Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Sewing

Nick went to Florida for Memorial Day weekend, which left me with over three days of free time.  Well, technically I still have part of tomorrow, but I'll spend that going to the grocery store and cleaning up before he gets home.  Hopefully.  I was supposed to do that today.

Naturally my weekend consisted mostly of sewing.  I used to have no problem being alone--in fact, I preferred it.  But we've lived together for over two years now, and I'm used to having someone there all the time, for better or for worse.  When Nick is gone--which isn't often, but he's gone on vacation a few times without me--I have problems sleeping and staying busy.  I have to work extra hard on it, and I tend to stay up much later than I normally would, just because it freaks me out too much to go to sleep.  Relationships, man.

Anyway, I had a list of goals for the weekend: two quilts, some garments, a dog bed for the Schnoz.  Most of it was finished.  The dog bed was left behind as of tonight, but I've purchased piping and stuffing for it, so it'll happen!  I promise!

One of the garments was the Staple dress.  Previously, I had said how I didn't love the fit, that no matter what I did, it wouldn't work out.  The shoulders were too big, the whole thing was blousy...and it was a bummer because there were a thousand beautiful versions online and I just couldn't seem to get it right!  I decided to give it another go, sizing down to a small this time.

It seems to fit right now!  The shoulders and chest, while still wide, look like they're meant to be, instead of just looking big.  However, my shirring could certainly use some work.  I tried to keep the lines straight.  As you can see, that didn't work so well.

Don't look too closely, okay?

Honest opinion: will it matter?  Something tells me it won't.  If I really get self-conscious, I can always buy a belt, right?  Maybe it won't matter.  Either way, I'm not doing it again, so this is how it goes.

I gave it a two-inch hem because I don't plan on wearing it to work, so shorter hems equal weekend outfits.  Despite that, I know I'll need to wear a slip underneath.  Double-gauze sticks like nothing else in the world!

After the Staple dress was done, I started on my new Wiksten Tova.  I haven't made one in over a year!  My sewing buddy Elizabeth and I decided to hold a Tova Sewtogether for the end of May, with just the two of us!  We're keeping up on Instagram, but I was still behind until today.   

I'm using some of Anna Maria Horner's new linen blend, which I really love.  It's a good weight and will carry over into fall without feeling too light or summery, like handkerchief linen would.

We needed to finish the Tova up to and including the side seams today.  Success!  However: linen on a mannequin?  What a mess.

This weekend's projects were brought to you by Parks and Recreation and Freaks and Geeks.  I'm calling it a night on sewing as of now.  Time to go read some magazines and watch Netflix.  Happy long weekend!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Meeting Mister Schnoz

Last week was a bit hectic.  I got back in town from Chicago Sunday afternoon and seemed to hit the ground running: laundry!  Dinner!  Groceries!  Oh, and then work!  The week flew by, which is good, of course.  I hate weeks that linger.  Just move on already.

In the middle of all this, Nick mentioned getting a dog--again.  When we lived in Jacksonville, we both had dogs: my family had a Florida brown dog (read: mutt) and Nick's had a bullnese who was born and bred at the next-door neighbor's house.  Then we moved to DC, and our apartment not only preferred cats, but really catered more to them.  The pet deposit for dogs was in the thousands (hardwood floors) and 700 square feet doesn't really lend to a dog's housing preference.  It can be done, surely, but not while we're both working 12 hour days and commuting at 6 AM.  We shelved our definite plans, but never stopped dreaming about our future brood of Corgis, Westies, Scotties, and Schnauzers.  The terriers, they call to us.

So while I was trying to desperately jump back into things, Nick and I talked about dogs.  I firmly believe in adopting.  In fact, the animals I've had--Puddin' and Eleanor, though I nursed Maisy back to health--adopted me.  They were strays, or rescues, and I always have room for another kitty.  I couldn't, in good faith, go to a breeder when I knew there were hundreds of dogs in Charlotte who needed a home.  I pushed Nick to go on Petfinder and just look.  Just look!  That way, you know what's out there.

Well...he found someone.  Lucas, as he was listed, a black miniature Schnauzer, nine weeks old and cute as hell.  As Nick was telling me about it, he was also emailing the rescue agency, and updating me as emails were exchanged.  We called the foster mom Tuesday night, discussing everything from his age to when we could meet him.  Nick was in love, and nothing was going to stop him.

As we planned and talked Wednesday through Friday, we realized we needed everything.  We have cats!  How will we raise a dog?!  So we started a list: crate, bed, toys, shampoo, etc., etc., adding to it every time we talked.  I read about miniature Schnauzers and checked puppy websites, scouted "hipster" and handmade dog accessories, and decided this puppy will, in fact, wear a coat in the fall and have a Halloween costume.  As his intended mother, I can decide these things.

Finally, Saturday came and we drove to North Augusta, South Carolina.  Have you been to North Augusta?  I hadn't either, but it isn't a stunner of a town.  But, the foster mom was there, and it isn't a bad trip from Charlotte, especially when the love of my fiance's life lives there with his four brothers and sisters and poor mother, all rescued from a puppy mill.  We met with the foster mom, who brought us Lucas and his brother (no name), and we held both and switched back and forth, talking with her about the agency, the dogs they rescue, the puppies' medical histories.  I made Nick play God and choose who we brought home, and he chose Lucas, the puppy he had fallen head-over-heels for just days earlier.  We paid the adoption fee, packed him up, and headed home.  He didn't even whimper until we got off I-485 at our exit.  A dream!

I won't bore you with more puppy talk, but Mr. Schnoz, or Schnozzy as we affectionately call him, is adorable.  And he's ours!  This is how new parents must feel.  Currently we're working on treats and training, but we have big plans for obedience classes, Canine Good Citizenship, doggy daycare, and outings to the dog cafes in the area.  This is exciting!  As someone who mostly loves cats, it's a whole new way of thinking and doing.  And it's fun.

I'll leave you with some pictures of the little pup.  If you have any puppy tips or help with miniature Schnauzers, please share!

Yes, that is a bowtie.

First bath at home!
I also wanted to note that the rescue agency we adopted from is Canine Rescue of North Augusta.  If you love Lucas, he has brothers and sisters who need homes!  And if you don't love Lucas, but you love other dogs, check them out.  They adopt all over the U.S., and the founders--Barbie and Jean--are very nice women.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spring Belladone Dress and a Garden Update!

If you guys aren't converted to Deer & Doe patterns from my Datura blouse, maybe this post will convince you.  Because this dress--the Belladone dress, from Paunnet fame--is the nicest, most flattering, least frustrating dress ever.  Seriously!  It was actually a pleasure to sew, and I never say that. Usually by the end of a project I'm so ready to be done I vow to never wear the damn thing.

Woo!  Super dark picture from bad lighting!

Nick worked overtime tonight--funny story, he had to come home early anyway because there was a snake outside the house which rendered me scared and paralyzed--so I had to set up my own little photography studio outside.  This meant I dragged an empty hamper to the back patio, turned it upside-down, and stacked pot drainers on top until I thought it was tall enough for the camera.  It wasn't, really, but I'm resourceful and really just wanted to take the pictures and get on with my life.

I used another print from Timber & Leaf, so hopefully you aren't tired of Sarah Watts yet, because I'm sure not!  Again, I have nothing but nice things to say about Blend fabrics.  They're so soft and so great to work with!

I did wear this dress to work today, so if it looks wrinkled, that's why.  Also there was a breeze and I'm wearing cotton underwear, so there's a lot going on, okay?

Look at those chubby arms!  Yikes!
I really did enjoy every bit of this pattern.  It was extremely well-written, and everything came together beautifully.  If I could change one thing--and I will, because I plan to make more--I'd sew the top of the dress for about an inch before inserting the zipper.  I find hook-and-eyes tedious and I could have easily avoided it.

Action shot!
So get thee to a stockist, now, and make this dress.  It's so perfect for spring and summer!  I'm trying to think of what print I'll use next.  Hmm...all of them?

In garden news... Green Arrow peas have flowers, but my sweet peas do not... watermelon are about two inches high...

...Puddin' is a weirdo... pumpkins are out of control!...

...the Fresh Salsa hybrid tomatoes are the only ones with flowers...

...the ranunculus and anemone are sad as can be.  Anyone have any ideas?...

...and we still look pretty crazy over here on Sposetta farm.  How are your plants?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Finished Datura Blouse!

I don't have a major update today.  Honestly, I debated starting another project, just so I'd have more to talk about!  But then I couldn't decide what to make (...again) so I figured if I spent some time blogging it would clear my mind enough to come to a conclusion on my next project.

So far?  Nothing.

Last weekend, after making a quilt, I started on my Deer & Doe Datura blouse.  I'm sure you're familiar with Deer & Doe by now, as they're all over sewing blogs, but I finally bought a couple patterns (Datura and Belladone, a dress).  They're adorable French patterns, similar to Colette Patterns in style--vintage-y and feminine--but French, so that makes them better, right?  Maybe not better, but at least as good, I think.  And I was able to buy the English translation of the patterns, so that's a major plus.

I can't get fabric to lay right on this mannequin ever.  Anyone have any tips?
I used two prints from Sarah Watt's Timber & Leaf collection.  If you remember, I used Timber & Leaf for my Amy Butler Lotus tunic at the beginning of the year and loved it.  The fabrics (from Blend) are so soft!  And they get softer with each wash.  I get it that they're made for a quilt, but I love them for apparel!

I chose the second view, with the Peter Pan collar.  I'm starting to wonder how much clothing I can own with Peter Pan collars before someone steps in?  Let me know before the intervention and I'll clean out my closet.

The pattern is rated advanced, and while I don't know that it's appropriate for view B, I will say the instructions weren't super helpful.  I know how to make a shirt by now, so I could guide myself for the most part, but there were parts that had me scratching my head, such as attaching the yokes.  I glossed over that, did it the way I knew, and everything turned out fine.

I did take a major shortcut and not make buttonholes.  I just didn't feel like it, and I'm running out of thread, so most likely I'd have made one hole and then been annoyed that I would need a trip to JoAnn's before making the other two.  If I notice it's hard to wear without the buttonhole ease, I'll go back and fix it.  Sometimes you just want to be lazy.

So now I'm wondering what to start next?  I have fabric pulled for a Belladone dress, a Sewaholic Alma, and another shirtdress.  What do you think?  And have you used Deer & Doe before?
Images by Freepik