Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Perfect Body

Guess what?   I have the perfect body!  Haha, far from it...

But apparently my body measurements are almost dead aligned with standard patterns.

In my coats class today, we spent like 2 hours learning how to do various alterations (as a former teacher, I have to say that I love the way she taught this lesson).  Although I learned a lot, I was NOT looking forward to doing all that work on my own pattern.

I went to get fitted, and was very nervous to find out all the things I had to adjust.

But guess what?
My pattern fit!  Perfectly! And she checked everything, really looking for something, anything, that needed to be tweaked... but nope.  Back and front are perfect.  It probably helps that I had already graded out a size for my hips, but still, this is very exciting!

Gary says this means I'm completely average.  I think it means I'm perfect.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Queen of Drapey

I love long, drapey stuff.  You know those drapey cardigans that are in style?  Well, I think I own at least 4 of them, with plans to make another one next.  They're all different lengths, textures, styles, and colors, so I justify owning so many.  Plus I do wear them a lot!

Not only do I have the cardigan version, but I also own 2 vest versions.  And as a nice, easy project, I whipped myself up a third!  Just call me the Queen of Drapey. :)

Happy with my long flowy, drapey vest! 

This is Butterick 4989 in View C, the long drapey one.  This is labeled a 2 hour pattern, and I'd say that's pretty accurate. It was very simple, only 2 pattern pieces; the back and the front is cut twice. I was a little slower, but I didn't work straight and I had some self-created issues with the fabric layout.  I was a bit short on fabric, so I studied the directions seeing if I could squeeze out some more fabric.  Then I noticed that the pattern includes a 4 inch hem.  Wow.  You do NOT need a 4 inch hem.  I figured I was 9 inches short, so I cut 3 inches off each pattern piece and barely squeezed this out.  But as you can see, I still have tons of length, so I wouldn't stress out about the fabric requirements.

Obligatory back shot.

The fabric is really pretty.  It's a sage green stretch lace that has some shine to it.  It's really bunchy (as in bunches up a lot) and it has a lot of holes (because duh, it's a lace) which made it tricky to sew, but not as difficult as I thought.  I was able to use a normal needle and everything, just used a zig zag stitch.  But as a result, this didn't come out as particularly neat in terms of construction as it would've in a simpler fabric.  But because the lace is a little busy, you really can't tell. 

A close up shot of my lace, although the color is more accurate in the other pictures. 

Overall, I highly recommend this pattern and I am very happy with the result. :) 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

An atypical first day

I was so excited for my first day of sewing class.  My plan was to get up early, have a nice big breakfast and a big ole cup of coffee, get all done up all cute, and have Gary take a picture so I could post me off to school!

You know what they say: If you want to make God laugh, make a plan.

I didn't fall asleep until like 12 last night, which is actually pretty typical for me lately.  But then I woke up at 3am, feeling sicker than anything.  I don't know if this has to do with getting older or the strains of the cold or flu virus changing, but lately when I'm sick I get the body aches bad.  I think I've had them for a few days, but was confusing them with gym soreness.

After waking up sick as a dog at 3am, I tossed and turned in bed until about 4.  At this point I felt bad for Gary, so I got up, switched to the couch, and watched Secret Life of the American Teenager (I'm so pissed at Madison by the way! Ugh!)

I went back to bed, and slept from about 6:00 to 7:00.  So when I got up to go to class I was functioning on 4 hours of sleep and feeling very achey.  No fun!  I debated going to class, but finally decided to go.  Side note: My dad always says you can tell how sick I am by how I'm dressed.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror at school and thought "This soooo does not look like me."  Whatever.

But I am soooo happy that I pulled myself out of bed and went to class!  It turns out that I had the days wrong, today was Intermediate Sewing, not my coat class.  I figured this out at about 5am, not when I walked in to the classroom, which would've been awkward.  I didn't bring anything, which was a good call because all we really did was introduce ourselves and then watched a movie about textiles.

Speaking of textiles, wow, I really know a lot.  The teacher was asking questions and I knew pretty much everything.  She also asked where people buy fabric and when I said I buy online she said that you can only do that if you know your textiles.  But I think I've made it pretty clear that I know my textiles.  Then I got to wondering how I know this.  I know my fibers from knitting and from reading knitting magazines.  As for actual fabrics, I think I seriously just touch like every fabric in the fabric store and then read what it is.  I also read a lot online, so when I buy a new fabric online I have a good idea of what it is before it comes.

I also got the impression that I am an advanced intermediate.  The syllabus has us doing things like working with knits, making buttonholes, and installing zippers.  I've done all that, no problem.  But some things I don't really know or want more help on.  She's going to teach us fitting using the Fit for Real People book (which I bought like a month ago and LOVE!)  I think it'll be helpful to have other people around when using that method, especially since I have such a hard time fitting my back and it's hard for me to see my own back!  So even though I think I'm on the more advanced end of the class, I still think it will be worthwhile to take.  And again, I'm glad I got out of bed.  Now off for a nap!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Embracing unemployment

I've mused on this post for a while, writing and rewriting it in my head.  It ended up a little long and philosophical, maybe I was talking things through for myself.  Anyways, I'm choosing to be vague about my last job, because it sucked the life out of me and there's no point in reliving it, but I hope I can convey the low feelings I had afterward and what a change of heart I had. And if you don't care, then you can scroll down toward the bottom for some sewing related stuff!

Unemployment is not as fun as you would think.  It sounds cool- the state is paying you to go to the beach and play Paper Mario all day.  But what people don't really get, unless they've been through it of course, is that it really hurts the ego.  I really did everything right in life- I graduated second in my class in high school, went straight to a 4 year university which I actually finished in 3 years, then got Masters degree and my teaching credential in one measly year, and then got a job straight out of college.  We've always been told that if you go to college you'll get a job, but Gary and I sit here as proof that this isn't really the case.  So here I am, with this beautiful resume with an excellent education and a reasonable amount of experience for my age, and no job.  It really affects your self esteem, because you wonder why you're not good enough.

Two weeks ago, on Friday, August 26th, I had my last teaching interview.  It was depressing!  It was a group interview, and I genuinely liked everyone in my group and we chatted a bunch, and it came out that at least 2 of them had taught for about 10 years and had been unemployed the last year or two.  Ten years experience!!! If they can't find a job, what chance do I have?  And I'm not even sure I want to be a teacher anymore anyways!

That night I let myself be sad for a few hours, grieving the loss of my career, and the next morning I put on my big girl pants and decided to seize the day.  I spent my summer letting things happen to me.  Letting the interviews come to me, letting unemployment wash over me.  No more! I decided I was going to own unemployment, unemployment wasn't going to own me!  So I started thinking about the things I'd like to do if I wasn't working.  One of those was getting back in to shape, which I actually started doing maybe 3 weeks or so ago now.  The second thing I really wanted to do was take sewing or fashion classes.

And so it is friends that tomorrow I start sewing classes at San Diego Continuing Education!  And they're free too!

My first class tomorrow is entitled Sewing Like a Professional (Fall Coats and Jackets).  According to the class description we are making trench coats.  I couldn't find an option to email the teacher, but it says to bring a fabric swatch and a your measurements.  It didn't mention anything about a pattern.  Joann Fabrics was having a huge sale this weekend, so I decided to pick up a pattern for 99 cents, and if it was wrong or whatever, who cares, it was only 99 cents!  So I bought McCalls 5525 which I plan to make in view E:

I also bought my fabric:

On the left is what I intend to use as the lining, a clearance polyester.  On the right is a light weight denim ( feels more like twill to me) that I bought for the outer jacket.  It's a really pretty and interesting color.  They call it Moroccan Blue; it's somewhere between a royal blue and teal. I wanted a really sturdy and heavy cotton so it could stand some beatings and so it wouldn't wrinkle too bad.  I spend a lot more than I normally do, but I know that since I'm making it in a class I will do a really good job and I hope this is something I will wear forever.

I think this post is long enough, so I'm going to wrap it up.  Tomorrow I'll blog about how class went and my other classes.  But here's a last thought- I wonder what I need to bring?  I think I'll leave my sewing machine in the car, but have it in case.  I'll bring my pattern, a swatch, a tape measure, a notebook, and a pen.  I think I'll bring pins, in case I want to do a tissue fitting.  My fabric won't be washed yet, so no point in bringing fabric or scissors.  I just don't know how it will all go!  But I'm sure other people won't have a lot of stuff either, and at least after tomorrow I'll know for Wednesday's class.