Sunday, May 18, 2014

Summer sewing projects

I started my new job last week and it is going to be great.  I have met some fantastic people and everyone is so nice and welcoming. I have survived two business trips and have more trips in the future. Airlines are the pits. Last week reminded me of the importance of good customer service. I had a few near meltdown moments after dealing with cancelled flights. My clinic is not ready so I'll be traveling and working from home. I'll have more time to sew in between trips since I don't have a daily commute.

I changed my sewing plans to reflect the warmer weather. I think that I have sewing ADHD because I never stick to a plan. Mt current plans are to make 2 6Pacs since I don't own any warm weather clothes suitable for work and traveling. One collection will be skirts and twin sets. I need the cardigans for wearing in the clinic and I can whip them off when I come out into the heat. The second collection will contain 4 dresses and 2 cardigans. I'll be adding some extra tops to the collection to give it some variety.

Collection One - Basics
I was playing around with Polyvore and came up with this group for my first collection of basic garments.  It is more than 6 pieces but all of the patterns are easy. I already own the black skirt and all of the shoes. My shoes are slightly different but the style is the same. The cardigans will have 3/4 sleeves and matching tank tops. All of the fabric except for the red will come from the stash.

I started sewing this weekend. So far I have made a black and white print pencil skirt - just need to add elastic, finish the vent and the hem. I cut out a black cardigan with 3/4 sleeves but didn't have enough for a top. I might have another fabric that I can use. Next up is a black & white white zebra print shell since the machines are threaded with white thread.
I'm going on a fabric shopping trip to NYC at the end of the month. My plan is to pick up some cotton/lycra knit for twin sets, a couple of floral pieces for skirts and whatever strikes my fancy. I haven't bought fabric since Lent started so this trip is my treat to me.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Resurrection Sunday

Happy Easter for those who celebrate. Today is day of renewal and re-birth. This morning, I'll worship with family. Then DH & I will go to lunch with my mother and her sister. Later today, we'll have dinner with DS and his girlfriend. Cooking dinner is a team effort this year and I am grateful for their help.

The last few weeks/months/years workwise have been tough. Ending this job has been difficult emotionally. I am thankful to God for holding me up while I am in the midst of these storms. Walking into this new job is God's grace. I feel know that this is where he means for me to be. I feel like everything that I have experienced was in preparation for this job. I started telling the patients that I am leaving last week. Tissues were pulled out. Next week will be worse and quite a few tears will be shared. One patient told me that she was not surprised. She said that she sees my anointing in taking care of people. I'm not doing anything special. My goal is to take care of people the same way that I would want someone to take care of me and my loved ones. My job is to bring glory to God. A lot of the patients are religious/spiritual. We come from different viewpoints. I've learned some interesting things from them. I will miss them.

Sewing wise - I've been working overtime so sewing has been on a back burner. After 6 pattern drafts, I have a workable pants pattern. 2 skirt drafts later and I think that my pencil skirt pattern will work. Next up is a sleeveless sheath dress muslin.

Happy Easter. May everything that you do today bring glory to God

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Building my capsule wardrobe part 2

I went over the clothes that were hanging in the closet last weekend. I pulled out all of the clothes that I don't plan to wear again.  I threw a few things away and I'm waiting for my sister to come and see what she wants. Anything left goes to charity.

The next step was to reorganize the closet following the ideas in this blog post lessons-from-closet-reorganization . After I was finished, I learned that I have a lot  of work to do. I only have a few pieces that will work for the new job.

Planning the new wardrobe
I will admit that I'm not a visual person. I have problems trying to see how to pull outfits together. I found a neat way to see how your outfits go together. Suzie from Su Sews So-So has created what she calls Style Sudoko .  She created a grid that you can use to mix and match outfits.


I wear a lot of black and patients think black is professional so it works as a core color until the weather gets really warm. Suzie created a template at Polyvore that I used to create a basic black set. I substituted jackets for the accessory box. This set only includes skirts but I can easily substitute pants for the skirts. This is a great idea. It is interesting how the different lines go together.
I have 3 of the 4 pairs of shoes, I need to find the striped shoes. I have several black pencil skirts but plan to make a leather skirt next week. I have several black shells. I'm working on a longer black skirt and a leather and knit twin set. I have all of the fabrics that I need in the stash.
Things that I need to do:
Try on all of the remaining clothes and do another clean out of garments that don't fit or flatter
Take pictures of the remaining garments that will work with a spring/summer wardrobe. Use Powerpoint to put together a Sudoko with the garments in the closet.
Store everything that will not been worn in the next 4 months in another location.
Declutter the shoes and make a podiatrist appt.
Change to a thinner closet hangers, I'm currently using the cheap plastic hangers from Wal-Mart.
Test dying my hair a silver gray. I'm going to test a few locs to see if I like the color first.
Re-do my sloper to check fit before I sew any more garments.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Back in the saddle again

Now I've landed  the job, I need to start looking the part. I have been wearing scrubs for the past two years so I didn't need clothes for work. That changes the first of May when I start the new job. My wardrobe needs to be a combination of professional and business casual garments. I'm going to start by auditioning the clothes that I have made to see what will work.

I like a classic look with some twists. My goal is to develop a capsule wardrobe following the plan here: Into-mind -building-a-capsule-wardrobe-from-scratch. I started studying this site and a couple of others as I was going to the different interviews. I'm on a RTW fast so I will not be buying any clothes. I will be spending my money on accessories including my favorite things - shoes. Umm, I will have to learn how to wear heels all day again. I hate doing laundry so I want enough garments to last 2-3 weeks.

The general criteria for my wardrobe is:
Self-made garments. I will include some RTW that I already own
easy care mix and match ( some garments will be dry clean only or hand washing but mostly machine wash)
dress code is a mix of professional and dressier business casual

Core colors - black,  gray for early spring then add in navy and tan for the summer
Accent colors - red, white, cream, pale blue, purple, green. 
The good thing is that I have most of these colors in the stash.

Uniform sets
3 pieces outfits work the best for me. I'm a big fan of twin sets and I wear a lot of skirts and pants.
pants or pencil skirt+shell+cardigan
pants or pencil skirt+shell+jacket
long skirt+short top
tunic and slim leg pants

Shoes - flats, pumps and slingbacks.
Jewelry - gold and silver. I only buy costume jewelry because I am always losing earrings.
Handbags - variety - some will be self made

Starting Garments
I have to sort out what is already in the wardrobe and what needs to be made. I might raid my mother's closet.
4 dresses
4 pairs of slim leg pants
4 pairs of wider leg pants
4 skirts
6 knit tops
6 shells
4 woven longer sleeve tops
6 cardigans
4 jackets

Hair and makeup
Loc styling - I will be wearing my hair up because it looks more professional
Need new makeup to go with my new glasses. I was kinda freaked out Saturday when I went to get new glasses. Buying glasses is a rip-off, glasses should not cost almost 1500.00.  Then they try to tell you that you are getting a discount when the final price is almost 700.00. I asked for my prescription and they weren't happy that I requested it. I came home and checked out online eyewear sites.

I've been thinking about this collection for the past few weeks. I am writing this down so I can see what I need to sew and get it out of my head. This weekend I will be going over what I already own and continuing to work on my 2014 Swap. I wore my first 3Pac to two of the interviews.

I'll be ordering shoes and going jewelry shopping soon. I gave up buying fabric and Pepsi for Lent so I have money for something else. Lol.

Grateful, grateful, grateful

God is so good to me. He has blessed me with my dream job. The prayer circle has been busy. I need to thank everyone that has been saying prayers for me and keeping my spirits up. I feel like all of the work stuff that I have been going thru at work for the last 5 years has prepared me for this position.

The interview process lasted almost two months. I had 4 interviews and have probably logged in about 10 hours of talk time. I appreciate the process that they used to make sure that I am the right person for this job. I am so excited to be back in a management role. It is a great offer and I'm a big fan of this company. I signed a confidentiality agreement so I can't go into details yet. It is a little closer to home so my commute will be a little shorter.

This job will be a huge challenge and I look forward to it. I need something that makes me excited to go to work. The position is very visible and I will need to step up my game. I need to work on a more professional wardrobe instead of scrubs. I'm glad that I sew.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Plans

February Projects
MAGAM project  Vogue 8605 - I made this coat before but gave it to my aunt. She has been wearing it to church. This time, I plan is to make the sleeves longer, lengthen the coat and add walking ease.
I bought a fleece from FM for this coat.
My Fearless February project is McCall 6850 - this is going to be a hoodie for DH. This will be the first time that I have sewed a garment for DH. I bought another piece of fleece from FM. I have enough for two projects.
Make a color-blocked dress inspired by a Michael Kors dress
Draft a wrap dress for Tee's wrap dress sewalong
Sewing for others - hem 2 pairs of pants for DM and fix DH's other vest.

I need to start thinking about a spring 6pac. I might need a new wardrobe if things go well this month. I have the prayer circle sending many prayers upstairs. I love my stash because I already have patterns and fabric.

January Project Summary

I'm posting this note to remind myself of what I accomplished in January. I still need to write detailed notes and take pictures. I managed to get some sewing done despite my crazy work schedule. I worked for short periods of time when I had the energy and chunks of time over the weekends to get everything done. Sewing became my respite from work stress.

I finished all of the projects that I cut out at the end of last year. I have mixed feelings about cutting out projects ahead of time. It was great to be able to sit down and start sewing but I felt that I lost some spontaneity and felt constricted. One of my goals is to prevent UFO's so I felt compelled to finish these projects. These feelings verified that I have issues with sticking to a definite set of projects. This is why I never finish a SWAP. I'm easily distracted by new patterns, fabric and plans, LOL. I'm a one project person but I might try working on a complex project along with something easy.

Projects completed:
January MAGAM project - sweater set
McCall's 6844 - 2 long cardigans both from ponte knit
Lekala 4119 - used leftover knit from my twin set
Vogue 8976- used a sweater knit. This fabric was a bear to work with because it clings to itself.
Hot Patterns Fiesta top - made a second version using an ITY knit
I used PMB to draft several projects using a black ponte knit: sleeveless knit dress, added a piece of black lace and leftover white ponte knit to make a gore skirt; and a peplum top.
The only project still in progress is a black tencel knit cowl neck which needs to be hemmed. I've tried to hem this top several times but the only thing getting a workout is my seam ripper.

DH has several old vests that are too big due to his weight loss. The first vest that I fixed almost had me pulling my hair out. The seam ripper was an extension of my right hand. After I finished the vest, I told him that he owes me a drink.

RTW Fast - no new clothes. I did buy some new work shoes, socks and tights.

Stashbusting - 4 pieces of fabric left the stash. FM was my downfall but I only spent 65 bucks on fabric that will be used in February.