Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thanks Ruth!

Ruth has given me the Versatile Blogger Award. I tried to load it as a gadget, but blogger says it's broken. Obviously not. What's that about?

I need to do several things in order to be a versatile blogger.
First Rule: add it to my blog. Hopefully it's right above this post!

Second, thank the blogger who has given it to me. I don't think I actually deserve it, but thank you so much Ruth. I love reading your blog, so you get lots of points for that!

Third, list the rules (interspersed above and below):

Rule #4 List 7 random things about myself you may not know.

1. Even though I generally dress really conservatively, I have a wild child inside waiting to jump out. I LOVE wild fabrics, and will frequently use them as pockets or linings on my staid clothing.
2. I have a German Shorthair Pointer and a Cocker Spaniel. Both are loving and smart and sometimes too needy, wanting to be in the middle of my sewing projects!
3. I am married, but have been divorced and widowed.
4. In previous incarnations, I have been a travel agent, an income tax preparer, a commercial landscape estimator and purchase agent, and a salesperson of various items from commercial tree nursery outside sales to commercial accounting and tax software.
5. I generally love my job but am amazed at the squalor some people chose to live in. A little messiness is one thing, but raising children in a hovel is appalling. Alternatively, those people who don't have a spot of dust or anything out of place are almost as freaky and I wonder if they don't have any kind of life! Obviously not obsessed sewists!
6. I have two children, two step children, and eleven grandchildren including the steps.
7. When I was widowed and downsized within a few months just before my 50th birthday, I decided I wanted to go back to school (quit college my first year when I got pregnant with my first child.) Even though I started working full time, I went to school nights until I received my Associates Degree (with almost enough credits for a Bachelor's Degree) with highest honors. BUT, it did take me 10 years to do a two year degree!

Rule #5 Pass the award on to 15 deserving and conscientious bloggers.


These are the ones I know that don't show the award on their blogs. Sorry there aren't more but most of the blogs I follow have already received this award!

Rule 6 - Inform your nominee. The recipients can then link to your blog, copy and paste the award and display the award on their own page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

One down, many to go!

Well, I finally have made an executive decision and decided I need to take some time for myself before I get sick! I haven't had a day off since the end of February, and trying to fit my personal needs around 8-12 hour/7 day a weeks doesn't work that well. So I have four days off in a row and intend to put in some quality sewing time over the next few days! It's raining here so I'm not too interested in the garden at this point.

I have squeezed a few evening sewing hours out though, and finished my first Hot Patterns shirt. I hate the way I look in pictures, and please excuse the flip flops, but hubby was home so I could actually get a picture! Shown with a pair of tropical weight wool trousers that I made prior to the start of SWAP, but I may need to include to get to 11 garments. :P}}

Took care of some accounting and household issues this morning, and finally am starting on the Hot Patterns cowl neck top. It's officially the "Weekender Renaissance Top" and appears to be out of print. Too bad because I love the look of it! I had made this before and it was a total wadder. It didn't fit right, and I had for some unknown reason... perhaps because there is no layout on the pattern sheets... cut it on the straight of grain when I absolutely know for a cowl to hang right, it has to be cut on the bias. So I have retraced the pattern, using what I hope is the right upper chest and neck size, and just going out a few sizes under the armpit so I don't have to make a FBA. I know, I AM that lazy right now!This is made out of knit from my stash, that appears to be a super light weight double knit. Perhaps a rayon, but I don't know off the top of my head and I'm currently too lazy to go look. :P}}Love the color, it's kind of a denim-ey blue.

But good news on another front. I finally got a new doctor who actually seems interested in helping me achieve a normal life again. After almost two years with no exercise because of at first allergies, then a super painful knee injury, she has given the go ahead for slow and careful exercise. I was initially told I'd sprained a ligament and it would take 3 months to heal. 9 months later, I switched doctors and asked for some answers as to why it was still so painful I couldn't walk a mile without winding up in tears. She was rather surprised no X-Ray had been taken, and that I hadn't been sent to Physical Therapy.

To make a long story short, I know now that I have a torn meniscus, and I need PT. I will be starting swimming as soon as the new bathing suit I ordered arrives, and yes, I know I COULD make one, but I don't want to fuss with it right now. I can also use a stationery bike with my knee brace for 15 minute periods three times a week so long as I use lots of ice afterwards. So all of a sudden, exercise pants got added to the list, and I'll make a sleeveless top. I don't have anything suitable for the gym, so those will be quick and dirty projects. The HP cowl should be done this evening, and the gym pants and top will get started tomorrow.

Hallelujah! Normality may be in my future. I am super hyper and a couple of years of forced inactivity have dramatically impacted my life, my moods, my weight, and my mental state. I am super positive about getting back to my normal life and hopefully dropping about a third of the weight I'm carrying... that will make it ALL GOOD!

Hope you have a pleasant and fulfilling weekend! More later.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Moving along at a snail's pace

I did finally get the man to take some pictures, but they're not the best! It was a very windy day. You can at least see the two pair of pants I've done, and the jacket. The blue shirt is one I made last year from the Hot Patterns Plain and Simple Princess Shirt that I'm using again for my SWAP.

That shirt is one of my absolute favorites and I wear it a lot. It is a linen, and I'm doing one for my SWAP in a rayon challis, and another in a cotton crepe. I am making some minor changes in the Hot Patterns shirt. I had already done a FBA, a sway back adjustment, and narrowed the shoulders. I have to start at a much smaller size in the neck and shoulders, and blend out to waist and hips, then do a full bust adjustment that takes care of the tummy as part of the deal. Unusual for me, the sleeves were fine and had plenty of room for my chubby upper arms. With the new version, I've done more of a sway back adjustment, which seems to have fixed a few minor fit problems, and added 1/4" at each center front princess seam at the bottom, blending to nothing at the waist.

As I look at the grey pants, I may have to go for another redraft. They aren't fitting as well as the other ones, although it could be because of the grey cotton fabric. I am using the same pattern I used for my navy tropical weight wool slacks which don't have the same issues. The navy slacks seem to be okay. So, I'll check it out again!

Navy pants and jacket:

Grey Pants and Hot Patterns shirt

I'm hoping to actually give the SWAP a really good run now that I have these done. Although looking at the pictures, the last year of being off exercise due to my knee ligaments getting injured has me thinking I need to quit eating altogether! And if I can lose 25 or so pounds, the redrafting will be a reality, and a pleasant one at that!

I do have another Hot Patterns shirt almost done. Unfortunately work has been long hours with minimal time off. I've had a lot of 7 day weeks, and usually when I'm that busy I don't have energy for much else. Since my hubby has been off work for most of this year so far, I don't feel like I can turn down work for sewing time, although I'd sure like to do so!

The next shirt is similar to the one in the pictures. It is a rayon challis blue with a floral print... I think we're seeing a theme here, but has 3/4 sleeves instead of short sleeves. It should be done in the next few days and then I'll have at least four pieces out of the 11 done! That doesn't seem like much, but I can do a couple of tees quickly, and the pants are quick too. The jacket didn't take long, and now that I think I have the graining problems settled, that will make a huge difference.

Well, to work. It's piled up around my ears.
More later!