Saturday, August 29, 2015

Girly Bike

Continuing the bicycling theme, I make the perfect pillow for my couch.  Pink.  Bicycles.  Linen.  The fabric was just screaming to come home with me.  Echino is pricey, so I only bought half a yard.  It was enough to cover a 14"x20" pillow.

I attempted the exposed zipper treatment a la Galbraith and Paul pillows.

But it was less than successful. I think I need to interface a wider portion of the edge so that it holds its shape.

I drove all the way down to Colorado Fabrics for a pillow form filled with siliconized polyester fiber because the silicone is supposed to minimize polyfill's tendency to mat down.  It is a lovely, squishy, yet resilient pillow form.  But, I should have realized that the silicone also makes the fibers slick enough to escape the fabric covers.  It beards like crazy.

I got the Echino linen/cotton fabric from Momen, in Torrance, CA before the move.  It only took my about 18 months to sew it up.  ;-)

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I prefer a drama-free day-to-day life.   Ideally, I'd only get my drama vicariously, through art.   But, I do like my dramatic commute.  Pinch me, I work in the office building on top of this mesa.
School starts this week and the traffic during move-in week is unreal.  I commuted by bike* last Friday, before the smoke from the myriad wildfires moved in.

My lonely bike because I work a later schedule than most.
Even the flag had already gone to rest for the evening.  
Pretending I have a handle-bar camera as I exit the driveway.
About to descend.
Stop 20 meters into descent for dramatic view.
It's easy to miss this ped/bike shortcut when whizzing downhill.  It leads through a neighborhood.
To another ped/bike way behind the DOC (Department of Commerce, NIST & NOAA) Laboratories.  Then a couple of blocks through another neighborhood and along the Broadway bike path.  I wave to the atomic clocks as I roll by.
Then roll through the University of Colorado, Boulder to central Boulder and home.
~800 vertical feet descent.  Three national labs.  One research university.  Google's Boulder campus. A dramatic commute.

Does anyone have a helmet camera they can loan me so I can film a video of the commute?

* I bike to a shuttle stop in the morning and get a lift UP to work.  I roll downhill home on my bike.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

For Bad Dad...

...who says that the absence of a turn signal is a signal of intent to go straight. He's had way too many drivers nearly turn into him while he is bicycling. He asked how to get one of these stickers for his bike.

I doubt drivers can read a bumper sticker on a bike frame. As a public service announcement, I'm going to post it here. Spread the word.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Smoke Effects

During my after-work bike ride on Thursday, August 20, I noticed flashes of red coming from Boulder creek. Further investigation showed that they were the reflections of sunlight coming off the sun. We have been getting spectacular red sunsets due to the smoke from all the wildfires around the western part of North America.

Fortunately, I didn't need my inhaler during or after my bike ride.  I did cough a bit more than usual after my ride.

I did give up my hiking and biking plans for the weekend, though.  It's just too smoky outside.  My eyes hurt if I spend extended time outdoors.  When will the winds shift?  Check the California Regional Weather Server's Jet Stream visualizations of NCEP forecasts.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Simplicity 1463 Set

I bought Simplicity 1463 because I thought Iris would like View C, but her friend selected View A.

I've always had good experiences with Karen Z for Simplicity patterns and this was no exception.

I like the way the top gently curves down in the back.
Again, we went one size down from a L to a M.  We also used a S neckline.
It looks much cuter on the 18 yo than on my dress form.

We went straight from the airport to Colorado Fabrics, where she selected 3 pieces from the pre-cut tables in the back.  There was enough of this red and black stripe rayon/lycra jersey to make a skirt using Vogue 9789 View C.  We added CF and CB seams and mitered at a 10 degree angle.  10 degrees makes a very subtle V.  If we had more fabric, we could have angled the skirt pieces more.  But, I was pretty proud to show her how to get 2 items out of a ~2 yard cut.

She has 5 new pieces for her fall/college wardrobe and some new skills.

Iris doesn't have the attention span for or interest in sewing.  I made one skirt for her.  She OK'd the pattern and fabric, then said it was all wrong.  Grr.  I'm going to step away and do some selfish sewing for a while.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Speed Sewing

I came across my early 2015 sewing priority list and my summer 2015 course corrected sewing list. Shorts that fit my current midsection size were high on both lists.  How many have I sewn?

0, zip, zilch, nada.

Realistically, I don't have enough time. Since I sprained both my ankles in April 2014, I gained 15 pounds and lost 10 of them. I place a higher priority on work, family, settling into my new place, and losing the last 5 pounds than sewing things that are time consuming (fly fronts) and don't excite me.

I went to Goodwill instead.

3 pairs of shorts for $4 a piece. Done.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Kwik Sew 3262

Iris' friend is learning to sew. I pulled the remainder of the black/ecru ponte I used for my Burda 7184 waterfall cardigan.
She selected Kwik Sew 3262.  OOP, but you can still buy it here.
We used a nylon/lycra for the neckband.

It's interesting to sew and fit with someone with a different build.  I am a slight pear and she is an inverted triangle.   Her chest puts her in a L but her hips put her in a M.  The pattern is sized for thick fleeces and we used a ponte.  We took some pattern measurements and decided to go down a M and she is very happy with the fit.

Her friend learned how to cut single layer, match stripes, use a serger and hem with a twin needle.  My child is still not interested in learning to sew.  She likes giving orders though.

This is an old Kwik Sew pattern, printed on heavy paper with 1/4" seam allowances.  I much prefer these to the new ones with tissue paper and 5/8" seam allowances.

It's a Kwik Sew.  The drafting is great.  It goes together easily.  The directions tell you to fuse interfacing to the shoulder seams to reinforce them before sewing.  That's the technique I would use even if the instructions didn't say so.

I only wish that, in addition to giving you pattern pieces for the rectangular pieces, they also gave you the measurements.  I cut rectangles with a rotary cutter and ruler, not with tiny paper pattern pieces.  What do you do?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not a sewing video

In case you want to hear my actual voice (not the POV 'voice' you read at BMGM), you can view a tutorial I taped as part of the Yellowstone User Seminar series. Yellowstone* is NCAR's main supercomputer. (The older, retired ones are reserved for use by my section.)

Citizen scientists who don't have an account on Yellowstone may find the general info on how to find and use our open access weather and climate data useful.  In my years as a SAHM and citizen scientist, I downloaded and practiced data wrangling/mash-ups/analysis/science with RDA data.  When they had a job opening, I was in a good position to go pro.

* Since last June, YS has slipped from #29 to #50 on the list of world's fastest supercomputers.  You think supermodels have a short shelf life at the top?  Try being a supercomputer.  Read Slice of Sky.