Monday, March 26, 2012

On Being a Celebrity

I know this makes me totally lame and weird, but I don't care.

I am featured on A Sewing Journal today.  I wasn't told I would be--I just opened my Google reader and saw two of my projects from this weekend (an Ice Cream top and a full skirt) in the Color Inspiration post!

You can see the post here, or you can simply follow the sounds of giddiness coming from my cubicle, where the page will be open all day.

I'll also be signing autographs and wondering how I'm going to top this with my next project.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Project 9: Simplicity 2215

It took me a week to make three skirts and, frankly, that's a bit behind schedule in my eyes.  I like to move quickly and I feel that it should've taken me about half this time--allergies, sickness, house guests and all--to complete these.  They weren't even lined!

Simplicity 2215s have been popping up all around the internet lately.  I found this pattern last November when I was looking for a gathered skirt with a waistband.  Do you know how hard it is to find a skirt with a decent waistband these days?  I've had to buy four different pencil skirt patterns to get one I finally liked.  Anyway, I bought the fabric in November as well, and have stashed it away until the weather got warmer, because I knew these skirts weren't tights material.  Last week we didn't dip below 75 during the day.  I think the time has come.

Pattern Description
Simplicity 2215, view C--pleated skirt with waistband, invisible zipper and pockets.

Pattern Sizing
The Big 4, 6-22.  These are 16.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope when you were done with it?
I think so!  They all slightly varied, oddly enough.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were, but I still assumed I knew everything and made some mistakes.  The first skirt, in the upper left corner, has one pocket sewn shut because I'm an idiot.  I originally sewed the pocket on at 3/8" instead of 5/8", so the seam allowance wasn't large enough for a zipper.  However, I ate some humble pie and followed each step word for word in the following versions.  They turned out perfectly.

Oh, also, pay attention to the pleats.  They aren't all being folded in the same direction.  Again, I'm an idiot.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the simplicity (har har) because I finished the last two in a matter of hours.  I dislike the lapped waistband--can we just have them meet in the middle?

Fabric Used
Three prints from Lotta Jansdotter's "Echo" line (fall 2011).  Funny story about this fabric: I hated it when I saw the previews.  I didn't get it.  And then I started seeing it being used and the publicity was everywhere.  True to form, I ordered some at midnight of the Alewives Fabrics sale last fall to be sure I got the cuts I wanted.  I'm ridiculous.

Pattern changes or any design alterations made
Just mistakes!

Would you sew it again?
Maybe.  I'm not sure.  I have some Amy Butler Lark waiting to be made into a skirt, but I have a few other skirt patterns in my to-do list and might opt for one of those instead.

Two notes:
  • These were the first skirts I've ever made!  Now I need more.  I think I have about 20 yards of different fabrics waiting to be made into pencil skirts first.
  • I've worn all three of these skirts in public already.  Two have been worn to work!

So go make yourself a skirt, and when the wind blows it up in front of traffic, know that you have a friend in me.  It happens to me on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


My brain hasn't wanted to turn off lately.  I am certainly tired--I feel it when the alarm goes off before six--but, when I crawl into bed, I don't want to sleep.  My head seems to be housing millions of tiny people, each writing my to-do lists: for tomorrow, next week, next month, next decade.  It doesn't matter that these planners have no respect for 10:00 at night; they're constantly there, and I can't get these guys to get it a damn rest.

I have a lot of plans for myself.  I want to do well.  I want to make my parents and Nicholas proud.  I want to buy a house and start a business.  But it's the things which aren't as well-defined that start to creep in.  Do I want children?  (I don't know!)  Am I ready to start writing a business plan?  (I'd like to say yes, but I have so many questions!)  Where will we live in six months?  A year?  (I want to say the South, but without a transfer paper in my hand, I say for sure.)  When will I finish these stupid skirts?  Who will win the 2012 spring top sew-along?  How will my etsy business do when up against the world?  Can I afford to buy tags for my items?  Are ladybugs a good sign?  (I hope so.  One stopped by to say hello earlier today.)  Will I ever feel like I'm not drowning?  Can I make friends again?  On and on and on and on....

These aren't "What Ifs?" as much as they are "What Whens?"  These are all topics that will come up at some point, either in a week or a year or whatever, but I feel the need to answer them all right now, right this moment.  I must have the answers.  I need to.  If I don't, who does, and can I trust them?  I've always been the kind of person who needs to be everything to everyone; I choose jobs which allow me to cross departments and I never say no to an assignment, but I make sure I leave early enough to go home and cook dinner and clean the apartment, even if that means getting in at seven the next morning to keep working.  There isn't a facet of my life that isn't somehow controlled by me, and I'm starting to think I'm my own worst enemy, creating these self-destructive schedules.

I have an image for my life, and I'm not living it.  I want to live somewhere warm with seasons.  I want to own my business in a downtown area.  I want to stand behind a large, wooden cutting table, folding fabric with puppies at my feet, while customers nosh on the cookies I've set out.  I want my mom to ring up purchases and then help me choose lines to order.  I want the sun to be streaming in, catching the dust in its rays.  This work situation--which is the only life image I have, oddly enough--is one which gives me control, over how long I work, for whom I work, with whom I work, and what I do.  In this situation, I don't think about babies, Nicholas, dinner, or bills.  I think about what makes me happy, and that is it.

I have a very abstract plan for myself over the next year or so.  I have never started a business.  I don't know how to project retail sales, but I'm willing to learn.  It scares me that I may someday hire someone.  I have lots of technical questions, but I also have downloaded templates, a supportive boyfriend and parents, and ideas.  I hope that's enough--or, enough to get some sleep.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Project 8: Oliver + S Class Picnic outfit

This project should not have been as taxing as it was.  It was a breeze to cut out and it had been patiently waiting for me to finish my Wiksten patterns.  But, alas, something was off about it.  Maybe it's because elastic and I don't get along.  Maybe it's because I'd had a bad day Saturday, and even sewing cute baby clothes wasn't knocking the funk out of me.  Or, maybe it's because my sewing machine broke unexpectedly Sunday afternoon, causing me migraines and arm strain from carrying my old machine up from the basement.

Really, it could have been any of these things.

But now it's done and I can rejoice!  And throw them into my storage ottoman with the other baby stuff that never sees the light of day.

I don't have a two-year-old to model these, so my table will have to suffice.

Pattern Description
Oliver + S Class Picnic blouse and shorts.  The blouse has a yoke and raglan sleeves; the shorts have elastic in the back and a faux fly.

Pattern Sizing
Baby sizes!  Six months - 12; this is a 2T.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope when you were done with it?
Yes, I think so!

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, absolutely.  Sometimes I have trouble with Oliver + S because I feel like, to get the best possible result, there are a thousand steps, but these were fun.  Once I got into the project, it was easy peasy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like how adorable it is.  It's very sweet!  I dislike how much trouble elastic gives me.  The elastic in the shorts wasn't an issue, but in the shoulder casings?  Forget it.

Fabric Used
Cloud9 Fabric's "My Happy Nursery."  I've had this for over a year and have planned on making two different baby gifts with it.  Well, that never happened, and I was tired of seeing it sit in my bookcase.

Pattern changes or any design alterations made
Due to sheer frustration, the shoulders don't have elastic in them.  Other than that, nothing is changed!

Would you sew it again?
Probably!  I mean, not anytime soon, as there are no buns in my oven, but it'd be a cute gift for a little kid.

Elastic is the pits.

So I'm now using my old machine, the most basic one, until I can figure out what's wrong with the machine my mom gave me.  I'm thankful for back-ups, and I'm hoping nothing requires a buttonhole anytime soon!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Patterns

JoAnn had a sale this weekend on Simplicity patterns.  How do I love thee?  Take a look for yourself:

New spring patterns, picked up yesterday.  As a result, I've edited the 2012 Projects page, adding in a few new pieces and taking out some I've since fallen out of love with.

Yay spring!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Friday Night Date Night

I'd imagine this happens to a lot of couples who live together (but who aren't married): you slip into a routine to make the transition easier, and six, eight, ten, twelve months later, you realize you haven't been on a date in forever, and, in fact, the only time you actually go out to eat is to grab lunch before hitting up Harris Teeter or Target for toilet paper and cat food.  You haven't dressed "cutely" (Read: not just jeans and a sweater) since before you moved in together, and that excitement that filled your relationship in the beginning has dissipated, replaced with monthly dinner plans and being unable to stay awake past 11:00 on a Saturday night.

The cure for this ailment?

Friday Night Date Night.

Friday, March 2, 2012


We're having a real, honest-to-god thunderstorm tonight. It's March. Eleanor is tucked between me and Nick, who is sleeping through it. I ask him if he wants me to turn out the light and he mumbles, so I leave it on.

Rain makes me long for summer, and the South. I miss sleeping during midnight storms, or walking through a shower on my way home from work in Savannah. I'd carry my sandals in one hand and my umbrella in the other. One time I splashed through confetti from a store opening. It had drifted into the street and I remember walking on it, noticing how it glittered in the puddle. I remember how lonely I was, just me and a kitten, but also how alive I felt.

March is a turning point, where days get longer and temperatures begin to rise. I can shed layers and cook lighter. March is when I know we'll be okay, because winter is waning. We'll make it another year. The cherry blossoms bloom, the magnolia blossom, and I'm somewhere in the middle of it all.
Images by Freepik