Saturday, July 25, 2020

The 1 Year Challenge, So Far So Good

A friend recently posted a lamenting photo on Instagram with the Beatles' song, "Yesterday" attached. It was all about what we aren't able to do because of the pandemic. That simple little post prompted me to think about my summer, and as I thought about this summer versus last summer, it occurred to me that I am having a fabulous summer! Yes, I'll be the first to admit that I miss going to outdoor music festivals. We have some of the BEST here in Chicago. And all the glorious neighborhood festivals that we have every summer. But, as I thought about last summer, I realized that it was rather horrible. Two of the "highlights" were that I ended up with a case of shingles, and I had to say goodbye to my precious dog, Gracie.

This summer I am doing a lot of flying. I have been encouraged to get my flight instructor rating. I should be ready to take the first of a number of tests in 2 weeks. A little scary, but exciting at the same time. 

Believe it or not, my little challenge of doing a year of my handmade garments is another highlight. I am learning so much, and just having fun with the process.

I made this black and white linen dress last summer, but never wore it. I have no idea why because when I put it on, I loved it. Go figure! This project was part of a challenge I did with Becky of Trail Balloons . You can see my post on this dress HERE

Becky gave me this beautiful piece of fabric from Malaysia. Believe it or not, the pattern that I used for this dress is the exact same pattern as the black and white dress. I wore this on July 10th. It was blazing hot outside, so the cool, cotton fabric was perfect!

This was my Saturday dress. And NO!!!, I did not wear those shoes all day. I actually wore a pair of white sneakers. But, I just had to slip on the heels for the picture. I soooo miss wearing heels.

My friend Jill of The Denver Sewing Collective recommended the Vogue Vena Cava pattern. We were together when I purchased the fabric panels that I used for the dress. You can see my post on the dress HERE

I like trying to keep Sundays special. Here again, I did not wear those shoes all day long. A while, but not all day. This is a piece that I designed. The neckline has an asymmetrical drape. When I posted it on Instagram, I asked for opinions about whether to shorten it or not. The consensus was to leave it long. I have an idea of how I can shorten it, and leave it long at the same time. If it works, I'll post my idea :)  

You've seen this before, but the challenge is about a year of handmade garments, not a new garment everyday. The pants are the Barb pants from Style Arc, and the top is from Tessuti Fabrics, the free Zoe Top pattern

The next day was super casual, a pair of Helen's Closet Avery Leggings, and another free pattern from Tessuti, the Athina Top.

This dress was more like outfit of the evening, rather than outfit of the day. We met some friends for dinner, so here was my opportunity to wear those heels!!! This is another of my own designs. The fabric reminds me of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec. 

The following day, I was back out at the airport, so my favorite Closet Core Patterns Ginger Jeans, and another top of my design.  

This is another outfit of the evening. We met a friend for dinner, and here again, I am not going to miss an opportunity to wear heels!!! I am in love with this pattern. As you can see from the pattern picture, there's a fabulous gathered piece in the back. The dress literally floats about the body. This is on my list for at least 1 more, and maybe 2!!! It's Vogue 9237

Last Saturday was another blazing hot day. Makes me all the more grateful for air conditioning! Sadly, I don't think this pattern is still available. It was a free pattern from Marilla Walker, her sailor dress. I love the triangle insets on the shoulders, and there's a little square gusset at the armpit. Sweet little details.   

Once again, Sunday :) We went to an outdoor cocktail party. The picture shows the shoes I wanted to wear, versus the shoes I wore. Pumps are just not the best in a garden. The dress is the Nico Dress from Fabrics-store.com. Just a simple bias dress. I love the fabric. It was a piece that I purchased at a Nancy's Notions seminar a number of years ago.  

Monday was an incredible day! I ended up at a small airport outside of Indianapolis. I'm wearing another outfit that you've seen before, the Clover Pants from Colette Patterns

The best part was that I got to wear this too for a little while!!!

Last Tuesday, I pulled out a favorite skirt. This is another pattern that I don't think is available. I actually made this skirt 6 years ago!!! HERE'S the post I did on how I put it all together.  

I don't wear shorts very often. As you can see from my photos, I'm just more comfortable in a dress or skirt. But, every once in a while, a pair of shorts just seems to fit the bill. I had a lot of fun making these. I piped the yoke and the pockets, and then did a bias trim on the side seams. I also lengthened them to a walking short length. The pattern is from Dixie DIY, and the pattern is the Garnet Shorts.  

Earlier this week, I was going through a bin a things that I haven't looked at for a while, and I found the outfit below, all cut and ready to be sewn. I have no idea of how long it has been in the bin. So, I got busy and put it together. I think the pattern is now out of print, but there's always Ebay and Etsy! 

So, that's my fashion show for the last few weeks. My official start date was July 1st, but I decided to give myself a running start, and begin June 22nd. So, I'm a little over a month in at this point. It's a great challenge as it has made me focus more on what's in my wardrobe. I've gotten rid of a few pieces, and I'm much more focused on what I really want to add. I highly recommend giving it a try, even if it's just for a week. Do a private little challenge, and take pictures for a week, and see what you learn!

Until next time...
Sew On!!!

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  1. I love both the black and white and the Vena Cava made out of panels. You look like walking art in both of them!

  2. Rhonda ,Everything is Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I'm glad your summer is better this year in spite of all that's not happening. My summer is better than last summer as well, despite all the whining I do about weeding. I love that fabric in the 3rd dress - so bright and happy, great for summer. Flight instructor rating would be awesome - I wish you well on it as I'm guessing it's not trivial to study for.

  4. How fabulous creations, Rhonda! :) Lovely dresses, bold colors and patterns and of course your cheerful smile, you look great in your self-made clothes!
    And the fact that you fly... you are an exemplar!
    Carry on and make us marvel again and again! :)

  5. Those outfits are just lovely.