Oh, it feels so good to sew and take pictures and write a blog post!!
First, thank you all for the lovely comments on Ashley and Darrin's engagement. They are so excited. And her ring is exquisite :-) The wedding date is now February 21, firm, which is nice. More time to enjoy the engagement feelings and activities.
Gosh, I've been sort of absent for a while. But recovering from being unwell for 6 months has taken some time and lots of rest. But I'm so much better. Feels so good. I'll put a little info on what happened at the end of this post...
Meanwhile, what a super cute dress. I found this on Kollabora, just zipping along looking at projects. And ordered the PDF download right away (there is a version for girls as well). I can't find a line art pic anywhere, so I'll try to describe: the front bodice is two-piece, with a slight sweetheart seam below the neckline and a raised front curve. The back bodice has a dipped curve ending just around the waistline. And the dress has nice 3/4 length sleeves.
The bust conundrum:Incredibly for any pattern, this one comes in sizes XXS - XXL - but that is a little misleading :-) The associated bust range is 30" - 39.5". Whose bust - that of the dress, my bust? What size to use? A clue from Cali Faye: the model's bust is 33.5", and she is wearing a size Small, bust 31.5". OK, I followed suit. My bust is 37.5", so I drafted the size Large, bust 36". And it worked - but I do wish pattern makers could be specific on this point.
(Before I forget, for reference, I'm 5'7 1/2" and wear a size 14/40 just about all the time).
This mid-weight cotton/spandex from Girl Charlee (love, love) is a great weight for this dress. I only made two changes changes on this first version:
- Added an inch to the skirt length.
- Lowered the curve of the front bodice edge by 1" at center front, cured out to the side seams. It would be great for a baby bump the other way, but IMHO, looks nicer a little lower.
I was very surprised that the bodice, front and back, was long enough for me. I am accustomed to adding 1.5" inches for my height - might be a caution for short waists...
I love this dress! While in JoAnn's ages ago, I found a piece of camo cotton/lycra knit (and haven't seen it since, in the store or online). And I've wanted to sew it ever since Angela of Collected Yarns made her camo maxi in August. Voila!
On this version I removed the sweetheart seam from the front bodice, drafting it as one easy piece, and used elbow length sleeves.
And now it's jingle bells time! Again from Girl Charlee, a cotton/poly knit.
This was fun. Ciao! Coco
A little info on what kept me down...
Incredibly insidious, and linked in the end, to my scleroderma. I had a severe B12 deficiency. Like no B12. From May, when I began to feel ill, to mid-October, the worst time, I increasingly lost my motor skills, had constant light-headedness and nausea, experienced mental confusion, and had vacillating blood pressure (orthostasis). I had overwhelming fatigue and was extremely weak. All the fingers in my left hand, my right thumb, and the toes on my left foot were numb, sometimes painfully so. And I developed episodic paroxysmal hemicrania, which is stabbing 'ice pick' headache, in my left temple and around my left eye. My scalp was so painfully sensitive that my hair hurt (the new haircut was because I just couldn't brush or wash it easily). I was in the hospital twice with hypokalemia (potassium imbalance and metabolic acidosis), and ended up on a walker, with a nurse coming to the house every other day.
I was depressed, because I was seeing otolaryngologists, neurologists, and internists at Cleveland Clinic Hospital and getting sicker, not better.
Then one afternoon, I remembered a test I had in 2012 - my B12 was only 181 in a normal range of 200 - 1100. I was struggling with medication-induced anorexia at the time, and my doctor put me on super vitamins to compensate. A year later I was off the problem-causing medication and had regained a healthy 18 pounds. And thought no more of it.
What we did not know then, was that I have scleroderma, an auto-immune disease. And auto-immune diseases tend to destroy something called 'intrinsic factor' in the stomach. The role of intrinsic factor is to trigger absorption of B12 from food and storage in the liver (which normally has a 2 - 5 year supply of B12 on hand).
Apparently I'm out of both intrinsic factor and B12.
The remedy was easy - I'm taking 3 milligrams of B12 a day. This is a lot of B12! Fortunately, the body uses supplemental B12 without any help from intrinsic factor. I feel so much better!!
I have to be careful - my liver is trying to replete it stores, and it's kicking my potassium a bit while it does it, so I'm eating a lot of potassium. My body tells me when I need something - I get shaky or light-headed. I'm doing small meals 4-5 times a day. But I can do a grocery-shop now. And sew. And take pics. Wonderful.
Perhaps my experience will help someone who is likewise mystified. Hope so :-)