Sew Sew

I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m sort of behind in my classwork. So I decided that Sister and I neeeeeeeded some Wonder Woman gear for the Heros and Villans 5k tomorrow. So I made a headscarf (elastic band) and wrist cuffs (velcro closure).
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Also, my sewing kit is portable- a makeup/closet organizer thing.
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StitchFix #3!

I was a little surprised to get the email that my September StichFix had shipped- didn’t August *just* end? But this first day of fall, it arrived at my doorstep.
StitchFix #3

And it was full of fun things! And full of way more win than last time. In my feedback from my last [fail] box, I gave a story about what I might be doing in October (travel) and mentioned that a bag that fit my laptop would be nice to update my little backpack that I’ve using for a work bag/purse. And I got busy with pinning more things to my “things I like” Pinterest board that I’ve shared with them. Clearly, keeping that board updated/current is key to a successful StitchFix box. On to the conspicuous consumption pictures! (Also, I haven’t made final decisions at the time of writing this,.)

The first thing I tried on was the “Stella Colorblock Dolman Sleeve Knit Shirt”. At first, I was kind of “meh” about it because it was so comfortable, like wearing a long-sleeved tee, and I wasn’t sure if I should scrunch it up, or pull it down, or how the heck I should wear it. And then I remembered that one of my goals with trying StitchFix is to update “jeans and t-shirt” into “at least jeans that fit and a nicer shirt”, and the price was pretty nice on the shirt, so I’m thinking I’m going to keep this. It’s a better comfy shirt, one that I feel I could wear to work without feeling like I’d thrown in the towel on getting dressed for the day.

Do I wear it like this? Not bad DSC_0191.JPG Is comfy

Then there was this red shirt, “Carson Front-Twist Sleeveless Blouse”. I liked the color and the idea of the blouse, but it was just… weird when I tried it on. It didn’t have an actual bottom of the shirt in the front- it’s looped around, so it also stuck out in front. It also just didn’t seem long enough and it gapped terribly when I moved. On the plus side- I could use the pouch as a pocket. But really: Eh.
20140923_141203 20140923_141120 Pouch? Runway

The box also has some skinny straight-leg jeans (“Level 99 Straight Leg Jean”) in a size smaller in number than I usually wear (but the same size number as the last pants they sent, which have turned out to fit really, really well), and though I was pretty skeptical that I’d even get them on, they’re so soft and stretchy that they fit pretty well. I’ve never owned skinny jeans before, but I like these. And they sent a bag (“Urban Expressions Sylvia Front Zip Crossbody Tote”) that fits my laptop, I can wear on my shoulder and across me, and there are pockets in the front that are perfect for snacks. Snack pockets! Or, when I need to be practical, I can fit a small thing of wipes and a diaper in the pockets. But really- snack pockets. When I make my own purses, they all have space for my wallet, phone, a pen and a snack. This has all except the pen pocket, but I could get a pocket protector for that in one of the additional pockets that this has, right? Finally, there’s a dark green cardigan (“Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan”), which fits well, is comfy, and is something that fits in well with my other clothes. It’s a style that I like in a color that I don’t own. I like all three of these final items.

Bag Sweater DSC_0178.JPG DSC_0182.JPG

Additionally, the pants that they’ve sent in this and the previous box don’t have the problem that most of my pants have recently developed: the saggy butt. It’s maybe hard to see in these pictures, but my butt actually stops halfway down the back pockets. I need some pants that actually fit at the end of the day.
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In conclusion, I think everything except the red shirt was a win. What do you think? Am I blind to a style error with this StitchFix box?

All the photos and more! on Flickr, and my StitchFix referral link.

End of August StitchFix

This month’s Stitch Fix was not nearly as much of a win as last month’s. There were some definite misses.
Like this dress. It didn’t look too bad, but the elastic waist hits at an uncomfortable spot and I don’t know what bra I’d wear with this.

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They suggested pairing it with this gray sweater, but I just don’t feel like it does much of anything for me, and I have more comfortable sweaters already.

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There was also an embroidered top, which I did like when paired with last month’s coral awesome sweater.

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But by itself: no. Very much no.

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And the final two pieces, I’m having a difficult time deciding if I do like them or not. I think I like the shirt, though it’s a bit college varsity. And I like the pants and what they do for my rear, though they are a bit snug.

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What do you think?

Also: referral link.

Jammity

I finally took my machine into the repair shop today for a tune-up. Hopefully, that’s all it needs. I’d started on a new project, making some sleeping shorts, and I swear, that machine knows when I’m near the end of a project, because that’s when it especially jams. I got the shorts put together and was finishing the hem on the second leg and… JAM! Hadn’t had a problem until I started that second hem. First hem: fine. Sewing through a bunch of curves: fine. Something it’s already done: jam.

Thought I might finish the shorts before taking it in, but I got so fed up with the jams on that short piece of stitching that I removed all the extra accessories on the machine (needle, thread, everything in the free-arm-case-thing), and took it right over to A-1 Sewing Machine Repair (with the coupon.) If it needs more than a basic tune-up, I’m going to bet it’s something with a tension somewhere? I’ve had so many needle strikes on the shuttle hook that the pointy part is pretty scratched and dinged. And I definitely don’t know enough about repair of my machine to do any of it myself. I wish there was a manual similar to a car repair manual for the machine. As it is, the manual for my machine is pretty terrible- doesn’t include basics about machine care, or parts, or even the bobbin class. (And the FAQ pages weren’t proof-read: the questions and answers don’t line up. It’s as if they just phoned that one in.)

So, in conclusion, hoping it just needs basic maintenance, but won’t be surprised if it needs more. (The pj shorts are really cute, can’t wait to finish them!)

Change

Hot on the heels of Wednesday’s purse success, I had more success: a new haircut. And some color.
Time for a change.
Afterward, I got home minutes before TCB and hid upstairs. He got home, started rubbing an Angus belly in the kitchen and saying, “oh my goodness, oh my goodness!” in response to the enthusiastic reaction to the belly rubbing. I walked in and “oh my goodness” became “oh my god!” while he stumbled backward. Funny enough, my manager at work today had the same reaction, minus the Angus belly rubbing part, plus a “It’s red!”.

He’s still getting used to it. I like it, gonna keep this up.

Purse!

Over six months and countless broken needles after starting it, I finally finished my new purse!

New Purse!

I’d accidentally emptied most of an ink cartridge into my last purse when I put my fountain pen in it, sans cap, nib down. When I washed it, I couldn’t really get it ironed back out, and the fabric around magnetic clasp was giving out. Plus, the ink didn’t really come out. So, though I loved that first little purse I’d made, with all of the customizations I’d done, it was time for a new one. Last July.

I carried around a neat quilted one Jo Ann gave me, but it the large plastic handles weren’t comfortable to carry around all day (the purse looks great with sandals and summer, just not practical as an everyday purse, since I really don’t want to get it as filthy as my purses end up getting.) I ended up using the matching coinpurse as my daily purse- fit my wallet, phone, chapstick and work badge. Could also carefully shove my keys in there, too, if I didn’t have much of anything extra in it. Kept looking for a new pattern for an everyday purse.

For my birthday (August), Mom gave me “One Yard Wonders” and, flipping through the pages, I found my next purse: The Folklore Bag, page 159. I ran out to Hancock Fabrics, found a lovely green/blue print with matching plain fabric (plans! lining and outside would be different!), and cut it all out. Then I went to dinner, and it all sat for a while.
Compared to the example in the book

A few weeks later, I started sewing it together. The 3d shape it immediately made when I sewed long, straight pieces to very curved ones made the sewing difficult, but it wasn’t too bad until I had to topstitch those curves. When I sewed opposite sides of the bag together, I quit. I was so frustrated with it, I didn’t even bother ripping out the offending stitches.

Fast forward 4-5 months (and many other sewing projects) to the ice storm in the ATL. Since I was stuck at home for lunch, I decided to try sewing this bag. Over the course of the week, I finished top stitching the bottom of the bag, got the lining done, put it all together, and made a few modifications along the way for some seam allowance error I’d made somewhere.
Modification- added darts on sides
And I needed more than 1 pocket, so I added an extra and made them the right sizes for stuff.
Put in extra pockets
Then, I made my first attempt at top stitching the final edge. And my machine jammed so many times, with so many broken needles, I moved on to to other projects. (And ripped out that crappy top stitching.) A week later, I tried again, but the thread tension was so off with so many restarts due to jammed machine/broken needles and the inside top edge was rolled over the outside one… it was unacceptable and so I ripped that out, too.

Tonight, I worked on it again. The stitching isn’t perfect, and I ended up manually turning the wheel instead of using the pedal (jam-city) for most of it. But it’s done! Yaaay! I like it.

I like that it holds my stuff.
It holds my stuff!
Plus a snack.
Larabar pocket

And I like that it holds my camera.
Holds my camera.

And I really like that it holds my camera and my stuff and a snack at the same time.
Holds my camera and my stuff

It’s not perfect, and I definitely learned lessons about thread tension, about the correct fabric weight (one problem was that I’d chosen canvas instead of the correct weight), and about some power limitations of my machine. Also learned to put cardboard behind magnetic purse closures so they don’t rip out of the fabric.

But it’s done, just in time to find the pattern for my next purse.

Fits on my shoulder.

(That cat is going to drink herself to death.)

Out & About

This morning, I woke up much earlier than I intended (at 8, I was hoping for 9), so I decided to check out the Decatur Farmers Market, new Saturday Edition, hoping to find some eggs. So I zipped down, stopping for gas on the way, and putzed around the market, getting some t-r-e-a-t-s for Angus, some granola, and more romaine lettuce than we two can eat before it goes bad. (I’d picked up an appropriate amount and after paying, the farmer put two small heads into the bag, so I could “be proud when I got home.”) There weren’t eggs at the market, though I nearly got some milk but because I’m not planning to bake this weekend, I didn’t see us using it before it spoiled.

I started to head back to the house but, because I’d spent longer at the market than I’d planned, it was nearly 10, when many of the other shops open. I turned the car around, parked in the shade, and headed to Squash Blossom first to see the Fluevog Eureka shoes in their shoe sale would work as everyday work shoes. I had planned on coming back later in the day to try the shoes, so this saved me a trip. Sadly, they didn’t have my size, though I tried the larger & smaller pair, just to make sure. But! In the sale section, they had some fabulous yellow coats with bright green & yellow lining, once of which fit like it had been made for me. And it was really marked down (good thing it was in that sale section), so I made sure it came home with me. It’s too warm to wear it this spring, but it will be fabulous later.

And, since I happened to be in the area, I popped in to Little Shop of Stories to get some books for upcoming birthdays. They didn’t have one of the books I wanted, a fantastically illustrated Little Red Riding Hood, so they have ordered it for me (yay!) I love how they wrap up gift books, too. I’m glad to have the books (and the one on order), so finding the *right* book won’t be a stress reason when it’s birthday party time.

I played the “while I’m in the area” game again and headed to Boogaloos to see if they had any fun spring/summer dresses or tops in, but they weren’t open yet, so I went into Heliotrope, initially to pass the time, but then found a shower gift for friends getting married soon. And I also had to restrain myself from getting anything for us. From the bird hooks, doormats, vases, candle holders, the kitchen items & linens, mugs, nerdy stuff… I could see me spending too much of my time/money in there. (I let TCB know that he’d find a lot of inspiration there if he ever felt like getting me a present. Like for my birthday. When he’ll be in Canada. At an academic conference. That will always be on my birthday. Boo. Hiss.)

So, once I tore myself away, I decided to head back to the car but Boogaloos was a) on the way and b) open! So I peeked in and instantly found a bunch of dresses to try on; one fit fabulously. I feel like I always try on a halter top dress when I’m in there, striped, of variable length and am always disappointed with the fit: the top’s way too big or the bottom’s too small or it looks weird. Today was no exception. But the dress I liked was reasonably priced, a fantastic length, and felt good. And showed me that all this running I’ve been doing has been having some effects, even if the scale doesn’t reflect it. I know they go through some of the inventory really quickly, I might need to stop in more often. Or not. My bank account might like not.

So, that was my morning. I stopped at Publix near home and got the reason for my exodus: eggs. If only I’d planned to do that all along, I would have brought a coupon, but I wouldn’t have had as much fun.