Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

This year was my year to heal. Losing my MIL in 2010 sent me into a spiral that encompassed losing my own mother in 2006. It has taken me a long time to get over losing these two important women and to come into my own. I'm hoping 2012 will be the year I start living for me. I feel like I'm recovered enough and have made a good start in the second half of this year. You can tell I'm doing better because I sew and blog more when I'm feeling good about myself and my life.

Some of my sewing accomplishments for 2011 included learning some new skills and I think I did pretty well towards that goal. I made some panties for the first time. I learned how to dye fabric, which I really liked to do. I also did some home dec projects including recovering an ottoman.

This was the year I lost my very most favorite pattern, KS 2900, the TNT t-shirt. I also found a replacement that I like just as much. I bought a ton of fabric this year and did some travelling. I went to the meeting in Chicago and I visited my FIL in South Carolina. I lost some weight and gained it all back plus some. I entered a sewing competition that had no winner and I allowed myself to be talked into sewing a costume for my niece. You know I hate sewing for others!

Things I plan on for the new year include taking care of me. My son is nearly grown and will be turning 18 and going to college in 2012. I know my job of raising him isn't over, however, I think the hardest part is. I believe I have taught him to be a self-sufficient human being, now I just need to teach him to drive.

I will be going back to college to take some classes this year. My first class will be Illustration for Fashion and Costume Design. I've been wanting to take this class forever. I'm also going to seriously look into getting my Master's Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education which will qualify me to teach at the Community College level. Unfortunately, the school where this program is offered is 55 miles away. That's a really long commute to attend school and I will really have to give this some thought. However, I really want to teach sewing. For 15 years I've been teaching middle school, and I'm tired of the behavior of today's kids. Maybe college students will be different.

I turned 50 this year. I didn't mention it when it happened in July. I wasn't sure how I felt about it. Now that I've had that I've had a few months to think about it, I like the idea of being 50. I just wish I was in shape. Not that I want to be skinny (that would be nice though), I just want to be more fit than I am. I want to have more stamina and strength. I don't like the way I feel at the moment. I'm not unhealthy, I'm just very unfit. I plan on doing something about that in 2012. My first goal is 30 minutes of exercise every other day. I plan to mix it up with bike rides, walks on either the treadmill or outdoors, or using the Wii Fit program or other exercise DVDs.

As for sewing, my goal this year is to sew more capsules. I have found that every time I sew up a capsule, I wear those pieces more than anything else. I will also be sewing from the stash. It's getting completely out of control and since I have these lovely fabrics, it's time to use them. I will also be clearing out the clutter in my house. I really do have a nice size home, it's just filled with un-needed stuff and unused stuff and feels quite small. I foresee some major battles with my hoarder husband over this, but everything that I can get rid of will go. I'm becoming the Craigslist Queen and have made some money at the same time. I will continue this in 2012.

To support my goal of sewing through the stash, I've entered's Stash Contests. My goal is to sew 25 yards in January. I think this is a very doable goal since I usually don't work much (I'm a sub teacher) in January and my fashion illustration class doesn't start until March. Using my stash, I'm going to be sewing up my first mini-wardrobe for winter. I also plan to do a lot more blogging this year. I'm hoping to gain more followers in the new year and of course, I'm always wanting to generate more comments. What blogger isn't a comment ho at heart?

I especially want to wish all my readers a fantastic new year in 2012 and may all your wishes for the year come true!


Monday, December 5, 2011

What I Did This Weekend or Can You Spot My Mistake?

Clever title, huh? I've since fixed the mistake. If you're not a quilter, please forgive me. I used to be a quilter. I've won blue ribbons at the Los Angeles County Fair for my quilts, honest. I even once won a special award for my free motion quilting which came with a $50 quilt store certificate. Quilting is something I'm not sure I love, it's just that it's addicting. Kind of like eating potato chips. You can't eat just one. One block becomes two, two becomes three, and so on and so forth. I just can't help myself.

At Thanksgiving dinner I was asked by my sister-in-law to make her some lap quilts. She is wheelchair bound and stuck in Oklahoma with my brother. In a moment of weakness, since I'd hate to be stuck in OK with my brother, I agreed. She only wanted them to be 36" X 36" so I knew that this would be an easy project. I decided not to be anal about matching my seams so that the sewing would go faster. I even had these strips cut from another quilt project I did about 12 years ago. That quilt was a scrappy American flag block made with 1" squares. Those are 3" nine-patch blocks, so this is a small quilt and I'll probably finish it before the week is over. I'm enjoying the process, actually. I have the top completed, except for the borders, so it's going pretty fast. I like free motion quilting, so that should go quite fast as well. I'll make her two, the next one will probably be some sort of scrappy pinwheel quilt. I have lots of quilt fabric left from my quilting days, so I won't be buying anything--and using up stash. Yea!

The other thing I did was to finish up fitting this muslin. (Sorry about this awful photo . I hope I don't ever get arrested because I'm sure this is what my mug shot would look like.) This pattern is Simplicity 2151. It fit fairly well out of the envelope but I did make some changes to the muslin. You can see that I shortened it at the waist about one inch. I also gave it a sloping shoulder adjustment and I shortened the shoulder length by 1/2 inch. 

Another alteration I made was to straighten the seams under the bust for more room around my torso. I can see some pulling around my bust but there really is enough ease, so that confuses me. I cut the C cup but maybe I should have cut the D cup, even though, I'm not a D in bra size. What do you think I should do?

From the side I think the back fits really well, but from the back you can see that I need a rounded back adjustment. Only problem with that is that the back neckline is already almost too high, so I'll have to cut that down and alter the neckline tie to fit.

My niece is coming over again this week to sew with me on Thursday. I'd like to have the quilt sandwich pinned together and the D-cup muslin cut out for my sewing date. I can't tell you how much better my psyche feels now that I'm sewing regularly again.