Sewing Feb 19: Winter Blues

After a productive December, my sewing has sort of come to a screeching halt. One success, one failure, and lots of plans – but no free time in the near future. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose hobby takes a backseat at times, amiright?!

Success

My Disney World Jungle Cruise-inspired shirt turned out great, I love it! It’s well-made, comfortable, and the coconut buttons are perfect with the lagoon map print. I only added a tiny reflective ribbon tab, so it’s not very reflective, but that’s okay. This is the third time I’ve made this Vogue 8772 pattern and I think I’ve figured it out. I’ve actually got plans to make a fourth. I guess I’ve found my uniform!

I wore it at Disney World, and was pleased at how many compliments I got from cast members.

The famous (or infamous) Purple Wall at the Magic Kingdom!

Failure

I’ve been dying to make the Tilly and the Buttons Orla Top out of these Charley Harper kids’ sheets from Pottery Barn. Thankfully, I made a muslin first. I don’t really like it. Okay, maybe going up in sizes will help a bit. Maybe it’s the yellow gingham. At any rate, I rarely muslin my projects, and I’m sooooo grateful here that I did, because I would have been very upset to ruin the fabric. I’m not sure what my next step on this one will be, but I’m setting this aside for a while.

Okay, maybe it doesn’t look that bad – the pattern will need some work before I like it

Plans

Found these little blue buttons on Etsy and aren’t they just perfect with this fabric?! This combo will be my next Vogue 8772 shirt. I can’t wait to make this! I’m going to try to add reflective piping to the cuffs, so stay tuned! This is a long-term plan but I’m super excited to make this reflective Dashing Tweeds fabric into a Chanel-inspired jacket. I’m aiming for September to get this completed. That seems like a long way off, but I want to alter the Simplicity 2284 pattern (at least attempt to get it fitted), make a muslin, and buy a really nice lining – maybe silk? Maybe a Liberty of London cotton lawn?

The craziness of life right now means that I won’t have much free time for a while to sew. While I’m thinking about my plans, I’ll have to be happy with wearing this awesome tee shirt that my dad sent me:

Sewing Jan19: So Much to Catch Up With!

Welcome to my first post in my attempt to focus my blogging a bit more in 2019. Every month I will do a sewing post, a biking post, a travel post, and a catch-all ICYMI post. That way, everyone who likes different things about my blog can read what they are most interested in – and I have a bit more focus!

Catching Up

After doing zero sewing in November, I cranked out a ton of stuff in December. Remind me next year to not leave the gift sewing until the last minute, okay?!   

Friends, sisters who once raised rabbits as kids, had their babies months apart, so of course I had to make their babies bunny pjs!

Love this pillow cover that I made my father-in-law! It’s so perfect for his farm, and he loves it.

In between sewing presents, I made myself four new garments – mostly *after* Christmas.

I threw together this Named Clothing Inari Tee Dress, which I ordered pre-printed with this “Dark Matter” print from Sprout Patterns, as part of their closing sale. It’s waaaaaay too short on me, which I should have anticipated. As the pattern pieces were printed onto the fabric, there was no way for me to lengthen this. I wore it to work with leggings and boots but might end up shortening it into a top. But I love the print, so it will stay as a favorite.

Work bathroom selfie – you can almost see how short this is. Without leggings, it’s indecent!

I also made another pair of the Burda 6770 pants, but this time in black corduroy. I also didn’t include the drawstring, and just made two wider elastic bands. I love the darkness of black corduroy, and wanted something winter-weight that I could someday fit thermal leggings under, when it’s super cold. These will do the trick, and go with everything else I’m making this winter.

Hard to see the details on black corduroy….

Then I made a fabulous cardigan from a pattern I’ve made before, McCalls 6844. The first time I made this, I made the asymetrical peplum, but this time, I wanted the peplum the same longer length. Since I apparently didn’t keep those pattern pieces, and the pattern has vanished from the internet, I had to re-draft them! I like pattern drafting though, so that was fun. This black and white “tweed” knit was recently purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. I added black reflective piping to the waist seams for some subtle yet important reflectivity. I really like this cardigan, although I’m not a fan of cardigans that don’t fasten in the front. I added ties to the first one I made, but decided to leave this one alone. Maybe I’ll add something later.

New pants and cardigan, worn with a shirt I made in January

The last thing I made in 2018 was this cozy tunic made with Dri-Flex fleece, ordered from Stonemountain and Daughter (glad I ordered it when I did – now they only have it in this purple-pink color). The pattern is McCalls 7660, version F with Version E sleeves, a quick and easy make. This stuff doesn’t press well though, so the hems feel poufy! But the inside of the fabric is so soft, and I can see this being a three seasons top.

Another work bathroom selfie! I don’t know where I stashed my tripod for better selfies….

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my 2018 sewing. I made 24 things, not counting the baby clothes and the zip pouches I made as Christmas presents. Some of the things were sleeper hits, like the Sewaholic Granville shirt I made out of the Tula Pink snail print. Even though I lengthened the sleeves too much, I tend to wear it alot. I did some random Disney World sewing, but also made my fabulous Dashing Tweeds reflective coat and Liberty of London dinosaur shirt. And, since 2012, this brings my MeMade garments to a total of 100! Not all are winners, and sadly, I am not skinny enough to fit into some of the earliest favorites at the moment, but I feel well on my way to an exclusively MeMade wardrobe.

2018 makes, with favorites highlighted

Planning 2019

I have such a backlog of sewing projects! So many that I have fabric and patterns paired up, just no time. At least there are a few long weekends in January and February!

Patterns and swatches waiting for me!

But on January 1, as I sat down to start another cardigan, my serger gave up the ghost. It’s a long story but essentially, I couldn’t get it to work at all. It’s probably 25 years old, and I’ve been thinking about replacing it, but I sort of thought I’d have some more time. I guess we are never really when something beloved dies, are we?

Bought in California in the early-mid 90s, three years on tour with me, ten years in NYC, several locations in the DC region – it’s lived a GOOD life!

So I ordered one from Amazon and it arrived just in time for weekend sewing.

Welcome, Locky!

This one will be fine until I decide if I want to look into a nicer one. It’s pretty lightweight and already it feels like I’m running it too hard and fast. A sturdier machine would be really nice someday, but for now, this will get me through that project list.

I broke in my new serger and interrupted my black and white winter theme to complete a blue cardigan that should coordinate well with almost everything I already own. Trying to make some winter basics is a big part of my winter sewing right now. This McCalls 6996 cardigan doesn’t have any front closures either, so I may end up adding something. I just feel that cardigans should actually close, amiright? There weren’t many seams so all this one got was a bit of black reflective piping at the back waist seam, but it will do. I hope that this will be a good travel piece, too.

I am interrupting my black and white winter theme one more time this month. I’m headed to a conference in Orlando in February, which means Disney World, which means, yep, you know it  another Disney-themed something! This time, it will be a Jungle Cruise-themed long sleeve shirt. I found this “lagoon map” Cotton & Steel print and coconut buttons. It will be perfect for a winter jungle cruise! And I can get away with it in the office, too.

Not exactly Disney but for those who know the Jungle Cruise ride, well, they’ll know

I’m still on my hunt for the perfect <fill in the blank> garment, the perfect pants, the perfect skirt, the perfect dress, etc. I’d love to perfect pants, always my weakest link, but I need to not get distracted until I get through this list. Then I can evaluate what has worked best and study the dismal failures. I need to wear what I’ve made until I can’t stand it any more, and then I’ll know what works best, what I’ve worn the most and love the most. But I’ve got a while before that sewing list finally ends!

Feelin’ fancy with such new machines!

Looking Back to Look Ahead

And here it is, a new year. Welcome, 2019! I think I’m not the only one to be happy to say goodbye to 2018.

It certainly wasn’t a bad year, but it was not an easy year for me. Two major surgeries and a seemingly endless cough for the last month of the year meant my overall health went out the window. With it – my motivation and a bit of self esteem. Not biking to work this past year means I’ve gained weight and gotten out of shape. That’s taken a big toll on me. Then we lost our beloved girl bunny, Quinn the Angora, who died unexpectedly while we were out of town. Ugh – no wonder I’ve been comfort eating the entire month of December.

Hospital style, haha!

But it wasn’t all bad, of course. I traveled a lot, once I recovered from my surgeries. I went to New York City, visited friends in Los Angeles, went to Disney World *three* times (!!!), spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws in Arkansas, and The Mechanic and I enjoyed a few days of doing-nothing bliss in Bermuda.

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I made myself 24 new garments, including my amazing Dashing Tweed Reflective Coat.

I have some other favorites as well, including the Liberty of London dinosaur print shirt I made after my first Disney World trip – I guess I’ve fallen back in love with dinosaurs.

I did a lot of travel sewing, making things specifically for my trips.

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And made some personal appearance changes – red hair and a rabbit tattoo!

 

Red Hair and New Glasses!

Floral bunny – totally me!

But now it’s time to look back at 2018 and decide what I want 2019 to be like. I do like making resolutions because I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive about planning, and what’s better than a brand new start?!

Nevertheless, some changes need to happen.

  1. I must get healthier in 2019!!! Back to biking to work, at least 3 times a week, and adding the yoga and BodyPump back into my schedule. Gotta reduce the cheese intake too, alas. But I’m turning 47 this year, and I want to be super healthy before I hit 50 (ulp), so time to get serious about that middle-aged health stuff!
  2. Revamp the blog. I’ve been a bit lazy with the blogging – lazy, busy, sick, whatever, the blog has been neglected. So I’m going to try a weekly focus each month, rather than a random update on whatever. Sewing one week, biking the next, travel, then the random ICYMI post. I know all you reading this blog like different topics so we’ll see which weeks are the most popular, haha!
  3. Hm…. maybe two things are enough! I could add in stuff like: sew slower, spend less, be more strategic about money, etc., but I always need to do those things, regardless of year! So I’ll stick to health and the blog and we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks for sticking along with me this far, as I sew and bike through my adventurous life. I appreciate all of you and look forward to a productive, constructive, and healthy 2019!

Sullivan and Gaston resolve to be better friends in 2019!

 

Season’s Greetings from Sewing Cycling Santa

Merry Christmas, everyone! I’m sure Santa was busy delivering presents by bicycle (although I hope he used a cargo bike!) last night!

I am celebrating by spending some Me Sewing time. The Mechanic and I are both in our happy places working on projects, while thinking about loved ones near and far – and you too, dear Readers!

Enjoy your day, however you celebrate.

Happy Christmas from Gaston and Sullivan!

Double Disney

In a few short days (!!!), The Mechanic and I are headed to Disney World, where we’ll meet his siblings and their families on a trip planned since February. I’ve been planning my outfits for almost as long, I think. You know me, I can’t pass up a thematic trip (see: Bermuda) so I’ve made a few Disney-themed pieces, and then creating other Disney-themed outfits from things I already have.

 

My Beauty and the Beast peplum tee shirt

Happily ever after…

But when friends invited me to join them on their Halloween weekend at Disney World, I hesitated – I was already going, and besides, I don’t have any Halloween Disney themed things. In the end, I decided to go, mostly because I haven’t seen these friends in far too long. So I madly stitched up a no-pattern skirt with a Halloween print cotton that I bought last year, intended to be my annual Halloween costume (contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually like to make costumes for myself. I’d rather spend my time sewing things I’ll get a lot of wear out of). I didn’t make it reflective but I did order some Haunted Mansion-themed glow-in-the-dark things from Etsy vendors. The Haunted Mansion is one of my favorite rides, and what better for Halloween?!

Halloween skirt worn with The Haunted Mansion “Tightrope Girl” print tee shirt

We had a blast and the weather was absolutely perfect. Of course it was also exhausting – our first day we walked almost 30,000 steps!

Although the Magic Kingdom won’t be decorated for Halloween when The Mechanic and I return, I’m glad I had the chance to see the decorations a bit on my short weekend.

The theme for this weekend was obviously Halloween, so black and gray everything. The next trip will be an exuberant celebration of Disney (at least, for me it will be, so I’ve got different things planned, from the obvious Beauty and the Beast tee shirt on the day we have breakfast in the Beast’s castle at the Be Our Guest Restaurant, to the more subtle red pants and black top to give homage to Mickey Mouse himself, as he nears his 90th birthday. My Liberty of London dinosaur shirt will be a classy nod to the dinosaur part of Animal Kingdom, and my Finding Dory skirt for a day when we are in Epcot. It’s going to be fun and from what I saw over Halloween weekend, I will fit right in! Not quite #disneybounding, but fun anyway.

Am I the only one who plans (and sews) thematic travel wardrobes? Anyone else?

Yes, yes, you will!

 

My Hunt for Perfection

I think that everyone hunts for perfection – whatever their perfect is, and however they strive for it. Thankfully, we all have our own definition of perfect, so we aren’t all hunting for the same thing. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same, my mother says all the time!

My hunt for perfection is rather laser-focused on clothing, shoes and jewelry. Pretty self-centered, I admit. But what I’m hunting for is the perfect personal uniform, the wardrobe that I can go to, blindy grab something, and look exactly the way I want to look and feel perfectly comfortable. It’s part of the reason why I sew – I don’t find perfection on the clothing racks in the stores in the mall. What I want is different, so I make it myself. See my Instagram account for #reflectivefashion, #bikefashion, #Bikestyle….

Sadly, I’m not there yet. And my concept of perfect changes all the time – I am currently obsessed with the perfect pants shape, but what I like now is not what I liked a year or two ago. But I did just finish another pair of the Burda 6770 drapy pants in navy blue linen, and I think they are currently pretty close to perfect. (These Danskos are pretty perfect too – I just got them recently and I think I’ve worn them almost every day since.)

Here’s the wearable muslin in red chambray. I added 2″ to the length on the navy pair.

To prove to you that I can find perfection, though, I want to give you the best example: Fauntleroy, my bicycle. There is nothing on this bike that needs to change. I love everything about it. I love the look of it, the accessories, and the way I feel when I’m riding it. In fact, it’s so perfect, that the only thing I think I could possibly change is the paint job and even then, I really want to repaint it in exactly the same color. And it really needs to be repainted – perfection does need to be maintained, after all! But I’ve been dragging my feet over the color. In my world, not being able to decide means I don’t love something enough, so keep the status quo. I think that means Fauntleroy needs to stay the same light shade of blue. Of course, The Mechanic painted Fauntleroy this color ages ago with spray paint he picked out from Home Depot, so I don’t know if a real proper powder coating place will be able to match it. Fingers crossed that I’ll find something same-ish. It is somewhat ironic that I’m constantly hunting for THE perfect ____XXX_____ that I can wear and love forever, considering the fact that I also sew because I get bored with what I have and want to make newer and flashier and more perfect things! ??? But Fauntleroy is proof that someday, I’ll find exactly what I’m hunting for.

Am I the only one like this?!?

 

The Entire Month of September in One Blog Post

September was a really busy month, and the one hobby that fell by the wayside was blogging. So here is everything I did in September, all in one blog post. I’ll try to keep it brief!

1. Bermuda

The Mechanic and I went back to Bermuda, to Grotto Bay, the resort we stayed at three years ago. A desire to stay somewhere we wouldn’t be tempted to run around and do too many things, as well as a great package deal through Orbitz convinced us that this was the best place to relax.  For four days we snorkeled, stared at the water, and drank Dark n’ Stormys and Rum Swizzles.

Grotto Bay

Because I love a travel wardrobe theme, I packed blue and fish themed clothes. I didn’t make everything I took, but 3/4 of it.

2. Haute Couture Embroidery

I took an embroidery class from Smithsonian Associates! Actually, it was half lecture, half sewing – first we explored haute couture embroidery, the origins of haute couture, and discussed embroidery houses and how they worked with designers. Then we had time to create our own “haute couture” buttons. I didn’t like my work so I started taking it out, and didn’t finish my buttons. And I haven’t touched it since – we were allowed to take our supplies home. Eventually I’ll redo them! It made me want to try learning embroidery again. I did some, ages ago, as well as beadwork, so maybe it’s time again…

3. History Happy Hour

Following the learning and doing event theme, a friend and I attended History Happy Hour at The Williard InterContinential Hotel. The hotel’s famous bartender told stories about famous and infamous historic hotel guests while a special guest talked to us about diplomacy and the role the hotel played. During all this, we made historic cocktails. It was a fun evening and we just might do it again!

4. Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is educational, right? Another friend and I went to the Crystal City Oktoberfest, where we were able to sample several different beers, many from the area. We learned which ones we liked and which ones we didn’t like – that’s educational! Unfortunately, I’m not sure I remember which were my favorites…. My friend has an authentic, bought in Bavaria, dirndl, but mine is an inexpensive option from Amazon. It is pretty boring, so now that I have a sewing machine with fancy embroidery stitches, I decided to decorate it.

 

5. Sewing

Amongst all these events, I managed to complete three sewing projects!

I made the McCalls 7726 paperbag waist pants again, this time in the tapered leg version in gray. I’m working on perfecting pants fit, and I think these turned out pretty well – not perfect, but better. Also, reflective belt loops and the back of the sash, yay!

Then I made the Megan Nielsen Tania Culottes. I decided to make them out of navy blue corduroy, something a bit heavier, so I can wear them through the colder months. I’m not 100% in love with them – should I have made them longer? Why do the pockets hang funny? Is the back crotch seam fit okay? But I wore them right away and they are pretty lovely to wear. I can’t wait to bike in them! Not much reflectivity on these, so I added a small patch on the back left waist.

And finally, I made something for my trip to Disney World later this fall – Pamela’s Patterns Pretty Peplum Top is muslined out of this Beauty and the Beast print jersey I found on FabricDepot.com. I’m hunting for an easy peplum top pattern, so this was a good excuse to test out the fit. I took in the waist quite a bit from the size Small, but left the sleeves and shoulders because they fit so well. Also had to raise the waist a bit. I think it’s really cute so I don’t think I’ll be able to wait until our trip to wear this! (Excuse the awful photo…..)

And you may have noticed that my haircut is a bit different now – symmetrical! It was time for a bit of a change.

Whew, no wonder I feel exhausted by this month! I think I need a trip back to the beach to rest.

 

 

Socializing and Sewing

The Mechanic and I live a pretty quiet social life. Between him the introvert and me boardline introvert, most evenings and many weekends, we tend to stay home quietly and do our own things. But we love our friends and have been lucky enough to have seen many of them this month. I say “lucky” because with everyone busy busy busy, it’s hard to get schedules to coincide. So we’ve caught up with traveling friends, friends with a new baby, and friends who live *just* far enough away to not be able to see them often. And since they are friends who hadn’t seen our new place yet, it was nice to be able to show it off. And introduce them to the bunnies.

L to R: Sullivan, Quinn and Gaston in the front

But somehow I’ve managed to get a lot of sewing done as well as socialize. I started the month off with two projects that actually ended up kinda cute together, although that was not the intention:

Yes, the skirt has pockets!

The gecko tee shirt is the Sunny Top by Friday Pattern Company. It was super easy to make, although I did a different neckline finish that I sort of regret. It also fits really well – above the waist. Next time I make it I need to lengthen it *a lot* and, er, widen the hip curve to actually fit my hips. I ordered this Gecko Trails knit from Stonemountain and Daughter with birthday money in the spring, and it’s so cute and soft. I just need to always tuck it in…

Geckos! And stripes.

The skirt is Finding Dory cotton from Fabric.com. Between an imminent vacation in Bermuda and a trip to Disney World later this fall, I thought it would be a funny subtle theme skirt. I really love it – but… I made up the pattern and somehow made the waistband too small. Whoops. Well, I have gained too much weight this year so this is good incentive to lose it, I guess.

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies, so this is fun!

The other sewing project I just finished this weekend is a wearable muslin of Burda Style 6770. The Burda pattern is similar to other indie patterns out there but I was in JoAnn Fabrics with a friend, so I grabbed it instead. I made it out of red chambray I’ve had for ages, and added some of the red reflective piping I bought in Mood Fabrics earlier this summer to add a bit of visibility to each leg. Instead of doing the entire side seam, I just did a few inches on the calves.

Don’t know that I’ll actually wear my shirt tucked into these pants, but it shows the waist better.

The waistband has a top and bottom row of elastic and a center row for a drawstring, so I dug through my reflective bits and baubs and pulled out some cording. It was the perfect size for the teeny tiny buttonhole openings. Not really useful in the way of evening visibility but makes me happy, especially when I realized that you can see it reflecting *through* the fabric casing, haha! I really want to make these pants out of an amazing print I found on Spoonflower, called Dark Matter. I’m really obsessed with celestial prints these days, can’t explain it. And this print is all I can think about these days. It’s just really, really huge, and I don’t know how that will do for pants. I may ask the designer if he can reduce the scale a bit. Then I have to decide what fabric option to choose – woven or knit, drapey or not so drapey, dressy or casual, work or weekend…. Such dilemmas!

Recognizing that I will have limited sewing time in September and October, before a crazy month of travel in November, I am trying really hard to be super selective about what I sew this fall. I’m trying to balance what I need (pants and cardigans) with what I already have fabric and patterns for (pants and tops). Then I found this AMAZING rainbow reflective fabric from Mood and not only *have* to order some in both colorways, I already have an idea of what I want to make with it – and that doesn’t fit my plans at all! But it would be really really cool.

This Butterick 6496 pattern might see a lot of use in the next several months – so many ideas….

I’ve got so many sewing plans, but also – I really want to see my friends this fall! And do I *really* need that many more clothes?! Probably not. So I’ve enlisted some help with my planning. If he’s any good, I’ll hire him permanently.

Sully is a bit more ruthless than I am when it comes to making decisions.

Sewing Bike Bloomers, Then and Now

I recently flew to Los Angeles and used my direct, 5+ hour flight to finish Bike and Bloomers: Victorian Women Inventors and Their Extraordinary Cycle Wear, by Kat Jungnickel. If you are at all interested in women bicycling, women’s fashion, fashion history, sewing, and/or equal rights for women, read this book NOW!

There is so much to unpack and process before Kat even gets into the details of the women’s cycle fashion patents that she and her team recreate that I think that will be an entirely different blog post. But let me try to summarize: Victorian women as well as Victorian men were excited by the independence and exhilaration that the new sport “bicycling” presented. However, centuries of assumptions that women were frail, unmechanical, non-sporty, homemakers, only good for having babies, and that their lower limbs should *never* be seen, presented a challenge for those early adopter women who wanted to bike in public. Kat used diaries and newsletters as well as information from the patents themselves to illustrate the nerve that was required for women to attempt to cycle in late 1880s and 1890s Britain. In her first chapter, she quotes a letter from Kitty J. Buckman in 1897 in which Kitty, a cycling fan, says that “… one wants nerves of iron.” (page 11).

ref=”https://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5876&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-5876″> Consider the politics of pockets in men’s clothing but not women’s[/ca

I don’t doubt it – society then was much less used to norms being flaunted, unlike now when our choices are plentiful (although not always well-received). The choices faced by Victorian women when it came to cycling appear to have been: simply don’t; bike in corsets and long skirts; wear Rational Dress, the new and radical women’s fashion movement that rejected tight-laced corsets and layers of hoops and petticoats; or adapt or create something entirely new. Although some of the women Kat quotes in her book were comfortable in their Rational Dress, they recognized that not all women were.  So they invented and patented outfits that made them look like ordinary Victorian women while biking safely (no long full skirts to get caught anywhere!), even while they were amazing, barrier-breaking wonder women.

This is the part where I get excited – I am totally inspired to make some Victorian women cyclist-inspired clothes. My long-time goal with sewing is to make clothing that works on the bike and in the office, without having to change upon arrival, without wearing spandex, and without looking “sporty.” Thankfully I live and bike in a time when I have choices – I can bike to work in gym clothes, traditional bike “kit” including padded shorts, a dress, jeans, skirts or whatever I like. That’s not to say that I won’t be judged for whatever I wear, because of course I will be – judging women based on their appearance is an international pastime now as it was then. But society has come to accept women in pants, jeans, and sports – even if we still have a long way to go, we can thank the women in Kat’s book for breaking down barriers for us.

ttps://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5865″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5865″> Check out this casual lady cyclist, gesturing with one hand as she tells her lady cyclist companion a story. I *love* this so much.

[/caption]But back to sewing. Although there are plenty of examples of “the ideal lady cyclist” in bloomers and blazer, what I really love are all the skirts designed to allow “bifurcation,” ie, two separate pant legs. Women invented ways to quickly and creatively convert their skirts into something bike-friendly, then just as quickly back into something that looked socially acceptable to bystanders. This is something I complete understand, although I realize that not everyone does. I don’t want to look like a “cyclist,” I want to look like a normal person who happens to get around by bike.

://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5867″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5867″> This design made me immediately think of the Folkwear Big Sky pattern.

[c

[/caption]

/tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5868″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5868″> This Big Sky Riding Skirt pattern looks like it would fit perfectly on a Victorian woman’s London bicycle.

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[/caption]

inlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5866″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5866″> Another convertible skirt-culottes design![/caption]Since

Since culottes have been having a moment this year, mainstream stores from Ann Taylor to Anthropology have been showing wide-legged pants cropped at various lengths, and I love my culottes, I was pleased to see that some of the designs look like modern culottes. I first made Vogue 9091 because it looks like a skirt but is “bifurcated” (the word makes me giggle, I can’t say it with a straight face), which makes it perfect for me. I made my first pair in raspberry linen in 2015 and another pair in navy suiting gabardine the following year, and I wear them pretty frequently in the summer. Every time I wear them, I remember how much I love them.

zzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5869″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5869″> Fabulous office bathroom selfie… but I love this outfit, too, so I don’t care!

Since read

[/caption]Since reading this book, I’ve been eyeing all the sewing patterns out there to make something a bit more “skirt” and a bit less “trousers,” and I think I recently found something that might be exactly what I want – the Megan Nielsen Tania pattern. This pattern offers not only different “skirt” lengths but two different fullnesses, so the sewist can pick how much like a skirt she wants her culottes to appear. And shortly after I became obsessed with this pattern, I saw that COS has an almost identical pair of culottes on their website! Guess I’ll be super chic when I make mine.

ridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5870″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5870″> So excited about this pattern!

I like these other patterns as well – this is just a sample from the McCall Pattern Company family, but many other pattern companies have made culotte patterns as well. As much as I like these, I’m more obsessed with the Tania skirt-culotte style – it seems like more of a secret, don’t you think?

Although fall and cooler temperatures are on the way, I still want to make the Tania culottes. I think that out of a heavier yet still drapy fabric, maybe with a lining, they can still be a perfect office option – no one will know that my nice navy “skirt” is actually *pants* that allow me to easily swing my leg over my bike’s top tube and not crumple the fabric on that same piece of bike frame. Similarly to the way some Victorian women wished to appear that they were wearing skirts when they were off the bike, I too wish to appear to wear a skirt when I get off my bike. And now when I wear my culottes, and whatever else I feel like wearing when I ride my bike, I will think of those women who paved the way with their bike fashion patents, and sit up a bit straighter – no corset required.

Channeling my inner Victorian cyclist in the first pair of culottes I made in 2015!

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DIY Disease

When do you realize that you have DIY Disease? Is it when you realize, for the nth time, that you’ve seen something you *know* you can recreate yourself, better/to your specifications, regardless of how many other projects you have lined up? Do you find yourself with a growing to-do list that mostly consists of “I really need to CLEAN HOUSE” type things while you madly focus in on the latest “I can make that myself!” project? No? It’s just me?

Okay, it’s me and The Mechanic. We both suffer from this disease. We’ve joked about it for a while now, me with the sewing and him with the building. We see something we like and we just know that we can make it better, better fitting, to our specific needs, better made, handmade, made in the USA. You name it, we’ve said it. And tried to do it. Which means that some things go undone, like the weekly vacuuming (a serious matter in a house with three rabbits that track hay everywhere), washing dishes, trimming rabbit toe nails, or even hanging artwork that has been sitting around for nine months since you moved into your house. (Editor’s note: blogging often gets pushed to the bottom of the list as well….)

ref=”https://tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5844&#8243; rel=”attachment wp-att-5844″> They look adorable but they are *a lot* of work.[/ca

So I gave up a bit. I bought plain white tee shirts instead of making them as planned. I gave up on adding anything else to my pattern or fabric stack. I simply feel overwhelmed and need some time for menu planning, cleaning house and slowly working exercise back into my post-surgery recovery. I decided that as much as I want to make my entire wardrobe, it’s simply not going to happen this summer, or maybe this year. Instead, I can’t plan/buy anything else until I finish my list. And some things may not stay on this list.

  1. Navy linen paperbag waist wide-leg pants, McCalls 7726
  2. Gecko stripe tee, Friday Pattern Company Sunny Dress/Tee pattern
  3. Finding Dory skirt*, Simplicity 8391
  4. Teal linen shirt dress, undecided
  5. White floral blouse, Vogue 9299
  6. Reflective Camo anorak, Closet Case Patterns Kelly Anorak with lining
  7. Beauty and the Beast tee shirt*, maybe Pamela’s Patterns Pretty Peplum Top
  8. Charley Harper top, Tilly and the Buttons Orla Tunic
tinlizzieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5830″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5830″> <– Skirt   Tee Shirt –>[/caption]
Let’s

Let’s be honest though – that’s a ton of sewing! Not much in the way of summer basics, but now that I have plain white tees to go with the crazy print stuff I love to make, I’m good for a while on basics.

What helped alot was taking a two-day mini sewing staycation this past week. First, I altered a wearable muslin dress I made earlier that I now love; this New Look 6095 in seagull print cotton might be a summer fave. Then I made a third Vogue 8805 with a second gorgeous piece from Marcy Tilton Fabrics. Lastly, I am halfway done with my navy linen wide-legged paperbag waist McCalls 7726 pants. I’ll finish those next weekend.

zieridesagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5843″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5843″> DIY Disease means I never properly clean up my sewing space because I’m too focused on SEWING

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Obviously taking time off work to catch up on sewing isn’t something I can do all the time, but I’m really glad I did. It was healing, in a way. It allowed me to slow down and not feel so frantic.

esagain.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=5845″ rel=”attachment wp-att-5845″> See the squirrel on the railing? I think it was scolding me for relaxing.

[/caption]Of course…. I added one more thing. I decided to make our preteen niece a Harry Potter purse for her birthday later this month. Apparently she still likes Harry Potter, so I thought that rather than buy her a gift, I’ll make her something. I’ve never made a bag from a pattern before, so I’m using this Sew Sweetness Polaris Bag pattern to learn some proper techniques.

And that is a perfect example of DIY Disease. Do you have it as well?

*Yes, I’ve gone a bit off the thematic deep end and I’m making some Disney pieces to wear to Disney World later this fall. I can’t help myself…..