Friday, April 15, 2016

New, New and New

Our lovely March vacation in southwest Florida ended two weeks ago and I still have not unpacked my sewing projects which is making me feel quite cranky today.  We had such a lovely holiday living quite simply in that adorable condo on the water and are now home planning a major renovation to the kitchen and family room that we had built 26+ years ago.  We are replacing and re-doing every decision we made back then. It will be wonderful when it is done....and will sell quickly should we start the next house hunt.  But just like an over abundant section of patterns and fabrics, sometimes the decisions can overwhelm me.  26 years ago we could afford two choices of cabinet knobs and today we have hundreds.  I am grateful for the years of equity in our house that let us do this but wow, I was also 26 years younger and with far fewer hobbies and interests.  A few more weeks of decision making then we will turn over to the capable hands of our calm, experienced contractor and I will enjoy sewing, gardening, and reading with a vengeance.  
Let me share today my last sewing project from that Florida holiday and a top that I made last spring which I never blogged about.  
I've had this tropical print fabric for years and I think it even traveled back and forth from our previously owned Florida condo and my southern sewing room. It might have come from the long defunct Winchester, Virginia Woolen Mill fabric store closing.  I couldn't commit to a pattern for it....sort of the same feeling I am having in the tile stores when looking at backsplash tiles.  But use it or lose it, Jane. 
I love the colors so decided to do a  simple kimono style over jacket using my TNT Tabula Rasa jacket pattern.  Along the neckband has the tiniest bit of flat piping using the reverse side of the fabric....virtually imperceptible in the picture. It was easy, breezy sewing on the condo deck at the end of March and a few hours later I had something new to wear to one of our last dinners out with friends.  Mr. Lucky had me try one of those artsy blogger poses....just glad I had my terrific Florida hairdresser do my color earlier that month.
Tabula Rasa jacket

vacation sewing studio
In the same bright print vein, here's Vogue 8691 that was finished last spring.  I wasn't sure how I felt about the pattern but it has grown on me and I see a few more fabric combos in my future.

Vogue 8691

Vogue 8691 ruffle and back dip
One of the interesting things about this home renovation does relate to the sewing blog experience.  Taking pictures can be a real hassle and I admire the far more diligent bloggers who do it relentlessly.  But the pictures do give me useful data that my eyes can easily miss when I look in the mirror at a new garment or at a computer generated kitchen plan.  When I am planning a more "serious" sewing project (not these easy uncomplicated ones I just showed you) I frequently enlarge a pattern's line drawings and start coloring in fabric and embellishment ideas.  Turns out I am having to do exactly the same thing for this kitchen/ family room project.  I am trying to decide where to stop and start backsplash tile, what fabric to use for the chairs that will replace the sofa, what mantel shelf color and proportion.  All of those....and many more....decisions work even better than contractor renderings when I take a photo of the space, trace the major outlines and then color in the options I am considering.  Just as slow going as on my next sewing project but I seldom regret the time in the end.
Well, enough about my current obsession.  One of the nicest things about being back in Baltimore is renewing my volunteer commitment with the Pets on Wheels organization.  This past week Lucky the rescue dog got to go to college for the first time.  We joined a few other volunteer dogs for a stress relief break at a local campus.  After two and a half hours of being adored, petted and snap-chatted, Lucky was exhausted but proud of himself.  
Here's hoping you have a sewing project or other commitment that makes you feel the same.
Volunteers Caper, Lucky and Zeus
Wow, I need a break, too.


  1. That is a seriously great sewing studio!

    Good luck on the remodel. I chickened out on color and opted for all neutrals for the things I can't change easily. But, I like to see more adventurous interiors.

    1. This will not be an adventurous interior either since we too are going very neutral. But who knew how many versions of white quartz counters there could be, for instance. And reading appliance reviews is a whole other universe. We must be the only people who have 26 year old microwave (albeit weak), gas range and dishwasher. I was feeling environmentally guilty for getting rid of them but then I see ten year life spans seem to be the modern norm. Sad.

  2. I love your TNT Tabula Rasa jacket and especially the fabric you chose to do it in! The Vogue top is also very nice. Volunteering for the Pets on Wheels is a great thing and glad to see Lucky did so well. Hope all goes well with the renovations, I am sure it will be beautiful when finished.

    1. Thank you, Vicki. I am getting excited since we are getting done to the last few weeks for decisions. There will be surprises but my really hard work....mentally envisioning all of it....will be behind. Of course the grunt labor of moving everything will be a challenge, too, but I am counting it as my daily exercise routine on those days.

  3. That fabric store in Winchester must have shut down before I began sewing. I live in Front Royal, not too far from there.


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