Wednesday, March 30, 2011

M5661 Take 3

I finally finished View E of M5661. The fabric is a really thin polyester that feels vaguely rubbery. It has an interesting textured appearance and won't take a press very well.

And the nerdlet said she was done taking pictures so another of mine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Like It's My Birthday

I got a gift in the mail from my cousin today.

Oh, boy! I'm bouncing off the wall.

It's all knit. I haven't measured any of it yet, but there seems to be plenty of each type.

You can be jealous now.

Happy Birthday, Bear Cub!

My beautiful Bear Cub turned two. She is my superhero baby that has come through so much and amazes me every day.

She is strong and patient and curious.

She is silly and playful.

She is hardworking and determined and full of enthusiasm.

She is sweet and gentle and loving.

She is clever and artistic and musical.

She has come such a long way and I'm so proud of her.
From this

to this

I have enjoyed so much watching you grow from infancy to babyhood. I'm overwhelmed with joy at the prospect of watching you through childhood to the young lady you will become.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sewing Magazines

I'm not impressed with the two regular sized Burdas that I have received. I just received my second one (04/2011) and I liked the one Burda Plus so much more than either of the two separate ones.

I am, however, very pleased with the April/May 2011 edition of Threads. So much was in this magazine to love. The design contest had one designer that made a coat for a homeless person that folded into a pillow and zipped up into a sleeping bag. If I had a pattern for it, I would totally be making these to donate to the shelters. There was also an article on taking a single dress pattern and turning it stylistically into four very different dresses. There was an article on various ways to sew sheers such as layering them for effect and another on the basics of underlining. I even really like the Reader's Closet pictures.

In regards to my own sewing, I finished my sister's quilt and gave it to her. It was supposed to be done for Christmas, but every time I had a moment to work on the binding, it seemed the power went out. A treadle machine is looking better and better to me all the time. I'm not sure why the power in our house goes out so much. I've lived in well over 20 different homes and I've never experienced power outages like I've had here. I'm started cutting out view E of McCall's m5661, the same pattern as the one I just made but with the puffy sleeves, but I'm pretty tired and I ended up cutting one of the facing pieces out with the arm side matched to the fold. It's easy to cut out the piece again, but instead of working on it, I'm going to head to bed and try again when I'm more rested.

Thank you to all who donated to Lera's fund. She is fully funded now. It was a great accomplishment timed perfectly for World Down Syndrome Day.

Monday, March 21, 2011

World Down Syndrome Day

It's World Down Syndrome Day! Celebrate with your extra special someone that has a third copy of chromosome 21. Aren't blessed with knowing one of these wonderful people or don't know how to celebrate? You could donate to Lera's adoption fund at

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

McCalls M5661 2nd shot

Okay, it's not quite done. It need a button on that back and the bottom hemmed, but it's pretty close. Is the fit perfect? Not really. The sway back and the sides could have even more taken in, but other than that, it's pretty good. It looks like I have fitting wrinkles on the side, but that is really my back underneath (which I'm working on getting rid of). I know that a lot of people that have sewing blogs advocate wearing spanx under everything to reduce rolls, but they don't live in Texas or or too thin to need it. When it's 80 degrees in Winter and highs as high as 116 in the Summer with 90 percent humidity, there is absolutely no way I'm going to wear Spanx or the like.

Sorry for the bad pictures, my three-year-old had already gone to bed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Zoo visit

Eons ago, I used to babysit a lot. The first newborn I ever watched (A) was the daughter of a good friend of my mom's. She was just two weeks old, and I remember being so nervous about it beforehand and was surprised at how nice it was to watch her. She was such an easy baby. I recently found out that she was living in San Antonio with her own infant and met with her yesterday to take all our girls to the zoo over two decades later. That is a way to definitely make you feel old. Well, maybe it didn't make me feel old but rather cognizant of the fact that I am old.

I brought the two double strollers and we put the nerdlet and the bear cub in one and Darth Baby and her daughter in the other. Even though when we put them in they sat in there normally, they quickly leaned toward each other pressing their heads together. They both seemed slightly fussy before but this seemed to calm them both the whole trip. It was also adorable. I would post a picture, but I didn't ask if that would be okay with A. The two girls don't look alike at all, but they have the same coloring (at least right now while Darth Baby's eyes are still blue and neither one of them has a lot of hair). At one point a lady asked A how old the babies were and when she told them seven and two months, the lady gave her a strange look and you could tell she was sort of trying to figure out how that happened.

I had a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again. We only covered a small portion of the zoo because we didn't want to wait until the girls got irritable to leave, but all three of mine zonked on the way back and when the nerdlet passes out in the car she is really tired.

No pics of Darth Baby because they were all with her new friend.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

McCalls M5661 Muslin

So I really want to make the lovely blue top in this picture. Since I'm a completely new size I decided to make a muslin which I never used to do and to make view A since it used a lot less fabric and would be quicker to determine what changes needed to be done. I made a size 24 even though a smaller size might have done according to what I've read about the pattern (pattern sizes are way off from ready-to-wear sizes).

Here are the results.

My first thought was that it was way too big and that I should have made the 18 with a much larger FBA. I currently wear a 36DDD bra that probably needs a larger cup size and can wear my 34J that I have from nursing the nerdlet, but I'm hoping that when I wean this time I will be in a 36DDD or smaller so I'm being cheap and stubborn about it, but from my rib cage under my breast to my waist I expand (as you can see in the pictures) so I rounded up from my waist size. I have decided instead of going back to a size 18 and modifying from there to modify the 24 and see if I can't get it to work.

Here are the pattern changes I made. I decreased the length from the shoulder to breast by 1/2" all the way across. I straighten the shoulder to almost straight across since I have very little slant in my shoulders across. I put in a large sway back adjustment (doubling the typical suggested amount). I increased the curve on the sides to 1/2" smaller 3" below the side bust dart on both the front and back pattern pieces. I decreased each back pattern piece by 1" across. I am also planning on changing the back buttons to have a back seam and button or hook and loop at the top.

I've drawn out the new pattern and cut out the fabric and hopefully will have the new muslin done fairly soon. I've never had to do a third muslin before, and I'm hoping this one is a wearable muslin when finished. I plan on finishing the first one if it fits my sister S and she likes it (not sure how likely that is).

Spread the Word to End the Word

Imagine that your name is Jenn. You work for a business, you work hard, and you are good at your job. You've worked there for a while and there is a change in management and you think about leaving, but your husband has an accident and can't work, and you now need the job for the money and medical insurance. You meet your new boss but you're not sure about him, and a few weeks later you catch your boss in a big mistake on a presentation before a meeting. You tell him and immediately help him fix it and start running off new copies for the meeting. As you finish and head to hand off his copies, you overhear him telling one of his coworkers that the mistake was your fault and ending it with 'You know how that bimbo Jenn is." You think you must have misheard and try to let it go, but you overhear it again. Then you start hearing it more and more. It bothers you, but you aren't sure what to do about it. You decide to go to HR when he starts calling you it out right. HR tells you that it's just a word and it isn't hurting anything. You start looking for another job but you can't find one. After a few months you start hearing the word bimbo everywhere at work. You here is used as an insult for any little thing. "You're such a bimbo for that." "I can't believe I did that. I'm such a bimbo." While in the past, it might not have meant anything, now it does because you know it originated from your boss talking about you. After one of your coworkers uses it, you explain how it makes you feel and why and he agrees not to use it in the future, but other coworkers insist that it's not about you and that you need to get over it. You are miserable at work now and dread going into work every morning, but you are stuck with it. It's a hostile work environment.

Here is where this analogy to the word r*t*rd doesn't work. Jenn isn't a bimbo, but many people do have mental retardation. Bimbo isn't a hate word like n*gg*r, but the 'r' word is. Jenn can go home to her family and escape, but someone with an intellectual disability will still hear the 'r' word on tv, on the radio, and read it on the internet. People that use the 'r' word are creating not just a hostile work environment but a hostile life environment for those with intellectual disabilities.

People that insist on their right to use the 'r' word are like members of the KKK insisting they have the right to use the 'n' word. It's not just a word. It's not about being politically correct. Yes, you have the right, but it's hate language and its use is reprehensible. 3-2-11 Spread the word to end the word.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Plus Size Sewing Blogs

If you chance upon my blog and you have a plus-size sewing blog (sewing size 16 and above on either top or bottom) that isn't listed, please let me know.

First, those that I have read all the way through and think are fantastic.

Also, good:

Hardly any pictures of plus sized items: (mostly lingerie, in Dutch)

Not updated very often. (in Dutch)

No longer active: (by multiple authors)

No longer a plus sized sewing blog:

Others that I have not yet checked out. page

There are a couple I did not add to my list, one because it tried to download a worm and the other for hate language against those with intellectual disabilities.

5 Medical-ish Things

The hardest thing I ever had to do was hand my bear cub over to the doctors for her heart surgery. I was so scared that she wasn't going to make it or have every complication that they had informed me was a possibility.

I've never had surgery or even been put under.

I had an appendix attack at 17 and ended up in the hospital but didn't have it removed. Some doctors now doubt that that is what it was since it didn't rupture. My dad had a similar attack at 25 and my mother authorized exploratory surgery for him so he is now missing his appendix, gall bladder, and anything else that doctors deemed unnecessary at the time. His dad also had a similar attack in his late twenties though I don't know what the result was.

I likely had a severe case of hypothyroidism for years before it was detected. It was diagnosed at 10, but at that time I weighed less than 50 pounds and very short. My mother said that I slept the two weeks after I was born without ever waking up and I was still sleeping more than 12 hours a day in sixth grade. Throughout elementary school (and really even later) I would often come home and take a nap. I also wore turtlenecks year round from very young because I was cold all the time and because the kids at school would call me bullfrog due to the goiter in my neck.

Whenever I see anyone in scrubs in public, I think that at some point in time they have possibly had their hand up someone's butt and maybe fairly recently. I usually avoid them.