A little fun | Mystery Blogger Award

Dear Ellen, the creative, talented energy who blogs at Ellen's Sewing Passion, recently nominated me for The Mystery Blogger Award.
The Mystery Blogger Award is:  "an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious post.  Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates.  They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get.  This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion."  Created by:  Okoto Enigma

The rules are as follows:
  • Thank whoever nominated you and include a link to their blog
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 10 - 20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

I first got to know Ellen through her BurdaStyle Studio and was so happy when she began blogging at Ellen's Sewing Passion, sharing more details and photos of her work there.  She also has an Instagram account and it's always a treat to see what comes through her feed.  This kind, amazing lady has an abundance of talent and creative energy..... sewing gorgeous garment upon garment..... mostly from the BurdaStyle magazines.  One of her favorite taglines is "sewing makes me happy" that always shines through her pretty smile.  Thank you Ellen for thinking of me today!

Oooookay... now 3 things about myself.

#1 - Gosh I'm a pretty open book here at the blog and am having a brain freeze at the moment of what to share.  I've always hesitated to speak of age as was afraid that'd pigeonhole me in some strange way.... but this year I turned 58 years old and my 40 year high school reunion was this past weekend.  I did not attend, and I have not lived in that town for 40 years, and have only stayed in touch with a couple of my closest friends from back then..... which all means I've never seen my other classmates since 1978.  So have to say it was quite interesting to see the reunion photos of all these 'old' people flooding my Facebook feed this past weekend.  Didn't recognize a single person.  It was weird, let me tell you!  *please know I am telling you all this tongue-in-cheek with a little seriousness thrown in for good measure*  :)
#2 - Sewing was never my 'thing'.  I learned to sew in the mid-1990s when my two girls were little to be frugal, patroning the many textile outlets my area offered back then.  Sewed almost off their clothing through the years, as well as Home Dec stuff.  Never, ever entered my mind to sew for myself until 2013 when I happened to stumble on a couple of sewing blogs.  Now I cannot imagine buying clothes, not to mention how much being a part of the international sewing community means to me.
#3 - In my youth I rode Hunter/Jumpers..... owning horses throughout my childhood years.  As a member of the United States Pony Club, it was documented that I jumped 4' successfully and passed the C-2 certification, the highest local level certification.  The horse chapter is closed now, but still enjoying exploring the outdoors with my sweet canine Suzi.
Now I am to answer the 5 questions Ellen asked me:
  1. What do you do to cheer up your partner?
  2. If I ask you to sing spontaneous, what song would that be?
  3. Your favorite topping on the ice-cream.. 
  4. What makes you feel uncomfortable..
  5. What kind of competition would you like to participate?
1.  This one was sort of hard as Tom is usually a pretty happy guy...... but would have to say shopping..... he loves to shop.  And I do not. 
2.  Sing.... I am a terrible singer, but love music and have played the piano since I was a child.  For many years I was a church pianist where they actually paid me to play.  Was always a sort of shock to receive a check.  :)
3.  Ice Cream topping..... Chocolate with whipped cream and a cherry on top.  Yum!
4.  Feel uncomfortable..... being in a roomful of people I do not know.  I've had to work hard to overcome shyness in this area.
5.  Competition..... State Fair!!  Last year was the first year I participated in my state's State Fair competing in the 'Garment Sewing' category and am looking forward to (hopefully!) participating again this year.

Now 5 questions for my nominees are:
1.  How long have you been sewing?
2.  What prompted you to begin sewing for yourself?
3.  What do you like to sew the most?
4.  What other hobbies do you enjoy?
5.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

No pressure to participate..... only if you want to..... my nominees for The Mystery Blogger Award, in no special order are:

Diary of a Sewing Fanatic
Allison C. Sewing Gallery
Sew, Jean Margaret
Paisley Pirouette
Velvet Ribbon
Sigrid - Sewing Projects

This was fun!  :)


Knit Top with Sleeve Ties | Burda 07/2018 # 119

Super simple. Super quick. Super cute.  I love my new top!
The open sleeves with ties, coupled with a semi-fitted look, are what drew me to this pattern Burda 07/2018 #119.
Even I can't believe how quickly this was done!!  My notes show I began the process 6.27.2018, around the day I received the July 2018 Burda issue.... and that is most unusual for slow-poke me.  Below you can see their line drawing. I wasn't paying much attention in all my excitedness for this top, and mistook the top drawing to be the front.  Nope, that's the back... it is a VERY low-scooped back.
See!!!  Um..... this so would not work in my life and would fall off my shoulders in a jiffy.
Thankfully I caught my mistake before I cut into my fashion fabric, and channeling Nancy Zieman's Pivot and Slide pattern alteration method.... I pulled that back neckline up AND narrowed the back.  The low-scooped pencil drawing is the original size 36 back neckline on a fold.  The higher pencil mark is my new neckline.  The red pen is what I made.... a higher neckline with a narrowed back.  I always have trouble with stuff sliding around my back shoulders and I wanted to be sure this would be wearably comfortable.  Then before I could think twice.... I cut into my fashion fabric and held my breath hoping all would work.  And it did!  I also graded it to a size 38 at the bottom.
Aaaaaand my hair covers everything today!  I'll show you the back on my dressform on down in the post, but here you can again see the slight fittedness of the top.  Very flattering both back.....
 ..... and front.  Love those sleeve ties.  It gives this simple top a little style.  Fabric came from my local only-open-once-a-month textile outlet.  Cost around $7.00 for this piece.  This is the sister piece to my Peacock Dress.  Super comfortable.
Okay guys.... you are not going to believe this.... but as I was writing this post, looking at my dressform photos, all the above photos, and checking (double-checking!) my top..... I just realized I wore my top backwards to an appointment in town this morning as well in all the photos wearing it here because this, photo below, is the Back View..... not the front view I initially thought.  Good grief!! *rolling eyes*  I definitely need to sew in one of my tags to denote the back in the future.  In the meantime, please forgive my backwardness today.  ;)
So this is the Front View.  I had to determine the new neckline binding length since I'd changed the dimensions, so I measured my finished neckline, (@27") then subtracted around 10% of that number, (@2") to cut my binding @25" stretching it as I sewed it in.  Kind of pleased with how flat it lays.  No puckers, no problems.  Nice.  Also these are colors I always wore when I was a brunette and still find them pleasing today.
Sleeves!!!  This pattern is the Sewing Lesson insert in the magazine and it was quite enjoyable to simply follow step-by-step with visuals making a Burda pattern.  Also, this link will take you to their online Sewing Lesson step-by-step instructions.  I really like the resources Burda provides.
This is my project for the 2018 Burda Challenge for the month of July.
If I hadn't gotten chicken and lost my confidence when I got to the neckline binding step, this top would've been finished in a matter of hours.... instead of days.    Wearing it with the Ottobre pants today but can see it as a great Fall transitioning piece with my black mini skirt..... and wearing it front side out in the future!
Happy Sewing All!  :)


Learn by Doing

Some folks are a natural in front of the camera.  Some have a talent for photo composition.  I am neither of those but am a firm believer in trying, failing.....  learn by doing.
When one has a blog.... particularly a sewing blog that journals one's handmade wardrobe.... it isn't long before you desire your photographs to be the best quality they can be.  Realizing my limitations and lack of basic photography knowledge, I began Lisa's Carolina Photo Journal a few years ago using the Tumblr platform to have an outlet to learn how to use my camera focusing primarily on exploring nature around me, as that seemed like a simple enough beginning.  It was a great way to get to know my camera better and triggered a love of photography.
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth 
Over the years I've used the Photo Journal site to document Me-Made-Mays 2017 and 2018 to reduce the burden on my dear readers of this blog, only posting the month's summary here.
Day 24 | Me-Made-May 2018
Exploring with Suzi helps me feel more comfortable taking 'public' photos
After the 2018 Me-Made-May, I decided to re-locate the site to the Blogger platform and continue (trying!) to take some sort of daily photograph to improve the quality of my self-taken photos.  Most are taken using the remote of my Nikon D3300 camera though some may be quickly snapped using my iPhone... or if 'life' takes over, there may be days missed.  No pressure.  Comments at that site are turned off as it is not meant to create conversation.... just a simple way to log my personal photography journey.  You are welcome to follow along.  I've 'claimed' the site via Bloglovin' and you can also see the current photo on my sidebar here and/or click through that way.  Outfit photos includes links to the garments and most include a simple notation for that day.  Each photo means 'something' to me for that particular day.  I'm still in the process of migrating the Tumblr photos to this site, but meanwhile wanted to share the month of June 2018 with you.  I probably won't do this each month as am afraid all would be too b-o-r-i-n-g.  And that's precisely the reason I don't flood my IG account with these either!!  But for now..... this was June 2018.  If you are interested in outfit info just click on the corresponding 'date' link to take you to that specific post.  The primary photography focus for this month was learning how to train my camera to 'focus' on what I wanted it to focus on.... not what it was wanting to pick up.  So here we go!
3 June 2018

4 June 2018

5 June 2018

6 June 2018
7 June 2018
8 June 2018
9 June 2018

10 June 2018

11 June 2018

12 June 2018

13 June 2018

14 June 2018

15 June 2018

16 June 2018

17 June 2018

20 June 2018

21 June 2018

22 June 2018

25 June 2018

26 June 2018

27 June 2018

28 June 2018

29 June 2018
Another benefit to these photos are that it helps me 'see' what my garments really look like and how they are wearing.   Now back to sewing!!

Happy Sewing All!  :)