Here are a couple of things that I have been working on for Christmas. The first is a lap quilt for my 91 year old "adoptee" that I signed up for with our local non-profit. She asked for one so I made it in her favorite colors (pink and blue) with her favorite flowers (roses). I hope she likes it because she is one special lady.
The second is a dress that I made for my husband's Christmas party at work. It is at Gilly's and is a country/western theme (obviously). I intend to wear it with a denim jacket and my uber cool cowboy boots (that I got at Dillard's, of all places).
This is a New Look pattern and is knit. It was very fast to sew and I plan on making another one but I will make it a size smaller.
Back to the sewing room - I have more Christmas presents to complete.
I vascilate between ignoring and being totally obsessed with recent economic news. I am concerned, just like everyone else, but having survived my own economic downturn several years ago, I believe that we are prepared to ride out the storm. I also happen to live in a part of the country that is more stable than others though not immune.
But aside from all of that, the thing that really struck me most, was the report that people planned on donating more to charity this year. After the elections and having to listen to all the finger pointing and blaming, it is nice to see that the average person has a heart. It gives me hope.
We are about six weeks away from Christmas and I have started to work on gifts, both personal and for my etsy store. In the next couple of days I will have some fabulous fantasy flower pins available. The great thing is how versatile they are - use them to dress up a jacket, scarf, tote or hat. They will also dress up another gift if you use them as package decorations.
For my personal gift list, I pulled these fabrics out of my stash to make a lap quilt for a senior that I "adopted" for Christmas. Her favorite colors are blue and pink and she loves roses. I am doing a variation of the log cabin pattern.
I am moving at a steady pace, using up some of my stash and putting together a stylish, comfy wardrobe. And as I said before, I have committed NOT to buy any clothes for the next 2 months.
Here is my latest completed project. I knit this from a 1976 pattern with some minor changes. Used a seed stitch for the bands and collar instead of garter stitch and I eliminated the pockets. Pockets would have been nice but considering that this is what I had left, I think I leaving out the pockets was a good choice.
I still need to add buttons. I went shopping today but the selection was mediocre and if I bought the ones I found, they would have cost me more than I paid for all the yarn!
Speaking of yarn, I made this by unravelling 2 Gap sweaters. I didn't even realize I had bought two identical sweaters because I got then on two separate shopping trips at two differnt thrift stores (total cost about $5). The yarn is part wool, part acrylic and is incredibly soft.
I've learned that the best defense against the weather here in Texas is to layer. Summers are hot but indoors are arctic. And winters can be chilly, especially when the sun goes down.
I have come across this website http://www.relfe.com/life_purpose.html and suggest that everyone read it. I think it does a great job of summing up the recipe for a successful, happy life. It's given me a couple of "aha" moments and I hope it helps you too.
I have taken the Wardrobe Refashion challenge for 2 months. I have pledged not to buy any new clothes (except underwear) for the next two months. I can buy clothes from the thrift store and refashion them, sew or knit new ones though. Of course, I picked the two holiday months, not sure what I was thinking but I've done it before so I can do it now.
What many people don't realize is that the fashion industry is NOT very environmentally friendly. The manufacturing process, dyeing yarn, threads and fabrics, fuel to ship clothes from overseas, etc are very damaging. Then factor in that most people wear their clothes for a season or two and then get rid of them creating a landfill issue. Using natural fibers is not any better usually because cotton is a crop that uses more pesticides than any other and those pesticides leak into our water supply.
By using materials that have been reclaimed (much of my yarn has been purchased at my local resale shop), repurposed (taking a garment that someone might have thrown out and refashioning it into something different) or recycled (such as unraveling a thrift store sweater and reusing the yarn so you can knit or crochet it into something else), you are actually being eco-friendly.
So for the next two months I am going to try to do my part. Here is my first item a sweater that I knit from a cotton/acrylic blend yarn that I got from a resale shop. I didn't follow any pattern, just used my own measurements.
I am very fortunate. When we built our house 8 years ago we put in a 4 car garage for my husband and I got two of the four bedrooms for my sewing room and office.
The rooms are not very big but having two rooms allowed me to separate the workspace from the creative space. My sewing room was the first to be decorated. Painted a Pepto Bismol pink (in hindsight a little too pink) with black and white accents, a nod to Parisian decorating, it is functional and pretty. I have all the equipment I need and I have found the room fun to work in.
My office has been another story. I hadn't done anything to it except put in bookcases and a desk. The desk is huge, actually an old library table but the work surface is huge so I thought it would be perfect. The problem is that I didn't spend a whole lot of time in there. It just wasn't working.
Thursday night I sat and contemplated the fate of my office. I really wanted a space that I enjoyed being in, that inspired me, that I would want to be in there for hours on end. It finally came to me and I had trouble sleeping because I wanted to start on it right away. By Friday I had found new furniture on Craig's List, picked out a window treatment and bought paint.
Part of the problem was the way my two rooms had been organized. I had fabric and yarn stored (out of sight in various mismatched containers) in both rooms. I decided that the fabric needed to be in the sewing room and the yarn needed to be in the studio (my former office). I kept the bookcases and decided to use a modular cube system to hold my yarn, I used interlocking cubes that I already had for displays at craft shows. I got rid of the desk, which was too big for the space and replaced it with a smaller round table.
It took 2 days of intensive work but I am so happy with the result. What I have now is a beautiful, creative workspace. It reminds me of a yarn shop. I love it and the great thing is that I already had most of the stuff.