Right here, I swear! You don't believe me do you. I probably wouldn't either, if I were you. My last post in (cough, cough) August I talked about how I was going to be back in the blogging/sewing saddle. Such lies, apparently ;)
So what the bleep have I been doing all this time??
I made this last summer. I know, it has been a long time coming, eh?
I started to make it a week before my sister's engagement party. Sounds like me, right? Hah! Sunni was throwing a sew along one day and then big box Joanns had a 99¢ sale on the exact pattern the next day! It was fate right? Obviously. I searched through my stash fabric and settled on another great silk crepe de chine from Mood, one of my first big fabric purchases in 2010. Even though I had never sewn with silk before, I came home sporting 3 cuts of beautiful silk. I used one of the other pieces for this dress from this past January. I have one piece left that I think I know what I want to do with. I will put that in my mental-sewing queue.
I might have mentioned before, we were in the process of putting our little condo on the market. As of Sunday it is now up and for sale! This means hopefully a new house for us, which of course means a new sewing room. Yay! For the past few weekends contractors came in to paint and fix, we also have painted, packed, cleaned and got our junk stuff out of there. This is great, but it completely disrupted any sewing plans that I had. Not to mention my sewing room was completely dismantled and most of it is now in storage. All that is left is what is in the photo above and my machine.
Hello, my sewing pals! Sorry this is a little later than usual this week.
First off I just want to say this: As you know I live about an hour north of Boston and have grown up watching and hearing about the Boston Marathon. It always announced the real start of Spring in New England for me. Unfortunately it will never be the same again. Thankfully, everyone I know that was there is home safe and sound. One of my cousins crossed the finish line fifteen seconds before the first bomb went off and was a safe distance away, but I know there were many people that were not so lucky. Hard to shake off, especially since we know so little of the why and how. My heart goes out to all the families that were affected by this senseless tragedy.
On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to the Colette cocktail party that was hosted by Grey's Fabric in Boston. It was a great time and I got to meet the lovely Sarai, who was nice enough to sign my Colette Sewing Handbook. The room was filled with all types of beautifully sewn Laurels, Violets, Peonies and my own Meringue. My favorites of the night were two Laurels, the first a navy eyelet underlined with chartreuse and second Sarai's own white eyelet, the same one used in the great sewing companion for the Laurel, filled with extras for the pattern.
Finally! New Hampshire it is starting to get warm. It is even supposed to get up to 70 degrees tomorrow! That is very exciting news indeed. The weather is fickle here when it comes to spring and an April snow storm is not unlikely, but it seems like we have finally turned the corner towards warmth and sunshine.
Wearable muslin? Okay, let's be honest. It is a dress.
You know what else I made this week. A muslin. An actual from muslin, or calico if it pleases you, muslin. That was on Thursday morning. I knew I wasn't going to wear that tonight to the big Colette event in Boston, but I thought I would just do a test run. Then I tweaked the pattern. Then I decided, what the hell! I can do this. Propped up by all the encouraging words on Tuesday, let me repeat Tuesday, I decided late Thursday night that I could just whip this together.
This week was going to be another lazy week, but then I found out that Sarai from Colette patterns is going to be in Boston on Saturday, April 6th! Yay!! So, I switched my schedule so that I am now free to mosey on down to Bean-town and meet this fabulous pattern maker. Obviously I need something to wear. Obviously. Enter, Laurel, the new shift pattern from Colette.
Finally! Actual photos of work done :) It took me the majority of last week to finish these two pieces! The skirt is Simplicity 1717, an Amazing Fit pattern. The skirt I thought I would be in love with, but the muslin actually turned out better than the final skirt. When I finished, the waistband seemed about an inch too big. At the time it was too late to fix it. I should have tried it on as I went, but that was the whole point of making the muslin, right?!?! Go figure.
I know I just kind of fell of the edge of the blogging world last week, but I was a good little worker bee! I did finish my entire outfit for the Bridal shower. Just in time. Literally. I was finishing the last stitches of the bow in my bra and skivvies Sunday morning right before I put it on to leave! These past couple of days I have been trying to wade through the mass amount of thread and scraps on my sewing room floor. I need to tidy up the room a bit and get reorganized.
There is no other option for this week. This is it. Remember in this post (week 9!) I talked about how I would have so much time to devote to this bridal shower outfit? Yeah. Heh. Add to that: a rather busy work schedule, the decision to sell our condo and find a new house. What does that equal? One week left.
Since my last post I would love to tell you all that I have cut the fabric and have made even the tiniest bit of progress, but then I would be a big ol' liar. Which I am not. (Side note: I am a HORRIBLE liar! I guess since you can't see my face or hear me talk you would never know, but trust me. ) So, instead I will show you pretty pictures of the silk swatches that came from Mood for the trim on the blouse that I am making. Have you already forgotten what this blouse looks like? Let's refresh:
Life is anything but predictable. I have been, since last Friday, trying to squeeze in time to cut my fabric and get moving on my Bridal Shower Ensemble. I know, I know! The fact that I am admitting that I haven't even cut the skirt fabric yet leaves me feeling so shameful. Last week my focus was getting stuff done. And I did. Er...sort of. I only really completed half of what I wanted to do. But life, as usual, got in the way. Not in a bad way, just a time consuming way.
So what did I accomplish last week? Not much in the way of physical proof. But mentally I accomplished a lot. Yep, all up here in my little brain. I just can't take any photos to prove it. Instead I will give you my favorite-of-all-time things on a Monday—a list.
First, I want to start of saying thank you to everyone who gave me their two cents. I appreciated all the honesty. Really, you guys are awesome! So, yesterday's post made me stop and think about this question. What do you wear to a bridal shower? I have been to, let me think, a little less than a dozen in my life. Each one has been different, obviously, but I think I have worn both dresses and separates. This one that I have to attend is for my youngest sister at the end of March. Let me give you the details of this shower, in case that makes a difference on your input.
Heh. Bridal Shower, obviously! So, clearly you all think that I should do what a good sister/matron-of-honor should do. Everyone that commented, and I know the numbers are *not* staggering, said that I should get started on the Bridal Shower dress. So this week will be devoted to doing the right thing. And I know it is right. What I am not sure is right is my choice of dress. Now I am second guessing whether or not I should do what I had originally intended? See, I love making my life a constant drama. Won't you help me, help myself? You, help me, help me :)
Yay! I did it. Even after deciding to make this a week before leaving for my older sister's 40th birthday in San Antonio, Texas, I was unsure if it would ever get done. It took much more time with the muslin stage than I was hoping, but it was so worth it! Now I have a cute black wool dress, that I think I can dress up or down to work for whatever situation. Now on to some of the details.
I have to break this dress down into two posts, otherwise it would be waaay too much for you all to read and for me to write. In this post I will solely focus on the first stages of making the dress, the muslins and adjustments.
This McCalls pattern is labeled "easy" and for some people it might have been great right out of the envelope. I was not so lucky. Nor do I make anything easy for myself. I have shown you some pictures of the original muslin on the dress form but here I will get into the nitty-gritty of it. If you don't care, come back tomorrow when I have the final post with finished pictures. It is okay. I don't mind. For those so are staying: Settle in, this is a long one :)
After the whirlwind of last weeks sewing frenzy, I am trying to figure out what to do next. You know when you finish a really intense project the last thing you want is another intense project? That is how I feel. I *think* I want something that is much less a commitment. Here are some options:
Even though I am on my way home, I wanted to show you that I did finish! Yay! My older sister even asked if I could make one for her, which I think is a great measurement for success! There are a few tweaks I could make to a second version, but this worked out great.
I was worried that a wool dress might be too hot for San Antonio, but it was quite chilly Friday night. And now I will leave you with a quick shot from last night before the final party. It is a little wrinkled from the night before and the pic is slightly blurry, but it is better than nothing :) I promise a full post later this coming week. Have a great Sunday!
I leave for Texas on Thursday. I am at work all day today and all day tomorrow. I am on a sewing mission! Remember when I started talking about making a dress for my sister's birthday last week? Well, I went a head and muslined this patten, McCalls 5668.
Simplicity 1787 is practically done! It is done in my book, at least. It is missing the hem and the zipper is only half in, but you will read why. This was made for my niece, who requested this dress when she saw it. Actually her exact words were, " I want to be her!", pointing to the girl on the left. Boots and all. I told her my skills as a cobbler weren't up to snuff yet. She asked for the *exact* same fabric as the girl. I tried to convince her of branching out, but she wouldn't hear of it. Luckily my local Joann's had some poly suiting fabric that looked similar enough. I will agree it is not the first fabric that comes to mind when thinking of a six year old's dress, it is much more "grown up". I think this is why she loved it.
Sometimes I like when the weekend is over. There is something about the constant of Monday morning that is safe and comforting. Or perhaps I know that the crazy eating that happens on the weekend will come to a screeching halt (mostly). For some of us here in the US last night, which was Superbowl Sunday, might have been filled with a little football, chips, dips and beer. For me it was filled with lots of tortilla chips and even more buffalo chicken dip. Seriously. I *may* have had a bite of a random sandwich or half a carrot, but just as a courtesy. I must have eaten half of a 8 x 10 dish filled with gooey, cheesy buffalo-ness. It was not a proud moment for me. I am hungover on cheese dip. What a sad, sad day.
What can be better than a surprise? Now, what if that surprise was fabric? Great, right? Now, what if that fabric was from an amazing fabric store in Rome? It would be super-swear-worthy-great!! Right? Right!
Here it is, Monday Tuesday and time for my weekly goals! Last week due to an unfortunate turn of events I had to fly to the midwest for a funeral so not much sewing happened. I returned home in the wee hours of Monday morning, so yesterday was also kind of a bust. But today I feel...tired. I would love to say that I feel refreshed and ready to go, but this will be the week of shaking off the lazy bug and digging my hands in. yay. I mean Yay!
Right now I am traveling, so I thought I would be productive with my travel time :) That does mean you will all have to deal with my not-so-hot photos. I wish I could have retaken them, but I didn't have the time. I really only got one good shot! So without further ado:
Another Monday it is! It seems like this month is flying by. January is a funny month, it is filled with new beginnings and fresh starts, but here outside it is cold and grey which feels like anything but fresh. Last week I succumbed to the grey of the month. You know those days? When you just can't seem to stop reading other people's blogs and get started on your own stuff? Before you know it you have wasted hours of precious free time. That was me last week!
Remember the other day, when I was unsure of this hemming gauge? Well...it worked! Yay! I spent $5 on this at the flea market and when I got it home, I thought it would just be another random sewing tool that didn't work, but looked cute. But it did! Can you tell how shocked I am? I had visions of the ruler part splitting as I tried to force tap it in...but, as you can see it is a nice snug fit. Here it is in all its glory:
A couple of months back I went to my first flea market. Well, my first American one. While in Rome we went to Porta Portese, which is kind of crazy. Crazy busy; people pushing and shoving to get to tables laden with cheap pillows, outdated curling irons and new (but old-stock) sneakers. There was some vintage/antique stuff there as well, but furniture and paintings ranging in the thousands of euros. It was either super pricey or super cheap. So I was naturally very curious at what it would be like here.
I can't believe it is Monday already?! This past weekend flew by. I spent the weekend mostly cleaning and cooking, but was able to do a little sewing. It was a relaxing and productive weekend. I made a great chicken dish on Saturday that looked strange when it was pulled from the oven, but was delicious. I must admit that I could have been a bit more productive if I hadn't decided that I needed to watch Downton Abbey (clearly I am not good at avoiding distraction!). I watched the entire second season and now the first two of the third. It is actually surprising when I think about all I did accomplish considering how some of my weekend was spent on the couch!
So I am going to try to keep the momentum going as we head into this third week:
1. Take pictures of my completed Ginger. I finished it on Friday (yay!), but wasn't able to get a good photo shoot. Yet. Hopefully that will happen this week.
2. Start niece's dress. I had said that my next project would be my niece's dress, Simplicity 1787, and instead I sewed up my Ginger. So, that is what I will do next. Although, I have to travel to Texas for my older sister's 40th birthday and I kind of want to make a dress for that. I would have about a month to get it done...
3. Stay focused and sew my niece's dress! :)
This week I will be at the shop a little more, so I won't have as much free time. All the more reason to really adhere to goal two and three! Anyone else have a hard time staying focused? Have a great Monday!
Here it is! Only eight (crap, really eight?!?) months late. Better late than never, right? Right. As a short recap, I enrolled in Gertie's Craftsy course earlier last year to make myself a bridesmaid dress for my good friend's wedding. I did have a purchased back-up dress waiting in the wings just in case this didn't come together. I was stitching the straps on this dress the day of the wedding :)
How many times have I been down the notions aisle and just can't remember the right size button, ribbon, or color thread I need? Too many. Instead of waiting and coming back to the store, I just buy two. This is somewhat helpful since usually one of the items is what I need, but instead of returning the other back to the store, it goes into a pile. Take this scenario and multiply by one hundred (and that is grossly underestimating). That is what I have in my sewing room. Too many.
January in New Hampshire is so cold and grey that I thought these flowers would brighten my week
So the first week of 2013 was a pretty productive one. Hopefully this past week was just a teaser for how the rest of the year will go! This coming week I think is going to be a good one too, if I can just stay on course and not get distracted, then all will go well. How productive was I last week, you ask? Let's see what I got accomplished:
When I first made this recipe from Epicurious we were living in Rome. I got fresh sheets of pasta from a shop around the corner from our apartment and the radicchio and Taleggio from the market, on Via Ozanam, further up the hill. This time around it was a bit different. As of August I have stopped eating gluten. I am not celiac, but gluten-sensitive, I believe. Lasagna was one of those things that I thought would be difficult to do gluten free. Especially this lasagna with its floury-taleggio-bechemel sauce. Come to find out, it is not forbidden. It was actually *really* delicious. All it just took was a little faith and determination - and five stores later to find gluten free lasagna noodles!
Well, my Gathering Glory (aka Vogue 8728) dress is done! Hooray! Just to warn you there are quite a few photos in this post. And I am in almost all of them! I will hopefully get invited to another fall wedding next year and get to wear it, if I can't find something to wear it to before. Remember that "pride" feeling I was talking about yesterday, this is what it is about, for I am pretty delighted with how it turned out. Although, even with all my planning and muslin-ing it still needs some tweaking. But that is okay, because cardigans will be this dress' best friend. Good thing I own a million of them!
This past year was quite a year. I was not able to blog as much as I wanted, as you probably could tell. The tumbleweed was often seen rolling around these parts of the blog-o-sphere. Not that I physically couldn't blog, I wasn't tied and gagged all year, nor did my fingers go numb every time I tried to write, but life just got in the way. Some of it was great, some was just overwhelming.