Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vintage Pattern Storage

I haven't been in the sewing mood.  I think it is because I am back to work, and until just a few hours ago, my sewing room was a mess.  It was one of my projects for the summer.  Clean up and muck out the sewing room.  I started the project two days before the students joined me in the classroom.  Better late than never, I suppose.

While cleaning, I finally got around to doing something with all my lovely vintage pattern collection. I've read somewhere that comic book stores have great acid free plastic baggies with with acid free cardboard.  My comicbookaholic son confirms this fact.  The cardboard can be used to keep the tissue pattern away from the instructions and the pattern envelope.  Apparently the tissue and the paper from the instructions and envelope cause each other to disintegrate faster than they would otherwise.

I wonder what the clerk at Night Flight Comics thought when I purchased several comic book bags with cardboard backing.  He probably just thought I was buying for my son who was with me.  I don't look like the comic book type...or do I?  No matter.  The bags were 25 cents each.

First, I took a pattern of which I had previously made a copy.  I pinned my copy together.  I put the envelope and instructions in front of the cardboard and the tissue pattern behind the cardboard.

I then clipped the pattern and my replica on a skirt hanger and hung it in the closet

The other patterns were placed the same way in the bags but are now in a filing cabinet roughly ordered chronologically from 1946.

The large Vogue patterns do not fit in the comic book envelopes.

While going through my patterns, I found that a previous owner had made tracings and fittings of a pattern on tissue and butcher paper. I wondered who it could be and if they actually made the pattern again. 

I now feel organized enough to actually finish a vintage pattern I started over a month ago! Happy sewing to me!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Utah Shakespeare Festival: The Merry Wives of Windsor

I know that some of my British friends might be surprised that Utah has an award winning Shakespeare Festival in the little desert town of Cedar City on the campus of Southern Utah University. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best in the country.  Yes, I am bragging.

I don't know why I have never been to the Shakespeare Festival before, but it was wonderful.  The theater is a replica of the Globe theater and several productions take place there.  Other productions take place in a modern theater.  Not all the plays are Shakespeare plays.  This year, for example, they performed "Le Mis" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" among others.

File:Globe Theatre at SUU.jpg
Source:  Flickr Globe Theater SUU

Theses photos are from our seats in the west balcony.

Prior to the play there was entertainment on the lawn.  Several families came for the the free entertainment of dancing, music, and sheep catapulting.  Plush, toy sheep, that is.

Fabulous food was available as well.  I had a blueberry scone, an English scone, not a Utah scone which is more like a fry bread.  My husband had a lemon tart.

Now for the fun part.  The actual play.  We saw "Merry Wives of Windsor" and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did not take the following photos as that is not allowed in the theater.  These are from the Shakespeare Festival website.






The main characters were amazing.  Master Ford, John G. Preston,  put me in stitches every time he said a line. Dr. Caius, Matt Zambrano, was also hilarious, but his exaggerated French accent almost sounded like a French accent with a Texas twang.  By the second act, the "drawl" had disappeared and his lines weren't distracting.  Falstaff, Roderick Peeples, also was fabulous.  If anyone should have a Texas accent he should.  He graduated from the University of Texas.  By far the leads were the strength of the play.  I guess that is what is to be expected from professional actors! The merry wives, Jacqueline Antaramain and Melinda Pfundstein were delightful to watch.

I must mention one particularly funny moment.  In noticed that in the upper section of the stage, some portraits were lowered.  I thought it odd as the portraits were modern, about 1970's.  They looked familiar.  I wondered if it was a prop snafu and perhaps the photos were former actors or festival personnel.  Then it clicked.  The scene took place Master and Mistress Ford's home.  The portraits were "family" portraits of former American President Ford. What a hoot.

I also loved the costumes.  I found myself wondering at the marvelous fabrics, thinking about how to construct those gorgeous dresses, and wondering what kind of corsetry was used.  Ahh, the mind of a sewer.

I am certainly going to attend the Shakespeare play next summer.  Especially since my son has a buy one get one free pass!

Wonderful experience.  Five out of five stars!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No, No, No, I Mustn't. Well Maybe Just This Once.

I really have no time to start a new hobby. None. Nada. Zip.  In my last post I listed all the projects that are stacking up, and I forgot to list my year end block-of-the-month project from Quilts Etc.  Not to mention that school starts soon, I'm already back at work preparing for the students, and I am taking my oldest to college in a few short days.  

But I got distracted, so it isn't my fault.  (I already sound like my students.) You see, Snippa does such beautiful knitting and crocheting.

And Catherine crochets lovely shawls.  She even gave a go at knitted underwear, but you will have to read her blog for that!

Debbie makes darling accessories and baby clothes. She even has her own Etsy shop.

Is it no wonder that I am inspired?  Inspired enough to blatantly steal the photos right from their blogs to place on my blog.  I exaggerate.  It wasn't blatant or stealing.  I had their permission.  But blatantly stealing sounds so dramatic.   

I had to find some way to justify this new hobby. To make it appear as if I wasn't really spending additional time on this one.  Luckily, I found a justification.  It was as if it was made just for me.  The Olympics. Yes, that's right, the Olympics.  So I joined the Ravellenic Games as a member of Team Colette.  I felt that if I was just sitting there watching the Olympics I might as well be productive by learning how to crochet.  Afterall, I can't place my sewing machine in front of the TV and bother others while watching the Olympics.  My justification was set!  The official cast on was June 27th during the opening ceremonies.  

I went to the store, bought a little card that had the basic crochet stitches written out and illustrated, bought some pretty and soft red yarn, and a pack of crochet hooks.  

I remember learning to crochet 1 simple stitch from a lady a church when I was 12 or so, but I wanted to be sure I could so a nice job.  That is why I started with the easiest scarf pattern I could find on Dan's Minimalist Scarf by Cathy Dipierro.  I watched a YouTube video on the ending crab stitch about 3 times before I finally got it.  This is the final project.

Not too bad for a beginner.  When I was finished I started on scarf #2.  I must not have read the pattern right because starting with the second row, for every two stitches there was an increase of one stitch, so three stitches.  This made for a very wonky scarf.  I tore out the stitches and did my own thing roughly based on the pattern. I dropped stitches and added stitches and it was all over the place.  But I liked the lacy effect.  I also did not use the suggested silk straw yarn because that was 32 dollars a skein.  

So now I am hooked.  Get it?  Hooked like a crochet hook?  All right, that was a little too punny.  

Now I have to learn how to knit since I bought all those knitting needles at a yard sale.  Darn, if the Olympics couldn't be all year long!

Linking to I Gotta Create, Sew Country Chick, and Tales of a Trophy Wife.  See side bar.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fitting Pants: Vogue 1003


Last year I made my first and only (so far) pair of jeans.  They fit o.k., but I wanted to improve my pants fitting skills.  So I took a class from Sunni at Yellow Bird Fabrics on how to fit pants. Sunni has a darling blog called A Fashionable Stitch.

We took our measurements, and using Vogue 1003, the pants fitting shell, we began to make adjustments to the pattern according to our numbers.  We did initial cuts to the pattern and then used it to make a muslin.  Once we tried on the muslin, we made additional corrections to our pattern shell.  

Here is what my muslin looked like (inside out) and the final adjustments to my pattern.  

After trying on the muslin we determined that I needed 1/2 inch more in the waist.  We made a second waist slash of 1/8 inch (times four fabric pieces) to accommodate this. We also took up the length in the crotch, added an inner thigh enlargement and lengthened the leg.  

When we were all finished with the adjustments, Sunni showed us how to use the fitting shell when we buy other patterns.  All and all an extremely informative class.  

Speaking of pants patterns, Vogue 2532 has been on the back burner for a year.  I thought they would make professional work trousers.


Of course that is after I finish my retro inspired teacher outfit.  The blouse is almost done.

And I still have to bind my quilt.  Oh yes, and I have to begin the Starlet Jacket.  And school is starting soon.  And I've been a little distracted about teaching myself to crochet.

So the pants may still be on the back burner. Whether I get to the pants in the near future or not, Sunni's class still gets five stars!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway Results

Here are the results of my Blogiversary Giveaway.  I used a Random Number Generator which I Googled and tried, no no avail, to take a screen shot of so I could post it.  Someone who is more computer savvy will have to tell me how to do that.

Drum Roll please.

The winner of the retro patterns is Kelley of Kelly Highway. Woot, Woot!

The winner of the fabric is Catherine of The Makings of an Urban Rustic.  Wahoo!

The winner of the delightfully funny Utah Curiosities book is Andy Neilson who doesn't have a blog.  I thought it pretty lucky that the only man who commented ended up with the book and not the fabric or patterns. That's why I thought I ought to post a picture of the random number generator! (Yes, I know there are some men who would have liked the patterns and fabric.)

I will contact the winners to obtain mailing information after I post this.

Thank you all for reading my blog. I'm surprised at how much I have grown to love writing and taking pictures for my blog.  I know it isn't one of the big time blogs, probably because I don't narrow my focus (I have a lot to review), and I haven't made it a priority to run about the blogosphere seeking followers (I'm not passing judgement on those who do), but I am grateful for my small following and for your kind comments.  It was enjoyable reading the comments for the giveaway post.

And finally, thank you to my mom who is the spelling police officer and lets me know when I mess up!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Red Banks Campground and Minnetonka Caves

Tony's Lake:  Recreation.Gov
We had been dying to get out camping this summer, but as a typical over scheduled family, we hardly had an open weekend.  We finally found time two weekends ago.  We carefully selected Tony's Grove Campground from our Utah Camping book.  It had a scenic rating of 9!  
We got on-line to reserve our site and they were all filled for the rest of the summer.  I guess we ought to plan earlier.  Luckily, for the unprepared, there were several "no reservation" camp spots at Tony's Grove.  "If we leave early on Thursday," we optimistically thought, "we will be able to find a camp site before the weekend rush."  Ha, and Ha Ha!  When we arrived the campground host laughed at our optimism.  He'd already turned over 50 campers away that day. 

Plan B. We continued to drive northeast toward Bear Lake. Referring to our book, we stopped at Sunrise Campground.  Same story.  Again, back to the book.  We noticed the the Beaver Mountain RV Park had electric hook ups so I called.  We made a reservation and luckily, or strangely, there was a site available.

Beaver Mountain is a ski resort in the winter.  As we drove into the parking lot of the resort we noticed many campers parked in the lot. "What are they all parking here for?" we asked.  We drove though the parking lot and realized that this was the campground. Every other parking space was the camp site and the RVs had backed into the slots with only a narrow clump of trees separating one side of the lot from the other.  I am not camping in a parking lot.  I don't care if there are flush toilets and showers.  A parking lot is not camping!  Reservation cancelled.

Plan C.  There were several smaller campgrounds along the Logan Canyon Road.  We finally stopped at Red Banks Campground.

This is the beautiful site we picked out.  The campground had only about 12 sites and they were very private and quiet.   Look at that majestic willow tree shading the camp.  There was a fishing stream running right next to the campground.  There is nothing better than going to sleep with the sound of a running stream nearby.  The only downsides were the highway noise which quieted down in the evening and the drinking water.  There was a big pump and at first the water ran clear. But after a second the water turned to mixture of water and rust.  I guess that would be good if you were iron deficient. Luckily we'd brought drinking water. 

If you are in the Bear Lake area, take a short drive north to Minnetonka Caves in Idaho.  This tour is not for the faint of heart.  If you don't mind the bats, you may mind the 444 stairs going down.  Not bad until you have to come up.  It was a great tour, however, and my son and I enjoyed it immensely.   
Original Source:

We also took a hike up the Limber Pine Trail.  At the end sits a Limber Pine that is over 2000 years old.  

View of Bear Lake From Limber Pine Trail

Even though we didn't camp at Tony's Grove, we went back to fish at the lake.  Fishing was great. Catching was terrible.  So I took some wildflower photos.


I'm not sure what all these wildflowers are. My sister would know.  She remembers all their names. I know Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Goldenrod, Thistle, and Wild Daisy. If you know perhaps you could comment and tell me what they are.  

Red Banks Campground I give a 4 out of 5 stars.  Minnetonka Cave and the wildflowers I give 5 out of 5 stars.  

Lest I forget, if you are ever in Bear Lake, you must try a wild raspberry shake. 5 stars for sure.  And the Hawaiian Salted Caramel  shake isn't bad either.  I might have to try some other flavors the next time I'm in Bear Lake just to make sure the five star rating is correct.