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Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

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I Love my husband.... Feb. 7th, 2016 @ 03:00 pm
today started like any other Sunday. Did some running around, then measured and cut 2 2-yard lengths of denim so I could make Herself some jeans. Pulled out the serger to finish the raw edges before washing....and that's when I realized how much I HATE this serger.

It did the first seam (out of 4 - 2 raw edges per piece) just fine. Not perfectly, no - I've NEVER gotten a perfectly serged edge out of this machine, but it's good enough. It will go along perfect, then ever so often it'll have a larger loop hanging out. Not a *huge* loop, but long enough that you notice it. Anyway. I started on the 2nd edge, and it decided it hated it's life. 1 of the threads broke, then it decided that instead of sewing at all, it would just CUT the edge. :bangs head: I stopped, cut all 3 threads, re-threaded all 4, and started again. It serged about 8", then did it again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. *18* times. :sigh:

About the 15th time, SG noticed I was getting upset. (Yeah...it took him THAT long. Ah, well.....) He asked what was going on, so I showed him. And rethreaded it. And started...this time it didn't even TRY to overlock the edge, it just started cutting....only it decided to feed the fabric in all wonky, so it cut a CHUNK out of the edge. (No worries - I had measured out 6" more than 2 yards, for both shrinkage and serging. Good thing, huh?) SG whipped out the credit card and told me to go shopping - he'd advance me up to my share of the refund. (!)

At first I told him No, because I STILL hadn't made up my mind on if I wanted an upgrade or not. (Although....16 attempts and still no serged edge. I was getting closer!) He said OK, the offer's there, and went back to his RC plane.

Attempt #18, I had HAD it. I started thinking of how to ask him to take me to JoAnn's...and the bloody thing straightened right up and worked fine. For all *3* remaining edges. :figures: I told SG that I had "fixed" it, and told him what I did. He laughed, and said "OK, let's go then!".

Um.......wait. What? I pulled up JoAnn's website, because I didn't want to go in blind.

Long story short - we didn't go to JoAnn's. I hit eBay...and I have an almost new Baby Lock Diana on it's way to me. *5* thread (yeah, that'll go well, won't it?), overlock AND coverstitch, with semi-automatic tension. For about 2/3 of the list price. Am I nervous? Yes - but eBay will cover me if it turns out to not work (it says it does!).

I read up on it before jumping on it...it's the last mid-level serger they have; the next step up is the "air thread" models (at....$3K. :gulp!:) The reviews are all good; yes, there IS a learning curve, but it seems to be not as bad as the entry-level ones.

So. Why a 5-thread this time? Because I figure this'll be the last serger I'll buy, and if I'm going to spend the $$$ (OK, I paid $435 for this one. Not bad, as far as quality machines go, but more than I normally spend! The cheapest I saw it listed is $899; sometimes it goes on sale for $599.) I wanted 1 that would do it *all*. Overlock for wovens, and coverstitch for knits (a coverstitch is how RTW t-shirts and other knits are finished. Raw edge overlocked on the wrong side with 2 stitches on the right side, hemming it up at the same time). Necessary? No.....but it was within my price range (at the far end, to be honest, but there it is) and...why not? :lol: (And I had been researching sergers; Baby Lock was on my dream-only list because of the price. I had just about decided to go with an older model Elna or Pfaff, to be honest, or, maybe, a 5-thread Singer. But the Singer, new, was $799 - which was more than I wanted to spend ($500 at the most), so I was leaning towards the other 2, I just hadn't decided which one was the best for me.)

I'm going to try to get my current one to finish Herself's jeans. I have 2 ready-to-go lengths of denim - I'm hoping she'll like the fabric and let me do 2 pairs for her. If not, she'll get 1 pair and I'll make another pair of bombachas for me - with darts this time.

Oh, and why SG was so generous: Yesterday he bought Windoze 8 for his iMac so he can run a RC flight simulator program. He was feeling a bit guilty (although I told him not to. As long as the CC is completely paid off with the return, I don't care - and he promised it would be.) However, he felt bad that he was pre-spending his portion of the refund....so, I got a new serger. :lol: (And I'm scared to death! What have I done????????:aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!: :rofl:)

So, how was YOUR weekend?

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Current Mood: happyhappy
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Shabbat Shalom! Feb. 5th, 2016 @ 03:40 pm
It's been a wild ride, today. Got 1 of the kids' refunds in.....both kids went on a virtual shopping spree. :lol: Herself has bought a TON of plushies (gotta love my Aspie!); Himself has bought 2 video games. The priorities....:lol:

We also hit Sam's Club and JoAnn's, because Herself also needed more yarn. (Why yes - she DID need yarn. *I* only have wool. She uses acrylic :ack:, so...there was no yarn in the house for her. :snicker:)

Hopefully the other kid's refund will hit soon - that's slated to be spent on groceries and clothes for them. (They get SSI from their dad - I have 10% withheld so that we get a nice lump sum once a year. They get a portion of it - that's only fair! - and the rest gets put to use for the household.) Our joint return was filed on Monday.....they claim we'll get the refund within 21 days. We'll see....I get some of that for personal use; I'm thinking about upgrading my serger. Maybe. The Singer is an entry-level machine, and it works....but I can't get the tension perfect and the bloody thing moves around on the table when I'm trying to serge denim. :sigh: I have a LOT of jeans planned - both for me and for Herself - so.....I'm window shopping right now. We'll see.....I haven't fully decided yet.

I hit Bootstrap when we got home....Herself now has a custom-fit skinny jeans pattern, the PJ bottom pattern I have ( but in her size), and underwear. Soon as I can, we'll go fabric shopping and I'll get started on her wardrobe (mine's almost done; I just need 2 more pairs of jeans/bombachas and some underwear and I'll be done. Shirts? I have plenty of geeky graphic tees, so I'm good to go there. Her wardrobe is lacking...so she's up next.

Gotta start dinner! Shabbat Shalom - see ya on the flip side!

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Current Location: sofa
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Always a day late.... Feb. 4th, 2016 @ 01:40 pm
but at least we're still moving, right? :sigh:

Friday I took Herself to the Endo. The doc sent the PA in instead - I guess she was afraid I'd go off on her after the cluster muck that was the NON-thyroid test. (I was good! Honest!) The PA confirmed my thoughts - he thinks Herself has Hashimoto's. Of course. :sigh: It does explain her symptoms; the panic attacks, the deep, bone-weary fatigue, the heavy cycles.....he said we would forgo the test and proceed as if it absolutely, positively IS Hashimoto's. (Because, while the test would confirm it, her symptoms are textbook, and he said there was no reason for attempt #*3* at this test.)

So, now what? We go back in 3 weeks, and he'll start her on the meds (which she'll be on the rest of her life, apparently). Fun times!

In better news, Himself got his braces off yesterday! His teeth are lovely! He goes back in 2 weeks to get his retainer, which he'll wear for 1 year or so. Herself is on track to get hers off in 2 visits - the next one to confirm she's done, then they wait 1 month so the teeth settle in to the new positions, then the 2nd visit OFF they come. She's.....a little jealous, but happy that the end is in sight for her. Me? I'll be glad to be done with the nagging over rubber bands!

Other than that, it's been quiet. I've been going thru some papers from Dad's....I found a LOT of stuff from his first marriage, including a bunch of photos. It's surreal.......but I need to get them to my half-brother. They're his, not mine.

Oh, and my knitting mojo isn't really back, but I'm halfway down the foot of the ugly hospital socks. I am so over them it's not funny, but I can't start another pair until they're done. And...I *want* to start a new pair. :ugh: Ah, well - I had to throw another old pair away yesterday, so I *need* these socks. And I'm already 1 pair behind on this year's knitting, so I need to get cracking.

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Current Location: command center
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Day late..... Feb. 1st, 2016 @ 01:55 pm
but better late than never, right? Right!

So...bombachas! I was going to post this yesterday, but ran out of time. I was busy trying to finish V.2.0...:lol: They still need the waistband, the ankle cuffs, and the buttonholes - so here, have a few photos of V.1.0:

2016 bombachas front

The front. This is my very first fly waistband! It was easier than I thought - this one's not perfect, but it looks good and it works. I am VERY pleased with it! It's also my first "real" pants, my first belt-loops, and my first in-seam pockets. The pockets need a bit more work, but all-in-all, I am very pleased with these.


2016 bombachas back

The tucks are a little weird; I had to add one because of the extra room in the hips. I deepened the original tucks on V.2.0; we'll see how that looks when I finish them.


2016 bombachas side

The side. Not much to say...:lol:

They are *6"* too long. I remedied that on V.2.0; this pair was sewn as originally drafted (except for the extra width in the hips.) I'm not sure if I want to go back and hack off any length on these; they work just fine, no body stares at me funny...and SG's aunt today thought they looked great (she's always positive, though, so I take that with a grain of salt. :lol:) They are VERY comfortable - and the waist FITS. OK, it's a *little* loose - I have cut the waistband of V.2.0 2" shorter - but it works and doesn't gap like RTW jeans do.

I pulled out a pair of SG's jeans to examine the fly construction, and V.2.0 looks more "real". V.1.0 is fine, though - it looks "real" to normal people - SG's aunt couldn't believe I *sewed my own jeans*. :squee!:

I have 2 more pair planned for me - I need to buy the fabric, first. Stone-washed denim and black, I think. Maybe a pair in corduroy, if I can find some I like at a price point I'm willing to pay.

Next up: Jeans for Herself. I think Bootstrap is going to get a LOT of money from me in the next few months....I have plans. And we need clothes. :rofl:

Off to work on V.2.0!

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Friday Round-up Jan. 29th, 2016 @ 12:57 pm
So. How's YOUR week been? Mine's been...busy. I started on the Bombachas on Monday - I just finished the buttonholes a few minutes ago. Still need to sew on the buttons....but they are in the wash right now. They *fit* - I need to shorten the next pair, and work on my topstitching, but they FIT. Photos later.

I tried them on last night, and asked SG for fitting help. He said OK, so I said, "OK, how do they look? They are too long right now - ignore that! - because they need the cuffs added, and I still need to add the waistband, but.....how do they fit?"

"They are too long". Um...yeah. IGNORE that. "But, they're too long. And they....they blouse out. I don't know what I'm supposed to look at." "I KNOW about the legs. IGNORE THEM. How does my waist/hips/thighs look?" "Well....I dunno. The legs are - " "NO. NO legs. WAIST. How does the waist look?" "But the legs...." :bang head: "DO THEY MAKE MY BUTT LOOK BIG???" "I don't know what I'm supposed to be looking at. The legs..."

Herself had gotten up to get a drink of water, and she stood there shaking her head. At this point, she said "Mom, your butt looks *good*. They are a bit baggier than *I* like, but they look good on you. The waist fits good, too!"

:bangs head: Was that so hard?

So. I have a pair of Bombachas, finally. I need to shorten the pattern about 1" before sewing up another pair, and I want to get some different fabric (this denim is really a bit too heavy for these. They work, but...they could drape a little better. :lol:) Next up, jeans from Bootstrap Fashion. :bounce:

I have to clean up for Shabbat now - see ya on the flip side!

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Current Location: sewing table
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Other entries
» Yet another Photo-post!
Because this was a VERY busy weekend!

We woke up to 27* on Saturday. Poor Sam was *freezing*, and I had to do something. Friday I had tried to buy him a new sweater, but there were none to be found around here. What to do?

Well, I hit the craft department and found a pattern for a dog coat (I wanna call my new business "Dog Togs", because it just rolls off the tongue so well. :lol:), and some nice-looking fleece in colors that would look nice on Sam. I got home and traced off the pattern (because it's multi-sized, and I was hoping it would fit at least 3 of our dogs), then tried to tissue-fit Sam.

See, he's a McCall's "small"....sort of. I had to add 4" to the drop, and 2" to each of the front straps. Anyway...

Saturday AM I cut out the coat and whipped it up. It fits - really well! Only, Tigger looked at me, all cold and sad......so I measured her. Seems that the modified small fits her exactly. I dug out some denim scraps and whipped *her* up a coat (it has a fleece lining to keep it warm)

2016 Dog Togs Tigger and Sam

Then Loki got in on the "poor me" act...I don't have a photo of his coat, but it's a heavily modified Large (an aside: WHAT breed of dog is McCall's using for their sizing? Sam is small...fat, but small. Tigger...should be a small without any modifiers. Loki? I'd call him a Medium. Instead he's a very heavily modified Large - I had to add 2" to the end, and *8"* to the drop. The straps work with the addition, but the neck needs to be re-done; he's got such a broad chest that it doesn't really fit right.) It's also denim with a fleece liner.

Sunday AM I started dyeing yarn. My knitting mojo is still MIA, but my fingers are getting twitchy. (It's the current in-progress sock. I started it in the hospital, and the yarn colors are unfortunate.) There are 2 socks I really want to get to (errr....well, there's more than that in the queue, but..these 2 I *really* want to start.)...another pair of Yaacov for *me*, and Quantum Paratsox by the late, great Tsock Tsarina (her ideas about sock-knitting were innovative. And wild! She will be missed!). Only, Quantum Paratsox is a kit, and the yarn colors....are NOT going to be worn here in Dallas Cowboys territory (think Washington Redskins. :shudder: Not gonna happen! :lol:)

So. I fired up the dye pots, and ended up with this:

2016 Quantum Paratsox yarn

Bonus points if you get the reference to the colors. :rofl: (Think gaming. "You look so majestic, like an Eagle. Piloting a blimp." :snicker: "How are you holding up? Because I am a potato." :rofl:)

Then I pulled out 2 double sock blanks and started painting.

2016 Yaakov sock blanks

*IF* I figured it right and IF I painted the stripes the right widths, I'll end up with no overlaps. :fingers crossed: We'll see....


(You remember Yaacov, right? Here, let me refresh your memory:

2015 Yaakov Socks V.2.0

The yarn needs to have long stripes, and the crazier the colors, the better.) Yes, there are some blips and bleeds, but...I think this'll work. The colors are a LOT brighter than what my phone shows!

Then I sat down at the sewing machine and whipped up a cover for Herself's iMac:

2016 MLP iMac cover


:shakes head: She chose the fabric. It's her current obsession......one of the joys of living with an Aspie. I am going to go nuts.....it's MLP, all the time. :shudder: I've seen worse shows, but......the voices! The voices are annoying!

Today was a bit boring - I traced off my bombacha pattern. I'll whip up a wearable muslin this week...here's hoping! I've wanted some bombachas for *years* (from 1994!), and...now's the time. Then maybe my mojo will be back and I can bang out some new socks. I am always in need of new socks!

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» It's Photo Time!
This will be photo-heavy, so I'll be kind and put it behind a cut, OK? :lol:

Here there be Photos!Collapse )

Gotta skitter - we have school. And errands. Have a great weekend, guys! Shabbat Shalom!

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» Let me introduce the newest member of the family
or, Hey! Have a photo post! :lol:

Meet Sam:

Sam before 1:21:16

This was him at 8:45 this morning, in the Jeep. We were on our way to meet the Vet! And to have a Spa Day - we call him a Tribble for a reason. Long hair....but full of mats. And he had fleas. :ugh: But our Vet got him all fixed up:

Sam after 1:21:16

This is Sam at 4:30 this afternoon, also in the Jeep. He looks like a naked lion. :lol: The Vet gave him a clean bill of health - except he needs to lose about 10 pounds. He weighs in at 28 pounds....he's a brick. With legs. And no longer a Tribble. (For the moment - we will let him grow his fur out again, but we'll keep up with the brushing.)

However, it's 38* right now. So, here's Sam now, on the couch:

Sam in sweater 1:21:16

Tigger's a little upset - that's HER sweater - but he needs it a little bit more than she does. She can jump up on the bed and burrow under the comforter, he can't. Yet. :evil grin:

While you're here, let me give you a quick peek at my 1941 Homefront Overalls, V.2.0:

2016 overalls v.2.0 front

2016 Overalls v.2.0 back

Sorry for no action shots, but - it's 38*, and it's RAINING. :ugh: They'll be put to use beginning tomorrow AM - they are sturdy, and the fabric is thick enough that it's warm. I'll try to take some interior shots - this pair is a HUGE improvement over V.1.0! I'll detail that out, too, just because. :lol: (Hey, it's blog fodder - I'll take what I can get, thankyouverymuch! :wink:) The fit is better - but it gives me a bit of a larger belly than I actually have. Still....I can MOVE in them, and the point was something I could wear to WORK in, so it's a win. I added 2" to each leg piece, or 4"/side. I'll talk about that, too, because I'm proud I figured it out!

I need to get some measurements off of Sam so I can make him a fleece sweater (won't that be cute, matching PJs for me and the dog? :snerk:) I know he's cold - poor thing. This isn't the right time of year for a full clip, but we had no choice.

Laters!

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» Navel-gazing.....
Might want to skip this one, guys - this is where I dump some family angst/stuff. Probably gonna be boring - and probably more personal than some are comfortable with. :shrug: I've always tried to keep it real here...this is probably more "real" than usual. Proceed at your own risk! Comments are open, but NOT required.

Dealing with family is SO much fun, isn"t it?Collapse ) If you managed to wade thru all that - Congratulations! Sorry I dumped it on ya...but I DID warn you! I'll try to post something more upbeat next time. Might be a few days - I have work-work to do, and I want to remake the overalls so that I can actually *wear* them. And USE them. Shouldn't be too hard - just need to add another inch or so to each piece of the pants (4 pieces x 1" = 4" of ease. Might do 1.5"....)

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» It's a CAP!
Many Bothans died to get us these overalls.....:lol: (Yes. Yes I DID just do that!)

Have some photos of my finished 1940's Homefront Overalls by Wearing History:

2016 Overalls tractor far

See, I can drive a tractor!

2016 Overalls front by tractor

2016 Overalls back

Front and back view....they fit. More on that in a bit.

And, the cap and bodice have a secret!

2016 overalls cap

Yes, the bodice, pockets and cap are lined with Imperial Blueprints. No one would think to check there, would they? :snicker:

OK. So, I finished the overalls. I used my block pattern as a 2-D model of my 3-D body..which is how I assume you are supposed to use it. Some people use blocks/slopers differently; whatever works for you, right? Anyway. I KNEW this pattern was snug in the hips. I noted that, and went up 1 size to compensate. I had 1" on each pattern piece in ease (see the problem? I didn't...), so I thought I was good to go.

I forgot that my block has *0* ease. ZERO. As in, NONE. :sigh: So. The overalls DO fit. A little too well......

I can drive the tractor in them. I can dump feed. I can even toss hay. I canNOT, however, do anything extremely strenuous without popping the side buttons. (Like, say, dig out 7 months of composted goat by-products.) Ah, well - this was a usable muslin anyway, and I learned a LOT:

1. 1940's pattern instructions...leave a LOT to be desired. They wanted me to assemble the bodice, then assemble the pants - all the way! - then attach the 2 together at the waist, THEN attach the facing and button band, and THEN do the button holes. I guess, if I were hand-sewing, this would make sense. On a machine, however....not so much. It's hard to manipulate 3D pants on my sewing machine. As a result, the facings and button band are ugly. (I saw some of this coming, so I did the buttonholes while the pants were flat......which meant that I had to put more buttonholes in the facing. :face palm:

2. My block pattern has NO ease. Wanted to emphasize that!

3. I should read ALL the instructions, and visualize doing them, before beginning to sew. :lol:

Now. I am pleased with how they turned out. IF I do another pair (and...I might.) I'll do them differently:

1. I'll line the bodice again (the instructions want you do use bias binding along the edges, instead. I am using a Heavy-Medium weight fabric....this would have not been fun.), but I'll only sew the lining to the top, and I'll include the straps as I do. That way, when I flip the lining to the inside, the straps are attached neatly.

2. I'll sew the right-side leg seam of the trousers, then attach the belt/bodice while this is flat. THEN I can attach the button band and facing, and do the buttonholes easily. (Well, sort of. The bottom button hole is almost INSIDE the pocket. I need to think about that a bit....)

3. Make sure I have 2 full spools of thread.

4. Re-jigger the cap. It's too big. (You can see where I took it in. I think I'll undo that, and put in some elastic.)

Think that's it. Gotta skitter now - more later!

ETA: Sorry about the abrupt ending. SG decided we needed to go NOW!, so....we went. :lol: We had to go pick up Dad's 2nd dog - a Pomeranian named Sam - from his house. My brother took the other dog (a very very small Chihuahua) on Thursday - he thought he'd found a place for Sam with Operation Kindness, a no-kill shelter, but they decided he was coughing and they couldn't take him. :sigh: I simply could NOT leave him in the house by himself. SO....we now have 7 dogs. For the moment. We'll see how they acclimate.

Anyway. Right now the overalls work. They could work a little better, but they're OK.

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