No A/C

It’s been hot, 100F/38C, and our air conditioner broke just before the heat arrived. Today is a cool 90F/33C. I have been doing a bit of sewing, but I haven’t turned on the iron. It generates too much heat. And I can’t sew much because I need my lights, and those generate a lot of heat, too.

I called a local company to come fix the A/C, but they just weren’t getting the job done. I think the problem is that we have a Bryant system, and they are primarily Carrier. So Hubby called the company that installed the unit. They charge us extra because they aren’t local, but they diagnosed the problem immediately. At least, I hope they have. The replacement part should be in tomorrow and installed by Thursday morning which is last minute because we’re leaving Friday morning.

I really hope it works. I have a 15 year old long hair cat, and I’d really like to seal up the house while we are gone. Well, if it’s over 100F outside, a sealed house can get really hot. I don’t want to come home to my baby who died from heat stroke.

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Cheongsam: 3rd Times the Charm

Since I have a minute to post …

I altered Simplicity 5098, yet again, but this time I fit the pattern pieces on Buttina. I decided to use up a different fabric, so I switched to a “natural” colored rayon with big black symbols printed on it. It’s all cut and ready to go. I used another 2 yards of the fabric on my favorite skirt pattern, Kwis Sew 2743, and I still had 1 and 2/3 yards left.

What to do? I promised myself that I wouldn’t put any scraps back in the stash and avoid putting anything back in the stash. That is, if I pull a fabric, I have to use all of it. Well, unless there’s substantial yardage, like the aubergine and orange where I had over 7 yards left; that I can put back.

ks3222But what should I make? It’s 100F/40C in the shade. Do I plan ahead? No. So I need tank tops. Could I find a tank top pattern for wovens in my pattern stash? Well … sorta. I’ve been collecting cheongsam patterns for a while. I don’t know that this is really a cheongsam or if it’s a shell with a mandarin collar or if it matters. Is Kwik Sew 3222 a cheongsam or not?

Going on vacation

I put a counter on my blogger, and it tells me that 75% of my visitors are repeat visitors. I don’t know if I’m putting a cookie on your machines or just grabbing IPs. Anyway, because 75% of you are returning, I feel obligated to update my blog as often as possible and to let you know when that’s not going to happen.

We’re going to Ye Olde Homestead, for the first week of August, so I won’t be posting for that week, and my hunch is that I’ll be too busy to post much during the next week. And the week after that, I’ll be doing laundry.

Also, I work for the federal government (US), and we’re being affected by the computing security standdown. Those of you who pay attention to this know what I’m talking about; those who don’t can figure that I’m going to be very busy at work. Right now, I’m really pissed at those slackers at Los Alamos. They can’t seem to get security right, and it’s really affecting the rest of us. Blah, blah, rant, rant, morons at Los Alamos, rant, rant, blah, blah.

Bust Darts

Things are not going well with the cheongsam/simplicity 5098. I don’t know what my problem is. I must be terrified that the top isn’t going to be big enough over the gigantic ones. The first one, the one in the picture, was too big, so I took out 1/2 inch from the full bust alteration. That seemed right. Well, the second top, in a wild aubergine and orange print (delicious), is too big, too.

Did I fit the pattern pieces on Buttina? NOOOOOO! How dumb was that? When I did the first fitting, I didn’t have Buttina (my duct tape double), so I couldn’t check things on her. But now I do. It’s probably like any new tool; you have to get used to using it.

The good news is while this top is a wadder, I have another 7 yards of this print to play with. I liked it, and it was cheap, so I bought it. I forgot I bought it and got some more. I suppose I could rip out the seams and reuse everything except the front. Hm.


I went swimming yesterday. It’s been really tough. They closed the pool at work. It seems the structural steel under the concrete pool deck has completely corroded away. Concrete has very little strength in tension, so it’s a serious hazard. The pool is 60 years old. The pool structural engineers that evaluated it said that concrete pools, usually, only last 30 years. The Navy must have really over built when they put it in.

Yuki, a work, swim, & sewing buddy, is training for a triathalon. She’s nuts, but she needs to swim. And that gets me to the pool. I love swimming, especially now that I have a swimsuit that fits. I’m short in the crotch with gigantic boobs, so suits that fit on top were falling off my bottom. That doesn’t work for butterfly or flip turns because the suit bags and fills with air or water. If I buy one that fits on the bottom, I can’t get it on the top. It feels so good to get in the water. The only problem is that it takes 2 hours to go swimming now. The pool is across town. And the local park district isn’t going to keep it open after school starts. They are building a new pool, but their latest news release said it wasn’t going to be ready until April 2005, almost a year late. They’ve been having a lot of problems with the contractor.

Cheongsam

simp5098I love cheongsams; you know, those Asian style tops. I finished Simplicity 5098 fitting toile, the woven version. I’m pretty happy with it. I need to fix some of the alterations, but I think I’m going to really, really like this top. If anyone out there is considering the cap sleeve, I strongly recommend that you put the sleeve in in-the-flat. I had to ease mine in, and it poufs, very 70s, yuck.


Pattern Review:

Pattern Description: 
This is a pattern for cheongsam (Asian style tops). I made view E, woven fabric, cap sleeves, faux wrap front, zipper in back.

Pattern Sizing:
I made a size 18 which is for a 40 inch bust. My high bust is 41.5. The size 20 is for a 42 inch bust. I always use the smaller size when I’m between sizes. I think this is typical of Simplicity patterns; i.e. they run large.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
If you can ignore the wild print, I think it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Mostly. Unfortunately, there were a few mistakes. They called the undercollar the facing at one point. That threw me, but with the pictures next to the instructions, it’s pretty easy to figure out. This isn’t a difficult top.

Note: I didn’t finish the top because this was a toile. So I didn’t put in the zipper.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKE: I love the style.

LIKE: I like the idea of the faux wrap. It looks like the genuine article, but it’s much easier to construct.

LIKE: This top has side bust darts, waist darts, and back darts.

LIKE: The collar isn’t too high on me.

DISLIKE: The facings. I didn’t put them in because it’s a toile, but I think I won’t use them on the next version. Instead I’ll use bias binding around the neck seam.

DISLIKE: The cap sleeve is put in in the round. I don’t know if I stretched the sleeve; it’s on the bias, so that’s very possible. Or if the sleeve and armhole don’t match, but I had to ease the cap sleeve in. So my cap sleeve doesn’t hang flat; it poufs a bit. Very unattractive on me. Next time, I’ll be putting the sleeve in in the flat.

UNSURE: I’m not sure how I feel about the zipper. I basted the back shut, then pulled it open to slip over my head and put on DTD. I’m not sure that I’m going to use a zipper or that it needs an 18 inch zipper. I may make a back placket instead. Of course, this version was way too big. I may find that the next version fits, and there’s no way I can get it on unless that 18 inch zipper is unzipped ALL the way.

Fabric Used:
Old quilting cotton. I’ve had this in my stash for 20 years, I think. I’m sure I bought it on clearance, thinking I could cut it up into small almost monochromatic pieces. I do like the colors … individually. All together, it’s too much. I think this is one of the most horrid pieces of fabric that I’ve had the honor to own.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Full Bust Alteration. I added 3 inches per side to accomodate my 46 inch full bust. It was too much. Next version will have a 2.5 inch alteration.

Because the front is cut on the flat, I altered the side that had a shoulder, folding the pattern in half at center front. Once I’d finished the alteration on one side, I folded the pattern down the middle again, taped an extension onto the unaltered side and cut out the alterations on that extension.

I had to add to the back, too. I checked this pattern against a Burda woven top that fits well, and I added 1 inch at the sides for the back. That meant I had to add 1 inch to the back of the sleeve. I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with the cap sleeves or not. It much easier to add the extra inch to them than to the traditional sleeve. The Burda blouse that I like has cap sleeves, so I may copy the style from it. The Burda cap sleeve is longer and only 1 layer thick. A longer, softer sleeve would look better on me.

On top of that inch, I need to add another 1/2 for my high hips. This is one place where the DTD really helped. I’m not sure I would have noticed this fitting it on me.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. I’m completed the needed alterations to the front and back for the second version. I’m also excited to try the knit version and the knit, raglan version. I think this is a really neat pattern.

Conclusion
If you like the cheongsam look, this pattern offers you lots of options, and it’s very easy to sew.

BurdaWOF Magazine – 04-2003-156 (Raglan Top)

eyeletPattern Description: 
A pullover raglan sleeve top with elastic neckline. The skirt in the picture is from another pattern.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Pretty much. I left off the front ruffles.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were. Of course, I’d made the dress version, so I was familiar with the process. The top is much easier, in all respects, than the dress was.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like woven t-shirt patterns with elastic necklines. I think it solves the problem of the too big neckhole on woven t-shirts. That is, the neckhole has to be very large to get over you head, so the shirt doesn’t hang well; it’s like it’s too big. This was a raglan sleeve version. I’m sure DD doesn’t care if she gets 30 t-shirts from the same pattern, but I like a little variety when I sewing up leftover fabric.

Fabric Used:
100% cotton white eyelet from Joann’s. It’s leftover from DD’s frilly dress

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I think I will make it again. I didn’t care for the dress that has this same style top, and for some reason, I had trouble putting the sleeves in the dress. But it was easy in the top. Practice makes a difference.

Conclusion
Nice summer t-shirt out of woven.

Stuffing and Sewing

I restuffed Buttina, this time starting at the top. This worked out much better. I had overstuffed her, and I decided to leave her squishy this time, like me. She’s really inspired me to get serious about losing weight, too.

I finished the skirt from Simplicity 5633. It came out okay, but it wasn’t sufficiently good for me to keep the pattern. Since I’d rated it as “would NOT recommend”, I decided to toss it.

I also finished the raglan top from Burda World of Fashion. I’d post a link to the pattern page, but Burda switched to a new server. The old links don’t work anymore. They used to use a system that used dates, so that a knowledgeable user could dig out information on old magazine patterns. What’s worse is that the lastest WOF webpage doesn’t have the technical drawings.

And I sewed the front darts on Simplicity 5098.