Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Highlights and My Year in Review

I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful holiday season. I know I am. I didn't get a chance to finish all my sewing projects, but I'm still working on them. I was able to finish 8 turn-a-square hats, and they were well received by my band mates and my BIL. I also got two of the bathrobes done.

My girlfriend loved hers, and so did my mom. Here's a picture of my mom's.Sorry I was rushing out the door for work, and this is pre-iron/steaming. I didn't get the night gowns done for my MIL, but I did make a handbag for her. Sorry, no pics on this one. I forgot. I gave Mr. D his boxer shorts and he loved them. I plan on cutting out the Hefner robe hopefully by next weekend.

I didn't ask for much this Christmas, but on the craftier side, Mr. D gave me an organizer with trays to either hold buttons, beads, etc.. My mom gave me the rolling tote that I previously blogged about, so that I can travel with at least one of my sewing machines. Have bag, will travel.

I had a chance to sit down this week and reflect on this past year and review the goals that I had set for myself. Overall the year was good. We had a few scary moments in the past few months, but we were able to get through them, and so far, everyone is doing very well. My MIL's aneurysm is shrinking so the doctors are waiting to shoot the coils in. My mother is now home, she had one last test a couple of weeks ago, and she does not have to get a defibrillator installed for her heart.

In reviewing my goals for 2009 , I found that I didn't do too bad:

1. Organize and catalog my knitting stash. I didn't do this, but everything is in containers.
2. Organize and catalog my sewing stash. I started this, but it's not done.

3. Design more with a structured purpose. I want to see if I can come up with a collection and in a timely manner according to the seasons. I did start a few new knitting designs (3 in fact. I finished one, but haven't written a pattern for it yet) during the course of the year, but they are not finished yet. I also started working on a crochet collection about a month ago and so far, I am loving the creative process, and I love what I am seeing. I want to design something every month or every other month, experiment with yarn more. I guess I've experimented, but I sure didn't do it every month.
4. Sew more. I did do this. Challenge myself by making a whole wardrobe. I have not done this YET, but I'm working on it. Learn new techniques. I learned french seams and buttonholes, I also started working with leather (stay tuned). I purchased a Serger this past year, and love it. I also designed my first garment, even though I used pattern pieces from different patterns to accomplish the design. I don't want to be afraid of trying something new. I want to try a BWOF pattern. I only have like 4 of the magazines. I actually have a subscription now. I made 2 BWOF patterns. I plan on doing more.

I never posted this picture, but I did try my hand at draping and shirring even though the project was simple. This baby got a lot of wear during the summer.

5. Educate myself more in knitting and sewing. Go on design excursions, maybe take a class in sewing. Visit NY. Read more again.There weren't any local classes for me to take, unless I actually signed up for some college courses. I have purchased quite a few new books which I plan on getting into in the next year. There are so many techniques that I have to learn. I did go to NY for PR Day, and got to hang with an amazing group of people.
6. Workout. Drop 1 more dress size. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHH, this did not happen. I did workout a little.

7. Start spinning again. I did start this, but I still would like to do this more.

8. Cook more. Have fun in the kitchen. The early part of the year was a bust on this one, but in the last month, I've been in the kitchen, and enjoying it. I cook for my mom now, and my husband are experimenting on the vegetarian thing so, food had been very interesting in our house.

For 2010, I want to keep it a little simple and easy.

1. With the scares that we've had in our family, My #1 focus I think will be family. They have to be cherished, there just isn't enough hours in the day.

2. I need to carve out some free time for me, and then everyone else.

3. Create, Create, Create

4. Educate, Educate, and then Create some more.

5. Get my sewing, knitting, and crochet on. Sew a little more for my family. I think I did pretty good this year.

6. In General Read More. I did pretty good this past year, but I know I can do better.

On an end note, I just received this picture

in the mail from Mr. D's cousin. Back in March, I made this outfit for Baby S. Isn't she beautiful.

I want to thank all of you for stopping by this past year. You have given me inspiration and friendships that I never dreamed of, and your advice has been very helpful. Thank you.

I wish all of you a Wonderful, Happy and Prosperous New Year. May it be filled with love, family and many days, nights and weekends of crafting. Walk on Motivate and Creative!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Weekend Plans and a New Book!!

First of all, I want to thank all of you for all the lovely comments you left me about my gown. I had fun making it. I'm just glad it turned out nicely. There's always that feeling of nerves when I make something for the first time, and there are a few unknown issues involved. Like, never working with this type of fabric before, no info on the pattern, and I wasn't too clear on the pattern sizing.

So, the holiday season is definitely in full swing and Christmas is only like what, 6 days away? I'm almost ready. I have quite a bit more sewing to do. I'm hoping that I can accomplish quite a bit between tomorrow afternoon and Sunday. We're suppose to get a snow storm this weekend. They're calling for 8 to 12 inches. I'm planning to take advantage of that if I can. I figure I can get the errands out of the way first (if I can get out), and then put myself on lock down for the duration of the weekend. I finished my girlfriend's robe last night. I just have to tack the collar down. I almost had a crisis, with the collar, but I was able to salvage everything without a problem. The original robe only went to the knee and I knew that she would want it longer so I added 3 inches to the length of the robe. This robe doesn't have a collar just a band that goes around the robe. Well, when I cut the band out, I forgot to add the 3 inches to it. Hence, the robe was longer than the band.

I went to sleep Wednesday night thinking I'd have to make another stop at JoAnn's since I didn't have enough material to cut another band. Yesterday I woke up with the light bulb turned on. The original band for the pattern has a seam at the back of the neck, but the back of the robe is seamless. I cut the original band open cutting off the seam I had sewn and added another piece of material making it long enough matching the 2 new seams at the shoulder seams where the sleeves were sewn in. Sorry, I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I can tell you that I think it's really pretty and I like it much better than what the pattern had me doing. Next up is my mother's robe, then I have to cut my MIL night gowns out and put them together. Mr. D will be last because he's in the house and I have time. He already knows he's getting it.

Last week I purchased Design It Yourself Clothes, Patternmaking Simplified. I just started reading it, and all I can tell you is that this book is fantastic. I've only read a few pages but it's got me hooked. After the new year, I have plans with this book, another book of mine, paper, pencil and a few rulers. I can't wait. If you'd like a more in depth review, check out Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S Patterns review.

Have a great weekend, and please, stay warm. It's 28 degrees here right now.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Channeling my inner Diva!!

Last night my band had to work a country club holiday party. Man was it a partying crowd. I know I'm suppose to be working on some bathrobes right night and the patterns are cut out, I just have to cut the fabric. Anyway, I couldn't find anything in the store that I really liked so I made a pit stop at JoAnns Friday night and picked up some velour fabric. I already had a few patterns in my stash so I decided to go from there. I went with Vogue 8358. I was able to cut and sew the gown up yesterday before the party. This pattern is pretty straight forward and works up pretty fast. This was my first time working with velour and it won't be my last. It is a very forgiving fabric and it is so comfortable and warm fabric to wear. I made a shrug to wear with it to cover up my back as it's only about 30 degrees here, and I've been freezing my butt off. Also, I need to work out. But the back does look like the photo. All in all, I would definitely make this dress again. Well, gotta go for now, I have some sewing, laundry and cooking to do. By the way, does anyone watch Glee. I love that show.


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