Monday, December 31, 2007

Gotta start somewhere

Not sewing-related at all, but I just registered for an aerobics class at a local community college. I find that I'm more compelled to do things when I know I'm getting a grade for them. This is the same place I took aerobics, gym, and ceramics classes after college (to stave off the boredom and uselessness of coming home after a day at work and having nothing to do but watch tv since all my friends were back on the east coast, where I went to college). Maybe the "good vibes" from back then will return and I'll once again be lithe. Hmmph. We'll see if I'm still feeling as optimistic after Monday night's class. Either way, it's a step in the right direction.

11:14pm edited to add: Oh dear! Just looked at the schedule - the class started TODAY. What the??? I guess I'll be hauling myself over there on Wednesday. (Darn, thought I was home free till next Monday... ah well, let's get it over with.)

My camera died,

but on a lighter note, happy new year! 2007 went by so fast! I'm kind of glad it's over, because it's a year that started with lots of stress and things crashing or not working as expected (both at home and at work). So, here's to a new, smoother-running year.

So, like I said, my camera died. It simply konked out. I pulled it out to take a picture of my hubby holding our adorable neice on Christmas day, and it wouldn't turn on - this after recharging the battery. Unfortunately, this also means I can't rescue all the pictures I have on the card, because of course (just my usual strange luck), Olympus decided to use the non-standard xD card in it's cameras, and all of the devices accessible to me only accept SD cards. Bummer.

I had wanted to take pictures of the yummy chin chin I made (might make more tomorrow - if I do, I'll definitely save some for you, Krazy Krafter!). Now it's all gone - sent most of it to my sis-in-law who requested it, gave some to my brother, and ate the rest in two days flat. Yum yum.
I also wanted to take pics of the fabric I picked up last weekend. Ah well. (Oh wow, firefox just crashed on me - I'm glad blogger saves drafts... Seems like 2007 is trying to wreak as much havoc as it can before it gives way to 2008, eh?)

So, resolutions? Not fond of them. I just want to sew more. Of course, since graduating college, the whole weight loss resolution has hung around - but that's not a New Years thing, it's an all the time thing. I was going through my clothing this past weekend to donate what I don't wear to the Salvation army and stumbled across two bags full of clothing that gave me a reality check.

These weren't just bags of any clothing, mind you. These were clothes that were brought by my parents when they visited a couple of years ago. Clothes that were tailored TO MY MEASUREMENTS in Nigeria. Most of them were slightly tight back then, because between the time the clothes were "commissioned" and my parent's trip, I had managed to gain about 10 pounds. The ones that weren't tight were too large. Needless to say, those clothes had been forgotten until now - 30 more pounds later - and the "too big" ones are also tight.

I was good at first, trying some items on and then refolding them for donation ("some tall lady will be glad to have brand new - never worn clothes"). With each new skirt, top, jacket and dress that I folded, I began to feel agitated. These were all FULLY LINED clothes that would take me ages to reconstruct. They had been made specifically for me and never been worn. There was no duplicate. The printed fabric definitely didn't exist anymore. I refolded work-perfect skirt after skirt (especially agonizing since I can't seem to perfect the fit on my straight skirt pattern - talk less of lining). Got to some gorgeous summer dresses with border prints. Refolded three of them. Pulled out some more...

Then I gave up. I can't get rid of those. I can't. I almost fit into them 3 years ago. i never got to wear them, and they were made for my (long-legged, long-armed, bootylicious) body in particular. Nothing has changed drastically in my life since then. I haven't had any kids, no medical issues that make me gain weight - nothing. There is no reason why I shouldn't strive towards fitting into them again - at least for one more year. No, I'm definitely not going to halt sewing until then. I need clothes that fit my body NOW, that's for sure. When I met my hubby in my gym class, I could have fit into those clothes. Maybe I should take another gym/pe class since I probably won't be taking a sewing one this spring? Either way, I now have a goal to work towards, God help me!

Yikes, that was quiet a long post - and with no pictures to break it up (darned camera). I'll quit while I still have some energy left.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas and all (aka "Still not sewing")

Christmas Eve. I'm at work. Got all my gifts (and giftcards) ready, but still haven't made the most time-consuming gift. No, I'm not sewing for anyone. My SIL asked for a Nigerian "snack" called Chin-Chin. I have all the ingredients, and it's certainly not complicated to make. It's basically dough that's kneaded and then rolled out and cut then deep fried. My mom always made hers in a twisted 8 shape though (more time consuming) so I always do about half of those and half of the regular square/rectangle/diamond ones. However, after wrapping gifts yesterday I ended up doing dishes that had been in the sink for er... a few days... and then making dinner (whaaat? yah, I cooked). Then no time left since I had to come to work today.
The nice thing about being at work the day before a holiday is that we're usually allowed to leave early(and traffic's great! I got to work in 30 mins today!!). So I'm out of here at 2. Then I have to go get my MIL and FIL and take them to my place to pick up my DH and then off to Riverside for Christmas eve dinner. I thought it odd at first that their family congregates on Christmas eve rather than Christmas day, but now am glad for that cultural difference b/c it means we get to spend time with both families without time conflicts. Okay. I'm boring myself. That means time to get back to work. Later. Have a great Christmas!
(yes, I know, I still haven't sewed a stitch. Got some more fabric tho - pics later!)

Hmmm... looks like everyone's getting in on the top model reality show theme. Even my motherland --> Nigeria's next top model
** Updated 12:08pm - Apparently it's not a show, it's a "competition". Not sure if that means it's a non-TV thing. Hmm...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My first dress

No, I can't wear it. Unless I lose about 75 pounds and have plastic surgery to change my body type. Not happening. Anyway, it's my first dress and it was from one of the many drapes we did for class. We had to create a garment using something we'd learned in class. However, we had to use bandanas and/or remnant fabric. I used both, as you'll see. I fell in love with the mid-neck dart the first time I saw it, so I knew I'd be using that. With time running out, I ended up with just a basic straight skirt. It's not perfect by any means, but I feel so proud of myself!! It was also the first time I used piping, and the first time I underlined a garment (with bandana fabric). In reality you don't notice the bandana fabric under the sheer fabric of the skirt. However, the camera flash makes it much more obvious. I have a seam down the center front and also had to make the bottom of the back from another colorway of the sheer fabric bc the scraps I had were too small. Well, here it is.
I'm definitely not a designer (nor do I want to become one). I just would like to get really good at sewing basic silhouttes. Nothing too fancy for me - I just want clothes that finally fit me. So... I need to get sewing, nah? What am I doing at the computer!! I should be tracing my next creation!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Last night was my last draping class for the semester. My dress wasn't perfect. It certainly wasn't properly finished on the inside, and it had armhole gaposis due to something my teacher described as not taking out a wedge of fabric where the grain is on the bias around the armhole. Apparently this is something that happens with sleeveless garments.
Where are the pictures, you ask? They're on my camera. Which is in my purse. However, I forgot my cord at home, so was not able to upload the pictures when I came in early this morning. So, next post I'll have pictures of my dress for class.
I'm so looking forward to having my evenings to myself again. I have to decide what my next project will be - the jacket that discouraged me in the smaller size? The skirt that continues to defy me? Or a new top pattern? I really, really need jackets in my wardrobe because I currently have 0. This is due to the fact that jacket arms are NEVER long enough for me. So maybe that's what I'll pick up again.
Now, back to work.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alas, another couple of weeks have gone by. I finished my very frustrating skirt (what am I going to do about my darling rear? I love it, but it makes sewing clothes so difficult). It was also made frustrating because I have a protruding rear end, but am not particularly curvy in the hip area.
I'm waiting for my draping class to be over so I can concentrate on sewing. That's one thing I definitely missed this semester - sewing in class. We only have to sew our final project, which I spent Saturday working on. I made my first dress! I was/am so proud of myself. I was lazy and left all the inner seams unfinished (plus it's due too soon - this week) but I tried a few things I've never done before - like adding piping. I've been gaga over piping for a loooong time, and want to make lots of my clothes using it as an accent (once I can get some TNT patterns) I'm going to try to take a picture of it on the dress form at school tomorrow.
Now, why can't I get an exact body double and do away with patterns and just drape all my clothes? I so wish I could. Anyway, sorry, not much interesting here today - just had to say something (and give an excuse for why I'm not fervently sewing).