Friday, February 26, 2010

The wool jacket thingy

So I wore the wool jacket thingy to work earlier this week. Since I was tired of being so cold all the time, I decided to wear it as a suit jacket, like as in something I didn't take off all day, as in part of the outfit. And several times throughout the day people came up to me to ask, "Are you cold?" After about the third time I was asked I wanted to reply, "Well not with this jacket on." *sigh* People are so nice to worry about my well-being. But I felt the teensiest bit dumb for looking like I was wearing my outside coat indoors. Meh. Whatever.

Have a great weekend my friends!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Comcastic!

Let's say for a moment that Comcast is your internet and cable TV provider. And let's say that you called them a few months ago to take advantage of a promotion they were running which would upgrade your cable TV from limited basic ($17.99/month) to digital starter for just a little bit more money (29.99/month for 1 year). And let's say that you decided this was a good move because you enjoy watching the Cartoon Network, HG TV, and TLC's What Not to Wear. And let's say that the digital starter cable comes with a craptastic tuner box. And pretend that the box they gave you, in addition to being really big (bigger than two VCRs from 1985 combined), had a power cable that had been shaved down with a pocket knife to fit, and sparked when plugged in. And let's also say that the TV signal through the box was ridiculously craptastic and the tuner on your own TV was much clearer. And let's also say that because you didn't pay extra for an HD box, you don't get HD channels through the lame-o box, but your TV tunes in to HD channels without any problem.

So let's say then that you decide to return the box because it doesn't work and it sparks. You call Comcast and explain why you don't want the box. They are apathetic, and offer to "upgrade" you to an HD box for an additional charge. You say no thank you. They suggest you keep the box, but don't use it. You explain that your square footage is limited and you don't want to store their equipment for them. So you drive yourself to their service center to return said craptastic box.

Then let's say that two months later you get a bill. And the bill is three times what it should be. And you call Comcast to find out why they are charging you so much for TV. And it turns out that since you turned in the box your cable service was changed from digital starter to standard, which is $50/month. And, let's just say, to make things more interesting, that they also charged you retroactively for standard cable which equals yet another $50. What is the difference between the two services? They come with the same channels, to be sure, but one has on-demand (with their craptastic box), and one does not. There is currently no promotion running on the standard cable, which apparently you have now because you returned their box. And let's just say, for the sake of argument, that nobody at the service center or at 1-800-comcast bothered to tell you that if you returned the box your service would automatically be switched.

So, after much discussion with the nice lady who works for Comcast, you suggest that perhaps it would be advantageous for you to switch back to limited basic cable. Then let's say she says, "Well there IS a promotion for standard cable." And you think, "Really? Didn't you just say a moment ago that there WAS no promotion?" But let's say instead of blurting out what's on your mind you just say, "Okay."

Then, pretend you are then told that you will still have to pay the $150 bill for this month, but that, through the grace of the Comcast promotion gods, your bill next month will be significantly less. Then say you argue the point that nobody you talked to from Comcast two months ago mentioned that your service would be switched and therefore way out of the price range you are willing to pay, and the nice lady offers to make a note in the file and contact the supervisor of the person you talked to before to let them know that they needed to let ME know that my service would change. Let's say you argue the point further and say that you are not prepared to pay the bill since it was THEIR mistake.

Let's say she puts you on hold. For a long time. And minutes on your cell phone are racking up. (BUT if you had Comcast digital voice, you could get a great promotion for the first six months.) And let's say she comes back on the line and tells you that she will post credits to your account in the amounts you were over charged ($70 or so), but that just in case the credits didn't post in time, you ought to pay the entire $150. And let's say she suggests how great this would be because then your bill next month would be "significantly less." And you think, "Uhhh... well if I'm paying three months in advance AND you are crediting my account, I better not see a bill for four months." But instead you say, "What if I just pay what my bill should have been?" And pretend she says, "Well you'd better pay the what is due or you could be charged late fees, or your service could be cancelled."

Let's just say that when you get off the phone with her you don't pay $150, but instead pay the $50 some odd that your bill should have been. And let's just say that now you are hoping your service doesn't get cancelled. And let's also pretend that you are really irritated with Comcast, so much so that you write about it on your blog.

Yeah, let's pretend all that. What would you do?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More ruffles.

Last week I cut out Simplicity 2497 in my plastic feeling navy blue taffeta. I started sewing it last night, and the good news about sewing plastic is that it is really easy to manipulate and shape. I'm just not sure how wearable it will be. Oh well. At least the fabric was super discounted. And if it's not wearable, I'll call it a muslin and start over with a different fabric. I'll let you know how it goes.

The last item on the docket for February is the Oscar de la Renta suit (Vogue 2950) which I plan to cut out some time this week. I doubt I'll get into the jacket this month, but I would like to complete the skirt for sure-izzle.

I hope my arm doesn't cramp while I reach back to pat myself on the back, but I wanted to say that February has been a break-through month for me. I've set sewing goals and ACTUALLY accomplished them. I set out to sew a few items, and I've done that and I have even finished other projects (like the wool coat, and a night gown that is not very exciting so I'm not going to bother posting it here) that I hadn't planned on finishing. So on that hand, I'm really pleased.

On the other hand, I also set some exercise and weight loss goals, and I have not met them. I have exercised more in the last month than I had in all the time since November, but I didn't meet my ambitious goal of six times a week, or even my back-up goal of five times a week. And I lost one pound (it took me two weeks) only to gain it back in one week. *sigh* Losing weight was so much easier the first time around, back in 2003, when I was a wee lass.

Have a great Tuesday.

Monday, February 22, 2010


(A note of interest: when I originally typed the title, I typed "Hickey." Freudian slip?)

Last weekend, President's Day Weekend, TC and I were in Boise visiting very good friends of ours. It was a lovely weekend. One of the highlights was a hockey game, my first ever: Utah Grizzlies vs. Idaho Steelheads. I wasn't sure who to root for. Do I root for the home team because rooting for the home team is so much fun and I don't want to go against the grain around a bunch of hockey fans? Or do I stay true to my "home" state and root for Utah? I decided not to go against the grain.

Here's my conclusion: hockey is fun! It's fast paced and interesting, and hard. The players play hard, and push each other. It all makes for great fun.

So that's all I have to say this Monday morning. Hope your week starts off great!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Under pressure

Sinus pressure, that is. TC assured me that sinus pressure cannot break my cheek bones or dislocate my teeth, so I'm feeling a bit relieved (emotionally).

I finished the red pleated neck Vogue 8593 dress. It's fuzzy. And fitted. I'll take pictures when I lose a few pounds or something.

My impatience definitely interferes with my ability to really do a stand-up job on sewing projects. If I were more patient, I would sew up a muslin first, perfect the fitting, then sew up the item in the real fabric. But muslins just seem time consuming. And fabric consuming. So for now I cut things out of the real fabric, cross my fingers and hope for the best. Of course, I'm careful to choose the correct size and all. But sometimes that can be a bit difficult. Like in the case of the red pleated neck dress, I wanted it to be fitted, because that is the style, but I didn't want it to be TOO fitted. So the question was this: do I cut it out of my regular size (which is a 12 in patterns, vanity sizing has not taken over the pattern world) and hope that the dress will be fitted, but not obscene, OR do I cut it out a size bigger and scale it down where needed? Looking at the finished garment measurements on the pattern pieces, I determined that my body is not proportioned with the proportions of the pattern (My waist puts me at a size 16 while my hips and bust put me at a size 14, but if I actually make anything in a size 14 I swim in it. From what I've read this "disproportion" is common among women.) so I made my best guess, which was to cut it in a size 12, a size that normally works for me, cross my fingers and hope for the best.

The dress isn't obscene, just fitted. But I do feel like I need some Spanx or something underneath in order to successfully wear it. Like if I have a big meal, or drink too much water or slouch I'll have a pudge. I typically like a little more wiggle room in dresses, you know?

But now that I'm back to my normal routine, and not taking any more sick days, I'll get off my saltines and Sprite diet and start eating a bit better.

One other thing for this morning, I'm wearing the houndstooth skirt again. I tacked down the lining and am wearing a slip, and that seems to be doing the trick to keep the lining from clinging to my legs. No wire hangers needed. YAY!

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have you ever?

Irrigated your sinuses? It's fabulously disgusting. But effective. Google it. I won't describe it here.

The Huz and I are sick. We have head colds complete with congestion, runny noses, sore throats, the works. Bleh.

On the plus side, I like having sick days with TC. It's great to lounge around and not feel guilty about it. Lounging is how you get better!

Hope you all are doing well and stay non-sick.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

McCalls 5759

Let me tell you a little story. Way back in the year 2008, in September, I began a project that would define my life. I began to make a wool coat.

McCalls 5759:

Specifically view A:

I had purchased the fabric online from a coat weight wool in black with white flecks. It was expensive (to me) at $9.95 a yard. I cut the fabric, saving every scrap of the glorious wool. I lovingly sewed the coat together and it came together beautifully, although each fitting was itchy.

I had high hopes my friends. I imagined myself traipsing around Europe in my stylish wool coat. I only had a few weeks to finish the coat, but I was sure I could.

I started on the lining, was frustrated right off at how slippery the stupid fabric was, and how odd it was to try to sew slippery, no body lining to a full body, non slippery wool, sewed the wrong pieces together necessitating some seam ripping, got frustrated, said a few swears, and put the coat and the mal-sewed lining in a box vowing never to rip those seams out and cursing the lining. And I vowed that I would take a coat I already had to Europe, so take that stupid lining and wool coat that made me so angry I could spit. Ha! No Europe for you.

Fast forward to a few months later: my dear friend Sarah ripped those seams out for me. But I was still too angry to pick the project back up again. So back into a box.

Until a few weeks ago. I found confidence in my ability to sew from the projects that I recently completed, and decided that I would finish the coat once and for all. And you know what? Not that much work was left to be done. This all just brought me to the conclusive conclusion that I am, indeed, lame. And have a short fuse.

So here is the completed coat, in all of its glorious glory.

Look how happy I am that it's done!

Flash makes me happier.

So I really haven't mastered the art of self-portraits.

But I'm trying.

Here's a close-up of the buttons and fabric. The wool is so cozy, especially when lined to protect me from the itchiness.

Here's my messy hair.

And my attempt at backwards self-portraits.

Try again Gordita.

Ahh. There you go.

Cute buttons that TC picked out. Also, non seamstress TC taught me how to sew on a button all fancy like on REAL wool coats. (You know with the big knot underneath the button?)

Line them buttons up!

$^&@#*%@# lining!

The end.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day off

Today I'm taking the day off, of work that is. I have fantastic plans to spend the morning cleaning and the afternoon I will spend with TC in the car. The evening I will spend with TC and our good friends.

Thank you for all your input on the pepto pink sleeves. I'm not sure when I'll be in the mood to rip those out and try again, so it may be awhile (or is it a while?) before I follow up on that. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike ripping out seams? I think I might have. Maybe once or twice.

Happy valentine's day. I'm sending my love through the internets to each one of you.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pepto Pink

Here's the pink shirt in all its glory.

Let's start with the positive:

1. I love LOVE the ruffle collar.
2. The wrapness is slimming.
3. It fits.

The negatives:
1. I hate the sleeves. I mean despise them. I thought I could learn to love them, but I can't. I keep trying to convince myself that they go with the ruffle, but with the color and the ruffles on the neckline, the sleeves just feel like too much.
2. The color is a perfect pepto pink. But that I can live with.

So I just may rip the sleeves out and see if I can make them less clownish. We all know how much I hate ripping seams out, so if that's any indication of how much I hate the sleeves... What do you think? Any suggestions for the sleeves? Cap? 3/4 length? I don't have more fabric, so I have to shorten and narrow them if anything. I'm open to ideas.

I made this from McCalls 5323, view B.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's not easy being green.

I finally decided to post photos of projects I completed last year (October-ish?).

The first is a skirt, Simplicity 2656.

I made view A out of a heavy weight stretch twill in army green. I wasn't expecting the fabric to be SO army green when I ordered it online, but *shrug* oh well.

Here's what I look like when I'm being pensive.

The second is a dress, Vogue 1025, Anne Klein pattern. I made it in a green linen blend with a black lining. Here's the line drawing:

And here's me in the dress:

At any rate, I wear this dress with a sweater over it to solve any peek issues that may occur around the sleeve area.

Here's what it looks like on me when I'm leaning sideways. It looks a lot like it did when I was standing upright! Ha. Also, note my non-fisted hands. So not a fist!

What's out the window?

And here's a closeup of the pleats that I sewed into darts because I can't read instructions and hate ripping out stitches. I like them as darts. Also, the blue marks are from my cute little sewing marking pencil dealy. It washes right out.

The V neck on this one was ridiculously difficult. I got so frustrated that I almost settled for a kind of flat bottomed U neck. But TC assured me that I could do it, that I could find a way, so I ripped out some stitches, sewed it up again, then ripped out more seams, clipped here, trimmed there and voila! V neck. I'm just grateful I got through that one.

In other, more recent sewing news, I finished the pink ruffle top. It just needs a good wash (to take off all the blue pencil marks) and then I can wear it. Next up are the pleated neck dress in a fuzzy red knit,

an Oscar de la Renta suit (Vogue 2950),

(The skirt will be in a black twill and the jacket will be in a fuchsia medium weight twill with a bit of a sheen.)

and more ruffles (Simplicity 2497) in a navy blue taffeta that turned out to be kind of more plastic feeling than I wanted, so... we'll see how that turns out. Anywho, I'll be making the main view, but with the small sleeves in view A, and a little longer than knee length.

A Rotten Tomato and Strange Dreams

As I was preparing my lunch this morning, I noticed a rotten tomato in my little bunch of tomatoes. So I decided to pull it out by pulling on the stem, from a shelf that's just about eye level. The tomato came crashing five feet from that shelf to the floor, hitting the counter on the way down, splattering rotten tomato everywhere. It got on the stove, on the counter, on the cabinet doors, on my skirt and sweater, and all over the floor. *sigh* I wiped it off my skirt and sweater, cleaned the kitchen mess up, finished getting ready and made my way to work.

Then I got to work, took off my coat, looked down and saw this:

Can you see the splatters on the left side?

Here's a close up:

*double sigh*

Good news is that after some scrubbing I was able to get all the tomato junk off. Bad news is that I now have paper towel smears and a wet skirt.

Also, I had really strange dreams last night. Like about a talking cougar. This kind of cougar:

Not this kind:

He told me how he got tired of eating small animals, like house cats. But that he felt bad about eating humans, especially me. And I was grateful that he was so merciful.

Today should be interesting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Muffin Side

I made blueberry muffins as a Super Bowl snack on Sunday. WW recipe (YAY!), but I ate like four (boo!). Anyway, when I pulled them out of the oven, I noticed one that had a little problem: it had muffin side.

The uncooked batter had tried to escape from the side.

It made me giggle.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Shirt dress as promised

Here it is, my friends. Not the best photo of me, but it shows the dress pretty well. The front has little pleats:

which are supposed to be repeated on the back side, but the pleats just made the fabric stick out awkwardly, making me look like I had blocks for a back side, so I made the pleats into a long dart, which I don't have a picture of because I'm not that kind of girl. :)

I tried to take photos of the fabric, but I have no idea what I'm doing. This is the best photo I got.

Hopefully it conveys how silky smooth, yet warm and fuzzy the fabric really is.

Update: Sept 2010, new photos of shirtdress.

In other news, I finished the houndstooth skirt.

It's just a simple a-line.

Here's the fabric close-up. It's a loosely woven wool so it's also warm and fuzzy.

I lined it, however the lining is ridiculously clingy due to static. It was tricky to wear it on Friday. So, I will tack the lining to the hem of the skirt and see if that does the trick. If it doesn't, I'll have to get creative I suppose.

I'm still working on the pink top (McCall's 5323 view B), but hope to have that pounded out in the next couple of days. I will likely cut out the pleated neck dress (Vogue 8593) tonight.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Here's the High Five...

we've been waiting for.

States of the Union

The other evening when it was late and TC and I were both procrastinating falling asleep we got silly. We came up with stupid state jokes. Like these:

Which state has the most carbonated drinks per capita?
Minne SODA. *groan*

Which state has the most toilets per capita?
Loo isiana

Which state has the most people with small bladders?
Wizz consin. (so several of our jokes have to do with going to the bathroom)

Which state has the most married women?
Mrs. Sippi

Which state has the highest debt to income ratio?
I owe a

Which state has the most inquisitive people?
Al ASK a.

Other inquisitive states:
WHY oming and Ha WHY ii

Lame jokes, right? But if you're in the right kind of mood (punchy) these can make a person crack up. At least it makes me crack up.