misfit monday: what a weekend

Sometimes I do exciting things, like appear on national daytime tv. Other times, I do slightly less exciting things like sit around applying for jobs and sewing while watching old tv shows.

True story. No really, the tv thing? It happened. Not an extra. As in front and center speaking role. For 20 minutes. I was trying not to freak out or cry. Although the crying part would have worked with the acting.

I have the most random life, and a lot of the stories I tell probably sound like they can’t have all happened to the same person. That either means I tell great stories about kleptomaniac ex-roommates and psychotic pregnant homeless people, or ….. maybe I kind of got the leftovers on other people’s lives. That sounds weird. Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you have four people, but between them, they only order 3 dishes. Three of these people only eat one particular thing each. Say, one eats fish, another eats chicken, and the other eats beef. But these three people get full and there’s still a little of each dish left over, all of which gets passed on to person 4. So person 4 doesn’t have a whole meal of any kind, just these jumbled bits of leftovers. I kind of feel like that’s my life. Jumbled bits of leftovers. On a psychological level, this kind of explains some stuff about me. I’m watching everyone else with whole lives, and I’m sitting here with scraps and tidbits wondering why I didn’t get a whole life, why everyone else is so much more special than me. On the outside looking in. This is my life.

Okay, well, that was depressing. Let’s move on. (I really wish you would all read this in Xander Harris’ voice. It makes it sound much more fun.)

A theater near me (actually the closest movie theater) has $5 wednesdays, so I went and saw a late night movie. By myself. Because I don’t have friends. This is my life. Well, I saw Pitch Perfect because I thought it looked funny. Anna Kendrick is beautiful and talented. On a deeper note that probably very few people in the theater would have picked up on, it touched on a psychological thing that I understand. The whole shutting people out because it’s easier. Because deep down you just don’t want to let anyone hurt you, and you just sort of expect that they will. There was a fitting tribute to The Breakfast Club in there, and I love that movie.


The last bit of that trailer… add that to the list of things I want to say.

Worked on sewing some other things now that my coat is done. I have this pattern for some 1940’s clothes, and I had enough fabric left over from an old project to work with, and that became the shirt. Now to start in on a pair of high waist grey pants. Three pieces. Pretty straight forward. Except the zipper part. Zippers are my downfall. Also, I had to sharpen a pair of scissors, and it was all going fine until I sharpened them right into my finger. Painful and just deep enough for it to bleed rather well.

Saturday was a big day.

First, I auditioned for a tv pilot being shot here. Don’t know where it’s going or anything like that, but hey whatever, I auditioned. Am I likely to get a part? Well normally I would have said no, but they happened to really like me. They said I had a lot of talent and I should really try to get into the acting thing more. First time I’ve heard that. I should hear about callbacks in a week.

Second, my little brother had a marching band competition at The Ohio State University. In the horseshoe. That was cool. Like really cool. But, I don’t understand the old-school marching band thing, with the drum major who is a baton twirler, the lack of color guard, the whole high-stepping thing…. makes no sense to me. The southwest area of Ohio is all about competition marching bands, versus I guess Cleveland is stuck in the “we’re here to put on a halftime show for the football team” thing. Ew. Add that to the list of reasons I will never go close to that town. Anyway, my alma matter did great. They’ve made massive improvements to the show since I last saw it, added more visuals, the guard (which has 3 vets and the rest are rookies) has made huge strides. They should have placed 2nd behind Lakota West (who incidentally have an awesome show featuring music by Edward Elgar and my all-time favorite Dmitri Shostakovich).

I’m employed! Finally. It’s at a department store as seasonal, but that’s a start, right? Better underemployed than unemployed. I have orientation this thursday, and I’m a little nervous for everything, but I always get that way. Last night I had this weird dream that my grandma came over and was asking me all sorts of questions about my new job that I didn’t have answers to and then when I woke up she was actually here. O_o

Oh, and thursday night I watched the VP debate. It was at Center College in Kentucky. And then I realized that I’d performed on the same stage they had the debate on. Woah. A couple years ago, Asbury, Center, Translyvania and maybe one more I don’t remember, performed the full Brahms Requiem at Transy and Center (that’s like an hour straight of singing). And…. yeah. Won’t go into politics. Oh, but Paul Ryan looks like the guy who plays Will Schuster on Glee. Anyone else notice that?

Here’s part of the Requiem. My favorite part.

Ooooh…. secret talent reveal time: the first time I ever joined a choir was in university. In the best choir there. I’m a mezzo-soprano who sings alto 1. What you don’t know is that I’m actually a French Horn player.

This video shows the sopranos and tenors mostly, with the altos and basses on the same side as the camera. So you can’t actually see me, but yes I’m there. In Gloucester Cathedral (they filmed chunks of Harry Potter there). In England.

I told you I had a random life.

Simplicity 2057 Jacket Review

Finito!!! I’m pretty excited to have sewn this jacket. It was a fairly massive undertaking, especially because I’m not all that wonderful of a seamstress. And it took me a long time because I’ve had to rip out and redo about half the seams on it. Okay maybe just a third, but that’s still a buttload of seams. The pictures don’t show the color as well as I’d like, but it truly is Tardis blue. But here it is.

1. The outside of the jacket runs a little big, but the lining runs fairly true to size. So I’d suggest cutting a size smaller in the jacket, but your actual size in the lining. You may have to fudge some seam allowances for this, but having your lining be a bit bigger than your coat is a good problem, and the opposite of what I had.

2. Wool is the easiest fabric to sew with. No really, not even cotton-poly blends are this easy. Lining? Not so much. In any case, I highly recommend finding a good wool to make the jacket in. I used 100% wool and can’t wait to work with wool again.

3. The directions for this pattern are clear up until the lining comes into play. Then it takes someone who can translate sewing-speak to even figure out what that means.

4. The fabric for sleeves both in the wool (or whatever you choose for the outside of the coat) and the lining are calculated separately. Weird. My mom and I redid the layout of the pattern in order to accommodate this. We got 2 yards of 60″ (57″) wool, and….

This isn’t including sleeve tabs or the back yolk because I didn’t wand to do those, and it uses the stand collar because that’s the kind I wanted, as well as using the welt pockets rather than the flap pockets also because that’s what I wanted. This layout worked out great. The open spaces around some pieces are where you’ll cut a second of something, like the stand collar, the epaulet, the pocket welt, or the welt tab.

5. There will be a lot of hand-sewing with attaching the lining to the jacket itself. I mostly ignored what the directions said here, because it was confusing and my mom said I could just hand-stitch it and not have to worry about that. Time consuming, annoying, but at least it was simple and would turn out right.

6. On the smaller pieces of the pattern, like the epaulets and the welt tabs, I’d suggest doing a 3/8″ topstitch rather than 1/2″, because of size ratio stuff. You can see here a little of that.

7. The collar can be a bit tricky. Sew carefully. Everything has to line up.

8. The coat uses a lot of thread. By a lot I mean buy 2 spools.

9. For as complicated as this will seem at first, with nearly 30 pieces involved, it’s not too bad. There are a lot of places you can mess up, but as long as you sew carefully, it goes together a lot easier than expected. It will, however, take some time because of how many pieces and all the finishing involved.

10. The jacket is beautiful–a really great design. If you make it out of a nice wool, and make it well, the store-bought equivalent would cost around $200-250 (although as low s $150 or as high as about $300).

11. Even if you don’t normally use shoulder pads in things because you have great, strong shoulders naturally (thank you swimming) this pattern really does require them. The jacket won’t lay right without them. The sleeve pads you can do without.

12. If you’re using the epaulets, and want to sew them down with a button, sew that on before you do the shoulder pads. The directions won’t say anything about finishing the epaulets, and I didn’t realize this until I’d already put the lining in.

13. I chose to do a little customization to this. No deviation from the pattern, because it was complicated enough to begin with. But, I did a little TARDIS applique on a sleeve. Since this is, you know, my TARDIS jacket.

14. Having a sewing buddy always makes things better. Although, cat fur sticks to wool like hair to lipgloss.

misfit monday: when a find meets a design

I was in JoAnn’s the other day buying additional fabric for the back of my quilt, I browsed the fabric section and found this amazing blue wool and this gorgeous gold-orange lining. UH, PERFECT. For what? This!!

I have a pattern that is fairly close to this, and in order to not chance things with a rather expensive wool (though it was 50% off thanks to an awesome coupon) I’m going to stick to the pattern. The fabric is 100% wool, and as close to Tardis blue as I’ve ever been able to find. I mean, I knew it was perfect the moment I saw it, and I’ve been eying this other potential fabric from Mood that I thought was close. Here’s the wool and lining. (the photo makes them just a hint lighter than reality) Perfect perfect perfect!!

I do plan, however, to paint some hexagonal patterns inside on the lining. It’s like a little secret. You have no idea how much I love those little secrets in fashion, those little details that take time to notice but then you’re like that’s just genius.

Now, the pattern is weird and calculates yardage in the oddest way imaginable, so what my mom and I did was to get 2 yards of 60″ wool (it was actually 57″ because I think it was preshrunk… you have to shrink wool before working with it, and you can just hover an iron about n inch above it and steam it. When I did this, the fabric stayed the same, so I think it was already shrunken.) and then we had to redo the layout of pattern pieces. I’m the one with great spacial relations, but my mom’s the one who knows the sewing thing, so I needed her help to make sure that I wasn’t placing the pieces the wrong way. If you notice, every pattern piece has an arrow on it, and every arrow has to go the same way–vertical. Some of the open spaces you see are because I have to cut 2 of one of the smaller pieces so I’ve left space for that.

That is all to say, if you want to make it, now you know. I’ll do a full debrief on the pattern and sewing after I’ve completed it.

I found one of those circle cutter things, and suddenly I know why designers and people who do a lot of sewing use those. So much faster, and straight, clean lines. Awesome.

I’m really excited to make this!

Thing 2: The front of my quilt is done!! I’ve worked on and off on this for a while now, from cutting up tshirts back in… late june–not sure–to finally getting around to sewing the thing a few weeks back. Now I have to add the edging and sew it onto the back and then put the batting in it and then my grandma offered to take me to this shop she knows around here that machine quilts things.

It’s not perfectly rectangular. One side is a little longer than the other. Oops. But for my first quilt, and making everything up as I went with no real idea of what I was doing, I’d say that this is pretty good. Plus it looks cool.

Thing 3: I’m not 100% happy with the sketchbook I made, but I bet if I made another one it’d be perfect. You live and you learn. I’m about 95% happy with it. That’s pretty good.

Thing 4: Here’s a drawing I did in about 20ish minutes yesterday of my little brother while in church. He was rather thrilled that I was drawing him, and every once in a while would move so he could look at it, then return to his original position so I could keep going. It looks exactly like him.

That is all.