Wednesday, May 30, 2012

imagination is everything

I like the thought, although things often turn out different than I imagined.
And that is okay.  
Happily, the linen is really nice for this pattern!  It's coming along better than imagined.
The trim in the seaming looks better now than it did under the harsh glare of my inspection immediately after sewing it.
It always takes a little while to stop seeing all the imperfections in my work.

A pocket for my phone!  My stepson asked me once why I never seldom sew pockets.
Well, my dear boy, the answer is laziness.  But this jacket calls for pockets.
 I am enjoying something a little more complex than my recent simple pieces.

I particularly like the shoulder pieces on this design.   
The instructions call for a bound finish on the seams, and
one is reminded to finish those seams BEFORE top-stitching.
I forgot to do that, so ... instead I just zig-zagged the edges and
 it looks fine to me.  Maybe next time.

Today I am packing because my new adventure includes setting up a small apartment in another city.  My husband and I have operated out of multiple cities off & on since we met.  This is one of the problems with finding the perfect man - he might not have a job in same same city you do.  But, what initially seemed problematic now seems enriching and exciting for both of us and it has a positive impact on our children, friends and family, too.

In that sense, I think the fortune cookie quote is pretty accurate.  When Howie and I met, we imagined a future together, despite some pretty obvious geographical challenges.   Here we are now, thriving, almost a decade later.  I wonder who writes those messages in fortune cookies?  It seems like it might be a fun job.  Wouldn't you feel tempted to write some outrageous things, though?  (I would!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

transitions and attachments

Hello friends, I am reflecting on the past, the present and the future.  There is no doubt about it, I am in the middle of some changes.  There are, however, a few rocks in my world, and I am leaning on them!  One of my rocks is this jacket project - Vogue 1293:
Look, I found red linen and it's cut and ready to go.  The bias strips on the left are trim for the jacket and the bias strips on the right will serve as seam finishing for this unlined jacket.
This project has been with me for several weeks now and it's starting to feel like a piece of furniture in the room (in a good way).

The sewing is not hard - it's the pattern preparation that took more time than usual because the fit has to be spot-on.  Once I start sewing there will be almost no opportunities to fine-tune the fit.  There is trim inserted into most of the seams and I have no intention of picking out those seams once they are sewn.

It's a little hard to see, but here is a photo from the pattern envelope.  Think of piping without the cord:

Of course, I could have left it out, but I think it will provide structure for my linen version.
Transitions ... attachments ... yes, these are on my mind.  I was attached to, and fond of my job, but yesterday was my last day there.   That is why my cubicle was suspiciously clean, as Ninja Ryder noticed in my last post.  I will be starting something new, and different and exciting in another week.
For now, I am firmly in the present moment, organizing, sewing, blogging and taking care of logistics before I tackle the next phase.  Soon, I will tell you more, because there is a very good chance that I will put the blog on hiatus for a while.  After all, I want to have every bit of my energy and creativity available to learn new things and do my very best.

Oh- and guess what?  I love that gravity feed iron now!  I just noticed yesterday that it has been a while since it seemed too heavy.  Now it just seems perfect.  So there you go- transitions are good and sometimes patience is just the ticket.

Until then, I have long strips of bias tape to sew, and doesn't that sound like a clever way to spend my time now?  Yes, I think so, too!  I am attached to my beloved sewing and blogging hobbies, so this is where I will rest this week.  Thanks for reading ... and more later!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


This is a Gratuitous Post of Yourself Wednesday:
Ha!  I dyed my hair this morning, can you tell?
gotta run!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I can't stop SWAP

It's more Sewing With A Plan, and, not only that, it is that same plan I've been sewing for the last four months!

Oh, and wait, hey ho - GUESS WHAT, I placed in the contest!! Yes, indeedy, I took the bronze!
The Grand Prize was won by Sharon, who blogs at Petite and Sewing and First Prize went to Amy at Sew Well.  I really don't feel deserving compared to them because they both sewed jackets and jeans.  I was so bogged down with pattern alterations and fitting that I only made it as far as a lot of simple basics.  I am thrilled to be recognized and THANK YOU ALL who voted.

I decided I wanted a white jacket for summer, and narrowed the choice down to
a collar-less jacket (V8714) and a jacket with a collar (V1293)
 The Plan, With which I am still Sewing, comprises black and/or white garments that mix and match with other garments.  With my coloring, black and/or white are my best neutral colors, so why fight it?

Last weekend, I started with Very Easy Vogue V8714 thinking it would be a fast sew.  First I tissue-fitted on my dress form and doubted whether it was flattering.  Just to be safe, I sewed a muslin which confirmed my suspician.  I cannot explain why, but that style looked matronly on me.

Then I moved on to the Anne Klein jacket and I love it!
Here are some photos of the tissue fitting process:

If you look closely, the marking for the waistline matches to my own waistline without any adjustments.  I am 5'9", so that seems a little interesting to me.  Vogue patterns are designed for a 5'6" person, but hey NO COMPLAINTS.

As usual, I had to take it in A LOT in the seams under the arms,
under the shoulder blades and I chopped away excess shoulder width-
but the neckline was perfect 'as is'.  ok, no complaints there either!!

Once these new seamlines were marked on the pattern pieces,
I sewed a muslin for more fit-tweaking.
My dress form is not exactly the same shape I am - it is more like an
amazing tool that gets my fit into the right ballpark.
I consider that to be a reasonable expectation from a custom dressform.
I recently read a scathing review written by someone who was disappointed in her dressform,
and my honest opinion is that she just expected too much.
OK, now for the muslin-
I really like the little "V" in the hem at center front, but it wasn't on the pattern.
So I added it myself.  Cute!

The collar and the sleeve will be pretty easy to alter.
Maybe I will get to it this weekend, though I do have to work today.
Life in the IT field!! We work all kinds of crazy hours.

And now you can see that the jacket no longer fits the dress form perfectly,
because I have fitted it to flatter my actual body.
But really, I am so pleased that a Vogue Advanced pattern is working out
better than the Very Easy Vogue pattern did.
It's the little things in life, you know?

And now, guess what?! I don't really want to sew this jacket in the gorgeous white Giorgio Armani cotton pique I had originally chosen from my stash.  I don't want to launder it every time I wear it.

And, I can't seem to find anything just right in this embarrassment of riches:
Believe it or not, these shelves were only half full a couple months ago.
I don't know what happened.
Soooooooo ..... I think I will focus on finishing pattern preparation and the search for the right fabric.  It should go with black and white separates.

Let me know if you have any ideas!  (Do you see anything on those shelves?  I know, me neither!)

Happy weekend!!
Happy sewing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

happy thoughts and a hug

The only sewing happening in my world is an alteration to a dress that I had originally offered to sew.
The perfect oyster color for my sister's soft summer coloring, and just right for an outdoor casual wedding.
Alas, I don't have time to sew a dress, so I am very pleased to do alterations instead.
In fact this dress is so perfect - maybe better than I could have done, right?

I am so relieved that she found a dress (on sale, no less!)
click here if you want this dress from J.Crew
My sister has fallen in love with a wonderful guy and my family loves him and his delightful daughter, too.  They will be married in June.  I think the happy couple would agree they feel like Elvis:

I had to rearrange my commitments because a tidal wave of good luck has washed into my world over the last several weeks and I have been very busy making room for all the new amazingness.  

Oh, and one more thing that brightened my day - a lovely card from my step-daughter:

If you are a mother, celebrate yourself this weekend.

Don't base it on your child's accomplishments or their acknowledgement of your hard work. 
If you have lost a child, fear you may never have a child, or chose not to bear children because it is not right for you, cherish yourself even more.

You, in your heart, you know the price of motherhood.
You are my hero.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

SWAP 2012 finished!

It was a lovely overcast spring day; perfect day for a few final photos.
I finished Sewing With A Plan *SWAP* 2012!  Without further ado, here are my eleven pieces:

Style Arc Alice top in a poly ITY knit from G Street Fabrics, capri pants sewn from knit /woven hybrid from EmmaOneSock (self-created pattern)

My Image cowl top in a poly ITY knit, Style Arc Linda pants in RPL from EmmaOneSock

Style Arc Alice top and Susan skirt in poly ITY knit from G Street Fabrics

My Image cowl top in silk jersey and Style Arc Linda pants in navy RPL

Burda World of Fashion 05-2008-128 in cotton from Elliott Berman and capri pants made from self-created pattern in white ponte from EmmaOneSock

My Image magazine cowl top and Style Arc Susan skirt in poly ITY knit from Metro Textiles in NYC

a yellow belt! how bold of me!

Style Arc Abby cardigan in viscose knit from Elliott Berman in NYC

tank dress, self-created pattern

And, a very special thank you to my husband!  Your patience, love and help mean the world to me.
I love you my dear!!
Oh, I am SO READY to sew without any planning whatsoever!!
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Overshirt and capri pants - finished!

First things first: thank you for the links!  In my last post, I asked about fashion and style blogs for confident women and you delivered.

Today we had photograph-friendly weather, so the Mister captured over-shirt and capri pictures for me:
Slim white capri pants are my answer to a mini-dress.

And a matching camisole is my answer to a deep neckline.

I proclaim this outfit a success all around.

The pattern is from Burda World of Fashion 05-2008-128.

Inspiration was the outfit on the left.
White capris and white camisole
worn beneath a  light, breezy over-shirt,
or, as I now realize - any short dress.
For the slim capri pants, I used a pattern I developed for workout wear, almost two years ago.  The fabric is white ponte bought from EmmaOneSock.  There was enough left over to sew the matching camisole.

And good news on that BWOF 05-2008-128 pattern - I fixed it!  In my last post about this pattern, I mentioned it had problems and I did not expect to sew it again.   I re-considered that assessment and I simply made a small bust adjustment to the pattern and sewed it up again.  The fit was correct (yay!) but then I made some irreversible sewing mistakes and really prefer not to discuss it any further.  You know how it goes.  Sometimes, the whole thing goes into the trash can and it's best forgotten.  The fabric lost in that sewing crash was the pretty pink plaid shown on my dress form in this post.  Yes, it is better to forget and carry on.  There will be more fabric and more shirts from this pattern.

Except for a few more photos, I am finished with SWAP 2012.  It feels good to finish sewing with a plan (loose as it was) and I look forward to some very random sewing in the weeks and months ahead.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

someone please do this

I would love to read a blog, a la The Sartorialist or Advanced Style that shows me confident style.
Here is a good example:

Taking fashion risks with clothing is for the woman who is inherently driven to dress that way.  She displays confidence, too.  For example, I love this:

What strikes me is that she dresses this way to be true to herself.  That's what I relate to in her outfit.  

The least inspiring images are those (probably created by a stylist) trying to make a statement or take a risk; these photos often come from the red carpet and I am not going to post any examples because it feels a little mean to do so.  But I think you know what I am talking about.  Isn't it obvious when someone's clothes are wearing them and not the other way around?!

Are there fashion blogs that I haven't found yet?  If you can point me to good inspiration websites, please let me know!

In the meantime, I ponder my output over the last 4 months and how it will fit into the SWAP .  Photography sessions are planned for this coming weekend.  It will be a pretty simple collection of separates in a simple color palette and it expresses me just as I wish.

Fashion bloggers, I love you, but I would really like to see more.

I search and search for inspirational images of women representing all ages, shapes and complexions, across a variety of aesthetics.  I am hungry for inspiration from women who are true to themselves.  You know where I find it the most?  In the blogs of other sewing enthusiasts.

Thank you my fellow bloggers for keeping up the good work!