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!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

RTW Fast 2014 & 2015, MAGAM group and New goals for 2015

I have decided to join the 2015 RTW fast!

My 2014 experience with the RTW fast was a great one! Thanks to Sarah from Goodbye Valentino for hosting the RTW fasters!

For the entire year I only purchased the following:
- new bras and panties 
- several pairs of stockings and tights
- one t-shirt for a Team Challenge

I also received a t-shirt and a Blackhawks sweater from my husband.
The only other RTW clothing that I bought was for gifts and those were minimal.

THAT'S IT!!!! And to me that is so amazing!!!

As a consequence of my RTW fast I have learned several things. Some of the are about sewing and some of them are about myself.

1. I learned that I DO NOT need a giant wardrobe that is stuffed into my closet and drawers. It is OK and actually feels good to have a smaller wardrobe! I wear self made items every single day and it feels good!

2. I have also learned to step out of my comfort zone and wear a more diverse portfolio of items. Not just always grab the same uniform, and having room in my closet means that I can actually SEE what I have!

3. Doing this RTW fast has improved my sewing skills and my sewing confidence! 

4. All the money I SAVED on not buying RTW, I totally SPENT on fabric!!!! I have a very well rounded stash :) 

As I stated above, I have joined the 2015 RTW fasters group and look forward to seeing what everyone makes and posts on Facebook!

I have also joined the MAGAM (make a garment a month) group which is also now being hosted on Facebook. I have followed the group in the past but having the group on as a bloggers was not easy. Having the group hosted on a private Facebook page is great! As soon as they made the switch, I joined! 
The idea behind MAGAM is that each member posts a plan for a project to be made that month. Showing the fabric and pattern and following along with a theme and when you complete the garment you do a follow up post and a link to your blog. If you don't like the theme then you do something else! Easy peasy! For me, I plan to use this as a plan for a more complex or difficult garment that I want to complete.
For example, January's theme is 'something new'. I choose a new pattern for a wedding guest dress that I need to make for a wedding on a Cruise in February that I am attending.
Pattern is OOP Butterick 6739 and fabric is a crinkled spun rayon from FabricMart.

So far that means that for 2015 I have the RTW fast and MAGAM groups.
What other goals do I have?

1. No new patterns. None. I'm fairly sure that I either have or can modify what I have to make anything!
2. No new fabric for 6 months. ** excludes need of interlining/linings. I thought about doing a full year fabric fast but I cannot. 6 months is perfect it will let me make room for more come the end of June! It will be like Christmas in summer for me ;)
3. Quilting, more traditional quilting that is. I have dabbled here and there in very free form no rules allowed quilting but I have been feeling that I wanted to try something a little more traditional. Just once and see how I like it. To accomplish this I Joined a mystery quilt along! More on this in a later post.
4. PANTS! PANTS! PANTS! Yes, I have accomplished jeans but now I really need to accomplish both trousers for work and play in other styles. I have been toying with the idea of trying to make a pair of pants/trousers/jeans/shorts every month. That would mean 12 pant like bottoms over a year. Seeing that right now I only own 2 pairs of jeans, I pair of courdoroys, 2 pairs of Capri pants I can REALLY, REALLY use them. 5 pairs of pants in my entire wardrobe (not counting pajama pants and workout pants) is not enough!

Short term, I am finishing up my winter sewing plan. Funny enough the biggest to-do left on that list is pants! LOL! 

What are your goals for 2015? 

Flowers from my birthday! My hubby sent these to me and left them right on my sewing workable! It was a great place to have them :) made me smile a thousand times in the last week!

Parting shot of Princess V at 6 months :) 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy 2015!!! The last makes of 2014 and a quick recap!

I am a couple days behind on giving my New Years wishes! I seem to have caught a head cold and feel a bit like I have a pound of cotton balls stuffed up my nose and in my sinuses.... And because of my heart there is not much I can do about it. Decongestants are on the NO-GO list when you have heart issues. I can take some nasal spray and take hot showers with eucalyptus oil. Both which help a teensy bit and if I rub Vicks on my chest it helps also just a teensy bit and has the added benefit of everyone else staying far away! Hehe. I'd give my eye teeth right now to be able to take 2 of those little red sudafed pills!

Enough of my nasal passage issues!

I ended up finishing off a couple of makes between returning from Idaho Christmas and New Years!

First up was a Counterpoints Jacket. This one differed from the pattern by my lining to the edge and turning instead of using bias tape on the edge. I just felt it gave it a cleaner look. Sorry for some wrinkles... I wore it out to dinner for my birthday and didn't iron it. The back has a large pleat and instead of a button I used a large sew-in snap. And YES... I know I have the front opening in the wrong direction for a woman but the fabric print looked the best closing this way so I went with it!

The fabric is 100% linen print from FabricMart I fused interfacing to all the pieces to give it slightly more weight and also serves to really reduce the wrinkling. The lining was from my stash and Is bemberg rayon.

The top is a knit cowl neck McCall's 6963 view C. Nothing super special about this pattern. Makes a nice basic. The neckline is a little high but works well for work wear. The fabric is a weird knit with one side nylon. I got it at JoAnn's when the red tag sale was on 50% off. The color matches the pink in the print on the jacket. The sleeve looks weird in this picture but looks just fine while on.

So my goal was to finish the above! And I did :) However, I also somehow was able to eek out one more outfit. It's a bit of a crazy one!!!

I am a hockey fan, in particularly the Chicgo Blackhawks. During the thanksgiving day sales I purchased some Blackhawks fleece fabric. I actually bought 2 types thinking I could make a tied fleece blanket. However.... Instead I made THIS..... YES, I made my very own Blackhawks sweats/Jammie's whatever you want to call it! 
Let me explain a little bit more about this outfit. The red fleece was leftover from an old project and was REALLY nice fleece from Smugglers Daughter. I couldn't sleep one night and was thinking that I could drake a fun sweatshirt using the red fleece and some of the Blackhawks  fleece. I used The Stella top and cut it slightly bigger so that it would have more of a sweatshirt feel. It sewed together beautifully! This is the third time making this pattern. 

My plan was to wear this top with my jeans to our friends for NYE. It was just going to be us 2 couples for dinner and some games and chilling out comfortably. On NYE my friend decided it should be a girls PJ party. I had no matching PJ bottoms.... UGH. So I whipped up a pair of Silhouttes 3 piece yoga pants using the rest of the fleece. Actually ended up being more like 5 piece yoga pants because I decided to do some colorblocking on the legs. 

You should have seen the look on my husbands face when I came out of the bedroom and said OK, let's go! Priceless!! Our friends are HUGE Blackhawks fans and they loved my new PJ's :)
Always nice to have some fun :) and those Jammie's are nice and warm and fuzzy!

On New Year's Day I did a little counting to see what I made during 2014: I made a total of 81 items (not counting the 24 key chains or 9 turtles and 18 turtle shells!) 

I think it was quite a productive year!!!

Next up... 2015!! 

I hop everyone had a great Holidy Season!