Sunday, February 20, 2011

Candy Stripes and 'News'

For those of you that follow this blog and do not know me personally, this is to let you know what I may not be posting a terrible amount in the next month. The very short story is Mom is in hospice care.

Its ironic that the dress I just finished for my daughter to go with the petticoat Mom made for her happens to look like something a Candy Striper would wear. I'm sorry I don't have pictures, I just didn't have the heart.

And I really don't need another sewing machine...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blogus Interruptus

Its amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired. - Robert Heinlein
For various and sundry reasons I have not gotten a stitch of sewing done. I swore off blogging about personal affairs some years ago, so we'll just suffice with the quote. I'm tired. Its been a long day. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sew Not in Pain

I've debated making this post for a while, but for some reason I feel the need to talk about it. So I'm posting it from my "edits" folder. This will talk about sewing, but not until after you've had a biology lesson(well not really).

I ruptured a disk in my lower back five years ago*. Not bulging, not a pinched nerve, but an actual rupturing of the hard shell of the disk to the point where the crab-meat like substance in the middle squirted out and lodged itself in a manner that irritated the actual nerve bundle. Walking was excruciating, and it took two and a half years of doctors, physical therapy, and finally an MRI to finally decide to have surgery. It helped immensely. But it was still another two and a half years of physical therapy and slowly, surely, losing all the weight I had put on during the ordeal before I was finally to a point I can now go day to day without narcotics. They treat it like a bad case of arthritis.

What does this have to do with sewing? Well, if anyone is serious about making clothes for themselves they have to come to terms with their own body. You can't lie about your size, your shape, you must embrace it. And when I finally did and came to terms that I am what I am, it gave me the impetus and courage to work through daily pain and start exercising again. It was, and mostly is, walking. I also take pilates classes at my gym. That's what the doc said "Core strengthening and cardio". I'm down 25 pounds, possibly even 30 as I didn't weigh myself for the longest time and it has made an amazing difference. Every pound of weight puts something like 2-5 pounds of pressure on your spine. That pressure being gone makes a big difference.

There are days I become so engrossed in a project that I forget to take the breaks I need to stretch and adjust for my back. I pay for it the next day quite heavily sometimes. Still, it has become a craft that I truly believe has helped me come to terms with how this has changed my life and how I approach it. It is something I can do and have an end result with little (most of the time) pain in the back. There's a certain satisfied feeling of accomplishment that one doesn't get on a regular basis in my field of work.

I'm still working toward an end goal of 170 pounds. That's what the doctors told me would be both healthy and achievable. Its hard, but the goal is for me not to be in as much pain, NOT so I can be skinny. I never was skinny, I never will be. And thanks to so many wonderful Sewing Bloggers out there I've decided that's OK.

The biggest realization in my change of attitude? Going to a boutique at the mall and everything was for a size 10 and under. Did I think "OMG I need to lose weight" or "I wish I was skinny"? NO! I thought "These clothes should be made to fit me". I call that a triumph in my book.

How has sewing changed your body image? Has it affected your life in a positive way?

Stay Fabulous!

(I'm on Day 3 of four 12 hour shifts. I keep looking at my patterns and fabrics longingly for the few quite minute I get before bed. Soon... soon...)

*The actual manner of how I was injured is not something I can discuss in a public forum for legal reasons.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Shanghai'd (warning: rant inside)

So I WAS going to have a post up of my daughter being cute in a fluffy dress. Hair in braids, all dolled up and such. But all I have is the above cell phone photo in bad lighting of the finished top. Why?

Cause my dear husband is the master of observation, that's why. He and the roommate are over at a friends house for hours of Dungeons and Dragons and he arranged for my mother-in-law to take the kids so I could get some things done without them underfoot. The subject of 'clothes for church' came up and I said she could wear the outfit if I could get it done in time.

Which I didn't. Even though I couldn't sleep well last night, maybe not till 2am, I stopped sewing at midnight. I was making all sorts of dumb mistakes because I was tired and my back was acting up(I've learned that lesson the hard way). When I got up this morning and started on the waistband I couldn't find the skirt, or the blouse ANYWHERE. I freaked. I woke him up from his nap in a tizzy(in his defense, he DID get up with them this morning and get them to TaiKwonDo. He is very good about these things). In hindsight I could have handled that better. My temper got the better of me*.

Apparently he gave the whole outfit, unfinished, to his Mom for Felicity to wear. Hear that? That's the sound of me pounding my head on my desk. I love my husband but when it comes to clothes and dressing he might as well be Einstein. Brilliant at math, wears (and owns multiples of) the same thing every day so he doesn't have to worry about matching clothes. Ok, maybe not that bad but I feel entitled to a little ranting here. Also, I'd like to point out that when you've been with someone for 14 years it seems to be the little things that make you have stupid arguments**. Either you've worked out how to solve the big problems by now or you wouldn't be together still.

I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to post in the next week as I'm working four 12 hour days. I'm fairly wiped out after that and it takes a day to recover.

*I fully admit to having a stereotypical red-headed temper. I like to be honest about my crazy.

**According to our friends we don't even really argue. More like we just have momentary lapses of communication and my red-headed temper flairs up and then he logics his way out of it. Or just says "yes dear". My inward response to these two things is to want to stamp my foot, cross my arms and stick my tongue out at him with a healthy dose of THHBTTBTTBTTHHH.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

All The Frills

For Christmas my Mom (whom I talk about a lot here) made my daughter what she calls a "can-can". Which is to say its a full underskirt of peach colored batiste and lots and lots of tulle! Felicity made me promise to make her something to go with it. I don't make promises to the kids often because I firmly believe one should never set expectations for young children and then not carry through on them (which is why we are getting a couple small furry rodent like things in the future... Felicity pulled out her 'little girl Jedi mind trick' on my husband. *SIGHS*).

I decided to dig through my stash. It has honestly gotten too big at this point and I am very steadfastly trying to USE UP and MAKE things from my stash for the next three or four months. I had (have) about five yards of this red linen blend and a little over a yard of a red/white striped seersucker. Woven, not dyed. I'm pretty sure the seersucker I stole from my Mother's stash some time ago.

I've already cut out the circle skirt out of red linen. My math was a little off and so its not quite long enough to cover the petticoat, but I think that's OK. I went digging through my stash for some lace and other trim that would go with it, but I really couldn't find anything. So I headed down to Gail K's and found the perfect red heart lace! I also picked up some red cotton bias tape for binding the blouse armholes and some horse-hair braid for a circle skirt (and petticoat) I want to make for myself. And given the color scheme I think this might make a perfect Valentines Dress for Felicity.