Cruise Prepping

I went to Ross to buy more capris and dresses to round out the cruise wardrobe. I bought 3 capris pants,a floral camp shirt, a blue polo shirt, a red cotton cardigan sweater, and a dress.

Back home I started trying on outfits. I planned 5 dinner outfits, 7 casual daytime ones and 2 dressy looks for the formal evenings. I decided which shoes I would wear and what sweaters to take. Once this was done I started deciding what needed to be altered. Two of the capris I bought plus one from my stash have to be altered. Also there are two long skirts that have been in my sewing room closet forever. Since they fit now they will be proper cruise wear, all I need to do is raise the hems. I had clothes lying everywhere, but it was organized chaos.

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I finished one pair of capris and the other two are almost done. Here I am modeling the altered pants before and after fixing the hem. I raised the hem about two inches. Looking at the picture now I realize the difference is hardly noticeable. Sometimes I think that maybe I’m too picky. I could have worn them just as they are and no one would have been the wiser. But even though it was a bit of work to cut the hem and reconstruct the vent opening on the side legs, I’m glad I did it. I like the way they look and feel now. I think they are a little better proportioned to my short self .

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I will have to finish all the rest of the alterations during the week. I still need to:

  • Finish the hems on the long skirts.
  • Make about 6 shoe bags
  • Shorten and hem my pink Happy Coloring T-shirt
  • Pack my art supplies.
  • Pack my makeup and jewelry
  • Yikes!

Work Wardrobe Update

I’ve been lazy about my work wardrobe and have taken the easy way out by wearing mostly jeans and polo shirts for the last couple of years. Since I work a lot in a clean room environment and have to wear a smock and hat when I’m in there, I can dress as casually as I like. After all, no one knows what’s under the smock. It’s funny, sometimes I’ve worked for months with people in our labs and still don’t recognize them if I run into them outside, without the hat and in their normal clothes.

But then every so often between test phases, we are back to working at our desks and a regular office environment. This last time for me I’ve begun to feel that the jeans should only be for actual work on the test floor. So what better excuse to revamp my wardrobe with some dressier blouses and pants!

I know I should sew everything myself, but realistically with my work schedule, that would take months. So I did the next best thing, I went shopping at Ross and picked up a bunch of blouses. I’m beginning to think that maybe I should have named this blog Mostly Alterations since I don’t know when I’ll have time to sew something from scratch. I am still hopeful that once I work my way through a lot of old stuff clogging up my sewing room I’ll be inspired to start sewing up the new stuff. Anyway, here are my Ross selections and my plans to make them fit better.

This blouse is made from a stretchy polyester and nylon blend. It’s a bit snug which is the main drawback of buying from Ross. Great prices notwithstanding, you’ll be lucky to find multiple sizes in any piece that catches your eye. Most likely what you see is what you get. This size was a medium and my best size would have probably been a large. Still I like the clean lines and unfussy look and which tempted me into buying it. The fact that it has some stretch also influenced me to give it a try.
The only thing I will probably do to this is remove the side sashes that wrap around to tie in the front. If I was a slender young thing I would probably leave them, but as it stands, I don’t need any more details to call attention to my midriff.
This simple blouse with a scooped neck and 3/4 length sleeves caught my eye with it’s pleasing blue colors and lightweight easy care fabric. This one is ready to wear! It’s a rare occasion when I don’t have to do alterations on store bought garments and I’m happy when they really are RTW.
This one is too small too, but I like it! I fell into the “it will fit in 5 lbs.” rationalization again. But it really has deep darts in the back which I will can let out. So hopefully it will be comfortable enough with the fix.
This and the next are my black striped finds. Fortunately they both fit well.
This one, I may shorten just a bit.
This grey T-shirt and next white one are the same brand and style, just different sizes. This is a medium and the white is a large.
As you can see, they grey is tighter, but the sleeve fit okay. This large sized one is probably the best size for me, but the sleeves and the hem are definitely too long. It’ll shorten them eventually.

So the bottom line is that I did score at least four dressier blouses. I’m not counting the T-shirts and the blouse that is too small at the moment. But I can throw out at least four of my old polo shirts in exchange.

Moonridge Clothes 2

I finished hemming the bermuda shorts today. My work schedule of late has me working in the evenings so I have only a few hours in the morning to sew and tend to all the other daily stuff of life. I cut it pretty close finishing the alterations on my Moonridge outfit since our trip is tomorrow.

Here is a fuzzy picture of me modeling it. The blouse is still a big snug but it is wearable. I like this blouse so much that I’ll just take it as more motivation to keep losing the weight until it fits perfectly.
Hmmm….Now I just have to figure out why the camera focused on the mirror and not on my image

Moonridge Clothes

We’re getting ready to go on our yearly trip to Big Bear Lake next Saturday. In preparation I did some shopping at my favorite store, Ross, to look for a few summery items to wear. I found a few things but as usual for me, they need a few adjustments. So now I get to do a few (hopefully quick) alterations to complete my trip wardrobe.

We are going to Moonridge Animal Park in Big Bear so the attire is definitely casual, shorts, cool blouse and sun hat will do. But in the evening we will probably head to a nice restaurant and I wanted something, still cool and casual but a little nicer.

I found the perfect thing at Ross, a pair of long black shorts in a dressy fabric. I guess they could be called bermudas.
Unfortunately with my short legs the shorts look like they were going for capri length and didn’t quite make it. I have to take about two inches off the length to get it above my knee.
Also needing a few tweaks is this cool shell. I loved this blouse the moment I saw it, unfortunately I only found one in size medium. Some mediums fit me, this one was right on the edge. I decided to buy it thinking that hopefully it might fit me soon. I’ve been losing weight ever so slowly, so I have hopes for a lot of slightly small items in my closet, what’s one more.

When I got it home I noticed that by letting out a small bit in the back darts and lowering the points of the front darts I could probably get it to fit well enough for use at Moonridge. I set right to it.

Cover Stitch Hemming my Stargate T-Shirt

I bought this Stargate T-Shirt online more than a year ago. Even though it took forever to arrive in the mail and cost more than I usually spend for a T-shirt, I was pleased to get it.


Unfortunately it was too long and had been languishing in my closet waiting for me to fix it. I finally got on the job because I wanted to wear it to work.

I mark the new length and lay it out to cut.
I fold the shirt along the length to make sure my cut will be symmetrical.
I mark the cut about an inch and a quarter past the marking pins to leave as a hem
After marking the 1 and 1/4 inch hem all around I’m ready to press it.
With the hem cut and marked I ‘m ready to put in my cover stitch hem using my trusty Morita.
I have marked a few reference lines on masking tape to the right of my presser foot. These come in handy when I am trying to maintain a consistent distance from the seam to the edge of the fabric.
The cover stitch has to be sewn on the right side which must catch the raw edge on the underside. It takes a little practice, but if your hem is cut to the same width all around it’s not too hard to maintain a stitch that catches the edge perfectly. This is where the reference lines on the machine plate come in handy. Also, you can usually feel the raw edge through the material and guide your seam right over it.
Here are some views of the front and back of the resulting seam. The shirt is ready to wear again with a strong elastic hem that should last as long as the T-shirt!

One thing I should mention is that there is no way to finish off the cover stitch hem by backing up the stitch at the end. I usually just overlap the stitching a good two or three inches and carefully cut away the ends without pulling on them. This seems to work well, with not much more unraveling, even after multiple washings. I suppose if one was very meticulous (not me :-) ), you could leave long ends and sort of weave them in as in knitting jobs.
Finally after a long wait I’m set to wear my Stargate Tee!