Friday, July 10, 2015

Sewing Stream: Pattern Testing for CINO (again!)

A couple months ago, I was part of a group asked to test a new Craftiness is Not Optional pattern! I enjoyed this so much the first time that I quickly said yes again. CINO created the Ressica Raglan Top and Dress pattern for us to sew test.

I chose to sew the top! At the time, our little closet was full of dresses. The pattern went together well and the directions were easy to follow. The shirring was fun to sew and shrink and I love the raglan sleeves!

Pattern: Ressica Raglan Top & Dress, now available for sale here!
Size: 5
Fabric: Quilting cotton main print, red chambray raglan sleeves
Changes: subbed snaps for buttons

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sewing Stream: Upcycled Ice Cream Top

I cut this top out back in January for the upcycle themed Kid's Clothes Week challenge. However, I ran out of time and moved on to something more necessary at the time. As I was cleaning up my sewing piles last week I stumbled across this and finished it! It's a tab bit on the small/short side now, but I think it will get a couple wears before getting stored away.

The green portion of this top was one of my favorite summer tops from the year we got married (10 years ago!). I have kept in in hopes that it would either fit again or that I could think of something fun to do with it instead. I was able to use the existing hem with the little baubles, which is exciting! I had a difficult time figuring out where to cut to avoid the little beaded sections, but in the end it worked out. FYI: the feed dog does not get along well with seed beads.

Pattern: Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress Pattern
Size: 4
Fabric: Green - upcycled Gap tank top, White - Daydream by Kate Spain for Moda found on clearance at The Intrepid Thread
Changes: I used a snap rather than a button in the back.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Me Made May: the Datura Blouse

I've been working on this top for a couple months. The sewing was quick, but making multiple pattern copies, a couple muslins, and working on the fit took me several days and a lot of extra thought time. I first noticed this pattern when Anna Graham of Noodlehead made one for herself a couple years ago. I immediately liked it, but assumed it wouldn't fit me as all of my previous me-sewing projects were flops. Over the past couple months I've read quite a few blogs (Cashmerette being my favorite inspiration!) on using any pattern and making it fit correctly. Liesl Gibson, designer of my favorite Oliver + S children's patterns and Lisette patterns, has also written some very helpful blog posts about fit.

I started by using my measurements, which put me in four different sizes, and just making the largest size muslin in the Datura Blouse. It was too big everywhere! So I made the next size down, which was a lot better. No gaping in the back around my arms, no sagging in the front, and just about right around the middle. The darts were very definitely too small/short and too high. I read and researched more blogs for information on FBAs (full bust adjustments) and just wasn't feeling confident that I would get it right. Liesl highly recommended Fit For Real People: Sew Great Clothes Using Any Pattern by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto, so Miss H and I picked it up at Barnes and Noble. I spent the next few days reading much of the book and learning too much for my brain to hold.

I made a couple more pattern copies as I adjusted darts: breaking out several colors of sharpies, making them bigger and then smaller again, longer and finally moving them down. Once I had what seemed close, I made another muslin to try on. The muslin helped me assess the way actual fabric drapes and hangs. I made a couple more dart adjustments, and changed the length. I then made a final muslin, showed it to Tom and a friend, and set it aside for a few weeks while I sewed through some custom orders and Kid's Clothes Week.

Every time I would sort through my sewing stack, I'd just reshuffle the Datura pattern and fabric back into the pile. This last week I hit a sewing block and wasn't sure what to work on, so I hemmed my jeans and thought about cutting into my beautiful fabric; a rayon challis by Joel Dewberry. Friday night I did it! Then, Friday and Saturday nights I sewed.

This top went together pretty quickly. The instructions were well written and translated. I had to re-read the parts about sewing the shoulder seams together quite a few times to make sense of a method that I'd never used yet really liked in the end. This is the first time I've sewn with rayon, and it was pretty easy and basic! Tom stayed up laaaaaaaate with me on Saturday night while I hemmed and attached my snaps. I tried it on a couple times as I was putting it together and kept feeling amazed that it was still fitting the way I wanted.

I love the end result and will definitely be making more of these! I even got to wear it for my birthday/Mother's Day.

Pattern: Datura Blouse by Dear & Doe
Size: 44
Fabric: Dainty Daisies, Lavender in Rayon Challis by Joel Dewberry from Harts Fabric in Santa Cruz
Modifications: Changed dart length, depth, and placement, and added 1.5" length

Monday, April 27, 2015

Kid's Clothes Week: Another Swingset Tunic

Miss H and I liked the first Swingset Tunic so much that I had to make another. It ended up being perfect for our beach trip today. I'm sure I'll even make a few more for the summer. I used some remnant fabrics that Miss H picked out at the store a couple months ago. I kind of wish I had enough to make something for me with them! I love the colors and patterns!

Pattern: Oliver + S Swingset Tunic
Size: 4
Fabric: Both are remnants, the blue and white says it is Mint to Be from Camelot Design Studio, and the green is Color Me Happy Cluster Drops in Emerald Green from Moda.
Changes: Swapped buttons for snaps, and finished the inside side seams rather than leaving them raw.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Infertility Awareness Week and an Update

Apparently it's infertility awareness week, so all sorts of posts and articles have come across my screen the past few days. None of them have really stood out as something worth sharing or passing on until this one, which is pretty encouraging for me to read.

We are 9 and a half years into this journey. While it hasn't gotten easier, it has gotten less bitter. We know God holds both our future and that of our children. Miss H brings joy to our lives every day, but that does not dissipate our desire to both birth and adopt more children. She frequently asks us when she can have a sibling to play with and prays regularly for another little someone to join our family. I never realized that our infertility would affect her heart as much as it does, sometimes leaving all three of us in tears.

Many people have asked us about different fertility treatments, adoption options, and why we don't just pick and do "x." None of the decisions are easy or inexpensive, and all are filled with ethical considerations. Building a family is not just about a desire for more children under our roof; it is about loving people in the way Jesus loves and adopts us.

Here's a little update on our story. We have tried several medications to combat PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), none of them worked. We adopted 6 embryos in 2009, have transferred all of them now, and have lost 5. We briefly held a foster care home license in Washington before moving to San Jose, and are now in the final (hopefully!) stages of getting certified in California. We recently revisited medication, though not to the desired effect. The doctor has again recommended either IFV, which we do not feel comfortable with ethically due to the culling that happens once eggs are fertilized, or more embryo adoption.

The doctors have again recommended that we do IVF, but the precedent for, and almost certain, destruction of newly created embryos make this ethically not ok for us. We plan to again pursue embryo adoption, while caring for Miss H and any children we welcome to our home through foster care.