Friday, July 27, 2018

Mesh Vogue Top and Catching Up (Let's Try Again...)

Try #4. When I originally posted this last Sunday (7/22), I had already replaced each of the 30 photos at least 3 times, but it was still no bueno, so I took the post down until I had time to deal with it. I managed to figure out how to post a single pic again, and it has changed since I last posted. The number of hoops I have to jump through to post a single pic makes it rather time consuming.

Here we go again!

Well, HELLO, Possums! (Yes, I have watched Dame Edna rather recently.)

I hope you know you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook, because I don't want anyone to accuse me of disappearing. I am blogging less—this is true—but it's also true that, in the last 6 months, I've sewn exactly one garment for myself.

At least I'm wearing the heck out of it.

This will be a long-ish, picture-heavy, post. :)

My new sewing machine

My beloved Bernina 930 (my mother's machine from 1985), suffered an extreme failure early last April as I was 1" from the end of the last seam on DD2's bathingsuit. My 930 had been getting cantankerous lately, so I bit the bullet and purchased a gorgeous new machine, a Bernina B740. (I bought it from The Sewing Machine Shop in Walnut Creek, and was very happy with the experience.)

I have never, in my life, paid that much for a machine (at least not unless it carried me around), but she's a beauty. I brought her home, set her in my entryway, and left her to gather dust until the retreat. I had no time or energy for sewing, or learning a new machine.

Girded for Sewing Machine Shopping

Yes, I'm even wearing my scissor socks


Welcome home! (Now sit and collect dust for awhile...)

I started learning how to use her on the retreat. Thank goodness that Ann Smith was there, because this is very similar to her machine, and she taught me a lot!

Ann, working on a Kantha cloth jacket, using Kantha cloth purchased off the bolt

P.S. I did have my Bernina 930 repaired, by the way. I just can't let it go!

Vogue 9305, a Knit Mesh Top

I first saw Vogue 9305 when it was released in early Spring 2018, I think, and I was smitten. I LOVED this top. LOVED. I ordered the pattern when it was on sale and then, of course, didn't sew it up right away. The one garment I have sewn (and completed) for myself in 2018—I started it at the retreat, and finished at home soon after. (There was quite a bit of hand sewing, of course, the way I like it.)

(P.S. I lie. On the retreat I also sewed a pair of pants. All but the waistband. They are still awaiting the waistband and I know I'll love them, and wear the heck out of them, so there's no excuse.)
Vogue 9305

I used a crinkled knit mesh. I can't remember where I bought it (oh, do I miss my steel-trap memory!), but I think it was from Satin Moon (on Clement Street), just before they closed. Of course, I made a few changes to the pattern:

  • This top is designed for a woven, but I used a knit.
  • The neckline was too high. I asked Ann to draw in a better neckline, so I omitted the back slit.
  • I added width at the bust (but no FBA), that I later removed, and then I removed more.
  • I made the armhole a bit smaller.
  • Of course, I envisioned this as a floaty top, so I left the shoulder seam unsewn from the tip of the shoulder to the bottom edge. I also left the side seams unsewn from the waist to the hem. (Some of my retreat pals thought I was nuts, by the way.)
  • On the side of the front with the drape, where the slit begins, the fabric poked out from my bust, so I made some gathers just under the bust to tame it.
  • When finished, the top was still a bit big, so I took gathers on the sides, right at bust level. I liked the resulting look much better.
  • I hand sewed all outside edges which, of course, I made much longer by not fully sewing all the seams.
  • I recollect that the neckline was supposed to be turned under and stitched. This is a heinous finish. I made a tiny hem with a 1"-wide length of fabric cut on the cross grain.

When I wore this top to the next gathering of my retreat pals, it received many enthusiastic compliments, so maybe I wasn't so crazy, after all. ;) I've worn this a lot. When it's cool, I wear a black tee underneath. Otherwise, I just wear a black tank.

It's a chilly morning, in the low 50s, so I'm wearing a black turtleneck underneath

Warmer weather, so no turtleneck

(P.S. More pics of this top in the next section.)

Mother's Day (but really more pics of the top)

I wore this top to celebrate Mother's Day with my eldest. My youngest is meditating on a mountain top for 6 months, so that celebration is delayed.

DD1 and I got our favorite sub sandwiches, and then we headed off to Lands End, where I took pics of her and visa versa, and we talked and talked and talked.

Lands End, overlooking the Pacific Ocean

I love this "Where's Waldo" pic she took of me

Climbing a tree on Mother's Day is a perfect activity

Though a gazebo is more my speed

I wear this top with baggy pants (shown here) and slim leggings and I like it both ways

Closeup of my Sally Bass necklace


What else have I been up to in the last 7 months? Here's a quick summary.

  • Had some very unpleasant work stress early in the year.
  • That stress is over, but I'm still dealing with regular work stress—there's so much to do! (When my boss suggests that maybe I do less, I hiss at him. I'm feeling challenged and having fun.)
  • I'm leading the writing team for my project, all two of us.
  • I'm driving a website re-design.
  • I'm managing the content schedule, another writer's work, and driving a bunch of other stuff.
  • I'm working on creating more swag. I looove working on team and product swag!
  • I'm planning some trips for late 2018 and 2019.
  • I've been toying with some fabric designs.
  • I started a second version of this same Vogue top, but haven't finished it.
  • I started a new sewing project and I have no idea how it is going to turn out, but I'm excited by it.
  • I've been meeting up with sewing buddies. In fact, today I met up with Ann, Diane, and Patti F.
    me, Diane, Ann, and Patti F

    Ann wearing her Tremont Jacket (a Sewing Workshop pattern), made from an ikat fabric
  • One of my sewing groups, the one I joined back before I was married, is compiling a book of our collective sewing stories. I wrote two stories for the book, then I helped others get theirs written and/or edited. It's a huge project, but it's going to be great when finished.
  • I've been dealing with health-related issues (some rather unpleasant), as well as some depression/anxiety, and the final healing of my damaged finger.
  • My 20-year-old cat disappeared and presumably died.
  • I took two amazing classes on paper and fabric marbling. I am looking forward to doing more of that. One day.
  • I traveled to London, Seattle, and two spring sewing retreats.
  • Gave up my DirecTv satellite service, and binge watched a lot of shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime. (I really enjoy the savings!)
  • Spent a lot of time sleeping.
  • Spent a lot of time thinking. Just thinking.
Enjoying my (two) stacked Juinhui London bracelets and my Sally Bass jet black glass ring

Hopefully you'll see a bit more of me over here. I'm really itching to sew, but my time is even more limited these days. Now that my energy is returning somewhat, it's more feasible.

Have a great week!