Wednesday, August 31

I should open a store apparently

Tonight I thought I would spend a little time digging around my sewing room.  See what I had to go with that swirling purple/grey/black fabric.  I had bought 8m of black lace elastic, but at half price, that just made sense to me regardless of this project.  I can always find a use for that.

So here's what I found:

Again, I've put a piece of white cardboard behind this so the fabic is brighter in the picture than life.  The purple satin at the bottom is not irridescent, it's just satin and more plum than the picture shows and matches the darker purple parts of the fabric well.  The black fabric is pantie spandex, the black lace is the one I bought.  But I found purple, silver, plum, and silver and purple lace too.  I do have a tendancy to buy it when Fabricland has it 50% off, the assortment is always pretty limited so when I find a nice colour, I snap it up.  The one thing I couldn't find was my silver stretch satin.  I know it's in there somewhere.

Ah well, not sure I'm closer to deciding on what this will be, but my sewing room is a bit tidier.  I am sold on the sheer swirly fabric.  It says bride to me now. 

Mr. Lina is sick I am sad to say.  Woke me up at 6 or so this morning coughing.  He has spent the day in a Neocitron stupor and I spent the day at work avoiding him.  So far I feel fine, just my seasonal allergies driving me crazy but that's ragweed for you.  Here's hoping he stays doped up enough through the night to not keep me up coughing.  I'll be clearing off the guest room bed just in case...

Tuesday, August 30

Fabric shopping

When I posted about a few possibilities for my friend the bride, I said fabric would likely dictate what I ended up doing.  So, I think I have the fabric.

I found a few fabrics with potential.  The purple swirls to the left is sheer and pretty soft, it's on a mostly white background so it's a bit brighter than against pale skin.  It would drape well for the skirt and the mix of colour would provide a little more modesty but still hint at what's under there.  The lace across the middle is 5" wide stretch lace, good for panties, midriff elastic, I'm not sure it's quite wide enough for bust, but I have others stashed away that might be 6".

To the right is a charmeuse, it's polyester too.  Not great, but honestly, how long is this going to be worn?  At least it would be machine washable.  I'm not sure that I want to use much of it for this project, it's soft, but not sheer.  Although it does look nice beside and behind the sheer fabric.

So...  what to make.  I still like the bra with skirt idea, but none of this is stretchy and that bra needs a little give.  I do have black spandex pantie fabric (from Sew Sassy) or purple satin I could make the bra out of.  That could work.  The black wouldn't be overly supportive but this is not intended for all day use anyhow.  Solid bra then with the swirly skirt.

The more I think of Lekala 5779 the less sure I am.  There really isn't any way to add support to it.  I know I like a little oomph to my lingerie and I suspect the bride would like that too. 

Hmm, decisions, decisions...  I think I'll sleep on it.

Lekala 5432

I feel pretty fortunate that the size that Lekala have put up for their free month of patterns is pretty close to my own.  I download like a fiend, but the directions really suck.  That said, the notches line up, the clothing fits and once I've figured out directions that work for me, it's not so bad.

I have made Lekala 5432 a few times now.  First was a party dress for New Years Eve.  We were hosting a handful of friends, it was casual, but it's my house, I can wear what I want.  And I wanted to wear something I made.

It's form fitting, and with all that gathering at the bust, I didn't have to do a FBA, just added a little length to that piece.  What I didn't anticipate is that I'm short, the darts in the front and back bodice aren't quite at the right spot, the waist nips in while my hips are going out.  My first try on of the dress you could see EXACTLY where my thighs ended.  Not pleasant.  So that dress has seam allowances that are truly miniscule to give me a little more wiggle room.

Speaking of wiggle room, Mr Lina really likes the back view of the dress.  I think it's more evident what he likes when I'm walking.  My best invisible zipper ever is on that dress.

He took pictures with a flash and I don't really like how they look, but I do like how they show off the swiss dot overlay on the crepe backed satin.  So ignore that water spot and look at the fabric.  Isn't it pretty?  I had both fabrics in my stash and put them on top of each other and thought it might work.  Left them draped over the guest room bed for a couple of days to be sure.  The satin on it's own is too... rosey or something, I bought it on clearance for next to nothing.  The swiss dot was used for an outfit for the third bride of my university friends so this was truly stash busting that probably cost less than $15.

Not sure what that spot is centre back, but look at the fabric.
I have since made this up in a knit and a woven rayon/linen, both I wear to work.  The knit version doesn't have a zipper and I added elastic under the bust to keep it snug there.  The rayon/linen wrinkles like crazy, but for a hot summer, it's good work wear.  It will transition through September well with a little sweater.  I made it a little looser through the hips/bodice, summer is not a time for snug clothing.  I also put a lace godet at the kick pleat of the black version.  It seems to work.

Anyone who is more talented than I am with shifting zippers may want to move it to the size.  You need the opening at the waist, but the neckline doesn't need opening, it's actually tricky to zip up because of the elastic at the neckline, it's hard to pull it taught to pull the zipper.

Sunday, August 28


Well I am actually doing pretty well on my to do list this weekend.  Went to the farmer's market, had a nap with Mr Lina this afternoon, and did some weeding in my flower beds and I actually went for a run after he left for the special effects contest.  So no swimming, but a run and we're planning on going for a hike tomorrow is pretty good for me.  I only went about 2 km, but given that I haven't run in a very long time, that was enough for my poor lungs, I'm still a bit wheezy.  Go asthma go.

I titled this planning, so let me get to planning.  I have a friend getting married and I'm hosting her bachelorette on Sept 10th.  After I got married, I looked at the lingerie I was given and thought, hmm, not much too this really, I can do that.  So I did.  And now it's a bit expected amongst my university friends to make them a gift. 

The bride has a figure a bit like mine, full bust, full hips (more bum actually than hips but I'm a bit like that too).  Based on what I saw at her Stag & Doe, she's lost weight since I took her measurements.  Past that, I think figure wise, whatever suits me will suit her.  She has blonde hair, fairly pale skin, so I don't want too pale of a colour.  I still have to dig through my stash and see if I have something that suits her.  I don't think I do.

So, some options...  I'm going to either self draft or rely on Lekala.  Ever been there?  They are a Russian online pattern company, terrible directions (many are only in Russian) but I like a lot of the patterns.  Twice now they have put up 3 sizes of everything free.  Fortunately, one of the sizes lines up fairly well with me, I think they will work for the bride too.  I try to keep in mind the personality of each of my friends when picking lingerie.  I really believe we all will be at our most sexy when we believe we are sexy and constantly fiddling with something is not sexy, not wearing it because it's too sheer is also not sexy.  I think this bride is fairly comfortable with her body, but I don't know how "oh look at me" she will be.  Less crazy sexy and more classy sexy.

I have made 5241 before.  Both for myself and my SIL.  Mine was in a sheer polyester with satin bias tape for trim.  I really like it actually.  Flattering, but it really doesn't do anything for a full bust.  No lift in that slip.

5779 is something I've always thought about for her.  If the waist part is snug, then it will give her bust a little lift, make her waist look small and slide over her hips/bum.  I dunno about doing it in satin though, maybe something that is at least a little sheer and stretch lace for the waist will be more forgiving if she's lost weight like I think she has.

The other option is more self drafted.  Wide lace elastic across the bust and a circle skirt.  I have one like that, and I've made this for one of my friends, it's flattering and if the wide lace is wide enough for us full busted girls it's a bit of support.  I know my B cup friends have commented that it's enough support for them. 

Another option is taking Elan 510, a front closing bra I have made a few times now, and putting a little skirt along it.  I have made something similar for two friends (but with wide lace elastic across the bust) and heard positive feedback.  I have something similar that does open to the front, and made one for myself, it's flattering.  So picture this bra, those panties, but with a sheer skirt around the bra.

Hmm... so many options....  I think the fabric will tell me what's right when I find it. 

Friday, August 26

Happy Friday!

So it's another coffee infused Friday.  Mr. Lina had a work function yesterday that ended at the Jays game on the vendors dime.  A limo ride was part of the deal, but only from the carpool lot on the highway a 4 min drive from my house.  As a "good wife", I said I would pick him up at the lot so he could drink and not worry about the last little bit getting home.  I don't think I connected that this ride would be needed at 12:45 on a school night when I offered.

A list to keep punctuation at a minimum:
  • So how come he arranges to work from home because of the late night but the driver still has to go to work?  ;)
  • My fault for staying up rather than going to bed early and waking up to get him
  • Mr Lina makes a pretty cute drunk sometimes, last night was one of them
  • More maps to make today - distribution of Italians in several Canadian cities
  • Not quite sure what I'm doing this weekend, very odd on a Friday to still feel unsettled
  • Possible activities:
    • Farmers market, preferably tomorrow so I can see my parents, if not a different one on Sunday
    • Special effects contest that my husband is being entered in
      • Ties in with a zombie movie he produced and played a character to save budget, Humphrey the zombie looks awesome and it's good exposure for the yet to be released film
      • Probably not going to the contest, it's Sat 10pm and he has to arrive for make up at 4pm, that's a lot of standing around waiting with people I don't know
    • Depending on timing & weather, a hike with Mr Lina
    • Sewing - catch up on Rooibos sew-along
    • Sewing - figure out what I'm making for my friends bachelorette gift, it's fast approaching
    • Sewing - shopping for lingerie fabric that matches the bride
    • Sewing - my sewing room needs some tidying, right now it looks like Rooibos exploded tissue all over the room
    • Swimming
  • Swimming stands out on that list, eh?
  • I said I'd do the swim portion of a sprint triathalon with the bride
  • It is next weekend and I haven't gone swimming once this summer
  • Oops.
  • I was a lifeguard/instructor through high school and university, the only sport I ever had talent in was swimming, and competitive swimming at that
  • I'll survive, I'll just do more back crawl than front crawl once the crowd thins out
  • I lied, I was good at 5 pin bowling and that's kind of a sport
  • Past tense was intentional, I still bowl, but a 9 year gap means I suck now and can't bowl nearly as well as I did when I was 18
  • 5 pin bowling is a Canadian game, there are other versions of bowling - duck pin, candlestick, and a German version with 9 pins
  • I am having lunch with friends today, one still works at my client, the other two have left, it's good that we still get together
  • I work more often in my clients office than my employers office
  • I work out of 5 different offices, some more frequently than others
  • I know more people at my clients office than my employers
  • My employers office is the farthest away from home, one day a week is often enough for my taste
Okay, time to focus on work I suppose.  I do like being paid, I should earn it.

Wednesday, August 24


I mentioned in my opening post I sew in fits and starts.  Summer isn't a terribly productive time of year for me because it's too hot.  My sewing room is an extra bedroom upstairs and the AC just doesn't quite reach there.  Add the iron, lighting, I'm not interested in sewing when it's 40C.

However... with the Rooibos sew-a-long going on, there was a discount at Colette.  I figured if I was going to get Rooibos, I may as well pick up Sencha and Crepe as well.  They arrived and I was so excited, I had to start with something and I figured Sencha was the way to go.

I've now made 3.  The first was a muslin.  I made it out of crappy 100% polyester I was hoping would be a wearable muslin if things went well and an "oh well" if they didn't.  Well, they didn't.  The fabric frays terribly and my half-assed French seam at the shoulders took in too much.  Still, it got the concept across enough to switch to a rayon I did like.

I took more care with this version.  I bought some spray starch so it wouldn't slide around so much, I put strips of interfacing along the shoulders/neckline once I noticed it was stretching out.  I am  pleased except for a few things.

Hiking after work in my Sencha blouse.

1.  Wow is the neckline high.  After wearing it for a day and catching myself pulling it down over and over again, I took it in just a smidge and it's much more comfortable, albeit a bit slapdash.

2.  Snaps.  I didn't do a great job on the snappers.  I used pearl top snappers and I think the problem is two fold.  First, they are heavy on a drapy fabric.  Second, 6 is not enough.  There are gaps, so I've hand sewn clear snappers where it was gaping.

Past that, I love wearing it.  It is perfect for casual Fridays at work with jeans.  So I made another.

I took my time.
I did a better job marking the pattern.
My tucks are more precise.
I used satin bias tape at the neckline.
I followed those sleeve instructions as best as I could.

And it doesn't fit.  It's flattening my chest, the sleeves feel weird, it's pulling in all kinds of directions.  Maybe I'll revisit it in a week and see where I could let a little out.  It's pretty.  Well, I think it's pretty.  It's a soft bluey green colour (I really don't like green but I like this).  But I asked Mr Lina what he thought and his first comment was that it looked like a hospital gown.


Monday, August 22

Summerfolk Review

There may be too much to fit into one post but here we go.

1.  The Weather
It always rains at Summerfolk.  Maybe not for long, but it does.  And we're a tough, dedicated audience.  But this was more than just rain.  Godderich isn't all that far away and they had a tornado on Saturday, the same storm blew through Owen Sound.  The wind was brutal, the rain was hard and the lightning and thunder was just non-stop.  It's the first time I've seen them shut down stages and even shut down the performers at the beer tent.  Down By the Bay is special not only for being the only licensed area but it's also the only stage where the seating is under a tent.  So when rain starts up, it gets pretty squishy under the tent. 

That storm on Saturday was absolutely brutal, but not the only storm.  It also rained later in the evening, then again Sunday afternoon.  Then a brief shower on Sunday evening, a break and then more rain.  Rain just always seemed to be around the corner.

2.  The Music - People we knew
A few of the artists we were already familiar with.  Going to OCFF, hosting house concerts and now 9 Summerfolks, I've seen a pretty wide range of acts.  We are good friends of Corin Raymond and have supported both his solo CD and The Undesirables as well as hosting both Corin and The Undesirables.  I was so pleased to see he was going to be at Summerfolk, but when we looked over the schedule to see he was closing out Sunday night and a good time slot Friday Down by the Bay, it was great to see him getting recognition. 

Corin often does his solo work with "The Sundowners", Treasa Levasseur is one of them.  She has a fantastic motown feel to so much of her work, bluesy, straight up lyrics.  Treasa doesn't hold punches and she certainly doesn't hold herself up on a pedestal with songs like "Big Fat Mouth" or "The Good Ones Never Share"  Treasa had a great set of workshops too.  Having "The Sundowners" and "The Daily Special" meant that David Baxter was also in tow.  I haven't heard him play his own solo work, but he's often backing Corin, Treasa and Lynne Hanson.  He's in the video linked above (so is Sean Cotton, the other half of The Undesirables).

Danny Michel was at Summerfolk last year on his own.  He was invited back this year based on volunteer/staff vote and he said he would with his band, Los Hombres Manos.  That man just has it all, he's cute, sings with a voice that reminds me of Paul Simon but really is distinctive and he can play.  Fabulous guitarist.  Seeing him play covers of Superstition, Billy Jean and the shrimp song from the Elvis movie "Girls! Girls!  Girls!" will stick with me for years.

2b.  The Music - The people we didn't know.
We heard good things about New Country Rehab but keep missing them at events like NXNE.  They absolutley blew me away.  Sometimes you hear hype, you set the bar pretty high based on what you were told and it doesn't live up.  These guys are fantastic.  The charisma, the showmanship, the talent, great songs, it's all there.

The Good Lovelies are another band we'd been told about and missed a few times.  Such a sweet group, lovely harmonies, funny between songs.  I was pleased. 

Other surprises:  The Once from Newfoundland, The Little Stevies from Australia, The 24th Street Wailers, Lorne Elliot and if you happen to like either Elvis or latin music, check out Elvis Bossa Nova. 

3.  The Company
I go with a family I don't see often but I feel really close to.  I mentioned R before, but you never quite know who in the family is coming.  R has 3 siblings, his youngest sister often has a friend or three in tow.  This year R's cousin joined us.  She's 14 and so sweet.  You can just see that teenage blooming going on over the weekend as she got more comfortable with Summerfolk and us.  It was fabulous to see.

And me.

Well, I fibbed a bit to the clinic, said my period started afternoon (it's only a 2-3 hour difference...) so maybe we could call today (Monday) day 3 and I could try.  The latest they could see me was 10:40.  I mentioned that to Mr Lina and he laughed.  It's a 3 hour drive, he wasn't keen on getting up at 7 to drive to the clinic.  I can't say I was either.  We take Monday post-Summerfolk off so we can enjoy Sunday night and linger with R and his family on Monday.  So we talked.  And talked.  And he said it was up to me.  He didn't want to drive as he gets up at 6am both the Sat/Sun of Summerfolk to line up for seats at the main stage, he was tired and needed sleep.  It's true.  We both work on about 5 hours of sleep each night during Summerfolk.  7am doesn't sound bad, but it's a really draining weekend.

I decided not to go.  Sunday was our anniversary.  7 years together.  They have been really good years, but it was like once again, fertility was tromping all over my life telling me I couldn't do anything I wanted to do.  I thought ahead to what we have planned for when I would be ovulating and it's going to be somewhere around Labour Day Weekend.  That's my 36th birthday, a party that we host every Sept long and I said I'd swim a relay triathalon with a friend.  So, I decided no.  And I woke up happy that I did that.

R's Mom asked me as we were brushing our teeth if we had to leave at a particular time the next day.  I spilled out all my decision making, I told her about my miscarriage in January, I cried so hard for my baby.  It still hurts so very much.  This week should have been my due date and I feel like I'm running on empty.  I ended up staying up until 4am talking to her.  We talked about my past year of fertility challenges, my thoughts going towards adoption.  She has a social worker background, so she has a clinical perspective on some of it.  She talked about her family, her challenges.  It was really good.  As I said, we don't see each other often, but when we do, there isn't anywhere I'm uncomfortable to talk about.

Friday, August 19

Count down

I am not much of a coffee drinker, love the smell, don't like the taste.  But the over sweet hot chocolate (think Timmies) and coffee?  Oh I can do that when I need a boost.  Problem is, I lose punctuation.  Either I get into a work zone and push through a lot of stuff or I spend the day distracted by shinies.  I'm waiting for data to run, and while I do, I'll try a list.  Then I don't need to worry about punctuation.
  • 11:21 and today is an early close day, I should be off work at 1
  • I need to make maps for my client, it's more than an hour and a half of work I think
  • I may not be leaving at 1
  • My plans to delay my period for Summerfolk seem to be thwarted
  • Cramps f*cking suck
  • I have no advil on me
  • I like making maps and yet I often drag my heels getting started
  • My degree is in geography
  • Never say to a geography student "Oh, you must want to teach." 
  • Maybe I would be a teacher if people didn't keep saying that.
  • Implications of today being day one?  That means day three is Sunday. 
  • Day three is a monitoring day (ultrasounds - yes plural for Day 3 - and blood work) if I am going to try and get pregnant this cycle.
  • Day 3 would be when I start Femara as well, the only hope I have of ovulating it seems.
  • I plan on being a few hours away on Sunday listening to folk music, I can't do a Day 3 appointment
  • I'm kinda pissed about that
  • Not that I think it would work, but it's always worth trying.
  • Cramps f*cking hurt. 
  • Wait, I said that.
Oh, my data is ready, time to do those maps.  Nothing like a deadline to motivate you.

Thursday, August 18


Music is a pretty important part of our household.  I was in the choir and band through middle school and high school and I still like to sing along.  I can't say I have an interest in playing music myself, but I believe there are people who should.  People who should be able to do that for a living and make an actual living.  There is a lot of great independent music happening just under the radar.  People writing about what they know, singing about what they have exprienced and imagined.  My exposure to this started with Summerfolk.

Summerfolk is a music festival that happens in Owen Sound every August.  They get roughly 15,000 attendees, have over 30 acts, 3 stages at night and 5 more during the day running concurrently.  There are artisan merchants, local food, interactive displays.  It's like drinking folk music from a fire hose sometimes because there is so much to choose from.  Now folk isn't just Peter Paul and Mary.  It's a pretty broad umbrella at Summerfolk covering blues, bluegrass, comedy, country, acapella, singer/songwriter, celtic, folk music from around the world.  They have one stage set for dancing, there is a lot of contra dancing that goes on at Summerfolk the past few years.

I first went to Summerfolk just before I met my husband.  I was a support worker for a teen with Down syndrome, R, and I went with him and his family.  It's cool to hang out with someone who is 6 years older than you, it's not cool to hang out with your mom because you still need guidance with decision making.  I had no clue what I was getting into.  I have to say a lot of it just went over my head.  I loved the festival, I loved the atmosphere, I had a great time, but outside of the Ennis Sisters and Leahy, most of who I remember were at the kids tent because that's where R wanted to be. 

Fast forward and I meet my husband a few months later.  We did a little double dating with R and his girlfriend, went to OHL games in their home town.  Summerfolk approached and I was asked if I'd like to come with them again.  My husband was over the moon, apparently this was one of the things he wanted to do when moving to Ontario.  So we both go.  And it was again, wonderful and magical and the same fantastic atmosphere.  We had a lot of fun with my friend R and he brought a friend with him.  Oh it was pretty crazy.  They were both over the legal drinking age here and that added a lot of unpredictability.

See at the bottom?  The hair pulled into a pony tail?  That's me.  We have hosted everyone on stage except Suzie Vinnick - Peter Judd (left), Mike Agranoff (standing) and The Undesirables, Corin Raymond and Sean Cotton (far right).  Credit to Peter Judd for the picture

Now the only year we have missed Summerfolk is the year we got married.  Sunday marks 7 years of marriage for us and every year at Summerfolk we think back on what our time together has been like.  We always find new music to inspire us, come home with a rediculous number of CDs.  Last year we felt so full of music we spent the whole drive playing the "what if we won the lottery game" and thought we would open up a venue for music, find a way to make a hobby pay for itself.  It was a fun dream.

Wednesday, August 17


I've been reading blogs for a while now.  I have let out bits and pieces of me through comments.  I have been starting to think that maybe it's time to find my voice and my outlet.  I've learned so much from reading other peoples stories, maybe I should share mine.
So where do I see this going?  A few avenues.

I love to sew but I will say I work in fits and starts.  I'm not always sewing, but I am generally thinking about it.  I don't do a very good job of documenting my projects and this might be a good push to do so.  I like making clothing for myself, more often clothes for work I suppose.  I have made quite a bit of lan-ger-ay for myself, panties and a few bras.  I have to say I've had more misses than hits with bras.  They look pretty, they don't fit so well.  I've made little pretty outfits for my friends as they got married.  I've enjoyed that.  Last one of the group is getting married this fall so I have one more outfit to make.

Well that opens a whole can of worms.  One day I'll share the story, but it's a long story and worthy of it's own time.  Today, well, today is not a good day on that front.

My husband and I have a real passion for supporting independent artists.  Through going to Summerfolk, I've really found music that speaks to me.  Folk is a really wide umbrella, call it what you want, roots, country, blues, bluegrass, singer/songwriter, whatever, there is a lot of good story telling through music.  There are a lot of great artists that should be following their passion and calling rather than taking a day job to pay the bills.  We support them by doing house concerts from time to time.  A lot of them are friends.  

That seems about enough to get things started.