Thursday, May 31, 2012

The End of Me Made May Fun

Geez, the month of May is over. Not sure how I've let the last week slip away unblogged, heehee, but there ya go. Not sure if it was Me Made May fatigue, the kitchen project (updated pictures here), or the fact that we went to Tennessee for the Memorial Day weekend.

On the plus side, I did wear something I made every single day in May. This past week, when the house was crawling with workers, I just wasn't up for picture taking. OK, I did take a picture on Tuesday:
My Jasmine (Colette Patterns) top. This has to be the most complimented thing I've made. I think every time I wear it someone comments on it. I took the picture mostly to see how it looked (and how I look) in these somewhat trendy-ish skinny jean capris. Not too bad from this angle.

Also, I think I pledged to make 4 new things, so let's see. Changed my Crepe dress into a crepe skirt. The Cambie dress (not officially made in May). A vintage ponte knit dress that is actually still kind of unfinished (oops). A pair of shorts that have not yet been blogged about, and I'm really excited about. Can I just say perfect fit?!! (They have been worn, just not pictured yet.) Oh, and a cover for my iPad (still unblogged, and it is SO cute)! Not actually 4 complete things, but I'm still happy with the end result of my May "production".

OK, enough words. Let's have some photos. After my photo "sessions", I often do some silly pictures. I use the self timer, so when the little red light starts flashing fast, the jumping and silliness begins. Wait. That's more words. Here come the outtakes...

Let the June fun begin!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Kitchen Project: Officially Starting

Well, friends, I know this is mostly a sewing blog, but I have been totally preoccupied with the Kitchen Project. I'm still doing Me Made May, though Saturday, I bailed on the picture of me. Wore my purple yoga skirt, for what it's worth. I basically spent the weekend moving everything out of the kitchen, down to the basement kitchen (which yes, I am really grateful to have... still). I had been working on the packing up, little by little, but the drop dead everything had to be out of the kitchen date was today. The final drawer, the biggest desk drawer filled with pencils, pens, and assorted other random flotsam, was unceremoniously dumped into a grocery bag.

Enough with the talk though, let's see some before pictures.
Breakfast nook (view from the great room)

view from breakfast nook

Laundry Room

view from Laundry Room/Garage entry

view from the dining room

Breakfast Nook (view from the kitchen)
This kitchen is basically being gutted and we're starting over. One of the changes I'm most excited about is the removal of that awkward pole. I will update as appropriate, and I've got a "Kitchen Project" set of pictures that I'll be adding to on flickr. I'm happy to answer any questions about this, too. If you ask them in the comments, I can reply in the comments, so please check back for the answer. Also, if there's anything you'd like me to write a post about concerning the whole remodeling process, leave me a comment for that, too.

And never fear, there is some sewing as I have some really cute (I hope) shorts that I've almost finished. Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Green Walls

The Me Made May flickr group has these little mini-photo challenges on Fridays, and today's challenge is "green". As I'm sure you can see from my other days, there's a ton of green in my backyard, so that would be too easy. No, I'm going to show you the green walls of my kitchen that will cease to exist on Tuesday.

Dress: Vogue 8575
This is the wall of the breakfast nook. The painting, by a folk artist, bought at some folk art festival by Roland. And the dress, I wear this all the time.

The awkward wall of the stairway. The desk behind me will also cease to exist. This area has been the bane of our kitchen designer, and after making a decision to add some cabinets, when we needed to cut the budget a bit as much as possible, we decided to just put a chair there, maybe a little table, and some kind of artsy thing. And in that wall, we're going to have a little niche for the dog bowls. It was pretty inexpensive in the scheme of things.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Frozen English Muffins

These Me Made May posts can get, well, honestly, a little dull. This is what I wore today, yada, yada, yada. Today, I thought I'd start with a little story. You know (or really, you should because I think I've mentioned it) that we're about to remodel our kitchen. Before the contractors start their magic though, we're required to empty everything out, and pack it up. We won't be using our main refrigerator since we have a back up in the basement.

In order to go down from two fridges to one, that means some cleaning out. Yeah, the frozen chicken drumsticks dated 2005 had to go. Straight to the trash. But the frozen English muffins from a couple of years ago? Well, someone might be able to eat those, right? Someone furry or feathery that lives outside? Hubby Roland would think I was crazy (well, he might anyway), so while he was getting dressed this morning, I went out to fling the frozen hockey puck-like muffins into an inconspicuous area near the driveway. It has to be the front yard because I don't want my own doggies to eat them.

So, I quietly fling and get the job done. Alas, the bathroom blinds were not closed, and as he was crossing the bathroom, he noticed odd white objects flying onto the upper "pasture". Totally a WTH moment for him. He's hoping the critters aren't on a low carb diet, and thankfully, it was warm enough (upper 70sF) that no squirrel would chip a tooth on a muffin and sue us. 

Day 14 (Monday)

Top: Butterick 5328
Shorts: Kwik Sew 3614
 I have a love-hate relationship with this top, and I think the hate is winning out. The gapping drove me crazy, so I deployed the safety pin, but this may be the last wearing.

Day 15 (Tuesday)

Top: Ann Taylor
Skirt: Sewaholic Crescent Skirt

Day 16 (Wednesday)

A better look at what I wore yesterday:
Top: Renfrew Pink
Skirt: Half a Crepe Wrap First seen on Day 1

Day 17 (today)

Top: Vogue 8536
Skirt: Denim "half a Crepe" worn on Day 7
I've worn this top a lot, and sadly, it has shrunk in length, so tucking was really my only option, but I think it looks ok.

Finally, wanna see the English muffins? Some of them have been eaten.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Bloggess' Book Signing

Just a quick post. Yep, I've been sewing this week. Yep, I've been emptying out cabinets in my kitchen. We're officially starting demolition there this coming Monday. Yikes! But tonight, tonight! I'm not one of those groupie kind of girls, but when I heard that Jenny Lawson was making a stop in Atlanta on her book tour, well, I knew I would be there!

And yeah, yeah, I'm wearing stuff I made, not that long ago. :D

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day! My daughter in Virginia called this morning, and I got to have lunch with my husband and son, Kyle at Two Urban Licks (where this delightful duck painting is hanging).

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Name is Ellen and I'm a Sewaholic.

This post has SO much to cover and I'm sorry it's on a Saturday when, according to my stats, y'all just don't read blogs. Well, be that as it may... let's start with the mini photo challenge for Me Made May. An ugly place. Sad, but I didn't really leave my house yesterday, so I went trolling for said "ugly place" in my house. Found one.
Eeeps, please tell me you have a closet like this in your home. See that red bag in the lower right hand corner? I made that, oh, 20 years ago for Laura (you can see the "L", right?) to haul around her little girl stuff. It probably still has little girl stuff in it, I didn't check. Let's take a better look at my outfit though, and I'll tell you what I'm wearing.
Top: Sewaholic Renfrew Blue
Skirt: Sewaholic Crescent skirt... new!
OK, the new crescent skirt had some alterations, but this is my 2nd one for me, so I'll just direct you to the post for the first one, since I used the same traced pattern pieces. I've lost  misplaced the envelope, but I could probably guess that it says not suitable for plaids. Pshaw, I say! Well, not really, but I did try to make it work. You can see they kinda sorta match along the side seam, and if my hand wasn't in the pocket, you would see that the pocket (which I had to piece because of a fabric shortage), also kinda sorta matches. Where the trouble comes is in the yoke. Exhibit 1:
The curved seams in the side fronts and backs are just NOT going to match completely. No way, no how. But I can live with it, and I'm mostly going to wear my shirt untucked, so there you have it.

Let's just get today's outfit(s) out of the way, too. I'll call this:

Day 12

Did I mention we're about to renovate our kitchen? I think I did. Anyway, it's got to be emptied, and this morning my job was the pantry. After breakfast, I just got right to it, and, guess what? My pj's are "me made" (well the pants anyway).
Look. Empty pantry. Hmmm, don't think I'd brushed my hair yet. Those pjs are mostly self-drafted. You'll be happy to know that just before lunch I managed to shower and get dressed for, you know, possible lounging around on a Saturday afternoon. Or more likely, emptying a couple more cabinets at least.

The dogs let me squeeze in between them for this picture of me in my 2nd Renfrew and the denim mini skirt I wore on day 5.

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Cambie Skirt for Day 9

A Cambie skirt? You read that right. As a pattern tester for the Sewaholic Cambie pattern (have you ordered yours yet?) I made the full skirted version, but that A-line skirt was calling my name, and I had the perfect fabric. Yesterday, a friend of mine and I went to the Roswell Womans Club Showcase Home to oooh and aaah (and support the fundraiser), and I had her snap a picture in the showhouse of my entire me made outfit, featuring this new skirt. (Disclaimer: she had never taken a cell phone picture... I know.. so it's a really bad picture.)
Raincoat: Sewaholic Minoru Jacket
Top: McCall's 5522
Skirt: A-line Cambie skirt
A few more details about the skirt... I made the straight size 14 without any alterations, except maybe the length. The length was dictated by the border print on this Echino linen. I lined it because the linen is kind of scratchy. I put an invisible zipper in it and had it go all the way to the top of the waistband. And that's about it. It's a great a-line skirt!

This picture is a little better. The rain had stopped and the sun came out, but it was still on the cool side, upper 60s. I did some topstitching around the waistband and the pocket openings, and you can't really see it, but my thread color matches that yellow strip at the hemline.

Day 10

Might as well add today's outfit to the post. It's a rerun. Temperature in the mid-70s, sunny and gorgeous. I got to enjoy the morning at the dentist, and the afternoon napping off a headache. Yippee. Once the headache subsided, I did finish another skirt and think I'll wear it tomorrow.

Top: Vogue 8151
Jeans: Talbots
Can you see the dog?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Days 5, 6, 7, 8

Day 5

Top: Butterick 5495, originally blogged in July 2010
Skirt: originally blogged in May 2011
Day 6

The start of the "gardenia days"...

Top: Life is Good souvenir tee shirt from York, Maine
Shorts: Seersucker, Kwik Sew 3614, originally blogged July 2011
Land's End suede flip flops
Dog: Danny
Lipstick: what was I thinking?!
Day 7

Top: Anthropologie (old)
Skirt: half a Colette Crepe, originally blogged September 2011
Hand out oddly? Trying to get Danny to come on over
What I did: worked from home plus a trip to the grocery. Fun!
Day 8

Dress: Vogue 8553, originally blogged September 1, 2011
Belt: Talbots
Shoes: Land's End chambray espadrilles
What I did: worked from home, plus Parents Support Group at Skyland Trail

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Did You Hear the Sewaholic News?

I bet you did! But if you missed it, Tasia, of Sewaholic fame, has introduced her next pattern, the Cambie dress. I was one of her pattern testers. This was my first experience at pattern testing, and right off the bat I'd like to say how fun it was, and how professional Tasia is in all her communication with the testing group.

But back to my dress! A couple of you in the Me Made May flickr group guessed the pattern from my sneak peak yesterday (since it was my outfit for Day 4). And here ya go:
I made the full skirted version from some Amy Butler twill I had in my stash from one or two years ago. Chevrons seem to be really "in" these days, even though this isn't my favorite fabric. I'm also wearing a skinny belt, which after looking at the picture I think I could (should?) do without. There is a separate waistband (a feature I love)... it isn't just bodice attached to skirt.

More details?
Without the belt. Let's see... I made the bodice in a size 10 with some alterations, mostly addressing what I thought was a sway back, but which seems to be turning out to be more of an upper back issue. I also discovered that angling the side seam straight out from a 10 to a 14 did weird things to the bustline, and have a better fitting, if curvier, side seam that fits snug to my shape. The skirt is a straight size 14, though I may have played around with the length (as in, I can't remember if I lengthened it, or shortened it, but this is not the length of the skirt pattern piece.
 I also played around with the straps, though the front strap is pretty true to the pattern, just placed closer to the center to completely cover my bra strap.
The back cap sleeve part looked really strange on my (though I'm not sure I really made it better.

Initially, I feared that this pattern might be too youthful, but I think I'm pulling it off. I think it can be a very versatile pattern, and would even be wonderful as a bridemaid's dress for many body types. The sweetheart neckline gives it a strapless feel, but (duh) there are straps, which some girls prefer (that was an issue with my daughter's bridesmaids).

Just for fun, I made the other version, but without the bodice, so it's, well, again, duh, an a-line skirt. For which I have absolutely zero pictures. I'm planning to wear it next week though, so stay tuned for that.

A parting (candid) shot. And I love it with the flats I wore yesterday, better than the heels I had on in the brick wall pic. Oh, and one other thought... this dress is completely lined. And that made it really hot and sweaty yesterday. It was in the mid-80s and quite muggy. I'm sorry, but it's true. Cotton sundresses in Atlanta... awesome. Lined, cotton sundresses in Atlanta... not as great.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Arts in the Garden

If you were expecting "me made" today, I'm sorry to disappoint, but that's not the topic of this particular post. I did wear a new "me made" dress today, but I can't show it to you. You'll find out tomorrow why, so please come back.

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? Also, did you know that my family has directly been impacted by mental illness? If you're a long time reader of my blog, you might remember that last year, my son, Kyle, was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder. I don't talk about it a lot here, but it is a part of our lives.

After Kyle was diagnosed, he received treatment at Skyland Trail, a world class residential treatment facility, right here in our backyard in Atlanta. Every year, they hold their Arts in the Garden fundraiser, and it was today! I could explain it in my own words, but here ya go, straight from their website:

Arts in the Garden serves as an opportunity to celebrate the talents and abilities of consumers of mental health services. Throughout the day there will be hands-on workshops, demonstrations, art exhibits, music and dance performances, plant and art sale, and a silent auction.  Mental Health organizations will also be exhibiting and educating visitors about Mental Illness. 

Of course, you would probably rather see some pretty pictures and I am happy to oblige!

These were taken on the grounds and in the gardens, which are both part of the adjunctive therapies that clients can choose to participate in. Some of the other therapies include art, music, nutrition, woodshop, meditation and yoga and other leisure activities, all in combination with more traditional group and individual therapies.

What the heck... how about a sneak peak at my "me made" dress:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Days 2 and 3, Me Made May

Day 2

Originally blogged about this dress back in July 2010
Butterick 5450
Edited to add: That isn't my kitchen, but a showroom for kitchen appliances, etc. We are redoing our kitchen, though, and I'll be sure to post pictures of the process and finished.

Day 3

Tee: Talbot's
Yoga Skirt: Me Made Originally blogged here in August 2011, self drafted
Shoes: Indigo by Clark leather flip flops (last year's model)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It's Me Made May Time!

Before I show what "me made" thing I'm wearing today, I just want to let you know that I'm not planning a daily "here's what I'm wearing" complete post. Only if I'm wearing something brand spanking new. That I haven't blogged about before. On the days that I'm wearing older stuff, I'll just post a picture and a link to the original post. I might even show 2 or 3 days of those kinds of outfits at a time. So, with all that in mind, Happy May Day!

Day 1

White blouse: Chico's
Linen Wrap Skirt (ties attached): Colette Crepe (skirt only)
Shoes: Land's End espadrilles 
If you were hoping for just a picture today, nope! Well, you have seen that skirt before, but it was part of this dress, made with Colette Patterns Crepe. Which, in spite of a handful of positive comments, I positively hated. Especially the way it made my shoulders look. I wore it once, washed it, and left it in a heap in the ironing basket (it's linen).

Two nights ago, I spent about two hours separating skirt from bodice (there were 3 lines of stitching. Go figure. Yesterday, I made a 1-1/2" wide waistband (3" interfaced and folded over), attached it to the skirt, slipped the long ties into the ends of the waistband, and stitched them securely.

I like the wrap to open in the front as well, so turned it around from the original "open in the back" way of the dress.

This blue linen will go with so many tops I have, so you'll be sure to see it again this month!


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