Space Ghost NSV

Ok, this title needs some backstory. So I’ve been on a self-care journey which included getting back consistent with my fitness/ nutrition regime. It all started with this picture in late April 2016😵😵

I literally looked at it and asked ‘Is this me?!!’ I was the heaviest I’d ever been at 218 lbs. What is funny is that I was so in denial about how much weight I gained (40 lbs over 3 years) that I thought my scale was broken or, at the very least, needed new batteries. I guess I needed a doctor’s appointment to confirm that my scale was indeed NOT broken since my weight was the same there as well. The additional copay added insult to injury over not needing a new battery.

I didn’t even want to sew anything for myself until I’d lost ‘enough’ weight. In fact, I had gained a lot of weight spending so much of my time sewing for others outside of being mommy, Mommy, MOMMY! I had to carve out time for myself. So I started working out consistently again (even through intermittent physical therapy sessions for a year after incurring some injuries because I tried to come back 40 lbs heavier like I had never left😂😳). I even became active again in an online fitness forum, Fitness Is NOT A Game (FINAG). Although I prefer to work out alone, being active there has been instrumental in my weight loss/ self care journey. The members are so supportive, share a lot of helpful information. A nice component of the group is celebrating non-scale victories (NSV) and there’s also plenty of sh*ts and giggles🙊

Even though I had not lost ‘enough’ weight, I realized I did have to start sewing for myself again since I still needed clothes. Sew, I did! Sewing is also part of my self care. It brings me great joy to create and see ideas materialize (literally). Part of my self care also involves saying ‘No,’ so the majority of my sewing is personal right now which brings me to my latest project, MCCalls 7610, Option D. I set some of my fitness goals in conjunction with sewing (two of my loves). My goal in January was to wear an all white fitness outfit, like Space Ghost 👻 😂🤣 I had a few hiccups, (mainly, my machine needed a tune-up) but I finally finished it, with some alterations. I made the front panel out of sports mesh. I planned only using that only for the back, but didn’t have enough Jersey fabric for the entire front piece. I twisted the back twice instead of the once per pattern instructions. I also added more ruching to the side seams to give the illusion of hips, since on paper, I’m a coke bottle but IRL, I’m an Oscar from the front…until I turn around🙊

So, I’m celebrating my non scale victory for Halloween with my version on M7610 as Space Ghost.

I still need clothes since the pieces I’ve made over my fitness journey are now too big #goodproblems😜 I’ll try to stay on track and not eat too much of my daughter’s candy today. Happy Halloween! 🎃 👻

That One Time Mini Me Didn’t Try To Burn Our House Down…

I promise…I actually did sew something in this story. I was working on this hoodie- McCall’s 7841. I altered the pattern to give it a peephole at the bust and also shortened it to crop it a little bit. My sew sister gifted me a camo knit fabric and I had juuust enough to make it. Camo is my FAV!! As usual, I sew in segments…so I do what I can for whatever amount of time Mini Me lets me be great…seriously! It can be a couple of days to finish something simple to a month or more since I do have a full time job and my little diva on my hands.

One day Mini Me faked sickness at school, so I took off early to pick her up. She was feeling so bad in the office but by the time we got home she was skipping and singing la la la up the stairs. That little girl nor her teacher care about my dwindling PTO! I didn’t mind too much because I really wanted to finish this hoodie!

Since we were home earlier than usual, we started her homework so we could have our time together…and then finally finish my hoodie. While I was checking her work in my room, I hear the pitter patter of her little feet running back and forth across our apartment. I could see her in my peripheral but wanted to finish checking her math before I summoned her. However, she beat me to it and comes running toward me waving her arms in the air yelling ‘EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!’ She points toward the kitchen and when I walk in, the whole garbage can is on fire! It turns out she lit a paper towel (I was cooking soup on the stove) and threw it in the garbage. Why? I don’t know…she didn’t even know when I asked…after I put the fire out. The pitter patter of her little feet was her getting cups of water from the bathroom and running to the kitchen to throw at the garbage. Bless her little heart!

There is a silver lining. Now she learned how fire works, that plastic melts, we can get a nice new metal garbage can and how a fire extinguisher works. Nope, it’s not full of water folks. I was cleaning all sorts of chemical dust…while my hoodie lie all lonely and unfinished on my sewing table LOL. I didn’t think of taking pictures of the mess since I was busy trying to stay alive. I eventually did finish the hoodie…just not that day. The picture below is of me actually wearing it in the gym (my second home). Sewing and fitness are a couple of things that I do for myself. If I’m not in the gym upgrading my milf status, I’m probably talking about it here. I plan to make more hoodies soon. Hopefully, I will not have to put out any more fires👀👀

Sewper Bowl Sunday

It’s Game Day! There was a time where as a football fan or just an invitee to watch the Big Game, you had your choice of parties to attend. Maybe you were hosting one or decided to divide your time and stop by a couple. Now the divide is whether or not to watch it. The boycott has some fans boycotting the game entirely in support of social activism and equal rights. For the ones that do continue to watch the game, they are disappointed with some athletes taking a knee during the national anthem. This current boycott is part of a history of protest to National Anthem in sports. No matter which position you support, The Big Game doesn’t seem to have the same excitement as in previous years.

So what to do if you’re boycotting? I know what I’m doing, I’m having my on ‘Sew’per Bowl! Here are some projects I’m working on. I’m finishing up a UFO (unfinished object) I started on Black Friday but lost it because I started working on something else. I just found it a few weeks ago😳 This is my work in progress.

#M7430

Since I’m on the 2 minute warning with this dress, I’m starting my next project while I have momentum!

Simplicity 2337

I look forward to seeing the final score on my Sewper Bowl Sunday. What about you? Are you watching the game or finding something else to do?

Top Five Reasons WHY UFOs Exist

I saved some of my vacation time until the end of the year and I made it! I had been looking forward to using this time to do some research on some recent UFO sightings…in my closet. Yes, in my closet; I have a bin full of UnFinished Objects.

Like your conventional Unidentified Flying Objects, many sewists start projects and for whatever reason, we are no longer able to identify the object we had once envisioned. I wanted to use some of my vacation time to remove some of those UFOs out of my closet hangar. (I love puns)! This was no easy task, being that my 4 year old mini me was also home from Pre-K for Winter Break (which was my real reason for saving my PTO for the end on the year). I’ll post more about that another time. #schoolwinterbreakisnotavacation

Outside of our quality time, I did have a couple of productive moments. I was able to finish several projects, including some UFOs I’ve actually been wearing for the past year! There were some minor things that no one would notice unless I pointed them out, like waiting a year to hem a couple of tunics. Finishing the hem sometimes makes a difference in appearance like buying your garments from Old Navy versus Rainbow.

McCall’s Patterns M6121

Isn’t that what we do anyway? We go out as our unfinished selves for the world to see, except the world doesn’t notice (because nobody cares unless you point it out). So in honor of the new year and the motivation for self improvement that it inspires, I’ve compiled my Top 5 Reasons why UFOs exist:

  1. Something about the project didn’t go as expected (i.e., fabric didn’t work well, wrong fit, human error, etc.)
  2. Ran out of time
  3. Overlooked Details (I had a tweed cape I couldn’t finish because my machine couldn’t handle making buttonholes with that fabric. Buttonholes are usually the last detail on a buttoned garment. Just horrible!)
  4. Lost interest (Sometimes you weren’t that interested to start in the first place.)
  5. External Events (better known as LIFE!!) (Things that had nothing to do with the project itself, but rather affected time dedicated to complete the project.)

These reasons aren’t just specific to sewing; they’re transferable to whatever your unfinished object is. (Well the buttonhole example is pretty specific lol. ) Sometimes you need a pair of fresh eyes like when Monica, The Sewing Jurist suggested I use sew-in snaps after I vented about it on our sew date. It worked like gang busters! Thanks Monica! My UFOs have taught me to expect the unexpected, use time management and planning strategies as I discussed in a previous post, and last but not least, really taking the time to consider your motivation for starting a project or endeavor. Knowing that helps to stay the course when life happens. What are some of your UFOs and how do you plan to finish them?

Happy New Year!

When Cheyenne Met Janome (A love story)

Someone pointed out to me that I should introduce myself. That really didn’t occur to me because I figured that’s what the “About Me” section is for. I really don’t care for small talk in social situations (unless it’s about sewing, fitness or being a pun person). So, it makes sense (at least to me) that I would procrastinate on writing an intro to my world.  Allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is…I guess Jay-Z penned that one, so I’ll start with a love story.

Image result for love story gif

About a decade ago, I would talk to my coworker, Genice, about my various encounters. I would routinely complain about my disappointment in myself for the following situations:

a) knowingly settling for what just wasn’t a good fit,

b) dealing with something I really didn’t want in the first place (but settled out of convenience because it fulfilled a need at the time )

c) trying too hard to make something work when it was obviously doomed for failure from the start.

After listening to me go on and on about my problems, Genice unknowingly called my bluff and set me up on a blind date…with my first sewing machine. (What else did you think I was talking about?) (Insert canned laughter here.)

Let me give a little backstory. Genice and I were personal trainers at a private gym. Although I was pretty fit, I had problems finding clothes to wear. Most of my wardrobe was spandex, which is fine for a fitness professional or wrestler, but it left me with limited options outside of work. If I bought a top to fit my waist, then it was a smedium at the shoulders, making it look like I had a mad Dowager’s hump.  If I bought it to fit across my shoulders, Frump City, here I come! I wasn’t trying to accomplish the Quasimodo or pregnant look, hence my problem. People used to flirt asking if I was ever told I looked like Serena (Williams).  Maybe, squinting from a distance, if I had on a visor and was holding a tennis racquet.

Anyhoo, Genice grew up sewing and convinced me that I should give it a try.  So, I went out and purchased a $100 Singer sewing machine and a tunic pattern at Joann Fabrics. I got a slinky knit because of the funky print from Vogue Fabrics and I was ready to sew! All the build up was not worth the hype. Turns out, I just didn’t know what I was doing. The slinky knit fabric was too much for me to handle as a novice; and the tunic turned out to be a big flop. I wasn’t ready to give up. I really liked sewing, but knew I could be better at it and get more from it as well. I wasn’t too proud to admit I needed some guidance from a skilled teacher, so I took a few courses at Vogue Fabrics.

I learned the basics and it was enough to keep my interest, but my schedule changed and I wasn’t able to take classes during the day. (I came to the realization that personal training just wasn’t for me; I’d rather work out for myself than try to convince others to exercise when they really didn’t want to do it). So, I sewed on my own for a few years. A good friend of mine referred me to Making It Sew Fun, where I met the owner/ operator, Cherice Taylor. During our first conversation about my previous experience, she asked me if I knew how to do French seams. I told her told her mine were pretty American and showed her one of my Gordon Gartrelles; so that’s where we started.

When she chuckled, I knew she got me. I only took classes for a year, but it was there that she helped me hone my skills on her Janome machines. I fell in love with sewing and came into my own. I could finally be proud to turn my projects inside out. It no longer made me self conscious if someone asked me if I made something because I knew that it looked handmade, not homemade.  Making it Sew Fun is currently on hiatus doing prep work with alterations for a revamped sewing program, but will reopen soon. I will provide an update in the future for those in the Chicago area that are interested.

So that’s a little about me and the inspiration for this blog. Like every great relationship, we have our ups and downs. Sometimes I get frustrated and have to walk away to clear my head, but we always make up for a beautiful outcome. Anything worth having is worth the challenge, right? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. How did you first start sewing? What motivates you to sew or want to start?

Sew Many Projects, Sew Little Time (Top 5 time savers for sewing with an unrelated 9-5)

Sewing is my crack. Actually, if people really knew how many GB of RAM my brain uses for sewing and related creative activities, they’d wonder why I have such a limited wardrobe. My coworkers can probably guess my outfit for the next day because my business casual dress is even more scarce. Oh she’s wearing the navy pixie pants today; it must be Tuesday. This raises the question, if I think about sewing all day, then why do I have sew few clothes?!

The number one answer is TIME!!  While sewing takes up a lot of my mental space, the  amount of time I have to actually sew is limited mainly by two things: 1). my day job and 2). my mini me.  So between my child plotting to take over the world,  managing a career and having some semblance of self care (which includes sewing) and a social life,  I realized I needed to get more organized. I have found the following steps helpful in getting my ideas out of my head and onto my body (or my mini me).

  1. Pick out several patterns at a time. I pick out several projects I want to make in the immediate future and narrow it down to 2-3. This immediate future list is ever changing, so I find that having one at bat, one on deck and one in the hole helps to make my plans more concrete and keeps me focused.
  2. Arrange patterns by degree of difficulty (i.e., number or steps/ time to prep/ notions needed, etc.) I work on easier projects during the week. Those that are more involved, I break up into smaller steps (see steps 3 and 4 below) to work on over the weekend, so it’s more manageable to finish during the week.
  3. Make pattern adjustments and pretreat fabric (if necessary). I usually do this on weekend in case I need to get extra fabric or notions based on whatever changes I need to make to the patterns that I have lined up. (This also helps me to have a plan when going to the fabric store which I will touch on in the future 😜)
  4. Cut and mark fabrics for your chosen patterns. This is also something I try to save for the weekend as this tends to be pretty time consuming (especially when you have to keep the scissors away from the super helpful mini me who is always ready to be of assistance).
  5. Sew! Sew! Sew! Once you’re ready to sew, you’re pretty much done!

 

Image result for sewing gif

These are just a few of the things that have helped me to make the time I do make to sew more productive. I get my creative juices flowing while raising the vig on the wagers in the office wardrobe pool. What do you do to make your sewing time more productive?

Sources:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjbg4Tj34fYAhWDOiYKHX1jCtAQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.creativespotting.com%2F2015%2F03%2Fhappy-friday-adorable-moving-sewing-pattern-gifs%2F&psig=AOvVaw2HO5tB5q4DL3izEa6fcEeu&ust=1513280620886166<<<<<<&lt;