31 December 2011

2011 Sewing Year in Review


Completed Garments
I complied a list of all the garments I sewed this year.  While the count seems rather small, I certainly learned a great deal about fitting, styling, and choosing garments that suit my body type.  Here are the stats:
  • 11 tops
  • 4 skirts
  • 4 pairs of jeans
  • 3 dresses
  • 1 jacket
  • 1 purse/tote 
  • approximately 35 yards of fabric sewn
Incomplete Garments & Wadders
Reasons for garments rendered incomplete or wadders include poor fabric choice (in content and colour), need-to-refine sewing technique (stupid collar stand), unruly facings, terrible fit, and lack of love for the finished garment.  Although these garments will never reach my closet, I learned a lot in the process of their construction.
Top row:  S2365, BWOF 09-2009-137
Bottom row:  Burda 7866, S2288, NL6300 & fabric 
  • BWOF 09-2009-137 (skirt)
  • Burda 7866 (knit top)
  • Simplicity 2365 (woven top with pintucks)
  • Simplicity 2288 (knit cardigan)
  • New Look 6300 (woven skirt from TNT pattern)
  • Simplicity 4698 (jacket)
  • New Look 6917 (skirt)

Still in Progress
  • Colette Patterns Lady Grey Coat - Since I am following Gertie's tailoring techniques (as part of her 2010 sew along), this will be an ongoing project.  I hope to have it completed in time for Fall 2012.
  • Jalie 2680 - I want to resume working on this in March - just in time for Spring wearing.

Favourite Garment
It was really hard to narrow down a favourite garment.  So I picked the looks that I loved the most.

Vogue 1250
 
McCall's 6078 (top) with New Look 6897 (skirt)

I received nice compliments on both looks and can see many more versions of each in my regular rotation.


2012 Sewing Intentions
  • Jeans contest on PR:  I love making jeans and this contest is a great way to start off the new sewing year.  I already have ideas for the contest.
  • SWAP contest on Stitcher's Guild:  The contest runs through the end of April and if I work hard enough, I should be able to finish it by then, if not before.  As the theme centers around fit and developing tried-n-true patterns, I am motivated to follow through with my plans.
  • Advance to "intermediate":  I've been sewing for almost eight years and have definitely learned a lot.  If I successfully sew a lined jacket and attach a collar stand to a good-fitting woven blouse, then I will officially consider myself an intermediate-level sewer.
  • Fabric-light:  The fabric fast of 2011 didn't go so well.  In the first six months of the year, I bought a lot of fabric (we won't speak on yardages).  Fortunately, this trend did not continue in the last half of the year.  I have only bought pieces that I really liked and have no interest in buying fabric right now.  I will make exceptions for extra special pieces or linings.
  •  Stash sewing:  Since I have so much fabric, I intend to sew primarily from my stash. 
I thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog.  When I started this blog almost five years ago (sorta missed several blogiversaries...), I had no idea that it would last this long and that I'd enjoy doing it so much.  I never was good at keeping a diary, but this seems to work for me! Your continued interest and comments are cherished and very much appreciated.

I look forward to another productive sewing year in 2012.  I hope to continue sharing my sewing trials and victories with you all and reading about yours as well.

I want to wish everyone a peaceful and wonderful new year filled with hope, happiness, good health, and love.  Happy new year!

L

      28 December 2011

      Tying Loose Threads

      Before I post my 2011 sewing in review, I wanted to settle up the sewing for this year.

      McCall's 5847
      I finally finished the second version of this dress!  After hanging in my closet for five months, I attached the final button last week. 

       

      Eventually I'll get pictures while wearing the dress.  Unless I make a long-sleeved top to go with it, I'm not wearing this until Spring. 

      Jeans #6
      Even though I took this photo a week ago, the jeans have been complete since the beginning of the month.  I just wasn't in a mood to smile here.  

      Simplicity 2396
      After cutting out the pieces for another skirt, I had about 5/8-yards left over.  Since the piece was oddly shaped and not quite enough to make another skirt, I decided to make a tote bag.






      Fabric & Notions:
      • 1/2 yard gray wool suiting
      • 1/2 yard cotton floral print
      • 1/2 yard cotton flannel
      • fusible interfacing
      • 1" button
      The tote/purse was very easy to assemble and wears comfortably on my arm.  The only change I would make is to cut the inner top band out of the same material as the outside.  The lining is very visible from the outside and I didn't even think about it until after the bag was completed.

      Non-sewing bits...

      @Kyle:  Thanks for the well-wishes.  =)  EyeCandy was not at the rink on Friday, but he was there on Monday.  He's relegated to being eye-candy because he's married.  Actually, he's just been demoted to CuteJerk because he's incredibly rude!  I was talking with a friend and he rolls up in the middle of us to speak to the guy and shake his hand.  I gave him the oh no you didn't look and he rolled away. 

      @Sheila:  You were right.  My headache was definitely caused by sinus problems.  After speaking with the nurse in my doctor's office, she tried to tell me it was a migraine.  I told her that I thought I had a sinus infection because the area around my eye was tender and had been weeping for two days.  She insisted that I was suffering from migraines.  Not paying any attention to her, I made some pure ginger tea, put a hot compress on my face, and rested.  The next day, the infection drained from my sinuses, my eye stopped weeping instantly, and the headache went away.  Let this be a lesson in knowing your body!

      Up next:  Sewing in Review 2011 and the 3rd garment of my SWAP complete!



      L

      22 December 2011

      YSG: Ramblings

      1.  On not blogging for two weeks...

      I've been really busy and very tired.  The beginning and end of the semester is always busy for me and this semester was no different.  Plus, I had doctor's appointments, court, jury duty, and I've recently restarted doing volunteer work.  Every day of my calendar had several things scheduled; I even had to pencil in 'rest' on a couple days. 

      2.  This week, I went in for a medical procedure and am recovering from that.  Let me just say that some pharmaceuticals are amazing and very scary.  I was given a sedation drug that caused me to be conscious during the procedure.  The scary (or good?) thing is I have zero recollection of the procedure.  My friend told me that I was talking with the doctor and nurses during the process and even debated the doctor about the areas of my body being fat versus muscle (a very funny exchange as I am told).  I do not remember ANY of this at all.  I don't remember feeling any pain during the procedure - despite my many verbal complaints of being in pain.  I don't know what kind of voodoo was going through my veins at the time, but that is some scary shit.  Anyway I am home, rested, and feeling better.  I still have some minor pain, but I am mobile. 

      3.  I got another jury service questionnaire.  I haven't even been paid for last week's service.

      4.  Today is the winter solstice. Yay!  The earth now starts her glorious tilt back toward the sun tomorrow.  Mmm...heat...

      5.  I cut out all of the pattern pieces, linings, and interfacing for several of my garments in the SWAP. 

      6.  Upon cutting out the jacket pieces, I realize that I made a stupid alteration error that I hope won't be too visible in the final garment.  Of course, I don't have any more fabric to re-cut the piece.  Oh well.

      7.  I picked up 5 of the 12 pounds I lost.  Stupid thanksgiving holiday and all those delicious sweets.

      8.  I finished jeans #6 a while ago.  The button tack popped off sometime last weekend and I have yet to replace it.  Since I plan on wearing the jeans tomorrow, I guess I should look for another tack.

      9.  If you haven't watched The Cleveland Show's parody of Die Hard (fabulously titled Die semi-Hard), watch it on Hulu.  Very funny.  I wish Family Guy would return to its comedy roots.

      10.  I hope EyeCandy is at the rink tomorrow. This guy is sooooooo handsome.   

      11.  Hmm.  Admittance to the rink is free tomorrow and I know it's going to be crowded.  Since I still have a bit of pain, I better take it easy and not get too wild out there.


      12.  I'm really enjoying my volunteer group.  So far, it seems like a nice group of people.  I'm looking forward to meeting up with them in January. 

      13.  I have about 15 pieces of pottery that need to be glazed.  I can't decide on a colour scheme for my dishes, lantern, or pedestal bowl.

      14.  I've had a headache since Monday night.  Tylenol does nothing.

      15.  This dog's snoring is epic.

      16.  I keep waking up at 3 and 4am.

      17.  Newton Leroy Gingrich.  Le-roy??  Too easy.

      That's it for now.  I hope everyone is well.  Have a happy and safe holiday season!

      L

      05 December 2011

      Jeans #5: Finished!

      dark colours are so hard to photo
      loving the hem length!
       
      After having encountered many crazy issues with this pair, they're now finally complete.  This is the pair that has the cute little crystal design on the back pocket.   It's hard to take a picture of the back and I didn't have time to set up the tripod as I was on my way out last night.

      right back pocket
      I adore how these jeans fit, even though the denim has at least 25% stretch. This is simply too much for me.  The fly area pulls apart something awful and the waistband is super stretchy - even with interfacing.  I have to wear these jeans with a shirt that is long enough to cover the zipper because it just doesn't look right at all.  It's a shame, too, because I am seriously digging the crystal design!  Were I a more assiduous sewer, I would pick all this shit apart and try the zipper again.  Since I did that four times already, round five is not happening.  Besides, life is too short.  Like my friend Deepika once said, "There will always be more fabric.  It is time we must preserve."  Yeah.  So.  Yeah.  Not happening.  =)

      I almost finished with jeans #6.  I just need to work the button hole and sew the hem.  Photos coming soon.

      L

      27 November 2011

      2012 SWAP Intentions

      A few days ago I mentioned that I was participating in the 2012 SWAP on Stitcher's Guild.  After perusing my pattern and magazine stash, I've finally settled on seven garments that I'd like to sew for the contest.
       


      Button-down shirt with collar:  Vogue 1260 (x2)

      During the American Sewing Expo, I had an opportunity to meet Sandra Betzina and try on the actual view B (the red & black one) featured on the pattern envelope.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that the shirt (in size D) fit very well.  Although it was a little snug across the bust, cutting the next size up on only the front should fix that.

      Fabric:  teal striped cotton shirting; yellow stretch cotton poplin



      Vest:  New Look 6914

      When I received this brochure from Clarks in the mail, I couldn't help but focus on her outfit.  It's simple, chic, and not too country.  On the inside is a closer shot of the vest.  The vest has front pockets with the welt cut on the bias.  Too cute!  I have a wool houndstooth very close to the one in the picture and have some boots that I think will go nicely with the vest.  If I have the time, I might attempt to make a denim shirt as well.


      Fabric:  brown/blue/green/cranberry wool small-scale houndstooth




      Top:  McCall's 6078
      I made this top over the summer and love it.  I need to adjust the front to minimize the pooling that appears.  I don't think I can eliminate it entirely,  It seems as if everyone who's made this top has this problem to some degree - whether they were full busted or not.

      Fabric:  gold metallic knit





      Jacket:  Jalie 2559
      This pattern is complete in so many ways.  It's fully lined, has welt pockets, separate pieces for the back lining (with pleat), self-fabric sleeve heads, and fabulous instructions.  I've already made my first muslin and alterations to the pattern.  The fit is quite good and only needed a bit of tweaking on the side front panel.  I may or may not make a second muslin (gasp!).

      Fabric:  rust coloured or brown wool flannel with cream Bemberg lining

      Jeans:  Jalie 2908 (x2)

      Two garments can be sewn before the contest's official start date (26 Dec).  I'm sewing my two pairs of jeans as part of the Jeans Sew Along.

      Fabric:  very dark blue stretch denim; dark blue non-stretch denim










      Trousers:  BWOF 11-2006-102 (x2)
      I traced a size 40 and am very happy with the fit.  I compared the front and back crotch curves of the pattern to my sloper and found that not much alteration was needed.  I made two muslins and am confident in cutting out my fashion fabric.  I just have to figure out a way to make the waistband look nice and neat on the inside.  Hmm...

      Fabric:  brown wool; gray wool



      Skirts:  Colette Patterns 1005 & New Look 6897

      These are two returning favourites.  I made them both this summer and loved wearing them. 

      Fabric:  gray wool suiting (CP); brown or teal wool solid (NL)







      I don't really have a colour palette.  I'm sort of making stuff up as I go along.  I'm really excited about this plan and think I can complete it.

      L

      25 November 2011

      Hmm...

       
      Either I had too much or not enough wine. I'm going to go out on a limb and say 'not enough.'

      L

      23 November 2011

      Jeans #5 & #6 Progress

      As part of the Jeans Sew Along, I decided to tackle sewing two pairs at once.    Aside from having to change the topstitching thread between each pair, the whole process is going rather well.  I'm about half-way through completing both and hope to have them done in time for the weekend.

      For #5, I am using a super dark blue (maybe black?) stretch denim from the stash.  This denim has more stretch than I prefer, so I am sewing with a larger seam allowance.  Plus since I lost more weight, the pattern I'm using doesn't quite fit anymore.  For #6, I am using a dark blue non-stretch denim, also from the stash.  Since the denim doesn't have any stretch, I added extra to the seam allowance for fit.  Bad idea!  These jokers are ginormous!  I will probably end up taking off an inch from the side seam to get these to fit.

      I've lost twelve pounds since the end of August and it shows.  I took my measurements over the weekend and saw that I lost two inches off my hips and waist.  Losing off the waist is okay, the hips...ummm...I like my curves.  I won't do anything drastic, though.  I am happy to say that my lips, hips, and ass are cement free.  Wow. 

      Of course this means I need to update several patterns to reflect my new size.  I will re-trace the jeans pattern and try to make another pair during semester break.  I will also have to re-trace my favourite skirt patterns and get cracking on making some new ones since the ones I made this summer no longer fit.  My friend suggested that I take them apart and make them smaller.  Um....thanks...but it would be much easier to just make another skirt.  Anyone who's seen my basement knows that I am not short on fabric!  Hopefully when school is over soon, I will have more time to focus on revamping and refitting some of my patterns.

      Here are some photos of #s 5 & 6 in progress:

       non stretch denim with gold topstitching

       stretch denim with black topstitching and crystal design

      Until next time, be well!

      L

      13 November 2011

      SWAP 2012

      It's that time again for the annual SWAP (Sewing With a Plan) contest on Stitcher's Guild and the rules are simply divine! Last year's contest was an utter failure as many people had good intentions (myself included), but only two (yes, TWO) people finished. The rules for last year's contest centered around techniques and each garment had to focus on a technique that was new to you or not totally mastered. While it was made clear that one could use the same technique on as many garments as desired, the general sense was that people were overwhelmed with the requirements.

      This year, however, the rules center around fit and developing tried-n-true patterns. The focus is less on coordinating and outfit-building and more on working on one or two key patterns from a certain group to fit your body. To quote DragonLady from Stitcher's Guild:

      "This year, our SWAP will focus on fitting, and making tried-and-true patterns: testing and fitting paper patterns, muslins, and fashion garments that will help lower the overall sewing failure rates, result in fabulous clothing to be proud of, and (hopefully) give every contestant a pattern or two that works every time it is used."

      The rules are simple: Choose seven garments from the list below. Of these seven, select four to make twice for a total of eleven garments. The four garments you choose are thought to be the patterns you make tried-n-true.

      Button down shirt w/collar
      blouse or shirt (collar is optional)
      t-shirt
      vest
      dress
      overshirt
      jeans
      trousers
      shorts or capris
      skirt
      jacket (jean jacket, windbreaker, hoodie, etc.)
      coat (suit or sport coat)
      overcoat or raincoat
      bathing suit or coverup

      How can I not be excited about this?! Since fitting woven tops/jackets has been the bane of my sewing existence, I am determined to see this SWAP through. I have a bodice and pants sloper and even more knowledge about fitting.

      Tentatively, my plan is as follows:

      2 button down shirts with collar
      2 pairs of jeans
      2 pairs of trousers
      1 or 2 jackets
      1 shirt
      1 or 2 skirts
      1 coat or 1 vest

      As for colour schemes, I'm still not sure of what to do. I seem to run into roadblocks when it comes to coordinating fabrics. I do okay with three or four garments, but eleven? Not so much. After perusing my closet, I noticed that I have a lot of gray pants and skirts. So, my current thought is to center the bottoms around browns and build from there.

      Even though the contest starts in December, we can sew up to two garments before then and make mock-ups of everything else. Also, the fabric can be prepared and cut prior to the start date. The Jeans Sew Along is timed perfectly since I can complete two of the eleven garments now and focus my attention of fitting and sewing the trousers, blouses, and jacket.

      I made a mock-up of a BWOF pattern and am really pleased with the fit. I cut a straight 40 (gasp!) and only had to tweak a couple of areas. I cut out a second muslin to re-check the fit and if all goes well, I will prepare and cut my luscious wool. More on that later!

      Until next time, be well!

      L

      04 November 2011

      It's a Jeans Thing Sew Along

      Come one, come all and sew a new pair of jeans! The site is up and can be found here: It's Jeans Thing and will run from 15 Nov to 15 Dec. If you'd like to join, leave a comment here with your email address and I'll add you as a co-author. I don't have a badge because I can't figure out how to make it!


      L

      30 October 2011

      Jeans #4 Finished & Sew-Along


      As planned, I finished #4 in time for the weekend. These jeans are SOOO comfortable and flattering. I made them tighter than normal (gotta embrace the curves!) and an inch longer so that the hem broke at just the right spot on my shoes. I am loving this pattern and can't wait to get started on the next pair.



      Speaking of the next pair, let's sew along together! It's time to Occupy a New Pair of Jeans. I'm thinking we can start on 15 November and end either on 30 Nov or 15 Dec- whatever you choose. Personally, I opt for starting in the middle of next month because I have a lot going on right now and am overwhelmed. Plus, our second midterm exam will be over and I'll have more time to participate fully.

      In the meantime, if you'd like to join me, post a comment with your email address. I'll create the site and invite you to be a co-author.

      L

      27 October 2011

      Jeans #4 Progress

      jI am almost finished with my next pair of jeans. I need to attach and topstitch the waistband, work the button hole, and sew the hem! In all, I spent maybe 8 hours over the course of a few days making this pair.



      Anyone interested in doing a jeans sew-along? Come on, Faye! I know you can do it. =)

      L

      23 October 2011

      Making Jeans Isn't That Difficult

      Whenever I mention that I've made my own jeans, people usually respond with a comment about the task being really difficult. It actually isn't. The hardest thing about making jeans (or any garment for that matter) is achieving fit. Once you do that, the construction is quite simple.

      Having made three pairs of jeans so far, I've streamlined the process down to a point where I can make a pair in a relatively short amount of time. Using multiple machines dedicated to one task is a HUGE time-saver. There is no need to change the thread colours, needles, and settings back and forth for each seam.


      • sewing machine (with a walking foot) to sew the seams
      • second sewing machine for topstitching
      • serger to finish the seams together (after serging)
      If you've ever made a pair of pants, you can definitely make jeans. A simple trouser pant with a fly-front has four main pieces: front, back, front waistband, back waistband. A pair of jeans has the same four basic pieces, except the front and back are split into two: (1) back and back yoke, and (2) front and front yoke. The front yoke is constructed along with the front pocket while the back yoke is part of the jeans design. Add to these pieces a back pocket, fly shield, and belt loops and you have a pair of jeans. The process of constructing jeans is laborious since the work involves sewing (almost) every seam three or four times. But, it is certainly not hard.

      On my current pair, I've put in about 4 hours (or so) of work. This includes:
      • cutting out the fabric and pocket lining
      • making the back pocket design
      • attaching the back pockets and back yoke
      • assembling the front pocket linings and front yoke
      Progress Pictures:






      Next I need to:
      • install the zipper
      • topstitch the front zipper area
      • sew & topstitch the inseam
      • sew the side seams
      • attach & topstitch the waistband
      • make the button hole
      • sew the hem
      If I plan accordingly and put in a little time each day, these should be ready to wear out this coming weekend! Now, all I need is a top. Hmm...

      L

      18 October 2011

      Serger Update & the Next Project

      Last week, I took my serger into the shop with the intention of leaving with something new and shiny. While I did consider getting a Babylock, I just couldn't reason parting with 4 figures on another machine. (Sorry Kyle!) I am having mechanical failures of all sorts and have to prioritize at the moment.

      After explaining the issue to my dealer, she said that she will have the repairman evaluate the machine and see if it's worth fixing. If it is, he'll fix it. If not, they'll let me know. It turns out that the issue was fixable. The repairman tightened the lower looper arm, adjusted the tensions, reset the timing (again O_o), cleaned the machine, and gave me a six-month warranty. If the machine acts up again within six months, then I can apply the repair cost toward the cost of a new machine.

      I'm not going to wait six months to see if this damn thing is going to act right. So my next project will be labour intensive with hefty fabric. Yes, I am making another pair of jeans! I've already cut out the pieces and am thinking of designs for the pockets.

      Many thanks to all who left comments and suggestions on sergers.

      If you hear of a woman chucking a white object over the Ambassador Bridge, it was me sending my serger to a watery death in the Detroit River!

      L

      09 October 2011

      Just When My Sewjo Made a Comeback...

      ...my serger decided to take a break...literally. Freakin' serger. That's it. I'm done.

      I am quite certain that the arm attached to the lower looper shouldn't move freely. But since it does, the stitches are sporadically uneven and sloppy. I know I can finish the edges on my sewing machine, but why should I if I have a machine that cuts and does it for me?! I am annoyed. Grrr.

      What serger to get now? Do you have a serger? If so, what's your experience?

      L

      05 October 2011

      APB: Missing Sewjo.

      I am putting out an alert for a missing sewjo. If you see it, catch it and hold it down for me. I'll be on the way...

      School is seriously draining this semester. It's only been four weeks and I am burned out! By the time I get home, I am on relax-mode and in no mood to sew. It sucks because I really need clothes - especially skirts. Yes, that's right: skirts. The skirts I made this summer for fall are now too big. That's a good thing since I am toning up and dropping a few pounds, but that leaves me with a hole in my wardrobe.

      I did begin work on the Lady Grey coat. I made the muslin, cut out all of the pieces and am in the process (whatever that means) of hand-basting hair canvas to the fronts. I was hoping to have it done before it got too cold to wear it. Meh...we'll see about that. We have a break coming up (hallelujah), so maybe I can get some sewing done then.

      While this coat will take some time to complete, I need something quick and easy to do. Thing is, I'm stalled by indecision on what to do. Hah!

      What do you do when your sewjo goes missing?

      L

      17 September 2011

      Vogue 1250: Complete


      This dress is super simple to make and extremely flattering. The front drape isn't too risque and the fit is superb. I knew I was going out on Friday and wanted something cute and special to wear. I made a mock-up last weekend, cut it out on Tuesday and finished the hems by Thursday. The dress really doesn't take that long to make; I just had to spread out my sewing time over a few days.

      Fabric & Notions:
      • 2 yards of navy blue ponte knit from Fashionista Fabrics
      Alterations:

      I traced a size 14 everywhere except in the bust and upper waist area near the side dart seam; in these areas I morphed out to a size 16 to allow for more room. The mock-up showed the need for only a couple of small changes.

      1. I removed two inches of length in the front length because it was too long and created unsightly folds in the waist and high hip area.
      2. I also did a 1.5" swayback adjustment because fabric was pooling at my center back. In hindsight, I should have just taken out the length completely across the back pattern piece because the horizontal seam at the back is actually a bit too low. I'll correct this on future versions.
      3. I shortened the dress about 1.5" and took a 1" hem.
      4. Finally when I cut out the fashion fabric, I placed the center front slightly inward from the fold. This gave me little more room across the front in case I needed it.
      Construction Details:

      I sewed this mainly on my sewing machine using a stretch needle, walking foot, and small zig-zag stitch. I used my serger to finish only the shoulder seams and horizontal/vertical back seams. My serger did NOT like working with ponte knit. In fact, I think my serger and I must part ways because it's been fussing about a whole lotta shit for no good reason. I love my Janome, but we're at an impasse and I'm over it. =)

      The pattern has a piece for a back neck facing. You're supposed to fold the rectangle in half, stitch it to the back neck edge, and then understitch. My knit was mildly beefy and I thought all that fabric would be too thick at the back. So, I cut the facing in half and stitched it down. While this did reduce bulk, next time I'll omit the facing and just turn the seam allowance under and coverstitch.

      Conclusion:

      In all, I am very pleased with my dress. I got a nice compliment from my guy friend and I felt really good wearing the dress last night. Busty chicks have no fear! This pattern is a winner. =)

      Up next: Lady Grey coat and something else. Y'all know I can't just work on one thing at a time.

      Be well!

      L

      15 September 2011

      Still Breathing!

      School started for me last week and I've been busy and exhausted. Is it too early to already look forward to the next break? =)

      On the sewing front, I haven't worked on my fall 6PAC much at all. I have a plan and love my colour palette, but I just haven't been motivated to move forward with it. I want to make several pairs of slacks using using my trouser draft. But, I've run into problems with drafting the fly front and contour waistband; something just doesn't look right. Hmph. I'll get back to it...eventually.

      So instead of forging ahead, of course I worked on other things. =) I made the infamous DKNY cowl-neck dress (V1250). I don't have any pictures yet; I hope to take and post some soon. I also made a muslin for the Lady Grey coat. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the pattern fit quite well right out of the envelope. I didn't need an FBA or swayback adjustment. I only needed to remove a bit of length from the front lapel and upper center back. I've already cut out the shell fabric and will begin work on basting the hymo hair canvas to the front. (I'm following Gertie's series of tailoring techniques from last year's Lady Grey sew along.)

      So, that's it for now.

      Be well.

      L

      02 September 2011

      I Know the Way to San Jose (photo heavy)

      Last Thursday, I ventured out to visit my dear friend in San Jose, Costa Rica. Words are simply incapable of describing the wonderful time I had experiencing the sights, sounds, and tropical smells of Costa Rica with my friend. Having never been to the tropics before, this trip was pure delight! Many thanks to Nelly and Ago for their generosity, kindness, and hospitality. Love to you!!




      This picture was taken while flying over Cuba. I *heart* window seats.


      This is a walking tree.
      The roots originate on the branches and extend down to the ground.
      Over time, the tree's position is altered by "walking."


      The plant life is divine.
      This is just one of the MANY pictures of plants that I took.


      Main crater at the Poas Volcano (Volcan Poas)
      The crater is still active as evidenced by the sulfuric acid mixed lagoon (light teal blue) and steam.


      Ago, Nelly, and me
      The day was picture perfect and very clear!


      One of the many meters of paths we walked on the volcano.
      The air was pure, cool, and damp. Simply perfect.


      Inactive crater at Poas Volcano
      Since the magma chamber is empty/inactive, water has filled the crater.


      I know I'm short and all, but this was huge plant!


      Yes, that is a live toucan giving me the stink eye while sitting on my arm.


      Awwwwww...kissing toucans.


      Nelly at the butterfly garden.


      Feeding a hummingbird in the garden.


      Cataracts at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
      Three waterfalls are apart of the gardens.
      The first waterfall feeds the second, and the second feeds the third.
      Sensory. Overload.


      Nelly and me at the volcano thermal spa.
      The pool in which we sat contained volcano water with lots of minerals.
      Skin so silky smooooooth.


      Gotta keep it real!


      Gilberto, our tour guide at the park. He was so sweet!


      Blue-crowned mot mot
      Look at the colours on this bird! This was taken on the patio of my friend's apartment.
      The black beads are regurgitated bugs. The bird wanted papaya instead. I don't blame him.


      New cathedral in Cartago, CR.
      The church was reconstructed after the 2009 earthquake.
      Out of respect for the church and those praying inside, I did not take any pictures.
      Take my word, it was beautiful inside.


      Ruins of the old church.
      This is a partially constructed church. It's my understanding that the church wasn't completed because the Virgin Mary didn't like its location.


      Parting shot of a volcano and mountains from the airplane.


      You know I had to be true to myself. =)
      All are stretch cottons except for the chartreuse.
      This piece is for my friend, Nelly, who would like it made into a scarf.


      Patrones!
      Each issue was about $5.


      Really cute purse made out of coconut.


      The colòn is the national currency. About 500 colones is one US dollar.
      This bill, 2000 colones, is about four dollars.

      I have many, many more pictures. This is just a small collection that summarizes the trip. In all, I had a fabulous time and do it all over again in a heartbeat.

      Until next time, be well!

      L


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