Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

On this most important day of my faith, I would like to wish you a beautiful Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Letter to Joann's

To JoAnn Fabric and Craft Store,

Yesterday, Saturday, my MIL and I went to your store in New Braunfels. I will never return to that store again and I will seriously consider whether or not it is worth it to me to go to the store that is closer to my home on 410 in San Antonio when I have two closer Hancock Fabrics closer to where I live.
First I had a number of bolts of fabric in my cart. I had number 76 and my MIL had 75. When she was called, I helped her put her fabrics on the counter and in the mean time, the clerk skipped passed 76 and attended the next lady without calling my number and pushing the electronic number to 77. I assumed that I hadn't heard the number while I was helping my MIL, but the other customers and the other clerk assured me that she did not call my number and just chose to help the other customer without going through the numbers.
That same lady that had skipped past me attended me and she was not cutting the fabrics straight, which was clear because my first fabric was a plaid. When I tried to straighten it out, she said that I couldn't and that she had to go by the lower end of the fabric. I figured that it was enough extra that I had asked for that I didn't make a big deal about it and let her cut it askew.
My next fabric bolt was the yellow flowers on white bottom weight that you have in your stores. I asked for a yard and when it was apparent that there wasn't much of the fabric left after that I waited for her to offer it to me at a discount which she did not do. It wasn't a big deal to me, but I figured I could use the extra amount and said I would take it. She measured it at 3/8 of a yard and went to cut the edge, which was less than 1/2 inch (probably because she had cut it unevenly for the previous customer). I asked what she was doing and she said it was store policy to straighten it off at the exact amount and she was going to cut it. I decided not to get the extra amount. The next fabric was drastically cut unevenly and I had asked for 2 1/2 yards. Before she was going to cut it she wanted to cut off the uneven amount to throw away again citing store policy and I asked to speak with a manager and she called Julie. Julie rudely said that it was store policy to prevent shrinkage, and I decided not to get any of the other bolts and had I to do it again, I would have left the two pieces that had been cut and not purchased anything from the store.
Changing shrinkage from a minuscule amount of fabric to a customer to just going in the trash does not decrease it. Not only that, it is increased by wasting the time to cut the fabric and if, like this clerk, it is not being cut evenly it is an increased amount that is being created. As I have said when I started this diatribe, I will never return to that location and really you may have lost me completely as a customer, and I am a frequent shopper. Additionally, my MIL rarely goes fabric shopping without me and when she does go, she tends to spend a great deal of her discretionary income on fabric. I'm sure Hancock is grateful for any business that you send their way, but unless you want to file bankruptcy like they did, I suggest that you do something to address this sort of occurrence, esp. in management.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My girls


My cousin dubbed this 'Hear a little evil. See a little evil. Speak a little evil.'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ottobre 5-2009-2

I made my first pair of adult panties.  I used the Ottobre 5-2009-2 "Simply Basic" panties pattern - sort of.  I planned to make a straight size 48 and ended up mistracing the back and didn't realize it until I cut out the back piece.  Then I could recut the fabric or retrace the pattern.  Since I hadn't made a pair before and I really didn't have any idea of changes I would need, I decided to change the tracing to fit what I had cut and decide whether to make another pair with a correct back or adjust what I made based on how it came out.


The finished pair looks huge.  It is 100% cotton knit that the quilting stores were trying to sell and has a decent amount of stretch, but side-by-side next to a purchased pair of panties it looks twice as big.  I thought there was no way that it was going to fit, but they fit fantastically and I will definitely be making more.

I also traced the camisole top in the same issue and plan to make a matching top, but I haven't yet.

Ottobre 1-2014-21

So the nerdlet has a new favorite outfit.

Yes, indeed, I'm definitely spreading my tacky love of crushed panne.  I finished these about two weeks ago and as soon as they come out of the wash, the nerdlet has them on again, and we usually end up having to peel the leggings off of her as she will slip them back on even after a bath and changing clothes.  She has requested multiple pairs so that she can wear them more.

The pants are Ottobre 1-2014-15 (Green Lines) and is in a size 110 in length and a size 86 in width and are in the last two posts.  The top is Ottobre 1-2014-21 in a straight size 110.  I did the neckline and the hems of the sleeves in thick FOE because it was a perfect match, but I will avoid that in future tops.  I don't have a good picture of the flair at the bottom of this shirt, but it is definitely cute and I made add an inch or two to lengthen it to a true tunic in the next rendition.  


Monday, March 17, 2014

Pants and Shorts are Easy

Pants and shorts are easy, at least with elastic waists for your little ones that have no curves.  I promised a few people that I would show just how easy it was and while it may have been quite a while since making that promise, here it finally is.

Pants and shorts are basically four pieces, two identical front pieces and two identical back pieces.  You can find quite a few patterns for little ones that are actually two pieces, where one is a right side and one is a left side.  If the side of shorts or pants is a straight line, I will combine them into one piece so that I don't have the extra seam to sew and save a bit of fabric in the process (for that you overlap the pieces so that both pieces meet where the seam allowances are).

Here are the four pieces all right side up.

First, you place one front piece to one back piece and sew the inseam.  In the picture below, the wrong side of the back pieces are on top and only the bottom two pieces have been sewn together.  You will read in a lot of places that you need to sew knits with a zig zag stitch or only serge.  While I have serged these here, I think that a serged or zig zag stitch is only necessary on horizontal seams or the seams that have stretch (so for shorts and pants, really you only need this at the hem and waistband).


Then you take the two pieces you just sewed and place them right sides together so that the two front pieces face each other and the two back pieces also face each other.


Match the sides and sew the inseam.  In the picture the front pieces are on top and the back pieces are facing each other on the bottom.

Then you flip the inseam to the inside and now you have one front piece and one back piece on top, right sides facing together and one of each on bottom.

Sew the side seams down.

Then hem the bottom and finish the waist seam and you are done.

For the waist seam, you can make a casing and thread the elastic through, or what I did here was make an elastic loop the size of my daughter's waist and zig zag it to the edge of the waistband and flip it inside and sew it down, either with a zig zag or coverstitch.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A few more sewn items for the girls

I spend a large portion of last weekend tracing off a bunch of Ottobre patterns for the girls (from the last two children's editions).  This week I have sewn a bit even though I haven't posted along with my finished items.

First version 8 of McCall's 6875.  This is a straight size 4.  When I asked who wanted to model it, the nerdlet gladly volunteered.  Her mood did an about face the moment I pulled out the camera to take pictures.


Next I did a couple of versions of Ottobre 1-2014-13 (Blue Orange) in a double-sided rayon and cotton knit from Jo-Ann's.  This fabric is so soft the girls were all willing to try it out and wear it for me.

 Like the bow?
It's a straight size 110 and as you can see it turned out way, way to big, but I did do a pretty good job of stripe matching.

Though it isn't going to last since when I sew it smaller the stripes are unlikely to still match and I don't plan on taking the whole thing apart, but just sew down the sides.

The second version of this is the same fabric but with the stripes on top and the diamonds on bottom.  For this one, I just serged off 1 1/2 inches off each side (so 6 inches total), and you can see that it fits a lot better and still has room.


The last piece that I just finished is a pair of ruched leggings.  This is Ottobre 1-2014-15 (Green Lines) and is in a size 110 in length and a size 86 in width.  I made them in a lavender crushed panne.  I love this stuff but I rarely use it because I have been told it is beyond the lines of taste.  That doesn't stop me from using it altogether.  The nerdlet loves her new leggings and has said that she would like them in every color.



This leggings are great for her.  She has never had a pair that has fit her so well.  I'm not sure I'll make a pair in every color, but she'll get at least a few more before I start looking for a non-ruched legging pattern for her.

I actually have a number of the other patterns I traced already cut out and still another pile that needs to have fabric picked for it.