Archive for December 2014

2014 Highlights

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ahh.  There is something refreshing about the end and the prospect of a fresh start, full of possibility. My humble little family does not live very close to grandparents or siblings -- 13 hour drive to my parents and a 3-hour drive to my husband's parents and our siblings, well, that involves plane rides!  To keep connected, we keep monthly online Flickr albums to record our adventures.  One of our favorite pastimes is to look at those pictures -- laugh at all the merriment, recount stories, make fun of each other, remember and cherish the time we had together.  My son is always adding to the adventure/memory idea list for the coming year.   

In that spirit, here are my sewing highlights and flops from 2014 a la Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow.  Feel free to make fun, chuckle, skip, or roll your eyes!


Flops:

Part of being a scientist is trying out an experiment and not getting the expected results.  This is crucial.  Sometimes you learn more in the mess-ups.  One thing I learned from my flops is that, it's not because of  poor fit or bad sewing, but style.  These flops just aren't me.  These are the clothes that I really like on a hanger (or the pattern illustration).  Then I try it on and suddenly it is not so appealing.

  • Tanias -- Too short with a funky sitting waistband.  I will probably attempt to lengthen even more and fix the kinks.
  • Ava -- I just don't feel comfortable in this dress.  It hangs funny.  In retrospect, it could have used a lighter fabric. I plan to cut off the bodice (I think that is the issue) and make it a skirt.
Highlights:
I gave up RTW this year.  I am so glad I did.  I survived it and now, I have this reaction to clothes at a shop/boutique in which I feel the fabric, survey the style, and decide I can make it my way for a lot cheaper.  As Hannibal would say from the A-Team (one of my favorites!), "I love it when a plan comes together!".  'Nuff said.  These garments have been in heavy rotation in my wardrobe.  






Simplicity 2444

Hmmmm, dresses with pockets and sleeves...I detect a pattern...yep, I like.



2015 Goals
I conquered my fear of knits in 2014.  I successfully made a pair of pants.  I made a jacket.  I did pretty good. I made something at least once a month (closer to weekly!).  One of my goals in 2014 was to sew something for my husband.  Ummm, that didn't happen.  Guess what tops the list this year?


  1. Sew something for my husband.  PJ pants?
  2. Make a cape.  This was on last year's goals. 2014 = no cape.  
  3. Continue my RTW fast and Participate in Me-Made-May.  Really this is code for sewing clothes that are practical.  I am in need of pants, cardigans, blouses.  Do I need a break from dresses? Nah.  I need to amp up the sensible clothes. 
  4. Start my Geek Chic series.  Tee-hee-hee. I already have the first one planned.   Plotting more.
  5. Stash-bust.  My fabric stash is slightly obese.  I spent last weekend organizing it -- out of bins, color coordinated by type, etc...now, I can look at my shelf and gain inspiration.  Pattern stockroom update is on its way too!
New techniques, new patterns, new fabrics, new skills -- oooohhhh, 2015 -- here I come! 

Happy Sewing in 2015!

Annie

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We Wish You a Merry Christmas Dress

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shamefully, I realized that the majority of my wardrobe is a shade of black or blue.  This epiphany was bestowed upon me the morning of dead day during fall semester final exams (this is a day where no final exams are given -- don't ask where the name comes from -- haven't heard it at any other place either!).  We had a hot chocolate bar for the faculty in our department and I wanted to look festive.  Sadly, I do not own a red top and the only red dress I own was not appropriate for an office hot chocolate party (more like cocktails and dancing).   In the end, I wore a white linen top with silver jewelry, hoping to capture some winter magic and look festive.  I vowed to remedy this.
Experiment:
Vogue 8615, size 8

Materials:
3 yards red cotton
22" red zipper
Coats and Clark Red Thread.

Procedure:
In fact, I resolved this holiday dilemma by Christmas, well, Christmas Eve.  In reality, I was sewing frantically on the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  I decided on a pattern that I know works for my body.  This is a Very Easy Vogue pattern and I like the nod to a vintage silhouette.  The neckline is high and the back dips into a V-shape.  


Cleaning before the in-laws arrived, baking Christmas goodies, entertaining my little one, and I decide it is time to sew.  I know I am a little nutty. I modified the pattern to reduce my sewing time.


  • I reduced the front bodice by 5/8" and cut on fold.  Later, it occurred to me that I should have done the same thing with the skirt panel.  Oh well.
  • Omitted the pockets.  As much as I love pockets, straight-line sewing is a snap.
  • I chose not to line the bodice and skirt because I did not have enough lining fabric in my stash.  I finished neckline with bias tape and wore a slip with it.
  • I did manage to make the skirt the night before and allowed it to hang (Would have been a waste with a wonky hemline).  I did a narrow hem.
  • I did a center back zipper instead of invisible (did not have a red invisible zip).
The fabric is a red cotton with gold and red stars of a variety of shapes and sizes.  Hence, the sparkle in the photos.  I am pleased how this turned out. I love the swishiness of a circle skirt.  I tried to get photos swirling but my Nikon wouldn't cooperate -- autofocus not focusing more over, it won't focus at all (You can see from the poorly focused picture of the back above).   Troubleshooting did not yield any results.  In fact, I think he needs a tune up and a good clean.  Rotten apples. I will miss you.

Countdown to the New Year is on...

Happy Sewing.
Annie

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Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

My apologies for the lack of content.  I've been sewing.  The end of the semester was a storm in a tea cup and then, the holiday season took over, I know, I know, excuses. Somehow time slipped by... but nonetheless, I have a few highlights:

1. I got a bad haircut.
2. My Singer needed some work.  We spent some time apart.
3. I splurged on a couple of Sewaholic patterns I have been lusting over.
4. Santa gave me a new laptop! (Woo-who!)
5. I traveled to New Orleans.
6. I added to my fabric stash.
7. I have made it a whole year without buying any new clothes with the RTW fast and I am ready for year number two!
8. I am ready to start the new year with a bang.

I will leave you with a picture of the Christmas dress I made (A "Make-it-Work-Moment"! and sorry for the bad lighting but it was an impromptu picture after the Christmas Vigil Mass yesterday) and a promise of a post with new content soon!




Lots of Merry Cheer --
Annie

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