Saturday, January 29, 2011

February coat underway

My JAM (jacket a month 2011) for February is now underway.  I am tracing the pattern to Swedish tracing paper before I do any pattern adjustments.  I really don't like Swedish tracing paper very much because the eraser shreds my pencil marks, but for this coat, it's pretty great because it's so wide.  In the future, I'll buy a case of doctors' exam table paper - like this at Amazon.  It is a lot narrower, but that is sufficient for most of my pattern work.

Pattern weights keep the tissue in place while I trace.
There was a little bitty delay in launching this project.  There was this little snowstorm on Wednesday.  It crippled the Washington DC metropolitan area.  We were only one of thousands of households without power for a few days and my husband is only one of thousands stranded on the roads that night.  He got home from work at midnight, but that's nothing.  One of his co-workers got home at 6am the next morning!   The reason?  The roads were blocked with crippled buses and 18-wheelers.  You can imagine the finger-pointing in the local newspaper articles.  

I had scheduled a vacation /personal sewing day for Friday (yesterday) but obviously that didn't happen.   We keep an apartment in Baltimore because I kept my Baltimore job when we got married in 2005.  Thank goodness for that!  We had a warm place to wait out the inconveniences.  My husband took the brunt of it all - his commute from Baltimore to his job is very long, plus he kept dropping by the house to check on the cats, shut off the water (see I wouldn't even think about frozen pipes!  but he did).

Now if you aren't bored enough already, let me keep going because it gets better!  Last night, in the apartment we learned what happens when the battery dies in the smoke detector.  It chirps every 30 minutes until you procure a 9 volt battery and replace it.  And, that's not all!  We also learned that the thermostat in the apartment uses batteries, too.  And they die, too!  Who knew?  That's why you might get nothing but cold air!  So that's what we learned between midnight and 3am this morning.   We even learned that the local 7-11 is not open 24 hours a day.   I'll say one thing - the roads in Baltimore were excellent.  They did a good job clearing the snow, at least where we were.
Fascinating, isn't it?

Well, once you get to a certain age, you realize "hey at least we don't have little kids or a dog - it could have been a whole lot worse!"  and of course, we are so thankful to even have a backup place to stay.  

This sums up Howie's feelings:
(just kidding, he stayed cheerful)

And if you can't keep calm, try to keep a sense of humor.
Let me tell you I am one happy lady today!
Happy sewing, everyone!


  1. I bought my exam paper from the medical supply place on Northern Parkway in Hamilton. It's $8 a roll. Trena and I used to split a case. But, I think this is more economical and definitely convenient.

  2. I'm right there with ya! I'm in Mont. County, with school aged kids and 2 dogs.

  3. i'm glad everyone survived the blizzard!
    And can I just say... I'm so jealous of your sweet cutting table! Mine's a little too short, and a smidge too small to lay out long dresses & pants, and I'm really feeling it in my back.

    stay warm!

  4. oh cidell, I would have never thought of that place, but it makes perfect sense!

    Andrea, my heart goes out to you! How can Pepco get away this - in such a densely populated metro area? I shake my head.

    Wendy, it's a hollow core door (an interior door) from Home Depot for about $30. You could get adjustable legs from IKEAS for pretty cheap, too. It does save my back!

  5. I'm glad you could stay warm. It is sort of lowering to realise how dependent we are on utilities and roads that you can actually use!

  6. Glad to hear all turned out OK and nice to see you can keep the humor in such situations :)))

  7. I'm glad you're all warm and safe and sound now after your lengthy ordeal ... and I love your cutting out area (and the peek of the poster above... very cheerful)

  8. We got hit by the same storm (in CT), but it did not wreak the havoc it did on you guys down south. I felt awful when I saw the TV coverage.

    I noted in the picture that you trace around your patterns - I put patterns under the tracing paper, then trace overtop. Interesting!

    PS - I have that poster in my office at work!

  9. kbenco, I remember the images on your blog - all the hand sewing you did when you were without power. I thought, there is a woman to emulate! She uses the situation to her advantage.

    Anita and ASW, I love that poster too. My daughter had it in her bedroom as a teenager and reminds me of her:)

    ASW - this is the first time I've ever traced with the pattern on top of the tracing paper. This vintage (1940's) pattern has little holes in it to mark stitching lines, straight grain, darts and notches. It was so easy! I found it much faster to trace than BWOF pattern, for example.

  10. That was quite an ordeal Robin, and I must not think of batteries that die in the middle of the night. How aweful after all the other things too. Good you both keep a sense of humour.

  11. In over 12 years, and three houses, we've never had batteries go in the thermostat...I wonder if ours are wired in, like smoke detectors are these days. Here, there is a campaign to have you change your smoke detector batteries every spring and fall when we change the clocks. Or, choose two other dates that work for you :) (helps to write it on the calendar). Glad you could still stay warm elsewhere!


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