Focus – Week 2

I’m on a roll!  I work on my Focus post in the beginning of the week, and it helps me to plan on what I want to get done during the week.  I edit as I go for what I accomplish (or don’t as it may be!), and it is actually  helping me stay on track.


My accomplishments this week

Focus Photo –

This week’s photo(s) is on getting the house back in order from the holidays.  It is a bit of a contrast.  After the holidays it is a long hard draw to springtime with more daylight and warmer temps.  It has been pretty cold here the last few weeks.  Winter tends to make us all just want to stay home and hibernate.

Photography related is the repair of my Nikon 18-200MM lens.  I finally got it sent in this week after it having broken last spring.  It was basically an expensive paperweight.  I think it broke due to being on my camera all the time in various bags on the way to sports.  I will see how much it will cost to repair…hopefully it won’t be too outrageous, but they quoted me $300.  I’m hoping they quote high so they don’t have to come back to you for more.  I don’t like tossing things…I’d rather get them fixed instead of adding to the landfills.  Hopefully the fix doesn’t take too long, but I haven’t had it for close to a year so no rush (and no sports right now!), right?

Sewing –
  • My 52 week sewing challenge for the week was to sew something from the last fabric you purchased.  That was my lovely bamboo jersey tunic I posted earlier this week.

Next week’s challenge is Something to Make Sewing Easier.  This was a harder one for me.  I decided I’m going to make a fabric box to keep my fabric weights corralled.  They kind of go all over the place.

  • #makenine progress:

I did a small scale muslin of this skirt:

It was the wrong type of fabric, but it cemented what I need to do to make one for me.  The skirt has lots of angles and curves in it.  It will be a challenge to get all the measurements correct in the pattern.  I’m going to do the waistband different, too.  I was originally going to add elastic and lacing to the back, but I think now I will do a fitted drop waist with loops for a belt.  We’ll see.  I’m sure I’ll change my mind again.

  • I also volunteered for a couple of pattern tests.  I KNOW.  I wasn’t going to do that to myself, but they were a cute so I raised my hand.  I do have Monday off of work (supposedly), so hopefully I can get some things off my plate.

 

  • Finally got these pants finished up for the boy.  He doesn’t get much sewing wise.  Next time I will do the waist differently.  It doesn’t look the best inside.

House cleaning –
  • This was the Christmas decoration take down weekend.  I really need to go through the boxes and get rid of stuff, but this is the wrong time of year for it.  I needed to do it when I was putting things up so the places that take donations would have someone to give them to for the holidays.  I will try to remember to make that happen next year.
Time with family –
  • What cleaning up Christmas isn’t quality time??
Health, exercising, making healthy meals –
  • Exercised 0 times this week.  My goal was three times on the elliptical.  It was another pretty busy week at work and the burnout was real.  I did however shovel the driveway and clean all day on Saturday, so I think I can say that I got some exercise in.
  • This week was a lot of fast dinners, which don’t necessarily translate to healthy.  I wanted to use up some of the freezer food I had, so it doesn’t go to waste.  This at least means I didn’t eat a lot at dinnertime.  I generally like good food, which doesn’t equate to this type of food.  I also don’t usually pull out a bottle of wine to have with chicken fingers, so less alcohol was consumed, too.  By Wednesday I was pretty much done with the week, so we had pasta and wine, so not really helpful to the diet.  It is bad when it is Monday and it feels like Wednesday.
Creative Design – Week 2
  • I don’t know that this really counts as creative design, but I made a journal.  Actually I made it mostly last year, but never finished it up and ordered it.  Yes, I seem to just be finishing projects, but at least I am getting stuff done!

I made my planner so it has a master to do list, monthly list for activities, dinners, working out and stuff to sew.  It also has some blank pages for whatever else I want to put in there.  Mine will likely be sports schedules and parents names.

Here is the digital file of it.  I ordered it through Blurb and of course I ordered it the day before a sale at full price.  Story of my life.  If you like it, you can order it here.  Join their mailing list and you will get e-mails for their sales.  Don’t be me…wait for a sale.  This is very much personalized to me, but this is something you can do for yourself, too.  I just made the sheets in Excel, made them pdf files and uploaded to Blurb.  It worked great!

  • As for Illustrator, I know the journal above could have been done better in that program.  I watched some You Tube videos, so I learned a few things in it, at least.
Reading –

I finished up Nevernight, so now I need to figure out what book is next.  The Nevernight series looks like it will be three books, with the second one out now.  I’m deciding whether to buy it or wait until I can get the rest of the series.  I’m sure I’ll buy it. 😉  I had started on another book that I got for Christmas 2016, so I think I will pick that back up…it’s a Japanese Steampunk book so should be interesting.


Week two is wrapped up.  While this is probably incredibly boring for anyone to read, it is helping me to focus on what I want to get done during the week.  It’s what I need right now…a bit of a push and forum to write out what I got done and what I need to get done.  Accountability, if you will.

OOTD – Week of January 8, 2018

Well last week was a bit of a bear.  I worked until 7pm each night, and worked most of the day on Sunday.  By the time Monday rolled around again…I was very tired.  Luckily I had a bunch of outfits made up in my closet, so it was a bit brainless just to pick something to wear to work all week long.

I do that occasionally, where I put together outfits along with jewelry and tights, all hung up together and ready to go.  This really helps me in getting ready quick or picking something before I go to bed at night.  I usually do it when I’m in the mood for it and have some energy, so that means I get a bit more creative and fun instead of putting the same things together all the time.


January 8, 2018

A start to another work week…livin’ the dream! 😉  I had a bit of running around this day, so I wanted to be comfy for it.

  • Cardigan – Double sided ponte, my own pattern
  • Straight leg leggings – heavy weight ponte, my own pattern
  • Top – RTW
  • Boots – Miz Mooz via Zulily
  • Jewelry – Stella & Dot necklace, earrings are a gift

January 9, 2018

January 10, 2018

January 11, 2018

Another comfy outfit!  This top is a cape top I made over a year ago, and these types of tops are hard to wear with sweaters.  It is a nice drapey jersey, so I thought I would see how it would work to manipulate the cape a bit and have it kind of tie in front.  I think it worked out alright.

  • Cape top – jersey – pattern hack
  • Red ponte straight leg leggings – my own pattern (no blog post)
  • Black sweater duster – RTW via Zulily
  • Black Miz Mooz ankle boots via Zulily
  • Jewelry – necklace: JcPenny, earrings: Silpada

January 12, 2018

Last day of the work week…Halleluiah!  The first few weeks of the year are always a bear for us accountants with year end close and dealing with those pesky auditors.  I used to be a pesky auditor, too.  So glad I no longer have that job!

Plunging temps again today, so needed to be warm with another of my loom knitted scarves.  I haven’t knitted one in almost a year, so I need to finish the one that is my loom right now.

January 13, 2018

Today was Christmas takedown day, so I started the day in a pair of leggings I made from interesting fabric and my baseball mom tank top.

January 14, 2018

Today I ran out and went to the fabric store while the boy was at his pitching clinic.  I spent way too much…again.  So much for my resolution to NOT buy fabric…or at least curtail it.


Not sure I will have the energy for doing this next week.  I feel like I am coming down with something..hopefully I stay clear of that awful flu.

Flouncey Tunic Tutorial

I wanted to make a nice neutral tunic top, so of course, I went over the top with the details.  As I was cutting it out I was wondering if I should have made a different neckline, but I really like how cozy this is with the funnel cowl on it.

Details:

Pattern used for this pattern hack:  Wardrobe by Me Basic Builder Shirt, boat neckline.

Fabric is the Dark Shadow color of Bamboo lycra jersey from Nature’s Fabrics.

Added to the pattern (I did a size 14):

How to make:

The additional pieces that need to be cut are the flounce, band and cowl.  The measurements I used for the band and cowl are noted above and the flounce pattern piece is linked.  There is a 1″ overlap on the two pages for the flounce.

Steps:

  1.  Cut the circle flounces and connect them together on one end.

2.  Lay the front pieces down with right sides out.  Put the flounces against the edges and make sure not to stretch them out.  I also made sure once they were laid out that they matched around the front and back neckline.  They did.  Next, you sandwich the flounces between the shirt fronts, right sides together and sew up to the edge.

3.  Sew the shoulders together.

4.  Place the flounce around the neckline.  You might have to let the seam out a little bit where the sewing ended on the neckline to get it to lay flat.

5. Sew up the long seam on the cowl and make sure the ending edge has the seam locked so it won’t come undone.  Now, add this to the neckline, with the seam on the outside.  This will be rolled down, so if you have the seam on the inside, it will show.  Sew up the neckline seam with the cowl and flounce attached.

6.  Sew the arms on, sew up the side seam and hem the sleeves.

 

7.  Sew up the side seam of the bottom band.  Fold in half and mark the 1/4 points.  Place the flounce bottom edges against the hemline and then attach the band, placing the 1/4 marks at the side seams, mid front and back.  Sew up the seam.

All done!

Focus – Week 1

I am going to add yet another weekly post (OOTD being at the beginning, so not sure how weekly it will end up being).  Several years back when I was largely into photography there used to be weekly and annual prompts people would follow to give themselves a creative impetus to go out and take photos.

I am going to choose a word for this year, and not only will it be a photography challenge, but a self-improvement challenge.

FOCUS

I don’t know about the rest of you, but as the world has gotten more connected, I have lost my focus.  I know it seems like I get a lot done, but I also spend a lot of time randomly browsing the internet.  This effects me at home and work when  I should be focusing on more important tasks.

That is the short list of things I want to get done.  I also want to clean out all the excessive crap in our house we don’t use, figure out how to do a resume after 17 years of not having done one, exercise, find some fun things to do with the family, teach the kids to cook, etc, etc… the list goes on.

I would also actually like to read.  If I am productive enough in my other pursuits maybe I won’t feel like I don’t have time to read all those books piling up in my Nook and in our library.

My accomplishments this week:
Focus Photo –

This photo symbolizes the end of the holiday season with the wilting rose in this centerpiece.  It was a long holiday season, but it seemed to have gone by very fast.  It was full of gatherings with friends and family we don’t see often enough.

 

Sewing –
  • Over the break I had cut up some items to get sewn up, so I started working on those.  I really don’t need a lot of clothes right now, so there is no hurry in any of it.  It is kind of nice to not have a fire drill with sewing.  There have been some sewing pattern tests this week that last year, I would have likely volunteered for, but not now.  I don’t need the stress.

I am participating in a 52 week sewing challenge, and next week’s challenge is to sew something from the last fabric you purchased.  I had purchased a load from Nature’s Fabrics on Cyber Monday, so I am using the grey bamboo jersey in a new pattern hack.  Here is my “unboxing video” of that fabric.  Yes, I went there. 😉

The first week was something soft & warm, so I made two rice warmers and two flannel covers for gel ice packs for my Grandma Jo that broke her arm.  Should have maybe written down the measurements I used.

  • I also put together my #makenine list for the year, which is basically nine things you want to FOCUS on getting made.  Perfect for my challenge for myself this year!

It is basically a push to get me to make things I have been wanting to make that I’ve had fabric for forever, or that have just been on my “I really want to make that!” list. Some will be ones I draft and some will be patterns I already own. These should all fit into my current closet pretty well.

– The first top is just a nice black knit tunic top basic that will work for so many outfits.
– The second is a Vivienne Westwood copycat. I’ve had that buffalo check for at least a year waiting on this skirt
– The third black top is a nice cross front top. Not sure if I want to do woven or a sturdy knit yet. It will be something to wear when it gets warmer with cropped pants and heels. My butt needs a lot of squats right now, so that is my camouflage.
– The fourth I already basically have cut out. It’s a little different, but I love how the buttons dress up the front. Need to order the buttons yet.
– The fifth is a pair of cream wide legged trousers that I have had the fabric for about 4 years. Need to get that made!
– Again fabric and pattern have been sitting there for a faux fur vest.
– I really love those structured bolero jackets, so I’d like to give it a shot. I also like these in knit with a hood, so maybe two versions.
– I’ve had this skirt saved for many years. I have a stock of black pleather right now and various pieces of black ponte, so time to tackle it.
– This last one is a fabric I designed and printed it at Spoonflower in satin. I originally was thinking a pencil skirt, but I am going to do a wide waistband with a slight A-line to it. It will be lined.

Now to just get these all made up before the end of the year!

House cleaning –
  • Yeah, this week was a bad week to start this type of challenge.  I worked until almost 7 most nights, and then we hosted a family Christmas party on Saturday.  Sunday I went in to work to try to get what I needed done.  The house was cleanish for the party, though!
Time with family –
  • Well, we hosted a Christmas party for the hubs side of the family, so we had a lot of family time.  It was a firedrill getting things ready, like usual, but it was nice to see everyone.
Health, exercising, making healthy meals –
  • Exercised 0…ZERO  times this week.  My goal was three times on the elliptical.  This is what happens when I choose the busiest time of the year at work to start a plan.  Next week will be better.
  • I made some healthy meals and brought salads to work for lunch 4 times this week.  I also cut back on the alcohol, so baby steps.
Creative Design – Week 1

Full disclosure…I drew the Phoenix last year, but I did make the coordinate this week.  I will likely be using my existing designs to create new patterns.  I needed to create a new brush folder for them in Photoshop.  I got a new computer in December so I somehow lost all the brushes I had made with my designs.  I spent an hour making a new brush folder with the ones I could find.

This week I also made a new watermark brush pattern.  I figure I should  PROBABLY make it not so easy to steal my designs.   The design here is one of my drawings that I warped along the text.  I’m not sure if I should go with “Stylin Stacy Designs” or “StacyCK Designs” or “SCK Designs”.  If I do end up going into business, I should probably pick a name…

As for Illustrator, I made sure it was loaded on my computer and opened the program. 😀

Reading –

I finally finished this book this week, which I started at some point last year.  It was an interesting read, and shouldn’t have really taken me that long.  I am not a big non-fiction reader, but I would like to read more of that this year.

I am also working on finishing up Nevernight.  I got 2/3 way through it over the holidays.  It is a pretty good book about a female assassin in a fictional land of 3 suns.  She’s out for revenge!  He has a lot of little asides/stories/history of the land in the bottom of each page in small type, so it is taking longer than anticipated to get through it.

I have also been writing a book, but barely worked on it last year.  I’d like to put more words to pages.  It isn’t something I ever intend to publish, since I don’t really think I am a good enough writer.  It is just a fun project for my imagination.


Week one down in the books, and I am hopeful of keeping up with this project.  I know that some weeks I likely won’t, so I am prepared to give myself some grace in not getting to everything.

OOTD – Week of January 1, 2018

Here we are at the beginning of another year!  They seem to be going by faster the older I get.  Time sure has sped up the last few years.  It is hard to believe that I have a teenager and almost a teenager, and that hubs and I will be celebrating 20 years wed this year.  How’d that happen??

Well, hoping for a good year this year.  We already have some issues with surgeries for my Grandma and my girl, but hopefully the healing will be fast.

As for me, my vertigo is back, though it isn’t too severe.  It does give me a bit of a spin and nausea when I lay down for the first minute.  Some days are better than others.  I was hoping to get back into exercising since I am almost to 158lbs now.  I would really like to fit back into my jeans and not have to squeeze into my clothes.  I am going to try to start with the elliptical.

Onto fun stuff!

This week I was trying to go through the blues in my closet.  I was mostly successful, though a few days I didn’t do it.

January 1, 2018

I got nothing for this day.  I did wear a pair of fleece pants I made a few years ago, but I was basically do laundry, cleaning and organizing most of the day to prep for going back to work.  I did take a shower that day, so that is good at least, right?? 😉

January 2, 2018

Back to work and going outside in the frigid weather.  Another lovely day in the north with -13 in the car on the ride to the office.  The heat had barely kicked in by the time I got there.   This was pretty comfy.

January 3, 2018

Another frigid day in the North and I chose to just wear tights and low shoes.  So, so brave. 😉

January 4, 2018

January 5, 2018

  • Top – Bamboo jersey, my own pattern
  • Sweater and Fleece leggings via Zulily
  • Boots – Miz Mooz via Zulily
  • Jewelry – Necklace, Stella & Dot – Earrings a gift

January 6, 2018

  • Top – Black knit, my own pattern
  • Pants – Panne velvet, my own pattern
  • Jewelry – Stella & Dot and Silpada
  • Slippers – Target

January 7, 2018

I had to go into work today, so yay me!  If I look tired, I am.  It has been a long week.  I went to bed last night exhausted and my mind wouldn’t stop going, so I still didn’t get a lot of sleep.  On the weekends my office building doesn’t really heat it very high, so I knew it would be chilly.  It was in the low 60’s in my office, but I do have a non-fire code heater!

Cup of Joe

Starting the blogging year off with my last strike-off of 2017, for a round opening today at Moonbeam Textiles.  The round is called Fantastic Creatures and it featured this adorable coffee drinking unicorn.  Luckily Kris gave us enough time to get these sewn up, as December was just crazy busy.

No outside pictures of these…it is arctic cold outside now!

She likes a very creamer-laden coffee occasionally, and she is definitely not a morning person.  Who doesn’t think coffee is magical?? 😉

I used various knits on this pattern that I drafted.  I have a loose fitting top I drafted for her last month, so I traced a copy of it and cut it apart to have this style.  All seams are topstitched so they lay flat.

I asked for an adult panel of the print, as it gives you a bit more fabric to work with.  This is a fat half of fabric.

She was pretty happy with this comfy outfit.  The black and white supplex was from Zenith & Quasar Fabric and the black is a bamboo jersey from Nature’s Fabrics.

The pants are a nice comfy sport polar fleece.  I bought it several years back, and I think it was something like Nike brand.  It is really nice and thick, and it should not pill at all.  It should wear very well.  Pattern is my own.

I actually thought they would be several inches too long for her, but they were just about right!

This round is open from January 1-15, so go check out the cute creatures. 🙂

My Grecian Goddess dress

In the interest of cleaning up some old posts in my blog, I bring you a pattern test that got dropped this summer.  It fit some of the ladies, but overall it was hard to get it right.  It wasn’t the easiest pattern to make with all those gathers in knit materials.

I wasn’t sure if this style of dress would look okay on my figure, since it has a fitted waist. I tend to gain weight at my waist, so I try to stay away from these styles. I do really like how it turned out, though. You needed a fabric with a good drape to it. My fabric is a poly knit and was a Calvin Klein fabric. It was only 45″ wide, so it took a bit more yardage than it would have if it had been a normal 60″ knit width.  I had to go back to the fabric store for more.

It needed to be drapey, so fabric choice was pretty important.  I would not use a cotton lycra for something like this.  A jersey, ITY, thinner bamboo jersey or a viscose is best.  I think this was a viscose knit.  It was basically labeled as Calvin Klein knit.  They don’t label well, pretty much…ever.

I added micro mesh between the waist pieces.  This added a bit of tightening and kept it in place better.  When you are a rectangle there really isn’t much for hips to keep things in place.  I also sandwiched the top part of the waistband pieces with the top pieces, which wasn’t how it was in the instructions.  I like to enclose all seams if I can.

Overall, this was a very cute dress, so it’s a bummer she dropped it.  This style fit some body types better than others.  Keeping the knit gathers even was the hardest part.  I gathered mine on the serger, which gave the seam some stability when attaching to the ungathered pieces.  Probably not a beginner pattern, but still plenty worth the effort.

 

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2018 Plans

Was it just me, or did 2017 just fly by like a bat out of hell?

Our 2017 started out with our son puking all over the place, and it is ending with my Grandma Jo breaking her other arm and my girl needing knee surgery for a meniscus tear.  Throw in several funerals, and that pretty much sums up how 2017 went.

I’m not sure if I sewed so much last year due to just wanting not to deal with all the stress of everything or what.  I do think it was my outlet, and the one thing I could control.  I got a little cranky if I didn’t get time to sew.

I  managed to make a crap ton of stuff.  I made in excess of 150 items last year for me, the kids, and some lucky friends and family.

I would like to be a bit more focused this year, though, which will likely mean that I don’t volunteer for every strike off opportunity that rears it’s head.  I got stressed out from that last year, since they all seemed to come at once.  There were a few items that I made last year that were just not my personal style.  That is a bit of a waste of my time and fabric.

I also bought quite a bit of custom and regular fabric last year, and I really need to reign myself in this year.  I don’t really need much additional fabric after all of that.  Yes, yet again I can’t fit all my fabric on my shelves.  I need to find a place to get rid of my scraps and small cuts that are taking up shelf space.

What a mess.

I have joined a few Facebook groups for sewing next year, but if I don’t manage to sew along with them it won’t be a terrible underachievement. I think it is safe to say I can sew a lot when presented with the opportunity.  I would guess there were a good 20+ items I sewed up last year that didn’t make the blog.  I pushed the girl child to model a lot this year, so when I didn’t make strike-off related stuff that didn’t need professional pics…I didn’t bother.  You only wanted to poke the beast (tween-ager) so many times. 😉

I have this grand plan that I am going to cut up a bunch of stuff at once and then sew when I have time.  Of course, that is after the to-do list that I have waiting for me.  Grandma Jo and the girl will need some special items made for them with their upcoming surgeries to help them out.

I’d also like to focus on making some more detailed patterns, and working the kinks out of some existing ones.  I will be losing my job at the end of 2018, so I will finally have some time to learn drafting software.

Yay…I guess. 

I have started putting together a portfolio of past work that I would like to make patterns for them.   I think I have designed some fairly unique pieces.

I would also like to get my loom set up and do some more loom beading.  Maybe on a purse handle…or something like that.  I have been itching to work on that again.

So, in brief…TLDR;)

  • Stop buying so much fabric
  • Be more purposeful in sewing and don’t volunteer to sew stuff that won’t get worn.
  • Start putting together sewing portfolio of unique items to perhaps maybe draft and grade
  • Get that loom out and strung

Hope everyone had a great holiday and will have a happy and prosperous New Year!

OOTD – Week of December 18th

This week I was trying to focus more on my brown/natural colors that I have made.  I was mostly successful in staying away from black.  Mostly.

Monday, December 18

Tuesday, December 19

Wednesday, December 20

  • Top: Brown jersey and brown pleather top, my own pattern
  • Skirt: Stretch “sequin” type of fabric, my own pattern
  • Sweater: Black sweater duster via Zulily
  • Boots: Miz Mooz Katrina, via Zulily (birthday present!)
  • Jewelry: Necklace – Stella & Dot, Earrings – Von Maur

Thursday, December 21

Friday, December 22

Saturday, December 23

No pictures for Saturday and Sunday, as we were on the way out of town for holiday festivities.  I had some pretty cute outfits, too!  Hopefully I will get pictures of them eventually.

  • Pants – Gold panne velvet lounge pants, my own pattern (no blog post)
  • Black Top & Sweater – RTW
  • Jewelry – Stella & Dot

Sunday, December 24

  • Pants – Black scuba suede, my own pattern
  • Grey & Black Ponte cardigan – same pattern as above (no blog post)
  • Black top – RTW
  • Jewelry – Stella & Dot

So nothing forthcoming for this week, as I am mostly at home lounging about, eating chocolate and drinking wine.  Happy Holidays, All!

Rays

I was excited to get this fabric, since the Manta Rays from the movie, Moana, were so pretty.  When I got the 2 yards, they were 2 SEPARATE yards, so not a continuous cut at $26/yard (pre-order price even).  That’s kind of spendy to not get what you ordered.

Not real happy.

She did say I could contact her for a 10% discount on my next order, which, yeah…there probably won’t be a next order if this is an expectation.  Everyone in my house is over 5′ tall by several inches, so I can’t get away with just one yard of fabric for leggings.  I had to piece her leggings to get them to work for her height.  I could have just purchased one yard of it, since I have the other yard leftover now.  I was able to get the bottom part of the legs from the extra leftover on the side of the 1 yard.

My next challenge is that girl is apparently cold at school.  I purchased this bamboo fleece, and it matched fairly well.  The pattern for the top is my own, and the artwork I snagged off a google search.  They are tattoo designs, that I modified a  little bit to better be able to weed them.

I did a fold over cowl thing at the neckline.  I basically just cut it to length and overlapped it at the V-neck.

She was pretty happy with the outfit, though she didn’t notice the shark in the manta ray until I pointed it.  She had worn it all day long at that point.  She’s my shark lover!

Now to try to get some last minute holiday makes finished up!