Sunday, 22 July 2012

Proud and extra proud!

Well I'd like to say I've been busy whilst I've been off after my knee op but it's taken until the end of last week to feel normal again, I was awfully tired most of the week. My knee is really getting better amazingly quick, it was a keyhole op so I know it would be fairly quick but it's been a lot quicker than I thought, it's still swollen so I'm not back to normal and I'm certainly not as flexible as normal but I'm getting there. Back to work Tuesday, shame, just as the weather in the UK is set to get gorgeous!!

Anyway I had an idea what I wanted to sew but actually only got one thing done, however I'm super proud of it.

Do you remember this fabric I bought from a vintage fair? It's a beautiful vintage polish cotton, I couldn't have worked with a nicer fabric!

I've been wanting to make this pattern for a while, it's so summery and versatile as I knew with this fabric it would look like a dress when worn together but I can wear it apart with different blouse or trousers/skirt. Obviously I didn't want to add the ric rac as it's too patterned and I also didn't add the pockets for the same reason, although I'm so happy with the outcome I may buy some solid colour cotton and do another set with ric rac and pockets!

And the final result! I'm really happy with it. It's so summery, just in time for our week of summer in the UK!!

I would definitely make this pattern again although as with any sewing I learnt a few lessons as I went along which I'll share as I always think it's useful for other people who sew. I'm short and really I need to alter all patterns accordingly, this means altering the length of the blouse and the skirt, I didn't do this as I cut the pattern out and I wish I had as this would have been an even better fit than it is if I had! 

What I did do this time that I rarely do is I did everything properly. I have sewn for more years than I care to remember but I'm a sloppy, I sew for me, I have never cared about technique or the finish, but I have decided I want to improve as people are starting to ask me to make for them, however I'm not happy with my finish yet, so I'm improving my finish on all my garments, then perhaps I'll start making for others. 

Anyway things I did for this that I don't normally. 

1. The pattern didn't have facings for the collar and armholes and I thought it needed them so I added them and I'm glad I did
2. I've always struggled with hemming fuller skirt so I found this tutorial 

on Gerties Blog for Better Sewing and followed it, it was great and I'm so happy with the result, so much so I'm determined to make more full skirts.

3. I ironed seams at EVERY stage, not just when I had to, preparation and thoroughness in sewing leads to a better garment all round!

Ok so that's what I'm proud of, what am I extra proud of??

I fit back into one of my favourite vintage dresses, a 1950s gold lurex dress, I am chuffed beyond belief, I am overflowing with joy, now I need to go somewhere to wear it again!! It's a little tight still, it could do with being a little looser but I'm in it dammit and that is HUGE for me :o)

Apologies for the slightly blurred photos of my outfit shots, I have no idea why they did that, working with a timer confuses me, I must have pressed something else too!!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A Milestone achieved and some serious thinking!

Today I reached a weight loss milestone, I've now lost 25lbs, it feels so good I can't tell you! I'm so proud that I've tried so hard and it's working. Sometimes it's not hard at all, sometimes you just want to stuff your face with whatever is in the house, but I've resisted. I've exercised and done it the right way as I still have treats, just not as many and not as often as I used to. I still have a ways to go but I'm getting very close to some of the stuff I haven't fit for a long time and other stuff is falling off me :o)

I haven't been able to sew yet, I've been kinda tired after my op and today I went out properly for the first time since my op so I'm super tired today. I'm hoping to start some sewing tomorrow.

Now onto the serious thinking and this IS serious.

I heard some sad news this week about someone I know with regards to their health, it's a sad situation and I wish her all the best, sending the biggest most positive vibes ever. The same day I saw my friend who's Mum died very suddenly and unexpectedly a month or so ago, she wasn't ill as far as they knew and next thing she was dead. Sorry I said this was serious! As regular readers will know we've been through some life changing stuff too and you would think this would constantly make you think that life is short and stuff has to be done, but you know after a while you forget and you get bogged down with all the stuff that happens to us day to day. But the last couple of days and perhaps having time on my hands, has made me think hang on, life is passing, and I'm not necessarily using my time how I want to. I did get a bit distracted by my business failing last year and sorting out my life financially but I think it's time for a reassessment.

Do you do this often? I think it's sometimes important to stand back and think what do I want? How am I going to get it?

One of the things I want to do is sort ourselves financially so that we can start enjoying some of the things we used to love doing. My first one, a trip to California, we love California, but our finances and the increase in cost of flights and poorer exchange rate means we haven't been for a while, so I'm going to have a good think about how we can get back there! Who wouldn't want to go back here?

We'd love to go travelling more anyway and we used to travel a lot in Europe, so before we can afford a Californian dream holiday again, we're thinking some European Cities, perhaps Barcelona, we went years ago and loved it, so watch this space.

We also are awful, both of us, at appreciating the small things in life and so we're determined to do that more too.

I would also definitely like to work for myself again one day, but I'm ok working for someone else for now, however I want to make sure that is always in my mind as I don't want to let go of that dream.

Very long term plans, we would love to move to a property with more character and perhaps out of the area we are in now. Now this would be ideal but unlikely unless we win the lottery he he! Yes it's in California....

So time on my hands has made me think a bit more.

Do you lose track of your dreams sometimes with day to day living? What are your plans?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Time on my hands....

You know when you're busy and all you would like is some time on your hands, then when you have surgery and just have to sit with your leg up you think whaaaaaa I want something to do! That's my situation, sadly I don't look quite this glamorous!

I thought I would sew after my knee op - it's only keyhole so wasn't too ambitious - however I find I've been very sleepy and need to spend most of the time with my knee elevated. I am improving and down to one crutch so hopefully soon before I go back to work I'll manage some sewing.

I have had a visit from a friend today and tomorrow another friend is taking me for coffee so that should be nice.

I've managed to walk around the block today, only a small block but I did it so that is good.

Meantime I've been trawling ebay and etsy to look at all the lovely things I can't afford or searching patterns that I would like to make going forward.

If you live in the UK you'll know we haven't had a summer, if you live elsewhere, I'm letting you know the UK hasn't had a summer I've never seen so much rain! So my thoughts are turning to autumn/winter sewing.

I have never made a coat or jacket and I really fancy trying it this year. I love 50s style swing coats and good vintage ones are becoming very rare so why not try my own. I have some but don't want to over wear them for day to day, so I'm going to give it a go.

So far I've found lots of lovely ideas for jackets, including one that I did feature last year but never got round to doing.

I seem to be veering towards 40s style rain macs, mmmm I wonder why ha ha!

I love this pattern and it is for sale, I may buy this. I've never had a rain coat and considering what it's been like here lately I could do with one.

Cute and look at all those lovely colours!

Beautiful and stylish!

Have you noticed they all have hoods? Yes it's been that foul lately!

I'm more likely to try this first, it looks easy and it's a style I like anyway, so I may give it a go.

I also like this style and it seems like a nice practical style for work, it's not very exciting but it is stylish. I'm just worried about lining a coat for the first time, I imagine that to be complicated!

Colour combos? I still would like to make something with this colour combination, it's just stunning! Yellow and leopard, swoon, or green and leopard, who knows eh?

Well I am off work until at least Monday or Tuesday depending on how I feel and whether I can drive, I have some stuff to do but lots of sleeping seems to be happening too!

Hope you all have a good week.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Gingham, Sewing and FABULOUS fabric!

So it's been another few weeks since I posted, sorry!

Anyway I've been busy, still getting used to full time work, doing lots of stuff I wanted to get done before my knee op (which is this coming Friday eek!) and I've been sewing - as well as continuing to exercise and lose weight :o)

As you know I'm losing weight - over 1 1/2 stone right now, a scrape under 22lbs to be exact! - and my clothes are getting bigger so I needed to make a new blouse for work. I have loads of green gingham sitting around in my stash so thought I would use that. It's so nice to be wearing something that fits rather than too big, I'm also 2 vintage jeans sizes down, just got back into these jeans for the first time in years!!

I also made myself something I've been promising myself for a long while, not an essential piece of clothing but a make up coverall! I am one of those people who is forever dropping make up on myself, it drives me crazy. I know some people are great at this kind of thing, me, not so much. So I made up a 50s apron and I've had no make up down the front of my clothes for over a week now YAY!

I've also scored big time on fabric lately, at some great great prices too! All great prints, pretty much all tropical/hawaiian and I can't wait to make them up, but I'm going to wait until I get to a weight I'm happier with so it make be a little while til you see the final product!

The first 3 I bought from the same seller in the US, I think it's repro as it's in such good condition, but it arrived and it's 36 inches wide and feels vintage, I'm really not sure now. Anyway I don't care cos it's AWESOME!!

I got this really cute fabric from a US seller to for next to nothing, it does however smell a little - only of old peoples houses, like moth balls or something - so I'll be washing it before I use it, but very carefully!

This fabric I bought from a UK seller and I have lots of it, enough to make a dress. It is far better in the flesh, for some reason photographs don't do it justice, even in on ebay it didn't look as good as it is but I thought it might be, so again I got it for a song!!

Last weekend I swapped my old office and sewing room round, I put Paul and all his art and painting paraphernalia in my office and I went into his old art room which is now my sewing room. Once I've sorted it fully I'll take photos. When I was moving my stuff I found a stash of UFOs (unfinished objects for all you non-sewing types), this gorgeous blouse was amongst them. I remember starting this several years ago before a holiday but then just didn't have time to finish it, I think it went wrong and I abandoned it. Anyway I have dug it out, it's still too small right now but I will finish it up, it's stunning fabric, and I will fit it soon :o)

And last but not least, please don't be scared he he! I have a bigger bust it's no secret and every time I try to fit something to my tailors dummy it just doesn't hang right as all my measurement is at the front, not round the back. So I decided to get a bra out, fix it to my dummy and stuff it, it's not glamorous, but boy what a difference it's made! Sadly my waist isn't quite that small yet, but that's as big as this dummy goes, but it will be soon, they are however my hip measurements :o) I wanted to show you this as this is a good idea for those with a larger bust who are trying to fit clothes better!

So as you see I've been up to a lot. As I said I'm in for my op on Friday, so you'll probably hear a lot more from me during that week cos I'll be off work.

Hope you're all well, sorry I haven't been able to keep up with my blog reading but I mostly caught up today.

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