Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Outside of My Comfort Zone Yet Again

"You made that?!"

       "Wow, that looks like you brought it from a store!"

               "You should start your own sewing and alterations business!"

I hear this a lot.  Although I am flattered and greatly appreciate the compliments I often wonder if I would enjoy sewing for others as much as I have enjoyed sewing for  myself and my daughter.

I sew for myself because I get frustrated trying to find ready to wear clothes to fit me. I have spent hours in a dressing room only to come out empty handed and feeling down on myself because my body did not fit the clothes.  Sewing for myself has taught me that the clothes need to fit MY body, not the other way around. 

I sew for my daughter because it saves money ( think prom dress).

I have been asked if I sew for hire. My answer has been no until recently when a friend of mine asked me if I would make a strapless dress for her to wear while she was on vacation.  At first I refused but after she begged and pleaded I reluctantly gave in on the condition that she understood that I am waaaay out of my comfort zone and would not make any guarantees regarding the outcome of the finished garment; and that she agreed to allow me to take pictures and post them on my blog and in a pattern review.  

Knowing this she still wanted me to sew the dress and was more than willing to be my "guinea pig" (her words).   

I started by tracing off the pattern in the size needed.  I made a muslin and did the needed adjustments (while holding my breath and praying that they would work). After several hours of pattern alterations and sewing I am happy to report that she loved the dress and I even enjoyed the process. 

I doubt that I will ever sew for hire but I might not mind occasionally for others-- on my terms of course!

Here is the finished garment modeled by the recipient. 

Now back to my regularly scheduled sewing.

Until next time...Sew something you love.

Friday, July 4, 2014

On Becoming An Empty Nester-- Earlier Than Expected

If you have been following this blog you know that my youngest graduated this year. I had planned to spend this summer preparing to send her off to college.  We had planned to enjoy lots of mother-daughter time over the next few months. However, just before graduation, we received notice that my baby girl had been selected for a by invitation only opportunity that her father and I felt she could not turn down. So we had to rush to get her everything she needed for college a few months earlier than we thought and we had only a short time in which to do it.  So here we are-- empty nesters months before we'd planned.

Fast forward to June 24--

As we said our goodbyes outside of the dorm of the university that would be my daughter's home for the next 4 years, I thought about the wonderful journey ahead of her as she begins this new phase of her life and I couldn't help but smile. We'd done it-- successfully launched our last baby bird from the nest and she was soaring!

I must confess, a few days later I found myself missing having teenagers in the house but then my husband and I realized that we could have a conversation without being interrupted, we didn't have to cook if we didn't feel like it opting instead to go out to eat, and we had more time for each other and for our respective hobbies and interests!

Parrrrrrrrrty! Whoop! Whoop!  

Then it actually occurred to me that what I'd been dreaming about was becoming a reality.  I'd have more time to spend in the Sewing Sanctuary!  More time to explore new hobbies and interests. More time to reconnect with friends!  More ME time!

So here are some of the things I am planning to do now that both kids are in college and I have more free time to explore--

1.  Learn hand embroidery to become more comfortable with and proficient in handsewing. 

Signed up for Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery class through craftsy.com and gathered/purchased these class materials

2.  Work on daughter's quilt for college

Began sewing blocks together. May have bitten off more than I can chew-lol!

4.  Find my knitting mojo so that I can put the "knit" back in MsKnitSew.

Cast on a hat back in January 2013.  It has been languishing among several other unfinished projects as a result of a lost knitting mojo. I picked it up again this weekend to pass the time while traveling with my husband who has returned to coaching (a passion of his).  I had a lot of time to myself while he was meeting with the team and the other coaches.  Managed to knit quite a few rows. I am currently working on decreasing for the crown and may even have pics of the finished project in the next post.

5.  Start a Smash Book

While shopping at a local thrift store I came across a sealed bag of craft supplies that I thought would come in handy and at less than $7.00 for the whole bundle I couldn't pass it up.  When I got it home and began looking through the contents of the bag I discovered this

I had never heard of these products so I did a web search and discovered another hobby that I might enjoy.  So naturally I had to investigate further. Off to Joann's (with a coupon, ahem, just in case) where I found and purchased this

It's been a little over a week and I think this empty nest phase might actually turn out to be kinda fun.

Until next time...Sew (or knit) something you love!

Monday, June 30, 2014

MAGAM Challenge For June Complete!

You may recall from this post that I had to make a full bust adjustment to accommodate my larger than a B-cup bust. All went well-- for the most part.  I noticed that the center front was waaaay lower than the back and sides at the hemline.  Hmmmm.  I rechecked my adjustments.  Everything looked okay.  Then I realized that the hemline was somewhat rounded as opposed to a hem that you would find on a straight skirt so when I lowered the center front to even out hem (standard procedure when performing a FBA) I did not compensate for the roundness at the hemline-- I think?

If anyone out there can suggest an easy pattern adjustment/correction to fix this, please let me know by leaving a comment.   I would like to try this pattern in the dress length.  For the current version I turned up a deeper hem at the center front tapering back to the original hem depth at the sides.  I then trimmed the hem to the original hem depth of 1 1/4 inch.

And here it is...

I love the center front gathered detail. The top is very flattering and the neckline is not too low.   AND as an added bonus this blouse incorporates two of my favorite things-- ITY knit and animal print! 

Until next time...Sew something you love!