Saturday, September 29, 2012

Project 21: The Serendipity Studio Sabrina Tunic

I followed through on something!  Woohoo!!  My fall sewing goals didn't fall through the cracks (yet) and I completed my first project ahead of schedule!

Granted, this isn't the most exciting project.  It's pretty basic.  But sometimes a girl needs basic.

Pattern Description
Boatneck tunic with zipper closure in three lengths.  This is the shortest length.

Pattern sizing
XXS-XXL.  I made a medium.  Because I am medium.

Did it look like the drawing on the envelope when you were done with it?
Well, not as insane.  That woman puts a hell of a lot of quilting cottons together.  I just stuck to one, because that's about my level of interest.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Honestly?  I didn't read them.  I've made enough tops in my time; I know to sew the facings, make the darts, sew the bodice to the skirt, insert the zipper, sew the shoulders and side seams, attach facings, and then hem.  I got this.

What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern?
It was easy.  I didn't have to think about it much.  However, the facings are awful.  I don't know why they're drafted so small, but this is true for all Serendipity patterns I've used.  I should know by now to just finish with bias tape, because the facings are such a giant pain in the ass.

Fabric used
Scattered Sand in Warm Grey from Lotta Jansdotter's "Bella."  I pre-ordered a bunch of prints in August and I knew this would make a great top.

Pattern design changes or alterations made
I left off all the options: no waist band, no ties, no ruffles.  I also used a 7-9" zipper instead of a 20".  I've found that just having the bodice open is more than enough for me.

Would you sew it again?
Maybe, but I'd remember to change the facings to bias tape.

I love polka dots and this will look cute with a cardigan and jeans.

So what's everyone been up to?  I'm currently researching wedding photographers.  While we aren't having a wedding, our parents and Jake and Kali will be there to eat pizza with us in celebration, and I'd like someone to take a few pictures.  Trying to explain the cost to Nick is impossible: while, yes, the photographer is going to cost more than the rest of the celebration combined, this day happens once, so once it's gone, we can't get pictures again.  I'm pulling for my favorite, who I'm insanely excited to work with, but he wants to see more pricing before we settle.  Men.

What are you sewing this weekend?  It's going to be a gorgeous one here in DC--enjoy it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Sewing - For Real

Almost two months ago I laid out my plans for fall sewing.  I hate to say it, but wow, I was naive!  I also hadn't yet started quilting, or I was in the very early stages of my newest obsession.  I believe we've seen the effects since that new hobby took off: I'm spending less time here and more time on Squaring Up, I've finished three full-sized quilt tops and three mini quilts, and my clothing plans are falling apart--quickly.

This is an attempt to put things back into perspective.

Of the four patterns I listed in August's post, I've made two, and I've blogged them.  Okay, so that's not terrible.  But when I look at my project goal page, I see a lot missing.  I've come to accept that there are quite a few patterns that will never get made, and I think that's fine and, in fact, normal.  What seamstress doesn't buy patterns and then just file them away?  But there are a lot of garments I want to make, and I simply need to get my priorities straight.  Hopefully, that won't be too difficult.  Though I have another quilt I'd like to make, I am not on a deadline for it.  We also aren't exchanging family Christmas presents this year (Nick and I are still exchanging, though), so any handmade presents have dropped off my radar.

So, let's see if we can get a plan for this.

1. Colette Rooibos

I don't actually know what my problem is here.  I've been flirting with this pattern for well over a year and just can't seem to seal the deal.  I have the shell and lining fabrics, so all I'd need is a zipper and maybe some piping.  This is something I just need to do.  I'm going to put a deadline of Thanksgiving on this.

2. Serendipity Studio Sabrina Tunic

Wow, there is a lot going on in that picture.  Wow.  Anyway, this is another project that I have no excuse for.  I bought some Bella with this tunic in mind, and it's been sitting--unwashed, however--since before we went to Beaufort.  This top will take me maybe an afternoon to complete.  I give it a deadline of next Sunday.

3. Sewaholic Minorou Jacket
This is a new addition to my sewing goals.  When it debuted last year, I felt very "meh," because the line drawing looks like a weird puffer jacket or something.  I have one of those, and I love it, but I most definitely don't want to make one.  However, now that a million people on Flickr have made it, I want to make one too.  If we do get to move back south this winter, this is the perfect weight for most of the fall and winter: a few days need a heavy coat, but lined canvas will cut the chill pretty effectively.  I'm giving this a deadline of Halloween.

4. Colette Sencha blouse
I bought this before we went to Beaufort with intentions to make something for the Beer Fest.  Well, obviously that didn't happen, but I still got a good deal on the pattern.  I'm a bit torn on what to make this with.  On one hand, I have some Flea Market Fancy that I've been saving for a blouse, and version 1 would be adorable.  On the other...more Flea Market Fancy, Emily?  It's a good thing you've got a ring on your finger, because most men would be scared.  I'm giving this a deadline of October 15.

5. Oliver + S Jump Rope dress
Obviously, this isn't for me.  It really isn't for anyone, but it's a cute dress.  I have view B in mind, which has front pockets and a tab collar, but no tie.  I bought the last of Aneela Hoey's puppies from my LQS in August, and this would be cute in it, maybe with some red chevron as an accent.  This isn't high priority, so I'll give this until December 1.

6. Oliver + S Hopscotch Skirt
Again, this isn't for me, nor do I have anything in mind for it.  I'm mostly interested in those pockets--I love the shape and think they'd be great to adapt for something for me, but first I'd have to learn how to make them!  This is getting a priority of December 15.

7. Colette Patterns Macaron
I'm not gonna lie: I'm a bit terrified of this dress.  I've heard about fitting issues and I struggle with the fabric choice.  I don't even have fabric waiting for this because I've been so nervous!  I'm open to suggestions, if anyone has an idea.  I'll give this a deadline of November 15, but that's flexible.

Two patterns--Sewaholic Alma and Sew Liberated Ashland--are nice but I don't know that I'll have time for them, or really even a need.  I don't own them yet, and it seems that, the longer I wait, the less I want to follow through, at least at this time.

Finally, all those Simplicity patterns at the end of the list--1880, 1873, 1885, 1872, 1877--are so off my radar right now that I don't even want to deal with them.  I bought them last winter, thinking they'd all be great for spring.  And guess what?  Nothing was made!  So forget it, I say.  I'm tempted to delete them, even.  I feel like that's cheating, but if they aren't going to get made, they're unnecessary.

What do you think--is this doable?  Sorry the post was so long, but I needed to get everything out so my mind could organize and plan.  My friend told me about last week, so I might set up a to-do list there in order to meet all my goals.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why We Aren't Having a Wedding (Or, Please Go Away, Wedding Blogs)

This post is a bit more personal than I like to get, but whatever, this is my blog, I can write about it.

Okay, everyone knows we got engaged, right?  I announced it a couple weeks ago, so I don't want readers to think I'm some weirdo who is pressuring her boyfriend.  Wedding "stuff" is on my mind, almost more than sewing, even though we do not want a wedding.

That's right.  I'm a young, engaged woman who does not dream of a white dress.

I wanted to elope.  I always have.  It freaks me out to think that other people might see me get married.  I'll pee in front of my mom before I have her adjust my veil or choose flowers.  It makes me uncomfortable to even sit here and type it out because I hate that idea so much.  But Nick brought up that we might regret, when looking back, not having our parents with us.  Or Jake.  I said I can guarantee I wouldn't, but marriage is about compromise, so I caved: we could invite our parents, and Jake, but no friends.  And parents would not be obligated to come.  Even Jake has been told about 100 times that, if he can't make it, it's really no problem and we will catch up at Thanksgiving.  Or Christmas!  Whatever.

So Mom and Dad, and Jake, and Dad (Nick's dad, this time) have all been texted with the details: next Columbus Day weekend, we'll head south to get married and have beer and pizza to celebrate.  No, we won't have a ceremony; it's $20 to do it at the courthouse.  No, I won't wear white; I am pale and it will be fall.  No, I don't want you to pay for it; we have a budget and we are both adults.  Yes, we will notify other friends and family with marriage announcements, but no, we will not accept gifts, and no, you may not pay for those either.

So why?  Why do I continue to read 100 Layer Cake, A Practical Wedding, Martha Stewart Weddings?  Besides being some sort of masochist (I'm flogging myself with Vera Wang ads), I guess it's because it's expected.  My ring (from Etsy) is on my finger.  The date is set.  The spreadsheet is active.  Now I'm supposed to worry about details like napkin monograms, right?  But I don't.  I read these blogs and magazines and think...ew.  Ew to all of it.

Here's what I've gathered:

  • Nick and I aren't special enough to have a big wedding.  I don't mean this in a sad, woe-is-us way.  I mean that I read these blog posts about weddings and I think, you guys think you're so special!  That's sweet.  But our friends don't wear ironic glasses and I don't have an affinity for the work of Marc Johns.  We're just a couple.  We work a lot and I sew and he drinks beer.  That's it.  Truth be told...
  • We don't have a lot of friends.  We know a decent amount of people, sure, but I don't have "my girls" and he doesn't have "bros" and I think Eleanor and Puddin' would have to be our witnesses.  Again, this isn't a pity party.  I'm spitting out facts.  These weddings, the ones with coordinating dresses from an unknown designer who will blow up next year, require people to be there.  They require people who get excited about the proposal, and who want to hear the story over and over.  That's not us.
  • I am uncomfortable with attention.  So it's weird that I have a blog, right?  Well whatever, I have like 10 readers, I'm okay with it.  I guess it's also because red hair gets a lot of attention, but I've always shied away from it.  I had a long awkward phase (from like age six to age twenty-two) and that's who I picture.  That's who I am.  The thought of walking down an aisle in front of people I don't really care for (truth) and having all eyes on me is enough to make me vomit.  Right here.  And then while walking down the aisle.
  • We have better things to spend our money on.  Being completely honest, my dress budget is $200.  I would like to spend no more than $50, but I know things happen and sometimes you have to spend more.  That $150 could be spent on fabric, or groceries, or allergy medication--I don't know, anything but a dress I will wear once and then never wear again, in fear of staining or ripping it.  We don't make a lot of money, we don't have a lot of money, so whatever we do have goes to things we need.  Cats gotta eat!  And so do we.  I plan on doing this as cheaply as possible, so we can move on and get started with our lives.
  • This shit bores me.  I'm not a girl who loves weddings.  I don't love wedding showers either.  I also don't love babies or baby showers.  So as much as I like thinking about what kind of dress I'll wear, I also think, who cares?  Because, honestly?  I don't.  I would walk down the aisle in jeans, if I could find a pair that fit decently.  (Maybe yoga pants?)  So debating over the details--do I use lamb's ear or baby's breath?  Will anyone notice the programs are printed in gold instead of bronze?--just blows my mind.  You know what happens after a wedding?  A marriage.  Yeah, get ready for that.
So obviously I'm not saying all brides are crazy, nor am I say that if you don't fit the above criteria, you are a bad person and should re-evaluate your life.  I'm just saying, where's the website for me?  I want a website that says "here is your dress" and it's $47.99, comes in ivory or purple or whatever, and offers shoes that fit too.  I would order that, do my thing, and get back to work.  Even the "sane" wedding sites focus so much on the minute, ridiculous parts that I feel like I'm terrible for not considering them.  Really, we need to invite his great aunt who he doesn't get along with because weddings are "for the family"?  Well, the family isn't paying for it, so they can all suck it.  Oh yeah, did I mention I'm a bride who says "suck it"?  Because I am.

So I hope no one is scared of me or thinks I'm a freak now.  The wedding stuff is no joke, and it can often be lonely, because, unlike graduation or whatever, you're the only one getting married.  Even if your friend is also engaged, chances are you're having completely different weddings and the only thing that is the same is your current marital status.  So I had to get it out there.  I'll get back to sewing soon, but this had to be said before I cried tears of both exhaustion and frustration.

Sorry if I offended anyone.  Honestly.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Project 20: Colette Beignet skirt

Phew, it's been a fun weekend!  I'm definitely not ready to go back to work tomorrow, but I'm feeling good about this week, y'all.  Let's put that positive energy out there, okay?

I didn't plan on making the Beignet next, but yesterday was Quilters Take Manhattan in New York (duh) and I wanted something new to wear.  Something that would make my $6 Target tank much more fashionable.  I know that sounds impossible, because how could that become even better?, but regardless, I love a challenge.  The Beignet has been on my to-do list forever but I've always been really nervous about it.  I'm so short-waisted, and definitely not thin, that I thought it would look dumpy.  I've seen some versions that make me question the maker's cognitive skills, and I didn't want that.

Okay, okay, I'll get into the review, so you can find out what I really thought!

Action shot!
Pattern Description
High-waisted paneled skirt with twelve front buttons as the closure

Pattern Sizing
0-18.  This is a 10, but I think I could've cut an 8 in the waist and graded for the hips.

Did it look like the drawing on the envelope when you were done with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Surprisingly, yes.  For an intermediate pattern, I was thrilled that it went so quickly.  I suppose it was rated that for the lining and buttons, but neither of those are new to me, so it was easier than I expected.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Hmm...I love the lining.  It looks so great inside.  Besides that, I felt pretty even-keel toward everything.  Nothing was frustrating, but I also didn't make stupid mistakes because I wasn't paying attention, which happens when things are too easy.

Another action shot!  This is one of my favorite Denyse Schmidt quilts.
Fabric used
The shell is wool corduroy from Denver Fabrics.  I bought it last fall when I planned on making a lot of skirts.  I love it as a skirt, but it was a beast to work with: it frayed, shed, and linted (is that a verb?) everywhere.  What a mess.  The lining is just poly lining from JoAnn's-nothing special there.

Pattern alterations or design changes made
I left off the belt loops and the belt.  This comes up way too high for me to tuck anything in, so a belt was unnecessary.

Would you sew it again?
I'm not sure!  Maybe something fun in twill for the summer would be cute, and I did like the cut, but the waist is just so high!

I like it!  I'm looking forward to wearing it with tights when it gets a bit chillier.

We had a great time in New York Saturday, and it made me forget all about my sewing machine pissing me off on Friday night.  I met Denyse Schmidt and just about died--I'm sure I made a fool of myself.  Liesl Gibson sat behind us and I regret not saying hi, but I feel bad approaching these "celebrities" (to us), you know?  Also, my blood sugar had bottomed out and all I wanted was some cookies before I flipped a table.

I'm going to have my full recap of the event on Squaring Up tomorrow morning, if you're interested!  Next month, we're venturing to Palmyra, Virginia, for a fall festival and By Hand magazine launch party (and pig roast!  Mmm).  After that, who knows!

How was your weekend?  What'd you sew?? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Happening

Today is my twenty-fifth birthday and I saw this outside.  I am taking it as a sign of good things to come.

I also just typed "twenty-first," but that's beside the point.

I promise some clothes will be here soon.  I promise!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Beaufort and an Announcement

We went to Beaufort over the weekend!  The Savannah Craft Beer Fest occurs every Labor Day weekend, and we missed out last year.  This year, because Mom and Dad are so close, we headed down to let them watch Eleanor while we drank lots and lots of expensive beers.

Here's just a hodge-podge of pictures from my new awesome camera.  Nick bought an Olympus Pen for my birthday, which made me just about die.  I love it!  I need to make a camera bag and strap for it, though, so if you have any good tutorials, let me know!

(Stick around to the end.  It's worth it!)

Shelton church in Yemassee, South Carolina

Senior pic time

At my parents' house:

Downtown Beaufort:

Blue moon on Nick's birthday!

Back at the house, looking at the dock:

Nick is a trooper and held up my mom's Sparkle Punch quilt so I could get pictures:

A mistake!
 The marsh during low tide:

So while we were in Savannah Saturday, Nick asked me to marry him!  We've been talking about it for a long time but it finally happened.  (I say "finally" like it's all I dreamt of.)  We don't plan on having a wedding--elopements are more our flavor--so I hope you aren't too disappointed that this won't become a wedding blog!  Ha ha.  This most I might share is my dress; I'm planning on making it, once I get some ideas.  Please feel free to share yours!

Did you have a good Labor Day weekend too?

Images by Freepik