Sunday, December 19, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

DD finally made it home from college, and we all had a great time today trimming the tree and putting up decorations all over the house. I love our mantle. I piled all the extra lights that still worked even halfway in a big jumble and then added the stockings and other miscellaneous decorations and voila! there you go.

DD is going to help me fit the back of that jacket and then I can do as you suggested, Angela, and finish the thing and get on with my life. My daughter and I have big plans for this vacation to revisit some other projects. There are any number of them waiting for us, so we'll see what comes out of this midwinter blitz.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Polyester? Nein, Danke!

Some time back, I bought some chunky variegated teal yarn on sale from In a Yarn Basket in Bloomington. (You can read about it somewhere in the blog archives, if you really want to know the details!) Teal is one of my favorite colors, and I thought I would try designing my own sweater. I started out knitting from the bottom up in one piece. The first time it came out way too big, so I unraveled my work and started again. About a year ago I got the sweater to the point where it became obvious that there was not enough yarn to make sleeves. I decided to sew something long-sleeved to go under it, and my mom and I went to a nearby Jo-Ann Fabrics to see what we could find.

I ended up buying the embroidered polyester suede-like fabric you see in the picture above, not because I liked the fabric (I really hate polyester), but because the colors were perfect to go with the sweater. I also had to settle for polyester lining, because I was shopping at Jo-Ann's and not someplace upscale like G Street Fabrics in Maryland where I used to live. Normally I only line in rayon. My mom thinks I'm a snob about these things; you may, too, but hear me out.

We didn't have time to choose a pattern at Jo-Ann's, so I bought enough fabric (I thought) for a long-sleeved top and skirt, and then went on line and got the pattern, Vogue 8627, from I've never been crazy about raglan sleeves, but I didn't want to put too many seams in that embroidery. The jacket had a little waist definition and a deep V neck, both flattering for my Mrs. Santa figure, I reasoned. I cut the jacket out sometime last spring and then let it sit until a couple of weeks ago.

Note on sewing polyester in winter: Don't! The static is awful! One of my fingers is numb from a static shock I got while ironing the lining. Both fabrics stick to everything and make my hair stand on end. The synthetic suede won't hold a press, either. I just tried on the jacket shell and it definitely needs something. I hate to put in shoulder pads (too '80's), but this thing has no shape at all. What do you think? Is there any way to make this project work?

Speaking of the '80's, the title of this post is a reference to a bumper sticker I used to see all the time in Germany in the early 1980's. The sticker said "Atomkraft? Nein, Danke!" which means, "Nuclear power? No, thank you!" Over the years DH and I have used "Nein, Danke!" to express our disdain for any number of bad concepts.