Part-time Perfectionist

There are times where I am knitting/sewing/crafting away at a project and I’ll notice a mistake: A split stitch, a crooked seam, a missed area of paint and I will sometimes let myself think that mistake ruins the whole project.  Surely, if I notice it others will also.  Yes, I am a perfectionist! But that’s not quite something to be proud of. 

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While I was making March 2012’s quilt blocks I tried to get those points and corners to line up and in the end there were a couple that just didn’t line up perfectly.  Do I throw in the towel on the whole project?  Do I spend more time taking it all apart to try to line it up?  In this case, both of these answers should be no.  One small little error does not render a whole project useless.  The inherent function of the block will still be the same.   As crafters/artists/workers/people we should strive to do the best we can, but not at a cost.  Paying attention to detail is a great quality to have, however extreme perfectionism is limiting, inefficient, and most of the time unattainable.

In the future I hope to let my perfectionism drive my need to improve, but not so much so that it hinders my creativity and progress.  I am not a machine.

-Nizzy

Part-time Perfectionist

Thursday’s Three Things

  • So, I’ve figured out the secret to easing the pain of weaving in all of those yarn tails at the end.  Ya ready?   WEAVE IN AS YOU GO.  It’s that simple!  Why didn’t I figure that out sooner?  Somehow I guess weaving in as I go won’t work for this small afghan square.

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  • I finished another two Crafty BOM 2012 quilt blocks.  These two were all about cutting triangles using two different methods.  The first is the  Magic half-square triangle where you create the triangles by sewing around the edges of two layered squares and cutting them open.  In the second, more traditional method you create the triangles by drawing a line on the diagonal of each square, layering two together, sewing a seam on each side and finally cutting down the middle.  I prefered the first method, which seemed to go together much faster, but it was nice to be able to sew a chain of squares together without breaking the thread using the second method.  Anyhow, here are my two finished squares.

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  • I finally got around to purchasing a copy of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Kline.  I cannot wait to dive in!  First, I need to finish the two other books I’ve started and then I’ll let you know what I think!  Have any of you bloggers checked out this book?
Thursday’s Three Things

Giving in to Wearing Dresses

I’m throwing in the towel for a while on trying to find ready-to-wear pants that fit.  A few months ago I went out shopping one day and tried on 17 pairs of jeans!  Different sizes, different brands, different styles, and NONE of them worked for me.  I left that store with my feelings hurt.  To stay positive about the wardrobe thing, I’m going to wear more dresses.  Now, if you don’t already know, dresses aren’t my go to thing.  I love they way they look on the rack and on other people, but I was never a HUGE fan.  Even as a little girl I rolled my eyes when I had to wear one, even though I still cut my eyes with a little envy at the girly girls with their cute dresses.   Funny how things don’t change much sometimes. 

Well, It’s 2013 and I’m going to EMBRACE the dress.  Partly out of necessity and partly because I want to change my look.

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Burda Magazine 5-2007-131

I made a simple dress with shoulder knots (#131)  from Burda Magazine’s 5/2007 issue.   The fabric is knit, but the gold print on greatly reduces the fabric’s stretch.  I made pattern adjustments to account for that, but I ended up taking it all back in plus a little more because it still too large.  I was in love with this fabric when I purchased it years ago, but became lukewarm when I started to manipulate it.  It also has a little sheen to it that I’m not crazy about.

The pattern itself is easy.  The straps are long so you can adjust the fit and cut as you make the dress.  The wide fabric belt gives the dress a little shape at the waist.  I think it looks a little better when it’s bunched up a bit more.

I have to tighten up the straps a little more, maybe take in the belt just a hair, and then check this off as the first (or second) dress of the season.    image

I’m all in! 

But, I still need shoes.

-Nizzy

Giving in to Wearing Dresses

And Before You Know It…

June is basically here!  I had my eye on a particular craft book challenge that involved beading,  but I didn’t get around to it.   My completed project is not contained in a book, but is still part of the stash which is a component of my challenge.

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Simplicity 2501 (View E)  and fabric used is straight out of the collection.   The pattern pieces were a tight fit given the limited amount of this fabric after adjustments.  What was different about this pattern is that it comes with multiple sizes according to your bust cup.  Let me tell you that didn’t mean diddly squat and I still had to do my usual bust adjustments. Oh, how disappointing!

After bust, back, and hip adjustments, I ended up with something I’m fairly pleased with.  I love the ruffle detail even though the print is a little busy and hides it.  I’m not pushing any fashion boundaries with this top, but it’s a start for my summer wardrobe.  I just need a pant or skirt to pair it with.

On a knitting note, I have a total of 9 squares finished for my afghan.  Some aren’t working out so well so I’ve changed a few of the square patterns originally selected.

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I was a little misled by the colors on my monitor.  My two blues don’t coordinate as well as I thought, however there is no stopping it now!  Onward!

-Nizzy

And Before You Know It…

Me? Quilting?

In an earlier post I mentioned my visit to a Babylock sewing club.     Three quarters of the way through the class there was “Show and Tell” segment where everyone in the room got a chance to show off something that they made.  One woman showed a bunch of quilt blocks she put together from the free Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month class.  The fabrics, the colors, and the stitching were beautiful and it inspired me to give it a try.  I’ve never quilted before and don’t have the interest now to call myself a quilter, but I’m going to have fun making the blocks!  I may not even bind it after all the blocks are done.

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The first two blocks employed the slash and sew technique:  sew in a strip between two pieces, slash through your square, and sew in another strip between the two new pieces.  Very easy.  Except when things don’t line up.  I had to redo the seams on the Wonky Pound Sign block because my strips didn’t line up.  The very first block I did (Asterisk) isn’t centered and I’m fighting the urge to completely redo the thing.

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I falling in love all over again with my rotary cutter!

-Nizzy

Me? Quilting?

Sewing Community

Source: http://babylock.com

I upgraded my Kenmore to a Babylock Elizabeth!  Now, I can easily put the buttonholes on that unfinished shirt that’s sitting in my closet.  I don’t want to deal with that buttonhole contraption on my old machine any longer if it’s not an emergency.

The store I purchased it from gives you a free one-year membership to a sewing club so you can work on planned projects with others who have your machine or similar.   This month’s project was a chicken shaped bun warmer and  a bowl cover.

Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 1135
Source: kwiksew.mccalls.com, Kwik Sew 0104

I thought the bun warmer was cute, but my only option was to make the bowl cover since I didn’t buy the other pattern in advance.

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I got to work with iron on vinyl, which I had no idea that such a thing exists.  It’s a very simple project, not very challenging, but the real fun for me was getting to work on my craft with others.    It made me want to be a part of a sewing community even more.

I’m pretty much a solo crafter.   Only few of my friends craft on limited occasions.    I visit and comment on other sewing blogs, forums, etc.,  but I’m not sure I am keeping up with that enough to say I’m officially a part of the online sewing community.   I am just in the early stages of getting together my sewing-related content so I’ve missed out on some meet and greets.   Once my club membership runs out I think it’s time to push the boundaries and branch out to a few local meetups /groups to meet more new folks who share the love for sewing.

What do you do to connect to the sewing/craft community?

-Nizzy

Sewing Community

A Bag in a Bag in a Bag

So instead of wardrobe building, I spent April purely focusing on my Craft Book Challenge craft: The Origami Bag from Amy Butler’s Style Stitches.

You know how you put small objects in a larger bag and they always seem to fall to bottom corners so you end up digging and digging or dumping the entire contents just to find the darn thing?  Yeah, I was in desperate need of something to solve this problem.

When I take my earrings off before my workout I can throw them in one of these bags and easily retrieve them without a hassle.  I can use the larger ones for toiletries, intimates, electronics, etc.  These bags come in 6 different sizes (extra-small, mini, small, medium, large, extra-large) so there is a size for just about everything.

Because I wanted to use up a little more fabric in the stash I even made a second set which I have hopes to offload to someone in need (or want!) of some catch-all bags.

I still have a few more to complete, but I am so ready to get back to more sewing for the wardrobe.

-Nizzy

A Bag in a Bag in a Bag

Hoodies!

I LOVE Hoodies!  If I could have one in every color I would.  There really isn’t anything that spectacular about them other than I’m always cold so they come in handy.

Source: http://mccallpattern.mccall.com/m4261-products-1839.php?page_id=118

A while back I purchased enough sweat suit material to make both the pants and jacket from McCalls 4261.     I made the pants  years ago and the remaining material was recently rediscovered in the stash.  Since I am in “fabric-stash busting mode” this year, it was this fabric’s turn to get used up.

Unfortunately, after resizing the pieces I found that I did not have enough material to make long sleeves.   I solved that problem by cutting them shorter and adjusting the cuffs to fit my bicep.  I also couldn’t find a matching zipper so I used a neutral.  Problems galore, right?

The pattern instructions wanted me to leave the pocket edges and the shoulder piece edges raw and I didn’t want that look so I just top-stitched all the seams on the inside.  Everything else worked out well.  I just wished I cut down some of the seam at the cuff so it’s not so bulky on the inside.

As a bonus, I made the yoga bag.  I haven’t been to yoga in quite some time, but I’d love to take some classes again.  Now, I won’t have hand carry my mat anymore!

-Nizzy

Hoodies!

What’s in My Bag

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One of my favorite store finds is this tote.  The company has (not sure if they are still available) three different sizes and I use the medium for most of my sewing tools.

Everything you see here, displayed in “Things Arranged (semi) Neatly Style” is packed into this tote.  I apparently have a fetish for sharp pointy objects as there are lots of scissors! And rulers.  And French curves, but I’m not crazy about those things.   I really just like tools and little notions in general.

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Well, I DO love scissors and always want a new pair every time I walk past them in the store.  Only a few pairs I use exclusively for cutting fabric and you will see me wince if I catch them cutting paper or some other thing.

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I’ve always wanted a pair of those shiny, sleek, and heavy dressmaking shears.  Got ’em!   Only cut a small piece of fabric with them and I am in love with them already.  Time to hurry up and pick the next project so I can make some serious cuts.

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What’s in your bag?

-Nizzy

What’s in My Bag

CM has been nominated for the Liebster Award!

Threadtheory has nominated this blog for the Liebster Award.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  I graciously accept.

I truly appreciate all of you who take the time out to visit my little corner of the web whether it’s to browse, comment, encourage, or offer input.  As part of acceptance there are some great questions I have to answer, so here goes!

1. If you could choose anything (absolutely anything!) as a career, what would it be?

I think I would choose photographer as a career.  Not because I am completely competent and confident behind the camera, but because I really enjoy the process of trying to ‘see’ and capture the moment.  I’ve done a few photography shoots (maternity and couples) and although they were a little nerve wrecking I had so much fun at the same time.

2. What garment would you most like to add to your wardrobe?

More pants.  And in particular I want so badly a pair of those black and white two toned pants that are now popular.

3.  Where do you like to shop for fabric?

Everywhere!  Online, Joann’s, local fabric stores…I’m a fabric junkie.  If you saw the stash you would know.  And I’m so plotting a Mood visit one of these days.

4. What movie most inspires you to sew?

I had to think about this.  I remember being in love with the costuming in Gladiator, but I can’t think of anything more recent than that.

5. What are three key things that you would add to your dream sewing studio?

A counter height cutting tablefabric storage closet, and one of those fancy extra padded dressform that’s exactly my size.

6. Are you a PDF or a paper pattern person?  Why do you prefer one over the other?

Paper pattern.  I’ve never printed a pdf pattern before.  It sounds like I would have to tape too many pieces of paper together.  Not fun.

7.  Other than sewing, what most preoccupies your time?

Other than sewing (or my other crafty hobbies), COOKING.  I like it most of the time and I’m trying to cut down on dining out.

8. What type of garment interests you the most as a sewing project: Something that highlights an unusual fabric or something with a basic fabric and unusual details?

I love unusual details: ruffles, gathers, pleats, godets, odd draping, etc.  I love fabric manipulation.  I hope to incorporate more of that in my projects.

9. Do you have sewing buddies?  If so, who/what are they (friends – in person/online, pets, family)?

My best friend’s sister went to school for fashion merchandising and she loves to create her own designs.  Every now and again we get together and pull a late night sewing session.  I am still looking to meet up with others who enjoy sewing/fabric shopping as much as I do.

10.  Do you have sewers in your family history?  What type of projects did they mostly sew?

My grandmother and great-grandmother had sewing machines, but I never saw them sew anything.

11. If you could pick any new subject to spend a year learning, what would it be?

First thought: Japanese!  I’d really like to speak another language fluently.  For a while I was self-teaching Spanish, but I didn’t keep up with it regularly.

The questions were a lot of fun to answer!

I hate to stop the chain, but I don’t have any sewing blogs with few followers to nominate for this award.  The last few blogs that I started to follow have tons of followers and have been around for a while.  However, everyone loves a little blog traffic anyway so I will leave you with my most recent finds:

You Sew Girl

Sew My Time

Dresses and Me

Enjoy!

-Nizzy

CM has been nominated for the Liebster Award!