On to sewing. I couldn't stand to work anymore on the bodice sloper for a while, so I switched to a woven camisole/tank top with darts. I used a pattern I had on hand that did not have the "correct size" so I had to grade up. I'm fairly confident I did a good job of that. I then made my first ever full bust adjustment. In my previous life as a home sewer, pre-computer age, I never needed to do that. I was a fairly straight-out-of-the-envelope size 18 B cup. It all would have went to hell when it came to crotch depth but that didn't matter then. I only sewed tops, dresses, and skirts. The first thing I discovered on returning to sewing was that I do need adjustments to patterns now. Pants fitting wasn't too painful. As I continue to gain more and more post-menopausal weight, the adjustments are getting more and more complicated.
I accommodated pretty well for the bigger bust with the FBA, but the arm and neckholes were, yeah. So I diligently measured and made darts and moved darts and redrew patterns, all that convoluted work. I came up with this:
|with more darts pinned in|
Perhaps a little better, but not an exciting, flattering fit. I revisited what I could find online about Nancy Zieman's pivot and slide method. I ordered the book (I thought) and received a DVD. I don't currently own anything that plays DVDs, so I reordered the book. I looked at it, and noted she says your shoulders and armhole depth don't change with weight changes. I believe they will if you pad enough fat onto those shoulders. 18 might not sound svelte to most people, but I was Army lean with 19% body fat, bikini strutting. My measured top size is now 26 or 28. With results as above, I'm going to have to try going from the high bust measurement, thus a smaller size, and then slide out from there to accommodate the bigger parts. I just don't believe I'll be sliding out from an 18.
I had to abandon sewing garments when the thermometer hit 90. Unless I was going out doors, and sometimes not then, I wasn't putting on more than boxer shorts and a sports bra. Even to try on was more than I wanted to do. I marveled all summer at instagram photos of people wearing clothes. Menopause has been long, hot, and heavy in my world.
So, I switched to quilting for a while. I finally decided that my very rare and old friend Shari deserved a cat lady quilt. OK, Shari is my age, but we became friends at age 13 on an Air Force base where we were both brats. Military brats form few if any lasting relationships during their travels, so Shari is one of only two people other than family I've known prior to age 30. The pattern I'm using is modern and so are the fabrics. I'm wondering if I have too many (very cool) cat prints and should have used a higher ratio of solids. I can only tell when it gets done.
It took me a darn week just to pre wash, iron, and cut out all those curved pieces. Thank God for rotary cutters and acrylic rulers. How the hell did women do those quilts before rotary cutters and olfa mats? See my mock houndstooth kittys? Day of the dead kitties? I also have some Florida beach and bicycles for our childhood, and wild west mountains, for where she chose to end up. There are atomic cats and retro cats, cats in the garden. Not old lady cats.
These are the first few blocks sewn. There will be dark alternating with light blocks that form a secondary design of huge rings across the quilt. Pretty awesome design called Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful, or same pattern by template is called Winding Ways and sold by Marti Mitchell. Sewing those curves is supposedly intimidating, but there is a great video by SKW on Youtube and the blocks are designed to be trimmed down to size, not needing to be sewn precisely perfect. Good damn thing, in my case. I sew slow, and thus few quilts. This will be, in fact, only my second quilt bigger than crib sized. I'm highly anticipating getting to the quilting part, my favorite part. I struggle with the precision necessary with most piecing.
Finally, I finished those Style Arc Shelby Sweatpants, back in June, but there was no way I was going to put them on and get photos until it cooled off some. I like the fit, with my standard crotch depth lengthening. I added an inch to leg length that I would not add if I make them again. Also, I'm not sure I wouldn't skip those zippered and bagged pockets and just pop in some side seam pockets, but if I went to the trouble I would certainly find better (higher) placement. They are low.
I was worried by the time I decided to put these on to photograph they would no longer fit. I outgrew a couple things this summer. Night shift in home health care involves very little activity, but still leaves you exhausted and not craving much activity daytime either. The studies about sedentary lifestyle and disease links are hitting the news this summer. Sitting for 6 or 8 hour stretches is more harmful than smoking a pack a day. Linked to Diabetes, heart disease, depression, on and on and on. I've started forcing myself to get up and move at least every two hours at work, and I've been trying to get in walks after work and doing fairly well with that. I was so out of breath though, and then I was asked to pay $74. for a carton of cigarettes after taxes went up in Delaware. So in another 4 hours I will be 9 days nicotine free!!! I've been smoking 1 1/2 packs a day, and smoking for 44 years. I'm hoping to take off quite a few pounds/inches, increase my activity stamina, and find a new job in the next year or two. I'll be freakin wonderful!
There were vintage machines acquired and tinkered with, another time to discuss those. Contemplating a video for the "newest" one. Video for the quilting of the quilt too. I'm really hoping I get motivated sewing garments with the weather and my commitment to activity- I'll need clothes to put on!!!
And maybe print this up poster size to keep the inspiration strong on exercise. Is that my butt?????
I knew when this style started trending a couple years ago not everyone should wear it. Ahem. I do like the camouflage with roses, hearts, and peace signs.