Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So Sad!

Bonnie Hunter is posting a new mystery quilt, Double Delight. What's sad is that I cannot play along; I had to call in sick today because the area around my elbow hurt so much. Luckily, I got a same day appointment at my doctor's office. Unluckily, I found out that I have tennis elbow -- which means no rotary cutting for me and no sewing either. Grumble, grumble, grumble! And I have such a good collection of shirting prints that would be perfect for this quilt! Well, you won't have to listen to me grumble for long because I'm not supposed to type much either. Sigh!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

I was able to finish and mail the dresses on Wednesday, December 17th. Then I sat back and waited for them to arrive at their destination. And waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. But the package didn't arrive. Other packages which we'd mailed later showed up, but not the one with the dresses. I was afraid it was lost or had been delivered to the wrong house. I felt so sad because I had worked so hard to get them done in time.

I even I prayed to St. Anthony (the patron of lost items) though without much hope, because by that time my faith was feeling much smaller than the proverbial grain of mustard. (On the other hand, I did have enough faith to pray even though I felt hopeless about the whole thing. Does that count?)

Finally, on Christmas Eve, my son phoned with the welcome news: the dresses had arrived! They took a picture for me so that I could see how they fit.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This morning while waiting for Fillius to finish getting ready for church, I took some photos of the dresses. It's a big production number because my antique digital camera won't hold a battery charge, so I've got to fool around with cords and outlets. Then I need to unplug the scanner and unhook the printer in order to connect the camera to the computer. Then I have to download the photos which is kind of a clunky process because the camera is so old. And then I discovered that iPhoto can't read the dress photos. "Unrecognizable File Format"?

Maybe I've got too many photos on the camera again. Hmmm. Yes. Sixteen photos of Fillius's Halloween Jack-o-Lantern. (It had four different faces.) Time to delete some stuff -- but no time now. So you don't get to see any photos yet. But I can report that we are now ready to start the button holes. After that it's a simple matter of attaching sleeves to bodice, and bodice to skirt.

Friday, December 12, 2008

First Disaster!

In every project one invariably makes at least one bone-headed, disastrous mistake.

I just had my first for the Christmas Dress Marathon. I pinned and sewed the right side of the cuffs to the wrong side of the sleeves on the size 7 dress. And this just after I'd done the size 6 ones correctly! I must have been getting sleepy.

I'm working on these dresses assembly-line fashion which makes the process both easier and more risky because if you're not careful a mistake can be repeated three times before you're aware of it. Another hazard is the possibility of accidentally trying to sewing a size 6 collar onto a size 3 dress. To avoid that sort of thing I've been very careful to label each cut piece with its size, either marked with chalk in a seam allowance or with a pinned-on paper tag.

What I've done so far:

Bodices are complete and have collars attached.
Skirts are finished but not yet attached to bodices.
Sleeves are sewn together and are currently having the cuffs attached.

Yet to do:

Five button holes per dress! My Bernina 1530 will automatically make matching button holes once you've programmed the first one. But I still dread them. And you need to do all the button holes at once because when you turn off the machine, it forgets your customized button hole.

Attach the sleeves to the dresses -- not hard since the sleeve cap is pleated rather than eased.

Attach the skirts to the bodices, which will be quick and easy. And there's no hemming since the bottom of the skirt is finished with a contrast band

Sew on the buttons -- a breeze since I can do it by machine.

I really expected to be finished with these already, but just didn't have much time for sewing this week due to family obligations. (Mostly medical appointments, etc. for elderly relations.)

I have to work half day tomorrow at the library. Let's see what I can accomplish afterwards. (Like maybe taking and posting a photo!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Woman's Perogative

Okay, so I changed my mind.

After deciding that just I didn't have time to sew three Christmas dresses for my granddaughters, I felt so despondent that I became convinced I'd made the wrong decision. So I've been sewing madly since Friday. I've cut out all the pieces, interfaced all the parts that needed it, sewn the collars, and attached the contrast bands to the skirt. The main dress fabric is a holly print, and the contrast is a deep red. I can't find a picture of this pattern online (it must be out of print), so I'll have to scan the envelope to show you what it looks like. But not right now. I'm sewing like a madwoman!