Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Self drafted pattern: Yellow knit

When I was a teenager I would play around with self-drafted designs all the time. There were some things that I wore quite often too. But I've lost my courage to draft my own patterns. Well, this is a shirt that I designed. It has pleats at the shoulders, tucks diagonally across the front, and a scoop neck. It's simple, but has a little flair. I got the fabric from fabric.com. It's a super stretchy knit. While this shirt turned out okay, I think I'll stick with patterns for the most part.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sometimes my sewing flops. It's true.

You might remember when I made my lady skirt Simplicity 2257. That skirt is one of my pride of joy. So I thought that making a shorter version in a summery cotton poplin would be super awesome, especially if I had it in time for my trip to Argentina.

The picture is grainy, but this skirt is just frumpy. The hem comes up too short in the back, the fabric I used for a lining (a cotton voile) is sticky, and it just overall doesn't fit. Frustrating. I wore it anyway, but not excitedly. In fact, if anyone had asked me if I made that skirt, I would probably have denied it. 

You win some, and you lose some. And sometimes my efforts flop. I'll just keep going anyway.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Green Purse!

One of my favorite purchases from our trip to Argentina is this beauty:

I tried to represent the green as best I as I could by manipulating the levels. It's a bright kelly green. I knew I wanted either a turquoise or a green purse when I saw all the gorgeous leather purses in Argentina, and ended up settling on a green one. 

I'm in love.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pinterest! It's my friend!

I realize that I'm about the second to last person on the planet to discover the wonder that is Pinterest, but I've discovered it. It's so much easier than having photos and bookmarks and everything spread all over my computer. So organized! I love it.

I found a project thanks to Pinterest that I knew I had to make. Especially since I bought myself 7 new pairs of earrings in Argentina, and my poor jewelry box was already impossible to close.

I have to put a plug in for the Huz. He is such a great help and support. I love that he takes interest in organizing my accessories. In fact, he came up with the system we have to store my purses and my necklaces, which I'll show you in a minute. 

So the Huz and I went to Target to find a frame. We ended up getting two smaller box frames, rather than one big one. TC was smart enough to think ahead that smaller frames would make it easier to find a home for them on the wall. (I can't find the frame online, but it is Room Essentials brand).

Then we went to Home Depot and looked for aluminum sheeting. We found it on an end cap near the building supplies. I asked an employee and she didn't really know where to find "aluminum sheets with decorative cutouts." We took a piece of glass out of the frame for reference for the size we needed the aluminum to be. Jason in tool rental was nice enough to cut two rectangles in the right size for us (however, the sheet is so thin that it might actually have been better to cut it at home with old scissors because Jason's cutters bent the heck out of the sheet). When we got home, I slid the aluminum into the frame and voila! Earring holder.

My accessorizing station.

Cool colors and neutrals.

Warm colors.

Now I can use my earrings as inspiration when I'm getting dressed. I love it.

And on the side of my dresser you can see my necklaces.

TC saw me struggling to keep my necklaces untangled and suggested we get little hooks to attach to my dresser. It was a stroke of genius! I could probably use one more hook since my necklace collection has grown.

In my jewelry box on top of my dresser is where rings, brooches, and other earrings (hoops and studs) are kept. So much easier to keep it neat and organized! Fragrances are kept next to the jewelry box.

Now on to my purse storage. Our apartment is relatively small. And when I say it's small, I mean that it's not large enough to accommodate my clothes, shoes and accessories. A while back TC had the idea to get 3M command strip hooks (we bought ours at Home Depot) to hang my purses from. And he had in mind the perfect place: behind our bedroom door. I can't tell you how grateful I am for his support with this. I would expect some husbands to simply suggest that getting rid of some purses would solve the problem. But TC understands and wanted to help me hold on to all of my beloved handbags. Okay, so I think I've made it clear: I love my husband and think he's grand. I'll stop now.

With the bedroom door open, you can hardly see that all those purses are hiding back there. And since we nearly always keep our door open.

So there you have it! A project I found on Pinterest and some other storage ideas.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2011 Sewing in Review

I thought it might be fun to do a sum up post of the sewing projects I blogged about last year. Here's a little update on each item:

Simplicity 2403

I have only worn this dress a handful of times. It's a bit too tight in the bust and arms to be comfortable. I love it and adore it and hope to be able to fit into it again someday. The fabric is lovely, and dotted. What's not to love about polka dots!

I think this dress wins the award for most impractical. I have worn it once. The wonky neckline makes it uncomfortable to wear and the color washes me out. I love the design of the dress, however. I just might try again someday in a better color fabric. I'm a huge fan of ruching.

I never fell in love with the color of this top. I just didn't feel fabulous wearing it, so it was donated to a secondhand clothing store. I liked the fit, but the color just didn't work for me. I think this is when I learned that I need to be more choosy when buying discount fabric online. If it's bright online, it will likely be brighter in person. That's the lesson I take from this. 

I think of all the projects I completed this year, I am most proud of this suit. It's lovely! I like the way it fits, I love the fabric I chose ( a worsted wool), and the design is just fantastic. I took my time with the details (the decorative hand stitching, the piping, using hem tape, etc.) which made for a great completed project. I wore this suit to my SIL's wedding in July, and several times to church. It's a great outfit that I plan to keep around for a long time.

This dress wins the award for best fitting. I took my time with this one and fitted the bodice and skirt to a T. I adore it. The fabric is a cotton sateen, and I used the wrong side of the fabric for a more woven look. This dress is great for wearing to church, or to work. It can be dressed up or down. The color is great. I can go on and on about this dress. It's a favorite for sure.

This skirt is a classic. I love the print. I think it's a whole lot of fun. What's not to love about a simple pencil skirt? The only thing I don't love about it is the fit. I made it a bit big, and a bit longer than I'd like. So on my to do list is to go back and take the skirt in and take the hem up. This summer the skirt got quite a bit of wear for casual days and dressier days too.

McCall's 4922

This shirt wins the most useful award. I wear this top all the time. I will likely make it over and over again. I love the cotton pique fabric I used for it. It has a slight stretch to it, which makes it easy to wear. It's long enough to wear with jeans, and despite the contoured hem, I wear it untucked with jeans all the time. 

I feel like such a lady in this skirt, so this one wins the most ladylike award. I wore it several times over the summer, I wore it in Argentina over Christmas, and plan to wear it over and over again this coming summer. I love the print; it reminds me of pineapple tops, which makes me happy. I feel so twirly and lovely. 

I love this dress. I brought this one along to Argentina too. It's comfortable, easy, and just lovely. I would love to have this in grey or navy. The cotton poplin I made it from wrinkles like crazy, but I still love the dress. It got a lot of wear last summer, and I plan to wear it throughout the year. Definite success. I can't say enough about how much I love this dress.

This dress is tricky. I love the print of the fabric. I love the idea of it. I love the ruching and the split neck. But it's tricky to wear. I really messed up the bodice. I really should have made it in a bigger size to accommodate my bust. The modesty panel and button make it wearable, but I think it cheapens the quality of the dress. I have still worn it several times, but I don't have complete confidence in it. 

By that same token, I think I'm being overly critical. A lady in my ward (congregation) told me that she thought I had bought it at Banana Republic and had searched their website looking for it. She was disappointed that she didn't find it there. That was a huge compliment and made me feel like a million bucks.

I had doubts that I would make this dress again, but now that I'm remembering all that I love about it, I'm starting to reconsider.

So there you have 2011 in review. It seems like a general rule that the things I took my time on, I love. And the things I rushed through I don't love. Let that be a lesson to me for 2012 sewing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

And so I'm back, from outer space

Two months without a post is a long time. I have a lot to say. I have some projects to show you. And some pictures that I want to share.

First I want to say Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Anniversary to TC, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Whew! I covered a lot of ground there.

This is us on our anniversary. We eked out a few minutes to walk to Temple Square and enjoy the lights.

Thanksgiving was nice. We spent it with my family. 

After Thanksgiving our pre-Christmas/pre-trip rush started. TC worked mucho overtime to prepare for our upcoming trip to Argentina, we had our Christmas shopping and trip shopping and other trip prep to work on. Plus we had church related stuff. I was in charge of putting on an activity for the ladies in my ward (congregation) on the 14th of December (our anniversary and the day before we traveled). I get short of breath just typing this out. It was busy, stressful, but thanks to great people that helped with the activity, and a great husband that helped and supported and listened despite his own busy-ness, the activity was a success.

And afterward TC and I took some time to walk around Temple Square and reflect on our 12 years together. 12 years people!! I've started telling people that I got married when I was 14. 12 years is just such a long time. But it's been 89% joy. And it keeps getting better.

So after our brief jaunt we returned home and finished packing, preparing the house for an extended leave, washing clothes, etc.

The next day, the 15th, we traveled. We flew from SLC to Dallas/Fort Worth to Buenos Aires. True story: there was an elderly flight attendant on our flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Buenos Aires who was especially crusty and rude to the passengers. I realize the working for an airline right now isn't the best of jobs, but really? You're going to snap at us with a sarcastic remark about not having 300 pens around your neck because we asked to borrow A pen (one)? And really? You're going to yell at people to sit down when the seatbelt light isn't even on and they are heading toward the lavatory? Yikes. 

Anyway, besides the crusty flight attendant, the trip was uneventful. I slept a lot and TC... well, he didn't. He can't sleep in moving vehicles. We had some trouble getting through customs in BA, and immigrations took forever, but we made it, and Carlos, el suegro, was on the other side waiting to drive us home.

While there...

We went to a Parrilla (where they serve all sorts of grilled meats). It's funny because as a kid I hated red meat. And my Mom, hoping to encourage me to like meat, said, "You're going to get married and your husband is going to like meat, and you're going to have to make it for him. So you better like it now." How right she was that I would marry a man who likes meat! (For the record, I do not "have to make it for him.") I have found my love for meat.

Beatriz, la suegra, and I are ready for meat!!


TC enjoying his asado.

Besides the asado, we ate and ate and ate all kinds of delicious foods, like empanadas, and roasts, and mignon, and media lunas, and ñoqui, and facturas, and alfajores, and sandwiches de miga, and milanesa, and fruit salad, and ice cream, and matambre, and cantimpalo and the cheese! and ... and I'm getting fatter as I type this out. Yum.

This is one of TC's awesome panoramas. He takes a series of photos and stitches them together in Photoshop. It's his specialty.

We also spent some time at the beach. Not much, however because we both got sunburned. I know what you're thinking: use sunscreen you doofus. Well, this doofus did. 45 spf. This doofus spent 20 minutes making sure that every last inch of her body was covered in sunscreen because this doofus has been burned by the sun a few too many times before. This doofus remembered the skin right under her heiny because she forgot that area before and couldn't sit comfortably for days. This doofus remembered the tops of her ears, and the back of her neck, and behind her knees. But this doofus somehow forgot her arms, and, more painfully, the skin that connects one's arms to one's torso. So I spent the next several days groaning in pain whenever I had to move either arm. TC also got sunburned, which is odd because with his complexion he rarely does. But this time his shoulders, neck and chest were in bad shape. We spent a lot of time rubbing aloe vera on each other (believe me, it was not, in any way, erotic).

TC and I at the beach almost one full week after our terrible burns. Now we are molting and shedding. It's pretty gross.

Our Christmas Eve involved delicious food (again with the food, I know), gifts and firecrackers.

Papa Noel brought TC a book about Utes fans. Man, that Santa knows his stuff!

Gordita scored an awesome studded leather belt.

Carlos lighting a firecracker.

We lit firecrackers on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. I was mostly behind the camera, but I even got to light a few myself (no photos).

TC shopping.

We went shopping. I got some great accessories that I'm excited about, including a gorgeous green leather purse.

We spent a lot of time scanning photos. We scanned 2000 photos in total from one grandmother. And we scanned 300 works of art from the other grandmother. Now that all those photos and works of art have been scanned, I have some major cropping and organizing to do. 

I managed to hold down my non-alcoholic cider this year (unlike in past years). I suffered no ill, nor funny effects from enjoying some.

We came back last week, and unfortunately the next TC had to start work. It was admittedly hard to go from spending 24/7 with each other to 14/7. I miss him. 

Now that the trip deets are all posted and shared, I have some projects to post about, a year in review that I'd like to share and some other fun stuffs. I hope your holidays were happy.

love, Gordita