Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Four Months In!

I recently read a book that had a number of exercises to help the reader be much more focused on their surroundings. One of the exercises asked the reader to choose a specific car color, and not something common like black, but rather something like salmon. What I found interesting is that once I was focusing on that particular color, a color that I thought I would not see, it just seemed to pop out of no where. It was such a wonderful exercise, and it showed me that if I focus, I see so much more. 

The word focus would sum up quite well what I am learning through this process of wearing a garment that I've made for 1 year. At this point, I am 4 months into the challenge. My goal is to wear a garment that I've made for 1 year ending on July 1, 2021. I actually began on June 22nd just to give myself a little practice run. I have missed, I think, 3 days, for which I am not going to beat myself up over. I did miss a day this past week. I had a household project that I wanted to accomplish. What I thought would take a few hours took most of the day. Once I finished, all I wanted to do was put on a pair of sweatpants and call it a day (BTW, I did put on a top too!!! ;) 

This post begins with October 7th. 

I made this skirt quite a while ago. One of our former exchange students left behind a sweatshirt. I wore it for a while as a sweatshirt, but it ended up with stains on the front. I just could bear to throw it out. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to play with it and see what I could do. I began by cutting the sleeves off, and then turned it upside down, so the bottom of the sweatshirt is at my waist. I took scraps and made the flowers which covered up the stains. 

I kept the tag and sewed it on the back. Nautica might not appreciate this publicity! 

I now have a skirt that reminds me of a very special student whom I feel is more like a child of my own. 

The top I am wearing is from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. It's a little wacky, but it really is just a rectangle. You can find the instructions HERE. The leggings are the Avery Leggings from Helen's Closet. Such a lovely pattern. 

This turned out to be a very eventful day. I went hiking, and of course took Berkley along. Not long before this picture was taken, I had sat down on a rock to have a picture taken. Berkley saw something and took off like a shot. All I saw was his little butt as he disappeared into the wilderness. He was gone for a good 10 minutes. Oh my, the thoughts that went through my head. The worst was the thought of having to leave the mountain without him, something that would have been almost impossible for me to do. But, the little bugger came back. If you look closely at the picture below, you'll see the leash securely in my hand. I was not about to let go of him!

I'm wearing a pair of cargo pants that I made with a Molly Tee from Pattern Union. The cargo pants were made from an out of print pattern. But you can see my post about these pants HERE. Just the perfect pants for hiking. 

Although the picture is a little fuzzy, you can see how happy I am to have this crazy little guy back in my arms. BTW, I am wearing a cap that I knitted. It's a Nicky Epstein design. I can't remember which book it came from. 

The skirt I am wearing is another piece from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday Series. It's just 3 rectangles. 

I call it the Sweeping Rectangles Skirt as the 2 rectangles that are along the bottom of the skirt sweep around the top rectangle. Super easy to do. You can find the instructions HERE. The top I am wearing is another Helen's Closet pattern. It's the Elliot Sweater and Tee that has been modified a bit.     

On Sunday, October 11th, we had snow! I so love snow. It was one of those days when something super easy and warm was what I wanted to wear.

So, I pulled out my leggings and cardigan. The leggings are the Loveland Leggings from Sew News, and the cardigan is the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen's Closet. My turtleneck is a purchased piece.  

I felt that I looked a little like Robin Hood in this outfit ;) The skirt I am wearing is nothing more than 2 rectangles, another piece I did for my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday Series. It actually doubles as a top as well. You can find the post HERE. The top is from Friday Pattern Company and it's the Adrienne Blouse. I have fallen in love with this pattern. It's easy to make, and I just love how it sits on the shoulders, as well as the sleeve. Such a lovely piece.    

I made this Pepernoot Jacket from Waffle Patterns for a Sew News sew along. I modified it a bit, leaving off the hood, and doing patch pockets rather than the zippered pockets. This is a garment that will most likely be in my possession until the day I die! I love it that much :) 

I paired the jacket with a self-drafted pencil skirt, and yet another Molly Tee from Pattern Union. Here's an instance where being a little more focused taught me something. At some point during the day, the thought went through my mind, "I so love wearing a pencil skirt and t-shirt."   

In this photo I was showcasing the tights that I made. Sadly, this pattern is not available, but I am working on a pair of self-drafted tights. More on those soon. 

The dress I am wearing is from Pattern Union. She has this great dress pattern that only has 1 seam down the center back, the Sumekko Dress. How much easier can it get?!! I added the flanges at the sleeves, just to give the dress the hint of a sleeve. I paired it with a washable wool tee that I made using Londa's Terrific 'T' Knit Top. This is another t-shirt pattern that I really love. It has a number of neckline options and sleeve lengths. 

I so love making tights as I can have the freedom of choosing such fun fabrics. These were made with a stretch velvet. I paired the tights with a great sweatshirt pattern from Naughty Bobbins Patterns, the La Megeve Pullover. There will be more of these in my wardrobe!

This is a pattern where money was well spent since I have now made 3!!! With this dress, I made a change in the sleeve, giving it a long sleeve, kind of a modified Bishop Sleeve. This if Vogue 9237. This brings me up to October 16th.

Here are the other 2 versions that I made. The orange linen dress is straight off the pattern. The sleeves on the gray dress were modified. I have plans to make 1 more. I want to do a sheer dress with a slip. I think that will be fun.

Although the project of wearing a garment that I've made takes a lot of attention, I think it's one of the best things that I have done for myself in quite a while. There have been other benefits that I did not expect, like just taking better care of myself, even something as simple as making sure I moisturize my body everyday. Who would have thought?!!

One thing that is lacking in my wardrobe is sweatpants and sweatshirts for the winter. I'm on the lookout for some cute patterns. If by chance you have some suggestions, by all means, let me know!

Have a wonderful day, and be sure to wear your me made garments!


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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A Great Jacket Pattern, Vogue 8483

So often, I begin a project and think that it will take a certain amount of time. Then, I get into the project and it takes almost twice the time I thought it would take! That was my day yesterday. I had a household project that I really wanted to accomplish. I knew it wouldn't be an hour project, but thought 3 or 4 hours max. I began a little after 8, and finished up around 3. Now, I did take a break, but, it still took almost twice the amount of time that I thought it would take. The good news is that I stuck with it, and I am so very proud of what I accomplished. I didn't get my blog post done, but all in all, a good day :)


Last week I posted a jacket that I had made quite some time ago, a little plaid jacket that I absolutely love. For the life of me, I couldn't remember what pattern I used. Kelly was so kind to write in and share the pattern number with me, so I thought I would pass it along. 

The above jacket is Vogue 8483. When I saw the pattern it immediately spurred my memory. I absolutely love the pattern. The jacket on the left has a Claude Montana feel to it. The collar is just so pretty! And, I love it in the relaxed version as well. 

I used a pre-quilted fabric, so no lining. But, the time saved in not lining the jacket was taken up with all the bound seams. In the end, so worth it! Taking the jacket off and having it catch someone's eye, just the best compliment. You know, silent compliments are good too! :)

I love playing with patterns, so the little plaid pumps were a fun shoe to pair with the jacket. 

Kelly said that it took her a while to find the pattern in her size, but she has it now! I love when perseverance pays off :) I did find a couple on Ebay. You can find them HERE. There wasn't anything available on Etsy. But, if you like the pattern, just put it in an alert so that when new patterns come up, you'll know. I do that quite often. 

I am super excited as I found the plaid below at Cali Fabrics. I'm making a pair of leggings and a turtleneck that I can pair with this jacket. I'll pair it with a solid skirt, but still, you'll see me coming ;)

It always seems that the projects that take longer than I had thought are ultimately the projects that I am the most proud of. Strange how that happens. Even the quilted jacket in this post, I had thought, "oh this will be a snap." Although it took longer than expected, it was all worth it in the end. 

Happy Sewing!!!


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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Coming Into October/The 1 Year Challenge

A somewhat funny story...

I have been in the mountains of Colorado for the month of October. I always love being here. But, it has been quite troublesome as the forest fires have been devastating. A few nights ago, we could see the flames along the horizon as they licked the sky. Due to the direction of the wind, we felt we were safe, but we also felt it prudent to prepare to evacuate. I packed my laptop, but you most likely won't guess what I packed next. I packed every pair of shoes I have with me!!! My thought was that my shoe collection has been one that has come about over many years. I can make new clothes, but replacing my shoes would be virtually impossible. There's more to my shoe story that I will share in my next 1 year challenge post. There is a story behind the story. Kind of sad, but the now is what matters :)


Starting with September 25th, I wore a favorite, my Robson Trench that I made for a Sew News article and sew along. The fabric for the trench is actually a home dec fabric. One thing I know, maybe all too well ;), is to never bypass the home dec area. There are treasures to be had!!! Since it was one of those days where I needed a jacket to begin the day, but the latter part of the day would be warm, I wore a top that I did for a Sleeves on Saturdays post, and the black pants I made using a free Martha Stewart pajama pant pattern.

This orange tie-dye dress is another that I made for a Sew News sew along. I so love this pattern. It's the Fashion In Harmony Magic Bias Dress. I think that most of us stray away from bias garments as they can tend to be difficult to cut, wear, etc. But, the way that this dress is cut makes it fairly fail proof. I have 3 in my wardrobe and I love them all. 

It seems that I get into a kind of a rut with colors. I wear a color one day, and then again the next day. The skirt I'm wearing is another Fashion In Harmony pattern, the Lantern Skirt. Super easy to make. It's basically 2 circles, with a drawstring waist. It's kind of an artsy skirt, so it's fun to wear. The fabric that I used for the outfit is a reversible linen gauze. Such a great fabric. I used the opposite side for the top, and I used the free Chelsea Linen Raglan Top from Fabrics-Store.Com 

You've seen this dress earlier in the summer. It was a free pattern from Marilla Walker. Sadly, it's no longer available. I had a little fun with the dress by pairing it with a pair of tights that are black on 1 side, and cream on the other. It's always good to have a little fun with your clothes :)

Another repeat. I do love my cargo pants! Great for year round wear. It was a cool day, so I paired the pants with a jacket that was a gift. The top is the Molly Tee from Pattern Union. I must have a ton in my wardrobe by now. I used an out of print Simplicity pattern for the pants, Simplicity 5102. It is available on Etsy and Ebay, but cargo pants are nothing more than pockets, so just use your favorite pant pattern and have fun with lots of pockets.

The top I'm wearing is a favorite as I love the neckline. It's Simplicity 9017. So very easy to make. Has a little bit of an asymmetrical aspect to the side seam. I paired it with a basic knit skirt that I self-drafted.

We're finally up to October! 
The jacket I'm wearing is one that I made a number of years ago, and for the life of me, I have no idea what pattern I used. I paired it with a white Molly Tee and the black Martha Stewart pajama pants that you saw earlier in this post. I do love these pants! 

The fabric was pre-quilted. To finish the seams, I used a red bias tape. Really makes the jacket look special when I take it off.

I do love my shoes!!! Whenever I see something that I think will be fun, I try and buy it. These shoes came from Payless, and I think I paid about $10.00 for them. Hey, I love them and that's all that counts!!! Again, it's all about having fun with your wardrobe :) 

This is a second make of the Ellie and Mac Off Shoulder Romper pattern. I absolutely LOVE this pattern. so very comfortable, truly athliesure at its best!

Another favorite is the Yuki Dress from Tessuti Patterns. Easy to make, easy to wear. It's a pattern that would easily translate to a tunic. I paired mine with a lightweight wool tee. Another favorite tee is the  Londa's Terrific 'T' from Londa's Creative Sewing. 

I don't wear this skirt very often, only in the fall. With the falling leaves, it is a fall skirt :) I used a free pattern to create the skirt, but it's another that is no longer available. There is a free swirl skirt available from Lekala, and you can find it HERE. I have not made it yet, but plan to.  

October 6, 2020, at least I am in the same month now!!!
I absolutely love the pants I am wearing. Sadly, the pattern is not available. I sweet friend of mine is working on her masters degree. She wanted a pant to wear to school that felt like pajama pants, but didn't look like pajama pants. She was so inspired by the movie Black Panther. When I went over to visit with her, she had the movie bookmarked so she could show me things that had inspired her. I love how she designed the pant. It basically wings out, and then comes around the knee and is caught in the inseam. Such a cute, fun pant to wear.   

So that's it for my little dog and pony show today. If nothing more, I hope that I inspire you to wear your wardrobe, and too, to have fun with it. We spend so much time putting together our makes, why should we allow them to languish in the closet?


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Friday, October 23, 2020

New For Fall

 It has been an interesting week. My friend who died back in May, and for whom I am the executor of her estate, was cremated so thankfully there was no rush on a funeral service. Due to COVID, everything is a little more challenging, as we all know all too well. But, I knew that I would be coming to Colorado the 1st of October, and I knew that it would be much easier to have a service for her here. It was done on Wednesday, and although it was quite private, it was lovely. We were even able to have a Rosary said, so I was so very pleased. After the service, we went out for breakfast.

As I said, I have been in Colorado. The forest fires have been horrible, and we are in a county where they have been especially devastating. On Wednesday night, the night sky was aglow. So eerie. We prepared to evacuate. While many did have to leave, the fires never came this far east, so we were spared. What a year it has been!

As easy as it would be to look at all that is wrong in the world, I have decided to do my best and focus on all the good, and to also be all the more appreciative of all that I have in my life that brings me joy. There's my husband, and of course my little Mr. Berkley :), but also ranking near the top is sewing and creating. Such a wonderful gift!

A few weeks back, I shared my plans to make this March Tilton pattern, Vogue 9108. Bunny of La Sewista was so gracious to leave a message with a link to a post that she did on this pattern. You can find her post HERE. Her dress is simply gorgeous. By all means check out her post. And, if you do decide to give the pattern a go, she has detailed the changes that she made, so it's a great guide.     

Here are the fabrics that I will be using for my dress/tunic. I'm super excited!!! I absolutely love the 60s/70s retro print. The colors didn't photograph well, but I have a sheer green, and another green that's a little lighter that I will use. Then the blue will be an accent piece. The mustard polka dot fabric will also be an accent. I used the polka dot fabric for the t-shirt and leggings which I have already made. I think this is going to be such a fun project. 

If you were to look in my closet, you would most likely think that the last thing I need is a new coat. But, I really could use a basic black coat for the cool fall temps. I really like this Vogue 8862. Not sure if it's still available??? I purchased the pattern for view A and B, but I am going to make view C.

I bought this great piece of quilted black fabric. The face is a sueded like velveteen. The backside is a basic lining fabric. Since the fabric is quilted, and lined, I'll need to bind the seams. I have this cotton that has a white dandelion print that I thought would be fun for making bias binding.         

I need to get busy as it's almost the end of October!!! How can that be??? 

Hope you are finding a little joy in your fall projects :)
I'll be back tomorrow with a new edition of my 1 year challenge.
Have a fabulous day!!!


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Monday, October 19, 2020

There Are Patterns That Deserve To Be Made Over and Over

 Do you remember the old 'That Girl' sitcom that Marlo Thomas starred in? Well, there's a channel that has been playing the reruns on Sunday evenings. I was still quite small when it came out, but I loved it. Even as a little girl I always looked forward to see what she would be wearing. Some of the costumes are very dated, but some are just as adorable today as they were all those years ago. In my next Monday Morning Inspiration post, we'll take a look at some of my favorites. But,for today, please bear with me while I try to catch up on my 1 year challenge posts. 

Today's roundup takes me from September 15th through September 28th. As you'll see,there are a few patterns that I love so much that I have made a number of times. But I guess that if you love it, then why not? ;) 


I so love a rectangle, so when I found out about the Envelope Dress pattern from Cris Wood, I had to give it a try. I loved it so much that I just had to make another. For this dress, I used a border print, and was so pleased with how it turned out. The Envelope Dress is not an actual pattern, but instructions on how to make your own. So easy, and well explained. It's one that you just can't mess up! :)  


I have so enjoyed this dress. It's one that proves that a pattern can be super simple, and yet fun to wear. Of course the red ponte knit adds to the fun! The pattern is from Sew News, and it's the Estes Dress. I paired the dress with a little pair of boots that I got from Muck Boots. I so love the red buffalo plaid on the sides of the boots. Super fun for winter :)

Another repeat make. I initially made Vogue 9237 this past summer in a fun orange floral linen. Once I got the first made, I knew I wanted another. I was going through a drawer and found this fabric that I have had forever. Loved the floaty quality of the fabric, and thought it would be cute in this pattern. I changed the sleeve to mimic the floaty quality of the dress. I was really happy with how it turned out!

The top I'm wearing below is the Easy V Express Top from Islander Sewing. It had languished on my sewing table for longer than I would like to admit. But I finally got it finished. Paired it with an out of print pattern from McCall's, McCall's 6081. I so love the skirt, and I really like the top, but I won't be putting the 2 together in the future. That's one of the many benefits from doing this little challenge, I get to really see what I like and don't like.  

This skirt and top have been a long time favorite of mine. I made the skirt for a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post. You can see it HERE. The top was done for a Sleeves on Saturdays post. You can find the sleeve HERE

The skirt is one that will swish when you walk. It's all about being a very happy skirt ;)

This romper pattern from Ellie and Mac has become another new favorite. At this point. I've made 2, and I'm hoping to make another. I really love it. So comfortable, and I think the neckline is especially pretty. You can find the pattern HERE

If you've been following along with my 1 year challenge, you've seen these pants before. I really love them. Self-drafted, so no pattern. A friend gave me the jacket. Just made for such a fun outfit. 

The top I'm wearing under the jacket is the Presto Popover Top from Naughty Bobbins Patterns. This is the perfect under a jacket  top!

Some days, ya just gotta clean the house ;) Especially when it's warm out, I love to wear a dress made from those pre-gathered dress lengths from the fabric store. Just 1 seam and 2 shoulder straps and you have a garment! I look decent, and the dress is super easy to just throw in the washing machine once I've finished my cleaning! 

Jeans and a t-shirt is a true staple in our wardrobes these days. As you've heard before, I absolutely love the Ginger Jeans pattern from Closet Core Patterns. I have no plans to ever purchase another pair of jeans. Another pattern that has become a true staple in my wardrobe is the Molly Tee from Pattern Union. It fits SO well, and it's so easy to make. Once you've made 1, you'll make a ton!!!

We've finally made it up to September 24th! And, what I began this post with, I'm also ending it, another Envelope Dress from Chris Wood Sews. I had gotten this fabric from Tessuti. It was a remnant, and I thought it was so pretty. when I received it, the print kinda threw me for a loop as I had no idea what I would do with it. I was going through my "collection" of fabric, looking for another piece of fabric and came across this piece. As I looked at it, I realized that I just might be able to get an Envelope Dress out of the piece. It worked!!! There's a seam down the front and back, and I was able to match the pattern. So, what initially stumped me has become an absolute favorite!    

Before I go, I just want to thank all of you who cheer me on. It really is such a gift. I have now been blogging for 10 years. There are times that the road has been bumpy, and times when I've wanted to give up. But, as I said, so many of you continue to cheer me on, and it's you that gives me to desire to carry on. 
Thank you so very much!!!

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