Popping in

I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday season!  Mine has been predictably busy, and it’s not over yet – we are going to see Marc’s sister this week, and my family has one more gathering.

I wanted to post about my Christmas present from my husband because I think it proves how awesome he is!  I sadly lost my engagement ring earlier this year (well, I’m still hoping it may turn up, but it hasn’t yet, which is a bad sign.)  He decided I needed a new one, but knew I wouldn’t want a diamond or anything traditional.  So here is what I found under the tree:

Engagement ring


Why yes, that is the Star Trek insignia in ring form!  And yes, it’s upside down here, I was excited!  The ring comes from this etsy shop.  It’s silver and white gold, and the stone is a sapphire.  I’m very happy with it – it’s non traditional, but to anyone who doesn’t know what it is it probably just looks like a (slightly odd) regular ring.  In fact, I put it on Facebook and I’m pretty sure people who had no earthly idea what it was were commenting.

We’re also painting and re-doing our bathroom this week.  I’ll return with photos in a few days!

crafts · Sewing

4 Lessons learned: 2012

As we enter into the last week of the year, I’m going to do a few posts to wrap up my experiences.  First up?  This list of hard earned lessons from the past year.

This wasn’t the greatest year for my sewing.  I got a new diploma and a new job, and adjusting to the schedule changes has cut into my sewing time.  Consequently, I need to be more focused in my making!

1. No more wrap dresses or tops.

For some reason I keep making wrap dresses, thinking to myself “I will wear this!” when the truth is I always think “No to anything that involves possibly accidentally exposing my underwear” and wear something else.  In addition, because I am very high waisted/long torsoed the wrap never hits at the right place for me.  No more of these.

2. Sometimes it’s ok to be in a rut.

I’ve made a lot of dresses that have my favorite sillhouette (full skirt, fitted top) over time.  This year?  None.  I felt a little bit like I was in a rut, but it’s possible that I like these styles because they look the best on me.  I think the high percentage of unworn garments this year goes along with that.  So even if the fashion world keeps insisting that slim, body conscious skirts are the trend, I will realize that I don’t feel great in them, and make something else.

3. There is no such thing as too much frosting.

I’ll link to Tasia’s discussion of cake vs frosting in our dressmaking.  If cake is the basics (pants, t-shirts etc) and frosting is everything else (pretty dresses etc) then I think I’m ok with making more frosting.  I can buy basics.  Yes, searching for pants is annoying, but not as annoying as eating up my limited sewing time with something that just doesn’t make my soul sing (note: I will still make interesting pants, but no basics!)  In addition, I find that my life requires a rather high percentage of frosting anyway.  This holiday season I’ve already run through all of my fancy dresses and started wishing I had more, and while the holidays are the busiest time for me they are by no means the only time I have to dress up!

4. It’s ok to take a break sometimes.

Maybe it’s the blog thing, but I’ll tell you that I feel sort of  guilty when I’ve not got a work in progress.  I do my best work, however, when I make a project I love rather than sewing just to be working on something.  This is my hobby, not a job!  I am… sort of OCD in general, so I really struggle with this issue.  So if I want to take a week to paint my bathroom, or I have rehearsals every night til late, I need to not feel guilty.  This one is a work in progress.

I’ll be back soon with the breakdown of my projects – it’s taking a bit to write!

crafts · Sewing

Fabric weight frustration

This week I tried to make the Style Arc Marita dress.  I wanted to wear it to December commencement (which was today!)   I used this ITY knit, purchased from fabricmart:
Style Arc Marita

It wasn’t clear to me from the line drawing exactly how clingy the skirt was.  I added 2 inches to the side seams below the waist, but it still turned out pretty fitted.  I didn’t take a photo, but it would have shown everything through the fabric!  I’m sensitive about this issue, especially after the time that I let Vogue use one of my photos for their facebook page and someone oh so helpfully suggested that I needed different underwear.  And then 7 people liked that comment.  Thanks a lot, internet.  I think I’d rather not wear the kind of clothing that requires careful underwear selection. (Note: I’m not still upset about this, really!)

Anyway, I decided to cut it down to a top and removed 12 inches (the skirt fell below my knees to start).  Let’s see how that looks:

First, the top part:
Style arc marita

I’m planning to paint the whole bathroom the color over the light switch this week.  I am tired of this cold blue.

Looks pretty good, right?  The draping works, although you can see just how tiny those sleeves are (they are size 8 as drafted).  But then there is the rest:

Style Arc marita

The fabric is too thin and shows the buttons/fasterners on the skirt.  It even shows the black color through.  So no, this was a bad choice for this pattern.  It actually looks worse in real life, but it’s hard to capture with a still photo.   I really struggle with fabric choice sometimes.  I love color, and that’s what I’m usually drawn to, weight or project suitability be damned!   I have learned that online descriptions only go so far – this was described as medium weight, and while most ITY knits are medium, this one is not.

Not fabric mart’s fault, and not the pattern’s fault – I just have to learn how to take a step back sometimes!

I’m not sure it was the greatest style for me anyway.  I like to experiment with silhouettes, but I still default to full/a-line skirt looks most of the time when I get dressed.  The twisted front is similar to a cowl, and I don’t like cut on cowls (ie where the cowl is part of the front, not sewn on like a turtleneck.)

Upwards and onwards – I’m off to sort my fabric collection by weight, so that maybe I can avoid these types of wadders in the future!

crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Sewing funk: Butterick 5679

I haven’t been having the greatest of sewing months.  After my failed Juniper pants I made a Alma stop (which I do love,) and then tried to make Vogue 8847:
V8847 (1)

Now, I know better than to trust a drawing. I knew it would be a sack without the belt (there is a modeled photo which shows this.)  But I wasn’t expecting exactly how terribly large it would be.  I cut the smallest size, but it was enormous.  The chest was way too wide, which made the sleeves bind.  And I don’t like the way the V-neck is constructed.  I ended up throwing it away, which is sad because I loved the fabric, but  I was pretty much set against it at that point.  It might be cute in a knit, but quite frankly life is too short!

I decided to make myself a simple knit project, in order to get over the disappointment.  I chose Butterick 5679, which has the most God awful modeled shot ever:

For real, what is that?  I think it’s just an odd design, but the raglan depth on that top is much longer than the one on my shirt.  And what’s up with the single useless pocket? I was making the version in gold above.  I had a striped wool jersey, and I thought it might be fun to chevron the front and back panels.  It took only a  few hours to construct, even with all the matching.  But in the end I find myself conflicted:
Picture 832

Is this cute in a Dr Seuss kind of way or crazy (in a Dr Seuss way?)

Picture 822

The bottom hemline has to be redone.  You can see how it wants to roll, even though I hemmed and serged.  I’m considering removing the point and making it all one length.  I’m pretty sure I would like that better.  The only kind of strange hemline I like is a peplum – I knew I hated the hems that were longer at the sides, but I thought this would be better.

Maybe I just need to wear a different outfit?  I wore it Monday to voice juries (basically final exams for music students… I listened and judged singers for six hours).  I wore it with skinny black pants and flats, and I did like that better.  These jeans are too big to be skinny, and they twist around my legs (I didn’t make them – blame Gap!)

Eh… I think I just need a few days break (not just from sewing… I am super busy this year, with the new job and responsibilities and my usual December concert schedule!)  I’m having a hard time picking projects to start.  I’m starting to think I’ve got a touch of decision fatigue.  After the semester is over (graduation is the 19th, but I’ve already turned in my grades) I might post here and have you all pick one.

So, not a total win.  But I think it’s important to post my failures along with my successes.  I don’t want to give the impression that I’m perfect, because goodness knows I’m not!

I’m planning a year end roundup post.  I’m hoping to post about the actual wearability of the things I’ve worn (some are definitely more than others!)