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August 24, 2006

Rollercoaster Vacation of Woe

This is, of course, the Vacation of Woe because I am dropping off my little muffin-brains J in Boston in a few days and making my way back to the Twin Cities by myself. So so sad, is our little Villain.

Oh, Virginia. All fun and games. Also, parental hysteria, but mostly fun and games. We took a little jaunt up to Busch Gardens. Now, I have never really been a rollercoaster kind of girl, but this time I decided I would conquer all of them in the park. It was gut wrenching, but at the end of the second day, I was begging for more. Our favorite of the four coasters in the park was the oldie but goodie, The Loch Ness Monster. Double loops, oh yeah.


My parents even bought a picture of us on the ride. Hopefully I'll have that up soon. It was crowded, hot, and full of obnoxious people, but I am glad we went. It has been a million years (when I was like 12) since I have visited a park such as this. Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America just doesn't count. I am glad we went, but, like J, I don't think I will need to make such a trip for a long long time to come.

We also ate dinner at one of the Colonial Williamsburg taverns. I know it is totally kitschy and the connection to any kind of intelligent view of history is skewed and tenuous at best, but oh so tasty! Heh. I am sure that any of my Cultural Studies colleagues would cringe and disown me if they ever found out. So let's just keep this between us, shall we?

Most of what I have been doing here on this Vacation of Woe is sewing. I have finished a shirt and a dress. My mom is still plugging away at the matchy dress.

Here is the shirt I made before leaving. I added a couple of snaps to keep the bosoms in check. They don't pull, but gap sometimes when the angle is wrong. I like the pattern a lot and am contemplating a long sleeved version.


This is the shirt that I made here. J picked out the butterfly fabric and I certainly like it, but was a bit surprised at his choice. It is a bit looser and I can wear a cami comfortably underneath it. I am getting a bit better at attaching sleeves; I'm getting the hang of sleeve-ease. I am not exactly looking forward to going home, but I will be happy to start the shirtdress I have been planning for what seems like forever, but was too intimidated to start with my good fabric.


Here is the dress. It was like the super-easiest dress of all time until I got the zipper in and realized that the neckline was gaping. Four strategically placed darts took up the space and it seems to be workable now. The idea for this one was that I would be able to wear it more easily for teaching (well, TAing this time) in the fall since it has sleeves and most of my creations are not exactly work-appropriate. I am a bit afraid that it looks like an xmas dress, with all that gold and red. I loved (and still love) the fabric; I just hope that I don't look like I am wearing a kid's holiday dress. I was planning on a sash in red with little twirlies of gold on it, but I that would probably be the nail in the coffin.


What should I start now??? Only a couple of days left, but I am sure I could whip something up. Is this a compulsion? Signs point to yes...

Posted by loyd0008 at August 24, 2006 7:40 PM


The shirts are quite cute and the dress is great, and not to worry, it doesn't look a bit like a Christmas dress. Regarding the gaping problem on the shirts, my solution was to use a device called Simflex. It is an expandable marking devise for accurate placement of buttons without agonizing over the math. Just mark the location for the "first" button even with the bustline, where the gaping would be. Then, expand or contract your Simflex until you have even spacing for the rest of the buttons and mark their locations too. The top shirt would probably have 4 buttons instead of 3. I have had mine for years and use it on my (and my husband's) shirts. You probably can purchase one from Nancy's Notions or Clotilde.

Posted by: patsijean at August 25, 2006 9:51 AM

The shirts are awesome... Another vintage pattern? Darn we are moving house in two weeks, so no "nice" sewing here but more planning blinds and other boring stuff....
What about knitting another miss marrygold? Or some cool lacy socks like hedera from Knitty?

Posted by: tini at August 25, 2006 1:42 PM

Everything you make turns out stunning! I like the dress and love the shirts.

Posted by: Jill at August 26, 2006 4:16 PM

I love your leg of mutton sleeved shirt - it is such a elegant pattern!

I don't think your dress looks like a holiday dress at all - and I think it is quite teacherly without being school marmish. A lot of my teacher friends have problems striking the balance between funky/educational clothes for work - I think you have done well. : )

Posted by: Kate at August 27, 2006 11:28 PM

You need a high-waisted pencil skirt to go with the butterfly shirt, go 80's style and pair it with a wide belt. Just my humble opinion! Love that shirt!

Posted by: carrie at August 28, 2006 3:12 PM

I would love to work the 80's more. Now all I can seem to manage is the little quasi-wave my bangs do when I haven't styled them. Not very chic. Wide belt and pencil skirt sounds good to me! I have some heels that would do the trick, too, but I am so out of practice in them...

Posted by: villain extraordinaire at August 31, 2006 12:07 PM

Do you have any hints about sleeve ease now that you are getting the hang of it? I am desparately trying to figure it out, I'm dying here!

Posted by: Angela at September 14, 2006 10:44 PM

I am learning that ease stitch is the name of the game. You sew around loosely and gather it a little (almost as if you wanted it puckered) in order to make it fit into the arm scye. Then ease it out when you are sewing to prevent puckers and it will fit.

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