Monday, July 9, 2018

June Catch-Up and July Goals

Well, its a new month and I simply cannot believe how fast this year seems to be flying by.  I guess the adage about time moving faster as you get older is true!  In reviewing my June goals, it would appear that I set some pretty big ones for myself that may now in retrospect have been unattainable.  BUT... the great thing about crafting goals is that you can simply review, assess and make new goals for yourself.  I'm a super achiever, but crafting is supposed to be fun and a stress reliever for me, so beating myself up about not reaching my goals is not ok.  So I won't beat myself up, but just move on!

Here were my goals for June:


1.  Finish Cupcakes in Vienna socks - these are my current mindless knit which are awesome for my jet lagged mind, and I'm loving The Yarn Jar's base and colourway.  You can find her shop here.  Also the memory of knitting on them on the rooftop terrace in Vienna, overlooking the spires of the Mexican Cathedral is inspiring me to finish. Done!
2.  Continue working on the second sleeve for the Custom Comfy Fade Cardigan.  It's currently too bloody hot to wear this (or even knit on it) but I will need (and want) it at some point this summer, and just can't wait to wear it when it's cool enough. I haven't touched this yet - it's been just too hot to work on this.
3.  Continue working on my April Switcheroo Socks - I need to recover from jet lag first as I do need to think a little while working on this pattern, but maybe I can get them done before July rolls around. Done!  These were actually easier than I remembered and I was able to finish them quickly!
4.  Start my May PSC socks - the yarn was wound before I left...Done!  Not only did I start these, I also finished them!

What wasn't on my list but what I did was to pick up one of my long languishing projects and work on it.  I'm feeling rather overwhelmed with all of the projects I've got on the go and would like to clear off some of the needles before starting anything new.  I've picked up the Traveller project (link to my Revelry works in progress is in the sidebar) and am working on this instead of a plain vanilla sock.


1. Sew a pair of cropped Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers - these would make the perfect summer pants in a medium weight cotton, IMHO.  They would go very nicely with the new ballet flats I've purchased.  Plus I've got these on my #makenine2018. Nope.  My sewing mojo was limited in June because of the shirt dress project I chose.  
2.  Sew a Sew Over It Ella Blouse to coordinate with the aforementioned SOI Ultimate Trousers.  I have the perfect fabric picked out already, I just need to find some coordinating fabric for the pants.  Also on my #makenine2018. Also nope - see excuse in #1.
3.  The Beverly Bikini by Named Clothing.  While packing for my recent trip, I discovered I was woefully short on bathing suits I want to be seen in public in.  This would be perfect for a beach trip (yet to be scheduled, but now I've got an incentive for both!) I pulled the pattern and it's sitting on my  cutting table with fabric, so it's a start!  I needed a boost with a TNT project after my shirt dress disaster, and chose a bikini out of a modified Orange Boylston bra and Ohhh Lulu Sophia panty.  The bottoms are done and the top just needs the back closure.
4.  McCalls 7387 shirt dress.  While in Europe, I noticed SO. MANY. DRESSES.  I've wanted one of these shirtdresses forevahhh, and even have fabric already pulled. This is the fated projected that sucked my sewjo and ended up in the bin.  I'm crossing it off, despite not really finishing it.


1.  Finish the third book in the first Gail Bowen trilogy (Joanne Kilbourn mysteries).  I've got the next anthology on hold from the library, but who knows when I'll get it...Finished!  I've even downloaded the next anthology and have started reading it.
2.  Finish Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.  Anthony, I'll miss you.  You've got an amazing point of view on life, food and travel that I discovered only a few years ago.  I devoured your TV shows and now I'm working my way through your books.  Thank you for all you've shared.  I'm so very sad you struggled and couldn't carry on. I'm still working my way through this book.  I often read at bedtime, but going to bed late has made it difficult to do much reading.  That being said,  he writes so similarly to how he narrated his many TV shows, and this book is very enjoyable to read.
3.  Start another book by Anthony Bourdain (I purchased a few upon hearing about this death) I'll carry this over to my goals for July.
4.  Read Sisi by Allison Pataki.  Sisi was a beloved yet eccentric Austrian-Hungarian Habsburg Empress whose apartments I toured when in Vienna recently.  I read the first book about Sisi by Allison Pataki, called Accidental Empress and couldn't wait for the next book, Sisi, to be released.  Seeing her apartments reminded me of the release of the book, which I also subsequently purchased. I haven't started this one yet since the next Gail Bowen anthology came up for borrowing from the library and I started that one instead.  If this book was anything like the first one, it will be a quick and easy read that I'll start when I'm done the Gail Bowen books.


1. Continue yoga 3x/week. Accomplished!
2.  Start kickboxing and kettlebells workouts.  Dragonboat season is upon us and I really need to kick up the core workouts (see what I did there?! Kick...kickboxing...haha) Nope.  Didn't do any of either...
3.  Focus on incorporating more vegetables into my diet.  I am typically woefully short on them in my daily diet, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy them. I did well when I had time.  Then work got crazy and I relied too much on fast food/Skip the Dishes for eating and my veggie intake suffered.


I'm going to quit saying "Purge L'atelier."  It's starting to become one of those "Shoulds."  I want to enjoy the time in my sewing room, and sewing because I "hafta" isn't a reason to continue on with this hobby.  Yes, I have A. LOT. of stash.  Do I love it?  Mostly.  Will I use all of it?  Maybe.  So, I've decided that if I come across something I no longer love, I'll use it for a toile, or get rid of it without any guilt.  Mostly, I just want to sew when I'm down there. Ironic given the troubles I had with my sewjo this past month!  No worries, I'm gearing up for a great month!

Okie dokie.  Here are my July goals!

1.  Finish Traveller project.
2.  Start and finish June PSC club socks.
3.  Start July PSC club socks.

1.  Finish Boylston bathing suit top.
2.  Sew Beverly twist bikini set.
3.  Plan and start sewing Bonjour Ete Sudoku capsule wardrobe.
4.  Choose pattern and fabric from stash for my brother's wedding in August, and sew mockup/toile.
5.  Sew Deklan a beach coverup.

1.  Finish Gail Bowen's second anthology.
2.  Finish Kitchen Confidential.
3.  Start Sisi.

I'm going to stop listing yoga on this as a goal.  It would seem that I've managed to make this a habit.
1.  Some type of core training 3x/week, whether this be kickboxing, ab workouts, or plank challenges.
2.  Weight training 2x/week

That about sums it up.  Not sure if these are realistic or not, but that will remain to be seen!  What about you?  How are your summer goals coming along?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Sewjo is a Fickle Thing

After completing the Spring in Prague SWAP, I was a little lost as to what to sew next.  I hadn't lost my sewjo, but just really couldn't choose what to sew next.  Does anyone else feel this?  It was probably a combination of too much sewing stimulation while I was on holidays, as in "I want to sew ALL the things!" because I actually had time to browse blogs, but had no access to a sewing machine.  Combine this with jet lag and no real plans, and it turned into a full-blown analysis paralysis situation.

I took the proverbial step back after realizing it was the end of June with the start of July being very near (How did that happen?), and we were more than the halfway through the year.  I made some goals at the beginning of the year that I hadn't reviewed for a while and decided to pick my next project from the #makenine2018 list I had made.

While I was on holidays, I was struck by the number of gorgeous dresses I saw women wearing. Dresses, in my opinion, are the perfect answer to hot weather, especially if they have no defined waist.  Due to the unseasonably hot weather we've been having recently, I chose McCalls 7387 from my #makenine2018 list for my next project.

I decided on a cross between View A and View C, using the sleeve bands, and the style of hem from View A, but the length of View C.  I also opted not to include pockets.  I chose a black cross-weave cotton-mystery blend fabric from my stash.  I thought that the mystery fabric was mildly stiff but should relax with washing.  If it didn't relax as much as I want as quickly as I wanted it to, I figured I would wash it with some Coke.  It turns out that I had the perfect amount of fabric for this dress.  I cut size Large, and didn't do any of my standard adjustments - I figured that it was a pretty relaxed fit with plenty of ease, so I hoped it would be okay and just went ahead and cut.

I started sewing it with high hopes, but then my sewjo just took a dive.  I couldn't figure out why at first and came up with all sorts of reasons as to why I was avoiding the sewing room.  It was too hot.  I was too tired.  I worked a 14 hour day.  It was too early to go into the sewing room.  There was too much stuff on the cutting table.  I had laundry piled on the ironing board.  It was too late.  The dog ate my get the idea.  I had a sewing retreat planned with a friend of mine and really needed to figure this out!!

This past weekend was our sewing retreat and I was still sort of "meh" about this project, but it was my current project that was already in progress.  My machines were threaded up with the right colour, and had the right needles, and I really wanted to finish the dress just for the sake of finishing it.  I told myself that pressing will make the dress better.  The fabric will get softer as I wear it over time.  I had hangups about the back pleats and how the fabric sort of stuck out from my butt when I tried it on, as well as the shoulder width feeling much too wide, but I just told myself it would be magically okay if I kept working on it.  So, in spite of all of this, I soldiered forward telling myself I couldn't make any judgements about this garment. 

I kept merrily sewing along, to the point of the directions for the front "fly," front "band" and front "facing."  Things did not go as planned, and I ended up with a very nicely executed backwards opening front hidden placket that seemed significantly lower than what the pattern illustrations indicated.  When dissecting the instructions to figure out what went wrong, my sewing friend kindly pointed out that I had been kvetching about this project for the entirety of the time we were in my Atelier and that maybe I should just ditch the whole thing and start fresh.

Which is what I did.

And I'll be damned if it didn't feel good!

Of course, this coincided with the end of the sewing day for us, so I very happily poured myself a glass of a celebratory glass of wine for the return of my sewjo and delved into plans for my next project*. 

The moral of the story is that sometimes it's just best to cut your losses and move on! 

*I'm pleased to announce the sewjo has returned with a frenzy and the cutting table is currently littered with fabric and patterns for my next capsule wardrobe!