Letting Go-It’s So Hard To Do…

I have been absent from blogging for about 2 months now.  Seems to be an epidemic with me lately.  I have been distracted from many things lately.  Mostly life.  I might be there in body, but the soul?  Well…. it’s thinking about other things, and wondering where all the time went.

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Kenny after his bath 1996

You see, my oldest of 2 children is headed off to college.  This is truly something to be celebrated, as there were other paths he could have taken and this by far was the one that all parents hope for.  Not only is Kenny going to college, but he is headed to the college that both Jim and I graduated from.  A really nice nod for a kid to give his parents.  It does make you proud.  The one thing that is hard to swallow is that he is 2300 miles away from home.  Far away from Marin County, really really far away.  Three time zones and a whole other climate away.  It’s good though, it’s all good (I say this over and over again while rocking back and forth).  Only kidding, I’m not that bad…… yet.  I have been known to spontaneously burst out into tears, though.  I know there are other moms out there just like me, feeling the same way I do.  Right?!

I guess you could say I am somewhat in mourning.  I call it “mourning” because it is a type of  loss.  Please, stay with me here and let me explain.  I do tend to over-exaggerate.  I think anytime your child hits a benchmark, you are both proud and sad.  Think of the first day your child goes to Kindergarten, you are so proud, but you are crying, right?  Life is changing, he is on his way to his grade school years…. your family dynamic is changing.  Right?!  It’s exciting- but that little baby that needed you for everything doesn’t need you as much.

Well, with Kenny leaving for this new chapter of his life, our family that was once a family of 4 is now 3.  I know Kenny is still our child, but the next time he comes home (Christmas Vacation) he will be his own person (he will think he can do whatever he wants under our roof, which is not how it will work), and it will be very different for us to parent him.

photo 4-41On our way to the airport to take Kenny to MSU 

Fast forward to a few weeks later.  Kenny was dropped off to Michigan State University.  We (Jim, Will and I) took him there on Sunday the 24th of August.  We spent the day moving him into his 12′ x 12′ room, unloading all of his belongings and searching for a futon at any shop nearby that happened to have one left, for any price.  The difference between boys and girls, is more pronounced and evident with this experience.  In my opinion anyway….. The girls decorate their rooms and make their beds, adding throw pillows that in the end are pretty and inspiring, while the boys (especially my son) throw their beds together and call it a day.  I went to great lengths, to make sure that his bedding and hamper matched the huge brown carpet that I spent hours searching for on the internet.  Choosing just the right one, that wasn’t feminine at all.

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Kenny “making” his bed with his roommate Matt

I spent weeks, crafting a quilt, a one of a kind quilt, that in the end was tossed up on his bunk like a bunch of dirty laundry. And, although these things came together, and made me feel sad, the hardest moment was that last hug….. the last embrace.  My son, now a young man doesn’t need me in the way he used to and was ready to let me go.  We spent the last 17 years preparing for this very moment.  It’s not like we didn’t see it coming or even that it wasn’t something we fully supported. That’s what good parenting is, I guess.  If your kid is able to leave the nest and feel confident, safe and equipped to handle what life throws his way…. then you have done pretty well. He has his “tools” now it’s time for him to “build” something.

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I free motioned part of the MSU fight song around the border.  

Here is Kenny’s one of a kind quilt.  The quilt pattern  (referred to as the water waves quilt) was a pattern that I got from Must Love Quilts.  It’s a fast and easy quilt.  And for Kenny, it was more on the masculine side.   Green and white fabrics were a great choice for Kenny since these are MSU colors.  photo 5-28

 Here, Kenny is telling me to “hurry up and take the picture”.

I did a stippling free-motion for the quilting on this quilt. Super fun to do!

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There is  camo binding around the entire quilt.  

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My favorite part.  The back with a Spartan, surrounded by MSU fabrics.

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These are wonky cut 1/2 square triangles.  I was going to do the whole quilt out of these, so glad that I didn’t.  I had a very hard time finding the licensed MSU fabric on-line.  I stocked up when I visited Michigan!  I am all set for the next Michigan State University project.

So, as for now it has been a week since Kenny started his new adventure, and us, ours.   Today has been hard, but like so many mother’s before me, I will get through it and it will all be okay.  Perhaps a cupcake would make me feel better.   It couldn’t hurt, right?

Thanks for stopping by.  Until next time, keep creating!

Hanging with Doris Day – A Dream Come True!

Actually It is a dream, but it didn’t come true- at least not in real life.

I entered another Burdastyle Sewing Challenge. The Burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern Contest.  The idea of this challenge was to use the NEW burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern book as the starting point for your actual garment entry.  I chose the Jamie Dress, which is a 60’s basic shift dress.

 I liked the clean lines, and felt that I could really jazz that “Jamie” up.  This seemed to be the most popular choice for all the contestants, so that may have been my first mistake?  I don’t know-

I traced the pattern to some brown craft paper and then added the 5/8″ seam allowance and from there I sketched many sketches.  burdastyleshift2

I chose existing fabric from my stash.  I was pretty happy about that.  Both these fabrics were purchased from Joann Fabrics weeks prior.

It probably didn’t help any that I may have added too many details (my second mistake?).  The neckline has a placard detail, I added small flap pockets on the hips, surface cording and button details were also added.

Admittedly there is a lot happening with this dress and to this dress.

Front Views

Image Back Views

burdastyledress1I was happy with how it turned out.  I haven’t decided if I will actually wear it.

The best part my garment entry was my photo shoot.  One of the requirements for the contestants, was that they were to not only sew up a great garment, but they also were supposed to make the photographs interesting.  So this is where I believed I shined!!!

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Feast your eyes!  Yes!  That is me hanging out in Doris’ 1960’s kitchen.  She is also holding the Burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern Book.  My brilliant son Kenny photoshopped this for me-  Isn’t it awesome!  It almost seems real!

There were some pretty soured people who entered the challenge.  I was surely disappointed with the admissions process, there were some glitches.  I do need to remind myself, that even though it would have been great to have won, the process of creating this dress, and the photograph that I now possess MAKE ME VERY HAPPY!!!

By now I am sure you have discerned that I didn’t make the cut from 80 contestants to the 20 that the burdastyle public then were able to choose from.  No worries!

It is a shame, that folks can’t just keep negative comments to themselves and congratulate the very deserving winners!  Here they are!

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The Grand Prize goes to Community Choice Winner, with 557 votes, Elochka for her Scala Dress.  Her dress is on the above right.

AND

The BurdaStyle Community Choice Runner-Up, with 455 votes, goes to Gurda8 for her Dream Date Dress on the above left.

The BurdaStyle Favorite goes to jon994 for her Springtime Fun and Couture Dress
in the photos below.

 
Anyway that’s the skinny!  Please enter to win my give-away, because that makes me happy also!!!

To The Max!

You see Maxi dresses everywhere this season.  It seems as though summer brings out the fashionista in most of us.  Me, not so much.  Usually less is more for me.  These hot and humid days bode well for any kind of fabric that doesn’t stick or bind and jersey seems to be the top choice for most of us.  I always admire those that can wear a maxi dress.  Those lucky gals that have “legs for days” always look so sophisticated in a long dress or skirt.  I find though, that even us petite gals can wear this look as well!

While browsing Joann Fabric’s the other day, I ran across this really pretty tie-dyed cotton jersey.  Its long stripes of tie dyed colors reminded me of summers here on the Cape and I just had to have it.  Do you ever do that?  Buy a fabric because you fell in love with it, but have absolutely no idea what you would do with it?  I know you do!  We all do!

Looking at it brought me joy, but I wanted to wear it as well.   I am not very competent at working with jersey.  It seems to get the best of me.  I have read many blogs out there explaining exactly how to work jersey, but I think that reading about it and actually sewing with it is a totally different story!  You have to practice!!

I have a couple of items in my wardrobe that are made of jersey.  These store-bought items are a good “go to” for a hot summer day.  I really do enjoy wearing them so it was time for me to do my own interpretation of these items.  I used an Eddie Bauer jersey top for my inspiration, and for my pattern.

 It boasts an empire bodice with a criss-cross neckline.  Easy enough I thought.

 I drew up my patterns on some muslin (using a pencil) following the lines of my jersey top for the front and back.   I traced over the pencil drawn lines with a blue fabric marker straightening up my lines with a ruler, remembering to also include 5/8″ seam allowance.

I changed the back on the dress, when I cut it out, making it one piece.  I think the fit came out much better than it would have if I had done it in two pieces.

The Result.

What do you think?  I cut 4 front pieces and 2 back pieces.  This way I did the bodice double-sided so it had some body.  I wasn’t sure what to use for interfacing, so this is how I solved that problem.

Just a quick check to see if I am appropriately covered up!  whew!  It’s all okay here!

I used 1/2″ elastic for the empire waist on my jersey dress.  It pulled everything in nice and tidy!  🙂  As for the dress skirt.  I took the width of the fabric cut it in half and used these for the length of my skirt, creating 2 seams, one on each side of the dress.  I wanted the lines to be vertical and this was the only way to do this. I created a chamber for my elastic in the skirt bottom and then I eased the top portion of the dress with the elasticized skirt.

  And now for the back view.

All and all, I think this was a success.  Next time I will use a double needle in my machine and I will also make the straps more narrow.  I am surely going to wear this one.  I might be making another!

Have a lovely day!