We did, in fact, get the furniture set up in the family room last night. However, it was a bit of an adventure, and I don’t have pictures of the set-up yet. Once you hear the story, I’m quite sure you’ll forgive the slight delay.
It appears unlikely that I will be working tomorrow, but one can never quite tell. At this point, we’ve done all of the stuff that needs to be done, and so I’d rather have the day off. Watching the news (print, TV, online) is pointless right now, because there are no definitive updates anywhere. Two hours ago, MPR reported (on Twitter) that talks had broken up after just an hour and 15 minutes, with no plans to resume. An hour later, they reported that they were meeting again. So, you see, there’s no point drawing any conclusions until all is said and done.
It is quite hot out today, but I did manage to make it to the Farmer’s Market on my lunch break. Lettuce and potatoes. It’s still too early for anything else (I think snow in May had something to do with this).
Our house guests are disappearing for a few days, but will be back on Monday. The minivan will be gone by the time I get home from work ( is picking and up from the airport), so things will be relatively normal for a few days. Well, as normal as can be, given the circumstances.
I will try my hardest to give you an upbeat post tomorrow, complete with pictures of pretty things. Now, I’m off to pack up all the food in my cube that must come home with me, and water my plant well enough so that it will live through this shutdown of indeterminate length. (I’d take it home, but would just eat it again, and frankly, I think it’s safer here.)
In my nearly 9 years here, there have been a few unpleasant periods: the time our whole department merged with another one and then moved buildings, the time we eliminated 7 (of 35) administrative positions, the two times co-workers have gotten sick and passed away in a short period of time. I have to say that right now is one of the more unpleasant. I recently threatened a co-worker that I would “check out completely” if he didn’t re-route his conversation. As anxiety levels rise, so do speculations about what will happen, opinions about said speculations, and the propensity for coping mechanisms (or subconscious mannerisms and quirky tendencies). At this rate, I really need them to not come to an agreement, just so that I get Friday off. It’s been a stressful week. Have I mentioned my boss is out of town this week, and in her stead, I am acting “office manager” (very loosely but semi-officially).
I try not to talk about work too much here, mainly because I enjoy being employed and would rather not lose my job because of something stupid I said on the internet. That said, it’s a bit overwhelming this week (there are, in fact, other things going on outside of the pending shutdown), and seems to be occupying a larger portion of my thoughts, energies, and emotions than it usually does.
Our house guests are here, their baby is cute, and I haven’t taken any pictures.
Our carpets were cleaned yesterday, and we can move the furniture back tonight. Yesterday set up the entertainment system in the new cabinet. We also went out to dinner with our house guests. I cut out Simplicity 2263 View A (top), even though the skirt I made from it turned out… less than wearable. ( and I did come up with a plan to fix it, but I haven’t put the energy into ripping out all those seams just yet.) I used a remnant that I picked up from Hancock Fabrics the other day that I hadn’t even photographed/cataloged yet (I think it’s rayon, and it’s an orange and brown print). I also prepped the pattern pieces for New Look 6457. and I decided on View D, after reviewing the options.
The far right version, though I haven't decided what color to use as an accent. I'm leaning towards grey.
If it fails miserably and I do, in fact, look like a farmer (as is convinced that is the only thing this fabric could ever look like), then it will at least serve as a muslin and I’ll get a good fit out of the pattern before using fabric that cost more than $3/yard. I have to say, the pattern pieces themselves are less than inspiring.
I think we should get the furniture set up in the family room tonight in enough time to take pictures while the sun still shines. They won’t be terribly inspiring, but I think you’ll get an idea of what the room will look like when we’re finally done. If things aren’t as hectic as I think they will be tomorrow, I’ll make the time to post them here.
And now, I must get back to the managed chaos of work. Sigh.
I’m kind of hoping Friday will be here before I know it. It’s a crazy week at our house. (Most of the following is not intended to be a complaint, with the exception of the bathroom cleaning, which, really, ugh.)
- I had a lovely birthday burger at Champp’s on Friday night, and we didn’t really do anything else.
- Also, one of the windows in ‘s car retreated all the way into the door, so there was some rearranging of vehicles to cope with that until it gets fixed (Tuesday, hopefully).
- Saturday morning, I got up at a very early hour to take and to the airport. I apparently overdid it trying to be awake for that, and it took me forever to fall back asleep once I was home again.
- Related: there is now a minivan parked at our house.
- We spent all of Saturday cleaning the house. also did some work on the last window box (it’s done and installed… just working on sealing it up before painting).
- We did manage to leave the house for a Target run. I’d like to say we did other things too, but I can’t really remember anything other than scrubbing my bathroom floor.
- When I woke up on Sunday, I made up chicken salad for lunch later that day. mowed the lawn, and then we swept the driveway, finishing just before and showed up.
- After showing off our remodeling project, we took a walk at the nature center. We also had lunch, opened gifts, and collaborated on potential sewing projects (does this fabric work for this pattern? what about this? what is wrong with this skirt?).
- After they left, we hopped in the Rav and picked up new end tables in Lake Elmo and a console table in Roseville.
- Related: we have now furnished the new family room for less than $700, thanks to Craigslist.
- Upon returning, we set to cleaning the rest of the basement and getting the spare bedroom ready for guests.
- It’s a good thing and left early, because that took us a long time, and we got an email in the evening saying our house guests will be here tonight, not Tuesday.
- But, all the linens are washed and cat-hair free, as is the room. Tonight I’m going to stop and pick up some white towels for the guest bathroom, since we only have hand towels in there, and white is just so much easier to deal with. Plus, they match the white bedding, and feel more guest-like, I think.
- Related: I drove the minivan to work today (with permission) because there’s rain in the forecast (‘s car’s window…). I have to run to Bed Bath & Beyond and Target tonight after work. I am not sure how I am going to find my vehicle in either parking lot. If you don’t hear from me, I’m in a parking lot in Bloomington trying to figure out which minivan is “mine.”
- Did I mention I cleaned the bathroom down there? Way too much bathroom-cleaning in my weekend.
- This morning, I saw more cat hair tumbleweed. I just vacuumed – how does that happen?
- Our guests are arriving sometime this evening.
- Related: a fourth car will be parked at our house.
- The carpets are getting cleaned tomorrow, and then we’ll move the furniture down there.
- There’s nothing planned for Wednesday. Yet.
- Thursday one of us will be picking and up from the airport. Who it is depends on whether or not a budget gets passed. I have some additional responsibilities at work for the shutdown.
- Related: people are getting frustrated and anxious about the whole budget thing, both state workers and citizens. Our phones are ringing a lot today, and I suspect it will get worse.
- Friday: who knows? Will I be going to work? Will I be staying home? Will I be tired because I stayed up until midnight to find out if a budget was passed? (I think not. Twitter will tell me what’s going on.)
- Apparently we need to work on the irrigation system again – it’s rained so much that our ditch is no longer 12″ deep (it’s getting shallower). Bummer.
- Related: it will probably warm up now, so that we’re digging ditches in 90* heat instead of the 60* that it’s been for much of the month.
There are so many details running around my head of what needs to be done that it’s a little hard to concentrate on any one thing. Too much going on. The rest of 33 better not be like this. (I’m sure it won’t be.)
I resisted the temptation to edit out those lines under my eyes. I also did not whiten my teeth, or use the blemish remover tool. Less flattering, more honest. (Seriously, though, once you use that blemish remover tool under your eyes, you never want to go back. Sigh.) This is as good as it gets at 7 am.
I was going to give you all a present on my birthday, but I didn’t have time to finish it. So you just get my smile. It could be worse.
33 looks like it will be an eventful year for me, with finishing up classes, student teaching, and then graduating. Ideally that would also include getting a new job, but given the economic climate, we’ll just have to wait and see on that. I will be happy to be finished with the program before I’m 35.
Birthday plans tonight are quite small – juicy lucys at a local restaurant (haven’t picked which one yet), opening presents. Though I received some quality liquor last night (the theme of my gift from was margaritas), I will not be testing any of it out, as I will be waking up very early in the morning for an airport run. We will be spending the weekend cleaning the house and getting it ready for guests, including a wee baby. and are coming over on Sunday, and is planning on picking up some more furniture for the family room that day too. I should be able to have some decent pics of the “furnished” family room by Wednesday after the carpets are cleaned and dried.
Everything else seems to be up in the air until our elected officials figure out the budget. Will I have a 4 day week next week or a 5 day week? Who knows. I’m not worried… just tired of getting emails regarding and making preparations for the possible shutdown. My boss is on vacation next week, which means added responsibilities, especially with the shutdown (there’s a lot to do if that happens…). Let’s just say that if we end up shutting down, I’ll be very happy to sleep in on the 1st of July, because I’ll be tired.
And… I think that’s all I have to say today. I’m trying to welcome 33, emphasis on the trying. Maybe I’ll pick up some stronger under-eye concealer this weekend.
Haven’t done this in a while… the last few Thursdays I haven’t had my usual schedule, but things are back to normal (relatively speaking), at least this week. (Next week I could very well be managing the office as we brace for shutdown. But let’s set that thought aside for now.)
… for all the rain we’ve been getting. The new grass seed we planted on the corner is doing well, as is the rest of the yard. And the weeds. And the mushrooms. We have very fertile soil. Next year when I’m gardening again, I’ll be very thankful for that. Also, I think the rain has prevented our chainsaw-yielding neighbor from making noise all weekend long.
… for birthday week! Starting Monday, I’ve received at least one birthday card every day this week. It’s like birthweek! It’s helping ease the blow of 33 (which is turning out to seem way worse than 30).
… I don’t feel 33. Not a day over 26. Seriously. (I could have gone younger, but I have been married for nearly 4 years, and we own a house. 26 seems old enough for all that.)
… for all of my nearly-33 years. Not that all of them were pleasant, but they have all shaped me and my life, for which I am thankful. Because I’m happy.
… that I have the summer off of school. I enjoy not having homework.
… for a governor who has refused to sign a bill reducing the state workforce by [insert percent here - it doesn't really matter what percent, though the last number I heard was 15]%. I enjoy being employed. Though I’ve worked here 8 1/2 years, I still have almost no seniority, so if we shrink, I’ll probably get bumped. I’d rather not. It’s nice working for someone who appreciates and understands the value of the work I [we] do. (That goes for everyone from my immediate boss up to the governor, because I really do feel like they understand and value us.)
… that we got the ceiling up! It sounds like we’ll have house guests early next week, so it’s a good thing that we’re done with that. Now we’ll be able to get the spare bedroom presentable before they arrive.
… for whoever it is that introduced one of my friends to Bar Abilene, which has been our (my girlfriends and me, that is) go-to place for get togethers. I am eagerly anticipating guacamole and margaritas tonight.
… that children don’t sleep with blankets right away, because ‘s quilt will not be done by the end of the month, but he will be moving to a big boy bed July 1. Wouldn’t want him to be cold!
… for the cute conversation relayed to me, wherein asked her if was going to have a “J” blanket like his. That made me smile.
… for opportunities to be creative, whether presented to me or just taken when I see them.
… for the dress I’m wearing today, which makes me feel pretty and grown-up, similar to yesterday’s outfit, which made me feel professional and business-like (black floral Anne Klein silk shell that I bought on ebay with black pants – apparently it made me look skinny too, because I was asked if I lost weight, which is the opposite of reality).
… for the cavities I had filled last week (no really, stay with me here). They were in the very front of my mouth, and I had to actively talk myself out of being terrified, because that needle of novocaine, right up there in the top front gums, that’s no fun at all. It wasn’t really that bad in the end, but I’m using the terror and extreme dislike of the experience to force myself to floss every night and rinse with fluoride. I’m hoping that if I visualize that every night, I won’t get lazy and take a day (or month) off, and then I will have fewer cavities. It could work.
… for very thoughtful co-workers, who always remember my birthday despite the fact that we don’t celebrate birthdays here. Tomorrow someone is bringing treats to celebrate the June birthdays (myself and the other redhead, whose birthday was last week), which is pretty awesome since we don’t do that.
… for guests coming next week, which means that, for a short time, my house will be very clean. I’m even going to wash the bathroom floor. Yech.
… for the guy at Caribou who remembers my name every morning and greets me with a smile. It’s nice to interact with someone who is happy to see me that early in the morning (even if it’s just his job to be friendly and a morning person). It’s also nice that he’s not 18. (The last person I had a good rapport with was a guy at the tea place downtown, which has since closed. He was friendly and it was enjoyable to talk with him. I’m totally cool with my service person flirting a bit with me. It’s not real – it’s just their job. Anyway. At one point, months into our interaction, in the process of telling me a story he mentioned his age. He was 18. That kind of took all the fun out if the experience and made me feel icky. I could have sworn he was 25. Not that it mattered. I was married. But still, a little harmless flirtation with my coffee was fun and games until that point.)
… for Caribou’s chocolate selections, which are all decaf.
… for my Rav, which has made furnishing our family room so much easier. It also makes trips to Home Depot easy, and it’s fun to park it next to the trucks near the “Contractor” section of the lot. I’m easily amused, apparently. You would be too if you spent as much time at Home Depot as we do.
… for Twitter, which is the only way I learned that sign-ups for the next Doll Quilt Swap just opened up. I didn’t participate in the last round, and had stopped checking the group message boards, so I wouldn’t have known if someone hadn’t tweeted about it. (Well, if I wasn’t so behind on blog reading, I probably would have found out that way, but my reader has about 300 unread items right now, and that’s after I unsubscribed to a ton of stuff.)
… for all my life experiences that make it easier to deal with persons with mental illness. It doesn’t happen a lot here at work, but when it does, it’s good to be understanding and compassionate.
… for the little opportunities to make someone else’s day a bit better. I don’t take advantage of all of them, but I feel better about myself when I do. And I’m thankful for all the people I interact with who take the opportunity to make others’ days better too. The world is just a nicer, friendlier place.
So, I need to pick out the border print for ‘s quilt, and it needs to coordinate with ‘s quilt. Conveniently, I was able to find more of the print I’d used for the center panel, and I saved some of the border fabric for comparison. For reference, I’m talking about the green plaid (which is also what the initial is made out of).
Here are the three options, together with the white print and the green plaid from Grant's quilt. Looking at it this way, I'm finding it hard to decide (and I'm keeping my opinions, and those of Prince Charming, to myself so that I don't bias your input).
Does this help? (Whoops! They're not in the same order as the previous picture. Bummer.)
What do you think? Last time I bought 5 yards and didn’t have too much left over, so this is something to buy on sale or with a coupon, which means it needs to be decided so I can act when the opportunity arises.
And then some fashion input…. Last month I splurged and bought this cute plaid. It’s not flannel – it actually has a very soft texture and drapes well, but it’s a bit heavy for a shirt. It also has a cute silver thread running through it. I’m having a hard time figuring out what to make with it. I have 2.5 yards. Originally, I was thinking I’d make a skirt, but the more I look at it, I think it’s frumpy. I’m not sure this fabric is actually redeemable, though I want it to be. I came up with one pattern that I thought had enough… pizzazz to un-frump it.
New Look 6457 - any of the views but E, the white and black floral seen on the model, which is just awful. Trust me.
So I did some mock-ups (because visualizing this seems very important)…
L to R: View A, View A modified with spaghetti straps, View B (though I've never worn a strapless dress), and View D. Obviously, the accent colors could change, but I'm kind of limited to blue, grey and white.
What do you think? I could always treat this as a wearable muslin experiment (because I do plan on making up this dress). Or, I could put the fabric in the back of my closet until I find a better pattern or styles change. Or I could try to sell it on Etsy.
On a sad note, I “finished” Simplicity 2263 last night. It’s not hemmed, and the facing isn’t sewn down. Why? Because it looks awful. The fit is just weird. It bulges and folds in unflattering places, and I’m not quite sure how to fix it. So, it’s going to hang here in my “to fix” closet until I get the energy to rip out the French seams or decide to scrap the whole thing (or I could magically lose 10 pounds – it might fit then, if I lost it all from my hips, but there’s no guarantee of that, and it seems like a lot of work). I’m leaning towards scrapping it, because the fabric itself is a bit sheerer than I thought. Not indecently, and nothing a slip and appropriate undergarments couldn’t fix though. I made my own piping for this, and was so proud of it and it looked so cute! I’m wondering if it’s the yoked waistband that’s the problem. If I wear it below my waist where I usually wear skirts/pants, it’s too tight at the hips, which I can fix. If I wear it at my waist, it forms a little belly pooch, which is not cool. It’s a bummer, because I made sure to fit the waistband first, and then did the rest of it.
Where clothes go to die.... Also hanging up: thrifted skirt that needs to be taken up, thrifted shirt that's too big, thrifted shirt that needs... something, and a pair of pants that I'm 30 minutes from finishing (but had a tiny problem with the zipper fly and stalled out, even though it will take a few moments to fix that, and then hem the pants, and they're done).
So, for the comments…
1 – which print do you like for ‘s quilt?
2 – should I make up New Look 6457 in that plaid? If so, which view? If not, what should I do with that fabric?
3 – feel free to share any recent sewing failures, if you have any, and commiserate on the demise of what could have been a very cute skirt.
This weekend, we installed the ceiling in the family room. If you remember, I really wanted this part of the project completed. It helped that we had all of the supplies except for the actual tiles – we’d bought the framework ages ago, shortly after installing the ceiling in ‘s office (which is the same). Once we decided we liked it, the system went on sale and we bought everything (except the tiles) for buy one, get one free. We saved a bundle.
The last pictures of the family room I posted had the window boxes installed, but no ceiling. Thursday night, we figured out what to do with the pocket door (which needed to be dealt with before getting to the ceiling), and Friday night we executed our plan.
It looks like drywall, right? (The piece above the door opening.)
We're just going to pretend it's drywall.
I also primed the window boxes, which is why in these photos they actually look worse than before.
We had gotten everything ready Friday night, so by Saturday morning, we were ready to go. By lunch, we had installed the border and most of the framework. After lunch, we finished the framework and and after dinner figured out the tiles with lights.
A good day's work.
By noon Sunday, we had the first two rows of tiles installed.
This included a tricky outside corner (for which the company had *no* instructions whatsoever, so we made it up ourselves)...
...and these two tiles, the smallest in the whole room. (For reference, the rest of the tiles are 2' x 2'.) The light is reflecting oddly in this picture - there's no white splotch up there at the ceiling. Weird.
Here's where we quit Sunday afternoon, as Prince Charming went to a movie with his dad to celebrate Father's Day.
This is all we had left at that point (while the installation isn't hard, it is dirty, and I had no interest in having to take yet another shower Sunday night, so we saved the rest of the work for Monday).
If you look this way, you can see what a huge difference the ceiling makes! It does make the room feel more enclosed ("claustrophobic" would be an exaggeration), but it also brightens it up, as the white reflects much more light than the wooden joists.
Monday night, Prince Charming finished up the last two rows while I put a coat of paint on the window boxes (they're not photo-worthy yet, but they're getting there).
Which means the ceiling is done!
There's one tiny little tile we need to fix in this picture, but you can't tell, and I'm not going to point it out, and we'll fix it before anyone will ever see it. But I'm calling it done anyway.
All things considered, while it took a lot of time, hanging the ceiling was not that hard. True, did most of the work (he cut the tiles), but he agreed that it was an easy project. And such a difference!
Next up? Hanging the speakers and getting the entertainment system ready. I also need to move the books out of the “library” and into the cupboards in here, so that company can come and use that bathroom. It seems as though it might rain all week, but hopefully it will clear up by the weekend so we can use the power tools outdoors.
I had fun playing around in Flash the other day, creating all of these. This is what happens when you go browsing on the internet but have no intention of spending money on either clothing or fabric.
Coincidentally, just today I found Sew Weekly’s Make This Look blog, which is basically the same thing. Maybe I’ll leave the graphics to them from now on – they did a much better job.
That scoop collar has to go, but otherwise I think this is a decent match-up. But I don't think I'd wear a purple dress. (I would *never* wear a red dress.) I couldn't pick out any other color that I wanted to wear either, though (after eliminating turquoise and teal, as I have just completed those dresses), and black, while it would have looked good, would have made a horrible graphic.
I have to tell you, I'm in love with this dress (the real one, that is). This is the only pattern I found that came close to it - most wrap dress patterns are for knits. The grey lines in my mock-up are modifications I'd have to make to the pattern in order to make it look like the real thing. I think it's too much work to attempt. (But it's a $90 dress and out of stock, so I guess my closet won't be acquiring this any time soon.)
I love this dress, and doubt I would ever wear it. I made myself pick a fabric from my stash, and I think that was my problem. In another print, I totally think this would work, especially if spaghetti straps were subbed in.
I loved the lime, until I saw a couple of yellow eyelet dresses on Etsy, and then I fell in love with that idea. As you can tell from this picture and the ones following it, most of the dresses on ModCloth are super short, and most dress patterns are super long. (But I matched up the two so that the bodices were the same size.) I definitely wouldn't wear this, despite how cute I think it looks. Maybe in white (but white looked terrible in the mock-up) - that would be nice.
OK, this one has super cute details... and I hate my mock-up. I couldn't add in the cute details (I'm not that talented with Flash), but I don't think that's the problem. Even if the skirt was much shorter... I just don't like this as much as the real one, which I would never buy (as cute as it is, where would I wear that?).
This one I can get on board with. I mocked up the details as much as I could, so you get the idea. I went with the silver/black combo because that was one of the few color combos I could find embroidered fabric to coordinate with - I think I'd like brown or maybe blue better.
I totally fell in love with this skirt, and had a horrible time finding a pattern that matched it. Seems simple, right? Uh, no. I compromised with this one, since it had the high waist and tapered shape, but it didn't have the waistband. I figured I could make that part up myself. Most of the patterns I found had cute details, or were multi-paneled, which just didn't work for the large-scale print. I like it so much better this way. Would I wear a high-waisted skirt? That remains to be seen. What would I wear with one? These are questions I don't have answers to.
I found this to be a good exercise, both for the creative aspects of it and the resulting visualizations. In the end, I think the skirt is the only one I might attempt, and that’s only if I found the right fabric. Sure, some of the others are cute, but I don’t think the self-made version would end up being as cute as the store version, and that would be disappointing. And I hate sewing projects with disappointing endings.
I’m loving that there’s a whole blog that does this. I read a few blogs where people have copy-catted something once in a while, but Sew Weekly’s Make This Look is so spot-on to the original! So now I can return my Flash energy to visualizing things I’d actually make up. Maybe tomorrow I’ll share some real crafting pics, like my progress on ‘s quilt. I think we’d all like that better (but I’d already gone to all the work of doing the mock-ups, so I had to share them).
…by which I mean I have nothing to tell you about my weekend, because projects were nearly completed, and pictures were taken, but without them being all the way done, I’m going to wait to share them until at least tomorrow.
And really, aside from the two projects I’m thinking about, there’s nothing else to say really. I stopped by Hancock Fabrics on Friday after work and found a second and third possible print for ‘s quilt, but neglected to take pictures to solicit your input, so that will have to wait. I called on Sunday. We watched some Battlestar Galactica on Netflix (we’re nearing the end of the series, and then we’ll have run out of TV to watch together, again). We didn’t do any yard work, though we probably should have. There’s a small tropical jungle growing in our backyard.
This week, my plans include finishing up project #1 tonight (hopefully), project #2 tomorrow night (hopefully), and cleaning the house on Wednesday. I might work on painting those window boxes, too. And of course we have the third window to finish boxing in. , and I are celebrating the June birthdays (that would be and myself) Thursday night. Friday I’ll be going to bed early, so that I can be awake and alert at 4 am to take and to the airport. This is what happens when you live 5 minutes from the airport. I’m not complaining, though. I’m sure I’ll get back to sleep once I get home. I’ve done it before.
Things continue to be up in the air at work. No budget yet, so the shutdown still looms. T-10 days. It’s the having to plan for two very different possibilities that’s frustrating.
Three skirts in three days, that is.
These shoes are trying to kill me. My feet hate me today. As a follow-up to yesterday, these are size 9s, and they are slightly too big. Pretty soon I'm going to be able to share shoes with normal people.
Ponytail day – had two cavities filled first thing this morning, and I hate doing that with wet hair, as it tends to ruin the back of my hairstyle for the rest of the day.
The fabric is Felicity Miller’s “Up and Down” in Ivory, part of the Gypsy line, purchased about a year ago. The brown that I used for the facing is Michael Miller’s Curlicues in Chocolate, part of the Gnomes Sweet Gnomes line, a short cut purchased in 2009. I didn’t use all of it, but I did use most of the main fabric. Total cost, including zipper: $20, mostly because the main fabric wasn’t on sale at all, and I don’t usually buy fabric full price. But I liked it. (Fabric: $15.70 + $2 for the facing, zipper: $2.09, hem tape: $0.97 = $20.76.)
I almost didn’t read the instructions, because this skirt was so simple (front, back, yoke, facings). But I’m glad I glanced at them, because one of the views had optional piping at the waistband. I looked through my stash and found some bright orange piping that matched perfectly! The pattern suggested at the top and bottom of the waistband, but I chose to do just the bottom. It did take me three tries to get the stitches close enough (four if you count the basting), but I finally got it right. It involved figuring out how to move the needle on my sewing machine. Good lesson to learn.
I should have taken this *before* putting the skirt on. It was quite awkward to take. Cute detail though, right? I might have to try it again.
This was the first skirt I’ve made in a while that I actually had something in my wardrobe that coordinated. Yay! (The next skirt? Not so much. Oh well.) I would have thought that this bright print would force this into the back of my closet, but no, I’m really enjoying it. It probably helps that it’s nice warm, earthy colors.
It has a nice 2″ hem that I made with orange flexi-lace I found on clearance at JoAnn’s the other day – they were clearing out some discontinued colors (lavender, orange, mustard yellow in all sizes of flexi-lace and bias binding) and I grabbed whatever suited my fancy. I actually turned it under only 1/4″, but the lace is the extra-wide variety. Something to know: flexi-lace can melt if your iron is too hot and the steam is on and you touch it directly. There’s a small part of mine that did. Whoops. I don’t think it will affect the integrity of the hem as a whole, though, and I’m not worried about it.
This brings my total since May 1 to 11.25. 2.5 for McCalls 5856 (though there’s a lot left), 1.5 for New Look 6388 (that’s an approximation, what the pattern calls for, because I have no idea how much I actually had of that piece of fabric originally), 2 for Simplicity 2655 View B, 1.5 for Simplicity 2655 View E, 2.5 for Vogue 8379, 2.5 for Simplicity 8722, 1.25 for the baby shower gift. 13.75 minus 2.5 for the plaid I bought that I didn’t yet use (I decided that if I actually cut the fabric and made up the item, then it didn’t count as a negative, only a positive). April’s total was 16.5 yards, by the way. I think I’ll run my total through the end of the month, and then start again July 1 (it’s easy to do it by months, and July may turn out to be an anomaly in productivity if we do, in fact, shut down and I find myself without work for a while). I think I’ll add something to one of the sidebars with the totals….
The last window in the family room is 70% boxed in (three sides minus one small cut that needs to be made on the third – we’re missing the top piece because we could not get the template right). That took us most of last night. There’s the possibility that our friends will be coming to stay in early July (we don’t know, but we’re making an educated guess), which means we need to get that ceiling done now. All of the framework is stacked up on the bed in the spare bedroom. Conveniently, we don’t need to finish the last window before starting the ceiling (which is good because if it keeps raining, it gets much harder dangerous stupid to use the power tools in the driveway in that case). did schedule a carpet cleaner, so we should be able to move the new couch into the room by the end of the month. I’m nearly giddy about the prospect of using that room again. Almost as giddy as I was yesterday about getting free zippers from .
Today, I am dressed like a 25-year-old. Maybe 22. Why? Well, other than the obvious fact of liking the outfit, my answer is… because I can. People never believe me when I tell them my age (classmates, co-workers, cooperating teachers, students…), and consistently guess that I’m 25. Quite a nice problem to have, really. It seems to be genetic.
Anyway, do you ever see 22-year-olds wandering around wearing who knows what, and you wonder why in the world they are dressed that way? I think the answer is… because they can. They still have 22-year-old hips and thighs and waists, and are brazen enough to not care if someone else disapproves of their outfit. It’s just a theory, mind you. When I was 22, I was working at a church. I wore running pants or jeans with a t-shirt to work every day, and people thought I looked dressed up when I wore khakis. I was also a firm proponent of dressing modestly, and needed to model that for the youth I was entrusted with. I touted the necessity of one-piece bathing suits, long shorts, shirts that didn’t show belly, no strapless tank tops… you get the idea. It can be really exhausting to monitor adolescent clothing choices, depending on who you’re stuck with.
Wow, I’m easily side-tracked today.
What I was trying to get at was… I’m wearing this outfit today because I can. It might not be age-appropriate (33 next week, thankyouverymuch), and it might be negotiable that the skirt length is in fact work-appropriate. But I don’t care. It’s cute, and it makes me happy.
It’s still gloomy here (it was pouring rain this morning), with nary a sunbeam in sight, so these pictures are not the best. Of course, taking pictures of one’s self just before leaving for work is always a bit awkward anyway. I didn’t manage to get a picture of me wearing New Look 6388 yesterday, because it was rainy and I was running late for work. But tomorrow I’m wearing my completed Simplicity 2257, which I am in love with, even though it is a much bolder print than I would normally feel comfortable wearing. Seriously, y’all, it’s fabulous.
But, I digress. Here’s that Simplicity 2655 (the third one) that I finished the other day.
I swear I'm wearing nylons. They're just... pale. Like I am. I bought darker ones, but they seemed so... fake. Do you like how I coordinated my shoes?
I’d not made the short version (my other two versions have a band below the panels… well, you can see here and here) before, and didn’t realize how short it would be. But, I did a really narrow hem with pink hem tape, so it is as long as it possibly can be.
Now, while I intentionally wore it on a day that wasn’t very windy, I think that this skirt might be less likely to get tossed about in a gust of wind than the longer ones. Something to do with the hemline not being as wide, or there not being as much fabric to blow around.
Seriously, I’m thinking of making another one of these. Perhaps an inch longer. Not much.
I'm quite pleased with this picture. I made my pink shrug that I'm wearing, too. Maybe I should take all my pictures facing this direction. Maybe it's just this skirt that seems to be flattering to my derriere.
In other news…
Monday night we got all of the pieces cut out for the second built-in, except for the backs of the bookshelves (because we didn’t buy enough material). They still have some prep work before we can paint and assemble, but we’re much closer now. While doing this, we were eaten alive by mosquitoes. It made us work faster.
And last night I finished up Simplicity 2257, as mentioned earlier, though I should have been working on ‘s quilt. No worries. I really want to make up Simplicity 2263, so I’ll use that as my motivation to make significant progress on the quilt. (It is so very hard to resist such a simple project, though!) Hopefully I can have the sashing completed by this weekend, so I can do a final layout and then assemble that side. Unfortunately, this means re-counting the blocks and then cutting out that many 1×10″ strips out of three different green fabrics. I am starting to be afraid that I will run out before I get enough. was kind enough to measure the initial on ‘s quilt, so I can get to work on the initial side for this one too. I may have found the border fabric for the initial side – I have to check at Hancock Fabrics to make sure the one I found there isn’t a better match. I bought 1/2 yard of the JoAnn contender last night. approves of it. I suppose I need to buy some batting, too. I also need to test drive some quilting thread and give free-motion quilting a try while I’m at it, just in case I happen to be good at it (I find that unlikely, but I bought myself a free-motion foot a year ago and should probably try it out at least once). You’d think that since I should have had this quilt done 3 months ago, I’d be a little more prepared to finish it up. I do have all of the binding cut, though. Not pieced together, but cut out at least. That’s something, right?
Friday night, I cleared the dining room floor and laid out the blocks for ‘s quilt.
Huh. That can't be right.
Unfortunately, I could not find my original design anywhere, so I wasn’t sure if I had it laid out wrong, or if I had just miscounted. After approximating the final size, it looked like this layout was correct. Bummer.
Fabrics picked out for 24 new blocks! (19 were needed, but having extra seemed like a good idea.) Some of these had been rejected from the initial selection of fabrics (like the pastel blue in the middle, because Prince Charming thought the spiders on it might be too scary), but they got recruited again. Some had been forgotten in the initial selection, and some were re-appropriated for this project. This coordinate with the overall selection very well, and fill in some gaps too.
So I spent Saturday and part of Sunday making the 24 new blocks and sashing them like the others. Then I laid it all out again, labeled each square, and packed it all up for the next step, before remembering that I should have taken a picture. Too bad. Then I spent some quality time cutting out more 1″ sashing strips. Oh yeah. That’s fun. At a certain point, I figured I’d earned a break.
Sunday night, I started working on Simplicity 2257. This skirt is so embarrassingly simple that I almost didn’t look at the directions. It’s so simple, I’m almost embarrassed to have the pattern in my collection, only I didn’t purchase it for the simple A-line skirt I’m making. I purchased it for the pencil skirt version. At any rate, I should be finished with it shortly, just as soon as I go buy a zipper.
To make things easier for myself, back when I cut out a new selection of projects, I also went through and cut out all the interfacing and ironed it on to the appropriate pieces. That’s been nice, because it means I can get to the sewing part faster. It would be even better if I’d transferred all the markings from the patterns to the fabric, but apparently that was too much work.
Also, I have pictures of that completed New Look 6388! Well, not pictures of it on, but they’re pictures nonetheless.
Ta-da! I made it as long as possible, only turning up the hem a tiny bit (I used bias tape), because I'm nearly 33, not 16, and I didn't want to look silly in this skirt. I mean, a bright green pleated skirt already says something. I don't also need to look like I'm pretending to be a teenager. It's just above my knees.
See, that fabric I'd picked out really does match, despite my draft picture. This green is really awkward to capture. It's Kelly green, but the cross-threads (those hashes) are turquoise, so it varies depending on how the light reflects. I like the bold floral with the plaid-like print. Conveniently, I had a teal invisible zipper in my stash that I'd got on clearance for 97-cents. I need to find more bargains like that - I'm running out of 7" zippers! (In fact, I may be out completely.)
I’ve made this one before (the box pleats version), and I get compliments every time I wear it. When I went to cut this one out, it seems that I cut out a size 16 last time, though I’m not sure why – my measurements are solidly a 14. So, I ignored my previous actions and cut out a 14.
Now, here’s where things started to go wrong. Because I never have problems when I cut out a 14, I blindly forged ahead and attached the yoke and the facing, including understitching it, without trying it on. Thankfully, I hadn’t put the zipper in yet (which I’ve found it best to do after installing the facing, at least for invisible zippers). When I tried it on… it was huge! The open side overlapped at least 4″ in order to fit properly! So, rip, rip, rip… remove the facing, remove the yoke. Fix the yoke and the facing. Re-attach yoke. Try on – fits. Great. Sew on facing, including understitching. Wait… something seems odd. Oh. Genius. I attached the facing upside-down. So, more ripping, more pinning, more sewing… and finally it was right.
Yeesh! It seems that skirts have gotten so easy, that they’ve actually gotten hard again. I need to pause and think through things before blindly charging ahead.
After installing the zipper (but not stitching down the facing, which I do at the very end, by hand), I tried it on again, and it was still just a bit too big. That was OK, though, because I had a plan. I’d liked the elastic I’d added to McCalls 5856 so much that I wanted to try something similar here. Only, I didn’t want to alter the way the skirt looked too much, so I only added the elastic to the back half.
Very, very secure.
This made stitching the facing down by hand a bit difficult, but it wasn’t too bad. Just required a few more pins than usual.
And now it fits great. I think I may have to do this for those two other skirts I finished recently, because they’re a bit big in the waist too. The elastic in the back is perfect – it doesn’t alter the way the skirt looks from the front, and just makes it snug all around, which means no more fussing with the skirt rotating around. Does that happen to you? All of a sudden, I look down and my side zipper is nearly dead-center. I think this is because the waistbands aren’t fitting snugly. Well, I’ve finally found a solution for that problem. Now I need to go buy more elastic, because I’ve nearly exhausted my stash of 1″.
Now, if I can manage to get myself out of my cube and over to Macy’s, I may be able to wear one of these skirts this week. Somehow, I’m down to one pair of nylons, and while some people I know think it’s perfectly appropriate to go without in the summer, we are technically “business casual” here and going nylon-free is just not right. Besides, it’s good practice for when I’m a teacher, right? (Plus, I’m at that age/weight where control-top nylons seem like a good thing and I actually enjoy wearing them for their shaping benefits.) I’m on phones this morning, but I have no excuse to not take my break this afternoon and re-stock. None. (I’m yelling at myself, here, because I’ve needed to run this errand for two weeks now. Seriously, in two weeks I haven’t taken a single break. That’s so wrong, and it’s my own fault.)
Warning: none of the pictures contained herein are pretty.
When I said I had no plans for the weekend, I guess that was misleading.
What I really meant was: there are tons of things to do, but none of them are scheduled. If I had said there was yard work to do, it would have inevitably rained. If I had said we were going to work on the family room, well, who knows what tragedy might have befallen us to get in our way. I wasn’t trying to be coy, just… protecting myself from Murphy’s Law.
At any rate, we did make some good progress on the family room this weekend. wrapped up the finishing on the face frame for the built-in, so on Saturday, we installed it.
Voila! The nail holes are even filled with putty. So, while technically we still need to make doors and shelves, and trim it out, this is basically it. And doors and shelves aren't urgently needed (since this storage is basically new, bonus storage).
I feel the need to add that we have the pieces for the other built-in mostly cut to size. Hopefully, since those are a little more standard in size (instead of very wide, very deep, and have the largest unit on top rather than on the bottom), they will go together faster. There are 6 base cabinets and three top shelving units, with a center support beam in there (the only part of the plan we’re unsure about). They’re quite narrow (only 12″ deep), and the shelves will be permanent instead of adjustable.
I have gotten it into my head that we need to install the ceiling, or at least as much of it as we can. I think it will make the room feel much more finished. In order to do that, however, we needed to frame in the windows. We got two out of the three of them done this weekend.
Have you ever tried to take pictures of windows? Terrible situation. I could not get the colors adjusted right in these pictures. My apologies.
Why yes, they are identical. They’ll look much nicer once everything is painted white. They’re virtually identical to the one in office, except that the trim will be different.
- They’re, like, real windows again! Good thing to know: they totally work. They don’t have screens on them, and the view isn’t pretty, but they work. I did find one screen in the garage that might fit, which could give us some nice cross-breeze (since the third window works perfectly).
They took us two days and two trips to Home Depot, but they’re done. And we’re that much closer to being able to install the ceiling.
The one we didn’t get to?
The egress window. It took us forever just to remove the old frame. Apparently, whoever installed it planned on it never being removed. It was adhered with this silicone stuff that was still gooey, so every time you tried to pull it up, it would just glue itself back together. Blech.
And, though we didn’t do any work on this wall at all, I think it looks good, so I took a picture while I was down there.
This is where the TV will be mounted. The shelf below is for one of the speakers. You can see the connectors for the front corner speakers too, and our numerous, beautiful outlets for power, internet, and sound.
Apparently, I’ve shared a nearly identical picture before, but the old one didn’t have the shelf in it, just the brackets. We’ve cleaned up a lot, too, though you can’t really tell in this picture. The tarp that was covering the entire floor is gone now, replaced with some drop cloths that can be easily washed and stowed when not in use. We’re ready to have the carpets cleaned, finally, and then we can move the new couch out of our bedroom and into its permanent home, and start setting our house back to normal. We have house guests in July, and would like to have this project mostly wrapped up before their arrival (not including doors for the built-ins, and maybe some other details I’m not remembering right now).
- I remember when I first heard that and I would be completing our programs at the same time, and it seemed so far away. And now it seems like it’s just around the corner (even if it is 11 months away, that’s, like nothing in “school” time).
- Rain showering down on Minnesota.
- Most humans don’t like black licorice. Why is that? It’s delicious!
- Working in Access today…sound familiar?
- I was inspired by the internet, Flickr, blogs, real life…. It doesn’t take much sometimes.
- I’ve had one grey dress sock sitting atop my dresser for several months now, its partner is who knows where! It’s very sad. It’s a cute sock. Alas, I have two feet, and dress socks can’t exactly be mismatched, even under the guise of being kooky or weird or funky.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to uh… I have no weekend plans… none at all, tomorrow my plans include … and Sunday, I want to …! Not to be too boring, but really, no plans. Possibilities, sure, many depending on the weather and how much physical energy we’re willing to expend, and right now I’m feeling too lazy to write any of them down, for fear that then I will have to do them.
via Friday Fill-Ins
… don’t say anything at all. Disney taught me that.
Therefore, I will not talk about the training I went to yesterday. I have one more training to attend next week (that’s four trainings in four weeks), and then I’m done for a while. Thank goodness.
Last night, I finished another New Look 6388. I don’t have pics, because I finished it up around 9:30, and it’s grey and rainy today, so no good lighting was available. But, it looks just like the draft picture. I figured out a way to add elastic that is, in my opinion, pretty awesome, and I’d like to share that, but it makes more sense with pictures. So, that’ll have to wait. So, too, will the story about having to re-sew the waistband three times.
I really, really, really want to make up one of the other skirts I have cut out. But, after talking to yesterday, I realized that I have plenty of skirts in my closet, but has a shortage of quilts. I have until the end of the month, so I’d better get to work on that. I’ll have to save those skirts as a reward for making significant progress on the quilt.
Of course, this means I will need to go find a green stripe cotton for the initial side. One that coordinates (well enough, at least) with ‘s quilt, which means going to a brick and mortar store. Conveniently, I have scraps of the plaid on ‘s quilt to bring with me to the store. I had some other surprises planned, but I need to actually complete the promised project first. Last time I was at JoAnns, I noticed they no longer carry my beloved bamboo batting. After doing some research, it seems the company that made it (Fairfield) no longer makes it. I can still find it online – I’m assuming that stores are just selling off their stock, and not trying to sell me something they no longer have that will result in a cancelled order after several weeks (I really hate that). However, they now have Fusi-boo, which is a fusible batting. I’ve never used fusible before (though who can argue with not having to crawl around on the floor and pin the whole thing?). Or I can use a bamboo blend. So… what to do? I’ll have to think about this some more.
Supposedly we’re getting our layoff notices today, but they didn’t come through the interoffice mail at work, so who knows. Of course, creating and distributing 36,000 layoff notices is a big job, so if they’re a bit behind schedule, that’s to be understood.
And that’s what’s going on here. I hope your Friday has more sun in it than mine, figuratively or literally.