Tuesday, November 18, 2014

So, there's that

There's something I've been meaning to share with you guys for the past 2 months, but wasn't sure just how I should do it. At this point, all I can think to do is blurt it out, so here it is: after eight years together Tom and I decided to part ways, on friendly (but unavoidably emotional) terms. He's even made a big move across the country for work, which seems to have helped officially set us on our separate paths.

We still talk, and I'm still here doing my thing, but the creative juices have not been, let's say, flowing as much as I'm used to. Cooking dinner or rearranging pictures on the wall seem like very simple tasks but are the types of things that have been sapping me of creative energy day-to-day.

Please don't picture me dejected on the couch, though. I've also picked up a couple of new activities that have been filling my weeks. I joined my company's softball team this fall (had not picked up a ball/glove in about a decade) and have been taking a yoga class with my mom. I've also been going to at least one estate sale a weekend, which I'm definitely enjoying. Add hanging out with my girlfriends to the mix and there's not much time left over for sewing or other creative pursuits.

This life change has also brought me to work on revamping my home for a fresh start, and to fill new furniture gaps (I've learned I'm very picky about coffee tables!), including my sewing space, sort-of pictured above, and finally very gently dipping my toe back into some sewy things (yes, cutting out, but not actually sewing, a PDF pattern and fabric counts).

There is not much to officially show for it yet, but I just wanted to let you guys know I'm really still here... doing some things!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Late > Never? #OWOP14

So what if it's the end of September? Here I am with my OWOP outfits, for your viewing pleasure.

As you can see, I picked the Laurel dress/top by Colette Patterns. I wasn't even forced to repeat the Leopard Laurel on days 2 and 7, I just wanted to! That's how much I love that dress (read: secret pajamas).

I'm starting to feel my current style drift a little bit away from cutesy/quirky/colorful and lean more toward darker tones, sometimes more modern looks, and things that don't make me feel too twee. I found myself a bit uncomfortable in my Floral Laurel and Ruffle Sleeve Laurel this week. Even my peter pan collar was getting to me. Maybe it's a new life phase, maybe it's just the changing seasons. My favorite outfit of the week was day 5, my Back to School Laurel paired with sheer black tights and ankle boots. Ready for fall, y'all!

And, just because you've been nice enough to stick around in my recent absence, I'll let you in on a little secret. There's been no sewing happening in these parts as my sewing room is currently experiencing a dramatic revamping. I will be sharing some new sewing space shots once things are put back together, don't you worry. Until then, plz enjoy this image of my new computer desk (lives in under-construction sewing room), yay!

My place is a bit dark, so anything light/white/bright is super refreshing and a big help to keep things from feeling gross and drab. I've been taking a lot of inspiration from Heather Lou, Tilly, and Shanni's recent sewing space posts, so hopefully I'll end up with a sewing space that can keep the inspiration flowing.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Unblogged

Throughout Me-Made-May I counted 6 things I'd sewn but had not yet blogged, many of which were in good rotation in my me-made wardrobe that month, so you've seen a quick peek at them. I figured it was about time I shared the rest of the story for these pieces.

FBA'd Emery

If I recall correctly, I made this Emery dress during Me-Made-May, and I definitely wore it that month. I used a quilting cotton from G-Street fabrics I'd added to my stash way back when I went to the Northern VA sewing blogger meet-up. I used the FBA tutorial on Christine's blog for my first ever full bust pattern adjustment, and it worked pretty well! For this Emery, I also ended the collar at the shoulder seams because I ran out of fabric, and then lined the skirt with some satiny purple silk I found at the thrift store.

Leopard Laurel

I made this Laurel dress a looong time ago, like several months. I bought this leopard print ponte from Fabric.com and knew right away that I wanted it to be a dress. If only Tilly's Coco pattern was around then, it would have been perfect. The Laurel gets a good amount of wear, but is intended for a woven and the darts just seem blobby and lame when it's sewn up in a ponte. Most comfortable dress I own, though.

Breezy Belcarra

I made this Belcarra blouse during Me-Made-May, using the PDF version of the pattern (near-instant gratification) and some very lightweight cotton I'd found at JoAnn's. I ended up narrowing the lower part of the blouse in the hip area, but cropped off too much so now it fits oddly. I also seem to have cuffed the sleeve cuffs an extra time, so they're double folded - something I constantly fiddle with when I wear it.

Collared Sencha

This Sencha is definitely tricky to photograph. The fabric is such pretty colors, though! It's a rayon I stumbled upon at JoAnn's and I really love it. When sewing this up, I'd thought I was selecting contrasting buttons with the vintage orange ones I picked from my stash, but they kind of blend in with the orange in the fabric. I drafted a peter pan collar, using the tutorial in Gertie's book, and kind of made up my own finishing for the kimono sleeve holes with 100% machine sewing. When I read the pattern's instructions for hand-sewing the sleeves, I literally said aloud "You want me to WHAT?!" so I promptly tossed it aside and improvised my own finish, just turning things under a few times and stitching. It looks a little floppy and odd in these photos, but that's because I haven't ironed the thing since washing it after wearing, promise.

Spotted Coco

This Coco is made from a peachy pink ponte fabric (from the Finch or GirlCharlee -- they both had it, I just can't quite remember where I finally bought it from) with black 'foil' spots. The spots are slightly shiny, as you can see. I'd had such high hopes for this Coco, and it still turned out a comfortable, wearable dress, but every time I do wear it I touch the collar CONSTANTLY because I just can't get it to sit right. The collar also seems to always come slightly less folded down, so the stitching shows. Suppose I should have used a matching peachy thread. Next time.



Yes, you counted correctly. I said I had 6 unblogged pieces back during Me-Made-May, but above I've only shown 5. That's probably because I was originally counting one of these fails, which have since been thrown into the abandoned pile in my closet.

This is the Lisette jacket I'd drooled over ever since I first saw the pattern. Then I sewed it up in this meh fabric and hated it. Maybe I'll try again later with something different (lighter weight and more muted color).

Shortly after the Lisette jacket, just before I left for my vacation at the very end of May, I was working on this vintage dress pattern, using an adorable king-sized pillow case I'd thrifted. I was SO hyped and kept patting myself on the back for making something so cute. Then I had to sew the button placket and everything fell apart. I. just. could. not. It was promptly abandoned.

I also tried my hand at sewing with sheets after I returned from my vacation in Europe and had yet ANOTHER fail with this fabric. A BHL Anna bodice lives half-finished, crumpled up in the closet, too.

Now that I've gotten all of this off my chest, hopefully I'll be able to move forward with some new projects! As I mentioned before, I do have a new dress project (very gradually) underway. It's a busy time of year in these parts, so it may be a little while before I have details to share. I do still have some new listings to add to the shop, so I'll be announcing those soon, too. For now, I hope everyone is having a great weekend!