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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Butterick and Ottobre and where is my sewing time???

Sometimes I really resent my job. I love teaching, but the ridiculous minutiae of paperwork and other time-sucks just drains away my joy as well as my free time. Really, the more I am told I have to do to make sure my students pass, the more it turns into enabling (so not my idea of effective instruction, but hey, I plan to keep my job, so I do what I have to do). I have spent 10 hour days in the building and 4-5 hours plus working at home most nights the last two weeks. This weekend? Well, if it wasn't for the fact that my embroidery machine is right next to my desktop computer and I can write test questions and grade assignments in between thread changes, I would totally lose my mind. I have stitched out a design on a hand towel for the kids' bathroom, a personalized towel design for my oldest, and I have a Buzz Lightyear-themed t-shirt in the hoop for my youngest son right now.

I have decided how to fix this problem, though: I am going back to what I know works. For my students, this means I will not make them 2 and 3 extra copies of work they shouldn't have lost in the first place. Welcome back to the world of high expectations. I have gone back to my previous habit of planning out several weeks at a time, and have everything scheduled and broken down so that I will not end up with evenings lost to insane amounts of paperwork. The reward for my students is that they will have the opportunity to learn more responsibility. The reward for my family is that I will not be a raging cranky b!tch because the reward for me will be time to create.

In honor of getting my plans together, I am motivated by some lovely new patterns soon to find their way into my hands. First up, the new Ottobre is available to preview on the website which means it is headed to my mailbox soon! I love crossover t-shirt and skirt in the travel clothes section. This looks like a really good issue.  I think the short sleeve t-shirt and capri pants are cute as well.

Butterick has quite a few lovely new Spring patterns. There are some lovely dresses. This wrap over a tank style dress is cute. I would like to make this in a lovely print jersey and wear it to work with a cardigan. (B5750)

B5749 is another knit dress I would like to sew for work. I think the draping looks particularly flattering on this one.

I think there is a lot going for the lines of this Maggy London dress. (B5751) I like the color-blocked version of this very much.

B5745 is another dress with great seaming detail and cup size pattern pieces (always a plus). I like the version with the cap sleeves. This would be cute in a fun print.

The simplicity of the retro styling of B5748 is really cute. I think this would be adorable in some tartan plaid fabric I picked up recently. I like the bow detail in the front, but I think I would skip it in the back.

B5754 has some cute top options that would make up quickly. I like the neckline detail on the two versions at the bottom.

B5753 is another cute top pattern. I love color-blocking so this look is a no-brainer. I like the way the colors are done on the sketch, but the made-up version pictured is not a turn-on color-wise.

Of the non-apparel patterns, B5767 stands out for cute, simple organizational ideas. I like how the hanger organizers are made. The wall pockets are cute, too - decorative and functional.

They had two patterns for kids - one in infant sizes and one in 2-8. Neither one was particularly interesting. In fact, they were both pretty boring. I have no interest in that given the great selection of kids' patterns already in my possession.

Well, hopefully, I can knock out the rest of my school work - I am not kidding when I say I have been at it for a total of over 15 hours since I left work on Friday - and stitch up the last two pairs of flannel sleep shorts and Gracie's black yoga shorts. Then, I might have time this week to dig into something with a little more flair.

Monday, February 20, 2012

She'll flip for this while he goes bananas

Gracie is test-driving Jalie 2792 in anticipation of signing up for gymnastics. She has loved cheerleading (which she is still continuing), but the local parks & rec has a good gymnastics program and she's already seen the equipment and tried to play on it while at we are signing her up!

Of course, the best part for mom is making her some cute leotards. I bought Jalie 2792 and made it up in stretch panne velvet from Joann's. Gracie picked out the colors. (We also have some hot pink lycra knit waiting in the wings lest you think she has abandoned the requisite pink.)

I'm also trying out Jalie 3022 (the yoga shorts). I have them cut in stretch black velvet.

This has actually been a productive sewing day because I also whipped up Ottobre 06-2011 #35 - boxer/sleep shorts. My older two boys need sleepwear rather badly so I am rectifying that situation with long flannel shorts. Jamie was quite pleased.

I have two more pairs of these shorts cut and ready to go as soon as I change the thread on my serger.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy sewing surprise!

I was at Joann's today when I discovered that not only were Simplicity patterns on sale for $1 each, but they had the new ones. (and how did I miss the fact that those were out???) I'm very excited about the ones I got!

I love this Cynthia Rowley pattern - think I would combine the top of the blouse with the skirt from the orange version.

This is another Cynthia Rowley hit - love the dress the model is wearing - might not be too bad on me even if I am not 6 feet tall and skinny.

I'm excited about the Leanne Marshall patterns - loved her stuff on Project Runway.

I think the 3/4 sleeve dress is really cute on this one.

Love the shorts outfit!

Two nice dress patterns from Project Runway

 I like the dress and jacket - pretty pleats on the jacket

I haven't made any of the SUEDESays patterns yet, but the pink dress on the far left would be a cute style for work.

I love a fun bag pattern!

Amazing Fit? Yes, please! Lots of seams to work with for fitting

A little something for DD's dolls

Cute simple blouse - love when the patterns have the cup size variation

The shorts are so cute - need to make some for summer.

I love the color-blocked skirt!

I picked up the cutest bunny print fabric and this pattern will be just right for it.

I'm a sucker for the mother-daughter patterns - so cute for pool wear/cover-ups. The hats are really nice - would be great for when I'm sitting at the pool reading.

Another mother-daughter cutie!

I'm have been really happy with Simplicity's offerings for both Early Spring and Spring collections - can't wait to see what they have for summer!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fall & Winter Wardrobe Plan - revisited

Back in November, I came up with a sewing plan for what I wanted to sew for myself for Fall and Winter. It was rather ambitious, and I knew I likely wouldn't get to all of it, but I am proud to say that I completed 19 of my planned garments.

I also have no problem saying I am DONE for now with it. I plan to revisit it this summer or around the time school starts - when I am getting in the mood to sew for cooler weather. Then, I will update it and probably get around to making at least some of the planned outfits I haven't gotten to yet.

Do I think this kind of planning was helpful? Yes, I've always bitten off more than I can chew when it comes to projects. I don't really function any other way. Part of the excitement for me is the planning and dreaming part of it which is why I am so in love with Pinterest. I already have a similar board started for both myself and my daughter, plus one for sewing for my boys - all thinking ahead to Spring. This is, of course, in addition to my two design inspiration boards - one for grown-ups and one for the kids.

I have a dress, a pair of capri pants, and a tote back cut out and on the sewing pile, but I think I need to get my sewing wish list a little more organized. I've been knocking out cute things for Gracie, but I need to look at what she needs as far as matching items, etc. I'm also thinking ahead to our August Disney trip. I have some really cute embroidery designs I am planning to use on themed items for the children. Maybe I need to create a Disney-inspiration pinboard...hmm?

I also need to make some bags for my kids. The boys could all use some bags to store and carry their Scout stuff and little Gracie could use a sports bag for cheerleading/gymnastics. (We are signing her up for gymnastics soon...and I have a Jalie leotard pattern on the way.)

It looks like I need to start making a sewing plan for all of these projects. Then maybe I can get some of the embroidery work done while I grade student work...some days I wish I could design and sew for a living, but that would not be financially feasible now. Maybe someday...

In the meantime, I also have all of this to play with - making some new hairbows for my girl!
Happy sewing!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Sewing Sunday!

I think there's a football game on...but let's talk about more important things: there was a 25% off sale at Elegant Stitches. I got there just as it was getting started and selected a large pile of pretties. I picked up white linen batiste to make this dress from Australian Smocking for Easter. I also got some of the new Patty Young "Lush" prints, some cute pirate and jungle theme prints for Disney trip outfits, and some other cute fabrics with project potential...we won't talk about how much I spent.

Then, I got home and finished up a couple of outfits for Miss Gracie-cakes. This is Simplicity 2171 - a very boutique-looking pattern with a girly, feminine sweetness. It's got a lot of twirl going
on, plus the embroidery looks like our sweet tabby Molly.

I also finished up a Farbenmix Olivia dress. I did it in short sleeves and skipped the pinafore. I added a simple pair of pink knit bike shorts for underneath it since this is a play kind of outfit. The hood at the back is so cute - like a little elf hood.