Saturday, January 9, 2016

First SWAP item completed!

Feeling pretty good about this. The goal is at least one garment per week, and here it is the end of the first week of 2016 and I have one garment completed.

This is for capsule #1. Grey wool flannel slacks.

These are a pair of unlined medium weight wool flannel slacks. The fabric was purchased from Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley the end of  January 2015 as a birthday present for myself. 

I don't generally line my slacks because I prefer to wear a "pant slip" underneath. These should work for 3 seasons in Northern California and who knows how many in New Mexico, but at least late fall into early spring. 

I used my TNT pants pattern, self drafted from Don McCunn's "How to Make Sewing Patterns" class and books. I made my waistband finished width 1 1/4" and did a Hong Kong finish on the inside of the waistband as per my usual. The inseam pockets were done with the instructions from David Coffin's trousers book. 

Interfacing for the fly and fly shield is Fashion Sewing Supply Pro tricot deluxe fusible.  I used a piece of Ban Rol for the interior waistband stiffener, and a button for the waistband from my stash. 

These will go into rotation immediately!

I'm working on a muslin for a blouse using Bootstraps pattern #54469. It's a very nice looking blouse and was a free pattern. I'm not sure why it was free, but I didn't question it. That will be my second entry for my SWAP. Once that is complete, with my previously made grey jacket, this will be my first capsule.

I hope a lot of you that read this are participating in SWAP 2016 too. There are many participants, with lots of different aesthetics, and it should be a wild and crazy collection. Even if you don't finish, or decide not to start, it's really a lot of fun to watch. Check it out here:

More soon!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First one of 2015

My very first garment of 2016. A knit cardigan in shades of grey and indigo. A winner I think.

It may be that this becomes part of my SWAP, but it may not. It wasn't on my original listing, but I fell in love with the fabric even though it was an impulse buy. The grey and indigo fit well with my SWAP, which is a grey grouping and a navy grouping. We'll see how the time goes.

I do such good pictures, I think I should be a fashion photographer/model! LOL

Even though I used a TNT pattern, Petite Plus Twin Set cardigan, OOP, I changed it up a bit to make a different look. Generally I just do a doubled piece the length of the front, and serge it on, which makes a nice flat front. With this fabric, I used the uneven, semi-fringed  selvage edges as the front facing and placed the raw edges on the outside. Fabric is from Girl Charlee (see prior post) purchased in November. That's unusual for me to sew something up so quickly, but we're having VERY unusual weather in Northern California, currently below freezing when I get up, and some days into the very low 50s, but mostly 40s during the day. I needed a cardigan!

My good friend asked about my prior post and questioned what I meant when I said I wasn't very good at change. A partial quote: "What would that be? I know I sometimes face change with anxiety or maybe it would be more accurate to describe it as an overall amorphous feeling of malaise. But that would be me projecting my feelings onto to you." She went on to say: "So in some ways I think that your physical self will be rejoining your spirit self. "

As always, she makes me think in more depth. I had to really contemplate what it was I was thinking and meant when I wrote that statement. I love the idea that by changing my actions and reactions to things, letting go of stress, and allowing my life to flow in a more organic and natural way will allow my spiritual and my physical self to once again conjoin and make the correct decisions based on what works for me.

My response: "It’s not a feeling of malaise because I’m frequently excited to do something new. I think it’s more of a frantic and frightened energy. Like if I get out of my routines, I won’t know who I am or what I’m supposed to do. May be why I’m so uncomfortable when I’m in a group of people I don’t know. I don’t know the behaviors and the reactions I’m supposed to have, so I feel panicky that I will do or say something wrong and no one will like me."

I think many of us spend our lives being the "employee" the "wife" the "mother" the this or that and don't think about who we are. I've worked since I was 16 years old, and my "self" was always wrapped in my career. For the last 20 or so years, if you ask me who I am, I would say "The Appraisal Lady." But I think there is way more to me than that despite the fact that is my major role at this point in time. Now that I'm getting ready to let go of that title, I need to find a new niche that I fit into well. Hopefully something more rounded with lots of interesting and diverse ideas, roles, and functions, enterprises, and undertakings. We'll see how that goes as the year continues.

Back to the sewing blog... I've started my grey wool flannel slacks for my second 2016 garment. The darts are in the front, fly zipper is installed, and I'm starting work on inseam pockets. Wish me luck. I'd like to have those done by the end of the week! They'll be a welcome addition on my lower parts!

More later,

Saturday, January 2, 2016

It's a new year, and a new life!

I thought a lot yesterday about a phrase from my youth. How many of you remember hearing/saying "It's the first day of the rest of your life." It's particularly appropriate to me as this year is the beginning of a new phase for me. 

210 days and counting. I spent a lot of "background time" yesterday while I was cleaning and labeling files, getting receipts and records put together for 2015 taxes, and getting my files labeled and put together for 2016 thinking about my new life and where I'm going. What I want to change, and what I want to keep from the past. I realized that I'm not very good at change. And I am excited by change. Quite a dichotomy!

One of the things I was thinking about was how when we put our intentions out into the Universe, they have a way of coming true. Our words have meaning and resonate with our unconscious mind, helping us to achieve our goals with little effort. My nieces are wont to choose a word for each year that has meaning for them and the things they want to accomplish in their lives at that point in time. I decided that would be good for me to do as I'm embarking on a whole new life that I have no way to chart out and plan. So being an overachiever, I have chosen two words. My words for 2016 are adventure and exploration. . I want to move a little out of my comfort zone and do things that are slightly different, challenge me as a person, and excite me. So that’s where I’m going this year. 

I also am going to try to make a conscious choice each day to live without anxiety and stress and just to work calmly and efficiently through the day  in order to let go of things I'm not pleased with, and be happy with what IS. 

I have thought long and hard about SWAP this year and think despite my work load, I may be able to accomplish the 11 garments in the four month period. I have my first planned garment fabric, a medium weight grey wool flannel prepped by washing in Eucalon and hanging on the shower road. It just needs to be pressed and then it's ready to hit the cutting table. 

While that was prepping, I started on something else. One of the goals this years is to do something sewing related each day. It calms and centers me like mediation. My first garment of the new year may or may not be part of my SWAP. It would work, but it's not in the plan as yet. It will probably be held in abeyance unless it is necessary for the appropriate number of garments. It's a light weight cardigan in a grey and indigo fairly loose boucle style knit. Lovely fabric I got in my recent mini-binge at Girl Charlee. Here's their fabric swatch as my photo isn't good color wise. 

They call it a Hacchi sweater knit, and it's still available here:

I'm using a TNT pattern for the cardigan. Petite Plus now evidently OOP. Today I'll finish it up and hopefully post the finished garment tomorrow morning. 

I hope your 2016 New Year's Day went well and perhaps you had a little time for your own creations! 

More later,