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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Butterick 5035 and NL 6922

Over the weekend I got a little bit of sewing done. I have now completed all my tops for MOT. I originally said that I would make 4 tops, but I did complete a 5th one. These 2 patterns were not the original patterns I had picked out, but hey, we're entitled to change our minds right? First up is #4. I had a club gig over the weekend and literally decided to make a top to wear that night an hour before I had to get ready. I chose Butterick 5035 as the pattern said you could make it in an hour. They weren't lying. It took me an hour and a half but that included cutting the pattern out so I thought that was pretty good. I did View A. The fabric was actually from my very first purchase from about a year ago. I remember when I bought it, I wasn't crazy about it, but thought I'd hang on to it. You never know when you might find a use for it. I'm glad I did. I love the top.

Top #5 is from NL6922, View D. This baby I worked on last night, and it also came together pretty quickly. I didn't follow the pattern directions. I lengthened the sleeves as I didn't want 3/4 sleeves. I also attached the neckline flat. Faye, who got the idea from Karen did this for one of her tops during the sew-a-long and I decided to also try it. If you've never tried this technique before, give it a try, you will not be disappointed.

That's pretty much it for me today as I have a lot of work to go and do. Before I go, I would like to thank Faye and all the lovely ladies who participated in this sew-a-long. I now have 5 new blouses which have added to my wardrobe, and I feel motivated in the sewing department. Now, to get to that holiday sewing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

MOT #2 Complete and Holiday Sewing and Sales!!

Is it my imagination, or do the days keep going by faster and faster? I hope everyone had a great day yesterday. I know I did. It was nice and quiet at my house. By late afternoon we picked up our mothers and went out to dinner. After that we went over my FIL's for dessert. I got a chance to finished up MOT #2, and I wore it last night. Buttonholes are not so hard to do, and I'm not afraid of them anymore. I am so proud of myself. This top turned out soooo nice. Well, 3 down, 1 more top to go and I am done. I'm aiming on bumping it out hopefully by Monday.

Did anyone see the doorbusters deals for JoAnn Fabrics for today through Sunday? I'm not trying to spend any money but some of these deals are awesome, and I don't think I can pass them up.

Yesterday,'s deal of the day was plush suede for $3.98 a yard. As you know, I have some bathrobes planned as presents, so I purchased some. The pattern I'll be using is These are the colors I picked out. This one's for my mom, this one is for my girlfriend, and and this one is for me. I tried to pick out colors that they liked. For my MIL I've picked this I purchased two cotton floral knits from JoAnns a couple of weeks ago that I thought she might like. Sorry I don't have pics of the fabric. For the Hef robe, I'll be using this pattern I'm not showing my fabric choices as I want them to be a surprise. He knows about the robe but I have to leave something to the imagination, and I'm afraid Mr. D might read this post. But I'll say this much, I plan on going all out. I want him laughing on Christmas Day.

That's pretty much it for me right now. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simplicity 9958

Last night before I left for practice, I decided to try and not be selfish and I started working on this for Mr. D. He love boxer shorts made out of t-shirt knit.I have to say, they worked up so fast. (Does the color look familiar?) I still have to do his fitting to make sure the waistband is the right size and that they're not too big. After that I'll hem them. If he likes them, I'll make a whole bunch for him for Christmas.

In knitting news, I finished hat #5 of Jared Flood's Turn A Square. This morning I casted on for #6. I also have a pair of socks to finish knitting up.

I'm not cooking this year for Thanksgiving. I might make a dessert though to take over to the in-laws. Anyway, that's it for me right now. I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MOT #3

Yesterday at lunch in the food court no less I traced and cut out my MOT#3 BWOF 2-2009-108. It was kind of weird. I kept looking around to make sure no one was watching me. Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do, and I was on a mission.

Last night I got home around 9 pm, cut the pattern out and sewed it up. I almost messed up the sleeve while serging but it was salvageable. I hemmed the neckline but decided to go with the rolled look so I didn't hem the bottom of the shirt or sleeves.

I love the feel and color of this t-shirt jersey fabric. I want to make more. If I have time tonight, I just might cut out another one. I wore this one to work today, and one of my co-workers thought the shirt came from the Gap. I'm still working on MOT#2. I practiced making button holes on Sunday, so I'm ready to go I just have to mark my blouse.

I have a question. For those of you that make button down shirts, do you use the template provided by the pattern or do you wing it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Party time and MOT #2 Progress

Yesterday I finished and wore this finally. I like it and it's very comfy. I not sure mandarin collars are well suited for bamboo knits. It could just be me. Here the review I did on this top over at Pattern Review. My friend Marissa celebrated her birthday last night, and my husband and I decided to go party with her and the gang. We had a great time. My husband finally got a chance to meet my friend Regina's husband, and the 2 men never left each other. They talked and drank for 3 hours straight.

I also started working on my second top for MOT. It's Simplicity 4112. A Built by Wendy pattern. I'm making View B. This one has gone together fairly easy. It's another mandarin collar, and I had no problems with this one. I think I got it down now. If I have some time today, I want to work on the button holes(a new thing for me) today and finish hemming it up. By the way, my mother made it through her procedure in flying colors and is doing very well. I want to thank all of you for the prayers and well wishes. They worked.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Monday I posted about the problem I was having with the collar on Butterick 5420. Mz. Choize over at Mocha Style left me a comment about using knit interfacing that day, and I immediately drove over to JoAnns after work and picked up some tricot knit interfacing. I re-cut the collar from spare fabric and attached it that night. I also did some tweaking to the bodice as I wasn't quite liking the fit. Yesterday morning (before work) and last night I worked on the sleeves and got them attached. The fit is so much better, but I'm still not crazy about the collar. I feel like I would get a better fit if the collar was now taken in.

(Collar not taken in)

(Collar taken in) (This is how much I pulled it in by)

I'm thinking about opening the collar up at the center back on the collar only and taking out about an inch or so and then re-connecting it back on. Or, open the collar back up and put something a little stiffer or elastic. I don't know. What do you think? Any suggestions?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bamboo Love and Christmas goodies!!

Before I give you all an update from this past weekend I want to give you all a big thank you for all the lovely comments you sent my way. I made the necessary changes I wanted to my cardi/jacket and I wore it to work today. The changes did the trick and the everything is staying in place.

On the home front, I need prayers this week. Both my mother and MIL are going into the hospital this week for procedures. Hopefully everything will go well for both of them and this will be it for now.

In knitting news, I worked on another Knit Picks project last week and it's just about finished. I'll be shipping this one out hopefully by Wednesday. I have 5 more hats to make for the guys in the band so I figure I need to get cracking. My bass player asked for the Jamaican flag colors in his hat. It should be lively, and fun to make. I have no progress to show on the afghan as I haven't been working on it, so I guess I'll be putting some serious time in on it in the next few weeks.

I was a bad girl last Friday. I called Metro Textiles and ordered more material. The good thing is that some of the material is for the Hefner(Hugh) robe. I purchased some black crushed velvet for the collar and cuffs. I think or I'm hoping Mr. D will like it, and that it won't be too much against the blue velvet fabric I'm using.

I have 2 more robes without collars planned for my mom and girlfriend. As they don't read my blog and they asked for them, I figure I can talk about them here. I'm thinking of using a plush fabric. I was looking in JoAnns over the weekend but I didn't see anything I liked. I going with a green for my mom and either periwinkle or red for my friend. I checked out and I think I'll be fine there. I just need to pick my pattern first.

Over the weekend I was able the cut out and mark Simplicity 4112. I washed the fabric for this one and so far there isn't any shrinkage so I'm happy about that. I put that pattern aside for now and also cut out and marked Butterick 5420. I love the fabric I'm using. If you ever get a chance to work with organic bamboo knit fabric, please do. It's well worth the money and feels fantastic on. It's like BUTTER!! Anyway, I started working on the top last night and it's coming along nicely. I'm hoping to be done tonight maybe. I ran into a snag last night. The pattern calls for you to interface the front 2 pieces and the collar. I've never done that before and I don't know if I ever will again. You don't get the stretch you want after you do that. I have to re-cut the collar as it doesn't fit the blouse now. That was a pain. I'm trying to decide if I want to re-cut the collar bigger or just rework everything without the interfacing. Any ideas? Here it is so far.

Monday, November 09, 2009

PR in NYC and A New Sew -A-Long

My closures arrived last Tuesday and I was able to complete my jacket by the weekend in enough time to wear it for PR Day in NYC this past Saturday, but I'll talk about that in a minute.

Can I tell you, that I love the closures. Since I never worked with leather before, I had to figure out how to work the placement. I I was afraid to use pins because I didn't want a pin mark to show after I had sewn them. In the end, I remembered that a couple of weeks ago I had purchased this temporary sewing glue stick at JoAnns. I also did use a pin but I made sure that it was in a spot that would be covered by a stitch. In the end, the wearability factor was pretty good, but I need to make a few adjustments. I want to add a snap to the inside of the jacket to help the inside front flap piece not slide. I also will prick stitch the shawl collar(Thanks Sheila) and inside facing to help it lay flat a little better. Overall, I love the cardigan/jacket and it seems argyle is the in thing right now, or one of them anyway.

On Saturday, I ventured up to Manhattan for PR Day in NYC.

I had a blast. First and foremost, I finally got the chance to meet my buddy Sheila. Can I tell you that Sheila's jacket is Badddddddddddd!!!. The pictures don't do it justice. You have to see it in person to appreciate it. She embellished the front with 4 rows of top stitch down the fronts and around the collor. VERY NICE!!!

We had to get our day started at Starbucks before stomping over to Metro Textiles for some major damage. Kashi and Petricio are wonderful. If you haven't shopped in NY and you ever get a chance to go, please stop by and visit. They are not only helpful and informative, but very nice to.

Our next stop was Mood. This place is out of this world. I don't know how the designers of Project Runway shopped there. The place is huge(2 floors), and there is so much to pick from. After Mood we stopped at Greenberg and Hammer. Sorry I don't have more pictures of that store, but I got a little busy picking out notions and tools. They had a really nice spread awaiting us when we arrive. Juice, Soda, cookies, and Mimosas. Upon leaving, they gave us lovely gift bags to take home.

From there stopped to eat at Village 38. This is when we all had a chance to sit down and talk shop, get ideas and talk about different techniques. Let me tell you, we had a really nice group of interesting men and women. Thank you Tom P. and Cindy for organizing. It was very nice, and I definitelywould go again.

After lunch, we headed over to Rosen & Chaddick. They have the most beautiful shirting fabric, but man is it expensive. At that point Sheila and I broke off from the crowd and tried to hit a yarn shop or two. It was pretty late so we only had a chance to check out Habu Textiles.

It was a lovely day, and I got the chance to hangout with some very amazing people.If you ever get the chance to go to a PR Day, or Weekend, you MUST go, if you can.

On an ending note, I joined Faye, over at Faye's Sewing Adventures in her Month of Tops Sew- a-long. I have about 8 tops picked( I originally had 11) out that I would like to make, but for right now I only want to commit to making 4 of them. I'm showing you 5 because I saw the top that Nancy K wore over the weekend, so, I've added it to my list also. It's BWOF 12-2008-113B. The fabric is a jersey knit that I picked up at Walmart. By the way, Nancy's jacket was total Bling to me. I loved it. Next up is Butterick 5420. View D.I picked out a bamboo knit fabric at JoAnn's to try this one on. This fabric is like butter.

Next is BWOF 2-2009-108. I'm using a jersey knit that I purchased at JoAnn's.

This pattern is BWOF 5-2009-103 with a jersey knit I picked up at Fabric Warehouse. And finally, Simplicity 4112, with curtain fabric I picked out at Fabric Warehouse. I doing View B.

That's it for me today. I'll be going to visit my mom tonight and then I'll head home to start cutting.


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