Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Swear I Only Went in For Buttons...

Ever do this?  Walk into your local fabric shop for one or two things, usually buttons or a zipper?  And some how end up with a pile of beautiful fabrics in front of you at the checkout.  Usually without the thing you went in there for in the first place?

Ummm...yeah.  It is a rather vague but familiar experience for me.  And, it happened tonight. I only needed buttons...basic, black buttons for my daughter's cardigan (she had somehow lost two).  University student that she is, she's become all frugal on me and asked me to fix it.  I'll have her sewing soon, I promise.  But in the meantime, I come home, hiding bags of fabric, okay, really it was only one large bag of fabric, in the trunk of my car.  But, when you see what I got, you'll be wishing you could have some too.  Guess what?  All clearance, and all bolt ends.  Which means I got fabric for a pair of wool trousers, a jacket, a skirt, a dress, a shirt, a sweater coat and a sweater for...wait for it...$60.  Yup, SIXTY BUCKS.  For seven items.  That's less than 10 bucks an item.  Can you see why I'm excited here??

Here's what I got:

Black and white wool herringbone suiting for the aforementioned trousers, jacket, skirt and dress (as I mentioned to the clerk who was drooling over my find - not to be worn all at once)

Red sweater knit - so soft and squooshy.  And nary the word Acrylic on the label (big smiles here!)

White stretch shirting with an embroidered black stripe (hmm...this photo is giving me fits...the stripes actually run the other way, but the photo keeps rotating when I insert it...just imagine it with the stripes running up and down.  Or tilt your head.  Technology LOL)

and last but not least - black and white tweed knit

And the buttons?  Got them too.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What to do when you throw your back out??

This weekend was much quieter than I had originally planned and anticipated.  I hurt my back last weekend, by energetically carrying five (yes 5) 45 lb bags of water softener salt down from my front step to the basement.  Hmmm.  I *used* to be able to do this. It doesn't seem that I am able to any longer.  (Side note:  I turned 40 just over a month ago.  Is this what happens after 40??  I refuse to have it happen again if possible, so when I am well, a new and structured exercise program will be put into place!)

So, instead of racing in the Dragon Boat Festival this weekend, I sat quietly on the sidelines for part of the day before retreating home when I could no longer stand comfortably.  I rested for the remainder of the day (knitting - V Junkie in Knit Picks Stroll Multi Tuscany colourway - loving these!!), and on Sunday, I learned that my sewing area chair is indeed comfortable, and sewing was one activity I could do without causing much more pain.  I embraced it enthusiastically.

I finished this:

McCalls 6124 in white cotton eyelet purchased eons ago from Fabricland, our local chain store.  It's a cute summer shirt, with princess seams (though they're barely visible in this photograph).  I also really like the shirt tail hem line.  There are slits in the seams at the lower edge. The sleeves are two part sleeves (love this!), and the sleeve vent at the cuff is just a folded back and finished seam allowance.

I also finished a pair of these:

Photo Credit:  www.voguepatterns.com

Slim jeans from Vogue 8774 in a heavy weight white denim.  Sorry no photo yet - it's hard to get decent photos of your pants when you've only got your own cell phone and no extra photographer!  (Ask me how I know...I tried and the results weren't pretty!!)  I added 3" to the length but think I will add another inch to the next ones I make.  I will also attempt the fish eye dart alteration under the butt to get rid of some fabric that seems to be pooling there.

In progress:  a black embroidered gauze shirt from Butterick 5678 (yay separate cup sizes, no FBA necessary!)

Photo Credit:  www.butterick.mccall.com

Yes.  I am sewing all summer clothing.  Funny how that seems to always happen!  If I can continue with this kind of mojo though, you'll be seeing my sexy retro classics for fall soon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Holy Hannah...Where did the Summer go?

My blog has become a litany of apologies to what are now probably my non-existent blog readers.  So...no apology in this post.  No excuses either. This summer absolutely flew by.  While I am not saying the summer is officially over, I certainly can see the beginnings of fall creeping ever so slightly into the late summer days.  There are a few trees turning colour already, the days are getting much shorter (my front house light timer has finally gotten back into sync with when it is actually dark outside), the nights are much cooler, and the sunlight has changed to that late summer light.  The colours blooming right now are deep purples, and mustard yellows.  My thoughts are turning from eyelet and linen to corduroy and tweed.    From open-toed sandals to riding boots.  From sundresses, tank tops and shorts to jackets, chunky-knit sweaters and trousers.

I have been busy.  Busy driving, busy doing, busy being, busy taking care of others.  But unfortunately for the most part, not busy sewing.  This summer has wrung me up and spat me out, and boy, am I tired. I am trying to balance my life a little more.  It has become so very tilted into one or two directions, and I fear that I almost lost myself along the way.

Depression and exhaustion do funny things to people.  And I don't mean funny - ha ha.  I mean funny in weird and strange ways.  Including not doing the very things that used to make them feel good.  Sewing is one of those things for me.  It feeds my creativity, and I feel so very good about myself when I'm wearing the things I've made.  No, not just made, but rather designed and created.  The compliments and comments people give me when they find out I'm wearing  things I've designed just boosts my ego, even that tiny bit.  My life got so skewed, that I did not find the time I used to to sew.  I was in danger of loosing my creativity.

I've started journalling.  Writing is good for the creativity.  It clears my mind of the noise, and gets my complaints and negativity out of the way so I can focus on other better things.  During my morning entry this morning, something changed.  I write a closing line every day.  Usually it is "Breathe."  Today, it changed from "Breathe" to "Smile."  I take this as a good sign.  A very good sign.  It means I'm breathing without thinking about it again.  And, yes, the smile is starting to creep back onto my face.  My goal is to do what I can to indulge the smile.

And the best part?!!! I GOT MY MOJO BACK!!  I am either sewing, or daydreaming about sewing.  Sitting in my sewing space with the machines buzzing away is making me very happy!  I planned a late summer SWAP ("Sewing With A Plan" plan), I've been scouring the local fabric shops for particular pieces with the end designs in my mind, I've been rifling through my large and disarrayed fabric storage area with a frenzied pace.  I've made a large (!!) purchase from Vogue Patterns (fortunately there is the rather good sale  going on right now).

So...rather than bore you all with plans that never seem to come into fruition, I am going to show you what I'm working on, piece by piece.  I am determined to be disciplined in this, my fall SWAP, as I will be travelling a few distant places again this fall, and that always sneaks up on me.  My wardrobe is in desperate need of updating, and I'm just chock full of design ideas.

A few hints though, because I'm excited.  VERY EXCITED.  I'm dreaming of this:  black and white tweed wide legged trousers & fitted jacket.  Crisp black cotton shirt with french cuffs.  Red corduroy skinny jeans.  Chunky knit black cardigan.  Black, white & red Windsor-esque plaid RPL sexy retro pencil skirt.  And a bit of black pleather thrown in the mix, just for fun.  Classics with a very sexy edge.  Whether all my pieces will come to be, who knows?  But the best part is, I'm starting.

Can't wait to share my progress with you.