Colette Spring Summer 2012 Palette Challenge

Obviously I am a bit behind with completing my challenges as this one was originally posted at The Sew Weekly for January 15-21. Even so, I am glad to have this cute little clutch completed. I used leftover material from my Easter dress so not only does it match perfectly, but is a great stash buster!

The Facts: Buttons January 15-21

Fabric: ¼ yard lavender linen and ¼ yard lavender lining remnants from Easter dress purchased from Hancock Fabrics in Columbia, SC January 2012 ($3)

Pattern: Simplicity ($1) from eBay

Year: 1960’s?

Notions: thread, fusible interfacing ($4) scrapbooking buttons from stash

Time to complete: 2 hours

First worn: For these photos but will be used on Easter Sunday

Wear again: Yes

Total cost: $8

Simplicity 4838

Sew Weekly Challenges

So I have been lurking over at The Sew Weekly ever since I picked up sewing as a hobby last summer. I followed the 4 contributors and Mena through the end of the year and was excited to learn she was going to open the challenges to a plethora of new contributors of all shapes and sizes. Though I definitely don’t have the skills or time to be an “official” contributor, I thought I could follow along with the challenges each week as a way to reduce my ufo and fabric stash.

The first challenge of the year was January 8-14th and it called for contributors to use an accessory to make a statement. Mena posted The “Statement Necklace” Dress  as inspiration. I thought my black embroidered shawl fit the bill nicely. I have been working on it for months and now if I can get the fringe completed this week, you will see some nice photos to go with the following facts:

The Facts: Accessorize January 8-14
Fabric: 2.5 yards black crepe satin purchased from MaryJo’s Cloth Shop in Gastonia, NC August 2011($20)

Pattern:  Vogue 1334 ($7.50 from eBay)

Year: mid 1970s?

Notions: DMC #5 Perle cotton embroidery thread $50 even with Michael’s 40% off coupons, black thread

Time to complete: About 30 hours. The actual cutting and sewing time was only a few hours but the embroidery took forever!!!

First worn: Not yet!

Wear again: Sure but this will be used mainly for more formal events such as Big Band concerts and the like as it is really super fancy.

Total cost: $87.50

Pattern Stashbusting

Back in August when I was first learning to sew, I also discovered the AMC hit show, Mad Men. Though the drama was full of great actors, I spent most of my time swooning over the clothing which led me to purchase WAY too many vintage sewing patterns. All would be fine except most of them are meant for a significantly smaller frame than I currently possess.  In an attempt to spend my limited time actually sewing instead of fondling the merchandise, I recently put a large portion of my patterns up for bid on eBay. The remaining patterns I  kept are mostly modern but many do have a retro vibe. Hopefully having them organized and in one place will be the incentive I need to actually use them!

Fall Sewing Challenge

I have recently picked up sewing in addition to my numerous other hobbies and plan to take part in the Fall Sewing Challenge being offered by Colette Patterns. I am using the fabric below to make a wonderful gathered jacket. The pattern says it is a “Simple Project” but when I read the instructions I was already a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully that is a temporary state! I will post pics of my progress soon…

Fall Jacket and Skirt Material

2011 Resolutions

Though I do have the ones most people have like exercise more and spend less, those are being actively worked with my trusty treadmill and Dave Ramsey. One of my resolutions that failed miserably around April was to read the entire Bible. Well I have decided this will be the year I actually complete that resolution along with the following:

Get to my wedding day weight. To date I have lost 33lbs and have 40 more to go. I want to get there by my 15th wedding anniversary which is on June 28 so each day is going to have to be really managed.

A new resolution this year is to budget my grocery bill and plan/cook meals a month at a time. I have been couponing since February 2010 and following the Dave Ramsey debt snowball plan since August. Since starting those activities, my debt has reduced from 58k to 46k and the stockpile of groceries is tremendous. This year, however, I want to take it a step further and truly monitor closely what I am spending each month on groceries. The best way to ensure I only spend the $200.00 I have set as the budget for January is to consume some of the pantry and freezer items. Since my hubby is diabetic, he cannot eat pasta, rice and potatoes which does make it trickier because he must have more expensive grocery items such as fresh vegetables and meat. Even so, I am excited about the prospect of being creative in the kitchen so hopefully I can clean out the pantry and come in under budget!

How It’s Going

Well it is one full week into the new year and this is the time when most of my resolutions are usually discarded. This year, however, seems different.

First, my resolution to be more kind. I sent three cards in the last ten days to people in my life. Hopefully this will brighten their day as it did mine in the sending. The little things for my husband and children are not yet an ingrained part of my routine but as we say, I am a work-in-progress. As the weeks go by and I make a concerted, purposeful effort, I trust being kind will be a daily occurrence.

Second, my “Simplify” mantra is holding true. I make a daily list of things I need to do and while not everything is checked off by the end of the day, the majority of them are. I am working to simplify my house in small but important ways. Each day I have a small area that is on my list to organize and though it is slow going, it does seem to be working. I am also being firm with the children about picking up their things so hopefully we can keep this up!

Finally, my daily Bible readings are still going strong. I purchased the One Year Bible Chronological edition. This Bible takes you through the entire text in 365 daily readings. Each day is approximately five pages and it is structured in chronological order. This structure seems to be helping me understand because you read in the order the events actually happened. I now look forward to the fifteen minutes of solitude I receive each day and feel I am truly able to read and digest God’s word.