Saturday, August 18, 2012

Late Summer: Organizing, Planning, Sewing

The party is over, summer has come to an end.  Temperature wise it will be summer here in Florida until October, and tradition tells us that Labor Day in the US is the last hurrah of summer.  By the time the autumnal equinox arrives, we will be a month into the school year.  It's time to get busy with school schedules, fundraisers, and {oh, my} the all-important looking at colleges.  

A few shots from our week at the beach.  For Floridians, August is a great time to go to the beach.  Since it is                                                   not prime tourist season, the beaches are quieter, and it's a perfect relaxing break before the hectic pace of the school year begins.  I'm happy to say that the tankini top  I made recently was used every day, and wore well.  The sun was blazing, so a little extra coverage was a good thing!
View from the condo (l), Plumeria (r).


The summer conversations over ice cream runs and relaxed meals centered around college and career plans.  It is a bit overwhelming for the high school kids who have so many choices.  It's a fun time, too, watching the kids go through the process.

With that, the upcoming year will be a busy one, and I am wondering how that will impact my sewing and blogging.  I am already behind on blogging sewn items, and haven't posted a review on Pattern Review in ages.  I haven't mentioned this, but I am in the midst of an all out studio reorganization.  Cleaning and reorganizing is what I do when there is a lot going on or I have to do some thinking.  (My daughter must have inherited that gene, because she did the same to her room this week.)  Once I finish the studio re-do (during which I am still sewing!!!), I will need to have a sort of 'plan' (loosely) for sewing this fall.  

I have been losing weight, (the slow, hard, old-fashioned way) so as I continue to reduce my weight and tone my body, I will need to adjust my sewing accordingly.  I made a couple of things recently that are already too big to wear.  It does not bother me, though, because the simple act of sewing fulfills an urge inside, know what I mean?  And it is a zen sort of process.  I was thinking that I could do as some other bloggers do and cut out several items in advance and sew them as time allows, but that probably will not work for me right now.  I feel the need to focus on some workout wear right now, and have some great patterns and fabric for that purpose, so that will be on the agenda.  Also on the near future agenda are window treatments for the master bedroom.  I've had the fabric for months, it's time to get 'em done.  DD needs window treatments for her room as well.  Those won't take long, hell it's just a bunch of straight seams.  It's the getting started that's taking so long!  At any rate, I am in need of some basic items in my wardrobe because of the weight change, so I will try to fill some holes there. 

Now let's get to the actual sewing!   Here is what I've been up to in the studio.

The Turtle Skirt - I made this last year, and love it.  It was too small, so I altered it.  Took off the waist facing and resized it, removed the zipper, added front and back waist darts, took in the side seams, resewed the waist facing and zipper.  I had to cover the end of the zipper where I shortened it.  Wearable again.  Trust me, only done because I love this skirt!  


Magnetic Ironing Pads for the top of the washer and dryer:  I like to iron certain things while still damp, or right out of the dryer.  My nice little laundry room (see below) doesn't have room for an ironing board.  I love these pads, and am wondering why I waited so long to make them.  I put the magnets in little pouches hanging down from the sides.  The magnets really help to keep the pads in place, even through the vigorous spin cycle!  See that little stack of freshly ironed pillowcases?  I have a slight ironing obsession.  Ahem.  What are the freshly washed green and white fabrics on the washer for?  That's the next project, of course!

Welcome to my laundry room.  It is small, but efficient.  

Fleece Baby Blanket for a friend's brand new baby granddaughter!  Isn't this fun fabric?  Easy peasy!


Finally, today I made wearable muslins from two patterns, Kwik Sew 3513 and McCall's 6078.  I am auditioning patterns for these knit fabrics, purchased from Christine Jonson's website.  Yes, they are luscious!  

Let's look at the skirt, KS3513, first.  

Thank you Myra, for suggesting this!  I remembered seeing a knit skirt I liked that Shannon (Mushywear) made, which was also KS3513.  Last night I ran to Hancock's (and I have to say the ladies were so nice last night - good moods prevailed!), picked up the pattern and cut it out.  I really wanted to muslin it first, so I pulled out a yard of 60" wide ITY in black, a piece purchased recently from Hancock's.  The fabric was barely enough, I had to just 'make it work'.  I ended up cutting a size large for the skirt back, a medium for the skirt front in width (large in length), and a medium for the waistband.  Instead of cutting on the fold, I cut four pieces, so there are center front and back seams, as well as side seams.  I had to piece together one of the skirt panels at the bottom, because of fabric shortage. It's a black knit, who's gonna know?  Besides, we'll call it a 'design element'.  The skirt fits, it is quite comfortable, and I love it.  I could have gotten away with a size small at the waist, and medium for the skirt body.  Lots of ease here.  This pattern will work well for my CJ fabric in black.  Perhaps I'll make the longer skirt since I now have a great new black skirt that just needs a hem!

With the Style Arc Creative Cate top - pulled down in the right pic to show the skirt waistband (folded) placement. 

With a RTW cami 'n sweater.  Oops, cut off my head and feet!


With a black knit RTW top, showing the waistband both ways.

By the way, Creative Cate, the red top above, is growning on me after some time in the magic closet!  I'm happy about that.  I may even make it again.

Oh, here is the pieced skirt panel: 

See?  No one will be any the wiser!

I believe that's enough for tonight.  I will save the top, McCall's 6078 for another day.  It needs a couple finishing touches before I take pictures.  

So much fabric, so many patterns, never enough time!!!  What's on your cutting table, summer or fall projects?  Halloween decorations are out at the stores already, Autumn's a comin'!

Happy sewing, 



  1. You have an ironing obsession too! I actually like ironing. I have been known to iron sheets. What can I say, I love the way they feel when you get into bed. These days I am hanging my laundry outside, I love that too, the smell is incredible. It is worth the extra work, IMHO.

    I really wish I could make some clothes for myself, but there is too much weight to lose to make it worth it right now, in a few months maybe.

    1. Elle, have you considered simple knit skirts? EAsy to take in! Love that hung on the line freshness!

  2. First, congratulations on the continual weight loss. You are doing well with it, particularly the 'hard way'. I also am an ironing nutter, and the laundry is my domain only in the household.
    Summer projects are moving their way onto my cutting table at the moment. We are just heading out of Winter so time to put the warm fabric back into the stash and enjoy the lighter weight fabrics. Lots of tops, tops, and more tops...

    1. Thank you, Judith! Yes, I am the chief Laundress also. I like my little room to stay tidy. :-)

      I've forgotten that your neck of the woods is coming into the warmer weather! I'm in tops mode too. Any specific top patterns you're eyeing?

  3. Congratulations on your commitment to the new healthy you! Stay true to yourself and the rewards are great!

    I love, love this skirt and want one!! You did an awesome job on it and I can certainly see why you like it!

    1. Thank you, Myra! After you make one, we should get a pic modeling them together!

  4. Oh and by the're very welcome! You're correct, great minds do think alike...I got the idea from Shannon too!

  5. I absolutely LOVE the turtle skirt!


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