Sunday, March 11, 2018

Finally completed!

Seems like it's been way too long, but I have finally finished my third and fourth teal pieces.

I feel like Ruthie is making about a dozen to each pair of my makes. Ah, well. It's life in the slow lane at this stage of my life I guess. :-)

I made another Pamela's Perfect Tee in a dark teal cotton interlock with a matching cardigan. The cardigan is a mash up of an older version of Petite Plus Cardigan, looks like it's now OOP, and a Sure Fit Designs pattern, along with multiple alterations.

Although I've used it before, since I have completed this one, I'm making several more adjustments to get it to fit the way I want it to.

Odd picture of the tee. The darts don't stick out any farther than I do! I think the picture was taken before it was washed and pressed correctly. Interesting enough, they are both the same fabrics, so you can really see the difference the light makes in the photographs. Neither is perfect, but the picture of the cardigan is much closer to the actual color.

I am thinking the tee may be taken in just a bit at the side seams as it's roomier than I'd like at this stage. The cardigan has multiple alterations that need to be done, and I've already adjusted the pattern for the next one. I have a piece of light blue cotton interlock that will be my wearable muslin for the corrected pattern. 

I've widened the shoulders; added a bust dart; added about 5/8" to the front shoulder area; added sleeve cap height, and walked all the seams to be sure I have it about right now. Hopefully, it will be a much better fit. 

I'm a year into my Aqua Aerobics class now, and I know it's made a huge difference in my body and the way I feel. Things are moving around, tightening up, and I'm getting ready to move from three times a week to four. 

Doctors have been telling me for multiple years now, perhaps more than a decade, that I need to have knee replacement surgery. I've resisted for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the recovery time. And a strange and very compelling and overwhelming fear that I will die on the operating table if I decide on the surgery. 

A friend has a doctor in El Paso that is working in regenerative surgery, and is certified and a Fellow in stem cell replacement therapy. Bill had stage 4 cancer in his throat, and after surgery and his first bouts of chemo, they told him to get his affairs in order that he had about 6 months left. He decided the side effects of the chemo were not worth it, and looked for alternative therapies. That was last May and his Oncologist is in shock that he is now cancer free! His last appointment, he and the doctor got to talking about my knees and stem cell therapy. 

After hearing Bill talk about the wonderful results they have had with the stem cell therapy, and how much he likes his doctor, I made an appointment. Long story short, I'm having stem cell therapy on May 21. Between now and then, I want to get my body in as good of shape as possible to help with the healing process. 

I am on multiple supplements suggested by the doctor after extensive blood tests, and have a new eating plan he wants me to follow for the interim. I found out some of my current issues are genetic and he has given me some answers and hopefully things that will combat my issues. I haven't quite figured out yet how it all relates to my Weight Watchers program, but I think in many ways it is close, although there is an addition of legumes and nuts and seeds every day that I haven't been doing on Weight Watchers, and considerably less whole grains. I guess they balance each other out somehow. 

And, great news. I have a granddaughter getting married on June 16, so I'm going to be doing a dress for the wedding. I need to start the muslin about the middle of May so I have plenty of time to get that done before the wedding. I'll be using a custom Bootstraps pattern, so it should go quite smoothly. Here's a picture of the dress, and I am hoping it will be perfect for Denver in June. 

Here's what I've found about the typical weather in Denver in mid June:

"In most years, Denver averages a daily maximum temperature for June that's between 77 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (25 to 30 degrees Celsius). The minimum temperature usually falls between 51 and 55 °F (10 to 13 °C). The days at Denver warm most rapidly during June." 

I expect I will need to make a light weight jacket or duster to go along with the dress, but like Scarlett, I'll think about that tomorrow! LOL 

Seems to me that 2018 is going to be a fantastic year and will get me out of the doldrums and into full sailing ahead. Excitement is rampant around our house! 

That's all for now. More later as all the beautiful garments in my head start to make it onto my cutting table!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

January & February sewing continued

Hi there!

Well, it's been a month since I posted, so figured I'd do a catch up post once again. I got the teal denim pants completed, but my "slight boot cut," of 3/4" on the inseam and the side seams added up to bell bottoms that could have rivaled those of the 60's and 70"s!  I also needed to drop the back crotch seam about a 1/2" due to gravity and age! LOL Because I got buttonholed by a friend, those sat for a couple of weeks needing the alterations!

A good friend asked me to make some box cushion covers for her. Ordinarily, that would be a flat no from me, but she's had a really hard month to put it mildly.

She has dogs, and like many of us, has baby gates to keep them out of where they're not supposed to be. She was stepping over one of the baby gates, caught her foot, and tripped and fell hard on her hip, which fractured. She was healing, and getting better and just started walking without the cane, when the second shoe fell. Her husband, who has rapidly increasing dementia, got pneumonia, and when she was getting him to the hospital, she hurt her hip worse and went from a cane to crutches. While he was in the hospital the dementia went full blown and he doesn't even remember how to bathe himself or brush his teeth, etc.

So what is a friend to do? When she asked me how much I'd charge to do the covers, I said nothing. But was mad at myself because I hate this kind of sewing and it puts me into the sewing doldrums.  Long story, but I did them and they're gone now so I can get back to my personal sewing.

First thing was to remake the swimsuit cover up that was my first project of the year. Plus size ladies do not need to wear horizontal stripes over their bodies. I hated the way I looked in that and wasn't wearing it when the light bulb went off. I could make it an "empire" style and take the skirt part and make the stripes run vertically. Done, and it's being worn now and getting compliments. Whew!

Then the pants. First thing was to remove the 3/4" I added at each leg at the hem, back up to the knee. They are still a bit wide legged for my taste, but that works. The next pair will definitely be narrower though. I KNOW to measure the hem width on pants I like and use that, so I don't know why I didn't do that first. And I dropped the back crotch, which, due to the added room, somehow increased the waist by about an inch and a half that had to be removed.

Then I moved on to my second tee for the teal grouping. I love this and it went quickly. I used my standard TNT Pamela's Perfect Tee pattern, the January 2014 version, but again, due to gravity, I've been noticing some more shoulder movement, so I wound up taking 1/4" off the inside of the shoulder, tapering to zero at the outside. It picked up the neckline just enough so I no longer have a little extra. Whew!

Without further ado, here are the first three pieces in my teal grouping:

I've started the next piece, which is a dark teal tee, and will have a matching cardingan so that will give me 5 interconnecting pieces so far. I'm quite pleased with the prints and the solids in the grouping and think they'll get a lot of wear! 

More later!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

First garment for teal grouping

I'm definitely trying to keep up with my blogging for 2018 because I love having a record in one place of all the garments I've sewn throughout the year. At my age, I do forget sometimes when something was made, and it helps to be able to go back through past posts and files to determine when I did what.

Also because my weight has a tendency to fluctuate quite a bit, it's nice to be able to determine the date so I can kind of get a clue about the size it is and I was when it was made. :-)

This tee was begun on January 5, and morphed a bit from the initial thoughts to the final garment. As usual, I used Pamela's Perfect Tee shirt, which I use almost exclusively. I had intended to do a long or 3/4 sleeve on this one, but after looking at the fabric and thinking about my wardrobe needs, the climate in this area, and the short winter versus the long warm days, I went ahead and did the short sleeves. It only took about one yard, so I have enough fabric left for a tank top.

As I think I said in a prior post, I had intended to do a teal grouping back in 2013-2014, and this fabric was purchased for that group in November 2013. I was all gung ho to get the grouping going ] before other things got my attention. It's from Mood and it's a wonderful rayon jersey that sews like a dream, drapes beautifully, and has a gorgeous soft hand that almost feels like silk.

With a lot of family drama, and an interim for a bout of the flu that left me in bed for days and days, it wasn't completed until January 14. I can picture this in rotation for years to come. I just love the look and the feel of the fabric.

Perhaps because of the background, the fabric color appears different IRL. The photo is the last post is quite close to the actual colors. 

This week, I've started a pair of denim slacks out of a teal blue that will be my first bottom in this group. I started pattern work on them on January 14 as soon as this was complete. I am using the same Burda pattern I used for my shorts and instead of using the long pants in the pattern, I did some research on the width of pant legs, and the consensus was that straight leg pants have an 18" to 19" width at the hem, full pants have a 22" width at the hem, and the boot cut should be about 20". Somewhere in my research, I found something that equated the width of the hems to the crotch width, but when I went back to find it as I was starting the drafting, I couldn't find it again, so following directions in one of my pattern drafting books,  I started at knee length on the shorts, and went for a boot cut by adding 3/4" to each inseam and outer seam at the hem, tapering to the knee. 

I have relatively chunky thighs and don't want them too tight through that area, so this procedure should work well. I finished the redraft on the 15th, and finished cutting them out yesterday, but have not yet begun sewing. I do have about a yard of fabric left, so should be able to get a skirt out of that. 

The fabric is an end of the bolt cut from Fashion Fabrics Club, that was purchased along with some french terry and other denims back in September, so for me, it's a fairly new fabric. I was able to get a 3 1/4  yard piece for only $15.25, and it's a nice heavy denim with a bit of stretch. I'm sure it will also get a great deal of wear! Here's a teaser swatch of the new fabric:

In this photo, the color appears to be fairly close to real life. I'm excited to get these pants made up and into rotation. 

More later!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Quick Swimsuit Coverup

This is a quick sew that I put together as a swimsuit cover up. I needed something a bit warmer for the winter, as our pool, in general, is open year around and I need those Aqua Aerobics classes to keep on my feet, and to help with weight loss and muscle tone.

Due to other obligations, It was started on 12/28/17 with the idea of having it done that day. Hah! I finished it New Year's Day.

I used my TNT Pamela's Perfect Tee pattern, and just extended from the waist down to about ankle length. I had intended to leave slits a couple inches long in the bottom hem area, but forgot to do so, as it was truly sewn under the old Nancy Zieman 10-20-30 minutes to sew, so it is one long column. .

The fabric was purchased from via Amazon on November 9, 2017. A really new fabric! LOL. It's a 50% polyester, 50% cotton French terry. This particular garment is okay with the polyester content as I only wear it about an hour in total.

I had thought to do a vertical piece down the front, but got lazy and did the whole thing horizontal. I wish I'd done the vertical piece now. That much horizontal stripes across a fairly significant torso isn't that attractive. Oh, well. Now I know. I had purchased 3 yards with the thought of the vertical, and now have right at a yard left over. It could make a tank top for summer. We'll see. I'm debating going back in and doing some sort of a gore from about bust height down to the floor to give more walking room and add the vertical interest.

One note to self. Match stripes below the darts so the majority of the garment is matched. I matched at the armpit on this. It won't be noticeable to most folks, but sure is to me. At least the stripes are fairly narrow. 😄

I've started on a core grouping out of teal. I intended to do this core back in the fall of 2013, but it's been sitting idle while I went on to other groupings. Sew Ruthie has given me a push as I see all her lovely garments in the teal grouping she's doing. I do have multiple fabrics and will be making several garments. First up is a tee from a gorgeous rayon knit purchased from Mood many moons ago. It's been aging nicely, and is a dream to sew. Here's a teaser look at the fabric.

My second grouping will be browns and tans, so this is perfect. I can see it getting a lot of use! Since I decided to go with a short sleeve, I'll have enough left over to make a tank top also. Hooray!

This one is also being sewn in 10-20-30 minute increments, so it will probably be a few more days before it's done. I'm going to try to post all my sews this year so I can remember what was done when and hopefully keep on track with cores so there aren't any orphans in my closet and I have a varied and beautiful wardrobe.

More later!

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Final Christmas Gift

I have a wonderful sewing friend that lives in Eugene, Oregon. We met in the fall of 2013 when we both attended a Sure Fit Designs workshop. Afterwards, we began to communicate a bit by email, and for a very long time now, we communicate daily. Although we are very different people in very many ways, we are very similar in many ways too.

The last couple of years, she has made me a gift from the heart and the sewing room. Last year was the microwave soup bowl cozies that I liked so much I made them for all my peeps this year. See last post. :-) 👧 This year she made me the most amazing bag out of recycled jeans. It's phenomenal. So of course I wanted to make her something special also.

In October Rhonda Buss had a hand sewing caddy on her blog. Since my friend loves to hand sew, I thought it would be the perfect gift for her. I did want to find sewing related fabrics though. So I searched and came up with three fabrics I thought were appropriate and I did enlarge the caddy. Rhonda's was on a 5" X 7" stand, and I went for the larger size 8 1/2 X 11 stand, so I did have to do the math to enlarge the pattern, but it was minimal. Without further ado:

Here it is on my sewing table before I sent it. She's made very nice comments and it appears that it was a big hit. 

Then it was off to selfish sewing and time to get moving on my 2018 projects. More later!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Some Christmas Sewing

I made the ubiquitous microwave soup caddies for our kids and grands, and a couple extra for relatives that showed up and a couple of "White Elephant" gift exchanges:

I used cotton quilting fabrics, Quilter's Dream batting, and Aurifil thread. I made an effort to match the fabric pattern to the person. I.E. our son-in-law who is a scuba diver got a fabric with little scuba divers, fish and bubbles all over it. A granddaughter who does cognitive science research (PHD program) got some little bots with lots of math equations. One granddaughter who is an artist got a Picasso-esque fabric. A granddaughter and her partner who are heavy into music got musical instruments, etc
These were made from the free pattern on They are quick and easy, and once I got them figured out, I found the actual sewing to be about 30 minutes per pair. I can see them being a great seller for craft booths and local fairs with vendors. 

Then I made another "fish pillow" for my brother. This was just an 18" square pillow form, with the fabric cut at 19 1/4", a zipper added, and 5/8" seam allowances. I love the fabric, find it cheery and it makes me smile every time I look at it. As a minister, he's not only a fisherman, but a "Fisher of Men," so it seems to me to be appropriate. 

And along with a horrendous cold, some cooking, a bit of reading, and some cleaning, that was my November-December.

Now to move forward with one more late Christmas present for my BFF, and then to selfish sewing once again. I'm hoping for 36 garments made in the upcoming year.

I had thought to do the Artisan's Square Sewing Guild SWAP, but I'm just going to go at my own pace, making the garments that fit my lifestyle and my needs. It may turn out to be a mini-SWAP, or a maxi-SWAP, or just a cool bunch of clothes that are badly needed.

First up will be a new French Terry cover up for my continuing Aqua Aerobics classes. During the winter a little extra fabric is needed. Then on to January and my three pieces in teal.

Hope you are all getting revved up for a wonderful New Year full of joy and surprises!

More Later,

Monday, December 25, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all the joys of the Holiday Season!
Merry Christmas.
Happy Hanukkah.
Happy Kwanzaa.
A blessed Solstice.
Buenos Las Posadas.
And a joyous festival of lights for the rest of you.

I'm sending you sincere desires for a wonderful New Year filled with hope, joy, love, and expectations.

Although I've been neglectful of the blog for the last year, I hope to improve on that situation in the coming months! Thank you for being my virtual friends!