Saturday, February 15, 2014

February in the Studio

Hi sewing friends, and Happy belated Valentine's Day, or Galantine's Day (Parks & Rec reference), whichever applies! Do our friends outside the USA celebrate this very commercialized 'holiday'? Tell me, I am curious! I had a nice lunch out with my husband, then he surprised my daughter and I by getting home before us and making dinner. There were more surprises after dinner - dark chocolate covered strawberries. Yum. Sweet guy, right?!

A very BIG thank you to all the lovely comments, emails, and support that I received on my last post. I was very touched. It has been a 5 1/2 year long journey to arrive where I am today, and I am really happy to be here.  

My sewing room had a much needed clean out recently, as it doubles at times as a guest room. We entertained a a wonderful guest, 'Kayla' our Chinese exchange student. It was a wonderful visit, only too short. Kayla's command of the English language was remarkable, and she felt that Lauren's Chinese was excellent as well. The girls had a great time together, and both learned so much about each others' language and culture. My husband and I were enlightened as well.  Kayla brought me a gift from China, a beautifully boxed set of silk scarves. The pictures below can't convey how soft and warm and luscious they are!  I am utterly in love with these scarves!

The red & black scarf has a reverse weave on each side.

Navy & soft white.

Box label.
Sewing wise, I am going to start sewing for myself again now, rather than just modifying old items of clothes, since I am happy at this weight, and don't want to lose more. I had to pick up a few more pairs of RTW pants to add to the rotation, as the last batch of RTW clothes I bought are now too big. I think that was partly a case of not buying the right size to begin with - it's that whole getting used to the new size thing.  This time I took my daughter with me for a size/fashion consult.

What is your favorite or most worn garment/garment type that you made yourself?  I was surprised to learn that for me, out of all the clothes that I gave away/shrunk out of, the long, drapey cardis were what I missed the most! Butterick 5666 that I made in 2011 is way too big now, but I kept it and still wear it often around the house, over my clothes. It's been a chilly winter. ;-) I'll be digging through my patterns to find one I can make in a suitable size so that it looks good for actually wearing in public. 

Have you made McCall's 6844, voted the 'Best Pattern of 2013' on Pattern Review? I haven't yet, but 49 ladies have made gorgeous versions and posted their reviews on PR - go check it out!  Love the way the collar lays on this one, compared to B5666 above. It is on my short list.

Also on my short list is the Archer Button Up Shirt. Have you made it? It was a 'Best of 2013' on PR also. There have been many lovely versions in blogland, but Lori over at Girls in the Garden has sold me on the pattern with her FOUR pretty versions. It is an unfitted shirt, so at first I wasn't really sure I wanted to make it, but gee whiz now I just want to join the party! If you have downloaded/printed the Archer using a Mac, please let me know how it's worked out for you. Sometimes I have issues with pattern printing.

In other sewing plans, pants are definitely on the list - just not sure which ones. Tell me please!! What are your favorite pants patterns?  With my weight loss I have also lost my a**, so I need to acquaint myself with the 'flat seat adjustment' whilst I feverishly do squats trying to recover some semblance of a seat. Also I want to sew some work out wear, and Lauren has some plans cooking for me to sew for her.  And then there are those darn bedroom drapes that need to get done.....

February is also my birthday month, and this year I celebrated a milestone birthday. My sweet husband sent me 50 roses, one for every year! Kayla joined our family for a really fun birthday dinner out, as well as the large family and friends gathering my husband had on the weekend. She said her family is much more quiet than ours!  Kayla got a little taste of how we celebrate special occasions in our family - always with family, good friends, good food, and plenty of laughter.

I had asked my husband and daughter to get me pajamas for my birthday. I really enjoy the 'Cool Nights' line from Soma. They picked out a really cute pj set along with a lounging jacket that I am in love with and will see much wear. I don't have pictures of that, but I snapped a quick pic of the back seam seam of the pj pants, because my husband pointed it out when he gave them to me.  Look:
He said "Look how the pattern isn't matched - you wouldn't do that." Pitter patter went my heart! Love that he knows and notices that about my sewing! (Ok, so true confession time, I'm a tad OCD about most things... but still, he noticed!)

Ok, I am going to quit yakking now and go get my sewing equipment back in my studio.  But I will leave you with a few pictures of what the room looks like all cleaned up for guests - uncluttered by projects.  I love my sewing room, it is so bright and sunny during the day.

Love this locking Ikea cabinet.

Worktable with storage underneath. I need a bigger pin board!

Sewing machine sits on desk, serger on roll away table.

 Have a wonderful weekend, sew plenty and well!



  1. Wow, your sewing room is immaculate!! I could use your help.

  2. What a nice upbeat chatty post! Sounds like all is going well with you and family. What a lovely Valentines day - yum! I really admire Lauren's learning Chinese. My goodness...a feat indeed. OK, no comment on that beautiful sewing room, except you best get busy messing it up again soon!

  3. Wow, you look fantastic! I can;t get over how tiny you look. It will be so much fun making clothes for your new body! Can't wait to see what you make next.

  4. What a beautiful sewing room.. Love when its all cleaned up..[really makes you want to get it messed up sewing, doesn't it? ha]
    How very sweet of hubby to notice your sewing work and commenting on it.. also..50 roses...what a wonderful husband.. Happy birthday. and Happy sewing.

  5. Happy birthday! Very cool that your husband is picking up on the qualities of your sewing! My long-distance boyfriend is here this weekend, and I want to show him the things I'm working on so that he knows what I'm talking about when I tell him over the phone that I'm tracing a pattern, making a muslin, or altering a pattern (and maybe one day I'll get past those stages!).

  6. Happy birthday and valentines too. I love how your husband 'gets you'.

  7. Wow,Andres! WHAT A GREAT HUSBAND YOU HAVE (I have one of those too!) Your sewing room is gorgeous! I too have made M6844 and I love it and planning on making another. My favorite garments would be the coats and jackets I've made . I usually have good luck with those and plenty of chances to wear them, living in Canada!

  8. HI Andrea - what a room! I only have a corner of the TV/play/junk room, so I'm envious.
    2nd: you look great!
    3rd: I'm in Florida this week, but just wanted to let you know that I won't be coming up to Tampa this time around. I'm in Venice with the kids and we had a jam packed week of lazying around planned ;) Next time I'll give you a call.

  9. Love your sewing room! And if you find a good pants pattern, please share it. I have been searching for it for years!

  10. Andrea,

    Happy belated 50th! Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

    And thanks so much for this post. One of the things I had to give up when I lost weight was my favorite cardigan too. I did keep it around for a while, but it really did just hang on me. So after reading your post I ordered McCalls 6844. I'm just trying to decide what material I'll use for it - either something in my stash or something new.
    And my favorite thing to make? Skirts. I love skirts and really love to wear something of my own.

  11. Oh, what a bad friend I am, I totally missed your Birthday and a big one too! I'm so happy you had a wonderful time! You look absolutely beautiful!

  12. Andrea congratulations on the need for a new wardrobe and a very very belated happy birthday too.

    I am always amazed when the sewing room has to be tidied to make up room for guests. What amazes me is just how quickly it turns into a muddle again after they leave :-). I hope you are getting some quality sewing time now.

  13. Wishing you a very happy birthday, and a wonderful year ahead happily sewing beautiful things for yourself! :)


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