Thursday, September 17, 2015

Summer drought, then the flood

This summer has gone by so quickly - and yet when I look back toward the beginning of it, it seems like a long, long time ago.  At the beginning of the summer I had just come back from a college reunion trip to Boston.  I had successfully made a beautiful top to wear to my reunion and was very proud of myself - I might have swanned about a little, grand lady style.  I might have been a little like the cat who ate the cream.  Just a little.  Full of the glory of my own recent accomplishments, I started a wrap dress.  Then life happened.

Let’s see, I had strep throat (in June! it lasted forever! why is this still a thing?!) and then my 2yo had to get new tubes put it in his ears - on the day our air-conditioning broke.  Broken a/c in the middle of a Texas summer is nothing short of calamity so it was a full-scale miracle to me that a) we found a cool place for the baby to recuperate from his ear procedure that day and b) we found some HVAC techs who were able to get our system up and running by the end of the day.  It was still 86 degrees in our living room at 9pm that night, but the temperature was falling and that was what eventually allowed us to fall asleep.

Then in July I took a trip as a volunteer museum peer reviewer to a fabulous history museum in northeastern Oklahoma - Har-Ber Village Museum, if you’re ever near the Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees.  
Har-Ber Village Museum, OK, July 2015

It was lovely and so much fun.  It was only a 2 day visit and when I got home I told myself I wasn’t allowed to sew again until I had done my homework.  It took me a month to get my report fully written, proofed and submitted.  It was HARD not to sew for a whole month.  My plan was to put sewing on hold and concentrate fully on report-writing. Ah, the best-laid plans. Turns out, writing a report all night, every night, was not really feasible.  So I ended up on some nights not writing AND not sewing. I was too tired for either! In the end I got the report done but I felt very rusty when I was finally free again to think about sewing.

I broke my month-long sewing fast with some sports-related sewing. (Did NOT see that coming.)  My Baseball Nerd husband requested some new pillowcases and I obliged.  (Nothing like jumping back in with a bunch of rectangles.)  Spoonflower had just run a baseball themed design contest and we found some great fabrics - bats and score cards.  I think they’re pretty awesome - not too “rah, rah, go team!”  More like “can you spot the baseball theme?” which is about my speed for this sort of thing.

Bed of many colors

Am I fooling myself with how non-sporty these look...?

Then I made a skirt for my daughter’s birthday - she turned 8!  While I was at it I made one for me too.  I used the Purl Soho gathered skirt for all ages pattern.  Great skirts.  Can you detect an orange theme?  Not gonna lie, the pockets were confusing - in fact, even now I’m not entirely sure how I made them work, despite the mostly-helpful video they provided (the one I watched at least 8 times).  It was like my brain crumpled up like a wad of paper and refused to straighten out again, at least not on this topic.  I still cannot figure out how I got the pockets on my skirt out of alignment - one is 2” higher than the other!  (My skirt was made with a gorgeous vintage remnant I got at Tissu Dallas in Deep Ellum - thanks, Michael!)


Kisses for you!

Seriously considering our skirts
After all that I finally returned to my half-finished wrap dress project from the beginning of the summer.  I mostly finished it but discovered at the end that I had somehow cut it too short.  I hung it up and decided to think about it tomorrow.  (Scarlett’s philosophy has always worked for me in the past.)  I’ll probably end up just adding length to it and have to hope that an extra parallel-to-the-hem seam just above the knee won’t drive me crazy every time I contemplate wearing it.  (Pictures to follow if I ever finish it and deem it worthy of wearing.)

About this time my baby ran into a bookshelf and had to have 5 stitches put in his forehead.  I’m not going to go into any more detail than that.  For those of you who have never experienced that particular trauma, there is no reason on earth why I should force it on you.  And for those who have - you’re probably scarred enough, no reason at all for us to re-live it!!  Suffice to say, baby and I were both traumatized and lost quite a lot of sleep over the next few weeks.  The wound itself has been healing beautifully - the stitches fell out in good time and he’ll have a Harry Potter scar on his forehead, but it should fade pretty well.  
Lightning McQueen themed bandaids make everything better
The horrifying experience in the emergency room certainly left its mark on us both and we took a while to settle back down.  That was a month ago and we’re only just now returning to more normal sleep schedules.

Sleep is a vital ingredient in my sewing life - if I’ve been up 3 times in the night with an anxious toddler and have to get up at 5.30 to start the day, I usually don’t have any oomph left at the end of the workday for a little evening sewing.  I began to get back into the swing of things last week and decided to reward myself with a try at the Sutton blouse from True Bias.  I quite like this pattern - all those French seams and that adorable little pleat in the back are lots of fun to sew.   And I love the different lengths in the front and back.  I picked a beautiful fabric from Girl Charlee - look at those colors!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  

And yet, this fabric nearly did me in.  It WOULD NOT be told.  It would not cooperate.  It was basically the recalcitrant teenager of pretty fabrics.  Neither pin nor steamy iron could fully convince it to cooperate.  All the pouting, sulking and swearing going on?  That wasn’t just me!!  Even sewing the french seams failed to tame it entirely.  There’s a lot of weird puffy stuff going on here.  And somehow I lost some length in the middle front of the top - gah!  The day I wore it to work I spent the whole time yanking it down at the waist.  I got compliments though, which was fun.  I’m going to have to try it again with a more cooperative fabric.  Perhaps one with a few natural fibers in it…

So that’s how my summer went.  A sewing drought followed by something of a sewing torrent.  Have you ever put yourself on a self-imposed sewing fast?  How did that work out for you?!