Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fragile beauty in the time of chaos

I mentioned in my last post that the last few weeks have been rough. My house has been in utter chaos - chief cause being a bathroom remodel. And unfortunately, I'm one of those people that cannot function in utter chaos. I just shut down. (I'm a pretty messy person, I function just fine in normal messiness.)

Chaos in the bathroom...
Chaos through the rest of the house.
As a result, my sewing has been a combination of scattered, unproductive and unfocused. I've started many simultaneous new projects - a sure way of creating multiple UFOs.

And the finished tile and bathtub. (I did take out the painters tape at some point.)
Still, everything must come to an end, even chaos. The bathroom is now done, and my house is slowly getting tidy. And there are even finished projects to show off.

This fabric is pretty special. It used to be my mother's favorite sari. All through my teenage years, I've watched her reach for this sari. However, time and multiple washes took its toll, and a couple of years ago, this sari fell apart - the silk ripped, my mother cried, and I cackled evilly and stole the fabric. (Ok, fine, that was a bit wicked. But - in my defense, see this post.)

Since this fabric was well loved and treasured, I was anxious to use it well. However, it's really, really fragile, and I needed a pattern that had no zippers, no button holes, nothing that would at all stress the fabric in any way whatsoever. Enter Simplicity 2192.

Ahem. It's all very pretty, but really, the fabric tore as I was serging the shoulders, so I ended up not serging any other seams. It also would randomly fall apart on me, so I've ironed interfacing to minimize the damage in about a dozen spots on the inside. This is not a top that is long of the world.

(Also, I dare not wear a jacket over it, for fear of tearing it while taking the jacket off. Let's just say this is a pretty impractical make.)

Still, I do like the pattern, and will make it again.

And hey - outside photos! Spring has sprung here, hopefully. I've tempted fate by turning off my heater. We'll see. It's been a long winter. (And as you can see, I still haven't put away the snow shovel.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In which a sewist (me) makes something out of nothing...

A rather long time ago, my friend Caroline gave me some fabric that was left over from a skirt she'd cut. There was hardly almost no yardage at all - just the bits and pieces that are left over when you cut a pattern out. The kind that's maybe 12 inches or so wide, and the full length of your fabric? She wasn't quite sure what to do with it, and I confidently proclaimed that there was enough there to make something, anything.

Umm. Yeah. There was, but only just. Still - challenge completed.

Excuse my bra strap. Oh, and I painted my living room yellow. I love it, but there's no denying it - it is bright! 

I was looking for a princess-seamed (or similar) pattern - since I wouldn't have enough width to cut either the front or the back on the fold. Thankfully, Simplicity 2938 came to the rescue. I've made this up before - both as a top (first version, second version) and as a dress - so I knew the pattern well, didn't have to make any modifications, and could use this as a quick little stress-relief make.

As an aside, to say that the last month and a half have been chaotic is the understatement of the century. It has been utter, complete, total chaos in these parts - at least part due to a bathroom remodel. I've fled to my parents - almost in tears - more than once during this process. Understandably, as a result, sewing output has been tragically low.

Still, thankfully, my apartment and my temperament are both slowly re-approaching normalcy. I'll do a blog post at some point showing off both the chaos and the finished bathroom.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

That crash you hear is the sound of a broken resolution...

So there I was, dear readers, visiting my cousin for the weekend. He lives in the DC area - conveniently, about a 10 minute drive from G Street Fabrics. My last G Street trip was so successful, I thought I'd take a peek and see what they had.

I walked through the store, all smug - here I was, with a specific list of what I wanted - some sweater knits, some cream fabric for a shirt, nothing else. The prices weren't that attractive, I wasn't that tempted until...

Ahem. Erase the smugness, I'd stumbled upon the $2.95 a yard clearance tables. 

6 pieces of fabric and $35 later, I left, chastened. That's quite enough for the year, Reethi, I scolded myself. Surely, you remember the resolution? 

I commit to using 25 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. I also commit to buying new fabric only if I will use it up right away.

Evidently, I didn't remember the resolution, because, what else could explain today's little splurge? (The trio on the left.)

I was in Little India, I walked past a saree/fabric store that was closing, everything was on sale - and before I knew it, a navy blue satin had jumped into my hands, along with this lovely fine cotton shirting in a shade of mustard, and a yard of black dupioni that the shopkeeper offered to sell me for $12.

(Toronto readers - it's called Sonu Fabrics? - it's on Gerrard, around Coxwell. The satin and the 100% cotton was $3 a yard - the dupioni was the end of the roll, so I think I just got a really good price. The sale price per yard seemed about $20.)

So, 9 pieces of fabric in less than a week.

Atonement is possible, of course - what's life without a little forgiveness? I would like to make it all up this year. That should erase some of the badness. :)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Moroccan Morning - now available for sale!

I finished binding the quilt yesterday, and promptly took some photos in my backyard in fading daylight. But so pretty!

The pattern's available on my Craftsy store right now, and I'm putting up an Etsy listing as well today.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Has PatternReview jumped the shark?

Ok - I'm not actually deliberately trying to be controversial here. But I do wonder... has PatternReview jumped the shark?

Specifically causing me to ask the question - it's March 1 - I went on to see what the contests were. There's one running now, the fitted blouse contest, and one upcoming contest - the Pattern Stash  contest (starts March 15.) Neither appear to have a prize attached to it.

Back in Jan/Feb - the Handbag contest ran for a full month with no prize. In fact, winners have been picked - no prize?

In the last 5 years I've been part of Pattern Review - every single contest has had a prize. Sometimes, things I want to win, sometimes, things I'm not really that interested in - but without exception - every single contest has had a prize.

So, what gives? Is this "no prize for contests" a new thing? Or is this just stuff slipping through the cracks?