Thursday, October 25, 2007

Still Alive

Hi, all! I am still alive, but I have been so tired. I haven't done anything crafty lately, nor have I thrifted (!), so I don't have much to post about, unfortunately. I am concentrating on getting myself healthy and happy, though, and that takes time. Hopefully you'll be hearing from me soon!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Catching Up

Has it really been a week since I have posted? Yikes! Motherhood has really kept me busier than usual during that time, not to mention we've been hurrying around trying to get wood split before the snow flies. Fall is definitely here, though. My porch is a sea of leaves! If I were the proactive type (or, well, any type but the lazy type), I'd sweep it off. But it makes such a nice crunching, swishing noise when I walk through it. Maybe in a few days.

The shirt is still not finished. I am just going to take my time in this one and not rush. I need to put the sleeves on. They are gathered and ready to go, at least. I've also been going through and washing all of the vintage fabric I got a couple of weeks ago from the nice lady I mentioned in an older post. I haven't gotten around to photographing it, but I promise I will soon!

The sugar war is going well. The past two days in particular I have been feeling very good. It's amazing how much sugar alters my mood. It truly does make me a horrible grouch. At first it has a soothing effect, but then I become like some crack addict in withdrawl if I don't get more. Interestingly, I remember reading that Gloria Swanson (of Sunset Boulevard fame, for those of you going, "Who??") also cut sugar from her diet after finally making the connection between it and her depression/mood swings. Not that sugar is the root of all evil (or of all depression, for that matter), but there's certainly something to that, in my case. Oh sugar, why must you taste so good yet be so bad?

Also, I have been tagged by Fiona! That calls for a post all its own, I think. Thanks, Fii, for thinking of me. The first thought I had was, "Gosh, do I even have seven friends?" Pathetic, right? Ha!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dining Room Garment District

I haven't had much time for anything for the past few days, as Karsten decided to tenaciously hang on to whatever illness he's got. Poor kid. He's on the pink stuff (amoxil), so he should be better soon.

The blouse is coming along. It's got a collar and facing and is sewn up at all the major seams. I just need to do sleeves and all the major components will be there (aside from buttonholes and buttons).

Do you know what my least favorite part of sewing is? And it's the thing that prevents about five of my projects from being truly complete as I type...hemming. There's a dress hanging in my wardrobe right now that is ready to wear except from the hem. Already I am dreading finishing the edge of the shirt! I really am the world's most impatient sewer. I want things to be done in an hour. And done perfectly, too. Ha! Anyone who sews knows that this is pretty much an impossibility when doing dresses. I'm reading this right now in order to help me relax and enjoy the process of sewing. I suppose I could continue to want to rush it all, or I could just take my time and focus on the detail of the work. The latter pairs well with my perfectionist tendencies, at least.

The funny thing about that last observation is that no one would ever guess that I even have that characteristic if they looked at my work, because it is such an ever loving MESS. Threads hanging out all over, seam allowances going every which way... needless to say, I need to take everything this book talks about to heart and apply it to my sewing philosophy STAT!

By the way, the book is truly fascinating. The author does an excellent job of talking about how couture houses function, emphasising the fine hand work that sets couture apart from pret a porter. The process of garment construction is interesting to me, and so this book is great for that, as well. The author discusses the entire process, starting from the moment a client walks through the door until the very last fitting.

My favorite parts are the pictures of 40s and 50s couture suits and gowns, not only from the outside, but from the inside, too, in order to see how they were designed and contructed. Divine! As a girl whose favorite show as a preteen was CNN's "Style" with Elsa Klench (and who used to read Seventeen and then draw clothing designs based on the latest Isaac Mizrahi collection...I distinctly remember drawing some hideous black and white geometric shirt with black leggings after seeing one of his collections from 89-90! LOLZ), this book is a fun read.

Anyway, here's the shirt, coming along slowly but surely:

I seriously need to get a dress form, for soooo many reasons. It's on my Christmas list. One of the reasons is that I get tired of hanging halfway-completed garments on a plastic hanger in my bay window in the dining room and taking snaps of them. The other is just the more practical reason of "hey, it would be nice to fit this properly to myself."

What kind of dress forms do you guys use? There's some that are made to order to your size, and then there's others that have wee dials so you can change the measurements if need be (very useful for those of us who tend to gain 7 lbs. during winter time, ahem). Thoughts?

Speaking of gaining 7 lbs., the sugar war is back on. I was a good girl yesterday and ate well. I even dug out all of the info that my dietician gave me eons ago when I was seeing him for pre-diabetic issues, read it, and followed the recommendations for portion size and servings. Now I just have to get my butt moving a bit more. Perhaps today it is off to the park with the boys again for squirrel stalking.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

We Can Work It Out

Aahhhh. Back to the good stuff: sewing and thrifting. The pieces for the button-down shirt are cut and pressed. The fabric looks even better cut out than I hoped! I am really excited. Seriously, this fabric was meant to be a shirt. Did I mention that this is my first ever foray into buttonholes? I'm a little nervous, but I have full confidence in my lovely new Singer. It has the standard four-step buttonhole (nothing fancy and computerized; no ESP-Psychic-Robo buttonhole process or anything), but even this is new to me.

This morning I awoke to my least favorite noise as a mother. That would be the sound of a barfing child. Thankfully Karsten's little belly wasn't full of much, which minimized the mess. Now comes the part which demonstrates what kind of mother I am. By noon, he was feeling a bit better, so I piled all the kids into the car and we went to the thrift store. Yes, I am horrible. "Stop puking so Mommy can get some cool old stuff!"

It was slim pickins, but I did find these four:

Two fall into the groovy pile...

Two are just "awww" worthy...

Isn't that wrap dress cool? I have way too many patterns for wrap dresses already, but I couldn't resist. It's the most flattering dress on me, as I have discovered. Plus, 39 cents for all their patterns! Thank you, Goodwill. You don't charge insane prices for those, yet...

No kitschy kitchen ware this week. The Goodwill looked wiped out in that area. My wallet was thanking me for that. Sophie and Karsten each picked out a book, and so our grand total came to $2.25.

One of the fabric ladies called me today, and so I am going over later to get my vintage stash. Woo!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Off the Wagon

Well, that didn't take long. Little Debbie was calling, and so two brownies later (and a sugary cup of tea, as well)... Sigh. Someone please invent a pill that takes away sugar cravings. Or maybe I should undergo hypnotic suggestion and turn sugar into an aversion. Grrr.

I'm not very happy with myself, but I don't exactly want to turn this blog into one big arena of Heather and her itemized self-criticisms, either. It's bad enough to have them in one's head without seeing them in print. God bless writers like David Sedaris who can open himself up and put the nasty out there for everyone to read. I still need some kind of veil between myself and the rest of the world.

So instead of watching another YouTube epi of Canada's Next Top Model, I should bundle the boys into the vehicle and do something. This cycle of lethargy must come to an end!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Not A Sewing Day

Today the boys and I went to the park. We looked at squirrels as I pushed them in the double stroller at a high rate of speed (in order to aerobically support my sugar boycott). Thirty minutes of me: "Look! A squirrel!" and then Karsten's reply while looking in the wrong direction: "Where? I no see it! There's no squirrel! Slow down, Mommy!" Henry just sat and sucked on his bottle or, alternately, the tags on the back of the stroller seat. Sometimes both.

No sewing today, or much of anything remotely productive in nature. I think I did two loads of laundry, which is considered a holiday in these parts. Four loads a day is the norm. Heaven forfend if I should skip a day. The dirty stuff piles up faster than pancakes on a plate at the IHOP. Did the usual cleaning of the kitchen and general lived-in areas, but nothing really taxing. I did keep the caffeine IV flowing today with a cup of coffee, a couple of diet Cokes, and way too many cups of hot tea. I allowed myself half a teaspoon of sugar in the tea, which is probably why I had about four cups today. I'm sure there's absolutely no connection there.

I did look at the fabric for my shirt a couple of times; well, glanced at it in passing, really. Kind of longingly, but mostly just in resignation. Today just wasn't a sewing day. The pattern is pinned to it and it's ready to be cut. Meh. Shrug of shoulders. Tomorrow will be better suited for it, perhaps.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Something New

I chose my new project. It's based on Simplicity pattern 4112 in their Built By You line, but I think I am going to give it the sleeves from the latest Burda download (bottom pic).

I'm making the shirt on the right. It's a button front with a sash. Wrap shirts are also lovely, speaking of sashes. I need to make more of those. Isn't this shirt the cutest, though? It looks really swell on the model, anyway.

The fabric is perfection. Just some shirting from Joann's, but the print is all me.

It's not a fall shirt at all, but seasons be damned. I dig it.

Grumpy McGrumpster

Still doing OK on the sugar fast. My mood is absolutely crap, but that's how it goes. A couple more days and I'll feel so much better. I'm trying to stay focused, anyway. It isn't fun, though. It hasn't stopped me from baking at all. I just don't get to eat the cheesecake/scones/whatever when it's done. My hips will thank me in a month, I suppose.

For all of you who are wondering what I look like (because I'm sure you're losing sleep over it), here's my Myspace pic. Sorry for the total lameness of it. Photographing onesself isn't an easy task, which is why I have no pics of myself in my sewn clothing on here. Maybe I'll have to get Dee to do it for me. Anyway, if you look closely, you can see my sewing machine in the background. I think this pic is from June, which is why the new Singer isn't featured yet.

The boys were really awful today, and so that's another reason for my mood being so blah. I need to do some happy happy fun things today. The question is, what in the world does that entail? Right now I feel like lying on my bed and not moving for about two years...maybe do a little Rip Van Winkle thing and just let time slide away while I'm unawares. Actually I need a serious Colin Firth fix and lots of hot tea, all while under my quilt. After the kids are in bed. And no husband to pester me. Sigh.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Wants and Needs

The diet is going pretty well. Somehow I was able to resist my MIL's pie on Sunday, which kind of ticked her off. She's like me: she shows love by feeding the masses. Reject her food, you're rejecting her. Luckily she was pretty understanding that time. I made the appropriate comments: "Ooh, pretty! Smells great!" and that satisfied her somewhat. The rest of the pie is lying in wait in my fridge for me to be in the throes of PMS or some kind of weak and altered emotional state. It knows that I will come for it eventually. Please let the husband eat it when he comes home.

My cart on has been changing like the tides. I can't seem to commit and just press the button to actually *purchase* all the stuff in there. Not that there's a lot. Right now there's three items: 2 cds and a comprehensive book on patternmaking. Yesterday there were five things. Not a big deal, you say.


I have a hard time buying stuff online that I don't actually need. When I am out at a shop, I have no problem rationalizing ridiculous purchases with the best of them. Yes, I really would love some groovy new tunes. Yes, I would really like to learn everything about patternmaking so that I can be tailoring myself in awesome style. I just can't commit yet, amazon. I'm sorry.

Smock is done and done, button and all. I chose the big black button, for all two of you people out there who read this. I'll post pics later. Now I need to start something new, and for the first time in a long time, I don't know what that something is. Hmmmmm. If I went by "want," I'd be looking at that cute dress pattern for a wool mini jumper. If I were to go by "need" it would be kids' PJs. Decisions.