Showing posts with label Procrastination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Procrastination. Show all posts

Lederhosen Procrastination and Fabric Auditions

This is Not Lederhosen...
The first dress rehearsal for the school play is Tuesday, just three days away.  You would think that I'd have finished that lederhosen costume by now, wouldn't you, or that I'd at least be putting the finishing touches on it?  Nope -- I played with fabric and cut out all the pieces for the next pieced block in the Jingle Block of the Month quilt instead.  Do you like how I fussy-cut the little corner squares?  You would not believe how much time I spent mulling over fabrics and auditioning them together, and trying to decide which snippet of this glorious Christmas print should be featured on the corner squares of the block.  I can't wait to sew this block together -- but NO!  I have to make a lederhosen costume.  Ah, regret soaked in procrastination...

 Some helpful folks on the Yahoo Bernina groups alerted me to Burda's lederhosen patterns, but unfortunately the children's pattern does not go large enough for this actor, who wears a size 12 husky in ready-to-wear, but the men's pattern is way too large.  Also I have waited until the last minute, and now there is no time to order a pattern anyway.  My husband has been making helpful comments like "why don't you just buy a pair of brown shorts?"  He does not understand that I TOLD PEOPLE I could MAKE them out of fabric that I already own.  If I just went out and bought a pair of shorts, that would be like Bernie hiring someone else to fix a hole in the dry wall or put up crown moulding.  Plus, the little button flap front of the lederhosen is what makes them look authentic, and they do NOT sell any shorts that look like this at Gap Kids!

So I turned Bernie's old lederhosen inside-out and carefully traced off a muslin pattern along the seam lines. 

Since this is just a costume, I'm ignoring the pockets.  I carefully added an inch or so all the way around, trued up the seam lines so the pieces would match up and fit together properly, and then added seam allowances to that.  I basted the muslin pieces together and brought them to play practice for the little boy to try on.

Well, somehow I goofed because the legs flared out like an A-line skirt, but the waist was WAY too tiny and the boy couldn't close it!  I think I forgot to add back in the bulk of the darts in the back pieces or something.  Now that I look of that picture of my pattern piece for the back of the shorts, it's obvious that it's all goofed up.  I mean, LOOK at it!  So, do you think I went right back into my sewing room to fix the problem on the muslin and get busy on the real costume?  Of course not!  My ego was bruised, and I needed to do something that I'm good at to restore my confidence. 

I'm good at picking out fabric.  ;-)


I cut a 1 1/2" square out of an index card to create a little window for selecting which part of this big, busy print I could feature on the corners of my block:

Isn't that fun?  It's called Florentine Something-Or-Other and I've had it in my stash for years, just haven't found the right project for it yet.  The hardest part was finding a motif that fit into a 1 1/2 inch square, and the next hardest part was finding one that I liked that had the right colors and value, and that I had four repeats of in this piece of fabric. 

Anyway, back to the wretched lederhosen, which I have decided NOT to embroider.  This is a costume that will be worn only three times, and it isn't even for my own child to wear.  It would be crazy for me to slave away over this too much.  Especially since just making a pair of shorts that are shaped somewhat like a human being is proving to be such a challenge!

So I made the legs narrower, made the waist wider, and cut the pieces out of the microsuede yesterday.  I started sewing them together today, and now I'm working on the button flap thingy for the front.  Tomorrow is a busy day -- Anders has a friend sleeping over tonight, then Lars has Chinese tutoring in the morning and they both have piano lessons in the afternoon, but I hope I manage to drag myself back into the sewing room to finish the lederhosen costume.  My quilt block pieces will be flirting with me from across the room the whole time...

More Pettiskirt Ruffles!

If you missed the earlier posts chronicling this pettiskirt progress, click here to catch up.  Up until yesterday afternoon, the pettiskirt for Princess Petunia was still exactly the way it was when I last posted about it on July 14th.  After simultaneously ruffling and attaching the ruffle to the bottom tier of the skirt, I discovered that my ruffler setting was only giving me 2 1/2 to 3 times fullness for most of the hem ruffle, and I was discouraged by how many yards of carefully cut 2" strips of chiffon were left over.  I decided NOT to attempt to rip out stitches and redo the hem ruffle, but I've been distracted with work and the organized chaos known as Back-to-School...  Those are my excuses. 

However, when I looked at my blog traffic statistics yesterday morning, I was amazed by the volume of traffic my pettiskirt posts were getting, not just from people I know personally, but from people as far away as Japan, Russia, and New Zealand.  Somehow, knowing that there are so many other folks out there working on this project has given me the jolt of motivation I needed to get back in that sewing room, rip the dust cover off my sewbaby, and dive back into that mountain of ruffled chiffon.  I hope that all of those sewers who visited my blog in search of pettiskirt tips found some useful information here, and I want to thank them all for stopping by.  Apparently September is National Sewing Month (who knew?), so what better time to finish this up?  My parents are headed up to New Jersey to visit Janice the Manice's family in a few weeks, so that gives me a deadline for my project.  I'd like to send Princess Petunia's pettiskirt up with them when they leave for New Jersey on the 24th.

One of the problems with letting so much time lapse in the middle of a project is that, when you come back to it, your head's not in the game anymore and you have to reread all the instructions, figure out where you were, and what you need to do next.  I actually had to come back downstairs (no computer in my sewing studio -- YET!) and reread my earlier posts about this project to refresh my memory.  The next step in my project was to simultaneously gather and attach the bottom tier of the skirt (the one I previously attached the hem frill to) to the second tier of the skirt.  I expected this step to go a lot faster than the previous step.  After all, since each step is gathering four-to-one, you have only a quarter of the fabric to deal with each time you move up one layer in the skirt.  However, I found that I had to run the machine at a slower speed this time in order to keep the top layer of gathered fabric from catching itself under the needle.  I had to stop three times to rip out stitches because of that, and it was NOT fun.  VERY PLEASED with the decision not to rip out and redo the entire hem frill, by the way -- that was definitely the right decision!  But I just now remembered -- too late to help with yesterday's issues -- that I had temporarily reduced the machine speed on my Artista last time I was ruffling to reduce these kinds of problems.  So, if your machine has this capability, try reducing the motor speed to between 50-75%.  And, since I'm sharing tips, let me also warn you to keep an eye on your bobbin thread!  You will go through a lot of thread for this project, and it's best to make sure you have a full bobbin before you start ruffling up each layer of the skirt.  Running out of bobbin thread will slow you down.

In this photo, you can really see how I have the two layers of chiffon fabric feeding through my ruffler foot (except that the bottom layer is actually UNDER the ruffler foot because it is not gathering at all).  Again, I'm using that pink low-tack Olfa quilting ruler tape to mark my 1/2" seam allowance (more information about that product is available in previous posts).  I'm attaching the layers right sides together, as directed by the pattern instructions from Kari Me Away.  This puts the little 1/2" ruffled seam allowance on the INSIDE of the skirt, but it would be pretty to put that on the outside of the skirt if you prefer, as it makes a little mini-frill between each tier of the skirt.

Ta-da!  That's what it looks like when you've got the hem frill attached to the bottom tier of the skirt and the bottom tier gathered and attached to the middle tier.

...and that's the whole length of it!  Next, I'm supposed to cut this whole long thing into two equal lengths because I'm making a two-layer skirt.  The top tier of the skirt is a double layer of poly satin, and I'm going to serge the raw edges of that to ensure nothing frays before I gather the bottom two tiers of the skirt onto the top tier.  The end is in sight!  Also, I should mention that even though I have dragged this project out over months and weeks, it really hasn't taken me that much time.  I spent about an hour and a half sewing yesterday, and about the same amount of time back in July when I did the hem frill.  What took longest was cutting miles and miles of chiffon strips, so I highly, highly recommend that you buy rolls of pre-cut chiffon for this project.  Hopefully, next time I post about this project I will be at the finish line!

Hesitation, Procrastination, & a Handful of Excuses: I'm FIXING to Start That Pettiskirt Project!

WELL... As you can see, the Princess Pettiskirt pattern has arrived from Kari Me Away, and I have also received the turquoise nylon chiffon from AFC Express, the 1 1/2" single face satin ribbon in Shocking Pink and the 32 mm carnation ribbon rosettes in Shocking Pink, both from M&J Trimming, and the turquoise polyester crepe back satin and 1" non-roll elastic have both come in from Fabric.com.  I have plenty of thread in this color (at least I'm pretty sure I have enough) because this was the color of the bridesmaids' dresses for Janice the Manice's wedding.  So I have everything I need for this project, and it has all been neatly stacked in my sewing room for about a week and a half now -- what's my excuse?

I did at least open the pattern envelope and glance through the instructions.  They include what seem to be pretty detailed information about gathering with ruffler feet, which is a good thing.  Here's a picture of my Bernina Ruffler Foot #86, in case you're not familiar with these contraptions. Intimidating, isn't it? Although I've owned a ruffler footsie for my sewbaby for several years (ever since I tried it out in mastery classes), the only project I've used it on so far was the ruffled ribbon inserted in the edge of Princess Petunia's baby quilt, and I seem to recall that there was some struggle and swearing involved in the process.  I'm sure that, as with all sewing techniques, there's a learning curve associated with the ruffler foot, so hopefully some of these tips and tricks will make the ruffling go more smoothly for me this time.  Because there is A LOT of ruffling to be done on this pettiskirt...

Well, I've been busy working on several design projects for clients, and then I was sick, and then there was Father's Day (which included a water gun war that ended with a head laceration requiring a trip to Urgent Care and two staples), and then there was that day that I realized the house was filthy and went on a crazed cleaning spree, so those are my excuses.  Today I've got some paperwork to attack here in my office, laundry, grocery shopping, and a doctor appointment later this afternoon for the little Walking Wounded One, so I don't forsee lots of free time for sewing.  However, the great thing about having a dedicated sewing room is that I don't have to waste any time putting projects away or taking them out again, and even 10 minutes a day adds up to eventually completing a project.

Sometimes I think the hardest part of any project is just getting started, so my plan for today is to bring the pattern instructions with me to read while I wait in the carpool line this afternoon to pick up the boys from Camp Invention.  Then tonight, after the kids are asleep and the lunches are packed for tomorrow, I hope to at least get started cutting the chiffon into all those long strips.  Maybe tomorrow afternoon after my hair appointment I can find some time to get my sewbaby set up with the right needle and thread and do some practice to get comfortable with my ruffler foot before tackling the actual project.  I have a meeting with a client on Thursday morning and then Bernie and I are headed to Charleston and/or Pawley's Island on Friday for a quick weekend getaway without the kids (thank you, Grammy and Grampa, for your babysitting hospitality).  Then I have a client's drapery installation scheduled for midweek once we get back, but other than that my schedule is still pretty open next week so I'm hoping to find some good blocks of time to work on the pettiskirt.  One day at a time!
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