Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights of 2015

Top 5 of 2015
No, I don't sew all the time as you probably can tell from my finished project productivity. In keeping with the "Top 5 project", I've listed some other things that I do.

1. Family Time

My day starts somewhere around 6 to 6:30 AM with a big lick on my face. My dog, Roxy, is ready for breakfast. I love her so much that I usually don't mind that she wakes me earlier than I would like. After eating, I watch her romp around the backyard or we go for a walk. Hubbie is a television addict so most nights I watch a show with him. I work on my knitting during the show because just sitting goes against my Type A personality.

2. Travel

While I'm happiest as a homebody, that man of mine likes to be on the go. We joined good friends for a cruise to the Panama Canal in the Spring. I've wanted to see it for a long time and was not disappointed. During Thanksgiving, we went on another cruise with my son, grandchildren, and extended family. I loved spending the time with the family. In September, we spent our regular week at the beach.

3. Unplanned Nursing Job

Work in the medical field was never a career option for me. During October and November, my guy had 2 surgeries. The first was outpatient for a hernia removal. The second was a major emergency because the hernia surgeon nicked his small intestine. He was in the hospital for 10 days and barely could do anything by himself for almost a month afterward. I did a lot of cleaning up messes, laundry, bandaging,etc.  Hubbie normally does all the cooking and was gouchy about my sincere attempts to provide non-gourmet food. The nursing job continued somewhat on our Thanksgiving cruise. We could not have gone except for the help from my son. Let's just say that I am grateful that I am retired from nursing and cooking for a long time- I hope.

4. Reading

I love to read and spent a lot of time in the library before the invention of Kindle. Normally, I read while I eat breakfast and lunch and, again, before I go to bed. I won't  list all the books I've read in 2015, but one of my best recent reads is "The Short Drop" by Matthew Fitzsimmons. Currently, I'm reading the first book in the Mitch Rapp series, "The Transfer of Power" by Vince Flynn, It's a good read so more books in the series will go on my reading list.

5. Taxes

I did taxes professionally for a number of years. I love the challenge of paying the lowest taxes legally possible.While I am no longer doing taxes for pay, I spent a lot of time doing the tax returns for family. My son owns a limited liability corporation that became extremely successful in 2014. His taxes kept me busy January through March in 2015 and several times during the year for accounting reports. Since I have reviewed corporate taxes and learned a lot about his business, I'm hoping that 2015 taxes won't require so much time in 2016. I did enjoy learning new tax information. On the rare occasion that I have trouble falling asleep at night, I'll read the IRS tax code. That works better than any pill on the market.

Top 5 Sewing Misses

Top 5 of 2015

This post is hard to write because it means looking at my poor sewing decisions. When I look at most other posts of "sewing misses", I think that their "misses" look pretty good. At least, they look better than mine IMO. I learned at an early age that one needs to deal with problem or the same problems will rear their ugly heads. So... I'm doing the post so that I can, hopefully, avoid the same problems and move on.

1.So Sew Easy Cowl

Looking at this picture sent me to my weight lifting tape. At the same time, I realized that one of the basic rules of sewing is to sew for your current body. I made the top in a clingy rayon and/or made it too small. The pattern is a good one, especially, for beginners, and the cowl is nice. I do wear it as a layering piece, but would never take the jacket off. The post is here.

2.Silhouette 350

I like this pattern and the combination of colors. I worked on fitting the muslin for a while. I still missed with a poorly fitted blouse as a result. While the colors worked, the solid was too heavy for the lightweight knit. This is a good plan that was poorly executed. I'll never wear the blouse. I did save it so that I can work on the fit issues one day (seems like one day never comes). The post is here.

3.Grainline Hemlock Tee

I'll make this pattern again. For a loose fitting top, I'm satisfied with the fit except for a small swayback adjustment . The fabric is comfortable. I do wear it around the house despite hubbie's "jailbird" comments. I simply do not like looking like a jailbird. The fabric was a mistake. The post is

 4. Silhouette 195

I want a white t-shirt! Without success, I tried twice to get this pattern to fit like I want. The long sleeve post is here.  I did not blog about the short sleeve one. I think that it is time for another t-shirt pattern! I did make a Grainline Lark before Christmas (not blogged about yet). I'm happy with it although I haven't taken pictures. I'm hoping the pictures look all right so I can use that one for 2016.

5. HP Fast & Fabulous T

I like this top, but it is more of a beach kind of garment. Since it isn't my style, I don't wear it often. I took pictures, but never blogged about it. That's my bad.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 5 Sewing Hits

Top 5 of 2015
1. V8805 Red Knit Dress

Normally, I don't wear dresses. Perhaps, I just didn't like the dresses I had. I wore this dress  a lot and always received compliments.  

2. Papercut Rigel Bomber

This jacket is my favorite make of the year. Since I live in Florida, I didn't wear it as often as other lighter weight jackets. The weather did permit me to wear it often last winter. Usually, I wear it opened which looks better. I do like it closed because it shows my favorite feature, the zipper.

3. Grainline Morris Blazer

I love this blazer and wore it a lot.  On a whim, I entered it in the Girl Charlee July 4 contest and won  a $75 fabric prize. The fabric is so  comfortable and goes with many other garments in my wardrobe. The pattern is great with clear instructions. There will be another Morris Blazer soon!

4. Blue Prints Saltbox top and Sew It Over Ultimate trousers

This outfit ranks as the most often worn, particularly the pants. Yes, I did hem those pants after looking at the pictures. The pants are starting to show wear now so I definitely will be making another pair.

5. Cashmerette Appleton Dress

I have another dress in the top 5 which surprised me. After trying numerous unsuccessful wrap dress patterns, this one went together like a dream with only a SBA as an alteration. The fabric from Mood sewed easily and is soft and comfy.

I pleased with my successes this year. Next up, I'll show my misses.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cashmerette Appleton Dress: My New Favorite

I made the Appleton Dress on a whim. After all, I'm usually not a plus size and have never been successful sewing a wrap dress. I've tried at least 4 wrap dress patterns and twice as many muslins. The only thing that I accomplished was a bunch of wadders. I expected to cut this dress up to make a top. Since I love the fabric, I almost didn't try to make the dress. What a pleasant surprise!

I made a size 12 with a SBA. Usually, I have to do a FBA so that was another surprise. I didn't do any other alterations to the pattern. The instructions were excellent so the dress went together easily.

Hubbie was taking these pictures. This crooked picture is the only one of the back.

I doubt that I will make this pattern again, but I would like to try the Cashmerte Washington dress at some point. I don't need that many dresses. My wardrobe is screaming for tops and cardigan. I'm off to finish a cardigan.

Happy Sewing!!