Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cleaning day in the loft...

Well, cleaning is not my favorite thing...and I'm pretty good at avoiding it :-) but this arrived at my door yesterday. It goes in the loft - but where! 

Over the last couple months I've managed to cover floor and tables with patterns, projects, and miscellaneous things. Actually, it's been kind of fun. However, it's time to clean and organize. This new dress form is for Ashley's garments. Yes, I'm getting pretty spoiled. No more readjusting Emile between the two of us - I'll have two dress forms! I did get a great price on this, I've been keeping an eye out for one for a while now. It will be super nice, since I usually having sewing in progress for both of us at the same time.

I'll take of pic of the girls once this is set up and named. Ashley is pondering the latter.

No pics of the mess, but the loft is now nice and clean, even dusted and vacuumed. Wow.

 Looking at these pics, I realize I have a lot of stuff in the loft! But it is the only room in which I craft and sew and work on my stamp collection. I'm really fortunate, because it's a good-sized room. And that double closet holds a 4-drawer chest full of supplies, more fabric bins, and a tall file cabinet with my life in it!

The loft is also the only place in the house where I have lots of pictures of the family, travel treasures, my dolls, sewing books, and silly things I love. Great little TV and good light.

I have a couple new blouses ready for the camera, but the leaves have kept me out of the yard. They got cleaned up today as well! Meanwhile, I finished my 'muslin' of the Rosemont Cardigan a couple days ago and have started blocking it.

It's meant to be a little funky. I wanted to use up some small balls of yarn left over from mitten and cap projects. It's 100% acrylic, so the blocking is different from that used with wool. I use a 'hovering' steam iron, very carefully, so I don't 'kill' the yarn.

Parting shots...it's a little fruity around here.

The biggest coconuts I've ever had!

All the areca palms have seed spathes for the first time, they are about 8 years old. Very exciting!

This is a mahogany tree seed pod! They're very heavy and dangerous...

And they're beautiful. Pure wood, in beautiful deep tones. 

Strawberry guavas...the anoles should be here soon! Meanwhile Ms. Squirrel eats hers green. Miss Piggy.

Speaking of Ms. Squirrel...in the front yard, going for dates from the Chinese fan palms (below - and nearly gone!)

These have been a great favorite with the doves, blackbirds, mockingbirds, and blue jays as well.
Bye for now! Coco

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vogue 8883 Tie-Cuff Capri's


First pair of pants for spring! Even though it looks like fall in my back garden. The mahogany trees trade in their foliage and drop their very large fruit in April. When this happened the first time after I moved here, I thought all my trees were sick.

This pattern is from the Vogue spring collection (although their model doesn't look very springy to me). It's a nice group of pants and shorts with lots of details and options: A contour waistband, back zipper, and multi-piece fronts and backs. Slashed hems, cuffed hems, plain hems, and just about any length possible.

The capri's got me...I think they're so cute - the cuffs and ties are so overstated that they really work.   

Tunic - Vogue 5881

Thank goodness this version was intended to be a muslin - these pants are way too big for me. I don't know what happened when I was figuring my size. I usually sew a size 14 in Vogue patterns - for the life of me, I do not know why I cut a size 18! I'm blaming it on the blood moon...

Oh well. It gave me a chance to work out some other things I wanted to do with the pattern. Mostly, I needed to get around the zipper. I can't wear zippers - it's a skin thing. Shielded zippers, as on jeans and trousers, are usually OK...but that's about it. Now you know why you rarely see me with a tucked-in blouse! Any pants or skirts I sew have stretch waists. And my tops are all pull-over or button-up :-)

I redrafted the top of the pants to incorporate the depth of the contoured waistband (it's 2" wide) and straightened the side seams so that the pants would slip over my hips. Then I simply added an encased elastic waistband. Works great!

Here's a pic of the super-cute cuffs. I put them on the pants before I sewed the legs together, much easier to handle separately. And I cut 7.5" off the ties, they were really long!

Such fun. A couple more pics, this time with the Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt. Love it! And it's free to download on their website.

The fabric is the Phoebe stripe cotton blend jersey from Girl Charlee. I call it my Dennis the Menace shirt...

Parting shots. I was one of those people who got up at 3:00 a.m. to go outside with my tripod and camera and gaze at the beautiful blood moon. It really was so amazing to see it hanging in the sky over my house.

Ciao! Coco

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stepping into spring...

First...thank you so much for the many messages of support and prayer during my mom's illness and passing in March. She was so touched and grateful, as am I.

I'm beginning to feel the stirrings of mojo for spring sewing. Much helped by our Big 4 pattern companies giving us some fresh options this season. And by BMVClub cooperating with timely sales. Added to the stash this week, hurry up, Mr. Postman!

McCalls 6554 Fashion Star Sundress. 
Not new - but how cute! Love the pockets, neckline, and swingy skirt.

McCalls 6958 Fit & Flare dress. 
So on trend this year, and perfect for Ashley's summertime casual-Friday options.

McCalls 6968 Top, Pants, and Skirts.
Yes, this is for me! Adore the pants and skirt. Tropics to the max...

Vogue 1395 Pullover Dress.
Another fresh look, so many possibilities for fabric choices! I got this for both Ashley and me. 

Vogue 8883 Basic Pants Collection.
Cute, cute, cute. I'm in love with View D, fancy cuffs.

Vogue 8982 Jacket and Vest.
Except I'm thinking blouse in tissue linen and fine cottons. 
Shortened a bit and worn over pants and maxi skirts...

Speaking of maxi skirts...the Gabriola maxi! 

Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt
Having exhausted my funds, I am so grateful for this free pattern from Deer and Doe.
I've already made two, soon to be seen here, a wonderful pattern!

Whew. That's some mojo. And I've even ordered a bit of fabric from Fabric Mart and Fabric.com during their recent sales. Now I need coffee...

Bye for now! Coco