Making some progress…..

I have made some progress on some of the home renovations that I have wanted to do for years. It’s just not the progress I want to be making. lol. I would love to have most, if not all, of my Victorian undergarments made, but I have opted to get some areas of the house made over, finally. We have ordered some new flooring for the main part of the house, so we can finally get rid of the 20 year old carpet. The only thing is that the flooring we picked is so popular, it won’t be in until the end of the month…. and we ordered it last month. So, I will be taking time off at the beginning of June to get it installed. I can’t wait, I’m so excited! The other renovations I have made was to the laundry room. After purchasing a new washer and dryer just before Christmas, that tiny room (and I mean tiny, it’s only 5′ by 7′) was in shambles. Since I bought front loading machines, and wanted them stacked, we had to take down the one wire shelf that was in there. That left no where for the stuff on the shelf to go, except into the entry area, and on my travel sewing table. Then, the hubby didn’t want to try to put machines where I wanted them, and I had to leave them sitting in the middle of the room. That meant that my travel table had to go in front of the door to the garage, to be a make shift station for the detergents and stuff. Yeah. That room was barely functional. Here is what it looked like:

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Tiny, drab, and positively no room. Blah! So, the weekend of April 29th, I dove in with some paint, new flooring (peel and stick tile since it’s just the laundry room), a new light fixture and some determination. Here is how it looked by the end of the day:

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Much better, right? The only help I had with it was when the hubby helped me move the machines out into the entry area, and when the Teenaged Attitude helped by handing me the tiles and I laid them. She did dive in at the end and help with the outer edge that needed special cut pieces. I taught her out to do that without wasting bunch of tiles. Oh! and the hubby helped me install the new light fixture. Which I loved so much, I bought another one to replace the outdated and malfunctioning fixture in the hall. As you can see there is plenty of space to the right of the machines, and some white shelves leaning against the wall. I got those installed this past weekend, and that helped greatly with all the extra stuff in the kitchen that isn’t used daily. Now, to get the rest of the main area of the house ready over the next couple of weeks for the new flooring, and, to get motivated on getting the sewing room finished up. Hopefully, I can get down there soon to start sewing. That would be so nice. Well, until next time…. Happy Sewing!

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Quick fixes and new undies

On our trip to Kent State, we stopped in Mansfield and I purchased a pair of cotton cargo capris. From the very first time I wore them, they bagged around my hips, instead of them sitting where they needed to be. And, when I carried my cell phone in my pocket, the side that it was one, drooped dangerously low. One morning last week, while walking from my car to the office door and tugging them back up into place, I had an idea of how to fix them.
The idea I had was simple, and all I needed was two rolls of black twill tape. I headed out to JoAnn’s during my lunch that day, and picked up one roll of black twill tape that was 1″ wide, and one roll that was 1/2″ wide. I wasn’t able to get around to fixing them until this past weekend. Here is what I did:

1.) Seam ripped all the belt loops off. No easy task, as they were sewn on with a fine satin stitch.

2.) Stitched in a button hole on each side of the fly area, about 1″ out.

3.)Pinned the 1″ twill tape around the inside of the waist band, tucking the cut edges under, making sure to take it a 1/2″ past the new button holes. Stitched down the twill tape across the top, down one end, across the bottom and back up the other end. Making sure that the twill tape is completely sewn down.

4.) With the 1″ twill tape securely in place, the 1/2″ twill tape was ran through.

My droopy cargo capris now have a draw string, and droop no more. And let me add that just adding the 1″ wide twill tape immediately made them fit better. The twill tape offered a more stable waist band, with very little stretch and give. Now, the draw string just adds a little extra security.(For more photos of how I did this, please check out the Just Blame Jane flickr stream.)

The rest of my weekend was spent working on my new set of Regency stays. Since I finished off my new chemise the weekend before, the stays had my full attention. I was going to use 3 layers of linen for my stays, but the 3 layers just didn’t have the hold that my plush figures needs. So, I picked up a yard of drill to use. I had intended the drill to be the inter lining, but it looked so crispy and nice, it became the cover fabric. Despite late starts, and frequent stops to make dinner and such, I was able to get them just about finished. I just need to drive 4 more grommets per back panel, add a few reinforcing bones to the back seams and center back, as it buckles due to my ample backside, add the busk, and sew on the bias tape across the bottom. I must say that this set of stays definitely gives me the “oomph” need to get the correct Regency silhouette. I can’t wait to finish my new stays, so I can start the new gown for this year. I have a feeling that this will be my favorite Regency outfit yet. 😉

Besides working on my undergarments, I started on Annie’s new Regency gown. This year, her dress will be blue. I haven’t taken any photos yet, but I have the bodice sewn together, and fitted. I am currently working on the sleeves. This is the same pattern that I have used for the past 2 Regency dresses I have made for her. I have a feeling this may be the last year for it, and I’ll have to start drafting patterns for her.

With the storms rolling through right now, the electric may go out at any time. So, I will leave you with a photo of the Scottish Thistle that is growing in my back yard, next to the tomato garden.

*for behind the scenes photos from my sewing room, be sure to check out the Just Blame Jane flickr stream.