Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I need a good stiff drink

Tonight I taught the breastfeeding class at work for the first time. I was nervous but I had convinced myself that I was going to do great. I don't have a laptop for the power point presentation, but my boss was going to meet me there at 6 to help me set up and bring me a laptop to use. So I get there early and start to set up. Six pm comes and no boss, that's ok she will be here I tell myself. Six fifteen and no laptop, I'm starting to get nervous but I tell myself that she will be there. Six thirty five, five minutes after class is to start and still no laptop, guess I'm going to have to wing it. Luckily there were copies of the power point for everyone, but I had taken extra time to put video in the presentation and I am disappointed that I am not going to be able to share it with them. So I am going along and about 20 minutes later the receptionist comes in to tell me that the laptop will be there in 10 minutes. Whew! I was doing well on content, but I wanted to be able to show people the video and pictures. The laptop did finally get there and I was able to show my video clips and all went well. The surveys were all positive, there was one note about needing to slow down a bit, but given that we finished about 30 minutes early I had already figured out that I was talking WAY too fast. Talk about a trial by fire! I am glad that I have gotten this first experience out of the way and I am proud of myself for acting graceful under pressure.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A Review of EZ Patterns

Recently I was reading a post from the freehairbows yahoo group and they were talking about a group of patterns on ebay by a seller named ezpatterns. I was intrigued and immediately went to ebay and checked them out and felt that the patterns were nice and a reasonable price at $19.99 for a complete set. The patterns are either available as electronic delivery or you can have a paper pattern sent to you for an additional $17.01. This is a set of 9 patterns and each individual pattern sells separately for $4.99. After the auction I paid immediately and expected to have my patterns soon after as stated in the auction. After several hours I still had not received the email link and emailed the sender. She responded the next morning with the link to download the patterns. I was able to download 7 of the 9 patterns without incident but with two of the patterns I was told that I had exceeded the allotted number of downloads even though I had not downloaded them at all yet. I had to email the lady twice in order to have her reset those two patters, so for a pattern set that was purchased the morning of July 13th I did not have my complete set until the afternoon of the 15th, not bad but not the instant service stated in the auction.
Now from the description in the auction I was expecting 9 unique patterns, and am a bit disapointed in them. I would say that there are basically 3 patterns and all of the others are variations on a theme. Most of the basic patterns can be found for free on the internet, although I do have to give her credit for the creative variations. The first basic pattern is the pillowcase dress of which the pillowcase dress, romper, peasant dress, pillowcase halter dress and the sun dress/swing top are variations. Try this link for a great pillowcase dress pattern tutorial with pictures. If I were to buy again I would definitely buy the Romper pattern since I think it is the most unique and I didn't find anything like it on the internet. The next pattern type is the t-shirt dress of which the twirl dress, the onesie twirl dress and the bandanna t-shirt dress fit this category. Here are three free patterns: a onesie dress, a t-shirt dress from HGTV, and another t-shirt dress. Of the patterns I would probably buy the bandanna t-shirt dress pattern since it seems to be a unique variation. The last pattern type is the bottoms, of which there are the shorts/bloomers and the capri/long pants. Here is a link for bloomer instructions and making pants out of a t-shirt. Both ezpatters patterns are a good instruction for making your own bottoms, but instead of paying $4.99 I would recommend buying a simple pants pattern on sale and adjusting the length and embellishments to suit your needs. In review, I would have been better off buying the romper, bandanna t-shirt dress and possibly the peasant dress patterns. This would have saved me about $5.00. I would recommend the complete pattern set for new sewers and those not comfortable making their own variations. I would also recommend to the pattern maker possibly offering a website with pictures of the outfits made with her patterns as inspiration for those of us that have purchased her patterns.