Au Revoir 2012

This year I

Sewed along with the Sew Weekly

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 With a touch more sewing and refashions

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Refashioned

Tried Shibori (courtesy of Course Horse)
while hanging with some great dames

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Had a career changing experience at
Brooklyn Historical Society

Screen Shot 2012-12-31 at 3.55.15 PMPromaballoona with Oona and the Gang

Prom

Spent time with my favorite people
and meet some fantastic new ones

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1. Headed Home, 2. Gorgeous Rachel!, 3. Ginger and Oona Pet Patterns, 4. Brooklyn Bridge Stroll

Took pictures of, and in front of,  A LOT of very cool graffiti

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1. The “Barbie Pink” Prom Dress, 2. The “Grayscale” Ensemble, 3. The “Three, Three, Three Trends in One!” Ensemble, 4. The “Grayscale” Ensemble

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1. IMG_2345, 2. IMG_2347, 3. Tree Woman :: Brooklyn Grafitti, 4. Ignorant People Steal Street Art

I did lots of other great things in 2012. Like taking care of my family and basking in their love, co-chairing my daughter’s school craft fair, finishing graduate school (!!!!!!), landing an internship and tons of other BIG and small things.

Without a doubt, the thing that has most rocked my life this year is the loss of these two very important people.

My Grandparents D&I

Their absence is felt every day, in so many ways. I will never get used to them being gone. Losing them has taught me so much. And I’m still learning. I don’t know what 2013 will bring. But I know that it will contain some good and some bad. And that I will meet whatever comes to the best of my abilities.

I have felt the arms of the sewing community wrap around me in congratulations, support and hardship. I appreciate you all so much!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL!!

The Blogger Connection Ensemble

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

This outfit has sewing blogger influence all up and through it! The skirt is inspired by this look of Janice’s. WAY BACK in September I fell for it. I drafted the pattern in early October…..and pinned to the curtain in my sewing room. Then, my sewing success high fueled by my desire to make some back-to-work clothes led to the Janice skirt’s date with the machine. I have had limited to no success working with things I’ve drafted myself. But, using a combination of my TNT skirt pattern and careful studying of pattern images led to a pretty great first try! I still like the suspenders, but I’m brainstorming the best way to make them removable. Thoughts?

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

I chose this denim because I killed a skirt made from the same in the wash (and was too lazy to unpick it, re-serge the seam allowances and reattach the zipper). Plus, it has great stretch and is thick without being too stiff. I think I might need a little more wiggle room to eliminate the bunching in front. I’ve put on a bit of winter padding, which always goes to the hips. But I can totally live with it. The bunching and the padding :)

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

I like that the waistband is curved and slightly higher in the front.

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

Those back darts lie totally flat against my body. I’m pretty proud of that even if I am a little self conscious about the way it emphasizes certain assets. And my little pouf of lower belly which my husband has had it with me complaining about, lol

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

The Rachel Topper is Sewing Fairy Godmother miracle #2. It’s Butterick 9374 done up in stretch cotton plaid and is named for this Rachel, we both bought the fabric (for $1 a yard) during our trip around the GD together. I have another zillion or so yards, so look for more projects/muslins.

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

Anyway, the fit. About 1.5-2 inches was folded out of the back piece with the facing shortened accordingly and a tiny bit more ease was added to the front armhole. Again, both mods are perfect for my narrow back and dislike of tight armholes (which seem to come with sewing a smaller size  to accommodate for my back and small bust). As you can see in the photos below, it is a mite short when not tucked in. I would definitely make this again, though. As well as the  matching jacket, which is already modified for me :)

The Janice Skirt & Rachel Topper

All told, two more items added to my handmade wardrobe!! With fun connections to the sewing community!

BONUS!!

Sew-Along Success!!

Sew Along Success!!

OK. I really felt like I hit the mother load with that vintage pattern haul I posted a while back. I loved that Taran and I had bought ours on the same freaking day and I loved that Vicki had it, too! Well, when I jumped at the chance to sew-along with them, I hadn’t taken Simplicity 8498 out of its envelope. When I did, I was reminded that the previous owner was a working seamstress and sewing instructor. This meant that the pattern was sliced, diced and altered to within an inch of its fragile tissue paper life.

Do I go with the mods? Or, with the aid of A LOT of tape, try to stick the thing back together? Laziness won out. I kept the pieces as is, wished for the best and cut it out of this olive colored wool I’ve had for ages and didn’t mind wasting. And there it sat. Until I saw Taran’s gorgeous version!! If I wasn’t going to go balls out and make a floor length masterpiece the least I could do is finish on time!!

Sew Along Success!!

How was I to know that a sewing MIRACLE would await me! The previous owner must have been shaped EXACTLY like me!! I have never had bust darts fall so perfectly right out of the gate! Nor have I had a pattern go together with such ease. The only trouble I had was with the facings (which look like hell in comparison to the pro job done on the rest of the garment) and it turns out that I used the wrong pattern pieces, lol. She, my Sewing Fairy Godmother, had made her version with sleeves. I didn’t think that was wise to do with wool, but I sooo have plans for a cotton sateen version of this.

I mean, seriously, LOOK at this dart placement and fit!!

Sew Along Success!!

She had added about an half inch of ease at the bust and slashed and spread the back. I don’t think the original width stood a chance of going over my hips.

Sew Along Success!!

I left off the back darts. My Sewing Fairy Godmother had crossed them out on the pattern so I decided to follow her wisdom.

Sew Along Success!!

That’s a damn good fit for someone with a serious sway back. If had put on a slip here, the fabric wouldn’t be sitting on my tush like that, lol. I think the cotton version might need them. It doesn’t have the same drape as this wool suiting.

Sew Along Success!!

I catch stitched the hem. I’m so glad I did. I love how invisible, but sturdy, it is. After trying it with lots of things, I paired it with a Lydia top (because it’s wool and I’d like to avoid dry cleaning for as long as possible) and dark ribbed tights.

LOVE IT!

Overall, a massively enjoyable sewing experience!! I was so inspired by my success, I spent the rest of that night and the next day (yesterday) sewing!! The fit was not a fluke, people! Stay tuned for Sewing Fairy Godmother miracle fit #2 and a self drafted success story!

If This is The End

I’ll take it!! Because I had a GREAT day!

My grades are in. Two Bs, which killed my 4.o, but ended up being better than I anticipated given how I felt the semester was going. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for finals! I got a 98 on my archival management one, which gave my overall grade a boost. And a hard won 82 (which FEELS like 100% given how difficult the subject is) for cataloging. Just one question (out of 8, total) on that exam was worth 60 points. Yikes!
GRADES :: GRAD SCHOOL IS OVER

Final Tally :: 10 As and 2 Bs. 3.83 GPA.
Not too shabby.

Also…I had another job interview today. I felt a bit more confident and ready this time, despite a near late arrival disaster. The bus I needed to take apparently only arrives once a decade. And I had just missed it. I grabbed a cab (thank goodness I remembered to take the cash from my jeans pocket last night) and made it in plenty of time.

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

Blazer :: Forever21
Dress :: Thrifted from Domsey’s
($7.39, no tags)
Tights :: Duane Reade
Shoes :: Naturalizer
(free from a Freecycler)

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

No jump shot, today. Just me in my hallway.

But, I FEEL LIKE JUMPING!

Interview Ensemble Numero Dos

Before I even made it on the bus headed back towards home, I missed a call. I checked my voice mail and I had been offered the internship! One that pays, too!

And this time is not like the last one when I got my hopes up and had to miss out on an opportunity. This time, I start much sooner (in about 2 weeks), I know a lot more about the expected schedule and my children are well settled in their new schools.

I’m so excited! It’s a great opportunity to get library experience and I don’t even have to do it for free. On top of that, I feel really passionate about the work I’ll be doing and it’s in Brooklyn which will make managing around the rest of my life much easier.

All that’s left to do is some celebratory sewing to supplement my work wardrobe!!

Orange

I had an interview today. I was so worked up about figuring out what to wear (my old go-to interview outfits no longer fit)  that I didn’t get enough sleep. The campus was pretty far away (speaking as a person who considers anything above 34th St a no man’s land) and long train rides and transferring from one line to another make me ridiculously anxious. Even for a neurotic New Yorker. I say all of that to say, I wasn’t feeling my best.

In the end, I wore handmade (thankyouverymuch) and my warmest special occasion/feeling fancy/you’ve looked like a slob for several weeks now coat. The interview went really well, but, in an ironic twist, I might not qualify for the position as I am no longer a student. What can you do?

Anyway. My little daughter requested my presence for a photo on the way home from school.

ORANGE

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The jump was my idea :D

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Thankfully, I did NOT have this variation of Alfafa’s hair-do earlier, lol. This was a hastily thrown up bun to go grab the kids.

Also. Wow, my lips just blend right in with my face without lipstick lol!

Coat :: Banana Republic
(so old, I only had one kid when I bought it)
Shoes :: H&M
Tights :: Duane Reade
(Surprisingly great quality!)

Art Biz

Today was the last day of art class for my oldest two. The presentations this term were really good. We have a few new, cool things to display in our home, now!

Missy’s superhero, Scorpia, was a BIG hit! Another parent there really, really liked the work she was featured in. She took the time to find out who created her and came over to tell my daughter that she really enjoyed it and what a great job she’d done. You cannot beat that kind of unsolicited praise! I’m sooooo glad we didn’t miss it. We went to her brother’s class, in another building, first. The woman actually rode up on the elevator with us when we went to view Missy’s things. I seriously got a little teary, lol. She really needs positive reinforcement from people she’s not related to. You know?

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Scorpia

This bird display was so cool! I love how my son’s teachers hung clouds between them. Their displays were particularly creative. Here are a few snaps of his bird.IMG_2515

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I took some time out to snap a few photos of the refashion I did last night. It was a perfect way to exercise my sewing muscles. Which, apparently, needed a stretch. I have never had so many problems with such a simple project before!

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I like how it, eventually, turned out. But, I think I might have to give this to Missy. The sleeves are too tight for comfort. She is the perfect size for it. In fact, I popped into Domsey’s yesterday and found a leather jacket from Express in great condition for only $7.39. It was a touch too small for me, so I got it for her instead. Pre-teen’s first leather!

Anyway, I sewed down that floppy collar, hacked it to waist length, cut a strip for a peplum sort of deal and added an extra bit of width to it for the pleat detail. Not too shabby for a sweater I rescued from the trash on dorm move out day!

Just a Little Bit Sixties

While bragging all over the interwebs sharing my pattern haul news with the sewing masses, Tanit-Isis realized that we had bought the SAME pattern on the SAME day!

Simplicity 8598

Sewing twinsies!! She knew that darling Sewing Scientist Vicki had the same pattern, too. She hatched a brilliant plan. We’d all sew it up…together! I feel like one of the cool kids being asked to take part!

Please don’t think that this is like one of those sew-alongs popping up all over the blogisphere. I really admire, and respect, the effort that goes into creating buttons, and taking all of those gorgeously detailed step-by-step photos, responding to questions and rounding everyone up for a virtual group photo at the end. It’s amazing. But, as Vicki pointed out when she sent a red alert email to Taran and I checking that this was not what we had in mind:

LMAO!!

What we DO have time for:
Sewing with a great vintage pattern.
Doing it up in photos when we’re finished.
And a linky party for anyone who happens to sew-along with us.

Oh, and emailing each other to commiserate on the sudden popularity of the reprint of this pattern which was done fanbloomingtastically by Tempest Devyne only this week!http://images.patternreview.com/sewing/patterns/simplicity/3833/3833.jpg

She, and approximately eleventy billion other seamstresses, beat us to the punch! And here we were feeling really smug about our “original” idea ;p Whatever! We are not deterred! I’m at the point where I feel like if I don’t make SOMETHING I will explode!

I’ve decided that the making of this dress will be a celebration! A celebration of making it through the longest semester of my life (this includes going to class while being pregnant with twins AND taking care of two other children). A celebration of making it to the close of another year, after all the hardships I’ve faced during this one. A celebration of doing a big part to raise funds for my daughter’s school. A celebration of keeping myself and my family happy and sane for another year.

I have a lot to celebrate and I plan to do it in style. And with two smoking hot, Canadian Sewing Scientists! Join us if you dare!

Because I’m so helpful I’ve done a very strenuous search on etsy for the original 60s pattern. These sellers all have copies! Go on and buy one! You know you want to!

And come back here soon for deadline details and to let us know that you want to sew-along with us!