Burda 7-2014-113: Cycling / Sport Dress

We are back from our grand tour and I have so much to share about the kindness of international bloggers, lingerie fabric shopapalooza and our fantastic trip in general. But, I figured I’d start with the most sewing related, which is my cycle dress previewed before I left. I’m not sure how long cycling dresses have been around. But, it was Ann Marie from Montreal on Facebook who first suggested one to me. WHO KNEW? Plus, Claire has done all these terrific posts on making her own biking gear. I decided I wanted to wear bike dresses for this trip for a few reasons. 1. I do not look good in bike shorts. 2. I love dresses. 3. Packing is so easy!

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As soon as I saw this pattern in the July 2014 BurdaStyle I thought it was perfect. It has a short flared skirt, the zipper in the front is great for venting and I wanted to keep my shoulders covered. I’ll tell you this much, it was referred to as a tennis dress on our trip more than once! But, overall was a hit with the women in our group.  What I found amusing is that our group was dressed in serious biking gear. All bike shorts, jerseys and racing helmets.  I felt my outfits were right in the middle and I didn’t look too athletic for our 50km a day rides. And, um, I’m not wearing a stitch of makeup in 80 percent of these photos. Please, don’t judge me :)

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in Ghent, Belgium

Anywhoo, a few details.  Alterations included unpetiting the pattern and making a FBA. I made three versions for the trip. The first in blue and grey was really my muslin. It’s made from something or the other from some online store or the other. I seriously have minimal recollection.I think it’s four years old.

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This fabric was TERRIBLE for this. It’s too thin, not enough recovery and you can see my drawers. I made the back all dark grey since I thought light blue would make my rear look wide as a trailer. This fabric was a BEYOTCH to get through my Brother Coverstitch. I, um, don’t know that this version is staying in my collection.

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I also recommend adding several inches to the length if you make this one up. It’s short. Especially on a bike. The other change I made was just to use an invisible zipper at the center front instead of an exposed zip. I totally would have done one if I’d had a sport plastic style on hand. But, I didn’t.

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The other two versions were fabric from the DelMarVa blogger meet up 18 months ago. I got it from Beth who I think was planning golf clothes. I don’t remember why she gave up the ghost. But, it worked out well for me! The fabric was from FabricMart probably three years ago and some kind of wicking athletic fabric. I essentially let the amount of fabric I have dictate the print placement.

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On the reddish burgundy, the print is through the center front and center back only. Super narrow cut. I also added an inseam zipper pocket for my phone or snacks. I ran out of the print and used plain black jersey from my stash for the neck and sleeve bands.

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On the tan/ cafe au lait, the dahlia print is on the outside edges. The tan version proved to be my most popular one on Instagram.

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You’ll note I didn’t follow Burda’s suggested color blocking. Because, when you sew you don’t have to.

For all three versions, I used my coverstitch to finish. And, on the tan, I added an extra inch. I am so not well versed in my overstitch usage. This project was good for getting me to use it more. But, I notice on thin fabrics it was really stretching it out (note the neckline on the red version). But, it loved the beefier Fabric Mart knits I made the final two from (note the flat neckline on the tan version).

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I’m wearing padded shorts underneath all of them.

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I wore these dresses for the one week we were biking (washing one each night in the sink) so they were worn twice each. In the mornings I would put on my Under Armour cropped studio jacket. It also helped make it look different.

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As for the weather…It was kind of terrible some days, lol! There was one day I didn’t bike at all because it was freezing and starting to sprinkle. Me and two Brazillians stayed on board. At the end of the day, Jordan came back and said it was awful. The temps dipped below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 mins into the ride, cold, horizontal rain. Some of the people came back having used the lunch sandwich bags as little gloves to keep the cold and rain from their fingers. I went from feeling lazy for staying on board the barge to super smart in 22 seconds. It also was a cold snap in general with temps about 20 degrees (F)  less than they were at home and ten degrees (F) less than is normal for that time of year. We had to go to H&M our first day in town and stock up on warmer clothing. Like, fall coats. Layers I had. But, not enough long pants to keep me warm when not biking.

Overall, I REALLY like this pattern. I’m totally making it up in the winter with 3/4 sleeves in wool jersey.  The pattern needs some tweaking in the upper bust for fit (wrinkles) before I make it up for regular wear. But, as is, these are great for running, tennis, golfing and biking :-) It’s a little Star Trekie. But, I happen to really like Star Trek. And, Star Wars. And, the X-Men franchise. And, the Avengers….

Anyone in Cleveland?

Well, Youngstown, OH to be exact. I’m visiting my middle school BFF this upcoming weekend and I’ve begged for stops at the Rock and Roll Hall or Fame and the West Side Market.  If you’re in the Youngstown area and have any suggestions for fabric shopping (not that I’m buying but I’m always curious) or other such craft endeavors in the area, please let me know!

I’ve been absentee :(  Work has been all-consuming.  I didn’t have heat in my house for over a week and slept at friends’ . The alley behind my house was too icy for the oil delivery truck and about four feet of snow and ice were covering the delivery spout. There has also been no satellite TV for the last three weeks since the ice filled gutter pulled down my power line and my satellite dish. I do have power now after calling BGE TWICE, but DirecTV can just suck it.  I have about $2,000 worth of damage to the house from the snow and ice. And, again, work is all-consuming and dicey.  Ahh, the life of a spoiled American :-) No TV! No heat! Busy at work! LOL.

Oh, one last thing. Are any of you in a community with Meijer??  Because.. *cough* they sell nail polish that I can’t find here :) I thought I would do it in Youngstown — but they don’t have one. Mission accomplished!! TY

And, I have not forgotten about the trench. It is drafted and partially muslined. But, with no heat… I couldn’t take sewing in my basement. Brrrr. I *think* it’s coming along well. It’s going to be a fit issue right now. I *think*. It’s slow sewing. But, I don’t plan on finishing it until mid April.

For Ohio or Meijer, you can e-mail me at miss celies pants at gmail dot com. THANKS!

What does a grown woman wear to ballet class?

Thank you for all the suggestions for my office bake sale!  My co-worker and I are still going through the recipes to figure out what we can make — and make well for Friday. I will definitely keep you posted! But, pretty celophane, ribbon and tags have all been ordered.

Are you ready to be a part of my online therapy session? LOL.  Growing up, I very begrudgingly took 12 years of piano lessons when all I really wanted to do was dance, sew, take pictures and do theater. I can now play Sweet Hour of Prayer from memory. And if VERY hard pressed can play for song service at church if there aren’t more than two flats or sharps. That’s about it. I showed little-to-no promise in that arena and my parents finally let me quit my freshman year of high school.


But, I’ve always wanted to dance. I’ll devour every bad movie about dance. It started with Dirty Dancing as a kid and continued with Centerstage, Step it Up (1 and 2), The Way She Move— you tell me there’s dancing and I’ll see it. I almost put my back out last year showing off  the Single Ladies dance.

So, last Saturday I started an adult ballet class. Partly because I stopped working out this year and it shows. But, mostly because I wanna DANCE (insert jazz hands)!  It’s my second week and I lurv it! I feel like I’m finally doing something I’ve always wanted to do for myself.

My  biggest dilema going in was what in the world was I going to wear? The London Ballet-trained instructor insisted on a leotard and strongly suggested pink tights. After consulting with Leslie (she of the amazing ballet legs), she reminded me that nothing shows cellulite more than pink tights and I promptly bought the black ones! I also had to cover my rear end which cannot be constrained by a leotard. I didn’t have time to whip up a skirt. But, H&M’s tiered tutu to the rescue. And so to answer the question of what does a 30 something wear to ballet class… Voila:

Yes. I’m clearly rocking the drunkface. But, I was on the phone when my friend snapped it for me. Then, the room filled with lithe 15-year-olds and I wasn’t going to take my photo again in front of them and their gazelle-like legs and skinny thighs.

When I signed up for the class, the instructor asked me what my goals were. Others in the class said ‘to go on point’ or ‘to perform in a recital’. I told her blunty, ‘I want dancer’s legs.’ He reply, ‘That’s going to be up to you’. So, I’m registered through December with the next session starting in January.  I’ve now got the Jalie pattern for leotard and skirt in my cart on PatternReveiw.com. I’ll probably do one with sleeves next time as I feel a little swimsuity in this. But, trust. There’s always going to be a fun tutu on the bottom. I swear half the fun of this class is coming up with the outfits!

Ahhh, and I haven’t been keeping up with my nail polish photos. The weather’s crappy and I like to take pictures outside. But, I’ll throw this one out. It’s China Glaze Cords with China Glaze Techno layered on top. Both can be found at Head2ToeBeauty.com:

And so you understand the glittery goodness, here it is blurred:

Ok. Toodles for now. I’m meeting a friend for drinks this afternoon and need to clean, clean clean because Marji from Fiber Arts Afloat flies in tomorrow! Tres cool, right?  She’s visiting for a few days. The list of things I have for us her to work on is boundless. Sloper, pants fit, new measurement, SWAP. The mind truly reels.

Anna Maria Horner Winner!

Is Belinda, who said,

‘To me a purse is what a woman holds her money in, you carry your purse in your handbag and carry a bag to hold your shopping, books, luggage and other larger items. Although sometimes a ‘bag’ can be short for handbag. A man keeps his money in a wallet and carries a bag.”

Loved all the commentary. My mom even called to tell me what she called a purse growing up in Grenada and what she called it when she moved it NYC. And, it if wasn’t 6:00 in the morning, I might actually remember right now.

It’s fitting a pattern is going to Australia because I FINALLY got the last two seasons of the original Kath and Kim. Either I don’t get Sundance anymore or they didn’t pick up the last couple of seasons. Bummer. Last Friday at happy hour, I met an Australian woman who worked at the Police Department. She’s got every season on DVD and I have a new best friend. Now, if Project Runway Australia would come back, all my Aussie dreams would come true!


A Sinking Feeling

I might be too old for Anthropologie…

ETA: ** I’m not being nuerotic or fishing for compliments :). I work in a suit and tie every day (unless you’re wearing a dress) environment. And, I like pink, puffy sleeves, and loads-o-trim. So, I’m careful about dressing my age. Which for those who don’t know is over 20 but under 40. 

Specifically, these dresses. Not that I can afford their clothes. But, I do love them.  They have the best details and trims! Which I personally think justifies their cost. Not that I’m spending the money :)  I plan to do a lot of copying this summer. In particular, I think this Modern Gallica Skirt is a great step to a new cocktail outfit. I just have to get to the one near me and see if this is in yet. Gotta check the details!

We have Good Friday (tomorrow) off. It doesn’t make up for the days at a time I had off for Passover at my last job. But, it’ll do nicely. I plan (ha!) to get my Tudor on and start this blouse from the April 2007 BWOF. By “plan”, I mean consider sewing after thinking about it every 20 minutes. And by “start”, I mean roll out of bed and away from the DVDs and consider tracing and possibly cutting.

What are your coping strategies?

First, thanks for all the positive comments on my last two garments. The yellow maxi is on it’s way to Queens and the brown dress is in the closet. My mom called and asked me to wait to cut it until she could try it on. My mom is quite a bit smaller than me in the lower body. I mean, really, who loses weight in retirement from the Army? The colonel. That’s who.

I tried to look at the pattern again and I think the A-line chorus is right. Just adding to the thighs won’t cut it. And, you’re right.  I’d be a fool to wear Spanx in the summer. Also, lining with a knit.  I also just want to clarify. I think the dress looks fine. Just not my best.

Moment of therapy: I remember being in 3rd or 4th grade and a new Aunt came to visit and made several comments to me in front of my family about the size of my rear. I mean really, who tells a not-fat/ healthy kid in elementary school they have a big butt?  So, yes. I’m sensitive, but not neurotic about my figure. Of course, this does not stop me from putting down a Five Guys burger and fries.

The last few weeks I’ve had several conversations with my online friends about the number of sewing blogs and pattern reviews out there. I think it’s great we’ve taken our craft public! But, I’ve been asked and am asking how we’re managing. Here’s what I’ve figured out for myself:

1. I read a lot of blogs on my Blackberry on Google Reader. My company has outgoing links blocked, so it’s difficult for me to go to blogs and leave a comment. Plus, blogs are not PDA friendly so Reader is the way I go.

2. On PR, I tend to comment / read just the BWOF/ Patrones / Knip Mode reviews. They are what I sew the most of and are more likely to appeal to me. And, honestly, it’s impossible to read every single review and blog.

3. I am a comment ho. I love them. It lets you know you’re not talking to yourself. But, I realize that I don’t always respond. I apologize for that. I am not ungrateful. I love to hear from people. I used to spend an hour once a week combing through and trying to answer questions or respond to certain  comments. But, I’ve gotten lax the last month. Imma get better!

4. I don’t blog as much as I used to. But, I’ve stopped feeling bad about it. Blogging is my therapy, but it doesn’t pay my oil bill. One twice-a-week class is sucking up a lot of my free time. I’m also not as prolific a sewist as I was because I’m working longer hours to make up for time in class.

There have to be some time management specialists out there. Tell me, what are you doing to not feel overwhelmed with all the sewing information out there? Continual lurking? Trimming your blog roll? Reading only once a day or once a week? Posting less to your blog? Do tell!

Sewing Updates and Weekend Plans

Here’s a photoless post for you:

The errant Weekender zipper is on it’s way to me. It was in the ‘problem’ file with the company, but I had to call them to find out it was a ‘problem’.  My maxi dress is almost done.  It’s basted together and needs hemming. Two hours left on it max. I’ll start a blue version for a friend this week too.

But, not this weekend. My best friend from eighth grade is coming to visit this weekend with her three daughters. What’s remarkable, we haven’t seen each other in 20 years! We became friends in middle school when we both lived in Grafenwhoer, Germany. We’ve kept in touch through her annual Christmas letter. This year, I called after a two year hiaturs and learned her husband passed away earlier in the year and we figured it was as good as time as any for her to visit.

So, this weekend, I’m going to hang out like it’s 1989.

She’s driving down after work today with the girls and we’re all just going to hang out and catch up. Cool, right?

And, this afternoon, Trena is heading up from DC to we can stop by the American Craft Council show here in Baltimore.  I love most of the jewelry. I could take or leave the clothes (wearable art), but love love love the fiber arts. I forgot my camera today, but they never let you take photos anyway.

Kinda Kreativ

I’d like to thank  Ann, Linda, Cindy Lou, and Tanya for nominating me for a Kreativ Blogger award. But, I’m going to take the easy way out and point you to both Carolyn and Sigrid‘s posts. Many of the people I’m thinking of have already been nominated, and I’ve been a bit overwhelmed the last few weeks and have not gotten to explore the newer blogs out there. I hope that doesn’t sound cruddy because you have been very loyal readers and generous in your comments (like Carolyn, I too am a comment ho).

The one exception to my exploring new blogs is Toby Wollin’s Kitchen Counter Economics. Last night I read several great posts and immediately added it to my RSS feed. It’s good reading and if you’re short on time, I have to point you to this post and this post. I’ve been trying to clean up the house to post for a roommate. I want to reach that six month’s salary in the bank and it’s not going to happen without someone to share my expenses. I was feeling kind of… umm…. too old to have a roommate. But, her blog knocked that thought right out of my head.

I like to do drawrings….

Using the Random number Generator (and Trena as a witness):

List Randomizer

There were 19 items in your list. Here they are in random order, Reethi wins the pattern drawing!

  1. Reethi
  2. Sue
  3. Birgitte
  4. Claire
  5. Marie-Christine
  6. Heather
  7. Beth
  8. Paulette
  9. Angela
  10. Rachel
  11. Summerset
  12. Knitters
  13. Deborah
  14. Evie
  15. Kbenco
  16. Brooke
  17. MelissaB
  18. sara
  19. Gwen,

Timestamp: 2009-01-19 16:56:08 UTC

So, in deciding to make the 9-2007 BWOF pants, I decided I should make a jacket too. I realize I’ve been avoiding jackets the last 1.5 years because I want to incorporate more tailoring elements and am honestly just kind of  overwhelmed by the entire process.  So, I went and chose something I’ve made before:

BWOF Seersucker Jacket, May 2007

I popped this jacket on to check fit yesterday and found like 20 missing business cards from Egypt. I have searched HIGH and low for those cards. Why can’t my missing black knit fabric be in the pocket too??  At anyrate, I like this jacket. But, it’s unlined and has never had enough structure for me. This time I made a broad back adjustment (although in retrospect, I think I wanted to make a rounded back adjustment).

I’ve also drafted a pattern for a back stay and have cut out  a fusible weft to stabilize the front and shoulder area. I’ve cut them big lest they shrink on me during the fusing.

I’m at Trena’s now in DC although I’m not staying for the Innaguration on the Mall. She’s working on a coat and I’m tracing out Amy Butler bag patterns.  Tomorrow, I’m going to sew and watch the festivities on the telly.