Sunday, July 27, 2014

OK, so my 'Hospital Gown' needs work...

Busy, fun day today. Although we slept in, it wasn’t too late before we were up and at ‘em. We’ve closed off the Study to keep the air conditioning in more populated areas, so my laptop has been relocated to the bedroom. It works a lot better for me that way – I can use it plugged in in there, or take it into the living room on battery power. Battery lasts a little over an hour, so I’m not on it all day long. I have to keep the Arena clean for a surface for it, too. And I certainly don’t eat near it this way, either. So I think it’s a good change for me.  

We’re also having to keep the living room cleaned up, so we did a sweep and relocate this morning. I was trying to decide what to create and sew today – yup, I wanted to make my own pattern instead of spending all day trying to find someone else’s to adapt – when Beloved Hubby was ready to take a couple loads to the Laundromat. We’re way behind, and I think the guys are outta socks and/or underwear. I went with, and since I can do that on my own, I’ll keep doing a couple loads here and there during the week ‘til we catch up. If I go early, it won’t be so hot and it won’t take long, so I’ll probably scoot right after Beloved leaves for work. Oh, and the citrus slice fabric is ready to go – hopefully I can make that into a blouse later this week !

Made the bed with fresh-washed sheets, and put the rest away, but I just couldn’t nap. I wanted to sew ! Got a reasonable start to a pattern when my guys proposed going out for a late lunch, to the local Italian restaurant. I could get a big salad from their bar if it looked good, and they had everything from pizza for Dearest Son to Lasagna for Beloved. I even had a $5. off coupon for doing a survey for them last week  – let’s go !

Oh, it was heavenly ! I did go for the salad bar, and had a great munchy one that filled a platter with cheese and sunflower seeds and eggs and spinach and bacon, with two kinds of lettuce and strawberries and pears on the side. I also had a small slice of pizza and some of Beloved’s toasted ravioli – I want that next time ! We pretty much had the restaurant to ourselves, so we took our time and enjoyed chatting about video games, differential equations, and the difference between sewing doll shirts and momma shirts.

Once home, my guys immediately slept. I still wanted to sew. So I did ! It was so funny – was working away like an idiot, sweating the details on a super-basic first trial, when FIL noticed my concentration and lavishly complimented the loveliness of the work in progress. Didn’t have the heart to tell him I was working so hard to create a hospital gown ! It was so sweet of him.

And, well, there it is, even with the ribbon ties in the back, it doesn’t look much like a hospital gown, it looks more like just a big white shirt. Which can also come in handy. I may try it again in a repeating print, see if that works better. I have numerous tweaks to wreak on the trial pattern… I always work out problems on the actual item while I’m going sewing, instead of on the pattern. Then I have to go back and measure how far down did I have to redo the neckline, and where did I put the new underarm seam start ?

And yes, that’s the Ariel doll I fixed yesterday. Can't hardly even see the seam. I like it when my dolls have their own toys. This is also Belle #2 - I still have to brush out her hair. I just thought it was kind of funny because my hair looks all tumbled and tossed when I'm an in-patient, too. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tia knows how to beat the heat !

The new air conditioner is great – which is good, the repair we attempted to the other one didn’t work – but it does pull quite a lot of power. We’ve tripped the breaker twice. I’ve contacted the broken window unit’s manufacturer, and we’re in the queue for a warranty repair, so here’s hoping.

Otherwise today, I crossed several smaller items off the meaning-to-do list. The Arena’s surface is nice and clean, all wiped down, finally. While that was going on, I came across a small Ariel doll/puppet I got from the thrift – been meaning to stitch up a seam in her tail, then the dolls would have their own Little Mermaid doll. Five minutes of hand-sewing later, that was done. Got the printed out patterns on the Arena organized, with the ones I wanna try left in the pattern catcher, the others filed safely away. I know, they’re just printouts, and I can always print a fresh one, but…

After a while, I realized I was stalling, and dug through the patterns again, looking for something to try. Decided to take a simple sleeveless bodice for an AG-size and fit it to the DP&M girls *and* make it reversible. What can I say, I love a challenge. Besides, the Arena is directly across from the new air conditioner… lingering was not gonna be a problem !

Making it reversible took longer than just lining it, or making two of them. Plus, I’d never really done many reversible clothes before, and this time, I had no directions at all. It was also really hard to pull it right side out via the shoulders ! Yeah, I think I know where I messed that up ! But it came out great, even though I had to take it in on the fly. 
Very pleased with it.

So pleased that I made matching shorts to go with it ! Well, not completely matching, I didn’t have enough of the white-on-white fabric I used for the reverse of the shirt. But this white worked well, and I have lots of it ! I think it used to be a sheet. I used the McCalls Crissy pants pattern from before, since the printout had gotten torn at the bottom edge. After I finished those – the cuffs were a major challenge, of course I wanted those after I’d cut the pants to the short length I wanted without cuffs – I sort of noodled around with her hair. She looks adorable with twin ponytails, but a bit younger than I wanted. I ended up with the top bun, which looks fun, sophisticated, and cool. I hardly ever get hairstyles right !

Finished altering the pattern, since I’d had to take in quite a bit at the side seams and in the back, and hope to stitch it up again soon, as either a longer, lined tank top, or a simple hemmed version. But I will say, lining or making it reversible sure gives a cleaner finish. Think how much better it’d look if I actually ironed it ! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A/C Heatwave Blues...

Beloved Hubby thinks there’s one piece that needs to be replaced in the air conditioner, and it should work again. Luckily, there’s a heating/ AC/ plumbing warehouse near here that should have it, and it’s open tomorrow. Meanwhile, we got through today a lot like yesterday, slow and easy. I’ve finished three books on my ‘bought this for 25c, now all I gotta do is read it’ list due to the heat wave.

Luckily, Beloved Hubby was off a bit early, and he swept by and picked me up. It was nice to get out for a bit, but he mostly snagged me before he bought our new AC because my veteran’s discount saves us 10% on it ! This time, that savings was a nice chunk of change ! Other times it’s been pocket change, and I appreciate every penny.

It’s already installed, and for the first time in days, I’m comfortable. It’s larger than our other two, so here’s hoping our living areas will be cool for the rest of the season. Hope our old one is fixable tomorrow.

I’m gonna lie back and watch a movie. Hope you’re comfortable, too ! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So very hot...

Today was nearly too hot to publish – we lost one of our two window AC units this morning. You may remember that the central air conditioning in this wrambling wreck of a house hasn’t worked no matter what we did to it, so we’ve been making do. Well, today it became making don’t, and we need more cash than we have to fix it. We’ll be doing better tomorrow – in fact, we were planning on buying a larger unit for the living room this weekend – but for today, it’s gonna be another 100 scorcher, so we’re kinda out of luck. Kinda ranks, because that particular unit was purchased maybe three  months ago. But without a receipt, Home Despot says there’s nothing they can help us with.

So we did what we could and got through the day. I’ve put most of my patterns into a cloud server that I can access via the Tab – instant portability I can take to the sewing machine Arena, and prop up if I’m working on something detailed ! I’ve read a lot of my thrift-store origin books. Found I can’t read feminist classic Fear of Flying.  It’s so focused on being witty and clever to itself, it isn’t at all engaging to me. Best Friends was endless tales of two women who never went a day without food, shelter or anything except by choice, and then complained endlessly that their lives were just soooo hard.

Tomorrow’s gonna be the same, but Beloved says he’s  coming home with an AC, so it won’t be completely awful. Actually, today wasn’t too bad, I moved the computer into the bedroom where the working AC is, and used it sparingly. With breezes and ceiling fans moving the air in the living room, it wasn’t too bad until mid-afternoon, where we retired to the bedroom. Don’t worry about the IL’s, they have their own AC, and aren’t worried a bit about ours !

I’m looking forward to having air conditioning in the living room. It’s been too hot to sew since back in May, and I’m so wiped out by the time the temperature drops to the mid 80s, all I wanna do is sleep. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I sewed ! At least a little...

Yaay ! Once again, I got something done because I was tired of moving it out of my way ! In today’s case, I got tired of shifting the bought-for-her-clothes Babysitter’s Club doll I got from the Flea Market around, and made her a super-simple gown. For whatever reason, I just can’t donate undressed dolls. So now, she is ! She’s now in the Donations bag, waiting to get dropped off on my next ride around town. It’s just a simple tube, pin fit to her in stretchy fabric. I added the jewelry hoops to keep the neckline up, and help keep it on the doll.

That leaves only one project left on my Arena table – the charity infant blankets. I was given fabric and ribbon for those when we first moved here from a neighbor, and I’ve been sitting on them ever since. I really don’t know how to make them, but that’s no excuse not to learn. I hope the cooling weather will come in time for me to start this weekend ! I really want to get that done and over with.

Because I still have this DP&M  Anna doll to redress and sell once that’s done…

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Back to boring Tuesday... thank Everything !

Not much going on today – about all I can say I got done was some meals and dishes. Oh, and I cleared off the shelf I’ve held reserved for my DP&M dolls. All four fit, but I’m not sure about keeping two Belle dolls. I’ve toyed with making my a custom favorite Disney princess –Leia ! – from one, but I really don’t think I have the skill to get that hair out of Belle’s. And if I can make Leia, why have two dolls anyway ?  I figure I can do what I’m already doing. Instead of having, say, Cinderella, Aurora, Elsa, and Rapunzel dolls, have the one I like best – Aurora - and buy/make Cinderella, Elsa, and Rapunzel’s gowns. So far, thanks to my birthday lot, I only need to score Cinderella, Ariel, and Merita’s issue gowns, and I’ll have all that was made for them – and will have to go make my own for the rest of ‘em ! Or collect all the skating dresses, and all the tea party dresses…

But I’m not really fond of the tea party dresses, except for Tiana’s, with the awesome picture hat, and the only thing I liked about their skating costumes was the skates. And I already have three pair of those ! I’m hoping that, if I keep it to three pair of skates, I can keep it to three dolls, but I think, sooner or later, that I’ll end up with a redhead…

Monday, July 21, 2014

DorrieBelle, scofflaw at large.

There’s such a thing as making a good-faith effort, and I did. Found all the paperwork, got up early for breakfast and a shower, even went to the bank to get cash funds… but came home with the same expired driver’s license. Computers are down statewide. Even if they had been as bushy-tailed and eager as I, I’d still have no new license. It reads ’$21.50’ for a Class D renewal on the confusing DPS website. Turns out, that’s a fee that is only tangentially attached to operating a car in this state. It’s mostly used to make tag agency workers laugh. No, the real fee is $33.50 ! Whoa.

So I came home, put all those papers back, and picked up my Dearest Son and went to the thrift ! Hmpft. They can call me when their computers are back up, and I’ll call them when I have more money. Sheesh.

But then it sort of happened again at the store, so I just sort of shrugged. I was looking for two appliances that, while are pretty cheap brand new, might be available second-hand for even less – a coffee maker and a hot air popcorn popper. Darn VA’s got me addicted to coffee again, and I’ve given my last three pots to the IL’s. No popcorn makers, but I found a $10. coffeepot for $5. Well…then I remembered that I don’t have any coffee, I gave that away with the pot. I could afford one, but not the other, so I left it there. I can sub with some hot chocolate I remembered, and try the tea again until things ebb back up.

Neither of us found much else promising, either. Grubby Barbies and tired babies, not much else in dolls or toys. Maybe Monday’s not the best day to visit. But I’m glad we got out and about. The grocery next door had a special on strawberries - $1. a pound ! Got plenty to share, and made sure M&FIL had a nice box of them. Also got a loaf of rye bread as a treat for me, and blueberry bagels on clearance for breakfasts. Dearest Son had his own treat to choose, and even shared a bit of it with me. He’s so sweet !

Unfortunately, it soon got hotter and hotter, and even making lunch beyond a cold sandwich was a bit of an effort. Thank Everything for leftover Chinese dinners ! I was so relieved when Beloved Hubby came home early. I really worry when he’s out on days this scorching.

Here’s my second Belle doll, the one from the birthday lot. She’s about as I found her, although I cleaned the newspaper ink smudges from her face and hands. For whatever reason, my seller just dropped her and the clothes into a box, with no bags, no nothing, then threw two wadded up pieces of newspaper on top and sealed it up. Both of us were lucky the dirt came off. And none of the shoes or other small pieces fell out, due to the huge dent and minor tears on one side. She finally has her  crown – yaaay ! – and one earring, too. This is Rapunzel’s nightwear, with the robe behind her. There’s even a little gold initial on each robe, which I am seriously thinking of picking out and easing flat. I’ve always hated clothes specifically for one doll only, and as you can see, some colors look better on other dolls than they do on the one they’re issued.

I have the slippers, too, for all my DP&M nightgowns, but they’re huge and always fall off unless the doll’s standing on ‘em. I’m thinking of adding a strip of clear elastic to hold them on, or just resew ‘em smaller. Haven’t decided yet. (grin) Now those slippers may fit AG-style and clone dolls, now that I think about it….