Resolutions Followup

In January, I posted my resolutions. I would like to revisit those resolutions and see where I am with them now, in October.

The resolutions:

Social Goal

Meeting new people and making friends in the town we are moving to

I’ve made some progress in this goal recently. I have met several people in my area via an app. I’ve also connected with old friends who live in a nearby city.  I started a sewing meetup in my town and have met people through that channel as well. I hope to keep meeting new people!

Personal Improvement Goal

Improving my Spanish vocabulary and strengthening my knowledge and use of the complex verb tenses by taking advanced classes or going to language exchange meetups

I haven’t been able to take a Spanish class, since my work schedule involves unpredictable travel, but I have been using apps and going to language exchange meetups to practice having conversations. I would like to do more of this…I still feel very awkward when I speak, and I understand what people are saying to me much better than I can respond to what they’re saying.

Professional Development Goal

Learning how to use Adobe Technical Communication Suite programs, probably by taking classes (this can be on-going and go into 2019)

I have not made progress here, but I have learned more about Visio and about ERP systems, so I feel like I’m achieving the spirit of this goal.

I also want to make so many things, but I don’t seem to have enough time to take care of everything I need to do and have time for all the things I want to do. I want to do fun stuff outside of the apartment; I want to read; I want to watch my shows; I want to take walks in the park. We’ll see how I balance it all.


Eileen Fisher Style

I’ve been drawn to the Eileen Fisher aesthetic lately. The fabrics the brand uses   are lush and the shapes are relaxed. It seems like the brand is meant for people who want to be comfortable, yet elegant. Can anyone suggest a store where I could find merino wool knots and silk knits? I want to add that lushness to my wardrobe.

2018 Sewing Resolutions

I resolve to actually sew.

This year has been a busy one, with lots of travel and lots of work. I changed my diet right around Memorial Day weekend; now, I cook multiple times a week and have to plan my menu around my nutritional requirements. I wanted to sew. I filled that want with buying fabric and patterns and with reading sewing blogs–with accumulating rather than doing. When I did sew, most of what I made didn’t turn out well. I stopped sewing when I started losing weight, since I realized that my measurements were rapidly changing.

Today, my husband helped me with organizing my sewing room. We’d tackled the other rooms in the house over the holiday weekend, but none were as fraught for me as the sewing room was. We still haven’t finished going through everything. The amount of stuff I have is ridiculous for my sewing pace.

So, my sewing resolution will be to use what I have: patterns, fabric, interfacing, zippers, other fastenings, bias tape, and so on. No more buying fabric until I have used what I have. This is a multi-year goal.

After we move next month, I will work on pairing each fabric length with a pattern and with matching notions from the stash. Then, I will work on scheduling out each project. I am successful at work when I plan ahead, follow a schedule, and document my progress; I should be successful at home if I apply the same principles. My husband enjoys project management and wants to build me a project/interactive spreadsheet of some sort to track my progress and use of my stash. I’m interested in seeing the data from that as well. I’m also interested in applying project management principles to something I have total control over.

I have other goals that I want to meet this year:

Social Goal

Meeting new people and making friends in the town we are moving to

Personal Improvement Goal

Improving my Spanish vocabulary and strengthening my knowledge and use of the complex verb tenses by taking advanced classes or going to language exchange meetups

Professional Development Goal

Learning how to use Adobe Technical Communication Suite programs, probably by taking classes (this can be on-going and go into 2019)

I’m trying to not give myself too much to do because that’s how I got into this fabric panic in the first place. I give myself too much to do and then I do nothing because I am overwhelmed.

What are your goals?


Simplicity 1062, View C: Dolman-Sleeve Knit Top

I made Simplicity 1062, View C again. The last time I made it, I used a size Large and a rayon knit; this time, I used a size Medium and a mystery poly knit. I got the fabric on a shopping trip with my mother-in-law at Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ.

Simplicity 1062 View C

I don’t know why I have such a look on my face.

I used the serger to sew all of the bands, and I used a zig-zag stitch to secure the hem. This was really easy and quick to make, and I like how it feels in a thicker knit. I also like how the longer back hem covers the gap that can appear when you bend over while wearing jeans. I would definitely sew this up a third time!

Simplicity 1062 View C Again

It’s wide! Also, serious face.

Just so you know, this pattern includes about 8 inches of ease in the body, but the arm bands are snug.

Are there any knit tops that you like?


Sew My Stash September; Hurricane Worries

I decided to join in on #sewmystashseptember, an initiative started by Jo of Stuff Jo Has Made. I have rather a lot of fabric–about eight standard cubes’ worth of fabric–and I put myself on a fabric-buying ban after I came back from my last visit to my in-laws, where I bought a lot of fabric. I have a few things on my agenda. To finish:

  • See & Sew apron started in August
  • Deer & Doe Plantain in white jersey, a refashion from a terrible New Look dress I made
  • Simplicity Sew Simple A1636 rayon challis dress started a couple of weeks ago; here is a version I made previously:

sew simple 1636

On my list of things to make:

  • McCalls 6654 flared skirt for my friend from stash ponte
  • Halloween costume (this is ambitious, but I bought the materials earlier this year)–generic Sailor Scout (Simplicity 2072) (I am inspired by my friends who are in Krewe du Moon)
  • A skirt out of one of the many suitings and twills I bought when I first learned to sew and thought I would make a bevy of work skirts
  • A top to go with that skirt of out of one of the many knits I have bought on my adventures to Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, NJ

I’ve been thinking about how my grandmother used to shop for me when I was a kid and teenager. She would buy my clothes in outfits–an equal number of bottoms and tops, and they had to go together in style. As an adult, thrifting and sales guided my shopping habits, so none of my clothes matched. I need to work on this. I’m now in the mid-level part of my career and I just can’t look disheveled at work. I want to be taken seriously and I know image is a part of that.

I mentioned before I have been working on losing weight. I’ve dropped about two clothing sizes so far–it’s hard to tell due to variation in clothing sizes–and I will drop one to two more before I hit the weight that counts as technically not overweight for my height. This has been a nightmare in terms of getting dressed every day for work. I feel so flappy and Golden-Girls-ish in my big clothes. I have been buying stopgap clothes because there is no way I can sew fast enough to keep up with my needs. To circle back to what I was talking about earlier, I am trying to buy classic, base-uniform basics that are the sort of shapes that can carry me through a few pounds loss. I can jazz these up with accessories or toppers later. So far, I have for work:

  • A black faux-wrap cotton dress, knit
  • A black pleated sleeveless dress, stretch woven
  • A black and white polka dot wrap dress with circle skirt, knit
  • A navy blue pencil skirt, woven and lined
  • A black pencil skirt, stretch woven
  • Black cropped pants, stretch woven
  • The same tops and cardigans as I was wearing before (so flappy!)

I continue to wear my too-big clothes for casual wear, since I really don’t go out. I think that I don’t fit either of the suits I have (one brown tweed and one black, both skirt suits), but I’d rather wait to make that investment until I am at a stable weight. Suits are so expensive!

Topic Change…

I’m really concerned that Irma will take a turn and come to Charleston. Tonight, my husband and I will make a plan for us and the cats. I feel so bad for those who suffered from Hurricane Harvey. I am scared for those in the Caribbean and in Florida who are enduring Irma. The hurricane looks monstrous on the map.

I experienced the Katrina aftermath in New Orleans and I understand how horrible it can be. My family evacuated ahead of time with very little, thinking we would be going home in a few days, but we didn’t. We lost everything. Those in Houston will be dealing with the emotional and physical fallout from this for YEARS. I also feel bad for the New Orleanians who evacuated to Houston for Katrina, settled there, and then had to weather the storm in place there. I know old high school classmates who went through some harrowing days there, with their kids with them this time, twelve years later. How terrible. Please consider donating to help those in need. Charity Navigator is a good place to start with choosing where to donate. A hot meal or fresh, clean clothes to wear really makes a difference in helping to make people feel normal again. I know I was (and am) thankful to the places of worship, charities, and communities in Little Rock, Arkansas that helped me and my family to get right after the storm.

It is raining hard as I finish this post.


Sewing Sarah and Adeline: A Study in Proportions

I made the Sarah tunic from My Image magazine from a red ponte from Joann’s because it looked so cute on other bloggers. On me, I felt that it was meh. First of all, I could not seem to press the neckline flat enough. Secondly, the armholes were super deep on me. I thought to myself as I traced and cut, “These armscyes look pretty long compared to what I usually see,” and then I shrugged it off and continued.

Months later, I made the StyleArc Adeline with no adjustments (as I do every time I make a pattern for the first time) out of a blue rayon/linen mix from Joann’s and discovered that the amount of volume and length swamped 5’4″ me. I think it would be better shorter and one size smaller. You can see it on my Instagram here (I accidentally deleted all the photos off my device).

Honestly, I should just assume that I need to shorten every pattern and always size down one size from where any size chart tells me I need to be (except for Vogue, which seems to say exactly what they mean by those pattern measurements…as I can attest to with two too-small Vogue garments I’ve sewn).

My sewing plans include a mini-wardrobe consisting of black and white linen items (top, skirt, another top, and maybe shorts if I am being ambitious) and some pants. I also made a skirt sloper draft based on the directions of the Winifred Aldrich metric pattern cutting book (thanks, Linda, for recommending it!!) and I’m looking forward to testing that out in a muslin. I’m also on a diet now, which may slow up my sewing plans, since I don’t want to put in a ton of effort and then not be able to fit the thing I made.

We shall see! In the meantime, I love reading your blogs. Please share any interesting new sewing blogs you’ve found with me. I want more! I recently discovered Jasika’s sewing site and I absolutely love her fabric and pattern choices.