Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wacky January

Here we are, in the midst of Wacky January. I always think January is such a roller-coaster. The first week, I've got the adrenaline rush of the clean slate. So many project ideas built up in November and December that I didn't have time to work on. Christmas projects finished and gifted. The chance to start new things, things I really want to work on.

The next week, crash and burn. The realization that we are still at just the beginning of a long cold winter. Not as much progress made on the million mile long to-do list that I thought. So many projects and possibilities tends to paralyze me.

Then, we have a sunny day, and all of a sudden everything looks great again. And so it continues for the rest of January: grey days, feel like crap, sunny days, feel like a million bucks. Whew.

To combat Mother Nature and the hold she has over me, here is my strategy:

1. Just trying to work steady, and be content to check smallish things off my list.

2. Making very few big goals and breaking them down into bite sized chunks so I feel like I'm accomplishing something.

3. Going to bed earlier and getting up earlier to capitalize on the more energy-filled part of the day.

4. And on the very cold days, just hunkering in and not fighting to have more energy. Being happy doing puzzles, playing cards, and knitting, giving thanks for these little kids that are so cuddly and loving and still wanting to sit on my lap. (Even that gangly 8yo boy, who I'm afraid will ask me for the car keys any day now.)

Good Lord, I didn't mean to be so wordy this morning! Must be the sunshine.

How about a little show and tell:
Cute denim skirt. Simplicity 9825. My effort to dress a little less "Hello, I'm going to be at home dyeing yarn and sewing today and just dropping the kids off at school in my jeans and a tee shirt uniform." The grey stretch denim is from Vogue Fabrics in the South Loop. $1.99 a yard--can I get an Amen, Sister?!

The double needle I used for the stitching actually cost more than the fabric! But worth it.

There's nothing like an Extra Wide Double Needle to make you feel like a bad-ass sewer! Double needle and light brown heavy topstitching on denim, with bar tacks thrown in here and there, are the necessaries for making denim look professional.

I added the triangle insert at the bottom, it's not in the pattern. I copied it from this Boden skirt that I liked.

I'm so ready to wear my new skirt with Beryl, which is humming right along!

Here's a closer view of Beryl. That's black (vintage) Cotton Ease. Since I took the photo, I have sewn in both sleeves and knitted the neckband. I need to block the bottom; it is having rolling issues. I might need to sew some ribbon on the inside if blocking doesn't solve the problem. I also need to shorten the sleeves a little, cutting off the cuff and re-knitting down. But it is very close to the finish line.

Another random project? How about these cuties.

Don't they look angelic?! In reality, the other 30 photos I took looked more like this one:

I used the pattern from Grand Revival Designs (it's under "free patterns"). So cute! I made a couple of modifications. I cut my band wider, 9" instead of 5.25". I ended up lining the hats with Minkee too. I have never sewn with Minkee before, and let me tell you, that stuff shed like crazy. I have red and lavendar lint all over my sewing room. Not something you want to sew while wearing corduroy pants, either. Learned that the hard way. So, in other words, I didn't know how they were going to wear them without permanently linting their hair. So I just lined them. Makes them super warm, too. (Keeping this pattern on hand for future use with fleece--and you wouldn't have to line them, in that case.)
For the flowers, I just cut out 2 basic 5 petal flower shapes, sewed them right sides together leaving a little opening, and turned them right side out through the opening. Hand stitched the opening, then used a running stitch to gather up the center, and sewed a button over the gathered stitching.
I love these so much and I would really like one for myself. Is that so wrong? Cute and warm? And I happen to have an extra sparkley button. Just sayin.


Blogger Susan R. said...

I love the hats too! And the outtake on your photo session. Wouldn't the hat be great in a warm, chocolate-y brown? Tres chic, and very grown up, IMO. Or how about a patterned velvet that's lined?

8:56 PM  
Blogger QuiltingFitzy said...

Some of grandma's costume jewelry would look fab in the middle of the flower! ooo-la-la

These are soooo darned cute!

5:32 AM  
Blogger Diane D. said...

That skirt is so cute - the triangle really makes it! You go girl. I've had a very stop and start January too - actually much more stop - but this too shall pass.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

They are adorable in those hats -- how fun! Love the skirt (awesome godet) -- I have a denim skirt in my to do pile- very inspiring. The cardigan looks great with it.

7:27 AM  
Blogger sweetfigs said...

All kinds of great crafting going on here! I think you have January well in hand.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

The skirt is going to be wonderful with the sweater. Striking! But those two hats are adorable ... or maybe it's the girly heads their sitting on?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Love the photo session. That is to funny!

7:27 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog. Did you recognize the yarn as Sophie's Toes Mermaid? I used it doubled throughout and I am really happy with it!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

I am so happy to read a long post from you and be reminded of January in IL. It happens to be cold for several hours a day here in TN too.
I love the skirt and hats and especially the sweaters. You are so productive.
Lovest Mel

5:58 AM  
Blogger Mohammad Salauddin said...

So beautiful skirt that is. beautiful knitting.
Fabrics USA Inc | African Wax Print Fabric

5:58 AM  
Blogger Fabrics USA Inc. said...

nice dress. so cute. like it
Sequin Fabrics

1:14 PM  

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