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Friday, April 23, 2010

Lights, Camera, Action

I was really, really trying to keep this on the downlow until Monday, but I'm bursting at the seams with excitement, so I'm going to go ahead and spill the beans.

Guess who is going to be in the Cardio Intervals DVD?!



Excited doesn't even begin to describe how I'm feeling right now. We've been rehearsing since last weekend and I think it's coming together well. The outfits and shoes have been selected and our placements are pretty much set. We're doing one last walk-through today and another full-out rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. Spray tans will commence after our last workout and then, Monday morning is go time.

I'm so freaking honored to have been asked to be part of this and am really looking forward to giving it my all. I'll post a final weigh-in and video shoot update next week once everything is completed, but for now, any good vibes you have for me would be appreciated. While I'm pretty much bouncing off the walls right now, I'm guessing that once Monday comes around, I'm going to be a wee bit nervous. I'm hoping to shake off the nerves as much as possible and just have fun. We have a great group that will be on set and I think it will be a blast. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heather Ross Weekend Bag

Now that I'm spending a lot more time at the gym, I've also been showering and getting dressed there much more than usual. Especially if I have places to go after my workout, it's often just easier to get ready there instead of going home first. However, my teeny tiny toiletry bag just wasn't cutting it anymore. I needed something that was larger, but also not super rigid so it could be shoved into odd sized spaces in my gym bag.

I finally got to use the book I won from Lindsey T last year, Weekend Sewing from Heather Ross.

A really cute overnight bag pattern is one of the projects and it looked like it would be a good size for what I needed. I picked up some pink, white and brown striped home dec fabric for the body of the bag and a brown acetate for the lining - both from Joann Fabrics. Even though both fabrics were not recommended for regular washing, I pre-washed both and they came out fine. And now I can toss the finished bag in the machine if it ever gets dirty. :)

The project actually went together pretty quickly. I think this is a very well-drafted pattern, but there was one pretty big issue. There isn't much guidance given on how close to the zipper teeth to attach the top panels. I got pretty far into the construction when it became clear that they were most definitely not close enough. Grrrr. Thankfully, I only had to rip out part of what I'd sewed and then was able to rig a good solution. What I particularly like is how there are no raw edges on the inside. The body and lining pieces are all sewn together before construction, so the inside of the bag has nice clean edges. In fact, the contrast between the body and lining almost looks like piping - super cute!

In hindsight, I wish that I'd added a light interfacing to the main panel because it is really flimsy. I don't think the top or side panels need it, but the main bag could definitely use a bit more oomph.

All in all, I like it and would definitely sew it again. It easily holds all of my stuff and then some.

And look how cute it looks with my flat iron and make up bags. Yes, I'm crazy and get a kick out of all my travel bags matching. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wacky Weekend

I haven't done a weekend recap in forever, but I'm in the mood for one today. And yeah, it's in bullets because my brain is still not fully awake, even after a very strong cup of coffee. Alright, here we go:

* Friday night we had our friends Dubber and Girly over for dinner and drinks. They brought their baby girl, who passed out in our guestroom after they arrived, which left us with several hours of fun adult time. We had a great night and hope we can do it again soon.

* My back had been acting up since Wednesday night, but things came to a head Saturday morning. Could barely get out of bed and walking was tough. I have a history of minor back issues and that combined with not being diligent with stretching and foam-rolling my muscles with all of the increased workouts finally led to my lower back just locking up. I was able to see a physical therapist Saturday afternoon and he confirmed what I thought was going on - my hamstrings/quads/hip flexors/glutes were all kinds of knotted up and extremely tight, which basically pulled my lower back out of shape. He worked on me for over an hour to get everything loosened up and while I felt really good when I left, during the actual treatment I was ready to scream bloody hell. OMG, it is so incredibly painful to have someone dig into your muscles to release the knots. I've had deep tissue massages before and those are like a cakewalk compared to what he did. I have a whole new respect for athletes that have to endure that kind of pain on a regular basis. I know it's necessary and helpful in the long term, but short term, it's just a special kind of hell.

* I actually am doing some sewing, too! I have a backlog of projects that are supposed to be gifts for a couple of new moms and my bff's mom who is battling cancer (good prognosis, but still, not a fun thing at all). I got quite a bit of work done on those and am hoping to finish them up this weekend. Pictures to follow once the recipients have the items in their hands. I'm also trying to squeeze in a handful of straight skirts for myself before I start making the short silk dress for the family wedding next month. I would put the skirts off a bit, except that after 2 months of eating right and working out like its my job, the vast majority of my pants are too big. And not like oh, they a little loose, but like, "I've dropped two pant sizes" too big. I have maybe 2-3 pairs that are okay, but the rest are hanging off me. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled about this, but I'm having a harder and harder time getting dressed in the morning. I finished one skirt this weekend (and in a size smaller than I made it last time - woohoo!) and have at least two others planned for this weekend. Pictures and reviews when I get them all completed.

I guess that's about it. Weekend still felt too short, but I managed to squeeze a bunch of stuff in, which is nice. And how about you, how was your weekend?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

McCall's 6069 - Easter dress for me!

It's been years since I had a new dress for Easter. I hadn't really planned on making a new dress for this weekend, but after the ball gown, I needed both a softball project and something that would count towards my summer wardrobe for the bazillion events I'll have to attend in conjunction with Jim's summer coordinator position. I really liked this McCall's dress that was recently released and scooped it up during the last pattern sale at Joann's. I'm a sucker for a cowl neck and any garment with an interesting back.

The fabric - a poly jersey - was purchased at Michael Levine Loft this winter. I liked the bright colors that are tempered a bit with the black and the floral design. The best part - I think the 3.5 yard piece was like $5. I originally had flagged this fabric for a wrap dress, but after seeing this pattern, it looked so much like the fabrics used in the cover drawings, I decided to change my plans a bit. I only needed about a 1.5 yards for this dress though, so maybe I can still eek out a wrap dress afterall.

I pretty much cut this out per the pattern with just a couple of changes. I cut a 6 for the bodice, but added a hip curve to the skirt pieces - the waist was cut at a 6 and extended to a 14 at the hips. I used the hip curve from M3830 as a template and it worked well.

I added the back strap, omitted the pockets for a smoother fit over the hips and thighs and added 2 inches of length to the skirt. Lastly, I folded to the bodice seam allowance down to form the casing for the waistband - the pattern instructions have you fold it up, but I needed the extra bit of length in the bodice.

This was a really simple dress to put together, which was exactly what I was hoping for after my last project. I cut it out on Friday night and sewed it up on Saturday with no snafus to speak of! Woohoo! The only tricky part was the narrow hem around the arm syce. Fluid poly jersey doesn't really like to do narrow hems, but with enough pins, it worked out.

One thing that is not terribly obvious from the pattern is that the back has MUCH more drape than the front. It looks pretty, but at first I thought I had cut something wrong. If you look really closely at the line drawing, you can see a few extra lines drawn in the back, but I didn't notice it until after sewing it all up.

{Close up on the front}

{Close up one the back}

I wore this dress today for Easter lunch with the big 'ol extended family and it was a hit. I was comfy and felt cute and got several compliments from the aunts and cousins. I think this is a great day to night dress as it's very work appropriate topped with a black cardigan, but when it's removed, the back makes it much more of an evening dress. I think this will be great for dinners and events this summer.

For those of you that aren't into the sewing stuff, here are a couple of pics of the homemade pie I baked for Jim's birthday this weekend. It was so freaking good! There is no way we can finish it before it goes bad, so my CWs are getting a fun treat tomorrow at lunch. :)