Saturday, July 9, 2016

Keep Calm and Stop Procrastinating....Vogue 1385 and Home Renovations

Do you ever procrastinate?  Sometimes when I read other sewing blogs I imagine that "those people" never have doubts, never hesitate over next projects and never delay making design, fabric and pattern decisions.  Yes, I know in my head that this is not true but that's the mental game that my procrastination can play.  Then again, sometimes there are just plenty of other fun things in my life that keep my from my sewing room.  I started this sewing project so long ago that I can't even tell you why it took me so long to finally get it finished but the reasons don't matter at this stage.  I do remember that my inspiration was seeing the gorgeous versions done by Margy  Fool4fabric Vogue 1385 and Sharon  communing with fabric Vogue 1385  
I too have some wonderful ikat fabric in my resource center but I wanted to try this pattern on its own and work out any quirks from wearing it.  I used a lightweight jacquard fabric that I had from my Florida fabric collection.  It's very bright for here in Baltimore....and I had planned on finishing it during our Florida vacation in March but that darn procrastination kicked in back then.  It took June and the first really warm days of summer to get me to just "make it work."  
Details:  Vogue 1385  My shirt/jacket is view A.  My version is size C with a small FBA but 1" taken off each side seam from the high midriff area.  I certainly have a tummy and high hip fluff but this pattern has a lot of ease and I guess I am "straighter" than the model used for Sandra's Today's Woman draft.  Fabric is a lightweight cotton poly jacquard from Fabric Mart.  (Tank top and jeans are years old from Chicos.)

Vogue 1385

I was going to do something cute with the reverse white and green side but this fabric is bright enough on its own and does not need any more bells and whistles.  I did do piping along the front edge and collar with a thin cotton lawn in my resource center....which exactly matched that very neon green.  
Lime piping
In Florida where the sun is strong this color would not seem so bright but it definitely glows further north here in Baltimore.  

Next time?  Well, I like the slightly unique design and I especially love the longer jacket versions of Sharon and Margy. I will add a pocket and maybe take out the sleeve darts.  I like the distinctive stand up darted, fluted collar....slight unusual construction in that you mark the darts, many of them, and don't sew them until after you have put together the body pieces and the facing.  

Now it's time to share what really has been my obsession for the last several months.  Mr. Lucky and I have been talking about renovating our kitchen/family room for at least five years.  We were snowbirds then and whenever we came back after six months in Florida, our dirty scratched "no wax" floor, scruffy wallpaper, cracked grout-stained 4" tile and chipped sink, aging appliances and messy wood burning fireplace would shock us into saying "we have to do something about this."  But, being the good procrastinators that we are, we'd rather visit with friends, walk dogs, sew, golf, hike, read a book, kayak, sit on the deck or watch a movie.  
Last year we really started a full fledged effort to come up with a plan, find a contractor and get to work.  That didn't go so well and we were getting discouraged all spring and summer.  Contractors would come out, measure and then never get back to us.  We spent a lot of time looking at ideas "pinning" like crazy to various Pinterest boards, and finally got a referral to a wonderful contractor last fall.  We mulled over our decisions with him in the next few months, took our vacation in March then finalized our plans in April and started work right at the end of May.  
We have a modest home in comparison to many of our friends and family...although more than adequate for the two of us and certainly more than most people in the world.  It was even more modest thirty years ago when we did our first big renovation.  We are renovating to replace those worn items (but we did donate all the cabinets and appliances to Second Chance where they could definitely work in someone's getaway cabin or workroom) and also because we want to make our home appeal to the next buyers, most likely a young family who would enjoy our little neighborhood and its good local schools.  I'm not documenting every day since this is not a home improvement blog but I thought I'd share a little bit of what is keeping us busy.  
First the 26 year old renovation (during my country Laura Ashley period so imagine the fruit and flower wallpaper border, swags and mini floral wallpaper that used to be here also)

Next, clearing out the stuff to get ready for demo:

You can sort of tell from these pictures that we did not add on to the full width of our house 26 years ago.  Budget and engineering constraints.  That matters now only because it precludes us changing to any sort of island layout which is so popular and appealing these days.  Oh, well hindsight makes all of us into geniuses.  So we are keeping the peninsula, making it wider with a full bank of drawers.  We considered the ever popular stool idea but this room is relatively small and we still wanted sit down dining.  One major change will be that we no longer have a sofa in the room but will have four comfy arm chairs. We have a living room in the front of the house with a larger TV and sectional sofa since Mr. Lucky and I do love to cuddle up for an evening of PBS binge watching (yes, we are that generation.)  So this room will work more as one big room and give me more space for my extensive cookware.  
We are removing the wood burning fireplace to put in a contemporary gas fireplace which will give us a sleeker look without the necessary hearth and will be so much easier to use on chilly mornings.  I have loved having that wood fireplace....until the logs would burn down and usually Mr. Lucky had to go downstairs under the car port to fetch more dry logs.  
So here's the work that has been taking place since the end of May:

No more separate no wax floor

Newly stained floors and wider peninsula

Flooring transition piece from old part of the 1933 house to the new

New gas fireplace without the stainless surround that will be installed after construction

New floors and drawers waiting to be filled
In some upcoming posts I will show you the fabric I've selected to make long window panels and also an idea I have for a custom dining table for this space that is sewing related.  Next week the appliances and new toilet are installed which means we should have a functioning kitchen and powder room again.  We are keeping rugs and furniture off the new floors until early August.  It's been a little disruptive but summer is definitely a good time to do this dramatic a project.  We can grill if we need to, we had one week when we had to walk out the front door around outside to the basement to do dishes since the floors were being refinished and there are certainly plenty of places to eat out.  We have had minor issues come up....just had to order a new pendant light this morning since one of them was chipped when they went to install it yesterday.  We are simply so fortunate to be able to do a project like this.  It does feel like we are moving into a new house.  We did it for ourselves and also for an easier resale....but knowing what procrastinators we are it might turn out that we live here longer than expected and go straight to the "active adult community" from here.  
Next up, yes, I did do some additional sewing while this was going on downstairs but I only have mock ups to show you.  Here's hoping your projects, sewing or otherwise, are bringing smiles to your face each day.  Sew grateful, Jane


  1. Procrastinating, yes. Fear of failure on a Roman shade made from trellis-print fabric, the shade slanted on top to match the slanted ceiling. It took me years to finally complete but it looks great. Just avoid geometric-print fabric for Roman shades, as the fabric must hang on grain but the print may not be.

    1. Oh, Carol, I can see why that would be intimidating. I am definitely challenged when it comes to angles and designs meeting like that. Bravo to you for finishing it.

  2. Congratulations on the kitchen redo! I know they are so much more involved than they look like on the shows on HGTV. I'm sure you will enjoy it for many more years before you move onto the next stage of your life. Would love to see an "After" photo when it's all done!

    1. I am an HGTV addict but yes, both the time frames and those prices they quote are ridiculous. I promise to show the after pics. I will say that one thing I'm noticing is how out of proportion my camera angle is to the scale of the space. I noticed this when we sold our Florida place and had the professional photographer do the pics. Sort of like taking our own blog pics. In some ways they help us see things that we don't when looking in the mirror but at other times there's a distortion that doesn't represent the real life situation. But I will give it my best shot.

  3. Love that green jacket on you! It looks lovely.
    Congrats on the new kitchen. It is so disruptive to have construction going on - no wonder it gets put off.

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, even though they have been as clean as they can be, there's so much stuff moved into other parts of our house that everything is feeling not just crowded but quite grubby after six plus weeks. But this too shall pass and we will be enjoying the new space very soon.

  4. Renovating is always a total pain, but the results of yours looks really good, love that fireplace!

    1. Thank you, Allison. The fireplace is definitely a splurge so I hope it lives up to our expectations.


Love your comments, opinions, advice and questions. I just ask that we all "play nice."