Monday, February 27

Using Space

Anyone else ever inspired and baffled by Ikea?  Somehow they make it look like if you bring in a bit of furniture, everything will just magically find a home and even your closet will feel like a mansion.  I bought the Expedit bookshelf and desk maybe two years ago now.  I thought with all those shelves (I bought the big one, 5 rows) I would have a clean floor and a home for every scrap of fabric.  Not so.


I've posted about my sewing room being a mess before (reusing the picture).  It's the dumping ground of boxes and things to hide (say the 24 rolls of toilet paper that don't really fit in a closet) when people stay the night.  It's constantly in a state of disorder with bursts of tidying.  I get it clean enough for the project at hand and don't see the mess around me while I am working.
 We bought a new tv and it was delivered on Saturday.  The measurements on the web site for the TV weren't quite right, it's taller than stated by about 10cm.  We thought we could put it on a coffee table until we figured something out but those 10cm made a difference.  So we were off to Ikea on Sunday to find something suitable.  Of course being in Ikea leads to "why does our house not look like that?" line of thinking.

I have been thinking about my future dress form and where it would live.  Right now, there isn't a corner that doesn't have something in it, be it a box, a table, a pile of clothing...  it's just full.  I bought 3 more boxes that fit the shelves.  Hopefully I can police up more stuff to get old stuff off of those shelves and into a more appropriate home to make space.  I have enough square footage here if I was using it properly.  I want to be organized but I don't enjoy getting there.

This folds into other conversations and thoughts that I was having this weekend.  For whatever reason, Mr. Lina seemed to want to let out some emotions on Friday picking movies that would evoke an emotional response.  Now I'd pick something like... The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, An Affair to Remember, but more likely than not I'd pick something funny (Some Like it Hot) because I'll find a reason to cry anyhow.  Mr. Lina, he picks Star Trek 2:  The Wrath of Khan.  Net-net, we spent most of the weekend tending bruised hearts together, I didn't sew at all.  Part of healing was just cuddling and being around each other, part of it was talking.  Including talking about moving prior to adopting siblings.

Now I'm not saying we're moving next month even, but it's about the thought process.  Our three bedrooms are currently our room, my sewing room and the revolving door of a guest room.  Guest room could convert to a nursery, but really, if we adopted two kids, they (and we) need more space than our house allows.  This isn't our forever home and we both know it.  So cleaning out clutter is a good thing because if not now, it will need to be done then.  Maybe the act of moving wouldn't feel so overwhelming if I felt like I could see the floor.

Friday, February 24

Always Check the Bobbin

I mentioned that I was working on Renfrew #2 but ran into some tension issues.  I thought I checked this but apparently the issue was that I didn't have the bobbin threaded right.  Face to palm.  I really should put this on a plaque by my sewing machine.  98% of the time on my machine it's the bobbin thread at fault.

So, I bring you Renfrew #2 (sorry for the 10pm/comfy pants pictures, I was excited but not excited enough to dress up for the occasion).

This fabric is pretty similar in stretch and weight as the last one, so I didn't change much.  The side seams are more like 1/2" rather than 5/8", but I didn't actually break out the pattern and retrace.  Call me lazy.

There are some (very small) pull lines on the bust this time.  I think this fabric is just a shade thinner and I'm wearing a bra with more umph.  This is a ridiculous picture, I forgot the timer wasn't set yet so it just took a picture rather than giving me 10 seconds, but you can actually see a little of the pull just at the bottom of the picture and it's a good view of the cowl.  As I said, another bra would solve that.

Mr. Lina is again a fan.  He has been quite, ah.. complimentary on the first one and for this one said the shape really suited me.  Sadly pictures from the back did not turn out quite so well, this is the best of the bunch.
Something about the other print seems to have a little more trompe l'oeil going on.  I dunno, just looking at the pictures, I see more waist with the other version.  Not that I don't like this one.   I am wearing this version today with my grey cordoroy skirt and purple tights.  Comfy but nice.  I like it.  But... downside of both shirts... 100% polyester.  Wow is this not kind to my arm pits.  It's a good reminder why if I do sew with poly, it's sleeveless or a flutter sleeve, something with air circulation.

And... TGIF.  Time to make dinner and open some wine.  Not necessarily in that order.  ;)

Thursday, February 23

Dress form recommendations?

It's been a busy few days with a project finishing up for work, hosting chili night (9 entries, all were good for different reasons) and well, being sad.  I dunno guys, I'm feeling a lot of the same doldrums, but I don't really have much new to say on that front.  Just stating that it's there.

So this summer I did get a promotion at work, apparently this puts me into a new pool for bonuses.  It's not a lot of money, but more than I usually get and enough that I'd like to make a planned purchase with it rather than just seeing it disappear into household expenses.  Part of it I will tuck away because my car will need replacing at some point in the not so distant future and I'd like to have a down payment set aside rather than scrambling.  Still, there is enough to do that and buy something for me.  I don't have a dress form and while I've always thought about making a duct tape dummy or some other DIY, but I haven't.  After this long of thinking, I probably won't.  But where to start...

The Singer form that Fabricland sells?  The price is right, membership often gets you 50% off.  I don't know which specific model that Fabricland carries or if there is much variation between them.  This picture is from the Joann website.  Is it me or do the Dritz ones look pretty similar?  
http://www.joann.com/singer-150-adjustable-dressform-small-medium/prd29699/
Or what about the Fabulous Fit?  I like the idea of being pinnable and it looks more realistic than the gaps in the singer form, I can put the padding where it's needed.  I like the 3/4 view because I could do pants or see how panties will fit.  And bathing suits, I have made bathing suits for myself (just not while having the blog).

http://www.fabulousfit.com/ Personal Misses 3/4 Form
I looked at the Wolf page, wow, that would take damn near my whole bonus (all of it and then some for some of the models).  I'm not sure I'm up to that kind of investment unless someone can tell me some incredibly good reasons it's better.

So, I poll you for opinions and thoughts.  There are lots of reviews on pattern review, I'll be reading through those too.  I'll probably end up with analysis paralysis and not order anything until June...

And in other sewing news... I cut out another Renfrew, same view C with cowl and 3/4 sleeves on Saturday.  It's out of the purple/grey/black swirl fabric I bought in the fall. 


I was sewing it up on Tuesday.  Shoulders went together well, the cowl made far more sense.  I tried the double needle trick around the neck and eh, something just isn't right with the tension.  It's okay, but not great.  Then I went to sew in the sleeves.  Something is totally screwy with the tension.  I tried a whack of things and just decided it needed fresh eyes.  So I will get back to it soon, when I'm ready to tackle the loose thread issues.


Friday, February 17

TGIF

It's a bullet point kinda day
  • In sewing up my Renfrew I realized I was dangerously close to not having any black thread, how can that happen?  Don't I buy black thread every time it's on sale?
  • Naturally, I had to stop at Fabricland on the way home to resolve that.
  • Two more knits found their way to the cutting board
  • Black/purple poly on left, rayon/spandex on right
  • $4/m it was hard to say no
  • Rayon would be pretty good for bowling, more breathable than the 100% polyester
  • It's a nice poly, heavy like the first Renfrew
  • I think I already have the same polyester with teal/bright blue instead of purple
  • Mr. Lina thought the rayon was a very Sera-like print, funny, I thought the purple was more "me"
  • Love how I'm calling it the first Renfrew when really, right now, it's the only Renfrew
  • But in my mind I've already sewn 3 others
  • Lady cutting my fabric gave me an unsolicitation on my Renfrew, she liked the bright colours
  • She also commented that my face looked so young for someone with white hair
  • It was phrased a little nicer than that sounds
  • Really need to cut my hair so I don't pull it back so frequently, most of my whites are at my hairline
  • I haven't cut my hair since September, it's seriously overdue
  • It's a long weekend in Ontario and a few other provinces, Family Day rocks
  • We're hosting Chili Night on Sunday - friends bring chili, we print out ballots, everyone votes
  • People win crap (movies, books, etc) we want out of the house, I like that part
  • Mr. Lina cooks our entry, this is the one hosting event all I have to do is clean.
  • All I have to do is clean, that's not fun at all.
  • Saturday and Monday are free of plans.
  • Well, except work, yes, it's a long weekend, but I have a project due on Wednesday, it needs to be finished and I slacked last Monday (and honestly most of this week), so it's my own fault.
  • TGIF

Thursday, February 16

Finished Renfrew

Well that was easy.  There are literally 13 steps in this pattern and that includes all 3 neckline variations.  As mentioned, my brain struggled a bit with the cowl, but that is more my fault than Tasia. 

As mentioned, this knit is pretty stretchy.  It has a nice soft feel and it is actually fairly heavy.  I was wearing a black bra while sewing and I was impressed that you could barely tell in the white bricks.  I made the 12 as is, but I should go up a size. 
As mentioned, I had all but the bands done on Monday night.  Mr. Lina was already reading in bed and I came in wearing it, my first opportunity to see if it fit at all.  I did a little turn and he commented it looked really good from the back.  I think I see what he likes, I know there are some wrinkles there, but I look like I have a waist.  The comment was reiterated last night when he looked away from the video game for 10 seconds while respawning.  He also likes the print, probably more than I do. 

I like a little draping around the bust line, I like cowls (but not a fan of turtlenecks, I just look like a ski slope without well placed necklace to create a V).  But it drives me a little crazy that some look perfectly work appropriate until you lean forward.  Suddenly everyone can see right down the centre.  What's with that?  Now I do have the crazy eyes here (I was giggling and feeling silly taking pictures) but this top is cleavage proof.  Even pulling at the cowl, you don't see any more than you need to.
And even though it's cleavage proof, the negative ease is definitely showing there is cleavage to hide.
So, next version (and yes, there will be a next) I'll go up a size.  Maybe even grade to the 16 around the bust if it's not as stretchy as this fabric.  I like the 3/4 sleeve length, the top is long enough on me as is for jeans.  I think the shoulder seam is in about the right spot, so when I grade up I will try to keep that about where it is.  This version will be fine for casual days at work and I'll probably get a lot of weekend wear out of it.  I will be thinking about a work appropriate version for the cowl again.  I would also like some short sleeved versions in something more breathable, maybe with the other necklines for bowling. 

Well worth the pattern price.  If you have a T&T, I can see how you don't need Renfrew, but it's going to fill that T&T spot in my pattern collection.  And one last Tasia inspired shot.

Tuesday, February 14

Procrastination - Renfrew

I remember my first visit to Tanit-Isis and reading:
Sewing is what I do when I'm cheating on all my other hobbies...
She's got a good point.  I do like a few other crafts although I'd say sewing is a primary love and the rest fill needs.  I will make stationary as needed so I've got stamps and blank note cards and paper.  I wanted to paint the bathroom window with stained glass paints so I learned to do that.

But right now, I'm sewing to avoid doing other things.
  • Work that didn't get finished yesterday
  • Standings for the side pool I run for my bowling league
  • House cleaning
  • Garbage night
  • Laundry (okay, I did do one load so I'd have panties for today, but I should have done more household laundry too)
It is amazing how motivated you can be when you should be doing something else.

Sunday night I felt like sewing but I was tired.  Too tired to trust myself to put channeling into my half finished bra.  I usually do it wrong the first time when I'm awake, I don't have enough seam allowance to screw it up multiple times while tired.  I bought Renfrew and Pendrell from Sewaholic with the free shipping deal she was offering.  I thought maybe I could trace off Renfrew to sew another day.  It's sewing, but not requiring any particular focus as I wasn't going to make alterations for the first try.

Then I went through my box of knits.  Remember the brown/blue/white/black dress I was making?  And struggling with?  I have yet to return to that but I still have 2m of that fabric.  It's probably stretchier than what a "stable knit" implies but I figured in a hopefully wearable muslin, a little extra stretch isn't a bad thing. 
Well, next thing I know, I was cutting View C (cowl with 3/4 sleeves) out.  You know, putting it aside for when I was alert enough to sew.  Good thing too.  I forgot to cut the sleeve cuffs and I only cut one of the cowl pieces, not two. 

Last night, I should have done any of those bullet points above.  I probably could have worked on my bra.  But I was a bit tired, Tasia's instructions seemed more straightforward than trimming seam allowance type sewing and the cut pieces were just sitting there.  So far so good.  Until I hit the typo.  I could not make the cowl make sense to me, why would you sew wrong sides together?  I got frustrated and thought, so many bloggers have done this and tested it, someone would have explained this in a way that made sense and found there is errata for this step.  What did we do before the internet?  The pictures are right, but the text says wrong sides when it should say right sides.  Just as we were heading to bed I sewed up the side seams, so no pictures yet.  I still have the cuffs to do for the sleeves and bottom, but it was enough to see how it fit.  I think I'm going to like this as a top when it's done. 

And a Happy Valentine's Day for anyone celebrating today!

Sunday, February 12

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day

Yeah, I know Valentine's Day is Tuesday, but that's bowling and curling night.  Mr. Lina and I don't see each other until about 10pm.  That's not much time to celebrate, particularly the way we do.  Waaay back in university, I wanted to go to the pub with my boyfriend, he wanted chicken wings, I was looking forward to some pub staple.  I remember being pretty teary that day.  My Nana died from Alzheimer's the previous October and I was happy when she died, this was the end of her suffering.  6 months later, I was filled with grief.  So, when we got to the pub and they were only doing price fixe that was beyond what our budget was, I was pretty pissed and not really in the emotional state to deal with it like a sane person.  After that, I've refused to go out for Valentine's Day.

Mr. Lina and I have our own tradition.  We pick an ethnic theme, we do some research, we throw the grocery budget to the wind and make a 3-4 course meal for ourselves.  And we do it all together.  This year, we decided to do a Cajun theme after having such fantastic food in New Orleans.  First course was fresh oysters, second was gumbo, dinner was Pascal's Manale BBQ Shrimp and for dessert I made beignet with chicory & coffee au lait.  It was SO freaking good. 

If you google Pascal's Manale you'll find a ton of recipes trying to approximate it.  The gist of it is shrimp with tails and ideally heads (we used fresh raw zipper back) that is baked with butter/margarine/vegetable oil, a crap ton of pepper (at the restaurant my nails were black with pepper), Louisiana hot sauce (we used a bit of tabasco), Lea & Perrins and garlic.  We followed the spicing of this recipe but the process and pepper content for this recipe.  It was not the same as what we had in NOLA, but that doesn't mean it wasn't delish.

And gumbo...  We have made gumbo since coming back from NOLA.  I didn't get to eat any while we were there, celery is just too common an ingredient and I like to breathe and have a hive free vacation.  We used this recipe for a base both times.  Ours is more like this:
Make a roux with flour and olive oil (we weren't using sausage/chicken so we needed more oil than they called for)
Add garlic
Add beer, my mom's stewed tomatoes chopped up, green pepper, onion, okra (still not sure that we're treating the okra right, I've never cooked with it until now) and hot peppers (mix from our freezer - red ones from the garden, thin green ones for Indian recipes, and a habanero that Mom brought back from Florida last year), and spices (Mr. Lina did that, I'm assuming he took those from the recipe)
Let it simmer for a while.
Add double smoked pork from Starsky's and simmer a little longer
Add shrimp and simmer until they are pink.

And K-Line, this is all your fault. 

There is some modal coming my way via my parents in Florida.  Shipping will take a little longer (they should be here March 3rd) but it was only $8.  And could I stop at the modal?  No.  A little denim, some silk for a Pendrell (yeah, I bought that when Renfrew was launched), the 25 invisible zippers for $15 bundle, sigh... yes, a few more things.  But I'll post more about that when I see it.

There was a request to see my new shoes.  I am happy to address that.  In fact, both the shoes that I bought for the wedding and the new Nine Wests. 
Nine & Co - Nine West Outlet
So far so good.  I've worn them around the house a bit before taking them on a full day at work, they weren't quite right for my casual Friday outfit.  As 9 1/2 they have a little more wiggle room than the next pair.

Liz Claiborne - Winners
These shoes I bought for the wedding.  Love them.  My feet really hurt by the end of the night but they were comfortable for the first 4 hours.  They have a lovely leather sole that I'd like to protect.  They are just wonderful for dancing because they do slide.  It's probably the first time at a wedding I could actually have some technique while waltzing.
Liz C's to the left, Nine West to the right
It seems a bit silly to buy two pairs that are so similar, but I don't want to wear those leather soles outside.  I can wear boots and carry them for now, but it's not going to be boot wearing season for too much longer.  And really, $37 for the second pair, how could I say no?  Can you really have too many pairs of black shoes?

Friday, February 10

Pants Version One & Second Opinions

I have said from the get to, this is a place to sort out my thoughts.  It's a thought sorting kinda day and I need to write some of this out so I don't forget.  We'll start with sewing but it's going to move over to infertility after that.

I did finish up my pants blocker muslin for the Consultative Dressmaker.  It fit a whole lot better than I would have expected for a first version.  The front is just pinned together here, the pictures I sent Steph are awful so I'm only sharing this one with you.  Lighting in my house is terrible for pictures and a muslin of short pants with my belly showing isn't going to be good even with proper lighting.  I'm looking forward to version two.  Even with the issues on this draft, I can see how the final result will end up better than the pants I presently wear to work and hide with long shirts.


Mr. Lina and I were off to see an immunologist yesterday, the long awaited appointment.  My fertility specialist is frustrated with our lack of success and he wanted me to see Dr Laskin for a second (third) opinion.  He was really great, personable, explained things very well, science enough to be specific without being confusing.  I found it an educational meeting on things I somewhat understood already.  He did actually read my novel of a file from the fertility clinic prior to us arriving so we didn't have to spend time rehashing old news or asking me for numbers I'm probably not going to remember specifically.  So that's the good news, I may not sound as positive after this but it really was overall a good experience.

He feels that it's not my immune system to blame.  My T ratio is elevated, but not enough to explain 6 very short pregnancies.  While he doesn't object to the treatment schedule of my last IVF cycle, he's not convinced that it really makes much of a difference, it's a bit of a Hail Mary using IViG - no harm, but not necessarily helping. 

From his perspective, he feels it's one of two things.  Implantation is a very sensitive time, given the number of chemical pregnancies rather than actual miscarriages, it is possible that this is where the problem is.  Embryos are gone before they really get a chance to attach.  There is one pathologist at Yale that does a test on biopsies of the endometrium (yes, they do suck but it's at least quick, this will be my third endobiopsy).  Dr Laskin doesn't feel that this is the best test for implantation issues, but it's the best they have. 

The other possibility is genetic issues, potentially spindle issues.  These are more likely to be an issue with my eggs than Mr Lina's sperm, the eggs just play more of a roll in the process of a cell dividing and a spindle issue would result in the cell not dividing properly.  We can do genetic testing to find out if our embryos have issues, but they usually send at least 6 embryos with the hope that enough come back as good embryos and it costs roughly 3-4 times what the FET is going to cost us.  He did say to us this was totally up to us.  As we only have 4 embryos left, it's not really enough to make it worth it.  For a fresh IVF with lots of embryos (he did compliment the quality of our past embryos) he would absolutely recommend it. 

If we do go ahead with the FET, then he suggests making a scratch in the uterine lining (sort of like the biopsy, but just one scratch not a few).  There is research (started in Israel apparently) that has shown improved implantation success in doing this.  It's too easy not to do from his perspective.  I'm good with that.

So...  thoughts... if this is genetic, it doesn't matter who is carrying my embryos.  I was not a big fan of using a surrogate, but it's honestly more the ick factor than an educated reason and I can get past ick if that makes sense.  If we do go that route, then genetic testing makes sense because if it's a genetic issue it won't matter.  Past that, I don't think the cost warrants doing it.  I would learn that it was a genetic issue perhaps, but so what?  I'm not doing IVF again so either these work or they don't.  This is something that would have been good 4 years ago, it is too little too late.  I am comfortable with doing the biopsy and getting the test done at Yale.  It is more than just a biopsy because it will need to be done at the right point in my irregular cycle, I'll need to go on meds and go through some ultrasounds to time that appointment right.  So the time bothers me but this is fewer tests than I expected from this appointment so in some ways I'm happy with that. 

I guess what just keeps rolling around in my head is that all I want to do is be a mom.  I want someone to care for, I want someone to teach and learn from, I want to grow in my life with children.  I've been ready for that phase for 6 years now.  Marriage is good, but I am not career driven, this is not enough for me in life.  Pregnancy is less and less important to me. 

But... Mr. Lina is struggling with the potential of never having a new born baby.  I can't rush him through that, I can't take on any of that grief, I don't have a way to solve that problem.  If he can't deal with not having a small baby, the way that I can't deal with never being a mother, then I don't know what to do.  This is probably what scares me the most at this point.  Coming out of all that news, the odds of success seem even lower than they ever did and I think that's the only way we could have a newborn.

I was completely wrung out by the time we left his office to the point I could not decide if we should face Toronto traffic at 4:30 or go to a pub to wait it out until our parking expired at 6.  Mr. Lina started off by saying it was up to me but after I stood there for a full minute staring at a wall deciding, he changed his vote to the pub.  Then shopping on the way home, after watching Sherlock, Mr. Lina wants a long cashmere/wool coat.  He didn't find one but I bought shoes at the Nine West outlet (I'll have to check the box for the original price but I paid $37 including tax - total score).  Consolation shoes?

In the spirit of all the sew grateful posts out there, this is my 100th post.  I started writing this for myself.  I didn't think anyone would read it and now I seem to have people visiting every day and regular commenters.  I appreciate each of you for making me feel there is someone listening even when I am mostly talking to myself.  It is a wonderful community and I am so pleased to be part of it.  Your support is always felt and I love getting to know you all in return.  Thank you for being a part of my life.

Tuesday, February 7

Two Steps Forward

I was chatting with Clone the other day.  They are settling into their new home in the North West Territories, still figuring out living arrangements as their planned home has a cat and that is not working out well.  Breathing > Cat.  It was mild the day we were chatting and he was enjoying being able to go outside.  He is again, struggling to breathe outside when it's -20C (-4F), the cold air just takes his breath away.  I am not surprised.  I have issues with asthma when I'm around allergens, enough to understand the feeling.  Clone has lung damage from birth that contributes to his asthma.  It is an ongoing issue for him.

When Mr. Lina and I started snow shoeing, I found cold days were hard too, scarves weren't really covering me the way I needed them to.  I took inspiration from Colette's free cowl pattern, bought a half metre of polar fleece and made up some for Mr. Lina and I.  I say inspiration because I didn't print anything off, or make the pretty bow, ours are just black tubes and not nearly as wide as those pictures.  It's hard to see, but I am wearing it in this picture from last winter.
Mom made the mitts (including an idiot string).
I have found it easier to breathe with the cowl, so I offered to make some up for Clone and his wife.  It fogs up my glasses sometimes, but at least it stays in pace better than my scarves do.  So Saturday, I made up two cowls.  Neither are perfect but they will do.  It took a while to remember how I did it the first time.  I should have read the tutorial before winging it because there were seams I sewed inside out more than once.  Sigh, at least it's done, now to get it in the mail.

I was tired most of this weekend.  It was a late night Thursday getting ready, a late night Friday for the house concert, I didn't sleep all that well Friday night (too much late night food to blame I think).  Saturday  I went to bed a little earlier than I do mid week, I had to get up for the bowling tournament.  Silly me was still kind of out of it Sunday morning, I left my bowling shoes and balls at home.  Sigh.  Rental shoes and house balls for me.   I did enjoy seeing the proprietor, she's known me since I was oh... 7 I think.  So I had a good time, saw some people I haven't seen in a while, but I wasn't bowling well and not really awake. 

Sunday afternoon was going to be about the pants blocker.  I taped the pattern pieces together, found some fabric for muslin (pink suiting, polyester, I've made the top from Butterick 5147 from it, must have bought 3m of it) and went about cutting it out.  I really wanted this to be accurate so I took my time, marked out the sewing lines.  And then realized it was folded with the pretty side out so all the marks are not where I would be sewing.  Then I managed to sew the darts one facing in and one out, so it's like having two left sides.

At that point, I figured I needed a nap prior to trying again.  As much as it's a muslin and I don't have to worry about a lot of the seam finishings etc, screwing it up multiple times will not provide the kind of feedback needed on this project.  Between the missteps with the cowl and the pants, it was pretty clear I was not mentally up to sewing.  Two steps forward and one step back is not all that effective.

Now my throat is sore and I am still tired, I'm pretty sure I'm coming down with a cold.  Pout.

Friday, February 3

Overdue Sorbetto

I was getting dressed this morning and decided to wear my satin Sorbetto, dark jeans, boots, black cardigan.  And then I realized I never did post pictures of it after talking about it so much.  I'm such a slacker.

Mr. Lina took this prior to us going to my friends Christmas party, front lawn of our house, I was so cold and grumpy while that was being taken.  Yep, it's February and I'm posting a December picture, I am *that* much of a slacker.  This is exactly what I'm wearing except for the jacket.  Even the stained glass necklace (which is reversable, it's purple silk on the other side).

So let's break down the good and bad...
  • Love the feel of wearing it
  • Love the length on me
  • Love the loose around the belly but don't look pregnant
  • Love that as 100% polyester, I really can't kill it in the laundry
  • Love how it looks with this stretch corduroy jacket
  • (wasn't my MIL spot on with buying me that jacket?)
  • The flutter sleeves worked out well, if I'm too hot at work it's appropriate alone
  • I like the ruffle at the neckline instead of bias tape
  • Armhole is high enough to cover my bra but not uncomfortable for movement
And the problems...
  • The bust darts are miles apart, one is about where it should be and the other is too high on a bad angle
  • The hem is twisted a little, not noticeable to anyone but the grain of the fabric is diagonal in spots
  • I think I did cheaters French seams (good call because this frays like crazy) but I didn't do a great job of trimming so there are spots where there are tiny threads poking through, again, I know what they are from but they aren't noticeable
So, everything that is good is great, and the not so good aspects probably aren't noticeable to anyone but me.  Even the bust darts.  With the pattern, I didn't notice the discrepancy until I had worn it a bunch of times. 

Okay, and speaking of December vs February...   I am all for mild winters.  I am okay with not shovelling snow although I do miss snow shoeing.  I get that green Christmas is pretty common for this part of Canada.  But my crocuses have decided it is spring.  My lilac bush has some green buds.  They are going to be seriously disappointed if February decides that winter really does exist and slaps them with a foot of snow.

Debra Lyn Neufeld is presently at my house, hanging out with Mr. Lina.  Time to get my own show on the road and head home...

Thursday, February 2

About Me is Live

Thank you all for your help in things to include in an About Me section.  It's likely too long but that's the way I write.

Things are a bit busy chez Seraphinalina.  We're hosting a house concert tomorrow night, Debra Lyn Neufeld.  She's bringing a steel body guitar to the basement for an night of blues.  Tonight will require some serious house cleaning and appetizer making.  I should have done more last night but I was tired.  I was reading cookbooks trying to come up with a menu and grocery list and I couldn't focus at all.

Debra Lyn is staying the night with us, so I imagine the morning will be slow moving and a bit of post-concert clean up.  We're going into Toronto to see Samantha Martin and the Haggard.  It's a 4-7 show at Graffiti's Bar & Grill (170 Baldwin Street).  Sam is gearing up to releasing their second album, how can you go wrong with a Pay-What-You-Can event?  We hosted Sam and Mike in May for a house concert.  She's got a voice that will just blow you away.  If you like blues/country, maybe a CCR cover, she's your girl.

And Sunday morning I'm in a bowling tournament.  It's an Ontario 5 Pin Bowling Association (O5PBA) event which means it draws from all kinds of leagues, from social seniors to seriously competitive.  Prizes are great if you move on to win the whole thing, a trip to Dominican Republic maybe, but this is 2 tournaments away from that.  Second prize a few years ago was salad tongs.  Third prize an outdoor thermometer.  Clearly, this is not the kind of tournament to get super excited about.  Still, it's fun to bowl with people in my league who aren't on my team, this particular tournament is at the alley that I grew up bowling in.  It will be good to see the owner, bowl on real wood instead of synthetic.  I am looking forward to it.

You know what I am doing Sunday afternoon?  I'm going to muslin up some pants because I've got version 1 of my pants blocker from the Consultative Dressmaker sitting in my email inbox.  Who knew I'd be so excited about pants?

Have a listen to Samantha Martin.  She kicks all kinds of ass.