May 27, 2016

Whole 30


Since last last year - I've been thinking about doing a Whole 30.  If I lost a pound or two that would be a bonus - but really I had some underlying health issues.
I have thyroid issues, I wasn't sleeping more than about 3 hours a night, I had heartburn more often than not, I woke up with a migraine level headache 14 out of 15 days and I had no energy at all.

I really, really had to work up to this.  I first mentioned it to JB in August last year.  I googled some blogs, I looked at recipes, and I watched as a few of my sewing friends on InstaGram went through their Whole 30s and posted food photos.



I bought the book in January and started reading it.  All while just thinking about it.  Finally - I picked a date to start.  Carolyn was coming to visit and there were some food events happening and I didn't want to be 'that person' - so I started my Whole 30 on Monday, February 29th.  With the exception of a few days around Day 30 - I haven't even really had a hard time.   I also haven't had heartburn or a headache since early March.  I'm sleeping 7+ hours of sleep a night and I have energy.  I've even started working out regularly.  I feel good.  Oh - and the side benefit - I've managed to drop 25#.

I've done all 5 of my reintroduction days with no real horrible results - although I did have a slight allergic reaction to sugar - which seems strange but honestly refined sugar makes the roof of my mouth itch!  Last Sunday - I had dairy, grains & sugar - thanks to a sewists brunch and quiche and a lovely cake.  I had to try both of them.  Sunday afternoon I was sewing and having issues with fitting a garment - nothing unusual - but honestly - I was livid, and so angry!  Now - a few days later - I'm wondering if it was the combo of foods that I hadn't eaten in a while.

At this point - the middle of May - 10 weeks after starting this 'experimental journey' I feel great and am mostly still eating compliant - by choice.  It's not horribly hard and honestly - I enjoy how we are eating and am surprised at how good real food tastes!

So - have you done a food experiment?  What were your results?  Did you immediately go back to your prior eating?  Did you find it hard?  Do you think my observations are weird?  Talk to me - I want to hear about it.

May 23, 2016

Upton Girl


AKA - The Bronco's Dress.

Once again I was a tester for Cashmerette.  I am currently having a love/hate relationship with pattern testing.  There are a few reasons for this.  A.   I've mentioned before that I really, really dislike putting together PDFs and no matter how careful I am in trimming my pages, I always have trouble putting them together and getting them to lay flat - BUT I realize that is on me and not the pattern.  2.  I often feel like testing feels like a job and takes the relaxing out of sewing for me.  Those issues aside - when I saw the line drawings for the Upton dress I was All In!

At that same shopping trip with Niema where I bought the Nicole Miller animal print - I also bought this Nicole Miller rayon twill.  I loved the colors.

I will be the first to admit - that this dress doesn't fit me as well as it could.  That seems to be a standard refrain for me when I'm making something new.  At a stable weight - I have no idea how big (or small) I am.  Even with my measurements - I don't always trust them.  When I make this dress again I will go down 2 (or maybe 3) sizes - I can now pinch out almost 4" at the waist.  Again - that's on me and not the pattern or instructions.  And trust me - I am still wearing this - I wore it on Saturday to an ASG event.

The Upton is a sleeveless dress, with a 4 dart bodice front, and both waist and shoulder darts in the back.  There are 2 neckline options (V or Round).  There is a waist band and the option of a deep box pleats or a gored skirt.  If you need to have sleeves it would be easy enough to add a sleeve - I'm a big fan of adding the football shaped cap sleeve to sleeveless dresses - it adds just enough that if your job dress code requires sleeves, you'd be compliant.

And - the Upton has all important pockets and is lined through the waist with a back zipper.  I would add either belt loops or thread chains to a future make because I like wearing a belt but like to keep it on the waistband.
 
In the view I made (V-neck, box pleats) there is no neckline gaping, no need for a swayback adjustment and it's a fun, twirly, girly dress - but subdued enough for work wear.

Due to the testing period - I finished this dress right before the Superbowl and is my habit, I wore my newly finished dress to the Superbowl party we went to.  Because my fabric is navy blue with pops of orange - JB dubbed it The Broncos Dress!  Apparently what I wear influences the outcome of the SuperBowl because the Broncos won.  There has been a request to make an Eagles dress :\

The construction of this dress was quick - even making a lining.  The pieces fit together as they should and I followed the order of construction.  The pattern as it was sent out for testing had a full lining - which I didn't include.  My fabric didn't need it and I couldn't be bothered.  The pattern has now been altered to only have a lined bodice.

If I remember correctly (I really should start drafting blog posts as I make things, rather than try to remember 5 month later!) I assembled and traced the PDF one weekend while I was prepping my fabric.  The next weekend I cut it out and sewed it up.  There is a beautifully inserted orange invisible zipper - which has never been undone because in it's too big state - the dress slips right over my head without unzipping.
My next planned version will be the same - v-neck with the box pleats.  In an embroidered cotton that I bought from Fabric Mart.  It was an end of the bolt special.  I had bought the fabric right before Carolyn's first visit to the West Coast and we saw a very similar dress to the Upton made in an almost identical fabric that year at Sew Expo.  Hopefully - I can make that dress up soon - but with a puppy joining our family next weekend and then a lovely tropical vacation right around the corner it might marinate another year.

See how good the back looks?
Parting thoughts

  • This is a great dress that is easy to wear
  • It feel feminine and flirty
  • In the scoop neck, gored skirt in wool it would be a workhorse
  • This pattern will be used make a great TNT to do 'inspiration' dresses ala Carolyn

May 17, 2016

If the Dress is an Appleton, is the Top Just an Apple?

Yes - I know - Cashmerette made an expansion pack to make turn the dress into a top.  I didn't use it.  I didn't even compare my pieces to her expansion pack because while I didn't get this sewn up prior to it's release it was cut out in early February.


Lately my thing has been to cut out as many things from each piece of fabric as I can get.  Often they are all for me - but sometimes one of my daughters gets a bonus piece of clothing added to their closet.  I've also been spending a weekend and half (or so) each month cutting multiple pieces and then spending the rest of the month sewing them up.  This system works for me when I go to Sew Camp but it usually backfires for home sewing.  So far - it's working well.  I will admit occasionally I get sidetracked and a new garment gets cut before everything is sewn up - but not often.  



But this - this got sewn up!  And I love it.  I have worn it with this grey ponte magic pencil skirt as well as with jeans.  It's comfortable and easy to wear.

I have a new photographer - can you tell?  She was literally making me dance all over the yard.  My husband had shoulder surgery in early March and currently can't hold the camera.

I have no idea if the photos are getting better or not - but we had loads of fun!


Sometimes, I wrap the ties around to the back one more time and tie them in the back.



I feel a bit sassy secretary in this outfit!  The instruction was to "walk like a model" - I think I failed.  

Do you make up multiple garments from one fabric?  
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