Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cruise Wear for a 5 day Disney Caribbean wedding Cruise AND I hugged a PENGUIN :)

January and early February had me sewing like gangbusters for a wedding cruise followed by a weekend spent in Orlando visiting Universal Studios and Sea World. If you just want to see me with the penguins scroll down to the bottom ;)

The 8 days away from Chicago was a welcome respite to the bitter winter weather, which just does not  want to end!! 

The weather was nice while we were away, not as hot as I would have liked it! Last January when my hubby and I went to Costa Rica it was so gloriously warm (hot if you ask him!) and I spent the week letting the 90 plus degree temperature warm my bones.... This trip was not quite like that.

While out on the cruise we had lovely weather ranging from the mid to high 70s during the day. It was quite lovely but a bit too cool for me to want to spend much time in my bathing suit. The weekend following the cruise was actually a bit chilly for Orlando. We had temps in the 50- 60's during the day. Perfect for traipsing around the theme parks. No worrying about being hot and sticky!! We stayed at at the Renaissance Sea World resort that had beautiful pool area that I did not even set eyes on! Instead we had on our fall/spring jackets to keep warm. 

I'm hoping to get my fill of warmth next month when I head to Puerto Rico for a girls mini vacation with my sister, mom and daughter. Can't wait!!! 

Anyhow, back to my cruise sewing.

I made 3 new dresses, a shawl and one new maxi skirt to wear on the cruise. Unfortunately I really did not get pictures of me in any of the clothes! :( very disappointing I must say. I would have thought it would have been easy to get my hubby to snap some great photos of me in my creations but it just wasn't to be. Hopefully on my next trip I can get some good photos!

Dress one: Simplicity 0646
Shawl: a large rectangle, aprox 72" x 25" with rolled edges
Rayon crinkle by JamBerries. I could not pass up this fabric!!! The overall color is not one that I would normally pick, I think it washes me out and doesn't go the best with my coloring. I usually stick with more jewel tone types and darker/bolder prints. However,I think this isn't too bad. The print is of a cruise ship, a couple dancing, lavender roses, and the word 'cruise' printed on it. It was a dream to cut, press and sew! 
The bride and I! It was such a pleasure to be one of only 26 guests invited to celebrate this wedding of one of my best friends :) 
I was a bit worried about the big brown bow of the cruise ship and used up six yards of my 45" wide fabric getting this cut out appropriately. If I could have done it all over again I would have had 7 yards on not have that brown ship on my left bust. Oh well! 
One detail I really loved was all of the godets! Each one sewed in beautifully, whew!
The inside details are quite pretty. I lined the entire bodice, used a bias strip for finishing the armholes and sewed a tiny plastic snap to the bodice to make sure I didn't flash anyone... Wouldn't want that happening, especially at a wedding!!!
I also made a basic wrap shawl with serged rolled edges. Was the perfect addition to the dress and certainly needed in the cool evening air.

Dress Two: McCall's 6700
A maxi knit dress from one of the 'Fashion Star' patterns. 
I wore this the first night in the cruise when we did a bachelorette party at a champagne bar on board. 
The fit was great and super comfortable. The only change I will make is to add a small plastic snap to the front bodice. After having several glasses of champagne and slouching on a couch giggling with a bunch of ladies meant that I was showing the side/tops of my bra a couple times. However, at that point who really cares!!!
Super easy construction. Has some elastic sewn into the shoulders for gathering and a tie that goes across the back neck. I ended up using a black stretch belt from my closet rather than the long obi-like tie that they included in the pattern. For my shape I need/like a little more waist definition that is not bulky.

Dress three: Simplicity 1801 (previously made this at shorter length out of a knit)
A woven maxi dress with elbow length sleeves made from another JamBerry rayon from fabric mart. I am seriously in love using these JamBerry rayons. They are so very nice to use! 
This was my husbands favorite dress of the three. I really like this print it was fun and the color was great. My only issue with it is that with the bodice and short sleeves I'm not sure I like the long length.... I keep thinking it makes it look a bit old fashioned and would be better suited to be a midi or knee length dress. I'll have to have my daughter take some pictures of me in it the next week or two and decide. 
I wore this dress to a very nice adult only dinner on the cruise.
The lapped zipper I put in came out great!! I was a bit worried about it but just went for it and it looks super. I even sewed a little pocket for the zipper pull to sit in at the top. See above photo left side. The middle picture shows the lap going to the back. I promise it is straight.... Looks wonky on the dress form in this pic! With the sleeve down you don't even notice there is a zipper there! And so much nicer to use across the waist band then an invisible zipper.

The maxi skirt: McCall's 6966
This was a fun maxi skirt to make. It is the same pattern that I used last summer to make the white/black striped skirt. Which I also wore on this trip.
This fabric is slightly sheer so I also drafted and sewed up a simple skort or split slip to wear beneath. 
The top I wore it with is one that I made for our Costa Rica trip last year. I paired this with a light denim jacket that I wore in the cool breeze on the upper deck of the ship.
A fun and easy garment that will definitely get lots of use in the summer months!

Now for some fun pictures!!!
I got to go behind the scenes at the new SeaWorld Antarctica penguins attraction!!!! So awesome!!!
Me petting a baby, 3 month old, Rockhopper penguin. He was so soft, it was amazing to feel.

King penguins, and me actually hugging Leon, the King penguin!! He was so smooth and very curious and it was so cool. I doubt I will ever make the trip to Antartica to see penguins in the wild so this was the next best thing :) I couldn't stop smiling all day!!
Samu and company!

Sea turtle mania! Heyyyy duuude!

Seal and sea lion enclosure. 

The prettiest Pelicans.

And last but not least a very cool bird that is native to Florida and NOT a resident of Sea World.... Just a scavenger. A Wood Stork. I found the texture of his head to be quite interesting.

Happy sewing :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My blogging mojo has taken a bit of a vacation...

I see that my last blog post was January 20th!!! So shameful on my part.

It's not like I don't have anything to blog about, I have done several projects and have plenty to share. I think that may be part of the problem. I was feeling the good stress of sewing for our cruise holiday that I kept waiting to blog and now all of a sudden I have SO MUCH that I don't even know where to start! 

I think I'm also feeling a bit sad due to this never ending winter. After a while the winter season always seems to get to me. I should up my intake of vitamin D, that will help for sure. It's hard not to get a little bit of seasonal depression when this is what I see most of the time.
Gray, cold and dreary! I just want to take my dogs on a long walk but many of the sidewalks around me have not been shoveled all winter ( a total peeve of mine!) and walking in the road is not the best idea when giant piles of snow prevent you from jumping out of the way if a driver is not paying attention. 

Anyhow... I am sorting through the photos of our holiday and of projects I've been working on and promise to get my blogging groove back :) even this short little blog of mostly my complaining, so sorry!!! has helped. 

More later :)
Happy Sewing

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A crazy start to the new year!

January has been a crazy one for me so far! Work has been very, very busy, i suppose that the relaxed holidays was really just the calm before the storm. I have been on the road 11 days already this year and headed to the airport this afternoon. If only I could figure a way to get paid and not work!! wink, wink, now wouldn't that be fun!!
A birthday cocktail!

In all seriousness, i am not complaining i am only out one night this week and several of those 11 days were to surprise my dad for his 74th birthday! and he sure was surprised, it was GREAT! I love that i get to spend time with my parents when my job takes me close to them :) They live in lower Delaware so not always the easiest to get to time wise.

Helping dad set up and navigate his new tablet.
It was great to spend my weekend with my mom and dad! We ate and drank and talked, I helped them move the treadmill into the house from the garage workroom, I helped my dad set-up his new tablet. It was just a very nice weekend having them all to myself.

Indian River Inlet Bridge between Rehoboth and Bethany Beach.
I treated them to dinner down in Bethany Beach at this wonderful little farm to table restaurant called Off The Hook. If you are ever in the area you must check them out!! We stopped at the parking lot for the Delaware Seashore State park to view the bridge. So pretty with the blue lights.If it had been a tad warmer out I would have taken a walk across the dunes to the ocean. we could hear the waves hitting the beach from where we stopped.

It was a great weekend! It also meant that no sewing got done. However, the weekend before I did manage to get a couple things done or at least started!

I made a gift for my friend who is a bride to be. She is getting married in a couple weeks on the cruise that we are set to go on. Since there was not going to be a bridal shower, I wanted to make her a little gift that she could use on the trip.I made her a laundry and a lingerie bag set. As you can probably tell her favorite color is purple and she has a thing for pigs. The pig print is actually a plane full of piggies! how's that for travel themed?!?! The bags are also lined with the piggy fabric and I embroidered the designs on them from an Anita Goodesign CD called Chic Travel Accessories. We went out for lunch and to do some shopping last weekend and I gave them to her. She LOVED them! YAY!

And last but not least, I have this maxi skirt sitting on my dress form just awaiting for my Evolution serger to be picked up from the doctors office so I can cover stitch the hem. I am also contemplating adding a short nude knit lining under it. I will have to find some sunshine later this week and assess the sheerness! Perfect colors for a cruise and warmer weather!

Happy Sewing!!