It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Meet Matilda - My New Helper

 Matilda is on the right - that's The Queen on the left:

The Queen looks a bit lumpy, eh?   OK, she's a LOT lumpy!   At least she was free, notwithstanding the hours spent removing the lingering smell of cigarettes.  And the $$ spent on the Fabulous Fit foam, trying (in vain) to get her to match me.   Sadly, in spite of the 37 nuts & bolts adjusters inside, there were structural issues that made her utterly impossible to ever get a really good match for me - torso too short, shoulders too wide, bust too....something....    So she's really been more of a glorified garment holder than a fitting buddy.

Yesterday, while taking a break from paperwork, I somehow found my fingers browsing "sewing" on craigslist (how does that happen?) and there was a dress form - cheap! - and close!   I called the seller and it sounded like she was worth looking at.

And she was.   In fact, she was worth bringing home.  (along with a couple of other goodies, but we won't discuss them....still cheap!)

I think that, with a little bit of careful measuring, I can make her look about as close to me as a dress form can be!   Here's why:

 She is constructed entirely of foam!   Squishy, moldable foam.  And a canvas covering, zipped up the back, that ideally is seamed to make an exact match of the body.  Hopefully I'll be able to utilize the covering that came with her, and I figure that with some help from the  Fabulous Fit foam and some research in making a well-fitting moulage I should end up with something that will actually help me in fitting - what a nice concept, eh?

 A search for "Faithfully Yours Dress Form" brought up this newspaper ad from 1967:

Even better, check out the other goodies in the Singer ad!:

Matilda has to be nearly 50 years old, and still happy to serve!   Considering I paid $20 for her, she even held her value fairly well.  :)

I've been reading the blog posts that a few of you have made recently on dress forms; I'll definitely be checking them out more thoroughly as I play with Matilda, and hopefully end up with a helpful sewing twin!

Any hints, suggestions, links, etc. in this venture will be more appreciated :)  Have you ever seen or used a dress form like this before?   I would SO love to have my Mom's old dress form - a network of interlocking metal mesh that was infinitely adjustable, and held itself in place with a covering.   I've never seen another one like it.  If and until I have several hundred unclaimed smackeroos to spend on one of the fancy name brand forms, I'm hoping that Matilda will serve me well :)

Oh yes...The Frosting Report:  I did, indeed, make Pocket #2, and I'm happy to report that it went very smoothly.  Practice pays off!  The project is moving right along, and really will be my next post. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Sneak Peek at My Frosting....

I'm still in the mixing phase of my new "frosting" project - you know how your arm can get sore when you're mixing up a batter that seems to take forever?

Well, my arm is sore.   So I thought I'd take a break and share a taste.  ;-)

I'm actually a bit excited about this piece of fluff, but it's one of those projects that keeps getting re-invented as I go along, and is definitely taking longer than the quick little piece of icing that I thought it was going to be.

Here's Step One.   Actually, it's more like step 9 or 14, but it's what I'm going to share at the moment....

A welt pocket.   
An angled welt pocket.
A free-hanging angled welt pocket (aka, not attached to any stabilizing seams)

A free-hanging angled welt pocket installed in a hunk of 3" long faux fur.
Yeah, I know....Right?
(what WAS she thinking???)

My preferred method of constructing a free-hanging welt pocket is Judy Barlup's, which I blogged about way back when, and I think I haven't constructed one like this since.   And I've certainly never installed one in 3" faux fur!  Truth is, her method is the most complex I've seen, but it does have a couple of major advantages:  the ends of the welts are mitered, so you don't have the bulk of the seams at the ends.  That's not an issue in this case (all that fur is going to hide a multitude of sins, after all!).   The other advantage is that the pocket bag is attached directly to the welt, so it's really designed not to need the stability of a waist or side seam.

I lightened this shot a bit, so that you can see the mitered seams on each end:

I marked the welt seam on the wrong side of the fabric, and pinned along the mark.....

Then searched for the pins on the fur side, separated the fur, and trimmed some away along the seam line...

It may SEEM like it's been a simple process to this point, but truth is that by now I've probably been futzing and fussing over all of this for at least 2 hours (maybe, definitely more....)

My intention had been to make 2 pockets.

I'm already thinking that one will be enough.

Actually, I was having moments of thinking that maybe none would be enough, and that there's enough fur there that no one would even notice the bit that I've snipped away....

But I persevered....  I'd already made the welt, after all...

Welt pinned in place:

I'm going to spare you the gory details (including one bloody finger) of the rest of the process.   I muddled through the instructions, which even included bringing out my sample welt and studying that, and adding notes to my previous blog post where I got confused.

2...or 3.....or perhaps 4.....hours later, I had a finished pocket!:
All that work and you can't even see it!   But I guess that's a good thing, right?

It is there....:

And the project really kind of does need 2..... but I just can't face it right now, and I'm storing the thought that I can actually install another one later with just a teeny bit of unpicking a side seam if I really really really want a second pocket.  


Next post will be the reveal, but I have tax prep to do first (and if you have the same attitude about paperwork/taxes as I do, you might have chosen to do a struggly welt pocket too......)

What's on your plate right now?  Cake or frosting? :-)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jalie vs. Jilly (Jeans, that is)

Last year I made my first pair of jeans from the hugely popular Jalie pattern.  I was very happy with my results (some tweaking was involved), but I definitely wanted to give the Style Arc Jilly Jeans a go, because their pants, in general, fit me very well.   And they're JILLY jeans, I mean...hello?

First off, I need to get the Operator Issues out of the way.  (the Operator would be me, of course...)  There were a lot of them.  I referred a lot to my set of posts about the Jalie Jeans - this is one of the wonderful benefits of blogging!  Having your own experiences documented in words and pictures that you understand is priceless.  :)    I just didn't heed my instructions quite well enough at the beginning, which was one of my downfalls :(

Mistake #1:  I tested thread and needle on the fabric, but one quick seam over 6 layers of fabric to determine what needle and topstitching thread would work did NOT mean that same needle and thread was going to be optimum for most of the stitching that needed to be done.   In fact, there are precious few spots where I'm actually going over 6 layers of fabric.    :::rolleyes:::.
Mistake #2:  I made a quick muslin using the denim I had made the Jalies from, and it took me way too long to realize that the new denim I was using behaved WAY differently - thinner fabric, more stretch, not nearly as stable.   So I was using topstitching thread that was too thick, a needle that was too large, and using a relatively unstable fabric, not treating it as carefully as I should have.   All of this resulted in atrocious (really!) topstitching (wavy, too small a stitch length...not attractive.   Not at all attractive.)

I did, however, carry on anyway and finish the jeans, and. I'm happy that I did.  In the end, I do have comfortable jeans that fit fairly well right after a good hot wash & dry, but sadly, they stretch fairly quickly into a bit of a baggy mess.  Comfy, but baggy.  :(  And  I won't be showing off any of that topstitching with any sense of pride.....

Lessons learned:
  1. When researching and practicing topstitching, seam stitching, needles and thread, try ALL of the different thicknesses and grain directions you'll be using to determine what's needed for what. 
  2.  Remember that not all denims are created equal.   Practice.  Test.  It's worth taking that extra bit of time until you know what you're working with!
  3. Bright gold topstitching on very dark (almost black) denim may not be the best choice.
  4. You don't HAVE to start now and use the threads you have on hand....sometimes shopping and waiting for the right ingredients is worth the wait.

General Notes on the Jilly instructions:   Not for beginners, and probably not a good idea for someone who has never made jeans before.  Unless you want to follow instructions from a completely different source.   Style Arc pattern instructions are designed for people who do not need to be told construction details, and although you can email and ask questions, and you will get fabulous response and help, I would strongly advise you to not try this pattern as your first attempt at jeans!

Style Arc notches:  If you see a notch, mark it!  You'll probably need it.   Notches do not necessarily match up with other notches; in many cases a notch marks the spot that will match a seam - this is great because you don't need to make any marks that might disappear by the time you need it!

I'm not going to write a lot of construction details here, since I did that in my Jalie posts, and the front pocket details, posted here.   For the most part, after I read through the Jilly instructions, I just set them aside and followed the details in my Jalie Jeans posts.

Jalie vs. Jilly

One of the first notable differences is the leg width - Jilly is much wider in the rear leg, with a narrower front leg.  My Jalie pattern is cut in between their high and low rise - the Jilly jean is closer to my preferred rise as is (although I did cut about 1/2" off the front piece, angled from the side seam to 1/2" at CF).   Both jeans have a very similar circumference at the bottom hem; Jalie angles in at the knee, then back out again, Jilly is straighter all the way.

In the next pic you can see the differences better at the top.  Note that I chose to use Jalie's cut-on fly extension - Jilly has a sewn on fly.   Jilly has a lot more room in the butt area; I actually ended up angling this in, removing nearly 1" at the top.   BOTH patterns required gaposis darts in the back yoke and waist seam.

Jilly has an option for a curved waistband or a straight one - a VERY nice touch!  I drafted a curved band for the Jalie, and added darts (at the pattern level) in the Jilly curved band - this ended up creating a waistband with a pretty deep curve in the back.

Another difference is that Jilly's back yoke is taller.   What I did NOT like about this is that the pockets ended up being placed lower (I also shifted the placement of the pockets to be more angled, which made them lower still....this was another big Operator Error Issue, because they are now WAY too low on my butt!)

The front pocket has a deeper curve on the Jilly - it's comfortable for getting the hands in the pocket; some may prefer the shallower curve.

One more major difference is in the zipper.  Jilly has the zipper placed in the center of the front, rather than being off set like most jeans are.  I completely ignored the Jilly zipper instructions and followed those from my Jalie post.

On to some pictures.  The unfortunate disclaimer here is that I've been wearing the Jillys for two days, so the sags and bags in this stretchy fabric (only 2% lycra, but 9.4 oz. weight...just much flimsier than the Jalie fabric I used.   FWIW, I got the Jalie denim at JoAnn's, and I bought a pile of different weight denims from when they had it on a big sale last year.  I'm now not so happy that I bought as much as I did, but hopefully the heavier weights that I got will please me more.  To get a fair representation of the fit differences, I really should have taken the photos right after a wash & dry, but the truth is that this is what the jeans are going to look like most of the time :(

Jilly on the left, Jalie on the right.  The rise is very similar (remember that I re-drafted the Jalie to be in between their low & high rise, and cut down the front of the Jilly by a bit).   That gathering at the knee of the Jilly doesn't go away no matter what size heel I have on, so I think it's a combo of the flimsier fabric and the straight leg.  The Jalie goes in at the knee.  (The Jalie denim is pretty dark; hope you can see the details OK.)

You can see here how much further forward the side seam is on the Jilly.   This I like!  You can also see how much lower the back pocket site on the Jilly.   This I don't like :(

Just to show how much ease this stretchy fabric has..... :(

Another side view - on this you can see that the inside seam ends up being further forward on the Jalie.  The crotch point on the Jalie is further forward.  Overall, I much prefer the leg seam placement on the Jilly.

I don't remember offhand (and I'm too lazy to go look it up) whether or not the Jalie called for the 2 belt loops at CB.   Jilly calls for only one; I prefer 2, but when I got to that stage I didn't feel like cutting a new piece just to have the extra loop.   Even though the sagging of this fabric means that I need to wear a belt more often!    Also, I didn't sew down the bottom of the belt loops on the Jilly Jeans; I did on the Jalie.   Looking at the pics this is something I WILL do while the thread is still in the machine - hate that loopy look!   I think you can't quite tell in this pic how bad the pockets look on the Jillys - they really are placed too low and end up in a little fold at the bottom. SO not a good look!  I mentioned above that I adjusted the pocket placement, and really should have left it alone - where they have it would have been better.

Bottom Line:   I would like to make another pair of jeans while the info is still fresh in my head, and I would redraft something in between these two patterns.   I think they both have a lot of good aspects - I like the leg seams on the Jilly, although I might narrow them at the knee more like the Jalie.  I also prefer the narrower back yoke of the Jalie.  Both jeans have a comfortable fit on my body (after some tweaking, although the Jilly took way less tweaking!).   Both needed a gaposis fix.  The curved band on the Jilly is very nice.  I like the pockets on the Jilly, although I might try the method of extending the pocket into the fly next time - sounds like a great way of adding support to an aging belly!  ;-)

My biggest lesson here?   All denims are not created equal, and my personal preference is for something a little beefier, with a little more stability.    Oh, and in my quest for sewing a better topstitch, start with the appropriate needle and thread right off the bat!

Next up is a super fun piece of frosting!   I know I said I was going to focus on more practical items, and I am....really, I am....but this particular flavor of frosting just ambled on to my sewing table and it was love at first sight!   Sneak Peek:

And you?   Are you focused on a nutritious main course or frosting right now?  Happy Sewing all!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Style Arc Jilly Jeans - it's about the Pockets

Huzzah!  I've completed my second pair of jeans!  Style Arc Jilly Jeans (which of course I needed to make).  I'll compare them to my first pair of Jalie jeans next (photo session isn't done yet, because frankly, I'd rather be sewing than taking pictures & blogging....)  

For now, it's all about the front pockets.  Jilly Jeans Pockets for Dummies, if you will.  There aren't very many reviews for this pattern, and I suspect that is mainly because of Style Arc's infamous lack of hand-holding instructions, coupled with the fact that making jeans really kind of of needs a bit of hand-holding, at least the first time through.  I hope to provide a bit of hand-holding, because there are aspects of this pattern that I really like, and hope that more people try it!  A few reviewers said they couldn't make any sense at all out of the front pocket instructions, but I was determined to muck through it and figure them out, and in the end, I do like their method!

The pocket bag is all one piece, folded over - I like the simplicity of this!  The instructions, however, are anything but simple...or maybe they're too simple... at any rate, if you've never done this type of pocket before, here's the 101 for dummies hand-holding pictorial version.

1.  Finish the curved edge of the pocket facing (I serged it)

2.   Sew WS of front pocket facing to RS of pocket bag along all edges of the facing.

View of pocket facing sewn on from the back
Note:  the facing is visible after jeans are finished, so this is denim.   
The pocket bag I cut from cotton flannel - warm and comfy :)  :

3.  With RS together, sew the curved top edge of the pocket opening on the jeans front to the matching curve of the pocket bag (the other end of the pocket bag from the end you just sewed the facing on to)  
Note:  I opted to do a cut-on fly, so my jeans front pattern piece looks different than the Style Arc piece.

4.  Turn WS together, press and top stitch the curved pocket opening:
View from reverse side:

5.  Sew the coin pocket to the right side pocket facing (the pattern has notches indicating the placement of the coin pocket)  I made some notes on my coin pocket pattern piece, since it wasn't immediately clear to me while cutting it out which side was up:

6.  Fold pocket bag in half.  Sew the bottom curved edges of the pocket bag together; finish (serge) the seam:

That's it!  Not hard at all.  Once you know what you're doing....

The finished jeans, and my comparison of the Jillys to the Jalies is coming up next...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Replacing a Broken Jeans Zip

A year and a half ago I made my first pair of Jeans (blogged here).  A practice pair, really, using Jalie's ubiquitous Jeans pattern, JoAnn's sale denim (cheap) and a (really really) cheap zipper.  In spite of the (really really) cheap ingredients, I did strive to do a good job on the construction.   The good news: they have been my very favorite, go-to jeans ever since!   They fit, they feel good, they're comfy, and even the topstitching is pretty darned OK.

The bad news:  Did I mention the (really really) cheap zipper?  Yup, the inevitable happened, and it busted on me.  Several months ago.  I'm now ready to make another pair of jeans, using Style Arc's Jilly Jeans pattern - (sadly, not named after me, but clearly I have to make them anyway, right?).

So I figured it was time to repair that broken zipper too.  I've been dreading this task.  Unpicking All. That. Topstitching.  Trying to squeeze in the new zip to fit.  This is the stuff a stitcher's nightmares are made of, right?  Well.... I looked up a few tutorials online, and waddaya know - there are actually EASY ways of doing this!  No topstitching need be harmed!  There is hand sewing involved, but I don't mind that, and since these jeans really have seen their better days, the zip doesn't need to be guaranteed-for-a-lifetime sturdy anyway.  (Aside:  there are some truly atrocious tutorials out there, but a couple of pretty good ones, including this one from Threads)

So, off we go!   Zipper replacement experience documented here!   Step right up and follow along with me, as I venture off into new territory!  (warning:  picture heavy posting follows - hopefully this will qualify as Jeans Zipper Replacement 101, or Zip Replacement for Dummies) (Note:  All pics can be biggified for more detail simply by clicking on them)

New Zip, Old Zip, Old Jeans which want to be New Jeans:
(Note:  if you can't find a zipper that's the same size as the old one,
clip off the BOTTOM of the zip, not the top, and hand stitch
a really solid new bar of stitching to prevent the zip from sliding off the bottom)

Step 1.  Remove Old Zipper
Remove the stitching holding the zipper to the fly guard 
(the underneath part of the zipper):

This is where I realized that my first installation was way.  WAY.  sturdier than the zipper itself was.   I did not have just ONE line of stitching holding this half of the zipper in place, but THREE!   Yes....THREE!   I looked back at my detailed zipper installation post, where I thoroughly detailed my process - I used a combination of Debbie Cook's and Peter MPB's tutorials with a few touches of my own, and danged if I didn't end up with a well-installed zipper!   Too bad about the (really really) cheap zipper I used :(.

One row of stitching to unpick at the far edge of the zip,
one row in the center,
and the topstitched row.   Sheesh.

Unpick the (single) row of stitching holding 
the other half of the zipper to the outer fly:

Without removing any topstitching,
cut the zipper off at the tops and bottoms,
as close as you can get to the waistband
and the bottom of the zipper:

I promise, the zip was already dead;
it felt no pain.

Step 2.  Install New Zipper

With zipper facing up, place zipper on the fly guard.
Fold the top end of the zipper tape under.  (Note: tuck it further under
than this picture shows before sewing, in order to keep it
well out of the way of the zipper teeth)
Place the top of the zipper as close to the waistband as possible.
Baste or pin in place, or use Wonder Tape 
(or do like I did, and use nothing - this side is really pretty easy to stitch in place,
using the zipper teeth as a guide)

Using a zipper foot, stitch this side of the zipper in place, 
stitching close to the teeth:

Close the zipper.
Fold the top of the zipper tape OVER 
(on both sides of the zipper, you want the folded part of the tape 
to be next to fabric you are stitching it to)
Here I did use Wonder Tape to get the zipper placed correctly before stitching:

Button the jeans in closed position,
and finger press the zipper & Wonder Tape to the fly front:

Unzip the zipper, making sure that the Wonder Tape
is holding it in place,
and hand stitch this half of the zipper in place:

There are two layers of denim on the fly front.  
You will only be stitching the zipper to the inner layer;
make sure you're only catching the one layer as you stitch.
I used a backstitch, as shown here (biggify the pic for better detail):

Pliers are your friend, at times like these: 

And that's it, folks!
Brand New (sort of) Jeans!

What on earth was I so afraid of???  This whole process (if you eliminate the time spent taking photos, doing a bit of blogging, making and eating dinner, a couple of phone calls, etc...) took maybe an hour and a half, including time spent questioning just how I wanted to do it along the way.   Now that I know how easy it is, should I need to do it again I'm betting it will take half that time.

And you?  Have you done this before?  Did your hand stitching hold up?  Will you do it now?  Any tips to share?  

Raise a glass with me to the magic of repairing the old!  :)

Oh, and next up?   A truly brand new pair of jeans :)   

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Black Sheep Peony

Some of you may remember my stormy relationship with The Peony. (aka Diane Ericson/ReVisions Peony Vest) I exposed the sordid details in these posts - after numerous fits and starts, we ended up by tying the proverbial knot.   Well, I'm sad to say that, although Mr. Peony still hangs around here, we never go out...he's just too...flashy.  Ill-fitting.  He's larger than life, and sometimes it's just all too much.

And then I met his distant cousin.   Who is, shall we say, the Black Sheep of the family.  I guess there's just a part of me that's still attracted to the quintessential bad boy.  What can I say.  I'm a sucker, as long as he's soft and cuddly and warms the cockles of my heart, and this black sheep does a good job of that.  :)

Here we are together:

Not only that, but he's willing to expose his soft side in public!
(Overexposed to show details better)
He has some rough edges, but then, don't we all?  I really like the honesty with which he's willing to display them :)

And a pocket, because some secrets really should be kept out of sight:

I really think that this relationship has a LOT more hope than the original peony:  (Not that I'm tied down completely - we have an open relationship. and #1 is open to some alterations that may make him more suitable for outings.....we'll see......)

The back story (aka, the nuts & bolts of how things came together):
A couple of years ago Fabric Mart had a pile of leathers & sheepskins at ridiculous (low!) prices, and although I tried to resist, I failed.   Both the orange pigskin of #1 and the 2 sheepskins for #2 came from that failed resistance.

The sheepskins were a bit small, so squeezing the pattern pieces on was a bit of a challenge.  (aside: Although I did alter the muslin & pattern pieces ahead of time, knowing that I needed to make them smaller, I was too lazy to actually sew them together & test the new sizing - I would have done MUCH better with layout had I done that.....hindsight.....Especially since I kept cutting the new vest down numerous times during the making)   *sigh*:

I have to say that I really had fun making this vest.   And solidified a few aspects of the type of sewing I enjoy the most:
  • Playing with design aspects during the making, as opposed to having it all figured out ahead of time.
  • Being able to cut and slice and alter at will, because of the forgiving nature of the fabric used; i.e., no worries about fraying & cut edges, mistakes can be easily hidden or incorporated into the design, and there isn't even a set and specific grain line to worry about!  
  • It's a "natural" fabric (animal rights advocates notwithstanding.....) but still has some forgiving stretch, which makes it relatively forgiving.
  • It's really easy to work with, and a pleasure to touch and feel.  :)
  • It was SO simple and easy to construct!  Although I like a challenge, doing something that doesn't even require opening the directions is such a pleasant change!
Which leads me to the construction.  Since I'd made this once before, and went through some hair-pulling sessions trying to get the lining to fit and hang right after a multitude of alterations (not to even mention all of the, we're not going to mention them...), I already knew how the pieces fit together, so I truly didn't even open up the direction sheet.   I just sewed up all of the vertical seams first, and stitched the seam allowances down, then fitted the shoulder seams last:
Binder clips are an awesome necessity
when working with natural skins!
No holes in the fabric, 

and they hold even the heaviest of fabrics together very well. :)

I ended up cutting in the armholes - a LOT - and even sliced off the side seams after (I thought) it was all done, taking in the sides by even more inches than I had originally.   The pattern sizing goes to XS - by the time I was done, I probably had an XXS.   (and no, I am NOT XXS!)

As far as construction details, I have to admit that I was more interested in having fun with this than in following detailed sheepskin cutting and sewing guidelines.  Since I planned on exposed seams, I didn't shave off the fur on the seam allowances, but I did trim it away along the seam line itself:
Note:  I was not anal about clipping along the exact seam line - this is basically eyeballed. It worked fine.   All that fur is VERY forgiving!
I used a Jeans needle and walking foot on Penelope, my Grande Dame 201, and she did a stellar job on the stitching.  I used "taut sewing" techniques, giving the fabric a bit of extra pull from the rear when necessary, since the skin & fur varied in thickness by quite a bit.  I did not use anything to keep the seams together as I sewed, I just practiced Slow Sewing and held my seams together by hand as I stitched. A bit of waviness in the seam allowances was not going to bug me on this one. :)

Oh, and one Absolutely Essential Tool when working with sheepskin is:   a hand vacuum.   Just leave it out, plugged in and ready to use, during the entire process.  You'll be using it a LOT!

The Results:
The Woman In Black

Closeups of the Closures:

Next up are a few necessary main course/protein/cake/whatever-you-want-to-call-them projects.  The necessaries.  Jeans.  Jammies.  Work Clothes.

Maybe I'll sneak a small bit of frosting in there now & then.   Because that's what I do.  ;-)

Meanwhile, Mr. Black Sheep and I are going to do a bit of grocery shopping. :)  Dressed as above - no jacket!   This is the first time in months!  The sun is shining here, and I'm seeing bulbs popping up, but not too much in the way of flowers in my garden yet...soon...real soon....  I've noticed that I seem to be sewing a bit more realistically lately, regarding seasonal sewing.  I've put away the last piece of wool that did not get made up into a coat, and I'm looking at Springish transitional clothing - I used to be SO far behind, starting wintery clothes in March...I think I'm learning!

Are the rest of you Northern Hemisphere sewists gearing up for Spring/warm weather sewing?  And are you antipodeans still enjoying and sewing your sleeveless garments?  Here's to Happy Sewing, whatever the season :)