Last of 2017

And this is how the last post of the year looks:

Yes, that’s our youngest pup; he woke up sick today. Giving credence to my extreme fatigue the past two days and rip roaring headache in my eyes all day today. John looked at the computer for five minutes and came out crying, “my eyes are hurting so bad”. It’s a strange illness mostly where you have a terrible headache and feel tired, but thankfully no expelling of any body fluids.

Even with my crazy headache (never even thought I might be getting sick; as I tell my kids all the time, “moms don’t have time to be sick“) I made a nice bubbly batch of warm Butter Beer. A recipe I found on Pinterest earlier this month, inspired by the Harry Potter series and somehow got it stuck in my mind we should make for New Years Eve. The boys were sports, but neither of them liked it much “too spicy” (meaning actual spices – not ‘hot’ spicy), but boy did Hubby and I like it. Probably shouldn’t have doubled the recipe. Although, tomorrow is the last blast of 2017 decadence, so why not?!

Butterbeer (recipe link in blue above)

Thankfully, I also made all our NYE dinner a night early (last night) so we have plenty of food leftover to get us through today/tonight and into tomorrow. I’ve been forcing myself to eat pasta salad for my run in the morning. Otherwise, I know it’ll be miserable running on a day old empty stomach, even if my headache is gone.

I had planned a great ‘Year in Review’ type post, but now I’m not feeling quite up to the task. Probably I’ll have to do it in early January. Ha! Oh well.

One final make for the year – the Banksia Blouse by Megan Nielsen

Finally got to it, as I already had the pattern traced and ready to go for a Size Small (which matched my measurements perfectly). I threw caution to the wind on a muslin and cut straight into the shirt fabric. Probably because Megan’s Veronika skirt went together so well. There was not the same great fit magic with the blouse.

As a sidenote, I’m reading a book about couture sewing. It covers the history and some techniques. Very interesting and inspiring. In there it talks about tops (and certain dress styles) being one of the hardest garments to fit because they are the hardest to adjust once the garment is constructed. I completely agree. You almost always have to scrap it and start afresh.

Back to the blouse. It is really cute, simple and reminds me of resort wear, but just a size too large. Usually, I give up and start on a totally different project. Not this time. I got busy tracing off the XS size and sewed it up over the past few days out of some gauze fabric I picked up in one of Christine Hayne’s online destashes. I had plans to make a blouse with a giant bow out of the gauze. That has not happened and I was a bit annoyed at this fabric after trying to make a kimono out of it and the neckline stretched down to my navel.

All that aside, I decided to give it a go on my Banksia 2.0, i.e. one size down. As you can see the fabric is sheer. All the seams that can be are French seamed. for the sleeve seam, I did a felted seam (I think that’s the right term) to encase the raw edges along that seam. Oh! and the really lovely part about this pattern is that Megan has a sewalong on her website, full of little bonus features. Like this faux placket (the cheeky method). In case I just lost you at placket – where the buttons are. It isn’t functional, just looks like it is. The pattern includes directions for how to make it a real functioning placket, but that was way too much to ask from this fabric. Very pleased with this version. Fits just like I’d hoped it would. My 8 year old told me, “WHOA! What?! That looks store bought! And I’m not kiddin’!” (He learned to speak in the South)

The pattern is listed as an intermediate pattern, but definitely doable for a beginner with the faux placket or no placket and collar (like my first version).

Christmas Garment Sewing

It has been pretty quiet on the blog for….TWO months. Wow! The past two months have flown by in the typical way the end of year takes over and time for personal things, like writing my blog snippets, take a backseat to life. It’s been a busy two months, filled with less sewing and more work obligations than I’d like. As I told my besties yesterday, I want to put a tagline on my outgoing emails next year starting on the 15th of December that we are slowing down for the Holidays and will not be permitting any Project Emergencies!! Of course, I don’t that would go over with Upper Management, but I can dream or live in a delusional state, whichever the case may be.

Regardless, I’m pulling together a few end of year posts related to sewing, family, moving (Say What?!) and life.

On this Christmas Eve, I’m sharing my newest make: the Veronika Skirt by Megan Nielsen. (found here). With the rash of Black Friday indie pattern sales, I snapped up her Banksia Blouse pattern and then noticed she mentioned this skirt was the one pictured with the blouse. So, what was I to do? Get the skirt too of course! A pretty easy decision since you can get it FREE by signing up for her newsletter. So, if you are so inclined to make a circle skirt … head over to her website and sign up. (She’s also offering a free undies pattern for Christmas right now too).

Circle Skirts need to hang at least 24 hours to let the fabric figure out how it’s going to stretch, prior to hemming. Notice, I am unwilling to fully adjust my dress form waist, which is why it’s all ripple-y there. I debated the scalloped pocket for longer than necessary, but I love pockets and in the end didn’t want to figure out how to add inseam pockets with a side zipper on a tight timeline.

This is the first of Megan’s patterns I’ve actually sewn into reality. Last Spring I picked up her Karri dress, thinking it would be a perfect destash garment, but have only gotten through the pattern tracing stage. But back to Veronika. The pattern sizing is spot on (Booo!! For the added two inches due to all my holiday indulgences), so I made a size Medium to accommodate the waist and used this fantastic red satin from my stash. If memory serves my right, this fabric is from my wedding. Yes, 16 years ago. I made my sisters purses to go with their bridesmaid dresses… what is a wedding without some homemade goods?! Nothing I tell ya!

I clearly had a lot of fabric left over and a Christmas Skirt was just the answer. Somehow, it took me a long time from cutting the pattern to sewing the skirt and there I was hemming the skirt with 2 hrs to go before leaving for church yesterday. It was a race to the finish. At this point, I hadn’t done my hair or makeup, which lead to me just cutting the lining so it didn’t show when worn and leaving it unhemmed. Which as I type this I realize I just tossed it in the washing machine this way. Ugh. That’s going to be frayed mess when it comes out. Too late now.

Top is the purple voile lining. The rushed hem shown at the bottom of the photo. I decided I had limits, even with a Christmas skirt and used the wrong side of the satin, so the shiny side was inside and the skirt had more of a matte finish.

And as a further side note. I had originally intended to wear this Toaster Sweater (below), I crafted earlier this month with the skirt, but completely forgot about it until last night when I was putting on my jammies. Not sure it is cropped enough to work with the skirt anyhow.

This is the second Toaster Sweater I’ve made. The last one almost exactly a year ago. I never could figure why my first version came out baggy. It was only when I made this one I noticed I used 3/8″ instead of the pattern directed 5/8″ seam allowance. No wonder! The Toaster Sweater is a quick and easy make, but heed her caution about confusing the pieces. I actually had to remake this one because I got my pieces mixed up. For this version, I also chopped off the tall neck (see the pattern here) and made it just have a binding. It’s okay. Sticks up a little, but I’m still wearing it. My family calls this my “Pretty In Pink” outfit.

Without further ramblings…the Veronika Skirt.

Hubby cut off my cute green shoes, so I had him take a few more….

And he cropped my head. Hmmm. I really need to get a tripod set up. I would’ve liked to get some action shots, but these were snapped on our load into the van as we sped off to church.

…..Christmas is coming …….