Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Here is what I did:
I slit open the waist band on the inside of the pants about half way between the center front and the side seams. The slit is only on the interior and went the width of the waist band without cutting into the original stitching or through to the outside.
I then took some sport elastic that is about 1.25" wide. I pinned one end at one slit and threaded the rest throught the waist band to the other slit. This was a little tricky as I used a huge safety pin to thread it though the waist band. As it was a tight fit I did sweat a little over it and, in the end, the pin opened up about six inches from the end... when I really began to sweat.
At this point I re-pinned the starting end within the first slit and used a three-step zig-zag stitch to secure it into the waist band. I went over that first end about six times and was surprised that it was almost invisible from the right side. It took a while to make sure that the elastic was flat in the waistband but it finally worked. For the loose end I pinned it as tight as I thought it should be, about four inches shorter that the length of the waistband it was it was inserted into. I did about four try-ons before they fit at the waist without too much fullness in the body of the pant.
I then cut off the excess and zig-zagged the second end within the slit about six times. I contemplated sewing over the elastic for the whole length but that would have meant removing and reattaching the belt loops which seemed like too much trouble for an inexpensive rescue mission.
The whole thing took only about an hour though it seemed like many hours of untwisting elastic and try-ons.
They fit much better now BUT, since I pretty much hate the look of elastic waist pants, I only wear them with my shirt out instead of tucked in. When the weather cools down I will be able to wear them with my shirt tucked in with a sweater to cover the elastisized portion of the waist band.
I'm very happy with the results and so-o-o-o happy that I don't have to move these pants out of my wardrobe. I also see this as a good solution for thrift store finds that are a tad large at the waist but fine elsewhere.
Let me know if you try this. I think it would work for a less drastic makeover, like when you just need to add a little shape at the waist.
PS - no pictures as the pants are in the wash, again. I have worn them a ton of times since I did this and the elastic has not stretched out so this is really a successful alteration. I am now looking at some of my other too big pants to see if any others might benefit from an elastic insertion.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Step One - usually yardage or at least fat quarters. Yardage is kept on wooden hangers, fat quarters folded neatly in drawers with other bits up to one yard in length. There it ages until ready to be used.
Step Two - something is made from the suitably aged fabric. The bits that are left over after the project is done get sorted into five subsets. Those are:
- bits big enough for more projects are put back on the hangers or into the drawers.
- bits big enough for other projects but I can't stand any more are sorted into a shopping bag for giving away to a charitable project that sends fabric to a sewing initiative in Mexico.
- bits big enough to use but not even a quarter of a yard are sorted into one of two bins - one for quilting weight cottons and the other for everything else.
- bits too small for re-use plus all the trimmings from a project are placed in an old sweatshirt for the making of a dog bed for a local animal shelter.
Step Three - fabric is used until it make its to the dog bed stage when I am finally done with it.
In the end, nothing is actually tossed out. Even bits of batting are saved for dog beds. The dog bed idea came from my friend who has been saving stuffing for months. I decided I could make my own dog beds and pass them on already completed. The dog beds are made out of old sweat shirts of which I have several. The neck and arm holes are sewn up. The bed stuffed through the waist opening and the whole thing sewn up. Alex and the girls have vetted the one I have completed as quite comfortable and, as yet, they have not destroyed it. I think its a little lumpy but the doxies don't mind. And, before you go looking for a cute picture, I have tried many times today to get one of them on the bed I have completed but they have thwarted my efforts.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
BTW - I guess that makes me Scrooge McDuck!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I see that my readership has gone up to about 35 people a day. I have no idea who most of you are but I seem to have regulars from every continent. I expected to have readership from friends and family in the US and Canada but imagine my surprise when I discovered that I also seem to have people regularly stopping by from Norway, South Africa, Austrailia, Great Britain, Argentina and many points in between. Do I say anything interesting to the person up on Hudson's Bay or was that just a random hit? Will the person in Turkey be inspired to try some of my experiments in doll quilt making? Is my use of the English language too complex for the person in Norway or too simplistic for the person India?
I don't know. (comments are always welcome!)
I do know that I love the technology that allows all of us to share our thoughts and projects. I know we may not solve world hunger or bring world peace but, in a small way, this technology brings us all a little bit closer. If this blog can bring a little beauty or laughter into your world then that is a good start.
So here's to you, faithful reader. Go make something and bring a smile to someone's world.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Side two had most of the embellishments on it and, as you can see, most of them washed off/out of the fabric. I have used this bag quite a bit in the last month or so and it is a very usable purse. One large inside zippered pocked and three other interior pockets (two with elastic) make this a wonderful hand bag. It also has a secret packet in the bottom of the bag to hold things you would rather hot have exposed when the bag is open. I had originally purchased this bag to try out some machine embroidery and the secret pocket was supposed to facilitate that use. I couldn't figure put how to get it hooped correctly for embroidering. I might just add some later on but I don't think it really needs any more embellishing time.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
In return I received the following from Sylvie's Creations in Denmark. It is approximately 13" x 14" with thin leather cords that can be used to sling it over your shoulder or as back pack straps. I used it the other day while running a bunch of errands and it worked great. I might experiment with this design a little and make the straps wider as the thin cords did tend to cut into my shoulder when the bag was fully loaded. The theme for the month was a child centered bag. This bag works well for both children and adults alike so it was a good choice for me. Thanks Sylvie!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
The idea is that quilting groups from many faith and non-faith based organizations gather once a year to finish off quilts made throughout the year. Most of the quilts were already completed when we gathered at 9:00 AM . By noon there were about about 500 quilts ready to be given to half a dozen local organizations. Some were simple quilts made from two pieces of fabric surrounding a piece of batting. Others were complex pieced quilts that probably took many many hours to complete. Participants ranged from young girls to great-grandmothers, from people who had never quilted before to those who can quilt in their sleep. The organizations represented included local quilt guilds and many churches. There was even a group of Hindu women participating!
The neatest thing was that as quilts were completed they were draped over the seats in the assembly hall. What a wonderful site! Here is a link to a blog talking about this year's Bee and pictures of last year's. One question came up among some of the women. What if you did not agree with the organization that was getting the quilts? My response is that I am not supporting the organization but the people that get the quilts.
If your area has a similar function, please make some time to participate. You will have a great time, meet new people and come away with a real sense of inclusion in a good cause.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
And why are little boy's shorts so long on them?
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The next day the real business of the conference began. One thing about ASG, the food is usually fabulous and is included in the price of admission. Friday morning's breakfast included presentations for things like Chapter and Member of the Year. I missed most of the presentations as I slept in a little but I heard that niether the Houston Chapter nor its members received awards. My first class was with Melissa Brown on 'Embellishments to Flatter Your Figure". I left class early as it didn't seem that she was saying anything more than 'don't put bullseyes on your boobs'. I was still recovering from a bad bout of allergies so that may have colored my view a little. Tammy O'Connell taught my next class. It was called 'Leather Logic' and we spent most of the time learning about natural and synthetic leathers and their uses. We also made a little suede flower just to get a little feel of working with suede. I first ran across Tammy at the International Quilt Festival a few years ago and I was amazed how her business has grown. Lunch included a speech by Patti Palmer as the Keynote Address. It seemd like it was one big advertisement for her work and her daughter's new venture. I bailed on this one as well so I could take a little nap.
After lunch I attended a lecture/trunk show by Linda Macphee of the Macphee Workshop. I love Linda and have followed her for about 15 years. Unfortunately, most of what she showed and talked about I have seen and heard before so the whole thing sounded like one big commercial for her products. Also, although Linda does have a loud voice, I became exhausted just trying to hear her asides to other members of the audience. Note to self: the next time a teacher rejects a mic, bail immeadiately before your head bursts from straining to catch every word. Dinner was on our own and the day ended with the member style show. Several Houston Chapter members showed some terrific garments. I left a little early as I couldn't calm my cough but I understand that all the garments were photographed. When they get posted I will direct you to some of the best garments.
Saturday began with a wonderful breakfast buffet and I pigged out on eggs, bacon, home fries and croissants.YUM! My first class that morning was with Marla Kazell. The title of the talk was 'Fabric Collage Jacket' and I have no memory of it. I must have been dozing after that huge breakfast. The next lecture was by Londa Rolfing on Design Principles. I loved this class as she presented a lot of information we should know in an entertaining and insightful manner. We had a professional make-up artist in the audience who added a lot of good information as well. One tidbit I remember is that you can't go wrong wearing a garment that matches your original hair color ... who knew! Most of her garments use sweatshirts as the base for incredible embellishment and they all should be in my closet!
Well, that's all for now. Tomorrow I will try to sum up the rest of the conference.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I picked up five different pieces of fabric plus some discounted varigated embroidery thread (at $2.00 a spool) and pre-packaged woven ribbons (on sale for ten packages for $2.00). I even know what I will do with most of my purchases.
This navy blue peice is for my doctor. It is navy silk with a bunch of medical stuff printed on it. Might make a good scarf.
This piece is a stretch cotton twill that I think will make a great puzzle blouse as the stretch will be enhanced by the bias cut of the blouse.
This piece is a large tropical print of unknown content that I think was originally meant for curtains. I really don't know what to do with it but I love the lushness of the design.
This piece is a heavy weight canvas. I love the cartoonish print. I think I will need to use my dye pens on it before it goes into a great tote bag or other application that needs a strong fabric. Green eyes, red hair? There are lots of possbilities.
Not pictured is a four yard piece of some light weight pink striped cotton that I need for a night gown I have been planning for many years.
This is a must see destination if your are in the Chicago area. The staff really knows its stuff and were very attentve to my needs. Some of my collegues took a taxi to Vogue and it cost $45.00 each way. I think taking the train is a better option. I got to stop off at Dinkel's Bakery and Willie and Slim's pet store on Lincoln. Afterwards I went to International Bead and Novelty in a downtown office building with stock, I am sure, that was in their original 1918 inventory as well as more recent acquisitions. Their prices were excellent and I could have stayed all day poking into the old stocking boxes for unique beads and findings.
Another place I went to was Gino's East. I had read about their wonderful deep dish pizza but was thoroughly disappointed. Many of you know that I allergic to tomatoes but I was willing to put up with significant intestinal distress for legendary pizza. The presentation looked good but the sauce was tasteless crushed tomotoes straight out of a can... at least it tasted that way to me. I ate a quarter of the small size and intended to bring the balance back with me to the hotel. I ditched it in a garbage can outside the subway station as it was becoming too irritating to carry any longer.
Except for this misstep, my time exploring Chicago has been well spent. I need to make it to the Art Institue to pay tribute to the Thorne miniatures, a favorite with me for many years. Even if I miss this stop I wll still be well satisfied with this trip.
Next up - The ASG annual conference.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Times have really changed. Now, you practically need to strip down to your skivvies to get to the gate. Loud mouthed TSA employees order you to do incomprehensible things like separate your laptop from your briefcase or to remove your shoes for the x-ray machine. A couple of times ago I was instructed to remove a fleece jacket because it had a zipper... the zipper was plastic but the TSA guy insisted so the whole world got to see the coffee I had thrown down my front that morning. My last trip started with a three hour delay in taking off. Fortunately the international lounge had seats you could actually stretch out on for a nap.
The flights are fuller and the seats are closer together - both trends are applauded by the airline industry as money making ideas. A glass of ice with a drop of soda is a standard beverage service. If you want more you have to bring it on board with you... however, youcan only buy it within the security cordon and not from home. Pilots have been neglecting to turn off the seal belt sign so the beverage service will not be interrupted. Great if you have a huge bladder, not if you don't. And what's the deal with turning off phones and other electronic devices? There has never been an incident where a consumer electronic has interferred with the safe operation of an airplane.
The recent changes in the baggage rules are just about the worst idea yet. A friends always travels with two mid-size bags as she is too small to haul one big bag. Now she will need to either pay an additional fee to check both bags or figure out how to get the second bag into an overhead compartment with is about a foot above her reach. I much prefer to check as much as I can so this change is a real pain to me... with bursitis in both shoulders I really do mean pain!
What to do?
I know one family that has stopped flying entirely. They have two young sons and although the boys love flying , they both freaked out over the security screening the last time they flew. They are planning cruises from a local port or a motorhome vacation as alternatives. I can't stop flying unless I want to spent days on the road each time I go to visit Dad. I may be spacing out my trips so I have less time opportunity to encounter either TSA or all the new airline rules.
Just when I wanted to stop being a home body!
One person gives her kids an updated lisiting of where all all her assets are located ... just in case something does wrong. This seems like a good idea except that the location of my assets hasn't changed in many, many months. Maybe when I become a big investor in the stock market I will need to update that listing from years ago, until then Paul will have to wing it.
Another disposes of all old magazines and newspapers. This is to reduce the amount of stuff she will need to go through when she gets home as it all be new to the house. I should try this as I hate the amount of paper clutter I have in the house.
Another puts clean sheets on the bed so she will come home to a clean bed. I myself, have tried to do this for many years as I do love fresh clean sheets at night. I also clean all the dishes and laundry so I do not have to face these tasks when I get home.
I have a habit that I have had since I moved to Texas. The water here is so very full of mineral content that standing water left in the toilets will grow mold at the drop of a hat. I try to clean all the toilets before I leave home for any length of time and hope that no mold will grow in them while I am gone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Do you do anything special before you leave home for a while?
Friday, July 4, 2008
I hope your Foruth was dry and ended with wonderful fireworks.
I promise I will get back to showing you what I've been doing soon... actually, once I stop sneezing and coughing!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
For instance - Bracebridge, a small city, has Canadian flags on many of its bridges. The flags are hung horizonitally and contained within stainless steel frames. Apparently this has been going on for years but now someone has decided that this evidence of patriotism is illegal. The rules on displaying the flag say that it must be hung from a flag pole and not on bridges or from light standards. There were lots of references to the way Americans display the flag and how the rules are very strict. No where in the debate did anyone say that it was a good thing to display the flag as long as it is done with respect.
On the radio one commentator said that hearing the national anthem made him 'all tingly'. Heck, almost every national anthem makes me a little tingly. The folks calling in on the show thought he was a little weird so I guess I'm a lot weird.
Some people were writing letters to the editor because they wanted Canada Day to be celebrated on a long weekend every year. Makes no sense to me but for some reason the writers thought that Independence Day was set up for a long weekend every year. Does anyone have a calendar up there?
How to reconcile these three separate incidents is impossible but I felt I was at home. Canadian wackiness is a lot like American wackiness and I love it all.
Happy Canada Day... even if its on a Tuesday!