Jeez - what happened? I used to be a blogging fool but then, suddenly, everything changed. And I'm not happy about it. Social media is fine, great for quick updates & sharing things on the run, but for the real, gritty stuff? Nothin' like a blog post. So I'm back. And I've probably lost what readership I had so this can return to what it started out as.... an online journal of sorts.
I haven't really changed much since I last blogged - still making jewelry, sewing up Alabama Chanin projects, riding my horses. But yet, things have changed. I started practicing yoga every morning (almost) thanks to MyYogaOnline, the best thing I've found online in a long time. It has been wonderful for my back and every morning I look forward to rolling out the mat. I've come a long way with Rhea and so excited for an upcoming clinic. JC had not one but two knee replacements this winter. We got a puppy. It barely snowed, so we're looking at another challenging water year. I started two new websites, Ride & Shine (for jewelry blogging and eventually selling) and Mountain View (for our new business venture).
Certain things keep me grounded and give me great satisfaction, though, like sewing. Most recently, sewing up a Vogue DKNY pattern using Alabama Chanin hand-sewing techniques AND the organic cotton I bought from AC a year or so ago. (This is all part of the use it up them of this winter, too, where I've concentrated on unfinished projects and my fabric/yarn stash).
The pattern and the fabric:
I was a little shocked when I went into JoAnn's to buy the pattern. When did they get so bloody expensive? If I don't use this pattern again, this will be a fairly spendy dress. Hopefully it will fit like a dream and I'll want to make several renditions.
There is a fair amount of messing around with the pattern to make it work with the hand sewing and AC's smaller seam allowances and I have to admit I did some winging of it. I measured myself and chose what I thought was the appropriate size, then figured that I'd cut it out without trimming down the seam allowances just in case. I have nightmares of sewing as a teenager and being so excited about making something, then having it not fit AT ALL and tossing it after all that work.
Another goal was getting as much as I could out of this gorgeous fabric I bought from AC. I ended up with enough for a poncho and a fairly decent sized piece I could make into large napkins or some other smallish project. For the lining I used a cotton knit sheet in a sage green. I've found that buying the jersey knit sheet sets at Target work great for some of these projects, at least the 100% cotton ones. There are some cute stripes and other patterns but they are not all cotton so I haven't gone there. (note: you do have to be careful to find the grain on the sheets - they don't always run straight with the cut of the sheets).
My favorite way to sew these projects is to put on a good chick flick or settle in on a Wednesday night to watch Modern Family and Nashville. I get get quite a ways in just one evening although sometimes my back will bark at me the next morning (that's where the yoga comes in).
I sewed up the front and the back, then pinned the sides to check for size.
And yes, some adjusting was in order. My advice, moving forward? Save yourself some time and re-sewing of seams and trim down the pattern. I'll be doing that before the next one.
I took in the sides quite a bit, and then tried it on again. Then I took in the front side and back side seams (the curvy ones) to make it fit even better. Now I'm in the process of flat felling all the seams and the final thing to do will be to bind off the neckline and the armholes. I think I'm going to love this dress.
Before I make another one, though, I'm going to finish a tunic top I cut out and stenciled oh-so-long-ago, and decide what to do with a funny little scarf/wrap that I did the same... but I still have quite a bit of fabric in my stash so I'm sure I won't have to even buy anything to make the next one of whatever I decide to make.
Hey.... it's GOOD to be back!