Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shopping With A Purpose

My wardrobe has not evolved since I was eight years old.   In fact, my wardrobe is less functional and varied now than it was way back then.  When I was a child, my clothes fell into three categories:  school clothes, Sunday dresses, and play clothes.  In the early 60s, girls did not wear pants to school and my pants were considered play clothes.  But I had school dresses and Sunday dresses. Today, the lines separating the categories have blurred.   My work clothes and church clothes are essentially the same.  Since I wear pants to work everyday,  I own very few dresses.   I've gone backward.  It's sad. 

This realization came to me while I was standing in front of my closet on a recent Sunday morning, looking for something to wear to church.  I simply do not have enough dresses.  Really, what beats a dress for quick and easy church dressing?   A dress and necklace and I'm styled and ready to go!  To address this challenge, I've decided to dedicate PR Weekend to  dresses!    SWAP now stands for Shopping With A Purpose!  I can shop without stress because I'm freeing myself from my compulsion to buy coordinating fabrics for tops and bottoms.  Any and all fabrics are open to me, yet I won't be overwhelmed because I'll have a specific goal.   I've already identified several dress patterns, some for knits and some for wovens, so it will be very easy to assign patterns to fabric once I actually buy the fabric.  All I have to do is find fabric I like.  That won't be a problem.  If I happen to see coordinates, I'll snatch them up, but dresses are my focus.

Now that I have this new definition of SWAP, I can't wait for PR Weekend!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Finished: BSM 03/2011 #139 & #140

I've always been of fan of wearing knits, but I've never been a fan of sewing them.  I don't like the way some knits refuse to be still and lay flat for pinning and cutting.   Currently, I'm working on clothes to wear for PR Weekend.  Since we are not staying in a conventional hotel, access to irons and ironing boards will be limited – a perfect reason for packing knits.  So, this outfit served two purposes:  having travel-friendly clothes for PR Weekend and getting over my knit-phobia.

Top:  Burda Style Magazine 03/2011 #139
Over the past several months, I've noticed the plus size collections in Burda Style Magazine have moved away from "a collection of coordinating pieces" toward "variations on a theme".  (I can't speak for regular size patterns.)  As Big 4 patterns have done for decades, BSM now shows design details that can be mixed and matched on a basic design to make up a number of garments.  I took advantage of this feature to make my top.  I used the neckband and sleeve pockets on  #139 and the body of #137.
By the way, I'm not entirely happy that BSM is getting more like the Big 4.

Pants:  Burda Style Magazine 03/2011 #140
I used to complain loudly and often about the lack of diagrams in BSM instructions.  Sometimes careful study of the technical drawings helped, but in this case, the drawings for #140 were misleading.  The  cargo pocket has a pleat in the front and on the bottom.  The back of the pocket has no pleat and is edgestitched directly to the pants.  This is not what is shown in the technical drawing. I knew this by looking at the pattern piece, which doesn't have an allowance for a pleat on the back.  I got a bit confused trying to reconcile the technical drawing with the sewing instructions.

I have another knit top in the queue.  If the knit is too wiggly and disobedient, I'll use Nancy K's suggestion and try cutting it in a single layer.  I'm tired of not sewing knits and I'm determined to learn to love them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good News to Share

We are lucky to have an excellent music teacher at Morton Elementary School in Philadelphia. Thanks to Mr. McVeigh, (and the Hamels Foundation) the Honors Chorus sang the National Anthem at the Phillies home opener earlier this month. 

It was a wonderful opportunity for the students, many of whom had never attended a live sporting event, much less performed at one!  The faculty and staff were very proud of and excited for our students.

Yes, reading and math test scores are important, but let's remember the music and art teachers who give students the opportunity to add something extra and beautiful to their lives.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


It's considerably less than a SWAP, but Thank God It's Finished!

To quote the renowned philosopher, Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that."