Monday, August 21, 2017


Because sewing friends are the best; people have been reaching out to check on me and it is much appreciated!!

I had a moment of improvement and then back to having issues. I went to see a hand specialist and she was more investigative than my regular orthopedic doc. As a result of her findings, I'm in this figure-8 splint for....dun-dun-duuuuunnnnn...another 6 weeks! aarrgghhhhhhhh!

I have to wear it 24/7 with the exception of showering. Because I still have swelling, I'm still icing/compressing/elevating as needed.

The physical therapist asked what activities I need to focus on returning to. I told him work, cooking, and sewing! e.g., chopping cilantro was actually painful...but TACOS! He said we will get me back to doing what I need to do.

I'm not restricted from using my hand completely; but my pointer and middle move in unison and the ring and pinkie move in unison. No heavy lifting, no gripping for now. Otherwise, I should feel free to do normal things as long as 1) it doesn't cause pain and 2) I'm performing the exercises 3-4 times a day.

I'll go back once per week for 3 weeks. If it is not getting better, she will reassess. If it is improving, I go 3 additional weeks in the splint.


The last time I did my hair I flat ironed it. And the portion that was "new hair" (~3" worth all over), was SO SMOOTH AND SHINY! Ahhhhhh. It was a battle because my coils POP, but I totally prefer my hair straight (I would not be able to routinely straighten my natural hair...can't take the heat). And so I went back to relaxed hair and got a fresh cut. My stylist drives me insane sometimes but she really is fantastic. No more trying new people!

I love the back. Love. Love. Love.
I've got a lot going on right now (good stuff!!) so I'm not totally going crazy yet. :)

Saturday I saw Kendrick Lamar in concert...

This weekend I have friends visiting from out of town. Next weekend is Labor Day. The next weekend my daughter's birthday. The following weekend I'm visiting my son in Phoenix. I'm going to try to sneak a visit in to my parents somewhere in there too.

So while my forced sewing hiatus could be worse :)

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Girl Can Dream...

My hand is doing SO much better. Still splinted (but I switch to my arthritis or CT brace at night as needed). I can do something weird here and there that causes me to be near tears...but I'm not swollen and it doesn't hurt constantly. Progress!

And THANK YOU to everyone for the comments and book suggestions. Somehow I never told myself to use this time to study for my certification. So that's what I've been doing.

Last weekend we had our monthly MinneSEWta meetup and visited the smaller SR Harris location. And I obviously lost my mind :-p I spent more than I intended...on just 3 cuts of fabric...but
1) I last purchased fabric on 6/28, therefore, in my mind, I was totally justified!
2) I've been having that "stash is a bit too full" feeling and decided I'd only buy *special* fabrics (and solid ponte. I am low.)
3) All 3 cuts are 100% of their respective fiber (silk/cotton/wool) which can be a bit more spendy.

This location has a stunning collection of silks right up front and I zeroed in on this charmeuse that is a beautiful color and quite matte with a very slight texture. At $12.50 a yard, I only sprang for 2 yards and then proceeded to scour the pattern collection (including all the Burdas!) for a pattern. I was decided but am still on the fence.

I am leaning heavily toward the In-House Belle...
...sewn previously:

Because I can only imagine how much I'd love that blouse in teal silk considering how much I loved it in a crazy printed cotton voile! :)

But I also like V9204
and B6488
But I don't own either of them...AND I've made the Belle twice so...we shall see!!
I totally salivated over M7627 when it was released and bought it immediately.

And while at SRH decided a soft, striped shirting would be perfect! This top requires 4 yards of fabric! The sleeve is one massive piece, and the "ruffles" are made using tucks. By comparison, this view requires 2 3/4 yards

Then, as I am wont to do, I was browsing the LOFT website and saw this:

Well then! :) My vision is on track! LOL! I actually like the McCall sleeve more and love the peplum. (you will have to pry peplum tops from my cold, lifeless body. Give me the illusion of more hips any day!)

So, I had checked out and was waiting on others as we were going to lunch afterwards. And BEHOLD! (hahaha!) I spotted a red-orange wool fleece bolt in a bin. It called my name...I heard it! It was so soft, and such a rich not-too-red-but-still-quite-vibrant  shade and as it called out my name, I was reminded that I needed 3.5 yards of fabric for the red coat from the August Burda and that I had been looking online for a month for options for it. AND, it was only $12.50/yd. WIN.

And while there were only 3 1/4 yards available, 1) Burda runs long for me and I rarely add hem allowances to unlined items 2) the fabric is 65" wide, I'm sure I'll be fine.

I think I may be okay with escaping shiny new for now...and focusing on getting one of these done...

From the recent Vogue release I really only cared for the Lia Lia coat (1562) and the Betzina rain jacket (1564) but neither of those are really appropriate for me to sew for now. Those would be moreso for spring. Whatever that is. I heard it's a season that some people have!

I also liked the surplice, belted Rachel Comey (1556) on top but am not a fan of the pleated skirt with that bodice.

Simplicity's release certainly captured my eye more, and here are my faves:

I may bump the Clare coat for the coat in the upper left. It has fantastic details!!! The raglan sleeved coat is again, more of a fall/spring piece for MN so maybe another time. The Ashley Nell Tipton coat is plus sized so not really an option (no, I don't want to try to grade it down to fit my size 14 shoulders). The wrap top is a cute layering piece! I really like the skirt in the Mimi G pattern and could see making it but don't know that I could see it in my wardrobe. It's interesting though!!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

About Those August Plans...

I went to see my orthopedic doc as I was entering week 4 and still in quite a bit of pain. He said it was still very swollen and was healing slower than he'd like. I'm thinking that I started using it too any rate, he decided 2-3 weeks of complete immobilization should do the trick, and that "by Labor Day", I should be able to resume normal activity.
It's a splint that has been custom-molded to my hand. It IS removable - thankfully!! - so I can shower easily. But aside from that, I will be wearing full-time.

Being the complete hooligan that I am, told a coworker, "I'm going to trim it and free my fingers." She said, "Uhmm...I don't think he WANTS you using your fingers..."
Oh. Fair point...Hahahahahaha!!!!! (I should basically never be left alone.)
So no sewing for me for awhile (pure torture!). But my Kindle will get a workout! Drop some book recommendations in the comments please <3
Until later...

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Wrap-up and August Plans

Well this month was almost bust! But both projects were a win so there's that.
  • McCall's 6886 dress in striped  jersey
  • Burda 1/2017 athletic pants
Accomplishments: I used my new coverstitch!! When I bought my serger it took me 4 months to use it! I was a newbie...but still. I was so eager to get going this time!

I had to travel back home (Chicago) this past week...

Amazing view of downtown from my room <3

10.25% sales tax!!!! :-O We don't pay tax on clothing and shoes here in MN.
So even though I cruised the Magnificent Mile and found stuff I wanted, I couldn't pay an extra 10% for it!

I did get this though! #FlyTheW #GoCubbies!

Wilson the cat was SO happy I came back home.

Update on my hand: Mehhhh. It's now been just over 3 weeks. Sad face.
See the wonkiness between the ring finger and pinky (right hand)??

The circled area is where it still hurts. 

Sighhhh. I want it to get better :(

August Plans Wish List (written before I realized my frigging hand was never, ever, EVER going to heal. WAHHHHHHH!)

I almost always move on to fall sewing in August with the occasional end of summer project thrown in. Our average high temp for September is a balmy 71 degrees and that drops to 58 by October. I like to be ready! One wardrobe hole is outerwear. Well, I have a TON of outerwear (lol!!), but not what I want for those in between times...Even now in the dead of summer with 85-90 degree highs, it is often about 65 degrees when I leave home. In early fall that can easily be low to mid 40s. So for August (and September), I want to focus on outerwear.

*Finish Butterick 6141 jacket

*Liesl & Co Woodland Stroll cape
I have this blue and brown plaid cotton coating that I love! I bought it to make a blazer but it is  coating and way too stiff. Should make for a perfectly casual little cape!

*Burda 8/2017 sweater coat (this coat is unlined and intended for fleece type fabrics)
IMO this has to be in a solid color. I fear that any print/pattern will read "bathrobe" on me.

*Burda 8/2017 jacket
I have a camel/caramel? piece of coating that could work.

That should do it, right!?!? :) The butterick just needs the collar added, lining bagged and closures. Shouldn't take too much time to finish. The cape should be quick and the sweater coat too. Well that's what I'm telling myself! Hahahaha!

I (really!) want a new trench coat, and have fabric for it too! But I do think I'm going to stick with the plan of pushing this to spring. I'm very excited about the plans for fall!

I am in LOVE with the Named Isla trench but put off buying it and now they aren't printing it anymore. And, there is no *bleeping* way I'm assembling a PDF for that coat (no copy shop option from what I can tell). I'll have to use what's in stash or find another trench pattern.

The Closet Case Clare is still planned. I was holding out hope that there would be more non-tester reviews by now but I haven't seen much. This is intended to be more coat than jacket, even with the bracelet sleeves, because it isn't "cold" here until we're flirting with single digits. Well, you just don't allow yourself to think of 20 as cold when you know you've got another 30-40 degrees (or more!!) to drop!

So because I want that for cooler weather and am using a heavier wool and plan to line with Kasha...I'll bump it to later. Hopefully I'm not all outerwear'd out. :)

We'll see how far I get on these plants and how much OOH! SHINY! interferes. if my hand ever returns to normal. (pinching motions or anything requiring my whole hand to grip hurts. So both shears and rotary cutters are a no for now)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pattern Repeat: McCall's 6886

Still no sewing :( It's been 20 days. Unreal! My hand has improved quite a bit --I'd say I'm 75%-- but is nowhere near healed. I don't know what's normal for a hand sprain; most everything I find is about wrists or fingers specifically. I may follow up next week if I'm  still unable to perform normal day-to-day tasks!

So I'm sharing the 8,132nd McCall's 6886 that I made and wore to the Twins game on my birthday! LOL!

I've made this so many times already that I knew it would be super quick. Even with stripe matching it took maybe 90 minutes and I made it the night before.

I have this cut out in a size 14 neck/shoulders, 16 bust/waist and 18 hip. This time, I used the longest view. The fabric is an amazing jersey from the precuts that were at FabricMart this year. I wish I would have bought one of everything because I love every single cut I've sewn thus far!

I don't want to belabor the point on stripe-matching; there's a gazillion tutorials and tips/tricks out there.

I use notches and the l/s lines to line things up.

Have to be extra careful when cutting on the fold that things are straight.

And since I typically use the serger to construct jersey knits, I check that everything is good to go.
I got it right on the first try here - very rare! :)
Not too shabby!

I've NEVER bothered much with trying to line up sleeves. This time I did and did okay. I did realize something though...

When I participated in the FabricMart challenge, we caught some flack week 1 for our "horrible sleeves" on our Grainline Scout tops. 1) I think that pattern sucks. I tossed it after the contest. 2) The criticism came because the blogger assumed we were chosen to compete because we were supposed "experts" or something. Nope, it was all in good fun! But from that, I did gain something! She'd mentioned that many sleeves don't have enough height in the cap. I'd not given it a ton of thought until more recently, and then worked hard to match this sleeve and finally got it.

If there was another inch in the cap height, the striped would match all the way. The stripes on the sleeve would be perfectly horizontal as well vs. slanting upward. Not a huge deal for casual wear...but I am curious to test it out. I have enough of this fabric for a t-shirt and will use my TNT M6964. Not sure when...but it's a plan.

This pattern calls for a turn and stitch neckline but I've never finished it that way.
I measured the length of the opening on this scoop version and then depending on the stretch in my fabric, lengthen or shorten as appropriate. I cut the strip at 2 1/2" which gives me a ~5/8" binding.
at the game!
I didn't get any type of decent photo but again...I've made this pattern so many times before!
I love the fit of this pattern! I'd better buy a back-up copy at the next sale.
I've also bought a little RTW that makes my heart sing! I was going to a concert last minute and wanted something cute to wear. Surprisingly, I saw NO jumpsuits out 'in the wild'. Lots of rompers still...and ALL the cold shoulder / dramatic sleeves. The cold shoulder ain't leaving anytime soon.

I wanted to try this top on but my big a$$ head could not fit through this opening.
supremely amusing!

But this top was a winner! AND it's a bodysuit so extra, extra points.

So Simplicity 8385 will definitely happen before summer is out. I was unsure about the style on me but obviously, I can rock it!

Back in April I was looking for overalls and finding nothing. I tried to leave these in the store but I just love every single tiny detail about them so they had to come home with me and be my pretty!!!! I wore them on Sunday and just did not want to take them off!

No, I'm not wearing a shirt - sorry (not really).
Which is why there are no photos of the back! LOL!

The leg has a boyfriend cut which I love. I went down a size because I didn't want saggy diaper butt. So they are fitted through the waist and hip and more relaxed through the leg. Adore!! (so I don't say again that I love them!).

I feel sad (on the inside!) that I can't sew right now. Sigh. Hopefully August is productive. I want things!!