Winter Blues Chased Away

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Whew!  I love a holiday weekend -- here in the States we had a bank holiday this past Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr's birthday.  Having a mixed family, we spent some time learning about MLK, social impacts, and how influential he was in the civil rights movement.  Chatting about civil rights with a 7 year-old is interesting and hilarious -- people treated differently for the color of their skin is a concept difficult for him to understand (What a blessing!). My son was most impressed that MLK was born in Atlanta: "Mom, he was born the same city I was!"  In spite of the amusing discussion, we ended yesterday listening to MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech.  My little family still gets the occasional stares but we openly talk with Jules about how very special and blessed our family is.  

We started the long weekend going to dinner -- Italian per my son's request -- to celebrate the amazing grades on his latest report card.  I tried a new wine from South Africa -- Ngumu.  The next morning, still proud of his marks, Jules requested beignets for breakfast and I happily obliged -- can't resist fried dough doused in confectioner's sugar!  The sun shined and we took full advantage of it!  The weekend went by quickly with several long bike rides, reading in the park, practice fielding with Jules on the baseball field, watching the last few episodes of the Legend of Korra, and of course, I slipped in some sewing.  I finally tried a Sewaholic pattern and I am smitten.

Experiment: 
Sewaholic's Belcarra Blouse, View C
Size 0

Materials:
Maroon fabric 
Black Gutermann thread

Procedure:
The Belcarra and the Renfrew came to me in a moment of pattern weakness -- I splurged, reckoning I needed -- no, couldn't live without -- functional blouses in my wardrobe.  Belcarra for warmer weather and Renfrew for the cold. I had the patterns cut and, in no time, I whipped up a Renfrew for my mother in red ponte.  The Belcarra pattern, however, sat on my work table ever since the polar cold crept into Louisiana several weeks ago.
In my stash was maroon fabric, two and half yards; it came from an estate sale and if I had to venture a guess, it feels like a cotton-poly blend.  It has a good bit of drape -- blouse material.  The warm weather this weekend motivated me to sew up the Belcarra and dream of spring.  I chose View A to feature the fabric -- the pleating details and pocket on the other views would get lost.  
All comments about this blouse told me that the neckline was wide but I needed to try it for myself to understand how much I would need to adjust -- probably less than a half of inch but I'll need to play.  
While writing my post on the last year's sewing, I realized I could sum up my style in a couple of words: simple, classic.  This doesn't surprise me since I gravitate towards simplicity so why would I need complicated clothes with details, bells, and whistles?  The Belcarra has a classic silhouette -- I wore the Belcarra to work today -- loved it (minus the wide neckline which I could deal with...) and it fits into my existing wardrobe.  I am trying to avoid those makes for the sake of making or trying the latest pattern. 
Since I love my Belcarra, I cannot wait to make the Renfrew. I am also thinking about getting Tasia's newest pattern the Oakridge.  I love the bow detail but since I do not wear very many button-up shirts -- I am petite and they always feel boxy -- I am on the fence.  I really want to try my hand at the Robson trench.  Too many times, I get inspired and purchase several patterns to have them sit.  Soooooo, I will have a cuppa tea, look through my stash, and honestly think about what I am going to sew next.

Till next time!

Happy Sewing --
Annie

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26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Winter Blues Chased Away ”

  1. I too am small -- 5' no inches and I love the button up shirts I make. You can adjust the details and length and darts and such to make the shirt less boxy and make sure your small frame is not overwhelmed.

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    1. I am kind of scared to tackle a button-up -- they seem so detailed!

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  2. I like that fabric, and it was a good match for the Belcarra. In these photos I think it looks like Pantone's colour of 2015 - Marsala

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    1. Didn't think of the Marsala color but you are right -- it is a dead ringer!

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  3. Love this, the colour is so flattering on you. Being from NZ meant I grew up with a real mix of cultures in my group of friends (without thinking it strange or unusual or anything special), so I can really empathise with your son's thoughts around MLK Jr Day. I have often wondered if I would have behaved differently in 1950s America or 1930s Germany or X time in Y country. I'd like to think I would, but context/social pressures were definitely different then (thank goodness things have changed) so could never know for sure. Not condoning those times/actions by any means at all (or suggesting you were in this post)...it just gets me to wondering! Suffice to say, I'm glad I can be friends with whomever I like etc. Although, NZ is of course, not 100% good all of the time either. Oh dear, now I'm waffling. I'll go check out the Robson trench! :-)

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    1. It is interesting hearing my husband perspective -- and it is interesting talking to a 7-yr old about it.

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  4. I think it's great that you all take the time to educate your son on such important history! I also commend you on your self-control when it comes to patterns. I had to do some of that myself the other day when I saw the Granville pattern cuz I knowwww that I have some patterns in my stash just like it!

    Beautiful top, Annie :-)

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    1. Thank you! I always want new patterns -- it's a curse!

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  5. Your fabric was perfect for this pattern. I love it. I have been on the fence on this pattern but the fabric drape on yours if perfect! I also lean to a simple and classic style.....it never goes out of style!

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    1. You are 100% right -- classic is classic ;)

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  6. Such a nice blouse! Definitely the right choice to make this view - if you had a pocket you would never find it!! Once I tried sewaholic I was smitten too. I'm currently working on the thurlows! I have to ask though the fabric requirements on the Renfrew look a little excessive...what's your thoughts on them?

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    1. I cut the cowl neck Renfrew on less than what was recommended but I got creative with my pattern layout (I tend to do this a lot -- to squeeze out a pattern in the least amount of fabric as possible). Sewing it this weekend!

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  7. I love your blouse and fabric. They go so well together. I haven't tried a Sewaholic pattern yet, but I'm very attracted to the Robson and the Minaru (forget spelling). I'm not keen on frills and flounces; I'd have a similar style description to you.

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  8. The blouse looks lovely! Your pictures make it look shockingly warm for January, too. I'd be covered in goosebumps if I tried to take a pic outside, especially since we're covered in snow! And I also admire your self-restraint when it comes to patterns. I'll admit that I'm a Sewaholic junkie. The Renfrew has become my go-to knit top pattern, including for hacking into other things. I really enjoyed the process of sewing together my Robson, love how it turned out, and would highly recommend it. I have the Belcarra but haven't tried it out yet, and it'll probably be awhile before I get to it given my current life circumstances.

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    1. Congrats on the baby! I can imagine the Renfrew being my go to knit shirt. I can see how easy it is to become a Sewaholic Junkie.

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  9. What a beautiful blouse! I think the fabric is a perfect match for the pattern, and the blouse suits you very much.

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    1. Thank you! And I love your blog name -- Queen of Darts. Just perfect!

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    2. Thank you - it's a new name since about 3 weeks ago, and thanks for stopping by ;)

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  10. P.S. So glad to have come across your blog - I'm loving your makes! Have added you to my Bloglovin' feed :D

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  11. Glad that you had great holiday weekend :)
    Your blouse turned out so pretty and I love the fabric very much :)

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    1. Thank you! Hope you had a good weekend too!

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  12. You've change the look of your blog - nice and clean, simple and classic, like the top. Which looks really lovely and suits you.

    I think, especially when you become a sewing blogger, one tends to try everything that is the current craze. I know I have. Like you, I'm starting to settle into sewing what works for me or my lifestyle. Or even just what I need and can't buy.

    I admire you for managing a marriage that has such diverse "components" and I do hope all continues well for you and your family in a way that upholds the dream for you and humanity generally. Sometimes I despair !

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    1. I love your description of sewing what you need -- I started my blog to document what I was sewing not to keep up with all the latest fads. Although I must admit, I get suckered in...

      Thanks -- I am loving my new blog layout.

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  13. I like it very much, both the choice of fabric and the pattern. :-) You look great in it.

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I love to hear what you think -- it makes my day! I will try to respond to each of them.

Annie