Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fall is Arriving

Ok, so below is my current desktop appearance. I wish I knew who to give props to for the image. But that's not what I want to talk about. Look carefully... see the black weather box? Yup, that's what Portland's weather looks like when fall is coming around the corner. The mountain will get it's first snow this weekend - well, all the mountains. As a result, the indoor activities are coming out. Saturday Paul & I went clothes shopping and looked at mailboxes with functional lids (our mailman must hate us right now). Then I spent last Sunday afternoon scrapbooking with Julie, and had a chance to bolster my paper collection. (I'm Loving scrapbooking paper right now, especially from American Crafts!) Let me tell you, running a tab at any establishment is dangerous, even a scrapbooking store.
I'm also working on a nice autumn-like table runner, as the hula colors + burlap are no longer doing it for me. Also working on the tie one on assignment, since the deadline was extended - thanks Amy!
AND soup weather is starting - and coffee warm-ups after BBC class. Yay, but Brrrrrrr! I am beginning to change my clothes under the covers already. Yesterday we received our last $6 heating bill of the year.
I'm feeling like wrapping up the loose ends of summer this week too. I'm putting the final touches on baby gifts that should have been sent by July, and I'm adding/subtracting commas and parenthesis on the final 8 pages of my thesis this morning, getting ready for the ruler test and then binding the darn thing (!).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Order of Business

Explicit instructions and valuable information found on Paul's desk yesterday.
First week on the new job - so far, so good!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the Works


Swatch, originally uploaded by apkoski.

I'm so proud of Paul & I. We are finally painting the house! Its green, Ryegrass to be specific, with Nacre trim and maybe an orange door. Paul predicts we'll be done on Saturday, and for once, my prediction is more pessimistic, er, realistic: Sunday.


Also in process is a career decision for me. I've just ordered business cards and am working up a web page for my evolving Personal Training work. So far it's turned out to be a suspenseful experience, getting my name out there. I have an inkling to instead just apply at some local gyms, or as a friend sparked, a local fitness boutique. Oo-la-la. No, I'm better than that.

The biggest challenge currently - besides locating clients - is thinking up a business name. Brainstorming has led to some really goofy titles and some good ones that are "Taken!" I have a good tag line, something I heard my fmr. boss encouraging many: "Discover the athlete within." Another one of his favorites was "today is the first day of the rest of your life." When I become a famous Fit TV trainer with boob implants and a fake tan, I will be sure to thank you Scott. Hey, anybody have any Biz name ideas? (It never hurts to ask - collaborative brainstorming.)

I'm also exploring the possibilities of opening an Etsy store. I know, it seems that not much is rolling off the press lately, but I'm slowly pulling out of writer mode and back into sewing.

Actually, I've been toying with paper scraps, and have made several buntings like these in a few new forms, with the hopes of getting something started. Great, now I have to think of a shop name!

On another note, this page is really fun. Now I can leave the house with a plan!

-A

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Short Legs, Baggy Jeans


Alrightey, then. My sewing machine has been intermittently neglected over the past 8 months in particular, but the tune-up tag on the case says 2004 -- no wonder!
Besides the shower gift above (4 months late), here's one of my only contributions to the creative world during my thesis days: how to hem your jeans so the don't look hemmed tutorial!

Before: My legs are longer than petite but shorter than 'regular' (shown here). Before figuring this hem trick out, I hemmed a few jeans the dorky way: cut of the bottoms, turn under, & stitch. The dilemma became "walk around with holes in my heels or walk around with a dorky, not-the-cool-kind-of-homemade hem."
Its a bit creepy cutting into a pair of brand new jeans, but well worth it if you can make them fit correctly.
Step 1: Cut off the leg hems, about 3/4 inch up from the bottom. Hold onto this cuff. It will be re-attached to the jeans at a spot that is just a bit higher than the original one. Flip the cuff inside out and shimmy it up the outside of remaining jean leg (shown here).
Step 2: Figure out how much shorter the new hem should be. Generally this consists of pinning the cuff to the jean leg at various heights and trying on the jeans multiple times.

Pinning: For your first try, pick a spot on the jean leg and pin the upside-down cuff to it (for the more 'precise' seamstress, you could also measure your anatomical inseam, measure the jean inseam, and then pin it to the approximate matching length). The hem should be pinned at the same point or 1/8" below the line (bulky fabric) where the hem will actually be attached to the jean (not pictured). Pin parallel to the cut raw edge; it will mimic a straight stitch line, and minimizes getting ankle pokes & scratches while trying on. On the jeans pictured, I stitched about 1/4" below the original hem (North-South accd. to photo).

Trying On: After you pin the cuff in place, turn it down, flipping (and pinning if necessary) the extra leg material up so that it looks like a "normal" jean hem. Remember to wear shoes - preferably the ones you plan to wear the most - while testing out the length.
When you've determined the "perfect" new hem height, either use tailor's chalk or pins like I have to mark the circumference line where the cuff top will line up with the original jean leg.

Step 3: Stitch it. With your denim or heavy duty needle, sew the cuff to the jean leg along the pin line used in the previous step (pictured below, about 1/4" to the right of the original hem). Depending on how close to the original hem you pinned the stitch line, you may need to use a zipper foot.

Step 4: After you've tried on the jeans again and decided that you're satisfied with the length and that R & L legs are even, trim the excess. Press.Step 5: Close the raw edge with a zig-zag stitch over the raw edges. If you have a serger, skip this step - it's been done for you!
Step 6: Wear 'em! The hem is still there, and you can't really tell unless you squint, that the distressed marks on the hem end a little abruptly. If you have trouble with the hem wanting to flip back up, try stitching the new seam allowance to the jean leg with invisible thread.
(I'm not floating!)

-A