Sewing Once Again

Quite a bit has happened over the last two weeks:

  • I found out I have (early) tendinitis from working on my house too much
  • Dr. injected me with cortisone in my joint to fix the tendinitis (mega *ouch*)
    • Resulted in me not being able to use my right hand (dominant hand) for like… days & it’s still sore 1 week later
      • I was NOT a happy camper
  • Found out the oak floors in my house are engineered floors & now we have to tear them all out to put in new ones
    • The house continues to give us surprises
  • Set up my temporary sewing space & started sewing again *woot*

What’s made me oh-so-happy is the fact I set up a temporary sewing space in the upper level of our house.

Felix had set up his temporary office very early after moving in; he’s set up a desk & computer in our petite back bedroom which we’re primarily using for clothing storage.  I’ve been left to shift for myself – which has meant lots of knitting.  There was just too much demo, dust and havoc for me to set anything up.

Little by little, I was getting melancholy at not having a space of my own and doing what I wanted to do in my free time.  Knitting is great, but I missed sewing.

Looking back, I haven’t sewn a stitch since November – which means it’s been about 5 1/2 whopping months!

I’ve been sewing for 3 days now and I feel so much better.  I’m happy to go home again.  :)  I know most of you will understand, but I haven’t been able to do what I love for so long.  And now that I am again, I feel so relieved & happy & energized.

The demo and dust is still in full swing, but it’s happening in the downstairs kitchen.  Jointly, my dad is working on the duct-work way in the basement so that hasn’t affected the 2nd level either.

The temporary sewing space:

Temporrary Workspace



Complete with discolored walls & cracking plaster:




And overhead is a squirrel that runs around and has claimed my attic as his home:


Okay.  I have to admit it, this room is creepy and scary.  If you were to take me directly from my pretty sewing space in my last apartment to this new one… I’d probably cry.  But I’m so happy to be sewing again, none of this has actually bothered me like it would to a rational person.  heh

I now have to admit… I’m totally rusty with my sewing!  I never would have thought it!!! 

What I’m working on:

I packed the projects that were WIP in a special box, and those are the projects I have in mind to work on first and foremost.  I had a blouse cut out late last summer but never got around to stitching it together.  I’ve made it once before, so no muslin was needed.  I figured this would be the perfect project for me to work on first as I get my ‘sewing legs’ back.

I’ve been just hunting on my blog to show you guys the first one I did, but somehow it escaped being blogged about.  Huh  Well… now there’ll be two blouses to show you.  :D

The pattern is a Advance 9853, it’s a simple buttoned up blouse with cut-on sleeves and a notched collar.


It’s a great basic that I can wear during the summer and also in the winter, layered with a cardigan.

The one issue I have is that I don’t know where my serger went – it’s in some random box I must not have marked well.  So I’m being creative with my use of french seams and pinking shears.

I’m so rusty I forgot to do my french seam with: 3/8″ seam allowance first and 1/4″ seam allowance second.  I did it backwards and have a meaty french seam at my shoulder.  Ahh well… at least the seam is enclosed.

Goodness knows how rusty I’m going to be when I do my buttonholes…  Which is a whole ‘nother deal.  I need to hunt down my buttonhole attachment & buttons so I can finish this blouse.

Once my dad is done working on the ducts in the basement, he’s going to be moving up to our second level & in the room I’ve set up shop in.  I’m not sure exactly when this will happen… But at some point soon, I’m going to have to pack everything up again and move elsewhere in the house.  Wonder which room I’ll end up in next?  :D

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (22)

  1. llynnda April 17, 2014 — 9:07 AM

    I am so glad for you. I know what it is like to not have a place to call your own. Your house is a WIP and it will eventually be finished so don’t settle for anything less. The key word is ” finished”. My Mom lived in the same house for over 40 years and it was never “finished”. Although my Dad had good intentions gardening, fishing and camping always got in the way. My Mom and Dad built the house from digging the foundation with a pick and shovel to bricking and roofing by themselves. The inside was finished over the years, but never really Finished. When Dad died Mom worked out her grief by Finishing the upstairs bathroom and re modeling the kitchen all by her self, dry walling and ceramic tiling on her own. So make sure the quarter round and the molding and anything else that needs to be done gets done. Not necessarily immediately but set a reasonable deadline so that you will both be happy. However did I get to this length of email? Oh and after Mom FINISHED the house she sold it to a developer who tore it down and put up a two unit house on the corner. Mom knew well ahead of time that would happen and it didn’t bother her at all that it was torn down. I guess the idea was nobody else would like in the house that Jack and Joan built. Hope I didn’t bore you. I don’t think I wrote this, I think it just went directly from my brain to my fingers.

    Hang in there, it will all work out and in the meantime enjoy your sewing.


    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 2:00 PM

      Hey llynnda! I loved reading about your mom & sadly that is not the first time I’ve heard a similar story. (Not to mention my parent’s house that is still not “finished”).
      I really hope I’m not working on my house for the next 20 years – we’d like to get done eventually and resume a normal life at some point.

  2. I don’t think this room is scary. I think it has rustic charm! If I was sewing in this space, I could easily imagine myself a french designer, Coco maybe, sewing in a studio overlooking the Eiffel Tower. :-D

    Truly, I’m so pleased that you found a space to set-up! I completely know the feeling of relief and happiness of returning to sewing after a long hiatus. My sewing space at the new house is still a disaster, but I’m down there working constantly now that I’ve gotten back into things. The blouse pattern you’re sewing is going to be really cute for spring! I very much like the skirt pictured on the envelop too!

    I hope that your wrist starts to feel better ASAP.

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:58 PM

      I love that you’re always looking on the bright side of things, Michelle. I’m going to have to stop at our local french bakery now on my way home tonight for a few macarons – and live it up ‘french style’ in my little sewing room. :D

      I do like that skirt the more I’ve been looking at it. Perhaps I can find some fabric in one of my boxes and whip that up too – oh how far I’m getting from my sewing plans though. heh

  3. I feel for you with the house in construction like that. When I was younger my parent purchased a house built in the 1920’s and we gutted the place. I get a little bit homesick from the smell of paster lathe and sawdust ha! It’ll be worth all the hardwork in the end though, promise.

    So glad to see you’re sewing again, I missed those posts!

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:56 PM

      It’s silly… but as soon as I started removing the wallpaper from the walls I was nostalgic from the smell. It was a smell I had growing up in my parent’s home as my mom was removing old wallpaper from a few rooms. I never knew I missed it until I smelled that fragrance again. :)

  4. Tasha April 17, 2014 — 11:20 AM

    Alright, I’m ready to see the bathroom sewing photos at some point in the future. Wait, that won’t be the next room you move to? ;-)

    Congrats on being able to sew again!!

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:50 PM

      heh I was chatting with my dad last night and he was proposing the basement – once it’s all finished & cleaned up of course. Truth be told, the basement is going to be superb once it’s all done. But you know… I’ll be in a basement.

      1. Maria April 21, 2014 — 2:54 PM

        Heh. My sewing area is in the basement. It was supposed to be temporary 8 years ago. I wish it were warmer in the winter and had better lighting, but at least it’s finished and has a TV.

  5. Kelly April 17, 2014 — 11:53 AM

    Oh my… your house project is so big! I really can’t wait to see what it looks like in the end, though. I’m so happy you found a little place to sew! Keeping that bit of normal is so important.

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:51 PM

      Yes. We’re finding that the house-project list continues to grow the more things we’re finding out. *ack* But yes, we’re looking forward to that finish line. :)

  6. MarrieB April 17, 2014 — 11:57 AM

    I bet it feels great to be able to sew after being away from it for so long! I know I get grouchy when I miss a couple weeks.

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:52 PM

      Oh my… can you imagine how grouchy I’ve been then after 5 months?! heh I also just found I get out work early today and have tomorrow (good friday off). I’m going to be sewing up a storm in that little room soon. Can’t wait! :D

  7. Hooray for setting up a sewing space! I hear ya about “injuring” yourself through home improvements. I painted so much in the days leading up to our move-in that I thought I had nerve damage in my hand because I could barely hold a pencil.

    1. Liz April 17, 2014 — 1:54 PM

      I hear you about painting! I only did a small section of painting in the basement for a few days and my hand was aching.
      I bet your pre-painted place was a joy to move into since you didn’t have to work around any boxes and the like….. but your poor hand. :(

  8. Bonnie Brannon April 17, 2014 — 6:24 PM

    What a WONderful dad!!!!! I do feel for you, my dear, in your current situation of chaos, but, oh MY, the joy to be revealed to you and your awesome hubby in your charmingly perfect home when all is complete. Stay Happy; it WILL be worth it. :)

  9. Gina April 17, 2014 — 9:23 PM

    Oh, that’s terrible about your floors! In our house, the stupid prior owners had laid ceramic tile over part of the hardwood in the living room as part of a behemoth and period- and style-inappropriate stone fireplace, and the cement had ruined the floor, making it impossible to refinish. So we had to put in new flooring, but it turned out to be one of my favorite renovation projects. Tongue-in-groove hardwood is pretty easy to lay as long as you rent or have a nail gun, and the progress you see in a short amount of time is so encouraging! It was much more satisfying than the work we did on the “guts” stuff like electrical and plumbing. I bet you’ll be so happy the day you have your new floors in!

    I’m so glad you have a sewing space set up and that you’re feeling happier because of it! I was working on my dissertation so hard earlier in the year that I wasn’t sewing at all, and it was such a comfort to sit back down at my sewing machine once I realized that I just had to make time for it.

    I hope your hand is totally healed soon!

  10. Jeri April 18, 2014 — 6:16 AM

    I’m sure your house will be lovely when finished but glad to see you back seeing. Sometimes you must take time for yourself to do simple things you love!

  11. Bonnie April 22, 2014 — 9:34 AM

    I know this dates me but The Bishop Method is what was taught in Home Ec when I was in school. It was a pain in the a .. LOL. It took me about 6 weeks to make a simple dress in class and when it was finished it looked like it had been worn and worn. I do love the pattern you have though, very cute.

  12. I hope you finish soon with all the works at your home. I cannot imagine how tiresome it can be, arriving home not to rest but to continue working.

    I have a question. How do you choose your size in vintage Advance patterns. I recently bought a blouse pattern in what I thought was my size but it had more than 10 inches of ease. How do you choose them if you don’t know the finished garment measurements (before buying it you don’t know)?

    1. Liz April 29, 2014 — 12:54 PM

      Thanks Elena – the house is going slow and steady. But I’ve gotten on a schedule where I’ll only work every other day on it, otherwise I get too burnt out.

      Hmm… pattern sizing. :) Well, I generally buy patterns between 32 – 36 ” when I’m a 34″ bust. I’m always doing extensive mods to patterns no matter the brand or if they’re vintage or indy pattern companies. I don’t really buy different sizes for each pattern company. I’ve generally found that it varies pattern by pattern with the vintage ones.

      10″ of ease is quite a lot. One scary thing I have found with a mail order pattern is that the pattern pieces inside weren’t the same size as the envelope – everything was way off. Hope this didn’t happen to you.

      If you take your ruler, I like to measure the pattern pieces themselves first to get the finished measurements of the garment. So at the waist, you measure the fronts and back – minus the seam allowances and minus any dart widths. I do this again right at the underarm area – this gives me the approximate bust/high bust finished measurements. And again, you can do this at the hem of the blouse for the approximate hip circumference. Nothing beats a test muslin after you do some mods on the original pattern pieces – that way you can refine the fit better.

      BTW, I love your blue herringbone Thurlows with the bird print on the inside. So cute!

      Good luck!

  13. Bex May 16, 2014 — 12:23 AM

    Oh thats really crappy about your arm, sorry to hear.

    And yeah, old houses = lots of suprises.
    When we pulled up the carpet in a room (to get the floors sanded/polished) turns out there was a hole in the floor!
    They just put carpet over it, lucky no-one fell in!

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