Friday, January 3, 2014

Top 5 of 2013 Favorites and Reflections

I've decided to join the Top five for 2013 post-along.  Want to join in? It’s easy, and the rules are meant to be broken. Basically, think back over the year and blog Top 5 lists about the following five topics: 

  • Top 5 Hits: Favourite Creations, most worn or most loved
  • Top 5 Misses: Sewing Fails, UFOs, worn once, or complete disasters
  • Top 5 Reflections: What did you learn about yourself or sewing this year? 
  • Top 5 Inspirations: What books, people, blogs, trends etc motivated you this year?
  • Top 5 Goals for the New Year
Marfy 2286
I'll start with the easy one, Favourite Creations:
1. favorite leather jacket, Marfy 2286

Lots of leather, lots of work, lots of compliments.  It goes with everything, works perfectly with Houston weather 10 months out of the year (my office is freezing on cloudy days).
Marfy 2280 skirt, 3414 top
You can't argue with fabulous!

2. and 3.  Marfy 2280 leather skirt and 2314 tie blouse:
Such a fun skirt, and those pockets are handy as hell.  I have been very glad that I took the time to construct the.  I have 2 cell phones, and they slip discretely into the pockets (a sign of being overworked and underpaid).  OK, I will admit that I don't wear the skirt that often (its a little dressy), but its one of my favorites.
Love the tie neck blouse too.  Great pattern, the tie can be easily omitted and you still have a very flattering V-neck blouse that takes little fabric and makes for a curvy look.  I need to make the sleeves bigger next time, they look like they bind and they do.  But that's my fault not the pattern's.
4.  Burda jeans 
Burda jeans in emerald denim
TNT's, you can't beat a good pair of jeans.  I need more, MORE MORE MORE!  How many pairs of jeans is too many?  I'll let you know when I get there.  I made 4 pairs: cobalt blue, emerald and 2 in blue denim (in the picture below).  All 4 pairs are out of Emmaonesock denim that pretty light weight, but it holds it has a small amount of nylon and/or poly instead of all cotton.  I appreciate the nylon's ability to hold color, but it certainly isn't as comfy to wear as all cotton.  Everywhere you look these days there is lycra, but you can't beat the fit of an old pair of all cotton, heavy weight denim jeans that have grown to love your every curve.

Marfy 9468 in white shirting
PS. I need a more robust machine, my dear old elna is showing its age.  The motor has a little more hesitation and the tension doesn't hold as well.  I think its done with leather jackets, but its loving those silk and cotton blouses.

5.  Marfy 9468, the button-down from heaven

Made 3 copies (I still count this as one entry).  
 - Stark white cotton perfection, long sleeves, cuffs and plackets.  Its a heavier weight cotton that is quite opaque, but a bit warm for my office which faces south and during the winter gets direct sunlight all day.  Sunlight wonderful for my alertness, but a bit warm for winter-weight cotton.
 - Light purple, bracelet length sleeves (at least I call it that even though the sleeves ended when the fabric ended).  Perfect for a little bit of professionalism and a touch of casual.  Pictures will be posted later.
 - Liberty of London lace-effect plaid with  Oh yeah, I finally did a great job matching plaids on the sleeves (except for the cuffs, just ignore those)

Love theses shirts, I wear at least one of them every week.  This pattern has two front princess seams for fitting and slimming and a shaped front band with a V-neck for a nicely shaped collar.

Top 5 other Accomplishments and Reflections:
Marfy storage in 3 ring binders

1.  Even when I wasn't sewing much I did organize.  My job often eclipses the rest of my life, but my sewing projects tend to be complicated and require focus.  I finally organized my Marfy patterns!  I sorted them in 3 categories, scanned the pics and printed.  Then I put them in sandwich sized ziplock baggies and punch holes in the top to file them in 3 gin binders.  Each 1 1/2"  binder holds about 20 patterns.  I have 3 full binders:  shirts and blouses, jackets and coats, and dresses.  I have patterns going back to 2004, which means that when the new catalog (which comes out in 10 days) I will have 10 years of Marfy catalogs and patterns!

2. Scanned and Pinned pattern stash. OK, much of it, but not all…  I still have 1 box of Vogue designer stuff and a small box of 'other' smaller pattern envelopes to get through, but its progress.  Going through this really made me appreciate the precise packaging of Marfy, no big bulky envelopes with strange patterns!  I then uploaded the pdf's to a Pintrest page so when I'm at work daydreaming, or out with friends and want to talk about a pattern they are accessible, even on my phone.

3.  Quit biting my nails, still…  I know, I know.  I also quit at ages 12, 22, 26, 34 and 39 as well.  I have not reverted since May so I think I have changed the nervous habit.  The receptionist at my office used to be a manicurist so she told me how the keep my longer nails from tearing and breaking.
Hint:  it takes 4 layers and about an hour but it works…  The big secret is that my favorite polish tastes terrible.

Sometimes its the little victories that mean so much.

4. Progressed in cleaning out the great stash
I will admit, I have a hefty fabric budget and my choices haven't always been discerning.    Sometimes the pretty just wears off on the way home!  
Fabric acquisitions under the new purchasing paradigm
Or during shipping as the case may be…
I have accepted it, I can't wear brown, I will never make a heavy coating and I don't like sewing with thin fabrics so I am purging.  I have also re-thought my purchasing decision making to include questions like "Will I really ever wear it?"  "No, REALLY?" 
Picture a scenario where I would sew it and wear it!
Sci-fi and other fantasies don't count.  Would this hypothetical scenario really work with my figure?  Will I look fabulous in what I make in this?  Will this work better on one of my friends?
So, if a mysterious box shows up on your doorstep, I am destashing but I take my fabric snobbery very seriously, so I'm 'delegating' instead of trashing.  Besides, sometimes a wonderful wool/cashmere coating in lovely aqua just screams out Rhonda and it just needs to find a better home than Texas.

5. Kept my cholesterol under 200 and started yogi-isms Its a middle age thing, don't ask.
My favorite warrior stretch
It involves eating salad for lunch and giving up barbecue foreeeeeverrrr.  I haven't been able to commit to yoga classes yet, but I do stretches several times during the day.  An office job is really tough on your body, so stretching and accelerating your heart rate several times during the day is so beneficial.
Downward Facing Dog.  No really...
Just be careful; Downward Facing Dog in the cube farm can result in some awkward discussions with HR.  But a semi-private office works well with some toe touches and warrior poses.  Its really invigorating, I highly recommend it to office dwellers.

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