My 2011 in Review

Well, 2011 was an emotional year for me.  My youngest daughter graduated from high school, my mother went into a nursing home, various other problems that I won't mention here, and I did a LOT of reflection.  Where have I been, where do I want to go, etc, etc.  I'm sure all of you have had similar times.

With a now empty nest, I took on a lot of new roles- a new job as a mentor coordinator with the school district, teaching sewing lessons for community education programs, and tutoring reading.  I even took a short lived job at a local bridal store as a seamstress.  (What a nightmare job that was!) 

My husband has been wonderfully supportive during this transitional period, even though I'm sure that he misses having home-cooked meals like we used to have.  I hired several new people at SewBaby..  (And they are doing a great job- thank you Shirley, Elise, Jonathan and Christopher!).

I can't say that I'm any closer to answering any of those big questions.  I really love my new job, I love teaching sewing,  I love tutoring, and I still love SewBaby!  Certain things that used to be a priority have taken a backseat- my sewing, exercising, and reading.  My 2011 sewing was mostly for my daughters and easy to make Christmas presents.  My exercise buddy moved away, and I haven't read a single book for my book club this year!  I hope to be able to balance things out better in 2012, making time for those things that I truly miss and enjoy.

Now that I'm working outside the home, I really do need some nice quality career wear, and I think that will be my sewing focus for 2012.  I don't think that I'm going to get any more specific than that.  If there is one thing that I've learned from 2011, it is that life changes directions when you least expect it to, and have to embrace the people and possibilities that you have at that moment.  To everything there is a season, and eventually I'm sure I'll be sewing for weddings, grandchildren, and school dances in the future.

Here's to the end of 2011 and to a bright 2012 for all of us!

Kind regards,

Winter Wardrobe Sewing Plan

I think that my favorite part of sewing doesn't have anything to do with the actual sewing!  It's the PLANNING.  I could look at patterns and fabrics for hours and hours, imagining what to do with them.  It's pretty easy to spend more time daydreaming about what I can make than actually making it. Here is my latest sewing plan. 

The fabrics have been in my stash quite a while, so I am going to use the Fabric Stash contest as an incentive to actually follow through with my plan.  It's only a month long contest, so I'm being rather ambitious- that would equal two garments a week, but I think that I can do it.
I bought some shoes and necklaces to go with these things too, so I really have committed myself to this!
The last time I followed through with a plan was about two years ago when I did another wardrobe contest.  It really helped me to expand my wardrobe, and I'm thinking it's about time to do it again- this time in more neutrals- black, cream and gold.

First up will be a pencil skirt made from this lovely black shetland wool:

I got this gold wool gabardine in a mystery bundle a few years ago, and really thought it was awful.  Now I can't wait to make a pair of wide legged trousers from it.  I think it will look fantastic with any of my solid cream or black tops.

I need a couple of new blouses.  I have two pieces of silk that have that pretty gold shade in it.
First is this lovely paisley chiffon:

Then this animal print silk charmeuse with a little turquoise in it too

Both of those tops should also go with the black pencil skirt, or another pair of pants from this fantastic cream stretch wool:

And to add a little layering interest, how about a vest in this metallic linen tweed:

I think I need a basic sheath dress in this black and cream stretch honeycomb wool:

And lastly, a coat or cape from this acrylic plaid boucle:

I haven't picked out the exact patterns yet, but can't wait to get started!  What do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Vogue 8771 Striped Knit Top

Boy, it has been a while since I posted anything that I've made for myself!  I've been sewing a lot, but mostly Christmas presents like pajamas and pillowcases.  Now that Christmas is over, I am dying to try out some of the new patterns that I've bought in the last couple of months!  I've picked out quite a few fabrics in the black, cream and gold color groups to make a group of separates that will coordinate. This top is the first of many in this plan to come.  These photos were taken today- our first snowfall of the season! 
I bought Vogue 8771 when it first came out, but hadn't found the perfect fabric for it until just last week.   The pattern is just 4 pieces- front, back, sleeve and cuff.  I made View C which is the longer version that has a curved hem- shorter in the front than the back. It was super easy to sew.  The neckline is narrow hemmed, so there aren't any fussy bands to fiddle with.  

Vogue 8771
Here it is without the cardigan so you can see the hem better.  The scarf is a separate piece- an infinity scarf from the Limited that I bought last year.  I cut the sleeves in the opposite direction that the pattern indicated, because I wanted the cuff stripe to clearly be different.  Other than that, I didn't make any changes to the pattern.  I made the medium and it fit great.  You can't see the neckline in the photo, but it is fairly wide, and definitely needs a scarf or a turtleneck underneath to keep warm in this weather. 

Close-up of fabric. 
I got this tiny black and ivory cotton jersey with gold lurex threads from for $1.99.   It was just  I thought this pattern would be perfect to play with the stripe direction.   I'm pretty sure that I will make this one again, as it's comfy and unique.  I definitely would recommend it to even a beginning seamstress!


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