Archive for September 2015

I'm On a Roll

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm on a roll...with skirts.  Yep, I cannot believe it.  My go-to "uniform" is a dress.  I have said it before but with a dress I can mindlessly pick one, grab a cardigan, and get my day started.  Separates usually make me break out in hives because I'll have to coordinate. That means I have to think in the morning and before a pot of tea, well, there is a bit of truth to my husband saying I am addicted to caffeine.  I blame Veronika.  I fell in love with her and now have the desire to make more skirts that I will adore.

Experiment:
Tilly and the Button's Delphine Skirt
Size: 2

Materials:
2 yards Yellow Canvas
7" inch invisible zipper
Medium weight interfacing
Sulky Buttercream Thread (#4002)
Experiment:
I can't get enough of the patterns in Tilly's book Love at First Stitch.  I had a yellow Delphine in mind not only because Tilly's version looks amazing but the golden yellow is one of my university's colors.    A yellow skirt with maroon/burgandy shirt (i.e. my maroon Belcarra shirt in the pictures) is perfect for school spirit or university events.  Yellow also goes with my favorite go-to sew color of blue.
This is a really beginner friendly pattern.  You will work with interfacing, invisible zipper, stitching in the ditch -- and the bonus is that for a true beginner who is not very confident it still sews up really quick (I took an afternoon so I'd gauge a day for a beginner).  If the plain color is not exciting, you could add a contrasting waistband or a special stitch at the hem.  I value the plain basic colors because they are blank canvases.  Each time I wear a basic, it can become fresh outfit by changing the blouse or adding a scarf or belt.
My invisible zipper was not perfectly executed as you can see from the back.  I don't really mind as it is not noticeable unless you are staring at my bum (which I am pretty sure does not occur on a regular basis).  I had to take out a 1/2 inch on the waist to have a snug fit.  I know I changed the hem allowance but in my notebook I can't find what I did (I think I did a 5/8" fold twice).  Not good note keeping for a scientist!
This has a nice feminine shape -- it hides the hips and cinches the waist (Oh I do miss "What Not to Wear" -- that sounds exactly like something they would assert).  This is my kind of look.  For a gal who has proclaimed she doesn't like skirts, I am slowly changing my opinion.  Further, sewing something different is appealing.

xx

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Sunday Sevens #21

Sunday, September 27, 2015


Yep.  It is that time again.

1. Picked up a few new bottles of vino.  I always enjoy lurking around the wine cellar shop and finding new bottles.  I grabbed an unoaked chardonnay and a malbec both because of the interesting bottles.
2.  The project at work is moving along and a large crane was brought in this week to lift the 22,000 lb base.  This picture shows how tiny I am and how big the base actually is the day before the lift.  Of course, I had to watch. 
3.    I had a lovely evening sewing with my friend, J.  We were both working on different skirts, chatting about life, and laughing.  Such a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours on a weeknight.
4.  The Clemance skirt in Halloween fabric.  All those gathers! I want to finish before October so I can put it in regular rotation for the month.  Subtle but spooky.
5. Seamwork's Akita blouse in grey-blue swiss dot.  Supposedly, it is an hour make.   
6.  I ran into the grocery to get yogurt.  I had to pass the seasonal display and shook my head in disbelief.  Maple Bacon icing sounds hideous.
7.  This was the moon yesterday evening when I took Chewie out right before bed.  Hopefully, I will get to snap a picture of the blood moon tonite!


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Sunday Sevens #20

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Oh my!  This is my 20th post for Sunday Sevens.  I think this is a great concept to keep connected and show off your week....

1.   Afternoon sunshine.  Since I got my Fitbit I keep finding excuses to up my number of steps in a day.  Here is a walk with the dogs and my son skateboarding.

2.  I made apple cake.  Apples were on sale because fall is creeping around somewhere in the US (not in the South but somewhere....).
3.  Glasses accident at school.  *Sigh* These are definitely goners.
4.  Jules picked out a new book and I was excited (See how embarrassed he was..."Mom, don't take my picture!").  The Beatles!?!
5.  I decided to give Ipsy a try and I received my first "Glam Bag" (This is a subscription service to received 5 beauty products a month for $10).  To be honest, I don't know how long this will last.  I am already sending off a couple of these items to my sister.
6.  Picked up a new wine for a movie night with Mr. Chemist.  I chose it for the topographic bottle -- how utterly nerdy.
7.  My parents picked up some old patterns at a second-hand store and sent them to me as a surprise! It made my day.


I posted on Sunday this week.  Score one for me.  You can learn more about Sunday Sevens by checking out Natalie from Threads and Bobbins.   Hope you have a wonderful week!

xx

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Full of Pins

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Oh so long ago (i.e. when it first was released) I downloaded, printed, and taped together Megan Nielsen's Veronika skirt pattern.  And then it sat.  I have a rather lengthy queue of projects and computer sticky note of the list of projects started, projects complete, and projects that need to be blogged.  Some never see blogland, others have a blog post written but no pictures, and still others are blogged the very minute I finish!  Diatribe aside, I am in love with my Veronica skirt.  She was one who ended up jumping the queue: photographs hot off the sewing machine.
Experiment:
Woven with Narrow Waistband
Size: Small
Materials:
2.75 yards of Pin fabric (from the clearance area!)
Sulky Thread PolyLite in Black 1005
7" Black invisible zipper
Hook and eye

Procedure:
Veronika is a circle skirt.  Very easily drafted if you put your math hat on and get out your ruler.  Shamefully, I didn't bother drafting a circle skirt.  The pattern was released and cutting and taping is mindless activity I can do while drinking a glass of wine and catching up on crap TV.   I pulled Veronika to the top of the list when my friend, Ms. J, who I am teaching to sew wanted to do a skirt.  We went fabric shopping together and while I found this pin patterned cotton, she chose a silky black poly blend.

I went over prepping fabric and we met the next weekend to cut and sew.  She was a trouper!  Her fabric was hard to work with and I couldn't for the life of me get the tension right on her sewing machine so it would bunch. Luckily, I am quite cozy with my Singer machine and I was able to get it right (Still couldn't duplicate it on her Brother).  Ms. J played the very bestest 1990s playlist while we were sewing and that meant that we were singing!  Fabulous and fun! To boot,  Ms. J's skirt looks amazing.
We both added the oversized pockets to our skirts.  Hard to see on mine but a contrasting fabric would have look juvenile with the busy print (at least, in my head, it would look juvenile).
While this was a little challenging for Ms. J, she had me to help guide her.  The directions and construction process were very straightforward.  Two panels with seams on the side make the skirt hang very nicely off the waist.  My invisible zipper did not align at the top of the waistband (mainly due to spacing out while sewing), I could have unpicked it and inserted again, but did I???  Nah! I just added a hook and eye (Those little suckers are a royal pain to hand sew!).
Circle skirts = twirls! 
I love this skirt.  I have worn it to work, to dinner, to grocery shop, to the library. I basically can find any excuse to wear this skirt and it is easy to pair with a solid shirt.  This probably means I need to make more circle skirts.  I am sharing this post on She Can Sew Saturday Show Off!

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A Fashionably Late Sunday Sevens #19

Monday, September 14, 2015

Here is a quick recap of my week...

1.  My family invited my little group of atmospheric science profs over for a dinner.  My colleague brought chocolate banana bread.  Heavenly.
2.  The weather is slowly changing and the campus looks lovely.  I had to drop papers off at the registrar's office and I was treated to this on the walk back to my office.
3.  Jules had his first soccer (football to every one else not in the United States!) practice of the new season.  New teammates, new coach. Look closely and you can see all the boys are tied together for a drill.
4.  Unexpected art in the park on glorious evening stroll.
5. Cute Chewie.  I cannot resist.
6.   I went to check on the progress of a project of mine on an extension of campus and was thrilled to see how far along it is progressing.
7.  First home football game at my university.  Coincidentally it was military appreciation day.  They had lots of cool military vehicles....and paratroopers who jump from an airplane and brought down the game ball.


I'll do better at being on time next week!

Ciao!
xx

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Sewing with AGF for National Sewing Month

Friday, September 11, 2015

Whew! It had been a while for new projects.  I am excited to share a project in collaboration with Art Gallery Fabrics for National Sewing Month.  Being the curious scientist I am, I found out that President Ronald Reagan declared September to be National Sewing Month in the United States in 1982.  In my opinion, every month is a special sewing month but here in the United States, I guess we officially celebrated it in September.

Art Gallery Fabrics is celebrating by featuring a new project with their fabric every day of the month of September.  I am the lucky gal who gets to share with you today a post full of pictures featuring AGF!

Experiment:
Simplicity 1801
View A
Size 8

Materials:
3 Yards of Art Gallery Fabric's Ink Burst Atelier Voile from the Sharon Holland's Sketchbook collection
14" cream invisible zipper
Mettler Thread (339 Oat)
Procedure:
It is pretty obvious that I love the Cynthia Rowley patterns that Simplicity has to offer (Exhibit A, B, C).  This pattern had been lovingly stashed away hanging out until I found the right fabric.  When Art Gallery Fabrics contacted me, I replied with a resounding "yes" -- in my mind, it was more like "Yeeeessss!" and this pattern came to mind.
Immediately I was drawn to Sharon Holland's Sketchbook.  My favorites were The Ink Burst Atelier and the Tiny Dancer Midnight.  I am noticing more and more that I like blues.  I would never characterize my favorite color as blue (It is light pink if you are wondering which I am sure you were....;)....).  For some reason, I am drawn to sew with shades of blue but- more importantly - I look good in shades of blue.  The Ink Burst sealed the deal with its amazing color and delicate flowers.
This cotton voile is soft and colorful.   It has a lot of drape thus complimenting this pattern.  Ok, I keep gushing about the fabric but what about the pattern?? While I enjoyed making this pattern, there were a couple of head scratching moments, mainly because I thoroughly read the directions before I cut the pattern and then promptly consulted them only when I was baffled.  First, I gathered my neckline in the back -- for some reason the pieces didn't fit together.  Luckily this dress has many gathers in many places so it worked.
The belt section caused a lot of grief.  I added the inside of the belt to the bottom and then had to unpick the seam because -- shocker, if I read the directions while sewing -- it was added to the top instead.  I also ditched the pockets.  I cut them out and intended to sew them....however, the voile is very light and fine.  After sewing one side, I felt as if it would weigh down the dress around the hip area (no gal wants to be dumpy around their midsection!). Another seam unpicked.
All seam ripping was worth it.  I made few adjustments to the pattern to fit my body.  The end result was a fab.u.lous dress.  I love the billowy sleeves and the gathered skirt (my favorite!).  The whole dress works.  I am most proud of my invisible side zip with matchy sections (why can't my back zippers go in this stinkin' easy?!!?).
Thank you Art Gallery Fabrics for the beautiful fabric.  I hope I did it justice.

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Sunday Sevens #18

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Congrats to Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for completing a whole year of Sunday Sevens!  Quite an achievement and such a fun weekly series.

I had many good intentions this week...like posting my Delphine skirt...but I did not seem to find the time for my hubby to take pictures.  Then, there were soccer try-outs.  In the middle of the week, we received some sad news that a professor emeritus from my university was sick and then on Friday he passed away.  He had the office across the hall from me for my first four years at my university.   Needless to say, I am grateful for knowing him and all his support and encouragement when I began as a professor.  He will always be remembered for his humor, wit, and love of geology.

1.  My building on campus got a spiffy new sign.
2.  Late at night for what feels like 15-mintue spurts, I have been working on Simplicity 1801 with a gorgeous Art Gallery Voile.  
3. I got a Fitbit.  Now I am a little obsessed with knowing how many steps I take a day.
4.  Our dog Milo celebrated his eleventh birthday.  Cupcakes are obligatory.
5.  Puppy training class. Chewie is a rascal! Hope this goes well....
6.  Our home is surrounded by tall old trees.  With storm season approaching, the tree trimmers were called to take off weight above the house.
7.  Celebrating my colleague's life with friends, pipes, and scotch.  I think he would approve.


xx

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