I’ve been in a bit of a sewing slump lately. Feeling frustrated with my serger that just refuses to work, fabric I have on hand in quantities less than what I need to actually make anything in my size, and patterns that just aren’t working out! I have made a few versions of a vintage pattern I own and have been trying to get the fit right, using fabric I am really not in love with. To get myself out of this rut I went fabric shopping! I went to Joanns for some knit fabric because I haven’t had the best luck buying knits online and unfortunately they are the only local store that carries them. Booo!! Anyways, armed with my coupons and a free hour I made a quick run there, came home and washed the fabric and a few hours later ended up with this!
This is why I love tried and true patterns…so quick and painless. Although I love the challenge and excitement of trying new patterns, there is something so satisfying as sewing something you KNOW you are going to fit into and love. I did modify the pattern this time though so it was a bit of a gamble. The Moneta often makes me feel like I am all boob- know what I mean? The bodice is so short on it, I feel like I have boobs and then a super gathered waist right below them! I wanted to try to lengthen the bodice to avoid the look of having boobs at my waist. So, for this version I lengthened the bodice about 2 inches, and I removed a great deal of the gathers to make do with the 2 yards of this fabric I purchased. I actually really like how it turned out, and I love that I only needed 2 yards! I did fully line the bodice in the same fabric and added the pockets as well.
Not bad for under $20! Due to my serger being on the fritz I sewed this baby up using the stretch stitch on my machine- works just as well as the serger but it takes forever in comparison. Oh well, I must try to be more patient. Overall I am in love with this dress, I may even prefer the less gathered skirt although this more body skimming look may take some getting used to!
I decided to wear it to my little girl’s Kindergarten Celebration (I’ll be blogging about her dress next!). Don’t we look smashing in our homemade frocks?
I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired (or lazy?) in terms of sewing lately. Maybe I am preoccupied by other things? Running, Orange is the New Black, avoiding housework. Hmm…or maybe sometimes I just need a simple project to get me back into the groove. I decided I needed to beef up my summer wardrobe a bit and thought whipping up a few tanks would be perfect. One of my favorite free patterns is the Polly top by By Hand London. I made it last year too. My favorite part? No darts. Not that darts are really that intimidating- but having to often worry about the placement of them when you’ve got a big chest can be a pain. The Polly top is super simple to put together, simply by easing in the front center panel alleviates the need for darts and offers up a really nice and quick top. With its pull on design and opportunity to do a contrasting fabric it is super quick and gives you a chance to use smaller bits of fabric for the accent.
I picked up this sweet retro floral quilting fabric a week or so ago and paired it with a light denim to make this top. The neckline and armholes are done with a store bought bias tape. I used the largest size (same as my version last year), but given that I’ve lost about 10lbs recently I think I need to cut a size down next time- I can really see it billowing out in a few of these pics and I think it would be more flattering if it were more fitted. My measurements don’t really indicate that I should use a smaller size by their measures…but this seems to have a great deal of ease.
For now though, it is comfortable, effortless and keeps me cool in the horribly humid weather we’ve been having these days! Not aiming for perfection I had my 8 year old shoot these from the least becoming angle possible from down below…oh well!
Its funny how things can come full circle. Typically whenever I had free time or needed to destress I would sew. It started with sewing clothes for my girls and then turned into sewing more for myself. When I started running this past year I made a switch and would find myself craving a run or trying to find time to get outside for a quick mile or 2, or 3 to destress and turn my day around. The time I began to devote to this new “hobby” started taking the time I would normally try to devote to sewing or crafting. I joined No Boundaries, a learn to run 5k program with a few friends at Fleet Feet. We ran together 3 or 4 times a week, and I got hooked. I love how running makes me feel more alive, more confident, and part of a community. I feel proud of myself, feel healthier and stronger and more resilient. Not that it has been easy. Running is hard. I had shin splints that almost made me give up, had to start Physical Therapy for them, and the icing and ibuprofin regimen I put myself on was extremely time consuming. But I did not give up. I ran the Graduation 5K with the group in May and kept going. Now that running has become a habit for me I find that I have begun to watch more of what I eat and have joined a weight loss group through Fleet Feet as well. So far I’ve lost about 8 pounds and my confidence has grown so that I feel better, clothes have been fitting better and I again have the urge to sew new clothes for myself and look good! The coming full circle is that not only have I been eating better and running more, but I’ve got an entirely new reason to sew as well!
How did I possibly turn my running and healthy eating into an excuse to sew? First- last week I ran in a 5K with a Superhero theme. Rather than buy a Wonder Woman shirt, or BatGirl or something else like that I decided it was a great opportunity to create my own Superhero. Super Jewel! Get it? Since my first name is Jewel I thought instead of being literal I could find a cool Jewel type image and turn it into my very own superhero logo. Voila. I created this graphic using Microsoft Word, and ironed it on iron on transfer paper (for dark fabric). It was super simple and the dark fabric transfer paper doesn’t even require you to mirror your image…easy peasy. Here is a shot of it in action last weekend. This is my 3rd 5K in the last 30 days or so- crazy….my time keeps getting better and better. Although my friends and I are still super slow I have broken the 40 minute mark and I am looking forward to signing up for the next level of running group through my local running store (Fleet Feet) in a few weeks so that I can get even faster and more efficient.
With the running is getting a bit easier I have been trying to shake up my food routines and have been turned on to overnight refrigerator oatmeal…yum. A friend of mine swears by it, and also in eating Mason Jar salads. Check out Pinterest for a zillion recipes for them. Apparently they are really a thing. I came across this recent tutorial and pattern for special insulated mason jar bags specifically designed for this purpose. Hilarious. I couldn’t resist to whip up a few for my friend and myself. In other words I will use any excuse to sew something new.
The only fabric I had to purchase was the insulated batting…and of course this in turn made me pick up a number of new fabrics I fell in love with. Hopefully I will find the time soon to make up something new and special for me to wear. Maybe once I hit that 10 lbs lost mark I will reward myself with something pretty! Woo hoo.