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Sewcation, Mistakes, and Overbooking

This year has been full of ups and downs for me, as I’m sure it has been for most of you.  Between surgery, long weekends, a whole week off for the Fourth of July, and losing my Grandma, I have taken a lot of time away from the office this year.  Which is weird for me.  And to top it off, I’m using a TON of leave around the holidays this year.  Most of this is just for me.  We are flying my sister down after Christmas to spend some sister time and just hang out.  Though, she wants me to sew her an entire new wardrobe while she’s in town, so there will be lots of fabric time too.  But the two weeks I took off in between Veteran’s day and Thanksgiving were mine.  I really wanted a break.  A real break.  Time to sleep in, lounge around the house, sew whatever I wanted.  Hoped to have no deadlines to worry about.  

Yeah.  If you’ve ever met me, you know that was a laughable goal.  If I see a break in my schedule, I immediately fill it.  So, the 17 days away from my day job quickly filled to the brim.  I ended up stressing myself to the max and working tons of hours for my second job.  Does anyone else do this?  I stressed myself so much, I made a TON of sewing mistakes.  Real ones!  I picked up the recommended fabric for one project, plus an extra 1/2 yard, just in case.  Got home, washed it and realized it was 52″ wide instead of 60″ and I was WAY short.  Back to the warehouse for me and hopeful to find the same fabric (which is almost impossible).

This lining makes my heart happy.  🙂 

On the SAME PROJECT, I cut directional fabric upside down for half the damn pieces.  What am I even doing with my life?  Off I go, to a weird Joann’s, since I already cleaned out my Joann of this fabric.  I mean, the end result was WAY worth it.  This is the SUAT Riding Hood for a friend to keep her baby bump warm during the cold Philly winter.  I quilted the kick-ass Wonder Woman liner with some batting for more warmth, and it is so very soft.  A few extra minutes to add that layer really took this from comfy, cute to a cozy, effective winter jacket.  I love the designer’s self-welting pockets and the little sleeve ties.  Just a really nice layering piece with super cute little details.  Plus I made a cute little key fob to match!  (Which I forgot to take a pic of.)

Then I was working on some Christmas jammies and cut two left legs.  What am I even doing here?  I had just enough fabric left to cut a right leg and have the scraps left for the little projects we wanted to do.  But, damn.  I did use the Patterns for Pirates Walk the Plank pattern.  It is free and quite the quick sew.  Perfect for very beginners!  I’ll share pics laters. 🙂 

This isn’t to say I didn’t have great successes while I was on my sewcation.  I sewed all the pieces for the #comfytown blog tour early on.  Then lived in those pieces as soon as we took photos.  After making that super comfy Cora, I immediately made a second one.  (You’re getting craft room, jim-jam, 2 AM pics of this one!)  That’s definitely my new fav cardi pattern!!  Everyone needs a Cora in their life.  I also finished off a couple of pattern tests and a pre-test.  I forgot to blog about them, but you might have seen me sharing my Made for Mermaids Jamie Poncho and Hudson Hoodie.  If you need some comfy, warm, cute pieces, these are lovely choices!

A few Christmas presents were also sewn, which I obviously can’t share yet, as well as a few more pieces for my Philly friend (with another cutting mistake, ugh), including a little set of Cora cardis for her and her two little girls.  Totes can’t wait to see how she likes her box of goodies!  And I really need to figure out some cute guy gifts I can make.  I always feel bad leaving Dads out of these little matching sets.  Maybe I’ll ask Bruce what he would want.

Look at this TINY Cora!!!  It’s just so small.  <3 

I also managed to CLEAN the craft room.  Reorganize everything.  As well as finally tackling the scrap pile.  It was INSANE.  And now it is so neat and easy to find what I need and what is useful.  The only downside is that Gus Gus really liked sleeping on the pile.  Now she feels she has nowhere to be comfortable.  Despite the multiple cat beds and comfy places I’ve set up to keep the kittens happy.  They are too expected for this little mischievous bugger.  She’s been awkwardly moving about, trying new, ridiculous places to sleep.  Then STARING at me with disappointment in her eyes, clearly blaming me for her missing comfy spot.  

The to-do list didn’t really get any shorter, so I’m hoping to not pick up any other deadlines before the end of the year.  We’ll see how successful I can be with that goal.  But, I’ll try!  Even without a shortened to-do list, I am working through the projects.  Virginia is helping where she can.  A few more Christmas presents to sew first.  Gotta get those in the mail.  Then, a few promo patterns to sew up that I’m just really excited about!  I love trying new patterns and these should be fun, so I’m hoping to write up my experiences with them as well!  Keep an eye out! <3

Now we’ve made it to December.  I have a few weeks to prep some patterns for the sister, so we can power through some beautiful pieces while she’s in town.  She always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to my sewing time.  She doesn’t live with me, so it is harder to fit anything that isn’t knit and forgiving.  Plus, I haven’t found a designer that drafts just so, that matches her shape, like I have for Virginia and I.  This means a good bit of altering before I start cutting.  Which is a much bigger time commitment and since she isn’t sitting there with the sad eyes, making me feel guilty, her projects end up near the bottom of the to-do list.  I’m truly a terrible sister.  (LOVE YOU, VICKI! <3 <3)

Virginia helping.  Not being sarcastic.  She hung out even though she was tired. <3 

Here’s hoping the next few weeks can be a little calmer and a little more productive.  I really, really, REALLY want to have patterns prepped and ready to go, so as soon as Vicki walks in, she can just pick a project and we’ll start cutting!!!  Anyone want to come help? 😀

As the year wraps up (seriously, how is it December?!), it is great to look back at what we’ve done and what is still to come.  I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, but, I do like to evaluate goals and priorities moving forward.  So, I’d like to blog a little more, celebrate little things a little more, and sew a little bit more in the coming months.

Focus on you today.

stephanie xx

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.

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Dry Spells

I sew every week. Some weeks, that is every day. A little bit of prep after work. A seam or two in between other tasks. A full day of just for fun sewing. Whatever time I’m able to commit, sewing is always a priority in my life.

Unfortunately, it can’t always be the highest priority. Now, I just got to go on vacation, which makes me super lucky. But, there has been no sewing since before vacation!! Nothing. Haven’t glued together a pattern. Haven’t washed any pretty fabric. Haven’t even online shopped patterns. And, damn, it is starting to get to me!

The last two weeks of no-sewing have been filled with work and connecting with people. Usually, I’m not much of a people person. I love my people, but the general population isn’t typically my cup of tea. But every once in a while, I need to reconnect and re-center with my peeps.  Catch up with one-on-one time and make sure they know I’m always here for them.

Working is always there. Whether it is something to look forward to or something to check off the list. Vacation always makes work build up while simultaneously throwing off my work rhythm.  Playing catch up and finding my groove has been much slower work than I expected.  Maybe partially because I almost never take a “real” vacation from both my jobs.  Maybe partially because I could have used a longer vacation.  (And couldn’t we all use a nice, long vacation?)

So, what do you do when you just can’t make time to sew? When other priorities just rank higher on the list? For me, I focus on the other joys in life.  Those connections are a bright spot.  I love being fully immersed in experiences with the people I am lucky enough to call friends and family (even those friends I haven’t met in person yet.  Hey sewing peeps!!)  Stepping back from my hectic schedule allows me to focus on the rest of my life.

I have been thoroughly enjoying cooking and planning a few birthday celebrations!  Prepping for the holidays, right around the corner.  Organizing and cleaning out my home space.  (I removed 3 huge bags of …stuff from my room/closets and feel so much better for it!).  All of these little things that I tend to neglect when I have a million deadlines looming and barely a moment to spare a thought for.

Also, fall really has finally started showing up here in Atlanta.  I am so enjoying the open windows and cool evenings.  I’m thinking I need to get a few lovely walks in, in the evenings, when I can take a deep breath and just be.  October is my favorite month, for many reason, and it is almost half gone already!  I still need to convince Virginia that we should start hanging twinkle lights early this year and work out the details of our sister visiting at the end of the year. (YAY!!!)

But, I am ready to throw myself back into the craft room.  I don’t even think I’m going to clean it first!  I have work sewing to do, but really want to carve out an hour to sew a shirt for Virginia.  I’ve got new fabric to wash up!  Have I mentioned that I won some GORGEOUS fabric from Surge Fabric Shop?  I ordered some great cotton lycra and lace and desperately want to jump in and start sharing how beautifully it sews up!  Christmas sewing is looming over my head.  Plus, some great ideas to sew for loved ones.  And I’m pretty sure I actually do have a deadline looming that I need to remember.  Whoops.  (Isn’t this why I have a spreadsheet?  I should pull that up…)

So, I’ll be back to the grindstone as soon as I find my work rhythm.  And of course, sharing away all the pretties I make!!  What do you do when you just can’t make time to sew?  Let me know and share what you are working on right now!!  I’d love the inspiration!

Stephanie <3

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Romper Mashup

Confession time. I love rompers! For serious. They are so cute and fun!! But, for both practical reasons and because I haven’t found one I think will flatter me, this is one sewing project I have not tackled. Until now!!

My very gorgeous friend asked me for a romper to wear to a celebration and I could not have been happier to tackle it!! We discussed what she wanted, v-neck, pants, maybe elastic at the ankle? I was so happy to say I have great patterns to use as a base here!!

We settled on the Rebecca Page Cerena for the bottoms with the Made for Mermaids Mama Quinn on top. This combo had all the features she was looking for and I knew it would come together beautifully because both of these pattern companies are ones that ALWAYS work for me. Win. Win.

Fabric shopping was also easier than expected! She was looking for a specific green, solid woven fabric. We hit up Fine Fabrics and stumbled on exactly the right shade so quickly! (I also scored a gorgeous blue chambray for a DIBY Julianne on the same trip!)

On to alterations! My friend is basically an amazon. She is tall and athletic. Did I mention gorgeous? Thankfully, she fell in one size for the Cerena!! And since I wanted to add width to the bottom of the Quinn for more flounciness (that’s totes a word), I just needed it to fit her bust. More winning!! The biggest change was the back piece. She needed a button placket (like the original Cerena) so she could get in and out of this thing. Instead of cutting on the fold, I cut two mirror image back pieces, 1 1/4″ from the foldline. Then of course grading out at the hip line for more body.

Construction was ridiculously easy, especially considering I was mashing two patterns from two companies. No changes at all to put together the pants. I used the Quinn instructions for the first bit of the top. Then, switched to the Cerena instructions for the button placket and attaching it to the pants.

A few fit checks along the way and she is ready to go!! Let me know what you think!!

Stephanie xx

PS – This is the project I referenced in this post for the Cerena pants hack inspo!  Who wouldn’t be inspired by how amazing this lovely woman looks in these pants? <3 <3

 

This post contains various affiliate links.  Purchasing patterns using these links does not cost my readers more, but the designer does provide me with a small commission from any sales.  This commission helps to fund my fabric addiction and is greatly appreciated.

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Me Made May ’18

I’ve been pretty quiet over here. After revamping my sewing room (I can see all my fabric!!!), I just didn’t dive back in to making stuff. I did have fun showing a friend how to make the cutest top and skirt! But other than that, no sewing for Stephanie.

However, it is Me Made May and I am actively participating this year! My goal isn’t a sewing goal or a fabric goal or even a pattern goal. I just want to take the time every day to appreciate my Me Made Wardrobe. Almost everything I wear is me made. I have a few straggler RTW pieces that I haven’t parted with yet and I haven’t tackled jeans or bras (but, they are coming). But the rest of my day-to-day wear and a few fancier pieces are handmade with a little love and some swears.

So, if you follow me on Insta or the book of faces, you might see a simple photo, not even a good one, every single day this month (hopefully!!). And I have to say, I wasn’t sure if I would get much out of MMM, but it is lovely to consider what is in my closet and the thought process behind making each piece. I’ve found myself considering new combinations and pairings and pulling stuff from the back of my closet that hasn’t been worn in a while.

If you are a fellow crafter or sewer, are you joining in on MMM or avoiding the posts because you feel pressured to tackle projects you don’t need? Are you loving the inspiration or annoyed at the extra posts? I’ve seen both comments around our world and understand both perspectives, but I’d love to hear what you think. 🙂

xx Stephanie