What I’m working on, plus general updates

Thank you for your comments on my ruffled dress – I haven’t gotten to wear it out yet, but I’m planning to wear it for one of the Easter masses I’m doing this weekend.  It’s been super warm here, so I’ve started on a maxi dress (the first of several this year!)

I spent several hours last night constructing the bodice of Simplicity 1881.  I was watching Downton Abbey at the same time, so I was a bit slow.  This pattern uses a method of attaching elastic that I’ve never seen before – you use a piece of bias hem tape to create a casing on the back of the dress.  This is necessary because there are two pieces of elastic holding the dress up, so you need a double casing.  Ordinarily I would just use the seam allowance, but because of the extra elastic I’m trying it their way!  The fabric is kind of crazy, but I’m ok with that – I will be ready for my hypothetical tropical vacation that I’m not taking!

Speaking of maxi dresses, I’ve neglected to talk about the summer Simplicity patterns.  I was able to pick them up for 99 cents in the Joann sale yesterday, which was exciting! I especially love this one:

Simplicity 1804 calls for a knit and has lots of great options.  I plan to make the version photographed in the top right, and I’m considering the crossover halter as well.

Simplicity 1801 is a really cute dress by Cynthia Rowley.  I like the sleeves on the pictured version.  I think this could be cute in several different types of fabric, including  a knit (even though this is not listed in the types, I think a thick-ish stable-ish knit would work and have a nice drape.)


Simplicity 1803 and 1799 are both cute summer dress patterns.  Not breaking any new ground maybe, but they have potential (if you can ignore the awful shiny poly charmeuse on the right.)  I have a ton of fabrics that could work here – I have bought way too many summer prints over time!

Fitness update:

I completed Chalean Extreme (well, I stopped 2 weeks early… the last phase did not agree with my knees) and now I’m doing a modified version of P90x.  I know, I know… I feel silly telling people that, because it seems so macho in the commercials, but it’s not that macho in the dvds, and I’m really enjoying it!

Here are my modifications: basically, I’m doing all the strength training dvds (3 workouts a week) as prescribed in the plan.  Then the plan calls for two days of cardio (a plyometrics dvd and a kickboxing dvd.)  Sometimes I do the plyometrics (I like them) but mostly I’m doing whatever I want on those days.  Right now that’s taking walks, since the weather is so nice!  It’s too hot to do cardio on the 3rd floor.   I am not doing the ab workout, because that takes the workouts to over an hour, and that’s too long for me right now.  Besides, I feel like I get enough ab work in the other dvds and the yoga.  Speaking of…

But the biggest revelation to me has been the weekly yoga.  I’ve never liked yoga – I’ve always found it slow, and sometimes the new age talk is too much for me.  It turns out, what I wanted was a different type of yoga!  The yoga in P90x is Power yoga – it’s not slow and it’s not easy.  I enjoy it, but I went looking for other options and bought some dvds (I love my dvds!)

I watched clips and thought I would enjoy vinyasa flow yoga.  I bought Flow Yoga for beginners by Shiva Rea and really loved it – it’s long, but it’s all doable, and I even was able to enjoy the meditation!  I went back and got her Yoga Shakti, which allows you to design your own workout using a menu system.  Some of it is too advanced for me right now, but I can slowly work my way up to things.  I can’t explain why I suddenly like this sort of thing, but there you go.  The music is pretty, and her speaking voice is pleasant.  The yoga is constantly moving (I guess that’s the flow) and it’s tough.  I try to never say I wouldn’t try something, because I always end up eating my words.  Oh well!

Other random drabbles:

– It’s almost spring break – I plan to make it a sew-cation!  I’ll need the relief after 5 masses easter weekend (luckily that money comes at a good time to make up for the entire week I took off this past week because of my flu!)

– I had dinner off the salad bar at Whole Foods today, and now I must try making my own grilled tofu.  I would not have thought it would be good, but there you go!

– UofL and UK played each other in the Final 4 yesterday.  I’m not a sports fan even a little, and maybe it makes me a bad native, but I was hoping UofL would lose, because I was seriously worried about rioting if they won.  People who aren’t from here just don’t understand the depth of hatred involved in that rivalry.  (and yes, UK won, followed by rioting in Lexington.  The news article I read included the phrase “burning sofa.”  Stay classy, sports fans.)

– One more month before I graduate!  I have my cap and gown and everything.  After all this time it almost doesn’t feel real!

– My friend who I’m teaching to sew sent me a text this morning that consisted of a photo of her new sewing table.  I’m so happy that I’m no longer the only person I know who gets excited by things like that.

That’s all for now!


13 thoughts on “What I’m working on, plus general updates

  1. Good stuff, looks like you’ve got all of your (sewing/fitness/eating healthy) bases covered. Not a big fan of maxis (I’m short) and we’re getting into winter here anyway but I really likeed the NL6097 from their current season pattern runway collection.

  2. I love seeing all of your new projects, and am amazed that you can sew, take a college class, work, and maintain regular workouts. You must be very organized!

    I started yoga last year, and am enjoying the benefits of stretching, even if I forget to breathe. 🙂 My leg muscles get so tight, but yoga has cleared up the bursitis in my hip. It worried me that the classes would be uncomfortable (i.e. chanting, chakras, etc) because that’s not my thing, but our teacher focuses mostly on the physical aspects, and I always leave feeling more peaceful and positive than I came in.

  3. reallu like the maxi dress but i’m only 5’2 so i don’t think it would work well…congrats on graduating…and you must be exhausted with everything going on….take some rest and have a great easter.

  4. 1. Love the maxi dresses! I hadn’t seen simplicity 1804 – that zigzag looks awesome
    2. Great job on your plaid dress, it looks so much like the inspiration!
    3. So people burn couches and riot when they win? I guess I thought it would be the other way around..
    4. The P90x yoga sounds very intriguing!

  5. I *need* a maxi dress – I don’t care that I’m only 4′ 11″!

    I have ‘The Fear’ of Simplicity patterns though, as the couple I’ve tried…well….simple is not a term I’d use 😀
    The pattern pieces don’t always match up, for a start….

    I might go for it though, as I really like the look of a couple of those.

  6. I just bought the 1801 this weekend. I’m planning on version B in a knit fabric. I look forward to what you come up with.

    I’m a long-time fan of yoga, but I have been unable to get into Shiva Rea’s style. I’d recommend you check out Kathryn Budig. She has one video (Aim True, available on Amazon). She’s really encouraging and offers lots of variations as you become more advanced.

  7. There is another type of flow-based yoga called Ashtanga Yoga that is really wonderful. I’m sure there are some practitioners on DVD, but it’s also a great class to get into because it is the same flow of asanas every time. The full practice is pretty long, but most classes omit the more difficult sections to keep within an hour time-frame.

    David Swenson has a great book (I think it’s just called “Ashtanga Yoga”) that shows each asana with photos, including alternate postures for those of us who are not pretzel-people, and then tells you the vinyasa flow between postures to bring you to the next posture.

    I understand what you mean about yoga being too slow; it wasn’t until I started with the Ashtanga classes that I really found my inspiration to keep going with it.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation! I have requested the book from the library. I think the Yoga video from P90x is Ashtanga based, at least that’s what I read. And that is one tough yoga workout!

  8. Chalean Extreme and P90X are fantastic workouts. I was lucky enough to work out with Tony Horton on his book tour. He’s a great guy but he really pushed us hard. I was going to start Chalean again next week. I just moved back to California and let my workouts drop off. *sigh*

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