Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm Back(logged)!

It's summertime in these parts and that means I'm back to sewing more regularly. For whatever reason! Oh, and winery-hopping.

I've finished a few projects and even wore my Sailor Top out in the wild.

Up first, my Grainline Archer that I started and almost finished at the Finch Makers' Retreat, where, yes--I met April Rhodes!

I struggled some with attaching the collar to the ...shirt (my sewing vocab is waning, I need to get back in the game!), and struggled much, much more making the very top buttonhole at the neckline. So much so, in fact, that I just ended up omitting it. I never button my shirts all the way up anyway.
Everything else was pretty much a breeze!

The next thing I finished was another wedding guest dress. I used the in-your-face cheerful fabric Kathy sent me awhile back, and my good ol' standby M5845. I somehow managed to get zero photos of the back while actually wearing the dress.

I curved and slightly raised the back opening and shortened the skirt, omitting the slit in the back. The dress was fun to wear, though the cotton did get a little rumpled from all the sitting in ~90F degree weather, and vigorous dancing at the wedding.

And finally, my latest finished make: Christine Haynes' new dress pattern, Sylvie! This dress is my jam. I've already started a second version, right after completing the first. I wore the first one, made out of a blue and red cotton/poly I found at the thrift store, to an Independence Day party on the lake!

I went by the finished garment measurements listed, knowing I wouldn't want very much ease in the bodice, and didn't end up needing to make any adjustments to end up with a super wearable first draft. For my second version, I'm playing with print placement & direction, and am shortening the skirt slightly, shaving a tiny bit off of the waistband, and actually remembering to add the horizontal stitching across the folded top part of the patch pockets.

Has anyone else become obsessed with this pattern, like I have? It's perfect for summer.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

My inappropriate return

By "inappropriate" I mean both seasonally and age-wise. But, hey, I'm back!

I sewed this pattern slowly, in stops and starts over several weeks (months?), and excuse the melodrama, but it was like learning to walk again. Having not worked on a sewing project since maybe June, I was real rusty.

The pattern is the Fancy Tiger Crafts Sailor Top. It has great instructions, especially for a beginner, or someone like me who's trying to remind herself that she knows how to sew. I especially appreciated the raglan sleeves.

The fabric is a very lightweight cottony something or other from the Lisette line, and does give off a slight whiff of children's apparel (smells like teen spirit preschool). I bought it at Joann's a few months back, in a bout of retail therapy. Funny thing is, almost immediately after my purchase - like the next day, I started to feel a distinct shift in my style taking place. I've always been someone who can look at an array of objects/prints/whatever and immediately pick what I like, definitively. I found I was suddenly disgusted by the cutesy florals and bright colors in my closet. Ditzy prints and peter pan collars? How twee - how could I be bothered? Polka dots? Who CARES -- all those things I'd been drawn to, basically my entire life up 'til this point, seemed to say all is well, delightful, and predictable, which didn't feel right anymore.

This was... unexpected. I'll attribute it to winter's general bleakness, and my (now not so recent) singledom making me want to feel like an adult who has her shit together, and not like a naive, silly girl who prances around in pink polka dots (not that there's anything wrong with that). Those things are just not for me at the moment. It's much easier to both dress and feel happy-go-lucky in the summer, right?

I forced myself to power through (if you could even call it that, it was so SLOW!) sewing this top, and over the time it took to complete I've come to accept the garment, sloppy gathering & dodgy ditch-stitching and all. I'll tuck it away in my closet to save for spring, and move on to something that feels more sleek and appropriate for the moment.

But, you guys! Grumblings aside, I am truly pleased to have finished a project. Finally! I do intend to sew more things and more often than I'd been doing recently. It does feel pretty good to be creating things again. Also, I've got the Finch Makers Retreat coming up and am starting to get excited! April Rhodes will be there, y'all -- APRIL RHODES!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So, there's that

There's something I've been meaning to share with you guys for the past 2 months, but wasn't sure just how I should do it. At this point, all I can think to do is blurt it out, so here it is: after eight years together Tom and I decided to part ways, on friendly (but unavoidably emotional) terms. He's even made a big move across the country for work, which seems to have helped officially set us on our separate paths.

We still talk, and I'm still here doing my thing, but the creative juices have not been, let's say, flowing as much as I'm used to. Cooking dinner or rearranging pictures on the wall seem like very simple tasks but are the types of things that have been sapping me of creative energy day-to-day.

Please don't picture me dejected on the couch, though. I've also picked up a couple of new activities that have been filling my weeks. I joined my company's softball team this fall (had not picked up a ball/glove in about a decade) and have been taking a yoga class with my mom. I've also been going to at least one estate sale a weekend, which I'm definitely enjoying. Add hanging out with my girlfriends to the mix and there's not much time left over for sewing or other creative pursuits.

This life change has also brought me to work on revamping my home for a fresh start, and to fill new furniture gaps (I've learned I'm very picky about coffee tables!), including my sewing space, sort-of pictured above, and finally very gently dipping my toe back into some sewy things (yes, cutting out, but not actually sewing, a PDF pattern and fabric counts).

There is not much to officially show for it yet, but I just wanted to let you guys know I'm really still here... doing some things!