25 September 2011

Curb Alert: Cat!

First one takes him. Just be sure not to leave any liquids within 500 yards of your sewing when he's around.

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24 September 2011

A Dress That Works (For Me)!

So my plan all along has been to make dresses that look presentable but that I can wear while I commute to work on my bicycle. I do wear the lycra shorts (below-the-knee-length) but I no longer have the superhero physique to make them look good (if I ever did) or even decent. A pullover knit dress is just the ticket and now I've made one.

Bike Dress

I'm gorgeous, am I right? I'm in the subway station because I cycle from home to the subway, then take the bicycle on the train to park it at work. Where I substitute proper undergarments and shoes but wear the dress through the day if possible. Fortunately I teach "sage on the stage" style and no one has to get too close to me.


The dress is Vogue Options 8575 Here's a review:

Pattern Description: Pullover dresses in two lengths with partial self-faced, gathered bodice, lapped bodice front, princess seams front self band, tie ends, side bodice variations and gathered skirt. I made view A with mid-arm kimono sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: Size FF: 16-22. I graded from the 16 at the top to 22 at the bottom. I could have gone smaller.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the shape and the princess seams. I actually like the fact that the tie ends are so long (as mentioned by another reviewer) because I can wrap them all the way around and tie them in front, which avoids the droopy tie look in back.

Fabric Used: I used a poly-cotton (or maybe just poly) jersey from Michael Levine's in Los Angeles.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I tried to adjust the lapped bodice to be more modest, but it's still too low and I have to wear a cami under it. Someday I'll get that right. I also had to take in the sides because sizing it according to my measurements resulted in it being way too big.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes and yes. Next time in a smaller size.

18 September 2011


My four brothers and myself in, I think, 1962.

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Chuck, the second from the right, died of brain cancer at the age of 24 in 1982. Now Rick, the second from the left, is also dead two weeks short of his 58th birthday. He was found dead in his apartment where he lived for over 30 years, since moving in as a student at Kent State U. in 1978. Cause of death is still pending; my guess is carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grilling inside the house.

Rick was different. He had cut himself off from his family. He hadn't had a telephone for years. I went to visit him a few years ago and he was cordial but wouldn't let me in. He didn't empty his mailbox for weeks at a time, so mail to him--from our mother, for example--was returned to the sender. He disconnected the electricity from his apartment and took out the meter. He had a job and was never late with the rent. His old beater of a car was registered and insured. His living room looked like this.

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Yes, that is a shopping cart overflowing with books. Not scavenged books. Very carefully chosen books of philosophy and literature and Celtic mythology.

He loved the out of doors.

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Now his remains are buried here in a beautiful nature preserve cemetary destined to become a hardwood forest.

Rick s Grave 1

To let the light in I guess you have to let some of the darkness out.