Tuesday, 21 April 2015

OH MY AGING EYES : : AND SIMPLICITY 2339














Hey you. It's me. Here, in my happy place, not looking entirely happy. You see, I had just been to the eye doctor for an unplanned eye exam.  The day before...rather suddenly...I found myself seeing little gray dancing spots. A little disturbing. It was, however, the brief flashes of light after I turned out the lights that night, that urged me to see the optometrist the next day. I don't deny my attraction to sparkly things, but when it comes to my vision...thank you, but no. After the dreaded pupil dilating drops, I received a thorough exam and was deemed healthy. enough. for a 54 year old. Spots and thready wisps, known as floaters, are apparently common in aging eyes. But what about those white flashes? Apparently, they are considered a warning sign for a potentially detached retina...which would be seriously serious. In my case, my doctor has advised me of other signs to be watchful for...helpful yes...but I admit to feeling a little out of my comfort zone. A few friends have had similar experiences and found that it went on for a few months before resolving. 

Okay, just a simple make today. Simplicity 2339 shirt pattern, worn with my green skirt. I picked up this turquoise gingham at a thrift store last spring, and the flowery bits are leftovers from my I'm a Bird in Paradise dress.  Having less than enough fabric for full sleeves, I cut out what I thought would be 3/4 length, but they shrunk up to my elbows after I turned the cuffs back to reveal the colourful facing.  The pink cuff links were another thrift store find.  They've been languishing in my drawer forever because I have zero shirts that have the necessary buttonholes. I think I would have been happier with green buttons, but at least the pearly pink links add a unique touch.

This fabric is obviously a poly/cotton blend, and it shows in the fit. I made this pattern in the same size as my 99 Pink Balloons dress, but it doesn't have quite the same ease. {sigh} I really do love natural fibers in general, and cotton specifically. Almost all my makes are 100% cotton. Sure, they wrinkle like crazy, but the fabrication, the weight, the feel, and the endless colour selection...it's no secret; I'm a little crazy for cotton!

Which brings me to Lucky Lucille's Spring for Cotton group sewing challenge. The ever lovely Rochelle, of Lucky Lucille, is hosting a Vintage Sewing Challenge for Cotton Fabric Lovers.  We are challenged to sew a vintage inspired garment sewn with only 100% cotton fabrics. Although I'm late to the party...the deadline is April 30th....I am so looking forward to playing along!

And last, but not leastest, I will be participating in Me-Made-May 2015. In May 2014 I wore a me-made item of clothing every day.  It was a great experiment. Although I had enough clothing, I discovered some wardrobe holes, namely jeans and t-shirts. I've since remedied that...having sewn three pairs of each. This year, I quietly pledge to wear an article of me-made clothing a minimum of five days a week. More importantly, I intend to assess the happiness factor of my me-made wardrobe over the coming weeks. Any and all ah-ha moments will be shared early in June.  I'll be posting photos along the way to the Me-Made-May 2015 Flickr group.



 





Sunday, 5 April 2015

ORANGE AND BLUE :: BLUE GINGERS THAT IS





Ginger Jeans, Burda Double Breasted Coat 02/2015



Ginger Jeans, Burda Double Breasted Coat 02/2015










Hi everyone!  I'm here. At the seaside. With Vancouver's Sunset Beach as a backdrop. Thanks bunches for your comments on my last post. It was actually with great effort that I resisted loading up on balloons again today. For the moment I'm carrying this crazy idea in my head that a photo op without balloons is blah-blah-boring. I'm sure I'll get over it...eventually...but actually no...I don't think I will...so there will indeed be balloons featured in the future.

Okay, so what have I been up to? Not a whole lot really. I have, however, been eating a whole lotta Girl Guide cookies. Whomever created the concept of sending young girls door to door, armed with sweet smiles and even sweeter boxes of cookies, was pretty much a marketing genius...just sayin. Oh yeppers...we caved...as in three boxes caved. I get hooked every spring...I mean, a cute kid, a tidy little box of chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies, all at my front door...I can't say no. In autumn GG sells chocolate mint cookies....which although lovely little morsels, mercifully tempt me less keenly. They should sell the traditional sandwich cookies spring and fall. Not just to make me happy, but to make more money. You see, every time I reach into a trad box, I take two cookies...one chocolate and one vanilla...'cause how could I not? There's only one choice in the mint box, so I'm content with a single cookie. It's by necessity really, that I buy twice the number of boxes of traditional cookies as chocolate mint.

Of course the downside of eating twice the number of cookies, is...well....you know. Still. I managed to squeeze into my latest me-made pants, my Blue Gingers.  The fabric you may recognize {my buttonholes on my Orange and Pink Coat}.  It's cotton with about 2% lycra {whew}.  It's a lighter-weight fabric than denim, and was therefore pretty easy to sew. Even so, I picked up some helpful tips from Leila of Grow Your Own Clothes... Grow Your Own Clothes: Sewing Jeans. I used my now TNT Ginger Jeans pattern. And the name, Blue Gingers? Well...obviously they're blue, but they also remind me of a fun aloha filled clothing retailer in Hawaii called Blue Ginger. Although I haven't bought any clothing from them....I sew after all....I'm totally in love with their gorgeous fabrics! Lots of watery blue shades just like my Blue Gingers!

Thanks so much for popping by. If you've recently indulged in Girl Guide cookies, please let me know! The post-sugar euphoria is wearing off, and I need your support...


sneak peek....birds, blossoms, and blue gingham


If you haven't yet seen my previous Ginger Jean makes...

Classic Ginger Jeans with a Twist
Distressed Ginger Jeans

Joining Helena of Gray All Day for Sew It Chic in a Week
 





Thursday, 19 March 2015

MY 99 PINK BALLOONS DRESS : : SIMPLICITY 2339 : : THE JOY OF THE SLOW SEW

Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas



Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas



Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas









Simplicity 2339, DYT Type One, A Colourful Canvas

Hey Peeps! Happy to see you again! Things have been ticking along at an easy pace these past few weeks. I have been sewing, but I've been slow sewing. 'What is, and why?' you ask. Well, most textile arts are thoughtful, calming, even meditative. Machine sewing however, has always held for me, an urgent nature. It's been all about the finished garment. Speed is impressive, yes? 'You made that in two days? Impressive!' said the masses a few of my friends each time I paraded out a new outfit. Gradually, over the last year or so, I've been intentionally slowing things down.  I'm taking time to learn new techniques. I tweak patterns and work on improving my hand stitching. I don't rush the fabric selection, or the design, or the finishing details. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy sewing before...I've always loved it. I just wanted to consciously enjoy each step {okay, maybe not taping together PDF patterns...} of the garment making process. And, I'm doing just that! It's funny...if I were to be logical....the older I get, the faster I should sew, LOL {not getting any younger and all, blah, blah, blah}. Okay, there is no wrong way....fast sew, slow sew...it's all good...I'd love to hear what works for you.

Today's shirt dress, a bit of a hack on Simplicity 2339, keeps with my slow sew theme.  The pattern is a classic fitted shirt with specific pattern pieces based not only on your bust size, but on your cup size too. Although I've been wanting a gingham shirt, I was antsy for a spring dress...I think my shirt dress is a happy compromise.  I could have simplified my life by buying a shirt dress pattern, but I was up to the task for some minor pattern drafting. It wasn't super difficult, but there was strategy involved. I cut out a size smaller than the pattern specs suggested {Simplicity tends to fit large on me}, and cut the shirt front and back pattern pieces to waist length. I added a waistband. I remembered {this is a big deal} to make the front band the full length of my dress, and I drafted front and back skirt pieces...well, I cut three rectangles {too easy to qualify as self drafted}. After gathering the skirt pieces at the waistline, and adding in-seam pockets, I attached the skirt pieces to the waistband/bodice pieces. I attached the skirt lining before sewing on the front band. I love my 99 Pink Balloons Dress; it's definitely in the must do this pattern again category.

I'm attempting to keep my post short and sweet today, but one last thing...Michelle of Michelle, ma belle...tres bien ensemble posted her contribution to the Crazy Dog Lady Sewing Challenge very recently.  It put a major smile on my face. I won't say more; see for yourself...Crazy Dog Lady Sewing: Meet the Pack.

Joining Helena at Gray All Day for Sew It Chic In A Week