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General rambles

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Scary sewing points

This is more a test post to see how well/easy posting from phone works on wordpress

Every one has those stages in sewing one dreads; setting sleeves, zippers etc. For me, it’s button holes. One of those points that if I make a mistake means taking garment apart, recutting new panel, remaking area and trying again. Always have flashbacks to making a doublet for Shakespeare production, for some reason er couldn’t use a chisel blade so had to use a raw scapel blade. I manged to overcut , necessitating remaking garment, plus sliced a chunk out of work table and my own thumb.
Ever since, I always approach button holing with dread. And a good olfa mat…and a steel ruler to stop blade at end of cut.
I have yet to meet a stitcher who hasn’t bled for learning their craft ;)

(2 days later, no slashed fabric or fingers, and commission finished , huzzah!!!  Now I have to de-thread the entire house, silk brocade makes more shed than a persian cat ;)

Posted from WordPress for Android

Working from home/own studio-Traps & timekeeping help

Like many, I work from home when I don’t have access to a studio. Generally, I love working from home, the lack of commute, being able to wear Hello Kitty sweats w/out public embarassment (well, I am older than she is ;) playing my own music. There are the downsides; mainly lack of social contact, not having someone else to keep me on track/on time, too easy to be distracted by home life or use doing the laundry as a way to avoid my less preferred sewing tasks.

There are some tasks which I find myself preferring to do in front of the telly. A Dangerous trap indeed. When doing boring/repetitive things like large amount of handsewing/basting, or sorting beads, it’s lovely to have the noise and some stimulation in the background. A particularily engrossing programme though slows me down. So to keep from too much distraction, I like to watch films/tv series which I have watched before, enough to entertain, but not something I feel I have to actively watch. Also when doing so I actually subtract 20% off my time log to account for slowness.

Which leads to my next new big helper; time keeping. Up until recently I have been *horrid* about time keeping, but a recent commission has made me seriously face up to it. I have a project which, as I go along, I am finding I seriously misjudged how long it would take to complete. Oh, I was fine as far as basic timeframes for the quote; fittings, shopping time for materials, pattern draughting etc. but then some of the custom details on the dress suddenly skewed it enourmously. Enough so that I essentially am no longer “paid” from my original commission quote. (in this case it’s for a friend, it was my error/oversight, so happy to swallow the “cost”, plus she’s taken me to so many theatre shows I’ve been more than compensated in kind ;) The old quote about 90% of the job takes 10% of the time and 10% of the job takes 90% of the time is definatly true with craft/sewing projects ;)

So I needed to find a way to track SPECIFIC tasks. This is important for the future to be able to better give quotes and NOT undersell oneself! I thought to myself it would be lovely if I had a list of just how long it takes to do any given task.

I had been using a timesheet, and that’s good, especially if you have one nearby in all the places in the house you tend to do work. But  I need to use studio, sitting room, dining room ( for cutting big fabrics) and laundry. That’s a silly number of timesheets to try to collate, or drag a clipboard along w all the other things.

Time to turn to technology, I have an Android phone, and I have found a good application which lets me log in & out quickly, calculate cost of time, and label each login/out so I can see exactly how much time I spent sewing X’s pleats, or drawing a pattern. This info you can also email to yourself, or make into a CVS file to send to your computer, making it so much easier to create a final timeshet for a project and in my case, a database on how long it *REALLY* takes to do any aspect.

you can find it on Android Market here (it’s called Chronos timekeeper) : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.kopysoft.chronos&feature=search_result

iPhone seems to have a similar app named simply iTimesheet. I can’t rate it being an Android gal ;)

So if you have a smartphone, and hate filling in timesheets, I highly recommend using this, it’s a real help.

It may seem a silly thing to make a post about, but I know myself, and my colleagues all have a very bad habit of under quoting ourselves. I think it’s important to do this though, and it also makes it easier to show the client exactly what they are paying for and have them really cognizant of how much work truly goes into the beautiful project you are doing for them.

Finally settled into my page

Le *Sigh*, looks like I finally have this blog set up the way I pretty much want it now, with top tabbed pages/topics and links and … It’s a great template which lets one pile on masses of widgets onto side bars, create your own menus, divide a single blog into multiple pages, yadda yadda. My only grumble is at not being able to adjust the size of the columns and the “preview” function when tweaking doesn’t seem to work in html, only the Visual console.

So apologies to folks who have had to endure probably a zillion little edits/posts showing up on their feed/FB.

So, back to sewing tomorrow as hands have had a day break from a massive handstitching-a-thon. Ra! Been up 37 hours, dratted insomnia. Apparently fussing with new sites makes it worse, more so even than MassEffect2 ;) it’s like NRE (New Social Media Platform Energy?),  time for sleeep, bon nuit!

adventures in WordPress

A quiet night at home, whilst partner worked on 100% complete acheivements on DeadSpace, I puttered about setting up this blog.

Is it sick and wrong I actually *enjoy* tweaking site templates to the way I want it? Trolling through  my fabric photos to find the background pics I want and fussing over background shades?

(note to self, make a gallery of fabrics looking for a project/home in case anyone wants something made)

Still in process of sorting through soon-to-be-defunct Other accounts to compile and migrate over here. Rar, I know how to have a good time.

So any questions or hints folks need answered/help?

A new home for DreamSewing…

photo by Simon MacMullen

Hello old friends and new, so as so many rail against FaceBook, LJ and G+ issues, I thought I’d bring my DreamSewing stitch-witch blog over here to wordpress.Much of the content here is duplicated from G+, but I wanted to have it here as a backup in case that account becomes NymBanned ;p

The old Dreamsewingmiko Live journal is now also going to be abandoned in favor of this site. Thanks for your patience with the many crosspostings I’ll be doing to get folks reading over here, hopefully this will be the best way to streamline my media.

This blog is really just to keep tabs on projects, chat with others about tips & tricks and also I will be adding a list of resources and links on a sidebar (as soon as I figure out how to do so ;)

This blog is PUBLIC so please keep that in mind when commenting; oblique is fine, and any rudeness ought ought to be the sort that goes over the head of your average 13 year old.