticoat-Challenges

It's the tail-end of peony season around these parts. Every year I'm bowled over by how boisterous and exuberant their blooms are. You have to love a plant that asks so little, yet gives so generously.

In Petticoat-Challenge news: hemming the skirt took far more time than I would have imagined. The ever-patient Davis marked it for me with only a few grumbles (he had my sympathy - measuring the length of a skirt with a gazillion folds that's hanging on a twitchy and impatient me is quite a challenge), but the pressing of the hem took an eternity, and then it had to be hand-sewn to prevent the ugly rippling that sewing by machine would have given it (believe me, I tried to do it by machine, but it was immediately obvious this was a bad idea). If I had to guess, I'd say that the pressing and hemming took about 6 hours. It's now entirely wearable, and I'm fairly happy with how it has turned out.
My plans for spiffing it up a bit have been foiled - the pockets I designed are too stiff to work with all the folds of the skirt (there's one shown below that hasn't been sewn down). I really love them, though, so perhaps I'll put them on an apron in the future. This was my first attempt at sewing scallops - what a pain!- but I'd do it all over again because I'm such a sucker for them.
The skirt really does need a little something more, so it's back to the drawing board. Julia Pequlia's comment last week makes me think that getting a Bedazzler might be the way to go (I'm kidding....sort it wrong that I kind of want one?).

Morris has found all of this sewing to be quite fascinating. I managed to get a photo of him looking in my sewing box, making sure that I had the correct size needle for the job. I don't know how I'd manage without him.

eta: Haloscan seems to be on the fritz, so the comment section has been coming and going of its own accord. Hopefully it will fix itself shortly.

swing by the archives to see more petulishness
(the link is in the sidebar on the right)