Monday, November 9, 2015

Swimsuits Hold Up Well!

We had a lovely anniversary weekend in the Bahamas - shout-out to my Mom for making it possible for us to go and leave poor Lucas behind with her. Here's a shot of our view - gorgeous, even with rain moving in.

The seagulls were rather aggressive if you left your breakfast undefended.

Here's some gorgeous water, but I don't think you can see the iguanas on this island. We fed them grapes on sticks, and they were huge.

This one was not nearly as big but did intend on checking my beach bag for more grapes.

And here's the promised action shot of the one-piece. Seemed to hold up well, but I didn't get it completely wet since the water was a little cold.

This was amazing to me - have you ever seen 5 cruise ships lined up in a harbor?! The one on far left was allegedly the largest cruise ship in the world, Allure of the Seas, where you can join 7000 of your closest friends and 2000 crew members, according to a local.

So now for some videos. We went on a "Powerboating" trip where they race you southeast for one hour to a private island, then entertain you with shark wrangling and stingray feeding. Also "drift snorkeling," but the current was so strong that it only lasted about 5 minutes (which was reduced to 2 minutes when I mistook our intended location and struck out Michael Phelps-style for a far island - heehee). Here's some of the boat ride with blaring music to make you feel cool. Before this they were playing Miami Vice.

Here's "shark wrangling" where they lasso an unsuspecting shark and make him submit....not sure WHY you do this, but look at all those sharks!

And finally, here's the tankini in action while I feed a stingray....except I only had one piece of fish, so the second one who came along just got my knuckle - ewwww! And then one came back from the lady next to me and ended up in my lap, but Dean stopped filming before that happened, which is lucky, because I ended up stumbling backwards and falling in the water. Way to make friends, Dr. Fun!

So, back to work now, but that swimsuit sewing marathon really paid off! Anyone else having a sewing binge?

Friday, November 6, 2015

A One-Piece Swimsuit!

Yes, I nearly had to seek immediate medical help, because the mojo lasted longer than 4 hours this past weekend! I went to Joann and bought the pattern and fabric, so this cost $37 due to the pattern not being on a huge sale, and I had limited couponage. Still the cheapest bathing suit compared to store-bought. So this is McCall's 6759 , and here's the envelope pic.

Oh, here's my cheap imitation pose - I couldn't remember exactly what she was doing.

And I don't have quite the same thighs and boobage (the bra cups gave me fits!), but you know what? I'll take it! It is definitely low-cut, and if I make it again I'll lengthen the whole torso, front and back. But it feels very comfortable on, so the real test will be when it gets wet. I didn't take the time to do a shower test as previously recommended by Becky or Robbie. Let's review some construction, shall we? Here are the "sew-in" cups that I've never been able to make work.

The elastic made the side seams pull very oddly when I sewed back to front, so I ripped this out and did the pattern-recommended piece of elastic across the front lining, and I kept it out of the side seam. Then you add optional bra cups before you sew the top together with the elastic. Of course, you have to tack them in or they'll just slide right down the front!

Another boo-boo was that I was moving as quick as possible, and forgot that the side panels were black, not contrast fabric - duh! Had to look up a video on ripping out serger seams - bleh. Lucas suggested leaving it as is, but I showed him that the point of this swimsuit is to slim you, not fatten you up.

And then this little step of applying the back strap elastic was confusing because there's a seam allowance included on the side part that wraps around your elastic when you turn it up to topstitch - odd, but I figured it out.

Eh, not terribly slimming in my opinion, but maybe from a distance I won't look 3 months pregnant.

The back is kind of cute, and I'm so lucky to have scavenged an S-hook from an old bathing suit, because Joann didn't carry them, and I couldn't bring myself to go back in Hancock - it's so cluttered and dirty now! Why don't they scrub the floors?!

Okay, so I'll get pics of both swimsuits in action (or inaction while drinking a fruity cocktail) soon, but you have a great weekend in the meantime, and feel free to share your swimsuit boo-boos or successes. Katrina, I saw a comment you left on PR that mentioned you were making one - is it done? Have you reviewed it yet?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Front Door Fashion Scores Another Hit!

My work pants were not progressing fast enough, so I broke down and ordered another box styled by Morgan. Let's go!

Could these pants make me look any skinnier? They're Japanese fabric with Modal or something, and "mold to your body throughout the day."

Before you get all mad that I'm bragging - I'm NOT this skinny. You've seen the swimsuit pics, right? There are more to follow, but these pants and another pair are so stretchy that they make you look amazing even with that giant gut hanging over the waistband of your underwear...perhaps I've said too much. I totally wore this to work today and got compliments on top and pants. You go, Morgan!

Dude! I couldn't handle the giant green scarf because it's so humid down here and I feel guilty that I could knit one myself.

But I'm digging the pants and the blousy blue top. Swapped the pants for a smaller size....(Robbie, does this little scarflace look familiar?)

and I can wear this with lots of different bottoms...

and it goes with the blue necklace I kept from my first FDF box!

This outfit was worn to work yesterday, minus the white tee. The shirt got RAVE reviews from everybody at work, and these are the "ultrasculpt" pants that suck you in tight. You see the gut trying to escape through the white shirt, that was actually see-through - oops!

Love this little jacket - and why wouldn't I, since it matches my favorite Ivankas!

I accidentally deleted a pic of the black silk top under the jacket. It's a very fitted top with an interesting neckline, and I kept it for special events. So these are a couple of things that didn't do it for me - not sure what I have against red...or maybe it's the fabric - just wasn't feeling this one.

Oh, and I see I deleted 2 pics, because there was a VERY long blue silk tunic with a deep V neck that also didn't do it for me. However, these pants will be amazing once I get them hemmed. They're some sort of stretchy fabric but have belt-loops and fit so well.

Can you tell how well they fit? So sorry for my terrible pictures!

So, I remain a HUGE fan of Front Door Fashion, and am so happy I can feel good at work now with what I'm wearing. Katrina, have you done another box lately? My mom just got another Stitch Fix, so I'll have to check that out. Has anybody else experimented with a subscription box service? I'm thinking of doing one for Dean....

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Pants Hiatus, Another Tankini!

But first, here's a funny pic of Drew crossing the Spartan finish line - he and Dean made it in 4 hours, 45 minutes with a pulled Achille's tendon and lots of leg cramps. This face looks happy, though!

And remember I mentioned buying my SIL's mother's vintage Singer? Well I had to make room for it, so I bought this awesome "kitchen island" from Target last weekend and put it together myself. (I have now assembled 3 pieces of sewing furniture - I AM the woman!) Had to put it in the closet because there's no room in the guest bedroom to keep it out, but one day it will be a showpiece!

And it holds 2 machines! Love it.

Now the Singer was apparently made in 1953-54, Elizabeth, did you know that? It's at the shop being serviced, and I can't wait to sew something on it! It weighs about 300 pounds - very solid. I'll have to look up how to thread it, because there are no handy arrows to tell you where to go next, and I think I did it wrong the first time. We'll see....

In other news, cleaning up the sewing room to make room for another machine set the mojo off, plus we're going on an anniversary trip to the Bahamas, so I needed a new suit! The last black tankini I made is fine for hanging around the dock, but the cover-stitched seam was pretty horrendous, so I wanted to try again. Same pattern, though, with some funky fabric I bought last year from Joann. Uh, why do my front and back not match up? Apparently you sew the upper top to the lower top with more than a 1/4" seam allowance, because this didn't work out at all!

That was all the fabric I had, so I made it work like Tim Gunn would, and gathered the upper front, which added a ruched element, I guess. Or it just looks horrible, I can't figure out which. I didn't want it skin tight anyway, because I haven't been running in a week and have been snacking too much.

Lucas thinks the black bottom doesn't match, so he recommended a purple bottom, but it's not the same shade. Kid must be color-blind or something. I did plan to wear this top with my pink bottoms from a couple of years ago - the palm trees match.

I really think that looks okay, to be honest, and it's funny that Jake's posing in the same direction.

(You knew you were going to see this suit with the purple Ivanka's, right?!) One question - should I keep the little tie in the center that's kind of floppy...

or shorten it to a band, which might reveal my poor fit? ("I'm Miss Alabama, and I believe the children ARE our future!")

Okay, so I'm also attempting a one-piece if I have time - what patterns have you tried that you like? I'm thinking Kwik Sew 3153 or 2962, and possibly McCall's 6759 - would love the Jalie one-piece but I don't have time to order it...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Running in the Coras - No Solicitations

Lucas still thinks they're inappropriate, but I persevered this morning and ran 3.5 miles in them...up and down a somewhat major street and past 2 neighbors who waved and said hello, but did not snicker or front of me. They were fabulous and supportive without rubbing or itching or pulling (the tights, not the neighbors), and I didn't even feel overly warm in them. I was a little worried about how the bum would look - were the polka dots calling attention to a sagging derriere? - so I had Lucas film a little running so I could see whether or not to be embarrassed when close to traffic stacked up at a stop sign.

I think they're fine! Two things - I do want to bring the gusset slightly more forward for appearance' sake, and I do think I'll make the next pair with black dri-fit fabric over the bum and inner leg, and maybe a print on the outer leg...or would that emphasize my hips too much? Hey - who cares! And in family news, here's what the big boys are doing today, and what inspired me to run farther than usual:

Yes, the first Spartan race in Alabama - go Saraland! And Dean finally put his Auburn tag on...but not his car. Baby steps....

And lastly, my sister-in-law was looking for a buyer for her mother's ~60-year-old Singer sewing machine...and I made my first impulse purchase! I'm joining the ranks of you ladies who swear by vintage machines for topstitching, buttonholes, etc., and I can't wait to try her out in a couple of weeks! The mojo is back in business.

Now to go finish those Palmer/Pletsch pants I started. What are you tackling this weekend?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Running or Dancing?

Oh, the Cora running is ON. Lucas said I look like I'm on a dance team...that was when I was barefooted in a T-shirt. You know I had to try it with my purple Ivanka Trump heels and matching top - now who feels like dancing?!

The polka dots take it to another level...quite possibly DOWN a level....but they're hilarious.

Okay, this is more appropriate, uh, except for the muffin top created by the pants being a size too small. Guess I'll size the next ones up.

Or wear a looser shirt. Love that they match my shoes.

Here's the waistband - I love how this is all sewn together with a very comfortable waistband, but the blue contrast is making me look really odd-shaped, like my knees are bowing towards each other...weird.

My phone actually fits in this pocket!

Okay, seriously, this is nylon lycra swimsuit material, so I'll burn up if I run in it, but I do plan to make it in some Dri-fit fabric, hopefully, if I can find that online. And I'll make it larger, promise! Now to find some ribbons and a gymnastics team to join....(or a corner to hang out on....)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mojo Missing...Story at 11

Well, I had it, then it was gone. I basted up some pants after tissue-fitting my Palmer/Pletsch pattern using the Craftsy class, and I still had some wrinkles, so I lost interest. I had an extra pattern, so I decided to start over from scratch, but couldn't face it just yet, so I threw the pants under the machine and took up the side seams a huge amount, which ended up making a decent pair of pants. If I can get back up there and throw a waistband on them, they'll actually be wearable - invisible zipper's already installed in the back! I just hate fiddling with patterns and rulers and measuring - bleh.

In the interim, I finished the neckband on the AC dress I started in the summer with Robbie - remember all that airbrushing? Well here's how THAT ended up...oh, it's precious!

The back is a little awkward despite my swayback adjustment....

And I THOUGHT I was standing up straight with the gut sucked in, but I look amazingly frumpy! I honestly just think I'm not meant to wear certain styles of dresses....or it needs a belt....or the length is wrong...I have no idea why it doesn't look good. It's only one layer of fabric, so that could be it - my Mardi Gras dress was 2 layers and thicker...and full-length....and beaded.

Here's some of the stitching I started on it..

then decided maybe I should take it out and leave it unembellished...whatcha think? So after THAT letdown, I got sidetracked by this Jalie pattern, and decided to make some running pants!

So after watching 2 Project Runways in a row, I made it to Joann's to get this nylon lycra:

The black is the main fabric, polka dots for the back, and purple for the calf. It's in the washer now, but my serger is at the shop, so I don't know how far I'll get. Hopefully at least cutting it out!

And here's something funny. The other morning I kept hearing something hit the window, so I thought the crazy cardinal was back that used to divebomb us all the time. I checked 3 times and never saw anything till the 4th time - imagine my surprise!

And he had a buddy in the bush, who was apparently daring him to steal our Honey Bunches of Oats.

OHHH - and I did wear my AC couched skirt to a big cancer benefit downtown (everybody was wearing wild stuff, so no comments were made), where the Prancing Elites were performing! Have you heard of them? We only got to see a little dancing, which was quite professional, and everybody had to sign waivers because they're filming a reality show for Oxygen - cool!

Alright, the washer's done, so let's see if I can do some sewing tonight...