It’s OK to be jealous of me. Really. I understand. I mean, I have this totally awesome life.
Take last night. After eating dinner (later than usual), we spent about an hour re-digging the trench in our backyard/garden area. The one for the irrigation system that we totally had dug out to the required 12″ depth and then promptly ignored for 2 months, allowing rain and erosion to wreak havoc on our progress. We got it dug back to the 12″ all the way to the spot for the new spigot, which is also the corner where the rhubarb used to be and the place where the lines will make a 90* turn to run along the south side of the house. If I had pictures, that would make a lot more sense, but the sun is starting to set much earlier these days (and rise, too – I do not care for it being dark-ish when I get up in the morning!). even dug out the post hole for the spigot, we threw the post in that hole, and he re-buried it. Major progress. Sidenote: dusk (that is, the time we were outside digging, between 7 and 8 pm) is a terrible time to be outside, with all the gnats and mosquitos and lingering daytime heat; must remind self that at least it was only 80* yesterday, and not 95* (which, for Minnesota at the end of August, is entirely possible).
While this was going on, I was also responding to emails about some stuff I had posted on Craigslist. The end result of that was a big fat nothing, as somebody bowed out at the last minute (thankfully, the did email me, so I didn’t stay at home waiting for them to show up). I think that someone else will be picking said item up tonight, but I’m not holding my breath. It is, after all, Craigslist.
Next up was a trip to Target, where I learned that you can’t buy a rotisserie chicken at 9 pm. Who knew? So, I’ll be stopping on my way home from work tonight, because I’m making enchiladas, and that’s the easy (and tasty) way to do that. Bonus: I’ll get to have chicken on my salad this week, instead of hard boiled eggs. Also, I was unable to find white wine vinegar anywhere. Why is that? I am desperately in need of some.
By the time I got home, it was nearly 10. The highlight of the evening? Perhaps the bag of microwave popcorn and can of root beer I had before bed.
In summary: my body was not built for digging trenches (however, I don’t seem to be sore today, just very tired); trying to sell stuff on Craigslist can be frustrating; and, you cannot get rotisserie chicken at Target at 9 pm (you can, however, get ice cream).
If the sun chooses to show itself later today, I might get enough pictures taken to have something to share with you tomorrow. We’ll see.
The rest of my plans for the week include more digging, some homework, and making plans for out-of-town family to visit this weekend. If you are feeling overwhelmed with jealousy, just come on over to my house and I’ll let you do some trench-digging for a while. It’s not fair for me to hog all the fun.
In the previous update on ‘s quilt,
I'd finished the sashing and laid everything out, and started assembling the rows.
I took the rows two at a time, piecing the row and then attaching the rows to each other. This way I didn’t have to deal with too much bulk.
Late last week I started piecing the 2-row sections together, and by Sunday, I was done!
More pictures? Of course I’ll oblige.
I like the scrappy sashing. It's just three different colors of solid green. I could have done just one color, but I would have had to go to the store and buy fabric, and I didn't think that was necessary.
All pressed, it’s now folded safely away until I complete the other side. I measured it, so now I just have to draft out the initial side and do some calculations so I know how much of the border print I need to buy. My binding is all cut, so I suppose now that I have “finished” dimensions, I could piece that together and prep it too. Then some testing of quilting thread.
It's so... colorful and playful and comfy!
- How in the world did I get to be over 30? I swear I’m not a day over 26.
- I’m tired of the scene in front of me. I’m ready for the weekend.
- Life’s about to get really busy. Or, rather, I’ll be spending a lot of my time sitting on the couch reading. This will officially be the semester of reading.
- It’s been a really long time since I’ve had a picnic lunch. Even though we own a picnic basket that’s outfitted for a wine bottle and everything. Seems like it would be a lot of work, given that I don’t really like sandwiches or potato salad. Not that those are required for a picnic, but they certainly are the easiest picnic items to bring, other than fresh fruit or a loaf of bread.
- That was where we met those people for that thing with the stuff….. Don’t you remember?
- Where we live now is what I think of as “our place.”
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to pizza, tomorrow my plans include helping family move into their new home and Sunday, I want to finish the last 3 seams on ‘s quilt top!
via Friday Fill-Ins
Yesterday, I met with my advisor to clear up some things. I had stated we needed to talk about student teaching, as that’s what I’d been told to do. But, since I am not yet admitted into the program due to… who knows, office mix-ups? incompetent staff? someone forgetting to push a button?… we had to take care of registering for classes, too. Well, first we did a progress report. Good news: I’m exactly where I thought I was, progress-wise. Still need to take my two state tests (content and pedagogy), coursework is mostly completed with an appropriate GPA, etc. Duh.
Then I was told I needed to do my student teaching goals myself, and that my advisor would help me edit them. Since I’d come prepared to do that at the meeting, I figured this wouldn’t be that bad to do by myself later.
Advisor: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”
Me: “Yes, I need to register for classes. Because I’m not in the program yet.”
So I showed him the letter I received that outlined the paperwork I still needed to complete for admission (it was blank… so either someone forgot to fill out the form, or someone messed up). Five minutes later, emails had been sent to registration to change my status (so I could register myself) and to an office staff (to clear up the admission to the program thing). I have little hope for that second part – he has sent similar emails every single semester for the past two years, to the same person, and I never get any follow-up.
Back at home, I pulled up my school email to see that the registrar’s office had, in fact, taken care of things as requested. So, I attempted to register for classes. Now, I have a really light course-load this semester. One 0-credit course (practicum) and one 3-credit graduate course. I had no problems with the 0-credit course, even though I should have (since it should be taken concurrently with a class that I’m not taking). But, the 3-credit course? Full. Funny, I’d checked a few days earlier and it was only half full. After a bit of panicking and talking angrily to myself, I decided to deal with it later.
And then we stained our new dining table. Did I mention it was 90* outside? So very hot.
This morning, after explaining the situation to my co-workers (about the full class) and getting some advice, I sent off my emails to try to fix the problem (registrar’s office, professor, advisor). While things aren’t fixed yet, it looks like they should be taken care of before class starts tonight. There are 24 seats on the graduate class that are full, but of the 24 seats in the undergraduate class (which is taught at the same time, by the same professor, in the same room, so… it’s the same class), there are 5 free seats. I pointed this out to my advisor, who got on the phone with the professor, who then emailed the registrar. I’m just waiting for confirmation that I am, in fact, registered.
This was no small amount of stress, though, seeing as how it’s the only class I need to take before student teaching, and I couldn’t even take it at another university if I needed to (Foundations of Urban Education isn’t exactly a core class at most institutions). We’ve already begun planning the joint graduation party in May ( graduates then too – party at my house!), and besides, I didn’t want to have to wait another semester to finish this program. I’m ready to be done. Plus, I’ve already bought the textbooks.
In other areas of life, I have most of the top of ‘s quilt completed. There are 7 seams left (attaching rows to each other). I should have about 20 9-patch blocks completed by the weekend. Hopefully I’ll get some sewing done on Thursday. is going to his brother’s new house to work on wiring (or something… I’m fuzzy on the details) that night, so no house projects to work on, and I’ll save homework for the weekend. My brother-in-law is moving on Saturday, so we’ll be busy doing that all day, and then Sunday we plan on poly-ing the dining table, so hopefully it can be revealed next week.
And now I have to go work on my student teaching goals. They need to be concrete and measurable, and “behavioral,” whatever that means. Here’s what I have so far (in bullets, not actual clear or observable goals):
- Differentiated instruction
- Parent-teacher communication
- Classroom management
- Lesson planning and dealing with change
I know there are some teachers reading this. Do you have anything to add? I need 5 goals total.
My dear, darling, sweet , well, she adores me. Her world revolves around me, and food. If you know her, you know she’s a scaredy-cat, though in the last two years she’s really come out of her shell (we blame our Realtor, whom she adored on first contact). She no longer hides when comes over (loud men seem to be especially scary), and the other day came out when my brother-in-law was over and laid down at his feet, begging for belly rubs. Regardless, I am still the sun in her universe.
One of the ways she shows her love is by leaving me little presents in my shoes. Remember that mud room we made? Shoes tend to pile up there (no one wears shoes indoors in Minnesota – you must take them off upon entering a home), and she likes to leave a pompom there for me from time to time, inside a shoe. It’s very cute, especially because she loves those pompoms a whole lot.
Yesterday, she left me something different.
I’ll spare you the picture (I didn’t take one).
Right there on one of my flip flops. Lovely. Seems our house isn’t mouse-proof yet. (Is a 60-year-old house ever mouse-proof? Probably not. Regardless, we probably need to find a new pest control company, after having given Orkin the boot a while back.)
I was all set to be brave and dump it in the trash, until I saw it’s little head. Blech. did the honors. Thankfully, all of the killing seems to have been done elsewhere (where, we don’t know – haven’t found any scenes of carnage anywhere), so my shoe was undefiled.
While we can’t be sure that was the one who killed it, she was quite protective of it, whereas didn’t even know it was there, so it seems likely it was her. Also, spent most of last night trying [unsuccessfully] to kill a fly.
While I’d rather have a mouse-free home, I’ll be satisfied if our cats take care of any that enter the house. Good to know at least one of them is a mouser.
In other news, we spent all of yesterday evening working on the dining table. One more coat of stripper, and then a whole lot of sanding. We used the orbital sander, the “mouse” (triangle) sander, sanding sponges…. But it looks really good now, and we’re ready to stain it tonight. I’m glad we’re done stripping it, though we have decided to start another stripping project…. It’s my own fault. Apparently I like the fumes. One day, things in our house will actually coordinate and look intentional, and much less hodge-podge. We’re getting there, slowly but surely (but Better Homes & Gardens isn’t planning on coming over any time soon).
Yesterday, while was out on a long run (2 hours), I did Pilates. Or, at least, I watched a “beginner Pilates” video and played along. There were lots of breathing instructions, most of which I got wrong, always inhaling when I was supposed to be exhaling. Though it didn’t seem like much of a workout, today my abs hurt, and the only way I could have done that was Pilates. My arms hurt too, but that’s probably because of our impromptu weekend project.
Remember on Friday when I said we were picking up a new-to-us dining table that we found on Craigslist? Well, we did, and it’s lovely, but we decided to change its color on a whim. OK, not really a whim – a good 10 minutes of staring at the table trying to weigh all the work that would need to be done with the end result. I have no “before” pictures, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say that it was a nice wood color, but a bit too orange-y for our dining room. So we spent the rest of the weekend applying stripper, waiting 30 minutes, scraping and then steel-wooling, repeat ad nauseum. Four legs. Two drawers (yes, drawers!). Table top. And then there is the apron (the “frame” that the top sits on). That apron might be the death of me.
As of last night, all of the legs and drawers had been stripped, re-stained, and are sitting in the garage “drying.” The stain we use requires some drying time before applying the poly, though it claims this is not necessary (but we’ve seen what can happen when we don’t wait). We bought new handles for the drawers, and our favorite metal-worker () will be recruited to bend the leg caps back into shape. It will look good when we’re done, but there’s still a ways to go yet. It’s hard to get excited about another coat of stripper on that apron… (I’m thinking that my Google search results referring will reveal some funny things due to that last sentence).
While we were waiting, I did a lot of quilting. I have 5 rows left to piece on ‘s quilt. I made it 2/3rds of the way through a big pile of 9-patches (to add to my collection – some day I’ll make a quilt out of them, or something). The four rows of ‘s quilt that I pieced together took forever (I’m aiming at 2 rows/day, meaning I assemble each row, and then sew the two rows together, so I have pairs of rows laying on the living room floor instead of blocks), as they were the longest rows (the rows go diagonally across the quilt, since it’s technically “on point,” so the middle rows are the longest at 17 blocks). The rows I have left have 11 or less blocks (decreasing by 2 blocks each row), so they should go much faster. Then I just have to assemble the pairs of rows, and the top will be done!
No apparel sewing, or any other fun crafting. Really, the dining table project kind of took over our weekend. I’ll post pictures when it’s complete, along with the buffet we bought (also on Craigslist).
Tomorrow, I have a meeting with my advisor, in which I will (hopefully) get everything taken care of that should have been taken care of already but couldn’t be because administratively speaking, my university gets a D-. Then I should be attending class Wednesday night, assuming the right people push the right buttons (or keyboard keys, as it were). This semester’s class is something about philosophical foundations of urban education. I remember enjoying Foundations of Youth Ministry (much more so than the intro classes), but I’m nearly done with my program now, so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about this class. I believe it’s being taught by one of the professors in the department that everyone knows but I have yet to meet (perhaps he’s supposed to sign off on things for me, because perhaps he’s the social studies person – I could have that wrong, seeing as how things get a bit confusing in my program… all the time). The bummer is that it is not at the Minneapolis campus, which is right up the street (40 blocks, but a straight shot) from my house, but is instead in St Paul (though not at the main campus… basically in the middle of Nowheresville, St Paul). The bright side of that is, no paying for parking this semester!
And now, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. What color should I paint my nails tonight? Orange or teal?
This round, I got a partner who really likes color, and I think, after looking at her favorites and her inspiration mosaic, I really nailed this one. I’m not always confident about matching what I want to / can make to my partners likes, but I feel good about this one.
Here was my fabric selection. The plan was to do little log cabin squares, using the green birdie print for the fussy-cut centers.
I totally didn’t do any math or planning, and I probably should have, since the rules for this round were quite specific. 9-18″ on each side, at least 6 blocks (no “art quilts” – bed quilt styles only).
I hadn’t done any fussy-cutting before, but I was prepared for it, as I had a package of template plastic sitting around, just waiting to be used. I cut out a 3″ square and drew the seam allowances on, so my center squares would be a finished size of 2 1/2″. The print is a bit bigger than that, but I made it work.
Little log cabins
I cut strips out of the other fabrics (except for the brown birdies) that were 1 1/4″ wide, for 3/4″ blocks. Then I just randomly pieced them together so that no two blocks were alike. I really like how it came out!
Very narrow sashing on this, as I was quite close to the maximum dimensions – 3/4″ strips for 1/4″ sashing and borders! Even with that, I came out just a tiny bit over the size guidelines (9×9 to 18×18 – this one is 18 3/4″ square).
I only did minimal quilting on this one – seeing as how it probably won’t get tons of us, I figured it could handle it. I used Fusi-boo for the first time (they no longer make the bamboo batting I love, but I bought a small package of the Fusi-boo to see if it would be a suitable replacement), and it worked well. I’m not sure how it would work on a bigger quilt – can I use my iron on my hardwood floors? This wasn’t the greatest test of the stuff, since I didn’t wash the quilt when I finished, so it wasn’t a good simulation of a finished quilt. But, the fusing part worked well, and was so much easier than pinning! I still have plenty left (I bought a crib sized piece, so I still have about 3/4ths of it left), so I can get a little more practice in before using it for ‘s quilt.
I cut the binding a bit narrower than I usually do – 2 1/4″ instead of 2 1/2″. I probably could have gone narrower, but this gave me plenty of fabric to work with, and I just pulled the excess width around to the backside. I used the hearts for the binding and the birdies for the backing, since those two prints go together (part of the same line). I wanted to use the birdies in the quilt, but they were just a bit too big to work for the log cabins.
I made a label up that matches the center blocks – I used the bird bath square. It’s cute, but I didn’t get any photos of it. Ironed it on just before dinner on Friday, and dropped it in the mail Saturday morning after buying bread and green beans at the farmer’s market.
And now, it’s on its way to… somewhere in the US! It shipped out Saturday and should arrive today or tomorrow. And the one someone made for me should arrive sometime in the next week or so. Such a fun round!
- It’s fun to escape into a good book.
- No waste half square triangles are
is easy to make.
- I like to be productive with my time.
- What sky diving feels like is something I will never know!
- Something I’m very much excited about is the good weather we’ve been having – maybe we should get caught up on yard work this weekend.
- For the amount of time I spend using my iPhone, the money spent was well worth it.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to picking up our new-to-us dining table (Craigslist 0 hopefully the photo is a decent representation and we can take it home with us), tomorrow my plans include mailing off my DQS #11 item and picking up bread at the farmer’s market and Sunday, I want to spend some time getting ready for the new school year (perhaps a whole 10 minutes – the fun organizational part doesn’t come until after the syllabus is handed out)!
via Friday Fill-Ins
The other night, I moved my jewelry supplies from the floor of my office (where they will never be used – there’s no comfortable spot for that in there) back to the family room (where I can craft in comfort while lounging on the couch with watching TV). This led to some jewelry making, something I haven’t done in quite a few months.
Some new earrings. I made a necklace with matching earrings, too, but for a specific wardrobe item that I haven't yet revealed.
And remember when I told you we were making our own plinths for the family room? Here’s the finished product:
Boring, but they don't really need to be fancy. Also, this photo serves as proof that we're done painting the trim for the family room! We started the poly last night....
Monday night, I set aside apparel sewing for a bit to clean my office and work on some other projects. One such project? ‘s quilt. Tuesday night, I finally finished the sashing on the blocks. Last night, I laid it out the blocks again, just to be sure.
It's looking good!
And then, because getting it all laid out wasn’t satisfying enough, I assembled the first two rows.
Fabulous! I even cut out a corner piece (the corners are missing in the first picture). I'm totally loving this quilt! (Yes, it's technically "on point," but I haven't found that to be difficult at all. Way easier than learning how to paper piece, which is how I should have gone about this design, but I still haven't wrapped my head around that method.)
Given all of the above, I’m sure you’ll forgive me that the apparel project I had originally planned on revealing yesterday, well, it’s still not completed. 90% of the way there, but not done. Soon, for sure.
Last night was busy, to be sure (we went for a walk, too), but it was my last free Wednesday night until December. Classes begin next week, and while I only have one class, there’s no way to predict what the homework load will be. I’m not complaining – one course this semester, and one in the spring while student teaching, and then I’m done. Done, done, done, done, done! (I’ve updated the countdown in the sidebar to reflect the actual commencement date at Metro, even though neither or I will actually be graduating with a degree, or at least, not with a degree that means anything. It’s all about licensure, in both education and nursing, so while I’m tempted to say, “Commencement, schmomencement,” I’ll refrain. It still signifies that we’re done. And then the party will begin. Oh yes, there will be a party. Maybe we’ll have the family room done by then. )
It seems like everyone I’ve talked to had a busy weekend! Did you?
Friday night, the bug in my bonnet got too loud to ignore, and we cleaned the house. We followed that up by promptly re-messying the house on Saturday. Of course. But, we are 95% done painting trim for the family room, and 100% done painting the built-ins. Now it’s on to the poly phase, which will take a while. I think if we work on it for an hour every single day, we will eventually get it done. At least four coats, plus a coat on the back for waterproofing/general protection…. we should be done by Thanksgiving.
We also picked out and bought the router bits we need to make the cabinet doors – we saved $40 with our coupons, which was super awesome.
Sunday we worked on making the outside of our home look acceptable again. (Swept the driveway free of acorns, which is a major project at our house. I also mowed the lawn, did a small bit of pruning, and watered the lawn. Fancy stuff, I know.) Our neighbor across the street gave us the update on neighborhood crime – despite checking the paper every week for the police blotter, I never see any news, but he gave us the down-low. There have been nearly 10 car thefts or break-ins, and at least a few garages were broken into. Did you know we have our own little gang in our town? I didn’t. Apparently they never take too much, so the running theory is that it’s some kids in the neighborhood. Conveniently, we just replaced all the locks on our house (and I’ve been a bit paranoid about making sure all of the deadbolts are locked all the time), we found a temporary “fix” for ‘s garage door issue (it’s now a manual door – no remote or power or anything), and the alarm on my car is super sensitive (evidenced nearly weekly by my setting it off for absolutely no reason whatsoever). Also, the neighbor across the street is always home, and I think that helps.
So, not really an exciting weekend, but we did keep ourselves busy. There’s only one more weekend left before the fall semester begins, but I only have one class this fall, so I think I will still have plenty of free time to enjoy life before student teaching. Speaking of which, I still need to make an appointment with my advisor… (in my defense, today is the first faculty day for the fall semester).
Tomorrow, I am looking forward to the downtown farmer’s market – I’ve had salad every work day in my lunch for the past week and a half, and I have now run out of vegetables other than celery to include. I need to restock.
I am in love with Butterick 5466! After I made one in July (and got nice compliments at work), I picked out fabric for 3 more. I know, I know, but… it’s a pencil skirt! How can you go wrong?
If you remember, originally I wanted to make this skirt out of a different fabric, but didn’t have enough of it. I had posted on PatternReview.com that I was considering laying out the pieces perpendicular to the selvedge (instead of parallel). Someone commented that she had, in fact, done that, and it turned out fine. This only fueled the fire! (Because you can make this skirt for under a yard then (though it will be shorter than knee length).
I wore this one last Thursday….
I actually purchased (and wore) a belt! It was weird, but a good look (though I kept tugging at it all day - I think I need to get used to the idea of wearing a belt). We're OK with the belt look, right?
Ribbon trim on the facing, a contrast waistband, and hook closure.
I totally fail at using hook and eye closures, so when I installed the invisible zipper before adding the waistband, I had to figure something out. There was enough waistband fabric to do a button closure, but, well, I haven’t mastered buttonholes on my machine yet, so I needed a different option. Luckily, I found this super cool closure at Hancock Fabrics. This skirt has a back zipper, and when I wear my belt you can’t see the closure, but I know it’s there, and it is very functional.
And today I’m wearing the skirt I originally wanted to make. The longer I wear it… those shorter it gets. Minor problem. (My fabric must have been shorter than 44″ wide after washing….)
This one has the high waistband like the first version, but I chose to not display that today. I think this would look cute with my new black belt (similar to the brown one I wore in the previous pictures, with a different buckle), but I didn't want to wear "the same outfit" again. At least not right away.
One of the things I like about this pattern? It fits really well, without my having to do any alterations. Seriously – nothing.
Even the backside fits nicely. Something for those of you with booty to note - you might have to make some alterations.
Not much fun in the details on this one.
Just some colorful ribbon on the facing. I used white flexi-lace on the hem so that it would be as invisible as possible.
Trying out my new full slip today. Can’t think of the last time I might have worn one of those, but it was highly practical today, even if I wasn’t wearing a dress. It’s white, so it worked with what I was wearing, it was the right length, and it was better than wearing a half slip and a tank top /cami underneath my blouse.
Both of these will have to go away when I get out my fall wardrobe, like most of the skirts I’ve made lately. That’s OK – I’m starting to work on some more fall-appropriate clothing (or at least planning some projects). For now, I’m going to keep living up summer clothing while I can.
Remember when I said I planned 3 of these? I made some significant modifications for the third one, and it’s almost done. I just need to hem it (all the hand sewing is done). Maybe Wednesday.
Speaking of which… any recommendations for brands of nylons? Or stores where they’re not a billion dollars a pair? All these skirts and dresses are fun, but my stash of nylons is seriously depleting, and it’s so depressing to buy more when I know they’ll just get rips in them like all the others….
- The only question is will it ever be more than 72* in the office again? I’m always cold. Very, very cold.
- It would be really awesome if you could lose 10 pounds in one day. Because I can totally diet for one day.
- Three things on my desk: salad for lunch, ponytail potted plant, cloth napkin (for the aforementioned salad).
- Schedule an appointment with my advisor is the one thing I HAVE to do today! Also, it’s the thing that I am most likely to forget to do.
- I love playing with fabric. Was that answer too obvious?
- Sex Panther cologne overwhelms the senses. It’s from Anchorman. You’re missing out on some good laughs if you haven’t seen it.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to pizza, tomorrow my plans include cleaning the house (it’s been way too long) and Sunday, I want to finish up a sewing project I’m working on that involves flat-felled seams! Big reveal Monday? We’ll see.
via Friday Fill-Ins
First things first – have you voted yet?
Last night, I started cutting out one of my next projects (I’m in a planning/cutting stage right now, prepping a bunch of stuff for when things invariably get busier in the coming weeks when school starts).
Simplicity 2925, View E (the pants on the far left), in this lovely taupe-colored suiting.
Yep... those are pants. Nice, boring work pants. Great for fall.
For Simplicity 2925, I needed 2 1/4 yards of 60″ wide fabric. Fabric.com only sells in 1/2 yard increments, so I had 2 1/2 yards of this Metro Suiting in Taupe that I got for $1.74/yard (+ 15% off – total cost, $3.70). When I laid it out, I noticed that there was an awful lot of fabric left over. I got the brilliant idea to lay the pieces at the selvedge edge, not the folded edge, which gave me all the space I needed to get a bonus skirt out of the yardage.
The pants only had two pattern pieces (no facing, just twill tape - I might draft my own facings, but don't need to use the fancy fabric for that) - they're the top row there. In the leftover space? All of the pieces for Simplicity 2475 fit just perfectly! It's like it was meant to be! (I just need to pick out some coordinating fabric for the facings for the skirt, and that shouldn't be too hard to do. Oh, and I need to buy some thread, and maybe a zipper or two. Details, details.)
I was planning to make Simplicity 2475 out of a different fabric, but before I do that, why not make up a wearable muslin, just to be sure, out of this essentially free fabric?
I cut out View A, using the "curvy" pieces - that makes more sense if you've seen the pattern itself. Really, the only difference between A and B is the length. All of the decorations are optional. There are different pattern pieces for slim, average, and curvy body types.
A great, albeit potentially boring, work skirt. Very... professional.
(There’s reason for concern – Simplicity 2475 is an Amazing Fit pattern, which I’ve had good luck with before, but I get a bit confused when they want me to cut out the “curvy” version. In this case, I think “curvy” means that I have both hips and a waist, but still, since I can still remember being called a surfboard for being so… uncurvy, it’s hard to trust that I’ve measured correctly.)
I’ve been making a conscious effort to plan out outfits instead of just items of clothing. The fabric above was part of this effort. What’s nice about planning outfits is that it gives me some freedom to make something a little outside of my usual, because I’ve got several other articles planned that coordinate with it (for instance, a mustard-colored pencil skirt, which is so far from something I would have ever thought of wearing, but matches perfectly with this cute charmeuse print, and spawned a whole combination of fabrics and pattern combinations that I’m quite enthralled with). It also has helped me pick out some solids, because while they’re sometimes boring and often don’t catch my eye, they are a very important part of one’s wardrobe. I’ve had to intentionally search them out – they’re definitely less inspiring, but I think I will benefit from this in the end. Oh, the fun I’ve had drafting it all….
But back to my earlier genius. A pair of pants and a skirt for under $4? You can’t even do that at Goodwill! (OK, clarified that it is $4 + a lot of effort, but in all honesty, pants are pretty easy, and I’ve got to spend my time doing something, so I’m considering my labor free.)
The feedback on my dresses (and other sewing projects) has been great, but I have to admit I’m having a hard time figuring out which one is everyone’s favorite! So, we’re going to have an official voting to put the issue to bed. (I need to give credit where credit is due – suggested this.)
Here are links to the original posts, in case you need to refresh your memory (you can also click on the little camera icon next to each item in the poll below)….
If I can figure out how, I’ll close the poll on Friday. If I can’t, well, I’ll still declare a winner next Monday. Thanks for your input!
I originally shared these plans back in February of 2010.
Here’s what I said at the time:
I’m a bit fuzzy on the fabric, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lightweight (but not too lightweight) muted-sage green. I’d make up View B, the jumper. Too boring? (It gets more boring in a pic or two.)
Well, those plans never did come to fruition. I was always afraid that the solid green would be too plain, and with the styling of the dress being what it was, that I would look like I was wearing a giant green sack. So, while planning out all those other summer dresses, I came up with a different direction to go in.
New plan: View 3 (the red striped one) in this blue paisley for the bodice and the solid green for the skirt.
The mock-up. (Some of my really vintage patterns don't have basic line drawings, they only have these posed drawings, even in the pattern instructions. This could lead to some awkwardness in future mock-ups.)
This was the last dress I completed (I think) while unemployed. Most of my hesitation came from the fact that the pattern I had was a 14/16, so the bodice was going to be too large, and at this point I was feeling way too lazy to do a muslin and get the fit exactly right. It turned out OK in the end.
This is me, trying very hard to not point out all of the things wrong with this dress.
It’s not that I’m not happy with it, it’s just that it has some issues, and the more I wear it, the more I am aware of them.
OK, let's put "push-ups" on the to-do list for the next three months. Ew! Sorry.
One of the problems that was self-inflicted is that I held the bodice up too high when was helping me pin-fit this, so the straps are too short, the bodice is too high, which means the waist is too high…. I think I can fix this problem, assuming I have enough of the solid green leftover (I don’t have any of the blue paisley leftover).
Imagine the whole thing about an inch or two lower on my body. Much better.
I made up a sash, thinking that would help the higher waistline, but it doesn’t, not really. I need to go purchase a real belt. I’m thinking that the $20 of Kohls cash, along with the $10 Kohls gift card we got in the mail, might help me do that tonight.
For work, with a sweater and the sash.
For a long time, I thought the bodice wasn’t symmetrical, that I had somehow done something very wrong to mess things up. However, after wearing it for several hours, I think it’s just that the whole thing is too high, and that if I fixed the shoulder straps, everything else would be better.
Quick story about this dress: this morning I stopped in the skyway to get a pastry before work (because when you’re wearing a dress that is slightly uncomfortable and might possibly look silly, you need the boost of confidence a cream cheese danish can provide… or is that just me?). The girl behind the counter told me that she liked my dress, and asked me where I bought it. When I told her that I made it, she said she was very jealous. I have received a few compliments at work, too, though not as many as some other dresses – I know this one isn’t the best of the bunch.
I’m not opposed to making this up again, even though we had to pin out several inches of the bodice. I had to cut off several inches of the skirt when laying the pattern out, because I didn’t have enough fabric. The skirt is so full that this dress takes over 4 yards of fabric when you do the correct length! I got away with a bit less than that, but it is a tiny bit short in the back when I sit down.
Thus ends my series of “Unemployment Dresses.” I think that’s the end of my “Unemployment Clothing” posts, too. I have one “dress that wasn’t,” but I’m not sure it’s worth writing about.
Perhaps tomorrow, as requested by , I’ll put all five dresses up for a vote for your favorite. Or at least by the end of the week.