The month is half over and I’m still working on that motorcycle jacket! I swear I’ll finish this weekend. I’ve said that the last three weekends, but I mean it this time. Of course, we do have other things going on, like making this beautiful Ikea-hacked light fixture!
It’s already halfway through January! I’ve been all over the place with work, and holidays, and goodness knows what, but am still slowly working on my December Burda project:
Last July I started keeping a Bullet Journal, and turns out I love it. The system basically has you set up a custom planner, with the added flexibility of keeping any other lists or collections in the same place since there is no pre-made structure. I keep it pretty simple, but if you do a search on Pinterest you’ll see that some people really go all out!
At any rate, over the summer and fall I sketched out a few patterns that I want to make, but not at this very moment. I always have a running list in my head, but designs are forgotten, patterns and magazines are all in different places, and it sometimes my to-sew list feels totally overwhelming. Putting the line drawings on paper was surprisingly liberating! Taking the care and attention to do the sketch also made me give the design thoughtful consideration. I’ve since had to change notebooks, and last week sketched out some more designs. So far they are all burda (❤), but my envelope patterns are coming up next!
Now I’m putting them all together here so I can really see them in one place, with a tag!
Thank you for all the comments on my flowercat shirt! I may never make such an amazing garment again. I’ve been sewing away in between work responsibilities and holiday obligations, and I have a lot to share. Sharing has been hard, though, for enough different reasons that it became overwhelming and exhausting. Lately, though, I’ve made a few changes that I hope will get me sharing and participating more in the new year.
First up, I covered my dress form! I love my gifted dress form but the purple/maroon color has always bothered me in life and in photos, especially since I favor navys, purples, and other darker colors that just blend into the unnatural shade. I bought some light beige cotton knit from Mood with the idea of making some Alabama Chanin inspired camisoles, but within an hour it had been sacrificed for my dress form. I love the new form. It fits into the feel of my home, clothes look so much better on it, and I feel like it even improves the clarity and exposure of my photos.
The other improvement is that I bought a new computer! We’ve been limping along with phones and my husband’s aging, overloaded macbook, which is slow and freezes constantly. I can hardly read blogs on it, let alone write my own posts (or work from home, manage photos, watch Netflix, and so on, and so on). Any posts from the last six months have been written entirely on my phone. The new machine is just a little Samsung chromebook. I was a little nervous moving to a cloud based, non-traditional OS, but so far it’s been great. And it’s lightweight, has an anti-glare screen that can be used outside (I can work while Dandelion roams the backyard!), charges fully in about 15 minutes, the battery lasts for 10 hours, and it was about as inexpensive as you can imagine.
I’m looking forward to 2015 for all sorts of reasons, and these small but significant improvements have been more inspiring than I expected. Many thanks to all of you who follow this modest space and my corner of Instagram. Interacting with the sewing community has been such a blessing to me in a challenging year. Happy holidays to all of you!
- A Vogue designer dress I started before the gown thing happened
- A “quick” silk blouse that gave me trouble with the hem before being cast aside in favor of the Cation top
- An Archer that needs snaps and cuffs stitched down from the spring
- A black double-knit dress started last Sunday
If I focus I could finish all of these projects easily this weekend. However, I really want to make another Cation top and I just got a stack of Sewaholic patterns in the mail, including the Renfrew. My small office is dressing up as one of our coworkers for Halloween next week, and I need a black and white striped tee. I’m just going to see what type of stripes JoAnn has when running errands this morning… I have a feeling a Renfrew is meant to be this weekend!
***The following is no longer relevant. I stopped by Ross when running errands, just too check, and I found a gown! I’m free! It’s black, boring, and made out of some horrible polyester knit that will never, ever wrinkle. It’s perfect! In other news, I did not find a single black and white striped knit, except for a few zebra prints. Why is that classic combination so elusive??
Last weekend I attended a Bay Area meet up hosted at Vanessa’s lovely home. She doesn’t have a blog, but if she did it would be a great one – she’s SO creative and makes fabulous clothes and all sorts of other things. I had such a great time listening to everyone’s updates and seeing some really fantastic creations. The variety, creativity, and skill in this group of women is staggering.
I hadn’t been feeling very well and almost didn’t go, but I had been having a lot of trouble deciding on what to do about that gown and I knew that just being around these women would be inspiring in itself, and they might also be able to give me some guidance and reassurance about picking a pattern and moving forward. I wasn’t wrong! The consensus was that I should stick with the plan, which was to make Simplicity 2444, extending the skirt pieces to the floor. I’ve made this dress before, it turned out well, and it meets all my opera ball criteria (big skirt to hide comfy shoes, pockets, ability to wear normal undergarments). I’m so thankful for all of you, you really helped push me across a self-imposed, but real hurdle.
|Image from Pattern Review|
When I got home, I had a message from Vanessa asking if I was interested in a dress form she wasn’t using anymore, as it might help with my gown-making. How sweet is that? So, now I have a dress form! I’m so excited!
Well, after all that I’m not sticking to the plan. Part of it is actually the renewed self-confidence I got from the meet up and having a dress form to do some basic fitting on, but an even bigger part is that I’m just not excited about that dress. Despite the protestations of the group, I still worry that it’s going to look homemade and young in a sea of designer gowns, and when I whined about this to my coworkers at lunch last week, one of them wrinkled her nose and told me flat-out to not do it. It hit me that she’s right. Even if my worries are unfounded and the dress would look fine, I just don’t feel good about it.
I decided to use the bodice of Vogue 1176, without the bow, and pair it with the skirt of Simplicity 2444, gathering the skirt instead of pleating it, and cutting it on the fold if possible. I feel good about this decision, and have the bodice pieces cut out and ready to start sewing. One of the most helpful pieces of advice from the meet up came from Beth, who said to just make the bodice first, and then worry about the skirt, which will come together in no time. It’s simple advice, but it really helped me think of this project in a more manageable way. I’m just going to construct the bodice today, and if it fails I know I can whip up the Simplicity bodice in a couple hours.
|Image from Pattern Review|
So, a huge THANK YOU to the sewing bloggers of the Bay Area who helped make this gown project happen! You all are wonderful!
And one more thank you has to go out to Meg, another Bay Area sewing blogger, who hosted a giveaway for Thread Theory Jedediah Pants that I won! As soon as this gown project is over I’m going to start planning a pair of pants for Eric. We’re both excited for this pattern!