Monday, May 21, 2012

In Progress

I think I mentioned wanting to do more in-progress posts a while ago, but I've clearly failed! To remedy that, here's what I'm working on:


That's my Lonsdale (version 2.0) with the zipper basted in. I kept looking at this dress sideways once the bodice was sewn up, because it looked impossibly small. (I had elected, after my very first bodice muslin, to go with the size 8 rather than the 10, despite the fact that the waist measurement listed is smaller than my own by an inch. I suppose we could chalk that up to a preference for less ease?) Anyway, thankfully the thing zips up fine, although I will admit that it probably is a smidge snug. When I finally sew it in for good I think I'm going to use 3/8" seam allowances instead of 5/8", just for some breathing room.

 I have to admit, this dress is making me feel like a total sewing goddess yet a total fitting failure. This fabric is a dream to sew and I'm really proud of my work. That said, the bodice is seriously out of whack. This is most embarrassing considering that I made both a muslin and a previous, failed version of this dress. However, I think the things that failed about the first version (mainly, too-short fixed straps) distracted me from seeing other minor flaws.

Firstly, the FBA. The proportions are spot-on, but my dart placement and execution could be improved. Thankfully, this busy print seems to hide that so it doesn't really bother me, even if the stupid dart points will not stop puckering. Secondly, the bodice length. I thought I had it right the first time - in fact, I even lengthened it slightly on this version. (The first incarnation was shortened by 1.5". This one was shortened by 1.25".) However, it definitely needs another full inch removed from the back and sides. Unhappily for me, it definitely doesn't need that inch removed from the front - so I suppose my FBA actually wasn't that great after all, because it didn't add enough length to compensate for my bust.

OMG, how to deal with this? I have no idea. Can I just taper down on an angle from an inch up at the side seam to nothing at the centre front? Will that result in a triangle-shape at the bottom or will it all even out once worn? I have so much trouble with spacial thinking! Anyway, I'm a bit dispirited that I have to basically rip this thing to shreds and then put it back together again, but whatever. I just need to remind myself that I actually like sewing. (And seam ripping for that matter. Honestly it's just the moving target of a finish line that bothers me.)

In other handmade news: all of a sudden I'm desperate to knit. Unlike most people, I get most enthusiastic about knitting when the weather turns nice. (As K.Line observed, it's probably because we can do it outside. Also, I can tote it around without also having to tote around coats and umbrellas and other winter accessories.) The yarn for two new sweaters is calling from my cupboard, but I don't have the headspace for them at the moment. Instead, I decided to cast on a Noro striped scarf:


I've also decided to join a Ravelympics team this year (Team Canada! Woot!) and I'm pretty excited about it. Excited enough that I wish the Olympics were longer so I could plan on entering more projects! I'm not sure what my strategy will be yet... one big thing or lots of little things. Sadly, I think I would probably get more satisfaction from the latter. I really am a project (as opposed to process) knitter.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

While I Was Away....

... one of my assistants had a birthday! Now, you might think that this little milestone needn't be revisited for the blog, but you would be wrong. Firstly, what sort of self-respecting crazy cat lady would I be if I didn't? Secondly, we did a post for the other assistant's birthday, so it's only fair.

Now that we've got that cleared up, let's commence with the cute kitten photos, shall we?


Here we are on the night he came to live with us:


It's a cute story.

2007-2008 were tough years. During that time I experienced a lot of loss, including both a very close friend and my Mom. By the time 2009 rolled around, I was feeling a little worse for wear. Mr. Modiste wanted to do something to make me happy. Back then he was working for a small regional airline, and they sometimes shipped kittens for the SPCA. One day, he came to work and his plane was full of kittens. Most were all bundled together in group crates, but there was this one little scruffy, wire-haired, broken-tailed white-and-ginger guy in a crate all by himself. He was a frisky little thing, taking swipes at people who walked by. Something about his attitude won my Mister over.


(Little did he know that this ragamuffin would grow up to be the quietest, sweetest, softest cat we've ever met. But I digress...)

So, he brought the little guy home and surprised me. Let me tell you - best present I have EVER received.


Okay, I know I probably seem a little too attached to my cats. The thing is, they came into my life at a dark time and made it brighter. It might sound silly, but this little cat was sure to make me smile every day, even on bad days. He kept me company when my Mister had to be away for work. He was someone for me to take care of. I'm not even sure my Mister realizes exactly how big of a success his gift was.


Hobbes is the kind of cat that likes to sleep on your lap, but only between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Otherwise, you'll usually find him sprawled fast asleep, belly-up. He loves to sniff anything, no matter how gross, especially your breath. He will try to cram himself into any empty box, Maru-style, and prefers to drink only from the bathroom faucet. His sole mission in life is to eat human food. When you touch him, his motor instantly turns on and he still purrs at that loud kitten volume. When he's frisky, he likes to chase wine corks and rebounds off the walls at alarming heights.


When he made it clear that he was lonely, we adopted Johnny Cash. Then Hobbes became the kind of cat that's always trying to take care of everyone. Well, always trying to bathe everyone, anyway.


(He still does this to Johnny Cash every day. Actually, he does this to us, too.)

He's also very handsome.



Happy 3rd Birthday, Hobbes!