Stashcation: Parisian Nights

Well, I am back to work now. *Groan* I’ve been back one day and my mood went from happy to grumpy again. My vacation was so wonderful.

We went to Wasaga Beach. It’s northwest of Toronto, where I live, and is lovely.

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Wasaga Beach

The sand is wonderful and the water was nice. It’s all sandbars along the beach and the water gets warmer faster than other lakes in Ontario. Not as warm as it could have been, though.

It hasn’t been scorching hot in Ontario this summer like it usually is, which is a great disappointment to me. I look forward to the heat and the sun every year. We’ve mostly had rain and cool weather. It was a windy day at the beach so eventually we were too cold to stay out of the water long and made our way to a restaurant for dinner.

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My turtle

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My stepdaughter’s sea turtle, inspired by Finding Nemo

The sand was still wet from all the rain and we easily made turtles by our beach blanket.

The next day, we went to Ashbridge’s Bay, which is a beach right in Toronto.

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The beach is a lot colder than Wasaga. Freezing in fact. Our toes got numb after a while in the deeper parts. Closer to the beach, we were a little less numb and started having a water gun fight. It was an epic battle and got me in those giggle fits that have your sides hurting and you gasping for air. So much fun.

Beside the beach is the park area you see above, which is shaded by some lovely trees. The four of us sat in that area and played a dice game called Farkle. Many a fart joke happened during that game…

Then we escaped an impending storm in a pizza shop and heading home.

On Sunday, after the kids were picked up by their mom, a friend hosted a lovely barbecue on her rooftop patio and I spent Monday recovering from that… But I got to cuddle with the sweetest little dog during the evening which made the hangover worth it and this is coming from a cat person.

Those are the highlights of non-sewing during my vacation.

Back to sewing:

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During my stashcation, I pieced together about 9 pdf patterns. I still have tons left, but putting together pdfs is a pain!

 

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After all those pdfs, I cut out these patterns.

I cut out the above patterns after two or three nights of piecing pdfs together. It was exhausting putting all of those together.

From left to right, the patterns I cut out are:

2 Parisian Nights pajama sets from Winter Wear Designs

1 Parisian top from Go To Patterns

1 #5199 Little Atlas Dress from Lekala

I cut these out on Thursday night after Wasaga and then sewed the Parisian Nights pajamas on Friday and Saturday.

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The first one is technically my muslin. It’s red and green. The green is a lightweight lycra and the red is a heavier cotton jersey. The binding on the top was a mistake, but I am too lazy to remove it. It is super mismatched in terms of weight which made the binding go wavy instead of flat. I graded the pattern up a size, but if you are a little bigger than the pattern, don’t grade up. It has tons of ease and definitely didn’t need to be graded up. I cut a ton of material off and resewed both the top and the bottom. The neckline is still far too large on the top, as is the waist n the shorts.

The second one is made with flannel print on the bottom that I picked up for two bucks for a yard at Value Village and cotton jersey in pink, which was also two bucks for a yard and a bit at Value Village. The shorts fit a bit better, but the jersey has almost no recovery and the waist band could definitely be tighter. I can’t decide whether I will fix this or simply leave it, because they are just pajamas (I am lazy so likely I will leave it). I left off the binding for the top, because of the recovery issue, and just turned the seams in and did a decorative stretch stitch along the edge in purple. I shortened the straps on the top by a few inches and the top fits much better. Because the shorts are in a woven, they could use extra room in the crotch, which I will definitely add for the next versions of these pajamas.

The pattern was a freebie as part of the Bundle Up sale from Pattern Revolutions back in June. I definitely recommend checking them out, because I got 8 pdf patterns in that bundle for around $30 US. They have bundle sales once every couple of months for indie patterns and are a great deal. I almost bought their little girl pattern bundle and then stopped myself, because I don’t have any little girls to sew for!

I am very excited for the rest of the patterns from that sale. I regret not printing them all out to put together during my stashcation.  My next stashcation won’t be until Christmas! The goal, however, is to have a much smaller stash by then. Although, I have so many patterns, I am guessing I will still have a ton more of those to get through.

I’m currently working on my Parisian top. I just have the buttons left. Oh, the pattern doesn’t include buttons, you say?

Well, my dears, I’ve got a pattern hack for you! Stay tuned!

Stashcation: Colette’s Myrtle & A Giveaway at Born to Reign Athletics

I’m on staycation this week and am having a stashcation! What’s a stashcation?

Basically, you take this:

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And plan this:

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And then sew, sew, sew.

There are 20 garments planned here. I know I won’t get them all done within my staycation, but the idea is to go through your stash and plan your next garments out, as well as put those pdf patterns together and cut ahead so that you make sewing easier when you are back to work.

I realized a few things in doing this task:

1) I have spent way too much time buying fabric and not enough time sewing

2) I have way too many patterns that I haven’t tried out before

3) I’m horrible at resisting buying fabric or patterns

4) I’m just too happy with all these things to stop, but I must!

Even after these realizations, I still bought fabric at Value Village (local thrift store) this week thus breaking my Summer Stashbust 2014 pledge for the second time (the first was by buying Colette’s Myrtle pattern).

I’m going to still try to keep on task for my Summer Stashbust 2014, though, because it is important to me to use the fabric and patterns I’ve bought over the past few years. I have a wedding to save for and a wedding dress to plan out over the next year (I’m sure my lovely readers will get tired of that talk!). I’ve got to reduce my spending to save up for the wedding.

Even though buying Colette’s Myrtle is technically against my Summer Stashbust pledge, the fabric I used has been in my stash for several years. Thus, I am categorizing this as a stashbusting post.

This is no Moaning Myrtle! (Can’t resist a Harry Potter reference!) There was no crying and carrying on with this pattern or this fabric.

This was definitely the easiest pattern for me to put together. Including taping the pdf together and cutting it out, the whole dress was about 4 hours to complete and press. It was incredibly simple.

The fabric: Goodness, I can’t even tell you how much I love this fabric. It’s a woven and it incredibly soft and drapes beautifully. It’s been years since I bought it so I have no idea what it is. Perhaps a silk charmeuse, but I’m not even sure. It’s not your basic poly satin and it’s extremely luxurious. I only had 3 yards of the fabric. I made the shorter version of Myrtle and didn’t put the button tabs on the shoulders. I made a 3XL, because I wanted it to have a lot of drape in the front. In the future, an FYI for busty gals is to do an FBA on the chest or lengthen it, because the large bust takes a lot of length out of the finished garment. I’m okay with the length (I also wear spandex shorts under dresses), but it could be a couple inches longer for me.

It was my first time ever creating my own bias tape and my first time ever using bias tape! Bias tape is used in the woven version of Myrtle to finish the back sleeves and neckline. I love love love love the look. I spent about ten minutes after I finished sewing the bias tape just admiring the look.

I’m really impressed with the pattern. Except for the full bust issue, the dress is so nicely done. The arm holes are PERFECT. They don’t gape and aren’t humungous like other sleeveless plus-sized patterns. I feel like that is a huge change from the Moneta, which was verging on much too big in the armholes area. I haven’t made the Myrtle in a stretch material, though, and I can’t speak to how the armholes are finished in that version of the pattern, but they are perfect in the woven version.

As for the next stages in my stashcation planning, I am currently furiously taping together pdf patterns and then I will be furiously cutting out patterns and furiously sewing. We have some plans in the remainder of the week, but I should be able to finish some more stashcation garments, but I will be in a better position to sew in the future and I am definitely excited about that.

Now for a fun thing for my Canadian plus-sized readers:

A good friend of mine, Krista Henderson, launched a great website for plus-sized athletes, called Born to Reign Athletics, and she is doing a giveaway for a $100 Addition Elle card. All you need to do is head over to her site and answer a few short questions through Rafflecopter and you can win a sweet gift card for athletic wear or clothes or even shoes at Addition Elle.

I highly recommend this site. Krista launched a couple of months ago and this is her first giveaway.

Here is a short blurb on the site:

Born to Reign™ Athletics is about unleashing your inner strength and celebrating your power to reign over your life, your body and your spirit in a healthy way.  Created by Krista Henderson and inspired by her own experiences, Born to Reign Athletics provides information, tools and resources dedicated to motivating and celebrating plus size women who embrace an athletic lifestyle.

Now get over there and enter the contest!