Monday, February 24, 2014

Motivation!

So of course there really hasn't been a lot of sewing progress going on, but suddenly I am a bit motivated to start sewing.  You see, last week I found out that I won the pattern of my choice through a giveaway on Vicki's blog!  Because I haven't had much any time to sew since my little darling was born, I have felt like I don't know where to start.  So, to make things easier for myself I put the pressure completely on Vicki to pick out a pattern for me :)  Luckily, I know that Vicki has great taste so I can be assured that she will pick out a wonderful pattern for me to sew up.

In anticipation of the arrival of my pattern I decide that I would clean up my sewing space since it was a disaster.  As I entered the room, the very thing that I was hoping to ignore was the first thing that caught my attention - a UFO from 2013.  I really don't have many UFOs, an Easter dress from 2012 and a maternity dress that I really wanted to make last year.  The UFO that is sitting on my dress form is that maternity dress.  I started it right about the time that things at work exploded with business and I didn't have the energy to complete it before my daughter was born.

I don't know why I am like this, but I feel like I can't start a new sewing project until I complete what I have already started.  It's almost like I am too logical, or possibly just crazy.  So, with a newly cleaned sewing room, I feel like the best way to prepare for the pattern that will be coming my way is to finish sewing my maternity dress.  No, I am not pregnant again, I promise.  However, I have always wanted a big family so chances are that I will be pregnant again.  I now know from past experience that it is hard to sew while pregnant, so it only makes sense to finish this dress now and be able to wear it when I have bump number two.

Here I am at 41 weeks pregnant after a long day of work!
For your viewing pleasure, I snapped up this photo of the unfinished dress when I was 41 weeks pregnant - yes a full week after my little one was due, and she wouldn't be born for four more days after this photo was taken.  So far I have attached the front and back and sewn the ruffle on.  The ruffles were sewn on backwards and need to be ripped out and re-sewn - so the only real progress I have made is the shoulder seems.

Fingers crossed that I will find some time to finish this soon in hopes that my sewing room will be completely ready to start a new project.

Annabelle

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A bit of knitting

Why hello there!  Not sure if you remember me since it has been nearly a year since my last post.  I even debated writing this post.  Will this be my only post of 2014?  Is it merely just a drop-in to say "hi" and feel connected with the blogging world again?

Honestly, I don't know the answers to my own questions.  I only know that I really miss blogging and feeling connected to all of my "friends" in the sewing and knitting community.  I know that I will not be able to blog as often as I had in the past.  Why is that you may be wondering?  Well, I have the most beautiful daughter in the world (strongly biased opinion admitted to!) who I simply love to smother with attention.  She is also such a light sleeper, that the two times I tried sewing during her nap, she woke up immediately.  But, I'm thinking of moving my sewing area from the well lit upstairs bedroom, to the dark basement.  I can sacrifice natural light for the chance that I may sew something.

Of course this post wouldn't be worth the bother if that's all I wanted to share with you, so I thought I would show off a few knitted items, modeled by the most beautiful girl ever (again, strongly biased opinion admitted to).

First up is the Antler Hat by Melody Rogers.  I knit this while I was pregnant and 100% sure that I was having a boy, because a mother just knows . . .  Also my dad had told me, I hope the bump is a buck!  When my daughter arrived, I still felt the hat just suited her, so I added a flower as I snapped this picture for her birth announcement.

Ravelry notes here
Next up is a little football hat by Jessica Marini, because Hubby and I are both big football fans, and we only thought it natural to introduce this love to our little one at an early age.  We will however not force her to be a fan of any one team in particular . . . well there may be some encouragement in the right direction :)

Ravelry notes here
The project makes me smile every time I look at these pictures.  The pattern is the Little Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth Smith.  So, this started out as a cute little sweater for my son - because a mother just knows.  However, I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to add blue to my daughter's wardrobe since like 95% of the things we received were pink.  And not just any pink, they were all ballet pink.  Don't get me wrong, pink is a lovely color for little girls - but a little variety never hurt anyone.  Plus I think the blue brings out her eyes.

 Ravelry notes here

The last project I have is the GAP-tastic cowl (by Jen Renee) that I knit for my little sister.  I finished this one up on December 24th and immediately had my daughter model it.  Because I am an overly-proud mother, I stuck a few of these photos with the cowl for my sister to open on Christmas.  Hey, aunties always want more photos of their nieces, right?  Luckily my over-zealous need to share photos of my little one was not in vain, auntie proudly displays this picture at work.  Oh, did you want to know about the cowl?  Well, it is a super fast knit (a refreshing change from knitting with lace yarn) and a very easy pattern to follow.  Plus, I love the yarn that I used - MountainTop Chalet by Classic Elite Yarns.

Ravlery notes here
Thanks for letting me feel connected to all of you again.  I promise not to turn my blog into a place dedicated to my daughter - but it will only be natural if she shows up from time-to-time.  My posting will likely be different from what it was in the past, though I still have a love of sewing (I can't tell you how badly I want to start sewing again).

Annabelle

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Basics and Baby Kicks



Why hello!  I know I haven't posted in two weeks, but we've been a bit under the weather and needed some rest.  Needless to say, by last Saturday we were feeling much better.  Now that my bump has continued to expand, I'm fitting into less and less of my regular clothing - especially my tops.  This was the perfect opportunity to start sewing up some maternity basics, and am I ever thankful for Megan Nielsen and her line of maternity patterns.  


These patterns are labeled for the beginning sewist, and I while I have had some nice experience sewing - I have never sewn with knits before.  Was this pattern ever a breeze to sew up!  I now feel ashamed that I've had this lovely sea green knit in my stash since Tasia first released her Renfrew pattern.  I was too intimidated to sew with knits, but now I see how easy they are.


So while I've started adding some basics to my maternity wardrobe, Little Pooh is starting to show more signs of growth.  This was the first week that Daddy got to feel Little Pooh's baby kicks!  I've been feeling tiny baby kicks for a while, and it was fun to finally share the experience with my hubby.  This sort of thing just gets me more and more excited to meet you, my little one.

One of the things that I love about this Ruched Maternity Top is that I can comfortably wear it now, but I can tell that it will still fit even when my belly is out to here . . .




That's all we've got for now.

Live in this moment and love life!
Annabelle

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We've Been Sewing - 20 Weeks


Lately, whenever some refers to myself or the baby I've been responding with we . . .  How is the baby doing?  We are doing great (said while cradling my little bump).  The team is going to Chipotle for lunch, do you like Chipotle?  Oh yes, we really like Chipotle! (Also said while cradling my bump).

Oh yes, we really like Chipotle!
So while Little Pooh likely has no idea of my doings, I still say that we have been sewing - more specifically, we have been sewing for us.  When I initially set out my maternity to-do list, the first thing on the list on was a shirtwaist dress that would fit me now as well as be a great outfit for nursing later this summer.  Being fed up with the poor quality of maternity clothes, I decided to go all out with this dress and make bound button holes and conceal every raw edge.  I maybe put too much effort into this dress, but I want something that will make me feel pretty once my little one is here and I am tired of the baby weight.

Bound button hole.

Doesn't pretty finishing make you smile?
Another time consuming process on this baby was matching up the plaid.  It was impossible to completely match up everything, with the darts, folds, gathers - and the fact that this is a one-way plaid - but I matched it up in as many places as I possibly could.  Check out this front photo - that is 5 pieces (left bodice, right bodice, left skirt, right skirt, and button placket) all coming together in perfect harmony down the center front of the dress!


I'm actually pretty happy with the way the dress turned out.  It fits me right now at 20 weeks, so I should have no problem fitting into it again come July.  The dress also looks pretty good on my non-pregnant dress form, so I'm hoping it will look equally as stunning on me once I've lost the baby tummy.

On my dress from - sans baby bump
Can you believe that I am at 20 weeks already?  I'm halfway there, just 20 more weeks more (approximately) and I can hold my little one in my arms.  Oh, how I am anticipating that day.

What do you think - can I pull off "Cool Mommy"?

 Okay, I've got some serious knitting to get back to.  But I am so happy to have this dress completed.

Live in this moment and love life!
Annabelle

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We Have a Winner!

It was so much fun to read all of your comments on my giveaway post.  In a way, I wish I were able to give out fifty lengths of silk because I want to see each and everyone of your projects - they all sound so wonderful.

Alas, there can only be one winner (but I've already decided that this was so much fun, that I must host another giveaway).  And the winner of the giveaway . . .

. . . who chose the mint green silk . .


. . . is the 49th of 50 comments . . .

. . .  Jill of Laugh, But Not Loudly.  Congratulations Jill!  I have sent you an email, and I can't wait to see your camisole :)

Live in this moment and love life!
Annabelle

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sew Grateful for Silk

Hello everyone!  Debi at My Happy Sewing Place is hosting Sew Grateful Week - and today (Monday) is giveaway day.  I've been wanting to do a giveaway on my blog for quite some time - and what better time than Sew Grateful Week?  I think you are going to like this giveaway, because I am sharing something that many of you have expressed difficulty finding at affordable prices - silk!

Oh yes, you read right.  One lucky follower of either Debi's blog or my blog will win their choice of 1.5 yards of silk.  I will ship internationally, so it is open to anyone.

I have selected three silks from my stash in which I purposely bought in excess so I could give it away. These are all lining fabrics, but would also work great for some lingerie sewing (french knickers, tap pants, slips . . .)

The first choice you have is a pastel, mint green.  The  color in this photo is pretty close to actual.  Like most of the silks I purchase, this one was simply labeled 100% silk - with no further description.  I believe it is Silk Habotai.  It's very light weight and has a slippery feel (though not like charmeuse)


Your second option is another green (I love the color green).  This one is more aqua marine, and is a bit lighter than it is coming across in the photo.  Again, only labeled 100% silk, so I can't say for sure what kind of silk it is, but it's one of my favorite lining fabrics.  I have used this type of silk to line this dress and this skirt.  It feels a bit like a cotton lawn, but better.  It pairs really well with wool and rayon as the main fabrics when used as a lining. 


Your third option is a patterned silk.  This would be such a great print to line a pencil skirt with - that's what I'm hoping to do with the half that I keep for myself.  I've got a deep red wool that I got from a friend and I think it will be just perfect.  This fabric feels like a silk crepe to me, I'm not able to say for sure.


So, how can you enter?  It is so simple.  Just leave a comment telling me which of the three silks you want to win and what you most likely would use it for.

**UPDATE**  Newbie alert!  As this is my first giveaway, I forgot to include a deadline.  I'm updating this post to say that the time to enter this giveaway will close at midnight on Sunday, February 10th.  Please get your entry in before that time to be included.

Live in this moment and love life!
Annabelle

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Horse Shoes and Hand Grenades

So perhaps you have heard the saying, close enough is only for horse shoes and hand grenades?  Well, let me expand that list to include knit two, purl two ribbing.  I've been doing my best to be diligently working away on my vintage sweater for the All Things Vintage knit along, so I can keep you updated on my progress.  After what seemed liked endless hours of K2P2 ribbing (on size zero needles no less!) I gave my work a quick measure - 4 and 13/16 of an inch.  It is supposed to be 5 inches.  Close enough I say, and onto the next steps in the pattern!


I can't believe that January is pretty much over and all I have accomplished is the bottom ribbing.  Two more months to go, and hopefully some much quicker progress.  Though I'm not going to beat myself up too badly, because I did have to wind all of my yarn before I could begin knitting, and that did take several evenings as well.


But I must stay motivated because it is usually at this point that I give myself a pat on the back and take on several sewing projects before returning to my knitting.  Even though I recently starting planning out a few maternity sewing projects (much more practical than a sweater I won't be able to wear until next fall), I am going to keep pushing forward with this project.


Any other knitters out there who easily get discouraged while knitting ribbing?  How do you stay motivated to keep working on the project?  For non-knitters, what are the types of things that cause your projects to be put on hold?

Live in this moment and love life!

Annabelle