Tag Archives: sewing

Happy Old Year!

31 Dec

Like last year, I have no New Years Resolutions for 2012. At the end of the upcoming 366 days, I would rather reflect on the past year with happiness, than remember where I failed in my resolutions.

2011 started off with January, as all years do. That was a long time ago, and if something exciting happened then, I have quite forgotten.

February passed. Quickly. It’s always such a short month. I think the 31st of every 31-day-having month should be dedicated to the memory of February since it is so short and speedily gone. Smack in the middle of February, I was privileged to attend an Anti-Valentine’s Day party with some single girl friends. We’re not anti-love. We’re just anti-make-a-big-stink-out-of-love-with-roses-and-chocolate. But do give me the chocolate, please.

The last day of February took me to Wisconsin, where I visited Sarah for a week during a special Bible Conference. It was nice to meet all the people she’d been telling me about! I arrived home at the end of the first week of March, with the measurements of a half-dozen girls in hand. Off to JoAnn Fabrics to buy skirt and jumper fabric I went!!

Skipping on down to summer, I did alterations for two weddings. One was bridesmaid alterations, one was a wedding gown alteration. It was definitely a good experience for me!

For the August wedding, some dear friends came up from Tennessee and stayed in my sewing room for a little less than a week. No get-together with them is complete without a night of energy drinks, ice cream, coffee, and walking in the middle of a deserted street with fuzzy blankets.

At the end of August, SURPRISE! My sister came in for a week to shock the socks off the rest of the family. I knew all along. *smug grin* What none of us knew was that on the day of her arrival, the entire east coast would have a mild earthquake. Furthermore, on the day before Sarah’s departure, Hurricane Irene lended her hand in a refinishing/redecorating project for our entire basement.

After August, the year whooshed by.

  I participated in my first fashion show on October 15. A mere 2 weeks before the big day is when I was invited to put a garment in the show, so there was all manner of patternmaking and fitting, trial and error, staying up all night and all day to get the jacket-skirt set done. But it done got done!

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In December, my dear childhood friend, Hannah, was visiting from WV and I met her then-boyfriend, Todd. He is her now-fiance as of merry Christmas, and what a cute couple they make! I’m so excited for her!!

2011 brought a lot of new things into my life:
– New phones! I went through two since February, and made the joyous switch from T-Mobile to MetroPCS. And yes, my newest phone is a smarty-pants phone.
– New friends! Met some awesome people at the hotel, and am privileged enough to count them as friends now – both coworkers and guests! I even made friends with some non-hotel people! And thanks to one of those new friends, I have a….
– …New haircut! I went from having sorta long-ish hair to a shorter ‘do, which I’m loving! (compare the Anti-V-day pic to the bridesmaid alteration pic!)
– New infatuation! Do you all know about Pinterest? You should. I talk about it a lot (with my mouth, not really so much on my blog). And it’s awesome. If you need an invite, let me know. Start your new year right with a new Pinterest account!
– New coffee! I was introduced to Turkish coffee recently! There was a moment of awkwardness at the beginning of our relationship, but all has been ironed out and we are grand friends indeed.

Why make wild endeavors for the new year when my old year turned out just fine by winging it?

Undergoing

20 Oct

Remember when our basement “went under” with Hurricane Irene? Still hard to believe how much drowned in those six inches of water. Well, since then, every aspect of my life has been undergoing change of some sort.

I moved into Sarah’s bedroom after the flood, and almost two months later, I’m still there. It’s terribly convenient. Terribly. I can sew and sleep within the same four walls. But for a moment, please imagine the chaos that would/did exist in those same four walls when they hold the contents of two rooms – my bedroom and my sewing room. Yup, chaos. Introduce plastic bins from Walmart. Add random cleaning spurts. Sprinkle generously with coffee breaks. And the result (so far) is visibility of carpet. In fact, enough carpet can be seen that I’m considering vacuuming just because I can. By tomorrow, I’m hoping for moderate-to-complete organization of fabric. It’s a long shot, but that’s why the coffee pot is on. Oh and I got a new floor lamp for the sewing corner too. Sorta pretty much really excited about that.

The room in the basement where I used to sleep (and one day will sleep in again) has not gone forgotten. I have big plans for that room! Some changes have occurred, some are still ongoing. Already done: new “genteel lavender” paint job with “polar bear” trim, tile floors instead of carpet, white sheer curtains instead of closet doors, new black dresser, new black bookshelf, new dark wood night stand, new set of drawers at the end of my bed, ALL-plastic waterproof storage, big framed horse print for my horse-crazy lil sis, new black and white lamp. To be done: new curtains for my window, new wall art to cover the electrical box that my bedroom has been blessed with, photos and drawings and other forms of art to frame and hang, new rugs to make out of super-awesome fabric, new slippers so I can actually walk on the tile floors.

I do not currently have pictures of any of these works in progress. I don’t even think I have “before” pictures. But sometime I hope to get some “after” pictures posted here. A reminder from readers would not be deemed unnecessary…jus’ sayin’.

Even at work at the hotel, things are changing! Busy summer season with a bunch of families and unruly children running the hotel halls is OVER! It’s “just” a bunch of business people, construction people, “lifers” (aka long-term guests), other miscellaneous people…. generally people who know the hotel biz and don’t ask a million questions or demand extra pillows or complain about credit card authorizations. It’s nice, I will admit. In fact, this month marks a year that I’ve been working at the hotel! Very exciting! I still love working there! I can’t remember a single day I’ve dreaded going to work there!

Everyone at some point will undergo changes in their life. Adapt. Don’t go under and drown. Even if it is only six inches of water.

Back with a capital B

10 Mar

February is over. It happened so fast. On February 27th, I was packing a suitcase, making a list of things not to forget (which I ironically lost), and sewing a skirt. On February 28th, I was on a 7:25am plane to Wisconsin, then I was in Wisconsin, then I was taking a very necessary nap. Suddenly, on a day which should have been February 29th, March sprang upon me with its cold Wisconsin winds and an inaudible lion-like growl.

It is still March, though I am no longer in Wisconsin. I am Back with a capital B.

Since coming Back, I’ve accomplished quite a bit –

— I’ve Blown my nose so much that I’ve depleted a tissue box of its innards.

— I’m feeling Better now. I think I owe some of it to Airborne.

— I Bought 18.5 yards of fabric (at least) yesterday, so I can fill the orders I took while I was in Wisconsin.

— I Began the super-exciting process of making patterns for all the orders I took.

— I Befriended a few new guests at the hotel during the three days I’ve worked since my return.

— I Broke the “Control” key on my laptop . . . again.

— I Blogged with a capital B. Maybe later I’ll update this blog on the trip itself.

30…31

30 Jan

As if 2011 didn’t already come too soon, January also had to end without fair-enough warning. At least I’ve kept busy. And there’s enough happening in my February to keep me so super-excited as to disregard the annoying speed with which January sped by. Happenings such as…

– going to a home basketball game for my brother’s team this coming Friday

teaching a design class to some ladies in my church

– finishing up some sewing/design projects that currently loom over my head

– visiting my sister in the blustery state of Wisconsin

missions month at our church, complete with missionaries and sure-to-be-great messages

– anti-Valentine’s Day celebrations

– after-Valentine’s Day chocolate sales

– pending leaps and bounds of progress on my sewing website

– starting an internship with the super-cool and lovable fashion designer, Pamela Ptak

– Oh, did I mention visiting my sister in Wisconsin?

It’s a lot to cram into the shortest month of the year. But I’m gonna make it work.

 

I admit…

13 Oct

…I’m a bit infatuated. Over the past months and years, I’ve heard people talk about Etsy. I finally got around to looking at the Etsy site about 3 months ago. I know, I’m a bit slow. And now I can’t stop looking at it. The night I finally checked it out, I seriously spent about 4 hours perusing. It made my creative side go absolutely crazy! I am signed up for their daily “Etsy Finds” email. Every day. New amazing creativity. I’m hooked.

Hast thou a hankering for unique clothing designs? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Etsy holds hundreds,  if not thousands, of unique handmade garments by artists around the world! Here are some  of my favorites for today. They inspire me so. If I had the money, I’d probably buy them all in every color. Maybe. But since I have expertise instead of money, I’ll probably just end up making similar patterns and maybe one day making the actual wearable garment.

Hast thou a yen for personalized jewelry? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Etsy has it all! From jewelry sellers who can personalize jewelry for you, to jewelry supplies sellers who can sell you stuff so you can personalize it yourself. I had jewelry-making tools from a 3D design class I took a few semesters ago, so it’s only natural for me to want to get more use out of them than just a good grade in my past. Here are things that currently captivate my fancy.

Hast thou favorite things that thou thinkest art favorite to thee alone? (Yes, I do.) You are not alone! It is practically guaranteed that *someone* is selling something on Etsy that resonates with that exact favoritism! It’s truly a beautiful network of eccentric artists who create wondrous things that are for sale to the common people. No one can be artsy in every area of creativity, so Etsy will connect you with people who are artsy in ways you never could be. I want these.

Hast thou a hunger for tasty and yet artistic delicacies? (Yes, I do.) Look no further! Artists on Etsy do not limit themselves to crafts that will last a lifetime! Buy cupcakes! Buy chocolates! Buy supplies to make your own! And then share with me. Especially if you buy any of these.

The best part about Etsy (in my opinion) is that almost everyone selling stuff on there made it themselves. They care about their product. They can and will create something to meet your creative needs. This is unlike eBay or Amazon, where people are trying to “get rid of” things that they no longer want or need.

Etsy is a never-ending art fair full of succulent goodies. Grab some cotton candy and peruse its venues.

(Start with my favorite shops: Brookish, dazeychic, and LoveToLoveYou.)

To whomever may be concerned with any copyright issues with my posting of these photographs. Yes, you people do exist. I post these pictures, NOT for my own profit, but so that those viewing this blog will be tempted to buy the items, resulting in profit for the person to whom the picture belongs. This is free advertising. And I could not be more tickled to be able to promote these wondrous products.

the nerdy side of sewing

15 Sep

Beyond the pretty, cutesy things I do related to sewing, there is a nerdy process that is considerably less than cute.

I’m not a nerd. I just thought I’d clear that up right now. I’ve been accused of being a nerd before, but I’m not, k? Nerds have big glasses and buck teeth; they play video games; they can tell you how to rewire your harddrive so that it can brew coffee while it combs your hair. I don’t do that. Being smart is not nerdy. Moving right along.

I have what I call a “culotte formula.” It is a Microsoft Excel document that I created a few years back. When I measure girls for culottes, I take three measurements: waist, hip, length. I go home and plug those measurements into my “culotte formula” and bazing! the formula calculates to the fraction of an inch, how much I need to add to or subtract from which part of the existing single-size culotte pattern. That’s not nerdy. That’s transferring my mathematical headache to the computer. A computer computes; I sew; it’s that easy.

The most recent could-be-classified-as-nerdy thing that I’ve done is making tags for the volleyball culottes. Not the tags that actually sew onto the culottes (though I am looking into that), but rather the tags that attach with the little plastic thing that you are supposed to cut off before wearing. Yeah those. I designed them. First I did sketches, like a good lil aspiring graphic designer. Then I transfered the sketches to the computer and traced over them with the pen tool to create a vector. And now for an abbreviated explanation of vector images, I’m going to turn this over to Amanda who is in the computer room. Amanda, would you explain what vector images are and why you chose to use them?

Amanda in the computer room: “Vector images are actually pretty simple to explain. When you take a digital photograph (a raster image), the image is made up of pixels. You’ve probably noticed that if you try to zoom in too far to a photo, it gets grainy….or pixelized, which isn’t a word according to Dictionary.com. If you zoom in even farther, the graininess becomes more noticeably squares. Each square is a pixel. So even if you take a really good quality picture and can print it out fine as a 16×20”, it would look pixelixed on a billboard. Raster=pixels.

However…… a vector image is not based in pixels; it used mathematical formulas to calculate curves, colors, lines, etc. So if you create a small vector image for a business card, and your business really takes off, you can simply resize the vector image to fit a billboard and it will retain its crisp, perfect lines. The vector image just recalculates its mathematical formulas to be bigger! Vector=awesome! This is Amanda, in the computer room for IDon’tCare News. Now back to the sewing room.

Wow thank you, Amanda. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Actually I won’t say any more at all. I’ll just put some pictures up.

bipolarity

10 Sep

I’m torn between a lot of things right now. My mood swings have been many, sudden, and sometimes severe. Does that make me a mental case? Possibly bipolar? Or maybe just having an extremely normal experience with “real life” (emphasis on extreme)?

I just finished several big, humongous, monstrous, sorta-intimidating, hallelujah-they’re-done projects. There was the volleyball culottes project that I’ve known about for months. It has been sorta hanging over my head and sorta awaited with great anticipation. Now I love sewing, don’t get me wrong. But multiple pairs of the same exact thing? I have literally made almost (of not more than) 200 pairs of culottes. It’s kinda getting old. *faint wish for leprechauns who can sew* Getting old like those super-cute flip-flops I got for my 16th birthday that I keep holding onto, hoping they’ll evolve into something wearable again. BUT my point is that the culottes are done! No less than three Red Bulls, two bags of M&Ms, and one 15-yard roll of elastic later.

The second project is something I agreed to whilst I was in Tennessee….yes, that was in July. Just days after Anne Bananne’s wedding. Hemming up 8 “black-out” curtains to specific lengths. Not terribly difficult, just to very specific measurements. None of the 8 curtains were the same dimensions. Try keeping that straight! This was something that, while I was working on it, took up the entirety of the sewing room (aka my sister’s room). Again, my point is, the curtains are all done!

The last thing that has been crossed off my ever-growing to-do list is something that I agreed to a little over a week ago. No time to think about it really, I just said “yes” to the project. I do that a lot. I think it’s because I hate disappointing people. Maybe I should create a therapy for myself and go about intentionally disappointing people so that I can overcome my overwhelming list of obligations. Anyways, the project was computer-related. This conjured up images of working on the high school yearbook CD and the two computer classes I took last spring semester. But I convinced myself that I liked doing graphic design stuff. And you know what? Besides the whole trying-to-figure-out-what-was-wanted-from-me thing, I DID enjoy it! I did two full-page handouts about “living the sanctified life” for a Bible class that will be taught at another church. It is likely that I had entirely too much fun creating something I affectionately refer to as the “Lil Man.” That would be the image that appears to be changing shirts and ties as he runs through this post. He is actually running through the sanctified life. Confusing, I realize. Trust me on this one. My point here is that the handouts are done! Complete with Lil Man.

The thing that makes this post so bipolar is that the entire time I’ve been writing it, I’ve been feeling incredibly successful, productive, and energetic. But as soon as I’m done and I cast my eyes upon the revised to-do list I made while at work, I will feel swamped, lazy, procrastinatory, and possibly faint of energy. Which makes little sense. Because being faint is lacking energy to begin with.

Amanda, stop making no sense. Okay?

Okay.

Goodnight.

Goodnight.

(See? Bipolar.)