Saturday, December 31, 2011

Finally some sewing... and why I haven't been sewing lately

It's been a while since I've been able to post some actual garment sewing projects -- mostly because it's been a while since I've actually sewn any garments! The second half of this year was quite busy for me: I decided to take the training to become a Home Inspector, so I can join my husband's company, Inspections by Bob, as a fellow inspector! This meant that I had to devote a lot of time to classwork and studying, so the sewing room was lightly visited. But in early December, I took the National Home Inspector Exam and passed with flying colors! Now I am just waiting for Maryland to shuffle the paperwork from one corner of a desk to another and send me my license. I will then be able to start doing Home Inspections!
First, however, I had to get ready to attend the annual conference of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). The shirts I had made for the Las Vegas conference two years ago really didn't look as nice as I would have liked (plus my measurements aren't quite the same, unfortunately), so I wanted to make some new shirts, along with a pair of pants and a skirt.
Everything was drafted with PatternMaster Boutique, version 5.
Here's one outfit:

I'm really, really happy with how the shirt turned out. I hadn't had much luck with long-sleeve button-down shirts until now. Even the sleeve plackets came out beautifully! I'm also very happy with the buttonholes; my Bernina 930 does beautiful buttonholes.
The pants feel nice, but I'm kind of wishing I had dropped the waist just a little bit. Next time. But the length is good; the pockets are deep enough to hold my cell phone without risk of it falling out (a pet peeve of mine in RTW pants).
Here's the second outfit:

The shirt pattern is the same as the one above, except the fabric is a little lighter and I shortened the sleeves. The skirt is a simple gored design, with inseam pockets (gotta have pockets!!).
What I really love about wearing these shirts is the logo:

I just took the company's logo and modified it a little! After all, lots of the people we work with call me "Mrs. Bob," so why mess with what works? I had digitized Bob's original logo years ago, and just used Embird Studio to add the little caret and new letters!

I'm hoping to get back to the sewing room in 2012; much of my wardrobe needs updating and I really want to whittle down some of my stash. But right now, I need to start packing for my trip to Phoenix on Monday. Have a safe New Year's Eve, and I look forward to sharing more of my creations in the coming months!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Make Your Own Longcat (or Tacgnol)!

My daughter sent me a picture of a scarf she saw on the web as a suggestion for a Christmas gift for her. Naturally, rather than just buy them, I decided to make my own version. It was really quite simple!

The scarf is based on an internet "meme" called Longcat. There are many versions floating around the web, and looking at a few gave me enough information to put together my own pattern.
It's really pretty simple: you just need about half a yard or so of fleece and just a little bit of polyfill stuffing. If you have an embroidery machine, you can add the face and paws to the scarf, but those can also be added by hand. I digitized a face and paws to use on mine.

Here you can see the little pink paws:

(I pinned the paws up for this picture; they're quite floppy in real life!)

I gave her two versions: Longcat (in white) and Tacgnol (the dark version -- "longcat" spelled backwards). She absolutely loved them.

Instructions to make your own Longcat Scarf are now available by clicking on this link:

The new post has a link to the ZIP file containing the pattern, embroidery files for face and paws, and assembly instructions.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My favorite Christmas present

My daughter gave me the most perfect Christmas present ever this year.

For those of you too young to remember, this is Carol Burnett in her fabulous costume from her show's famous skit, "Went with the Wind."

For those who haven't seen it...

Those of you who have followed my sewing over the years know that I have a penchant for making gowns out of drapery fabrics... or even out of draperies. So this is just a perfect addition to my sewing room!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saying goodbye to our kitty

Yesterday was a sad day here. We lost our wonderful 13-year-old kitty, Stripe. He hadn't been showing signs of illness (other than being on thyroid medication), but we found him pale and weak by our bedroom door around lunchtime. Bob hurried him to the vet but it appeared that he had lost a large amount of blood due to a tumor that ruptured his stomach. He wouldn't have survived the trip to the animal hospital in the next city that could perform a transfusion, so we chose to let him go painlessly and with dignity.

My daughter took this picture of Stripe a few months ago. He was such a beautiful guy. He loved (and tolerated) children; my neighbor's little boy loved coming over and petting him.

Stripe came to us as a stray back in 1998. We had recently adopted two other strays, Gaia and her kitten Gingevere. When this sleek tabby started nosing around the property, we were sure the two cats would chase him off. Instead, they welcomed him into the family. We were worried they would welcome more of their stray friends, but any subsequent cat was quickly chased away.

We lost Gaia in 2006; now Gingevere is the lone kitty in the house.We've been giving him lots more scritches and hugs. We'll all need time to adjust to life without Stripe. He is sorely missed.