January 22, 2015

sew and tell time!

Yeah, I could just come out and tell you what the gender is. But it's so much more fun to take this as an excuse to sew something to show it!! (Ok, so I already posted this to Instagram/the Stashbusting Sewalong group on Facebook. But this warrants a blog post too, right?)

So this is the outfit I made for Hobbit.
gender reveal outfit
That's right, it's a boy! Doug is absolutely thrilled, since he was hoping for that outcome more than he was willing to admit, even to himself. Plus he's excited to teach him all about hockey. I'm excited too, though I will admit that some of my first thoughts were along the lines of wondering how long I'd actually be able to sew things for him/can I still do crafty stuff with him/etc. Good thing I've already seen stuff on Pinterest about building toy catapults and such, because that looks fun! I'm also giving myself pep talks about all the geeky things I like that boys often also enjoy, like Tolkien and Star Wars and Legos and Marvel movies, to remind myself that I'll be ok.

gender reveal outfit closeupOh, right, I should probably talk about the actual sewing project, too! This pattern is McCall's 6494, made in a size small, which looks like about 1-3 months. Ok, so I'm guessing on that-- I'm pretty new to this whole kid sewing thing! I'm hoping this will work for this summer and into September, since our Septembers are often on the warm end as well. I did have this pattern on hand, because I'll admit that I did buy a couple in the cheap pattern Joann's sales back when we first started talking seriously about having a kid. And I chose this one, because minimal pieces made it look like it would sew up fast! We told our family and closest friends on Monday, but this was my chosen method for the Facebook reveal, so I didn't want anything that would take too long and risk someone accidentally letting it slip. Also, the dinosaur was fun.

The fabric is lightweight denim, left over from my Thurlow trousers. I had 1 3/4 yards of that left, and this project used up 3/4 yards of that. So I guess some little baby jeans-like pants may be in order to use up the rest--I don't think I can squeeze anything for myself out of a yard, given that I don't entirely have the full width of the fabric to work with due to how I cut the Thurlow legs out. I made the applique from the last scrap of the solid green that I recently made those Lord of the Rings bibs out of, plus some rick rack purloined from my mom's stash (with her permission). Yay for stashbusting! I also had just barely enough snaps of a slightly larger size to do this. I guess I'll need to pick up some more if I'm going to make any more baby clothes. Unless I can find snap tape at Joann's, since I need to stop there today to check on supplies anyway. (Not fabric, for the record. Hardware for a diaper bag so I can use up some fabric.)

I did make a couple of changes to the pattern/instructions:
  1. I left off the facing, because those partial facings always flip out somewhere and annoy me, no matter how careful I try to be with understitching. Also, an interfaced extra layer of denim that ends partway down the chest sounded like it wouldn't be too comfy for a baby's sensitive skin. (Look at me, trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about!) So I turned and topstitched those edges instead, and added a little tab on either side of the snapped shoulder to reinforce it. It looks more jeans-y that way anyway.

    (Note: I'm very, very glad I basted this first, even though it made things take longer, because I would have not caught the edge in multiple places otherwise.) 
  2. I did the bias tape facing for the snapped crotch lining before I hemmed it, because why wouldn't you want to eliminate unnecessary handwork? Sewing on those 7 snaps was enough!

With that update, here's my question for those of you with sons or nephews that you've made things for: any cute boys' sewing patterns to recommend/sources for fun prints? Because my general overall lack of boy-friendly fabrics in the stash means I can justify a little bit of shopping, right?

January 21, 2015

fabric fail

Not my best project ever.I was so excited for this project. So to say I'm a little disappointed in the outcome is an understatement. But, since I believe that the fails should be documented along with the victories--mostly so I don't make the same mistake again later--I'm going to share the sad story of these leggings anyway. Slippers, ridiculously lightened photos since it was the only way I could show the seams, and all.

(Hey, from this angle, I don't look pregnant at all! Anyway.)

The pattern is the Manila leggings, from the current month's issue of Seamwork magazine. (Doug bought me a year's pattern subscription for Christmas, which made me very happy since the whole point is quick projects, and I'm going to need those in the coming months!) I had one pair of maternity leggings, which I've been wearing instead of tights under the few skirts I have that fit. So I was quite happy to see this pattern and give the leggings-making thing a try, given that I just wasn't in the mood to play connect-the-dots on my Espresso pattern to try and get a fit when I wasn't sure what standard to use for the waist/I'd have to modify it anyway. The pattern itself is pretty simple: front piece, back piece, cute petal-like cuffs for the ankles, waistband, done. I knew I'd be altering the top to add a panel for the growing belly, but aside from that, I thought this would be a quick, straightforward make.

But I made two mistakes right away:
  1. I didn't realize that my chosen fabric--a cool denim-looking knit that I got on sale at Mood when I was making my last online purchase there--didn't have enough stretch to work for something like this. Honestly, why would you make a knit that stretches more cross-wise, when basically every single pattern ever made would have you cutting so it stretches horizontally? Especially for something that's pretty much screaming to be some kind of bottomwear. But still. I should have checked this more closely.
  2. I also didn't realize that, even though there is a full-length view shown in the pictures, the only view included in the pattern was the cropped version. Leggings that only come down to my upper calves are absolutely useless for anything but exercise wear. Especially this time of year.
IMG_2310The result? Yeah, not quite so chic as I hoped. It took so much hacking to even get these to the point where I could pull them on all the way! (And sorry for the weird looking-down pictures-- I just couldn't get the seaming to show up well enough in the others.)

IMG_2311What I probably should have done with the legs was add the extra length around the knees first, and then add the extra width so the stripe would be unbroken. But I did still have hopes that once I managed to get the leggings all the way around my calves, the cuffs would add enough extra length that I could get by with my boots. Didn't happen. Neither did seam-matching, despite multiple efforts and a lot of seam ripping.  Ugh. It honestly got to the point where I was so fed up with them, that I didn't even bother with the cute cuffs (which I wasn't sure would stretch around my legs all the way anyway, given the way things were going) and just cut a strip to give them a sweatpants-like finish.

I was hoping that this would give me another color option to wear with skirts, though I'm not sure why, since the only skirts I have are black, denim, or that long teal one that would hide them anyway. (I'm generally of the school of thought that leggings are not pants, the fabric on my store-bought pair is way too thin for that, but for the sake of these photos, I'm wearing them as such. The things I do for the blog.) I'm not going to say they're a wadder yet, since I can wear them on days I don't have to leave the house, like today, and save my jeans for the days I do, but they're definitely not a project I'm proud of.

IMG_2309On the plus side, the maternity panel alteration seemed to work great. Especially once I went back and cut a new panel on the cross-grain so it would actually stretch. (Yes, I know it's not really a cross grain for knits.) It does make me feel a little better to know that, at least in this, my pattern hacking skills are beginning to improve.

I do have a decent-sized remnant of this left, which I think is probably just enough for some kind of babywear or undies, though I wouldn't even try the latter until things are back to more of a normal state. I.e. I'm not being told to put on a pound a week. But essentially, this takes 2 yards out of the stash, for a total of 6.25 yards out so far this year.


Speaking of kid stuff-- we had our ultrasound on Monday, and I know the gender now! So I cut out a simple baby outfit last night, am hoping to get it all sewn up today, and my next post should be me telling you all what we're having. Just warning you now, because this very well could be a double-post day.

One last, unrelated, administrative-type detail-- I've turned my Instagram into a private account, since it's at the point where more kid-type stuff will be going up and I don't want just anyone on the internet to be able to find it. I have still been posting a lot of crafty stuff on there, so if you are a friendly sewcialist (seriously, what other kind is there?) and want to follow, don't be afraid to send a request! My screenname there is different than my blog/Twitter handle, but I do have a link to the profile on the sidebar.

January 15, 2015

pondering knitting

Me and knitting have reached a weird point in our relationship. I have a couple of UFOs that I just don't feel like working on at the moment, about half of the projects in my Ravelry queue are pullover sweaters (which are obviously out for now), and I'm not really sure what to do next.

So I recently swatched for a cardigan that I already bought yarn for, the Rocky Coast from the Coastal Knits book. Amazingly, the gauge actually worked on the first try! But I wonder if the yarn/needle combination makes it look too loose of a knit. The trials of almost always having to substitute the suggested yarn, I suppose. I may go ahead and start this one anyway, because it has enough cotton in the yarn that washing could tighten it up. And knowing me, by the time I finish knitting this, it'll be just in time for fall 2016 and my body will probably be at its new normal anyway.
I also had this random single ball of yarn that I bought at the beach shop a couple of years ago, and I figured a bulky yarn would knit up fast and get out of my stash. I wanted to take advantage of the yarn's ability to change textures--it kind of knits up like a t-shirt yarn, but can open up to more of a lacy mesh. And I haven't been able to find any patterns I liked for the amount that I had, so I attempted to design my own cowl pattern. The pattern itself worked fine--it's a combination between a moss stitch, to show the closed texture, and a drop-stitch to hopefully allow part of the yarn to open up. I think I'd have to block this to make that happen. The problem is, I only had enough yarn to do three repeats of the pattern before I had to bind it off, which makes for a very narrow cowl! So I've had this sitting on my table for something like a week, trying to decide if I should go ahead and block it and see what happens, or to unravel it and try to come up with a different project. Any thoughts?

Either way, I'm feeling kind of mental blocked on anything yarny until I make decisions about what to do about these two projects. So in the meantime, I've been tracing out patterns that I was given for Christmas for geeky baby quiet books instead.

January 13, 2015

ooh, sparkly.

First of all, thanks for the advice offered on my last post! You gave me some great ideas for what to avoid (my entire wovens stash, I'm looking at you), and there were also some rather brilliant thoughts on how to make some of my ideas more nursing-friendly, and therefore able to be worn longer. Yay!

Today, I actually have two finished projects to show! Late last year and after I already knew about the pregnancy, I got lured into buying a couple of knits at Joann's while there for an unrelated shopping trip, because I knew that the bulk of my knits stash were solid colors and I was craving some printed goodies. Also, look how sparkly they are! My original intent was to get these done in time to wear for Christmas, but due to all the sickness issues, that obviously didn't happen. So I decided to get these sewn up quickly. I need some color in my extremely pared-down winter wardrobe anyway.

McCall's 6084The cardigan is McCall's 6084, and the top is Simplicity 2852. For the cardigan, I didn't really change much of anything, other than add a little length to the sleeves to accommodate my monkey arms. I do that pretty much automatically for long-sleeved things now, but in this case, it looks like I actually didn't need to! So I just gave it a bit of a wider hem on the sleeves than it called for.

The pattern claimed it could be made up in an hour. It took me a little longer than that. For one thing, this knit was really awful about clinging to itself, so it took me awhile to smooth it out enough that I could cut the pieces well! I did construct it completely in one sitting, and it especially helped that I was able to skip a couple of awkward-looking steps due to having a serger. But then I let it hang overnight so the hem could settle a bit before finishing that.




Simplicity 2852The top is one that I actually have made before, though I did view E for that one. That's actually one of the shirts I already had that I've been continuing to wear anyway, and so far, it's worked. I do think that I'll have to toss that shirt at the end of this cold season, though, because the fabric is getting horribly pilled. Especially now that I'm wearing it at least once a week! I honestly didn't think this view was one I'd ever sew, especially because I hated that bubble hem trend! The gathered front made it look like it would give me some room to grow, though.

I made the sleeveless view so I could wear this into the warmer weather. I even already had another cardigan that coordinates! I did make a couple of changes to the pattern to maternify it even further--besides leaving out the hem elastic, because ugh, I added 2" width to the center front and 2" to the hem. I like this a little longer, actually--if I was the type who wore leggings as pants, this would actually work! I think I'll stick to wearing it with things that cover my lower half a little better, though.

Honestly, if I wore it with a belt to cinch it in, this top does have some non-maternity potential as well, I think. We'll see whenever I get a waistline back. (Actually, now that I'm looking at this picture, it probably needs a belt somewhere anyway, doesn't it? It really is kind of a sack. A sparkly sack in a fun print and a color scheme I love, but a sack nonetheless.) In the meantime, I had nothing but scraps left over from both of these pieces, so at least they didn't live in the stash long! Between the two pieces, that's 4.25 yards down.

IMG_2288The belt really highlights that the bump doesn't want to hide anymore, doesn't it? I have to keep reminding myself that it's ok to not suck my stomach in for pictures! The more exciting thing is that we have the ultrasound scheduled for next week, so hopefully we'll be finding out if the baby is a boy or a girl soon!

I think I also need to work on the camera setup--Doug's been working hard to get the former office/library ready to turn into a nursery, so all the furniture there has been cleared out and the room is repainted. So these pictures are in the sewing-now-slash-computer room. (At least I still have one!) But I think I'll have to experiment with where to put the tripod so I don't look like such a giant next to the door. I already feel like I look big enough!

January 9, 2015

maternity wardrobe building, part 2: what I still need

I apologize in advance, because this will probably be a long post. Last time, I showed what I'd managed to assemble for my wardrobe so far. And like I said, I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly a palette started emerging!
Most of what I already had or was easily able to acquire was black, grey, cream, or teal. I threw in navy as a neutral as well, mostly because of denim. And with a few additions from thrift stores, clearance racks, and the knits in my own stash, royal blue, a brighter leafy green, and coral also showed up. I think this looks like a really good balance between neutrals and statement colors, actually!

Here's what I know I still need:
  • Several tops, in both long-sleeved and shorter lengths. I know I'm going to need a few shorter sleeved things for May going into June, so I'm trying to keep that in mind and plan for layering in the colder months. I've already got one top done and a coordinating layering piece in the works for this, though I'll wait to photograph until they're both done.
  • A couple more skirts. I've seen a tutorial for a maternity version of the Sewaholic Crescent skirt, which is a pattern I do already have. I'm also thinking that the Colette Monetta might be a good one to try, if I add some ruching or a panel or something. Color might be nice. And I do think a nice maxi-skirt could go a long way.
  • Another pair or two of leggings. I've been wearing my black pair in place of tights under my shorter skirts, but I really could use another option. I have some denim-looking knit that might be perfect for this, if I can adapt a pattern sufficiently. There's also some black knit that I'd specifically bought for trying out the Cake Espresso leggings anyway, but I can buy black maternity leggings easily enough. So I'm debating whether to hold off and make those later for more regular wear--I'm actually kind of liking the warmth of the leggings in place of tights, since I'm usually wearing boots with that sort of look anyway!
  • Dresses! I'll probably be mostly living in these once the weather warms up some more. I have two that I've found so far, and I have a pattern for a top/dress that works for nursing as well. For those, I'm going to try to plan the style so that they work for the end of my pregnancy and the remainder of the summer, if I can, since I know I'll need to be careful of necklines while I'm nursing and my stomach likely won't go back to what it was that quickly.
  • One more pair of jeans. I have two, and I could have sworn I bought a third, but I can't find it anywhere! But now that I'm only working a few hours a week for my teaching, and I tend to wear jeans on weekends/days at home, I know that only two pairs of jeans will not be enough to get me through any given week. I'm just going to buy that, since it would be the most time-consuming thing on this list to sew and I have way too many other holes that I can fill quicker.
  • Not to go TMI, but I think I'm going to have to suck it up and buy a couple of bras, because mine are all too small in the cups now! NOT flattering. I've heard you're supposed to put off buying actual nursing bras as long into the pregnancy as possible, so I'll probably just buy a couple of cheap ones a size or two up, and hope it gets me through the next few months. 
  • Warmer weather PJs. I think I can get through the winter with what I have, but all of my summer stuff is mostly little nighties and such that I was given right before the wedding. So I'm pretty sure none of those will fit this year. I guess if all else fails, I can steal one of Doug's oversized t-shirts, right? But again, I think it might be nice to come up with something that will work for both the end of the pregnancy and nighttime nursing, if that's at all possible.
  • Possibly a new pair of sandals. Pretty much all of them tend to buckle around the back of my heel, and I'm honestly not sure I'll be able to get those on by the time it gets warm enough for sandals! I do have one pair of black flat strappy sandals that I can pretty much slip on over my heel, so maybe I can figure out how to maneuver those on with my toes, or get Doug to put those on for me, or something. But if that doesn't work, I'll probably need to buy something to get me through the last 6ish weeks of the pregnancy/the first couple of weeks post-partum. Which hopefully would also be comfortable enough that I won't spend that whole time fighting blisters on my overly-sensitive extra-wide feet. (Dear God, please don't let those get bigger!!) Ugh. I hate shoe shopping so much.
On a happier note, I'm trying as much as is possible to use patterns and fabrics that I already have stashed. So here's what I've come up with that could work.

potential maternity patternsPatterns! Not pictured here are the aforementioned Sewaholic Crescent skirt, the Deer & Doe Plantain top, the Colette Moneta/Mabel (pdfs in manilla envelopes are boring to show in pictures), or any leggings, though I have two patterns I could potentially experiment with. (The Cake Espressos and the Manila leggings from the current issue of Seamwork.) I've already been experimenting with maternifying the Renfrew, as you know. Actually, the two on the far right are the only two patterns that are actually maternity! They're both Megan Nielsens, even though one is distributed through Simplicity.

potential maternity clothesFabrics! All of these are knits--nearly all of the ones I own, save a couple in colors that don't quite fit the palette. If I do try the Crescent, maybe I can work in a woven, too? The top three on the left side of the pile are ones my mom gave me for Christmas, and I'm hoping to come up with something especially fun for that ITY print on top! And I know the two solids on the bottom of the right don't quite fit the palette, but I figured they're close enough.

So far, I've tagged the black for a maxi sleeveless version of that Simplicity Threads dress on the bottom (the one with the crossover v-neck), the denim-looking stuff (that looks charcoal but is really navy) for leggings, and that dark turquoise closer to the bottom, (which is darker and a little closer to teal than the picture), for a potential maternified Mabel skirt. It's the heaviest knit in this pile. That black and blue print, which I got at Mood last year, is also screaming maxi-dress at me, so I just need to figure out what pattern I might want to use--I'm considering maybe trying to adapt the Tiramisu for that, since it also has a crossover neckline and I know it works as a maxi. Maybe if I mash it up with the Red Velvet skirt? Or just add some gathering to the front after I narrow the waistband? Aside from those and the sparkly royal blue, which is already cut up into a layering cardigan and ready to sew, any suggestions of what I should do with all these solids that won't bore me to tears when I wear them? What would be the best pairing for that ITY? (2 yards, for the record.) Any other advice/pattern suggestions for making maternity and/or nursing clothes?

    January 7, 2015

    administrative details



    Just two quick things today:

    1. Since the sidebar widget I had for my finished projects hasn't let me add anything to the list since May (really, Blogger?!), I finally got fed up and reworked the page for what's in my closet to take care of that. It's just a big link list now, since trying to figure out how to add that many pictures would take forever, given that this is on the older side for sewing blogs. But I did at least organize it between what's in my closet/what isn't in my closet anymore/stuff I made for other people/etc.

    Incidentally, I'm kind of surprised at how old certain items in my closet are now. Like that black military jacket I made back in 2006--whaaaat? I guess that explains why the lining is tearing. I'm also wondering how many of those current closet residents will get to stay around post-baby, but I guess it's too early to worry about that.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5_NT8jkPBN4/VKtQ8nMAM6I/AAAAAAAADic/Ku7hhDvXSnE/s1600/Stashbusting%2BSewalong%2BChallenge%2BButton%2B2015.png.png

    2. Since I ended up with significantly more yardage than I started last year with, and the Facebook group is really fun, I'm doing the Stashbusting Sewalong again. With all new themes and a bunch of new hosts! I didn't volunteer to host a month because, you know, baby stuff, but best of luck to all you ladies who are participating! So here's my pledge for this year, which I kept really simple:

    I, Becky, will endeavor to end 2015 with less yarn and fabric than I started this year with, and to only buy notions as needed for specific projects.  I shall also try to limit the number of new patterns I buy for myself this year. 

    To avoid stressing myself out, I purposely am not doing a number of yards/pieces of fabric type pledge this year, since I have no idea what sort of wrenches being pregnant and having a newborn will continue to throw into my sewing. And I did also specify limiting patterns for myself, because I'm sure I'm going to want to start collecting a few kids' patterns. I do have a few from things I've made for friends before, and whatever's in my Burda magazines, but not a whole lot to pick from in my pre-existing stash. If Hobbit cooperates, we should see if we're having a boy or a girl in less than two weeks, which I'm getting quite excited to find out!

    And with that, I guess I'd better finish practicing my flute so I have a shot at actually cutting something out today. Yeah.

    January 6, 2015

    maternity wardrobe building

    I really have been feeling lately like I have nothing to wear! But now that I'm finally feeling up to some sewing again (yaaaaay!), I thought it might be fun to do a little mini-series about trying to put together a cohesive wardrobe to get me through the next several months.

    The big challenges so far:
    • When going through the Wardrobe Architect series last year, I was reminded that the silhouettes I'm most drawn to involve a fitted waist. Which means that, despite actually losing weight overall due to being sick all the time and barely eating, most of the clothes I already had stopped fitting there before my first trimester was even over! On the plus side, I've long liked the look of empire waists, but not on me, because I thought they made me look pregnant. So I guess I have an excuse to rock those for a few months!
    • I've mentioned this on Twitter here and there, but finding maternity clothes in the stores has mostly sucked so far. It seems like everything is either black, grey, red, or taupe. While black is a wardrobe necessity for any classically-trained musician, and I do wear grey, I don't really do red, and I loathe taupe. Also, I was having trouble bringing myself to spend money on clothes that didn't even fit right in my shoulders or left my wrists hanging out of the sleeves oddly. It's not like those are getting bigger.
    • Also, almost everything I've been able to find are solids. Which are fine and actually very important for a real mix-and-match wardrobe, but I've missed my prints. I haven't had great luck finding clothes at Goodwill either, sadly, but I did find one ITY print top recently that will work as a maternity top. The first day I wore that was the first day I really felt like myself again, style-wise.
    • It's winter. And while I'm trying not to do all long-sleeved tops/make sure I have layerable things, since this will go through the spring, I legitimately do need a few more long-sleeved tops. 
    I have found that I do have a pretty solid color palette emerging, at least. So to wrap up this post, I'm going to show what I have managed to assemble so far as a capsule wardrobe.
    Wardrobe collage

    So here's what I've got, top to bottom:
    2 dresses: 1 thrifted, 1 purchased new on clearance rack
    5 long sleeved tops. The Simplicity top and my Plantain aren't maternity, but are fitting ok so far. Hoping the length will stay ok until it's warmer. Also my maternity Ariel top, a thrifted empire-waist shirt I already had, and a purchased lightweight pullover maternity sweater from Target.
    4 3/4-sleeved tops. The black and coral were purchased new on the clearance rack, the blue print is one of my previous refashions that I'm hoping will adjust for the bump, and the other print top is thrifted, and may also not fit the entire time since it's not specifically maternity either.
    3 skirts: 2 thrifted, in denim and black, plus my Ariel maxi-skirt (not pictured).
    3 pairs of "work" pants, all refashions, 1 in navy and 2 in black. (One not pictured, because I think it's in the laundry.)
    1 thrifted embellished tank that I already had, but it's very flowy, so it should have plenty of room.
    2 short sleeved tops: 1 teal purchased new on clearance, 1 thrifted tie-dyed in navy/gold/maroon.
    3 maternity/long tank tops for layering. Showing the navy, but I also have black and teal.
    2 pairs of jeans, 1 bootcut and 1 skinny. Both purchased.
    Cardigans/sweaters: Camille shrug, thrifted green 3/4 cardigan, purchased black, refashioned turquoise, and my Roheline.
    I also have 1 pair of maternity leggings in black, purchased, not shown. And that is all of it!

    Next time: My sewing plan, as it stands so far.

    January 1, 2015

    The last little unblogged bits of 2014

    The good news is, I think I'm finally starting to get better. The constant nausea is going away, at least, but it's kind of hard to tell--just when that started letting up, I got slammed with a virus 2 days before Christmas! The doctor at the clinic called it "flu-like", and while I wasn't actually having stomach issues from it, I did have to spend the next 3 or so days fighting off fevers. Since then, it's just felt like a nasty cold. And hopefully without going TMI, when I'm really stuffed up, I easily get nauseous anyway. So I still haven't had a nausea-free day, but I'm hopeful that it's coming soon. At least I'm slowly able to start expanding my diet again--I can actually drink water and a little tea now, and I've been eating fruit in the form of smoothies. I may even be able to start cooking dinner again soon, and while I know that takes up time, when you've been living off of chicken noodle soup and cheerios for a few months, that's pretty exciting!

    All that to say, I wasn't able to do much sewing for those first couple of days after I finished up at my retail job. Because that ended the day before I got sick, and I was feeling so progressively lousy that day that I couldn't even finish cutting out one of the projects I do have to show. But I did get that done on Monday, and then sewn up yesterday.

    "magic hat"I'm going to start with some knitting today, since I recently finished this fairly quick project. The pattern is called "Magic Hat", and it's supposed to be so stretchy that it can fit a variety of sizes. I used some leftover bamboo-blend yarn that I already had, and knit this up in the 4-12 month size, since Hobbit will probably be about 5-6 months old when he or she will need a winter hat. I also didn't quite use up all of the yarn, and I'm rather tempted to see if I have enough left to add some Yoda ears! But the yarn is so drapey, I'm kind of afraid it wouldn't work.

    hat front
    The hat looks a little cone-head on the table, so I had to improvise on a model. My parents gave us a few Christmas presents for the baby, including this little stuffed German shepherd. So its ears seemed to be enough to make the approximate shape. Cute, right?

    maternified pants





    I do have a little sewing to show. I stitched up this first one back at Thanksgiving, but never posted it here. Just a quick refashion--my mom was getting rid of some unwanted pants, so I picked the zipper out of these corduroys, scooped out the front and stitched up what was left of the fly, and then added this stretchy panel. I know it looks kind of distressed brown in the picture, but these pants are actually black. I have another pair all cut up and ready to sew, save the panel, in navy blue. Hopefully I can knock that out soon, because I literally have two pairs of "work" pants (both black), and two pairs of jeans right now. And that's it. I swear I bought 3 pairs of jeans, but the one pair seems to have vanished without a trace!

    hockey burp clothsAnd then yesterday's sewing project was these burp cloths. I promised Doug I'd make some hockey-related things, so I found this flannel print that has the logo and colors of one of his two favorite teams. I managed to use up about 2 yards of flannel on this, between the one yard of Penguins fabric I bought, and the solid black that I partially got for this and partially to back one of the geeky bibs I made earlier in the month. There's a total of 9 burp cloths here, and I know my mom has a stack of others for us, too.

    I do have one more bib to sew up, since Doug also really wanted to help make one! So he cut one out yesterday and I'll be sewing it. I also need to fix a pair of pants for him ASAP, but then I'm hoping I can start sewing some clothes again! 

    I did some quick looking over my spreadsheet to see what my final tally was for stashbusting this year! It looks like I started 2014 with about 340 yards in...and ended with 375. Oops. Granted, I did just buy about 20 yards of stuff to make diapers with, which will get used up in the next several months and accounts for the bulk of the overage. On the plus side, it looks like I sewed up close to 72 yards this year. And I did manage to use up about 27 pieces of fabric altogether. I think that's pretty good, considering that I spent the entire last third of the year unable to do much at all, between traveling and pregnancy sickness!


    December 23, 2014

    geek in training

    It's no secret that I like my geeky sewing projects, right? I mean, look what I spent half the year sewing for. So I was pretty excited when The Monthly Stitch announced that this month's theme was going to be sewing all things fandom-related...

    Except, you know, that whole pregnancy thing I've got going on means that my usual tactic of secret costumes is currently out. Plus I just did Disney, and I don't really have anything else in my stash right now that would make good geeky maternity clothes. Unless I wanted to do a Starship Enterprise-esque maternity top, and I've just never really been that into Star Trek.

    Ok, I'll admit that copying this shirt was really tempting. But I didn't.

    So I made stuff for Hobbit instead. I'm not messing with clothes yet since we don't know if we're having a boy or a girl, but you always need bibs, right? This is the same pattern as every other bib I've ever posted on here. And these first four aren't even all that original, since I made a set for a friend years ago. But I did do a few things differently this time.

    Rohan/Gondor bibs
    Hobbit bibsSince Lord of the Rings is my all-time top geeky love, of course I had to start with that. So I did a White Tree for Gondor and a horse for Rohan. Instead of the DIY screenprinting I did last time, I tried out the freezer paper stencil method. (Mostly because my screenprints kind of cracked in storage and are now useless.) And ohmygosh, even though cutting out all those little bits was kind of tedious, this worked SO much better than the screenprint! I think the lines came out much cleaner, too.


    I also re-made the two hobbit-themed bibs I did last time, except I also did the stencil for this instead of what I had to resort to with the previous set, which was re-painting the letters with a tiny paintbrush because the stamps didn't work. Since I'm calling the kiddo "Hobbit" anyway, it fits, right?


    Space bibs
    I also did a couple sci-fi type ones, though these were much easier thanks to the fabric. The TARDIS one is leftover fabric from my Cooper bag lining, and the Star Wars one is pieced together from the leftovers of the bibs I made for my friend Julie a couple of years ago. Yay, scrapbusting! Though I had to steal some fabric from my mom's quilt stash to finish this one off.

    I will admit that I also printed a Firefly-related stencil, but then opted not to actually cut and paint that one yet. Because since it said "I aim to misbehave", I figured that would be better for a t-shirt when Hobbit is mobile. Or a toddler. Probably the latter. I know these probably read as "boy" colors for the most part, but I figure girls can like blue and Star Wars and Doctor Who too! I do!

    Aside from the Star Wars bib, which has more of the darker blue print fabric on the back, the rest are backed with flannel like I usually do. I also inserted another layer this time, because my mom suggested that it might help keep stuff from soaking through the two layers of cotton too quickly. So I have a layer of polyurethane laminate inside each of these. 

    PlutoGoing a little different for the canine photobomb today. I've been trying not to go crazy buying toys and stuff--ok, I've also been having to talk Doug out of a lot of these--but we couldn't resist this stuffed Pluto that we found on Friday because it was on sale and it's soooo soft. I finished the Star Wars bib first, and Doug put it on Pluto and has left it on ever since. I told him I needed it back for these photos, and he said that was fine as long as I left the bib on Pluto. So I'm doing this one for you, Doug!


    I will be making a few more bibs, because I promised Doug I'd also do some hockey-related ones. My mom's also made a bunch already, too, so I should be very well-stocked on these!

    December 17, 2014

    2014's top 5, part 3: Reflections and Goals

    Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5 

    Finishing up my series today, with what I've learned this year and what I'd like to accomplish next year.

    Reflections: 
    1. I am not the fastest of makers. This is especially true when it comes to knitting, but it's true for sewing as well. I looked back at last year's reflections, and this was actually the first thing on my list then, too! I think the difference this year is that I'm more ok with it. Looking at my top 5 makes for this year, aside from the Tiramisu dress, everything on there was projects that required more thought and detail-- welt pockets, underlinings, linings, bound seams, etc. But they ended up fitting really well and getting a lot of use. Yes, I know two of them are coats, but still.

    2. That being said, I've also learned that I really like having a quick "palate-cleanser" project between the more detailed stuff. Usually some kind of knit project.

    me as Amy Pond3. I feel like I've kind of rediscovered how much fun refashioning clothes can be this year. I didn't really do any last year, but I've definitely picked up on that more this year. I've ended up wearing these zipper leg jeans quite a bit, as well as my Amy Pond shirt. (Generally minus the tally marks, though.) I've definitely been doing more of that lately, since I'm literally running out of things to wear! So I've been maternifying unwanted pants. Since one pair I'd had since college wasn't fitting so great anymore anyway, and the others were pants that my mom was getting rid of, it's been gratifying to be able to get some much-needed maternity pants into my wardrobe for just the cost of a half-yard of black knit.

    4. The Wardrobe Architect project was really an invaluable process for me to go through. Even though I was trying to buy less fabric overall anyway, and I'm pretty sure I succeeded, I feel like what I bought will mostly fit in well with my existing wardrobe. It's also easier to weed out some of the new patterns now, since I have a better idea of what I actually like the look of on me. Of course, this is all subject to change now, since I also have no idea what sort of a waistline I'll have when this whole pregnancy thing is over!

    5. I've actually developed some self-control on adding to the stashes. Though I sort of fell off the wagon at actually tracking pieces of stash used up before buying more, as stated in my Stash Diet pledge, I did a good job of sticking to my plan! Aside from pieces of fabric that my mom gave me because she didn't want them, almost everything I bought this entire year fell into one of three categories: a) Fabric I bought on vacation, b) Fabric I bought because I needed it for a specific project and I literally did not have anything else that would work (i.e. Thinsulate for my coat, yellow knit for the minion costume, etc) c) Stuff I would categorize as the "extenuating life circumstances" exception--mainly buying a few pieces specifically to make things for the baby, or the 3 things I've bought specifically for maternity clothes. I also didn't buy much yarn at all this year--I think the one skein I bought in Paris may have been it--and I didn't really buy many new patterns this year, either. Maybe 6 total, and 3 of those were ones I won in a Pattern Review drawing because my Robson coat randomly got picked when they were highlighting Sewaholic. So yay me?

    Maybe not. I just looked at the numbers, and I actually added 10 more yards to the fabric stash than I started with at the beginning of the year! But it does look like I used about 70 yards overall this year, and I'm already in the process of using up those baby-related fabrics. So not too bad.

    Goals:
    If you had asked me this three months ago, I probably would have said "learn to make bras and/or undies". I don't think that's going to be happening this year, lol! Especially the former. So here's what I think will be the best things for me to focus on for 2015...

    1. Finish a capsule wardrobe that will get me through the first half of the year. I've quietly been working on this anyway, between my most recent makes and things I've bought. I'm attempting to use the Wardrobe Architect principles for this, and I do have a definite palette emerging. But I definitely need more clothes, since I didn't have too many things in my wardrobe already to get me started. That's definitely a downside to favoring styles that are more fitted at the waist! So once I sort out what I need to survive/see if I get any fabric for Christmas (a safe bet, knowing my mom), I'm going to see if I can sort out a decent plan of attack.

    2. On a related note, I need to work on my pattern hacking skills. I've noticed that there really aren't that many good maternity-specific patterns out there. I have managed to acquire Megan Nielsen's wrap top pattern, also this pattern that can double as a maternity and a nursing top. The latter sounds like a really good use of my precious sewing time. But aside from that, I really haven't found anything that looks interesting to me, so I guess I'll have to create my own. I've got my Renfrew hack to keep tweaking, and I did pull out several other patterns from my stash that looks like they might be useable for this purpose. If I can figure out how to do a couple of other things that will be good for both pregnancy and nursing, great.

    3. Get as much sewing for "Hobbit" (what I've been calling the baby while we don't know the gender) done as possible, before June. Obviously, though I may sew a few outfits, I'm not going to make every little piece of clothing. They'll get too small too fast. But I will need to do some things like curtains for the nursery, and I have some bibs that I'm already working on (which will hopefully be done by the end of December, since I'm using them for The Monthly Stitch's current theme). I have a piece of printed suedecloth that has stumped me for a couple of years on what to use it for, but I think it would make an excellent gender-neutral diaper bag. And my mom and I are planning on working together over the winter to make cloth diapers. I know it'll be a lot of laundry, but it's cheaper to make cloth diapers than buy them, and it'll definitely be cheaper in the long run than buying all disposables. More money saved means more money to spend on fabric, right? I still need to get most of the supplies for that, but I did get some of the waterproof outer fabric already. Because there was one yard left on the website and it has TARDISes on it. Seriously. I couldn't pass it up.

    4. Since basically everything I'm going to be able to sew for myself for awhile is knits anyway, I might as well work on things like finishing techniques and getting my serger tension right. Right?

    5. I think probably the biggest goal for after Hobbit comes will be finding time to make things. I know it'll be a challenge, and probably impossible for at least the first month while I'm a sleep-deprived zombie cow. (Not the best time to work on a hobby that involves sharp cutting/pinning implements, I'm guessing.) And I do also need to prioritize music time, since I do plan to continue teaching lessons. I've been following Cindy's blog with a lot of interest lately, given that she recently had a baby herself, and I think what jumped out at me the most is the idea of doing one thing a day that lasts, since so much of caring for a newborn is laundry and feeding and changing over and over again. Practicing music can also feel repetitive and like it's never done, since you spend so much time working on the same passage or the same piece for days or weeks in a row. So hopefully I can find a way to make that happen. Even if it's just sewing one seam, or knitting one row, or sticking just one picture in a photo pocket. I guess it's a good thing I've gotten more ok with being slow, right?

    December 15, 2014

    2014's top 5 Highlights



    Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5
    Continuing with the lists... I was originally intending to lump the last 3 topics into one post, but this particular category ended up being pretty wordy. So I'll spare you the mega-post.

    The new category this year is "Highlights", which is pretty much anything not sewing-related going on in our lives. I don't know about you, but sometimes I find it hard to share life stuff on here, mostly for fear that I'll bore people. So this seems like a pretty good way to keep it real! (Of course, I have actually talked about some of this stuff on here...oh well.)

    IMG_28411. Travel. This was a really good year for that, and I'm really enjoying that I can say that I went fabric shopping in both New York and Paris this year! And there was also my girls' geekout weekend in Atlanta for DragonCon. Aside from those three trips, Doug and I took a day trip down to Washington, D.C. for our first anniversary, which was also a lot of fun, and I also got to spend a day hanging out with some of my cousins down at the Delaware beaches. That's been a tradition since I was a kid, and I'm glad I found some time to go down this year, even though I wasn't able to stay overnight at all this time. (The picture is me and Doug at the Eiffel Tower, because why not?)







    piano2. I got a piano this year! Both of my grandmothers have been trying to downsize their belongings recently, because it's getting difficult for them to live on their own since both of my grandfathers passed away in 2013. So one of the big things going on in my family right now is that my parents are building a new house, and both of my grandmothers will be moving in with them in the spring. My mom's mom had two pianos, so she asked me if I wanted one. She actually gave me the bigger one! So this is a baby grand that my great-grandfather originally purchased in 1928. It's horrendously out of tune, which I'll need to remedy at some point, but I like the family history behind it, and it's been fun brushing up on my other instrument. I took piano lessons for about 7 years when I was a kid, but my parents didn't want us overloaded with too many extracurriculars, so once I got to 7th grade, they asked me to choose between continuing with the piano or the flute, which I'd been playing for about 3 years by then, for my music lessons. Obviously, I picked the flute, though I still played the keyboard at home for fun when I could, and I also had to take one semester of basic piano as part of my music degree. (Which, since I already knew how to play scales and stuff, I basically spent learning the "Linus and Lucy" song from Charlie Brown specials. The professor didn't care as long as we tested well.) The other thing connected to this is that I'm actually teaching one beginner piano student now at a local school, in addition to the flute. So in the long run, this could be a very good thing for my music teaching career.

    3. In the category of non-sewing/knitting hobbies that I don't talk about on here much, I am still scrapbooking. The Project Life system has turned out to be a really good fit for me--I can save photos without feeling like I have to make a layout for everything, and the pockets make it really easy to finish pages quickly. I still do "real" scrapbook pages from time to time, usually for bigger events. And I still use my older supplies, usually in the form of cutting down big pieces of paper to make cards when I don't have a color I want. But aside from still needing to write in a few notes and paste down a few pictures, I'm basically done with everything from the wedding to our first anniversary. And I already have some stuff in an album for year 2 as well. That's a nice feeling.

    4. Meeting writers. As if I didn't have enough to do to keep myself busy, I've always loved to read. And I got to meet two of my favorite living authors this year! A couple of friends and I went to see Brandon Sanderson at a quasi-local bookstore signing, and I briefly got to meet Jim Butcher when he was signing books at DragonCon. (I was wearing my Belle costume at the time, and when he saw me next in line, he sang one of the lines from her intro song: "Look there she goes, that girl is so peculiar..." So that's a fun story.) One of the friends I went to Atlanta with is a published author herself, and she introduced us to another writer friend, Diana Peterfreund. I bought two of her books and read one on the plane on the way home from Atlanta. I have yet to read the second, but I quite enjoyed the one I read, so I'm sure I'll get to it before too long.

    5. Family stuff. Being able to say I've been married for a year was pretty exciting for me, since I wasn't sure I'd ever get married in the first place. And, of course, what's been mostly occupying my brain lately is being pregnant with our first child! (And all the nausea that goes along with it, which is sadly still going on. I thought the second trimester was supposed to be better!) I'm sure this will be occupying a LOT more of my attention for 2015.

    What about you? Anything exciting going on for you this year?


    December 11, 2014

    2014's top 5 hits and misses

    Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5
    Time for the Top 5 lists, as hosted by the fabulous Gillian! I'm going to start off with hits and misses today.

    Top 5 Hits
    Looking back over my posts this year, I guess this was the year of pants, coats and dresses.

    Grey Thurlows 21. The Thurlow Trousers-- all 4 pairs of them I made this year. I'm just showing the grey pair here, since they show up in photos the best. Along with the brown test pair I made in 2013, these got a ton of wear during the cooler months this year. And unlike most of my jeans, I was able to wear these pretty much all the way through the first trimester--it was just last week that I had to resort to safety-pinning them closed rather than buttoning them. So I'm feeling hopeful that, even though I'll have to retire them for the remainder of this winter, maybe I can pull them out again next fall.

    Robson Coat





    2. The Robson coat. I love the color, and I'm quite happy with the inside finishing. I will confess I need to do a tiny bit of repair on one of the pocket flaps where the stitching has come out, but aside from that, everything's holding up nicely. I actually took this with me to Paris and ended up wearing it pretty much constantly, and it was the perfect added layer. Also, dragon buttons!












    Tea Cambie3.  The teacup Cambie. I loooove the print on this dress, and I have to admit that this is probably the dress that I'm most nervous won't fit again post-pregnancy. Here's hoping, because I really feel like this dress deserves more wearing than I was able to give it in one season!














    IMG_13884. The Tiramisu maxi-dress. This one did get quite a bit of wear over the summer, since it's a little more casual of a dress than the Cambie, and that makes it easy to wear for teaching and such. This one did adapt very nicely to the longer skirt, and I'm glad I got a chance to try this hack out!













    peacoat5. Even though it did take forever to make, I'm going to have to say the peacoat. The time I spent on the tailoring seems to have been well worth it so far, as was the investment in the Thinsulate. It's much less stiff to wear than the old one, and so far, it seems to be keeping me warm.













    Top 5 Misses: 
    Not all of these are necessarily sewing projects, or even entire sewing projects. But still...
    IMG_1583
    1. The daisy Sorbetto. It's not so much that this project was a fail, as that I just haven't worn it much. I pretty much have this one skirt that it works with and that's it. Plus it got cold pretty quickly after I made it, and, well...you know, all my clothes starting to not fit. I'll probably pull it out again sometime, though I doubt I'll get much wear from it next summer, as it's not the most nursing-friendly top.











    2. My jeans hardware installation skills. I think I would have gotten a lot more use out of the skinny jeans earlier in the fall, if the button hadn't started to get loose after one wash. My dad used some of his epoxy-type stuff to ensure that it wasn't going anywhere, and that's worked. But it's also made the inside waistband really scratchy right behind the button. I managed a quick fix for awhile by just sticking a band-aid behind the button, but I need to stitch a patch over it for a more permanent solution. I just never got to it, and now that those jeans won't fit me for awhile anyway, my motivation to do so has been quite low.


    Irish cables hat
    3. This hat. I think it would have been better for me if it had been about an inch longer. It barely covered my ears at all, and that bugged me to no end. I ended up giving it to my mom, since it fit her much better. I guess I have a big head or something?













    IMG_13224. The Tauriel costume, which I attempted to make for the Sewcialists' "March of the Shieldmaidens" sewalong. A combination of bad choice of fabric and less-than-stellar pattern alterations left this looking pretty awful. And though I love making costumes, I wasn't having much fun with it, and was just getting stressed at how many more things I'd need to make for DragonCon vs. how long this was taking. So I ended up throwing it out and wearing my old Eowyn costume instead. Which was probably for the best.

    5. Honestly, I think the biggest miss for me this year, or at least the last couple of months, has just been sewing time. It's not that I didn't want to, or even that I didn't have any free time in which to do so. It's just that my "morning" sickness ended up being so bloody awful and I just didn't have the physical stamina to do it as much as I would have liked.

    So what's your favorite thing(s) that you've made this year? Anything you wish had gone better?










    December 9, 2014

    The slowest refashion I've ever made

    I mentioned in my FESA post that I had finally finished a knitting project, and here it is!

    RohelineThis is the Roheline cardigan, as modeled by the floor. I tried to get a good picture of it on me, but I was completely unable to avoid the canine photobombs today. Plus the sky is about the same color as this sweater right now, and that really doesn't help on the lighting front! Oh well, you can see the drop stitch detail better this way anyway.

    I call it the slowest refashion, because the yarn is actually recycled! Several years ago, I bought three sweaters from the thrift store, as a cheap way to experiment with how my skin would react to some different animal fibers/percentages of wool.
    I ended up tossing the yarn from #2, since it unraveled into a gross tangle of cheap acrylic and just enough wool to annoy me. I still have the yarn from #3 and love the colors, but I'm leaning towards tossing that one as well, since I suspect that even a measly 8% wool is going to be too much for me. So this all came from sweater #1. It's a mostly cotton/acrylic/viscose blend, with a little bit of rabbit hair. And I guess I'm ok with rabbit, because this one didn't bother me to knit with at all!

    Roheline sleeve issue
    Making this was definitely a learning experience. I already knew how to do drop stitch, and had experimented quite unsuccessfully with short rows in a failed sweater attempt before. But I did finally learn how to do them properly on this. I had to learn Kitschener stitch for the underarms. I also taught myself how to do "magic loop" knitting so I could do both sleeves at the same time, which was mostly successful. I guess I still need to work on that, because I was unfortunately left with this obvious line down the sleeves where I was jumping between the two circulars and the stitches are a bit looser/sometimes look like I left holes. Is that normal? I did sort of try to block this when I finished, meaning I basically just dumped it in the sink, ran some water over it and squished it around, and let it dry. I know the yarns I can generally work with don't block as nicely as wool-based ones, but I guess I should try actually washing this for real and letting it dry to see if I can smooth that out some more.

    Roheline sleeveFor the most part, I knitted this straight off the pattern, since I frankly don't really have the knowledge to add extra shaping to knitting yet. But I did add a little extra length to the sleeves, about an inch, which I think was a good move. It's nice to have my wrists completely covered when it's cold outside!

    Roheline




    And here's my attempt to get it as an outfit photo. This was seriously the best out of the multiple tries. Crosby really wanted to model today, I guess! Considering how long it took me to knit this sweater (a full 15 months!), and current events in my life, I am SO glad that I decided to do a cardigan for my second sweater, so I can actually wear it this winter!

    I'm in a weird place right now, wardrobe-wise. I'm pretty firmly in the camp of having to wear maternity stuff on my legs already, since the waistbands of everything else are just getting too uncomfortably tight. But I'm still able to fit into my regular tops very well, as long as I'm ok with the "I ate one too many cookies" look. (Just minus the fun of actually getting to eat the cookies, sadly, since I'm still waiting for that nausea to go away.) So this is maternity leggings (from Old Navy) and a maternity denim skirt (from Goodwill) with my regular purple Sadie tank. I'm slowly in the process of trying to assemble a wardrobe that will be as mix-and-match as possible, but I think that will have to be a separate post for later. As of now, I have a lot of holes to fill. But since this cardigan fits very nicely with the palette that's emerging, at least I have one layer to work with.

    December 2, 2014

    one day I'll be part of your world

    First off, thanks for all the kind words on my last post, both on here and Twitter! It's been hard to keep things quiet, and while quite a few of my friends and family have known already, it's nice to have the support of my sewing friends as well. :) Of course, the baby is also the reason I could only show a preview of my Sew Disney project, and why the Gabriola skirt I'd originally planned wasn't going to work! It's a shame, because I did have enough fabric to do so, but non-stretchy waistbands don't make sense right now since I have no idea how my sizing will end up when this is all over. Or if it would even fit now, tbh.

    Ariel-inspired outfit
    So here's my whole outfit, with a little help from Malkin--and my hair even looks slightly red here! I wasn't sure if it would, since it's very cloudy here today. As I said before, the top is a Renfrew, though I did make a few additional modifications that I hadn't mentioned before. I added a little extra width to the front (about 1/2" total, I think), and I added some length--more in the front than the back, so I could do a little ruching on the side. I also left the bottom band off, simply because I didn't have enough fabric left to cut it, even if it had been pieced together! The length looks all right for now, but since I'm sure I'm going to use this pattern to make a couple more tops, I think next time I'm going to add even more length to the front and put the band on anyway, just to accommodate any expansion and hold things in place. I'd definitely like to avoid that baby belly hanging out from underneath my clothes look if I can!




    Ariel skirtSince the Gabriola was a no-go, I raided my pattern stash for ideas. I picked out an elastic-waist maxi skirt, then realized that the hips were still pretty fitted and that this skirt wouldn't work for too long as a result, either. So, believe it or not, it was a boxy Burda magazine pattern to the rescue! This is #119 from the June 2010 issue, and it's literally two rectangles with two drawstrings that tie at the sides. No elastic, even. But I figured that could be a good thing, because then I can tighten and loosen this to fit exactly where needed. I'll admit the result is a bit bulky around the waistband, but you can't really tell as much when it's under the shirt, I think. I did change the pattern slightly by doing a drawstring casing instead of a lining piece at the top, and I also did a French seam finish inside. If this ends up looking like a high-low hem in a few months, I wanted the insides to look good!





    Ariel- side view
    Here's the side view--you can sort of see the ruching, but my hand's in the way. Now that I'm seeing the top on, I kind of wish that I'd started the black a little bit lower so it wasn't running directly into the sleeve seam. Oh well.

    You can also see that I'm not really showing much, if at all, at this point. I'm sure that will change soon, though. It's been very hard to wrap my head around the fact that I've lost a few pounds overall, due to the nausea and the very limited, bland diet I've been eating to try to get through the days, and yet I'm still having trouble with my pants fitting! For the record, my Thurlow pants have fared much better than most of my thrift store jeans, and it's just been this week that I haven't been able to button the top anymore. So that does give me hope that they'll fit again! (I haven't tried my last pair of jeans, because I need to do a little repair on the waistband before I can wear them. But honestly, I've already worn maternity jeans a few times and they stayed up, so I may not bother trying.)


    Stashbusting totals:
    Top: about 2 yards (1 of the ivory jersey, and 1 of the black interlock left over from the summer's black tank dress. Both pieces completely used up, hurrah!)
    Skirt: 2 1/4 yards of the teal. I have about 2 3/4 yards left, which I'll need to come up with a use for at some point. (I already bought a similar-colored short-sleeved maternity top on clearance at Target, so that option is out.)

    Ariel outtakeAnd I'll leave you today with an outtake--  I've got the standard Disney princess animal companion, and we can just pretend his name is Max for this picture, even if he is the wrong breed. But apparently Ursula's spell messed up, because this mermaid only has one foot!

    December 1, 2014

    FESA report card, and other news

    Now that it's December, and the Fall Essentials Sew-along is over for another year, let's see how I did...



    Well, I didn't do great. I had seven things on my original list. Very conservative of me, I thought!

    1. Espresso leggings (Fashionable Foundations): didn't get to them.

    2. Roheline cardigan (Chic Chemises): The knitting part of this one is done-- I barely finished in time, as I wove in the rest of the ends and sewed up the underarms on the 30th. I do still need to add buttons, but first I need to find some. The buttonholes ended up being a lot smaller than I expected, and I somehow didn't buy enough of the original buttons I purchased for this. Either that, or I lost a pack. So I need to find some small enough to fit through those tiny one-stitch buttonholes. Not that I'm likely to button this much, but oh well. Pictures to come.

    3. Darling Ranges dress (Fabulous Frocks): My original plan of sewing this for The Monthly Stitch's Frocktober got scrapped when it became apparent that my peacoat would have to be a higher priority. Maybe next fall?

    4. The peacoat (Baby It's Cold Outside): I did finish this! And since I've already talked about why it was such a time-suck, I'll leave it at that.

    5. The Scraptember skirt: I worked on it, but didn't finish it. In my defense, Julia's had it in her possession for awhile to figure out what she wanted to do about another tier, so I haven't actually had access to it.

    6. A scarf: I knitted part of this while I was on vacation. And haven't touched it since, so I could concentrate on my sweater.

    7. The Disney sewalong project: Which would fall under Chic Chemises and Fashionable Foundations. You know I already finished the shirt, and I did also finish the skirt last week. I have a little extra time tomorrow, so hopefully I can get some pictures of the outfit then.


    So, not my most productive period of sewing. But once again, life happened while I was busy making other plans...the truth is, there is a reason why my sewing mojo has been so low during the past couple of months, and it's not just all of the tailoring involved in that coat. Some of you whom I chat with on Twitter may remember me mentioning some major jet lag and nausea when I got back from my trip in September. Well, turns out it wasn't jet lag...I've also been busy over the last couple of months with making a tiny human! My "morning sickness" has really been 24-7 nausea for about 6-7 weeks straight now. So most of the time, I've felt too crappy after work to do much of anything other than sit in front of the tv, and sometimes knit. It really was pure stubbornness that enabled me to finish that coat!

    Thankfully, I'm just about at the second trimester, currently on week 12, and hopefully that means I'll stop feeling constantly sick soon. (Oh please oh please...) And yes, there is going to be some baby-centric sewing going on here, but I seriously need some more maternity clothes, so I'll still be making stuff for me as well, I promise! Finding RTW maternity clothes that aren't in boring colors or fit properly in places that aren't supposed to change that much--i.e. my shoulders and the length of my arms--is really hard, you guys!