Wrapping up my vacation

Hello sewing friends!  Long time, no post!  I’ve been off from work for the past few weeks enjoying a much-needed post-PhD vacation.  While I had intended to sew up a storm during my time off, I wound up taking an unplanned break from sewing and blogging.  I didn’t even realize I needed it!  The vacation turned out to be a welcome break from many aspects of my everyday life, and I’ve been very much enjoying just loafing around, doing some shopping, catching up on old tv shows, and enjoying the absolutely beautiful fall weather that has finally (!!) arrived here in Boston.  My vacation was largely unproductive, but who cares!  It’s a vacation, after all.  I can go back to being productive when I go back to work next week.  🙂

Maggie napping upside down

I found Maggie fast asleep in this position; she woke up when I took the picture!

With that said, I wanted to check in and share a little bit of what I’ve been up to.

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Graduate student in transition

Fabric for Fashion and other sewing books

It’s been a hectic month.  I just got back from a week on the west coast of the US, and while the trip was a great success, there was a ton of work that went into it.  I’m going to hijack my own blog for a bit and talk about what’s been going on in my life outside of sewing.  I hope you don’t mind!  If you do, consider yourself warned and feel free to skip this one.  I promise I won’t be offended.  🙂

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Merry Christmas from my home to yours

Merry Christmas from Allspice AboundsWishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas filled with love, joy, peace, and celebration.

There *may* have been some sewing-related gifts under my tree this year.  🙂  What sewing goodies did Santa leave for you?

 

Weekend WIPs: Renfrew, Moss mini, and a 10-year-old quilt

Quilt in progress

It’s been forever since I finished something!  Sometimes that’s just how it goes, though.  Life and all that.  🙂  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy sewing and serging and – gasp! – even quilting!  Here’s what’s been going down in my tiny sewing studio:

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One Week One Pattern – sneak peeks

Sneak peek Archer with Maggie Sleeve cuff finished

How do I love the Archer?  Let me count the ways… wait, actually I’d better start counting how many Archers I’ll have by this Saturday.  It’s the start of One Week One Pattern 2014!  Yes my dear readers, I, Carolyn of Allspice Abounds, will actually be participating in something online.  Gasp!  Horror!  Hold on to your seats – the daily wet-hair selfies are on their way.  🙂

One Week One Pattern - largeMy goal is to have 5 completed Archers for the 7 days of the challenge.  I’ve already got 4 done (one, two, three, and the fourth in the shockingly pink photos above – proper blog post coming soon).  The fifth is just starting to take shape in some lovely Robert Kaufman chambray dot.  And yeah, I put a bird on it.

Dot Archer - pocket sewn on

The blog-post-writing has been a little light these days, but the sewing keeps on truckin’!

Are you participating in OWOP this year?  What will you be wearing for 7 days in row??  🙂

Gray striped Renfrew maxi dress

Gray striped Renfrew maxi dress - finished

Summer is here!  And to celebrate, I made a maxi dress — my favorite type of garment to wear on hot summer days.  There’s just something so cooling and comfortable about a long, flowing piece of jersey hanging off your shoulders, with no cinching or pulling and plenty of room for a big lunch.  : )  And since I’m on the tall side, I think the long silhouette is flattering on me.  Comfortable *and* flattering?  Yes please, I’ll take it!

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Self-drafted maxi dress muslin

Self-drafted maxi dress - compilation image

It seems like I’ve been sewing nothing but muslin around here lately!  After my failed attempt at getting the Simone dress to fit properly, I decided to put my newly-drafted sloper into action and draft the dress of my dreams from scratch.  Well, since it’s my very first self-drafted garment, I think “dress of my dreams” might be pushing it.  But you get the idea.  : )  I’m excited!

Self-drafted maxi dress - sketches

I even made sketches and everything.  You know, like a real designer.  Ha!  I wanted a simple summer maxi dress with a fitted bodice and a hi-lo hem, similar to the design of the Simone dress that I liked so much (in theory).  I envisioned using a contrast fabric panel in the center front and center back to add a bit of interest.  I even thought about doing the panel in a solid color with some hand embroidery.  So many possibilities!

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Sgt. Pepper dress: getting there!

Sgt Pepper dress - progress 2 - front

Remember about 10 years ago when I started this project?  Oh wait, it was only 3 weeks ago?  Man, that seems like forever!  This past month has been super busy with work, and then I went to the west coast for a week, and then I caught a cold on the last day of my trip… all of which makes for slow progress on the sewing front.  Boo!  Thankfully, I’m happy to report that I’m back home, mostly recovered from my cold, and back to my normal sewing routine.  And behold: I’ve actually made some progress on my funky dress!

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A super funky dress in the works, man

Cuttinig Sgt Pepper dress - fabric

After a really long and stressful week at work, including working on my birthday yesterday (which I hate doing!), I finally had a Saturday afternoon to myself to indulge in some much-needed sewing therapy.  And look at what found its way to my sewing table!  This EPIC FABRIC SCORE from Gather Here – a funky late 60s Alexander Henry print called “In Crowd.”

This fabric is so me – I loved it instantly.  It reminds me of the Beatles, only the later, drugged-out, hippie Beatles.  The soundtrack for this fabric is basically anything from Sgt. Pepper, but especially “Within You Without You,” one of my all-time favorite, super-trippy Beatles songs.  Hence the birth of the Sgt. Pepper dress.  Love it already.  : )

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I’ve been Archer-ing

Archer in progress

I’ve been off from work this week with essentially no plans other than loafing around, watching trashy daytime tv, sipping coffee, and sewing.  Can it get any better than that?  : )  I wanted a project that I could really sink my teeth into while I had the time, so I picked up the ever-popular Archer pattern and got to work.  The only other button-down shirt I’ve made was this one for my Dad at exactly this time last year, so I figured it was about time I made another one… and for myself this time!

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