November has flown by with nary much to show in the creative outlet field but quite a busy month still. Of course my handmade garments have been worn each day. ;)
The Fitness Journey. As you guys know well by now, I've been seriously ill since March and my lungs are recovering..... still. They are so much better, but still recovering. I joined my local YMCA (a gym for those who may not know) end of September and that decision has been one of the very best I've made. Exercising, eating properly and learning about women's fitness over 50 has become my new 'hobby' and one I want to continue for the rest of my life. I need this..... we all need these healthy lifestyle components no matter how old or young we are... it's just even more important as we women age. So because I am going to the Y most days, it's becoming clear my exercise outfits could use improvement. These leggings were bugging me, below left.... they felt awkward and I hated wearing them. Couldn't figure out what was wrong until came up with the thought that maybe it was the length... so right, below, was a less than 30 minute improvement of cutting off to capri length. Love them and wear them constantly now. Sometimes it's the little things, right?!
The Y is outfitted, not only with cardio machines, but with all sorts of weight resistance and strength training machines which is so important for our bone health. Below, is the hip abduction/adduction machine of which I had to take a photo this day to show I am moving 95 lbs. which has never happened before. It was a huge step showing how much stronger my legs are getting. After all the illness, which meant not a lot of moving, my muscle mass has weakened and honestly is not really there, which meant in my legs, there wasn't enough structure to hold the weight off my knees..... so my knees have been killing me, making walking and getting up from a chair difficult. Building up my muscles has been a slow process, and it's a thrill to see improvement in not only how my body is able to handle the machines, but also in simply walking and getting about. I've considered cutting these colorful leggings off to capri length too.... but for now am leaving them long.
November saw the first of bitterly cold weather move in. We went from 10 degrees above normal, to 10 degrees below normal in one day. Bundled up well this day to walk my pup that is also part of my daily healthy lifestyle routine. This Shetland Scarf was knitted a few years ago and I still love to wear it, particularly with the sherpa coat.... though this coat pattern seriously needs pockets. Oh, instead of tying a doggie bag to Susie's leash for ease in picking up her waste, I made a little bag that clips to her leash that holds a couple of the bags. So much nicer and easier too. That's the tan/brown/rust round bag you see below.
I have the great good fortune to live about 5 minutes away from a wonderful WalMart that still carries patterns and fabrics, so this day had a lot of fun looking at the $2.97 patterns in the kiosk. Way back when, WalMart used to carry the NewLook patterns for $2.97, so thought it was interesting they've switched to McCall's, calling them 'It's Sew Simple'.... breaking out patterns from the regular McCall's patterns to re-package in this more inexpensive alternative. Love this idea! Anyway..... what caught my eye this day, were that these two patterns below are exactly the same. Different cover photos, different pattern numbers..... but exactly the same. I bought the one to the left......
......and while cutting out the pattern, realized how odd it felt. After all the time spent tracing Ottobre and Burda patterns..... it almost felt like I was doing something 'wrong' cutting out this tissue paper pattern. But oh how quick and easy!!! A huge timesaver!! Got as far as cutting out the leggings in black knit..... and that's where they sit. Got to get them sewn up to see if they will be wearable for exercising.
And then the weather warmed back up to be able to wear one of my new unblogged tops. This is the free pattern Kirsten Kimono Tee by Maria Denmark. Shared this photo below on Instagram wondering if it looked like an 'old lady top'. Fabric from Joann Fabrics, and it's definitely not the fabric's fault as it's a beautiful color and oh-so-soft and comfy knit. But still..... note to self..... pay more attention in considering fabric from bolt to garment.
Another warm and mild day wearing my all-time favorite t-shirt pattern NewLook 6735. Had an epiphany of sorts this morning deciding to wear it to the Y to work out in and it handled the workout well. This cute top has not been worn much because it's been sort of 'saved' to wear as a 'good' t-shirt. Do you do that? Save your 'nice' things and then they never get worn or used?! I need to wear it. Period. But first cookies.....
..... 6 dozen homemade sugar cookies. My daughter Melissa, teaches 2nd grade and was hosting a Grandparent's Day for her classroom and kindly asked if I could bake cookies as one of her treats. Oh yes!!! Absolutely I said!!! Sugar Cookies were chosen as some of the kids have peanut allergies. A couple of kids have chocolate issues, so half the recipe included M&Ms and the other half colored sugars. Honestly.... the colored sugars were the best! She had a great turnout and the kids loved the homemade cookies. On their own initiative, they wanted to 'thank me'. Oh my heart!!! Sort of wonder if homemade goodies are being replaced by Deli/Grocery store bakery department versions. Anyway, I'll post the recipe I used below that are more like a shortbread sugar cookie and taste best with some kind of addition like colored sugars, M&Ms or my real favorite Buttercream Icing. ;)
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cups shortening (I use Crisco)
- 2/3 cup butter (I use unsalted butter)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Bake 10 - 12 minutes at 375 degrees F
Grocery shopping and errand day still trying to get used to this high-low hem, below. Super comfortable though....
Melissa needed to bring a fruit platter to her school's faculty luncheon, and wanting to do something special, found a Turkey Fruit Platter photo on Pinterest for inspiration. Below is her completed Turkey Fruit Platter and may I say..... IT WAS AWESOME!! It was a 'memory making' project for the two of us, and quite rewarding as she received lots of lovely compliments from the staff. She is a first year teacher and wanted to make a good impression. Body is a cantaloupe, head is a pear and 'feathers' are cantaloupe, mango, green grapes, kiwi, strawberry, raspberry, red grape, blueberry and blackberry. A glorious abundance of fruit.
More mild, warm November days followed and it was nice to layer a Nancy Zieman sleeveless top, with an Ottobre cardi and pants......
.....and make Turkey treats for Melissa's students. She wanted to give them a cute and fun treat the last day before Thanksgiving break, and found another Pinterest inspired project. She ran out of time, but had saved the photo to her Pinterest board, so I was able to go in and not only 'see' what she wanted, but the photo lead to a tutorial. Thank goodness! The instructions can be found here
. Another run to WalMart to get pipe cleaners, tulle and googly eyes and 20 Turkey M&M treats later.....! Those who have chocolate issues were made with Skittles. Surprisingly the pipe cleaners are simply stuck in the tulle, actually stayed in there pretty well....... at least until she gave them out.... then, when in the kids' hands..... turkey heads and legs were falling out all over the place. As an aside, may I say Pinterest is exhausting!! ;)
To celebrate the beginning of her Thanksgiving break, she and I went out to eat and I wore the outfit you see below. My sewing space looks like work is being done there..... Ha!..... need to get back to it.....
Now back to the photo beginning this post, it was fun to pair the Alabama Chanin skirt with the Burda wrap top..... kind of like Alabama meets Germany..... as Christmas decorating began.
Hoping to be more productive in December as I need new clothes desperately. Thinking I'll focus on exercise things first as that is such a big part of my life now. The Y is close to my home, so I try to get there most days and it'd be nice to have cute tops and more leggings to choose from to wear. December usually bring consistently cooler weather our way, and it'd also be nice to have more winter type tops. So that's sort of the sewing list thoughts..... just need to find the sewjo. Meanwhile, hope all had a lovely November.
Happy Sewing All!!! :)