We’re home waiting for the trick-or-treaters. Hope they come soon because all the candy and chocolate I bought is oh so tempting.
Can you believe it? I finished another garment. Never mind that I’ve had this beauty on my sewing table for a banana amount of months. No matter. It is done. It is pretty. And I’ve gained a new respect for the whole sew-when-you-have-time method. For a while there I was feeling really sad that I wasn’t able to devote hours at a time sewing. Once I let go of that I realized how much relaxing a few minutes here and there can be. So yeah…the more you know
I was inspired to make a blazer similar to this one, except made by GAP. I bought a cute navy and white stripey ponte knit from an online vendor. Sadly, I didn’t realize I was buying by half a yard and not a yard (don’t you hate when that happens! A big bugbear of mine. Silly, Mela) and didn’t have enough. So enter the lovely Victoria blazer. I wasn’t sure the boxy silhouette would suit me but I figured, what the heck, let’s find out!
Being pressed for time these days, I decided not to do a lining. I finished the collar and lapel edges in green bias binding and simply folded the hem under and stitched. Ta-da! Easy breezy.
Based on the finished shoulder measurement, I traced size 14/18. I still found the blazer a bit too wide and will have to take in the pattern by an inch or so at the shoulders. For the sleeve I added 1 inch using the slash and spread method, and 1 inch to each side, so 3 inches in total. To the back and front pattern pieces I added 1 inch to the armscye width. I also interfaced the collar, lapels and cuffs. For a cleaner look I tacked down the lapels.
Forgive my weary eyes in the side profile photo above. With the days getting darker earlier the best time I can get photos taken are before G leaves for work so that meant rushing to get dressed and forgoing my morning brew.
I’ve only matched stripes twice before, one by luck and the other was a basic skirt. Nothing to brag about. This time I took my time laying out the fabric and pattern pieces and cutting them out in one single layer. It helped. I think the only place the stripes failed to completely match were at where there’s some excess sleeve ease business going on. So I’d like to think I did an okey dokey job there. But I will save my bragging rights for the day I match plaid. Yes, ma’am.
With the year quickly coming to an end (I know, I’m totally a bit ahead of myself) I’d like to say that this jacket is fulfilling my Sewlution! Sure it’s not the lined, fitted glory of a blazer I had in my head when I made the sewlution, but it is a blazer. And let’s be frank, I can’t be certain I can make a fitted lined jacket before the new year. So yeah. I’m calling it: Sewlution accomplished!
I imagine that by now you’ve probably seen a few versions of StephC‘s lovely new pattern, Red Velvet. Well you can count yourself lucky, here’s another! I was fortunate enough to be a tester for Red Velvet and absolutely enjoyed the experience. It was easy enough to put together in an evening yet the suggested techniques offered the right amount of challenge. The perfect project for this lady who has been on a bit of a sewing hiatus. So I warn you, this post is a bit picture heavy…take a seat…get a cuppa…stay a bit.
Over the summer I went on a knit fabric buying binge with the intent of sewing cardis for the spring. A pretty spotty one made its way into my Girl Charlee virtual basket. When it arrived I realized that it was pretty slinky. Luckily the spotty spandex nylon wasn’t forgotten in my stash. After putting together the PDF (the tiles all lined up and came together effortlessly) I stood looking at it for a bit and instantly thought, “Polka!”
I thought I was going to have a bear of a time getting the tension correct on my machine but I didn’t. A ballpoint needle and a few adjustments on the machine was all I needed to get things rolling. I followed the instructions except for applying the fusible tape to the neckline. Darn it! I forgot (twice! I forgot on my muslin as well). And unfortunately it shows. My neckline doesn’t lay flat.
But you know what does? My fabulous hem! I can count on my hand how few times I get a wrinkle-free, crisp hem. Using the fusible tape helped immensely when sewing up the hem. I’m a convert now and am looking to stock up on it. So yeah, buy it, you won’t regret it!
The 4-way stretch in the fabric offers a wonderful drape, adding a lot of swish to hip movements. Sexy. The modifications I made to the dress were pretty minimal since you’re able to customize the pattern. I added an inch to the sleeve width; shortened midriff pieces by 1.5 inches. And added 2 inches to bodice.
I did a no-no and used a completely different fabric for my muslin: a stable cotton mix jersey that I got at a charity shop in my old neighborhood. Nothing close to how the spandex nylon would behave. But you know what, I’m a rebel. But really I just wanted to get an idea of how construction would go more than fit. So after spending an hour or so trying to lay it flat I knew why its previous owner had abandoned it. But no worries, I showed it who was boss.
You might be thinking this slice of cake looks different. If so you are correct. I forgot to attach the midriff pieces. D’oh! Happy mistake, I say. Not only does the fabric make it feel like a different dress but now, so does the fit.
There you have it: two slices of cake from one pattern. I’m happy. Consider me a Sewing Cake fan. The other Sewing Cake patterns I own just went up my queue. If you’re curious about more of my stats on this dress check them out here.
I didn’t expect to love Seattle as much as I did. I mean, you hear it’s wet and cold most of the time. And, frankly (London I love you to bits but…) I was over that having experienced it for most of 3 years. But while we were in Seattle the weather was glorious: warm and sunny. I know it’s not always like that but leave me with my illusion
For a whole week Ollie and I went up and down the hills downtown, me eating my way through various shops and him mostly hanging around. You see, the little tyke was teething and was feeling super needy. A stroller just wouldn’t do. Thankfully I brought along his carrier and just wore him the entire time. Going up some of those hills proved to be a nice workout.
For some reason I was craving ginger beer; something I first tried in the UK. I hadn’t found ones I liked in the States so I made it my mission to try various types. I loved Rachel’s Ginger Beer, even though it was different from what I was use to. It’s lemony and super gingery. I returned three more times, trying out their peach and strawberry ginger beers. Yes, it is as yummy as it sounds.
These other two were definitely my favorites among the ginger beers I tried.
You can’t go to Seattle and not try the coffee, right? I went to a few coffee shops, Moore Coffee being one.
I went by the first Starbucks but wasn’t tempted to have a coffee there since it’s not my favorite. To be honest I have yet to find a coffee that I enjoy as much as I did Monmouth Coffee or Climpson and Sons. I’ve been finding the local coffees bitter and the lattes much too milky (looking at you Blue Bottle Coffee and Four Barrel Coffee) more often than not. Oh well. I just brew at home mostly but I would like to enjoy a cuppa when I’m out and about.
Pike’s Market has a fabulous array of vendors. Our hotel was about an 8 minute walk away. I enjoyed people-watching, browsing and visiting the other sites and shops surrounding it.
Greg was working at his job’s Seattle office the whole week (boo, I know). But on his way home he would walk by a cupcake shop that has a happy hour! Can you imagine? We had a dozen cupcakes while there. Oh so good.
There was no escaping sweets. Across from our hotel was the delicious Dahlia’s Bakery. Everything they have there is great (except the coffee, sadly): sandwiches, pastries,breakfast sandwiches. And all made from scratch.
I did manage to squeeze in a bit of fabric shopping in between stuffing my mouth. I went to a shop called Stitches and bought a few notions and half a yard of some cotton lace for a shirt I want to make.
We also went to the Seattle Aquarium, where lots of fun was had.
If you stuck around until the end, thanks! That was a lot of eating, I know. But man, that’s what some vacations are about. I would have loved to have met up with some local people in the area but I just was too hesitant to make commitments just in case Ollie wouldn’t make it possible to attend. His naps were so erratic around that time. He napped for three-hour stretches each day we were there. Too bad he didn’t continue the habit once we got home
So yeah. Go to Seattle. It’s yummy!
Also, thank you so much for your lovely comments on our family portraits. Maybe one day I will actually print and hang them!(I can’t be the only one who still has her engagement, wedding, and first born’s photos mostly living in a hard drive?)
I scheduled a family photo session with photographer Monica Roy when Ollie was a wee baby. I saw her featured in Grey Likes Baby and fell in love with her style. We booked her and we are very happy with the results. She captured the wonderful lighting the Bay Area has to offer and she was really patient with a teething baby.
Photos are so important to us. We really do enjoy looking back at our favorite vacations, foods we’ve enjoyed and now, the family we have become. Hope you enjoyed me sharing. Little dude and I recently joined G on a work trip to Seattle, where I ate my way through the downtown area. I’ll be back with more on that later.
Given a moment today I, of course, get to pattern cutting.
Never mind that my mind is mushy and is in desperate need of a small project to act as a sewing refresher.
Nope. I, of course, chose an outer garment to sew after my sewing draught.
And of course I chose a ponte knit to work with.
And yes, of course it had to be stripes! Because what says get-back-into-the-sewing-game like sewing a ponte knit striped blazer. Right? Of course.
This mama has obviously gone nuts. But I’m carrying on.
Motherhood can be pretty isolating. Making it my mission to get out and meet people has been great for us. We are finally getting into a nice routine: going on walks, taking a music class, and meeting with a play group. But now it’s time to do something for myself. I really want to get back to having solid healthy habits and be a good example for the little guy.
When I found out I was pregnant I was three months into training for a half marathon. My legs had started feeling like I was carrying cement blocks. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the lucky women who can run while pregnant. My body and mind weren’t into it.
Fast forward to now and I’ve been craving to hit the pavement again. I watch people running and wished I was moving my body more. I think that stems from my old days as a gym rat and runner.
And when I say run, I mean run/walk. I practiced the Gallaway method and never thought to change it. But now that I want to get back into running I’d love to complete a race and run the whole thing. It’s a small (hmm…not really) goal in the bucket list that needs doing. So when I saw a baby jogger for sale in the local classifieds I knew it would be perfect to take the little dude out and not worry about having to run while my husband was still home (a 6AM run,no thanks).
I would have loved to have sewn up some new running gear but come on…it wasn’t going to happen. I caught a sale and bought a few pieces that will help get me started. Once Ollie is sturdy enough to sit in the jogger, away we go. He’s really close, too. He’s been sitting but still wobbles a bit. I bet he’ll be sitting well in a couple of weeks.
Now all I need is to find a 5K to train for in the fall. And this cuteness here*.
*Gotta wonder…Can I make this?
I’ve been working on three patterns for weeks! You know what I have to show for it? Two are traced and the other I’ve laid out the fabric to cut. Lie. The fabric is in a heap on the cutting table.
I’m still trying to figure out my new normal and I’m okay with that. But I’ll feel unsettled until I do. That feeling will keep me from enjoying my time at home, which includes sewing. I often feel guilty for using my free time to do fun stuff. Not that I have a lot of free time.
Ollie is beginning to nap longer (can I get a Heck Yeah?) but I am still finding it hard to commit to a chore or project during that time. I get sidetracked by reading blogs, doing a load of laundry, emptying the dishwasher (finally) or doing a big fat side of nothing. Because, let it be known, that I get paralyzed by the ever-growing to-do list.
And there’s lots to do. I’ve been wanting to purge my closets for ages. Confession…I have clothes that went across the Atlantic TWICE with the full intension that I was going to sell them on Ebay. Right. Also, my bookshelves are vomiting paperbacks by the dozens. It’s time for many of them to get donated, sold or given away.
Then there’s my sewing room. Holy mackerel. That needs some TLC. I’d love to organize my fabrics according to type and label them by amount, type, etc. A trip to Ikea will help me hack the sewing table of my dreams. Right now I’m using a fold-away picnic table. Not bad but it could be so much better.
The room is coming together slowly but surely and I cannot wait until everything has a home.
Right now I feel like I will never sew again but I know it’s just temporary. A happy balance between parenting, keeping a home, and having fun exists and I’ll figure it out one day. I don’t want this blog to become a dead space so I’ll be sure to chime in here and there with what’s going on, sewing related or not. I can’t promise it won’t be random musings
… is Dibs from Dibs and the Machine! Can’t wait to see handsome Noah dressed in his little dungarees. I’ll forward Katie your info, Dibs.
Thanks for all those who dropped your name into the hat, so to speak.