Category Archives: Sewing

My Mother; The Blogging “Expert”

Acquiring blog readers is hard.  Simple as that.  At times, the vast technological universe that many of us partake in can make it difficult to attract those that are the target audience you are searching for.  However, that involves you actively trying to attract an audience.  When I started this blog back in January of 2011 it was for me to share experiences that were taking place at work, at home and within my day-to-day structure.  I’ve blogged about my divorce, my job changes, working with other managers, fashion, sewing, dating, dancing, running and living with Fibromyalgia just to name a few of the most popular topics.

I started the blog as a way for me to get things off my chest that I wasn’t able to openly talk about until people started mentioning my blog.  Placing links to my blog on my personal Facebook was a way for me to share with my friends and family what I was going though.  During my marriage I lost touch with many people and have been trying to rebuild those relationships ever since.  I thought that maybe if people had an opportunity to see all the pandemonium that was going on in my brain they would understand what had been going on when we lost touch.

Outside of my circle of friends it never occurred to me that there might be others out there that are interested in hearing about my sewing projects or management techniques.  Who knew that my stories of being a 21st Century Gal would be that interesting to others?  Oh yes, that’s right…my mother!  Even at 29 it is still hard to admit that my mother is almost always right.  See what I did there with the “almost” part?  I’m sure there is something out there she might not be right about; such as biomechanical engineering or space travel.

It was my mother who started blogging before me and has shared her tips and tricks, so I guess I haven’t acquired these readers all on my own.  I might make management sound amusing, but you should see what my mom can do with the topic of cancer.  Never thought I could be laughing about cancer, but that’s how things work under her roof.  Anything and everything has the potential of being funny.  I’ll tell you what, it is rough knowing that as a teenager but quite amusing when you finally grow up and realize your parents aren’t as uncool as you once thought.

Thanks mom for sharing yet another life lesson with me.  Check out her blog, The World According to Alexandra, if you’re looking for a good laugh.  She even makes bodily functions funny instead of shamefully disgusting.  Thank you to my readers who stop back regularly.  For those of you who are just lurkers I invite you to subscribe to my blog and stick around for a bit.  There are some big changes on the horizon and I can be you won’t want to miss out on them.

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Filed under Blogging, Culture, Dance, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Friends, Parenting, Sewing, Taking Charge of One's Health

The Liebster Award

I have to take a moment today and extend a very generous thank you to Ginger Ray of DailyLifeWithFibromyalgia for nominating me for the Liebster Award!

“This award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers, as a way to encourage them, as well as spread love around the community.  It also shares appreciation for fellow bloggers and the wonderful work they do.”

I can’t express my gratitude enough to Ginger Ray for considering me for something like this.  I started this blog as I was tackling a difficult time in my life and I am moved that others have found the topics I touch on to be entertaining and / or informative.

I tend to tackle everything from relationships, to management techniques, to running and now sewing.  I’ve got a very broad range of experiences and interests and I think my blog is a shining example of that.  I greatly appreciate the support of my fellow bloggers that I have received over the last year and half of my blogging journey.  In an effort to spread the wealth I wish to nominate the following 5 blogs for the Liebster Award as well:

The World According to Alexandra

Growing Up Senge

Have You Met Ken?

Under The Tea Cozy

The Dancing Runner

Congratulations everyone and keep up the good work!

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Filed under Culture, Dating, Fashion, Female Management Skills, Sewing

Bring On The Water Works!

Summer in Florida always makes me feel like the Wicked Witch of the West. “I’m melting…melting!” I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with my boyfriend recently playing in the theme parks like a tourist. It’s been nice to catch some of the evening concerts over at Epcot and enjoy strolling around the Magic Kingdom seeing some of the really obscure attractions that most people over look. Before each trip I have lacquered myself in sunscreen as I burn so easily, but I just can’t bear to cover everything up in multiple layers when it’s so sticky and humid outside.

There are several wet attractions that I tend to stay away from as I don’t enjoy walking around with soggy bottoms for a whole afternoon. However, I think I just found the perfect solution in the most recent Victoria’s Secret catalog. This is going to be my next summer clothing project! I think I can cut it so that it is a bit more conservative and it would be light, airy and perfect for me to tackle the wet attractions in.

I did really want to make some more flowy summer dresses, but I think I’ll take this project on first. I’ve really had fun working on projects that don’t have patterns. It’s more of a challenge for me to work this way and it makes completing the clothing feel like a huge accomplishment. Maybe it’s best if I just continue on catalogue surfing and picking each project that way. It’s saving me a ton of money and yet I’m still staying current with styles for a change. I’ve been known to still own some clothing that I wore in high school, so needless to say I’m not generally considered to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

Diving back into sewing has opened up a whole new door of endless possibilities for me. I might finally be able to have some of the items I’ve seen in windows and knew there was no way I would be able to afford them. With saving for the house purchase I’ve tried really hard to curb my shopping as much as possible this year. I never head out unless there is a coupon in hand for something I might even be considering. That includes fabric shopping, of course, so now I don’t feel so bad buying some bits of fabric here and there for a few small projects.

I think it’s clear that I’m getting plenty of use out of my first infinity dress as I’ve worn it at least six times that I can think of off the top of my head and only paid $16.50 for all the materials to make it. That’s made the dress cost $2.75 each time I’ve worn it so far so I think I will more than get my money’s worth out of it. Next on my list is some kind of a light summer shorts jumper. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to pass them along and I’ll check them out!

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Filed under Fashion, Sewing

Those Were The Days

After a rather rough day at work recently I called my mom on the way home and as soon as she picked up the phone I blurted out something similar to the following:  “Remember when my most challenging decision of the day was whether to eat the cinnamon pop tart or the smores pop tart?  Ya, I miss those days?”  Mom just laughed and told me it would all be alright.

I do miss those days.  In retrospect I now realize how things were so simple.  Now I face decisions that are much more stressful and can throw my whole world for a loop.  In March we started looking at homes to purchase.  Oh, now that’s stressful!  I’ve never had problems saying yes to a rental, but a home for purchase is a whole different story.  Then there is the daily stress of work and the stress of trying to keep up with friends as our schedules all keep getting busier.

ImageRunning is nice and peaceful, but I’ll admit that even that causes some stress in my life.  When I think about how much time I’ll need to run a few days a week then I realize how that is time that I’m not spending cleaning the house, cooking dinner or making sure Coda is getting attention.  Things were easier when decisions revolved around overly sugared breakfast choices and I’m not ashamed to admit I wish that it could all be that easy again.

I’ve let myself keep getting sucked back into a stressful state and it’s time to do something about it.  I can’t do anything about how long the home buying process will take, so it’s time to stop worrying about it.  We’ll get the house if it is meant to be or we won’t and we’ll go back to looking.  I’m putting everything in the hands of fate.  I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, so now it is time to stop worrying about what happens before I lose my sanity.

Instead I’m going to take on some more peaceful DIY crafting projects to distract myself.  With the coupons I used on my last projects I paid only about a third of what I would have paid to buy the dresses.  That seems totally worth the time and effort to me.  Looks like it is time to search the pattern catalogs to see what will be my next targeted creation.  The infinity dress was so easy I feel like nothing can stop me now.  That was the perfect project to get me back into the swing of things.  I’ll post pictures soon of the second dress I wore just recently to a more formal function.

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Threading The Needle of Family Traditions

Family traditions can be hard to continue on as so many things change from generation to generation.  From as far back as I can remember my grandmother has been stockpiling fabric for her amazing sewing projects.  When I was young I used to watch my mom and grandma work together on creating me a new wardrobe for school or dance wear for all of my classes.  It was always fun to go to the fabric store and get to pick out what kind of Lycra I wanted my leotard’s made out of for that year.  Little did I know at the time that many years later I would still have some of those dance wear pieces since they were made with such attention to detail.

As a child I took sewing lessons at the fabric store and then continued to learn more by working on projects at home with mom and grandma.  Earlier this year I was passed down my very own sewing machine for the first time.  It didn’t take me more than a few weeks to decide to tackle my first project.  It’s been more than a decade since I had sewn anything, but you just don’t forget the basics.  It’s a bit like riding a bike.  I took on a very easy project as a start to get my feet wet again.

I LOVE the look of those infinity (multi-way) dresses, but I don’t like the fact that they cost between $65.00 – $85.00 before tax to get them from most retail stores.  I found a few on Etsy that I had thought about considering, but they were just barely cheaper than the retail price.  After a little online research, my mom and I had a loose set of directions to wing it by.  Without a pattern I took on my first dress with none of the proper tools of the trade and managed to pull it together.  Without pins, weights, a pattern or even a cutting board I managed to turn a pile of fabric into my new favorite dress for only $16.00.

As soon as I made it I immediately decided I knew a good friend of mine that deserved a dress equally as awesome for herself.  After another trip to the fabric store and a few borrowed tools from mom I began her dress perfect for her measurements.  I found myself holding my breath while cutting as I knew this dress was actually going to someone else.  It was one thing to experiment on a dress that I knew was meant for me, but a whole other story for me to be making something for someone else.

The first dress for myself was made out of a casual summer material and the dress for my friend is as well.  A big online fabric sale prompted me to buy material that can pass the “little black dress” test.  I have enough for one whole black dress and another that will be black and kelly green.  I have an event to go to in July so the plan is to crank out both of these dresses soon so that I can wear one of them that evening and revel in the fact that I’ll be the only one there with an original dress, that I made with my own hands and spent less than $20.00 on.  While everyone else if flaunting their fancy designer labels I’ll be enjoying how my hard work will allow me to be comfortable and creatively stylish all at the same time.

Sewing is a family tradition that I’m so very happy that my grandmother and mother passed along to me.  I know that one day I’ll pass the craft along to future generations, but in the meanwhile I’ve got some more outfits to dream up.  What family traditions did you learn from earlier generations?  Do you think they will stand the test of time with future generations?

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Filed under Culture, Fashion, Friends, Sewing