Pretty on the inside

It has been a little bit of a tough month for me at work. You know, one of those months where you doubt yourself and have to stop and take measure of who you are. That’s where I have been for the last three weeks – evaluating myself as a professional, a leader and a woman. What did I come up with? I’m pretty on the inside. And I’m ok with me. This realization didn’t come without some tears (thank you Kristen for not laughing at me when I started crying mid-run), some encouragement (thanks to everyone who took the time to cheer me on) and some laughter. I realized through all this that I’m a work in progress, but it’s a good work in progress.

What does all this have to do with sewing? Well, two things, really. I needed some shorts and I purchased the Maritime shorts pattern from Grainline. I seriously love Jen’s patterns. I printed, cut, and sewed a beautiful pair of shorts. Only to find out – waaaaay too big. I cut my size based on my waist measurements – but alas, I was swimming in them. Pair number 2 – also excellent sewing. But also too big. But I can get away with wearing them. And lastly, pair number three. Fit is good, sewing quality is good. Like Goldilocks said “these are just right.”

So, point 1: sometimes is takes a few times to get it right. Point 2: I realized I don’t show you much of the inner-work of my clothing. These babies are pretty on the inside too! Not perfect, but damn good. I mean seriously, look at that flippin’ fly!

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So. Sewing is a like life, if you stick at it, it usually goes your way.

Tackling Trousers Again!

Ya’ll know my troubles and tribulations with trousers. Trust me, there have been many. So far, there are only two made me pants still in my closet. Two pairs of my jaile jeans ended up in the donate pile due to length and fabric. My attempt at several Burda pants ended up in the trash (pooling butt and legs). My Named trousers faired no better. What’s a girl to do?

Make lots and lots of muslins!!! I drafted one from scratch and adjusted a little each time for a total of six muslins. I’ll save you the gorey details, but I learned that you can google things like “saggy butt sewing” and “fabric pooling crotch” and actually get helpful information! Who knew?! At any rate, my six muslins didn’t really yield a workable sloper. Sigh. I think I need professional help.

So, I did notice that the Clover Pattern had a similar crotch curve to my muslin making. I have to say, I have a love hate relationship with this pattern. I made a pair about a year ago and it was an epic FAIL. I was reluctant to try it again. I decided to actually CUT the pattern – yes, that’s right – CUT the pattern, not trace it off. Seriously, plain old lazy and again, that love hate relationship. I’m not sure it’s good to be mad at a pattern before one starts. This time, I cut a size 4 vs. a size 6. My waist is 30″ = size 6. But most patterns end up HUGE on me. I took a chance.

These babies sew up fast! I made my first muslin in about an hour or so. And look – wearable!
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I wore them out to dinner that night – and noticed that there was some extra pooling in the front. I came home that night a googled it (isn’t the internet amazing????). I discovered that others noticed that the front waist is higher than the back waist. Ah. I took my cut out pattern and cut away some of the excess waist. I graded about 3/4″ from the center front to the side seam. And, I cut # 2. (heehee. I am so sophomoric.)

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Pretty good. Yes. I notice the whiskers in the front and the pooling on the back of my legs. And the fact that I should suck my gut in when taking side pictures. But, they fit me like a glove and my ass looks good. So, tradeoffs. I do think that there is some weird pulling at the side seams. I can’t figure that out…perhaps its me? I always seem to get that. Overall, I’ll be wearing these bad boys and I also plan on making more.

Added bonus? I got more compliments on these trousers at work…so, maybe we sewists are just hard on ourselves? I do think they look better in person than in the picture.

Oh, and one more….Burda Shirt Draped Tee – 3/2010. I took about two inches out of the center front. It’s still huge. I think it makes me look huge. Perhaps I can wear it as my swim cover up. It’s super easy to make and I got to use jukibaby to do the hem…I will say I had a LOT of trouble with the machine because this was a tissue weight knit and it kept wanting to eat it up.

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PS. I found out that the local Hancock’s is closing…so I did buy a ton of knit fabric on sale…you know, to experiment with my new toy!

HAPPY 4th of JULY!!!

Welcome to the family!

Look a new baby!

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My hubby is the best! I’ve been wanting a cover stitch machine. I love my little Brother serger, but I desired the professional finishes a cover stitch machine offers. I also didn’t want to spend too much. : )

Meet Juki Baby. Cute, isn’t she? Thank goodness she came this week. It’s been a very crappy week…and I’ve been having a sorry little pity party. Complete with bourbon. Wah, wah.

But I gotta stop – so I’m glad Juki Baby will distract me.

Here’s my test strip:

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I’m off to sew. Hopefully, projects to show you soon!

Made me May – Roundup #2

Welp. I’m finishing out the month! Please forgive me, but there are a few days missing in this round up – mostly weekend photos. I will say that I have found this process very valuable – even if it is a pain in the arse to take my picture every day! I even resorted to asking a work mate to take my picture on the iPhone. She thinks I’m funny anyway – so no biggie. Heehee.

Let’s take a peek, shall we?
In order of appearance – 1. black and white stripe Renfrew, Cynthia Rowley pattern trousers, necklace handmade; 2. Archer shirt, necklace handmade; 3. Cynthia Rowley Pattern t-shirt dress; 4. Burda Style Pleated skirt, handmade necklace; 5. Burda Style Kasia skirt, handmade necklace 6. Burda Style Jenny Skirt, handmade necklace.
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I think that the Kasia skirt outfit is one of my favorites this month. The skirt was actually in the donate pile and a dug it out for MMM. Lucky I gave it a second chance – I really liked it!

I also made a few new items this month.
First up – simply simple box shirt (no pattern, just a box sewed up). The necklace is also handmade. I ain’t going to lie…I was inspired by this blog and had to have this shirt. It’s probably because the model looks so cute and hip…not sure I pulled it off, but I like the shirt. I’ll be making another in a slouchier fabric.
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Next up – some shorts! This is the Burda Style Ruby short pattern. I didn’t have a lot of fabric (this is leftover denim from my moss mini) so I omitted the side buttons and tabs and inserted a lapped zipper on the side. Instead of the square flap pockets from the original pattern, I used the inner pocket piece to make the back pockets. I could have probably put the pockets a little closer together. Sorry about the creases, but this was after a full day of wear. Don’t hate.
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And lastly, a franken-pattern dress (used pieces from two different Vogue wrap dress patterns. I basically omitted the “wrap” part on the bottom and cut a semi-circle skirt and attached the bodice. I also added ties at the shoulders. This is a VERY soft knit. I finally ordered from Girl Charlee & I am so glad that I did! I love it. It looks great on (imo) and feels like jammies. Seriously. So comfy. the only thing I wish I did was to stabilize the front bodice – the knit is so soft that I notice it is a little floppy. No biggie, but lesson learned.
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And, this is how I wore it to work. BTW, the necklace is handmade.
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So, that’s my made me round up finale! I gotta say, I was surprised that I could wear one made me item every day this month! I am quite proud of the new jewelry that I added to my collection as well – I have enjoyed wearing my new necklaces! I think the thing I liked the most was that I felt as if my made me wardrobe worked in my very corporate life and my very mommy-active life too. I do feel as if I need more casual clothing, so that is on my “to-do list” along with a thousand other things!

I have a few items on the sewing table right now…can’t wait to show you soon. But here’s a little preview.
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Made Me May Roundup

I bet you thought I wouldn’t show up to the party. But I told you that I would be fashionably late! Haha. Let’s discuss the first half of the month, shall we?
May 1st & 2nd – work days for me. The dress is a Burda Style basic shift dress made of Ponte knit. I love it – it’s a staple of my wardrobe. I also made the necklace (previously blogged about).
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Maria Denmark Yoke Skirt modified from an A-line to a pencil skirt. It was Friday so I went a little more casual for work. I will say that I think this skirt is a little too short for the office – after wearing it a second time, I think it needs to retire to my non-work wardrobe. The shirt is the Two Hours Past Basic T shirt (see my posts about t-shirts).
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The weekend:
Let’s discuss the shorts. Also a Cynthia Rowley pattern for pants. I love these. I wear them quiet a bit.
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Here’s the tab front:
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And I also made the necklace:
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My anniversary was this weekend too – and I made Vogue 1250. This is actually my second Vogue 1250. I love this pattern. Comfy yet dressy all at the same time. It also sews up very quickly. Looking at the pictures however, I wonder if the dress over emphasizes my broad shoulders. Hum. Sorry about the bad pic…this was after a delicious meal and a bottle of wine!
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Back to work:
My blue Polka Dot Archer. I don’t love this shirt. Great pattern, wrong fabric. I’m thinking of cutting the sleeves and seeing if I like it better as a short sleeved shirt. The stiff fabric makes me look like a linebacker in these pictures.
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My BurdaStyle Tie-front polka dot shirt. I love this shirt. Made early in my sewing journey – it’s not perfect, but I think it’s one of the first things I made that didn’t look “home made.” Plus, it’s wash and wear. Would I do things differently now that I know more? Absolutely. But it still works in my wardrobe!
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The pants are purchased, the shirt is a Cynthia Rowley dress that didn't work out so I cut it short. I actually wear this shirt a lot. It goes with many things, looks professional and is wash and wear. Score!
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Mother’s day weekend:
We ran into some Storm Troopers in my Grainline Moss mini. My youngest is with me.
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A new tank top I whipped out for Mother’s Day – Maria Denmark It’s Just a Tank pattern (highly recommended). My knit yoga skirt.
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Anddd, back to work:
Left to Right – Vogue 1250 in Navy blue ponte, Butterrick 5559 Dress (sorry – had to take this photo at the end of the day; I wore it with a black suit jacket), Maria Denmark Yoke Skirt in a light weight wool, Burda Style Jenny Skirt (with a modified waist band). I made the necklace as well.
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One day, I didn’t wear any clothing, but the necklace is handmade:
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WHEW! I think I am all caught up!

What I learned:
1. I am actually surprised that I have been able to wear at least one hand-made item each day and that most items work in my wardrobe.
2. I enjoyed getting back to making necklaces. So far this month, I have made a total of four necklaces.
3. It was good to think about the clothing and what I liked/didn’t like about each item. The pictures have helped me to see which items I like on me. I also realized that I feel as particular about my inside finishing skills as I do about what you can see on the outside. I will spend more time paying attention to those details.
4. I’m proud that I can “climb the corporate ladder” in my handmade clothing. I think it helps to keep me humble in a funny sort of way.

(Fashionably) Late to the Party

Ok, I am doing Made Me May. But I know that you can’t tell because I haven’t posted anything. Sorry. Thought you could read my mind.

I’m headed to see the Alabama Shakes tonight, so a quick glimpse into a few items from this week.

My polka dot archer shirt.

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A necklace I made.

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More to come – including some thoughts on how my handmade clothing has been wearing.

Going to get my rock on!

What’s not on my sewing table…

Whew! It’s been a very hectic few months around these parts. I added responsibilities to my job (essentially, we went down 1 manager in our group & I got most of her work). One of the customers I have now is an interesting person – I’ll just leave it at that. Plus, the first quarter is always a blur anyways. But, you don’t read my blog to hear my whine about work, now do you?

I guess the point to all this is not much is going on on either the creative front or the fitness front. I have only run once in the last two weeks (gasp!). My sewing machine is gathering dust (the horror!). I have made several trouser muslins (unblogged)…those have about defeated me.

So, any hoo. I wanted a creative project to get my mojo back. My friend Kristen showed me some adorable necklaces she made recently. We’ve both been on a crafty-crafty kick on Pinterest lately. I couldn’t possibly let her out-Pinterest me, could I? Hahaha! My floating necklace is now underway!

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Final pictures soon. Hopefully with a skirt I’ve made!

Missed the blog, don’t worry though, you can’t shut me up!